Tag Archives: argh

Support gymnastics, Tumblr edition

I keep a tumblr blog as a place to keep “cool stuff I found on the internet”. I’ve been filling it with stuff for over five years. It has the mish-mash of cat pictures, youtube videos, links and quotes that you would expect from such a blog. One day, completely out of the blue, it was suspended.

Saturday, 3rd November, 2012

I get an email from IFTTT notifying me that my Tumblr channel is offline. This has happened a couple of times before, so I see no reason to panic. It’s usually some minor issue that’s easily fixed, or just a temporary problem that will fix itself with some waiting.

IFTTT happens to be down for maintenance when I see the email, so nothing I can do at that very moment, anyway.

Sunday, 4th November, 2012

IFTTT is back up, so I pop in to reactivate the Tumblr channel. Not a problem, this should only take a minute. Log in, click big reactivate button, get redirected to Tumblr…

Your account has been suspended.
To find out why, please contact support.

Hum. That’s odd. I have no reason to assume this is not a mistake or glitch of some kind. There’s an email address provided, so I drop them a quick note — from the address associated with my account — asking what’s up.

Half an hour later, I get an email asking me what my email address is.

Oh dear.

Monday, 5th November, 2012

It’s been about 20 hours since I sent my initial email when I get a response. I suppose that’s pretty quick in support terms, but when you’re wondering what the hell is going on, it feels like an eternity.

We’ve terminated your Tumblr account at <blog address>. As per the policies you agreed to when creating a Tumblr account, we do not allow spam and/or affiliate marketing on Tumblr.

That’s the whole email. There’s no mention of where this spam and/or affiliate marketing was found, which means I am, quite frankly, stumped. I post cat pictures and funny videos, and I do so mostly to keep a repository for myself. I know the blog has some followers, but I couldn’t tell you how many if you held a gun to my head. I don’t even use a custom theme for this blog, but something pretty out of Tumblr’s own theme catalogue!

I email them back stating that I have never intentionally posted any kind of advertising, requesting some specifics on what I’m supposed to have done wrong, and asking if I can have a copy of the contents if they’re not willing to re-open my account.

Wednesday, 14th November, 2012

Still no response from Tumblr, so I drop them another email repeating my request.

One hour later

We’ve restored your content.

Thank you for bringing this problem to our attention. We’re sorry that it occurred, and we’ll do our best to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

No mention of what bad about my account, but I have it back. I guess this means it helps to send some reminders if your account has been terminated in error…

Now, how do I back up my Tumblr blog? You know, just in case.

I was woken up after five and a half hours of sleep, by the postman coming to deliver two of the three items I needed on saturday. Items which are now as good as useless.

A chip has come off the tooth I have a root canal in.

My phone’s screen is so badly cracked I can’t really touch it, much less hold it to my ear. This shouldn’t be that big a problem, since I can go for weeks without a phone call. Today I’ve gotten three in an hour. All from numbers I don’t know.

I’m getting extremely unhelpful messages from support.

I call quits on this day. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Winter shoes

My feet in the rare pair of well-fitting shoes

There are two parts to my hatred of shoe shopping.

The first is my wonky feet. They’re short and wide, like the rest of me. Shoes tend to be either short or wide — especially women’s shoes, as women are supposed to have dainty little feet.

If I choose shoes to fit the width of my feet, the shoes will slip and move as I walk, leaving me with blisters. As a bonus irritation, my feet will look humongous, and I can do without feeling like a clown.

If I choose shoes to fit the length of my feet, things get even worse. It’s fine for the first hour of walking. Or thirty minutes. Or at least the first fifteen. Then the soles of my feet start hurting. Hurting badly, as if there’s a fire under my feet. Then they start cramping. Then I have to sit down with my shoes off for a couple of hours, which makes this whole walking thing somewhat problematic.

The second part is the selection available to me. The stereotype of the shoe-loving women exists for a reason, and as such there is a silly number of styles to choose from. All I want in a shoe is that it’s comfortable, fits, suited for its season, and discreet. No bold fashion statements for me, please.

If you’ve ever walked through the women’s section in a shoe shop, I’m sure you can see the problem.

Living in Norway only makes it worse. The difference between the seasons is so severe different shoes are required for summer and winter, with most people needing a third pair to wear in between. This means the selection in any given shop is on a near constant rotation. Add that Norway has a small population, a tiny market, and you have high sellers only breezing through shops in three months.

What are the high sellers in women’s shoes? Bold fashion statements for dainty feet.


Before and after Hickies

But winter is coming and my previous pair of winter shoes is at the point of literally dissolving.

I’m getting better at spotting good candidates, and I found myself a new pair after only half a dozen tries. They’re two sizes larger than what I should wear (but only slightly too long), and they cost more than I feel a pair of shoes is worth (but cheap compared to most of the other shoes on the shelf), and the laces started fraying within a week.

