2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 15,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.


My new watch

My Casio WatchThis is my new watch – its a fairly basic Casio watch with fairly basic functions- it has some novelty stuff but my requirements were fairly simple. I has been looking at some watches to help with the whole health and fitness thing (i blogged about it here) and in the end decided to not bother because i get most of my functionality i need already. With that in mind my requirements were simple:

  • Something cheap – I didn’t want to spend more than 1000kr – anything more than that and i probably have gone for something too gimmicky.
  • Something that i can glance at to tell the time
  • Something with a light
  • Something that was water proof.

..and thats how i ended up with my Casio SGW-100 watch. Its not the prettiest watch in the world but it meets all my requirements. It does some other things as well – it has times in different timezones, and has a compass but those things are not important. Its a simple tool for a simple job and i am kind of pleased with myself for not buying an expensive watch.

A lot of watches out there look kind of cool and are fairly expensive but kind of don’t seem to do the job you would expect. In some cases I saw watch interfaces that were too cluttered and complex – you couldn’t just glance at them, you had to actually focus on the watch to discern what is doing on. that to me is crazy, as I want a watch to be a simple unobtrusive tool.

Kids toys and project management

ImageThis children’s toy below reminded me of work this xmas, and kind of made me laugh – i am not saying that this is relevant to my current job but:

A 6 year old (our customer) wanted a big tower built like on the box. We had 5 people look at the picture on the box. One person abandoned their bit and decided to build a much grander design because she thought the customer would like it better. they each went away and made their own part of the project working frantically; there was a lot of communication with regards to their expectations and towards the end of the build everyone came together with their different towers and tried to connect them.
At this point we found that different people had built their towers but had also made assumptions about the connection points between each tower – rather than talk to each other they had built their own bit in isolation and in some points built bits belonging to other people – there was scope creep.
so the design at this point didn’t work – you couldn’t drop a marble and see it going from point A to point B. I had to explain to everyone where the marble was supposed to go, and order changes to get the towers working. Of course nobody wanted to admit their bit was wrong – and in isolation they had all done a good job of following the picture, but when you stepped back and saw they hadn’t cleanly delineated their parts of the project you could see it would never work.
After a little discussion we were able to finally come up with a solution that made the customer happy. He made a point of saying he didn’t care about the tower he just wanted to see the ball go from point A to B.
It made me smile – its a scene anyone working with IT project management would be all too familiar with!

Splitting blogs

I have three blogs now! I don’t like splitting them but feel i should because i am very conscious of the fact there are several different audiences; i may not be a mainstream blogger but i really dont want to spam people with things they are not interested in.. My blogs are all available from the top navigation, and they are:

  • SharePoint – This is what i work with professionally and articles here will be about either hard core MS tech, or the business perspective of it.
  • Health – I started running and someone made me aware the other day that i have a runners blog at the moment – it wasn’t ever my intention! I know that people who are not trying to stay healthy and fit do not really want to hear so much from those that are!
  • Owens Blog – Is supposed to be about me and my life, thoughts, feelings etc; its stuff that doesnt fit into the other two niche categories.

Welcome to my health blog – i hope you enjoy your stay. I’ve now migrated my health related posts from my normal site but will not delete them from there.

A new year…a new beginning

This xmas has kind of sneaked up upon me this year – work has been really busy as the new year will be bringing in a new management structure, and a colleague of mine effectively has been away from work since mid November. I don’t know why i am surprised that i end up taking the workload of our senior staff, the same thing happens almost every year.Next year promises to be more interesting though – i have an almost completely new team starting Jan 1st. This year has been a real trial – A few really good friends have left the company i work for (of their own accord), and our company restructure just added to the general mayhem.

One consequence of the company restructure has been that it forced me to cover my options – to be prepared if it was necessary to leave. I got my CV up to date, and i also made sure i have been totally immersed in the technologies i specialise in – not just from a theoretical perspective but from a practical one. Ive now done a significant amount of work with sharepoint 2013 which makes me happy – i also started a new blog which i will keep up to date – sharepoint.owenrichardson.com.

This year my objective was to do something about a healthier lifestyle and i have achieved that; although in retrospect i think that next years objective is going to be to not leave objectives so close to the end of the year. The health thing will continue into 2013, and even though March is my goal date i will continue with it all. I have found myself enjoying running a lot more than i had ever anticipated, though just recently keeping up with the gym has been impossible because of work commitments.

I will say it now because i have a tendency to be caught up in everything towards the end of the year – I wish everyone here a merry xmas, and an eventful new year.

Its not so much if i will make these but when… i suspect before the week is out!

An Appetite for Running


This semester I decided to take spanish by correspondence as a way to have enough credits to graduate in April. I’m not very far in, but so far I have been enjoying it. Until the other night that is.

