Before i Forget : Simon Jones's blog

August 2008

GeneralWednesday, August 6th, 2008, (11:58 am)

There’s something really satisfying about getting a really great deal and right now I am feeling that satisfaction. I’ve just got myself a new mobile phone contract and the deal is so sweet I feel the need to do a little bragging (Sorry).

According to industry figures UK mobile phone penetration has reached 118 percent, and while I don’t really understand what that means I do understand the fact that each week in the UK a mind boggling 1.4 billion text messages are sent! But while talk might be cheap, heavily addicted mobile users in the UK know only too well that it’s not that cheap.

My monthly mobile phone bill comes to no less than £35 (just under $70). That might be cheap compared to what many of my friends spend on their contract and top-up pay-as-you-go phones. But after nearly two years paying the same (now out of contract) fee I decided it was time to leave my current provider, Orange, in search of a better deal.

Enter the ‘customer loyalty’ department. While they might sound like the back-door heavies who are employed to beat seven rounds of crap out of you for being disloyal, they’re actually the people who can offer you the best unpublished deals. After a little haggeling with Matthew the ‘customer loyalty agent’ I’m feeling really satisfied with that I think is a really great deal. My new monthly bill will be no higher than £12.50 and for that I’ll get the following:

  • 400 Cross network anytime minutes per month
  • 1000 text messages per month
  • FREE voice mail
  • FREE calls to 0800 numbers (enabling me to use dial-out services to overseas locations that might otherwise be very expensive to call – For example calls to the US will only cost me a penny per minute.)
  • FREE 8Mb home broadband
  • FREE Sony Ericsson Cybershot c902 phone
  • FREE 8 GB memory stick for the phone

To Americans that 400 minute deal might not look too special, but in the UK only the person making the call is charged, so if receiving a call or text on a mobile phone doesn’t use up any of your minutes.

1000 WORDS

I actually wasn’t all that bothered about getting a new phone, and choosing one was something of a task. I didn’t want a ‘smart phone’ because I simply don’t want to be tied to my email wherever I am. I considered a GPS enabled phone, but then if I ever find myself lost I could always just go ‘old school’ and ask someone for directions. (Not forgetting every phonebox in the UK will tell you exactly where you are.) Music on my mobile isn’t important as I have an iPod for that, and I don’t think I’ve even looked at the games on any of my previous phones so that is a non starter for me. As I told the ‘loyalty agent’ “I just wanted a phone that rang when someone called me.”

While I shoot most of my photography using a Canon Powershot S80, there have been occasions where I’ve used the camera on my phone. Take for example the picture below of ‘little Jack’ the curious little 1 year old who is loves to press buttons and pull everything out of wallets.

In truth though, the most handy feature I’ve ever had on a mobile was a flashlight on the Sony Ericsson K750i. This feature wasn’t on the K800i but I’m hoping that it might return on the C902. After all, cameras and GPS might be great features, but they count for nothing if you can see where the hell you’re going, right?

Little Jack

MusicSaturday, August 2nd, 2008, (11:57 am)

I think I might have unwittingly purchased some Christian music! It’s an album by an artist I’ve just found called Peter Bradley Adams and while it’s a great album I have some nagging doubts it might be cleverly disguised Christian music.

What’s making me suspicious is the presence of some telltale Christian music hallmarks. Those are as follows:

  1. I can clearly make out every word he is singing.
  2. He sounds suspiciously like he might have his eyes closed and hands held high in some of these songs.
  3. There is an excessive amount of angel references and use of the word “Glory.”
  4. You can imagine some annoying ‘culturally relevant’ Christian youth leader loving this “secular” CD.
  5. It sounds like he would never use a cuss word while singing.

I don’t know anything about the artist though he sounds very familiar to me so it’s unlikely he’s a full blown hands-in-the-air rainbow guitar strap Christian. He sounds more like one of those undercover Christians who seems normal (until they start speaking).

After listening to it all day I feel like I need to go on a drunken drug fueled porno binge while listening to cuss-filled gangsta rap. A little ‘Christian offsetting,’ like planting trees to offset your carbon emissions.

That aside, this really is good music and, undercover-Christian or not, Peter Bradley Adams musical arrangements on some of these tracks is just awesome. ‘Los Angeles‘ sounds like something you might here on a TV show like The OC or something while other tracks like ‘Chant‘ already feel familiar to me.

His music is available on emusic, mTracks and iTunes, but if he’s listed under gospel music don’t tell me. My ignorance is bliss, even if I’m a little suspicious.

Peter Bradley Adams : Always

Peter Bradley Adams website

PhotographyFriday, August 1st, 2008, (12:11 am)

I love the rain the most when it stops. Perhaps if I lived some place where rain was a rarity I’d go outside to feel the drops hit my face and walk in the puddles kicking up the water like autumn leaves. But it’s been a rainy summer here, and as beautiful as it can be at times, I still love the rain the most when it stops.

I took these photographs in my garden after a rainstorm, and snapped the rainbow when it appeared in a field as I drove along a country road.

After the storm

After the storm

After the storm

After the storm

After the storm

After the storm

After the storm

After the storm

The American playwright, Tennessee Williams, once wrote “Don’t you just love these long rainy afternoons… when an hour isn’t an hour, but a little piece of eternity dropped into your hands, and who knows what to do with it?” – Well I’m trying Mr Williams, but maybe the rain has yet to learn that absence makes the heart grow fonder.


Diamonds in the rough
Out there
Joe Purdy – I love the rain the most when it stops

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