Great Customer Service from Withings

Last week I had a bit of a mishap with one of my (many) gadgets. I lost it on the way to work. Not one of my smartest moves, but it seems to be a phase I going through - did I mention I nearly left my phone in a restaurant the other day? Or that I left home without my keys last week?

Luckily I found the Pulse on the way home and it was fully functional. Everything working as expected. Until mid-morning the following day...

Get off the road!

Tonight I had my first "you shouldn't be cycling on the road!" from a passing driver. Technically when I first heard them they were just yelling something at me through the passenger window while driving past me on a two lane stretch of road near home.

It wasn't until we both stopped next to each other at the lights 200m forget along the road that they told me I shouldn't be cycling on the road, and there was a cycle path (technically it's just a footpath on the side of the road we were on) that I should be using.

London Bikeathon 2013

This morning as promised in numerous online posts in the last few weeks I set off to Central London to take part in the London Bikeathon 2013.

After some thought I decided it was silly not to cycle to and from the event, so just after 8:30am I jumped on my bike and cycled over to Chelsea Embankment.

A huge thanks to all my Bikeathon sponsors!

Thank you to all of the people that sponsored me for today's 26 mile Bikeathon.

I completed the ride without incident and in a time that I'm quite happy with.

Bikeathon 2013 - Endomondo Event

I'm not sure if this will work but you might be able to monitor my progress live on the day.
Estimated start time is 10:30am.

My awesome Linked-In profile

This just in from Linked-In:
"Hi Chisel,
Your profile really stood out, especially your experience at Net-A-Porter."
Yes, my amazingly informative Linked-In profile ... ;-)


A few short days until Bikeathon 2013

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

The Bikeathon is looming. When I wrote my previous Bikeathon post I was a few days away from having a tonsillectomy and entering a period where I wasn't going to be able to do any cycling through a combination of recovery and annual leave.

It seemed like such a long time until the Bikeathon. Somehow the time has flown by and it's now less than a week before I participate in my first ever organised cycle ride.

Evans Cycles - disappointing and frustrating online experience

At the end of May this year I decided I wanted a new short sleeve cycling top. Having bought quite a bit from Evans Cycles this summer (my new bike, lock, lights, cover, helmet, jacket, pump, water bottle and cage, gloves, ... and a few odds and ends) I decided to make my next purchase from them.
I scoured their online catalogue and finally settled on a nice looking top.

At the 'Select and Buy' stage it turned out that the size and style I wanted was out of stock. So I popped in my email address for an alert when it came back into stock.

Later the same evening I decided it would be easier to just pre-order the top and have it delivered for a store collection. How wrong I was...

Making it more difficult for myself

Now that I've exceeded the distance I've signed up for the Bikeathon it's time to make things much more difficult for myself.

If it was all too easy it wouldn't be any fun and you wouldn't want to sponsor me.

Nearly pushing myself too far

Earlier this week I teamed up with one other person from work for a lap of Richmond Park. Afterwards I continued by myself to see how far I could comfortably cover in one session.

This week I almost pushed too far.

Improving my stamina and distance

After proving that I could cover a longer distance without keeling over in a heap I started cycling to work more regularly to get me used to cycling and start improving my overall fitness.

A little later in the week of my Richmond Ride I went out for a solo ride after work. I wanted to see if I could push myself a little and get some idea of how long the Bikeathon would take me. I managed 26.78km in 1h:23m:47s. Not horrific. Good distance, bearable time.

Starting to train for the London Bikeathon

Being slightly sensible for once in my life I've decided to do a little training for the Bikeathon in September.

Nothing super serious ... but I needed to get from short 5-10km rides up to distances closer to the 42km I'm aiming to cycle.

My first longer ride was with some of the cyclist from work. One thing I learned on the ride was that it's really difficult to keep up with three road bikes on a hybrid. Especially when after having barely cycled anywhere in six months.

Tonsillectomy confirmed

At my recent pre-assessment appointment I was told to wait a week and telephone a number they gave me if I hadn't heard anything.

On Monday I played some phone-tag, and managed to speak to the person I needed to early in the afternoon. They told me that they were waiting on some paperwork, which they would chase up and phone me back on Tuesday.

