Month: December 2012

Merry xmas.

It’s that most wonderful time of the year. When I get several days off work. And, to steal someone’s tweet, “Let’s not forget what today is really all about. A (selfless) man who helps strangers. A man who died and came back to life. HAPPY DOCTOR WHO DAY!”

That’s enough of the seasonal crap.


Last week I started back at Wing Chun Kung Fu. To no-one’s surprise I’d forgotten the little I’d picked up last time. It was several years ago and I didn’t go for long. Plus the training structure was different. This is a class of (with me) 8 students! It only started 3 months ago so there are no grades, and no split class teaching. I can soon pick up 3 months worth. I was going for about 6 months or so last time. I don’t know if they are as real world as Sifu Tong’s class, but on the other hand it’s about learning the basics first.

There was some issue with the leisure centre, apparently the class was arranged as an internal one for a specific works. Quick-fit, or someone. Sifu Leckey settled their hash for the first lesson and said he would sort it for the future. I hope he does. That is ideal. A starter class of 8 pupils. That’s practically personal tuition!

As usual I got all over excited and started trawling You Tube when I got back for videos. I came across this one with a guy doing combat press-ups. A standard press-up is when you put your hands palm down, fingers facing forward, by your shoulders and lift your (straight) body up. These were press-up on the knuckles of your fists, with the line of the knuckles running down beside your body, not across. He lifted up half way then pushed off so he actually cleared the ground, then landed on outstretched arms on his knuckles, then sank down to start position.

The theory being that if you have your hands flat, fingers forward, your elbows stick out and you lose power. The way he was doing it was building the actual punching muscles, training for the quick flick of power, and toughening the knuckles.

I thought I’d start at 50 and 50 sit ups. I was modest in my aim. No pushing off the ground, just push-ups in the punching position. As it turned out it was sets of 20, 20, 10.

Even that was bloody hard work.

Then I woke up the next day with my upper body moving like Robocop.

Holy crap! I managed to do the sets again, but the next day I was near crippled.

The weird thing is, it totally ruined me for running!

That just doesn’t make sense.

The triathlon magazines always say to keep your shoulders loose when running as otherwise you are wasting energy. I’ve tried to do what they say, but I never really thought it made that much of a difference. Now I’m a total believer.

I couldn’t do my fast runs at the gym. Then I set it to the hill climb and my heart rate monitor was bleeping that much I had to take it off before giving up, knackered, a few minutes later.

I’ve still not done the 5 miles in 30 minutes task. This week’s was an easy one; 15 miles in under 2 hours. Even at a steady 7 m/m that is only 1:45. I went for it this morning. My arms and shoulders were still stiff and painful. I was gasping and thinking of quitting within the first mile. By about 3 or 4 miles I was torn between quitting there and then and grinding it out to do 10 miles. In a triumph of pure bloody minded grit I forced myself to do the full 15 miles. 1:57.25 Pitiful. And the hardest, grimmest, most painful run I’ve done in ages.

Screw upper body strength. I’m going to recover for a few days then go and blast the fast time. Then *slowly* start on press-ups.  The goal for the end of this week is 10k (6.21 miles) in 39 minutes or less. Say, 6.25 m/m. I reckon I stand a chance if I can mend my arms and shoulders.

Who knew?


Anyway, enough of my boring life and pointless suffering, what’s the word on the tweet? I hear you ask. Glad you asked.


Some added comment to the latest American massacre:

To those suggesting banning handguns in response, we tried that in the UK & it had no effect apart from stopping it ever happening again

NY Times: In past 6 mo, more Americans killed by guns than COMBINED total of dead Yanks in Iraq, Afghan & all terrorist acts of past 25.

I can’t deal with this “guns don’t kill people” shit. Yarn doesn’t make sweaters, but it’s sure a FUCKING LOT EASIER IF YOU HAVE SOME YARN.

Keeping God in schools would have prevented the recent shootings just as much as He prevented child molestations in churches

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. This is why I am proposing a ban on people. Kill them all. With guns.

