bookmark_borderGripes and Groans

I know a few of you use Movable Type. If so, how do you build a test system? For WordPress work I use XAMPP on my PC, it’s an absolute doddle.

There are Perl add-ons for XAMPP, and I found a guide to installing Movable Type in a XAMPP system but the buggering thing won’t work. I’ve checked and double-checked paths, filenames and all that gubbins but still get errors. There MUST be an easier way.. or is that why people switch to WordPress (or something else?).


At the risk of illiciting “told you so” style comments… I’m having hassles with iTunes. For some reason it just stops working. I was working at home yesterday and listening to music quite happily. I restarted my PC at one point after having installed some new software and iTunes refused to start!

A couple of un-installs later and some not inconsiderable time spent browsing the iTunes support forums found me uninstalling QuickTime only, repairing the install and it works. So far. I’ve not yet had to reboot and try it again so I’m reserving judgement. From what I can tell, once again, it seems like Apple haven’t tested their software properly, and the forums suggest that’s true as well as there are many people having issues with the fact they have different logins on their Windows boxes and iTunes is ‘losing’ preference files, then crashing when it can’t find them. Not elegant and pretty basic if you ask me.


My other blog has stalled. Mainly because I want to tweak the design a little before I publish. I have a few articles written up but can’t find the enthusiasm to get it going. What happened? Less than a month ago I was raring to go, fired up and… ohh what. That’s what one of the articles is about. As a quick aside, has anyone taken the Belbin team role tests? If so, what ‘team role’ are you? And can you guess which one I am??


Anyone know of a flat, vertical, wall-mountable, radio alarm clock? Thinner the better, must have digital clock and radio alarm and be wall-mountable. In case you didn’t get all that the first time…


And yes, I’m still “twittering”.

bookmark_borderApril Nike+ Challenge

I was gonna wait a week before doing this figured it would be good to match it to the calendar month (doesn’t make any real difference of course but.. what the hell).

So, I’ve setup an “April Fools” Nike+ challenge. It’s quite simple, most mileage wins. I average around 5-6km a run, 3 times a week, so that’ll give you an idea of whether to join, or not. Richard won the last one, but only because everyone else (um… all two of us) was sick!

Leave a comment or drop me an email if you want to join in. The more the merrier!

bookmark_borderChirpy chirpy cheep cheep

OK. Despite the fact I bemoaned this very web service a few weeks back I have since signed up and sent…

Actually, hold up a minute.

You know, I have stood infront of a room full of strangers, the midst of a presentation on blogging, and said “I hate the word blogging”. Blogging is an ugly word. UG-LEEEEE. Throw in… ohh god.. “blogosphere” and I’m practically retching.

Thankfully, “twitter” brings to mind birds chirping at dawn, or perhaps a chorus of ladies-wot-lunch. Either way it’s not that bad a word. Alas the surrounding verbiage is already starting to grate. Do I really “tweet” when I send a message to Twitter? REALLY? I digress.

Meg recently pondered the explosive growth of Twitter:

“… the Twitter value proposition is thousands of people answering one simple question: “what are you doing right now?” All these tangential services and derivative extensions are in danger of warping that proposition entirely, turning Twitter into a means to an end, rather than an end in itself.”

Which, to a point, is true, but as I suggested in her comments, I think that “warping that proposition” is entirely within the business plan for Twitter, and is probably the only reason that it exists.
Continue reading “Chirpy chirpy cheep cheep”

bookmark_borderTick Tock

Well I guess I’d better come clean.

The clocks changed on Sunday morning, and we lost an hour because “Spring forward, Fall back”. This is despite the fact that we don’t have “Fall”, we have autumn and the usage of the phrase also ignores the fact that our American brethren changed their clocks a couple of weeks back. Still, mustn’t complain as the nights are now lighter, and much more prone to floating away on the breeze.

From memory I can only recall one time when I missed the changing of the clocks, and thinking about it… yes I’m pretty sure it was my parents fault. There I was, in full Boys Brigade uniform, standing at the Rialto car park wondering why no-one else was there. Scarred for life. Actually, now that I come to think about it that might explain why we are always early for things… hmmmm.

Not wanting to be late for my Sunday morning run, I diligently went round the house late on Saturday night, changing the clocks that need changed, and taking the opportunity to get them all set to the same time (I even phoned the speaking clock, what fun!). Surprisingly, for people who are constantly aware of the time, our clocks all seem to run either fast or slow and over the space of a couple of months they can end up almost five to ten minutes apart. We really should get new clocks.

So, having changed the clocks I set my alarm for 9am as I was out for an early run and knowing I was losing an hour of sleep I thought I’d try to get to bed at a reasonable hour. I sat down at the computer and set an alarm for 11.30pm, knowing fine well I’d run past that by about an hour but that would still give me a good long lie. I do like a long lie on a Sunday.

Well, as you’ve probably guessed by now there was a bit of a hiccup. Yup, that’s right. I’d set the clocks back, not forward.

To make matters worse we only realised this at around midnight which was, and remember I’d already changed the clocks BACK, two o’clock in the morning.

Me is numpty. Official.

bookmark_borderNot simple, Civic

I KNEW this would happen, in fact I should’ve publically predicted it and made it look like I had this planned all along.

Hey, wait a minute… you don’t KNOW that I didn’t have it planned. Shoot. Oh well…

Yesterday I was prattling on about how I was increasingly favouring simple, functional things and slowly weaning myself off my techno-lust. I guess it can be best summarised by the phrase “simplicity loves company”. Of course, no sooner had I posted that than I go an shoot myself in the foot. Not really of course, as I don’t have a gun (Americans may note that this is an entirely agreeable way to live your life (he said, succumbing to stereotype)). Figuratively my entire left foot is just a bloody stump.

Hmmm, from the bewildered faces in the audience I guess I’d better explain.

[wibbly wobbly back in time sequence follows]

All in all we had a quiet weekend, with some gardening on Saturday, interrupted only by a haircut and the Scotland game, and we had similar planned for Sunday. So, after an early morning run (look, 10am IS early for a Sunday!) we headed home and started pottering. A little weeding, some tidying up in the house, and doing our best to avoid the “Everyone Loves Raymond” marathon on TV as we’d already lost an hour to it over lunch.

My parents had phoned to say that they were heading to IKEA so probably wouldn’t come over (although they did in the end and we all stuffed ourselves on Chinese food), and after a while we found ourselves sitting having a coffee, discussing the back garden and generally pondering what to do next. I’d picked up a copy of AutoExpress the day before, as we will be changing the car soon, and was leafing through it when Louise suggested why not just go and have a browse round the showrooms.

Some of you can probably guess where this is heading already. Don’t spoil it for the others though..

We’d already talked over a couple of different car options, both similarly priced and spec’d, both a ‘size’ up from our current Peugeot 206, and we’d narrowed it down to either the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra, or Honda Civic. Neither of us are that keen on the Focus, and as there isn’t a local Vauxhall garage we decided to head to the local Honda dealership. 15 minutes later I’m sitting in the showroom in the new Honda Civic. This, it seems, was a mistake.
Continue reading “Not simple, Civic”