Tuesday morning came and they called me back.
"How about the 2nd July?"
I agreed. I've been working towards this since mid-late 2012, and I'd much rather get the op over and done with.

London Bikeathon 2013

A recent purchase of a new bike has kick-started my cycling addiction. I'm cycling at weekends, cycling to work a few times a week, and some evenings I'm sneaking out to clock up a few extra kilometres.
Cycling near Kingston

Not long after I started cycling I started seeing posters for the London Bikeathon 2013. I checked out the website and decided it was something I could probably complete.

At the time I signed up I'd had my bike less than a week and hadn't even cycled 17km in one session. Having never taken part in any form of organised cycling event I opted for the 26 mile route (41.8km).

I wasn't sure if I'd ever manage the full distance, or if I did how long it would take. I didn't want to enter and collapse half-way round, or take 6 hours to complete the route.

First goal reached - 90kg

This morning I stepped on the scales and finally got the reading I've been looking forward to ... the number stopped on 89.6kg.

My first weight loss milestone was set (by me) to be 90kg.

This is just an isolated value.

Tonsillectomy pending

This morning involved a trip to ENT for a delayed follow-up from (I can't even remember what any more). The results of my sleep study showed that I (only) have Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The government have decided that people shouldn't have their tonsils removed (as an adult) unless it's Severe.

The doctors want to remove them because they think it'll benefit me overall taking into account things the government won't officially let them consider.

Shedding a few pounds

Time for Change

I've never really cared much about my weight. Over the years I've watched it gradually climb. I'd always weigh myself from time to time, and my internal "that's a bit much" limit was 100kg (15st.10lb).

Earlier this year I hit the 100kg mark again. To be fair I was never much below it anyway.

In the latter part of 2012 year my mindset started to change. I wasn't actively trying to lose weight but I was starting to think about it more seriously. Around the end of February I hit 101.2kg. I decided it was time to do something about it.

Increasing weight

The new regime

One thing I did not want to do was go on a crash diet; starving myself, being miserable and potentially damaging my health were not things I wanted to subject myself to. It was important to me that I eased into a new lifestyle that suited me and also helped buck the trend.

Precision Targetting Recruitment


This morning I received an email from a recruiter who's emailed me in the past. I tend to ignore these emails because they mostly aren't interesting and I'm still quite happy where I am currently.

The subject line caught my eye for some reason:
Permanent Developer / C# / £43K

The email continued:
My client based in Hampshire (Aldershot or Fareham) is looking for an Analyst Programmer. The role will be to develop and maintain the clients core software products for their customers. The applications are mainly desktop and the candidate will have a range of new and old technologies.
Only a 35 mile drive from home. That's a great start. Ooh, desktop applications .. that's exactly what I don't do.

Requesting a PAC from O2

This is an old story, originally posted to Facebook on on Sunday, 22 July 2012.


It seems you can't email O2 for a PAC, but you can online-chat and get deal-whored...

You are now chatting with Alice at O2 Shop.

Strangers on the tube

Tonight on the tube travelling home from a gig in Camden the woman opposite me tapped me on the leg, then just looked at me. "Yes?" I enquired.

She paused, then said she didn't want me taking photos of her. She could see my camera on the back of my phone and I was sat opposite her ... so obviously I was taking photos.

After a couple of seconds to digest this unexpected accusation I replied, "Oh no! I'm not taking photos! I'm playing a game ... look!"

I showed her my phone - no camera, just strange looking hexagons and some blue sea.

Switching from an iPhone to the Nexus 4

After purchasing my Nexus 4 I had to do something slightly scary ... move my 'life' from an iPhone to the Nexus 4.

Thankfully I'd already made the choice to sell a portion of my soul to Google and have been using Google Apps (Free/Personal) for a substantial amount of time now. Yes, I realise that I may have problems if 'Google become evil' but that's a future I hope I don't need to write about for some time.

This meant I already had a head-start on someone using iCloud as the primary way to manage email, calendaring and other content. If you're this deep in Apple's pocket, this post may not be for you.

So let's move on to the things I was worried about losing ...