Tuesday, 28 February 2012

If only...

Had to ride the bus today...

The trip home was a nightmare - the bus I was supposed to catch had broken down so I jumped on the first one that was going vaguely close to my house.

There was a young woman on there with a young child in a buggy.  The child started to cry and struggle to get out of the buggy, but the woman did nothing except send and read texts and look out of the window.  After around 10 minutes she said a couple of things to the kid and then went back to her phone.

In the end I got off the bus early to prevent one of several possible scenarios happening.

A - I got so angry that something burst in my head.

B - I snatched the woman's phone off her and threw it out of the window.

C - I had a massive rant at the woman about her responsiblities as a parent and how there are many people who would do literally anything to have a child and that she should start enjoying the wonderful gift she had been given.

D - I became a Vigilante Parent, turning the buggy to face me and taking over for her.

I can actually see a future in the Vigilante Parent idea - a movie, perhaps, where Charles Bronson stalks around town giving bad parents quick lessons in parenting.  Think it might be an Oscar winner?

Monday, 27 February 2012


Well I got one of the two assignment things done!  Pretty good considering how busy the weekend was.

We put completely new wire around the rabbit run - hopefully nothing will be getting in or out of there now!

Sorry, but photos of the babies have been really hard to get.  I staked them out when they looked like venturing ourside, but got nothing.  Well, nothing of THEM.  The mouse was not shy and was happy to help himself from the bowl of dry food:

This is with me and Frou Frou less than 3 feet from him!  He came back 2 or 3 times after this too.

My chair (even though it is wrong) is proving to to be very comfortable - I am tempted to blame this for my lack of progress on the second assignment, but can't really.  Will get to it tonight!

Hope you had a great weekend!

More soon.

Friday, 24 February 2012


Phew, what a wkke!  I mean week!  See, I can't even type now!

The baby rabbits started to venture out of the house last night, all wobbly and curious.  We seem to have 5 babies - a black one, a brown one and 3 that are white with black markings like their parents.  The darker ones must be a throwback to Mr Blossom, their grandfather...

I have got 2 assignments that I want to nail really soon - hoping for some quiet this afternoon to do one (only need a hour or so) and then some time over the weekend to finish off the other one.  Then I only have to think about the dissertation which I have had trouble focusing on because these other bits are getting in the way.

My game of eBingo finished today, with a happy student strolling off with his bottle of wine.  They are already asking me to run another one.  This one was innately unfair as I used everyone's names - but it was easy to set up and didn't require any input from the players.  Next time I will do something different to make it a level playing field.  Think I might just do a set of random numbers for everyone and send them out - again that would be easy to do and would not require input from a couple of hundred players.

We finally took delivery of the chair that goes with our new sofa - but it is the wrong colour!  We are keeping it until they bring us the right one.  Jeez, how useless can people get?

Have a great weekend - I will try to catch up on blogs soon!  Please don't be offended if I haven't commented in a few days...

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Maginot Line

There is a terrible myth that The Maginot Line was a terrible failure.

It was not a failure, it did it's job wonderfully, it was never defeated - the Germans just cheated and went around it.  I will be more than happy for the cats to go around our Maginot Line - they can even race to the sea...

Or preferably ending up IN it...

Tied up in sacks...

With a few bricks for company...

Not sure...

my nerves can take much more of this!

You know there is a saying:

Breeding like rabbits.

Well Mrs RC was cleaning out the rabbit runs today and ....

Houdini and Panda must have done the deed just before we split them up!  Seems there are 4 or 5 of them, although how we didn't see them when we checked on NUB on Sunday is beyond me...

We are going to make that run look like the bloody Maginot Line, I tell you!  We are not losing any more babies to those &$*£&£"$ cats!  Mrs RC was working hard on it at lunchtime when she broke the news.

Off to see if any more needs doing - might just add another layer of wire mesh for the hell of it!

Decisions decisions....

Well as I finish studying this summer, it is time that I did what I have been thinking about on and off for a couple of years - joining a band!

I am hoping to find a couple of guys my age who just want to get together and blast out some songs, nothing serious, no plans for super-stardom, etc.

Part of this is to buy a new bass guitar and amp.  I have got my eye on a guitar - one that I saw on the day I met up with Agg79:

This would be great fun to play, and would work nicely alongside my 5 string bass:

I have been looking at a few amps too - it is amazing how things have changed since I was last in a band.  My old gigging amp was 100watts, weighed a ton and was almost as tall as I am.  New ones I am looking at are a third of the size and weight and can kick out 400watts! 

OOOooooohhh Yeah!!!!

More soon.

BTW - I hear that Lent starts tomorrow.  Any suggestions on what I should give up?

Monday, 20 February 2012


Poor NUB did not make it.  There must have been more injuries that we could not see.

I know I should not blame the cats, but right now I am wondering if a cat-skin hat would be warm...

Sunday, 19 February 2012

A close run thing...

At 3 o'clock this morning we were awoken by the horrible sound of screaming rabbits.