Dear #NRA Members. If you need a 30-round automatic assault rifle to shoot a duck, maybe hunting’s not your thing.

How many NRA members does it take to change a light bulb? More guns.

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun who refuses to sell it to him. #NRA



The DM Reporter was brilliant as ever:

This week’s Daily Mail Cancer List: Mon) Tin cans Tue) Hoaxes Wed) Baking Thu) Physics Fri) Museums Sat) Blue bin recycling Sun) Guns

BURQA GROVE: Location once used to film children’s TV show to be turned into Islamic centre, prompting claims that Britain is now occupied.

RELIGION: Relief for the Church of England as Adam makes it into the top 100 baby names but Steve doesn’t.

POLITICS: Clegg in trouble as 90% of voters say they’d rather "crawl across 2 miles of dog turds and broken glass" than vote for him again.

DAILY MAIL: Benefit scroungers fear their endless supply of Waitrose foie gras will be put in jeopardy by Govt brave #scroungercard move

CONTEMPLATE ETERNITY BENEATH THE VAST INDIFFERENCE OF HEAVEN: A belief in God "is just easier" say church leaders.

AFGHANISTAN: Prince Harry becomes first royal to order someone’s death since Prince Phillip in 1997

FLOODING: Government advise people living in high-risk areas to "earn more money and move."

OSBORNE: "Anyone not panic buying presents today is betraying the British economy and the central values of Christianity."

TECHNOLOGY: Apple iPhone maps show Santa circling the moon.

DAVID CAMERON: "Merry Christmas to some of you."


Other observations:

I’ll post this one as a link as there are a lot of pictures hence a lot of room taken up;

Stylist issues:

Attempted to write "but my hair looks fabulous" and it auto-corrected to "butt hair looks fabulous". Good grief!

Scientists prove cheese is 7000 years old. The bible says god made the world 6500 years ago. Cheese – 1 God – 0

Joke time! What do you get if your cross an owl with a spider? WINGED TERROR. THE LUCKY WILL PERISH FIRST.

Still watching #TheHobbit we’re short on supplies and have started to eat our dead. Finchley Odeon. SEND HELP

What is the point in the Pope having a Twitter account if he’s only using it to troll Keith Chegwin?

Bilbo was surprised to wake one morning and find a Tesco had been built next to his house. It was an unexpected item in the Baggins area

What a headline! "Russia to create two new super missiles, more powerful than Satan"

For fuck’s sake, Dora. It’s 2012. GPS that shit.

Top Gardening tip: Some flowers lack a head, a stem, leaves, and even roots. This is known as ‘soil’.

You scratch my back, I’ll swap bus seats.

Dear texting lady, here are your three options: look where you are going; go where you are looking; or die under the wheels of my trolley.

You know it`s cold outside when you go outside and it`s cold.

Just noticed the parking lots and lines for parking at shopping center. Next year we should give people a few months notice on Christmas

Traditional Christmas viewing of Home Alone. Sadism, child neglect and guerilla warfare – that’s how you celebrate Christmas

It’s Christmas Eve, not Christmas Steve

I’ve drawn my boss for "secret Santa" so she’s getting a wrapped turd. Merry Christmas Pamela you shit head.

May your Christmas be filled with laughter, love and the gift of friendship. Except for the people who unfollowed me. They can fuck off.


Consternation over the Mayan apocalypse:

Breaking News: Right now at this very minute in Australia!’:


Tory scum;

When I was a child we used to collect for famine relief in Africa. Now we collect for food banks in Farnham.

I am so glad that Mrs Thatcher got through her operation OK. Trying to let off fireworks in this weather is a fucking nightmare

English political joke: What’s the difference between Michael Gove & a Plastic Surgeon? … A Plastic Surgeon tucks features."

It’s the word of a Tory MP against the word of a policeman. I’m going to be really shocked if it turns out that only one of them was lying.


