Bellerophon symbol, variation 7
Friday 4th July 2008

Barely four weeks old, and already a record in several databases
The title refers to R******, who is now officially R******. Yes, we registered the birth at our local Registry Office. I still think we should have gone, "Ah, what the hell - let's call him Geoffrey Franklin M********, and to hell with it," (if there are *'s there, that's because my web-site does some weird auto filtering thing, in order to protect the identities of the innocent) and then everyone would be like, "How's R****** then?" and we'd be like, "Who? Oh, Geoff, yes, he's fine. He's called Geoff now. We changed our mind." But, no . . . it wasn't to be. R****** Charles M******** now officially exists. We also did a bit of shopping . . . thank-you cards (YES! They're coming! Honest!), birthday cards, some food, an N-type DC power socket for the lap-top (oh no, do I have to take it apart again?!) and something else, that I cannot talk about, or else that would spoil the surprise for someone, surely.

Wisconsin! TIME'S UP!! We need to filter sea water, extract minerals, metals, everything!! RUN!!! Run, my precious, RUN!!!
Thank the lord for articles like this (the comments are especially interesting) and, of course, this (yes, I know, I've linked here before). Perhaps gradually more and more of us will realise that global climate change is a stately, gentle thing that has little (or nothing) to do with human activity. To quote Voltaire - Men argue, nature acts. I should have it on my tombstone - historically, global changes in CO2 levels lag behind global temperature change by, on average, 800 years (well, that or the Voltaire quote); anyone who tries to have you believe otherwise is either misinformed or has an ulterior motive.

Saturday 5th July 2008

Barbecue over at Dawn and Cary's place
img_6726.jpgimg_6727.jpgimg_6728.jpg Seemed like I spent the morning/afternoon constructing a rocket ship for A******, out of a large cardboard box and various bits of cellophane, cardboard, foil, old CDs . . . whatever. Initially reluctant, I soon got into the swing of things, constructing a multi-coloured stained glass window for the rocket ship (and other windows in various shapes and sizes), along with a disco ball, a telephone, a stethoscope, a chimney (?!) and other bits and pieces - all essential for a trip to the moon and back, of course. A****** lost interest soon after lunchtime, me not so. Anyway . . . in the evening, there was a barbecue. The weather had been a bit variable all day, with a number of massive storm clouds looming ominously, but never quite directly overhead. Another of these storm clouds passed close during the barbecue.
img_6729.jpgimg_6730.jpgimg_6735.jpgimg_6736.jpgimg_6737.jpgimg_6744.jpg So yeah . . . the other boys with A****** are Pete (Dawn and Cary's son), with the long(er) hair, and Jack (with the wheel-barrow; Rachel and Mark's son). That picture where they're all vaguely looking in the same direction is when a rainbow appeared to east/south-east (the church spire to the left of the picture with the rainbow is the same church attached to Pop's (as in M******'s dad) flat, where we stayed during the first half of 2006).

Sunday 6th July 2008

Flash! Thunder!
img_6747.jpgThere's some relevance with the title here, as that's both a line from Band of Brothers (which I was watching on Saturday night) and an phenomena observed numerous times this afternoon. Yes - we thought it perfect weather (well, we didn't actually, but figured we needed to get out of the house and the weather seemed kind of okay) to go for a brief walk around Clougha. We stopped for biscuits and water at a stone bench and watched as these ominous clouds encroached from all directions (although the weather towards Grange and the Lakes looked fairly good). The rain started lightly at first but, after a few minutes, it was almost torrential, with only A****** dressed for such weather. Oooops. We hurried back to the car, with the weather not really letting up until we got back home. Suffice to say, M****** and I were drenched (my light, summer jacket wasn't really the right kind of coat for that weather).

Monday 7th July 2008

Damn the gods - another day spoilt by rain
img_6758.jpgimg_6760.jpgimg_6763.jpg I had today off work. However, the weather was once again against us (well, many others as well). We went for a drive to Silverdale and got into the café just as the rain started. We had planned to go for a walk, but that wouldn't have been such a good idea. Back home then. Damn it. In the late part of the evening, R****** accepted his first bottle (the previous attempt didn't really work out), which may lead to a few more hours of sleep during the night. Who knows? Other thing is, of course, if they don't get used to bottles at an early age, then they may never. R******'s still waking up at odd times during the night and M****** really needs more sleep (I have the ear plugs in during the best part of the week).

