Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hair! And... things.

1) I re-dyed my hair to its dark plum sort of colour on Friday night. I then, with much trepidation, tried a new type of highlight. And it worked! Hooray!


2) A bonus to finally having wireless internet? Being able to go online, whilst lounging around on your bed, to try and prove your husband wrong about the average size of a turkey (the bird, not the country). I failed to prove him wrong, but that was not the fault of the internet.

3) Matt and I went out to the park today, for some much-needed running-about time. I couldn't do much in the way of actual running, of course, because last Sunday I dropped a jar on my foot and broke my toe. *sigh*
So Matt did running, and I hobbled along as best I could. Oh yeah, and Matt did some climbing, too.

Let's play a game! Wherrrrre's Matthew?
That's right! He's lurking in the woods like a nerdy Blair Witch!

For more pictures, of Small Things (obviously), hop on over to my photography blog, wherein you will find many wonders.

4) It's our wedding anniversary this Wednesday (nine years! Where does the time go?), and I don't know if we're going to do much. We'll probably go out for dinner, but I think it's going to be low-key, as we are going to Amsterdam in a couple of weeks as a belated celebration. I can't wait!

Ok, this post is rambling and disjointed enough, I think. Hopefully I'll be more together next time. Bye!

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

The robots are coming!

When you're sitting on the bus, and it's raining outside, and the windows are hard to see out of because they have raindrops trickling down them, and you're a little bit sleepy... I think you can be forgiven for momentarily confusing these traffic signs for the security robots from WALL·E.

Did a wee bit of babysitting today, whilst Mouse played with the samba band. Zeph had his very first performance as samba baby! He doesn't have much in the way of samba stamina, though. He gave up playing after only a few minutes, and then fell asleep while I was holding him. Pfft. Five-month-olds.

Sometimes, the most interesting photographs I take are those where I have an idea, vaguely point the camera, then just see what it looks like. I am very fond of this one.

I'm needing to get going with more exercise. Not for any weight-loss reason, particularly, but because I just... feel like I need to. Due to changes at my job, I now spend every second week sitting down a lot more than I used to, and I can feel that taking its toll. I get quite jittery, and occasionally sprint down the corridor to burn off some energy (everyone does that at work sometimes, right? I'm not a freak?) I mean, I'm still walking quite a bit in work, and carrying heavy files, but not as much as I have been. It's still a lot more of a physical job than a standard desk job is.

So, I can't do anything high-impact, because my knees are shot to hell. When it's nice out, I sometimes get the bus halfway home, then hop off and walk the rest of the way around Arthur's Seat, which is beautiful. But you know how it is - if it's rainy and cold, I just can't bring myself to walk it, and get the bus instead. It's the weather's fault. Totally. Not that I'm lazy or anything...

I think I'm going to try to walk at least part of the way home on nice days, and maybe I should find the Wii Sports disc. I really enjoy the tennis, and it gets me moving, which is good. I am also still doing Callanetics, but just for five minutes a day. I had to give up a lot of the leg exercises ages ago, since they were taking too high a toll on my knees. I just don't want to make any high-energy resolutions that I'm simply not going to keep.

What do you guys do for exercise? Any ideas or recommendations?

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bang Goes the Theory!

Matt and I are huge fans of the BBC light science show Bang Goes the Theory. It is presented by four people:

  • Liz Bonnin, who has a degree in biochemistry and a masters degree in wild animal biology and conservation
  • Dr Yan Wong, who has a PhD in computational and mathematical modelling of self-incompatibility systems in plants
  • Jem Stansfield, who has a degree in aeronautics, and a qualification in welding
  • Dallas Campbell, their resident "amateur scientist".

We were highly excited when, as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, a big marquee was set up by the galleries halfway along Princes Street. We were more excited when it was plastered with BGtT banners. We felt we really must go to see their roadshow. The website said that you could "meet the presenters, get hands-on with science in the Interactive Area and see the live Bang Goes the Theory science shows", although it's never easy to be sure how much one can do these things at this sort of event.

We got down there at about 11.30 to queue for the 12.00 show. Matt noticed soon, though, that the 1pm show was being hosted by Jem, rather than Liz, who was doing the 12.00 show. So we hopped out of the queue again to wait for that one.

