June 17th, 2005 - John C. Kirk — LiveJournal
Jun. 17th, 2005
I've just got home, after spending the last week on a canal boat. A bunch of us went around the Cheshire ring (about 275 miles, I think), starting and finishing in Middlewich. It was fun, and a nice change of pace - it definitely did me good to get out of London for a while. In a weird way, it managed to be relaxing while also being energetic, with a lot of yomping around in the fresh air, e.g. last weekend we did 23 locks before lunchtime! So, I was certainly quite tired by the time I got to bed each evening. One other highlight of the trip was that I met up with my penfriend; we've been writing to each other since we were 14, so it was nice to finally meet her in person.
I took a few photos while I was there, but I'm sure that elvum will have plenty more on display soon. I basically figured that when there are 5 other people taking photos of the boat, I can just get a copy from them, rather than taking a 6th photo myself.
I had a few turns at driving the narrowboat too. It's not as easy as it looked... It was 72 feet long, and weighed about 30 tons, so it's a bit different to steering a motorbike. On the other hand, you're only travelling at 4mph. Anyway, I didn't crash too many times, although missing another narrowboat by literally an inch was a bit nerve-wracking.
I put the diet on hold for the duration (not having easy access to the web), although I've tried to keep a rough guide of what I ate, so I can work out the points later. Anyway, after a week of normal food (including Coke/chocolate), I've lost weight - I've dropped another jeans size (down to 34"), and according to my body fat levels (18.5%), I'm now in the recommended area rather than being overweight. I'd still like to lose another few kilos, and I'll need to start calorie-counting again once I'm back sitting at a desk all day, but I'm pretty happy with this.
Now that I'm back, I need to wade through everything that's accumulated in my absence. I've so far purged my spam emails, and caught up on webcomics/LJ. Next I need to sort out my post, and watch the TV programs that my Digibox (hopefully) recorded for me. Speaking of which, would anyone like a (free) paperback copy of "American Gods"? I succumbed to temptation and ordered the Hill House edition before I left, which has now arrived, and it truly is a thing of beauty. It came with a copy of "Melinda" (also by Gaiman) which I haven't seen for sale on Amazon, and "A Screenplay", which apparently can't be named for legal reasons, but seems to bear a striking resemblance to the script for the "Good Omens" film that was never actually made. I'll give comments on them later.
On the job front, I applied for a few before I left last week, and I had a call from an agency a couple of days ago. I asked them to call me back in two minutes, but haven't heard anything since, so I'm not sure what happened there. Anyway, hopefully something will turn up. Ironically, despite all the MS exams I've been doing, I think it may be my lack of qualifications that's my biggest problem. More specifically, I was planning out my certification schedule on the assumption that I could spend the rest of the year doing it, so I was starting with the completely new technologies/qualifications (e.g. Windows/SQL Server), rather than updated versions of the exams I've already passed (VB.NET vs VB6), on the grounds that this was what would benefit the company the most. Ah well, live and learn - it was a reasonable decision given the information that I had at the time, so no regrets there. Anyway, what I may wind up doing is taking a brief gap before my next job, so that I can hurry through a few more exams, and get my MCAD/MCSD in .NET.
Right, slobbing time...
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