31 May 2014 (Saturday) - Going Underground

Even though I had a decent night's sleep I was still up and watching "Family Guy" a couple of hours earlier than I would like to have been. Mind you the jollop the doc prescribed for my nose has done some good. I've only had one squirt and I can feel a difference.
I had a go at the household accounts (could be better) and also the astro club's account. And then with"er indoors TM" still firmly ensconsed in her pit I popped into town to pay some of the astro club money into the bank. The bank used to have a decent, efficient, organised, modern queuing system. Due to popular demand (!) it has been replaced by the old-fashioned standing in a line waiting your turn. I registered my disdain for this nonsense with the "customer service representative". She wasn't interested.
I got some Belgian buns for lunch from Greggs, and then went round to the milk shake shop. I had a bakewell tart milk shake. I watched them make it from two bakewell tarts, milk and ice cream. How cool was that !!

With buns scoffed I was then off to sax practice. Teacher seems pleased with progress so far; this week I have "Z-Cars" and "Last of the Summer Wine" to master. "Z-Cars" is reasonably straight-forward, but "Last of the Summer Wine" is rather tricky; there's slurs, flats and all sorts of musical wotsits to accommodate.

I came home and fell asleep. Lisa and Earle woke me when they came round, and together with "er indoors TM" and "Furry Face TM" we went to a rather obscure country lane near Canterbury where we hid a geocache. Several yards underground and a couple of dozen yards into a tunnel which allows a small river to flow under a hill. The water was only ankle deep, but it was a tad cold.
And with caches hidden we came home via the Artichoke in Chartham where we (I) had a couple of pints of Shepherd Neame's finest.

After a rather good bit of tea "er indoors TM" set off to film night. I ironed some shirts and dozed in front of the telly. I wasn't feeling especially well. I hope I'm not going down with a bug...

30 May 2014 (Friday) - Nasal Polyps

I've now watched all of the "Game of Thrones" episodes on the Sky-box. The thing doesn't have season four yet. I shall have to find something else to watch before work. So in the meantime today I roughed it with more "Family Guy" as "Furry Face TM" helped me scoff my brekkie toast.

The morning's news boiled my piss. Teenaged girls have been raped and hung in India because ignorant and superstitious locals disapprove of anyone who doesn't subscribe wholeheartedly to their variety of barbaric morality. The news went on to say that this sort of thing goes on all the time.
And France faces civil unrest from a vocal minority who didn't like the results of last week's elections. I can't say that I was overly impressed with the results of last week's elections, but this is the main drawback with democracy; namely that reasonable and educated people have to put up with the consequences of the misguided decisions of the stupid, ignorant and misguided.
Both these articles of news made me think. As a child I had no idea of what the future would hold. But I was pretty sure that it wouldn't be this sort of thing. I expected so much more. Is humanity never going to improve?

And so to work. I did my bit for a while. When I had a minute I phoned the G.P. to whinge about the delays to my referral to an E.N.T. specialist; having my right nostril feeling as though it has a golf ball stuffed up it is rather painful. The G.P. was clearly sick of the sound of my whinging, and they suggested I phoned the E.N.T. specialist myself. So I did. After a little judicious whinging I found myself seeing the specialist a couple of hours later.
The specialist confirmed wht I've been saying for some months; I've got a huge nasal polyp blocking the insides of my right nostril. It needs to be surgically removed, but before I go under the knife I need to have a scan to see if the polyp is straight-forward, or if it has entwined itself round my right eye, brain, and/or other assorted bits of my head. It's all quite exciting really.

I met Jimbo and Stevey for McTea, and then it was on to astro club. A demonstration of the latest space-simulator software; Stevey gave a planetarium show, and there was even telescopes involved...

29 May 2014 (Thursday) - Fetch

Another night with more than six hours sleep. This is becoming something of a habit.
Over brekkie (shared with my dog) I watched last night's episode of "The Tomorrow People". As well as having implausible sex, the show also featured rather implausible science. Admittedly scientific nonsense is the main premise of any sci-fi show. However for it to work beleivably, the trick is to have a scientist write much of the techno-babble; that way the scientific jargon used might just be remotely plausible. If the thing is based on fact it may have just the teensiest credibility. Trying to create dialogue from words read (but not understood) on Wikipedia doesn't do the trick.
I watched the latest episode of "Derek" too; Derek went on a date. It was really sweet.

