Staying fit

I’ve written before about not being a big fan of the gym; it is all a bit too boring for me to be honest and the hot conditions inside the gym I did try out have really put me off.  So, as far as I’m concerned, exercise in the great outdoors is the way to go.

At one stage, I was living in a house that was about 30 minutes from university on foot, so I found myself doing a lot of walking.  I also found that the walking kept my weight under control, so, as a form of exercise, I would heartily recommend getting out and pounding the pavements.

Another alternative to gym fees is to invest in a bicycle.  It doesn’t have to be an expensive one such as the type of high-end racing bikes that serious hobbyists seem to invest in.  Besides, spending loads of money on a bike for use in urban areas is not the most sensible of investments, given the amount of bikes that are stolen every year.  Having said that, I’d recommend spending just enough to ensure that the bike is serviceable over a period of time, otherwise the buyer will have something that is not going to last them too long on their hands.

If the gym is not an option and something such as cycling seems too solitary a pursuit, why not get involved in five-a-side football or tag rugby?  Not only are these great forms of exercise but they are also social outlets; for someone new to university or starting a job in a new town or city, these activities can be a great way to make new friends.

Shiva Head Shop

If you are looking for a chilled night in or are having a few friends over, I can think of nothing better than Shiva Head Shop to supply all that you’ll need.

A big-seller on the Shiva web site is bongs. Once seen as the smoking device of choice for surfers, bongs have become more widespread in use and are great for smoking tobacco, molasses and herbal mixtures. I like the look of the percolator bongs, which come with an extra chamber in the body of the waterpipe for cooling the smoke, thereby providing the user with an even smoother smoke. For those on the go – and I’m thinking of my fellow students here – travel bongs are also available to buy.

I know that many of you out there love your brand names and Shiva Head Shop more than caters for those needs. They carry a range of the ever-popular Zippo lighters and accessories, as well as lighters from the high-end Pierre Cardin range. Something that caught my eye is the range of multi-tool lighters. Imagine that you are out camping and you’ve forgotten your tin opener. No problem, the multi-tool lighter will do the job! As well as a tin opener, the lighter has a screwdriver, scissors, bottle opener and corkscrew. Speaking as a university student, I think it would make a great present for someone heading to college.

I’ve barely touched on the range of products carried by Shiva, so I strongly recommend checking out the web site and seeing what they have to offer there.

The “perils” of online dating

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have done a bit of online dating in my time, even going so far as to travel from Newcastle to London for what turned out to be a disproportionately expensive date (I will not be repeating that kind of mistake). I have had, and still keep, an open mind on the whole internet dating thing, but I am aware that is has attracted its fair share of controversy with stories of men posing as women and vice versa, or online dates turning into stalkers.

I like to think I give people the benefit of the doubt. In my experience, most people are who they say they are – but it is best to be careful until you have at least met your date in person and learnt more about them. The usual caveats apply: don’t meet someone without informing a friend or family member first and always meet in a public place. Someone might say these “rules” apply to girls only, but I’m not so sure about that. Okay, we lads like to promote the old macho ‘I can look after myself’ image, but we can all be a victim. I’m not necessarily saying that you’d turn up on the date to find that the pretty girl you’ve been e-mailing for the past week turns out to be a 6’4, 250-pound male mugger, but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility. All I’m saying, really, is to be cautious. The internet is a great tool to have at our disposal – I wouldn’t be writing this without it – but it attracts all types, and some of them are going to have less than savoury agendas.

Leaving the scary stuff aside, internet dating can be great fun – but, at least to begin with, I would suggest treating it as exactly that: fun. You might get talking to someone online and you both get on so well that you start thinking you’ve met your soul mate, only to turn up on your first date to realise the two of you have no chemistry in person. That’s what it’s all about, or so they tell us. Chemistry! In fairness, I think ‘they’ have a point. You might believe some girl is an absolute stunner and if you’re lucky, she might believe the same thing about you, but if there’s no chemistry and things get awkward quickly, what’s left? You have to be able to get on with someone. No one is going hang around with a friend who they have absolutely zero in common with and who they can’t even hold a basic conversation with, so I don’t see why it should be any different with a potential partner.

BlackBerry for Sale

BLACKBERRYNo, you haven’t logged onto a classifieds web site by mistake. BlackBerry really is for sale; the actual company, I mean. I have written before about how I work in a phone shop and have noted a falloff in interest in BlackBerry handsets. The company has tried to counter the decline in sales with the launch of the new operating system BB10, in an effort to future-proof sets for ten years. Credit where credit is due, I thought the new generation of BlackBerry handsets were very impressive. But now comes the news that the company, which once went by the rather cool name (if you ask me) of Research In Motion (RIM), is to “explore strategic alternatives,” a process which may end with the business going private or even being broken up.

As an International Business Management student, I am obviously going to be interested in how this exploration of alternatives pans out. As both a phone shop employee and as someone who loves their gadgets, I have a natural interest, too, in how a company that was once at the fore of mobile technology has suffered such a decline. When the company launched its first BlackBerry device – an e-mail pager in 1999 – it changed forever the way in which business people communicated. As recently as 2008, BlackBerry phones were everywhere; Barack Obama was constantly pictured with his during that year’s presidential election campaign in the US.

I have previously written about the high price of BlackBerry devices, but the real game-changer in terms of mobile technology was, of course, the appearance of the iPhone and subsequent Android devices and, in particular, the development of apps. When BlackBerry finally decided to play catch-up and launched its own tablet – the Playbook – it was already too late and the new device didn’t sell well enough.

I guess BlackBerry is going to be one of those case studies that business students such as me will refer to as an example of a once-dominant player losing out to the competition.

Asset labels – what are they?

Have you ever heard of asset labels?  My guess would be that most people have seen them, even if they’re not quite sure what they’re called.  These are the numbered or barcoded tags used on computers, registers in shops and other expensive items.  As a student who works in a mobile phone store part time, I see this quite frequently.

Asset labels manufactured and produced by Data Label are among some of the best I’ve ever seen.  Expensive electronic items are stolen often and it seems like thieves keep getting cleverer.  I can definitely see why companies have started to use these to protect their expensive equipment.

These labels not only help prevent theft, but they also help keep track of different pieces of equipment.  I think it would be quite difficult to keep track of which computers have been serviced without some type of labelling system.  It seems like a company would save lots of time by not having to constantly track all of these items themselves.

Data Label Crawley is one of the best-known companies for this sort of thing.  It has a great selection of different types of labels to cater to all your needs.  The different sorts of data labels are fully customisable, so there’s no need to worry about having to modify them once you have them.

A fast delivery is always quite important, especially when you have large numbers of items to track.  Don’t worry about a thing, because Data Label specialises in printing and shipping quite quickly.  I definitely recommend using them, whatever your needs might be.

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