The things we read at Christmas ...


There were several variations of this cartoon appearing on different social media channels. In this case, I came across it on LinkedIn and it caught my fancy all the same. I am in the middle of writing a sequence of posts on just how fragile the cloud computing and services offerings have become. So much so that their apparent unreliability begs the question – why would any Global 1000 enterprise even think of turning over the running of their business to such vendors? I think we can all empathize with Santa; finding a dragon would be much simpler.

In the days leading up to Christmas there were numerous instances where the cloud failed and it’s become clear that for many the once-touted advantage of turning to the cloud is proving nothing more than a hollow boast. Why would you even trust them as a repository for your much loved photo albums let alone your bank accounts or your stock portfolio?  Suddenly that overstuffed mattress doesn’t sound all that bad, right?

When it comes to what we might wish for at this time of year, then it is best left to our children to put into words what many of us would like to see happen. If we cannot see an end to the fragility of our technology infrastructure then perhaps it might be something more tangible that we long for but only if we have been good, of course! And how has that turned out for us in 2021?

From the updates on Twitter came this from a fellow technologist that I follow. He is another influencer / blogger who works with the HPE community.  However, seeing this tweet made me remember times where it truly did come down to looking out for number one. Not fair, you might add and yet, the older we get the more we come to appreciate how incredibly difficult it is to please even those closest to us. All the time, that is. And yes, in spite of our moods and what’s going on around us. Then again, age doesn’t distract from how much pleasure it gives us to go out and chose something for a very special person.

On the other hand, with Santa Claus watching all that we do whether we are naughty or nice has a certain civility about it. A gentle elderly man who wouldn’t hurt a fly, now would he?  Polite in the extreme I think it would be safe to say even if the ones we come across in places like Australia are sweltering in the heat of summer wondering how on earth they got this gig. How they manage to keep tempers intact is beyond me – get that kid away from me before I wring his scrawny neck! Apparently tradition continues to be just that, tradition; no matter where you live on the planet, it’s always snowing at Christmas.

As for trees and gifts, Margo just said: “Santa, I can explain!” Yeah, we did not get any gifts under the tree: Perhaps because we had no tree this year?

As for this post that appeared on Facebook, I just had to laugh as I read the few lines it contained. It wouldn’t be a post to this blog if there wasn’t at least one car reference.  During 2021 I published ten posts from my time writing for NASA Speed News and now that it has come to an end, I can’t imagine anyone thinking ill of me adding this cartoon. On reflection I have to admit that over the course of the past decade when track weekends were the focus of what Margo and I considered as a fun time spent out in the middle of nowhere, Santa’s observation was spot on.

Yes, it was only a matter of time before we added the harness bar and the tow hook. Never went the whole way by adding a roll cage but then again, I don’t think it would have surprised anyone should that eventuality happened. Yes, in our formative years there were times when loved ones did cross the line and bought us something practical rather than opting for that toy we so wanted to see under the tree. Margo and I continue to think of our weekends on track as something akin to “lost weekends” and yet, we did enjoy our time with others who took those outing so much more seriously than we ever did.

And then there was one more Santa cartoon that proved too hard to ignore and was really the catalyst that triggered the writing of this post. Even as we now wait for the arrival of 2022 and the list of writing assignments begins to take shape, I am still very conscious of my need to keep on improving my writing skills. Perhaps skills is too strong a word but I am sure you get the drift – writing is what I do for a living and it’s an assignment I view as neither onerous or even demanding but then again, Santa does know I need help from time to time!

With that I will now wrap up another 800 words – my last of 2021. Bring on 2022 as 2021 an indeed the year before, 2021 will be year we all wish to put well and truly behind us. Next year I will have more to say about our plans for 2022 as there are already many. Just like the list of assignments I need to address, business isn’t the only thing that will occupy our time as we have further plans to spend more time on the road visiting with many of you. Until then and as plans take shape, all we can now add is to wish you all the very best for the coming New Year. 


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