Getting Clean, With A Little Help From our Friends

January 29 marks the release of a David Bowie tribute issue of Rolling Stone magazine. Following Bowie’s death on January 10, a great many artists spoke of the influence this controversial musician had made on their lives, their musical choices and their careers. That in itself is inspirational.

But it goes much deeper. Beyond the musical influence, beyond the stardom and the Fame (I had to get at least one Bowie song reference in somewhere), Bowie himself has a well-documented history of drug abuse and was well along the path to self-destruction as far back as the Ziggy Stardust days of the seventies.

There are many stories of wild excesses and behaviour that follow the traditional rock star pattern. But unlike many others that were chewed up and spit out by the intensity of living their lives in the media spotlight, Bowie somehow turned it around and came out the other side, stronger than ever.

showtime five years david bowie smA quick Google search for ‘Bowie saved my life’ returns page after page after page of stories of fans attributing their current happiness to this much missed musician and the meaning they perceived from his body of work. But that is fairly common to any number of deceased rock stars.

What is uncommon is that Bowie used what he had learned along his personal journey to help others in his sphere of influence to get clean, mentoring them and helping them get through to the other side, too. Iggy Pop, for one, attributes his continued presence on this earthly plane directly to Bowie. And he’s not alone.

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails (NiN) speaks eloquently in the Rolling Stone tribute issue about his own struggle with drugs and says that without the support and belief in him which Bowie showed, he would not be here today. While touring together, Reznor recalls that despite being at the height of their career as NiN, he was at his personal lowest point. He also recalls something Bowie said to him, quietly and without reproach, during this time. “You know, there is a better way here, and it doesn’t have to end in despair or in death, in the bottom.”

Bowie was at that time clean, happily married, and enjoying life to the full as a father and husband, with a future and a family he could now embrace in peace. Having been that Low (sorry, couldn’t resist) himself, Bowie knew exactly how hard it could be to get clean. With simple grace and without judgement or lecture, he was for Reznor and many others simply an example of what life could offer when you walked away from drugs forever. Reznor focussed on that, and he did indeed come out the other side, with a little help from his friend.

Let’s let Reznor say it his way. This is a quote direct from the Rolling Stone article: “A few years later, Bowie came through L.A. I’d been sober for a fair amount of time. I wanted to thank him in the way that he helped me. And I reluctantly went backstage, feeling weird and ashamed, like, “Hey, I’m the guy that puked on the rug.” And again, I was met with warmth, and grace, and love. And I started to say, “Hey listen, I’ve been clean for …” I don’t even think I finished the sentence; I got a big hug. And he said, “I knew. I knew you’d do that. I knew you’d come out of that.” I have goosebumps right now just thinking about it. It was another very important moment in my life.

The power of faith in people, and belief in their own inner strength, cannot be underestimated. For those people that can no longer believe in themselves, the faith of others is often the only light they can see in their personal darkness. Be the light.


Blackstar

Today, the world is a darker place.

Today, the light which was David Robert Jones, AKA David Bowie, was forever extinguished. At the age of 69 he succumbed to an 18 month battle against cancer, and as his star finally went out, the night has turned black.

I am still processing this. Bowie has been my hero for forty years. I was psyched to buy the new album, Blackstar, which was released on his birthday just 48 hours ago. And then he died. And I, along with the rest of the world, got the real meaning  behind this album.

It was his epitaph. He is the Blackstar. Knowing for 18 months that he was dying, he went into the studio to record this parting gift, and say farewell. On his terms, right to the end. Good on ya.

The entire album has only one voice: His. I would not be surprised to discover that he also played all the instruments. This was his final work, his Magnum Opus. Back to relying on only himself to come up with the goods, it is almost as though he went back to that bedroom this all started in, in Brixton, London, recording the Space Oddity demo. This music shows how far he came, yet returns to his roots at the same time. And of course, he nailed it, yet again.

I like to think that he knew his final journey was one he had to take alone, and he built that into the album. You can hear it in the voice as well as in the heartbreaking lyrics. No other voices. He planned, prepared and executed this project,  knowing he had months left to live. It was his ‘Going out in style’ project, and one of his best works, the music really is fantastic. An amazing showman right to the end. Can you imagine the strength of character that must take? Respect.

I watched the video for the title track with new eyes. Here’s my take.

