Wednesday, March 30

day full of health

Today was all about health. It began with an inauspicious stuff-up. When I got to the dentist, he discovered that he'd forgotten to order the materials for the gold crown, so it was a wasted journey. Presumably it comes in a bullion van.

But now I had extra time on my hands, and I used the time to go and see the GP. By chance, I got the great GP instead of the lackadaisical one.

(1) I asked her to explain what the fat liver means. At first she was as perplexed as I was. Fat liver is unheard of in skinny teetotalers. But then I explained that I had been eating lots of fat, especially butter, to balance up my Northern hemisphere friend giving up dairy. I should have known better.

The doc said: Aha! That'll be what's causing the fat liver.

I had been trying to gain weight, but it seems everything balances up, and while fat makes fat people fatter, it can make thin people actually lose weight. Except presumably in the liver.

So I've to replace some dietary fat with protein, and everything will gradually balance out again. Result!

(2) The recent chest x-ray showed something called chronic airways disease, which sounds bad, but she says it's just caused by aging, and having smoked. It's not reversible, but if I stay active and don't smoke (why would I after 25 years?) it shouldn't be a big problem. Result number 2! I'm not falling apart any faster than I should be. The universe is unfolding as it should.

(3) After Buddhist vegetables with noodles near the doctors, I went for the 2-yearly check up with the surgeon built like a shithouse. I was feeling quite buoyant, and treated him like the young man he is compared to me. And he was much friendlier than usual. Perhaps in the past, by being a scared little child in the doctor's office like most people do, I used to put him off balance too.

The checkup took about two minutes, everything seemed clear, and he charged me about half. Result number 3!

I went to a great wee cafe for tea and almond cake. The healthy diet can start tomorrow.

(4) When I got home, the dog's trial heart medication seemed to be kicking in, and she was acting younger, the labored breathing apparently gone for now.

What a great day it turned out to be.

I played the library yoga DVD, and followed along, doing umpteen different warriors.

Cooked a stir fry just in time for the cellmate's return from work. Then watched Graham Norton. Kate Hudson was on. She looks like Denny (a more glam version to be sure), even down to the hands and mannerisms. Lovely.

This a photo of Kate or maybe Denny, it no longer matters which. I can't afford to be choosy.

- iPod post

Monday, March 21

my family and other dying animals

Surrounded by family and other animals all on their last legs. Obviously it's great that it's not me, but still it gets me down a bit.

But everything balances up, and the unsettling seems to be opening up the musical emotions.

For forty years I've loved the Hendrix studio albums, except for one track on Axis. If Six Was Nine. Now suddenly it's my favorite track.

Likewise, Miles Davis is a genius (Dances toured Europe with him as sound engineer), but I could never stand Bitches Brew. Tonight I've heard it with new ears. Colossal half-hour grooves! You wish they'd never end.

Recently I did something a bit like those Japanese calligraphers who stand still in front of a blank sheet, just contemplating and concentrating their energy. Then there's a flash of brush and ink, and a finished painting in front of them.

In the same way, after a year or two without brewing any more beer, I suddenly made and bottled two brews in the same week. Just like that!

The actual bottling was a good excuse to drink a glass or two straight from the tap. The taste was reminiscent of the rough Buccleuch brews of old. In those days, when a brew was ready for drinking there'd be a knock at the door, and in walks Hotters, the DB, Tony and the brothers McGinty or whatever. Frank the Post would play the guitar worse than any blissheid. People talked shite or at least I did. Mary Hopkin was the only sensible one there.

Nowadays the home brew's much better, but the friends are not there to help enjoy it. It all balances up.

- iPod post

Sunday, March 20

sobering experience

Recently I discovered by accident how to do yoga in power mode. I've decided it's time to start demanding more of myself.

Thanks to a fitness app called GPP Intensity, I've found a great exercise called burpees. Very simple but completely knackering.

A fit young person is supposed to do 12 in 30 seconds, followed by several other killer activities, and repeat all of it several times without a break. I managed just 4 burpees in 30 seconds before I needed a complete rest. Pathetic.

But I came back to it in the course of the day, and it makes you really feel alive. It loads up the heart so you can feel it going boom! boom!

Now, I know what you're thinking - I'll give myself a coronary. But nobody in my family has ever had heart trouble. Mind you, we've all had cancer. It balances up.

PS Note to self - never try burpees first thing in the morning or you'll set off the shagger's back. Actually, do the yoga beforehand and you'll probably be warmed up enough. How do fit people manage to have time left over to do normal living?

Friday, March 18

exercise report

Yoga report
  • Yesterday I got to work so early, that I had time to do some magic yoga in the office before starting work. What a difference!
  • I also discovered a powerful  exercise for stretching the ligaments under the foot. A big help. I'm happy to pass it on to anyone else who suffers from fascist heel.

