‘Tis the Season

only 1,000,000 shopping days left - quiiiiiiick!
only 1,000,000 shopping days left – quiiiiiiick!

As you can see from the set today, it appears that Christmas now officially lasts for 7 weeks, whether or not you’re a believer.

I entertain visions of having everything under control but it just doesn’t happen like that – I remember a year ago, I bought most of my stuff online in November (mainly at www.boots.com and  www.Firebox.com! )  – this was laughably easy and I felt especially self-satisfied – until I had to accompany all my less-organised friends to Costco anyway as they hadn’t done any of their shopping.  So there I was on the 22nd December,  being squished between various gift aisles suffering from caffeine deprivation and trolley bruises.  All my hard work and slight gloating was for nothing.
So, should I be panicking?  Have you done your  xmas shopping already?  Will you do anything for the festive season?  Are you incredibly organised and wrap everything beautifully? Or are you a last-minute lemming ?
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Virgin Gadget Spy Webcast Out!!

Hello Michael...Wow! Remember I did some filming about 3 weeks ago for a pilot called “Gadget Spy” at Virgin Media?  I went off to visit Firebox a while ago to scope out some quirky electronic gizmos for this, pulled in some cool stuff from my industry mates at Archos and the like, then (and after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing), we managed to get a filming date in the diary.  I just got an email this morning saying that they’ve completed the edit!

So this is the Inaugural Gadget Spy mini-cast! It’s the first time the VirginMedia web chaps and I have ever done anything like this – the idea certainly comes across, and if the powers that be like it, then who knows, they might put a budget behind it, and we can do it again in a month or so, As far as I know, the more clicks they get, the more likely that is – so do please add yours 🙂

Gadget Spy Pilot show: www.virginmedia.com/digital/gadgetspy

Handling Overload #1 / Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Yes, I wish I knew. 

If you’re a component, it’s easy, you just shut down until someone comes and fixes you, or that’s it, game over.   If you’re more carbon-based than silicon-based, it appears to be a little more complicated.

You see, I’m currently suffering from life overload, and as usual I’m writing a blog with the perverse mindset that trying to make enough sense of the stuff I have to do by sharing with the internet will help in the real world, as I’ll be left with a blog of how to handle overload at the end of this post. 

Am I making any sense?  Of course not.  My brain needs some serious defragmenting.  Perhaps some down-time would be in order….

Forgetting Sarah MarshallThings I have to do #1  I really have to tell you about Forgetting Sarah Marshall, perhaps one of the best films I’ve seen in a long while.  Actual laugh-out-loud funny, along with some very geek-friendly in-jokes that kept the (in this case, geek-filled) cinema in stitches. 

What’s odd about this movie is that I wouldn’t normally go out of my way to see this, even though I enjoyed “Knocked Up” and “40-year-old Virgin” from the same stable.  It’s described as a “romantic disaster movie” in the press kit, which hints at something more than your run-of-the-mill schmooze-fest.

A lot of the time, I’ll walk out of a movie theatre and think “well, that’s another 2 hours out of my life, oh well”, but this was different – my companions and I were rather surprised at just how good the movie was, and even talked about the funny bits over sushi at Satsuma afterward.

The premise is simple: Bloke gets dumped by TV star girlfriend, Bloke gets back on horse (to know which horse, you’ll have to see the film).  Underlying that premise is one thing that’s left out of so many movies these days – a real sense of humour and characters that feel authentic and sincere.  Russell Brand puts on a great performance, and the script is satisfyingly tight – all killer, no filler, boys and girls.  Watch out for some admirably geeky Tshirts too.  In short, I’m quite the evangelist for this one. 

Mooooooooo!Things I don’t have to do #1

Here’s my moo card – I threatened to upload the pic in a previous post.  The back says something about me being from Outer Space, to see if anyone actually reads it…


Other things I have to do involve editing up Qype‘s chocolate tasting video at Melt and Firebox‘s mini-movie about some of their gadgets, getting a Virgin gadget project going (hush hush at the mo), and going on QVC this weekend amongst others.

I’ve decided (in my infinite lack of wisdom), to do a Quentin and make this a mini-series of “do’s” instead of one long hard slog.  Dinner is calling, and I made fairy cakes for dessert.  I’m no closer to making sense of my quest to handle overload, but I do think it will be easier to manage on a full stomach.

Speaking Freely

“Hello, this is me actually talking to my blog, yes, Talking! I’m using SpinVox which will convert any ramble into my telephone into hopefully something intelligible that you might want to read about life, the universe, gadgets and everything else. Basically, they give you a phone number and then you can blog away to your heart’s content – Spinvox will then send your blog a text transcript – either to Draft, or Real Live Publishing, depending on your demeanour and/or blog settings. So here goes:*

I’ve just finished answering all the questions for the virgin media xmas forum which was quite exciting, although it took me a lot longer than I thought to complete… it turns out that there are lots and lots of questions that don’t just require desk research, but actually speaking to Real Humans, which I try and avoid as much as I can first thing in the morning.

Other news, on my website http://www.ljrich.com/ you will actually be able to get a £5 voucher from Firebox if you click on the Firebox Voucher link on the menu… just enter your email and then Firebox will kindly send you £5 with no minimum spend which I think is fabulous.

I’m also trying to get everything sorted for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas, where I’ll be filming in January 2008. The more I’m told about this, the more bemused I am.

I’ve been constantly given warnings about how crazy Las Vegas is and how absolutely ram-packed it’s going to be and how it’s just going to blow my mind and that it’s some kind of Gadget Heaven. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll either be swallowed up by some gigantic technological black hole, never to return, or I might just get it over and done with and be assimilated at the show. Let’s hope that Borg OS is compatible with most browser platforms. I bet it’s incredibly efficient…

You know, I’m currently somewhere between really looking forward to this trip and really being quite worried about it. I’ll definitely be updating you on how it all turns out. Thanks very much SpinVox, you rock! speak to you soon. Bye.”

*note, I spoke this to Draft and tweaked it so you could click on nice links before publishing, but really I didn’t need to adjust very much at all- most excellent! www.spinvox.com if you fancy having a look.

spoken through SpinVox tweaked by LJ