31 October 2014 (Friday) - Feeling Particularly Miserable

I have insomnia because my right sinuses are full of polyps which prevent me breathing when asleep. I have been given a course of prednisolone to shrink the polyps. The drug *has* shrunk the polyps so I can breath at night. However the stuff has side effects. It causes insomnia itself so I have trouble sleeping. And it is a diuretic (makes you piss more) so as soon as I nod off I wake up needing to go to the loo. Several times.
As an added bonus I am experiencing many other side effects of the stuff including having hot flushes, experiencing noticable weight gain, and feeling particularly miserable pretty much of the time (even more than usual!). It also suppresses the action of my immune system, so I am on antibiotics to counteract that. Pills for my pills (!)
So I am now in the position that my insomnia is worse and I am paying for pills to make it so, and to also make me uncomfortable and disagreeable into the bargain... only three more days of them.

Over brekkie I watched "Family Guy" and while trying to waste an hour or so before work I browsed the Internet. A couple of years ago I did an on-line course about astro-biology. The course provider emails me with matters of note from time to time. This morning they sent a frankly nonsensical article explaining why we haven't yet found any aliens. The crux of the author's argument is that *if* life does advance and proceed by natural selection, then biological life will be supseceded by artificial intelligences and life forms.
An interesting premise until one gives it thirty seconds thought. Leaving aside the fact that the author of the paper has (like everyone else) avoided making any definition of what he means by "life", his theory explains nothing. Rather than asking "where are the aliens?" we should instead be asking "where are the robots?" Fermi remains unanswered.
Mind you it was rather apt for astro club day...

I was on an early start today, and set off to work shortly after dawn. As I drove the pundits on the radio were discussing the pros and cons of putting the calorific value of beers and wines onto the labelling of bottles and cans of the stuff. Apparently people have been observed in pubs and restaurants each consuming some four hundred calories less (on average) per piss-up when menus giving out calorific contents are made available to them. In these days of combating obesity, putting the calorie content onto a label is demonstrably a sensible thing to do. But will the drink industry do it? Apparently not because beer and wine is not "officially a food stuff".
I can't help but wonder how many faceless administrators have to be given a back-hander to re-label a bottle of Spitfire.

Perhaps equally nonsensical is the revelation (from our old friend science) that dogs tend to align the direction in which they are facing with the Earth's magnetic fields when having a dump. However when it comes to having a tiddle, only girl dogs point themselves in a north-south manner; boy dogs tiddle in all directions. One lives and learns.
I shall take a compass on my next dog walk and see if "Furry Face TM" craps in a northerly or southerly way. Having established this I can then use him as a makeshift compass should the need arise when next out on a long walk.Who needs a compass when one has a shitting dog? If nothing else it's another reason to hurry his recovery.

My lunchtime was (mostly) spent on another sax practice. I managed to blag my way out of having to waste any more time with "Goose on the Razzle" at last night's sax lesson. I am now on "Hello Dolly" and a famous American piece of music which everyone has heard, but of which no one knows the name. It starts with a "da-da-da daa-daa" in ascending note order kicking off from a G (I think). "Hello Dolly" has promise, but the other one is still leaving a lot to be desired. It don't help that he sax keeps going squawky.

An early start made for an early finish, and as it was the last Friday of the month I had an appointment in McDonalds with Luke Warm for McScoff before going round to the new-look new-format astro club.
It's no secret that the attendance at the astro club is noticably down on what it has been. A lot of the once-regular members haven't been seen for months or years. We need to do something to bring back the old hands and retain the new ones. So there's been a change to the way the evenings will proceed. The idea is that during the winter months we'll start with a quick welcome and intro session. Then go out with telescopes, and then tea, coffee, raffle, and end with the lecture.

Now *perhaps* (!) I'm biased here. I admit I have no interest whatsoever in looking through a telescope at a faint splodge of light that might be absolutely anything. (And judging by the rather poor attendances at so many organised observing sessions over the last five years, I would say that neither have more than half a dozen other past or present club members). I'd rather have the talk earlier in the evening. Because that's the bit I like, and for which I go along to the club. And when people go out and shiver round telescopes later in the evening, make polite excuses and go home five minutes later, that's when I put all the chairs away and then go home myself. Leaving a few hardy souls to stand around shivering out in the cold whilst I go home to where it's warmer.
The whole plan hinges on the premise that people want to look through telescopes. Personally I don't. And from experience I don't think many others do either. Perhaps that's why I'm not keen on the idea.

