“Calls may be recorded for training purposes”, and potentially suing your ass

So started this morning at 7:30AM. For two reasons. One I wanted to knock off at 4PM and the other I wanted to be in a call queue at 9AM. First goal was achieved. I set up three phones cyclic calling the number, one finally started ringing, it got answered in four minutes. I put it on speaker and started the digital recorder. To cut a long story short I got the guy to state no less than three times that the payment would be made in this tax year, even if the payment isn’t taken until the next. It’s apparently all to do with tax dates, same as an invoice, when you issue an invoice the date it’s issued is the date on which you have to pay tax on the amount, not when you receive the money. The pension goes from the date they request the money, not when they get it. Anyway, I have the full twelve minute conversation on file. Rest of the work day was uneventful, I actually got a hell of a lot done. Walked Sasha and then drove up to Staverton at 4PM. Got there at just gone five and did the flight planning, we took off at about half-six. Nice flight, down the estuary, over the bridge, which we did at 4,000 feet, just so we could do an engine off autorotation from one side to the other. Interesting fact, with little wind you can cross it in about a 1,000 feet of altitude. Then flew up Filton airfield other mothers house and then probably within about 1,200 feet of mine before going back up the M5. A lovely flight, landing was way too fast, easier with a bit of wind, which there was none. Drove back and then went for a short run.

Tax need not be taxing, but it is

Spent far too long on the phone today talking to people who didn’t really know what they were talking about, which made it quite interesting. It’s all down to when a direct debit payment is going to be taken and it looks like it’s after the current tax year which is useless. I think I may have to cancel the direct debit instruction and just pay it manually. Although trying to get hold of anyone on the phone is neigh on impossible at the moment anyway. I’ll try and phone them again tomorrow and then give up.

So dress rehearsal on Thursday then I get to potentially kill my mother on Sunday, things are looking up

Didn’t have a great nights sleep, actually I basically didn’t. Still had a load of work to crack on with though so just got stuck in. Walked Sasha, it was very cold but dry. Went out this evening for a run, the heavens opened with freezing hailstones on the way back, but nice that it’s light in the evenings again. Booked in with Ben for Thursday evening, get the planning out of the way.

So Standard Life appear to be efficient – so far

So yesterday was all about food and drink, a lot of both were consumed. Very nice lunch at The Swan, great evening with my sister later.

So I decided to work today in thinking that I would not be disturbed and magically I wasn’t. So everything I’ve been thinking about since Thursday I implemented, tested and checked in. Only one minor moan from an artist and I even managed to sort him out as well. Walked Sasha, weather wasn’t too bad lunchtime. Took a short break early evening to walk down to a new Geocache, found someone there already signing the log, so always nice to meet a fellow cacher. Came back and did a bit more work and then finished quite early. Had a quick shower and downloaded my new FCPX plug-ins, I’ll need to look at the tutorial videos for them really. Gave Standard Life a call, didn’t think anyone would be there but answered straight away, looks like pension has been setup, but money is still currently in my bank account. So quite pleased with them so far. So normality will resume tomorrow and everyone will be annoying me again.

Dogs and Demons

Today was a bit of an odd day. I knew the weather was going to be shit, and it didn’t disappoint. Had breakfast and lots of coffee, read the papers. Walked Sasha, although it was rather brief as storm ‘Kate’ or whatever the fuck it was called was heading in. I then had lunch and proceeded to spend the next god knows how many hours going through clips of the last USA adventure to turn into trailer for the new one. After I’d spent long enough we did have a bit a crises to do with taxi’s. Organising one’s social life can be a total pain in the ass so normally I just don’t bother and don’t have one. But tonight we’d been asked out so I though I’d make the effort. Anyway, that all got sorted, so suited and booted we headed out at about 8PM as the taxi was half hour late as he didn’t have a clue where he was going. I had to direct him to the venue, which didn’t end up being as packed as I thought it would be. It was the ‘Blue Lagoon’ on Gloucester road. The last time I’d been in here was about thirteen years ago, it hadn’t changed, you still stuck to the floor and it was still filled with an eclectic mix of very odd people from the local area. It’s still I find rather overpriced. Half of Tesco’s was there, so I was a bit pork chop at a Jewish wedding. The band performed a rather bizarre eccentric sound check and then pissed off for a pint. When they got going though I was really impressed, they pulled out a couple of Green Day numbers during their set plus a really good version of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’. We bailed out at 11PM, the taxi was waiting, this one knew where he was going. An odd evening all in all, we most do it all again in about ten years time.

