Monthly Archives: October 2011

October 2011 Round-up

The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in, and err, it’s the end of another month, so it’s time for the post that saves you reading the rest of the nonsense.


Another month of minimal progress, but at least I’m not getting heavier

October 1: 220.8 pounds (15 stone 10.8 pounds, 100.2 kg)
October 31: 220 pounds (15 stone 10 pounds, 99.8 kg)

That’s an almost negligible loss of 0.8 pounds (0.4 kg), so I really do need to do some more walking and stuff. Definitely stuff.


Still behaving myself on the food front. Just need to watch the wine…


Oh dear. This has really slipped, hasn’t it? Out of 20 working days, I managed to walk to work twice, which is not really what we’re after. I did manage a few lunchtime walks, but I need to do more. Depending on the weather, I should manage a bit of walking this week, though.


I seem to be in posting mode again, and this report will bring the monthly total to a moderately silly 72.


I’ve taken loads of pictures with my new phone, and shared a few of them with you. More of that, and some pictures taken with a real camera to follow.

Doctor Who Fun and Games

OK, this has been around a bit, but I thought I’d add it here in case anyone missed it. When David Tennant’s time in Doctor Who ended, it was also departure time for Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner, executive producer. Well, that couldn’t go unmarked, so there was a wrap party, as is traditional. And some wonderful silliness was involved. For a start, we have just about everybody having fun with the Proclaimers:

Now there’s a wee bit in that where we see the Doctor (David Tennant), the Master (John Simm) and the Lord President[1] (Timothy Dalton) doing there bit. Now that I had seen before. The rest of it, unless my memory is worse than usual, I don’t think I had seen before. Linked here on the usual “if somebody complains, it’ll be gone” basis.

But there’s more. Here we have David Tenant, Catherine Tate and John Barrowman performing a very special song for Russell and Julie. Warning, may contain extreme naughtiness. No, really. It’s quite rude. And very funny.

I’m sure neither of these were ever intended for public consumption (especially the second one!), but here they are!

Weight and Stuff Report – 31 October 2011

Down a bit more today, good stuff. Not quite as low as I’ve been, but close enough for now.

Did I mention that I’ve got a week off  :tigger: ? Well, I have. A week off, that is  :bouncy: . Just thought I’d mention that. This morning, I took a walk to Tesco[1] to get some supplies. I then booked something for something I’m planning to do later in the week[2], which led to a slight change of plan. I was intending to go somewhere else altogether this afternoon[3], but I had a slight problem. I needed to print out a receipt, and found that my printer didn’t want to do it, claiming some feeble excuse about having an empty cartridge. So I decided to take a walk into Newcastle and see if I could get one there.

I walked in via the Baltic, where I had no trouble getting to see the Turner Prize show. Of the four artists involved, I found one to my liking, which is a well-above average score for exhibitions at the Baltic. Of the others, one was vaguely interesting in part, one looked a bit too random and the other totally failed to engage me, though the projectors, TVs and supports that were part of the work were very nice. No doubt people who know and understand more about such things will like them better. Or not.

I then walked into Newcastle, found that I could get the cartridges I needed[4], but at a price that seemed too high a proportion of the cost of a new printer to appeal to me. I decided to return home and do some research on cartridges and printers. And this time I remembered to stop the Garmin thing before I got on the bus to come home[5].

Today’s picture is a view of the Trinity Square development in Gateshead. They’ve kindly put some windows in the fence so the public can see what’s going on. The windows do get a bit mucky, so this isn’t as clear as it might be, but it does give a good idea of the scale of the site, and what a big hole they’ve dug…

Trinity Square Development

Trinity Square Development

Gives an idea of what a big site it is...


[1] See the exciting Garmin chart, which may have been slightly confused by me forgetting to press “Stop” before getting on the bus to come home.
[2] Details being kept quiet for now to maintain an air of suspense
[3] Details also being kept quiet, etc, etc
[4] One’s empty, one’s muttering a bit and another one’s a bit low
[5] Though the Garmin thingy does show an odd speed boost or two. I think stairs confuse it.

Weight and Stuff Report – 30 October 2011

Back down a bit today, as the gradual recovery from possibly overdoing it a wee bit on Friday continues.

The weather looked a bit variable today, so I decided to have a quiet day in catching up on various bits of TV that I somehow hadn’t got round to over the last couple of weeks.

Today’s pictures – yes, you can have two today – show part of the old Bank of England building

Stripping out

Stripping out

The stripping out is getting a bit aggressive, as the rubble below shows. But I’m quite impressed with how they’re persuading the rubble to stay on the inside of the fence. Good throwing!



Manic Street Preachers – This is the Day

That excellent Welsh band, The Manic Street Preachers have a new singles collection out tomorrow, which I plan to do something quite unusual with. Rather than grabbing the cheapest download version I can find, I’ll be getting the shiny round thing version. Well, the posh shiny round thing version, which comes with a DVD full of videos as well as two CDs. There are 38 tracks on the compilation, which I may well mutter about when I’ve had a chance to listen to it, but I can tell you that it closes with something a little unusual. It’s a cover of the The The classic This is the Day – one of my favourite songs ever. The original, which is on the essential Soul Mining album[1] is a moody, thoughtful, almost mournful piece, whose tone belies the apparently hopeful words

This is the day your life will surely change
This is the day when things fall into place

But the Manics have taken it, twisted it, replaced the accordion with some properly rockist guitars and made it into a rousing, uplifting sing along monster. And I’m quite happy about that. While the original will always be best for me, this completely different approach to the song manages to be its own thing without losing the essential Matt Johnsonness[2] of it.

