Friday, 21 December 2012

It's the end of the World as we know it...

Well it's 7:30am and the world is supposed to end at 11:11 (which it does not seem to have done in other time-zones), MrGrumpy has a day and does not really have time for the world to end.

LittleMissNaughty arrives tomorrow, so MrGrumpy's world is in panic, trying to get all his jobs done in time...and it is the shortest day of the year...

He went to take the laundry this morning but they don't open until 9:30 so that will have to get done later.

If the world does end, then MrGrumpy will be really unhappy that he just filled up the Mustang with gas, but then it won't matter that he spent $50 if the world has ended.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Almost time for a Holiday

With the holidays looming up very very quickly, MrGrumpy is extra busy. LittleMissNaughty arrives on Saturday and MrGrumpy is no where near ready for her to arrive.
He did get most of the laundry done, but he needs to tidy up and do lots of other stuff.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

When it rains, it really rains...

Over the last few days, MrGrumpy has needed his coat, in fact he even used his umbrella.

Having not seen almost no rain for the past 7 months, it is now here with vengeance, the news has 'Sink  holes' appearing and roads flooded, rivers almost breaking their banks, it is almost like being in the UK. Except a day or so later it is sunny and 95% of the water has gone.

Slow Updates

MrGrumpy has been a little slow on the updates, he is pretty busy and nothing much of interest is happening.

What he has noticed is how quickly the weeks and months are going past, April seems just a few week ago, tomorrow he has been here 8 months, it feels more like 3-4.

Monday, 26 November 2012

MrGrumpy and Windows 0.8

LittleMissNaughty's laptop is getting a bit slow and does not really support Windows 7, especially with it maxed out at 2GB RAM, so MrGrumpy picked up a shiny new 17" core i7 / 8GB laptop for her. It came with Windows 0.8, MrGrumpy though "how bad could it be, i'm sure it will be fine".... Wrong... totally wrong... It is worse than bad, it is unusable, broken, flaky, inconsistent, a major step backwards.

The new UI is interesting and would be fine if it was quick and worked, it has a tendency to just display some "sliding" or "bouncing" dots while it is doing something. This would be fine if it always completed the task or gave you a slight clue as to how long it will be before it finally updates the screen. Updating apps sometimes works, sometimes not, some apps open and just sit there with no icon, no message, nothing, just a blank coloured screen... what it is doing, nobody knows.

With a quad core processor, running at 2+ GHz, that is about 91,000 Million instructions per second, what on earth is windows doing for anything to take several seconds or even minutes to complete?

So when MrGrumpy found there was still the "old" desktop, he thought that would be the answer, well it would be if there was a "Start Menu", even the control panel is still there, the problem is how to start it. The whole bouncing your pointer off the various corners of the display gets boring very quickly... going to the top left, shows a small (not sure why so small) preview of what app you will switch to if you click it, (like the old ALT-TAB, but less useful).

As you can tell, MrGrumpy is not the biggest fan of the new Microsoft release, he actually hoped it would be better to use than it looks.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Tidy up time

MrGrumpy moved cubes today, this meant he had to tidy up, not a job he likes much.

His new cube looks identical to the old one, just mirrored left to right (and on the other side of the building). He is no longer on the route to the coffee room, so it's a bit quieter (if possible) but there are other inhabited cubes nearby.

The weather has defiantly chilled down, at lunch time MrGrumpy even thought about wearing his coat, but he was glad he did not, as by the time he walked back from CostCo he needed his shades and a short sleeved shirt was not a problem.

When he was walking back he noticed a road sign, uhm, are vinyl letters expensive or are vowels an optional extra in the USA?

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Mid November already, how did that happen?

MrGrumpy is still struggling to handle the fact he needs shades and is still seeing blue skies and walking about comfortably in a t-shirt in mid November... OK it is quite a bit cooler and quite chilly in the mornings and evenings,  sometimes it even rains for a few hours (generally it has been overnight, so far).

At lunch time MrGrumpy met up with MrCrazyRunner, they ended up eating a huge chicken fajita burrito, MrGrumpy forgot just how huge they are... it was about half the size of a small japanese family car... but very tasty...

After work MrGrumpy was not feeling hungry (no surprise really), so he went to the gym, he only did just 1.5 miles running, but he did manage his fastest mile so far 9'29, not very impressive by most standards, but bad for somebody who could not run for more than two minutes, just 6 months ago.  He also noticed that his Heart Rate belt seems to be compatible with the machines in the office gym (even though it is not a polar one), which makes it easier to set the machines up to do heart rate based exercises. It is just a pity the user interfaces on gym equipment is designed by a monkey.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Know your limits...

MrGrumpy decided to go out on his bike yesterday, he wanted to go somewhere different. Looking at the map he thought Morgan Hill seemed close enough for him to get to. Until now 24 miles was what he had ridden in a day, that is about the distance to Morgan Hill.
He wanted to take the scenic route, so off he went... the first few miles were fine, then he came to a decent incline, not really steep but enough to make him suffer, by the top he was already not looking forward to the way back.
Unfortunately, this was not the only incline he would have to tackle. By about 15-20 miles he just wanted to find some food and rest his legs. The route he had picked was scenic, but also there was nothing on the way. The choice was to carry on or turn around and cycle 10 or so miles back before he would find habitation. Well he had chosen to do this, so onward.

Finally he arrived in Morgan Hill, he locked up the bike and walked around the little downtown area. Not unexpectedly he was drawn to the Brew Pub, where he had a Burger + Soup (instead of fries) and a couple of pints of El-Torro Golden Amber Ale.

Now the only problem was getting back, he did think of trying to get a bus or train, but decided to see if there was an easier route back. Google suggested a cycling route which looked a little more direct (much less scenic) and less hills... off he went.

It was not long before his legs were screaming at him, along with the headwind, it was going to be a difficult and slow ride back.

Eventually (or so it seamed) he was back on roads that he recognised, as he closed in on his destination he thought that his rear tyre was feeling a little soft, well with only about 1/2 a mile to go he was not going to stop now... Sure enough later that night the tyre was totally flat, at least it did not happen earlier.

It took a couple of hours before MrGrumpy was able to walk around without his legs complaining, during which time he relaxed on the sofa watching the American football and finishing off the DairyMilk bar...

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Dark Nights

As the evenings draw in, MrGrumpy is finding it more difficult to handle the long days.
During the summer it was 6:30 or 7:00 pm before he realised, Now after recent events and the clocks going back, by 5:00pm it feels like he has been at work for more than the 9-10 hours he actually has.

It does not help that MrGrumpy is having to realise that he is actually getting older. He has just started to notice that his eye sight is just starting to deteriorate. He found himself moving the iPhone that little further away than he used to. He now realises that anything closer than about 12" is out of focus in his right eye. His left eye seems to be fine and compensating quite well.

Just to top things off for today, he went down to the canteen to get a can of Coke Zero and saw this...

It Lives...

After replacing the battery, the Mustang starts again.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

MrAAA had to come and replace the battery

MrGrumpy's car did not start this morning, just click, click, click again.
So he called out MrAAA, they replaced the battery in exchange for $160+, hopefully that is now fixed...

Monday, 5 November 2012

The Return of the Grumpster...

MrGrumpy is still grumpy, has has put wheels in motion that should change things (maybe - we will see), he has found that drinking Tea (Yorkshire) and dunking Digestives helps his stress levels.

Meanwhile MrGrumpy was especially grumpy this morning when he went out to leave for work and the Mustang just clicked instead of starting... Just what he needed... He was lucky that a local (who shell now be known as MrBobTheSavior) was just leaving, he stopped and had jump leads (which MrGrumpy has back in the UK, but that is not very helpful).
Once started he headed to work and started looking for places to replace the battery (not many places open in the US before 10 or 11am).
At lunchtime he headed out to the carpark, did the car start, nope... almost, but then the click of death...

While he was looking he found the negative terminal was pretty loose (it was padded with something, which instantly disappeared when MrGrumpy checked the terminal).

So even better, he now had a flat battery, no leads and a loose terminal...

It was a little while but he did find someone with some leads,  meanwhile he got some copper tape from one of the HW engineers, he put it around the terminal and pushed the connector back on, it was not a good fit, but better than before.

Now with a little better connection and some leads he got the mustang running again... off to find a fix.

He first tried the local Jiffy Lube - but they did not change or fix battery terminals, so without turning off the engine, he continued.

