November 2005 Archives

Santa Shops at Your Local

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I've updated my cv/résumé, which has been long overdue. I need to give them (and this web site) a redesign very soon. The problem is that I am busy with so many other projects. I've spent the day on other long overdue projects, and these still are not finished. On to some other news, though. I was watching television the other night, and I noticed this commercial for Morrison's. (In case you do not know, they are a chain of grocery stores.) Did you know that Santa Claus shops at Morrison's? That's right. Santa shops at Morrison's, according to this commercial. Rubbish. Everyone knows that Santa makes his own toys to give to children. Only a Santa-poser would buy from a shop. (Unless, of course, this Santa wants to give me a new red Mini Cooper with a UK flag on the top because we all know that elves do not make real cars.) What is Santa doing at Morrison's anyway? I found this commercial disturbing; I mean, if I go to Morrison's, will I see Santa too? Surely, today's children do not want groceries, and they leave enough cookies for Santa every year so that he will never have to buy food. Shame on you, Morrison's, for trying to get all of the children in England to beg their parents to take them on the next grocery shopping trip so that they can see Santa too.

Website Review: 'Corpse Bride'

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I'm back from Edinburgh. It's now time to go through all of my photographs. Edinburgh was a nice city to visit. I was not impressed with the castle, but climbing Scott's Monument, visiting Mary King's Close, and seeing the Camera Obscura were the highlights. 

I've been meaning to post the following for some time, but I keep getting too busy. I saw Tim Burton's Corpse Bride when it came out at the cinema: a convenient Halloween film. Anyway, their web site is probably one of the best interactive web sites I have seen, but those with slow Internet connections beware; you need quick Broadband and a not-so-old computer to access the web site. The Corpse Bride web site is created in Flash, and the images and clips load slowly. However, if you wish to wait and you enjoyed the film, you will not be disappointed because the site captures the essence and artistic style of the film. It is a highly interactive web site and very imaginative. (Remember to turn your speakers on too.) To view this website, point your browsers to

Autumn in Bath

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Bath is beautiful in the autumn. The late afternoon sun, light brown stone architecture, and autumn foilage is a perfect combination of colour. The mornings are now crisp and cool with the hills engulfed in fog. Hot air balloons are popular. I love the late afternoon sun the best. It is always prettiest before the sun sets. It contains a warm glow, and this looks beautiful on the Bath stone. Autumn has always been my favourite time of year.

The Online Pizza Ordering Experience

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Okay, I am doing overtime building a website, and it's nearly 9:00. I'm hungry, and I don't have a thing to eat in the house. So, I get the idea to order a pizza. (This all sounds very geeky and computer programmer-y; I am sure that like-minded technical people can relate.) Anyway, so I am thinking of ordering a pizza that can be delivered so I don't have to get dressed and wander out through the park where strange people frequent during the dark hours. Besides, I am busy at work on my website. Delivery would be good.

I visit the website of a well-known pizza delivery chain, and I think "Cool, I can now order online and use my credit card. I don't even need to speak to anyone on the phone." This suits me perfectly because I only have a little bit of cash on me, and that little bit is not enough for a pizza. I am happy because online payment and ordering has finally come to the pizza delivery world. If I could dance, I would be dancing around the room right now.

So, relatively easily, I place my order only to become frustrated that the website fails to process my debit card. I recheck and type again and double-check the numbers. Failure. Now, my card has processed on other websites. For some reason, it will not work on the major pizza delivery chain's website. Frustrated.

I did not give up; I rang the major pizza delivery chain. I proceeded to give my order to the person on the other end of the phone, repeating my order serveral times and even having to spell the word 'Marlborough'. At the end of it all, I find out: "Oh, we don't take cards." Even more frustrated. My heart sinks.

So, then I try another major pizza delivery chain. It also has an online ordering form. I am quite happy that pizza delivery companies are adopting the web for online ordering. I fill out the form and register myself on their website and start to place my order. I hit the 'Next' button, which I am sure will take me to a form where I can enter my debit card details to pay for my order. Wrong! It sends my order off. So, here I am, placing an order for a pizza that I am not sure I can buy! (It later turns out that after they arrive with the pizza, they have to ring in my card details and complete the transaction over the phone.)

I am happy that pizza delivery companies have started to accept online ordering, but there seem to be quite a few usability and card processing issues to sort out. It has certainly left me frustrated.

Scotland Tour Guide

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I am going to Edinburgh in a week. As I've never been there and have never discussed the place with anyone, I went online and did some research and ordered an Edinburgh "tour guide". I was thinking: "Oh wow! An Edinburgh Tour Guide! It will tell me what there is to do and see in Edinburgh!" I have never been more wrong in my life. In the packet that came today that I requested, I received an A4 brochure with a couple general large-font paragraphs about Edinburgh and approximately 50 pages of accommodation. Go figure! I am not going to Edinburgh to visit guest houses and hotels! Had I not already booked my flights and everything else and was looking at Edinburgh and a few alternative places to go, I would have changed my mind based on this "tour guide." (Not really.) Not only that, but a CD-ROM for the Midlothian region came in the packet as well. Look, I wanted an Edinburgh tour guide, not a Midlothian one and not a book about accommodation in Edinburgh.

Harry Potter

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I just finished reading the most recent Harry Potter book. I did enjoy this one more than the previous ones, but the first one is still the best by a long way. I would still recommend it, though, and I thought that it was better than the last two.

Bonfire Night

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~ Bonfire Night ~ There's nothing like celebrating with loud, flashing fireworks. But, at the Birmingham fireworks display, they had made an educational history video to educate the audience about Guy Fawkes and English history. It's sad, but I can believe that a lot of people were completely clueless about the reason behind Guy Fawkes Day -- but, isn't it a little barbaric to be celebrating his execution and burning Guy effigies? Would they do the same with demonstrators today? I'll stop here before this becomes political debate.


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