After a weekend of comparative misery, earlier this morning I sent a text message to my wife. It read thus:

"Sorry I didn't finish off putting stuff away earlier, I had to go upstairs and have the mother of all poos in the en-suite. It felt so much better afterwards. How was the trip to school? :)"

How posh is that‽


I wonder how it feels, when out with your family, if your partner attracts the attention of someone you don't know but they do, and that person shouts out your name to ask you a trivial question.

I'm imagining a speech/thought bubble:

'Er… how do they know m…'

Wild Turkey

The Wild Turkey brand of straight Bourbon whiskey is well-enough established in the film world that I thought I ought to give it a whirl.

I have to say the first glass was interesting, but of the two Bourbons I've tried I do prefer Buffalo Trace.

It's hard to argue with '101 proof' though.

Oh, my gums, my lips!

Blinkers 2

Yesterday evening, fresh out of the gym and leaving the leisure centre, my attention was diverted, pleasantly I might add, from the single-minded pursuit of getting out and home for dinner. Diverted by someone I've known for a few years now, and whose husband used to work for the same company as I.

I apologised for my tunnel-vision, she remarked about my apparent single-minded sense of purpose, and we parted company.

Ok, ok, ok, in a spirit of full disclosure I must confess I wasn't just at the gym. No. I'd just taken my youngest daughter to her weekly swimming lesson; and we'd, together with her oldest sister, endured the trauma of showering and changing in the men's, and the far-busier-than-Saturday's weekday lesson time slot.

What strikes me as comforting, especially against the backdrop of my 'Blinkers' post at the weekend: two people I've known for a while took the time to say hello. Which was nice.


We went to the pictures yesterday, to watch the Lego Batman Movie. I suspended my sense of disbelief as usual and yes, cried near the end. Who knew that hanging a picture could be so moving‽

To get the film review out of the way, it's fantastic, obviously it is, with an opening sequence that rivals pretty much anything I've seen I all my years (old git.) One of the best scenes in it, a precursor of what's to come, involves heating Lobster Thermidor in a microwave.

Yeah ok, YMMV.

On the way out to the car after spending more money than I intended to (two large Belgian chocolate milkshakes for the girls, from the Costa Coffee) an old, esteemed colleague spotted me, and made his (and his family's) presence known. Upon him asking how the film was, all I could do was mock-rub my eyes, indicating 'it's a tearjerker', and we parted ways.

Interesting that, I've always tended to have tunnel-vision, a single-minded sense of purpose when…

If anyone ever see me walking the streets (or, it's even worse in the car) and I apparently blank them, it really is my inability to focus on anything but the one thing at the centre of my attention. Yesterday's thing: safely getting the girls to the car. Thirty years ago? Making sure I completed the jog without stray dogs, cars or pedestrians breaking my rhythm.

So don't be shy.

I lost the plot (ADN)

A slice of history: me reading out loud a blog post I wrote in May 2014, about as I saw things at the time.

Incidentally, the show number is a guess.

There's a social network in the works called It aims to bridge the gap between microblogging and longform blogging. Though I as a blogger-of-sorts see promise in the concept I didn't back it on Kickstarter. Nevertheless I t raised over US$80,000 - something like 10x the stated goal? It'll likely be moderately popular.

But meh. The founder has delayed the first stage reward for the backers, pushing back the assignment of usernames until the roll-out of the first stage of the networking bits

Why didn't I back it? Simple really, the concept started off as a request for funds to assist in writing a book. Whether supplied by paper or electronic delivery I'm not certain, but it's a bit of an anachronism in this electronic age. No bother, the blogging/social aspect is intriguing, especially the desire to appoint a manager to stamp on trolls and antisocial behaviour. But I didn't back it because I already belong to an in-beta social, blogging, podcasting, etc., network: You may already have seen that I like it a lot (and would like to invite you there.)

Oh, please disregard the fact that I've bought social/web books before in papery form too, namely Drew Curtis's about and Philip Greenspun's about web publishing, and…

I've also been burned, er… ok singed a little, by a previous a Kickstarter campaign. For a twin-plate wallet.

The guy had iterated through innumerable designs, established materials, coatings, a supplier chain (with detailed discussions about tooling), and published a list of stretch goals for backer rewards, and gained multiple positive YouTube reviews…

And then the money arrived.

The materials changed, the suppliers changed, the coatings and production methods changed, the stretch goals were effectively eliminated as the previous costings were wiped out by all those changes.

And then, when the wallets were made available for sale months before delivery to Kickstarter backers, the recriminations started mounting. Obviously. There's such a thing as retaining the attention of those who back you, keeping the momentum going.

Accuse me of sour grapes if you wish, but another social network??

A reminder: shuts down in a week-and-a-half.

Mug revisited

My wife bleached my mug. Having acquired over 3 years of patina it was perfect!


7 bits

Last week, during the school holiday, my wife took our daughters to a National Trust property. My oldest has to prepare a piece on Victorian England, so where better to go than a historic home and mill?

During the tour around the mill both girls made key rings, beads strung in the form of a binary number representation of the initials of their first and last names.

The next day I got together with my youngest to decode the beads, adopting a methodical approach:

  • Explain what binary numbers are used for these days,
  • Explain what they were used for in the olden-days,
  • Sketch out a table of 7-bit binary, and extend it to 8 bits,
  • Note down the first set of beads, being careful to establish a datum from which to start, in case we chose the wrong end first,
  • Add up the filled 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128 positions, explaining why,
  • Find an ASCII character table from the Internet to decide which character the number represents,
  • Repeat for the second letter, which proved we'd chosen the wrong end from which to start, but it didn't matter for the first,
  • Success!

Ok, you get the idea. A surprisingly fun thing to do on a miserably mild English winter afternoon.


Today marks the ninth anniversary of the sale of our first home together, my wife, my first daughter, and me. A precarious few months preceded the joy of signing that piece of paper and terminating the first of our two mortgages together.

Two concurrent mortgages, though in no way unique, stretched us nonetheless. The simple fact is that we picked a budget for our new home and exceeded that by a generous two-digit percentage.

And we're still paying for that decision.

Still, it is good that I've not been shot at, for at least nine years and three months.