Mobile Phones

Great. Yet another consultation on the use of mobile phones in cars. This one’s fairly obscure though. Took me ages to decipher this:

there is no justification for permitting exemptions from the requirement not to use hand-held phones.


Obscure language aside. The document is pretty clear about how it proposes prohibiting the use of mobile phones in cars. At this point it seems to make sense. Driving while dialling, sending a text message or holding one hand on a phone is going to obscure your attention to the road at some point, and is therefore a potential risk that could be easily removed (although arguably it’s already an enforced rule through the driving without due care claim).

However, the proposals include a general ban on personal hands-free phones, but not in-car hands-free. This is something I have a slight difficulty with. They blanket-ban all kits that are not “permanently wired into the vehicle” because they require pressing all sorts of buttons.

I drive quite a lot. I also get stuck in traffic a lot, and invariably get called quite a lot when I’m on the phone or need to make calls to advise people I’m going to be late, etc. A few months ago I went out of my way to buy a phone and a hands-free kit that specifically gave me the ability to dial out without any button-pressing. Behold the magic of voice dialling.

Speak ‘Abracadabra’ into my microphone (which, incidentally while I’m driving is always clipped in and positioned anyway), and I get a beep. Say the person’s name and it dials them. No buttons at all, I never look away from the road and my attention is where it should be. And this is worse than an in-car kit where it doesn’t explicitly say they won’t be pressing buttons?


Woo and yay. The blog’s been running for a month already. Just noticed that the first post of November means that all the October posts have moved to the archive

Trick or Treat

The Flowers estate in Southampton is a lovely area. Between walking from Burgess Road and a friend’s house by the school I spotted three cars with windows smashed in. On the way home tonight there were loads of eggs all over the place.

Is it me or are youngsters (I’m talking 11-15 year olds) becoming real bastards recently? Was talking about this to a couple of mates in the pub. Back when we were Year 7 we’d never talk to the Year 11’s. They were huge and daunting and scared the shit out of us. Then – when we were Year 11, the Year 7’s would come up, hurl abuse and generally be little brats. Nowadays, you have 12 year old kids walking around throwing abuse, being general pains in the asses and not respecting anything. Am I the only one to have noticed this?


Excellent. Just sent out ten emails asking blog editors (blogmasters?) to add their site to and had two responses within ten minutes. I’ve decided to send a small number of emails out at a time so I can test the field and see what the reaction is. So far, so good.

Update…. literally thirty seconds after posting this I had another submission. I love the fact that I’m not the only sad bastard up at 1am on weekdays.

Got Milk?

This is what I love about small-town America. Will do anything for a buck.…24;reuters.html

“Biggs — a community of some 1,793 people … would hold a public hearing on Nov. 18 to consider an offer by the California Milk Processors Board to change its name officially to “Got Milk?” to mark the 10th anniversary of the well-known milk advertising campaign”

Technically I should link to but then, what’s the point? 🙂

Great Site

This is excellent! You think of a dictator or a sitcom character, answer a load of questions and the website figures out who you’re talking about. It’s very good. So far it’s gotten Gunther from Friends; Kochanski from Red Dwarf; Winchester and Hawkeye from M*A*S*H and Peter, Stewie and even the evil monkey in Chris’s closet from Family Guy!

Stay Away, I’m Contageous

I have a cold.

I seem to be really lucky – I only get a cold once a year, if that, and it usually passes within 48 hours. I remember somebody telling me that you can’t “catch a cold” from one person. I’m not sure how much truth there is but it all makes sense. They said that in fact what we know of as a cold is around 150 seperate virii all bundled together, and your body just gets overwhelmed; and since you might only transmit, say, 20 virii in a sneeze it follows that to catch a cold you have to be exposed to several people with seperate infections within a limited period of time. It would also explain why scientists haven’t yet developed an all-round cure.

The short solution is – become an introvert. Live in your room, and never talk to anybody. Never kiss. Never snuggle. Never share a can of coke. I wonder if these kids ever got a cold?

Thinking Hurts

It amazes me that one person can have 700 CDs. That’s a hell of a value in there. If you reckon that each CD was bought for a fiver, that’s 3,500 worth of CDs (what’s that? About $/5,200?). And a fiver is optimistic – at least in this country if they’re brand new.

Apparantly one of the main things people steal from student digs are CDs. Because they hold quite a lot of value in a fairly small space. All the more reason to convert everything to MP3!

I just had a quick look around my room. I reckon I have about 250 CDs. I also have a stock of old CDs that I won’t throw away, from old PC cover disks to AOL & Compserve “A billion free hours” offers. I think it’s a real waste to ditch them. So I usually hoard them in a corner and use them for novelty coasters.


This is a useful page that lets you find the physical location of any IP address in the world, only it couldn’t find mine, and it reckoned (one of many IPs reserved for local networks) was based in California. Still, it’s the best I’ve seen so far that appears to offer services to regular Joes for free (I think).