Sunday, 29 November 2009

Where's Captain Pugwash when you need him?

Has anybody got any idea how to classify this musical offering from "Alestorm"?

I've tried, but every time I get as far as "completely bonkers", I just start humming the chorus again. Absolutely marvellous.


Thanks to Wyrdwhorl, for posting it at Wyrdsongs.
(Albus Dumbledore was right about music)

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Here's a good tip... Ow!!

"Oooh, I don't think you wanted to do that..."
If there's a statement of the (literally) bleeding obvious, that must be it.

Without dwelling on the full, gory details, yesterday I made a fundamental mistake while using a Stanley knife to cut a sheet of cardboard; I failed to ensure that the tip of my fore-finger was behind the steel ruler that I was using as a straight-edge for cutting.
It bled very convincingly and even now, twenty-four hours later, it still stings like an utter bastard.

I haven't done something quite so gormless for a long while, but I suppose that it's one of those things that has to happen every so often to remind us that if we don't take care, inanimate objects will bite. Learning how to use tools safely is something that can be achieved without actual injury, as successful chain-saw operatives will confirm, but there's really nothing like pain for ensuring the lesson is properly reinforced.

I sometimes wonder what it must be like for parents. Just how can they bear to watch their children learn that fire, broken glass and all those other everyday hazards cause blood, pain and tears when they are not treated with the respect that they deserve.
I can't remember my Dad ever preventing me from using any of the tools in his workshop, but he must have had nerves of steel to allow me to use the electric drill when I was less than ten years old. I guess he must have shown me how to use it safely, but I was never aware of "being taught"; I just watched him do stuff and then he would go away and leave me to it.
When Reallyfatbloke acquired his table saw a few months ago, I asked him when he was going to teach his kids how to use it, because the fascination of the spinning teeth of a circular saw has a hypnotic attraction to the enquiring mind.
He went a bit quiet

So, to return to my lapse of concentration.
Blight-of-my-life was surprisingly sympathetic,
"Oh, that's really painful isn't it."
Unfortunately, she then went and spoilt it by saying it was my own fault for messing about with model railway stuff. (Yes, that's what I was cutting cardboard for. The model railway layout is back on course... Oh do stop sniggering and making 'anorak' jokes.)

I wonder if she'd have been a bit less callous if I'd done it whilst cutting a mount for one of her photographs...

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

This is not an obituary

Some while ago, I was reading a blog posting about the uncertainty that arises when people "disappear" from their online environments and how anybody who spends time in the virtual realms should have a plan to allow their online friends know if they are going to be AFK* for a protracted period, in case their absence is assumed to be an indication of their Real World death.

The post had been prompted by the actual death of someone who, amongst other things, was a resident of "Second Life". They had been missed by their friends in Second Life, but it had taken some time before the news of their real-world death filtered into the digital domain. It had been difficult to verify the bad news as the use of avatars and pseudonyms creates a disconnect between the real and virtual worlds.

The conclusion of the post suggested that anybody who has a significant digital presence owes it to the people they know purely through online activity, to warn them if they are going to be intentionally off-line so that their absence isn't cause for undue concern.
To deal with the flip-side of the issue, cyber-folk are encouraged to arrange some type of "Digital Will" which ensures that in the event of their death, the news is circulated to all the various realms that they inhabit in cyberspace.

I think the idea has some merit, so if you are sociable online and run blogs, MySpace, Facebook etc. or you are a resident of SL or similar, it might be worth thinking about.

* Away From Keyboard

In the light of the foregoing, Id like to pass on the good news that, although Reallyfatbloke has dismantled his blog, he is still very much alive in the real world.
Mind you, his 'Wifey' has taken up playing the saxophone, so I'll keep you informed...

Thursday, 12 November 2009

As if there weren't enough distractions already...

Here's a bit of a diversion that one of my esteemed colleagues drew to my attention.

Thank you, Scubamanders.
(He seemed so sensible when he started working here...)

It's a web-browser game called "Crush the Castle", where you control a trebuchet to hurl rocks at various castles until they fall down and squash the hapless inhabitants.

There is no limit to the amount of ammunition you can use, but you are awarded medals for demolishing castles with just a few shots.

It isn't "World of Warcraft", but it's good for a laugh... and it is free

Thursday, 5 November 2009

OK, the "Father Ted" reference was a bit misleading

I was told by a work colleague, that the title of yesterday's posting was "confusing".

So for Mr Who-shall-remain-nameless and anybody else who has no idea what I was on about, here's the moment...

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

With apologies to Father Ted

Here's a splendid thing that might make you say, "Cor blimey, that's smart" or something similar.
Follow this link, and then simply drag the slider beneath the image.

It's on the University of Utah website and there's no way I'd have normally come across it, so thanks to Tateru Nino for bringing it to my attention.