Friday, 31 August 2007

Food Diary 24th Aug - 30th Aug 07

This is my best attempt so far at a food diary, it started off last Friday with all intentions of doing an indepth sort of a diary but after a day of it I felt that summarising each day made more sense. Bear in mind, I ought to have got a proper food diary from group but sort of wrote it straight into the computer so it's not formatted how a Slimming World consultant would want to see it!


24/08/07 Friday Food Diary:
06:00 Breakfast – two weetabix (Healthy B option), banana sliced up on top (syn-free) surrounded by Aldi Optifiit yogurt (muesli flavour also syn-free). 2 x Black coffees (free) before setting off to work

During the day:
A lot of sugar free chewing gum (back doing this since now at work again but didn’t have a lot on holiday – it was part of my stop smoking strategy that I ought to start winding down, really).
A lot of black coffee (used to take milk haven’t done in ages and after a couple of weeks I’d ‘learned’ to prefer black – now, I couldn’t drink coffee with milk).
A lot of fruit - 4 apples, 5 bananas
Optifit Yogurt at lunchtime
A Cherry and Almond Hifi bar (Healthy Option B – it’s okay!)

10:00am – tasty golden delicious apple (syn-free) and bags of healthiness built-in see earlier post on apples. Have had two black coffees so far at work – both Kenyan Dawn – very nice indeed

10:56am – had a banana! Am sure that’s in a song that used to be on a radio show I remember from when I was a kid – there’s a line in it that just goes “have a banana!” can’t remember the context but the show had a lot of wacko tracks on it. Think the show might have been called Family Favourites or Family hour or something and may have had Ed ‘Stewpot’ Stewart presenting it?
Another one you often heard on the show went something along the lines of: “Hello Mother, Hello Father, Here we are in, Camp Grenada” . That sticks in my mind after thirty odd years – powerful things words are, aren’t they? Had a quick look on the net and it’s called “Hello Mother, Hello Father” possibly by someone called Spike Jones – all the quirky lyrics are here it dates back to the early 60’s but feels older – it’s a by-gone age. Those were my childhood years in the 70s, now we’ve got some poor 11 year old kid coming home from football and getting shot dead by some brain-dead thug, you can only pray for kids today. Where’s it all going wrong and how do you fix it before we turn into America? Show us your stuff Gordon Brown, time for leadership.

12:12 Had a red apple (could have been a Braeburn – very nice and free of course).
12:54 Another banana (free)
13:40 Optifit Yogurt (free)
15:00 Hifi Bar (Healthy B option)
15:10 Another apple!
15:53 Carol S who sits a table across from me has given me another banana! It’s consumed but still free.

On the way home I take an apple and a banana too. The reason I do this is that the drive home (which is 45 minutes by car or 1hr 45mins by bike at current pace!) was a real danger area for eating junk – this way I don’t eat junk but do eat healthy free food.

Dinner: had trimmed bacon (syn-frre) and grilled Morrison Sausages Eat Smart Diet Pork Sausages (syn-free) on wholemeal with some syn-free chips. The wholemeal and the syn-free chips have a syn-value but that’s it for the whole day. Synfree chips are 8 syns on an original day. Wholemeal med sliced bread is 4 syns a slice.

Total syns 24/08/07: 16

This is the way I live now (it’s a lifestyle thing not a short “lose half a stone in ten days thing” – which is fine for you if that’s what you want but my motivation is more about getting and then staying healthy, avoiding diabetic medication and reducing hypertension medication for the long-term).

Key things are:
  • zero or very low alcohol intake
  • healthier balance of food
  • lots of exercise (compared to what I used to be doing).

    Have stopped smoking too but that was a reluctant decision brought on by family pressure and the government making me feel like a pariah – can’t remember seeing any mention of “banning smoking in public places” in their manifesto, can you?

    25/08/07 Saturday Food diary – Derby vs Birimingham day
    Breakfast – Yogurt surprise (Healthy B + Free)
    Lunch – Bacon + sausage sandwich on wholemeal medium – 8syns
    Dinner – Always have breaded cod (6.5syns) and syn-free chips (8 syns)
    Pudd: Yog surprise (healthy B + free)
    Toral syns 25/08/07:- 22.5!!!

    Now, I’ll admit Saturday looks bad. However, on a football day it used to be three pints of beer (8.5 syns x 3), a burger (12 syns minimum) and fries (medium 15.5 syns) minimum and that’d be on top of the rest of the day so that would have been 50 plus syns blown just at the football!

