Saturday, 30 June 2012

Sunny Saturday (just like most days)

MrGrumpy had nothing planned for today, he needed to get his hair cut and that was about all he intended to do.

First he went for a walk to get some water, incase he ended up  going walking or hiking, so that was a couple of miles before lunch.

He found a barbers not too far away, so he gave that a try, it's pretty difficult to get his haircut wrong, and they did a decent job, $15 inc tip.
After he attempted run/jog the other night, he decided that if he was going to be running on the roads then he had better get some proper running shoes with some support. He had seen a running shop in Los Gatos, so went to see what they had. The had a couple of pairs of Brooks, a newer version of the ones he has in the UK and some lighter one, he preferred the lighter ones, so he got them.

After that he walked around Los Gatos and was mysteriously drawn to the Los Gatos Brewing company, where he had a refreshing pint. He looked at the menu, but decided to just have a bowl of clam chowder soup.

On the way in he had seen a park, on the way back he stopped and took a walk round. There was a mini steam train, the park led into another one where  there was a nice lake and lot of geese. He walked off his lunch, it was pretty hot and by the time he got back home he had done over 7 miles today, that was plenty, he spent the rest of the afternoon / evening watching NetFlix.

Friday, 29 June 2012

MovieFriday again

As is becoming a tradition, MrGrumpy intends to goto the movies again today.  He is not sure what to watch. Maybe he will watch Snow White and the Huntsman this week. He does hope they have found the volume control by now, the non IMAX movie last week was really quiet, LittleMissNaughty has the volume up higher when she is watching movies at home on the projector.

He is tempted to book a ticket to watch the dark knight trilogy in IMAX the day before national release (19th July) - but almost 9 hours in the cinema seems more like a flight than a movie. At least the leg room and screen are better than an economy transatlantic flight.

He went for food at sizzles, where he had steak, grilled chicken and a baked potato. The portion was not huge, so MrGrumpy did not feel too guilty.
He got to the cinema just before 4:30, Snow White did not start until 5:20 but Ted was just about to start, so Ted it was. He grabbed a soda (coke zero) and a bag of peanut MnMs.

Ted was ok, a few amusing bits, it was very much in a unique genre of bad taste bears buddy movie.

When MrGrumpy got home he entered the details of his food into Fitbit, oh dear he had not done enough exercise today, he was 350 calories over his budget... Time for a walk.

Well the walk turned into a jog, walk, jog, for a couple of hours and 6.9 miles later he was glad to get back home... That resolved his budget deficit...

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Bad day to be on a diet (aka DonutThursday)

The arrival of another DonutThursday cheers MrGrumpy up, not only does it mean he get to eat a nice tasty donut (and fruit) but the weekend is almost here.

After some meetings MrGrumpy and MrSBD grabbed some lunch, they went to a really nice Speciality bakers. The ordering is all done via iPads and it works really pretty well, much easier than having to talk to MissHaveANiceDay who generally asks him several question that he does not understand or know how to answer (generally involving some unknown ingredient or type of bread). The only downside was when he checked out the number of calories (763), and on a day where he had chance to take much of a walk. (but he did enjoy it!)

Pretty soon it was 6:30pm, another DonutDay at the CubeFarm draws to a close. MrGrumpy has been so busy that he has now stopped counting how long he has been here or how long is left before his next visit to the UK.
The days and weeks are blurring into one, he is really looking forward to when LittleMissNaughty gets to come out.

Hard work is the key to success, so work diligently on any project you undertake. If you truly want to be successful, be prepared to give up your leisure time and work past 5 PM and on weekends. Also, have faith in yourself. If you come up with a new idea that you believe in, don't allow other people to discourage you from pursuing it.

-- Charles Lazarus - founder of Toys "R" Us 

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Work Work Work and then some more

MrGrumpy has been pretty busy at work today, he had some lunch in the canteen (another $4.50) and the he went out for a little walk to the local Costco again.
When he got there the MrDoorJobsworth would not let him, he did not have a membership card.
This was not a problem when he walked in there yesterday. Anyway why would he pay $55 for membership if he did not know what stuff he might want to buy?
He simply headed back to the office, he was only going for the walk.

Some people may have noticed that there have been no pictures of beer posted since Sunday, MrGrumpy is trying to abstain from beer on school nights. He is eating grapes and rasins instead.

He has had to admit that using a PC is necessary sometimes, some of the issues he has been working on have been made much more difficult to diagnose on the virtual PC. Thanks to MrFarSide, he now has a not so new or fast additional windows laptop to assist him.

MrGrumpy spent over an hour in the CubeFarm Gym, using the various machines before heading home about 8:30pm.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

MrGrumpy has not left the planet

MrGrumpy would like to assure readers that his grumpiness has not gone away, just because he is eating healthier food and doing more exercise.
There are plenty of things that annoy and frustrate him on a daily basis, some of which can't be disclosed for security, political, religious or technical reasons.

MrGrumpy is getting quite grumpy and the number of times Facetime drops the connection when talking to LittleMissNaughty, no idea why it is so much worse in the evenings (UK) as generally the internet connection there is quite consistent at 12MBit down and 1.2MBit uplink.