While looking for a AutoZone or something, he saw a small garage/workshop on El Camino, "Worth a try" he thought.
Again without stopping the engine he went in a asked if they could assist, MrMechico said to bring the car in, he would look.

The fix involved not changing the connecter but a cap that fitted over the terminal and then banging on the connector followed by trying to remove the socket that he had needed to ram on the worn head of the bolt.

The moment of truth, would the car start or would it need a jump (and still a new battery)?

Wow, it started... MrGrumpy was happier, now how much? MrMechico said $5, my Grumpy only had a $20 so said to make it $10, he was pleased with that...

Now will the car be able to re-charge the battery?

He checked the voltage and it was 13.8V, that suggested it was at least trying to charge it.

Back at the office, he decided to leave work before there would be nobody about to give him a lift. He got in the car and it started...

Next issue, it was now dark, he did not have half a tank of gas and he was not wearing sunglasses... No seriously, he was on fumes and it was dark, now he needed to get some gas.

He drove in the slow commuter traffic back towards home, all the time the gauge was sitting on 'E', he had read that this is a fuel low light (he does not remember ever seeing one and this was not the time to test it). At the Shell station, he pulled up to the pump, left the engine running, turned off the lights and went to fill up... Just as you would expect, something went wrong.

This time it was the Pump, not accepting debit cards, his is waiting for the payment to go though on his credit card (so that is useless), off to the kiosk to pre-pay for fuel (car is still sitting there running).

Anyway he managed to put $50 in and the station did not explode or anything else dramatic.

The big question, will it start tomorrow????

To Finish off - here is Beer of the Day
Sones Double Bastard Ale 

1Pt 6Oz of 11.2% Ale (yes that is US pints and Oz - so 1.2 UK Pints

Monday, 29 October 2012

Still MrGrumpy

Sorry but MrGrumpy is still not in a happy place... Hopefully he will return with vengeance soon.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


To ensure MrGrumpy does not publish something he may regret. Normal Service will resume when MrGrumpy is in a better mood.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The First Six Months

MrGrumpy can't believe that six months have passed since he arrived in California. The time has flown past, it has been helped by a couple of visits back to the UK and the Vacation with LittleMissNaughty.

It has been an interesting time, he has lost 30+ lbs in weight and feels much fitter than when he arrived, the option to do outdoor stuff is much more appealing to MrGrumpy when it is nice outside. He has done more hiking than ever before and returned to playing a little golf (albiet very badly).

Yesterday MrGrumpy met up with MrShinyShoes, he has recently moved to the bay area as VP of a startup company.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Guess Who is Back...

Today MrGrumpy took LittleMissNaughty to the airport, it was the end of their holiday. They had a really good time visiting SanFrancisco, Lake Tahoe, Bodie and Yosemite.  MrGrumpy does have hundreds of photos to edit, that should keep him busy in the evenings for the next few months.

The tour took its toll on the Mustang, the 6 miles of unpaved / washboard road, dislodged the rear window of the convertible hood. After dropping off LittleMissNaughty he took the Mustang to a hood shop to get it repaired - the also made some punture repairs to the top, to keep the water out over the upcoming California winter (which is expected to start quite soon).

Saturday, 13 October 2012

MrGrumpy's Holiday Continues

MrGrumpy's first week of Holiday has gone very quickly. MrGrumpy and LittleMissNaughty are now at LakeTahoe for a couple of nights, after spending a few days in SanFran (and doing a lot of walking up and down the hills).

Friday, 5 October 2012

Happy day

Last day of work for MrGrumpy, two weeks vacation upcoming with LittleMissNaughty.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Day++, Stress--

MrGrumpy is having a better day... less stress after a productive if stressful previous couple of days.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Hot Hot Hot

About all MrGrumpy can say about today, not that he can really tell, but at lunch it was very very hot outside.

Monday, 1 October 2012

October already, where is the year going?

MrGumpy started the week by loading up the bike on the back of the car, he is planning on trying to cycle a couple of times if he can.

No Cycling for MrGrumpy today, MrCosmicTea and MrOscilloscope arrived but do have issues with the hotel not having a room for MrCosmicTea, they have found him one for tonight, but tomorrow is another story, they are fully booked...

Sunday, 30 September 2012

MrGrumpy is getting Lazy again...

MrGrumpy is sorry for the lack of updates, there is very little going on that is worth blogging about.

He is using all his energy cycling to and from work when he can. Additionally he is trying to brush up / learn iOS programming, this is leading to some frustration when things that should work are conspiring against him without explanation. 

MrCosmicTea and MrOscilloscope are over from the UK, so they have busy week next week.

By this time next weekend LittleMissNaughty will have arrived and they will be preparing for their trips to SanFrancisco, Tahoe and Yosemite.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

One Donut to rule them all

The Sun was just rising as MrGrumpy headed for the CubeFarm, he is constantly surprised to see the sun in a morning.

MrGrumpy started the day at the CubeFarm with his Fruit and Donut, always a good start to a Day.

He was working on some code in his cube today, therefore he hardly left his cube. Not good for keeping up his steps.
As he has done so few steps today, he decided it was best to cycle home and back in the morning.

It was not the quickest of rides, he was taking it quite easy, all was going well until he was almost home and stopped at some traffic lights, yes he had unclipped his left foot, unfortunately he was not leaning to the left when he stopped... so over he toppled... Now feeling like a total arse, he got up and righted the bike, as he tried to get started again, he found the chain was almost off, so he had to sort that before doing the couple of miles home.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

where did Tuesday go...

MrGrumpy seems to have missed Tuesday completely... Nothing much happened anyway.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

And another week begins

After quite a busy weekend, MrGrumpy returned to the CubeFarm.
The dark mornings are making it increasingly difficult to wake up and get going, only two more weeks before he gets a vacation when LittleMissNaughty arrives in the US.

MrGrumpy had quite a normal day, no incidents or events and he cycled back from the office.
His knees were a little sore, may have been all the walking the day before and it had been 4 days since he cycled.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

MrGrumpy goes to wine country... to watch cars

MrGrumpy had to leave early this morning, he was heading up to Senoma Raceway to watch the FIA World Touring Car Championship. This is the first time it has been held in the US, so tickets were quite cheap, especially as Americans don't seem to like racing that in not on an oval or a straight line (and is not all V8's).
He arrived just before 8am, one of the early arrivals, he parked (took a note of where he left the car) and headed down to the raceway. His tickets included pit and paddock access, giving him access to wander around while the crews and driver prepare the cars.
It was a warm day, most of the morning there was some high cloud, but by the afternoon it was baking hot and wall to wall sunshine (with very little shade). Even MrGrumpy resorted to his hat, mainly because of his extra short hair cut this time.

MrGrumpy is not one to sit and watch the racing, he prefers to walk about and find spots to take photos from, as these are quite short races he would pick a spot for each race and walk about in between.

There must have been more people than they expected for the race as all the food stalls had queues of 50+ and it was taking about 40mins to get either a drink or food.

Some Photos (unedited for now) being uploaded to SmugMug.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more...

MrGrumpy has household chores todo today, washing, recycling, rubbish and hair cut time was upon him again.

As tomorrow he is off all day to the FIA World Touring Cars, he had to get things sorted today. Once he had, he headed off south, towards the coast. Generally he goes to SantaCruz, so today he went a little further and went to SeaCliff / Aptos and took a nice walk by the beach.

He had lunch and a beer at a little diner / deli  just off the beach before walking back to the car and driving home. It was quite amazing how much hotter it was as he got back into the valley.

MrGrumpy's FitBit informed him that he has now walked 500 miles since June 21st. He is quite amazed at how much more walking he has done since getting that little device, it definitely does encourage him to walk more, he has not used the elevators in the office for ages, it is much easier and quicker to use the stairs.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Happy iPhone5 Day

It was the release of the iPhone5 today, would MrGrumpy's one arrive today? Yes it did, MrFarSide set it up on the corporate network and away MrGrumpy went.

MrGrumpy's first impressions are that it is a quality product, refined and polished, not cutting edge in technology, more Aston Martin Vantage than Nissan Skyline GT-R. 

For the first time ever he is able to use the supplied ear phones, the old ones did not fit his ears, they constantly fell out and would hurt after a few minutes. The new ones even sound quite good, almost as good as full in-ear ones that he has been using. He will have to compress his music selection or use the 128KB AAC option, given his iPhone4 was 32GB and the new iPhone5 is only 16GB. 

With the iCloud automatically syncing photos, he may be able to delete some photos from the phone to make more space for music and apps.

