Yesterday afternoon the Labour Party's local local election candidate called round. Not specifically to my home of course…

Ruby dog barks at pretty-much everyone who calls now. I ask her to "Wait", close the living room door, and answer the front door - safe in the knowledge Ruby can observe from the relative comfort of the front window.

Yesterday though, yesterday unfolded a little differently.

I got up, asked Ruby to "Wait", closed the door, answered the front door and no sooner had I said "Hello. Sorry to say I'm not voting for you but I wish you every success, especially at the national level…" than Ruby shot past me, out of the door!

She wouldn't come back, ran next door, into the road, up the street and then waited. I followed, no shoes. As I closed in, all the while telling her to "come here", she sat, until something made her decision and she ran across the road and along the path we usually start the walk at.

3/4 of the way along she nosed about in the grass, all the while keeping what she must have thought a safe distance from me.

Evemtually though as I waited and calmed down she came to me, I let her pause a moment to reestablish something-or-other, trust maybe, and picked her up.

I took 3 things away from this situation:

  1. Shouting at a newly-escaped dog fails,
  2. It's surprisingly hard to walk on the pavements (US: sidewalks) around here shod only in socks, even the thick ones I wore yesterday,
  3. People who call unannounced at your door will walk away when presented with a situation it's easier to pass on to someone else.

I'm not inclined to test the next candidates out in a similar fashion. But it did cross my mind to.

Facebook links

My youngest daughter simply doesn't understand the concept of a surprise. When asked to keep a secret something seems to build inside her, a something which simply cannot be contained, a something which must be voiced - albeit in a manner a 6 year old thinks is obtuse, elliptical, not-at-all likely to let the recipient know there's a thing awaiting…

She: "Daddy, we have a surprise…" and I rudely cut her off, explaining why she must STFU.

She's unstoppable though, learns nothing from recent history. It's easily forgivable at 6.

Facebook is the same. I post a link to something, Facebook simply cannot contain itself and produces a helpful preview of the page header, YouTube movie title, whatever… I'm not sure I can forgive Facebook as a 12-year-old though.

I suppose I could obscure the content behind a custom URL added at either my web site or via an URL shortening service (presuming Facebook doesn't automatically expand those.)

But why should I have to‽

I 'get' that security is an issue these days so having some indication of what's about to happen is 'safety-conscious'; I know, as the average attention span diminishes towards zero, that people like to see a preview of what they're about see (especially previews.)

But from where are our future Rickrolls likely to come - if Facebook first shapes then reinforces our habits?

I left Medium

I probably quit Medium in 2011; I've not been back there since. Being totally frank about the entire process it became hard work keeping engaged, maintaining the daily routine, sustaining the decision-making, the triaging process…

It wasn't a conscious decision to quit Medium; far from it in fact. The positive benefits of maintaining oversight demonstrably outweigh the later feelings of 'what-if I'd…'

I occasionally tell people an amusing-to-me anecdote associated with a wedding reception invite. It ably illustrates if not why I left Medium then what happened afterwards.

We got a wedding invite late in 2015; used it as an excuse to leave the girls at home and relax.

Well, the process started off calmly-enough but descended into farce - thankfully before we left home.

I had nothing to wear, not shirts anyway. Call me lazy, but I'd simply not bothered to buy new smart clothes for a few years. My wife promised to shop for me, she'd pick something suitable; my fashion sense isn't the best, see?

All she needed: my collar size. So I told her and the next day an SMS indicated a shirt awaited my arrival home from work…

A very nice shirt too.

I went upstairs to try it on. And there my comfortable existence fell apart…

I believed, Believed, BELIEVED I was still a size 14-1/2" collar.


16" neck. 40" chest. Still short-of-leg though; that and the waist measurement remain mine.

I'm thankful no fly-on-the-wall documentary team was shadowing me that day; to see me first manfully then not-quite so manfully struggling with that obviously too-small-for-me shirt, first to fail to pull the sleeves up my arms, then to fail to fasten any buttons… And then to spend the longest 2 minutes of my life attempting (and finally succeeding right at the point my sense of reason was screaming at me to shout downstairs) to inch first one then the other sleeve down…

No longer Medium.

Cheap, clickbait post? Yeah, why not? Fashionable, isn't it. I probably deserve your scorn simply for staying Large.

If you don't understand this, don't worry.


User: "Hi chatbot ,whats the weather like today ?lol"

bazbt3chatbot: "Go outside, meet people, hug a tree; stop wasting your life on your phone!"

User: "Hi chatbot ,lolwut !!1! whats a tree whats a hug ?"

bazbt3chatbot: "!" (self-terminates)

Apparently, apps are a thing of the past; 'bots are our future. (A vaguely-related article.)

