An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Monday, October 31, 2005

Return of the non-native (with no apologies to Peeping Tom)

Our old pal and correspondent - the Curmudgeon - emailed this weekend while we were "off-air" thanks to OTE (the telecommunications company you love to hate). We've had no ADSL since last Sunday afternoon and when we repeatedly chased it with their inappropriately named "help desk" we ended up losing our telephone connection altogether some time on Friday afternoon. These people do not work weekends and you cannot report problems from cell phones and so we were without telecommunications of any description until late this afternoon. And it's not even as though it was cheap t have these clowns running your connexion to the outside world!

The Curmudgeon wrote " As of 13 hours ago, Spymac blogs are back online -- or so they trumpeted when I logged in to collect some mail I haven't yet redirected to Yahoo or Gmail or AIM mail. Amazingly, after weeks off-line, their blog system does not have a search facility, so I could not find yours without laboriously reading through several hundred pages. Unsurprisingly I didn't bother! Fortunately, I've got your Blogger page in my favourites, so I can always read that at the single click of a button.I reckon that all Spymac 4 needs is one of those 'new, improved' stickers that manufacturers and other snake-oil types like to add to packaging when they have found an even cheaper way to manufacure their sub-standard products and foist them on an unsuspecting public. BTW, have Spymac lifted your ban yet, or are you still persona non grata?"

It's so good to have news that the guys at Spymac are finally getting their act together (irony alert) after only 2 months or so on what was supposed to be a 3 day transition! The quality of the new Spymac, however, has yet to produce the dropped jaw that they keep promising me and I suspect that I am not alone and as for the ban well that really is an interesting story.

During my ban I had a personal chat with one of the co-founders who goes by the name of AtariST - not, you understand, to plead my case but simply to ask for some form of justice! Fat chance! Kevin, no, really that's his name, seemed like a nice enough guy but ... But that's about it. He wasn't interested in justice but he was fascinated by what he deemed my negativity! Yeah, I wonder where that came from? Anyway when my ban was about due to be lifted I emailed said Kev and asked him what time base they were using to determine when my ban was due to end. As a site with international users it is odd, but not unsurprising given their other parochial bents, that they can give you a time but not tell you whether that is GMT or some strange Canadian time basis. Very soon thereafter I had an email from the boy telling me that my ban had been lifted! Result!

Well, not quite. I went to try things out and found that my regular userid/password/3 symbol code combination was no longer recognised. Suddenly - as soon as I'm unbanned in fact - Spymac no longer knows who I am! A fascinating co-incidence wouldn't you say? I emailed this information straight back to AtariST and asked for advice. So far, he hasn't responded! As of now I still cannot get into Spymac and a torrent of emails with their wonderfully helpful tech support team doesn't appear to be getting me any closer. Maybe this is some extra punishment that I need to serve for being so negative. Maybe it's more of the incompetence that I have come to expect. Maybe it's fate. Maybe it's divine retribution but to answer the original query - I still appear to be persona non grata.

He also wrote " I have the impression that you live in the hinterlands of Crete, but notwithstanding that you have two rather unpleasant fellow Brits as your immediate, and uncomfortably close, neighbours. If I am correct, were they there first, or yourselves? If them, whatever made you choose to live next door to emigrate from this fair and pleasant land to live next door to a couple of gobshites in the middle of nowhere? Have you joined me in the land of (rapidly) descending senility? My dear Papalaz, you really don't need to emigrate for that -- you can have gobshites for your neighbours here."

Yes, yes, we were here first. No senility - yet - but I'm working on it. Gobshite neighbours (I prefer to call them the people next door simply because the word neighbours has connotations that they could never live up to, slight though those connotations might be) seem to be in ready supply the world over.

Finally, on my piece about Little Britain he wrote: "So, you didn't like Little Britain. Not a patch on that other lot you take your pseudonym from, you say. For me it's the reverse. Don't suppose you liked Rab C. Nesbitt either."

Strangely enough, what I could decipher of Rab C Nesbitt generally made me laugh. I loved his ability to rant and the comedy was actually clever. Subtitles would have helped though. "Chacun a son gout" as they say, but when it comes to LoG you just go and wash your mouth out!


  1. Where could the blogging flock head to? We need either a new hobbyist-based site like Spymac used to be (but not one of those computermaker-centered-forums) or, better yet, a site administered so professionally that one would even pay for it. Spymac with it's Club don't deserve a single dollar as one can't expect it to help them keep things going.

    I doubt if "the guys at Spymac are getting their act together" as new leaks emerge, but at least the name addresses (like my, be welcomed, but don't blame me for the ugly interface) work again.

  2. I want to complain about your blog, since it is so exquisitely ironic , inculcates such delicious schadenfreude, and uproarious laughter, that it severly endangers the health of very old people like myself who are unfortunate enough to read it.

    I particularly enjoyed your comment, "As of now I still cannot get into Spymac and a torrent of emails with their wonderfully helpful tech support team doesn't appear to be getting me any closer." LOL.

    My dear PoMo, I have sent the poor chap who runs Spymac's self-styled 'tech support' whole Niagaras, Victorias, Angels, Yosemites, Sentinels et al.,of emails (PS. for the benefit of the intellectually challenged at Spymac, these are all massive waterfalls), so who are you to think that your mere torrent is likely to provoke any reaction.

    Not only has Spymac's 'tech support' demonstrated to the world at large that they know very little about their subject, but it is quite clear that they know even less about courtesy and customer service.

    I suspect that it is only the misplaced loyalty of their diminishing band of adherents that keeps them going, that and their sheer arrogance. However, they should perhaps be worried, since the word is slowly spreading, and their investors may soon come to hear of it. I would certainly be liquidating my holding poste haste -- either that or changing the executive management -- were I one of their financial backers.

    May I remind you, after weeks of being unable to access my account, and waiting fruitlessly for any assistance from Spymac's 'tech support', it was you who helped me access my mailbox there. And I used to think that Bill Gates was an arrogant prick, but these guys at Spymac could teach him a thing or two; indeed, their technical incompetencies even make Wndows look like a decent OS. LOL.

    Still, none of that excuses you from torturing this old man with uproarious laughter. Let's have less of that in future, and more sober reflection on the state of the human condition.