It would be fair to say that I'm between social networks. I don't mean I'm not participating, no. I mean that I'm inhabiting the void between those I used to be active in. Ok, ok, I'm bouncing about in either the Venn diagram voids or the overlaps between services. Or both.

It's an odd sensation.

So, my past:

  • MSN Chat, from early 1997 until autumn 1998 was my entry point into online chat. It was easy. I fell into the What's Cooking Online (WCOL) room entirely by accident and stayed there for a while,
  • Facebook appeared in my life around 2008. It's still there, though you wouldn't know I'd been around since then were you to look at my 'Friends' list. They're pretty-much all people I know, see?
  • btinternet.chatter grabbed me in 1998 as a BT phone customer with the related btinternet ISP, once I'd spread my wings away from the cosy MSN. Though it was shut down some time ago, I occasionally attempt to keep in touch with the lovely people who inhabited it. Closure notwithstanding it's been around 11 years since I was last active there anyway,
  • Twitter, we all know about Twitter; it was my home from 2010 until…
  • I discovered, early in April 2013. A great community, lovely people, an ad-free and owner-meddling-free environment; I can't quite figure out why I'm not there right now…
  • is where I 'am' right now though, more of a dipper than prolific. Great people (a number\* from ADN) and a comfortable, spam and ad-free environment. The network, as I'm sure you've heard me say, is in an invite-only phase right now. I have some.

Well ok, I do know why I'm not active. I've spent more time programming/developing/attempting to fix and evolve my 10C client - and avoiding talking about it online - than being 'social'. Weird.



Last year, amidst a mood of indecision, I decided to move my expired phone contract to the UK's budget MVNO 'Giffgaff'. It's cheap, user-friendly, 4G, and cheap.

Then, eventually, I started to compare my data speeds with others on different 4G networks, and the rot set in. 'Slow' is the order of the day.

The company I work for grabbed a very tempting mobile discount scheme from their new provider, but I looked around for a more customer-(wallet)-friendly alternative.

My deliberations bear fruit tomorrow; my new contract SIM arrived at the weekend, my current number will be ported between networks sometime during Wednesday.

I had a test of course. The uploads are 3 times my current network's, the downloads 10 times faster.

And I'm getting 3 times the data for the same price.

Which is nice.


"Developing an application is not easy."

So I said earlier today, at a time I really couldn't see an end to the failures cascading through my application. It's the weirdest feeling, knowing there's nothing wrong with code; code that resolutely fails to work. And when it does work despite a total absence of things that should make it work, it's the weirdest feeling.

It feels like that scene in 'Men In Black', the one where we're shown to be an utterly-insignificant part of a hopefully more-advanced-than-us civilisation...

For providing the opportunity to exercise my brain, thanks must go to Jason Irwin - creator of the 10Centuries social network! My life would be a lot simpler right now without 10C. Incidentally, I have invites available if you want to have a social change!


My application.

I am .


Yes, it's that time of year again; we're decorating!

Paint, paper (the big bedroom), mild peril.


During winter the darker hours bring out the worst in people. I'm not talking about death, mayhem, increased criminality; it's a simple as a disregard for child and personal safety.

Every morning I've been seeing see cyclists ride along busy roads, black clothing, black bags, black bikes. Even on the wrong side of the road. Lights? None. Adults don't seem to care, and children... Well, surely parents and schoolteachers should be monitoring departures and arrivals?

There's a phrase. Most don't seem to know what it means, don't seem to care:

> "Personal resonsibility"
> noun,
> modern, ambitious, ambiguous:
> 1. An overwhelming reliance on state initiatives to promote a sense of wellbeing in self.

Yesterday evening around 5pm, as I was driving home, I spotted a young man walking past a high hedge above a low wall. That is I eventually spotted him; his clothing (not camo) hid him very effectively. Though visibility was reduced by that time of day, by no means everyone had side- or headlights on...

And don't get me started on drivers of black cars - overwhelmingly the most common group to avoid side- and headlights entirely, Is it a part of the mindset involved in the purchasing decision?

Modern LED car sidelights are annoying too. Daytime running lights at the front, but absent entirely from the rear, bypass common sense entirely. Drivers get in the car safe in the knowledge that people in front can see them...

A stealth, Darwin-Awards-winning society, that's what we have.


A week and a half ago the Sony Lifelog app on my phone announced that I'd passed a milestone: 500,000 recorded steps.

Its not a massive total for the around 5-1/4 months I've been allowing the app to record my comings & goings. It averages less than 3,200 a day. But it means I'm on track for over a million in a year.

A step millionaire.

I'm wondering now what it would have been without the 2 days in London (>33,000) and without Ruby dog…

Thanks; to both bustling metropolis & our chomper.


Assembling a new, glass-shelved TV stand is very much like making love to, er…

The hardest bit isn't assembling the stand, a thing with pictogram instructions only - which suggests 2 people would be better at it than you.

Thw hardest bit isn't manoeuvring the TV on top of it from the old, plainly-incompatible stand rescued when the previous, mammoth, CRT TV eventually met its maker (figuratively!)

The hardest part isn't assembling the anti-tip safety strap behind the telly - which has been moved into a temporary but awkward-for-this-stage location.

No, the hardest part is figuring out which cable should be where to minimise the clutter from the myriad of modern device connections - clutter now painfully-obvious through clear glass.

I'd prepared, obviously, by disconnecting everything and laying it out around the room…


So, in the time-honoured tradition of the British male when face-to-face with a certain defeat, I resorted to an anagram:

"Oh duck it, it's goof enough!" application Mentions working

Post 10264, by jextxadore (id: 20), at 2016-03-12T20:11:17Z
I seem to have had no say in the matter :P

Looking forward to seeing this client evolve. (Hopefully I'll catch up with its pace one day.)


Above is typical output from the application's Mentions subroutine. It'll probably be badly-formatted here as it's pasted from a fixed-width font terminal window. But it's a start!

Rubus cockburnianus

My wife was watching TV earlier; Monty Don, the gardening programme host, mentioned a flower variety and I'm assuming a caption appeared onscreen.

A quote from her email:

"As soon as Monty Don said it I weed my pants laughing. And then I though of you x"


Rubus cockburnianus.


It's a bramble.

Do your own research. It's real, not a 'funny' Wikipedia plant.


As my youngest daughter started to read one of her homework reading assignment books, 'Amazing Whales', I have to admit I struggled mightily attempting descriptions before she got the book's true facts.

It's something we attempt every reading session; try to guess, then read, then debrief.

This time though one word in particular made me pause…

…and, silently, admit defeat.

  • Easy to describe: Dolphin; Killer, Blue, Grey…
  • Intermediate: Baleen, Beluga…
  • Hard: Sperm

Luckily my wife was out walking Ruby dog, otherwise it could have got rather messy.

In other news, Bob The Builder seems to have had a makeover for 2016.


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