Funny – There doesn’t have to be much wrong…

There never has to be much wrong to make something un-usable…

Three Problems With Spreadsheet - Dilbert by Scott Adams

Have a great day 🙂

Credit: Dilbert



Reading my Son my Minecraft Stories

Over the Christmas break I found myslef short on books to read to my son at bedtime. So with a lttle anxiety I pulled out my teblet to read him some of my Minecraft stories.

This was not a mistkae as he enjoyed them. But oh brother, every gap and error in the story came out. It’s so funny, as I was reading I got:

“I would do that. I would have…”

“That’s not how you make an Iron Golum”

“Iron Golums are rubbish, they run off”

Although it was initially irritating and the plot was lost a bit on him I realsied one thing. I was engaging with him. I’ve always intended on writing more Minecraft stories and putting all of my stories out there to generate more interest. Watch this space – more Minecraft stories to come.

Simon 🙂

NOTE: No ownership claimed to picture. Credit – Mojang

What’s happing in space this year?


As my regular bloggie reader will know I kind of like space. I’m fascinted about it. Last year we had New Horizons giving us out first look at Pluto and Dawn gave us the images of the bright spots in the crater, which still have scientist baffled. We also had a probe landing on a comet. I think it’s safe to say we won’t have a year for space exploration like 2015 was for a while.

But what can we expect?

The link and content below gives us a tster of what we can expect.

  • Juno arriving at Jupiter and giving us even better insights into the largest planet in our solar system.
  • More close up images of Ceres and it’s bright spots.
  • Cassini’s grand finale around Saturn.
  • More pictures from New Horizons of Pluto.

No doubt a few other things thrown in to the mix too. It’s always intesting for me to to keep up with this and blog about it as what’s happening here is our future and like it or not – it affects us all.

Simon 🙂



Credit: Nasa –

On the brink of Midnight #Blogbattle #Scifi

It’s time for another blog battle. A short story clash of the bloggers run by Rachael Ritchey. Go look at her blog, read about it and join in if you like.


  1. 1000 words max
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
  7. Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
  8. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
  9. Have fun!

Word for this week: Midnight


planet city 2

Darkness had been falling for what seemed like forever over the city of Kronamus. Midnight was forever on the brink of falling but never coming. Sela was standing on the balcony of his rooms, high up in the central tower. Tira slipped through the curtains and stood behind Sela’s masculine form, back lit against the forever dimming suns that planet Mira encircled. Sela felt the warmth of his lover’s body close to him. He didn’t turn, looking up into the star filled sky. “What are you thinking?” He asked.

“What everyone is thinking, my love” Tira purred, moving her svelte form closer to he man she clung to him, resting he head on his chest. “When will night fall and daylight return?”

“I don’t know” replied Sela, with little hope in his voice. “But even if it come tomorrow it would not help the millions on the daylight side of the planet as they have burned. Nor those on the dark side, frozen with the seas.”

“We are lucky then” Tira replied.

“Lucky… or cursed. It’s hard to tell” Sela answered. Tira turned to her man, hugged him and kissed him before again huggin him and resting her head on his chest. “Why do you do this to yourself?” Tira asked with tears running down her face. “You punish yourself for something that you could not have foreseen or prevented. Why not just accept our fortune. We are alive.”

“For now we are, but something is very wrong. I’ve been watching these skies since I was a boy and I have never seen what is happening now.”

“What is happening?” Tira asked

“Nothing. Even beyond our world the universe seems still. Planets do not move, moons do not wax and wane and asteroids do not fall. It is as if we alone are unaffected by this strange phenomenon.” Sela moved away from Tira, she stood and watched her troubled man as he gripped the balcony rails and looked up again, searching. “Something is very wrong. The question is, is it us that are wrong, or the universe?”

At that point a beep came from inside, Sela turned immediately and walked into the room. He stood in front of his computer three screens with infographics of a number of objects at different distances from the planet. He looked at the first – an orbiting space station, then the moons of Mira, then further out to asteroids, comets, other planets.

“I can’t believe it!” He exclaimed.

“What is it?” Asked Tira

“Things are happening, but very, very slowly. At least from our point of view”

“How?” Tira was asking, ever more intently. She was always amazed at how Sela could find and solve problems. She was always able to keep up with him… to a point and then his mind would dive to depths she couldn’t fathom. Not many could.

“What is going on?” Sela was gripping his head, massaging it as if trying to work his brain into action “Cmon… cmon…it’s us, it’s us either that or the whole universe has gone mad. What is this like – it’s like the universe has slowed but we haven’t… it’s like a black hole. Time seems fine here, but up there it’s not. From up there, everything is fine”

He returned to his computer and and typed in a search query. Immediately Mira appeared with the tracks of all the objects that fallen in the last few weeks. With some more furious typing he narrowed his search, less and less tracks were visible. He murmured to himself as Tira watched, unsure if she was to stand there or go.

