Saturday, December 31, 2016

In 2016: A review

Subtitle:  My collection of their reviews

The Marcus and Agata review of the highs and lows for our 2106 is still under construction.

Until then some other review that have caught our attention:

Apple in 2016

Kermode: Worst of 2016.1

Kermode Worst of 2016.2

Q best Albums of 2016

DC Rainmaker 2016 review

EVO Car Of The Year

Best 10 Autocar Videos 2016

Apple Highs and Lows 2016

Of the above my favourite video was the EVO car of the year.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Our Digital Christmas

Coldplay: Adventure of a LifeTime

The main thing that went on at Christmas was that Marcus and Agata got to be even more romantic and close to each other.  Our /Adventure of a Lifetime/ indeed continues.

But whilst idling around on holiday of course some of the digital ramblings went on

Physical Raspberry Pi
I already commented that no Computer Geeky household should be Pi-less and so I had further time to play with a physical Pi.  It's bloody marvellous.   To any Pi-less techies reading this.  Shame on you.  Get a grip.

Virtual Pi
For those whose Physical Pi has not yet arrived (hint!) you can now download a 2GB .iso and have a live Raspbian OS run inside a Virtual machine.

I tried it out and was disappointed to find it is today only a live Linux.  In other words you can't install it to a blank disk yet.  That is to come.  Best you can do is have some level of persistance across boots.  Even the raspi-config does not work etc.  So I don't really recommend it right now. 

By the Way
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and  example

Hyper V
Hyper V is an optional feature that you can install onto Windows 2012 and 2016 server.  It's been a while so I thought I'd revisit it, and on holiday I used my lowly copy of Windows 10 Enterprise.  Yep it works!

But the real fun is downloading the free Hypervisor Product.  This is a bare metal Hypervisor  (rather like ESXi).  You control it from a remote machine with Hyper V features installed  (like my Windows 10 installation!)

As an established VMware and ESXi patriot I will have to be convinced if it can really offer me anything.  More testing to be done.

BTW: Both Hyper-V and ESXi come up with this low resources argument.  Leading to command line, non GUI, remote maintenance products.  What a load of tosh!  Maybe if you are running hundred or thousands of Virtual machines then memory footprint becomes an issue.  But 1-10, or even 50 VM's.  Give me a full featured, GUI access with complete command line please.  None of this command line only crap.  Am I ready to step back into a 1980's time machine.  NO!

Centos 1611
I do run a dual boot Centos and Windows laptop so I was delighted to see that Centos 1611 is now formally available.  Whilst I did mess around with Hyper V and the .iso   it turned out to be merely a yum update on the native partition.  But it was not all sweetness.  My second screen on the Laptop does not work under Linux. Inevitably Windows is still more usable and don't get me started about the Linux GUI  (yes, which one might you ask).

ESXi and Virtualisation
I am currently re-visiting ESXi which is now at level 6.5 and because it is no longer ESX is now another example of a once proud OS reduced to a minimalist no GUI bare metal hypervisor that you must administer remotely.  Hmm.

ESXi compared to VMware allows for something called PCI passthrough.  So what you can do, well possibly is create a Virtual Machine and dedicate it one or more physical PCIe cards.   I was trying to send my new Workstation a Nvidia 1050 Graphics card and a some USB 3.1 ports.  What fun I have been having.  If I ever get it working satisfactorily I will produce a report.

Meanwhile I discovered VMUG  but did not yet get my wallet out.  Am considering it though.

PC Migration

We gave away Marcus' old 2010 or thereabouts PC Webserver.  With 24GB of memory and now running Windows 10 Enterprise I felt it was a pretty decent Christmas Present.

Brother HL-1222WE Printer

We bought this printer as a Christmas Present and not for us.  What a generous couple we are.  The more we use Brother the more we believe they are the unsung heroes of the Printer world.  No glitz, just reliable and sensible  (read low!) priced products that work.   Comes with a 1500 Page toner and for the price of well ... peanuts.

And Finally

Coldplay: Everglow

Back to the Romance. But never forget digital.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas Running

 Marcus and Agata thought we might be the only sensible  (some say pretentious) couple publishing running photos on Facebook over Christmas.

But apparently not!

From a selection of non Elite Runner friends we have seen posts of runs and so we would like to add our own too.

Not Losing It
Particuarly with age we find that Daily Exercise and a constantly vigilant /Don't eat Crap Food/ diet are necessary to stay in reasonable shape.

