Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Flying Virgin

I'm back from America. Did you miss me? I managed to go pretty much internet free the whole time (2+ weeks!) and clocked up only 9 mins in a hotel internet room (and only because K had some minutes that needed using up).

I'll post some pictures and stories over the next few days.

The itinerary was
1 night at Heathrow (wahay!)
4 nights in New York
4 nights in Montreal
3 nights in Quebec City
3 nights in New York (so good they went there twice)

We took the train from Montreal to Quebec rather than flying and it was by far the nicest, comfiest, journey of the whole trip. A lesson learnt there: planes are shit. Especially flying cattle class across the Atlantic. We went with Virgin Atlantic. Here's my review of them (Economy Class):

Food: Actually quite good. Especially the meatballs on the outwards leg.
Booze: Decent amounts available as long as you can easily wander over to the galley to ask for it. Only a real problem if you have a sleeping person on the end of your row.
Check-in: No problems here other than on the way back we didn't get the seats we thought we'd booked online (we wanted a 2 but got a 3)
Entertainment: Excellent - a wide choice of recent films and tv, also plenty of music to listen to. Take your own headphones though - the ones they give you are crap.
Comfort: Crappy. Except for a couple of seats there's minimal legroom, especially when the arseholes in front put their seat into recline. I swear the only purpose the reclining seats have is to get a bit more space when someone has reclined into you. Sleeping was almost impossible on our overnight flight back home as I just couldn't get comfy at all.

Overall: I'm not too experienced but I suspect that VA are better than average. I reckon the trick is to get slaughtered on free booze so you don't notice that you can't move your legs.

I still don't know what possessed us to fly from Heathrow though.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Operator Dumping

I phoned up T-Mobile this morning to end my contract. The guy I spoke to was very helpful, but I felt bad doing it all the same. After all, they'd done nothing wrong. It wasn't them, it was me. And all that.

But I made the hard call and our relationship is over. I won't rule out getting back together at some point though.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Nearly time to go...

Holiday to the US and Canada starts tomorrow so today has been a lot of packing and whatnot. I think I have everything we'll need but I figure even if not, they'll have shops there.

From memory, the most important thing to take to America is ID because without that you ain't drinking. I guess you need it to get in the country too, but that feels less important as it only happens occasionally.

I've been saving GBA Final Fantasy VI for this trip as a treat. I wonder if I'll have time to finish it? I think it's quite, quite probable...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

No, it's not an iPhone

I've had my phone contract with T-Mobile (or One2One when they were called that) since I've had a phone and never had any problems. I didn't particularly have any intention of moving to a different provider. Too much hassle.

So I was a little surprised to find myself coming out of Phones 4 U this afternoon signed to Vodafone with a new phone number. My only excuses are that
a) my T-Mobile contract is up
b) the phone I wanted isn't out on T-Mobile yet
c) I was a bit hungover.

Mostly c) if I'm honest.

It's a nice phone though. A Sony Ericsson W910i. Lovely big screen and whatnot. It doesn't have a light like my old W810, and the sound quality off the internal speaker isn't quite as good but it's still a great package.

I just need now to cancel my old contract. If I'm good I'll do this within the next few days. If I'm bad, I'll leave it for months and waste a pile of money.

I'll get the new number out to everyone soon.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Radiohead's Interesting Experiment

You may (or may not) have seen that Radiohead have released their latest album, In Rainbows in a somewhat unorthodox way. Rather than sell it in shops (so 1980s) or put through iTunes or whatnot, it's available for download from a special site. Not a particularly nice looking one though. Punters can decide what price to pay for the download - from nothing right through to a billion pounds. Possibly.

Now clearly the rational thing to do from a customer's point of view is to pay the lowest price possible - after all this is what most people do when shopping. Why pay five pounds when you can pay four? One might therefore expect most people to go for the lowest price possible for the album, ie zero. I think it will therefore be interesting to see how much people do pay, if anything. My guess is that it will average two or three quid.

Personally, I have taken the following things into account when deciding what to pay.
1. Radiohead's last few albums have been a bit rubbish.
2. I'm saving for my holiday.
3. On eMusic, I pay about three pounds for an album.
4. I wouldn't buy it if it was on CD in a shop.

and most importantly,

5. I can't get the website to work.

And so I've decided to forget the whole thing for now at least.

The answer would have been £2.55 though, if you're interested.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Contractual Upgrade

After eighteen very happy months, my phone contract is up and I can upgrade. I'm definitely (well, almost certainly) going to stick with SE and my best looking option so far is the w910i.

My w810i has been amazing and to be honest, I could stick with it for some while longer but I'm never one to not upgrade to something newer and shinier if I get the chance.

And no, I don't want an iPhone.

I'll probably have to wait until after I get back from holiday, since the new thing doesn't seem to be actually available quite yet...

There's no T in Tesco

Tesco was rubbish tonight. All the wine that was on special offer was sold out. Every last bottle as far as I could tell. Also they had no Earl Grey Redbush tea. What sort of self-respecting supermarket doesn't stock Early Grey Redbush?


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Blueprints of Buildings

In The Guardian this weekend was the first in a series of new wallcharts. These ones are of buildings and show a detailed blueprint of each one. Saturday's blueprint was of the Empire State Building in New York.

It occurred to me that had I bought that edition of the newspaper in a couple of weeks when I'll be flying to New York, I might have had a hard job of explaining to the customs people why I had a blueprint of one of the largest buildings in the country in my bag. It was given away with a newspaper? A likely story.

I think it could have led to the rubber glove treatment...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Turin Brakes at Leadmill

Last night I journeyed to Sheffield to see Turin Brakes at The Leadmill. It's a while since I've been, but it didn't seem to have changed much. The two main changes were the lack of smoking (offset by a ridiculous smoke machine) and a convenient multi-storey car park right outside.


The band played an excellent set from across all the albums. I drank some cider. What more could anyone need.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

An Englishman In New York

I'm quite excited tonight as I discovered that... Morrissey!... is playing in New York when we're over there later this month. I've booked tickets. Wah Hooo!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Single servings

I ordered a BMT in Subway at lunchtime and the serving man asked me if I wanted double meat. I asked him whether he meant to ask whether I wanted double cheese. He said he meant double meat. They've never asked me that before.

I didn't want double meat as the sandwich had enough meat in already (some B, some M and some T!) so I said no thanks. He then asked me if I wanted single or double cheese, but I didn't want any cheese so I said so.

I reckon the guy accidentally said "meat" when he meant "cheese" and then tried to cover his tracks.

Or maybe I don't normally look like someone who'd appreciate double meat but today I looked extra hungry - possible as it was getting on half two before I left the office to go for lunch...

Monday, October 01, 2007

Cross-eyed from too much telly...

Tonight I saw John Nettles playing Jim Bergerac in an episode of The Detectives. Marvel do crossovers all the time in comics - there should be more of it in telly!

Here are five I'd like to see:

- Jack Bauer turning up in Spooks and not taking any shit at all.

- The episode of Porridge featuring Michael Schofield.

- Alan Dale playing a Cylon in Battlestar Galactica, who turned out to be also a Cylon when he was in Neighbours, 24, Ugly Betty, Lost etc.

- Everyone from Hollyoaks going on a plane holiday and being brought down by the thing that makes planes crash in Lost. And none of them survive.

- Matthew Corbett from Sooty in All Creatures Great And Small, putting his hand up cows and pretending they can talk.

They'd all be good. Is that job as Controller of the BBC still available?