Archive for August, 2011

Book Reviews

Posted: 23/08/2011 in Book Reviews

I’ve now read half a dozen or so of Duncan Falconer’s books and thoroughly enjoyed them all. This latest one Pirate is not significantly different from the others they are not the most intellectual of reads coming from the same vein as Chris Ryan and Andy Macnab one hard special forces operative against improbable odds taking on the bad guys but I like the supension of belief and escapism that these sort of books provide.

Falconer’s central character is in the Special Boat Service based out of Poole and holds the normal SAS types of these types of novel in some contempt which is amusing.

anyway enough of my waffling buy this book if you like this sort of thing.

http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=mrbuch-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&asins=B004XCFIK8&ref=tf_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

Something Missing?

Posted: 22/08/2011 in idiots

You may have noticed that my previous rant missed out on the other several other scourges of our roads and I will attempt to address some of them below.

Firstly in my previous essay I deliberately left out the most dangerous and annoying of all the small hatchbacks, namely the Estate Agents fashion machine, these used to all be New Mini’s but of late have diversified to include the Fiat 500, Citroen DS3 and occasionally the diesel Golf. I’ve even seen that they’ve begun to drive so called crossover vehicles like the Nissan Puke and Quashiwashi or whatever it’s called. Now whilst these vehicles may be considered to be a nuisance to other drivers, the main reason for them being omitted was in fact that as Estate Agents they fall into a category far more dangerous than that of the bad driver and I generally do my best to forget their very existence whenever possible.

Next missing from the list is the people carrier, and these fall into two categories, Addison Lee and their large fleet of Black Ford Galaxies. I refuse to comment any further on these lest I do damage to my computer or myself.

Then there are the hoards of aging Toyota’s and Mitsubishi’s with names I can’t be bothered to remember and stickers giving them away as mini cabs. I know these again to be good vehicles that will do a million miles without grumbling, my own father owns one for that very reason, they go on forever which in a crumbling impoverished African dictatorship with no access to spares this means something. In London they are only there so that they can ferry the drunken, vommiting hoards home from Croydon on Friday and Saturday nights.

Personally I would prefer that these hoards stayed home in their council estates on Friday and Saturday nights to lessen their chances of finding a mate and breeding, so in my world they too would be banned.

I’m sure there are others on the roads who get my goat but my blood pressure is already high enough.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow.

why oh why?

Posted: 22/08/2011 in idiots

I’d like to begin today’s essay with a couple of disclaimers.

Firstly I am fully aware that as the owner/driver of a large automobile from Ingolstadt I am prone to driving far too close to the vehicle in front, flashing my lights and wondering what that extra lever on the steering column that makes green arrows blink on the dashboard when I press it is for.

I am also an avowed fan of the hatchback as a sensible form of transport and consider many of the below to be excellent choices for the man or lady about town who requires a simple inexpensive way of getting from A to B.

No my rant is directed not at the hatchback, but the owners of far too many of these vehicles.

I am going to name and shame some of the worst offending choices.

The Nissan Micra is a great little car and a perfectly sensible and practical hatchback if a little dull. Why oh why then are they nearly all driven by complete imbeciles? I’ve certainly never seen a boy racer in one and struggle to think of a time when I have seen one driven with anything even remotely resembling some level of thought for it’s surroundings.

The Vauxhall Corsa on the other hand is a hateful machine and I implore every single one of you my dear readers to do everything in your power to run them off the road at every opportunity, they are all owned and driven by either the ancient and infirm or oiks in back to front baseball caps.

I believe that the Koreans now make perfectly acceptable vehicles but without exception I am yet to see anything with a Kia or Hyundai badge being driven in a safe and sensible manner and again implore you to avail yourself of any opportunity to confiscate the drivers licence of anyone behind the wheel of one of these pesky little hate boxes.

The small French hatchback is a strange beast too, if they are very small they tend to bare French licence plates and carry the scars of many a battle with larger machines as they race away in a voluminous blue cloud created in equal parts by Gauloises and diesel. I’d recommend approaching these vehicles with caution. The alternatives seem to be little old blue rinsers who seem to have become lost en route to the Vauxhall/Nissan/Kia/Hyundai dealership and should have their licences confiscated or they are being Peugeot’s being driven by young ladies who are more interested in doing their make up and nails than their immediate surroundings or concentrating on unimportant things like where they are going. I state again the small French hatchback is a strange beast but dangerous in almost all forms.

