Wow, what a day.

First, can I just say I finally made it back to the gym yesterday evening. I’m so proud. I even managed my full 20 minutes CV stuff without completely collapsing.

However, am now at a new gym nearer my new home (I moved house in May) and all the equipment is different. I don’t recognise half the weight machines and the emphasis is much more on macho things like free weights. There isn’t even an exercise bike! So I’ll have to do another induction. And there’s a bit of lack of decent showers. Whilst the last place was filled with homely-looking men and women with grey hair, the city-centre one is filled with intimidating muscled hunks (one guy managed 30 minutes solid on the rower!). On the plus side, the same centre has a pool and a sauna, which the old one didn’t. I have now found my swimming trunks again, never lost my prescription goggles, so as soon as they fill the pool I’m back in the drink. The, er, good, healthy drink.

Spent much of today properly clearing my in-tray at the council for the first time in quite a while, then came home.

Things have been ending today. The beer has finished its initial fermentation so I decanted it into a pressure barrel for two more days of fermenting, and then it should be ready to drink. Wow. 40 pints. Like that’s not undermining the gym…

And we watched the last two episodes of 24-II. Wow. We’ve promised ourselves III for Xmas.

The last few days I’ve been having aches and pains in my back, possibly linked to the fact that I spent this week working from home, with my laptop, either on the sofa or at the dining room table, neither of which is any good ergonomically. And all this when I have a really good desk and chair in the attic room, that I just can’t drag my sorry butt up to. Paul says it’s important, and he’s right.

So after the cataclysmic events unfolding in LA (can’t help but feel that it would have been a whole lot better with Bartlett…) I came up here, and googled for port replicators for the laptop. And top of the list was something a mate recommended in his blog a day or two ago. www.laptopsuperstore.co.uk can do me the specific docking station to match my laptop for only 7 quid. Unbelievable. www.ebuyer.co.uk can sell me a KVM switch for 15 quid, so tonight, (coincidentally payday) I’m in techie heaven.

Talking of Bartlett, I have a new naff polyphonic ringtone to replace the Rasmus which has been driving people nuts. Thanks to www.free-ringtones-free-logos.com it’s now the West Wing theme. Bartlett IS President!

And here’s a cracking gay website about what to do apart from bars and clubs in London: www.gawhydontyou.com

After a councillor’s surgery in Aspley Library tomorrow, we’re off to see the Rumble Band in Cleethorpes. Yay.

Can’t sleep

Another sleepless night — that makes four this week that I’ve seen 5am. Came downstairs for a hot milky drink (plenty of milk since both of us bought four pints yesterday) and might as well boot up whilst I’m here.

Saw Mambo Italiano earlier (official site | IMDB). Laughed lots, great film. Lots of interesting stuff to say about gay identity politics, non-scene guys, and helplines. Good totty (Peter Miller, Tim Post) .

Can’t park — well, I knew that.

Still haven’t found out when www.dilbert.com changes cartoon. It’s some time between 5.30am and 9am.

Can't sleep

Another sleepless night — that makes four this week that I’ve seen 5am. Came downstairs for a hot milky drink (plenty of milk since both of us bought four pints yesterday) and might as well boot up whilst I’m here.

Saw Mambo Italiano earlier (official site | IMDB). Laughed lots, great film. Lots of interesting stuff to say about gay identity politics, non-scene guys, and helplines. Good totty (Peter Miller, Tim Post) .

Can’t park — well, I knew that.

Still haven’t found out when www.dilbert.com changes cartoon. It’s some time between 5.30am and 9am.

It’s over

Paul watched over Billy the Fish’s last moments. Upset by Billy’s state, he was just resolved on some form of euthanasia when the fish came to, had its last lucid moment, stared Paul directly in the face, shook all of its muscles at once and expired, rolling over onto his side.

The fish tank is dark tonight, the pump hums no more. The clock in the dining room has stopped.

It's over

Paul watched over Billy the Fish’s last moments. Upset by Billy’s state, he was just resolved on some form of euthanasia when the fish came to, had its last lucid moment, stared Paul directly in the face, shook all of its muscles at once and expired, rolling over onto his side.

The fish tank is dark tonight, the pump hums no more. The clock in the dining room has stopped.

Homicidal goldfish

Billy the Fish may not make it through the night. This fish dates back to another insane impulse purchase in 2001 or so, and he’s the only fish to make it this far, through two house moves and tank changes. He’s survived all the other original goldfish, which all either died or — miraculously disappeared overnight, while Billy got fatter and fatter. He survived horrendous disease that wiped out all the other fish in the tank, a disease that probably came in with new fish that I didn’t adequately quarantine. And now he’s spasming at the bottom of the tank unable to swim at all.

Anyone mind?

I hope no-one minds, but I’ve sold my soul to Google for some adverts on and around my pages. Not because I expect them to generate any income but because I wanted to see what sorts of ads would get served up to you based on my random writings.

And on the first outing, what do I get? Homebrew and washing lines. Uncanny.

Now click, you buggers, click!

Today’s insane impulse purchase

… was homebrew kit. Yes, dear reader, in ONLY 12 DAYS, 40 pints of delicious Tom Caxton Real Ale (As Brewed By Monks In The Middle Ages, With Hop Enhanced Extract) will be mine, all mine.

