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.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Where is MrGrumpy?

It seems to be a little while since MrGrumpy has really had anything annoy him. (He is not including anything work related in this or it would be a never ending blog entry).
It may just be that he has become imune to the general day to day stuff that he used to find annoying. Or that his day to day life has so little interaction with others that the chance of him getting annoyed is reduced to a very low level.

He is very surprised at how tolerant he is when driving, maybe because generally the traffic is moving slower and he is still relatively new to driving on the wrong side of the road. Apart from the lack of indication from quite a few drivers, this does mean his telepathy skill are improving. In general he is finding driving much more relaxing than in the UK (where everybody on the road seems to be out to annoy him).

MrGrumpy is annoyed with the number of repeats on the Discovery Channel, the fact they repeat the same two or three episodes of everything on a the same day in a loop is pretty annoying. There only seems to be one new episode of each show per week, the rest of the week is filled with repeats. Even when there is a new episode at 8pm, it is then repeated at 10pm and 12pm, with another repeat in between... It is a good job he has NetFlix to break up the repeats.

After yesterdays flying experience, MrGrumpy is wondering if he can expense Flying lessons... He is sure it would vastly improve his ability to support all of his customer base and companies are always asking what training their employees need.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

November 172 Hotel Golf

It was another busy day for MrGrumpy at the CubeFarm. Today was a little different as he was out and about a little during the day, that was much better than yesterday where he was in SolitaryCubefinement almost all day.

Normally he does not get chance to escape from the CubeFarm, so does not really know what the weather is like outside, it is generally a blue sky with sunshine. Today it was very hot as he drove back to the CubeFarm after meeting up with MrCrazyRunner for lunch, the weather forecast suggests 27C (80F) but he thought it felt hotter than that.

MrGrumpy left work early tonight, he had still done 10 hours (9 if you take out the semi working lunch). He went with MrBombsAway to Palo Alto airport, where they went up flying in a Cessna 172. Firstly they went through all the pre-flight checks, which MrGrumpy found quite interesting, bit like an MOT before flying.
Once in the air and clear of the really restricted air space around SFO they climbed to about 3500 feet and MrBombsAway demonstrated some gentle and tight turns. Then it was time for MrGrumpy to have a try, initially he found it tricky to turn and maintain a constant altitude, but after a few left and right gentle and tight turns he was very slowly getting better. It was a real challenge to try and take in all the info and also keep an eye out for other aircraft, it was pretty quiet towards the coast and the fog bank below made it easier to spot other traffic.
They were quite a way from San Francisco but visible in the distance, was the Golden Gate bridge protruding from the fog.
After what seemed minutes but was about 40 mins, MrBombsAway got MrGrumpy to turn and head towards Mount Diablo whilst descending from 3500ft to 1500ft ready to hand over control for landing. MrGrumpy was pretty nervous to begin with but really enjoyed the flight and was thrilled at being able to take the controls. Slow flight (about 60mph was the worst bit, he was much happier at 90-100mph).

Today has been the high point of MrGrumpy's time in the USA so far. Many thanks goto MrBombsAway.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Long Days and Short Weeks

MrGrumpy is constantly surprised and how short the weeks seem, it is probably due to the long 12 hour days (which also seem to be too short).
Even starting at 7AM, it is 1PM before he seems to have even begun to make any progress. Generally that progress is not positive, once through the deluge of conference calls and emails, by 1PM he has more things added to the todo list than taken off.
Every issue / email seems to explode into several actions, most of which involve getting info to / from people on the oposite side of the world, thus adding more to the frustration and delays to all concerned.

Today MrGrumpy has had a very bad fitbit day... too much sitting down, hardly any walking at all, by 6:30pm only 1600 steps and just 9 flights of stairs... about 1/3 of a normal day... OK, his plan for today and tomorrow was to rest the legs a little, but not that much...

It was 7:45pm before MrGrumpy left the CubeFarm today and he already knows tomorrow is going to be a challenging day, he wonders if it is even worth going home.

