In which I procrastinate. About procrastinating.
I knew it was a long time since I’d posted anything, but I hadn’t realised it was over four months.
I’m not sure why the quite-so-extended hiatus. It has certainly been busier at work this year, but not THAT much busier.
(Though there has been an especially big hike this year in the amount of marking, which, as I get older, I feel to be more soul-sapping than in my younger days. Perhaps it is the sensation, with marking as with much else after one passes forty, of time you’re not going to get back, as sometimes commented upon hereabouts by my celebrity nutritionist friend).
Anyway, it can’t all be work, I think.
And… the kids do stay up later, especially as the days get longer. But not THAT much later.
There is, of course, the time that now goes on chess, but again, that’s not THAT much. I am, after all, only allowed out to the chess club one night a week – and I’ve avoided playing online in case it does take over.
There is also the Siren Call of Twitter, perhaps the best way for attention-span-deficient old farts to waste time that I’ve come across these last few years. Those of you with teenage children (or students) may have noticed that they spend almost every waking moment on Facebook. Someone somewhere described Twitter as “Facebook for old people”, and that sounds about right to me.
(I should say, BTW, that I blame my involvement in Twitter, where I have now racked up a rather disturbing just-a-few-shy-of 14,000 tweets, squarely on Stephen Curry of this parish, who originally talked me into it.)
Anyway, none of those seems to account for the decline of blogging. But perhaps the answer is that old multiple choice question favourite “All of the Above”, plus the tendency of an evening once the kids are (finally) in bed to slump in front of the Idiot Box with a beer.
Anyway, I have two purposes in dragging myself back to the keyboard.
I’m A Scientist – Get Me Out of Here
One is to mention that this year – now, in fact – I’m in I’m A Scientist Get Me Out Of Here, following in the footsteps of Stephen a couple of years back. I’m getting towards the end of week one now, and have answered a bunch of questions on line, and done several live chats.
These last, as I remember Stephen saying when he did it, are the real novelty for someone like me. Partly this is because of the unexpected things you get asked. One that I hadn’t expected is that I’ve been asked quite a few times how much I earn. I was tempted to say “not nearly enough”, but so far I’ve usually answered “about the same as your teachers do”. Though I may switch to:
“Well, I earn about as much in a year as Wayne Rooney does in half a day. Probably when he’s having his hair done.”
I also got asked if I believed in vampires and werewolves, as well as in God, and whether I had any tattoos. (No on all counts, you’ll probably not be that surprised to hear).
I’ve also fielded, and answered, a bunch of scientific questions. As Stephen said when he took part, the questions can be on anything, but it is still a bit of a shock to find yourself being asked about…. the earth, and… physics, and other stuff I’d long since forgotten.
I’ve been finding ways to answer, but as a result I am never going to criticise a student, ever, for looking something up on Wikipedia. In case I get accused of rank hypocrisy.
Anyway, given my age, grumpiness, and legendary inability to smile in a photograph, I’m not banking on lasting past the first evictions early next week But I’m glad I signed up.
And now for the chess. Normal people can stop reading.
The second, and less interesting reason for this post is to say that I’ve started a separate page for short random musings about chess – sort of my “Chess diary page’. This will probably only be of interest to about three people (you know who you are!), but if you’re one of them you can find it over here. (A link to it is also at the top of the blog). I’m hoping to add a little snippet to it every week or two. Some chessical stuff will still carry on appearing in the normal posts too, hopefully with the general interest bits ‘above the line’ and the chessgames below.
[Actually, there are some nifty WordPress plugins about that allow you to support playable chessgames, if Richard is reading]
Anyway, that’s all for now. Back to my “I’m a Scientist’ unanswered questions. Which to tackle first: “Why can’t we live forever?” or “Why is grass green?”.