MrGrumpy is quite impressed with the quality of the camera, it is pretty quick as well (especially for a phone camera).

Given how good the mobile phone cameras are getting and the fact you generally have a phone with you. He is interested to see how much longer, dedicated point and shoot cameras can compete. 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Yes, Just Another Day... now with Wifi...

MrGrumpy got up, cycled to work at 6:54am (without any near falling incident), arrived 43 mins later, shower and change, Fruit and Pastry, Meeting 1, Meeting 2, Lunch, Meeting 2 continued, 7pm Drive Home.

He did have Wifi issues today, as he was in meetings all day he tried to get his MacBook on the company wifi (it used to work), but it would not authenticate today. He tried to use the Network cable in the meeting room, assuming it was connected to something, nothing... He had a chat with MrFarSide who sits near the room he was in, he went off and checked if the port was connected to the network, he returned after patching it into the network. Still nothing...
Eventually after a bit of googling from his cube, he found a solution which involved creating an iPhone wifi profile and using those setting on the desktop. It worked for a while and then without warning, dropped the connection and would not reconnect..
After re-doing the same thing again, he got it going again, just in time to leave the office at 7pm...

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

MrGrumpy cycles again

Until now MrGrumpy has only cycled to work on a Monday and then both ways on Tuesday and back to work on Wednesday. Today he cycled back again, his legs did not feel too bad.

He has brought some new pedals (one side for normal shoes, the other for clip on cycle shoes) and some shoes to work with them. They were on sale at the bike shop so he was able to keep the costs down. All he had to do was swap the pedals, should have been quite simple, but the original ones must have been tightened by an orangutan with a scaffold bar. This make it quite a task to undo with a cycle spanner, he managed to remove one but the other was even tighter. He managed to find a real spanner which just about fitted (it was imperial but he really needed 15mm) with that and standing on it finally loosened it. He assembled the clips onto the shoes and set the clips to min effort to release.

He had read that you need to practice getting your feed into and out of the clips, so before riding home he tried a couple of time while still in the car park at work. It did not seem too difficult, so off he went.

It felt different, he could tell that he was using slightly different muscles, but it felt more efficient and less effort.

Then came the first traffic lights, he came to the end of the short trail section and needed to press the crossing button and therefore had to stop... panic as he stopped with both feet still clipped into the pedals... a bit of shaking and wobbling before he managed to get both feet off, just in time...  

The next few stops, he ensured that he released his left foot prior to stopping. It's going to take a little while for him to get the hang of getting his foot back in, especially as the pedals only have a clip on one side.

He did not get home any quicker, but he did not feel quite as out of breath, it will take few rides for his legs to adjust.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Green is an expensive colour

MrGrumpy's day was just like any other, getup, cycle to work, sit at desk, answer emails... OK this is a little more to it than that but you get the idea, nothing unusual.

In his rush to leave as it got light this morning, he did manage to forget his gloves and water bottle. As he needs to cycle home tonight he will have to go out an get another one.

While on his way back to the office MrGrumpy grabbed a Subway (low calorie and low fat) and called into SportsBasement to get another bottle and gloves and cheap bright yellow top and some shorts... He has fount that it is not exactly cost effective, this cycling lark. OK the car cost more to buy and does cost about $50 for 300 miles. The bike saves about $12 for 60 miles, it's going to take over 5000 miles to break even. Especially when a pair of shorts from Wallmart costs $15, get them from the cycling shop (ok with some padding) and they are $60+, and he does not need padded shorts for the car...
On the positive side, he is getting additional exercise, drinking more water and eating less.

Since Jun 21st MrGrumpy has walked over 1,000,000 steps (1,003,146 to be precise) that is 489 miles, which is an average of 5.49 miles per day. He really has been inspired and motivated to loose weight and get fitter, by not only the Californian weather, but also by a few techno fitness gadgets (and all they do is collect data).

Monday, 17 September 2012

Monday again

It was pretty dark this morning and MrGrumpy did his emails before loading up the bike and heading to the office. Unfortunately this puts him into much more traffic, he was still at the office shortly after 8am, but he can see the benefit of getting out early.

MrGrumpy did get a little annoyed this morning, the lane he was in became a commuting lane (2+ people in a vehicle only), so he was indicating to pull over out of the lane but nobody would let him in, next thing the arse behind was flashing his light inches behind him. MrGrumpy forced his way into a small gap to let the idiot go.

The plan this week is to cycle commute until at least Thursday, with the morning and evenings closing in he will have to sort out some better lights quite quickly.

Another thing coming up is his car insurance, in a months time it is due for renewal, that will mean he has had the Mustang for 6 months and is over half way through his secondment.

Morning Golf

MrGrumpy headed off to Fremont park for 9 holes of Golf, it was a misty start, before playing he hit a bucket of balls on the range.
As this was a smaller course and he decided to stick with his irons, this payed off, he had a much better round that the last one.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

MrGrumpy finds an Oktoberfest

MrGrumpy had a quiet morning, around lunchtime he headed out on his bike towards Los Gatos, he took the trail route so apart from having to avoid joggers and some other bikes he found it a nice gentle ride.
In Los Gatos, he found that at the brewery they were having an Oktoberfest, complete with a german style oompah band, beers were $5 each which strangely you had to buy tokens and then exchange them beer, not sure why.
After a couple of beers he got a slice of Pizza for lunch and took a walk around Los Gatos before returning for another beer before heading back on his cycle.

So after a pleasant and relaxing day he sat down and watched some more episodes of Breaking Bad on Netflix.

Friday, 14 September 2012


MrGrumpy is getting lazy about updating the blog, mainly due to the fact that very little of interest or annoying happens during the weeks.

Currently his life has reverted to a GroundHog style routine, wake up (in the dark), leave the house (Sunrise), spend the day in the CubeFarm, go home (Sunset), watch rubbish on TV, sleep, repeat until weekend.

All this will change in a few weeks, when LittleMissNaughty arrives in the US and they head off to travel around northern California. MrGrumpy will be extra busy the week before she arrives, getting the place tidy...

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Blog Entry 151, 5,585 Total Views

MrGrumpy cycled to work again this morning, he checked email etc, prior to leaving so it was a bit lighter for the ride to work.

He did not ride back as he went out for a meal with some of the local team (and MrNavySeal from Texas)

MrGrumpy is going to take his bicycle back on the car tonight, so maybe at the weekend he can go for a ride which is not commuting.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Another Week, Another Cycle Commute...

After a weekend of what should have been rest for his legs, MrGrumpy drove to work with the intention of cycling back in the evening.

This he did, it did not quite feel as difficult as it did last week, so he assumes this is a little bit of progress.

At 6:20am it is still very dark, he needs to wait until it is sunrise before heading to the office, his current lights are only good enough to show where he is and not where he is going. This does put him on a tight timescale, he has a conference call at 7:30am, so not much leeway, given the commute is about 50mins.

50mins later MrGrumpy arrived at the office, he was waiting for the pedestrian crossing twice as he missed the signal, so this delayed him by about 5 mins. He just about made it in time for his conference call.

He is quite surprised how quickly the journey goes, it really does not feel like almost an hour, at some stage he would like to use the bike for more that just commuting.

On another note, MrGrumpy has signed the paperwork to stay in the Guest House until next April, the next things to sort out are his passport renewal and car insurance...

Sunday, 9 September 2012

MrGrumpy's Busy Weekend

Firstly another apology from MrGrumpy, sorry there was no update yesterday, just too tired and depressed by the awful game of golf he had played to update the blog.

Yesterday morning started quite early, he drove up to San Mateo and went for a 7 mile hike (with several others from a group), this took a couple of hours and then MrGrumpy went to visit MrCrazyRunner and Family as they live only 5 minutes from the trail. After a tour of the grounds and house they sat in the yard and chatted under the blue sky.

He then headed back to San Jose for a game of golf at Los Lagos (nice course) and that is enough said about that... (MrGrumpy played the worse game ever... so better move on a cover the rest of the weekend).

This morning MrGrumpy did not rush to get up, he went out for a walk to get a coffee and visit home depot to get something to attach the bike to the "universal carrier" a bit better.

At lunch he headed down to Kelley Park, MrEngineCollected had told him there was a classic car show on and he would be there with his Engine collection. MrGrumpy had a really good afternoon, walking around looking at pre 1946 cars and bikes, some very nice examples and all runners. (MrGrumpy will post a link to the photos once he has gone through them).

Prior to heading back, he took a relaxing walk around the Japanese Friendship garden which is also in the park.