I then took "Furry Face TM" for his walk. On the way we saw Frankie-Doodle; an ex- best friend of "My Boy TM" and an ex-cub scout of mine. He's done well for himself over the elast few years; he's now richer than my entire family combined.
I took my dog to the park. Yesterday I'd bought him a new toy - a tennis ball complete with throwing stick. Today we tried it out. I flung the ball into the distance. He woofed, ran after it, destroyed the ball completely and brought me back the remains. Oh well, that was seventy pence down the toilet. If any of my loyal readers have any tennis balls they don't want, I still have the throwing stick...
I had trouble getting him to come back to me at one point. A passing normal person was feeding "Furry Face TM" (and all the other dogs in the park) with dog-treats. I wish people wouldn't do that. As I put the lead on to my dog (who didn't want to be dragged away) I asked the chap with the treats if they were lactose-free diabetic-friendly low-salt treats. The chap's jaw dropped. He had no idea. I gave him and the assembled throng of other dog-walkers a sickly smile and suggested that we should all hope that those dog treats were harmless as I for one didn't know which dogs were diabetic or had allergies.
I'm sure this chap meant well, but I wish other people wouldn't feed my dog without asking first. I maintain that a previous cat of mine died because I couldn't get her in at night because a well-meaning busybody wouldn't stop feeding her (despite having been asked not to countless times)

Once home I mucked out the washing machine's filter. I had this idea it might have been the worse for the mud that had been on two pairs of walking shoes that I fed into it a day or so ago. It wasn't; for which I was grateful. I then did an hour's ironing whilst watching "Game of Thrones". Unlike Tomorrow People this lot have real sex because they take their clothes off first before getting jiggy. The beasts (!)
And with ironing ironed something rather unusual happened. My perfect precious little puppy got a smack.
He had been worrying at the back door. I knew he didn't want the toilet. I knew what he wanted. I warned him, but I gave him a chance... Once I'd opened the back door he ran down the garden, shouting all the way, and started throwing himself at the fence trying to upset the dogs next door. Exactly how I knew he would. He's been told off so many times about that, and today I saw red.
He certainly took notice this time.

Feeling quite the bully I set off to work for another late shift. The home brew shop was open today. They had the fruit beer I was after. At three times the price of a beer kit in Wilkos )and making less than half of the volume too). Needless to say I didn't get any.
Another rip-off was the price of sandwiches in Morrisons' petrol station. Again I forgot to make lunch, so I thought I'd pick up a sarnie whilst getting petrol. Sandwiches were £2.50. The same thing (in less fancy packaging) in the Cheapo Bargain shop was 99p. So I drove round to the Cheapo Bargains shop. They were also doing bags of Walkers crisps for fifteen pence a bag. You can't say no to a bargain like that.

The rest of the day went relatively well; sax practice was good. "Yankee Doodle" is coming together, and two other tunes I only ever squawked for the first time some five days ago are now reasonably recognisable.
I came home; the radio featured a religious service broadcast from the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square to celebrate Ascension Day, marking the moment when the risen Jesus ascended into heaven, leaving his disciples with the joyful promise of the gift of his Holy Spirit (apparently). In a novel break with tradition they had dispensed with dirge-music and were employing jazz instead. it didn't do it for me...

Oh - and my rash still itches.

28 May 2014 (Wednesday) - This n That

I had seven hours sleep last night. That can’t be bad. After a swift brekkie I took "Furry Face TM" round the park. I had two intentions in doing this. Firstly walking "Furry Face TM" is always a good thing to do as that dog does get fractious if he is not walked to destruction. And secondly I wanted to see if my walking shoes had survived two separate episodes in the tumble-drier yesterday. At first I thought they might have shrunk a little, but they seem none the worse for their ordeal; even if the heel of the right one does seem to squelch a little.
Whilst we were in the park we met Bernie. In a spirit of well-meaning camaraderie I set my dog on him. "Furry Face TM" woofed for a bit and ran in circles. That dog really needs to work on his "attack mode"; he's not very good at it.

We came home and I had a go at the monthly accounts. Not good; not bad. There is an overspend of an odd £18.66 that I can’t explain, but such is life. I did dull laundry, and then spent some more time on next month’s presentation for the astro club. It’s so long since I put the thing together that I can’t really remember much of what I had in mind, but it is too late in the day to start a major re-working of the slides.
I shall just blag my way through, and at the parts where I have no idea what the slides are about I shall allude to "space rock thingies" and shout "Uranus". It usually works; it has done so far.

