Happy New Year – cough cough

Firstly can I wish everyone who reads this blog on an even semi-regular basis a Happy New Year.  I disappeared off to Tunisia for a week of sun and sand after Christmas, and had a really good time, as soon as I get chance I will post a couple of photos here just to remind myself what I’m missing.

Unfortunately, as all-too frequently happens, I’ve come back with a stinking cough/cold.  I’m loathed to call it flu, mostly because I can’t afford to be ill when I return to work next week as I have a series of interviews crucial to my next piece of PhD work.  So I have four days to get myself well, which considering how I feel as I type, could be an uphill struggle.  I’m off to the docs anyhow this evening, after my scare a couple of years ago I always get this checked out.  Strangely, despite having the jab before and various problems, I wasn’t entitled to a free flu jab, and had to pay for it myself last October, which I duly did.

The holiday was a great break, and also an enforced experiment to see if I could cope without being ‘Gridlinked‘, ironically one of the books which I downloaded to my iPad via Amazon’s Kindle service.  Tunisia does not have a strong wireless Internet presence, and it was day six (of seven) that I discovered a bar with free wi-fi.

So I ‘only’ had the iPad, iPod Shuffle, and iPhone to keep me amused, with no chance of any new content being available to me.  How did I do?

The iPad was really heavily used by both of us.  For me I used it as an e-book reader (Kindle though, not iBooks unfortunately, still too expensive and limited range of titles though this may change), music player, and video viewer.  I only rarely played games, though that’s not the fault of the iPad, I really am poor at playing games, and even a game of Scrabble can’t always keep my attention.  The shuffle performed flawlessly as my night-time music player, and the iPhone filled the (few) gaps when I wasn’t by the pool or in bed.

The only downsides to the iPad are the battery life and screen glare.  I was always aware of the charge on the device, and was concerned about it ‘running out’.  Screen brightness seems to be the single largest influence of battery life (remembering this was running in ‘flight mode’ all the time as there were no wireless networks that the device could even try to connect to).  I know that for it’s primary holiday purpose, that the Kindle device would make a highly compelling purchase, solve the above problems at a stroke, and having seen a couple out ‘in the field’ in Tunisia, I am even more tempted, but like many people I’m being cautious in my purchases in 2011.

Hmm, having just read the Amazon Kindle page again I’ve just noted this interesting paragraph at the very end –

Read Before Bed Without Affecting Sleep

According to some sleep experts, reading on closely-held backlit screens before bed inhibits melatonin production, which is critical for a good night’s sleep. “The take-home lesson is that insomnia and electronic gadgets emitting light should not [be] mixed before bedtime” says UCLA Neurology Clinic Director Alon Avidan. “Kindle is better for your sleep.”

The Kindle is sitting in my shopping basket now, but I must be strong!

I have loads of new years resolutions, and whilst ‘only’ 4lb heavier than this time last year, the relentless upward curve has continued, and for my own health this is something I need to get a grip with.

I’ll try and rattle off another posting before I return to work.



1 comment so far

  1. […] the way to help waste pile BrownhillsBob Calling Stonnall history buffs Andy Hollyhead Happy New Year – cough cough Comment in brief 5 Jan 10 Walsall South Labour Death by a thousand cuts Cllr Ian Shires LibDems […]

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