This guy existed

I was doing some research for a thing today and came across this wikipedia page:

Sounds like a cartoon villain, but was actually a Field Marshal and also Governor of the Crown Prince of Prussia, the future King Frederick II.

If you didn’t recognise his name immediately, it might be because you know him better as Karl-Wilhelm Reichsgraf Finck von Finckenstein, but are all well aware, Reichsgraf is a title, usually translated as ‘Count’, and not a first or middle name.



I like drinking coffee. Despite the fact that I am Yorkshire born and bred, I’m not a huge fan of tea. Coffee is my hot beverage of choice. However, while I know what I like (and what I don’t like), I wouldn’t describe myself as a coffee snob.

Nor am I a coffee addict. I can stop whenever I want, and I always do stop if I get a bit trembly, which is way before things go downhill towards tummy ache time.

That said, when I do stop if I get a bit trembly, I always start again at some point. And I’m still here.

This one is from Nathan W Pyle – you may remember him from posts such  as Strange Planet. I’m still enjoying those cartoons on his Instagram.


Over the weekend, (almost) all my new found Turkish twitter followers clucked off.

I know, Turkeys don’t cluck. Can’e bothered to change it.

I’d love to explain what might have happened, but no-one really knows, so I’ll leave the summing to @Arfness (thanks again) with this thread here.

And while that thread makes interesting reading, here’s the tl;dr:

 So, what is going on? Why follow somebody en masse and then unfollow them 48 hours later?
I suspect that these are spam accounts that are looking for follow-back. By building a following of credible and “real accounts”, spam accounts can gain a veneer of credibility.
It may be something to do with Twitter’s automatic spam detection, or simply a method to look more legitimate to potential ad targets.

I love that I (perhaps inadvertently) got classed as “credible” and a “real account”. It’s two of the nicest things anyone’s ever said about me.

Join me again next week, as – for no apparent reason – my Instagram account is infiltrated by Russian hackers, posing as Iranians.

Bet that’s irritating

Yes, it is.

I don’t know a lot about rugby (see yesterday’s post), and it seems that I don’t know a lot about betting on rugby either.

Earlier in the week, in an effort to learn more about rugby, I have a look at what the bookies thought might happen in the RWC quarter finals. The bookies are nearly always right in these matters, and that’s why they are still all in business. I popped a 4-way accumulator on the four matches (which I won, but not much) and then I looked at the SA v Japan fixture. I felt that this one was going to be close. SA underperform fairly regularly at RWC tournaments (often due to the ref – and I checked that there was going to be a ref in this match), and Japan have been the surprise package of the World Cup so far. I was therefore amazed to see that I could get ridiculous odds for the points difference being 0-27. Fourteen to one. Fourteen!

“I’m having some of that,” I thought, as I had some of that.

It was only later in the week that I finally understood what I had actually bet on. Not the points difference between the teams (i.e. the winning margin), but the total number of points scored in the match.


“Never mind, can’t do much about it now,” I thought, neither minding nor doing anything about it now.

It’s not like you can change your mind on these things (well, you can, but you don’t get your money back). I considered it a sign and tried to forget about it. Until, that is, that I wandered in from the garden at half time today and noted that the score was only 5-3.

Sadly, Japan capitulated a little in the second half, and it seems that my bet went out of the window with about 10 minutes to go.

The final score was 26-3, meaning that I lost my bet (and an awful lot of winnings) by just 2 points. Injurious, sure.
However, insult was very much added to that injury when I realised that my initial prediction  (that the points margin would be less than 27) proved to have absolutely correct and also absolutely without value, since I hadn’t actually placed a bet on that happening any more. I’d placed the bet on something that didn’t happen instead.

I think I’ll stick to football in future. Already, I have decided that both the winning margin and the total number of goals in today’s ManU v Liverpool game will be less than 27.

Safety first.



I added some sprints to my workout at the gym today. Sprints in my workout at the gym are good because short sprints are an integral part of the weekly 5-a-side football that keeps me young(-ish).

Today probably wasn’t the best day to start them, though. There was clearly a problem with the aircon at the gym and it was uncomfortably warm in there. I tired more quickly than I might usually have done, and with all the sweating and the shortness of breath, I was just waiting for the chest pains to kick in for the myocardial infarction trifecta.

I did consider giving up but “well, it was a bit warm” really didn’t cut it as anything other than a pathetic excuse when I played it back in my head, so I kept going. Good for me.

I used a free-running machine* for my sprints. It was the first time I’ve used one. I don’t like running on treadmills and I can now tell you that I don’t like running on free-running machines either. I can run on trails, tracks, grass and tarmac with no issue, but I constantly felt like I was having to concentrate just to not fall off the thing. Lean a bit forward and it takes off like a jet, lean slightly backwards and it almost instantly stops, like some wild, mutant Segway.

18kph for 150m never felt so dangerous. Eliud Kipchoge would never have got anywhere near 26 miles on a Virgin Active free-running machine. Every sprint was like a 30 second panic attack. (Although obviously, it would probably have taken him a lot less than 30 seconds.)

Records show that my heart rate topped 180bpm, but probably only 150 of them were due to the exercise, the balance being made up by sheer terror.

I’m proud of myself for being so stupid overcoming my fears and doing several (or more) repeats, though. My legs feel tired, but good tired, and I can actually believe that after a few more goes on the scary machine, I’ll be going a bit faster on the football field.

Assuming that I don’t break some important bones while doing it.


* aka:”A Self-Powered Treadmill”