Monthly Archives: May 2012

May 2012 Round-up

As May comes to a soggy end, it’s time for the usual compilation post thingy.

Weight

May 1: 216.4 pounds (15 stone 6.4 pounds, 98.2 kg)
May 31: 219.4 pounds (15 stone 9.4 pounds, 99.5 kg)

OK, that’s a somewhat annoying rise of 3 pounds (1.4kg), but, and it’s a big but[1], it’s a quite impressive 5 pounds (2.3kg) less than I weighed at one point this month. So that’s bad and good. Or something.

Eating

While I generally avoided the sausage rolls, I did get tempted by other evil savouries, which might account for the mid-month bulge mentioned above. Since my return from Bristol, I’ve been better behaved, and I’ll try to keep that up in June.

Exercise

This month I walked to work a grand total of not at all, with an equal score for walking home. I managed a few walks, with a logged total of just 14 miles, which isn’t a lot by recent standards. Must do better, etc.

Posting

I’ve been a bit quiet this month – this report brings the May total to 39, which is well below average.

Stuff

I had another trip to Bristol and another weekend in Wales, woo hoo!

[1] Not to be confused with a a big butt, which I may well have

Weight and Stuff Report – 31 May 2012

Up just a touch today, but never mind. So there. Or something.

Hey, guess what? The rain came back! It seems to have rained on and off for most of the day (and indeed pretty much all of the morning, while I was at an event high in the rafters[1] of some local sports stadium thingy[2])

Today’s picture is one of my more successful attempts at catching a bird in flight. Lots of detail in this one, which has been cropped down.

Birdie

Birdie

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Aperture: ƒ/4
Shutter speed: 1/3200s
Focal length: 105mm
ISO: 100
Location: 51° 28.721708′ 0″ N 3° 41.94341′ 0″ W

[1] Well, probably not rafters, but it was a long way up, with a nice view of the rain falling on the grass
[2] Sport was not involved, of course

Weight and Stuff Report – 30 May 2012

Eh? What? Down again? I’m not sure how that happened, but never mind…

It was another grey morning, with some sunshine at lunchtime. Apparently there was some rain, but I didn’t see it, so it doesn’t count. Or something.

Your picture for today is of a boat leaving Porthcawl with a load of people who would seem to be going fishing.

Gone Fishing...

Gone Fishing...

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Aperture: ƒ/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/800s
Focal length: 65mm
ISO: 100
Location: 51° 28.482119′ 0″ N 3° 42.10535′ 0″ W

Weight and Stuff Report – 29 May 2012

Hmmm, back up a bit today, which is not all that surprising. Mutter.

After days of being hot and sunny, today started a bit dull and grey, but brightened up later. Still warm enough to make a jacket unnecessary, which makes a change.

In a shocking development, I went shopping at lunchtime and bought some clothes, which isn’t the sort of thing I do often. Details will remain a closely guarded secret, of course.

Today’s picture is the Grand Pavilion at Porthcawl. To be perfectly honest, it’s not all that grand, but it’s more honest than the nearby Pier Hotel, which clings to its name despite the quite noticeable lack of an actual pier. It’s probably irony, or something.

Grand Pavilion

Grand Pavilion

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Aperture: ƒ/8
Shutter speed: 1/800s
Focal length: 105mm
ISO: 100
Location: 51° 28.570274′ 0″ N 3° 42.395292′ 0″ W

Weight and Stuff Report – 28 May 2012

And I’m back from my latest trip. Weight down a bit, but that’s probably a temporary wossname. We shall see.

What with walking to Pencoed station, and to and from Bristol Temple Meads, I actually walked about two miles today, which isn’t too bad. Of course, I also spent about 6.5 hours sitting on trains, but never mind.

Today’s pictures are of some crazy people spotted flying over Pencoed on Sunday:

Crazy Person 1

Crazy Person 1

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Aperture: ƒ/11
Shutter speed: 1/160s
Focal length: 105mm
ISO: 100
Crazy Person 2

Crazy Person 2

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Aperture: ƒ/11
Shutter speed: 1/200s
Focal length: 105mm
ISO: 100

These are both cropped down from the full images – I didn’t have a long lens with me.

