Monday, 29 June 2009

Sweet Nothings

I won't be around for for the next 2 days, hence another post today!

Very early morning. Mrs RC has been awake for a while. I am just emerging from the depths of a coma-like sleep.

Mrs RC: Do you love me?

RC: Of course!

How much?

More than anything.

More than Jelly Babies?

Oh, yes!

More than Coke?


More than trifle?

Of course! Do you love me?

Mmmmmmmm (thinking). I think so.

How much?

Oooooh (thinking again). That much.

Is that all?

But you don't know how much "That much" is.

No. It just doesn't sound very much.

Well it's more than I love elephants.


Yes. And it's more than I love red. (Mrs RC likes red things.)

Yeah? I guess you must love me quite a lot then.

I guess I must.

Stealing from Children

On Saturday, I stole from children. Guilty as charged, but may I submit evidence in my defence before you pass sentence?

I arrived at the train station to find it occuppied by a gang of teenagers - age range probably 12 to 15. They were very loud, many clearly drunk, an opinion encouraged by the openned cases of beer that were in evidence.

One was talking/shouting into his cellphone. His side of the conversation went something like this:

"Wellwewereallthere,likeandthensomeonestartedf-ingkickingof,like, youknowwhatImeanand then,f-ing,well,youknowwhatI meanweall hadto f-ing,likesortof, f-ingyouknowwhatImean..."

A train arrived. Most of them got on, while a few left on foot. Still 20 minutes til my train arrived, so I went and grabbed a seat where they had been sitting. One of the beer cases was still there. I looked inside, out of curiousity and there were still some bottles inside it!

Looked around.

No sign of the prevoius owners.

Finders keepers, I think!

Beer went into my bag.

The station started to fill up as the time of the next train drew closer. Giving up my seat to a blind guy and his wife (aren't I nice) I moved along the platform.

Then guess who returns? Mr "F-ingknowwhatImean"! He goes to the beer case, picks it up and swears!

Should I have given him his beer back? I decided not to. He was too young, had had enough already and, well, he didn't deserve it did he?

The beer came home with me, and went down very nicely with Sunday's barbeque.

Stealing from children does have its plus side!

Friday, 26 June 2009

The new season is upon us!

No, not cricket, tennis or anything like that.

It is the start of the local summer wargames season!

During the summer, my group of wargaming friends take it in turn to host wargame parties, providing food, drink and a prepared wargame ready to go.

In the past we have had such things as vast battles in a garden, Gettysburg in a garage, a beleaguered British garrison trying to fight off the Fuzzy-Wuzzies and a Wild West game (featuring cowboys, outlaws, Mexican bandits, Indians and, of course, the Cavalry) with Tex-Mex food for dinner. These are great social occasions as well as great games.

Saturday sees us recreating the English Civil War, with King Charles desperately trying not to lose his head. My main challenge will be to find the guy's house without getting lost. Every year I end up taking the wrong turning and end up arriving late, to derision from the others. They seem to find the thought of a geographer getting lost very funny.

I am not totally sure what my game will be - better get working on it! My initial thought was to run a series of small games as a tournament, with a prize for the winner. Alternatively I might try for a game of Romans against the barbarians. We will see.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 25 June 2009


That all got a bit out of hand! Good job I'm not the sort of person to let stuff like that go to my head!

Anyway, a complete change of subject.

Looks like the Police will be looking to interview me soon. I look like being a witness to an incident where some kids broke into a garden, killed the chickens that were there (a combination of kicking them to death and hitting them with a garden rake!) and then set fire to the shed and a huge section of fence. Nice kids, huh?

I hope I can help.

New Name

I liked being called a genius so much, I have changed my name.

I have been thinking about dropping the Chief bit for a while anyway, considering that the person who gave me the title hasn't been blogging for some time.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

On happiness...

I guess this is a follow up to my last post, about being Right.

For me, happiness is the main aim in life - stressful, highly paid jobs can take a jump as far as I am concerned. I just want enough cash to roll along without worrying too much about finances, but not expecting 3 holidays in the sun every year. Considering that we spend a high proportion of our lives working, I think it is vital that we enjoy our work. I have done work that I hated...

Apart from happiness at work, it is vital to be happy at home. A lot of guys aren't happy at home. You want to know what you are doing wrong? Read on:

Trying to have the social life that you had before marriage and kids. OK, we need to keep in touch with "the guys", but going out 3 nights a week can really dent a marriage. You need to compromise here. If "the guys" don't understand ask youself how successful their relationships have been!

