Half the time it's difficult to know what to put here, but when I saw the Rotring Möblierung furniture stencil thing, I couldn't help but let you know.
I didn't know that such a thing existed, but when you come to think of it, it makes sense. It's how those estate agents manage to draw such good floor plans of two bedroom flats and other desirable residences.
You need a hob or a draining board? You got it.
Toilet? Other thing next to the toilet that might be a bidet or a weird shaped small bath? No problem.
I just like the fact that they exist. If I'd sat and thought about it for long enough I guess I could have worked it out, but I didn't. I've been thinking about some other things. So when the stencil appeared on our kitchen table, I was interested and happy. Now I just can't stop etching comfortable four seater dining tables whenever I've got a quiet moment. And I love it more because it's Rotring.
I read an ad in USA Today recently. You can see some of the copy above.
I took the ad seriously at first. After all, it was for a new Blackberry device in an American newspaper, so my irony filter was set to zero. I was expecting something squarely aimed at the corporate achiever.
But then I looked at the whole thing.
Click on it for a closer look. It's all about the fact that this new Blackberry will cost you $10.5million. And you get a free exotic island with each one. I visited the website - there's a good clip up there that you can watch (the voice activated dialling bit is nice).
I like this campaign. It plays nicely on the preconceptions that people have about Blackberry users. It's good that Blackberry can take the piss out of themselves. It's good that I was suckered into thinking it was just another bombastic overblown ad about a frigging phone. I like it.
Come on Sony. Don't make it easy for me to think that you're getting slack and flabby. Seems like it's easy to have a pop at you these days.
But here's what happened - I needed to buy a dictaphone, so did my research and found a smart Sony model. Got excited (as I do before any new gadget is about to arrive) and then marvelled at how small it was when it arrived (it's the thing that's sitting on top of the box).
However, the thing I'll remember about my most recent Sony experience is the amount of paper that came in the box. Instructions for the device in pretty much every language you care to mention, plus instructions for the cruddy proprietary software, in all of those same goddamn languages. So much paper - in fact, the only reason for the size of the box was so it could carry all of that paper. Stoopid.
So I was thinking, why don't they just give you a little bit of (paper-based) info upon receiving the gizmo - the basic start-up guide. Then, if you need more info, you could maybe read it on a Sony website, and print it out (in one language) if you really needed it. You'd save money on paper and packaging, perhaps retain those customers who are beginning to think you're being a bit stupid, and not look like you're slaughtering the planet just because you can't be arsed to think of something smarter.
Tom is a man of his word. When commenting on a post a while ago, he said he'd buy me the "ultimate French peasant's pocket knife," mainly because I had mentioned that was about to purchase an inferior version.
And sure enough he bought one for me. It's called the 'Opinel'. Upon presentation of the gift, I gave Tom a penny, because you should never accept a knife as a gift, or so my Granny once told me.
Anyway, it's a beautifully designed thing - can't have changed much in the last hundred years.
Tom went on to say "I have one and it is f**king sharp." He's right, although I can't say I've tested it out yet. There are no rabbits to skin in NW10, and I haven't had time to whittle any wood in the last couple of weeks. But it's a lovely bit of kit. Thanks Tom.
By the way, I'm not sure if I've mentioned Tom's blog before, but if I haven't, I should have done. He is funny. Well worth a look.
Here's my contribution to Iain's computers behind blogs thing. The idea is to show the computer that you blog from. Here's mine.
A trusty 12" PowerBook G4 that has never let me down. Other things that you may notice...
* Yellow walls. I meant to paint them but never got round to it. We're moving soon, so no point now. * Big telly. Doesn't get used much. * Emergency box of wine (on left hand side). From my friend Ynzo. * Suede cleaner (next to printer). Bought to clean suede shoes that were damaged (beer, wine, dancing) at a friend's wedding over a year ago.