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July 27, 2006

Yet more free stuff

24th July 2006 - Nivea Deodorant

Feeling hot and sweaty after your tube/train journey - Nivea to the rescue this morning with some deodorant. Not just for you, for all your fellow travellers too. Waterloo station delivers yet again, and since I started counting the freebies, this is the first one I can't eat or drink.



25th July 2006 - Holmes Place Pedometer

Holmes Place are opening a new gym near my office, in Old Broad Street. This girl was trying hard to give away pedometers, and not having that much luck really. Unlike the free coke which people were stampeding over each other to get at, the pedometers had to actually be thrust into people's hands as they wennt past. In fact, she walked over to the traffic lights nearby with a handful and offloaded them there on people who couldn't get away.



Posted by se71 at 12:20 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2006


So, ABC have dropped their alien invasion show - Invasion

I'm not really surprised, in fact, I'm surprised it lasted so long. There were great performnces from the leading cast members. It was moody and occasionally intriguing. It was just too damned slow however.

Posted by se71 at 09:01 AM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2006

More Free Stuff

14th July 2006 - Coca Cola Zero

So last Friday I picked up a can of Coke Zero at Waterloo with my free Metro newspaper, then took my 'Oi Bagel' voucher to the bagel shop and got a free bagel. This bagel shop is great. Like a lot of places if you buy 9 bagels, you get the 10th free. I go almost every day, and so it only takes 2-3 weeks. This one is my favourite - cheese bagel filled with scrambled egg and tomato.




19th July 2006 - Trebor Extra Cool Mints

Wednesday provided some more sweets at Waterloo, this time a real, full packet of Trebor mints, coming free with the free Metro newspaper. No URL online from the company to showcase these, which is odd.

For some reason they have felt the need to individually wrap each mint in the packet - maybe to stop them sticking together.

They taste quite nice, spearmint flavour, pretty much what you would expect.



On the way home, in the hottest day of the year so far with 36 degrees, Coke Zero were yet again out in force giving away little cans of ice-cold drinks in Waterloo station. Very welcome!


20th July 2006 - Coco Cola Zero

Today I got yet another Coke Zero with the Metro. This promotion might back-fire as I'm getting a bit bored of them!



Update: Yet another Coke Zero on the way home tonight at Waterloo station. It was sweltering, and I drank it on the train.



Posted by se71 at 02:37 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2006

Free Stuff

I love getting free stuff.

I've noticed that commuting to London is increasingly providing me with free things. Some are 'free' free, as in, you just take them. Others are free if you buy the Evening Standard newspaper, or sometimes another newspaper.

So I'm going to try and document how much stuff I get, and if the newspaper give-aways are significant, in that I've deemed it worth buying the paper to get them, then I'll list those too.


Yes, I'm including a newspaper. It's not a great paper, in fact, it's pretty rubbish, but it is free every day, and the letters page makes me laugh.


During Ascot week, I happened to buy a copy of the Daily Telegraph, at Ascot train station. I got a free pair of binoculars, presumably to use to watch the horses.


Probably the most significant Evening Standard freebie is a newspaper branded umbrella I got a few months ago. This was my second umbrella from the paper, the first was a large full size type, with another companies brandning on it. However, it broke and I had to bin it. This one is a really small telescopic type, and I keep it in my desk drawer at work, just in case I want to use it on the way home or at lunchtime.

Water Bottle
I take a bottle of water with me to the gym which is around the corner from my office. Couldn't resist buying a copy of the Evening Standard to get a sturdy one branded by the company.

OK, finally getting to the really free stuff now. Previous to this, I can remember getting, amongst other things, an Innocent smoothie (in the street at Finsbury Circus), a 20cl can of Pepsi max (last week at Waterloo), a cool bag (as in fridge) full of drinking yoghurt (Waterloo), several pink squeezable pigs.
12th July 2006 - Tropicana Juice drink


This was a very nice bottle of orange juice, and a decent size too. Given out by a quite a crowd of people at Waterloo station on my way to work at 8.00am


13th July 2006 - Aquadrops


Waterloo station again at 8am. A solitary girl giving out very asmall packets of sweets. She kept apologising to people who wanted to have more than one packet.