And so to work some three hours later than usual (as I'm now doing early and late shifts). I went via the home brew shop to get the makings of a fruit beer for the summer party. The shop was closed; and it was a quarter of an hour after the time they were supposed to open. Looking through the window they didn't seem to have much stock. I wonder if they've closed down for good? I suppose all the time you can buy the basic beer-making stuff in Wilkos at half the price they are charging they won't stay in business for long.

Realising I'd forgotten to make a sandwich for lunch I popped into the Cheapo Bargains shop. I've missed that place. They do some quality tat.
I then went on to work; and being a few minutes early I set up my music stand at the far end of the car park and had a practice squawk before I went on duty.
After a few minutes of making a rather awful racket an officious-looking chap (brandishing a clip board) marched up and asked if I knew that I was in a designated staff car park. I assured him that I did, and I carried on practicing my saxophone. After a few seconds he stomped off.
Perhaps I should have told him I had a parking permit.
I also had a second practice session over my lunch break (just before the rain started). I'm quite pleased with my rendition of "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain"; even if my E-flats leave a little to be desired.

I took a rather scenic route home - "Soup Boy" needed a lift to the girls' school. He had some story about taking part in a fun run, but I was rather dubious about fun runs at girls schools at 8pm. He wasn't fazed, and seemed glad that someone was taking a moral stance. After all, if I didn't, who else would...?

In the meantime I would seem to have developed a rash...

27 May 2014 (Tuesday) - Squawking

Despite a rather arduous day and a late night yesterday I was still awake at 5am this morning. Finding our walking boots still rather damp from yesterday's hike I popped them all into the tumble dryer for an hour. They didn't make quite as much noise as I thought they might. I wonder if the tumble dryer will be good for anything now.
There was a minor hiccup over brekkie; on Saturday I'd bought a new load of jam (I like jam); today I couldn't find the stuff, so instead I roughed it with marmalade on my toast. "Furry Face TM" didn't help me eat the crusts; he didn't stir from his basket at all. He too was feeling the burn after yesterday's miles of walking.
As I scoffed brekkie I watched "Game of Thrones". There's not may episodes of that left in the Sky-box's box set selection. Probably just as well; today's episode saw the death of pretty much all of the good guys.

And so to work through a rather damp morning. The news bore little of note. The Prime Minister is sulking after his drubbing at the recent elections, but nowhere near as much as the Deputy Prime Minister is sulking.
The Pope is again apologizing for the failings of the Catholic Church and is promising that the child abuse scandals won't happen again. One of his critics was being interviewed who claimed that a convicted paedophile is still in office as a bishop somewhere in America. If this is true then it looks like His Holiness has a golden opportunity to put his money where his mouth is.

I stopped off at Morrison's on my way to work; as well as the errant jam I'd also run out of coffee and sugar. Since I was last there Morrison's had moved everything about in their store. I wish they wouldn't do that. And then on to work for an early start. I've not had one of those for a few months; I quite like the early start.
Over lunch time I had a sax practice. Rain meant I was practicing whilst sitting in the car. Something wasn't right; there was far too much squawking. Sometimes my sax is really squawky, and other times not. I wish I could figure out what causes the racket.

As I drove home the pundits on the radio were discussing the first appearence of Rolf Harris in court defending himself. Among the allegations levelled against him are misdemeanors he supposedly committed whilst filing the celebrity "It's a Knockout" in 1975. In his defence Mr Harris pointed out that he wasn't actually involved in that show. I did smile about that. If I was going to cry in court and pretend that some celebrity had fiddled me forty years ago, I'd at least have the sense to find a celebrity who'd been in my general vicinity during the time about which I was going to make up stories.
Are we going to see yet another celebrity sex case to be exposed for the shallow attempt to extort money from the famous? I expect so.

Once home I took "Furry Face TM" for a quick walk, and then I got my sax out again. It went incredibly well. I have now formulated a theory. I rarely squawk at sax lessons. I get to lessons early and suck my reed for quite some time before. This evening I was sucking like a good 'un for some time before blowing. At lunch times I have very little sucking time. I shall take my reed into work tomorrow and suck it on the way to the car at lunchtime.
Let's see what a good suck can do.

