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12th February 2017

Noodles @ 19:41

It has been nearly 14 days since I logged out of Facebook and already the incessant pestering has begun. But the pestering comes not from associates, from Facebook itself. Every day I receive a reminder that I have a Facebook account together with some titbit of information about how someone close to me has updated, posted a picture or liked something. It even reminded me that I had 19 unread notifications (fuck knows what they are), 2 friend requests and 1 event invite. The 2 friend requests were there before I logged out so they're nobody new and the event invite is one I have not responded to since it was posted last year.

So really I'm not missing much.

Instead I have allowed myself a social media diet of 2 Twitter visits and 1 Livejournal scroll per day. A visit to Twitter usually doesn't take me long. I dont experience much interactivity on Twitter, probably because I have less real life people there than on Facebook. Twitter has never been all that engaging for me and has recently been a receptical for sharing non-information like Pocket saves, Swarm check-ins, Pinterest pins and Feedly shares. In fact, nearly everything you can find on stegzyblogspot which is pretty much all I was doing on Facebook in the first place. I had been mooting with the idea of using something like IFTTT or Workflow to auto post to Facebook, but really I couldn't care less.

I mentioned to Zoe today how, by me not being on FB or wherever these days, she could use what she knows about common associates as conversation topics which reminded me of how quickly conversation with other people I know is now becoming harder. Indeed, outside shared Facebook updates and shite telly, day-to-day people seem to have little to say about much. LittleK asked me if I saw her pictures of a celebratory 8 course dinner she'd been treated to, I said I hadn't. E asked me if I had read her monologue about some vaccuous nonsense I can't remember, I said I hadn't and other office conversations involving social media quickly become background noise.

In other news, I have had a fairly uninteresting week featuring drives to work, sitting in work, drives home from work, watching TV and going to bed. Although, I did come home from work one evening to Zoe in a fabulous dress. After she told me to take it off, she put it on herself and went out for the evening.

7th February 2017

Of Meat, Feet and Shredded Wheat @ 06:57

The weekend brought with it my parents and between Friday night's fish and chip dinner and Saturday nights meat fest at The Smoke Pit, we had a wander around Stowe which is, in some bizarre juxtaposition, both a National Trust property and a school for toffs. It's also clearly been a front for some Masonic hows-ya-father goings on over the years with such charming yet hauntological Hammer film inspiring buildings such as Gothic Temple and the The Temple of Ancient Virtue, which conjors up thoughts of deflowered virgins from the nearby village.

There was also time for my father to nail some pictures to the wall. I'm not the best at DIY and I have the levelling skills of the builders of the Leaning Tower of Piza so it was only right that I get a handy octogenarian to do the job for me. They are prints of paintings of areas around Aberdaron in North Wales by a local Aberdaronian artist. I tried to take some pictures of the pictures in an effort to create some never ending causality loop but because the lights were on they haven't come out very well.


31st January 2017

Spuds and pop @ 19:37

Which is better value

2 litres for 30p
600ml for £1.25

You are thirsty and in a shop. There are 600ml bottles of pop for £1.25 or 2litre bottles of the same pop for 30p. Which do you go for?

The 2 litre bottle
The 600ml bottle.

Have you noticed the lack of large "jacket" sized potatoes in standard bags and supermarket "weigh and go" sections?


How much are you willling to pay for a solitary spud?


30th January 2017

Willies @ 22:09

I logged out of Facebook tonight.

As a media graduate, I am hyper-aware of how easy it is to buy more stuff influence people through carefully placed stories and manipulate situations through moral panic and misinformation. It strikes me that there is a sinister cabal at work in the world these days. Part of me is screaming that by cutting myself out of my "echo chamber" I am foolishly blithering into a situation where I become ignorant to the "facts" and "truths" exactly what our overlords are trying to engineer. While another part of me is screeching about not being brainwashed by clearly simulated untruths, half truths and carefully structured mythologies generating an air of uncertainty and mistrust in institutions, ideals and governments.

Meanwhile another part of me is concerned that I might actually miss out on that all important item of "acquaintance" news like what Jim had for dinner or how much Bob likes to lick his own elbow or how Sandra has managed to damage a toenail while picking her nose or something that is utterly and totally groundbreaking like someone has mutated into three people or something. And then I think about the happy times that were Livejournal. How much simpler it was, how echoey it became when it was clear I was writing to myself 90% of the time and how disenfranchised people became and bailed out to the likes of Facebonk or Twitnob or whatnot. Was it just that LJ had run its course for the majority? Could it be that the meaningless memes and vacuous knobshitery of later LJ eventually found grace on Facetwit?

