28 February 2015 (Saturday) - Busy Day

Yesterday I mentioned that Leonard Nimoy had died. Overnight more and more tributes to the character he played had sprung up on the Internet. Do people not realise his first autobiography was entitled "I Am Not Spock", he almost single-handely put the skids under the proposed TV series "Star Trek Phase Two" by refusing to feature in it, then suddenly realising what money-spinner Star Trek could be, he completely changed his tune.
Every single tribute (and there are thousands of them) are about his character Spock. Not one mentions his role in "Mission Impossible", or the films he directed, or the five albums he recorded. He was far more than just one fictional character.

It was a damp mucky morning; we took "Furry Face TM" round the Godinton estate helping with geo-maintenance. Whilst my back as turned he found (and smeared himself in) the most humungous pile of fox poo imaginable. We then walked a furter two miles through the mud and rain with the stinkiest dog imaginable.
The dog in question seemed happy enough though.

We came home and stinky had a bath. Three seperate shampoos and hose-downs to remove the worst of the smell. We then wrapped him in a blanket and settled him down and went to Folkestone. A quick bite of Subway for lunch (chicken tikka; very tasty) and then on to visit "Daddies Little Angel TM". Smallest grandchild was cute; his big brother claimed to be very strong and attempted to beat me up. I claimed he was very weak, and we wrestled for much of the afternoon. He wasn't that weak really, but I would never admit as much to him.

Home; a quick tidy-up, and then we had a game of cards. Three rounds of Texas; three rounds of Omaha. I was knocked out of both. Things mightt have been different had there been a nine in the putative straight, but you can't have everything...

27 February 2015 (Friday) - Astro Club and Stuff

I had a wierd dream that I was hugging a teddy bear llike I did fifty years ago and woke to find I was hanging on to my dog as though he was a rag doll. He didn't seem to mind though.

Over brekkie I read something which made my piss boil. You-Tube isn't making a profit. This is seen as very bad by those who own the thing because the only reason it is there is for it to make money. Personally I quite like You-Tube. All sorts of fun and obscure videos to watch, and free video hosting for myself. But the actual business of video hosting is secondary to making cash.
The museum in Hastings Old Town is up for closure because it too doesn't return a tidy profit.
It's a really sad indictment of our capitalist society that everything has to turn a fast buck. I've just spent a large part of the last few months desiging GPS games for the general public who will play them for free. It's cost me hours (weeks) of time and a not insubstantial amount of cash (for the physical aspects of the game). I don't want or expect any financial return whatsoever.
Am I the one who's got it wrong?

I put the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went for a little walk round to Frog's island where I field-tested my GPS "Snakes and Ladders" game. It seemed to work well. It was a shame that I've inadvertently put it on a football pitch, but people wanting to play it will just have to plan their day around the vagaries of football. Most people do that anyway...
Narrowly avoiding having my dog eaten by what looked like bear on a lead we came home where I hosed the mud from someone's belly and then booked camping for the upcoming geo-event in May. I've got used to cheap camping at kite festivals; a "proper" camping site is rather expensive in comparison.

I saxed for a while. "Star Trek" is coming along, as is "Blackadder". I can get so much sax practice done all the time a certain Patagonian Tripe-Hound is terrorising cats and birds in the garden.
Eventually he came in and I put my sax away. Over lunch I watched another of my new DVDs. "Platoon" is supposed to be a classic. I felt it was sadly lackiing a plot, and I slept through most of it. Eventually I woke; totally failed to solve a geo-puzzle for Sunday, and tehn set off to McDonalds where I met Jimbo and Stevey.

We shoveled McScoff down our necks then went on to astro club. Rather a good meeting; over eighty people turned out, clear skies (for those who like that sort of thing), good talks, and good company.

Oh, and Leonard Nimoy died today.. The Internet is full of mourning for the character for which he was most famous. I suspect not many people have read his biographies...

26 February 2015 (Thursday) - Snakes, Ladders and Filth

Finding myself dozing off over the telly yesterday evening (I *hate* that!) I toook myself off to be shortly after 10pm and slept like a log round to 7am. I wish I knew what causes the difference between the good and the bad nights.

