Happy Easter

Happy EasterHappy easter everyone. I’ve never really celebrated easter how it should be. There’s a whole bunch of religious connotations there a little bit like christmas, but I wasn’t exactly raised with religion, although I am christened.

For me easter has always been synonymous with chocolate. Making chocolate eggs and filling them with sweets and then eating chocolate until, well, you couldn’t eat any more. I was recently asked by a Swedish friend what traditionally was eaten in England for easter and I couldn’t honestly tell them; as I said, in my mind : Easter = Chocolate.

So this time last year at easter I had a BBQ. and I have repeated that this year, so now I have a new tradition – the easter BBQ. It stands to reason any normal diet regime is on hold during the festive times.

Perfect… with chocolate and coffee in the evenings of course.

Looking at Linux

linux penguinSo early last week i was looking at my blog site, just generally trying to figure what i want to do with this; its not the first time i have contemplated making changes – the fact is i have plenty to say but i like to keep things a bit separate – the kind of stuff i want to say to family doesn’t really apply to friends, and the stuff i want to say to close friends is different again, and then theres a whole level of stuff i want to journal just for myself. I have still been keeping a journal but it hasn’t been practical – i like to keep things together wherever i can.

My first thought was to go for SharePoint or O365 to do exactly what i want –  but it doesn’t really work out to be too cheap, and already at the beginning of the week i was considering moving things again. This is a hosted wordpress.com site – and i originally toyed with the idea of going back to the customised wordpress.org site i had and implementing the security model i had in mind with a little custom php.

Then i was talking to a good friend on Friday which kind of took me a little bit backwards in time, remembering when i tried out XOOPS and Drupal.  To cut a long story short i figured that its probably about time i reassessed those technologies – back when i looked at them in the past everything was a bit clunky.

This weekend i started looking at various Linux distributions again and it felt a bit like coming home after a long trip. Sure they all seem to have gone through significant improvements since the last time i looked at them but still the cores seem to remain the same.

I haven’t made my mind up exactly what i am going to do with all this just yet, For now, i am just seeing whats out there. It will probably be a few weeks before i make any decisions on how/if to start writing custom code again.

An Update

So, i have a few minutes of peace and i spent it looking through my blog.  Mostly just running through the music.

Its been quite a while since I’ve blogged and i am not entirely sure of the reason why – i guess partially its down to the fact i felt a need for a little bit of privacy on the internet – and partially down to a very heavy workload which from a large perspective i have been unable to really talk about. So, a few things about life in general.

I am still working as Lead architect balancing the need to have focus on business and technology. too much time focusing on one results in a compensation in my personal time in another.

I am currently rereading my David Eddings books – (The Elenium ones). I have been watching several TV series- recently Elementary, Suits, Heroes.

Ive pulled a muscle in my back – which i am taking a little bit of physiotherapy for.

Games wise, I am playing a lot of Guild Wars 2. I am looking forward to whenever they bring Everquest Next out.

Diet could be better – having lost 20 kilos, i put the 20 back on and now have lost around 10 again. Its a game of ping pong

Tech wise i am totally enjoying having a Surface 3 – i find it much better than my surface 2.

What more is there to say? I will probably think of something :)

 

 

Being an engineer in a sales meeting

This little comedy sketch is excellent. I know many engineers that would feel this pain.

 

Blogging

I haven’t blogged much this year – well i have, just not here. I’ve taken my blogging offline to a large extent, because a lot has been going on with my life, and work that i really can’t talk about on a public forum.

I don’t want to delete this blog though, because it says a lot about who i am. The fact is, i have to be a bit careful – firstly because the internet is sometime like a mob of people that don’t listen to exactly what your saying, and can sometimes get angry about one thing you say by taking it completely out of either context or perspective.

The other thing is, this blog has been great from a certain perspective, but some people have used it to stick their nose into my private life, by not just following me, but other people and then had the cheek to give me a hard time over things they have read, and completely misunderstood. Its just stopped been fun.

2014 will be another year of extreme changes – i am in a new job this year which is pretty cool.

I will blog here from time to time – but not as much.

In the hall of the mountain king

Information Junkies

The world is a rapidly changing place and people these days majorly suffer from information overload. It makes me feel old to say this, but when i grew up there was no internet – and computers were hardly portable. Theres a habit to attempt to multi task these days which is kind of silly – You can sit in front of the tv tinkering with an iPad and half see the movies that you are watching. I can’t help but wonder if that effects the way that people are producing movies these days. Action packed with not much storyline makes sense if you know that half of your audience will be on Facebook whilst they are watching, and that the average attention span just isn’t what it used to be. There are all kinds of methodologies out there to handle this – GTD – Getting things done is one such mechanism that i find interesting. People are taking innovative ways of keeping together all their tasks – and if you look at your task management apps these days there are literally hundreds of things we need to be doing at any given point. In years gone by we didn’t tweet, we didn’t have a smart phone to tell us what we need to do next and we didn’t have mobile phones… But you know what… we survived… and were happy. Book an hour of time in your calendar to relax and ask yourself this question – are you happy now?

Why make life complex?

