Monthly Archives: November 2014

Bernadette McAliskey RIC 2014

From the Radical Independence Conference last week.

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Gearing up for winter, and getting some balance

I’ve realised that all the exercise I do focusses on the legs – running, cycling, karate, and I really need to do something that involves the upper body. I’ve also accepted that with the imminent approach of worsening weather, running and cycling may not the as attractive an option as they currently are.  (Yes, there is winter clothing, but it’s not the rain and cold that puts me off, it’s the wind.  There’s not much pleasure to be had on a bike when you’re peddling to stay still).

With the above in mind, I’ve upped my gym membership from “locker and shower” to “gold”.  Gold gives me full access at all times (there’s a cheaper off-peak times option), and includes any of the classes they run at no extra cost – spin, yoga etc.
So when the weather isn’t conducive to cycling or running, there’s spin or the treadmill.  I’m also thinking about seeing if there’s a yoga class I can fit in.  They used to do an early bird class at 7.00am once a week, that I went to, but the girl that took it left when she got pregnant, and no-one else picked it up.  While I can’t say I enjoyed yoga, I DID feel the benefit, so hopefully that will be an option.

So all in all, I’m feeling pretty positive about keeping my fitness levels up over winter, and maybe even improving or where they are at the moment.

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Radical Independence Conference

On Saturday we went along to the Radical Independence Conference at the Armadillo (at the SECC) and Science Centre.
It was a really great day, with a fantastic mix of workshops.  Only problem being making up your mind what to go to. Fortunately, it was filmed for Livestream, so I can catch up on workshops that clashed with the ones I attended.

The great thing about this event was that it has proved that the independence movement hasn’t just gone away as no doubt, Westminster would like.  The sell out 3000 that were there, and the sell out 12000 that were next door in the Hydro for Nicola Sturgeon, prove that if anything, more people are now politically active than ever before.

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Back pounding the pavement

I’ve been a bit (ok very) lazy of late, and haven’t really been out running*, but today at lunchtime I went out for a wee gently 3 1/2k trot round the park that’s just over the motorway from my work.

The weather was very mild, and it was nice just to get out and have a wee run, with no goals to aim for.  Not trying to beat a previous time, not aiming for any distance, just spending twenty minutes enjoying running for it’s own sake.

Looking back on when I was running with a club, it was too easy to get swept along in the whole competition thing, and enter all the races that I could.  Sure I was never going to win, and I was only competing against myself, but I rarely if ever just ran for the simple pleasure of it.  I always had a race to train for, and a goal to achieve, and that detracted from the simple pleasure that can be derived from running.
Now that I’m not in a club and not competing (I’ve only ran two races since I started back, one 5k and one 10k) I’m actively enjoying my running as I don’t feel that there’s any pressure.  Ironically that will probably mean that I’ll perform better.

Who knows?  Anyway, for me, at the moment, that’s not important.  Enjoying the simple pleasure that running provides is my motivation for the time being.

(*where “haven’t really” should actually just say “haven’t”)

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Love this

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Re-reading the book shelf

I so need to have a book clearout. I’m actually starting today. Got a back of SF that I’m passing on to a friend after work.

Second-Hand Tales

My husband and I have a lot of books. Before writing this post I did a quick count of everything stored on our bookshelves and discovered over 300 books! And that doesn’t include the kids’ books or those stored in boxes in the loft. I love books and, even more, shelves crammed with them. Having grown up in a house with lots of them I find it strange to visit homes that don’t have any. I also do some volunteer reading with local primary school children and know how important it is for kids to have access to books. At the moment our bookshelves look like this and, yes I know it’s sad that I have colour coded the books:


BUT as I start to embrace the concept of minimalism and de-cluttering I know the book issue is one I have to tackle. I know that Joshua Fields Millburn from…

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My bad

Not done much in the way of running the past couple of weeks.  I know, my bad.
In my defense, I’ve been commuting by bike every day (a 10 mile round trip) except one, when I go straight from work to a karate class, so I don’t feel too guilty.

I will be on the bike again on Thursday, though, and running again on Friday at lunchtime.  Then at the weekend, I’m going to get out in the park on Sunday morning for a bit of a run.  Might be time to dig out the trail shoes for a change and ditch the tarmac.  If I’m up and out early enough, I can get running on the mtb trails long before any cyclists get there.  If not, there’s plenty of other off-road running to be found in the park.

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Loyalty overload

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are just too many loyalty cards.  Just about every shop now has them.
The problem is that if you DON’T have them, then you could end up paying more for things.  They’ve got us over a barrel.

I reckon I’ve got about 10 or 11 different cards.  My work canteen even has one now.  It’s getting silly.

There’s a gap in the market.  What we need is ONE card, that recognises all the others, so you don’t need two wallets – one for cash/bank cards and one for loyalty cards.

Most now give you a key fob as well, so you don’t need to carry another credit card sized bit of plastic. But even that isn’t ideal.  I now have more keyfobs than keys on my keyring.  Surely something is wrong there!

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Phone update

It’s still not talking to the home wifi set-up (or vice-versa), but I’m beyond caring.  It’s connecting when I’m out and about to the coffee shop networks etc, and I’ve got enough of a data allowance that I can go down that route if I need to.

Other than that it’s a belter of a wee phone, and since I’m only planning on using it for about 7 or 8 months, when my contract is up for renewal, then it’s going to be just fine.

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Sometime I hate technology. (I’m sure the feeling is mutual)

Earlier this year my phone contract was up for renewal.  Rather than get a new phone – I like(d) my HTC Desire C – I opted for a sim only deal and stayed with my phone.  A couple of months back, the charger refused to plug into the phone.  Rather than fork out for another phone, I took a step back to the old Samsung Galaxy I’d had about 4 years ago.  Fine, EXCEPT it was so old, I couldn’t update any apps, and would have been as well off using the non-smart Samsung I’ve still got from about 5 years ago!

So, yesterday I went and bought a sim free phone (Hauwei Ascend Y330).  Looks cool, and appears to do everything I want – phone, txt, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – EXCEPT, could I get it to connect to wifi?  Could I buggery!

Home network gave a response of either (a) “authenticating” or (b) “obtaining IP address”, neither of which happened.

Open network in work gave a “connected” response, UNTIL I tried to go online, when it promptly told me I was “not connected to a network.

So, today at lunchtime, I trotted in to the shop, where a spotty youth told me that my network password would be “case sensitive” and that was the problem.  Erm…no, I’ve been working with IT equipment since before you were born sonny, I KNOW it’s case sensitive and have successfully connected numerous devices prior to getting this phone.
Next thing spotty youth turns on the wifi and damn, if it doesn’t connect to their network straight away.  Back at work, and I can now connect to the network I previously couldn’t.

Fingers crossed for the home network tonight.

(Other than this little problem, the phone seems pretty good.  Especially since I only paid £50 for it)

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