And again

I try to stay calm!No, not another supermarket mis-scan. By “again”, I mean coincidence.

For many years I’ve been noticing how many times words occur in conjunction, how they crop up together by coincidence. Maybe I’m just getting older but it seems to happen so often now, much more than 30 – 40 years ago (Yeah, I am getting old). So often nowadays (there’s that “old” talk again) I’ll be reading, either on screen or in a printed article and the same word will occur on the radio just as I read it, almost to the instant.

Or a word will crop up in some context, and soon afterwards it will reoccur by coincidence. This is what happened twice this morning. For some reason I was thinking of the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie (I think I need to learn the lessons as I seem to be losing friends at a great rate).  I’m also reading Alan Turing: The Enigma, the biography of the pioneer computer genius. What should appear in the text but How to Win Friends and Influence People. He’d been reading it! Coincidence number 1.

The Turing book is full of maths theory (the author is a Cambridge mathematician) and among the many famous names is Hilbert, a seminal German mathematician from around 1900. So what crops up on the radio this morning? A car crash in the southern Perth suburb of Hilbert! Coincidence number 2. Actually, I didn’t even know there was a suburb with that name in Perth.

These are not simple words or phrases. Coincidences like these are a bit remarkable (that’s why I’m remarking on them). I think it’s because I, we, are bombarded by so many words and so much information compared with three or four decades ago.

I highly recommend this book, by the way, but you’d better like maths and computer theory and electronics. He doesn’t dumb it down.


I posted another parcel to an overseas address yesterday. Last week it cost me $52.75 to send that faulty SSD back to Taiwan. Yesterday I had to return a model railway locomotive to the place I bought it in Liverpool, UK. It didn’t run. Admittedly it was second hand, but they advertise that their s/h stuff is tested and working. This wasn’t. The bloody postage for about 250g by simple air mail, the cheapest way, was $18.20. Bloody hell!

What with failing SSDs, non-working models, and coffee machines that only last a max of 6 months, I’m getting a bit fed up.



A WA rail scene – a bulk wheat train. Count the wagons! I’d guess 20 or more. The cost of that many model wagons at about $30 each … ouch. Add 2x locos at $150 each with DCC fitted – that makes $900 to model that particular train, just for the rolling stock. Not counting the cost of all the track as I describe below. OUCH!

This model railway is very much on the back burner these days. Too many other things are taking priority. I’ve only got a month left to compose the next book before my vouchers expire. I’ve made a start, but it seems to drag out.

As well, the design of the layout is much harder than I imagined. The problem is, not knowing anything about rail operations, I have no idea what I’m doing. It’s not hard to draw tracks – you’ve seen my early attempts, and they would go round and round, but with what purpose. I need to work out some plans that involve actual, likely, operations. Move this stuff from here to here. Take passengers around this circuit. Have a bypass or small station here. It’s harder than it looks. I keep finding new magazine ideas, but making them all mesh together is not easy.

Plus I still have to bite the bullet and outlay around $1,000 for the controller/power supply. I’ve spent around $1,500 so far on track, points, three locos, a dozen carriages and wagons and platforms and bridges and buildings and … Plus about $100 for all the wood.

I’m wondering if I can go on. Maybe I should advertise it all for sale as brand new, unopened, and bail out. No, I’d regret it, I think, but I ponder on it.


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