My spinning shoes are white and pink, because why would a woman ever wear any other colours

As an experiment to make these shoes more wonky feet-friendly, I’m replacing the laces with Hickies. In blue, because “discreet” does not equal “boring.” Even with Hickies I have to skip the top and bottom pair of eyelets. Ah well, that leaves me with six spares to hickie up my spinning shoes with.

Now I’ll just cross my fingers for a winter of comfy feet.

Everything, all at once

We should’ve just stayed on holiday.

We came home on friday to find our toilet blocked. Annoying, but not a huge problem. We don’t have the required supplies to unblock in the house, but we’ll head out on saturday to get them. We need to buy food, anyway, since our cupboards are post-holiday skint.

Come saturday, we grab our bikes and head downtown. We park at the big cycle parking spot outside a shopping center, where we usually park, and head off. We stop by the sports shop to get me a bike mount for my new heart rate monitor, and end up buying some backpacks and cycling shorts, too.

We pass the bike parking on our way to grab some lunch, and all is well. We pass it again on our way to the hardware store where we grab the unblocking supplies we need. Now we’re done with the things we need to do, and it’s still early, so we decide to go for a ride before we head home. We pop into Burger King to borrow the toilets and switch into our new cycling shorts, head back to the bike parking, and …

Bike lock that has been sawn through
Sad remains of bike lock. Also, my feet.

… the boyfriend’s bike is gone. Only the sawn-through lock is left on the ground. A girl sitting nearby says she saw “two drunk guys” messing with the bike, and she tried to call the police, but failed somehow.

The boyfriend heads off to the nearest police station. I and a wonderfully helpful stranger (thanks a bunch, Len! It’s appreciated!) look around for the bike, just in case the thief is still nearby, but have no luck.

Now here comes the kick in the teeth: As the boyfriend and I leave the police station, I spot the bike. The thief is riding the stolen bike down the road in front of the police station. Unfortunately, he has a head start on us, and nobody manages to stop him. He disappears down a side street and is gone.

We give the police a description, and they scope out the area he disappeared in, but still no luck. We look around downtown until all hope is lost, and barely get into a grocery shop before it closes.

We manage to leave the groceries behind. It starts raining on our way home, and we’re soaked to the skin before we hit the door.

Our toilet is still blocked.

We should’ve just stayed on holiday.

Newsflash: Women wear clothes

Here are some news for you: Women wear clothes. Or, more specifically, women who aren’t proportioned to go on a catwalk also wear clothes. You wouldn’t believe it when looking at the available sizes, but it’s true!

When I shop for clothes, I have three main problems to deal with.

One is that I am fat. I am in no way huge, unable to leave the house on my own, or anything severe like that. Not at all. But I am big enough to be relegated to the “plus-size” section, where all the boring clothes come to die. Shopping online will give me greater choice in styles, but the models showing the clothes are all catwalk-sized. The clothes may look stunning on that model, but it tells me nothing about how they would look on someone like me.

Second is that I have huge breasts. Not large. Huge. And in spite of western culture worshipping large breasts, women’s clothes are rarely made to fit them. Usually I have to resort to men’s sizes to have room for my chest. Even the largest size of the t-shirt offered by Busty Girl Comics is ten inches too small around the chest. Irony level: Off the scale.

Third is that I’m short. I’m about the average height for women across the world (according to somewhat questionable internet sources), but nearly 8 centimeters shorter than my national average (according to less questionable internet sources). A 72cm inseam is about right for me. Most women’s trousers sold around here start at 80cm and go up. I’m quite normally proportioned, so somehow I doubt that all that extra average height exists exclusively in women’s legs.

Combine these three factors, and things get even more ridiculous. Fat women are never short, so wider sizes are always longer. Short women never have large breasts, so shorter clothes always have narrow chests. Really? Apparently the makers of these clothes think we all came out of the same mold, just sized slight up or down.

Move on to sports wear, and the ridiculousness is turned up to 11. You would think that people of all shapes and sizes exercise, right? With the rampant fat-shaming in western culture you would perhaps expect fat people especially to exercise? That’s not what the makers of sports wear thinks. Sports wear for women rarely run larger than XL, and let’s be honest, we’re talking about a small XL here. Just how ridiculous is sports wear sizing? So ridiculous an olympic athlete can’t find clothes that fit. When a professional can’t get suitable clothes, someone is doing something wrong.

Okay. Rant over. I’m off to pick up some clothes I’ve ordered online. Hopefully they’ll fit well and I won’t have to spend a small fortune returning them and having new sizes mailed to me…

Friends do not let friends buy Ubisoft

Oh, Ubisoft. You sell your games on Steam. You’ve previously screwed over the people who have bought your games on Steam. You remain completely oblivious that Steam itself functions as DRM, instead putting in one of the most useless and hostile third-party DRMs in your game:

Anno 2070 is protected by 3rd-party DRM: Solidshield Tages SAS and has a 3 machine activation limit.

You do not deserve my money, Ubisoft. You do not deserve my friends’ money, either. Please stop making games I want; the shitty DRM alone is worth contempt, a game I _want_ with shitty DRM is pure hate.