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Is there something going on?


Watching Dispatches, a rather good programme of late - and wishing Channel 4 would put archives of the programme online (like they do for futile progs like IT crowd).

Anyway, it was about 'stealing freedom' which is something that worries me.

Then something interesting happened - a clip of Tony Blair saying 'we need to act, to lock up the wrong doers' but really said 'by locking them up based on what they say'.

Are we witnessing a sub-plot at work here - where we have the beginnings of a patriot act - that will enforce us to adopt napoleanic laws 'in a rabbit punch' fashion?
  • Is it right to threaten to lock up a christian couple because they want to leaflet houses that are being leafletted with pro-homosexual leaflets?
  • Is it right to lock up a peaceful protester who didn't have 'autorisation' to protest?
  • Is it right to interrogate a train spotter, or an asian taking a pic on the underground?
Didn't we get a bit upset when the greeks did that to our plane spotters?

But that was then...this is now. "The rules of the game are changing, and we cannot fight them with 19th century laws." says our leader.

I see...So the USA leads the way eh?



Todays observations are:
  • How many teachers made an impact on you? I have been very lucky that my teachers have been perfect for me (cept the network lecturer at uni) and have helped form an outlook that is pretty healthy.
  • Why are there so many SUV/4x4 vehicles around now - when they don't offer THAT much extra internal cabin space?
  • What has happened to the traditional office dress-down friday?
Political stories that have irked me:
  1. Blair and human rights
  2. Terror Laws
  3. Labour Lies
  4. Bliar civilisation

Have a great weekend!



You eat when you are bored, and when hungry. You are more hungry when bored.

Another observation - people think its quite OK to provide illegible notes (aka scribbles) at work and expect you to decipher them and act accordingly. Isn't this similar to just mumbling or hiding the truth?

Time is our most precious resource, yet we waste it without realising just what we are doing...


Advise the num num


Anyone have any tips on New York City with regards to
  • Places to stay - 4* hotel etc (looking at Hilton, The W, Waldorf Astoria)
  • Things to see
    • Museums
    • Galleries
    • Monuments (Empire, Liberty etc.)
  • Places to eat (for Vegetarians)
  • Things to do
    • Ferries
    • Trips
    • etc.
Many many thanks in advance.

Seat hogs

This mornings observation is about people who take up two seats and then get royally upset when someone asks to sit on the empty seat. Funny that.

Also, the fact that politics is not what it used to be, i mean would you trust prescot as leader? Where are the solid brains?

Isn't the weather odd these days. Hardly any settled snow. And more gray dull skies.




This week is about observations. So feel free to join in.

have you noticed how people stand at the same place everyday for the train? and they get very upset if that place is taken.




Just a little break from the monotony of socio-politics coffee-culture style that I've been sprouting of late.

I've just shaved, and proceeded to splash Floris aftershave on my newly shaved skin. This brought about a very painful and vivid expression of OUCH!

Being blessed with a beard of steel has pretty much exposed me to a war against stubble, and I can tell you that if I am not vigilant the enemy takes hold and causes a spiky and scary 5 o'clock shadow that Icy can attest to as being very steel-like indeed.

There have been trials with every blade known to man (except a straight edge, but I am saving a trip to Trumpers as a wonderful gift to myself some time this year - thrown down the challenge to them!) - and trials of a plentitude of electric shavers too! I've left reviews of these trials online at various websites, giving the low-down on how they performed against my infamous beard-of-steel. I've yet to find the secret.

The Mach 3 range has not really helped me, and I am going to revert back to the Sensor Excel range that I found highly successful (to a degree) during my undergraduate years. I then moved onto the protector range, and thereafter the current Mach 3. None of these provide a clean shave for me.

Many shaving regimes exist online - ranging from strategies of using boiling hot water (softens the bristles), freezing cold water (contracts the blade), gel based creams (for non-oily skin), shaving oil (for seeing where you are shaving), and pre-electrics (to dry the skin and make the bristles stand on end).

