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simondh

simondh

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since 30/11/-0001

11

General: Hong Kong 20/03/2008

Hong Kong PHEWEY

General: Hong Kong I'm BACK!!! OK, so you didn't miss me, didn't even know I was gone probably, but nevertheless I'm going to use this opportunity to tell you what I've been up to and give you the run down on Hong Kong… Asia's world city… Back in May, I fled the country to go and work for a couple of months in a place that is renowned as one of the world's most vibrant cultural cities. In my time there I got to see a lot of Hong Kong and experience the culture from the viewpoint of both someone living there and of being a tourist, so I should have plenty of experiences to share with you….and thus begins my novel…. So let's start with Hong Kong's good points. The first thing that strikes you when you land in Hong Kong, is the heat and humidity. The heat at a pleasant 30 degrees is nice. The humidity however was at 96 per cent when I landed so to a typical Brit like me, it meant profuse sweating for the first couple of weeks of getting used to it. After landing I took a trip on the Airport Express train from the airport to Central Hong Kong. This has got to be one of the most impressive ways of arriving in the big city. The train is immaculately clean, with aeroplane style TV in the back of the seat in front of you. Considering the distance you travel, its probably a reasonable bargain at $90, about £9. That's when you realise you've arrived. Skyscraper after skyscraper 100 storey's tall… even I, being a countryside loving sort of person, was absolutely awe struck and impressed by the ...

Bristol Airport, BRS 27/04/2001

An airport that is sure to take off...

Bristol Airport, BRS I'm not an airport lover. In fact, I hate airports... well, that was until last week. Most people would agree with me when I say how airports seem to be designed to be ugly and claustrophobic. They are never clean, never friendly and are always packed with angry commuters gathering around tiny monitors to see when their delayed flight might actually take off. Bristol airport isn't a typical airport. A new terminal building was constructed last year to cater for an increase in demand for internal and European flights from the South-West. Last Sunday was my first trip from the new terminal and - WOW. It's plush, its high-tech, its got huge open spaces, its not crowded, yet its busy, and it just looks outstanding. The design is fantastic. My flight was delayed for an hour, but I didn't mind a bit. There is plenty to do in the airport, even though its much much smaller than its fellow UK counterparts, like Gatwick or Heathrow. With a nice selection of shops and restaurants, and areas where you can watch the flights take off and land... it really is a pleasurable experience. There isn't much you can say about an airport, but for me, the best things about Bristol are: 1. Its clean. 2. Its got huge uncluttered open spaces. 3. Its got big state of the art screens. 4. Its got all the facilities you need. 5. Its layout is simple to follow - getting the right gate isn't a nightmare! And, as for the selection of places you can get to from Bristol, its ever ...

Computeractive 16/04/2001

The Tangled Web Unwoven...

Computeractive It seems that nowadays there are loads of different computer magazines littering the shelves of the local newsagent. They all seem to be the size of the Argos catalogue, coated in cover discs and filled with leaflets that are likely to hit the floor before you even reach the till. Is that really the kind of magazine we're after? I think not. And I think that a couple of publishers are finally catching on... Computeractive is published by VNU Business Publications and has a regular price of just over a quid (£1.20). It is packed with advice in simple to understand terms with little or no jargon. It was marketed as a magazine for the non-techie on its launch and has maintained that image. The magazine is usually fairly thin - or should I say, the size of an average non-computer related magazine - but don't let this make you think it lacks content. The lack of adverts is a credit to the publisher.... if you've ever tried to find useful content in PC Shopper, then I guess you'll know what I mean. Anyway, the main topic I really wanted to write about is actually the computer active Web Guide which is currently in the newsagents. It really is a good read. I know there are a lot of Web Guides on sale at the moment, in book shops as well as newsagents, but this one is different... this one has loads, 4000 to be exact, of sites mentioned. Each is individually reviewed, rated, summarised and of course categorised. Categories of sites include Cinema, Reference, Music, ...

