22 November 2017 (Wednesday) - Gigabytes



I slept like a log last night. I was eventually woken by Fudge fidgeting shortly before the alarm was due to go off. I scoffed my toast whilst watching Star Trek cartoons, and because I couldn’t be bothered to get off the sofa I put on the episode of “Red Dwarf” in which RImmer became Ace Rimmer.
I allowed myself a few minutes to waste in cyber-space. Lookoing at Facebook I found myself rather humbled. Yesterday I’d posted up a little piccie of me finding my nine thousandth geocache. This morning I saw that thirty-three friends had posted congratulations, and sixty three-people had pressed the “like” button.
A couple of days ago a friend of mine was whinging on Facebook that Black Friday was an American thing and had no place in the UK. Today that same person was wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving (!)
I thought Thanksgiving was tomorrow?

I had a little look at my phone as well. A couple of months ago I realised that I was getting through my mobile data at quite a rate. I was originally give a gigabyte of data each month, and was (on average) using about eight hundred megabytes of it. I asked for more data (it never hurts to ask) and the nice people at the phone company increased my allowance. This morning I was half way through the monthly billing period and I had used three hundred megabytes of the fourteen gigabytes I now have. (That’s just over two per cent) I’ve always been very conscious not to go over my data limit… maybe I needn’t worry quite so much in the future.

I set off to work. As I drove the pundits on the radio were discussing the recent death of teen heartthrob David Cassidy. Apparently loads of women now in their fifties and sixties are heartbroken that he died yesterday. Even though most of them had never met him, or even seen him, or probably never even listened to one of his records for thirty years.
They wheeled Leo Sayer onto the airwaves to say nice things about Mr Cassidy. Leo Sayer... he was big in the 1970s. I thought he'd been dead for years - it turns out he lives in Australia now.

there was also a lot of speculation about what the Chancellor of the Exchequer was going to announce in the afternoon's budget speech. Apparently unlike with previous budgets, quite a lot of the detail has already been made public. Those on the radio were of the opinion that most of the budget was the brainchild of the Chancellor himself with very little input from the Prime Minister. It would seem that her position is so weak that the Chancellor can do what he likes and she's pretty much powerless to stop him.
Those on the radio were making great show of how the Chancellor was trying to juggle the books to keep the various wings of the Conservative party happy, and to be seen to be doing the politically correct hing. Interestingly at no stage was it hinted that he might have planned the budget with the national interest in mind.

I got to work, and we spent a little while playing with the boss's phone. She's got this gadget on it which doesn't need a password, or fingerprint recognition. instead you stare into it and it recognizes your eye. It worked for her, and it wouldn't accept me.
I remember seeing this in the film Star Trek II. When the film came out we thought this was amazingly sci-fi...
She finds this very useful - when out on her horse she can activate her phone by staring at it, and then tell it what to do using the voice recognition software. The technology is amazing, isn't it?
We also had a little disaster at tea time. A colleague had bought a packet of kettle chips for tea break time. In that packet were nine crisps. Nine - we counted them. That was nearly ten pence per crisp.
What a rip-off.

21 November 2017 (Tuesday) - Late Shift

For once the puppy slept well, and consequently so did everyone else.
Over brekkie I had a little snigger. A friend was using Facebook to whinge about the upcoming Black Friday deals in the shops. The whinge went along the lines that Black Friday is an American thing; why do we have it in the UK? It’s a sentiment I agree with, but it did seem odd coming from someone who is so vocal in his support of all things American and keeps telling the world that he wants to go live over there.

Pausing only briefly to whinge at "er indoors TM" that her dogs (!) were barking at nice-next-door and some magpies in the garden I took the dogs for a little walk round the park. I say “little walk” – the other day I used “Hannah” to measure the distance of our standard round-the-park jaunt. It turned out that walk is almost two miles. So we went for an almost two miles walk.

The walk passed off mostly without incident. As we walked I did notice that most other dog-walkers with more than one dog seem to have matching pairs. We met two French bulldogs, two Labradors, two Scotties. My two seem to me in the minority in being a mismatched pair.
As usual Fudge straggled. We were almost across the co-op field when we met Orangehead and Fudge then followed her dog all the way back across the field that he had been so slow to traverse in the first place.