“Yes, this could be it. Don’t go Tira, stay there!”

“What is it?” She asked nervously

“OK” he said finally “Imagine you’re a planet in space circling your sun happily, nothing much going on and then suddenly from some part of the universe a fragment of a black hole falls onto the planet. What happens?”

Tira looked and shrugged “Surely there would be a huge hole in the planet?”

“Yes, there would” he said, almost excitedly “But, it’s possible that the time dilation effects of the fragment would affect the planet. At this time our time is moving a thousand times faster than outside the planet”

“So the universe from our point of view is moving a thousand time slower”

“Yes – Exactly! And this fragment is the one I believe is to blame” Picking up the computer he showed Tira the one object track left

“It’s right in the middle of the ocean. How do we find it?”

“Ooh… we can find the general location no problem, as you said before that crater will be big. The big problem is how do we get something that probably weighs as more than Mira away from us. The other issue is that anyone getting closer to it will find when they come out that time has moved much faster on the rest of the planet. I’m not sure that knowing what the problem could be has actually got us closer to solving it”

“What do we do? What do I do? How can I help?” Tira asked urgently.

Sela smiled, he always loved how Tira would follow his causes wherever they lead “Patience my love. There’s not much we can do now, but you must get me in touch Chancellor Galvor. He needs to know about this immediately”

Tira turned, it was then that the sirens rang out. Tira looked at Sela, he prompted her to carry on. Sela looked out onto the balcony, there was a huge wall of water, or steam he wasn’t sure. But it was coming.

Copyright 2016 Simon Farnell

No Ownership claimed to images.

Pineapple Upsidedown Pudding


This is a favourite of mine, a winter pud thats classic. As you can see i went too big for the plate. The way this is made is that the pudding dish needs greasing, then melt 2oz of butter in a pan. When melted add 2oz of soft brown sugar and melt together, add this to the pudding dish.

Put the pineapple rings (I had chunks) into the dish on top of the butter / sugar mix.


Next cream 8oz of butter with 8oz of sugar together until light and fluffy. Then mix in 4 eggs.


Finally add 12oz of flour and fold in until mixed, If the mix is still a bit dry use some milk. Pour the mix over the pineapple and bake at 180C for about 1 hour. This is a big one, so you can halve the ingredients, but the cooking time stays the same.

Once the pudding is baked turn out onto its serving dish. Cut up and serve with icecream or custard.

This is my first post of 2016, happy new year to all…

Simon ☺


The other day I go the opportunity to watch a film I’ve had my eye on for ages – Interstellar. In short it’s about an Earth that is dying and the efforts of one man and his crew to find a suitable planet for the human race to live on. The human race is not yet able to travel between the stars, so we manage this by taking the Endevour (the space chip you see above) through a wormhole near Saturn. This worm hole doesn’t just take us a few star systems away – oh no. We don’t muck about – it takes them to another galaxy and a start system with three potential new planets.

The first thing I felt about this film was it felt in place very 2001 / Arthur C Clarke and in other’s a bit like Gravity. Which is ironic, because much of this film revolves around the human theories on gravity. The loneliness and the separation of the crew from their loved ones really comes out in this. and I feel mixed about this film because of the tragic swings in the story. Also when they discover a lone scientist who had survived in hibernation and later when their spacecraft is damaged. You can easily sense the increasing hopelessness.

There were a number of bit’s in the plot I really didn’t get. like how our hero (Matthew McConaughey) in sacrificing himself to the singularity end up in a dimension where he can see his daughters room and was himself the very presence his daughter could sense and was the person sending gravitational messages. He eventually ends up back around Saturn where he is rescued. It’s far fetched, but you can do that with Sci Fi where you can’t in other dramatic genre’s. Also one small point – if you need a space helmet to live on a planet, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a good match for the human race I think.

It is a quality film and I’m glad I watched it, but it’s not something I could watch again and again. If you’ve seen it, let me know what you think.

Simon 🙂


2015 in review

Like many other bloggers, I got a nice email yesterday with a breakdown of my blog activity over the year etc…

There’s more good stuff to come so keep reading and I hope that great things are going to come 🙂

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 640 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 11 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

2015 in review

Like many other bloggers, I got a nice email yesterday with a breakdown of my blog activity over the year etc…

While this is a great summary and covers some of the great people I’ve had the pleasure to chat with there are so many more nor mentioned. I’ve found so many friends, geeky and not so geeky, writers, poets and picture takers. Thank you to anyone who has liked, commented or viewed a post. To my recent followers, come and say hello. Really…

Things will change a bit in the new year, but those that have followed my activity will see those changes quickly – I’m keeping shush and not wanting to spoil any surprises… watch this space. 🙂


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,600 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.