Tuesday, August 30

My Hip Is Broken

A few weeks ago I had a fleeting conversation with the sister of one of my friends. She's 18 (uhh I think) and I now I feel so old.

We were able to communicate pretty easily but the language was kinda different. I do have people of the same age on my list (note to any coppers reading: they are family or friends of family so it's all innocent) but there was something about that day that made me realise how old I am. I'm not sure what it was exactly.

And it is embarrassing at times. Pathetic even. It's especially worrying 'cos I don't feel like I'm 27 at all. It's like I'm in some kind of age limbo, with people constantly commenting on how good I am at acting younger than my years. Maybe I'm hanging desperately on to my past and being dragged kicking and screaming into age. I just hope I don't become one of those old men who wear baseball caps and use forced slang. "Wicked" is still in, isn't it?

Time to grow up and start acting my age? Maybe. I'm not sure how to though... I have friends of all ages and get on with all of them (although at times I feel too mature and others the opposite), so I don't think it's the company that's at issue. Maybe I have to change my clothes or the programmes I watch or something? Maybe it's marriage that forces people to grow up or something? It'll be interesting to see if that's the case.

Monday, August 29

Lazy Monday

Got a call yesterday from the groom of the wedding that was supposed to be held today. I say supposed because the reason he called was to tell me not to come since it had been cancelled. I didn't press on the reason, but it is a bummer.

This means that my Bank Holiday Monday won't be as busy as I thought it would be. So after forcing a 20 minute lie in (BHMs being the only days I don't have to wake up to a chore for) here I am wondering what I'll do for the rest of it. Still, after yesterday I need to recover a bit and so a part of me wants to just stay indoors and veg in front of the telly, catching up on the series, Bollywood and videogames that I need to catch up on. The other part of me considers that staying in would be a total waste of such a beautiful day.

I'll prolly end up doing a bit of both though.

Party Over Here

120 people in a regular terraced house for lunch wasn't as crazy as it sounds. Once lunch was out of the way, we could all just concentrate on hanging out in the garden under the marquee cracking joke, cussing each other and basically doing what we do every week but this time doing it while dressed up in fancy clothes.

(Note: NOT a gazebo)

I have no idea where the eleven hours went (although a few of us did take an excursion to Green Street in the middle). Definitely one of those rare summer thangs.

Sunday, August 28

Things That Pee Me Off #32: Wireless Keyboards

And if I ever find the guy who invented them, I'm gonna kick his ass.

Saturday, August 27

Shak's Choice: Esha Deol

I've admired Esha for a while now, but just not enough to mark her as a choice of mine. But hey, why not use the showing of Dhoom today as an excuse to search for a picture of her to post?

To be honest I didn't think she was all that fantastic when she first started out but she's definitely matured now (the Hema shining through and her quite apparent gym usage doesn't hurt her case much either) and I take great pleasure in being wrong about her in the past. I might even go as far as saying that she's my favorite Bolly actress at the moment. Nuts, I know.

I'm not sure what it is. Something homely and girl-next-door maybe? Or perhaps the total opposite. Most likely, it's a contradictory combination of the two that every guy loves. Hoo-rah.

One Down, One To Go

A pretty straightforward wedding, this was, just how I like them. The nearby location made it even more painless. However I now feel like I'm stuck in limbo; I don't have anything left planned for today and as fun as the wedding was I still fill kinda unfulfilled today.

Thankfully Dhoom is on the telly, and I'm sure there's an excursion to Leyton gagging to be had later. I'm sure that'll fix me right up.

The Panoramic City Circle: A Question of Leadership - Part II Click for more info

Today's City Circle was busier than usual, and we decided that this was partly due to Inayat Bunglawala being on the panel, but mainly due to the coverage the weekly gathering had on Sunday's Panorama programme.

The discussion itself was good, but not as great as some of the previous panel format CCs. It was amusing because of the characters present (the aforementioned Bungawala as well as Martin Bright of the Observer) but I'm not sure if the ground covered was anything more than rhetoric from all sides. It was my first time seeing Inayat speaking live, and my respect for him has grown (after dipping for a few years).

Still, with the popularity and exposure of the CC rising each week, I predict it will attract bigger names and crowds. I just hope it manages to avoid the bad things that popularity sometimes inevitably brings.