Posted by se71 at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2006

Sony Cybershot DSC-T9

I have a new camera, finally.

My reasons for buying it were not as scientific as they might have been, but as usual I just gave up trying to find the perfect beastie, and went with my instincts. A personal recommendation from Leon Brocard also helped.

My first digital camera was a Cybershot DSC-F55 2MPixel - a fairly early model I bought in 2000. It's still going strong, though I appear to have misplaced it a few weeks ago. It cost over £500 at that time and was pretty cutting edge. I have taken some great photos with it. Here is one I like:


This model has 6Mpixels, and a much better quality movie mode. It's a lot smaller too, and comes with 56Mb memory on board for photos. I got it on Amazon for £201 and bought a case (£11) and 1Gb Sandisk memory card (£44) from Jessops.

I like it of course, it has a nice 3X optical zoom and a really fast startup time. The battery meter, being Sony, tells you how long you've got before a recharge which is great. Being really small though, makes it an awkward camera to handle, and easy to drop. The lens cover slides up, which looks and feels really cool, but means you have to be careful not to touch the lens. There is already a fingerprint on it actually which I've tried to carefully remove.

The memory card is Memory Stick Pro Duo, the same as the PSP, and I've tested and you can look at the photos on the PSP screen if you swap the card over. This isn't really necessary, as the T9 has quite a nice screen anyway, and it comes with a cable to connect to the TV. There is a built in funky slideshow feature, with music, which is fun.

It has a burst mode feature to take several photos in a short period, which I haven't tried, but sounds useful for sporting events like triathlons. The main thing I'm missing is manual exposure times - my dream of using a tripod to take long exposures in the dark will have to wait until I can afford the Canon EOS-350D.

I've enjoyed taking recent photos on my Nokia 6230i mobile phone (1.3MPixel), but am feeling the limitations, and hope to take a few much better photos now, especially when the lighting is poor. Red-eye is still a problem though with this camera.

I've got the T9 reduced to 3MPixel mode for now, but will have a play and see just what difference 6MPixels makes. Here's one I took earlier, I used the zoom to frame the shot.


Posted by se71 at 03:48 PM | Comments (0)


This is really a pretty terrible film. It is glossy, and has the big star names of Julianne Moore and David Duchovny, and the pace doesn't falter. This might lead you to think you've had an enjoyable experience, but really, when you think about it, you've just wasted your time on rubbish.

It's main problem is that it is trying to be an alien disaster movie, and also trying to be a goofy comedy. In some rare cases, this actually works, think of Mars Attacks, and The Fifth Element. But here, both styles sabotage each other.

The story is actually pretty good. It's about a discovery of a meteor which contains an alien life form that starts evolving very quickly. From single celled organisms, it reaches much larger creatures in a matter of days. Duchovny is a scientist who makes the discovery, but the military take over, and he has to struggle to remain involved, and eventually to try and stop the destruction of the human race. It's predictable hokum, and if handled properly it could have been a big hit. Think Independence Day.

But when Duchovny is turned away from the meteor by the military, what does he do? He moons them from his car. When his partner is breaking back in disguised in a biohazard suit, what does he do? He breakdances in the elevator giving them away as imposters. This stupidity, and the way Julianne Moore's scientist is always tripping and falling over, just isn't funny, and spoils what could be an interesting story.

If you want to make a goofy comedy, then put some actual good jokes in there, or some proper slapstick situation, not this halfhearted imitation of it. If you want to make a thriller that's also amusing, then make your characters real, and make funny things happen around them, and to them. Don't make them dopey idiots too.

I was really disappointed, as I wanted to like this film. I liked the creatures I guess, but that's about it.

Posted by se71 at 09:49 AM | Comments (0)