Bellerophon symbol, variation 7
Thursday 1st February 2007

Hello. I was about to start writing something here when I realised, "wrong month," for this is February. Had some fireplace dude round tonight (John Spendlove), checking out my chimney and what-not. Made us kind of realise that a fire basket (although John used a different term, dog something) might not be the best option, given our situation. They also not very efficient. A wood-burning stove is around 75% efficient. Hmmmmm. So yeah . . . Recently I've also been rewriting my web-site into PHP, but also transferring all file storage (weblog entries and comments) into a new database. I'm not sure why I'm doing this, it's probably sensible though. It ain't finished yet neither. Still some work to do. Good thing about having it all in a database, of course, is that it can all be monitored and administered remotely. That's gotta be a good thing, surely.

Friday 2nd February 2007

It's been a day of accidents. This morning, I received a panicked phone call from M******, for A****** had had an altercation with an ironing board, resulting in two cut fingers and blood, blood, blood. I hurried home and we involved our neighbour, Tony, he having far more first-aid experience than either of us two. The bleeding was ceased with elevation and compression and four carefully applied plasters then finished the job off. Later on (about a quarter to nine), I'm on my way to my parents, to drop off some birthday presents. I'm zooming down Bowerham Road, probably around about 23/24 mph (I would usually be going much faster but, thank god, problems with my rear dereilleur cable meant trouble engaging those higher gears), rapidly approaching the junction where Bowerham Road becomes Barton Road (pretty much at the centre of this). I have right of way, naturally, and a car emerging to turn right from the junction I'm approaching would have to cross my path. I see a car get to the top of Bowerham Road, waiting to turn right, giving way, as you would, and I assume they've stopped, having seen me. But no. The car pulls out, perhaps with the driver having underestimated my speed. Things happen rather quickly at this point. I think my thoughts were to brake and try to bear left. I thought of inertia and regardless of my actions, I was gonna hit the drivers side of this car, so best just to go along with it, minimise damage. Looking at my front wheel and the damage to my bike (and the car), I reckon my bike forks were the first to come into contact with the car, via the panel above the driver's side wheel arch. I'm not too sure what happened next, but I remember rolling to the ground, getting up and thinking, "Blimey, that hurt." To cut a long and frankly dull story short, we (it was a young lady driver with a similar aged male passenger) exchanged details and she gave me a lift back, the ruined bike having been dismanted slightly. So yeah . . . Bike's a write-off, leg's are bruised but still function and the police are popping round tomorrow. I didn't know until tonight, but any kind of road traffic accident on the Queen's highways involving injury must be reported to the police, and this report must be taken by an officer face-to-face with the injured. So there you go.

Saturday 3rd February 2007

So today was fun. What is wrong with this lap-top? It feels like there's some gelatinous matter stuck somewhere underneath the keyboard, moving around from key to key. Anyway. Some police officer dude was meant to be coming round some time this morning (no later than 2pm, I told them), but I thought a hospital A&E visit would be prudent, now that my bruised knees had had a night to sleep on it. Saturday morning seemed like a good time to visit A&E and certainly much better than Friday night. Nose bleeds and drunkards, sobbing, malevolence, confusion and general bad feelings. I didn't wanna be a part of that again. Saturday morning at the infirmary - it was dead. When I arrived (along with M****** and A******) we were the only ones in the reception area and I was seen to within a couple of minutes. I was seen by someone called Gill and, after waiting about five minutes, a GP (?!) called Howard, who moved my legs around, poked the knee-caps and stuff. Howard ordered an x-ray, so off we went. Gonad guards. The x-ray room had pinned to the wall various gonad guards, of different sizes. I needed not such things as the x-ray to my left knee seemed quite localised. The x-ray machine was made by Siemens. I handed in the x-rays and following a lengthy wait (30/40 minutes) was seen again by the previous GP who explained the results of the x-ray: no obvious fracture, but substantial internal blood/fat/muscle swelling or something. Gill had told me to go straight to the police station when I was done, so this we did. I spent ages waiting around in reception at the police station. M****** and A****** went home, and I rang 'em when I was done. After waiting what seemed like one hour (fortunately I had brought along Philip Pullmans's 'Northern Lights' with me), I spent no more than five minutes with an officer who merely took the details of the driver (given the number plate, they had all the information they needed - M****** had explained this to me before), informed me I had a legitimate claim for compensation and such like and confirmed what I already knew about insurance protocol. They had given me a compress (?!) and a modern splint (two metal bars at the back of the leg, wrapped around with fabric and velcro) at hospital and recommended rest and ibuprofen, so this I did. But no advice was given about walking or how long and how often the splint should remain attached. I am in no pain, just discomfort. Hmmmmm. We had dinner at Helen and Stu's in the evening, which was good.