(And doesn't that little rant sound negative.... I wrote it this morning over brekkie. I considered deleting it, but I shall leave it as a reminder to myself and the world of the mood-altering power of prednisolone.)

There's no denying I went along tonight expecting the worst. But I thought I'd give the idea a go before dismissing it out of hand. After all, if nothing else, over the years this blog has catalogued many instances of me being completely wrong. And was I wrong this time?

On reflection I wasn't *entirely* wrong. The evening started according to plan with a welcome and introduction session. But it wasn't quick... with a lot of interesting news it went on for forty five minutes. According to the schedule that only left fifteen minutes for stargazing, so the schedule had to be rapidly re-vamped.
The stargazing session went... I wouldn't say it didn't go well, but a good quarter of the people present didn't go outside at all, and over half of those that had gone out were back inside within twenty minutes. Mind you I do sometimes feel that the first part of the evening involves too much sitting about. And tea time can be something of a scrum; tonight's observing session with people coming and going was much more relaxed so maybe having the observing session earlier wasn't a bad thing.
Completely contrary to what I had been expecting, pretty much everyone stayed after tea when usually half the people present go home. People then had the choice of carrying on with telescopes or listening to a lecture. Exactly as I had thought, judging by how many seats were taken for the lecture, I don't think more than half a dozen people could have stayed outside telescoping (on the clearest night you could hope for). People *do* go along to listen to the speakers.

Mind you I was wrong in that I had gone along expecting the worst. For all that we tried a radical departure from our usual plan, it was a really good evening. With a couple of very minor tweaks this new format might just work. Change isn't necessarily a bad thing...

What a rant today has been.... did I mention that this Prednisolone stuff I'm taking is a depressant...?

30 October 2014 (Thursday) - Music

Yesterday I whinged about a bad night's sleep. I slept marginally better last night; waking a little while before the alarm having had a rather vivid dream. I had become a native American (red indian) named "Talking Bullsheet" and was on a mission for the Ministry of Defence having been sent to northern France to rescue Mrs Bridges and the cast of the 1970s TV show "Upstairs Downstairs" from what was apparently a war zone.
What was that all about?
"Furry Face TM" then had much of my toast; I scoffed my tablets, and then I watched my dog chase sparrows out of the garden. For a dog who could barely move just three weeks ago he's a lot more sprightly than he was. He's even jumping on and off of the sofa without a thought. He doesn't seem to realise he'd supposed to be resting.

Off to work. As I drove the new leader of the Scottish Nationalists was mentioned on the morning news. Having been told quite convincingly by the Scottish electorate that the Scots aren't interested in her isolationist policies she's now trying to say how unfair a referendum in which all of the British decide en-masse about continued membership of the European Union would be.
How does that work? She wants Scotland out of the UK but to remain in the larger political union.? In any event she's been handed her arse on a plate by the electorate. You have to admire the tenacity of the defeated politician.
There was also talk about the recently released Government files dated from thirty years ago when the threat of a nuclear attack on the UK was a rather serious concern. It would seem that the government of the time had plans for the post-apocalyptic UK; with a decimated population and a overly-stretched police force, martial law would have been declared, and it was suggested that unfeeling psychopaths could be enlisted to ruthlessly enforce law and order.
Fortunately that plan never came to fruition, but it was plans like this which make me think I was right to have been a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament when these crackpot schemes were being hatched.

As I drove up the A28 I was dangerously overtaken by a twat in a green Transit van. As this chap sped up the wrong side of the road at the Wye crossroads cars swerved in all directions to avoid him. Six miles later I caught up with him at the Chartham junction where (as soon as opportunity arose) the chap took a short cut by going the wrong way up a one-way street.
I wish I could remember his registration number... mind you from the way he drove I can't help but wonder if he was one of the psychopaths who, had the bombs dropped, would be laying down the law.

