Archive for March, 2013

Turn and about.

Work has sorted itself out in no time. I’ve done two weeks without being cancelled and the hours are plenty long enough. I was running up to Aspatria, top of the Lake District, doing an awkward trailer swap then running back to Crewe, trailer swap, back to Irlam. Now Aspatria have set aside a really easy drop point for my trailer. No reversing, nothing in the way, just drive in, stop and drop. Cool. Obviously the karmic balance is upset by that so to compensate Crewe are getting rid of the night shunter. This means there will be no empty trailers for me to swap with, so I have to wait an hour or so while they live tip me. Ace.

The consequence of that is I’m on a regular 50+ hour week.

Ho hum. It pays the bills.

I thought I was getting the long weekend end off. The security guard said the (Sealy beds) factory was shut for the Bank Holidays. Yay! Then work told me they were leaving two trailers loaded for me to pick up, the security guard would let me in.   🙁


Pays the bills, pays the bills. Screw the bills, I wanted a long weekend. Grrrr.

Also I had fun times at work. They wanted me to run one pallet to a drop in the centre of Manchester, in an artic, “on your way”. Ace. I got ten minutes down the road, pulled up the slip road to the M60 (the Manchester ring road) in rush hour and broke down. Oops. So not good. I was stranded there an hour with no drive. If I tried to put it in gear it just rolled backwards. In the end they had to send a huge tow truck to tow the unit and trailer back to base.

Then on Thursday morning I was filling up with diesel, as you do at the end of every shift. The thing with truck diesel pumps is they have a catch on the trigger so you can click it on and leave it to fill up. You don’t have to keep pressing the trigger, it just cuts out when it’s full. Usually you wait until it clicks off, then lift the nozzle to fill the last bit pressing the trigger. On this occasion I could tell it was nearly full so I lifted the nozzle before it had clicked off. Which caused it to spray back all over me. I stunk. Not to mention the carcinogenic qualities of diesel. I put all my clothes in a bag outside the back door when I got in. I tried to soak them for an hour today and have just put them through the longest boil wash on the machine. They still stink. The whole lot has gone in the bin. Ace. Now having to boil wash an empty machine to try to get rid of the smell.


The mixed blessing continue with my ‘phone. The new, twice as powerful, battery arrived! Yay! Unfortunately it’s also (unadvertised) twice as fat. They sent me a new back case with it because it bulges out making my ‘phone twice as fat at the bottom.

Look, I’ve got that ‘80’s brick chic going on:

Brick chic 001 


My upset is outweighed by relief though. I charged it about 20 hours ago. Since then I’ve used the MP3 player feature, kept it connected to tinterweb through 3g and wifi, I’ve had the screen on (biggest drain) for hours on Twitter and it’s still at 67%.

My old battery, (after I’d fried it, my bad!) had reduced the ‘phone to being a de facto landline. More than 10 minutes unplugged usage and it would shut down. Not a whole shitload of use for a mobilius.


I finally made an effort with some training. On Monday morning (about the only time I can) I went for a swim. First long distance swim for ages and I managed 1.46 miles in 1.03.  I was trying different strokes at the end, but I’ve just looked it up and I was wrong. Bum. However, I’ve just learned that I have my head at totally the wrong angle. I thought it made sense to be looking straight down, but apparently that sets your body up wrong and makes it harder. You should be swimming with your hairline (before I was receding *sniffs*) breaking the water. I’ll try that. Anything that makes it easier.


The weather is still too damn cold for me to be cycling to work. No goddamn way am I riding home at stupid o’clock in the morning in minus temperatures. Not happening.


I’m looking at starting my ultra running training. Looking, not doing. I reckon  a 35 mile run for starters. Do it there-and-back. That way, when you reach the 17½ mile mark you have no choice but to run the 17½ miles back. Or walk. But that is pointless. And cold.

However, as ever the fun part is in the shopping! I need a hydration pack for that 50.9 mile race I’ve entered. (Yes, the 0.9 *is* important! It bloody will be after 50 miles, anyway!) Hydration packs are like backpacks with a ‘bladder’ in them and a tube over your shoulder. Basically a bag of water and a long straw. I bought a generic one a few years back but it rubbed holes in my back. The old ‘webbing burns’ I remember with no fondness at all from the army.

This ultra recommends either lots of bottles or a hydration pack. I was leaning towards the pack as you also have to be able to carry a headtorch, waterproof coat, ibuprofen,and map and compass for the longer runs. The 100 mile runs are 24+ hour affairs. My point being, this is my first ultra but after it, if all goes not too horribly, I am looking at the Thames 100 miler. It’s therefore pointless to spend cash on something that’s not fit for purpose.  You know where this is going, don’t you? It’s a piece of kit that is supposed to be the last word in comfort and utilitarian functionality. But it costs a bloody fortune!

It’s this:

The blurb all sounds wonderful. Wide straps on the shoulders, padded belt to rest all the weight on the hips, secure without rubbing, ability to carry your gels and coat/torch/map/’phone etc etc. But £64, on sale, for a water bottle with pockets!

The thing with this ultra lark is you have to be pretty much self sufficient. On a 50 (.9) mile run that’s three visits to the the stash station where you can leave your kit. 15 miles, when you are pacing yourself and carrying 2 litres of water and waterproof and gels etc, could be quite a while. Especially on the last loop.  You need to have everything you need with you for that 15 miles.

You can see I’m just talking myself into filling that aching void of consumeristic want where my soul used to be.

I wantz it!

Then I would have to actually leave the house and do a bit, I suppose.


But enough of my introspection, nobody comes here for that, let’s talk Twitter:

We start, as ever with the DMreporter:

HEALTH: New NHS 111 hotline to be staffed by Romanian sex workers.

HEALTH: Government launch new 111 non-emergency helpline for people earning less than £26,000.

MICHAEL GOVE: “I refuse to surrender to the Marxist teachers hell bent on destroying the profit potential of our schools.”

DEFICIT: Government announce 10% tax raid on all savings to pay for Abu Qatada’s legal bill and 7 room mansion.

EASTER: God writes open letter to Lord Carey – “thanks for turning the sacrifice of my only son into an argument about gay marriage… twat!”

