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Category Archives: General

Lost All Logic


Once upon a few decades ago I was an avid puzzler, except crosswords I’m hopeless at them. Occasionally I’d buy a compendium of puzzles and eagerly work my way through the searches, fits, join the dots, silhouettes etc and logic grids.  With the World Cup taking over all sanity for the next few endless weeks my eyes were drawn to a book of logic puzzles to exercise the brain and fill some time.

Only thing is, I’ve lost my logic. I even made a mess of the three grid when once upon a decades ago I could handle a five grid with ease!  Maybe my concentration span has shrunk, or atrophied like my muscles, or am I just more easily distrac…….oh look, a red arrow trailing blue smoke just flew by, wow (for real, there’s an air show today at the beach).

Okay, okay, let’s get to trying again ……… do I need a pee ….. concentrate woman ….. hmm, I could go do the dishes ….. no they will be done while you’re poaching the salmon ….. concentrate ….. okay, humbug is kept in the sock draw, Peter asked the weetabix eater if he’d seen any sugar lumps.  Hmm.

The tennis at Queens starts tomorrow :o) 

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Posted by on June 17, 2018 in Books, General, Projects

 

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30 Seconds or 30 Minutes, it’s timeless


Could you, dear reader, try and do something for me.  You see no matter how strong the desire, how consuming the craving, I am physically, totally, completely unable to do it, and that denial of free choice chips and nibbles at the strongest resolve and will to ‘make the best of it’.

So, on this glorious June afternoon, take a step outside, sit on your patio chair or door step, or stand barefoot in the grass; take a deep breath, observe what’s around you (don’t just see it), feel the sun, the breeze, the air on your face, listen to the natural sounds about you (don’t just hear them), and take another breath, slowly in and slowly out.  Don’t think, don’t fret, don’t stress, just be present in yourself, in that moment.

It doesn’t take much time, it can be the time it takes a kettle to boil or the microwave to ping, or child one to clump child two and start screaming, lol. But man oh man, that briefest moment of calm can do so much good to the mental health if, as busy humans, we do this regularly.

It’s truly a gorgeous day today, one I’d love to sit outside and read my book, have a (albeit one sided) conversation with a passing cat or chirping black bird, cogitate my thoughts or feel the day fresh against my exposed skin, even just to put my bare feet in the grass.  But for many that’s the stuff dreams are made of. 

I’d open the window as wide as it will go but, hmm, ‘things’ of a buzzy, bitey, stingy nature will be too tempted by my tastiness, and Signor Four-Paws might be happy to come in that way but will want out via the front door. Not to mention opening/closing the window is fast becoming a ‘can’t do that’ task. It’s not the same and being completely the same as full enveloped by outsideness. 

My limitations are feeling quite pointed today, it will pass.

I’ll attack my hard toe nail with the clippers instead…..

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2018 in General, Grumble, Life

 

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Jaggedness Destroys Average


Have you heard of the Jaggedness Principal? Essentially given a group of humans, not one will fit the average.  Celebrate, there is no such thing as ‘average’ so you cannot be ‘below average’.

Author Todd Rose wrote that “The principle holds that we cannot apply one-dimensional thinking to understand something that is complex and ‘jagged.’ What, precisely, is jaggedness? A quality is jagged if it means two criteria. First, it must consist of multiple dimensions. Second, these dimensions must be weakly related to one another. Jaggedness is not just about human size; almost every human character that we care about – including talent, intelligence, character, creativity, and so on – is jagged.”

Take your work place, or church group, or such, note down each individual’s age, shoe size, height and eye colour. Work out the average of each and then see if any one in that group fits that average. Strong likelihood is, you won’t.  The principal forced the US Airforce to come up with the adjustable cockpit seat, because no single pilot could fit in the averaged one.  Not everyone the same height, will have the same weight, not everyone the same weight will be the same dress size, not everyone who is the same dress size will have the same shoe size.  One size will never fit all, so stop trying to make us fit.

So, as we try and equalise, even-ise, level-ise, everything in our post-truth, open opportunities, global world, remember no-one is average, we are individual uniqueness, with similarities in same areas. 

While I’d never say I was average, I would say I am weird (that’s Western Educated Industrial Rich Democratic country).

