A house transformed

A number of years ago we looked into getting insulation - who hasn’t. However due to the nature of our old building we were unable to have internal wall insulation so we looked into, you guessed it, external wall insulation.

My wife explained to me that this would mean the house would end up being wrapped in a woolly blanket like a duvet. I am not sure my wife accepts that I can have a conversation at a higher level than a 4 year old however that is a thought for another day.

Now frankly years ago when I worked for a living we had no possibility of affording it so it would go on the long finger of hope.

Well this number of many years later we got the guys back out to quote and were pleased to see the quote had not gone up substantially which it could well have.

And so through a process that did take a while we ended up with scaffolding all around our house. Hence the title of this post, I will at some point run through the details of the process and experience of the external wall insulation, however for now I am obsessed about the guttering.

For some reason people have a habit of putting guttering flat. This has always puzzled me so recently when we got a local tradesman out to fix the facia and soffits we asked him to check on the guttering, we would provide more if needed, and to rehang them all as his immense skill level suggested.

While he did finish the job and get paid it was only because of the scaffolding that I have been places in the situation where I can accurately see how the gutters are. Due to the fact that the lower end of the gutter may need the downpipe to be cut down a couple of centimetres, to alter the level and therefore flow, it appears the local tradesman could not take this time to reduce the downpipes to alter the level. Therefore it appears he has rehung all the gutters in exactly the same place.

Thankfully the scaffolding around the entire property has not just meant that I have been able to rehang - ALL of them, but also that I have been able to replace 2 of the long 4m sections that had bowed and were pooling in sections. All the tradesman had to do was mention this fact and I would have purchased the new materials forth with.

We live at the top of a hill overlooking a valley to the other side around 3.5 miles away. I have also now been to the top of the roof of the house and taken some photos in the sun. Something I always wanted to do.

Once in a while having scaffolding around the whole property is a great thing.

Emma and the Beast

Last night it was -6 Celsius where I live with a wind chill factor making it feel -14. The various weather systems converging have given the opportunity for some individual growth for my son here in West Wales.

One of the Dragon camp criteria is for Scouts to camp out with members of another troop. Therefore my son the Explorer Scout and 2 friends from a local Scout group camped out in our back garden last night.

As I was leaving for work this morning I went to the tent to check on the boys who were still in the tent at 6am.

I think they all deserve a medal - I am not sure I could have done it knowing a nice warm house was only 2 gardens away……..

Well done boys.

Morning 1st March 2018

Boxing day 2016, I woke up and realised how heavy life was. In terms of life I really mean my weight. I was not the heaviest I had ever been but at my age in life the weight was causing me some issues in terms of simple things such as mobility. This is partly to do with me being super critical of my abilities - I was still active and teaching the physical things that I always had - just not as involved I expected of myself to be. I do not just want to teach but also to train at that level.

Over the last few years I have been aware of how my weight fluctuates and what I need to do to maintain and to loose weight. Believe me the third option of gaining weight is just frankly not a concern for me, it naturally happens with zero effort.

So why if I had been aware for around 4 years about how to loose weight had I not done so? Well I had done so - however the days off diet, even a single day, made it really difficult to get back onto diet. The reciprocal was similar but by no means the same.

When on diet it was easy to stay on diet and if I maintained it for a few days in a row the weight just fell off, however it was also very easy to come off diet. If I came off diet the weight increased in one day more than several days on diet.

As part of becoming a behaviour analyst we are taught to take data on everything - so I took the opportunity to take data on myself. I weighed on the same set of scales on the same surface first thing in the morning for a year. Now those of you who are astute will realise that the data is not every day - this is purely due to travelling for work on certain weeks. So for the most part there are a reasonable amount of data points.

You should be able to notice which days I had off. I actually noted in the data collection when I had an evening off or a day off as it was worth it to see the effects over the longer term.

And so fluctuates my weight - I wanted to get to 108kg by the end of 2017 however I passed that early in the year and reset the goal to be 104kg by the end of the year. This was actually achieved in the middle of the year and I have fluctuated since then. And so I have become a master at seeing the changes in my weight on a day to day basis and knowing exactly what I can do to change it. Yes this is in kilograms.

So data collection is a wonderful motivator, I get to see changes day to day and bar things like xmas I rarely take more than one day off at a time as I can see the alteration a day off diet can make.

The response effort was an issue so I have an icon on home screen of my phone that leads directly to a google form to put the data into an google sheet which generates the graph live. Making sure this was simple to do led me to be meticulous in recording every day that I could. Lowering the response effort is what has made the most difference in this project as this was the big difference from the previous few years.

Getting the Boys back together :-)

4th December 2017
We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.–Dr. Seuss

Miles & Linda 16th Aug 2017

with their publication of the middle third of the Graveyard

Narberth Museum welcomes judges 8 May 2013

Miles was the youngest volunteer and as such was interviewed by the TV and the judges

You can see Miles’s TV appearance here

I apologise if you feel I tangent too much. I was very much put off ABA in general for many years - I think I should mention that up front. This is as a result of exposure through my work and through some of my own research.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”
Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on yesterdays.
“TO SUCCEED…” To laugh often and love much, to win the respect of intelligent persons, and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to give one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived — this is, to have succeeded.
Anger is a form of energy. It cannot be destroyed, merely converted. In the case of humans anger transfers from one person to another. - Miles Cooke

“Please give us a simple answer, so that we don’t have to think, because if we think, we might find answers that don’t fit the way we want the world to be.”~ Terry Pratchett in Nation
“We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.”― Konstantin Jireček
“Attitude is like a wrist watch– every watch may show different time than others but everyone thinks that their watch is showing the right time” - anonymous