Friday, August 26


The last Bank Holiday weekend till the year end, and mine is kinda full already which is nice. I have two weddings and a lunch party to attend to be precise. Looking forward to all three, even if I’m going alone to the wedding on Monday.

It’s a bit annoying since I still haven’t seen Crash, but at least nothing has been released this week…


This actually happened sometime last week but I've no idea why I didn't blog it then. Perhaps due to its sensitivity at the time, I don’t know. Anyway, it turned out that my makeshift pimps, The Hussains, had yet another potential rishta lined up for me (the previous one, as predicted, seems to have fizzled out), in particular a doctor friend of a friend. So, we passed our number and waited for the call.

A few days later, the potential's mother rung mine. The conversation went something like this, although bear in mind stuff has been edited and paraphrased for dramatic effect:

(…cue introductory preamble…)

Her: So… What does your son do?
My Mum: He works in Computing in a Hedge Fund.
Her: Oh… We were actually looking for a doctor.
My Mum: Oh. Right. Well he’s not a doctor. Umm…

(…cue ten minute friendly chat…)

Her: So we should keep in touch.
My Mum: Sure. Drop by when you’re in the area.
Her: Yes. And hey, if you know of any doctors let me know. I’ll do the same for you – what exactly are you looking for? Any career requirements?
My Mum: Nah. We don’t care about stuff like that. I guess we’d like someone who prays five times a day since everyone in the family does the same.
Her: Whaaaaat? Prayer? Huh?

(…cue standard conversation closers…)

Ok, we should note that the potential is a doctor herself, but still. Even giving the benefit of the doubt and assuming a doctor was required for practical more than snobby reasons, it’s still a bit poo.

Hey, it was funny more than anything else. Go me.

Tuesday, August 23

Happy Birthday Dear Blog

It was a year ago today that I posted my first article on this blog. Quite unbelievable, since it feels like I've been ranting and raving on this thing for much longer.

It's been a strange experience, at times therapeutic, at others philosophical with the remaining just serving as a written record of what I've been up to. I'm not sure if I'll ever read back the things I have written (not in any meticulous detail, anyway) but it's nice to have something to back up this creaking memory of mine; I wish I had started one much earlier than I did since there have been important dates in my like that I'd have liked to record (like Hajj, Bolly Star and running a marathon).

And it's because of this written record I've now managed to collate the following statistics. In the last year I have:

  • Seen 48 films in the cinema
  • Added 63 music tracks to my playlist
  • Retold 10 snippets
  • Read 16 books
  • Reported 11 Choices
  • Linked 22 times
  • Made 12 television recommendations
  • Played 16 videogames
  • Made one new friend via the blog itself
Unfortunately Blogger is a bit poo in that I cannot work out exactly how may posts I have written, but there have been at least 300 as of December last year. Blimey. Other things that have been recorded are the new friends I've made, activities like Acting and First-aid classes, holidays and weddings I've been to and pretty girls I've seen on the tube.

Despite the constants above, I think the blog itself has changed over the last 12 months. What initially started as a place for me to post articles (of topics I had always been thinking of and discussing with friends about) became more of a dumping ground as I ran out of such things. Posts have become shorter and more objective and so perhaps pointless.

Still, I've struggled to keep it up and I like to think that I'm doing ok, and I won't mention by name the blogs that have risen and fallen (and sometimes risen again) around me. Apart from instilling some kind of pride in me, I hope that I can take it as a sign that I'm doing something right.

This last observation may even go some way to validate some of the principles by which I run this blog; things like not commenting on my own articles, minimising the literal naming and focusing on of specific people, and not writing about the private issues of others even if I happen to share them.

Anyway, here are some of the more, in my opinion, notable posts:
So what of the next year? Well the last wasn't particularly active but I managed to squeeze out a few posts a week and I have more than a feeling that the next will have even more for me to talk about. I've also got a few emergency draft posts for the times when it doesn't.

Anyway, that's enough recursion for a morning. I hope you've enjoyed or at least found curious this blog over the last year, and I hope that you decide to pop in from time to time to see where it goes in the next.

Thanks for reading, and apologies for any offending typos.

