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SparkyDeighton

SparkyDeighton

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Reviews written

since 08/08/2001

37

Member Advice on Emphysema 24/05/2006

Every Breath You Take (see bottom for update)

Member Advice on Emphysema Coping with Emphysema Please indulge me this is a long one. This is an unusual departure for me in the fact that this is a serious article. 'But none of your others are funny!' I hear you say. True but some of them were meant to be. Seriously, the subject matter contained herein is no laughing matter and has taken some considerable research. The medical material quoted has been found on the internet and comes mainly from American sites which I found strange as this is a universal disease and as a sufferer I am perturbed that the scant information that I have been given conflicts with the consensus of expert opinions to be found issued by the U.S. Government. My Story ~~~~~~ Back in 1987/8 at the age of 23 I lost weight dramatically. I noticed that I had lost 10lbs in 3 days, and a total of 21lbs in a week. I have never been big or even average weight for my height, nor was I consciously watching my weight but I worked in a chemical plant whose health and safety standards were dubious to say the least. Friends started to comment on the weight loss and how poorly I looked so I made an appointment with my doctor. I was terrified that I had cancer as this was the only thing that I could think of that could be the cause of my rapid decline. After a series of extensive tests that took over six months as an out-patient I was summonsed to see my specialist, who, after a brief examination of my chest informed me that I had Emphysema and a prolapse of the Mitral valve ...

Pinnacle Insurance PLC 28/06/2004

Peak performance from Pinnacle

Pinnacle Insurance PLC From the outset I would like to make it perfectly clear that the whole concept of insurance appals me. We are made to pay out vast sums of money each year out of fear. Isn’t that the same as extortion? We pay buildings and contents insurance on our homes in the event that we may come home one day to find that our house is no longer standing, or more realistically that some scumbag that can not be bothered to get out of bed and go to work to feed their drug habit has decided that your computer, D.V.D. player, microwave or whatever will buy their daily fix, decides that it's your turn to be robbed. In the process they wreck your property and leave you paranoid about leaving your house. We pay car insurance every year, only to find that the ar****le that has just written off the car that you are still paying for has no insurance. We pay life insurance in case we die in debt. Who collects it? The poor sod that has paid it, hardly! I could go on but I won’t, as this is a positive review about an excellent company that I had to deal with recently. The name of that company is Pinnacle Insurance PLC. Initially I had no idea that I would be dealing with them but I shall explain that matter as this tale unfolds. As some of you will be aware earlier this year I was unable to work for three months due to a serious incapacity. At the point when I realised that I would not be returning to work as quickly as I had envisaged I remembered that I had some payment ...

Glaxowellcome Zyban 09/06/2004

Smoke gets in your eyes, lungs, clothes..

Glaxowellcome Zyban Update 9th June 2004. It's my 40th birthday today and one year down the line I'm still not smoking, so believe me it can be done. --------------- --------------- --------------- --------------- ------- First a serious word of warning SMOKING KILLS ….. SLOWLY Had that been on the packet many moons ago when I was stupid enough to buy cigarettes I still don’t think it would have stopped me; but when I started getting worse health-wise maybe I wouldn’t have been looking for other causes for my emphysema. I needed something else to blame so that I could continue sticking that stupid poisonous tube in my mouth 20 –40 times a day for the best part of 26 years (two-thirds of my life to be exact). Why? That’s simple, because I am a weak person. Maybe that is a bit harsh because I am an addict. But unless I am honest with myself and those who are around to help me, then I am never truly going to beat my addiction problem. I have made numerous attempts to stop smoking; I think It was Mark Twain who said famously, ‘There is nothing hard about stopping smoking. I’ve done it hundreds of times.’ The trick is to stay stopped and for that there is help out there. Not every treatment or form of help suits everyone and you should always consult your doctor if you have a medical reason for wishing to stop; also check out the possible side effects. I have tried Zyban twice. For the fact that I was given a second chance I am grateful. For the fact that I needed a second chance ...

cd-wow.co.uk 24/08/2003

You will say WOW

cd-wow.co.uk I was looking for a film to watch last weekend and so decided to look on Ciao at the latest DVD’s being reviewed. I came across a review of Rowan Atkinson's latest offering, Johnny English. This is a film that I wanted to watch, but couldn't be bothered to go to the cinema. After reading the opinion I was pretty sure that I would enjoy the film (I’m a Bond anorak). Then I noticed the link CD Wow’s website advertising this film and Die Another Day at what appeared to be much less than the recommended retail price. As I have always believed, ‘If it appears to good to be true, then it probably is!’ With this in mind I had a delve into previous reviews about this web site and low and behold every opinion is positive. There were some minor niggles but on the whole the reviewers were happy with the company. I decided to part with some cash. The site itself is pleasantly laid out and very user friendly; you can order CD’s, DVD’s or Video Games from a huge selection. They have a bargain basement section for the older CD’s Games or DVD’s, which is well worth looking at with prices as low as £3.99. One point to note here is that the DVD are categorised as Region 1, Region 2, or Region Free (Multi-region) and the onus is on you to ensure you order the correct one. I no longer have that problem as, thanks to my mates Stu and Layla my DVD player is now multi-region. To order you have to be a member, which is a simple sign up procedure that doesn’t want too many details; ...

