Instructions and ethics

Two things are currently making me GRRRRRRRR quite a bit. One is a minor annoyance that crops up frequently, the other a fairly fundamental gripe with a certain profession. In reverse order then, my main gripe is with the current batch of moaning politicians who are saying that it isn’t fair that they are having to pay back monies claimed because the rules have been changed and … well it’s just not fair. Cue stomping of feet and many huffing noises (no, not that kind of huffing), like the spoilt children they are. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is slightly unfair to change the rules NOW and apply them retrospectively. I get that. The thing is, regardless of any …

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Interlude

His footsteps tread heavy on this path, twigs crackle and splinter under him as he wearily walks on. He surveys the land around him, the sunlight playing through the trees as the last remnants of life wither and die in the early winter air. He has always enjoyed these walks, the solitude revealing more to him than any conversation or sound, his emotions raw and real, unfettered by implication, speak to him in a clear voice, offering a clarity he knows is false but enjoys all the same. His steady pace never falters whilst his eyes cast around catching movement in the undergrowth, a flickering shadow here, a gently bending stalk there. Tiny moments of life that continue regardless, and …

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Up

Last night we went to see the latest movie from Pixar.. er.. Disney.. er Pixney… Disnar? Whatever.. it’s a Pixar movie through and through. We chose to see the version being shown in 3D (Real-D as per copyrighted technology) and all in all it was an excellent movie with a silly story underpinned by some fantastic writing and acting. Yes, that’s right, I said acting. As ever the storytelling is first rate, something Pixar have always been good at, and the opening scenes, tackling the early life of the main character are truly moving and, without giving anything away, tackle a “grown up” issue in a clever way. The adults will probably get more out of this section of the …

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Fat man thin?

Our eldest niece has her graduation ceremony this evening. As is the way of these things, only two people can attend so her Mum and Aunt Louise are going along. As I’ll be at a loose end, and as it is late night shopping night in Glasgow, I thought I’d nip in a get a couple of new shirts for work to replace a couple that have seen better days. However I realised that it has been a while since I checked through my wardrobe so last night I took 10 minutes to rifle through some shirts that have been hanging there, untouched, for a some time now. They are a direct result of the vagaries of sizing and whilst …

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Do you plan to review your plan?

Nobody really likes planning. Plans are bad in the eyes of many people, seen as a necessary evil by others and some people would rather just jump straight in and figure things out as they go along. However, if you approach them the right way, planning can provide more than just a set of deadlines. Specifically I’m talking about the type of Information Plan that is covered in Managing your Documentation Projects. In that respect, plans are good. They help set the direction and make sure everyone knows what they need to do to get there. Yup, plans are good. The creation of a plan usually drives discussion around the deliverables and the audience of the information. It goes without …

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Bad bad bad

The other day, as I was off work with a bad back, I found myself on the sofa aimlessly surfing the channels for something to distract me. I must have channel hopped for about 20 minutes before I realised it was approaching the hour and there might be a movie starting on one of the many movie channels at my disposal. Please note that by this point I had watched all the movies and TV shows that I’d previously recorded and the prospect of painfully extracting myself from the sofa to get a DVD, and then trying to bend down to put it in the player, was not an appealing one. There was a book nearby but I wasn’t really …

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What do the users really want?

I have no idea what our users want. I do know they want information, and I know they want that information to be kept up to date as our product evolves and as far as those basic needs are concerned, I’m happy that we are meeting them. Beyond that I admit I’m not really that sure. Over the past couple of years we have plugged a lot of gaps and improved the documentation provided in key areas all whilst keeping up with new features being added to the product. We’ve moved to Author-it to give us the advantages of re-use and multi-format publishing and on the whole we’ve built a good reputation within the company. So it’s time to take …

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Odd socks

Lonely socks, originally uploaded by Gordon. Where do they go, the odd socks in life? Why do they leave? Do think they won’t fit in? Are they unhappy with their twin? Are they just wanting to forge a new life, alone and independent? Or are they plucked from their comfortable existence, screaming and crying, dragged off to somewhere else? Do they find each other, these oddities, console and comfort each other, and plan their way back to where they belong? They must be lonely.

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Nothing to see here

A brief recap of a crap week. It started well on Monday (yeah that surprised me too) with a good day being productive and positive, which was topped off by a better evening at the Massive Attack gig. Tuesday was ok, and dinner with my parents to celebrate my Dad’s birthday was nice and then I went home, noticed a pain in my back at some point and… And since then that’s been the story of my week. That pain turned out to be a pulled muscle that kept me awake for most of the next three nights and rendered any attempt to turn my head or shoulders into a sharp stabbing pain that throbbed most of the day. So …

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