Robert Hampton

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February 2008

1st February 2008

News dump
Posted by at 6.35pm | In the News | No responses
Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo!
Why have two faceless corporations when one will do?
Woolworths withdraws young girls’ bed called ‘Lolita’
Lolita! Little girls! Beds! Who could have predicted people would see a connection?
Mersey Tunnel Tolls To Rise
£1.40 to leave Birkenhead? Sounds like a bargain!

6th February 2008

Posted by at 12.20am | It's My Life, Meta | No responses

OK, so that didn’t last long. I’ve put the robots.txt file back the way it was, after a quick glance at my stats showed that people are stumbling across various bits and bobs via search engines, and presumably finding them useful.

I’m still thinking about the long-term direction for the blog. I’ll probably work it out just after I find a long-term direction for my life. Don’t hold your breath, people!

8th February 2008

Double-You Tee Eff

My phone has just popped up a message, “Alien Battery”. What’s that all about then?

9th February 2008

PAC Mania

Well, Orange customer services for once were very helpful, which is ironic as I was phoning up to tell them that I’m moving to 3 and want a PAC so I can keep my number. Not even any hard sell trying to convince me to stay — I think the computer at the call centre must have flashed up “CHEAPSKATE – NOT WORTH IT” when the operator called up my account details.

New 3G phone (with undamaged screen and non-broken keypad that doesn’t require three tries for a button press to register) is on its way. Hurrah!

10th February 2008

Nav off
Posted by at 12.30pm | In the News, Trains | No responses

Millions of pounds worth of damage is being caused to Britain’s railway infrastructure by lorry drivers following satellite navigation devices. [BBC]

Not being a motorist, I never fully understood the appeal of SatNav devices. The way I see it, you can spend £100 on a complicated electronic gadget of dubious accuracy, or you could spend five quid… ON A MAP.

11th February 2008

Still Number One, it’s Top of the Summer Pops
Posted by at 11.43pm | Liverpool, Music | No responses

My copy of Liverpool: The Number Ones Album finally arrived today. Seriously, Play — what’s happened to you? I remember a time when I could pre-order an item and receive it from you a full two days before the official release date. This CD was supposed to be released on the 4th, yet you didn’t even dispatch until two days later. What’s with that? I don’t want to sign up for Amazon Prime, but I will, if you make me. You’ve been warned!

Well, making empty threats against shopping web sites always makes me feel better (I deal with interpersonal relationships the same way!) so on to the meat: this album is a great idea (Liverpool musicians of today do cover versions of previous Scouse No.1 songs), but the execution leaves me going “hmmm”.

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12th February 2008

The Latest Buzz
Posted by at 1.10pm | In the News | No responses

There are calls to scrap the “Buzz off” device which plays a high-pitched sound which only children and teenagers can hear, to discourage them from hanging around in gangs.

I must confess I was ignorant about these devices until now, but there was a report on Radio 4 this morning about them this morning which horrified me. The reporter spoke to children in a playground near to where one of these has been set up. One said he lived in a flat next to the shops and the noise kept him awake all night. Another said it hurt his ears.

Read that again. We as a society are deliberately installing devices that hurt and disturb children.

But hey, they’re kids: they must all be hoodies, they must be yobs. The Daily Mail told me about this generation of feral children. They must be stopped at all costs, right? Wrong.

We are indiscriminately punishing every child and teenager for the actions of a (admittedly problematic) minority. And nobody, except perhaps the Richard Littlejohns and Pete Prices of this world, can call that justice.

The Children’s Commissioner’s BUZZ OFF page has more information.

13th February 2008

A Waist is a Terrible Thing to Mind
Posted by at 7.23pm | Television | No responses

Just curious, really: when Weight Watchers agreed to start sponsoring Neighbours on Five, did they know the soap was in the midst of an eating disorder storyline?

18th February 2008

Posted by at 2.27pm | Trains | No responses

Merseyrail loses its no-claims bonus.

20th February 2008

Go Greener, Go Cheaper, Go… Merseyrail?
Posted by at 9.00pm | Out and About | No responses

One of the best things about living in Liverpool is that green spaces are readily and cheaply accessible by public transport. For the princely sum of £2.10 return (with Railcard discount), I was able to jump on the train to Hoylake and spend the afternoon in Red Rocks Marsh Nature Reserve. I was almost put off by the freezing weather in the morning, but by the time I got there at about 1pm the sun was out and it was quite pleasant, although the unmelted ice was crunching under my feet as I walked along the beach.

I found out about this thanks to Merseytravel who put out several leaflets about exploring the Merseyside area by public transport. This one is called Walk&CycleAbout Wirral Peninsula and can be downloaded from the web site. Alternatively get a printed copy from any Merseyrail station or Merseytravel shop.

On the cards for when the weather warms up is the Wirral Country Park. Last time I attempted to walk the whole length of this path, I got lost in the amusingly-named village of Gayton and had to abandon the trip.

21st February 2008

Every kick of it massively mattering to someone, presumably
Posted by at 10.39pm | Television | 2 responses

Mitchell and Webb, what’s wrong with you? You’re not supposed to come up with new, entertaining ideas for the second series of a sketch show. You’re supposed to remove every entertaining nuance and reduce every character to a one-line catchphrase which you can then run into the ground until it’s not funny any more! Didn’t you see Little Britain?

Yes, That Mitchell and Webb Look is back, including this wonderful parody which sums up exactly how I feel about television’s obsession with football:

25th February 2008

Semicolonic irrigation
Posted by at 9.08pm | Fun | No responses

The Semicolon Appreciation Society; they have T-Shirts!

I quite like the semicolon; it’s surely the most underappreciated punctuation mark of the English language. I propose an immediate semicolon campaign where we try to use it as often as possible.

If you need a guide to semicolon usage, just use this simple aide memoire:

Stronger than a . Weaker than a ,

I got this from a poster which I saw up in a classroom at Shorefields Community Comprehensive school during a visit, aged 10. Why can I remember that when so much else from that time is vague and fuzzy? It’s probably an indicator of my brain’s odd priorities. 😐

28th February 2008

Sheepish Day Return

Now that I’ve reached the grand old age of 25, it’s clearly all downhill; indeed, my memory has already started to go.

I got to the station for my train home tonight, only to discover that my Trio pass, with its promise of a month’s unlimited bus and rail travel within Merseytravel Zone C1, was still safely locked away in my office at work.

I’ve had to fork out the princely sum of £3.80 for tickets to get me home tonight and to work in the morning. 🙁 I could have bought a magazine with that money!

29th February 2008

But they’re in the sky!
Posted by at 6.16pm | Sun and Cloud | No responses

SUN: So, did you feel the earthquake the other night? CLOUD: No...
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