Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Perfect book for D&D

Received a lovely late Christmas present at the weekend - an A5 book with thick covers that look like carved skate with a wizardy pen. I'm itching to copy my Monk character into it ready for the next game session, just to get the "Oh, wow!" effect from the other players. I reckon I should be able to keep refilling it using the comb binding machines at work. And it's really nice and heavy for those situations when saying "you stupid bastard" is just not enough. Thanks, Tony!



Monday, January 30, 2006


Haven't seen that number for a while

The "let's eat sensibly and see what happens" campaign is still on-going and showing dividends. My weight this morning was under 15 stone 4 pounds (or 214 lbs for those in the US). That's about 5-6 pounds down over the week! Unfortunately I KNOW that the difference is because my stomach and intestines are no longer carrying around the food from a few extra meals that I used to needlessly have. So this week should show a much smaller change by Sunday.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Words of Wisdom from my sandwich

I've just noticed that my Daily Bread sandwiches are trying to cater for the mind as well as the body. Today's Garlic and Ginger Chicken packaging carries the quote:
"You know what they say, if at first you don't succeed, you're not the eldest son" (Stephen Fry).

Now that's enough to drag me to their website where I can see a Macromedia Flash animation slowly delivering quote after quote; very relaxing. Now I can look almost intellectual at the next dinner party we get invited to... except I have the memory of a goldfish and get invited to dinner as often as said creature.

Hmmm. They're starting to repeat which makes this one most appropriate:

"If you've heard this before, don't stop me because I'd like to hear it again" (Groucho Marx)


People love clouds

Just noticed that Yahoo has listed the Cloud Appreciation Society as the winner of the ‘Weird and Wonderful’ category of its Finds of the Year 2005 awards. Fantastic - didn't know it existed! Time to join up... where's my cheque book? Ooh, ooh - PayPal!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


First bump on the road to recovery

Today was always going to be a calorific challenge - I was delivering a technical workshop to visiting customers so there was, of course, a "free lunch". I haven't yet developed the mental strength to turn these down, even if it is worth only £4. Large slice of smoked chicken and charred red pepper frittata, noodles in hoi sin sauce, and squash with walnuts & honey, with a bowl of cream of brocolli sauce. Not good - I even felt full afterwards!

Things got worse when I later went home to grab tea before going out for an evening of GARPS. I quickly grabbed random stuff to make a "sandwich". I use the term "sandwich" with some reservations - the bread was a small (400g) loaf embedded with sun-dried tomatoes that Waitrose sell. The filling? Half an onion, some branston pickle and a generous smear of margerine. Oh, and 150g of corned beef. So a 700g monster. Before I "saw the lite" (ho, ho) I would have happily demolished one of these. Now I wasn't so sure and cut the creation in half (one half now and one half tomorrow). Later I sat down and had a look at the nutritional value of the full loaf:

Calories - 1430kcal
Protein - 76g
Carbohydrates - 197g
Fat - 42g

So the whole lot would stand up well as a major meal - thank Grud I only ate half of it!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Mmmm, fish and chips!

After yesterday's success I treated myself to a "Greek Yogurt Pleasurepot" (which includes muesli and honey) to go with my usual chicken fajita wrap. 400 calories and 20+ grams of fat so not something for every day.
Also I've discovered that my planned evening meal of fish and chips isn't too bad (when compared to the REALLY bad options!):

which is amazingly the same as a "Greek Yogurt Pleasurepot". Roll on "National Chip Week", I say!

Monday, January 23, 2006


Tora, Tora, Tora

Today is "Day 1" of the new eating regime. Methods will be draconian, results will be demanded.

The target numbers are
Energy 1800 kcal
Protein 55g
Carbohydrate 400g
Fat 80g

Today I consumed:
Lunch - chicken fajita wrap
Tea - steak and potato/parsnip mash
3 coffees, 2 diet cokes and a bottle of water.
No snacks (which was VERY hard work).

which I guesstimate to be:
Energy 1450 kcal
Protein 75g
Carbohydrate 140g
Fat 57g

So a good day but tomorrow will be more challenging - usually have fish and chips in the evening....

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Had my first snowboarding open practice on the artificial slops tonight. 8:30-10pm was great - place was almost deserted bar 2 skiers so no problems causing hazards for others. Today had been wet so soon were the seat of my jeans as well - not a problem skiers usually encounter as putting on skis is a damned sight easier than connecting your bindings. Another problem from being on wet plastic was that I couldn't stand up on my heels (from sitting facing downhill). As soon as I put some pressure on the ground with my hands, the board would start sliding away from me. Standing up on my toes is no problem but you start off on all fours facing uphill so it is easier - also the belly doesn't get in the way (it's very difficult to get your centre of gravity over the board when parts of your body don't fold up as neatly as they used to). I solved it in the end by using walls and advertising hoardings at the top of the slope to hold me up before putting my life in the safe hands of gravity.

It is surprising how long it takes to set yourself up for a run down the slope. We must have averaged one very 10 minutes (catching the button-seat lift, binding your boots in, gracefully gliding down the hill, getting up again, gracefully glide some more, stand at the bottom realising you're not injured, walk to the lift again).
Here's Bracknell ski slope:

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Support Your Local Wildlife


It's Not Dead Yet!

For years now - nearly 10 - this poor avacado tree has been struggling on through drought, frost and general owner neglect and ineptitude. In the summer it goes out in all weathers and returns indoors before the frosts arrive - and turn it into a stick, as happened to my father's avacado tree. Obviously I don't expect any fruit from it - apparantly commercially grown avocados require grafting. Hopefully the bug infestation has been killed off - for several years now a scaley creature appears on the leaves, drinking the sap and crapping glue onto everything below it. In the summer this isn't a problem and the garden police (usually ants) keep them in check but in the winter the carpet suffers. A regular check of the leaves is called for and extermination of any bugs essential.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Happy New Year

This New Year was brought in at my house in the company of my parents. Quite a change as it is usually a Portsmouth-based affair and with good reason, considering the apathetic bunch in our road. OK, so there were quite a few fireworks in the surrounding neighbourhood but no-one came out to help bring in the New Year. One door quickly shut when we started waving at the face peeking through. It's a good thing my parents didn't bring the handbells that we have so vigourously rang in the past.

Highlight of the celebrations? My mother reminding me what a classic "Toe-Knee-Black-Burn" was. And to think this epic musical masterpiece had somehow slipped my mind.

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