iPad, iPod…really iCan’t be arsed.

So this week saw the long awaited launch of the latest thing with an i in front of it from Apple.

Working for a company that sells this stuff I really should give more of a toss, but I can’t seem to muster the enthusiasm.  I have caught a few soundbites about this new thing, and really the thing that sticks out more than any of the product features is,  just how high is Steve Jobs’ voice?  Imagine Mickey Mouse on helium.

Only dogs can hear him

I’m a bit confused by this iPad thing to be honest.

Firstly, it sounds like some sort of sanitary product, with built in wireless.  Now that can’t be a good thing.  Secondly, I was pretty sure that the world had decided that tablet PCs were, well, rubbish, and having seen sales peak at about seven worldwide, they had been consigned to the bottom drawer of the IT industry.

However, it seems if there is an i in front of the name, then it instantly becomes the MUST have product of the decade.

Don’t get me wrong, I type this here rambling on a shiny silver laptop with a picture of fruit on the lid, and my phone has the symbolic i in front of it.  Both items however are supplied by work, and I would never be able to justify the expense, heck, the inflated expense of the Apple logo from my own pocket.

My iPhone is superb, no argument, and how I lived without that App which tells me where the nearest Starbucks is I will surely never know.  This laptop, again is fine and dandy, but to the intense chargrain of many an Apple freak I am running Windows on it.  I know I will be hunted down by the Nerd Army for such blasphemy, but I just can’t get used to an Apple OS after being brought up on that there nasty Windows.

iPad

A big iPhone, without the Phone bit

Anyway, I think I shall write to Mr Jobs, as I have already developed the next big Apple release.  This week, I made the mistake of handing in my perfectly functioning 3G iPhone, tempted by the carrot of a new 3GS.  Upon doing so, everything worked perfectly….apart from the Phone bit.  So I could browse the internet, receive emails, and via a suitable App and the magic of Twitter see what several minor celebs had for breakfast.

Unfortuantely for the best part of this week, I could not text or phone anyone.  Having two girls of 12 and 14, this cut off their primary form of communication with me.  So my iPhone turned into a very small laptop.

So, with that in mind, and the new iPad thingy, my new device idea is…..wait for it…..

an iPad Mini!!!

All Steve has to do is turn off the phone bit of an iPhone and Bob’s your uncle.

So if Mr Jobs happens across this here little blog, my terms are very reasonable, and I hereby copyright said idea until your big fat cheque lands on my doormat.  Don’t bother phoning me Steve, as likely as not, it will be broken again, and even if it isn’t I won’t be able to tell what you are saying unless Henry my Cocker Spaniel is around to translate.

Till the next time…..

Why is it called rush hour, when you do everything but….

Today’s entry will be a mini (or more relevantly, a mondeo) rant.

I have been massively frustrated since xmas at the ridiculous levels of traffic on the roads.  Did everyone get a new car for xmas or something??

It seems that leaving of a morning at our usual time is no longer good enough, and I don’t think I’ve been on time for work this year.  Naturally, being of such seniority and immense import that no-one dare question this is handy!!  The main reason for the morning time delays are Emily and Rebecca, who just won’t get up.  No strike that, Rebecca will get up, but then spends just five precious minutes too many on preening, straightening, foundationing and all round beautifying.

So after soaking Emily with cold water, physically dragging her from her bed, and playing music at full volume, we always leave just those few minutes too late to avoid the stomach wrenching stress of not quite being able to arrive on time.  What do you mean you don’t get that feeling?  Are you trying to suggest that I am in some way wired a little tightly in that area?  As if.

The return home has been even worse!!  I can see no reason for these hold ups.  If I am to sit in traffic for any length of time, I expect at least some crumpled metal and a few severed limbs to gawp at as I rubber neck my way past said obstacle.  Alas, no.  It just seems to be sheer volume.

Then, as I leave the towny bits, and wind my way through the country bits of my journey home, I seem to be held up by driver after driver who think that human beings suffocate over 20mph.  If you seen the film, The Truman Show, you may know the scene when he is trying to escape the “set” and car after car suddenly appears in front of him, thwarting his progress.  Whether you know the film or not, this is what happens to me, I am convinced.

