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Member since: 09.10.2000

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    • Nokia 7210 / Mobile Phone / 0 Readings / 10 Ratings
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      30.08.2003 00:38
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      When I told my son that I was going on holiday for Christmas without him We struck a deal. He would 'let' me go on the condition that I phoned him on Christmas day from the beach. I checked and was told I would need a tri-band phone and a network such as 02 as vodafone told me they didnt have coverage for Jamaica. The phone seemed to be everything I ever wanted. Colour screen with a fairly high level of definition. Good quality polyphinic sound. Nice and compact, etc. However it did not seem to respond to well to 'hotter' climes, often resetting mid call and switching itself off on it's own. I found the same issues when i was in spain a few weeks ago aswell. I do not know if this is just my handset or an issue affecting all handsets of this model but I would say that if it is common to all of them that this is a massive oversight on the part of nokia when making a worldwide use handset. In the UK I have not had nearly so many problem with it. The new design keypad layout took a little while to adjust to but now I find it far easier to use than other nokia handsets. The casing is not all that resiliant and cracks easily. I liked the new games but was rather disapointed to discover that 'snake' is no longer in the list. I have downloaded a couple more games since then aswell. The radio feature is good although i have to say that it uses the headset as an antennae so you need it plugged in even to listen to the radio on loudspeaker.You can store up to twenty stations and label each of them within it's memory. It has a good reception and is easy to use. The organiser has loads of new features including repeat reminders such as birthdays, etc. I have not really used this feature much as I am not an organised person on the whole. As far as connectivity is concerned you can use a datacable or infra-red for using the built in modem capabilities (somethi
      ng those of you who know me already know is important to me, see logomanager opinion). Using the infra-red I have already created my own ringtones and my own wallpapers and screensavers. The software to 'browse' your nokia 7210 is available as a free download from the official nokia site. If you are a real techie and would like to add new applications and/or games this is very easy to do and there are plenty of programs out there. The battery life seems very reasonable too although it took several full charge then discharge attempts to establish this. Also for people who like to use the net through their handset the 7210 has wap and java ability using gsmdata or gprs meaning you can choose a variety of packages from your service provider that most phoines before this one simply did not allow. As for the camera add on, I have tried one out but chosen to wait for a more refined camera to become available. Maybe I have been spoiled by the quality of my other 'toys' !!! I have been assured by another 7210 owner that the camera is good enough quality for his needs. On the whole a very good phone with room for a bit of improvement.

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      29.08.2003 23:58
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      As I had not had a holiday for twenty years, thus not at all as an adult, I decided to do it in style. Style or what ? We stayed at Sandals in Ocho-Rios. This resort is intended for over 18 couples only freeing you up from the hassles of children entirely. On arrival we were given a glass of champagne whilst our bags were taken to our rooms for us. We were made to feel very welcome. The room was spacious with en-suite bathroom, ample wardrobe space and a room safe. Our view was over the gardens and not the sea but this certainly made for a pleasant view all the same. Outside our window was a coconut tree. There were many places to eat ranging from posh resteraunt to the beach grill. there were 6 bars if I recall right. Our favourite was the pool with the swim-up bar which had a large outdoor jacuzzi. The people there were so friendly it was unbelievable. The food was stunning quality. For breakfast on christmas day I ate lobster by the sea. There was plenty of entertainment laid on but we avoided a lot of it as the american vacationers were really over-bearing . We chose Ocho-Rios for its proximity to the mountains where 9-Mile is. For those who do not already know 9-Mile is the town where Bob Marley was born and where his final resting place is. The place was so perfectly natural. There was a feeling of togertherness and 'one-ness'. We did venture out on foot in Ocho-Rios but found the locals were very 'in your face', wanting to sell anything or offer any services thay could get money for. The area is a very poor area for locals to live in. On Christmas day itself we were invited by a couple of locals to join them at the cruise ship pier for a 'party'. When we got there we realised that this was so much more than a party. About 8000 jamaicans gathered on a pier to party to the likes of Morgan Heritage, Elephant Man, Sean Paul, Junior Gong and many other Bob Marley relatives, and the
      end of the gig was the high point with the Beenie-Man. On the whole a lovely holiday but far from cheap as i paid £3000 for seven days (mind you christmas put a grand on the price). I would thoroughly reccomend that if you can afford it just go, don't think about it, just do it!!!!!!! Although we were visiting in December it was still belting hot all the time, even when the rain hit. The rain in Jamaica is hot and fast like a power shower. Sandals have a no-tipping policy which is upheld throughout the resort, however if you venture outside the resort you will find that everyone expects a tip for the slightest things.

