A safe delivery location

Herself bought an item on the Interweb recently.

Nothing unusual there.  In fact Herself is always buying shit stuff on the Interweb.

As usual, she used my email address, so I got a cheerful email from the shop that they had received my/her order and the item had been packed and collected by Fastway Couriers.  They even gave me a tracking number so I could watch progress as it happened.

I checked the Fastway Couriers site and sure enough, there was the first message –

02/12/2016   13:18:55

We received the following consignment in our hub for delivery through Fastway Network

Lovely!  The package is on its way.

A couple of days passed and then I saw an update –

05/12/2016   11:39:57

Unfortunately, your parcel was misdirected when sent from our pickup depot and is not out for delivery with the local courier

Okay.  I suppose we all make mistakes.  At least they caught it and didn’t dispatch it to Outer Mongolia.

Then another message appeared –

05/12/2016   11:40:16

Your parcel is currently in transit between our ‘Dublin’ and ‘Wicklow’ depots.

Fair play!  Nineteen seconds to find my parcel which was apparently in the wrong place, take it out of the wrong place and put it in the right place and send it on its merry way.  Not bad work.  I had to admire them for that.

I checked again yesterday –

06/12/2016   05:48:42

We received the following consignment in our depot for delivery

Seventeen hours to travel less than fifty miles?  We’re certainly keeping to the speed limits?  Never mind though, the parcel is on its way.

Next message –

06/12/2016  08:03:08

On Board – The parcel is on board the courier vehicle.

Sound the fanfare!  It’s on its final leg.  The tension and anticipation is mounting.  I spend the day hovering around the front garden waiting for the parcel to arrive.

It didn’t.

I checked the web site again –

06/12/2016  16:36:29

We delivered a parcel which we were authorised to deliver without capturing a signature by leaving it in a safe delivery location


I read the message several times, just in case there was some hidden meaning.  The message was the same each time I read it.  What the fuck is a “safe delivery location”?

I went out to the front garden with a lantern, just in case.  I mentioned before how some courier companies like to just chuck things over the gate and how I had in the past discovered parcels under the car, in the window flowerbox or lying in the dog shit on the front gravel, so maybe my front garden was their definition of a “safe delivery location”.  I checked the gravel.  I checked on and under the car.  I checked the brambles and I checked up the trees.  No parcel.  The neighbours must have wondered what the fuck I was doing stumbling around in the dark peering into hedges, so now they know.

I checked the web site again this morning.  No new messages.  They apparently consider that they have fulfilled their side of the bargain and it’s now up to me to find their “safe delivery location”.

So where is a “safe delivery location”?  The local churches?  The cop shop?  Scrap the last – it’s never open.  Under a rock somewhere?  The local shop?  Next-door neighbour?  Down one of the old Avoca mine-shafts?  Up the bogs in a bog hole?

I honestly don’t know where to start.  I tried contacting the courier company but I can’t get through to them.  They do give a look-up thingy for the various individual drivers so I looked up the nearest bloke for this area.  His phone went straight to an answering service.  I hope he enjoys the message I left.


Just got a call back from the courier.  He enjoyed the message.  He told me where my “safe delivery location” is.

Apparently it’s my black rubbish bin in the front garden.



Mobility problems

I do my best to keep up with the times.

Some things such as my mobile phone though have me nearly bet.

A while ago, I started to have problems with it.  I couldn’t charge it.  It wasn’t that the phone was broken or anything, just that I couldn’t plug that fiddly power plug into it.  No matter how hard I pressed, the plug just wouldn’t go into the socket.  I reckoned there might be a bent pin or something, but if I pushed the plug in as far as it would go, it would just about work, provided it wasn’t touched and provided no one walked near it.  The slightest movement and the plug would fall out again.

I was pondering this little problem one night while Herself watched the television when I noticed something – there seemed to be something stuck in the socket.  Maybe this was what was causing the problem?

The socket is tiny – one of those micro-whatsits – so I attacked it with a pin.  Sure enough, some stuff was jammed in there.  Combining ferocious dexterity with a lot of blowing I managed to clear the stuff out.  The plug now fitted perfectly once more.

Now when I am travelling, I tent to shove the phone in my shirt pocket.  And I always put it in the right way up because that’s the sort of logical thing to do?  The problem was that the little power socket was at the bottom so it tended to come to rest in whatever dust, fluff or other bits of crud that happen to be in that pocket.  So now I have to invert the phone every time I put it in my pocket.  I wonder why the designers never thought of this problem?  Idiots!

But my troubles weren’t over.

I had another problem.

I now had a nicely charged phone but I couldn’t receive calls on it.

There is nothing wrong with the phone as such.  It would ring away merrily playing the little unique tune I had inserted into it, but I couldn’t answer it.  You see it’s a modern phone, and to answer it I have to tap the corner of the screen.  But when a call comes in, a piece of security software throws up a little window asking me if I know who is calling and do I want to save the call.  But the little window pops up right over the Answer thingy so I can’t access it.  Five gold stars to the fucking genius who designed that little piece of ingenuity.

I have removed the security software.  It was a right pain in the hole anyway as it was constantly nagging me about stuff that was running and that it was three whole days since I had run it, or whatever.

I now have a fully functional mobile phone.  I can now answer it without a fight or a curse.

Not that it matters much.

I very rarely use the thing anyway.

Worrying evidence

They really are getting desperate.

Just 10 puffs on an e-cig is enough to increase your risk of heart disease, according to researchers.

“Worrying evidence is mounting that vaping isn’t as safe as many people were led to believe.”

Worrying?  Maybe to single cell amoebas who read the tabloids.  Evidence?  Let’s have a look at the evidence…

They take 16 [yes -that’s sixteen] and give them ten puffs of an electrofag.  This triggers physiological changes that, in the words of one leading expert, ‘start the heart disease ball rolling’. [My italics].

So we are to take one “experts” opinion that in a miniscule research there is worrying evidence?

Suppose I were walking along and I stumble on a loose paving slab and nearly fall.  Now according to our “leading expert” this is “worrying evidence” that the Earth’s tectonic plates are moving and that Ireland is about to vanish beneath the waves.  Don’t laugh – according to our “leading expert, this is apparently “worrying evidence”.  The ball is rolling and soon we are to experience magnitude 10 earthquakes.

If this “research” were an submission for the Irish Young Scientists Exhibition it wouldn’t even qualify for entry and quite right too.  Our fifth year schoolkids would laugh them out of it.

I notice they gratuitously include a video of a vape pen battery exploding in a shop.  Note that it’s a vape pen battery and not a phone battery or any other type of battery?  Now I have one simple problem with this little video.  Could someone explain to me how an obviously hand held camera happened to be trained on that exact spot [from a safe distance] in anticipation of the event?  How come the event seems to come as no surprise to our camera holder?  No reaction, no shaking of the lens, no rushing to help or raise a fire alarm?


They couldn’t be that desperate, could they?