11 February 2013 (Monday) - Still Snowy

When I'm working (and not on a late finish) I get up at silly o'clock, pootle about, check my emails and go to work (usually in that order). This morning an email came in at 6.25am, which is just before I would have been checking emails, telling me about a new geocache which had been hidden on my way to work.
The description of the cache is one of those that tells you exactly where the cache is to be found. So, had I been working today I would have had the email, been on my way, and would have found the cache at (about) 6.50 - 6.55 am. And I would have been the first person to find it; beating the chap who was actually first to find who found it at 7.05am. But I wasn't working today, so I missed the chance for an FTF.
There is great kudos in the geocaching world in being the first to find a cache. And (quite frankly) being first to find one in Ashford takes some doing. There are several people locally who operate as teams (rather than as individuals as I do) and so can have one person regularly checking emails and phoning other team members who may well be closer to newly published caches. And there are those who work odd hours (like I don't!) who are able to be out and about when others aren't. And there are those who seriously delight in being FTF so much that they will abandon anything to fly out of the house at a moment's notice to be that FTF-er.
One of the caches I hid last week was found within twelve minutes of being published (!)

I had the realistic chance of an FTF today. I doubt I'll get another for some time. Interestingly when one goes thirty miles away into Sussex, no-one seems bothered about being first to find. A good friend's cache went three days before being found for the first time. That wouldn't happen here.

DLA arrived shortly before 8am, and I got up, brekkied, and we took the dogs for a walk. The overnight snow had laid, despite predictions. For all that there are those who ridicule the piddling amounts of snow that we have had, the amount we've had is a pain. Not enough to play in, or to be scenic, or to actually be worth having. But enough to make everywhere alternately icy and sludgy. Anywhere off tarmac was just icy floods and swamps today, and so we abandoned our plans for a decent walk and stayed on the dull paths instead.

Home, and as DLA vanished off to do her thing I did dull paperwork for an hour or so, and then spent another hour working on the presentation I'm doing for the astro club: Comets.
The word on the street is that there will be two spectacular comets this year; at least one of which will be bright enough to see in the daylight. Personally I am cynical. I would dearly like to see a daylight comet. My grandmother told me about the ones she saw - in 1910 there were five of the things. On average they happen (about) once every ten years so we are long overdue one. But every year the pundits predict great things from comets that never live up to the hype. I hope comets PANSTARRS and Ison live up to expectations, but I'm not holding my breath.

The Rear Admiral visited at mid day for a cuppa, and then as he set off I popped round to Pets at Home. They do the cheapest dog food for miles around. And then I sat down and did some proof reading. I've done it before for a published author, and was only too happy to offer my services to another literary friend. The book is... something I might discuss in future blog entries; but not just yet.

I had a phone call. Rather than trying to flog double glazing, or lie about computers spamming the internet, the latest ruse from India is to pretend that you are phoning from "a firm of solicitors" about a road traffic accident involving "someone in your household". The chap (who could barely speak English) was incredibly vague about which firm of solicitors he was phoning from, and was even vaguer about who in my household had been in said prang. However his information came directly from the "road traffic accident department" so its veracity was not to be questioned (apparently).
Sometimes I hang up on callers like this. Sometimes I string them along. I was bored when he phoned. I think he probably had a quota of suckers to con, but I had time on my hands. It was fifteen minutes before he realised I was deliberately wasting his time.

Apparently he changed the rules so that it would be possible for an incumbent Pope to step down, and then he jacked it in. I can't say I blame him; it must be a thankless task. He's apparently not a well man and feels that someone a tad more sprightly might take the job on. Good luck to them - I bet the job goes to someone who will be at least ten years older than I will be when I hope to retire...

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