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      • Nokia 3310 / Mobile Phone / 1 Reading / 11 Ratings
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        24.10.2001 23:05
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        • "Not enough storage space for voice recognition or personal reminders"

        Here we go I have yet another Nokia handset in my collection to write about. I was very lucky in that i found someone selling a second hand nokia 3310 for a paltry sum. On first impression it seems as though it is only a smaller version of the Nokia 3210. However the handset has a few more features. Firstly the vibrating alert is an extremely usefull little thingy. Ideal if , like me, You work in noisy surroundings a lot.(the 3210 can be upgraded to vibrating alert email me and i shall tell you how). It also has a nice little personal planner which can be set as far in advance as You wish, at least I havent needed to set one so far ahead it won't let Me. This feature could have done with a few more spaces available for the busier amongst us. As far as ringtones are concerned, it should be noted that You can store several more ringtones on the handset than with previous models. The screensaver feature is as far as I can see a completely useless feature designed with people who like to have stuff their associates don't have in mind. With text messaging Nokia have added a 'predictive' messaging system which can be switched off if You don't like it. This system allows You to key in words without having to do multiple key-presses all of the time. It can be very fiddly to get used to and You will probably have to teach your phone a few words that You most commonly use before this feature becomes any use to you at all (my girlfriend does not like this feature at all). Next new feature is the voice recognition dialling. Excellent idea although I would suggest that the phone should ask You to say the name/word that You want to use several times so it can identify them easier. As it stands, when You set up the voice recognition You have to ensure that You say the name/word EXACTLY as You wish to continue saying it. The collection of games on the phone are good but I personally miss the origional game of snake whi
        ch has now been replaced by snake 2. There are a few features that I have not mentioned here as I do not really use them myself and did not feel it would be fair to comment. All in all a pretty cool phone and an excellent upgrade from previous Nokias although I would suggest that if You want a handset for basic uses and do not wish to 'pose' or 'show-off' a bit then stick to less expensive earlier Nokias. Oh and by the way, for those who know me, Henry has now got a 3310 too and loves it.

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          22.10.2001 00:34
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          • "Where's the action ???"

          When I saw the trailer for this movie with a friend of mine we both decided it was a 'must see' event. We went to the cinema with a feeling of excited eager anticipation. The movie started off okay, setting the storyline and scene rather well. Then things seemed to move ahead slowly, I thought that as Spielberg was involved that it was just a big build upo to something fantastically spectacular. After an hour and a half some people simply got up and left but I thought I would give it a chance still. The plot had a lot of potential and there were many 'missed' opportunities to 'liven things up'. The special effects were of a very high standard although they were not used to full effect. By the time the end came I was expecting some sort of heavy twist or something that made up for the enduring wait for it. Unfortunatly this was not to be the case. I found myself wishing that I had not bothered at all. When we left we both said that we were glad that we had used free tickets to see it and not wasted the £10 something on such a dire dissapointment. The story was like that of a child's fairy tale but without the magic. It was a little thought provoking in as much as it showed that with technologies current rate of growth that artificial intellegence is just around the corner. It made me think about whether or not humankind is ready for all of the implications involved. However I do think that this could have been 'played up' a lot more. All in all I suggest that You give this one a miss, or, if You want to decide for yourself, take something to do like a crossword book. Oh and don't forget a cushion it's a long film !!!!

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          09.07.2001 23:19
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          Precious is a well established piercing and tattooing studio in Norwich. Why, I hear you ask, is Simon wittering on about this stuff on a cybercafe opinion. Well, as of Wednesday 11th july, they open the doors on their new cybercafe. I have a bit of 'insider' advance knowledge of the set-up as it is me who supplies and maintains the computers. First and foremost I should say that they have three machines available at the moment on a shared isdn connection making them ideal for surfing the net and chatting. There are printing facilities too. The environment is great, with a purple and 'chrome' decor, displaying artwork by local people. The comfortable computer chairs are fully adjustable and far more comfortable than the ones I used to use in my cybercafe in Cromer. For the first month only the internet/computer access is free.... yes FREE. After this it will become the cheapest internet access in Norwich <assuming our competition don't start a price war> at only £3 and hour with a minimum charge of £1. The coffee is damn good and I shall include prices here soon <this will be an ongoing opinion with regular updates>. Being situated in the centre of Norwich, Precious is accessible to everyone including student who may find the atmosphere and the chance to drink coffee whilst working on the computers a real reason to use this 'cyberspace' as opposed to the college or university computers. The people at Precious are very freindly indeed and will go out of their way to ensure your comfort at all times. I shall update this opinion as things progress. As for now I am preparing for the 'big day' tommorow. Wanna know more????? WATCH THIS SPACE. ################################## Unfortunatly, as the best laid plans of mice and men, which are often led astray <for those who don't know the phrase>, the cyberspace could not open tod
          ay due to some last minute details that needed ironing out. Although there was a crowd at one point, this is very positive. It is a shame that I shall not personally be able attend the 'opening proper' but things are looking good. I shall keep you all updated. ##################################### Unfortunatly I regret to inform everyone that Precious Cyberspace is no longer functional. Due to insufficient interest which to me seems a little bizarre for a city centre. Farewell the purple cybercafe,boo hoo. Still at least the rest of the Precious studio, etc. are are still up and running. ################################################### Now it seems that precious has closed it's doors forever. Shame really but all good things must come to an end eventually.

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          • Coffee in general / Coffee / 0 Readings / 16 Ratings
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            08.07.2001 09:41
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            Why is coffee an acceptable drug? For the most part coffee drinkers start their day with a cup of coffee, the first ‘fix’ of the day. Without the first coffee fix of the day these people often feel unable to wake up let alone function ‘normally’. I have several colleagues whom nobody speaks to in the mornings until they have had their first coffee of the day, as they are unbearable until then. I personally am a pig to interact with until I have had at least 3 cups of coffee or a really long lie in. Coffee junkies have to have frequent ‘coffee breaks’ to sustain their good manner and their ability to cope with day to day tasks. The more ‘hardcore’ of us turn to stronger coffee using filter machines, cafetierres and sometimes even as far as expresso. Some coffee junkies who dislike the ‘scalded’ taste of an expresso drink cappuccino, which is in effect expresso with loads of frothy milk in it. The true coffee junkies often resort to eating coffee be it in a cake or I have even seen (and used) chocolate coated coffee beans as a snack with a kick. If we want to make our environment friendlier we often use the benefits of the smell of good coffee to make people feel more at ease. So am I overreacting to coffee use/abuse? I think not. Let’s do a comparison. Let us look at a cannabis user. If a cannabis user chooses to partake of their drug of choice to start their day in order to ‘function’ they are often branded dropouts. If a cannabis user needs to use it to make them bearable in the mornings they are considered to have a problem. If you took regular cannabis breaks during your working day it is very likely that you would lose your job for it. The more hardcore of cannabis users tend to use elaborate smoking devices to get the full ‘benefit’ from the substance, such as, pipes, bongs, etc. People who do not like the tas
            te of cannabis often mix it with tobacco or make it into a drink or food often in a cake with a minority of users eating it raw or making sweets from it. Are you starting to see the similarity? But cannabis is a dangerous substance, which is illegal for that exact reason isn’t it? Coffee can cause many serious side effects including short tempers and aggressive behaviour. Columbia where the world best coffee originates is also famous for it’s illicit substance trade. Withdrawal from coffee by frequent users often induces a feeling of insecurity, inability to cope. Sometimes the side effects can include shaking, dry mouth, and a feeling of lethargy. Why is it that a drug of this potency can be bought and used by people of all ages and be considered safe when in fact it has very similar effects on the mind and body as many other illegal substances? If you drink a lot of coffee and think that I am being ‘over-sensational’ or exaggerating a bit too much then just try and go a whole week without coffee, then, if you make it that is, have an expresso or other strong coffee. I think that you will be able to feel the drugs effects a lot better.

