Freak Out Moments











{November 3, 2013}   MCM Review Oct 2013

So it’s been a bit manic but finally I have time to get some writing about the event up and running, other than the previous comedy post about the situation with the weird man on the Sunday.

So here goes –

Friday: we had a few blips to get there, we were stuck in a two hour tail-back around the Birmingham area, I really needed to pee! But it’s okay once we got on the road it was a fun trip down and despite the cheesy music in the car my friend fared well and came in alive haha!

Getting our wristbands for the weekend on early entry wasn’t at all painful compared to the May queue. It was simple in and out, bands on *which by the way are a better quality so thanks MCM!* and then into the event.

Friday’s is for me the better day to try and shop, Saturday I barely ever go into the complex and hall. It is just toooo busy! So we had a wander and I brought some rather sexy Gears of War additions for my collection.

Saturday – Oh lords just TOO busy to be inside. And it’s not even just the staff that can be rude, most of them were okay this time. I’ve had the door staff and people being quite rude before but for the most part I escaped that. I will however say some members of the public should probably be glad there are not real weapons they are that damned rude! Pushing people, moaning about the fact there’s too many folks. It’s a convention expect people to be there, but if you can’t be polite or at least move out of the damned flow to have a twenty minute food break I’d rather you let your oxygen go to another person with a brain…

I went to the Fox the Saturday night, a little bold for me as I am terrible at these social things. Cosplay is the way I have picked to battle this social issue, so I went and I had a lovely time. I came back, passed out for about three hours and then woke up with an anxiety attack, however could have been worse because I at least got a little sleep. Did also have a lot of bacon for breakfast – mmmm bacon!

Sunday was a lot calmer indoors, it meant we got a little chance to do some last minute shopping. My friend James had found me a Robbie Rabbit from Silent Hill, I never did find the Konami Store! I was dressed in BSAA outfit, whilst I wasn’t stopped as much as others I really did have a wonderful time in that costume. REUK are just wonderful as a group, I feel like part of a family there.

So the organisation? I would say considering the volume not bad. Again I would say some of the staff/volunteers sincerely need to work on their damned attitude. It’s a nerdfest/geekfest of people that probably aren’t all as brave as they think and sometimes we need a little human touch even if we don’t look one. However when it came to a problem on the Sunday the security on site were on hand and dealt with the issue quickly.

Props/Con Goers treatment – whilst I had no problems myself I was really angry to hear that sensible con-goers with props were turned away whilst others in there I could see were more dangerous with their behaviour than any guy with a fake gun could ever have been! It’s not the Props it’s the bloody people that need chucking out. I would say there should be a check point where you can get your weaponry/props checked out by ONE central point. If the weapon is deemed safe and the cosplayer sensible then give that prop a tag to tie on or something that makes it clear it’s been deemed con-safe. It takes the personal issues away from the door security and means less trouble for those of us that can go in and out ten times a day, then suddenly stopped by the one guy/gal that suddenly takes a dislike. It’s far too based on someone’s personal opinion which means too much error with bias.

Stalls/stands – FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHAT COMICS! Seriously it’s called Comiccon and there was like one, maybe two stalls of comics? Very disappointed that the gaming side is lacking, the comics were hit and miss on about two stalls. If I wanted to buy a lucky cat or a bazillion takes on Japanese sweets that we already could buy on the ENTIRE area of Japan food then wow great day. Didn’t see a damned thing outside of the Gears tucked away in some boxes and the Robbie that someone else found for me. I wasn’t impressed with the range this time, a shame as people go with all that money to spend on an event and can end up coming back with very little.

The Steam Punk stands seemed non-existent and even if you are not a major fan it’s part of the conventions generally. The Table Tennis area was a terrible idea, whilst standing by my friends waiting for his cosplay judging we were constantly bombarded by the damned things and watching some kid destroy a table and having to keep repairing it. Not a good idea MCM really, really not!

So overall? Negatives =Biggest lets downs? Not a single guest of interest for me as a gamer, I don’t give a shit about Young Dracula and I don’t care for half of the crap put on inside. Sadly it was just not exciting for the line up and I was sad to hear so many negative bits about it.  Gaming was not really that varied, a shame but the ones on there looked popular enough for the mainstream.

Highlights – I did chat to a developer for a bit who was making his own xbox game and that was pretty cool. Costumes – plenty of good ones and I got to see a lot of my friends finished products from their blogs and facebook make it into real life. New friends I made along the way, absolutely the highlight! A couple of people stopping me for my pictures, I’m not bothered by popularity but it’s a massive compliment when someone does stop me.

Go again? Yes I will be, I will be going to May to see if some of the points addressed by people are picked up on and resolved.  I don’t want people to think I don’t ever have a good time there, I really do or I wouldn’t go back but I’d hope for more variety on the menu by May. Please MCM PLEASE go back to the pre-mainstream crap, I’m a geek and I don’t want it to feel like a trip into the city centre over a weekend of celebrating that fact.

