My 24-month contract with Orange ends in February, which is about 18 months too late. I’m basically paying them £15 a month for texts, since I never actually use my phone as a phone (why bother?), and that’s not great. So come February I want to get a porting authorisation code, up sticks from Orange and move on to giffgaff, who do very cheap texts and internet on a monthly basis. My current phone is a fantastically overspecced WP7 device Olly obtained for me through his black Microsoft-worshipping channels; I’m eager to get the net on it so I can procrastinate more tactically.
I phoned Orange customer support on Tuesday, while visiting Oliver in Cov for a massive baconfeast, and curtly told them as much. The bloke on the other end told me they could give me what I’m currently getting for £5 a month, if that’d keep me; I told them no thanks, I liked the giffgaff internet deals, and he said they’d throw in 500mb a month for the same £5. On a thirty-day rolling thing so I could stop whenever I liked.
Yeah, that works. Can you set me up with the internet… now? Of course, sir. You should be getting a text soon and then you will have delicious bandwidth. Unfortunately, as with the time I tried to pay for mobile internet last August, the text still hasn’t come through. Irate phone call tomorrow, I think.
I realise I have managed to totally forget my HERE’S SOMETHING I’VE LEARNED plan. So, two for the last two weeks:
1: Thermos flasks are the shit. Bill, Tom and I play a lot of Left 4 Dead, and campaigns tend to last slightly under an hour. Tea makes for an excellent accompaniment to shooting zombies, and preparing a cuppa before we get down to business is SOP, but halfway through the campaign, after fighting through endless hordes of the mutated living dead and with another few endless hordes to come, the cup is empty and we need more.
Solution (I can’t remember who first suggested it): Thermos flasks. Fill one up before the game, and in the quiet saferooms that link one running battle to the next, we heal up, reload, and sip our newly-poured piping-hot tea before opening the steel door and once again fighting for our lives; it makes for a very civilised zombie apocalypse.
Tom’s flask. It has, in his words, "all tactical recessed areas and shit."
Bill’s flask. Lower capacity, but looks gorgeously operator and high-end.
My flask. Capacity is 1 litre, which means that my teapot perfectly fills it plus one fresh cup.
It’s not perfect tea – it starts tasting a bit boiled and odd after about an hour in there – but it’s hot, and tea, and lovely. I think my tea consumption has about quadrupled since I got mine: I’m still going to the kitchen and putting the kettle on about three or four times a day, but instead of making a mug or two, I make a mug and a flask, and take the flask back to my room for regular reloads.
PROTIP: make a flask just before bed, in order to have delicious easy tea for the morning. The only substitute for tea brought to you in bed on a silver tray by a beautiful young woman.
2: The Franco-Prussian war was an absolute smackdown, of the order of either of the first Gulf War, but rather like its sequel in how an absolute smackdown doesn’t necessarily win the game. The Prussians mobilised crazy-quick, thanks to fantastic General Staff work, and smashed the reeling French field armies while most of the French reserves were still saddling up; then they got Napoleon III and his army holed up in Sedan, surrounded and massively outnumbered, and he surrendered.
They had fought a stunning war according to Clausewitzian principles: defeat enemy field army – free reign to take enemy leadership – receive victory – back home for schnapps and Iron Crosses. It actually went a bit more like this: