Telescope on the Credit Crunch –

We’re all trying to save money in the run up to Christmas – but because of the credit crunch it’s a bigger issue than normal. Many of our favourite radio and TV presenters have picked up on this issue – Chris Evans’ radio show has the “Don’t Cancel Christmas” slot, for example. And various breakfast TV shows are giving us examples of what to buy, where to buy and who is offering the best deals.

Recently featured on the “Don’t Cancel Christmas” slot is a new price comparison site –

We’ve all seen the price comparison sites before, but this is different. It offers a text service. So, when you’re standing in HMV looking at gifts for your niece or nephew and you really want to know whether to buy there, or keep looking for a better price, Sccope’s text service can provide the answer. It also means that people like my parents, who don’t have internet or even wap enabled phones (or know how to use those features) can simply text Lego Batman Wii to 62555 and get an immediate SMS response telling them which retailer has the best price. It might just be that the best price is online or it might be that it’s 50 meters down the high street.

At the moment, the price comparisons are available for toys, games, books, consumer electronics and appliances, but check back with the website regularly, as new categories are added regularly.


A Meeting I Don’t Want

(Sorry for the long one. This was written on on the 12 November, but I had to wait to post it).

Today, I have to attend a meeting and I don’t want to go. It’s not going to be good, easy or pleasant. I’m so glad that I’ll have someone special with me throughout (thank you).

I know that I’m not the only one with a wee bit of stress, and I shouldn’t really complain, but why oh why do other people make things so difficult??

You’ve possibly read my blog before, so you’ll know that work has been a little challenging for some time, well, it’s all coming to a head. I am being made redundant – because of the company finances…(credit crunch…hmm, yeah, ok then). My problem is that my role isn’t actually redundant. I run all of the global marketing programs for the company. They can’t just stop. Leads have to be generated otherwise what would our wonderful sales team do for the few hours a day they work?

A while ago I posted a ‘letter’ that I would like to send to the CEO about changing my role within the company to a sales role. I think in the meeting today, I’ll raise that – the fact that our sales team start at 10am most days and are gone before 4pm… Hmm…and I’m being made redundant?

What about the recent sales guy that we “let go”? He got paid off. He never worked before 10am and always finished in time to pick his child up from school at 3.20pm. He got paid off. And, it was a very generous pay off.

I’m beginning to think that the harder you work, the less reward you get. I should just doss about and get a pay off for the effort (lack of it).

That’s not really how it’s supposed to work, is it? And I know that I wouldn’t have a good conscience working that way. It really would feel like I was cheating someone. So, wherever I end, I’ll work hard, and do my job, because that’s who I am. My alter ego wrote the letter below…just for fun…!

Dear Mr CEO,
I wrote to you a while back about the state of the sales team and how I would dearly like to transfer into a sales role. Unfortunately, as you know, I was rejected. I have continued to work hard, to fulfill my duties, achieving my MBO each quarter, like a model employee. Imagine my shock to discover that due to the recent “credit crunch” and resulting “company financial position” I am being made redundant. Imagine further the shock I had when I discovered that there is no real redundancy package despite my loyal service and hard work.

I find this all too much to deal with as recently, one of the ‘much-loved’ sales team was fired for lack of performance (among other things) and he received a handsome payout of many thousands of pounds. I would like to understand if your expectations are such that the rest of your staff will be rewarded for being dossers, time wasters, and idiots? And that those who work hard will always work hard, for nothing, no reward, no recognition etc.?

I wait in eager anticipation of your response.

The Rest of the Company

When you work for such a small company, you get to know people. You become more than colleagues. Your lives start to intertwine and the lines between personal and business become fuzzy. There are three of us – “the usual suspects” – in the office every day – hail or shine we’re there – the others just pop in when they feel they have to… So, for the usual suspects, it’s a big wrench. For the usual suspects to know the fate of one of their own is pretty damn painful. To be in a situation where you can’t even talk to a friend about what’s happened to you is horrendous.

Quantum of Solace

4.5/5 – into the action from the get go.

Not quite as good as Casino Royale, but still very, very good. From the opening scene, in an Aston, to the final moments before the credits, you’re on a rollercoaster. Daniel Craig’s Bond is just nasty. He’s not Mr Niceguy, there are no gadgets, no gizmos and no infill. It’s action. He’s nasty. And it’s good.

I want to see it again. On a big screen.


My sister’s BF is a bit of an extreme sports fan…well, not just a fan. I’ve been white water rafting with him. I’ve seen video of him kayaking in some interesting rivers across the globe…but I’ve never seen him do anything quite like this…

Really wonder what he’d make of it…?

Nike +

A couple of weeks ago, I got an early Christmas present (one, that will be wrapped up again :0) before the big day)…a new Nano and a Nike+ gizmo for in my shoe. The idea is to get me running again. I still can’t run outside, expecially not at this time of year, so I’m in the gym. At first, I wasn’t sure the Nike+ device would make any difference to me, as I find running in the gym incredibly mind-numbing…but it did.

I love the fact you get a power song, and that Nike+ counts you down during your final five minutes, and that you can select different things to aim for (distance, time, etc.). On the Nike website, there are other goals to set. Unfortunately, (and this is the only downside) these don’t transfer back to your iPod, but will be tracked when you upload your runs. All in all, I’m loving it. I’m working towards running 5k in a specific time… Well, that’s the goal for the moment! It will change again soon…

I’m also loving Genius Playlists on iTunes. Fantastic. Pick a song you like, click the Genius button and you get a playlist that compliments your original song! It’s fantastic. I used to have a program that did something similar, but that was years ago. I wonder if iTunes got the idea there…? I’m just hoping that Genius will be available as a firmware update for iPod Video at some point in the future.

So, I’m a complete iPod convert. I have a Shuffle (for running), I have a Nano (also for running, but with my Nike+), I have a Mini (which I gave to my mum recently), I also have an iPod Video and I stream music across the network at home using my Airport Express…apparently, I need an iPhone..or a Touch…  With the Touch, you get remote access to your music library at the ‘touch’ of a button, Nike+ software is built in, no need for the receiver, and it just looks superb…hmmmm.

More gadgets to follow…it’s almost time for a new phone!

A Long Week

This week has been awfully long. Monday saw my BF’s little boy in hospital for a small procedure, which thankfully went well. Little boy in question thinks having a scar is cool…but it’s him that’s cool. He took the whole thing in his stride and was a little star throughout. It was pretty scary for BF and ex-wifey though…but thankfully, it’s done and all is well. But, Monday was a long time ago. Such a lot has happened since then, and it’s only Friday today…

Do you think if I went to bed now, I would wake up in time for the start of the weekend, and everything would be ok?


I didn’t think so either…