He did finally manage to cross a couple of items off his todo list, but this was only tiding up loose ends. With this done he might be able to concentrate on what he needs to while MrZee is on vacation. But not until at least tomorrow afternoon, and then only if the morning goes well.

Monday, 9 July 2012

++Week == (4 * Month)

Another week starts for MrGrumpy at the CubeFarm, no holiday this week so a full week ahead.

Tomorrow is rent day again, that means he has been out hear for 4 months already, only another month before he is back in the UK for a week.

After all the walking at the weekend his legs are a little tender, he might just to the minimum 10,000 steps today.

On the way home he called in at "Wendys" and got a couple of grilled chicken wraps, quite tasty and not a huge amount of calories.

He was still short on steps, so went out for a 3 mile walk to ensure his 10,000. He did it but his legs are suffering today, the next couple of days will have to be rest days or he will damage himself and slow down his progress.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Heading for the hills

This morning MrGrumpy was chatting with LittleMissNaughty and watching the wimbledon final (via the iPad pointed at the TV back at home), MrBBC would not let him even listen to the radio coverage (due to licensing restrictions). He had already missed the F1 by not being awake before 7am, so just looked at the result on the MrTwitter.

It was time for him to collect his laundry, while he was out he was trying to work out what else to do today. Back at home, he packed his rucksack, with camera, a drink and a serial bar and headed off towards the park off blossom hill road.
When he got there he took the ridge trail and followed it uphill onto the next trail and then back down to the road.

He was listening to music and tracking the walk with the Nike+ app, after just less than 9 miles he was back home.

Back home it was time for a shower and then relax, next problem was stay in or go out to eat. Finally he stayed at home and nuked a pizza (which he found was twice the calories that he thought, as they only show the numbers for 1/2 a one person pizza). Still even with that and a beer he was well within the budget for calories for today.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

There and back again, to see how far it is...

This morning MrGrumpy had to take his washing to the laundry, it was that time again.
After dropping off his washing he was not sure what to do, he did not want to do too much climbing so chose to take a drive down to Capitola and the see what he could find to do there.

When he got there, the sea fog was still lingering, so he started to walk, he soon found himself at Opal Cliffs watching the surfing and taking photos along the way.

He carried on walking, and walking and after quite a long walk, he arrived at Santa Cruz. By the time he walked down the broadwalk it was well past beer o'clock, he found a bar and ordered a refreshing beer. The beer went down really well, not it was time to find some food.
Food is always a chore, after walking down the road and checking his options, he went for a chicken kebab at Falafel Hut. It was pretty tasty and set him up for his walk back to Capitola.

He headed back, this time keeping to the roads rather than walking along a section of the beach, this and the fact he knew where he was going, made the walk back seem quicker.

Back in Capitola, he went to the Britania Arms and treated himself to a pint of Old Speckled Hen, the first 'English" beer he had had since he was in the US.

Just a bit more walking to get back to the car, then a little drive back up Highway 17 to home.

There was no doubt that he managed his steps today, he had walked  over 28,000 steps which is the best part of 14 miles.

Time now for MrGrumpy to relax and watch Netflix.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Friday... woo hoo...

Even though MrGrumpy is in the office by about 7am each day, it always seems harder work when he has an early conference call.

This morning was busy, he had a call, then out of the office for a meeting, then back to sort out stuff for next week. It was midday and he felt like he had already done two days work.

By mid afternoon, it was time to call it a week. Time to head off to the cinema, todays movie of choice is Savages, pity it is not on the IMAX screen. He does hope it is not on screen 7 at the AMC Mecardo, because that screen has a scratch and the right channel of audio just crackles.

Before the cinema MrGrumpy tried out In-N-Out Burger, several MrPeople had recommended it to him, today it was time to try one. He ordered Cheeseburger, Fries and a Soda (somewhere about 800 calories), but it had been a bad week for a diet, so he had it anyway.
It was not bad, the burger was a bit thin, but tasty (especially as they don't put in pickle). He did prefer the MrFiveGuys burger that MrWhiteSox had introduced him to.

