Notes from the revolution

I’ve just got back from holiday in Crete, where we went for a week, after the campaign of fear and mis-information (and in some cases downright lies) carried out by the Better Together campaign, resulted in Scotland remaining in the UK.  It wasn’t the landslide that BT hoped for 55-45% in favour of staying in the UK.

There’s footage doing the rounds of ballot papers – all with YES votes – that were discarded in the street and not counted.  The guy posting the clip on youtube said he was reporting it to the Electoral Commission.  If it’s legit, it needs a criminal investigation. Then there’s Ruth Davidson (leader of the Scottish Tories) being interview under caution by police after she let slip on tv less than an hour after the polls closed that postal votes had been opened and counted prior to the 18th and that it was looking good for her side.

The political genie is out the bottle and doesn’t look like it’s going back.  The three pro-indy parties (SNP, Scottish Greens and Scottish Socialists) have all seen their memberships swell AFTER the fight was lost.  Green’s have quadrupled their membership, and the SNP are now have the third largest membership of ANY UK party, knocking the LibDems into 4th place.
Let’s look at what this means.  A Scottish party, now has a larger membership than one of the main UK wide parties.

There’s a Hope over Fear rally in Freedom Square (ok, George Square, but the 45%-ers have re-named it), this Sunday, and Radical Independence are having a convention in November.

The battle may have been lost, but with the population now politicised to an extent that it never previously had been, it looks like the war is far from over.

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First 10k race in 5 years

Yesterday I took part in the Paisley 10k, my first 10 race in 5 years, and only my second race since I started running again a couple of months back.

It was a warm sunny day, and there was a wee hill about half-way round, and just after the 9k mark, there was longer hill to contend with, leading back up to the main st, and the finish.  Given that, and the fact I’ve only been running again for about 12 weeks, I was very happy with my time of 52:52m.

Now I have a time to try and improve on, so I’ve no excuses.

Run hippy! Run!

Run hippy! Run!

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Today’s run to work

So I ran into work today.  This time I didn’t lap the campus, I headed straight to the gym to shower and change.  To be honest it only takes a couple of minutes to run round, and takes the distance from just under, to just over 10k, so skipping it isn’t a biggie.  Anyway, this morning I was feeling like I was struggling a bit.

When I got to the gym and stopped my watch, I realised why it felt tougher today, I’d run in in 45:45m!  Now considering the lap of the campus takes 2 mins (3 max) that’s still a fair bit faster than last time, so the reason I’d felt like I was struggling slightly was due to the pace being faster, and had nothing at all to do with the bottle of wine I drank last night. (OK, it may have had a slight effect on this morning’s run).

So all in all, I’m happy, more than happy actually, with this morning’s run.  

Go me!


Commuting by train(ers)

Commuting by train(ers)

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When is connected, too connected?

An acquaintance of mine recently posted over on FB that he had bought a Pebble.  Not only a that, but a Pebble steel.  There was a round of comments congratulating him on his “new shiny”, and although my initial reaction was “Cool”, I paused, hands held over the keyboard, thought for a moment, and declined to comment.

Here’s the thing.  Every day, we’re connected to the internet in more and more ways. Facebook? Check, Twitter? Check, Foursquare/Swarm? Check.  And now, we’re using smart watches, to connect with the smartphone that’s in our pocket, to connect to the online world.

Where does it end?  Do we go the whole hog and implant rfid chips under our skin, along with a gps locator? (There’s your Foursquare/Swarm check-in sorted right there.

I referred to this person at the start, as an acquaintance.  I used to call him a friend, but over the last 8 or 9 months, I haven’t seen him.  I realised that the only time I was seeing him in the flesh was is I organised it.  Left to his own devices he wouldn’t make any effort, and sorry, for me friendship is a two-way street.
The last straw was when, after arranging to meet him one day for lunch/drinks, I called in the morning to remind him, only for him to check his FB messages and emails, and tell me we’d never arranged anything.  When I pointed out that it had been arranged in REAL LIFE, the last time we’d met, so of course there was no reference to it online, he got huffy and defensive and said he couldn’t make it, and I should have emailed on PMed him!

Not happening.

I actually love when I go on holiday, and leave my phone and laptop behind.  After the initial couple of days when I think I’ve lost my phone, I settle down, and really enjoy the liberation that comes from being disconnected.
The downside to this is returning to a mountain of email, but that’s besides the point.  For one or two weeks, I’m free of the internet.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love the online world as much as anyone, BUT, sometimes it’s good to cut loose, and let go for a while.  It’s also not healthy in a social sense, if you rely purely on an online existence for your social life.  

