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Audiobooks, where art thou?


I've taken to listening to audiobooks on the drive to work. Its a nice way to get educated and relax. So far its been a mix of 60% educational and 40% fiction.

The problem is, where to get good audiobooks? I'm rather tired of the Audible user interface, its hard to search the catalog. For an Amazon based company, its appalling. Buying CD's from Amazon direct is not for me, I prefer digital downloads, they take up less space and frankly, they will sit on my ipod anyway, so why not buy them in that form. Lastly the iTunes store is just pants.

You'd think someone would nab this market with ease right?

Get Things Done


Two weeks in, and I am suffering from the ever increasing workload that causes that deep anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach. Oddly, none of this is due to my inability to plan or manage my time - its due to the inbound workload increasing due to a variety of reasons.

As I cannot improve the abilities of those upstream to plan their time and interfaces to me better, I must learn to manage the anxiety of having lots to do. This is difficult to do for me, as I am the type of person who wants to do well for others. So never wanting to let someone down, and having so much to do, pretty much leads to scope creep into life.

But not in 2010. In 2010, I am on top, and life is the priority. So frankly, now I've written about it, I won't worry about it anymore. Live life in day-tight compartments.

Shaving like wot Dad did


On Xmas eve, I awoke and had a shave, with this. Its a parker interceptor double edge blade razor, the kind my Dad used. Why, in this era of five blade gillette razors, would I go for this?

Well I have been using shaving soap for a long time, over 8 years now. My wife bought me a top notch brush for valentines many years ago, and since I've been enjoying lathering up using this traditional method.

My issues with razors is blogged here for many years (search for it ;) and of late I've been preferring the Wilkinson Sword Xtreme 3 disposables. They are great for head shaving. I have an issue with cost though, and so buy them in bulk from boots.com whenever they have an offer. On these grounds I decided to look at the resurgence in DE razors - due to the cheapness of the blades.

Blades definitely are cheap, and oddly shaving with a single blade is a 'noisy' affair. You can hear the blade shear through the beard. A good lather avoids any issues and friction, and I've learnt to lather twice using the same brush-prep.

Sure it takes longer in the morning, but you know, I quite enjoy the chance to listen to radio 3 and engage in a bit of a ritual.

Happy New Year


Hope it goes well


One Ring To Rule Them All...


Well one remote to be precise. This Christmas I decided to remove the remote control clutter and simplify into one of those swanky one-for-all devices. But being a power user, I needed more than just a rubber button replacement unit. Thats where the Logitech Harmony 555 comes in.

This is more than just a point and shoot remote folks, it is built around the concept of 'activity', in other words 'what you doing now'. So if you want to watch a DVD, you set it up to switch on/and configure the appropriate devices. If you want to record a tv programme, same. And you get the picture.

Beyond that, you can actually control the devices in a 1:1 mode too, ie it can fully replace your tv remote if needed. But the benefit is really when you get the remote into 'activity' mode - so for example, if you have a surround system on when you play DVDs, its much easier to have the unit in 'Watch DVD' mode so one layout controls disc playback, surround functions, and tv contrast etc.

To achieve this you obviously need to use a computer to 'programme/configure' the remote - it comes with software for Windows and Mac. I used a Mac and had the remote configured for our set up in about 1 hour. Sounds a lot, but in truth it was OK to go in 20 minutes, but I spent the next 40 minutes getting the activities configured to suit my custom setup.

In summary, this is the next evolution in remote controls. So don't get an All-in-one from Argos, no grab yourself a Logitech Harmony to suit your needs and pocket - they have one of the largest online databases of units around.

Everything I have is now controlled by one ring, sorry remote :)

Merry Christmas!

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Weekly musings from a confused mind. This blog, and all posts within it, are just ramblings. They are in no way affiliated with any past, current or future employers. Neither do they represent my deep felt views, or those of my friends or family. Really, its just a blog, which is a new thing, and has new dimensions. So please, dont take anything seriously. If you do, contact me via a comment, and I will get back to you to resolve the situation. Seriously, enjoy life, ignore this blog, and views within it.


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