30 November 2013 (Saturday) - Hashtags, Stuff...

lI saw every hour of the night last night; eventually giving up and getting up shortly after 6am. I watched a couple of episodes of "South Park" that I had recorded onto the SkyPlus box. For no reason that I cold fathom Kenny had announced that he was a Japanese princess and had declared war on anyone who begged to differ. In doing so he was apparently at odds with the entire Microsoft corporation, but the senior executives of Sony had allied with him.
It was entertaining enough as I shared my toast with my dog.

And so to work. Having had something of a hint about that geocache I couldn't find over the last two days I could have gone searching for a fourth time; after all it was (sort of) on my way to work. But I decided against it. I shall wait until revised co-ordinates are issued. At the moment the thing might be anywhere.

As always I listened to the radio as I drove. Peaches Geldof would seem to have caused a rumpus having tweeted the names of people she shouldn't have. Personally I'm amazed that Twitter allowed anyone to post anything as long as someone's name. I can't stand Twitter. I need more than 140 characters to be able to have a good rant. And others who tweet who also need more than 140 characters have to resort to tinyurls which could go absolutely anywhere, or to incomprehensible hashtags.

Comet Ison warranted mention Apparently it is now official that the thing broke up whilst going past the Sun, and whilst the largest remaining fragment is (only just) bright enough to be visible in a perfectly dark sky *if* you knew precisely where to look, it is dimming fast.

I arrived at work. I did my bit. In the past I've said that I don't mind working at the weekends. I suppose I don't really, but I wasn't feeling it today. Perhaps it was because this wasn't my scheduled weekend to be working (I'd swapped). Perhaps I was a little under the weather. But I was hardly the life and soul of the party. Perhaps I might have felt better about the whole thing had the weather outside been worse so I wouldn't have felt I was missing out on anything. And with my bit done I came home again.

And once home my piss boiled. Some plum has accused me of falsifying a geocache log. How petty. But in making this accusation and having deleted something I wrote over a year ago this twit has stuffed up all the scorings and numberings that I have done over this last year.
When I get a moment I shall look through this fellow's profile and delete anything he's ever logged on any of my geocaches. I can be pettily small minded as well you know...

29 November 2013 (Friday) - Sleep, Orion

I had a rather disconcerting dream last night. Hospital management had decided there was no money to be made from the healthcare business, and so from next Monday I was to be a professional cheesemonger. Whilst I can eat cheese with gusto, I haven't the faintest idea how I might mong the stuff, and I woke up in a panic at 2.25am.
The remainder of the night was rather restless. I got up before 7am, watched the last two episodes of "Day of the Triffids" and then phoned my new doctor's surgery. They gave me an appointment shortly after 9am, so I quickly took "Furry Face TM" round the park where he was incredibly well behaved; even off the lead.

Home to drop off my dog, and then on to the doc. After a short wait the doctor asked what she could do for me, and why did I need a double appointment? I told her that I was there at her instructions because as part of being a new patient she had to review my medication. She asked what medication I was taking. I told her - none. That stumped her.
She then said that my being there was rather a waste of everyone's time. I agreed. She did ask if I was generally in good health and I told her about my insomnia. She called up a web site and we did an on-line questionnaire, the outcome of which was that my insomnia was possibly indicative of an underlying medical condition that should be investigated. It was at this point that I turned to the doctor and said "over to you".
Before she could say anything I told her that this has been going on for ages, I've already tried Horlicks and hot milk, and maybe I might be referred to a sleep clinic. She readily agreed to this, and I am now waiting for a letter from the hospital.

I collected my dog, and we continued our walk. We went up to Kings Wood. We found four of the geoocaches which had been hidden yesterday, but the one I couldn't find yesterday still eluded me. Whilst we were out I fell over in the mud and "Furry Face TM" nearly (but not quite) got to roll in fox poo.
Once back home again I attacked the household accounts. Could be better. So in a fit of pique I spoke with the the mobile phone people to whinge at them. They immedieately agreed to give me more - I got 50% more data and 1000% (yes 1000%) more monthly call time for 50p a month less.