So that was spring, roll on summer

So glad I took today off, the weather was just spectacular for March. Gave Sasha a nice long walk, even took Dillon out, okay, his wasn’t so long. Had a light lunch and then headed out. Dropped off a cake box at my sisters and then headed out for a couple of Geocaches. A truly beautiful day. Got back with the sun still shining and it still feeling warm. Sat down, had a coffee and watched a bit of telly, then had a bath. Pizza time and then early bed I think, I’ve walked over fourteen miles today. From here on, the weather just gets shit.

Map, unmap, write discard, write no overwrite, blah blah blah

Not the earliest start of the week, but I’d already done enough over time anyway. Spent basically the whole day sorting out yet another DX buffer locking issue. How the hell it worked originally, well actually it didn’t some of the time. Weather not great, Jamie and I walked both dogs, but it wasn’t exactly long. Went for a run this evening in quite a pleasant drizzle. Ended up working almost nine hours, so almost up to 100 hours overtime this year so far. Still thinking about bloody buffer locking now. I’ve got tomorrow off anyway, weather due to be nice, so will get outside and do something.

Time to just do it my self, so I did

Today was a bit weird on the work front. In one fowl swoop I saved half the total vertex and index mesh buffer memory. So was quite pleased with that. Jamie was off getting his next tattoo. Walked Sasha. I contacted Ben about Friday, but no go, so may work it instead. Walked to the gym, did Pump. Came back and went through all the pension stuff again. I was trying to get hold of Re-assure to pay into that pension pot but seems more hassle than it was worth. So looked up the Standard Life pension as I have eight hundred quid in that one. It isn’t in the best of funds. I then did a bit of digging on their site, found I could actually do my own pension and pick and choose my own funds. So I found a fund which was very similar to the one financial advisor bloke was recommending, it’s 0.6% total management charges but if you invest over twenty-five grand you get a 0.3% discount. So total management fees will be 0.3% on a 70% shares portfolio. All set up online, shoved ten grand into it, hopefully that will be set up in a couple of days. I’ll then transfer the other pensions, or part of the other one anyway, into it. Updated my investment prices for the first time in years, pleased with those results as well. I need to spend the weekend putting my pensions into Microsoft Money so I can better track them.

Your report is very nice, but your figures are flawed

Woke up after Jamie had left for work. Got on with it, had a bug left over from yesterday but solved it fairly quick. To be honest a one day job took two days, but that happens sometimes. I had to pop out lunchtime and see the financial advisor again. He’d produced a very thorough report. His recommendation was to take out a new pension with Aviva and transfer my old pensions into it plus a lump sum. All looked interesting. This evening, after a run I wen’t through all the figures. The old pension provider gave growth forecasts for the usual 2.4% and 5.6%, I also have the same forecasts for the new Aviva one. This is where the figures just don’t add up. If I take the 2.4% prediction and just whack the lump sum on at the end, it’s actually greater than the new one’s total fund. Further looking into it, it’s all down to charges. Aviva charge 0.4% to manage the fund. But this guy wants an additional 0.7% annually to basically do bugger all, this is on top of the grand to set it all up. I’ve thanked him for the report, which cost two-hundred and fifty quid anyway, and said I won’t be pursuing it any further. No regrets on the report though, I had no idea how my existing pension compared to any new ones, and as it happens whoever sorted it originally, did a fairly good job.

At least I fixed the most important thing, the coffee machine

Started the morning still with the bizarre issue of the coffee machine not completing its scaling cycle. Thankfully it still worked anyway. I had a plan for work today, and it being a Monday of course none of it actually worked. By ten thirty at night it still wasn’t all working correctly. Plus there were a load of other issues as well. Nice day, walked Sasha, walked to gym. Laverene was obviously still dying of old age so Nick did it instead. He choose an interesting mix of music, it was all special for a good reason, you could distinctly hear the beats on all tracks which means he didn’t lose timing. Okay, may be a couple of times.

I did solve the coffee machine issue. It was actually the water sensor playing up. I should have realised earlier that it was using all the water and then coming up with a temperature error. I did a lot of Googling and found that it was caused by the sensor being wet. So lots of towelling later it was all working again. We live for another day, with coffee.