Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Time's unstoppable flow

It has always been my intention to post a number of witty and insightful blogs on this site. However, since -- for the time being at least -- I have clearly failed, I am posting another piece from Horsley's Over The Wall, just to keep you going. (They get all the best stuff) 

I can't be the only one to have noticed that time has begun to speed up at an alarming rate. As if growing older weren't enough of a challenge without suddenly discovering that another whole year has flashed by in what – in one's childhood – would have been the space of a single summer's day.

It's a bit like those people who go over the edge of the Niagara Falls in a barrel – you know: the accelerating rush, the deafening roar, the helplessness as they are drawn toward the foaming brink.

Readers: Goodness – did they survive?

Personally, I prefer to think of myself as one who, rather than trusting to the mercy of time's cruel current, chooses to swim against it, like a magnificent salmon leaping through the tumbling rapids.

Readers: “I guess they didn't make it, eh?”


Readers: “The guys in the barrel.”

Forget the guys in the barrel; I'm sharing some of my best insights here.

For example, it has been shown that, when it comes to resisting time's inexorable course, one of the best strategies is to set about acquiring a new skill. It might be learning to speak a foreign language, playing a musical instrument or a mastering a juggling trick.

There is one crucial point to remember however and it is this: on no account must you be tempted to allow curiosity to develop into an actual proficiency. Quite apart from the fact that you will undoubtedly discover the whole business to be far more complicated than you first thought, the fact is you simply don't have the time to sit back and practice your new found skill.

Or, as all good hedge-fund managers will tell you:
Never trade today's reality, for tomorrows potential”

Readers: “It's fine for you to talk about forgetting but once you've planted an image like that it takes some shaking off.”

I take it we're still on about the barrel here?

Readers: “The slow, strangely silent fall followed by the inevitable, sickening impact”

Oh, for goodness sake. Who's meant to be writing this piece?

OK, have it your own way: they all went over the edge and I'm not sure any of them survived.

Readers: Alas - it is just as we feared.

I'm beginning to regret ever bringing up the subject.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Q:  What about this latest round of bonuses then?
A:  Might I respectfully refer the reader to my post of 27 February 2009

Yes it was a long time ago, wasn't it?
And, yes nothing has changed in the meantime.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Smell checkers

(First published in Horsley's Over the Wall magazine)

Of all the truly marvelous technological innovations that nowadays enrich our lives, the spell-checker is surely one of the most beneficial. After all, what could be more heart-breaking than to see a perfectly sound piece of writing utterly devalued, purely on account of poor spelling.

As is now widely accepted, difficulties with spelling should not be taken to indicate impaired intelligence or creativity. It is not widely known, but both Agatha Christie and Gustave Flaubert couldn’t spell for toffee. Fortunately they had amanuenses to help them out. Nowadays, thanks to the smell-checker, we can all enjoy a similar degree of literary confident.

All the same, as is soften the case with radical innovations, there are people who, out of ignorant, fear or predicate, would have us turn our backs on this wonderful boom. One school of thought is happy to accept smell-checking but draws the lime at auto-collection, arguing that the latter risks robbing us, not only of our swords, but of the very ideas that under spin them. It is one thing to be averted to the fact that you have made a smelling mistake; it is quite another to have some completely random word hoisted upon you. People can become so valiant on spell checkers - so these alarmists claim - that they no longer have the fastest clue as to whether the worms appearing on the scream are the ones they meant to write - all they know is that they are spelled corrects.

Another common objection is that we are increase and singly wallowing electron technocracy to take control of what we communicate to otters - with truly tightening embrocations. Identity heft is usual mistaken as the risk that our personal details might be stolen by hacketts, coincidence tricksters and other criminals. On the contrary - so the unguent goes - it will be our own increasingly clever computers and mobile homes that will empty our bank amounts and cause us to be falsely abused of all sorts of unspeakable chimes.

At the extreme end, there are those who put about the paranoid fear that, despise our best tuffets, the words we writhe will soon no longer make any sense a tall and that - like streetwalkers - we risk slithering inexorably back into the dark cages.

Personal I consider all such backward-smoking worries unruly pepsi-mystic and uttermost without foundations.

Bait balls

As an enthusiastic and attentive viewer of Mr Attenborough’s wildlife programmes, I am thoroughly acquainted with the distinctive - and highly photogenic - behaviour adopted by certain species of animals, when under threat from predators.

Whether by flocking (birds), swarming  (insects) or by adopting the mesmerising form known as a ‘bait ball’ (the undoubted favourite of our finny cousins) the basic strategy appears to be the same: namely to present the predator - be it a hawk, bat or seal - with such an intoxicating abundance of options that, out of pure indecision, it ends up empty-handed.

It has been much the same way with this blog.

The reason the last post on here was dated over a year ago is that - far from having nothing to write about - it has been a case of there being too much. Like a leopard seal attacking a flock of penguins, I have found myself unable to select a single topic from amongst the myriad that presented themselves.

Anyway it’s high time I got over it. There’s been a head of stuff building up for some time now and I don’t believe I can hold it back for much longer.

For those who’d prefer to be spared the forthcoming deluge there are two options:


1) you can email me and ask me to remove you from the mailing list


2) you can set up a rule to redirect mails whose subject contains the word ‘Omnivorist’ directly to your trash can (This is by far the most sensitive and considerate approach)

To everyone else: thank you for reading.