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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Two things of note

I have two things of note to mention today. 

The first is that I actually went in the office today.  I took advantage of LO attending Horsham to cadge a lift, and then took the train home again.  I went with one crutch just in case, and it was useful to help me walk without full weight on my bad knee, and overall the exercise probably did me good, though it is sore tonight.  It was interesting to be treated as an invalid; at reception, they had to ask whether I would need help in the event of a fire - no, I replied - and people kept opening doors for me.  I have to be there again tomorrow for another 6 hour meeting, and can barely contain my enthusiasm.

The other bit of news is we have taken the plunge on a month's free trial of Netflix.  The kids love it, and LO and I intend to watch a film tonight.  It does have the latest titles, as we all probably know, but we will soon find out whether having access to year old films is of any use.

Finally, we have made a purchase of a Sonos, a Play:1 to be precise.  It comes with a free bridge, so for a relatively modest outlay we have dipped our toe in to the Sonos water, and find it very much to our liking.  Every iPhone and Android device now has the Sonos controller, and we are able to access Spotify, any local music library made available to the network (though we don't bother with that now we have Spotify, the world's largest music NAS) and around 100,000 internet radio stations.  It can also stream anything on our Android or iPhone devices to the speaker, so Podcasts and local music, which is ace.
The speaker itself it modest sized, but very heavy and delivers a pretty good balanced sound.  The setup of the appliance and bridge was a doddle, and we now have a Sonos network, so every device we add (and in time we will be adding them) will join the mesh network to provide either independent or coordinated music playback.

It is an utterly stupendous bit of technology that does all we want and more, seamlessly and faultlessly (so far) and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Knee operation

I had my knee operation on Monday.  All went well, apparently, coz I did not know much about it.  I did have a quick unwanted memory, as I lay in the ante chamber being prepared for surgery, of a Bad Man experience where he was conscious during an operation, but managed to meditate that out my head pronto since it was most unwanted.

At home now.  Yesterday, I was convinced I would be tap dancing by the weekend (something I have, strangely, not so far tried in my life), however today the pain is kicking in and I am glad that I planned to have the whole week off work, coz while it seems like I am normal, this blog will be about it before a kip and a big drink of water, before doing one of my four times a day exercises, and applying an ice pack twice a day.  i.e. rest really is the best thing, since it will speed my recovery, so that is what I plan to have. 

The radio is on, and The Today programme is soothing me to sleep as we speak and a bowl of porridge is awaiting to send me on my way.

Enjoy your day, I know I shall.

Friday, 15 November 2013

And . . . relax

Another week of work over, and a very successful one at that.  We have completed phase 1 of the improvement programme, and presented the output to our customer.  I have received some very favourable feedback from my customer, via my manager, which is all sitting very nicely as we come up to the yearly appraisal cycle.

On the home front, we are absolutely exhausted as a family, the toll of work and school weighing heavy on us. 

To alleviate the weariness, we plan to spend the weekend in a tree-house. This is not, you will be glad to hear, some off-grid experience, rather a hot-tub-and-flat-screen-TV extravaganza.  We have all the meals cooked, including a container of pancake batter, and we have every conceivable pleasure packed ready for a weekend of woodland-dwelling bliss.  Saturday night we are booked on the night-time walk through the woods, complete with night-vision goggles, which should be a hoot (every possible pun intended).

Have a great weekend, speak next week.  I may even try to get back to blogging more regularly, if I can just get a handle on life...

Friday, 8 November 2013

Bad Man

Had a good chat with Bad Man earlier today.  Nice to hear how he is getting on on the outside, and good to hear that there is life, even acceptable corporate life, outside Starfleet.  Sounds like he made the right decision for him, and a chap could not ask for any more than that.

On a totally different subject*, I had trouble sleeping early today, so was up at 5am and decided to watch the Imagine episode on Jimmy Hendrix on iPlayer.  It was a good show and I thoroughly enjoyed it, both for the insight in to his personal life - normal early years, spell in the military, basically a shy and decent guy - and also the music.  While I cannot say I am a massive fan, I am a guitar player and I am happy to marvel at what he plays, but just as much I marvelled at how new he really was when he emerged; a black man playing a fusion of blues, rock and psychedelia.  My favourite bit was his description of playing Monterrey (I think) when he said, "You know, we just kind of turned up, me and a couple of white cats, and we just played and so forth".  Actually, I added the "... and so forth" bit to that particular quote, but it was one of his speaking mannerisms and I found it amusing and also quite charming.

Pretty cool show, I would recommend it to everyone.

* Bad Man really does not look anything like Jimmy Hendrix

And . . . relax

Another week over, and it has been a difficult, long and tiring week for all the family.  Work is just about OK for me, but LO is going through a very long and tiring phase, which will come to an end, and is potentially all to goodness for both her and her employer.

This weekend, I will be seeking every opportunity to do nothing.  It is going to be tough, and there will be tears, but I am a determined chap and it will happen.

I hope you fight just as hard for the weekend you want too.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Time, it is an abstract concept you know

I missed Friday's post.  I know because I got literally hundreds of letters on the subject*.  The main reason was a funny bug in my browser where the keyboard did not work.  I know, this sounds like one of those "my dog ate my homework" type of problems, but actually it was true.  A reboot seems to have fixed it, but I did not do that until Monday morning, so here I am, blogging later than I should, and wondering what I should write.

The weekend was great.  We were at David and Samantha's for the evening, which was wonderful as always, and for the rest of the weekend, we were at home, except when we were out doing things to enable us to be at home.

We had a great week off.  The weather was very wet at times, and Monday night very windy, but overall it was fine and we had a good couple of days in London, visiting the Imperial War Museum, going up the Shard, and seeing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Drury Lane.  All were, without exception, excellent.  We also had two fine pizzas on the two nights (not really our first choice, however with the combination of food likes and allergies, we tend to end up in pizza establishments by default as the lowest common denominator for all the interested parties), but succumbed to two large Peroni's each, which wiped us out for both nights.  By the time we had tubed, trained and taxied back to base camp, our only thoughts were of an early night.

That is not to say that for the first three days there were some fine cards played.  The first round to ten thousand had the girls win handsomely, not a frequent occurrence, but one that was well discussed, by half the adult members at least.  The second round was a nail-biter, which me picking up the pack near the end when maybe I should have gone out, but the boys pipped the girls at the post, and a fine victory was celebrated, and discussed, at great length.

Now back at work, feeling a bit overwhelmed as I always do after time off, a combination of a mountain of email, in which are always a handful of actions, and also the general winding down a chap does with time off which equips him not at all for the fast pace of modern corporate life.  It is just a matter of Lugeing it.

Have a good week.

* Hmmmm, really?