Bowie’s career took flight in 1969 with Space Oddity, and Major Tom was catapulted into existence. Ashes to Ashes came much later, and showed the ch-ch-changes Major Tom (and Mr. Bowie) had gone through along the way.

The Blackstar video neatly bookends the career and completes the journey of Major Tom as we see the skeletal astronaut lying dead on a barren planet under a black star. Major Tom found his final resting place, on the other side of the event horizon.  He is taken to the ‘Villa of Amen’ (House of God, of course) where a solitary candle burns to mark the passing of this great being, with the diamond encrusted skull and eyes. His journey complete, he can be at rest. The celebrants dance as they mourn. As will we. Not a smile to be seen.

Bowie wears buttons on his eyes during the video. Placing buttons or pennies on the eyes of the dead is an ancient practice.

The middle eight? Soul searing. It’s as if he rolled back the Bowie voice to the 70’s. Simple, melodic, haunting. And it made me cry.

He knew he was dying. And yet he passes the torch to whoever fate and the whims of the music industry will make into the next star.

Something happened on the day he died
Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried

(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)

The song and video both trail into a discordant instrumental mix which seems at first unnecessary, almost filler, until it dawns on you… we are hearing  this amazing man’s failing heartbeat, and we are there as he takes his last breath. If you have ever sat by a deathbed, you will know what I mean, And you will hear it in this song. It slides into. Silence. And you will sit there waiting for one more breath that you know deep inside will never come. Just another minute, please…

David is famously quoted as saying “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” Wherever you are now, David, it won’t be boring. For you. For us? This world is a darker place.

Man, I’m going to miss you.

The Man, the myth, the legend.

Merry Christmas – The Making Of

Nikki and I created a personal Christmas card to send to friends and family which generated a lot of interest and questions along the lines of “How did you do that?!” Here’s the answer: Magic.

No? OK. Spoilsport. A classic Photoshop technique, then. Here’s how it works.

First, the practicalities. Set up your camera on a tripod so that the field of view covers everything you eventually want to include. A little forethought goes a long way, here. Visualizing the end result saves time and lets you plan all the shots you will need, and where things need to be. A tripod or some stable platform is vital. The camera must not move in between shots, and you will need one shot for every time you want to appear in the final image. That’s the trick. Multiple photos of the same room. Only the people move.

For this image, I wanted it to look as though the homeowners had been disturbed, and came downstairs to find a party in full swing. My variation of “The Night Before Christmas”, where in this case, nothing was moving, not even a mouse…except for the party in the living room. That’s why we have the bathrobes on. I framed the composition so that it included the door frame (so we could be seen peeking around it) and the dining room (so we could be seen at the table).

Then, it was time to play dress up. We changed several times in between shots and had a lot of fun improvising around the plan – Nikki came up with the hip flask (empty, by the way!) and I came up with the unconscious revelers on the floor. She even got in the Maple Leafs. Regrettably they were not sponsoring us.

For best results, full manual mode works best, and is in fact almost essential if you want to avoid a lot of post processing adjustments. Focus the camera on the main point of interest (here, that’s the tree) and set your aperture to at least f11 or higher to make sure the depth of field is sufficient to encompass the whole room. You don’t want out of focus people, do you? A couple of test shots will help you bracket the correct exposure to set ISO and shutter speed. Manual mode means the camera will not change setting between shots, so they will all be exposed the same way.  Once focused, make sure you turn off autofocus, which would otherwise make each shot different. It is meant to look like a single image and nothing kills that magic quicker than multiple focal points.

Some cameras have remotes, which let you trigger the shot from across the room. Others have 10 second timers. Whatever works for your setup, enjoy the fun and take as many shots as you need, at leisure. There is no time limit or rush, since the camera settings are locked. The only consideration would be if you did this during the day with sunlight coming through the windows. The sun moves faster than you think and the lighting coming through windows moves with it. That can make it difficult to match things up in Photoshop later, so I would recommend an evening shoot after sunset – no moving shadows, consistent lighting. A simple tip, but it may save you a lot of hair pulling and gnashing of teeth.

I think we took around a dozen images. The ones you don’t use, just discard. It’s all part of the fun. Once you have all your images, it’s time to take them into Photoshop.

