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January
1 - Woken by Sally around 9:15am . . .walked and picked up a bunch of litter. One of the houses near the field (where all the rowdy kids have recently been congregating and drinking and smashing bottles) was having a security camera installed. :o) Ended up angled such that it was probably just to keep an eye on his works van parked in front the house. Wonder what happened to his van to induce him to do that? . . . fed and watered LBs zoo. Disgusting, stomach turning smell as I pulled back the tarpaulin from the rabbits. Managed to get a finger in and clear out some of the green mould from the inside of their water bottles. 11 am before I was done. :o( . . . felt rather fragile and a bit under the weather. Too much smoking and too little sleep! . . . PCd . .napped . . . woke early afternoon and ate corned beef sandwiches and crisps with some chocolate for lunch before napping more. . . Sis1 called and said she was going down to see Mum and Sis2 tomorrow. I said I couldn't face the trip - again - and will have to sit with my guilt. . . walked . . . fed LBs zoo . . .PCd . . . BB called . . .ate microwave curry with four pieces of bread and butter . . . BB called . . PCd a little music until bed around 1am. pa
2 - Woken by insistant Sally around 8:15am . . .walked and found 5p. A folding plastic chair, part of someones garden furniture set, had been dumped by the swings! One of those weird, fold up, new age aluminium scooters with the little wheels (what an amazing marketing (con) job the makers of those things did. Those little wheels make the stupid things utterly useless. I can't explain the physics, but very obviously those little wheels consume more energy than the old fashioned larger ones. Why didn't they just put larger wheels on them? Why on earth would anyone want one? God I HATE fashions and fads!) had also been dumped in the hedge. Pulled it out and had a look - only a couple of bits were missing - would have been worth some kid trying to slavage that. Left it propped against the hedge. . . fed the zoo . . . PCd cassettes. Popped up LBs and 'borrowed' a couple of CDs for ripping before returning them unnoticed. . . stopped for lunch around 3pm and cooked up four sausages, two eggs and chips and then some chocolate with coffee. . . fell asleep as more cassettes recorded and woke at 6pm to find I'd recorded at least an hour of silence after the tape had finished - again! . . . PS called . . . walked listening to LBs 'Gabrielle' CD on the MP3 player. Carried the scooter from the hedge all the way down the field and dumped it in the bin by the swings. Kids were all sat around down there, so I expect I'll have to relocate it back to the bin again tomorrow after they've smashed it up! . . . touched base with BB . . . PS popped round for coffee and chats . . . ate garlic sausage sandwiches with crisps and biscuits . . .kept dashing upstairs all evening and kept cassettes recording as we watched TV . . PCd music until early. ps
3 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am . . .walked. It would appear that someone has deliberately covered the two toddlers swings with excrement!! :o( I'm not sure, but there is 'some' evidence that maybe someone has been sleeping rough under the hedge, next to the houses down by the bottom of the field!! Some cardboard, bits of foam, blankets etc all layed out under the hedge - and even the fold up garden chair that had been dumped by the swings had been set up and put under there!! If that IS what that is (rather than some kids 'den') it seems a weird place to sleep to me. Surely the people in that house would have a clear view of anyone sitting/sleeping there right next to their garden!? I've also seen several people/rowdy drunken kids etc, using that hedge right there as an emergency toilet!! . . I HAVE given homelessness some little thought - if I was ever to become homeless, I'd head for the woods down by the river. I'd commandeer part of one of the ruins, cave like features in the rocks, or more likely set up home under one of the bridge arches. Far enough out of town to avoid most people, out of the rain, but within walking distance of the cities. . . PCd . . . slept, recorded music, slept . . . ate garlic sausage, grated cheese and mayo sandwiches with crisps . . slept, recored music, slept . . . walked. Large number of kids all drinking and smashing stuff up in the dark near the swings! . . TVd . . . BB called . . .ate bowls of cornflakes . . . PCd music until bed around 1am. paaa
4 - Woken by insistant Sally around 7:30am! . . .set cassettes recording and walked. Cleared up masses of debris, litter and broken glass from all around the kids swings. Collected up and carried all the broken bits of the scooter back to the bin. :o( Found an unopened can of Coke and 34p in change . . .PCd music and then this, listening to some of my growing MP3 collection. I guess I have made a 'dent' in the chore - but there is still loads to do! Very disappointing the number of cassettes that appear to have developed problems over the years and won't play properly. Having said that, 'most' are working out quite nicely, and the quality of the MP3d result is more than acceptable :o) I'm fully expecting to wear out the old stereo tape decks, but they seem to be hanging in there for the time being. God I'll be glad when it's all over and done. 'At least' a couple of weeks yet, IF I'm capable of keeping up this pace. What a terrible waste of time!! :o( . . . sorted through some of the junk that's been accumulating on my coffee tables and binned all the christmas cards I'd received. I think this is the first year 'ever', where I've received one from a handful of people, who didn't get one back from me!! Oh well. . . touched base with Mum to see if Sis2 was all ok and gettin ready to go home. Sis2 was out getting her hair cut so she said they'd call later. . . phoned the police about the car radio I'd found outside the house and handed in. By my calculations that is six weeks, so in theory I should be able to claim it. Sure enough, they confirmed I could come and get it if I wanted. Guess I may as well. Couldn't face the trip into town so left that chore for another day . . . used some old bits of vaccuum hose and handle and managed to modify my smaller vaccuum hose to accept the old 'Electrolux Turbinette' attachment Mum gave me, that has proved so incredibly effective at picking up Sally's hair. SO good, it has encouraged me to vaccuum rather more frequently, and actually keep the carpets 'relatively' dog-hair free - sometimes. :o) . . . looked out of the living room window and saw a huge mound of refuse in the middle of the road, with tins and bits and pieces being blown all around!! It was SUCH a mess - and cars were dangerously having to slow down and drive around it! Where on earth did all that come from? There ARE huge mounds of refuse from everyones Christmas all stacked up in gardens awaiting the bin men - some idiot probably grabbed a bag as he was passing and threw it into the street. Really was something of a hazard. Dear oh dear - ended up getting my shovel out of the cupboard and dragging my wheely bin into the middle of the road and started trying to shovel the mess up into it. Some guy in a lorry trying to squeeze by asked where it had come from and comiserated. Was strangely rather embarassed that anyone watching would think it was MY rubbish! Horrible job - made all the more horrible by the fact that all the masses of rubbish apppeared to be covered in coleslaw!!! Eewwww!! Eventually filled my bin up and cleared enough of the road to stop and then hosed down my shovel out on the patio. Good grief - all the litter collecting nonsense over the field, and now this - I may as well try and get a job as a bloody street sweeper!! :o( . . . ate two sausages, half a tin of baked beans and chips for lunch . . .PCd music . . . walked and found 5p. . . BB called . . . PCd . . . Mum and Sis2 called. Bid Sis2 good luck with her trip - early coach tomorrow - stay in a hotel overnight - fly out the next morning. . . . ate garlic sausage and grated cheese sandwiches with crisps around 11:30pm . . . PCd until bed around 1am. p
