Thursday, 17 January 2019

Life in draft format

It seems I have written more than 3600 blogposts in the >18 years of bleating here, and have 101 drafts that have never seen the light of day.

Often this is a result of being stimulated by something, starting to write and then running out of energy/enthusiasm/newsworthiness before completing the post. Sometimes I'll start and think "this really isn't somewhere I want to go right now" and just park the thing as a draft, if it doesn't get deleted. And sometimes I'll just click 'new post' and then not write anything at all, which then saves a blank page as a draft.

So I may try to review and complete some of those 'parked' posts over the coming weeks. I'm sure that will make for a roller-coaster ride of thrills and excitement. ;-)

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

How is she doing?

An older lady telephoned St. Joseph's Hospital. She timidly asked, "Is it possible to speak to someone who can tell me how a patient is doing?"
The operator said, "I'll be glad to help, dear. What's the name and room number of the patient?"
The old lady in her weak, tremulous voice said, Norma Findlay, Room 302."
The operator replied, "Let me put you on hold while I check with the nurse's station for that room."
After a few minutes, the operator returned to the phone and said,
"I have good news. Her nurse just told me that Norma is doing well. Her
blood pressure is fine; her blood work just came back normal and her
Physician, Dr. Cohen, has scheduled her to be discharged tomorrow."
The lady said, "Thank you. That's wonderful. I was so worried. God bless you for the good News."
The operator replied, "You're more than welcome. Is Norma your daughter?"
The lady said, "No, I'm Norma Findlay in Room 302. No one tells me anything."

Talking of old ladies, apparently Julie Andrews will no longer be endorsing Rimmel Vibrant Shades lipstick as she claims it breaks too easily and makes her breath smell

In a statement she said: “The super colour fragile lipstick gives me halitosis”

Descent of the machines

Not so much rise of the robots then? Sometimes common sense seems like a superpower.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Apparently it's true

Two peoples separated by a common language.

We didn't have the "green thing".


Yesterday after shopping in our local supermarket I was in the queue at the Check Out and heard when the young cashier suggested to the much older lady that she should bring her own grocery bags, because plastic bags are not good for the environment.

The woman apologised to the young girl & then sighed, "We didn't have this 'green thing' back in my earlier days."

The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. You folk didn't do enough to save our environment for future generations."

The older lady said "Ahh yes you're right -- our generation didn't have the "green thing" in its day." She sighed then continued:
Back then, we returned milk bottles, lemonade bottles & beer bottles to the shops. The shops then sent them back to the plant to be washed, sterilized & refilled, so those same bottles were used over & over, thus REALLY were recycled. But we didn't have the "green thing" back in our day.

Grocery stores put our groceries into brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things. Most memorable was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) were not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalise our books on their brown paper bag/covers. But, too bad we didn't do the "green thing" back then.

I remember how we walked up stairs because we didn't have an escalator in every store or office building; walked to the grocery store & didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go 200 yards.

Back then we washed the baby's nappies because we didn't have the throw away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts. Wind & solar power really did dry our clothes back in our days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. . . . But we didn't have the "green thing" back in our day.

Back then we had one radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And if anyone did own a TV, it had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of a football pitch. When cooking we blended & stirred by hand, we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send by post, we used layers of old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But we didn't have the "green thing" back then.

We drank from a tap or fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, & we replaced the razor blade in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn't have the "green thing" back then. Back then, people took the bus & kids rode bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mothers into a 24-hour taxi service in the family's expensive car or van, which cost what a whole house did before the "green thing"..

Oh and we had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest leisure park."

. . . . But it's so sad this current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the "green thing" back then?

Thursday, 10 January 2019

We always knew Apple computer was a servant of Satan.

Oh, and Samsung, HTC, Xiaomi etc too, at least if you're part of the Russian Orthodox church anyway.

So now advocating for privacy has (sort of) religious backing too.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Waiting at Heathrow.

I've just seen a man step across the barrier with a huge happy/sad smile as a child came through the arrivals door. He kissed the boy - obviously his son, then kissed the older lad following.

A woman, also with the boys came through, swathed in a burka, and he barely even noticed she was there.

The first act made me happy, but the second quite sad. At least he knows HOW to show love.

Why don't you DIE?!

Probably not the best thing to shout in the circumstances.

Shelob was apparently not amused.

