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And he used to be such a nice, quiet boy

Archive for November 2009

Firebox is my new favourite site – official!

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Hi boys and girls,

Well I have found a site that fulfills all my wishes for a gift site, I can get literally anything for anybody from here, it totally rocks for original ideas and fresh new gadgets and nick-nacks.

Lets start with the Atari keyring.  Remember the games you grew up with?  Well you can relive those halcyon days of addictive gaming and simple graphics. Simply  plug one end of the provided cable into the joystick, and the other end into the TV jack and you can play happily for hours.  Requires three AAA batteries and retails at £14.99

Atart Key ring

Moving on, things have come a long way since the days of plastic guns and water pistols.  I had a gun that made a rat-a-tat sound as a kid, but nothing on this level.  This huge belt fed blaster can shoot out projectiles at a rate of three a second over a distance of ten feet.  Yes, you two can play at fighting off hordes of zombies with your over-sized Uzi.  It retails at £49.99

Right chaps, let 'em have it!

OK now this next one is something for you and a buddy, but it will bring back your childhood memories of battery powered robots.  But these ones are better for one very good reason.  Dude, they fly.  I mean, like, airborne hovering in the air doing battle and all that.  Ain’t that frakkin’ ninja?  You got to get one each and let battle commence.  At £49.95 for a pair you cannot go wrong.

Flying Robots

For the foodies among you we have a highly addictive new spread.  Baconnaise, literally bacon flavoured mayonnaise.  Try it on a chicken or a beefburger.  Very nice, apparently.  Would it work on a kebab?  If it does then we have a food revolution. £4.95 a jar.

Baconnaise.  It will revolutionize man-food forever.

Check out the rest of the range at http://www.firebox.com it will change your life forever.

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Written by Nick Gilmartin

November 11, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Posted in Shopping

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Topic of the month: Christmas gifts

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Presents

Well ladies and gentlemen, it is that time of year again when we start scouring the shops for gifts for our loved ones.  I know, it seems to get earlier every year, does it not?  Well in these straightened times we all have to plan our spending well in advance so I thought I would get this article in before your next paycheque.

 

The Whisky shop sign

For the Whisky aficionados  among us there is one ideal place to shop and that is www.whiskyshop.com for the most rare and exciting brands.

Not only whisky, but they have an extensive range of hip-flasks, cigars and books on the topic of our favourite tipple.

But the right whisky can only be served in the right tumbler.  A set of decent crystal tumblers can be found at John Lewis or Debenhams .

Waterford Crystal John Rocha

The John Rocha designed Waterford Crystal tumblers are available at your local John Lewis for £63 for a pair.

For an equally spectacular drinking vessel go down to your local Debenhams to gaze up on the Royal Doulton collection.  They offer six Dorchester tumblers for £75.00

At the cheaper end of the scale John Lewis also do six 22cl tumblers at £10.75.

If the Whisky lover in your life is also a bookworm, or just looking to expand their knowledge of Whisky origins and products then there are several full-colour hardback books out on the market.

Michael Jackson World of Whisky

Whisky: The definitive world guide pretty much does what it says on the tin.  It covers Whisky from Bourbon to the Scottish Highlands to the rolling hills of Antrim.  The book combines a dedicated knowledge of the product with outstanding photography to produce the finest Whisky guide on the market.

Whisky bible

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible is a pocket sized annually updated guide to all that is new and exciting about the world of whisky.  Less bulky than the definitive guide, it is a handy size to take on your trip around Scotland.

Now if recently hit the jackpot or you just have the cash to splash and fancy a weekend break there are several whisky tours that are available all year round.

From a short weekend in Edinburgh to an 8-day tour around the Highlands and Islands there is a tour for every wallet.

http://www.whisky-tours.com/

So good luck with your Christmas shopping and I will be back later this week with some more ideas for family gifts.

Written by Nick Gilmartin

November 5, 2009 at 7:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Now it’s official: Jenson Button is World F1 Champion

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Jenson world champion

After a lavish final Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi we can make it official:  Jenson Button is the 2009 F1 World Champion.  This is the high point of a career in F1 stretching back to 2000.  Jenson’s road to glory has been a long and hard one, starting with a year at Williams in 2000.

Several years with Renault followed, slowly gaining vital experience of the world of Formula 1.  In the early 2000’s he moved to what was then the Honda works team.

Jenson joined Honda at a funny time.  The Japanese company were busy experimenting with carbon neutral and earth friendly componants and fuels.  The end result was, unfortunately, a car that moved like a snail.  In spite of that Jenson won his first Grand Prix in 2007 in Hungary.

Apart from that brief break the dark clouds hung over Honda and the team eventually withdrew from Formula 1 at the end of 2008.  It was a shock for all involved in the Honda factory at Brackley, and it would have been all over if it had not been for one man.

Ross Brawn

Ross Brawn was a former Ferrari engineer, and a hugely experienced man.  He had joined Honda as team principle only a few years earlier.  In the middle of a dark recession he took the decision to find new backers and move the team forward.

His idea was not as crazy as it sounded.  He had a car design that he knew could win races, but he had been prevented from using it because of Honda’s fixation on carbon-neutral technology.  He found a few backers, and put a large sum of his own money into the new project.  Ross Brawn was very literally going for broke.

At the time Jenson was considered by many, including me, that he was a driver that was marking time.  He seemed to lack the fire that a winner needs.  But the vital experience he had gained would prove to tip the balance in his favour.  Rubens Barrachello stayed on as the second driver.  Barrachello was a veteran racer, but eternally the second fiddle.  Perhaps he was too easily cowed, or he lacked a certain edge.  But he was physically tough, resolute and he obeyed orders.

Brawn 001

At the start of 2009 a very surprised media reported that a new team would be racing in F1.  Hand-picked from the remains of the Honda team, the Brawn F1 team would race with a pristine white car broken up with flashed of lime green.  Nobody really expected them to be more than back-markers, there to make up numbers in a rapidly dwindling F1 grid.

In the first Grand Prix at Albert Park, to everybody’s amazement, they won.  Two weeks later, in a wet Malaysia, they won again.  In an even wetter Chinese Grand Prix, they came third.  Consecutive first places followed for Jenson in Bahrain, Spain, Monaco and Turkey.

Jenson @ Bahrain

From there they seemed to lose momentum a little bit.  The Red Bull team added new diffuser technology and soon caught up.  Other teams took wins also, Kimi Raikkonen for Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton for McLaren.  Even Rubens Barrachello took a win for Brawn.

Jenson, Helmet

But somehow Jenson managed to hold it together and finished the season with 11 points clear of his nearest rival, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.  He took the championship on a rain-soaked race Brazilian Grand Prix.  The final race of the season was more of an exhibition than a race, and it took place at the futuristic Abu Dhabi raceway.

So in all it is quite a season.  thrills, spills shocks and drama on and off the track.  I will write up a complete 2009 season review when I have a lot more time.  But for now let us be overjoyed that the F1 World Championship title has stayed in England.

Well done Jenson!

Written by Nick Gilmartin

November 2, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Posted in Motorsport