Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Tuesday tune-up

OK, today is weigh in day and it's not pretty.

I am back up to 161lbs, but here are my excuses:-

1. I've been busy. On Sunday I didn't do a workout and had a BIG pub lunch courtesy of my parents - however, I did exercise, moving quite a substantial amount of carpet out of a 1st floor flat.

2. I've been unwell. I caught a cold which started in earnest on Sunday. On Monday I felt rotten and didn't do a workout. I also got the munchies in the evening and ate 2 slices of toast with Nutella on, promptly followed by 2 cheese toasties. Also, I caved yesterday lunchtime and had some *comfort* food - bacon and egg sandwich, bag of Thai Sweet Chicken crisps and a minty Cadbury's chocolate bar.

Today I've been much better - a sensible lunch and supper, and I did a full workout even though I still have quite a nasty cold happening. I therefore think that given the circumstances there's no reason for me to feel bad about a slight weight gain.

I just hope that today's workout doesn't have an adverse effect on my cold...

Monday, February 27, 2006


Nicked from the HNT God, Osbasso!

I like this...I reckon it's about right, or if not, it's what I'd like to think I'm like!



which chinese symbol are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


Catching up after the weekend

So the dreaded cold that Audrey and Martha had finally caught up with me this weekend. So much for vitamin pills and workouts! It's all for nought!

Still working on that industrial use for snot...right now it's the only vague idea I have for making my fortune.

In spite of that though this weekend has been pretty good.

On Friday night we watched "Wallace & Gromit - The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" on DVD. What an awesome film! I'm annoyed with myself that I ended up sleeping through much of it at the cinema. It's just brilliant!

Swimming went well on Saturday - Audrey learned a few new tricks in the pool and actually paddled ALONE using a float for the first time. She wasn't too crazy about it though, but hopefully we praised her enough that she'll think to do it again next time.

On Sunday we drove down to meet my parents at my grandmother's flat near Guildford. My grandmother passed away about a year and a half ago, and since then my Dad has been sorting out the probate (now done) and redecorating the flat to sell or to rent. I think the idea is to rent it actually. Anyway, it's the first time I'd been back to the flat since the funeral, so I expected to feel weird, but in fact I didn't. Mum and Dad had already done a lot of work to the flat, and added a few of their own touches to make it feel a little less like my grandmothers home, and more like a generic Kagan home.

The plan for the day was to tear up the old carpets in readiness for the carpet layer to come on Monday to install new ones throughout, so Dad and I set to moving furniture and ripping it all out. It was a nasty job - I think those carpets must be the same age as me, and the underlay had completely disintegrated into nothing but black dust. However, there is something rather therapeutic about ripping up carpets, so I quite enjoyed myself. I was also glad that, in spite of my cold, I felt physically fit to do the work. My workouts suddenly felt like they were paying off, and at the end of the day I didn't feel especially tired physically in spite of us having removed some pretty large carpets from a first floor building.

In between times we went out for a nice slap up binge at the nearby pub. We had some pretty good food and I had a well deserved pint of Scrumpy Jack cider to wash away some of that dust from my windpipe! I'm not a big cider drinker, but at the right time and place it's much more refreshing than beer and really hits the spot!

Audrey was awesome for the whole day. She complained very little during the whole two hour journey there and back and ate a good meal herself. I really do feel like she gets a sense of her surroundings and knows it's neither the time nor place to muck around. When we got home we were late and out of schedule for her, so we dumped her in the bath for a quick wash and scrub, before giving her some milk and straight to bed. She didn't make too much fuss, and just said "I'm a little bit tired!" - she's prone to understatement, just like her old man I think!

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Where in the world?

If you're looking for my HNT it's below!

The red places show all the countries I have ever visited.

Thanks to Priya for pointing me in the direction of this neat little thing!

I didn't realise how pathetic it looked until I saw the map...also, it didn't have Easter Island on the list but I guess that counts as Chile...

create your own visited country map

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Insane Half-Nekkid Thursday

Today's movie based HNT is another favourite of mine. I remember reading the book and watching the film in quick succession during a Film Studies course at university, and being totally blown away by both.