Perhaps their might have been a time or even a decade when boasting that you had 
a) Gone down the pub
b) Stopped off for a Kebab
c) And a McDonalds

might have been seen as a positive boast.  But today we hope that things have changed.  The above would be something to have kept secret and not advertised.

Sounds like a detail but I found a pair of Thermal Under Armour running trousers.  Just so comfortable I could not wait to get outside and run.

The authorities have put up a formal 5Km and 10Km signed running track in our Forest.  Oh, the cheek of it.  I suppose we will find other people in our forest now.

 A picture from Christmas day.   We are taking it easy

This was all the snow that we saw.  I know a total joke!  There have been winters here where there was a 50 cm covering and to have nothing, well it is quite extraordinary.

But it did make the forest training runs easy.  Almost too easy!

Oh And Finally
We have a moderately famous saying.  

Always be fit enough to run a Marathon at any time.

In the next few days we plan to test this saying

Multiple times.

To be continued.

Bruce: Born to Run

Freedom of Action

Stones: Can't Always Get

Subtitle:  Just Because

Perhaps you remember as a child or today as a parent confrontations with each other:

Child: I want to pick my nose.  I like it.
Parent: But it's disgusting and I tell you to stop

Parent: I'm going to cycle on the Dual Carriageway
Daughter: This is a high traffic dangerous route. It's not safe and there is a great chance that in a small timeframe you will be knocked over and seriously injured.

What are the limits of freedom of action that a child or Parent should enjoy?

Over Christmas Marcus had his own frustrations ....

The Shitty Keyboard

Their Defenses.  I was told:

- I just like my keyboard
- I just don't like your keyboard
- I don't mind the sticking keys
- I don't think the wires are a problem

The Solution

So now whenever I visit I have to come with my own  bloody keyboard.  I cannot tell you how irritating this is!  

I stare with hatred  at that shitty sticking mechanical keyboard as it silently mocks me as I work. I contend that absolutely nobody can use this keyboard unless they barely do any typing.  I do a lot.

In Summary
As we get older we get more grumpy and set in our ways.  And here I am just talking about Marcus!

Freedom of Choice 2014
Freedom of Choice 2016

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Simply Passengers

Passengers trailer#2

Sure, Passengers is a love story between Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence set in a Science Fiction setting but Marcus and Agata came out of the cinema on Christmas Day with deeper thoughts about the  themes expressed in the film.

Our Thoughts
The film espoused some ideas that we feel are important

- The desire to make a difference
- That some decisions are agonisingly hard
- That a life together with a partner can be fulfilling
- The importance of friendship and romance
- That it is the life between each other that is at the core
- That you can be stewards of the future without the mindless first step, which is enlarging your genepool into eternity with excess children.

And No God
If we [the human species] ever do get to escape Earth for another new home on a distant planet we will simultaneously escape from the constraints and limitations of what will surely be validated as our /man made Gods/

I'm delighted to say that throughout the movie God was not appealed to,  did not provide any guidance,  humans without appeal to Imaginary Friends came together to face upto what Random events the cosmos threw at them.

So if you are just plain romantic you can watch the movie on this level, but you can also step back and appreciate so much more.

Kermode reviews Passengers  (warning some spoilers!)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christfsmas continued

The famous British retailer Marks and Spencer has truly dignified this seasonal holiday.

Happy Christfsmas everybody.

Celebrating Life this Christmas

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Sunday Sermon: On This Christmas Day 2016

Marcus and Agata are really celebrating Christmas Hard.

Look, we even bought a tree

Is there a War On Christmas?
Since we are not card carrying Christians you could ask this question.  But the answer is that we respect the right of Christians and encourage them to celebrate Christmas in their own peaceful religious way.  So long as it does not harm anybody we are all in

Of Course
We would like to point out that we are advocates of

Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all people,  365 days of the year
We give generously,  365 days of the year
We try to be kind, considerate and respectful,  365 days of the year
We try never to discriminate against people because of Race or Sex or Sexual Orientation, 365 days of the year

You see, because if you are a Mindful, thoughtful Secular person this is the added burden you face.  We try to do these things every day of the year, not just at Christmas.

Oh, and we read and study the Bible more than most Christians that we know, daily in fact,  but not for advice or guidance you will understand.

This Christmas

I have received some humour from Religious friends:

 Now Please Consider This

It is never our job to convert anybody,  but at this time of good will I would ask you to respectfully look at these 2 short, gentle YouTube videos

Sean Carroll and Naturalism

Belief in Belief in God

Now go back to that gentle, peaceful and respectful Christmas Celebration.