    26/08/07 Sunday – Car Boot sale then Wetherspoons for lunch
    Brek: Yog Surprise (free + Healthy B)
    Lunch: Mixed Grill at Wetherspoons in Uttoxeter – left the chips!
    Tea: wasn’t hungry so had Yog surprise and 4 ryvitas for no good reason.
    Syns: not many overdid the Healthy B’s so probably just the 4 ryvitas to count, call it 8?
    Total Syns 26/08/07: 8/10ish

    27/08/07 Brek: Yog surprise (Healthy B + Free)
    Did Dovedale run on bike, had apple and banana while out and about.
    Lunch – not hungry and knew barbecue approaching in the evening so had Yog surprise again to keep me going.
    Dinner – Barbecue – had a steak sandwich (8 syns for bread), three morrisons sausages (free) and some potato wedges (probably 8 syns too?)
    Syns for Bank Holiday Monday 27/08/07 was 16

    Why was that a good result?
    1. Survived a barbecue pretty well (in my view)
    2 My mum makes the best desserts on the planet and there was a choice of two beauties which I was abstemious in not partaking either of.
    3. Mum had also made these shortbread biscuits that have a layer of caramel then chocolate on top that we used to have with coffee at the end of the meal that cannot be described in mere words. I had none of those either and they are officially classified as heaven and then some.
    4. Janette bought donuts home at lunchtime – I had none of them either.

    28/08/07 Brek – Weetabix with milk! (Healthy B + Healthy A – ran out of bananas – damn those bank holiday weekends!) + apple
    Lunch: fruit all day long…
    Dinner: Bacon/Sausage on Whole Meal + SynFree Chips 16 syns
    Supper!: SultanaBran – absolutely magic new HealthyB + Milk (HealthyA)
    Fruit count 8 - Apples 5, Bananas 3
    Total syns 28/08/07 was 16

    29/08/07 Brek – Yog surprise (banana back in stock!) (Healthy B + Free x 2!)
    Dinner: Lemon Sole and Pepper Goujons and SynFree chips (8+8 I think)
    Fruit Count: Apples: 11111 Bananas: 11111
    Also had Yog surprise sans fruit before riding bike home for a bit of an energy boost (psychologically speaking!)
    Total syns 29/08/07 was 16

    30/08/07 Brek – Sultanabran (healthy a – milk, healthy b – Sultanabran)
    Fruit Count: Apples: 1111 Bananas: 111
    Dinner: Bacon/Sausage on Whole Meal + SynFree Chips 16 syns
    Supper: Yog surprise (healthy b + free + free)
    Total syns 30/08/07 was 16

Told you it'd be big. Surprising thing is the sheer amount of syns - I thought I was on about ten a day but reality was more than recommended 15 syns. No wonder my weight loss is flat-lining. Am going to read the Food Optimising book again as I can't help but think now that most of my weight loss has been through a large degree of luck and not design!

Perfect Ten.

Was late setting off this morning as was getting my moany weights stats done but in doing so have got together the perfect ten-miler cycle ride (well almost 11 but perfect 11 won't work will it?).

Fits nicely in that it's got a good combo of not too killer hills mixed with plenty of flat not to mention the fact that it puts me at the newsagents for 6:50am meaning that the Derby Telegraph is almost guaranteed to be in which makes the little lady at home most happy.
Have also found that all my Motionbased uploads are available here - just that I can't get more than the last ten in 'my activities' when I'm logged in. Which is kind of naff and am not going to pay them $13 a month for functionality that they could easily let users have for free.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Week 27 Weighin 1lb on!

Have put a pound on this week somehow. Feel like I've been good but somehow not lost anything. I was 14st 6lbs first thing in the morning which would have been a one pound loss but by time for weigh-in this had risen to 14st 8lbs which is the opposite of how weight went during the day when I set out. One thing's for sure I need to change something to get the weight going in the right way again.

Did a chart in Excel to map total weight loss against time - clearly shows that for the last few weeks my weight has pretty much flat-lined at 60lbs loss (around the 14st 7lbs) apart from that week in Mallorca. Still have ten bloomin pounds to go though.

I ought to be happy with losing over 4st but am being a 'big girl's blouse' as me mum would say! Makes me think of a Bill Hicks (r.i.p.) quote I saw recently -


"I think I've learned exactly how the fall of man occured in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, and Adam said one day, "Wow, Eve, here we are, at one with nature, at one with God, we'll never age, we'll never die, and all our dreams come true the instant that we have them."

And Eve said, "Yeah... it's just not enough is it?"


Think I'm being Eve a bit on this! Here's the full stats table:

Bloomin eck have spent half a rotten hour on this post - am losing it, I tell you!

6am and there's ten mile of road out there waiting. Catch you later. Big old food diary post this evening to come.