However, it was only about two weeks ago that I discovered that the actor who plays Billy Bibbit in this movie is the same actor who played Grima Wormtongue in "The Two Towers" (and "Return of the King" if you have the extended DVD edition!).


Anyway, back to HNT... thanks as always to my wife, Martha for her amazing Photoshop work and for taking the photo. She's a tad unwell right now, so it was probably extra difficult for her this week... what a star!

And, if you've never seen this movie or read the book, then shame on you - go out and buy it, rent it or steal it NOW! The film's got a ton of youthful famous faces in it (a cast you probably couldn't afford to pay to get together in one room nowadays), and it's an amazingly touching and sad story.

Happy HNT everybody...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006



I truly believe it is a bad idea to bring work home with you. Work should remain in the workplace and home-time should be spent doing home type stuff. Once you start to bring work home it's a slippery slope and people just expect you to use you own personal spare time to do work related things with nothing in return.

Even if there was something in return I still would prefer not to do it - the rewards need to outweigh the time I could have spent with my wife, my daughter, or just generally making sure the house doesn't turn into pigsty from all the neglect it's getting because I'm too busy doing work for no pay.

Yes, this is going somewhere...

A while ago my father and an associate of his started a company which specialises in advising and training people about hazardous cargoes in the transport industry. I was asked to be Company Secretary and own a quarter of the shares. The title of Company Secretary sounds grand, but trust me, it's not that exciting unless you enjoy being used as a gopher to solve certificate printing, computer video editing, Powerpoint presentation problems. Oh yes, and I get to sign cheques! Whoopee!

As part of the presentations they give to various companies around the country, there are videos, which have to be seamlessly integrated into the Powerpoint presentations. These have come from various sources - video cassettes, DVD's, even Flash animations. However they all have to be converted (well, except the Flash animations) into tiny weeny files from their source and guess who gets to do that?!

Now normally, I'd like the challenge - I actually enjoy video editing, and figuring out how to convert stuff from one format to another, but the trouble is all the equipment I use is at home! So I have to bring tapes and DVD's back home and spend hours taping all the stuff through to the computer and converting the files. It's a painful process when the material I'm dealing with is of literally no interest to me...quite apart from the fact that it's using valuable time I want to spend doing other things. Now let me loose on my Easter Island tapes for the same purpose and I'd be deliriously happy!

So tonight I am looking at a DVD that needs converting - it requires a link through from the DVD player to the TV and out to my video camera where I then record it to DV. Then I upload it to the computer, regroup the segments (because iMovie will chop it up into bits) and reconvert it to DivX format. I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to do it. Not tonight. I just did my workout and I'm tired and just want to salvage some fun out of my evening...maybe I'll look at it again tomorrow.

Speaking of my workout, I did a weigh in and I have lost a further 2lbs which gets me back down to 159lbs - the weight I was after I was so ill the other day. This is excellent news and proves that the lack of weight loss the last couple of weeks was just my body getting back to normal after being sick and losing an abnormal amount of weight in a short amount of time. I need to lose a few more pounds before I'm at a weight I'll be completely happy with, but overall I'm very pleased with the results.

Anyway, time to surf and see what else is going on in blogland! Goodnight!

Monday, February 20, 2006


Like a Virgin

I just bought my first Madonna CD!

Checks date - yep, 20th February 2006...it's only taken me 20+ years to lose my virginity to the Queen of Pop!

I bought the CD single of "Sorry" purely because it contains a rather stonking remix by, yep, you guessed it, the Pet Shop Boys! However before you all go into mental shutdown, this is not a post about PSB's. I just found it rather weird that it's taken me this long to actually buy something by Madonna. I guess the songs title is rather apt - I feel like I need to apologise for never having bought anything by Madonna.

I've never been a fan especially, but at the same time I've never disliked her music either. In fact, its fair to say I actually really like quite a lot her music. I really can't understand why it is that there has been, up until today, not a single thing by Madonna in my record collection.

The only thing I can really put it down to is that it wasn't especially *cool* for a male teenager to be into Madonna back in the mid eighties. I knew plenty of girls who adored her, but unless you wanted to get your head kicked in after school, saying you liked Madonna was probably the last thing on a guys mind.