Friday, 7 September 2012

MrGrumpy pollutes the Planet

Being fairly unfit, MrGrumpy has suffered a little from the 4 x 10mile cycle rides. Given he got quite wet due to the rain yesterday morning and now needed to wash his shorts and top, he decided to rest his legs and drive home last night and into the office today.

It was quite interesting to compare the time of driving with cycling, it took him over 30mins to drive home (at 5:40pm, yes he went home quite early for a change) and the average was only 16 MPH, he managed 13.5MPH on the bicycle.

It is now less than a month until LittleMissNaughty finally comes over to visit MrGrumpy. The have planned a road trip, which includes staying a couple of days in San Francisco, Lake Tahoe and Yosemite (not in CurryVillage).

MrGrumpy would like to apologise to readers of this blog, for the lack of real grumpiness and briefness of updates. Currently he is very busy at work and between walking, golf and cycling he has little spare time (where he is awake).  It really is quite strange how he is generally getting less and less annoyed by things, maybe it is just the better weather and different pace / quality of life in California that is mellowing him. He will have to be careful or he will no longer be entitled to be called MrGrumpy.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

MrGrumpy's first Flat Tyre (no not Fat Tyre, the beer)

MrGrumpy noticed that he had a flat tyre on the back of his Torture device, this as you can imagine was just what he wanted.
He could not remember the last time he had to fix a flat, so with the assistance of MrBombsAway (who cycles to work often) he was able to get the wheel out and remove the tyre and fix it. Thankfully only yesterday, MrCorrado has emailed him and suggested getting tyre levers, repair kit and spare tubes.
MrGrumpy had not expected to use it the very next day.

By the time he left to go home it was 6:30pm, it was sunset as he got back to the GuestHouse.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

MrGrumpy and the cycle ride

Well MrGrumpy managed to cycle home and back to the office the next morning. He was quite pleased  at his time, just under an hour for 12 miles.

This morning, there was a strange sound on the roof, it took him a few moments to realise what it was, it was raindrops, big ones... just what he needed when the car was at the office and all he had was the cycle. Luckily it stopped as sudden as it started, but the roads were a little wet.

One problem he can see with commuting on the bicycle, is that it is pretty dark at 6:30am (already) and it will only get worse, he may need to get some additional, bigger lights if he is travelling in the dark.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

MrGrumpy cycle from work day...

This morning MrGrumpy put the Medieval Torture device on the "Universal Fits any car and any bike" rack to find it was not quite universal enough... It fitted but the velcro straps were not quite long enough to secure the front. He used the second velcro to add a little security before driving slowly to the office.

The list of item he needs to be fully ready for cycling to / from work is reducing, now it is down to some additional tubes, punture repair kit, pump, hydration and some bungee straps to hold it more securely to the rack.

MrGrumpy called into a bicycle shop on the way back to the office, he was going to get a couple of tubes, but of cause there are two types of valve, and he had no idea which fitted his bike. The sensible thing would have to buy both sets and return the wrong ones as they are only $4 each, but he decided to check first.

Monday, 3 September 2012

MrGrumpy goes Golfing (again)

Today was a national holiday - Labour day, and MrGrumpy had a Golf meetup scheduled. He was playing Boulder Creek (not the famous one near LasVegas) near SantaCruz.

They were all meeting up at 9:30am, so MrGrumpy left about 8:30am as google and the SatNav suggested 47mins to drive the 24.1 miles, the reason it was takes so long, was the roads. It starts off with Highway 17, quite quick until the turning onto Bear creek road. This road leads onto Highway 9 (which is quite twisty) and is the has more twist and turn than a game of twister. The road is not strait for more than 1/4 mile for 15+ miles as it winds up and over the "mountain".

MrGrumpy arrived in good time, the adrenaline pumping ready for a relaxing game of golf... not...

Sunday, 2 September 2012

MrGrumpy and the Medieval Torture device

MrGrumpy had decided that a Bicycle would be a good idea, he could take to some of the local trails as well as commuting to / from the office (sometimes).

He got some advice from MrCrazyRunner and had picked a GT Karakoram 4.0, it has 29" wheels, Front suspension, 24 gears and is red, that is about all MrGrumpy knows about bicycles.

This morning was the first outing on a bicycle for over 15 years, it went much better than MrGrumpy expected, to start with anyway.

After a few miles he found that gloves would be a good idea, his hands / palms were already quite tender, so he headed to the bicycle shop. He arrived before they were open so went and had a "Grande Skinny NonFat Latte" at Starbucks and looked at the data that the Nike Running app had collected on his phone.
He had already done 9.8 miles in less than an hour, he was quite happy with that, after getting his gloves he headed towards the office, this should have been about 6 or 7 miles from the shop, but after a couple of detours it was more like 8-9. After a visit to the 7-11 and another bicycle shop, it was time to head home.

The route home would be at least 10 miles, after a couple of miles he was starting to realize that the seat was not all that comfortable, in fact it was starting to become damn painful. By the time MrGrumpy got to the Rock Bottom Brewery (about 3:30pm and several hours since he left home) it was time to stop, get beer and food.

While trying to get comfortable on the very padded seats in the Brewery he realised that even though torture had been abolished for hundreds of years in the civilised world, he had gone out an willingly purchased what should be classed as a Medieval instrument of torture.

After eating and a couple of pints on IPA to numb the pain, it was time to attempt the last 3 miles home, these were quite painful, he was pleased to stop at the red lights, but the agony would return when the lights went green.

Maybe 30+ miles after not riding for 15 years was not quite such a good idea, maybe he should have kept it to about 10, but then MrGrumpy does have a habit of overdoing things and regretting it.

He has a couple of days to recover before he plans to ride the 10 miles home from work on Tuesday.

MrGrumpy has issues with Public Transport and the weather

MrGrumpy took the remainder of the E-Team to the airport via (what should have been) the scenic route over the hills and up highway 1, but in typical english style, it was cloudy and misty so the views were non existent.

After a pub lunch and a quick detour via the windy Golden Gate bridge, MrGrumpy parted with MrC and MrCosmicTea and headed for the train back to San Jose.

It started quite well, although he had forgot that at San Bruno you need to get the next train to MillBrae before you get the CalTrain to San Jose. Anyway, this went quite well and it was only a few minutes wait at MillBrae before the CalTrain arrived.

After about 10mins on the train MrGrumpy partially heard an announcement (because he had his ear phone in an was listening to music), he removed one of the ear phones and listened. The message informed him that this was an express train only stopping at Mountain View and Palo Alto before terminating at San Jose. This was a problem as he wanted to get off at Laurence which is between those  two.
He got off the train at Mountain View and decided to get the next stopping train, this would have been fine except the next one was not for more than an hour. He checked the maps on his phone, it was about 5.5 miles to the office, he may as well walk.

He had the usual issues with walking, the sidewalk (pavement) stopped just a few hundred yards from the station, so he had to backtrack and cross over to continue. In general the walk was quite pleasant, as the sun had returned now he was back in the valley.

The route basically followed the train line, at the Sunnyvale station he decided to check when the next train was, he was in luck, it was due in 2 mins, as he turned he could see the light approaching. He got on and saved himself a couple of miles walk to the next stop.

Friday, 31 August 2012

DonutThursday already

MrGrumpy was up and in the office by 6:30am, he did a couple of miles jogging before getting some fruit and heading off to a meeting.

Luckily when he and the E-Team returned there were still some Donuts left, hopefully he did not undo the good work from jogging by scoffing a donut for a mid morning snack.

The rest of the day was uneventful, several meetings, lunch, more meetings followed by dinner and a couple of pints.

Tomorrow the rest of the E-Team leave the west coast, leaving MrGrumpy to continues to represent them in isolation.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Beside the seaside...

After another day of meetings, the E-Team headed to the coast for the evening. This should be quite a simple thing to organise, but given the number of vehicles and places everybody was staying it did get a little complicated.

At the beach they took a walk around, while walking down the pier, MrGrumpy attracted the attention of a local, MrSeagull, who must have been a bomber pilot in a previous life, as he managed to hit MrGrumpy's Nikon from about 30feet above. You can imagine how happy this made MrGrumpy...

The rest of the evening went without incident, MrWhiteSox let them to a bar / restaurant which was called "99 bottles of beer", they did not manage all 99...

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Walking Dead... (aka JetLag)

None of the E-Team slept very well, MrC was awake from 2:30am, MrCosmicTea woke at 55mins past every hour and MrGrumpy was wide awake checking emails at 4:00am.