Work was work; I got to scoff some home-make cake and then at lunch time I blew my saxophone. After work I went for the weekly sax lesson. It's rather apparent that for all I'm not that good at reading sheet music, I do it better than trying to work out a tune from letters written in a sequence. "D D# C B A B C# B" doesn't give you any idea of the rhythm; if I say that "D D# C B A B C# B" is the introduction sax solo to Baker Street you get to understand my problem. I hope...

Home for a quick bite to eat, and then I turned down the chance of a meal out with my workmates because "Access all Areas" were gigging at the Windmill. Being on the tablets (and consequently off the beer) I was on driving duty and wouldn't have time to have a meal out and do all the driving in time for the gig. Which was a shame, but in keeping with the day's musical theme I was glad I got to see the band play.
I generally don't like live music, but that's because usually it's not done very well. Tonight's show was rather good. Or perhaps I'm just the teensiest bit biased. Good music, good company....
...the evening was only marred by seven quid for a bottle of cider and a glass of pop finally served up when the barmaid could be bothered.

29 October 2014 (Wednesday) - Stuff

Yesterday I mentioned that I'd started taking prednisolone. According to wikipedia one of the major side effects is insomnia... After one day my nasal polyps have noticeably shrunk. However I saw every hour of the night last night and was up and watching "Family Guy" before 6am.

I set off to work through a rather damp morning. As I drove the talk on the radio was on illegal immigration into the UK.
Every day the Italian Navy sails the Mediterranean to look for (and bring back to Italy) people fleeing Africa. There's about four hundred of these people rescued every month. (and an estimated three hundred drowning in the attempt to get across the Med every month as well). Once brought ashore these people give the Italian authorities the slip, make their way straight to Calais (because there are no European border controls any more), jump on the backs of lorries and come to Britain. Why do they go to the furthest part of Europe from where they landed illegally? Because the benefit hand outs they will get are better than anywhere else in the world. Or so says the Mayor of Calais.
The Prime Minister is under attack because no one seems to have any control on illegal immigration into the UK however it seems to be easy enough to count the cost to the UK taxpayer.
Surely the answer to this problem is simple:
Stop the Italians going out and fetching back the illegal immigrants. Either by not sailing out looking for them in the first place, or by taking those rescued back to the African coast.
Beef up the security at Calais and Dover to stop these people getting to the UK.
Apprehend these people when they come to collect their dole and pack everyone back to the strife-torn war zones from which they have fled. Quite straight-forward really...(!) Mind you I can't help but wonder what I would do if I was in fear for my life and was so desperate as to risk everything to try to get to the UK...

Yesterday I mentioned that a new geocache had gone live along my drive to work. I wasn't going to play silly beggars in the dark last night, but as I drove into Chartham this morning so the rain abated. I parked up, and after a short walk along the cycle-path by the riverside I soon had the cache in hand. A straight-forward find in a rather idyllic spot. And First to Find into the bargain. Happy dance.

I got to work for the early shift, and shifted. Lunch time was damp, but I still ventured to the car park to practice my saxophone. Having got to my car rain stopped play; I sat and dozed in the driver's seat whilst I played various tunes stored on my phone.
And then after a rather busy afternoon I drove home. Through the rain. And once home I walked "Furry Face TM" through the rain. Just a short walk of five minutes but he managed to woof at two normal people and tried to fight with a taxi. He also managed to jump on and off the sofa this evening too.

I did have the offer of a wild night on the razzle this evening; "er indoors TM" was off to the arky-ologee club. Contrary to rumour the thing was not moribund and hasn't packed up from chronic apathy. Tonight they were presenting a stunning and fascinating lecture on the manky bits of broken pots that have been dug up locally by those with nothing better to do.
I've often thought that if manky bits of broken pots were actually stunning and fascinating then they wouldn't have been left in a ditch in the first place, but what do I know?
Bearing in mind the terrible night's sleep I'd had last night I decided I'd rather doze on my own sofa with my dog rather than snore in one of the arky-ologee club's uncomfortable seats. I watched a film I'd recorded a week or so ago. "Dog Pound" is the story of life inside a young offender's institution. It was rather dark, rather violent, and utterly predictable to anyone who'd seen the British film "Scum" which had been made some thirty years previously.

