Monthly Archives: March 2012

March 2012 Round-up

As another month fades away, and a whole quarter of the year gone, it must be time for the exciting monthly report.


March 1: 221.4 pounds (15 stone 11.4 pounds, 100.4 kg)
March 31: 220 pounds (15 stone 10 pounds, 99.8 kg)

That’s a drop of 1.4 pounds (0.6kg), which is a bit better than last month, but is also a huge improvement on where I was the last few weeks. Just need to keep that up…


OK, I admit it. Those extra mid-month pounds arrived when my lunchtime resolve cracked and I started on the sausage rolls. I’ve stopped those again, with almost immediate results…


Well, this is a definite improvement on last month’s dire record. I walked to work a still not impressive six times, four of which were in the last week, and walked home just once. Additional walks brought my total for March to 45 miles, which is 20 miles more than last month. Good progress there.


I’ve been a bit chattier this month, with this post bringing the score to a quite moderate 58.


I’ve been taking lots of pictures, upgrading my software and err, maybe something else too…

Weight and Stuff Report – 31 March 2012

Oh good, back down a bit today. Quite a difference – this time last week, I’d managed to bloat to five pounds heavier than I am today.

I walked to Tesco this morning, which is something I won’t be doing for much longer, as the shop closes in three weeks so it can be flattened and a new bigger one built. I see some online shopping in my future.

After a grey and rather damp start, it turned out a bit brighter, so I decided to go for a bit of a walk this afternoon. I started off with a visit to the Shipley Art Gallery, where there’s a rather good exhibition of portraits on, including some on loan from the National Portait Gallery. Worth a look.

I then wandered over to Newcastle, taking the slightly knee-bothering route of over the Swing Bridge and up Dean Street, before going to the Laing Art Gallery to see more pictures. I had a brief look in some shops, and then got the bus home. Interestingly, given its recent failures, the Garmin app on my iPhone was very well behaved, only losing the signal while I was in Eldon Square. That walk ended up being over 4.6 miles.

Newcastle Walk

Newcastle Walk

I didn’t take any pictures today, this was more of a pure walk day, so here’s something from yesterday. There were a load of gulls swooping around the junction of Grainger Street and Westgate Road, so I tried to capture some shots. This is about the best I managed:



Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Aperture: ƒ/8
Shutter speed: 1/640s
Focal length: 118mm
ISO: 100

More pictures soon. Ish.

Sigur Ròs – Valtari

Oh, good. Those delightful etheric Icelanders are back with new material after a moderately long absence. There will be a new album in May, but for now there’s a video of a nicely atmospheric piece:

If you can’t see the video above[1], have a a look on the official website:

Sigur Ròs – Valtari[2]

[1] AdBlock will do that…
[2] Note: content of site may be different if you’re reading this in the future

What a difference a .1 makes

I mentioned earlier that a release candidate of Lightroom 4.1 was available. Well, I’ve had a quick play, and I’m happy with the changes I’ve noticed so far:

  1. Sliders in the Develop module are now much more responsive – like a lot of users, I’d experienced a fair amount of lag between moving a slider and seeing the result. This was particularly noticeable when using the Blacks and Whites sliders
  2. The Canon EOS 5D Mark III[1] is now supported, so users of that fine camera no longer need to use the beta release of the DNG converter to get their pictures into Lightroom

[1] As you might have guessed, I might possibly have a new camera to talk about. Stay tuned…

Weight and Stuff Report – 30 March 2012

Ho hum, a random upwards fluctuation today.

I walked to work for the fourth day in a row, which is quite impressive – the last time I managed that was in December.

Walk to work

Walk to work

I managed another lunchtime walk, also the fourth of the week.

Lunchtime walk

Lunchtime walk

This time, I went out with my Sigma 70-200mm lens attached. To the camera, that is, not to me. That would be silly.

