Weight and Stuff Report – 18 February 2018

Weight: 212.5 pounds (15 stone 2.5 pounds, 96.4 kg)
Steps: Not many

What’s this? Down again to another new low? Well, that’s what the scale tells me…

I’ve been having a quiet day in…

Here’s a view of Carlisle, showing the old town hall and the Market Cross

Carlisle

Carlisle

Camera: X70
Aperture: ƒ/10
Shutter speed: 1/240s
Focal length: 18.5mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 17 February, 2018
Location: 54° 53.7111′ 0″ N 2° 56.1935′ 0″ W

Dear website owners…

OK, I get it. You need to run adverts to fund your site. And you don’t like people running ad blockers.

But taking over the whole page with a demand that a casual visitor whitelists your site right now before they can see the single page they’ve been referred to by a link is, frankly, obnoxious. It’s the level of intrusive annoyance that made so many of us start using ad blockers in the first place. When we had to wait for what seemed like ages for a page to render because it was struggling to load the uninteresting advert that somebody decided was best placed in the middle of an article.

You see, if I find a site useful, and it’s one I come back to even occasionally, and its advertising isn’t so badly placed as to make the site unusable, I’ll happily add it to my whitelist.

But if you prevent me from seeing so much as one article without covering the page with an overlay and trying to teach me how to whitelist you, I’ll go elsewhere.

Just. Stop. It. A prominent notice asking regular visitors to consider adding you to their whitelist is much more likely to encourage the behaviour you’re after and much less likely to make people leave and never come back.

And the same goes for annoying boxes asking me to sign up for updates that pop up while I’m reading. They make me want to not bother finishing what I’m reading and never visit your site again.

I’m not mentioning any names, because this nonsense is way too prevalent – but I’ve seen an identical pop up from a few regional/local news sites.  These are sites I’ll only visit when a link takes me to a specific article…

Alastair Reynolds – Elysium Fire

It was almost eleven years ago that I wrapped up my review of The Prefect by saying that I hoped we’d see more of its protagonist Tom Dreyfus. Well, that hope has now been fulfilled with a sequel.

So, we’re back in the Glitter Band, the huge belt of habitats orbiting the planet Yellowstone, home to something like one hundred million people living in a variety of societies united under a real-time democracy. Regulation is light, except in the matter of voting, which is strictly regulated by Panoply, the body appointed by the citizens to take all necessary actions, including seriously deadly force when necessary, to maintain the democratic system.

But not all is well. all over the Glitter Band, people are dying – seemingly random, blameless citizens are being killed by the brain implants everyone except  Panoply agents depend upon to interface with their society. And following the events in the previous book, there’s a growing separatist movement, which has led a small number of habitats to secede from the overall society.

As you might expect, there’s a lot of confusion, Deadly Peril and dramatic action as Tom and his colleagues are slowly drawn to the source of the trouble. This is Al Reynolds doing what he does best, with a definite feel of working to give the readers what they want.

Interestingly, The Prefect has been reissued with the new title Aurora Rising, which matches the title of the new book, and is perhaps a hint that there’s more to come. I’d be happy with that.

Weight and Stuff Report – 17 February 2018

Weight: 212.9 pounds (15 stone 2.9 pounds, 96.6 kg)
Steps: 7,004

Would you believe it, down again to another new low? Well, that’s how it looks. That’s just over a stone down since the start of the year, and a whole two stone lighter than this time last year. And this doesn’t seem to be a scale reading issue – formerly tight trousers are now loose, and I can get into ones I haven’t worn for a very long time.

Today’s outing was to Carlisle, where I had a bit of a wander and a visit to the Tullie House museum and art gallery, where I saw some interesting Roman bits amongst other things. I also used their viewing gallery to get this image of the castle:

Carlisle Castle

Carlisle Castle

Camera: X70
Aperture: ƒ/9
Shutter speed: 1/480s
Focal length: 18.5mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 17 February, 2018
Location: 54° 53.746′ 0″ N 2° 56.436′ 0″ W

 

Weight and Stuff Report – 16 February 2018

Weight: 213.8 pounds (15 stone 3.8 pounds, 97 kg)
Steps: 1,665

Back down today, to yet another new low for the year. It’s probably a temporary wossname, but it does mean that I’ve lost almost a stone this year…

Here’s another bit of Hexham Abbey:

Hexham Abbey

Hexham Abbey

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/8
Shutter speed: 1/60s
Focal length: 24.2mm
ISO: 5000
Taken: 27 January, 2018
Location: 54° 58.2711′ 0″ N 2° 6.15′ 0″ W

 

Weight and Stuff Report – 12 February 2018

Weight: 214.6 pounds (15 stone 4.6 pounds, 97.3 kg)
Steps: 2,395

Although I seem to be past the worst of the lurgy, my weight doesn’t seem to have realised it, and it’s down again, to yet another new low, etc, etc.

Here’s an interesting-looking place in York

Rehab?

Rehab?

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/10
Shutter speed: 1/60s
Focal length: 18.2mm
ISO: 640
Taken: 20 January, 2018
Location: 53° 57.3852′ 0″ N 1° 5.4151′ 0″ W