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            • Swaptor / Communication / 0 Readings / 12 Ratings
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              27.06.2001 21:57
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              Hey look I have managed to get yet another item added to the wonderful world of dooyoo. Having anticipated the demise of napster I started to plough through all of the napster 'clones' that I could find. Now I dont want to write an opinion on filesharing or it's politics/legality etc. I would however like to write about a product that seems to do just what i needed from napster in the first place. Now as you may or may not know there are oodles of file sharing utilities out there and the vast amount of usage is to aquire mp3 music. Swaptor was a reasonable size download and claimed to support every type of file extension (you can get anything at all so long as someone out there is sharing it) When I first got swaptor there were very few other users sharing files but I searched for adam and the ants AND the ozric tentacles and found some of each.This is always a good measure of the softwares ability as one is really old and the other is really obscure. After I had been using it a while and recommending it to all of my friends swaptor upgraded their servers so some technical details needed to be changed in order to connect at all. I would have thought that new downloads would have been altered accordingly but this was not the case. The settings changes were difficult to discover and (for some) very complicated. I found that this was simply putting people off using it in the first place.Otherwise I was adjusting the settings for them. All that aside this is extremely usefull software. My favourite feature is the file-resume feature. Users of the napster will love this idea. This means that if you get disconnected from someone (for whatever reason) whilst downloading a file, if you find another person with the file you can continue where you left off. Please take note that this resume feature only works if the file you are trying to download has PRECISL
              EY the same name as the one you wish to resume. You can moniter your bandwidth usage for downloads (files you are getting) and uploads (files you are giving) and this updates in real time. I would suggest that if you have a 56k modem or less then try to only download one or two songs at a time as otherwise they can take a long time. The whole thing is supported by advertiusing revenue and volentary contributions. If you use this system a lot and have a lot of files you have got through/from swaptor then, in my opinion, it is only fair to offer some sort of financial support. I stopped using napster and started using swapter quite a while before napster started sinking and I am more than happy with the increase rate of other users. If you get swaptor then I am 'sideards' say hi whilst you are there and I may be able to help you get used to the software. Happy file hunting and may your bandwidth be ever wide.

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                27.06.2001 18:57
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                Situated between the towns of Cromer and East Runton Seacroft camp site is one of the many North Norfolk touring destinations. To get there follow the coast road from Cromer heading towards Sheringham direction, there are a couple of 'static' caravan sites on the right hand side with a small row of houses betwwen them, totally opposite to the row of houses there is Seacroft. It is marked with a flag to make it easier to spot, this years flag is blue (apart from significant days such as the queens birthdays when the union flag is usually displayed instead). Seacroft has around 120 pitches, many with electricity hook up points, most of the pitches are seperated and sheltered by bushes and shrubs making it look very nice and helping to 'break-up' the north sea winds. There is a highly maintained toilet/shower block with disabled facilities and washing up sinks too. There is a place here for chemical toilet disposal too. Unlike many camping sites Seacroft do not charge any extra for use of these facilities and there is usually ample hot water (occasionally during peak times the water is not quite as hot but still hot all the same). There is a children's play area which has swings and a slide which is walled off from the main body of the site. If you like playing football seacroft has an ample pitch or if your pace is more relaxed it also has it's own pitch and putt. Swimming in the outdoor heated swimming pool is great as it is positioned so it catches lots of sunlight and little wind. Inside there are many facilities to keep you and yours occupied. There is a licensed bar and resteraunt, a conservatory which serves as a non-smoking bar (also adult only after 5pm), television lounge with sky sports channels, a small shop for convenience (bread is a bit expensive but there is a small supermarket about 5 minutes away), and a games area with 2 pool tables and a few other machines (not an amusement arcade though, crome
                r has many of those). The 'home-cooked' specials have an extremely good reputation****************************** in particular Sandra's (the manageress, and co-incidentally, my mum) superb guiness steak and kidney pie.***************************** UPDATE. Sadly Sandra passed away late febraury of this year, she will be missed immensly by all those who knew her. She was an incredibly strong willed and confident woman who was repected and loved by virtually all who came to know her. Seacroft will always be Sandra's to a lot of people and her steak and kidney pie is already missed too by a lot of regulars. Goodbye Mum.************************************* END UPDATE During the busier times of the year there is ample entertainment supplied too. Ally the singing chef sings, plays piano and guitar (cover songs mainly). Uncle Razz and Auntie Pearl are respected and established children's entertainers. Spectrum are a duet that perform 50's and 60's songs. Jim Crosby is a guitarist who plays a variety of styles to suit most tastes. Also there is quite often bingo, pool competitions, quiz nights and much more. On a more serious note, Seacroft employ a nightwatchman to oversee the site and ensure noisy or troublesome situations are dealt with quickly and with as little disruption to others as possible. If any of you are wondering why I would use a camp site just up the road from where I live.......because I also happen to work there. All in all I have seen thousands (literally) of satisfied customers many of whom come time and time again and only a few with complaints. If you want a holiday where you can see the sea without having to go anywhere at all then Seacroft has got it covered. The reason I suggested this item is that I know that several dooyooers have and do visit Seacroft and use the facilities I look forward to their opinions.....Alec(sit2020) I mean you at lea
                st. 29 aug 2003 UPDATE A lot has changed at dear old seacroft, the owners, the staff, the atmosphere. Now I do not wish to show any dis-respect to the new owners but they have made some serious changes to the site. They have closed the television room for a start, although i believe they put a television out for major events. Customers who are also friends have told me that they cannot get a breakfast most mornings. No food or bar services are available through the earlier part of the day. The menu has been altered to 'easy-prepare' meals only with virtually all of the favourites removed. The staff have told me that they are no longer allowed to drink alcohol whilst working. This i realise is for practical reasons, but it was part oif the 'holiday' atmosphere as the staff were partying with you. I must say however that the temperature of the swimming pool seemed rather high for an outdoor pool so some things are better. I do not wish to put people off from going to seacroft these days but I would like to point out that i wrote my opinion when times where very different indeed.

