OSX or Windows

The age old debate

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I’ve probably started a Technological war now as this has been done to death, but why not contribute and add fuel to the digital fire!

Having originally been a Windows user, I moved over to Apple firstly in 2009 buying the first iPhone 2G, then buying a Macbook in 2012. Probably the same as about 99% of apple users, it did take a little getting used to, but gestures, layout and interface was intuitive between devices (Phone, Tablet, Laptop, Desktop, Watch)

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For many Android and Windows users, it always reminds me how they are so fast to slate and tarnish the apple brand, yet they have never tried an iPhone or any of their products previously. This transparent opinion has frustrated me, as they constantly harp on about how they have better features, processor, camera… zzzz.

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Using a iMac for the last 3 years daily for work has made me realise the ease of navigating the interface and finding folders. Soon I will be switching back to Windows, which to be fair, will either be a breath of fresh air, or most likely a steep learning curve.

Having spent the last few years on apple products exclusively, I am intrigued to find out how Windows 10 compares to OSX Mavericks. Suddenly seemingly I will be taking a step back into the system I haven’t touched since my days at university and now a very unfamiliar layout of Microsoft.

Please do let me know about your experience with using Microsoft and Apple products!

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Bag it up

Who has a ‘bag of bags’ in their house?

Hands up in the air everyone…

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Wales is leading the fightback from using an average of 8 million bags. Previously we were not charged for use of plastic bags, but since charges were put in place 4 years ago, plastic bag use has fallen 40%. Which is decent, but is it god enough?

http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/carrier-bags-reducing-their-use

We live in a throw away packaging lifestyle and mentality where packaging serves it purpose then is thrown away in the bin.

On my weekly shop, I use 4 large tesco jute bags, 1 plastic bag I obtained from Austria on holiday and a canvas bag. This easily covers my weeks shop and these bags last a long long long time compared to plastic bags.

A short blog today but here are some shocking facts regarding plastic bags…

  • The European Commission is to publish proposals in the spring designed to reduce the number of plastic bags used in Europe each year. Most of the 15,000 people who took part in a public consultation favoured an outright ban – but what are the options?
  • Every year 800,000 tonnes of so-called single-use plastic bags are used in the European Union – the average EU citizen used 191 of them in 2010, the Commission says, and only 6% were recycled.
  • More than four billion bags are thrown away each year.

Home Alone

Tonight for the second night of the week I am alone for the majority of the evening!

The wife was out partying on Monday night in the woods with her local scout group (by partying I mean a picnic and agenda meeting. Tonight she is at a team meeting or something similar with her work, meaning she is back around 9pm.

Now this ‘freedom’ feeling when you have an evening alone is something along the lines of…

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Well, the world is my oyster, I leave work around 5.30 usually, I get home at 5.35, I get changed and I do whatever takes my fancy… I’m going out to do some exercise!

So, by 6, I will be in full lycra and will embark on a nice long long long bike ride, usually 30-40 miles. I think I may extend it, I have freedom, 3 hours of freedom! Of course I need to embrace and make the most of my freedom!

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Oddly enough, when I am left to my own devices, I would do loads of domestic chores, the same applies to my other half, who when left alone would typically blitz the house and decontaminate every room from dust, dirt and tidy everything.

I find spending time alone hard these days, being so used to participating in some activity in the evening makes the evening more enjoyable and strengthens the bond between us. ‘Couple time’ is such a short part of the day where the majority is spent staring at a screen or in meetings.

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Before, I would happily spend 5 hours on the Playstation console and not feel guilty, time alone at home needs to be productive and must bear fruit instead of being wasted.

Attraction and Adios

I remember that awe of purchasing something new or something 2nd hand that I have wanted for a while. It’s truly a warm feeling. That moment of, “This is mine”

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Things that come to mind are my car, my Macbook Pro, my iPhone, my bike, most if not everything in my house and the wedding / engagement rings.

The attraction of owning something new or old is spectacular, but the fact is that it’s your personal item and no one else’s. That is what gives me ‘oooo’ face.

However, when that item becomes surplus to requirements it’s a sad parting that you must experience.