5 - Woke around 8:30am . . . walked and found 5p. . .PCd music . . .TVd around midday and caught the three minutes silence in rememberance of the tsunami victims :o( . . . ate two sausages, half a tin of baked beans and chips for lunch . . . napped for a couple of hours until around 4pm. . . PCd more music . . . walked . . . this digitising of my cassette collection is taking much longer than I imagined it would - has become a horrible chore - and has got me all wound up so that I can't do anything else until it's done!!! :o( Calls for drastic action. Dismantled the stereo hookup in the living room and dragged the stereo over to the old PC and hooked it all up so I could also play and record cassettes on that one too!! Fitted the 10gig drive I'd recently replaced from my other machine and set things going. My plan is that I will have to carry the drive up to my other PC at regular intervals to copy over the big WAV files. Should speed things up just a little. . . BB called . . . PCd music, running up and down stairs every now and then to change cassettes and keep an eye on things. Dug out an old pair of miniature speakers I've had for years, and tested them on the new personal MP3 player. 'Just' enough amp to drive them - so I guess I could use it around the house or in the garden without having to wear the headphones. Cool. . . things got a bit ridiculous. Ended up with the MP3 player, the TV, two stereos and two PCs all on and doing things at the same time!!! :o) Uh oh!!!! The lights keep dimming!! Nothing to do with having all these bits of equipment running all over the house, surely!!! I suspect it was just one of those mains 'twitches' you get every now and then, but it scared me to death and made me think my electrics were on the blink again! :o| Ate corned beef and onion sandwiches and a little chocolate. . . BB called . . .PCd music up and down (exhausting running up and down all those stairs!) till bed around 4am!!! pas
6 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am! . . .walked and found 16p amongst all the debris near the swings. Chatted to the old dog walking guy, who’s had heart surgery. He told me he’d walked his dog late last night and had seen three ‘kids’ near the swings, two boys and a girl. Apparently the girl had been sat on the wooden bench seat where I was sat, and one of the boys was stood between her raised legs with his trousers round his ankles! The other boy was stood nearby watching! What an awful place to do such a thing, surrounded by dog poop, empty bottles, mud and litter! What made this unsavory tale even more unpleasant was that the old guy explained the girl had been sat exactly where I was sat, and he then stood in front of me ‘doing the actions’ of the boy, as if I hadn’t fully grasped what he meant! What the hell anybody watching us would have thought, I can only imagine – that old guy ‘gyrating’ in front if me like that!!!!! Eewwwwww!! lolol. . . PCd cassettes on both machines . . .ate pizza with extra cheese onion and tomato topping around 1:45pm . . . napped until woken by LB leaving an ansaphone message around 6pm!! . . . walked . . . PCd/TVd . . . touched base with Mum to see what the latest was about Sis2s journey home. According to Mum everything had gone ok, she'd got the bus up and stayed in the hotel by Gatwick and had called this morning from the airport because she had an hour to kill because the plane was late leaving. Mum figured she should be arriving back in Canada around about the time I called, so I got off the phone pretty quick in case she was trying to get through. . . BB called . . .touched base with LB . . . TVd and PCd more music . . . stopped late to fix a corned beef, mayo, onion and grated cheese sandwich with crisps . . . TVd a little until bed around 1:30am. pas
7 - Woken by Sally after 8am . . . set cassettes recording and walked and found 3p and a small broken length of cheap gold chain. For goodness sake - some git has dumped a fridge and freezer on the pavement down the road next to the field!? I will NEVER understand the mentality of such people??!! What possible excuse is there for doing something like that - especially when the council do a free collection service? :o( . . .There is a middle aged guy I quite often pass in the mornings when I walk Sally. He’s obviously a ‘bit’ weird. He always walks along with an airband radio loudly tuned into the air traffic control frequencies, held up next to his ear. From time to time he will stop walking and stare at the sky. His walk is often more like ‘a march’ and he will frequently accompany his progress with some whistling. Not any old whistling. He whistles military marching band tunes, with some surprisingly intricate accuracy. He’s a ‘bit’ weird. Of course round here, that means he gets ridiculed and abuse. I’ve even witnessed a (repulsive) father out with his young (soon to be even more repulsive) son one day, teaching his son how to make fun of and ridicule the guy as he walked by. :o( Yep, he’s a ‘bit’ weird – but then so am I. When I was a kid, and fascinated with aircraft and interested in joining the RAF, I used to plane spot and look up their registrations in a book and see what sort of aircraft they were and where they were from. I had myself an airband radio and would listen in to air traffic control, watch the planes fly over on track for Canada and the US, and would listen in to the local airport control towers so I knew when noteworthy aircraft were arriving to be spotted. Maybe I shouldn’t admit it, but somehow for some reason (probably because of the sound tracks of ‘exciting’ war films!) somewhere along the line, I’d even bought myself a cassette of military music!! “Tunes Of Glory - The Southern Band Of The Royal Air Force”!! Such ‘familiar classics’ (??!!!) as ‘The Dam Busters’, ‘633 Squadron’, ‘The Battle Of Britain’, ‘Royal Air Force March Past’, etc, etc. I’d recently re-discovered this cassette amongst my music collection and, although I can’t imagine EVER listening to it ever again, had copied it to the computer and MP3d it along with the rest. I figured maybe the cassette would find a good home with that weird guy. Since before Christmas, I’d been carrying it in one of my raincoat pockets, waiting for me to see him again. This morning, there he was coming along the cycle path listening to his radio and occasionally looking at the sky like usual. I didn’t say a word, just walked up and handed him the cassette and then kept walking. “Corrr, ta” he said. :o) . . .touched base with Mum to check Sis2 had called to say she'd arrived home safely. She hasn't called yet!!??? Oh? . . . left both PCs running recording cassettes and drove with Sally. Stopped for petrol (26.01ltrs @ 20 )and then called in at the doctors surgery to drop off my repeat pescription request. Carried on down into town. Uh oh - poor Sally was sick on her duvet in the back of the car!! Ewwwww!!! Typical - only seconds before I pulled into a parking meter near Castle Green and we both got out! Put a whole bunch of odd change (getting on for 1) into the pay and display parking meter, but only ended up with 25 minutes for my money!! Jeeze!!! Dashed as fast as I could (with my still painful, limping ankle!??) across Castle Green and down towards the central police station. Briefly stopped off at a holiday store to hand in the name badge thingy I'd just found on the ground. In to the police station, handed over the 'lost property' receipt I'd kept pinned to my kitchen notice board, and soon enough was walking back out with the Goodmans car stereo I'd handed in, just over six weeks ago. :o) Rushed straight back to the car and just got there before my time was up. Drove home to turn cassettes over and then couldn't resist having a look at how my existing stereo is fitted in the car. Somehow I need to test if that Goodmans stereo actually works. If it is a simple case of just pull the old one out and plug it in, I'd better give it a go. Funny how theives seem to get a stereo out of a car in no time at all. I've never stolen one and really wasn't 'too' sure how it came out - something to do with some special bits of wire I think? Checked the Haynes car manual and it confirmed I needed some wire things - but was good enough to have a photo of them. So - I need a coat hanger then. Managed to find an old wire coat hanger in the cupboard, so set about cutting it up with a big pair of pliers and shaping two pieces of wire into the 'tools' I needed. . it worked - with a bit of a struggle. Pulled the existing Ford radio out of the socket, only to find the wiring was 'well different' on the back. No simple 'just plug the new one in'. It was gonna require lots of messing around, figuring out which wire was which, and cutting of wires and attaching of new connectors, and where the hell was the earth wire, and, and - no - to hell with it! Just not worth all that trouble, especially if the 'new' one doesn't actually work!! Gonna have to figure out an easier way of testing it. Some other time. . . PCd and temporarily swapped hard drives so I could copy over the cassettes I'd recorded on the old machine. Seems to have worked ok-ish, although sounds maybe a little different where it was played on that other stereo - maybe!?. . stopped for corned beef, mayo, onion and grated cheese sandwichs with crisps around 2:30pm . . . fell asleep with both PCs running!! Woke around 5pm and had to clear up the big silences I'd recorded!! . . . PCd a bit of this. . . walked in the increasing gale . . .BB called . . .ate microwave curry, chocolate and bowls of cornflakes and TVd until gone 2am, as scary wind battered the house. ps
