“Thirty-three. This was the year they got Him.”

Thanks, Mom. I was already thinking that.

All my Christian friends have taken their 33rd birthdays pretty heavily. Not midlife-crisis heavily, talking about death all of the time like a fifty year old, but hard nonetheless. It’s natural, if you strive to model yourself on Jesus, to ask the difficult questions now. In particular, the really hard one.

If I died now, what will I have done? Will it be enough?

Nobody expects me to die this year, much less rise from the dead. But whenever you hear of a contemporary dying (usually a celebrity), you ask yourself these questions. It’s kind of the reverse of my stocktake at the end of last year.

OK, this is what I have received. What have I given back?

I don’t know. I have a half-share in the birth and raising of Alex, who I hope will leave the world a better place than he finds it. That’s something. I try to be a loving wife, a good friend, smart and competent at work, a responsible citizen and a compassionate stranger. I buy fairtrade and take public transport instead of owning a car. I argue for peace in times of war, and for justice in times of greed.

But is it enough?

The Prisoners Problem

Martin has got me involved in the Prisoner Problem. As a software tester by vocation as well as profession, I’ve been his gadfly, pointing out the flaw in his solution.

Continuing the gadfly/software tester/push the limits theme, I would like to propose a solution.

In addition to randomly flipping switches, each prisoner writes his name on the wall of the room when he visits it. Since the warden promised not to let anyone in the room except when the prisoners are there, the names won’t be erased or added to without the prisoners’ knowledge. When all the names are there, then they’ve all visited the room.

Illegal? Nope. The warden says nothing about doing anything else when visiting the room, as long as they flip one and only one switch.

Wrong? Of course. But what are a bunch of dumb lags to do?

Bookweb Redux

Last year, I started up the Bookweb to document some of the bookbinding work I’ve been doing. After an enormous amount of effort, I created one small area, describing an experiment in spine construction. Then I got wrapped up in, erm, binding books.

So now I’ve taken a week or two to add some more to the site, and to impose a bit more structure on it. I’ve added book reviews, spurred on by my father’s gift of four excellent binding books. And now I’ve finally got my information on equipment, describing how I have made many of my pieces of equipment myself.

Now all I need to do is add a gallery of my best work. If I can find the time between bindings!

Check it out!