Thursday, October 27, 2005

I knew things were getting smaller but.....

....this is ridiculous!

I've used IBM Microdrive technology in my Canon EOS Digital SLR for a couple of years now, but how fecking small is this new HDD from Toshiba?

They are looking for ideas of what it could be used for in the next generation of gizmo or gadget & have a website to take suggestions.

Click here to make a suggestion.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The DJ's have gone digital....

Get rid of those Technics SL1200 turntables, even get rid of those CD turntables - look at this a mixing desk for dual iPod's.

Better still, let's get rid of the DJ completely. Just program in a set (I believe thats what they call it) & plug in the iPod leaving the clubbers to dance the night away - not that Bryan Ferry gets played much nowadays!?

Never been into DJing myself, but thought this looked pretty clever kit.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Sold out... Again!

A few years ago, my ability to predict Stock Market risers was pretty good, with a bit of research, a few punts worked out pretty well. Of late, my talent has deserted me, I backed Railtrack, Friends Provident & Marconi.

Friend Provident haven't been swallowed up by a larger insurer as I predicted, and are still way below the £2.10+ price I got when floated.

Railtrack have in my humble opinion been "fucked up the arse" so to speak by Trade & Industry Secretary Stephen Byers. Leaving shareholders with the sum total of 18% of their original investment!

And today we hear that Marconi are selling off their prized asset - their telco business - to Ericsson! A couple of years ago Marconi had £3bn of assets, after a corporate shopping spree, the banks forced them to restructure their now debts of £5bn(!) in a share swap where the banks held all of the asset stock, the general shareholders being left with minority shares worth less than the paper they were printed on.

Let's hope the remaining interests I have in the likes of Vodafone don't go the same way.

Monday, October 24, 2005

My role model makes it as man of the decade....

Yahoo! News reports that a panel of experts from Mens Health Magazine for the 10th Anniversary issue has come up with a Top 10 list of famous men of the decade.

Homer has been nominated as Greatest Philosopher!

Other minors in the list include Sportsman: Lance Armstrong (Tour de France God), Visionary: Jonathan Ive (creator of the iPod), Designer: Sir Paul Smith, Manager: Sven Goran Eriksson (Famous Swedish shag monster), Activist: Bob Geldof (Irish Soap Dodger - allegedly), Writer: Ian McEwan, Musician: Damon Albarn, Chef: Jamie Oliver & Scientist: Craig Venter (Geneticist).

Morgan Rees, Editor of Men's Health said, "These are people of real substance and solid achievement rather than temporary fame"

"We were particularly pleased to see Homer Simpson on the list. He has taught a whole generation how to take on the challenge of modern fatherhood and win - although not always with honour."

I say, they all pale into insignificance in comparison to Homer Simpson.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Two of my favourite films, combined into one....

Whilst surfing around trying to find an unusual Christmas present for my Brother, I found this at It combines characters from two of my favourite films into one - Darth Vader from Stars Wars & Mr Potato Head from Toy Story.

Named Darth Tater & Spud Trooper, at £9.95 each I think they are great fun.

I'm pretty sure my brother doesn't read this blog, so here is what he has for his combined Birthday (Dec 22nd)\Christmas present - a Darth Vader Force FX Lightsaber complete with glowing blade & with sound effects, such as power up, swing, idle hum & power down. It looks so good, I bought one for myself as well!

It's well worth scrolling to the bottom of the page, then clicking the links & watching the video clips people have taken of themselves re-enacting the Stars Wars battles (mostly in their bedrooms!?) I will of course not be using the Light Saber for such daft, pointless & childish re-enactments, well not on video anyway.

UPDATE : Woolworths are selling the Force FX Lightsabers with 10% off this weekend (Friday 4th & Saturday 5th November), although they only appear to have the Luke Skywalker green in stock on the website at the moment, which is odd as every other stockist have everything EXCEPT the green?

Friday, October 21, 2005

From Royal Crown Derby to..... The Prodigy...

