Thursday, 29 November 2012

Young Love...

A recent post by Abby reminded me of something that happened to me when I was a teenager.

I was 18, and in 3 bands.  Bass players were in sort supply.

Members of one of these bands had moved off to Uni in London, and they called me up for a gig in their student bar.  When I got there they gave me a rapid rundown on people I might bump into, most of which went in one ear and out of the other.

Drinks were bought and gear set up.

People started to arrive.

Then a girl started talking to me.  She was half Italian and certainly the most beautiful thing my teenage eyes had ever seen.

She was a guitarist, and we talked music and guitars for a while.  I showed her The Baby, my beautiful custom made bass.  She was suitably impressed.

I was in love - or at least what passes for love with 18 year old boys.

But in the back of my mind was a voice, telling me that I should remember something about this girl - she was one of the people I had been told something about...

But we talked, drank, discussed the pros and cons of split humbucker pickups...

Then another girl joined us.

The Italian beauty looked at me and introduced her.

"She is my girlfriend."

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Winter is here...

The last week or so has been very wet - wet to the extent of serious flooding and a few deaths in some parts of England.  Not nice.

But the wind seems to have changed in our parts at least - the warm wetness is giving way to colder air from the north.  The photo above is looking South over Canterbury,with the clouds being chased away by a biting cold wind.  Wondering if snow will follow any time soon.  A White Christmas would be fun!


I have a bad history with gloves.  I tend to lose one of a pair on a fairly regular basis.  My last pair had lasted relatively well.  This was probably because, after the loss of yet another glove, Mrs RC threatened to attach my new gloves to elastic and thread them through my coat sleaves.  I did not lose one from that pair - I actually WORE THEM OUT!  They were a sorry sight by the end, holed, ripped with the stuffing collecting in the finger tips making it hard to put them on properly, and begging for retirement.

So I have now retired them and bought a new pair of mittens.  Not just any old mittens, though, these are Extreme Ski Mittens that are so warm my hands are sweating by the time I finish my journey. 

They are great!  Makes me wonder why I have avoided mittens for so long.  I haven't had a pair of mittens since I was about 12 years old.  They were sheepskin and amazingly warm.  I lost one of them...

Monday, 26 November 2012

The Tree - Update

I went into town on Saturday and bought a strip of tinsel to add the the tree.  Others had already had the same idea! 
Vigilante tree docorators rule!
I posted a comment of Facebook, encouraging others to get down there and add more - maybe this really IS the Charlie Brown tree!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Who do you look like?

I have, against my better judgement, been posting a fair number of photos of myself recently, and these have drawn a number of comments.  Two in particular told me that I had a resemblance to famous people.
Now my wife has, from time to time, compared me with Roger Daltry, the singer from The Who:
Wigsf3 went a stage further and said that I look like the love child of Roger and Eric Idle:

Not sure how that is supposed to happen but I guess anything is possible with modern science!
And how could I complain about being compared with such giants of rock and comedy?  Maybe I should try singing more often to see which one I sound like?  Maybe I should sing the words of "We won't get fooled again" to the tune of "Always look on the bright side of life"?
Terri also found me a lookalike - Judd Hirsch:

Not an actor who I could have named, to be honest, but certainly someone who seems to have been on TV as long as I can remember!  And he really does look like me!  I want a paternity test!  That guy must be worth a fortune by now!
My wife sometimes says I look like Gene Wilder:

Another genius of comedy - is there a message here that I don't look like someone who should be taken seriously?  I can live with that!  Being takes seriously has all sorts of bad side effects anyway!
Finally, my wife has also been known to compare my hair with this guy's hair:

When she does that, I know it won't be long before I am sitting in the kitchen having a hair cut.
Wigsf 's comment reminded me of the best compliment I have ever had - being told that I looked like Aragorn:
Total rubbish, but I can take it  :-)
OK, your turn now!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

What is that noise?

There has been a lot of shouting, cheering, booing, crashing and blowing of whistles somewhere outside.

We don't know what it is, but have some theories.

They are having a game of something at the private school next door, probably with the losers being nailed to a wall somewhere.  Private schools have traditions like that.

They are having a game of football at the prison, which is also next door. Either that or they are having a riot. We have heard a lot of sirens going off this morning. Maybe it is both, with a riot breaking out after each goal.

It is the start of the zombie apocolypse.  If so, we are ready to defend the department with metal tipped ranging poles and rock hammers.  I have a few days worth of Pepsi and some snacks and left over chili to eat.  Sorted.

Meanwhile, Movember continues...

Monday, 19 November 2012

Misty Mornings

I love mist and fog.  I love the way it softens everything, lurks in hollows, swirls around at the slightest breeze and generally makes walking the dogs feel like an episode of Scooby Doo.  The dogs love it too, as the mist seems to amplify the smells. making each corner a real sniff-fest.

When I am cycling I also like the way it causes all but the most psychotic drivers to go a bit slower and drive with a little more care than usual.  It was with a little smug satisfaction that I saw that one of these had missed the road slightly this morning, and was sitting with both of his left wheels in a ditch, unable to go anywhere...

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Movember update

Still going.  Sorry for slacking this week, but it has been manic - you can tell, as I am actually wearing my glasses!
Got to go again - classes running until 7pm today...

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Let's try again...

So, they pulled the plug on that version - here is the official one:

More again soon....

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Christmas is Coming...

You know it is when they start putting stuff like this on TV...

See the next post for a new link to this video!

I love it....

Roll on Christmas!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Joining the 21st Century

I have an inbuilt distrust of new technology.