EDUMACATION: Just 8% of parents trust Michael Gove with reforms. In other news, 92% of parents are revealed to be Marxist Trotskyites.



Politics/ tory scum:

Immigration. Cameron to announce tougher restrictions on empathy and rational debate.

Can someone tell Cameron for every 1000 council homes only 18 were given to tenants who’d lived in UK less than 5 years?

"I commend David Cameron’s speech on immigration,"said Lord Greed"as it stops people thinking my billions in a tax haven are a problem."

BREAKING: Michael Gove has been abducted by the militant Marxist group Enemies of Promise. …

Can right-wingers please decide whether immigrants are here to "steal our jobs" or here to "live entirely on benefits"? Can’t be both.

yes, there are about 4.7m "non-British" people living in UK, but there are at least 4.6m Brits living abroad.

I’ve just been told to have an open mind by a ukip supporter. That, Alanis Morisette, is ironic. Not that spoons and knife thing.

Tax cuts for the rich, food stamps for the poor. That’s all that needs to be said about these bastards.



General observations:

I miss the days when journalists used to tackle real issues and have secret identities and sometimes be Superman.

(To which I replied: ) Re last RT, there’s your harvest #leverson. Happy now?

“Tweet your 16 year old self” was a trending hashtag, I contributed:

#tweetyour16yearoldself The robots have risen! Destroy Skynet and anything to do with Sky. Only you can save us all. Start with Murdoch.

#PISCES: There’s no ‘i’ in team. But there’s an ‘i’ in Pisces, isn’t there? You selfish bastard.

Friends are like balloons. If you stab them, they die.

If gay marriage had been legal in 2005, I wouldn’t have had to marry a woman 🙁

Apparently some Yank biology teacher got in a world of shit for saying ‘vagina’ in class, hence: … Yes, as we all know its anatomically correct name is "Filthy Shame-Cave of Depravity for Guilt Storage" #vagina

"we will see Christian schools attacked for refusing to admit students whose parents are gay" – Too bloody right! …

"Jesus died for your sins" – the most stupid thing Christians say. The equivalent is me burning my hand on the cooker for your phone bill.

#paedobritain Is a trending topic straight from BrassEye. "WHEN DID THE BRITISH ISLES TURN INTO THE PAEDOPHILES?"

The perfect Daily Mail headline:

WORLD EXCLUSIVE Melanie Philips stole my Muslim transsexual baby, forcing me to eat my cat, which gave me cancer.

Lord Carey, who has a seat for life in a Parliament that also features 26 representatives of his church, says Christians are marginalised.

"I am a persecuted minority with no voice" writes man from the House of Lords on the front page of a national newspaper.

So the govt is introducing cuts that disproportionately affect the poor and disabled, and the church gets angry at them for equal marriage.

I added: I think the best way to demonstrate to Carey that equality is not persecution is to throw him in a lion enclosure. "See? Persecution!" (Then: ) In fact let’s do it anyway. Just for shit and giggles.

Carey, Christianity is the established faith, the Queen is its head, it has a place in the Lords, a palace for an HQ. You’re not persecuted

North Korea changes its Facebook relationship status with the South Korea from "It’s Complicated" to "War."

World’s scariest urinal? You can buy this at Architectural Digest show. I passed:

World's scariest looking urinal? You can buy this at Architectural Digest show. I passed.

(I commented: ) <<Penis/fly trap?


An exchange with a writer chick chum of mine;

@MhairiMcF Only Guardian could ask if you could ‘live without broccoli’ *rents clothes, falls to knees in rainstorm* BETTER TO DIE THAN BE IN THIS PAIN

Me:They may take our lives but they can NEVER TAKE OUR BROCCOLI!

Her: ‘First they took our chard, and we said nothing…’

To which I could only lamely reply: Chard is the gateway vegetable before you hit the hard stuff. Tough on broccoli, tough on the causes of broccoli.

(She won that one, very funny woman.)


Top tips:

PERSUADE work colleagues you’re a maverick risk taker by taking a dump in a Dyson Air Blade

FOOL people into thinking their pizza has arrived by parking outside a house in a rusty Vauxhall Corsa blasting Dubstep.


And some pictures to finish off with:

I call this one ‘anxiety attack’ *grabs paper bag/ hyperventilates*



Spring in the Lake District:

A Japanese meme that’s tres cool:


Pug Easter Bunny:

Pug in pugs:

Baby Garfield:

And, having completed my internetz obligation of kitten pic, I’ll say farewell.




You know the running battle I’ve been having with ‘phone and it’s dying on me? It has been instructive in many things. I’ve upgraded the O.S., ironed out a glitch with my Gmail, and worked out how to ‘sideload’ Adblocker again. The latter not being as impressive as it sounds. Apparently to sideload is just to enable downloading and installing from the original site, not from the approved google apps store.

Anyway, before I went in and wiped everything, again, I tried googling the problem. The first hit, top of the page, said “if you’ve used a non-standard charger swelling may have occurred in the battery”. I had a look, my battery is no longer flat, it’s now sort of elliptical.



It could be as simple as that. I hope so as I ordered a new battery on the 4th, (still not arrived).


In other news work seems to have sorted itself out. The new/ old run to Aspatria is as I thought. It’s about 9 hours 15 minutes, to 9½ hours (paid, that is. Another 45 minutes for break). I wasn’t cancelled on any days this week. That’s a good sign. Perhaps that’s the way it will stay.  The run through Cumbria on Friday was a white knuckle affair. It was blowing a gale, so going up with an empty trailer I was worried I was going to get blown over. Then the snow started really coming down. It wasn’t so much that it was landing on the motorway, that was getting crushed by the traffic, it was the wind was so strong it was blowing whole layers off the embankments. That chucked thick blankets of snow across two lanes and blew up a snow storm. I got down from the hills and back into Cheshire and relaxed, only to pass an artic that had somehow turned around and was driven up the embankment at a 20 to 2 position. I don’t know how. it wasn’t jacknifed or pointing forward, it was straight as though it had driven head on to the traffic then pulled off. That was a nasty surprise. I didn’t want to be that guy.