I had planned to do some ironing this afternoon, but the time had run away from me. It was time for astro club. Despite having no tin opener (!) we had a good evening; Steve talked about the Sun, there was news about the latest developments with the proposed observatory; I hawked the raffle. In a novel break with tradition the clouds parted and we got to see stars. For the first time I could make out the entire constellation of Orion including his spear and shield. And I could also see the crocodile out of which Orion was bashing seven shades of sh*t.

I have since been told that there is no such constellation as the crocodile...

28 November 2013 (Thursday) - Stuff

I wasn't especially late to bed last night, but the gentle rythmic breathing of er indoors TM" woke me at 2.30am. Her gentle rythmic breathing was rather impressive. I eventually got up before 5am feeling rather rough; last night I'd had a couple of glasses of rose wine with dinner, and I woke with a rotten hangover that lasted most of the day.
As usual I shared my toast with "Furry Face TM". This morning I watched two more episodes of "Triffids". I do like the series but I have one niggle. (What is life without a niggle?) At one point the two main characters have a disagreement. Ten minutes lates the same disagrement arises, but with the two protagonists taking up what had been the other's side of the argument. There had been no change of heart; just a lapse of concentration on the part of the scriptwriter.

I checked my emails - a series of geocaches had gone live overnight. And they were only five miles from home; in Kings Wood. I had time to look for one before work so I went for what looked like being the easiest to get at. I had a look for it... but the GPS wouldn't settle down, and there's not much fun stomping about on your own in a known doggers' car park half an hour before dawn.
I shall go back when there is some daylight; it's amazing the difference being able to see can make. It later transpired that other people couldn't find that one either. If I had chosen another I might have got an FTF. Oh well... such is life.

I carried on to work listening to the radio. Yesterday I ranted about the proposed Scottish independence. Today that topic boiled my piss even more. For all that they pre-independence lobby wants Scotland out of the UK, it still wants Scotland to remain part of the European Union. How does that work? Giving up one union in favour of another? I can't help but feel that a lot of it is pure anti-English sentiment.I nterestingly the Spanish feel that if Scotland leaves the UK is automatically leaves the EU by default and should have a rather tricky time getting back in. Mind you the Spanish have their own secessionists to worry about so I suppose that in many ways they have a vested interest here.

Yesterday I was also rather disparaging about the police. They do themselves no favours. Today's news also told the sad tale of a chap who had been beaten and burned to death because the local scratters thought be might have been a paedophile.
The sad part of this story is that these allegations were known to the police; had been investigated and found to be false. And furthermore the unfortunate victim had already highlghted his ongoing harrassment to the police.

Once at work I did my bit and then came home again. Over a rather good bit of dinner we watched episodes of "Come Dine With Me"; we have over sixty episodes recorded on the SkyPlus box. Best get them watched...
And in closing it looks aas though comet Ison has finally fizzled out. I said it would...

27 November 2013 (Wednesday) - This N That

My little dog seemed rather subdued this morning, but not so subdued that he wouldn't eat half of my brekkie. And having scoffed my toast for me he curled up on my lap and snored whilst I tried to watch "Day of the Triffids". It's an old series first shown on the BBC thirty-odd years ago, but I like it.

And so to work. You would think that anyone cycling on a main road (which has no street lights) half an hour before dawn would have lights and wear reflective bright colours. No? Well, I would have thought that. The two cyclists I nearly mowed down disagreed with me on that matter too.
As I drove I listened to the radio. The latest development in the campaign for Scottish Independence amazed me. An independent Scotland will apparently retain the pound as its unit of currency. How on Earth can they try to be independent of the rest of the UK when they will have their financial matters dictated to them by the Bank of England? Isn't the shambles of the Euro enough of an example?
And there was an interview with the leader of the UK Independence Party who was being questioned about his views on the Prime Minister's announcement that anyone immigrating to the UK will not be entitled to any benefits from now on.
For all that our country shouldn't be handing out benefits willy-nilly, it was rather worrying that narrow-minded jingoism was clearly seen as a vote-winning political policy.