Links: Bill Hicks (r.i.p.) genius in a bitter and twisted way:

Job done, back to work in good time

Got up later than last week as planned, had gorgeous SultanaBran for breakfast (it's the future, I tell you). Set off at almost bang on 6am and got to the office for just before 7:45 so about the same, maybe a little quicker than last week. Good news is that I modified the route a tiny bit to miss the big hill upto Pentrich out, I'm now going up the road that takes you to Oakerthorpe a bit then turning up I think it's called Riley Lane which is a bit steep at first but not as bad as the one I used to use! So this morning's ride was non-stop all the way in if a minute or so longer! Avg speed for trip was 13.1mph which is okay over that distance on MTB gear (wait til I get a racer then you'll see some pace!). Route in all it's glory is here:

Just had a quick look at my stats for the ride and noticed top speed was 39mph which I'd imagine would be at Turnditch - might have to have another go next week to see if I can get 40mph down that hill!!

The Riley Lane Modification missing out Wood Lane (marked in red to indicate extreme steepness)!

Job's a good 'un, as they say. Also worth noting that as planned the 100mile target has been exceeded by 2 miles a couple of days early. Currently stands at 102.76miles at 13.0mph average, total of 7hrs 53mins in the saddle according to the Garmin 205, my trust cycling stat machine.

Motionbased are tight in wanting you to pay them cash to view any routes stored other than the last ten so am thinking of hosting my own routes as it's dead easy to do using GPSvisualizer and GoogleMaps and a bit of freely available webspace.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Got back, a bit slower than last time but enjoyed the view

Cycled home from work again. A bit slower - 12.6mph on average. Into a bit of a wind today and stopped to take some pics along the way so not surprised it wasn't as quick. A beautiful late summer evening it seemed daft to break my neck riding like a mad 'un. Had to have lights on for last twenty minutes which is a sign of summer's end, seems to have flown by this year.

One noticeable improvement, however, was that I rode all the way up one of the hills that I had to push on up til now. Between Blackbrook and Cowerslane there's a good mile of hill that rises 200 feet which don't sound like a lot but tell that to your knees when you get to the top! I've still not cracked the hill up through Turnditch but maybe when I'm a bit lighter and a bit fitter I'll give it a go. Am already wondering whether there's time left for one last go at it next week!

The Big Bad Hill at Blackbrook

Gradient Profile of said hill!

A balloon takes flight over Ambergate

View from the car park of the Tiger at Turnditch

A view somewhere between Pentrich and Fritchley

Wednesday lunchtime post

22 mile ride home planned
Have got the car loaded up this morning with bike, clothes, food everything I can think of for tomorrow. Am leaving car in underground car-park at work tonight (24 hour security, am not worried) then cycling home for what will probably be the last time in 2007 . The weather's definitely on the turn - it was perishing cold this morning.
Good news is that the usual 8:30 Thursday meeting has been moved to 11am so won't be in such a rush in the morning. Plan to get up at 5:00 and set off about 5:30. Bonus eh!

Does this jacket/shirt/combo work??

Ages ago I mentioned getting a jacket off ebay. This is the afore-mentioned rust coloured casual item. Apologies for the out-of-focusness of it all - PJ took the picture and he'd only just got up so I'll cut him some slack!
I'd wanted to put a poll on the front page but this blogger functionality seems not to be working properly at the moment. I'd appreciate any feedback on it - so please leave a comment if I can't get polls working.

Derby County given some stick as Blackpool rock!
Derby County, oh we do like to lose to the seaside. If I’ve heard one seaside joke today I’ve heard it three times! Thanks John, Paul and Ted, your humour is greatly appreciated (no, really). But let’s be serious DCFC need a cup run like a hole in the head. We’re throwing the Premier League away with poor defending and it sounds like we did the same last night – leading 1-0 until the 86th minute of normal time and then leading 2-1 until injury time in extra time until they equalise then out on penalties. I didn't attend in any case - I remember going to see them get beat by Grimsby a few years back and swiftly decided I'd not waste any more money on cup games (fairweather fan eh!). It all sounds very much like when Phil Brown was at the helm wonder how long it’ll be before folks are calling for Billy Davies to go?? Roll on Liverpool at the weekend am predicting a riot of goals for Derby (I can dream as well).

Listen to this man!
Heard a guy called Vint Cerf on Radio4 this morning. At last!, a Radio 4 interview with someone who is intelligent, wise and able to communicate a message despite Radio 4’s policy of trying to trap interviewees into saying something negative all the time. Vint Cerf was described on as follows: “Vint Cerf is known as one of the founder fathers of the internet and played a key role in the development of the protocols which underpin the global net. He was a founding member of the Internet Society and is Google's Chief Internet Evangelist”.
Think it was John Humphries interviewing him and saying "but shouldn’t content such as the sort of thing with guns and happy-slapping etc. etc. not be allowed on the Internet" to which the man delivered a very good discussion on the dilemmas of censorship but neatest of all was a comment along the lines of “myspace and facebook are a reflection of society, what happens in society is being reflected on the pages of myspace. You don’t fix society by fixing the reflection in the mirror”. Sort of like that but better – people listening would have got the gist – you can listen again to it on BBC’s website.

