Our 50 litre Brabantia bin is broken. The catch with which the lid snaps shut no longer snaps, so the lid flips back up again. So I went to their website to order a new catch – the bins are guaranteed for life, so it wasn’t a problem. However, the website’s welcome message read as follows:
Please stand-by while the page is loading.
I think there’s an errant hyphen in there; I don’t have a stand-by button.
Coincidentally, in the supermarket tonight, I picked up some bin-liners. In doing so, I had to use some basic geometry to work out my needs. The Brabantia liners (expensive) gave a diameter measurement; the Sainsbury’s liners (cheaper) gave a circumference measurement. My knowledge of pi means that the Sainsbury’s liner fits snugly.
Today saw the first 10km run of my training – the race is only five weeks away. It was the first time back on the road since a week-long cold last week. My route was actually 9.82km (according to Map My Run), which I completed in 47 minutes. A couple of blisters were my biggest nightmare; stamina doesn’t seem to be a problem. I need to shave a bit off that time to make it more respectable, though. I did swear (fucking cock, if I remember rightly; my Mum would be proud) at a dog owner in Battersea Park who decided to throw a ball in my path. The ball posed no threat; the ball-pursuing Alsatian was more narrowly avoided. His owner’s argument that it was a park, not a running track faded to nothing as I pounded towards Albert Bridge.
En route, I also passed a speed camera on Grosvenor Road, designed to catch those quick off the mark at the Vauxhall Bridge lights. I was running in the opposite direction to the trap, but it still flashed, despite there being no traffic at the time. I can only assume my lightning speed sent it into confusion.
Finally, an advert in today’s Metro for the tat this is the Daily Mail read as follows:
Would you admit to losing your virginity on television?
Surely you wouldn’t have to; most people would know, right? With which verb is on television associated?
My wife’s first big crush was allegedly on Virgil Tracy. According to his profile, Virgil "possesses a demeanour and maturity well beyond his years", and is an accomplished graduate of the Denver School of Advanced Technology. He never places technology above human needs, and is a fearless, complex young man with iron resolve.
I’d like to think that I share some of his characteristics. For a start, I support the Denver Broncos.
I myself have little time for Virgil, as the vehicle that he piloted, Thunderbird 2, was dreadfully designed, and I was always surprised by its ability to become airborne. I believe its toy equivalent was made out of lead, or at least a lead composite, meaning that it could do some serious damage to furniture and other objects that chose to get in its way.
What is it with some people that they feel compelled to sign off emails by preceding their name or initials with a minus sign.
It seems to be a techie thing, as Francis and Enda both do it. Actually, thinking about it, Enda signs off "/e". Also, the meebo pop-up message today was from Elaine, or should I say -Elaine. There are other examples out there, but I can’t think of the culprits right now. Not sure if it’s limited to the unwashed techie masses. Maybe it’s some Unix joke that I don’t get. If so, good. Can anyone explain?
Even though it does exactly what it says on the tin, August Bank Holiday Monday is pretty weak. The naming of our holidays isn’t particularly inspired, what, with May Day and May Bank Holiday Monday (also known as Spring Bank, which I assume is short for Spring Bank Holiday Monday) alongside it.
Must try harder.
There is no ‘bad’ language. I mean, there are bad apostrophes, but there is no such thing as ‘bad’ language, is there?
I agree wholeheartedly. Maybe I’ll be more forthcoming with my swearing in blogland moving forward. Ah, bollocks.
Not much to report of late. Yesterday was our second wedding anniversary, which was a nice milestone to reach. I guess the anniversary passed at 17:30, given that we married in New York at 12:30, in a nice little chapel on Lexington and 40th Street.
Next, some guy has decided to exhibit photos of over 2,500 meals and snacks that he ate during the course of 2005. I couldn’t be bothered, but here’s tonight’s dinner, a fantastic roast chicken with sides of roast potatoes, peas, cauliflower, broccoli topped with gravy.
I’ve always struggled with the concept that the volume of a cube with unit sides has a unit volume, whereas a cube with sides two units in length has a volume of eight. I completely get the maths, but it just strikes me as odd.
We watched Bugsy Malone this morning. Not sure I’ve ever seen it all the way through, but it’s a good little film. There was a song called You Give A Little Love some which seems to switch mid-way through (much like the Pet Shop Boys’ Where The Streets Have No Name.) The latter half seemed very familiar, but I’m not sure why. Anyone?
I’ve been out playing pool tonight. A few points worthy of note.
First of all, my best pool is played after two pints and before three pints have been consumed. If I were to enter a competition, the evidence would compel me to lager-up beforehand. During this period of this evening, I won ten frames on the bounce.
Next, we played with numbered balls, as opposed to reds and yellows. (I’m a traditionalist, and reds and yellows are just wrong.) When racking the balls, however, I mentally think of the spots (solids) as red and the stripes as yellow. So I sequence through the balls such: red | yellow, red | yellow, black, red | yellow, red, yellow, red | yellow, yellow, red, yellow, red. (Or vice versa if I start with a yellow/stripe.) My brain processes a red as a spot and a yellow as a stripe. Odd.
Finally, the odds of randomly throwing the 15 balls into the triangle and having them land perfectly formed in the official pool layout are one in 12,870. I just worked it out. (Actually, I originally had this at 25,740, but Gavin worked through the numbers with more rigour than I did in my drunkenness, and I’ve had to halve this due to my only allowing for two of the four possible arrangements. These can be described as "Red at the front, red behind on the left", "red at the front, red behind on the right", "yellow at the front, yellow behind on the left", "yellow at the front, yellow behind on the right".)
I’ve categorised this as sport. Argue amongst yourselves, if you will.
I had lunch in All Bar One today. Inside, there was a sign on the floor that said "Thank you for not smoking beyond this point". On the reverse of the sign was an identical message. Without intending to, I think they’ve made their entire bar no smoking.
There was an article in today’s Metro (and so no doubt the weekend news) about the sorry educational state of today’s school-leavers, and the need for them to grasp the basics of maths and English, including useful stuff like percentages.
The fact that a higher percentage of people each year are achieving the top grades is undermining the currency of school qualifications. This year is the 24th successive year in which the A-level success rate has gone up.
A Metro-published letter from Platteen Tsang (no doubt a recent A-level success story) suggests that critics of this are "jealous of the teenagers’ performance". I have to disagree.
In my view, the examination boards themselves need to use applied knowledge of percentages, assuming they have such knowledge of course. Given that the overall intelligence of the population isn’t likely to change significantly from one year to the next, and given the importance of a stable currency in the field of education, wouldn’t it make sense if across the country, the percentage of papers receiving a given grade for a given subject were standardised? The top 15% of A-level English papers should receive an A, for instance?
That way, each grade would measure its recipient against his or her peers, as opposed to against an ever-sliding and ever more meaningless scale.
Advert on Channel 4.
The Charlotte Church Show, Cwming soon.