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                • Logo Manager / Apps / 0 Readings / 13 Ratings
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                  25.06.2001 13:38
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                  Having origionally bought a datacable for my nokia 5110 to connect to my laptop pc so I could connect to the internet on the move I thought I would have no need for this sort of thing. Upon receiving my datacable I was horrified to discover that I needed software not packaged with the cable to use it how I wanted. So I set about finding some software. Although the software does not provide software modem facilities it does provide a host of useful features. You can create your own logos or ringtones or get them from other peoples handsets (so long as your cable supports their handsets). You can also aquire logos and ringtones from a multitude of sources on the net and edit them and put them on your phone. Also this software gives you the ability to send (via the sms network) ringtones and logos to other phones. The phone browser gives you the opportunity to alter your address book, back it up to a file on your hard drive, merge multiple contacts lists. There are plenty of other features but unfortunatly my phone does not support them so it is difficult for me to comment on these features. My father owns a couple of businesses which sell mobile phones and he bought a datacable to add extra menu features to the nokia 3210 so it can use a 'vibra-alert' unit that he fits. He now has this software on his computer and is learning how to use it. Anyone who knows my father knows that computers are not really his forte and any software he can use without too much trouble must be user friendly. I would reccomend this product to anyone who has been 'ripped off' by the huge profitmongering going on in the logo/ringtone world at the moment.

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                  • Body Piercing / Archive Lifestyle / 0 Readings / 23 Ratings
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                    25.06.2001 09:58
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                    I have a single piercing nowadays, my left ear lobe. This was not always the case. I have had many different ear piercings and also three in my nose. When I was a teenage punk I used to put pins through my cheek and then remove them after going out (I REALLY DO NOT ADVISE THIS). Also when I was a lot younger I used to sew the tips of my fingers together. I know a lot of people who had or are having similar experiences. At one time, when I was at high school, I got myself a piercing gun and a bunch of sterilised pre-sealed piercing studs. I must have pierced dozens of my peers before I got into trouble and had the equipment consficated. I removed all but my present piercing when my son Henry was born. I was afraid of the pain if they were pulled (a bit cowardly maybe when you read the rest of this) A couple of months ago I was told of a cafe that needed computers to become a cybercafe so I called the boss and asked more. It turned out to be a piercing and tattooing studio based in norwich where body modification is quite popular. When I met these people (yes people, not wierdos, not nutters, real people) I mentioned that I had not been able to find a website for them and as things progressed the job of creating one became mine. Being a reasonably professional man I decided that I should research some of the things these people do. I must say that I was astonished at some of the things that people get pierced and to what degree. Often people with 'heavy' piercing get into 'stretching' their holes with rings and bars. There are 'surface piercings'and 'pocketing' where rods are placed under the skin in different manners. Some even take it as far as ritual suspension. For those who don't know anything about this I shall explain a little. Flesh hooks are placed through the skin, often on the back towards the shoulders and then these hooks are conne
                    cted to a kind of 'hanger' which in turn is lifted until the person is suspended in the air by their skin alone. All of this might make you go 'EEK' or 'OUCH' but these people are exercising their right to take control of their own bodies. Why should anyone be allowed to tell them not to do it. These people are all adults with opinions and freedom of choice as we are. Who are we to put them down or tell them they are 'freaks'. I am proof that piercings that you don't like later can be removed easily and, in time, virtually un-noticably. All this aside I believe that people who pierce their children are wrong for doing so. The child/children do not have a fully informed choice if any at all. A friend of mine in New York was talking to me about her dislike for piercings, how they 'grossed her out'. I asked if she had any piercings at all and she told me that she has both her ears pierced. It seems her parents had her ears pierced 'for her' when she was only a few weeks old. This is not right. Anyone who believes otherwise is welcome to comment to try and convince me otherwise. I should point out that using a piercing gun for anything other that earlobes is potentially very dangerous. If you are having nose,nipple,lips,navel or anything else and your piercer wants to use a gun....GET A PROPER PIERCER. Links www.bmezine.com (very graphic) www.preciouspiercing.co.uk (site mentioned in opinion) www.suspension.org (there are lots of people doing this) www.safepiercing.org (very sensible people at that ########################################### update 11th july 3001 Today I had my right nipple pierced, and I have to say it was a lot less painful than I was anticipating. The whole process involved me reading and signing a form to declare that I was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol <as if booze isn't one of the wor
                    st 'acceptable' drugs> and that i had eaten, etc..... I was shown all the equipment and how it was all sterile, the process was explained to me in detail every step of the way. The first part of this process was carried out by a guy called Alex, who showed impeccable proffesionalism and made me feel at ease. Yet I had already requested that Ginge 'the guvnor' do my piercing so, with all due respect to Alex, Ginge took over. There were some tong like things that held my nipple so the needle could be put through straight, etc. The moment of truth, I was wondering if I really wanted to do this, and in a moment it was over. Ginge then carefully applied the jewellry into the fresh piercing (a technique I would say takes a lot of practise and consideration). I felt at ease all the time and Ginge, much as I would expect with other professional piercers, helped me to relax and kept good humour all through. If you have ever thought of having this done I would thoroughly recommend it so long as you feel you can trust the person who is carrying out the procedure. I FEEL DIFFERENT. I shall let you all know how it all settles in, as it happens.

