Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Wednesday 30 July 2003

Problems on 'Blogger' page resolved

I mentioned yesterday a minor residual problem on my page, after the major problem I experienced last week had been resolved. A very helpful person at Blogger has now resolved the HTML glitch in my page for me - I am very grateful for this and am specially impressed by the speed and responsiveness of the people there. Thanks!

Tuesday 29 July 2003

Atkins Low Carbohydrate Diet - Week 6

I seem now to be entering a slower phase of weight loss whilst still doing 'Induction' - this is apparently perfectly normal. This week, upto last Sunday evening, I lost 1.5kg (weight now 84kg). However, reduction in various size measurements seems to be continuing well:
- waist down a further 0.9 inches to 37.8 inches (total reduction so far 7.2 inches);
- hips down 0.7 inches to 45 inches (total reduction so far 3.5 inches);
- thighs down 0.6 inches to 25.5 inches (total reduction so far 3.0 inches).
Major downtime with my 'Blogger' page - seems now resolved

Last Friday, after having seemingly successfully completed a minor update to the links in the right-hand column, I noticed my blog was not loading correctly. Eventually I discovered that a large part of the HTML code for the main page appeared to have disappeared - it was just gone. I have no idea how this happened, although I suspect it has something to do with publishing problems I experienced when trying to re-publish all the archive pages to take account of the changes I had carried out.

Luckily, as I use BlogSpot Plus, I was able to lodge a problem ticket. The people at Blogger were able to restore the full template, presumably from backup files the system maintains - and this evening it seems to be working more or less OK again, although there appears now to be a minor error with an unterminated string in the HTML coding which I am attemptimg to identify and correct.

Tuesday 22 July 2003

Uday and Qusay killed in Mosul Shoot-out

The US military have confirmed this evening that the two sons of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Uday and Qusay, have been killed in a gun-battle lasting four hours in Mosul today. It seems that an Iraqi tipped off the US military of the whereabouts of the two and a force in the hundreds was despatched to confront them.

Excellent news! Now it remains to catch (or kill) their odious father.

Monday 21 July 2003

Atkins Low Carbohydrate Diet - Weeks 4 and 5

Well, I didn't get round to posting last week on my return from Holland as I had a lot to do and think about. The week I was away was really a period of stand-still so far as weight loss is concerned, but in the circumstances I'm happy enough with that. I did stick pretty closely to the 'Induction'-style diet, although I suspect the portion sizes may have been a little bigger than recommended. The big departure was, however, drinking wine - not in huge quantities, but certainly more than just one 100ml glass a day! Over weeks 4 and 5, however, I lost a further 3kg as at Sunday evening last (the day I record my measurements), so my weight then was 85.5kg. I'm pleased to say I lost a further 1.1 inches on the waist (now 38.7 inches) and a very good 0.8 inches on the hips (now 45.7 inches). I also feel very well, better than for quite a few years, and my appetite now seems to be under pretty good control, provided I continue to stick to the rules specified by Atkins. As I am experiencing no hunger at all, this shouldn't in most circumstances be too difficult.

Monday 7 July 2003

Atkins Low Carbohydrate Diet - Week 3

Amazingly I have lost a further 3kg this week - weight now 88.5kg. Total weight loss so far is 9.5kg (20.9lb). Waist down a further 1.2 inches to 39.8 (total waist reduction so far an amazing 5.2 inches), with losses in all other key areas. Next report will not be before 16 July, as I leave Tuesday for a short break in Europe - I'll keep to the basic diet, but may slip a little with wine consumption, probably inevitable as I shall be attending a wedding.

Wednesday 2 July 2003

"You'd make a good concentration camp guard"

This is how Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, responded to perfectly valid comment by a German MEP, a member of a Party banned in Germany during the Nazi era.

Mr Berlusconi has taken over as President of the Council of Ministers of the EU from 1st July for the coming six months and was making his inaugural speech to the European Parliament in this role.

Mr Berlusconi's government in Italy very recently passed legislation granting immunity from prosecution to Heads of Government (i.e. Mr Berlusconi) whilst in office, necessary to prevent him from being prosecuted on various alleged crimes including corruption and false accounting.

The German MEP, whilst a placard was raised in the Parliament reading "No Godfather for Europe", wondered aloud whether Mr Berlusconi is a suitable person to be President of the Council of Ministers. I wonder about this, too.

Within hours of Mr Berlusconi's outrageous remarks, the Italian Ambassador in Berlin was called in to the Chancellor's office, rather than to the Foreign Minister's, so that Mr Schroder could lodge a formal protest and demand a full public apology from Mr Berlusconi. There is talk this evening (on the BBC 10pm television news) that if such an apology is not forthcoming by noon tomorrow then the European Parliament may cut ties with the Council of Ministers.

Tense times ahead. I'll be curous to know how the European Parliament reacts if the current French President, the 'alleged crook' Jacques Chirac, is still President of France when it is time for the French to do their next six month 'stint' as President. We're supposed to respect these people - but in the case of these two 'gentlemen' this is extremely difficult (for me at least).