That expression 'it never rains but it pours' is very much in effect right here right now.

The washing machine died yesterday, with my work shirts inside, undies and socks, and a couple of irreplaceable t-shirts. The door locked, no water drained. Yes, I did indeed turn it off and back in again!

I also turned off the cold water inlet valve. Yes I did. Yes.

No, not entirely.

It's surprising how much water can accumulate in a short timeframe on a tiled utility room floor. And how long it takes to mop it up!

Even the guys who replaced it couldn't get into the machine, even after taking the back off.

This post should have been entitled 'The Tale of the Lost Undies'.


A mish-mash of themes follows; it's been a while since my last confes, er… blog post.

Um… Python programming is addictive. If I could use it at work to do engineering I'd be even happier!


Started last October, my second-ever Python script: PigPen, a social networking app for the social network, Mainly feature-complete where features exist; apart from those that don't work. A mentions or messages alert companion application would be a good thing to write, sometime.

Crypto, a cryptocurrency notification and alert application, designed to send regular, timed messages over the Pushover system. Now with added 3-graph goodness of the previous 24 hours' movements! Currently also sends messages to my dev channel at, but it currently seems a little pointless.

rssupdatepnut, periodically checks an RSS feed (currently my blog, but it could be a news feed) for updates, which it should eventually post to and other networks. Designed to run periodically. Incidentally, the publication of this post will be its first live test!

The future:

I've set myself a few professional goals for this year. Yes, 2018.

  • My maths skills have atrophied; I'd like to be re-updated to engineering college ONC level by December. A project would be good, to inject a bit of real-world reality into the proceedings.

  • Organisation and working 'smart': I've adopted the Bullet Journal logging and diary system. With a bit of luck it'll help end my indecision and tendency to bury stuff. One of its strengths is the 'Migration', where incomplete tasks are pushed forwards during the weekly and monthly reviews.

Personal goals too!

  • Reliability would be great!

  • I missed February's \#ThemeMonday. Sorry all, it's been an odd, kind-of crappy start to the year.


  • I nearly blogged about my recent longest-ever poo, an epic of 35 minutes I'll never see again; and the effort in pre-flush preparation, I…


Two rather expensive days, emotionally and financially:

£130 - Loki cat to vet:
Suspected congestive heart failure
£ 30 - Loki cat followup:
Heart problem confirmed, not acute
£612 - 4 new tyres + tracking:
Highlighted by just-about reaching the vet
£327 - Ruby overnight vet visit:
Who ate 1/4 pack of Smarties and the chocolate off a Crunchie bar? (Chocolate: poisonous to dogs.)

Pecking order

I looked over earlier, spied my wife eating milk chocolate, decided to emulate the dog so knelt down in front of the settee. Getting no satisfaction I shifted position, into a wet patch Ruby dog had created not long previously.

It was cold (it'd been sprayed.)

I… I looked up after a stifled expletive, to find my wife laughing. The chocolate? All gone of course.

Don't attempt to emulate the dog, you can't beat millennia of evolution.

I know my place.

RAVPower case review

RAVPower Battery Case for iPhone 6 / 6S with Apple MFi Certified Extended Battery Charger with 3000mAh 125 Percent Extra Battery

Toilet proof?!
By Amazon Customer on 29 November 2017

Verified Purchase

Mine survived a trip to the u-bend yesterday. Don't try this at home; I did so you don't have to!

Disclaimer thingy: a quiet buzzing and a refusal to charge for hours afterwards might be a reliable indicator the device wasn't meant for this kind of adventure.

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White Helmets (Syria)

I've just partially recovered after watching probably the most harrowing documentary in…

I don't…


> When the bombs rain down, the Syrian Civil Defence rushes in. In a place where public services no longer function these unarmed volunteers risk their lives to help anyone in need - regardless of their religion or politics. Known as the White Helmets these volunteer rescue workers operate in the most dangerous place on earth."

Yeah, ok, at this time of year, at any time of year, it's easy to spread oneself too thinly, to try to think about supporting every worthy cause. It's easier to pick none in the vain hope something great will present itself. Paralysis.

It's easier still to say we shouldn't bother, we should look after our own first. That's true, of course it is. One day, far in the future, we'll have a government who distributes our world's-6th-richest-nation's wealth in an equitable manner. Until then, cue more bitterness and division.

I worked with someone for more years than I care to remember. Nice guy, always had time for me. It turns out that, at least on social sites, he's racist, xenophobic and a bigot, without a shred of understanding of the realities of modern world; a man who purports to care about 'people' yet simultaneously wants to see us spend more money travelling around the world and killing people who aren't 'us'.

Sweeping aside the 'on social media' thing, the man's simply a racist, xenophobic bigot. Politicians pandering to people like him simply to get more votes are why barrel bombs continue to be dropped on families in Syria.

Don't be like him; don't be a twat.

See this?

See this?

Read the small print.


In about a month's time, Dick…

"He's behind youuu…!"


I've spent my spare time during the last few weeks writing another app, this one for the social network. It enhances the failures of my first app, for Yes, more social networking, surprising for such an antisocial [expletive deleted.]

It's a Python program, application; heck call it an app if you must, I'm old. I began programming in the early 1980s, a time at the beginning of the UK's home computer boom, and a time when one had to program to make computers work. And then came the Sinclair Spectrum and its awesome games and all was lost for me by the mid-eighties.

Back to the present…

Yes, I've gone for feature bloat rather than iterate through the creation of bulletproof functions, but it's so satisfying when something works, when something clicks into place in my head, and when someone helps me understand something. That's the very best bit, cooperation!

FAQ (usually means 'frequently asked questions'):

So what does it look like? Old-fashioned.

How advanced is the graphical user interface? There isn't one.

Does it have a SnapChat plugin? Er… a say what now?

Does it have the ability to-- Wait! It's written in Python 3.5; in good hands it can do pretty much anything a computer can do--

Ok, can it-- No. I'm on but the second rung of the ladder, I can see snakes from here.

Roll 1d6 Oi! You f[CARRIER LOST]

Ok, the main thing I've gained from my progress so far is an enhanced understanding of the effort involved in the creation and maintenance of all the apps I'm using right now.



We attended the church Remembrance Day service earlier then walked along to the War Memorial where the village congregated for the open-air service. In church, the Last Post was followed by 'Jerusalem' and the hymns were rounded out by 'Abide With Me'.

The last time I heard the Last Post was, well, the previous years' services and at a great Uncle's funeral service. He'd fought in Burma during WWII, was a member of the Burma Star organisation, had a significant number of compatriots along in his last day.

So yeah, I LOL'd this time as well as that.

No, wait, no; the thing with tears and a swelling of the breast. Yeah, that thing.

Feedback (LibDems)

Online feedback I provided to the UK Liberal Democrat party after being asked why I've not renewed my membership:

"During the General Election and Brexit campaigns the party failed to detail the compromises you found necessary to remain a partner in government with the Tories. When presented with in-your-face opportunities to spell out the goals junked by the LibDems to allow moderation of socially egregious Tory policies, every one of your representatives rolled over and failed to spell it out for the benefit of the casual voter. The public in general are sheep, have binary choices - Labour or Tories - their impression is the LibDems are Tory-lite; you'll have a long, long time in the wilderness being nice to the nasty party."