Who Would Design Such A Thing?

As far as I can tell, so almost forever, the save icon for Windows applications has been on the left of the screen. That’s where it goes. That’s where everyone looks for the save icon. A minor issue is that the save icon is an image of a floppy disk which no one has used in over twenty years. Well, you would think that someone at Microsoft would be in charge of consistency but it appears not because their screen clipping tool has the save icon at the top right. I just want to know why.

Because - Consistency
Because – Consistency

Winningest

Yesterday while walking with my favourite scientist I found out about the Merriam Webster Time Traveller page. It allows you to see what words made it into the dictionary in any year, but mostly I’m interested in the year of my birth. Here are the words that the US American dictionary added in 1972:

1972 Words
1972 Words
1972 Words
1972 Words

Accretion disk is pretty cool, as is Gaia. We can also see the change of language to recognise women in the work force with congressperson. Of all of these words though I think winningest is my favourite because it is a terrible word that is used by commentators on the NFL shows that I watch. It makes me cringe every time.

This Is What’s Wrong

One of the things I do everyday is check whether any apps on my phone need updating. I probably should turn the automatic feature on but I kinda like knowing which apps have updated. It gives me a feel for what is going on with the software on the phone. The other day I saw this on the app store front page:

I Hate Stuff like This
Social Pressure Is Bad

Everything is awful at the moment and then I see something like this app store front page.

Hey, aren’t you doing what everyone else is and learning a fantastic new hobby? You are a loser if you’ve not got anything new. What a waste of space you are and a shame to the whole human race.

I Parish

I reckon that if you are just about managing to stay sane at the moment then you are doing very well. I know the last four years have taken a huge toll on me. The Brexit vote, Trump, Johnson, SARS-Cov-2, Black Lives Matter. The whole world seems insane and while there are definitely baddies out there so many people seem to really like what they are doing. The only way to stay sane at the moment is to limit the amount of information going into my head and make sure that I do the best I can for me and my family and friends. I take joy in the simple things. And I’m one of the lucky ones. I have a job, a house, a family. Imagine if your world has started to fall out from under your feet? How must all those people be feeling? We are going to have a massive mental health problem.

This advert / article or whatever the fuck it is just adds more pressure to everyone. It’s stupid. I understand what they are trying to say they are just saying it in a bad way. I’ve taken to looking at phone stuff that tries to avoid most of the news. I will peruse the headlines in the morning and then try to stay away from the rest of it. Nothing really surprises me anymore about the world.

Had To Guess

I recently had to upload a photograph to a website for a photographic ID pass thing. I had already cropped the digital image to upload and then I noticed the website’s insistence that the photograph be <=40kB. Now, that’s not very big at all, especially when you consider that my cropped photo was about 150kB. So I resized the picture until it was just below 40kB. Then I uploaded it.

But.

Nope. The dimensions were incorrect! The photo had to be between 3.5 and 4.5 cm tall. Now, I ask you what does this mean? I’d already got the photograph to be within the correct size with respect to data but now I had to make sure it was the correct size in terms of cm. But, it depends how many dots per inch you are using. There was no information about the dpi the photocard people were using. It just had to be guessed!

Who does that these days? Who specifies a “paper size” for an image when you upload it? This was a classically terrible piece of web design made for bureaucrats who don’t understand what your average person understands about images and sizes. It was crazy. Do they not have an algorithm to just print the image to a particular size depending on the largest dimension? It was a frustrating ten minutes messing around with uploading files and cropping images along with resizing the image. What started off as a good detail photograph ended up almost pixelated.

How Many?

Is it the can or the can opener? I think this could be the ultimate question. Until recently I hadn’t opened many cans I this point was moot. I didn’t really use the can opener that had happily lain in the drawer for years and years. Then, I decided I should start to eat the stock of tins I had purchased for Brexit being a load of shit. Now, I still believe Brexit is going to be a load of shit and that happens on the 1st January 2021. But, I will build up stock with more things that the family eat when the time comes. I probably also thought it sensible to lower the mass on the kitchen cupboard shelves, I don’t trust much about the structure of this house.

Now the original can opener in this house had a black handle. That’s about all I can remember about it, that and it had performed perfectly well on tins in the distant past. This new collection of tinned food was causing it issues and it regularly failed to open the tin. So I bought a new one from a supermarket. I’m not sure if I’m being the skinflint when I would happily spend GBP400 on a watch but not more than GBP10 on a can opener. Is this my fault? The next one was:

The problem with the second one was that the arms close to the hinge are thin and when pressure is applied to the arms it whole thing warps and bends. This is a design fault and means that there’s only so much pressure that can be applied and therefore this fails. So, I thought, I’d by a cheap old classic design.