I know I should be calm in heavy traffic as I can do little about it, and getting stressed won’t help any.  However I have scientific proof that driving two inches from the bumper in front, visibly shaking my head in disgust, drumming my fingers on the steering wheel and throwing my hands up in disbelief at every half competent manouevre makes all the difference.  Well, it makes me feel better anyway.

So, if you are ever in front of a bright red Mondeo, with a balding, strangely attractive, yet stressed to hell bloke behind the wheel, spare a thought for my ever growing ulcer and either put your foot down or get out of my way!!

Thanks!!

Till the next time…..

The South, snot and Sedaka

Apologies for the radio silence for the past week.  That bloody thing called work just keeps getting in the way.

This week saw my final trip down to our Surbiton site to finish the consultation periods with the folks affected by the closure of that office.  They were surprisingly, and thankfully quite up beat about the whole thing, as most had found other jobs already.

Holiday Inn Room

Happy Holidays

Due to our usual hotel being full we were forced to go all up market and stay at the Holiday Inn instead.  Wow, amazing what an extra £20 a night can get you.  Well, if I’m honest it gets you some mood lighting, a mini bar and a couple of free pens.  Still, it was a nice place.

Due to the weather (how boring has it become to just talk about this crap weather all the time…so I won’t), I travelled by train rather than drive, and it was quite painless to be honest.  With only a minor detour around the bowels of the tube station upon changing trains at Euston, the whole trip took less than four hours!

The rest of the week has been quite uneventful work wise, and I’m sick of going to work so I’m sure you are sick of hearing about it.  Those who listen to me tweet (FOLLOW ME!!!) will know that I have a cold.  Not that I complain about it or anything, but I could have wallpapered a room with the contents of my nose this past week, with no need for any paste!!

So I returned home late on Thursday evening, and was in bed by 9.45, with sleep taking me a milisecond before my head hit the pillow.  Friday was a blur of boredom, and so to the start of the weekend.

Tube Tales

We watched a good film last night, vacating the living room for Rebecca and her friend so they could watch some horror flicks.  I dread to think what they watched!!  Anyway, back to me…this is my blog…..we watched the Taking of Pelham123 with Denzel Washington (Louise tells me he is a beautiful man) and John Travolta (Louise made no comment).

It was good, although not quite as good as I thought it may be.  Denzel has packed some pounds on for the role it seems.  I hate to see these middle aged men letting themselves go, what are they thinking!!

Then I had a bit of a revelation.  Being all high brow, I flicked over to BBC Four to see if there was some documentary on post modern art in 1950’s Poland, or similar, only to find a surreal programme from the 1980’s.  It was a sort of Audience with, television special from Neil Sedaka.  If asked to describe him I would say he is a slightly more butch version of Liberace…but only a bit more.  To paint the picture he was wearing a pink sequined tuxedo with matching cuban heels.  Well, I guess it was acceptable in the 80’s!!

Anyway, as the programme progressed I was absolutely amazed at the massive amount of classic songs he has written.  I am a big fan of songwriting, quality songwriting, and I don’t mind who does it.  I like all sorts of them from all over the specturm….let’s have a non comprehensive list…

1.  Crowded House (Neil Finn is a Kiwi Genius)

2.  McFly (Danny and Tom are massively underrated, and highly talented.  I am slightly biased as Danny is a local lad, and his parents live round the corner from the mother in law)

3.  Hue and Cry (Obscure 80’s reference, but just great songwriting overlaced with swoonsome vocals)

4.  Jellyfish (well, long term readers will know all about them.  You tube is your friend to learn more)

5.  George Michael (Class and quality over many decades)

6. Gary Barlow (no explanation needed)

7. Manilow (see, no amount of lack of crediblity can daunt my admiration for a good tune smith)

Neil Sedaka

Butch Liberace

There are many more of course, but I was truly blown away with the Sedaka, and my iPod will be taking some Sedaka home later I can assure you.  Just to highlight a few of the gems from his pen…

Solitaire

The Hungry Years

Love will keep us together

Breaking up is hard to do

Calendar Girl

Neil….much respect!!

