Monthly Archives: August 2010

August 2010 Round-up

What? Another month over already? That means it’s time for the regular end of month thingy.


Well, I’ve quite consistently managed to not to forget to weigh myself this month. There were a few days when the scale sulked about not having enough electrical power, but otherwise we have a full record.

August 1: 229.8 pounds (16 stone 5.8 pounds, 104.2 kg)
August 31: 230.8 pounds (16 stone 6.8 pounds, 104.7 kg)

Difference: A rise of 1 pounds (0.5 kg), which is within daily fluctuation range, so I’ll ignore it.


Umm. Well, yes. I’ve been doing some of that.


Well, I walked to work a few times, mainly because of the lure of a tasty demolition job, and I’m sure I’ll be back for more. And I did manage one weekend walk, which is more than I’ve done in a while.


Slightly higher this month – including this one, the August total is a moderately chatty 74.


Not quite as much photography this month, but I seem to have taken about 550 pictures, which is well above average. I’ve also passed the total for 2009 already. More to come, including some black and white experiments when the time is right…

Weight and Stuff Report – 31 August 2010

Shock horror, back down two pounds today.

Today’s picture is a return to last month’s Sunderland air show. This shows one of the crazy wingwalkers[1] in the process of climbing down from the wing into the cockpit.



[1] Seriously. They do acrobatic stuff while the plane is doing much the same…

So when’s the next bus?

I passed this bus stop on my way to work on Friday. Something caught my eye as I was passing:

Bus Stop 1

Bus Stop 1

No, it wasn’t that easy to remember unique bus stop code[1][2]. It was more that little sticker above it:

It must be late

It must be late

Well, I have felt a wee bit fed up when my bus is late, perhaps even frustrated, but it’s never seemed quite that bad to me…

[1] It’s said that if you read it out three times, your bus turns up on time. No sensible person believes that, of course.
[2] In the interests of sanity, I should mention that the codes are meant to be used with a text message service. The idea, as far as I understand it, is that you look at the timetable for the code, send that to a special number, and you’ll get a text back telling you when the next bus is due. Not when it’s actually likely to arrive, but when it’s due. Which is the same information that’s on the timetable. I’m sure this makes sense to someone.

Weight and Stuff Report – 30 August 2010

Hmmm. Down a teeny bit today, how random, etc.

Today’s picture is of some of the other toys being used in the car park demolition job – a couple of nice little[1] dumper trucks.

Dumper Trucks

Dumper Trucks

[1] OK, I lied. They’re moderately large, actually

Kindle Update

A few weeks ago, I muttered a bit about the third generation Amazon Kindle. Well, after a bit of thought, I decided that I really should have one. It’s smaller and lighter than the iPad, and it’ll be much more pleasant for reading plain text. The iPad remains a better solution for books with detailed images, but for fiction, the Kindle is going to be the preferred solution.

I’ve gone so far as to pre-order a couple of books that I would previously have bought in hardback – the new Terry Pratchett and Peter F Hamilton novels that are coming out in the next week or two. I’ll probably start those on the iPad, as my Kindle won’t be arriving until some time after September 8. By opting for the electronic versions, I’ll be saving some money, getting the books as soon as they’re released, and not having to find more shelf space. All of which works for me.

Oh, and you may be wondering about my somewhat neglected Sony Reader. After checking what they were going for on eBay, I put it on sale, and got a quite satisfactory price for it. Not quite enough to cover the £109 price of the Kindle, but close enough.

Sherlock and Doctor Who News

It’ll come as no great surprise, but it’s now been officially announced that a further three episodes of Sherlock have been commissioned, and will be shown in Autumn 2011. Which is a long time to wait for a relatively small quantity of Sherlock, but we manage with about the same quantity and frequency of Lewis, so it’ll have to do…

But what’s a bit more surprising is something else mentioned in the same story. Apparently the 2011 series of Doctor Who is to be split into two blocks, one starting in spring as normal, but ending with a cliffhanger before resuming in the autumn. This kind of “mid season break” seems to be quite common for US TV shows, but isn’t generally done here. And then it’s generally done after about 13 episodes rather than after six or seven, which is presumably what’s going to happen here. Presumably it’s some kind of attempt to boost ratings. Or to spread our ration of Doctor Who more evenly through the year. Or something else altogether.

