PowerPoint Changes

Wednesday night was my last night in London.
Have I done all the things I wanted to do…?
Have I visited old friends, old shows, new exhibitions…?

Of course I haven’t! I’ve spent hours and hours and hours working on utterly pointless stuff.

After spending all Sunday working on a presentation that was cancelled, this comic summed it up completely.

It’s not been all bad.

I’ve not had to make my bed.
I’ve not had to cook my dinner.
I could get reliable public transport at 11.30pm after a few bevvies.
I have seen a friendly smile every day, whether it’s the hotel staff, the fellow tube travelers, or the team.
And of course, I’ve worked with some amazing people who I’ll really miss.

But I am glad to be going home.

Ski Tour – Aspatria

Of course, its pretty difficult to do a ski tour without leaving Aspatria, and being lazy, I didn’t really want to leave the house. After all, it was wet and cold outside, and there was some good stuff on the telly. So I geared up , hopped onto the touring machine and set off. If I closed my eyes, I might easily have been on the Trient glacier. Next time I’ll put Pete’s dvd of the haute route trip on the telly, for true authenticity. It wasnt long before I was severely overheating, just like the real thing!!!

Finding a rythm somewhere on the glacier d'Aspatria
Finding a rythm somewhere on the glacier d'Aspatria

Luckily when I got the the hut, la gardienne had prepared gateaux de chocolat. Yum!
cake 002

Everything is at risk!

Yesterday we had an impossibly pedantic meeting at work where a “security expert” explained what testing needed to be completed to gain a given level of accreditation. Basically, what he said was that no matter what we did to ring-fence any aspect of the system, everything that could be accessed via the network needed to be tested to the same degree. And even then we might miss something so consequently it still couldn’t be accredited.

Then one of the team found this Dilbert that made us laugh, I thought it was worth sharing…

Dilbert.com

It seems that the “security expert” was correct?! :mrgreen: Not sure the non-IT people will get it, but sometimes it is possible to go just too far! Sure, if we were building a system that handled ultra-sensitive or mega-valuable data, but we are not – it’s just a pretty ordinary call centre solution.

Dalmahoy Cliff

Working just outside Edinburgh (Livingston) I’ve gotten hold of a copy of the Lowland Outcrops SMC guidebook and have been looking for after-work cragging entertainment… As luck would have it, right next to my hotel is Dalmahoy cliff; so I took a walk up to the crags to see what was on offer.

Dalmahoy Cliff

To say it’s a fairly odd place would be an understatement! It’s right above a big quarry workings area – it’s all closed in the evening of course, but never-the-less it’s a bit like a post industrial wasteland scene from Robo Cop. The cliff looks okay enough, even if it’s in a bit of an unattractive location. Although it might make climbing feel a little more serious than it actually is! As I was on my own I didn’t fancy soloing any of the routes (even though they are mostly quite moderately graded) – the serious/industrial vibe of the place put me off from sticking my neck out on a solo. 😮 I’ll have to take a closer look when I’ve got a belay bunny with me another time.

I was expecting Robo Cop to appear at any moment and give me 10 seconds to comply before shooting my brains out...
I was expecting Robo Cop to appear at any moment and give me "10 seconds to comply" before shooting my brains out...
Robocop
...and then he did!
"Drop the guidebook punk! You have 10 seconds to comply!"

Isle of Man TT

Can you believe it, Saturday’s superbike race was cancelled due to heavy rain? What! We finally get to go to the Isle of Man’s TT race for what should be the main event, the superbikes, and the weather lets us down! Then, rubbing salt into our wounds the race got postponed to Monday when we would be back at work. Doh! 😥 Work Sucks! And so does the weather! :angry:

Anyway, it gave us much more time to explore the island’s attractions and spend time with Laetitia’s sister and family.

Laxey Wheel
Laxey Wheel
Cashtal yn Ard (Castle of the Heights)
Cashtal yn Ard (Castle of the Heights)
Kirk Maughold Parish Church Cross Shelter
Kirk Maughold Parish Church Cross Shelter
Kirk Maughold Parish Church Cross Shelter
Kirk Maughold Parish Church Cross Shelter

Sunday turned out sunny. But the traditional Mad Sunday being what it is, a chance for everyone to ride the famous TT circuit, racing was still not an option. But, the biking entertainment at Peel was still on, and with glorious weather at last, off we went to save some biking action from the weekend…

Peel Day
Peel Day

Steve Colley was amazing. This guy has clearly got masses of skill on a bike. But he also gives the impression – with his running commentary of his stunts – that he’s also got an ego to go with it! I lost count of just how many times he had to tell us this trick or that was “really difficult” or “just about as hard as it gets”.

Steve Colley at Peel
Steve Colley at Peel

On the other hand, the Purple Helmets have got no ego what-so-ever, having fun with just about everything including themselves! 😆

The Purple Helmets at Peel
The Purple Helmets at Peel

We even had time for a bit of bouldering on the beach at Peel…

Bouldering on Peel Beach
Bouldering on Peel Beach

We should have checked in with Mike Caine’s IoM Rock Climbing site before we went though, there’s loads of climbing on the island. Ah well, plenty of detail there for next time…

Now of course we are back home so after work I’ll have to watch the TT superbike race on the TV tonight…

Too Much (French) Cake

cats-on-scales

It seems to have taken ages to get here, but I guess that’s the nature of postcards – not quite the same speediness as the internet! 😉 Anyway, more postcard “kat” joking from Terry in France, at St Martin de Londres this time.

I know it isn’t just Laetitia and I that like a cake to reward a good day’s climbing – you can see here that Terry enjoys his cakes too!