After brekkie I made ready for the new door's arrival, and sure enough the nice people from Everest were soon on the case. As they worked (for want of anything better to do) I programmed a virtual badger to play "Snakes and Ladders". As I messed about so my dog started barking. A postman walked up to the door, filled out one of those "there was no one in" slips and pushed it through the letterbox. I ran out and waved it at him. he asked my what my problem was. I explained he'd just put the thing through the door and there was someone in. He assured me there was no one in when he pushed the card through the door. When I quibbled he told me he was paid to deliver letters, not to argue, and he walked off.
I complained to the Royal Mail (who weren't in the sllightest bit interested) and after a *lot* of farting around it turned out that the parcel wasn't for me at all. It was for people who used to live next door.

With the new door in place I went on-line and downloaded the Ivor Biggun Album "Handling Swollen Goods". I had it on CD once; it's gone missing. I found that download is far cheaper than CD, so I replaced it with an e-album. I copied it to a memory stick and then sang along all the way to Folkestone where I went to visit the baby.
He can roll over now. Clever lad.

Back home, and after a little more "Snakes and Ladders" I then went to sax practice. I'm still having trouble sorting a sharp from a flat, but I'm getting there. This week's homework is from my TV themes music book. "Star Trek" and the theme from Blackadder.

"er indoors TM" set off to a hanndbag party (!) and over a raather good but of scoff I watched one of the DVDs I bought yesterday. "Green Street 2" was (in all honesty) crap. The first film in the series was about football thugs. This film was about football thugs in prison. It was utter tripe even if it did feature Marina Sirtis of "Star Trek" fame.
I then played more "Snakes and Ladders" until 11pm when I put the game onto my phone. I've done as much with it as I can from the laptop. Weather permitting I shall field-test it tomorrow...

25 February 2015 (Wednesday) - Busy, Busy...

I woke to the sound of rain this morning. Somewhat depressing. But as I scoffed brekkie so the rain slackened off. By 8am it was just fine drizzle so I put the lead onto my dog and we went for a walk. Firstly some geo-testing, and then home through Viccie Park where OrangeHead made a point of blanking me. Silly woman.

Once home I hoovered (with the Dyson); a couple of days ago the neighbours put a box outside their house. "Free Teddies" was written on the box, and inside were unwanted teddy bears. I took one for my dog, and today I hoovered up all the stuffing that was left.
I then had a sax practice. I've been skimping on that this week. I can do a half-way decennt rendition of the introduction to the theme to Star Trek. Trouble is I can't get any further into the tune because "Furry Face TM" will insist on singing along.

I scoffed a sarnie whilt watching "Extant"; I've caught up with the backlog of episodes and am now up to date with the show. It's quite entertaining, but is clearly written by someone who knows nothing about science. Like most science-fiction really, I suppose.

I then popped into town for a little mooch. I took my new shoes to have the heels replaced with ones that won't leave marks oll over the liino at work. The shoes cost a fiver, the new heels cost over a tenner.
I also went into the CEX shop and got several DVDs. All films I would have liked to have seen when they first come out, but now far cheaper. Six for ten quid - can't be bad.
Whilst in town I was rudely harangued by some woman collecting money for the Red Cross. She proudly boasted of how their efforts subsidise the Fire Brigade and Ambulance services. Personally I'm not sure this is a good idea. All the time do-gooders are shoring up deficiencies in the public budgets no government of any political party is ever going to fund public services properly. Look at the state the schools are in. We have to stage jumble sales to buy the text books. I told the woman this; she'd clearly never thought about it and got rather aggressive.

As I was out and about my phone pinged. Something had been posted on social media. A Member of Parliament has publically stated that astrology, along with complementary medicine, could take pressure off NHS doctors.... (takes a deep breath...)
Let's not make any mistake about this. he is talking rubbish. And as for those who feel that he is entitled to his opinion... he is *not* for two reasons. Firstly because he is talking out of his arse. And secondly because he is a Member of Parliament and as such he's in a position of responsibility. People will assume he knows what he's talking about.
I've said it before; democracy is a bad idea. it only works when people aren't demonstrably stupid.

Once home I had a phone call. My new door is ready; would I be able to have it fitted tomorrow? Yes, I would. That surprised them. Tomorrow is now door-fitting day.
I then set about several weeks worth of ironing whilst watching one of my new DVDs.
I was under the impresson that the film "Prometheus" was a prequel to the "Alien" series. It wasn't. If it had been intended as such then whoever made it might have benefitted from having watched the "Alien" series. I'm not saying I didn't like it. Far from it; it was quite good. It was just rather at odds with all that had appeared on screen before. Or am I the only person who feels that continuity is a vital part of any series of films.