Also this week I’ve had a dose of man flu. It started on Wednesday night, I just came over all weak. I’ve been dosing myself up with paracetamol and ibuprofen and I seem to be alright with it. Each morning I wake up and think it’s gone, then after an hour or so I feel lousy again. Buggery bugger. So I’ve still not started my training in earnest. Not that this weather helps.


That diet of which I spoke a few weeks back lasted all of four days. Then, in a moment of weakness I had a Mars bar. More accurately, I had three Mars bars. The first was so good I couldn’t help myself. The only reason I didn’t eat more was because that was all the money I had on me. #fail

Which reminds me, apparently the internet is escaping again. After ‘noms’ escaped from online and became a snack/ sweet (I don’t know), and in the footsteps of lol and roffle, it would appear hashtag is now to be heard IRL. So one would say “I’m giving up chocolate for lent. Hashtag never going to happen.”

So far I’ve not heard it. I carry a shovel in case I have to dispose of a body in a hurry though, just in case.


I set up Skype for our kid (Lisa) yesterday and called her to test it. There’s your flying car! People asking where are all the futuristic sci-fi predictions don’t realise the future is now. James T Kirk had a glorified walkie talkie. That was the ‘60’s vision of the year 2245. Here we are, able to stream hi-res imagery, wirelessly, through devices that don’t even have a ‘phone. And carry around the fabled Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, AND The Encyclopaedia Galactica in our pockets. (A smartphone and Wikipedia, respectively.) Douglas Adams’ future tech is already common place. DON’T PANIC! *gets towel*


Also I had a thought on Twitter the other day; sports.

What you want more? OK, my thought was; I now run marathons and do Iron distance triathlons and almost enjoy them, why was I bullied into team sports that I absolutely hated at school? I hated football with a passion. I was useless at it and everyone was on my case because I was letting their side down. And there was the weekly humiliation of the team picking. Two football mad kids picked as captains then they each had to pick who they wanted for their team in turn. The good players getting picked first, then the average, then, after the blind one-legged kid, me.

Anyway, my point is not to get flashbacks to the post traumatic stress disorder but to question the why of it. It made me think of Rollerball (I think) a 70’s violent futuristic sports film. As memory serves there was one guy who played it and was the star of the team. However much they crippled and killed his team mates he would always win the game for them. The reveal at the end of the film was “It’s not about the game. It was never about the game. The message is individuals can’t win, only the team.”

Or that was the spirit of it. As I recall. If it was that film.

So, pretty concrete on the supporting argument there, Bucky.

Anyway, that’s what I think it was. Not about promoting fitness and exercise, but about less than subtle indoctrination into school/ society. All team sports. Everything I like is down to the individual. MotoGP, , ski-ing (Well, to be fair, watching people crash when ski-ing) martial arts, running, triathlon, snooker, tennis. I don’t often watch much anymore except for the bikes, but I was just going with it there.

Now I look at it, there is something of a trend there. I AM NOT A NUMBER, I AM A FREE MAN!

So, in your face school. That was just one more thing you failed to indoctrinate into me. Along with maths and a general education.


But enough of my bitter ramblings, on to the fun world of Twitter;


The DMreporter had these insights;

FeMAIL: Pornographers warn that girls as young as 13 have negative self esteem issues after exposure to the Daily Mail sidebar of shame.

SCROUNGERS: Girl shot in head by Taliban starts school in UK, but is her foreign accent holding back indigenous pupils?

HACKED OFF: Who are they? Who funds them? What are their aims? (all this information is readily available on their website…)

TULISA WATCH: At size 12 is she now too fat to be attractive? See her here at size 8, when she was too thin.



Politics/ Tory scum;

"I don’t mind if my children grow up to be gay, just as long as they don’t grow up to be Tory MPs." (Charlotte Church)

Actually, can we stop calling #bedroomtax a "tax"? It’s misleading. More like a penalty, levied only on vulnerable people.

What PC Marxist Communist #dispatches won’t tell you is 96% of pensioners are just faking being over 65 #scroungers

"A nation trying to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle" – Churchill

Amidst the noise about ‘free press’ a little reminder: 95% of our national papers owned by 4 billionaires, 3 of which are not even UK-based!

Soldiers to be protected from tax on their deposits with compulsory "killed in action" plan. #gideon

Osborne: "For every one job lost in the public sector, 6 jobs have been created in Poundland. For no money" #Budget2013

FFS Osborne, tax cuts are so not what this is about. I gladly pay tax for a civilised society which you are destroying.

Osborne claims his budget is for an aspiring nation when it’s actually a budget for an expiring nation!

‘Desperation Nation’

If the Chancellor raises tax threshold to £10,000 it gives the lowest paid £17 extra a year. But a couple on £60000 can get £224 #budget2013

Moodys confirm Osborne downgraded from chancellor to chbncellor

I’m getting my own red briefcase. Fuck this shit.

Did the #downgradedchancellor say the state will help people buy a 600k house privately but implement the #bedroomtax for social housing?

Today a banker on £5,000,000 per yr gets a £250,000 tax cut, whilst benefit cuts have record numbers homeless and at food banks. #Newsnight



Dracula visits Amazon. ‘Your Account’ catches his eye. "Ah hah hah. I am, I AM!" He looks around. He is alone. Dracula is always alone.

The Daily Mail did one of their "DRINKING! CARDIFF! BROKEN BRITAIN!" articles again. So here’s an important reminder…


Women vs society:

The Sun pleads for press freedom, ‘to stop a Hillsborough style cover up’. Spits. out. coffee

SCIENCE FACT: Penguins struggle with ‘smart/casual’ attire.

I’ve been selected for a ‘Random Drugs Test’ at work. I hope I get something hallucinogenic to help me get through today.

To get your prison name, embezzle thousands of pounds from your employers without properly covering your tracks.

I’m now being paid in vegetables. Realised too late that my boss didn’t say ‘Celery Negotiations’.

What’s the point of the phrase "harbinger of doom"? Why not just "harbinger"? Or can you be a "harbinger of cheese"?

Russian Orthodox Church in Antartica:

WHEN besieging a modern day castle always strike at the gift shop, it is the weakest point.

Wonderwoman, Superman and Batman:

@Mooseallain commented on Voyager:

To be honest I’m glad Voyager has left the solar system; we can talk about it now.

