Ah yes it works. Blogging from the new BlackBerry Z10. Full review in time, but let’s just say with this and my incoming GoPro 3, it’s gonna get a lot more tech round here!
Category Archive: Randomizer
Here’s another life-boosting tip I picked up and want to pass on. I’m sure someone with more nutritional knowledge could expand on how the following tip works, but all I can tell you is that I’ve tried this many times and it works for me. People I tell to try it that follows it through, finds it works for them too.
Here’s the scenario: you wake up without much of a spring in your step. My mid-morning your head’s feeling fuzzy, then the nose starts running and the throat starts feeling like you’ve swallowed a cactus. You’ve got a cold!
The common reaction these days is to reach for the Berocca and overdose on Vitamin C. This never works for me though, all it seems to do is turn your urine bright yellow which would suggest that you’re pissing out a liquified form of Berocca. That’s pretty much my attitude towards vitamin supplements full stop: doctors don’t prescribe vitamin supplements, advertisments do.
So, THE CURE:
Protein! You’ve got to get loadsa protein into your body, and quick-sticks. Some like a raw tuna steak (I do), some flash fry a huge steak (I do that anyway), but I reckon the best way is to get some whey protein powder and add it do your food.
Whey protein powder is largely tasteless and is easily sprinkled on cereal, stirred in to tea or coffee (before the hot water goes in, it’s congeal otherwise), stirred into yoghurts and so on. You need to add two heaped teaspoons full three times a day. Do it! If upon waking the next day, you still feel crook, do it again. I’ve never had to do it for more than 24 hours though and often the cold is on its way out after the second dose.
That’s it. Buy some whey protein, take it, drink loadsa mineral water and see how you go, I hope it helps!
What do you think of this photo?
It shows the CPU of a cigarette smoker’s computer. All that gip you see is tar, clogging up the cooling fins and deflecting airflow away from the processor, causing the computer to have to work harder to do the same tasks it used to take in its stride.
Not really fair on the computer is it? It’s a floor standing machine and were it not for some open cowl surgery its life would unnecessarily cut short.
I got these photos from the brilliant chap that’s fixing my PC (fried graphics card and sand clear out in my case ) after he showed me these tarred up fans from another customer’s machine. The repair guy barely wanted to touch the things.
It’s fair enough if people want to smoke but they really should think about the innocent machines around them. Just imagine the microphone on their poor phone.
We’ve had some bleddy good surf down here lately. In fact this winter has been turning out better than even last year’s, whence I set upon my ‘surf every day’ challenge.
The last couple of days I’ve been surfing with my great mate Will Bennet, whilst his lovely missus Celine Collaud (of course also my great mate) kindly took some shots of us. Celine has an ability to capture the absolute apex of a turn; you make the turn in the water, replay how you think it looked in your head, wonder if Celine caught it and then learn later that of course she did, and exactly at the right moment. This profound understanding of sports probably comes from her being a European kitesurfing champion.
Anyway, we were having a fantastic time, catching waves, living for the swell and wondering what the next day will bring. And if it goes onshore naturally we don’t care since we fund our very existences on this earth through kitesurfing! Afterwards over an apres surf Skinner’s Surfing Lager talk sort of drifted towards money and careers and responsibility.
It would be fair to say that our little crew, like many others around the world, have put a lot of things on hold (or never even started them) so we could instead devote time and energy into surfing and kitesurfing for purely recreational purposes. I mean, it takes a fair bit of discipline to suit up and paddle out into chunky surf when the air temp is hovering around freezing point, or to live in a constant state of awareness of tides, winds and swell.
Would that focus be better diverted into keeping track of financial markets? Would that tenacity serve us better climbing hand over hand up a corporate ladder? I would never write off anyone who works hard in an office and can only make it to the sea once a month, and also I think people choose the lifestyle that suits them. But when do you start feathering the nest?
Surfing (when I say surfing I mean surfing, kitesurfing, bodysurfing, SUP, all of it) does keep you lean and mean and largely without injury. It creates deep bonds with friends as you share wild adventures and flirt with danger. Together you see some of the most beautiful scenery and are alive in the most intense weather systems. And best of all you get to feel those amazing waves under your feet…you don’t even need to replay them in your mind, you just feel a natural sense of well being.
It’s a great life we’ve chosen but you don’t get paid for playing. Sure someone could be sponsored but I’m not, never will be. Only a tiny percentile are so talented that a company would pay them a salary just to surf. So I’m asking you dear reader, what you reckon to all this? Is it time to cut back on the beach and scale up (make that start!) on the pension plan? Is it selfish to put so much value on chasing something that can really only benefit yourself? Is it naive to think that by seeking natural, healthy experiences you are somehow contributing to a better balance in the universe? I’d like to hear your thoughts, please sound off below.