BBC News – Sherlock gets second series on BBC One.

Doctor Who – Hornets’ Nest

For some reason or another, I’ve never found the time or the motivation to start listening to the ever-growing range of Doctor Who audio dramas. There are a huge range, with new stories starring several of the previous TV Doctors and their companions, and they are reportedly very good. But there are now so many, that I wouldn’t be sure where to start…

But in addition to the licensed dramas from Big Finish, there’s a new series from the BBC, which caught my attention. These aren’t full-cast dramas, not stories read by a single voice, but something in the middle – multi-voice stories, so to speak. When I heard that Tom Baker had been lured back to make a new series of stories, I had to check it out. I bought the first couple of monthly CD episodes quite a while ago, but only recently got round to listening to them. And immediately got the remaining three, and listened to them as soon as I could.

Anyway, it all starts with retired UNIT Captain Mike Yates[1] responding to a job advertisement that seems very precisely aimed at him. He arrives at a cottage, where a suitably odd housekeeper treats him with extreme suspicion before presenting him to the Doctor. There’s hardly any time for reminiscence before Weird Stuff begins to happen, with a strange collection of stuffed animals attacking.

And so it begins. Each CD is a self-contained story, with the Doctor telling Mike about one of his encounters with some rather nasty alien hornets who have the power to take over any living (and for that matter, non-living) form. As the Doctor works backwards in time, meeting the hornets in different times and places, he learns more about them, until we reach the final confrontation in our own time, with Mike and Mrs Wibbsey the housekeeper each having a role to play…

If you’re a fan of Tom Baker’s Doctor, you should give this series a try – and if you like it as much as I did, you’ll be pleased to know that a second series is coming soon.

Here are the details[2]:

Part 1: The Stuff of Nightmares

In which Mike arrives, stuffed animals attack, and the story begins…

Part 2: The Dead Shoes

In which the Doctor meets Mrs Wibbsey, a dancer borrows some used shoes and the hornets complain about the last time they met the Doctor, which hasn’t happened to him yet.

Part 3: Circus of Doom

In which a sinister circus has some secrets. And some shoes are encountered.

Part 4: Sting in the Tale

Dogs, nuns, and more hornets. And some snow.

Part 5: Hive of Horror

The Doctor is reminded of the time he (or to be precise a copy of him) was reduced and inserted into his own brain. Only it’s not his brain this time. The Queen of the Hornets is encountered.
There’s also a set of the complete series, but it seems to be cheaper to buy the separate episodes.

[1] Who only ever appeared in stories with the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee), before leaving the service after a slight misunderstanding involving an attempted coup and some dinosaurs loose in London. If memory serves, the original plan was for the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney) to guest in these stories, but he couldn’t make it. Richard Franklin appeared instead, and a bit of dialogue was inserted to account for him recognising the Fourth Doctor.
[2] Note: if you’re using AdBlock, you won’t see the links to Amazon. Just go to and search for “Doctor Who Hornets Nest” and you’ll find them. Or set this site as an exception in AdBlock – amazon links are about as commercial as I get, so it’s mostly harmless.

Weight and Stuff Report – 29 August 2010

Errr, ooops. The, err, diet thingy starts on Tuesday, OK?

Today’s picture shows a bit of maintenance on Tornado, that big bell cast from a disused RAF plane[1].



[1] The RAF are not at all keen on people trying to make bells out of planes they’re still using…

Gateshead Car Park Demolition – 27 August 2010

And now we get up to date with the demoliton pictures. This set was taken on Friday, and shows some of the machinery, and how that isolated tower is beginning to be reduced to rubble.

Gateshead Car Park Demolition – 22 August 2010

As I mentioned at the time, last Sunday I went for another look at the car park demolition job, which had reached an interesting stage. The staircase at one end of the building was now an isolated tower.