I was out of bed and half way down the stairs before I thought "Jeez, I am going REALLY fast - I hope I can stop!"

I hit the back door running with Custard right behind me.

Out onto the path, the first thing I saw was NUB, thrashing on the ground.  I thought his neck was broken and he was dying, but I picked him up anyway before Custard made sure.  I guess that the cat had dropped him and fled when the door opened.

It was soon clear that he was alive.  There was no blood but it was clear that he had been grabbed by the back of the neck.  We put him in a carry basket while we tried to find out what had happened.

It was probably around this time that I realised how cold it was and thought how good it was that I was actually wearing PJs...

It looked like a cat had made a very small gap in the wire which NUB had escaped through, straight into the waiting cat's mouth.  Hurried repairs were made before we put NUB back into the run and returned to bed, not really sleeping as every sound had us on edge.

Today, NUB has been subdued, although he has been eating on and off.  Not as much as usual, but at least he as not gone into the shutdown that traumatised rabbits can do. He seems to be bruised and frightened by his experience, but hopefully he will be OK in a couple of days.

More soon!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Spring is in the air

It is a rather nice day here in Canterbury.

NUB seemed to be the first to realise that things are looking up.  He was running around his run, leaping over things, grabbing a mouthful of cabbage, then running off again.  The others just sat and watched him with a sort of "huh, kids" expression.

OK, a student just used her iPhone to take a Fat Face photo of me.  This is how I would look if I gave up cycling and carried on eating like I do.

Guess I am sticking with the bike.

PS  Just had a thought - maybe this is how I will look when I get back from the trip next year!  I've seen Man vs Food!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A quick wargame

This game was played using a fairly simple set of rules that uses small numbers of toy soldiers (under 50 in each army - other games use hundreds).  Dice are used to determine how many moves a player can make each turn.   Modified die rolls determine the results of fighting.  After a set amount of losses at army runs for it.

King Herod of Judea has decided to invade nearby the nearby kingdom of Kappodokia, trying to get some good press for once.

The Judean army is closest to the camera, with heavy infantry and cavalry on the plain in the centre and light infantry on the woods and on the hill on either flank.  The Kappodokians have lined up their heavy cavalry to trample the Judean infantry, with their other troops on the flanks.

The armies advance.

Fighting on the hill.

The Judean light infantry hold the high ground.

The Kappodokians try again...

and are repulsed, with severe losses.

The main lines close.

Another assault on the hill...


The heavy cavalry charge...

and are repulsed by the stoic Judean infantry. Only the General and his bodyguards remain in contact, dangerously exposed.

Heavily outnumbered, the Kappodokian general and his guards are dragged from their saddles and slaughtered, while the rest of his army decide to make good their escape. 

Herod sends off messengers with the good news.  Perhaps this will help his image a bit after that little incident...

St Valentine's Day


Here I sit at my PC.  It is lunchtime and I am eating left-over chili with nachos.  Mmmm, always good the day after this stuff.

Yet again, Mrs RC and I have celebrated this day with cards and gifts.  Must be about the 4th year now!

We never used to do anything special on this day.  For years it was a case of being broke at this time of year, so rather than become even more broke we just let it go.  Why did we need to do something special on this day when we shared our love every day?

I am not totally sure why things changed - I have a sneaky feeling that certain bloggers made me feel bad for not making extra effort for a special day.  Anyway, I did it one year and Mrs RC loved it - despite her previous declarations that if I ever bought her something for Valentine's Day she would assume I was cheating...

Was this yet another one of those things that men misunderstand about women?  Maybe.

Still, since then we have become dedicated to the day, giving each other mushy cards and suitable presents, such as bottles of wine and guitar strings.  OK, that is what Mrs RC tends to get for me, but you knew that really.

OK, better finish my lunch!  I have got a photo blog of a wargame to post soon, maybe later today if I am good!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

I can't believe...

that I have been such a slacker!

This must be the longest non-holiday gap between posts ever!

I am so sorry!

But I guess you want to know what I am doing?

OK, today is Sunday, and I am finally nailing that damn essay.  The best part of a bottle of red has been a great help in breaking what CiCi rightly recognised as some sort of writer's block.  Essay more or less done!

While writing the essay, there is a beef stew bubbling away in the crockpot.  This is totally appropriate, as we had another small snow fall today and it is damn cold out there!  There is also a loaf of bread, fresh out of the oven sitting on the side.  I am trying to leave it alone until we eat the stew...

The kids are upstairs in their rooms - my daughter probably dozing and watching Friends (her week working at the vet's really wore her out, but she had a great time), Number One Son is working on programming the game that he is working on and my youngest is probably killing things on the xBox.

Mrs RC?  She is on her cross-trainer.  Given that there is little on TV and that the news is devoted to Whitney Houston (who we were never a great fan of) she has worked out a way of attaching her Kindle to her cross-trainer so she can work out and read at the same time.  Isn't she amazing?  Is it any wonder that I love her so much?

OK, back to the essay, enough of this mush!

More next week, I promise!