After a morning of meetings the E-Team with support from MrWhiteSox and MrZee,  had some lunch.

Post Lunch and mid afternoon they were feeling the effects of JetLag, they powered on through with the assistance of coffee and sour skittles.

By early evening they headed to the "Yard House" in San Jose for some refreshment and food.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

MrGrumpy Season 3 Begins

"In 2012 , a crack bluetooth unit was confined to secure facility by the powers above for a project they can't talk about. These men promptly escaped from a maximum-security stockade to the development underground.
If you have a bluetooth problem...if no one else can help...and if you can find them...maybe you can hire...The E-Team..."

Three members of the E-Team, MrGrumpy, MrC and MrCosmicTea, headed to the airport...
MrCosmicTea had not been to the USA before (he did say that "he had landed there, on the way to somewhere nice").

They were unable to get decent seats, so they upgraded to the "extra legroom" seats, a little more comfort for 10+ hour flight and just an additional £30.

The flight was not too bad, except MrGrumpy did have a small RugRat sat behind, who regularly (for about 8 hours) kicked, tapped or moved the back of his seat... obviously not annoying MrGrumpy at all... but he did wish he had his gaffer tape and velcro to hand...

At immigration the queue was not existent, they were all through about 10mins after leaving the plane, a record... it was a pity the luggage took another 30mins to arrive...

Next they had MrHertz to contend with, it all seemed to go smoothly, until they got to the car and found the "CrapNav" (aka nEverLost - the n is silent) was nowhere to be found... MrC had a discussion with someone and finally they moved cars to a Toymota Armchair (with CrapNav).

MrCosmicTea provided them with some amusement when he attempted to find the hotel on the CrapNav, it all went much smoother without the "H" in San Jose.

MrGrumpy and the Porsche Saga

MrGrumpy is happy to be using is Porsche again, but there are a few frustrations that continue to annoy him... mainly the sensors that control the roof opening (or not)...

These are the sort of annoying little issues that he should expect, owning a 13+ year old sports car is never going to be smooth (unless the budget to buy and maintain is unlimited). Whereas MrGrumpy has the WorldsCheapestPorsche(tm) and maintains it on a minimal budget, therefore he has to deal with  each issue as it arrises.

*** Update ***

MrGrumpy has sold the Porsche, he is quite sad to see it go...

Friday, 17 August 2012

The Return of MrSneeze

MrGrumpy is suffering, he is not sure if it is an allergy or a cold, he does know it is getting annoying.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Office Days

MrGrumpy is spending the week in the office, it is a lot different to his days in the CubeFarm, open plan and can see / speak to people.

MrDangerous has been taken ill whilst on holiday, he should be back home tomorrow and then assessed by the local expert hospital, MrGrumpy has delayed his flight back for a week.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Post Olympics and JetLag

MrGrumpy slept very well after their 13 miles walking and the long day at the Olympics. 

By mid afternoon, the JetLag was kicking in, MrGrumpy found himself nodding off in the chair and regretted it once he woke, feeling much worse than he did before he fell asleep.

In the evening they watched the Opening ceremony on iPlayer on the projector, prior to watching the closing concert.

Back to work for MrGrumpy in the morning...

MrGrumpy goes to the Olympics

MrGrumpy did not get long to recover from jet lag before he and LittleMissNaughty headed down to London to visit the last day of the Olympic athletics.

Their tickets were for the last evening of the athletics, so they headed into central London first. They got off the tube at StPauls and after a coffee they walked over the river and up the south bank before crossing at Westminster bridge and back to StPauls via a bar for a pub lunch.

The Tube back to Stratford and the Olympic park was quite busy, it was a short walk from the station to the entrance, once through the airport style security they were into the Olympic park.

When they headed into the stadium the found their seats were directly opposite the Olympic flame and four rows from the top. They were surprised that the stadium did not seem that big, they had a good enough view.

MrGrumpy did expect to leave with a bruised elbow, every time the little girl in the next seat stood up or sat down (which she did a lot), the seat would catch MrGrumpy's elbow...

The highlights of the night for MrGrumpy and LittleMissNaughty were seeing and being there when MrMoFarah won the 5K Gold medal, the roar of the crowd in the stadium was deafening.

Even thought MrGrumpy was not a athletics fan, being at the Olympics was an event that he won't get chance to attend again and was really pleased he had been able to go (thanks to LittleMissNaughty being organised and she was determined to go).

And the crowd went wild as MrMoFarah won his second gold in the 5000m final

Thursday, 9 August 2012

The Final Countdown

Today it is time for the Season 2 cliffhanger, what could it be... well it is a DonutThursday, so will MrGrumpy only go for fruit and stay away from the donut? (unlikely)...
Could Season 3 be the final season? will there be a Season 4 or will there be a spin off series?, time will tell.
Once MrGrumpy returns for Season 3 his next scheduled return to the UK is not until the end of  next March, this will be a really long time to be away from friends and family. 
He does have LittleMissNaughty coming over for their holidays to look forward to, their holiday plans have an uncanny resemblance to the Piston Heads American Dream tour, but PH are doing it all in 8 days, MrGrumpy and LittleMissNaughty have planned it over two trips.

MrGrumpy and MrZee leave for the airport at lunchtime, MrGrumpy is hoping the choice of seats is not limited to the two that were shown on the website, both middle seats. If it is then his flight will be even more miserable than usual. 

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

FlyHomeDay - Today == Tomorrow

It is the penultimate episode of BreakfastInAmerica Season 2, tomorrow will just be the cliffhanger (and travel/flight saga).

MrGrumpy has several things to get done today, a couple of meetings out of the office and he also needs to extract a cheque from the bank (for his rent).
He also needs to ensure he does enough walking today to cover the 1/2 pizza that is in the fridge from yesterday.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

On Target and Off Target

By 6:30am MrGrumpy was at work, it does make for a long day, but gives him opertunity to have read all his email and be ready for his 7:00am conference call.

At lunchtime MrBombsAway called MrGrumpy to see if he wanted to go to the range at lunch time (no not golf, shooting).
MrGrumpy was quite please with his accuracy, there were a couple of stray shots, but nothing much.

MrGrumpy may have been on target at the shooting range (mainly) but his number of steps an will power were well off target, due to him giving in to a craving for pizza... He only ate half, saving the rest for tomorrow, but even half blew his calorie budget by 650 calories... When he got home he felt guilty enough to go out for an after dinner stroll... an extra 9000 steps brought him back within budget (just). Of cause if he wants to eat the rest of the pizza tomorrow he will have to do at least another 12500 steps.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Another Monday, but a good week begins

Just as most other Monday mornings, MrGrumpy's arrived at the CubeFarm by 7am. This week will be quite short as he and MrZee are flying to the UK on Thursday afternoon.

MrGrumpy can't believe that 9 weeks have passed since he returned to California.

Today at lunchtime MrGrumpy walked about a mile and met up with MrCrazyRunner, they went to StJohnsBarAndGrill for BBQ chicken and fries.
MrGrumpy was tempted to have a pint, but restrained himself to Diet Coke.

MrGrumpy goes Golfing

MrGrumpy had a plan for today, well the afternoon at least. He was going to play golf at SantaTeresa course, he had found this via a BeginnersGolf group on

But he would need some supplies, water, cereal bars etc, so he took a walk to the local store. When he got there he decided to get some coffee at Peets Coffees and Teas. He saw a Light Frotto (100 Cal), which he incorrectly thought would be some type of latte, it was a iced coffee, blended to make it more like a milkshake. Not really what he had wanted for breakfast, he sat outside and drank it anyway.

After drinking his coffee milkshake and getting supplies for the afternoon he headed back, by the time he got home the dull and overcast day and reverted back to what he normally expects, sunshine and blue skies.

He arrived at the course in plenty of time and decided to hit a few on the range first, he had to rush the last 15-20 as he was getting close to the meeting up time. At the pro-shop he met up with the rest of the group, there were 11 playing, three groups.

MrGrumpy was in the second group, without going into details, the game was pretty bad, he played very consistent, but it was a consistently bad. Only a rare clean hit would encourage him on. On the last  couple of holes he did manage to hit a couple of semi-decent shots, but they were soon let down by poor chips or putting.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

A Non Day

MrGrumpy had to do his washing today, but other than that he had no plans.

He has found that when travelling he did not have carry on luggage which would hold his laptop and some clothes,  he thought it was about time to get some,  so against his better judgement he went to the mall.