Those gps and rfid implants can’t be that far off (if they’re not already here), and then it’s one small step and we give up control and the Borg become a reality.

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Nice wee weekend (despite the weather)

On Friday I had was out for a meal with work.  There had been a summer school, with American students over to see how forensics is done in Scotland, and to get a glimpse of our judicial system.

The meal was really good, and me wearing my kilt went down well with the students (and some of the waiting staff!).


On Saturday, we headed into town for a wander before going for a curry for dinner.  Since the kilt was still lying out from the Friday night, and it’s doesn’t get worn that often, I thought “Why not” and put it on again.  This time with hiking socks, Cat boots, and a sweatshirt.  


On to Sunday, and it was our weekly game of badminton.  Karen has been improving a lot, and winning more games lately.  Yesterday, there was some Chinese guys playing table tennis in the same hall, and one came over to watch us.  After a few minutes, he gave her some pointers, and from that point on she had me running round like a blue arsed fly!  It was only a little change he’d told her to try, but damn it made a big difference!  She was really chuffed.

Later we went for a drink, and bumped into an old friend of mine, so that was pretty cool.

Now it’s back to work, and I’ve a guitar lesson tonight

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Wee niggle, so the running has paused

Got a muscular pain on the top of my foot. Not done anything to damage a bone, and it’s not gout, so nothing to worry about.
Just means I’ve got to put the running to the side for a couple of days.

In the meantime, I’ve planned a new 10k route from my house. It’s a loop that finishes back at the house and comes in at 10.15k in total. So that’s happening soon.
I’ve also realised that the route I cycle to work in just over 9.5k, so the plan is to drop a bag of clothes off one weekend, and run in one Monday morning instead of cycling, just to see how it goes. If it’s fun, then it could be a more regular thing.

On Friday night, I’ve got a work meal to go to for students over from America. It’s their last day on Friday, and we’re of to a fancy restaurant in the city, so I’ll get the kilt out for that. Should be a good night.

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Probably my favourite RHPS song. Love this.

the rocky horror picture show (1975) i’m going home from rudyoutreville on Vimeo.

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Early morning run

Due to the heat, my wife hasn’t been getting a great sleep, so last night I asked her to give me a nudge if she woke up about 5.30am so I could get a run in before heading to work.
Well, she did, but it was just after 5.00am. Hey, that’s when she woke, so I can’t complain.

The park was great at that time in the morning. There’s no-one else about, except for the odd policeman exercising his dog (the police dogs are based there).

I tried some mind tricks to see if they helped any. For example, spotting a tree or puddle in the distance and saying “Just run to that”, and as I approach, pick my next target.
Also, thinking light and relaxed helps too. I found in the past if I whispered “BOING, BOING” to myself with each step, I ended up running better and not psyching myself out.
And that’s the biggest problem I’ve found since I started running again. Every time I feel ready to quit and start walking, I do a mental checklist.
Legs? They feel good, not tired.
Breathing? Yup that’s ok, not laboured. Breathing is fine.
So why am I thinking of stopping? Oh yeah, I’ve almost convinced myself I can’t do this.
I can.

So, if my mind tries to trick me, I not have the tools to trick it back.

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Disposable world

I suppose I only really noticed this, as I’m trying to have have a clearout.
My mobile contract was up for renewal recently, and I headed off to get my well deserved upgrade, and that was when I realised. I was perfectly happy with the phone I had. I was only going for an upgrade, because the system says I can get another phone every two years.

I’ve actually got 4 perfectly usable old phones lying in the house. A small graveyard of tech that are unused only because of upgrades – there’s actually 5, but my wife took one, and has been using it now for about 6 years and is perfectly happy.

One of the old phones is unlocked, so it goes abroad with me, and I can pop in a local sim if I need to, which is handy. The others are perfectly useable too.

Our culture has been drawn in to the cycle of renewing their tech every couple of years, when in reality, there’s no need.

I opted to go for a sim only deal, and keep my phone, and I’m saving £7 a month as a result. If the phone breaks down in the meantime, there’s not exactly a shortage of phones I can pop the sim into.

I’ll upgrade the phone, if I NEED to, not because my phone isn’t deemed cool or cutting edge any more.

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Commonwealth Games

In case you didn’t know, the Commonwealth Games are on in Glasgow. The sun is out, and there is a fantastic atmosphere in the city.
At lunchtime I won signed Team Scotland goodie bag, including signed bag, signed cap, signed Saltire, and tickets for the two for the boxing on Sunday.

Seriously chuffed.




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