Battleship Lexicon

Yesterday, in the annals of our regular games of Lexicon, was a red letter day. Not one, but two ten-letter words. This is the highest to which one can aspire in Lexicon, and, frankly, it makes Channel 4’s Countdown and all its mere nine-letter words look somewhat lacking 🙂

First one was mine, although I spotted it only after I had already put out half my letters. If I had shuffled the cards a little longer maybe I would have got there. But as it was, my word TRICOLOURS was, alas,  as anglers would call it, ‘the one that got away’.

Shana was more alert and managed to blow me out of the water in the final game of the evening, by coming up with BATTLESHIP. Yes, she did use what we sometimes call the Joker to stand for one of the T’s, but it was a cracker of a word to end on.

Note to self: Must hide that Joker card…

Advertisements

When the Internet went boing

After I’d written the Happy Anniversary post, I had an overwhelming bout of nostalgia. As I mentioned in the post, I’ve been on the Internet since the 90’s, the 1990’s not the 1890’s, there was no internet back then, unless you believe in Steampunk!

The only method of connecting was by a modem, it was known as Dial-up Internet Access.
There were quite a few ISP‘s to choose from, most of them only allowed you to connect for an hour, then you had to redial. And for those of you too young to know what it sounded like, here’s a clip I found earlier…

It wasn’t very fast either, my first modem was 9600 baud, 9.6 kbit/s, painfully slow, but we didn’t know any different at the time, eventually I ended up with a 56k, 56.0/48.0 kbit/s. I think my inner geek is unleashing!

The ISP I used at the time gave you a certain amount of webspace for your own webpages, so I started to design websites for businesses. This was before any WYSIWYG software was available, I wrote every page out in code, initially with tables until CSS became more widely available.

I found writing the code quite easy, it was persuading businesses that they needed a web presence that was the tough part, most were quite dismissive. I don’t like hard selling, so I’d try gentle friendly persuasion, and I did it for as low a price as I could, bearing in mind they already had webspace, it just needed decorating!

After spending some considerable time with one client explaining why he needed a web site to enable his business to be virtually available 24/7, allowing people to contact him even when his ‘bricks and mortar’ business wasn’t open, he took a deep breath before asking me “What happens when I turn my computer off, will the web site disappear?” I smiled as sweetly as possible, while stifling my laughter, and calmly reassured him that I would personally make sure his website didn’t disappear.

Well I think it’s time to put my inner geek back in its box and get back to crafting, I’m always designing something, can’t seem to help myself!

Who really built the first pyramids?

Shana alerted me to a Sciencemag.org article on cats, and about how long humans have been domesticating them. It seems that, if cats through the ages have been anything like our Smoky, the domestic feline has been pestering its ‘owners’ for a lick of butter off the snack plate (one of Smoky’s absolute faves) and other table scraps for around 9000 years. No wonder they’ve got so good at it. (‘Awww, he has such a cheeky little face. Go on, give him some butter,‘ is how it works in our house. How about yours?)

Impressed by ancient cats’ ability to hoodwink the earliest Egyptians into raising them to the status of gods, Shana suggested some of those Old and Middle Kingdom moggies might also have been responsible for the pyramids. We now believe the original pyramids looked quite different from how they do now. Not because, as is often said, that they started life with a facing of limestone. But because they were originally wrapped in…

…Sisal!

Yes, Shana and I are convinced that the pyramids were the most advanced form of cat scratching toy known to man at that time. Scratchers, even today, come in all shapes and sizes. Cleopatra’s Needle, presented to Britain in the 19th century, was (obviously) simply a scratching post of a more regular shape and would have amused kitties of the time for, oh, minutes, before of course they got bored and went off doing something else. That’s the thing about cats. Short attentions spans, all of them. Probably need another nine millennia of domestication before that will change  🙂

Happy Anniversary

Wow, I had no idea it was 9 years ago I registered with WP, prior to that we rented our own server and ran our own WP, until damn hackers made mincemeat of it, grrrr…

…In fact I’ve been on the interwebs since the 1990’s, when you could run out of things to look at after a few clicks, and no commercial ads, real links to real pages, sigh, those were the days!

Wagner vs Corrie

Earlier this evening, we were watching BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, a sort of ‘Eurovision song contest for posh people’, as Shana put it 🙂 when Shana, having glanced at the screen for a moment in the middle of a fraught hand of Lexicon,  suddenly remarked (indicating a burly chanteuse) ‘I bet she’d make a good lead singer in one of those Wagnerian epics.’

‘Brunnhilde?’ I suggested. To which Shana immediately agreed.

And then my comedy brain cells sprang to life. ‘Wouldn’t it be amusing,’ I said, ‘to make a Wagnerian Ring cycle style of opera telling the story of a fearless adventurer who set off in search of the perfect pint of ale, and of all the characters and ne’er-do-wells he met during his quest. It could be titled “The Return of the Rover” and the lead female role would be called Brunnhilde Ogden! Obviously, to retain a Teutonic feel to the proceedings, she would have to live on Coronation Strasse, and there would be enigmatic references throughout to a mysterious ‘Muriel’, and a backstory about three ducks pinned to a wall. They probably come alive as Austrian princesses or something in the final act.’

Shana, as usual, looked at me askance.

Then I wished I hadn’t started the plot synopsis at all. I reckon I’d need at least a thousand old envelopes on the back of which I’d need to scribble it all down. Maybe best stick to part-time waffling eh? Apparently it’s what I’m best at 🙂