13 (+1)

Unlucky for some (the future lies ahead). As they say (whoever they are). Had hoped to not to be here when this rolled around (but it’s only a number). Life goes on (14 years is a long time). Always (there are many years ahead). Without fail (life goes on). Nothing is truly unlucky (nor is there such a thing as fate). Things are good (and will get better). Do not worry (the past will remain, fondly). There are many years ahead (always).

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Life continues

No offer on house. The viewers didn’t get an offer on their property so we are back to square … two, I guess as they are still interested. Anyway, off to visit the nurse today for a checkup on my blood pressure and to see if the drugs still work (and aren’t destroying my kidneys). I’m thinking my blood pressure might be a teeny tiny ickle bit affected by the whole splitting up/selling house thing… Still, life goes on. Tonight I’m at an ISTC area group meeting, tomorrow night marks the return of Games Night at work, where we use the big projector and other large screens hooked up to Wiis and XBoxes to, yeah, play games. We also order …

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Content Aggregation

I have an admission. I’m lazy. I work hard to get around that basic character trait but it remains there in the background, nagging away at me. Professional pride stops it influencing my work (I manage a lean, mean to-do list to keep me on track), but when it comes to things on the periphery I happily admit I’ll look for an easy, hassle-free solution if I can find one. This has lead to me develop some little working habits which help me keep on top of the mass of information which I divert my way, largely through RSS feeds. I monitor many different feeds as I like to keep up with latest developments and discussions about our profession, it …

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Hoping for Mental

Ahhh yes, it makes perfect sense now I’ve realised what is going to happen. There is nothing I can do to stop it, so, as I have before, I’ll just go with the flow whilst the madness unfurls around me. If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs… We are waiting to hear if the people who viewed our house a couple of weeks ago are going to make an offer. They are waiting on an offer being made on their property and are expecting it this week. Which, if we are lucky, will mean that by this time next week we will be agreeing moving dates and so on. All good. That is until …

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ISTC West of Scotland – Meetup

The next ISTC West of Scotland area group meeting will take place in Glasgow on Thursday 26th August 2010, from 7.30 pm onwards. Come along to talk about latest news and trends in communication, or just to meet other communication professionals. The event is free and open to anyone interested in technical communication, such as technical authors, information architects, internal communication professionals, report writers, marketing writers, web content writers and graphic designers. Venue: Waxy O’Connors pub, 44 West George Street, Glasgow, G2 1DH. Please make your way to McTurk’s Room on the middle level. Please forward this message on to your colleagues or anyone else who may be interested. For more information, email westscotland_areagroup @ istc.org.uk

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See you in September?

Are you in the UK? Are you attending the Technical Communication conference in September? If not, you really should, it’s looking like it will be an excellent conference. The conference website is starting to gear up as well, and has posted some short interviews with some of the speakers, including yours truly. They should give you a flavour of what to expect at the sessions, many of which I’m hoping to be able to attend as well. I’d imagine planning the sessions is one of the harder jobs when organising a conference, making sure there isn’t too much overlap and the programme this year seems to have a good balance. Certainly I think there is only one overlap with a …

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I was in Edinburghertown

I’m alive! Speaking of which, who sings that song? The one in the Five Alive advert with the Dodo? Anyone? CBATG… Having been and went and done Edinburgh on Sunday, I had planned to write up some blog posts but, alas, I’m old now and an entire day drinking takes an undue toll and leaves me moulded to the sofa with only enough energy to make toast and coffee every couple of hours. That said, it was fun, as it usually is, spending a day in the mania that is Edinburgh at festival time and, amongst several pubs, many beers and a rather delicious burger in Holyrood 9A, we even managed to catch a short comedy show, Ronna and Beverly …

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The Presumption of Common Sense

If there is one phrase which should set off alarms in the mind of a technical writer it’s when a developer says “Ohhh but they wouldn’t use it like that…”. Because, as I’m sure you all know, they will. I am currently working with a few people to try and pull together a solid set of product usage recommendations. We provide an SDK and a feature rich application built using our own technology, and that application is extended and configured for specific uses. There are plenty of hook points in there and, for the most part, usage follows accepted patterns. However there is always the time when a certain component is bent and twisted and used in a way we …

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Going out

Quick house sale update: We had a viewer and they liked the house. They are waiting on receiving offers on their place though, but still, progress! Exciting! And other exclamation mark worthy statements!! One thing I’ve been starting to do over the past few months is get out more. Meet up with people, even just for a coffee or a drink, or just spending time wandering about Glasgow meeting random people. People like Svetlana. But I’m not going to talk about Svetlana (don’t worry I’ll introduce her to you all soon*). I’m a pretty confident guy and share the ability to talk to anyone with my sister, although admittedly I can’t quite match her words-a-second ratio (I can only presume …

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56

I’ve been gamed. Or rather, I’m gaming myself. I’m fully aware this is happening, and yet I’m actually enjoying letting my behaviour be dictated by the simplest of mechanisms, a number displayed on a screen. The premise is simple enough, the higher the number the better. I started at about 44 and slowly rose, week after week until it hit 55.3. It peaked there for a while and then crept up further, plateauing at 55.5. I thought that would be it, and if I’m honest I almost accepted it for a while. 55.5 would be the highest it would go and there wasn’t much else I could do if I wanted to influence it. Except that’s not true. With such …

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