10 September 2011 (Saturday) - Comets
This morning’s haul of emails included one from Becky Brasil who was offering some advice on how I might “set my love tool to thrill”. That was thoughtful of her, but with my back it’s probably best that I turn down her offer. Love tools are best set to “off” these days…..
“My Boy TM ” phoned – would I drive him to the arse end of nowhere to collect some fence panels? So we set off to deepest nowhere, loaded the car up with fence panels and brought them home for him.
He’s got a fence to build - it would seem that my grand-dog Fudge is quite adept at escaping into next door’s garden and leaving his “fudge” there. So far the neighbours are oblivious to Fudge’s fudge, but it can only be a matter of time until they get the hump, so replacing the dodgy fence is a “must”. I suggested that as well as fence panels, he might need fence posts to hold the panels, and met-posts into which to put the fence posts.
He assured me he would sort it out tomorrow. In the meantime Fudge will either cross his legs, or do what he does best.
Together with ‘er indoors TM we went to the building society to pay off the outstanding mortgage money. Having been told on the phone I could just turn up at the branch and be treated like royalty, I was rather miffed to have to queue up with the Great Unwashed. But eventually we got sorted. And after twenty five years the house is (mostly) now ours. We still have a small mortgage to pay for the loft extension, but that’s peanuts compared to what we’ve owed in the past.
We then went on to McDonalds for a celebratory burger, and afterwards had a bit of a mooch round the town with Martin. ‘er indoors TM did some shoe shopping whist I sat and waited and slept and then, just before going home, we popped into the toy shop and picked up a Lego advent calendar. Advent calendars – in September (!)
Home again. We’d not been home long when “My Boy TM ” turned up (minus Fudge) whinging about the cost of fence ingredients. He’d been to B&Q and had had a shock when he realised that you don’t get much change out of a fiver when building a fence from scratch. So we had a rummage in the shed and came up with most (but not all) of what he’ll need. He still has to get three more met-posts and the fence posts, but rather than heading off back to B&Q, he left our house to go up the pub. I could be wrong, but I have a sneaking suspicion he thought I was going to get his missing bits for him. If that is the case, he’ll have another think coming in the morning.
Mind you, he seems confident he’ll get the job all done tomorrow. Hammering in met-posts, putting up fence posts and panels, and giving the whole lot a coat of paint. And all this after an afternoon and evening of serious drinking.
I think he’s being a tad ambitious, but time will tell – it usually does.
I then spent a little while putting the finishing touches to the evening’s PowerPoint presentation. And then spent a long while copying music to a USB memory stick. Once upon a time I had loads of USB memory sticks. Now I have two. Where did they all go? And what is it with USB memory sticks. So many of them have silly crappy security on them that makes them utterly unusable for what I want to do with them. If only I could format them, I might get somewhere. But Windows 7 doesn’t let me format a USB memory stick.
And so to Folkestone to deliver fags and a lego girl angler. After a quick cuppa I took the Rear Admiral to be part of my posse for the evening. I’d been asked to speak to SEKAS on an astronomical topic of my choice. I must admit I was rather nervous about doing so. I’m quite happy to talk to my own astro club – but everyone there knows me. They know what I’m like – they know that I’ve blagged my talk from Wikipedia and that I’m going to shout “Ur-Anus!!!” half way through. But SEKAS are “proper” astronomers and expect better. Or so I thought. I arrived to find a car-ful of friends from our astro club who’d come as moral support, and a dozen or so SEKAS people. Everyone was really friendly and welcoming. My talk on comets went really well (I thought). And after coffee and a raffle, bad weather put paid to any star-gazing so I gave my talk on the Fermi paradox as an encore.
I went along to the SEKAS meeting expecting to be something of a disappointment to them: I came away feeling that I’d done well. Both talks seemed to be accepted – both caused some lively debates and questions. The people there were really friendly. I might just go back there again…