Saturday, 29 October 2011

Taking it Easy...

Saturday

Typical! I wake up yesterday with a sore throat, the first sign that I've caught Sarah's cold. I got up this morning feeling rubbish, so I decided to take it easy today as I'm going to need all my energy for the 'Samphire Hoe or Bust!' walk tomorrow. All I really did today was go down to Homeplus to get the fireworks for next week. Whilst there we saw some rather good dining room chairs. I broke one of ours last week. As I got up to answer my mobile my leg got caught around the leg of the chair, sending me and chair flying, and cracking the frame. So I may have to raid the piggy bank and buy some new ones.

I was saddened to hear about the death of Sir Jimmy Saville at 84. He was always on the TV during my childhood/early teens, both on Jim'll fix it and of course Top Of the Pops. I think the word 'Legend' is used too loosely these days but Jimmy was definitely one. He invented' the mobile DJ in northern clubs and of course perfected his craft on stations like Radio Luxembourg and BBC Radio 1. His charity work was well known to the public, but I get the feeling he liked his own company. Tony Blackburn said today he didn't have many close friends, and Louis Theroux's documentary a few years ago gave us the chance to see that he was very much an eccentric loner. I do have a bit of Jimmy memorabilia though, a BBC World Service Tee Shirt signed by the man himself. Of course I have a dilemma now, do I sell it to a collector or keep it. I think I may leave it a while. People went a bit mad when Michael Jackson died and were selling rare records and stuff for silly money, just to make a fast buck. I don't want to be seen to be like that! It's testament to his popularity that people still impersonate him, my favourite being Hugh Dennis "Show-Waddy-Waddy" R.I.P Sir Jimmy....

We have had Arnie for a year today, and I was trying to think who he resembled. Then it came to me....
Ron Mael from Sparks!





Sunday, 23 October 2011

Cleaning Cars and Conjuring Curries

Saturday

I had to pay a visit to the car wash today. My parking space at work is by the building, and this week the pigeons decided to play 'Lets have a collective poop on Steve's car'. the tailgate was covered in crap. Some people may ask "Why don't you wash it yourself?' Basically....A) I can't be arsed and... B) the local hand car wash do a much better job than I ever could. In fact they spent ages washing it down and getting the crap off, then gave it a good chamois down. All  for £6 and I don't even have to get out of the car.
Then it was off to Canterbury for some retail therapy. I bought a couple of shirts, belts and some socks n undies in the sales while Sarah bought a couple of pairs of shoes. Then we had lunch in Zizi, an Italian restaurant chain. I had a rather nice Pizza/Calzone hybrid and Sarah went for the Risotto . We also treated ourselves to a couple of puds. Then it was back up the high street for a bit more shopping. Canterbury was busy, but its good to see people, including loads of tourists, spending cash in our shops.

This evening we had some friends round for drinks and nibbles, and we spent the whole evening chatting. We carried on until about midnight not realising what the time was. A great evening was had by all.

Sunday.

We had a bit of a lie in today. The cats decided that we were not going to sleep last night, so they kept on jumping on Sarah! In the end they were kicked out of the bedroom and the door shut behind them. Peace at last!

We went shopping as per usual, then popped down to Bybrook Barn to have a look at some tropical fish. I lost the last of my Platys the other day. Out of all the fish I have owned , Platys are supposed to be the easiest to keep but the buggers keep dying on me. We came away with five Penguin Tetras and five X-ray Tetras. I was very impressed with Bybrook's Christmas display this year, they always make an effort.

The Dance Web Radio show went well today, I really mixed it up and played different genres of dance and soul music. John particularly liked the Brass Construction track I played. A first for DWR...

We went down to Cinnamon Spice tonight for 'Magical night' Basically a fixed price menu with a table magician doing the rounds. Our food was really good and the magician did some clever close up card tricks. Some had us guessing, Some we sussed out but they were very well done. 







Monday, 17 October 2011

Lets Get Quizzical.....



Saturday

A few months ago, we enquired about having free solar panels installed on our roof, with the premise that the company get the FIT payments, and we get free electricity. It was all going smoothly (if slowly), then the company changed the goalposts. Apparently we no longer qualified because they couldn't fit enough panels to generate 4kW of power. The original was 2.5kW. I get a feeling they were pulling a fast one and trying to get us to buy them, but we were seriously pee'd off that they left it four months before turning us down.
Anyway we have another company doing it now, and their surveyor turned up today on time, and told us there would be no problem getting 12 panels installed. he was surprised when I told him about the last lot, he wondered why they wanted to turn our house into a power station!.

We found a replacement bedside lamp for Sarah today. Unfortunately one of the cats ( Frankie) knocked the other one over and it smashed. Luckily the new one just about matches the other, the only difference being it doesn't dim.

Tonight is the annual Valley Park Radio Quiz Night. Previous years has seen our team coming 2nd and 3rd, not a bad effort. This year I want to win, and we have a broad age range on the team tonight.
Oh dear 2nd again! Mind you it was a close run thing and I smashed the TV theme tune round. including getting the theme to 'Time Tunnel' , an Irwin Allen production (responsible for Lost in Space) from my childhood.  It was a late one tonight we didn't get home until 1am although I did have a quick nap in the car 'Wake me when we get to Ashford' I told Sarah!.




Sunday

Went shopping first thing. What a great day, cold but so sunny. I'm hoping the sky stays that way tonight I'm hoping to do some astro imaging. I bought a snow shovel in Dobbies. After last year I found it heavy going clearing the drive with just a garden spade. We have had heavy snowfalls 3 winters in a row so I don't want to be caught out.

Then it was off to Dance Web Radio. I was looking forward to todays show, I had Roxy Prince from Roxy5000 on the phone and I have to say it was a brilliant interview. The guy is so talented, singer, musician, producer, songwriter he does it all. What surprises me is that he hasn't got a record deal, he does it all though social networking, and the whole project is a massive success. His music gets played all over the world (currently over 35 countries) and he has been featured heavily on Jazz FM as record of the week. Please check him out by clicking on the link and download the new single, 'Love Like a Lady'  from iTunes.
All in all it was a great afternoon on DWR, with John chatting to music legend Paul Hardcastle beforehand.

Got home about 7pm and I'm knackered.com. Tonight I watched the Korean GP that I recorded this afternoon. Well that's two hours of my life I'll never get back..... Bor-ring!




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Saturday, 8 October 2011

Waxing Gibbons

There was a story in the news a few weeks ago about a bloke who abandoned his 4x4 half way up Snowdonia after attempting to drive up it. Apparently it was on his 'bucket' list of things to do before he died.

I have no such list, but I have a list of things that I don't want to do before I pop my clogs. Here's a few with the reasons why they are on the list.

1- Skiing. When I was in my teens, we used to go dry slope skiing at Woolwich Barracks. In fact my friend Keith and I got quite good at it. The last time we went the squaddie who run the facility said he would let us join the club. At this point we both thought he meant 'Join the Army' as was our naivety, so we never went back. Since then I have never wanted to go snow skiing. Strapping two planks to my feet and hurtling down a snow covered mountain has never appealed.

2 - Parachuting. The person who said 'Why jump out of a perfectly serviceable aircraft' had a point. The nearest I got was paragliding on holiday. That was only because my friend's daughter wouldn't go on her own, so we had a tandem paraglide. Then as we were about to land her legs buckled underneath her and I was dragged on my knees across the beach. Never again.....

3 - Scuba diving. We were never meant to breathe underwater. I get panicky if I go underwater in a swimming pool, let alone the sea. I'll leave that to the Jacques Cousteaus of this world thanks.

4 - Glastonbury. I like my live music in a indoor concert venue, with access to clean toilets and a comfy bed after. I went to a gig in Findsbury park a few years ago. There was plenty of mud, violence, drugs, rain and bottles of dubious liquids being thrown about. That's the nearest I got and although the gig was good (it was Oasis) I wouldn't want to do it all weekend!



Saturday we went into town and found they had a food and drink festival in the shopping centre. Apart from the usual array of cakes, cheeses, olives, liquorice, fudge, real cider and exotic sausages there were a few weird things. Toffee Vodka, the last thing you would drink at a party when all the beer was consumed. Way too sweet! Russian cakes, including  a strange 'Starter' cake which was like a puff pastry pizza with way too many toppings. Gnocchi was a bit strange, can't say I liked it too much. We did buy some cheeses though and cheese straws from the bakery. The humungous doughnuts were tempting but I must cut down on the cake! In the bank the lady who served me turned out to be a previous owner of our house. She had it from new and lived there for years. I recognised her surname as we still get the odd junk mail addressed to her. She said she had photos of the house being built so I may contact her for copies.

We had a late lunch (or early dinner) at the local Beefeater as we were going over to Woodchurch tonight for 'International Observe the Moon Night' . OK we didn't actually see the moon, which according to sources was 'waxing gibbous'  as the clouds that came in today and stubbornly stayed put all evening. Anyhow we had a good time, a few talks and a cuppa. I always like to get together with my friends from the astro society, and we met a few prospective new members as well. 







Sunday, 2 October 2011

Its The Time of the Season....




I can't get used to this unseasonal hot weather. Your brain tells you its the height of summer, and it gets dark at 7:00pm....Spooky. One of the advantages of this weather, and the season, is I can partake in a bit of astronomy without having to put multi layers of clothing on. Also autumn/winter  is a good time for astronomers, with all our favourite objects appearing in the night sky. I also managed to borrow the astro club's PST. So I've been able to monitor the sun throughout the day.

That is really what today has been about, apart from a quick trip to Tesco for some dinner, We have really done naff all. I was thinking about going fishing, but its been so damn hot I really couldn't be arsed. I actually liked the last Dr Who of the series tonight, but they still make it too cryptic and I can see why people are switching off.  Anyway I'm going out into the garden tonight to do a bit of star-gazing with the main task of imaging Jupiter. You can see the results in the photo above. I thought I would have a crack at imaging the Andromeda Galaxy as well. Bearing in mind there was no correcting or stacking  the image and I was trusting my telescope drive to stay on target, I'm quite pleased with the result!

I was up quite early for me on a Sunday, 7:30pm. After letting out 3 cross-legged cats I made myself a coffee then sat in bed with the iPad checking on any comments on Facebook from last nights images that I posted on there. Then I showered, dressed and got ready for a trip to Asda for the weekly shop. later today I'm off to the Danceweb Studio to broadcast my sunday show. I think today's show is titled 'make it up as he goes along' day as I really don't know what to play. I'll just take a load of good tunes with me! Driving home from the studio it's amazing how many people I see driving up motorway with no lights on in twilight. If I can't see you, how are the european truck drivers? Its been a year since I was hit on the M20 in broad daylight by a driver who didn't look. Please be careful out there!!