Monday, August 22

Things That Pee Me Off #14: Unnecessary Umbrellas

Why do some people feel the need to open their umbrellas when it isn't even raining? Is it just to maim and kill those around them? Is it some sort of psychological comfort thing? Are they trying to protect their hair from humidity?

And it's almost always a short woman doing it. I bet they won't even stop to ask if I'm ok when they inevitably poke my eye out.


Sunday, August 21

Balle In Barking

We spent a couple of hours at the East London Mela this evening. I thought it was my first, but I realised that I had been to a few before (long, long  ago). It was pretty good, if only for the BBC AN stage (Khiza, Ams, Metz, Trix and the star of the show, Raghev swoon).

The rest of it was standard affair, with rides and food stalls. The people were ok and relatively well behaved albeit replete with rudies etc, and a couple of us were happy to keep our eyes busy with crowd surfing.

I did notice that almost everyone my age had kids in tow, though. Oldest single person at the mela? Possibly.

Boardgame Mania

Another birthday last night and this time we decided to go all out and overboard with the party/boardgames. It's a testament to our disorganisation that it takes us two hours to play one round of anything, but we got through most of it by the end.

We opened with Scene-It, a DVD board game. This was pretty different in that it involves film clips and questions that you play via a DVD player, and pretty hard in that a lot of us didn't have a clue about any film that wasn't a) new and b) pop. Still, it was pretty fun and hectic (and at times, violent) and a good start to the evening's antics. My team lost quite badly, but only 'cos we didn't have the eldest member on our team (honest!).

After a cake break, we brought out Singstar. I'm ace at this, even if I do say so myself. Once again people brought it, and once again I shot them down.

It was already getting pretty late (it's a curse with us lot) by the time we got around to Cranium. This game offers a bunch of challenges for the teams to do and would probably be the game which offered the most variety. Oh, and our team won.

Alas we didn't get time to play Taboo. It was already way past my bedtime when we had completed Cranium so something had to give. Still, I think boardgames are quickly becoming our thing... Although having said that a few of need to work on our tempers I think. Ahem.

Saturday, August 20


It's not that grey after all.

Friday, August 19

New Music

Harder To Breathe – Maroon 5

Nobody told me that they sung this. Anyway, everyone seems to like Maroon 5. It may be their range of styles or just the sense of fun their music has or even the way they force you to sing along with them. Whatever the reason Bon Jovi on my playlist had better watch out.

Thursday, August 18

A-Levels Hoo Ha

Jebus. I can't believe that it was eight years ago that a bunch of mates and I went to LSC to pick up our results. For some of us it was a formality, for others it seemed like the most important thing in their lives. It was an exciting day for all of us though - those that knew where they stood were rooting for those who didn't. No one wanted to be disappointed.

I'm interested in two sets of results today, one from each of the above camps. Due to the bizarre online UCAS systems (how things have advanced eh?), the first student knows that his chosen university (Imperial, no less. I'm not sure whether to be happy or sad for him) has accepted him and so has a good idea of his grades (give or take an A). He'll have no anticipation to deal with when he goes to college to pick up his results. He'll be able to enjoy today and be there for others who may not have made it like he did.

The second case is not so straightforward. Without getting into the detail, her results will be the start of a possibly long and arduous clearing session; there are no guarantees here.

I won't claim to know what it feels like to be in the latter situation, but however patronising it may sound I've met enough people to know that A-levels don't have to mean as much we might want them to. People have gone on to do great things with much less while some with fantastic grades are currently wondering at which point their straight As had failed them. I'd be the last person to say they don't mean anything at all, but they really are a only a part of what will be your future. The rest, quite cheesily, is up to you.

Wednesday, August 17


xxxx says: oh man
xxxx says: you know
xxxx says: evangeline lily
xxxx says: gues who sh'es going out with
Shak says: who?!"?!!?
xxxx says: the fucking hobbit"!
Shak says: nott hat hobbit
Shak says: oh man KNEW IT
xxxx says: I don't like here anywmore
Shak says: i duno why i had the feeling.. maybe ive seen them in a opiccie
xxxx says: also the fact that she dumped her husband after gaining fame
Shak says: what!??!!?1
Shak says: i hate girls that do that
xxxx says: her poor husband supported her while she was waitreseing and stuff
xxxx says: don't like here anymore
xxxx says: slag
Shak says: thats why i'll never marry a fittie
xxxx says: nah man ..
xxxx says: you gtet fitties who are decent ppl
xxxx says: but it's the ones who are desperate for fame
xxxx says: those ar the ones you gotta look out for
Shak says: lol ok ill bear that in mind
xxxx says: b esure that you do
xxxx says: and make sure you marrrt ya fittie