I stopped off in Morrisons for some fruit, and then after having done my bit at work (and comparing notes about tattoos) I came home again. The radio was staging a debate about the role of the police in society. Should they be law enforcers or should they be guardians of public morality? Arguments were advanced for both points of view. For myself either would do. But in my experience currently they do neither.

26 November 2013 (Tuesday) - New Doctor

After a swift bit of brekkie I took "Furry Face TM" on a walk. Today we did a rather standard circuit thought the park and on to Singleton Lake. I was expecting to run in to Orangehead, but neither she nor her chunky little friend was anywhere to be seen. Which was something of a relief. As we went into the Bowens Field wetland park I took the lead off of my furry associate, and the lead stayed off for about a mile. He was really good; coming back when called and not rolling in anything untoward nor shagging that which he shouldn't either.

Once home I did an hour’s homework, then went on to the doctors. I say “doctors” – I went along to see the nurse who would effectively give me an M.O.T. and see if I was worth the risk of taking on. The nurse seemed quite chatty. She weighed me (I’ve but a lot of weight back on) and took my blood pressure; it’s 130/70 which is better than it has been. But still there is room for improvement.
Notwithstanding all this she gave me the “thumbs-up” and I have been accepted at my new surgery. I now have to make a double appointment with one of the doctors who will review my medical history and my medication. I did gently hint that I’m not actually on any medication, but that would appear to be a piddling detail.

To celebrate I bought myself a cream cake. For all that the new doctor’s is only a couple of minutes’ walk away; it is next door to the chip shop and only a few yards from the bakery. I had my cream cake for lunch. It was most enjoyable. Whilst I scoffed it I watched a film. Following on from yesterday’s “The Great Rock n Roll Swindle”, today I watched “Breaking Glass” which is another old favourite of mine. Interestingly the DVD case still had the receipt from when I bought the DVD. That DVD was bought new in 2002. Eleven years ago a new DVD cost £12.99. I thought it interesting how DVD prices haven’t changed that much; if anything they have got cheaper.
And on watching the film I was again amazed and impressed at the skills of the saxophonist. I would like to learn to play the saxophone. I see that as one of my next great projects. So as a first step to this goal I need to obtain a saxophone. I had a look on-line; they aren’t cheap. If any of my loyal readers have a saxophone that they don’t use, could I borrow it?

The phone rang. It was “Edward” from the servers of the World Wide Web. Apparently he had detected my suspicious activities and he was going to “un-new the registrations of my computers” unless I gave him the passwords to every on-line account and profile that I had. I told him to get knotted and hung up. I did the 1471; he’d phoned from a London number (0207 9760 439) which (after a llittle Googling) I found was a known number from which many nuisance calls originate. I would report the all, but why bother. These people will just call from somewhere else.

I then checked my letter rack. I had a letter from the power company saying that he cost of leccie and gas was going up for which they were very sorry. They then gave a detailed breakdownn on how it would affect my bill. I didn't like to say anything, but the rate per unit that I will be paying from January will be cheaper than I am paying now.

er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of scran, and we set off via Queen Street to Somerset Road for the weekly gathering of the tribes. Insults were bandied and we watched the Peter Davison Doctor Who annniversary piss-take before settling down to an installment of "Merlin". In tonight's episode Sir Lancelot croaked. Personally I felt the chap was akin to bread and butter pudding with legs, but his being dead won't help the plot much. Wasn't he supposed to pork Guinevere?

Meanwhile I saw this wonderful video on You-Tube What does the fox say?

25 November 2013 (Monday) - Swindle

Another good night’s sleep. Wiith very little on the itinerary for today I took “Furry Face TM “ down to Park Farm. We like our walks, and there was geocache maintenance to be done in the area. About a year ago “The Man with no Alias (patent pending)” was rather disrespectful to the entire notion of hunting small plastic boxes with GPS technology and so I hid six of the things within striking distance of his abode. Like everything in life they need periodic maintenance and so that was my mission for the morning.
What can I say… We needed the walk, but it was rather frustrating to find that someone had already done the maintenance on all of the caches I’d set out to maintain. I’m not complaining as such; I am only too happy for anyone and everyone to do my cache maintenance for me. All I would say is that if anyone is going to save me time by doing this, I wish they would tell me that they’ve done it so I don’t waste that time going out to do a job that’s already been done for me.

