The Glass Man of Stevenage.

Rather unkindly, some people refer to people who wear Google Glass as ‘Glassholes’. But then you don’t see many about.
But I see one one. Most mornings. We share a train (with a few hundred other people).
There he is on the platform as we wait for the train. And every day he’s wearing his Glass.
Google Glass

Look how much fun it is to wear them/it.

I don’t pay him close attention but I’ve never actually seen him using them. They just sit on his face, so to speak.
Why does he wear them/it?
Force of habit? Will he need them later on and if he doesn’t wear them he’ll forget them?
I’m not going to judge him. It’s his right to wear them. Personally, I wouldn’t choose to sport them every day – and certainly not if I wasn’t going to use them
The other week I got off the tube at Victoria and to my surprise he hopped out of the driver’s cab. So no doubt he works for TfL and cadged a lift with a mate.
So does he drive Tube trains and film the tunnels as he goes? I know SNCF were trialing Google Glass to speed up ticket checking – a good idea in principle – but this is a conundrum that baffles me every morning.

Barclaycard: When Amy Childs met Brian Blessed

Well they never actually met, but we did combine their talents in the same project.

You see, in between parking in Stevenage and returning in the evening, I go to work – I don’t just commute just so I can blog about it.

And at work, I make adverts – mostly the sort that go on the internet and generally get in the way of what you wanted to do in the first place. And now I can proudly reveal the latest thing-what-I-done for you here. It’s for Barclaycard. It’s to mark the release of their new mobile contactless technology. You see, now you can pay for stuff just by swiping your mobile phone – if you have the right phone and a Barclaycard account. Cool? Yes.

So, given that this is such a massive step-change in the way we pay for things, we thought that now might be a good time to take stock and take a look at how paying has evolved over the years, starting with cavemen, via Vikings, Romans and Georgians and ending up in the present day in Chiswick High Road.

If you like pigs, fur, dinosaur milk, shoes, The Only Way Is Essex, Brian Blessed, the bloke off the Sky TV ad, another bloke off the ads, wigs, man-bags, Norse washing up liquid, guyliner, tridents and Horrible Histories (Dominic Brigstocke directs that and this), then this is for you. What’s not to like?

PS. This is the long version, featuring the ‘lost’ Viking scene. Kind of exclusive.

A paucity of posts.

It’s been pointed out to me and I’ve noticed it too: I can leave it a little long between posts. I don’t have an excuse but I do have 2 reasons:

– Angry Birds
– A shiny new netbook

I thought it was me and solitaire (Klondike™) on my iPod forever. When that game counter ticked passed 1000 (and it did) who’d have thought something new would come along to take its place?

Well, hats off to the Angry Birds crew. If ever there was a game that made you think ‘just one more go’ EVERY time you play it, this is it. And there’s just no escape. They keep updating it with seasonal specials and extra levels. And it’s all FREE! What’s not to love?

Angry Birds yesterday.

The new netbook? That’s for me to write my Oscar-winning screenplay on the train to and from work every day. Isn’t it? It turns out it’s very god at playing other people’s movies, so I end up watching those in 20-minute bursts between Stevenage and King’s Cross and Stevenage again.

The netbook. For films. And occasionally other stuff.

One day, eh – if I’m not updating this old thing with the latest happenings in my playground of car parks…

The egg in my car.

Why is there an egg in my car? It’s not really an egg, it’s a dehumidifier in disguise. For some reason, in winter my reasonable-in-every-way Ford Focus gets steamy inside (see Something to do with leaky seals perhaps; I’m no expert.

When it gets really cold, I can come back from work to find the windscreen has iced up on the inside. Well that’s no good – I can’t see out to drive.

So I’ve bought this. You leave it in the car and over time it absorbs moisture in the air and stores it it so it can’t get out again. It’s even got an indicator on it to tell you when it’s getting full.

If it shows pink you just sling it in the microwave for 10 minutes and all the moisture’s forced out again.

Does it work? Yes. I’ve noticed a big improvement. Low cost, low maintenance. Perfect.

If you want to get one and see for yourself, I got mine from here:

Looking for Parking in Stevenage? Look here!


Wow, technology eh?

If you’ve got a barcode scanner app on your phone, hold it up to the screen and hey presto.

Now all I’ve got to do is figure out how I can make this useful. In other words, where can I get this in front of people who aren’t already looking right at my blog…? (which is pretty much everyone).


Simple person with an iPhone.

A reconstruction.

So here I am, typing this “live” on the train looking straight at the person I’m writing about.

Here’s the thing. Everything about this chap says there’s something ‘not quite right’ – as judgmental and cosily conceited as that may be.

1. The Rainman shuffle as he gets on the train.

2. He sits next to a woman he doesn’t know despite the fact there are loads of empty double seats available to him. Human nature being what it is – especially on the Friday commute home – you’d want a bit of space to yourself if it’s available. Hence the surprised look on the face of the woman he sat next to.

3. He’s clutching an unopened double-pack of mini pork pies and has been ever since he got on – as though he hasn’t noticed they’re there..

4. When he uses his mobile phone, he holds it very awkwardly with fingers akimbo as though he doesn’t have full muscular control.

5. When he talks into his phone, he’s unnaturally loud – enough to draw a startled look from the woman knitting across the aisle from him.

6. Blank stare and bed-hair.

But for all the above, the one thing that flies in the face it all is the fact that the mobile phone in his non-pork-pie-hand is an iPhone.

Stereotypes come into being largely through truisms and genuine patterns of behaviour.

The received (and expensively marketed) wisdom is that iPhones are cool, they do cool things and they’re for cool people.

There’s no doubt there’s an anomaly here. So is he ‘normal’ despite all the evidence otherwise? Or can someone ‘simple’ (insert politically/medically correct term here) want, need and successfully operate an iPhone?

He’s now leaning over intently staring at the woman who’s knitting.

At last. The rains. They have come.

It's the shizz!

It's the shizz!

Finally it rained, giving me the chance to see how this Rain Clear stuff works. And I’ve got to say, I’m impressed! Even driving into a moderate headwind, any rain just beads and makes a beeline for the edge of the windscreen long before the wipers come to usher them out of the way. If anyone’s interested, you can get it here.

Satellite-navigating movie-watching commuting machine.

BIG NEWS! The Sat Nav that I’ve been coveting for weeks – nay, months – came down in price just enough for me to classify it ‘a bargain’ and justify the purchase. It has arrived. And I am pleased. For not only does it run TomTom, it also plays movies. So if I’m not driving but instead commuting on the train, I can watch Zombie Strippers (just for example) on a 4.3 widescreen. My own personal IMAX. Words cannot…



Though I will say this: it does seem to be a little picky when the Sat Nav decides to lock on to the satellites. It’s correctly configured and I know it works best outside, but sometimes it just seems to turn its back on the sky, sticks its fingers in its ears and crosses its arms tightly in a huff – maybe it wouldn’t do that with the male voice. Especially the Australian.

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