Cardiac exercise
  • Today I did 2500 steps on the step machine, probably equivalent to going up a 50 storey building. It took 35 minutes at a leisurely pace.

Wednesday, March 16

an app for all that

Someone in The Independent described the iPhone astutely as a cyber kindergarten. It's astounding what you can do nowadays with an iPhone or iPod Touch. There really is an app for everything.

Friday, March 11

pressing problems

Met Cap'n Kev yesterday, and passed on Hotters' tip about prostate milking. Turns out Kev and the cabin girl have been doing it for years anyway, without knowing it had a name and a medical use.

Meanwhile, Kev has had a brainwave for solving the pressing problem in North Africa, using the same business model as Sea Shepherd, the brave folk who chase and harass the Japanese whaling fleet around the southern oceans. No government or international body is game to take on the whalers, yet this year Sea Shepherd has sent the whole fleet packing back to Japan. The scheme is run on a shoestring by volunteers, and their ships and equipment are financed by yuppies who donate online.

So here's Kev's idea for North Africa, where one country after another is condeming Gandolfi but nobody will actually do anything.

It seems Gandolfi's weakness is that all his fighters and armaments are concentrated in a small zone outside the capital.

So Kev would get somebody like Albert to set up a website, to bring in donations from private citizens all over the world. When there's enough money in the kitty to pay for a black market cruise missile - bang! Shock and awe by private donation obliterates Gandolfi's side.

There may be a weakness somewhere in Kev's plan, but I can't put my finger on it.

Wednesday, March 9

personal services

Every so often I visit a chic young Asian lady of ample cleavage at her workplace. I decided to book another session with her for today. As usual she took me into a small darkened room, where I took my clothes off and lay down. She poured lubricant over my body, before rubbing me with an electric vibrator.

She recorded the whole 30-minute session on video, and when it was all over and she had wiped down the furniture, we watched the highlights together in slow motion, pausing at the best bits to discuss my organ. And she gave me some pictures to take home with me. I could show you one, but this is a family blog.

Naturally she was doing it for the money, but fortunately I wasn't paying. In this country the government picks up the tab for abdominal ultrasound scans. What a great place this is!

PS the result was all good, which is even better than whatever you may have imagined was going on.

Saturday, March 5

good day

I haven't walked much recently, because people were urging me not to overtax the dog's heart.

This morning I thought to hell with caution. We had a proper long walk, with climbs and sweats. And the dog kept up.

On the way back we passed a butcher frying sausages outside his shop, and giving them away. The cellmate said - no thanks, we're vegetarians but the dog will try one. Brazen! I would have put the sausage in my mouth, then spat it out round the corner for the dog.

It's the weekend but I had to work. Like visiting a hospital when you're healthy, or a university when you're no longer a student, going in to work on the weekend is a treat.

Meanwhile, Albert had a client last year, the most exquisitely beautiful, charming and intelligent creature imaginable. Naturally he fell for her, and had to work hard at not staring.

Well this year she's back. Albert overheard her talking in gushing terms about her coming wedding. What a dreadful waste! Since then, he has taken her off her pedestal, and cold-shouldered the poor lass. He just can't forgive her.

- iPod post

Wednesday, March 2

bavarians cast bi scot as bi spaniard

A new film is being planned, about Dali, directed by an Aussie, produced by Bavarians, starring a Scot, and shot in 3D. News like that makes you glad you'll probably live to see it.

Congratulations to Alan Cumming of The Good Wife, who will surely be growing his moustache already.

The director Philippe Mora also made the documentary Brother Can You Spare A Dime, in 1975, about which Roger Ebert said:

"The director doesn't seem to have ordered his material or thought much about it. .... It's not a coherent documentary statement, but just a series of images."

But even if you agree (I don't), and even if the new film were to have the same approach, just think what a "series of images" it will be!

- iPod post

Tuesday, March 1


During breakfast the other day I watched Bayern score the only goal (Robben), seconds from the end, against Inter. Strangely deadpan English commentator, but good.

Day off today. The sun's out. We're all alive. What could be better?

Later: I had to go to the beach with the neighbour, just to be sociable. It was actually quite good. He's from Australia, so he knows how to body surf. I swam out beyond the waves, but later the shark visions drove me back in to where he was. I tried catching waves, and succeeded with one, exhilarating and scary at the same time. You can paraplegiarise yourself by ramming fat people or spearing into the sand. We're going again next week.

Back home now, I was planning to start off a home brew, now that the weather's cool enough not to kill the yeast. But I can't be bothered.