Christmas and Stuff

What you see is predominantly 3 boxes.

They are approximately half of Marcus's spare loose clothes collection.  You know things like underwear, socks, long sleeved tops.

It has taken quite some time to whittle down, i.e. by wearing out, my excess clothes collection down to its absolute minimum.

But I am almost there

And so:  It would be of the utmost stupidity to go on a buying spree this Christmas and increase the collection beyond my needs, or to have to receive an impromptu selection of clothes from well wishing friends.

An Appeal Then
Today is Christmas Eve

Most shops in Europe are open for your Business.

Please don't blow it at this last minute and buy yourselves or others /crap Christmas presents/.

Just hang in there for one more day.

The Christmas Eve Reduction Game

This Christmas Eve Marcus and Agata are entertaining ourselves with a different sort of past time.  We are scouring the house for items that we no longer need.

So that on balance after a modest present exchange on Christmas day we will hopefully end up with net less stuff in the house rather than more.   What you see is Marcus' 199x telephone travel adapter kit.  This enabled me to make an Analog modem connection from my portable computer to the Telephone, in nearly any country in the world, and, wait for it, connect at a then staggering 3K Bytes/second.  Ah, those were the [bad old] days before the invention of DSL or Wireless Networking.

I think we can safely take this to the ElectroTrash recycling depot here in 2016.


So we wish you a minimalist 2016 Christmas, give thoughtfully.

The Deadweight Loss
DL at Wikipedia

Friday, December 23, 2016

Passionate about Teeth

I have talked previously about Passion.

Essentially we all like our lives to have meaning.  Many people in bygone years are convinced, usually by their parents that their Religion and ultimately their God provides the definitive meaning in their lives.

Thankfully today such indoctrination wanes but in it's void must be a worthy replacement.  And for Marcus, to have a passion in ones chosen profession is a very good start.

I have just been so fortunate to meet a wonderful lady called Hania who has been helping with my continuing dental issues.  She loves all things about Teeth and in particular dental Hygene.

 Day #1

Day #2

Over the course of 2 days I have had multiple dental treatments.  Day #1 was very painful.

As a sensitive soul I first had anaesthetic  paste put onto my gums  to prepare me for the horse sized syringe that fully anaesthetised my upper and lower gums.  And then followed over an hour of what can only be described as intense carving up my gums with sharp steel implements.

Most of the time I had my fists clenched and body tensed like a board.  I can tell you, I know it was necessary and the dental personnel were only doing what they had too,  but I was severely distressed.

Day #2 was a walk in the park by comparison.  But I forgot to eat anything and afterwards found I could not eat for 4 hours so it ended up at 21.00 as the first food of the day.  I was just a little hungry

Back To Passion
Hania could not stop talking and guiding me about the best way to rectify my problem.  She was enthusiastic and professional.  I came away in no doubt she was trying her best to help and that she knew exactly what she was talking about.   I love a professional and helpful approach!

A Passion Is typically

- Something that interests you deeply
- Something you work on to become good, then very good and finally excellent
- Something you become known for
- Something that does not necessarily make money
- Something that takes time, usually a lot of time

Rod Stewart: Passion

We can all have a valid and interesting Passion.   From the accomplished actor like Tom Cruise  down to the humble likes of little old Marcus or Hania.

So:  What is your legal Passion?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Home: Where I want to be

Belle Starr: This must be the Place

Subtitle: Getting Ready for a Move

Over the last 12 months Marcus and Agata have been re-evaluating our lives in Switzerland, based predominantly on Cost  (the High Cost) but also on many other factors.

Whilst Switzerland will probably rank as the best country in the world that we will ever live in for the purposes of exercise,  fitness and healthy living it is below par on some other factors.

I'll just name two for the record: Smugness and [Poor] Service.

So we continue to plan our soft exit from this Beautiful Country, perhaps with the option to return, if we feel that despite the setbacks it is the bestest country in the World.

