So this was sent today - I haven't had the strength until now for reasons which are, if you know even the first thing about AOL, obvious. It was sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or some such - I'll keep you posted:
Subject: Canceling my account.
HI there, can you tell me how I do this? I am paying £5.95 per month and i understand I can have an email account for free - can you tell me how to do this, preferably online? thanks very much, Patrick Dodds
(After sending I noticed that simply signing in to AOL has for some reason removed my bookmarks toolbar in FF - ah well, one day all will be in order again).
UPDATE: 1st Sept 2008. Pro-forma lying emails back ("we care about your custom" or some such rubbish and a picture of a vapid blond noodling around with a laptop) and one request for more information. Then, nothing. I have emailed my credit card company from whom AOL take money asking if they can cancel the standing order - a long shot, but who knows.
A while ago I blogged about this crappy company called bluepulse and now here they are in the Grauniad again. Guess what? Yep, it still doesn't work. The wonder is, of course, that I am stupid enough to fall for it again and to try and register - maybe when I key in my phone number it is collected by the Russian mafia? Ah well, no accounting for IQ. You can add them to Earthtone (impossible to register) and the ever-awful Riya - originally a supposed facial recognition system (in fact, you had to tag anyone you recognised in the pictures you uploaded and, erm, that was it). For some reason the Graun loves hyping these vapourware companies - gets their own traffic up I guess.
The paper regularly talks drivel about technology of course - take this little piece by Victor Keegan "praising" the Nokia N95:
"The main drawback is that you have to keep the camera still for a second or two when taking snaps to avoid blur, and it is not quite so good with close-up work. Access …
Dug out a box of v. old slides today and dusted them off and did a rather poor job of scanning some of them - here is my father aged, what, about 23? I never got to know him and this is one of the greatest regrets of my life - he died when I was 14.
It has always been deserted whenever I've visited but I haven't given up hope of having a good time there at some point! UPDATE: Actually, you know what? I have, given up on a good time there that is. It is dull, empty and wishes it was London. And the Lowry Centre looks like a playroom. Purple! Orange! Blue! Aren't we cool! No, you're tiresome. Now, on the other hand, the pictures by Mr L himself, they were something of a revelation and did go some way to shake my association of the painter with Brian and effing Michael and that sodding "Matchstick Men and Matchstick Cats and Dogs" awfulness. In fact, the sketches and non-MMaMCaD pictures were great.
Cheesemania! But it kind of works somehow. Available in large volumes for about a tenner I suspect, probably shipped over from China where they are made by small deformed children living in darkness under the Bird's Nest stadium. Or something.
You can make your own Wordle (I know, I know, just try and move on) using any old bunch of text or a URL from a site with an Atom / RSS feed. I cut and pasted from a novel I wrote some time ago (don't ask) to end up with this: