Thursday, 29 October 2009

The power of the product

I had an insight last night whilst pushing my fingers until they creaked. This insight concerned the use of weight belts and vanity. I have to be completely honest, it wasn't an insight i was directly blessed with, rather the proxy of Le Sage gifted it, having first denounced my expert weight belt advice dished out to Roddy on UKB. I'd advised that wearing a weight belt changed your centre of gravity, and thus the way you moved and so discounted them as valid movement training. Joe points out that whilst i have trained with a weight belt on, i have never done so for more than about 10 seconds, because I hate to look crap. I put it on, try something hard - fail, want to look good and burn you/whomever off and ditch the belt as fast as it was put on.
Which leads to a secondary insight - the power of products. Joachim Foldy makes me laugh. He is (like me) a marketing mans dream. We persuade ourselves that our need for a specific item is life threatening, and we will move hell and high water to get it, becoming completely obsessed until it is in our possession. Take for example his Digital SLR - desperate to have it, obsessing about lenses, ISO ratings and what have you, yet how often does he use it? never. Just before he went to Font he decided he had to have a camcorder - and that will be the next thing that doesnt get used. And hilariously, last night on the text, the latest thing is a weight vest! I am as bad though. I clicked through to eBay to look at Adam Lincoln's Patxi esque weight vest. But, thankfully for me (!) I am skint, so I managed to talk myself back from the brink. The problem is, we want to be where the party is. If you are doing it, so must we. I think its because we dont get to climb as much as we would like thanks to jobs, non-climbing wives/girlfriends, being a shameless consumer (delete as appropos).
Talking of which - they have all just been (are still in) to Font. Dyldog, Lulog and Edlog are still there. Cnuts. Char has made a little video which has a great oompa soundtrack and has the unfortunate side affect of making Adam out to be a hero. Can only assume this is clever editing :
Finally, I went to Rubbercon last night. By the time I got there it was dusky, but far from the hour of power it was 14 degrees and breathless. I tried, I failed, I gave up and went to the works. It is now fully dark at 1715. There really is no point trying after work. Well, there is, but only if you finish at 1400.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009


I am finding the blogosphere particularly depressing at the moment. The field is not level - noone else seems to have a job and so they're all out climbing all the blummin time. How are they doing it? surely not everyone has a massive trust fund? Adam bloody Lincoln's got a TT yet he manages to nip up 8b's in the week, in between 'snippets' of work. What is this job that comes in snippets and why dont I have one? Adam, if you are reading this - I'm only jealous. You cock ;-)
Rupert and I once consoled ourselves on the walk out of Cheedale that at least when we were 45 we would have nice houses and lives outside of climbing, but none of these guys seem to have any such concerns. And, the current 80's revisited thin trend is pissing me off too. It feels like cheating. Ah well, the skeletor approach may yield dividends in the short term but now its winter, flu is on the way, and no amount of down jackets will keep you warm bonio!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Swine On

According to the symptoms calculator thing which exists online, I very well could have had swine flu. That last post was pre the last session I ever had. Which was log. Knew indoors would be too much like hard work, and outdoors was sunny, so to Burbage I went - with designs on Velvet Crab. That indoors would have been hard work gives you an insight into what I was furiously attempting to deny. I was feeling run down. I harbour the belief (mistakenly) that if I dont admit it, then I wont get it. Well, I didnt, but I did. Can only have contracted it at that wedding I suppose. So anyway, that was last Monday - the 12th. I finally managed to climb again last night, and besides sweating profusely as soon as my carcass was hefted from the mats it went ok. At least, thanks to my ailments I am quite light. Most of my friends are either in Font or going, so I didnt expect to have any company, yet was pleasantly suprised. When I arrived I joined Worm for some of a white circuit, then had a half hour with Harry Pennells before hooking up with Ed Robinson right at the end. Ed goes to Font on Friday/Saturday to join the party. I hope he can bring home the bacon. Its about time this underachieving mild mannered strong man lived up to his potential. I also saw the Goosemaster general, Jerry Moffat and Britain's most promising female campus board hero - Vicky 'yam yam yam' Barrett. Thats it. I know no more.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Fat stuff

This will be a short post. Thursday I climbed on the board, Friday I managed an hour on West Side Log. Its hard. The problem isnt that i cant pull on the holds, its that I cant use them in the right order, or with my feet in the right place, so I cant do the problem. Am pretty keen though, and its pretty roadside, so is a good one when I have limited time.
This weekend we had another wedding, which was for our friends Rick and Robyn, and in Bramhall. As is de rigeur at these things, I consumed in excess of everything, and tip the scales at 11st10 last night. Jesus. I wonder if I can book a winch to meet me at the Climbing works?
This week I'm at the board tonight, wednesday and then Friday we go to Hastings for another boozy weekend. Its a festival of fire (or something), so expect me back with singed eyebrows and smoke taint. One day I will get back to full strength. But not perhaps one day soon.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Dobby Mansell

This weekends climbing highlight (!) Was a snatched 10 minutes at hobby moor on saturday, in the rain. I was on the way to atherton where I was going karting for my friend Rick's stag do. Karting was ace. Absolutely ace. I was better at it this time and managed to finish second overall. This meant a gruelling 20 lap superfinal which I was last through most of, but drove out of my skin to catch up before diving up the inside on the second to last bend to finish second. Back into manchester after that to drop the rest of them off, then she and I headed back to sheff for julian's 40th.