Note: the BBC’ll probably take it down in a week or so, so don’t blame me if the link stops working!!!

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Yog Surprise is Dead, Long Live Sultana Bran!

Oh dear, it could be the end of one of my staples - Yogurt Surprise. This culinary masterpiece made using Optifit Yogurt (syn-free), 2 weetabix (1 Healthy B) and a banana (syn-free) is under threat from a new kid in town! Was having a look at the list of Healthy Extras on LifelineOnline today (see the 'Eat and Slim' section)and noticed a couple of Aldi cereals that qualify as Healthy Extras. (Aldi is my favourite thrifty shop in case you didn't know!!)
So picked up a box of SultanaBran (£1.19 for 500g box) and straight away it's my new favourite. T'is sweet in the sultanas and good for you in a fibre'y way with the bran flakes (and the box says fortified with 7 vitamins and iron, you can't beat that!).

Worth noting however, I also bought 4 optifit yogurts at the same time so there's a high likelihood of Yogurt surprise making an appearance tomorrow morning!!! Also changed my plan in terms of biking to and from work tomorrow. Legs ached a bit at work today so am going to take bike on roof rack to work tomorrow morning, ride home tomorrow night and then ride back to work on Thursday morning. Have done almost exactly 20miles today with a morning and evening ride (upto 52.5 miles for the week should have 100 target done by Thursday morning).
Finally: Purchased some lemon sole and pepper goujons that looked interesting for dinner tomorrow night. Looking at Syns Online they should be 8 syns so with some tasty SynFree chips that should get my syns to be 16 same as most days it seems!

Quick update

A quick update, last week Margaret asked me to do a food diary and some more stuff about how I go about food optimising. So, as I’ve never properly done a food diary before (and if I’m honest this is only a ‘best attempt’) I thought I’d give it a go for a week. Slimming World's lifeline online website for members is bloomin brilliant in sorting out Syn Values of stuff - check it out if you're a member (you get the password from your Consultant). I've been Food Optimising by instinct (i.e. no planning but if it feels right it probably is) and this is quite a big mistake, let me tell you! am going to start planning things a bit more for the future.

If you’re Food Optimising and think you’re doing well but feel like you’re not getting the results you deserve I’d highly recommend doing a food diary – it’s been an eye-opener for me and no mistake! I thought I was on next to no Syns but in fact I'm consistently above the recommendation of 15 syns per day!

Syn usage summary so far!
Friday 24-08-07 16 syns
Saturday 25-08-07 22.5 syns!
Sunday 26-08-07 8 sys - funny sort of a day.
Monday 27-08-07 16 syns

This is the interim update, a really big post is likely to be put up on Friday unless I get a serious editing head on beforehand! Watch this space!

Cycling Mileage so far: 42.5 miles (am planning to cycle to and from work tomorrow which should be fun! normally I split it over an evening and the following morning).

Monday, 27 August 2007

270807 Dovedale Ride in the Morning

Dovedale early in the morning

Am lucky to live right on the edge of some of the most beautiful landscapes anywhere. In about twenty minutes on the bike I can get to Dovedale, Ilam and Bloor which give you some of the very best views you'll see anywhere. I did a fourteen miler this morning after the usual yogurt surprise and black coffee for brek. Click on any of the pics below to get the original hi-res versions (note: you can do this on any pics on my blog). Have also posted the route onto which unlike don't deny you access to your contents when you have more than ten routes uploaded. Bloomin eck the makers if EveryTrail are already moving onto the next thing. is a GeoTagged photo thing of some cleverness (i.e. am not quite sure what the point of it is as yet but am going to keep an eye on it!!). So posted the route with some pics on their too. Link is here.

Paul at the real gateway to Dovedale! (Ashbourne has 'Gateway to Dovedale' on it's signage)

This windy hill looks sort of flat in the picture but it's a beast, honest!

A moody looking Dovedale - with a bit of fire that could be Mordor in the distance!!

This is the river dove that inspired Izaak Walton the author of 'Compleat Angler', there's a hotel nearby named after him.

I've been meaning to do a ride in and out of Dovedale for ages, simply because when I was in the band all those years ago (see got to get rhythm post) we camped in Dovedale and I thought it'd be nice to cover the old ground. We got chucked out of a pub somewhere round here which I think was the Dog and Partridge at Thorpe, the landlord took exception to being told his beer tasted like cow manure (nice one, Jonny!).

Check out Captain Grumpy at the top of the hill, ticker doing about 200 beats per minute and Ipod headphones not even plugged in properly!
Anyway, have got a load more pictures which I'm going to get posted up on's website when I get a moment. Link to

Sunday, 26 August 2007

260807 - Cycling Stats to follow

Cycling stats for last week. Steady increase in avg speed maintained. Slightly more mileage this week but not going to alter target of 100 miles per week.

