Instagram vs. Streamzoo? hmmm

Ok, so I know I’m pretty late to jump on the bandwagon, but my excuse is not having a decent phone (Android or iPhone) to be able to peruse the plentiful apps that are out there!

And so it happened, I finished my contract on my phone and as you may be aware am now on the  lookout for my next phone.  A very hard decision for me, because I got the latest and greatest android phone recently, the Galaxy Nexus.  My reasoning being I like to be flexible and from what I know and hear iPhones tie you into iTunes and iTunes only.  The third phone on my list was the HTC Sensation XE (android again, plus smaller and cheaper than the Nexus).

Having got my shiny new toy, I am now trying desperately to fall in love with it.  The only obstacle in the way is the camera for me, hence why I have been eyeing up the HTC Sensation XE and it’s supposedly better camera.  Truth be told, I have been a bit underwhelmed.  Especially since I took the pic below with an inferior camera, on paper at least, on the iPhone 3GS (and edited using Instagram).

 

I fell in love with the world of Instagram in……an instant!  The Galaxy Nexus is beautiful though and such a smooth experience that I have even got used to it’s immense size, despite my initial apprehension.   Unfortunately, there’s a lack of Instagram on android, but I found Streamzoo (and shall be sharing my experience soon) as an alternative and it seems promising.

I just hope I can reproduce the results I had with my interim phone.  Wish me luck!

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go with the flowchart at christmas

Stuck for ideas this Christmas?

Apart from deliberating between a new Christmas toy (Android vs. iOS in my case!), I found this really amusing this afternoon.

As the high streets around the country become more and more crowded  as each weekend approaches, my head becomes increasingly manic with thoughts and ideas for loved ones.  Walking down Oxford Street at any weekend can be nerve wracking as you pigeon step between the crowds, let alone when Christmas is looming!

Before all of that, you have to decide what to get and for who!  Internet shopping has certainly provided some alternative to entering the nightmare of a high street, but even that can drive you insane with endless choices.  Indeed, I have been utilising the interweb to search high and low for extra special gifts for my loved one, but heck is it tough!  The stress alone at this time of year, I’d like to see the stats for people admitted to A&E for high blood pressure!

Maybe a flowchart will help us all out in the holiday season or at least prevent us getting admitted and provide some much needed light relief!

P.S. What should I go for Android or iPhone?  It’s driving me insane!

Architecture vs. Floods

These are some sketches from an unfinished project that I shall be revisiting.  Positioned along the River Thames, it is to be an auction house that would be able to respond to an emergency situation should London ever become flooded.  With rising temperatures as well as sea levels, the risk of this has heightened greatly, along with other factors that have inspired Armageddon style movies contemplating a bleak future.

Designed as a pavilion sitting daintily on the river’s edge, the section of building on the water would spring into action if ever the floods came with the help of hydraulic pump stilts.

Maybe Lord Foster’s plans for a new flood defence system (as well as the overall proposal)  in Foster and Partners scheme for a Thames estuary airport are not such a bad idea, if figures are to be believed.



Not quite the spanish steps!

I will become an architect and my soft spot are stairs, staircases, steps….well you get the idea!

So when I saw these above I was open mouthed and close to dribbling!  This bespoke set of stairs are made by Five Twenty Two Industries.   I am in love with the customised balustrade made of cross sectioned tubes and pipes. I approve this playful design in the ever enlarging world of Ikea flat packs!

hear them roar!

So Christmas is upon us again and for those that hate the whole fanfare with supermarkets advertising ever earlier it can be a stressful time. Last minute buying presents, wrapping hastily and then there is the hassle of writing all those cards to maintain the social etiquette of such an austere holiday season, though let’s remember it is the day of Christ’s birth.

With Christmas comes New Year’s celebrations, making a whole week of festivities to end the year, which in turn means lots of parties to attend and organise or just indulge in.  The thing I find funny is what my parents and I suppose many others would do.  Sure, they’d send out Christmas cards to all friends and family, but if they got a card from an unexpected somebody not on their list, they’d have to hurry to send one back, even be it on Christmas eve!

It was always a struggle to find Christmas cards that did not look tacky and cheap, yet considered, affordable and pretty, but most of all unique, so that you didn’t send out the same one you received from anybody!

So it brings me extreme pleasure to present to you something that I mentioned in a previous post.  My friends have finally got online with their personalised stationery site – perfect for sending out hand drawn invitations and thank you’s over the festive season!  What is even more impressive is the Santa illustration and the snowman for their selection of Christmas cards, a must see if you don’t believe me.  I will certainly be sending out a few of these with their whimsical designs, I think they’re the perfect antidote to the garish, mass produced dross you see around nowadays.

