Weight and Stuff Report – 4 May 2016

Weight: 225.6 pounds (16 stone 1.6 pounds, 102.3 kg)
Steps taken: 1,766

Up again, it seems. Though the scale is having one of its phases of taking a long time to settle down and display a figure it likes, so I’m not entirely convinced that any of the recent values are accurate, or even consistent. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it, so there.

Here’s another view of Dunston Staiths

Staiths

Staiths

Camera X70
Aperture ƒ/11
Shutter speed 1/150s
Focal length 18.5mm
ISO 200
Taken 14:18, 23 April, 2016

Now that’s what I call a memory leak

I’ve seen some impressive memory leaks before: a moderately impressive one from Safari in 2010 and a much fancier one from Firefox the following year. But I think they’ve been beaten. In this case, the application in question is NetNewsWire, but I suspect it’s not entirely to blame. I’ve noticed it eating lots of memory a few times before, but this time I managed to put two arbitrarily large numbers together and made another one. What I think is happening is similar to what broke Firefox: a badly behaved script. I’d left some tabs open in NetNewsWire when I left for work, and one of those had some ad banners and possibly even a video on it. And the result of leaving that all day? Well, my iMac wasn’t too unhappy – it responded quickly enough when I unlocked the screen, but displayed a message indicating that it was out of memory and would I like to quit some applications.

Remarkably, Activity Monitor came up without much of a struggle, which allowed me to see what was happening. Sure enough, NetNewsWire was using over 21GB of real memory and a crazy amount of virtual, taking the total to an impressive 70.96GB. I was able to Force Quit it, and then closed a couple of unresponsive applications, at which point the iMac carried on as if nothing had happened. Here’s the evidence, which will get bigger if you click on it:

I can't remember

I can’t remember

 

Weight and Stuff Report – 3 May 2016

Weight: 223.3 pounds (15 stone 13.3 pounds, 101.3 kg)
Steps taken: 2,880

Down again? Amazing!

It was back to work today, so naturally the weather has improved. Grr, mutter, etc.

Today’s photo is a technical failure, what with the lack of sharp focus and all that, but there’s something about it that appeals to me

Hey! That's mine!

Hey! That’s mine!

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/8
Shutter speed 1/500s
Focal length 540.4mm
ISO 200
Taken 12:57, 30 April, 2016

 

Robert Rankin – The Sprouts of Wrath

It’s time for another episode in my sanity-challenging Robert Rankin Re-read-athon in which our Brentford heroes once again come up against a seemingly unstoppable horror bent on world domination and destruction: the Olympic Games. Oh, wait. Sorry, that’s not strictly accurate. I may be letting my personal wossnames take over. Anyway, following a mysterious disaster which utterly destroys the newly built Olympic Stadium in Birmingham, everyone is surprised to find that the games will now take place in Brentford, following the traditional level of financial incentives[1]. Well, not exactly in Brentford, more over Brentford, courtesy of some highly advanced, not to mention unlikely technology.

But it wouldn’t be the fourth book in the Brentford Trilogy[2] if it was as simple as that, would it? Dark Forces are working behind the scenes, there’s an appearance of the famous[3] Brentford Griffin[4], a guest role for the notorious Hugo Rune, and the unconventional policeman Inspectre[5] Hovis is in the borough, which can only mean more trouble, mostly for the rest of the police force.

Worst of all, the brewery plan to sell of the Flying Swan and get rid of Neville the part-time barman!

Can Pooley and Omally save the world, and more importantly, the Swan? Will the games go ahead? Will Pooley finally win a bet and keep the money? All these questions might be answered.

This book was first published in 1988, and apparently didn’t sell very well at the time, but we republished by Corgi in 1993, when it must have done moderately well, as it was reprinted the same year.  In case you’re wondering, yes indeed, the title and that of its predecessor are indeed inspired by John Steinbeck, and yes, sprouts are a recurring theme, as we will soon see. Like the first three, it’s nicely silly and well worth a read.

