Month: August 2005

Nine Years

Nine years is a long time. Not as long as ten, as short as four or as “itchy” as seven, but it’s a nice length of time.

After nine years you know a person pretty well. You know when she’s mad, you know when she’s happy, you know when you should stop being cheeky, and when a quick wink will make her day. You know how to pamper her, you know exactly how she likes her tea, you know what makes her smile.

You know that she’ll always think of others first. You know that she likes getting up early on a Saturday morning to get the washing done. You know that she ALWAYS gags when brushing her teeth. You know that she prefers doughnuts to chocolate, red wine to champagne. You know that she’ll always be there, just as you know that you can’t imagine being anywhere else.

So, to my darling wife from the silly man you’ve spent the last nine years with, Happy Anniversary.

Excerpts from the Fringe 2005

No, I’ve not been near Edinburgh – if you are looking for some inside info check Alan, or Richard or pick an Edinburgh blog – but received the following in an email which made me laugh:

“I realised I was dyslexic when I went to a toga party dressed as a goat.”
Marcus Brigstocke at the Assembly Rooms.

“Cats have nine lives. Which makes them ideal for experimentation.”
Jimmy Carr.

“The right to bear arms is slightly less ludicrous than the right to arm bears.”
Chris Addison at the Pleasance.

“My dad is Irish and my mum is Iranian, which meant that we spent most of our family holidays in Customs.”
Patrick Monahan at the Gilded Balloon.

“The dodo died. Then Dodi died, Di died and Dando died… Dido must be sh*tting herself.”
Colin & Fergus at the Pleasance

“My parents are from Glasgow which means they’re incredibly hard, but I was never smacked as a child … well maybe one or two grams to get me to sleep at night.”
Susan Murray at the Underbelly

“Is it fair to say that there’d be less litter in Britain if blind people were given pointed sticks?”
Adam Bloom at the Pleasance

“My mum and dad are Scottish but they moved down to Wolverhampton when I was two, ’cause they wanted me to sound like a twat.”
Susan Murray at the Underbelly

“You have to remember all the trivia that your girlfriend tells you, because eventually you get tested. She’ll go “What’s my favourite flower?”, and you murmur to yourself “Shit, I wasn’t listening – self-raising?”. “
Addy Van-Der-Borgh at the Assembly Rooms

“The world is a dangerous place – only yesterday I went into Boots and punched someone in the face.”
Jeremy Limb, at the Trap

“I saw that show ’50 Things To Do Before You Die’. I would have thought the obvious one was Shout For Help!!”
Mark Watson, Rhod Gilbert at the Tron.

“I went out with an Irish Catholic. Very frustrating. You can take the Girl out of Cork …..”
Markus Birdman at the Pod Deco

“Got a phone call today to do a gig at a fire station. Went along. Turned out it was a bloody hoax.”
Adrian Poynton at the Pleasance.

“Employee of the month is a good example of how somebody can be both a winner and a loser at the same time.”
Demetri Martin at the Assembly Rooms.

“A dog goes into a hardware store and says “I’d like a job please”. The hardware store owner says “We don’t hire dogs, why don’t you go join the circus?”. The dog replies “What would the circus want with a plumber”. “
Steven Alan Green at C34

“Hey – you want to feel really handsome? Go shopping at Asda.”
Brendon Burns at the Pleasance.

“I like to go into the Body Shop and shout out really loud “I’ve already got one!”. “
Norman Lovett at The Stand.

“It’s easy to distract fat people. It’s a piece of cake.”
Chris Addison at the Pleasance.

“I enjoy using the comedy technique of self-deprecation – but I’m not very good at it.”
Arnold Brown at The Stand.

“If you’re being chased by a police dog, try not to go through a tunnel, then on to a little seesaw, then jump through a hoop of fire. They’re trained for that.”
Milton Jones at the Underbelly.

Stop thief!

Jason Kottke recently posted a link to this article which discusses the practise of “word theft”. Apparently “It was an old tradition in encyclopedias to put in a fake entry to protect your copyright”.

It reminded me of something very similar from my time at Dr.Solomons (the anti-virus people).

We had a “virus encyclopedia” on the website which I helped maintain. The library listed known viruses, their payload and fixes, and was a fun thing to work on as we’d receive, on average, 15-20 new viruses daily. Before I joined the company the encyclopedia already had hundreds of entries including the term “custard pie”. The definition of “custard pie” simply referred you to a second entry named “rubber chicken” (the definition of which sent you back to the term “custard pie”).

It was added as a fun and silly way to catch anyone copying our material. It was simple and obvious and we never thought it would even be noticed, in fact I can’t recall hearing if any customers had spotted it.

So ,it was most amusing when those very terms turned up on a rival company’s newly relaunched website. Maybe we should have included the term “red-handed”!!

Radio Ga-Ga

I don’t listen to the radio much. It’s the inane rambling you see, drives me potty.

I don’t listen to podcasts much. It’s the inane rambling you see…

For the most part that is, I have listened to a few podcasts that I’ve enjoyed, mainly topical ‘casts (why do we have the “pod” bit? it’s a derivative of broadcast surely but why do we need to differentiate? both are consumed in the same way, so let’s get past the next year or so of faffing about and call everything that is audio/visually consumed “casts”. No? Agree or not we should definitely get out of parenthesis…).

I guess I really need to spend a little more time looking for what I want, what I’ll enjoy, but so far coloured me hugely unimpressed with the whole podcasting thing. It’s just not original is it? Ohh sure throwing in some music by an unheard-of band is interesting to a point but it’s still not hugely original?

