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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Weight a minute ... 

Yes, yes. Another post where I whinge about my weight again.

The thing is, I haven't been to the gym for going on four months now and I wasn't going that often before. It shows. Over the last 18 months I have put on a stone and a half in weight. That's 21 lbs for my American readers and 9.5 kilos for the more metrically inclined.

I'm not worried about this for aesthetic reasons. Yes, it would be nice to be lean and trim with a six-pack, muscular chest and huge shoulders but I am 42. To convert what I have now into what I would like to have would take an awful lot of hard work and determination. I am too lazy for that.

I am worried about the health implications. I have mentioned before that both my father and grandfather died of heart problems. I don't want to follow them down the same road.

So I am going to start recording a few things again. Sorry to be boring ...

Today I weighed 15s 4lb. My blood pressure was 134/81 and my pulse 76 bpm. Yesterday I walked 11,163 steps; my only exercise for the time being.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Argos - the shop of the devil 

I always regret going to Argos. Always and without exception. It is the most useless shop in the world. I would rather chew off my own nose than shop there again.

Why did I go? I don't know. I suppose I was being lazy. I should have walked all the way up to PC World or braved one of the IT Bazaars in Tottenham Court Road but no. Memories of my last visit had been dimmed by time. They can't be that bad, I thought. If I go forearmed with the knowledge that the "number 881 is ready" displays are a complete work of fiction then I will be able to cope.

To quote Joan Rivers for a second: Mistake. Mistake. Mistake.

I should have known I should have turned around when I went through the door and saw a sign declaring a 5 minute wait. 15 minutes was more like it. There was one girl dishing out the goods but, as they weren't coming up from the basement that quickly she spent most of her time hiding rather than feel the pressure of 20 sets of eyes boring into her.

Seeing the large crowd waiting for their orders should also have been a clue as to the poor level of service as should the empty shelf where things should have been waiting to be collected.

I think it was five minutes before anything emerged from the bowels of the Earth.

It was fifteen minutes before anyone thought to come and give the poor girl a hand. I think they waited until she disappeared behind the masses of waiting people.

Never again.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Shock horror! Not really. 

Two articles in today's Metro caught my eye.

The first was that Michelle Ryan who played Zoe "You ain't my muvva" Slater in EastEnders is to be the new Bionic Woman in a "re-imagining" similar to the very successful and brilliant Battlestar Galactica and made by the same team.

Interesting. Good luck to her. I will look forward to that.

The second and more worrying article was a feature on a survey about teenagers around the world. If you haven't seen it, this is the survey that looked into their habits. It's one of those surveys where the lower down in the table the better. The UK did not fare well.

The only thing we did well at was to be bottom of the table for accidental deaths. In everything else we were well above average: smoking, drinking, drugs and having a baby. We came top for two things: rating health as fair or poor and under-age sex.

I'm ashamed to say that the only surprise from this survey is that we were only 21st overall, just behind America. The Netherlands were at the top of the table.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Back from Microsoft-land 

Well, not quite, the training centre was in Oxfordshire and not wherever it is in America that Bill Gates hangs out. The training was given by the Training Camp.

I passed my retake but failed the other two exams, one by one question (annoying, especially as I retook the exam while I was there and got exactly the same score) and the other by a long margin (possibly more annoying - it made me feel thick - I hate that). Anyway, I am now an MCAD but not yet an MCSD.

I will do one of the retakes (the close one) in London in a few weeks but I will travel back to Oxfordshire for the other one as I will need more coaching and a minor miracle. Also, if truth be told, I rather like it there.

It's set in rather glorious grounds. Have a look at some of the pictures I took on my morning and evening walks.





The food was just as gorgeous as well. It's almost worth the pain of the classroom again.

I would recommend Training Camp and not just for the food and the scenery. They do ram the knowledge home for long enough to pass the exams and to apply it to my day job.


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Friday, February 02, 2007

Educating Robert 

Tomorrow, I am off again to Oxfordshire for another week of torture. This is the second part of the MCSD course, Microsoft Certified Software(?) Developer.

Actually, I am going a day early to retake my failed exam. I have been revising all week for it. I would hate to fail it again.

The rest of the week is going to be more 15-hour days with rather nice meals.

See you in a week.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Only U 

I'm sure I have moaned about this before but it struck me that it is inevitable that the word you will disappear from the English language and be replaced by the txt equivalent, U.

As much as I hate the idea and, in my soul, feel that the English language is inviolate, I have to recognise that English has evolved over time, borrowing liberally from a load of other rapidly changing languages. The English I was born to use has already changed. We used to have you and thou, for instance, in regular usage but the latter has been relegated to the sidelines of old bibles and bad period dramas.

I can see that there is a logical symmetry of having U and I instead of you and I. I don't like it much but I can see it.

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