Monthly Archives: January 2009

January 2009 Round-up

Who’d have thought it? January is over already, which means it must be time for the traditional[1] end of month report.


January 1: 216 pounds (15 stone 6 pounds, 98 kg)
January 31: 213.4 pounds (15 stone 3.4 pounds, 96.8 kg)
Difference: A quite probably random fall of 2.6 pounds (1.2 kg)

This month’s weight figures were a lot more stable than last month’s.


Hmmm. Slightly mixed here. I have generally, speaking been mostly good at lunchtimes during the working week. Most days, I’ve managed to get by on just one sandwich, though this has occasionally been a footlong from Subway. I have been slightly naughty and had a Greggs sausage roll or two a few times, but on a lot fewer days than in recent months.

And I’ve been trying to cook better meals at home, though some of these might not be all that compatible with the aim of losing weight….


Still generally failing at the planned walking to work thing.


This seems to have picked up a wee bit. Including this report, the total for January will be 65, the highest since July last year, when I was in posting mania mode. I can only presume that being back in my own space is making me type more, or something. And there’s more to come – I have some DVDs and toys to write about…


I need to kick-start my photography motor again – there’s lots going on that I should be pointing my camera at, but I don’t seem to be getting around to it. I’ve still got things to sort out at home, and there will be some interesting times ahead at work, so I should have plenty to keep me busy…

[1] Well, I’ve been doing them for long enough for them to be a tradition of sorts…

Weight Report – 29 January 2009

Hmmm. Down again today. Good stuff!

I may start walking a bit more from tomorrow – the last bus pass I bought while I was staying away from Losing it[1] HQ[1] expired today, and I’m not getting another one. So from tomorrow, my options are:

  1. Pay £1.20 each way to get to and from work (gone up from the previous level of £1
  2. Pay £8 a week for unlimited travel on my local service (not a bad deal, actually)
  3. Walk

I’m hoping to motivate myself to do the third one…

[1] My temporary location didn’t have the benefit of the direct to Newcastle bus from practically outside the door, and lacked the flat-fare service, too. On the other hand, it did have a direct bus to the MetroCentre, which was handy

Weight Report – 28 January 2009

Now there’s a surprise. Despite having another day in, which may have involved one of my rather tasty egg, bacon and mushroom bagels[1], my weight is actually lower today. And I even walked home for the first time in a while.

[1] A seriously tasty combination

Blackadder – The Complete Collection

Deep joy :bouncy: :bouncy: There was a previous “complete” Blackadder collection a few years ago, but that only contained the four full series, omitting the essential and quite wonderful Blackadder’s Christmas Carol, which has to be the most delightfully subverise and funny take on the familiar Scrooge story[1] ever seen.

So when this collection, which also includes the lovely time-travelling Back and Forth[2] and the quite rarely seen The Cavalier Years[3], I was definitely interested. But not at the original price of around £60, thank you very much. However, Amazon offered it to me for £25, which made it an essential purchase. It’s a wee bit more expensive now, but if you’re a fan of Blackadder, it’s well worth a look.

The only special feature is “Baldrick’s Video Diary”, a quite nice behind the scenes thingy.

[1] It involves the white sheep of the Blackadder family being converted to the proper ways of evil…
[2] Originally shown in the Millennium Dome
[3] A short episode for Comic Relief in 1988. I hadn’t seen it before

Weight Report – 27 January 2009

Oh dear. Having a day off has caused my weight to go up. Well, something like that, I suppose. And as I’m off today as well, this could be bad news…

Update: Readers who are more observant than I was on Tuesday morning will have wondered how I managed to put on such a large amount of weight in one day. I had a bit of a typo in my spreadsheet, which led to me reporting my weight as 241.8 pounds (17 stone 3.8 pounds, 109.7 kg), a wee bit more than the correct figure which is now attached to this post.

Calling the Plain English Campaign…

Just read this fascinating clause on a Microsoft site:

Prepaid codes cannot be consumed or activated if the user has billing violations or their payment instrument is in decline. The user must first remove any violations before utilizing a prepaid code.

What. The. Photon? I mean, seriously. What kind of idiot could confuse that nonsense with English? :crazy:   Shirley[1] even the most deranged Microsoft lawyer must have noticed that the wording used there bears no resemblance whatsoever to the way actual humans whose first, second, third, or for that matter fifteenth, language is English speak or write?

This would seem to be some weird Microsoft conspiracy. The grammar checkers in Word 2008 (Mac) and Word 2003 (Windows) didn’t think there was anything at all wrong with that, which is odd because they normally get quite upset about use of the passive voice, even when it makes sense. Mutter.

For the benefit of anyone confused by the legal nonsense, this is what I think they mean:

We will not allow you to activate a prepaid code for the service if your registered credit card has been declined, or if you owe us any money.

It might need tightening up and clarifying to make sure it covers what it needs to, but I think it’s a bit better.

[1] Don’t call me Shirley, etc

Real Dinosaur Seen in Gateshead!

It was less than a year ago that I reported a mysterious sighting: the claim that the sound of a real dinosaur had been recorded. Remarkably, the announcement, rather than being all over the news, or at the very least, the subject of a Discovery Channel special, was made on the packaging of a toy T Rex that I spotted in W H Smith in Newcastle. Well, I have now investigated further.  On a routine visit to the MetroCentre yesterday, I once again saw the strange packaging, and as this marvel of modern science was reduced to just £2, I decided to buy it in the interests of silliness. Here’s a reminder of that outrageous claim:

Real sounds!

Real sounds!

This dinosaur has real dinosaur sounds. Details of how these were recorded are not currently available.

And here’s the dinosaur:

Dinosaur seen in Gateshead!

Dinosaur seen in Gateshead!

Presumably came through a time warp thingy of some kind....

It must be authentic – it’s got Natural History Museum logos on the box, and I’m sure they wouldn’t get involved with anything misleading. Or would they? :eek: :uhoh:

Red Dwarf Returns!

BBC News reports that the oddly named digital channel Dave is bringing back Red Dwarf for an Easter weekend special.[1] It’s been quite a while since the last series, which personally I thought took a bit of a wrong turn, and lost a lot of the charm of the earlier ones. It was still funny, though. Apparently the new episodes will involve the gang finally making it back to Earth, so they should be definitively final[2].

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Red Dwarf voyages back to Earth

And just to show how quick off the mark BBC News is, how they’ve got their fingers on the pulse of popular culture, and don’t miss a thing, here’s the original, official announcement from the official Red Dwarf site:

New Red Dwarf Specials Confirmed

You’ll notice that the article is dated as recently as 19 September 2008. Only four months ago, which suggests that BBC News is getting quicker to react…

[1] Looks like my V+ box will get a lot to do that weekend, as that’s when the next Doctor Who special is expected to be shown. And I’ll be working. For the whole four-day weekend. :cry:
[2] Probably