Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Spaghetti Meganese

I was sure I'd written about this before, but after some searching I came up blank so I guess not. The best I could find were just references to it, mainly on my Twitter and I decided that I just had to share my spaghetti meganese with everyone!

Now to be honest it's pretty much your "normal" spaghetti bolognese, but I always put in kidney beans for extra substance as well as leek... oh and the quantity is also doubled/trebled on what you'd normally make too!

1 kg of beef mince

Add 2 leeks and 2 onions

Start the spaghetti cooking

Add kidney beans

Add 2 jars of Dolmio Extra Spicy Bolognese sauce

Drain the spaghetti

Cover with cheese!

Put remainder into unstainable containers to go in the fridge for future consumption!

My cooking skills might be pretty limited, but spaghetti meganese is something I get right every time and it was yummy! :)

Monday, 29 November 2010

Hasselhoff vs. Oscillating Fan

This was one of the adverts on my Facebook a few days ago so you may have seen it, but Facebook advertising is pretty targeted so there's a possibly you haven't. I was intrigued, clicked the link and... OMGWTFBBQ?!

Well see for yourself... the first 33 seconds of each video are actually the same, until the "choice" is made:



How bizarre eh?! Weirdest antivirus advert EVER?! But there's more - click here for the link to the Norton site where you can also see a Dolph Lungren vs. a Unicorn!! :)

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Now I know it's nearly Christmas!

Reason 1:

I received my first Xmas card!

Thank you Jess!

Reason 2:

The whole UK seems to be getting snow except for where I live, but thankfully that's now changed as you can see from the picture taken when I left work today:

Okay so it hasn't really snowed and it's more of a light coating, but still... better than nothing! But more promising is that the Met Office just issued a flash warning for snow - Yippee!! I'm crossing my fingers, although if it does snows then that'll mean I will probably have to stop wearing shorts and switch to more conventional winter clothes... hmmm. :)

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

I've got my advent calendar!

I don't think I've had an advent calendar for quite a few years now (mainly because I keep forgetting to buy one!), but this year I have one and I'm very excited! But there's no chocolate in this one and instead I have... LEGO!

Yep behind each door is about 5-10 pieces to make a little Lego toy - Awesome!! :) I especially love the ages 5-12 in the bottom left hand corner too... 12... 32... close enough eh? :) LOL. These aren't new, I've seen them for quite a few years now and Playmobil do some as well, but I've never bought one because of the price (£25/US$40!) This year I figured what the hey and treat myself to an early Xmas present! :)

But that's not all and it gets better, the tops folds out to properly display the calendar/doors as well as makes a "scene" for placing all the objects on:

I'm assuming there's lots of train related things... if not I have no idea why there is a train track on there! If you know otherwise though, please don't tell me, I'd rather find out as I open them! :) Roll on December 1st so I can open door number 1!

On a different topic, remember how yesterday I said I'd frantically read all of "Kiss of Life", the second "Generation Dead" book by Daniel Walters? Well today I can report that I've now read the 3rd book too! It's called "Passing Strange" and I found it even more gripping than the other two books (is that even possible?!)

See back an entry for a brief synopsis of the series (because there's no point in me typing it again!), but the key difference in this book was that it's largely written from the perspective of a different character, my favourite one in fact and explained a lot about their back story, but thankfully unlike the other two... it DOESN'T end on a cliffhanger. Phew! I was really worried about that because (as far as I know) there aren't any plans for a 4th book so I didn't want this one to be ending leaving us all wondering about something. It has however left it open so it would certainly be possible to have a 4th book so I can hope he does, although as it is I'm very happy with how it all came together in the end.

I know books about zombies probably sounds really unthrilling, but the best bits (in my eyes) aren't really about the zombies, but how everyone else interacts/avoids/hates/loves them etc. It's a good series and really easy to read (as demonstrated by the fact I've ploughed through two of the three books in only two days!)

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

What arrived in your post today?