MrGrumpy does not like shopping at the best of times, malls make it even worse, he generally wanders around Zombie like searching for whatever it is he is looking for. Today was no different, he checked out the usual department stores. There are plenty of carry on sized bags, but then you have to check the size, 22", 21" or 20", 2 or 4, hard shell or soft, tote or case, the choices are endless. All he wanted was something that would fit and also hold clothes + laptop (or two) + chargers etc. Finally he narrowed it down, 20" TravelPro Crew9 is the best choice as it fits in the overhead bins (wheels first) on both domestic and international flights.

After getting a case, the next problem was finding his way out of the maze that is the mall. It all looks the same and even when he did find an exit, was he at the car park, of cause not, back into the maze and find another exit... If there is one thing MrGrumpy dislikes more than shopping in a mall, it is choosing what to eat! Combine these two and you have MrGrumpy's perfect storm of a nightmare. He was faced with about 15 choices at the food court, after several circuits of the various vendors, he picked one. He had a grilled shrimp burrito, no chips (as they would add 230 calories) and a CokeZero. It was not a bad choice, it filled him up and was only 730 calories.

He retraced his steps back to the car and headed towards home. The route took him past all the car dealers, he was not in any rush to get home, so stopped down the street and decided to take a walk to see what and how much cars were going for. He was not looking to buy, he was just interested in seeing what he could / would think about buying if he were in the market for something newer than his trusty 1998 Mustang. There was not that much that he was really interested in, a few Nissan 370Z, Mustangs, Dodge Challenger, quite a few V8 trucks (which all look about the same, just with different badges and engines in).

He got back into his Mustang and drove home, all this walking at the mall and browsing the cars had boosted his steps for today, over 18,000 (about 8.5 miles). Today was warm but mostly cloudy, about the first weekend since he has been here that it has not been wall to wall blue sky.

MrGrumpy's 150% Rule

Always give 150% at work: 25% Monday, 30% Tuesday, 50% Wednesday, 40% Thursday, 5% Friday.

MrGrumpy wishes this were true, for the last few months he has been working more like 150% / day, but he is not complaining. Working almost completely in isolation he has become more focused has a clearer view of what he wants his future direction to be.

As he comes to the end of the extended Season 2, he needs to start putting things in place to ensure the difficult Season 3 and beyond get full backing from the studio.

With this being a Friday he will not be working doing 150%, he limits Fridays to 100% max.

He has not yet seen the latest MrBatMan movie and would like to see it in IMAX before it ends up on the dreaded AMC Mercado Screen 7 (with the duff right audio channel and scratched screen).

After seeing MrBatMan, MrGrumpy went to TGI Fridays and had Steak, Mash and Broccoli (yes a vegetable, but when dipped in the JackDaniels BBQ sauce it became palatable).

Next MrGrumpy went looking at carry on luggage, there was too much choice, so he decided to leave it for now.

As MrGrumpy had not seen any movies for a couple of weeks, he decided to go back to the cinema and watch Total Recall, so that was two movies today, he has now almost caught up.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Fist DonutThursday for a few weeks

MrGrumpy was around for a DonutThursday, he had some fruit and a danish (for a change).

The day soon passed and he went to downtown Sunnyvale to meet some of the golfers he had met last weekend.

He got back home quite late (for him) it was 10:50pm, time to talk to LittleMissNaughty and then go to sleep...

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Mid Week Again

MrGrumpy is struggling to work out where the weeks go, it is Wednesday again and he can't work out where Monday & Tuesday have gone, he know that his todo list just as long as it was on Monday morning, even as he ticks off one item, four or five seem to get added...

This Evening MrGrumpy had to do his expenses for the last couple of trips, he hates doing expenses, but as he has to pay the bill on his credit card now, he will be even more out of pocket if he leaves it.

7PM again, time for MrGrumpy to leave his Cube and head home, watch some Netflix and then sleep for a few hours before returning for his first DonutThursday in three weeks...

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?

Being a Tuesday, MrGrumpy was at work earlier than normal, he was there by 6:45am ready for his 7:00am call.
With a couple of calls and going through actions and emails it is lunchtime before he knows it.

Today was an unusual lunch, he went with MrBombsAway to the local shooting range, they were shooting MrBombsAway's Stainless Steel SIG Sauer P226 9mm pistol.
They both shot 50 rounds, at 7 and 10 yard distances, MrGrumpy was pleased with his grouping, only 1 shot out of 50 out outside of 8, 9 or X. MrGrumpy found this is a great method of stress reduction, especially at lunch time after a busy morning.

Upon returning to his CubeFarm, MrGrumpy had something new to adorn the walls of his Cube.

When MrGrumpy got home, the fridge was bare and he needed to go for a walk to improve his numbers with MrFitBit.

Unfortunately his willpower was failing fast as he headed towards the shops and the local restaurants. He was really hungry and wanted something tasty, he stopped at the Indian restaurant and had beer and a Chicken Tikka Massala. He ordered CTM with a Nan, not expecting to get rice as well, but it came with rice. So there went the diet for this week, but he really enjoyed it and walked the longer way back to slightly counteract the undoubted damage he had just done.

He must be getting used to the weather here, on his walk back he was thinking "it's not that hot tonight", as he passed the sign which shows the temp, it was 74f (23c) at 9:20pm, in the UK that is quite a decent summer day.

Monday, 30 July 2012

As if Monday was not a bad enough day...

MrGrumpy was woken by his iPhone alarm at 3:45am, for some reason it decided to work this morning. He stumbled in the dark to find the annoying device and silence the alarm whilst still almost fully asleep.
This was quite annoying as it did not work when he was in Dallas, when he wanted it too. Now it was working but had put the time back by the two hour time difference.
By 5:45am when the real iPod alarm went off, he just hit Stop, he should have hit Snooze because it was 6:20am before he looked again.

He got to work just gone 7:00am, he opened the door and as he went through, his watch caught on the door and he managed to snap off the winder pin on his Tissot watch... This was not a good start to the week, after 13years of fixing cars, DIY and even working on the allotment, he had never damaged his watch.

Doing a quick search on MrYelp he found MrFred in Sunnyvale who had nothing but good reviews. He went over there at lunch and MrFred was able to fix it in 20mins for $30, he is much happier now it is fixed.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

MrGrumpy goes to the range

Armed with the Craigslist Clubs (Ping G10 Irons, Callaway 3w/5w and Titleist wedges). MrGrumpy headed to PaloAlto golf course for an open lesson (only $25).
When he arrived it turned out he was the only one for the Sunday lesson, so he got a 1-1 lesson for just $25. MrGolfer showed him how he should be gripping the club, then how to stand and finally how to swing.
By the end MrGrumpy was hitting his irons much better, not good but better. He will need many more hours of practice before he even classes as a beginner.
MrGrumpy still needed to get a driver, not that he would be able to hit the ball any distance but to complete his clubs he should get one. He looked around for ages at several shops and finally decided to go with the Callaway Diablo (10.5 loft).
He went on to give it a little go at Pruneridge golf range, another bucket of balls, he hit the driver a couple of times but felt he needed to concentrate on his irons to get his technique better before attempting the more difficult driver.

MrGrumpy had a couple of other tasks on his list for today. His FitBit case was coming apart, he had already had to repair it when he was in Dallas, he went to a BestBuy on his way back from the range, unfortunately the will only replace items less than 30 days old and his FitBit is 38 days old... he now has to contact the manufacturer...
The other task was to try and take back his Nike trainers, the stitching on the front had already come undone. He did not hold out much hope as he had there a couple of weeks before the FitBit. To his surprise there was no issue at SportsAuthority, he decided to go for some Merrils (bit more expensive but more a walking / hiking shoe that the Nike was).

Saturday, 28 July 2012

RIP MrBarney 1998-2012

Very sad news today, MrBarney is no longer with us, he is very much missed by everyone.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Post Beer Friday

MrGrumpy woke at 8:00am feeling quite ruff, again it was his own fault for not eating before consuming beer...

He checked out of the Hotel and headed to MrStarbucks for a non-fat latte and a croissant. Now the challenge of finding a cab, he should have just walked back to the hotel and got one from there, but it only took him about 10 mins before he found one.

Another day firefighting issues, but it did take his mind off his hangover...

At 5PM is was time to head for the airport, he will be glad to get back to the bay area and relax for the weekend.