After that I would say success bred contempt for me. Her stardom just completely overshadowed her music as far as I was concerned, so whilst I enjoyed hearing her stuff played on the radio it was never something I felt the need to go out and buy. That and the fact that I spent most of my pocket money on Pet Shop Boys records anyway so there was precious little left over for anything else.

I had a fleeting moment with Madonna in University when Erotica was released. The fuss over her book allowed the men to perve, and I got to review her CD for a University magazine, but it wasn't a personal copy. I quite liked the album, but mainly because it was produced by Shep Pettibone made famous for me by doing some rather brilliant remixes of, yep, Pet Shop Boys songs!

After that it kind of felt like you'd missed the boat with Madonna - she just *is*, and thats that, so leave her be, enjoy the music, and be happy. So of course it takes true Pet Shop Boys involvement to really get me out there, spending my hard earned (ha ha ha!) cash on a Madonna record. Fortunately for me I also genuinely like the song anyway, but would I have bought it otherwise? I very much doubt it.

On a similar note, I feel the same way about U2. Only a handful of U2 CD singles grace the hallowed shelves of my CD racks - not one U2 album does though. And why? I haven't a clue! Every time I hear a U2 song on the radio I enjoy it, I don't switch over, or go "Oh God, that is so overplayed!" (with the possible exception of "E-le-vation!" which if I hear it one more time I shall kick in my car stereo.)

I think partly its fear - I like the singles that I hear on the radio, but I'm afraid I wont enjoy the rest of the album, so as a result I don't buy anything. Is it me being silly or snobbish about music? I don't know.

So how do I feel, now that I've popped my cherry to Madonna? I guess I'm kind of pleased with myself for having finally done it. I don't feel dirty and used but the earth didn't exactly move for me either.


Sunday, February 19, 2006


Lock, Stock & Barrel

Each and every weekend Martha and I always ask each other "So what are we gonna do then?" - we start to sound like the vultures in Jungle Book after a while because we simply end up playing tennis with this phrase until one us finally decides to think of something to do.

This weekend was no exception, but with Audrey somewhat out of sorts before the weekend we were unsure as to whether we should venture too far. Anyway, a half eaten out of date loaf of bread provided the answer and I suggested we find somewhere with ducks that we could feed. A quick scoot on the internet provided us with some ideas locally, and we plumped for one that we already knew from a couple of previous expeditions, Foxton Locks, which provided a decent and pleasant canal-side walk, narrowboats to get Audrey excited about, ducks to feed, and most importantly a pub to buy a drink and possibly lunch.

So off we went and to be honest it was mostly a very good excursion. The biggest downer was probably the weather, which was a smidge too cold for our liking and it started out rather foggy. We walked down the tow-path of the canal past the lock-keepers cottage and down the hill where the locks operate allowing the boats to travel up and down. I always thought locks were kind of cool in the way that they work.

At the bottom of the hill we stopped to feed a large number of ducks who seemed pretty happy to see us with our stale bread, but soon Audrey said she was getting cold, so we ventured into the pub to get a pint of brew. We ummed and ahhed about lunch (in which time I'd already eaten my way through two small tins of Pringles) and decided to have just a starter before heading on our way. Martha had leek and potato soup and I had some rather yummy pate.

We headed back up the hill to the car - the weather hadn't improved, but we took a few happy snaps along the way, a few of which I've posted below. When we got home we found that the fresh air just knocked us out. We've been feeling pretty sleepy all afternoon, and are seriously contemplating not doing our workout tonight...however, I think guilt will take over and I'll end up doing it anyway.

Well, thats about my lot - enjoy the photos, and fingers crossed for a decent week ahead! Byee!

Friday, February 17, 2006


Puff the Magic Dragon...

TGIF...I think...

This week has had some ups and downs, so I should be glad it's the weekend I reckon...I spent most of my working week mucking about with computers that kept crashing...grrr!

Thanks to assburger2006 or whatever he called himself for spamming my HNT post! How utterly pointless was that eh?!

