Thursday, 31 May 2007

OMG it's bloody high !!

I first got a taste for rock climbing in the Army whilst staying at a place called Bertchesgarten in southern Germany back in the early 80's, I really enjoyed it and whenever we had adventure training which was basically a "get away from the wives" exercise, I always signed up for it, I went a few times during basic training and during my stint in Germany, but unfortunately never pursued it once I left, well all this changed after my divorce, and I got back into it, I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed it, it was hard
the first few times out, because you use muscles that don't usually get stressed, and the next morning after the first climb, I remember thinking, as I was practically paralysed in my sleeping bag, with fingers like something out of a horror film, something this much fun shouldn't hurt so badly, but like all things if you keep at it, it gets easier, I pumped myself full of painkillers and took on the next climb that day, I have to say after 4 days of continuous climbing, I didn't hurt at all by the 5th day :) I met up with quite a few climbers and I have to say they are a mad lot, and come from all walks of life and their age ranges from as young as 16 to 60, the only worrying ones are the ones that have no regard for their own personal safety, which when you are climbing with somebody is very important, because if they fall and you are belaying them, then it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out what happens next, you can never have
too much "pro" in ;¬)

Anyway, It wasn't long after this I met up with Caralyn, she had always wanted to try climbing but never had the opportunity, so we went to Llangorse climbing centre to the indoor wall, I really recommend that place it's excellent, basically it was to give her a taster and after she was shown the basics, it turned out she was a natural at it :)

now 3 years later she is climbing insane grades way above me, (see picture above) and going off climbing in exotic places, and has her picture in various rock climbing magazines, so a bit of a rock climbing success, and a bit of a rock climbing star :) she has compressed into 3 years more rock climbing experience than most, I do worry about her though because she hasn't really had a bad fall yet, she has had a few slips but nothing heart stopping and until you get one of those you tend to think you are invincible, as for me, well things have conspired against me getting out on the rock recently, what with work and other commitments, although weather and time permitting this year I intend to get back to it.

I also introduced my fiancé to it at Llangorse, needless to say she is a natural at it as well, although she did have a fear of trusting the ropes, but once she found they really are very strong, and they weren't going to snap, (well if they can carry me without snapping, say no more) there was no stopping her, and she really enjoyed it, it must be that women are more supple than men, and what they lack in strength, especially upper body strength they more than make up for it by being able to put their foot up by
their ear !!! mind you they both had at least 10 years on me, so that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it, mind you I've never really had the urge to put my foot up by my ear, even if it was physically possible for
me.....which it isn't :)

Weddings & stuff

Well the day is looming closer….23 days and counting until I tie the knot with my intended ...... it is completely different to my first wedding, which admittedly I was far too young at the time, but you live and learn, I’m certainly wiser than that cold day in February 1981, and I must say happier about the whole thing, we were talking about it last night, both of us have been married before, and both of us had doubts with our first wedding/partner, but bizarrely not with ours, I guess it comes from knowing ones own mind finally, and your partners, and knowing it’s right from the ground up .... I have to say I don’t regret my first marriage, because it produced two lovely daughters, and without it, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, so we are all moulded by our past, it’s the one thing you can’t escape from...

My parents have accepted my fiancé completely, quite relieved that she is “utterly normal” which made me laugh, and I have been welcomed with open arms by my fiancés parents with similar relief expressed ....

Anyway I digress, do you have any idea how hard it is to choose music that is fitting for a wedding ? for those of you that have gone through this, you know what I’m talking about, we could of course choose all the songs that meant something to us, but it would be a pretty bizarre mixture, and then of course you have to think about the “cheese” factor, there is a fine line between something meaningful to us and something that makes the guests “barf” uncontrollably, so we are weighing up a humorous selection to help keep the bile down for the guests, the after party music isn’t a problem, it’s the 20 minutes before the bride to be arrives and the music during or afterwards, I do feel sorry for couples that enjoy “death metal” or “hardcore trance” the choices must be even more limiting .

The hugely massive gazebo has been bought and is apparently very easy to put up, thankfully we have a massive garden/field, which reminds me I must do those concrete steps this weekend !! it might stop our more elderly guests tripping the light fantastic past the decking and sprawling into the bottom of the garden, it does help living miles from anywhere, because we won’t be disturbing our neighbours with music pumping out into the early hours, but what do we care, we are going away straight after the party anyway !!