I like to wait for it to become fully tried and tested before investing my hard-earned cash, especially as it tends to mean that the price of this nolonger new technology has come down to a more sensible level.

We have only recently abandoned VHS in our house...

My phone is very old, has monophonic ringtones and does not know about touch screens, wifi or the internet.  I can play Snakes on it.

We have only just bought an LCD TV.  It is not 3D.

But the more I think about my trip to the USA and Canada, the more I feel that I need something modern to keep me in touch with the world, so I started looking at tablets.  Having had a look at what is out there, I think that the Kindle Fire does what I need.  Skype, email, Google Maps and Angry Birds.  Going to look more before I buy, but it is looking good so far.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Movember and The Steed of Iron

My Movember look is starting to take shape.  Photo as requested...
Abby wanted to see a pic of my bike for some reason - I couldn't be bothered to wash it, so here it is just after arrival at work this morning.

Nothing fancy, just a good, solid bike that gets me around.
The weekend is nearly upon us - my plans?  Nothing too strenuous - making pizzas, taking over the kitchen table for a wargame, etc.  I have just finished refurbishing my Wars of the Roses armies (Richard III, Princes in The Tower and all that) and I want to see what they all look like on the table.  I am hoping to put my camera on its mini tripod and use it to take photos of the battle as it develops, and then put them all together as an animation.  Should be fun!
Oh, and I have had an epiphany regarding my trip - OVERNIGHT TRAINS!  I think this is the secret to maximizing the use of my time, and it works really well for one of the tricky parts of the journey.  Hoping to work out a good itinery using this as my main mode of transport.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

But I want THAT ONE!

We try to make sure that the dogs have plenty of chews and things to entertain them.
However, Bryn has a way of chewing hide chews (due to a slight shortage of back teeth) that reduces them to a pulpy, slimey consistency that the others just adore...
Bryn at work on part of a hide shoe....

Frou Frou wants it - not interested in the other sections that are scattered around the room, they just aren't slimey enough....

Custard biding his time, hoping for a chance to grab the wonderful treasure....

Frou Frou gets desperate and tries to get my sympathy....

But Bryny-din-din don't care, she just ignores them and carries on chewing.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Life is Good

We are now having my favourite kind of autumn/winter weather.
Dry, crisp cold with a wonderfully bright sun.
This is perfect for cycling, and the morning ride to work is pure joy with the new gears and stuff on my bike.
Some of the plants are still hanging in there too...
I love these little flowers.  I love them so much that, even through I still do not know what they are, I have had my last pic of one put onto my bank card.  Call it vanity, but I think it is much nicer than the standard colour that my bank uses.
I have been doing some work on my trip and I am still trying to get to grips with the sheer size of the USA and Canada - the distances are so vast compared with over here.  Time-wise, internal flights are so tempting, but I get the feeling that I will be missing out on so much if I do that.  More investigation needed, I think!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Trashy Movie

As I said, I was intending to do some trashy movie watching over the weekend, and boy, did I find a corker!

It was called something imaginative like YETI.

It was made THIS YEAR!

It was one of those amazingly cheap Canadian movies with lots of dodgy CGI.

The outdoor scenes seemed to have been filmed on 2 days.  A bright sunny day with snow on the ground and a gloomy one with no snow on the ground.  Clips from both days were mixed together mercilessly, prompting shouts of "Snow!"  and "No snow!" and "Snow again!"

Alice Cooper was in it for about 2 minutes, strutting the stage of a very small rock festival (about 30 people) before the Yeti (which was about 50 feet tall) literally kicked him off the stage.

Yep, it was just what the doctor ordered.

Friday, 2 November 2012


Phew, made it to the end of the week.

It has been a busy week, and more tiring than usual.  You see the gears on my bike have reached the end of their days and keep slipping if I apply too much pressure.  This means that I am constantly riding a couple of gears lower than I am used to, and my legs are flying around in an attempt to get up a decent speed.  Not my favourite way of riding!

Never mind, I only have to get home tonight and then take the bike to the shop in the morning and it will all be sorted for next week.  Can't wait, I need to be able to use the high gears again...

The journey home in the evening is now in complete darkness.

That is the moon shining through the trees.  I do make sure I am visible, though, having 4 red lights at the back and 2 white lights at the front....

Other than getting the bike fixed, I am planning on a very lazy weekend - a bit of toy soldier time, some guitar time, some cooking, some snuggling on the sofa watching trashy movies.  Ooooh yeah!

This week marks the half way point in my son's first term at Uni. He seems to have adapted very well - feeding himself sensibly and within his budget, keeping up with his studying, doing his washing, etc.  He is mixing with others but not partying - he is not interested in that.  He is there to study, and his idea of relaxation is to play online games for a few hours with his friends and little brother.  I can't argue with that, to be honest.

PS - Looks like I have been talked into doing Movember.  I happened to have a shave a couple of days ago, so I am starting from a slight stubble.  Will post photos of my progress...

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Not my best halloween...

In my mid to late teens I played a not of games like Dungeons and Dragons.

There was quite a group of us, with most meetings involving 10 or so of us.

That was quite some time ago, and the group has become much more spread out across the country as time has passed and many of us have not met face to face for years.  Thanks to the internet, though, some of us have been in at least vague contact .

Yesterday, however, this vague contact became much more real.

News was spreading through the group.  One of us had just died of a heart attack.

Talk about a slap in the face.

Yes, I guess I am now entering that age group where you start to get more bad news than good news regarding old friends.

My evening was spent visiting another member of the group who does not do Facebook, etc.  Eventually, as the much needed beer kicked in, we hatched a plan to get the gang back together again for another game in memory of our old friend.  We think they would have liked that.