Random Thoughts Archive

  • <p>As my time at the moment, and probably for a few weeks to come, is fully taken up with preparing for Kathi and my third baby – a little brother for Charlotte and Marianne – I’m going to take some time off from blogging until mid-January. My mind is entirely elsewhere.</p>
<p>You can expect an announcement when the little tyke is born but other than that I’m going to be keeping pretty much to myself and adjusting to my new familial situation.</p>
<p>One of the golden rules of blogging is that it’s better to say nothing if you’ve nothing worthwhile  […]</p>

    Quality Over Quantity

    As my time at the moment, and probably for a few weeks to come, is fully taken up with preparing for Kathi and my third baby – a little brother for Charlotte and Marianne – I’m going to take some time off from blogging until mid-January. My mind is entirely elsewhere.

    You can expect an announcement when the little tyke is born but other than that I’m going to be keeping pretty much to myself and adjusting to my new familial situation.

    One of the golden rules of blogging is that it’s better to say nothing if you’ve nothing worthwhile […]

  • <p>Microsoft TechEd is the premier Microsoft hosted event held in various locations around the world each year. Last week I attended the Australian slice of this over-inflated pie at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. As long as you stayed clear of the blatant product placement and product-advertising-disguised-as-industry-briefing seminars, the convention is well worth the price.</p>
<p>The first surprise was how well run it was: for a week, more than 3000 nerds where herded successfully between seminars, workshops, product displays and food. I guess I should have known that it would work smoothly since both Microsoft and the GCCEC  […]</p>

    Microsoft TechEd on the Gold Coast

    Microsoft TechEd is the premier Microsoft hosted event held in various locations around the world each year. Last week I attended the Australian slice of this over-inflated pie at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. As long as you stayed clear of the blatant product placement and product-advertising-disguised-as-industry-briefing seminars, the convention is well worth the price.

    The first surprise was how well run it was: for a week, more than 3000 nerds where herded successfully between seminars, workshops, product displays and food. I guess I should have known that it would work smoothly since both Microsoft and the GCCEC […]

  • That portion of MC Escher’s work that has people in it is perhaps not the best choice of art to hang in the corporate corridors. The mood of the place and the workers’ attitudes to the company cannot help but be shaped by this. Let’s take a quick look at just two pictures which decorate the walls of my current place of employment.

M.C. Escher - Ascending and Descending

M.C. Escher - Ascending and Descending

This image represents endless effort with no possibility of reaching a goal or conclusion. No matter how fast you run, you never get to the end of the staircase and you’re forced to change direction all the time. You can’t even turn around and return to your starting point. You cannot stop to check your bearings as you’ll just get in the way of other hamsters on the treadmill. You are trapped. There is no escape. There is only a disturbing sense that you’ve been here before. And worse, some people are just standing around watching you, only barely amused by your struggle.

    Is M.C. Escher Work Safe?

    That portion of MC Escher’s work that has people in it is perhaps not the best choice of art to hang in the corporate corridors. The mood of the place and the workers’ attitudes to the company cannot help but be shaped by this. Let’s take a quick look at just two pictures which decorate the walls of my current place of employment. M.C. Escher - Ascending and Descending M.C. Escher - Ascending and Descending This image represents endless effort with no possibility of reaching a goal or conclusion. No matter how fast you run, you never get to the end of the staircase and you’re forced to change direction all the time. You can’t even turn around and return to your starting point. You cannot stop to check your bearings as you’ll just get in the way of other hamsters on the treadmill. You are trapped. There is no escape. There is only a disturbing sense that you’ve been here before. And worse, some people are just standing around watching you, only barely amused by your struggle.
  • <p>My blog has a considerable number of pages of static HTML pages which were migrated from a previous version of the site. As these pages have their own distinct style per topic, I didn’t want to import them into my blog proper but aimed to maintain them on their own.</p>
<p>Since they sit outside of WordPress, how then to use WordPress.com Stats to track visits to them? In this post, I’ll explain what I did to achieve this goal in two simple steps.</p>
<p>I’m pretty much going to re-hash Jeffrey D Allen‘s post on the same subject. His post dealt  […]</p>

    Tracking Static HTML Pages with WordPress.com Stats

    My blog has a considerable number of pages of static HTML pages which were migrated from a previous version of the site. As these pages have their own distinct style per topic, I didn’t want to import them into my blog proper but aimed to maintain them on their own.

    Since they sit outside of WordPress, how then to use WordPress.com Stats to track visits to them? In this post, I’ll explain what I did to achieve this goal in two simple steps.