As usual the wit of the Twitter Hive-Mind saving my blog from tedium. Gawd bless ‘em, each and every one.

Have a spiffy time,


New old things.

I had a bit of a to-do the other day at the gym. It was a storm in a teacup over a parking space. How ridiculous is that? The point of it being, when the big angry chap said “Have you got a problem with that?”  I just tutted and walked away. Usually in such situations it’s me that’s full of rage and up for it. On this occasion I was no more than mildly irritated, which is my default state.

It’s not the incident, or even me not engaging, it’s the sudden loss of confidence. If I’d have tutted and walked away rather than get into a fight over such a trivial matter that would have been fine. Walking away because it wasn’t worth getting into a fight, and being scared I was going to get beaten up, that is all together a different matter.

Even if I never have to fight I need to feel I don’t have to worry about it. Just for my self-confidence.

You reach the venerable old age of 46 and think all that school playground bullshit is behind you. It never is. Back to the martial arts, then.

I don’t really have the time to commit to anything else. My on-going obsessions; the sub 3 hour marathon and next year’s Outlaw, are more than enough to occupy my every free moment.

However, needs must.

I’ve spent days scouring the internet for martial arts classes that I can attend. Most all of them are held in the evenings during the week. When I’m at work, in other words.

I’ve finally found a group that holds a one hour lesson in Newton-le-Willows 12.30-13.30 on a Thursday, and a class near Manchester on a Sunday afternoon. It’s two different Sifu’s (Chinese for Sensei, which in turn is Japanese for Sah Bum Nim, which is Korean for Master/ Teacher/ geezer-you-don’t-give-shit-to. You get the picture.) Different classes, but both in Wing Chun, and both under the same umbrella organization, so it’s just one joining fee.

Wing chun being the famous style taught by Ip Man to Bruce Lee.

Despite what the films say, it is disappointing bereft of head kicks and bad lip-synching. “You want to fight? Fight me!” It’s all about very close quarter fighting using simultaneous defence and attack. Speed and control of the opponent.

It’s the one I was doing (at a different club) when that picture was taken on the top of the blog.

Anyway, I start that again next Thursday. I’ve cleared it with work to start at 1415 on Thursdays to give me time to get in. Bloody hell. This is not a good time. But it never is.


The running is going to plan, sort of. I’m getting better, but it’s still killing me. I’m up to 4.69 miles in 30 minutes, so I’ve still not cracked the 5 miles but I am edging closer. This week’s big goal is “16 miles steady run, or half marathon race.”

I’ll knock off 16 miles tomorrow. Do it to include Frodsham hill. Start banging in some hills as training for that Bolton hill marathon. If I’m not in too much pain.

I got to bed at 0430 this morning, then was woken at 0930 by a sinus headache. I’ve had it all day, with varying degrees of pain. At the moment it’s just unpleasant. Looking at a bright screen doesn’t help. I’ve had loads of paracetamol, ibuprofen, some supposedly kick-arse max-strength sinus pills, a mad spicy Chinese and I’ve been lay flat on my back most of the day with a pillow over my eyes. Still in pain.


That 0430 to bed thing was a farce. I went in to work at 1400 as usual, they didn’t have a unit for me until 1600, the motorway was bollocksed due to the rain and want-to-live-for-ever dumbarses, I finally got to Crewe and they told me I’d have to wait for my trailer as they’d sent it to Glasgow by mistake!  The load is for Cowley, (next to Oxford, about 90 miles from London) and they’d sent it to Glasgow. I’m no great shakes at geography but even I know that is the opposite direction. That’s roughly 240 miles, so 480 round trip, at 9 mpg and £6.35 per gallon is £338.66 plus say, £90 for a day’s wages, roughly £430.


The knock-on effect being that I didn’t even start off for Cowley until 1910, they want me there for 1800. Not.Best.Pleased.

Hopefully only 4 more days at work then off for a week! Huzzah!  Not counting my chickens, but it would be nice. Suppose those slack bastards at the gym will want xmas day off. There’s one training day lost. Selfish bastards.