Before I explain the title of the entry, I just wanted to pop in that I've finished reading "Kiss of Life" by Daniel Waters (the 2nd book in the Generation Dead series). The ideas behind the series is that some (but not all) teenagers are coming back from the dead and are able to do pretty much everything still, just a lot slower (it depends on the person though). They've being reintegrated back into society, but they come up against a lot of prejudice as well as some severe problems because they have no legal rights and aren't recognised as any sort of living entity. So I started reading the 2nd book and much like the 1st one, I just couldn't put it down until I'd read it all... this guy knows how to grip the audience!

The problem is that (also like the 1st book!) it ended on quite the cliff hanger... so I had to immediately start reading the 3rd book to find out what happened! It wasn't until about 4 chapters in that I felt comfortable leaving it and called it a night lol.

Back to the title of the entry though, guess what I got in the post today? :)

Yep weedkiller and labels (for printing postage on for Xmas cards etc). I thought I best put them in the same picture because a picture of weedkiller or labels is boring no matter what you try and do so I figured I might as well get both over in one go! :) But yeh, it just goes to show you really can buy anything off the Internet and thanks to Amazon Prime, even the delivery for that rather heavy weedkiller was free - Woo! :) That's not the only post I got though, I already received:

Old school eh? :) I've got quite a lot of the Rubik's puzzles (Magic is my favourite followed by the Clock), but I don't actually have a Cube - I do now! :) I know there's about a million pages on the web on how to solve this thing, but I want to try and work it out for myself, that's the fun part isn't it? :)

Sunday, 21 November 2010

GBird and Neman day!

Lucy came round and amazingly we managed to cram in so much stuff! First of all we made nachos and watched Ponyo, which is the latest Studio Ghibli film. Both of us are big fans of their stuff and I actually have all of their films on DVD, but neither of us had seen this one yet and even though I've had it months, it's just our "thing", we can't watch latest Ghibli film until we both watch it together! It was pretty good though although the ending was a rather large "WTF?!". As always no spoilers so I can't give any details and it didn't feel like a bad ending, but a real "huh?" still, a good film! :)

After this we headed into a nearby town to look around. Neither of us had been there in years and there wasn't much to do (it was pretty small!), but Lucy managed to get a 2011 diary and both of us bought pick 'n' mix sweets! I haven't bought that stuff in about 15 years... so naturally went rather overboard - when don't I go overboard? :)

£6.74/US $10.67 worth of pick 'n' mix!

Awesome eh? It's hardly been touched yet, I'm sure it'll be eaten over the next week! Oh and interestingly, the shop was in the site of what used to be a "Woolworths" (because they went out of business) and it's replacement store is pretty much exactly the same inside and is amusingly called "Alworths" - Ha! :)

Soon after this we headed back to mine and played on Wii Party for a bit (it's great!) before ordering a chinese takeway and we watched Zoolander whilst eating it. We had 1/2 crispy aromatic duck between us for starters, although we also ordered wan tons, sesame prawn on toasts and spring rolls. It was too much and most of the spring rolls and prawn toasts weren't eaten. Boo! :( For the main course I decided on something random that I'd never had before:

Eight Treasure chicken Peking style with beef fried rice

All emptied out onto the plate

Sadly I was rather full up from everything else so hardly touched it, quite a waste I know. I picked out the chicken, but that was about it. Shame really it tasted rather nice! Lucy ordered "crispy shredded beef with orange and cointreau sauce" and she didn't like it at all. I tried it and I could see why, it just tasted... weird. The parts in the orange sauce were way too orangey and the parts not in the sauce were dull/bland, there wasn't any inbetween :( Oh well it was still yummy! :)

After Zoolander finished we decided to play on Guitar Hero 3 for a bit and it was the first time in ages for both of us and my god we're out of practice! We did a few songs on easy (that's the one using only 3 chords!) and then trying doing that Dragonforce song (yes THAT one) and even on easy... it still felt like a nightmare so we decided to call it quits for now! We moved onto Wii Homebrew and played Bubsy the Bobcat (SNES) and then Sonic the Hedgehog (Megadrive/Genesis) and then Fantastic Dizzy (Megadrive/Genesis) and then decided to watch Toy Story 3 :)

I've seen it before, but it was Lucy's first time and it's a great film. After it finished we were randomly flicking around on TV for something else to watch and then she headed back home (at which point I rushed online to update this blog!) :)

Awesome day! I wonder how many times I use the words awesome and epic in a week... :)

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Throw-away Bluetooth

I was trying to do some stuff with Bluetooth earlier in the week, but couldn't find my Bluetooth USB adapter anywhere... so I ordered another one. The problem is this isn't the first time I've "misplaced" one of these and I think this is actually the *4th* one I've bought!