I shall keep you posted as to any developments that might happen, but so far things are going as expected

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

A rant about "WiFi"

this entry has been spurred on by the recent press coverage of the "dangers of wifi", it seems when the news is slow they bring up some other horror of modern living, for a start wifi uses extremely low power transmitters, and they seem to have forgotten that DECT cordless phones which have been around for a lot longer operate in the same frequency band as wifi, PLUS you actually hold a DECT phone to your head when you use it, I don't see many people holding their laptop to their head when they use the internet, but has there been any media coverage of DECT phones ? EVER ? if you saw the Panorama programme which covered this "slow news day" it said "wifi had three times the strength of a mobile phone mast"

if you had watched the programme you would have seen the "expert" testing the field strength of a laptop at the distance of 1 metre then testing the field strength of a mobile phone mast at 100 metres, I don't know about you, but I would have thought that for the test to be fair they would have to measure both sources at equal distances, and why didn't they do that ? ...... because if they had measured the phone mast at 1 metre, the field strength meter would have gone off scale for the mobile phone mast, and if they had measured the laptop at 100 metres it wouldn't have picked up the signal (or barely)

it's true RF is dangerous to living tissue, I should know I worked with some very high power transmitters in the late 70's and early 80's, and was exposed to some very high doses of RF over the many 8 hour shifts I used to do, contrary to the recent scare stories, I was able some years later to father two lovely daughters, both of which are perfectly normal human beings with zero defects (and I might add I have another one on the way, due in October 2007) neither did my skin scale over, or at any point did I grow another head, (I did lose my hair, but that's more to do with genetics than Radio Frequency) we live in a world where we are literally bathed in RF and other types of radiation every waking the sleeping minute we are alive, and it has been that way for many many years, they will be telling us "milk" gives us cancer next........ohhh hang on a minute they did that one already ;¬)

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

The 2007 Eisteddfod has landed in Carmarthen....:¬(

and while I'm sure thousands of people get untold joy and excitement from the Eisteddfod wherever it may be held, Carmarthen at the best of times struggles with traffic if a motorist breaks down on the A48 !! .....let alone 100,000 people all aiming for the same place on the same day and at the same time, I have to say the first day of the Eisteddfod was utter gridlock in Carmarthen, it would have been quicker if they had all got out of their cars and walked, it was compounded by the fact that it was the bank holiday weekend, which normally is bad enough, when Carmarthenshire and Pembrokshire gets it's flood of summer "grockels" .....oh well it's only on for another week.....:¬(

I did feel sorry for the people who decided to get there for 7.00am this morning, I sailed past them on the other side of the dual carriageway, and they were already in a 3 mile tailback, and it was being added to by the second, I should imagine by 09:00am it will be a standing car park again

Friday, 25 May 2007

The Amazing Dremel Multitool

I had to share this with you, for all those unfortunate people who suffer from ingrowing toenails, and let me tell you you can get ingrowing toenails at any age, they have no idea what causes them, or indeed have an effective way of treating them, except removal of the entire nail bed, I've been to the chiropodist and have been charged the earth for having my cuticles removed with a scalpel, and can I just say, it is the most painful and sweat inducing procedure on the planet, needless to say one slip with that scalpel and an ingrowing toenail would be the last of your worries, the other option is having the whole nail bed removed, and I was put off by a friend who explained the whole procedure to me in gory detail, and after I had stopped going green I firmly decided that having the whole nail bed removed would be the very LAST option I would take...

anyway getting back to the painful condition of ingrowing toenails, or should I say my toenails, for years I had kept the pain at bay and I've suffered from them for nearly 10 years and the only way to gain relief was by careful pruning with industrial bolt cutters, which seemed the only solution open to me, then after one visit to the chiropodist, he carefully pruned the top of the nail with a scalpel taking off many layers of toenail with it, ( I was waiting for the spurt of blood if he slipped, but thankfully he stopped short of taking a layer of toe with it) and once I had removed my fingers knuckle deep from within the consulting chair armrests and put my shoes back on.....I was amazed !!!! low and behold no pain or discomfort, he explained that by thinning the nail bed he had made the nail softer and more pliable so the edges didn't dig in any more, so after this I enjoyed at least 2 months of pain free toes, the first time in absolutely ages :) ........then it struck me like a bolt of lightning, I could do this myself, I tried emery boards, nail files, but all seemed to cause more pain than it was worth.......I needed some kind of power grinder !!!

