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since 08/01/2006

20 18/06/2006

Avoid the Queues! After reading another article regarding the increasing popularity of home shopping, I decided to take the plunge and give it a go. I started off with buying a few gifts last christmas from various websites and I've become what some people might think more lazy as the year's gone on, to a point where I decided to get my groceries on-line too. I've always shopped at Asda, so they were my first choice when it came to deciding which on-line grocers to use. The items are always fresh and I believe you get good value for money. I was however a bit anxious with not knowing what to expect when my first order arrived, would it be the type of products not fit to go on a shelf and would it be all nearly out of date? HOMEPAGE is the address to type into your search bar and you then find yourself at Asda's homepage. The first thing that hits you is the colour green across the top and down the left side of the page. You have a lot of options to choose from the homepage, across the top there are links for things like groceries, financial services, store locators, contact procedures, customer services etc. Down the left side of the page, you've pretty much got the same things across the top except for product and company information. Then in the middle of the screen, you will find the same things again but in a more colourful style. Choose the link that's best suited to you and you'll find what you are looking for quite quickly. DELIVERY AREA I obviously chose the ...

Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood (PS2) 06/02/2006

The next chapter in the brother's series

Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood (PS2) Shooting games for games consoles have become quite popular over the last few years. There's the Call of Duty and Medal of Honour titles to name just a few. With both these games, they tend to release a new game the following year. It's like a new chapter of a book with new missions and new challenges set. One thing that both these games have in common is that they are both set in and around the second world war. So when the Brothers in Arms series started, one had to say to themselves,'not another war game'. Intrigue plays it's part though and I had to go out and buy it to see for myself how it compared with the other games. The new game called Brother's in Arms Earned in Blood came out towards the end of last year. At the time, Call of Duty 2 was about to be released also, so there was a lot of competition around. So here's my review of the latest war game on the market. This is the second title to be released under the Brothers in Arms heading. The first one, Road to Hill 30 was released a year or two previously. The start of the game introduces you to your character that you are potraying, a sgt. Joe''red'' Harstock. Users who played the first game will know that Harstock was one the characters in your squad, so we automaticaly see that this game is a continuation where the last one finished off. Harstock is recording his version of events to a more senior officer and while doing so it plays back in his mind and the game begins. You are now Harstock and you have ...

Most Embarrassing Incident 29/01/2006

oh no, my trousers!

Most Embarrassing Incident My story has become local knowledge over the years even though it took place many miles away in the french alps. Fourteen years ago, I went on holiday with my family on a skiing trip. Skiing is not really my idea of a holiday as I like the beach holiday's while getting a nice tan. But my parents were set on the idea of going off to France in the middle of winter, freezing cold and learn a sport I had never done before. Sounds like a receipe for disaster and that's what it turned into for me personally. The first few days went by fine. Because we were all amateurs, we had a few lessons with the instructor and learnt the basics. How to turn and stop and more importantly, how to try and stay on your feet! By the fourth day, confidence was flowing high through the family and we decided to go up to the next level on the piste. It wasn't very high up at all but we all mastered it pretty quickly. We were all set to go further up the mountain, but then the weather started to turn so our plans were on hold. The weather was bad for a couple of day's so we couldn't do much except look around the shops in the village and lounge around the hotel. My mother decided to buy me some ski pants without my knowledge which was the beginning of what was to come later the next day. You see these pants must have been cheap because they felt quite thin and there was no over the shoulder strap. They were just like normal trousers with an elastic waistband. Come the next day it was a ...

National Railway Museum, York 29/01/2006

A day at the National Railway Museum

National Railway Museum, York York has a vast amount of history connected with the railways. The first station was built in 1839 and was the main trunk route to London via Rugby and Derby. At the time York was only connected to routes going south. Rail demand increased and in 1877, the decision was made to move to a new location so it could serve routes all over the country. When the station was finally complete, it was the biggest station in the world at that time. GNER now have their headquaters based in the city and around the station, there are a few streets named after famous people like George Hudson for example. With all this in mind, it was only fitting that when the huge locomotives retired, they were housed in a giant museum in York. -History- Back in 1975, the National Railway Museum took over the British Railways collection which had previously been housed in the museum of British transport in Clapham and at the York railway museum. So the National Railway Museum was born and over the years it has turned into a huge attraction for all the family. -Location- It is quite easy to find the museum as its literally round the corner from York railway station. If you are travelling by train then you won't have trouble in catching one as there is at least 25 direct services to York each day. When arriving at York railway station, there are a number of ways you can use to get to the museum. There is a footbridge directly inside the station that takes you over the track but this is not ...