I settled the dogs and set off for work rather earlier than I might have done. For rather complicated geo-reasons I needed to find nine geocaches before tomorrow evening. Yesterday (following an equally complicated problem with the staffing rota) the boss asked if I could do the late shift today, and so this morning I had a few hours spare. I could have gone hunting Tupperware., or I could have watched the telly.
I looked at the geo-map and saw a few targets which wouldn't be too much of a diversion on my way to work. So off I went...

As I drove the radio was on in the background. After a few minutes I realised that I had no idea what the pundits on the radio were saying. They really were going "blah blah blah" so I turned it off and put my music on instead.
I set off to Charing. "er indoors TM" had put three caches out there earlier in the year; they would do as a start for my hunt. If I couldn't find them and if all else failed I could ring her up for a hint. But I located all of them rather quickly. And so feeling rather pleased with myself I drove up to Hollingbourne where there were (supposedly) six caches in a loop. That would have suited me ideally had the third one not been missing. The hint was "under flint" but there was no flint to be seen. I found the obvious place in which I would have hidden the cache (up a tree), but there was nothing there. I resisted the temptation to put a new cache out for them, but I did find all the others I was hunting for, and after a little detour to a village sign I ended my little geo-session by finding the last part of a rather tricky puzzle (admittedly the puzzle did need a little nudge from a friend). This was my nine thousandth geo-find. Nine thousand finds in five and a half years; that's not a bad rate of caching.
There are those who take the piss, but it's not a bad old hobby. It has taken me all over the place and to all sorts of beautiful locations. I've spent hours straining my brain on some rather fiendish and cryptic puzzles. I've met some wonderful friends and had some really good adventures. I've gone canoeing, tunnelling and up trees in rope and harness. It has given me a different dog walk at least once every week.
I wonder how long it will be before I find cache number ten thousand?

With a few minutes spare (and as it was on my way to work) I drove to McDonalds for a celebratory dinner. There are those who take the piss out of McDonalds, but I like the place.
And with McDinner McScoffed I went in to the late shift. Work started quietly, but got progressively more busy. I was rather glad when the night shift arrived to take over.

It was a shame the motorway was closed between junctions seven and eight. It was even more of a shame that no diversions were posted. You would have thought someone would have thought to have directed the traffic…


20 November 2017 (MOnday) - This n That

About an hour after I dozed off the dogs had a rather nasty scrap. They’ve taken to quarrelling over certain toys. They were soon separated, but having been woken I then lay awake for much of the night just in case they should argue again.
Eventually I gave up trying to sleep and got up. Over an early brekkie I watched an episode of “Dad’s Army” in which Private Walker shoved a few dozen stolen pigeons into the church organ. Form what I could work out he could only have done this for comic effect. I also watched an episode of “Star Trek: The Animated Series”; a show which, while entertaining, was made long before believable characters and plausible plots were ever used in a TV show.

I then had a look-see at the Internet. Again the Firefox browse took twice as long to get going as it did a week ago, despite now supposedly running twice as fast as it used to.
The photos of yesterday’s walk had got several encouraging comments, but that was about it for Facebook. And with no emails of note I set off to work. Slowly. I think I might have overdone it yesterday; my right knee was particularly painful. Arthritis, or just too fat?

As I drove to work (through a rather wet morning) the pundits on the radio were talking about the problems facing the German Premier Angela Merkle and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. A shame for the world to lose one, good riddance to the other.
There was a very interesting article on the radio this morning investigating the problems in the housing market. When we were buying our first house we needed to borrow three times my annual salary. Nowadays couples are finding that they need to borrow up to ten times an average salary to buy a house.
Furthermore the upcoming Brexit has pushed house prices through the roof. Many of the European workers who used to build the houses have gone home. And there is a brick shortage as those who used to make the bricks were also European workers who have gone home. Those who advocate “British jobs for British workers“ seem to have overlooked the fact that demonstrably the British workers don’t want these jobs (hence the need for European workers in the first place).
However no one is addressing the main problem with the housing market. The main problem being that it is a “market”. A house isn’t a place to live; it is a financial commodity.
Should it be…?

I got to work and had a very busy day. No gassing, but plenty of sausaging (it’s a blood transfusion thing).

With work done I came home; I had intended visiting Lacey as today is her birthday, but she was out with a gaggle of her mates. Instead we walked the dogs round the road and then had a rather good bit of dinner. "er indoors TM" has gone bowling. I’m going to sleep in front of the telly with my dogs…
My knee still hurts…