Vodaphone Connect 17/07/2003

Vodamoan Insurance... why bother

Vodaphone Connect Please note I am aware that this opinion appears in the Buyer Beware (non-paying) section verbatim. I have checked with Ciao and this is in order. *************** *************** *************** ******** What can I say about my love affair with Vodafone …. Lots! Please read on. You will have heard this story many times over, but please indulge me. Boy meets phone company, phone company meets boy, and it’s love at first sight. In his eyes the phone company can do no wrong! Well she suckered him. Led him on then gave the final blow like in the Karate Kid Movies. O.K. Serious head on now. I signed up for a contract phone with the above named company, not the name I would use now but this is a family site. I take out the insurance, as it was a camera phone and I had recently lost a mobile. Fine. Within one month of owning it I had an accident with it involving water, a toilet and a coughing fit, need I say more? That claim was eventually paid out with a new phone and 25.00 GBP (sorry still on U.S. Keyboard) excess. This now raises the price of that bl**dy phone to 175.00 GBP. It is currently going for 60.00 GBP if you buy on-line. I then had the extreme misfortune to lose the replacement while at a party. Believe me I am not in the habit of throwing phones away, selling them and claiming they are lost/stolen, nor of attempting to defraud insurance companies. I had a spate of bad luck! The company seems to take a different view. Below are the ...

Buyer Beware! (urgent warnings about products/services to avoid at all costs) 16/07/2003

Vodamoan Insurance...why bother?

Buyer Beware! (urgent warnings about products/services to avoid at all costs) What can I say about my love affair with Vodafone …. Lots! Please read on. You will have heard this story many times over, but please indulge me. Boy meets phone company, phone company meets boy, and it’s love at first sight. In his eyes the phone company can do no wrong! Well she suckered him. Led him on then gave the final blow like in the Karate Kid Movies. O.K. Serious head on now. I signed up for a contract phone with the above named company, not the name I would use now but this is a family site. I take out the insurance, as it was a camera phone and I had recently lost a mobile. Fine. Within one month of owning it I had an accident with it involving water, a toilet and a coughing fit, need I say more? That claim was eventually paid out with a new phone and 25.00 GBP (sorry still on U.S. Keyboard) excess. This now raises the price of that bl**dy phone to 175.00 GBP. It is currently going for 60.00 GBP if you buy on-line. I then had the extreme misfortune to lose the replacement while at a party. Believe me I am not in the habit of throwing phones away, selling them and claiming they are lost/stolen, nor of attempting to defraud insurance companies. I had a spate of bad luck! The company seems to take a different view. Below are the quotes, dated the same day, from two different letters that arrived on different days even though they were both dated as written the same day, signed by two different “Customer Services Managers” of whom none of ...

National express 26/05/2003

Great web site shame about the service

National express This review is going to be in two parts; the first part will concern itself with the National Express website (the website formerly known as GoByCoach.com). The second part will deal with their customer relations department (we always used to call that the complaints department didn’t we?) I use the National Express coach service at least six times a year visiting my brother and his tribe in Milton Keynes; the reasons I use them are quite simple: they are reasonably cheap, reliable and much more convenient than the train journey. As with most services these days it is possible to book your ticket on-line and previously I have had no problems with this (more about this in part two). The tickets have always arrived on time, I have never been over-charged and the reservations have always been correct. One of the advantages of booking on-line is that if you register with them you collect points for every further on-line booking which equates to a 10% discount for every full pound spent on-line. You can redeem the points against subsequent journeys during two one-month periods each year, which are displayed on their site. There is no limit to the amount of points you can build up between redemption periods. Another advantage is that you do not have to input your personal details every time as it stores them for you. Registration is painless and quick they only require a few basic details and a valid e-mail address, I gave my hotmail one which I use to avoid spam mail, ...