Shak says: just need to elave early today and wondering how to
xxxx says: you need to leave early?
xxxx says: eeermm just say you need to go somewhere?
Shak says: hahahah
xxxx says: eh whats so funny
Shak says: im not sure i can just say that
Shak says: or maybe i can. id unno
xxxx says: dentist/doctor/belly ache/start sneezing.. anything man
xxxx says: im sure youre a great actor
xxxx says: or be honest and tell em you'll make up the extra time
Shak says: well feigning illness is the easy way out
xxxx says: innit
Shak says: but i dont fake illness
xxxx says: innit again
xxxx says: i so knew you wouldnt
Shak says: then why suggest it?
xxxx says: just to see whether i could influence you! duh!
Shak says: im just gonna act like i own the placce and leave
xxxx says: mwahahaha
xxxx says: i like that idea "i am the king of my galaxy"
Shak says: oh please. itd take more than a girl to inlfuence me
xxxx says: pfft yah right
Shak says: if i let every girl who tried to succeed... well lets just say i wouldnt be as pure and innocent as i am now
xxxx says: hahahahaha again yah right

Book: Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee, Meera Syal

Back to fiction and I thought I'd start with a book that was adapted for television a while ago. With a bad start and even worse ending, the book is saved by the fantastic 90% in the middle.

Syal uses third and first person to tell the story, the later rotating between the three main female characters. This ever changing of perspectives is a good thing and helps bring balance to the book - my fears of this being another girl power manual (see: Gurinder Chanda) were allayed pretty early on.

Ultimately though, and despite what I said up there, this is a book that focuses on the female view of life rather than male. This isn't a bad thing in itself of course (although I'll stop short of calling this a "chick flick" book), but I'd be interested to read something of the same but from a guy's position instead. Recommendations welcome.

Tuesday, August 16

Things That Pee Me Off #32: Dawdlers

How easy is it for someone to walk down the street without getting into other people's way? Very it seems. Now admittedly, I have a very fast pace, but this isn't about speed. I have nothing against people who wish or have to walk slowly, and there are people who walk faster than I do anyway.

No. This is about etiquette and awareness of other people on the street. I'm talking about the people who stop or change direction suddenly without warning, the people who think for some reason that it's a good idea to walk the long diagonal along a pavement, the people in groups who take up the whole width of the sidewalk, and even the people who insist on walking side by side instead of behind the stranger who walk the same speed as they do and so make it difficult for those of us who want to get on with it to overtake.

Yes this is a trivial thing that is irritating me, but that's exactly the point. It doesn't take much effort to be aware of the people behind or around you - it's easy to tell when someone is trying to get past you and even easier to stop and allow them to do so. And of course we all get lost and disoriented, but we don't have to become lost and disoriented in the middle of a station platform, right?

Bleh. I dunno.

Monday, August 15

Independence Days And Gaza Pull Outs

While two countries in the Indian Sub-continent are celebrating the day on which they gained their independence, somewhere in the Middle East a controversial pull out plan has become law. While Israeli PM Ariel Sharon finally makes settlers vacate the Gaza Strip (and gets criticised by almost everyone in the process), Indian PM Manmohan Singh uses his Independence Day speech to warn Pakistan to end its alleged support for militants in Kashmir (here).

Apart from the timing there are a few things connecting these two events, some obvious and others not so. The bit I want to focus on is patriotism and how in these cases it may have led to the trouble the two regions are in.

For some reason I always cringe when people talk about how they love their country or speak of it like it's the best thing ever. Please don't misunderstand; I love visiting Pakistan, and I also love living in the UK, but I'm not sure I can bring myself to talking about these countries like they are some kind of spiritual being that I've been friends with all my life (although as some of you may know I can hardly be described as sentimental).

