Amazon book reviews and the average reader

I do find it amazing how many book reviews on Amazon claim that the book isn’t for the average reader. To quote from my recent comment on this: I do wonder who this “average” reader is that anyone posting on these feedbacks seems to consider themselves to be above. My guess, and it is no more than that (I have no reliable information on “average” reading abilities in USA or UK) is that the vast majority of basically educated people in the developed world with some secular religious education Read more […]

Beyond Spamalot

Christmas 2010 & New Year 2011 has not been the most exciting holiday I have had. it did not help that I worked up to and including Christmas Eve and also between Christmas and New Year. Admittedly, this working was done remotely, but it was work nevertheless. I was supposed to be in Swansea the week leading up to Christmas but, to be honest, I chickened out because of the snow. Birmingham On the Monday leading up to Christmas, I had planned to work from home anyway, as we (me, the Mrs and Read more […]

Time passes more quickly as you get older

I remember my parents telling me many times that "time passes more quickly as you get older" (obviously, I have long under stood that they may perception of time). I have to agree, a year seems such a short time time and not enough time to get so many things done – at least not unless I prioritise brutally, but I like many of the odds and ends I do now including spending some time on forums like this.  I wonder, does the effect continue, or as you get older and slower and Read more […]

Music from my time

Many of the social networks and forum sites ask you to populate some kind of profile and those often include a question on what music you like. I always have a lot of trouble with this.  I like a vast vast range of music ranging from classical to some of the latest pop ditties (snigger), from some many countries using a wide range of different instruments (including different ways of using the human voice). Some music moves me greatly.  However, I remember the names/writers/performers Read more […]

What do athiests think about Christians

On a penpal forum I patronise, the above question was raised and I could not resist responding. > I’m wondering what athiest think about Christians… I’m a humanist rather than an athiest, but you could argue that the latter is a sub-set of the former. Thus, I reject the theist premise regardless of other consideration in the first instance. My regard for Christians (or of people of its sister religions of Islam or Judaism for that matter, i.e. Muslims and Jews) is focused on who they are and Read more […]


A few Fridays ago, I was sat in the coffee bar at Stafford railway station waiting for a train to London. A rarity these days as I am mostly working in Swansea and normally work from home on Fridays. My work phone rang but I failed to retrieve it from the depths of the correct pocket in time. A short while later I got the voice mail beep and was able to listen to a message from a friend telling me to call him back urgently. Worrying. I only spoke to my friend every few months or so and we tried to Read more […]

Echo from the past: Butterley Engineering 1985

A lifetime ago, I worked for a heavy engineering design and manufacturing company in Ripley in Derbyshire. Sadly the site was run down last year with business transferred elsewhere within and without the holding company. The manufacturing site has some historical relevance though and the website and forum has been tracking the demolition works.A friend pointed out to me a recent posting of a copy of a 1985 company magazine featuring news about improvements to the site and a photograph Read more […]

Gambling hangup

I have long had a problem with gambling despite never having been a gambler myself nor having anyone in the close family that has been either. Even as a child, competitive in many things (especially trying be be clever and out-thinking other people – no wonder I used to be bullied), I had a distaste for it. Just about everyone would do a bet on the Grand National when I was a child, but the idea revolted me. In later life, I did see the harm gambling can do. I have seen friends harmed greatly by Read more […]

O2 iPhone 3GS upgrade nasty

Apple have just introduced a new iPhone. I finally got around to buying one of these fairly recently on an 18 month contract (and my wife was so taken with it, we bought an iTouch for her on MY birthday – could not justify another iPhone subscription). I knew when I signed that there was a good chance that within the 18 months of the contract, Apple would come out with an update. However, I noted that O2 had offered customers a very cost effective upgrade from the iPhone to the iPhone 3g when Read more […]