Category: Random


I am always surprised at people who cannot find any wonder in their lives at all. I don’t mean people who are suffering, I mean the everyday folk who just cannot see any glory about them.

Every single atom of your being was made in the centre of a nebula. We are all literally made of the same stuff that the universe is constructed from. Each moment that passes sees atoms replaced so that you are constantly in a state of flux and being remade with new ‘stardust’ – we are as the hippies would have it, star children, we are made of stars – what is not wondrous about that?

If you like you can apply this to a theistic evolutionary model, personally I don’t but that’s a preference. I can certainly see the argument and have offerred it to those people who are confounded by the whole creationism/evolutionary argument as an olive branch.

This would only be my first thought about the wonder around me, I can quickly find many others, both natural* and man-made. In the world of man I personally like to think about great architecture, both modern and ancient, and find the wonder that the designers, builders and labourers must have had when they created such magnificent works. There is a glory in ome design that to me is wondrous.

Then there is the natural world, a love of the BBC Nature programs, and of David Attenborough, has instilled in me (and I think almost every other British person) a sense of wonder at the natural* world.

However, to not find wonder in the world at all, to be dour because being filled with amazement is too much like hard work, is to be quite a sad.

* I use the term with caution as I am tired of people who use ‘natural’ to mean ‘good’ and man-made to mean ‘unnatural’ or ‘bad’, specifically in the world of science. I am of the opinion that nature endowed us with the capacity to construct science and from that we create things so how exactly is that ‘unnatural’, it is ‘natural’ to the species.

Back to the Grind

It has been a while since I was writing regularly to this blog. The world of social media and Twitter seem to have taken me in their grasp and I have left the longer pieces to dwell in the recesses of my mind, well hopefully this will change and I will take the thrust up again.

I have been writing some long pieces, alongside the Tweets and Status updates, I have managed to keep writing to the blog and the Shadowcat News page, but not so much on the personal side.

This month I also wrote a really long (about 9,000 words) article on the 25th Anniversary of Perl that today made it to the front page of Slashdot, for which I am a little happy – not too much that might crack my modesty circuit and remove me from the Bashful Societies Yearbook.

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 16.07.42

Anyway, that’s the few status words updated, hopefully there will be more soon.

Nice Morning For it

When I woke up this morning it was raining quite hard, but as I stepped out of the door the clouds were clearing, the wind was dying to a cool, and refreshing, breeze and there was a smell of Autumn wafting in the air. So I decided to take a longer walk to work along the canal. I also turned on the pace keeping app. so I could measure the time it took me to get to work and the distance as it was something that intrigued me.

Below are the images from the walk and the pace stats.

So I did 5K steps in 48 minutes, which was almost 3 miles (I average 1800 steps to a mile) with an average mph of 3.6 miles – a good speed for walking at I feel.



I am still a fan of using a pen and paper to jot down thoughts, or draw a doodle, or just to carry with me almost everywhere I go.[1]

I mean sure I use my iPhone, iPad, and laptop for some/all of the same reasons and with the same restrictive caveats, and I have a tablet and stylus attached to any computer I own for natural input, but they are not the same.

A pen and paper are somewhat smoother and more natural, the ink flows and eases the resistance. This is even true of capacitive displays where a stylus must still use a friction that is dry and seems to jar the experience somewhat.

This could just be an age thing, are we seeing the last generation of people who use pen and paper in this casual way, am I just a relic of the past?[3] I don’t believe so, I think is the nature of the experience and the advantages it gives me.

  • No specialist input devices
  • Compatible with all hands and eyes
  • Never crashes
  • Rarely corrupts data
  • Splash recovery
  • Language agnostic
  • Fits in a convenient pocket[5]
  • Fast data input
  • No Startup times
  • No application charges or updates
  • Full ASCII/ANSi support[6]
  • No ‘generation’ of devices
  • Reality display (TM)
  • Version safe
  • Future safe
  • Full version compatibility between devices, languages, users and systems
  • Available in a seemingly infinite variety of styles and colours
  • No vendor lock in and many high-street stockists
  • Can be used during take off and landing on a plane

[1] We have to exclude showers in this for the obvious reason.[2]

[2] Nothing to lean on in the shower.

[3] Those of you who are more familiar with me will know that a technophobe is probably the least accurate description of me.[4]

[4] Though not entirely without merit, mine is less the Luddite and more the cautionary critic.

[5] I use A6 pads

[6] UTF(Infinity)

The Hirst Restaurant

So a friend of mine, N. the chef, mentioned that he was working for the Hirst Restaurant family who had just taken over a restaurant south of Lancaster. One of the people listening to him didn’t realise that it was a family who had other local establishments and briefly asked, “what Damien Hirst?”

That’s when my mind went for a brief wander to what type of place would exist in a Hirstian manner:

A Grand Guignol establishment where the chefs are huge men, butchers with massive cleavers who hack the carcasses of animals and then serve them in giant vats of aspic;

There would be a strange “choose your own” where you would look into the sunken pens and select which animal was to be dragged by burly waitresses past the guests waiting in the lounge;

At the bar strange dressed waiters would lounge between obscenely pickled body parts on display to tempt the palate for the coming slaughter…

Okay, a bit over the top and I doubt it would be popular…and where the hell is my head, I mean really?

The size of a suitcase

Well this is odd for a first post but….

This is the size of the large suitcase I have, the A4 sheet is for a size guide. The depth appears to be about 21cm (but the suitcase lid is quite deep so the whole depth is closer to 30cm. From the image you can see that the width is approx 40cm and the length approx 60cm so an overall volume of circa 72,000cm (cubed – approx 72 litres).

First Post

This is just a test to check layout and design – you can ignore it at your leisure.