Still, I think that this personification of a country is just one of the symptoms of being over-patriotic. Is that even possible though? If it becomes the direct cause of unhappiness or injustice then I'd say yes. Whatever your opinion of the current situations in Kashmir and the Middle East, I reckon that if people were more patriotic to people than to the clumps of the land that they may not even live in or have never even visited, then there wouldn't be any situations to talk about in the first place. Perhaps then leaders can use Independence Day talks to exclusively discuss the positive things that have come from freedom while allowing people to freely live together rather than forcibly live apart.

Sunday, August 14

New Music

Naam Adaa Likhna - Yahaan

It's not often I take to the personal recommendation of someone else, but there are always exceptions like this one, although I think I had heard this before anyway. A softly sung ballad; the kind that makes me wanna walk gently on my tip toes for some reason.

Yaara Di Yaari - Hunterz Feat Ishar

Is this an old song? I don't know, but it's taken from Hunterz' old Phat Trax album and sung with what seems like his brother. Superb cheese ("London town put yer hands up BO!") and almost identikit bhangra made this a must have for me.

I Can Feel It (Club Mix) - Sabrina Feat. Sir Aah

Remix of the previously mentioned tune by Sabrina, now featuring a rap by Bump & Grind's Sir Aah. I initially hated it but now realise that the revamp is exactly what the track needed to last another couple of months on my playlist.

Saturday, August 13

It's a Boy!

Once again the Dadi blessing/curse (depending on your view) strikes and a baby boy was born into our family in the early hours of the morning. Everyone is well and mother and baby will probably be released sometime this afternoon. Until then we have an MMS to coo over.

Looks like any other baby to me though.

Friday, August 12


It's a funny thing, time. I mean everyone knows how time flies when you're having fun and will drag otherwise. But I'm not sure that's always the case. Take last night for example.

Now, traditionally, Thursday is a very busy day for me. Without going into too much detail it's the weekly spot I leave aside do my personal stuff (like washing my hair and things like that) and so I avoid making plans to go out on this day (and so if you need me for anything I'm more likely to respond positively if it's not a Thursday). However, sometimes things happen on Thursdays. On even rarer occasions, a lot happens on Thursdays. And yesterday was one of those Thursdays. It went something like this:

7pm: Meeting at Walthamstow's Chilli 'n Spice. My misguided belief that arriving early would mean leaving the same was trounced by the all powerful notion of Asian Timing. I didn't even eat much since I wanted to leave as soon as possible. Now don't get me wrong; it was a fun and constructive dinner but I was fully conscious of the clock too.

9pm: My neighbour has a minor emergency as I approach home. After dealing with that, I quickly pray, have dinner (ironically if I had eaten in the restaurant I woulda been done faster) read my sabaq and even mange to get my personal stuff out of the way. I'm surprised since this is all something that would have usually taken me a whole evening to do.

10pm: At a time when, on regular weekdays, I would get ready to go to bed, I finally leave for Redbridge where the Collective were already waiting. Two hours of the usual fun and games and cake and mithai galore and I head off for home.

12am: Shower (including obligatory hair-washing) and then bed.

Ok, so on paper it doesn't sound like and probably isn't much. And I did pay for the late end with a late start today so something did give way. But still I did more last night than I do some weekends and it's very fulfilling when you have a checklist of disparate experiences at the end of your day. Y'know those rare moments when you're super-efficient with your time and all just slots and flows into each other and works out with no effort. It's almost a romantic effect and probably similar to the one you get when you spend a whole Sunday morning in bed lazing (alone or not).

It just makes me think of what I do with the free time that I do have on a more regular day. The depressing conclusion is always the same: that it's somehow all been wasted. But as my last example above indicates, it's not really about getting out of the house and attending parties or meetings and contributing to society or making the world a better place; it's more about spending as much time as possible feeling, be it happy, sad, or anything in between.

Of course the question we're left with now is whether to feel is in our own hands or not; I like to think that it totally is. But if that's the case why aren't we always doing so?

Tuesday, August 9

MSN Slags

Y'know, the people who willy nilly add others to their MSN Messenger lists with no thought or care about who it is they're adding. Perhaps I'm being over-protective of my own list but (family and work contacts aside) there are only people of a certain calibre on mine, and therefore it also has to be someone I know pretty well.

Of course it's due to the way we all use instant messaging. For me IM is pretty much a a direct line to myself, as (and if not more) important than my phone. It's not something I can give away too easily and to too many people. I don't give my phone number to just anyone in the same way.