Till next time, stay fly till you die!
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I started off 2011 at Sunset Beach Oauhu, Hawaii, and after all the great adventures that the year delivered, I thought it would be good to bookend the year by ending it (and kicking off 2012) by doing something different.
On the 30th of December, Hayley, Ziggy (Hayley’s useful no-nonsense dog) and I drove through the night up various motorways to arrive in Snowdonia National Park; we were to climb Snowdon on New Year’s Eve. The weather forecast was wild – rain, hill fog, fierce winds, and freezing conditions at the summit We were kitted up for it though (Ziggy with his double-density coat would have no problem) and as anyone living north of Morocco will tell you, nothing can make beer taste good like coming in from long, hard adventure in the cold.
My ‘technical’ snowboarding jacket was soon ringning wet (and my t-shirt underneath it) and Hayley’s snowboarding pants suffered a similar fate. Fortunately our feet were toasty warm as we discovered the only items we had up to the task were our boots. The dog meanwhile was loving life, scampering about and ‘herding up’ other hikers we saw on the way. As we neared the summit we harnessed his extra energy by instructing him to pull us up steep sections by his lead. I was surprised and impressed to see this work, so we passed the lead to a straggling hiker and Ziggy soon dragged her along to rejoin her mates further up.
Later that evening as we thawed out by a crackling fire and revived ourselves with some local pints, word of these hilltop heroics got round the pub and Ziggy was fussed over by strangers and repeatedly told how handy he was.
The contrast of sitting in the traditional low ceiling inn after battling it out on the hill for five hours in sub zero temperatures was something to savour, and so of course was the nourishing food and beer. With our muscle glycogen stores depleted, our energy drained and our boots drying out by the fire, I doubt even the best meal in Jamie Oliver’s 15 restaurant could match the way our pub grub tasted right then.
It might only have been five hours, but daily life doesn’t always gives us the chance for extended periods of good exercise. It’s nice to be able to look back after a mini-expedition and know that you are fitter now than on the morning you set off. It’s a little milestone, something to look back on and a marker point to set you up for what lies ahead.
I’ve not really formed any resolutions for 2012, I reckon clibming Snowdon set us off to a pretty good start and into a welcome beer deficit (the first two pints are null as they are strictly for hyrdation purposes, the next one as a muscle relaxant and so on), so maybe that could be it – for every hour of exercise, I shall reward myself with one pint of ale.
I’m (half) joking when I say that all of this is about off-setting beer though, because choosing to do something like this rather than the usual end of year blow-out is making a statement to yourself that your fitness and vitality will improve, your stomach will be flatter and firmer, your muscles stronger and more useful, your sinews tougher, your gait will be more purposefuland you will not decline in strength and surrender to a bloating waistline as the years roll on.
That’s my new year’s resolution: keep moving, keep sharp, exhaust the body and mind regularly through adventures in nature, recalibrate with good company in the pub afterwards and feel like you’ve earned it, much less not having to worry about it. (Told you I was half joking).
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Sunday 2nd was the Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest race in Cardiff. It’s a “10km” run through the city with a nasty obstacle every kilometre, such as an army assault course, huge hay bails to climb over, a 10ft wall to scale, a parkour zone, a river wading section with slippery banks and so on.
The obstacles are designed to sap what energy you’ve been holding onto during the run – oh, I almost forgot, we had to run up the steps of the Millennium Stadium too – and they really do kick your ass. The reason I’ve put “10k” in inverted commas is because after the 10km marker, there is still at least 2km left to run.
I entered the race with my friends Rob and Leanne. Rob is a doctor, and Leanne is fast on her way to qualifying as a doctor herself. Can you imagine hanging around with not one, but two doctors? It’s just brilliant the questions you can ask about all types of diseases and conditions and the answers you get. If you’ve never heard of a part of the human anatomy called ‘the sample zone’, have a poke around on Google and see what you can find.
Because there are 1,800 people in the race, you’re split into waves. Rob and Leanne’s wave took off 15 minutes before mine so I saw them hustling to the front of the start line for a sprint start to the first obstacle – the haybails. They shot off like rabbits and were going well until Rob’s foot got caught between two bails as he tried to jump off. Anchoring him to the bail, he pivoted smack down straight onto the concrete, landing on his arm and breaking it (he was diagnosed the next day at work. What’s even more impressive is that that was at the start of a 12hour shift, which he completed). The crowd gave out a loud sighing ‘ooof’ in sympathy as he went down.
