Monday, November 30, 2009

Outdated tech

There is a list of technology that is on the verge of extinction in 2010. Here is the list:

  • DVD players (not for me, I still only watch DVDs, no Blue Ray for me. I could download a film from Zune but it would be for my Xbox connected screen not the one in my lounge)
  •   Fax machine (well, I can’t remember the last fax I sent so its not a surprise to me, I always hated faxing anyway the quality was shocking)
  • Analogue TV (no surprise again, with the digital switchover imminent. I have noticed that digital reception is affected by adverse weather and while you could just about watch analogue TV through interference it just becomes impossible to watch digital TV through it because the picture just freezes)
  • The landline phone (not for us, again we still rely on our house phone as an alternative to Skype and our cell phones, I have noticed however that we use it a lot less frequently)
  • Mobile phone charger (there isn’t an imminent alternative in our household, I’ve heard about these charging mats but have never seen one in real life. A universal connector would be a bonus though)
  • Wii remote (I don’t think this will happen so soon, considering the number of Wii consoles out there. I’ve seen a demo of Xbox’s Project Natal and it looks interesting but as far as I’m concerned I like the feel of a controller in my hand)
  • Sat-nav (our Sat-nav will still be in use throughout 2010 as I don’t see us buying into smart phones that are muted to replace these, we’re happy with the basic cell phones we have)
  • 3G Dongle (I hate 3G anyway, it’s slow and reception is generally poor wherever I go with my work 3G card. I hate the way USB dongles stick out so much. I’m much happier using my Netbook, although I only use it around my home so I can see the need for mobile broadband coverage –I just don’t think 3G is the future)
  • The computer mouse (I don’t see this going anywhere, it has survived over a long period and has evolved from the pretty terrible ball to the cool optical variety)
  • Chip and Pin cards (I wasn’t aware there was an alternative but Wave and Pay is mentioned, I’m not sure what that is – sounds too prone to false payment to me. I’ve gotten so used to Chip and Pin now that I can hardly remember what life was like before it. I feel more comfortable typing in a pin and carrying a card around.)

Do you have any other ideas of your own? I’ve got a few items we have ditched in the last couple of years:

  • scientific calculators (people have phones with calculators on these days, the days of having a block-like calculator with lots of complex scientific functions seem to have gone – at least in my life)
  • Personal CD player (move over CD, the MP3 player has probably already made you obsolete)
  • VHS video recorder (sorry, another easy target)
  • Film-based SLR camera (yep, I can’t remember when I last bought a roll of film)
  • 1.3 MP digital cameras (yeah, you can’t buy these now can you? Don’t they give them away free with Happy Meals yet?)
  • Tape based voice recorders (the micro cassette variety of voice recorders are surely obsolete. Digital recorders offer hours of record and a lot of MP3 players allow record too now)

Bear with a sore head

I didn’t have such a good weekend this week. I was like a bear with a sore head and probably not very nice to be around for my family. My bad vibe carried over into today as well. Do you think it’s possible to have male PMT? I’m not very happy with myself for being Mr Grumpy.

I brought the advent calendars down from the loft this afternoon. They can go up tonight in preparation for the children to find in the morning. They love opening the windows and finding the chocolate and toys to hang up.

I watched some clips of kids opening their Wii on Youtube. Some of their reactions are hilarious.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I know this is late but I hope my US blog friends had a great Thanksgiving. You could say I had an early Thanksgiving, last weekend my brother and his wife flew over to the UK to see the family. I haven’t seen them for a year and I hadn’t seen my folks since August, so it was nice to see the family again on Saturday. I took my children with me but my wife had to take a group of colleagues to a work related exhibition that day. Dad opened some champagne and mom put out some food, I had a beer and a chat with my brother, which was nice. My folks gave my son a Lego box they had kept for 5 years for him until he was old enough. It helped get me, my son, daughter and my brother and his wife laugh about things while we all tried making stuff. We so rarely get together, it was special. After my brother and his wife had left and my kids were in bed, I fell asleep – must have been the alcohol and the journey. I woke up feeling like I was being boiled, I was under a duvet on the sofa fully clothed: it was 10:40.

This week was a very stressful one workwise. However, at the same time I pulled off something quite successful. I devised a workshop, led the facilitators and facilitated the wrap up session at the end of the afternoon. Everyone who attended said how well organised and run it was. My line manager even said how impressed he was with how I’d driven the whole thing. Some weeks just end on a high don’t they? There’s always a balance though and I think the next few weeks are going to be tough, with a lot of work to get through by mid January. I’m also looking forward to a break from work at Christmas.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Get well soon, Ronnie

I learned this evening the news that Dio has stomach cancer. I hope he slays the dragon quickly! Dio sang in his own bands Elf and Dio, but has also been a vocalist in Rainbow and Black Sabbath and latterly the band Heaven and Hell with his Black Sabbath bandmates. Dio has an incredible range to his voice and I love the mythology he employs in his lyrics. There’s a taste of his solo work in the video below.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm listening to...

Getting fatter again

My weight gain has been noticeable to me over the last 12 months. I’m going to have to deal with it more effectively, I have got to take control. Otherwise I’m going to end up having a heart attack or something. It’s very difficult to keep an eye on everything when you’re stressed and got a lot on your mind and when you’re generally depressed like I have been. Everything is gradual, you hardly notice it on a daily basis but the effects are cumulative. I try to tell myself that I’m not as big as some guys I see but comparing my size to others has never been helpful to me. I’m quite petit for a guy and am not tall, so comparisons are pretty meaningless. Packing the Wii away has meant that I have no real tracker of my weight: Wii Fit was great for tracking my weight – its just a shame the activities weren’t compelling enough for me in it.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Blog changes

I’ve made a few visible changes to the blog. Hope you like them, please vote over on the right side panel. I’d appreciate it if you could change the name of this blog in your links. I might also change the address to but because I’m not sure what the effect of that will be, I don’t want to change anything like that just at the moment.

Change change change

It’s more the lack of change that is the issue for my personal life. I don’t mean my romantic life, rather things like the desire to make some changes but not having the time or energy to actually make the change. I need to change my job or career and we need to move house. Both of these things take a lot of energy and careful consideration. They are big things around which lots of important smaller things happen, like they have heavy gravity. Gravity is the problem: you need a lot of thrust to break out of Earth’s gravity and that’s what I’m lacking in my life: thrust to break out of my current gravity. The problem is more difficult because I have two gravitational things to change, my job and my house. Does anyone have any advice on how I should manage this predicament? I’m just floundering at the moment, I’m paddling but just not getting anywhere. I’m also worried about the recession: if I quit my job, what happens if I can’t get anything else? How would we cope without my income as the main breadwinner? I guess the other side of the coin is that at the moment, is it better to have stability and a steady income, even though I’m not happy at work? So many considerations! It’s overwhelming! I can’t see the wood for the trees, if you know what I mean.