28 October 2014 (Tuesday) - Tablets, Petrol

Yesterday I did something to my right shoulder. I don't know what, but it's still rather painful and it kept me awake for much of the night.
Unlike my little dog who was snoring when I opened his cage at 6am, and still hadn't stirred an hour later.

Over brekkie I watched more "Family Guy" and then started on a week's worth of medication prior to next Tuesday's planned surgical re-bore of my nose. I've got a week's worth of antibiotics to clear out any infections which might get a hold during the surgery, and I've got a week's worth of prednisolone. The stuff is a steroid; I wasn't keen on having it, but the surgeons think it will make the operation easier. We shall see.

Off to work a little earlier than usual; I needed petrol. As I drove the radio spouted the drivel I've come to know and love in the morning. The leading light behind the Space-X program likened potential artificial intelligences to biblical demons. Demons - in this day and age (!)
The chocolate manufacturer Cadbury announced they are stopping making chocolate coins because other firms can make the same thing cheaper. It's sad but true that the same can be said for pretty much everything that Cadbury makes. I wonder how long it will be before Cadbury goes the way of Rumbelows and Woolworths.:

I pulled in to the cheapo petrol station, parked up, stuck the petrol nozzle in my petrol tank, squeezed the trigger, and nothing happened. I looked around and everyone else was similarly failing to get any petrol. The woman behind the till in the kiosk was waving frantically at us punters. I waved back. After a few minutes she stomped out to the forecourt and ranted (at whoever was listening) about the till having crashed. One of my fellow customers offered to pay for his petrol in cash if that would help. This was a red rag to a bull as far as till-woman was concerned; she started raving and frothing at the mouth about peak time demands and the failings of the till's secure internet connection. I asked if the petrol station had any petrol. She shrieked that they had loads. So we all stood like lemons for a few minutes after which time till-woman coned off the entrance to the petrol station.
Before I could say anything another fellow customer sarcastically suggested that if she was actually shutting up shop she might like to actually tell us. As that chap and till-woman got into a fight I drove round to Sainsburys. Although the petrol was 0.1p per litre more expensive, they were actually selling the stuff. And despite having spent myself six pence more on petrol than I was expecting, I set off to work.

I did my bit at work, I blew into my saxophone at lunch time. I exchanged pleasantries with a passing normal person who seemed enthralled with the entire concept of playing saxophones in car parks. I suppose that (for some unlucky souls) it's not an everyday occurrence. And with my bit at work done I came home; turning down the geo-chance of a First to Find. As I drove home along the A28 I passed within a couple of hundred yards from a geocache which went live at 4.30pm. But it was along a footpath, and I wasn't going to mess about in the dark. It's bad enough walking "Furry Face TM" in the dark, and tonight's walk was only one of five minutes along well-lit pavements.

Being Tuesday we gatherered (at the Admiralty) to bandy insults and to watch the last episode of "The 100". It was watchable enough. I suspect the episode would have made more sense had I not slept through so many of the preceding ones...

27 October 2014 (Monday) - New Ironing Board

After a decent night's kip I woke and turned awkwardly. Somehow I managed to pull a muscle in my neck, and it's been aching ever since. Over brekkie I watched the episode of "Family Guy" through which I slept yesterday. As I watched it I combed "Furry Face TM"; his recovery is odd. He's rather reluctant to be picked up, which makes me think his back still hurts. And then he chases around the garden like a thing possessed which makes me think he's on the mend.

SInce he had been chasing around the garden like a thing possessed earlier, I decided to take him for a little walk this morning before work. Comapred to our usual walks this wasn't much at all; usually we would be out for over an hour; today we only went to the off-licence and back. It was a stroll of about two hundred yards, and at the end he wanted to keep going. But we'll start gently. Once home he started whinging at an empty pop bottle; I gave it to him and he took it to the garden where he started savaging it.
With time on my hands I then sterilised the kit for syphoning the beer I'm currently brewing and put some washing in to wash and then to dry. Whilst my woolie-pullies were on the spin cycle and my dog was outside I thought I'd have five minutes sax practice. Despite slipped discs, "Furry Face TM" was there as quick as a flash and was howling along.

