Friday, 11 November 2011

abu dhabi du

It's the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend.

I can't say I'm particularly looking forward to it as it's not really produced any classics so far.  It's one of the newer races and it's also one of the duller ones.

From memory it's held in the evening, so it starts out fairly light but the sun sets during the race and it's dark at the end.  This doesn't really add much to the race, but I guess it's something different.

It's also the circuit where it goes under the weird hotel which has loads of glowing lights on it.  Also, the exit from the pits is a tunnel.  Again, neither really add anything to the race, but it's something a bit different.

It's also the second to last grand prix.  The season is way too long this year - the last race is Brazil, which is usually a good race, but it's way out at the end of November and the new season starts mid-March next year.

I appreciate with F1 being a properly global sport you can go on for a long time, but I think it's kinda reached a maximum length this year.  Also, by adding more races you actually amplify the effect of dominance.  So this year there have been lots of races where Vettel has already won the title.

To be honest, I don't think it matters as much in F1 - they still want to win each race, but the heat does go out of it a little.

Other plans for the weekend are... to be honest, I'm not sure.  I know I need to do a big shop and one of the things I did do when I got back of holiday was identify a bunch of stuff for e-baying.

In fact I'm actually almost out of stuff I could put on e-bay in the shed.  Indeed, I've actually got loads of empty stacking boxes in the shed that I've positioned to give the illusion that the space is has still got loads in it, but actually they're mostly empty.

Well, I say that - there's still quite  a bit I could get rid of, it's just it would take quite a lot of sorting out, and I'd say half of what's left is really only tip-worthy if I was forced to dispose of it.

Also I've actually cheated.  I've brought all of my manga in and stacked it up on top of my smaller set of shelves.

I do actually want to sell most of these titles, it's just that I'm either waiting for them to finish (which could take a few years in some cases :/) or to get a good chunk that I can sell as a batch (1-10 say) and then when new volumes turn up I'll sell them individually.

This doesn't get me such good prices, but it reduces the amount of stuff I've got hanging about.

Oh, I also made a bit of a decision - I want to rip some of the DVDs I've got so that I can get the originals on e-bay.  Having spent quite a lot of time recently sorting through things there's a lot that clearly isn't going to be of "classic - must keep" status so I think I'll rip them and sell them.

That does mean I need to work out a quick, easy and efficient way of doing that.  And of course it means there's a weird bit of transference going on - I won't be doing what I really need to (watching stuff) but I'll still be able to sell it :/.  Also, I'm going to spend hours (?) ripping it when I could be watching it... ?

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

indian grand prix

The Indian Grand Prix was on while I was away.

In fact it was on while I was at my Dads and so I watched it down there.

I have to confess it wasn't the greatest of races - there was very little overtaking (mostly the rubbish DRS type overtaking) and not much really seemed to happen.  I think there were a couple of reasons for this dullness.

Firstly, and probably most crucially, Pirelli brought the wrong tyres.  They basically said they were being conservative, so the tyres they brought were harder than they really needed to be.  This meant they lasted ages and it kinda took us back to the situation for the last few years.

In a way this was a good reminder of the great things the Pirelli tyres have done for the racing this year, but in a more important way it meant that they didn't really have to worry about the tyres and could all just do one stop pretty much when they wanted too.

So next year a much less conservative approach please.

Another problem was the incredible dust.  To be fair the circuit is new, so a bit of construction dust is to be expected, but I also think they've built it in a place that's quite dry and dusty, which bodes less well for future years.

The dust meant that going off line (which is what you have to do to overtake) quickly coated your tyres in dust, meaning you'd loose grip and therefore struggle to overtake.

What they need to do next year is get some of those jet washers and clean it up a bit (they even have these at Silverstone).

Another problem, I think, was it's yet another circuit where they've gone for gigantic straights.  I really don't understand the obsession with giant straights.  I mean, I guess they're okay for more normal cars which take a while to get up to top speed, but maximum straight line sped (vmax) s achieved incredibly quickly in F1 cars (and most other formulas).

I mean that's the point - they're very fast, very light cars, so they can hit top speed quickly.  The bit that's interesting is the corners - cornering speed is where you gain real lap time and it's also where F1 cars excel.  Nothing corners like an F1 car.

And of course if you're going to have some huge straights you reduce the number of corners.

Another issue was that I think they overhyped the circuit.  It's brand new and it's Tilka, who has built most of the new circuit, most of which are rubbish, but everyone was saying this layout was great and there'd be loads of overtaking, but there wasn't

To be fait it did look like an interesting circuit and elevation and super wide corners designed to help overtaking, yet in the end it just didn't seem to work.