Open each image as a separate layer. If your tripod was steady, and your manual exposure was set correctly and autofocus was turned off, each image should be almost the same. The camera never moved, nor did the room, and the lighting was unchanged. Just the people moved. So the actual room is the same in every shot.

Choose the focal image of the bunch and move it to the bottom of the layer stack. I used the shot of Nikki and I in front of the tree, standing up. Turn off all but this bottom layer. It is your base image. Then turn on the first layer above it. This will hide your base image, so ALT-click the Mask icon to give this upper layer a ‘hide all’ mask. This should hide the topmost layer and show the bottom layer again. Then take a brush, and paint with white on the black mask of the upper layer. Paint where the people in that image are seen and they should magically appear as you paint.

Go through each successive layer in the same way and your room will soon be filled with party goers. Job done!

The tricky part is the part which really sells the image:. The part where you seem to be standing in front of or behind yourself. That takes some finessing. Zoom in close on each mask and work slowly. It may help to temporarily reduce the opacity of the layer you are working on so you can see the layer beneath.  Feather your brush – real life photos do not have sharp edges. It’s a fact.

As you can see from the card above, with a little effort you can produce a great effect which is more time consuming than difficult.

For us, including taking the photos, changing clothes, taking them into Photoshop and doing the manipulations needed, the whole thing took around two hours. Granted, after working with Photoshop for so long, it’s second nature to me. I work fast, I had all the shots in my head before I ever set up the tripod, and that made it much easier. Nikki, by the way, is a fantastic model to work with.

With some forward planning an image like this should not take a long time at all to create and… so what if it did? This is a labour of love. And of course this same technique can be used in many other ways. Play volleyball on the beach with yourself. Give yourself a jumping high-five. As I type, I’m thinking it would be fun to punch myself in the face. Not literally, but wouldn’t that be a great image?

We found this a fun way to spend part of an afternoon, and by wasting two lazy hours on a Sunday afternoon we now have a memorable Christmas card, and a lasting image that will always be uniquely ours. You can’t buy that off the shelf.

Merry Christmas, one and all. From the Greens. All of us. 🙂

Merry Christmas from the Greens
Welcome to the party

Merry Christmas!

As regular readers will know, the edible Nikki and I recently purchased a house, and we moved in in August. This will be our first Christmas in the new domicile, and to mark it Nikki purchased a live tree (a first for both of us), some decorations, and every available string of festive lights in a 25 mile radius. She festooned the house with them. We now have lights on the tree, shining snowmen in the windows, and battery driven candles on the tables.

Outside on the porch we have lights enough to land a plane by. Thanks to David for that. While I’m messing around with a ladder, he’s just reaching up and clipping them to the porch. I just let him get on with it, he was going much faster than I was with that ladder! Oh, the perks of being that young. And freakishly tall.

We even have a spinning mechanical Santa that runs around the hardwood floors singing and scaring the cats. And that’s fine.

As this is a year of firsts, we also thought it a great time to reboot our annual Christmas Card! This tradition will carry on from this point until I eventually croak, hopefully sometime around the next millennium. This year, the theme is simply us having fun in the new house. With my own special twist, of course.

I posted it on Facebook first, and it was the single most liked photo of the year. I’ve had several people ask me how this card was done. I’m going to post a separate blog about that, since it was fun to do and not at all difficult once you know how. As with most things creative, a little imagination is all that is required. Of course, it helps to be immensely skilled and available for hire please call now for details…

Sorry. Back to the point: Merry Christmas, from the Greens!

Fun with Photoshop

While developing some new creative techniques in Photoshop I was throwing pixels around to see if I could achieve the effect I wanted. I could. Yay. And as I worked those pixels, for some reason an overheard phrase kept floating into my mind. “We designed it to be so simple a child could use it.”

So I grabbed my pen and started to work anew. I found myself coming up with this concept, which I am now developing for one of the companies in our medical division. It depicts the ease of use of our SaaS and cloud services, avoiding all the usual tech heavy text and sales patter commonly found in such adverts.

This concept is not about bandwidth, capacity, security or features. It’s about how it feels to use the software.

It feels like being a kid again: Like stepping right out of the phone and away from technology: Like working from the beach: Like being a kid running through a field of grass, stress free.

This captures sunshine and freedom and a whole new way of working. Follow our bouncing ball, Pied Piper style, to new horizons and new adventures only made possible by this brave new world. Sorry, went into marketing mode for a minute. In a nutshell, it’s so simple a child could use it. I think I hit my target.