Sainsburys (Shop) 10/04/2001

Attractions of Sainsburys

Sainsburys (Shop) If you’re anything like me, you have signed up for loads of reward cards from all your favourite shops. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I’ve started to realise how few of them have any real benefits which you’re ever likely to use. You only get a couple of quid off your shopping at the most. The Sainsbury’s reward card is a bit different. Yes, you can use it to save up your points and spend at the store or a range of others, but there are definitely better ways to use those hard-earned points. First of all – how do you get your points. Well, first thing is that you need to sign up to the reward scheme if you haven’t already. You will be presented straight away with a bright orange card which you can use the same day in the shop. For each pound you spend in store, you receive two points. Also, each week, there are various different products in store where there are bonus points to be received. At the moment, for example, if you buy two packs of Jaffa cakes (yum yum), then you get an extra reward of 100 points at the checkout. Alternatively, a tin of Celebrations can earn you a whopping 500 points… the equivalent of what you’d get having spent £250 in the shop… as you can see, this can be the quickest way of getting your points to mount up. So, you spend weeks and weeks collecting these points, so what can you do with them? Well, you could use them as cash against your shopping in store (£2.50 for every 500 points), or even use them as cash at many other stores. To ...

workthing.com 07/04/2001

a job thing, a skills thing, a workthing.com

workthing.com By now, you will have seen the TV ads, you will have seen ads on billboards in your local town and you will have thought to yourself that its just another job search type website. You'd be right. But - there are some points to be made about workthing.com, things that make it far superior to many of the other similarly themed resources available on the internet: 1. Its list of vacancies is huge, covering sectors far and wide including, but not limited to, Accountancy, Banking, Education, IT, Insurance, Law, Marketing, Retail and Travel. 2. Its search capabilities allow you to search for the things that really matter to most people, including location and salary. Location was particularly important to me, yet I found that most sites seem to just say 'UK' or give huge regions to search by - workthing.com was much better here and I was able to really restrict down to jobs that I would genuinely be interested in. 3. Applying/Enquiring on-line. Me, being quite sheepish about applying for jobs, just wanted to ask more about a job without submitting my CV or getting bombarded with phone calls from recruitment agencies... the option to enquire rather than apply online was a facility not available at most sites. 4. Training course information. If you're looking to improve your skills then there is also a database of training courses attached to the 'skills thing' section of the site. 5. Freelance work! In addition to all the usual job search facilities, there are ...

Rewards at Ciao 31/03/2001

its first impressions that last

Rewards at Ciao Today is my first day at ciao.com, and I am very impressed. Why? Well let me tell you... simply its the feeling of community, camaraderie and overwhelming sense of contributing to the greater good that is, for me, the main reward that I see at Ciao.com. The financial rewards are comparatively meaningless, after all, I don't see myself earning more than 50p doing this in the average week. It does sadden me that lots of people seem to be posting rubbish as 'opinion' in order to make up their 50 pence worth. Perhaps ciao.com could introduce a system such as that at ebay where negative feedback could be posted against individuals where they have submitted an opinion which is obviously not an opinion but just a means of earning money. A person reliability indicator or something?! Anyway, back to the main point here. I am very happy with the feeling of community on this site, and financial reward or not, I'll be coming back and being my opinionated self. Another suggestion - perhaps you could foster that spirit of community further with chat facilities? If there is one, I haven't found it yet... it would be great to have intellectual discussions about some of the opinions posted. ...

Lynx Non Foaming Shaving Gel 31/03/2001

The Lynx Effect...

Lynx Non Foaming Shaving Gel OK, I admit it, the TV adverts got to me and when walking up and down the aisles of the local supermarket it jumped out at me - well, not literally, but you get my meaning... Lynx Shaving Gel in a tube. First impressions, its in a different type of tube - non-aerosol and better for the environment perhaps... confusingly perhaps on a morning after a heavy night, the tube is exactly the same shape as my hair gel one... could be a slight problem there maybe! Anyway, I got it home, and next day tried it out. The one I bought was called 'Clear' it had a nice refreshing odour, as you'd expect from a deodorant manufacturer.. then a little problem - I'd wet my face with nice warm water and the tube, being aerodymically shaped and plastic, the tube slipped out of my wet hands to the floor... non-spilled though, just need to be a bit more careful next time I thought! So, ignoring the packaging now, how about the gel itself? Well, the first thing is that it feels at first like any other shaving gel, and like others its coloured. The men difference with this gel is that it doesn't suddenly become foam when you slap it all over your face... instead this stays as a nice shiny transparent gel that you can see. And you can see quite easily where you've missed before you try and give yourself a tracheotomy. This gel is better than foam, because its not messy and you can see where you're shaving. It's better than the shaving oils available because you can see where you've spread ...

