Tuesday, July 31

mental arithmetic test for dementia

I found this at skindee's Test for Dementia.

Can you do mental arithmetic? Note: This must be done in your head only. Do NOT use paper and pencil or a calculator. Try it:

Take 1000 and add 40 to it.
Now add another 1000. Now add 30.
Add another 1000. Now add 20 .
Now add another 1000. Now add 10.

What is the total?

Scroll down for answer.....

Did you get 5000?

The correct answer is actually 4100

If you don't believe it, check it with a calculator!

Thursday, July 26

water based exercise

Another great swim this morning. At the local pool, it's best if you can get a lane to yourself, so you can switch to autopilot and forget about collision etiquette. Today when I arrived, the pool was completely empty. Eight whole lanes to myself!

You jump in the water and feel that delicious frisson, switching into the new but familiar element.

Taking advantage of the empty pool, I swam the first bit across the lanes, going down to the bottom to clear each rope, then breaking the surface again to grab a breath. This must be a little bit how dolphins feel.

Then I settled into a rhythm and put the brain in neutral. I don't want to boast about the distance I covered, so let's just put it this way: I swam to the top of this building, then back down to the ground.

Half-way up for the second time, I took a break in the sauna for 10 minutes. A zombie after the sauna, I got back into the pool. This time everything seemed in slow motion and the water was like treacle. This would be how a whale feels.

I swam to the top of the building again, then almost back down to the ground. I probably stopped about the 30th floor.

Not bad considering I grew up in Glasgow at a time when exercise was for cissies, and beer was a health food. As a kid, I had my own miniature beer tankard.

As a teenager, the only water exercise I got was in the bath, I think you know what I mean. Obviously I don't have a picture of that, this is the closest thing I could find:

This post could be HNT or Da Count, or both.



Saturday, July 21

ra last book

The world is in a state of excitement over the publication of the new book by the Bill Gates of literature.

At last you can buy a copy of Badboy Hotters and the Earthy Allotment, by JK Menzie.

But not many people realise it's just a rehash of the first book in the series, Badboy Hotters and the Alma Mater, and as everyone knows, the characters who die are:

  • the character called Tony (dies in a broomstick crash)

  • the old man who lived across the landing (dies a bloody death, then the hero inherits the old man's magic greatcoat)

  • Liz dies on the last page (overdose)

There's very nearly another death - while under the influence of an evil potion, the hero almost kills himself by throwing himself off the Salisbury Crags. The good news is that he bottles out just in time, and in later life becomes a writer and bliss artist.

I hope I haven't spoilt it for you.

Tuesday, July 17

disaster recovery

Dear Jack the spambot, I apologise I haven't been blogging much, due to the dodgy back. It started 3 weeks ago, just in time for the college vacation. Even though my wee chiropractor woman is dead now, I was able to apply some of the things she taught me. The self-imposed therapy (three long walks a day, at Chaplin speed) is paying off at last, just in time for my return to work. I was able to teach the first Disaster Recovery Planning lesson to a new group of students yesterday, almost without pain.

I made a bit of a fool of myself, telling the new class about my cooking injury, but otherwise the day went well and I learned most of the students' first names, quite a feat when you think that no two of them are the same nationality. The accident had happened at home last Friday, when I was cooking Moussaka, a kind of Greek lasagna. Taking it out of the oven, I dropped the dish on the floor, and somehow a jet of scalding bechamel sauce shot up inside my trouser-leg. In the absence of a Disaster Recovery Plan to cover this contingency, I improvised emergency measures for scraping the stuff out of my trousers, while shooing the dog away from the remaining moussaka on the floor.

The food that could be rescued was delicious, and the scalded leg helped mask the back pain for several hours. How fortunate I am!

Wednesday, July 11

tropical breakfast in style (hnt)

I had to go on holiday last week, but it turned out okay, you feel great when you get back home again. Of course, you could probably get the same effect from moving in with the neighbours for a week.

The apartment was quite good, here's the view from the balcony.

When we first checked in at the apartment, we were surprised to discover that breakfast was already included, and all the breakfast gear I had schlepped from home was unneeded.

So at the end of the holiday I had to repack all my mueslis and porridges etc. and drag them back home again. But nothing's ever wasted ...

When we showed up at the island airport, the plane back was only half-booked. So they cancelled the flight and re-booked us onto the evening flight. That's one of the drawbacks of cheap airlines, but at least it gave us an extra day in the sun. Naturally I unpacked the soymilk, fruit and nuts out of my case, and we had a cheapskate but healthy lunch by the pool.


If you're desperate, you can access all the old half baked thursday posts here.

Monday, July 9


ion has tagged me to produce eight biofactoids.

1. I can't throw.

2. I was rejected for a job in the Civil Service, probably because when the interviewer asked what publications I read, I said New Society.

3. I once babysat the strawberry farm of my friend Dazzle. It was also a grass farm, so consuming one crop encouraged consumption of the other, and nothing got to market.

4. I am gradually turning my body into a fungus farm.

5. I once ate a Mars Bar with my head down a toilet.

6. I have been arrested only once, in a foreign country, for passing forged notes.

7. I brew my own alcohol-free beer.

8. I shook Muhammad Ali's hand when he was still Cassius Clay.

If today was HNT Thursday, obviously the factoids would be half-naked.

Thursday, July 5

finest TV and radio double-entendres

Unfortunately I'm on holiday at the moment and cannot HNT till next week. Meantime, thanks to an email from a dear friend in England, here are 12 of the finest (unintentional) double-entendres ever aired on TV and radio.

1. US PGA Commentator - "One of the reasons Arnie (Arnold Palmer) is playing so well is that, before each tee shot, his wife takes out his balls and kisses them ..... Oh my god!! What have I just said??"

2. New Zealand Rugby Commentator - "Andrew Mehrtens loves it when Daryl Gibson comes inside of him."

3. Ted Walsh - Horse Racing Commentator - "This is really a lovely horse. I once rode her mother."

4. Harry Carpenter at the Oxford-Cambridge boat race 1977 - "Ah, isn't that nice. The wife of the Cambridge President is kissing the Cox of the Oxford crew."

5. Pat Glenn, weightlifting commentator - "And this is Gregoriava from Bulgaria. I saw her snatch this morning and it was amazing!"

6. Carenza Lewis about finding food in the Middle Ages on 'Time Team Live' said: "You'd eat beaver if you could get it."

7. A female news anchor who, the day after it was supposed to have snowed and didn't, turned to the weatherman and asked, "So Bob, where's that eight inches you promised me last night?"

8. Steve Ryder covering the US Masters: "Ballesteros felt much better today after a 69 yesterday."

9. Clair Frisby talking about a jumbo hot dog on Look North said: "There's nothing like a big hot sausage inside you on a cold night like this."

10 Mike Hallett discussing missed snooker shots on Sky Sports: "Stephen Hendry jumps on Steve Davis's misses every chance he gets."

11. Michael Buerk on watching Phillipa Forrester cuddle up to a male astronomer for warmth during BBC1's UK eclipse coverage remarked: "They seem cold out there, they're rubbing each other and he's only come in his shorts."

12. Ken Brown commentating on golfer Nick Faldo and his caddie Fanny Sunneson lining-up shots at the Scottish Open: "Some weeks Nick likes to use Fanny, other weeks he prefers to do it by himself."