The question is: Does it work? Discuss.

Click to view at a larger size. Feel free to leave comments. Thanks!

Balloon EHR
Click the image to view at larger size!

Windows 10 New Default Settings May Open Back Doors. Or not.

Like 67 million others in the first week of release, I have upgraded to Windows 10. It was a painless transition which held no real drama – it just worked. I was, however, interested to discover the defaults that the new Microsoft operating system ships with.

The new Microsoft defaults could potentially compromise the security and stability of medical practices and facilities, or indeed of any organization that uses computers.

As many of you know, I author technical blogs for several multinational companies, one of which is the VSS Medical Group, a group of companies specializing in medical software. So what? Well, the product range includes hospital and practice management systems called EHR’s that hold vast amounts of patient health and treatment data, along with associated personal health information (PHI). That prompted me to write this piece, which has already gone out across North America and Canada to all our subscribers.

In a nutshell, then, this is what you need to know.

Windows-10Windows 10 introduces automatic updating by default. Updates will occur when Microsoft says they will. This is good, in that any zero day patches for serious issues will be rolled out automatically, protecting the entire Windows using population even while they sleep. That is pretty amazing. It could be problematic, however, if Microsoft decides to reboot all your office computers during the working day. Imagine a power outage. Same result. In a hospital, that could even be fatal.

You can override this new default and set your own schedule, and I will show you how to do this further on.

This version of Windows also introduces peer-to-peer updates. Yes, just like BitTorrent. Up until now all updates have come from the dedicated servers at Microsoft. This new default really changes this playing field. Here’s how it works now.

Rather than all updates downloading from Microsoft, they are now by default pulled from and shared with the strongest connection offering the fastest available download source. That source could be your other PC’s, or a computer down the block. Conversely, others can get their updates from your PC. Note that.

This is fantastic news if, as in our home here at Gyst Towers, there are a half dozen computers scattered around. Rather than each computer having to download massive individual updates, any update is only downloaded once, to the first PC. The rest of the computers on the networks then share that update among themselves, saving huge amounts of extra download time and bandwidth. Pretty neat.

This will be advantageous in a medical practice (or any organization) with multiple computers on their own internal network. However, it is in principal no different than having a virus: A software patch that spreads automatically across your network and updates all your computers without your knowledge. You may find this to be of concern. I do. And I know many IT administrators that are already losing sleep over this. Because bad guys are good at finding holes.

The update system has been extensively tested by Microsoft and is undoubtedly robust and secure. But. Bad guys find new ways into secured computer systems every day. From that, it is not a huge leap to foresee a malicious update finding its way into computers through this new update system. If such a thing happens the results could, no, would be catastrophic. Review the data breach headlines for 2015. Of course, it may never happen. But…it could.

Fortunately, this default too can be changed. Here’s how.

Click your snazzy new Start Button (hooray!) and then Settings. Click ‘Update & security’. If not selected, click the Windows Update tab over on the left. Then back in the centre choose Advanced options. This is where you set how your updates are installed.

I suggest setting this to ‘Notify to schedule restart’. This will notify you when an update is available and let you avoid those automatic midday restarts mentioned earlier. You can schedule a more convenient time, say during the evening when the office is closed. Note well, you are now responsible for your own updates. Keep an eye out for notifications or you could miss an important one.

Next, look a little further down the same screen to find ‘Choose how updates are delivered’. Click that to turn on or off ‘Updates from more than one place’. After reading the provided explanation of the benefits of this new system, you will want to turn this OFF if you are paranoid. Frankly, you should be if you are handling medical data and PHI. HIPAA will be proud of you. Even if you are not, you may want to close this potential loophole. Doing this will ensure all your updates come from Microsoft and only from Microsoft. If you have a network of computers, you can instead leave this set to ON, and click the radio button which says ‘PC’s on my local network’. That offers the best of both worlds: You only download from Microsoft, but your computers will share each update between themselves.

The new defaults are now modified and you can go about your day.

Windows-10I have found Windows 10 to be solid, extremely fast, reliable and a pleasure to use. The upgrade was amazingly smooth and went without a hitch. This was an absolutely phenomenal achievement for any company. Microsoft effectively upgraded the whole world overnight, and did it with nary a noticeable hitch. Kudos to them. With the small exception of these new default settings and the concerns they raise, I can whole-heartedly say the experience has, for me, been exceptional. I am enjoying the new features immensely.