78f at 8:09pm
When MrGrumpy headed home at 7pm he was not really in the mood to go for a walk, but he had not yet hit his target of 10,000 steps. So rather that run on the spot for ten minutes, he got changed and went for a walk.
I was a pleasant evening, ideal for sitting by a river drinking beer and chatting with friends. As MrGrumpy has few friends and does not know of a bar by a river, he had to do with a walk around his local streets and no beer.
Nice old car 1938 even older than MrGrumpy

Monday, 25 June 2012

Abducted by aliens

MrGrumpy was quite disappointed when the scaled showed he had put on 1lb, given all the effort he had put into the weekend. Looking at the figures it show the gain was in Lean mass but he was surprised that he had not burnt off any fat.. Still he has lost 3 lbs since starting to monitor his weight on Thursday, he can't really complain, given his target is -2 lbs per week.
As part of his daily routine, he is trying to drink much more water and less beer, although so far he has lost more weight when drinking beer than when drinking water and exercising.

For the first time MrGrumpy ate at the CubeFarm at lunch time, it was Grilled Chicken with savoury rice, which he likes and fitted into he current regime of heathy (ish) food. At least that will save him taking something out of the freezer tonight.

Monday was disappearing fast, in no time at all it was 3pm, only 4 more hours and it would be time to go home.

After MrGrumpy got home he got changed and headed out to the local store, while he was on the way there he must have been abducted by aliens! MrGrumpy returned as MrFitBit, just look at what he brought!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sunday morning stroll

After an active day yesterday, MrGrumpy was worried that he would suffer this morning with aches and pains. But no, he was pretty much as normal.
After his usual breakfast of Cereal and Orange Juice he went out for a walk, this time he extended the block a little and almost round again. He had covered 8000 steps / 4.42m and it was still only 9:30 when he got back.

By midday he could not decide what to do, finally he got in the car and drove to Los Gatos. His idea was to stroll around town with his camera. But he got tempted by the Los Gatos Train signs, and started walking again.
The trail started off flat and quite boring, then when he thought it was just going to turn and head back it started to climb. The trail led to another St Joseph's Hill, it should have come as no surprise that this trail involved going up hill. Fitbit recorded a climb of 59 floors, 12 in 5 minutes. He was amused to see the warning signs, it reminded him of the American Warewolf in London quote "Stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors".
By the time he had got to see the view of the Lexington reservoir then trail started to descend. MrGrumpy decided he had done enough of walking up hills for today and headed back to Los Gatos in search of a beer flavoured refreshment. 
After a quick beer he had a walk through Los Gatos looking for something to eat, he did not find anything that he wanted and headed back to the car, he was just going to get a Chicken Pita from Jack-in-the-box near home.

Overall he did another 20000 steps / 10.25 miles today and his legs and feet are slightly suffering for it.

Time for MrGrumpy to chill out and watch TV/Netflix for the rest of the afternoon and evening. 

Saturday, 23 June 2012

MrGrumpy Goes Hiking...

With all this new technology monitoring his movement, MrGrumpy wants to make the most of it.
He was going to go for a hike, first things first, he needed to get some water and snackbars to keep him going. Normally he would just drive down the road and get them, but today he was going to walk.
To the shop and back is 2.1 miles, not a bad start to his day. He brought Vitamin water and some Special K protein bars, they should do the trick.

So off he went, he was heading to Castle Rock state park in the Santa Cruz mountains. When he arrived the car park was full, so like many others he found a spot on the side of the road.
He started the trial towards Castle Rock, 0.3 miles almost all up hill, fitbit recorded a 16 floor climb in 5 minutes. At the top there was quite a rock, not quite the size of as castle but a decent size.After 10mins or so now he headed off to the real trail.
This being his first hike in quite a long while, he decided to head along the Saratoga Gap trail to the campsite and back, it is shown as 2.8m each way.

He set off at his usual brisk pace, it was quite an easy trail, some very nice views over the tree covered valleys below.

At the campsite he stopped for a few minutes and had a cereal bar and some vitamin water ready for the hike back.

Hiking back was not quite so easy, it was more uphill and his initial pace was starting to take its toll. He made it back in just about an hour and was pleased with that.

He knew that tomorrow his legs would be suffering for this, for now he was pleased to sit in the mustang and go for a drive.

It was now gone 1pm and MrGrumpy wanted to get some lunch, he drove along some really nice twisty roads, a little narrow in places with very few barriers and some unforgiving drops. He was on La Honda Road and as he got to the crossroads he recognised that he was at Alice's, so stopped for a beer and lunch. 

