Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

AA travel essentials first aid kit

Friday, May 25th, 2018 | Life

I’m not sure how many people actually carry a first aid kit around in their car. But, being tediously well-prepared for most things, I do. It’s not something you really test, you just buy one, put it in the car and assume that when it comes to it, it will do its job.

In the case the AA kit I ordered from Amazon, this turned out to be a less than stellar performance. The first time I tried to use the scissors, they snapped.

I tried to duct tape them back together to get a bit of leverage but it was no use. First time I have ever needed the kit and it failed me. It’s a good job it wasn’t an emergency of things could have gone south quickly.

More misleading Coke bottles

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018 | Life

Earlier this month I wrote about how Tesco had begun selling bottles of Coca-Cola that were smaller than usual without making this clear. I went back the next week, and things got worse.

This time, I bought what I thought was a bottle of Coca-Cola peach. I grabbed it because I couldn’t see any 500ml bottles of regular coke, and so I decided this was the next best option.

Only after I had left the shop, I noticed that it was, in fact, a sugar-free version. It does say that on the bottle. But it’s in pretty small letters. And, more importantly, it’s on a red label. Traditionally, all sugar versions have been in red and sugar-free versions have been black. You can see a coke zero sugar bottle in the background on a black label.

Luckily I noticed before I had opened it and returned it for a refund. But I don’t understand Coca-Cola and Tesco are using all of these misleading tactics.

Royal wedding

Sunday, May 20th, 2018 | Life

“So, Venla, now that all of the homeless people have been cleansed from the royal borough, our unelected leader can marry someone the rest of us would not be allowed to bring into the country. Can you give us a facial expression that sums up how many fucks you give about the royal wedding?”

Venla: “Yes. Yes I can.”

Tour de Yorkshire sunburn

Monday, May 14th, 2018 | Life

It was a roasting hot day for the Tour de Yorkshire so I was worried about sunburn. Of course, being a computer programmer and being from Yorkshire, I’m worried about sunburn pretty much all of the time.

I started with some factor 50 and then re-applied a special factor 30 “sport” edition at each feed station. The sport edition is more resistant to sweat than normal suncream. It feels more like you’re spreading an ointment than some cream.

For the most part, it worked. The only problem was there was a slight gap between where my suncream came up to and where my cycling shorts came down to.

I’m not sure if I didn’t cream high enough or whether my shorts rode up a little bit during the ride. But, either way, I’ve got these little strips of sunburn that have been hanging around on my legs all week.

Still, at least it was nowhere near as bad as Iceland.

Coke shrinkage

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018 | Life

I support the sugar tax. I think it will prove an effective deterrent to sugary drinks, just as adding a 5p fee to plastic bags has massively reduced their usage. But some retailers do not seem to have handled it very well.

Take a look at this, for example:

On the right is a standard 500ml Coke bottle. On the left is a 375ml that seems to be shaped to look like a 500ml bottle. 375ml is not much bigger than a can (330ml).

When I went to Tesco, I grabbed what I thought was a 500ml bottle. It was only later I realised it was only 375ml. I felt scammed. I didn’t see any indicating it was a smaller bottle, something which you would expect ethically they should point out to customers.

I spoke to Tesco about it and they said they were sorry but didn’t promise to do anything about it.

Elina informs me that Marks & Spencer are still offering the 500ml bottles as part of their meal deal.

Electronic textbooks

Friday, April 20th, 2018 | Life

Academic textbook publishing seems like a right racket to me. Take the above book, for example. It’s an electronic textbook in Leeds Beckett’s collection. You’ll notice they have three copies. It’s electronic, but they have presumably had to buy three copies to allow multiple people to read it at once.

Coriander seeds

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018 | Life

The Schartz herbs and spices bottles are better than the Sainsbury’s ones. They’re taller and thinner, meaning that you can fit more of them within the same shelf space. The labels on the top are also clear.

But the Sainsbury’s ones are cheaper. And, in any case, Sainsbury’s have refused to stock the Schwartz ones anymore because they want people to buy their own brand ones. So, I buy the Sainsbury’s ones and re-fill my Schwartz bottle.

What is odd, though, is that Schwartz sell 20g bottles and Sainsbury’s sell 25g bottles. But, when you tip the 25g of Sainsbury’s coriander seeds into the 20g Schwartz bottle, they all fit in.

Introducing Rent A Goat

Sunday, April 1st, 2018 | Life

Are you looking for an eco-friendly way to remove weeds from your garden or land? Then look no further than Rent A Goat.

Stephen Hawking, 1942-2018

Friday, March 16th, 2018 | Life

Farewell Stephen Hawking. You were the greatest skateboarder I ever knew.

We went to Flamingo Land, and we were the only people there

Sunday, March 11th, 2018 | Life

If you have watched Scooby-Doo, you will no doubt have seen one of them any episodes set in an abandoned theme park. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to be in such a place in real life, you might want to visit Flamingo Land in winter. Because we had the entire place to ourselves.

How did this happen?

As part of taking Elina away for her birthday, I booked tickets to the zoo. It sounded ideal: the theme park half of Flamingo Land shuts in the winter, so the tickets are cheaper and nobody who enjoys theme parks bothers attending. As people who just want to go to the zoo bit, this was perfect.

Then, the Beast from the East hit. The roads were near impassible and the temperature was below freezing.

We went anyway. But nobody else did.

Literally nobody. Except for the staff. We spoke to a lot of the zookeepers, who were happy to talk to us given there was nobody else there, all of whom informed us that we were the only customers in the park.

Animal encounter

We started by feeding the giraffes. I was worried that the giraffe would eat me but the zookeeper assured me that it hasn’t eaten anyone to date. That’s the way I would lull humans into a false sense of security if I were a giraffe, though.

They have very long and dexterous tongues that they use to take the food out of your hands.

Lots of animals

Despite the cold weather, we got to see lots of animals. The rhino sheds were open, the birds and the Wallabies were out, even the camels and lemurs came out briefly for a look around. Despite the penguins being from South America, and therefore not used to the snow, they came out for a quick swim, too.

We caught a couple of feeding times including the tigers, who seemed to enjoy the snow, and the red pandas, who seemed unphased by it, too.