Darren Jones

Mersey Porpoise

On a recent Sunday evening visit to Seacombe, I was very pleased to get a photo of some porpoise in the Mersey!

Porpoise in the Mersey

To-do list software. Check.

I’ve been after a nice to-do list app that will work across tablet and desktop.

I particularly wanted one that would permit actions to repeat (daily, weekly, monthly) as I wanted to use it at a prayer diary. There are people I pray for every day, some once per week, some once per fortnight, etc.

After a bit of a search, I’ve settled on Astrid and it’s great. Multiple lists, all very nice and easy to use.

Do it. You’ll be organised. And that is good for you and cool.

No escape!

A few weeks ago I was working on my laptop on the living room floor when I became aware of Lily (our snowy white cat) playing with something near my feet. When I looked, I saw 4 eyes looking back: two were Lily’s, and two belonged to a mouse she’d brought in for fun.

The mouse was first to move, and scarpered into the corner of the living room. Unable to catch it, we had to give up and assume one of the dogs or cats would get it eventually.

Several weeks passed, until last Friday I just caught sight of it dashing under a cupboard while I was working in the dining room. A trap was set that night, but without success. Saturday night the trap was laden with goodies: flapjack, Mars bar, Polo mint…

Everyone has a point beyond which their temptation gives way, and this little mouse is no exception.

He was last seen being released into the “wild” in Carr Lane, Moreton.

You also have a tipping point. The question is, have you passed it already? What traps await us? Is there an escape?

The Truth shall set you free.

Is that what I think it is?

Earlier this month, late one Saturday night, I opened the back door to let the dogs into the house after their late-night toiletting.

Toffee the cairn terrier was nowhere to be seen. She’s usually first in the house. I called her, and she came running towards me carrying something in her mouth.

“Is that a hedgehog?” I wondered.

She came closer and I saw something long and stringy hanging down.
“Is it a rat?!”

She jumped in the house and dropped it at my feet.

It was a piece of coconut shell with string attached. It was an old bird-feeder.

Ever felt scared as you looked into the dark? The truth shall set you free!


WordPress is amazing

I’ve spent quite a bit of time with WordPress lately. In case you didn’t know, it’s one of the most popular and well-supported pieces of blogging software on the internet.

That means it’s stable, easy to use, and has lots of cool add-ons. More importantly, if I build a site for someone else it makes me look like I’ve got more website-building skill than I really have 🙂

I’ve been re-building a website for someone and so decided to start from scratch with WordPress. It’s so easy. One of my favourite things is that once it’s finished I’ll get WordPress going on their phone so they can publish their own material – and have it automatically Tweet. Like this post, for example!

I’d charge for my services, except it would be a con!

One for creationists to ponder…

NASA’s Curiosity has landed on Mars looking for signs of water and life in the distant past. It’s a brilliant achievement (ignoring moral questions such as whether the money might have been better spent elsewhere).

Curiosity even sent out a Tweet: I’m safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!! #MSL

The apparent age of the earth (indeed the universe) has long caused Christians to re-examine Biblical accounts of Creation and the timescales in particular.

What happened to the dinosaurs? Why are there fossils of sea creatures on high mountain ranges? These questions (and many others) are often connected with the account of a world-wide flood in Noah’s day.

But if Curiosity really does find evidence of primitive life on Mars, creationists will put in an interesting position. Better start thinking, chaps…

Busy Bee

At a recent visit to family in Rhos, I took my little Canon Ixus into the back garden as there was a bush with loads of bees rummaging around.

It was a bit ropey, but I did quite like this one.

Busy Bee in Rhos

Finally, I’m on the latest Word Press!

This site is updated with WordPress, and it’s been operating on a very, very old version for a long time.

For years, WordPress has been upgradeable automatically but I was using a version that pre-dated that, so any upgrade needed to be done manually.

It rather looks like I’ve waited so long that they’ve even been able to make the manual upgrade a doddle!

Hopefully, there should be rather less spam coming my way…

There and back again

The day after finishing reading the Hobbit with Dan, our 10-year-old, he came home from school with tales of what he’d been doing in maths.

His class had been playing with palindrome numbers. Take a number, reverse it, add the two together and keep going until you’ve got a palindrome.

e.g. 68. 68+86=154. 154+451=605. 605+506=1111.

Most 2-3 digit numbers are palindromes after 2 or 3 steps at most.
Dan chose to work on 98. 24 steps later he found that 8,813,200,023,188 was the palindrome he was after. He was working by hand – no programming!

Good job he didn’t try 196. No-one even knows if that ever gets to palindrome or not! (Probably not!)

Talacre, at last

Being from North Wales and then living in Merseyside for over 20 years, it’s a little surprising never to have been to Talacre Beach.

We finally got there at the very end of 2011 and it was lovely (if a little cold at this time of year!).

Talacre Beach

The full set is on Facebook.