Sunday, September 30, 2007


A snippet from a conversation from my mum - this was after the usual 'We checked the obituaries and didn't see your name, so we assuemd you are still alive' and update on every member of the home town conversation.

Mum: So I set up one of those thingies and wrote you a letter and used that bit that you wrote down and it said it doesn't exist.

Matt: I have no idea what you just said, were you just picking words randomly out of a dictionary?

Mum: I have enough of that off your bloody father, don't you start!

Matt: OK, so start again - what exactly are you trying to do?

Mum: The email thingy! I made one, wrote you a letter and the thing you wrote down it says doesn't exist.

Matt:...... oh right - my gmail address? I'm sorry, it was in May and some things have happened between now and then. So you used

Mum: Yes! that's the one!

Matt: Well it should work....I'll tell you what, give me your email address and I will send you an email, that way you can just add me to your friends when you get it.

Mum: OK, all right then. You're dad's on the PC playing his silly games at the moment. You send me an email, and if it arrives I will give you a call to let you know its arrived.


Mum: Hello?

Matt:....Was I adopted?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

shiny new toy

Hah! As you can see my new phone is way more awesomer than any other phone ever. FACT! Now does anyone know of any symbian software that will let me upload direct to blogger? Blogger mobile appears to be down and currently i am emailing this stuff in from my phone.


Room with a view

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Reaper Never Sleeps....

Awesome. I smoke, I drink, I eat lots of things like cheese and pie. Now apparently the fact I generally sleep 4-6 hours a night means that death is even closer. Stupid scientists! If they didn't spend all their time working out the many and varied ways in which I am going to die we might have some better stuff and I wouldn't mind the dying young because i will have lived to have seen it! Instead all of that effort and brainpower is wasted working out new and improved ways of ruining my fun.

Dying young doesn't matter so long as you've lived to enjoy hoverboards and jetpack equipped squirrel/cow hybrids.*

*This also explains why all depictions of 18th, 19th and many 20th century scientists are so dour - they all knew that they were generations away from this pinnacle of human achievement.

Phonetastic Gibberish

Hehe, gibberish is a great word.

Anyway, over on my Techno-Whine you may have seen that I've decided to get a Nokia N95 instead of any of the other phones I've been blathering about. There is some vague attempt at a logical argument as to why I should be getting this phone. I cite both financial and technical reasons for the choice, and some people may be fooled by it. The logic does make some sense, and if you don't know me you would give me the benefit of the doubt.

Unfortunately, most of the people who read my blog do know me. What they know most is this : I'm jonesing for a new gadget, this one is new and shiny and it does almost all of the things I want it to do without being Apple or Sony.

I think the techno-blog is making me schizophrenic:

Techno-Whine Matt: Ah yes, the natural logical conclusion is for me to get the N95, for you see blahblahblah [insert tenuous logic and misdirection]

RantAMatt: So it's not just because the HTC isn't out and you want to replace your perfectly serviceable phone for something newer?

TWM: Errr....No! 'Cos I could have switched to T-Mobile, they have it available from next week!

RAM: Yeah, but that would end up costing you about 450 quid more over the course of the year - what with the discount you've been promised from Orange? I mean, you're a gadget freak and everything but you're not a blind, lobotomised monkey with no hands - you have some small amount of normal person's reasoning abilities.

TWM: Ummmmm..... The only reason I didn't think of the N95 before is because I didn't realise you could export contacts from Outlook and then...

RAM: You do know that I'm you right?

TWM: Errr...

RAM: You're not right in the head, I should never have given you your own writing space.

TWM: I'll be good....

Ah well, at least I have someone to talk to.

Friday, September 21, 2007

[Boring geek Waffle!] Ongoing Techno Saga

I've now moved my techno-whining here

The Kinks

The first ever album I bought with my own money was by the Kinks. I don't have many early childhood memories but I do remember this distinctly. I had a battered old tape player radio thingy and we went on one of our regular trips Mold market.

Anyway I was looking for something or other and my dad took me to a stall that sold cassettes. Now the next memory has probably been rose tinted somewhat.

What my brain tells me happened:

I was poking through the rack of tapes and I picked up the Kinks tape (I think it was a singles compilation of some kind), my dad made some approving noises and I bought the cassette. I left with a feeling of a job well done and I listened to the tape relentlessly - I'm not sure what happened to it but I think it broke.

