Category: London

Virgin is inept.

posted by ben on 09.06.11 at 11:01, null, null, London, Leave a comment Permalink

Virgin media disconnected my brand new fiber line for non-payment of my bill after 1 day of connectivity. My bill wasn't paid because Virgin put a "credit limit" on the account. This limit prevented them from taking the connection fee out of my bank account, despite the bank account itself having plenty of money. Now my access is going to be down for a day.

I pay for the downtime as well, since in their view this is my fault. You know, for being a foreigner.

Aiden Byrne Podcasts

posted by ben on 09.03.22 at 16:15, null, food, London, Leave a comment Permalink

here and here

Council Tax

posted by ben on 09.03.22 at 15:53, null, London, Leave a comment Permalink

Here's where it goes. I'd assumed a lot more went to schools... not really thrilled about paying for the projects.

In Soviet England...

posted by ben on 09.03.22 at 15:51, null, London, Leave a comment Permalink

I tried to buy hangers at Argos today. You poke through a phone book sized catalog, pick numbers of items you want and then a clerk gets them for you. The conversation went something like this:

Ben: I don't see any hangers in your catalog, but you sell them right?

Clerk: Yes. Let's see... page 143. But, they usually sell out as soon as we get them in. I'll check if we have any. No. Let me see if any of the surrounding stores have any... No.

Ben: When will you get more in?

Clerk: I don't know.

Ben: Is there anywhere else I can get hangers around here?

Clerk: I don't know.

Ben: Thanks anyway.

Demand > Supply -> Order more hangers. Right? What's next, toilet paper shortages?

Big Brother on Brick Lane

posted by ben on 09.03.22 at 09:27, null, pictures, London, Leave a comment Permalink

I finally built a closet.

posted by ben on 09.03.21 at 12:19, null, London, 2 comments Permalink
Comment from: graham [Member] ·
So how did you end up building it? I'm a little disappointed that it's not 15 feet long.
Permalink 04/20/09 @ 11:15
Comment from: ben [Member] ·
I build everything. I'm awesome. Yay shit drills and 2x4s!
Permalink 04/20/09 @ 15:25

my place

posted by ben on 09.01.08 at 10:33, null, pictures, London, 1 comment Permalink
Comment from: graham [Member] ·
Hey... that looks a lot better than what you've described to me.
Permalink 01/16/09 @ 10:13

Fish and Chips

posted by ben on 09.01.07 at 14:10, null, London, Leave a comment Permalink

The best I've had have been at The Princess, Fish! and The Narrow. Though, I've had a couple bad Princess experiences recently.

I've been told to try:
Two Brothers - Finchley
Seashell - North of Marleybone Road
Some place in Muswell Hill

Ben wants a closet.

posted by ben on 09.01.07 at 13:43, null, null, London, 1 comment Permalink

I have a bunch on clothes that I'd like to stuff in the huge open space in my bathroom. If I can get them out of my main living space, I'll have more room for books (on actual shelves) and my abode will look less like a college student's, and I will grow to love my dark hole of a home. I will also be able to buy wing chairs.

Problem is, I've been buying clothing that likes to be hung up. So, I really need to racks, each about 30" long. What's the best way to accomplish this?

One thought would be to buy some pipe, T, and L joints, kind of like I had in Seattle holding the floor up. Question is, how would I attach these to brick, tile, drywall, and a partly tiled over door without doing too much damage? Could I use one of those telescoping structural supports they use to hold up ceilings? What are those even called? Ideas?

Alternatively I could build a wall and then use traditional clothes hanging type bars. It would probably look better, but it'd be a lot of work and probably piss my landlord off (and he has something like £1500 of mine, so I'd rather do this in some easily reversible way). Anyway, wall like so:

My drawings are excellent!

What would it take to get two unsupported posts pointing perpendicular out of the wall, each with 100lbs of clothes? Maybe that's the way to go?

Or just a ceiling support in the drywall? That might be more reasonable. I would still need to attach pipe to brick in some fairly reliable manner.

Arg! Is this place temporary? Should I spend £100 on this, then more on furniture? Will I be here for 6 months, 1 year? That seems long. 6 months is a good upper limit. Then I move... somewhere. So, maybe I shouldn't bother... anyone have any easy suggestions?

Comment from: collin [Member] ·
You're drawings are very crappy.

Those telescoping supports are called house jacks (I think). And you don't need them since they're made for 5-20 tons. I would just use steel pipe and fittings, but those can get expensive surprisingly quickly.

Do you remember the thing I have for my skis?
-2 3/4"x2' pipe
-2 end caps
-2 flanges
-2 pieces 1/4" cable
-2 turnbuckles
-2 eye bolts
-some u-bolts and drywall screws

I think it was about $50. I've got ~6 pairs of skis and 2 paddles on it right now.