He sat at the bar and ordered a beer, he felt this was well deserved given the effort he had put into this morning. Looking at the menu, he chose a Grilled chicken in a french roll, it came with chips (which MrGrumpy had forgot means crisps).
Sat at the bar he got talking to a MrBMWBiker who was on a 10 day tour from Vancouver, he was riding a BMWK1200S and had ridden in from Tahoe this morning. After MrBMWBiker had left it was only a couple of minutes before another biker sat down, when he ordered MrGrumpy was surprised to hear a british voice. MrGrumpy and MrAdMan got chatting for about being in the US, he had been in the US for 10 years or so, New York and San Fran and did not miss much of the UK. He specifically like being able to ride his Triumph all year round in California.

As MrGrumpy left Alice's there were a couple of nice cars parked either side of the steps.

As MrGrumpy headed down the twisty roads, the traffic came to a halt, just before a really tight bend. A few moments after he had stopped the Highway patrol arrived. It was obvious there had been some type of accident, time to do a U turn and head down another way.
Back home the data from the fitbit was automatically uploaded and he was able to see just how much he had done over the day. Time to relax and watch Netflix (oh and work on the blog)...

Friday, 22 June 2012

Health and Fitness

As MrGrumpy is not eating much and walking quite a bit, he decided it might be an opportune time to lose some weight and get a little but fitter. Of cause this being MrGrumpy, he has to use technology and gadgets which will inevitably provide him with issues and problems and more fodder for the blog.

After doing some research on MrGoogle and friends, he found the FitBit, they do an activity tracker and wifi scales. These look like just the right products that MrGrumpy needs for some motivation.

Not my Photo, found on MrGoogle
After a trip to MrBestBuy it was now time to face the zombie infested WallMart. First he got a trolly, (make it easy to keep the zombies at a distance), of cause the trolly he picked had massive flat spots on the wheels so made enough noise to ward off the zombies and was annoying MrGrumpy before he started shopping. There were the usual zombies blocking most of the asiles that he wanted to go down, he got the essentials, Milk, Frosties, Snack Chips, Orange Juice, cheap frozen meals and some Coke Zero. Time to get out of here while the zombies are still aimlessly wandering.
He finds an escape via till 8, no one queueing and only with a few items to go. Obviously this being MrGrumpy, they could not just pay and go, oh no they had to faff about for 5+ minutes putting some credit on some store cards (which failed a couple of times so they had to retry).
Eventually he paid for his stuff and abandoned the naff trolley as soon as he left the store.

After setting up the wifi scales the first weigh-in worked fine, the scary number appeared on MrGrumpy's fitbit dashboard, so far so good, now on to installing the activity monitor.
That also went well, a few steps around the room and he was able to watch it sync. The fitbit also monitors how well you sleep, so MrGrumpy tried that out, unfortunately he slept too well, he woke this morning at 6:30am. He must have forgot to check the iPod alarm, it normally goes off anyway, but if it did he was oblivious to it.
It was time for the morning weight check, so he stepped on the scales and off when prompted by the display, it started to send it's info to the network and promptly displayed an 'X' above the wifi symbol, Failed...
He tried a couple of times before leaving for work, even moving the scales closer to the access point, still no joy.

By lunchtime MrGrumpy had done 1400 steps, climbed the four flights of stairs 4 and drunk 24 fl oz of water, at least this part was working quite well. By 4pm the steps and floors had gone up, not bad given he is sitting down for 8+ hours a day.

As it is Friday then it is MrGrumpy's movie day, he is not sure what to watch today, there is not a "must see".

Given all the blog entries this week involving zombies, maybe he should watch Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter.

MrGrumpy headed home after the movie, which was OK but nothing special. It was a pity the non IMAX cinema seems to have tiny speakers, or somebody forgot to turn it up.

Once he got home he still needed to do quite a few steps to get near his target of 10,000 a day. Off he went for a walk to the local ATM, then round the block. As this is America the block is a couple of miles, by the time he got back 40mins later he was close to his target, 9300 (a total of 4.6miles today).

Now it was time to get the wifi scales working, should have been simple, but it took several restarts and  finally he used the web setup on the iPhone and got it working. Tomorrow will tell if it is still working.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Woo Hoo Donut Day!

As MrGrumpy parked at the office this morning he saw MrDonut delivering, that really cheers him up, mainly because that means the week is almost over. Only another 20 hours in the CubeFarm before he goes to see another Movie.

About 8:30am MrGrumpy headed to the canteen and got some fruit and a donut. It was handy that it was donut day, he had only had orange juice before leaving home because the cereal ran out yesterday.

MrGrumpy is not specifically on a diet, but decided to take a look at how little he was eating during a day, yesterday he had a nuked pizza, which was more than he usually has.
Counting up what he ate and drank during the day, that plus he is using the stairs instead of the elevators, shows he should be loosing some weight.

looks like about 300 calories!

  • 50 cal 4oz orange juice 
  • 100 cal Bowl of cereal with 2% milk and sweetener
  • 80 cal Mug of Filter Coffee with 2% milk
  • 0 cal Can Coke Zero
  • 400 cal Microwaved Pizza
  • 170 cal 12oz Beer
  • 150 cal few Pringles

A grand total of 950 calories and it does include essentials, Beer and Pringles.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

dawn of the "groundhog" day

Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, it is 5:45am and MrGrumpy's iPod alarm goes off, he is getting that Groundhog feeling.
Every morning exactly the same routine, almost down to stopping at the same traffic signals and seeing the same cars on the freeway.
As with the movie, the days are different, but then the evenings back to groundhog. Same naff TV,  nuke cheap food, drink a beer, call LittleMissNaughty, sleep then beep, beep, beep, the cycle restarts.

