Fandango’s shdfjlgolggbkvbm (3 June 2020)

For my first time, I’m going to post a single response to two prompts today, both by Fandango. His One Word Challenge (FOWC) prompt is lance, and his Provocative Question prompt, which is:

What is the one thing in life that you are most excited about right now? Why?

My post is valid for FOWC, but it is a cop-out for FPQ. I can’t really think of much that is exciting. I’m sorry. I’m sure the obvious thing is the end of lockdown, but as I posted the other day, I haven’t really felt locked down. I feel my entry into and exit from lockdown has been planned, so exciting is not a word I would use.

I dunno, I tend not to get excited about things these days, because life is pretty same-same. We always used to take our family holidays at this time, before daughter got to secondary school, They were always nice, but the last time I went away anywhere (though fortunately without daughter) was in 2015.

The most excited I ever get these days is with food, and even then it is pretty small-time. I suppose that is because I have to watch what I eat, so tend to eat quite simple stuff. I normally don’t eat ready-meals because I prefer to know exactly what I’m eating, but I did enjoy my shop-bought vegetable tikka masala last night. If I cooked, I’d eat curry every night. But hardly exciting.

Aside from this, I have been thinking about Fandango’s question for fifteen minutes and haven’t come up with anything. So, I guess there’s my answer! If nothing immediately springs to mind, then by definition, it can’t really be exciting, can it?

So today I’ll just post a clip of something I used to find exciting, pre-stroke. I was heavily into my cycling and in fact when I walked away from IT, I became a bicycle mechanic. I would ride hundreds of miles per month, and even though I was way past it myself, I enjoyed watching cycle races. Of the pro cyclists, Marco Pantani was my favourite, and my first trip to see the Tour de France was to see him win on the Champs Élysées in 1998. I visited stages of the Tour maybe another half dozen times, but Pantani declined from that point. He was seemingly permanently embroiled in dope controversies and in fact OD’d, having pretty much walked away from the sport, in 2004. He was, and is, and will always be, my favourite. This clip is Marco’s last hurrah – beating Lance Armstrong on the mighty Mont Ventoux, down in Provence, in 2000.

Share Your World (1 June 2020)

Monday. Melanie over at Sparks From A Combustible Mind has released a fresh batch of Share Your World questions. This week, she asks:

Is it ever okay to commit a crime?  Please explain.

Okay, define “crime”.

I think we all have a sense of right and wrong. Within that, we should try to do right. I think that society as a whole has sense of right and wrong. It lists the wrongs, it calls them laws.

Over the years I have come to the conclusion that by far the majority of society’s laws make sense. In other words, our moral compasses coincide with each other.

In those areas where our compasses do not coincide, mine take precedence. So, in that sense, I have no guilt in committing a “crime” (as defined by society) if it goes against my compass. I can imagine that society might have a problem with that.

I suspect most people are like me, willing to go along with most of the rules because they make sense. I guess the bigger problem comes when somebody is not. For example, when somebody thinks that murder is acceptable.

Do you deal with change well?  (not money, because I know some wit out there is thinking how bulky coins are. Well I did any how.    ) 

Actually the other version of the question is more informative. I used to sift out my change, and only put coins of GBP1 and GBP2 back into my purse. The reason? I can’t really tell the difference between the smaller coins. Well, I can, but I need time and light. So I used to put smaller coins into a jar, periodically bag them up and take them to the bank. I can’t do that any more because they closed the bank branch. So now, I mostly just throw the smaller coins away. Another example where living a disabled life is more expensive…

On to the real point of the question, I’m actually very good with change. Working in technology demands it. A new approach to do this or that. Initially, for the first few weeks, there was this feeling of oh, shit, what have I got myself into? That gradually got replaced by a smugness as I realised that I was a lot more familiar with something than most everybody else. In fact, that’s how I earned my living. The next technology, the loop would start over.

Sometimes I could blag the oh, shit moment, but mostly it paid to be honest. Clients understood that it was new territory all round, although they were looking to me to learn and to take the lead.

On political change, I think it is necessary, so I think there has to be change, evolution. But we have a responsibility to properly think through changes, to get them right. Did the guy who decided to close the bank branch realise it would fuck customers up, for example? Actually, that’s probably a bad example – I’m sure they knew full well and that it didn’t matter one bit.

I’m using the Block Editor to write this post, by the way.

Do you like birds?   The sound of bird song in the morning, taking pictures of them, as food?   

I used to be a keen photographer and enjoyed photographing birds, among other things. It wouldn’t be unusual for me to drive fifty-odd miles if the fancy took me. This was on a visit to a town called Blandford Forum in Dorset, where the draw was kingfishers and otters. I was lucky enough to see both.

In addition I could sit for hours at the big window in my house, with long lens, waiting for winter birds to visit our feeders.

I tend not to eat birds. It has been known, but mostly I am vegetarian now. I got squeamish about eating chicken ever since we kept our own hens. Hens are wonderful creatures, but given half a chance will shit on the kitchen floor.

I do quite like birdsong, but boy, it is loud at the moment.

What’s the least used item of clothing you own?

To be honest, lots of my old clothing is unused now. It’s a shame, because it is nice stuff, too.

For one, the stroke engendered a feeling of can’t be bothered in many things, including what I wear. For another, I was a size S at the time of the stroke, and am easily an XL now. I can’t do laces any more, so most of my old shoes are out. I have some workarounds.

These days I have a circuit of maybe a half-dozen tops, two pairs of trousers. Undies and socks I still just use as before. I just cycle through these clothes, washing them every ten days or so. I have two coats, one for summer and one for winter. I’m not really interested in anything more. Mostly I live in loungewear anyway.

If you care to share, what are you grateful for?  

I had a row with my wife and we haven’t spoken to each other since Saturday afternoon. I am grateful for the peace and quiet.