TTVSU – And Matt Lane!

First song of the day – I’ll remember you.

I’m out of bed on my way to work. This week will be interesting as there are two meetings that will define my future within the company that I am working for.

Yesterday I put together another website which isn’t quite yet finished. I’m tempted to not make a big deal about it until I decide if I shall keep it or not. I simply don’t know if I will get time to blog about tech, but as part of work I am supposed to be building a reputation out there.

I brought a virtual book on CSS 3.0 which I’m going to sit down and read for a while now

The picture is from a jumper I have. – I found it this morning; it’s an item if clothing I ant bear to chuck out. TTVSU – Tilbury Trident Venture Scout Unit – was really important to me for many years, as was scouting in general – I learned about leadership and tons of other things – it beat hanging around a street corner. There are a few negative associations too – my first crush was a diabolical disaster, and there are some words that my second cousin once said to me that still stick with me to this day – he said that in life I take one step forwards and two steps back – that just as people start to like me I do things to screw it up. I’ve always been a passionate soul, imagine what my formulative years would have been like trying to get hold of that. There are people back then who I would love to give apologies to and will never in chance.

I like to think I am a better person now than I was back then (well, ok just a bit). I’ve been lucky enough to have met some awesome people; some of them remain friends today, some are lost in the past – and some people like Rachel Norris Had a profound impact on me without ever realizing (and no I ne’er fancied her!). I don’t think I was ever part of the in crowd, but then it was never my priority and a lot of other things were going on back then.


Problems with RSS Syndication

Why didnt anyone tell me that RSS syndication wasnt working properly on this site? ok, probably nobody noticed before i needed it today.

It turned out that a wordpress plugin i have installed myStats, embeds a little bit of code into each page which was breaking my syndication. If anyone else comes across this one – using Plugins->editor – select mystats, and load up mystats.php.

go to function myStats_footer() – a couple of lines below it is an echo statement that writes out the offending line – to not do this for feeds you need to encase that in an if statement – the if statement should read:

if(!is_feed()) <echo line starts here, preferably in squiggly brackets>


Socrates 3 filter test

In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem.

One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said,
“Do you know what I just heard about your friend?” 

“Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before telling me anything I’d like you to pass a little test.
It”s called the Three Filters Test.” 

“Three Filters?”
“That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say.
That’s why I call it the Three Filters Test. 

The first filter is Truth.
Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”
“No,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it and…”
“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it”s true or not.
Now let”s try the second filter, the filter of goodness.
Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”
“No, on the contrary…”
“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, but you’re not certain it”s true.
You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left: the filter of usefulness.
Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”
“No, not really.”
“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”
This is why Socrates was a great philosopher & held in such high esteem – and it also explains why Socrates never found out someone was banging his wife.

Lord Of The Rings

This is just funny – its been around a long time ago but it popped into my mind so i am posting it.


The iPad 2….

Steve Jobs.

I’ve been waiting for ages now to get an iPad, and i read this morning that March 2nd they will make an announcement/launch it – of course this doesn’t mean it will be available, but we will most likely find out exactly when it will be available and what the tech specs are. I will be looking forward to that and ill probably buy one – as i was meant to get one at xmas but didn’t due to the rumours of this launch.

The ipad 2 is already in production and iOS 4.3 is in the third phase of beta which is nice timing.

I am looking forward to this :)


There are a few things that annoy me on the net – people trying to sell you stuff that you havent asked of is one of them.

On this blogsite i have it set so that you cannot post a comment without it going through an approval process which pretty much kills comment spam – i have Akismet – a wordpress plugin dedicated to preventing spam, by intellegently detecting what spam is, and maintaining blacklists. I love akismet. I checked my spam queue this morning and it had 53 entries in. mostly it was about selling me drugs and stuff, and it only took me a moment to glance through and ensure it was doing its job properly cool.

I knocked up a phpbb site for friends when i was playing EQ 2 and they had terrible problem with spam – spammers made that site almost impossible to administer and quite often the site would be full of porn. That made me really angry, not because of an adversion to porn, but because it was a family site, and the people that were linking this were clearly intruding – its like turning up at a strangers party.

Mail spam is also an annoyance. I have a secret mail address which not many people get purely because my public mail address receives so much spam. Then of course there are all these people that send on good luck messages or virus alarms without any thought. Heres a thought for some of you non technical people out there – next time you forward a mail about poor katie trapped down a well. Its incredibly easy for me to hide a tracker or execute code within an email – a really simple example – your email has a picture in it maybe an innocent little cute kitten or something… that image gets taken from a webserver – when you look at your kitten what you are doing is going to a file server somewhere and picking up a picture normally. What i can do is change things a little – you request the picture and rather than loading a cute little kitten what your doing is starting a program on my server. Now i may still send you the picture of the kitten from my program without you even knowing that youve run my code – but at the same time i can pick up all sorts of information from you – such as your IP Address, Your machine name, your browser version. every person that opens that mail i could track.

If course there are places out there you can go to to check the validity of these mails before sending them on as well. Ive lost count of the times i was at risk of losing my data because of the worse computer virus ever. Many people dont get suspicious at the spelling or the fact that these official mails originate from hotmail addresses half the time. I can understand people are not tech savvy – i have a lot of respect for that… all im saying is the internet is a wild place in some places, a wretched hive of scum and villany so it pays to look at the credibility of these things that you are being sent, and to think twice before forwarding junk to people.

That said and done, i do welcome anything thats truelly funny :)


Tired again

I’m soo damn tired, and feel quiet ill at the moment – I would have stayed in bed this morning if I didn’t have a fairly important meeting today. The Apoteket industry are keen to get me out fast – I really do feel loved and appreciated for all my hard work there.

First song of the morning was die another day – which I don’t really like. I’m feeling like I need to get out and socialize a bit more – and I will do once my job situ is sorted. It feels at the moment that all the org changes wont affect most – though I think maybe in some parallel universe there may be another version of me that gets appreciated by the management team! My line manager has always appreciated me but he can’t get me a promotion. In the organization I am a ghost.

Was playing with my site functionality in SP2010 last night as I need to be familiar with it. In the next few weeks I have training followed by a trip to Finland (work). I’ve booked a trip to Greece though which is pure holiday and I’m hoping will be more successful than the last trip to the UK.


-15 is it the end of the world?

Ok it’s -15 outside – is it the end of the world? They would have had us believe so a few years back – shifting weather Patterns were being causes by holes in the ozone according to some. Of course looking after the environment is a great thing but sometimes i cannot help but laugh at the way the media sensationalized things and spread fear and panic to sell papers. Well, I can hardly blame them and will talk about the media on another occasion! The fact is weather has been running in cycles for a very long time. Some of the best records of weather have been kept by the British Navy whose logbooks go back hundreds of years (take a look at JISC to see the project for digitizing those records). Of course we are but a blip on the history of this planet – our calendars only really go back 2000 years and the history of our species starts to get really blurry going back more than 4000 years. Compare that to the millions of years the earth has been here – it’s kind of sad to think that we could have screwed up the planet so fast….


Dating in the 21st Century

I saw a documentary the other day on dating and couldnt help but be a bit surprised – its quite sad the way things seem to be going these days. There was a reporter who followed different single women who were trying to find a life partner. A quick summary of some of the people:

  • Person 1 – Was a 16 year old girl. For dating apparently these days what you do is go to the local shopping mall. Then a friend makes sure your name is said out loud, and the idea is the boy your are interested in looks you up on facebook. Of course FB is an awesome place to stalk people.
  • Person 2 – Was a project manager type professional who would go for dates and then plot the varying success criteria on a graph.
  • Person 3 – Was in her 50s and lived in a small village. She had been through just about every guy there and would go to the pub wearing tights and hot pants… i mean gosh imagine trying to stuff 80kg of marshmallow into a pair of tights  – each marshmellow moving in different directions as she walked…
  • Person 4 – actually was almost certifiable. She had read a couple of self help books, and set herself a 6 month project to find a man. She was on 5 dates a week, and tried speed dating at the local Asda! She in the end decided on a man, did up her appartment on valentines day and invited him over. The poor fella, he was nice, he was honest, he liked to socialise but wasnt looking for a relationship, she almost broke down as he said this. She only wanted the one true love and if he couldnt declare his love for her she wasnt interested (bear in mind they had only been on one date months before)
  • Person 5 – was going to a dating site – which was basically all about pretty young girls hooking up with rich men – the guys got their attention and the girls lots of pressies. I really didnt like the whole idea of this, and am fairly conflicted on it – i mean on the one side its really honest – they all get what they want, but on the other hand i really have a problem with people who are materialistic to such a large extent.

… The whole thing was shocking, it seems like people are too busy with life to stop and appreciate each other, and it seems like the net is impairing young kids ability to interact.  Sometimes i wonder if the net is a good thing or not – i mean its great for bringing people from all over the world together – but at what cost.

Why do i like submarine films?

I was asked last week why I like submarine films, Which really did make me stop and think about who I am. I love chaos and disaster, because people run around not knowing what to do and in those moments they tend to be easier to work with – they will listen and perform as directed. I don’t think I am a dominant person in my personal life; In work I respect people and ways of doing things, listen to anyone with new ideas, and even admit when I am wrong. Maybe I have said this before!

A submarine crew is highly trained and organized just like the minions of Sun Tsu. It follows orders, and processes obediently, and reacts well in times of conflict. It is a group of individuals that act as a machine – it is a family, that lives and dies together. I could never be a sub mariner as bring locked in a tin can with a bunch of blokes for 6 months isn’t me – but there are many aspects to a sub mariners life I do appreciate. Maybe the reason I moved to brazil before is on the flag – order and progress.

It’s no chaos I aspire to it’s progress, structure, organization. The reason I soo comfortable with chaos is that it’s an easy starting point to achieve that goal. A lot easier than of a strong willed group of people has a solidly defined set of processes that build in the wrong direction.

I watched crimson tide the other day and couldn’t help but parallel. It to life in a big company – the rules followed and define by the captain (Gene Hackman) vs a guy who questioned a process and a way of working that clearly wasn’t in the best interests of the company/sub.

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