MrGrumpy put off the visit to the zombie ridden store, unfortunately he is now out of cereal so will have to go soon. Maybe he should go an find a old vinyl LP collection to defend himself with.

Technology decided to bite MrGrumpy today, the MrRebootOrReinstall dept insists that passwords are changed every three months, not a problem (normally). It turns out that on the MrMacintosh email client there is no warning that the password is going to expire. Once it has expired there is no easy way (he can find) of updating the password. His final solution involved VPN dongle and secure web access to update his password (which can't be done on the corporate network) before then being able to enter the new password into the email client...

Oh No, MrGrumpy has started to personalise his cube, he really is getting into the CubeFarming culture.
On the way home he spotted (not easy to miss) a little 4x4, this one he had not seen everyday before. Maybe personalising his cube is the beginning of breaking the Groundhog curse.
Tonight he was going to go to the zombie ridden store, but as he left his antiZombie bags at home he decided to put it off for another day (and he was all out of vinyl and cricket bats, nothing to protect himself with).

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

As if by magic Monday becomes Tuesday

Tuesdays are always an early start, first conf call of the day is at 7:00am, this requires MrGrumpy to ensure he is heading to work by 6:30am. This morning that was not a problem, he was in the office by 6:40am and had already gone through is inbox and a mug of coffee before 7:00am.
The next call is at 9:00am giving him a chance to action anything he needs to from his inbox before preparing for the call.

At breakfast MrGrumpy noticed the cornflakes are almost out (maybe just enough for tomorrow), this will require him to either go without or buy some more.
Going food shopping is on a par with ordering food. It is very high on MrGrumpy's list of things that he hates doing, maybe not quite as high as ironing or tidying up.
When MrGrumpy does go food shopping, the stores are generally pretty quiet, but there are always two types on inhabitants.
One is always on a mission, get-in, grab-stuff and leave (generally with a screaming rugrat in tow).
The other is always wandering up and down the asiles, aimlessly like a zombie, in search of something but not knowing what. 
MrGrumpy is one of the latter types, he trawls the store asile by asile, by the end of the ordeal, he can tell you where items are and how much stock is on the shelf. 
What really annoys him most, is that when he finally gets home, he always remembers something that he should have brought!

MrGrumpy hit a bit of a wall when looking up a config setting, the datasheet sent him to the config key settings, where he was directed to see the datasheet! Recursive documentation links are almost as useful as no documentation.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Grey Day

It was cloudy and a little cooler when MrGrumpy left for work at 6:30am this morning. It would not last long, by the time he joined the freeway the sun was starting to break through and normal service was resumed.

While MrGrumpy was gathering up the details so he can claim for LittleMissNaughty's flights he noticed that his status on Virgin airlines had changes "You are currently a Flying Club Silver member with 122640 miles." not that it really makes any difference given that you can't upgrade the economy flights anyway and Silver only lets you use the premium checkin, no lounge access.

MrGrumpy's day was not going well, a development board and the tools were conspiring against him. The board was not being detected on the USB and would not generate any sound.
He hopes this is not another case of the VirtualXP/USB issues he seems to be plagued with.
He suspects not, as the board should generate sound regardless of the USB. At least MrWhiteSox was seeing the same issue, and between them they managed to kick it into some sort of life.

Alcatraz1 was now inhabitable, with desks, chairs and network, now all they need to do is keep moving to ensure the lights don't go out after 15 minutes.

By 7:00pm MrGrumpy was very ready to leave for the day, so the next problem is what to eat, does he stop at JackInTheBox and get a chicken fajita pita? (from their something different menu) or just head home and nuke something cheap from the freezer...

He decided to give "cheap" a go, "how bad could a $0.95 frozen meal be?" he thought...

He chose one from the freezer, 3 minute Nuke later it was time to stir, well it looked ok, not much of it but did not look that bad. Another 1 minute and then let it cool from the 10,000 deg C to something edible without a mouth lined with space shuttle tiles.
After all given the price he did not think it was that bad, it was much better than he expected (not difficult as the packaging would taste as good as he expected). For 230 calories and 7gms Fat it was OK really. He would now not feel even slightly guilty at having a beer this evening. In fact the beer cost more than the food. (not my much).

MrGrumpy is seeming to exist on quite a low budget (at least during the week), weekends are much more expensive, both in fuel and beer.

The blog has now had over 3000 views, MrGrumpy would like to thank everybody for continuing to read his inane pointless ramblings.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Sedate Sunday

MrGrumpy had no real plans for today, he spend a while in the morning chatting with LittleMissNaughty before going out to collect his laundry. As he stepped outside he could feel it was going to be another hot day.

First thing, SoftTop down and shades on and off to collect the laundry.

