# Sunday, 07 May 2006

The big cycling trip

Well, having got new bikes, we just had to try them properly. So, I picked up the boys and two of their friends from school, and set off to Sankey Valley Park, near Warrington. This is a great place for cycling as it has loads of decent paths, many by the side of the Manchester Ship Canal (home to several ducks and not much else), as well as a bit off slightly off-road terrain. Just right for a first trip.

We took a large bottle of cold juice, as it was a hot day, as well as a few biscuits. It turned out that Motty and Zevvy (the two friends) had brought four large bags of some very tasty snack. We had a good cycle, stopped for a feast, then cycled back, stopping only on a bridge over the motorway to wave at some cars. A few even waved back

Next stop - Everest!!

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# Friday, 05 May 2006

New bikes ;-)

Aryeh Yehuda was to do a cycling proficiency course at school, so we had to drag his bike out of the cellar, where it had festered over the winter, and see if it was up to the task. It was, but he had grown a little too big for it. A new bike was in order.

So, Friday afternoon, like I've nothing better to do a few hours before Shabbos, he and I went off to the bike shop. Well, you can't come out without a little something can you? Apart from the spiffy double-suspension bike that he chose, I got myself a rather nice mountain bike to replace the one that was, erm, "borrowed" from our succah last year.

I also succumbed to the temptation to buy a bike computer that tells you how fast you are going, how far you've been, your average speed, max speed, trip time, etc. I don't know how I ever cycled all these years without one of these!!

So, having brought them home, I presented Eliyohu with Aryeh Yehuda's old bike, which pleased him no end. Aryeh Yehuda cycled off to his shiur, and Eliyohu and I decided to go for a quick once around Heaton Park. It was a beautiful sunny day, just right for cycling.

I then realised how depressing the bike computer really is!! You sweat your guts out (if you'll pardon the expression) cycling for absolutely yonks, then you look at the computer and discover that you've only been going about ten minutes and you've cycled a little over three feet!!

Mind you, I did manage 16 miles per hour on the flat, and 24.5 mph downhill on the way back top the park gates, so I was quite chuffed with that. Eliyohu didn't quite manage such speeds, but he was well pleased anyway.

Next project - some real cycling!!

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# Thursday, 04 May 2006

How rude!!

A boa constrictor stuck its tongue out at me. I don't think I've ever had that happen before, and it made a strangely deep impression on me.

I confess that the boa in question was only about 9" long and was on the other side of a piece of glass in a pet shop, but it was a significant experience in my otherwise reptile-free life!!

I wonder what will happen to me next?

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# Thursday, 02 February 2006

Hello Wilbur... Goodbye Wilbur

Last Thursday evening, I noticed funny noises coming from the fish tank filter. I decided that it was about time it was cleaned, so I unplugged it and carried it over to the sink to empty out the water. As I tipped it over, I noticed something small that looked like it was moving in the sink.
 
Looking closer, I could see a small baby fish!! I guess it must have been sucked into the filter and not been able to get out. Knowning the way fish have babies, I presume that its borthers and sisters must have been someone else's breakfast, and this little fella survived by being out of reach inside the filter.
 
I scooped him up, and put him in a jug of water so I could have a closer look (and to save him from dying in the sink of course). He was about one inch long and pink. I had just read Charlotte's Web, a very pleasant, if weird, children's book about a spider (Charlotte) who saves a runt pig (Wilbur) from certain death. As this fish was small and pink, and I had saved him from certain death, I called him Wilbur.
 
Not knowing quite what to do with Wilbur, I put him in a small plastic box of water and floated it in the main tank. That way, he was safe from the jaws of Biffer (our tank bully, who would consider Wilbur a tasty snack), but he would have warmth from the heated water around him. I gave him some food and went to bed.
 
The children were highly excited the following morning, and I must admit that I was too. My thoughts drifted to Wilbur during most of the day. He seemed quite active, swimming around his plastic tub. I decided that I would have to do something better for him on Sunday. I thought of rigging up a small container of netting, so that there would be a free flow of water in and out, to save me having to swap the water in his tub so often. Happy, I went of for my pre-Shabbos bath.
 
I came downstairs an hour or so later to find Wilbur dead!! He was belly-up in the bottom of his tub. I have no idea why, but I was really upset.
 
