Goodbye Dad (1934-2006)

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DadThe phone call was a shock. I can blame myself for that in a way, but then you were always so hard to reach out to.

I tried to keep contact for so many years. I made the trip from Ealing when I was only 15, so I could see you. I came back to live with you. Twice.

The second time I was in your way, and you made it known, that you didn’t want me there. I still kept in touch with you.

You only ever came to visit me on a couple of occasions, even though you lived but ten minutes walk from my home, and that was when Pat made you, and that of course, was back in the 1980’s.

Life moves on, and I grew tired of always being the one to try and keep contact.

Since I moved, I did try to call you at home on about 5 or 6 occasions, but you never answered the phone, and as you didn’t have an answering machine, I couldn’t leave a message.

I wish I had tried a little harder; remembered on more occasions to send you a card, even though you never sent me any, ever.

It pains me to say that you weren’t a person that could command respect, and you weren’t really a great source of inspiration to me. You had many issues, some of which you probably never even considered to be issues.

I know your own upbringing wasn’t one that was filled with love, even though your own parents were wonderful people.

I wish I had been able to get to know you better, as a person, and as my Dad, but there was always that defensive wall around that manifested itself to often make you seem such a negative and bitter person. However, you were my Dad, and I did love you for all your faults and funny ways, and I will miss you. May God watch over you.

I won’t be able to attend your funeral, but I will send some flowers.

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Grace Hopper

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Grace Hopper was a force to be reckoned with, and she certainly helped the road of computer science and led the way for women in this field. Her most well-known invention was the creation of the compiler, that intermediate program that translates English instructions into “computerese”, one of the foundations of modern computing.

Another of her claims to fame was the discover of the first computer “bug”, and this was literally true when she came upon a moth trapped within the relay points of the Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator while it was being tested at Harvard University, 9 September 1945. Her team successfully “debugged” the computer and a new term was born.

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Alberto was the first named storm of the 2006 hurricane season. It didn’t quite reach hurricane status (over 73mph) before it made landfall on the north-western gulf coast of Florida, but it dumped plenty of rain.

AlbertoThe rain was much-needed in Florida. Like most of these tropical storms it covered a wide area, and this photo was taken in Mount Pleasant, SC, whilst the center of the storm was still almost 400 miles away in Florida.

Fortunately, by the time the storm got to the lowcountry, much of its strength had died away, but we still had tornado warnings, and reports of a few actual tornadoes, although no damage was reported.

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