I guess that for some IM is just a timepass, a virtual (and so not real) playground that they don't have to take seriously or under the same social rules as other forms of communication, and so do not care who they have on it. That in itself is fair enough, but for me it's an equivalent and recognised form of communication and so it's unlikely that someone who doesn't feel the same way will fit into my use of it.

And although the good people at Microsoft have recently decided to bump our contact list capacities to three hundred (at last!) I think I need a bit of a spring clean of my list. Of course I don't have warn people that I may disappear from their lists; the point is that those that do get deleted will either not notice or, more likely, not care anyway.

Monday, August 8

New Music

Main Vari Vari - The Rising

Qawali-a-like from the upcoming film The Rising. Nice enough if a bit short. The film itself is interesting as it's going to play on my regular screen so I'll probably get to watch it.


Another Khan Birthday Party(tm) last night was the perfect excuse for the inaugural BBQ in their new garden. As usual it was super duper but seemingly long overdue. Differences included an extra pair of wives and staircase chatter (which I've not done for a while). It's all very different yet so familiar...

We rounded off the night with a game of our latest boardgame, Taboo, which I made sure everyone enjoyed. It felt like the death-knell of computer games to be honest, although at least playing Gamecube never got violent.

I left late and am now paying for it. Urgh.

Sunday, August 7

YAW (Yet Another Wedding)

Well not quite since this was the valima corresponding to Friday's event. Idris was with us attention seeking (as usual) and I even got to meet and sit next to an old neighbour of mine from Leytonstone which was nice. Interestingly, although I was the oldest on our table (not by much, mind), I was the only one without stories of parental pressure of marriage and rishtas.

Take this wedding; there seemed to be more girlies here than usual (although it may have just seemed that way to me since it was the first non-segregated wedding I had been to in a LONG time). But I'm confident that, despite my parents impressive networking skills (they know how to work a party), they won't sort anything out. It's actually quite frustrating - you know, I honestly think that my folks are broken or something.

No comments pointing out any obvious irony please.

Friday, August 5

Wedding In Upton Lane

Quick in and out job this time, although the food was nice. It's always amusing watching my dad bust out the Gujarati on the rare occasions that he can. And since it was Upton Lane there was, of course, plenty of rasmalai:


Book: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling

It was a boring summer weekday in Canada when I was forced to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I say "forced" because before that I had always refused to contributing to the cheapening of literature by reading what was clearly just a popular fad. And that was despite so many people (my own brother included) telling me how great the books were.

So when a young(ish) Canadian cousin who was mad for Harry Potter offered me the first book to read I accepted it with scepticism. I think I finished it in a day; The Chamber of Secrets in two. Ever since then I've been fan. Beautifully, almost technically, written, the HP books are among my favourites (others being Perdido and the Chronicles of Narnia).

I think this is for two reasons: The depth of the characters (from the Dawson's Creek style relationships and interactions to the real, albeit cheap, self analysis) and the cast iron mysteries and their subsequent solving. It's almost like Rowling has written them all backwards: everything always eventually falls into place and seemingly irrelevant details from as far back as the first book become important later. It's not difficult reading this book at all.

The sixth book in the series is no different and continues with the change in pace shown in the last one, concentrating more on events outside of Hogwarts rather than in. Now, to be honest, I found this to put a bit of a downer on the fifth book (which although still brilliant was the least favourite of mine), but for me HBP manages to bring the level back up.

Oh, and a cousin setting his Messenger name to the finale of the book didn't spoil it too much for me too much, although I will still kick his ass the next time I see him.


Thursday, August 4

Link Of The Day

Lust Or Bust

I wonder if anyone will admit to being good at this? Again, thanks to Rub.

Wednesday, August 3

Joke of The Day

A man goes into a sex shop to buy an inflatable doll.

"Would you like male or female?" asks the assistant.
"Female, please."
"Would you like Black, or White?"
"Black, please"
"Would you like a Christian or Muslim?"
This question confused the man. "What has religion got to do with it?" he asks.
"Well," explained the assistant, "The Muslim one blows itself up..."