As you can see they're frickin' tiny so it's no wonder I keep losing them, but they're also so cheap (this one was £3.99 INCLUDING delivery!) that if you haven't got a clue where it is, it's actually more convenient to just buy another one considering what's really quite a low cost and save yourself hours of searching... I know that's terrible isn't it? :( I promise to try and look after this one! :)

Thursday, 18 November 2010

But can your phone do this?

Now to be completely honest, emulators have been around a LONG time, even on mobile phones (I used to play Sega Megadrive/Genesis games on my Sony Ericsson P900 way back in 2003 using PicoDrive!), but I've never had a phone emulate some popular consoles as well as my lovely new HTC Desire Z does!

I've installed emulators for Super Nintendo, Sega Megadrive (Genesis), Gameboy, Gameboy Advance and... Sony PlayStation! Summing up the rest of this entry in one sentence... My phone can play Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario and Final Fantasy VII! :) Here's some funky pictures doing just that!

Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Megadrive)

Super Mario World (Super Nintendo)

Super Mario Kart

Nifty eh?! It took a little while to get the button configuration to something that "work" (and need to change slightly for some games), but it works just fine! Infact this entry wouldn't really be complete without a video so here's a quick video of me playing various games on it! (Okay it's 5 minutes long so it's not exactly quick, but meh...)

The games in order are Sonic 2 (Mega Drive), Super Mario World (SNES), Super Mario Kart (SNES), Bubsy (SNES), Streets of Rage 2 (Mega Drive), Ecco the Dolphin (Megadrive) and Final Fantasy VII (PS1).

Even with the framerate of the video lowered to the 15fps and the quality lowered for a smaller filesize you can see they all run really well, even Final Fantasy VII although I admit it does suffer a bit of slowdown in places, but it's more than playable :) The hardest part was actually locating my original CDs, but once I'd found them it was just a case of copying them to the memory card of the phone! :)

I've got loads more games on there, but you get the idea... It rocks and I'll never be bored ever again! :)

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The Host

I've been reading Stephenie Meyer's "The Host" on and off for what feels like months now, but I've finally finished it. If you don't know what the basic story is, planet Earth has been invaded by a species of parasites/souls that literally take over bodies and true humans are pretty much an endangered species forced to live on the run. The book follows the story of one of the souls (Wanderer) who's just arrived on Earth and at the start of the book she's just starting her human life.

I know a lot of people really liked this book and having enjoyed the Twilight series I wanted to read this too, but to be honest it took me a LONG time to get into it. It just seemed ages before anything really happened. I didn't find reading it a chore though (unlike Kate Mosse's Labyrinth...), but as you can tell I wasn't exactly gripped either.

Towards the end I was getting interested to see how it would turn out and I did think the ending was pretty good (no spoilers here!). I did like that there wasn't any obvious path as to where the book was going (or at least I didn't think so!) and although I thought up about 4 different ways it could have ended... I wasn't even close! I've heard there is the possibility of a movie conversion which I'll be interested to see, although they'll have to do something to make it more exciting! :)

Just to clarify though, I am glad I read it and although it didn't make me want to not put the book down until it was all read, I did find the story very enjoyable... once it finally got going :)

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Let there be... murkiness?

Last week at work we had a powercut and although I have a huge flashlight in my car, that was only good for an hour before the battery ran down. So I decided I really should have some sort of dynamo powered light to go in my car so at least I wouldn't be in total darkness! I've got one at home (radio/torch/alarm), but that's at home for home use... :) So I went shopping and settled on:

How impressive does that look? Well probably not very impressive as it's a small picture and it's covered in plastic, but believe me... IT LOOKS IMPRESSIVE! :) LOL. I picked this one because is has 12 LEDs and you can either have 4, 8 or the full 12 on at anyone time and it even says that 1 minutes winding is 20 minutes of light (probably on the lowest mode!), but that's sounds pretty cool right? Got it home...ripped it open... turned off all the lights and hit the power button expecting to be dazzled...