I have, alas, tried them all. My current favorite remains the Trumpers regime - until the trip to them this year, where if they fail to clean-shave me in one, I will confine them to the cabinet known as 'shaving for the light bearded man'. This is where most products and regimes live at the moment.

So whats this post about? Well rather than detail each regime, or each product, here's a quick and dirty list of what I've tried and what I think of it - maybe the gentlemen reading this can provide input/advice, or just take heed of my experiences.

Blades (many have been tried, the most famous of these are listed here)
  1. Protector 3d - never got a cut from this, but it just didnt get close enough to produce a clean shave.
  2. Sensor Excel - the rubber fins really did help, but it took a lot of effort to avoid cuts around the chin
  3. Mach 3 (turbo and normal) - no cuts, no abrasion, but the blade and razor design do not lend to a nice firm contact with the stubble.
  4. xtreme 3 - the shaver of the head without a doubt - there is NONE better for head shaving, and in this I include the fabled head-blade - the Extreme 3 wins hands down.
  5. Bic sensitive - careful here, these are amazingly good value but only worth it if you are a light bearded chap
  6. Bic 3-blade - one word - OUCH!
  7. Contour plus (including push out cleaner) - nice idea of a push out plastic tab to clean away stubble, and the razor was nicely shaped. Not good at the clean-shave bit though.
  8. Quattro - four blades - waste of time - didnt get close at all.

Electrics (I've tried these and rated them online at various sites)
  1. Braun swivel - great little unit, was washable too. Didnt do too well on the 5oclock though.
  2. Remington triple blade - waste of money
  3. Phillips cool skin - best idea ever, great smooth shave, but the darned thing didnt get super close
  4. Phillips sensortech - the bond shaver - my current electric of choice
  1. Gillete Lime - fresh! Not bad really.
  2. King of Shaves - all - very good, but expensive.
  3. Palmolive - not great tbh
  4. Gillete - the branded type range for the razors - not very good imho - the gel is awful
  5. Trumpers shaving creams - THE BEST
  6. Taylors of bond street shaving cream - a bit of a cheap-mans trumpers
  7. Floris shaving cream - very nice, but not as good as trumpers
  8. Floris shaving soap - current choice, nice wooden bowl, and VERY long lasting, 6 months and STILL going on the same soap block!

  1. Clinique pre-electric - very expensive, smells great, does a fab job on pre-electric primer
  2. Boots cheapo pre-electric - DO NOT use this
  3. Boots botanicals pre-electric - current choice, and VERY good indeed
  4. Floris Aftershave - OUCH, not very good
  5. Floris Aftershave balm (santal) - very soothing, but a little too greasy
  6. Gillette aftershave balm - No Way!
  7. Nivea for men, aftershave balm - now here's a good product, shame it smells crap
  8. Trumpers milk of flowers aftershave - very nice, but a bit ouch
  9. Trumpers Coral skin food - fantastic, feels a bit slippery, smells rosy, but gives a smooth sheen
  10. Trumpers Lime skin food - didnt retain smell of lime after a week, bit poor really
  11. Jo Malone - expensive and a waste

  1. Shave before shower - current choice, since its easier to wash off residue and saves time.
  2. Shave after shower - best for weekends and going out regimes, softens beard, and allows for a safer shave, but you need to be careful about the shaving soap you use - so i'm restricted to the floris elite scent range if i adopt this
  3. Hot water shave - my choice, i have tried the cold, but at 6am, i need hot water!
  4. Cold water shave - used this a lot at uni, seemed to work, but required strong constitution.
  5. Electric before shower - what you are supposed to do, as they work better on dry skin. Cant see it as practical.
  6. Electric in shower - cool skin excels here, and best option without doubt
  7. Electric after shower - must use pre-electric shave here to get best result

I used to use an aftershave balm, but of late have not as the hot shower after the shave works just as well. Guess if you use regime (2) you should do something. I recommend coral skin food, or Nivea.

I've corresponded with a majority of the above companies about shaving, as well as other online personalities who have a beard-of-steel problem, and have collected a fair amount of info - I'm creating my own strategy slowly, but it will take time to find one that works perfectly.