In this diverse world, let me take you from comments on my Royal Crown Derby collection to a band called The Prodigy.....

Buy it, download it from iTunes, borrow it (don't steal it), play it very loud through your speakers, piss your neighbours off (turn up the bass!).

Maybe play it on iTunes with the Visualizer turned on to full screen & projecting onto the trees in your garden? I did, the neighbours loved it!!

If you have a Prodigy album already, you will think (like I do) that this is a brilliant album. If you don't have a Prodigy album but have liked some of the singles before, then go & buy this & make it your first Prodigy album.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

RCD will have to explain to my Bank Manager....

I collect some Royal Crown Derby porcelain, paperweights only, in the following forms - birds, elephants, fish & bulls. (Don't ask why, I don't even know myself!)

Every year I look at the latest additions & see whether they have added any to the range that fit my habit of collecting, some years they add a quite a few maybe 5 or so, others they add just one or two. I'm caught between the general hope that they won't include too many in one go as it tends to get a bit pricey & the desire to see more in my collection.

Imagine my horror when I found out that they have just added lots more, in the last month alone they have added the following birds - a Derby Peacock, Bunting, Lorikeet and a Mountain Bluebird. Add to that a new Guppy in the fishy section and three new elephants (see picture) - that makes 8, yes EIGHT! Earlier in the year they added a Citron Cockatoo, an Amazon Green Parrot, Great Tit, Kedlestone Kingfisher, Emperor Penguin, Snowy Owl & White Pelican, plus a Scottish leaping Salmon. So in total Royal Crown Derby have added 16 new paperweights to my collection this year, well actually I have, they merely made temptation too great to resist.

Sorry Mr Bank Manager, the minus number in the account is all the fault of those people in Derby!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

For the girl that has everything.....

With Christmas coming soon, I have been searching for gifts. Gifts that will impress. Well if this doesn't do it, I don't know what will. A diamond ring that measures 10.5cm x 7.5cm x 6cm - it's HUGE!!!

Yes, you guessed - it's not real (no shit Sherlock). At £12.50 + P&P it was never going to be. It's a glass & metal paperweight, I took delivery today & it does look very good.

As a stocking filler it tickled my sense of humour, let's just hope someone else sees the funny side!

You can buy it here

Monday, October 10, 2005

Christmas is coming.....

I fear to mention Christmas so early, I apologise now.

I have seen what I want...............

a new Aston Martin V8 Vantage as previewed at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show last month. Now in production & first deliveries are iminent. With a 4.3 litre V8, 380bhp, 0-60 in 4.9 seconds and a top end of 175mph. I'll have mine in either Mendip Blue with parchment hide or Silver metallic with red hide please. I just have to figure a way of getting one.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

It's happened again..... musical deja vous

Whilst doing various chores earlier this evening in my garage I listened to the top 40 chart for the first time in quite a while. 25 years ago, I was glued to the radio on a Sunday evening, listening out for the latest news of what was Number 1 - 25 years ago it was "Don't Stand So Close To Me" by The Police.

Tonight, I heard Rachel Stevens latest effort "I Said Never Again (But Here We Are)" (which is actually acceptable to the ear of this 38 year old & she looks OK to me as well) & thought - I've hear that riff before somewhere......

It's only a couple of bars (as is usual with Status Quo at least), but it is the same, 25 years apart! Take the old Quo riff from "What You're Proposing" & put it through a modern day sampler with the "Adam & The Ants" button turned up 100% & here you go.....

Rachel Stevens - I Said Never Again (But Here We Are)

Status Quo - What You're Proposing

No pictures, as I'm sure that some management company would complain.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Apple suckered me again....

I'm a gadget freak, you know that from this Blog, I know it & so do many vendors it appears - including Apple.

Recently Apple have released the iPod Nano, the latest & smallest incarnation of their MP3 player. Size wise its tiny, very light, and has the functionality of its bigger relatives, including a colour screen (unlike the iPod Mini which is LCD & the iPod Shuffle which is devoid of any screen!)