Eventually it was time to go to work. As I drove to work I listened to the radio. I know I shouldn't. It seems the public are up in arms about immigration again. The defence secretary has gone on record as saying that "British towns are "under siege" after being "swamped" by EU immigrants". He might have a point, but why is that? When one advertises a vacancy and there is not a single applicant from a UK resident, what should one do? There are several firms locally with that problem. It's such a shame that such xenophobia seems to be a vote-winner; look at how well UKIP are doing in the polls despite having no policies at all and despite forming alliances in Europe with racists and holocaust-deniers.

I took a detour to take the fragments of the old ironing board to the tip; it was only when I got there that I remembered that I had a *lot* of other rubbish I should have taken with me as well.
And then I looked at getting myself a replacement ironing board. Several people had suggested I try Dunelm Mill; I drove there, and after fifteen minutes of wandering randomly around the place I eventually discovered a disinterested assistant. I asked her about ironing boards; she vaguely waved her hands in the general direction of some stairs. She didn't *actually* say "get knotted baldy", but that was definitely the vibe I picked up. I went up those stairs at which she had waved, and, after having been mistaken for an assistant several times by other customers (equally in need of assistance), I finally found ironing boards priced at eighty quid each.
Having scraped out my pants (the price had been something of a shock) I drove to the nearby cheapo-bargains shop where I got substantially the same ironing board for only fifteen quid. That saving of sixty-five pounds will come in handy.
I also got some jollop to un-bung the drains; the bath has been taking too long to empty just lately.

I went to work; I did my bit. Over lunchtime I blew my saxophone unaccompanied by a certain small dog. I can now do the first two bits of "Baker Street"; "Amazing Grace" is better than it was, and I'm finally getting to grips with "Goose on the Razzle". I've had some enquiries about this tune; I can now confidently say that it goes "da-da-da-daaa, da-da-da-daa-a-a" then it goes a bit fancy, then some more "da-da"s and then I get stuck. But I think I'm good for the first two thirds of the tune now.

And then after what seemed a rather long day (I blame the clocks going back) I came home and poured my unblocking jollop down the plug hole in the bath. It didn't seem to do much good.
And having got that new ironing board home it looks rather small...

26 October 2014 (Sunday) - Harbledown

I had a rather restless night, most of the night was spent wide awake and I was up far too early; I blame excessive amounts of various ales. Most people relish the clocks going back an hour; for me that just adds to the tedium.
Whilst vaguely making plans for next weekend I saw that there was to be a themed mega-meet of geocachers. Hundreds of people getting together in the Midlands for a Hallowe'en party. That looked to be a fun thing to do for next weekend; I was just on the point of putting the word out and seeing if there was any interest when I realised that this event is not planned for next Saturday. It happened yesterday. Woops!
Eventually the time passed, and over brekkie an email popped up. A new geocache. Initially I thought I would leave it to be something to do before tomorrow's late shift at work, but a relatively easily solved puzzle and little else to do meant that I was soon out of the house chasing a First to Find. I chased it; I got it. Happy dance and smug mode.

I came home, and after half an hour or so "er indoors TM" emerged from her pit. After a little pootling we set off on the day's walk. I *so* wanted to take my little dog, but for all that he seems to be on the mend he seems to be sleeping a lot more and a lot deeper than he ever used to. He is reluctant to go up the stairs, he won't jump onto sofas, and he yelped yesterday when picked up. His back is still not better, and so the enforced rest continues.

In a novel break with tradition I drove today; and having rallied the troops we drove out to Harbledown. Earlier in the week a series of twenty-something geocaches had been put out in a circuit round there, and today we went for a little stroll along that circuit and found the lot despite a few minor queries as to which way was left and which way was right.
As we walked we went through orchards, alongside the river, through swamps, underground, even into areas of low oxygen (!)... billed as about four miles we measured it to be five miles. We even met another gaggle of hunters of tupperware who recognised me. Everyone seems to recognise me; incognito doesn't seem to be something I can do especially well.
I remembered to take some photos whilst we were out as well...