8 - Woken by Sally around 8:15am . . .my wheely bin had been blown over in the front garden. One of MY empty crisp packets had somehow blown out of the bin, over the house and into the pond in the back garden! . . .walked and found a penny. Council notices have been posted up about the plans to rebuild the local school!! Good grief was it cold and windy!! And then, half way round the field, caught out without my leggings, it started to rain and hail - mostly horizontally!! It hurt! Even Sally seemed pretty unhappy about it. Got drenched and frozen and was VERY happy to get back home! Returned LBs ansaphone call about what freekishly bad weather we were having and said 'yes - I was out in it'!! . . . PCd cassettes all morning and let my soaking trousers dry on me . . . PCd a bit of this but soon lost interest and started on more music. . .couldn't face cooking anything (and ALL the plates needed washing before I could) so ended up just eating a bowl of muesli . . . napped for an hour or so, until woken by PS leaving an ansaphone message . . . big trouble with the PC!!!!??? It's been 'acting up' for a while now (started before I got the new hard drive so nothing to do with that) and has now got really bad. Sometimes it'll boot with no video - sometimes with minimal video resolution - now it'll frequently get stuck in the middle of loading windows and go straight into an automatic reboot loop, until I break out of it by going into the BIOS or F8ing Windows!! Can't figure it out. :o( Set the hard disk defragmenting . . . washed all the dishes . . . walked . . . vaccuumed . .at last the defrag finished but no improvement to the unpredictable symptoms. Oh well - the hard drive is ok and the data appears safe so I guess I'll just battle on for the time being and carry on getting some of this monsterous music chore done . . . Mum called. Sis2 had eventually been in touch. Apparantly her flight had been cancelled and everyone was put up in a hotel for the night and then finally they flew out the day after!! She hadn't called Mum because she didn't want to worry her. Uhuh - I think she was more worried not having heard actually!! I was starting to 'wonder'!! . . . cooked up two garlic chicken kievs with chips . . . PS popped round. Poor guy was exposed to my bad mood and desperate attempts to get to the bottom of the PC problem for the first half an hour or so he was here!! I get in SUCH a short temper when I have PC trouble - causes a shorter temper than anything else for some reason. :o( Despite the PC trouble, I WAS able to give PS an insight into why I'm putting SO much effort into this MP3ing of my lifetime's music collection, by messing around with the media database and doing bizarre searches and playing random tracks here and there. :o) . . .coffee, TV and chats . . .touched base with BB . . . TVd until bed getting on for 2am. ps
9 - Woken by insistant Sally around 7:45am! . . .walked. Just down the road and laying all damp in the gutter was some money! Paper folding money! Ooooh, oooh, ooooh! I've somehow learned, when you find money like that, you shouldn't be 'seen' to find it. You must be discrete. If some unscrupulous person sees you picking it up, it's the easiest thing in the world for them to rush over and claim to have just dropped it - at which point an honest fellow would be honour bound to just hand it over. Even though there was absolutely no one around, as I stepped over the gutter, I quickly bent down, scooped it up, screwed it up into my closed fist, and kept walking as though nothing had happened. Further down the road it was safe to examine my find. Oh my god!! A twenty - oh my god - another twenty - oh my god - and a ten! I've found 50!!!!! Bloody hell. It could have been dropped by anyone - I'm definitely gonna keep it. Someone's gonna be unhappy. Excellent start to the day for me. :o) So - it's only day nine of the new year and already I've beaten all previous years totals for money found in the street!! Very cool. :o) Carried on walking with a smile and a spring in my limp. . . there was a terrible mess over the field. All the Sunday papers from a local store had presumably been stolen and dumped on the cycle path in the middle of the field. Papers were blowing around absolutely everywhere in the strong wind. I started piling the mess into a manageable heap and various different dog walkers joined in and helped. We all figured we may as well help ourselves to a free Sunday Express!! Managed with some help to get the heap of newspapers into my arms, got Sally on her lead, asked one of the dog walkers to take from me the two carrier bags of litter I'd already amassed and put them in the nearby bin, and slowly lumbered along to a nearby store. I figured if the papers weren't theirs, they at least had a large industrial sized bin to put them in. Sure enough, the woman said they'd been on the phone asking the courier where their newspapers were! Someone had stolen them from where they'd been left, outside the store! . . back in the field, someones bunch of keys had been left on the bench near the swings together with a pair of gloves. The whole area was strewn with litter, beer cans and broken glass from last nights yobs! Cleared up a little and found 1. Found 4p on the way home . . .managed to get the PC booted and PCd music all day . . . cooked up four cheese burgers . . LB called to tell she 'may' be having a lodger for a while - in case I see strange people coming and going from her house! Some guy she works with whos marriage is on the rocks and is gonna end up homeless . . . napped until around 6pm . . . walked in the wind and rain . . . Mum called . . . BB called . . . TVd . . . ate biscuits and bowls of cornflakes . . . PCd music until bed getting on for 4am again! pas
10 - Woken by Sally around 8:30am . . .walked in the rain and mud and found 3p . . . PCd . . . swapped drives and copied over files before setting cassettes recording all day again . . .ate something, some time, but can't remember what or when! . . .lay down to nap only to be roused by someone calling at the door. Oooh, oooh, oooh - a delivery guy with the parcel DS had said was on its way. Blimey - he's 'done it again' for me!! :o) A new ASUS motherboard, a Celeron 2.4Ghz CPU, memory AND a DVD combo drive!!!!! Blimey!!!!! Yipppeeeee. :o) . . .napped . . . walked in the rain and mud . . . BB called . . . left both PCs recording music until exhausted to bed around 1:30am. ps
11 - Woken by Sally around 8:15am . . .walked in the mud and found 12p and one american cent. More magazines were dumped up the top of the field. None of todays offering took my fancy, and I wasn't gonna walk up to the shop (and tell them about it - again - only for them to do nothing!) so I filled my already bulging 'litter duty' carrier and relocated half of them to the bin on the way past. . . PCd music . . . read some of the new motherboard manual and then surfed PCworld. What with the problems I'm having with my PC at the moment, I'm loathed to canibalise anything from it to build the new one, in case what I use is duff! As far as I can tell, that new motherboard has sound, network AND video all built in!! Soooo - if I just bought a new case and power supply, and a nice big hard drive, that'd pretty much be a whole new machine wouldn't it? Hmmmm? . . . stopped briefly mid afternoon for corned beef sandwiches and crisps . . .very depressing kind of day, weatherwise. It hardly got light all day - and then around 3:30pm there was a massive darkening (even darker than dark) of the sky, BIG wind and a torrential downpour! Almost like a whirlwind in the making! . . . napped . . . LB called asking if I'd seen her wheely bin . . .Mum called to tell me about a TV program about Auschwitz later on BBC2 . . . walked in the mud. SO muddy, it's gotten difficult to walk through it!! Sally is constantly plastered in it, no matter how much I try and wipe her down . . touched base with BB . . . TVd, occasionaly turning over cassettes on both stereos/PCs. Watched the Auschwitz program. Horrendous of course, but it WAS impressively done. A clever mixture of straight documentary with a sprinkling of reality type re-enactment, which surprisingly DID seem to work. . .cooked four beefburgers and chips around 11pm . . .TVd/PCd until some ridiculously early hour -again! :o( ps
12 - Woken by Sally around 8:15am again. . .walked in the mud and found 2p. A wheelbarrow, watering can and several fold up garden chairs were all laying around the swings. Looks like the yobs last night cleared out someones garden!! Gathered everything together and piled it in a heap by the bin - then noticed one of the chairs had an address written on the underside. One of the houses right next to the field - in fact if they'd looked out of their windows, they would have been able to spot their stuff all scattered around over there!! Walked round and knocked on their door but no answer. To be honest - if they can't be bothered to put a gate on the bottom of their garden where it enters the field, they can't really be surprised when all their stuff goes missing. . PCd music but succumbed to 'down' feelings and exhaustion and lay down for more sleep around midday . . . woke around 3pm headachey and hungry. Set cassettes recording and then cooked up bacon, baked beans and eggs with four pieces of bread and butter . . . PCd music . . .LB called and confirmed she'd walked up and down the street and her wheely bin was definitely gone. Stolen!!!!!! . . .walked. Oh dear - all but one of those fold up plastic garden chairs had been smashed up by kids! Eventually decided (because their lights were on) to pop round the nearby house and knock on their door and tell them what had become of their garden stuff, and say that if they were quick, there was one left intact. The guy who answered the door was grateful I'd let him know, but somehow didn't seem 'particularly' concerned. As I left the field, a large group opf kids was assembling and I could hear the last chair being broken in the dark. No one from that house came out to retrieve anything. ?? Walked around the block and up a nearby lane on the way home looking for LBs bin, but found no trace of it. . . Mum left an ansaphone message recomending a film that was on TV . . . watched the film and then called Mum to say I'd watched it (in between recording and turning cassettes over). . . touched base with BB . . . didn't feel particularly hungry so skipped food and PCd more MP3s with coffees and chain smoking until bed around 1am. pa