(Thanks to Rub)

Tuesday, August 2

Game: God of War (PS2)

A nice straightforward slash-em-up in the mould of Onimusha, but set in the realm of Greek Mythology instead, and as you know everyone loves Greek Mythology. One level in and it's not that bad; it definitely earns it's 18 rating what with the gratuitous violence and nudity (the minigame at the start of level two is particularly funny/disgusting depending on your point of view, or possibly just your gender).

I'll keep banging on at it till I get bored, but hopefully I'll see the end before that happens.

All K750i'd Up

Around two and bit months after its release, I've finally got myself a SE K750i. Yes, I know at least three other people who have it (and I have a hunch of who will be first to remind me of this fact) but the delay was the price I had to pay to avoid getting a Vodafone Live! handset instead of the stock version I now have.

While I'm on the topic, it's a shame that Vodafone feel a need to barstadise such a good phone and an even bigger shame that SE have to whore themselves in this manner to survive, but that's life in a business where a company like Nokia is market leader. But I digress.

So here I am, waiting for my phonebook to transfer (in its entirety over Bluetooth, naturally) to the new phone for testing but for some reason I'm not excited. It could be the delay in getting the phone since the SE K750, despite the best non-smartphone out, has still been out for a while now. It also could be that I think that I now want another phone, the Orange SPV C550 instead. For my own sanity, here are pros for each:

For the SE K750i:

  • It's a Sony Ericsson, who have had my custom since the PH768 days. Despite some niggles, the T610 will probably be my most favourite phone ever due to the way it just works. SE really have a knack of making good phones, and the K750i won't be any different. I am assured of a good BT implementation, good contacts management, nice enough support and few bugs.
  • A fantastic camera. I've wanted to start taking more piccies and, as my recent run in with the police shows, cameraphones leave a lot to be desired. The camera on the K750i is top notch, but not just for the number of pixels it can snap but its lens and ability to autofocus (a first for a phone, I think).
  • My existing PDA will not be made redundant by it.
  • Keeping this handset will not involve playing swapsie with a friend (which sometimes does complicate things) or waiting even longer for a new phone.
For the SPV C550:
  • It's a smartphone, running Windows Mobile 2003. This means it offers a level of flexibility you won't get on other non-smartphones, like being able to run Tomtom, MSN Messenger, Windows Media Player 10 (which is different to the K750i's since it supports synchonisation with a host PC) and even things I may want to write for it myself.
  • It has a wonderful contacts browser. Now this may sound lame but if you ever get a chance to play with it, I think you'll fall in love with it too. Think T9 for your addressbook and you'll get an idea. The thing is that there's no reason why this couldn't be implemented on non-smartphones too.
  • I won't have to invest in Memory Stick (I need at least 512MB of memory just for music).
  • Unlike the K750i, common people don't have it. Ahem.
Hmm. I think after listing the above I'm leaning towards the K750i, since I have a relatively new PDA and really do want a nice camera to use. I also can't keep wanting the latest phone (can anyone spell D500?), and to be honest it's only been the contacts browser on the SPV that's really wowed me (although WMP synchronistaion would be nice too).

Whatever the case, I guess it's a good sign that my life is so lacking in any real problems that I only have to worry about which phone to get!

Monday, August 1

Radio Request

Does anyone fancy taking part in a radio panel discussion regarding the London bombings almost a month ago? The programme will cover a range of issues relating to the London Bombings including:

  • The fear and safety of Londoners,
  • The state of race relations in the country since the bombings,
  • Muslims have been criticised for not integrating enough - is this fair?
  • The role of faith leaders,
  • 'Shoot-to-kill' policy,
  • Motivation for the bombers - can Blair's foreign policy be blamed?

The station itself is The BBC Asian Network and it says here that they need "vocal people who have questions to ask of the authorities, groups that represent the people and terrorism experts".

It's being held on the 8th between 9am and noon somewhere in East London. If you're interested, let me know.

Two For Two

A new week and another stop and search. This one was much less formal than the first, the paperwork taking longer to complete than the search itself. The BTP this morning were especially pleasant asking me what I was reading and what I had in my lunch sandwiches (of course I couldn't tell them since I didn't actually know myself and I didn't correct one when he asserted that it was my wife that had packed it).

The point is that they were making a very appreciable effort and portraying a "we don't want to do this but we have to" attitude. Works for me; I even got a badge number this time.

Notting Hill Gate

Just so you know...