Thursday, 2 April 2020

A horsey update

After my daughter's stallion had to be put down a few weeks ago, my little cherub was understandably distraught.

    Both of her horses are ex race machines. I suppose they must give them turbo food for a few years, which makes them fast, but also rots their bones and afflicts them with massive ulcers. I'm not generalising here, but I know what I've seen. Still, the last five years he was with my daughter were a lot happier than when when he was running.

    So imagine her terror when Ellie, the miniature Shetland stopped eating, and worse, drinking. After four days of this the new vet carted her off to Oxford to a horsey hospital, and told her (my daughter that is) that her mouth was full of  hideous and suppurating sores. She was subsequently rendered unconscious, and pumped full of liquid via intravenous drips. After the operation on her inner mouth was completed, and allowed to heal, the vet filed her teeth to remove the jagged bits (since Shetland's will eat absolutely everything); something the previous vet refused to do because it was completely unnecessary, according to him.

    Ten days later and Ellie was back, slimmer, but well and happy.

    Richie, the other ex race horse, who has a wonderful temperament, but also carries fewer IQ points than a stable door, had been missing her greatly and was delighted to see her back.



    Careful observers will notice that Richie's right eye is missing. It cost me a fortune to have it removed a couple of years ago because of his inability to walk in a straight line without bumping into things - like big spiky hedges.  Like I said, lovely but brain dead.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

This self isolation is driving me ****************

I'm so bored with being stuck in the house, not knowing how much if any wages I'm going to earn, that I wrote a computer program.


It was to calculate Pi.

    I only wanted to it to ten decimal points. Easy I thought, and quite fast since my pc is quite powerful.

    It took 1,100, 000 iterations of the loop to do it. By the time it finally ended I'm pretty sure the machine was smoking, or it might just have been coming out of my ears.

    Time to find something else to do.


Oh, finished the calculator, big deal.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

My own hubris has bitten me on the b***

I haven't written for a while, in fact since I completed my last novel. For reasons I never even thought about I never told anyone about it. The result of this was that I haven't sold a single copy. Although I might have sold dozens, but as I haven't been onto Amazon's sales site for ages, I don't know.


    That isn't the hubris part - that's just bone idleness.

    About three years ago I bought a piece of WP software called Textmaker. It's German and apart from the rather limited English dictionary, it's superior in every way to that bloated whale, MS Word. And it's definitely cheaper at about 30 quid for the whole suite. 

   It was, and is great - until yesterday.

    For the past few months I've been messing about with computer languages, and now, after learning eight, I've settled upon Java.

    Yesterday I decided to bite the bullet and put it to the test by coding my own scientific calculator. All went well until discovering that one has to copy and paste the appropriate button symbols from - of all things - Word.

    No probs, said I, I'll just do it from Textmaker.

    Except that it doesn't have the one's I want. I've tried downloading a few free WPS progs overnight and none of them are any good, either. Even the myriad sites from which I can download free calc buttons, not one has the specific one I want.
    
    I absolutely refuse to buy into that big overblown program of which I will not mention, so only one option is left to me.

    Plan B is pac-man game. It's nowhere near the same thing but I simply refuse to take out a mortgage for a month of that other program.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Starvation lent me wings

I went to the supermarket today, dreaming of the old days when you could go into them and actually buy stuff. Those times seem to be over.

    So I wrote what's been churning in my foetid brain for a few weeks. It might just be a novella, perhaps a whole book. I'm enjoying it so far. But one thing's for certain, there's going to be blood.






                                                                         Pool



Allison stared, entranced at the huge vertical wall of blubber shaking spasmodically with his every word. How many pints of beer had it taken to produce such a monumental beer gut, now spilling from his waistband like a great stretch marked whale? She shuddered, trying not to gag.
  'It's like I told ya the last time,' Vince burped, yet at the same time miraculously guzzling from the tiny pint mug dwarfed by his florid, sausage shaped fingers, 'women can't play pool ‘cause they're rubbish.' He went on, his scientific explanation as to why the minuscule size of women's brains precluded any and all possibility that there could ever be a professional female player.
  'So there you 'ave it.' he grinned finally, his diatribe finally running out of steam. His face was hardly a pretty sight at the best of times, but now after approximately eight pints, it was just a vague approximation of a human nearly hidden behind wrinkled and mottled flesh. Alison turned away before her anger forced her to do something stupid. A big fat tub of lard he might be but Vince had friends in the pub. A pub that he would never have been interested in but for the beautiful and very expensive pool table the manager had recently installed.
  'Never mind him.' Deborah frowned. Her delicate hands were a complete contrast to her boyfriend's. To be honest Alison had no idea what she saw in him. She was still moderately pretty, if you ignored the squint. Anyway, they were friends and had been since school. Still, that didn't mean she had to like him. The him in question, leering from the other side of the crowded bar, edged on by his moronic friends, frowned, the smile gone at Deborah's stern glare. A big fat tub of lard he might be but her friend had only to turn an icy glare in his general direction to reduce him to a stumbling child.
  'Why do you want to play pool, anyway?' Deborah hated the game and always ignored it even during the weekly team match, the captain of which was, of course, Vince.
  'I'm good at it. Why shouldn't I play if I want to?' It was so unfair. She could always go to the Red Lion at the other end of the village. Hardly anybody ever went in there, due to the distance from the nearest bus stop; that and the manager's wandering hands. But at least it had two pool tables that were almost always vacant.
  'We should start a women's “B” team.' The inspiration had come to her in a flash. Why not? They could practice in the Lion and in a few weeks they could challenge Vince and the rest of the beached whales to a match, and beat them to a pulp. The mental image of a thoroughly trounced Vince was something to be cherished.
  'A beeeee team?' Deborah giggled, nearly spilling her drink. 'A B... but why not? Lardo's been having it his own way for too long.' She frowned as the practicalities became apparent. 'How many girls would we need?' That was something Alison had not considered. Vince's team consisted of six. Were there six regular women who would even consider joining? And further, risk multiple bottom bruises by practising at the Lion?
  'Margeret might. And Jane. What about Silvia, she,' she stopped herself in time, 'you know what she thinks of Vince.' that had been close, however Deborah seemed not to have picked up on it. 'That leaves one more.' No one sprang instantly to mind. Who was she going to ask? That was even if any of the others would agree. 'Vivian,' Deborah said quietly and with a malevolence that was almost frightening. She looked over to Vince with that almost sixth sense of hers, just in time to see him wink at a young and pretty girl in a mini that had dropped her handbag on the floor. 'Yes.'