We came home, and over a cuppa I did the monthly accounts. Oh dear. Over the last few months I’ve had serious car expenditure and vet bills. Perhaps discovering the ale houses in Folkestone last month wasn’t a good thing. And last Wednesday’s trip to Chiquitos was certainly something I won’t be doing again soon.
I wouldn’t say I’m completely penniless; it’s nothing that cancelling Christmas wouldn’t put right.

I then did some domestic drudgery. Hoovering (with a Dyson), washing and even sewing. I spent half an hour asleep with my dog on my chest, and then spent a little while reviewing my programming skills (such as they are). Much (all) of what I know about computer languages is all self-taught. All of what I know about computers is either self-taught or what I have gleaned from either watching Chris put the networking back together again or heckling as Jose repaired the smouldering carcasses of computers that I have broken. So I’ve decided I am going to remedy that deficiency. Starting In February I am going to learn all about the Internet. Why not learn with me? I’ve done three Coursera courses so far; this one looks interesting as well. And it’s free, which is a bonus.

With ‘er indoors TM  of bowling, me and “Furry Face TM “ settled down to watch a film. “The Great Rock n Roll Swindle” isn’t to everyone’s taste. I suppose you had to be there really. I was - it was quite some time ago now…

24 Noovember 2013 (Sunday) - Ramsgate

After a good night's sleep I was raring to go. And so we went. In total five of us and two small dogs went in search of plastic boxes.. Firstly we tried for a First to Find and failed. Mind you that cache went live three weeks ago and many have tried. It's rated very easy so I'm sure it's gone missing.

We then moved on to Pegwell Bay where after a few minutes we found the way to the beach. Getting to the beach wasn't easy; it was actually a rather scary descent. Once on the beach we soon found the tunnel we were looking for, and having tunnel-ratted through some serious mud we found the geocache we sought.
And whilst the tide was still low we then hurried round to Botany Bay where we failed to find a geocache in a tunnel last week. Having spoken with the chap who'd hidden it we had more of an idea where to look. Well, we had no idea; all the chap had actually said was that where we thought was the obvious place was not the place to look at all. And so we did what we should always do when looking for something. We searched with open minds; not searching were we thought it might be and ignoring everywhere else. After a few minutes the elusive cache was in our hand. I was rather pleased about this cache; there aren't many with difficulty rating 4/5 and terrain rating 5/5. In fact this was only the third such I've ever found.

We then moved on to the main business of the day. Ramsgate. We sheltererd from the rain to have our picnic. As the rain became torrential we considered going home. But idiot enthusiasm triumphed over common sense, and the rain soon stopped anyway. We followed a guided tour of caches around Ramsgate taking us to sites wheere there used to be tunnels used for various purposes. We intended tunnel-ratting; but all of the tunnels had long sence been blocked off. Which was a shame.
At one point we heard a terrible noise and looked up. It was like something out of a horror movie. A 747 jumbo-jet was coming right for us. It turned out we were on the flight approach path for Manston airport.

We found the house in which Vincent Van Gogh taught in Ramsgate. We walked round the harbour and as far out as we could. We nearly (but not quite) got soaked by waves washing over the harbour arm. And when the fishermen weren't looking "Furry Face TM" ate some of their lugworms.
We had a really good walk round Ramsgate. And I took a few photos whilst we were out.

All too soon it was time to come home. By 4pm it was nearly dark, and so we came home where I washed the mud off of my dog who then promptly fell asleep. er indoors TM" set of bowlling, and having quickly checked cyber-space I settled down for my Sunday evening fix of "Jeeves and Wooster". I then followed that up with episodes of "South Park" annd "Big Bang Theory" before falling asleep during a documentary about killer asteroids.

23 November 2013 (Saturday) - Doctor Who

After a surprisingly good night’s kip I found myself woken by having my nose licked. I can take a hint, so I took “Furry Face TM “for a walk. We were a little later getting going than usual so I thought I’d brave the park in the hope that the runners had already done their thing and had gone home. They had. Also being that little bit later we missed OrangeHead and her chunky little friend.