Sharp GX10 13/04/2003

I bet Bond has one

Sharp GX10 I have always been gadget mad, and so when I lost my un-insured Nokia 3510, (annoying, but it was my fault,) I decided to go up market for its replacement. I ventured into the local Vodafone branch and was immediately drawn to the phones with cameras. The hairs on the back of my neck bristled; this was either due to anticipation of the look of pure, unadulterated jealousy on my friends face when he would see the phone for the first time, or a sales assistant was approaching from the rear. I was right the assistant was approaching with the sort of look a Gazelle sees shortly before the Lions teeth. He had no need to fear the phone had sold itself to me with all the blatant T.V. advertising, and believe me that is normally the way to make me avoid something like the plague. What phone? The Sharp GX10 as advertised by David Beckham as part of Vodafones’ campaign to promote their new service Vodafone live! The phone is small without being un-unusable measuring 94х49х27mm and weighs 110g with decent sized keys that blokes can use as well as women can. The phone can store a massive 500 names in the phonebook, shame I haven’t got that many mates; or if you, like me, prefer to store them on the sim you can still hold 190. The talk-time according to the comprehensive manual is 110 hours in standby mode or 3.5 hours talking, not sure about that one as I seem to have to charge it a lot more than the Nokia, Then again it is a colour screen, so it’s a case ...

AOL 31/12/2002

AOL Anytime sometimes Total Re-write

AOL After a long absence from Ciao I thought I would start by reading through some of my older reviews and make a better job of them. When I got to my review of AOL I went rather red. I remember at the time that I had a lot of trouble connecting, but AOL sorted that out as I commented in an update. I felt that rather than an update they really deserved a review based on how I feel about their service now, instead of the one written in January 2001. AOL offers a very good free trial, which allows currently 100 free hours of Internet time. Be careful here, as you must check which areas of AOL are classed as free areas while on this trial or you may end up incurring charges. Another point to watch is that the ‘free time’ has to be used up in one month. Having said that I am now a very happy AOL customer and have been since they sorted out the problems with Version 7.0 and their server capacity in the Yorkshire region. They offer a wide choice of channels, which are aimed at all of the family. With this in mind they also offer 7 user names and e-mail addresses. The primary user name is the account owner and that person gives permission settings to all the other account holders, you can set up one of the other accounts with the same level of access as the owner if you want to. There are 4 levels of access; Kids only (12 and under) Teen (13-15) Young Adult (16-17) General Access (18+) The main intention of these different levels is to keep the ...

Colgate Actibrush 10/07/2002

Tell your Dentist to Buzz Off

Colgate Actibrush Shaving is not the only daily activity that causes me to leave the bathroom looking like an extra from ‘Casualty’, pale and drenched in blood. Having a propensity for gum infections that have lead to abscesses and numerous ulcers and gum boils, the twice daily three minutes with the toothbrush has previously left me in need of a quick transfusion … but no more, thanks to the Colgate Actibrush and Colgate Total toothpaste. The brush was a gift from a friend who is a rep for Colgate (Thanks Jayne) which she bestowed upon me with a bagful of other assorted dental hygiene products last week in return for a favour involving my digital camera, but the less said about that the better. LOL! I am not going to bore you with specifications, the website doesn’t even bother with that. It’s a toothbrush not a ca or mobile phone. Do you care how big it is or if it will clash with the bathroom décor? For a pretty picture but not much else their web site can be found at http://www.colgate/actibrush.com The price there is given as $14.99 USD which is approximately £9.70 GBP but as a say mine was a gift. It comes supplied with batteries and a leaflet describing usage and cleaning tips. The head is replaceable and they recommend that you change it every three months. The head oscillates over 8,000 times a minute ‘for a superior clean’ as they say on their site, and I have to agree it takes the hard work out of cleaning your teeth and does ...

Queen 07/07/2002

Dinosaur R-O They didn't all become extinct

Queen ["The following op was written as my entry for the 29thCandidate's "Dinosaur Rock-Off;" a tribute to the memory of rock legend, John Entwistle, recently departed bass player of The Who, and a true artist in every sense of the word."] I have been struggling to choose one artist, track, album or group to write about in this, as I see it, collection of thoughts regarding people like John, and many other greats that have long since departed. My entry, therefore will not be a product review as such, it will be a tribute to the legacy that these talented people have left behind for us and future generations to enjoy, they like the actual dinosaurs that once walked the earth are dead and gone in body only, their spirit and soul lives on forever in their music. Here’s hoping John is making sweet music somewhere else now. I finally decided on the track ‘ Bohemian Rhapsody’ for the reasons I shall explain below. Here are some reasons that did not affect my choice: I did not choose it because when it entered the charts as the first single from Queen that I fell in love with, as with all love affairs you remember the first and the last, this was my first, it happened in 1975. It hit the number one slot and stayed their for 17 weeks spanning the Christmas period and therefore being number one in two consecutive years. I did not choose it because it introduced us to pop videos, and probably remains the most memorable video that has been produced. I did ...