Sterilizing stuff, a fermentation bin, a new bucket for food use, and a homebrew kit were what I lugged home from Wilkos, after launching myself out of the shower at high speed at about 3.15pm, with only 45 minutes to walk the mile into town before the shops shut. I initially set out to by a clothes airer, but Wilkos had run out of those, and I thought homebrew would be a close approximation. Sure, it won’t get my clothes dry but in ONLY 12 DAYS I’ll be well past caring.

40 pints of foul-tasting sweet molasses sludge are sitting right behind me in a bucket sitting in a waterproof crate. My attic office room is the only place in the house to get anywhere near the required 18-21 deg C. I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to check the mix or whether that’s going to allow evil bacteria to get in and spoil the whole damn lot. As if it wasn’t enough having to carry buckets of water around the house to top up the homicidal goldfish in the dining room, I now had to carry 40 pints of clean water in my new food bucket up to my office. I’m still working through in my head the logistics of transporting the mix, transferred into a pressure barrel from the attic room where it’s warm enough for conditioning, down four flights of stairs to the cellar where it’s cool enough for the finished beer to hang out for a few days. Actually, it seems that 40 pints isn’t too heavy to move around carefully, bending the knees as appropriate.

I bought the clothes airer as well, in Argos, after discovering that Woolworth’s doesn’t actually sell anything useful.

Yesterday was the East Mids Lib Dems’ fascinating regional conference and AGM, where a heavily contested battle for regional chair meant a higher than usual attendence from conference reps. The old adage about turnout increasing when voting means something certainly applied here. I went down the night before and stayed in a not particularly nice little hotel to avoid a train journey in the early hours of the morning, since I needed to get there early enough to help set up a little. My laptop contains the only useful list of those eligible to vote, a list being amended by text messages with details of substitutes well into the early hours. Was up until about 1am reading Reginald Hill library book, so not unduly disturbed by two male voices from the room above nattering. And took the time to undetake loooong overdue housekeeping on laptop and move some of the desktop icons into more sensible places, having completely run out of spare desktop. I can now see once again the fantastic landscape-with-dog snap that MYM sent me by Messenger a couple of months ago. Firefox is great, but I haven’t figured how to get it to save downloaded files into more useful places than the bloody desktop.

After I got home yesterday, we sat and watched hours of 24 series II after a few weeks’ break. The last disk got stuck in a DVD player that quite literally blew up a bit back, so we had to make alternative arrangements to see the episode from that disk we still hadn’t seen. Unsurprisingly, the cougars didn’t take their opportunity to KILL KIM BAUER, and the series rollocked on to quite a pretty megaton dénouement. Still plenty more to watch, however.

Today's insane impulse purchase

… was homebrew kit. Yes, dear reader, in ONLY 12 DAYS, 40 pints of delicious Tom Caxton Real Ale (As Brewed By Monks In The Middle Ages, With Hop Enhanced Extract) will be mine, all mine.

Sterilizing stuff, a fermentation bin, a new bucket for food use, and a homebrew kit were what I lugged home from Wilkos, after launching myself out of the shower at high speed at about 3.15pm, with only 45 minutes to walk the mile into town before the shops shut. I initially set out to by a clothes airer, but Wilkos had run out of those, and I thought homebrew would be a close approximation. Sure, it won’t get my clothes dry but in ONLY 12 DAYS I’ll be well past caring.

40 pints of foul-tasting sweet molasses sludge are sitting right behind me in a bucket sitting in a waterproof crate. My attic office room is the only place in the house to get anywhere near the required 18-21 deg C. I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to check the mix or whether that’s going to allow evil bacteria to get in and spoil the whole damn lot. As if it wasn’t enough having to carry buckets of water around the house to top up the homicidal goldfish in the dining room, I now had to carry 40 pints of clean water in my new food bucket up to my office. I’m still working through in my head the logistics of transporting the mix, transferred into a pressure barrel from the attic room where it’s warm enough for conditioning, down four flights of stairs to the cellar where it’s cool enough for the finished beer to hang out for a few days. Actually, it seems that 40 pints isn’t too heavy to move around carefully, bending the knees as appropriate.

I bought the clothes airer as well, in Argos, after discovering that Woolworth’s doesn’t actually sell anything useful.

Yesterday was the East Mids Lib Dems’ fascinating regional conference and AGM, where a heavily contested battle for regional chair meant a higher than usual attendence from conference reps. The old adage about turnout increasing when voting means something certainly applied here. I went down the night before and stayed in a not particularly nice little hotel to avoid a train journey in the early hours of the morning, since I needed to get there early enough to help set up a little. My laptop contains the only useful list of those eligible to vote, a list being amended by text messages with details of substitutes well into the early hours. Was up until about 1am reading Reginald Hill library book, so not unduly disturbed by two male voices from the room above nattering. And took the time to undetake loooong overdue housekeeping on laptop and move some of the desktop icons into more sensible places, having completely run out of spare desktop. I can now see once again the fantastic landscape-with-dog snap that MYM sent me by Messenger a couple of months ago. Firefox is great, but I haven’t figured how to get it to save downloaded files into more useful places than the bloody desktop.

After I got home yesterday, we sat and watched hours of 24 series II after a few weeks’ break. The last disk got stuck in a DVD player that quite literally blew up a bit back, so we had to make alternative arrangements to see the episode from that disk we still hadn’t seen. Unsurprisingly, the cougars didn’t take their opportunity to KILL KIM BAUER, and the series rollocked on to quite a pretty megaton dénouement. Still plenty more to watch, however.