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Need A Ruler? Got A Printer? Sorted!


One of my colleagues was looking for a ruler and as is always the case, nobody had one or could find one. Why is it that there’s never a ruler when you need one? The number of times I end up using the stupidly short ruler on my Swiss Army knife to measure things is ridiculous. I could go out and buy one, but then the Sock Monster would go and steal it and we’d be back at square one.

So my colleague then said “I’ll go and print one out”. A quick Google search and lo and behold, you can download a variety of rulers to print. Genius! You need never be without one again:

A Printable Ruler


Welcome Back John (no, the other John)


After a 10 month break my good friend John Topley has finally listened to my persistent nagging and returned to the world of blogging (I still hate the word blogging, can’t anyone think of a better one?).

This time he’s gone with WordPress as his blogging tool of choice which, if I were to do it all again, is what I’d probably have used. I’m waiting for the next version of Movable Type and if it’s not a big step forward (it’s been a long time since 3.2 was released) then maybe I’ll follow suit and make the switch…

There must be something about blogging, or the people who do it. John, Derren (who also uses WordPress – they may be on to something) and I are just three people out of a straw poll of three who’ve taken to blogging, lost enthusiasm / interest in it, given up, gone away for a while before being drawn inexorably back in! There is no escape! Mwa ha ha ha!

Hell, next thing you know Mark Pilgrim (who also uses WordPress) will start blogging again…


A Weekend Without The Internet

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There’s a fault with my telephone line that has two nasty side-effects. The first is that if I phone someone or they phone me, there’s a loud clicking sound about every half a second which is quite annoying. But the second problem is that I can no longer access the internet! No broadband and not even dial up!

They’re sending out an engineer on Monday morning but it means I’ll be spending the weekend entirely devoid of internet access. I won’t be able to look up little bits of information I see on TV, I won’t be able to IM friends, I won’t be able to Google my own name and I won’t even be able to check out for the latest gossip.

I guess we’ll just have to spend the time talking, going shopping, gazing longingly into each other eyes and other things that people used to do before the distractions of always-on internet access came along. I’m looking forward to it but I’m not sure my good lady is!


The Sign Of A Good Wedding


I went to the wedding of my girlfriend’s colleague on Saturday night and had a rather good time – and a bit too much to drink! I thought this photo summed it up:


I’m guessing that the empty glasses and bottles weren’t presents…


No Room For Mistakes

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We bought a light for the bottom of the stairs and I rather liked the instructions (below) that came with it. I think it’s cool that they describe in no uncertain terms exactly what you’re supposed to do to fit the light using pictures instead of words. Whenever I look at things like this I visualise in my mind the parts moving into place, following the arrows, screwing together nicely and running like clockwork.


Of course the reality never quite measures up! Unlike the neat and tidy pictures show, squeezing all the wires into the light fitting body meant that the single screw in frame 6 was never going to keep it flush against the roof. I had to improvise and drill a hole in the flat section of the body and screw it straight into the roof:


As you can probably tell I wasn’t much use at art in school, but you get the picture! (Pun intended). All those years of watching The A-Team when they’d get locked in a tool shed and improvise their way out of it finally paid off.


Does This Tree Look Dead To You?



This is a tree in my garden. At first I thought some kids had set fire to it but the brown has gradually spread all through the tree. Considering it lives in Yorkshire I doubt it’s a lack of water (courtesy of the high annual rain fall) but it does look like it’s on its way out. Any gardeners out there? I’m tempted to just cut the thing down. Or maybe set fire to it just to see what happens!


I Told You I Might Be Back


The funny thing about hindsight is that when you look back things seem so obvious. But at the time you just don’t see it coming.

