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Month: January 2005

Monday again?

Monday again?

With the usual amount of planning and forethought, Friday night was the company’s Christmas do. It was a pleasant affair at a hotel in Tankerton, with food, free bar and dancing. Yes, dancing – including me, although I couldn’t get close to some of the funky moves being exhibited on the dancefloor. You wouldn’t think they had it in them… I fear photographic evidence was captured of me doing the Saturday Night Fever bit – maybe I’ll post it if I get hold of a copy. Or maybe you’ll find it first, if I know the photographer at all…

Saturday was a touch quieter, with a mooch round the shops with the Gibsons (Canon and Ilford photo paper acquired, fact-fans), and then tea and games at my house. I’m sure Taylor gets cuter by the day. Saturday finished off with some people watching the Prisoner of Azkaban on DVD (whilst other people slept on the sofa ;o) ). It’s an enjoyable film – much as it pains me to say so đŸ™‚

Sunday saw a cool (in more than one meaning) afternoon at Wildwood. It’s winter so quite a few of the animals were hiding in whatever little houses they have, but there are some nice pictures of foxes, deer and wolves over in the gallery (with a couple below for good measure…)

Google and Comment Spam

Google and Comment Spam

OK, so Google have tried to do something about comment spam. (Yahoo and MSN are in on it too, it seems) The idea is that comment spam is mainly done to improve the PageRank of a particular website, so Google are going to stop using links in blog comments to feed their PageRank algorithm.

It sounds like a good idea in principal, but am I missing something? This will only work if two things happen. First, ALL blogs will have to adopt the technique. Secondly, the low-life, smelly, goodfernutthin’ scum that actually do the spamming have to realise it’s going on.

I can’t really comment on how completely the idea will be adopted, other than to say it’s very doubtful I will be upgrading this instance of MT any time soon.

But even if everyone did patch straight away, I don’t think it would make a jot of difference.

You see, MT has had a little feature since at least version 2.661 (released sometime in the 18th Century, I believe), whereby links in comments are fed through a redirect, stripping them of any googlejuice. But I still get spam. It’s entirely pointless spam because it won’t be raising anyone’s PageRank but it’s still there. All it does is raise my blood pressure once in a while (and Mike’s too, it seems)

So, thanks Google – it’s good to see someone big trying to sort out the problem, but I don’t think this particular attack is going to work.

(My answer would be to round up all the gits and ship them off to some distant moon together, so that they can annoy each other to their hearts’ discontent. Until they run out of air… But that’s just me.)

Another One Bites The Dust: Part 2

Another One Bites The Dust: Part 2

My inbox had a nice reminder from the even nicer people at Just the Name today, telling me that my ‘mustdie.co.uk’ domain is about to expire. Well, as I used it about as much as the last one I suppose I’ll let it go. Anybody want this one? Anybody? No-one? Oh well… away it goes then…

Mary and Harry have been away for the weekend, so it’s been a quiet weekend for me. Garry and I went shopping yesterday. I got myself a natty camera bag, and a couple of CDs. I was in a quandry because I knew the song I wanted, but couldn’t remember what it was called, or who it was by. A lucky dip and 2 CDs later and I can tell you the song I wanted was ”The Blower’s Daughter’ by Damien Rice. ‘O‘ is really quite a good album, you know. It’s almost as if all those music critics know what they’re talking about :o) The other album was Jamie Cullum’s ‘Twentysomething’. Haven’t really listened yet so no comment.

I had big plans to go and take pictures at sunrise today, but 8am came and went and my body stayed warm and cosy in bed. Oh well. One day. Instead I have been doing housework like a man possessed (calmed only by Damien’s dulcet tones), and I’m about to go and throw some money at Tescos.

(Garry mentioned yesterday that 1 in every 8 pounds spent on British high streets is spent in Tescos. Greedy gits. Can’t M&S have some of that?)

Jack Frost came…

Jack Frost came…

…and made everything cold and white. And made me happy that nowadays I have actual real ‘spare’ time in the morning, so I could defrost the car at my leisure. Ahhh… đŸ™‚

I like days like today. The sun is low in the sky and making everything look more colourful than it really is – golden brown trees, lush green fields, sparkly damp roads. Mist hangs over the ground, giving it a kind of dreamlike feel. Your breath hangs before you. All in all, I wish I’d had time to stop on the way to work and take pictures.