Reckless spending. "It's my money, I earned it!" OK, but did you really have to spend the month's food budget on a wreck of a car that will need another 2k spent on it before it can go on the road? Yeah, it can keep the other 2 company...

Thinking that stuff like cleaning house, cooking in the kitchen (you are, of course, more than happy to cremate food on a barbeque) and doing the laundry is not your responsibility.

Trying to wear the trousers all the time. Face it! Your wife is at home more than you are (especially if you are out with "the guys" 3 nights a week), and is more intelligent and better educated than you. Let her make some decisions!

Expecting your wife to find you sexy when the guy she married is buried under 100 pounds of fat, while you think it is OK to complain if she gains a dress size after having a child.

Having pin-ups in the garage. Believe it or not, this does nothing to convince your wife that you still think that she is the most sexy thing that God ever put breath into. If she is thinking that you would rather be getting sweaty with Miss March, your chances of getting sweaty with HER are greatly reduced! Please tell me that you understand this one, at least!

Finally: Take advice from people who are in successful relationships, and not guys who think that showing your wife a bit of affection and respect is being "hen-pecked" or "under the thumb". The guy who is on his 4th successful marriage is NOT a good role model!

Thank you for listening.

If you did.

Which you probably didn't, but what the hell, it is you that is miserable and not getting any...

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Being Right

For Fathers Day Mrs RC got me an excellent card. It said that I was allowed to be right for 24 hours!

What an astonishing gift!

You see, I am usually wrong about things - you name it - if Mrs RC and I have had a discussion about it and have had different opinions, I will turn out to be the one that was wrong. In 24 years I have been right 6 times (yes I have been counting) and still have a couple of years to go before I am due to be right again :-)

Not that it bothers me! I know guys who really hate being wrong to the point where it is destructive to their relationships. This is, to my mind, ridiculous! When did macho pride become more important than matrimonial bliss? Hm, thinking on that one, I think I got the question the wrong way around! Macho pride has always been a problem!

So, did I milk my "rightness" to the max?


There is something to be said for knowing that you are wrong, a sort of comforting security - being right makes me feel nervous...

Monday, 22 June 2009

Don't hate me...

Some people, such as Mrs RC, fight their weight for their entire lives.

Mrs RC has been dieting (again) for a few months now. She is exercising far more than I am, eating a quarter of what I am and what happens? One week she loses a pound. next week, for no apparent reason, she gains 3! We have given up trying to work out what the hell is going on. Avoiding some foods (e.g. white bread and potatoes) seems to help a bit, but the fact remains. Scientifically she should be losing far more than she is and still has around 40% of her target loss to get rid of.

On the other hand there are people like me.

My weight is very stable these days. For a while I was just over 15 stones, but after being ill a couple of years ago I dropped to 14 st 8 pounds.

When Mrs RC is dieting, she tends to compensate by over feeding me. Over the last couple of months I have gained a couple of pounds, and I could feel it too! I know EXACTLY where those pounds were.

Then on Friday I appointed myself the task of rescuing a load of chairs from another building that is being refurbished. I carried 22 chairs up to my 3rd floor office, using the stairs, not the lift. My extra pounds have gone.

Don't hate me! I know it isn't fair!

Friday, 19 June 2009

A blast from the past

I work in a University.

The first job I had after leaving school was in this University's library. While I was there I read a lot of books, suddenly finding stuff that I had only dreamt of getting my hands on before.

One of these books was about the Thirty Years War (mainly in Germany from 1618 to 1648). It was a great book, and considering that my interest has returned to this era it would be fun to read it again.

The library is about to move to a new building, so everything is being crated up for the move. As I was passing through I though that this would be my last chance to grab a book for a couple of months. I typed "thirty years war" into the catalogue and up popped the book that I had read all those years ago.

I went to the shelf and there it was! Curious to know how many others had read this book since I read it, I flipped it open, and there was the date stamp from the time I took it out! It was still there!

Eight others have read the book since.

And do you know the finniest thing? I last read "The Thirty Years War" 30 years ago...

You have just entered The Twilight Zone...
Wow, and I just noticed that I also have 30 followers!
Do dee doo doo, do dee doo doo...
(Thanks to Ali for the sound effects)
Final Comment:
There is nothing like working to a deadline, is there? I have a Portfolio that is due on on Monday. Just finished it (at around 4.59pm). YAY ME!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Mind Reading

A good friend of mine recently commented that it would be great if his/her husband/wife could read his/her mind.

My reaction was:

"You mean they can't?"