Someone else replied:

NASA changed their mind, Voyager 1 has NOT left the solar system

@moose :



My kid is almost old enough for social media, so we’ll need to have ‘the talk’ soon. You know, about: your/you’re & their/there/they’re

To catch a bus one must first THINK like a bus

To catch a ‘plane first one must think like a Buddha:

Northern Lights in Norway:




And finally, baby elephant in water for first time:

And with that I’ll bid you adieu,



Be very, very careful what you whinge about.

Two weeks ago I was whining because it was all work and trying to get a little sleep and that was all. Then last week I went in on the Thursday, as they were sacking all the full timers, and should have been cancelled but accidentally screwed some lad out of his shift. Friday I was cancelled. Great. Feet up, long weekend. Then Monday. Getting nervous. Tuesday and Wednesday. A full week I should have been cancelled.

Oh dear, oh dear.

I was really getting worried. I mean, the very day they sacked the full timers it all started. I was wondering if they’d got the remaining full timers to cover my shift and I was a gonner. Then I got a text saying I was back in Thursday and Friday, doing a run to Glasgow. Not my usual, but easy enough. A two day week wouldn’t pay the bills though. I asked about it when I went in. Apparently I’m back to five days next week on a different run again. I’m to take an empty trailer up to Aspatria in the Lake District (turn off at Carlisle, spitting distance from the Scottish border) do a trailer swap then run back with a load to Crewe, get tipped (unloaded) or do a trailer swap there, then back to Irlam.

Not too bad.

I’ve done the run before, when I was a lot crapper, and managed OK then. It’s should be better for me. It’ll be about a 10 or 11 hour shift, starting at 1500hrs, which means I should be able to get enough kip to train and have a bit of a life.

The worry about that is, if I only get 10 hours (9 hours 15 minutes paid) per shift, then it’s going to be piss poor if I lose one shift a week. Perhaps, now they’ve sacked the full timers, they won’t be giving my run to other people. Perhaps they won’t have the people to whom they can give it. We’ll see.


In other news, I know you were all growing weary of my piffling achievements in running. “A mere hill marathon? Pfft!” I heard you mutter. So I’ve upped the ante.

A 50 mile race!

Who’s with me?



It’s in September, so plenty of time to prepare/ stick pencils up my nose and say “wibble.”

Here’s the website.

It’s worth clicking that link just to remind yourself what dial-up was like. A picture appearing line by line. Hilarious.

Anyway, £31.50, who could resist?

*looks around* Oh, everyone.

It’s a 5 mile loop, then three 15 mile circuits of a reservoir. There’s a 13 hour cut off. I’m thinking 10 hours maximum. That’s with the slowing of pace required for the distance, and the fact you have to carry your own supplies; water, gels, coat, crash helmet for the scooter I’m hiring, etc.

I was commenting on the Bolton Hill Marathon on Runners World website and had a look at future events whilst I was there. That took my eye. I was wondering if I could manage it. I went on Twitter and one of my Ironman chums said “Ha ha! 50 miles. On your feet, utter insanity 🙂 Go for it, I shall watch with interest.”

That’s the kind of thing a chap wants to hear. It’s all very well for non-runners/ non- triathletes to be quite impressed with an Iron distance triathlon. I mean, before I started I thought it sounded near impossible. But then you do it. And all the people you know do it, but faster, or harder. Everyone you read about would kick your sorry arse.

Occasionally you have pause for thought.

I was saying to Wendy that on my visit to Wales my mam and our Lisa (my sister) were impressed that I was going to run for 4 hours. This made me smile as the object is to run it as fast as you can, there is no kudos in doing it for a long time, that just means you’re shit. Then Wendy said that I’m the only person she knows IRL (In Real Life)  who could actually do a marathon.

That was a moment for me.

You get so used to everyone being able to do it, usually better, that it is a real surprise to realise that it’s actually quite an achievement to just do it.

Anyway, my point was, when a fellow Ironman (you know what I mean, mine is only Iron distance, he’s a proper brand name Ironman, I was just going for brevity. Clearly I’ve failed.) is impressed with an endurance feat then it’s special. I signed up for it there and then.

Oh. My. Giddy. Aunt.

50 miles!

I had a quick look on a thread about Ultra [anything longer than a marathon is an Ultra, you knew that right? Right.] running and it said to do big runs back to back, to get your legs used to running whilst tired. This was on Tuesday (I think) so I strapped on my trainers and trotted off for a 20 mile run. I was still knackered from the marathon on Sunday so I thought it would be ideal training. At 8 miles my calf suddenly started to seize up. I had to turn around right away. It was bloody freezing still and I didn’t fancy limping home for 10 miles. My other calf went shortly after but I just tried to stay loose and managed to finish the run. 16 miles, on knackered legs. Not too shabby for my first go. Though, truth be told, the last two miles felt like I was barely shuffling along. Oddly I kept to an 8 m/m pace, but it felt like I was hardly moving.

It’s going to be a challenge, right enough.

A bitchy joke account on Twitter posted a running themed tweet;

“Karen on Facebook has…

‘Just been for a run. Feeling the burn!’

You can’t outrun your problems, Karen, and the burning is probably herpes.”


Anyway, after that my legs have been a bit iffy. I’m resting them until next week. The last thing I want is to pick up that injury again. That’s how it started; pain in my calves. Then I was off training for 6 months.

I’m going to map out some good routes. 20 miles, say. Do that on the Saturday and Sunday.  Maybe a long run route every now and then. Say, 40 miles? Writing it down is easy, it’s doing those extra 14 miles when you are knackered at the end of a marathon that is the challenge. That is why I prefer there-and-back runs, however bad it gets you have no option but to carry on.


The other thing that’s been battering my head is my bloody ‘phone. I said before how it was going from charged to dead in a few hours. I’ve ordered a new, twice as powerful battery only to find it’s shipping from Hong Kong so I have to wait for a week or three while Customs get around to clearing it. Ace. In the meantime I have been tinkering with what I’ve got. I thought it might be a glitch in the OS (Operating System). The battery status was 80% then 0%. When I plugged the charger in it was saying charged, while the battery was still saying 78% and other such crap.