Below is a summary of last week using Garmin's training center software. I'm going to have to work our what's wrong with the calories figure which seems to make no sense at all. 1700 cycling to work and 1100 coming back - how does that calculate??

260807 Funny sort of a Sunday

Funny sort of a day - got up earlyish, had ususal yogurt surprise for brek, did about 10 miles on bike or so which was okay. We had said we were going to Alstonefield to a car boot sale (yes, they still have them even with Ebay and what have you, the car boot is going strong!). We got a few bargains, PJ is building a model stealth bomber as I type this in, and I got some three A4 picture frames for a pound (a pound!) so have been doing a collage of Mallorca pictures in them - good stuff, if a little time consuming.

Lunchtime, we went to a wetherspoons that's opened in Uttoxeter. Wetherspoons is a pub chain that do very, very competitive pricing on food and drink to the extent that you might call them cheap. In my view it'd be a mistake to call them that because the service is actually very good, Phil fancied sausage and mash but had a bit of thing about them doing some funny gravy with it according to the menu, so we said this to the gal taking the order and she said we can do normal gravy in a jug for him if that'd be okay - all this goes into some sort of computer system so I'd imagine there's some sort of narrative to allow them to add notes to each item on an order - very good anyway. I had a mixed grill and left the chips - gammon, beef, pork, lamb and sausage most of which I'd say were in the main free on an original day and veg of course. Lucy had chicken nuggeta which is pretty run of the mill kids stuff but they upped the ante here as well though, in giving kids a little Del Monte bag of apple slices and grapes (which as Lucy didn't want - I took care of). Great. All good stuff - Wetherspoons are also very good at low-cost alcohol which is a shame as I had diet pepsi (they don't do coke and they don't do fanta I found). The kids had sticky toffee pudding which Janette helped them finish off, they looked absolutely gorgeous but not going there.

We got home and I went to see if I could get some ultimate free food - blackberries. I think I'm probably a week early as I only managed to get a tub full and that was after bombing all over the shop on the bike (well just under 3 miles) - will have another crack next week.

Finally, went golfing for the first time in August and was pleasantly surprised. Hit the ball further than ever have done which resulted in two bogies, 1 birdie and six pars for the nine holes played. Quite a refreshing change!!!

Didn't really have tea as such. Had another yogurt surprise, 4 ryvitas,an apple and a nana and at 9pm am about ready for bed. Am just going to put a cycling post up for weekly stats which I'll update in the morning then so to bed!

Saturday, 25 August 2007

DCFC 1 Birmingham 2 - we suck!

Oh no, it's as I feared, we're rubbish! This was without doubt the worst performance I've seen from a Derby County side ever. And that includes a 3-1 drubbing from a rubbish Millwall side over the Xmas period a few years back. Click on the picture at the bottom to understand just how bad it was - we were 1-0 down before there was a minute on the clock! We just opened up and give 'em a goal. Matt Oakley gets one back and you think game on! Then we do the same thing let em walk through and score. It was pitiful.

And how's this for tactical genius, we're 2-1 down with ten/fifteen minutes left to go, who do you put on when you need a goal? You guessed it Darren Leacock a full-back?? Not going to lose sleep on it though, even if we get relegated at the end of the season we'll still be a league above Forest!

Think Billy Davies has got found out in this league, he made some funny decisions last season but he buys a record transfer fee striker then leaves him on the bench for most of the games - what's the thinking there??

Paul outside Pride Park - smiling cause the game's not started yet!

Phil in jazzy England shirt outside Pride Park

Click on the photo to see 0-1 down in first minute, dire!

250807 Biking Stats Sat morning - need to know how to use Garmin!!!

Went on a nippy little ride this morning. Only problem was the bike computer hadn't cleared out last night's ride so the map on motionbased ain't exactly right!! Anyway I did a solid 18 odd miles that had loads of hill climbs so real good stuff for building strength in the legs.

Stats are looking good too - total mileage 122 at 13.3mph avg - have deleted the 7 miler on Janette's bike when it broke down - am dropping it off at Lumbards this morning. Might top up the mileage tonight a bit as well and start making up for not recording mileage in Mallorca (just a distant dream now!!)

Think the calories burned thing's a right load of old rubbish though - am going to have to read manual and see what the theory behind it is. I know that the Garmin knows my weight and weight of bike, my age but is that enough with distance to get an accurate'ish estimate of calories burned, I wonder?

Friday, 24 August 2007

Blimey, A week to find some rhythm!

Went up town tonight on the bike, had to post off another package - two in same day! Sort of bumped into Jon Bigland who was the guitarist in the band I was in for many years and whom I hold responsible for the deafness I got in one ear - Big Lix.