Hmm. No that's not a bad photo, that's actually what it looks like and how much it illuminates on FULL POWER. Okay so it's technically "light".... but you can't do anything with it! You could avoid walking into things based on their shadows... but THAT'S ABOUT IT! :S Very disappointed :(

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Xbox 360, GoldenEye, Wii Party and Triangle

Guess what is currently sat in my living room? A shiny Xbox 360! Well actually it's not shiny (it's sort of matt white/grey), but it's the first one I've ever seen an it's in my house so that's sort of worth a "oooh!" right? :)

Check out all the mess/cables/Transformer/board games laying around it, my living room is a little messy right now lol. Also, Carrie even created me my own "sign-on" (I think I'm using the right terminology!):

That looks like me right?! Well I think we need to add a bit of weight to the guy, but other than that... he's even wearing a dark polo-shirt and beige shorts like I often wear! I thought it was quite cool and looks quite a bit more realistic than my character on the Wii! :P

Like I've said above I've never even seen an Xbox, but it we played of Street Fighter 4 (it's great, but not as good as Super Street Fighter 2!), Burnout Paradise City (I've got this on the PC so I'm quite familiar with it), Classic Prince of Persia (it's way harder than it used to be!), etc. It was fun! :)

I also bought some new games for my Wii, namely the re-released GoldenEye game and Wii Party, both of which they're actively showing on TV at the moment.

I used to play GoldenEye on the N64 years ago (way back in 1997!) and it was fantastic. My brother, father and I spent many hours playing via splitscreen trying to kill each other and it was just brilliant fun. Unfortunately I forgot one rather large problem. Every 3rd person shooter than I have ever played since then I've played on the PC with a mouse! (Quake series, Half-Life series, Counter-Strike series, Killing Floor, L4D series and who knows how many others) Using a joypad now just seems really uncontrollable and to be completely I have no idea how all those Call of Duty people do it... I went crazy after about 3 seconds.

With a mouse I can do some really sensitive movement VERY quickly, even 180 degree flip in a fraction of a second... but with a joypad... it doesn't matter how sensitive it is or how hard you push the analogue stick, no way is it as sensitive as a gaming grade mouse... :s I tried playing with a GameCube controller and even changing my controls around, but I got absolutely slaughtered, Carrie would annihilate me very quickly with hardly any effort and even putting my lack of skill/complete joypad discomfort aside we both felt rather disappointed with the whole game, it just seemed like an obvious attempt to get money from people who remembered and enjoyed the original. Boo. I know I should try and get some more practice, but if anyone has used a mouse with a first-person shooter and then tried a joypad... you know what I'm talking about!

However, I had also bought Wii Party and THAT was absolutely brilliant. Here's some pictures from it:

We managed to get 100% on the teamwork games!

We also worked together to keep the boat balanced

Whilst playing one of the games we were dressed up smartly too!

There are lots of multiplayer games and whilst some are purely luck based, a lot of them require some sort of skill and if you do the teamwork ones (as mentioned above) you really need to work together to progress and it's just really enjoyable.

There's also a sort of "Mario Party" game which takes about an hour (you go round an island trying to get to the goal), but unlike Mario Party it's MUCH QUICKER! What drove me nuts about Mario Party (other than the constant set backs!) was the amount of text you had to click though, the constant pauses, the interuptions... everything that stopped you from actually PLAYING and as such I rarely play Mario Party 8 (Wii) because of this!

I totally recommend "Wii Party" and you can get it for about £25 for the game only and £30 with a (white) Wiimote. Although I already have 4 Wiimotes I bought the Wiimote one simply because they cost about £20 new and I figured it'd be helpful to have a spare considering the small amount extra it was!