I finally got brave/ desperate enough to upgrade my OS to a new all singing, all dancing version. It has that feature where you can pinch and expand pictures. Cool.

Anyway, two days of ironing out the issues (I couldn’t add one of my email accounts. It kept saying that I’d signed in correctly but didn’t add it. Manually added it to another email app on the ‘phone in the end. In your face, Gmail!)

They did say to back up all my info before wiping the old OS. Never listen. Ho hum.

Anyway, all is now working and tickity-boo. Then I took the ‘phone off charge (100%), added a contact, gave the ‘phone to Wendy to call Luke, and it died mid-conversation. Bollocks. Not the OS, then.

Saying it again. Charged. Battery at 40%.

Anyway, keep it plugged in to a charger until I get my new battery. If that doesn’t work I’ll wipe everything and try the standard OS. Failing that, it’s back to the shop.

Buggery and tarnation.

Hmm, just had a moment of confusion. It said 54%. ‘0s on battery’ Which I read as ‘OS on battery’. Took me a while to realise it was saying zero seconds used on battery.

Something is seriously amiss.

Anywho, funky new OS.


Enough of my wittering, let’s talk Twittering. That doesn’t work. Ho hum.


The DMreporter kept us abreast with the news;

BENEFITS: Church of England warns cuts could push children into poverty. “Fuck ‘em” replies Ian Duncan Smith.

MAN OF THE PEOPLE: New Pope “lives humble life in small apartment, eschews a chauffeur, cooks his own meals and hates the gays.”

HEALTH: Cure for HIV mysteriously vanishes as new Pope is elected

This week’s Daily Mail Cancer List: Mo) Shoes Tu) Facebook We) Pringles Th) Constipation Th) Mistakes Fr) Perspex Sa) Holes Su) IOS6


Politics/ Tory scum;

If you don’t think the Tories are waging a war on the poor and defenceless, then you are not paying attention.

1% pay rise for 1.4 million DRs nurses ARMED FORCES & so on. How much is MPs’ pay rise?

"you can’t borrow to promote growth can you?" says Jeremy Vine on #Marr. Somewhere, Keynes is weeping.


General observations;

"A common mistake when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." – Douglas Adams

Lovely exchange with my 12 year old nephew: Me: How do you rate the Twilight saga out of ten? Him: The numbers don’t go low enough.

Them telly journalists have gone and found a pub called ‘The Osborne View.’ Next week: ‘The Shark and Trampoline.’

Lots of doctors saying there’ll be fewer deaths with a minimum price for alcohol. I fear the number will be the same actually. Everyone.

(This looks awesome!) If you’re having trouble watching the Kick-Ass 2 trailer outside the US, this is the link you’re looking for: 

Two weeks of no pope: baby cured of HIV, breath test for cancer, salt water found on moon of Jupiter. Day one with pope: Google Reader dies.

British youth: They are not ‘Feds’. You don’t live in The Bronx, ffs… You live in Wigan.

(On Red Nose Day:)

Good on David Cameron for featuring in today’s Red Nose Day, helping to raise money for the 800,000 children he’s driving into poverty

If I have to watch Davina McCall again, I’m going to Africa, and I’m going to steal £1 from an orphan. #RND


Can’t make it up;

Due to budget cuts, only a handful of recruits to UK’s paratroopers regiment will now receive parachute training

I just read 101 ways to learn English….it was in English….am I the only one who can see the flaw?


New Pope;

So is there a new Pope? Great. I bet he’s male, white, and over 80. Great news.

Black smoke seen above the Vatican, which as tradition tells us means that the document shredder is broken and a police raid is imminent.

Does anyone really care which conservative man man is elected pope? If you want me to take the church seriously, elect a nun.

Have they announced who the new backward-thinking paedophilia-enabler is yet?

"We all find out at the same time. It’s very democratic." Sky on the result of secret negotiation between unelected old men.

I like him. He looks like Jim Bowen. ‘Stay out of the sin, and and into the red, you get nothing in this game for kids in your bed’.

"Why can’t I be the Pope?" Because you’re a girl, and you’re Jewish.

According to Sky News, the new Pope has a "beautiful smile." He is also fiercely anti-gay marriage. Swings and roundabouts, eh?


Some amazing pictures;

Sunset at 28,000 feet:

Shooting star across night sky:

Cat shaming:

And someone took a snap whilst we were on that marathon last week:

It was bracing.

And on that note,



Bolton Hill Marathon.

Holy crap, that was tough!

Think of a tough thing, then times it by several orders of sadism and you are in the ball park.

First off it was goddamn freezing. Apparently the wind chill had it at –3C. I thought it was colder. The wind was howling a gale on the hill tops, the telephone wires were bowed horizontally instead of vertically. Literally.

I’ve never been able to wear even a really thin running baseball cap on a run. After a mile I’m always too damn hot. This run I was wearing a cycling thinsulate bob-hat for all but the few miles we were below the snowline. My hands felt like I’d been been snowball fighting; the pain of getting cold then the misery of returning circulation, and repeat.

Then there was the course which perversely managed to remain deeply muddy. I lost my footing and fell over twice, and turned my ankle once. Luckily, after the initial pain, I was able to continue running. I was worried as it happened.

Finally, there was that killer hill at 21-23 miles. So, so bad. Your legs are shot, foot sore, willpower flagging then you are faced with that.

 Bolton Hill Marathon

So, all in all, quite a fun marathon.


I was hoping for 4 hour time, but came in at about 4.15

Given all of the above I was OK with that. The main thing by then was just finishing, and I managed a good, strong finish.


I missed Kung Fu this afternoon though. By the time I’d got home and had a shower I should have been going out the door to my class. I had to eat before I did anything else, so the Wing Chun had to wait.

Then I had an hour’s kip.

That’s how much it took out of me.




Here’s a picture. It’s when we were below the snowline and I’d taken off my hat. I’ve just zoomed in and was surprised to see I was sweating. I was that bloody cold I didn’t think I’d got a sweat on the whole race.


There was another set of pictures as we were running through the snow over the top of the hill but I had a right gawpy expression on. Probably trying to get my breath back after the ascent and concentrating on not falling over or dying of hypothermia.