We came home and made a fuss of "Furry Face TM". WIth a little time on my hands I organised a walk for next Sunday. If any of my loyal readers fancy joining a stroll round North Kent and have escaped a Facebook invite, just drop me a line and I'll send "when and where" details.
As I messed about on-line "The Grinch" was on the telly. Very unusually my little dog was watching the telly. He rarely shows any interest in the television, but he seemed entralled by this film.

With "er indoors TM" off bowling I set about the laundry. Half way through ironing shirts there was something of a disaster; my ironing board collapsed. After more years than I can remember the welding on the thing has finally given out. This ironing board is older than "My Boy TM" but has finally thrown in the towel.
I can't help but wonder from where it is that one purchases a new ironing board...

25 October 2014 (Saturday) - Hic(!)

Not including a nocturnal tiddle I slept though until 7.30am this morning when backache finally forced me out of my pit. I came downstairs to find a very sleepy dog still fast asleep. He didn't stir even when I opened the cage door or even when I scoffed toast. He finally staggered over and sat on my lap for morning soppiness which was when I took a few photos of him.

In a fit of boredom I drafted a geo-whinge to post on a geocaching forum. I was wondering what people want from the hobby. Earthcache day was a couple of weeks ago and I only had two logs on my three owned Earthcaches. I put quite a bit of effort into making a new Wherigo a little while back and after five finds in two weeks it's had no one near it in a month. Last month I put a lot of effort into making a puzzle cache. It's been found twice and at the last meet I was told (many times) that said puzzle had gone onto the ignore list as people couldn't be bothered to make the effort to solve it. Yet if I shove a film pot cache under a rock, for all that everyone slags it off,dozens of people actually go look for it.
I did have half a plan to get involved in another rather involved geo-project, but I have a dilemma. I can spend hours of time and effort only to have two people say "well done Mr B", or I can stick a magnetic key holder on the back of a roadside and have swarms of people smiling.
I drafted the geo-whinge and then deleted it without posting it anywhere. It would only start an argument.

"er indoors TM" emerged from her pit and we went round to Asda. She wanted a free flu jab. I'd been offered one but had turned it down. Having been rather dragooned into having one last year I felt rather ill afterwards and didn't fancy that again. I have a theory that when I have the flu jab I am poorly, and when I don't have the flu jab I don't get flu anyway.
Once home I got the Christmas beer out of the tin and into the bucket, I had a quick sax practice much to the disgust of "Furry Face TM", and then we had a rather good bit of brekkie.

Andy and kim came round, and "Furry Face TM" got very over-excited, and when I picked him up he yelped in pain. His back isn't quite right yet. So we settled him down and got the train to Dover. The Rear Admiral and associate joined us half way, and we spent a rather pleasent afternoon wandering round Dover drinking ourselves silly. We found a micro brewery at DeBradlei Wharf we never knew about. We found a new micro pub that plans to start brewing soon. The Port of Call was (finally) open and Kim had chilli cider (yuk), and we finished off the Dover session by a
Dinner in the Samuel Peto in Folkestone went down very nicely, and the rest of the evening was something of a blur...

24 October 2014 (Friday) - College Hotties

Over brekkie I watched an episode of "Family Guy". I've noticed that I've recorded too many episodes of that show in HD. That takes up an awful lot of space on my SkyPlus box. Whilst trying to find BBC Three in standard d (as opposed to HD) I discovered an amazing show. "College Hotties" features skimpily-lad vacuous bimbos waggling their charms at the camera. It was on the FilmOn.TV channel (Sky channel 237) at 6.30am. It passed an otherwise dull ten minutes but it has to be said that the plot is rather simplistic.

I set off to work a little earlier than I would normally (even though I was on the early shift). There had been developments on that geocache I'd whinged about yesterday. Overnight the thing had actually been put out. Seeing as I would be driving past it anyway I thought I'd have another go to try to find it.

