King of Shaves

Every morning when I scrape a blade across my face, I think “Today, I really must write about King of Shaves” It’s true, if a little disturbing. But for some reason I never quite get round to it, the thought disappears out of my head by the time I’ve left the bathroom.

Sorry guys.

My introduction to KoS was at Interesting2007 – a little pot was in the goodie bag, supplied by Steve Bowbrick who managed better than most would have to give a sponsor’s speech appropriate to that legendary gathering. I’d seen the product before, but was a bit suspicious, it looked (and sounded – shaving? oil?) a bit Top Gear for me. But I tried it out and fell immediately in love.

The lubricants I’ve used in shaving my face aren’t that wide and varied. I never really got on with the whipped cream that comes in an aerosol tin (perhaps I should have used shaving cream that comes in an aerosol tin) though that was my first obvious choice. It did have the great smell of Brut, but it’s just bloody messy, especially when it gets bloody. I had some nice Body Shop stuff once, that you worked up with a brush, but as with so many Body Shop products for men, it seemed to have been discontinued or just not in the shop I went to or something. I know that just using soap dries your face, but I do love the smell of Roger & Gallet Sandalwood or even Imperial Leather. Of course I once used this from G-Room which was nice and minty, but after showing my arse in the shower using one of their other products I was always scared to go back in.

My first thought was that I couldn’t believe how much you use – a “few drops?” but it really does go a long way. I started my little bottle from interesting about 7 months ago and although I don’t use it every day (damn you, Imperial Leather) and I bought another bottle when I went on holiday and forgot, the first one is still going strong.

I think the things I love about the experience boil down to:

lack of mess – although it can make the cut hair stick to the side of the basin.
smoothness of skin afterwards – though comparisons between my face and baby’s bottoms are not rare anyway
size of packaging – tiny, so great for travelling
it just works – it just does.

I shudders at the term “brand loyalty” but I think they’ve got me.

PS They have a bunch of blogs – I don’t read them, but the fact that they exist gives me comfort that applying this oil to my face every morning is OK and probably a good thing. Just confirming my weirdness.

Tales from the Underground

lloyd buskingSo my busking adventures continue – I was at my second home, Bond St tonight – quite quiet, lots of small change dropped, but also lovely stuff like the lady who gave me a rose and the other who said I was the best thing she’d heard on the tube [compared to the coaches on the Bakerloo Line, presumably :) ].

Thanks to everyone who’s come to see me so far – Emma, Russell, Jamie – and all those who’ve sent warm wishes via twitter. I’m having a great time with it.

Counting the money is giving me lots of fun. I have a spreadsheet going with the following metadata: date, day, time, location so that I can do some analysis. So far I’m averaging a bit more than minimum wage… but not quite up to my consulting day rate. No matter, the most important return I get is something I’m not quantifying precisely: the number of smiles and winks.

Today I met a Busking Manager for the first time. These guys get to go round the network, checking in with buskers that everythings alright and making sure that people have turned up to the right pitch at the right time. I’m also getting to meet more and more of my fellow performers. Most are really nice, but I have to say that a number of them are just bloody miserable, I suppose it’s like anything, but I do think there are a few who buy in so much to the suffering artist myth that nothing could make them happy.

The most obvious thing I’ve learned is that people with shorter legs walk more slowly than those with long legs. It’s really noticable when a train comes in, the crowd just gets shorter as it passes by – you just don’t see these things when you’re in the crowd yourself.

Photo by Russell Davies

Why I’m not in Seesmic at the moment

Writing that as a title makes it sound much more dramatic than what I want to say. However, I wanted to explain the reasons for me not showing up so much in seesmic of late. In particular, I wanted to make it clear that it’s not a negative sign – I’m still using it, I’m still in love with the people and the concept, I’m still part of the seesmic community, I’m just not around very much for now. It comes down to three things:

1. There’s a limit to how much alpha testing one can do.

This is not a fault – it’s just how it is. I’ve used and loved the crappy, buggy, bloated, adorable, prototype proof of concept thing they knocked up, but my legs are just tired from using bicycle pedals to fly an aeroplane. I need it to move on (lighter, better organised, social functionality) before I can use it again regularly. This isn’t to say that others shouldn’t have a go while the CTO (who never sleeps) and his band of code monkeys build the next version – if you get an invite, I strongly urge you to jump in, ride it, meet the fantastic people who are there, enjoy it, love it like I have, find the holes, work out for yourself what works and doesn’t work – it’s great fun. Trouble is…