"er indoors TM" texted. She was off out candlemongering and i was left to my own devices for tea time. My first thoughts were to go foraging in the direction of KFC or the kebab shop. But I was feeling rather worn out from the day's exertions so instead I had a look in the freezer. I was convinced that even I could boil up a pizza. After a bit of effort I did. I scoffed it whilst watching another DVD I'd bought; "Goodbye Charlie Bright" was a British film; the sort of thing I quite like. With pizza scoffed I sorted undercrackers for a while,
These long winter evenings just fly by...

24 February 2014 (Tuesday) - Sax (dot co dot uk)

Several years ago I turned away from the telly because it was crap. I looked to the Internet and found all sorts of other and better crap on it. And now with my Google ChromeCast I can broadcast this other and better crap to the telly. What goes around comes around.
I spent ages last night streaming my favourite You-Tube videos to the telly. UltraVox, South Park, ELO, Sparks cover versions, Parenthetical Girls, Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show, Gay Daleks, even all the things the lesbian pirates said too.
Bearing in mind my penchant for using sat-nav for finding sandwich boxes, sometimes I wonder if the high-tech wonders of this modern age are wasted on me. It's possible I streamed too much; I had a rather disturbing dream that my smallest grandchild's first words were "doesn't Grandad watch a load of rubbish?"

I was up early today - I took my dog with me to get the car M.O.T.-ed. We left the car at the garage and walked home. As we walked guess who picked a fight with what looked to be the love child of a grizzly bear and a dinosaur. As usual with most dog-disagreements it was my one that was full of gob and the other one that backed down. It was only when we were half way home that I realised I’d forgotten to pick up poo-bags. I’m usually so OCD about dog-dung-bags.
I was so pleased that "Furry Face TM" didn’t need to drop anything this time.
Once home I had a quick tidy-up and then I went through my letter rack. First of all I checked my bank and credit cards statements. They are always worth checking - they aren’t always right. We got a free drink out of the Royal Oak in deepest Sussex last year, and it looks like I got a consignment of geocaching kit for free a little while ago as well.
Whilst far from rich, the accounts are looking far rosier than they were over the forced austerity of the last few years. I then found a voucher the garage had sent me a while ago for five quid off my next M.O.T.. I was just putting it in my pocket for later when the phone rang. My car was ready; M.O.T. passed. Result.. All that needed doing was one light bulb needed replacing.
So me and "Furry Face TM" walked back to WIllesborough to get the car. The garage had offered to come collect me, but a walk does us both good.
I don’t think it did any good for the three spaniels on whom my dog declared war though.

We came home, and over lunch I watched the episode of “Extant” from two weeks ago. It was quite entertaining. I then hopped into the car and drove to Crowborough. There is a rather good specialist saxophone shop there.
I’ve never seen so many saxophones; there must have been over a hundred on display. They were rather sexy. I was rather taken with a dark grey one which was only slightly more expensive then the new back door I’m buying.
But I didn’t need a new sax; I needed a new mouthpiece. The nice man set me up in a soundproof practice room and I tested out three mouthpieces before deciding that they really did all sound different. It was only a shame that the one I liked the best was the most expensive one.
I bought it anyway; my current mouthpiece cost me more than the saxophone to which it is attached.

Home (via a crafty geocache) and I watched another episode of “Extant” whilst the washing machine did its thing with some whites. Half way through the episode I had a phone call from someone from "Geoffery Masons" who was trying to pull some kind of PPI scam. I wasted fifteen minutes of his time before hanging up on him.
I then spent a little while fiddling with ny two latest Wherigo games. I shall field-test them tomorrow (weather permitting). I suspect one is ready to go, and one is not quite there yet.

Being Tuesday the clans gathered, and unlike last time I was able to get along. There was sausage rolls and cake. Cheesey Puffs and port. And even Star Trek too. Can't be bad..

23 February 2015 (Monday) - Wherigos, Chromecast

I would have slept better if not for a rather vivid dream in which "My Boy TM" had bought the local church hall as his house, and having found a small African boy lliving in the basement brought said small African boy to live with us because I would be kind to the child.
I woke and couldn't help but wonder what that was all about. I didn't sleep much after that. I got up probably an hour earlier than I really needed to whilst on a week's holiday and fed a week's worth of undercrackers to the washing machine. I then scoffed brekkie whilst my dog snored next to me.