Marcus wanted to go into detail about what we might be moving into, but I'll avoid specifics and just say that this classic Talking Heads song had some lines that had me singing along to.   Enjoy the videos, the lyrics and if / when we do finally move we will communicate:

Home is where I want to be
Pick me up and turn me around
I feel numb, burn with a weak heart
Guess I must be having fun

The less we say about it the better
Make it up as we go along
Feet on the ground, head in the sky
It's okay, I know nothing's wrong, nothing

I got plenty of time
You got light in your eyes
And you're standing here beside me
I love the passing of time
Never for money, always for love
Cover up and say goodnight, say goodnight

Home, is where I want to be
But I guess I'm already there
I come home, she lifted up her wings
I guess that this must be the place

I can't tell one from the other
I find you, or you find me?
There was a time before we were born
If someone asks, this is where I'll be, where I'll be

We drift in and out
Sing into my mouth
Out of all those kinds of people
You got a face with a view

I'm just an animal looking for a home
And share the same space for a minute or two
And you love me till my heart stops
Love me till I'm dead

Eyes that light up
Eyes look through you
Cover up the blank spots
Hit me on the head

Our New Home Ideally will have ...

01 Lock Up and Leave
We can disappear for months secure in the knowledge that things are likely to be okay when we return

02 Quiet
Private so that we can relax without excessive road or people noise

03 Safe
This means being able to be at home or in the local neighbourhood and not fear for your life, or have to take draconian safeguards to protect your life and liberty

04 Transport
Ability to get to road, rail and air links with ease

05 Sizing
Means not too large that would be excessive for our needs yet not too small so that for example if a guest couple arrives they cannot be accommodated

06 Special Needs
We'd like somewhere to park our Motorhome and somewhere secure to Park our bicycles and do maintenance on them

07 Garage
Somewhere for that cherished car to be kept nice and warm and safe whatever the weather outside

08 Dry
Not in a Flood Zone.  We never want to think:  but what happens if that local river bank bursts

09 English
Somewhere where English can be spoken without resentment

10 Post
A country where modern postal services like Amazon Prime exists and an efficient postal service can deliver Internet packages without error and constant Import Duty

11 Countryside
Road and Terrain that support our passion for Road Cycling, Road Running, Trail Running and infrastructure for Swimming.


Check the Right panel of our Blog under the /Property/ heading for useful checker links

Talking Heads: Naive Melody

Property Shame
A tale of 2 Agents

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The 4G Internet Stupid

Subtitle: Pegged at 100GB per month, BUT

4G Mobile Phone Internet Subscriptions are pretty much pegged at 100GB per month for data in the countries that Marcus frequents.   That is to say UK  (Great Britain), Switzerland and Poland

But there is one difference:

In Poland the cost, especially at Christmas with special deals tends to almost zero.

Polish Cost Comparisons
I went into Costa Coffee and bought a medium coffee.  It was 12 zloty  (2.30 GBP)

Next I went to an Internet shop and bought a 3GB phone and data SIM.  For 9 Zloty ( 1.71 GBP).  But it came with a 100GB bonus, critically, all of which is apparently tetherable and as the photo above shows there is now over 100 GB on our account

The 4G Future
In Poland the PLAY network does offer you a monthly 100 GB Data service.  You can use this instead of a fixed wired Internet connection. Of course 100 GB per month is quite limited  (see below) but it is a start.

I Predict that in urban areas where Internet Bandwidth and towers are plentiful these limits will increase exponentially in the next 12 - 24 months.  I know some Scandinavian countries already have 300 GB/month plans.   I foresee the same trend in Poland at least.

The 4G Speeds
We are talking fast.  The above is MegaBytes not MegaBits.

Sometimes the upload speed gets crazy fast.  Note that Play and most providers calculate total traffic so 60GB down and 40GB up means 100 GB total used.

Simple maths tells us that 4MBytes per second is 14GBytes per hour.   This means the 100GB allowance could be used up in less than an 8 hour working day.

Without the free allowance and assuming the regular 100GB plan cost of 50 zloty, you can see that a 30 * 100 = 3TB per month plan would cost Marcus 50 * 30 = 1500 zloty = 280 GBP  / month.  Assuming in fact a 1TB / month actual usage, once the thrill had worn off we are talking about 95 GBP / month.  Expensive but actually workable.  And I predict prices are due to plummet in the next 12  - 24 months in urban areas.

With the seasonal promotion a 1TB/month usage would cost a mere 90 Zloty which is 18 GBP / month.  Staggering.

How Much Data?
Marcus and Agata use considerably in excess of 1GB per day even on vacation or whilst travelling.   Today, Wednesday I have plans to download and test  Centos 1611  and that is about 8GB just for start.   I'm taking about 0.5GB of processed photographs per day, that would be nice to Cloud.  And currently I'm working on some security and encryption projects, these upload and download about 20GB of data daily.  And presently there are the Hyper V and ESXi tests.  So let's say Marcus is running at between 10GB and 30GB daily load, even whilst on idling on vacation.