26 May 2014 (Monday) - Nineteen Point Two Miles Of.....

After two terrible nights I slept from 11pm last night right through till 6.30am this morning. I was rather pleased about that. For the first time in ages I wasn't wide awake and wasting time watching telly for hours whilst waiting for the rest of the world to wake up.
I did have a quick look at the news this morning. The election results are in. The winner is.... well, I think the polls are deceptive. With only one third of the electorate bothering to vote, I can't help but feel that the resounding winner of the recent European election is apathy. Why did so few people vote? Were there no candidtes worth voting for, or did people *really* not understand what they were voting for? After all, how many of the noisy UKIP voters actually realised that sending them all back on the next banana boat goes hand in hand with privatising the NHS?

And so on with our walk. Every weekend we go off geocaching with the dogs. It's a good hobby; it's always a clearly marked guided walk. Today was different... Should the Cache Owner of today's series ever read this I'm sorry for any offence caused. It is not my intention to be rude. I realise a lot of effort goes into preparing a geo-walk. But...

We drove quite a long way away today. We went to the furthest reaches of Essex to do a series of fifty geoocaches. Billed as "a core circular walk of about 8 miles ..... For the more adventurous there are also two loops", I looked at the map. The two loops were quite small in comparison to the main walk. And so bearing in mind that the distance of geo-walks is always under-estimated I expeected a total walk of about ten to twelve miles.

So we set off. We saw an adder. We listened to skylarks. We admired quite beatiful scenery. But... despite GPS technology we struggled to find our way. Footpaths were not maintained on today's walk. We found several footpath signs pointing into jungles which were over six feet high with weeds and nettles. Many of the geocache sites were found today by blindly following the GPS arrow rather than attempting to use non-existant footpaths.
And the geocaches themselves... I'm all for a tricky hide. But fifty of them in one series? A series of caches along a path should be just that - along a path. Under a rock, in the bole of a tree. Not ten yards deep in inpenetrable thickets. Especially not when there are plenty of obvious hides. For example when faced with a footpath signpost, the obious place for a cache is at the base of that signpost. Not six feet away under a brick which is surrrounded by nettles which are four feet high.

There's no denying that the raiin didn't help; we did get rather wet. We got back to the car rather later than planned; the car being at the start of one of the optional extra loops of the series. In retrospect we should have gone home there and then. But I for one wanted to see all of the series; surely it couldn't all be that bad... So we did the final loop. (And got soaked)

Part of finding a cache involves a hint. "Up a tree", "under a rock". One cache described as being "waist height" was in the roots of a tree. Another described as being "low down" was chest height in a tree. One of them involved me forcing my way through one hundred yards of jungle with no paths to be seen anywhere.
We went expecting a walk of ten to twelve miles; the recorded distance at the end was nineteen point two miles. I'd hoped to finish sometime in the late afternoon; we got home at 11pm.
I realise that someone somewhere put a lot of effort into preparing today's walk. But (I'm sorry to say) I cannot recommend it to anyone...

But, as always, I took a few photos whilst we were out. If nothing else it was rather scenic.

25 May 2014 (Sunday) - Family Day Out

Despite CPAP technology blasting air up my nostrils at huricane force and despite the soporific effects of six pints of assorted ales last night I was again wide awake and watching boobie-dumplings and weeners in "Game of Thrones" shortly after 5am this morning. For all that CPAP technology does give me more sleep, it's still nowhere near enough. After three hours of telly I went back to bed for a couple of hours. I can't usually do that.

"My Boy TM" arrived with his entourage and we set off to Folkestone where we met up with "Daddies Little Angel TM" at the coastal park. A picnic in the sunshine, a spuddle in the sea, fun in the play park, an ice cream and then home. As we drove home we became aware of a rather foul odour. "Furry Face TM" had the aroma of a three-week dead cod. Presumably he'd been rolling in one on the beach.
We came home via Orlestone for geo-reasons. Without wanting to go into too much detail, much of the Wheri-Planning I'd done in the week was based on what I thought was a public car park. It turned out that what looked like a public car park on aeriel view maps was actually someone's back garden, and all my calculations were hundreds of yards out. Woops!

Home; where a certain dog was bathed. And having then fallen in the fish pond he was then bathed again. "er indoors TM" set off bowling and I watched more "Game of Thrones" whilst ironing shirts and sorting undercrackers.
I'll be off to bed in a miinute. My infernal nose is still blocked on one side. It has been all weekend. I shaan't sleep much agian.
This is becoming a nuisance...

