A box of tech

While searching for my – still lost – bluetooth earbuds I realised I have a few gadgets and things which I will never use again but I’m not about to throw them out. So I found a box, plonked them all in and next up is finding any charging cables.

What’s in the box?

Top row:
Portable speaker that uses a cable.
WP branded earphones
Creative Zen Vision 30GB Music / Video player
Creative Zen Micro
Broadlink Remote device

USB video camera
Blackberry Bold
Sandisk Clip+ MP3 player
WP branded Flip video camera
iPod Classic 160GB
GPS device

Psion 5
Flip video camera
Nikon Coolshot camera
Minidisc player

Two more cameras
iPod Touch
iPod Touch
Garmin forerunner watch
Five different Fitbits

The WP branded Flip was I think given out to everyone at the first Automattic Team meetup – which was Support – in London 2009.
The iPod Classic gets very hot very fast when plugged in so that needs a new battery at least.
The Psion 5 works perfectly as do many of the items.
I just can’t bring myself to throw them away.

I need to measure my nipples

I had two days this week where I did not speak to another human. I walked the dogs 4x every day but passed no-one. I – I was going to say talk to the dogs / cats but that implies I’m either maaaaad (which I could be given paperwork from a Dr but has not been tested legally and ended in a positive and to be honest I’d never use as a defence) or that I’m Doolittle. Neither apply.
I speak to them, reassure them, fuss them.
But yeah, no humans.

IMG 0728
The pub I used to take the dogs too is open. Table seating, dogs can’t wander round, can’t stand at the bar chatting. That’s not a pub. So we don’t go.

I have my ear plugs for the wedding of my youngest ready – assuming that idiot Prime Minister and his sixth former moron Hancock don’t cancel weddings. If you are in a Slack channel with me, just ask and I’ll post the image.

Diablo 3, Necro, Solo 105, Paragon 1600 something.

I have titanium rainbow bcr’s in both nipples. When I go out, one of them shrinks/tightens and it stings. I assume that’s because of the ring curvature. So as winter approaches it’s time to measure the nips and buy straight barbells.

The bad dreams continue.

September 1985

I had applied for my RNMH nurse training some time before and got a late interview September 1985. I recall much about the interview. There were two guys doing it – Albert Smithson (Nurse Manager at the main MH hospital) and Dennis Roughton (Education lead for the RNMH branch)

At the time I lived – with Jacqui – in a small village away from the city. To get to work I had to get a bus to the city, then from the city to the hospital. He asked me about how I would not be late for shifts (they started at 0715) and I replied that if I got the position I would not be late.

Three years later I qualified and he was interviewing me again. He asked the same question to which I replied that I was sure he did not have any record of my being late over the last 3 years.

I was actually late twice in that three years (Different managers in each case). Once because of snow and pretty much everyone was late, and once because of the first bus I caught.
It was late so I missed the connection at the City bus station and was late to my shift. The Ward Sister called me to the office and gave me a right bollocking even though it was out of my control. I later told her that I would never be late again because next time I’d call in sick from the Bus Station. (We later went on to work together and she was an amazing Ward Sister to work for – I was her Deputy).

I never once yelled at, belittled or commented negatively at anyone who arrived late for a shift. My usual response was “Get a coffee/tea, catch up with the notes and then jump in”.
Likewise if anyone ever said they needed to leave early, or ‘now’. Fine, just go. If you are asking it’s important and details can wait.

If you work with people you need to trust those people.

While thinking about what Albert said, and how I subsequently acted when in charge it reminded me of an event at Automattic.

My chat shifts started – by my choice – at 7am. At that time I should be logged in and accepting chats. But I was always online – but not in chat – maybe 15-20 mins before that so I could catch up on issues, read P2’s etc.

One day I wake, walk the dogs, shower, sat at the computer and there is a power cut. Rare but they happen. Could not do anything – no tether, no way to contact work – but a couple of minutes after 7am the power came back. The router connected, I refreshed everything and started to get to work.

In Slack I had been pinged. I was being pinged to tell me I was late.
Like I didn’t know.
The message was curt, not friendly.
I replied that I’d been here forever and that if I was late it was for a very good reason.
She – the scheduler – replied that I should have foreseen this and advised colleagues.

H T F do you foresee a frickin power cut?

That’s what I said (typed) and the response was the same. My fault.