Churchill Insurance Company Limited 27/01/2006

Car Insurance

Churchill Insurance Company Limited When it comes to car insurance, i'm afraid i'm a bit lazy. Don't get me wrong, i do have insurance but i haven't got the time to shop around and find not just the cheapest quote but also value for money. I've been driving for 9 years now and even when i've bought a new car. i've just gone along with the same company. A friend of mine told me i was stupid and could be saving money by getting quotes from other companies. But i was settled with what i already had. I was paying them for insurance and breakdown cover and in the 9 years i've only had to call them out once when the wife accidently left the light on on her sunblind and flattened the battery. But it's not the wife's fault I hear you all shout! Anyway i moved last year to what i considered a better area when considering car crime and i also now had a garage to house the car. I rang the insurance company up expecting a nice reduction in my premium, to be actually told it would be going up by £20. I might of been shellshocked but stupidly agreed to the increase. It wasn't until a few weeks ago when my insurance renewal came through that i finally decided that action had to be taken. My renewal quote was just a joke with it going up another £7. Now you might be all thinking that £7 isn't much and i would agree. But when you've been driving for 9 years with no claims and no convictions, so am i wrong in thinking the premium should be going down? So the mission was set, find a new company get it all organised ...

Toys R Us 27/01/2006

Working for Geoffrey

Toys R Us It can do no harm when thinking of your own shop to open, than to think about opening a toy shop. Lets face it there's always going to be a huge demand for toys and you can get toys for all ages. Be prepared to work your socks off at christmas time but think about the financial rewards afterwards. This is what Charles Lazarus did in 1948. He opened a baby furniture store in Washington DC and this is where the Toys R Us empire began. It wasn't until 1957 when he opened his first toy superstore. There is now 1500 stores worldwide and is worth around 11 billion dollars. Because of today's markets and competition, toy selling has become a hard task and a demanding one if you want to succeed. I worked for Toys R Us in the UK for nearly ten years and after each christmas, I always said it would be my last. In the ten years that I was there, the business had changed in many ways especially now with the competition from the likes of Walmart. The targets were always high even during the quieter months just to try and remain no.1 toyseller. When I joined Toys R US in 1996, I started off as a weekend cashier. All your uniform is provided and there is a lot of training before you even start. Customer service and health and safety was always drilled into you. When you were happy, then you could be put in front of the demanding British public. After a few years, I managed to work my up to a supervisor and got to work in all sections of the store except Babies R Us, which I ...

York University 25/01/2006

Choosing the right university

York University Over the next few months, many teenagers are going to have to make a big decision on where they want to continue their education to gain the degree's that they are wanting. It's a tough choice with so many establishments to choose from and there are many factors which will affect your final decision. Get it wrong and it could change your life forever. I have spent a lot of time around York university so thought I would give you a insight into the univerisity to make choosing York that much easier. -History- York university was built back in 1963 with just a few buildings, one of which is central hall. The building is of a unusual shape and there are many myths about it, one being that it is a alien space ship. When the university first opened, there was only 200 students and they had the luxury of studying in a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere because the university is built around a huge man made lake. -Campus- The campus is built on 200 acres of land which is expanding all the time. The lake is in the centre of the campus and attracts many wildfowl. Around the edge of the lake is many types of trees and grassy areas for you to study in relaxed surroundings. Then like I say the rest of the campus is built around the lake. There are now 30 different academic departments but the university has tried to maintain as much green space as possible to create the right atmosphere. The only thing that breaks up the campus is university road which runs through the ... 23/01/2006

How helpful are Helpful holiday's? With the wife deciding that we would go on holiday in Cornwall this year, I had no idea where to start looking. A simple search of holiday cottages in Cornwall brought up the name Helpful The good thing that stands out with this company from the rest is that they only have cottages in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset. Don't think for one minute though that you have limited choice as there is a huge range of cottages from your 2 bedroom to 20 bedroom cottages available. Their homepage is colourful and straightforward with a blue border around the edge of the page and a brief description of instructions on how to use the site and company history in the middle set on a white background. Up at the top of the page you will find 12 blue selection tabs for you to choose from. Here you can do advanced searches, request a brochure, view availability etc. Another good option available to you is that you can save properties to your shortlist and then at a later stage just come back and view what you saved. There is a small colourful map on the left side of the homepage which allows you to select the county you wish to stay in to make it easier for you to see the property available. However like I say it is very small! You will find it easier if you select the advanced search tab at the top of the homepage. This brings up a far bigger map and also allows you to select things like cottages with pools or cottages that allow pets. There are plenty of things for ...