24 May 2014 (Saturday) - 40th Party

Despite CPAP technology blasting air up my nostrils at huricane force and despite the soporific effects of six pints of Doombar (supplimented by a couple of bottles of light ale) I was wide awake and watching boobie-dumplings annd weeners in "Game of Thrones" shortly after 5am this morning.
I was on the G.P.s doorstep as they opened at 8.30am. The reason I don't sleep is because I have sleep apnoea; I stop breathing whilst I'm asleep. I do that because I can't breath because my nasal passages bung up. The CPAP machine does its best, but it is only palliative. The cure for my problem is to have an E.N.T. surgeon rebore the bit from the top of my conk to the back of my throat. I told the G.P. that on 29 November. She sent me to the sleep clinic (which was all very good) and the sleep clinic agreed with me. They actually wrote to the G.P. andd said I should be referred to an E.N.T. surgeon. The G.P. claimed never to have seen that letter. Fortunately the sleep clinic had sent me a copy, so I gave a copy of the copy to the G.P. today, and reminded them that under NHS guidelines and standards I could expect to see an E.N.T. surgeon within six months of my first approaching the G.P. I also reminded them that they had five days left, and three of those were in a long Bank Holiday weekend.
I don't like being rude and obnoxious, but sometimes being "Mr Nice Guy" just doesn't work.

"Robin Huss" arrived, and we made our way to the Brookfield Road cafe where we met up with Sarah and Steve, and (after having done a tour of Ashford) by Terry and Irene as well. We all had a rather good fry-up. You can't beat a good fry-up after a night on the beer.
It was really good to meet up with friends we see all too infrequently; but goodbyes were said, and then Steve and I went down to the Denverarium to put up the astro club's new event shelter. I say "new"; it arrived last October and has stayed in the bag in one of the lock-ups until now. We got the thing up in a surprisingly short period of time. It looks good; I'm pleased with it.

It was then time for this week's sax lesson. Teacher seems reasonably pleased with my progress; this week we've broached the tricky subject of E-sharp and the little finger. And with sax lesson saxed we went up town for a little bit of shopping. Whilst there a thunderstorm hit, and we did our good samaritan bit. A wheelchair-bound little old lady was trying to get a taxi home. Every taxi driver refused to take her, and left her in the torrential rain. It was more than their jobs were worth to take someone in a wheelchair (apparently), so we gave her a lift to Kennington. We came home via posh shopping in Sainsburys and a flying visit to "Pets at Home" for dog requisites.

Once home we had coffee and cake for tea; being still rather stuffed from the earlier fry-up. I checked out the internet; I lost count of the comments about "typical English weather" which had been prompted by half an hour of rain. Has everyone really forgotten the glorious weather we've had recently?
And then it was back down to Park Farm for a fortieth birthday party. Ale was sunk, insults bandied... two consective evenings of excess; can't be bad...

23 May 2014 (Friday) - A Wedding

There was a minor disaster this morning; only three slices of bread left. So I made my sandwich for lunch with two of them and had the slice left over for my toast. When "er indoors TM" gripes about where all the bread went I shall tell her that "Furry Face TM" ate it and let him take the flack. That dog can do no wrong in her eyes, so everyone will be happy.

Having watched telly and checked out social media I navigated my way to my car. Being dustbin day the recycling bins had been intricately strewn across the pavements in such a way as to ensure maximum inconvenience to all pedestrians. It's actually easier to shove the bins back where they came from rather then putting them here there and everywhere, but the bin men delight in leaving carnage in their wake. They also seem to enjoy scattering loads of litter from the bins that "accidentally" falls out along the way.

To work. The pundits on the radio were holding a post-mortem on the results of yesterday's election. The parties of wanton greed and shameless opportunism had their arses handed to them on a plate. Well intentioned incompetence did better than had been expected, but the overall winner would seem to be racism.
The pundits were questioning whether racism was actually a winning policy, or whether it was just a form of protest. I cannot help but hope that this current trend of voting for blatant racism is just that - a protest. Mind you it's a protest that I hope that won't be repeated at next year's elections (which actually count for something). This form of protest vote could end up being akin to crapping the bed in protest at something which is going on three streets away, and then having to lay in a crapped bed.
And to those of my loyal readers who think I should shut my rattle about things political... I sympathise, but cannot help but see several historical parallels between these elections and what went on about ninety years ago. (What am I on about? - Read some history !!)

