Two rather expensive days, emotionally and financially:

£130 - Loki cat to vet:
Suspected congestive heart failure
£ 30 - Loki cat followup:
Heart problem confirmed, not acute
£612 - 4 new tyres + tracking:
Highlighted by just-about reaching the vet
£327 - Ruby overnight vet visit:
Who ate 1/4 pack of Smarties and the chocolate off a Crunchie bar? (Chocolate: poisonous to dogs.)

Pecking order

I looked over earlier, spied my wife eating milk chocolate, decided to emulate the dog so knelt down in front of the settee. Getting no satisfaction I shifted position, into a wet patch Ruby dog had created not long previously.

It was cold (it'd been sprayed.)

I… I looked up after a stifled expletive, to find my wife laughing. The chocolate? All gone of course.

Don't attempt to emulate the dog, you can't beat millennia of evolution.

I know my place.

Home Alone

Most people faced with a day off, and family away during a school holiday week would, I'd guess, go insane and do all kinds of exciting things.

Today I ran out of Earl Grey tea and burnt last night's pizza instead of gently reheating it in the oven.

The highlight of my day then has been the successful, if well overdue, defrosting of the freezer. During the mammoth session I discovered that the ice above the top serpentine had built to such a thickness and expanded to such a degree that it'd pulled out one of its supporting bracket screws. The left front one! Danger, mild peril! And the thermocouple is a bit floppy now but seems to work; no signs of an impending ice age yet.

Incidentally, IKEA-Whirlpool didn't make frost-free fridge-freezers when we put the kitchen in.




It's late, the weekend is almost completed, and I ache from the successes during it.

We recently found out the dining room carpet was damp. Chastising our lovely female cat is out of the question so last weekend I sliced most of the floorcovering into conveniently-sized rolls and took them to the tip.

Meanwhile my wife had priced up a very fancy lino to replace the previous luxurious pile. Saturday was fitting day, so Friday after work was me shifting 2 bookcases, 2 CD/DVD shelving units and their contents, an overladen sideboard, and the stuff that builds up as one's loved ones live, all out of the room.

The herringbone-pattern wood block-effect lino is lovely, we won't have the peeing issue again, and most of the furniture and books and stuff is back where it came from. Did it fit right back again without much effort? No; the back of each of the CD shelving units and one bookcase required inexpertly hacking at to accommodate the change in height between the previous and required notches to clear the skirting board.

Yes, of course I've been asked to move one bookcase to replace the living room electric fireplace now donated to charity. No more convenient mug rest for me. (sighs)

I've participated in a small way during the pnut.io Hackathon Weekend. But I'm tired, I've already written too many words, so I'll blog about the wiki next time.



NSFW. Perhaps.

On Sunday evening, late on Sunday evening I took my youngest daughter to the town's Urgent Care Centre, to help with the onset of a sudden and particularly painful ear infection. We were there for just about 2-3/4 hours, came away with advice and antibiotics.

A few minutes after we got there a young lady and her daughter plonked themselves down in the middle of the room, mother with a phone glued to her ear. Not literally, that'd be a bit odd. Maybe not in a hospital at 10:45pm though?

Anyway, while in the waiting room the phone was in use continuously for 2 hours. Not sporadically no, she was chatting all the time.

But I still haven't got to the point.

She has a husband. In the early hours of the morning the conversation changed from idle chat (I couldn't help but hear) to something more 'adult.' You know, the sort of stuff of the bedroom. No, not 'Stop taking the covers you…' or a long and heated conversation on snoring. No. Emphatically no. But heated? Yes, oh yes, yes, yes, etc.

Telling hubby what she would do to him when she got home, what she wanted him to do to her. Exceedingly graphic. So I attempted to hide, to bury myself in my tiny phone screen. To ignore the waves of words as best I could.

Not good enough. Not by a long way.

Especially when the conversation reached a certain peak and she said she'd have to go to the toilet to…

No. Just no.

Yeah, I did indeed delete some words. Naughty words. Well, naughty words used in a certain context.

Easter Bunny

The Easter Bunny visited, distributed cunningly-hidden chocolate eggs throughout the Turner residence and left, but not before disposing of the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt pack cardboard in our card and paper recycling box.

How very responsible; how very practical given what I'd imagine would be the total worldwide visit packaging impact on the Easter Bunny's home recycling regime and the local authority's complaints on bin emptying day.

How very odd it felt explaining this to the nearly 10-year-old daughter who found the card despite someone's* lackadaisical efforts to 'bury' it the night before.

*Nameless twerp.


Today brought two lifetime achievements, three if you include a small amount of good-natured Schadenfreude.

My mother-in-law is stopping over for a couple of nights. That's not it, no.

My youngest daughter, 7-1/3 years old, just corrected her grandma's grammar.


Another sign personal responsibility is a thing of the past, this one related to the ubiquity of the mobile phone. It's an all-purpose privacy invader, child entertainer, burglar inviter, memory enhancer, space invader. In short, it's contributing to the decline of civilised society.

A post on my favourite medium-traffic low-visibility social network pnut.io reminded me of the number of times the mobile hasn't been my friend. The easiest way to do this is via the magic of a list.

A rant, actually.

  • Private meal, photos taken, in all likelihood shared on social media: (not mine this time) Why do they think it's ok to do this? A host and their home should be respected. In a bar it's almost ok. Why does no-one ask first anymore‽
  • The swimming baths changing room: man with phone blocking the aisle between the cubicles didn't take kindly to being asked to put it away, not even when the obvious sign he was stood next to was pointed out. No mobiles, no photography.
  • School sports days, Christmas plays: Advance notice of no photography, yet parents insisting it's their right to do so are sneaky about it.
  • The cinema: Yeah, looking at your full-brightness phone and taking selfies are simply antisocial; recording the movie would get you thrown out (though likely not prosecuted) if the grumpy old bastard behind is feeling vindictive.
  • Drivers: Is it too difficult to wait until you can find a safe place to stop before answering or making that call. It's been illegal to phone on the move for a while now, along with drinking anything, adjusting your stereo, and even picking your nose you dirty scrotum! Heck, being in the phone driving down the residential streets where you live and your children play is idiotic. Getting in your car after picking up your kids from school surely getting home safely is your highest priority. After driving at my wife and children.
  • Walking along the street, crossing the road: This should be obvious. Cars are hard, very hard indeed. Bouncing off mine might sting for a while, and though my elbow is less-likely to inflict permanent damage as I protect myself, my tongue is likely to be sharper than you realise.
  • It's lawful to take public photos of my daughters: I won't like it much, especially if it looks as-if you're doing it covertly. But I know it's your right to do so. Making you feel uncomfortable by staring at you until you leave is my right. One day I might even snap you.


I think it's time to have a go at composing part 6 of my Maker's Mark whiskey review series. (Surprisingly catharsis none while writing the preceding necessarily-incomplete diatribe.)

Beauty And The Beast

My youngest daughter and I went to the movies again today, to watch Beauty and the Beast, a film my oldest had seen mid-week. In my own inimitable fashion I enjoyed the tale yet again, and ignored the chance that I'd be offended by the peripheral fuss surrounding the movie.

I wouldn't have been, by the way; it'd pass unnoticed were it not for the fact I was expecting something. What sad lives people must have, picking apart harmless entertainment and ignoring history.

Anyway, afterwards we walked across to McDonald's and bought 2 chicken nugget Happy Meals, which we ate in the car. Mine came with an orange-roofed Smurf house.

The movie and the meal gain Baz's seal of approval.