Tuesday 8th July 2008


Wednesday 9th July 2008

img_6777.jpgimg_6776.jpgimg_6775.jpgimg_6771.jpg M****** took these sequence of photographs. I like the way R******'s expression changes as A****** gives him a kiss.

Thursday 10th July 2008

img_6786.jpgWe had a bit of a revelation during dinner - R****** sat in his bouncy chair thing whilst we ate, and just made cute baby noises. Almost as if realisation dawned: "Hmmmm. I have vocal chords. My noise repertoire does not just consist of screaming and crying after all. Interesting."

Friday 11th July 2008

Sylvia, there's a strange man waiting outside, says he's from the brewery. Shall I tell him you're . . er . . . busy?

Saturday 12th July 2008

img_6802.jpgimg_6803.jpgimg_6810.jpgimg_6812.jpgimg_6813.jpgimg_6815.jpgimg_6820.jpg I can't really remember. I think we went to Arnside today, had a bit of a wander around, you know? R****** was in the, erm, baby carrier thing, in case you were wondering. I think I was carrying him that day (seems only fair, given the number of months M****** was carrying him for).

Sunday 13th July 2008

Somewhere in the Trough of Bowland
img_6824.jpgimg_6832.jpgimg_6839.jpgimg_6840.jpgimg_6847.jpgimg_6849.jpg So we headed a bit beyond Abbeystead, had a picnic, then went for a walk. M****** insisted we take a picture of the DEFRA map; not entirely sure why.
img_6850.jpgimg_6852.jpgimg_6855.jpgimg_6860.jpgimg_6864.jpgimg_6865.jpg Yes, we were here roughly two years ago. That same lightning-struck tree is still there, but now it's surrounded by a metal fence. Not sure what that's about. Those last two pictures are interesting (well, to me), as you can clearly make out some sea-based wind turbines (is that what you call them?). Now, when did they appear?

Thursday 17th July 2008

A******'s Birthday!
img_6873.jpgimg_6878.jpgimg_6881.jpgimg_6882.jpgimg_6884.jpgimg_6887.jpgimg_6888.jpgimg_6890.jpg Today is split up into several chunks, that aren't entirely clear by the grouping of these thumbnails, but should be obvious nonetheless. In the morning, there were presents to open and play with. Then, after breakfast, it was pretty much time to get ourselves moving, into the car . . .
img_6891.jpgimg_6893.jpgimg_6898.jpgimg_6902.jpgimg_6905.jpgimg_6907.jpgimg_6908.jpgimg_6909.jpg . . . although saying that, we suspected that A****** would have been perfectly happy to stay at home all day, just playing with his new toys, but hey . . . We asked him if he wanted to see the dinosaurs (i.e. Manchester Museum) and the thought of seeing dinosaurs just about out-weighed playing with his new toys. So off we went to Manchester.
img_6911.jpgimg_6912.jpgimg_6922.jpgimg_6923.jpgimg_6924.jpgimg_6928.jpgimg_6933.jpgimg_6935.jpg The museum was excellent, I think M****** and I getting more out of it than A******, but hey . . . after a while, we let A****** kind of wander around, us dutifully following him around, trying to discourage walking around in circles. A couple of things initially freaked him out, like Stan (the T. Rex) and Mister Potter's Cow (if I'm looking a bit sweaty in that picture, it's because I had been carrying A****** about in order to quickly get him to the toilet, of which I think there was only one working one, in a four storey building . . . something to do with a strike).
img_6938.jpgimg_6939.jpgimg_6942.jpgimg_6944.jpgimg_6950.jpgimg_6956.jpgimg_6965.jpgimg_6969.jpg And then, in the evening, Helen and Stu came over to baby-sit R******, whilst the three of us were supposed to go to Bella Italia for dinner. A****** was reluctant at first, but agreed eventually. We had a meal (I don't know who the people are in the background, but they appeared to be students, drinking water . . . which didn't really add up, given that they have either recently graduated (hence the gowns) or else finished for the year . . . but then what are they doing in a place like Bella Italia? Hmmmm?!), A****** getting suitably messy with his spaghetti bolognese (or wiggle worms, as we call it). Back at home, we had a sliver of 'In The Night Garden' birthday cake (A****** having already had some pudding with his meal) and . . . I think that was about it.

