My friends went to Malaysia and all they bought me was this ‘Rechargeable Mosquito-hitting Swatter’

My friends Colin and Jackie went on a holiday to Malaysia recently, now they are pretty good at getting unusual and funny gifts, I’ve got several funny things in the house that they’ve given me and Annie.

Well, keeping the tradition alive they brought back quite a spectacular but rather scary piece of technology. Behold, I present the…

“Rechargeable Mosquito-hitting Swatter”:

Click the image to see the big picture
[Click image to view larger]

How can you describe this thing? Well, cross a tennis racket with a tazer and this is what you get! Basically it’s for killing mosquitos, but it’s a pretty scary piece of equipment. It plugs into a wall and it powers up rechargeable batteries so that you can zap mosquitos by swatting and pressing the ‘zap’ button as you hit them!

Picture of the plug and 'on/off' button
Picture of the plug and ‘on/off’ switch

I have to admit I’m pretty scared to use it! I switched it on tonight and pressed the button and it zapped a piece of dust or something and it was pretty scary! It needs to be charged for at least 8 hours so it must get a fair amount of juice into it!

‘Very powerful’ package design

The other amazing aspect of it is the packaging, the description / instructions for use are hilarious due to the limited command of the english language that the makers of the device have, here it is in it’s full glory:

Main Character:

  1. Rechargeable Type: It furnishes 2 pcs. of 1.2V high quality rechargeable batteies which can by recharged in recycle for 600 times. it is quite practical and economic.
  2. Twice-speed discharge: It adopts an innovative twice-speed discharge circuit which can output 2500V in a moment. So, it has the best result for killing mosquito.
  3. Electric Shockproof Net: It can kill mosquito which is sucking blood on human bodies but it is harmless to human. when touching the net on flat surface, without any feeling of electric shock so it is safe for use.
  4. Leakproof Net: It consists on a special 3-layer net which can easily catch insect and never leak out.

Directions:

  1. When charging please use AC 100-240V, 50HZ power source.
  2. before using,please charge the batteries for 8-15 hours. They can be recharged in recycle for 600 times.
  3. When hitting insect, you can easily kill them just by pressing it’s switch.
  4. When the indicator twinkle,it indicate that the batteries run out. Then,the swatter should be recharged for 8-15 hours.

Warning:

  1. For more safety,do not press the switch or touch the ourface of net when swatter is in charge.
  2. Please do not finger the medium layer net.
  3. Please shake swatter for cleaning off insect carcasses which remain in net. Be sure don’t wash it with water,so as to avoid short circuit.
  4. The swatter may become without high-voltage or in low-voltage conditions when it absorbe damp in wet weather,the effect will be declined. Then,it can be dried by blowing with electric blower or shining with sunshine. The effect will be recovered soon.
  5. Children must instruce under adult when use it.

Wow, so there it is, one of the scariest electronic items I’ve seen for a while!

~Rick

I just bought a car!

Anyone who knows me may now be thinking, “But you don’t have a driving licence!?!?”.

This is true of course, it’s funny how this can seem like such a strange thing to some people (particularly people from somewhere like, um, Canada for instance!) mainly because people are very used to *needing* to have a car in order to get about. But for me it’s never been essential, living close to the centre of town I can easily walk, cycle or skateboard wherever I need to go. I’ve just never had a real need to drive, I’ve always thought it would be useful but just never been bothered enough to get around to taking lessons.

Of course, it’s actually Annie who will be driving the car anyway! I will just get chauffeured everywhere now! Although, now that we have a car I will no doubt want to get driving so it will motivate me finally to get my licence!

One funny thing about not having a licence is when I tell someone that I don’t have a licence I tend to have to explain that it’s not that I’ve lost my licence but that I’ve never had one!

What about the car?

Ok, here’s some details about the car, I’ve broken the information down into two formats, one for men and one for women, click the links below to jump straight to each.

Info for men | Info for women

Information for men:

  • Vauxhall Astra Envoy
  • 1.6 petrol
  • 5 door hatch
  • Automatic (Annie’s only allowed to drive auto here)
  • 2003 Model
  • One previous owner
  • Full service history
  • 13,000 miles

Information for women:

  • It’s green

Heh heh…

It looks like this: (car pictured is not ours but similar)

Vauxhall Astra Envoy 1.6

~Rick

Cool gadget, cool site

On the new gadget front I am just about to get a Nokia N80 phone as my contract is up with T-Mobile, after being with T-Mobile for over 7 years I’m about to jump ship over to Orange instead, they had a really good deal on offer coupled with having the Nokia N80 so that sold it to me.