You see, Mrs RC and I are one of those couples who can, 99% of the time, know what the other is thinking without any real communication. We will often make the same comment at exactly the same time, or complete each other's sentences.

We sit watching movies and comment about what is going on in the form of looks and small noises (often just groans or chuckles). Nothing further is needed. Sometimes we resort to single words, such as "Dead" when an old cop declares that he has only got 2 days left before he retires...

Have you reached this state yet? Do ALL couples get there in the end, or are we just freaks?

Wandering thoughts

When I am cycling, my mind often wanders off on thoughts of its own.

It composes songs that I can't remember when I get home and want to write them down. It meanders back to things that happened many years ago, to people that I had long forgotten. It also plays games.

One of its favourite games is to look at what is written on passing trucks and vans and develop it further. Often this is merely something insulting about the guy driving the van marked "T.W.Builders"....

But yesterday it had a real field day. I saw a truck marked as belonging to "Diva Metal Working". I nearly died with amazement at such a name!

Images of burly metal workers in sequins and feather boas throwing down their tools and shouting:

"That's it, I can't work under these conditions any more!"


"This hat just really isn't working with the rest of my outfit!"


"Amateurs the lot of you!"

What is the best thing you have ever seen on the side of a truck?

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

4 Years Ago Today...

...we lost our eldest daughter.

She was an amazing, wonderful child. Despite having Dyspraxia (which affects coordination, balance, communication skills, etc. She also had trouble trouble telling when someone was lying - see below) she learned to ride a bike, skip, use one of those bouncy balls with a ring around it, skip on the bouncy ball, etc, etc. Of course, she fell off and injured herself a lot, but she had a gritty determination to succeed that puts most people to shame. She just got up, wiped away the blood and started again. This same attitude applied when she had her many "teen" arguments with us,making life very "interesting" at times!

Trouble at school meant that we pulled her from secondary education and taught her at home from the age of 11 to 16, not easy all of the time but truly rewarding when you got to see how much she had learnt. She then went to college where she truly showed off how clever she was. She was getting distinctions in her Business Studies course when she was taken ill.

She also had a small but dedicated group of friends, and went to a youth church group with them each week. She loved going, even though she disagreed with some of the stances that the group took - you may remember me talking about the gay issue and how she argued with them about that.

Like all girls, she had crushes on stars. Here are a few of her favourites...

How she loved Jason Donovan!

Later on, she took a shine to guys with eye makeup:

She also loved Good Charlotte

Just before Christmas when she was around 15, she was probing for what her presents were. Mrs RC convinced her that we had kidnapped the singer from Good Charlotte and had wrapped him up. A few weeks after Christmas she remembered this and panicked, thinking he might have died in a cupboard somewhere! She nearly peed herself laughing when we told her that we hadn't really kidnapped him.

So today I am remembering the great things about her, the things that made her Sophie.

Have a great day, and give those you love a especially big hug!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Our latest thing

Anyone out there watch The Biggest Loser?

Ever wondered what it would be like to have that evil bitch Gillian as a personal trainer?

Well we just found the best thing in exercise ever:

It is fantastic! Ideally you need 2 remote controls (one for each hand) and a balance board and away you go.

It has a whole range of workouts divided into categories such weight loss and strength. Then there are 3 difficulty levels too! The default workouts alternate jogging with other games such as swinging on monkey bars, rowing and loading a cannon. You really have to work at it to do well in these games, let me tell you, especially the Monkey bars! As you would expect, you get heckled by Gillian the whole time you are working out, demanding more effort, more commitment, etc.

I have had 2 short sessions on it and I can feel the difference in my thighs already - and I was pretty proud of my thighs before!

And, of course, it also keeps track of what you have done - time spent, calories burned, weight change (the balance board weighs you) are all recorded for posterity. Hey, you even get to choose what your on-screen character looks like, with a mini Sim-like editor function.

There is only one thing I want to know - why have I not seen this advertised on TV, in the slots in Biggest Loser? We just stumbled on it in the local supermarket!

If you have got a Wii and want to work out, you need this! If you need an excuse to get a Wii, this is it!

Monday, 15 June 2009

Anniversary Weekend

Well that was probably the most awesome weekend ever!

Not that anything especially outstanding happened, but it was just the way everything added up.

The weather was amazing, for a start. Hot enough for shorts and t-shirt but with a hint of a breeze to stop you feeling too hot.

