Showing posts from 2011

Sheraton Heathrow Starwood conversation completes

So, as you see from my last few posts, I had a less than satisfactory stay at the Sheraton Heathrow recently. In this day and age it is easy to make a complaint that is seen by many and I will always utilise any methods I can to talk to businesses who don't meet expectations. How else are they to know if we don't say anything? I have now had a phone call from Stephen (Rooms Division Manager) at Sheraton Heathrow. This is good because it's shown me that they have taken the time on board to recognise my issues and to look to address them. He took the time to go over my comments and talk about each one individually. It wasn't a case of 'lets call this guest, chuck a free lunch at him and hope he goes away' type conversation, but more a very specific talk about they reasons and understanding behind each point I'd made. I was happy that things had been addressed this way for the conversation, given that some issues were completely out of his hands and were a corp

quick Starwood Update

So after my small rant someone at @StarwoodBuzz picked up the previous blog post and we exchanged a few quick supportive DM's: Sorry to hear about your experience. We would like to follow up with management at the hotel. Can you DM us your stay information. We are opening a file on this matter on your behalf. We will also follow up with the hotel to ensure your concerns are addressed. (1/2) Hello, I've forwarded your comments to the hotel's management to assist us in resolving this situation for you. Please allow (2/2) us up to five days for a thorough internal investigation and for an appropriate response to be provided to you. So, all positive stuff. The 5 days begins from around Sat 29th 1054hrs but clearly I hope they can action this simple problem a bit quickly, just so as I know its been picked up. Even though the twitter stream is following 27601 twitter users they have done far better in communicating that the facebook page which only has 30,979 likes, so well done

Hey Starwood Hotels! WTF?

I'm in the Sheraton Heathrow. This is the first Sheraton hotel I've stayed in since Pine Cliffs Sheraton in Portugal when I took my wife out on a beautiful and perfect stay. I was so impressed with the service and the stay that I thought this is a hotel chain that I want to stay in. I signed up to and thought I'll earn some nice points to take me forwards to staying with this chain again. Who doesnt want rewarding for their time. I stay in a hotel almost every week with work.. It's not a good life, in fact I'm starting to hate being away from home so much, so when I'm away I want to stay in a good place. I thought I was sorted with a Sheraton. Wrong and wrong again. The start was a slightly surly check in. This wasn't from a bloke but from a fair haired probably Polish girl from her name and accent. After I'd been ID'd and signed my soul over in the only way someone from eastern europe can make it sound, I was given a key card. I checked into

Longer Battery life to the Xperia PLAY with Mugen?

So, a little over a month ago now, I got talking to Dmitry via @MugenBatteries . I'd been talking about the Xperia PLAY battery life in general, considering it was a gaming phone and would have extended periods of gaming along with the normal web/SocMed and general SE permasync things I have set up. From my years with AllAboutSymbian, I'd heard of Mugen Batteries plenty before and indeed Steve did a fair few reviews on the site back that left me trawling through the comments in moderating. ( Nokia E75 review / Nokia N97 review ) Anyway, I questioned about whether there really was that much of an improved life on the Mugen battery, as much as they were making out themselves at least, which was that their battery would last 2.4 times longer. As we know all too well now-a-days, Smartphones really pull battery power so when Mugen kindly offered to let me test one of the batteries out, I was all for it. The data sheet for the battery reads as follows: SKU HLI-PLAYXL Cell Type Li-IO

How to download on the Japanese PSN Welcome back Program

OK, The Japanese PSN network is finally back up after what feels like an eternity. Anyway, this is a quick run thru of what you can do to download the free games if you don't speak/read the lingo. It's pretty much exactly the same path though as the EU and US stores so you could probably figure it out, so this is just a hand. This isn't the HK store, which is slightly different. Your choice of games is 2 PS3 games from the following: The Last Guy LocoRoco Cocoreccho! echochrome WipEout HD Hustle Kings I downloaded Hustle Kings and The Last Guy as follows: Log into your Japanese PSN account. NOTE : You needed to have this account already set up prior to account before April 21, 2011. Select the highlighted link in the middle of the first screen as below Next you will come to this screen where you need to pick the PS3 games list Next, you need to access the free token by clicking this item Once you click to download that, you need to activate it as with normal purchases, its

