Sunday, January 15, 2006
Time for a quirky, personal blog post! Not been many so far, so it's a New Years Resolution to upload more.
The first time I ventured to the Big Apple was back in May 2003, when myself and the Big Man hit it hard for 5 days straight. This time round was a little more sedated however.
It was agreed that a last minute Christmas shopping holiday to New York would be the perfect tonic to a long, hard working year. It's a long way for a 5 day shopping trip, but well worth it!
New York? Fabulous. Weather in New York? Utterly freezing. On one hand you're extremities were numb, on the other a dump of snow and blue skies make a fantastic picture! Check out the one of Central Park.
In terms of accommodation, I can recommend the Big Apple hostel for the best no frills accommodation. If you're going as a small group grab a dorm room, or even a private room will serve you well as a couple. Its location is first class (just off Times Square) and rates are from a cheap $35 for a dorm room.
This time round we stayed further South - 23rd and 3rd Street. The issues? Cold room, with a cylindrical/rectangular heater which whistled and hissed more than the sinking Titanic. Not bad on its own, but its seemed we had the main heating pipes traveling through our room. It sounded like there was a boy with a spanner in each hand beating the hell out of the pipes through the night. Not the best. So if you're ever at the American Dream, NEVER take room number 9!
The best bits? I drove in New York! Am I mad - yes. Was it fun - yes. We drove out to a an outlet village about an hour North of New York, and got some superb bargains.
The Empire State building had to be climbed too, and got some good pic from the top too. Met with some mates from the UK that I'd met at UNCW, and went to see the Woman in White (one of the newer Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals). Just to reiterate, I am not a musical kind of guy, but thoroughly enjoyed this musical and can recommend it if you're not sure what to see!
With New York, you could be there 6 months and still not scratch the surface. With so much to do, 5 days felt like two weeks. Time for another holiday soon I think.....
In all honesty, I don't watch a lot of TV. Not because I don't want too, but it seems that when I'm free, there's always some drama on that doesn't interest. But over the last few months there has been one or two exceptions.
LOST was a breath of fresh air when it took over from Big Brother last year. I've not known a series yet where you could miss 4 episodes and still keep up with the story line. Except LOST. Many people complain that LOST has too many quirky and unrelated sub-plots, but watch every episode and they'll tie in. In fact wait until the end, and I bet they'll tie in. Many say the sub-plots are unrealistic and silly - its a FICTIONAL programme, full of escapism and entertainment, which is what good TV is all about.
I've missed too many episodes throughout the season, so have just bought the whole series on eBay for a bargain £20. Might just have to make time to watch it all.
And finally boys, lets all give a round of applause to Evangeline Lilly.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
The world is going barmy. Relaxed licensing laws have meant that pub chains can now compete for the £200 million-a-year commuter coffee business. J.D Wetherspoon are going to start offering coffee at a promotional offer of 49p, rising to 69p after the promotion. When, what and how?
The pub chain is going to attempt morning commuters away from the likes of Starbucks and Costa Coffee by opening at 8am and offering cut price coffee that they believe will taste much the same.
Hold your horses. Will the average commuter be lured into a pub to wait for a coffee at 8 in the morning, as opposed to the relaxed and more regular coffee bar atmosphere? Not me.
As much as I admire Wetherspoons (despite the 'no music' thing) I don't think it'll take much market share away from the big boys. Much of its success will depend on location. People today like convenience, and are willing to pay for it.
Oh and one last point - no more smoky pubs from March 26th!! Woohoo!
Sunday, January 08, 2006
I'm on a mission. To make my quirky, personal blog one of the best around. BUT in order to do that I need to be visible. So, this page will be dedicated to reciprocal links (for those not privilidged enough to gain a link from the Jamjar homepage. )
Simon's Jamjar - Links on the Blog
Search4Blogs - Blog Directory
Total Blog Directory
Congratulations to Spartans who made it through to the fourth round of the Scottish Cup this afternoon. Spartans beat Scottish Division 3 side Queen's Park 3-2 at their home ground at City Park, Edinburgh.