MrGrumpy misses another Donut Thursday

MrGrumpy was away from the CubeFarm, another long day working, followed by an expensive cab ride from Washington state to downtown Portland (which is in Oregon).
MrGrumpy met up with MrSBD, MrHighEnergy and MrVanHalan, when he arrived they were just eating, so MrGrumpy made the mistake of not eating then and was going to get something a little later. Of cause he did not and just had a few beers (always a bad idea).

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Travelling Again...

Just as MrGrumpy had got back to the CubeFarm, it was time to travel again. He has a full day of meetings followed by a flight to Portland this evening, ready for two days of meetings.

The Visitor

Tuesday mornings are full of conference calls for MrGrumpy, they begin at 7am and by about 10am he can start to do real work.

This morning he had just finished one call and he got a call from the CubeFarm reception, he had a visitor... It was MrHighEnergy, he was over for some meetings.

At the end of the day MrHighEnergy and MrGrumpy went to SantanaRow to get some food and a beer. Between eating and getting a beer, they also spent a little time looking at the Tessla showroom, quite interesting for an electric vehicle...

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Probability factor of one to one. We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem

In the dark at 5:45am, MrIPodAlarm woke MrGrumpy... Normal service is resumed, except he had no milk and therefore no cereal for breakfast.

He drove to the CubeFarm, the Mustang felt quite old compared to the brand new truck and nissan he had been driving for the last week. The breaks felt bad, the steering quite remote and the engine under powered, so back to normal...

Nothing out of the ordinary happened, the day passed and MrGrumpy did not leave the CubeFarm, his food intake was pretty limited and not idea, a couple of mini packets from the FoodParcel served as lunch.

At home in the evening, he was very tired, dinner was a poor excuse, a frozen piece of pizza, wine gums and finishing off the dark chocolate.  That would not help his diet and exercise regime...

So long and thanks for all the fish

This was MrGrumpy's last day in the LA area, he was quite happy to be leaving and he would not be rushing back.

On the way to LAX to drop MrLongIslandIcedTea off, they stopped for breakfast at a little cafe a couple of miles from LAX.  After a good breakfast the went to the airport - via a detour thanks to MrsIPadNav... When asked to navigate to LAX, she routed them to an employees only entrance, not what MrGrumpy would have expected would be the most popular option.

Now MrGrumpy had a few hours before he needed to be at his airport (in Santa Ana) for the flight back to San Jose. He headed to downtown LA to take a walk around, he found a parking lot in the historic area near bunker hill.

It was getting pretty warm, MrGrumpy took a walk around with his camera, but it was not too exciting, there was not a lot too see, just another built up city area.

After this MrGrumpy headed to Hollywood, he wanted to get a photo of the sign. Having done as much research as usual, he ended up in Griffiths park, but was running short of time now, so gave up when he found he was still 20 mins from a good spot to view it. He headed off to the airport as that was well over an hour away.

Again MrsIPadNav routed him to an employee entrance at the back of the airport, so another detour to find the rental car returns... He dropped off the truck and packed up MrsIPadNav etc, unfortunately unknown until later, his favorite hat had fallen off the seat and was left in the truck.

MrGumpy had dinner and a couple of beers before boarding the short flight back to San Jose and the Taxi back home.

MrGrumpy Goes to Hollywood

MrGrumpy and MrLongIslandIcedTea took the Truck out towards the coast. As they did not have MrSatNav they were using MrsIPadNav instead. This was fine except for the fact they could not charge    it whilst out, the charger they had was duff.

They had breakfast at a diner and then headed up the coast past Huntingdon and stopped at Manhattan beach. Traffic and parking was quite bad, the did finally find somewhere and abandoned the truck. After a wander around and a pint the moved on, firstly having fun three (ish) point turning the truck out of the parking lot.
Venice Beach, basketball court
Next stop was Venice beach, parking options here were even less, they sat in traffic which was moving at a geological pace for about half an hour, before finally finding a parking lot with space.
Venice beach was not what either of them expected, the beach looked nice, but it was a major tourist trap, with more tat and MrLoonies per square meter than anywhere else MrGrumpy had been in the world (including Asia and Las Vegas).

Time was now getting on, after a bottle of beer in a bar they then decided to move on to find some food.  
MrsIPadNav was now running low on juice, < 10%, they headed for Hollywood, which was quite a distance away.

Again both on the way and when they arrived,  traffic was crawling and parking was scarce.  The did catch a glance of the Hollywood sign as they drove down Hollywood Boulevard. Once parked (MrGrumpy approves of valet parking with the Truck), they walked up and down the Boulevard. Once again they were quite disappointed, apart from the stars on the sidewalk is was just another tacky street, nothing special.

Finally it was time for food, they went to the Grill on Hollywood (which was hidden on the 3rd floor of a mall). 

The only problem now was navigating back to the hotel, MrsIPadNav was dead and they resorted to MrIPhoneDirections, lucky is was quite simple, follow the interstate for a while and a couple of changes.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

MrGrumpy and the Monster Truck

After a morning of email and catching up with work stuff, MrGrumpy and MrLongIslandIcedTea called it a week and went for a round of golf at a local course. 
They hired a buggy, some clubs (which were a brand new, unused set) and a couple of drinks (non alcoholic), it was not long before they got to start.
MrGrumpy did not bother counting his shots as he had not hit a ball for several years. 
They were playing as a four ball, MrLongIslandIcedTea, MrGrumpy, MrTexasDon and MrMexicanBandito. 
MrGrumpy's first attempts at hitting the ball did not bode well for the rest of the round. All in all MrGrumpy had a few awful attempts but got round and only lost two balls into the hazards.

Back at the hotel they decided that a hire car would be needed, the trip to the golf was over $20 and that was less than ten miles, they both yet had to get back to LAX and SNA airports which would cost a fortune in a cab. The had called several places this morning and had little luck in getting any car (the did get quoted $440 for a chrysler 300), they went down to the lobby and spoke to MrRedShirt, he did have a Camero earlier for $105 / Day, which was gone now, all he had left was a truck, they asked how much... It was cheaper, $65 / Day, that was a bit more like they expected.

The truck turned out to be a brand new Black DodgeRam 1500 (1400 miles on the clock of the little 4.7L V8). In the evening they drove out to Javier's at crystal cove, the car park was very full, they finally found a spot and then had the fun of trying to park the huge truck... MrGrumpy did his best but they left it - semi abandoned at a jaunty angle in a space. As they walked over to Javier's they could tell it was quite a posh place, there were Bentley's, Ferarri's and a Lambo parked outside. Inside it was very busy, they decided to stay for a drink and find somewhere else to eat.

As they drove up the road they found a place on the left that looked alright so they did a MrBoyBand and pulled into the car park, MrValet took the truck away, which was possibly a good thing as the car park was not huge and it was now dark, the chances of MrGrumpy being able to park it were pretty low. Inside it was very busy, while they waited for a table they had a drink (Diet Coke for MrGrumpy as he decided to keep on driving).

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Busy Day

MrGrumpy's day was pretty busy, work wise, then out for food and beer.

More details to follow.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Early morning, again

MrGrumpy woke on time (no thanks to his alarm app, he set the hotel alarm clock for 4:45am), he was out of the hotel heading for the airport shortly after 5am. After dropping off the rental car, he checked the flight info boards fo which terminal his flight to Santa Ana was leaving from. There was no flight listed to Santa Ana, he checked his flight details and resorted to looking for them flight number, he found it, flight 359 to Orange County... Not Santa Ana or John Wayne Airport, how was he supposed to guess that...

After a coffee and breakfast roll, he sat at the gate to await boarding for an 8:00am departure. At 7:30 the announcement came, boarding delayed due to an oil leak being investigated... 8:00am came and went, still no update, good job he was not on a tight schedule.

Shortly before 8:45am they announced the plane would not be going, but the were getting a replacement plane. MrGrumpy expected this would take ages, but to his amazement, it was only minutes before another plane arrived on the next gate.

It was 9:15am before the plane left for Santa Ana, in the end he was an hour late arriving.
He got a cab from the airport to the hotel, it did not look far on the map but it was still a $50 cab.

MrGrumpy had to wait a while to check in as quite a few people were checking out. The only room they had ready was an "Accessible room", not a major issue.
The rooms are fine, not great and there are additional charges for Internet, Fitness Center, Breakfast, Self-Parking, everything. 

The hotel is only a few blocks from Disneyland, MrGrumpy took a walk around the Disney Downtown stores, it was quite hot walking about but much less humid than the Dallas area.

