P-touch 1000 label Maker Review

Power of labels

Label maker Despot

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Lets you: Access your inner Despot

Yesterday was father’s day and the day our first baby was due. Hayley and I are still waiting for the big arrival. What did arrive on Father’s day was a blast from my own childhood. Still to this day I occasionally pull on a jumper and find a label that my mum put in so that when I lost it, it would find its way back to me.

Perhaps subliminally, I knew that I was about to become a parent and therefore it was time for me to invest in a label maker.

Like a kind of acid test for maturity the label maker arrived, I failed and I turned into a child. The first label I wrote read “my wife.” The second label I wrote read: “my tools” and the third label “new toy” which was of course stuck to the label maker.

Hayley and I are interested in environmental issues; one of our close friends Tom Chance is running to be the Green party candidate for London mayor. A perennial topic of conversation amongst this group of friends is the evils of Western overconsumption. I remember going round a palace in Turkey on holiday and watching thousands of people elbow each other to shuffle past golden trinkets, which were once the property of a sultan. Hayley and I remarked that the planet was probably doomed. People seem to have an unquenchable fascination with material objects.

Owning a label maker is a great way of observing this property in yourself: It’s a bizarre feeling having the power to print out tiny sticky labels that you can place on objects. It’s a very tangible way of staking ownership. I can only assume that this is one of the reasons why some people have a fascination with flags.

It really surprised me, how sitting with the label maker visible, I felt compelled to “organise” things. A label is a very powerful thing, nobody likes to be labelled, but until recently I had never felt the adrenaline rush, which comes with the act of labelling. Humans have a deep-seated desire to impose order on the environment. Once you’ve put a label on something, you’ve simplified things which, makes it easier for you to operate in the world.

Owning my own label maker brought out the mini despot in me. I can’t help wondering whether owning a label maker would satiate real dictators, or feed their desire to control others. Apparently Steve jobs wore the same outfit every day, blue jeans and a black polo neck to reduce decision fatigue. By wearing the same clothes every day he was able to avoid making unimportant outfit decisions, which allowed him to devote attention to meaningful decisions.

Who knows how many lives could be saved if we sent P-touch 1000’s to every point on the axis of evil.

Real P-touch 1000 label maker review:

Owning one is better than not owning one. Though obviously, I want the labels to use up as little tape as possible per label. Not for environmental reasons, just so I don’t have to order more tape. It is difficult to understand the settings, trial and error getting set up right waists a lot of tape, which made me wonder about the manufactures malign intentions: is this a razor and blade strategy? therwise seems like a good very retro 80’s toy. I’m looking forward to enjoying a new organisational paradigm in my life.

Apple Watch: Hit or Flop: Place your bets Now.

The apple smart watch has started advertising on TV. Apple actually haven’t come out with a new product range for a while, I think they have being casting around to find the next big thing.

Since the passing of their talismanic CEO Steve Jobs there is debate about how innovative this company still is. Techi friends that I have the utmost respect for tell me that I should invest in an apple lap top.

Apparently the reason an apple laptop is so good is very pragmatic. My laptop has started coming over all maudlin and some days works like a dream and then other days decides that it is going to take it slow, not unlike it’s human owner. I am told by a friend of mine who owns a very successful software company that this is the real value of an Apple machine.

Basically they have much better exhorts pipes. I know laptops have exhorts pipes, who knew? Like car engines that have to keep their internal bits and bobs running within a temperature range, if the start to overheat the prossesor burns out and that is bad.

However: I also heard that most American millionaires are circumspect people who have built up there fortune by living very frugal lives. Most own their own business many are teachers in public schools, but typically that spend less than they earn and they invest what money they can in appreciating assets.

To my own class sensitive English ears there is something very crass even admitting that you have done something like read a book entitled “The Millionaire Next door” well trust me, it’s excellent. It turns out that most of America’s millionaires are people working in industries that would be described as “dull, normal”. The book doesn’t discuss technology purchases, but it does discuss car purchasing habits exhaustively. Millionaires apparently habitually buy cars second-hand. Most millionaires drive in expensive “Detroit metal”. Apparently, your average American millionaire would rather let somebody else by a car and incur the depreciation, then sell it to them at a subsidized second-hand cost.

The smart watches an interesting phenomenon in itself. As I understand it, it was around the time that the Amazon Kindle was gaining traction and mass-market appeal that hackers came up with the idea that: e-ink, displays could be used for smart watches. E-Ink doesn’t require any battery power once the image has been created. This meant that E-ink could be used as a way of extending the battery life of tiny computer devices. I know people also returned to the screens from old Nokia mobile phones. That led to a kickstarter a project called the “pebble watch” and until reasonably recently pebble was the only smart watch in town.