Nearly that most wonderful time of the year. Only 10 more sleeps *excited face* Doctor Who Xmas special!  Woo and indeed Who!


Which brings me to my week on Twitter;

Some social observation:

Life would be easier if there were lanes for fast walkers and slow walkers, and then if everyone in the slow lane were destroyed with fire

@laughingmaonow: Oh so you think Women belong in the kitchen? Tell me more about your dating life.”

Brilliant – just been told my four year old nephew once shouted "God is dead" when he was on the toilet having a shit


The DM Reporter (spoof Daily Mail account) only just managed to be satirical:

WAR ON CHRISTMAS: EU bans children from enjoying the holiday with their grandparents over fears of offending Muslims.

CENSUS RESULTS: White population "virtually a minority" as numbers plunge below 90%.

FeMAIL: Are you wearing enough make-up this holiday season? Take our special Judgemental Christmas Mirror test now!

FeMAIL: What do you hate most about yourself? Your face or your body? Tell us now to win a £5 Boots voucher.

Other ‘news’ accounts reported:

NEWS! Cancer patients reveal excitement at new £1.2bn attack submarine

NEWS! Government to ignore expert advice on drug laws in favour of series 9 & 10 of Grange Hill

"Miliband agreed to send politicians ‘back where they came from’, although it’s unclear what Eton will do with them."

Sub heading, American school massacre (current tragedy)

NEWS! Republicans claim latest US shooting caused by ‘dangerous lack of guns’

That awkward moment when Fox News says it’s too soon to talk about gun control after that shooting 2 days ago and another shooting happens.

It’s too soon after Lincoln’s assassination to be talking about gun control.

That is simply gob-smacking. Over 29 people a day shot dead.


Other political stuff:

Every time they say ‘we have to deal with the deficit’ we should translate that into ‘we are transferring wealth from the poor to the rich’.

#LibDems down to 8% "Go back to your constituencies, and prepare for oblivion"

No, please carry on, Tory backbenchers. Equal marriage *will* happen, and in the meantime you’re reminding us what Tories are really about.

If your organisation needs protecting from human rights and equalities, you’ve just got to face the fact your organisation is an evil one.

When you start typing "Tories are" into Google the first four autofill words are "evil", "scum", "finished" and "vermin".

#equalmarriage Tory MPs who are so ‘true’ to the bible conveniently forget the bits about helping the poor. Ungodly hypocrites.

People complaining about gay marriage should relax. I don’t think they’re going to make it compulsory.

(The No 10 cat wrote:)  I didn’t think it was possible to feel colder, but then George Osborne stroked me…

British Prime Minister Rupert Murdoch has rejected the main recommendation of Lord Leveson, according to his spokesperson David Cameron.


More random stuff;

SECRET SANTAS. Give your colleague 12 sheets of blank paper and say it’s a 2013 Mayan Calendar.

Best headline of the week; “Stylish but illegal monkey found roaming Toronto IKEA”

If MTV cancelled all their shows and actually played music again… I still wouldn’t watch, due to todays music sucking.

Apparently ‘the computer’ keeps sending my claim to wrong dept and that is why payments stop. Cos we all know computers have free will.

Good news everybody. Chris Rea has set off.

Simply immense Twitter Gritter

Man jailed for two years for defacing a Mark Rothko painting. I’ll remember that the next time a child abuser gets a suspended sentence.

"substandard foreign students are conning their way into UK unis as part of fiendish plot to work in Tesco"

My friend texts "ur" instead of "you’re" but puts extra letters in "so" because she’s "soooo happy." This is why everyone hates you, Julie

And finally, cute:




A pox on the metric system!