Well it was only the first year and so perhaps next year will be better.

Note that tomorrow I'm away in Liverpool all day (it's going to be a really long day) so no post tomorrow.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

no water

So I got back last night and discovered there was no water.

I knocked on my landlord's door, thinking he may have turned it off and forgotten to turn it back on (I'll explain why in a future blog post), but actually it turned out there's a burst main and there's no water for the whole street.  It had, apparently, been off for more than four hours at that point already.

Why does this stuff always happen to me at the worst possible times?

I mean, I've lived there six years and at no point has the water been shut off (the heater for the hot water has failed occasionally, but that's it) but now, the very day before I have an important meeting the water is totally gone.

And that's the thing I missed.

Water to drink being gone was annoying (I like to drink quite a lot of water) but copable with - I have bottled water, milk and other stuff - but water to do things like wash up, have a shower with, shave with and even use to clean your teeth is really difficult to replace.  And as for flushing the loo... well.

But the real key is this was happening the night before I've got an important meeting.  I mean, why now?  The odds must be astronomical.

And given the amount I sweat during the night I couldn't really get away with not washing at all.

I decided to leave a tap on so that if and when it did come back on and luckily at about 9:00 it sputtered into life.

Of course the water that came out of it was a horrible muddy brown, and the hot water had been emptied so that glugged and gurgled as it filled up for several hours.  However, in the morning I was able to take a shower and do some of the other water dependent things, so that was good.

The cold water in the morning wasn't brown any more, but it was full of bubbles and it tasted a bit funny.  Hopefully I can run it through a bit tonight and it will clean up and be okay.

I guess somewhere in there is a big indicator of my personality - my reaction was "why is it always me?  and why now?" but I could be reacting in a "lucky it got fixed in time" way.

Monday, 7 November 2011


So, back to work today.

Can't say I enjoyed it.

I dunno, normally I'm pretty happy to go back, but this time it just felt like the worst thing ever.

Part of the problem was that the holiday just flew by.  It really doesn't feel like I've been away for more than a day or two, but I've actually been off for more than a week.

The first part of the holiday as spent at my Dads - Friday to Monday, and I think this was too long.  Not that I don't like seeing him, it's just it meant that the Friday and Monday were pretty much right offs.

And when I visit my dad it doesn't really feel like holiday proper.  So, in a way I sort of had a weekend at my Dad's and then a four day holiday, making it not feel like long enough.

Anther reason is that the holiday wasn't really very good.  The weather was a bit meh (cloudy and drizzly and foggy for most of it and it was just the wrong side of chilly) and I didn't really seem to enjoy it very much.  I kept thinking about work stuff and as I say I "lost" a few days.

Usually I go at the beginning of October / end September and the weather is much better - just the right side of chilly, usually at least a few sunny days.

Also, the clocks changed while I was on holiday.  While this technically gave me an extra hour, I always find it a confusing experience when the clocks change.  Also, it meant that it suddenly switched to getting dark really early and that made all the days feel very short.

And I didn't really seem to get any of the other stuff done - I didn't pre-write any blog entries, didn't watch hardly anything on DVD, didn't read a single page of any books.  The only thing I did do was read plenty of manga and that was silly in a way as it's not really something I struggle to do normally.

One thing I would say is the walking and diet went pretty well.  This time I'd planned to eat some specific bad things (clotted cream teas, 1 Burger King meal and 1 McDonalds) and I think because I'd included them in the plan I didn't go nuts on the other days.  I also walked loads and so still managed to loose about 2 pounds despite eating those bits of rubbish.

When I got back things seemed to be manic - it took ages to unpack and there was loads of stuff for me to catch up on.  Plus it was a cleaning weekend, so that was on top of all the regular stuff.

I've also come back on a Monday so I've the prospect of a full week at work.  I usually try to stagger holiday so it's a half week once I'm back, but I don't have the days to spare this year.  That's partly because of the Grand Prix holiday, which, although greatly enjoyable, has kinda made a bit of a mess of my holiday timings for the rest f the year.

I'd also kinda hoped that someone who was filling in for me while I was away would clear up a few niggling jobs I haven't had the time to deal with, but when I got back I found they hadn't done any of them.  I mean, I don't blame them, it's just it would have been nice if at least a few had been done and I could focus on the bigger stuff (which didn't really seem to have advanced any further either, which I'm less pleased about).

To be frank, I'm in a bit of a "roll on Christmas" mood.  I think I may take quite a long Chrimbo holiday this year.