Sunday 4th February 2007

Woke up today thinking, "Blimey, my leg don't feel so bad now," which got me to wondering, "I wonder how long I need to keep this splint on for? Is it wrong to be walking?" It seemed odd that those two questions were not addressed the previous day at the infirmary. I rang A&E and was told to keep the splint on for as long as possible. So today was a bit dull: keeping the leg propped up, playing on the lap-top, watching television. It all got a bit samey after a while. Oh yes, if you're called Matthew and were once my line manager: the gear shifters are intact (right brake lever not so), so they'll be coming off and going on the new bike. Even if you're not, that previous statement still holds, but it probably won't mean much.

Monday 5th February 2007

. . . various pictures of ruined bicycle.
This is all very strange. I've finally transferred everything over to a new PHP-based web-site, with comments and entries now stored in a database. This is good in many ways, I guess, but now it means I need to create some way of creating and modifying weblog entries. I haven't really thought about this yet. Erm . . .

. . . although I suppose I could just create a new entry rather than modifying the previous one. I think.

Tuesday 6th February 2007

Too many films in close succession
Tonight (well, Monday night) I did see a film called Saw, which I enjoyed, not least because it featured Ben from Lost. I followed this film with 'Children of Men', which annoyed me. It annoyed me on many levels and so I began to wonder whether it was the fact that I had just seen a film that night that meant the second film was so annoying or whether it was just an annoying film. Let me explain: when your car windscreen shatters into hundreds of pieces, you don't expect it to get magically replaced without the assitance of some kind of car glazier or whatever. And also . . . even if I had never rowed a boat before, I would assume that a rowing boat just doesn't stop because one of the passengers shouts out, "Oh look, the buoy!" . . . and also, if you've just given birth to a baby in an environment with limited child-care facilities, how about doing a bit of breast-feeding, maybe? Just an idea. So, yes, the film annoyed me. I couldn't take it seriously.

The web-bots strike
Today I had another day off work on account of left leg requiring further rest. I've tried sitting down at a desk (as I would at work) for periods of time, but the pain/discomfort gets too much after 20/30 minutes, and I have to go and straighten leg again and sit differently somewhere else. Hmmmm. So. As may be evident from the statistics page, my web-site seems to have become very popular with the search engine web-bot things ever sinced I changed my web-site to a PHP-based thing rather than PERL-based. I've no idea why that should be (I wonder if it's because the script runs faster, and therefore able to handle more requests?). Today has been rather dull on account of reduced mobility. I grew weary of the day time TV long ago. I can't stand all those stupid adverts for loans, typically shot in shades of blue/grey during the period of financial woe and then switching to over-satured colour once Carol Vorderman has appeared explaining some marvellous 7.4% APR loan to consolidate all your existing loans (home owners only though). I watch these adverts and keep thinking, "If you can't afford it, then don't buy it. And what on earth are you doing with a store card? Do you have any kind of idea what the interest rate is on those things?"

Window on Your World
At last! My photo has appeared.

Thursday 8th February 2007

Paint fumes make your throat sore. Discuss.
Don't think I have much to report. Been back at work today and, in the evening, was doing more painting around the house. It's the oil-based stuff, which stinks on many levels - the paint itself and the products used to clean up the brushes afterwards. Nasty. With A****** and M****** away, now is the ideal time, of course, to fill the house with horrible paint fumes. Only, I look around, and there is still a lot to do. New bike was ordered yesterday. Exact same make and model as the old one, only this is a 2007 version. Halford's said they would ring when it turned up. Apparently the bike I ordered was the last one available before Diamondback were to discontinue that range.

Saturday 10th February 2007

img_0746.jpgimg_0754.jpgimg_0755.jpg I took loads of pictures but most of them were blurred or rubbish. As are these three, but I wanted too see how difficult it was to import pictures using my new MySQL/PHP-based web-site thing. Hmmmm. The answer is: a lot more difficult. This is gonna need some work. Oh, and my keyboard arrived today (well yesterday, actually, but I wasn't able to collect it from the Royal Mail sorting office until today); a far superior replacement to the horrendous Apple Mac thing I had before, but then I think any standard 104+ button keyboard would be preferable. It bugged me that loads of keys were either missing or labelled with some bizarre symbol. So yeah . . . this keyboard also has the bizarre USB ports on each side, that seem nigh-on useless as not enough power is provided to USB devices via these ports. Oh well. None of that matters, though, for it GLOWS.