Bah! As part of my training plan I entered a 10 mile race for today. On Wednesday I thought I’d best find out where I was running. This involved tracking down the confirmation email. Not an easy task as I ordered it on the old computer and it’s not showing on this one. I finally tracked it down on my ‘phone (which is where I’d forwarded it from my old computer for safe keeping. Then completely forgotten about. Genius.) Yep, 10 mile race, at Stockport. I double checked my training plan, goal for the week: ‘Race 5 miles (30 min) or 10k (40min)’. D’oh!

A pox on the French and their new-fangled silly-arse measurement system!

I was still going to do it, even though it was pointless (I run a 10 mile course most weeks just to keep my hand in) and set my alarm for it this morning. I got up, and dressed, realised it was raining, freezing and blowing a gale and sacked it.

I was still going to go right up until the point when I remembered the website said you had to park 1.3 miles away and get ferried to the start by bus. The thought of standing around before and after the race, freezing my nuts off waiting for a bus, was the straw that broke the fat truckers back. Drive up to Manchester, freeze my arse off, run a pointless race, freeze again, then drive back. Nah. I tried to climb back in bed, but obviously I was wide awake (though still knackered) by then. Ace.

I’ll get on Gmaps Pedometer in a bit and mark out an exact course for 5 miles and 10k and run that later. I tried the 5 miles in 30 minutes in the gym on Wednesday, I managed 4.59 miles. Which, my rough maths tells me extrapolates to 6.2 miles (10k) in 40 minutes. If I could have sustained the pace. Hmm, just worked that out as I wrote it. That’s a bit of a big Brucie bonus. I thought I’d just failed. Actually I failed conditionally.

I have another week now of catching up on the ‘fast’ week’s goal. The goal for next week is just to run 16 miles at a steady pace or a half marathon race. No biggie. The week after ends with a 15 mile run in less than 2 hours. Cool, two easy weeks. The week after is 10k (that’s 10K, not miles, K!) in 39 minutes. Three weeks to get up to speed then, I’m not far off the pace as it is, it’s just building the stamina to maintain that godawful pace.

Oh dear, the week after is 10 miles (Her Majesty’s Imperial miles) in 1:05. That’s huge. On the other hand, not so much. At 6 m/m I’d do it an hour (obviously) and I have already done a 1:08. It’s just I looked at it and thought how hard it was for me to crack 1:15, but that was ages ago.

Sorry, this is a bit rambling. I’m working this out as I’m writing it. I’m actually up for that 1:05, in fact I reckon I can probably shave some off that time. Always too ambitious.

Talking of which, while I’d managed to find the emails on my ‘phone I tracked down the other races I’ve entered; a half marathon on the 20.01.’13 (“aim for a 6m/m pace” *gulp*) and that ‘fun’ marathon I’ve entered around Bolton. I followed the link to the website for the latter, ( which has the sub-heading “some of the toughest running events in the UK”. That should have been a clue. Then there is the fact that it is based around Rivington. Pure evil hills. The fact that it is called the Bolton Hill Marathon could possibly be deemed a hint as to it’s nature.

Then, when you scroll down the site, there is this:

Holy crap!

The bottom axis is marked in miles. So the first 3 or so miles are straight up! That’s to destroy your legs. Then you have another 23 miles to run. At about 21 miles, as you are stumbling the last few miles to the finish line, you have another 2 mile ascent. Joy.

You’ll remember this isn’t part of my training plan, this is just a ‘fun’ marathon I threw in for a giggle.

That’s on the 10th of March. Rapid change of plans. I’ll do the speed training through the week, and try to blast my goal on the Friday or Saturday, but Sunday is going to be hill work. Running up and down Frodsham hill or around Rivington. As of next week, I’ve cocked it up this week with the aborted run today.

Also this week I managed to get my place in the Chester Marathon. I was concerned as it’s a very popular one and sells out quite quickly. However, I’m in. Yay!

That is the big one. The one towards which all the the training is focused. The sub 3 hour marathon.

