Still injured 😕

I’m still injured, which is a bit rubbish. I haven’t run for over a week now. My ankle feels a lot better in general but it’s still achy. I thought it would have been back to normal by now and I’d be tempted to try a test run, but nope. I think I made it worse a few days ago by trying some resistance band exercises. The pain is down the inside and I think it’s the posterior tibial tendon, so I tried doing some inversion and eversion exercises with the bands. The inversion works the muscle, the eversion stretches it. I think it’s the eversion (stretch) that set it off again.

The mechanism of injury seems to be that you overpronate i.e. the ankle collapses inwards too much, leading to the tendon getting repeatedly stretched just a little bit too much. So probably I should be avoiding exercises that stretch it. Maybe I should just focus on inversion exercises to work the muscle and hopefully trigger some healing. Overpronation is always a strange one with me because I have visibly high/strong arches and I tend to put the weight more towards the outside of my foot when I stand, which would make you think more of underpronation. But I really do overpronate when I run (sometimes), which I can see on the wear of my shoes’ insoles and the calluses I get down the inside of my big toes. The physio I saw a couple of years ago thought it was a bit odd but said it was probably my tight calves. So I stretched them a lot and the old wear patterns never formed on new shoes. I wouldn’t say they’re too bad at the moment but my achilles tendon on that leg does feel noticably tighter than the other, so that could be it.

In TV news:

I finished Star Wars Rebels. The first season is a bit rough but by the end I think I was enjoying it more than Clone Wars overall. It really makes me want to see an Ahsoka series (which I think they are making?) to see how it plays out between her and Thrawn. I’m now two episodes into Kenobi and it’s… alright. I mean, a lot of things don’t really make sense, but you don’t watch Star Wars for brilliant writing. I don’t know, ask me again when I finish it. Next up will be Bad Batch and Andor.

I’ve almost finished Orville and Lower Decks. I have to say that neither Orville or Lower Decks, both essentially being parodies, have any business being as good as they are. I’ve enjoyed them far more than serious Discovery (which I gave up on) or Picard (which I didn’t give up on, but wasn’t that great). People say that Strange New Worlds is better but I haven’t seen it yet.

I also watched the last Expanse season a little while ago. If that’s the last one they ever make, then it’s very underwhelming. It peaked around S2-S3, though S4 was still pretty good. S5 started off OK but became a chore and S6 was forgettable. It’s a shame because S2-S3 was very good.

Sopranos and parkuns

I finished The Sopranos. For a program I’m not even sure I enjoyed watching, I certainly watched a lot of episodes in a short space of time. I thought the ending was very creative. It’s unexpected and confusing and definitely a bit frustrating when first experienced, but the more I think about it, the more I think it’s the best possible way it could have ended. All the other options would have been anticlimactic, which is probably why they did what they did.

I have to say I didn’t feel impressed by it to start with because the characters were quite dislikeable, but as you go on you realise it doesn’t matter. The characters are presented as being believable members of the mafia, largely without judgement. It’s just who they are and what they do, and the program doesn’t seek to moralise the viewer about it because the viewer is perfectly capable of forming their own opinions.

In other news, I was pleased to get my fastest Parkrun time for a while this weekend. I started off a bit (too) conservatively so I could probably have knocked a few seconds off quite easily, but I didn’t. My splits looked like this:

The third kilometre is always a struggle because the initial freshness has worn off and it’s mostly uphill. The 10m climb isn’t massive but it’s not insignificant either. The last km is the same but by that point you aren’t trying to conserve energy. I was very pleased with doing the last km in sub 4 minutes. Apparently, I increased my cadence from 181 to 185 steps per minute in the last kilometre while also keeping my stride length the same at 1.35m. Pretty good! Now if I could just do that for the first four kilometres too.

I think the speed workouts are finally paying off.

Rain 🌧️

I’m currently lying in bed listening to some very heavy rain hitting the windows. Monty has decided he doesn’t like heavy rain now. It never used to bother him but now he’s older he’s getting more sensible. This will present a challenge with his morning toileting.

I’m most of the way through the Sopranos S4 now. I am still conflicted about it. It’s mostly a series about people eating. In between meals there are occasional bouts of extremely violent crime. I mostly see it as a bizarre sitcom which lets me mostly overlook the fact that all the characters are horrible and dysfunctional. Also, the product placement is a form of comedy in itself.

In other news, politics! Well I’m not going to vote Tory either way so it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference to me, but my thoughts are: If Rishi Sunak actually runs then he’s inept. He has a much brighter future in two years time as opposition leader than spending two years now being PM on somebody else’s mandate with a trashed party reputation and a worsening economy. But actually I do think he’s inept so I think he’ll go for it now. 🤷‍♂️

Decks and Sopranos

I got my Steam Deck last Thursday, exactly a week after I paid for it. I’ve tinkered a bit. It’s a little complicated. I think that if you stay within the Steam ecosystem it’s quite easy to use, but I also have for example Factorio on GOG and Civilization VI on Epic (and GTA V, which I got free and never played), which I’d quite like to try on the Deck. Going outside of Steam gets you into ‘desktop mode’ which is actually a desktop Linux installation. I’m happy with this as I’ve used Linux a lot in the past (and, dare I say it… Linux is fun!), but it’s not exactly easy to use for non technical people. You only really need to do this to configure things though, I think after you’ve got everything set up then normal everyday usage will stay within Steam.

