Travel warning

To the one person who thought I’d be a better travel partner on Facebook’s “Compare People” application, I don’t know who my competition was but I propose that you are terribly mistaken. I am awful. I whine a lot, am in constant discomfort, and am paranoid about being judged as a stupid tourist by the locals. Unless we’re going to Japan. Then, I am only an annoying shopper who wants to go into every store, eat everything in sight, and who is paranoid about being judged as a stupid tourist by the locals. Yes, I see your point about some of that behavior contributing to the problem. – ultimate online store for geeks

Last night, I discovered, one of the most amazing online shopping experiences I’ve had in recent memory. Like, it offers free worldwide shipping on every item bought. Even for tiny little $1.99 impulse buys.

But while Play-Asia only sells videogames, DVDs, and miscellaneous Japanese toys and food items, DealExtreme sells all manner of electronic gadgetry, at rock bottom prices. You can get everything from a laser pointer at USD$1.89, a bullhorn/loudhailer for USD$11, green laser pens from USD$17 (careful now), to a crossbow with a 100m range for USD$160 (barring customs checks and a jail sentence).
The site is loaded with cool little toys, including a $2 gadget section, as I found out last night over a 3 hour raiding session. Here’s a short list of things you might be interested in, many under $10:
  • Wii accessories
  • Electric shock practical joke items (like a ballpoint pen)
  • Butane lighters & torches
  • Keychain breathalyzers
  • FM transmitters (great for iPods in cars)
  • Universal remote controls
  • R/C cars and helicopters
  • LED flashlights
  • Spy cameras and bugs
  • Lightsticks/Glowsticks
  • And even household items like salt & pepper shakers that look like two hugging people!
They have a program where you get points on any order, and collecting points lets you redeem products as a reward. If you use my link above and buy anything in that session, I’ll get some points too. I’m happy to recommend this site whether you decide to help me out or not, it’s just that awesome.

blast! 2.0

In line with the changes here, my award-winning blast! tumblelog has also received a makeover tonight. I tried giving it a full-on swatch of “red fruit”, but in the end this understated look won out. The page is much wider now, all the better to display landscape photos… which brings us to the 2nd major change: more fashion & photography content. I’ll be using it to compile a library of images for future art direction reference.
Thanks for making it such a ridiculous success, I hope you enjoy blast! 2.0!

Full English Breakfast

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Full English Breakfast, originally uploaded by philcampbell.

My absolute favorite breakfast in the world is actually a combination of every great breakfast food, detailed in this wikipedia entry: The Full Breakfast (also known as a Full English/Irish/Scottish Breakfast or Fry Up). There’s an interesting related article on Bacon & Eggs which was apparently popularized in 1920s America by Edward Bernays, who seems to have been a god in the PR world. He sold bacon by surveying 5000 physicians in support of his claim that a hearty breakfast was good for health.

One of my favorite parts of going on holiday anywhere is eating the hotel’s breakfast buffet and piling my plate high with about 10 eggs, scrambled, and loads of sausages and bacon. It’s why I can’t do the backpacking thing. That, and I can’t live with rats and roaches. I think the only hotel to let me down was one I stayed at in Genting Highlands, Malaysia. Their idea of breakfast was cold Nasi Lemak, and even colder eggs fried sunny-side up.
That said, it’s actually very hard to find good bacon in the UK. Have a look on flickr and count the number of times you see rashers fried to a crispy golden color. They like them limp and pink, for some reason. Black Pudding, which is nothing more than cooked blood, I have no problem with.

New look

For the first time in 5 years, this blog has a new look and dominant color. I liked the old yellow a lot, but it was probably time. I think I’ll call this color “red fruit”.

It was a rush job, really. A couple more things need doing, and in the next few days the width of the text area will probably be increasing as well. Things aren’t what they were in 2002, when 800×600 screen resolutions were considered high-end. At this moment, I’m rocking 1900×1200 and this page is just a sliver.