This can opener couldn’t cope with anything. It wouldn’t puncture some cans. The paper got caught up, it wouldn’t keep a continuous cut going. It was terrible. So I bought another. This time I inspected it properly before buying and decided it was strong enough.

So, I currently have the can opener above. It seems sturdy. It worked well. Until, I was opening a can of cinema-hot-dog-type-things in brine. I was holding the can about 10cm above the counter while turning the handle on the opener when the can, half opened, dropped and fell onto the counter. This, is not normally a problem I guess, but liquid burst forward and covered my phone and phone case which I had on the counter as I was listening to “The Infinite Monkey Cage” podcast. I now had a phone covered in brine and the case was soaked too.

Is this the fault of the opener? Is it my fault for having poor technique? I’m not sure I know. I guess it’s time to spend in excess of ten pounds sterling on a new can opener that might actually work. I’ve recently been watching “What We Do In The Shadows” and this communication does seem very much like a Colin Robinson story and I will chuckle about that all day.

Switched It

Recently I’ve come to a decision which wasn’t that easy but I think it needed to be done. This is not a common thing to do and as much as I was emotionally invested I think I have done the right thing. I have decided to change my NFL team allegiance to the Green Bay Packers. I have been a New Orleans Saints supporter since 2008 when I saw them play at Wembley Stadium versus the San Diego Chargers. Before that I guess I was a Miami Dolphins supporter like quite a lot of people my age.

When Channel 4 started on UK television back in 1982 it started showing American Football and because it was new a number of people at school started watching it. If you have to chose someone to support and it doesn’t come from family pressure then lots of people chose the Dolphins in those days. NFL remained an important part of my life through university as we would watch the Superbowl each year while playing drinking games. I don’t think there was a Superbowl for about five years where I remember past the first quarter.

I’ve always kept an eye on NFL but came back to watching it more seriously when I got my own home and Sky TV. I know there are massive issues with the sport regarding health of players, treatment of women, racial inequality, pretty much everything but I still enjoy it. If I was completely moral about it I would probably not watch it anymore but I enjoy it. I’m not sure what that says about me. I don’t watch boxing though, I think it should be banned. If I’m honest with myself I probably think NFL should be banned. While I’m at it I also think the same about horse racing.

A few years ago I learnt that the Green Bay Packers didn’t have their own cheerleading team and that seems the correct thing to do. Cheerleading purely reduces women to sexual objects and nothing else. The last match I saw at Wembley had male cheerleaders too but that doesn’t stop it being a terrible thing. Just letting men do it as well doesn’t change the fact that it’s terribly sexist and objectifying. Some things just need to be stopped. Saying we’ll allow everyone else to do that thing doesn’t make that thing correct.

Also, upon investigation the Green Bay Packers are the only major sports franchise in the USA which is community owned. All the other teams are owned by individuals who have too much power. That’s why they buy sports teams. I’m all for community ownership of businesses and utilities, which is exactly what state ownership is. It seems the best way for the money to cycle around. I decided around the time I found this out that the Packers would be my third team. So, at that point, in order, my allegiance goes Saints, Dolphins, Packers. After that I don’t really care how the list goes as long as the Patriots are at the bottom.

What caused me to change my views? What about the New Orleans Saints made me want to leave them and choose a team from fuck knows where? Three things:

Drew Brees is the current Saints Quarterback and he is an amazing sport person. He can throw a ball really well. I have a NFL jersey with his name on the back. But, he has some questionable personal views. How much can I ignore those and just appreciate him as a sports person? Well, I was coping at that. A while back he appeared in a video by Focus On The Family. Any group called that sort of name in the USA tends to have questionable views about the humanity of humans. FOTF are anti-LGBT. Fuck them. Also, Brees defended his position along with asking pupils to take their bibles to school, which in itself isn’t an issue but religious people tend to have unwaving harsh views on certain types of people. When this event happened I was saddened but at the same time I knew that he was a great sportsman and his personal views don’t matter with respect to that.

Then, Drew Brees made a comment about not respecting anyone who doesn’t respect the flag. He was talking about people taking a knee during the national anthem. That comment almost tipped me over the edge. You can do what the fuck you want during your country’s magical song. I don’t care. I haven’t stood for a national anthem for years because I don’t understand what it is I am standing for. When I sit down I don’t hurt anyone. If your views are offended by someone sitting, or kneeling, then you are the one who needs to change. Shortly after his tweet the Brees family did correct it and apologised and said they would do what they can to help. This was too little too late and I mentioned to friends that it might be time for me to change my NFL team.

