The Anonymous Widower

A Wet Night In Islington

I needed supper last night and although I had food in the fridge, I went to Pizza Express at the Angel.

The great advantage is that the bus stop is right outside the restaurant.

So although, the rain was amazing, I didn’t get too wet.

The gluten-free pizza was good too!

September 13, 2013 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Poor Computer System Design

I just tried to make a payment through my on-line bank account. As the payee  has moved their account since last time, I needed to change the sort code and account umber. But you have to delete the old entry and re-enter a new one, as there is no other way.

I finally did the transfer, but even then, there were quite a few textual bugs in the screens I saw.

This is very poor system design and is another entry in that fat book called How Not To Design A Banking System.

September 13, 2013 Posted by | Computing, Finance | , , | Leave a comment

Why Do Trains Travel On The Left?

Next time you board a train on a double-track railway, notice which side of the tracks the train runs.

In the UK, the trains are virtually all driven from the left-hand seat and the trains go on the left. A lot of this is tradition, as early trains had to be compatible with existing traffic in the early days of trains. As the British helped built French railways, they followed our lead, as did many countries under British influence. Metro systems, which tend to run on streets at times, have to be compatible with road traffic, so they could be on the right. There’s a detailed explanation in Wikipedia here. This paragraph sums up a lot.

In France, for instance, cars keep to the right, but the first train lines were built by British engineers, so kept to the left. The Paris RER trains keep left, but the Paris Metro was designed to run on the right. Another anomaly occurs in the Alsace-Moselle region, where trains keep to the right because the lines were built in the late 19th century when Alsace-Moselle was part of Germany. Bridges at the former border allow the trains to swap sides. High-speed TGV trains, however, operate on dedicated lines which were built more recently, but they keep left because they interface with older lines.

The question was asked by our guide in Sweden. He had noticed that main line trains in Sweden run on the left and that most Metro systems run on the right, except for Stockholm, which runs on the left.

Wikipedia says that in Sweden trains generally run on the left except for Malmo and further south.

I uspect that the Stockholm Metro is on the left, as it was built in the 1940s when Sweden drove on the left and thus was following the more or less universal Metro compatibility rule. The first line was also converted from a underground tramway, which would of course be compatible with road traffic.

So we’re still left with the Malmo anomaly in Sweden.

September 13, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | 12 Comments

My Bank Has Sent Me A New Cheque Book

In the last three years, I think I’ve written two cheques and I’ve received even less than that!

So why does my bank waste money sending me a new cheque book?

After all, if it had gone missing in the post, as one or two other letters have in the past year, and had got in the hands of fraudsters, the bank would have had a big mess to sort out.

I just logged in to my bank account to see how many cheques I written in the last three years.  It wouldn’t tell me, as the start date was too far in the past.


But even then the two cheques I could find, were totally anonymous and could only be identified by going to paper accounts.  Wwhich in this computerised age, I don’t have.

Totally useless!

Cheques should only be people with heritage, genes or birthplace from a country in Central Europe.

I’m very tempted to take the new cheque book and leave it on a park bench and see what happens! I would of course send a letter to my bank, saying that I don’t do cheques and would they please bounce any that are attempted to be cashed. And of course to stop wasting money by sending me new cheque books.

September 13, 2013 Posted by | Finance | | Leave a comment

An Offer I Can Refuse

This morning, when I logged into my bank account, they were saying they had some special offers tailored specially for me.

Am I alone in refusing any offer from a bank?  Except of course, things that are free improvements to their current service.

What they were offering me, I don’t know, as I’m so cynical about banks, I didn’t bother to read the offers.

September 13, 2013 Posted by | Finance | | Leave a comment