Thursday, 28 October 2010


Hm, anyone looking at the stuff I am reading at the moment, e.g. "The Rise and Future Demise of the World Capitalist System" might think I am turning into a pinko-commie-bed-wetter!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

A walk in the country

Went for one of our walks with students this morning - great fun, as always,even though the weather was a bit grim.

The sun seemed to shine through the trees just for this pic.

I love the Autumn, but prefer it when it is a little warmer, dryer, less windy...

More soon.

Back again!

There were a few times when things got interesting - going through a field full of bullocks was one!  I kept the camera rolling just in case we had one of those blooper moments when someone got seriously mangled in a hilarious manner, but to no avail.  We got mooed at but that was all.

The weather seems to be settling down for my journey home, which is nice of it.  I hate cycling into a head wind after a long day.

I keep thinking that I should write a reply post to Terri's recent post about women's moods and how men should deal with/understand them.  A post about guy's feelings and how women could deal with/understand them.  This would be a very short post, though.  Men are simple creatures with simple emotions and needs.  IMO, a man needs the following to have a full and happy life:

  1. Food.  A well fed man is a happy man.
  2. Sex.  Preferably without having to beg or pay for it.
  3. Respect.  At least the pretence that he is needed and that his views are valuable.
  4. Toys.  Every guy needs toys of some sort - gadgets, cars, guitars, toy soldiers, welding equipment, scuba gear, etc.  We are, when all is said and done, children trapped in an adult's body.
See what I mean?  Hardly compares with Terri's masterpiece, but I guess this reflects the relative complexity of the subjects.

Please feel free to suggest additions to my list above, if I have missed anything!

Monday, 25 October 2010

So where is the haffalump?

We were sitting in the kitchen on Sunday when suddenly there was a horrible screaming/screeching noise outside.  My first thought was that a bird had been caught by a cat.

Custard was bouncing around wanting to go and have a look, so I opened the front door and let him into the garden.  Something was going on in the far corner - the shrubs were thrashing around like crazy - but Custard couldn't get right in there.

The screeching continued, so I went out of the garden for a closer look. There I saw a cat making a hurried exit (well done Custard!), and went to have a closer look to see what it had attacked and if it was OK. 

There was movement in a patch of grass...

I looked closer...

What on earth?

It was a weasel!  (Not the one in the photo, sadly).  And he was clearly very angry (but no longer screeching).  As I watched, he shook himself, looked around and then scampered off into the undergrowth, apparently unharmed by his ordeal.  I know these sorts of animals have a reputation for being able to look after themselves, but the size difference was a bit extreme.

I don't know if he is a new resident or just passing, but it was great to see him.  If he is a resident, I hope he learns to avoid cats in the future!


Keeping with the animal theme, we had a near miss with the rabbits too.  A moment's lapse while cleaning their runs saw Blossom (a female who is in season) break into the run where Bubbles, our male, lives.

She went straight to him and introduced herself.

What did he do?

Like a lot of guys who meet a very forward female, he ran and hid!

We quickly returned her to her own run, but are now a bit more at ease about what might happen if she breaks in again while we aren't there. 

"Breeding like rabbits", like all generalisations, seems to have its exceptions!

Friday, 22 October 2010


Phew, made it through to the weekend again!


Now I just need to make it to pay day!  Been a really tight few months and now we have got Christmas coming up!  Ah well, we will tackle that when we get to it, the government is determined to slash spending left right and centre so who knows what is coming next!  I have been a bit uncertain about stimulus programs but right now that is looking much better than Britain's up coming austerity measures - this is going to be very bad for a lot of people...

Blah, anyway, it is Friday, I am heading for home now - a spot of treasured family time, slouching in front of the TV and chipping away at my assignment if I find the energy!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Only in the Blogosphere...

Shrinky was intrigued by a comment I made recently - I mentioned that some time ago I had been made an Honorary Girly.

Well, this is roughly how I remember it happening.

When I started blogging I attached myself to a group that was forming - one was a real life friend, the rest were "virtual" friends - mainly female, as it turned out.  Most of this group is nolonger blogging, sadly, but Terri is still here and Ali keeps threatening to blog again (I live in hope, but little else).

So, anyway, our early days of blogging involved sharing background stuff that we thought others might be interested in. 

I talked about how much I love being a parent, how I became "Mr Mom" when my wife had to be away for various reasons - looking after relatives being the most common, but there was also the time just after our first daughter was born when my wife got bilateral mastitis and almost died.  In these times I take over running everything, and do a pretty good job, even if it does sound like I am bragging!

I talked about movies, the most relevant being Beaches (Bette Midler) and how I cry like a girl every time I watch it.

Hey, there I go again.

Meanwhile, in a group of mainly girls, lots of girly stuff got talked about - you name it, it appeared in print.

