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Happy New Year (almost)

It’s snowing. Again. It’s the middle of March and I’m getting really bored of this weather.

That said, as ever, there are worse things that could be happening. Given the recent events in New Zealand and Japan it does feel somewhat churlish to complain about some snow.

That said, life continues. Mum is doing really well, and has definitely entered the final stages which will result in her getting home. She can stand, walk with a cane, and the movement in her right arm is slowly coming back. She’s getting stronger and stronger (you can hear that in her speech) and is her usually, bubbly, giggly, cheeky self for the most part. The house has had extra handrails installed and tomorrow she will be visiting the house, alongwith the Physio and Occupational Therapist, to see how she gets on.

My own little flat is getting there as well. Just waiting on my new sofa to be delivered and it’ll be as complete as it can get (it’s rented). Alas my car is a different story…

About 5 weeks ago (7th of February) I drove through a puddle that was deeper than I expected and managed to flood the engine. It was a stupid thing to do, and entirely avoidable if I’d been paying full attention. But I wasn’t.

So the car got towed off to the repairs garage my insurance firm use. After a couple of weeks with no updates I phoned them and was told that the garage had been ordered to strip the engine to check for damage and they were waiting on the results of their investigation. A further week passes and I end up speaking direct to the garage who, apparently, didn’t receive the instruction to strip the engine until about 8 days after the ‘incident’. He said that they’d stripped the engine and recommended a replacment engine be ordered.

A further week passes and, again when I phone them, the insurance company tell me that they’ve ordered the engine to be further stripped down so they can see if the water made it all the way to the sump. The findings of that were passed back to the insurance company on Friday last week. I am awaiting a final decision today.

Nicely, the terms of my insurance state that I get a courtesy car. For two weeks.

So I’ll take a moment to thank my mate Stuart who kindly offered me the run of his car for a couple of weeks as he was on holiday in Australia (and hadn’t been able to drive it as he broke his arm), and to my mate Ian who has now kindly let me use his car for the next few weeks (he’s got a hire car from his company for the next few months). It’s been a weird few weeks of driving, from my car, to a base model Toyota Aygo (courtesy car) to Stuart’s car (Mini Cooper S convertible) to Ian’s car (Jaguar XJ6). I’d really really like my own car back though (Ford Fiesta batmobile).

Mind you, there was a period where I thought my car might be written off and, as it’s less than a year old, it would actually find me ‘up’ in monetary terms. I had a nice wee second hand Audi TT all picked out too… oh well.

So, all in all, the next few weeks should see the ‘beginning’ of this year. My Mum will be home, my car returned, my sofa delivered and a raft of gigs (music and comedy) are lined up, oh yeah, and I’ll be getting divorced (amicably).

Maybe THEN, 2011 will start to behave and be the year I was expecting it to be!




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56

I’ve been gamed.

Or rather, I’m gaming myself.

I’m fully aware this is happening, and yet I’m actually enjoying letting my behaviour be dictated by the simplest of mechanisms, a number displayed on a screen.

The premise is simple enough, the higher the number the better.

I started at about 44 and slowly rose, week after week until it hit 55.3. It peaked there for a while and then crept up further, plateauing at 55.5.

I thought that would be it, and if I’m honest I almost accepted it for a while. 55.5 would be the highest it would go and there wasn’t much else I could do if I wanted to influence it.

Except that’s not true.

With such systems it’s always possible to eek a little more from the working set of parameters, adapting in finer and finer increments until you get a perceptible gain.

It’s been a long time but in the past couple of weeks 55.7 was reached, then 55.9 was touched, all too briefly. The last week saw the number fluctuate, 55.8, 55.9, 55.8, 55.9.

Such torment!

And then, finally, on Sunday the display read 56!

I know I’ve been gaming myself, using the number to adjust things, changing this and that to keep it rising higher and higher. I could probably keep going but at some point there must come a balance and I’m happy enough with things as they are.

Yes, 56 is a good number. I’m happy with 56.




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