Monthly Archives: April 2008

Record breakers!

One of the main reasons I really love working for my employers is it is entirely compatible with my deep-rooted feelings towards my home town, as despite being privately owned now Boots is still very much an institution and will be constantly associated with Nottingham.  Another is that it’s great that Boots does plenty of worthy things for charities, much of which goes unreported, however this post is about last year’s shenanigans to raise over £1m for Children in Need.

Part of this cash, around £16,000 to be precise, was raised by some ingenius people in our head office deciding to attempt to break a Guinness World Record; upon perusing potential records to tackle they fantastically opted to target the large ‘wobble board’ ensemble.  Those of you who know me well will know I love most things related to Rolf Harris, so upon hearing about it I couldn’t wait to sign up and, indeed, even agreed to help coordinate the attempt on the day.

Children in Need day at Boots is generally a bit of a ‘tools down and raise cash’ kinda day – and for the day our team had opted for fancy dress.  Thanks to my colleague Katie and her very generous friend Dean, I was able to borrow a Chewbacca costume for the day – somewhat to the surprise of the other guys orchestrating the Wobble Board attempt!  It was a really really fun day – and raised plenty of cash for a fantastic cause.

Anyway, I digress.  Over the last couple of days Boots received word that the chaps at the Guinness Book of Records have confirmed our record-breaking attempt was a success and sent a certificate to say so – they have yet to update their website with the information, and we wait with excitement to see if we make it into the book – but for now, I rather amusingly featured on the picture Boots used to announce the confirmation on their corporate intranet – dressed as Chewbacca, stood next to the Chief Executive of Boots!

A nice reminder of a day well-spent!

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I’ve never really succumbed to the charms of Apple, which is unusual having at least slight geekish tendencies – I know a number of my friends are very much converts – but whilst the aesthetics of Apple’s stuff has always appealed to me, compatibility issues and – if I’m honest – fear of the unfamiliar has always kept me faithful with PCs. And that’s not really changed.

Despite often pondering it, even the ubiquitous iPod didn’t lure me into the ranks of an owner of an Apple product – whilst there are cheaper mp3 players on the market, the simplicity and aesthetics were big appeals and I must admit I’ve almost succumbed a number of times on that front. It wasn’t until I encountered an iPhone that I became absolutely determined I was going to own one – and now I do.

Now, many of the iPhone’s features would have put me off a while back – they’re rigidly uncustomisable without them being hacked, and whilst they array of tasks they perform is awesome – they are often limited, for example, Bluetooth is crippled to only work as a means to transmit calls to a device – not transfer files etc, it’s only available on the o2 network in the UK, the camera software has little or not functionality… in the past I wouldn’t have been happy with this.

But now, to be honest, I was tempted by both the form and the function. A phone of course is the primary function, and the ability to send text messages – but the lure of having some music on the go (I’m not a big music-on-the-go listener, but I do like to on occasion), and more importantly ‘proper’ internet access when I’m out and about was big selling point for me – and I’ve not been disappointed at all. Little things like the ‘pinch to zoom’ type stuff, the finger-dragging to scroll etc were all icing on the cake.

It’s true that I’ve had to install the hateful iTunes on my computer in order to control its content, but it’s been worth the palaver now I’ve got a selection of stuff I’m happy with on there, all with cover artwork to maximise the impact of the awesome coverflow view (I’m so easily impressed!!). The other bonus is that I can actually get a mobile signal at work now, which I couldn’t before on the Orange network.

Credit to Orange, they made it incredibly easy for me to cancel their contract – allowing me to “buy out” the remaining time for an amount significantly lower than it would have been had I been held to it, and my number should be transferred over to the iPhone in a couple of days, a week after activating it, which isn’t bad at all. I guess that’s basic customer service but that’s not something you can always take for granted these days!

So I can’t see myself rushing out to buy a Powerbook or anything, but my first experience of owning an Apple product has been a very pleasing one!

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Chelsea dagger..

I discovered recently I could very well find myself an awarding winning amateur radio journalist! Well, sort of. Dave mentioned it to me, but I’d half forgotten what with being ill, and then had the strange surprise of hearing myself on the radio alarm clock as I was waking up this morning – which, since I’ve not done any work with BBC Radio Nottingham for a while was a bit of a surprise.

Basically, Radio Nottingham have been nominated for a Sony award – the radio equivalent of the Oscars (so they say!) – and in being nominated, the award organisers picked 30 features provided by BBC Radio Nottingham during the qualification period for the awards. And one of the two sports features they picked was an audio diary I recorded when Forest ‘played’ Chelsea last year in the FA Cup – at which time I was quite regularly doing fan bulletins for the radio.

You can listen to the audio diary in full by using the link below – I’m quite chuffed about it, it was good fun and it’s a shame they’ve since decided not to utilise my pathetic addiction to Nottingham Forest to continue recording my largely boring thoughts about the not-so-mighty Reds! That said, I bombarded the poor sods at Radio Nottingham with audio clips throughout the day, so massive credit should also go to the poor bugger who had to edit it into something sensible! (I think the aptly named Tim Forrest can take credit for that).

There was also a photo gallery setup on the BBC website for the Chelsea vs. Forest match – which you can visit by clicking here. I miss being a media whore!

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I’ve been bedridden for nigh on 10 days, pretty much – particularly last week, I was sleeping 20 hours a day (fitfully) and feeling generally shite… the worst part was, when awake I wasn’t able to deal with the computer, TV or reading – by the end of the week I thought I was going to go completely mad!

Thankfully over the last couple of days I’ve been feeling much better, and am planning on returning to work tomorrow – and, perversely, I’m really looking forward to it!  Being stuck in the house with nowt but a trip to the doctors to break the monotony has given me a serious case of cabin fever – so getting back to normality will be a welcome relief.

It’s quite unlike me to take ill, and I’m not the best patient when I am – I get pretty irritable, as anyone would I suppose – I also managed to miss a trip to watch Forest beat Tranmere at the weekend which was very annoying, I mean, how often do I actually get to see Forest win matches away from home?

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