29 September 2011 (Thursday) - Walkies

As I dressed this morning I noticed that I'm doing both my belt and my watch strap a notch tighter than I used to. Perhaps this diet is working?
My piss boiled as I listened to the radio on the way to work: what is it with the British and the weather. It was glorious from February through to early June. People complained it was too hot. There were some wet weekends over the summer; people complained about what a rubbish summer we were having. And now having had three consecutive sunny days, the radio is awash with talk of "Indian Summers", and devoted ten minutes to the subject. Surely there are more important things to discuss on peak time radio than the weather?

In the past I've always had my lunch in the work's staff room, but since I've been working at Canterbury I've taken to eating al-fresco. I park my car in a corner of some rough-standing (jokingly known as a staff car park), and go there to eat my lunch. I have a wonderful view across the fields as I scoff my scran and browse my kindle.
Whilst munching on my carrot I saw a doctor nervously smiling at me. His car wouldn't start - could I help him? He must have been in dire straits if he needed my help: when the Bat-Mobile went west at Xmas I correctly guessed the alternator was at fault (not that I know what an alternator is), and when the Green Man's window mechanism broke at Teston a few years ago, I passed the screwdrivers. I know nothing about broken cars, but I had a look at this one. The poor doctor looked like he was going to cry if I didn’t help him.
I sat in the drivers seat, turned the key (how quaint!), and rather than getting the normal engine noise, there was a strange clicking sound. I confidently announced that the starter motor was knacked, and that it was a job for a mechanic. The poor doctor seemed so grateful for my sage advice, and I went back to my Kindle, leaving him phoning the AA.
I wonder if it really was his starter motor?

Walkies – and so I picked up the grand-dog Fudge. Walking him round the block shifted a few calories. More so for me than Fudge. My original route had to be amended – there’s now a travelling fun fair in the middle of the park. Where did that come from? So we diverted into the Bowens Field Wetlands. Which were even wetter when we left. For a small dog, he generates an awful lot of tiddle.

Home – where after a spot of tea (325 calories), whist ‘er indoors TM  flogged candles to the assembled throng, I hid upstairs and did the monthly accounts. My car insurance has gone up by fifteen quid a month. When did that happen?
And then I went though my letter rack. The union had written to me. Did I fancy becoming a union rep (again). Possibly. I shall think about that one. A red reminder from the electoral register. They always send red reminders regardless of the fact I filled out the return ages ago. A letter from the car insurance people telling me they were putting their prices up (!) A change to my tax code. Whatever that means.

I then did another on-line survey for which I earned a quid, and then I went to on-line survey dot com, and cashed in my earnings. A few weeks ago I got a voucher for Amazon from them which was worth ten quid: tonight I got another tenner’s worth of Amazon voucher from them, which I spent on books for my Kindle. Two more Terry Pratchett books.
I must admit I’m not sure about Terry Pratchett’s books. I’ve heard such great things about them, and having read one or two in the past I was disappointed. Generally, in life nothing lives up to the hype it generates. So I’ve given it a few years, and I’ve gone back to Pratchett, and so far the books are amusing enough. I’ll persevere with them for a little longer…

28 September 2011 (Wednesday) - Bit Dull

I am told that my grand-dog Sid has recovered from his bout of potty emergency. On reflection I suspect feeding him the two-week old sausage meat I was keeping as a fishing bait probably wasn’t the best thing he could have been eating.

To Asda for an apple and a carrot (I love this healthy eating!!). Whilst there, I thought I'd get some biccies. Rich Tea have a fraction of the calories of other biccies. And they are 50p a pack. But I was thinking diet – low fat biccies might be good.  A pack of low fat Rich Tea was £1.08. Stuff that - there is only so much dieting you can do!
I even had two choccie digestives today – 140 calories !!!

I had a brainstorm on the way to work this morning. As I approached Shalmsford Street I indicated to turn right, slowed down, and drove straight past the turning. What was that all about? So I took the next right turn to (hopefully) get back on course, and then spent twenty minutes lost in Chartham. Twenty minutes - how is that possible? Chartham's a tiny place.