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My bike is the focal point of this blog post. Having acquired ‘her’ in 2012, she was my first road bike, she took me many miles and to be honest… wasn’t particularly looked after for the first 2 years before I learned how to give her a full service, clean and maintenance.

For a while she struggled through the gears until I cleaned her and made her road worthy again.

All in all, I imagine that I covered in excess of 1500 miles with a 65 mile loop being the longest and most recently London > Brighton.

So adios my beautiful bike, I just hope that the next owner in Kent looks after her as much as I did in the last year.

Carbon Carbon Carbon

Carbon (from Latin: carbo “coal”) is a chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds.

Having recently upgraded to somewhat of a miracle, I am saying goodbye to my old faithful Carrera that has served me over the last 3 years. Picking up a Specialized Tarmac last weekend, I spent the last week cleaning her and making her shine.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 10.44.49I briefly took her for a spin around the roads (2 miles) last week, but yesterday was the real test.

Inflating the tyres to 100psi, I was ready to rock. Having done the London to Brighton bike ride last Sunday on my Carrera, I had high hopes for my new Carbon Lady. 26 miles was the target and with route set, off I went into the Hertfordshire headwind on a Monday night.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 10.57.18Immediately, I was weary. Having replaced the brakes, the pedals, tyres in the post, the handle bar tape and added a few gadgets. Newly tweaked bikes always feel different. But my self service and maintenance had paid off. She ran smoothly, better than smooth, she was flawless.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 11.01.14Everything was instantly better. Handling, less road noise, better relative power conversion, everything… The hills I had previously slowly trundled up was a breeze and my average speed was 1-2mph quicker. Every segment.

To summarise, I am perfectly happy with my lovely new carbon machine. By bank account lesser so, but I am happy so that’s all that counts!

Cake Magic

When you see the word cake what do you think of?

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Now, having never baked a cake in my life (I baked some flapjacks in Year 4, but that was a disaster as I had to wear gloves to avoid butter killing me) I had limited knowledge of cakes and everything before I met my (back then) girlfriend at university.

Previously I remember vividly that I could not eat any of my cakes that my dad had bought for me every year before. Apart from the cherries, yes for the first 20 years of my life, the main reason why I was never overweight was quite possibly because I was allergic to cake and the ingredients within.

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Now having cake was groundbreaking for me, not simply because of the taste but also the decoration of the cake that my wife had magically created overtime. Seemingly, she stops time, I walk into the kitchen at 10am and she is baking, 3pm she is decorating, 7pm the cake appears… witchcraft!

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What I love the most is when my wife has the ‘proud’ look on her face when people acknowledge her skills and commitments. The look of awe from everyone when they first see the cake and realise it’s edible unlike many of the cakes you see on Food Network.

Pack-a-punch

The BBC is unearthed supermarket pricing tactics.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33541412

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Apologies for the eye test image. But it shows the unit pricing on some of the products that have been under investigation from high street watchdog and review ‘Which?’
Now for those of you that don’t know me… Tomato Ketchup has a very close and special place in my heart, where it belongs next to Manga, Cycling and Hockey.

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Working on FMCG and Beauty in my career has helped me experience that there are MANY changes in laws and legislations on packaging, there is almost weekly laws that are passed, I distinctly remember that there was a 100 page documents on formulation changes and rules / regulations that we had to adhere to. I assume it was 100 pages, they could easily have been 300 pages, it was a vast big stack of paper that I signed.

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All brands and corporate companies are now to follow stringent rules regarding packaging and how it is labelled, displayed and sold. The difficulty is rolling this out product, brand and market wide. Unlike changing the artwork of an individual SKU, some rules and regulations need to be rolled out company wide.

The example that comes to mind is the Nutrition Wheel on all our food.

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This added a large expense on all packaging and sales, whilst consumers were now more conscious of elements such as Saturated Fats, Sugars, Calories, Salt and Fat. The printing methods were more advanced and cost more due to the additional colours involved during the press process.

A tough market, foods and commodities is a minefield of to’ing and fro’ing where companies try to out do each other with packaging reduction, more efficient packaging yet insuring consumers are not misled by packaging.

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Has food packaging affected your purchase behaviour?