Today, I have been ‘researching/surfing/google-coding’ (call it what you will). I am looking into the various ways of accessing LDAP servers through Java. JNDI, JLDAP, JDBC-LDAP… and so on and so on. It’s actually not all that dull. No really. Trust me. ;o)

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

I am assured that it is Mary’s 29th birthday today, although some reporters have different ideas. Happy Birthday to you, gorgeous. I love ya :o)

Seeing as it’s Sunday today and like all responsible people we’re taking it easy and/or working in preparation for work tomorrow, the celebrations were last night. We had drinks, spicy chicken at Nando’s (“we love vegetarians so much we eat them”), and then more drinks. It was a fun night; good to see people we don’t see often enough, and everyone got appropriately sozzled. Except the designated driver Keith, of course (thanks again).

The following week will probably involve a piece of news at work, and I reckon there’s a 66% chance of it being good news. Following that, of course, there may be more news which may not be so good, so we’ll just have to wait and see. Suffice to say, my previous post remains true and prospects of at least 17.5 hours commute a week do not thrill. We’ll see…

Even when it’s good, it’s not great…

Even when it’s good, it’s not great…

First things first: Happy birthday for yesterday to 3 year old Taylor, who should be returning home from the Welsh adventure today. Many happy returns.

I had to go to head office in Basingstoke yesterday. This involves a trip along far too many motorways for my liking (M2, M20, M26, M25, M3), but yesterday’s journeys were about as good as they could be. No hold ups anywhere, so it took 1 hour 45 minutes each way. However, all things being equal I’d still rather be at my usual office, a mere 20 minutes away.

Oh, and hello to the very apologetic woman who didn’t stop as quickly as me this morning. Luckily there was no damage, but she did look quite worried as I checked the back of the hire car.

PS – look, I managed the entire entry without mentioning the new layout!
PPS – oops

Two thousand and five?

Two thousand and five?

I don’t like change. One change I really don’t like is the way the new year sounds for about the first 8 months. Two thousand and five? Nah – don’t like it. Can we have two thousand and four part b, please?

New years resolutions have been discussed by earlier birds than I (1, 2). My thoughts are much the same, but I still find myself saying silly things… “This year I will get fit”. So much emphasis is put on the ticking over of the clock, I wonder what would happen nowadays if the Pope were to decree that, actually, we’ve got the date wrong and today is really the 15th of January? I expect he’d face more resistance than old Greg did back in 1584. Did you know that back then, the Spanish Netherlands waited until late December to skip their 11 days, thereby completely missing Christmas? Bah Humbug indeed.

Anyway – waffle a-plenty… what’s been going on?

Well, Christmas was very nice indeed. A certain small man had to be reminded about the importance of the day after being up for about half an hour and repeatedly missing the small pile’o’pressies on the end of his bed. Then, seeing that there were no presents at the end of our bed, he offered us one (the smaller of the two, he’s not daft) saying “Father Christmas couldn’t find his way to your bedroom…” Bless. The rest of the day was spent at various parents’ places – so thanks to mum for the drink, and big thanks to David and Kitty for the lovely Christmas dinner – I feel bloated just thinking about it :o)

The week between Christmas and New Year went far too quickly for my liking, with much time spent in the company of friends and family. New Year’s Eve was a quiet-ish affair at my brother’s gaffe, and the new number was seen in with beer and bad (oh so bad) TV. Big thanks to Taylor (and Garry and Sam) for the hospitality :o)

Now it is my second day back at work, and I am contemplating what to do with the 2 hours I have at my desk before driving over to head office for a meeting… hmm – development you say? Go on then…

Anyone been to Dungeness, by the way? There’s a nice little RSPB reserve there, huddling in the shadows of the nuclear power station. Despite much looking, I couldn’t find any 2 headed moorhens, or 3 eyed fish – shame. Pictures of normality are here.

(All pictures taken with my new Sigma zoom lens – thanks Dad)