The stat’s are up on the site. I finished 34th out of 212 entrants, 150 finishers. I don’t know how many of the missing 62 didn’t start (too sensible to get out of bed in that weather) or were outside of the 8 hours cut off, or gave up/ got injured. My time was 4.14:49, about what I thought.  The best time was 3.22:34, which shows how tough it was, the first place at last year’s Chester marathon was a 2.28:46, so roughly an hour slower.

Which makes my time a lot less shameful. They said on the website to allow and extra 2 hours on your normal marathon time.

So, 34 out of, say, 160 (must have been at least 8 DNF’s) is  21% if we add a few more DNF’s I can say top fifth.

I wasn’t pushing for a good time, I was just grinding it out, so that’s not shabby.

Enough of the bloody run.


I got a surprise call on Saturday off our Lisa (my sister) saying as she’d forgotten to post mam’s Mother’s Day card so could I run her to Wales to deliver it. That was unexpected. So a quick run out to sunny Wales.

In the course of the flying visit we got to discussing the spare wheel on the parent-mobile so I went and had a look (it was under the car at the back). While I was at it I thought I’d better find mine. There is a flap in the boot. I lifted it, no bastard spare wheel! Grrrr. I’m so glad I found out before I had a blowout in the middle of nowhere. Got to source one this morning.


Well, that was £20 (and 20p for air) that I’m not getting back. Still, if it stays up I can’t complain, £20 for a tyre and wheel. It’s just one of those things that hopefully I won’t ever use, but I wouldn’t be happy setting off on any trip knowing I don’t have it. Another good thing is that it prompted me to check the tool kit in the boot. It was missing a 17mm spanner for the socket head to take the nuts off the wheel. So I would have had a spare tyre but no way of swapping it. You just don’t think to look for things like that when you are buying a car until you get stung. Next time I’ll be checking all of the things that were wrong with this and the Ka. Then I’ll doubtless fail to spot some other fault.


I wanted to get back on the bike today. After last week, when it was so nice, I thought I’d get the marathon out of the way then back on the bike. Not even. It’s colder than a Tory’s heart out there.

I was wearing my big-arse yellow work’s coat just to wander around the breakers yard. The wind is biting.


The ankle I twisted yesterday was set this morning. It took some getting going.


Work is unsettled. I’ve been whinging for a few weeks that I’m in all the time doing stupid long shifts. Last week they sacked those (full time) drivers from Crewe and I was cancelled two days. I only missed one shift because I helpfully asked, seeing as I’d driven to Crewe anyway, was there anything they wanted me to take back to Irlam. They had a run, the first drop of which was at Irlam, so they gave me that run and cancelled the lad who should have been on it. Oops, sorry lad.

It might just have been coincidence me suddenly being cancelled twice in the same week as them sacking the drivers, I’ll have to see how this week goes. Also, as the chap I share the lorry with is off for two weeks they’ve had an agency driver covering for him. Who manages to get the lorry back early every day. So I’m not waiting around for an hour a day, then hitting rush hour traffic. In consequence I was only doing 9½- 10 hour shifts. I only got 38½ hours for last week. (Plus 3 hours unpaid breaks)

I moan when I’m being worked like a dog and then get nervous when the work is patchy. Bah.


In other news, I’m starting my diet again today. I’ve gone from 10½ stone to 11 stone 3.  I want to be 10 stones. I still would like to crack the 3 hour marathon, though I’m having my doubts whether I’ll be able to do it this year, now. Unless something changes I just can’t dedicate that much time to run training if I want to be anywhere near adequate at swimming and riding. And I *really* don’t want to go into the Outlaw this underprepared.  That’s a seriously long day and you need to be ready for it. A fast finishing marathon is no use if you can’t manage the swim first. However, for all three disciplines, the less lard you are carrying the easier it is.

Next year I’m thinking of giving up on triathlon and just doing ultra running. That’s 50 and 100 mile runs. We’ll see.


That’s more than enough of my waffle, let’s talk Twitter;

The DMreporter had:

TECHNOLOGY: Apple iCloud to delete any email containing… • “barely legal” • “creepshot. • “masochist” • “I want to be a Catholic priest”

HEALTH: Cutting all disability benefits for six months and then reinstating them for those still alive ‘could save £thousands’ say MP’s.

HEALTH: New HIV cure could cause AIDS. And cancer.

CARDINAL O’BRIEN: “I’d like to say my sexual conduct has fallen below that expected of a priest but, in honesty, it’s pretty much bang on.”

WHERE IS THE JUSTICE? Fury as Theresa May refuses to deport immigrant who ‘answered phone in cinema, talked for a few seconds then hung up.

POPULATION: British culture “could be extinct in 3 months” warn experts as its revealed 7% of the country can speak another language.

OSBORNE: “I can’t support the EU cap on bankers bonuses, because if I do I won’t be invited to any of their parties anymore.”


Politics/ Tory scum:

The European Convention on Human rights protects you from slavery, torture and discrimination. Tory Ministers want to scrap it. How odd.

Only #UKIP can save the purity of our Romano-Celtic-Anglo-Saxon-Viking-Norman culture from this unprecidented tide of multiculturalism.

Good to know our government is clamping down on "benefit tourism" – something that doesn’t exist. Hope they ban dragons next.

Just heard that George Osbourne failed in his bid to stop the EU to cap bankers bonuses, a vote for UKIP is a vote for bankers bonuses

Portillo says EU bankers’ bonus cap (of 100% of annual salary) is "madness". Not a peep from him on making unemployed work for free #bbctw

The UK’s major banks received £228bn of state subsidy in 2012. More than 100% of the cuts being made in the 2010-2018 austerity plan. #bbcqt

"Too many hospitals are below average" < Yes, I’d guess about half of them are; that’s the trouble with the laws of statistics, Jeremy.

NEWS! Magic money trees found growing in the Cayman Island

Why do people hear Tories say ‘Other people have too many rights’ and not understand that they mean YOU ie everyone but the rich



Awesome 3d street art:


Top tips:

I find the best way to tell if someone is pretending to be asleep is by to moving to Australia and seeing if they call

RESTAURANT OWNERS. Save money on signage by replacing "family-friendly" with "shit".

2 hours on @BBCRadio4, asking if we still need/want feminism. I do look forward to the programmes asking if we still want/need anti-racism.