When he got back LittleMissNaughty got him to call up some of the hotels (which did not have online booking) and reserve some rooms for their October (SanFran / Tahoe / Yosemite) vacation / road trip.

Mid afternoon and he was getting hungry, what to eat? well he needed gas (petrol) and there was a Taco Bell pretty much next door, to he had a plan, now all he had to do was choose what to order. 

He was surprised how cheap it was at Taco Bell. Chicken Burrito, Soft Taco and a Frozen Strawberry Lemonade and it was $3.50 (just over £2.00). 
After a quick fill up for MrGrumpy it was time for the Mustang (a bit more expensive, 13.65 US Gallons @ $3.94 = $54).

He did not want to just head back, so went for a drive. After a little while he found himself in the hills on the twisty roads, these are quite enjoyable (even for MrGrumpy in a Mustang).  He followed the road which then joined Skyline Boulevard which is not quite as twisty but climbs up and around quite quickly. 
Before not too long he found the intersection where Alice's Cafe is (bikes & cars meet up here) there were quite a few bikes. He was quite thirsty, so stopped for some refreshment. A pint and soda (coke) later he had cooled down and was refreshed.

For the route back he took the 6.5 mile (quick twisty) route down to the freeway and headed back home.

Time to relax with another beer and some snacks.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Feeling Hot Hot Hot

MrGrumpy had to do the laundry today, but other than that he did not know what to do.

He collected up all the laundry and stuffed it into a bag, which he struggled to fit through the trunk (boot) opening. It pretty much weighed in the same as last time, which should be no surprise as it is about 95% of his clothes.

After dropping it off, he started driving while he thought about where and what to do. It was 10am and already hot,  as he drove along with the roof down, shades and hat on, he decided to head to Monterey (he did not actually stop there last time he went that way).

From where he was, he got on Highway 101 and headed south, about 50 miles later he parked up at Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey.

After a pint in the "London Bridge Pub" he walked toward Cannery Row and the Aquarium, as he walked along, he ended up walking with some Religious types (bears, long hair, simple while clothes) one of them had spent twenty years just walking, they started to discuss faith.
MrGrumpy is generally an atheist, but is tolerant of religion as he believes everybody in entitled to their own views. He walked for about a mile chatting with them, it was not a revelation or epiphany but it was a quite an relaxing and chilled experience (maybe the beer he had just had helped).
When they arrived at Cannery Row, MrGrumpy bid them farewell and continued on with a more positive outlook than usual.

He decided not to go into the famous Aquarium today, at $35 he thought it best to wait until LittleMissNaughty was over, then they could both go.

After a StarBucks it was time to start heading back toward the car, he had paid for 4 hours parking and 3 hours were already gone.

Instead of returning on Highway 101 he stuck to Highway 1 and headed toward Santa Cruz. As he left the comfortable warmth of the coast the temperature started to increase. By the time he was arriving back at San Jose there was no cool air, even at 60MPH the air was pretty hot.

He needed to get some more beer, so stopped at the BevMo nearby. There is a time / temp display, at 5:45pm in SanJose the temp was 101 deg F (over 38 deg C), he was glad that he had headed for the coast.

It was now time for some food, as there was a RoundTable pizza right there, he decided to try that. It did not go very well, he stood for 5+ mins and nobody even asked him if he wanted a table, so he turned around and left (his positive attitude was starting to wear off), time for another choice for food.
He headed towards where WalMart and BestBuy is, he had seen a couple of placed to eat there. When he got there the choice was "Britannia Pub" or another Pizza place, given his experience already with pizza he went to the pub. It was not very busy, but the service was not quick, at least my order was not messed up (unlike the table next to him, where they were waiting for drinks and the starters arrived at the same time as their mains). His burger was fine, and when the pint arrived it was alright too.

Time to head home, put on the aircon and watch some NetFlix.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Friday on my mind

MrGrumpy's first Friday since returning to the US, on his way to work this morning he was pleased to see gas at just below $4.00 a gallon, that will help a little with his finances.

If the next 8 weeks go half as quickly as this week has, then it will be no time before "Part Deux" is over  and he will be back af SFO waiting for Mustang Sally again.

Now LittleMissNaughty has planned her trip at Christmas/New Year, she is now busy planning the itinerary for her trip out in October. MrGrumpy is receiving instructions daily to check out this hotel or book that, she does like to plan things well in advance (unlike MrGrumpy, who normally only does things on the day - like Reno)

It was FreeLuchDay at the CubeFarm today, BBQ stuff with salad then fruit and cake, that will save MrGrumpy eating after watching the movie.

MrGrumpy left the office around 4:15pm, the movie started at 4:40pm, he had time to get there, park, buy ticket and get some skittles for the movie. It was a good movie, lots of nice links to Alien, but is was not a classic, not as good or tense as Alien. MrGrumpy is already thinking about what next weeks movie will be. Snow White and the Huntsman or Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.

When MrGrumpy got home, the internet was still down, but it was not long before MrLandLord got back and gave him a call, MrGrumpy was now back on the grid.