I will post more when I get around to using it for its intended purpose rather than just fiddling…

In other news, I started watching The Sopranos. I don’t really know what to think about this program. It’s well written and well made and I want to keep watching to find out what happens, but am I actually enjoying it? Ehhhh I’m not sure. The problem is that they are horrible people. Really bad people! Even the priest is slimy! But I still look forward to seeing the next episode, so it must be doing something right. 🤷‍♂️

Boba Fett and events

I have started watching The Book Of Boba Fett…

I’ve seen the first two episodes, and… I like it! I’m not very critical of Star Wars media in general. Most Star Wars is entertaining without being very deep or complicated, because it’s aimed at children. Which is fine. I thought the sequels were nonsense (particularly the third one) but otherwise I like Star Wars. Boba Fett is kind of the same. It’s entertaining and not complicated. I like seeing how the Sand People live. It makes the universe feel a little bit more interesting.

The music is really good. I want to say it’s unique, but actually the main melody keeps making me think it’s going to break out into Pirates Of The Caribbean (He’s a Pirate), so I don’t think it’s quite as unique as maybe it should be. But the whole approach is very unique. The rhythm has a bit of a folky feel and the vocal harmonies are amazing. It’s a very original way to approach film/TV music.

In other news I think the whole Ukraine situation is really sad. I think it’s sad there hasn’t been a stronger response to this. I could write a lot about my perception of Russia because I used to work for a company that employed a lot of Russians in Russia, but maybe another time.

However I do remember that the proposal to remove Russia from the SWIFT banking system was floated back in 2014 when they invaded Ukraine (Crimea) the first time (I remember it, because my employer at the time was concerned that it would stop us paying our Russian employees!). Russia would have expected it to happen this time around and apparently deemed it an acceptable risk. And yet… despite Russia launching a full scale invasion of a European country, we haven’t even managed to hit them with the level of sanctions they anticipated. I think that’s pathetic, and should Russia find success in Ukraine they will feel emboldened to continue west by a toothless response from the Western European nations.

The Castle

I finished Man In The High Castle!

It’s quite a strange experience, because it was a bit unsatisfactory but also probably more believable than the alternatives. There were a lot of storylines at the start of S1 but by the end they were focused mainly on two characters who were both bad people, but they were very well written and humanised. They weren’t really bad people exactly, but they did bad things. For complex reasons, some of which were very understandable. I’m not sure it would have been satisfying to give them a redemption arc, because they did do some pretty terrible things.

I suppose it’s a window into the concept of the Banality Of Evil, which roughly says that evil in real life is generally committed by relatively normal people doing relatively normal things. I sometimes feel guilty that I’m not a vegan because the amount of animal products I consume means I am indirectly responsible for a lot of animal suffering, and I have no doubt that some of the details I’ve avoided knowing are horrific. Yet I’m just a normal person, as are the people who run the industrial processes required to support it all. But that’s a different post.

The whole program was a bit strange really. I really loved the alternate history setting and the politics, but the character drama especially in S1 was a bit low quality and out of place. Things improved a lot when they started fleshing out the Smith family.

I think I would recommend it with the caveat that the first episode (or was it the first two?) is very grim.


I’ve been feeling a bit off lately, and at some point it suddenly occurred to me that I am probably getting anaemic again. I used to have problems with anaemia a few years ago. I started feeling very tired and a bit spaced out sometimes. Early anaemia symptoms are a bit vague. But I’ve sometimes been feeling a bit woozy after running, which is what really made me think “hmm”.

So I phoned up my doctor… I had to phone because they’ve disabled online booking “due to COVID”. Which makes no sense. And then I had to phone four times. The first three I was told that the queue was full, and on the fourth I apparently got put into the queue. It took 35 minutes in total to speak to someone. The earliest appointment they could give me was a telephone appointment, in four weeks time. What has gone wrong with my GP surgery?!

So anyway… That’s ridiculous and I’ve started self medicating iron tablets. Fortunately you can buy them over the counter. Iron overdose is a thing but from seeing my iron levels in the past I think I’m more likely to develop diabetes from the sugar coating on the tablet than convince my body to absorb enough iron for it to be a problem.

I watched episode four of The Man In The High Castle this evening. I am really enjoying it so far. I really like the intro and theme too. The style reminds me of The Expanse’s intro sequence. In this case it’s very arty and surreal against the grim reality of the story.


I finished Clone Wars and The Expanse. Clone Wars ending was quite sombre but I already knew it would be since it lines up with the third prequel. I enjoyed Clone Wars a lot more than I expected to. I hope that we get to see more of Ahsoka. I think I’d rather see an Ahsoka series than the Boba Fett and Obi Wan series that they are also supposedly making.