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                      23.06.2001 11:32
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                      Why do we need to do it at all? If we truly love one and other then surely we do not need a formal arrangement to substantiate it. There are many drawbacks to getting married, and as far as I can see very few plusses. In biblical times marriage was where two people in love would declare their commitment to each other in the eyes of god, there was no ceremony as such, they could say ‘we are married’ and that was it. I married the mother of my eldest and youngest sons figuring that this would make a more stable environment for the four children involved (she has 2 sons by me and one not by me and I have a son not by her). I figured that the kids would have a better chance of a stable life if they had a ‘proper’ family. I had wanted to marry my wife since we met in 1988 so when in 1999 she finally suggested it to me I didn’t wait to find out why she had changed her mind at last. Things were a little rushed to say the least. We called the registry office within a few minutes of deciding to ‘go-ahead with it’ and booked for a couple of days later. We decided that we were not going to tell anyone we were getting married (with hindsight she decided) then ‘we’ changed ‘our’ minds the day before the wedding and called a bunch of family and asked them what they were doing the next day as we were getting married. Suffice to say this kind of freaked everyone out but still they came. I had no doubt in my mind that this was what I wanted and assumed that she had felt the same way. At the ceremony my mother cried, but not from happiness, from sheer dread that everything was totally wrong. My eldest son Ricky also cried which bothered me a lot, I talked to him about it and he seemed to settle down but the feeling of something being wrong was there from the start. During the next 13 days it became more apparent that the wedding was my wife’s means to not working for a
                      living anymore, she was always a career woman beforehand and now she didn’t expect to go out to work ever again. She decided that I had to change my persona totally and she figured that she pretty much OWNED me as opposed to us working together as a team. She and I argued for a couple of days because I wanted to formally train in computers and wanted to open a cybercafe and she wanted me to get a job working on oil rigs in the north sea for months on end. My wife left with the kids (apart from henry) on the 26th of November 1999 only 13 days after we were married. She soon settled back into her old routine with her ex-husband and my kid’s lives were totally messed around. Now I know that all of this is just my personal experience but I believe that if we had not got married at all then things would have been so much better for the children. The only thing that I gained out of our marriage was parental responsibility for my children by her and a whole shed load of grief and heartache. Do we really need a legally binding contract that can be very hard and expensive (financially and emotionally) to get out of in this modern society. Should we get rid of marriage altogether? Statistically more and more marriages fail within the first few years and ultimately it is our children that suffer the most. ~~~~~I do still wear my wedding ring but this is because we are not divorced yet and it would not be fair to any future partners I may get with to hide this. ~~~~~True at the time I started writing this. I am now divorced and chuffed to bits that this episode of my life is finally dealt with. But what of the boys? How badly are they affected? How much will it affect them in the future? Today my eldest son told me that he does not want to see me anymore. His Mum told him that I haven’t tried to make contact. I have sent sms text messages, left voicemail, rang repeatedly and eventually had to send
                      a letter to get through to her. Why should he believe me? Why would his mother lie to him? BECAUSE SHE CAN !!! Because she no longer has any other hold over me except my sons. She is using my children as weapons against me, to hurt me, to stress me out. This is in turn harming our sons. Ricky <my eldest> has dysphasia and therefore has enough problems ‘fitting in’ at school. This is made worse by the way he excludes himself from the other children in the playground by sitting indoors reading on his own. He has become very sensitive, he cries at silly things Henry, who is half his age, does. All these things, it is my BELIEF, can be accredited, more or less directly to the ‘home’ life he has had so far. Why should our children suffer? Not just mine, but children of ‘broken’ homes, why must they endure the psychological warfare that their parents shove in their faces. Is there an answer? I certainly don’t know. I just hope that someday I shall be able to be there for ALL of my sons when they need me. I hope I can make up for all this confusion and suffering that I have allowed in their lives. I pray that they will learn from what they have seen and make sure that it never happens to them. And I pray, One day they will be proud of me and say ‘that’s my Dad’. ############################################# UPDATE Maybe they will say 'that WAS my Dad'. I have just been told by my ex-wife that she plans to remarry her first husband next month. How is this 'chopping and changing' going to affect our sons? I expect both of my sons by her will be brought up to call HIM Dad now. I HATE HER SOOOO MUCH.<but I don't make an issue about it in front of the children>. I hope that one day, before this whole mess screws them up totally, my children will want to know the 'real'
                      ; truth about their 'real' Dad. Marraige and divorce can tear apart adults and childrens lives. Think about what you are doing if you are planning to marry. Maybe I should write an opinion on 'pre-nuptial' agreements and why we might be better to have them. Thank-You to all the people who have contaced me since reading this opinion for all your support and advice and for just generally being there for a disillusioned and very unhappy man.

