October 13th, 2017

Tall ships (porthole)

Rambling ramblings

I'm typing this post from a train in the middle of nowhere because I can. Yay on-train wifi! Not that it's that fast a connection - I seem to be getting all of 512kb/s out of it.

I can't believe I just typed that. It really isn't that long ago that 512k was a reasonable Internet speed - now it makes browsing painfully slow.

Anyway, so what all's been happening in the world of boggyb? Well, various odds and ends that I've been meaning to post but haven't got round to doing so - so here's a round-up to clear the backlog.

Last month was elemnar's birthday and we ended up going to Reigate for the day (parking in what The Gnu described as the worst car park ever). We followed a surprisingly interesting tour around Reigate that The Gnu had found, taking us through tunnels and moats and into castles and odd side streets. There's even a cave system that's occasionally open to visitors! We then went to Prezzo for lunch wherein amusingly The Gnu and I ordered different pizzas that intrigued us, then both of us spent the meal thinking that we preferred the look of each other's pizza. So perhaps next time we'll swap the order round?

After that we went to the real goal of the trip which was to sample the Monty Bojangles café and enjoy variations upon chocolate drinks (I had a chocolate milkshake, they had hot chocolates - and our drinks were all very nice!). Finally as we had a bit of time left we wandered towards the park in search of a few geocaches. The first one we found was a literal letterbox cache mounted in plain sight of everyone (it even had a sign saying "Geocache" and everything!). The next few were less successful - we found 3 or 4 in the woods, of which most were damaged or missing parts. Shame, really, as they were rather inventive caches - one was a bird feeder, another was a box hidden in a log complete with a very large 'X' to mark the spot.

Hmm, my wifi has dropped down to 128kb/s. That 15MB "fast Internet" cap didn't last long!

Later on in September was the parents' anniversary which we all celebrated as this year is a significant number. The parents had been mulling over various plans and ideas but in the end went for a simple family celebration mainly consisting of lots of board games at which allegramente demolished us all. We played two full rounds of Mahjong which allegramente ended up winning overall with a couple of high-scoring hands (it's all about the doubles). Later on we moved on to the next scenario in our ongoing Settlers of Catan: Seafarers campaign (Through the Desert, I think) and allegramente once again pulled a win out, this time through a strong military (i.e. lots of Knight cards) which defeated my expansionist approach. Finally we came to Ankh-Morpork - this time allegramente won the first round fair and square (possibly as one of the Lords?), and in the second game conspired with the others to pull off a win as Vimes while destroying all my buildings and assassinating all my minions. I think that was the first game that ended with one of us (me!) having nothing on the board at all!

Overheard at Taunton:

Punter 1: "Excuse me, I was booked in that seat"
Punter 2: "Oh, so was I"
Punter 1: "...twat" *stomps off*


As it happens I'm in someone's seat, but given that this seat was booked from London Paddington and yet has been empty since Westbury I doubt the real occupant is about to turn up.

What else... car check time! It's been a while since I've blogged about it, though I have been doing the monthly checks and keeping everything topped up. October is MOT/service month as well so I need to arrange all that, along with a few other things - the rear shocks were flagged for upcoming replacement at the previous service and I still haven't got round to getting the exhaust tightened (that's the one which Halford's replaced over a year ago - they apparently didn't do a good job of fitting the new one!). Plus there's the ongoing power steering puzzle though that said, it has been more reliable over the past year.

As to the tyres, well the chap from Kwikfit turned up, checked the tread depth on all of them, and commented that there was loads of tread left (3/4mm on the fronts, 5/6mm on the rear) so they didn't need replacing after all. Except for the punctured rear, and since none of the others are new he suggested replacing the most worn tyre on the other side and moving that to the same axle. So in the end he replaced OSR and NSF, and swapped NSF with NSR giving me two new Goodyear Efficientgrip Performance tyres on the rear and a pair of reasonably evenly-worn boots on the front. And arranged a refund of the unused tyres which was nice. Full marks to Kwikfit mobile!

Anyway, enough rambling for now. Onwards to Cornwall!