Earth Day

April 22, 2008 at 6:08 am (Life gets in the way..., Shameless Plugs) (, , , , )

The wheel of the year has turned once more and it’s Earth Day again – a world-wide day celebrating Mother Earth when we can (and should) all consider the little differences we can each make to live greener lives.

Whether you decide to ditch the car and use public transport today; choose to walk or cycle to work for a change; take a trip to your nearest recycling centre with all your waste paper, glass and plastic; plant a tree or some garden plants; buy organic produce when you do your shopping today; or countless other little changes that can easily be made, do it TODAY!

There are Earth Day events planned all over the place, but you don’t have to attend one of those to do your bit. Just use your noggin and think about that small but significant contribution you can make. After all, if everyone in the world did one thing, imagine the huge difference that would make! Start it off yourself.

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

You can find out more about the history of Earth Day HERE.
If you’d like some handy hints on how to live a greener life, have a look HERE.

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All in a good cause…

April 21, 2008 at 4:37 pm (Shameless Plugs) (, , , )

A couple of years back, I took part in Cancer Research UK’s Race For Life in Aberdeen. I ran in memory of my Great Grandad who died of cancer when I was just six months old – I never had the chance to know him. I had planned to follow it up with a repeat run last year, but was unable due to the timing conflicting with other arrangements, which was rather disheartening.

I now have even more of a reason for continuing to support this worthy cause, as my Aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. Fortunately, it was caught very early and they were able to operate and remove the tumour entirely. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy and will also have a course of radiotherapy later in the year. We’re very lucky – my Aunt is now doing very well and should have a full recovery.

Others are not so lucky.

Cancer Research UK makes a real difference – pouring money, time and resources into the never-ending search for a cure for all cancers. They largely rely on contributions from generous people like you and me and spend over £22 million each year on that research. There has been great progress made in recent years, but they still need more help – that’s why I’m making a shameless plug right here on my blog.

This year, I’ll be heavily pregnant come Race Day, so I’m having to miss out again. However, my very good friend, Kerry Elder, has entered and I have willingly sponsored her some well-deserved cash. If you would like to sponsor Kerry, you can do so on-line HERE.

Or, if you would like to take part in Race For Life yourself, you can find a race near you HERE.

Thank you.

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The future of books?

November 20, 2007 at 7:01 am (Books and Authors, Life gets in the way..., Shameless Plugs) (, )

Amazon Kindle

I heard, just today, about the brand new e-reader available from Amazon – the Kindle. From all accounts, this slimline, wireless, hand-held device can hold up to 200 books and has up to a week of battery time before you need to recharge (if you switch it off between uses and, I’m guessing, don’t read quite as much as I do). Now, I’ve had a look at it at Amazon’s own website and here are the few observations I’ve made right off the bat:

 

  1. It looks a little tacky to me – like some retro version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The white and grey plastic cover just looks slightly cheap. Now, if it were a smooth, sleek, brushed metal cover, it would look FAR more attractive and modern! This is supposed to be a revolutionary new device, but it looks like it was designed in the 80s.

  2. It costs $400. To me, this seems a little much for initial outlay, especially when there are other perfectly good e-readers out there for less than half the price. I even found a much nicer-looking one made by Sony for $299 and it has changeable covers available.

  3. It holds up to 200 books. What size of books? Are we talking thin novels of around 250 to 350 pages? If so, I read a LOT of books that are way heftier than that – anything from slimline volumes of 250 pages to hefty tomes that have a page count close to 1000 – that’s got to seriously change the amount of books it can carry, so I’m estimating that I’d probably be able to load between 75 and 100 onto mine, which is a big difference. Also, what do you do when you’ve read them all and want to download more? You have to pay for each book, so I don’t know about you, but I like to keep many of my books and re-read them. Where do I keep them when I’m done, so that I don’t lose them and have to pay a second time if I decide I want to read it again?

  4. It’s currently only available with a 2-pronged plug, so if I were to get one, I’d have to pay extra and get an adapter so that I could use it in the UK.

All that said, I’d still be interested in one. However, I’ll be waiting till the price comes down a bit and the plug is UK-friendly. It would certainly be great for sticking in my bag and reading on the go. At present I carry maybe one or two books in my bag, or, if I’m travelling long-distance, up to half a dozen, and that takes up a lot of space in my luggage. This would be a welcome way to have wider chioce when I can’t physically acces my own library, especially as the downloads are wireless, so I could get another at the drop of a hat – and the larger screen would mean my eyes wouldn’t boggle while I’m trying to read.

And hopefully, by the time the device becomes readily available in the UK, perhaps they’ll have updated the case a bit…

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Shameless Plug for Karma by Holly A. Harvey

October 26, 2007 at 8:32 pm (Books and Authors, Shameless Plugs) (, , , )

Karma by Holly A. Harvey

It’s not often that I find a new author about whom I get really excited. Sure, every now and then I pick up a book by an author I’ve never before read, but the rest of the world already knows about them and I’ve been late in cottoning on, but it’s unusual for me to find a real undiscovered gem whose praises I can sing.

In this case, I was introduced to a novel by my good friend Suzie, who had decided to take a chance and buy a book written by a fellow member on The Book Club Forum. The novel is Karma, the author is Holly A. Harvey, and I was blown away.

Initially, the reasons I agreed to give it a try were that Suzie enjoyed it and the author is from the same area I spent my childhood years, but I wasn’t expecting to almost snort coffee out of my nose whilst reading the first page.

Yes, you read that right – I actually had to fight to keep the coffee in my mouth, where it was supposed to be, as opposed to be forced out my nostrils by my trying to contain my laughter. And once I’d swallowed, I stopped trying to keep it in and laughed out loud.

I’m sure my colleagues thought I was having some kind of hysterical fit, but it’s rare for me to identify with a lead character from the first few sentences and find the prose laugh-out-loud funny.

And on top of the book being an excellent read, the author is a really lovely person too – friendly, funny, sunny and intelligent, with a sparkling wit that shines through. So, I decided she warrants a little plug from someone who enjoyed her book immensely and can barely wait for her next one.

When can we expect another offering to tickle our funny bones, Holly?

If you’d like to read my review of Karma by Holly A. Harvey, you can find it HERE.

For more information on Holly A. Harvey, visit her website HERE.

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Shameless Plug on behalf of my hubby

October 10, 2007 at 4:40 pm (Shameless Plugs) (, )

My hubby is quite heavily involved in the Football Manager gaming scene, so I thought I’d give a little plug in the form of this teaser trailer…

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Shameless Plug for He Hates Us

October 7, 2007 at 3:58 pm (Music, Film and Television, Shameless Plugs) (, , )

He Hates Us

My old buddy Bryce got in touch again via Bebo after years of silence (not altogether his fault – I’m just as guilty!) and let me know that he’s once again performing musical magic in the band He Hates Us.

I promised a plug (well, if you can’t support a mate when he’s making music, what kind of mate are you?!), so here it is:

He Hate Us in their current line-up are pretty new on the Glasgow music scene and are heavy on the guitars and drums (Bryce is the drummer, but actually is playing the guitar on my favourite track listed on the group Bebo spot, Time To Fight – he’s a talented man!). They have a sort of early-Metallica-ish sound, with a melodic Bon-Jovi-ish touch to the mix, so if you like rock, give them a try.

There are currently four demo tracks listed on their Bebo page, so please do nip along, have a listen, and see what you think.

And in case you’re wondering, yes that’s Bryce behind the drum kit.

 

You can check out their demo tracks at their Bebo Page – HE HATES US.

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