The radio also featured an interview with Stewart Copeland, drummer of "The Police"
Apparently he's not only a drummer but he's a composer too. And he was talking about becoming a conductor too. After all, as he said, a conductor is only a drummer using just one stick.
He gave quite an interesting interview really.

Home, and with "Furry Face TM" walked we put on our glad rags and went up to the Elwick Club. There was a rather serious gathering of the clans for a wedding reception. It was a really good party; the band were rather good; and I am reliably informed their guest vocalist was in a field of his own (and sounds better in a field on his own). After a little while it all became rather vague, as is always the case when one or two are gathered together.
I shall be rough in the morning...

22 May 2014 (Thursday) - Election Day

I had a terrible night's sleep; the CPAP machine is all very well for pushing air through constricted airways, but it can't do anything when those airways are completely blocked. So I was up and watching "Game of Thrones" before 5am. I then watched "Derek", and nearly cried; it was rather sad when his dog was put to sleep.

To work; as always listening to Radio Four through the crackling and fizzing of the bad reception. The opera world is up in arms because the latest star of Glyndebourne is (apparently) too fat. She's only fifteen years old; I would have thought that the critics would have had the common decency not to have been so personal and nasty about the poor girl. The star of the opera world Dame Kiri Te Kanawa was interviewed about the matter on today's radio show. She was furious; and I agreed with her. There are enough youngsters going anorexic for no decent reason without pompous privileged windbags upsetting more of them.

And the Police Federation weren't very happy either. The Home Secretary has made a speech to them telling them that one person in three actively distrusts the police, and that if they don't get their act together, then Parliament will do it for them.
I've often said that the motivations of anyone seeking to join the Police Force should be seriously questioned. Whilst there certainly are good coppers, there is a school of thought which says that anyone who actively wants to be a policeman shouldn't be allowed that power. Long ago I came to the conclusion that the best way to police the country is like they do in the Channel Islands where there is a very small permanent police force which is bolstered by members of the public each effectively being "called up for National Service" and acting as a police officer for two years at a time.

Much the same "call-up" system might be a better way to run the country rather than the current way we choose our politicians. After all just consider how many of those have recently been shown to be in power only to feather their own nests. And (perhaps more worrying) consider just how many people went into the polling stations today with no idea at all of for whom or what they were voting?
Something which has become rather painfully obvious over the last few days is that the vast majority of the electorate had absolutely no idea about the choices for which they had to vote at today's election. Here's a brief summary of what I could have voted for.
I had the choice of no less than fifteen political parties:
  • Six advocated blatant racism
  • Three were tree-huggers
  • Two were well-intentioned incompetents
  • One was the popular face of wanton greed
  • One was unashamed opportunism
  • And two were just there for a laugh
I'll let my loyal readers work out for themselves which was which. And I hope my loyal readers decided for themselves which to vote for. However I'll relate a few observations which influenced my vote.
  • Before voting to send them all back on the next banana boat I had to bear in mind that none of the racist parties had any policies (at all) other than to send them all back on the next banana boat. And once they'd all been sent back on that banana boat there would have been no doctors or dentists left, nor anyone to clean the hospitals.
  • Having talked with people who had voted tree-huggers into power at the last election, I have been reliably informed that tree-huggers would never be voted in again.
  • Having listened to the promises of the Dribbling Democraps, I remembered that last time they also made promises which they shamelessly abandoned in favour of grasping power.
  • Like them or loathe them, there were very few of these parties with any actual experience of government.
As for myself I certainly voted. I seriously considered spoiling the ballot paper again, but instead I went with my heart. Racism and joke parties were out. As were wanton greed and unashamed opportunism. I seriously toyed with the tree huggers, but it's only been four days since several people told me of four people they honestly beleived to be dead as a direct result of tree-hugger policies. In the end I went for the less militant variety of well-intentioned incompetence. I hope I made the right choice.
History has shown that it rarely has been in the past..

21 May 2014 (Wednesday) - The Two Year Mission

I had booked a day off work today. So with no need to be up early I was watching "Game of Thrones" and "Life's Too Short" before 6am. I suppose I shouldn't grumble; in days gone by it would have been before 4am. With this CPAP thing blowing air up my nose I am getting (probably) two more hours sleep every night. Mind you I am feeling far more tired now I'm getting this extra sleep.