Eventually I prodded the dog awake and we went for a quick walk round the block. We stopped off at the vets so I could weight him on the dog scales. The vet has given orders for him to go on a diet. He's been on a diet for a few weeks now, but he's not lost any weight.
We came home, and whilst we waited for "er indoors TM" to leap into action I watched songs from "South Park" on You-Tube.

We then drove up to Chislehurst. On the Monday around my birthday me and "er indoors TM" try to do something to mark the occassion. It's often difficult to find something to do as many places are closed in February. I suggested going to play hunting Wherigos. I've hidden lots locally, but there's not much (i.e. absolutely nothing) for me to find. The closest ones were in Chiselhurst; so we went up and Wheri-wandered. We went for four of the things, we found all four. Each one had a little tourist guided that went with it. All quite interesting really - we found the house of the chap who invented Bank Holidays.
And there was even a bonus Earthcache too.
As we wandered we found a pub at lunchtime just as the rain was starting, so we had a rather good meal. And on the way home we had McFlurries with toffee sauce. Very nice.

Once home I put the washing machine doing its thing, and with "er indoors TM" off bowling I set about ironing my shirts. Or I would have done had the washing machine not taken over two hours to do the "one hour quick wash" cycle. Whilst I waited I set up my ChromeCast amd transmitted You Tube videos to it. I'm sure I will be able to do a lot more with the thing... once I know what it is and what it does.
If any of my loyal readers know what I can do with my ChromeCast I am open to suggestions...

22 February 2015 (Sunday) - Nash Street Bash

After far too much beer yesterday I was wide awake and checking out the Internet at 5.30am. Maybe not as raring to go as I may have been, but certainly drinking coffee. One hundred and four people had used social media to wish me well for yesterday's birthday. Those who run down social media don't realise that soppy sods like me actually enjoy the small things like that.

Being wide awake and feeling rather under the weather (for no explicable reason) I had a bowl of cereal and watched an episode of "Dad's Army". Private Pike had been turned down for the R.A.F because he had a rather obscure blood group. I realise that there aren't many people who know that an obscure blood group would not justify turning someone down for military service. I also realise that there are even fewer who know that "Dad's Army" was set many years before obscure blood groups were even discovered. But it was a failing in the plot which spoiled the show for me.
I then carried on writing a Wherigo which is now ready to be tested.

"er indoors TM" leapt into action, we rallied the troops and set off to the north of the county. The "Nash Street Bash" was billed as a four-mile geo-walk. Admittedly we did wander off here and there to pick up a few extra caches as we walked, but we ended up having covered seven miles.
The day started bright, but cold and the going was rather muddy. The dogs were mostly well-behaved even if Fudge did get stuck in a thicket at one point. We did have episodes with horses and with drain covers, but such is life. In retrospect if I ever see another series with quite so many multi-caches I shall do it in the summer; ten multi-caches made for a lot of standing around getting cold.
Towards the end of the day we saw one geocache on the map which was just a little way off of our route. It would have been a shame to have missed it so we thought we'd have a look-see. I was glad that we did; we found the cache was concealed in a dene-hole. Great fun to get to; my dog refused to climb down with me.

The BBC weather forecast had predicted rain, but not till 5pm. The rain came shortly after 3pm. Weonly had half a mile's walk in the rain, but we did get wet.
I even took a few photos whilst we were out.

After a rather good bit of tea "er indoors TM" set off bowling. I settled in front of the telly for an evening of "Big Bang Theory" with a small dog curled up next to me. Snoring. As I watched the exploits of Sheldon and Leonard I messed about on-line and organised next Sunday's geo-stroll. If any of my loyal readers fancy traising through nine miles of mud in an attempt to find unwanted tupperware next weekend, just drop me a line and I'll send details...

21 February 2015 (Saturday) - Happy Birthday to Me

After a rather restless night I got pancakes for brekkie. Well, it was my birthday. And I like pancakes. After a lazy morning spent playing rock scissors paper in cyber-space we rallied the troops and went to Lydd for the monthly congregation of hunters of tupperware.
The Dolphin was a good choice of venue, and I do like these monthly meets. People come from miles to attend.The ale selection was excellent. But I'd decided to pace myself because I had plans for the evening. Just a couple of pint I'd said... I had a really good time talking tupperware and the ale flowed freely. I think the seventh pint might have been a mistake...

