How many books is too many?

I have a lot of books. I have a lot of unread books. I keep saying I’ll go through the ones I’ve read and ditch some but I never do. Instead I buy more. I don’t know why I do that. Why do I do that? Why do I buy more? I have enough as it is, many unread. So why, as I have many books, do I buy? It’s a compulsion, etched into my mind, an inherited trait that I can’t fight, an itch that remains out of reach no matter which way I toss and turn. I have books on all sorts of topics, fictional stories that others have recommended, factual books on many topics, from mental wellbeing, …

Continue reading »

In the spirit of things

I got told off by our security guard as I entered the building this morning. We met at the door just as he was leaving and he politely asked me not to smoke there. It’s nice that he was concerned for my health, although as I was huddled over trying to listen to my mobile at the time it was a little confusing. That and the fact I don’t smoke of course. It’s funny, but any time I start thinking about this topic I end up considering smoking jackets and from there it’s a short hop to smouldering jackets (which belch smoke from the jacket itself), I’m sure it’s a comedy sketch from somewhere but I can’t recall where. I …

Continue reading »

Back to DITA?

I’ve mentioned DITA a few times on this blog, and my DITA is not the answer post is still attracting attention. As I’ve said, I think the DITA standard is an excellent one for software documentation and the DITA movement is slowly catching up to the hype. I’ve never given up on DITA and had always planned to use it as the basis for the next stage of our content development, and as it happens the switch to a full DITA/CMS based solution may be closer than I had anticipated. We have been considering how best to publish up to date information in keeping with patches and minor releases, and if we can tidy up and publish useful information from …

Continue reading »

Adapting

Isn’t it amazing how quickly you can adapt to your given circumstance. I’m sitting on the couch, laptop on, ehhh, my lap, to my immediate right is our dishwasher, to my left the washing machine blocks half of the other sofa, the fridge/freezer sitting behind it blocks the other. The other half of the living room holds the contents of the kitchen cupboards and the kettle. The hallway is stacked high with boxes containing the new kitchen and everytime the phone goes we need to clamber over the washing machine to get to it. We are washing dishes in the bathroom sink and the patio has the remnants of the old kitchen, the old cooker and a few other bits …

Continue reading »

Vantage Point

IMDB information Metacritic score I always enjoy movies that take a little care to be different and don’t pander to or ‘feed’ the audience too much. Vantage Point manages all this whilst remaining a fairly standard Hollywood blockbuster type movie. The story of a Presidential assasination is played out from several different viewpoints, each one giving us a different view and a little more information as to what is going on. The grizzled veteran bodyguard, the American tourist who gets caught in the middle of the story, to the President himself, each section reveals another twist in the tale before it’s all finally pulled together in a frantic closing section. Given the restrictions of this method, I was surprised at …

Continue reading »

Catching up

Having been off ill for a couple of weeks, almost completely off-line for that time, I’m still catching up with work and my blog reading. The beauty of monitoring RSS feeds is that all I need to do is check through my unread items list in Google Reader and, finally, it’s approaching zero. Over on the right you can download a file which contains links to all the RSS feeds I monitor (it’s an OPML file and most RSS feed reading applications will be able to import it). That said I am always on the lookout for more good quality blogs in the area of technical communications, design, information development and anything else that may be of interest. If you …

Continue reading »

Needing a diversion

We are considering going to the cinema tonight. Vantage Point looks like a nicely escapist kind of movie to take our minds of the state of our house at the moment, and the hassles we had last night. I’m not going into the details but suffice to say that I had to fill in an incident report with the Police after a taxi driver (black cab) scrapped along the back of my car trying to get round me and then, after sharing a few choice words, drove off without giving me his details. Well except for the license plate and cab number on the back of course… I’d pulled in to the side of the road to let Louise out …

Continue reading »

Things can only get better

Yesterday: Kitchen fitters turn up. Kitchen fitters check the electrics. Kitchen fitters say we’ll need to get them upgraded. Kitchen fitters also say that the worktop for the sink area is wrong size, we have 600, should 700. Kitchen fitters phone warehouse to order new worktop. Earliest it MIGHT be with us is in one week. Surveyor should’ve checked all this! Louise and Gordon are annoyed. Gordon will be writing a letter of complaint. But work still needs done so… Louise phones electricians. Electrician comes, looks at job, agrees price and says he’ll turn up tomorrow. Electrician also says we need to buy more fused switches, one per major appliance due to regulations introduced last year. Louise and Gordon dash …

Continue reading »

Progress

Back to work tomorrow, as I feel almost human again. Still a little tired but I can cope with that as I’m no longer (as of yesterday) falling asleep halfway through the afternoon. It’s good timing as the next few days are going to be hectic. The kitchen fitters arrive tomorrow so last night we started taking out the appliances; the cooker is getting thrown out, the dishwasher is being passed on to some friends, and the fridge and washing machine will be sitting in the living room for the next few days. This gave me a chance to switch the fridge door round (only taken… 6 years?), and give it a good clean, two things I’ve been meaning to …

Continue reading »

Snow White

It’s March 3rd and we have about 3 inches of snow on the ground and it’s still falling. Ehhh, hello? Spring?? Louise tried to get to work twice this morning, and on her second attempt it took her an hour to get all of 8 miles so she turned round and came back home. I’m still not 100% so decided to stay at home the next couple of days, which is just as well as I wouldn’t have gotten to work this morning anyway! I’m slowly recovering but still very lethargic with small bursts of energy leaving me completely drained. Writing this blog post, for example, will equal about a 20 minute doze on the couch later. Still it’s good …

Continue reading »