And LOVE to everyone I met there!

So some shoutouts and links for anyone that got to the bottom of this haha!

AJL Armours and Cosplay

Big Red Ape Cosplay

Capcom UK

Buster Boy Cosplay

Cosmic Workshop

Cosplay Without Bias

Cosplayuk

Jon Fisher Photography

Zed Events 

 

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{August 12, 2013}   The Flaws of Park Mobile

Back in June I went out with my friend for the day, we had a great time wandering around the cemetery in Birmingham and taking pictures. We paid the parking in cash, got a ticket and then came back and thought it was still early enough to go into the city centre.

 

Following the course of sat nav we got ourselves to the parking meter, got our change together and then inserted the pennies as necessary. The machine came up with an error; I cursed and then got out my trusty iphone. AH problem! There’s no number for the fault to be reported on, but! There is a lovely number to call to pay it by card. So called them up, registered all the things it asked. Got told when the payment ended so I knew when to be back and off we went!

 

Dinner, relaxing walk around and then back to the car, supposedly a great end to the day before heading back to my home town. WRONG! SO SO wrong!

 

I got slapped with a parking ticket. I have raised a dispute and this is where I truly feel it turned from a “oh bloody hell” into an absolute sham.

 

So here is what I got back initially:

 

Good afternoon,

 

We are sorry to hear you have received a aprking fine on 22.6.13

 

There is no evidence that a session was booked and paid for on that day, hence the fine from Birmingham Council.

 

I have checked the call log for that day and can confirm that you did call to make payment at 12.56

 

The vehicle registration was ********** and location code 7666 was selected for a stay of 2 hours.

Unfortunately either the security code on the back of the payment card wasn’t entered or it was entered incorrectly as the call ended at this point before the session started.

 

You can try to appeal the fine with Birmingham Council using this evidence but we cannot guarantee the outcome.

 

Sadly there is no other evidence we can provide to assist your appeal.

 

Rregards

Parkmobile helpdesk

 

Ignoring the spelling errors it’s got … you can see they have acknowledged I called. So yes it appears that there was something there and I tried. But apparently the system didn’t take my number. Well it never told me. I raised the objection June 24th.

 

I then had to wait, and it was the 4th July when I got a response. I was angry, very angry because of the sheer number of problems with it.

 

In addition, l have noted your comments regarding the payment you had made Into the machine. In order that I may give this matter further consideration, I shall need the machine number of the pay and display machine that you had used or a sketch of its location.”

 

My original e-mail contained the details that they were asking for of the location. And sketch? So I had to go back to Birmingham to get a sketch? I won’t go into the rest of the e-mail but it was a joke, spelling errors and as I had pointed out there was no way to call them, no way to contact anyone and even to raise the dispute it’s all by e-mail or post. I replied the 4th July, I wouldn’t want to be seen to be sitting on this, after all they told me I had 14 days.

22nd July, still nothing. Sent a chase.

 

12th August – I got a response. Which actually made me so angry it was probably good I don’t live in the area!

 

They have no record of a fault, well no one was gonna call with there being no number were they? And of course I am clearly lying if that’s the case, despite the witness and the call. And hang on wasn’t the problem the park mobile and NOT the cash machine? I already pretty much indicated I gave up on that thing in the first e-mail.

 

“I have also noted that you had been unable to locate a contact telephone number on the pay and display machine. However, I would advise you that the contact telephone number is located on the front of the pay and display machine.”

 

I am also blind as well it appears. And so was my friend who was also there looking. So we’re both blind and both liars. Going well so far.

 

“I have also noted that you had attempted to use the Parkmobile application. However, upon checking our records, I can confirm that the CVV security number was not confirmed. Therefore upon checking your vehicle, the Civil Enforcement Officer was unable to determine a valid parking session, thus the Penalty Charge Notice was correctly issued.”


Attempted? I did use it, that’s my point! If the automated system cannot tell me that the information was invalid was I supposed to stand there until the time was up waiting?

 

“I regret, however, as I cannot find any evidence to support your claim that the ticket machine was faulty, I am unable to withdraw the Penalty Charge Notice and must request that payment is forwarded in settlement.”

 

Again! At no point was I complaining about the MACHINE I was complaining about the Park Mobile fault.

 

I have now copied in my MP – And I copy a summary of the major points here.

 

“I have a witness there, who tried to help me.

You have material evidence that I tried to call and pay by your own admission!

Your system failed to inform me on the call that the details were incorrect, which was completely misleading me into believing I had paid.

You seem to think this is about the fault of the machine, I was happy to ignore that fact as the bulk of this complaint is about the phone service being inept NOT the fault of the machine. As I had previously put I paid it, assumed it lost and then rang.”

 

Disgruntled? Yes YES I am!

 

Frag out.

 

 



et cetera