Rob is obviously a tough ol’ boy though because he got back up and continued the race. Where he couldn’t complete an obstacle because it required two hands (monkey bars) he had to do one armed press ups. Rob still managed to scale all the walls and cargo nets and railings we had to jump over. A very solid effort I think you’d agree, because would we all seriously run a 12km race peppered with huge obstacles when we had JUST BROKEN OUR ARM?
The best is yet to come though. Out of 1,800 people, I came in about 430 or so. Leanne was only a couple of minutes behind me at 1hr 29. The winning time was 56 minutes, the slowest was about 3 1/2 hours. So how do you reckon Rob managed with his freshly busted arm? Well, Rob came in 64th overall with a time of 1hr 11, and was 2nd in his wave of 200 people by just 90 seconds. What do you make of that then?
There’s a couple of things going on here, firstly, the human body is able to continue to function at a high level with a bit of adrenaline pumping around it and relying on other parts to compensate for a weakness. More significant though is Rob’s never say die attitude, it’s something to remember in times of stress when one feels that everything isn’t in order. The days of crying off due to injury are over for all those that know Dr. Rob!
I’m working my way around the British Isles on a 1,600 mile road trip. Ostensibly, I’m getting the new OR kites into as many hands as possible and hitting up some kiting festivals along the way. But I’m also enjoying the variation in regional ales, accents, towns and landscapes as I travel through Britain. This post won’t have much to do with kitesurfing but more about where I am at the moment: in Lancashire with my old man.
‘Pops’ is 68 years old and is the self-proclaimed ‘first teenager of Great Britain’, not meaning that he’s two thousand years old but that his generation were the first to be called teenagers. Last night as we were walking to a curry house, he asked a bunch of youths in the street what they had to do in the evenings. ‘Nothing’ they replied. The old man thought this was terrible, being the first teenager of Great Britain you see he likes to align himself with the youth of today and feels their pain.
Today we were on a short ramble (the old man has a dodgy knee so we have to pick his battles with the Yorkshire Dales) that took us along stunning trail packed with kids from a school in Manchester on a geography field trip. They asked us to partake in their questionnaire on the impact of tourism in ‘honey pots’.
Of course, the old man had plenty to contribute to this subject. In fact the only time he was quiet was when we were pushing up a steep incline. At the top, he got his puff back and continued his steady stream of ‘anglo-saxon’ infused monologues. Basically you get his thoughts on the local people, the universe and everything whether you ask for it or not, and whether he’s talking to you or not.
The Northerners are all very tolerant of the old man, many even find themselves drawn into a conversation with him, especially if they are a) walking a fat dog, b) working behind a bar, or c) a rather comely maiden. In fact people up here in general are a lot more chilled out and amiable than I get used to in Cornwall.
Right, that’s pretty much all I need to type about this for now, I’m in a Weatherspoon’s, using all the wifis. The BlackBerry is still firing out and receiving emails (and even managing light browsing) on the GPRS signal back at the cottage. Funny to think that under such circumstances an iPhone would be struggling to even send a text. Life on the road is all about choosing the right tools, which is why I also chose a 2+2 coupe rather than a van as it fits my managerial role better.
Got quite a bit of travelling left ahead; Swansea this weekend, Essex and Kent after that and then a few stops along the South Coast on the way home. Not really missing Cornwall at all and I haven’t checked the Windguru forecast apart from today when I fired up the laptop and the page automatically loaded. I’ve had a couple of kitesurf sessions up here though so still getting the fix in.
Today I got my hands on a Samsung Galazy S2 Android phone. It was my time to upgrade, and with no new BlackBerry 9900′s in the shops, I thought I’d use the 14 trial period to try something different, and the Galaxy S2 is it. After reading a load of tech blogs and reviews, it seems the critics feel that the Galaxy S2 is about the best phone in the world right now. I won’t bore you with stats, but here’s a quick fact about its power: it has TWO 1.2ghz processors. That’s around 4 times the processing speed of the laptop I used to edit my first 4 issues of Kitesurf Magazine.
So what I’m going to do is use the Galaxy S2 for 14 days and then decide whether to keep it and have it as my phone, send it back, or keep it and still go ahead and get the BlackBerry 9900. There is something else big to consider here, and that is my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The PlayBook pairs with a BlackBerry phone to give you 3g browsing wherever your phone finds a 3g signal, FOR FREE. The Galaxy S2 is wildly impressive so far, but can it supplant the 3g equipped PlayBook?
