Sunday, 30 October 2011

Halloween erging special

Circa one hour of hacking away at a pumpkin with a very sharp penknife led to this, possibly the only rowing-orientated pumpkin carving ever. YES THAT'S A FUCKING PUMPKIN WITH AN ERG ON IT! :D

Now making spicy pumpkin soup WITH ADDED BACON + BONUS BACON + DID I MENTION THERE WAS BACON IN IT. Good times! :-)

Other news from the New House of Awesome is that we now have a massive cuddly duck called Gordon. It is not an unsubstantial duck which lead to several people on Thursday evening being overtaken by a girl with a large soft duck strapped to her back. I really do hope they were ashamed :D

It was a bit of a shame for my housemate Harriet who had bought a new shiny iPad the same day, only to have said purchase completely eclipsed with my COMPLETELY AWESOME MASSIVE DUCK.

Anyway, Gordon has made friends with the house platypus.

I feel the role of Gordon should be as a sort of advice duck. e.g. Gordon says: "Fez's are cool!"

"I can type a damn site faster than you can woman! Move it!"

"You should read this book. It's FUCKING ACE."

"You should aim to produce a puddle as big as this man [Steve Redgrave]. Let's hope the other guy in the pair is Pinsent else they're going to be in the bank very very soon."

So go forth and make rowing related pumpkin carvings and I'll be back soon with something more drawing-y and probably related to fours head and EPIC EPIC COLD. Night!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Tales from the erg room

True story!

Just a quick one today. (And I know that is technically one tale from the erg room but the plural sounds better so there. And there will no doubt be follow up stories about trying to row on sliders and consequently being launched into orbit/whatever.)



Sunday, 16 October 2011

Drawing competition!

So a few posts back I made people challenge me to draw various weird and wonderful things. This is the result.

Eating scrambled eggs with a comb from a shoe.

Drinking a cup of tea with a unicorn.

 Making lemon curd with a watermelon.

Constructing a castle made entirely of profiteroles with a blunt chisel.

Attacking Henry the Hoover with an axe.

Tickling a badger with a rubber chicken.

Beating the scum with an oar.

Please see previous post.

Chasing a llama with a spade.

 Jimmy Saville shaving a squirrel with a chainsaw.

Dr Barden proving the s-cobordism theorem with Dennis the Menace.

Thank you for participating in this little experiment. I am happy to learn that there are people out there who are at least as weird as I am :D (Shaving a squirrel with a chainsaw?!?!)


In which a dry-bag is extensively worn as a hat

So yes. Lots of new and exciting stuff has happened since my last post. Like a NEW AND EXCITING HOUSE FULL OF ROWERS.

You should see our carbs cupboard. It's ace.

Not shown: the pasta and potatoes. They didn't fit. And yes, that is a "Our biggest ever maltloaf!!!" :-)
OK, this is the carbs overfill drawer. The pasta doesn't fit in there either. Oops.

But yes. It's quite an awesome house, apart from the fact that it's one of those houses where the light switches are all in stupid places. One of them is behind a bookshelf for example.

Here are pictures of my housemates wearing a dry bag on their head (?!?)
Lizzie the demure.

John the....???

Harriet. Fit.

I also own an egg cup IN THE SHAPE OF A TRACTOR which I had completely forgotten about so here is me with that, drawing on eggs.

It's an egg cup! That's also a tractor! Woo!

I coincidentally have since got all my hair cut off due to issues with seeing things and avoiding lamposts etc, with the near instant result of me being called "Sir" quite frequently again. Rage.

There is also the thing with the bikes. We have many bikes and many engineers in my house, which makes awesome stuff like this happen. FUN FACT the engineer to bike ratio in my house is 1:3 1/3. This is a good ratio. Especially if you need help removing your bottom bracket (for example) or ever need an allen key/torque wrench/band saw/any tool that has ever been invented ever.

Thanks John for the construction, photo taking and subsequent complicated photoshopping! :D

Sort of arty shot:

Oooooooooooooooooooooo. YAY BIKES.

I've also now officially started my PhD which is scary. At the moment this involves reading things and feeling rather stupid and useless. I have a feeling this will be a common theme over the next few months. More excitingly I have my own little cohort of little freshers to teach maths to.

Now my friend Alan (Hi Alan!) recommended that I invite them all to the pub before I started teaching them to organise stuff and make them less scared of me.

Yes, I own a filofax.

I don't know about the being less scared of me thing (they certainly think I'm odd, especially after I gave my first supervision wearing a rather unsubtle vintage cycling jersey) but it did make them a lot less scared of asking questions which is good as that is kind of the point of me existing at all. I am after all one of the first supervisors they will have at Cambridge so I'd like to be (a) approachable and (b) a bit odd. It's the way it must be.


Woooo yaaaaaaaay! I decided that I would very much like to win a boat race as I have serious unfinished business in that respect.
And, because I can, and because I had a bit of a hole in my life when I wasn't rowing very much last year, it is training with a vengence again. And it is AWESOME.

Admittedly the first few ergs I did I honestly thought that hell had come and swallowed me up. You know those ergs where you're essentially thinking "OhshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitFUCKshitshitshitshit" the entire time? Well yes, that in UT2 sessions. It was not fun.

However, I then remembered how to erg again and it was back to me wanting to smash the erg in the face again. WOO YAY.
The other good thing about trialling is that I get to do weights again. And not just arm weights like I was doing over the summer with a little set of dumbells but WEIGHTS. I love weights.
I have a useful, handy cut-out-and-keep guide to doing bench pull now:

Weights are basically my few hours a week thing when I can be a complete and utter mental case psychopath. Everyone needs that right? Right?


Finally, a massive rant to finish.

When October hits, freshers descend on Cambridge and most of them I swear turn into complete badgering retards when they step onto a bike. Such is the jump in retard, suicidal cyclists in October that this can be the only explaination. Graph:

The quotient decreases each term because of people presumably dying out of sheer cycling incompetence/students learn how to not crash into stuff. Summer is undeniably worse when all the foreign summer school students are out in force but that is a whole other ranty post.

It's not people cycling slowly that pisses me off. I can cope with that - one quick look over the shoulder and an overtake. Sorted. However, if you cycle slowly and unpredictably.... Well then quite frankly you should be locked in a big cage with other retard cyclists and let nature take its course. (I expect there will be lots of crashing into each other and concussion).

Case in point, c. 9pm on the Huntington Road last week. I am approaching a CR (cycling retard) from behind. He obviously has no lights and is oscillating all over the rather generous bike lane. I slow down a bit. This guy is clearly quite retarded. He then moves out right across the road as if turning right. Sure, he didn't indicate or look round but fair play, it's his life.
I am like "woo I can get past this guy now he's turning off". So I speed up a bit. Casually cycle past him. It's on the inside yes but he's half a road width away and clearly turning off. Then he suddenly swerves across the entire road to cut me up and I swear A LOT at him.

Now I don't usually swear at complete strangers but this was so mind numbingly stupid and dangerous that it seemed appropriate.

There are also the fleet of people jumping lights (who you must then overtake in a rather casual fashion) and pedestrians walking in front of you as well as the myriad generally wobbly swervy people. It makes you weep, it really does.

Oh fucking hell rage.

Right, I should probably go to bed as I need to get my arse handed to me while on my fixie tomorrow morning. WOO YAY :D Did I mention that I spent several hours a couple of weekends ago taking it apart and cleaning it?

Well I did and now it is VERY VERY SHINY and this makes me happy, even when my legs and lungs are exploding trying to reattach to the back of the peleton post hill....


Bring it on Oxford. Bring it on.