Audrey is sick - AGAIN! She's got a cold which has given her a temperature...poor thing was just flopping around last night and this morning, so hopefully she'll be feeling a little better when I get home tonight...yes OGO I'm blogging from work again!!!

No swimming tomorrow, but thanks to Audrey being unwell, any plans we had to do anything have evaporated...so I guess we'll have to see how she is tomorrow morning and decide how to fill our day then.

The big news of the week I thought was the vote in the House of Commons over smoking in public places...it seems we will be finally following the likes of Canada in making pubs and bars no smoking areas in the next year or so, which can only be good news.

I've never been a smoker (although I'll raise my hand to having smoked cigarettes and cigars in the past, usually when I've been too drunk to care!) and have for the most part been quite anti-smoking. My mother is a smoker, and my father was too, but quit some years ago before it really became fashionable to say you were a former smoker! My sister I believe has also quit, although I'm not quite sure
how that's going - let me know Sis, if you're reading this!!! I think it makes sense...I'm not a whiney anti-smoker - I don't really care all that much if someone is puffing away next to me, but thats usually when it's outside or in a very open space. Otherwise it's pretty intolerable. All those smokers who are complaining about it being against their rights of freedom are forgetting that we never get a choice to inhale their second hand smoke and to have our clothes stink of their disgusting habit when we walk into a bar. When people say it will reduce the number of people who go to pubs, I wonder about how many people, like Martha and I who stay clear of pubs BECAUSE of the smoke, and how there are equally vast numbers of new customers these pubs will get as a result of them being smoke free.

What really pains me about this is how long its taken our government to pull their fingers out to put this into action. It really is a no brainer!

Have a happy and smoke free weekend folks!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Half assed HNT!

In a rush this week - totally unprepared so rattled this one off in a hurry.

I'm the guy front left...I composed my South Park me ages ago using that funky doodle editor that just about everyone has used at one time or another, so I just dropped myself into the poster. Easy peasy!

I promise I'll try to do better next time. However, I have to say this still remains one of the funniest movies I have ever seen!

Happy HNT everyone!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Best laid plans...

Martha and I agreed yesterday that we would be lazy on Valentines Day for supper and get takeaway - in fact we'd try the new Chinese place that opened a few months ago a mile or so away.

Martha picked up the menu on her way home last night and we picked out what we wanted so I could order it when I got home tonight. Even better was that it said on the menu that they would deliver to us for free! We could be REALLY lazy!

So tonight I called up and asked to place an order for delivery.

"Sorry we haven't got a delivery driver tonight." came the harsh reply.

On Valentines Day night of all nights! If you can't provide the service, don't advertise that you can is what I say!

Anyway, I figured it wasn't going to ruin things since they were close by, so I placed my order and was told I could collect it in 20 minutes. I still had Audrey's food for the childminders tomorrow to get ready so I figured I'd call Martha and ask her to pick it up.

I called her number and no answer! I called again...and again...and again until my 20 minutes was nearly up! I'd finished Audrey's food, so I guessed I'd have to leave right away and get the food, when suddenly the phone rang. It was Martha, except all I could hear was Audrey wailing!

I told Martha my predicament, although it was obvious she had one of her own, but she agreed to get the food since geographically she was closer. I hung back and got everything as ready as I could.

When Martha got back, Audrey was still crying, and for no apparent reason, but we muddled through giving each other Valentines Day cards. Except Audrey wanted to open them for us of course! Also I have to admit to feeling rather sheepish, because Martha also bought me gifts which I didn't do! So I now have a lovely box of mint Bendicks chocolates and a bottle of Orkney Islands Highland Park whisky to keep me happy for the next little while!

Anyway, after cards and gifts we sat down to supper. Martha had ordered shredded chicken, which we had both anticipated to be battered and deep fried, but beyond that not a lot else...well it was, except it was also covered in a sauce...a sweet and sour sauce. Now correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that therefore "sweet and sour shredded chicken"? If Martha had known she wouldn't have ordered it!