Just signed a card for someone's 60th birthday


I've got just 3 years to go, and 60 always seemed so old in a Kevin and Perry "you're so old you're practically dead" way.

40 didn't seem old at all really.

50 wasn't ideal, but was still OKish.

60? Sod that for a game of soldiers.

Someone here was talking just now about going mad, then one day taking off all their clothes and running round with a chainsaw. I have the chainsaw, but the madness bit doesn't really appeal, nor the public nudity. But stuff this age business.

Where does one go from here, other than the gentle decline to senility, heart attacks (if you're lucky) or the home for geriatrics (if you aren't)?

What makes one personal preference OK and another not?

I was mildly amused at this article about a man who finds younger women attractive and older women not. So it's all about love when it comes to same-sex relationships, but it's not when it comes to youth and beauty?

Love, lust and infatuation are apparently a confusing mixture.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Just like that

Christmas is over, we've been back at work a few days and all the decs & stuff are in the loft. How quickly the season and holiday passes.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Not impressed.

Really fed up with all these new years sales. Went to Selfridges and they don't sell fridges. Went to Currys and they don't sell curries. Went to Boots and they don't sell boots. I wasn't very impressed with the Virgin Megastore either.

Just to say, this IS a joke BTW. :p

Sunday, 30 December 2018


It proved to be "a lot more fiddly than expected" to Chris, who had been encouraging me to fix it for several years. In retrospect, I can see that my father knew how a yacht should *look* but not how it worked. I have pretty much restored it to the original rigging, but would need to re-arrange things for it to sail effectively. This also explains why it wasn't very good. 

Missing someone.

As a child - quite a small one - I had this model yacht. Originally it came with 2 masts and pairs of sails like a sailing ship, but that was dumb and ineffective. My father made a new set of masts and rigging using tools and materials from the modelshop he ran, and although it never sailed well, it did at least look the part.
Move forward almost 50 years, the mast he made got broken somewhere along the line, and I'm now doing reconstruction to make it workable again. Most likely it will end up in the bathroom as a decoration, but I know a couple of small boys who may get to try it in a few years time.
It has just occurred to me that my father was probably younger than our son is now, when he did this. I don't often miss him (he's been dead more than 25 years) but this is a time when I do.

You know when

The phone signal has been good and you haven't needed to use it: 1 day 16 hours since last charge and it's still on 81%.

I've recently been getting just 3 days out of a charge, because I've been reading, taking pictures and sending videos over 4G data. It had made me wonder if the battery in this wasn't as good as the one in Chris's, but this shows it's really fine.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Repair or replace? Really??!

Sometimes I play bass. I'm not a 'great' bass player in that I play simple stuff, root & fifth with fills & runs plus occasional alternating octaves. Probably the biggest asset is that I play for the song, so I'm more concerned about making sure I play in tune and in time with an appropriate rhythm (you'd be amazed how many bass players must more able than me don't manage to do all those things).

The week before Christmas I broke the handle on my bass cab, carrying it out of a rehearsal. The cab itself is an ancient 150W Carlsbro with a 15" speaker, and being a substantial lump to cart around is far from ideal as I'm no longer in my 20s.

So how does one get a replacement strap for what appears to be a custom (budget) design?

Ebay? furrgeddaboutit.

Amazon? Ditto.

OK, alternatives then.

Traditionally guitar cabs have inset handles on the sides or strap handles on the top, although sprung swing-out handles can also be used. This cab is made from cheap chipboard judging by the weight, which means wood screws won't work, so the cab must be stripped & T nuts fitted behind any new handles to spread the load and prevent the wood tearing out.

Suddenly we're up to a major exercise in engineering and farting about, as well as sourcing handles, bolts, T nuts etc. It's really irritating, and I almost wonder if it's worth replacing the cab with something lighter and more modern to A) save the hassle and B) make carting the kit easier. But even if I keep it, I've still got to spend 20 quid on parts that I hope can be made to usefully fit.

Friday, 21 December 2018

I've read a couple of interesting things recently

Interesting if you care about business & technology, but also if you care about the human element in those areas.

An oral recollection by Evelyn Berezin about both her life as a child of Russian immigrants in the US and also development of the first true word processor.

Operation Elop, which covers the appointment of Stephen Elop as chief executive of Nokia and the eventual fate of their phone business.

It makes one realise how much businesses depend on people, how fragile they are, and how mere chance can sometimes bring the whole thing down.