We came home, and I was dropped off at the station where I met up with the first fruit of my loin. On the platform our numbers swelled to five, and we made our way to Wye. A couple of drinks and then everyone arrived. The idea had been a quiet meal, but it was an idea which had grown and was only linited by how many people could physically fit into the Tickled Trout. Initially having booked a table for fifteen we ended up with double that number.
The ale there was good too... It was all rather vague towards the end of the evening. I can remember something about cigars and shouting "Woof!" rather excessively...

20 February 2015 (Friday) - Rock, Scissors, Paper

Finding myself wide awake at 5.30am I got up. I saw the heavy rain overnight had again leaked in under the back door. It might seem odd, but I was pleased about that; it's a problem that justifies the small fortune I'm spending on getting a new back door.
I had brekkie. I had an audience, but I was firm. My dog didn't get the crusts. There's no denying he has become something of a barrel. The vet is right he does need to lose weight. And he does seem to be getting the idea that I won't share with him any more. He then sat with me and snored whilst I played with the newly-upgraded Wherigo-writing software.

Having blagged ten Wherigos from others and re-written them and having then written four of my own from scratch I've had some constructive criticism; they all take too long to do.
I can't argue with that. The first one I ever did (as a participant) was fun but took over four hours to complete. Many of the ones I've put out take over an hour. For the tupperware-hunter in a hurry that's a little long. I've a couple which only take a few minutes, and so I thought I'd come up with (at least) one other. Funnily enough it's the shorter ones (to do) that take the time to write. I'm having a little trouble with my current Wheri-project. Programming a virtual badger to play "Rock, Paper, Scissors" took just over half an hour. However getting a virtual badger to stop playing "Rock, Paper, Scissors" is proving rather tricky.

I set off to work. The pundits on the radio were up in arms about the Greek debt crisis. I'm no expert on the subject, but from what I can work out the Greeks have run up terrific debts causing a previous government to take out a tremendous loan from the other European countries. And now a new government is refusing to pay back what is owed.
Whilst everyone will want what they are owed, I suppose you can't blame the Greeks for trying it on.

Only a small mention was made of Professor Stephen Hawking's announcement that space travel and colonisation of other planets is in humanity's best interests.
It rather amazes me that those on the radio don't see this as the blatantly obvious fact that it is.

I went to work via Morrisons where a couple of coppers had parked up their old-bill-mobile and were getting money from the cashpoint machine. I couldn't help but feel they should do that in their own time; but I didn't say anything.
I got a ton of cakes for the people at work; after all it will be a special occasion soon. I then went on to work where a colleague was bemoaning her recent "porridge disaster". "Porridge disasters" are best avoided if at all possible.

I did my bit whilst others spent the morning picking porridge detritus from various garments. At lunch time I looked out of the window. I was hoping to practice my sax, but the rain was against the idea. Instead I spent an hour reading my Kindle app. I soon got bored with it though.

With work done I came home and despite the rain I took "Furry Face TM" round the roads for a quick walk. When it gets lighter in the evenings we can walk for longer. But not quite yet.
Over a rather good bit of tea we watched more some of the celebrity "Bake-off"... more interesting than last night's drivel in Eastenders..

19 February 2015 (Thursday) - Ticketed

After a relatively reasonable kip I woke at 5.30am and leapt into action. I wish I hadn't, as leaping into action really hurt my gammy neck.
Over brekkie I checked out the Internet. No emails of note, and not much happening on social media. Social media is becoming hard work these days; more and more people are setting their Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook accounts to copy everything they post to every other social network site, so pretty much everything I see is triplicated.
I then looked on YouTube to see saxophone renditions of "When I'm 64" - I'm struggling with the intro and wanted to hear what it is supposed to sound like.
I gave up after two minutes as 6.15 am was rather early to have a howling dog doing his thing (at full volume).

I set off to work a little earlier than maybe I might have done. It was good to be leaving home in daylight though. As I drove the radio made me snigger. There was talk about the ongoing HSBC scandal. Apparently there is a feeling amongst those with axes to grind that the HSBC scandal would be far more publicised if HSBC were not spending a fortune on advertising contracts with leading newspapers.

Is anyone really surprised that here is no profit in upsetting your sponsors? If nothing else it does again show that none of us ever hear unbiased news coverage.