BT Surftime 31/03/2001

Surftime or Sinktime

BT Surftime I have been on the internet for a couple of years now and through that time I've been with BT - first with BT Internet and now with BT Surftime. Over time I've become more and more concerned with the speed of connection I achieve with BT. When I lived the other side of town, I managed to get a connection of about 40kbps whenever I logged onto BT Internet. Not bad... very good at the time in fact. Not so long ago I moved house.. again still with BT Internet. Suddenly my access speed dropped and I was getting around 33kpbs. I asked BT why this was - apparently its to do with the type of phone line I have - which is DACS - and this means that it is as if my line is shared... therefore the maximum I am likely to get is 33kbps. So this affects everyone regardless of ISP. First I was annoyed and asked to be taken off DACS. BT refused, I lived with it - apparently its BT policy for everyone to move to DACS.... good sign for everyone huh? Then the times I managed to achieve a connection of 33k started to fall and it became more usual to get 28.8. Again, I lived with it... it made websites much slower to load than previously but who'd move house to have a faster connection? I was then persuaded by BT to move to Surftime as it would offer a cheaper service... only £5.99 a month... (or is that actually £9.99 a month when you take into account what seems as a hidden charge). So for £9.99 a month I was getting even more hours when I could get online... this seemed to be ...

gay.com 31/03/2001

its all in the name

gay.com www.gay.com well, its all in the name isn't it? I stumbled across this site about 2 years ago now and have been a frequent visitor ever since. The chat rooms available on gay.com are outstanding. Compared with most sites on the internet, and the well outdated irc rooms, this makes a refreshing place to visit and just have a chat. There are endless possibilities here for meeting people in the same area as where you live and same the interests - the chat rooms cater for pretty much everything. With hundreds of chat rooms for the UK available - many of which are very crowded - there is something for everyone... and if all you want is chat, then you're in the safe anonymity of the internet. This makes the site ideal for those 'coming out' and who haven't yet plucked up the courage to visit a local gay pub/club. As with all chat rooms, it pays not to give too much information about yourself, unless you're sure you can trust the person you are talking to. I use gay.com to chat to people about all sorts of things, from gardening to... well - your imagination dictates the limits. Not a place for kids this, but for the average gay man it offers a lot. Apart from the chat rooms, there are newsletters, lots of gay related news on the site, free e-mail and if you just want to chat to people all over the world you can do that too. I have been looking for a long time, and there is still no better place to talk gay life on the net. ...

Tales of the City - Armistead Maupin 31/03/2001

Twists and Turns...

Tales of the City - Armistead Maupin I bought this book because I wanted a book that was a real story that had a gay character. I know thats probably not the best reason to buy any book, but it worked for me. When I got started on the book on Christmas Day 2000 I was suprised how easy it was to read. I'm not an avid book reader usually - this is probably the first book I've read in 5 years or more! Most books I pick up and put down again half way through the first chapter. I find them heavy and dull and I can never get into them. This one was different. Armistead Maupin's descriptions and delivery are only what you'd have in every day conversation - it is not a difficult read like you'd find with many authors, who from my experience, seem to pad out pages and pages with descriptions using words you would never use in every day life. Maybe Maupin isn't therefore destined to be one of the great literary geniuses of our time. But one thing he has got so perfectly right, is that it actually feels like a 'friend' is sitting in front of you and telling you a story. Anyway, 3 days after starting the book it was finished. I had never read a book and finished it in the same week before... probably not in the same year if I'm honest with myself. This was different and I was hungry for more of the same. The book is based around the residents of 28 Barbary Lane, each with their own individual characteristics that make it so that every reader will identify and closely associate themselves with at least one of ...

Egg Card 31/03/2001

Free Money - believe it or not

Egg Card I decided to apply for an Egg card not long after Egg opened for business. The reason is simple - free money.. yes, you heard me right. Not only was I impressed by the 1% cash back that you get for all your every day purchases, but as a regular internet shopper, I was even more impressed by the Egg website. The reason for this is that Egg provide links to a number of online shops, and when you purchase something from these shops you get 2% cashback... thats 1p for every 50p you spend... not bad at all. Also, occasionally Egg run special offers of 5% cashback although this is not often now. Last year alone, I had a nice £100 credit to my statement... not a small amount to be disregarded. As someone who pays off their credit card bill each and every month, this is like getting interest on what I spend, rather than what I save. So there you have it - a great product if you like free money! ...
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