2. My kit’s crap

The combination of said “bloated, adorable…etc” and my little PC with it’s pathetic 256MB of RAM (yes, I’ve ordered some more) mean that I really can’t do much in seesmic before the whole thing slows down to a crawl. In case you haven’t got the message, I do love seesmic so much that I’ve honestly considered setting up a dedicated seesmic box, stripped down to a lightweight OS and browser just so that I could continue being an active participant around this social media kitchen table rather than the old grandpa who sticks his head around the door occasionally to ask you kids to quieten down. I may still do this if I can find some geek-time this weekend, but the truth is…

3. I’ve other fish to fry

One of my main motivating factors this week has been ensuring that Mike Butcher doesn’t get in a position to do to me and the Tuttle Club/Social Media Café what he did to Paul Birch and Co-minded. We talked a lot about it in the last part of the year and our first prototyping meeting was great, but I need to maintain the momentum. My most frequently asked question is “When are you going to open?” My current best answer is “This year, preferably by the summer” I want to have a better answer to that – and more importantly to actually deliver. Again, for the time being, that (and bread and butter work to keep me living in the luxury I’ve come to expect, oh and playing my ukulele) has to come first, so time around the virtual kitchen table is limited [unless of course you want to come to a commercial arrangement, Loïc :) ]

So, in the meantime, don’t stay up too late talking and don’t be late for work because you’re nattering over breakfast, but have fun without me.

Twitter Tip #1 – Turn off the tips, please twitter

Dear Twitter, pleez turn tips off.  kthxbyePresumably to test the waters for introducing advertisements into our twitterfeeds (grrrr…), Twitter has today started to insert “tips” into my (& probably your) notifications. The first one I noticed was at 07.14 GMT:

Send ‘nudge username’ for someone you haven’t heard from at 07.14 GMT
then
Update from your mobile browser at http://m.twitter.com at 07.56
Send ‘nudge username’ for someone you haven’t heard from at 08.19
Go for a long walk. at 08.58
Reply with ‘stats’ to see how many people are following you at 09.44
Reply with ‘fav jangles’ to favorite this update. at 09.48
Reply with ‘help’ for a list of commands. at 10.01
Reply with ‘stats’ to see how many people are following you at 10.10
Reply with ‘stats’ to see how many people are following you at 10.32
See more at http://m.twitter.com/warzabidul at 10.37
Update from your mobile browser at http://m.twitter.com at 11.33
Reply with ‘fav robertbrook’ to favorite this update. at 11.36
Reply with ‘leave girlygeekdom’ to turn off updates from this person. at 11.41

which was spookily appended to an update from Sarah saying she didn’t like tips either…

not enough data yet to see whether their frequency is related to the frequency of my updates

of course the tip I really want to see is “Reply with ‘Hey Twitter, Don’t be Evil’ to turn off tips”

Detoxing in Facebook

Detoxing my facebookAfter all that winterval indulgement it’s time to strip everything back and detox. So today I slipped into Facebook for a while and removed myself from the more trivial or no-longer relevant groups and removed a large number of applications.

I no longer have a fun or super wall – so don’t try to send anything there. I’m missing out on gifts, pimps, zombies etc. I couldn’t say goodbye to my pets quite so callously or LOLCats and of course, real stuff associated with real people like Hugh’s widget and Luke’s Blog Friends have to stay. I’m going to try really really hard to resist the lure of useless crap but I’m human and a sucker for shiny things so be gentle with me.

I’m not joining in with this FB backlash, they’re not worth it – I really can’t get my knickers in a twist about whether Scoble’s there (I was still in his friend queue anyway…) or whether Che Guevara is an appropriate icon to use – I think Robert was being more Tuttle than Trotsky in all of this. As for their draconian TOS, if they don’t change, they’ll become irrelevant and they’ll be left with a whole load of my shit that’s even less valuable to them than the few pence it’s worth now. Just like friendster, ryze, ecademy, myspce etc before them. At least it seems easier to get your account deleted with FB, you just write a script that pings your page more often than a hooman might and Bob’s in your extended family.

Happy? New? Year?

dec07 035Isn’t happiness weird? I often find myself being choosy about who to give it away to – but why would I withhold happiness from anyone? And anyway, the more I give away, the more I get back :)

Isn’t New Year weird? How did something that should be about innovation become so fixed in tradition? I spent last night equally bored and nonplussed.

Isn’t time weird? This year’s a leap year and so just because we all agree that it’s going to happen, we’ll have an extra day in February. If we can agree on bending a rule about how many days there are in a year, surely we could agree on something else. You know, silly stuff like “let’s stop fighting” or “let’s make sure everyone’s got enough to eat today”

Love & hugs everybodeh!