Corona Boring

Most of the world is in lockdown due to COVID-19. I am so bored that I’ve written my first think in four years.

My job involves sitting in a chair in front of a computer screen. Most of my hobbies involve sitting in a chair in front of a computer screen. That combination isn’t usually a huge problem because I spend a few hours a day commuting between the two with about an hour’s walking. But now I’m working from home every day I am getting sick of this chair in front of a computer screen.


Electric spaghetti

We re-decorated our living room this week and I had to move the TV and all the things connected to it. It took me about an hour. Putting it all back again took me over two hours.

Why? Due to the colossal amount of electrical spaghetti that’s involved:
Electrical spaghetti

Down there on the left is a network switch with eight cables plugged into it. One of those goes to my router but the other seven go to various AV devices: amplifier (although I don’t really use its network functionality), smart TV (again, smart features rarely used), TiVo (so that I can control it from my phone), PS3, FireTV, Blu-ray player (also has smart features that I hardly ever use) and Chromebox (which I use to run Kodi).

Each of those devices also has at least one power and HDMI cable, then there are the six speaker connections (including subwoofer). Finally there’s a device that receives an IR signal and turns it into a Bluetooth signal for the PS3 so that I can control it from my remote.

This mess is the down-side of being a geek, but it means I get loads of cool stuff connected to my telly. The Kodi Chromebox in particular is awesome.

Building bedrooms

We’ve been buying and building furniture (what a mountain of polystyrene that involves) and moving old stuff in order to turn our two spare rooms into children’s bedrooms. The little room actually looks like a bedroom now for the first time in 11 years; pity it goes back to feeling like a bunk on a submarine when you add a wardrobe though! Helen’s hanging up some new curtains.
Little bedroom

The second bedroom now has bunk beds and a new wardrobe – solid as a rock, unlike the wobbly chipboard one it replaces. Here we’ve just finished making the bunks.
Second bedroom

Man stuff

Once in a blue moon I get out my tools and do the kinds of things that men are supposed to do, i.e. drill holes, bang nails into things and cut things up. A few weeks ago I decided to improve the coverage of our wireless router by keeping it in the same place but moving the aerials: I did this by buying some long aerial cables, unscrewing the aerials from the router, screwing in the cables then attaching the aerials to the other end. Basically, aerial extension leads.

This worked; wireless signals in our new extension were much stronger (damn you, foil-lined plasterboard). However it looked ugly, so I bought a little plastic ‘project box’ from Maplin, drilled some holes in it and made myself a little aerial box. I’m quite chuffed with it; it looks like a ‘proper’ thingummydoodah that you’d buy in a shop.


It’s been a long time coming but today I finally bit the bullet and got Helen to cut my hair.

Apart from a brief spell around the age of 18 I’ve had long hair all my life, but a combination of receding at the front and thinning on the top has meant that for several years it has looked ridiculous worn in any way except tied up in a ponytail, and increasingly ridiculous tied up too. A few weeks ago I bought clippers; today I unleashed them.

It needs finishing off by a proper hairdresser (sorry Helen!) but I don’t think I’m going to hate it as much as I feared I would!

I made a pie!

I made a 3.1415927! All by myself! Well, with a bit of advice from the lovely Katrina and the delightful Helen. But substantially it was made by me!

As someone for whom ‘cooking’ means pasta or rice with tuna/Quorn/Vegemince and tomatoes that’s a pretty big achievement, especially as it tasted so damned good. It was a double crust steak & mushroom. I am rightly proud of myself, so here are some pictures:

Mmm, pie.

Stab it!

Eat it!