Sunday was a well nice day but we were tired and whilst I managed an hour on my bike, that was it.

So, this week - today I am on a course in wakefield, when that finishes I'll be heading to the board. Wednesday climbing probably at the board again - course is all week, so I'll not get time to get outside this week. And, at the coming weekend we've the wedding that the stag was from! So opportunities look scarce!

Friday, 2 October 2009

I want to do a poo...

Child : "Muuuum, I want to do a poo"

Mum : "Come on then..."

Child : "But I want to do a poo at Paul's house"

You gotta love marketeers. Imagine them pitching that to Glade... Yesterday, whilst enjoying the last rays of sun at Almscliff it sprung into my head, and as Jim tussled with Dreamland I chose my moment, "muuuum" I said, "I want to do a poo", pause, "but I want to do a poo at Paul's house", Jim's taut like a coiled spring body started to shake with laughter and he was back on the pads. No longer will Ken and Kes grace the crags, now its all about Paul.

I had a big day yesterday. I got up with the monster and did some revision, then set out for Wakefield for the first of my Cisco exams. I'd been feeling pretty cool about it, but caught myself jittering and not thinking straight as I tried to collect my belongings and exit the car. That was all I needed to start the mental process of calming down and so I checked in and got established ready for the grilling.

I've not been on the certification gravy trail since I completed my MCSE (microsoft certified systems engineer), and that must have been about 2004? anyway, its a while since I have sat an exam. Its debatable whether they benefit you, as its all about relevant experience rather than qualifications, or at least - it is with the Microsoft exams. This is in part because they are quite straightforward (the exams that is), and because windows administrators are ten a penny, and any home enthusiast can get pretty advanced these days, so diluting the value of the qualification. Additionally, I have had the pleasure of working with 'paper MCSE' engineers over the years, and they are dangerous. They think they know what they're doing but they don't. I remember one such chap managing to delete all the Steve's one Friday afternoon. The cisco certification track is a bit different. Its not as easy to obtain for a start, its less product specific, more about interconnecting networks and making the internet work. So, I started on that yesterday by passing the first of several exams. When that finished I headed to Otley cafe for egg and chips (how can they make any money? this cost less than £2 for egg and chips and a cup of tea. Amazing).

By the time I got to the cliff it was gone 2. Met up with Middlesborough Martin, the man with the whitest skin and the biggest guns. We dick around the Morel's wall area until Jim and Ste (zods beard) arrive. After a bit more bimbling we all move up to Underhand. Martin crushes it, and then does it again into the extension, the rest of us fail. I manage to back flop onto a boulder (still hurts today) and not do the problem. Its a actually should have done it one, so am not too worried, its in the bank of problems to finish off without requiring loads of work I think.

Next up, top cat traverse. Ages ago I was out with Busby and Rob Smith when Rob dispatched the Sewer rat connection. I thought it looked brilliant and have always wanted to do it. Well, I still do. Martin shows us TC trav, and me and Jim both manage to shake along it. Next we look at Stretch Armstrong. When Tom did this, he went out to the lip with his right hand (a long way), and we went left to a sloper before finishing up the same holds, so I'm not sure if this is allowed (this is almscliff after all), but we had fun. Again, me and Jim get the problem done. Where I landed on my back it hurts to pull hard with my right arm. Cheers.

Martin goes home, Jim takes us to Patta's arete. Its such a lovely day, the sky is just starting to go golden and its a beautiful view out over wharfedale. Phrases like 'chocolate box countryside' and 'cuntstubble' drift through my concious, then its back to wobbling up the classics. You get so much more out of somewhere by having a team to climb with. Anyway, Jimlog throws laps on Patta's arete in his trainers, I manage to flash it and persuade them to come with me to Matt's roof.

Its now freezing out of the sun, and I wish I had brought my down jacket with me. Dodgy landing Matts roof, and you definately want a spotter. None of us do it, but I actually think that one could go next time too. Hit the top hold a couple of times, just never stuck it.

Heading in a demon wall log direction to finish off, Jim starts wittering about Dreamland. Some poor holds in the middle of a black streak just over the wall. We drift over and Jim eventually manages to do it. Its thin, tenuous and brilliant. I go from go to go thinking i can and I cant before ultimately giving up as it physically hurts to touch the holds. Again, one to go back for. I am all for going, but they suggest Syrett's roof which I do and something on the arete to the right, which I dont. Beautiful evening (time now half 6), and as the sun sets, I jog back to the car with glowing red finger tips, to jet back into leeds.

My day finishes meeting colleagues in town for a curry. I get home at 11. The end.