The video is a nice collection of archive Manics footage:


[1] Available for less money now than when I first bought it on cassette in the early 80s. Bargain!

[2] It’s a word. I’m sure it is.

That’s been annoying me for a while

Sometimes Dilbert gets it right:

Fun in meetings -

Fun in meetings

I keep hearing about events being “curated” by somebodyorother, and I’ve been wondering what the preservation of museum collections had to do with, say, a series of concerts. I should have realised it was more “new media” or “social notworking” nonsense, then I’d have happily ignored the whole thing…

Terry Pratchett – Snuff

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, that’s better. There’s nothing like a new Terry Pratchett book to make the world feel like a better place. This is especially so when the book has Sam Vimes, Commander of the City Watch, and reluctant possessor of assorted other titles which Patrician Lord Vetinari seems to have deployed as weapons in their ongoing not exactly conflict.

The fun starts when Vimes is reluctantly sent on holiday, and as we all know, when your policeman hero goes on holiday, it’s only a matter of time before he runs into some suitably nasty criminal activity which only he can deal with. And Terry, having due regard for the principles and power of The Story, ensures that Vimes does indeed run into some nasty activity. The trouble is that while much of what’s going on is vile, foul and reprehensible, it’s not technically criminal, which makes Sam’s job a little more complicated.

It’s the Goblins, you see. Yet another more or less humanoid species on the Disk, who unlike quite respectable people like Vampires, Trolls, and even Nobby Nobbs, aren’t regarded as people by most people, despite them talking and all that…

There’s a seriously nasty murderer on the loose, a nice trip down the river in a boat with the lovely name The Wonderful Fanny[1], which causes as much amusement for Vimes and others as it would to most people[2].

There is if course lots of Deadly Peril for Vimes and his family, aristocrats to be mocked, important messages to be sent, and Sam indulging in a little bit of political string pulling, calling in of favours, and generally disrupting things as only he can.

And there are, of course, lots of jokes[3], and some lovely lines, such as this interchange between the young local policeman who’s been sent to arrest Vimes for a crime that he obviously didn’t commit:

‘It’s a legitimate deduction sir, you must admit that’

‘Of course I do, and now it’s a total bastard of a deduction, and now you must admit that’

And then there’s this bit, when Vimes warns the captain of the, look, I’m not mentioning the name again, that there’s an obstacle to the left of the boat

The wheel spun frantically again. ‘Obliged to you, sir, and I surely hope you won’t take it amiss if I say that we generally talk about port and starboard?’

‘Wouldn’t know about that, Gastic, never drank starboard.

And finally, one for the fans

Sybil will go totally librarian about it!

Nope, not explaining it. If you don’t get it, you haven’t been doing the required reading, and you’ve got another 38 books to catch up on. Get on with it!

So there it is, another seriously funny, and seriously serious piece of work from the master.

[1] Look, her name was Francesca…
[2] Note to any non-UK readers, especially Americans: when British people hear the word “fanny”, what comes to mind isn’t the bit you sit on so much as ladies’ naughty bits. It’s a much more polite term than all the other ones I’m not going to use, I should point out.
[3] Only some of which involve references to the previously mentioned river craft

Weight and Stuff Report – 29 October 2011

Yes, well, as expected, up again today. Chinese food, a very tasty Rioja, a beer or two[1] and a wee drop of whisky can take the blame for that. It wasn’t my fault, OK? That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I decided to walk to Tesco this morning. As I left the house, it was a bit dull, but dry. Then I felt a few half-hearted drops of rain. Then it really rained, so I got a bit wet. But at least I remembered to log my walk with the Garmin Fit app, which I can confirm locks on to the GPS signal a lot more enthusiastically than Runkeeper ever did.

Your picture for today is an example of me pushing the iPhone 4S camera a bit. The sun was low in the mostly clear sky, so I had to use the touch to set focus and exposure trick to get any detail here. As you’d expect, the sky is pretty much burned out, and there are some entertaining beams of light coming from the top left, but it does confirm that the phone is good enough to replace the compact camera that normally follows me around when I don’t have a real camera with me. This is good, because it’s one less thing to carry, and one less thing to forget to charge…

Bright light!

Bright light!

Weight and Stuff Report – 28 October 2011

Hmm, up again today, and I’ll predict now[1] that I’ll be even heavier tomorrow, as I’m having that rare experience known as “a night out”. Food will be eaten, drinks will be drunk, as in all probability will I be[2].

As I’m posting this in the morning[3], I can’t show you any pictures I might have taken later today, as that would cause a temporal paradox or something. So here’s one of the developments at Newcastle University.




[1] Not that I’m actually posting this tomorrow, of course.
[2] Just a wee bit, you understand
[3] Look, that’s what the timestamp of the post says, and would it lie?

Weight and Stuff Report – 27 October 2011

In a not exactly unexpected development, my weight is back up today. Random swings and things, or something.

Today’s picture is from yesterday’s look at the Pilgrim Street demolition job.

Nearly there

Nearly there