P.S. – I have spoken with some people that have expressed concern that the Windows 10 upgrade would affect some of their web or cloud-based services. Be reassured. The upgrade only affects your own computer(s). Cloud solution are unaffected, as your provider is the one hosting the service and all your data. You simply log in via your web interface as before: No change to any files or way of working. Business as usual. Nice.

 

Sig Cube on Metal Plate

Another experiment in 3D rendering, this cube takes my existing Cube concept to a whole new level. A different direction, a new look. I like it. I like it a lot.

The flexibility offered by adding dedicated 3D software into my repertoire is amazing. Not so much for photo realistic renders, I’m not interested in that. For design. I can use the techniques I am developing here for a huge range of possibilities.

For example, I discovered that this Cube looks just as amazing from the inside. Standing on one of the letters and looking up, it looks like a cityscape scene right out of a Lego movie. Just add characters. Or, the view from inside a toy box. Add a youngster raising the lid and staring down in wonderment. It’s just a matter of scale.

Using 3D software I can take this cube and render it anywhere, at any size, under any lighting conditions. I can break it apart, hide faces, view it from any angle, any distance. And I can do this for any cube, not just this one. Different words. Different worlds.

I used Illustrator, Blender 3D, and Photoshop to create this. Finding the best workflow to use these together was a learning curve of design decisions. Now I have that workflow down, I can recreate this or anything like it at will. That could prove very useful. It’s a valuable skill set that I’m glad I spend time developing.

Suddenly it seems there are no limits to what I can achieve.

None.

How cool is that?

(Click this photo for the even bigger picture. You’ll be glad you did.)

Click for larger image. Really, please, click it!
Click for larger image. Really, please, click it!

Windows 10…9…8…

I updated my PC to Windows 10 on the same day it launched.
This is how it went.

First, I was impatient. Like the rest of the world, I clicked that little white Windows icon in the system tray, and it told me I could click to be notified when Windows 10 was available. Huh. I went into the Windows Update section of Control Panel to see for myself and perform any other updates. That’s when I saw that the Windows 10 update had actually been tried twice. And failed. Double huh.

I figured that maybe the download had failed because of the massive bandwidth pulling on the MS servers. The whole world was trying to get this update at the same time, after all, so that made sense. It would have sorted itself out over time, when the MS update system rolled itself around to it. But that could take hours. Days. Weeks. Triple uh uh. I chose not to wait for Microsoft to tell me when I could update. I forced it.

The way to do that (and if you choose to try this yourself, you do so at your own risk) is to put the Windows updater into a position where it does not see those failed updates. That makes it think the update was never attempted, so it pulls the download again and tries to install again, thinking it’s the first time. Sneaky, eh?

All Windows updates are downloaded into a specific folder – C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download – and the system runs them from there like any other installation file. Deleting all the files and folders within this folder (again, entirely at your own risk, I’m not taking the blame for you messing your computer up!) is step one to fooling the updater. Step two requires a command prompt with Admin privileges. In Windows 7 and upwards, right click your start button and select Command Prompt (Admin).  In the box that opens (the command prompt), we manually force the Windows updater to scan for updates, by typing: wuauclt.exe /updatenow and hitting Enter.

If you did this right, a window will open and you will see the magical phrase “Windows 10 Downloading”. This will take some time. It’s a huge download, the size of which is variable depending on your own setup, but no less than 3Gb. Tip: If you are on dialup or slow connection, forget it. Have a friend download the ISO installer and run it from a CD or USB stick instead.

In my case, I have to say the installation failed two more times. I had to download the full Windows 10 three times before I got as far as the first “Click to install” screen. That was a 5Gb, a 4Gb and a 3Gb download respectively. Good job I have a great Internet connection and no cap on traffic. It seems that for each download a portion of the update was applied before failing. I was in essence updating a little at a time. And that was fine, because the third time was the charm, and I was on my way.

The actual installation went without a hitch. It took around 40 minutes. Files were extracted, Windows components were updated and configuration settings transferred. All without user intervention. All without a hitch. This was a very pleasant surprise.

