Tag Archives: numbers

Day 173

What to write about. The early hours of the morning have arrived, I have parked the post I wrote, on the grounds it wasn’t working, and started to look for another 250 words.

This is post 2,701 by the way. I know this because the number 2,700 caught my eye when I was preparing to write. For some reason 2,700 seems like a significant number, where 2,701 doesn’t. Numbers are strange that way. Write 2,700 and it looks worthy of note, but 2,699 and 2,701 aren’t. They are too messy.

At the moment I am in the middle of a long dry spell, in a writing sense. I did submit a piece this morning but my haibun haven’t been doing well recently so I’m not holding out much hope. It’s also going to a magazine that has started demanding contributors write to a theme each issue and I’m not keen on that. It is another level of difficulty to worry about in writing the poem and it involves fine judgement. In Japanese forms of poetry they want more subtlety in handling  a theme than they do in English verse, and it’s easy to miss the mark. It’s like the poem I had rejected a while ago for obscurity. If you add a footnote you are being pretentious, if you don’t you are being obscure.

If it’s accepted it will be subtle. If it isn’t, it will miss the brief. Simple.

It’s like white space. The editor for today’s submission likes white space because it is a sign of things left unsaid (Japanese poetry is very big on things left unsaid) but other editors have criticised me for having too much white space – it detracts from the impact of the haiku according to one of them. The others just seem to like a single paragraph of prose with no gaps.

Eventually I will get going again. In the meantime, a rambling diarylike entry of 300 words will do to fill todays post. Sorry it wasn’t more insightful, but sometimes all I have to offer is a view of the inside of my head.

Meanwhile, there has been an earthquake in Afghanistan and people on the news are discussing how we deliver aid to a country where we don’t like the Government. The answer is, of course, that if you live in a country with any sort of moral values you send aid first and worry about politics second. I imagine it’s hard enough living there at the best of times but much, much worse if your house just fell on your head as you slept.

My worries aren’t really worth discussing compared to this, but they manged to sneak in as the first thing I spoke about. Strange how self-centred we can be.

Day 44

There’s something solid and satisfactory about the number 44. It’s a far cry from 37, which always has a shifty look, though clearly lacks the gravitas of 88. Having said that, if I pull my belt tighter I can do a passable imitation of the number 8. I wouldn’t know where to start with imitating the patrician number 4.

After writing that paragraph I looked up numerology. It doesn’t say much about the personality of numbers, though does talk a lot about 888, which is a happy number and is also known as the Jesus Number. It is a fine number from many points of view, including my favourite, that it looks like my grandmother and her two sisters standing side by side. They don’t mention that in the Wiki entry, though they do say that it reads the same back to front and upside down. All in all, I like it, but I’m not sure if it’s a number I have much use for in everyday life.

I’m not sure what number I’m going to use for 1st January 2023. It could be 366 I suppose, in which case 888 will fall on 6th June 2024. On the other hand that’s a lot of counting, so I may have to rethink. I hadn’t thought about what happens in Year 2 when you start using numbers for titles.

We are having steak tonight. We traditionally have steak for Valentine’s Day but tomorrow I am going to the Numismatic Society of Nottinghamshire for a talk on the Smith’s Banking Family of Nottingham. Julia, for some reason, turned down my invitation to come to the talk and have a bag of chips on the way home. I’m just hoping I can stay awake through the whole talk now she won’t be there to prod me in the ribs.

 

 

10 Good Things About Breathing

After the success of my recent post 10 Points about Writing Ten Point Lists and The Ten Best Things About Lockdown I decided to try another ten point list. You may have guessed this from the title. You may also have guessed that I define “success” in a slightly more flexible way than the rest of the world. Twenty views and ten comments are a success to me, even if five of the comments are me replying to the other five.

I did briefly think of writing Five Ways in which Breathing is Over-rated but I find people like the positive stuff. I suppose that’s why my light-hearted articles on modern life are so popular. I say “popular”, see above for “success”.

So, here goes, Ten Good Things about Breathing.

One, blue is an unbecoming colour. It doesn’t suit our modern ideas about healthy complexions and modern make-up ranges don’t cater for it. According to arlingwoman, the correct term for the blue colour is cyanosis, which is far too good a word not to use, so I have come back to add it.

Two, dum spero, spiro, as I remarked recently,. Hope is good, and you need to breathe to have hope.

Three, It is better than the alternative. I have no particular religious beliefs. I may end up as part of the choir eternal, singing hymns whilst dressed in vestments of blinding white. Or I may spend an eternity of regret in a lake of fire. In one scenario I wonder who does the laundry and in the other I can’t help thinking that there won’t be any cold to aggravate my arthritis. Swings and roundabouts…

I may even come back as a dung beetle. You can never tell, though I feel my afterlife is likely to end with a short trip up a crematorium chimney. Whatever happens, I prefer breathing to the alternative.

Four, it gives me something to write about on a slow day.

Five, there are right ways to breathe and wrong ways to breathe, which gives rise to the possibility of controversy and more lists.

Six, breathing through the nose adds moisture, warms the air and allows better use of the oxygen you breathe. The presence of a nose also gives you somewhere convenient to perch your glasses and avoids an unsightly hole in the middle of the face. Breathing through the mouth gives rise to a huge list of problems and makes you look like an unlikely candidate for a top academic job.

Seven, deep breathing is another of those health subjects you can discuss at length. It will cure many of my health problems and improve my posture.