13 - Woken by Sally around 8:15am again. Fended her off and snoozed on until around 8:45am . . . walked doing litter duty and found 12p. The area around the swings looked like a bomb had hit it. All the plastic fold up garden chairs had been smashed up into fragments all over the place! :o( Walking back past the school, that same coloured girl I've had abuse from before (she was skipping classes with a thick as a brick young male friend) saw me coming and threw some rubbish on the floor in front of me - again! Sadly I was drawn into something of a slanging match. Apparantly it isn't 'her job' to pick up litter and she has a right to throw it down. I ended up calling her a loser, and insisted she'll be a loser all her life. I eventually carried on walking with abuse hurled after me - I am a 'tramp' apparently! Well - yeah - I guess I do tend to dress like one. I only recently realised that the cuffs of one of my favourite long sleeved sweat shirts (originally black - now a light grey) have actually worn away and turned to 'rags'! lol :o) . . .put the hard drive from the old PC into my main one to copy over some of the cassettes I'd recorded and - weird - the PC seems to be acting relatively stable this morning!? PCd a couple of cassettes and then figured it was high time I went to PC world - to actually buy things! :o) . . . left Sally at home and jumped in the car and found the car battery was dead! Lack of use and the cold damp weather I guess. :o( Pulled the battery out, checked and topped up the fluid levels and put it on charge out in the conservatory. . .oh well - guess I'll be PCing all day again then :o| . .PCd this - until early afternoon! . . .cooked two burgers, chips and half a tin of beans. Napped . . . walked . . . touched base with BB . . . TVd and PCd cassettes until around 2:30am. p
14 - Woken by Sally before 8am with a headache and feeling strangely a bit 'dizzy', kinda - just a bit not right!??. . . unhooked the charger from the car battery and left it to 'breath' and settle back down while I walked Sally. Walked and found 7p . . . fitted the battery to the car and it started up quite nicely. Let it run and warmed it up for a while before turning it off and clearing up my tools, washing the oil from my hands and getting the paperwork out to look up the radio security code. Left Sally at home and set off for PC world with my wallet in my pocket - or at least that was the plan! The battery was flat and the car wouldn't start!!!! So - I need a new battery then!! Bugger! :o( . . walked with Sally to the nearest quick fit place. Two people were sat in the waiting room, but no one appeared to be serving, and all the phones were off the hook? According to one of the waiting customers, there were only two people working there today and one of those was off in the truck picking up his new tyres! Sat and waited. Eventually the guy who'd been off picking up the tyres returned, but he went straight out into the workshop and started fitting the tyres to the guys car! I walked out with Sally and asked him if anyone was serving. He said they were short staffed. I explained what I was after and asked if they would be likely to have one and would it be worth my while waiting. He said yes. Waited, and waited - and waited!!! After walking around the yard, two cigarettes and twenty minutes, I still hadn't been served, was fuming and just walked out! Stopped off at home to pick up a ruck sack and then walked up to Kingswood and bought a battery in Kingswood Autoparts. 28 something or other but the guy let me have it for 25 because it was covered in paint splatter from where they'd apparantly had the decorators in. Cool - splatter it all you like! Struggled home with the battery in my rucksack. Fitted it and the car started perfectly, immediately. Thank goodness for that! Left Sally at home and, at last(!!), drove to PC world to look for things to buy. Scoured the store going up and down every single aisle, but was suprisingly appalled at the lack of choice and the high costs of everything! Theye had plenty of niceish PC cases, but all of them were around 40 and did NOT include the power supply!!! A decent 400watt power supply was something like another 40!!!!! So that would have been nearly 100 just for an empty case? Ridiculous!!! To hell with that! Left the store all fed up and disappointed. . not to have the day be a COMPLETE waste of time, I figured I'd better do some shopping. Hadn't really shopped since before Christmas and was getting real low on bread, butter and potatoes. Drove to Emersons Green and popped in Lidl for a couple of things. Only one till was open and I got stuck in the middle of an enormous queue. Just then they decided to open two more tills, orderly queuing went out the window as everyone scattered to get served, and somehow I ended up behind absoluetly everyone else!! Grrrrrrrr!!! This is turning into the waste of time, foul mood day from hell!! :o( Shopped big in Sainsburys. . . ate a large microwave heated pork pie with two bags of crisps and a banana for lunch . . .returned BBs earlier ansaphone call . . . napped only to wake with the same bad head, and feeling just a little queezy! Microwaving pork pies is NOT the best idea in the world. . . walked and found 2p. Looked as though there was a party on at the rugby club. Twenty to thirty rowdy kids were all congregated in the dark by the swings, drinking and smashing stuff, with more groups of kids on their way to join them!!! Kept my distance! . . . Mum called about an income tax refund she'd unexpectedly received? Couldn't understand what she was telling me but gather it is probably something to do with the last year of Dads life. Figured it was cool beinmg a refund so advised she just bank the money and say thank you very much . . touched base with BB. . . did a restore on the PC to correct what appeared to be some sort of virus attack and then successfully PCd a little music until around midnight. Felt a little better and needed something to eat and ended up having a plate of salad with a little bread and butter in the early hours before bed around 2pm or later. pa
15 - Woken by Sally around 7:45am . . . walked in the light drizzle and thick mud. More magazines dumped up the top of the field. Kept a couple of TV listing ones and relocated a handful of the others, to the first bin I often stop at to unload my bulging carrier bag of litter. Worse was to come - the whole bottom of the field around the childrens swings was absolutely covered in litter, bottles and broken glass. Lethal to any dogs unprotected paws! Spent ages walking around trying to clear up a little, but since the bin liner had already been burned away by someone, it was difficult getting stuff to stay in the metal frame of the bin without all falling back out. One of the dog walkers was helping but pointed out that the yobs would pull everything back out and smash it up some more if we left the bottles there. He WAS right of course. Just this once - why not - I managed to carry two bulging, splitting, heavy carrier bags full of bottles and broken glass, all the way back out of the field and deposited them in another more secure bin near the school. Only bled a little for the effort. Found 8p and a 24" thin, flat link gold necklace trodden down into the mud, which cleaned up quite nicely and appears to be fully intact. . . left Sally at home and walked to the local computer shop intending to buy, at the very least, another new big hard drive, and maybe a case and perhaps a new video card, in the hope that was the root of the fault with my existing pc. Again the guy was really very helpful. Turned out he had a really cheap, black and silver effect computer case on the shelf. Yep - included the 400watt power supply - AND a keyboard - AND a mouse - AND a pair of speakers!!! HOW MUCH???!!!!!! Only 35? How on earth is that possible? Yeah ok - so it's kinda cheap and nasty - but - well - for that money - it'll do for a start - gimmee gimmee. :o) Ended up spending 202 in total. The 'Dragon' (made in China) case for 35, a Maxtor 250GB 7,200rpm hard drive for 130, and a Inno MX4000 128MB AGP graphics card for 