Technology is just a demonstration of how stupid I am.

Last week I bought the shiny new computer and thought all was well with world. Then I tried to activate my email accounts and was reduced to *headdesk* and getting others to fix it for me. Then there was the blue-ray debacle.

This week I bought a router to try to fix that drop-out problem I’m having with my connection.

It arrived (when I was in the shower, obviously) on Friday. I had a quick play with it before work but couldn’t get it set up. I set to in earnest today (Saturday) and got it recognizing the PC and working, but saying the ethernet cable wasn’t connected.

I trotted up and down stairs many times, sticking cables in different slots and generally being puzzled. I looked at my old modem/ router jobby and followed what I knew to be the wiring of that. It’s only 3 wires, 2 if you take the power lead out of the equation. One from the ADSL/ ‘phone line, one from the router to the computer (via the mains, in my case.)

After quite a while, and some vigorous and heartfelt cussing I had a moment of epiphany. An ADSL connection is not an ethernet one. The ‘phone line goes into a ‘phone line (ADSL) slot, an ethernet goes into an ethernet slot (something fancy and computery, I don’t know!)

The router doesn’t have an ADSL slot. It is a router. Not, as it transpires, an ADSL/ router. They are not the same thing.


A router, it appears is just a transmitter for making Wi-Fi. You need to have a modem/ ADSL jobby as well.

Double super.

I bought it to replace the modem jobby, to try and get a stable connection to the internet. But that’s the kit it needs to work. *sets fire to internet*


BTW, (By The Way) I don’t know how much of Twitter/ internet grammar has leaked into RL (Real Life) but the asterisk thing is a way of expressing an action or emphasising a written word. Someone described it as a meta-commentary. Some people will say anything, though.

It looks pretty self-explanatory to me, but everything does when you are used to it.

Anywho, I have now bought a DVD white elephant and router one. Got to love learning by your mistakes, it’s like buying my education in small, irritating chunks.

Talking of which, not content with the above frustrations, I took Anonymous’ (the hack-tivist collective) advice (on Twitter) and bought a VPN (Virtual Privacy Network) which is just running your internet stuff through some proxy server (as I understand it). So I want X but don’t want The Man knowing about it, I get it but it goes through my proxy’s computers first where, presumably, it is anonymized.

Anyway, easier said than done.

I’ve been fighting with it most of the week. Lots of partial successes. I got a 12 month contract which was only about £44 quid (to save 25%), but I wish I’d just got a month’s. I’d sack it and try something else.


Wendy has got another cold. I’m pretty sure she has some strange fetish for illness. She seems to be poorly all the time.


I’ve been riding to work and running. God, I hate sprinting. I’ve done two identical runs of 1½ miles. 6.01 for the first mile, 3.15 for the following half on both times. I think today’s was fractionally easier. I still can’t breathe. I had to spit and the few seconds it stopped me from breathing was like I’d been winded or something. I had a panicky, desperate-for-breath feeling. I had to gasp in as much air as I could and was panting like a dog. That was the better run!

Also I’ve got pains in my shins. This is an alarming development.

Pre-injury I used to wear my pains with pride, proof that I wasn’t slacking, pushing my body to the limit. Now I am nervous of every twinge. I can’t afford a six month set-back in my training. Obviously the first thing that springs to mind is shin splints. That would be serious.  When you get something like that there is no pushing through it or any half-arsed fix. I think I’ll lay off the distance runs (I know I can knock off a steady 20 miles at the drop of a hat), just do the short sprints and rest. I’m doing a mile and a bit warm up/ slow jog to my designated start point, rest for a minute then a 1½ mile sprint, die, then gently jog back.

Honestly though, I’d much prefer to do a steady, beastly hilly, 20 mile run than try to run 2 miles at 6 m/m. Or 1½, for that matter.

Still, at least the pain is brief. If intense.

HA! It’s Sunday, I’ve just been for another sprint session and I’ve broken the 6 minute mile! 5.55! I forgot to press the pause button on my stopwatch for the half, it was either 3:07 or (more likely) 3:17. Balls!

That’s just two week since I broke the 7 minute mile barrier!  At this rate I will be running at relativistic speeds in two months. Then, as well as worrying about shin splints and coughing up a lung, I will have to fret about disrupting causality and threatening the space/time continuum with the inherent paradoxes. It’s a lot of responsibility.


The other good news for today is that I’ve sussed the VPN thing. All working, as far as I can tell.


Also I’ve joined (re-joined technically, just never went last time) Warrington Tri. Now I have to get up my nerve and go. They do coached swim sessions on a Saturday and group bike rides on a Sunday as well as ad hoc runs. I don’t see how they could push me any harder in the runs, mind. But they could have better training methods. I could turn up for the runs, I reckon I could hold my own in that, it’s just a bit daunting turning up for something when you are crap.

I got talking to a fellow triathlete on my run today. He is following the route suggested in the magazines; if you want to swim fast join a swim club, if you want to run fast…

As well as being in a tri club. I should look into it. I need to get the swimming lessons sorted first, though. Swimming is my biggest weakness. 

He was saying he did the Outlaw last year (as did I!) in 10.09, which is pretty damn impressive. Also he said he did the Lanzerote Ironman this year, by the time he got to the marathon he said it was 45 degrees!

Screw that! That would have been me. “TAXI!”


A few of my favourite tweets this week:

“The first rule of Chinese Whispers Club is ‘No one squawks about tiny-flippered cubs.’”

A vicar posted: “Nick Griffin says he is prepared to go to jail for Christians. I accept his kind offer.”

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A brilliant film synopsis:

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"Savile even hoodwinked the Vatican." Amazing, as they’re usually so hot on this sort of thing.

‘Guinea Pig dressed as a dinosaur’ of the week:

I've just looked at this picture of a guinea pig dressed as a dinosaur and it's calmed me down. A bit.

“Thoroughly examined my testicles in the mirror today. Gave myself the all-clear. The Ikea Security Guard was non committal.”

“Couldn’t sleep, so started counting sheep. Now I can’t sleep due to fear about why the sheep are amassing such an army.”

A gay chum on twitter was suffering from office ennui so I tweeted;

“Start a small fire in the bin, then crack open a diet coke as several hunky fireman beat the crap out of you for wasting their time.”


“What did I do before Twitter? Well, there’s my family and……OH MY GOD WHERE’S MY FAMILY?!?!”