A recent post by Bernard from the Chain Gang inspired me to think again. Why do I I tend to wear a helmet sometimes and not others.

PS. I tend to wear a helmet *most* of the time.

  • When I do, I think –  I don’t want the nasty scalp graze from the tarmac should something unexpected happen
  • When I don’t, I think – F*** it, chances are nothing is going to happen let’s go ‘as nature intended’ and play safe

So, In my opinion, it’s back to individual freedom Vs. another state decision…. and I know where my vote goes. 


Keep your freedom and keep yourself safe kids.


Needed a replacement ‘AG13’ battery for my cheapo Halfords bike computer. Happened to be picking up some items in B&Q – saw a button that looked the same called LR44 , could not recall the AG13 code, but dammit they look the same so I bought a 2-pack on spec.. (£2.98). Got home realised they were not same code… growl. Went into Kingston to buy food… looked for battery in several places but could not find one anywhere. Eventually dragged myself into Maplin… no luck, the assistant (looks up on computer and) said “discontinued”. Resign self to buying new device… 😦  

Drop in on a small independent electrical retailer on walk back and ask again.  Man says “Oh yes, you want  a ‘357’ . Same thing new code. Sell them all the time”  Deal! (£2.50 for one)  Get home. Look up code on Google…. Arghhhhhh… THEY ARE ALL THE F’ing SAME!  Yes, AG13 = A76 = LR44 = 357 

Feel like a wally for not checking before I buy (can get a 10 pack on t’internet for under £7) and feel crushed by complexity again. 

How come the world agrees on ‘AA’ & ‘AAA’ (for example)  but not on these button types?

I didn’t take many photos – emotions were sombre. 



Let’s hope the ceasefire holds and justice resumes.

When I got a contract 4 months ago from ‘3’ I chose the Nokia E71. I had wanted a top-end phone after years of using very basic devices. I chose it mostly based on comments from Adam Curry and James Whatley. The phone was great – did everything I| wanted and it didn’t make it hard to do it either.

So, when some rum got spilled on the keyboard last night (well technically it was about 2am this morning!) I was a bit concerned. Picked it up and turned it over to let gravity do it’s job… dried it off and left it near a radiator to dry overnight. It was still working then.

I eventually woke up next morning, tested the phone and found some major issues… the space bar was not working or miss-keying, the right scroll was repeating, etc… I was starting to get worried.

Plan ‘A’ – Use good old electronic contact cleaner pressure spray to give those keys a quick degrease. Right? Turn phone off, strip out battery, remove SIM etc. 2-3 second spray…. leave for 4-5 minutes to dry (like it says on the can) and then reload.

Result? No better.

Now I am really getting anxious. I had turned down the insurance at the time I took out the contract (like you do right?), so now I was looking at £300 to get a new unlocked phone 😦

Plan ‘B’ – Repeat plan ‘A’ with more spray, lots more (maybe it didn’t get to the right places first time). A good 5-10 second inverted spray over all the keys.  Leave to dry for 5-10 mins. Reload – MUCH WORSE! Now many keys don’t feel right, all soggy not a firm click. :|((( Unload the phone again leave to dry even longer.

Start to tell contacts about the problem and to switch back to spare mobile account number for now.

One friend tells me she put her phone through a full washing machine cycle and it came back to life after drying for several hours. Advises not to panic – give it time.

But I am thinking… this phone is f*******! The spray probably melted some inner plastic membrane and it is not going to make it… start looking on eBay :-0

Leave phone hanging over radiator for an hour, retest… maybe a little better action but nothing significant…. 3 hours later, retest… small improvement on some keys. 8 hours later it almost feels normal again…

Reload, reboot and BINGO!  All back and working.

I am truly relieved and humbled by the resilience of this phone.

Now… do I need to reconsider that insurance? I think it was 23p a day.

Anyone else had similar experiences?

I was inspired by a couple of posts by my old friend, but new blogger,  Rob; and new social media contact Asha to post some 2008 highlights of my own. 

So, in no particular order…

Podcasts of the year: 

  • Mr Trick and Wrongtom: Two UK-based DJ’s who describe themselves best on their Faceboook page “Like two old soaks chatting by the fire, Trick and Tom swap songs, talking with passion and insight about the music they love, both new and old. Uncovering music you may have missed is usually the order of the day, with “but I bet you’ve not heard this…” being an oft-muttered sentence. Anything from doo-wop to gospel, punk to dub is pulled out for consideration, with the sole hope of having you wanting to look up these artists when the show’s over.”   Best thing since John Peel 🙂 IMHO
  • Daily Source Code – Adam Curry: Well, I first listened to Adam ‘The Father of Podcasting’ three or four years ago and then dropped it from my list as being a bit too long and disjointed. Returning this year was been a hoot. Adam has a mission to help us all wake up to knowledge we don’t know, and barely gets reported. Yeah Adam… “They (should) work for us”. Entertains me on those commutes. And, if you like this, then also check out the weekly ‘No Agenda’ show with Adam and John Dvorak.


Technology of the year: 

  • Nokia E71 Phone: Got this on contract from ‘3’ and it just does (almost) everything perfectly… now I just need an unlimited data plan 🙂


Music of the Year: It’s been a year of reawakening to new and old interests.

  • Tha Carter 3 > Lil Wayne:  Well, I am late the scene, but this one brought ‘gangster rap’ to my doorstep and took it in like a pint of milk.  Challenging but honest, musically coherent.
  • Eskimo > Balloonatic Part Two: Maybe not his greatest albumn but representative of my flip into the dance music this year. Ten years too late on the scene of course, but still making me hop around the room like a teenager 🙂
  • Esborn Svensson Trio > Leucocyte: A new jazz line line-up to me, but sadly their last album. Think Keith Jarrett meets Brian Eno meets <insert name here>.  Great pianist and composer.

So many more deserve mention  – been a great year for re-awakening of my consciousness.

Have a great 2009 everyone.

Near the end of my regular morning commute to work something odd happened. I was remounting after carrying the bike up some steps when the left side of the handlebar just gave way!

No warning, just cracked open at the point it meets the stem and swayed drunkenly away. If it wasn’t for the extra cable strap holding on a special front attachment it would have completely dropped off.

That’s scary… what might have happened if I was on a busy road at the time does not bear thinking about.

Metal fatigue in aluminium… apparently it can happen after just a couple of years! Why are they selling us S*** like this without a health warning?

The nice cycle guys at work fixed me up with a new bar in time to get home again. But I am looking harder at aluminium components from now on.

A fellow member of our Archery club just did the most eye-watering thing for charity….

Watch his story here :

and then show some respect here:


Blackfriars Bridge

Originally uploaded by Jed.Baxter

A shot from the bar early on in the London Bloggers Summer Social event. Later in the event I won a seat on the Stella Artois airship for a ride over over London! Cool! Expect more photos after the ride.

Thanks to Guy Kawasaki.

“This is a cool idea. I would buy one in a second. No picture. You have to trust me and click here.”

If the council would stop spraying weedkiller 🙂

Just found a fabulous collection of photos by the Warrington Cycle Campaign.

Here is June 2008

On the book pile…

Nova Swing: John M Harrison.

My Flickr Photos

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