Now I can't remember the exact sequence of events, but at some point it was decided that given my relevant experience and qualifications (see above), it was OK for me to read all this stuff and I was made an Honorary Girly into the bargain.  I was assured that cramps and mood swings would follow, but I think that I dodged those...

So there you have it.  I don't think that many straight guys get that sort of award, and I am very proud of it!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


Hope to have time for a decent post later...


"Why do we buy bread?  We only feed it to the animals."

"Dad eats it too."

"Like I said..."

Monday, 18 October 2010

The Weekend

Had a good weekend - Saturday was really busy, Sunday was my Day of Rest - feet up, watching rubbish on TV, doing a bit of reading, snacking, etc.

Oh, I did cook the roast, but that is a one-braincell job, so no worries.

Back to work again - this morning was mayhem, no lunch until after 2pm, but now all is quiet so I am doing a spot of reading for my first assignment of the year.  Looking at cycles of boom and bust in the world economy.  Yes, very topical, and very interesting reading the different views.  I am finding myself siding more and more with the Marxist writers on a lot of this - a system driven purely by individual greed is bound to fall on its face from time to time.  Having said that, the alternatives are little better - Soviet Russia was hardly a thriving economy!

Right, diving back into the books now -


Friday, 15 October 2010

Mystery solved!

A few nights ago, I kept waking up to the smell of raspberry yoghurt.  Well, the cause of that has now been found!

No, I am not pregnant (Shrinky and Terri).  I know I was made an "Honourary Girly" a few years back (this will be news to Shrinky, of course) but this was clearly too much to hope for.

I am not totally mad either!

The real story is this.

Mrs RC had been sorting out our bedroom and noticed a fly on the ceiling above the bed.  She tried to move it and then swat it once it moved within reach, but was unable to get it.

Not wanting to leave the fly in our bedroom, she grabbed a body spray from her dressing table and shot it down.  They fly, smelling very sweet but unable to remain airborne, crash landed and was promptly squished.  With hindsight, Mrs RC now realises that my side of the bed would also have been on the receiving end of the spray - which turned out to be RASPBERRY!

So there you have it!  Simple really!

I am now off to listen to 4 hours of lectures before heading home for the weekend - have a great one!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

I am winning!!!!!

I have nearly finished the project that has been sucking up my time!

You want to know more about it?

Ok, a brief run down.

I have been using GIS (computerised maps) to work out all possible modes of transport (walk, cycle, bus, train, car) available to all of our students who go to one of our 5 sites.  Using these forms of transport and the distances involved we can calculate the carbon footprint for various scenarios, from the worst (everyone drives in their own car) to the best (everyone uses the greenest form of transport available to them).

Quite a task, I must say, but very useful to the University.

Right, just a few bits in Excel (some of you will know that I love using Excel - sad I know) and all is done...

Update - ALL DONE!  Yay me!

Before things take over...

Thought I would write a short post before work hits me again...

Had a great game last night.  Turned out to be a small battle between platoons of British and German soldiers in Normandy, 1944 - about 40 or 50 men in each force.

My cunning plan was to hold the line with 2 squads while performing a left hook with the other 2 squads.  Worked perfectly - I even captured the German commander in hand to hand combat!

Had a funny thing going on last night.  I kept waking up and smelling raspberry yoghurt - I could almost taste it!  I asked Mrs RC if she had used any raspberry lotions or anything, but no, she had run out!  So now I just want to eat raspberry yoghurt while wondering why I kept smelling it last night!

OK, on with the day!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Wednesday PM

Off to a meeting all afternoon...

Had a huge lunch...

Hope I don't doze...

Playing toy soldiers tonight, probably somewhere in the Ardennes, 1944 - The Battle of the Bulge as it was called...

Sorry for the short post, things are hectic...

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Not fair!

Here I am at work, while Mrs RC gets to dog-sit a friend's Jack Russel puppy called Peanut!  She is about the same size as Custard's head...


More soon.

Phoned home at lunchtime - Custard has taken refuge on Mrs RC's lap so he is safe from the puppy.  He us such a Cowardy Custard!  :-)

More soon...

Monday, 11 October 2010

Children can be soooo evil...

Saturday saw me doing my nerdy best at the Uni Open Day.  I always enjoy these events, talking to prospective students and their parents and basically trying to make sure they are making the right choice - which MIGHT be to study with us, but equally it might not!

On Sunday I took the boys and a couple of their friends to play laser tag.  This is always great fun - last time we more or less had the place to ourselves and there was a lot of stalking and sniping.  This time there were 2 kids parties going on, so the place was swarming with 7-8 year olds - it was like fighting Ewoks!  They swarmed all over the place, crowding around, blasting you over and over again!  Evil...

We had drinks and burgers in the intervals, compared scores (somehow I came first in one of the games!) and I chatted to some of the other dads there.  One of them was clearly a novice.  He told me that one of the kids in his group was Japanese and didn't speak much English.  I looked at the kid - he clearly knew where he was and what was going on.

"I'll keep an eye out for him then", I said.