£3900 for a season ticket at blue square premier league club?!

I have never been to a game of my local football side.  This guy has.

This is not to say I am not a fan of football, because this could not be further from the truth.  Football is my passion, I feel more comfortable in my skin on a football pitch then socialising or writing a post on a blog!

It’s one thing to not really support or follow your local team and follow some bigger sharks (this is what I do, but for more wholesome reasons, which involve bitterness – maybe one day I’ll share that in a post!), but it is something else to fork out for a season ticket.  I just don’t get these people.  Maybe it is because I have always been a more active participant in the sport rather than watching others.  I do follow on the television of course, but there I pay nothing.  Why should I pay for these guys’ wages, when half the time, many are the exact characters I’d despise on a night out and that having actually seen some of the top stars play, I do believe I could do a better job.  Yes, I am very serious and I did play to a high level once.

Anyway, that’s my bitterness creeping out……I was always taught on the logic of why pay to watch, when you can play for free or the notion that when you can no longer play the game, you’ll have enough time to watch the games.  I understand some have the love of being a spectator, in the stand and taking in the atmosphere, so the season ticket holders at the big boys’ grounds I can let go.  This guy spends a fortune though, to watch some crappy riverside town football club with no skill or guile.  He travels from so far to watch in the most awful terraces, when on his doorstep he has the Old Lady, Juventus.  It’s like the Englishmen who have got so sick of the high prices at Premiership games that they travel to watch Bundesliga games by car and still it is cheaper for them.  But for them it is cheaper, and I assume this is not the cheapest option for this Italian!

…………………….

In other news, if you’re looking for personalised stationery, you may remember some friends of mine from a previous post with the birthday card, well, their site is gearing up to go online pretty soon now.  It’s a nerve jangling time for them right now, but I wish them all the best and much success!

when the whores shout rape

University started for me 10 years ago now.  It don’t seem like so long ago, but intervening years have not been kind to me.  The first two years of my architecture degree went great and I started the final year of the bachelor’s with great hope and excitement for the future.

Little did I know what was to happen halfway in, when a personal tragedy made me suspend my studies.  A few failed restarts later, I switched universities to overcome my mental block and again a sense of anticipation filled me.  Whereas before I was shown compassion and sensitivity, I was completely unprepared for how Canterbury School of Architecture (yes those twats who re-brand themselves each year by re-naming to sound more prestigious) treated me.

So let’s fast forward to this week, a letter arrives asking me for over £3000 pounds from debt solicitors.  Their clients, Canterbury School of Arseholes, decided to pass their claim onto them since I was refusing to respond until they responded to an email I sent moons ago.  Double standards don’t you think?  they messed up my education by mishandling my enrolment, yet I must be the one that pays for a service they did not provide.

It started when they withdrew me without telling me apparently, though I responded in ample time, to say this is not what I want.  They were the ones to stop the dialogue.  Then came summer, where they asked me to rejoin and Ii obliged, as all I wanted more than anything was to complete my course after a tough, prolonged period of my life.  The beauty being I was on the old fees system where you paid just over £1000, not £3000, which new students were having to pay.  So, imagine my surprise when they turn around and tell me I must re-apply as a new student.  Again, I agree, because I want my degree, but I make a strong stance against this mistake they made and decline to pay as much as they ask when I go to enrol.

A whole semester passed and I was unable to use any of their facilities and they took so long to get back to me that I did not know if I was a student or not.  I was unable to get a student loan and being asked for council tax.  Eventually they let me enrol after much shunting over to various departments and I was given extensions to deadlines, yet the new semester was well under way and they expected me to meet those without deadlines.  I was told to submit more evidence if I wished to extend the deadlines I’d got, because the registrar could see I had a case, because I was given no answers for so long and no access. I even paid a sum, which i believed was correct for me on the old system, so as to avoid having no access again to vital facilities like the computer labs and library.  I was cornered into this by them refusing to accept my valid evidence and subsequent threat of further non-access.

I requested a meeting to discuss my deadline and get advice for my appeal.  Surprise, surprise there was no reply.

Now I have a letter from debt solicitors telling me not to contact their oh so precious client.  What gives them the right to such audacious double standards?!   It’s even worse than getting a divorce and then having to talk to the one you shared your bed with through these low, down, dirty, good-for-nothing sharks – ooops, what I meant was debt collectors.  Not that I’ve been through a divorce, but I am going through this.  in this case I feel used, I feel, dear jury, that the university seduced me with promises of a comfortable life and then, when I needed it to be there for me, it turned it’s back pretending a headache. So yeah, dear Uni, I want to say farewell, but you shall not get any divorce alimony, not while I can do something about it. Good luck with your next sucker.