If any of this is useful, let me know - if you need links or more info, let me know. If it was a waste of time, SUPERB - mission:accomplished.

Sunday shaving rant /over.


Barista hell


another morning where the capp tastes like a latte.

Why can't baristas understand that FOAM != Milk!


I wish I was a kid again...


With toys like THIS you have to agree!

Time to rethink


With huge profits announced yet again by the oil giants, one has to wonder whether it has anything to do with the war.

Its clear that i am dubious about vast profits when they are not lined up as pay rises for the entire workforce or better social causes.

And even more dubious about the weapons of mass destruction that threatened the world. Remember them? Maybe a white poppy day for remembering the wmd would be apt.

Anyway, good to see another labour seat lost. Incumbent and incompetent is no excuse, they must go.

Other than that, I've very little to say about the world today. Have a great weekend.


The Great Cappuccino Test


There's a lot to be said about a great tasting Coffee in the morning, and even more to be said about a fabulous Cappuccino to start the day.

So after some serious testing, The Num Num is proud to present The Great Cappuccino Test results. In reverse order (based on personal taste and London, UK trials over 6 months):

5. Costa £1.80 - awful. The coffee underneath tates foul and largely weak, and the capp turns out to be a latte - consistently! Avoid at all costs.

4. Starbucks £1.85 - for such a great brand, the capps on offer fall far short on the old taste tests. There's no bite to the coffee, you have to have an extra shot for that. On the plus side, the foam is fabulous, but the milk tastes horrid (even the semi skimmed variety), and you have to add your own chocolate afterwards - which means the lid becomes slightly cracked as you take it off and put it back on.

3. Pret-a-Manger £1.75 - a very fresh tasting capp, but sometimes marred by a horrific overload of milk and lack of chocolate sprinkles! Still, they do say the coffee is binned after a while, so its never stale.

2. Nero £1.80 - without a doubt, the finest tasting Capp that I've tasted on a regular basis - I do like Nero. However, it fails to reach the number one spot on the grounds that though there is a loyalty card, 10x20p = £2.00 for a free capp? Maths fails to add up on the price they offer it at.

1. AMT £1.65 - offers the greatest taste in the coffee, the subtle taste of milk, and the best chocolate sprinkles at the most amazing price. The 'booth' based nature of the outlet puts people off, but let me tell you, its the best Capp in town!

So there you have it, The Num Num recommends AMT for the best capp in town. You heard it here...

synchronicity - for capricorns


Monthly career (by Astrology.com)
So what do you want, anyway, when it comes to your career? This is the question you should ask yourself on the 1st, and a host of creative answers are likely to come to you. On the 2nd and 3rd, it's time for even more of this kind of soul-searching, as you consider issues like: What are my priorities? What do I need more time for? What do I need to do less of? On the 9th, you might spend the whole day wishing you were somewhere else. Instead of ignoring it, ask yourself where you'd really like to be. Then maybe you'll come up with a means of getting there! It could be interesting. On the 14th, you get connected with someone -- somehow, somewhere. By the 19th, take a break from all the career evaluation and do something fun. On the 23rd and 24th, a couple of totally stellar days might catch you off guard. But sometimes the surprise makes something great even better! -

Monthly fitness (by Astrology.com)
When was the last time you applied your prodigious creative talents to your health routine? If it's been a while, that might explain the vague pangs of boredom you're experiencing in your workout. Turn your best creative energies on the problem during the 1st. On the 4th, 5th and 6th, you notice you're already starting to have more fun. That's great -- for body and mind. On the 9th, somebody close to you might require a lot of energy. Only give them as much as you have to spare (and don't skip your workout!). You may feel bad, but sometimes other people have to find their own solutions. The 13th, 14th and 15th, get some solid plans in place for your new fitness schedule. On the 20th, do a meditative activity. You should implement any other health changes you've been considering by the 25th, and on the 28th, relax and enjoy!

Quickie: If you're feeling flighty, avoid making any commitments and keep your options open.



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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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