It's JB's 40th Bash next Saturday and he's getting all the old bands back together, I was in a band with Jon 25 years ago called Amethyst so it's going to be interesting to see all the old guys back together again.

The band 25 years ago - we rocked, I think I was 15 but may well have been 12!!!!

Paul in 1982!!

Only downside to this is that I've got to learn how to play drums again in a hurry - never mind should be just like riding a bike - and am getting dead good at that!!!

JB aged about 15 at Turnditch Village Hall

More Weight Loss Content Coming Soon!!!

A great friend Margaret posted a comment on my blog this morning that's made me think the blog is getting a bit too much bike orientated (Margaret didn't say that but I was thinking it already) and is losing a bit of the weight loss focus. I've pasted the comment at the bottom but just to give you a flavour of what to expect I've been doing a food diary with syn values today and everything for the pretty much the first time ever properly (bloomin syn values are worrying let me tell you!!!!!)

Obviously I can't possibly post that food diary until tomorrow (I might succomb to digestive temptation) so in the meantime why not check out Margaret's own blog at:-

Margaret's comment to my posting about biking from Clifton to Somercotes was:-

Margaret said...
I'm so impressed Paul. I didn't even know there was a 0430! What time do you go to bed? With all this exercise, (and I know you eat loads and loads of Free Food) but how many Syns do you allow yourself each day? We all want to know these details please? Can you keep us updated on your food diary, or is this asking too much? You could take photographs of the food too! For some people it's as fascinating as those glorious green fields of my homeland of Derbyshire. Seriously though, the pictures you take just make your blog so great and I for one want to thank you. Great job in so many ways Paul. x

>> All answers to follow in the next few days!!!

240807 Guilty as Charged!!

Been quite a fuss about the arrest of a chap who ‘piggy-backed’ onto an unsecured wireless lan connection i.e. got free wireless internet with his laptop in the street by using someone's wireless network that hadn't been properly secured. Now, I can think of at least two occasions where I’ve done exactly this (once sat on a bench on Paseo Del Mar, Palma Nova for example!!)

Question is why don’t I feel like a wrong-doer??

Well, have a look at this link below on the BBC website. I think it’s nicely summed up in the following phrase “It is a bit like reading your book from the light coming out from someone's window” - Julian Baggini

At the same time, I’m not at all sure whether I’m right to feel that way – my own wireless network isn’t locked down but the computers are if you know what I mean. I don’t think I’d make a big deal of someone occasionally borrowing a bit of my bandwidth? But at the same time there’s a monthly fee being paid and someone sat piggy-backing off it would be benefiting at no cost at all? Blimey, it’s a moral dilemma what!!

Link to article on BBC:

240807 A little late but better than never!!!

A little late in updating this morning. Got up a little late, changed my plans a bit after checking my email and got back from biking a little late after setting off a litte late!! Consequently this post will be done proper either lunchtime or at the end of the day!!!

Lunchtime catchup - only did about six and half miles this morning. I sell big hats on Ebay. Not the sort you see on lady's day at Ascot these are hats for people with big heads, the cranially endowed if you will - they're XXL or XXXL sized (size 8 in old money if you understand hat sizes in a modern 'one size fits all' world).

One of my xxl/xxxl baseball caps - for the cranially endowed brainboxes of this earth is how I markets 'em!!

Why? Because I couldn't get one that fit my big bonce for love or money in the UK but you can in the US. My head is 62cm in circumference which has caused me problems in the past - (donkey's years ago I was asked to do a spoof 'full monty' with some guys from work at a big do (and believe me it was a big do!) , so we had to get a sort of military uniform which meant the peaked military hat - could we get one to fit, could we eck!). Digression over.

One of my highly stylish bucket hats modeled by mesen on the hills of Costa Den Blanes, great sun protection if you got a big head!

So I import them in quantities of about 3 dozen which makes it worthwhile. If you buy just one or two of these hats singly from the U.S. it makes for very expensive hats and these aren't expensive hats you see (you wouldn't pay £20 for them), they're just baseball caps or the sun-protecting bucket hats that you may have seen a pictures of me in if you've looked at my blog before!

Paul cycling in red-hot Mallorca in XXL/XXXL Red Baseball cap

The ebay biz makes diddly-squat money after Ebay, Paypal, Customs and Excise have their cut, but does get me the odd hat for less and makes loads of people happy – check the feedback for folks who've never been able to get a hat that fits and now can.

It works well into my lifestyle now, in that I can use Royal Mail's brilliant online postage printing system to print the equivalent of stamps, package up the hat and then cycle up and post it off whether it's middle of the night or 6:30 in the morning. Am not reliant on Post Office being open and that's got to be a good thing - well done, Adam Crouzier - you might be seriously overpaid but you done good with Online Postage in my view.