A couple of beers and a bowl of chips(crisps) later and it was time to retire for the night.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Another Day another Donut

MrGrumpy has been at work for over 2 hours before he realised it was "Donut Thursday" again. He scampered off to the canteen to get a bowl of fruit (yes real fruit) and of cause, a donut.

To LittleMissNaughty's surprise, MrGrumpy is wearing brand names today, Wrangler shirt, Nike trainers, Umbro socks and Cherokee Jeans (OK, he has been rumbled the jeans are just Tesco really) I wonder how long before he gets some Levi's?

It has been a busy day again, he has not even stepped outside the air-conditioned CubeFarm, so has no idea how warm it is outside. The weather forecast for the weekend is Hot Hot Hot.
He was planning on going to the Cinema tonight, but it seems that Prometheus is on tomorrow, so he can revert to his standard mid to late friday time slot. (IMAX 3D @ AMC Mercado 20 4:40pm $17.50)

MrGrumpy decided to get a can of drink, while he was down there he saw MrRoadBlock and MrBombsAway so went over to talk to them. They were finishing off some barritos and were about to throw half of one away unless MrGrumpy could help them out, so he did... That will be better than something from the $0.95 range he has in the freezer.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Day = (++Day) % Week

MrGrumpy's day began the same as always, today was a little overcast when he left for work, but the clouds were already starting to clear towards the hills.

Nothing much happend to either annoy or excite MrGrumpy, just another day in the CubeFarm.
He may have to goto New York (maybe via Dallas) for a couple of days, but this has yet to be confirmed or arranged.

When picking a shirt for today, MrGrumpy noticed that he was running short on clothes again, must be time for another "Daz Doorstep Challenge" (or trip the the launderette for everyone other than LittleMissNaughty)

MrGrumpy had planned to go and see Prometheus at the cinema on Friday afternoon, but he can't find it being shown on Friday, so he may go and see it tonight or tomorrow in IMax3D. Most likely tomorrow as the jet lag is getting to him a little today.

At the dinner last night MrGrumpy was talking to MrBombsAway about learning to fly in the US, it seems that Ultralight and Microlights are less regulated over here and some don't even seem to require even a limited PPL. For a fixed wing light aircraft there is a Sport Pilots licence, which seems almost affordable.

On the way home MrGrumpy went via SportAuthority, he needed to get some new trainers, after some searching, he found some Nike+ ones he liked. As they were Nike+ he decided to get a foot pod for it. Just incase he actually starts to do a little running again.
After the shopping he took a look around the rest of the shops nearby, he found the New Tandoori Cafe and a Pollo Loco. Being quite hungry he decided to try out the Tandoori Cafe, it was very basic inside, but for $9.98 for a Chicken Tikka Massala with for Rice and Nan he gave it a try. It was pretty good, in fact it was very tasty and the Nan was very good.

Breakfast in America (Part Deux)

MrGrumpy was awake quite early (no surprise, could be the jet lag), but was up at 5:45 and at work in time for a conf call that did not happen (MrAB still on vacation) If MrGrumpy had checked MrAB's OutOfOffice reply he would have known. At least he was in work on time, so he just got on with the rest of his day.

He managed to call Verizon as the LTE was still not working on his iPad, it seems that the payment did not automatically go through, they retried and it worked fine. After a few minutes the iPad was now 4G enabled (quick speed test showed 20Mbit download and 12Mbit upload - pretty quick for mobile broadband - on his iPhone 3G generally gets 0.5Mbit on a good day).

Yesterdays post from the DMV was MrGrumpy's driving licence, so now he has a valid ID, pity it only lasts until his passport expires. He will have to get a replacement next March. (Generally they last for 4 years).

The rest of the day went quickly, MrGrumpy was invited to dinner with the sales team, several people were in town and it was a good opportunity for a social chat.

When MrGrumpy got home, he found somebody had already put out the garbage / recycle bins, that was handy and saved him doing it. He collected up a few empty bottles (well about 26) and put them along with the various plastic and card he has been collecting, into the recycle bin. As it was gone 11pm he was trying hard not to make too much noise with the bottles.

The internet was still down, but strangely he was able to use FaceTime to chat with LittleMissNaughty. He assumes the DNS lookup is failing, still seems strange that FT worked, maybe just using a cached network address.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Leaving on a jet plane

5am arrived very quickly, MrGrumpy headed off to the airport with MrMercedes. The Monday traffic and heavy rain on the M25 turned a 2 hours journey into an almost 3 hour one, always a good start for international travel.
The pickup was early enough that the extra traffic did not make him late. He had already checked in online, so he rushed from the car to the terminal to avoid getting too wet. Without having to visit the bag-drop he went directly to security, this was pretty quiet and he was passed in a few minutes.
After breakfast and a walk around the stores, it was 9:20am and time to head to the gate.
At the gate MrGrumpy was selected for a "random" additional security check (pat down and bag checks), this was quite annoying as the past three times he has flown out of Heathrow he has been selected at "random"...
He noticed that the plane was "Mustang Sally", this was the same plane he flew back on a couple of weeks ago.