I am a sucker for a good hook line on a song, and have scant regard for the cool factor…yes my iPod includes the Backstreet boys, Rush, the Buble, Level 42, and McAlmont & Butler amongst others.  Heck, I’ll even admit to seeing Nik Kershaw live some years ago…damn he should have been in my list too.  Forget his teenybop stuff, after that he got all grown up and wrote some belters that me and three others heard.

So there we go, I seem to have made you some sort of old school compilation tape of just a few of my favourite musical things…all because of the Sedaka.  He moves in mysterious ways.

Till the next time…..

A quick welcome to the newbies….

After a shameless plug on the Dibb Facebook page it seems a few of you kind Disney folk have been good enough to come take a look.

Welcome and thank you.

I shall try to post enough, both in terms of quantity and quality to make it worth your while.

Don’t just read and run though, please leave comments to let me know your thoughts on the ramblings that appear.

If you are truly mentally unstable, you should follow me on Twitter too.  Bite sized nonsense unabated.

Till the next time….

Cometh the Ice Age.

We’ve had some pretty terrible snow.  I know that may sound like an obvious statement, but it only seems to have made it onto the national news today as, God forbid, snow has fallen within the M25.  Due to that fact, about 90% of the news coverage at the moment is about this carnage.  Never mind the fact that we’ve been up to our nuts in the stuff for about a week!!

Anyways….

It seems we are having one of those winters that everyone says they used to have when they were younger.  A bit like all those summers in the seventies with hose pipe bans and frying eggs on car bonnets.  1976 aside I don’t recall anything like that (for the record my Dad told me about 1976 as obviously I am far too young to have any first hand knowledge of that event), and I can only remember school being cancelled a couple of times in my seemingly endless education.

So this week is a landmark event it seems, with my girls still to return to school following their xmas break, as school was closed yesterday, today, and so the school web site says, tomorrow.  I suspect some geeky fourth year has hacked the school web site and is posting closure messages myself.

I endured one day back at work on Monday following my xmas break, and all I will say is that it lived up to expectations.  Trying to get off our car park on Monday evening was eventful, but took much longer than it should as many drivers think that the best way to traverse the icy wastes is to leave the car in first gear, and simply hammer the accelerator until something happens.  Monday night saw around eight inches of snow, and so I couldn’t even get the Mondeo off the (inclined) driveway on Tuesday morning.  I tried much harder than even I thought I would, but after forty minutes I was just wet and annoyed.

Daisy the cat in the snow

Help, my paw is frozen to the door!!!

It turns out that the (un)lucky souls who were able to get in were sent home at lunch, with the snow still falling, and today has seen a closure again.  Luckily (ahem) I have a job that I am largely able to do at home…apart from all those lovely meetings I usually attend, so there has been no family fun days here, with me and the kids appearing on local news reports sledging or building a snowman in the shape of Bill Oddie.  Nope, I have been welded to the laptop, herding my team into some sort of productivity, knowing full well that I am competing with the Xbox, TV and kids, or was that just me??

The plan is to attempt to open the office tomorrow so I have been out digging to enable some sort of escape route in the morning.  Louise made it to work today (I can’t believe they didn’t just close the hospital!!!) but had a slight prang as she left the car park.  It is tricky to assess the damage in the dark, but it looks like cosmetic scratching which either a quick rub with an oily rag or some TCut will solve.  It shouldn’t take her long.

As I type Rebecca is on the front lawn with a friend building a snowman.  Knowing her attention span I am not too hopeful for having it featured on the local news tomorrow.  Emily (who didn’t surface from her pit until post lunch) is as usual glued to her laptop, whilst texting at the same time (I am so proud), using Facebook to co-ordinate her life as ever.

So, with my extended time at home seemingly done (unless I just can’t get in tomorrow…I promise I will try) reality beckons.

Typially at this tme of year, thoughts turn to holidays and the long debate about where to go (yeh right!).  However, this year is different.  That’s right, we are totally skint, and the chances of affording anything other than a postcard are remote.  Still, there are many weeks of lottery draws to go before summer so my chances are good right??

Till the next time…..