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Having been a short-term dweller in the quirky USA, and part of an international house full of foreign students, I got continuously bombarded with weird and wonderful stories from my international house mates.
But if ever a story has an ironic twist, non could better the recent tale from Santiago, Chile. A newly opened restaurant aptly named 'Car Crash' had to shut down after a car crashed into it. The area is anaccident blackspot
Now, if you're anything like me, you simply wouldn't re-open. But full credit to the owners. They expect the restaurant to re-open within a week.
Full Story - Ananova
Friday, January 06, 2006
It has to be a flop. Moving internet users away from the comfort and warmth of a WiFi coffee shop? And getting them to stand next to a lamp post??
What am I blathering on about? Well a company based in Scotland have designed 'smart lampposts' that could provide internet access. Apparently the idea will combine solar energy and WiFi wireless internet access.
Being based in Edinburgh I'm all for Scottish innovations, but the idea will be piloted in Dundee. The only city where you have to pay to leave.
But it could be a good idea. Enabling more users to get online in more accessible locations. Not as good an innovation as paper-thin TV's, but I wish the project all the best.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
With soooooo many innovations being produced in the technology world, its difficult sometimes to imagine how we can go one better. But never underestimate to power of the human brain.
It generally takes a lot for me to say;"Woah - now that's cool" - especially when it comes to technological innovations.
For those who weren't at the 2005 Plastics Electronics trade fair in Frankfurt (don't blame you) you would have missed that Siemens are currently in the process of developing paper-thin TV screens that will be pretty cheap to produce.
These paper thin TV's could revolutionize the way we read newspapers and magazines. Imagine reading FHM where the women move before your very eyes.....but don't stop on
that thought too long.
It's almost like we'd be living a real life Harry Potter movie, where the newspapers come alive. So forget big LCD screens or typical Flash on a web site - Siemens have apparently reinvented the word 'innovation'.
These new paper thin TV screens will no doubt revolutionise advertising and will be on our shelves in early 2007.
Woah - now that's cool.
Update - May 2007
My first blog post about paper thin TV screens was back in 2006, and they still haven't hit the mainstream market as yet. A few of you have asked when the flat panel technology will reach our shelves, and it seems companies like Siemens and Sony have yet to decide on commercial products using the technology.
In Japan on May 25th Sony entered the race for paper thin TV displays. Sony's offering - first shown in Japan - is a razor-thin display that bends like paper whist showing a colour video.
So what would be some good ideas for products that could use the technology? Here's a few of my ideas;
- Newspapers & Magazines - Harry Potter newspapers may not have been fictional after all
- Wallpaper - when I was a kid I had wrestling and football posters in my room. The kids of tomorrow may have the same - except the posters will come alive!
- Portable TV on your Wrist - TV's are already moving to mobiles, so why not take it further and make 'TV watches'
- Clothing - the future of designer clothing could have adverts embeded in the clothing on the back on the front
Monday, January 02, 2006
Welcome me! It took me a while, but I now have my very own blog to shout about. I can talk about the wonders of eBay and Family Guy, and moan about high maintenance women.
Above all else this blog is about me. Me me me. So let me start by bringing you all up to speed as to where I am, what I'm doing and whom I'm doing it with....without making it sound like a corny Friend's Reunited post.
I currently live in the New Town area of Edinburgh in bonny Scotland and work for a digital marketing company in the city.
Although not as sporty as I once was I still play football in the East of Scotland league and try and get on the ski slopes as often as I can. It usually comes down to the same two issues of time and money. I'm sure I'll moan about that in future posts.....
Anyhow, lets cut the chit chat.
Preston - my home town with a football team that may reach the Premier League by the time I'm 50.
UNCW - best 10 months of my alcohol-filled student years, and made many friends for life. Wilmington is quoted by many as the best place to visit in the USA if you want to travel and enjoy quiet beach locations.
Email - the number one activity for internet users. Search engine usage is the second. The combination of the two leads to me sending and receiving many funny emails.
So its a big welcome to me, and a big hello to all those priviliged enough to read and find this blog!