The flight was generally uneventful, he was pleased that his seat plan worked out. He booked the asile on a row of 4 with the far 2 already booked, lucky nobody wanted or was placed in the one next to him, giving him room to spread out more.

As the flight started its decent into SFO, the air crew informed everyone that there were another couple of international flights landing at about the same time and they would be best getting to immigration asap to avoid a 2-3 hour wait. Upon leaving the aircraft there was a sense of urgency as people headed along the corridors towards immigration. The warning worked and they arrived prior to the others, it was not long before MrGrumpy could see the queue was out of the hall.

Immigration went well, he got MrChatty at the desk, no issues except that his leaving date is limited to the passport expiry (but MrGrumpy already knew this from last time).

MrGrumpy headed over to the BART platform, firstly he brought a $4 ticket to Millbrae and as he did a train left the station. "Typical" he thought. It was not long before another train arrived, it was signed as SF so he asked it it went to Millbrae, "no you will need one from the other platform" he was told.
Off he went to the other platform and checked the timetable, there should be one at 5 past the hour, so only 15-20 mins to wait.
He was the only person on that platform, he waited, 14:05 arrived, there was now another train at the original platform but no sign of anything where he was waiting.
Over the PA system came an announcement, "passengers for all stations should take this train and change at San Bruno". If he had known this he could have taken either of the previous trains.

At San Bruno he waited for the Millbrae train, only a 4 minute wait and just one stop togo.
At Millbrae he brought a CalTrain ticket (this time to the correct station) and went to the platform, only a 5 or so minute wait and the train arrived. He was now able to relax and listen to music for almost another hour before getting off the train. At Lawrence (the stop after Sunnyvale) he left the train, got his bearings and headed towards the office (only a 10 min walk and there was a sidewalk, which helps).

MrGrumpy could see the tan roof of the Mustang as he walked though the car park and into the office. His first thing was to get a nice cold can of Coke (other cold beverages are available) and refresh himself from the walk in the 24 Degree sunshine.

In the post room his pidgin hole contained several letters, a couple from the bank (charges received for getting his expenses), one from Ticketmaster and one from the DMV.

It was time to head back to home (US one), he went out to the car park and found the dusty Mustang, clicking the remote unlocked it, that was good, now would it start? Yes of cause it did, not problem, now all he had to do was remember to drive on the wrong side of the road.

On the way home MrGrumpy went to the local supermarket (Lucky) to buy some provisions for the week, this time he even brought some food (cheap so prob won't taste any better that the previous stuff).

Back at home, everything was quiet, it was also pretty warm, so on with the Aircon while putting away the shopping. He had powered down the Wifi repeater and Airport express while he was away, now he did not seem to have any internet access. No even the GuestHouse Wifi was working, he could connect but the internet was nowhere to be found.

He tried several things, changing a few settings, rebooting etc, but nothing was working. "Time to enable the 4G on the iPad" he thought, so went through the sign-up process. For $20 he would get 1GB, that should hopefully be enough for a month (when he does not have wifi).  If finalised the process and tried to get online, nope nothing, tried reseting the device etc, still nothing. The account was showing as "Pending" this was not hopeful. Finally as it was getting late, he gave up for today, time to sleep... (almost 9pm)

Sunday, 10 June 2012

MrGrumpy's Last Day in the UK (again)

MrGrumpy and LittleMissNaughty spend the day trying to organise hotels for her Christmas visit.
Generally this was quite easy once they decided on where and when.
They booked up for LasVegas for NewYear and a hotels off highway 1 and in DeathValley for the journey to LasVegas.

When it came to booking somewhere at the Grand Canyon, they found there was a package available with a hotel, scenic train to the canyon and a night there before train back and another nights hotel. LittleMissNaughty decided this was what she wanted to do, so they started the booking process.
All went well until they tried to pay, put in details, press "reserve" and the website just did nothing, no error, no confirmation nothing. They tried other browsers and operating systems, all the same, final resort an email to them, what are the odds that they actually read that?

Mirror, mirror...
MrGrumpy completed his on-line checkin for the flight tomorrow, as usual he is gambling that the asile seat he has picked will continue to have an empty seat next to it (especially as the next two are already filled), sometimes he is lucky, fingers crossed for tomorrow.

Yesterday, MrGrumpy's got a nice surprise from some of his Minions (LittleMissTatoo, MrStageDesigner and MrGuitarHero) gave him a Fathers day pressie and card, as he will be away on the day.
He received an "iDad" t-shirt, it fits in well with all his other iDevices. The card could have been coordinated with another going away present he received from Mr and MrsDangerous, it seems they all know him very well.

After a final round of saying goodbye to family and friends it was time for a few hours sleep before the 5am start.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

MrGrumpy and Slow Update

MrGrumpy has been very busy since he got back from holiday, there are several updates in draft form but they need finishing off before he posts them.

MrPie was "testing" his raspberryPie dev kit today, he found that only one of MrGrumpy's SDCards would work for him (Happy Birthday MrPie - keep the SDCard, call it an early birthday pressie).

