Strava Makes Me Look Lousy

I’ve never really been that competitive, and if I’ve ever been comparably fit enough to keep up with a high level athlete, it has been entirely a coincidence.

The result is that my style of exercise is to loaf along and enjoy myself, raising a sweat and burning muscles and fat at a slow rate, but at least I am exercising.

So why on earth would I join Strava?

Strava’s big selling point is that you can compare yourself with other people over segments of a ride/run and perhaps use the comparison as motivation for self-improvement.

I have a few friends and work colleagues who use Strava and have been egging me to get on board for a while, so recently I joined.

Having not ridden much at all in the past few months, I promptly set out on a mountain bike ride, at a slow pace, knowing from previous experience that if I over-exert myself on my first few re-entry rides I always get attacks of cramps somewhere between 30-50km into the ride.

The good news is that my pace meant that I did not cramp. The bad news is that I logged the ride on Strava. I was consistently bad on all the segments I passed through, even last on one reasonable climb.


I know I will improve, but I also know that I’ll rarely ever be in the top 1/4 of riders, especially on highly popular segments.

For those of us who end up last or near last on the leaderboard, is Strava actually a tool for encouragement or a tool of self-flagellation?

I haven’t made up my mind yet.


Before you put me down as a lazy, whining loser, I have been pushing myself harder as a result of being on Strava and I will certainly get fitter because of it.

So for now, Strava makes me look lousy, and I may always look lousy, but I’m gonna have fun looking lousy and maybe one far distant morning I’ll track a ride and I won’t look so lousy anymore.

Keep riding!


Forget about counting sheep…

Star Trek Warp Core ambient background noise on a 24hr loop.

It even drifts from the right ear to the left in stereo.


Jeeves and the Wedding Bells – a fitting tribute to P.G. Wodehouse

Sebastian Faulks has tried his hand at producing a tribute novel in the vein of P.G Wodehouse – Jeeves and the Wedding Bells – and he has brought the effort off very deftly indeed.

The first few pages of Jeeves and the Wedding Bells left me groaning internally, it is not the strongest of beginnings, and had me thinking that Mr. Faulks had come a cropper right from the start. But I resolved to read on and was rewarded with a delightful tale involving Wodehouse’s perennial characters Bertie Wooster and his gentleman’s gentleman, Jeeves.

It doesn’t quite reach the heights of Wodehouse at his best, and you are aware as you read that it isn’t quite the exact pen of the master, but it certainly does a jolly good job at it.

I won’t go into plot lines, because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I recommend “Jeeves and the Wedding Bells” wholeheartedly to Wodehouse die-hards and newcomers alike.

You can also read a review from the Globe and Mail and a positive mention from the Guardian.

By Jove!

Stephen Fry on P.G. Wodehouse

I knew Wodehouse was a good writer, but I didn’t know he was so highly regarded!

When I read Wodehouse, I am filled with delight and when I’m not laughing out loud, my internal monologue is humming with silent mirth at every page.

His use of language is indeed sublime.


Stephen Fry on P.G. Wodehouse – YouTube.



Roman Joke Book

Below is a link to a translated book of Roman  jokes dated from about the fourth or fifth century A.D.



It has some very satisfying witticisms:


“‘That slave you sold me died,’ a man complained to a student dunce. ‘Goodness me,’ he replied, ‘he never did that when I owned him.'”


“An Abderite hears that onions and other bulbous plants cause wind. So when he’s out sailing and the sea is calm, he hangs a sackful by the stern.”


“A learned Sidonian asks the local schoolteacher how much liquid a two quart flask holds. The answer: Are  you talking about wine or olive oil?”



Ramiro Gonzalez Gonzalez (Pedro) with Groucho Marx

These old videos are very, very funny.

Of course I’ve seen all the Marx brothers movies, but I’d never seen “You Bet Your Life”, Groucho’s own TV show from the 50s and early 60s.

Watching some of these old clips I was rolling about in laughter so much I was getting sore tummy muscles.

I recommend you also do a YouTube search for “You Bet Your Life Outtakes”.

You won’t be disappointed.