Chocolate

Mr Cadbury and Miss Rowntree met on a Double Decker, it was After Eight. She was from Quality Street; he was a Fisherman’s Friend. On the way they stopped at a Yorkie Bar, he had a Rum and Butter, she had a Wine Gum. He asked her name, “Polo, I’m the one with the hole” she said. “I’m the one with the nuts,” he thought! Then he touched her Milky Way. They checked in to a hotel and went straight to the bedroom. Mr Cadbury turned out the light for a bit of Black Magic. It wasn’t long before he slipped his hand into her Snickers and felt her Cream Egg. He fondled her Flap Jacks, then he showed her …

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Cold mornings ahead

A thin layer of white renders the land a frosty glitter. Warm breath floats into the black above. One by one the neighbours emerge from their warmth, and the ritual begins. Engines chug, fans blow, and slowly the ices drips away. I love such mornings, with the crisp air pinching your cheeks, seeking out the gaps in your scarf, wheedling up coat sleeves. The morning commute made all the more glorious as you rise out of the town to the top of the valley, streetlights gone, the night sky sparkling under the moon glow. Admittedly it can be a little dodgy on the way down the other side but that’s what traction control is for… yes? And so we race …

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Recently Read

Christmas looms large, and the days are “fair drawing in” as they say in these parts. I’m taking a couple of weeks off to relax and recharge, and no doubt to eat, drink and be (very) merry. As ever this time of year is pretty hectic, so here are few things that caught my eye over the past couple of weeks. 10 Word to avoid in your writing A short list but the main point is to avoid gobbledygook. One of my pet peeves is the use of long words when a perfectly valid, shorter, word is available. The Plain English website has some excellent advice if you want to find out more. No-one reads the help anyway the next …

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Weekender

Busy day ahead, so I’ll be brief. My Office Christmas party was on Saturday night. Drawing up at the main entrance, I was greeted with a red carpet, and gladly accepted a glass of fine champagne. I turned down the partridge and quail The meal was served in the atrium area of our office (the carpeted section in the photo) and was pretty good. All I really remember was the constant supply of bottles of red wine, put an empty one down, 10 seconds later a full one appeared. It was such a fun game… i think. Meal finished, it was time for the company awards. I was lucky enough to be nominated for one but didn’t expect to win, …

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Where do we go from here?

MP3, USB, JPEG, some factors of our technological life are now “standard”. If I get a new gadget and it doesn’t have a USB connection or USB power cable then.. well actually, I probably wouldn’t buy it if it didn’t so that’s a bit of a moot point. I’ve mentioned before that I’m slowly ripping all my CDs to MP3 (the CDs are now out of the living room and piled 20 high, 3 deep on my desk, which is progress of sorts) and it wasn’t a decision I took all that lightly. Admittedly the bulk of my new music is already in that format and as MP3 is supported widely then it should be OK in the future. Right? …

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Confusion on the way home

“Ohhh that reminds me,” she said “I’ve got a mince pie for you”. Considering we had been talking about the screeching fan belt of the car in front of us, this was a bit of a leap. I’m not sure what reminded her but I let that slide, you don’t learning nothing after 10 years of marriage. Quickly my mind caught up with hers and I too started to ponder dinner. “Great,” I said. “Hmmm, do we have any potatoes in or shall I stop at the shops?” A simple enough request, one would have thought, yet the silence remained broken only by her bemused glance. “ummmm, yes there are some in the fridge…” she assured me, with a definite …

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Too much info?

I’m losing my marbles. It is entirely my own fault of course, due to the fact I’m a complete and utter tart. I sign up for the latest widget, doodah or thingymajig at the drop of a hat, and as I am, believe it or not, fairly security and safety conscious, I do try and use different passwords for them all. Add in the number of websites that I maintain, with different logins for admin screens, blogging platforms, and FTP settings… THEN add in online banking, email addresses and… well you get the picture. Like most people who spend a fair … ok ok… large portion of their time online, I have, quite simply, too many chuffing details to remember. …

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DITA is not the answer

Single sourcing is good, I’m sure most of us can agree on that, but I’ve recently been wondering if perhaps DITA isn’t quite good enough? The thing is, I’ve been looking at DITA as a solution for our single sources needs for a while now. I’ve attended conferences, read whitepapers, listened to vendors and everything else that goes with it and I’ve got a pretty good handle on things. If applied correctly the benefits you can gain are very large, although the same can be said of any other single source project, yet what seems to be consistently missing during all of these wonderfully theoretical discussions is the cost and impact of getting such a solution “applied correctly”. A key …

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The Calendar Lies

I always forget how much I enjoy winter. Not all of it, I could happily live without seeing a pile of dirty, melting slush, but I do enjoy those crisp, clear mornings which still seem eerie and magical, a light dusting of ice, sprinkled over the land, glittering in the glow of sunrise. We were in Balloch yesterday morning, standing at the southern end of Loch Lomond, soaking in the view of the snow drenched mountains that march away into the distance. The mountain tops merging with the sky in an endless arc of glaring white, stunning. Such days are few and far between and should be savoured all the more for it. That aside, has anyone noticed that it’s …

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Free Software

Just in case you’ve missed these, TechSmith are giving away free versions of their software. Admittedly they are older versions but you can upgrade them for less than the full price of the newer versions. Obviously they are hoping people will try them and like them enough to pay for the latest version: Get SnagIt 7.25 Get Camtasia Studio 3 TechSmith have another product, which will capture images and video as well; Jing is available for both Windows and OSX, but it seems to be primarily aimed at sharing the content online. What I’d really like is Skitch for the PC.

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