Down the Docks

May 10, 2013

Continued Blogging Adventures

Filed under: Uncategorized — ealing @ 4:23 pm

I now mostly blog over at Things I Thought. I definitely don’t blog here any more!

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February 10, 2008

Better Booze

Filed under: Uncategorized — ealing @ 7:18 pm

Pretty much all of my male friends of my age like real ale and good wine. Pretty much all of them started out as indiscrimate pissheads. The switch from one to the other has two main steps in it, I think:

  1. Having responsibilities – chiefly, having to be awake, sober and somewhere other than bed at nine in the morning.
  2. Having more money – so beer with a premium of 30% or more (off the top of my head) doesn’t seem so unreasonable.

What I want to know is, in the absence of those two drivers, how many indiscriminate pissheads would become connoiseurs of wine and ale? Have we convinced ourselves that we like them because we know we can’t get slaughtered every night?

A counterexample would be a British male who had the opportunity to get plastered regularly on cheap booze, but who passed it up for restraint and more expensive drinks. I can think of no-one who falls into this category.

February 3, 2008

Wine Buffs Not Actually Very Discriminating

Filed under: Uncategorized — ealing @ 9:34 pm

Pope a Catholic. Bears defecate in woodlands. People think wine is higher quality when it is simply more expensive.

I’m fairly ignorant when it comes to wine, which is not to say I don’t enjoy it. I’ve known for a while that I’m not really capable of telling good wine from average, although I’d like to think I could spot the bad. I think that I prefer red to white, like Shiraz and dislike Chardonnay, but I also think I’m probably just trying to fool myself.

I’ve a good mind to buy half a dozen bottles and try a double-blind test. Anyone fancy some experimentation, strictly in the name of science?

January 23, 2008

Today’s Pointless Work Discussion

Filed under: Uncategorized — ealing @ 2:05 am

Do we store excess fat around our waists first because it doesn’t upset our movement and balance as much as storing it elsewhere would? Someone else suggested that it was for insulation and physical protection of the internal organs below the rib cage. I buy the first, but not the second. Any ideas?

January 18, 2008

Debt Free

Filed under: Uncategorized — ealing @ 12:22 am

A few days ago I did the maths, and saw that there were no instant-access savings accounts that would pay me more after tax than my student loan cost. Today I picked up the phone to the Student Loans Company, and paid off the last £1,200 of my debt.

That’s the last of the debt I accumulated over seven years, from 1995 to 2002. Much of the money went on two degrees, and some of it went on living expenses. For two of those seven years I was working in London, seriously underpaid, for Sweet & Maxwell, and the amount I owed rose slightly over that period. When I finally left university for a second time, I owed about £21,000 in total, to two banks, the Student Loan Company, two credit card issuers, an MCR and my parents.

So that’s £90 a month more I’ll have to do with as I please. Of course, all I do these days is obsess over when I should buy a house and get into much, much more debt.

January 17, 2008

On the Plus Side

Filed under: Uncategorized — ealing @ 1:27 am

I went to see The Nutcracker at the ROH this evening. I had the last seat available, closest to the stage in the righthand slips. This is above the level of the curtain, which although raised still obscures about half the stage.

Missing much of the dancing could be annoying, but then I realised that hearing a famous orchestra play a two-hour long favourite was worth the £5 admission by itself.

January 12, 2008

The Gym in January

Filed under: Uncategorized — ealing @ 3:05 pm

Or, to paraphrase Frank Sinatra, “How did all these people get in my gym?”

I’ve been going to the gym three or four times a week for the last six months or so. I expected that January would be bad, and so it is. At peak times there’s no room on the mat, no spaces on the cardio machines, and the free weights area is crowded. During the week I’m trying to go before noon or after two thirty, or after seven thirty in the evening. I’m off to the gym as soon as I’ve finished this post, since I figure the resolutioners won’t be out at the weekend.

I expect it will be back to normal in a month or less. I’ve never seen any figures – and I imagine that the people who have them don’t want to publish them – but I reckon that a lot of gyms make a killing from signing people up in January who stop coming after a few weeks. I don’t know what the marginal cost is to the gym of a single visit (although at my gym guest passes are a ridiculous £15) but I bet they’d have problems if all of their members started using the services they’d paid for.

August 30, 2007

Popbitch to the Rescue

Filed under: Uncategorized — ealing @ 3:17 pm
-----------------------------------------------------
Joss Whedon's long awaited UK based Buffy spin-off,
Ripper, starring Anthony Head, starts filming next
summer for BBC.
-----------------------------------------------------

If it’s in Popbitch, it must be true.

March 24, 2007

Coolest Thing Ever

Filed under: Uncategorized — ealing @ 3:55 pm

A dancing robot, that picks out rhythm by itself. Link from Boing Boing.

February 21, 2007

Title Change

Filed under: Uncategorized — ealing @ 6:52 pm

Yes, I changed the title of the blog. I don’t live anywhere near Ealing anymore: I’ve crossed London (the best city in the world), and now I live in Surrey Quays. This area used to be known as Surrey Docks, hence the new title. I reckon I’ll get bored with it fairly quickly, plus the Blackadder reference makes it sound a bit gay…

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