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                      • Soulmate MP3 Player / MP3 Player / 1 Reading / 8 Ratings
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                        23.06.2001 09:30
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                        • "Loses stored data when battery is changed"

                        As some of you already know, I am a total gadget head and in being so 'had' to get an portable mp3 player and because of it's extremely reasonable price I chose this one. I had a computer related shop at the time and the Soulmate was on extra special offer from my suppliers. When I opened the box I was fairly impressed by the size of the player and the weight. It fitted nicely into my pocket and was about the same weight of a full pack of cigarettes. Then I saw the rather bulky docking station and was a bit discouraged as i wanted to be able to connect to my laptop on the move and this was going to be just a bit too bulky for me. I installed the MusicMatch Jukebox software that came 'bundled' with the Soulmate and was pleasantly surprised to find a good piece of software supplied with hardware (in my opinion this is very rare nowadays). Within about 10 minutes I had transferred several tracks onto the Soulmate from my PC and was happily 'chilling out'. The volume seemed to be able to handle my preference towards very loud indeed without distorting. Unfortunatly the software did not equalise the volume of the tracks so they were at their original mismatched volumes. After having used the Soulmate for a while I discovered a few other things that began to bug me. Although the battery life is very good indeed, When the battery does run out and is changed the Soulmate does not retain the tracks stored on it. I would have liked the ability to 'get' tracks from the Soulmate to my PC. Also it lacks the ability to record on the move things such as speech, etc. Although it is a very nice bit of kit on a budget don't expect too much from this 'toy'. I bought a minidisc recorder for all the other stuff I had wanted it to do and now just use the Soulmate when cycling or cleaning the kitchen at work or other stuff that would shake up a unit that has moving parts. I sold o
                        ne of these to a woman who was going to travel a long distance who didnt want to carry her entire collection of music with her. I put converted her collection into mp3 and burned them onto cd for her so she only had to carry one disc (excluding the software for her Soulmate of course). I spoke to her a few months after she had left and she said that it was still a really useful gadget whilst on the move.

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                        • More +
                          23.06.2001 08:50
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                          I used to live in Holt, the sleepy little Georgian town just inland from the North Norfolk coastline. For a start the place is tiny. I have walked from one end to the other in less than 10 minutes, not just the centre of town either. The fact that it is so small makes it an excellent place to visit if you have mobility issues or small children. It is well paved and kept rather clean and tidy. If you are a steam railway enthusiast you can ,for the moment at least, catch a traditional steam train to Holt from Sheringham <the final station on The Bittern Line which is a direct link from Norwich>. The steam train station is situated about a mile outside of the town itself but there is a lovely horse drawn carraige service, run by one of the local pub landlords, which connects the station to the centre of the town at The Railway Tavern. Once there You can visit one of Holt's plethora of antique dealers, or stop for a meal at one of the ample supply of pubs or tea/coffee shops. There are many pretty places to walk in the surrounding countryside and a couple of churches that are worth visiting. At Christmas time Holt has a superb reputation for it's Christmas lights displays. It seems that they bought the lights from another much larger town and filled the town totally. I didn't get to see them personally last year but my Mother took one of my son's and they both loved it. If you are looking for thrills and excitement or loud partying then dont look to Holt for it will leave you hanging a very long time indeed. A true look at Norfolk life and a thoroughly pleasant and peaceful day out.