The Japanese make some excellent fun and practical little cars (the Nissan Micra is made in the North East of England and I don’t count it here) yet still far too many of these great little cars are adopted by the blue rinse brigade and their incontinent partners. The Honda Jazz is a lovely if slightly uninspiring little car, The Toyota Yaris similarly so, yet why oh why was I on this very morning forced to follow a Toyota Yaris for several interminable miles at an excruciatingly painful twenty four miles an hour. At several points I came over all Audi and was forced to attempt tailgating and flashing my lights in a failed attempt to get the young lady behind the wheel to realise that she was holding up a tailback of near biblical proportions.

I have no idea what actually goes through the minds of such people under these circumstances, although I suspect it to be very little as they seem to have very little excess capacity for anything other than the basic function of breathing.

I pray every day that my progeny will not become these people we are forced to share the road with but at the very least I shall insist that they read the following publications.

http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=mrbuch-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&asins=0141044209&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

Followed by

http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=mrbuch-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&asins=0749552573&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

Book Reviews

Posted: 19/08/2011 in Book Reviews, Rhodesia, Zimbabwe

I have just finished reading Wilbur Smith’s Elephant Song.

As a Zimbabwean I should love Wilbur Smith’s books but for some reason despite many attempts I have often struggled with his writing style. With that in mind I approached this book with some trepidation, but I needn’t have been concerened Elephant Song grips you from the very begining, the characters are strong and well thought out. The descriptions of the landscapes beautifully rendered in your mind and the tale does not let up. 500+ pages dissapeared in next to no time leaving me wanting more.

Highly Recommended.

http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=mrbuch-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&asins=B003GK22U2&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

Dear Mr Bunny Chow,

Thank you for all your further feedback about last week’s disgraceful looting and arson. It’s been great to see Croydon police making so many arrests and the courts at last punishing people appropriately. I hope you don’t mind me bothering you again with three pleas for help:

Helping Croydon get back on its feet

Hundreds of you have asked what you can do to help Croydon get back on its feet. The recent events have left many small businesses struggling and even the large high street stores have seen a reduction in footfall. This weekend the best thing you can do is head into Croydon town centre and spend some money. I will be doing just that with my family on Saturday. The Mayor of London and the Council have announced a range of offers for Saturday and Sunday including:

·         free tram travel over the weekend;
·         free parking on-street and in surface car parks throughout the town centre, including South End and London Road;
·         discounted £2 all-day parking at Whitgift, Centrale and Allders car park;
·         free children’s play area at Beanies (Saturday only); and
·         free face painting at Croydon Visitor Centre (Saturday only).
·          

For more weekend discounts in Croydon, click here

Even before last week’s events, many people had stopped going to the town centre. It’s time we reclaimed it. Both the Government and the Mayor have this week announced help for Croydon but ultimately the future of our town centre lies in our hands.

For a full list of other ways to help or get involved in rebuilding Croydon, click here

Please forward this to your neighbours and friends in the Croydon area.

Sponsored walk

On Sunday 18th September, I will be doing my annual sponsored walk around the border of the constituency – a total of around 16 miles. This year I am raising money for Croydon Crossroads, a great local charity that supports carers (they provided outstanding support to my Mum when my Dad was sick with Alzheimer’s). If you’d like to sponsor me, you can do so by clicking here or send a cheque made payable to “Croydon Crossroads Ltd” to 133 Wickham Road, Croydon CR0 8TE.

Delivering surveys

I had planned to spend the last two weeks delivering the survey I am distributing to every family in the constituency asking for feedback on how I could do a better job (some of you will have received this already but I have still to deliver it to over a quarter of the constituency) – but obviously responding to last Monday’s rioting has taken up all my time.

If you would be prepared to deliver a hundred or so surveys, you can either meet me outside the Addington Community Association at 10am on Saturday 20th August or, if you’re not free on Saturday morning but would be prepared to help at another time, let me know and I’ll get the surveys to you. I would be really grateful to anyone who could help.

Gavin Barwell
MP for Croydon Central

If this message has been forwarded to you and you wish to be added to Gavin Barwell MP’s mailing list, or alternatively if you no longer wish to receive these emails, please email jennifer.clark@parliament.uk.