The Wizard Of Oz (DVD) 16/06/2002

The Wizard of Waz

The Wizard Of Oz (DVD) I have a secret that I have kept for so many years that I think it is finally time to come clean. I have been unfaithful to Julie Andrews! Let me clarify this statement. For years I have being trying to decide which is my all time favourite film and have had many a sleepless night weighing up the pros and cons between two major box office hits, ‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’. Sad but true. Had I been a gambling man I think I would have come down on the side of ‘The Sound of Music’, that is until I purchased ‘The Wizard of Oz’ on DVD. This timeless masterpiece of cinematography has enraptured generations of young and old children (plus those who never intend to grow up) for over sixty years. That came as a bit of a surprise to me; I knew it was an old film but I didn’t realise how old. The story, which I sure you all know, revolves around a young girl Dorothy (played excellently by Judy Garland), who in an attempt to save her little dog Toto gets caught up in a freak storm and is transported to the mystical and magical land of Oz. In her attempts to find her way back to Kansas she meets a myriad of colourful characters, some who assist and others who attempt to relieve her of the magical ruby slippers. I don’t think that the plot needs much more description as everyone must have seen this film at some stage in their lives, should you require a more in depth synopsis I would be happy to ...

10 Most Annoying Sayings 04/06/2002

I will never say that to my child, wanna bet.

10 Most Annoying Sayings This could be a long one, and I think that most of them will come from the stupid and annoying phrases that my mother said to us as children. 10. You’ll have someone’s eye out with that. This could be uttered even if we were playing with water pistols (or as was usually the case in our household, empty washing-up liquid bottles). Now, I have no medical training but I do now that the muscles surrounding and supporting the eye in its’ socket would have to be numbed to remove the eye from its’ socket, so I don’t think that a bit of water sprayed in the face of a sibling or friend is going to result in removing the eye unless the pistol is filled with acid. 9. They won’t get their any faster. Usually heard as a car has sped past you doing twice the legal speed limit. Of course they are going to get there faster. They may not get their in one piece or possibly getting a ticket, but the laws of physics did not apply to my mother when driving for reasons known only to her. 8. You’ll grow into it. This one comes out every Christmas or Birthday when a relative had sent an article of clothing that could fit The Incredible Hulk and Big Daddy simultaneously. What made it worse was they made you were it when said relative was coming to visit. 7. Wipe that smile off your face. Where the heck did that one come from? Is it physically possible to remove a smile with a face cloth? And why should I stop smiling just because someone else is ...

Hitachi DVP315 23/05/2002

Does Viagra Dissapoint

Hitachi DVP315 Question1. Did I need a DVD player? Answer: No! Question 2. Did I watch DVD’s? Answer: Yes, you bought a lap top that you could hook up to the T.V. so that you could watch them downstairs instead of hurting your neck watching them on the P.C. upstairs. Question 3. So why did you buy a DVD player then? Answer: Because I could. You may have gathered from the above conversation that I had with myself that I am gadget mad, as opposed to the ‘stark raving’ version that I have been accused of in the past. Whatever it as that finally prompted me to take the plunge, (I think it was envy); I’m glad that I listened. The picture quality is so superior that if our elderly video weren’t like a member of the family now, then euthanasia would have been the solution. The only reasons that we keep it are: i. No one would be daft enough to buy it. ii. My Mum would string me up because it is hers. iii. I would have to spend a small fortune replacing the videos that we have. On to the serious nature of this opinion, and I have no intention of boring everyone (both of you) who read this op with the specifications. The site to find the nearest info that I can gleam on this machine is http://www.hitachi-eu-img.com/viewProduct1jsp?productid-87# Back to my fun day spending money on things that I didn’t need but had to have. After a trip to Bradford in the morning with my buddy Stuart and his partner he asked me if I would like to ...

10 Things That Make Ciao a Community 14/05/2002

Where would you prefer to live

10 Things That Make Ciao a Community I saw this category in Ciaos’ Community Centre and thought that I would put my two pence worth in. The £10 prize had absolutely no bearing on this decision whatsoever (only because I think I stand more chance of winning the lottery or becoming Miss Universe, not necessarily in that order. Lol.). What is a community? Some would argue that it is a group of like-minded people that co-exist for the betterment of the whole. Others may suggest that it is a random selection of people who choose to be together because they have common interests. I, being the awkward sod that I am, choose to believe that it is a mixture of the two. That certainly seems to be what I have found at Ciao so far, and I believe that the community spirit that is rapidly developing here reflects that of the actual (as opposed to virtual) communities that we all live in. The reasons for this are cited below in no particular order. 10. As in every community we all need some form of social control or Police force to ensure anarchy does not prevail. At Ciao its guise is that of the ability to report abuse. Abuse will rear its ugly head in any system, and more so in one where there is money to be made. I am in no way kissing a$$ here; I was as disheartened as everyone else when the payments lowered. I do, however see the positive benefits that have been noticeable since. Churners have slowed down (some of them), and some members have been so disgruntled that they have left, permanently ...
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