Sheffield Wednesday Fixture List 2011/2012 season

OK, just a quick one for you SWFC fans out there. I've made a shared calendar again this season, hosted on google calendars and available to you and your Android/Nokia/iPhone/pc/mac whatever device nice and simply and without cost. This link will take your calendar program to fully list the fixtures and location of games and times, straight on to your device. The Google map functionality will also help if you are a super travelling fan for finding the ground allowing you a single click to load Google maps (if you are on the cracking Android Devices) (sorry iPhoners) ;) If you have an iphone you can go to Start > Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account > Other > Add Subscribed Calendar and type in Job done. For anything else you can probably just click the link Or alternatively, point your barcode scanner at Up the Owls!

White Chocolate Cheesecake

As with many British Bank Holidays, it rained. So, with time on my hands the family asked me to make a cheesecake. I've not made one before, mostly because I don't like cheesecake. (yes, I hear the thoughts... "how can you not like cheesecake?"... but it's a consistency thing for me) Anyway, I made a white chocolate cheesecake today and when I served it up to my tea time diners, it went down a treat, so after a few tweet requests for the recipe, here it is: You will need; 675g of you favourite soft cheese. (I used Philly) 140g of white chocolate. Don't skimp on the quality 156g minimum of Oreo Cookies (that's the size of a regular tube pack, but if you have more than 1 pack, bulk it up to about 180g) 160g of sugar 60g of soft butter 60g dried cranberries or substitute cranberries for whatever you like 3 Eggs 1 teaspoon of grated Orange zest, but if you don't want too much orange sent, halve it Ingredients at the ready? Lets bake. Preheat your oven to

Where your UK passport fee goes

The answer! Finally. Seems to be now on the website as follows: What the fee covers IPS does not make a profit. Passport fees cover the costs of providing passport services in the UK. Part of the fee is called 'the consular premium'. This covers the costs of providing consular help to British nationals who find themselves in difficulty while overseas. Consulates and embassies If you're interested in how the cost of a UK passport compares with that of passports around the world, check the comparison table from IPS . International passport fee comparison table from IPS The IPS link takes you to this PDF, which is continently.. bearing in mind IPS are saying it is a comparison table, laid out in every country's own currency... so for your info £77.50 as of 26th May 2011 is 89.15 EUR and 126.39 USD. So we have one of the most expensive passports in the EU but still cheaper than a US one it seems. My next question, who has ever used a British Consulate, other than for banque

Soft Top Waterproofing - Perfect Result!

So, when I first got this new car I didn't go with the dealers autoglym whatever deal. Instead I took it to Jonny at Pure Detail. He left me clear instructions which I passed on to the dealer, not to touch the car body work. So, when I picked it up it was still covered in the plastic and delivery stickers, as well as a load of dust and muck. Perfect. :) Anyway, at his place he told me he had a waterproofing bit of kit that we were going to try on the roof as part of the detail. Its been on now for 4 months and is still exactly the same. In fact, I was at the dealers just yesterday and the sale guy commented on how brand new the roof was looking. Because, essentially, it is. Nothing has got thru to lay on it. This was the video we did after it was first done and really I should get another at 6 months and again in a year. The product is from GTechniq which seems to have been borne from the sailing world but it works an absolute treat. Water is like mercury w

Passport Update

So, a quick little update. A day after I left a message to call me back RE Passport and its costs, I got a phone call from the IPS. To be totally fair they called me back within 24hrs which is good enough. The chap that called back was probably a phone operative. When I asked him where the money for a passport went, he told me that it went into the making of the passport and some when to the embassy. This made me think he is making this up, so I asked for more information. Which Embassy? Can I get a discount for less pages because of the other family passports in the house, I'm the only one with any stamps on the page? If I have to pay for more pages, why don't people get discounted for less? He didn't have any answers so I asked to be referred to somewhere I could find this information. He hung up. To be continued... Oh, and whilst I remember, £20 for a driving license update.... another sting!

The Great UK Passport rip off?