37. . A lot of money (for me!) but that's also a lot of hard drive and enough of everything else to be able to build a whole new machine AND test whether or not the graphics card on the existing PC IS the fault. Struggled (happily) home carrying boxes . . . swapped in and installed the new graphics card in the existing PC, only to find that is NOT the fault!!!!!??? Bugger! So what does that leave? It must be a fault with either the power supply, the motherboard or the processor? Dunno how I can sort out which!!!!! :o( . . . set about nervously trying to build the new machine. Took my time and meticulously followed the new Asus P4VP-MX motherboard manual. Wow - it really does have EVERYTHING (sound/video/network) on board the board! The Intel Celeron D 2.40 Ghz. processor installation instructions were particularly useful - NOT!!! A huge sheet of paper the size of a bath towel in multiple languages - a handful of confusing pictures to indicate how to seat the processor and fan, and a note beneath which said "Note: Installation instructions are not part of the Three Year Limited Warranty." Uhuh!? . . . eventually reached the point where I had to hold my breath, touch wood, cross my fingers and turn on the power (even though I'd decided NOT to connect the front case, line-out and microphone sockets because I wasn't sure of the connections!). I have to confess, I was actually qiuite surprised when it started right up and I had my first look at the BIOS screen. :o) Very relieved. . the cheap keyboard that came with the case appears to be quite useable, although the speakers and mouse are VERY cheap and nasty and were immediatly thrown in a cupboard out of the way. . . set about installing Windows and took the opportunity to grab a quick bite - corned beef sandwiches, crisps and a banana. . uh-oh!!! That ain't right!!!!! Dunno why but Windows couldn't accurately detect the new big hard drive!!?? The BIOS auto detected it fine, but when Windows came to partition and format, it only saw about half the drive!! Went round and round in circles trying to get it to see it but failed. :o( In desperation I ended up temporarily putting the new drive in the old machine to partition and format it, before moving it back to the new. (having two machines is a luxury I'm unwilling to now do without). Everything then went ok with the Windows instal. WHAT a time consuming battle!!!! . . . LB called asking if I could spare some of my bin space some time because the council told her they'd get a new bin to her in a couple of weeks or so!! . . . walked. Yet again - scary crowds of bottle smashing kids were all around the swings! :o( . . . Mum called to touch base . . . touched base with BB . . . PCd yet more, installing drivers and software etc, etc. and slowly re-building my familiar software setup from scratch . . . briefly stopped and ate two microwaved pasties and crisps and a banana around midnight . . . eventually to bed around 2am after having successfully added the 120GB drive to the new machine and copied over all the 'my documents' data onto the new drive. paa
16 - Woken by Sally around 8:45am! Blimey - a lie-in almost . . .walked in the mud and broken glass and found 8p . . . got straight on the PC and set about getting an internet connection and activating Windows etc. (Actually the second time in a few weeks I've done that! Surprised there wasn't some 'block' or alert or other, asking why I'd now activated the same XP operating system and Office software at least four times - and on two different machines!!! Hmmmm - actually - that may be rather useful - IF I can get to the bottom of what is wrong with the other machine!) . . spent AGES trying to get the antivirus software installed and working. More hassle!! Set the PC downloading (allegedly) updates for hours. Ate a couple of cold pasties with crisps and a banana . . . did dishwashing chores, vacuumed, cut my hair, did laundry - all the while leaving the PC downloading. . . fell asleep only to wake with a headache and tooth ache and to find the antivirus software had crashed and wouldn't reload, so I had to uninstal it and then try and start all over again - again!!! Arrrggghhhh!!!!!! :o( . .the updates failed and failed again. Eventually booted into safe mode and tried copying over the files of the previous installation from the old drive and that appeared to work. So NOW I felt safe going on line. . . started downloading Windows updates around 6pm . . .walked . . .PCd and pretty much had an up to date working system (except for some of my software, e-mails, settings etc.) - AT LAST!!!! First time I've had a PC with a couple of USB sockets on the front of the case. VERY handy for the camera and MP3 player. :o) I really need to get figure out the wiring and get those line-out/headphone and mic sockets wired up - headphones would be VERY useful for all this track splitting and MP3ing I'm doing. Blimey - cheap it may be, but that new keyboard also has all those extra buttons I've never had before, for one touch, sleep, media player, volume, etc, etc. functions. Wow - this really IS an upgrade for me! :o) . . BB called but I said I was in a rush and would have to call her back later. .rushed to quickly 'rip' the Cds PS had loaned me weeks ago, so I could return them at long last. Slow process so dashed down between CDs and started making myself much needed corned beef, mayo and lettuce sandwiches. PS arrived in the middle of all this so I showed him the 'new' PC and what I was up to. Sally did her usual strange behaviour whenever PS is here and rushed up and down the stairs making that weird disapproving whine she reserves just for PS. Dunno what it is that goes on between them - she isn't like that with anyone else! When I finally went back downstairs to carry on making my sandwich, one buttered mayo covered piece of bread with a slice of corned beef on it, was missing from my plate on the table!!! SALLY!! Grrrrrrr!!! And not a crumb on the floor anywhere! Made fewer than usual sandwiches out of what she'd left for me! . . . TVd, coffee, chats, ate 'stiff' doughnuts . . . touched base with BB before bed around 1:30am. paas
17 - Woken by LB leaving an ansphone message around 7:35am telling me it was bin day!My found jewellery collection! . . .put the bin out and filled it up with several of my old cassette collection storage boxes that are no good to anyone. My cassettes take up less space just stacked on a shelf in a cupboard! . . walked and found 31p and a Giani Giorgio ladies stainless steel watch amongst the mud, used condoms and broken glass! Dropped by one of the bottle smashing group last night, no doubt, so I confess I don't feel inclined to advertise the find. Good grief - that's turning into quite a jewellery collection!! . . .left Sally at home and jumped in the car and drove to get my latest repeat pescription. Unfortunately once again they didn't have the 'usual' (preferred) brand of fluoxetine I've been taking! :o( I took the last one of my current batch last night so didn't really have the time to mess around asking them to order in a particular brand (and frankly just couldn't be bothered) so I just accepted the 60x20mg 'Tillomed' batch I was given for the 6.40 NHS fee . . .PCd setting up my e-mail accounts and such and got mostly back straight. What a joy to be able to turn a PC on and have some confidence that it'll actually do what I want it to, without inexplicably doing its own thing!! I guess I hadn't realised quite how unstable that old machine had become. . PCd this . . .cooked up four sausages, two eggs, mushrooms and half a tin of baked beans and feasted with four pieces of bread and butter around 2pm . . lay down for a nap and somehow ended up sleeping until around 6:45pm!!! . . . walked in the torrential rain and gale. Weird that there was still a bunch of around fifteen kids all congregated around the swings in such filthy weather. I couldn't wait to get home out of it!! Found 5p . . . touched base with BB . . . TVd . . . PCd. Sorted out (I think!) the case phone socket connections to the motherboard (still haven't figured out the mic. socket!) and hooked them up and experimented. Turns out the bloody socket is faulty! That'll teach me to buy a cheap case. :o( Oh well . . . ate a pack of Lidl jaffa cake type thingys . . didn't feel tired and PCd and experimented until around 3am!!! pas