This Christmas 2016 I bought a 100GB, 4G based data allowance for less than the cost of a single cup of coffee.

Believe me 4G is the future.   First in Urban areas. At real life sustained speeds of over 4MBytes per second upload or download this is fast enough for 4K Video, GigaByte file transfers all with latency below 30ms.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Honey they broke my Computer

Subtitle: In Intensive Care

The shuffling of computers back at home has liberated Marcus'  2010 old DMZ server computer.  The build was described here

Since its retirement as a production computer it has served duty as a development computer running Windows 2012 Server, Linux Centos and most recently Windows Server 2016 and Windows Storage Server 2016.

Development and Production
I already talked about having at least 2 serious computers in your home environment here

The idea of course is to test out any changes as far as possible on a computer you can afford to crash due to your negligence, then when you have perfected everything move the change to your production 'best' computer.

Common sense really,  but how many of us actually do it?

Since our 'production' computer is on the point of demotion to 'new development' computer, because the new Production system is almost ready, the old computer is being gifted away.

I mean a Quad Core, i7 CPU,  24GB RAM,  Lian Li Aluminium Case,  I venture to suggest not a bad Christmas Present for somebody?


Honey They Dropped our Computer

After our flight Marcus noticed that the bag containing the computer would not roll correctly at our destination.  I'll check it when we get home ...

We found

- One of the case wheels is basically broken, and there is a large gash in the side of the case.  Thus the suitcase is now history
- But inside: our computer is not well
- They must have dropped it or subjected it to such a shock that the CPU cooler has broken one of the four supports, and cooler has physically come away, and the heatsink is correspondingly loose
- The whole Lian Li aluminium computer chassis is warped.

How do we know warped?  Well we attempted to put the power supply back, (removed before transit)  but the rectangular hole at case back is now a trapezium

Must have been some force / loading

Repair Work
After it seems like hours, with more than the fair share of heated words, Marcus and Agata have attempted repair.

We've got the cooler on, using 3 out of 4 legs.  And forced the Power supply in using a lot of pushing and shoving.

This took over an hour.

We did not want to depress ourselves, so we'll try a power on tomorrow, making sure all fan wires are connected and it's not sharing power with anything we care about.

To be continued.  Hmm.

News Years Resolution: Unsubscribe

In earlier times, say the year 2000, Marcus and Agata hated paper spam.  More than most it stems from the fact that our lives are overfilled with advertising.

We took the view then that we can find our own products and services.  We don't need unsolicited and untargeted paper advertising from anybody to help us buy buy buy stuff.

Now we are in 2016 and shortly to be 2017 and the game has moved on.

Now we receive almost an avalanche of speculative and often targeted advertising to our email addresses. Luckily Google gmail has facilities to remove spam, and you can also setup rules to automatically delete or file annoying emails.  Further, Gmail has the ability to put most Advertising emails into the /Promotions/ tab of our Inbox so they don't overpower the regular emails.

But Gmail's capabilities are simply helping mask the problem.  The answer is


- In 2017 email spam matches closely paper spam of the past
- Extra network traffic and gigabytes of data storage are wasted by so many
- Retailers are obliged in most countries to have an unsubscribe link
- So my first New Years resolution is every day to look in my Gmail /Promotions/ tab and delete one unwanted subscription

Now surely this is a worthwhile New Years Resolution we can all agree to and encourage!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday Sermon:Islam and Daughters

Stephanie: Life Beyond Faith

This is surely worth 9 minutes of your time.

If you want me to summarise:

All religions are created

All religions are not created equal

Some are much less equal than others to the point of disgrace in modern times.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Switzerland and the Decheterie

This is an explanatory article about recycling as Marcus and Agata see it in Lausanne Switzerland

Why Recycle
Recycling allows you to reduce the total societal cost of raw materials used to sustain your living.

Recycling does require effort, for example sorting your household waste into different categories, or as I shall show in Switzerland taking items to the Recycling Centre (decheterie)

Recycling can be used as social one-upmanship  (I'm recycling, why aren't you),  and as guilt relief  (I can use what I want, because I recycle)

Most importantly: The best way to reduce pollution caused by waste, or the need for Raw Materials is 

To Reduce your family consumption

Marcus strongly asks you to think that your total consumption: your total need for materials,  your total waste is proportional to the size of your family.