I was pleased to see that the scaffolding and boards have been removed from the Stephenson Monument following its restoration. I couldn’t get too close because a man was hosing down the pavement around the base of the statue, to clean up the mess left by the work, but I did get this shot:




Lightroom 4.1 Release Candidate – out now

Users of Lightroom 4 who don’t want to wait another day or several for a final release can grab the release candidate of the first point release. This fixes a good selection of bugs reported by users, and adds support for one new camera: the quite significant Canon 5D Mark III which I mumbled about a few weeks ago. I may have something else to say about it later…

Get the details and the download from Adobe Labs:

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.1 Release Candidate

Weight and Stuff Report – 29 March 2012

Back up today, in the usual random fluctuation-y sort of way. Tomorrow may also be a heavy day, after this evening’s wine and food thingy after work.

I walked to work for the third day running:

Walk to work

Walk to work

That’s the best I’ve done since January, so I just need to keep that up…

Your picture for today is one I took while visiting Flow yesterday – as it’s a wooden platform sticking out into the river, it allowed me to get this view of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge from a different angle:

A different angle...

A different angle…

More to come…

Charlie Stross: Internet Puppy

I’ve mentioned my liking of Charlie Stross’s work a few times, most recently Rule 34, which, while not really caring about awards very much, I was happy to see had been shortlisted for the generally quite respectable Arthur C Clarke Award.

But not everyone is happy about this, it seems. Charlie tweeted a link to this somewhat grumpy article by Serious Author Christopher Priest:

Hull 0, Scunthorpe 3 – Christopher Priest

Is that a Housemartins reference in the title? Anyway, Mr Priest, author of some quite interesting stuff that fringes the borders of sf, and goes off in its own direction, isn’t at all happy with the shortlist, the state of sf, the judging panel, and quite possibly the weather. As the only book on the shortlist I’ve read is Charlie’s[1], I’ll restrict my comments to that part of the grumpfest.

Christopher Priest really, really, really doesn’t like the carefully crafted linguistic style Charlie has adopted in Rule 34. Well, I’m assuming he knows that it’s a carefully crafted style designed to draw the reader into the time and place, but I could be wrong, of course. After making it quite clear that this book is deeply unsuitable for any kind of award, he says:

Stross writes like an internet puppy: energetically, egotistically, sometimes amusingly, sometimes affectingly, but always irritatingly, and goes on being energetic and egotistical and amusing for far too long.

Well, he says a lot more than that, but you can read that for yourself in the original article.

Charlie appears to be unaffected by the harsh criticism. His best tweet on the subject says it all:

He’s also changed his avatar to a cute[2] puppy.

Nicely done, Mr Stross.

[1] The highly regarded China Miéville is one of those authors I haven’t quite got round to yet.
[2] If you like that kind of thing. I’m more of a Tigger man myself

Weight and Stuff Report – 28 March 2012

Down a wee bit more today, which is nice to see.

I walked to work, but without stopping to take pictures this time.

Walk to work

Walk to work

I made up for the lack of morning photos at lunchtime, when I took another walk:

Lunchtime Walk

Lunchtime Walk

My aim was to take a look at Flow, a quite deliciously bonkers water-powered musical art thingy currently open just along from the Millennium Bridge. It uses a water wheel which is turned by the tidal flow of the Tyne to charge batteries which run some quite interesting things, such as this musical device which is testing the salinity of the water. And playing a tune.

Salinity Sampler Sequencer

Salinity Sampler Sequencer

All very Heath Robinson[1], and a good fun thing to see. I’ll have more pictures on show when I get the time to sort them out[2].

I continued my walk by a different route, where I got this picture of a peaceful little lane, just a short distance from some seriously major roads:

Shady Lane

Shady Lane

All very nice…

[1] Or, for Americans, it’s probably Rube Goldberg
[2] Next week is looking good…

Weight and Stuff Report – 27 March 2012

What’s this?? Shock horror, down again, and by a significant amount. Must be the unusually warm weather, or something. I walked to work, with lots of pauses to take pictures, as the Garmin thingy shows:

Walk to work

Walk to work

Along the way, amongst other things, I saw some daffodils, which my 100mm macro lens caught quite nicely.

Spring has sprung

Spring has sprung

At lunchtime, I had another walk with the camera, as you can see:

Lunchtime Walk

Lunchtime Walk

I saw lots of things, but this view of the Stephenson monument beginning to emerge from its covers after being restored will have to do for now:

I want to break free...

I want to break free…