I can’t help but wondering if the apple smart watch will be a hit or a flop. The iPhone is nowhere near the most popular smartphone. It’s outnumbered many, many times by android devices. It’s not even the most popular unit. But only a fool would describe the iPhone as a flop. Although its market share is small: They’ve captured most of the high-value customers within that market.

Touch screens were invented in the 1970s. I remember having heated debates with my colleagues about the Amazon Kindle. At the time the iPad was the darling toy. I remember handing my boss my new Kindle and watching him swipe his greasy finger across the screen. A number of people remarked that it seems like quite dated technology. It was as if the arrival of the iPad had marked the death of the button. My Kindle that had a battery that lasted a month, and could be used in equatorial sunlight was seen as inferior because you had to turn the pages by clicking buttons at the side of the device.

Product features make customers more price sensitive. Apparently listing lots and lots of features such as a bike with 18 gears, disc brakes, front shock absorbers can make the customer more price sensitive. If a product has lots of features, people suddenly start thinking what is the lowest price I can pay to get all this functionality?

The classic example of a low feature high price, product is a watch like Rolex. These items hold their value because they are durable status symbols. Smart watches like all high technology are subject to Moore’s Law, by definition they are depreciating assets and will not hold their value. As a result, I personally am put off by the Apple watch and the premium they are asking for it. I wish I knew more millionaires so I could ask their opinion. But I wonder whether smart money is buying this product?

Even from an environmental point of view, it doesn’t do as well as the pebble. I-fixit recently revealed that it is held together with glue and has inbuilt obsolescence. If it breaks it will be very hard to fix.

Mobile phones and tablet computers are converging. People are now searching more online with their handheld devices. It is possible that in order to compensate for the increased size of screen were all carrying around in our breast pockets, having a small touchscreen on your wrist to access textual information quickly will prove helpful.

Google are now even punishing websites that are not “mobile first” and abandoned their flagship technology Google Glass, having decided that nobody wanted that. We’re not willing to strap a computer to our face, so perhaps the logical conclusion is to strap one to our wrist.

I am very tempted by the pebble watch, if I can get it at the right price point. I like to imagine that I’m closer in mindset to your circumspect millionaire (wishful thinking). I like to buy my functionality by the kilo. I’m less interested in what is watches can offer me as status symbols. However, I have asked about and do understand that it’s enormous fun to speak into your watch.

That functionality concurrently be bought on Amazon for about £6. My favored heart rate monitor watch is currently retailing on Amazon at £29. The Apple watchers retailing at £299, so my rough calculation is that: that’s £35 worth of smart watch functionality and £264 worth of status symbol.

Far be it from me to suggest that is too much to pay for status. Certainly it seems to make far more sense to me to buy the Apple watch as a status symbol in place of spending money on an Apple laptop. At least the watch will be with you everywhere you go, in order to gain status from an Apple laptop, you’d have to spend an inordinate amount of time working in coffee shops.

I got it totally wrong in the Kindle VS iPad debate. As it happened Kindle have moved closer to the iPad and introduced touchscreens. Which is interesting because the reason touchscreens remains nascent technology from the 1970s until the early 2000’s, was that everybody was rightly grossed-out by having their text obscured by finger grease. Which, let’s face it is “human juice” that you’ve smeared over your device. This is the primary reason that laptop still have an array of old school pressing click buttons, otherwise known as the keyboard.

A friend of mine told me something amusing the other day. He said at any social engagement always follow the old people. Go where the old people go, do what the old people do. His logic was that old people have been here before. They know the score. If you want to make sure you don’t have the spend the evening on an empty stomach and get a decent drink, join the back of a que with all the old people in it. On tube a saw well to do older lady writing an email on her phone. What model was it: BlackBerry. I thought “yeah, I bet the battery on that thing never fails and she can do everything she wants on that”.

The button is a technology that has been around for 2800 years. At least when you click a button you know you have done your part. You have thrown a switch in the machine. Amusingly that same guy who keeps telling me I need a Apple laptop, also told me he thought the Apple watch would be a hit because, the most commonly used app on a smart watch was the clock. It saves you getting your phone out of your pocket many times a day. The funny thing is he is probably right and that’s mad!

 

What’s happening to all the fat people?

Last night Hayley and a went for dinner with a friend. Steve the guy in the couple we dined with was looking great. These days he sports a well-trimmed beard and has the air of a young and charming Russell Crow.

 

A while back at their wedding I had noticed that Steve had lost a lot of weight. A little while back while cycling home I bumped into a friend of mine who was just on the return leg of a jog. He to, was looking very svelte.

