Dream on

 

Nytol Soccer Toppers

Amazon have plenty of ways to get you to buy more stuff. One technique is letting you know what other customers also purchase with the item you are considering.

This occasionally throws up oddities like the strange pairing shown here.

RIP Mr Bernicoff

So, Leon Bernicoff has died. Sad news about the Gogglebox star whose guileless personality made him a viewers’ favourite.

I knew him only as Mr Bernicoff when he taught me history. So far as we were concerned, teachers had no first names, homes, or families of their own. As if they existed only during school hours and, like a holographic image from a sci-fi movie, disappeared into the ether at the flick of a switch every afternoon.

Except for a rare few like Mr Bernicoff. His wife June also taught at our school, which felt strange as it kind of broke through the fourth wall. But also you knew where you were with him. He had an openness of character and showed a passion for his vocation.

And though I very rarely need to recall the fact, it’s thanks to Mr Bernicoff I know that Johannes Gutenberg of Mainz introduced movable-type printing to Europe.

Thank you, sir.

Apocalypse now

I bought a desk diary today. “That’s a 2018 diary, luvvie!” the cashier warned.

Did she imagine I would get home and slap my forehead in horror as I realised my mistake? Did she picture me returning to Customer Services, receipt in hand to explain that I had of course meant to buy a 2017 diary? In October 2017?

No. After all, she works in a shop that has been pushing tinsel and fairy lights since the beginning of September.

I can only conclude that to her, it’s not too early – it’s just that there’s no point.

Really …?

An articulated lorry passed me on the main road yesterday. It was an ordinary, anonymous curtain-sided trailer – ordinary except it carried signs on each side which said

Warning do not walk close to this vehicle at any time.

I think I’ll put one of those on my car.

What do you do?

One of the first questions commonly asked when meeting someone new. Usually asked before we enquire about hobbies and interests (although that might be more interesting for both parties).

Insurance companies also require this information, and I came across an amusing dropdown list whilst browsing for car insurance today. A bit like the over-detailed list of pre-nominal titles I wrote about some time ago. To the extent that it accurately reflects the vast range of jobs in 21st century Britain, it is a snapshot which might be of great value to historians in years to come. Continue reading

Apache OpenOffice Calc ‘Find’ behaviour

LIke many people I use OpenOffice 3.4.1 for word processing and spreadsheets. It closely resembles the Leading Brand office software suite, yet is completely free!

Using Calc today, I noticed an unexpected behaviour in its Find and Replace feature. I wanted to search for the value ‘55.80’ which I knew was contained somewhere in my spreadsheet. However, it could not find it.

The reason for this is that although the cell apprears to contain ‘55.80’, when you highlight the cell the input line near the top of the screen shows ‘55.8’. Even if you enter ‘55.80’ in the cell, Calc drops the trailing zero.

Is this normal?

Timewasters welcome!

I have got myself on this Freecycle mailing list, for reasons which I can no longer remember. They facilitate the passing on of unwanted household goods with the stated aim of keeping stuff ‘out of landfill’.

So if you have an old TV or rabbit hutch or pair of roller skates you no longer want, you can easily give them to someone else. That’s the idea. You can also ask for things too. The rules forbid being too fussy or specific in your ‘Wanted’ postings. After all, you shouldn’t look a gift-horse in the mouth. (What is a gift-horse, by the way?)

One posting today caught my eye:

OFFER: Used pillows
Re-offered due to no pick up.
Description Have at least 4 used pillows available.
Can be used as pillows or for cat/dog bed.
Pick up ASAP. Please state when you can collect.
This evening or tomorrow-sat am would be good. no time wasters.
Thank you

As I read through it, I hatched a plan to ask a few questions about the pillows. Colour, age, filling material – that sort of thing. I was going to arrange a collection time, and then just not show up.

Imagine my sense of frustration and disappointent when I got to the last sentence. That put paid to my little scheme!