Uninvited guests

Sarracenia purpurea and a close up of what I found in one of its pitchers today:

I’ve been seeing slime trails all around the room for about the last month. Even on the curtains. One day I found one of my venus fly traps with a long trail across it and some of the traps closed. I’ve no idea how it managed to do this without getting caught; my only guess is that it’s too big and simply carried on as they tried to close around it.

As expected, it turns out to be a slug.I doubt the pitcher has ‘caught’ it, I think it’s just decided to live in there and will continue roaming around the room. I didn’t want to leave it there because it would make short work of the tiny plants to the purp’s left if it got hungry.

Unfortunately I couldn’t work out an acceptably non-disgusting way to extract the slimy suspect from the pitcher, so I cut the pitcher off. As you can see, the plant has plenty of pitchers, and as you can’t see, there are many more young pitchers growing in the middle, so I don’t think it’ll miss it too much, but I still feel a bit guilty.

I got two of these pitcher plants in June. The other one is a full deep red now, but this one has been much slower to turn even though it’s in much the same place and subject to the same amount of sun. It’s getting there…

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Not the best week so far

And it’s only Tuesday

I didn’t get much sleep Sunday night/Monday morning because just as I was dropping off a bit before 11, I was awoken by a noise which turned out to be someone trying to open the front door (which was locked). I watched them walk down the road trying other people’s doors and peering into cars. They avoided houses with lights on, so now I’m leaving lights on when I go to bed. Very unsettling.

Today, on train on the way home, the sky looked very very dark so I checked the weather forecast. BBC weather assured me it was sunny, but forecast.io told me that I’d be seeing 15mm rain/hour starting a few minutes after getting off the train. For those not familiar with such metrics, 15mm/hour means that if you’re outside for about 20 seconds you’ll be as wet as if you jumped in a swimming pool. And I have to commend forecast.io for being absolutely spot on. The rain started and usually I’d just put my umbrella up and carry on, but it quickly became so heavy that I stood under a tree for a few minutes…

…and then the rumblings I’d been ignoring up until this point turned into simultaneous deafening crashes of thunder and bright flashes of lightning. I’ve been inside when thunder has been so loud that the house shakes, but I’ve never been caught outside when a storm has been so intense. I could have stayed under the tree but after seeing a very clear streak of lightning head towards the ground the rational part of my brain kicked in and convinced the rest of me that the tree above me might look a lot like protection but, actually, I might fare better against the lightning were I not stood directly under a tall object. So I walked home and got utterly soaked, but, crucially, did not get struck by lightning despite there being many opportunities for it to happen.

Never before in my life have I felt that getting struck by lightning was a reasonable possibility. I hope not to repeat that any time soon.

I survived, but my phone may not have been so lucky. It got stuck in a reboot loop an hour or so later which makes me think there’s some moisture in it causing it to short.


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Two Saturdays, two 11k runs in heavy rain.

Last weekend resulted in rather a lot of soreness in the nipple area. When it rains so heavily my clothes just hold the water and the extra weight results in friction.

I was prepared this time and wore a compression top. It has previously served me well in such times. Fortunately the rain brought cooler weather so the extra layer wasn’t an issue, in fact according to Strava I ran a 10k PR (unintentionally, and much to the later distress of my quads, which were pretty distressed already).

Alas, it did not work as well as it has in the past.

They are going to need taping tomorrow.

I used to like running in the rain, and this never used to be a problem.

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Lack of progress report

In the past week we’ve had quite a few brexit related missteps from the government. They had a big brexit meeting, which has resulted in the following events:

  • Theresa May admitted that brexit might bring about hard economic times, which if true will harm a lot of the people who voted for it.
  • David Davis in his (lack of) progress report claimed we’re likely to leave the single market to reduce immigration, without specifying, or even acknowledging the need for, any kind of contingency plan for managing the potential mass exodus of foreign investment which gets funnelled here precisely because we are a gateway to the single market.
  • Theresa May had to point out that David Davis had no authority to say that and it wasn’t official policy, raising questions over Davis’ remit and May’s ability to control her cabinet, while also contradicting the one thing of substance that his speech actually contained.
  • Boris Johnson went in the other direction and stated he looked forward to welcoming more immigrants from Poland to the UK
  • Theresa May got into a tussle over the much talked about points based immigration system, because this key aim of the leave campaign is unworkable and would likely result in more immigration (as William Hague pointed out before the referendum).
  • Theresa May clarified that brexit means brexit and she keeps saying it “because it means it does”
  • Theresa May defended the total lack of coherency coming out of her government by saying she didn’t want to reveal her hand, which, given this is a negotiation and not a card game, only makes sense if she hasn’t worked out what her hand is. You don’t get what you want by making your trading partners guess what you want.
  • David Davis predicts that our trade deals will be complete in 12-24 months, in time for brexit. The only way this time frame is plausible is if we accept very bad deals with little negotiation, and every other country who has commented seems lukewarm at best about their possible new found ability to trade directly with us. I wonder what it is they find off-putting about a country that delegates complex economic policy and international diplomacy to random people on the street?

Overall it’s been a pretty rough week for government credibility with Theresa May trying her best not to say anything incriminating and David Davis doing the opposite.

Prime Minister’s questions is a lot of things, but the most important is that it’s a platform for the opposition leader to highlight incompetence and corruption in government in a way that’s easy to get picked up by the press.

So why is it that in PMQs yesterday Jeremy Corbyn completely neglected to mention the ongoing brexit farce? The answer is pretty simple: because he’s generally on their side and wants to see the UK leave the single market. I hope that the generally pro-EU Labour membership who put him in place work this one out sooner rather than later.

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iPhone 7

The main feature of the iPhone 7 is dual speakers.

lol what?

The speakers are closer together than my ears, and with two of them, you’re going to get phase cancellation, which if you didn’t spend your teenage years in either a physics classroom or your bedroom with your dual speaker guitar amp, means that there quiet zones where the sound waves from both speakers hit each other out of sync and cancel each other out.

As someone who gets paid to write iPhone apps, I am continually amazed by Apple’s ability to charge so much money for utter rubbish.

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“Brexit means brexit” – Theresa May, July 2016

“The reason I’ve been saying Brexit means Brexit is precisely because it means it does” – Theresa May, September 2016

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I had a week off work, so my total running in the last nine days is:

Sat: 11.2km
Sun: 10.8
Tues: 6.2
Thurs: 6.3
Sat: 10.7
Sun: 10.8

Or 56km in total which I’m pleased with. I went into the week with a minor quad strain from a run on the previous Wednesday which was quite painful earlier in the week but it seemed to loosen up with activity so I decided to just ignore it. It’s still a bit sore, but owing to some heavy rain yesterday for which I was entirely unprepared, not as sore as my nipples.

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