Halloween

Trick or Treat?

Well, I bought some sweets from the local shops and waited for the trick-or-treaters. Despite the abundance of small children running around the neighbourhood in fright-masks and cloaks (and an alarmingly high number of mothers with push-chairs wearing big pointy witch-hats) nobody knocked. I am not sure if I am annoyed or relived. We had a guest tonight and so didn’t really want to be disturbed but not one knock. Perhaps I frighten the locals!

Effect Xmas

I never knew I didn’t know this.

Recently I may have professed that I knew the difference between affect and effect and it is confirmed for me today online at Common Errors in English. I did not think that Xmas was a way of removing the Christ from Christmas but more of a lazy person’s way of avoiding writing letters. Turns out, I was wrong and the X is an abbreviation of the Greek for Christ [Source]. Just goes to show that I know nothing.

Phones and PDAs

I have spent the last few days trying to decide if I should update my ‘phone with Orange and today I have decided against.

I have spent the last few days trying to decide if I should update my ‘phone with Orange and today I have decided against. I have been contemplating upgrading my phone to one of those ‘phones that is both PDA and ‘phone. I am hoping this would stop me carrying multiple devices around with me and, also, ensure that I was in sync across all the things I use to try and orgainse my life. Sadly, I have decided there isn’t a device for me.

The Orange SPV seems to get me a lot of the way but the ‘phone hasn’t had the greatest reviews and, to be honest, if I was going to pay that much money I think I would like either Bluetooth or a camera built it (apparently, the next version will have both of these things). It also features a MP3 player that will, of course, play WMA format. I won’t get started on music formats – I am sure there is a whole post there.

Now the Treo 600 also interests me. It is a combined PDA and phone and will be able to utilise most of the palm-related software that I have already installed and use on my trusty Palm Vx. The Real One Mobile that you could use on the Treo doesn’t play WMA files which means that I would have to re-encode most of my music and, as I am not that much of an audiophile, I’d rather have the disc space.

Now, neither of these devices does all I need or want and I am not going to spend that much money yet. My Nokia 7650 tries to sync contacts and a diary but doesn’t do it very well. I looked at the Sony Ericsson T610 but it doesn’t seem to be much of a leap on from the Nokia I have.

So, what’s my wish list? A Palm-powered device which is also a ‘phone and decent MP3 player. If I had the money it would also be Bluetooth and WiFi enabled. One day, somebody will make it, I’ll have the money and we’ll meet in a shop on Oxford Street.

Oh, and if you have tips on getting the Nokia 7650 to sync well (not just sync, but sync well) with the Outlook I use in the office, then please let me know.

The Quiet American

Michael Caine is excellent in The Quiet American.

The Quiet AmericanThanks to the joy of dvdsontap, I have just watched Michael Caine in The Quiet American, the adaption of Graham Greene’s novel about an American spy, Alden Pyle (Brendan Fraser).

Pyle is a US agent who is backing an anti-communist force in Vietnam and befriends British journalist Thomas Fowler (Caine) before ending up part of a love triange with local Vietnamese girl, Phuong (Do Thi Hai Yen).

Caine was superb as the Siagon-based reporter – an understated performance that steals the show. The movie is well produced and the atmosphere of the Far-East brilliantly portrayed. I would never have gone to the movies to see this but I am so glad that I added it to the DVD list.

CD or not to CD?

Just bought another CD.

I’ve just been out and bought Erasure’s Hits collection. Now, I own all the original albums so I am not entirely sure why I went and bought it. Still, I now own the CD so it can sit on the shelf alongside all the others and I will pride myself that my Erasure album collection is complete.

Phil Gyford posted an interesting question about CDs and what would happen if they were all stolen. I have ripped a good number of my CDs but I would miss the originals if I didn’t have them. There appears more value in holding an original CD case with the lyrics, photographs and the notes. I would have to try and replace a good number of them because I would miss them. A little like software, it’s good to have all the originals just in case something happens.

Writer’s Block?

I just can’t seem to get it together to write the things I want to write. Is it writer’s block?

I really wanted to write something about motivation but I am not able to motivate myself to think about what’s buzzing around in my head. To be honest, I am beginning to think that my ability to compose sentences and string together words is leaving me. It’s not that I have any difficulty thinking about the things I would like to write here but I have difficulty actually writing it. My head is full of random thoughts but I am not managing to get them into anything coherent. Failing in this way is actually proving to be quite depressing to be honest.

I wanted to write about a post over at Strange Little Boy which talks about using a wireless connection in a public place – but I can’t get to the point of that one.

I also wanted to write about the development of online technologies and my personal frustrations seeing a lot of the technologies I am interested in being developed outside of the UK. Again, I am suffering some kind of block.

So, I am off to meet a friend for pizza this evening. This will allow me to clear my mind with friend-pizza-eating-trivia and, also, to avoid the television which, after last night’s Dawson’s marathon, will be no bad thing for my brain. Perhaps I shall welcome tomorrow with a clearer mind.

Today On The Creek

Four episodes of Dawson’s Creek. I may need a doctor.

Kerr Smith in Dawson's CreekI just watched four Dawson’s Creek episodes in a row. Have I, somehow, wasted an evening? Well, anyway, it included episode 611 where Jack and David eventually kiss (review). The annual gay kiss was somewhat lacking in any emotion. Still you do get to look at Kerr Smith!

It Was 20 Years Ago

What was number one in October 1983?

It’s twenty years since Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon was the UK’s number one selling single (full list). I really remember the video set in Mississippi (but I don’t imagine it was actually filmed there). I suspect it would be very dated now … all together now, “Every day is like survival, You’re my lover, not my rival …”

Another Year, Another Autumn

It’s my favourite of seasons again. Autumn!

As the British tend to do, we will look back on this past summer with joy. We’ll talk about it like we did that of 1976 – a long, hot, lazy, crazy summer. I was more likely to be playing in a paddling pool than worrying about shortages of the plastic pools back then but I do remember the heat and picking the fruit from my father’s fruit bushes while sitting in the back garden. Sadly, the topless lads playing football on the green behind my house has given way to to the Sunday morning rugby matches. This is a sign of the on-coming winter as the fields turn from their burnt golden grass to a dark-brown mud bath. Still, autumn comes first and it’s my favourite of seasons. I think it’s time I got the camera out to start recording some of it.