[1] Though a more cynical person might suggest that in this instance the incentives flow in the opposite direction to the traditional method of getting  such events to be staged in a particular place. (Allegedly, etc)
[2] There’s no use complaining about the size of the trilogy now. It’ll only get bigger later…
[3] It’s on the internet, even!
[4] Absolutely not a hoax that Robert Rankin had any involvement in. Probably.
[5] He insists on the spelling

Weight and Stuff Report – 2 May 2016

Weight: 224.9 pounds (16 stone 0.9 pounds, 102 kg)
Steps taken: 4,998

Hmmm, down again today…

Today being a bank holiday, it naturally started off with lots of rain. But I decided that having had a zero-activity day yesterday, I should probably get out and do something. I started in Newcastle, but as it was raining, I thought heading to the Metrocentre might be a better idea, so I did. Along with several squillion other people, judging by how long it took the bus to get through the traffic.  Once there, I did some minor shopping before becoming sufficiently irritated by the masses of people to come home again.

Here’s one of my bird in flight attempts from Saturday:

Alone

Alone

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/8
Shutter speed 1/900s
Focal length 560mm
ISO 200
Taken 12:55, 30 April, 2016

Weight and Stuff Report – 1 May 2016

Weight: 227.4 pounds (16 stone 3.4 pounds, 103.1 kg)
Steps taken: Hardly any

Up a bit today, which after yesterday’s coastal thingy was a nicely relaxed day in, which may have involved a lot of TV watching. Though I did do the washing that I didn’t do yesterday, leaving the ironing for another day, so there.

Talking of the coast, here’s another of the few shots I got yesterday, which shows Cullercoats being menaced by the clouds that would soon start delivering hail[1], and an airliner that I didn’t notice at the time.

Cullercoats

Cullercoats

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/11
Shutter speed 1/640s
Focal length 100mm
ISO 200
Taken 12:51, 30 April, 2016

[1] Well, it might not have been those specific clouds.

April 2016 Round-up

Well, a whole third of 2016 is over, it’s the end of a month and it has to be time for the essential monthly summary that tells you all you need to know. Though you might want to look at the photos in the rest of the posts.

Weight

What’s this? Some actual progress this month?.

April 1: 229.2 pounds (16 stone 5.2 pounds, 104 kg)
April 30: 226.9 pounds (16 stone 2.9 pounds, 102.9 kg)

That’s an actual drop of 2.3 pounds or 1kg. And I have a Cunning Plan that may improve things further.

Eating

Yes, I’ve done some of that, especially when I was away for a few days in various parts of the country. More of that next month, too.

Exercise

The shoulder still has days when it does its best to make me unhappy, and the heel is joining in. Apparently this sort of thing starts to happen as people get older. I’ll just have to lie about my age and hope it fools my body. But while I’m waiting for it to be fooled, there’s not a lot of moving around going on.

Posting

I’ve done a bit more posting this month, with this report bringing the total to 43.

Stuff

I’ve been playing with cameras a bit, though not as much as I’d like, and of course there’s the Robert Rankin Re-read-athon going on. More on that soon.

Weight and Stuff Report – 30 April 2016

Weight: 226.9 pounds (16 stone 2.9 pounds, 102.9 kg)
Steps taken: 4,741

Up a wee bit today, ho hum, never mind, etc.

After some relatively early shopping, I decided to have another visit to the coast to see if my long lens could see anything interesting. I took the Metro to Tynemouth this time, and soon realised that a long walk wasn’t going to happen, as my intermittently painful heel decided to have a Bad Day. Oww, etc.

But I found a nice bench to sit on and got a few shots, including this quite large floating thing:

Container

Container

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/8
Shutter speed 1/900s
Focal length 560mm
ISO 200
Taken 12:55, 30 April, 2016

There seemed to be some interesting clouds out at sea, but I didn’t think too much about them. I was working on getting a photo or two of some of the swooping gulls when I felt something hit my head. My first thought was that a passing bird had left me a present, but soon realised that it was just the beginning of a hailstorm. It was more than nasty enough for me to put the camera away and head for a conveniently close shelter thingy. I stayed there a while during which the hail turned to rain, then the sun came out and it was quite warm, then it hailed again, at which point I decided to get the next bus back to Newcastle. Which I did. And came home. So once again, not a lot of photography done, mutter.

Weight and Stuff Report – 29 April 2016

Weight: 226.3 pounds (16 stone 2.3 pounds, 102.6 kg)
Steps taken: 2,170

Hmmm, back down again today, how random…

Quite apart from being an impressive structure, Dunston Staiths offers some views along the Tyne that would be hard to get to without a boat otherwise. The wide view of the Fujifilm X70 shows this off quite nicely

Bridges

Bridges

Camera X70
Aperture ƒ/11
Shutter speed 1/200s
Focal length 18.5mm
ISO 200
Taken 14:23, 23 April, 2016