29 January 2007

*Very* out of the office

Well... it turns out I'm very, very out of the office at the moment. Email access is flaky at best, so the best way to get in touch is to phone or text me. My landline number will go through to voicemail, which I'll pick up when I'm home at the weekend, or I'm available on my mobile pretty much all the time.

Hope you're all well - I am.

21 January 2007

Out of the office

I'm out of the office for the next couple of weeks - I'll be available by email, or leave a message on my voicemail - I'll be able to check it lunchtimes and evenings. I'll tell you all about it when I get back...

12 January 2007

Asimo, ticking things off, and scrabble

First up - Asimo. Now, I love the Honda advert with this little robotty fella. So when I saw this on The Register, I was very - well, somewhat - excited to see him in action some more. It was a little disappointing:

  • What's with the human-like, girly voice? He should sound like a proper robot, all electronic and synthesised.
  • They missed a trick with him dancing - why's he not doing "the robot"? That's just foolish.
  • He looks constipated when he runs.
Still, it's quite an achievement - he's a clever little bit of kit.

Secondly, ticking things off. Despite many distractions, I've managed to get mostly caught up with my to-do list and I've ticked loads of things off. Opportunity-hunting continues apace - this is the one part of business I'm doing a lot more of than I thought I would. Paperwork - far less than I thought. Still, it gives me a chance to get in touch with some old friends and contacts, which is always nice.

Thirdly, Scrabble. I'm realising how incredibly bad I am, having bought myself a Scrabble-themed desk calendar with a different challenge every day. I've managed one, so far. Oh dear.

11 January 2007

Obligatory iPhone post

Ah, the iPhone. Is it just me who thinks it's nothing more than a fairly bog-standard smart phone, but with incredibly sexy design job and thoroughly beautiful looking user interface?

Don't get me wrong - I'm completely caught up by the hype and I'd like one. I like some of the clever features, too - the SMS "conversation" idea is brilliant, as is the voicemail you can listen to in any order regardless of when you get them. But that's just an improvement on standard phone OS stuff, surely? Likewise the music and video - plenty of smart phones can do that, but perhaps not in such a slick way.

So, iPhone - exciting, sexy, cool - but hardly ground-breaking.

Procrastination - an art form

I'm discovering a talent for putting things off. Which is not a good talent to have. My methods for procrastination are many and varied, but some notable examples include:

  • Writing to-do lists - it's certainly not the case that I don't really have enough to do. It's just trying to motivate myself to do things once I've finished writing them down.
  • Cleaning the toilet - when we moved into this house several years ago the upstairs toilet was a little limescale-encrusted... let's just say it's not got any better. It's suddenly turned into an obsession. I am trying many, many chemicals, elbow-grease, and other techniques.
  • Shopping - I need to get food today, for...
  • Cooking - I'm cooking from scratch more. Today it will be mushroom burgers from the Crank's cookbook. I'm not a vegetarian; I like mushrooms.
Still, things are going OK at the moment. Live like a monk - extreme! is going pretty well (apart from all the chemicals I've bought to clean the toilet). I even went into Cambridge on Monday for a meeting, had a wander around town for 45 minutes, and managed not to spend anything. I was extremely tempted yesterday to go into Cambridge and drink tea somewhere with a wireless internet connection... but I avoided it. Plus I've not been out socially all year. I'm quite pleased with that.

03 January 2007

Marketing hard!

Yes, just like I said I would in my "year ahead" post below, I'm really pushing my marketing at the moment. My target is to find at least two opportunities per day; yesterday and today it's been people I know and agencies I respect. There's a few of them, too, so that should continue for a while.

I've also joined EMMA today - the East of England Multimedia Alliance. Having worked at the East of England Development Agency, I have something of an unfair advantage in knowing about networking organisations like this... and I intend to join as many as possible. EMMA is free, so even if I don't get any leads from it, I've lost nothing. The benefits, of course, include better search engine listing because there are more incoming links; better links with other EMMA members; and a central place to find tendering opportunities. They also run events, so I'm going to try to get along to one or more of those and meet some more people.

Other marketing activity has included updating Maltpress.co.uk to include my new contact details (thanks to Skype, I have my own land-line number now) and - at long last - working on JuicyFly.com a bit more. It's about half done now, and I hope to get it finished tonight. Then work begins on a new toy - some PHP image manipulation - before I re-do Cambridge.IsHome again. Then the empire will be up-to-date, which will be very, very nice.