I got to work, and spent a couple of minutes in the car park looking for my lost screw. I couldn't find it. I went in, and soon had an email from "er indoors TM" . She'd got up to find a parking ticket on her car.
Traffic wardens in Ashford boil my piss. They will turn a blind eye to the cars of commuters left all day parked illegally (and causing obstructions) but will ticket cars of residents at 8.01am when the parking restrictions say no parking after 8am.

I bided my time until the lunchtime sax practice. It went reasonably well, and flushed with success I went on to this week's sax lesson where I made rather a stuff-up of everything.

After a brief hiatus I then went round to Park Farm where there was a meeting of the astro club's new observatory project committee. There's no denying I went along not in the best of frames of mind about the project. But what I heard reassured me somewhat. Here's hoping for great things from this venture.

I came home to find "er indoors TM" had "Eastenders" on the telly. Apparently Lucy was going to get killed in tonight's installment and it will be the only topic of conversation anywhere tomorrow.
I watched for five minutes before losing interest. "Eastenders" was rubbish thirty years ago and it hasn't improved in the meantime... 

18 February 2015 (Wednesday) - Stuff

I've had rather bad neckache these last few days. I slept awkwardly one night last week and I've been feeling it ever since. The neck was marginally better this morning; but only marginally.
I spent a little while over brekkie this morning solving geo-puzzles. There are one or two in the general vicinity of where we are planning to walk this Sunday so I thought I'd get prepared. With only the teensiest nudges from friends I soon had most of the answers. I know "Gordon Tracy" has alreay solved them, but his dog will have eaten his answers by the weekend. She always does.
Ironically having solved the puzzles it doesn't look like they are actually anywhere near where we are going to be.

I then took "Furry Face TM" out for a walk. We did our usual circuit of Bowens Field and Viccie Park. We met Mr Misery Guts again. He's a funny one. He has some small rat-line animal on a lead which he never allows loose. He is all smiles to people's faces, but when he thinks no one is listening he swears at the other dogs. He was cussing my dog until I came round the corner when he immediately changed his tune.
We also encountered a dog which must have had a horse and a bear somewhere in its ancestry. It was huge, but that didn't stop "Furry Face TM" trying to get jiggy with it. Even if this dog's "jiggy bits" were twice as high as he is off of the ground.
I managed to get a photo of my dog's face whilst we were out. It's not easy. He won't stand still for photography. He keeps wandering off; and for every one photo of his face I have a dozen of his bum.

We came home to find a flier had been dropped through the letter box for the South Ashford Community Forum. iI've been asked to sign a petition to Ashford Council asking them to convert the local wards into a Community Council which will somehow be far better for local residents and will give us all a greater voice in the management of our local area. Apparently.
I suppose it's a good idea. I'd sign the petition. *IF* I knew where to sign. Whoever sent the fliers out omitted that one vital piece of information. Woops!

Off to work. As always the radio was playing. The pundits were laughing at a Saudi religious-type who was spouting rubbish in a lecture to university students about how the Sun goes round the Earth. His theory was that if the Earth truly was a spinning globe then (somehow) planes would not be able to fly. He was backing up his claims with references to all sorts of theological claptrap.
For all that what he was saying was wrong and was frankly laughable, is it any surprise that the world is in such a state when those who are invited to lecture at university level are actually so stupid? And worryingly a quarter of all Americans would apparently agree with this chap.

I get to work, did my bit. At lunchtime I tried saxing despite missing a screw in my mouthpiece. It went reasonably well.
And then after a rather hectic day at work I came home and we had a rather good bit of scoff. And a bottle of plonk. Hic(!)

17 February 2015 (Tuesday) - A Screw Loose

I had an email from Amazon this morning. Because I'd bought a book of sheet music for the alto saxophone they had some other books in which I might be interested. One was a war tale about French merceneries living some seven hundred years ago. One was a romance story set in 1940s London. Another was a child's book about gorillas. The fourth was James Martin's (who's he?) recipe book.
If anyone can explain the relationship of any of those to the alto saxophone I'd happily buy them.

I then took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. We went round the Bowens Field wetlands park without incident (for once), and my dog them walked nicely at heel all the way along the riverside path to Viccie Park. It was a shame he was walking at someone else's heel, but you can't have everything. Mind you the lady at whose heel he was walking did look terrified.

