Friday, November 17, 2006

And here's my Friday bits...

Excitement abounds (abounded?) in Starbucks today (I almost said Star Trek then - how very 'stream of consciousness' of me). I don't know if this has thrilled anyone else to their core or not, but I got my Starbucks card through the post the other day!

The basic idea of it is that you whack a bit of cash on it, then you don't need to deal with that fiddly handing-over-the-cash thing when you pick up your daily/hourly coffee-based beverage. There's no additional perks - in fact, when you think about it you're actually just giving Starbucks a load of money rather than having it sit in your account - but it does seem to be convenient, and it does make it feel like you're not actually paying for your coffee. I suspect it'll also make me feel slightly superior to all those people who have to use dirty old notes and coins.


Anyway, I went into Secret Starbucks today and plonked a tenner on my card - it's very convenient! They were also playing Christmas songs which made me hit a solid three on the Festive-0-meter. But then lovely barista lady stopped by my table and handed me a cardboard package tied with ribbon. What was it? Why - it was a limited edition Starbucks card that is only handed to the very finest customers! It's matt black and gold and quite lovely, and it comes pre-loaded with £2.60!

I feel super-blessed in a very special way.


After work I headed up town because I wanted to go to the Apple Store. The tube was packed and it was pissing it down with rain; the sooner that Apple Store opens in Kingston the better. Anyway, the Regents Street Christmas lights were up, so at the risk of looking like a complete spacking tourist I took a couple of photos.

I took those for you. Yes, you. I hope you're grateful.

So... the Christmas lights... Um... Pretty crap aren't they? This year's lame theme appears to be the new Aardman Animation/Dreamworks film Flushed Away, which having just tanked reasonably spectacularly in the States probably needs all the help it can get. I hate the corporate nature of the Christmas lights in recent years, and I suspect somewhere something - possibly one of Santa's elves, or a flying reindeer or something - dies when every one of those little bulbs is switched on.

Hamley's are a bit better. On the plus side, in a week where environmental issues have come to the fore, I hope Ken Livingstone is having kittens at the carbon footprint that lot is generating.

On to the Apple Store!

I love the Apple Store for the sheer fact that it's full of shiny loveliness. But tonight I was on a bit of a mission - and I do worry that if I linger a bit the next thing I know my bank account will be empty and I'll be the proud owner of the complete Apple product line. So with my sensible head on I headed for the iPod accessories; Sparky Ma and Pa in league with my grandparents got me a new iPod Nano for my birthday last week, so I was after some additional lovely bits.

First up was a case of some sort. I want to keep my Nano in tippety-toppity condition, so this is a must. I'd been considering iPod socks, just for the fact that they look kinda fun, but an Apple man (do you like my play on 'Apple Mac'?) told me that the new Nanos tend to fall out of the socks, which kind of defeats the object. Instead, he recommended a silicone glovey thing, so I bought that.

Next up was a new dock; if you saw my desk at home you'd see a 3G iPod dock, an iPod Shuffle dock, and a Nano wire; I've run out of USB ports on my machine, and have had to unplug my drawing tablet. The new universal dock removes the need for the chunky old dock and the Nano wire, which is nice. I almost bought a universal remote too, but my desk is like two metres from the sofa, so if I can't ever be arsed to get up to skip through a track something is seriously wrong.

I'll probably buy it next time I go up then.


Intriguingly, the Apple Store no longer hands out printed receipts - they email them to you. And to prove that you've actually bought what you've actually bought, they slap stickers on the boxes. I jokingly said to the assistant who served me that he could "put one of those on a 24-inch iMac" for me. He subsequently looked at me with an expression that suggested he thought I was about to pull a 'kerchief up over the lower half of my face and shout "IT'S A STICK-UP" while holding my hands out in front of me in the shape of two guns, rather like the Hamburglar.

I thought it best to leave after that.


One thing I did notice in my brief jaunt up taaaaaaahn was that in the torrential rain that kicked in at about three this afternoon, all those copies of TheLondonPaper and London Lite that have been forced on unwitting pedestrians by pushy paper peddlers and subsequently dropped on the ground had the unforeseen effect of turning Regents Street into a vast sea of papier maché. The adult in me was disgusted at the gratuitous waste of natural resources and the disgusting effect on one of Londinium's most prestigious areas; the child in me was tempted to squat down on the floor and fashion something out of the pulpy mess, probably something with boobs on it.


Saturday will be a day of reviews on Sparky Malarkey!

First up: At Marcosy's request I'll be writing a road test of the new, new Mini, which I'm testing at midday!

And then: Casino Royale at the cinema with Sweatband - she's already admitted that she'll probably swoon at the craggy-faced Brosnan-toppler! I won't.


Dinah said...

Thank you for the pictures. I love them. It's so Christmassy and bright.

"the child in me was tempted to squat down on the floor..." I thought that was going to go in a completely different direction!

I have a Second Cup card, but I always forget to put it in my purse so I have to use cash like a sucker.

Miss T said...

I had coffee yesterday and last night and was wired up like a jack in the box until 3am.... I think I'll stick to hot milo in the future. Or red soft drink.

Cool pics! Christmas in the cold must be so nice... it's sweltering here. Sweating every where, even at the back of your knees on Christmas day just feels so... unChristmassy.

Mmm. Daniel Craig. I hope he goes the way of Lazenby - a mistake Bond. He just doesn't look suave enough, compared to Connery or Brosnan.

I wish Hugh Jackman had said yes.

Dora and Tina said...

Dang! You guys have all the cool stuff - coffee cards and christmas lights and apple stores....oh my!

It's too hot to think about being Christmasy - and besides, Tina will be there in no time at all. I'm going to make sure she gets some pictures...or at the evry least some sort of coffee card she stole off someone.

skillz said...

Dude, posting pictures of the Xmas lights was *so* last week!

Tim said...

Dinah - They're really not that impressive; I remember years ago when the lights were more than just a row of strip lighting and some corporate whoring, and were actually about Christmas...

You must use your coffee card - cash is SO last century!

Miss T - Coffee doesn't have that effect on me anymore... I think I've become immune to its powers, or I just need a bigger dose or something. I don't know how you cope with Christmas in the summer - it's just wrong! Maybe you should hide the sun like Mr Burns did...?

And I'm not sure about Hugh Jackman as Bond... he's got a very small head - a bit like those shrunken-headed people at the end of Beetlejuice!

Dora - Oh my? Are you impersonating George Takei?

TIna's coming over to Britland!? You must order her to do all of the touristy things. Except the ones that are a waste of time and money, like Madame Tussards.

Are you instructing her to tea-leaf my coffee card?! Good grief! I shall guard it extra carefully!

Skillz - Ohmygod! I thought when I looked at the picture when I put it on my computer that it looked a little familiar...! Subconscious plageurism! 100 lashes!!

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Christmas? Meh! Lights? Meh!

More importantly: Daniel Craig? Yum! I predict the Best Bond Ever! And he wears tiny, tiny trunks. So tiny...

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed Casino Royale (probably for different reasons than I will). Looking forward to you review.

Tim said...

Was that a barely concealed "bah, humbug!" IDV?

I actually have some faith in Daniel Craig as Bond too; he looks like the sort of person who would actually have a license to kill. Or in your case, a license to thrill!

skillz said...

Does Craig raise his eyebrow at any point?

Reminds me of that Simpsons moment where Comic Book Guy tries to sell his rare photo of Sean Connery signed by Roger Moore:


Tim said...

I'd hope so - a Roger Moore-ism would be awesome.

I also think Timothy Dalton was under-appreciated. So much so that I stopped to let him into a side road when it was my right of way while driving in Chiswick a few years back.