What’s cool about the N80? Well, it’s got (amongst other things!):

Pictue of Nokia N80 phone

  • Integrated 3 megapixel camera (2048 x 1536 pixels)
  • High-quality video capture in MP4 and 3GP formats with up to 5x digital zoom, Video capture resolutions: 352 x 288; 176 x 144 pixels
  • Image and video uploading to the Web
  • S60 3rd Edition software on Symbian OS
  • Integrated digital music player with stereo audio. Supported file formats: MP3, AAC, m4a, eAAC+ and wma
  • Stereo FM radio
  • Multimedia player (RealPlayer) with 3GPP & MPEG4 AVC video streaming support
  • Internet browser (Based on Safari’s WebKit core)
  • Integrated Wireless LAN (802.11g) and UPnP (Universal Plug and Play)
  • Bluetooth wireless technology
  • Infrared
  • Pop-Port? interface with USB 2.0 Full Speed with mass storage class

So, it’s pretty cool! : )

I came across a cool site called ‘We Feel Fine‘ which is an interesting idea, it’s more of an artwork than an application, on the site they say:

At the core of We Feel Fine is a data collection engine that automatically scours the Internet every ten minutes, harvesting human feelings from a large number of blogs. Blog data comes from a variety of online sources, including LiveJournal, MSN Spaces, MySpace, Blogger, Flickr, Technorati, Feedster, Ice Rocket, and Google.

We Feel Fine scans blog posts for occurences of the phrases “I feel” and “I am feeling”. This is an approach that was inspired by techniques used in Listening Post, a wonderful project by Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen.

Once a sentence containing “I feel” or “I am feeling” is found, the system looks backward to the beginning of the sentence, and forward to the end of the sentence, and then saves the full sentence in a database.

Once saved, the sentence is scanned to see if it includes one of about 5,000 pre-identified “feelings”. This list of valid feelings was constructed by hand, but basically consists of adjectives and some adverbs.

It’s pretty cool, go check it out, www.wefeelfine.org/

~Rick

Go Skateboarding Day

I already added a short post about this over on DundeeConcrete.com but I thought I’d add it to my own blog as well.

Today is “Go Skateboarding Day”, check out the website at www.goskateboardingday.org. On the site it says:

On June 21 skateboarders around the globe will celebrate the pure exhilaration, creativity, and spirit of one of the most influential activities in the world by blowing off all other obligations to go skateboarding!

Skateboarders everywhere will hold fundraisers, contests, protests, demo?s, they?ll skate across cities, gather in skateparks, stream into their local skate shop and some will even revel in the solitary act of skateboarding alone, all bringing together the skateboarding community in the grind heard around the world.

This has been running for a couple of years now and there’s events happening all around the world. Except here, because we forgot! Ah well. People will be skating anyway I guess, but if you haven’t skated before or haven’t for a long time then maybe it’s time to go ‘burn some calories’ (or use some other excuse as to why skateboarding is a worthwhile activity other than just being awesome fun!).

I’ll be at the skatepark later if you need to find me, presuming it’s not raining!

~Rick

Anniversary, Frenzy Festival and Get a Mac

Ok, Wedding Anniversary gifts, the theme was definitely about ‘pods’, Annie got me the book ‘JPod’ by Douglas Coupland and I got Annie an iPod Nano:

JPod and iPod picture

FrenzyFrenzyFrenzyFestivalFestivalFestival

The Frenzy Festival was excellent again this year. Sporran Again opened the event again, David Crowder band were awesome. I also got asked if I was one of the members of ‘Delirious?’ too! Last year some people wanted their photo taken with me, which I did obligingly!!!

Frenzy is an excellent event, check it out next year if you missed it this time round.

Get a Mac

There’s some more Get a Mac ads on Apple’s site now, check them out at http://www.apple.com/getamac/, they’re quite funny.

~Rick

Fifth Anniversary (Is that like ‘cardboard’ or something?) (Wood!)