When the PC rebooted into Windows 10 it performed some final tweaks, and that was it. Done. Every program on my computer still worked. All their settings were kept. Everything just worked. No reinstalls required. No files lost. And the new features? Amazing. But that’s another story. The speed increase was phenomenal. My computer is already fast, but after this upgrade it’s like a new machine. The search function alone makes the upgrade worth it. I have eight big hard drives. Finding a file is now as easy as pie. As fast as I can type the results come up.  My whole system is indexed, properly. Truly phenomenal.

For a guy used to fixing problems caused by updates and making old programs work with new operating systems, it was in many ways disappointing. I felt a little cheated. I had nothing to do. No cleanup. No registry hacks. No driver re-installs. One final reboot and my graphics card was automatically updated with a Windows 10 compatible driver and I had both my screens up and running. No sweat. This was great! But also…not great!

How can I make money fixing computers that aren’t broken? This is serious! I may have to sue Microsoft for lost earnings.

Win10

This tree comes with a kitchen

In the last post I wrote about the beautiful tree we bought, which coincidentally came with a house. This is an update.

The keys were dropped off yesterday. We threw some bits and pieces in the back of the car, and spent the night on the hardwood  floor of the empty living room. We woke to birds singing and sunlight streaming through the shuttered window blinds. Nice.

We took a bottle of wine with us to celebrate our first night in the house. We drank the wine from the engraved goblets we were given as a wedding gift by David and Tiff (Nikki’s son and daughter-in-law). The same goblets that we took on our honeymoon road trip. The same ones we use on each anniversary, and the same ones we will use to celebrate every major event in the future.

Nikki loves the kitchen, it’s her favourite room. A new gas stove, a new fridge, and easy-close cabinet doors throughout, lots of them. Un-slammable. Try as hard as you can, they just whisper silently shut. Throw in the Lazy Susan, the double sink and the pantry, and I seriously worry I may never see Nikki in any other room: It’s big enough to put a bed in. Shh. Don’t give her ideas.

I don’t have a favourite room, I kinda like them all. But I am looking forward to taking my first bath in ten years. Showering is efficient and quick, but there is nothing quite as relaxing as soaking in a tub for an hour and coming out pink, wrinkly, and stress free. The bath in this house is deep enough to do that, so I am going to the store today to buy a rubber duck. Maybe the bathroom will grow to be my favourite. Time will tell. I look forward to finding out.

Kitchen
Click for larger image

We Bought A Tree

Dear diary, today the edible Nikki and I bought a ten year old Japanese Red Maple. For my UK peeps, that’s a tree. This fine specimen of Mapledom reaches for the sky in every shade of flaming fire red the mind can imagine and outshines even the blazing noon sun of a Canadian Summer. The leaves glow with rebirth, new life, and the promise of summers yet to be, and it is very beautiful.

We paid a good price for our tree. Some may think we paid more than we should.  But that’s not fair. They don’t realize that this tree came as part of a package. To buy this particular tree, we had to suck it up and agree to buy the four bedroom house that came with it.

So we did.

Our House (cue Madness riff, long live Suggs) is on a 40′ by 165′ lot that we have big plans for over the next however many years, starting with a raised rear BBQ deck and a vegetable garden. One day, maybe even a pool. There is a full basement, and my first planned purchase is a beer fridge, and that beer fridge will sit right beside the spot on the wall where I will lovingly mount the dartboard I have kept in storage for many years, waiting for just this very day. Nikki wants a push mower. I love her very, very much.

The front of the house has a veranda which looks across the front yard to our Japanese Red Maple. We plan to spend many years sitting on that porch in rockers, watching our tree grow and waving at the ships passing through the Welland Canal at the end of our street, as they ply their way to the four corners of the earth.

104 Bell Street-8

It took many years and a lot of blood sweat and tears to get here. We earned this. This has been a long time coming. This is us, hitting the slopes of Mount Retirement. As we slide down that slope we aim to add wheels, to make the slide even more uncontrollably fun.

Once we have a garage (second major purchase), I want a ride on lawn mower (because that’s a big-ass yard!), then a snowmobile, a boat, a Seadoo, a motorbike or two and, if I survive long enough to make it happen, a Batmobile. ‘cos why the hell not?  Think big.

Well, that’s the next twenty years planned for. Now we just have to figure out how to make it happen. And that, my dear readers, is all going to be part of the fun. Yay. Retirement, here we come.