Recently Read

Another week has zoomed past, and I’m only now catching up! I’ve been helping out with our development group retrospectives… but more on that later. For now, here are a few things that caught my eye this past week. Gatekeeper vs. team member Whilst not directly talking about technical writing, there are some good points in this post, with several mirrors between some of our [sic] processes and that of the self-publishing author: …some authors, trusting no one but themselves, will put out what they have to say, untouched by any other person. Sometimes this works. Usually it doesn’t. Others will reject the criticism of experts but accept the flattery of a subsidy publisher. Others will embrace the traditional publishing …

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Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Sshhhhh. I’m thinking. I’m thinking about what to write. I’m thinking that I’m not sure where the tub of Polyfilla is, I’m hoping it didn’t get thrown out. I’m thinking that I shouldn’t really be writing this post as my entire week is chock full of meetings and I need to grab every single available moment to ping off some emails and keep up to date with what’s going on outside of the meeting rooms which are currently almost a semi-permanent home. I’m thinking that finding a better way to do things AFTER you are committed to a particular way of working is a little daft… I’m thinking that having all 103GB of my music here at work is actually …

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Harissa Paste

Picture the scene, if you will, of a dashing and debonair young man, slim of body with flowing locks of blonde hair framing his sculptured face as he lounges gracefully on a chaise lounge. Soft music plays in the background, whilst the delicate fragrances of dinner waft from the kitchen. A tranquil scene I’m sure you’ll agree. Now picture the exact opposite, a slovenly baw-faced guy slouching in front of the TV, his belt undone, his thinning hair needing cut, his face unshaven. That pretty much sums me up at the moment, but then it’s been a busy weekend. Friday night found me dashing into Glasgow to catch Elbow at the ABC. Doors opened at 6pm the ticket said, something …

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Recently Read

Ahhh, the end of another week (well it will be in a few hours, just a few last diagrams to be rebranded…), which means it’s time for a quick roundup. Pilcrow & Capitulum A nice little post for the font freaks (guilty!) discussing the evolution of the that little symbol that is often used to mark the end of a paragraph. It’s tempting to recognize the symbol as a “P for paragraph,” though the resemblance is incidental: in its original form, the mark was an open C crossed by a vertical line or two, a scribal abbreviation for capitulum, the Latin word for “chapter.” Open Applications – A Model for Technical Documentation? Ferdinand Soethe takes a look at the Open …

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Usability sucks

I’m getting royally fedup with a lot of what I read that is written in the name of usability. Maybe it’s just a personal loathing of the overly academic, or perhaps I lean towards simplicity a little too heavily but SHEESH, some of the better known experts can’t half prattle on… I’m a member of the usability team at work, largely because I made a lot of noise about it when I joined the company, but also because as a technical communicator who is passionate about the entire experience of using a product, I realise that the interface is THE most important part of communication between user and product. I’ll let that one sink in, shall I? Despite our own …

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Real life will resume shortly

Before I say anything else, a quick but very heartfelt thank you to everyone who has offered advice, support and general nice thoughtyness (either in comments or via email or Twitter) concerning my recent health news. I’m not going to go on about it, but thank you. Elsewhere in my life, the kitchen has been fitted! The tiler arrives today (phoned last night to see if he could come early) which means I’ll be free to do the flooring at the weekend. After that, a little bit of wallpapering (I’m sub-contracting my parents for that bit, they are pretty cheap but I have to do all the high bits…), a new light, new blinds and I THINK we are done. …

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A kick up the arse

So I’m now on pills for my blood pressure and next Tuesday they take blood to check my liver and kidneys are functioning correctly, and to see what my cholesterol level is at the moment. Then, later that day, I get an ECG. It’s all a bit… much really. As I feel fine but the numbers don’t lie. The disappointing thing, the thing that really fucks me off, is that for the past two weeks I’d been careful with my diet, cut out as much salt as I could, and managed a few short walks (still not enough I know but my knee still isn’t 100%), yet my blood pressure went up! Edit: Read on at your peril, it’s a …

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