Tag: Running

Nice! Cool!

I miss spam comments. Running WordPress with Askismet means I see little to no spam here which is a shame because I received some real belters in my time.

I’m not talking about the large list of links to various shady corners of the internet, I’m talking about the somewhat random poetry-esque spam that would crop up about once a week. A random sampling of text from Byron and Keats or somesuch, it made checking my spam lists all the more fun.

These days there seems to be only 3 types of spam comment:

  1. The Fast Show Jazz Man spam – Usually “Nice!” or “Cool!”. The most boring of the bunch, saved only by the image in my head of John Thomson in a smoky club.
  2. The Honest I read every word! spam – “Wow, that’s fascinating. I’m sure you’d like to visit our blog too.”
  3. The Feed Scraper Pingback spam – There appears to be an endless parade of feed scraping sites that list part of my posts with a link back to the original (which spawn a pingback). These are odd because they ARE usually targetted, my recent wine rack photo was listed alongside a page full of other, genuine, posts about wine racks.

Not entirely sure about the third one. Yes I still consider it spam but it is a bit smarter than most. I don’t see any traffic from these links though and as they are taking scraps of content from here then they are definitely being naughty… but as I publish a full RSS feed anyway, what do I care? Do I care that people are making money off of my content? Yes, I do. But do I care enough to do much about it?

So, fellow blog readers, what’s in your spam list?

I'm like a bird

But no, I’m not going to fly away… instead a quick update and a couple of questions.

Current Events
I considered posting more on the “Cho shootings” but really can’t be that bothered. I seem to have fallen into a “you made your bed, lie in it” frame of mind. Which isn’t really a good thing but there’s just too much else going on so I’ll skip it right now. Today’s headline is tomorrow’s … what IS the completion of that sentence? “tomorrow’s budgie cage liner?”

Scottish Blogs
Over on Scottish Blogs I’ve been caught out, big time. I recently asked for some volunteers to help me go through the entire directory and weed out the dead, moved and unwanted sites. I figured I’d get 3 or 4 people and it’d take us a couple of weeks to get through a few batches at a time.

10 people volunteered, and after sending out the first batch of 30 URLs to be checked at the weekend, some are already onto their second batch. I can’t keep up!!

It’s great though, and has the additional bonus of restoring my faith in humanity. The downside is that I’ll need to buy them all a drink at the next blogmeet (most are coming I think) and you know what they say about us Scots. Yup, that’s right, we DO have big hands.

Vrroooommm
The new car, which I’ve not mentioned for.. ohhhh.. DAYS now, is still motoring along very nicely. I’ve finally stopped trying to turn the key to start the ignition, and the automatic windscreen wipers have stopped freaking me out. The only niggles I have include a weird clunking from the rear suspension when I first reverse the car out of the drive (fairly common in most cars apparently but was a first for me) and the fact that the automatic lights go from OFF to DIPPED, rather than staging up from OFF to SIDELIGHTS to DIPPED. All minor annoyances though, I’m still loving the fact that people are looking at the car as it drives by, another unique experience!

The Running Man
Still running, and last night saw, finally, a good run. It wasn’t that fast, or that far, but I felt really good. I’ve not had that feeling for several weeks now so here’s hoping it continues. I’m about to book my place in the Balloch 10K in June so I have a firm goal as well. Onwards and upwards.

The “other” me
Work continues on my other blog and on the re-vamping of my “online presence”. At some point this blog will move to a new host, and possibly a sub-domain, or new domain itself. Yes I’ll lose some visitors, yes it’ll piss people off but I’ve considered all that and can live with the consequences. It’s quite exciting to be starting a new blog as well, especially as I’ve a much better idea of HOW do it this time around.

Questions
Finally, a couple of questions.

1. I’m looking for a bag that will hold a 13″ laptop. Something functional with additional pockets, without being too clunky, and it can’t be a “black laptop bag”. Something with some style, some verve and that won’t break the bank. I’m off to a conference in June and my current option is the bog standard (huge and ugly) DELL laptop briefcase thingy.

2. Anyone got any tips for digging out a bamboo? It’s been in for a couple of years and I cannot even get a spade or fork into the ground near it, completely solid. I’m thinking a heavy dose of water to loosen things and a pickaxe. Alternatives?

Moving

Both a rather good song by Supergrass and something in which Louise and I have a fair amount of experience.

Our current abode, our third purchase (alongside five rentals) is the longest we’ve stayed in one place and yes my feet are getting itchy. There is something quite enjoyable about packing your belongings, taking the time to trim them down as much as possible – when packing we hold with the “this has never been used, get rid of it” principle and are prepared to be ruthless and unsentimental, something lacking in our current hoarding house with the big loft – actually seeing everything you’ve got, and reminiscing on where it came from, before stacking it all into boxes to be sealed with the universal standard amount of parcel tape (which as anyone who has moved more than three time know is half a roll per box, “just in case”).

Then you get to stack it all in big piles, and write in big black marker on the boxes. It’s always fun writing in big black PERMANENT marker as it’s like being allowed to daub graffiti, admittedly the content of the graffiti is a little less inspired than “The Dinky rules” and much more functional in it’s slant but artistic license is a wonderful thing. Mind you, explaining to the “man and two lads”, who after gleefully fling your boxes into the back of their van in the presumption they are all filled with towels and who have started to unload at your destination, that the “Food storage and Preparation Area” is the kitchen, and that the box marked “Do not, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE!! open this box!” (underlined three times and with accompanying exclamation marks and squiggles for dramatic effect) does NOT contain any “bottom drawer” items and not to be so silly, does take the shine of it a little.

Drawing willies on the inside labels of the box is also fun. Apparently.

Admittedly it’s much better NOT to do the heavy lifting yourself, and to hire the aforementioned “man and two lads” to do that for you. It’s also highly amusing (or not) when they fail to turn up after the secretary – the wife of the “man” – hasn’t written you up in the book. Mind you, it’s only highly amusing when they DO turn up later that afternoon and spend the next two hours RUNNING back and forth with your precious belongs. Boy did they work for their money that day, I almost gave them a tip (“Never run with scissors or the box with my hi-fi in it”), but decide against it.

Once there, the unpacking can be taken at a more leisurely pace because, of course, you’ve packed the kettle and hot beverage making instruments at the top of a box, and kept toilet paper, bed linen and what not, with you in the car. At the very least you can have a coffee and go to bed. From there on all you need to do is follow a simple rule. Never leave a room empty handed.

The other rule is never unpack what you don’t need; Admittedly, depending on how brutal you are when packing, this might not be an issue, but usually there is a box or two of “stuff” that you can quite happily leave unpacked. We spent two years in one flat with an entire wall of one room consisting of cardboard boxes, when we finally moved we ended up giving most of the stuff to charity. But then we spent five years using Pickfords cardboard wardrobes as permanent fixtures so we may not be the best people to look to for an example.

Ohh and we used Pickfords once when we moved down south as Dr. Solomons were paying for it, they were, apparently, excellent. I have no idea how that move went as I was already in Aylesbury when they came to pack, and I arrived “home” one day to the sight of a large Pickfords van outside our flat which took me by surprise as it wasn’t supposed to be there for another four days. Luckily they had an opening in their schedule, so Louise decide to take it and surprise me. As I’d been down there on my own for a week, sleeping on an inflatable bed, I’m not sure which I was happier to see, my wife or our bed. I’m kidding of course. I was happiest to see our TV.

As prompted by the-recently-moved-anna.

Shiny New Laptop

Running dual monitor from my shiny new laptop. The screen behind the laptop is a 20″ CRT.




Ain’t she purrty….