Stuff Report – 27 May 2012

As the remarkably nice weather has continued for another day, my brother and I went to Porthcawl this morning for a bit of a wander. After a bit of editing of the track file from my Garmin GPS to stop it including the last time it was turned on in Bristol, and the couple of minutes it was on while I transferred its data to the MacBook, I was able to export the details to Garmin Connect, so you can see the walk:

Portcawl

Portcawl

I took a few pictures, including one that suggests that even Starfleet is having to make cutbacks:

Where's Captain Kirk?

Where’s Captain Kirk?

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Aperture: ƒ/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/500s
Focal length: 84mm
ISO: 100
Location: 51° 28.503508′ 0″ N 3° 42.105393′ 0″ W

We had a short break for a coffee and a Welsh cake before walking back to the car and returning to Pencoed. More pictures when I’m sitting in front of a bigger screen!

Anno Dracula: The Bloody Red Baron – Kim Newman

Having had a lot of fun with the reissued Anno Dracula last year, I was looking forward to the sequel, which I think I read once when it first appeared in the last century.

Having been removed from his position as Prince Consort in the previous book, Dracula left Britain and eventually got into a position of influence in Germany. The story begins in the later stages of the First World War, and involves the usual mixture of real and fictional characters, some named explicitly, others more obliquely, and more references and allusions than anyone who isn’t actually Kim Newman is likely to spot on first reading.

For instance, there’s a bit where Baron von Richtofen causally shoots a white beagle, referring to it as an “absurd dog”.  Poor Snoopy.

And we meet an officer called Drummond, described as a fine specimen of the bulldog breed, which is to say he was barking mad.

Not to mention a blatant Doctor Strangelove gag

‘I say,’ snapped Haig, ‘stop that, you two. I’ll have no fighting in here. There’s a war on, you know.’

And much, much more.

But the heart of the story is the Bloody Red Baron himself. Like most of the err, best, members of the nobility, the Baron is a vampire, which makes him rather more of a challenge to his enemies. Given a good dose of blood from Dracula, Richtofen and the rest of his Flying Freak Show become uniquely equipped to destroy allied planes. I don’t think I’m giving too much away if I say that they manage this without the aid of the usual Fokker Triplanes.

Lots of fun, adventure, a superb cast of characters, and all those allusions to spot. Good stuff, highly recommended.

This being a reissue, it does come with some extras – a novelette set in 1923 featuring some of the same characters, which includes a lovely swipe at some other vampire stories you may have heard of:

Otterbourne’s Nitelite Saga novels has so much swooning Lydia wondered if the authoress was prone to fits

Anno Dracula 1923: Vampire Romance  makes the reissue worth a look even if you have the original. Lots of vampires managing to not get on very well at all, mysterious murders, evil conspiracies and meddling kids. Great fun.

There’s also a brief section revealing some of the sources, and an outline for a sort of related movie that was never made.

Stuff Report – 26 May 2012

After a good night’s sleep, with only occasional interruptions from trains[1] it was time for breakfast and a short walk to get a paper. Plans for the rest of the day are to relax….

Today’s picture is of some energetic people spotted in Bristol

Stroke!

Stroke!

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Aperture: ƒ/10
Shutter speed: 1/60s
Focal length: 32mm
ISO: 100
Location: 51° 26.982765′ 0″ N 2° 35.565678′ 0″ W

 

[1] We’re on the main line here. I said we’re on the main line!

Stuff Report – 25 May 2012

It was another warm, well, actually pretty damn hot day in Bristol. Did the jobs I was there to do, caught up with some other stuff, and left in good time to get the train to Wales. The first part of the journey, as far as Newport, was on a quite impressively unventilated train. There were a couple of open windows, but they didn’t do much to dispel the heat. It was quite nice going through the Severn Tunnel, though. I then had a moderately warm wait for the second train, which fortunately had actual air conditioning. My brother[1] met me at Pencoed, and after a quick shower, it was time for a sit down in the garden. Guinness may have been involved.

After that, my brothers[2] and I went over the road to Geoff’s neighbours for a barbecue (very nice indeed) and a glass[3] or two[4] of wine. And yes, the time stamp on this post is not strictly accurate. So there.

Here’s another Bristol picture, which would appear to be William Tyndale, judging by the book on his table, which you can’t see in this picture.

William Tyndale

William Tyndale

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Aperture: ƒ/9
Shutter speed: 1/15s
Focal length: 75mm
ISO: 250
Location: 51° 26.985825′ 0″ N 2° 36.05312′ 0″ W

 

[1] Hi Geoff  :wave:
[2] We had the full set of three again
[3] Bottle
[4] Four