    I’m pretty much going to re-hash Jeffrey D Allen‘s post on the same subject. His post dealt […]

  • <p>I’ve just started a new job and I’ve hit upon a method of managing how I feel about the role, evealuating when it’s going well and judging when it’s time to leave and look for something new. I’ll present my method here.</p>
<p>It’s a commonplace that there is no longer any such thing as a job for life. In the IT industry, in which I work, it’s a common joke that a permanent job is nothing more than a two-year contract. But how can you objectively measure how well the position is going – other than “it just feels right”?  […]</p>

    Career Management Lite

    I’ve just started a new job and I’ve hit upon a method of managing how I feel about the role, evealuating when it’s going well and judging when it’s time to leave and look for something new. I’ll present my method here.

    It’s a commonplace that there is no longer any such thing as a job for life. In the IT industry, in which I work, it’s a common joke that a permanent job is nothing more than a two-year contract. But how can you objectively measure how well the position is going – other than “it just feels right”? […]

  • <p>Only got time for a quick update this week. The stress levels are currently through the roof but subsiding slowly. Here goes:</p>
<ul>
<li>We’re going for another round of IVF. The last round produced our wonderful twin daughters, Charlotte and Marianne. We’re hoping that this round will also bring us another little miracle or two.</li>
<li>I’ve got a cold. Kathi’s got it too now. Until our IVF specialist reassured us otherwise on Wednesday, we feared that this would scupper six weeks of preparation for IVF.</li>
<li>I’ve got a new job. My contract at Rio Tinto is not up until mid next </li></ul> […]

    Quick Update

    Only got time for a quick update this week. The stress levels are currently through the roof but subsiding slowly. Here goes:

    • We’re going for another round of IVF. The last round produced our wonderful twin daughters, Charlotte and Marianne. We’re hoping that this round will also bring us another little miracle or two.
    • I’ve got a cold. Kathi’s got it too now. Until our IVF specialist reassured us otherwise on Wednesday, we feared that this would scupper six weeks of preparation for IVF.
    • I’ve got a new job. My contract at Rio Tinto is not up until mid next
    […]
  • <p>I have nothing to say.</p>
<p>Damn.</p>
<p>Sigh. […]</p>

    It’s All Downhill From Here

    I have nothing to say.

    Damn.

    Sigh. […]

  • <p>I’ve finally found a way to manage the vast amount of RSS feeds I read on a daily basis: some are for work in order to keep up with developments in the IT industry, others are of merely personal interest. After trying many, many different feed readers, I’ve settled on Google Reader because I can use it at any of the numerous computer I encounter at home, at work and place in between.</p>
<p>(If you don’t know what RSS is, I reckon it’s time to stop banging rocks together in your cave-lair and drag yourself into the real world.)</p>
<p>The  […]</p>

    Organising Google Reader

    I’ve finally found a way to manage the vast amount of RSS feeds I read on a daily basis: some are for work in order to keep up with developments in the IT industry, others are of merely personal interest. After trying many, many different feed readers, I’ve settled on Google Reader because I can use it at any of the numerous computer I encounter at home, at work and place in between.

    (If you don’t know what RSS is, I reckon it’s time to stop banging rocks together in your cave-lair and drag yourself into the real world.)

    The […]

  • <p>The funny thing about having time off work is that I completely lost interest in updating my blog. This may be because I lost all track of time and if it wasn’t for regular weekly events I wouldn’t have known what day of the week it was. But now that I’m back at work, these little updates seem to mean so much. I can’t even say that they’re a work avoidance technique since I generally don’t blog at work.</p>
<p>Four weeks away from the office allows you to really get yourself together and get all the things done that you’ve  […]</p>

    Back to the Grindstone

    The funny thing about having time off work is that I completely lost interest in updating my blog. This may be because I lost all track of time and if it wasn’t for regular weekly events I wouldn’t have known what day of the week it was. But now that I’m back at work, these little updates seem to mean so much. I can’t even say that they’re a work avoidance technique since I generally don’t blog at work.

    Four weeks away from the office allows you to really get yourself together and get all the things done that you’ve […]

  • <p>The first week of my four weeks off work is almost done. I’ve gotten all the chores out of the way and from here on in it’s all gravy. Here’s a list of the highlights:</p>
<p><strong>Sunday</strong>: At training, I took part in the second in a series of lessons introducing Meyer‘s dussack fighting style. The wooden dussack was used both as a training weapon for single-handed fencing and as a cudgel carried by the town guard, particularly in eastern Europe. The style is very quick and reminds me a lot of sabre fencing.</p>
<p><strong>Monday</strong>: Kathi and I were  […]</p>

    First Week Down – Damn

    The first week of my four weeks off work is almost done. I’ve gotten all the chores out of the way and from here on in it’s all gravy. Here’s a list of the highlights:

    Sunday: At training, I took part in the second in a series of lessons introducing Meyer‘s dussack fighting style. The wooden dussack was used both as a training weapon for single-handed fencing and as a cudgel carried by the town guard, particularly in eastern Europe. The style is very quick and reminds me a lot of sabre fencing.

