Train fare rip off

Due to the car issues I mentioned in my previous post, I had to commute to work in train after staying away from them for a good 9 months. What a rip off the fares are. For gettng from home to work, I had to travel to the next station – which was about 3 miles from our town. The return fare for the journey is a whopping 6 pounds. Even the monthly travel card doesn’t provide much solace. In contrast, by car it would take less than 15 minutes of drive through one of the scenic routes on earth (will try to take some pics and post it sometime) and I spend only about 12-14 pounds per week on petrol. Even accounting for the cost of the car and the insurance, the train fares are so exorbidant. If it is someone’s agenda to discourage people from using the public transport, slowly but steadily, the mission is getting accomplished – at least in this part of the country.

Story with a moral

Twice in the recent past, my car developed some problems and refused to start. On the first occasion, the culprit was the spark plugs and the coil surrounding it. I got them replaced and the damage was 120 quid.

Exactly a week later, the car didn’t start again. As I had parked it at the basement car park at work, it was quite a task to get it towed to the ground level and then move it to the garage. This time it was the petrol pump that left me poorer by 300 bucks. On both the occasions, the mechanic said that it is unlikely for a Nissan to have these kind of issues and that I was so lucky.

The common link on both the occasions was that – both of the above incidents happened on Monday evenings and on both the days, I had tortured someone while interviewing earlier. See how the candidates curse the interviewers these days.

Moral of the story: Never accept any interview requests on Monday. If you do, don’t bring the car to work that day.

Head of the Town comes calling

Upon hearing a knock at our door on a saturday morning, I opened to find a decent-looking man standing at our door step. He introduced himself, apologised for the unsolicited visit and sought our views on the performance of the local council, cleanliness of the neighbourhood, condition of the roads/pavements, policing, crime, transport and any suggestions in general. He also gave us a feedback form to fill in and requested us to drop that by our front door so that he need not bother us when he returns to collect those after sometime. Though his name and face sounded very familiar, I couldn’t exactly place him. I thought he is someone who worked in the council. It was only towards the end I realised that he is the mayor of the town. Though Chesham is a small town (with a population of around 25,000), I never expected the town’s mayor to visit the houses individually to seek feedback.

Glass is always half full

In the last few months, quite a few people had mailed me saying that whenever they visit my blog, their anti-virus software gets activated since some virus (possibly, Trojan) was trying to get downloaded on to their PCs. I ran this issue past my webhost, who said that they have run all possible anti-virus checks on their servers and didn’t find anything malicious. When people continued to complain, I again insisted on a re-check, upon doing which they found that the problem was not in any of the files, but in the comments.

Some kind soul had left a comment with a HTML code that would launch an invisible window pointing to some undesirable website. It is a window that would not show up, but is bad enough to cause the damage. Not that I am an expert in these issues, but I never knew that such stuff existed in the first place. Though I wish that this had never happened, looking at the positive side – that was a good piece of learning and I am certainly glad about that.

(Hopefully) Back!

I believe that I am back to blogging. In a few week’s time, I will know whether my belief is right.

This is one of the longest break for me from blogging ever since I started doing that in 2003. Not that it actually affected the world or anything, but it did a world of good for me. It did give me a heady feeling when people whom you haven’t met or talked or mailed for months call up / mail and say “you haven’t been blogging since September. Is everything ok with you?”. Thanks so much people. I mean it.

Now, some comments please to keep that heady feeling intact. Thanks in advance.