Monthly Archives: October 2014

A temporary break

I thought I could tough my way through it and write a commentary on the way. I cannot. I even have difficulty typing. So there will be no more sorgai until November 5 when I hope to start with a blaze of glory that would put Guy Fawkes to shame.

(PS I have had to modify this a little. I am recovering slightly slower than I thought. I will not put a date on which I will be returning. The best I can say is Real Soon Now. Or sooner.

Love and best wishes to you all,


Gareth Powell

Yes, I laughed at Little Dorritt

williampalgraveFirst the news. The machine appears to have been fixed and I have a treatment for my neck cancer in three hours time. Which may mean I do not have a pleasant night but it is better than bugger all happening.
My fly-by-night Chinese informant sent me an article on Kinja Lifehacker which he thought might interest me. It does, of course, interest me. But that does not mean to say I have to agree in any way. In fact, it drove me into a fury.
Continue reading Yes, I laughed at Little Dorritt

First day on the treadmill

w3Today is the first major session at the Prince of Wales Randwick hospital to deal with my throat cancer which could be fatal but, hopefully not. Son David drives me to the hospital and will come when I call him. I, but of course, forget mobile phone so am now making check lists.
Reception is like that at a good hotel which does not serve alcohol. Most pleasant American lady from San Diego greets me and gives me a complete rundown on what to expect, what will happen, what I must do to take care of it. Sounds pretty grim but she is with Doctor Slee who, all gods be thanked, does not mince words either.
Continue reading First day on the treadmill

Meditation helps somewhat

imgresEgomania is eventually found out, exposed By yourself, to yourself. As as a form of self-discovery, if not by anyone else.
In my case it dates back to 1953 when I was in Taiping and I was working with a remarkable Malay called Rashid Bin Haji Shamsuddin – and I hope for my sake I have the spelling right. His name means that he was the son of a man who has made the pilgrimage — the hadj — to the holy city of Mecca.
Rashid himself made the hadj later in life. He was a devout Muslim but pretty easy going with it and he never wanted me to adopt to the Faith. I think he thought the Faith had problems enough. But he did teach me one thing. Meditation.
Continue reading Meditation helps somewhat

Guy Fawke’s night — perhaps

Margery AllinghamToo soon. Too soon. I thought today I would start my cancer treatments. I  rolled up at the Prince of Wales at 7.50 am precisely — I have a little diary card to remind me — but I know hospitals and expected it would be hurry up and wait. Too true.
The machine has broken so will I please bugger off and they will use my mobile phone to keep in touch.
The best quotation I know on this is :

“Hope is the only universal liar who never loses his  reputation for veracity.
— Robert Green Ingersoll”
Continue reading Guy Fawke’s night — perhaps

Advance without coveting fame

dukakis1Sun-Tzu gave me the headline. Fame is very ephemeral. I do not mean me, for I was very slightly semi-famous, right out there on the fringes. In the last fifteen years I have learned to be ignored – and like it. No more hearty PR wankers thrusting themselves forward – the method depending on the sex. No, I am not talking my spurious and short-lived notoriety. I am talking of serious fame. I have known a lot of people who have been seriously famous. And got on with them quite well.
Continue reading Advance without coveting fame

What is a gadget blog?

hotry1I have a friend named Jeremy Horey. No, lets start that again. I had a friend called Jeremy Horey who was the computer editor of The Australian which he did remarkably well. He kept me on my toes — I was on the opposition — so I decided to take a very different tack from him. Ignore mainframes and industry news pretty much and concentrate on what the readers used and knew at least something about. We got on very well. And as far as I know he never lost his cool which in the world of computers is saying something. And, as far as I know, he is still out there somewhere in the world of computers.
Continue reading What is a gadget blog?

Truth is the first casualty

hk7Dick and I used to work together in Hong Kong. He is now mainly based in Myanmar but the truth is he is mainly in the air. I have not used his second name because in iffy times something you say or write can be seen as anti-government in several Asia countries and you can find yourself in durance vile, or worse.
“Just did a quick trip to Hong Kong.  I had a rather high proportion of my meagre savings there and for various complex reasons no internet banking unless I fronted at the bank branch. So I reduced my exposure.
Continue reading Truth is the first casualty

an amser of i’mser wiv’ me

spellKory Stamper is an op-ed contributor on the New York Times. She is also a lexicographer and associate editor at  Merriam-Webster. In the New York Times she has  written an excellent article on ‘Slang Through the Ages.’ But her slang may not be my slang. She may be using ‘slang’ in a slang way.
It is forward, nay insolent of me, to add to what she has written. But she leaves out one of the basis uses of slang. To use it as a code to keep a non-qualified listener out of the loop.

Continue reading an amser of i’mser wiv’ me

The corpse is being hurried

news1I think I should go out on a limb here. The worst that can happen to me as a result is I will be torn to pieces.
Speaking of Australia first.
In twelve months from today there will be no printed daily newspapers. They will be as dead as a dodo. All sort of editorials will point out that this is not death as we know it.
Yes, it is.
There will still be the weekly stuff they throw into your front garden to get wet and soggy and which contains as news stuff you would never have considered a filler.
Newspapers, as we knew newspapers, will be dead with some few, very, very few exceptions.

Continue reading The corpse is being hurried