I need more hours in the day

Today, I woke up at 6.30am, spent two hours getting ready, eating breakfast and coding before dashing off to a meeting at City Hall. Two hours later, over to Waterloo for a working lunch then down to Bishopsgate for a few hours in the office, then up to King’s Cross for an Open Knowledge Foundation meet-up.

I’m back home now, wondering where on earth the day went.

Doubled Sided Printing

Having run out of blank A4 paper and needing to print something, I decided “Hey, I’ve got 24 sheets, I’ll print this 40 page document double-sided!”

Why is it so difficult for me to get my head around how to do this? There are many ways I could screw up – pages back to front (printing odd and even pages on the same side), pages upside down (printing odd pages in one direction, and even upside down on the back), printing the odd pages in order, but the even pages in reverse order (the first sheet having page 1 on the front, and page 39 on the back), offsetting the pages by one sheet…

I only misprinted four pages. I call this a success :)

Jobs

I am now ‘between jobs’, as some unemployed people say. Or am I? I have some short contracts lined up – a few days here and there working on specific tasks. Is that really unemployed or not?

To celebrate the occasion, I bought a MacBook Pro. I am mightily impressed, particularly at the sheer speed of the SSD and ease of use, but I have been a Mac user for the past four and a half years and only used Windows under duress or by requirement.

One thing puzzles me – after hardly touching Microsoft Word for the best part of four years, why is it still largely the same as it was in the mid-90s? Are all the new features generally invisible? Are they so tightly integra… no, actually, I probably don’t need most of the features that are in there.

The Cyclist

A couple of months ago, I bought myself a bike, and catapulted head-first in to cycling to and from work.

It hasn’t been easy – dealing with less courteous road users who try to kill me, pedestrians who walk out from between buses, cars that overtake leaving precious little room for me – it’s a very big learning experience. The benefits are worth it though – the money I’m saving on my Travelcard is going on cycling gear for the first few months, and my body is changing shape in to something rather more pleasant than “chubby”.

Within London, TfL offer free or subsidised cycle training. I took up their offer and had a couple of two-hour sessions with a qualified and knowledgeable instructor. She showed me so many techniques to help me get around safely – a couple I was already doing, others I wasn’t and should, and some – such as roundabouts – that I didn’t dare tackle.

The result is a big increase in my confidence, and the feeling that I am assertive and aware enough on the roads to make the majority of cycling fun. If you have the opportunity to do so, take the cycle training – it may not be there forever.

Getting fitter

A month and a half ago, a friend of mine went to an absolute beginners fencing class. Having done next to no regular exercise other than walking to and from the tube, four hours of activity did me in and my thighs and legs ached for the next two days. Despite the physical symptoms, I was ready for more and signed myself up for a six week course which ended yesterday. I’ve had several lessons of private tuition too – it’s great fun, hard work, but I don’t notice the physical activity so much as the technique and tactics.

In conjunction, and to get rid of the “IT Thighs” that I’ve developed after over a decade of running technology, I’ve taken up cycling. This is a great activity which is a lot faster than the bus, and exercises muscles I never before believed I had – which include my awareness of the back-streets of London.

My goal for both of these is to shape up, tone up and attain thighs of steel. If I can lose two stone, I’ll be over the moon :)

One wisdom tooth out

I’ve had one of them out (warning: contains graphic images of an extracted tooth).

It really wasn’t painful – the most uncomfortable thing was the injection in the palatal side of the gum, and I heard a noise not dissimilar to the squeezing of a cork in a wine bottle as it came out. One suture – I think – and a bite down on some gauze for a bit, and I’m fine.

I am still a little high on the lidocaine, but that will pass.

If you’re worried about having a wisdom tooth extracted – don’t be. The worst bit is the anticipation!

A premium extraction

I suppose I was lucky to genuinely forget about having my third molars – Wisdom Teeth – removed tomorrow morning. As a result, I had a premium weekend full of fun and free from worry. I saw Everything Is Illumated on Saturday, and may be inserting the word ‘premium’ in to conversation as an in-joke. I’ve already written ‘Simples’ in a work email and affixed a Ceiling Cat to the kitchen ceiling.

With any luck, the extraction will be uneventful, and I’ll be a little sore but much happier. Maybe I’ll be able to take my newly extracted teeth with me, clean them up and take photos of them as if nobody’s even had an extraction before…

Scott Capurro

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern tonight to see Scott Capurro with Vix and Alan.

Scott is hilarious – I think I’ve laughed myself hoarse.

I didn’t think I’d end up spending my Thursday evening in a sing-along with Heather Small, or listening to how Alan Davies bit a vagrant’s ear whilst insanely drunk after a wake.

Also, minor news – I have Ubuntu 9.10, but I’m going to reinstall my desktop machine on to a pair of 1Tb drives – I need the extra space.