28 February 2010

¡Estoy Muy Impresionado Con O2!

Just because an innovative sub-company of a British institution gets spun off into its own company and then sold to a Spanish giant, doesn't automatically mean things are going to go downhill...  I've been relatively intrepid about likely changes to my mobile coverage and costs since Telefonica took over O2, however none have been revealed (so far).  So last year why Sky started playing silly buggers with their Talk and Broadband packages (basically taking them off the BT newtork to their own new network, so if you ever wanted to leave you would lose service for several days) with the mis-leading promise of faster speeds (but some customers, including me, would actually get a slower speed) but a 75% reduction in download allowance - and of course increased costs(!) I decided to look around for a new provider and O2 won my business (for my 10th year of having ADSL!).  So, after the long-winded preamble how have they impressed me?  This is the email I got a few weeks ago:

We’re sorry but your O2 Home Broadband will be slower than normal between this Saturday 08:00am and Sunday 08:00am. A transport company is doing some major track side maintenance work where we have some cables, which will affect the speed of your broadband service.  Even though this is beyond our control, we’re sorry.

Wow!  Pre-emptively warning me about possible interference in my internet access and it's not even their guys doing the interfering!  ¡Muy impresionado!

27 February 2010

Wishing You A Merry Valentine's Day & A Happy New March!

The end of the anti-penultimate day in February and there is a blizzard of snow in the centre of Edinburgh. It's like the good ol' days, at least according to one source who had thick snow some 20+ years ago in the beginning of April!  Chances of that this year...?  Oh yes, taxi!

24 February 2010

Almost Got My Ducks In A Row...

Contrary to the ridiculous business expression, ducks don't like lining up in straight rows and they also have a tendancy to move about the place. Maybe it's the snow that has forced them to queue up just for this shot...

Extra prize for anyone who can identify the 'ducks' for me!

Although, now that I think of it, this post could easily be an analogy for my life right now (except for not remembering the names of birds... ;-) !

21 February 2010

Mum's The Word For Pre-School Ed-you-kay-shun...

This isn't a top secret revelation, although I do firmly believe the authors would prefer this be kept quiet, but I do have to give credit to my Mother of all people for this posting.  Quite simply Sefton Council (as in Merseyside) have a new leaflet out to tell new parents what grants are available to help their babies get the best head-start in their life-long learning journey.  I think any parent would be happy if their child could read (or spell)...

19 February 2010

What Is Real? It Seems Everything On TV Is Fake!

There are many things in life that make me question my beliefs and assumptions about the world.  In the realms of TV, I believed very little of what I saw.  In fact, I should have believed even less as the few things I knew were real ... have turned out to be fake!  The world is not as my TV tells me, locations aren't as they appear and, not in an environmentalist way, the world is green!  Am I just babbling nonsense?  Probably, so watch this video from Stargate Studios and be prepared to never again look at a TV show the same...  Credit to TV Squad for posting this first and me for having the ability to read that post!

12 February 2010

Scousers Here, Scousers There, Scousers ... erm Not In Parliament?

Do Labour really not want any MPs in the next parliamentary session? In a relatively safe Labour seat with the main opposition being the Lib Dems, we have a sitting MP who is standing down. This seat is last year's Capital of Culture, and my home town, Liverpool. So which incredible talent do the reach out to as the next candidate? Paul McCartney? Cilla Black? Daniel Craig? Craig Charles??? No. Apparently the Liverpudlian candidate was not good enough for the Labour Party and they went with Luciana Berger. No, not the daughter of Patrick Berger, former Czech Republic and Liverpool FC star, but instead the one from nearby LONDON!
This has caused an outrage! She foolishly agreed to be quizzed by the Liverpool Echo on Liverpool's history and from what I can tell she only managed to name one of The Beatles and has no idea who Bill Shankly was or who performed Ferry Across The Mersey! Aside from countless questions being raised within the Labour Party, they now face a huge threat to their vote share with Comic Actor and famous Socialist Labour Party supporter, Ricky Tomlinson (from nearby Blackpool), trying to stand against her! So come May we can expect Labour to lose, maybe the Socialist Labour Party or Lib Dems to win, but the biggest winner will be David Cameron with a majority one greater than it would have been if sense had of prevailed.

11 February 2010

Why Is Michael McIntyre Starring As The Wolfman?

Just back from watching The Wolfman and there are several things that have surprised me about this film.  I believe it has been delayed by many months which it spent in post-production and I'm pleased that this hasn't made it into a long and drawn out film.  Yes, it is a little bit schizophrenic at times, but the acting, the direction, the sets, the special effects and the make up are all very professional.  In fact on the, I'm stunned how they managed to take 21st Century comedy maestro Michael McIntyre and age him slightly to be the lead actor:

The film is quite enjoyable, doesn't bore you at any point and has a nice sprinkling of loud noises / jump out scenes as well as some hardcore gore (similar to Daybreakers in not pulling any punches).  From the opening titles, you realise that this is a remake of a classic Hammer horror film about "The Wolfman".  It's not a serious thriller about werewolves nor a teen flick about love between monsters.  All it tries to do is tell the story of this one Wolfman and it does that pretty well.  That said, there are times especially in the first half hour were the direction and acting comes across as a serious drama or suspense thriller which at the time does confuse you.  When you leave and you recall the opening titles, the main sequence in the middle and the closing scene, you know that it is very good and modern Hammer horror film which does entertain.

10 February 2010

Finally ... A Social Network For Bees!

I'm really happy that the human-centric web has finally reached out to our cousins, the delicate bees, and created them their own social network called Buzz (unconnected to the directory service from AT&T).  It seems it's all part of Google's "do no evil" strategy and has nothing to do with facebook or twitter and the on-going battle for the future of mankind (aka the internet).  I went to see what the, erm, hub-bub was all about and low and behold, Google think I'm so important they have created a profile of me (very flattering, much better than being profiled in a serial killer kind of way!).

2 February 2010

Happy New Decade With A Grainy Picture!

What happened to January...?  Any way, here's how I welcomed in the new decade, kneeling in the middle of the frozen Union Canal with a glass of champagne in my hind.  Start as you mean to go on...