pmsumner: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 12:24am on 07/08/2012 under , , , , ,
I'm now officially on-call with the new job. At the moment 1 week in 2 but call-outs should be "relatively" rare. They are actively trying to hire more of us though, so give it 4-5 months or so and I expect it to be 1 in 3, much more palatable. Think of the money, think of the money, think of the money...

I'm enjoying the work still, it's proving a challenge and I think largely I'm rising to it. There's a few bits here and there that I don't feel too comfortable with (e.g. - managing a relationship with outsourced DBAs) but overall I'm learning loads, and I think everything I'm learning here is really useful. Gaining lots of basic Oracle experience - it's taken me days but I can now at least log in to Oracle Database RAC using the service name or SID! Learning about FastStats, Unica, eMessage, Odystar, Capscan, managing PAF data, lots of data analytics stuff that's proving really interesting at the moment.

I got a reply from my MP on the letter I wrote to them about tenant's rights. I would tell you exactly what it said but the letter's not where I left it... It essentially said that they understand the point I was making (a lack of information available to tenants on their rights), that someone was doing a review of residential lettings within government, and they would forward my letter on to them.

Last weekend we spent at some friends' house in deepest darkest North Wales. We went for dinner in Mold on Friday for Tapas, and left on Sunday afternoon. There wasn't anywhere near as much debauchery as I was prepared for given some of the states I've seen him in, but it was a fun weekend. Nice to see him "growing up" :)

I've been sneakily buying a surround sound system for the past few weeks. That sounds like a weird thing to say, but I "accidentally" bought an Onkyo TX-SR508 from ebay a few weeks ago (I bid to a value that I thought was below it's real value and nobody else bid it up any further!) and have had my old stereo's speakers connected to it for a while, since then I've bought a set of 5 speakers and a kick-ass sub-woofer, so now the house shakes if we have the TV turned up too loud :-) I'm still not used to hearing sounds coming from behind me occasionally, especially when it's loud and unexpected.

We've got a busy few weeks coming up later in the year. Both pipsytip and myself are off work for 2 weeks in September. We haven't arranged anything yet but a holiday away somewhere would be nice. We're talking about Cornwall, I've not spent much time in that part of the world so it'd be nice to get down there and my parents are near Bristol/Bath so it could be convenient. September 21st we've also got tickets to Starlight Express in Llandudno, and Comic Con Wales is in wrexham on the 23rd. In October we've 2 gigs - Amanda Palmer at Manchester Cathedral and Idina Menzel at the Palace Theatre. Further on, at Christmas, because of the nature of the company we can't close down like AD/DM used to, so the company is open and I'm not sure whether Joe (the other guy on my team) wants any time off yet. Personally I'm not too bothered, Jane might be though so we'll see.

I'm coming to the end of my mobile phone commitment period in September. I am yet to decide what to do. I have been using an iPhone 4 now for the past 2yrs and to be honest with myself, I love it as a phone. My first adventure into proper smartphone land (excluding a Sony Ericsson T68i - which by today's standards is retarded) was an Android G1, and that did me well for about 6 months, but flakiness and Android version fragmentation really screwed the Android OS, leading me down the CyanogenMod route. I got jaded with it and gave up. So whether to wait to see what price my current provider will offer me on a new iPhone (rumoured for release in September), whether to upgrade to a 4S (not sure I see the point) or switch hardware completely, I don't know. I need to investigate the market again.

One "problem" I have is that I get half-price line-rental from my current provider on any price-plan, as I used to work for them. So I'm on the top-price package they offer (£60/mo) and pay £30, almost everything is included (3000mins, 3000 SMS, a bunch of MMS and fair-use policy (I think it's still 1GB) data a month), of which I use virtually none! So moving to another provider? Unlikely to happen.

We have been busy lately, unfortunately with my current style of journalling (once every couple of months), writing about anything in more detail than "Oh yeah, we did that, didn't we?" is tricky :)
location: LL11
Mood:: 'tired' tired
Music:: Family Guy on FX
pmsumner: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 02:51pm on 04/03/2012 under , , ,
We've been to see a few properties over the last week or so, and also not been to see several properties that we wanted to see - agencies are a bunch of incompetent goons I swear - so we've got a good idea of the local market again.

We saw this place ( on Saturday, which although nice and would have been a big change from where we are now, just didn't feel right. Things I can explain: it was single-glazed, had only 1 parking space (for a large 3-bed house?), was in the grounds of a nursing home, and somehow felt unfinished. It was like it needed a bit more work to be complete. I can't explain exactly what was wrong but it wasn't right.

However, on the same day we also saw this place: It's an ex show-home on a new estate and is slightly oddly shaped but is also well-maintained, a good size (3 good-sized bedrooms), has 2 bathrooms and a downstairs loo! You probably don't appreciate how exciting this is!

We shall be applying for this on Monday morning. I hate this phrase - "applying for". It feels almost dirty. Even more irritating when the agency in this case are the same agency we're with now, so it's not like they really need to do credit checks and the like. We've been paying rent to them every month now for 2yrs, you'd think they'd trust us some more by this point.

Yet they're still going to charge £200 "reservation fee" (admittedly this goes towards the deposit if we're "accepted" so I'm not so bothered about it) and £100 "admin fee" as well as the rent & deposit, all payable on the day of the tenancy starting, though what they claim that's for I'm not entirely sure? Perhaps for photocopying/printing the agreement.

Then of course there's the period of overlap, which is all going to be a bit odd. Our tenancy formally ends on the 7th April, which this year is Easter Saturday. What letting agency in the world will actually do anything on a bank holiday weekend? I'm curious how they'll want to work it. I suspect it'll go one of these ways - either we pay them a few days less rent (it's only £30 or so but it's better in our pocket than theirs!) and hand it back on Thursday, or we hand it back on Tuesday having paid nothing more (seeing as it's not our choice).

I want to keep the overlap (paying rent on the new and the old place) as short as possible - 2 days should be enough but I suspect we'll end up with more because agencies are evil, right?
Music:: The Secret War of Harry Frigg
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
location: LL11