BST Ends

People moan when the clocks go back, mostly I suppose because it indicates the onset of winter, cold, wet days & long dark nights. Me, I like it. I leave the house early to cycle to work, so when the clocks go back I get up when it’s light again, which is much nicer. I also really like this time of year. I look forward to Christmas as a time the family gets together again for fun, and we do the same for bonfire night. On November 5th the whole family and a large group of friends get together for a bonfire & fireworks party at mum & dad’s house. Dad’s firework show is always big & usually hilariously dangerous (don’t put those big multi-mortar boxes on old tables – the reaction force may collapse it & send rockets in quite unanticipated directions). It really is one of my favourite annual events, so shortening days remind me of many, many good times of my past.
The clocks going back also brings dusk & the evening into my cycle home. Cycling by the sea in evening light is a beautiful thing to do. I really should get an ultra-thin Sony camera for my bag to try & capture the colours. Today the sea really was a wintry golden, & everything lit with a new colour. Right now the thickly clouded sky is completely pink, apart from triangles of pale blue left in between. Probably not something so easily appreciated from inside a car.
It also used to be the time of year when racing or hard climbing & training had finished, & I could rest & do other things.
I also love Halloween, as anyone who has seen my desktop pictures & phone themes will have seen. Tonight Kim will have made another of her intricate pumpkins, & I’m looking forward to beer, monster munch & horror films. A perfect evening, except that I’ll have to get up for work in the morning.
So autumn is here & winter is coming. Don’t just take the pessimist’s view of dark, wet, cold & miserable. Look forward to things you enjoy. Hot showers after running through winter rain. Sat by the fire when it’s dark outside. Kicking big piles of leaves. Checking the forecast for snow. Time with your family. January sales. Without the seasons life would be far less interesting. Right?

Bird Flu

Would you like to see how the H5N1 strain of avian flu has been moving around the world over the last 2 years? Use this BBC resource to track it:
There are also links to much more bird flu information from that page.

Toyota i-Swing

So you don’t want to cycle to work, but you have nowhere to park the car when you get there. Motorcycles are too dangerous, so how about the Toyota i-Swing?
This is Toyota’s personal mobility device, which sits up on 2 parallel wheels most of the time, balancing itself and turning as you lean, much like the Segway. There’s a 3rd wheel in there somewhere for slow manoeuvres, I think. It looks both funky and nutty, and I’ll bet it’s fun to drive, but I’ll also bet on a high price tag.
I think it needs a bit of a roof.
Toyota’s press release.
Engadget’s comments.


OK, so my Orange phone got its calling barred because they failed to take the monthly bill by direct debit. They are the communication company so, first I tried to ring them on the free 150 number from my mobile. It connected and the menu options worked fine, but as soon as it tried to connect me to a human it said, “I’m sorry, but calls from this number are barred”. Genius. That’s exactly what I’m trying to fix. So I sent them an email from their website. 2 days later and obviously no reply or fix. I finally managed to login to my account online, which is barred also, except for the ability to pay the bill. Which I did. 2 days ago. Now my account says my access is barred because I owe Orange £0.00. Geniuses.
I know, I’ll ring them from a non-Orange phone. Ah, but my work phone system won’t allow me to choose any of the numbered options. But surely if I wait it’ll automatically connect me to a human operator, right? Yeah, right. No chance. It just goes round and round the menu system.

Morning pics

High tide and low morning.
How to build giant sandcastles? Use a giant bucket and spade.
Video and games on the train to work this morning.

Blown Down

Aaah crap. My PDA is dead, no sign of life whatsoever. And Orange have locked my phone because they didn’t take my direct debit. I reckon that lottery ticket might have been jumping the gun somewhat.