PQ and Pilot Waste

Two unsolicited flip charts arrived today … both are incredible examples for my upcoming hall of fame:



Anyone able to shed any light on what they might mean? And is that really a toilet on the second sheet? In which case, is that a politically correct queue for it?

Or was it maybe just “take your kiddies to work day”?

63 Days To Go

The London Marathon is just a couple of months away. I’ve had to massively ramp up my training distances this month to catch up with my training plan. Don’t try this at home kids, but going from 78km in January to 170km in February has taken some effort. I’m still only getting 2, and sometimes 3, training runs in every 30 days so it’s meant some much longer runs. I’m just back today from 33km, for instance. In the graph below you can see that I’m about where I need to be; March is going to be a bit tougher though as I have a week out on holiday so need to fit an equivalent distance in a week less.


A key part of my training plan, anyway, was to do far fewer shorter distance training runs and to pack in some long runs whenever possible. The figures below show how I’ve done, in comparison with two marathons in 2006 (the last two I ran). Figures for 2006 are for the whole training period, up to but not including the marathon itself, whereas the 2009 figures are up until today. With two months to go and at least one more than 30km+ run to fit in as well as two formal race half-marathons and a couple of 20km training runs, I’m on track to meet the plan.


I’ve also been pleased this month to beat a couple of long standing records – over 6.25km and 12.25km. I’ll be running the Fleet and Reading Halfs in March and hope to get times of around 1:45 in each of those, although Reading is after my skiing which I’m sure will affect my time somehow.

Contains Milk

200902081454.jpgI’ve been hunting for a video camera … I was almost sold on this one until they let me down by telling me that the “pre-recording feature” requires me to actually look at the subject before it will capture the extra 3 seconds of footage. So near, yet so far.

“The camera must be aimed at the subject in advance.”

Two Thirds Full

Despite some sniping, I think that HMRC can claim a pretty resounding victory with online Self Assessment this year. Their figures say a little under 6 million people sent their tax returns in via the website. That’s about 2/3 of the total possible, maybe even 75-80% if you count only those who actually send their tax return (figures vary but there is quite some number who don’t send a tax return at all). Perhaps most impressive is the growth rate – over 50% up on last year.

Next year, the online service will be 10 years old – I worked on the team that put it live in April 2000. I didn’t think it would take this long for it to get 70% takeup, but I’m delighted it’s there now. Plenty of other services with some catching up to do of course.