The Expanse was… ehhhh. Something actually happened in the finale, so that was an improvement over the previous 5 episodes. But it seemed like it was a set up for S6. I hope it’s better than S5! S5 is by far the weakest season so far.

I’ve started watching Man In The High Castle. I’m only two episodes in so far but it seems very good, if incredibly bleak. It’s set in an alternate history 1960s America where Germany and Japan won WW2 and occupied and divided up America. I think the logistical improbability of this has been hand-waved away by saying that Germany won the race to the atomic bomb. Anyway…. I really like Rufus Sewell as a.. err… gestapo? officer. He plays a very intelligent and very scary man.

I don’t know what else to watch though…

I have heard good things about The Orville but I don’t think it’s on any of the streaming services I have. Star Trek Lower Decks might be good too. I keep thinking about watching S3 of Star Trek Discovery but I’m not sure I can face another 10 hours watching Michael Burnham being serious and dramatic.


The BSG finale was…. not really overwhelming and not really underwhelming either. It was medium whelming. It gave an OK sort of resolution to the characters as a whole that’s moderately satisfying as long as you don’t think about it at all.

But if you do think about it….

The promise that the cylons “have a plan” was dropped from the title screens at some point, but it was definitely there early on and they really didn’t have a plan, or understandable motivations at all. They are one dimensional villains apparently driven purely by spite. Other things that weren’t really explained were: the opera house, which seems to have been an extremely complicated allegory to help Hera walk a few metres down a corridor, Starbuck’s resurrection and disappearance, and Hera in general.

Hera was supposed to be special. She was so special we had to endure two ridiculous plotlines to ensure she was the only part-cylon child after the writers accidentally introduced two other part or fully cylon children. The first being Tyrol’s son actually turning out to be a product of the least believable affair in the history of TV, and the second being Six’s pregnancy and miscarriage (peak soap opera). And in the end, Hera turned out to be special because… she becomes mitochondrial Eve. Literally any of the women in the fleet or on the planet could have become mitochondrial Eve!

And then at the end they decided to abandon all technology (including medical technology), because… ??? And everyone’s perfectly happy with that, despite having mutinied only a few episodes ago for far less.

Another special moment: When Adama is picking a replacement admiral to stand in for him while he’s gone, he says “We need someone the fleet admires and respects… so we’re picking this guy who occasionally stands in the background! Well done, extra, you’ve earned it”.

I mean, I enjoyed the series as a whole, even though it went downhill after half way through S2, but you do have to switch your brain off for a lot of the later episodes. Which is frustrating as it was intellectually intriguing to begin with.

I think a good example of doing this stuff well is Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes. They managed to keep the intrigue right until the end, and then it concluded in probably the only way that really made sense, but was still unpredictable.


Unfortunately, all the TV programs I’m watching are going to end at pretty much the same time. Not through any planning on my part, I’m currently two episodes away from the end of Battlestar Galactica, The Expanse and Clone Wars!

I suppose after Clone Wars there’s Rebels (low expectations) and Bad Batch (high expectations, but not many episodes). I have quite enjoyed Clone Wars. For something that started off as a children’s show, it hits pretty hard in places. And now we’re so close to the end, they writers and producers really upped their game.

I wish I could say the same for BSG and The Expanse. I loved the first four seasons of The Expanse. The fifth, though, has lacked focus. Now I’m two episodes from the end and it’s still meandering without strong plotlines or plot development in general. I thought the 8th episode was particularly bad. Someone on Reddit mentioned that Naomi’s scenes occupied 40% of the runtime for the episode. I don’t mind Naomi, but her on her own running up and down a spaceship over and over again hardly makes for compelling viewing. It feels like Naomi’s plot is the only one that has been fleshed out this season, which is a shame, because it’s just not that interesting. In fact, Naomi is probably the least interesting character of the main cast. The plot with the Martian espionage that Bobby was following at the beginning of the season was classic Expanse, but it’s taken a back seat to the soap opera of Naomi’s family.

I don’t find Marco Inaros a particularly exciting villain. It seems like there are strong parallels to 9/11, but would Bin Laden have made for an interesting fictional villain? He spent 10 years in hiding because he spent all his power on one big but ultimately tactically stupid move. I get the same feelings from Marco. Okay, you did something big, but it was just one event and now you’re on borrowed time.

Battlestar is the same. I just watched ‘Daybreak Part 1’, which is the first of the last three episodes. I think actually it was originally broadcast as two episodes, but iPlayer has split it into three.

I can’t believe how boring it’s become. The last few episodes have been so slow. I thought with it being so close to the end that it would suddenly pick up, but even now on what was broadcast as the penultimate episode, it just feels like a big “so what?”. Half the episode was taken up by flashbacks to before the start of the series. Why are we being told at this late point that Laura Roslin had two sisters who were killed in a car crash? If you wanted to make this part of her character, you should have done it about 70 episodes ago.. Recent episodes also include “Starbuck learns to play the piano” and “let’s spend an hour watching characters give lectures to each other about the mythology of BSG”. I hope it ends well, but there’s barely been any plot development for a long time.