Sucks to be me

For the past three years I’ve had rotten luck. Unlucky is not a word I’ve ever used to describe myself before, but today I realised that’s basically what I am. I can’t and won’t go in to the details here because I respect the privacy of those involved, but I will tell you what I can;

The two good things I’ve got out of the past 5 years of my life and Aimee and Sophie-Rose. Whatever has happened in between those two events has obviously happened for a reason and to make me stronger.

There’s one person in particular who I will always love, regardless of what happens in the coming months. She has made my life complete, shared good times as well as bad and, deep down I’ll always want her to be a part of my life.

There is a void left in my heart where she used to be, but surely that void can be filled by her again, someday? I owe it to myself to believe that, because when the ball starts rolling, it’s going to be extremely difficult to get back on track.

Love is the strongest emotion of all. Lets hope it wins through for once.

Lack of updates

I’m kind of failing at the regular postings right now, so I thought I’d throw one out there for you.

Hoping to get something sorted in terms of furthering my career soon, which will be good going forward.

It’s just a case of getting my head down and taking opportunities when they come my way. I owe it to myself and my family to get things sorted.

Updates to come, as I have them, of course.

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A rainy Sunday in Birmingham

We’re off to the German market in Birmingham today. It’s going to be the second year that Aimee has been and I’m hoping this year she’ll enjoy it even more than last time.

She’s turning into her own person more and more every day, so it’ll be good to see how far she’s actually come in terms of understanding Christmas.

It’s going to be a long day, not helped by the fact that it’s raining just a tad at the moment(!). I’m taking the camera with me and will post the pics up on Flickr when we get back.

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I found where TalkTalk hid their Customer Service

After my slight rant about TalkTalk a couple of days ago, I decided to take the advice of a long suffering customer who has just started using their forum to see if it really was possible for a company to redeem themselves.

Interested in uncapping my speed up to 24mbps for £4 a month, I decided to post a message on there and giving them a go. After four months of battling over the phone everytime I had to call Customer Services, I must say that this was a refreshing change.

It’s so refreshing for a company to be open to changing the way they work from the ground up and not only that, to use the Internet to do it. I guess the only problem at the moment for them is that their phone support staff are clueless about a lot of the ‘boosts’ that are being launched now and, because of word of mouth, a lot of customers are flooding the forum with requests to be upgraded.

When I worked at Direct Line, it was on the ‘internet section’. We dealt with customers who had registered their claims online or wanted to query their existing ones. Although this was five years ago, it made a lot of people comment on how easy it was to get answers instead of having to wait on the end of the phone for any great length of time.

I think it’s time other companies start to embrace the fact that their customers want to manage their accounts online, not only for paying bills, but for sorting out problems as well.

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Four days of family

At 15:00 today, I finished work until 14:00 next Monday. That’s four whole days (and a bit) of me, Michelle, Sophie-Rose and Aimee. I’m pretty sure most of the time we’ll all be sleeping, but when we’re not, there are still people who’ve not yet met Sophie and a German market to visit in Birmingham.

It’s going to be a busy few days, but I’d much rather spend it with my girls than stuck in an office booking hotel rooms for the obnoxious public. I guess I’m officially a family man.

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What’s happened to customer service?

Free broadband. Sounds good, doesn’t it? After a series of bad experiences with broadband over the past few years, I decided to go with TalkTalk. It meant leaving BT, perhaps the worst customer service I’ve ever experienced and just having to pay for the line rental and the calls we make.

Since then I’ve had a pretty appalling experience whenever I’ve had to contact them, which is at least once a month. Direct Debits haven’t been taken when they should have, it took them two weeks to respond to a technical query and every time I speak to them on the phone, I get so frustrated that I want to shout like a madman at the ‘customer service representative on the other end of the phone.

The actual service we’re receiving is fine. It’s quite fast, somewhat reliable and for £10ish a month it’s something I can’t fault. I’m just beginning to wonder how companies can get away with treating their customers like dirt, when without them they would be out of business.

Today sees the launch of their new ‘boost’ options. Up to 24mbps, double the download allowance and a couple of others for £4 on top each month. So far I’ve not been able to find out where to add these features on, but if they work, I’m sure they’ll be more than worth it.

It’s interesting to see whether companies will look to improve their service in the future, especially seeing as they might be getting more and more desperate for business in the near future.

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NaNoWriMo = FAIL

I had a feeling I would have to succumb to the fact that I simply don’t have enough time to contribute to NaNoWriMo this year. The fact that Sophie-Rose was born just as I was gearing up for it has put me far too behind to catch up.

I’ve made a start, at least, and intend to carry on writing when I can, but it’s just not going to happen this time round.

Fear not, I will attempt to publish whatever I manage to write to the blog, so you can comment to your hearts content.

PCDC #1 – The Return

I said it wouldn’t be long before I managed to get a new podcast out did I? It’s a bit of an introduction this time round, with a bit of a mind dump and three great music tracks to finish it all off. More to come in the future, but as always let me know what you think.

Make sure you check out the artists that I’ve played on today’s show and let them know where you heard them.

Josh Woodward


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A Revisit to Podcasting

I’ve been podcasting since 2005, whatever people say. It started as an experiment and moved on to semi-big things when I joined up with PodShow and started to promote PodFest in 2006 and, although I enjoyed it, there was always something missing especially considering how much time I was putting in to editing, publishing and promoting the shows.

Since starting to blog again, I’ve found times where things would have been easier to put in to words. Nothing mammoth like some of my old shows, but just a five or ten minute piece with a track or two for people to digest on their way to work.

I’m going to aim for at least one show per year, that way I won’t be setting my sights too high and won’t be disappointing any listeners I might garner along the way. There was a time when I could commit to pumping out one show per day, but I’m not going to even try that this time.

To remind any of you who haven’t listened to my previous work, I’ve included one of the Birmingham showcases I did back in 2006 for bitjobs. Hit play on the bottom of the post, or alternatively download for future play on your computer/portable MP3 player.

I already have a couple of tracks lined up for episode 1 of PCDC and I’ll try and record a show later today. I’ve just got to see if I still have “it”.

Comments, as always, appreciated.


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Back to normality

This week has been a long one. Sophie-Rose came back from hospital on Tuesday and since then it’s been non stop. Any family is keen to see a new arrival, especially after waiting so long.

Today marks the end of her first week at home and we did that with quite a big family party. Surprisingly, she didn’t wake up for any of it; despite lots of Aunts’ and Uncles’ passing her round like a hot potato (and back to Mummy or Daddy when she filled her nappy).

She’s changed so much in the last few days, but we’re already making the most of using online services like Flickr to keep a track of her early progress and give us all something to look back on when she gets a little older.

odadeoI’ve been using Odadeo a little bit this week. It’s quite a unique service that enables Dads to make pledges about things they’re going to try and do more of with their kids. Once those pledges are made, users can ‘pip’ everytime they do something towards it adding a point to the DADSDAQ.

You can then see your progress in comparison to everyone else on the site. So far I’ve not actually used it too much to track progress, mainly because I’ve been quite busy with both Sophie and Aimee, but it is looking like something that I will use from time to time to make sure things are on track with the various pledges I’ve had a look at.

I’m going to have a look at GTD (Get Things Done) software for Linux shortly, which may make use of the pledges on the site redundant, but it won’t get rid of
the great community of Dad’s that seem to be building up on there.

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