I looked at various battery operated tools to do the job but decided that none were up to the task in hand (or foot) considering my toenails are the second hardest substance known to man.......some weeks later I was walking through B&Q (well limping actually) getting some bits and pieces and I wandered over to the power tool section, and there in front of me was the answer to my quest....THE DREMEL 300 it came with 50 attachments and had a variable speed control of 300 to 14,000 rpm, so I limped over to the checkout with it and paid for it......and a very reasonable price it was as well :)

I got home and unpacked it, and set to work with a suitable attachment, remembering my physics that anything rotating at speed and applied at pressure, will produce heat (vast amounts of it), I started on a sedate 300 rpm, and gingerly took off effortless layer after layer of toenail, and what used to take me well over an hour of vigorous sanding, was over and done with in 5 minutes flat both toes done and dusted (literally) !!!! with no injuries sustained, no smoking toes, nothing....just perfectly smooth and perfectly pedicured toenails :) so I am chiropodist free now, and sport some pretty handsome looking toes to boot ;¬) life is good once more ..... the best £39.99 I have ever spent, my fiancé would argue that her engagement ring was the best money I had ever spent, but she has no idea how many Christmas crackers I had to open to get that ring ;¬)

First entry :¬)

I've been looking for a good blog site for months, but they all seemed like too much bother to setup, this one however which was recommended by a friend does exactly what it says on the tin, (and is run by google) and it's easy to use, and above all QUICK !!!

so here goes :)

well things have been pretty hectic of late, I have recently moved in with my girlfriend and her three children, I finally decided to make an honest woman of her and proposed in traditional style on bended knee, and presented her with a beautiful 18 carat white gold solitaire 1/2 carat diamond engagement ring, she promptly burst into tears in a true and girly fashion and thankfully (phew) accepted my proposal .

The date is set all we have to do now is turn up, it's not going to be a big wedding we have both done that silliness before, and as we say to each other about our previous marriages... "that went well didn't it ?" and it's pointless doing it again, we are just keeping it fairly low key, just family and friends, even so the invite list is increasing by the day, and and now she is like a woman possessed all things wedding related are on the agenda, we have had our Sherlock moments, tracking down Decree Absolutes and birth certificates, but we got there in the end :)

it's been a bit difficult for me adjusting to family life again, after so long, and I have to admit I did miss it terribly, but things have slotted into place rather nicely, I have to smile when I see that series of adverts by BT, with that bloke who takes on a family, the parallels are scarily close, and speaking of parallels, it seems my 52" TV has been adopted by all and sundry, including the youngest, who takes great delight in hiding the remote control from me in an attempt to stop me from changing channels from CBBeebies, every morning, and we have more computers and xbox 360's and PS2's than you can shake a stick at, all of course connected via Wifi to the internet, and I seem to spend rather a lot of my spare time removing spyware, virus's and other nasties from them, but as they say, it's handy having a resident IT Guru on tap to sort out the messes they get into, I'm seriously thinking of switching them all over to Linux, it's a free operating system for a start, it doesn't need the computing power of a small country to run it, in fact a crappy old Pentium III will fly on it, and it simply doesn't break !!!

other than that all things being equal things are pretty damn good at the moment, we live in a beautiful valley, with 10 acres of open field all around us and a lovely river not far away, I might take up fishing again :)....and the nearest neighbour is miles away, all in all a very tranquil place to live, its a gorgeous part of Carmarthenshire, we have green woodpeckers who visit us regularly, all sorts of other bird life, fox's, owls, badgers... oh and we live next to a huge rookery there must be about 70 to 80 odd rooks nesting there, you would think it would be noisy, but they don't make much noise really, we haven't fallen out with them yet anyway :)

this weekend I'm going up to North Wales to help my best mate sort his house out, I dunno, it seems every weekend I am doing something, I don't think I have actually had a weekend yet where I did nothing all weekend , but I'm sure those will come .....eventually :)

I know next weekend I'm putting steps (paving slabs actually) in past the decking down to the lower garden so we don't take our lives into our own hands whilst trying to get down there, it does get a bit slick after it rains, which is most unusual in Wales...hmmm, anyway, but it shouldn't take long to do and the eldest lad has said he will muck in (for a price.....God kids today and free enterprise !!), and at some point I have to sort out a friends computer in Llanelli (he is a Vicar, and I have known him for years) it's non stop......sigh.....I'd say "no rest for the wicked", but I simply don't have time to be wicked these days, I have no idea how often I will update this blog but as and when things that I think are worthy of being written about I will put fingers to keyboard :)