I've got a little mailing list of folks who've bought hats off me or expressed an interest and when I've got a thousand of them I might buy in a bigger quantity and then maybe make a modest profit on the job!

Have a look at my High-Tech Mega Hat emporium(!) :

The cycle ride (short and sweet):

Royal Mail Postage Online:

Thursday, 23 August 2007

230807 Bakewell Church - Aunty Zill

My Aunty Zill's funeral today at Bakewell, she was married to my uncle Keith for 40 years until he died in 2003. A lovely service on a really nice afternoon. Until today I was never sure it was her real name but on the order of service it said "Zillah Maureen Mosley 1932-2007". Pretty name, lovely person, rest in peace.

230807 Clifton - Somercotes - Even Quicker!

Got up at 4:30, no problem, had a big brek, hit the road at 5:20 got to the office for about 7:10ish (will look at when have downloaded the Garmin for exact figures).

Cool thing is that on thursday morning I'm already at 94.55 miles for the week! Another wierd thing is that it's 1700 calories burnt coming to work and only 1164 going home - wonder what that's all about?

Faster than last time (avg of 12.9mph over 22.5 miles non-stop is good on mountain bike gear in my view), definitely fitter, only pushed for a short distance on that dead steep bit heading up into Pentrich and then rode the rest of the hill. Didn't even stop for a break.

Derbyshire waking up, view from Turnditch.

Another shot of Derbyshire, early doors!


Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Week 26 - Back to 14st 7lbs! Well Happy

Lost 3lbs since weighed a fortnight ago in Mallorca (didn't weighin during second week of holiday as was at House of Katmandu - posted about it last week). Which, with drinking on quite a few occasions, big meals on quite a few occasions, ice cream and all manner of junk that I don't touch normally ('new normal' not 'old normal'!) is a good start. Have done a big bike ride tonight and will be doing the same at 5am tomorrow going the other way so am burning a lot of calories too (1164 according to Garmin Training Center - how does it work it out I wonder???) .

Blood pressure ten reading average (didn't take blood pressure monitor to Spain so it goes back a bit) is 125.3/76.9 so up a bit.

Looks like not much happened since end of June but... stopped smoking on 2nd July, went on hols for two weeks in spain with additional alcohol so am not disappointed an in any case 4st 4lbs in six months is alright with me!

Focus now is to get another 3.5lbs off which would make my overall weight 199.5 lbs which would be another sort of a landmark passed. Think it's going to take two weeks though so am not holding my breath.

220807 Alfreton to Ashbourne in under 2 hrs - well pleased!

Been back about ten minutes or so, got me tea on. Downloaded the Garmin! Got back a solid 35 minutes quicker than back in June so must be a bit fitter! Note - ignore the 1:42:55 time to do 22.5 miles - that doesn't include stops - it was more like 1:55 stops included. In June I set off at 5:30 and got back just gone in time for Lucy's bedtime story at 8:00.

Blimey England Friendly v Germany on Telly too - Bonus!

220807 Planning a big un

Done a shorter run today but much hillier, building up strength in them legs. Have put bike on roof rack and going to ride home tonight and back to work in morning. It's about 26 miles so will be interesting to see how I get on - I did back in June in National Cycle Week. Have done a couple of very hill climby type rides last night and this morning in prep. Also getting a better handle on Garmin Software - it summarise periods look - 49.9 miles since sunday - might delete the cruddy ride on Janette's bike and get me average up! - all coming along nicely. Also weighed 14st 6lbs when left work last night so everything on track and then some!!

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

210807 Motion Based - Blimey!!!

Garmin are also big on a web-based publishing thing for routes and Garmin users - it's kind of added value if you buy Garmin product. They have this brill connector whereby it 'pulls' the data from your computer or the edge itself (am still learning remember) and then processes it online. The cool thing though is that it knows the wind-speed somehow??? Awesome!

Don't know if you can go straight to the link:

210807 Morning Ride

Out with the Garmin again, hit road about 6:10, pounded ten miles plus and back before 7:00, well happy apart from messing with and stuff when need to be getting ready for work!

Will update later, speed slightly up on yesterday even though was into a nasty wind - will post later and tell you about change in technique!

Training Session 210807 Morning
Click on pic for a bigger view!

Monday, 20 August 2007

200807 Great News - Bike Back in Business

Rang Lumbards up who are fixing my bike, John who's returned off his hols (see post from a fortnight ago) has stripped the bottom bracket and fixed the whole thing for the princely fee of just £17!, well chuffed!

