Merry Christmas – whoever/wherever you all are

It’s Christmas Day 2021. Traditionally a day when the family gets together and … does whatever families that get together do when they get together.

Present score is

  • Connected by phone to my elder sister.
  • Connected by phone to my younger sister’s telephone which has no ‘your call is important blah blah’. Pro Tip Sheila – turn it on.
  • Imagined connecting with my younger brother who apparently is still conducting a no internet, no email campaign. No old school spirit there 🙁
  • Kids have organized two separate web events – one Zoom today, one Webex tomorrow. Hoping to see/hear all of them allowing for grandchild-centered emergencies
  • Could this be the year my sister-in-law calls?

Looking forward to Christmas 2022 by which time everybody will be octuple vaccinated* and face-to-face becomes the ‘word of the year’. In the meantime, here are some previous WOTY winners

*  not counting seasonal flu shot

Forward to the past or whatever

As a Windows user, I suffer frequent irritations when the Mother Ship sends down ‘updates’ often at inopportune moments. The whirling dots of updates are provided for your entertainment. Last month I got the opposite of an update – presumably a downdate – when the Mother Ship wanted to undo the damage. Thanks, I suppose.

Draw a diagram!

More than sixty years ago, I was taught mathematics by a relatively young teacher named Dan Drummond who was responsible for Pure and Applied Mathematics in later grades. One of the things I recall is his advice on written problem solving – “Draw a diagram, boy!”. The assumed logic behind it was that by visualising a problem you were disregarding all the extraneous clutter that came with the problem as stated and could concentrate on the essential elements of the actual problem … which would make it simpler to solve the problem.

The use of diagrams for explaining or defining issues was recognized by Euclid. If it was good enough for one of the math gods, it was good enough for me.

You can read more about the Oxyrhynchus Papyri here

On a more modern note, while staying at the Lan Tian hotel in Shanghai 10 years back there was a problem with the digital alarm clock in my room. My Mandarin wasn’t up to writing a note to the room service lady but a diagram crossed the language barriers and resolved the issue as well as getting a ‘written’ response from the room service lady.

Let’s try that again …

My ‘normal service to be resumed’ was obviously premature.

I must have been distracted by … COVID and/or just the the minutiae of everyday life. This is a serious attempt at filling in some gaps.

Normal Service Resumed …

Well, maybe.

It’s been a busy 18 months since I last posted here. Sold the house and bought another one; visited Germany twice; visited England once; been to Mexico; planning a month in Portugal; continued with software stuff (struggling with new usernames and passwords); built three large pro bono web sites; lost a large number of golf balls; and found another life partner – the most significant news of all.

Get back to work!!!

Yes, it’s been a while since the last post. Yes, I am going to be updating and adding material ‘soon’. Yes, I have some serious resolutions for 2017. And sibling catalysis will play a role …


It’s later than you think

Over the past couple of weeks, the weather here was beautiful. Blue skies, warm sunshine, temperatures in the high teens. Me wondering why the golf course was closed but feeling it was just as well as I had a zillion small chores I ought to do before it got cold.

Splat! High winds, temperatures around and below zero, and horizontal snow – the best kind because it blows away (or drifts deep around the house), followed by some rain and more snow. I look at my uncompleted ‘outdoor’ list and hope I can get a dry, windless, not too cold weekend. At least then I can run the gas-powered gardening devices until they’re out of gas and can be poked away in a garage that could use about six weeks of tidying up.

And then the sun goes down. It’s later than I think. Time to start re-planning all the great outdoor things I’ve had on the to-do-list for years and actually get them done in 2017 … mostly, maybe.

I’m a teapot

Of late, I’ve been having all kinds of troubles with this site. The deeper I look, the more confused the picture becomes. I am hoping for enlightenment and a solution or that the issue(s) go away and stay away.

At least, I’m not getting 418 errors.

details at

See details at

Do people adapt faster than cats?

Once again, the ‘Spring forward, Fall back’ (or whatever you call it) thrusts us into uncharted territory. Do I get up in the dark, nap all afternoon, then go to sleep earlier (or is that later) … or something else.

The Time ChangeTM is a great opportunity to get all the clocks and devices that display the time to show the same time (whether it’s right or wrong).  Some of my devices are up to 10 minutes fast, others are up to 5 minutes slow. This occasionally causes consternation when I leave the house in plenty of time and by the time I get into the car I’m five minutes late.

But after a week, I’m fairly adapted to the ‘real’ time.  The cats, not so much. They know it’s time to be fed. They are on ‘stomach time‘. They sit by empty bowls in the afternoon and look pathetic until I give in and feed them early – 3pm my time, 4pm stomach time. And in the mornings, they are jumping on the bed, making piteous noises, generally being underfoot and complete a**holes until I produce food – in total darkness these days – before anything else.