Posted in Cycling, Weight Loss Journey

Tour de Westcountry

I started cycling again this weekend.  Managed to complete 8.8 miles before my knee started to hurt.  I was pleased with that though.  Next weekend hopefully get back to the 10 mile barrier and then beyond.

Now the better weather is starting, I will also start riding to work.  Trouble is I need some new gear.  I need a fashion lover to help me find something suitable.  I’ll ask my friend Hollie (hollielisa).

I have always enjoyed cycling, and it was a cornerstone of my previous weight loss success.  I have got two very good bikes, a Marin Muirwoods 29er hybrid for rough terrain and casual road use, and a Marin Argenta A6 for road only use.  It’s now time to put some miles on them.

I use Endomondo to work out suitable routes in the area, and then my iPhone/Apple Watch tracks what I do.  It works really well, and gives me a log of what I have done.  The results can be shared to Facebook, Twitter etc., so that others can see your progress.


Posted in Weight Loss Journey

Weight loss …. an update

So, in truth I’ve been a bit of a bad boy in the last couple of years.  Due to some quite distressing events in my personal life, I have let myself go quite a bit.  I’m not as heavy as I was when I started my weight loss journey, but I’ve put most of it back on.

Lets set the scene with why I got here:-

  • July 2015, my father died
  • July 2016 my wife left me
  • December 2016 safe to say I had a bit of a breakdown

So what has changed:-

  • January 2017 Started a  new job

What am I going to do?

  • Try to eat healthier
  • Definitely get more exercise
  • Try and keep a positive attitude going

What am I not going to do?

Go on another crash diet.  Although the last one got rid of the weight, it also caused me a life threatening illness.

Posted in Cars


Time to start a new subject.

Something that I have always been interested in is cars.  From a very early age, cars have dominated a large part of my life.  I think it all started with my grandfather.  To me it seemed like he always had a new car.  In reality, more often than not, it was a new car every three years.  Probably because he was too lazy to worry about the UK MOT required for cars 3 years and older.

He never drove anything that could be considered cool or cutting edge, apart from a 1990 Mini automatic in black.  Well, I liked it.

My car history is not extensive, but has been eclectic so far.  I am only going to list the cars that I have owned and driven as my own, not ones bought to sell on.

Morris Marina 1800 Super (Harvest Gold)
Fiat X1/9 (Gold)
Ford Escort XR3i (Black)
Ford Escort XR3i (Black) (Yes another one)
Rover 216 GSI (Black)
Alfa Romeo 33 Sportwagon (Metallic Green)
Rover 620si (Metallic Red)
Suzuki Vitara SoftTop (Blue)
Suzuki Grand Vitara (Black)


Toyota MR2 Mk3 Roadster (Black)
 photo My-MR2_zpsa360f627.jpg
Mini Cooper S (R53)
That’s it.  The last two, are my current cars.

To come, repairs and modifications made to my cars …… maybe.

Posted in Computing

Raspberry Pi Expansion Board

I’ve been looking for sometime now at various ways to connect my RPi to a VGA monitor.  There many posts on the web about how to achieve this.  Some have had success using inexpensive HDMI to VGA adapters, some have used more expensive HDMI to VGA signal converters.  All of these methods have had varying levels of success and failure.

I myself have tried the inexpensive route only to have my old VGA monitor die on me.  To be fair this could have been a result of it being kept in the attic for the past few years, slowly collecting dust.

After a few more nights scouring the web for a reliable way of achieving this I came across the expansion board below.


I was quite surprised with the features of this board, especially given the price and the fact that they deliver free to the UK.

HDMI to VGA (powered from expansion board)
Built in USB HUB (powered from Expansion board)
Real time clock (RTC)
Card reader (SD and micro SD)
RS232 Master port
Darlington Driver ports (8 Channel)
Alternative power connector, allowing different standard PSUs to be used.

It arrived within a week, and was up and working within an hour. The only thing I haven’t done, is connect the reset switch, as I don’t fancy doing any soldering. I haven’t got a steady enough hand.

Overall I think this is very good value for money and has allowed me to plug my RPi into the VGA port of my monitor, allowing me to keep my MAC mini plugged into the DVI.

Posted in Cooking, Weight Loss Journey

Progress so far…..

A long overdue update, sorry.  Well it has been 8 months now since I started my diet, and apart from a couple of setbacks, the weight is still coming off.  59lbs down, somewhere between 8lbs and 14lbs to go.

One of the side affects of rapid weight loss can be issues with gallstones, and unfortunately this has recently happened to me.  So I am currently on an even more strict diet so as not to aggravate the condition whilst I await treatment, which will probably be a gallbladder removal operation.

On a lighter note, I have now started doing cycling and circuit training.  Both are tiring, but very enjoyable.  Just purchased a new road bike so hoping to get out a lot more and clock up some cycle miles.

One of my favorite meals at the moment is wraps.  The content varies but the usual suspects always make an appearance, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, balsamic dressing.  The star of the show also varies, but usually it is fish fingers, chicken or turkey.

Another favorite is porridge, made with rice milk, as I have to cut out dairy products at the moment.