31 October 2010 (Sunday) - Fungarses
Two weeks ago I mentioned that I’d been having problems with my PC in that it wasn’t running as fast as it used to. I’d done some tweaking over the last week or so, but not achieved an awful lot in improving the performance. So this morning I had a rummage around to see what processes the PC was running which might be slowing it down.
There were two processes which related to my Lexmark printer, each of which were running in the background. I wouldn’t mind, but I’ve not had a Lexmark printer for a couple of years. They got the chop. Similarly there were quite a few processes running which were to do with how I connect my Nokia phone to my PC. I’ve not had a Nokia phone for over a year. Those processes got the heave-ho as well.
I then updated my version of C-Cleaner and ran it. It found thousands of temporary files which are now no longer there. I checked the registry integrity, even though I had no idea what that was all about. It found seven problems, and I told it to fix them.
I also reactivated Windows Defender. Having been told by absolutely everyone (only a few months ago) that Windows Defender was Satan incarnate, now it would seem that the general opinion is that Windows Defender is a combination of the A-Team, International Rescue, the Good Fairy and SPECTRUM.
Let’s hope what I’ve done has done some good. Mind you, it has to be said that there’s no noticeable improvement so far.
Regular readers of this drivel may recall an entry from April 10 of this year when I discovered a list of all sorts of organised events which were planned to take place in Kings Wood. Today we went up to the “Fungi Foray”, which had been billed as a walk round the woods to see what things of mycological interest we might come across.
We arrived (in the rain) to find normal people swarming. If it were not for the fact that I recognised some friends who were on the committee of this bunch I would have gone straight home again. But Gaynor and Mick (and their kids) are good fun, and despite my better judgement I joined the Friends of Kings Wood for a year. And then on with the business of the day.
The Friends of Kings Wood had obtained the services of a tame mycologist for the morning, and this chap chatted for a bit, then led us into a field. We had five minutes looking for funguses, and then he chatted for an hour about what we’d found. I can imagine the reaction of my loyal readers on reading this – listening to some professor droning on about funguses for an hour (in the rain)… But this tame professor was wonderful; he really brought the subject to life. He told us what toadstools you can eat. He told us what mushrooms will kill you if you eat them. He told us what ones will send you as high as a kite. He told us what ones he’d eaten and enjoyed. And what ones he’d eaten and been either sick or stoned on. And he did it in such a wonderful and interesting way that we didn’t realise that we’d spent an hour (in the rain) listening to a professor lecturing about funguses.
Professor then got strict with us. He’d come along to lead a walk round the woods, and in over an hour we’d only walked twenty yards. So he insisted that we actually did some walking. We walked for just less than five minutes when he found the really pretty red toadstool pictured above. Then we all stopped again and as the rain stopped and the day cheered up, the chap again chatted about all the funguses we’d found. And you’d be amazed how many funguses you can find in a wood when you actually look. There were puffballs which puffed out clouds of smoke, toadstools which were completely amethyst in colour and are quite edible (and are fun in a salad – watch other people’s reaction!). There were mushrooms the size of a human hair (if you looked close enough), and even toadstools that tasted exactly how old books smell (I tried them).
I was really impressed. Despite the preponderance of normal people I’m quite looking forward to the next event at Kings Wood.
And then home via Tescos. In a break with tradition we didn’t go via Lidls. And once the shopping was done I did something I rarely do – I watched the telly. During the week I saw that an old classic was on the TCM movie channel, so I recorded it, and I spent the afternoon watching “Bridge over the River Kwai”, and didn’t fall asleep once.
After a smashing bit of tea and with ‘er indoors TM gone bowling I got ready for the onslaught of Trick-or-Treat- ers. I *love* Trick-or-Treat- ers. As a child we never really celebrated Halloween, but I did “penny for the Guy” and carol singing, and I loved doing them. There are those who disapprove because of all sorts of valid reasons. And no matter how valid anyone’s reason for disapproving, I still love the whole idea of trick or treat, penny for the Guy and carol singing. And anyone who doesn’t is a “sour-puss-grumpy-face TM”. Unless (of course) the little bleeders have recently set light to your dustbin as some sort of a “trick”. In that case, a degree of reticence is permissible. It’s only a shame (as my son once said) that there is no legitimate way to extort money from the public with menaces between the months of January and late October.
As it happened we only got one lot of Trick-or-Treat- ers, but they were rather scary. And what was even scarier was that they were under the supervision of an ex-cub who was now bigger than I am…