I’m A Data Whore


I’m an avid iPhone user. I love my iPhone4 and use it ALL of the time for everything I can.

I moved from my 3G to the iPhone 4 back in July and, at the time, my provider (along with the other main providers in the UK) said they were going to start capping data usage on all smartphones at 500mb a month. I looked back through my previous bills and I was averaging just under this a month. So I went with it and stuck with my current provider, even though I felt a little hard done by by having this cap forced on to me. In my mind, the only reason I have an iPhone is to use data and I’m being restricted. Little annoying to say the least, but everyone was doing it, so choices to change weren’t there.

Now, things are different! 3 mobile have announced an unlimited download “Open Plan” for smartphone users. True, 3 are not the biggest provider in the UK and their signal range is….. dubious. However, I think this will really bolster their customer list. If they can get their signal strength right, people WILL move. Hell, after reading this piece by the Guardian, I’m a little gutted I didn’t hold out longer.

But then again, I’ve been thinking the same thing about my iPhone. I know I just said how much I love my phone, and it’s true, it’s a fantastic piece of machinery and I couldn’t live without it anymore. Everything it does is so smooth and streamlined. But my wife has an HTC Desire. I’ve been playing with it (I feel kind of dirty admitting this)……. And I’ve been questioning my iPhone………

Let me break this down before I’m stoned for blasphemy. The iPhone IS amazing. No doubt about it. But it’s as fantastic as Steve Jobs wants it to be. You can’t make it yours. Every one of my friends iPhones, except for the apps, are the same as mine. This is due to the well-known restrictions applied by Apple. Android phones do not have this.

Now my wife’s HTC Desire is not fantastic. The battery life is appalling, seems to crash every now and again and isn’t quite as smooth as the iPhone. But when it’s good, boy is it good!! The Android operating system is so open. You want something, you can have it. Widgets, apps, set-up, and to top it all off, links beautifully with anything Google (for obvious reasons).

The main issue I have is this: Android is running the same path as windows, open to everyone for everything. This could lead to imperfect apps/widgets/software that are slow or crash. Apple is so stringent that these things just don’t happen.

But I’m wondering if I can survive these poor things and move to Android (got 18 months left in my contract, so got a while to think on it and decide which phone would be best) AND on the 3 network 🙂 . I’m such a whore!

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The Wife’s New Job


My wife is coming to the end of her maternity period and work is looming. Unfortunately, she will be unable to return to her current job part-time. It was looked at and discussed (to an extent) but was deemed undoable by the powers that be.

So be it.

Anyway, after the way she was treated (another long story I’d rather not get into) we both decided she shouldn’t return there. If for no other reason than we want her to be at home with our daughter at least some of the time.

She applied for a few photography jobs as she is a very keen and talented photographer, but these came to no avail. Instead, she opened up her own business and has been doing portrait shoots in a studio we made in our house (her website is here, please have a look). This has been going well, but isn’t really bringing in the money we need to keep going just yet. Hopefully once word gets around and the wedding season kicks in, things will change.

She did apply for a job working in a kids gymnastics place. I say gymnastics, it’s a tumble tots kind of get up, called Rainbow Mini Gym. This is perfect as she LOVES kids and she can even take our daughter to one of the sessions she’ll be working. Brilliant news came through today that she got it. Hours are great and days work perfectly. The only draw back is the pay is a little on the smaller side than I was hoping for.

So I get told the good news and the accountant in me rears it’s head. I start running figures through my head and alarm bells start ringing. I’m in the car at this time, so no where near my trusty computer and excel spread sheets. I get back to the office and start crunching numbers. I’m looking at tax relief and voucher schemes left, right and centre. The final result was that we can afford it. We’ll be tightening our belts so much that we’ll be wearing girdles, but we can do it. The only draw back is my training.

I was hoping to leave san da shortly and take up mma. This would be a culmination of techniques and arts I’ve wanted to learn but alas, we will only be able to afford 1 of my hobbies and rugby will ALWAYS take precedent for me.

So I was a bit down on thinking of this when I suddenly had a flash back. A little under a year ago, I was deeply depressed with my work and job. I couldn’t see any way out or any light at the end of the tunnel. My loving and supportive wife told me to leave that job. I did and found the job I’m currently in. Doesn’t pay as well as my last, but I’m much, much happier for it. What I guess I’m getting at is the same for my wife. She COULD go back to her job full time, get the good money and we can have our life back, but my daughter would suffer and be away from her mother. I’m not prepared for that to happen. So if sacrificing mma for my family is the option, I’ll gladly pay it.

Hòa thượng Thích Quảng Đức


Ok, so self-immolation has been going on for centuries, particularly in India. But for most of the western world, the first time we ever heard of this type of protest was when a buddhist monk in Vietnam sat down at a crossroads in Saigon on 11th June 1963, had 5 litres of gasolene poured over him and dropped a lit match into his lap. He did this in reaction to the Buddhist Crisis  and treatment by the ruling administration in South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem being the president at the time. It was caught on film for the world to see:

I’m not posting this for shock value or for any political reason. I simply think it needs sharing. I think the world needs to see what true devotion and true belief means. Granted, I can’t believe Thích Quảng Đức did such a thing or why ANYONE would do such a thing, but it is amazing what people will do and the lengths they’ll go to for a cause they truly believe in.

I think the other amazing thing about this particular case is Thích Quảng Đức didn’t move or make one sound while he burned. He fell over after his death, but the whole time he sat in the lotus position and never moved a muscle.

 

This also got me to thinking of the student protests going on in London of late over the increase to university fees. The students have resorted to violence to try to get their message across. This, historically, has never been a useful tool in protesting or getting what you want. Generally speaking, it has the adverse effect. I wonder what Thích Quảng Đức would have made of these protesters and their methods. Probably agree that it was pointless and will achieve nothing, but I’m not sure how many people would agree that his way was better (although it could be argued he helped the coup take place)

Con Air Causes Deep Thinking


So I’m sitting here watching the film……. God, I can’t believe I’m going to admit this……. Con Air………… And the biggest shock, not only am I enjoying it (I’m in the right frame of mind for mindless, action crap) but it’s also making me think.

So as you may or may not know, Nicholas Cage is the hero of the film. He gets sent down for murder 3 months before his daughter was born. The first few minutes of the film is a talk-over of his letters to her and vice versa (obviously once she was old enough to write) and this is the part that got me thinking.

I’ve spent a lot more time in the last few days with Shannon (my daughter) than usual (lack of training on my part) and it’s been wonderful. She’s becoming such a character and seems to be becoming a right little daddy’s girl.

And seeing this scene in the film got me wondering how I’d feel about hearing of my daughter growing up without me being there. Already in this 7 months I’ve watched her grow from being a crying, shitting, eating blob to a hilarious, inquisitive, intelligent child. So much has happened and it would break my heart to think of missing any of it. Hell, the first time she crawled, I missed it by 1 hour due to being at work (luckily my wife managed to film it for me) and I was devastated! Sod missing 10 years!

Still, you break the law……..