And the Server shall eat itself…


Well, it’s been a while between entries hasn’t it? I have a couple of decent excuses though.

The first is that over the weekend of December 15-16 the server decided to eat it’s own hard drive. This is not exactly the kind of thing that you want to happen to a computer that’s handling the shopping cart systems for dozens of e-commerce sites at any time, let alone during the run-up to Christmas. It also (incidently) meant that this weblog wouldn’t work. It took us about a week to get everything going again, so even if I’d had the energy to make entries I couldn’t.

After that of course was Christmas, which has a habit of causing interuptions. Also general sugar-overload induced exhaustion. So I haven’t been up to writing anything.

That should probably change over the next few days. I at least intend to write up a review of The Fellowship of the Ring which I saw with Rebecca and Ryan on Boxing Day. That’s if I don’t get out to Kalgoorlie for a few days. So check back soon.

Oh yeah, I also made a few changes to the Beginner’s Guide to Surfarian, so check that out if you’re so inclined.

Dating Agency: The Saga Continues

Given that it’s been several weeks since my first report on the issue, some readers maybe wondering what happened with that whole dating agency thing. Not a lot really, butI might as well explain it all, since I haven’t really got much else to talk about at themoment.

Much to my surprise I didn’t receive the phone call I was dreading so much.Not right away anyway. In what was obviously a well thought out and tested battleplan, they softened me up with a letter first.

This letter consisted of a gushing, hand signed missive congratulating me for “takingthe first step”, a wad of brochures full of carefully constructed success stories, and fourprofiles of “compatible” women.

Exactly why these women could be considered in the least bit compatible withme remains something of a mystery. The four of them could best be summed upas slim and athletic, slim and adventurous, slim and romantic, and slim and oldfashioned, which sort of sounds like a roll call for next year’s Spice Girl clones. It’squite clear that the agency didn’t even look at my form, and just shovedtogether the standard grab bag of slim women in the right age group (the fact thatthey’d count me as compatible with a bunch of slim women is a deadgive-away đŸ™‚

Of the four the slim and romantic one probably appealed the most, but considering thesection on her ideal partner was a rather good portrayal of the hero from a Mills andBoon novel, I felt rather underqualified. As I’m not Fabio* I figured pursuing itfurther would be a good way of setting myself up for disappointment, and wasting agood amount of money in the process.

So I binned the whole lot.

Unfortunately it was soon after that that the calls began. A representative of the agencythat I shall call (for no particular reason) Lauren, began to phone up, attempting toarrange a time to discuss my “particular needs” (her particular needs being a steadysupply of large denomination cheques).

I avoided these calls by the cunning expedient of being employed (you have to wonder about someone who rings you at home during work hours, unless of course most dating agency clients are unemployed shut-ins – which seems likely). However as the week progressed these calls got more and more numerous, and I realised with horror that unless I took action Lauren would soon figure out that calling me after six might not be such a bad idea.

So, in an act of supreme deviousness, I called back at 8:30 in the morning. This was obviously the optimum time. I’d already established (by way of missing all of Lauren’s previous calls) that I was an extremely busy worker and pretty much uncontactable during the day. So calling at 8:30 was not at all unreasonable. By the same token her previous calls had established that Lauren seemed to have a problem with working outside of office hours, thus she was unlikely to be in, or at least taking calls that early. It also had the advantage that no one else was in the office to overhear me phoning a dating agency.

I do have some sort of reputation to maintain.

As I expected I got an answering machine. I left a short but courteous message for Lauren saying that I wasn’t interested in taking things any further, and have not been bothered by her since.

Which in a way is a shame. I was quite looking forwards to continued pestering calls, because then I’d have an excuse to get really nasty and righteous. When dealing with this kind of thing, my first refusal is always rather short, and passionless (“sorry, not interested”). My second refusal is longer, more detailed, and reasonably polite (“I understand that you have a business to run, and you don’t like losing a prospect, but I’m just not interested, so you might as well stop wasting your time on me and work on some other people”). From that point on I pull out all the chocks. Threats of litigation, government involvement, and growled threats in a low voice descend like paratroopers from above. She’d be sorry she ever harassed me in a shopping centre!!

OK. I’m sane again now.

* Thank God