Archive for January, 2010

My week and welcome to it…

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

It’s not been a quiet week at the Elephant and Castle, except for Monday.

Tuesday Goliath had our Lodge of Instruction. Something that Freemasons have to do regularly is rehearse the ritual. In most Masonic jurisdictions the ritual must be memorised. One particular ceremony can take up to an hour, and may be conducted by one man. So, rehearsal is serious stuff indeed. My friend Nadeem, whom I nominated for the Lodge, picks me up at Northwick Park station on the Metropolitan line and we go to Harrow Masonic Centre and have a beverage in the bar while waiting for the meeting to start. The meeting was very emo as there was a bit of a dispute about some parts of the ritual. I thus proposed to make a leaflet detailing the differences between our Goliath ritual and the standard Taylor’s Working. This I did, and we’ll be publishing it in May after I assume the Mastership of the Lodge. Only problem was: Microsoft Publisher. The final leaflet came to 19 pages plus one blank page, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t get page 18 to flow onto page 19. Whoever invented Microsoft Publisher needs to be corrected somehow. I suggest the cat o’ nine tails, myself.

Wednesday was my swine flu vaccination. The good thing is that it was free. The bad thing was that the nurse was running 1/2 hour behind. I know that I shouldn’t complain, but if I were 1/2 hour late for an appointment I’d get hell in a handbasket. My right arm ached for a couple of days afterward, and I had a very deep hypo on Thursday which I can’t explain with what I was eating or the amount of insulin I was taking. I wonder whether the inoculation did something.

HWMBO was off Wednesday through Friday so on Wednesday afternoon we went to the Turner and the Masters exhibition at Tate Britain on Millbank. It closed today (Sunday January 31) so we thought we’d better go see it. Well, as it was the afternoon and a weekday we thought we’d have an easy time of it, but the exhibition was stuffed. Lots of people who wait until the end of an exhibition to see it were there, and many were elderly and had canes, just like me (I was using mine as my back was killing me…see Thursday for more informaiton on that). I felt that while it was slightly interesting, the Tate often has Turner exhibitions because it has most of the Turners that are extant, as Turner left most of his paintings that he had at his death to the nation and the nation gave most of them to the Tate. As it was kind of a comparison between Turner and other artists, if you weren’t paying attention in Art History class (and I wasn’t) much of the exhibition was not very illuminating.

Thursday I went to the Foot Clinic at Kings to be fitted for orthopedic shoes and insoles. I have been waiting for this for years (but didn’t get on the official waiting list until December). The assessor (fancy name for the shoe fitter) was very nice, perhaps batting for Our Team, and sharing my first name as well. While he was measuring my feet for the shoes, he asked me how my back was faring because of the pressure boot—I told him that my back was killing me. Every time I got up from sitting on the bed while wearing the boot my back felt like someone had stabbed me in the kidney. He said, “Wait a minute!” and took my shoe (not the boot!) away. A minute later he returned with a device that raised the boot by about an inch. This instantly fixed my back problem and my gait is now normal, as both shoes are on a level. I was as delighted as a young kid on Christmas morning who got all the presents he asked for and no coal in his stocking. While measuring he rolled my trouserleg up and said, “It’s like the Masons.” and I replied, “Funny you should say that; I’m a Freemason.” and we discussed that for a while. I shall bring a brochure when I take delivery of the shoes. They’re black wingtips with laces.

Thursday night we went out with our friends Ard, Leslie, Eddie, and Christina to Belgo at Covent Garden. HWMBO tried a couple of Belgian beera, but I stuck to Diet Coke. The wait staff were all dressed in monk’s robes, for some odd reason…perhaps because a lot of Belgian beer is brewed by monks. Lots of mussels were consumed (not by me), and I had a steak and frites, which were excellent. Then off for dessert. We walked from Belgo to Old Compton Street and Chinatown, and finally ended up at C&R Caf

From Twitter 01-30-2010

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

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From Twitter 01-29-2010

Saturday, January 30th, 2010
  • 00:17:40: The only valid measure of software quality: (Beware: humor lies on the other side of the link…)
  • 19:35:18: Now have three job irons in the fire–go a whole year without, then three drop out of a time warp. Hope at least one comes through.

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Word from Berlin about the iPad

Friday, January 29th, 2010

This is really fast work. Thanks to Ron’s Log for the original cite.

Today’s Thief-Catching URL

Friday, January 29th, 2010

If you’ve ever had an iPhone (or other phone) stolen, you’ll appreciate this blog post detailing how an iPhone owner tracked down his phone after the theft. I found it riveting, and I think I shall get MobileMe to ensure that should such a thing happen to my iPhone, it will be traced.

From Twitter 01-28-2010

Friday, January 29th, 2010
  • 03:48:22: RT @jonk: fine fine i turned on the state of the union. i figure i should give the president at least as much attention as i gave steve jobs
  • 03:48:45: @pinoyboy I’m sure she does: she represents the Castro.
  • 04:01:42: @GaySkyHooker perhaps you should take all your data off, then reformat the disk and reinstall Windows, then install your programs & data…
  • 10:17:49: @jallen285 You won’t know unless you try, will you? I’m certain you’d do well at it.
  • 10:20:20: @helenroper Take him/her aside and say that s/he may not be aware of the BO problem but there is one and people are noticing it.
  • 10:37:52: Kevin the Elf gets done for pot! RT DentonPolice: – 01/27/2010 21:27 | 20 y o |
  • 10:40:32: @GaySkyHooker That’s great. Be careful about what sites you visit, as XXX sites often have malware of various types that ruins your computer
  • 21:08:25: I’m at Belgo Central in London
  • 23:57:31: I coulda been a contender! RT DentonPolice: – 01/28/2010 16:46:21 | 30 years old | THEFT >=$50 <$500

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Items I never finished reading&#8230

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

…the New Yorker used to have an occasional bootnote item called “Letters I never finished reading”. Now it should be called “Emails I never finished reading”. Here’s my contribution:


Are you looking for some ideas for using up any left over Chestnut Puree?

From Twitter 01-27-2010

Thursday, January 28th, 2010
  • 02:25:45: Well, a very belated good night to all you kind tweeps and peeps out there. HWMBO is on holiday next three days so will be nice at home!
  • 23:46:25: RT @Glinner: Headline of the day, no question! /via @Chris_Cohen

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From Twitter 01-26-2010

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
  • 00:26:59: well, tweeps and peeps, time to hit the hay. sleep tight, all!
  • 11:41:35: morning all. Slow day today. It’s my friend Mark’s birthday today: HBTY!
  • 12:06:42: @soveren I suspect that nine months ago was also a popular day…
  • 13:26:51: @JoexEd lovely photo…
  • 13:28:29: A Fish Named Barbie #filmsgoneaussie
  • 13:33:12: @JoexEd I hadn’t gotten down to the rest of them, only the last one. Answer: All of them…
  • 13:35:07: Red Toes Day #badcharities
  • 18:14:10: @seismic007 I am really sorry to hear about your mother. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
  • 18:23:35: Off to eat an early dinner of leftover meatloaf and then off to LOI. Originally wrote “meatload” and that is a sad typo indeed.

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Happy birthday, <lj user=”atldaddybear”>&#8230;

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

…and many happy returns of the day.

From Twitter 01-25-2010

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

From Twitter 01-24-2010

Monday, January 25th, 2010
  • 13:19:00: @kinkythepanda if your dad has changed his public manners it could be due to medical conditions. have you discussed this with his doctor?
  • 19:45:30: @urbanbohemian Toss ’em all: there are millions of recipes on the Intarwebz.
  • 19:46:32: @jonk I lurve Katz’s. Was there in June, had pastrami on rye. Here’s a tip: if you tip the pastrami slicer he’ll give you more meat.
  • 19:50:40: @urbanbohemian How about The Outer Limits?
  • 20:24:11: @urbanbohemian i have all the old ones on VHS tapes (minus the pilot) and DVD (with the pilot). I think I’ll watch one tonight!
  • 20:24:45: @jonk oh dear. you’ll get a very thin sandwich ond only one or two pickles then… 🙁 Be prepared next time!
  • 20:26:55: @jonk Katz’s is the best. My Jean Shepherd Yahoo! group meets there twice a year or so for pastrami on rye and Shep talk.

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Today’s Bad Web Design URL

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

If you follow the link to this badly-designed webpage take care! Your eyesight may be damaged irreparably.

From Twitter 01-23-2010

Sunday, January 24th, 2010
  • 00:37:13: @MartinFaulks Did you like the film? The Grauniad thought it wasn’t very good.
  • 00:38:37: I want to go to this wedding, and I don’t even know either of them:
  • 11:24:45: He can commit a misdemeanor w me anytime RT DentonPolice: -01/23/2010 03:34 |22 y o|OTHR AGNCY MISDEMEANOR WARRANTS
  • 11:25:39: good morning tweeps and peeps. HWMBO is off to pal around with a friend who’s here for a short time. I need to write tomorrow’s sermon.
  • 11:26:19: @__yamato__ sorry to hear that. he did produce you, so that’s one worthwhile thing…
  • 11:27:05: RT @PhuketGayResort: The towels were so thick in that hotel that I could hardly close my suitcase. #fun #funny #joke
  • 11:27:38: Sounds good to me…hope they were cute. RT @itzJeffy: And random strangers have been feeling me up all night =/
  • 11:30:47: I was really hoping for a pic… RT @edricliew: @Russ00 At least the one on my apple mighty mouse
  • 18:23:06: @stemwarestore Good article; one minor niggle: Knights are addressed as “Sir {First name}”, not “Sir {Last name}, thus “Sir Ernest”.
  • 18:36:14: RT @willfrancis: LOL: Bad idea in retrospect –
  • 21:37:43: I’m at Caffè Nero in London

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Today’s Metallurgic URL

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

I’m sure that will love this one…

From Twitter 01-22-2010

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010
  • 00:03:15: @urbanbohemian I suspect that the NYT is searching for a revenue stream: they look here, they look there, they look everywhere. None found!
  • 00:03:52: The NYT online revenue stream is as elusive as the Scarlet Pimpernel, unfortunately.
  • 11:08:11: RT @fj: Abbreviating ‘mobile phone’ to Mo-Pho is a bad idea, isn’t it? “Hi, I do software design for Mo-Phos.” Yeah, that’ll work.
  • 14:15:22: Charming video of the last trams. RT @se1: The elephant will never forget – 1952 film of trams at Elephant & Castle:
  • 15:54:37: @IvyBean104 I hope your weekend is nice too.
  • 16:20:32: The Sun? RT @eyespymp: RT @Tonyjo7 On Hull Train with John Prescott. He’s in First Class, I’m not. Guess what he’s reading….
  • 17:26:21: good news! The other major fraudulent purchase on my debit card was caught and cancelled.
  • 17:34:02: Amazing story in the “Tory” Mail:RT @bengoldacre: Unexpected adulation of Tatchell in the Mail: he is well cool tho
  • 17:35:29: @kinkythepanda i think you’d better stop lending her anything more valuable than a rubber ball.
  • 18:24:34: @kinkythepanda I agree. Make her pay for the damage and get you a new splitter. Then make sure she can’t take anything of yours…
  • 18:26:24: @kinkythepanda oh gee, i’m sorry about all this. can you lock her out of your room?
  • 18:32:51: @kinkythepanda any time. maybe it’s time 4 u to move out (i know that’s out of the ordinary for Chinese, but my husband’s brother did it).
  • 19:04:13: @kinkythepanda when is your NS?
  • 19:30:47: With his penis? RT @GaySkyHooker: chrismacklin He has a GIANT penis & abs to die 4 & an arse you could chew 4 days & he can play the piano!

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Happy birthday, <lj user=”tim1965″>&#8230;

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

…and many happy returns of the day!

Good news on the debit card front…

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

You will recall my last post about my debit card details being hacked. I got a letter from Currys Online today (Currys is a UK online retailer of electronic and computer goods). They had a question about an order that Mrs. Christian Hansen had placed, and could I call them. When I called, I told them that the order was fraudulent, and they said that they’d cancelled the order.

So, only a few pounds remain to be accounted for. That doesn’t mean that we’ll not have more trouble, unfortunately. But, the

From Twitter 01-21-2010

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

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Happy birthday, <lj user=”spwebdesign”>&#8230;

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

…and many happy returns of the day. We’ll see you tonight!

From Twitter 01-20-2010

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
  • 18:06:02: My debit card numbers have been stolen and used…major pain to stop card and get back the money. Crumbs.
  • 18:09:35: @jonk Thanks. It’s more than £1,500 at the moment. Luckily one of the merchants called me to confirm or they would have cleaned me out.
  • 19:37:13: @BrianHeys You’re showing your age in reference to the V-Model. It predates Google.
  • 19:46:00: @BrianHeys It was a fad, succeeding waterfall. Now Agile has pushed V out of the fad limelight. What will doom Agile, I wonder…?
  • 21:30:32: @BrianHeys I find that most of the companies I’ve worked for or at say they use the V-model but actually use waterfall. Deception.
  • 21:44:38: RT @Glinner: Just found a porno search engine that also works as a Twitter client. Can’t see how anything would go wrong with that.
  • 21:44:42: RT @Glinner: Superfast handjobs.
  • 21:44:46: RT @Glinner: Please ignore last tweet.
  • 21:45:00: And a good thing, too! RT @Glinner: Now uninstalling.

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Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

I got a call while I was out buying rice (something that we have to do regularly in this household). When I got back I listened to the message but it didn’t make much sense—it said that it was about my recent order, and I haven’t ordered from them in a long while. So, I called the number and it turns out that an order was placed for a Sony Vaio netbook using my debit card details, including the security number on the back. I never let my card out of my sight, so I am presuming that some online merchant has skimmed my card details and has either used them or sold them along. The merchant cancelled the order and, I think, will give back the money.

So I called my bank, got right through (oddly enough; usually it takes quite a while to get to talk to a person), and had a bit of trouble making myself understood to the nice lady in India. There were two held transactions on the account, one for

Today’s Translation from the Chinese

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Sometimes certain blogs I subscribe to either have Chinese entries or Chinese comments. If I think the comment might be interesting I will use Babelfish to translate it. A comment on an old blog entry about Hainanese Chicken Rice came through today, so I translated it. This is what I got:

Lubricant underwear’s sexy underwear’s self-consolation gasification baby’s AV appeal clothes butterfly’s massage stick’s electrically operated massage stick’s airplane cup’s self-consolation set of self-consolation set of appeal underwear G spot sexy T-shaped trousers’ suspenders sock’s T-shaped trousers jump wireless the egg sexy night clothes The roll play jumps the egg appeal to jump egg smoke and fire wholesale smoke and fire appeal thing SM

On a closer examination of the original I find that there are multiple links to a site in Taiwan, and when I follow one of the links and click that I am 18 (I know enough Chinese to figure out which link to click), I get a page devoted to vibrators. So the mystery is solved.

I suppose this is a Chinese blog spammer. I wonder what “wholesale smoke and fire appeal thing SM” might be…


Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

First, that Massachusetts elected a Republican to the Senate seat held by John F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy. Enough said about that: I’m not close enough to Massachusetts politics to be able to complain intelligently about it. But, in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a very large margin, isn’t it natural to expect that Democrats will, all things being equal, put up competent candidates, run competent campaigns, and more often than not, be elected to office? And why haven’t they learned the lessons taught by the succession of Republican governors the Commonwealth has elected?

Second, the BBC’s pronunciation rules. The British pronounce the name of the Dutch artist Van Gogh as “van goch” with the “ch” being a slightly less emphatic form of the Scots “ch” in “loch”. There is a Van Gogh exhibition here in London at the moment, and it’s been in the news daily, and every time I hear them pronounce his name I wince. Americans pronounce it “van go”, of course.

But what really irks me is that, while in this case the BBC bends over backwards to pronounce the name as the Dutch do, when they pronounce American words, especially place names, they take no account of American pronunciations. BBC announcers pronounce the name of the state in which Baltimore is located as “MAY-ree-land”, not “MEH-rih-l’nd”. I have heard them pronounce the name of the state in which Detroit is located as “MITCH-i-gan”, rather than “MISH-i-gan”. There are other instances of this which I can’t remember now (no coffee yet).

I should found a Facebook group: Get the BBC to pronounce American place names correctly.

I need to go and forage for breakfast.

From Twitter 01-19-2010

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
  • 18:28:14: @GaySkyHooker You may say OINK. Impressive. I think I’ll go lie down now…
  • 19:06:20: @texasnate no problem. the pictures were quite good, if a bit darkly-lit…
  • 21:20:49: @GaySkyHooker nah, just fanned meself for a while and now I’m ok…@GaySkyHooker
  • 21:22:56: @jonk that’s like Mother Superior, who said “I like my coffee like I like my men, strong, hot, and black.”
  • 21:31:12: @therealgokwan absolutely. i’ve been teary through the whole program.

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Today’s Intarwebs Video

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

If you can excuse the execrable lyrics, this vid explains what the internet is made of.

Thanks to for this overload of cutesie…

Another set of science vids for <lj user=”trawnapanda”>

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Again, nothing to do with P**ps, but jelly marbles seem to be the flavour of the month.

Today’s silly meme

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Usually this meme operates on page 56, I believe. That’s changed.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth full sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don’t search around for the coolest book you can find. Use what’s actually nearest to you.

That sentence is your spiritual guide for tomorrow.

Note: In addition to detailing by means of elementary specifications, you can continue decomposing scalar specifications by using sets of [qualifiers].

Oh, well, my spiritual guide for tomorrow isn’t very spiritual I need to keep something other than books about software engineering by my desk. Thanks to for keeping me spiritually clued in.

From Twitter 01-18-2010

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
  • 13:52:15: @scorpiojerm @soveren Let’s all live together and get a great big house with a giant bed and enjoy life…(Oh, my husband comes too, BTW.)
  • 20:19:07: @Airrun of course you shpuld text hom bach.
  • 23:20:56: Back from Deanery Synod. This is the first one since our current Area Dean took over that ended on time.
  • 23:21:14: Definition of a Deanery Synod: A group of Anglicans waiting to go home.

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From Twitter 01-17-2010

Monday, January 18th, 2010
  • 13:53:12: Good afternoon, tweeps and peeps. Off to the Well shortly for lunch, then rest this afternoon. Busy week ahead. How is everyone?
  • 22:40:48: I thought there would be pictures… RT @jonk: oh my. last pair of clean underwear = it’s a laundry day!
  • 22:43:50: @GaySkyHooker – Yeah, I like it too. Oh, well, it’s always a renewable resource.
  • 22:45:59: @jonk full drawers would make a good picture too…make sure they’re not too loose (no lube on the sides–my mom used soap as drawer lube).
  • 22:57:37: @kristainlondon I never did anything about the Super Bowl when I was IN the US…
  • 23:13:49: Did you like it? RT @jonk: and yes, i did have it with a ginger ale chaser! [wiki] (middle of “popularity” section)
  • 23:15:38: @kinkythepanda i did rest well. sorry i’m so late in replying but i’m behind on everything…)
  • 23:16:50: @jonk Perhaps I’ll have to try it.
  • 23:20:47: @jonk Actually, that last remark was worth a rim shot…geddit?
  • 23:22:04: well, tweeps and peeps, it’s time to pack up for the evening. I shall go and try to find some Fernet…or my bed. Whichever comes first.

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From Twitter 01-16-2010

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

From Twitter 01-15-2010

Saturday, January 16th, 2010
  • 00:38:58: good evening tweeps and peeps. I have had major stressful computer problems that may have now been solved. I hope…
  • 00:39:34: @fj oh geez, i’m sorry they gave you the ultimatum. i hope you come to a decision that’s right for you…hugs
  • 09:35:57: Morning, tweeps and peeps. The second job interview went fairly well; hoping for the 3rd and final one next week.
  • 17:14:09: @joeharrod a singaporean friend of mine always brings two boxes of PG Tips back to Sg with him when he visits here…
  • 17:19:48: @IvyBean104 hi ivy. i hope you have a good weekend too…
  • 17:52:06: Have a “final” job interview on Thursday next. Hope something comes of it as I’m tired of living off my husband…
  • 17:54:17: @soveren thanx!
  • 17:56:24: @BrianHeys Third one at the same company.
  • 17:56:31: @jonk Thanks!
  • 18:02:11: My netbook has not been charging. Thot it was the battery. No, it was the latch; it wasn’t latched in. I am a doofus, officially.
  • 18:11:04: Sure, why not? I’ll be your friend… RT @Naoij: If I don’t know you can you be my friend?
  • 18:16:16: @Naoij I’m mad as a hatter.
  • 19:24:04: @joeharrod I only drink tea when I’m ill. I’m of US origin, so I drink coffee. Lots of it. I have Yorkshire Tea and drink it when I’m ill.
  • 19:44:54: The Iris Robinson scandal has “boy” and “sex” in it, but doesn’t mention a “bishop” anywhere, oddly enough.
  • 20:11:13: A hacker illegally accessed a server hosting Suffolk County National Bank’s online banking system. Can a hacker LEGALLY access a server?
  • 20:12:44: @soveren You’ve still got time to get into politics.
  • 20:38:34: @seashellseller thanks!
  • 20:38:52: @tug but you’re not a hacker intent on subverting the bank’s systems.
  • 20:39:11: @tug …or are you?

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A frustrating day

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Last night my computer became somewhat unresponsive&#8212it would start working, then when I tried to do something, it would freeze up and I’d have to reboot. A lot of swearing later, I just went to bed.

I worked on it all today (with a job interview over the phone in between bouts of working) and finally think I’ve figured out what was causing it. I’m not sure, but things have been pretty much OK since I disabled a few services.

It’s now midnight 32 am and it’s time for bed. Foot clinic tomorrow.

Happy birthday, <lj user=”gmjambear”> and <lj user=”rfmcdpei”>&#8230;

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

…and many happy returns of the day.

From Twitter 01-13-2010

Thursday, January 14th, 2010
  • 16:49:15: @bengoldacre I suspect Iversen told Johnson that he would keep his big fat mouth firmly shut about government policy and stick to his remit.
  • 18:08:49: RT @antonvowl Amazon customers who bought Communion Wafers also bought: Astroglide Personal Lubricant!
  • 18:10:51: @bengoldacre The ACMD needs to comment, but only when they agree with gov’t policy, I guess. #ACMDFail!

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Today’s Uplifting Video

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

One of the things that we don’t do often enough is make other people feel good about themselves. Living in modern society often makes us callused around the edges; being rubbed raw by every passer-by and annoying person you meet makes you put up a barrier to avoid being hurt any more.

This short movie, Validation, which I’m sure everyone else has seen before me but which was brought to my attention by , is about making people feel good about themselves and thus make the rest of us feel good too. If you haven’t seen it do watch it. I guarantee you’ll smile.

From Twitter 01-12-2010

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
  • 17:00:09: Afternoon, peeps and tweeps. Job interview this AM over the phone, queueing in the Post Office this PM. Post Office was more stressful.

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From Twitter 01-11-2010

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
  • 11:12:15: @TheRealRyanHiga keep using that last one, it’ll work, and maybe sooner than you think.
  • 11:14:05: morning tweeps and peeps. about to get ready to sall forth to the post office and various other places before my afternoon/evening meeting.
  • 13:42:50: RT @eliseharter:”Tim thought, squirrels were a sort of middle class, right-wing animal. “Amusing quote fm “The Northern Clemency”,P. Hensher
  • 13:43:02: @corvedacosta good afternoon!
  • 13:43:33: @GaySkyHooker Glad to hear from you again. We want pictures, you know!
  • 15:05:08: @GaySkyHooker that’s great. hope everything works out well…
  • 15:06:06: @Airrun I’ve not been able to find u…look though I did. Any hints?

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From Twitter 01-10-2010

Monday, January 11th, 2010
  • 00:02:26: @franknstud well, not bad, it’s 11 pm so it’s time to take my pills &c and get into bed…
  • 22:33:14: @jonk do ensure that we have pictures of your sexy boxers or briefs…

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From Twitter 01-09-2010

Sunday, January 10th, 2010
  • 01:42:36: Goodnight, tweeps and peeps. Exhusted from the course this week. Will sleep better tonight…
  • 23:47:22: Today’s Religious URL: –an interesting story of a Native American priest/artist.
  • 23:47:42: After your baked bean lunch, no doubt. RT @urbanbohemian: Ah ‘Blazing Saddles’… there’s nothing better on a Saturday afternoon.
  • 23:48:11: @franknstud hi back atcha! how r u?
  • 23:53:51: Eating 4 lbs of Twizzlers would kill me. Good luck with them! RT @nard: Movie nights just got more fun: (pic)

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Today’s Hilarious Video

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

Some of you are Singaporeans or know something about Singapore and will find this video side-splittingly funny. I laughed until the tears were rolling down my cheeks.

Those of you who are not Singaporeans and who don’t know much about Singapore should go to this link, read the story about the erstwhile Miss Singapore World, Ris Low, then watch the video. You should watch it in full-screen mode as most of it is in Singlish and there are supertitles projected on the back curtain that will help with comprehension.

Foot update

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

I dressed my foot this morning. When I took the old dressing off, I was very pleased to find that the wound, which had previously looked like a tadpole (an oval “head” with a long “tail”), had lost its tail and turned into a rather small oval. The healing continues, and I think that if everything goes well, the wound will be healed by the time the study ends for me in three weeks.Will I be relieved not to have to wear this freaking boot!

This week’s course

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

The course on Communicating with Management given by Tom Gilb finished Friday. As is usual with such courses, the material he wanted to cover on the last day was more than the allotted time afforded so it was a bit rushed at the end. However, all in all, the course was profitable for me and, I’m sure, for the rest of the delegates.

Interesting points:

  • One of the delegates was disruptive in a major way. I’m sure you’ve all been in courses or classes where one or two people ask questions incessantly, not particularly to gain any further understanding but really to show off their erudition, education, or experience. These people are the main cause of classes running over, I believe. Tom was fairly deft at parrying this guy’s questions but I think we would have had about an hour more if the guy had just kept his big fat bazoo shut.
  • While the course was fascinating, one of the things about Tom Gilb is that he’s been around the software development arena since 1958. He worked for IBM for a few years, and has been an independent consultant since then. Fifty-two years of working has gifted him with a fund of war stories, most of which end by Tom either saving the day or by Tom being ignored, with a major catastrophe for the client ensuing. So, in a way, all the courses Tom gives are about Tom Gilb. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but I would like to hear about some times when Tom tried to do something and failed at it. A long succession of successes doesn’t teach you much, while one instructive failure can bring a lot more insight into a subject.
  • I should thank TSG for making their classroom available for free for an entire week for this course. Not many training organisations would do something like that.
  • The major reason for software (or any) projects to fail is, in Tom’s opinion, is Prince II, the management method adopted by the UK government and large corporations. You can get certificates in it, take training in it, but when applied to projects it produces a mountain of paperwork and usually unsatisfactory results. Tom’s method is to determine requirements, produce a metric by which to measure them, do a reasonably accurate estimation, and then chunk the project up into iterations of about 1 a week (no more than 2% of the total effort), where each iteration delivers value to somebody. Each of these iterations is estimable, but estimates become clearer nearer to the time when the iteration occurs. This is, of course, an oversimplification. He has created a planning language called planguage in which all this planning and engineering is written. His book, Competitive Engineering, gives a much more comprehensive (and very dense) treatment of the subject.
  • He claims, and I have no reason to doubt it, that his methods (which have been around since the late 1960’s/early 1970’s) were drawn upon by Kent Beck in the development of Agile, Extreme, SCRUM, and other forms of evolutionary and cyclical software development methodologies. Apparently he has written statements from Beck and some other people to this effect. I think he was probably the first.
  • His major problem with Agile, Extreme, and SCRUM is that, rather than aiming at delivering value on each iteration, these methods aim at delivering lines of code (the “burn rate”) or chunks of program but not necessarily value with each iteration. Gilb’s Evo method is planned so that every iteration produces something of value for some stakeholder(s) in the project.
  • His website has a multitude of interesting documents on this and many other subjects.

I caught up with my chum Steve, who is still unable to offer any work, despite the work being just over the horizon for years. He was on the course and will be on a similar, shorter, more technical course next week with Gilb.

I look forward to reading the Competitive Engineering book and perhaps gaining some insight and useful tools for both project planning and general life planning—he gave examples of where people used his planning methods on life goals as well as project goals.

For <lj user=”trawnapanda”>&#8230;

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

&#8230and for once this link to a video to which I refer him does NOT involve P**ps, but has a chemical and culinary angle that I was not familiar with.

From Twitter 01-08-2010

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

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Happy birthday, <lj user=”pyrzqxgl”>&#8230;

Friday, January 8th, 2010

…and many happy returns of the day.

Today’s AdvertisingFAIL URL

Friday, January 8th, 2010

In Singapore, OCBC Bank advertised that they would give you a cake on your birthday and have the staff sing “Happy Birthday” to you. When you advertise something like that, you do have to pony up when a customer comes in on his or her birthday and asks for a cake. But here’s what happened when someone took them up on the deal.

I am not a movie critic&#8230;

Friday, January 8th, 2010

…nor do I play one on television. However, my LJ friend is a movie critic. I never knew how cushy the life of a movie critic might or might not be until I read his latest blog post “Take Your LJ Friend To Work” Day.

It is a scream. Please read it. But beware: don’t drink coffee while you’re reading. Your keyboard may need some drying out if you do. You have been warned.

From Twitter 01-07-2010

Friday, January 8th, 2010

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From Twitter 01-06-2010

Thursday, January 7th, 2010