I had my first oral exam, and I went into it thinking I was pretty prepared. After all, Abby is a spanish major and she had helped correct some of my work and listened to me while I practiced. Boy was I wrong! The tutor tore me apart and confused me by switching back and forth from spanish to french to english. It was one of the most stressful fifteen minutes of my life and we didn’t even finish the test! Enough about that though.

After the call I had about 20 minutes before I was scheduled to be on an i2P conference call. So I decided to use that…

View original post 472 more words

Training Plan Complete

….and now i need a new training objective! any ideas are welcome!!! I almost didn’t finish this today as the weather was lousy and i wasn’t feeling like it. But, if i hadn’t levered my lazy ass out of bed i would have had a red mark against my training plan which would have meant it wasn’t 100% complete. Its amazing how much effort we will put in for a little green tick! Runtastic sent my this certificate which although would be easy to forge is still kind of nice. Now thats completed i am off for a hot bath! I think maybe they overkilled on the praise but its cool anyway.

At this point i may take a leaf out of Tina’s book (shallwehavepie.com) – i saw they had a winter challenge there when i browsed through. I have to admit, i kind of smiled seeing their site, because the idea of exercise equating to food is quite cool, especially now Xmas is upon us; it was also pretty well written. I am sure however two pretty girls with their own blogsite, don’t need me to help plug them :) In a couple of months they already have more followers that i will ever get.

The mail from Runtastic read:

Owen Richardson Congratulations Owen!You have proven your focus to complete your goals, nice work! You should be proud of your accomplishment!

Overview of your results

Duration Trainings done Trainings missed Final result
November 05, 2012 – December 16, 2012 18 0 100.0 Your plan

You did it!


Runtastic training plan almost complete.

2012 Running Stats

So, Tomorrow is a bit of an event – I will complete my runtastic 6 week objective to run 50 minutes without stopping. In point of fact, I’ve done this already but wanted to complete the programme  just to keep things neat, i thought i would share the stats – you cant see the dates on the graph above, but it covers 19th November to 16th December. At the 2 on the Y access was 3rd december – at this point it started with snow storms and blizzards – the reason for the stats dipping there comes down to a single training session that i had to abandon after 20 minutes because it was dangerous – nothing to do with grip, more to do with next to no visibility and different densities of snow making it difficult for me to know how hard to put my foot down – after 10 mins my ankles started to ache and i thought if i went on i would hurt myself, so i stopped. since then its been very slippery out so i have taken it easy. you can see that on the bad day my heartrate was also significantly up.

So what do the numbers tell me? Well. im fairly pleased.

  • The Red Line Is heart rate. In general my average heart rate has been going down which is good. Again since its been snowing ive been more focued on taking it slow and steady than anything else, and when i get into heart zone 4 – i tend to slow down a little because i don’t want to be redlining on zone 5.
  • The blue line is duration. Which you can see is up to around 52 minutes already – which is over my goal objective.
  • The Orange Line is Distance. Again this one isnt important to me (yet) but i am doing around 6.5km when i run now. If it hadnt started snowing it would be up already. I am slow now, but you can still see a marked increase.
  • The green line is pace. Again it dipped when the blizzards started, but has started to pick up.
  • The grey line is speed. Its slow, but then its icy and snowy. Its not a figure i pay any attention to at all. Speed is governed by my heart rate zone, which in turn is governed by conditions and elevation.

All in all i am fairly happy with my progress. I haven’t stopped running even though sometimes temperatures have dipped to -16c.I wont stop runing now the training program is over but i may shift focus – its not the best weather for me to start thinking about speed. but maybe pace and distance could be increased a bit.


Now officially overweight

..which is a good thing – as my BMI previously classified me as obese…

BMI 29.9

The next steps… eating healthy

So, i’ve got control of my calorie intake – 1500kcal per day, but depending on what i eat there does seem to be an impact on weight / fat loss. So what am i doing wrong? maybe its what i am eating. The biggest change calorie counting has made for me is tighter control of my portions. So things i need to be getting, that ive not been so good with:

  • Calcium – really important, i should probably drink more milk. Green veg and beans are surprisingly a good source.
  • Fat – Every diet needs it, but there are good and bad fats – Have to avoid saturated fat and trans fats. Unsaturated & polyunsaturated fats are good, as are monounsaturated fats.
  • Carbs – these can be either good or bad types. we need carbs. whole grain beans, fruit and veg all give good carbs; they are slow digested and keep blood sugar and insulin stable. White bread, white rice, refined sugar are examples of bad carbs – they digest quickly and cause spikes in your blood sugar.
  • Protein is essential, but you don’t need to overkill on it.
  • Sugar – although i have a general mandate to reduce sugar the rule of thumb that i have read mostly is avoid anything refined – sugar in fruit is ok.
  • Salt – Should limit the intake as far as possible.
  • CholesterolLDL is better than HDL but none is best!

Myfitnesspal has recommended daily values for things but i have no idea how much i should trust it.

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