UPDATE - Fnished the essay!  Will print off tomorrow, polish and submit! YAY!!!!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Hello, it's me!

Well my plans for the evening went out of the window.  I had hoped to get a few hours on the essay that I failed to finish at the weekend, but no.

Ah well, there is always tomorrow.

One thing that I did manage to do was start a game of Bingo at work.  Inspired by Terri's email bingo game, I have started one for all of the staff and students in our department.  To make it easy to run and play, each player uses their name.  Each day I randomly select a letter (using a thing I put together in Excel) and email it to everyone.  I am keeping track of the results but will not inform someone if they win - they need to claim it!  OK, some people who have long names will be at a disadvantage, but it is just a bit of fun and seems to be going down well so far.

My daughter is spending this week working at a vets, watching some stuff and doing general chores, looking after the animals (dogs, cats, a swan...) etc.  She is really enjoying it and it is great experience for her college course in animal care.  Her first day was the hardest, when they had to put down 3 dogs for different reasons...

There isn't much snow left now, but the weather is very cold for here, lingering around freezing and dropping as low as -11 in some places at night.  Another few inches of snow is forecast for later this week...

Better sign off now - time for bed!

Still alive


Still alive over here, just run off my feet.

More soon.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Snowy Sunday!

The snow arrived while we slept...

This is our bird table with around 6 inches of snow on it  This was rapidly cleared and loaded with food for our little friends.

On the way to feed Humphrey the pony.  It was cold, but I had plenty of layers on and was, if anything, in danger of over-heating!

This is normally a very unremarkable place.  I love what snow does to a scene.

A bt more holly.  Place orders for Christmas cards in the comments section 

Frou Frou loved the snow, except for the build up of snow in her front legs which had to be taken off a few times. 

Custard does not feel the cold and just loves it.

My best photo of N.U.B. so far.  I have decided that Nub actually stands for New Unexpected Baby -N.U.B.  He is really cute, I am sure you will agree, and looks more like a toy than a real rabbit, IMO.  He has been playing in a patch of snow that got into his run - and eating loads, tending to sit in the food bowl while eating.  He also has a habit of standing on carrots while he eats them, presumably to stop them getting away!

Hope you enjoyed the photos!  More soon...


PS - when the girls got home from shopping yesterday, they were loaded down with stuff.

Me:  How much did you spend?
Mrs RC:  Don't ask.
Me  OK.

Saturday, 4 February 2012


Hi all!

Woke up to a dusting of snow this morning, just enough to get the dogs excited.

I have done a bit more reading for my essay (read while going to the shops to get pizza stuff) but then got side-tracked by some toy soldiers. Hey, I thought it good to clear my mind, OK?

We are now promised snot SNOW (curse this laptop's keyboard!) tonight, anything from 2 to 6 inches.  Could be fun.  Will post photos if we get anything dramatic!

Oh, and don't worry about the rabbits. They have snug houses with lots of hay in them and their runs are covered in so the snow won't reach them. Also the lights throw out some extra heat which seems to make a difference for them. They seem to spend a lot of time outside, anyway, and I would expect them to hide in their bedrooms if they were cold.

OK, off to knead the pizza dough. Have a great day!

Friday, 3 February 2012


Wow, what a week!

This one really mugged me, but I seem to have made some progress.

Study stuff feels like it is piling up - hoping to write up an essay tomorrow so I can get back to the dissertation.  Mrs RC and our daughter are going shopping so the house will be fairly quiet.  Of course, the best laid plans and all that...

We are expecting snow any time now.  There was a bit this morning, apparently, but I didn't see it at work.  Hopefully there won't be too much tomorrow - don't want people walking home like they had to last time when the bus just dumped them in the middle of nowhere!

Right, that is it for now - will probably post something more over the weekend, but only if I nail that essay...

Have a good one!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Spring and Blood

Spring is on the way!

I know, I can see it!

A couple of weeks ago I was taking photos like this

on my way to work.  But this morning the sun was well above the horizon.  It snuck up on me because we have had a lot of cloud cover recently so the sun has not really been visible in the murk.  So I am wrapping up warm and thinking warm thoughts.


Yesterday evening I went to give blood.  It was all a bit of a rush - leaving work, cycling home, eating dinner, walking the dogs, deciding that I would rather walk the the hall but then realising that I was running a bit late and jogging the rest of the way...

They were pleased to see me, though, as I am O Negative - anyone can have my blood, regardless of type which makes it valuable stuff to have around either for emergencies where the don't know what type the victim is or for babies who have not been tested yet.

Mrs RC says I am obsessed with my new camera.  I don't know why she thinks that...

After they had finished they sit you down and give you drinks, biscuits and crisps.

There was a guy there who seems to have been put on a diet by his wife.  He was gleefully stuffing down the biscuits, saying "I don't want them, but they ORDERED me to eat them! COOOOKIIEEEEEEEESSSSSS"

Then it was back home to slob on the sofa for a while.  The new sofa seems to act as a magnet for the kids - they never used the sittingroom while we had the camping chairs there...