Wednesday 14th February 2007

Blood, flesh and bones
Today I did go back to Lancaster Infirmary, so that they could do a check-up on my knee. The consultant who attended to me (after about an hours wait) didn't have my x-rays to hand and wasn't entirely sure of the circumstances surrounding my accident, so I filled in the details. After a bit of twisting and poking around of my left leg ("Nope, that doesn't hurt either") he mentioned needles and something about sucking (or whatever) the blood out from behind the swollen knee-cap. This freaked me out a bit, but then he went away to check with his manager whether this was a good idea or not. Whilst he was away, I gradually came round to the idea of this relatively minor operation, and was almost disappointed when he came back and informed me that it wouldn't be necessary after all. Ah well. Another appointment made a fortnight hence, and continued wearing of splint recommended. Hobble back to work.

Thursday 15th February 2007

Minor changes made to, erm, something . . . oh yes, I remember. Austria Tom suggested 'next' and 'previous' stylee buttons/links for the images, so this I have done. I've also thrown in a link to show a random image (which may not necessary be linked to from the web-site) and another link to try to place that image within the context of an entry somewhere in my web-site (might not always work though).

Friday 16th February 2007

boxing A******
img_0885.jpgimg_0905.jpg blurry pictures of A****** in a cardboard box that has recently been emptied. Yep - we're still emptying cardboard boxes. I think this one would have contained loads of strange sheets and towels, now resting in a pile in the spare bedroom. Hmmmmm.

Saturday 17th February 2007

img_0921.jpgimg_0922.jpgimg_0923.jpgimg_0924.jpgimg_0925.jpgimg_0929.jpgimg_0930.jpg Today M****** and I went to Glenridding, staying at the, er . . . 'Inn on the Lake' hotel. I would put a link in somewhere, but it's really not necessary. We dropped off A****** at Helen/Stu's place at around one o'clock and then I instructed M****** on what route to take. The exact destination was a surprise, you see. So after what seemed like a scary journey along the A592, we did all the checking-in stuff and then had a wander around outside. img_0937.jpgimg_0933.jpgimg_0932.jpg As you may have spotted in the past, I have a bit of a thing for large, still expanses of water so, of course, I had to take loads of pictures of Ullswater itself. Erm . . . and stuff, more stuff.
img_0940.jpgimg_0942.jpgimg_0947.jpg So yeah . . . we must have got to the hotel at about 3pm-ish. We've recently been talking about getting some kind of decent picture of somewhere in the Lakes to hang on our, erm, living room wall. Yes, we read the Guardian and shop at Sainsbury's. I feel like I'm turning into some kind of stereotype. Of course, my pictures are never good enough, says M******. Too grainy, too blurry, the wrong light, bad lens flare . . . maybe M****** has a point: the camera ain't brilliant, after all.
img_0954.jpgimg_0953.jpgimg_0952.jpgimg_0950.jpgimg_0949.jpgimg_0948.jpg . . . but then I never bought it thinking about the quality of the images; I bought my Canon Ixus II because of its size (TINY!), the freaky rechargeable battery (i.e. not AA), the memory card thing . . . maybe something else. I dunno. What was I on about? So yeah . . . we're taking these pictures but it's probably all in vain; we'll probably just buy something done professionally in the end. I don't know. I don't see what wrong with these images, the odd one or two. I mean, it's not like anyone's going to be peering really close at the print, going, "Blimey! What kind of resolution is your camera? This picture's all . . . urrrgghh . . . pixellated or something. It's making me feel angry. VERY ANGRY. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. STUPID PEOPLE!!! AAAARRRRRGGHHHH!"
img_0955.jpgimg_0956.jpgimg_0957.jpgimg_0958.jpgimg_0959.jpg So yeah . . . that was nice. We then went to the adjoining pub, something like the 'Ramblers Bar' or similar. This had the advantage that we didn't need to hand over any money - just show 'em some kind of receipt thingy the receptionist had given me and sign for the beer. Dinner that night was fantastic, although the atmosphere was a bit on the quiet side. The volume of the music was such that M****** felt self-conscious about speaking too loud and everyone else hearing her conversation or something. This wasn't a problem for me. I just carried on talking as normal, oblivious to the world around me. Is that wrong of me?

Sunday 18th February 2007

img_0961.jpgimg_0962.jpgimg_0963.jpgimg_0964.jpg The curtains were quite thick/heavy in our hotel room and, there being no A******, there was nothing to wake us up, save for breakfast and checking-out. We awoke at 09:58 that morning. Breakfast finished at 10am. Grrrrr. I rang up reception but they merely confirmed what I already knew: we had missed breakfast. So that was slightly annoying, but not the end of the world. img_0969.jpgimg_0966.jpgimg_0965.jpg We leisurely got ourselves ready and packed up, taking some more pictures outside (that's not to say we physically moved some photographs from the hotel to outside the hotel, but rather that we . . . oh, you know what I mean). After checking-out, we drove to Grasmere to get some lunch and just have a bit of a wander, really.