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August 17, 2011
New Mossberg Thunder Ranch Pump

There was no way we could avoid images from the recent excitement in London where hordes of mentally challenged Britons decided to express their dissatisfaction with the government by ruining the livelihoods of people like this elderly barber.

My seven-year-old son was trying to wrap his head around the riots and decided that it wasn’t something we’d have to face in Montana. His logic? “That can’t happen here because, technically, everyone in Bozeman has a pump-action shotgun,” he said.

So, yes, my son has more sense in his curly-headed skull than the spineless authorities in London who were wringing their hands about whether it was okay to spray the looters with water.

If you don’t have a pump-action shotgun for personal defense you might want to take a look at this new gun from Mossberg. It is based on the tried-and-true 500 action and was designed in conjunction with legendary badass and firearms instructor Clint Smith who runs the Thunder Ranch training facilities.
It doesn’t cost much—it lists for $460—and it has a 5+1 capacity in 12 gauge with an 18.5-inch barrel. And the aggressive “come-along” teeth on the muzzle-break are perfect for getting the attention of any looter you come across on your property.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

Please see the below email from Gavin and get in touch with him if you can help.

his email address is gavin.barwell.mp@parliament.uk

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

__________________________________________________

Dear Mr Bunny Chow,

Like me, I am sure you were both saddened and angered by the looting and arson we saw a week ago on Monday.  I have spent the last ten days lobbying for more police officers on our streets, a more robust style of policing, prompt action to catch those responsible, tough punishment for those found guilty, compensation for the families and businesses affected and help from the Mayor and the Government to regenerate our town as well as meetings constituent and businesses, dealing with a huge volume of email and being interviewed by more TV and radio stations than I care to remember.

My plan had been to spend these two weeks delivering the remainder of my survey asking people how I am doing as their MP.  About a quarter of the constituency is still to be delivered and if we don’t get it done quickly it is going to look strange that the letter doesn’t refer to the riot.  I am therefore emailing to ask for your help.  Could you deliver a couple of hundred over the next week?  If so, you can either meet me outside the Addington Community Association at 10am on Saturday or pick some up from the office next week.  Please let me know if you can do either so I have sufficient prepared.

Many thanks in anticipation – I wouldn’t ask over the holiday period if I wasn’t really desperate.

Gavin

Carpetright part 3

Posted: 18/08/2011 in idiots

Since my post earlier today Mr Dick Woof had a change of heart.

This may have something to do with my final communication copying in their board of Directors or perhaps not

He called me on the telephone, was very apologetic and confirmed that they had not followed their own policies and procedures and that although he was unable to comment on the actions being taken against Mr Smarmy and his team he assured me that steps were being put in place to ensure future customers are not treated in the manner which Mrs Bunny Chow and myself were treated. He also explained that as a corporation they were looking towards ways of giving customers the choice of being less wasteful when ordering carpet, even if in some cases this may be more expensive due to manuafacturing processes at least we would have the choice.

Carpetright are also looking at options to recycle waste carpet both new and used as opposed to their current policy of using landfill.

I agreed that following his grovelling we would accept the initially offered gesture of goodwill.

Following this telephone conversation I recieved the this email from Mr Dick Woof, which also copied in their Group HR Director.

 ___________________________________________________

Dear Bunny Chow

Thanks for taking the time to speak to me on the telephone when I called just now.

As promised, I would like to confirm our policy and practice when providing estimates to customers. Estimating is quite complicated, which is why we provide the service, but it is our policy and practice for the estimator to explain how the plan will be cut from the bulk carpet, where joins will be in the finished job (if any), the pile direction, and any other significant features about the carpet. There is space on the estimate form – as you will have seen – for the customer to sign to confirm this has been done.

It is clear from the copy I have of your estimate that you were not asked to give a signature and this confirms your comments that the estimate was not properly explained to you at the time.

As I said to you on the telephone, this is not acceptable and is being taken further, as is the attitude of the Manager and his comments to you which we would not condone.

It is my responsibility to ensure that stores give customers the best possible service and clearly in this instance they and I have let you down and on behalf of Carpetright I would like to confirm our apologies and give you our assurance that this is not our normal practice and we very much regret the problems you have had.

If I can be of any further help please feel free to contact me by email or on my direct line (as I’m feeling nice I wont publish this but let me know if you experience similar problems and I’ll happily pass this on).

