One cool thing I've discovered about being busy damn near every night of the week is that after I've finished whatever it is I'm doing, I pop into Sainsbury's and grab some stuff to make dinner.

The cool part is that Sainsburys have these “meal kits”, where they provide everything you need for a lovely bit of exotic tucker, all packaged up nicely together so you don't need to go hunting for a recipe, and then buy loads of stuff you don't need in order to make it (e.g. you need 1/2 a chopped capsicum, so you have to end up buying a pack of 3 capsicums, the other 2.5 of which end up festering in the fridge). So anyway, the *downside* of these meal kits is that they're typically quite ferking expensive.

Actually, I haven't got to the cool part yet – the *actual* cool part is that given my tendency to get to Sainsburys around the 9pm type mark, they've gone around marking all the about-to-pass-display-date stuff down for a quick sale. What this means is that this week I've picked up a Moroccan Chicken with Apricot and Chickpea, and a Honey Soy Pork and Pak Choi stir fry for about 1 pound 50 each, rather than the 5 squid they normally slug you.

Who could ask for anything more ?!

The other neat thing is that the packaging they use looks a bit like alien landing podules – or possibly like some kind of giant translucent plastic ant… except it'd have to be the sort of ant that had no eyes, legs, antennae, or mandibles. Supposing you were *going* to build a giant plastic ant, this is what you'd use as a starting point.

Incidentally, no further news on the origin of the light bulbs, however one theory was mooted by my learned colleague Ben (who almost didn't rate a link there on the grounds that he never gets around to updating his bloody website…) – it's entirely possible that it's part of some kind of practical joke campaign by the Royal Mail, as retribution for all of the thousands of eBay parcels they tried to deliver to my place in Kensal Rise back when I was never home to receive them.

I can't find where I might have mentioned this before, so I'll put it in here – one day, at my old place, I was off sick and was therefore able to take delivery from the postman. When I opened the door he was about to stuff a “you were out” card through the slot, and he said with disdain, “Are you Jason Standing ?”. When I indicated that indeed I was, he then spat, “You're the one who keeps getting all these bloody parcels…”. Good to see job satisfaction's alive and well in the UK !

Finally, one more thing – a few of we nerds have recently been transfixed with one of the nexest offerings from Google, namely Google Local. How cool is it, seriously !? You just give it a type of thing you're after, and a location, and it works out what's nearby ! For example, Charlie and I could use it to plan a pub crawl around our neighbourhood. Or, it's a good place to start looking if you wanted to find a Tai Chi school.

Of course, given that it all works using Google's mysterious page ranking algorithms, there's always potential for less than helpful queries as well.

Unfortunately they don't seem to have a version working for Australia. So I guess I'll stop going on about it.

2005-05-13 : Amphibious landing craft ?
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