Then I realised. Perhaps Facebook and Twitter have finally run their course too. But unlike the refugees from the cold vacant lot of LJscape who made the jump to Twitbook, there is no where for people to jump ship to from Twitbook simply because nothing exists. Perhaps people have now grown tired of self publicity. Maybe they've recognised the dangers of over share. Or maybe it's just now most of us have had our "15 minutes of fame" we no longer crave the attention and want to crawl back into our sleeves of anonymity. I know I do.

As the expectations and demands of a media hungry populace grow and the kindling of political unrest starts to smoulder. My thoughts turn to how resistance movements had long laid the infrastructure to their successes by this time in the historical fights against oppression. I feel cold from the breeze of realisation that someone left the door to fascism open; Wet from the fine mist and drizzle of those who wept at the ease in which tyranny swept to power and mourned the many they could do little to save; Nauseous from the noxious fumes of treachery, deceit and misinformation.

Tonight I logged out of Facebook.

19th January 2017

Face ache @ 19:10

Today, according to the Days of the Year website & calendar, is Popcorn Day. At this moment in time I feel like I've been carrying around a face full of popcorn so the thought of eating any turns me off.

I'm currently on day #23 of Nasty Cold MMXVII which on Monday decided to embark on the fever and chills phase so after coming home from work I thought the best place for me would be bed. Something I was very close to repeating on Tuesday.

Yesterday, following a 40 minute steam session in MEGASHOWER, I managed to cure my sinus related faceache in a manner similar to how Jesus cured the leper. Unlike the bearded wonder though, I could only maintain my miracle cure for a short 30 minutes and eventually the pain returned. This morning I felt great though. Feeling slightly smug with myself having thought I had beaten the lurgy. But then at about 11:30am today the pain slowly started to seep back reaching zenith at about 2pm. Now faceache is just lingering, in the background. Like a thug just waiting for me to dare to step out of line one more time.

If you would like to experience an infection of Nasty Cold MMXVII, please send me your address and I will gladly send you one of the many crusty tissues I seem to have accumulated since Christmas. No charge.

12th January 2017

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang @ 19:33

Today, amongst other things is Kiss a Ginger Day as mentioned in Hansard and on Days of the Year. It is also Marzipan day (not keen on marzipan, although this might be a dislike in the "black pudding" sense as in I was told I wouldn't like it and I'm yet to be convinced otherwise) and Poetry at Work Day.

In the lighting wholesale industry
Its difficult to write poetry
But amidst the baffles and ballasts,
Shade reducers and lamps
I attempted but nought.

What I have done though is cough, sneeze and snot all over the place. Nearly everyone I've spoken to since Christmas has either just got over or is still going through a nasty cold that seems to have started just before Christmas. Unfortunately, I caught it after during Twixmas as regular readers will recall. And, as it seems everyone in the surrounding area is diseased, the supplies of cold remedies seem to have run dry in shops. Which is fortunate as it is also Pharmacist Day! And so, in an almost synchronous celebration of the day, I have had the results from my blood test.

It seems that despite not working in a coal mine, or eating loads of red meat, fish and drinking vitamin enriched oat milk, my calcium deficiency is linked to a Vitamin D deficiency. As a result the GP I spoke to today has put me an indefinite on a course of Vitamin D supplements. Hurrah! I asked him if, like Wikipedia, WebMD and other "trustworthy" internet sources suggested if this vitamin deficiency was due to an underactive thyroid, to which he dismissed such a suggestion, told me I was very young, that he went on holiday and that I should give up eating healthy.

Ok that last bit might be a slight untruth.

9th January 2017

These days @ 20:50

Today, according to Days of the Year, is apricot day. I've never been a big fan of apricot jam nor have I been a keen plum jam eater but I'll eat plums and I'll eat greengages and I have been known to munch on the odd apricot now and then but I'm more of a raspberry fan. Apricots are a little too sickly to me. So as I won't be celebrating Apricot Day, I can choose another of the days to celebrate instead.

So today, according to Days of the Year, is also Play God Day. In recent years "playing God" for me meant playing God-Sim computer games like The Sims or Black and White but the site guides the reader towards doing some little tweak here or there to enhance someones life. This is something I do anyway. I tried to think about what I would do if I was like Jim Carey in Bruce Almighty and I struggled to think of anything that I could do that wouldn't change how things are right now. So what would you do? If you were God for the day, what one thing would you do? Think carefully though. For example, if you were to cease all world hunger, think about how the increase in vegetation required to feed and farm for the planet could result in severe drought and dust bowls. Or if you were to stop all wars, think about all those people who work in munitions and military service industries who would be out of work. It's harder than you think....