At the cinema there was a bit of a queue at the ticket desk, unusual for this time of day, but then he noticed that the automated ticket machines were "Out of Order". He got his ticket, this time it was on screen 15, he hoped that would be better than 7. It was, no problem with the image or sound, they could do with turning the volume up a little more - at times it is just too quiet. Anyway he sat through the trailers, a few new ones for movies in September and October.
The movie was pretty good, several quite gruesome violent scenes, but the story was good and kept MrGrumpy interested for all 3 and a bit hours. The ending was not quite what he was expecting, but he won't spoil it for anybody.

When he got home, he got changed and went out for a brisk walk, the plan was to test out the sports watch he had got cheap from MrAmazon. It measures heart rate so MrGrumpy can check if he is walking fast enough to really make him fitter. As well as the sports watch, his iPhone was tracking the walk using Nike+, so he would have quite a lot of data from this walk. He was more like a portable data logger than a walker.

After the walk he had done just over 5 miles at a pace of 15m 40s per mile, not too bad for him and it did include a 200ft hill at about half way.  From the hill he could see Monument Peak across the valley, this is the peak he hiked up by accident last weekend. The heart rate monitor gave him an average reading of 118 bpm (67% of his max) which would class as quite a good 1h 20min aerobic workout.

Whatever happened to Thursday...

This is a late posting for Thursday, MrGrumpy found the exercise and long working days catching up with him.
This was a surprise as he did not work on Wednesday, maybe all the extra sunshine and good food, just tipped him over the edge and tiredness caught up.

After work, he just went home and relaxed, nuked some food and watched NetFlix. He only managed 5000 steps but his legs are recovering from the hike combined with the attempted Jogging the other day.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Independence Day

MrGrumpy got up early and went out for a walk / jog, he did not manage to jog very far before his leg knotted up and he generally reverted to walking.

It was already looking like a nice hot day was to follow. Back in the street, people were busy setting up chairs and BBQs ready for the days events. The local community have a little parade with kids, dogs, cars, bikes and a couple of floats, obviously with quite a few stars and stripes.

MrGrumpy got to meet a few more of the locals, he met MrEngineCollector who had a workshop full of stationary engines / pumps and yard full of old carts. There was also Mr55Chevy who had a 55 Chevy and several motocycles in various states. MrAirCon was relaxing with a beer after working the BBQ and avoiding the water bomb fights that were going on.

DJ MrBoyBand wanted to buy an iDevice for a friend so MrGrumpy met up with him and gave him a lift to one of the local malls. While they were having a pint, emails were being exchanged between MrBombsAway and MrFullFatCoke trying to arrange a time we would meet up for a BBQ this evening.

After some confusion over what time they were all going to meet up, MrGrumpy collected DJ MrBoyBand and MrFullFatCoke the drove them over the the BBQ.

MrBombsAway and Mr7LtrVette were great hosts, after a beer they all went to look at the Corvette and various other vehicles in the garage. Mr7LtrVette took them all out for a "quick" little jaunt in the Corvette.
"Quick" was an understatement, with 0-60 in the 3.x seconds and a top speed of lots, all three of them came back grinning.

The steak that Mr7LtrVette expertly cooked in the BBQ was excellent, one of the best streaks MrGrumpy had eaten, most defiantly the best cooked on a BBQ (it was also about the size of a roast that he and LittleMissNaughty would normally have).

Pre Independence Day

MrGrumpy's mustang has now covered 163,000 miles, over 3000 since April. It will soon be due another oil change (@ 163500 ish).

This evening MrGrumpy is meeting up with MrCrazyRunner, they are planning on a going for a traditional English meal (Curry). Of cause this will mean MrGrumpy having to go out for a walk when he gets home (to keep within his daily food budget).