I often thought that the statistic of passport ownership in the US was an interesting one. I though things like "Unlike us in the UK, maybe they don't have the requirement to travel to other countries when there is such diversity right there in their own country"... (I also laughed when I heard things like World Series but that's another story) According to a 2008 State data report , about 28 percent of the U.S. population has a passport, with 85.5 million U.S. passports in circulation as of February 2008. It's $165 for a passport book and card according to The Bureau of Consular Affairs. Now compare this to Britain and a Q&A on about Identity Cards sited 80% of the UK population own a passport (in 2009). The Office for National Statistics estimated the UK population to be 61,792,000 therefore there are around 49,433,600 passports out to UK Nationals. Which brings me to my gripe. Today, whilst choosing somewhere hot and, well hot for a family vaca

Xperia Play Screen Cracked

//thanks to the android app this is now the 3rd time I've written this. This morning, whilst sitting in the lounge a phone notification came through, so I went over the the stand that my phone was on to check it. To set the scene, this stand was a MASSIVE 2.5 foot high. As I picked up the phone, it span in my hand a little and slipped. Gravity did its thing and the phone went directly down. Opps I thought, and that was all I thought at that time. I've had many phones that I've dropped. Dropped on carpet, dropped on tarmac, dropped over 13ft from a shirt pocket up a ladder (that was a Nokia) down on to concrete ..... and they all survived with nothing more that a dint on the casing or in the case of the X6 that skipped down the tarcmac, a slight nick out the glass itself. So on to this morning. After the HUGE fall of 2 foot, clearly something met the very edge of the PLAYs screen and this happened. The hardest thing this could have hit is my pen lid, (which was metal) which

Ridiculously Comfortable - Reef Fanning @betruetoblue slaps

So last summer, actually thinking about it it could have been Summer 08 or 07, I bought some Reef 'slaps'. I looked around at a few different styles before I came across these Reef Fannings. What made me buy this particular type this time around will soon become apparent, but these were not the normal type I'd go for as they have the bit that goes between the toes. I remember growing up, having a pair like this, and they bugged the hell out of me. Especially when the sand got in between the toes and chaffed. :( Anyway, when I saw these Reef Sandals, with their added extra, they became a must have for me. Now, I've splashed out on a new set. At first having a bottle opener on the sole I thought would be cool for a party then that'd be it. As it happens, I used it loads! Its not the cheap church key type that wears away like a christmas cracker opener. Its in as good a condition as when I bought it on my old grey/reds. Sadly though, they'd become a bit 'worn&

The Annoying Orange is BACK!

So, the team over at Nokia and WOMworld have been busy tweeking Annoying Orange. .... and he's on his way back. Having chatted at length over gtalk, I can say at first you could love him, but after a while you'll want to rip off his face and drink/eat him (eh) ;) Anyway, this is where you need to be for the latest news on what they are doing to him... and here he is in full on talk motion. Keep your eyes peeled to the facebook group for updates.

HA HA #sufc.

This cheered me up no end, thinking back to all the grief I got last season.... easy 6 points for us then in 2011/2012

Maximum Annoyance. (and the Xperia Launch) fwiw

Just wrote a piece on the Xperia Play launch tonight... hit the wrong X tab on chrome and BYE BYE text. Where is the auto save wordpress? Will have to wait now till I 'fess up on my thoughts of the Xperia Play Launch. EDIT>> Update, been way busy to post on the night that never really was. So I'll drop it here. VIP night that wasnt really VIP. You queue up, you get in. Dead poor product placement for an actual launch event Could have been so much better they ran out of beer, then had some more, then ran out again. for all the badmouthing of Nokia that day, SE should take a leaf out of their book about organising parties ;) In all seriousness, the launch event was a 'damp squib' but the actual Xperia Launch Day event for me was great. Meeting some like minded people and coming from the Finnish side of the fence was certainly interesting, so this coming year will really see whether SE are serious contenders in the Android world or just taking a bit part

Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY Launch Event

So, I know I know, I'm allaboutsymbian and Nokia.... so what I am doing posting about Xperia Play ? Well, I've gratefully accepted to join the Sony Ericsson Test Lab crew and this is the handset I'm running with. It could have been any of the new releases but as I'm a gamer, I guess this was a simple choice. I'm really looking forward to meeting the SE team, Snr. Execs and PR people and the other bloggers... plus my mate Jon , he's more of a geek than I am, promise! ;) Everything kicks off on the 31st March in the City Of London, so I'm heading south again. There is a facebook page if you fancy getting along. Its here . The Test Lab event side of things though, will be chitchat and road-mapping and seeing what SE are doing with the new line, plus some other hush stuff at the moment. I'm sure I'll get a good understanding of what SE have been doing since I left them (from the T28 I might add, I loved that phone... although thinking back that fat stu

See ya car!

So, after a few days of the car being on pistonheads and vagoc I had a good few interested people call up. Strangely, more than 50% of the people that called were from the midlands?! Go figure. Anyway, a couple of friendly lads came and met with me, looked over the car and liked what they saw. Did their due diligence checks and then that was it. Off to a new home. They were grinning like Cheshire cats as they drove off in the car, it was brilliant. Reminded me of when I first drove it and probably looked the same. To be fair, I still had that daft smirk when I drove it to the last day of ownership. Anyway, my garage is now filled with another car ;)

Audi S3 2008 For Sale

So, the time has come and my sad face is very much on. My Audi S3 is coming up to 3 years old and I'm now after a new car. Change in circumstances too, means I'm doing a fair few more miles that I was when I first bought this car so I doubt my change will be as exciting, but we'll see. From pre purchase, the Audi S3 has put a smile on my face. It sticks to the road like its on rails. Through my time with the car in the recent poor weather, that itself has been a joy as I see BMW and Merc drivers struggling to move whilst I happily cruise past with Quattro efficiency. I'll miss the duels with the Merc C63 AMG 'PAUL D' as will I miss you Mr XJR ... your faces were great ;) In any weather conditions, This. Car. Shifts. Its also a delight to cruise down the motorway and its size means its great for diving into town and not having the issues of parking a Chelsea Tractor. And this is the info on it. 33k Miles Ibis White (the best colour) with optional extras of: Sat N

Ben's Cookies

I like cookies... In fact, I like most biscuits and cookies. I've not had any cookies as nice as these Ben's Cookies though. OMG! If you see one of their stores around the UK... or Japan (or where ever that other place is far away from Oxford) you gotta try them out. A some what sugar shout out to M.E.G. who brought a box in for us Loopers.

The aftermath of #NokiaLondonLoop

WOW. What a huge day! After getting down to London really easily, I got off the tube at Westbourne Park and bumped into my good friend Jon . Result! He knew where we were heading too. ;) Anyway, we headed to the world famous Sarm Studios to begin our day of looping. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from the day but was surprised by the results and the cool people I met along the way. 1st up, big props to the WomWorld team, especially Meg and Katy who organised the event and met us when we got to the studio. Also in waiting was the lovely Dani who although I'd spoke to many times, had never actually met! As we all sat chillin upstairs from the studio, the big dog Aaron turned up too. Quality bloke and basically the man @ Sarm. Check out the list of people that he gets to deal with day in day out... bit different from your normal customers I'd guess ;) Anyway, what was the craic? The Nokia Loop app is available exclusively on the Ovi Store. Its a pretty big file s


Well, today I am off down to London to join up with other mobile bloggers and fanatics to Sarm Studios. Home to get Invaders Must Die, Prodigy Album amongst many many others. The reason? Well mostly around the launch of the Loop app, available to Nokia S^3 users, (N8, C7 etc etc) Its available in Ovi Store for free download right now and when Im not on the train with a crappy connection I will link you to it. If you do manage to make anything quality sounding, I'd love to hear it because the ones Ive done have been horrendous ;) The twitter hash tag for the event is in the title, and I hope to bring you a little more later on. Whislt I sit here on the train though, its interesting to listen to the various conversations going on. Alan Irvines sacking from Sheffield Wednesday, My Gypsy Wedding, someone trying to find out the times of some parliamentary meetings.... its a real hot pot of people. When I got on the train i was one of the first one followed by another woman. I stopped at