18 - Woken by Sally around 8am . . . set a couple of cassettes recording as a test of the setup on the new PC and then walked. Found 5p . . . PCd . . .balanced my accounts for the first time in ages. Moved some savings over to my current account to avert disaster! . . . cooked up four sausages, mushrooms and half a tin of baked beans and feasted with four pieces of bread and butter around 2pm . . .spent a crazy amount of time trying to thread my long cross over network cable down from the front bedroom cupboard, through the conduit I cemented in the living room wall, to the PC temporarily set up in the living room alcove. Eventually tied a piece of old chain to a long bit of string, dropped that through and then gently tugged the network cable through. I still need to thread it through under the floorboards upstairs, but for the time being it'll have to just lay across the floor. Experiments with networking, music and TVing - all in one! Played networks for a while and managed to get both machines talking to each other. :o) Not sure how to share the dial up connection, but everything else worked out nicely in the end. Ha. :o) . . . lay down for a nap and somehow ended up sleeping until around 6:45pm again!!! Woken by next door calling round to hand over two more carrier bags full of chocolate for 6 . . . walked . . . PCd cassettes . . . BB called . . . experimented with the networked PC in the living room, and actually ended up playing MP3s stored on the 'bedroom' PC down the network cable, while displaying a media-player visualisation on the TV, and multitasking other stuff on the PC monitor - and or vice versa!!! Hmmmm. Food for thought. If ONLY I could get to the bottom of the fault with that machine!! . . ate lettuce sandwiches with two bags of crisps in the early hours . . . surfed a little and looked up arthritis information! I really do suspect something along those lines is going on with my foot and legs! :o( . . . eventually to bed somewhere around 3am. pas
19 - Woken by Sally just before 8am . . . set cassettes recording and then walked and found 27p and another dog ball . . . called the doctors surgery and made an appointment for tomorrow morning. :o( . . .touched base with Mum . . . PCd music and then this . . . ate lettuce, grated cheese, onion and tomato sandwiches with crisps for lunch . . . napped . . . walked and found a penny. Walked the extra up to the store for milk and to get some change. Popped next door and gave her the 6 I owe her for all the chocolate. . returned Mums ansaphone call and briefly touched base . . . BB called . . . TVd/PCd and ate crisps, bananas, chocolate and bowls of cereals . . . . to bed around 1am. pas
20 - Woken by BB calling at 6:30am!! She got the time wrong! Oh well - saves the alarms from having to wake me in an hour . . . walked and found 7p . . .PCd a little before leaving Sally at home and driving to the doctors surgery for my 9:40am appointment (I'd normally walk, but even that short a distance is a bit daunting now!). Eventually called in to see him a little after 10am. Tried as best I could to explain that my knees appear to be 'shot', and now my left foot appears to have given out as well. He made me lay on a bed and had a good 'swivel' of both legs, but since I still have good mobility of all the joints and no swelling, he doubted it was anything like rheumatism or arthritis. At some point I mentioned my 'rotational scoliosis' and he seemed to then kinda quickly reach the conclusion, THAT was what was likely causing me trouble. Something along the lines that if your pelvis twists with a scoliosis, you can easily end up with one leg longer than the other (I was once, many years ago, given a shoe insert by a chiropractor to ease my back pain, for the same sort of reasons), and that unblanced walk can cause lower leg troubles. Hmmm? I'm sceptical - seems funny that it would screw up my left foot all of a sudden like that. The doctor recommended I try a course of anti inflamatory tablets (to begin with). Well - I don't think that's the answer, but I'll be happy to be proved wrong - Ok. Exited with a perscription and went next door to the chemist to get it. Paid the 6.40 NHS fee for 50x400mg of Ibuprofen - one to be taken three times a day, with or after food. Hmm - guess I'll have to start eating three meals a day for a while then!! :o( Blimey - I'm starting to have a bit of a tablet collection in the bathroom!! Ain't gettin old just wonderful! :o( . . . ate a banana and popped a pill as soon as I got home . . . PCd music . . . cooked up four sausages, half a tin of baked beans, two eggs, mushrooms and four pieces of bread and butter for an early afternoon lunch . . . napped until around 6pm . . .walked in the gale and found 2p . . . Mum called . . . managed to get the faulty PC booted up in the living room so PCd cassettes on both machines for a while . . . touched base with BB . . .LB called to touch base and tell me it was bin day on Saturday. . . carried on PCing until gone midnight as strong wind battered the house, before stopping for onion, tuna, mayo and lettuce sandwiches with crisps and some chocolate in the early hours. Eventually to bed around 1:30am. piii
21 - Woken by Sally around 7:45am. Seems to be as soon as it's light out, she wants me to wake up. . . walked and found 3p and yet another dog toy for Sally! . . . PCd just a couple of cassettes - all morning! . . PCd just a bit of this . . .ate, um - something? . . . napped . . . walked. Huge crowds of drinking, bottle smashing yobs were all milling around the field and surrounding area. Depressing. :o( . . .touched base with BB . . . TVd/PCd until early. piii
22 - Woken by Sally around day break as usual . . .walked and joined other dog walkers in doing litter duty. Wow - WHAT a mess!!! Mayhem over the field last night. Smashed bottles, chip papers, beer cans - loads of debris all over the place!!! And to cap it all, there was a stolen car dumped in the middle of the rugby pitch after having been driven all over the field. Deep muddy tracks everywhere! The car was suprisingly still fairly intact - and there appeared to be lots of the owners personal effects scattered around - lots of childrens clothes laying in the mud. Felt obliged to call it in and report it to the police, because 'stuff' appeared to still be salvageable if someone was quick. Had 'just' got through on the mobile, only for the line to drop out as my batteries ran out! Typical! Carry the damn thing every day - when I want to use it, the batteries are dead! . Borrowed someone elses phone and reported the car. With hindsight, if I'd thought about it, I'd have known I was wasting my time because they already would have been informed - probably last night. On closer examination, it was clear that the thieves HAD tried to burn the car out, but somehow the fire hadn't taken hold and it looked as though the fire brigade had arrived in time to put it out, without too much damage being done at all. Unfortunately, as is the habit of the fire brigade, they had to make it safe and had actually cut off the entire live terminal of the battery to remove an ignition source!! So - that'll be at least a new battery IF the car IS salvageable!! Carried on helping clear up all the mess around the field and particularly by the childrens swings, and volunteered to carry the three heavy, bulging, splitting carrier bags of broken glass, bottles and beer cans, all the way back out of the field, to deposit in the bin near the school. We dog walkers have learned, bulging bags of glass like that in the bin near the swings, will prove too much of a temptation to the yobs. They'd end up pulling them back out and throwing the broken glass back around the field! What a world!!! What sort of people are these? I despair! . . struggling with carrier bags, back through the mud past the stolen dumped car, a woman and a young guy turned up and started showing more than a passing interest in the car and its contents. Turned out she was the owner!! She was on her mobile talking to her husband and the insurance company. She seemed to be handling it rather well. I would have been in tears. She retrieved a couple of her things from the car - a pair of sunglasses she said were worth 100 (good grief - why? Bet she still claims them on the insurance.), and strangely the anti theft steering lock (the same as I use on mine! I trust it was NOT on when it was stolen!)!!? Very sad to hear how she relied on her car to drive her kids to school and to get to work at a nursery, etc. (All the kids clothes laying in the mud were apparantly bagged up in the car ready to be donated to a charity shop.) Having a car stolen isn't just losing a car - it has a massive, incalculable costly affect on peoples lives! I would SO like to beat those car thieves bloody! Arrrrrgggghhh!! :o( Found 13p . . . ate a banana as a token breakfast to have my pill . . . PCd tapes all day . . . stopped early afternoon and ate some tuna sandwiches with crisps and some chocolate. . . napped until around 6pm . . .cold dark yukky evening. Walked in the wind and sleet. VERY unpleasant - VERY happy to get home! It'll be a hardy bunch of yobs and car thieves who brave this night! . . . well - it looks as though the faulty PC has finally given up the ghost. It' s now refusing to boot at all! :o( . . . BB called . . . steeled myself and watched another TV show commemorating the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. A musical tribute which included musicians playing poignant works, actually within the wire of the camps. I can't imagine how they managed to retain their composure and perform their pieces in front of the camera there. I've stood there. The emotional impact is huge. :o( . . . LB phoned around 12:30am asking who sang such and such a song! I dunno. Think she musta had a drink or two. She asked if she could use a bit of the space in my bin again this week and then said she'd bring me a dinner tomorrow as an exchange. :o) Okey dokey. piiis
