May 25th, 2008

marcus 2013

Something that still boggles me.

I paid my last mastercard bill in cash, in full, and in a branch of the issuing bank (NatWest) on 1st May. Payment was due on the 5th. When I got my next statement they'd charged me a late payment fee and interest; my payment was shown as received on 6th May.

I phoned and queried this, and after a lot of hassle they agreed to refund the charge (though I forgot to ask about interest, and I'm waiting to see if they refund it - if not they will be hearing from me again); their version of this is that they can't guarantee that it will take less than five working days for payment to travel from the bank to their computers and for the amount to be credited. And there was a weekend and a bank holiday in between.

Does anyone else think it odd that they can remove cash from my account in a few seconds, but it takes nearly a week for the electrons to travel from the cashier's computer to theirs - which should be a completely automatic process? Do they shunt into sidings on weekends and public holidays?

It's a couple of weeks till I get the next statement, and if it isn't sorted in full I think that the Banking Ombudsman will be my next port of call. The amount is fairly trivial, the principle isn't.
lander

Le Voyage Dans La Lune

When I put FF IX on line I wanted to include Melies' "Le Voyage Dans La Lune" but I couldn't find it anywhere. A couple of years on there are two versions at the Internet Archive. I've searched there before, it looks like it was added after I launched FF IX, I have no idea why it has taken me so long to find it. Anyway:

http://www.archive.org/details/le_voyage_dans_la_lune - french commentary
http://www.archive.org/details/Levoyagedanslalune - english translation
marcus 2013

Embarassment de jour

Just back from my sister's birthday party (which I'd totally forgotten a few days ago when someone suggested going to see Indiana Jones today, but fortunately I decided to stay at home and write anyway). While I was down there I happened to ask if one of my nieces (who hadn't made it to the party) had picked up her birthday present. Everyone said yes... then there was a long period of "I think she did..." as we got more and more confused about when she had last been round. Eventually we established that everyone was remembering her picking up the Xmas presents I'd left for her (which happened in March for various reasons) and that she hadn't actually been round since her birthday.

More cogitating about it, then we phoned and asked her and she said yes, she'd got the present. And phoned back a few minutes later and said no, she didn't think she had.

Eventually, to cut a long story short, we worked out that I never actually got the damn present - her birthday was the weekend after Eastercon and in all the rush of getting ready for the con, and being a bit ill afterwards, it simply slipped my mind.

So now I need to buy my niece a "sorry I missed your birthday" card and some vouchers. The silly thing is that if I hadn't asked we would have probably all assumed she had it, since I never usually forget birthdays. So it goes...