Finally, I also bought two new DVDs for us to watch, The Abandoned and Triangle. So far we've only watched Triangle and although I really did enjoy it... it was weird! We were discussing it through the film and although I can't tell you anything about it without actually giving the story away! Wikipedia describes it as a "psychological thriller", but do NOT read the Wikipedia entry because it'll give away the twist within seconds of reading the plot (which although you work it out as it's unfolding, you really don't want to know it in advance!) :)

Saturday, 13 November 2010


I went into Bristol on Friday evening with Carrie, Chris and Vix and we went to Wongs Chinese restaurant. I ended up getting a bit lost and missed the (very small) entrance to the car park and ended up a bit late, but thankfully no one minded too much! :)

After being shown to a table we started looking through the menus to decide what to order. However it wasn't until about 5 minutes later did I realise that the reason I couldn't find the meals that everyone else was mentioning was because I was looking at the wine menu. Oops. :) You'd think that I'd want to limit my embarrassment, but oh no, I promptly updated my Twitter with this information :)

We decided on 1/2 between us all for starters and OMG there was a lot of duck:

Check out all that duck!

Mega duck pancakes!

At first we were all trying to be conservative to make the duck last as long as the pancakes, but it soon became obvious that we had way too much duck for the number of pancakes so heaping it on was the only way. It's extra yummy in big quantities so I was glad of this anyway!

For main course I decided to have lemon chicken with shredded BEEF fried rice. Yes I know, chicken with beef rice is just weird... but it's really nice! It's something I tried at the Catonese restaurant with Laura and Leah and I think it's "my thing" now :) There was tons of chicken and tons of rice and I think I did a pretty good job of demolishing it and only left a little rice.

Nom nom nom!

The restaurant itself was really good and the food tasted very yummy so I'd definitely go back there again, my only complaint was that we had to ask for the bill *3* times! We weren't in any urgent hurry so this wasn't a huge issue, but still... :) I had joked that we should do a runner as they obviously didn't want us to pay (it's in my "101 things to do before you die" book), but we all agreed we'd feel way too mortified to actually do something like that, so I have no idea how I'll ever manage to cross that one off! But back to the restaurant, they had possibly the coolest dragon chopstick holders ever so I think that makes up for the bill issue:

Coolest chopstick holders ever?!

Fantastic evening! :)

Friday, 12 November 2010


Actually the title should be "Bonsai", but this sounded much cooler! My bonsai trees are finally growing!

They also look suspiciously like the Xmas tree that I tried to grow in 2009 - Do all trees look the same when they're growing?! Has anyone grown bonsai trees before? The instructions said after 3 weeks I was supposed to be put them in the FRIDGE for another 3 weeks (?) so they could germinate... do I still need to do that if they're visibly growing?!

Also, anyone want to guess how long before I kill this one too? (Like I did the Xmas tree, the venus flytrap, the pitcher plants, the strawberry plant and although not a plant, more recently the triops!)

Place your bets now! (Hey I got a Banzai reference in after all - Awesome!) :)

Thursday, 11 November 2010

New addition to my car

As I bought a new phone last week and I've just paid off the finance on my car, what's the first thing I did? Punch some holes in the dashboard of course!

Actually no I didn't, I found a company called Brodit who not only make device specific holders, but they also make CAR specific mounting units and the best part is all their mounts don't damage the car! I admit even after reading how it would connect for my specific car I was rather sceptical (it clips in between the joints in the dashboard and loops back on itself to make a tight fit), but after having actually "installed" it (which took all of 2 minutes!), I'm really impressed and as long as I remove it carefully I don't think it'll have damaged the car either as they claimed, just need to be careful as it bends the plastic around the gap to get the clip in/out).

Now the obvious problem is that I can no longer actually see the button for "heated rear window", although you can still easily press it, just can't actually "see" if it's on. However considering it turns itself off automatically (and you need to push it to turn it on) I don't see this being a huge problem :)

Oh and if you were wondering why there is a black bump on the side of the cradle, that's the micro USB charging port. It's a bit bizarre that on this phone they put it on the SIDE not the bottom (it's the bottom if you open the keyboard/swivel it) but this cradle works really well and it snuggly slides in/locks and they have the power lead automatically looping round the back and down a spiral power cord to the cigarette lighter (which on my car is straight below!). So as you can see in the picture the power lead is visible, but since it's straight down it's all very tidy! :) Brodit do actually make a hardwired version of the cradle, but that wasn't something I really wanted to do.