Yours sincerely
Dick Woof
Head of Consumer Affairs

Carpetright part 2

Posted: 18/08/2011 in idiots

The below is a selection of communication between myself and Carpetrights head of consumer affairs.

Mr Makesthe-Rightnoises had previously offered us compensation of £30 which I refused and the below communications began.

I’ll keep this thread updated as it unfolds,

Names have been edited for the purposes of privacy but there have been no edits made to the emails themselves.
___________________________________________________________________

Dear Mr Bunny Chow,

Thank you for your emails regarding the amount of carpet we supplied you to fulfil your order and the quantity of offcuts that have been left over. As you were clearly anxious to see something done about this quickly Mr Makesthe-Rightnoises referred the matter to me in Mr Awol’s absence and I have enquired further.

I understand that you have now been given a copy of the estimate and I have now received and studied the same. In my view the way the carpet has been planned is correct, but because the width of the carpet is 4 metres there is a fair amount of wastage – the figure is actually approximately 35% – and this is unavoidable. Whilst this wastage is, on the estimate, spread across the various pieces in practice a fitter will have started from one side of the carpet leaving the waste as larger pieces rather than lots of smaller ones.

However to reduce the amount of carpet would mean that the quality of the finished job would be compromised.

I have noted your comments about the behaviour of Mr Smarmy. He has been spoken to and apologises for any offence he may have caused. The offer made by Mr Makesthe-Rightnoises was as a gesture of goodwill and under the circumstances and was just over 20% of the price of the carpet, which was the item you were querying.

I look forward to receiving your acceptance of this goodwill offer so that the refund can be processed as quickly as possible.

Yours sincerely Dick Woof
Head of Consumer Affairs
The information contained in this message and any attachments is confidential, may be privileged, and is intended for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed. If you, the reader of this message, are not the intended recipient, you are expressly prohibited from disclosing any of the information contained in this message and/or any attachment.

Carpetright plc operates an anti-virus programme. We would advise however that you carry out your own virus checks before opening any attachment as we cannot accept liability for any damage sustained as a result of software viruses unless such damage is caused by our negligence.

For more information on Carpetright plc please visit our website at http://www.carpetright.co.uk/
Carpetright plc – a company registered in England under number 2294875.
Registered office : Carpetright plc, Harris House, Purfleet Bypass, Purfleet, Essex RM19 1TT.

___________________________________________________________________

Good Morning Mr Dick Woof,

I apologise that you appear to have misunderstood the motivation behind our complaint completely.

Our dissatisfaction stems from the fact that at no point during the ordering process was it explained to us that as we were carpeting stairs rather than a room, we would require so much excess carpet, and that when we queried this after the fact we were treated appallingly by the management of your branch.

Had it been explained to us that there was such a high level of waste involved (35% according to your email), we could have made an informed decision and either gone ahead, sought out a source of carpet that came in a narrower width or even an offcut that would have met our needs.

There has been a fundamental lack of service to us as customers and Mr Makesthe-Rightnoise’s gesture of goodwill as you have called it in no way compensates us for the treatment we experienced at the hands of Mr Smarmy or the delayed responses from Mr Makesthe-Rightnoises, nor does it make up for the 35% of extra carpet we were unwittingly conned into purchasing.

Now that I have put my complaint more clearly I look forward to hearing from you with a more thought out response.

Yours sincerely

Mr Bunny Chow

___________________________________________________________________

Dear Mr Bunny Chow

Thanks for your reply.

I’m sorry that we did not make things clear enough for you, but as all carpets come in 4 metre widths (the only alternative is 5 metres) it would not have been possible to reduce the wastage for you by finding a narrower carpet and the deal we gave you was better than the deal available on many offcuts/remnants so you really have got good value and have not been conned.

Under the circumstances I will ask Mr Makesthe-Rightnoises to process the refund to bring this matter to a close and I am sorry for the disappointment you feel.

Yours sincerely
Dick Woof
Head of Consumer Affairs

___________________________________________________________________

Dear Mr Dick Woof,

I find the below (above on this blog but you get the idea) response insulting to my inteligence and perhaps you should have put some thought into it as suggested in my previous email.

30 seconds research on google found me several UK manufacturers including, Abindon Carpets who supply carpets in 1m, 2m, 3m, 4m and 5m widths Creation Ossfloor offer carpets in 2m, 3m, 4m and 5m widths, Bond Worth Carpets offer carpets in 0.69m, 0.91m, 2.73m, 3.66m and 4.57m widths.