23 - Woken by Sally just after 8am. Very frosty morning! . . . walked on thin ice. No new smashed glass or litter around the swings, so I guess all the yobs DID hide away from the awful weather last night. Found a small unopened bottle of 'Red Square, Red Vodka Ice - premixed alcoholic flavoured drink' whatever that is? What is the 'flavour' of alcohol? Duhh . . . PCd cassettes all day! Managed (with difficulty) to get the faulty PC in the living room booted, so kept it running all day recording cassettes. . . cooked two garlic butter chicken kievs with chips for a mid afternoon lunch . . . LB dropped a big roast dinner in for me as she'd said she would. :o) . . .left the PCs running and napped for an hour or so. Woke and carried on PCing where I'd left off. . .walked and found 2p. Had to keep an eye on Sally and dodge the usual brainless idiots on mopeds charging along the path! Some helmetless kid zoomed by and then came back a little while later with someone on the back! Grrrrr. I wonder if it's possible to get hold of one of those sharp 'stop strips' the police use to deflate tyres, and lay it across the cycle path and lay in wait for someone to teach a lesson? . just a little while later as I was walking back down the field, a police car with sirens blaring and lights flashing came charging down the road next to the field. It was chasing that same moped!!! I stood and watched, but I'm sure we all knew what would be the outcome. The moped turned down the road that leads to the nearby shops, that has bollards stopping cars from driving through. The moped slipped through between the bollards and was gone. The police car had to stop and watch as they got away. That must have been SO frustrating to the policeman - me too! Good job I wasn't nearer that road - I wouldn't have been able to resist trying to make that moped rider crash as he fled past. Grrrrr. . . Mum called to touch base . . . BB called . . . PS popped round for chats and biscuits until early. . ate a few sausage rolls and bags of crisps . . . Left PS watching TV and disappeared here and there to keep both PCs running all evening and turn over tapes, etc. . . PCd a little more until bed getting on for 4am!!! piiisa
24 - Woken by Sally after daylight again. Brrrr! . . . walked on the frost. Found a penny and an unopened 500ml can of Blackthorn cider just sat on the pavement!? I wouldn't normally have picked up an apparantly empty can like that, but it wasn't far from home so I figured I'd add it to my recycling bin. . . PCd cassettes . . .well - looks as though the faulty PC has finally given up the ghost. Couldn't get it to boot at all, apart from in safe mode!?? :o( . . . ate a couple of pasties with crisps for an early afternoon lunch . . . slept the afternoon away until gone 6pm!! . . . walked in the cold biting northerly wind . . . Mum had left an ansphone message recommending a TV program, so after setting cassettes recording I TVd a bit. . . BB called in the middle of the program. . Microwaved and ate the roast dinner LB had donated, followed by some chocolate. . touched base with Mum then called BB back. .kept cassettes recording while I TVd . . .Good grief - there was a TV show advertised (one of four on consecutive nights) called 'A Beginners Guide To Anatomy' which was going to show a real autopsy!!!!!!??? How on earth can that possibly be appropriate for a TV show? With grave reservations, I had a peek. Oh myyyy GOD!!!! VERY disturbing - and yet, somehow I managed to assume the role of 'medical student', and actually watched it all the way through without being sick. It WAS an education!!!!! . . . 'early' to bed around midnight. piii
25 - Up around 8am . . . walked and found 2p, another earring and another plastic folder of the type that goes in a four ring binder. :o) I've found a couple of those before and they come in pretty handy for sorting out paperwork and such . . .PCd music all day . . . cooked and ate cheeseburgers around 3pm . . . touched base with Mum to say I HAD bumped into the Julian Lennon, 'Saltwater' track she'd asked if I had in my collection, which she liked and hasn't heard in a while. Turned up on a compilation album ('Eartrise') I have. . . touched base with BB . . . napped late for an hour or so leaving the PC on recording cassettes! . . . set the PC MP3ing 250 plus tracks, which it then did for over 3 hours!!! . . . walked late, in a rush to get back for the next in the series of horrific Auschwitz TV programs. Once again, ended up in sober mood and not in the mood for any conversation . . .TVd - anything 'lighter' . . .ate bowls of cornflakes and chocolate . . . BB called . . . TVd the next in the series of anatomy (autopsy!) programs . . . PCd until around 4am
26 - Woken by Sally before 8am - guess it's starting to get light earlier . . . walked and found a penny. That same half cast girl who seems to delight in getting on my nerves, called out as I passed a bunch of schoolkids and asked if I'd go into the newsagents and buy her some cigarettes!! I said nothing and just kept walking with a disgusted look on my face, although, with hindsight I missed a trick there. What I should have done was said 'yes, ok - give me your money' (I don't think she actually would have done) - and THEN I should have just walked off! lol Best not to get involved at all I guess. . .PCd music all morning. . . set a 'batch conversion' of WAV to MP3 files going on the PC and stopped for lunch around 2pm. Cooked up a bunch of chips to go with a grated cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, etc. salad . . left the PC working and lay down and napped for an hour or so until around 5pm. Eventually - at long long last, the PC completed the batch conversion! Somewhere near two hundred tracks converted to MP3, with each track taking around a minute! . . . walked . . .kept the PC running all evening, recordinmgh cassettes . . . TVd and ended up watching a horrific program of personal accounts and film of the Asian Tsunami! Mum called in the middle of it, to remind me about another TV show on later - documentary of an Auschwitz survivor grandmother returning to the camp with her son and grandson!!! Good grief - seems like the few TV shows I've watched this week have all been highly distressing and emotionally draining - and yet I feel compelled/'duty bound' to expose myself to them!? :o( It is beyond understanding to me that humanity is capable of such barbarism. It is, with guilt, terrifyingly more understandable to me, how it is that a society could degenerate to such a degree as to 'allow' it to happen. :o( . . .touched base with BB . . .ate defrosted pasties, crisps and chocolate . . . ended up watching the Auschwitz program. :o( . . Turned over afterwards and watched the end of tonights 'Anatomy For Beginners' program where they were disecting someones entire intestinal tract !!!! Eeeewwww, eeewwww, eeewwwwwww!!!! :o( . . . forced myself to stay awake until a cassette finished recording and then turned the PC straight off and went to bed around 1am. piiis
27- Holocaust Memorial Day - Woken by Sally not long after 7am!!? Tried to ignore her and go back to sleep, but she started pawing my face - just missed my eye - bloody hurt! Grrrr . . . walked. More 'stolen' magazines dumped up the top of the field. Bagged myself a 'Superbike' magazine with a free DVD to have a look at!! Seems like people are getting used to this frequent dumping of stolen magazines - a woman walking her son to school allowed him to get all excited (because there was a heap there, 'again') and let him rummage through looking for a particular magazine he wanted with some free gift or other attached. I spotted a couple that had been stuffed into the hedge so handed him those too. The mother wandered off with a TV listing magazine. Relocated some of the remainder to a bin in my 'litter duty' carrier bag . . . PCd some tracks while watching the TV news. Some weird news conference on the news with Tony Blair, Bono and Bill Gates, about how Bill Gates is giving a whole bunch of money to combat poverty and disease in Africa!! That seems pretty cool of 'Bill'. Kinda like - can there be any more blatant symbol of the prosperous way of life we in the developed world are priviledged to enjoy, than that of a personal computer!! There seems something wonderfully 'right' about filtering off some of the money raised from selling software and comitting it to easing the 'suffering' of those less fortunate. Take from the rich and give to the poor - yeah - I think Bill is ok (but of course I still think the cost of Windows is extortionate!! :o/ ) . . .PCd this with the TV on, while the PC converted some WAV files to MP3 in the background . .gave up PCing this and watched the TV special of the holocaust memorial ceremonies from Auschwitz. :o( . .TVd and washed dishes as the PC recorded tapes. . . ate three sausage rolls with crisps and some chocolate for a late, late lunch. . . napped late for an hour or so . . . walked. Caught LB putting some rubbish in my bin as I returned and crept up behind her to shout out 'Oyy' indignantly, just for fun. lol . . . touched base with Mum and then BB . . . watched Farenheight 9/11 on TV. THAT put me in a sad and sombre mood. Whatever one is to assume is the truth - once upon a time I believed that America was pretty much 'one of the good guys'. I no longer think that is the case. I'm not even sure about my own country!! :o( . . . Ate tuna, onion and mayo sandwiches - lots - six pieces of bread and butter! . . . TVd and somehow sat through another autopsy program!! Good grief - disection of both male and female reproductive systems!!!!! Eewwwwww!!! :o[ Right - that'll be the last time I ever have sex then!! Eewwwwww!!! :o[. . . touched base with BB . . .TVd a little but soon ended up PCing and dabbling with a little more music. Attempted to go on line at surf a bit at one point but appeared to have no phone line!!??? Completely dead for around an hour or so. . . PCd until deep into the early hours - again! piiis