John Lewis in West Quay, Southampton this morning had them in stock, lots of them, delivered overnight to satisfy the retail junkies that frequent there on a Saturday (which includes me occasionally). 2Gb, 4Gb and black or white, the choice was yours. Impulse got the better of me & I had to have one whilst stocks lasted!

I have to say, its is by far the best iPod yet (I have 2 already so should know by now!), it makes the iPod Mini look about 10 years old & the standard size iPod looks large & clumsy next to it.

So the iPod Mini may be cast as a backup device for me now - I can't really sell it as I had the free laser engraving on it - Doh! The iPod standard will be used with the Bose Sounddock in the house with the entire music library on it.

I have asked Apple not to release any more nice gadgets for a while, sadly Sony declined & have released this......

The Sony NAS-CZ1 Audio Network System does what the D-Link DSM-320 Wireless Media Player claims to do & what others do for more money (the Elgato EyeHome Wireless Edition, the Roku Soundbridge M2000 Network Music Player & the Sonos as well) - wireless access to your iTunes music. See earlier posts for information on the D-Link DSM-320 Wireless Media Player it is sooo bad, I didn't even bother to review 100% as promised - it's crap). The Sony is much better looking & has built in speakers. It's also from a mainstream vendor so should be bullet proof. All for £199, it's probably next on my list of gadget shopping. Anyone wanna buy a D-Link DSM-320 Wireless Media Player?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Death of a genius....

"Norman Stanley Fletcher, you have pleaded guilty to the charges brought by this court, and it is now my duty to pass sentence. You are a habitual criminal, who accepts arrest as an occupational hazard, and presumably accepts imprisonment in the same casual manner. We therefore feel constrained to commit you to the maximum term allowed for these offences - you will go to prison for 5 years."

As others have said elsewhere, I grew up with TV series like The Two Ronnies, Porridge & Open All Hours - there is one clear common theme, great comedy performed by Ronnie Barker.

Clearly the writing of Porridge by Dick Clements & Ian La Frenais' was excellent, but match it with the intelligence & comedic timing delivered by Ronnie Barker & perfect comedy was made - albeit for a short period of only 5 years (1 pilot episode, 3 series & 2 Christmas Specials followed by a spin off called "Going Straight" & a film in 1978).

In my mind & many others, he is remembered as he wanted to be - the funiest man on television. The generation of 30 somethings were lucky to have grown up with him on the screen, and it felt like we knew him, if only as the characters he portrayed.

The irony & wit of Porridge makes it my favourite of all. Whilst some of the plots may have been a bit thin, the simple interaction between the father & son characters of Fletch & Godber were effectively real & the "don't let the bastards get you down" approach of Fletcher towards the screws, particularly Mr Mackay, was genius.

"I'm only in prison because of my beliefs.
I believed the night watchman was asleep."

Norman Stanley Fletcher - April 1973

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Just to add insult to injury....

Hampshire Police are being filmed for the new TV series of "Traffic Cops", so over the next 6 or so weeks they will be patrolling in both marked & unmarked cars on the M3 & M27. So watch out on the M3 section between J2 > J8 for an unmarked Skoda saloon in dark blue or black, plus the usual marked Volvo estates & X5's.

Not sure what they will be using elsewhere, I've already seen the Skoda stop a couple of people over the last 2 weeks.

I know a few of you are saying "if you don't speed, you won't get stopped", in reality the flow of traffic through the 50 zones in the roadworks is travelling at 60-70mph most of the time. When the normal 70mph limit is in force outside of the roadworks, the speeds are nearer 80-85mph.

If you don't want to appear on BBC1 getting nicked by Mr Plod - don't speed! I'm sure they will be picking up quite a few people over the next couple of weeks just with the roadwork limits being enforced, but with the added incentive of being on telly and a need to impress that nice little researcher in the back seat with them, they will be out for as many tickets as possible.