Tuesday 20th February 2007

nothing much . . . I've been messing around with loads of the code underneath all this, trying to simplify the means by which I can update entries. The aim: create and edit entries from any web browser (given the correct log-in details, of course).

Thursday 22nd February 2007

I probably shouldn't be spending too much time on my web-site over the next few months. M****** and I have finally decided to take some kind of structured, organised approach to the house and all the work it requires. This means devoting a couple of hours every evening (within reason) to completing some small task, such as sanding a door-frame, painting a ceiling, removing some wallpaper . . . whatever. My rationale being far better to achieve many small tasks than doing nothing at all, as is the present system. Right. Better get on then . . .

Saturday 24th February 2007

Bile, blood and bicycles
Last night I was writing a dull, rambling entry about how Homeserve (I don't know what they do - something to do with drains and gutters (?!)) had set up a Direct Debit on my account without my permission. Must of this entry was lost on account of a little bug in my script that meant it didn't like £ signs. I think we're okay now. So yeah . . . they had set up a Direct Debit, without my permission. Very naughty. This despite repeated assurances that no such thing would ever happen. When I went through to some customer advisor about getting the money refunded he actually tried to do the sales pitch about their drainage insurance coverage or some such. I told him as politely as I could that I had no interest in dealing with a company that saw fit to set up Direct Debits on my account without my permission. So yeah . . . that was fun. Friday night I collected my new bike, not that I'm really in a fit state to use it . . . I guess. There's now a strange fluid quite close underneath the skin around my right knee-cap. I'm not sure when that started. It's kinda fun poking it, as you can see all these ripples and waves of undulating blood/fluid/whatever moving around underneath the skin.

He walks among us, but he is not one of us
Today M****** did get a train to Manchester (girls' night out), so A****** and I got on with more house decorating. Well, A****** helped in a manner. Finally removed all the old wallpaper from the kitchen (the kitchen is probably the least decorated room of all of them, it having much exposed, bare plaster), then cleaned the walls, removing the last bits of detritus . . . then let it dry. I've applied some paint (as a test), but I guess I really should have sealed the plaster with something. Hmmmmm. Also just finished watching 'A History of Violence' which was . . . interesting. Just been reading the reviews on Amazon, which kind of hit the nail on the head - good old Aragorn was definitely fascinating to watch in this film. After that seemingly dreadful film Viggo did after Lord of the Rings with all those horses (yeah, okay, so I never actually watched it), I was worried that he would forever be famous as nothing more than Aragorn, but perhaps not after all.
The title for this entry came from a supposed translation of the tattoo on Jack's arm in Lost, the latest episode (where are we now? series 3? episode 9?). The line has a resonance about it, but I'm not sure why. It's probably the same resonance that makes you think, whilst watching, say, 'The English Patient', "He looks familiar. Isn't that Sayid?" or perhaps whilst watching Ugly Betty, "Say, isn't that Penny's dad?" or maybe you'll just be grazing through the channels and stumble upon an old episode of Taggart, "HEY! Stop! Go back! That was, erm . . . thingy, from Lost . . . erm . . . DESMOND! Yes, Desmond! That was Desmond." Still, that hobbit from Lord of the Rings looks nothing like Charlie . . . well, maybe slightly.

Monday 26th February 2007

I don't know why I'm writing this - it's not like much has happened recently. Popped to B&Q this evening to get some plaster sealant and, as usual, came out with far more than we had intended. After dinner and some university work, I sanded down the plaster applied yesterday in the kitchen and then began painting on this weird plaster sealer stuff. It smelt like glue. So yeah . . . I then began filling in a gap around the recently glued on door frame (or part thereof), which M****** helped with and that's about it. Like I say . . . all pretty dull stuff.

Wednesday 28th February 2007

Final check-up? No physio?
Today was another appointment at the hospital. Well, not all of today. It's not like today was purely concerned with the hospital appointment. It was just something in the morning. So yeah . . . I did some of my maths assignment (currently mathematical induction) whilst waiting around for my X-ray appointment. They did a couple more X-rays of the left knee before referring me to orthopaedics out-patients . . . which was oddly quiet. I think I was the only one there. I was soon seen by a doctor/consultant who said splint was no longer needed, no further check-ups were required, physiotherapy not necessary, and that I could begin cycling, albeit gently at first. He then repeated all of that into his dictaphone, throwing in some medical jargon for good measure and occasionally saying, "Stop!" or "New line!" as if it was a telegram or something . . . or maybe that's standard dictation stuff. God, I should know - I used to have a job where . . . no, but that was more transcribing interviews, not really dictation stuff. So yeah . . . that was good. Erm.