Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I often watch the series Grumpy Old Men on the BBC. Amusing as I find it, I try not to sound like them. However, as I am frequently having technology forced on me, I do find a little grumping in order.
For a start, I was quite happy with five television channels. Then came digital. Did I want it? Not really, there wasn't enough on to tempt me. Then the option was taken away. 'Analogue is to be removed, so go digital or lose your television programmes.' So last year I bought a digi-box, and now I know how Springsteen must have felt when he wrote 57 Channels and nothing on!
Well fine, no doubt the government will rake in a fortune in tax, from the sales, as millions of people purchase digi-boxes. Mind you, as all future TV's will be made digital as a matter of course, those millions of boxes are going to form an impressive pile of environment-unfriendly rubbish in a few years time.
Okay, not my problem; but I do feel as if I have been blackmailed into making an upgrade. And it's not the first time. For years, I was happy with the cheaper Internet Dial-up system. Then a year ago my server started bombarding me with suggestions and offers to upgrade, all of which I ignored. Then all of a sudden, I couldn't get on-line; I'd dial up, ten minutes later the screen would freeze; or I'd be shut out with a 'Page Cannot Be Displayed' message; or the whole process would die the death after about 20 minutes. So I went broadband ... and my problems were miraculously solved. Of course, I'm still using the same computer I bought back in 2000 (when we finally discovered that the Millennium Bug was a load of bull) so I'm no better off.
Now, I certainly wouldn't accuse my server of sabotaging the internet access I was paying them a monthly fee for; but when I change computers, it is certain that I shall be dispensing with their services; I can't do much about the digital revolution, but I can certainly choose who I surf with.
Haven't quite finiahed grumping yet, as I have had to visit the dentist; and like most people, I am finding it rather costly without the services of the NHS.
I saw a picture of a chap in the papers a few weeks ago who, rather rashly, had pulled his own teeth out with a pair of pliers, rather than pay a dentists bill. Now, in need of a cap and a filling, I know how he feels ... It's bloody expensive ! Still, I'm rather attached to my gnashers, so it's money I'll have to spend; but like the extra pounds I'm forking out for the broadband, it's money I begrudge.
Anyway, back to digital TV. There is a new channel with my name on. 'Dave' came about because, it seems, just about everyone has a mate called Dave, and this is intended as a 'blokes' channel. Every time I flip it on, there is a repeat of 'Top Gear' or 'A Question Of Sport'. If I cared to tune in later (which I don't!) There are repeats of 'Never Mind The Buzzcocks', or some crappy banter show with Stephen Fry. Wow! If they must have a channel with my name on, you'd think they could show some decent bleeding programmes. (As you can guess, I'm not impressed:-( )
Anyway, Christmas is coming, a time of year that usually sends my grumping into overdrive. Still, it's a great time for ghost stories, and one of mine 'The Shadow on the Bridge', will be going on-line next month. Keep watching this space for details. (In other words, I'll be posting a link.)
Be seeing you.