I hope I’ve backed the right horse on this one. I can’t find a direct comparison of say, the Liverpool marathon vs the Chester marathon, but statistically it looks hopeful. In 2012 there were 3,320 runners in Liverpool, of whom 55 cracked the 3 hour barrier. Whilst Chester had a mere 2,072 and managed 84 sub 3’s. Statistically 1.6% vs 4.05%. Even if the extra 500 running in Liverpool were all fat duffers (thus skewing the percentage) it’s still over 50% more people cracked 3 hours at Chester.

Yada yada yada.

It doesn’t mean a thing. Come the day, come the man. Or  not.

Do, or do not. There is no ‘try’.


I know I said I was going to post all my running rants under one post. Sorry. To be honest it’s about all that is happening in my life at the moment. I can only sustain one obsession at a time. Work is just what I do to bring in the cash. I sleep when I can, I swim at least once a week, and hit the bike for a warm-down in the gym. The rest is just running. At least it is short bursts at the moment, but it is still so very, very hard.


One other thing, I seem to be ill. Yesterday I felt so nauseous that I ended up going to bed in the afternoon, today is going the same way. I thought it was my sinuses, and they are indeed a bit blocked, but I feel really weak as well. Possibly not too well. Ho hum. What a downer on the weekend, though.


Bright side, here’s the round up of the week on Twitter:

I asked Frank Sinatra if he’d ever eaten a heron. He said “Egrets? I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.”

"God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." God also made Hitler. Your point is invalid.

Your child is being eaten by a camel. Do you a) save your child or b) take a photo

On the three trillion three hundred and forty three billionth day Gravity created the Earth. And Gravity was pleased.

Well, seeing as Ed Miliband has released his Christmas Card.. . Here’s another one, courtesy of #Banksy


People often shout "Go back to where you came from!" at me, knowing full well that I was born in Atlantis. People are so mean.

There was ongoing outrage at Starbucks tax dodging:

Which tax band are you in? < £35k = 20% >£35k but less than £150k = 40% <£150k = 50% Starbucks have offered £10m on £398m turnover = 2.5%

Oh, I must have missed the announcement that you can decide your own donation in lieu of Corporation Tax. Will make my year end much easier.


Disgust at the Tories:

The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. Take a bow George Osborne

Iain Duncan Smith paid £39 for 1 breakfast courtesy of the taxpayer. I have to feed myself for a week on less

“The Independent’s cover is brilliant”

"No miracle cure for the economy," vows Osborne. "Not while I’m chancellor."


Some sage childcare tweeting from a professional nanny:

One kid is asleep. One kid is still stubbornly awake. She must be building up a tolerance to ether.


"Were it not for us they would have cut harder and deeper" Thing is: were it not for you pal, they wouldn’t have a working majority.

If a man strikes thee on one cheek, turn to him the other. Then, having shown thyself impregnable to cheek attack, beat the crap out of him.

.Whoever stacked these books is both evil and hilarious.

"There’s a reason people write down music before they play it" Freddie’s excellent take on jazz

.If a friend asks you to babysit, softly say, "I didn’t think I’d be trusted with a child’s safety ever again." Cry. They’ll cancel. You win.

Royal fever hit with the announcement of Kate being knocked up:

Britain’s most privileged foetus announced. Every less fortunate plebeian foetus shrugs, and prepares to enter a world of obscene injustice.

Surely in these times of austerity he should have been spayed to avoid the cost of another one on the civil list

I observed: Front page of paper, grinning buffoon "Smile that shows Kate is alright". *frown of anger that shows I couldn’t give a fuck*

I also pointed out the ridiculous nature of inserting an asterisk in a word.

Using an asterisk to avoid offence. Like "L**d Mc Al****, p**o". We all know it means "Loud mc allowed pogo"


There was a rather good find:

A youth judge gave some advice to teens in 1959.50yrs later it went viral.He has an excellent point quite frankly!

And lastly, because it’s the internet, cats.


Just when you think the Batman movie franchise might finally be over, hope arrives from an unexpected quarter

Good old Twitter, saving my blogs from tedium and keeping me amused.

Enough for now,