Tuesday 14 October 2008

A Day in the Life: Monday 13th October 2008

Woken up by the dulcet tones of Evan Davis on the “Today” programme as the radio alarm clock clicks over to 6am. The wife always has to comment on how bizarre looking he is whenever we se him on “Dragon’s Den”. Anyway you don’t have to look at the ugly old bugger on Radio 4. I lay in bed for 20 minutes to see how the economy is likely to fair this morning after the governments latest attempts to bolster the failing and ever more timid banks. Sounds quite positive, perhaps the shares might fair a little better today.

Drove to the car park next to the station in order to catch the 6:52 train. The car park is virtually empty at this time of the morning apart from 4 or 5 cars, so it’s always a tadge frustrating when someone has already nabbed my preferred space. I like the end space as it gives me a little extra room with my particularly wide car. So why does some silly git in a little Corsa insist on parking there? He could park in one of the normal annoyingly small spaces and still get his doors open. Fortunately, I get there first today and claim the end spot. I suspect however, if I drove a small car, I would feel equal contempt for those annoying people in their unnecessarily large gas guzzlers.

Train leaves Basingstoke dead on time. I remember making constant jokes at the expense of British Rail’s inability to have a train on time, but I have to admit they regularly seem to be on time these days. It was rather cosy on the train this morning as the heating seems to be on full blast, but presumably they are unable to turn in down and someone complains so the ticket inspect decides to open the window and cause a howling gale to blow in my face for the remainder of the journey, thus foiling my plans for a little morning doze. I decide to make use of the time by listening to my favourite weekly Podcast from the “Skeptics Guide to the Universe”. They were interviewing PZ Myers today (he of the famous Pharyangula blogs on Scienceblogs.com)

Arrive at Waterloo on time today, the train can sometimes wait outside the station for 3-4 minutes, presumably waiting for the platform to clear. Anyway this means I get into Waterloo in time to catch the overland train from Waterloo East to London Bridge.

Arrived at the office, checked my email and BBC news website before settling down to my mornings work. I’ve just set up a new test tool to manage the test cases, scripts and results for the CAD2010 project, so I spent the morning putting a backup procedure in place to automatically run a small script I wrote to backup my data. Punctuated my mornings work with a quick walk down the road to Prêt-a-Manger for my morning Latte and a check on the share prices. Documented the new backup procedure and then went to the gym.

Hopped on to my preferred cross trainer and plugged myself into the TV. Ran for 50 minutes and burnt 620 calories, whilst rather embarrassing watching “Bargain Hunt” and the 1 o’clock news to hear Robert Peston’s analysis of the markets so far today. A quick trip to Prêt again for some lunch as the wife didn’t make me any sandwiches this morning.

Spent the afternoon importing, reviewing and approving test scripts into the new tool for the CTAK Enhancements project.

Train from London Bridge back to Waterloo in time to catch the 16:50 train from Waterloo and get my preferred seat. Facing backwards, as the evening sun can blind you facing forwards, in the aisle seat, so I can get out easily at Basingstoke without being hemmed in and in the table seats as they have more leg room. As usual there’s some people who obviously don’t normally take the train, trying to claim two seats by sprawling their coats and bags across the seat next to them. The train is always full to standing room only, so they’ll have to move them sooner or later. As I get older and grumpier I’m taking more delight in asking them if the seat next to them is free and getting them to move their stuff. I Managed to read a chapter of my book before my eyes get too heavy. My train book is currently “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea” by Daniel Dennett, an American Philosopher and professor of Cognitive Studies at Tufts University.

Miraculously come out of my slumber just as we pull into Basingstoke Station. I’m not sure how I always manage to do that. So far I haven’t managed to fall asleep and wake up at Yeovil Junction. I was considering moving to the opposite seat as the lady who normally has the window seat opposite also gets out at Basingstoke. Perhaps if I sat next to her, and I fell asleep, she would have to wake me up to get out herself. Then again, I would have the problem of the sun in my eyes. I might adopt this tactic if my ability to wake up in time starts to fail me.

Arrived home. Need to feed the dog first as he greets me with a few acrobatic leaps to indicate the fact that he wants his dinner

Have to have dinner early on Monday night, as Peter has to be at cubs by 18:30 and we need to eat before he goes. I have to pick him up tonight which is rather annoying because tonight is the London Skeptics in the pub meeting (2nd Monday of the Month) and I have to miss it. Bit of shame as they have a mad creationist speaking this evening and I wanted to ensure he was asked some suitably probing questions. Never mind, Peter only has a few weeks of cubs left which should free up my Monday nights.

Peter’s off to cubs and Victoria and India are preparing for Guides, which gives me a chance to check my email, unwrap and latest parcel from Amazon and ensure my iTunes library and Record Database are nicely up to date.

Pick the boy up from cubs. He’s in a rather excellent mood as he was presented with a trophy for winning the circuit orienteering competition at the weekend. He’s got an hour before bedtime, so we spend some father/son time together watching TV. I give him the choice of two programmes I recorded earlier, James May’s Bright Ideas or Mythbusters. He chooses Mythbusters which fits in well because Victoria gets really annoyed with it so watching it while she’s at Guides seems like a cunning plan.

Victoria and India get back from Guides, so after putting the kids to bed we get a couple of hours to ourselves, which I shan’t elaborate on in this blog.

Just time to read a few chapters of my bedtime book. I’m currently reading “Your Inner Fish” by Neil Shubin, a palaeontologist famous for his discovery of the Tiktalik fossil which nicely fills the previous fossil gap between fish and amphibians/reptiles.

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