Monday, January 09, 2006

Found this in a forum; made me think of Swiss Tony.
A fine cigar is just like a woman. If you don't light it up just right and suck on it with a certain frequency, it will go out on you.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Mobile Phones & Unexpected Events

I forgot to mention the other day that my Sony Ericsson k700i decided to commit suicide! It almost succeded.

Firstly let me make you aware of a few facts:
  • I have a new jacket, which due to the vagaries of jacket design, and the fact that I recieved it as a gift this Christmas has much shallower pockets than my old one.

  • Richmond is a nightmare to park in and sometimes you just have to park illegally.

  • Jessops counter staff work in super slow motion, the kind that is used to analyse the tinyiest details of a sportspersons activities.

  • Sometimes little droplets of water fall out of the sky and collect in puddles.

  • Cobbled roads are very hard surfaces.

  • Newton's Three Laws of Motion still apply, despite being over 300 years old.

This is what happened...

I went walking in Wiltshire after Christmas and took a fair few photographs, unfortunately due the fact that I use a film camera I have to take my film to a store to be developed1.

The best place by far to have film developed and printed anywhere near where I live is Jessops in Richmond, this is partly due to the fact that they have a very good frontier machine and also partly due to the fact that the technicians there actually give a damn.

Now the problem with Richmond is parking, putting aside the exorbitant rates they charge for the pleasure, there often just aren't any spaces anywhere. This was the case a few days ago when I went to drop my roll of film off, I spent 15 minutes driving to Richmond then 45 minutes looking for somewhere to park. Faced with the choice of parking illegally or coming back another day I chose the former option. Face it, so would you.

After carefully mapping out the locations of the parking attendants and estimating the time it would take them to get to the available places where I was going to park on the double yellow or red lines, I worked out that it would take them about 15 minutes tio make it to the car from a spot about 3 minutes from the store.

I parked the car and walked into Jessops, and I was in luck, apart from the lab tech, there were two other visible staff and just one other customer, no problem.

10 minutes later I was still waiting to be served. So by the time I left the store I could see the The Gestapo making their way along to my car! Time for a hasty retreat thought I, and started jogging towards my car... disaster!!! My mobile flew out of my pocket, bounced a few times and finally settled in a puddle of water.

I screamed. I screamed a scream that could be heard 500 metres away. Women and children ran for cover. Dogs started barking. Large men cowered!2

I collected the phone as quickly as I could and got into the car and, tyres squealing I drove off3. And as all of this was happening I went into an unpublishable fit of mental tourettes that lasted a few hours.

I eventually found some tissue paper and dabbed at the phone but it didn't look good. I could see the water moving between the lcd and its plastic cover, the phone was doomed.

But it wasn't! Even though I forgot to take the battery out, despite the fact that I didn't shake as much water out of it as was possible. Even though for a few days there was still water under the lcd screen; the phone still works! Its all dry now and looks as good as new.

Thank you Sony Ericsson for making a damn resilient phone.

1. Younger readers might not know what film is, but trust me, it has to be developed. No I will not tell you what development means, at least not right now.
2. Well it would have been heard 500m away, and large men would have cowered, if it had ever left my mouth, but it turns out I only screamed in my mind.
3. The tyres really did squeal btw, but this probably has a lot to do with wet cobbled streets and not a lot to do with the puny output of my car's engine.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

London New Year’s Day Parade 2006

I went to the London New Year’s Day Parade for the first time today. It was extreemly overcast and a tad bit cold, and it rained a bit.

Despite all of that it was still a really fun couple of hours! Some of the elements of the parade were just, well, poor. But on the whole it was quite good, mostly due to the contribution of our American cousins. As much as it pains me to say so, the American bands and performers really were, on the whole, head and shoulders above the homegrown talent.

The sound of the percussion on the majority of the marching bands was quite amazing, the complex rhythms and tempos were just spellbinding. The quality of the musical performances were great, all the more so because the performers were moving whilst performing.

The inflated characters were quite interesting, and the classic vehicles were quite nice as well. I would recommend that if you haven't been to the parade that you try it next year. A word of caution though, get there at least an hour before it is due to commence if you want to have any chance of seeing whats going on.