Friday, 31 December 2010

New Years Eve!

Hi guys!

Having a great time - hope you are too! 

Having great food, lots of time with the wonderful mrs RC, kids, dogs, etc.  Plenty of drink too - got a glass of Baileys going at the moment, moving on to the wine after walking the dogs...

Frou Frou just had her second injection which means we can take her out for walks soon.  Can't wait, it is going to be such fun.

Oh well, I can hear things going on in the kitchen again - better get back in there!

Hm, might see if I can get a quick look at a few blogs first though...

Have a great New Year!  See you soon!

Monday, 20 December 2010

"Fun" in the snow

Saturday saw 4 inches of snow arrive in a couple of hours - been 20 years since we saw this sort of thing.

Mrs RC and the kids were in Canterbury when it arrived - the bus got stuck and they had to walk 6 miles to get home!  Good thing that they were all dressed for the cold, are fit and had bought some doughnuts while they were out!

Puppy needs a cuddle now!

Bye for now!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Signing off for Christmas!

Yes, this could be my last post before Christmas, although as Terri pointed out I don't really have an excuse for not posting from home these days...

Work and school finish today, giving us a week to get in the last things we need for the big day.  We have got all the main presents now and I think everyone will be getting stuff that they want and will enjoy.  Going to add a few silly things just for the hell of it - I love silly presents.

My daughter played bass guitar at the school concert last night and did really well.  It was funny sitting there watching my little girl play guitar like that.  Going to have to encourage her to learn more now so she can play more interesting bass lines.  Must tread carefully, though.  She is very much like Mrs RC, wants to work things out in her own way without being pushed - push either of them and they push back twice as hard...

Puppy update!

The puppy's name is now Frou Frou (90% of the time anyway), and she is doing great.  She has her own food and drink bowls but refuses to use them, preferring to share Custard's.  We put the food down and she immediately starts stealing bits from under Custard's nose.  He growls a bit but she ignores him and grabs more.

The often play together now, with Custard laying on the floor while Frou Frou runs around, jumps on his head, nips his ears, etc.  The really scary bit is when he lays with his mouth open and she puts her head in his mouth and licks his teeth!  Will try to get pics/video of all this sort of thing over the holiday and will post them if they are any good.

2010 was a difficult year for us but we have no intention of letting this year's problems run into next year.  Frou Frou has been a great distraction in this respect and getting her has been a great move.  It is amazing the effect that 3 pounds of dog can have on a house!

So, time to sign off!  Have a great Christmas and New Year!  I hope that 2011 will be a wonderful year for you all, where ever you are and whatever you do. 

Hope to see you in the New Year, if I don't manage to wrest a laptop off the kids over the holiday!

Thursday, 16 December 2010


Work is really winding down for Christmas now, so I have started digging for data for my dissertation.  Hoping to make some really good maps of the USA to show population shift over the last 10 years, and hopefully some more to show changes in what work there is in the different sectors.  Geeky but fun, IMO.

Christmas Story just finished!  I had it running on a spare eMac that is in the office.  Time to put on Die Hard 2, I think!

Really starting to get in the mood for Christmas now - bought a few more presents at lunchtime!  Why does spending money always feel so good?

More soon.


Just found out that the first results from the US 2010 Census will be released on the 21st!  Can't wait to see what they give us!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Ho Ho Ho!

Almost finished the hall decorations last night!  Another hour or so tonight should finish it.

Bought a couple more presents at lunchtime - it is feeling really cold out there, and the ground is more or less frozen solid.  There is the promise of snow at the weekend - can't wait!

Don't think I have mentioned this yet, but Friday is my last day at work!  Woo hoo!  This term has been really manic and I desperately need to just kick back and have some fun with the family, dogs, rabbits, guitars and toy soldiers.  Can't wait.

Those who have known me for a long time (there are a couple of you left!) might remember that I had an idea for an action movie/book.  I am seriously thinking about writing it, and might make a start over the holiday.  I will let you know how I get on - if I do!

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

'Tis a bit more like the season...

Getting a bit more into the spirit of things now.

Put some decorations up in the hall last night, but I stopped due to being a bit tired and having a puppy trying to eat my ankles.

Bought my daughter a great little present - her first bass guitar.  I think she will love it - small, light, and purple with a great sound.  Wish my first guitar had been as nice as this one!

Another thing that has added to my Christmas Spirit is that I will be going to a school carol concert!  I thought that this would be the first year in many that I would not get to sit and watch my children sing, but no!  My daughter is taking part (playing bass guitar in a band), so am forced to go along for the evening.  I hope everything goes OK - this will be her first time playing to an audience.

