Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Multiple undos

I'm always full of admiration for those boaters I see, as soon as they've tied up for the night, getting out the paintbrush, or the oilcan, or the polishing kit, or the replacement fender they've been splicing. As soon as our day's cruising on Erin Mae has finished, given that it's probably been quite a long one to keep the battery saga from becoming a crisis, I'm ready for a cuppa. And a bit of a read. And then it's time to write the blog and make the tea. Finish with a nice coffee, catch up on what other bloggers have been writing, maybe read a bit or play some silly computer or iPad game. Watch this evening's episode of "New Tricks" and, before you know, it's time for bed.

Pastimes are exactly that – a way of passing the time, which seems a bit stupid considering the amount that's actually allocated to us. But they have their own attraction, and you can always excuse one or two by taking the moral high ground and convincing yourself that they're good for you. And it so happens that I'm now the proud possessor of a couple of items to take the place of that mind-sapping Patience game, and clock off the seconds with some brain-training. Funnily enough, they're both cuboid.

This one was a second present given me at Christmas by youngest son and his beloved. It doesn't stay a cube for long – it unfolds into a twisty snake-like thing with lots of rotational possibilities challenging you to get it back all neatly aligned. Sounds a bit like Erin Mae approaching the Tyrley flight after rain, so it must help to play with it a bit, mustn't it?

The other is courtesy of Master Rubik. I've long wanted to acquire one of these, and having played a bit with my granddaughter's in Norway I thought I would order one and get my mind around its patterns. Patterns are what I love, and if the fun of working on this object can also keep my neurones in trim, who's to complain?

I've discovered very quickly how much I have come to depend on Command-Z on my Mac. It's the undo shortcut, and quickly takes me back to where I was when I've made an error in a document I was working on. It's been quite a shock to realise that, having got Rubik half-way through and then done a couple of wrong twists which messed the whole thing up, I was actually expecting to be able to do the rubik-cubic equivalent of Command-Z! And feeling quite resentful, even as I laughed at myself for the stupidity. It takes so little to revert to a state of utter confusion and have to start again. It's entropy.

I could have done with Command-Z at multiple points in my life – the sort that come back to accuse me when my mind is relaxed and off-guard during my morning shower. You can't undo everything – but it's good to be forgiven!


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