On Friday we just messed around, did a bit of shopping, walked the dog, had a barbeque, etc.
On Saturday we went out and bought presents for each other - probably not your typical 24th anniversary presents, but they were what we wanted. I bought Mrs RC some plants and a big pot for the garden. She bought me some stuff for making trees to go with my toy soldiers. Then we came home and I made pizzas while Mrs RC planted her new plants.

Sunday was very lazy. In the morning (or what was left of it once I had finally got up) I started making some trees and started painting the next part of my Polish army. But then it got too hot, so I joined Mrs RC in the garden and spent the afternoon sunbathing and drinking beer.

Like I said, no one thing was outstanding, but added together it was the best weekend I can remember.

Oh, and I finally finished painting my Winged Hussars! Here they are with a few friends.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

24 Years Ago Today...

I was young, free and single!

There was a house where we all used to hang out and play Dungeons and Dragons and stuff like that. Word was going around that a certain couple had definitely split up for good. Two people told me that the female from this couple really REALLY liked me.

Wow, I really REALLY liked her too. We had known each other for a couple of years by now and I knew that she was everything that I could ever want - a gorgeous, intelligent, funny, animal lover.

24 years ago tomorrow...

We were hanging around as usual, watching bad movies and having a few beers. She was there. We chatted a bit. As the evening drew to a close at around 2am, we headed off together. I was doing the gentlemanly thing and making sure she got home OK.

Outside her house we stopped and chatted for a few minutes. Eventually she looked at me and asked me if I wanted to come in for "coffee".

Being the young innocent that I was at the time, I missed the inverted commas. Sorry I don't like coffee.

We parted and I headed home, all goose-bumpy and wondering if I would ever get the courage up to ask her out on a date. Stop laughing!

24 years ago on Friday...

She wasn't so subtle. The rest is history.

This Friday I have the day off, so we are going to get the kids to school and then have a day to ourselves, buying gifts and having a meal together. I can't wait.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

The latest must-have!

Being the Proud Father Again - Sorry!

My baby boy (age 10, so maybo not really a baby any more) has been selected to go to a special event for "Gifted and Talented" children! He is one of only 4 kids from his school that have been chosen, so we are really proud of him. Number One Son is also a member of this organisation, so it looks like we will soon have 2 members!

Meanwhile, my daughter likes to keep her talents a secret but it is now clear that she is at or near the top of most of her classes. This is quite amazing as a couple of years ago she was only making average or just below average grades. Funny, we always suspected that there was more to her than she was letting us see, and it is now finally showing.

Number One Son continues to shine, having just taken his AS Level Maths exam at 15 (normally done at 17) and found it "quite easy". They are now planning his next 3 years at school, hoping that he can complete not only this maths A Level, but also another one in applied maths before he leaves the school. This in addition to studying other subjects as normal, of course! We sometimes worry that he being pushed too hard, but he is more than happy with things so that is OK. We do our best to keep the pressure off, being pleased with his achievements but not expecting anything. Mrs RC has even said that if he gets to 18 years old and decides that instead of Uni he wants to run away with the circus that is fine, so long as he is happy - that is what life is about after all!

Monday, 8 June 2009

A few weekend highlights

Had a fun weekend, doing all of the usual stuff.

The weather was a bit rubbish, but brightened up enough on Sunday for a barbeque. Unfortunately the sausages we had were a bit fatty, so cooking them was really hard, having to keep them on the move to avoid the inferno of burning fat that was created. Still, my culinary skills won through and it was all good in the end. Must remember not to use those ones in the future, though!

Saturday night. For some reason, we have a ton of pillows and cushions on our bed. This is fine if you are reading, watching the TV or playing the Playstation, but sleep time always coinsides with most of them being jetisoned onto the floor. On Saturday, Mrs RC got a bit over zealous and there was a crash as a cushion landed on her dressing table, knocking over a drink.

Dann it!

She asked me for a towel or something to clean it up with.

There was a towel on the floor on my side of the bed so I reached for it. As I reached, one of my butt cheeks slid over the edge and I started to slide out of bed onto the floor, my legs staying on the bed because they were tangled up in the sheets.

Not so bad, you think? Well right by my side of the bed is a built in wardrobe with huge mirror doors, and I was heading straight for it with nothing solid to grab hold of to stop myself! I had visions of hitting it, shattering it and spending the rest of the weekend having shards of mirror pulled out of my back and head!

"Help?" I said.

Mrs RC lookd at me, still in mid-slide, and burst out laughing.

My slide continued until my butt touched down on the floor, leaving me balancing there on the tip of my butt, folded in half, with my feet still in bed and my back and head about 2 inches from the mirror doors.

"What on earth are you doing?"

