Monthly Archives: December 2011

2011 Round-up

Well, well, well. Another year creaks to a conclusion, which means it’s time for the traditional end of year summary, the post that you can read instead of all the others I’ve been churning out all year.


Let’s look at the numbers first, shall we:

January 1: 232.6 pounds (16 stone 8.6 pounds, 105.5 kg)
December 31: 215.8 pounds (15 stone 5.8 pounds, 97.9 kg)

That’s a loss of 16.8 pounds (1 stone 2.8 pounds, 7.6 kg), which is the best I’ve done since 2004. Indeed, it’s a bit more dramatic than that, because by July, my weight had actually risen to a quite alarming 237.8 pounds (16 stone 13.8 pounds, 107.9 kg), which is actually more than I weighed back in 2003 when I first started trying to lose weight. In the last six months, I’ve managed to lose a quite impressive 22 pounds (1 stone 8 pounds, 10 kg), which I’m quite pleased about.


Somewhat up on last year, and indeed the highest post count ever apart from 2008, when I got a bit carried away.

2003: 2 posts
2004: 515 posts
2005: 576 posts
2006: 620 posts
2007: 747 posts
2008: 833 posts
2009: 718 posts
2010: 717 posts
2011: 770 posts

You can see the monthly totals on the Sitemap page, if you’re interested in such details.


I’ve taken lots of pictures, and even had some displayed in public. Not sure if I can top that next year!

And finally…

Happy New Year to anyone and everyone who reads this stuff.

The Art of the Adventures of Tintin

Having enjoyed the Tintin movie when I saw it in November, I was intrigued by this rather tasteful book when I saw it in Forbidden Planet. Loads of pictures, lots of background information on how the movie was created, character designs, casting, scenery, and more. I thought about buying it, but even at Amazon’s price, it was a bit expensive for the kind of thing I’d look through once and then leave on the shelf. So I decided to forget about it, until a link from somewhere led me to an article on Techcrunch – TinTin iPad Art Book Blurs The Line Between Books, Movies, And Apps, which alerted me to the fact that the book was also available as an iPad app, and that it was a lot cheaper than the printed version. Having read that while I was away, when I got home I bought the app – it was just £3.99, which seemed like a good deal.

The first thing I noticed was that this was a moderately large app – the download is 697MB. Once it was installed, I gave it a try, and I was impressed. There’s a video intro from Stephen Spielberg, then a quick tutorial, and you can then play with the book.

You get all the pages from the book, with added features – all images can be zoomed to full screen, there are 3D models you can rotate and examine in great detail either by sliding a finger or rotating the iPad. Some of these contain links to more models, and more information. There are video clips, a nifty navigation area that slides up from the bottom of the screen, and quite simply loads of cool stuff to discover.

Something that struck me as I started playing with this was that this is what multimedia CD-ROMs were trying (and largely failing) to do back in the 90s. This is an excellent example of what can be done with a touchscreen interface, and I have to agree with Techcrunch. Don’t buy the book, buy the app. Unless you don’t already have an iPad, that is. Though you could use this as the perfect excuse to buy one…

December 2011 Round-up

So, another month comes to an end, which means it’s time for another one of these summary thingies. There’ll be a round-up of the year later…


Well, despite Christmas and all that, I’ve managed a general downward trend this month.

December 1: 218 pounds (15 stone 8 pounds, 98.9 kg)
December 31: 215.8 pounds (15 stone 5.8 pounds, 97.9 kg)

That’s a loss of 2.2 pounds (1kg), which is quite satisfactory, thank you.


Despite a few nights in a hotel and that little matter of Christmas, I seem to have kept things nicely under control this month. Woo hoo, etc.


Out of just ten normal working days this month, what with holidays, that conference and all that sort of thing, I walked to work five times, which is a bit below target. But I did manage some more walks. Garmin has logged some of that, and tells me I managed over 30 miles, but that doesn’t include some activities where I didn’t use the app.