War Of The Worlds (DVD) 17/01/2006

Cruise fights the aliens

War Of The Worlds (DVD) My wife told me about this film just before xmas, so I thought I would buy her it and then I would get the chance to see it too. I knew nothing about the film except it involved Tom Cruise saving the world from an alien invasion, or so I thought. It wasn't until the film finished that I started to moan about the ending, but I was informed by the wife that it had ended like it did in the book written by H.G Wells in1898. Now I'm not a book lover as you've probably already guessed, so I was amazed that a Hollywood film had actually followed what was written in a book so many years before. Like I say I've not read the book but I am reliably informed that it follows the same story. To start with Ray Ferrier(Tom Cruise) is a dock worker and my initial thought is, he's left the army for a quiet life, wrong! He's never been in the army nor does he have superhero status, he's just your normal average guy. He doesn't have much of a life in his New Jersey home especially since he lives alone after seperating from his wife(Miranda Otto). They had two kids together, Robbie(Justin Chatwin) who plays the terrible teen and Rachel(Dakota Fanning), the younger daughter. Their mother has remarried and has naturally a life because of it. So after the opening scenes you are aware of the background to family life and how close he is to his daughter but his son has a few issues since the split. On the day that the action starts, the kids are spending the weekend with their father. ...

Balamory 12/01/2006

What's the story?

Balamory Balamory has become one of the most popular children's programmes over the last few years and continues to entertain children in a variety of ways. At the same time, it's also a great learning exercise for them. My daughter watches this programme every morning without fail and loves the programme. She's always singing the songs at the top of her voice throughout the rest of the day. Balamory is a fictional town set in Scotland where it follows the lives of eight different characters. The actual town is called Tobermory on the island of Mull and has become a very popular tourist destination. They film here twice a year and if you are lucky, you may get to see them filming and chat to the cast. The show itself has a very catchy theme tune that simply goes, 'what's the story in Balamory, wouldn't you like to know'? The tune then goes on to introduce you to all the characters. So you will find Miss Hoolie, she is the the teacher at the local nursery and is the main character. Then there is PC Plum who is the local policeman. Archie who is an inventor, Spencer the artist, Josie Jump who is mad on sport and keep fit, Edie Macredie who drives the local bus and then you have Penny Pocket and Suzy Sweet who own the shop and cafe. The story always starts with Miss Hoolie going into the nursery and asking for the name of the person that's watching. My daughter screams her name out at this point! We are then introduced to the children that are attending the nursery that ...

Mc Arthur Glen in York 12/01/2006

Another shopping centre

Mc Arthur Glen in York If you've had the opportunity to read my other reviews, you will see that I do an awful lot of shopping. Luckily where I live in York, we have quite a good selection of shops for such a small city. A lot of of independant shops seem to be closing up shop and being replaced by trendy wine bars and cafes. What hasn't helped over the years is all of these out of town retail parks being developed. York now has three retail parks, two of which are on the northern side of town. Mcarthur Glen was strategically placed on the south edge of the city. Access to the site is one of the plus points as it is ideally located just off the A64(Leeds-Scarbrough) road. You can't miss it, as it's very clearly signposted. Then just follow the road down to the centre. There are two lanes, the left lane takes you to the carpark on the southside and the right lane to the carpark on the north. There are loads of parking spaces, nearly 3000 in all, free of charge, with plenty of spaces set aside for disabled and parent parking. You will find both these in the north and south carpark. If you are travelling by bus, then jump on the red line park and ride system at the train station or if you are coming from Selby, jump on the number 15 Arriva service. The buses go right into the retail park so there isn't much walking involved. The site itself was built in 1998 and is the size of three football pitches. Aswell as the shopping centre, there is a massive children's play area on the north side and ...