I then set off to Folkestone. On my own. ‘er indoors TM  had all sorts of things to do; as (so it turned out) had everyone else.
I had wanted to see the Doctor Who exhibition in Folkestone. The one earlier in the year had been… well, it had been a disappointment, but it had been a first. I’d hoped today’s show was going to be bigger and better. I was met from the train by the Rear Admiral and we made our way directly to where it was all happening.

As we walked there was a minor commotion. A woman was lying collapsed on the pavement. There were people with her seeing to her. I felt rather guilty walking past, but I couldn’t have done anything to help.
We soon found the exhibition where I was warmly greeted by the Cyber-Leader who (it turned out) is a person who is actually on my Facebook list. We chatted for a bit, then he went on to terrorising the children. It was good to be on first name terms with a Cyber-Leader, but today’s show was something of a disappointment. What was done had been done well, but there was only two cybermen, a dalek, K9, and a sickly-looking Davros. We gave it five minutes then wandered off. We listened to the Gospel choir singing carols for five minutes, then went round to the Firkin alehouse for a pint or two of lunch.

Kipp’s alehouse had a really good stout on; and then I turned the Rear Admiral to the dark side. There are four Munzees in Folkestone Harbour. I captured them all, and he downloaded the Munzee app and joined in. We had a celebratory pint in the Lifeboat, and then it was home time.

I came home to find ‘er indoors TM was still on her mission, so I took “Furry Face TM “ for a walk round the block and then me and my dog shared a kebab as we watched “Carry on Behind”; a rather lame film but it passed the time until the much-heralded Doctor Who anniversary special was on.
And the Doctor Who anniversary special itself.. I won’t go into too many details because I realise that a lot of people will have SkyPlus-ed it to watch later. In short I liked it. I didn’t think I would. I will watch it again with my finger on the “pause” button because a *lot* of continuity and fanwank (for want of a better term) has been slipped in.

My dog slept through the lot. He seems very quiet this evening. I hope he’s OK…

22 November 2013 (Friday) - Stuff

My little dog was somewhat subdued last night. I came home to find that in a moment of laxity he had eaten er indoors TM" 's best pyjamas. She wasn't happy; and was even more enraged when he wagged his tail at her as she lambasted him for his lapse. He was in serious trouble. Poor little thing.
When she wasn't looking I gave him extra doggy treats to make up for his being told off.

I woke this morning to see that the tricky geocache I'd been planning and working on had gone live overnight. When I found this out it had been live and unfound for seven hours. That is unheard of in Ashford.
I was worried; had I done something wrong? I checked. All was as it should be. Either no one had tried for it, or it had done what it was supposed to do and had foxed people. Eventually the cache was found for the first time shortly after 5pm. Nearly a whole day; that is an eternity in Ashford caching. Perhaps I *have* devised something fiendishly difficult?

And so to work. The journey took somewhat longer than usual; a learner driver was having a driving lesson, and drove the twelve miles from Ashford to Chartham at thirty seven miles an hour. The speed limit for most of that journey is fifty miles an hour. I watched a seemingly endless stream of people overtake the string of patient traffic behind that learner. Those overtaking took some serious risks for which the driving instructor must take some blame. I realise that people have to learn; but at rush hour on one of the busiest stretches of road in the county?

As I drove the presenters of the morning's radio show were interviewing someone or other; I wasn't really paying attention until I realised that whoever was being interviewed was becoming more and more evasive in his answers. As another presenter tried to bring the interview to a close the first presenter became more persistent in questioning her victim. When told that there wasn't time to continue with the interview she actually said (live on BBC Radio 4) "sod the timings". I did laugh.
After that, the morning's installment of "Desert Island Discs" was rather dull.

And so to work. One of my colleagues (the inestimable "Soup Boy") claimed never to have heard of SpongeBob SquarePants. I don't think I made as good a job as I might out of persuading him of the merits of the show. Somehow he couldn't understand how a crab could have a whale for a daughter; nor could he get his head around a superhero called "Mermaidman".
We also investigated a wonderful website: www.famousbirthdays.com Whilst my colleagues shared birthdays with such erstwhile people as Mohammed Ali and Walt Disney, I am saddled with Michael McIntyre and Charlotte Church.