We do like Liz (and Dallas, and Dr Yan), but Jem is our absolute favourite. We've been big fans of his TV career - he's done Wild Thing, I Love You with Bill Bailey, appeared as an expert on Scrapheap Challenge, and was 1/3 of the team on the unfortunately short-lived science show Men In White.
He's a genius inventor and has, over the course of BGtT, climbed a building using a suction pad machine made out of the innards of two cheap vacuum cleaners, made a go-cart reach nearly 50mph powered only by a fire extinguisher, created a human-powered hydrofoil, and built many other really cool inventions.

We went over to the interactive area, and found Dr Yan demonstrating little science tricks to some kids. We stayed to watch, and then were absolutely delighted when Dallas and Jem came over to join in. I was complimented by all three of them on my t-shirt (I was wearing my SchrÓ§dinger's Cat t-shirt), and we started talking about how confusing quantum theory is for the layperson. And then Dr Yan and Jem got into an argument about it. I hardly understood a word, mind you! And I got autographs from all three of them, then asked if I could be really nerdy and get a photo with them. Jem said "It's hardly nerdy in comparison to what we've just been doing!" Good point.

Me with Dallas and Jem.

Dallas suggested that they all look wise for Matt's photo with them. Matt and Jem jumped at the chance.

The guys were really nice, and I certainly hadn't expected that much interaction - they could just have said hi and scrawled an autograph, but they seemed pleased to have the chance to talk to us. After about half an hour, we headed off to queue for the show. I got a chance to nip out and get Liz's autograph, although she was a lot busier and more surrounded by fans than the guys were. It might have something to do with the fact that she really brings the glamour factor to the show...

And then we went and watched the show, hosted by Jem, along with James Soper. It featured a spud gun that shot at 220mph, and a demonstration of wall climbing using Jem's vacuum machine.
It was pretty damn cool.

We came home, I had a nap, then we watched Doctor Who, just to cement our nerd credentials.

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Friday, April 02, 2010

Book List - reading and re-reading.

Some of the things I've been reading over the last month.

The Soldier Son trilogy by Robin Hobb. I love Robin Hobb, in a vaguely fangirl-ish sort of way. Her trilogies always follow the same pattern, though. The hero/ine is doing ok. Then something bad happens. Then something else unfortunate happens. Then BONG! A further terrible thing.* This trilogy may well be the most depressing one yet, but she writes so beautifully, and so engagingly, that it doesn't matter. Or rather, it does, in that you are rooting for please, just one good thing to occur to the hero? But they are wonderful because of, as well as despite, that.

*Sorry, Bill Bailey reference.

Dawn of the Dumb by Charlie Brooker - a follow-up to Screen Burn. Ok, a thing you should know - Charlie Brooker is a genius. A misanthropic, hilarious genius. I'm a big fan of his articles for The Guardian, and he has the dubious honour of being one of only two people whose writings have made me guffaw out loud on public transport (the other being Terry Pratchett).

And speaking of Terry Pratchett... Wintersmith. The third? Fourth? time I've read it.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. I saw a copy of this book years ago, and saved the title and author name in my mobile. I came across it in a branch of Waterstone's the other day, and bought it immediately. Ok, yes, it's a novel aimed at teenagers. That doesn't, however, mean it's badly written. I've found out it's actually the first of a trilogy, so I'm keen to get hold of the other two novels. I am, in fact, planning to drop in to Waterstone's this afternoon to purchase the second novel, Pretties.

If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor by Bruce Campbell. What can I say about this book? It's an autobiography of Bruce Campbell. Bruce. Frickin'. Campbell. The man is a god! It's actually a fascinating insight into his life, featuring a cubic shitload (totally a real unit of measurement) of photos and an interesting peek into Campbell, Raimi, et al's younger days. I laughed a lot, I learnt new things... it's just awesome.

I've also been re-reading a lot of Agatha Christies - Peril at End House, Murder on the Orient Express, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Mystery of the Blue Train, They Came to Baghdad, Murder at the Vicarage... the list goes on and on.

Anyone have any good recommendations for me?

Oh, and I just joined up to, where I shall be posting photos of me with books. Come see!

And I hope everyone has a great Easter / chocolate day.

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