Wow, Annie and I will have been married for five years on June 9th! It’s a friday and I think Annie is playing at a ceilidh that night so I guess we’ll just celebrate the day after by going to Frenzy instead!

Annie and I have both got surprise gifts for one another, no idea what she’s got me though!

Don’t forget Sunday June 18th!

Ah, yes, Father’s day! Any offspring of mine (I know I only have one child!) reading this (or anyone else who feels like it!) feel free to buy me gifts!

UPDATE:

I found out that a 5 year wedding anniversary is classed as ‘wood’, according to Wikipedia.

Looking at the list of different ‘types’ of Anniversary, I thought it would be funny to think of things that would be impossible, very difficult (or maybe just gross) to get as gifts for people celebrating those particular years, so here’s my attempt:

1: Ice
2: Plutonium
3: Uranium
4: Carbon nanotube
5: Buckminsterfullerene
6: Samarium-cobalt magnet
7: Neptunium
8: Sulfuric acid
9: Bifidus digestivum ?
10: Acne
11: Nitrous oxide
12: Truffle
13: Liquid air
14: Pashmina
15: Pixie_dust
20: Vegetable Lamb of Tartary
25: Liger
30: Tigon
35: Giant squid ink
40: Thulium
45: Kryptonite
50: Amorphous ice
55: Polywater
60: Flatus
65: Melange
70: Ambrosia
75: Cochineal
80: Beluga caviar

~Rick

Paying homage

So, Annie’s in Toronto. I told her she had to go visit some place special for me.

Annie outside the Toronto Yorkdale Apple Store

Can you spot her?

She phoned me up from her sister’s cell phone to tell me she was there! She wins the title “iWife 06”!!!

~Rick

Cheesyvision Song Contest

Well, it’s that time of year again when people across the UK (and in europe I guess) say “Oh no, not flippin Eurovision!”.

As bad and cheesy as it is *every* year, it certainly makes for hilarious viewing due to the painfully cheesy bands / singers / music!

I saw a definite theme / formula whilst watching it, you need:

  • One Female singer (preferably attractive, with long hair)
  • At least 3 backing dancers / singers
  • One wind machine
  • One unwanted Shakira song, merged with local dance format (such as cossack dancing)

or if you can’t find anything to fit that format just get a bunch of extras from an episode of Buffy and enter them instead!

As I write this Lordi from Finland look set to win, when asked how the band felt about being in Eurovision they said:

?We are meat eaters in a vegetarian café.?

~Rick

Surf’s up!

Well, with Winter? having gone finally, I went for my first trip to the beach with my surfboard. Despite the fact that Magicseaweed.com said it wasn’t going to be much happening I headed over to St Andrews with my mate Colin. I was just happy to get into the water and float about, it really wasn’t as cold as I thought it would have been, although I was wearing a wetsuit.

Picture of me on St Andrews beach with my rockin board!
Yep, there’s not much in the way of waves there!

It was fun anyway, now Colin is looking to get a board too so we’ll hopefully do some surf trips this Summer.

One of the r-a-d things about surfing in the UK? No sharks, box jellyfish, coral reefs, (did I say sharks?), or other nastiness! ok, it might be cold but I’d rather have that I think! This reminds me of something I wrote whilst in Australia one time:

Mmm, that’s funny too, all the hoohaa about ‘blogging’, well, I blogged that trip in Australia back in 1998, wow, I’m like SO old school at this kind of thing! You can check out the whole of My Australian Tour Diary to find out more, it’s basically about a month and a half’s worth of entries, and in true blogging style I got bored and it kind of stops at the end! Well, that and it was hard to get round to writing entries. Ah the joys of blogging!

~Rick

The reputation of the Scottish people…

At work today we were looking for the exact (Pantone) colour specification for the Scottish Flag, a quick Google search and it flagged up the entry for the Flag of Scotland in Wikipedia, there are some interesting facts about the flag:

  • It is the oldest National Flag still in modern use.
  • The cross should have a width of 1/5 of the height of the flag.
  • Known as The Saltire or the Saint Andrew’s Cross.
  • Pantone 300 is the officially recommended colour.

What really me laugh was that it says the colour of blue used has changed at times from anywhere in between sky blue to dark navy blue, apparently this was “a selection apparently motivated by which colour of blue dye was cheapest at the time” !!!

The Scots do have a reputation for being thrifty so that confirms it!

~Rick