You know you’re a geek when you use computing terms to describe physical exercise

So I think I’ve discovered a workaround for my hip problem. When I try to force my right leg to point outward (previously, I wrote about being pigeon-toed and my right leg pointing inward), it adds strain to my left leg for compensating my being off-balance.

Last night was really ‘Try To Figure Out What The Hell Is Wrong Before I Damage Myself Irreparably’ at the gym. It involved a lot of grimacing.

The conclusion I came to is my body WANTS my right leg to point slightly inward when putting my foot down. So I tried pushing outwards as I push off a second later. Result! I enjoyed a more comfortable run and my hip isn’t aching as much.

So I’m feeling pretty confident that I’m not going to be suffering (too much) on the run tomorrow. Unless I have found a workaround that will damage me in some other way. All I know is I’m not joining another run till March (I was mistaken — I thought this run was in May!).

Scottish slang of the day — MESSAGES

I’ve heard, more than once, the story of when Neil got the flu and couldn’t get out of bed for ten days, he was that crook. The first time I was regaled with the story (and every time since), I also heard that he was dragged out of bed to drive his mum to Wishaw to go “get her messages”, an injustice he feels has never been addressed.

I thought his mum had a PO box or something. But she’s not the type. After glimpsing the look of mild confusion on my face, Neil went on to gently explain that ‘messages‘ means ‘shopping’.

WTF? Once again, how did we get from ‘going to buy stuff’ to ‘messages’? Was it once used as a euphemism for buying embarrassing things (condoms, pads, tampons, various medications for yeast infections)? Or was it back in the day when people went to the shops, that was also when they got their mail and gossip?

That would make sense. Not that I’m going to start using it.

This is life as the US knows it

said suspicious objectLED cartoon characters on a board considered suspicious, causes road and bridge closures, traffic chaos. Men responsible for installing the signs face five years in jail.

I take this to mean that any artists hoping to stage controversial street installations are kinda fucked. Guerilla marketing advocates come under 24-hour surveillance. Buskers required to submit to permit application and approval processes. The Naked Cowboy gets daily cavity searches.

I have to say, all this paranoia and false alarms probably give nutjobs more ideas.

Hello, Murphy

Running update. The race participant limit has increased from 80 to 140. Many of the entrants (not competitors! Please! I’m not competing!) are from athletics clubs.

I’m going to the gym three times a week, and my right hip joint is really not happy. I think that it’s not just my going pigeon-toed, I observed that my entire right leg points inwards slightly (I’m sure there’s a specific term for this but I don’t know it) as I lift my leg to take another step while jogging. Last night I had to stop the treadmill and get on the stationary bike to relieve the ache in my hip.

So I think I need to retrain myself when it comes to my gait while running. I don’t believe this is a new problem, but maybe my Reeboks have exacerbated the situation (I got them in early 2006)? I’d appreciate a real doctor telling me what they thought.

Google is not evil

Their suggested route back home from work is probably the one that manages to skip most of the congestion on the M8 in the city centre.

Not that I’m going to link to it.

I tried this third route last night, missed my turn and had to double back, but still got home in about the same time. There is no practical way for me to avoid the M8 altogether (unless it involves driving along dark and lonesome country roads, making me a prime target for machete-wielding serial killers), which explains why the bloody motorway is so bloody slow at rush hour. We have no options. The train and bus services are inconvenient (if I miss my train I have to wait TWO HOURS for the next one) and expensive.

Basically, the now-favourited route involves going along what would normally be a less convenient road, but the lesser convenience and slightly longer distance equals fewer cars and skipping the Kingston Bridge, the bane of my driving existence.

Still, I’m not totally used to this 9 – 5 (well, 5.30) palaver any more. I don’t really have much free time to craft and exercise and watch teevee and computer. I can only pick one to do each day. (Yes. Poor me. What an unfair existence, forcing me to choose.)

The good news is I’m not watching The Jeremy Kyle Show or whatever that breakfast programme is on STV because I want to hit Fern whatshername, she’s so judgemental and annoying.

You want to let me go? I’ll strike!

Making a joke again, but striking to protest job cuts seems counter-intuitive. There will always be civil servants, but what if you’re one of those striking whose boss realises that they can get things done without you?

Neil’s sister is one of those ‘on strike’ (she won’t be losing her job though, I don’t think). She is not going to be one of those marching — for the most part, this is a free day off for her to hang with her boyfriend and sleep in. Neil gets to use her car. Solidarity, that is.

(I know it’s about creating disruptions to inconvenience the public and government to get what they want. Just ’cause Singaporeans don’t have unions with teeth doesn’t mean I’m not down with the proletariat. However, I tend to disapprove of things that hinder the flow of things getting done.)

Terrorism, but not as we know it?!

Eight have been arrested in early morning (4am!) raids on properties in Birmingham.

Security sources have told the BBC the alleged plot would not have involved mass casualties but marked “a different approach to terrorism in the UK”.

From what I heard on the radio, this means no bombs, no ‘conventional’ terrorist methods. So how would one sow terror unconventionally?

  • Allowing George Bush to stand for election in the UK
  • Invasion of the White Van Men (read the report if you don’t get this)
  • prolific pirating of Burberry check baseball caps
  • Bingo being only entertainment every night of the week

I’m making light, but it’s because we don’t know very much at all. And given how overblown the ‘airplane bombs’ threat was last year, I wouldn’t be surprised if the threat was distant (though definitely warranting nipping in the bud) and over-dramatised.

Seawater slags

hippocampus, from wikimediaAh… the seahorse. Fabled for their restorative powers, so much so that Chinese people catch and dry them out for sale in medical halls (why am I not surprised that one of its medical uses is to treat impotence). It turns out that seahorses, long believed to be faithful, monogamous creatures, are horny little creatures that’ll shag anything.

The Australian bigbellied seahorse was the most indiscriminate, mating with both females and males several times a day.

Insert joke about Aussies here.

Of course, these seahorses were not observed in a natural environment, so they might be less… social in the wild. I’m a fan of sea dragons myself. They look weird and wonderful, and have a few more strange spiky bits than seahorses.

Important seahorse blogging.