When I sit down of a week-end at the PC to do some work, it is my habit to start off with three games of St. Petersburg before starting work.
Not only does it allow me a bit of time to wake up and become more alert before starting work but it also determines the next Spurs result. If I win all three games (my win percentage is about 55% but I got off to a slow start) then Spurs win their next game. If I win two of the three, then the game will be a draw. If, God forbid, I lose all three then something truly horrible happens like Gareth Bale getting a season-ending injury to his hairstyle.
Of course, I have no statistical proof to back up my assertion that how I perform in a computerised version of a board game is the deciding factor in Spurs' fortunes - quite the reverse, in fact, as yesterday's 1-1 draw with Newcastle proves (after I won only one out of three games on Saturday morning) - but, a bit like religious belief, it is an article of faith, and I am not going to let inconvenient facts get in the way of the perpetuation of my fantasy.
It occurred to me today (Sunday) that I really ought to update the Fiendishgames web site. This qualifies as work, after a fashion. Yet, with Spurs having played only yesterday, is there any pressing need for me to start off with three quick games of Saint Petersburg? Probably, as they no doubt have a midweek match.
It did occur to me, however, that the Saint Petersburg time could be more productively spent updating this blog and, you know, leaving Spurs to their own devices.
As it happens, today I have done both. Spurs' next game will be a draw, by the way.Get your motor running, head out on the highway
Those of you who have known me a long time will know I am not one of life's natural car drivers. I did not learn to drive until I was well into my forties and even then I only learnt to drive an automatic because I could not be bothered with all that changing gear nonsense.
Turns out I could not be bothered with all that changing oil nonsense, either, as I managed to crock my engine last year by ignoring that horrible whining noise I was hearing whenever I drove - I thought it was number one son in the passenger seat.
I must admit, I thought a little light would come on and tell me when I was running low on oil, and maybe it should have. Nationwide Autocentres, now renamed Halfords Autocentres, seemed to think my oil gauge was knackered.
Anyhoo, all other bits of the car were working well so instead of buying a new car I decided to replace the engine at a cost of £750. In the way of things, this became about £900 once the garage had found some other things wrong with some of those complicated looking black bits under the bonnet.
As it is a refurbished engine I was instructed to bring it back after 500 to 600 miles for a service, and not to take it above 50 mph or 2,500 rpm in the meantime.
That was quite an interesting experience, and I am sure I cheesed off quite a few car drivers by pottering along the A10. More worryingly, I had a habit of watching the revs when I should have been watching the road.
This happened most often when the car - which is an automatic, remember - always seemed to be on the cusp of shifting gears, while not quite making it. I'd be easing my way up slowly from, say, 35 mph to 45 mph, and the rpm would be hovering somewhere between 2.5k and 3k.
Automatics seem to be quite conservative when it comes to changing gears, as if they want to make sure you really are going to keep belting along at 50mph or more before changing gear.
Apparently, Smart cars are semi-automatic, which I presume enables the driver to flick up or down a gear and override the automatic system.
Have I proved I know feck all about cars, yet?
In order to ensure that I would remember to take the car back for a service on time, I set the "trip" facility on the dashboard to keep track of how many miles I have done.
Normally I have the dashboard utility set to calculate how many miles per gallon (why not miles per litre? Just does not seem right, somehow, does it?) I am doing, but on this occasion I set the utility to track my average speed. As I was not supposed to go above 50mph, I was interested to see what average speed I would clock up.Answer: 18 mph
Admittedly, I did not get off to the best of starts, picking up my car from the garage in Leyton in the middle of the evening rush hour. I think my average mph on the 20 mile or so trip to Leyton was 11.
A few trips up and down the A10 got it up to 19 mph. Another trip to and from Leyton got it back down to 18 mph again, but in general, since hitting 18 or 19 mph and using it mainly to poodle around town, to the station and back, the average has stayed on or around 19 mph.
If you had asked me what my average speed would have been for the duration of the exercise, I guess I would have gone a bit higher, somewhere in the mid twenties. Somewhere around 20 mph seems about right for motoring around town but the odd blast on the A10 or M11 should crank the average up a bit.
I've now had the 600 mile service, and had the 50 mph and 2,500 rpm restrictions removed. I need to go back for another service in six months or after 6,000 miles, whichever comes first, in order to maintain the warranty. So, in theory, I no longer need to keep track of how many miles I have done; there is no way I am going to do 6,000 miles in less than six months. However, I have now become absorbed with the whole average miles per hour experiment.
I reckon if I can get my average up above 25 mph before the end of May, Spurs will win the title.