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.