I then spent a little while doing a little maintenance on my lap-top. It's not the fastest of machines, and for all that I am so quick to tell everyone else to scan for .tmp files and to defragment regularly, it turned out I'd done neither on my lap-top for over a year.

To the dentist; after all this was the reason for my having a day off. Just a check-up today; I sat in the hot-seat to find that the dentist has instigated a new scheme. As part of the check-up you get a little bit of paaper giving you your "oral health score" (whatever that is). I got 94% which I am told is quite good.

I quickly mowed the lawn, and we then made the most of our day off. First of all a quick drive out to New Romney. A mult-geocache had gone live yesterday and was still waiting to be found for the first time. After a quick search we got to do the happy dance as we claimed joint FTF bragging rights. If a "normal" cache goes live locally it is found within minutes. But no one bothers chasing First to Find on multis.
We then drove up to Peasmarsh where we took "Furry Face TM" round the woods and found another ten geocaches. They were rather beautiful woods; somewhere we'd never have found if not for the hunt for plastic boxes.
From there we made our way to Four Oaks where we had a rather good spot of lunch in the Rose and Crown.

We then went on something of a mission. There was a puzzle geocache nearby. I'd spotted the conundrum nearly two years ago. It was Star Trek - themed. I'd been trying to solve this one for nearly two years, and last week (after just the teensiest hint) I figured out the answer.
So as we were in the area we had to go get this one.
As we walked back to the car so the rain started. The rest of the plans for the day went out the window and we came home. Via the cake shop.

Once home I had an email. Yesterday I said that the Forestry Commission weren't replying to me. I was being hasty. They have replied and they are very happy for me to stage a geo-picnic in Orlestone woods.
I'm pleased about that. There's no denying the whole geo-picnic subject boiled my piss last night.
I'd mentioned the problems I was having on a geo-forum, and several people gave reasonable and sensible replies. That really wound me up; everyone was utterly missing the point. The point being that there is no room for common sense when dealing with petty bureaucracy. Over the years I have come to find out (the hard way) that if someone with a rule book says that black is white, then you should just grit your teeth and accept it. There is no point in trying to reason, argue or discuss. When dealing with that person, black *is* white.
But nil desperandum; the day is saved and we are "all systems go" for geo-picnic.

20 May 2014 (Tuesday) - On The Radio

Over brekkie I watched more "Game of Thrones"; I'm now on to the third season. Mind you I'm not entirely sure I'm happy with the way the plot is going. It started off as a medieval punch-up; now it's becoming more and more "The Adventures of Harry Potter's many-greats Grandad".

As I drove to work the news told of how the terrorist cleric Abu Hamza has finally been found guilty of his crimes by a court of law.
This chap has been a prominent terrorist and advocate of terrorism for many years, and finally justice has been done. However it does seem odd that having delivered a "Guilty" verdict, the court won't actually do any sentencing until September.
It is also rather strange that there had to be a legal wrangle taking many years to get him to stand trial in an American court for his crimes of having murdered British people. I suppose that bearing in mind the shambolic nature of British courts (about which I have blogged countless times) the fact that he is clearly guilty of several atrocities means that a British court would let him off without question. And would then award him damages as a compensation for his inconvenience.

Every morning I gripe about what I hear on the radio. In the mornings I hear some of the radio show on Radio Four; as I drive home in the evening I hear hardly any of it; the reception is terrible along the A28, and has been for some time. Oddly the problem seems to be confined to Radio Four - I've never had a problem tuning in to any other radio station along that road. I've noticed this on the radios of four different cars over the last ten (or more) years.
Today Radio Four's reception was particularly bad; I could hardly hear a thing. I twiddled the dial and found half a dozen other radio stations from which I got perfect reception. I wonder what is the problem with Radio Four. I phoned the BBC to let them know that there is something specifically up with the Radio Four transmitter. They couldn't care less.
I would change my radio allegiance in protest if not for the fact that most of the other radio stations are just not the same.

I received an email. And my piss boiled. (It does that) Every month the local geocachers have a meet-up which is usually in a pub somewhere in the county. I've volunteered to host the August meet-up and thought that rather than going to a pub we might meet at Viccie Park and have a picnic.
After all the pub's not cheap, and a picnic in the sun would be fun.
Geo-rules say I need to have formal permission to use Viccie Park, so I sent an email off to the council. They replied. They are happy for us to use the park, but if I put up a gazebo to keep the sun off, or put up the county geo-banner I must first show them my public liability insurance.
I've been trying to think of somewhere that isn't council land. The Forestry Commission people won't reply to my overtures. We'll go back to the pub, eh?

