Adrift. Alone. Awry.

I have not posted here for the last few days.

In fact, I have really struggled to do anything these last few days. At the weekend it was all I could manage to get out of bed. I used to have a great plan in life. That disappeared years ago when it became clear it was totally unrealistic. Since then I have been adrift.

“Fake it till you make it” is how the old saying goes.

I have never been able to do that as I always felt it somewhat dishonest. For most of my life, I have been the family fix-it guy. Whenever anyone had a problem it would be me they came to for help. It was pretty cool being that guy. However, what I had not realised was I needed help as well.

A wave of depression has hit and I cannot shake it on my own.

So I will be seeing a doctor later this week to talk things through and get some help. When you are the family fix-it guy asking for help is not easy. I have been fighting off going to the doctor’s, worried that once it is on my medical record that it could affect any medical check a potential employer may want to do.

I am reminded of the line from the Abba song, Super Trouper.

Facing twenty thousand of your fans, how can anyone feel so lonely?

I don’t have 20,000 fans, but I have people around me that I cannot discuss this with. Finger crossed there are better times ahead.

Story of my life

It seems to be the story of my life. Sit down to watch an Eagles video and each track invokes a memory.

However, they still remain the only band I ever wanted to see live but never managed to. One year they played the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield on my birthday. It was the only time I ever asked my then wife for a specific present, two tickets for us to go and see them.

Needless to say, the tickets never materialised.

With the passage of time, my chance to pursue that particular dream has gone.

Though I don’t think it directly contributed to it, these days my life can be summed up by the first line in the song of the video below. 🙂

How about songs from your life?

Sun through the woods

How long is permanent?

I got involved with a discussion the other day about time, history and what the difference was between temporary and permanent.

We argued for quite a while about what constitutes history. I took a precise science approach put forward the notion that as soon as a moment had gone by, it was in the past and therefore history.

Others felt that fifty years should pass before something was really considered history. A third perspective said a century should have gone by.

We failed to reach an agreement that would satisfy us all, but readers here know I am desperately looking for work and I made a comment about temporary versus permanent jobs.

In the 21st Century, there is no longer something called a permanent job.

Boy did that open a can of worms.

In previous generations, a permanent job would have seen someone working for the same employer from leaving full-time education, usually school, until they retired. That just does not happen anymore. People are much more mobile and not afraid to switch employers, especially in the technology & science sectors.

I used the analogy of a blog.

I have seen some blogs that have postings all the way back to 2003. They are not normally self-hosted blogs and using publishing platforms. I have always considered digital content transient. Let’s face it, the computer has only been around eighty years or so. That may be a lifetime, but in terms of history, it is barely the blink of an eye. If I want to create a permanent record of my thoughts, I have to resort to paper.

In the digital world, file formats change. Operating systems change. One standard becomes the fashion before being replaced by another. There is built-in obsolescence in the digital world. It is a challenge professional archivists have had to deal with.

Book of Kells Page
From Wikimedia Commons
With paper-based documents, as long as they are kept in the right environment, you can depend on them lasting for centuries.

The picture to the left shows an illuminated page from the Book of Kells which is believed to have been created in 800AD.

Now as it is written in Latin, you could argue the “file format” has changed. After all, Latin is by no means commonly used for conversation anymore. However, it is still a recognised “standard” and can be translated by those with the knowledge.

So the question I think we need an answer to is, how long should a digital format have existed and been in common usage before it is considered permanent?

I’m not sure any qualify.

Canal at Hebden Bridge

One week until the Hebden Bridge Folk Roots Festival

A week today the Hebden Bridge Folk Roots festival begins with performances from 6pm in venues around the town. If you have not visited the town before why not come along and sample the unique lifestyle of this Pennine town.

There is still time to get your tickets by clicking here.

Or, if you would like more details about the venues or line-up for the festival, visit Hebden Bridge Folk Roots Festival official site.


Forgive them, they know not what they do

BBC News reports that Amazon has launched what is being referred to as a ‘style assistant’.

I have to admit that my first thought was:

They want you to put microphones into your home using Amazon Echo. Now here come the cameras.

Presumably, it will not be long before other large corporations launch similar products.

It seems to me it is yet another piece of the total surveillance grid being put into place. In fact, it is worse than that because the narcissistic millennial generation will pay to have the surveillance set on them.

Of course, the usual talk of not passing on information to third parties gets a mention. I’m sure the corporate executives actually mean what they say, but what about those with less than honourable intent. What happens when these devices start getting hacked? We have all heard of massive data breaches relating to technology, so what data does this device collect and store in databases? Somehow that aspect always gets lost in the marketing.

What happens when these devices start getting hacked? We have all heard of massive data breaches relating to technology, so what data does this device collect and store in databases? Somehow that aspect always gets lost in the marketing.

We have all heard of massive data breaches relating to technology, so what data does this device collect and store in databases? Somehow that aspect always gets lost in the marketing.

Surely it is reasonable to assume that it is only a matter of time before any new technology is hacked?

The tech industry is spending huge sums of money trying to convince the world that the ‘internet of things’ is something we all need.

Why would I want my washing machine to be connected to the internet? Or my fridge, freezer or toaster? It just does not make sense to me.

Why would I want a microphone or camera sending information about me to a foreign owned corporation?

I don’t think I am spinning you a yarn when I say the narcissistic millennial generation that has been brought up on a diet of ‘selfies’ seem to be in the firing line. Once the early adopters are in, the rest will follow without thinking.

Then the surveillance grid becomes the ‘new normal’.

Needless to say, it is not a concept I intend buying into.

Tired Cat

All Tuckered Out

I’m tired. No scratch that. I’m absolutely knackered.

My back is killing me. My eyes feel like they have had sandpaper rubbed against them. Need I go on?

What is the cause of all this pain? You’re looking at it. Spending too long at the computer screen trying to find work. Between that and making phone calls, I have almost forgotten what the outside world looks like.

So I have resolved to get outside, out and about over the weekend. Meet and talk to new people.

So if a random person comes up to you and starts talking, be kind, it could be me. 🙂

Pace Egg – There’s nowt so queer as folk

England is full of daft traditions and perhaps more so in Yorkshire than other places.

From the land that brought us the Brontë sisters all the way through to Last of the Summer Wine and a whole host of things in between.

Tomorrow is Good Friday so this is a timely reminder.

Good Friday. That means Pace Egg play day.

Traceable back to the early 1600s, Pace Egg is a classic medieval mystery play, performed in the open come wind, rain or shine, every Good Friday in Weavers Square in Heptonstall, West Yorkshire.

The play itself is performed a number of times in the square throughout the day and during the breaks between performances, tradition dictates that the players head off to the nearby pub to lubricate their vocal chords.

The first performance of the day sticks fairly rigidly to the script and you will find that the first performance one year, will be very similar to the first performance of the another.

As the day progresses, the script changes. The vocal lubrication takes effect and you will find the jokes change, the players mercilessly tease each-other if someone forgets a line or cue, drag audience members into the fray, or indeed generally just improvise with one-another until one of them finds a way to get back on script.

The result is highly entertaining and draws a huge crowd to each of the free performances.

However, it only happens one day per year, so tomorrow is your chance for 2017.