Monday, July 30, 2007

#109 on do do da dun run, do do dun run

current music: surrender by chemical brothers
current mood: chafed and chuffed

it's not to find an image that best captures the dunwich dynamo but this one serves quite well when you realise that what you see is hobby cyclists like me asleep on the beach at dunwich in suffolk at 7am having just cycled 120 miles through the night. for fun.

and that's what i did this weekend. the boys were neatly packed off to nanny w, a packed herself off to scotland for a wedding and i packed myself off to hackney for an 8:30 start to the 2007 dunwich dynamo, or dun run as we cycling enthusiasts like to call it (feel fee to interchange 'geek' for 'enthusiast' if you wish.)

the dun run takes place each year on the saturday night/sunday morning in july closest to the full moon. i reckon there was about 500 of us that pitched up in a park in hackney to the bemusement of the locals and the happiness of the local publican before setting off through epping and loughton and into the suffolk country side. i'll not bore you with descriptions - basically because it was so bloody dark you couldn't see a thing. it pissed down pretty much all the way and, not putting too fine a point on it, i seriously thought i had hypothermia after getting back on my bike in the rain in my wet clothes after a rest stop in some village hall.

but the coldness passed, the sun came up at 5 and the rain stopped just as i arrived in dunwich. my brother in law was there just after to meet me and bring me home (thanks again t) and i was home by 10 in a kind of a dream like haze - partly brought on by the lack of sleep and partly brought on by the euphoria of having cycled for further than i have ever cycled before in one hit and through the night to boot.

120 miles, 10 1/2 hours. well dun me.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

#108 on the end of the year

current music - surrender by chemical brothers
current mood - enthusiastic

i'm coming up to the end of the year.

no, do not adjust your watches or calendars. i've decided that each year should end on august 31 and the new one commence on september 1st.


well for a start my work life dictates it. as you'll probably already be aware my dear hob-blogglings, i work in a school, so shifting to an academic year makes sense. you stagger to the end of one year in mid july, catch up on all those jobs at home you've been putting off for months and then start a new year fresh in september. yeah i know five and a half weeks holiday is a bummer but being a deputy head is a mucky old job and someone's got to do it.

next of all, my birthday falls in august (hint). so it kinda works to think of a new year starting when it acxtually does, if you see what i mean.

after that is greenbelt. it neatly falls at the end of my year and serves as a great party to round off all that hard work putting together the comedy and light entertainments strand of the programme. actually it's getting easier with each year - this year's greenbelt email box has only 700 odd emails in it. last year it easily surpassed 800 and the year before it had more than 900.

i've managed to avoid tax and mot on the car (accidently) to get them due in august and another of my myriad jobs to do each summer is to overhaul the finances - joint account and all that.

and lastly, i think the december 31st new year's eve is crap. in a scene out of grumpy old men (and women) we stayed in last year, our friends pleaded poorly kids and being knacklered (same as us) and pulled out and instead we watched an ealing comedy in the company of a bottle of baileys before the bbc showed us footage of a sports reporter and a weather girl falling over on the ice at somerset house and then an opera singer i had never heard of (A had but then again she'd never heard of nirvana until i played her both versions of 'smells like teen spirit' one by nirvana and the other by the ukelele orchestra of great britain) knocked out some aria or other and another reporter kept asking people in the crowds why they had come (answer: because it's new year's eve) and then the fireworks started and went on and on and on and then we polished off the baileys and hit the sack.

so to anyone reading this blog consider yourself invited to my end of year party. it's to celebrate the ending of my 39th year and the beginning of my 40th. the date is saturday 1st september and if you reply to this post i'll let you know all the details.

Friday, July 13, 2007

#107 on timetables

current music - billericay dickie by ian dury and the blockheads
current mood - amused (you'll never hear any better double entendres)

do you remember filling in your timetable at school and, if you are a girl, colouring it in? do you remember working out where the hell you were meant to be going, who the hell you were meant to be taught by and, if you ever got there, what the hell you were supposed to learn?

takes you back huh?

well i've spent nearly all day sorting out a whole school's timetables in preparation for the new term in september when all the kids will come back to school wondering what the hell...

now call me a sad arse (and many do) but i've had a great day filling in the boxes, working out how to avoid clashes and generally, well generally doing timetables.

it's been a while since i had a really good day. and today was a really good day.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

#106 on Why Linux is cool and I'm not a geek

Lots of people think Microsoft is bad. Bad software, bad ethics. I'm one of them.

Some people think Apple is the ethical alternative to Microsoft. I'm not one of them. Ask yourself if DRM is a good thing (it's the thing that stops you using your music downloaded from itunes etc on your ipod and your computer and to burn it to disc etc.) Ask yourself if the source code for OSX is open or hidden. Ask yourself who owns over 40% of Apple.

Some people think Linux is for geeks who spend longer trying to get it to work than actually using it. I'm not one of them. I'm not a geek (though you'll never know how hard i've tried to be.) Linux works straight out of the box. It plays DVDs without a fuss. It allows me to use my ipod like any other media player. It allows me to install any programs i like and then change them to suit my needs. It does not require any antivirus software. And it is completely free of charge. Not a penny.

Oh but it's not compatible with Microsoft Office. Oh but it is. Oh but it's not compatible with Windows or Apple networks. Oh but it is. Oh but it's not compatible with Windows or Apple software. Oh but it is (though why would you want it to be?)

I've led more people to Linux than I have to Jesus. Come now while we sing....

#105 on relative speed

current mood - happy
current music - tour de france podcast

now i'm not the fasted guy on two wheels i accept that. but when i put my foot down on the way to work i can average 24 kph - that's 15 mph in old money. i can go down the hill at common road at 55 kph and have gone faster down other hills.

so when i saw the winner of the prologue, fabian cancellara, do the course at an average 53 kph i find myself in awe especially as he's got another 2300 km to go including the alps and the pyrenees thrown in for good measure.

i truly am in awe. but i least i get to work quicker than the cars.