I had a few quotes:

Faith is believing what you know aint so -Mark Twain. Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away -Philip K. Dick

(And) And that’s all I have to say about that- Forrest Gump.

Do NOT slip your synopsis under the door of the ladies loo I am occupying and 28 other Ways NOT To Submit To An Agent

Oh my god!!!"@MaxFosterCNN: Breaking: IKEA says traces of coliform bacteria (sewage indicator) found in cakes on sale in 23 countries"

(In reference to which I tweeted:) I hear IKEA are adding food colouring to their cakes. It’s the ‘eat shit and dye’ range.

When you tell your boss you are "working from home", try not to say it in such a way that the air-quotes are audible.

Boots have got Mother’s Day sorted.


Asked SIRI how to turn off SIRI, and she replied "you shouldn’t have done that Dave." Who’s Dave?…is there less oxygen in here… *chokes*

The burning issue of the week from an MP:

Too many places doing hot puddings serve tiny amounts of custard and huge portions of sponge. We need less sponge and loads more custard.

I commented:

Finally a crusade I can get behind! Sponge to custard ratio abuse is what is wrong with this country. @darrenjohnsonAM for PM!

Fields of Gold, Tulip fields just outside Alkmaar, The Netherlands:

Someone pitched their 80’s cop show, FAX Police:

Much like CSI, FAX POLICE combined science with police procedure and sexiness. I thought it couldn’t fail. "Did the Titanic fail?" I asked.

People nodded quietly, unaware that I’d only seen the first two hours of Titanic and assumed it was a feelgood romantic comedy.

Justin Bieber: "I’ll never come back to the UK". WE DID IT, BRITAIN.

Sunrise at the North Pole With the Moon at its Closest Point.

And on that bombshell,



Bloody big run!

That’s it. My blog for this week. Worked, did big run.

Note to self; must try harder!


Last weekend I did bugger all. I was so knackered (and lazy) that I just loafed around and then it was Monday again. Bah.

A few days ago I started feeling chesty. It felt hard work to breathe and I felt a bit washed out. I took some paracetamol and was OK, but it kept coming back. That put me in a bit of a panic as it’s the Bolton Hill Marathon next weekend. I’ve had one race cancelled and didn’t go to another recently. I don’t want to miss this one.

Anyway, today I dropped some more paracetamol and set off to Bolton.  The guy said the lap we did on the taster run was nearly 8 miles long so I thought I’d do three laps. I start off a different way as I couldn’t find the proper way last time. Mine is slightly shorter but so much bloody steeper.

Here it is if you want a nosey:

Anyway, the ascent is 38 minutes of pure uphill slog. It’s hellish tough. Then their is an up and down route back to the beginning.

I did one lap and I was done-in but OK. I was trialling a new thing; as they’ve stopped selling my energy gels I’ve bought an energy powder (no, not *that* energy powder) which you put in your drink.  I grabbed a bottle at the end of my first lap and it did the trick, carried on with new legs.

By the end of the second lap, 2 hours 20 in, I was really struggling. Not physically so much as mentally. The thought of that ascent, as it was getting dark, and I was footsore, etc, etc. I was really having to fight the voices in my head that were saying I’d done enough and that I should quit now. Luckily I had the terrifying prospect of the marathon next week and the knowledge I’ve done hardly any training to motivate me.

I manned-up, grabbed another bottle and my torch and carried on.

The third lap, mostly in the dark, was a bit tough. Still, I did it. Three and a half hours of pain.  Gmaps pedometer say it was 21.7 miles. I don’t know for sure as that is tracing the route on a map, when you run with your ‘phone connected to satnav you get every inch of travel.

My battery is giving me grief on my ‘phone. I had it on satnav the last ten minutes of my drive to the run (it was fully charged when I set off) it was down to 77% when I got there. I turned off the satnav (hence not knowing the distance for sure) to save my battery. I went for my run just using it as an mp3 player. It still died completely a few minutes before the end of my run.

I suppose there are only so many times you can charge them before they are knackered. In a fit of pique I’ve ordered an upgrade battery. It seems the standard one with ‘phone is 1500 MaH, *dumb blonde look to camera* the new one I’ve ordered is 2900 MaH.  I can’t be arsed to google and find out what MaH is, but apparently more is better. In which case the new one is nearly twice as good as the old, and I think the old one is knackered anyway.

That digression aside, I am quite pleased with that run, If I can do 20+ miles, with three godawful ascents, I can knock out 26 with two. I mean, I could have forced myself around another lap yesterday (he says from the comfort of his chair with no intention of moving) but. I think I can leave that sentence there. To add any more would be to insult your intelligence and my integrity.


This week I’ve been listening to Jake Bugg a lot. He’s only a young lad, (18/ 19?) I think he writes his own stuff. He immediately brings to mind Bob Dylan. Except upbeat and with a good singing voice. Sorry Bob, you’re a legend but you don’t have a great singing voice. (He’s going to be devastated, I know he’s a keen follower of this blog and hangs on my every opinion.)

Anywho, have a listen to this;


The Kung Fu is progressing apace now that I am regularly finding the classes. It’s really good because they keep banging on about chi sau (that hand rolling drill you do with a partner. It’s to develop sensitivity so that eventually you can do it blindfolded. Ties in nicely with the Zen Buddhist principle of ‘no mind’. Your body reacts without you thinking about it, thus eliminating thought lag.)

Here’s a good 2 minute video. It shows it at proper speed and slowed down.

It doesn’t look that impressive because they are both doing a good job, but the amount of strikes that are effectively blocked is awesome. Here’s what that looks like against someone who’s not so good.

A massacre. Each of those throat strikes is enough to end a fight. As in kill your opponent stone dead, if you do it right. Notice as well the genius of Wing Chun, the simultaneous defence and attack. Also how you can use one arm to effectively tie up both of your opponents.

But back to my point; we keep doing chi sau. Each time we do it I just get to the point of thinking that I wish we’d do something else when they change it or expand on it and it’s really interesting and relevant again.

For instance last lesson I learned my first move to go from rolling hands to locking your opponent up with one hand, freeing you to punch them daft with your spare hand. Fun.