In Lausanne Switzerland

- Household waste is put into special, costly white bags, which cost money
- Glass, Aluminium, Cans, Clothes, Vegetables, Paper  are the other categories.  You sort into these categories and deposit that for free into specially marked containers
- PET bottles must be taken back to the shop, the council will not take them away from your home waste bins
- Everything else goes into those expensive White Plastic Bags
- If you are a total Shit, you take a proportion of your waste and dump it into Public Waste Bins.   Or dump waste (bagless) into our General Waste bin, so then the council wont take it away
- Read about the Vaud Canton White Bag scheme here

Larger Items
Should be taken to the fixed local Decheterie or to the Mobile Decheterie which comes about once per month.

It should not be dumped onto the street unless you are an asshole.

Marcus the Engineer
Using the Engineering Motto:

It might just come in useful, we follow the progress of dismantling my beautiful Lian Li, ultra quiet Computer case.

First I made an advert to give it away for free

Second I asked friends far and wide if they would like the case free

Third I gave up, dismantled it with a heavy heart and took parts that I did not think would be useful to the Mobile Decheterie

They get ready in the morning, about once per month in a car park locally

 You can't just turn up and dump stuff.  They have to be there and as a family we have a card which is scanned so they can see what nice people we are  (well I hope that is the reason)

 They were setting up in the morning

Now some heartbreaking photos.  Because this case cost me over 200 GBP new and it still worked.

But despite over 3 months of advertising nobody would come and take it off my hands for free. :-(

 As an Engineer I disassembled and put the screws and other components into my parts bins for future use!  Well hopefully.

The rest went to the mobile Decheterie.  We managed to walk it all down in a large Blue IKEA bag.

Decheterie Categories
In Lausanne we have the Mobile Decheterie  and the fixed one that is about 3Km away  has special places for

- Electronics
- Metal
- Furniture
- Hard Plastic, soft Plastic
- Paper/ Card
- Aluminium
- Batteries
- Polystyrene

By presenting your Decheterie card which you get as a taxpaying resident you can deposit all of this for free.

For honest, non street trash people, Switzerland has good relatively low effort options for the householder to recycle their waste free of charge.

Present Overload Syndrome

This is a short post about /stuff/ and hopefully my summary won't confirm that we are indeed our own worst enemies.

Are you Busy?
A question that many colleagues who are still working 9-5 still ask.  Because right now, Marcus is on a break and this may continue, I say diplomatically /for quite some time/

We are now so busy that I barely have time to take, sort and process the photographs of the things that I will be talking about.

It's Still About Christmas [Presents]
I mention this with particular urgency at Christmas Time.  Besides card carrying Christians making an attempt to visit their local church probably for the first and last time of the year, or perhaps lazily watching a service on TV, Christmas is in popular times a time of: Presents, Spending and Excess.

- If you buy for yourself really scrutinise whether your Christmas presents will be useful after the Christmas Season
- IMHO Avoid presents that are wasteful or clutter or tat
- Are you giving people presents that they want, or what you think they should want?
- Do your friends need your physical presents?  Many people might prefer your time to listen, converse and engage.

Even in Switzerland

I noticed with disappointment even some Swiss are turning to uncontrolled Christmas Present Activity.  Here the bargain website offers a mystery package for 111 CHF  (just less than 100 GBP) and it is sold out within hours of announcement. Oh dear.

And Our Project List

We now have an enormous backlog of not exactly 'presents' but certainly 'new stuff'.  It's all carefully planned.  Marcus has just about had time to unwrap the items.  Some are in pre-production

Some are just unwrapped and not even tested electrically

Whilst this season of goodwill is important to us, we are rather afraid that it needs to take a back seat to all the other life changes we are incorporating for the next 12 months.

We'd say of course plan for Christmas, but for us, we already did plan, and Christmas is not #1 not even #2 on our December January life project list.  Sorry Christmas!

Present Overload Syndrome
We really feel that Presents, Gifts,  in general New Stuff are better spread out over the entire year.  Instead of a giving and receiving Orgy centred around Dec 25.


Because you just get swamped, and even if you can afford it, and many of us can't  (and still go ahead anyway), the value of the individual present diminishes to zero as it competes with an avalanche of other.

In Summary
We plan to give our presents mindfully and sparsely during the Season and we don't under estimate the value of giving our time to friends and family rather than stuff

Beatles: A Day in the Life