Next was a container of plain chow mein for me. Now to me, plain chow mein would normally consist of fried noodles, some beansprouts and onions with some light soy sauce. So why the bloody hell were there king prawns in it?! I don't especially care for prawns, but we were hardly at a point to take it all back now, so we muddled along and I ate it - I did eat the prawns, but am worried I might regret it.

I did however have some lovely duck in plum sauce, which was amazingly what I ordered and Martha's chicken was pretty tasty even if it wasn't what Martha had expected to get.

Anyway, I'm pretty stuffed now, and have decided to cancel my workout with Harvey tonight. I did a very unscientific weigh in (ie fully clothed!) and it looks like I weigh roughly the same as last week - about 161lbs. Again I'm not really downhearted by this - my weight has obviously levelled out and as long as I continue to exercise this is a good weight for me to be at. Ideally I'd like to shed a few more pounds just to give myself some leeway for nights like tonight where I completely pig out.

Well ours may not have been perfect, but I hope all your Valentine's evenings went/go to plan.

Next big day - Jif Lemon Day! (aka Pancake Day - aka Shrove Tuesday)


Happy Valentines Day!

Thank you to all my readers (all 3 of you! Ha ha ha!)

I love you all!

Here's a little something from me to you!

Happy Valentines Day!

Monday, February 13, 2006


Stolen from Lady Amethyst

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was behind you? The bed I was sitting on and wallspace.
2. Do you like someone?:
Just LIKE? Of course, there's a ton of people I like!
3. What were you doing at midnight last night?:
Sleeping VERY soundly.
4. Favorite planet?:
Mars - no, wait, I can't decide - I like them all!
5. Who is the first person you ever kissed?:
I think she was called Victoria, but I really don't recall her name!
6. What is your favorite ring on your phone?
I don't dig on ringtones - a regular "ring ring" will do just fine thankyou!
7. What color underwear are you wearing?: Dark blue you lucky minxes!
8. What do you think of yourself?:
I TRY to be nice, I REALLY do!
9. Name the brand of your shoes you're currently wearing?
10. Night light or pitch black?:
We all feel better in the dark! Pitch Black of course!
11. What do you think about the previous person who took this survey?:
She kicks my ass at Scrabble, but I'll forgive her!
12. Why do we always press harder on the remote when we know the batteries don't work?
I don't - I replace them.
13. What's a word that rhymes with mist?
And this is relevent how?! OK, OK, LIST! KISSED! PISSED! any more you want me to throw out at random?
14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
If I knew how to read text messages on my phone I'd tell you!
15. Where is the nearest gas station?
Two miles from home on the Fosse Way (an old Roman road)
16. What's something that you say a lot?:
I was gonna say...
17. Who told you they loved you last?
18. Last furry thing you touched?
Delilah, my parents yellow lab.
20. How many rolls of film do you need to get developed?:
None - we're 100% digital now
21. Favorite age you have been so far?:
I think late teens - 18/19
22. Your worst enemy?:
23. What is your current desktop picture?:
Serenity movie poster - Summer Glau is doing my head in!
24. What was the last thing you said to someone? "OK,
byee" (on the phone)
25. How do you like your eggs?:
Fried, poached, scrambled, omellette - whatever takes my fancy!
26. The last song you listened to:
"Sorry" by Madonna (on radio)
27. How much cash did you spend yesterday?:
About £15 on groceries we forgot to get on Saturday!
28. What did you do today?: Woke up, went to work - still at work now actually...

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Never Mind The B0770cks...

Somebody stitch up my mouth.

My childs tender ears can no longer cope with the words that come out of it, and Martha also seems to find the things I say lately are not the words she wants to hear. Therefore it's either stitch my lips, or cut out my tongue. I opt for the lips, because at least that way it's reversible if anyone decides I'm worth listening to again.

For example, yesterday morning we did our weekly grocery shop and I was putting various things away in the fridge. I was trying to be quick because we only had a few moments before we had to leave for swimming, so time was of the essence and I felt rushed. I had a pack of single fruit juice cartons which we give to Audrey from time to time, and these were tightly packed with a cardboard wrap around the six smaller cartons which I wanted to remove. Why things have to be packed and then over packed in such a way I don't know - it's such a waste, but that's a rant for another time!

