Hakuna Matata

February 26, 2008
I’m back from the big city which was great, and although there is a lot to talk about, it occurred to me the other day that there are 2 members of our Family that I have completely failed to mention since I started the blog.
Introducing Nala & Simba

Simba + NalaLast year we decided that it would be fun to get the Children some pets and after a little thought we decided on Rabbits.

Meeting Nala Meeting SimbaAfter a little googleing we came across The Sunflower Nursery. After going to see the little babies that were available the children picked out their favourites and we waited for them to be old enough to leave their mother. The kids were really excited to be getting these Rabbits, they couldn’t come soon enough so we counted down the days on the calendar. This is where I would like to thank Nicola from The Sunflower Nursery for all that she did. We got regular e-mailed photos with pictures of the rabbits and updates of their progress.

Baby LionsOnce we found out that they were a boy and a girl, the naming of our two Lion-head rabbits was relatively simple. Thus they were Labelled Simba and Nala

We finally picked them up on Easter weekend last year, and partially due to my incompetence as a carpenter and partially due to the fact that Mrs Geek is a soft touch, they have ended up being house rabbits. Despite receiving apples, carrots, toys and even specially purchased sticks to chew on, they have slowly gone around destroying our house. They have now eaten or at least partially eaten the skirting boards, tables, chairs, slippers, the remote control for the TV, the piano, the curtains and basically anything that is left in their path (or even slightly accessible to a rabbit). Consequently they are no longer the little nervous balls of fluff that they once were. They are now 2 big lumps of fluff that will come and nibble your hair or ears while you are watching TV.

And Sunday was their 1st birthday! So belatedly (Sorry guys)…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!


On Pride Rock


Think thin err…. Tuesday???

February 19, 2008

OK, better late than never.

A couple of weeks ago I announced that I was going to keep you updated with my progress in the battle of the bulge.

My plan is to go running 3 mornings per week, and although last week did not go according to plan, I am on target for reaching this week’s total despite my impending trip to London.

Last week my running partner proved to be surprisingly fragile once more (I will point out that neither of us look all that fragile), and although as he pointed out I was free to run without him, I find it very difficult to drag my sorry carcass out of bed at 6am if I am not motivated by the need not to leave him on my doorstep in sub-freezing conditions.

However we were back in action this week providing entertainment for the more athletic types also frequent the park that we choose to plod around. I do admire people that can motivate themselves into exercise without the fear of turning into Sherman Clump.

So once I had caught my breath and hosed myself down, it was time for the moment of truth. Now I am not expecting miracles and I did start from a rather bulky figure to begin with, but I will confess to being a little concerned that my week off and the odd moment of weakness over the past 2 weeks might have made me look rather silly on only my second public weigh-in.

96.0 kg (sounds much better than 211 lbs)

That’s a reduction of 2.5kg (This is where I like old units. 5.5 lbs)

Well, it’s a start. Small steps and all that. Still having pudding cravings though.


The Joys Of Spring

February 18, 2008

It would be something of an understatement to say that Mrs Geek suffers from SAD, in fact if I could be bothered to come up with a suitable acronym I would say that during the darker months she suffers from MISERY but I might be in danger of getting a slap!

However now that the sun had decided that we are once again to be blessed by it’s presence for long enough for it to burst through the monotone grey that has been the relentless backdrop for all things outdoors these last few months, she decided it was time to venture back out into our garden. Ahh …

One of my concerns when moving into our new house, was that it had a beautiful garden … Most home buyers would consider this a good thing, but it does make me feel guilty to take it from a thing of such beauty to blatant neglect in such a short period of time. And having been pretty much ignored for the entire winter … I had some catching up to do.

My garden is a tough mistress. When I am neglectful towards Mrs Geek, a bunch of flowers, a cup of tea in the morning and few complementary words and I tend to get through. My garden however is not quite so forgiving. Since my last excursion into my garden, my trees have all shed leaves. Little pixies have then come in to weld the leaves to path with their magical pixie glue, which it would seem is impervious all but the “Knock holes in the path” setting on the power wash. Not content with this they have coated the top of the leaves with a frictionless gel that causes me greater difficulty staying one my feet than Cristiano Ronaldo in a penalty area (Dirty cheating little …. I digress).

The bushes are against me too. they have grown so high that they are regularly being trimmed by low flying aircraft, but any attempt at manual trimming would require the worlds largest step ladder and a petrol strimmer (not a combination I am keen to try).

My gutters seem to have been set up as the hottest new avian Des Res in the North of England, I am now waiting for a letter from the makers Spring Watch telling me that they have set up a web cam.

So I bit the bullet and started my years combat with all things green.

But every cloud has a silver lining, in that it did mean that I got to play with some of my Big Boys Toys. Out came the leaf blower/garden vac and I gave my lawn and path a good blow dry. I don’t think it was any quicker than it would have been to use a rake and yard brush, but it was significantly more satisfying. Oh how us men are easily amused. What’s more, I get to use the giant water pistol otherwise known as the power wash next week.

So although it may be a war I am unlikely to win, it won’t be through a lack of hardware, and if nothing else, I won’t go down quietly!


The Runaway Jury

February 15, 2008

The Runaway Jury by John GrishamI have a great fondness for John Grisham books. When you have read a few of them, they often have a certain feel to them. Like a pair of old trainers or a nice pair of jogging pants. Not particularly something you would choose to be out in public in, but quite reassuringly, even comfortably, familiar. They usually have a quite convoluted plot with a lawyer or a courtroom thrown in somewhere. So The Runaway Jury promised more of the same, and that is exactly what it delivered.

