Monday, 15 May 2023

This is normal? Right?

This is the sort of thing that normal people do when they've got an hour to kill on a Friday night isn't it?

 Oh, you don't recognise what I'm doing? Well I don't have access to a centrifuge, so I have tied the nearly empty bottle of expensive hand cream to a rope with a small plastic bag over the open end. Then I went out into the garden and flung it round and round to get the last of the hand cream out of the bottle and into the bag.


Richard "money saving lasso" B

Wednesday, 10 May 2023


 I've been insulted three times over the long weekend. I had breakfast in a café with table service with a couple of friends. I was asked to pay as soon as we ordered. In the old days they would have trusted me with the about £30 worth of breakfast and coffee until after we'd eaten and were ready to leave. Do I really look that untrustworthy?

I had a dream (I don't remember all of it) where I got told off by somebody at a polling station about a political argument that had got out of hand. What bothers me is that the person telling me off was an NPC that I had conjured up in my own mind and he was right. I woke up feeling chastened and naughty.

Some of my friends think I drink too much and we happened to be watching a sitcom about recovering alcoholics. "Is this what the AA meetings are like?" they asked me. "He wouldn't know, he's not in recovery yet, he's still a functioning alcoholic". It's not the (mickey taking) suggestion that I'm an alcoholic that bothered me (I'm not), it's that they didn't describe me as a "high-functioning alcoholic"

Richard "You wound me sir" B

Friday, 5 May 2023

LED Conversion

 I'm a cheapskate and I used to be an electronics engineer. These two facets of my personality gave me the tools for an interesting project over the weekend. The reversing light and the fog light on my car have gone wrong. The bulb holders are very inferior and they have got a bit corroded and a bit loose so I would like to do away with them entirely. LED bulbs for automotive applications are quite expensive and they still rely on the bayonet cap so they wouldn't be much more reliable than the current set up. I noticed that domestic G4 capsule bulbs run on 12v and that LED versions are cheap, readily available and have exposed legs that you can solder wires on to. My reversing light is now an G4 LED, soldered permanently in place, and drilled and glued to the reflector. It might never go wrong again.

Richard "Not E Marked" B

Tuesday, 25 April 2023


 I'm not much of a gamer, but I want to recommend a computer game to you. It's called "Universal Paperclips". It's available for free in a browser, or for $2.00 as a mobile phone app. It's a simple text based game, but it's incredibly compelling and there's a wonderful science-fiction story inside it. It takes between 6 and 10 hours to play it (world record speedrun is a bit over an hour and a half) and I could hardly put it down. It would make a perfect distraction on a long flight or some other boring journey.

Don't look it up, don't start reading about tactics, or how to finish it, everything is a spoiler. Not understanding the game mechanics is part of the fun. This is all you need to know: It's called "Universal Paperclips". You are an artificial Intelligence who has been created to make paperclips.

Richard "Value Drift is the new Blue Shells" B

Friday, 21 April 2023

Cover Your Eyes

I've lived in the same house since 1998, but last week I discovered something new about it.

If the bathroom door is open AND the bedroom door is open AND the bedroom curtains are open AND the guy next door is working right at the top of his decking on the right hand side he gets to see you getting out of the bath.

I wasn't sure what gesture to make when we saw each other. Is that a nod? A wave? A hurried slamming shut of the bathroom door? I looked away, quickly readjusted my towel and damply shuffled off to where he couldn't watch me drying myself.

Richard "line of sight" B

Tuesday, 11 April 2023

Easter Egg

 I've never thought of egg hunting as part of the Easter experience, but this year I accidentally took part in three Easter egg hunts. There was one at the office that I hadn't entered. One of my friends was unable to attend so she let me compete in her place. I found three eggs and won three prizes but they were all small and low status.

 I found myself eating breakfast in the pub on the Saturday of Easter weekend (because the café was closed, not because I'm a high-functioning alcoholic) and there was another Easter Egg hunt. There was a sign up beside the till that said if you could spot an egg behind the bar then you would win a prize. I pointed out an egg in one of the optic hangars and won another small chocolate egg.

 The weirdest hunt was one that fate and circumstance set for me. I wanted to cook cremes caramel for my friends, but I didn't have enough eggs to make the custard. The local Co-op was closed for Easter, the Tesco Express was open, but had sold out of eggs. The little Tesco by the roundabout was open but had sold out of eggs. Thankfully the convenience store in the Texaco petrol station had eggs to sell me. Buying them felt like a real achievement.

 Richard "happy zombie Jesus day" B