To work, where I did my bit, and then came home again. There was lots I could have done this evening. The arky-ologee club was having a lecture on lidar use (whatever that might be).
Stevey was getting his telescope out on the East Cliff at Folkestone.
But I stayed in and did dull boring paperwork. Sometimes it has to be done. Personally I think it wasted an evening, but what do I know?

Meanwhile my Kindle has become obsolete as Amazon have released the latest version – the Kindle Fire. Expert opinion on the device would seem to be mixed. Whilst it’s an excellent e-book reader, it doesn’t have a camera, nor can you make phone calls on it. The iPad can do all of these things (and more), but for double the price.
I suppose it’s all about what you want from a device really. My toaster makes really good toast, but it doesn’t wash my undercrackers(!). Or do I really want to watch the telly on my lawnmower?
But not to be outdone, Apple are believed to be launching the new iPhone next week. I expect it will be pretty much the same as the last one, but with enough silly gimmicks that those with more money than sense will throw away their old iPhones to get new ones.
Me – I’ll stick with what I’ve got until the contract runs out…

27 September 2011 (Tuesday) - More of Sid

I spent a while on the Internet this morning looking at photographs from last weekend’s steam rally at Kingsfold. The photos were taken by a chap I’ve met less than a dozen times. It’s amazing how the Internet changes things. I can remember people coming onto work with their holiday photos, and everyone else couldn’t get away quick enough.
Nowadays people put an album of photographs up on Flickr or Facebook or Photobucket or some such site, and I for one am transfixed.

And so to the dentist for a scale and polish. What is it with dentist’s waiting rooms - why is there always an angry man in the corner arguing with himself? And why is he always sitting by the magazines so that you can't get a magazine without attracting the nutter's attention? And the magazines themselves - oh dear! Our dental surgery has a whole load of magazines about flying light aircraft all dated 2001 - 2003. Hardly very riveting.
I got in to see the fangquack only five minutes later than scheduled. I must admit my bloke's usually good with timekeeping. That is, he's good with timekeeping or he cancels the appointment the day before. Today was good - and he asked after my tie. I went in there once wearing a tie featuring the various pump clips from the Shepherd Neame brewery, and that tie would seem to have stuck in his mind.
The fangquack had a root round in my gob, took some X-rays and sent me on my way for another six months; on the understanding that if the X-rays were iffy, he'd phone me. He does this a lot: he tells me that the fillings in my fangs are getting old, and that he’ll have to replace them soon. He then X-rays them, and we hear no more about it for a couple of years. He’s been doing this for ages – keeping threatening to replace the fillings, but never doing it. All the time they aren’t hurting, I’m happy to have them left as they are.

Getting to work in Canterbury was then quite a game. I started off stuck behind a tractor which was dragging a very strange metal object. After five miles, that tractor was replaced with one which was spraying hay all over the road. I followed that one from Wye to Chartham which, for those of my loyal readers who don't know the area, is quite a way. By the time I'd waited for idiot drivers to fart about in Shalmsford Street, a journey which usually takes me twenty five minutes took well over an hour.

I did my bit at work, and then came home to find Sid (and his entourage) were visiting. So in the spirit of keeping up with the healthy new lifestyle I took Sid for a walk. It has to be said he’s easier to walk than my other grand-dog: he doesn’t pull at all. If anything I had to drag him about. I had quite a major walk planned, but I had to cut it short as Sid had another engagement this evening.
Unfortunately Sid had a potty emergency this evening. You wouldn’t think that such a small dog could generate so much diarrhoea. Fortunately it was on the lino. Bless him...

26 September 2011 (Monday) - Sid

Last week I grumbled about Sky-Plus and how no one watches telly programs when they are supposed to any more. Last night when I could have been watching Downton Abbey I watched Doctor Who instead. I’ve been really impressed with Doctor Who lately. Up until the most recent episode.
The most recent Doctor Who episode (Closing Time) was something of a disappointment. Quite frankly it didn’t know whether it was drama, sci-fi, thriller or comedy. It tried to be all of them, and wasn’t actually any of them. I was disappointed. I was expecting great things from the episode – a guest appearance from James Corden, cybermen, and the first cybermats to be seen since1975. But the episode was something of a let-down.
I’m beginning to see something of a theme - the last three times the Cybermen have appeared in Doctor Who (A Good Man Goes to War, The Pandorica Opens, The Next Doctor), the episodes have been rather poor.
Which is a shame – cybermen have always been my favourite Doctor Who baddie.