MrGrumpy & MrCrazyRunner met up and walked a block or so to the curry place, which was closed, they had arrived a few minutes early, so stood outside and chatted until they opened the doors.
The Curry was good, filling and not over spicy, the both had a bottle of Kingfisher and MrGrumpy went for a chicken dish with naan, MrCrazyRunner went with the vindaloo, rice and naan (so is that his secret to running fast).

It was a nice evening, chatting about stuff, drinking a beer and eating. At home MrGrumpy was down on his steps, so he needs to go for a walk round the block at least.

Monday, 2 July 2012

MrGrumpy and the Suspect Package

Unlike most mornings, today is cloudy, MrGrumpy expects by lunch time the cloud will be gone and normal sunny survice will be resumed.

MrGrumpy received a suspect package, he was not expecting any delivery and he found quite a large box when he went down to reception to collect it,  it was from LittleMissNaughty.  
Food Aid for MrGrumpy
Upon opening the package, he found an assortment of goodies, 2 x CD's, Camera and Car Mags, Cuddly toys, T-Shirts and English food... (6 x Cream Crackers, 2 x Digestives, 2 x Ginger Nuts, 3 x Massive bars of Dairy Milk to name just a few).  
Remembering them off the top of his head was like the conveyer belt from the generation game... (he is showing his age now)...
They are going to last a very long time, unless MrGrumpy has a relapse and starts eating nice stuff again. MrGrumpy dreads to think how much it cost to ship them over and is amazed that customs did not steal the diary milk or Top Gear magazine.

The world infamous DJ MrBoyBand is in town, so MrGrumpy is going to meet him for a diet coke before he heads off home.

MrGrumpy is short on his number of steps today, only 5000, but he did do 20 minutes in the gym (without the fitbit) so that should make up for it.

MrGrumpy met up with DJ MrBoyBand and MrFullFatCoke at their hotel, they had a drink and some food. MrGrumpy just had lentil soup and a pint of beer, with any luck he would still be within his daily budget.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

You never can tell how a day is going to turn out.

MrGrumpy spent all morning sat on the sofa listening to Pandora, it was lunch time before he finally got off hit but and went to get the car washed (for $6 it is not worth doing it himself).

While getting the car washed (which did not take long), he was chatting to MrV8Challenger, who said there was a car show on today over at El Camino Real / Scott. When the car was cleaned MrGrumpy paid MrCarWash the 6$ and gave them a $3 tip. He tapped in the intersection into MrSatNav and headed over to see if he could find the car show. At the intersection there was no sign of any cars, not knowing which way to try, he pulled over to the side of the road and consulted MrGoogle, but could not find anything.

He carried on driving and as he was heading towards the east bay hill, why not find a park and go for a walk, he had only done about 300 steps today and that was 9700 short of his target. It was not long before he found a sign and followed it to the "Ed Levin county park", it cost him $6 to park, so he had to make the most of it.

He parked by the lake and intended to walk around the lake until he got his required number of steps, little did he know what he was just about to let himself in for. He walked across the end of the lake and there was a route leading up a little way, he followed it as he could get better photos of the lake from up there. Anyway to cut a very long and exhausting hiking story short, he followed the trail to the top on Monument Peak, about 5.8 miles and 2000+ foot elevation change. He was close to giving up at times, it was a good job he had a bottle of water and snack bars with him, otherwise he would not have made it. The full sun did not help, there is little shade and it was pretty warm.
He found later this hike described as "this trail is not for beginners or casual 'neighbourhood' walkers. It is somewhat steep and continually demanding." He really should do some research before taking on these challenges, but if he had then he would not have attempted this. The views and sense of achievement really made it worth wild. Even the walk back to the car was tricky at times, it was so steep he was surprised that he did not slip and slide down a several hundred feet on his butt.

Legs aching and pretty tired he headed home for a relaxing evening. On the way home he went to the local store to buy some essentials, oh how his shopping basket has changed...

After a disappointing weigh-in this morning he tried again, after all that hiking had he lost any weight, well yes, over 3.4lbs in 12 hours, a bonus for the effort he put into the hike.