Tuesday, 21 December 2010

D'Oh! The Eclipse!

The good Mrs Mungo and I were very excited about watching the total lunar eclipse this evening. Only to find out that it was this morning...

This is totally normal as far as our astronomy goes.

Where Does All the Snow Come From?

The birds make it. Isn't that obvious?

Monday, 20 December 2010

The Perils of Technology

My fondness for my book reader was diminished slightly last week when it let me down in a way that old fashioned paper books simply couldn't and turned itself off with a flat battery - just as I was about to get on the train. Disaster!

Now obviously I am aware that it is a battery powered device and so I check every night before I go to bed and see if it needs charging. It had been claiming two bars of battery for a very long time, long enough in fact that I was beginning to wonder if something was up. I was still a bit distressing though when it decided that the battery was in fact empty. I used to carry a small rechargeable battery with me for just such emergencies, but that had long given up the ghost. So I was stuck. Or was I?

There was a guy sitting opposite me with a laptop and I briefly pondered whipping out my charging cable and plugging it in to one of the USB ports of 5v goodness he was wantonly flaunting. But only for a second or two. After all, he would have got all sorts of pop up messages telling him a device had connected, so it would hardly have been discreet.

It's another one of those modern ethical dilemmas. Is it OK to borrow a bit of someones electricity if it means you won't be bored on a train? Should I have just asked him?

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

He's Back Where He Belongs

Once again, Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo has reclaimed his rightful place in our downstairs toilet, which can only mean one thing - I've eaten enough fibre during the year.

I've Got Amazing Powers of...


And that is how I know
When you tell me
You'll put a bathroom cabinet on the wall
I won't notice it's way too big to fit.

Roger Waters eat your heart out.

So, yes. I was rather surprised to realise after two design meetings to discuss our proposed new bathroom that the spot selected for the bathroom cabinet was only about half as wide as the cabinet itself and the designer had made a mistake with the measurements. That's despite using that room twice a day (at least) for the last ten years.

Oh well.

National Cheeseware Service

OK, I admit, it's the National Chefsware Service, I just saw the van out of the corner of my eye and misread it. However, as you can see, the logo clearly shows two gentlemen carrying large wheels of cheese. For a few delicious seconds I wondered what cheeseware actually was and whether you could eat it after you'd finished wearing it. Ahh well.

Edit: Thanks to Kevin for pointing out that Cheeseware would be the vegetarian alternative to this.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Another Unhelpful Announcement

The excuses proffered by SW Trains hit a new low recently. After my train slowed to a crawl and then stopped for around 10 minutes just past Weybridge the driver eventually announced that we would be arriving late "due to slow running at Weybridge."

Thanks for the information, South West Trains, keep up the good work.

Cultural Differences

I know it's a bit of cliche about the US and the UK being more different culturally than you might expect, but every now and again I run into something that really brings it home to me. A week or so back while I was in New York I realised I had forgotten to pack any toothpaste and popped into a chemist to get some. My usual toothpaste is American, so I didn't think I'd have any trouble finding it. I was wrong. While browsing (fruitlessly) through the vast section of dental hygiene products on sale, something struck me. The vast majority of the toothpaste boxes didn't mention anywhere that they were actually any good at cleaning teeth or reducing cavities, all they touted was how white they could make your teeth. One brand even going so far as to proclaim that it now had twice as much bleach as before!* This is in stark contrast to the UK where we naively seem to think that people clean their teeth to stop them falling out and only smokers need to worry about anything else.

Clearly we still have a lot to learn.

*I was pretty tired and dopey so it may not have actually used the word "bleach" but the point remains valid.

Mummy's got a...


Thanks Phoebe!