The Goonies (DVD) 10/01/2006

A great film for the whole family

The Goonies (DVD) What a film! I have watched this over and over again and that I think shows what a fantastic film this truely is. It is so appealling to such a wide audience, that's what makes it stand out from the rest. You have everything in this film from romance to thriller, I just wish it never had to end! The sypnosis of the story is about a group of kids called the Goonies whose lives are about to be thrown into turmoil because Mickey's(Sean Astin) house is about to be bulldozed to make way for a country club to put a golf course over it. His parents don't have enough money to stop this from happening. The goonies have a look around the loft in Mickey's house one day and find a map leading to One-Eyed Willies treasure. One-Eyed Willie was a pirate who disappeared on his ship many years before with his crew. Obviously the kids think by finding the treasure, the Goonies will live to fight another day in their home. This brings them into contact with the Fratelli's who are on the run from the law and find out about the treasure. So the challenge is set and over the next hour and 20 minutes get set for a race full of laughs, tears, fears and love along the way to see who can find the hidden treasure first! What makes the film good to begin with is the casting. Here we have 4 young children and they are directed brilliantly by Richard Donner. It also written by Steven Spielberg which gives you a good indication your in for some entertainment. They don't put one foot out of place and ...

Noddy - Noddy Saves Christmas (DVD) 10/01/2006

Noddy and his adventures

Noddy - Noddy Saves Christmas (DVD) I can remember Noddy from when I was a child and I used to love watching him on TV. Because Noddy is still so popular, he is still around today giving my daughter the chance to love the adventures that he gets up. You can watch Noddy most morning's on the channel 5 milkshake show. But for xmas we bought our daughter the Noddy saves xmas DVD so that she could watch it whenever she likes. And believe me she does just that because she loves it so much! The DVD lasts a total of 59 minutes which I think is a bit on the short side. There are four different stories on the DVD, which atleast gives you a bit of choice as to which one to watch, even though only it only lasts 15 minutes. What struck me at first is how different the characters are with the advances in technology. But Noddy and Big Ears are still there in toyland a long with a few other friends. The first story is set at xmas time and it really helped get my daughter in the spirit of things with all the house covered in snow and the tree's lit up in the magical world of toyland. Basically Noddy has three questions that he wants to ask santa. So he goes to see Big Ears and stays awake in the hope of seeing santa. Luckily for Noddy, santa is having a few problems and needs Noddy's and Big Ears help to deliver the presents to Toyland. The only problem is the nasty goblins are up to their mischief again. But in the end Noddy saves the day. The next story is about Noddy building a tower of cards and the trouble he ...

Who will win the 2006 World Cup? 10/01/2006

They think it's all could be!

Who will win the 2006 World Cup? Finally the waiting might be over as 2006 is world cup year and once again it's another opportunity for England to get their hands on this prized trophy since Bobby Moore held high in the sky back in 1966. Back then we were a force that most other nations feared but in the last few world cups, other teams mainly south American, have won this competition. But now England are once again a team to be feared and I seriously believe we have one great chance of winning this year as the three lions roar their way to victory! Let's take a look at the teams that I believe have a chance of lifting the trophy on the 9th of July. First you have to say the defending champions Brazil. They have won this trophy five times and runners up twice. They've got a quite easy group. They also have world and European player of the year Ronaldinho in their team, need I say more. Next we have Argentina, twice winners and twice runners up. Again a easy group but Holland will give them a good game. They are full of star players and I was really impressed with them in the recent friendly with England. Italy, always a little doubt about this team when it comes to big competitions yet they have still won it three times. They are full of top internationals aswell and are the type of team that goes about their job quitely. An easy group but I think they will struggle against the Czech Rep. Sadly I have to include Germany because they are the home nation and we know what a bonus this can be. ... 10/01/2006

Toy shop online After spending most of xmas stuck in queues waiting to be served, I thought that I needed to change my shopping habits. Luckily I got to try out new ways pretty quick because of birthdays not long after xmas, so here is my experiences of using Toys r Us online. Will it be any easier than going to the local store? Starting off then, once you type the shop name in the search bar, the site I was looking for was the first thing found and very fast. The homepage is ok with it's layout and colours. It's simply a white background screen with a mixture of black writing to make it easy on the eyes and blue tabs for you to select things. Oh and there are some gold stars near the top. The first thing that grabs your attention is the big sale notice in the middle of the screen saying that you can save up to 60%. Clicking on this brings up another page where you can browse sale items by catergory. Under the main sale banner on the homepage, there are two more adverts for a software sale and Babies r Us savings. These three sale tabs are done in a pastel like colour and definately stand out from everything else on the screen. Across the top of the homepage you will find options for you to select for store locator, help, contact details and delivery policies. The top right corner shows your shopping basket, so that you can keep track of how much you are spending whilst you are shopping. On the left side of the screen is a list of all the different catergories that all the ...
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