"I'm trying not to fall through the mirrors and slash myself to pieces!"

"Oh, I thought you were messing around!"

All day Sunday she kept laughing about it until there were tears in here eyes...

Finally, you might remember an old post of mine about the biggest rubber duck in the world! Well I saw this add on TV for the first time over the weekend. I think it will become a classic.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Doing my part for democracy

Today is voting day!

Today we get to elect our local councils and also our MEPs - the people who represent us in the European Parliament!

There was a massive choice in candidates, especially for the European Parliament.

Labour - the party that is currently in power in the UK, formerly lead by Tony Blair. Claims to represent the normal working man, but most of them are from very wealthy backgrounds and the recent expenses scandal has revealed that many of them are about as corrupt as it gets.

Conservative - traditionally the partiy of the rich and privilaged, just as guilty in the expenses scandal but somehow coming out of it better - perhaps people just expect it of these people? :-)

Lib-Dems - the party that sits in the middle and doesn't usually have much power unless it can side with one of the big 2 to influence things. Good policies that will never see the light of day!

British National Party - the "We aren't Nazis at all, are we Mein Fuhrer?" party.

Green Party - This party wants to push the green agenda, forcing environmental issues to be put before things like profit.

The Roman Party - I have no idea what these stand for, but they caught my eye. If they stood for things like throwing criminals to the lions I might have voted for them :-)

The expenses scandal? Big news in the UK, maybe not overseas? This is all about MPs claiming all sorts of things as "expenses" and getting the tax payer to pay for it. Things like:

Cleaning of moats.
Porn for the husband to watch while the MP wife is in London working.
Paying sons thousands to do "research" while they are actually away at University.
Renovation of "second homes" which are then sold for a massive profit.
Home cinema systems.
A bath plug.

The list is huge and goes on and on. James will probably have a favourite.

Anyway, I cast my votes. Any guesses who for?

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Standing out in the crowd

Today is one of those days when I know that I stand out like a sore thumb.

I am used to standing out for various reasons:

At 6'2", while by no means a giant, I often find that I am one of the tallest people in a group - sometimes THE tallest. This was often my fate at school after the age of around 11 when I started really growing...

My mad scientist hair tends to stand out...

And, of course, my dashing good-looks always attract attention :-)

But today I am really standing out. You see, the weather has been so amazing recently that I have taken to wearing shorts and t-shirt all of the time.

Sadly, the weather has decided that today is Winter again. Everyone else is all wrapped up and keeping snug, while I am slowly freezing to death in my shorts.

I really should start watching the weather forecast again!

And now that work is over, I will be standing out again - my dad has asked me to buy in a load of microwave meals, which means I will be hitting the checkout with 20 more or less identical frozen meals...

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

A leap of faith

I have found myself about to build a new army of toy soldiers - 17th Century Swedes to fight the Poles that I am currently painting.

When it came down to it there was really only one company that I could buy them from. This is a company that I used to buy all of my figures from - I even once owned a set of the figures that I now want! Ah, if only I had hung onto them! Why did I let myself get talked into selling them all those years ago?

Anyway, I was just about to place my order when I saw posts on a discussion group about how bad their service has been recently - slow processing of orders, orders dispatched with the wrong stuff in them, even orders sent to the wrong address!

I paused.

Do I really want to deal with that sort of thing?

Not really.

But I really want these soldiers!

So I sent them an email asking an inane question. The answer came back more or less straight away and was very good.

Encouraged by this I have placed an order - not too much - the Swedish King and a couple of hangers on, plus 3 regiments of foot.

Will I live to regret this?

Watch this space for progress reports!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Monday Lunchtime

Why are weekends always too short?

Had a fab weekend! The weather was perfect!

The barbie was great - my wok worked really well! I did some onions and peppers in it which turned out great, and then I cooked some flat bread in it which was amazing! We will now have fresh bread when we to camping!

I also made some progress on Custard's behaviour - sort of.

We met one of the dogs that he goes for, in fact the one that he is most eager to fight.

I shortened his lead and told him to be nice. The other dog's owner was a couple of hundred yards away at this point.

He sat here all good.

The dog circled behind him, and Custard turned round and growled at him.

I told Custard off, and he layed down.

Then it happened. The other dog the other dog came around behind again and tried to mount him! Yes, Custard had merely been trying to stop himself being raped!

I pushed the dog with my knee, but he looked at me and growled.

I don't take that sort of shit from any dog, so I grabbed its collar and held it up on its back legs, gasping for air, until the owner arrived.

Poor Custard. Looks like he was right all along!