My only complaint is the tiny blue LED in the cigarette plug. As far as I know those LEDs don't drain much power so I should be fine to leave it plugged in all the time (my stereo headunit permanently glows red even when the car is turned off) although I have emailed them about it to ask for specific power information and if needed I'll create a "test" 12V situation to see how much power its drawing without the phone plugged in (and then do the maths on how long the battery should last!). So yeh it's a bit annoying that they put an LED in it at all, but I'm sure it'll be okay :)

Oh and not really about the car, but sort of related: I love my new phone, it's so cool! :)

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Let Me In and Left 4 Dead 2

Richard and I went to the cinema tonight and we decided to see "Let Me In" and I really enjoyed it. Well, as much as you can enjoy a film that is creepy, twisted, bizarre and gory... :) If you didn't know, it's a film about a young girl and her father who move into an apartment complex and the girl befriends the boy next door, except she has a secret - she's a vampire. I can't really say much else as anything I say will actually give away the plot, although I will say I found it sort of a reverse Twilight (the girl being the vampire and it's considerably more violent/things actually happen!).

I was also going to say that I thought the story actually seemed quite original and didn't feel like anything I'd seen before... except apparently it is actually a remake of a 2008 Swedish film! I spent most of the film trying to work out who the girl was as well as she seemed familiar, well to save everyone else the trouble, she's "Hit Girl" from "Kick-Ass". Or maybe it's just me who gets bugged when they can't remember where else they've seen people? :)

But, once again, I'm completely off topic so summing up: Let Me In = Very good and I'll be buying on DVD/Blu-ray when it's released :)

It sort of amuses me how "popular" the undead is at the moment (there's vampire/zombie stuff everywhere!) and on that topic, I wanted to say about Left 4 Dead 2. I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but it's my favourite zombie killing game, largely because it's quick and you can play an entire game in ~40 minutes... or if you're with a bunch of crazy people and you all want to do a speed run, you can complete campaigns in 19 minutes! (and probably even less!)

It was total madness, we just RAN shooting anything in our way and only stopping if we had to and if anyone got caught and we couldn't easily save them... they got left behind - Heh :) We did 2 of the campaigns in 19 minutes and 1 of them in *14* minutes although afterwards I found out that we were only on "Easy" difficulty for that one, so I don't think that counts! Whilst doing one of the speed runs though I came across this and I must have seen it a million times, but I never even thought about it:

Is it just me, or is that Generation 1 Optimus Prime!? :) It even has the silver stripe! COOL! :)

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Triops - One week later!

Pictures apparently say 1,000 words... I won't have to write much then! :)

They'll be big enough to start eating people soon... (probably not...) :)

Edit: They're dead! *sob* Less than 3 hours after I took the above pictures and now they're both sat motionless at the bottom of the tank (and no they're not sleeping!)

I don't get it... their climate/water hasn't changed... they were last fed about an hour or two before the original pictures... and yet now they're both dead! :( This is why I shouldn't have pets :(

Monday, 8 November 2010

The Social Network

Helen and I went to see "The Social Network" on Saturday evening, the movie about how Facebook began. Considering it's been out a few weeks now I wasn't expecting it to be very busy, but there were two hundred or so people also seeing the same showing as us. The movie itself didn't feel like it was two hours long and it kept my interest all the way through and I found it quite fascinating to watch how things had developed, assuming it's accurate that is!

One of the things I was wondering about is if Mark Zuckerberg is really as socially inept as the film made him out to be. Oh and useless bit of information, but did anyone else notice that the two Winklevoss brothers are played by the SAME actor? I know that identical twins aren't that common, but still... wouldn't it have been easier to find actual identical twins than a lot of camera trickery/body double? I also think that "they" had the best line of the film as well: "I'm six-foot-five, 220 pounds, and there's two of me" - Ha :)

Although I'd probably watch it again if it was on TV, I'm not sure it's a movie I'd ever buy on DVD because I really can't imagine anyone wanting to repeatedly watch it (it's great, but it's not THAT entertaining!) although talking of Facebook... did anyone else notice about the new feature they snuck in where you can download all your data now?