What probably happened:

Similar to above but I was probably whining about having to go to Mold market - it smelled, was usually raining and my parents used to split up. This always presented a dilemma - do I use my devious child cunning to wander around with my mum, thus receive snack foods and sweets but suffer her trying to buy me shoes that were made with asbestos, acid and nails just because they are 3 pairs for a fiver - or do I go with my dad, forgo the sweets and snacks but have the possible hope of looking at power tools. On this occasion I went with my dad and I almost certainly started with cassettes more suited to a boy of my tender years but was 'encouraged' towards the Kinks. Most probably because the older artists were much cheaper. The approving sound was almost certainly an accurate memory and undoubtedly along the lines of 'Thank Christ you're not your mother's son!'. The feeling of satisfaction and the ultimate fate of the cassette remain the same.

The whole thing about not being my mother's son is understandable. She likes Neil Diamond. Couple that with the fact that she is a singer and it's a recipe for mental scarring. I don't mean that she is a singer really, more someone who sings. Badly. It's a quirk of my family that we compensate for the entirety of the Welsh nation by being utterly without musical talent or ability in any guise - especially singing. I usually have the good grace and consideration to remember this - my mother on the other hand feels no such obligations.

Everyone thinks my mum is lovely, she is a spherical whirlwind of a woman who is ace. However, it must be remembered that we were always made to choose between two evils as children. Example. Baking day (Saturday to the rest of you). Do we stay in the kitchen negotiating who gets to lick the bowl, who the spoon and who the whisk whilst enduring the ocular assault of her singing, or do we bid a retreat and spend the morning leaping off the shed roof? Which in itself brought a different kind of vocal abuse from her if she caught us. (What is it with mothers and their inability to watch their children diving headlong off garden structures/trees/bedroom windows?).

Anyway. The Kinks, i think they are awesome. The Beatles never appealed to me, I don't think their music is particularly good. This statement appears to have become against the law over the last 10 years, the very idea that someone thinks Paul McCartney is a cock and can take or leave the music of the Beatles seems to be some kind of perverse criminal act. I'm not saying they were crap, there are some tunes I quite like but I don't generally care for them. The Kinks I really like and for a lot of reasons but mainly the irreverence I think.

So The Kinks Rool, the Beatles Drool. Or something. (All this because Plastic Man played on random on my PMP on my way in this morning)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Flapjack Deception

I love flapjacks, they are more awesomer than most if not all other snacks. There are several reasons for this, but the main one is the lie that they tell with their appearance.

They are all oaty you see? Lookit all the oaty goodness!:

Healthy right? hah! That's where you are wrong! Who the hell just eats oats? What are you, some kind of weevil?! No, this marvel of modern confection is bound together with about as much butter and honey as it's possible to cram into the space allowed. This results in the flapjackey goodness you see fore you!

Now, much like the Hobnob some people will attempt to claim that the varieties that are coated in chocolate are superior. These people are deluded idiots and should be pitied. The beauty of the Hobnob (essentially a crunchy round flapjack) and the flapjack is the fact that they have a thin veneer of an appearance of being good for you. Go slapping low quality chocolate all over them and that illusion is shattered.

No. Unadulterated flapjacks and hobnobs are the only way forward.

I brought this up for many reasons:

a) I think the only thing I've blogged about recently that I've enjoyed is probably biscuits

b) I bought flapjacks and ginger bread men from the supermarket yesterday. I am embracing my old age by having a store of biccy like things in my desk draw to have with my tea at work :p

c) It's this or do some work. And nobody wants that.

.....The Flapjack Deception. Anyone else think it could work as film title? Kind of a cereal centric Bourne like film. Sod it, I did the hard bit and came up with a title, you lazy lot can do the plot!


They've moved us about in the office at work - something to do with under utilisation of deskspace. I'm not sure I understand, I had a desk for my two work stations, a desk to the right that I put a printer on and also housed my 'big pile of stuff' filing system and a section of a minion's desk to the left that was used for lunch/coffee/tea etc.

Anyway we moved, and I now have a window seat over looking the bit of grass outside and the car park. It's way more awesomer.

I now sit nearer to all the people I generally have to talk to about various things, so really it's a lot better. One side effect though, is this - Each team seemed to have it's hardcore cynic but now we are all concentrated in one part of the room, playing buzzword bingo and generating new corporate slogans. One of our biggest triumphs was with our old strap line which used to be 'Solutions that Matter'. One of our lot finished it off - 'Solutions that matter, people that don't'.

As with many things, I'm a raging hypocrite of course - I tend to be what is known in management speak as 'a go to guy' and even on occasion have a 'can do attitude'. To the rest of us, this translates into 'I've had an idea but I have no clue if it's possible or how it might be done, best ask someone else'. Anyway, I get involved as about 1 in 20 of these ideas has a glimmer of hope in it, a faint glowing ember of sense that can be brought to life just so long as you can usher it away from management before it gets crushed beneath flow charts and minutes from meetings about what font to use to describe it. So. Cynnical with an occasional flash of optimism.