Protesting the systematic and racist treatment of black people in a country with a massive history of racism and slavery [much like our own] and doing so peacefully is perfectly acceptable. It IS racism if you then can’t get employed because the owners of teams don’t think you are the “right” person. When your peaceful protests don’t work and change the system then you need to make more vocal protests. The oppressors will respond with their own violence and then you know you are doing the right thing. The police violently attacking protesters who are there to complain about police brutality is hilarious as well as very sad. If you don’t think institutions can be racist then you clearly haven’t read a book.

The turning point for me in my journey to changing my team allegiance was hearing about how the Saints organisation had lent support in terms of time and people to the local catholic church to help it “manage” the PR around the child abuse cases going on in Louisiana. Now, my views on the child rape criminal organisation aside, it seems to be the easiest answer ever: do we lend support to an organisation which has covered up child rapists systematically over the years? If you spend more than one second trying to think that the answer is “no” then that is too long. You see how easy it is to fall on the correct side of this argument? Piece of piss.

So, that was the moment. When I learnt of that support for the church I chose to leave. Will they care? No. Do I care? Yes. I am now a supporter of the Green Bay Packers. I just need to learn where Green Bay is and hope it’s lovely and warm like Louisiana. I will be spending this summer watching last season’s games and getting up to date with the news. I will also be buying a block of cheese for my head. Go Packers!

By A Path

Out walking the other day I spotted a lovely looking flower and so I used Google Lens to see what it was. To use Google Lens have the phone camera pointing at something in the Google App. Google will then do it’s best to figure out what you are looking at. It could be a bar code and Google tell you what the product is or it could be a leaf or flower. It’s how I found out what the plants growing in my garden were.

Don't Use Them Up
Don’t Use Them Up

When I got Google to tell me what this flower was it said Opium Poppy. I was rather startled and so did a proper search back at home and this is one variety of opium poppy. Now, whether it has any opium in the eventual seeds I do not know. I’m curious but not that curious. It amuses me a lot to know that opium is growing near my house.

Contrast
Contrast

Last night the sky was quite dramatic with large clouds and the sun at a low angle making the dark portion of the cloud on the right hand side. It looked a lot better than this picture shows.

Not Interesting

I’ve just put together a page about the cookies this site uses and what the privacy policy is. None of it is interesting but I think it might be a legal requirement. There’s a European Law, which might not apply on 1st Jan 2021, that means I need to explain to you how I use the data I collect from you. This is an easy question to answer.

I don’t.

The most I do is use Google Analytics to see how often this site is looked at and from where in the world people seem to visit. This doesn’t require cookies on your computer. But I think this site will put a cookie on your machine. If I’m honest there are about four regular readers of this and I know them personally. Everyone else stumbles across this site and I very much doubt they find it interesting. Some people find this place and try to hack into the control panel! There were thirty such attempts in the last week. I really have no idea why someone would want to do that. There’s nothing in here except the effort and time I have put into creating this website, which is nudging into the thousands of hours I suspect. The last communication I wrote took between ninety minutes and two hours.

This site isn’t that interesting. As I say on the home page it’s a vanity project really.

Purge Problems – Fixed

Recently I had to fix this site as some malicious code had appeared in the file structure and, although the site looked OK to me I know it was sending some observers off to obscure sites. So, having had this happen once before about four years ago I had a good sense of what needed to be done and also what the dodgy php files looked like.

So, I set off to purge the website of anything that looked a little dodgy. Then using what remained and back ups from before I was able to rebuild the site and get it running as it was, minus one communication that was titled “Well” but while I probably moaned about CV-19 and said some stuff that I’m doing I don’t know what it was about. I had a look at the WayBack machine but it hadn’t crawled my site that recently.

It also turned out that I deleted an index file of one of my old websites in the purge. I guess it was easy to do. The problem was that now I didn’t have a copy of that file and I couldn’t even remember what style it was or what it looked like. I had moved away from FTP back ups and more to using some backup plugin to my site. This was a mistake. I had thought that this page might be lost forever and then I remembered the WayBack machine.

My first search was for the page on this site. Nothing was retrieved and then I remembered that the Internet Archive might have got a snapshot of my original site. It had! With some tweaking of the HTML code I was able to recreate the index page and now this site runs 99.99% the same as it did before I got fucked over. I’ve also been trying to think of all the domains I have owned in the past and I think this list is about all of them:

  • iparish.org.uk
  • ianparish.me.uk
  • iparish.plus.com [not really owned by me as it was a sub-domain]
  • whatuseismaths.com
  • fooyah.net

I think that’s it. I’ll chuck in another if I think I’ve missed one. I’m struggling to know how I used to edit my webpages because I don’t recall having a computer before around 2001 but maybe I did. Internet access was poor then anyway. I do know that when I worked at my second school in about 1998 I had a site that was up and running.

My OldSites are listed on this page.