I have no idea when it appeared, but Rob at work told me about it and if you go to Facebook -> Account -> Account Settings you will see a new option for "Download your information". If you follow that through they'll zip up all your Facebook data and in a few hours they'll send you an email to let you know it's done and you can download it. Depending on how big your Facebook is will change how big the zip file is, but in my case it was 273Mb, 85Mb of that was videos and 183Mb was photos! It all unzips very nicely and you end up with a sort of text only version of your profile showing all your wall content (EVER - I can see all the way back to April 2007 when I joined!), all your messages, all your photos/videos... it really is very good for backup purposes so it might be worth taking a look at!

Back to Saturday though, after the film had finished we went into T.G.I. Friday's to get some food and thankfully there wasn't any wait and we were able to order straight away. We had the combo mixed platter between us (it said it serves 3-4 and it wasn't joking, although we gave it a good try!). I also tried lots of their non-alcoholics too which meant I ended up drinking 3 different flavour slushies as well as a "fling". They're all a bit of a rip-off because the glasses are so full of ice there's hardly any liquid in them (hence I had so many drinks!) but they were very interesting all the same:

That's the blue raspberry slushie - It was really sweet and I very much enjoyed it (except for it being rather small as mentioned above). Helen tried it and said it was much too sweet for her though :)

W both had 8oz sirloin steaks for main course and I decided to have mine with cheesy-mash instead of the usual fries that I would normally select. I didn't think the steak was that great (LOL I sound like such a food snob!) and I've certainly had better, but it was very enjoyable all the same :)

Combined with the starter being so big and the fact we'd both have popcorn whilst at the cinema we were so full up that we didn't even bother looking at the desert menu! :)

We spent the rest of the weekend watching the latest Big Bang Theory episodes including the unaired pilot, The Invention of Lying movie, an episode of My So Called Life and basically just chilling out. We also made tacos for lunch (I swear I do eat other food, honest!) and ate lots of cheesecake/gateau! (I ate the cheesecake, Helen ate the gateau)

I can't believe Tesco sell cheesecake (and double chocolate gateau) for only £1 - YAY! I dread to think at how unhealthy it is (probably even more than normal considering the cheapness of it!) but it tastes fantastic and they even have two flavours, raspberry and blackcurrant! :)

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Tesco Megashop

My house was getting dangerously low on food and drink as I hadn't really been shopping in ages so I decided I best do another one. Well I did and they arrived just after 12pm on Saturday... and I think I might have gone a BIT overboard.

It's not my fault, honest! When I was ordering it all online I was of the mentality "well I need some of those and I need these and I don't have any of these" so I added everything I'd normally have that I had low stock of... and apparently it took up OVER HALF the Tesco delivery van. Oops :)

There was a really scary moment when I couldn't get everything into the fridge and freezer, but I managed to squeeze it all in:

Although because the freezer is full this means that I ended up having to put more stuff in the fridge than I would have liked so a lot of it now needs to be eaten very quickly before it goes out of date :( Pooey. I couldn't get one of the microwave indian meals in the fridge or freezer (chicken jalfrezi I think it was) so I decided to have that for lunch and I washed it down with 2 pints of banana milk (I bought tons of flavoured milks because it was on offer!) and I was going to update my Twitter status to: Just ate a microwave curry followed by 2 pints of banana milk and now I feel ill except I didn't because I was too busy actually being ill. Oops. Memo to self, do NOT drink that much milk again in the future, no matter how tasty it is at the time!

Oh and I know I was very naughty, but a lot of the energy drinks were on offer so I stocked up:

Except ignore the bottom layer, that's orange juice, I just stacked it all up so it was out of the way and THEN decided I should take a picture and I wasn't going to start over just to remove the orange juice! :) Most of this will be going to work, I should be able to make it last a month/until the next Tesco shop! Well I hope so... :)

Yes this was an insane boring/stupid entry, you should go back one and see my new phone instead, it's much more interesting... and swishy! :)

Saturday, 6 November 2010

HTC Desire Z

I ordered this phone way back on the 17th September, but the release date kept being pushed back and back until FINALLY they've released it on the 3rd November - Hurrah! Mine arrived on Thursday 4th and I know I say this a lot, but WOW. It is by far the best phone I have EVER had.