"Oh, if you could, just incase he finds things difficult."

Yeah.  Little git killed me 8 times!  Some things surpass the language barrier - if you have seen Star Wars or played Halo you know exactly what to do...

Meanwhile, Mrs RC and my daughter were nearby - the laser place is right by a big shopping centre...

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Hum tee tum tee...

Just idling away some time.

Judgemental Son is helping out at an open evening at his school, guiding and talking to prospective pupils for next year.  He is looking super cool, in his black suit and black shirt...

Was just flicking around in Facebook.  It is amazing what some people will write, isn't it? I sometimes think that people forget who they have "friended" and forget that all of those people can read what they have said!

I should be reading something constructive, but it is too boring and I keep dozing off after a paragraph or 2...

Hm, mind's gone blank...

Need a good night's sleep...

Need a shave badly, the bristles have reached that nasty stage where they curl back and start to try to grow back into my face.  Not a problem that the ladies will have much knowledge of, but I hate it.  If I had the determination to stick it out I would be OK in another week, but I don't think I have.

Ah well, I'll have another go at reading this stuff....


A ride on the bus...

This morning I had to come to work on the bus, taking the same one as Number One Son who now goes to school in Canterbury.

We were among the first to get on the bus, and as we travelled he told me about some of the regulars as they came aboard.

Bluetooth Woman - pushes her way onto the bus and then has "private" phone conversations via her ear-piece.  Everyone on the bus knows all about her private life.  They also hear her complain that the bus is arriving after 8am.  Funny, that.  It is SUPPOSED to arrive after 8am - if she really wants to arrive BEFORE 8am she should get an earlier bus!

Bad Parent Woman - wants people to feel sorry for her because her children are out of control.  Her conversation is punctuated with her telling her poor kids to "f-ing shut up" or "f-ing sit down".

iPod Kid - the kid who wants everyone on the bus to hear how bad his taste in "music" is.

Annoying Businessman - the guy in the expensive suit who seems to have lost his driving license for drink-driving and now has to travel with normal people.

Judgemental Kid That No One Will Sit With - the one who sits at the back, watching everyone else with a very serious expression on his face.  People will stand for half an hour rather than sit next to or opposite him.  Oh, this is Number One Son!  He likes the space that this effect gives him.

We had a great trip - certainly the most enjoyable bus ride to work I have ever had...

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Wednesday wittering

Made it to Wednesday!  YAY ME!!!!

Things are just so busy right now, I can't believe it!  What is so different this year?


Today is my youngest son's birthday - he is 12!  Jeez, I am starting to feel my age...

Tonight we are having a bit of a party - the theme is "Man v Food".

OK, we aren't going that stupid, but it is all about building burgers and wraps with as much filling as you think you can handle.  Should be a blast!

What else can I say?  Oh, the rain seems to be easing off - got to work reasonably dry this morning and it had actually stopped by lunchtime.  Will it hold off until I go home tonight?  We will see.

Oh, and what can I say?  I am working on Saturday this week too!  Not my usual stunt, but it is a University open day and I am doing a bit about GIS (computer mapping) which is always fun in a geeky way.  One of my maps was actually inspired by a couple of blogger friends - it shows population change in Michigan from 2000 to 2009.  It tells a rather sad story, one that I feel a personal attachment to thanks to blogging!

Ah well, back to polishing my presentation for Saturday! 

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Random stuff

Eating lunch, waiting for DVDs to burn.  Baguette, cheese, ham, tomatoes, chili sauce, mayo.  Nice.

Number One Son had to have a new calculator for his new school.  Not just any old calculator, needed a graphing calculator that cost a silly amount.  He came home last night and told us that he had lost it.  Mrs RC was not impressed.  I had half expected something like that.  The good news is that he found it when he went to school today.  Might superglue it to his arm or something...

I think that confidence in our new government is on the slide.  Yesterday they announced that any person earning more than £44,000 would stop receiving Child Benefit (a small weekly payment for each child in a household).  Someone immediately pointed out that a household with 2 people each earning $43,000 would still get it.  Clearly they hadn't thought about this!  Makes you proud to be British  :-(

Going to try to get off to the library now - who ever thought that a 1-day loan was a good idea?

And finally - Norman Wisdom died today. He was a really funny guy, and by all reports also a really NICE guy!  Here is a classic clip:

Monday, 4 October 2010

Wet weekend

I think it must have rained for most of the weekend.  The only time it seemed to not rain was for a couple of hours on Saturday morning, which was good because we bought a chair at a charity shop in town and dragged it home on our garden trolley.  Mrs RC then re-covered it and a foot stool that is going to go with it, in preparation for an aunt who is spending this Christmas with us.

Rained again this morning as I came in to work.  Got totally drowned, but it wasn't cold or windy so I didn't mind too much.  It is the wind that really gets to me when cycling...

Ah well , back to it - sorry this is so short!  More soon...