Today after work MrGrumpy got home, cooked dinner, washed up and then started preparing a curry ready for LittleMissNaughty's family and friends get together on Saturday.
After cooking most of the evening, they then decided to book her flights for October and December to ensure that is sorted before MrGrumpy returns to the US early Monday morning.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

LittleMissNaughty's Birthday

Today was LittleMissNaughty's birthday, MrGrumpy had been as organised as usual and not managed to plan stuff in advance (he did have a some excuse, due to being in the US and then going on holiday almost the next day). 
Between them they arranged things to do for the rest of the week, this morning they were heading off for a flight over the island in a small plane.

A car collected them from the lobby and transferred them to the local airstrip, they were told there would be a little delay in their flight as there was a memorial being held for a former employee (not a pilot or anybody who crashed, which relieved LittleMissNaughty). This gave them a little time to look around the planes and relax before the flight.

They were going up in a Cessna 172 and as it was her birthday LittleMissNaughty sat along side MrRedBull as co-pilot, she was quite nervous.

They taxied along the runway and in seconds were airborne, really smooth, they did not even notice leaving the ground. It was quite cloudy over most of the island today, so they kept to the coastal areas where it was nice and clear. It did get a little bumpy when they got close to the clouds but overall it was a really smooth and good flight all around the south of the island.

On the way back, MrRedBull got LittleMissNaughty to take the controls, she was not too sure about that, but she didn't make any quick or drastic moves so handled it really well.

When it came to the landing they both expected it to be quite "exciting", but as with the take off, they didn't notice it.

Friday, 1 June 2012

MrGrumpy goes to Porto de Mogan

Finally MrGrumpy was almost back to normal and he got some sleep last night.
Today they were planning on going to Porto de Mogan, Friday is market day. The little town is really nice, and LittleMissNaughty likes to look around the market. MrGrumpy can't think of much worse that walking around a market generally full of chinese tat in 35+ deg C, especially when he did not get time for breakfast or a drink this morning.
They were going to hire a car for the day but LittleMissNaughty decided to go by ferry as they had no other real plans for the day.

They caught the first ferry which stops at porto rico (for what seemed like ages to MrGrumpy as he was sat in the blazing sun) before going on around the coast to Porto de Mogan.

Mogan, away from the market.
The market was as he expected, he does not understand why there are so few Canarian stalls, most are Moroccans selling TShirts, Clothes, Leather Bags / Watches / Sunglasses (designer copies). He would find it much more interesting to see local goods (even if they were aimed at tourists).

The stopped halfway round to get a drink (and maybe some food), a quick look at the menu and MrGrumpy decided it would be a drink only (it was only really main meals, mostly seafood, not what he was looking for at lunchtime). They had two cokes, which would have been better with some bubbles,  even better they were then ignored when trying to pay.

does this look big on me?
They left the market and walked around the pretty little village and found somewhere for some lunch.
After lunch LitteMissNaughty found a white Swatch Watch (genuine in a shop, she said it goes with her white iPad and iPhone) which she liked, so she got that as a little additional birthday pressie.

They got the ferry and returned to Anfi just gone 4pm, LitteMissNaughty now wanted to go to the beach and swim in the sea. If there is one thing that MrGrumpy dislikes almost as much as markets, that is the beach... So down to the beach they went... Once they had found a spot and warmed up nicely, it was time for a swim. The sea was not cold, it was really, really cold... so after a few minutes in there is was time to warm up on the beach.

Back in the apartment it was time to start celebrating LittleMissNaughty's last day of being in her 30's. They popped open a bottle of bubbly and sat on the balcony sipping champagne.

Then it was time to eat, they fancied a pizza, so off to get a take away (with a giggly LittleMissNaughty).

While they were waiting for the Pizza they went for a walk down the plaza by the designer shops, LittleMissNaughty went in to look at some Nike trainers,  unfortunately for her, MrGrumpy found some RayBan (Carbon fiber shades that he liked the looks of), MrGrumpy goes designer shades...

Still MrGrumpyLobster

MrGrumpyLobster felt he had been
trying to sleep on these spikes
The next morning MrGrumpyLobster had not managed to get hardly any sleep due to being unable to find any comfortable way to lay down. It was his own fault but unusual, he normally just goes a little lobster like and then tans, not this time.
Today they decided to go and book up some activities, LittleMissNaughty arranged a massage for later that day. For a treat on her birthday they booked up a light aircraft flight around the north of the island.

The rest of the morning they spent by and in the pool, MrGrumpyLobster was ensuring he was drenched in sunblock, a combination of factor 15, 20 and 30 sometimes all three.

Mid afternoon they returned to the apartment for some lunch, while they were there, MrFenRep rang the door, he brought over a couple of bottles of bubbly for LittleMissNaughty's upcoming birthday.

While LittleMissNaughty went off for a massage, MrGrumpyLangoustine sat in shade of reception and surfed. This week was going far too quickly for his liking, they should always try and get 10-14 days away as a week is generally too short.