And so to work. I arrived to find a family in full “domestic” at the hospital door. Mother was trying to remonstrate with teenaged daughter who was in hysterics. The more mother tried to reason with the daughter, the more the daughter would scream “You are a f$@*ing retard!!”.
I watched this little drama for a few minutes, before getting on with my daily round.

Hypothetically speaking, it has often been said that an infinite number of monkeys pounding on an infinite number of typewriters would be able to produce Shakespeare's works by accident. It would seem that this adage has been put to the test, albeit using computer simulation of random character generation than monkeys. It would seem that simulated cyber-moneys aren’t doing very well.
But they are doing better than the real monkeys who, when presented with the keyboards back in 2003, produced five pages of the letter "S" and then broke the keyboard.

Meanwhile in Folkestone the menagerie grows. My second grand-dog (Sid) has arrived.

25 September 2011 (Sunday) - Kites over Capstone

I suspect my loyal readers are getting thoroughly sick of hearing about My Fitness Pal. But last night I think it’s fair to say that it exceeded the expectations of even its staunchest supporters. Yesterday afternoon I went fishing, and so I thought I’d see if that counted as burning up calories. It did – three hours of sitting on my bum exchanging insults with the Rear Admiral burned up 980 calories. I can’t see how that works, but if it says so on the Internet, it must be true.
Also that would explain why our bathroom scales told me that (despite having put on a pound yesterday), I’m four pounds lighter today. So I’m claiming those four pounds as vindication of dieting, and will give it another week.

We’d planned to go to Capstone Park for the “Kites over Capstone” event today. I spent a little while this morning (on the internet) trying to find when it started. I could find no reference to the festival on anything that wasn’t either just the name of the event, or was an argument about how rubbish the event was going to be on a kite-flying forum. The local council’s on-line advert for the day made me believe that the day was some sort of bicycle event.
I must admit I was suspecting the worst. It was no secret that many of “the usual suspects” of the kite flying fraternity had gone to other kiting events today: some actually driving past Capstone on their way elsewhere. And after driving thirty miles to the place, I was far from reassured by the stupid girl who met us on arrival. We found a huge banner advertising the event, and a girl standing by the banner, wearing a tabard marked “Event Steward”. I asked this girl where we should park. She seemed surprised to be asked, and thought for a bit. She had a vague idea that the event might be down the road somewhere; possibly on the right, but she wasn’t sure.

I could quite happily have gone home at that point, but we pressed on. We found where we were supposed to be, and where we needed to park. It was at this point that another half-wit in a yellow tabard directed us along a nearby lane. He assured us that would be closer to the kite flying if we followed his directions. I suppose that if you take the phrase “closer to the kite flying” to mean “a much greater distance away from the kite flying than this car park here”, then said half-wit was probably correct.

Eventually we met up with the rest of our contingent, and despite my earlier misgivings, a fun time was had by all. It was a good day, with a decent wind for flying kites (perhaps a tad too strong at times). As we walked in I had seen the stunt bikes doing their things, and I had planned to go have a look-see at some point. But in between flying kites and having a crafty kip, I never got round to it.
It was a really good day. I would like to do more events like this, but I suppose I have only myself to blame. Having made the decision to join a kite club which makes no secret that it is based sixty miles from home (the clue is in the name “Brighton Kite Fliers”), I really can’t expect the club events to be on my doorstep.  

And so home again. I think I must have caught the sun, as I can feel my face glowing. After a really good (619 calories) bit of tea, ‘er indoors TM went bowling. This exercise-diary nonsense has got so that I seriously considered going bowling with her to burn off some calories. But then I realised that going bowling would mean spending money I haven’t got doing something I don’t actually enjoy. So I fiddled about on the Internet instead…