As I drove through a rather damp morning I listened to the radio. Apparently an ex-tree hugger-hippie-ban-the-bomber has been awarded forty thousand pounds in damages from the Metropolitan Police. Over a two year period of spying on her and informing the authorities of her every movement, an undercover copper even had a child with this ex-animal rights activist to maintain his cover. I can see how the authorities need to keep an eye on the extremist fringe, but surely this was a bit excessive. Personally in his shoes I might have stretched to a mucky weekend away, but that would have been as far as I would have gone (given the chance)
There was also an interview with the leader of Plaid Cymru (the Welsh Nationalist party). She raised some quite interesting points. It would seem that in the aftermath of the Scottish independence debacle the Scots have got rather a good deal from the rest of the UK. In fact in many ways a better deal than the rest of the UK have got. The Welsh aren't at all happy about why the Scots should be treated better than the Welsh, English or Irish. She didn't *actually* say that the Welsh now all hate the Scots, but that was pretty much the gist of her rant. I thought that was rather an extreme position; just when we though the Union was sorted, all sorts of constitutional aggro would seem to be on the way.

I got the Canterbury, parked up, and went to have another look for that elusive geocache. According to the instructions I was to go to the designated place and listen. The instructions were rather vague about what I should be listening for, but I'm always game for this sort of thing.
I listened for fifteen minutes and heard the passing traffic and the occasional seagull. With time pressing I gave up, and logged on line that I'd drawn another blank.
By the time I'd driven to the works car park (three minutes) the chap who'd hidden that cache had logged that it "was stollen". A couple of hours later the same fellow archived it. What a complete waste of my time that had been.
There are those who would say that about tupperware-hunting in general; but that would be rather harsh.

I did my thing at work; by my own admission today I was "a blur of activity". I had to point that out to my colleagues who otherwise might not have noticed.
Lunch time sax practice was fun; in addition to "Goose on the Razzle" I had two new tunes to learn. At the moment "Amazing Grace" is just "Rather Mediocre Grace", and "Baker Street" is something of a disappointment. But I have a little while to work on them.

An early start made for an early finish, and we spent the evening feedning McDonalds to grandsons. Well, to the oldest one at least. The littun is still too small for McScoff. Mind you, at three weeks of age he's put on over a pound in weight since he was born...

23 October 2014 (Thursday) - Various Rants

After a fairly decent night's sleep I got up to find my little dog was still snoring. I abluted and gave the beer barrel  a bit of a scrub, then settled down to brekkie. I watched an "All New South Park" episode which didn't feature any of Stan, Kyle, Cartman or Kenny, but did have Dick Dastardly and Muttley. And there was a Canadian version of Penelope Pitstop in the Queefmobile too. 
As I watched the telly my dog watched me. Hopefully. He's not been up at brekkie time much lately, but today he saw off the crusts from my toast before settling onto my lap for some grooming. He likes being combed.

I set off to work, and my piss boiled as I listened to the radio. The NHS is having yet another radical shake-up to save yet more billions of pounds. The pundits on the radio were interviewing some NHS big-wig who was talking about the expensive mis-use of hospital services and was saying that it would be a far better use of resources for many patients to be seen in the GP surgeries.
It strikes me that moving patients from one health care location to another isn't going to save any money; the hospital bill might be less; the GP bill will be more. Perhaps the "experts" might look at why people go to A&E departments rather than GP surgeries.
Is it perhaps because you can *always* get seen in an A&E department? You might have to wait, but you will get medical attention. But if you phone your GP, more often than not you will be told to bugger off and try again tomorrow.
Perhaps A&E departments could learn from GP surgeries?

I stopped off on the way to work in the hope of being first to find a new geocache. I'd had an email yesterday saying that a cache would be placed at 5am this morning. It's unusual to get prior notice of the things going out, but this one looked as though it was going to be on my journey to work. It would be daft not to have a look-see. Mind you I was expecting the worst when I read the cache's web page:  "This cache is special, so if you want to find it you have to be accurate and act smart! A big surprise awaits the first one to find it! The cache will be placed at 23/10/2014 5:00am. Stand in the given coordinates and hear... To find it you'll have to follow the music! The container is a small taper-ware well hidden. Be cautious! Good luck."
I'm not a fan of caches with descriptions written in such poor English, but I thought I could have a go at being accurate and acting smart...

I soon found myself at a communal rubbish tip where there was no music. All I could hear was the noise of nearby traffic. After fifteen minutes the bin men arrived.
I gave up. There is only so much hunting "taper-ware" that one can do.
I kept an eye on that cache's web page - as the day went on others reported that they too had had a listen (as well as a look) to no avail. This evening came the news the thing hadn’t been put out at all… I’ve squealed to the Geo-Feds.