Thinking

In life it is very easy to not be focused. We spend a lot of time preoccupied with how things were in the past, or concerned with how things will be in the future – which in general i have always thought to be crazy. We can’t change the past, so its pointless to dwell on it. We can change the future but only our part in it; there are always going to be surprises popping up, and they will be challenging to adapt and improvise to.

When you pause to think about it – the only thing we should really pay attention to is right now. We can appreciate it for what it is – be thankful for the life we have and armed with our experiences – when you think of the bad in the past don’t dwell on it – think that things are much better now. and when things are at the worse, remember how good things have been.
Life really can be simple. Some people chose to make it more complex than it is. Its so important to appreciate what you have in the moment, because no matter how you plan and map out your future the reality is, your whole world can change in the second – wether it be by winning the lottery or losing a wife and child.
Personally i believe in being honest with people as far as is possible. This isn’t because i am hoping to get to heaven or anything like that but its simple. Tell the truth and you don’t ever need to back-pedal or worry about being find out, you don’t need to keep track of lies, and your stress level is lower. Many people say they wish to hear the truth and not many actually do. The truth can be quite brutal at times but I’ve always believed that in the long term telling the truth is the best thing. On some occasions i may withhold the truth but lying to me is really a last resort. Ive known many people lie to others and lie to themselves because they think its easier, and in the short term it normally is – for long term peace and happiness thats simply not good thinking.
I am who i am. If people will accuse me of things that are not true then i will tend to set them straight. I don’t let people walk over me or direct negative feelings towards me. I don’t like people that i care for walk around with the wrong idea, or just accuse me of things that aren’t true. IF people think bad things about me for no good reason i need to correct it because you never know when it can come back and bite you. I am not perfect, i would rather people be annoyed with me for things i have done than fabricate things i have not.
I don’t ever hate – again this isn’t because i want to be virtuous its more because hate is a negative feeling that eats you up and causes you stress.
I tend not to worry about things. Half the time you worry about stuff that doesn’t happen, and the other half it does happen and worry has done nothing to help. So why stress? I do consider and assess risks all the time.
I look at things and tend to point out the negatives and some think because of that i am a negative person and its not true. I do communicate positive things often. if i see something negative i just want to address it and deal with it so things can be better. Ive had my fair share of negative things in life and all negative things have a positive perspective or something you can learn from them. The positive thing may not be nearly as big as the negative but i will always chose to focus on the positive, and will mull things over until i find it.
I live by rules, my own personal rules and i don’t like to break or bend them – i am my own worse critic. the only time i apply rules to others is when they do something to necessitate it. there are very few people in my life i apply rules to and its when they did something to deserve it.
Regardless of how good or bad things get, i don’t emotionally bounce from happy to sad all the time.  i stay somewhere in the middle – i am at peace – if i seem to be hard its not anger – i just apply the amount of pressure thats i think is needed  to bring life back into a perfect balance. With some people that can be a fair amount at times, but thats because i push back with the same amount of pressure i see people push at me.
I am not cruel. i have no desire to hurt anyone. i am me.

Incidental Music

Sometimes in shows there is incidental music which doesn’t appear in the credits, that i really like – or even end credits for that matter. NCIS doppleganger episode – Season 2 Episode 12 – is one of those shows – at the end of it there is a fairly nicely done scene with Gibbs and a girl  – where he tells the story of a mafia guy who was the first ever person prosecuted with DNA evidence. The music there was beautiful, and even though i suspect it was composed by Brian Kirk, i couldn’t find it anywhere.

Although Gibbs was referring to the first prosecution in US, technically speaking what Gibbs says isn’t true. The first time DNA was used to help prosecute was a few years earlier by  one of the founding fathers of DNA profiling  Alec Jefferies, back in 1986.

It was still a good scene though.

The Matrix 1.0

Matrix OwenThe matrix is an awesome film, not just from an action perspective but from the whole idea of the whole human race being plugged into a virtual environment, and i am starting to wonder if indeed we are heading in that direction now. You see signs of the Matrix Version 1 – any time you go on a train. Certainly in Sweden the platform , and the trains tend to be really quiet – everyone has a headset, and is plugged into their phones or tablets. Going back 10 years it wasn’t uncommon to actually have a conversation with a person that you met on the train. If you try to do that now, you can see people getting actively uncomfortable.

What is happening to our social skills? Even kids are given iPads/mobile devices to keep them quiet. People grow reliant on technology, we are loosing our social skills, some of the kids i have met cannot even do multiplication without a calculator, and of course you can argue why should they? with the proliferation of technology doing the mundane tasks is kind of pointless right? Well I don’t think so – because in not knowing these fundamentals we loose our ability to adapt and understand – in IT i see it all the time – people learn how to use the cool easy to use context aware tools from companies like Microsoft, and have a wealth of programming libraries at their disposal which abstract them from whats actually happening. Little thought is ever given to how a pixel ends up on the screen – theres a bit of code to do it – when i was growing up there were not so many black boxes – we understood machine code and the wheres and whys of how things happened. As a consequence when it comes to employing technical specialists there are two distinct breeds you come across – those who have experience and can code, and those who understand and can adapt easily to new situations. I find it very hard though to find the latter category of people. those who crave to learn and understand.

The information age is cool, i love the net and being able to google things, but if we ended up loosing our technology, could we continue to survive, or are we destined to forever being a slave to technology?

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