MrMonaco and MrLongIslandIcedTea are flying into San Diego and driving up to Santa Ana, they should arrive sometime this evening.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012


MrGrumpy had another busy day at the CubeRanch, there was some interesting corporate goings on which distracted the office for most of the morning.
Lunch was Buffalo Wing Tuesday, MrGrumpy had some boneless wings (chunks of chicken in a spicy BBQ rub).
MrWhiteSox had arranged for MrGrumpy, SeñorDosEquis, himself and his mum (LadyKansas). MrGrumpy was running a little late from the office and the traffic getting of one freeway to the next was not helping. Lucky he made it just in time, MrWhiteSox's niece (LittleMissRR) works at the DrPeper ballpark and was kind enough to get us some complimentary tickets.

MrGrumpy found it fun, he basically understood the game and SeñorDosEquis (a local season ticket holder) explained the finer details.

There were a couple of good home runs and the Rough Riders are currently top of their league, but probably due to the presence of foreigner they lost.... It was still a good night out and MrGrumpy's first experience of US sports.

MrGrumpy arrived back at the hotel about 11pm, now he had to update this and get ready for an early morning. He has to leave the hotel by 5am (ish) for an 8:00am flight to Santa Ana.

In the Cube Ranch

MrGrumpy woke, not to the alarm at 5:45am as he expected, he just woke up and it was 5:58am. His alarm app was showing that the alarm was going off, but no sound was heard :(

Lucky he did not have a flight or anything this morning, he will ensure the proper alarm clock in the hotel works before Wednesday where he really has to be up at the right time.

The CubeRanch is not far from the hotel, it would be walkable if there were sidewalks and less humidity. This week is quite cool for Texas, only in the mid 90's F (about 35 C) but more humid that he is used to. It is expected to be over 100F by the weekend, which does not bother MrGrumpy as he will be southern California by then.

MrGrumpy drove to the CubeRanch, it is only a few blocks from the hotel, he was there quite early only Mr24HourFitness was there, he let MrGrumpy in and showed him around.

It was not that long before others arrived, first MrLLCoolHW, then MrWhiteSox. It is a big CubeRanch with very few people currently in it.

For lunch several of them headed off real Texas BBQ lunch, a beef brisket roll, BBQ sauce and BBQ beans, very, very tasty...

They day went quickly and MrGrumpy was one of the last to leave, by 7pm  he headed down to the Fitness center in the hotel, somebody was on the running machine so he went on the stationary bike for 10 Miles / 40 Mins.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Texas... the big one...

MrGrumpy was up at 4:00am, not really a problem as he had not really slept. By 4:20am he was waiting outside in the dark for the cab to arrive. 10 mins and $45 later he was at the airport, another $25 at checkin (for luggage), he was almost out of cash and he had not made it through security yet.
He checked in and went through security using his California driving licence, he did have his passport with him (just in case there was a problem).
5:20am time for coffee, flight leaves for Dallas, Texas at 6:20am.  

Once he landed, he checked how far it was to Plano, 35miles, 39 minutes, uhm does not sound like a cab ride.
Off he went to find MrHertz (as the office had not booked a rental car, and he had assumed the airport was not as far from the office/hotel). After a 10 minute shuttle bus ride, MrHertz said he could get the corporate rate (upon showing a business card), has asked for whatever with MrCrapNav (Herz AlwaysLost).
The MrHopeless managed to forget to put MrGrumpy on the agreement and had to redo all the paper work. He told MrGrumpy to goto bay 433 where he would find a Silver Sonata, off he went. Well at bay 433, there was not a silver Sonata, not even a Hyundai, there was a White Dodge something. He asked a passing MrIParkCarsForMinimumWage, he spend several minutes trying to compare the barcode number on the car and the agreement (finally MrGrumpy pointed out the last digits were significant not the first 4 which were the same).
Back at the desk MrGrumpy explained the silver Sonata was now white and a Dodge. MrHopeless apologised and fiddled with the computer, MrGrumpy said he would be happy with a free upgrade to a Camero or Mustang convertible like his car in California (he did not mention his was 13 years old). Anyway MrHopeless did upgrade MrGrumpy (for free) to a Nissan Altima 2.5s Coupe. This time the right car was in the right bay, but as he got close he could see damage on the rear quarter, "more hassle" he thought, now he had to fill in a form showing all the damage when he collected the car. He went round marking every minor ding and mark on the paperwork before he left.

After the usual fight with the UI, he left the airport and headed for the hotel. A couple of minutes later he was hunting for the lights and wipers, there was something on the windscreen he had not seen for months, yes rain... and in Texas, really not what he expected.
After the rain stopped and several almost wrong exits on the freeway thanks to MrCrapNav he got to the hotel, seems to be in the middle of nowhere right next to a freeway.

He checked in an managed to have a chat with LittleMissNaughty before he decided to take a drive out for the rest of the afternoon. While he was chatting he was searching for what is nearby, he found Southfork Ranch was only 5 miles away, that sounded like a plan and it was quite cheap (which meets MrGrumpy's criteria).

Taking Personal Shopping
to a new Level...
He went on the tour, it does not take very long, he found out that all the interior shots were done on a lot in California and even the outside shots used wide angled lenses to make the pool etc. look much larger than they actually are.
MrGrumpy was going to get some food there, but he was too late, last food was at 4:00pm, he tried at 4:05pm...

Back to the car, he again fought with MrCrapNav to search for restaurants, he found that the next town was called Allen, well he had to head there, other than somewhere called Grumpy it was somewhere he had to visit.

Once the PhotoStream catches up, MrGrumpy will add some photos, meanwhile this link is to the photos taken at Southfork Ranch.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Quite Saturday Walk

MrGrumpy had no plans for today, he did not get up until about 8:30am, very late for him. When he went to get some breakfast, the milk was on the turn, so he gave up on that idea.
It was about 10:45 before he headed out, he was aiming for the bakery where he could get a coffee.
He toyed with the idea of getting some breakfast, but went with a coffee (skimmed milk and sweetener). While sitting outside in the sunshine he was contemplating what to do next.
As usual, what he intended to do turned into something a little more.
He walked up past the store and up to the next intersection, he headed left, no real reason, but it looked like there were more shops etc. that way and he was interested to see what was up there.
He kept walking, nothing very interesting after all, he passed over the freeway and carried on walking.
After a while he was on Los Gatos Boulevard so decided to carry on to Los Gatos downtown.
Outside the brewery
It was further than he thought, by the time he got to the Brewery, he had done 6.38 miles on the FitBit, so it was time for a couple of pints.

Instead of heading back the route he came, he carried on through Los Gatos and out towards the park were he went a couple of weeks ago. He came back along the Los Gatos creak trail, which is quite an easy walk and much more interesting than the roads.
It was pretty warm by the time he got back home, the temperature at Cambrian park was showing 88F (31.1C) at 4:40 ish.
In total it was a 13.8 mile walk, he was not rushing so his legs were not feeling bad at all.

He relaxed for a while then he then nuked his last $0.99 frozen meal and finished off his bottle of low calorie Gatoraid.

As he has to be up at 04:00am tomorrow he packed his case and prepared for the week away.

Friday, 13 July 2012


Well it is Friday the 13th, MrGrumpy does not believe in paraskevidekatriaphobia, generally things just  go wrong when it is most inconvenient, not based on the day or date. Unless that date is the warranty expiry of a Western Digital hard drive, then they always go wrong a week or two after the expiry date.

Friday started just like any other, up around 6am, work by 7am. Unlike most Friday's MrBombsAway has arranged a lunchtime visit to a local French style restaurant to pre-celebrate Bastille Day (MrGrumpy has no idea why, but why not, a chance to socialise with some of his co-CubeFarmers / inmates).

With it being a Friday, MrGrumpy headed for the Cinema again, he did not want to wait until 5:45pm so went to the 4:10pm showing of Spider-Man in IMAX 3D. For a change the 3D was quite effective, he generally still tries to avoid the 3D and prefers just the IMAX (especially if something is showing on the duff screen 7 at the AMC). The new version of Spider-Man he thought was alright, he was pleased they did not just do a direct remake of the previous movies. The next few months have several movies that MrGrumpy wants to see, The Dark Knight Rises, Bourne Legacy, Total Recall, 360 to name just a few, his Friday scheduled movie looks to continue for a while yet.

MrGrumpy is visiting some of the other CubeFarms next week, he is off to Dallas for a couple of days and then onto Santa Ana / Los Angeles before returning to San Jose. His cab to the airport on Sunday is at 4:30am so he will have to ensure he is packed and ready by tomorrow evening.