Obviously the objective is not to get into a fight where your opponent is doing chi sau. Not something you see on the street. It’s to train your body to react instinctively to whatever move, from whatever direction, it senses.


No word from that job, yet. It is run as a full-time agency, so possibly just doing the agency trick of advertising jobs just so they’ve got applicants ready for when they get some jobs.

Bugger, just gone back to the website to confirm wages and they’ve changed the criteria since I applied last year. It now says ‘minimum of 2 years experience’. It used to be that you had to have held your license for more than 2 years. I’ve only got 18 months experience. And I’ve submitted a CV saying that. Damn my ill informed honesty.


Also, I’m starting to seriously re-think Canadian trucking. These last few weeks I’ve done nothing but work and sleep. I’ve been thinking it’s a total waste of a life. I’ll get to my deathbed and think ‘Well, I enjoyed the few free hours on a Sunday.” The other day I did a 14 hour shift, the other driver was gutted because he had to wait 2½ hours for me for a change, and I thought ‘I might as well just sleep in the cab’. That’s when it hit me. That is what I would be doing 10+ days at a time. Drive for up to 13 hours (was it?) then try and sleep on the bunk while the other driver took over. I’ll really need to look in to it. If you got a week off between runs or something it might make it tolerable. And I’ll need to see how their cabs are laid out. Ours the bunk is directly behind the seats, with just a curtain between. That would take some getting used to, sleeping in moving truck. Rocking all over the place and the noise.



Anyway, enough navel gazing, on to my brief dip into the world of Twitter:

DMreporter had this:

POPE’S LAST DAY: Penis shaped cake "was totally inappropriate" admit Vatican.

ELECTIONS: Eastleigh won’t leave Europe ‘until at least 2015’ confirm government.

SCIENCE: Did a UFO hit Russian meteorite ‘smashing it to smithereens?’ ……………………. No.



In Politics/ Tory scum we had:

Key Ed Balls line "Osborne has gone from saying ‘We need our plan to avoid a downgrade’ to saying ‘The downgrade proves we need our plan’"

Ex-veterans should see losing DLA as an opportunity to use their outdoor survival techniques again. Exciting times ahead!

Tony Blair says people are ‘very abusive’ about Iraq. Yep. Except for the people who can’t be abusive because they are dead.

Tony Blair says people are still "very abusive" to him. GOOD.

"Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s just the opposite" – John Kenneth Galbraith

SPEECHLESS! Hunt has just told Commons "it’s not my job to be a cheerleader for the NHS sector". YES Health Secretary, IT IS!

And lo, Iain said unto the paralysed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go to Poundland. You can stack the low shelves.".

Speaking from his country mansion, Tory minister Lord Freud said that many council tenants are living in houses which are too big for them

Why don’t MPs enter into the spirit and instead of claiming for a second home, they could stay in someone’s spare room? #BedroomTax

Today’s Tory priorities: It’s fine to tax the spare rooms of families with disabled children, but capping bankers’ bonuses is unthinkable.

Quick! Pay the bonuses or the people who caused our economy to collapse might leave! Oh. Wait.

Switzerland, that communist vipers’ nest, votes today to curb executives’ salaries, bonuses & pensions

One month after David Cameron’s "game-changing" Farage-killing referendum speech, Tories come third behind UKIP #Eastleigh

Arch strategist Osborne on Eastleigh: "This humiliating defeat, like the loss of the AAA, is further proof we are on the right path #r4today

Farage actually said the Tories split the UKIP vote?!? HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Workshy Benefit Scroungers: Go directly to POUNDLAND. Do not join Union. Do not collect minimum wage. #Workfare

#bbcaq 84m Romanians are coming here! fact there are only 30m of em, proves how sneaky they are! etc mumble mumble ukip mumble



General was varied:

My friend’s little girl went to a school fete as a unicorn. A teacher said to my friend: ‘Aw. Such a pity they’re extinct."

Only 14, Bangladeshi girl charged with adultery was lashed to death … <-words, they fail me. #sharia #islam

If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’ll be exciting to learn what it is

I hope NASA finds life on Mars and it immediately hands them lemons just for the hell of it.

I am wearing a heart monitor for a day. Quite tempted to try and connect it up to a hamster to freak the shit out of the doctor.

My boss just said he gets through a lot of pencils at home because he tends to bite thru them. Those are mental images I really didn’t need.

Keeping warm:

Kitty horror:



Are all sofas half price?

Bono just actually said this: "Exit the rockstar. Enter the evidence-based activist. The factivist.”

(To which I responded: Re last RT, It is hilarious from "rockstar’ to ‘factivist’. Oh, Bono, you wag.)

The pope said:

Big up to the St. Paul’s massive. Bouncing the basilica from 6 ‘tll half 6 tonight. DJ Erazmus in full effect boi! Bring your own bread.


I’ll say one thing for retirement, plenty of time for Call of Duty.

NEWS! Pope delights audience at farewell gig with classic hits about gays and condoms

I had an incident at work:

0150 hrs an unlit country road, flashed another driver, suddenly saw a cyclist, no lights wearing black. If I hadn’t flashed he’d be dead.

Which would have pissed me off as then I’d have had to take "never killed anyone I didn’t mean to" off my CV.

GET YOUR Chelsea manager name by combining your first name with your last name. It’s bound to come up eventually.

When on a date, ask questions to show you’re interested in THEM: What’s their mother’s maiden name? What’s their favourite four-digit code?

The Mail hammers Mo for a "six figure deal" with Hello!, but fails to mention that they also offered him a "six figure deal" for the photos

Mo, unsurprisingly, told the Mail where to go because he was so sick of their campaign about Plastic Brits and their coverage of his family

Scared shitless:

This is well worth a watch, only about 30 seconds long:

Confession: I just LOLd at this. I don’t know what’s funnier, the news anchor totally losing it or the poor cats eyes 


The best part of my day is the walk to work, because there’s always the chance that I’ll get hit by a bus.

Wanna feel old? "Daniel-San" is now the same age that Mr. Miyagi was in the first ‘Karate Kid’.

BREAKING: Daily Mail announces new algorithm for automatically generating outrage.

MAKE your own killer dubstep track by putting a smoke alarm in a blender.


That’s all folks.