The bearings were absolutely shattered on one side and the axle needed replacing. So picked it up just before they closed. And took it out for a spin with the Garmin on board. Did a route that I've decided will be officially called TourDeAshbourne on the Garmin. It kind of goes down towards Mayfield, through Okeover Park, Mappleton round to the start of the Tissington Trail, down through the railway tunnel, out past Ashbourne Leisure Centre, round station street, up the main street of Ashbourne past the Green Man and the bottom of Buxton Hill. Then go past the rec and up towards Queen Elizabeths Grammar School, back into town, down Buxton Hill, turn right past the George, up the big hill, then down the super steep hill (35mph max) back through Mappleton, Okeover Park and back to home.

Anyway at the end of the week I should have sussed the Garmin out proper. Am going to do same route again in morning.

200807 Better Than Expected

Just had a quick check on the scales at work - 14st 9.5lbs. So have only put three pounds on, I think.

Will have a look later and see what it does, got up at 5:30 this morning and walked/ran for and hour and a quarter. Made a bit of a cockup in the planning department due to not doing much walking as prefer to cycle given choice I found I was a good mile and half from home with only fifteen minutes left of exercise time so had to run the last bit. I put the route into to see how far it was - it came out walked at 7.58 kilometers or 4.71 miles which in an hour and ten minutes is not too bad

Route put together using

Am going to check out FrankKinlan's tutorial on doing courses later this week am still getting my head round the software.

Coming home update - had a quick weigh before I came out - weight down to 14st 8lbs so now the damage is about a pound and a half! Am unbelievably pleased! In a week or so I'll be back to where I was pre-hols which is grand!

Sunday, 19 August 2007

190807 Garmin Update

Took Janette's bike out for a spin tonight to have a quick play with the Garmin Edge 205. Had read the manual while coming home on the plane - very dull read. For those not in the know - the Edge 205 is a gps based logging device for recording bike data in order for you to monitor and improve one's performance on bikes and what have you. The Edge comes with some software called Training Center and while I don't know the half of what it does I'm well impressed so far. The graph in the bottom shot shows where all the fast bits were on tonights short route (Janette's bike is too small and kills my knees!), when you click on a spike it shows you on the map above it where that bit of speed came on the run - blooming magic - well impressed so far - just wait til I understand how you use the information!! - I know it also does gradient profiling so I'll have a look at that tomorrow night maybe.

Don't expect too many cycling posts this week - Janette's rear derailleur's gone dodgy and my bike is in the repair shop - I seem to be forever picking a bike up and dropping one off at the repair shop - Lombards Garage in Ashbourne by the way. No website link for them but they're on Compton in the middle of Ashbourne should you need anything cycle related while in town.

Chartered a boat, first attempt at bike hire

Now am back in UK can get pics of Janette's camera. I mentioned in an earlier post about visting Puerto Portals and Mallorca Sea School and Charters, who do RYA training and hiring of very posh yachts and what have you. Well I charted a self-propelled, low carbon footprint beauty for myself one day last week. Fully equipped with potential for four passengers (two of whom have to pedal like stink) it set me back the a whole 10 odd euros for an hour - good fun I thought.

Paul, Phil and Lucy take to the sea.

Also didn't mention this in earlier posting but before I got the usage of Mike the Bike, I actually hired a beast of a vehicle! Again, low carbon footprint, seating for two and two very small uns can sit up front as well! Heavy as anything and a max speed of about 8 miles per hour I reckon. Wouldn't recommend for long distances!! Although - the Chuckle Brothers always use one and they tour all over the U.K. - top entertainment for young and old alike although I missed their show this year through illness (think it was around Easter time when they did Derby Assembly Rooms).

Paul in a chucklemobile - photo credit to P.J. Siddall


Not in Kansas Anymore

Was it all just a dream?? Got back to UK this afternoon to this:-

That's the view out the passenger side of the windscreen on the A50 coming back from East Midlands. We were doing 40 mph and the wipers were on full and still not clearing the screen. Amazing. Can't believe yesterday it was 30 degrees in the shade and today it's 17 degrees and umbrella weather!! The flight was a bit of a bad un as well - storms over Barcelona meant there was lumpy air all over the place. Seatbelts on for ages and ages. Ah well, such is life - back to work tomorrow - respite from them kids at last!!

190807 Adios Amigo

Well, today it's farewell to Spain,
which is a bit of shame,
cause back home there's rain.

We've had a lovely time out here, seen a lot of new places and faces. But ... I bet I've gained more than the half stone I'd set out to so from today it's back to Food Optimising big style!!

Am not even going to mention Derby's 4-0 drubbing yesterday. But did get to Golf Fantasia Crazy Golf last night to finish off what we started a few nights ago but got rained off (in Spain, I ask you?). An update will follow but suffice it to say my putter was hot!!!

I think it's worse the day before you fly back when you've got all the cleaning and finishing off of stuff to do, duty frees to buy (have I mentioned that I've survived a fortnight in Spain without a ciggie??). Seems right that the picture's a bit grey, matches my mood! It'll be red hot in a few hours though!

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