Here’s a rough run down of the devices in the above photo; note that the little white BB is the old 9700 and not the new 9900. I’ll maybe do a fuller review after the 14 days if it doesn’t seem like it will be too dull:
Galaxy S2. Thoughts after one day’s use:
Good: Screen is incredible, sound is good. Phone is very fast to use and is powerful; I was touching up an 8 mega-pixel image from its camera earlier, and it has a built-in video editor. The Android App Market is brilliant – everything you want is in here and support for Android phones from app developers is building at a rate no other platform can match. The installed Gingerbread Android operating system is fully customisable with widgets and up to SEVEN home screens not including your app pages. Being a Google platform, Android powers all the Google apps and services perfectly. All of this smokes any BlackBerry phone. Browsing is faster than the PlayBook using wifi. Cameras – front facing for video chat, rear facing for HD video and 8mp photos!
Bad: Battery will not last a day with moderate use. Reception is noticeably not as good as the BlackBerry – the Galaxy S2 cannot hold a 3g signal where my BlackBerry 9700 does. Internet browsing is next to useless with anything less than a 3g signal. Email notifications and handling doesn’t seem as efficient as an iPhone even and I only seem to get push notifications for Gmail accounts. Build is good, but the phone is made from plastic and feels flimsy.
BlackBerry Playbook. Thoughts after 6 weeks use:
Good: Probably the most comfortable browsing experience there is (for me at least), the 7inch form factor is delightful, and the build is very solid. Screen and graphics are outstanding, sound is full stereo (two speakers) and louder and clearer than any other device I’ve compared it to. Camera and HD video (1080!!) are very competent for a handheld device. I’ll bet that the PlayBook has THE BEST multi-tasking experience of any device out there – you can stream a HD video to your TV via the HDMI out port and play Need For Speed HD at the same time on the tablet, whilst running web apps in the background, yes exactly! Pairs with the BB9700 to give true on-the-go browsing of the entire internet for no extra cost.
Bad: BlackBerry are still rolling out software updates so things like auto-correct, typing shortcuts and even native email without resorting to pairing with the BB aren’t in place and they should be. Although I can use the entire web so effectively don’t need apps, I would like an app for Spotify and WordPress so that I can use these programs whilst I am offline – the Galaxy has these no problemo – the PlayBook is left wanting for apps though an Android emulator is in the works so anything could happen.
BlackBerry Bold 9700. Thoughts after a year.
Good: So this phone is a two year old piece of hardware, but look at the screen in the photo! This plucky little fella is easily as bright and colourful as the other two devices if not quite as sharp. Battery life is immense, reception and the ability to pull internet data out of thin air is almost spooky. You can be in an area of NO SIGNAL and the BB will keep trying and trying to send your email until it gets through. Meanwhile, it’ll keep trying and trying to push your incoming emails to you, and in both cases it succeeds. I’ve tested this in mega dead spot areas (Sahara Desert) where other phones just don’t wanna know. Pure functionality and productivity is unrivalled. I can smash out more emails on the BB in one hour than I can on a touchscreen device over a whole day. The BB phone is also the only device here that I’d trust to edit a Word document on. Crazy but true.
Bad: Its age is starting to show. I need to run OS 6 so that I can bridge with the PlayBook – no dramas but this phone is intended to run with the smaller OS5 and so it’s always running short on RAM and this causes it to slow up and leak memory. This then speaks for the general lack of speed with handling apps and internet (under wi-fi only, in the field it’s still very useful) compared with up to the minute smart phones. I would like a Spotify app, but overall and despite opinions to the contrary, just about everything you need can be found in the BlackBerry App World.
So the Galaxy S2 is immensley seductive and handles internet and media with serious aplomb; straight away I realised what I’d been missing lately with the BB9700. It’s a mesmerising device, and with its processors and mighty cameras its surely very powerful too, but I have reservations about its ability to perform in the field (justifiable so far) and abouts its durability compared with the rugged BB (just my impressions so far on that matter).
The PlayBook is sort of floating out there, it needs the BB phone to really show its stuff but when paired up the combo is lethal and pretty much replaces a laptop for a weekend trip. It’s also clearly the best media device here since it’ll fill a small room with sound and two people could watch a HD video on it and really enjoy the show. The build quality is I think, superior to the Galaxy S2 because the PB feels more solid and made with better materials, together with its other-worldly QNX operating system, this tablet should still be going great in three years time.