Anyway, as I unwrapped the cartons, the cardboard outer sort of gave way, and all the little cartons of juice tipped out over the floor in a heap on top of all the other foods that needed to be put in the fridge. So much for trying to be quick and organised about it! In my annoyance I simply blurted "Oh bollocks!" - at the exact same moment Audrey came scurrying into the room!

She looked at me, looked at the mess on the floor and uttered "Oh bollocks!" with the same tone and pitch as my expletive!

It's the first time this has happened to me with a word unsuitable for consumption by a 2 year old, so I tried to back pedal with words like "Balderdash" and "Bother". It seemed to eventually do the trick, but I suspect the damage is done and she'll be running around the childminders tomorrow shouting "Oh Bollocks" at the top of her voice.

Of course I shall deny everything!

Also, does anyone know anything about this?
It's like online share dealing for blogs! I have no idea how it works, but it looks cool.

Friday, February 10, 2006


How I learned to hate computers

It's been another rather pedestrian week.

Work has been quiet - painfully quiet. One of our computers lost the will to live on Monday, and our computer "guy" is incommunicado which is hugely frustrating so we've been a full week with one less computer and no sign of help.

Today I had to do a print run on an old dot matrix connected to the deceased computer, so I begrudgingly hooked it up to another machine, then went through the painful process of installing the driver. I really am spoilt at home with our Mac.

After half an hour of no luck, I suddenly remembered a time when I had similar trouble hooking up a printer to another machine. That time it turned out that the parallel port had not been switched on, so the computer simply didn't know there was a printer attached to it. So I dug deep into my memory as to how I'd achieved that and discovered that I was right!

Job done? Oh no! I then installed the driver and successfully printed my test page. Then I had to hook it all into the network so my computer could see it - that used to be easy on Windows 98 - you just clicked "SHARE" on the relevent printer and it was job done. Not any more! You click "SHARE" and then you have to run the "Wizard" and restart the machine! If I ever meet a wizard, I'm going to effing throttle him!

That finally done, I then proceeded to print out the delivery notes we required from a specially designed (by me!) mailmerge layout in Word. The first ticket printed perfectly, then disaster - the paper in the tractor feeder kept rolling...and rolling...and two sheets later resumed printing ticket number two!

I cancelled the print run and tried to figure out why the paper settings were wrong. I don't know how familiar you lot are with Windows XP, but there's no *obvious* function to add a custom paper size to your print settings. Again, my memory came to my rescue as I recalled how I originally set up the printer on the former machine. A quick surf on the internet provided the answer and I finally created my custom paper size.

Anyone would think that would be enough, but no. After that you then have to tell the printer in THREE different places which paper setting to use. Why you can't just tell it once I have no idea. It was so frustrating!

Anyway, all done and I went back to Word to run the rest of the tickets out, but again the paper would not quit rolling out three pages between tickets! I was beside myself! I'd done everything I could think of. What more could possibly be wrong?

I went back to my computer and stared at the screen and the lightbulb flickered above my head. Could it possibly be that? Is it really that stupid?

I clicked on the printer settings, this time within Word. Sure enough, I had to change the paper size setting for a FOURTH time so that Word, my computer, the printers computer, and the printer itself were all singing from the same hymnsheet!

What a kerfuffle!

Finally, over an hour later I started my print run. I thought computers were supposed to SAVE time. I seem to waste more time figuring them out.

Thanks for nothing Bill!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I feel the need...the need for HNT!

This HNT post was suggested by Southern Sweetheart some while ago and I finally got around to doing it (yes I do take requests if they're viable).

Thanks as always to my wife Martha for her awesome Photoshop skills - I know some people asked last week what we use to create these - it's really very simple, just a downloaded image of said poster and merge the photo of myself in Photoshop. I say simple - I couldn't do it without Martha's help!

EDIT: I notice some people have already asked why Martha didn't fill the role of Kelly McGillis (SS, I DO remember you suggesting it!). Two reasons...Martha is very camera shy at the best of times and time constraints simply didn't allow for it. However, I hope she reads the comments and takes note for next time...