Looks like England will be getting a White Christmas too!  I think there has only been snow on one Christmas that I can remember, and that wasn't very much.  A real White Christmas would be sooo coooool.  Knowing my luck it will miss this corner of the country, so please send us some if you have any to spare!

More soon.

Monday, 13 December 2010

'Tis the season

Well no matter how hard I try to stop it, Christmas is coming.

Mrs RC seems to have put her finger on the problem this year.  Events in the family have robbed us of this year - we have spent the entire time gritting our teeth and trying to get from one day to the next without really experiencing the year properly.  Christmas is not due yet, as far as our body clocks are concerned!

Anyway, I got home on Friday to find that the tree was up.

I spent part of Saturday doing the Pooh Bear grotto in the front porch - it is nearly finished.  Just a few more lights and to finish reconstructing a Christmas sleigh that my eldest made many years ago.  I savaged the reindeer and made a new sleigh that will hold Eeyore-Santa.  She would have liked that.

Had a real pain with bike tyre inner tubes over the weekend:

  • Got puncture on Friday evening.
  • Saturday morning I put in my spare but it immediately got punctured by a small piece of grit stuck through the tyre which I had missed.
  • Went to buy some more inner tubes.
  • Opened the box and thought "Hey, these look small!"
  • Went back to the shop to buy the right size.  Of course, the girl on the til made this into a major drama, refunding me £14.99, making me sign for it etc, and then selling me the right ones for £14.99...  The people in the queue behind me were thrilled...
The cold sometimes affects my insides.

While doing some shopping on Saturday my stomach started to gurgle and clench.  I headed for the toilets.

Arriving just in time, I sat there for a couple of minutes checking that there wasn't going to be a sequel. I heard the outer door open.

"Oh, sweet Jesus!"

The door closed again.

I sniffed.



Oh, not another heart attack in the cake aisle, surely...

I headed out to see the last of the staff and customers leaving the building - beyond I could see a guy in a full body suit - bomb disposal?  Chemical and biological?  Looked serious anyway!

I decided it was a good idea to get the hell out, anyway.  As I stepped outside there was a shout.

"Hey, you with the beard!  Hands up!"


"DO IT!"

I did it.

As I was surrounded by armed Police, the guy in the suit walked into the building.

After a few minutes he returned, removing his helmet.

"I can't find the source, but the readings are off the chart!"

"Hm, maybe our 'friend' here can help explain things?"

After 2 hours, and a long awaited sequel at the Police Station, they believed me....

PS, some of this might be slightly exaggerated.

Thursday, 9 December 2010


Sorry for my poor showing this week.  Catching up on the snow days has tended to wipe out breaks at the beginning of the week and yesterday I had a short day.  My youngest had to go for an orthodontist check up so I had to go home to look after Suzie-Pickle, or as she is being increasingly called, Frou-Frou.  I have a feeling that this will end up being her real name - it really suits her.

Most of the snow is long gone, but there are still patches here and there - the temperature is hanging around freezing, meaning that my nose is getting very cold...

Christmas in under way at last - I have actually bought some presents and the decorations are going up this weekend, suitably altered to make them puppy-proof, of course.

Today is a big day in the UK - today is the day that our University fees become the most expensive in the world while the politicians try to convince everyone that they are actually getting cheaper.  Of course, the real killer is that half of the current government was elected on the promise that University fees would be totally abolished!  Changes like that should be against the law, IMO.

Ah well, onwards and upwards!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Snow days!

The end of last week saw most of England grind to a halt under heavy snow.

Usual snow duties befell me - feeding Humphrey the pony, making sure relative had what they needed, walking dogs etc.

Suzie-Pickle continues to keep us all busy too...

The snow has now gone, but it is cold and foggy outside [shiver].

More later - got some catching up to do!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Talkin' 'bout my generation!

OK, I will spare you the obvious YouTube clip and get straight on to the story.

I was talking to one of the students today.  They have got a group assignment to do and she was saying how her group was great because of the range of people in it.

There was her - educated, intelligent...

There was B - typical student who likes a good party.

There was C - the middle aged guy.

There was D - the older guy.

I laughed.

"I love your perception of age."


"C is middle aged?  Love it.  He must be all of 25."


Hm.  I am more or less the same age as D, making me another "older guy"...

OK I'll take it, I'm a man.  Nothing worse than an old guy thinking he is still 19.

Or is there?  Let me know if you can think of something!


PS Do you ever find that you suddenly start using a word that you have rarely used before?

My new word is "spartan" - I used it twice in the assignment that I just finished (YAY ME!!!!) and also just used it in a comment on someone's blog!  Maybe that will be my new name - The Spartan Rock Chef!