The BB9700 phone is an oldie but if I was stuck in the middle of Dartmoor, or had some serious work to do with emailing and calling contacts and smashing out some Twitter updates and handling other messages, it would be my first choice over any other device. And is’nt that the basic function of a phone anyway? And you know what, it even plays videos and mp3s and has a GPS too. The BB is not out of the race because it can power the PlayBook and I already regretted leaving it at home today on a visit to Marazion; the Galaxy S2′s battery was already running out and it was struggling to pull internet in areas where the BB hasn’t struggled before…
So there we have it, the race is between the pairing of the PlayBook and the BB phone, and the Galaxy S2 (or I may just keep them all heh heh). I’ve got a lot of learning to do with this S2 over the next two weeks, and so far I really do like it, so these opening thoughts are just that. Sorry if this has bored you silly, but getting the right combo of devices is important as it lets you take your office on the road and away from your desk, resulting in a little bit more of this in one’s life…
Own any of these devices, or got something completely different and wanna share your thoughts? Sound off in the comments below and let’s get a convo started. Cheers!
Two people on separate occasions in the last month have asked me if I’m happy.
Both times I remember thinking ‘that’s a strange question’ because I wasn’t unhappy before and looking for happiness is something I rarely think about. I mean, you don’t ask a healthy person if their bones are all fixed do you? A more relevant question may have been for example ‘do you know what you are doing next?’
It would probably be very nice to be ‘happy’ whilst on your deathbed, five minutes before you kick the bucket but ‘hapiness’ is not something I’m chasing or working towards. I’d rather live with fear, doubt, nerves, triumph, success, victory, failure, pride, shame, envy, grace, ambition, even smugness so that doesn’t leave much time to worry about being happy!
When I think if happiness, I think about being content, and contentment seems to lead towards boredom. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone I feel is the key to hitting your potential. Doing so doesn’t always make you feel happy and it can sometimes be quite terryfying to face your fears, for example – the thought of public speaking certainly does not make me feel happy, but the times I’ve done it, I’ve felt very good afterwards.
Maybe that would be the question – ‘are you feeling good?’ Because then it would be possible to feel good whilst experiencing something that really would not make you happy, such as your lungs burning with the excersion of a hard race, or your mouth going dry and the knees going a bit wobbly as you face the biggest surf you’ve been out in.
Can’t think of a handy sentence to wrap this up and have been staring at the screen for twenty minutes so signing off now. Thanks fer reading and cheers n gone!
Well I’ve uploaded everything to the FTP site and my final word is written, just need to check over the final draft PDF of the mag once the designers have done the last few bits.
So that’s it; no more last-minute kit reviews, no more cobbling together press releases and a far more focussed email inbox from now on. It’s been a real lifetime experience heading up the UK’s number 1 (and Australia’s #2) kiting mag, made all the more exciting by the fact that I had no previous editing experience when I took the job on and my English education ended after my GCSEs when I was 16.
Still, I think after the first three issues the mag found its feet nicely and began to improve. The testing I definitely will not miss (flying the kites maybe, writing them up not so much), but inserting all the hidden jokes and coded messages and oblique references in the mag was always a lot of fun. Funnily enough, doing this job also galvanised a couple of friendships that were doing well already – particularly with Mr. James Waters a.k.a. ‘Smiler’, who I seem to have formed a double-act for getting in and out of various ‘pickles’ in the sea. I certainly can’t think of a job that would have been better for me in the last five years in terms of getting out and riding as much as possible.
Working on a magazine also opens doors when you’re travelling to new places, as I discovered in Hawaii, as it gives you a reason to contact people at the top of their game and hang out / go surfing with them.
Anyway! I’m looking forward to getting back into sales, which is more natural for me than editing, and of course I start with Ocean Rodeo on 1st July as European Sales Manager. What I’m especially keen to get into is the solution finding and problem solving aspect of sales and service; it’s something I learned to do properly many years ago in the motor trade of Huntingdonshire – when you’re 19 and a bit green you learn to be quick with the facts and solving problems when your customers include a couple of heavily tattooed (but fair) drug dealing biker dudes.
Now I’m really looking forward to a week off next week, decompressing after five years of mag work and refreshing my European contacts list. I’ve started to make plans with some awesome local photographers for special photos shoots with the new kit (which arrives tomorrow I hope!) and kicking off with some good old fashioned viral internet marketing with a clutch of new photos and videos.
After that, the next stage will be a three day training meet with the OR Sales Manager John Zimmerman, and then I think I’ll go mobile for a few days and get out on the road. There’s a load of people I want to catch up with in the industry and it’s been too long since I had a bit of an explore around this country of ours, much less kitesurf in a different county! I think the last time was in Dorset about 18 months ago.
I’ll miss the team at Arcwind, bantering on the phone and working together under the looming deadline, but I’ll be writing a regular column for KS Mag about my observations on this sport of ours. I’m thinking of names for it now, lemme know if you have any other ideas. So far – ‘Where Moore is less’, ‘Moore’s the pity’, ‘Moorening Sickness’…we’ll see.