So this is me, in my Tom "I'm definitely not gay and I'll sue your sorry ass if you say otherwise" Cruise pose. That word was "sue" by the way, in case you misheard!

Sure Tom, our hearing's just fine!

Happy HNT everyone!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Shhh! You aint' seen me, alright?!

I'm not really here!

Martha is supposed to be using the computer tonight, but I've blagged a moment to blog because of course it is weigh-in day!

We did our workout tonight and Harvey kicked my butt for a change. Some days I just can't get into it, and I felt pretty unwell afterwards, but I still did the workout and sweat buckets.

Anyway, I just weighed myself and as predicted I have actually GAINED weight this week - 2lbs to be exact putting me at 161lbs.

Am I downhearted? Well not actually. The fact is I lost a lot of weight when I was ill - probably too much weight - and since getting back to normal included some fairly hefty meals, it stands to reason any weight loss this week would be unlikely. I guess it might have been nice to have maintained my weight at last weeks weight of 159lbs but I guess with my weight dropping averagely 2lbs a week, I'm still pretty much on course even at 161lbs.

I don't know if the fat getting replaced with *heavier* muscle thing is true either, but if it is, I think we can safely assume there's been some of that going on as well.

Anyway, time to slope off again! Remember, you ain't seen me, alright?!

Monday, February 06, 2006


Entertainment for Gabby

Martha has just changed our computers desktop wallpaper to one of the Serenity movie posters. I now have River (Summer Glau) staring at me in a rather exotic pose, which is slightly putting me off my ability to write a coherent blog!

It's kind of appropriate though as the friend I lent out the Firefly DVD's to before Christmas called to say he really enjoyed them and even bought the set for Christmas for a relative!

I also just preordered today the new CD single by Madonna "Sorry" - I'm not especially a Madonna fan, but given that the Pet Shop Boys have remixed this track, I'm sort of obligated to buy it. You'd be amazed at some of the utter garbage I've bought because the PSB's had something to do with it. There again, there's a lot of equally fantastic PSB tie-in's that more than makes up for them.

I listened to my mp3 CD today and it was great - brought back so many memories and reminded me that I have this little game...some of you may know it in the format "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon". In it one was challenged to get from a starting point subject and within six moves get to the answer "Kevin Bacon" the actor.

I believe it is equally possible to do this with the Pet Shop Boys. I think they have that obscure yet prolific profile like Kevin Bacon that makes them easy fodder for this game. Wanna try?

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Public Sector Borrowing Requirement (PSBR)

After Friday's realisation that I was having a "bad hair day" which seems actually to have lasted all week, I decided maybe it was time to have a complete change for the weekend.

By that I mean stay away from the computer, do something different, don't blog and most of all try to enjoy myself. I succeeded on most counts, although a large chunk of yesterday evening was spent at the computer.

Now that Martha has her PSP (because her generous husband bought her one for her birthday) and is 100% addicted to Sims2 and Virtua Tennis, I decided to use the computer for something I've been wanting to do for a while.

Download porn...

Nah, just kidding! Were you worried?! Actually I've been hankering for some new mp3 CD's to play in my car and decided that I needed to upload some tracks into iTunes that I hadn't heard for a long time and commit them to a nice shiny CD ready for my drives to work this coming week.

Anyone who has seen my CD collection will know that this is not a task to be taken lightly. We've got boxfuls of CD's which used to fill 4 good sized CD racks, but have been packed away ever since our move last June. Ultimately I'd love to bang the whole lot into iTunes, but that's a task of mammoth proportions which I think I'll leave for when things are a little more organised. No, this time I needed to focus on a theme and stick to it, otherwise it would be a task I'd never complete.

Hmm, now how well do you guys think you know me? Any ideas what theme I went for?

Well, if you said Pet Shop Boys you've pretty much got it! In fact my main hankering was for old remixes of their songs which I rarely get to listen to simply because they'e on CD singles which unless you actually want to hear that specific track, you're never really likely to dig out.