Point is this, there is a concentration of cynicism in about a 10 foot radius in this building an I fear for the fabric of reality. The Universe doesn't end with a bang but with a 'I'll believe that when I see it'

Friday, September 14, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Orange mercenary

I'm definitely getting old. I just decided to do something sensible. It's incredibly out of character and hopefully it won't spread, but I'd ask you all to keep a close eye on me in case I start talking about beige.

Anyway, my exciting mobile phone saga continues. I can tell you are all on the edge of your seats, so I won't hold back. As I'm sure you'll recall from previous posts, my main reasons for moving to T-Mobile were to do with their data charges and the shiny new HTC phone that is coming out.

Well. Today I got a call from Orange - the conversation was quite lengthy, so I'll summarise:

O - "Hello Mr Jones, sorry all our other customer service people are so crap at their jobs - did none of them tell you that due to the vast quantities of cash you've spent with us over the years you are entitled to 20 pounds a month of any of our tariffs?"

Me - "No - I said 'I'd like to leave' and they said 'OK then'. It seemed like something of a risky customer retention strategy to me at the time but I didn't like to say anything. What about the data charges?"

O - "Well we cap that so the most you'll pay, if you use at least 20MB every day is 30 a month. Which is still cheaper than switching, because of your discount. They didn't mention that?"

Me - "No, as I say - 'OK then' appeared to be their master plan to get me to stay.....actually one of them did say 'what a shame' but quickly recovered herself from her emotional outburst and proceeded to imply that I was letting her down"

And so on. So I am back in my previous quandary. Do I revert to plan A and get myself a camera phone so I can actually have a camera when I go places? This is a much stronger possibility now I've seen the results of the K810i. Or do I continue to wait for the new HTC shinyness to come on to Orange? I have 4 weeks to decide but I am getting gadget itches and I should pick up a free one before I go spending money again!

It's quite good, I've only been semi-sensible - it looks like I am still driven by my gadget senses so perhaps it was a false alarm after all....

Thursday, September 06, 2007

They try to make me go to iPod I say...

Sadly the answer is probably yes,yes,yes. I'm not interested in the iPhone, only interested in a Mac if I don't want to do anything too clever or complicated but the MP3 players are very good. The software is arse, but if I'm honest the Zune software isn't too hot either and it has no podcast support.

Most importantly though, is that it's new and it's shiny. Particularly the iPod Touch, and the new nano phatty.

I am going to be good though, I am going to wait until Canada and give Microsoft a chance to come up with a decent Zune or for iRiver to pounce ;)

I just thought I would put this up because earlier in the year I was raving about the Zune, but I am flexible with my gadget loyalties and won't say something is good just because I like the brand (*cough!*iBoiyz*cough!), it's not all about the badge and if something stands still like the Zune appears to be, then I am going to get my fix elsewhere - even if it means drinking from the Devil's cup :p

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What ever happened to....?

My new website? Yeah, about that....

I did majorly stall on that one, as is always the case with me. I'm back on it this weekend though, decided to have a go at building my own blog engine so am learning php right now. Check back in 6 months to see what the new thing I absolutely 'have to know before I continue' is ;)

Monday, September 03, 2007

More of Matt's Amazing Planning

So I'm switching mobile provider to T-Mobile - this is for many reasons I shan't go into to do with tariffs, reception, service blahblahblah..... one I will highlight though is this:

Another is that they have the best data useage charges - £7.50 with a 1GB fair useage policy. But anyway, this is besides the point - this is about my genius planning abilities and how I conspire to sabotage myself at every turn (not too hard, I'm not the sharpest knife in the draw).

The problem I have is that in my infinite wisdom I cancelled my Orange contract last month (gave my 30 days notice) wih the intention of ordering my T-Mobile phone and contract this week - thus facilitating a seemless transition. Yeah, I know.

So unsurprisingly my new phone has yet to be released and I have about 4 days left on my Orange contract before I am phoneless - this means that for the few of you that are subject to my random texts and missives I shall be disappearing from the mobile world for the imminently forseeable future.

Of course a normal person would have just waited until they were sure and dropped the contract when they switched over, but this approach wasn't nearly convoluted enough, and lacked the bizarre logic that is commonly associated with most of my actions - on the plus side there are a few souls who'll benefit from a brief respite from me ;)

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