bookmark_borderAnd so it continues

Last week at work was quietly manic and next week shows no sign of anything changing on that front. There is a big project on the go and, whilst it’s great to be involved in it from the very start, it does mean I am now juggling 4 or 5 different responsibilities. I know everyone else does this too, I’m really REALLY not complaining, in fact I revel in the additional pressure of it all. Turns out I’m quite happy when I’m busy.

Maybe that’s why I say YES to so many things.

It’s that need to be busy (I’m pretty sure it’s just that, not a need to be liked, or any form of acceptance seeking) which found me trawling, torch in hand, through various boxes in our loft this evening. It’s always a little memory trip, uncovering boxes of mementos and whatnot; 21st birthday cards, items we are storing for family even though we all know they’ll never ask for them back, my old (pre-internet) porn stash, some LPs and… what? Ohhh shit. No no, no porn stash at all.



My Mum reads this you know.. dammit.


So I’m brushing away cobwebs, blowing dust from boxes, certain that somewhere in the depths of the attic is the item I’m looking for. Took me about 15 minutes, three bumps on the head and one hearty thump across my back when I stood up beneath one of the roof beams, but I finally found.

My old cassette tape Walkman. Just hope it still works.

I’ve been asked to convert a tape to CD and, these days, the only means I have of performing such a feat is to hook up the Walkman to my PC, record it and then burn a CD of the result. Fingers crossed.

That aside, I’m taking a break from website design stuff for the month of December. I’m just polishing off the latest one, and have a questionnaire out to a potential client with a note saying that it’ll be January before I can start.

So, what on earth am I going to do with my spare time in December?

Ohh I’m sure I’ll find something to fill the time. Be it Pro Evo Soccer, getting through a backlog of books (more on that soon), or possibly finally tidying out my iTunes library (21,762 tracks = MUST STOP BUYING MUSIC!!). Mind you, the porch needs varnished, the living room could do with painting and the garden.. oh god, the garden needs some attention too… always fun in December.

All that and more will keep me busy and with a big grin on my face. So if I sound like I’m moaning please rest assured, I’m not. Not in the slightest.


Hello? Is this on?

Small blip there, apologies. I presume I missed a memo somewhere as it was definitely a server issue that affected a few other sites or was this one of those things I was emailed about months ago and have since forgotten? Most probably the latter so apologies again for the lack of warning.


As a Technical Author, I write software manuals for a living. The process of creating the manuals involves a fair amount of planning, information sourcing and research. Frequently I am writing the manuals at the same time the code is being developed, and it’s only towards the end of a project that I get to see the finished applications and compare them with the documentation. When that moment comes all hell breaks loose as usually my interpretation of a function (taken from a specification document) differs slightly from the implemented design in the UI. This is the way of things and I have no complaint at all as I’ve grown to accept that at the end of a development project, the tech author will always have a heavier workload than at any other time. I’ve worked in several companies with differing approaches to product development and it’s always the same. Universally constant.

I’m at that stage of the project right now. The only slight difference from the norm is that I’m currently working on six different projects, with manuals for two of them (the largest two) still being corrected and re-written. I’ve yet to start on a 250 page configuration guide, nor a 180 page system installation guide (these are large enterprise wide applications with many parts on different servers). And yes, I am beginning to hit the “mild hysteria” stage but have yet to make it full blown panic (I don’t think I’ll actually get there with this project as, for a change, all the information I need is available, I’m just lacking time to process it all).

Hang on, I’m breaking one of my own rules: Do not blog about work!

Suffice to say that whilst it may appear normal here, I feel very much like the graceful swan (ugly duckling?) of blogging. Posting glides smoothly onwards whilst real life is thrashing away under the surface. But then that’s no different from any other blog really, what you post is never a true reflection of your life, of your person, of your thoughts and emotions. For one, capturing such things accurately in writing is a skill beyond most, and if we blogged everything we did we would be churning out the most awful, boring and repetitive navel-gazing posts day after day after day.

Hmmmm, that feels a tad to close to the mark.

Never fear, posting will continue apace as I have plenty of ill-conceived draft posts that I’ll be dusting off and “pre-date publishing”, but I may be noticeably absent from your comment boxes (it’s normally Gert that notices, mind you, as she chases me from comment box to comment box). Of course, I’ll still expect you to keep me entertained with witty and pithy comments as, if nothing else, it would make a change.



work… deadlines… changes… pressure…


What say I get rid of the blogroll and go to one column on the left there. The site links under the photos and the miniblog under that.. hell I could even leave the blogroll to appear under the miniblog I guess.

And what say I freshen up the colours a little, a touch more contrast maybe? And how about a stylesheet switcher bar across the top? And why isn’t the C in my logo superscripted – should be McLean, not MCLEAN.

Speak now of forever hold your gob shut.

Or maybe you don’t care and you’d rather hear about my past life as a musician?

One more thought: Google adsense adverts? Good or bad?


Tomorrow, tomorrow, … yeuch I hate that damn kid!

ANYWAY – I’m on holiday tomorrow, and Friday. Heading up to Inverness to try and see some dolphins.

Friday I’m hoping to get some time to finish of the redesign (i.e. the WHOLE of Friday if past efforts are anything to go by…).

Saturday/Sunday in Edinburgh… wander round IKEA pretending we’re going to buy lots of expensive things, maybe head into Edinburgh city centre and try and catch a few festival ‘things’. Then… damn better phone Sal…

OK Sal, 3:04 and you weren’t in. Dropped you an email, will phone again later.