Maybe I should stop watching QI re-runs, lol.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on June 8, 2018 in General

 

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Siri? Alexa? No, Aunty

Picture the scene……. You are sitting comfy on the sofa, feet up, the late afternoon sunshine warming your exposed toes, your mind is occupied watching Columbo run rings around William Shatner, you are contemplating when to go make your poached salmon with vegetable rice and a splash of soy sauce, when the phone rings…….

Now I never get unsolicited phone calls, BFF calls during the week during her walk home from work, Bro-In-Law and Big Sis are away for the weekend, Nephew & family would be eating their dinner, whose left to call! I scramble to mute the tv and grab the phone. 

“Hello?”

“Hello you, it’s me” (Bro-In-Law) Utoh, problems? Brain scurries every which way

“Hello you” my brain is bemused, coherence not engaged

“You by the pod” that’s code for within reach of t’internet

“Yeeaaahhhhssssssss?” My brain is reaching wtf mode

“What time does the GP start?” 

Really? No, Hey we’re having a fab time, missing us, food awesome at that pub, etc etc, just straight in with the important stuff, lol.

“6pm Channel Four”

“Ta much”

Who needs Google when you’ve a me!!!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 13, 2018 in General, Life, people

 

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Could, Should, Can’t

Well that didn’t take long ……. the vim and vigour after my holibobs staycation with the BFF has dog gone and evaporated. The lovely cuddly warmth of accomplishment after getting the website updated has fizzled. I’m back to disenthused apathy.

There are things I ‘should’ maybe do, like, send in my latest book review (oops that’s supposed to be kind of hush hush) I can only do it at the desktop because my iPad is too old to run Word. I should be finishing the latest blanket as I’d like to start the next pattern, or I should empty, tidy and sort bedside draw, put away stuff not put away. But well, meh, its Saturday, the world won’t explode if I don’t.

There are things I ‘could’ do, like, resort the photos on the computer, there’s the letter to my hospital about my five months overdue appointment, start the video rework for the website. But well, you know.

Now there are some, many even, who would love to be as unbusy as me, I’d quite like to be as busy as some. In a romanticised way I would have loved to have gotten up from my bed, enjoyed a refreshing shower, straightened the bedroom, cleaned the kitchen, and washed the dishes before taking a jaunty saunter to Subway for lunch. Then browse a shop or two to find a box to put my footwear in beneath my desk, maybe find a new top or picked up some fresh raspberries from the grocers. Come home and sit at my desk, write an email or three while listening to some tunes before making my bolognese and settling to an evenings tv entertainment. But I cannot, the only thing I will physically manage, with a double dose of struggle and concentration is throw together the bolognese. 

Is it the human’s lot to always want things different and rarely be content with how things are?

I’ve often remarked that occupation needs a necessity. Doing something without a purpose, a need, a deadline, an outside expectation just becomes a time filler and when you have nothing but time to fill there’s no drive to strive.

Eek, that turned a bit deep and melancholy!  

 
8 Comments

Posted by on May 12, 2018 in General, Life

 

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Testing technology (and my patient resolve)


*disclaimer* The following blog may sound a touch technical, it may also sound like I know what I’m talking about, however it isn’t and I don’t.

As some of you may know, I administrate a website about a musician and the work he has undertaken over the past years. I try and be diligent in my duties and keep things up-to-date for the fans and those who google interest. Over the past couple of years with a deterioration of my muscle strength and the complications surrounding using my desk for any extended periods of time, I have been lax in updating the photo section of the website. This has been weighing heavily on my mind and conscience, so I took the arrival of my new chair as impetus to get cracking and just do it. 

In order to put a photo gallery together I use an application on my Mac called iWeb, very much a user friendly drag and drop style of templates to create each album and contents, creating a cover, thumbnails, slideshows, and enlarged images. There are now some 18 to 21 albums each containing a couple of pages or more of images from various events, gigs, tours and with fans. Although I haven’t counted them individually there must be several hundred photos.  Now before any image can be dragged and dropped into the photo album it requires a little editing, usually it needs copying or resizing and all of them require the necessary copyright marking. Once added to a particular album I then add a caption detailing the event and that event date. Back up images and details are stored separately ‘just in case’ catastrophe occurs.  All very time consuming.  So for the last couple of months I have been slowly adding more photos to existing albums, amalgamating some albums, as well as adding new ones. Once I was satisfied everything was up to date I hit the ‘publish’ icon to save all the necessary files and folders to make this straightforward piece of the website work.

