Being prepared

It is most definitely Monday. Let me rewind the opening part of my morning for you, to offer you proof that it is most definitely Monday. ~ wibblywobbly wibblywobbly wibblywobbly ~ I’m lying in bed and somewhere in the distance, through the murk of a lie-in I hear the radio. Voices, a rabble, some music, and then the pips. I open my eyes to hear the announcement of the time. 9 AM. As my eyes close once more my brain reminds me, in somewhat hurried tones, that I have a meeting in Glasgow at 10.30AM and perhaps, you know, maybe, it might be an idea if I got up. I tell my brain to shut up. It responds by sending …

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THAT time of year

Casting a wary eye over my calendar for the next month or so, given that we are now only a calendar month away from that day which tends to dominate things at this time of year, I realised that, as usual, my weekends are slowly melting into a morass of shopping trips, nights out and other such social occasions. Oddly I’m not attending any gigs at all in December, although that’s largely because I didn’t realise certain gigs were happening until it was too late. It’s always good to go out and have a few drinks, some laughs and general merriment with friends, family and hell even my colleagues aren’t all that bad. But sometimes I’d like nothing better than …

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Access is good

Yesterday we launched a new version of our developer community website. It doesn’t have many ‘community’ features as yet but that’s all to come. One thing it does now have is an HTML version of all of our product documentation, in an easily searchable format. It’s no coincidence that it looks very much like the Author-it Knowledge Center as it too was built using Author-it (alas I can’t show you our website as it requires a login). This new format of the product documentation is largely to move us away from PDF only documentation. At present we still have a set of PDFs but they aren’t particularly usable. We ran a few quiet trials of the knowledge centre format and …

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Skunk Anansie

A long time ago, in a blue football stadium, I saw Skunk Anansie support a certain 80s rock band (ohh ok, it was Bon Jovi, now shush). The day wasn’t a great one, the weather was crap, the PA system poor and the entire day was largely forgetable. At the time Skunk Anansie were about as popular as they got, and I can remember how disappointed I was coming away from that gig. Last night, reformed and with a Greatest Hits package to push, they appeared in Glasgow and OH MY GOD they really delivered. It took a couple of songs to get going but it’s easily the most energetic performance I’ve seen for a while, and the crowd reacted …

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Olivia Newton John

They make me laugh, if I’m honest. Not out loud, and not heartily, and there is a level of wonder and envy but, ultimately, I laugh at their preening and posing. But never to their face. As I puff and wheeze, legs failing on the bike as I crank out another kilometre, I can see them out of the corner of my eye. The clank of the dumbbells, those big weighty lumps explode into movement and then fall still. There is a fluidity, a raw power behind what they do, but the effects can be grotesque. So I happily ignore them, leave them to their posturing. Such big proud men, so silly in their masculinity. There was a time I …

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Information Strategy Pyramid

The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. As such, it stands to reason that two monkeys would be able to produce the same volume of output, but are unlikely to write exactly the same thing. Add in a few more monkeys to the equation and suddenly you have lots of content, none of which really relates to anything else. I’ll stop with the monkey metaphor before I insult anyone. Consistency is an important part of communication, even at the simplest level of having a common terminology, using the same words …

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Change of scenery

Having a few days off, I had it in the back of my mind to do some writing. Nothing particularly serious but just to write and see what happened. The problem I had was getting rid of distractions. If I sit at my desk, then there is always a wee pile of things to get done, various notes and other detritus to distract my attention … ohh that reminds, I need to order a replacement bank card, ack! see how easy it is. I use programs like Q10 (for the PC) and WriteRoom (for the Mac) to help remove onscreen distractions, but I realised I need a cleaner physical space as well. Until such times as I can completely clear …

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Chapter 5

As he walks towards the entrance the nerves swell in his stomach. He remembers a phrase his Dad used for such occasions, “healthy fear” he used to called it, uttering it before every football game, exam and even on the night of his first date. He reaches for the doorknob just as the door swings open, and a tall dark haired girl totters past him, heels clicking on concrete. He turns his head to catch a final glimpse of her as he steps forward through the open door. The dull light of the corridor mirrors the smell of age and he wonders again why he is here, why he said yes after all those strange questions, why he found himself …

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Time off

Being off work for the next few days, giving me a nice long weekend, means I have time to get some stuff done around the house, and more importantly some time to myself to chill out. The last few weeks have been pretty stressful at work and at home, and part of me would quite like to just lock the door, pulled the blinds and hide away. That’s the selfish part of me, and I try not to succumb to it too much, not that I get much of a chance to anyway, there’s always something else that needs attended to, something else that must get done, and someone else we need to visit. Anyhoo, I have no real plans, …

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