    Monday: Kathi and I were […]

  • <p>I’m still in the middle of contract disputes but both my contracting aganecy and the multinational I work at are looking after me. It’s rare to find the opportunity to say “Yay, big business!” but that’s what I’ve been doing this week.</p>
<p>I have four weeks off work starting at the end of today and, yes, it was planned. Now I’m starting to think of what to do during this vast amount of time to myself. There will be, of course, celebrations of Charlotte’s and Marianne’s birthday and a memorial something to remember their deaths. I’m coming to terms with  […]</p>

    Four Weeks Holiday

    I’m still in the middle of contract disputes but both my contracting aganecy and the multinational I work at are looking after me. It’s rare to find the opportunity to say “Yay, big business!” but that’s what I’ve been doing this week.

    I have four weeks off work starting at the end of today and, yes, it was planned. Now I’m starting to think of what to do during this vast amount of time to myself. There will be, of course, celebrations of Charlotte’s and Marianne’s birthday and a memorial something to remember their deaths. I’m coming to terms with […]

  • <p>I had another post here this week. It concerned a dispute with a company I deal with that hasn’t paid its bills since July. I took the post down because it wasn’t very polite and could lead to legal problems. […]</p>

    Withdrawn for Legal Reasons

    I had another post here this week. It concerned a dispute with a company I deal with that hasn’t paid its bills since July. I took the post down because it wasn’t very polite and could lead to legal problems. […]

  • <p>Not huge amounts to say this week. It’s mainly been a week of rest — well, OK, laziness. The game of BloodBowl last night was close to the highlight of the week.</p>
<p>So, just as all the cool kids are doing nowadays, taking the place of any real content is this lovely little ditty: Miss Emeline Spankhurst sings the Tin Foil Hat Song.</p>
<p><strong>Warning</strong>: I haven’t been able to get this song out of my head all week. […]</p>

    A Week of Tin Foil Hats

    Not huge amounts to say this week. It’s mainly been a week of rest — well, OK, laziness. The game of BloodBowl last night was close to the highlight of the week.

    So, just as all the cool kids are doing nowadays, taking the place of any real content is this lovely little ditty: Miss Emeline Spankhurst sings the Tin Foil Hat Song.

    Warning: I haven’t been able to get this song out of my head all week. […]

  • <p>The more I play with WordPress, the more I like it. It’s usable straight out of the box and, if you like to fiddle around under the hood, there’s plenty of scope for everything from minor tweaks to complete overhauls. Here’s the much abbreviated story of two tweaks which have tickled me deep down in the parts my underclothes cover.</p>
<p><strong>Migrating from Geocities</strong></p>
<p>Moving to <strong>WordPress</strong>, I had to deal with how to redirect people from my Geocities web site. The problem is the <strong>GeoCities</strong> is not interested in letting me access anything interesting such as an <code>.htaccess</code> file,  […]</p>

    WordPress: A Tale of Two Tweaks

    The more I play with WordPress, the more I like it. It’s usable straight out of the box and, if you like to fiddle around under the hood, there’s plenty of scope for everything from minor tweaks to complete overhauls. Here’s the much abbreviated story of two tweaks which have tickled me deep down in the parts my underclothes cover.

    Migrating from Geocities

    Moving to WordPress, I had to deal with how to redirect people from my Geocities web site. The problem is the GeoCities is not interested in letting me access anything interesting such as an .htaccess file, […]

  • <p>Kathi and I started Tai Chi this week. This is in additon to the other physical stuff I’m doing now such as regularly training with two historical fencing schools (ACA and Collegium) as well as yoga. I’m not sure what the aim of all this huffing and puffing is but I wonder why it’s taken until now to realise how much fun just getting out and running about in the sun can be. </p>
<p>The Tai Chi we’re learning is basically the same as that which we did in our two hour intro to the technique in Hong Kong. Being the  […]</p>

    Doing Stuff

    Kathi and I started Tai Chi this week. This is in additon to the other physical stuff I’m doing now such as regularly training with two historical fencing schools (ACA and Collegium) as well as yoga. I’m not sure what the aim of all this huffing and puffing is but I wonder why it’s taken until now to realise how much fun just getting out and running about in the sun can be.

    The Tai Chi we’re learning is basically the same as that which we did in our two hour intro to the technique in Hong Kong. Being the […]