 

On my younger brothers stag do I sat opposite a 6’7 guy who had only a started for dinner and told me during a heartfelt conversation how amazing and grateful he felt to final be in control of his waist line.

 

I Love and am very passionate about the “50 pence bet”. It is amazing how much clarity of thought such a small amount of money brings to any conversation that would normally descend into idle speculation.

 

The example from last night: was a discussion of weather food back use will increase. I didn’t have a position on that but it was a bet I left like taking. As soon as you have 50 pence riding on it and it is an accountable bet then you have to start defining terms and making testable definitions. What does increase mean? Buy a single can of food, or do we mean and increase in the numbers of people who have used a food bank. Which record will we use as our accepted measure, whose figures do we trust? What do we mean by 5 years, on what day does the bet close?

 

I actually think that larger amounts of money create bravado and making it harder to think clearly about it. If you are betting painful amounts of money on it more about who has a good poker face. You do need some money on it though. If there is no money riding on it you just don’t focus your attention on the prediction properly and it is easy to keep saying and thinking the same lazy had wavy things you have in the past.

fatties

 

 

Based on not much research into the subject I am going to make to the outlandishly positive prediction. The rate of obesity in UK as measured by the Health Survey for England (HSE) will fall back to around 20% of the population by the 21/05/2020.

 

I reckon, Social media mean that the most active people posting images of themselves are people who are losing weight or have lost a lot of weight. Where as in the past someone would lose weight and get fat again and the whole episode would have been missed by most of their extended group, now more people will see that “After shot”.

 

It is easier to find good information about tactic and stratagems for losing weight. Large numbers of people have made it pretty clear that the one thing you can do above all else is cut down on the sweets. Sugar is that enemy and when combined with fat it as addictive as crack. Although the exercise industry loves to make you run for hours like a hamster on a wheel and news papers bombard us with fad diets, the reality is that some fundamental truths are penetrating the fog and getting through to the population at large.

 

Sugar and refined carbs are bad for you. Eating sweets in moderation means about once a week, you are an idiotic it you drink any “full fat” (actually sugar) soft drinks.

 

My guess it that the best informed fatties will disappear first, and a wave of weight loss will emanate out from them.

 

People won’t realize that the reason they final decided to get organized and do it. Subconsciously this is what will happen: Like an individual neuron in your head waiting to fire in your brain, you will react and action potential and fire up. Gradually more and more people will take work out what they need to do to look better.

 

My guess is that eventually it will be so obvious that the people calling for taxes and restriction on high sugar food were right, that legislation will change and the trend will become locked in.

 

That is my perdition and there is not in my calendar to see if I was right.

Out for the Count: Six things you need to know about the UK electoral system:

Out for the Count: Six things you need to know about the UK electoral system:

 

1)      Labour and the Conservatives aren’t really competing

 

They seem like mortal enemies, many people in each party hate the other side. But in reality they are symbiotic not competing parties. Implicitly they are in a pact that means the can both remain in power half the time FOREVER. Whilst both Labour and Conservatives have much of value to say those two small groups of let’s face it fairly odd people who want to be involved in party politics don’t know everything. It is quite possible that all knowledge of how to run a society or an economy cannot be fit neatly on a left right spectrum as they would have you believe.

 

This video explains how that works:

 

 

2)      The game is rigged.

 

The people who currently have the power to change the system have no interest in doing so. First past the post keeps new and small parties out. As alternative ways of looking at problems are excluded, so are the different solutions those viewpoints can provide.

 

3)      This system is designed for savages.

 

In the House of Commons there are two lines drawn on the floor members from each side of the house are supposed to walk on either side of their sword lengthsown line. The Lines are just over a sword length apart. Our system of government was designed for a time when elected representatives hit each other with swords. I would like to think that we have move on from then. It’s time our electoral system did as well.

 

4)      In our system Manifestos don’t matter

 

Endless breath is wasted talking about the manifestoes. Who takes the time to read them? Almost no one: No doubt which policies get enacted from the ruling party’s manifestos will have an impact on the success of the country but this almost certainly doesn’t dictates who wins the election in a first past the post system.

 

Having gone to a count at the weekend it seems entirely possible to me that the manifestos of the parties have a much more limited effect on which party wins power than the two major parties would like you to think. I suspect the Null Hypothesis is true. Labour’s Manifesto will have little effect on whether they win the 2020 election. I have heard ministers say that after a while the electorate just gets fed up with you and votes you out. I have seen a lot of people saying “this is how our democracy works” well the trouble is that isn’t democracy as anyone would understand it. It’s an eternal Lab-Con coalition.

 

Under first past the post power shifts when a small number of swing voters in a small number of marginals get fed up with the ruling party and opt to kick them out. It’s not that the rest of us don’t have view’s, it’s just that under our system they don’t matter.

