Monthly Archives: September 2010

September 2010 Round-up

Well, that month didn’t seem to last long. Maybe it was the London trip and a week off, but it seemed to me that September no sooner arrived than it slipped away. Which might account for me really typing this in October.


It’s been the usual up and down thingy. Still not feeling particularly motivated to actually do anything about it. Anyway, here are the numbers:

September 1: 227.6 pounds (16 stone 3.6 pounds, 103.2 kg)
September 30: 228.6 pounds (16 stone 4.6 pounds, 103.7 kg)

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


Umm. Well, yes. I’ve been doing some of that. Still finding it hard to not eat the extra crap at lunchtime, which really does make a difference…


I did a bit of walking in London, some more on the less wet days when I was off work, and one or two walks to work, but still not very much.


It’s been a bit of quiet month – including this report, just 52 bits of nonsense, which is the lowest monthly count this year. Still a lot more than this time last year, though.


I did some more picture taking, mostly of the Gateshead car park demolition job, and I’ll be sorting those out moderately soon. Probably.

Weight and Stuff Report – 28 September 2010

Up again today, mutter, mutter, mutter.

Today’s picture is from last week’s visit to Tynemouth Priory – it’s inside the small chapel that’s still intact:

Light in the Darkness

Light in the Darkness

I liked the way the low sun was projecting the colours of the stained glass onto the stones.

Robert Rankin – The Japanese Devil Fish Girl and Other Unnatural Attractions

I’ve mentioned Robert Rankin many times before, so I’ll skip the introduction and get on with talking about his latest, delightfully bonkers, book.

It’s a bit of a departure from his usual kind of story, this one. It’s a sequel of sorts to H G Wells’ classic The War of the Worlds, set about ten years after the failed Martian invasion. What Wells didn’t tell us was that the British Empire reverse engineered the Martian spacecraft, popped off to Mars and wiped out the Martians in a suitably heroic way. Well, that’s the official version, anyway. The truth is altogether less honourable, and quite nasty. Having seen off the Martians, Earth, or rather Britain, was seen to be developed enough for the inhabitants of Venus and Jupiter to make contact, and a good time is being had by all.

Our main character is the usual kind of Rankin hero – George Fox, a young man who’s led around by an older, quite sinister chap who calls himself Professor Cagliostro Coffin. The Professor has hired George to be his zany assistant on his fairground stall, where he displays the pickled remains of a Martian.

And Great Adventures and Terrible Peril follow.

This being pretty much a broad mockery of the whole steampunk genre, there’s the usual range of historical figures, some of whom are present despite the little detail that history records them as having died some time previously. In a few footnotes, Rankin helpfully explains that history can’t be relied upon. Quite right too. The cast includes the expected Tesla, Babbage, Winston Churchill, Gentlemen in Black, P T Barnum, and many more.

This being a Robert Rankin book, the plot is almost incidental to the jokes, the commentary on life, and all the usual toot. But it is quite a good one, with lots of death and destruction, and of course the Japanese Devil Fish Girl herself.

It’s silly. It’s funny. It’s Robert Rankin, which for me, is a Very Good Thing indeed. I loved it.

Weight and Stuff Report – 27 September 2010

Hmmm. Back up today. Ho hum.

Today’s picture is from last week’s visit to Tynemouth Priory. The Priory was built from fairly soft local stone, and over the centuries the wind and rain have eroded some of the blocks into quite fascinating patterns, such as this one:



Stephen Fry to play Mycroft

Woo, and indeed, hoo! It’s good to know that not only will there be another series of the BBC’s modern-day version of Sherlock Holmes, but there will also be a sequel to the nicely bonkers movie that came out last year.

It’s even better to know that Sherlock’s older, cleverer brother is to be played by National Treasure and general Good Thing, Mr Stephen Fry.

It’s slightly less good to know that the movie isn’t expected to be shown before December next year.

BBC News – Stephen Fry to play Sherlock Holmes’ brother on film.

Apple iPod Shuffle 2GB

Yes, I’ve succumbed to new toy syndrome again. My excuse for getting another iPod, when I have a perfectly functional iPhone 3GS is that I’ve taken to listening to drama recordings while I’m doing the ironing and other bits of housework. I’ve found that having, for instance, a Doctor Who play, or an episode of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy playing, makes tedious jobs a lot more pleasant. What I’d been doing was taking my MacBook into the kitchen, and playing the audiobook thingies on that, but this was a bit awkward, as the built in speakers aren’t loud enough to be heard if I’m washing up, and certainly not if I move to another room. Now I could use the iPhone, but I decided that a teeny tiny clip on device would be a lot more convenient. So I bought one on Friday.

And yes, it does what you’d expect. Unlike the previous Shuffle model, this one has Proper Buttons, and it works with the quite good headset I have for the iPhone. Sound, for audiobooks at least, is more than adequately clear and loud.

As it’s so small, it doesn’t have the usual Apple dock connector, but instead comes with a neat little USB to 3.5mm jack cable, which handles charging and synchronising.

The “voice over” thing is odd but interesting. You have to let iTunes install it if you want to use it, and once it’s on, pressing the button will result in a voice telling you the details of the track or playlist.

One thing to watch for is the mode switch. It goes from off to normal to shuffle. Now shuffle mode can be good for music, but it’s a bit confusing for audiobooks, so you probably don’t want to do that.

It clips on to clothing easily enough, and does the job. Quite nice, really. It is, of course, available in the usual range of pretty colours.

It’s available in one capacity only – 2GB, which is more than enough for what I want to use it for. It certainly won’t be replacing my iPhone as my mobile music player, but for audiobooks, it’s going to be getting a lot of use – I’ve got a load more to listen to!

Weight and Stuff Report – 26 September 2010

Hmm, another probably random dip today. All quite confusing.

I spent today finishing off the move of sites from Dreamhost to Linode[1], so now all that’s left on the old server is one domain that I’ll leave there until the prepaid period on the account runs out. Then I did some ironing and other such domestic tasks. How exciting!

Today’s picture is a closer view of the rigging on HMS Trincomalee:



[1] Referral link

Weight and Stuff Report – 25 September 2010

An upward twitch today, never mind, etc…

I took another set of pictures of the car park demolition this afternoon – there’s really not much left now, and I suspect one more week will see it levelled. There will then be the quite major job of clearing the enormous pile of rubble, which will take a while.

I’ll post those pictures, together with the others I’ve taken over the last few weeks, when I find a suitable tuit.

Today’s picture is from my Hartlepool trip. This is the beautifully restored HMS Trincomalee, the centrepiece of the attraction:

HMS Trincomalee

HMS Trincomalee