Friday 18th July 2008

First the flies, then the spiders, then the slugs, then the frogs . . . what next?
img_6981.jpgimg_6987.jpg Pictures of R****** . . . taken by M******. I'm not wishing to, erm, speak ill of M******'s photographic skills, but there were about 15 pictures taken a bit like these two, and I think these were the only two in focus. Well, I say 'in focus', but what I actually mean is 'most in focus' or, even, 'least out of focus'. Either way, they're the best of the lot.

Sunday 20th July 2008

"Charles, this is it - aim the gun and get 'im," Miranda muttered through the intercom, hoping someone in the fourth quadrant might observe the solar shift and get the hint
Blimey. I haven't written anything here for ages (well, it seems). Here's the problem: I ordered loads of computer parts and was supplied with 2GB of faulty RAM (out of 3GB). It took me a while to work out which were the faulty memory modules and have contacted the supplier about this (no reply). I also purchased a ITX-based PC, but am having problems configuring the video card. Then, of course, it was A******'s birthday recently and R****** has been . . . well, demanding, shall we say. Sometimes he'll sleep six hours one night, and sometimes four, sometimes three . . . blah, blah, blah. There was something else . . . what was it? . . . erm . . . no, it's gone. Never mind.

Thursday 24th July 2008

A tourniquet won't do, Charles, it simply won't do
Erm . . . is there any news? Probably not. The composting bin has recently been attracting a glut of slugs (hey, where are the snails?) which, in turn, has probably been attracting birds, hedgehogs and frogs (although I've only seen the frogs and perhaps a few more birds). And I'm kind of wondering if the composting bin has become THE place to be. Perhaps slugs are like, "Yeah, rhubarb leaves are so last year. The compost bin's where's it's at," which is a good thing. Leave the goddamn rhubarb alone.

Saturday 26th July 2008

I feel I ought to uselessly vent my frustration somewhere . . . why not here? I have a motherboard (an ASRock 939Dual-VSTA) that claims to support 4GB of memory, under certain circumstances (that are far too dull to go into here, but suffice to say these circumstances have been met). So I put 4GB of RAM into the thing and, lo-and-behold, it can only 'see' 2816MB. BIOS is aware of the 4GB but, when I leave BIOS, I quickly see the figure 2816 flashed up, long before any kind of boot sequence begins (and, therefore, operating system independent). Is the motherboard faulty (well, the first ASRock 939Dual-VSTA they supplied had to be returned as it was definitely faulty, but this was, like, nearly two years ago)? Do I need a BIOS upgrade? Erm . . . do I care? Does anyone care? Is it worth the hassle? Blah, blah, blah. And, far more importantly, why did my honeycomb mixture not set in the fridge? Did I not boil it long enough? Do I need a sugar thermometer? I left the stuff in the freezer to teach it a lesson. Grrrrr.

Sunday 27th July 2008

img_6993.jpgimg_6998.jpgimg_7006.jpgimg_7017.jpgimg_7022.jpgimg_7027.jpgimg_7038.jpgimg_7042.jpgimg_7045.jpg Today we did go for a walk to, erm . . . somewhere near Silverdale? No, it was Warton Crag . . . I remember now. Yeah, so . . . we had a picnic amongst the sheep poo and . . . blimey, A****** looks a bit tired in these pictures. We're not too sure if R******'s been waking him up at night with his crying . . . quite possibly.

Tuesday 29th July 2008

img_7049.jpgimg_7054.jpgimg_7064.jpgimg_7065.jpgimg_7068.jpgimg_7082.jpgimg_7089.jpgimg_7092.jpg Blimey - the thumbnails just keep getting smaller and smaller. As may be obvious from these photos, Uncle Simon came to visit us today. We went for a walk to Williamson's Park. Maybe some other stuff happened. Maybe it didn't. I can't remember.

Wednesday 30th July 2008

Around and about Bentham
I'm just writing this here, knowing full well that without this text (I feel like I've been here many times before) the images would all display one below each other, which is of course sick and wrong. They should all be alonside each other, of course.

Thursday 31st July 2008

Yes, we're in Southport. I don't think I been here before. We checked out the pier, which was okay, and then this collection of Victorian arcade machines at the end of said pier and this mirrored sculpture thing. Then we got the tram/train/thing back to the other end of the pier (more for the novelty value than anything else, as the walk would have only taken 10 minutes or so) and had a go on the carousel. Erm . . . M****** wanted to hang around, maybe get something to eat but I was bored of Southport, so home we went.