So, I went to our third bedroom which houses all of our stored stuff and pulled out the box and one 3x2 foot CD rack both rammed full of Pet Shop Boys CD's. One by one I put them into iTunes, being selective about tracks rather than taking the whole CD content...whether that was a good idea or not, I don't know, but again I was trying to stay focussed. Four hours later I had commited just over 5 hours of music (a total of 49 tracks) and decided that was enough. Martha had long since gone to bed and I still had to commit these to a CD, but that waited until this morning.

Now, I don't know about you, but when I make a compilation CD I usually put so much time and effort into it, that by the time it's done I'm no longer interested in listening to it. This kind of happened today. This mighty 49 track playlist kind of stared back at me off the computer screen and I sort of lost the will to hear it. Fortunately I soldiered on, wrote it to a disc and went to my car to make sure it worked. I skipped through the tracks, hearing a few seconds of each intro just to make sure they were working OK, and suddenly it got me excited about the CD again. And what's more, it's got me excited about copying more of my collection to the computer...

I would love to get all of our CD's out now and copy the lot. Especially now that Martha has her PSP and may want to have some music on that as well, it would really be worth doing now. Where I'll find the time, I'm not sure, but we'll see...

For those also remotely interested, I find the Pet Shop Boys's remix catalogue makes an interesting timeline of how electronic music has progressed from the 80's to the 00's. Back in the days of 'West End Girls", "Opportunities" and "Always On My Mind" the remix was a pure and simple extension of the original song. So intead of a 4-5 minute song, you'd get an 8-10 minute epic which pretty much resembled the original. Now, if you love a song enough this is great, because you just get more of what you love!

This carried on until roughly the early 90's where I start to find Pet Shop Boys remixes started to get a bit weirder. They started to sound less and less like the original songs, and were more an expression of the DJ/remixer than the song. Imagine if you will Van Gogh painting his interpretation of the Mona Lisa and you might be some way to figuring out what I mean. You can hear aspects of the original in it, but the remix itself actually bears no musical resemblance to the original song. This is where I started to lose interest in the remix. If I like a song, the reason I want to hear remixes is because of it - I don't want to hear a totally different thing that is loosly based around it.

Unfortunately, this has been a continuing trend with remixed tracks getting more and more obscure, and I used to dread hearing them. However, it would appear that this is coming to an end. The last two Pet Shop Boys singles, "Miracles" and "Flamboyant" both contained "back to basics" extended versions of the original songs. And my God, they were excellent! It's just a real shame that, in between, there have been so many great songs, with badly missed opportunities to make some cracking remixes. It makes me want to learn how to remix songs myself, and go back and give it a whirl.

Anyway, sorry to those of you who lost interest and fell asleep half way through this blog entry...if you did find it remotely interesting though, please drop a comment...it's nice to be able to gauge what floats peoples boats when I blog.

Oh and for those who are wondering about the title, it's a funny from my school. In Economics class we were taught that PSBR stands for Public Sector Borrowing Requirement. One day our teacher was firing on the spot questions and asked the class what PSBR stood for. One boy (unbeleiveably not myself!) piped up "Pet Shop Boys Remix!" to hoots of laughter from the rest of the class.

Well, I guess you had to be there...

Friday, February 03, 2006


Can't even think of a decent title for this post!

I'm having one of those days where I feel I have nothing to blog about.

I guess this week has been a bit weird - Audrey's been sick for much of it but is thankfully much better now. Martha's birthday was, by her own admission, not a complete success due to factors outside of our control. Work has been, well, work.

I guess under the circumstances I should therefore be glad it's the weekend, but I'm looking at it rather nonchalently as well...

Oh my God - I'm in a funk!

Last night I attempted to do a meme I found over on Deb's blog, but in preparing it the formatiing screwed up on me and I discovered I'd have to do it all over again...it was rather a long meme to start with, so I was bothered if I was going to go through it all again. Sorry folks, your loss!

OK, I've been sitting staring at the screen for ten minutes and nothing!


Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Hogging the Half-Nekkid Limelight!

Today is a very special day.

Today we find out if Winter is going to continue for weeks to come or if Spring is just around the corner!

And who do we rely upon to make this decision for us?

Yep, a giant rodent.

How could I pass up the opportunity to do this?

Happy HNT!

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