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                          • Nokia 5110 / Mobile Phone / 1 Reading / 11 Ratings
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                            15.06.2001 20:52
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                            • "Modem speed only 9
                            • 600 maximum."

                            I recently lost my nokia 3210 whilst out getting drunk. This was a complete disaster for me as it had all my contacts stored on it and was also a contract phone. I got a replacment simcard for my number and set about getting a new handset. As i have been using a product called fusion one, which allows the user to synchronise address books from phone to pc, I needed the handset to be Nokia. My local second hand shop had a Nokia 5110 without a sim for £20 which seemed about the right price to me so I bought it. The handset seems to have all the same features as the Nokia 3210 except the ability to download new ringtones. I found the buttons need a bit more of a push than most of its succesors.Awkward for playing snake although handy if, like me, you are always accidentally pressing buttons unintentionally. It is a good size for fitting in your pocket but not so small that the handset is difficult to navigate as seems to be the trend with 'tiny' phones. The quality of reception seems steady and stable. This can be increased by keying in codes but this is at the expense of the battery charge life. The battery itself seems to hold a charge for several days (shorter with heavy use of course). Not too heavy and takes only a short time to fully charge.It seems to drain rather rapidly when connecting to the internet for my laptop computer. Data transfer rates are slow <9,600 as a modem> but that is to be expected with these older phones. The Nokia 5110 is what is known as a 'dumb' phone. This means that it has no actual modem built into it, Therefore you must use software to 'emulate' a modem <please note this is for datacable usage>.The software is expensive but can be found on various sites. All in all a handy phone with plenty of usefull features, simple to use, and inexpensive too ! If you are into handset customisation there are thousands of different fascias available which are easily changed
                            . Also you can customise the logo with ease <soon available on my website, hopefully. for now use www.boltblue.co.uk for 1 free logo a day>. I would recommend this handset to just about anyone for ease of use and practicality. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Update Just to clarify my last statement I should tell you that Henry (my 5yr old son) now also owns a nokia 5110 on orange so he can afford to call his mum and she can afford to call him more often (she is on orange and to call cross networks costs a packet). And he seems to be getting on fine with it. He cant beat me at snake yet though !!!!!!

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                            • Learning Land / Magazine / Newspaper / 0 Readings / 11 Ratings
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                              02.03.2001 07:58
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                              Learning Land is a children’s magazine that comes with a CD-ROM for your child. Available fortnightly in most newsagents I would recommend this product to anyone with young children. The magazine and CD-ROM work together so as to compliment each other without putting the onus on one or the other. The media is hosted by four animal characters namely a mouse called Tim, a rhino called Biff, a cat called Sue and a rabbit called Milly. The ‘team’ has a different theme for every issue with ‘modules’ and puzzles for your child to complete. On the CD-ROM, when your child completes the various ‘tasks’ he or she is rewarded with a puzzle piece that they call a ‘piece of the jiggle jigsaw’. This is used to complete a picture relevant to the theme of that particular issue, encouraging your child to complete all of the tasks he or she is set. The puzzles etc are tailored to your child’s own level of competence and all encourage some form of learning be it spelling, number recognition, safety, and teamwork. The whole experience is personalised by asking children to input their name and select a picture to represent themselves (henry often chooses the tiger or the rocket). Henry has a subscription to the publication, which entitles him to extra-related freebies such as a mousemat and soft toys of the characters. He has learned such a lot of information from it and has seriously improved in his level of computer confidence and competence. Henry has learned counting, spelling, mouse control, computer use, and how to print from his PC. He has been using it for over a year now and he still has the same level of interest in it as the day he first used it. If you have young children then please consider learning land from deagostini as a learning aid that they will consider a game. One more thing, learning land is capable of running on a low-end computer system, which means y
                              ou don’t need an expensive machine for it to run. So much so I have given henry his own PC in his bedroom. For those of you that don’t know henry is 5 years old and leaps and bounds ahead of his schoolmates in computer use, I believe that this is directly attributable to deagostini’s learning land.

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