With my bit done I came home. I had half a mind to hide another fiendishly difficult geocache, but the lateness of the hour and the torrential rain put me off of that idea. Which was probably a shame...

21 November 2013 (Thursday) - Mr Krabs

I took myself off to bed last night shortly after 10.30pm. I woke at 1.15am, and then lay awake until finally giving up and getting up just before 5am. The sooner I can change GP surgery and get referred to a sleep clinic the better.
When I came out of the bathroom after my shave I saw an incredibly tired-looking small dog on the sofa; he'd come down to share my morning toast. I (we) scoffed my toast whilst watching the last episode of "Earth 2". That series started well, but I'm glad it's run its course. I could never take the lead character seriously since I learned that the actor playing that part went on to do the voice for Mr Krabs in SpongeBob SquarePants. i wonder what series I will find next about which I can be disparaging.

I set off to work through a very damp and black morning. As I drove I listened to the radio. It would seem that journalists from the BBC's "Panorama" program have uncovered evidence of all sorts of military misdemeanours from forty years ago.
Whilst what the British Army supposedly did was very wrong, what does the BBC hope to achieve by stirring up this story. It all happened forty years ago. At best it will just be upsetting to all involved; at worst it may well spark off more sectarian violence. Those ultimately responsible for the crimes are probably safely dead.
Why can we not let sleeping dogs lie?

I stopped off in Morrisons for some fruit on my way to work. They have their Christmas decorations up. It's good that this year people seem to have left it later before putting up the tinsel and baubles. Hopefully this year we won't be sick of Christmas before it arrives.

Once at work I did my bit as best I could. I did seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in "Trap Two". Having spent over fifty quid on eating out last night I seem merely to have left myself skint for the rest of the month and to have given myself a dose of the "two-bob-bits". We could have had better food in McDonalds on three seperate occassions for less expense.

Today was dull...

20 November 2013 (Wednesday) - A Birthday

I had a surprisingly good night’s sleep last night. A quick spot of brekkie and I took my dog for a walk. Whilst we were out I hid a geocache. Having seen some rather clever caches here and there I thought I’d do something not entirely dissimilar. It was a shame that it started raining whilst we were out. We did get rather soaked.
Having put up with “Furry Face TM “ barking at every form of transport known to man my patience was wearing thin. It was when he barked at a mobility scooter that I shouted at him. Rather forcefully. That made him jump; but I think it did the trick. A few minutes later he started to bark at a passing milk float and stopped himself in mid-bark and turned to me with a rather sheepish expression.

We came home and dried out, and then I went down the road to the dentist for my gob’s semi-annual service. Nothing needed doing, and I am not due back with the fangquack until next May; which is good. Whilst out I went on to Musgrove medical practice and filled out all the forms to transfer to them from my current surgery. I came home via the bakers shop with a Belgian bun for lunch.

I then spent a couple of hours doing the ironing whilst watching a favourite film of mine.I do like that film; but I have to watch it whilst doing something (like ironing) or I fall asleep. And then with laundry done I went into the garden. There is a load of work to be done out there, but just as I went out it started raining, so I contented myself with just turning off the pond’s pumps for the winter. Re-shingling and lawn mowing will have to wait.

I received an email. That really clever geocache on which I’ve spent several days preparing had been turned down. I won’t say why; suffice it to say that it got the thumbs-down, but two other caches identical in the crucial respect were recently allowed. I asked the reviewer why my one was turned down whilst these others weren’t and the reply was interesting (if somewhat rude).  I was told that acceptance of one cache hide does not mean that others of the same ilk might necessarily be accepted. And I was given a link I might use to appeal his decision.
I have appealed, but the establishment sided with the reviewer. It always does. My gut reaction was to formally apologise for giving my time and effort to help their company to make money..

The original plan for the evening was astro club committee, but I had forgotten a special birthday, so instead we went round to Chiquito’s for Lacey’s birthday meal. Lacey enjoyed herself which was the main thing. Personally I thought it was overpriced; I would have preferred McDonalds, but Lacey wanted Chiquitos…