Funny how something so small, and only here for a short time can make such a deep impression. I guess there's a profound message in that. I leave it to you to consider.
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# Monday, 02 January 2006

I hate flying!!

Haven't been on an aeroplane for years. About nine to be precise. I hope it will be that long until I go on another
 
We went to visit the family in Eretz Yisroel. Trouble is, this involves flying. I'm not sure who enjoyed the experience less, me or Nechoma Bryna. Actually, I think she won. She gripped my hand as the 'plane took off and managed to break a few fingers during the ascent. Landing wasn't much better!!
 
Coupled with the fact that we got up at 2:40am (English time) yesterday, and got into bed at 11pm, I think international travel isn't my forte. Maybe I'll go by boat next time.
 
If I can wake up, I may even write some words about the trip. Right now, all I can think about is bed and 'planes!!
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OK, so keeping a blog isn't as interesting as I thought!!

It seemed like a good idea at the time, keeping a blog that is. I liked the idea of sharing my personal musings and ponderings with the wired world. The thought that people around the globe might contemplate the deep philosophical concepts that I created filed with with a sense of enthusiasm.
 
Reality hits hard sometimes. You have to be fairly motivated to write junk every day. Don't get me wrong, I can spout waffle 'till the cows come home, it's just finding the time to commit them to writing.
 
Oh well, maybe I'll get around to some more. Elgar is bashing away on the CD player and that is enough to inspire anyone to contemplate the higher realms of life.
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# Wednesday, 28 September 2005

Don't feel well today - happy birthday David

It's interesting how the juxtaposition of two independent items can create an apparent link between them. I started to type this short entry to explain why I wasn't writing much today. I woke up with a very sore throat and a bad cold, so I don't feel too good. Consequently, I didn't expect to write much.
 
As I was writing the title, I remembered that it is my borther's birthday, so I added that as a second part to the title. Once I had written it, I looked again and realised that it read as if there was some causal connection between me not feeling good and David having a birthday.
 
The human mind is a funny thing  (OK, mine is!!)
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# Monday, 26 September 2005

An observation on the nature of things (breaking)

Our vacuum cleaner blew up today. No "please" or "if you don't mind", just a funny noise, a flash and a cloud of foul-smelling smoke. One minute it was vacuuming, next minute it was smelling.
 
Made me wonder about the nature of things. When I was a boy, things didn't break. Mind you, it was always sunny and the school holidays lasted forever, so I guess that's what the subjective view of passing years does for you.
 
My second observation on the nature of things occurred to me as I was writing this. Why on earth would anyone in their right mind sit reading the idle musings of someone they probably don't know (unless you're one of my family) on irrelevant and fairly pointless subjects like this? Blogs are funny things too.
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# Thursday, 22 September 2005

Fluorescent lights are funny things

I have been having problems with the light in my office for a few days, and decided that it was the starter than needed replacing. My dear wife bought a new one, and it worked fine.
 
One would think that would be the end of a very short and equally dull story, but...
 
...two days later it started misbehaving again. Instead of coming on straight away, it was taking some time to come on. After a few days, it stopped coming on at all. Just the ends of the bulb were lit.
 
At this point, I decided it might be the bulb, so I took one from the play room, which I know works, and put it in my office. This did the same as the office bulb, implying it wasn't the bulb, but the (brand new) starter.
 
I then took the starter form the play room and put that in my office... and it didn't work either!! The bulb and starter than worked fine there, didn't work here.
 
To cut an increasingly long story moderately short, I have since decided that fluorescent light bulbs do not obey the normal laws of physics, and are actually subject to another set of laws altogether. These of course are not understandable by the human brain.
 
This morning, my wife reminded me that I hadn't put a starter in the light fitting in the Boogle (which was also part of the "swapping them around" experiment). I pointed out that this was because the starter was faulty. Just to prove this, I put it back in and, erm, it worked fine!!
 
Must be that bucket of sheep entrails () I sacrificed to the Great God Of Fluorsecent Lights this morning
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# Wednesday, 21 September 2005

Heads down, no nonsense mindless boogie

Yeah, bang your head on the floor!!
 
I just discovered that I can add pictures to this long-haired string-driven blog. Here is a picture of Aryeh Yehuda doing his "move over Jimi" guitar stance in the kitchen...
 

No, he can't really play the guitar by the way. This was the first time he'd ever even touched one as far as I know!!

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