To inform entertain and excite my kids, Jamie, Patrick, Aaron & Sarah Middleburgh, our family and friends.

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Hong Kong

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I am shameless and it's nearly my birthday (KIDS a card will do !!) and I have a craving that noodles won't satisfy ...... for a new gizmo to play with like a phone or a tablet .... however I must be getting old because in my heart of hearts I really can't justify a new one although I am a tad jealous of a colleague who recently came back from the States with a Kindle.

The problem with a new phone is that apart from my wife the only people who call me are Chinese telemarketers, a sad bunch if ever, especially after I have introduced them to some "bon mots" as part of my language coaching program. And for my part at most I make about 2 about going calls a month (at least from my phone) - I am just that kinda guy.... On a completely different level because I am perverse I don't see why should I get a smart phone to let the world and his mother track me, listen to my infrequent calls or get free "bad" language tuition . Stuff 'em!! I will stick with my vintage Samsung clamshell and be Mr Invisible below the radar .(see late breaking news)

A tablet however is a different story to a smart phone. Emotively I want (but don't need) an Android based tablet preferably less than 10 inches so i can pocket it. My wife did offer to get me an iPad last year but I turned down the offer. Without wishing to speak ill of the dead I found the vitriol directed by Mr Jobs towards both Flash and Android frankly a turn off. It's not as though iTunes software is without criticism (Is really a metaphor for Western life styles - it is an obese resource hog ) . And I believe passionately that any organization or individual who seeks world domination (for whatever reason) should be resisted on principle. So I will wait post Xmass sales and look for a Samsung Tablet or similar or maybe a Kindle Fire !! In the mean time I am going retro with a 1960's notebook and pen - I did consider replacing a super slim leather Filofax pocket book that I seem to have misplaced in my travels but they now cost 600+HK$. For that I could probably find a serviceable second hand Lenovo to load Linux on ,which would do everything and more that you could do on a tablet except stick it in my pocket

Is this why I am jealous of my colleague with her Kindle you wonder - because it is only 7" ?? Well.. actually no !! Every week we (Family Middleburgh - HK Branch Office) visit the local library to get kids books out for Jamie (you know String Theory for Beginners, 10 Fun Things You Can Do With Quarks", that sort of thing) and I always wander over to the (mindless) adults English fiction section. Every week it shrinks a bit more !!. Not only that but English books in second hand shops are also disappearing, so tooling up for eBooks is becoming an imminent necessity although unlike the States,Australia and the UK, the HK public library system is not yet offering (if ever) any English language fiction through eBooks. So I am paying particular attention to options particularly if they are book sized and can import content from any of these free sources:

As an aside I downloaded a whole bunch af pdfs the other day all about playing the Harmonica .... maybe I should just get a harmonica for my Birthday ..... or perhaps a Fishing Rod - a telescopic Shimano with all the accessories might be nice ??

Breaking News

Scary: this morning the display on my clamshell upped and died.I then discovered that the fall back is resting with the Norwegian Blue on the floor of the bird cage a victim of internal battery failure ie it too, is no more. Fortunately old faithful the 1990's Motorola C117 is going strong (apart from cracked screen and a standby time of approx 1 hour ) The problem is ...It is simply NOT Cool !!!

Fortunately our Filipino helper has directed me to a man in the market who sells second hand phones for about $HK150-200 . Apparently he supplies her with phones which she sends onto the Philippines This I got check out !! Will I get a discount ?

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