 

Don’t believe me? Here’s simple test: write down all the key policies of the party you support. Now write down the same number of key policies for the party you don’t support. If you can’t remember all the policy you were supposed to be going to the poles to vote on, then could the election really have been about policies?

 

5)      It gets emotional

 

As the two main parties move closer together their language about each other becomes more parabolic. Before the 2015 election Labour and the conservatives where criticized for standing so close you couldn’t get a cigarette paper between them. What was their solution? Not to step apart but to shout louder and make more outlandish statements about the tiny gap between them. At one point there was an ad that conveyed no really information, but instead just showed a clock being smashed as a visual metaphor for what the other party would do to the economy.

 

6)      First past the post producers more stable Government’s.

 

Actually no: Germany is an equivalent society; with a reasonably equivalent economy and a proportional system of government as opposed to our winner take all system. How long should their parliament be? About 4 years. How long are they? Normally 4 years.

 

In a Proportional system what do two coalition parties want to do? They both want to stay in power for a full term. Why because fighting elections costs them money. Going to the poles is expensive and they run the risk of them being kicked out. It is in both coalition partners interest to form a stable government.

 

Conclusion

 

Moving to a proportional system may or may not be in your best interest but let’s not pretend for a moment that it is in the interest of most of our elected MP’s. If it was, they would have switched to it by now.

 

If it was the best system of government, then at least one country that had formed in the post war period would have adopted it. There are many forms of PR, they all have some small problems, but the salient point is this: all forms of Proportional representation are better than first past the post.

 

If you want more info watch CGP Grey’s excellent video on this subject: https://youtu.be/s7tWHJfhiyo

 

Five Tips for Perfect alfresco dinning

The-Dove-18

Alfresco dinning is supposed to be nice, so if you do dare risk the elements how do you get the recipe right?

Who are you trying to impress? If you happen to be on an SAS survival course, and the primary objective is to prove that you are going to be able to make it back from behind enemy lines then sure, it doesn’t matter what you eat, just so long as you get enough calories, in that situation, eat out of a bin however for most of us though, a bit of thought a head of times goes down really well with our dinning partner.

Tip One: Be Natural:

humpbackwhale_noaa_large

Alfresco dining lends spectacle to the occasions. It also creates an authentic situation. No matter how good a restraints décor it will never equal

the splendor of nature. Our desire for nature is pretty hard wired. This is why we grab bits of nature and level it carcasses around us indoors, like

putting flowers out on tables, or paneling a room with oak, it is all to give you subliminal feeling that you are in a “natural” situation.

The best alfresco dinning allow you to experience some form of natural phenomenon. One of the best I have ever had was eating with a view of the ocean watching male humpback wales breaking to impress females in an epic mating dance. If humpback whales aren’t available consider somewhere that gives you an opportunity to see nature in action: A picnic in Richmond Park is perfect example.

 

Tip two: Create a sense of placefood buy the vines

Sundown is clearly the best time to be eating alfresco. A great trick is to create a sense of place by putting yourself in a location that has some history. One of my favorite London examples is the Dove in Hammersmith. They have an amazing little balcony. You can see over the Thames and as the sun sets you get an amazing view of Hammersmith Bridge. I always wander how this view has changed since it inspired James Thomson to write the song Rule Britannia in 1740 (Reff Wikipedia ;-).

 

Tip three: Seasonal food

It’s not always possible to be outside, so eating outside creates a truly unique moment in time. The sky will never quite look as it does now again and no one else will ever hear that particular bird song. It always works well if you can draw attention to this fact with your choice of food. The classic example of this is eating English strawberries at Wimbledon, with a little research the trick can be repeated, at any time of year: http://www.eattheseasons.co.uk/ is a great site for working out what food is at its best right now.

 

Tip four:  Hope for the best prepare for the worst

English wine camping

It may be stating the bleeding obvious, but have a think about what the weather is doing? Arcus is smart phone app that gives you real time weather forecast for your exact location. Most of us spend so little time out doors that we, don’t think about temperature, wind-speed and precipitation.

All three of those environmental variables can be prepared for and tolerated to an extent. Ask any keen cyclist and they will tell you. There is no such thing as bad weather just inappropriate clothing.

 Last Tip: No when to make a hasty retreat.

Dashing in from the rain, can form a great memory, while getting cold is never pleasant, get wet is ok, if you can get in and get warm. No matter how well you prepare, you need to be able to escape. Whatever you had planned, nothing will makes someone feel looked after more than if you have taken the trouble to have a back-up plan. The indoors is therefore a reason after all.

 

Want an amazing Alfresco dinning experience? click > HERE<