F*** You.

That sort of aggression was very very annoying, and it wasn’t her first.
The odd thing is though that this was 0700 UK. And she was in Canada. So that must have been 0300? 0200? What the hell was she doing up at that time and so eager to crack her whip at others?

I hate being late for anything
I hate being reminded I’m late
But her? FFS

I really hope JM is not a scheduler now.

Tell someone BEFORE they die

Chadwick Boseman: Tributes pour in for Black Panther actor

He kept his illness private and that deserves admiration.

But words you say after someone dies mean nothing. Zero. Fuck all.

It’s just you doing the ‘social’ thing, the ‘expected thing’

Pointles but it feeds your ego.

If you love someone, value someone, care about someone, then tell them today. Now.

Email, Signal, a voice call.

It matters

Just bad

Not a nightmare but it involved an argument with J. And the day has been bad since. Everything reminds me of her. Constant tears. No-one to talk to, No-one to text or call that would care.

Why not?


I’m not on facebook so I do not exist.


Three consecutive nights of horrendously bizarre and upsetting nightmares. All different in content, in endings, in everything except the fact that loss and confusion are the prime factors.

In the one last night I woke from the nightmare but I didn’t actually wake up. I woke up in the nightmare, tried to move, could not, tried to open my eyes, could not, tried to speak, could not. And then the next instant I’m back in the nightmare albeit slightly moved in location.

The location? It was a city made of food. Biscuits, sweets. Well weird. And it was collapsing. (That’s to be expected I know in the cold light of day but hey, it was there in the dream). And another part was cold icy islands, very small ones. With tiny people, tiny creatures. (Like bears that were tiny, not creatures you’d normally expect to be tiny).
And the city was crumbling and everyone tried to get away and in the crowd I saw Jacqui. I got to her, hugged her and then the crowd was swept away to the right and I couldn’t hold on. And I woke up crying. Only I was not actually awake again.
Then those of us left had to get to .. somewhere .. fast and I couldn’t. That restarted a few times as I tried and tried and failed.

Another night I was in a prison and was told I could leave. But I couldn’t find the person to authorise it, then I did, then the papers were lost from my hand, then they came back, then I got out and I couldn’t go to where I wanted.

I have felt mentally shot and physically ill all day, and it’s these dreams. I don’t want to sleep.

Is this grief? Covid? Something else? No clue.

I could take the medication, but that zonks me for 12 hours and that’s no good for the dogs who expect to go out earlier than 11am.
I could alcohol my way through but no, that’s a bad route.
So I’m stuck. I have no idea what to do. I have no answers.

Sourdough died

Yesterday it was bubbling, today it is flatter than Eric. Still, I have yeast, flour, water so will try some proper bread at some point.


Played some SNES Mario Kart. Although Jacqui and I played lots of the N64 version we both agreed that the Battle mode on the SNES was way better. Sometimes 3D is not right. The music to the GP took me a long way back in time.

We have a large plastic Cola bottle which we’d drop our change into. Been here for years and with Contactless, it’s now pointless. Spent an age yesterday counting and bagging. £50 in 5p, another £50 in 2p and 1p. Whenever it becomes actually safe to visit the city I’ll take a few bags in each time.

Made a decision yesterday about changes – one main change being primary – that I need to make to me. I hope I can carry it through. Not having any focus on anything in the future and not having someone close to me (emotionally not distance) will make this hard to do. Very hard. If I manage it, great. If not, there will be a next time.


Day started okay enough. Neither good or bad. Did the book thing, did the Day 3 thing for my sourdough attempt, housework. All normal stuff. Took the dogs for a wander and while out my mind recalled a single line from an online chat I had with a friend yesterday. One line. Six words it was. My mood flattened instantly.


It’s not like the thought it caused is new. It is not. It’s not like I didn’t know it. I did. But that thought, that knowledge was sat at the back of the class quietly doing it’s own thing, being ignored by the rest of my mind. And suddenly it is pushed front, centre, on a pedestal and lit with a spotlight. The rest of my mind sees this and slumps down, knowing that the truth is there in front of them and while it can be ignored it will always be a truth, an unchanging fact, the way life will be.

If it wasn’t for the dogs I’d be in bed willing for the day to be over.
Not that tomorrow changes anything but at least the spotlight should be off.