28 - Woken by Sally not long before 9am!! . . .set tapes recording and then walked. Oh jeeze - ANOTHER stolen car dumped and burned out in the field!!! Looks like we are back to that 'one every few days' thing!! :o( Found 3p . . . PCd music. Somehow managed to get the faulty PC booted so kept it going all day recording tapes - actually the entire set of the old readers digest French language course tapes I've had laying around for years!! lol I can see those finding their way onto my portable MP3 player some time, for when I'm out walking. Tres Bien. Maybe finally I'll get to learn something more than 'Fin de cassette deux. Face a' which seems to be burned into my consciousness and was about as far as I ever got with them!! . . . used some of the down time while the PCs worked to do some vacuuming etc. . . ate tuna, onion and mayo sandwiches - lots - six pieces of bread and butter - again - with two packets of crisps - again! . . . napped leaving PCs running, until woken by next door hammering something around 6:15pm :o( . . . walked. Just entering the field I became aware of a little drama going on. A huge bunch of kids were all milling around, some shouting, some crying – all childish domestic type nonsense. Suddenly it appeared to be rather more serious when I realised there was someone laying in the mud on the grass (right exactly where the stolen car had been this morning, which had been quickly removed to make it appear there isn’t a social problem round her!). It was a young girl and I could hear her friends telling her to open her eyes and speak to them!! This went on for a while. There were enough of them around, all with mobile phones and such, to really make any intervention by me superfluous, but I WAS concerned that they were maybe too stupid to do the right thing. I sauntered over and quickly asked someone what was wrong with her. Predictably it was a case of too much to drink! The girl was pretty much out of it. Worryingly she’d been sick where she lay, all across her arm. Laying down drunk and being sick, is in my opinion, not something to be messed around with. (Just ask Jimi!!) Dieing in that mud would have been a miserable way to go! She WAS at least in more or less a recovery position. In answer to my question, it turned out that someone HAD sensibly called an ambulance. Nothing I could do - I left them to it and carried on walking. In the distance I could hear the sirens of the ambulance. It soon turned up, escorted by a police car, so I walked back out to the street to wave my torch and helped direct them in to where they needed to be, next to the field. .out of sight of all the drama, down the bottom of the field, I became aware of a couple of kids in the dark, pushing an off road type motorbike across the field. They’d stopped near a steep slope to take a breather and summon the strength to attempt to push it up. It would have been very much easier to simply push it up the nearby road, rather than in the mud across the dark of the field. Clearly, it was stolen! :o( I couldn’t resist – figured I’d have a little fun. I made a bee line for them, and as they started to look awkward, I called out accusingly that they looked guilty and suggested it was stolen. They were quickly all denials and seemed to want to point out that it had no gearbox, as some sort of proof of their innocence!?? Duh? I flashed my torch and had a quick look – actually it had no cylinder head!! Still ‘having fun’, I pointed out that the police were up the top of the field the way they were heading. For a couple of innocent kids, that sure made them reconsider pushing it up the slope! Ha! . .I carried on walking Sally and as quickly as I could, returned to the drama and the ambulance, and tracked down one of the attending policemen and told him about the kids and the probably stolen motorbike, only a few hundred yards away. His response surprised me. He simply said he’d see if they walked by with it later – because he had an unmarked car. Well what about going and catching the little buggers in the act? For goodness sake. I’d told the kids the police were up there (if and when they’d reached the top of the slope, they would have seen the marked police car and ambulance anyway) – they weren’t gonna be walking by now were they!! Ridiculous! . . . BB called. . . PCd . . . ate three sausage rolls with crisps . . .there was a bit of weird noise out in the street, but I couldnm't see anything when I peeked out and just couldn't be bothered to investigate. Sounded like a wheely bin (not mine) going by!!??. . . PCd until around 3:30am when I reached my 'todays target' and the last of the French tapes finally finished. piii
29 - Up around 7:45 . . .walked. Aha - looks as though one of the houses down the road (it'd been left out on the pavement all day) has had their wheely bin stolen!!! :o( . . . PCd cassettes . . . touched base with Sis1 and asked if I could borrow her CDs. Figured no was a good time because I've reached a point with my cassette collection that I'm bumping into poor recordings of old records, and it's quite possible Sis1 has replacemnets for those on CD already. That'll save me wasting time doing duplicates . . Sis1 was on her way out but said ok. Drove to Sis1s, passed her up the top of her road and waved, let myself in and picked up ALL her CDs and just a couple of pre recorded tapes. Blimey - she has a HUGE collection of CDs!!! Turns out there are very few of the oldies I'd hoped for - but she does have a bunch of more recent 'Pop' stuff which kinda fills in the last five or ten years gap in my collection. . ripped CDs as fast as I could like there was no tomorrow! This is gonna take a few days, even at this pace!!. . .briefly stopped for a microwave beef curry and four pieces of bread and butter . . . napped for an hour or so - just couldn't help myself. . . ripped for hours more . . set cassettes recording and then walked in a rush. Stopped for a sausage and chips takeaway on the way home, just to get quick and easy food done with, and out of the way. . . touched base with BB . . . PS popped round for chats, biscuits and coffee. . . as soon as he'd gone I ended up PCing more until around 3:30am!! piiis
30 - Woken by Sally not long after 8am . . .walked and found another small unopened bottle of 'Red Square, Red Vodka Ice'. . ripped CDs . . . corned beef and onion sandwiches . . . LB dropped in a Sunday roast meal for me and leftovers for Sally, and then a cheesecake type desert later. . . napped for an hour or so . . .PCd more . . . Mum called to touch base . . . walked . . . touched base with BB . . drank one of the little bottle of the Red Square drink. Actually quite nice - despite the best-before date being Novemver 04. Weird how there is no trace on the bottle of the percentage of alcohol content? I thought stating that was law? Maybe it's a con and there is no alcohol in it - although I think there must be. As is usual with me and alcohol, just that tiny bit seemed to wipe me out and see me pretty much immovable in the comfy chair in front the TV. . ate LBs donated roast meal with some extra instant gravy. BIG food. :o) . . TVd exhausted . . early to bed around 11:45pm. piiid
31 - Woke around 7:30am . . . walked and found 3p . . .carried the faulty old PC up from the living room and temporarily set it up next to me in front of the other PC. Pulled the network cable back up out of the wall conduit and eventually managed to get both machines booted and working. Ripped CDs on both PCs all day. Very confusing having two mice and two keyboards crammed on the desk in front of me - inevitably occasionally used the wrong ones and input junk! . . . Hard labour doing this many CDs! . . . briefly stopped for corned beef (gently warmed in the microwave to make it slushy), mayo, tomato and onion sandwiches. Wow - those tasted really nice - the tomato works nicely. Finished it off with LBs donated cheescake thingy. More 'nutty brown' than cheesecake I think. . .managed to resist the desire to sleep and carried on franticly ripping CDs . . . walked . . . touched base with BB . . . ripped on the PC until early. p
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