Once back home I settled him down and went out for a little Wheri-testing. All went (relatively) well, and then it was off to work for the late shift. Before I set off I thought I'd get my shopping and I then watched a minor incident whilst trying to get out of the shops in Singleton.
Two young mothers escorting a tribe of a dozen or so littluns were herding the children into a shop. With only half the tribe through the doorway the mothers decided to start ranting at the children about all manner of trivia. Whilst the mothers were ranting , they were completely blocking the way in and out of the shop.
A passing old biddy suggested that the rant might be better staged outside where decent people could get in and out of shops without having to weave in and out through a herd of unruly brats. Whilst I sympathised with the old biddy, I wasn't going to say anything, and slipped away quietly as the row escalated.

As I drove i listed to the radio. Last night I mentioned that I wondered if the pundits would be harping on about the mockumentary attacking UKIP. They were. With over one thousand six hundred complaints it's become one of the most contraversial TV shows in history. I'm glad I watched it now.

I got to work where I put on my new shoes. My old Doc Martens had finally given up the ghost after two years, so I'm trying an experiment. This new pair of shoes cost a fiver from eBay. A pair of DMs would cost one hundred quid, and would last about two years. That's about a quid a week; if my new shoes last more than five weeks then that's a saving that I've made.
So far they've left a lot of rubber marks on the floor, but what do you expect for a fiver?

I got to work, I avoided as much as I could, and did that which I could not. Lunchtime sax practice went well right up to the point at which I had a look at the loose screw on my mouthpeice, dropped it and lost it. I've been thinking about a trip to the saxophone megastore in Crowborough and a new mouthpiece for some time. Looks like I'll be going there soon.

Once home I did the geo-admin on my Wheri-testing (which is easier said than done). I'm bored now...

16 February 2015 (Monday) - This n That

I was fast asleep shortly before 5am when for no fathomable reason my dog declared "Red Alert" and was running round the house barking. It is possible that the sparrows chirping outside might have startled him; I hope not. We don't need him accompanying the dawn chorus every morning. Ironically he then slept (and snored) whilst I watched "Dad's Army" over brekkie. Arguably a lame show, but it's entertaining enough at 6am.
My dog got up just as I got dressed. I settled him down and set off to work.

I drove to work through a rather foggy morning. As I drove the radio was talking about easing the burdens of our legal system by using "on-line courts." Apparently the powers that be beleive that eBay's electronic dispute arbitration system works so well that in principle it could be rolled out on a larger scale. The theory is that most matters currently dealt with by small claims courts could be dealt with by a similar on-line system.
The fact that no matter what the issue, eBay's eBay's electronic dispute arbitration system just tells the seller to refund the buyer's money is neither here nor there...

I stopped off for supplies at Morrisons. And as usual the self-service checkouts failed. They work fine until you try to weigh something and then their screens start flashing error messages. That was what happened (again) to me this morning. As I abandoned the broken machine and moved to another, the sour-faced harridan charged with overseeing the self service checkouts came bustling over. "What's wrong with that one?" she rudely demanded of me. I told he that she knew full well what was wrong with it; it was the same problem I'd pointed out to her on my last visit. I also told her (rather loudly) that the machines in Sainsburys work fine and the staff there don't have attitude problems.
I could see that she didn't like that, but she realised she was in the wrong. I left her muttering over the broken machine and drove off to work.

Pausing only briefly to replace a missing geocache I got to work for the early shift and did my thing. At lunch time I took myself out to the car park and saxed. "The Pink Panther" is coming along nicely. "When I'm sixty-four" is very much a work in progress, but I'm making progress. Unfortunately "One Step Beyond" is still very much at the aspirational stage though.
My piss did simmer somewhat; I play my sax at the far end of the car park away from the entrance and all the other cars. During my practice about a dozen people went to their cars and drove all the way round the car park (having a good stare at me as they passed) before leaving. What's so fascinating about a fat bald middle aged bloke playing a saxophone rather badly?

An early start made for an early finish, and I was (just) home before it got dark. I got the lead onto "Furry Face TM" and we went for a quick walk round the block. We would have gone further had it not been raining.
I then spent a very frustrating half-hour doing e-shopping. I've nearly got to the end of my sax music book. That book was a general introduction and Teacher recommended I move on to a series of music books called "Guest Spot"; she said I could choose whatever one I liked because they all have different tunes and genres. Both eBay and Amazon sold them, but both filled the the descriptions with what I can only describe as "corporate bollox". With several thousand listed terms and conditions, neither one of them actually listed the tunes in any of the books. Sometimes there is no subsititute to actually going shopping.