I’m sure that further research could easily reveal plenty more options.

We could also as we considered have forgone carpet and refinished the hardwood stairs that are underneath the carpet, but instead we placed our faith in your dishonest organisation.

Please can you put some thought into your response this time and let me know what steps you plan to put in place to ensure this level of dishonesty does not continue.

Please can you also give me the contact details of your manager.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Bunny Chow

___________________________________________________________________

Dear Mr Bunny Chow,

Thank you for your response. 

I am sorry that you feel we are being dishonest. The narrower width carpets are supplied for contract purposes and are priced at a premium to include the wastage costs.

If you would like to find a retailer who can provide you with a bona fide quote for a scheme based on a narrower width carpet that is lower than the price you have paid I will be pleased to review your file again.

Your file was referred to me as the Head of Consumer Affairs because I have the final say on matters relating to customers and customer service.

If you are unhappy with my response please take advice from Trading Standards who are independent and impartial and who would consider whether or not to prosecute this company under criminal legislation if they felt we had misled you or had otherwise breached our duties as responsible retailers.

Yours sincerely
Dick Woof
Head of Consumer Affairs

___________________________________________________________________

During this communication the local store has also been in touch with Mrs Bunny Chow to attempt to process the originally offered compensation of £30. Mrs Bunny Chow refused to give them her credit card details over the telephone and also explained that we have declined the compensation as so far offered.

___________________________________________________________________

Thank you Mr Dick Woof.

It’s nice to see you keep with your charter of consumer responsibilities posted on your carpetright.plc.uk website to provide excellent customer service.  We have seen no evidence of this in our dealings with you.

I will be taking this matter forward with Trading Standards.

In the interim as you have refused to pass me the details of your manager, I have copied this communication in to the publically listed board of directors of your organisation.

Perhaps one of them will be more willing to explain your implied policy of deliberately misleading your customers into purchasing 35% more carpet than they actually require.

Regards

Mr Bunny Chow

___________________________________________________________________

We’ll see where this one ends up

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

Carpetright

Posted: 15/08/2011 in idiots

We don’t have much carpet in our house, in fact just the little bit in the stairwell but Carpetright have managed to make a hash of that.

We used their free estimate service and they measured up even though Mrs Bunny Chow was unimpressed at having to wait in for a full Saturday morning as they are incapable of giving time slots outside of Morning or Afternoon.

Still they came up with a reasonable quote so we agreed to go ahead and Mrs Bunny Chow made the order with a promise they’d call us to arrange an installation once they had our carpet in stock.

We declined their offer of removing the old carpet at a charge of £36 as this job only took me ten minutes it was a wise decision.

It took about a week and Mrs Bunny Chow arranged again to spend an entire Saturday morning at home, because they are still incapable of booking timed appointments.

I got home from work to a very agitated Mrs Bunny Chow who showed me the ridiculous levels of waste.

Now we both accept that in a room of unusual dimensions like a stairwell there will be some excess and that is something that you need to accept, but one of the offcuts is four square metres or 25% of the total order. There are numerous other smaller pieces which are what you, me or any other reasonable person would normally expect.

Being a man of action and immense bravery, I suggested we visit the local store where we placed the order asap which is what we did that very afternoon.

The first salesman we saw was very dismissive so thinking that he must just be a one off idiot, I asked to see the manager, where things progressed from bad to worse. Mr Smarmy as we’ll call him used such fantastic soundbites as “my store, my rules” and “how many carpets have you fitted” Mr Smarmy refused to provide us with a copy of the plans they’d drawn up saying that they were his property as his staff had produced them and that under no circumstances would they consider refunding us for the 25% excess.

I have now been waiting two weeks for the plans to materialise after their Regional Manager who we’ll call Mr Makesthe-Rightnoises, promised to send me a copy.

I have had to chase Mr Makesthe-Rightnoises once already without response and now today he has promised to have copies of the plans had delivered to the house. He has also said that he doesn’t feel that Mr Smarmy refusing to accept my demands in store constitutes him being rude.

I will write a longer post soon, but needless to say I don’t intend to accept 25% wastage which they seem to think is perfectly acceptable at over £20 a square metre, they are wrong.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow