Friday, November 12, 2004

I've just bumped into a ghost.

What an amazing experience!

I just wandered out of the house to see if there were any meteors about (leonids peak tomorrow, IIRC) and while I was walking across the lawn in the dark, looking at the sky, I bumped into something fairly solid at chest height that was completely invisible. . . It felt like I'd walked into someone but there was nothing and no-one there at all. Damned spooky.

I recoiled, rather shaken, and retreated back into the house. A few minutes later - this is the really amazing bit - when I went back out I found a stunned owl sitting on the lawn. Now, what are the odds against that? Not only do I walk into a ghost for the first time in my life, but this owl must have flown into it as well ;)

(from cix:noticeboard Nov 2002)

How soon they grow up. . .

Today I arrived home from the office exhausted, collapsed on the couch and idly watched Gurgle, our three-year old daughter, playing some self-absorbing game. Perhaps foolishly I felt some acknowledgement was called for - the heroic bread-winning father arrived back from the front after several hours facing down the enemy - so as soon as I'd washed some caffeine tablets down with rocket-fuel coffee and otherwise recovered sufficient energy I attempted to communicate:

crem: "Baah"

Gurgle: [no response]

crem: "Hello, gurg"

Gurgle: [no response]

crem: "Who's a gurgly wurgly squergly urgle, then?"

She stood up, put her hands on her hips and declaimed: "I'm not a squergly urgle. My name is SARAH BRATTEL". She then sat down again and, after a considered pause, continued sotto voce: "And daddy is a pumpous old wind-bag"

Well, that's me told ;)

(From cix:noticeboard Nov 2002)

It's that time of year again. . .

The car in front, holding you up, is a toymota. And these days it'll invariably have it's thrice-damned fog-lights on because the buffoon driving it saw some fog once, turned the fog lights on even though they could clearly see the tail-lights of the car hundreds of yards ahead and lacked the wit to turn the damned things off again when the fog's gone. Yes, it is possible! Amazingly, you *can* TURN THEM OFF AFTERWARDS!

Fog lights. The name's a clue. Fog. F-o-g. Not rain. Not vague mist, not drizzle, fog. Not yesterday's fog. Fog now. Fog thick enough to obscure your tail-lights. Fog.

Gah. . .

Various of crem's ramblings, culled from cix

[on the subject of animal husbandry, fnarr fnarr]

> Am I not correct in thinking that having sex with animals
> has always been illegal???

Several of the women I've approached have used this as an excuse, certainly ;)

> who regularly does his bit to widen the gene pool with the sheep.

Don't you mean widen the sheep with his gene pole?

[on the subject of motoring]

> Which hazards would you expect in towns, but not in the country?


[pithy phrases]

Because it's reigning kant and dogma?

Publish and be dumbed ;)


Windows is a bag o'shite. So is Linux, but at least the bag's transparent...

Transport nostalgia.

One of the A-roads in Cheshire has recently been widened slightly, thus facilitating the flow of traffic. No - really. The amazing thing is that this wasn't accompanied by any new speed restrictions, so the traffic actually moves more freely than it did before. It fair brought a lump to my throat seeing a road-improvement that actually does improve the road; quite how they got such a radical idea past the motorphobic luddites in power is beyond me.

I wonder how long it'll be before the red-tarmac, speed-bump and camera fairies pay it a visit :(

What's worse than a dumb child ? A smart one. . .

A while ago my 18-month old daughter (Gurgle) announced 'farty-poos!' just as I was changing her, and then let rip a burst of explosive diarrhea that wrote-off a couple of items of furniture and gave me a thorough appreciation of the phrase 'I will be dipped in shit'. This event also expanded her vocabulary, though people usually manage to convince themselves the angelic-looking child said "fork!", but I digress:

Tonight, just as I was changing her and breathing the traditional sigh of relief at finding an empty nappy, out she comes with the dread phrase "farty-poos!" - total panic ! I quickly refasten the nappy, grab her off the floor and head rapidly for the bathroom.

She-who-can't-be-ignored senses something's up and bursts into the hall with a cry of "What's wrong?"

"Farty-poos!" I shout. "Farty-poos!" Gurgle echoes. I optimistically hold Gurgle out to mummy, but she is already making good her retreat and closes the door on a sniggered "Your turn!". Fine. To the bathroom. Quickly.

Into the shower cubicle goes Gurgle, off comes my t-shirt and after a short but desperate struggle my pony-tail is subdued and safely hair-clipped out of the way. I approach the beast from behind the shower-curtain. . . she giggles. . . I loosen one side of the nappy. . . she giggles. . . I loosen the other side. . . Nothing. Not a sausage.

"You said farty-poos, you little rat! When poo ? Poo now ? Poo later ? When ? When, dammit ?"

She tenses - I retreat - there is a tiny squeak, the sound of a mouse farting - "Fart gone daddy. All gone" and then she bursts into laughter. The cunning little rat-bag was winding me up. . .

(from cix:noticeboard (Oct 2000))

Thursday, November 04, 2004

PCB design

Idly read an article in Electronics Times today that discussed a PCB design package that allows several designers to work on one PCB at the same time. Interesting idea, though their example was a VME interface on a 16-layer(!) PCB with 12,500 vias(!!) being designed by two people... Wouldn't surprise us if one person could have done the same job in a fraction of the time using four layers and a few hundred vias. Ho hum, I suppose it was only a matter of time before software inefficiency clawed its way into hardware design. Ah, progress...