Eight, deep breathing is also bad for you . giving hope to editors who rely on sensational negative headlines for a living.

Nine, it’s something that is, on balance, good for you, and takes no effort. I shouldn’t have searched for more information, because I turned this up. Quite clearly, the person in question hasn’t lost the knack of breathing automatically, as one of the answers points out, or she would have died in her sleep on the first night, but it does show that it’s possible to worry too much.

Ten, it serves to fill a list, to swell a progress, to start a scene or two. See point 4, or for the more highbrow amongst you try this.

However, as you read the highbrow section, remember that T S Eliot is an anagram of Toilets – life has a habit of bringing things down to my level. Perhaps life would be better if all great men had names that were anagrams.

Bonus eleventh point – it’s free. The government can’t tax it, Sky TV can’t charge for it and breathable air is still widely available. Now I’ve said that just watch it all go wrong.

I couldn’t fit that into the ten point list without altering the structure, and there’s something unfinished about lists that have strange numbers of points. Five, ten and twelve seem fine, three seven and nine aren’t bad, but I’m vaguely unsettled by others.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fresh air – still free! Get yours while it lasts.

Looking at the Numbers

I’ve just been looking at my stats and have finally realised why my numbers aren’t looking so good this year. I still seem to be getting comments and visitors, and the site seems busy enough by my standards (which are, admittedly, not as high as the standards of some sites). The difference, as far as I can see, is that I wrote 465 posts in the 365 days of 2017.

I’m not sure if that’s really possible, but it’s what the numbers say, so I’ll have to accept it. It’s either that or go back and count the posts.

Year Total Posts Total Comments Avg Comments per Post Total Likes Avg Likes per Post Total Words Avg Words per Post
2014 44 22 0.5 49 1.1 11,285 257
2015 252 850 3.4 1,657 6.6 80,901 321
2016 288 2,539 8.8 3,812 13.2 99,157 344
2017 465 8,431 18.1 10,725 23.1 155,383 334
2018 325 5,893 18.1 7,345 22.6 101,535 312

This, of course, raises another question – how important are the numbers?

When everything was going well last year I was happy to think I had a growing audience but as they’ve gradually declined I haven’t really noticed any practical difference in terms of interaction. I really only need to see a few people, and I can’t follow and read too many other blogs.

It’s a bit like followers. I have 1,500 followers but get an average 18.1 comments per post. That tends to suggest my real number of followers is nearer 18 than 1,500.

It’s enough. I’m happy with the followers I have and don’t need the other 1,450 fictional followers.

What does anyone else think?

 

Numbers…

It’s been a good day, though if I piled up all my work achievements I could still slip the pile under a reasonably well-fitting door. I took my wife to breakfast, found that I’d won £25 on the lottery, cleaned my keyboard, sent some emails, agreed a lunch menu for a visiting group, wrote a shopping list and showed somebody round the centre.

Readers in years to come are going to read this blog and wonder why I was never as famous as Samuel Pepys. Possibly.

Things got so bad that I’ve just cleaned out some cupboards, and that tends to induce a state of trance in which my mind wanders. This is generally not thought (by my wife at least) to be a good thing.

Subjects for blogs:

Post number 500, if I can synchronise it with an October date, which I think I can, already has a subject.

165 posts after that I can probably think of something for post 666 (unless I develop a severe case of hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia)

999, though tempting, will probably fall at the hurdle of transatlantic language difficulties, being our version of the American 911.

To find more numbers I just looked up 25 Famous Nnmbers and why they are important, but they weren’t very interesting, or important and I ended up here instead. Then I tried this. So I now have a new number to consider – 7. As in 7 Best Ways to Waste Time on the Internet. Or eleven, nineteen, thirty three or fifty.

Where did the last hour go?

 

A good day for numbers

The first number is 200 – this being my 200th post on this blog. It’s nothing compared to some people, and even I’m not that impressed, but it does give me a pause to count.

I’ve been writing this for 305 days according to my rough mental arithmetic. In that time I have posted twice a day on several occasions. And yet I’ve only managed to average two days in three. Now, I did treat my wife to four days away for our 25th Wedding Anniversary last autumn, but that doesn’t really make much of a dent in the hundred missed days. I’ll just have to hold my hands up to being lazy. But you probably know that by now.

I did think about challenging myself to write 100 posts in 100 consecutive days, but that’s not difficult. It’s easier, for instance, than thinking up 100 titles.  Then there’s the question of quality…

However, moving on to another number – I have now reached 1,000 followers on Twitter. I’ve been looking forward to it for some time, watching the numbers surge forward and drop back and eventually I made it. Now I’m wondering why. There’s some great stuff to read on Twitter, even though it’s hidden under heaps of absolute dross, but half of me wonders if I’m just taking part in a massive exercise in vanity.

It’s ironic that the day I reach a milestone I have hardly tweeted, due to forgetting my card reader. It doesn’t seem right tweeting without pictures (this one won’t be posted until I get home and put the pictures up).

A card reader, for those of you who are accustomed to the finer aspects of technology, is a device you used to plug into a USB port that allows your computer (which still uses Windows XP) to read the card out of your camera. This, by the way, is my level of technology both at home and at work, though I do at least have a working printer at home and I don’t have to lock my stapler away.

I went to look at a new computer a few weeks ago but left because I didn’t like the way the salesman spoke to me. He appeared to think I was prehistoric, and an idiot.. I thought I’d keep my money. As things stand, I have a slow but functioning computer and he has no commission from the missed sale.

One – nil to me, I think.