I did my bit at work, and at lunch time I did my best with "The Drunken Sailor" and "Greensleeves". I got a round of applause from the schoolchildren walking along the nearby footpath. I expect they intended it sarcastically, but I took a bow anyway.
Being Thursday I went from work straight to saxophone lesson. The lesson went well. I have graduated from drunken sailors. This week (whilst still wrestling with “Goose on the Razzle”) I have been assigned “Amazing Grace” and the introduction to “Baker Street

And talking of things musical, Alvin Stardust died today...

22 October 2014 (Wednesday) - Boobs, Brushes, FTF

I slept for six or so hours last night; not bad at all. But I woke with a sense of foreboding; I was sure bad news was in the offing. I wonder what that was all about.
I came downstairs and opened the gate to the dog cage. "Furry Face TM" didn't stir. I wonder if keeping the dog cage after he's completely better might be a good idea; when he sleeps in his basket (or on my lap) the slightest noise would have him leaping up. When he is sleeping his cage he is utterly sparko and would sleep though anything.

Over brekkie I watched an episode of "Jeeves and Wooster" that I'd recorded onto the SkyPlus box. It was the one with "Ask Dad" and Cyril Bassington Bassington; but it was never revealed whether Cyril was a Shropshire, Hampshire or Kent Bassington Bassington. As Bertie says, the world is adequately stocked with Bassington Bassingtons. Mind you I've lived in Kent for over thirty years and have yet to encounter one.
I do like "Jeeves and Wooster" but there is no denying that I have seen every episode too many times.

Yesterday I mentioned I'd bought the makings of some Christmas beer; with a little time on my hands this morning I thought I might make a start on getting the stuff going before work. I emptied the old sterilising jollop out of my beer bucket and replaced it with fresh stuff ready for later use; but then disaster struck. I hadn't cleaned out the beer barrel since I last used it. It was a bit rank (!) so I swilled it out, put some water in it to soak, and spent my spare time in search of a bottle brush with which to scrub it.
Bybrook Barn didn't have one, but they did have an unfound (by me) geocache nearby. I then drove into Canterbury to see what I could find. As I drove I realised that I was going past one of the geocaches that went live on Monday. With the First to Find still waiting to be had on that particular one I couldn't just drive past and leave it unclaimed. So I stopped... FTF - happy dance.

I got some sugar for my beer from Morrisons, but they didn't have a bottle brush. The spotty assistant had never even heard of the concept of a brush. Bless (!) Neither Argos nor Boots had bottle brushes. The cheapo-bargains shop also let me down too, but I did have a wry smile in there. "Daddies Little Angel TM" has been struggling to maintain her modesty whilst feeding littlun recently. In the cheapo-bargains shop was a new mother who had no truck with modesty. Her left boob was openly flopped out for all to behold, and a baby was being brandished in the general vicinity of said boob. The baby would have a nibble from time to time; otherwise it just stared into space whilst the boob flopped around. As boobs are (sometimes) wont to do.
I would have taken a photo, but I had a vague feeling that it wasn't really the polite thing to do.
Fortunately I eventually found a traditional hardware shop in Wincheap. Real old-school; it actually smelled like a hardware shop should smell. They had the brush I needed.

When I commented on the matter to a colleague she said that this was typical; the thing you for which you are searching is always in the last place to which you go. That expression boils my piss. Of course things you look for are always in the last place you look. Who keeps searching for something once they've found it? (Dur!)

Work was much the same as work usually is; at lunchtime I had an interesting interlude during sax practice. I was at the far end of the works car park giving "Greensleves" a tootle when a little old lady came marching across and wanted to know if I was the bloke who usually plays his instrument in the car park at lunch times. I toyed with asking if she'd seen any others, but instead I decided to smile sweetly. This little old lady had a complaint. My heart sank. But it wasn't bad news; her complaint was that I was playing too far away from the hospital. It turned out that this little old lady was something to do with the head injury rehabilitation unit and apparently her patients had been asking to listen to live music. They'd asked if I would give a recital.
I must admit I'm not keen on the idea, but I suppose I must be improving for her to come and ask...