Dodged another one?

The pins of a CPU. All the data and control functions of a computer chip are brought out from the microscopic chip by tiny gold wires to each gold plated pin. When you read that a computer is “64-bit”, it means that the data and address buses use 64 wires, to 64 pins. There are many more wires and pins as well, up to 500. Getting all this to work is a marvel of engineering technology.
Those brown things in the middle are surface mount resistors and capacitors which are too big to integrate into the silicon die, which is not visible here but is a slice of silicon about 4mm square underneath all that stuff on top.


Aaah, another glorious, clear blue sky day, 21deg, and 24deg forecast tomorrow.

As I get older I’m noticing the way the seasons change much more, and time seems to be speeding up. At the moment, sunrise is now before 7am and sunset was 10 to 6 last night.

It’s absolutely true, your sense of time shortens as you age. I remember primary school holidays at Christmas – seven weeks holidays! Wow, it seemed endless.

Now, my cleaning lady and I both remark that it seems impossible that a week has passed since her last visit. Is it a biological process, that our brain registers time differently as we age?


Zeeeoowww. Hear that? That was the bullet I think I dodged yesterday. Yes, a kidney stone. Luckily, almost no pain except twinges in my side on Friday and a bit of lower abdo pain last night, but lots of blood in the water last evening. I drank two full glasses of water before bed and things looked clear during the night and in the morning.

I don’t know why this would have happened. I’m drinking lots of water and other fluids and I can’t see how I would have become dehydrated. Maybe it was a different kind of stone? Anyway, let’s hope it continues this way – I seem to develop stones but they pass without pain.


I found this in my handbag last week. It’s not mine, it’s a young woman’s handwriting, but I have no idea how it got there. I don’t recall picking it up, and why would anyone place it in my bag?

I can read all the words except the last one – Shakedeos? Never heard of them.


Word of the week: have you noticed in all the talk about fishing this week, the references to demersal fish? I’d long heard of pelagic fish, but this was a new one on me.

Simple, demersal means bottom dwelling, below about 200m ocean depth.

Pelagic means ocean fish, as distinct from riverine or estuarine fishes, and epipelagic means upper level fish, from about 200m depth up to the surface.

So now you know.


I’ve just finished reading another epic World War 3 set of novels, by a different author, Jeff Watson. He’s a retired US Navy helicopter pilot and boy, it shows. His descriptions of flying off ships, sub hunting, ocean search and rescues and life on board ships was fantastic.

Of course, China is the antagonist in this series of six books, each of about 400 pages, so there’s plenty of time to develop his story. And what a story. Russia gets involved, but reluctantly, partly because they don’t much like or trust the Chinese, and also out of fear that they could spark an all out nuclear conflict, which they know would devastate their country.

This author really knows how to write. It’s not literature, but it’s a great story, full of strategy and tactics, twists and turns, deceptions and surprises. I was hooked for about six weeks, looking forward to bed time to continue reading. He’s written other books, which I’m browsing through now to choose the next one.


Earlier this year I was fairly sure that international travel would be able to resume next year, 2022, once the COVID virus was subdued and vaccinations had worked. But the Delta variant has knocked that for six. I don’t have any confidence of being able to leave this state next year any more.

This is sparked by an ad I saw yesterday for a cruise from Singapore to Perth next year on the QE2. It calls at Jakarta, then Bali, before carrying on to Perth. I might be a bit interested. But even though I’m vaccinated, there’s no way I’d go to Indonesia at the moment and I very much doubt they’ll have things safe by next year. Java and Bali are among the raging hot spots in the world at the moment.

I’ve also noticed another attractive cruise departing March next year from Singapore, going up the west coast of Malaysia to Penang and Phuket, then coming down via Bali to Perth. I would love to do that, but Malaysia is also a raging virus hot spot and again, I very much doubt it will all be clear next year. I see things being still bad outside WA into 2023 now.

For my overseas readers, the Delta variant is “raging” on the east coast of Australia, mainly in New South Wales now, with Victoria following. Western Australia is one of the few places on the planet where there is no virus, but we’re being kept that way by tightly closed borders. No-one comes in or goes out without strict protocols and quarantines, and that doesn’t allow for holiday travel. Looks like international trips are out for some time to come. Oh well, more money for cars.


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