On his blindness

No, I’ve not developed a sudden appreciation for Milton. To tell the truth, I’ve only read a couple of his poems, that one included, and did not quite get it. Like most poets his work warrants more in-depth study if one truly wants to appreciate it, and I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

John Milton

John Milton, in case you were curious.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Today I went for my bi-annual eye test. I am blessed with severe short-sightedness from both sides of the gene pool and have been a proud member of the four-eyes club since the age of eleven. But even twenty-two years later I still find eye tests a harrowing ordeal.

Now aren’t you curious whether I’m serious or not? Click here!

On why I hate salespeople (and how to outsmart them)

I’m not talking of the nice sales assistants in shops who go check if they have this shoe in an eleven and three fifths when you ask them nicely. I’m talking of those guys who phone or knock on the door at the best of times and the worst of times, who waylay you in shopping malls like bandits of old, who latch on to you like a terrier and don’t let go until they get you to unwittingly exchange your soul for a set of steak knives, or a time share in Timbuktu, or a bottle of Antarctic air.

Dentists? Wonderful people. Lawyers? Salt of the Earth. Loan sharks*? Invite ‘em over for tea. But salespeople? No thank you.

Continue reading

Load shedding strikes again

Status

Just as I was finishing up tonight’s post the power went out. All part of our government’s plan to get people playing board games and talking to each other again (more on that later). As a result you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the latest instalment of if all else fails… Sorry about that ;-)

On loud music at 6AM on a Sunday when I was planning to lie in

Sometimes I wish it were legal to whack people on the head with a hammer, like this morning when was woken at 6AM by loud techno music playing, apparently, in my bedroom.

This led to some momentary confusion. To start with, I don’t have a radio in my bedroom. On top of that, I don’t own any techno music and I never listen to it; in fact, it’s one of the very few music styles that I openly detest in its entirety.

Continue reading

On having a sense of humour

At one point last year I started volunteering in the WordPress.com support forums. It started out as a way to procrastinate on my writing and studies, but I soon became hooked. Partly it was the great bunch of established volunteers who welcomed me into their midst and taught me (and are still teaching me) the ropes.

But the true reward is that rush of endorphins every time I successfully help someone solve a problem with their site. That, and the fact that my knowledge of WordPress.com has grown with leaps and bounds as I really dug into the support pages looking for solutions to other people’s problems. In fact, I’ve already incorporated some of the things I discovered thanks to the forums into this blog.

It’s not all fun and games, though. People come to the forums because they have a problem, and unsolved problems lead to frustration. Frustrated people can become…not nice. Some people take their blogs VERY seriously.

But then you also get people who take things in their stride, like the user whose ENTER-key started misbehaving in the post editor. His final reply to the thread really made me smile, and I thought I’d share it with you:

  • I refreshed Firefox and that fixed the problem. Kind of like electro-shock therapy — not sure exactly what it did, but it made a big difference. The ENTER key behaves as expected now. Who knows for sure what happened to trigger the weirdness, but several possibilities occur to me:
    a) I leaned my elbow on the keyboard when reaching for Kleenex and hit a strange key combo that a malicious coder set up when she was passed over for promotion at Mozilla
    b) The cat walked on the keyboard and did some sort of feline reconfig
    c) An angry God looked down and said, “Let’s fuck with him for awhile”.
    d) None of the above
    Anyway. Thanks for your help and suggestions.
    Onward toward the abyss!

And on that note I wish you a happy weekend :-D

A good woman is hard to find…

“…and worth far more than diamonds.” (Proverbs 31:10, The Message)

No, we’re not interrupting regular programming for discussing passages from the Bible. I’ve just been thinking about that passage as I appear to have one of those. A good woman, that is. In fact, King Solomon goes on to say, “She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing.” (Proverbs 31:13, The Message) That’s my wife exactly.

Confused? Allow me to elaborate:

Continue reading

I know it’s kinda late, but…

Happy New Year!

In keeping with tradition here on if all else fails… I wish you a happy New Year a week late. This time I have a valid excuse. I started the 2015 somewhat internet deprived. I couldn’t even get Google to load, never mind my blog’s dashboard.

I also woke up to the Year of the Spinning Mouse with a burning fever and a sore throat. As if I didn’t feel awful enough already, my condition was exacerbated by the knowledge that it wasn’t even the result of excessive partying the night before – the wife and I were snug in bed by 10PM on New Year’s Eve. I know. We’re very boring.

Stricken down as I were, with no energy whatsoever to engage the outside world and no internet to distract me, I turned my thoughts inward…

Continue reading

2014 in review

So I actually got one of these things this year, and thought it would be fitting to end 2014 on if all else fails… by publishing it for posterity. I know a lot of people have been publishing these, and if you’re anything like me you’ve been routinely ignoring the similar year-in-review posts on Facebook the past week, so please do not feel obligated to click the link below. I’m posting this merely for my own interest.

If, however, you actually enjoy reading these things, I can’t very well stop you, can I? Anyway, thanks for everyone who commented, participated, shared or just read the past year. Blogging won’t be half as much fun without you guys.

Enjoy the last day of 2014 (or evening, depending on your time zone when this post goes live), don’t party too hard and please don’t drink and drive. See y’all next year…

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,200 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.