Monthly Archives: February 2005

I’ve still got the motivation thingy

Well, no change on the weight front today – still 206.0 pounds (14 stone 10 pounds, 93.4kg).

Managed another full workout tonight – all the same stuff as yesterday, though this time my heart rate peaked at 149. Odd that, as I’m sure I worked at least as hard (especially on the rowing machine). Just general random weirdness, I suppose…

100 Greatest Cartoons

I’m currently watching The 100 Greatest Cartoons on Channel 4. It’s the kind of show that C4 seem to be making a habit of – rather long (four hours in this case), lots of famous (hey, I’ve even heard of some of them :tongue: ) people talking, and lots of clips.

This is good fun – the clips come from a huge range of TV shows and movies. The ratings are apparently based on a poll of some kind, but I really don’t care about what’s more popular than what else – it’s just nice to see so many cartoons :cheesy:

If you do care about the results of arbitrary polls, you’ll be able to look at the results page once it’s been published….

Best one for ages!

Workout, that is. Certainly the best since I started again at the beginning of the year.

But first, the ever-exciting weight report. This morning’s figure was slightly down at 206.0 pounds (14 stone 10 pounds, 93.4kg), which isn’t so bad.

And now, the workout. For the last few weeks, I’ve been giving myself a gentle start on the first session of the week, so as not to overdo it. But this evening felt a bit different. I started with the usual 10km on the bike, then moved quickly on to the oooh owww crunches and then varied the order a bit and did some work with the weights.

Breaking the habit of the last few weeks, I decided to include a wee bit of rowing. And somehow I managed to do three five minute sets. Pant, pant. Hard work, but it felt good. And I finished off with the usual Bullworker set.

And all that got me a peak heart rate of 161 – 90% of my notional maximum. Good stuff :grin:

Down some more, so I’m having a break

Well, despite last night’s extra rest, this morning’s weight was down quite nicely at 205.2 pounds (14 stone 9.2 pounds, 93.1kg). So, I decided to give myself another night off. That means I’ve only done three workouts this week, but I think that’s OK – my informal target is three or four workouts in a week.

Not only that, but I decided to be very naughty and have chips tonight :shock: . But I did run part of the way to the chippy :laugh: . And running isn’t something I do a lot of. Followed that with a couple of glasses of a rather nice Australian Cabernet Sauvignon that Tesco’s had at the bargain price of £4.99 last week.

Next exercise session planned for Sunday…


I had my hair cut today. After six months or so of having it rather longer than usual, I decided to switch back to the old low-maintenance style.

Less hair

Less hassle in the mornings, doesn’t get all over the place if it’s windy and (to be honest) probably suits me better. This kind of haircut is also a wee bit[1] cheaper than the more serious styling and colouring I’ve been having lately.

[1] More of that understatement stuff :cheesy:

Google seems to like me

I don’t know what’s happening here. Maybe it’s general weirdness, or maybe I’m doing something right. I’ve been checking the statistics for visits to Losing it[1]. I was particualrly interested in the search engine queries that had sent people here[1]. I noticed that there were a number of visitors who had searched for the titles of some books I mentioned recently. I was amazed[2] to find that my review of Murder on the Leviathan had the first two hits on Google – one for the old link[3] and one for the current one.

And a quick check shows me that yesterday’s review of Century Rain is already doing nicely – beaten only by those Amazon people, and just above the publisher’s site….

My entries will probably drop down the lists sooner or later, but for now I’m basking in my unexpected fame.[4]

[1] And a big Hellllloooooooooooo to all of you :grin:
[2] Totally. Gobsmacked. And that’s probably an understatement :wink:
[3] Before the move to WordPress 1.5
[4] Such as it is :rolleyes:

Better than I expected

This morning’s weight was slightly up at 206.0 pounds (14 stone 10 pounds, 93.4kg). That’s a small enough fluctuation to not make any difference. :cheesy:

Had one of those frustrating days at work, so I decided to give myself a rest this evening. That means I still owe myself one more exercise session this week. I hope I feel more like it tomorrow night. :???:

Century Rain

Alastair Reynolds is one of those writers I’ve been meaning to get round to for quite some time now. But somehow, I never quite got it together to get hold of any of his books until now, even though the descriptions I’d read made them sound like my kind of thing – Big Space Opera, written by an actual astrophysicist[1]. Anyway, Century Rain looked like something special, so I bought it.

The story opens in 1950s Paris, where we meet private detectives and musicians Floyd and Custine. It soon becomes apparent that this 1950s Paris isn’t our 1950s Paris, though it takes a while for the actual difference to become apparent. Floyd is called in to investigate the death of a young woman after the police dismiss it as an accident or suicide.

The action then switches to Paris a few centuries in the future, long after the Earth has been devastated by a nanotechnological disaster. After a field trip goes badly wrong, archaeologist Verity Auger is forced to carry out a dangerous mission. She has to travel through a wormhole system left behind by an unknown alien civilisation to a replica of mid-twentieth century Earth, which is encased in a huge sphere. Verity’s task is to recover some materials left by another agent, who has died in unknown circumstances.

In the finest film noir tradition, Auger and Floyd find themselves thrown together as a deadly conspiracy is revealed. Who killed the other agent? What is Silver Rain, and can it be prevented from being unleashed on the replica Earth? Throw in a few Casablanca references, some good old-fashioned nicely over the top space battle scenes and a lot of humour, and much more.

Humanity has divided into two main factions, known as “Threshers”[5] and “Slashers”. Slashers?

“It’s all right,” Niagara said. “I won’t be the least bit offended if you call me a Slasher. You probably regard the term as an insult.”
“Isn’t it?” Auger asked, surprised.
“Only if you want it to be.” Niagara made a careful gesture, like some religious benediction: a diagonal slice across his chest and a stab to his heart. “A slash and a dot,” he said. “I doubt it means anything to you, but this was once the mark of an alliance of progressive thinkers linked together by one of the first computer networks.”

A slash and a dot? Slashdot??? Serious geek humour :cheesy:

Having enjoyed Century Rain, I’ll be checking out Reynolds’ earlier work – four (rather long) novels and one book of shorter stories. If I like them, I’ll review them here.

[1] I feel a parallel here: Reynolds was born in South Wales[2], and studied at Newcastle University[4].
[2] Barry, which isn’t all that far from my point of origin[3]
[3] Cardiff
[4] Where I managed a whole year of an Astrophysics degree before crashing, burning and generally failing :rolleyes:
[5] So called because they believe in keeping on the “threshold” of certain technology…