I’ll pause now to assure certain readers of this site, readers which have put together their own casts, and to which I’ve listened, that this is not a dig at them. Sure it’s the “in thing” at the moment, but this fad will pass; not completely but it will become just another thing that some people listen to/produce, in fact I don’t think calling it a “fad” is fair. It IS fun and nice to hear the voices of the people you normally associate with the written word but beyond that it’s not really enough to hold my attention.

But then I don’t listen to the radio for the same reason, and it’s the same reason that some conversations drive me potty, that lag, that long meandering detour when I’ve already figured out the destination and can see where we are headed and WHY ARE WE GOING THIS WAY!? IT’S RIGHT THERE! yet I’m powerless to do anything except wait for the journey to end. Or end it myself by turning the radio off.

It HAS been good to hear what other people have to offer, and what I’ve heard has been good, but just not good enough for the long term. I must have listened to at least 50 different podcasts and none of them have had that little bit extra that would keep me “tuned in”.

Maybe I’m just looking in the wrong places, and whilst I’m entirely sure a lot of my issues with ‘casting are generated from my own little quirks and foibles, maybe I’m missing the point, or maybe it’s just a fun diversion for a while.

I do have other thoughts around the whole “podcasting” thing – challenging traditional media, use of media on the internet maturing, etc etc – but ultimately, and I realise that the length of this post is somewhat at odds with this next statement, I can sum up my initial thoughts on “podcasting” (sic) with the following, well considered and beautifully simple, um, noise.

Meh.

Confirmation

Howling wind – check
Driving rain – check

thinks: How does rain drive? Surely it’s “driven rain” ?

Just about chilly enough to have the heating on – check

thinks: what the chuff is this? it’s August, not the arse end of September!

Kettle full – check
Two books to read – check
Footie on telly later – check

thinks: have stuff to do, a PC to setup, photos to choose, photos to frame

thinks: what is it about the weather OUTSIDE that affects what I do INSIDE?

thinks: it is Affect, not Effect, right? Yeah, I’m pretty sure…

Can’t be arsed sitting at the PC any longer – chec…

An open road

Whilst we have a few tasks to complete, the majority of the weekend stretches away into the distance, with nary a pit-stop in sight. Will we use the time constructively? Or succumb to the charms of the “lazy-ass” Sunday?

Today we hit IKEA in the a.m., purchase a new lighting fit for the kitchen (to replace one that broke) then try to get back out without spending too much more… mind you we could do with a new frying pan…

Back home we will haste, and possibly tackle the vagaries of the kitchen cupboards which are due a good clearout/clean. This is entirely motivated by envy as my Mum’s new kitchen is now finished and, according to her at least, it varies between “beautiful” and “just lovely”, stopping off at “gorgeous” and the occasional hint of “excellent” as well. She does know other adjectives I can assure you.

Saturday night, probably a movie.

Sunday, no plans.

No plans.

Nothing.

Nada.

Can’t wait.

You can tell..

… it’s Friday afternoon when talk turns to what functionality a “who’s turn is it to make the tea” .Net app would have.

So far we have something that would send an email or MSN message to the next person in the rota, still arguing about the ideal amount of time between the rounds of tea though.

Thank feck I drink coffee.

Apparently we’re not the first people to think of this, TeaBuddy may be the answer!

Update: we have now moved onto to a discussion on English language. Namely what you get if you add “-ian” to a word/proper noun. For example: “anythingian“. No I have no idea either…

Auditioning

Sidenote: I still use blogrolling (can’t find an alternative with the same options – anyone?). If there is no list of sites here it’s because blogrolling is down and as it’s been yo-yo-ing for the past couple of days then it’s probably more likely than not.

On Monday I asked for some suggestions of sites that may, or may not, be added to my blogroll in the future. I like to keep a separate list of such sites, monitor them for a while and then switch them over to the main list (the one that appears on this site).

You gave me some great suggestions, thank you everyone, and having spent a few days with them I thought I’d share the list with you. This is not ALL the sites suggested, but the ones that I think MAY be worth reading for a while.

I’ve added a few I found myself as well so have a gander. You never know, your NEXT favourite blog might be listed below!

Now I should point out that this isn’t a competition, and I hope this isn’t all a little too pretentious, it’s not meant to be, it’s just the way my mind works. I like to plan and list and evaluate most things (probably too much), and my “blogroll” is no different. To those guys and gals that are listed above, don’t worry about it, you’ll doubtless even notice the effects bar the odd extra click here or there.

MySQL Help

OK, techie request time people. Those of a non-technical, anti-acronym mindset should look away now.

I think I’m getting hacked. Well not here, Scottish Blogs.

The Scottish Blogs site uses a MySQL database to store the member details. The submission form calls a separate PHP page which does a little checking (to make sure duplicate URLs and email addresses aren’t added) then throws the info into the database. The database connection details are held in a separate PHP file which is included as and where needed.

I’m pretty sure that someone has managed to figure out how to write to the database directly. I’ve taken the submission form offline for the past few hours but I’m still getting new “spam” sites added, I’m currently getting around 15 – 20 “spam” submissions a day, mainly from chinese sites/hackers (not really spam as such just illegible nonsense).

So, given those rather skimpy details, anyone got any suggestions on how this is happening and how I can stop them from doing it?

Bleary

Another early start this morning, as the in-laws are heading back to Spain. Picked up their car – they bought a G reg Golf for £150 to keep here in the UK – at the airport and promptly got stuck on the M8. I now know that there had been a car crash but the radio in the Golf doesn’t work so I was kinda stuck. Still only took me two and a bit hours to get past Glasgow.

Sad to see them go, but we are thinking of flying out early February next year. Louise did mention New Years Day mind you… hmmmm