Las Vegas

A colleague and his partner are there right now, starting their first full day. I was there 24 years ago, didn't enjoy the daytimes much; it's a city that's best viewed in the dark, both literally and of the mindset.

My recollection is of air-conditioned, windowless rooms, filled with people dully feeding slot machines and shouting nonsense at the gaming tables. The nightlife is a different matter though. Loud, brash, spectacular.

From a quick look at Google Earth the area around my memories seems to have been extensively redeveloped. I'm no longer sure I'd like to revisit; memories, you know?

I'm pleased to see the volcano opposite Harrah's remains, just up The Strip from the down-a-gap-beteeen-2-buildings Travelodge we stopped in; no longer a Travelodge, I'm not even sure if the building exists.

Thanks for provoking the memories nameless-for-blogging-purposes man. Take it easy though, your 4 hours' sleep may not be quite enough to tackle Death Valley. Mind you, if you're man-enough to wake up her indoors to send her my best wishes for a great holiday at that hour you'll probably do just fine.



As a parent of a lovely girl diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum, and being pretty sure I'm somewhere on it myself I've yet another moan coming up.

If you read my blog regularly enough you'll understand a little about me. It's not all bad, right?

National (insert something here) day, week or month usually means the USA have picked a day and ascribed special meaning to it.

Fantastic. Really. We need more awareness of (insert something here)!

Sarcasm has no place here, and youll be glad to know I'm being deadly sincere. Or at least 'ordinary' sincere.


National Autism Awareness Week just ended here in the UK. Its UK organisers, the National Autistic Society organised, or suggested lots of fun things for individuals, groups of people and especially schools to do during the week.



My 2 girls, including the one whose classmates would benefit from a better understanding of her condition (supportive as they already are) have been on Easter holiday for the past 2 weeks. I know for a fact that a local authority on the other side of Manchester is starting it's second week off tomorrow.


If we can organise Mothers Day and Fathers Day to a differing schedule to that in the USA, surely we can do the same to help raise awareness in our young.

Onesie Wednesday would have been nice to participate in, if we'd known about it.

I've got past the feelings of guilt by the way, for letting down my girls, the oldest in particular; I can't be expected to know everything, right?


A new place at which I'm posting drivel;

I have a account.)

Testing; there's no Markdown support in the native Android app. Oddly, it's a deal breaker.

Undies: A Sequel

The girls and mummy are having a slumber party this evening; pyjamas, sleeping bags, popcorn and, of course an age-appropriate scary movie.

I was invited; an honourary girl for the evening. One snag though, I don't possess pyjamas. No-one ever bought me a onesie, despite multiple threats to…

For laughs and giggles, mummy suggested I should come downstairs dressed only in my gaudy boxer shorts - hey I've more than the one pair dontchaknow!

So I did.

Not a one of them, not even Ruby dog (also an invitee) expected how I'd present myself…

A giggle from daughter 1 (nearly 9), a look of shock from daughter 2 (6-1/3) and no tut my wife… a success, I think.

In other news; I really didn't anticipate my waist-to-cranial ratio had changed so much over the years!


In a hurry to leave the house this morning, head befuddled by sleep, I failed in one important detail. Important.

The orientation of my new, gaudily-coloured boxer shorts unfortunately precludes my ability to pee stood up. I'm also imagining the wind blowing unfettered where it ought not to…

The good news: my work toilet seat streak remains cold; unblemished by recent prior other-arse occupancy.

It's the small things in life…


A metric shed-load, nay airship-hangar-load of people suffer from a life-shortening condition. It's talked about, occasionally examined in detail, but doesn't get as big a press as, say, diabetes, cancer, dementia or, the recent fashionable killer, motor neurone disease (ALS.)\*

From a Guardian article:

"Do you get enough sleep? Of course you don’t. Very few people with busy jobs, young children or smartphones do."

I don't. I don't need a sleep app to tell me I don't. I don't have the will to do anything about it.

But wait!

The article shows me that I'm a throwback, an artifact of a time long-past when scientists, pseudo-statisticians and armchair statisticians (politicians!) didn't rule our lives. Wine is good for you one month and bad for you the next. Chocolate. Beef. Chicken. MSG. Sugar. Salt. Fast food. Life after 30 will be next…

Moderation is the key, understanding when you've had enough, knowing when it's OK to conform… and when it isn't.

Sleep 8 hours? It'd be nice. Sleep a continuous 8? Pressure!

No longer.

A question I must ask myself:

"How do I now regulate my 2 periods of sleep to get the best out of them?"

\*The Ice Bucket Challenge made a short-term impact. 'Twas tempered only by my certain knowledge that most used the thing as a social event, and that it made enemies of other, more-established charities. Envy.