There was just one thing left to do, transfer all the files folders and contents onto the server for the website.

Historically I have used an FTP program called FileZila to act as intermediary between my computer and the host server so that the files and folders could be transferred over in the right order so everything was in its right place. When you are dealing with something that is so pedantic that a , instead of a . can send the web site into meltdown it is mentally exhausting on a good day. But FileZila is a very competent piece of kit, that when you have a folder containing files and folders, that contain files and folders, that contain files, it can’t be trusted to put the right thing in the right place in the right order.  There was just one slight, tincy, little, problem, the darn thing wouldn’t connect to the server and authenticate it self!  I could have cried.

Unfortunately the host server will only let me use FileZila as I use a Mac computer, however the host site has its own FTP client but it is notoriously slow, frequently crashes and cannot cope with transferring folders from the files and folders it needs it doing individually.  So for a number of hours I sat at my desk and diligently, slowly, transferred each file and folder double checking that they were in the correct order up to the host server.  Once all the files and folders were transferred, and I was satisfied everything was where it should be, I then opened my web browser and collect the link to view the photo gallery. Always a tense moment. Of course, it goes without saying, and is to be expected, but half of what I wanted to be there, wasn’t. Back to the individual files and folders checking the latest update date to make sure I hadn’t missed one (I had, just one) to then try again, and again, clear the cachet and web data, and try again again.

SUCCESS!!!

After the photo gallery was successfully updated, I then set about uploading the pages that have been updated to the main section of the website. These are created by handwritten HTML and not a template or wizard, and are far better behaved and easier to maintain, but photo albums are very technical to create from scratch.

The web to do list had been cut down to just a couple of items, and all the weighted updates were on screen for friends and search engine Google is defined which was a satisfactory failing.  But I’m not quite ready to tackle upgrading the video pages as if that is going to take some hours of diligent patience to make sure the videos comply on multi platforms.

In other news, I have finished two cat blankets and I am working on a third and have the pattern for the fourth one all mapped out. Spring has sprung, a new fresh dose of gumption has been grasped. 

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2018 in General, Projects, Tech, Website

 

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Rebellious technology


Life has a way of making you pay for time off.  I’m paying a price, in frustration!

Wednesday morning I sat and woke up my computer, it had had a holiday too. After dealing with a top priority necessity I clicked to install the update, during its restart process it got stuck, trying to locate my Bluetooth keyboard (I don’t have one). It couldn’t sense my plugged in one. Panic.  Grab the iPad and ask Google, the first two ‘try this’ options failed, one was to just turn off the Bluetooth which was incredibly unhelpful as I do have a wireless mouse. Panic rising, scan read a couple more articles and discovered that either plugging the keyboard into a USB extension or plugging a thumb drive into the USB ports on the keyboard can ‘wake things up’.  Thankfully the extension trick worked. Phew.

Most work days my BFF calls to chat during her walk home, I sat waiting for the phone to jingle into life and when it did I eagerly pressed the green button – to silence. At first I thought our phones had missed connecting, but I could hear the bedroom phone ringing, I looked at the screen and it was blank. Panic. I heard my answerphone click in and the phone screen came to life and I pressed the green button with authority to hear the dulcet tones of my BFF wondering what was going on. Phew.

My wizzy super new desk chair requires recharging from time to time. On Wednesday I dug out the charger and plugged it into the socket and plugging the chair into the charger, the indicator light looked dead (yes, I had switched it on). Hmm, maybe it goes green once its charged. After a couple of hours still no light, I’ll plug it in again Thursday to charge some more, but still the light remained dead. Panic.  Now where exactly is that ‘safe place’ you put the instructions?   Apparently the light ‘should’ be yellow while charging and green once charged.  So, is the charger not charging or has the light gone do-wacky….either way as its only been three months, I need to contact the peeps and get another charger, hope there’s enough charge in the battery. Slight panic.

At least the microwave hasn’t melted, no light bulbs have plunged me into darkness or kettle fizzled ….. although the WordPress app has crashed a few times while typing this.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2018 in General, Life, Tech

 

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