Including this post, the total for December is 52, but I have one or two more to follow…


I’ve managed a few longish walks this month, taken some pictures and generally done quite well…

Weight and Stuff Report – 31 December 2011

Well, today’s weight isn’t quite as low as yesterday’s, but it’s still a good figure to end the month and year with. More on that in the traditional round-up posts which will appear later.

I decided to have another walk today. I went via the Sage and the Millennium Bridge into Newcastle, where I saw some crazy drummers and an Ice Queen – part of the New Year’s Eve celebrations. I had considered hanging around for the parade and fireworks display, but decided that both would involve large crowds of the size I prefer to avoid, and there was also the little matter of the buses giving up and going home quite early this evening, so I’d probably have had to walk home. I had the Canon 5D Mk II with me, and I’ve got some good pictures which I’ll be sharing with you later.

Here’s the walk:

Newcastle Walk

Newcastle Walk

And here’s the ice queen:

Ice Queen

Ice Queen

The power of Moffat!

That Mr Steven Moffat chap gets everywhere, it seems. Not only the little matter of Doctor Who, and the return of Sherlock on Sunday[1], but also, it seems an occupation of Leazes Park in Newcastle.

Taking a different route through the park in attempt to dodge the raindrops[2], I spotted this sign:



What? He’s got his own Pavilion??? Intrigued, I walked on and found an innocent looking wooden structure with this sign on it:

Can it be true?

Can it be true?

Come on, Steven. You can tell us. It’s a TARDIS, isn’t it?  :rofl:

[1] Did I mention Sherlock is back on Sunday?  :bouncy:
[2] Note: this does not work

Weight and Stuff Report – 30 December 2011

Woo hoo! See that weight there? Quite a bit down on yesterday, which would seem to have been a bit of temporary bloatage, and a new low for this year. Can I improve on that tomorrow?

I got up quite early today, and walked to Tesco to do the shopping I’d normally do on Saturday, but as I needed some things today, and I want to have tomorrow free, I decided to get on with it. After that, it was time for a bit of breakfast and catching up with some things I needed to catch up on.

I’d decided to walk into Newcastle and wander round the shops, but once I got across the river, I decided to have a proper walk instead. I went up Westgate Road, then back down by a different route, and came through Leazes Park. At that point, it started to rain, but I didn’t let that put me off until I got to Northumberland Street, when the rain got heavy enough to be annoying, so I did a wee bit of shopping and headed for the bus stop. Garmin tells me I managed about six miles, which is not bad at all.

Now if this works, you’ll see my Garmin walk stuff here: [1]

Here’s the walk – click the map to see more details.

Newcastle Walk

Newcastle Walk

As I hadn’t been planning on a proper walk, I didn’t take a proper camera, but I did give the iPhone some exercise. Here’s a shop that’s really keen on QR codes.

QR Overload!

QR Overload!

[1] As later posts reveal, the Garmin plugin has borkage issues, so I’m abandoning it…

Weight and Stuff Report – 29 December 2011

Well, here I am, back home after a week in South Wales, and despite doing a great deal of sitting around and not actually moving very much, and eating lots of turkey and stuff (the Stilton was nice  :yes: ), I’m somehow a wee bit lighter than I was when I went away. Depending on this and that, I should be having a few walks over the next couple of days, so I might manage to get that down a bit more for a good end of year figure. That’s the plan, anyway.

Today’s picture is an odd thing in York. I’m not sure what this is about at all…



Stuff Report – 28 December 2011

Another excitingly non-exciting and quiet day today, with remarkably little to report.

This was an old advert I spotted when I was at Beamish.

I know them!

I know them!

Thomas Owen were still in the same premises on the Side up to the early 1990s. They’d moved on to other lines of business by then, mostly selling cleaning supplies and the like for commercial premises. In an early part of my career, one of my tasks was ordering jumbo toilet rolls and paper towels from them. Just thought you’d like to know that…