I’ve come out of what I now look back on as a darker period of my life. I wasn’t happy on a lot of levels and I didn’t know where I was going. I’ll probably delve into details at some point but the bottom line is that I’m out the other side now and I’m happy, optimistic and looking forward again. Unfortunately for you, the reader, that means I feel up to the task of blogging again (I still hate that word)! But I suspect it’ll be a bit different this time…

The past seven months (since my last post) has been a busy one and it’s not all been doom and gloom. I’ve grown my hair long, seen a lot of live bands, made a few new friends, played a lot of football, sprained my ankle, got a new job, fixed a date for my wedding, drunk a lot of real ale and I even went to see Adam Buxton at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh (he was hilarious, one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen).

It’s not all been good. I finally had to bury my dear guinea pig who in the end managed to live to the right old age of 8 years. Apparently they start considering guinea pigs old around 5 so she must have been about 140 in human years. May she rest in peace. I will hear her noisily drinking water from her bottle in my mind for many years to come!

Anyway, I’m back. More to follow…


Now Here Is Nowhere



You may have noticed my complete lack of updates spanning the last six months or so. I guess I lost enthusiasm for documenting some of the more interesting aspects of my life and try as I might it’s just not coming back. A few things have happened that I’ve not wanted to write about (although it’s all turned out well in the end) but at the same time I’ve done quite a lot of fun things including seeing some bands I like, buying a new full suspension mountain bike, spending New Year in Edinburgh and a week snowboarding in France. I thought that if I left the site alone for a while I’d suddenly wake up and want to write again – especially about the snowboarding.

But the sad truth is that it hasn’t happened and I haven’t. Maybe I’m at a place in my life where I don’t want to tell the world (well, you the reader) what I’ve been up to. Maybe I’ve burned out of blogging. Who knows. All I know is that for now I’m going on garden leave. Maybe I’ll return with renewed enthusiasm in a while. Maybe I won’t. I have no idea.

But it doesn’t mean I’ll be disappearing off the face of the earth. I live in a real world outside of this virtual one. So if you’re ever in Yorkshire and want to take me out for a few drinks or go mountain biking then let me know. And if you want to know what I’ve been up to, rather than checking this site just ask me!


A Quiet Month


It’s been seven weeks since my last post. I guess I just needed a rest from it all. It’s like friends who move away – you don’t call for a couple of weeks and remind yourself to call them tomorrow. But you forget and then it’s a month, and then time goes on and you haven’t called them for years. Well I’m not going to let that happen to this site while I’m still paying for the hosting.

John the parentAugust wasn’t actually a quiet month for me, I’ve done plenty. I started with a fantastic few days staying in Lyon, France with friends. Lovely weather, lovely food and drink, lovely company and did I mention lovely weather? (far better than our so-called British summer time). I must confess to actually enjoying being around my friend’s children (but don’t tell anyone I said so, they’d think I was getting all paternal).

I turned 30, which was interesting. I must say I don’t feel my life is over or I’m suddenly very old. Although it’s a bit scary to look at 20 year olds who were born in 1984 and actually be able to remember the year clearly. Maybe I am getting older. Still, if I’m still doing this when I’m 40 then I’ll be allowed to complain (it’s all downhill from then on).

Hello. I'm a dragonfly.

I spent a week in Scotland where the highlight was seeing relatives and tidying up my father’s garden. Actually, on that point, to show how old I’m getting I was proud of the garden as one summer about 10 years ago I dug it up under duress to create some plant beds (it was all grass then) and planted trees, flowers and lots more. Cut to now and it’s an established garden and it looks fantastic. The low-light was seeing my father having minor knee surgery that was anything but (that damn hospital up there killed my mother and was doing its best to kill my father too – lousy NHS). But he’s on the mend which is the main thing.

Get out of the wayI even managed to fit in a day at the Leeds festival, the highlights of which were seeing Franz Ferdinand and The Libertines. Sticking to the age theme, it was nice to see all these sullen teenagers wandering around looking at their feet and wearing their trousers half-way down their arses. What’s that all about?

I’ve also really been enjoying myself at work. This time off posting has made me decide to write more about what I do at work as I swear that if I won the lottery I’d still write software. I’m just lucky that I get to spend my days doing something I really love. But more about that in the next article. In the meantime, it’s nice to be back.