Six weeks seemed to have flown by. Getting the girls together had been difficult due to their varying schedules, even after they had miraculously, all agreed. Even though unspoken was the idea that the main target of their ire was one of their boyfriends. Their first attempts at playing on the Lion's two tables, overlooked by a surprised but vaguely sickening manager had been disastrous.
  Balls flying from the table; cues dropped and stood on; missing every pocket on the table; and not forgetting that near disastrous moment when Vivian's cue had gone right through the green cloth. Surprisingly the manager had been pretty good about it, although his eyes had nearly popped from their veined sockets after Deborah had worn her shortest micro mini to make him forget. But finally, and surprisingly, they had come through it. By no stretch of the imagination could any of them be called good, but they would show the whales up when the first match happened. And of course there was no forgetting the secret weapon.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

The wanderer is back-ish

Hullo all.

I've sort of finished my foray into the world of computer languages (apart from my ongoing and sometimes futile attempts to learn Unity with C#. The last part isn't research for my next book but just because I love it and refuse to be beaten by an inanimate computer language.

    What I am being beaten by is the utter stupidity of the British people.

    According to my doc, both my wife and I, and her family almost certainly caught, and recovered from, the Corona virus almost three months ago.

    That's good, but it's still apparently going to get me/us as there's no food in the supermarkets. The shelves are all bare. It's very reminiscent of those stupid movies where the end of the world is nigh. But even if I could buy food, our troubles still wouldn't be over as there isn't a single piece of toilet paper for sale in Britain. For some unknown reason the herd are convinced that they all need four hundred packets in their home, and are beating the punitive ban on five packets each by leaving the supermarket and returning ten minutes later for another five - and so on.

    Enough of that nonsense. 

  



Here is my newest shot of my beautiful daughter and granddaughter.

    I finally got the chance to use the newest version of GIMP the other day to remove all the watermarks Face-o-gram seems to think is necessary on all photos.

    I had to use clone as the healing tool is still, what the word for it? Oh yes, C**p

Back soon.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

No, I'm not dead.

My apologies for not being around for so long.

    Remember I said that I was learning a computer language or two?

    Well two turned into four and then on the fifth, I won't name it for fear of libel action, I dragged down so much filth, meaning trojans, and other assorted worms, that it's taken me weeks to clean my system of all the garbage.

    The moral of the story is, that it you're going to download mountains of free stuff, then make sure you back up your system to an external drive before doing so. It's a pity I didn't heed the advice of several thousand blogs, articles and other, much wiser people than I who have been saying as much for years.

    But all is not lost and now, armed with a plethora of new knowledge, my new novel can begin.

01001101 01111001 00100000 01101110 01100101 01110111 00100000 01101110 01101111 01110110 01100101 01101100 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01100111 01101111 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01100010 01100101 00101100 00100000 01001001 00100000 01101000 01101111 01110000 01100101 00101100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100010 01100101 01110011 01110100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01001001 00100111 01110110 01100101 00100000 01100101 01110110 01100101 01110010 00100000 01110111 01110010 01101001 01110100 01110100 01100101 01101110 00101110 00100000 01001001 00100000 01100011 01100001 01101110 00100111 01110100 00100000 01110111 01100001 01101001 01110100 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01100010 01100101 01100111 01101001 01101110 00101110

   The much more intelligent among you (although that wouldn't be too hard), will be able to read this simple message in a moment or two.

    See you soon.

Saturday, 2 November 2019

I think I'm taking this computer language lark a bit too far.

I had a nasty dream last night.



    I was being chased by a multi-dimensional array through a scene which reminded me of the first DOOM game. A game I enjoyed at the time, but then I wasn't actually being hunted by faceless daemons.

    The fact that I'm still not entirely sure how to write a fully functioning multidimensional array didn't help - and the soundtrack was absolutely rubbish.

   But I won't let it bother me, because I also got a snippet (see what I did there?) of and idea for the second chapter from my programmer from hell novel.

    I've scoured the house and retrieved my Android tablet which almost wept for joy when I pulled it out of the cupboard. We parted company acrimoniously last year when it broke down halfway through a software update - exactly half way through a software update, leaving me with a main memory of rubbish.

    I booted it up, and after some stern finger-wagging and barely veiled threats of what I would do if it buggered up again, it pinged victoriously and now I've begun the first draft of the first chapter. It's great to be back even if the Bluetooth keyboard is utter c**p. I could type faster with that awful screen keyboard, but I don't want to do that anymore since my furious prodding has already cost me one new screen.

    Onward and upwards, I'm expecting to finish the first draft of this , oh easily within the next year or two (ish).

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