With Furry Face TM" walked we set off to Somerset Road for the weekly gathering where I slept through an episode of "Merlin". I used to like that show; it's geting to be rather samey now...

19 May 2014 (Monday) - Never Confused

Despite a rather physically challenging weekend spent going up and down the South Downs I didn't sleep as well as I thought I might last night. But I slept better than I have done over the last year or so; I suppose in the New World Order of CPAP blowing air up my nose, five hours sleep is good.
I got up, cleaned out a beer barrel and got it sterilising in readiness for later, and then watched more "Game of Thrones" over brekkie. It's quite a good show with plausible characters, but it's getting rather tricky to keep count of who has porked who. And I do wonder just how long they can maintain such a high death rate among the leading characters.

To work; I listened to the news as I drove. My piss boiled whe I heard that crackpots are going to allow children (some as young as nine years old) to choose to take drugs which will delay the onset of puberty so that they can decide whether to grow up as they were born to, or whether they want to undergo gender reassignment procedures before hormones make nature's choice for them.
You really have to question whether whatever half-wit came up with this idea has ever actually spent any time in the company of nine year old children. Whilst I am all in favour of non discrimination against anyone over matters of gender and sexuality, the idea of trying to ask such serious questions of a nine year old is frankly ridiculous.

There was another rather laughable article about a competition/challenge (with a ten million pound prize) prize being launched to solve one of the greatest scientific problems facing the world today. That problem being.... well, the competition organisers don't know what the greatest scientific problems facing the world today actually are. But (to their credit) they are going to stage a public consultation to get some suggestions.
Bearing in mind that the public being asked is the same public which holds "X-Factor" and "Britain's Got Talent" in such high regard, I dread to think which matter of piddling triviality will be declared to be the greatest scientific problem facing the world today.
However I suspect that if the public are to be asked, it will involve Ant and Dec.

The Leader of the Opposition was then interviewed live on the radio. He was blathering on about proposed increases to the minimum wage. In years gone by (as a confirmed leftie) I would have applauded his every word. Nowadays... I suppose he means well. But I've no idea what he was actually saying; I wasn't paying attention. He didn't hold my attention.
On reflection I suppose the Prime Minister also means well and he doesn't hold my attention either. (I won't extend my leniency to the Deputy Prime minister...)

I stopped off in Morrisons for some apples and bananas. I got some armpit-squirt too. Morrison's own stuff was less than half the price of the posh brands, so my pits will be Morrison flavoured for the next few weeks. Shaving gel was BOGOF so I got loads of that. We all like a bit of BOGOF.

To work, where I did some (work, that is). At lunchtime I went off to the car park and had my sax practice.
Oh dear..
As I got my sax out I was harangued by a gaggle of passing Eastern Europeans who demanded to know why I hadn't got a parking ticket stuck on my car. I explained that we were in a staff car park and that I had a staff parking permit. My foreign friends demanded to be told where they could get a staff parking permit. I told them. They didn't like what I said. They weren't at all impressed by the fact that the permits were only available to staff; they really didn't like that you have to pay for said permits. It transpired that these people resented having to pay to use the regular car park, and they thought it discriminatory that those who didn't want to pay to go in the regular car park couldn't park for free in the staff car park.
I suggested they might whinge to senior management and sent them off in the general direction of the other end of the hospital. I then practiced various tunes rather badly for half an hour, and just as I was packing up I got a torrent of abuse from a young mother with a toddler. She claimed that the toddler had just toddled all the way (she never did say from where) to come to listen to me, and how dare I pack up just as the audience was forming.
I took a deep breath and explained politely that I was only practicing; not performing. And also that my sax playing is rather dreadful at best. However in the interests of keeping the pubic sweet I offered to give the littlun a private rendition. I asked the kiddie if he would like that and he burst into tears and buried his head in his mother's skirt.
It was at that point that I walked away.

Once home I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. It was a beautiful evening; today had been the hottest day of the year so far, and Ashford had been the third hottest place in the UK today. We went round the park.
Once "er indoors TM" set off bowling I got the latest batch of beer into the barrel, and sat down to watch more "Game of Thrones". "Blondie Dragon-girl" is long overdue a flopping-out...