I've changed the blog post feed address my Python script uses to post to a couple of networks - crucially without testing or modifying the history files.

Expect either failure or multiple reposts (i.e. failure.)


First question of the year: have any of you managed to register with AgeID?

Given the simple fact we're 2 weeks away from the implementation of this significant part of the UK government's Digital Economy Act 2017 it seems indicative of a wider ineptitude stifling our country that "Registration is not available in your country yet."

How very 'English'.

(Of course it might work if I wasn't so reliant on doing everything on my phone.)


Thanks, whatever you did that brightened any of my 2018.

I resolve to do these things:

  • Build on the successes from this year's no nail biting and whatever the other one was (not memory-related!),
  • Lose the weight I didn't this year (I'm +6lbs on this last day of the year, i.e. with 1-1/2 hours left in it to lose 27lbs),
  • Exercise (see above) including walking Ruby dog more,
  • Drink more (I turned into a lightweight again),
  • Be more assertive with my girls' schools and the people tasked with looking after their unique needs,
  • Be less in thrall to my girls; a teeny bit controversial.

See you in 365 days!


Something odd happened today; I got depressed about the result of an American football game. It's been years since last that happened, and well before my break for marriage and parenting.

Today, in a game expected to be an easy win for the New Orleans Saints, the Cleveland Browns lost late. Missed kicks, as during last week's tie, were the key. Just as last week I listened to it on the 'radio', well actually from within an app on my iPhone. To add an extra frisson of something akin to desperation, the battery pack decided it wouldn't charge the phone so I was left scrabbling about in desperation for an iPhone charging…

Yeah, football. I've subscribed to the news aggregator site for a few years now. Every gameday someone posts a discussion thread spanning a few games and all and sundry weigh in with opinions, live scores and occasionally brilliantly insane analysis. It's a bit like I'd imagine an NFL subreddit would be but without the ridiculous and often weaponised downvoting.

Anyway, this week I decided for the first time to join the fray during the 4th. Bad mistake. Bad, bad, bad. Every, and I do mean every, time I posted the Browns offensive game turned to shiat. An interception and especially those missed kicks killed us.

'Us'? Yeah, still feeling a bit of Impostor Syndrome here, but it'll pass. Perhaps in a few years?

Not telling you what I'm wearing, but it might be different next week.

On a high note, one of at least expectation, the next 5 games should be easier than those first 2. Or, applying conventional wisdom, at least one would expect so.

A prediction then. Scoring ties, losses, wins from right to left, I'm expecting the first 3 weeks to go:

  1. 0-0-1
  2. 0-1-1
  3. 1-1-1

Anything correct past that and I'd get burnt at the stake as a witch.

  1. 0-0-1
  2. 0-1-1
  3. 1-1-1
  4. 2-1-1
  5. 2-2-1
  6. 2-2-2

Yeah, statistically there's almost zero chance of that second tie, but I can't decide what to pick based on the play I'm seeing from the teams expected to have it easy both this and last weeks.

No, I haven't a clue what any of this means.

School admin

Daughter 2 started high school this week, and got a lesson timetable which, well, why not read the email I just sent to the school:

Hi, and sorry to bother you with this,

Is there any chance you could prepare a lesson timetable for us that spells out the lesson names in full, in plain English, and provide an explanation what the remaining '7*' abbreviations mean? Being frank, I find its current presentation almost completely incomprehensible; if we're going to ensure [daughter 1] (who is autistic) arrives at school with the right equipment daily we too need a bit of help.

Thanks in advance for your consideration, and for reading this, [etc.]

57 jersey

Yesterday evening I risked life and limb, my life and limb, clambering over the remains of DIY projects, half-abandoned bicycles and old computers, and lifting and opening box after box, in the pursuit of a football jersey. Not just any football jersey, but one bought at beginning of my life as a dad and the end of my life as a regular American Football fan.

I have to say it must have shrunk in the box, it no longer fits in quite the same way as it did when I knew why I'd bought that jersey. So yesterday evening I searched here and the Internet at large and the reason became clear.

Finding it, a replica #57jersey, brought back yet more memories of a road trip at the start of the 2004 season. Starting with the Wauseon Indians HS team (beat Swanton), following up with Bowling Green (beat SE Missouri State), and culminating in an extraordinary day in the company of the Browns (who beat the Ravens!)

The icing on the cake: meeting Kevin Mack (who signed a practice ball for me), Dante Lavelli and his wife, and Sam Rutigliano and his wife. Yes, I was very much over-awed (and rendered part-mute by a miserable ear infection.)

I'll admit I wasn't a fan of any of the teams we saw over the week, but it didn't matter, it's football!

#57,Clay Matthews Jr., by any measure one of Football's all-time Linebacker greats, but likely destined never to reach the Pro Football Hall of Fame (I've been there too!) He seems to have been in the wrong place (Cleveland) at the wrong time (all sixteen years before he left for the last three of his career); it's got to hurt.

Right now, I'm looking at Reddit's r/Browns multiple time's a day (even on the toilet, but shhh…), professing nothing but attempting in my singularly-inept fashion to absorb, er… stuff. It's an uphill task even attempting to chat with folks bringing the conversation down to my level! So I tried the #browns IRC channel! It's friendly, quiet (ok, almost unused right now; and that suits me just fine.) I've also looked for podcasts to fall asleep to, thinking I'll be able to subliminally absorb chat and regurgitate on-demand.

Yeah… no.

The summary, before I overwhelm myself with words: I can feel something stirring again.


I'm using Reddit again and, in some respects, again regretting it. Not the small number of negative comments my leading question in r/Browns (the Cleveland Browns NFL subreddit) inspired, no; it's the capriciousness of users' up- and down-voting, where incomplete answers and sarcastic comments gain more 'positivity' than…

Oh, look here:

HELP Its been a while since I used solidworks and I forgot how to read and use the hole callout to create a threaded hole.

Or (shrugs) don't look there. My answer was genuinely useful and pretty-much complete, the original poster (OP) even thanked me.

Has it put me off in the same way recent unwarranted post deletions at actually have?

No, it's the nature of the beast that is Reddit.

Celebrity Death Pool

Chatting at work, at brew and lunchtime as you do, we got into the subject of celebrity death pools; pick a celeb you believe most likely to die. You know, harmless fun.

I've two:

  • Ayman Al-Zawahiri
  • Vera Lynn

Something of a contrast there.


\#QuoteSunday (a tradition on

"It is a little known fact that Professor Stephen Hawking (RIP) invented all of the financial instruments backing the concept popularly known as Quantitative Easing, thereby saving the British economy from ruin during the dark times following the unprecedented and utterly-unforeseeable Great Squeeze." - Sir Winston Churchill, Chancellor of the Exchequer (1924-1929).


A conversation about dog breeds (one of the family mentioned the noble 'Leerdammer') and this morning's terrorism news (they don't want their citizenship to be revoked) prompted a search for a once well-known cosmetics brand. Here's the statement from the Google summary of their web site (my emphasis):

"Coty is a global beauty company making cosmetic, skin, fragrance & hair brands. We positively disrupt to create a radically inclusive world of beauty."

What the Fark, how bereft of original ideas must their PR team be, swallowing a buzzword dictionary to get to those ridicul