Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sympathy Pains

A few days ago I crashed on my bicycle. I was lucky to come away with very minor injuries just a little less skin on one knee and elbow and some muscular strain. Unfortunately the muscular damage meant that I spend the evening and much of the next day half hobbling around the house and University.

Jack was very concerned and was glad that I wasn't badly hurt.

Since then Jack has been, shall we say, a little more delicate than usual. Any bump or bruise that would normally hurt for only a moment now comes with debilitating side effects. Any kind of collision resulted in 15 minutes or so of slowed laboured movement.

Today on the way home from school he tripped along a neighbour's garden wall, it's very low and brick so it scraped his knee a little. Jack limped home and upstairs to have it cleaned and dressed. Then he hobbled rigidly back downstairs and immobilised himself on the reclining sofa. All the while grunting and gasping and complaining about the stiff movement.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

We're in love...


When I picked up Jack from school today he insisted that we search though his bag. There was possibly a buckle in there and it was important that we find it because if it's not in there then it's in my pocket and it's not in my pocket, I just checked it's definitely not there.

So I searched through for him and located the small silver hear shaped buckle.

Amber-leigh gave it to me. She said I can give it back to her tomorrow, she doesn't mind if I keep it until then.
Why did she give it to you?
Because it's shaped like a heart.
As good a reason as any I suppose.
Yeah, we're in love so she gave me a heart. I made her a heart shaped mobilo. (mobilo is a construction set that he favors in school. So much so that they've had to restrict his time in the construction corner.)
You're in love huh.
Yeah, but we're not married. (the marriage is planned for age 6 apparently)

The sparks between Jack and Amber-leigh have started up again after something of a dry spell. Lately she's become a very popular subject again and he's even working on getting her over to our house for dinner.

Upon searching though his bag some more I came across a milk carton cap... When I asked him about it he very casually replied.
Oh that? Billy-erin gave me that a long time ago. (it wasn't in there yesterday) We need to get her a toy for her birthday, she said she doesn't mind a transformer.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Danger Meter

Did you realise that you could be in danger right now, if there was only some way to find out. Well now there is. Announcing the release of my third app, the Danger Meter.

It uses real statistics as well as some things that I just made up to tell you just how much danger you're in. Think of the applications, first off your safety, if you know how much danger you're in then you can plan accordingly.

Or just when you need an excuse to leave. "Sorry gotta go, I'm in danger."

You can verify certain claims made by your psychic.

The possabilities are endless.

Dangermeter is free and can be found here

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

A little bit of self promotion

There really will be an app for everything when I'm finished.

I'm feeling pretty proud of myself right now because I've just written an app from start to finish in about 2 hours. The only reason it took that long was because I was chasing a phantom bug in the programming.

Anyway I wrote this little app that I've called FlipCards. Jack is learning to read and from time to time he comes home from school with a set of new words to learn. He loves to play with my iPhone so while he watched the last half of The Lion King this evening I whipped up an app for him with all of his words so far.

It's not on the app store, for now I can't be bothered to get it approved, it can be found here instead.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Fickle Friendships

There was a time when Jack never told us what he got up to at school. If you asked him about it he'd just say I don't memember.

When we did get information out of him we found that a common subject was Jack C, one of two other boys that shared his name. They were friends initially, united by common first names, but it  wouldn't last. Eventually we'd start to hear every day about how this child had made Jack's life miserable. From what I could put together he was just a big tattle tale, every little thing that Jack did, or didn't do would send Jack C running to the teachers to tell an exaggerated version. He was apparently also very stand-offish. Jack detested him but doesn't have to deal with him anymore. Though even now he'll make sure that Jack C isn't invited to anything.

Now-a-days his memory has improved somewhat. We get the run down on much more than just which children he doesn't get along with, but on that front, now there are different children that we hear about.

Earlier in the year it was a boy named Tyler. If you ask me he just sounds like a bit of a bully. But it's hard to declare a 5 year old a bully, because lets face it, they're all sociopaths when you get right down to it.

It's sad but it appears that none of the other children like Tyler either, he hits and calls names and is just generally unpleasant to the other kids, he focussed this behaviour on Jack for quite a while. Jack tried desperately to avoid him but if the teachers weren't insisting that Jack "play nice" and sit next to him, Tyler was seeking him out. Thankfully we don't hear about Tyler anymore, I think Jack has finally shaken him off.

Lately a boy named Callum gives him the most trouble. When he's not conning Jack out of his sweets, Callum seems to have an ability to exclude Jack. Whomever Jack chooses to play with for the day Callum will rope into his own game and then won't let Jack play. Callum also has a nasty habit of wrecking Jack's models during construction time. Jack got his own back when Callum's best friend Max defected after a big fight and became Jack's friend. Jack was thrilled that Callum was the one excluded for a change, even if it was just for a few days.

However, there are six hours in the school day and these reports can only make up of a maximum of 20 minutes so I try not to dwell, or let Jack dwell on these incidents.

Today I got a report from Jack and sure enough, it included Callum.

Callum and I were sandwiches today. (meaning that they both had packed lunches) And Callum gave me one of his sweets.
That was nice of Callum.
Yeah, we're friends now.

We all have a Jack C, Tyler, or Callum in our lives and we all deal with them differently. Jack takes the befriend approach, be nice to them and hopefully they'll be nice back, eventually.

Friday, 13 January 2012


Announcing the release of iOverlay my second iOS app. 

An overlay app has been on my mind for some time. Even as a minor sufferer of Irlen Syndrome it can be irritating at times to not have some sort of visual stress relief with you. So knowing that I'm never without my phone, and it's got a perfectly functional camera and retina display, it only seemed natural that I could use it as an overlay. I've got to say, it works better than I'd hoped.

iOverlay can be found at

Sunday, 1 January 2012


Its been a turbulent year. So I thought I'd go through all the pictures I've taken over the last 12 months and write up a sort of slideshow. This is not necessarily in chronological order, it all got a bit confused while I was sorting it all out.

Jack is five. Attending reception full time. Learning to read and write and getting to grips with his numbers.
He's won an award for his model building.
He met Humungousaur...

and Water Hazard.
We attended a wedding. Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Wood.
Jack wore a suit... 
On the condition that he could also wear his Iron-Man suit.
We raised butterflies.
Izzy relapsed and had to have a bone marrow transplant. She's doing as well as can be expected. We were hoping she'd be back to school in January but she's not quite there yet but hopefully will be soon.
Jack preforming magic at his party.
We went to the Ben10 monster truck tour.
Jack will tell you that this bird pooped on him. But it pooped on the glove really. 
There were Jellyfish everywhere in Scotland.
He's been Buzz Lightyear...
a transformer...
a snowflake... 
and for a short time. A viking.
We stargazed. It's not a bad picture considering... I took it with my iPhone through a 4 inch telescope with a 10mm lens. 
We attended the funeral of the father of one of Jack's friends. It's a somewhat frightening thing seeing two young children, 5 and 3, suddenly fatherless. The older of the two told me the other day that he still had a daddy you just can't see him anymore, and he stays at home.

We visited Santa at Alton Towers.

and one of his reindeer.
Helen is loving her job and the company, she's been there over six months now. She's also just joined a new band and will hopefully start performing with them soon.

I've developed and released two iPhone apps.
I'm entering my 4th semester, the last of my diploma course. All being well I start the degree portion of my course next.

Here's to a good new year.