Fandango’s Provocative Question (25 December 2019)

I wrote the other day about how the apps on my phone hardly ever change. One other thing which doesn’t change are the tabs which open with the web browser on my computer. I’ve kinda got into the habit of firing up a browser just as soon as I am able.

The tabs are:

  • The BBC News Web Site. I’m actually quite sceptical of the stories that the BBC do and don’t publish, and certainly my main news feeds come from other sources, but the Beeb is probably the online resource I will hit first.
  • Google Calendar. Hell, I’m a busy guy! (despite posting on Christmas Day)
  • Flickr – a relic from my former life. I actually have over 7,000 photos up there, but I’ve published probably fewer than 20 since the stroke. Just as the stroke hit, I was considering upgrading my already-obsolete SLR, but just one of several things which have been put on hold while I have higher spending priorities.
  • Ebay – I use it maybe 10 times per year for low-value purposes. Again, I used to use it more often.
  • Facebook – I have an account, I have contacts, but Facebook has become very limited because of the rudeness and abuse which goes along with it.
  • WordPress. The command console. Only recently. It used to be Blogger. Just a handy way of getting to my blog if I feel like writing something. Plus, of course, WordPress offers this whole world of interaction over and above just writing posts.

and these tabs have remained unchanged for years.

For years, too, I have been aware of emojis. Just a few of them. Happy smiley, wink smiley, sad face, laughing face, just as keyboard combinations. For years, to get a smiley, I would type :, then -, then ). How could a qwerty keyboard manage anything different?

On Facebook first, I noticed funny symbols appearing. Flags, hearts – red and blue – how the hell does somebody type a British flag???? I saw them too when I moved to WordPress, and became aware that there was this whole alphabet of emojis.

But whilst I am now aware that they exist, the bad news is that apart from a half-dozen obvious ones, I haven’t got a clue what any of them mean! I mean, I have a brain and I can guess that when somebody types a blue heart, it is some non-romantic symbol of affection, but that’s just my assumption, which makes sense to me. I bloody hope so, or I have sent (and received!) some very dodgy messages!

So in the last few months, I have found another web page to load every time: I think this came from Twitter themselves, who invented the emoji language.

Now, a brilliant thing about this site is that it not only has every emoji which I can just copy and paste, but it has them at twice their normal size, so I can actually tell the difference. In what they look like, at least. In terms of what they mean, I still don’t have a clue. What does 😄 mean, that’s different to 😆?

The other thing is that because GetEmoji displays emojis at twice their normal size, when they then halve their size in WordPress, say, and I am well-and-truly stuffed. They all look the same! So, not only do I not understand what the difference might be, but I can’t even see a bloody difference!

Fandango’s Provocative Question today asks if we over-use emojis. Not this cookie! Nor you, if you want me to be able to follow your posts!

There are two useful ones, at least 🖕🏻 😆 🖕🏻 😆 🖕🏻.

Enjoying the calm before the storm.

The Big Chill

Christmas Day has not become special yet, although the rest of the house has just started moving so I shall have to write this quickly. I got up at my normal time, performed my normal startup routine, and even checked for any overnight activity on WordPress.

I turned on the tv and caught the weather forecast. It was quite clear last night – I wonder if the Santa-spotters had any joy? – so it was quite chilly overnight and it looks bright out this morning. Usual weather, at this time of the year, is grey. Dreary. Possibly some rain. We have days where it doesn’t seem to get light.

The UK is a small country, but it does have high-lands. We call them mountains. By world-standards, they are modest but they can be deadly if you get caught out. These areas get snow, so might, I suppose, have a White Christmas. For the rest of the UK, our general temperature rises over the years mean that it is a long time since there has been a White Christmas. My personal memory of snow was once, as a child in Liverpool. Sixties or seventies.

This year, for example, because the night was clear, the weatherman says that the closest we would have got is a touch of frost in various parts, as we awoke this morning.

My image shows one of London’s Frost Fairs, which were held at various times until the nineteenth century, when the River Thames in central London froze solid, the painting is by Thomas Wyke and this post was written in response to Fandango’s One-word Challenge (FOWC) – frost.