The story revolves around a court case in which a widow sues a tobacco company for the death of her husband. Whilst it mainly focuses on the actions of a Juror named Nicholas Easter, a law school dropout, and his partner Marlee, it also gives us many of the details of the wrong doings of the tobacco companies over the years, from deliberately advertising to kids to keeping the nicotine levels deliberately high just so as to keep people addicted. Between the sleazy behaviour of the lawyers from both sides, the preachy message that we are all going to hell in a hand basket, and the mystery surrounding our protagonist I really did experience déjà vu, was it flash backs of The Pelican Brief, The Street Lawyer, The Firm and almost every Grisham book that I have read… Alas I could see how it was going to end before I had reached the half way point.

This did not detract from the experience that I will admit to expecting when I picked up the book (Metaphorically as I actually listened to it on audiobook). It was like a journey where I knew the destination, I found myself with a cast of characters in whose company I felt reassuringly familiar and scenery in which I did not feel I was visiting for the first time. However the ride was good, it did not take too long but I was entertained along the way.

It does raise a number of poignant questions though.

First, should it be up to an individual whether or not to smoke at all? We protect society from other drugs and vices which after all kill far fewer users.

Second, if a person chooses to take up a habit that is universally understood to be bad for you, do they have the right to sue the makers of the product that ultimately goes on to kill them?

The second question can be flippantly answered, but there are a number of subtleties that a blanket response may miss, for example it can not be argued with that many smokers get hooked whilst being young enough that we consider them to be too young to make other important decisions such as voting or getting married so should they be held responsible for the decision to start smoking? Is it reasonable to say that it is up to the individual to stop before they do any long term damage, when they are addicted both physically and mentally?

I’m not sure the book helped me get any closer to answering these questions, but it did make me consider them.

I would say that again this is not a classic work of literature that will live on in the annuls of time, but nor does it pretend to be. Much like not every film can be Citizen Cane, this one would probably be closer to an Erin Brockovich.


Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2008

Love HeartNotice that I did not say St. Valentine’s Day. Patron saint of lovers or not, somewhere the traditional meaning has been taken and turned into a commercial nightmare.

However do not mock this Hallmark Holiday, today is Valentine’s Day. And for those of us that are in a relationship that means the card, the flowers and/or some other present and/or some romantic gesture that is difficult to pull off.

These things are NOT OPTIONAL!

In our house our budget is rather tight (i.e. we are running at a deficit, or at least we were) so every effort is being made to economise and be sensible. So Mrs Geek has said one of these economies should be to cut out spending on things like greeting cards.

Sorry, but who is she trying to kid!

No matter how much your partner may say it is not required, don’t be suckered in, there will be a little something inside that stings if their loved one doesn’t make that effort. They can Protest as much as they like, but we all know that they will love us that little bit less if we don’t do something!

Men are easily pleased, because without getting too graphic, most men have the same main preoccupation and is free. But what do you do if your significant other lacks a Y chromosome.

Now Mrs Geek and I have been together for 10 years now, and hopefully we will remain together for many more to come, and I don’t expect this to be based upon my Valentine’s Day actions or inactions, but I would like to show my wife that some of the spark is still there. Don’t get me wrong, it is not that I lack the passion to do something spontaneous or I have run out of desire to please her, however striking the balance between being impulsive and being annoying is like sleeping on a 4 inches of mattress … possible, but not exactly easy. Add to the equation that after being together 10 years most of my A game moves have been played it means romance on a budget in the grown-up world of jobs and children is challenging to say the least.

Now I don’t want it to sound like I am after your pity because I believe that I have this year sorted (lets hope!), but I am all too aware that I am running out of ideas. So any suggestions that will help me show that not only do I love my wife, I am still very much in love with her would be greatly appreciated.


Wordless Wednesday

February 13, 2008

Thinking

Chillin'

Blissfull Harmony

Snow White + Ollie

Show Off

Easy

Tired

Bright Eyes

Happy

Smile


Spring Has Sprung

February 11, 2008

Well keeping up the blog rate was going to fade sometime. The past few days have gone in something of a blur.

Having set up the Photo Studio (i.e. The front room and enough lights to illuminate a major sports event) I have been trying to fit both taking and processing photos (I will post some later) around the hectic routine that Mrs. Geek and I try to convince ourselves resemble normal family life.

To be honest, as weekends go, this one was really quite enjoyable. Starting with a school Disco on Friday night.

School discos are great fun to the outside observer. The recipe seems to be take 1 or more children, fill them with approximately 1 ton of sugar (multiply this for additional children), gee them up and play silly music. It is like a large scale model of Brownian motion. Having been all but frisked to ensure that I was not leaving with any money left in my pockets, the job is to some how talk my 2 little sugar saturated balls of energy into the idea that it was time for bed. All in all, not the most relaxing of evenings, but I have to admit to being amused by my daughter’s attempts at dancing and as much as it was not exactly a quiet dinner for 2 that I would have chosen, it was nice to have an opportunity to sit and chat to my wife without too many distractions (other than the music and the room full of kids).

Saturday also went well as on top of the second successive victory for my rugby team (I’ll spare you the details of my try, I will however not fail to mention it at any available opportunity), it dawned on me that maybe, just maybe, we had finally finished with winter. It was a lovely clear day that could even have been described as… well if not warm, then at least tepid. Also the sun decided that it would hang on until beyond the end of the match, so rather than walking in heads down in the dreary twilight as has been the case all too often, we got to bask in our glory and feel as though we had turned the corner and there was no stopping us … well at least not until next week.

And on top of the general melee the accompanies a Sunday Mrs. Geek had invited two of the kid’s friends around with their parents for a late lunch, so I have been Jonesing for my internet fix, and my blog neglect. Back to work now, so I have far more time on my hands, just don’t tell my employer.