Monday, 17 December 2018

I've had no threats of bombs or acid attacks, so far.

Which is a good thing.

What makes these people a) so particularly unpleasant and b) so monumentally stupid?

Just to reiterate, if anyone ever threatens to uncover your secrets unless you pay a cryptocurrency ransom, don't believe them. And certainly NEVER pay them a ransom, because it will only encourage them to continue.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

On a roll


I Can Take A Hint!

The Memsahib is always saying,"That toilet brush hasn't got my name on it you know!"

Never let it be said I do not listen. I am having her name engraved on a brand new brush for Christmas.

I know, I spoil her too much but I'm just that kind of guy.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Am I a sucker?

Courtesy of black Friday/cyber Monday I changed my 5" phone for a 6" phone of the nominally same type as Chris's. The idea was that in use, mine would be just like hers, any problems could be sorted by me etc etc. Plus I read quite a bit on the phone these days, and a bigger screen helps make the experience a little more fluid.

Typing doesn't seem any better though, judging from all the typos I just fixed. :p

 Bloomin' 'eck though, 6" is a big old lump in your pocket. Whoever can invent a phone with a holographic or projected screen that works in daylight and responds to touch, while being small and easily pocketable in itself will be onto a winner.

According to Facebook I was in Hyundai Banbury 24th November

Normally I'd assume this is some poisonous phishing email, but ALL the links go to Faceberk. I haven't knowingly EVER been to that place, certainly not around 11.30 on Monday 24th November, and apart from Whatsapp, I don't have any other software from that particular empire of evil on my phone.

So why the email, why there and why now, a couple of weeks later?

I also REALLY wish there was a viable alternative to Whatsapp.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Could a trend reverse?

Mobile devices have become the thing to work on.  The world is converting to tablet computing for working on, right, driven by Apple innovation.

Or perhaps not?

To me, the idea that a device running an OS clearly designed for media consumption that also allows the creative luvvies to process photos and create 'paintings' could actually be a useful business tool for the shop floor is counter-intuitive. Sure it can use web-based apps (as long as it can find a connection) to upload data & work, but it's been crippled horribly as far as connectivity goes, and as real for multi-tasking like a professional would require a computer to do - furgeddit.

So into this breach steps the Chinese company with an un-pronouncable name to produce a laptop that appears plainly designed for business use. Sadly it's at a professional price too, but still less than the equivalent fruity machine. When the time comes to replace Dellboy (the XPS15 - hopefully not for several years yet) then these could give Dell a run for their money.

Remember, if you aren't the paying customer of a service

then you're the product. I think we're about to see interesting times in mobile 'phone' interfaces in relation to GDPR.

Is creating stories to explain theology good?

Or to ask differently, is the reading of stories to explain theology as though they were factual actually healthy or helpful?

OK, as an ex-fundamentalist I love the idea of reading the bible & taking it at face value, but these days my conscience won't allow it. I've long known that Christians tend to 'make up' stories, both in history (St Columba anyone?) and in contemporary times (prosperity gospel, snake handling, un-substantiated stories of miraculous happenings).

How about when the bible is more about theology than history?

So I suspect for many current Christians Genesis would fall into this category. Intelligent design? 7 day creation? God's use of evolution? There's much to debate, and no argument about that.

What about Exodus? It reads like a historic record with a bit of prophesy thrown in, and if you've a Christian background stretching to childhood then it's hard to read it as anything other than a history of Israel leaving Egypt, led by a man spent "40 years thinking he was somebody, 40 years discovering he was nobody, then 40 years finding out what God could do with a nobody". But the problem with this is that if you look & find a thread hanging loose, pulling at the thread makes if feel like the tapestry of *history* is unraveling as you pull.

I've barely started really, but I'm already convinced Moses didn't do the 40/40/40 years thing, simply from the given history of events. The idea that the book is written *like* history in order to provide theology seems most likely, yet that then provides significant trouble when reading the rest of the bible if those events didn't happen as described. It's even worse when one remembers human nature about the winners writing history, but that's somewhere I don't *yet* want to go.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Loneliness is a curious thing.

I like my own company, but can feel more alone when surrounded by other people. I'm sure it's to do with affection, connection and agreement more than having company. Just having a bit of affection isn't enough, and there needs to be a certain degree of agreement too for the connection to happen.