6th January 2017

Gartongs @ 18:06

It's quite brisk and chilly in Northamptonshire tonight so it's a good job that today is Cuddle up day as there is nothing more warming than a nice cuddle. Indeed, I was in need of a good cuddle this morning when I was awoken in agony by a leg cramp so painful it made my ears ring. I still don't feel 100%. I'm falling apart!

I spent a good while researching various articles about my medication and suspicions have been raised about my statins. I remember when I started taking statins and was frequently getting tingly fingers which my former country quack doctor used to suggest was neurological. Although after he had me subjected to a test where I was wired up to some weird electric shock thing that gave me spasms, the results were inconclusive and further investigation just wasn't conducted. I also remember a former colleague of mine relating a horror story about their relative who had such a bad reaction to statins their electrolytes went all funny. More pointers to the fact that something I'm doing isnt right...But I've promised I won't consult Doctor Wiki nor should i worry unnecessarily until I actually know what's wrong...

Last night was also neighbourhood planning steering group meeting. In recent years I have become a Councillor on the parish council and one of my "duties" involves being the councils representative on the Steering Group. It can be a pain in the arse sometimes because the wheels of bureaucracy turn very slowly and the majority of the "volunteers" have an air of "wish I never got involved in this now" but I stick with it because I want to make sure people are doing things right and as you probably already know, many people have a habit of doing things terribly wrong like voting for things for the wrong reasons, misunderstanding what has been said and generally being stubbornly narrow minded about things.

5th January 2017

Crack....Crack....Splurge @ 22:06

Today, according to Days of the Week website, is Whipped Cream day. In a house where dairy is mostly off the menu and where there is an imposed Slimming World diet, I am unfortunately unable to gorge myself silly on delicious whipped cream. Which is a shame really as I am quite fond of cream and, as you will read later, I have some cream related news to share.

So for now, instead I will share with you my memory of how, as a child growing up in Woolton, Liverpool, I would gaze longingly through the shop window of Clooks at their daily display of cream filled cakes and deliciousness together with the pronouncement from Les Dawson, Terry Scott and Dick Emery that cream cakes were naughty but nice. Ah, such happy times. I can still imagine the one that had green jelly as well as angelica. Nomnomnom...
Anyway, today I went for some blood to be taken for a test. I was a bit concerned by the need for yet another blood test within 4 weeks but after a chat with the phlebotomist I learned that the doctor wasn't overly concerned with my high triglycerides, but more concerned by the concerning low calcium levels in my blood. Concerned? You bet. Concerning...Especially as I haven't had any whipped cream in ages and whipped cream has a lot of calcium in it.

After learning this, I did what any sensible hypochondriac would do and looked up what having low calcium in the blood could mean. I wish I hadn't. Turns out that it's a condition called hypocalcaemia and, after consulting my colleagues who both actually do have medical related degrees, this is something to be concerned about as it can lead to kidney and heart failure and is one of the many "hidden diseases" as the symptoms sometimes do not always present themselves in situations where they can be identified as symptoms or indicators of the condition.

Long term readers will know I have a dicky ticker already and even longer term readers may remember a passing reference to my genetically anomalous kidneys (I have more tubes coming out of my kidneys than most people meaning I have slightly higher risk of pipe blockage when I get older [beat that stainsteelrat :P], so naturally I'm a little concerned. Especially as I have also presented with leg and chest muscle cramps/spasms, episodes of memory loss (I completely forgot where I was one night driving home from work a few months ago) and a couple of other symptoms I'm not going to talk about in public. Coupled with this, hypocalcaemia is linked to excessive magnesium, zinc and mercury in the diet. Recently I have increased my dietry intake of carrots, cabbage and oats as part of the healthy eating lifestyle I am following. Guess what vegetables and grains contain high levels of zinc and magnesium? And bonus points for the vegetable that is commonly linked to absorption of mercury from contaminated soils?

4th January 2017

Lots of bits of useless information @ 20:15

Q1. Did you know that amongst other things, today, according to Days of the Week, is Trivia Day?

Q2. I went to work today. How many speed cameras do I pass on my route into work?

Q3. Can you name at least three villages that I pass through?

Q4. I'm a bit farty today. What gas are farts mostly made up of?

Q5. It is also Tea Drinking month. On my arrival at work this morning what was I rather surprised by?

Q6. I have a fasting blood test tomorrow at 8am. What type of cholesterol in my blood are the doctors concerned about?

Q7. How much is that doggy in the window?

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