With "er indoors TM" off bowling I set about ironing shirts that I didn't iron at the weekend. Being on day shifts at the moment means I'm on five-day weeks. I prefer the longer night shifts - longer shifts mean less of them and so I get more days at home so I can catch up on stuff like ironing. Otehr than ironing shirts this evening I didn't get much else done as a small dog spent much of the evening bothering me to fuss him.

There was an interesting mockumentary about what might happen if UKIP won the upcoming general election. I expect the pundits will be up in arms about it on the radio tomorrow...

15 February 2015 (Sunday) - Otford

It was a late night last night - I didn't get to bed until 2.30am. Despite a tiring day and a surfeit of brown ale, persistent neck ache made for a restless night.
I got up to sad news; "My Boy TM"'s beard is no more. Apparently routine beard maintenance went horribly wrong and to cut a long story short the thing was put down as an act of kindness. I'm told there will be a period of official mourning.

I also saw there was ranting on the "Geocaching in Kent" Facebook page. My piss didn't actually boil, but it did simmer...
When you find a sandwich box in the wilderness and you've done the secret ritual known only to the initiated you then have to log this on-line. There are those who maintain that you come home and *on your PC* (ideally running Windows 3.1) you write a twenty-page essay singing the praises about said sandwich box in the wilderness. Should you find a second sandwich box in the wilderness then an entirely different essay must be written. (I personally maintain that the hobby is a treasure hunt, not an excercise in creative writing, and those who differ with me can do so when they too are a published author (!) but (as usual) I'm in the minority.)
The essay *must* be a glowing tribute to the wonder of the sandwich box no matter how much in disrepair the thing might be. Heaven forbid you should only leave a one-line comment, and if you do so from your SmartPhone then you will surely burn in hell fire.
It amazes me that geocaching has been going for fifteen years and (effectively) we still have to use the same technology as was used to find that first geocache. For all that it's a good walk in the countryside, it's one using gear which is ten years out of date *and* sees doing so as something to be proud about.

And talking of the g-word we collected the troops, narrowly missed a First to Find, and set off to Otford where we met Rosie. After a quick chat with a fellow hunter of tupperware six of us (and three dogs) set off for something rather unusual in the geo-world; a virtual multi-cache. There's a to-scale model of the solar system in Otford. And for all that you might know (in theory) that planets are a long way apart, it's not until you actually experience the amount of hiking about that even a scale model involves that you realise just how big space is.
We started off at... I won't say which model planet (not giving spoilers!), and solved the puzzle, moved on to the next one, and so on until we found ourselves being directed into a private allotment. We re-checked out calculations again and again to no avail. It was with something of a sulk that we admitted defeat.

Rosie suggested we went and did a series of caches which was just three miles up the road. I didn't have them on my tablet, but two minutes of piggybacking off of my mobile wi-fi hotspot saved the day. (You can't do that with a GPS unit!) and soon we were in Mildridge woods. A beautiful wood where the dogs could run and we could hunt tupperware.
I was so impresed with Jess the geo-pup. I'd seen her before many times but not really paid attention to her. I hadn't realilsed she is the ideal geo-hound. When we are near a cache and searching we have to keep an eye on "Furry Face TM" because he gets bored and wanders off. When Jess hears the beep of the GPs unit she immiediately sits and waits for us to do our geo-thing.
In these woods we searched for twenty-five caches, and found the lot with minimal difficulty. If anyone wants a scenic walk, or is considering taking up hunting tupperware as a pastiime I can't recommend the series in Mildridge Woods highly enough.

We were just about to get into the cars when another caching friend pulledd up. He was taking his dogs for a walk. he asked how we got on with the virtual multi-cache. We told him we were suulking, and he said.... I won't say whaat he said, He didn't tell us the answers we were after but he did point out our error. We went back, and in five minutes we had the solution to the puzzle we wanted. Success !! In over four thousand three hundred geo-finds this was only my thirteenth virtual find.
As I sometimes do, I took a few photos whilst we were out.

Home, and after aa rather good bit of tea we watched the latest period drama - "Indian Summers". Billed as the next "Downton Abbey" I thought it would be right up my street. The first episode started well enough, and I then fell asleep for the rest.