Monday, 26 October 2009

Yeah - I'm heading for a heart attack!

I had a good bike ride on my single speeder yesterday and used my heart monitor for the first time. In 4 hilly places my heart rate topped 172 bpm, making the monitor warning beep like crazy. It's programmed with my age, height and weight. However the BIG place was the pedestrian Tyne Tunnel where I carried the bike down the stairs, cycled fast through the tunnel and carried the bike up the 100 odd wooden stairs.

It looked like I peaked at 177 bmp at the top of the stairs. According to medical reports this is my "heart attack" region. Using the formula for my maximum heart rate:

HRmax = 205.8 − (0.685 × age)


HRmax = (205.8 - 34.4555) = 171.3

So I am now dead and I have written this on my internet Ouija board.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Bike Porn - Totally Naked....of mudguards and rack.

Kona Jake

Shall I buy or wait?

I hate decisions!!!!

The curse of Malware and Microsoft

So, I'll come straight to the point - I visited a dodgy website. I was on Pirate Bay looking to see what's on offer and I clicked on a link - absentmindedly.  BANG! WHOOSH. BEEPS!!!!  My Avast! anti-virus had a field day after spending the last 18 months with little to do.

Loads of files were being sent to the Virus Chest. Although this is the free version, I had every confidence in it's performance and it's usually updated daily. I've also a hardware firewall and a software firewall to help things from finding a safe environment in my computer. However, things started to come fast and furious. 

I stopped the INTERNET connection. However soon after Avast! anti-virus became jammed and no amount of service stopping and starting would get it to update or run correctly. 

First port of call after I rebooted was the Avast website for information. Ha! The virus had hijacked the HOST file, the file had also lost it's security permissions. I wasn;'t able to change it directly although this may have been a Vista measure. Even when I changed it to the correct configuration, webpages for Avast, Microsoft, and any other help sites were blocked.

I tried my trusty PSList to view the running processes, this also was blocked. Task manager was blocked...It was starting to look very serious. Luckily I own a laptop and had to use that to connect to the internet. I found everyone recommended a program called Malwarebytes and I transfered that to my computer (very carefully - making sure autorun was disabled) by memory stick.

Once run, Malwarebytes deleted a lot of files. But, webpage was still being blocked. I used Hijackthis to view what was happening. I deleted a few files manually, but still no luck.

I was now able to run a full Virus scan in safe mode (F8), the main warnings were:


Win32:Malob-V (Cryp)


Lots of files with weird names like: ncxmareows.exe, a.dat, b.exe, c.exe....being found. A study of the internet revealed that the Vitur virus is a particularly nasty one to recovery from and I soon started to agree.

I was puzzled why I wasn't able to access PSlist and found that the c:\windows directory structure was compromised. An error showing "Access Control Structure (ACL) is invalid. Now this is getting a bit too weird.

A this point I made the decision for a complete re-install. The word on the internet showed that even a format wont take the malware virus down, it'll have to be a repartition, full formation and re-install. This was late at night and I decided to do one last thing before I accepted defeat, use the old command "chkdsk /r".

This morning after I woke, I also decided to take the risk of a restore point. If it failed I'd only lose a day. A massive download of service packs and re-installs of all my applications dreaded me. So, I booted up with the F8 and ran a restore to a week earlier. After 3 hours it finished. 

At the moment everything looks promising. All webpages look OK. Only time will tell.

Here's the programs I recommend:




If anything happens in the next few days I'll update.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Halfway Hause*

This walk was Mountainmanjunior's halfway point in his relentless pursuit of the Wainwrights.

5:45am 18th October 2009, I woke up tired and felt tired all day, don't know why but I did.

Met Ross at his parents house and parked up my car this time as he was bursting to try out his new Toyota Aygo (wouldn't have been great being a Yugo Aygo - wherever You go, I go! - OK it's not that funny).

We soon arrived at Glenridding despite the small engine of the car, proving that you don't really need big engines to motor along. The heart stopping point arrived very early in the morning even before we left the car park - £6.50 to park! This is disgraceful! 

After that blood rush we soon walked up to the first Wainwright which was Glenridding Dodd and wondered where the actual top was as it had 4 or 5 cairns all around. The actual top is the summit as the GPS track proved. From here there was a broad ridge walk up to a sometimes pathless Sheffield Pike and this was Mountainmanjunior's halfway point - 107th Wainwright. 

Up to this point the weather had been cool and slight breezey. We descended towards Lucy's Tongue (sniggers) and up "The Chimney" (more sniggering) on Stang. The higher we climbed towards Raise the worse the weather became. By amazingly great navigation (probably luck) we were only 20 metres off the summit of Raise in thick cloud. 

The summit of Raise was cold, wet and breezy, so it was no place to sit around. Ross set a course for Whiteside, which we found easily and then descended rapidly to get out of the wind and drizzle.

Although more sheltered, the weather was always present to some degree. We soon arrived at the mine workings and YHA and walked back along Greenside Road to the main car park.

It was a fairly short route at 5 hours, but that's mainly because Mountainmanjuniour's getting fitter, rather then a short route. Route was 8.66miles long and half of that was unpathed!

* -> A Hause is a Lake District term for a mountain Pass.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Throw it in the Binsey!

OK, so Mountainmanjunior beat me to the "Great Cockup" title race...drat! Congratulations on the 100th Wainwright, by the way. 

We parked the car at Over Water, a small tarn or lake in the Northern Lake District. For some reason, there was hundreds of geese in the same field as the sheep...A flock of woolly geese? Anyhow we set off and down the road, through a very small village and onto Junior's 100th Wainwright, appropriately called "Great Cockup".

The weather started off a bit "dreach" but improved in the that the sun came out later in morning.  

As you can see bright sun and grass blindness was the order of the day after the rain clouds blow away to God knows where!

This picture represents the sadness of a Wainwright bagger, alone on a grassy hill. This is the reality of the lonely monastic life that awaits Junior and his bagging ambitions.

That small bump in the distance is Juniors 105th Wainwright, Binsey. For some strange reason, my ankle was incredibly painful when wearing my boots and I ending up, to junior's amusement, wearing sandals. But, I still bagged the summit, despite being terrified of sheep shite being squashed between my toes!

A nice little day's walk in a secluded area of the Lake District, but to be perfectly honest, this area isn't probably going to be a frequent visiting place for me.

The car journey home was as I suspected, going North past Carlisle. The GPS unit actually made a good route bypassing Carlisle to the south. I only save 10 miles and about 10 minutes on our normal A66 route though.

One amusing thing that happened in Caldbeck and no pictures were taken, was having to stop the car to let a bull walk past.