It's running the latest Android 2.2 and it's all completely new to me as I've exclusively used Windows Mobile since ~2004 when I had the HTC Blue Angel. Since then I've had the HTC Universal, HTC Kaiser (TyTN II), HTC Rhodium (Touch Pro 2) and each time they've had newer versions of Windows Mobile, but I knew time was running out before I'd have to switch to something else. As you might be aware there's a new "Windows Phone 7" just released and it's Microsoft's attempt to catch up to the iPhones, Androids, etc. Personally I think it's too little too late though and the fact it's not backwards compatible is why I'm jumping ship to Android. In most cases all previous versions of Windows Mobile could run all the older applications so there was a huge collection of things already built, but not with Windows 7 as it's such a radical change.

As you can see it has a keyboard on it, something I consider essential as touchscreen keyboards drive me nuts and it's a really good one. It's a bit weird because my Rhodium/Touch Pro 2 has 5 lines of keys (dedicated number keys) and this one doesn't, but I've already got used to that. It DOES have a dedicated camera shutter button though, something I really did miss.

Do you see that little black square at the bottom? It's an optical trackpad and whilst it's really weird at first... it's also really cool! You can brush across it like a cursor and it also works as a button too. I mostly use it when changing "fields" on a website (when I don't want to scroll down the page, but I do want to scroll to the next field). It also doubles a notification light too and when you get a text/email/tweet it gently pulses on and off until you read the message :)

I really should mention the "keyboard slide", because it'll also explain the reason it's called the (Desire) "Z". The keyboard doesn't slide out like they normally do on phones, it flips out and in the process makes a "Z" shape. Take a look at this image so you can see what I mean:

It works really well and although there's no chance of it opening by itself, but it also only takes a gentle push to get it started and it flips open the rest of the way by itself - Fantastic! Combined with an aluminium back the entire build quality is just outstanding and I think it's also the best looking phone I've had.

However the software is also out of this world too and I really wish I'd moved to Android a long time ago. I'm honestly not trying to upset anyone here because I know a lot of my friends have an iPhone, but like their slogan "There's an app for that" - When it comes to Android, there really is. Sadly because of all Apple's restrictions there are many things you're not allowed to do with an iPhone *cough* Flash *cough* like sending/receiving text messages from a computer connected to your phone instead of using the built in keyboard etc. Well this lovely new phone of mine came with full Flash 10.1 built in (I'll have to try FarmVille later lol), but it also comes with tethering support too (at no extra charge) as well as I can send/receive text messages from the htcsense.com website without having the phone anywhere near me (or even plugged into my computer - it synchronises using the operators network) so if my phone is downstairs and it beeps, I can check the website rather than walk all the way downthere. Yay Android for making me lazier! :)

What I really love is that the HTC Sense interface is completely customisable. If you want your home screen to have a clock, a link to text your best friend, a shortcut to your Facebook application and a quick view of your upcoming appointments... no problem! Just add the relevant widgets and drag them until they're where you want them. There's 7 screens you can rearrange (flick left/right to select them or press home key twice to zoom them all out for easy selection) and as such I have mine set up with weather, location information, combined Facebook/Twitter status updates, clock/application shortcuts, links to the people I text the most, calendar week view, calendar month view, but I'll probably get bored in a week and change it round some more :) My background is a nice scene with grass gently blowing the wind (yes actual movement), but the weather changes with what the real weather is, as well as the day/night changes according to the time - right now it's a starry sky :)

One final thing I have to say... the Facebook/Twitter synchronisation is just awesome. I already have it synchronising with my home Exchange server for my email/contacts/calendar, but it's also sychnorising with my Google account, Twitter, Facebook... and even Last.fm! So whenever you view someones contact record it shows you their latest status on whatever service they left it, how cool is that? :)

Right I'll shut up now, sorry for the very geeky entry, but I'm just really amazed with it. Okay so "technically" it doesn't do much my Windows Mobile devices didn't do since I'd hacked them all over the place, but my point is this all came as standard... and it just works. :)

Long live Android!