If I were you I'd put the flanges on the brick not the tile, drilling into the brick not the mortar and use expansion bolts. You could just have a vertical cable like I did, with an eybolt in a joist. Or have a vertical pipe with a flange resting on the floor. I don't think you'd need to attach it to the floor, maybe stick a piece of rubber on the bottom.

Then the only thing you'd need to patch are some holes in the brick.
Permalink 01/12/09 @ 17:27

London Restaurants: A Couple Notes

posted by ben on 09.01.07 at 12:17, null, food, London, Leave a comment Permalink

I like The Eagle and The Peasant, both in Clerkenwell. Of course, I can't take credit for discovering The Eagle.

I want to go here when it opens... of course it's not in London, but oh well:

And here, but once again out there:

I've been here:
but not here or here yet:

I like this one:

My favorite:

My list of grand things yet to do:


posted by ben on 08.06.16 at 09:21, null, null, London, ben tries to beat Livermore, Leave a comment Permalink

I tried to do something clever. First I was thinking I'd attach the motherboards to plywood, but Collin's experience said that was not so thrilling an idea. I tried to skewer them like little kebabs over my fan, but the contraption I built from bar stock and threaded rod would have fallen on the fan and been devoured.

Then I tried the Gulliver's travels approach: a thousand pieces of string holding the motherboards to the surface of the fan... but the motherboards started buckling under their load... so I went out and bought some cases... cheating, I know.

My power supplies glow blue Star Wars.

I briefly had a moustache, yet still they let me in the country.

posted by ben on 08.06.16 at 09:16, null, null, pictures, London, Leave a comment Permalink

Jamie Oliver's Fifteen in London is a piece of shit.

posted by ben on 08.02.26 at 14:37, null, food, London, Leave a comment Permalink

I say this in the hope that it will be properly indexed by the great and mighty google, so that my voice may be heard: Jamie Oliver's Fifteen in London is a piece of shit. Keep in mind this has nothing to do with the food... because I didn't get to try the food. Fifteen has a nice bar, where I foolishly thought I might be able to get a meal. The hostess was in on this delusion as well.

The manager, however, arbiter of all things great and managerial, knew better. He said, "if we served you a meal at the bar, then we would have to serve everyone meals at the bar." And this made me feel strangely guilty, as if I had done something wrong by sitting at the bar with a menu in front of me. It also left me feeling that sense of injustice I remember from middle school, compelling me to ask "and what would be wrong with that?" Admittedly, I was allowed to order primi at the bar, but only primi... and the only thing that looked even vaguely good on there was the gnocchi, but my roommate had the gnocchi and says it's crap... so I wasn't about to try that. I wanted the calf's liver, or maybe the polenta, both firmly ensconced in the secondi section... and, as such, not bar food.

Good restaurants serve food at the bar. There are numerous examples, some vastly better that what Fifteen could possibly be: Frasca, Masa, Bouchon and Le Pichet. I know of no counterexamples, while some of the best meals of my life were had at the Frasca bar.

All these are unnecessary complications. The point here is simple. The manager is an ass. His job, as near as I can tell, is to make sure customers are happy... instead he's made me quite angry. Though, I suppose you might argue that since I was unable to order any food, I am, in a strict sense, not a customer. But, I would have liked to have been. And now, rather that having created a potentially happy follower of the Jamie Oliver cause, I am instead a pissed off enemy who will continue to mock Jamie Oliver's Food Network origins, since this isn't a restaurant about food, but about its pedantic social agenda.

To summarize:
(1) The manager should be fired or severely beaten with a spatula, possibly both.
(2) Serve food at the bar.

posted by ben on 07.06.07 at 10:59, null, London, Leave a comment Permalink

Wrong tone, I like little tubes of toothpaste. They make me strangely happy.

In other news, I now have very little hair thanks to a misunderstanding between me a amiable Englishman with a pair of scissors. He has one of those leather straps that complements a set of straight razors, so I'm almost considering going all the way... never mind what that might do to my burgeoning career... all the cool kids have done it... Though, I've heard from possibly reliable sources that my head is too misshapen to be bald.

More pictures from hotel windows...

posted by ben on 07.05.26 at 03:50, null, pictures, London, 1 comment Permalink

I can't express how wrong it is that a river boat called the Dixie Queen is floating on the Thames.

Comment from: graham [Member] ·
That's awesome. Does it double as a casino?
Permalink 05/29/07 @ 14:38

Paddington Station from my hotel window

posted by ben on 07.04.29 at 08:05, null, pictures, places, London, Leave a comment Permalink

I can hear them announcing the trains.