Tag Archives: blog

Beware the flying mistletoe drone strikes

TGI drone attackTom Morris drops me a message on Facebook.

Ian Forrester’s mission if he chooses to accept it.

1. Find a lady friend.

2. Go to this: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/love-air-manchester-restaurant-launches-8130613

3. Blog about it.

Although its tempting, the idea of going to TGI Friday for a date fills me with rage. As somebody said… Their food is death and sadness.

Flying mistletoe from a mini indoor drone strike seems more likely than any kind of love interest on a date. Then again you could have fun with it I guess, but its certainly not the kind of thing I would do on a first date.

Tell you what, if anyone wants to do it for a laugh and are female, I maybe interested for the sake of blogging. This always feels like the start of an adventure… Who’s up for it?

Legacy and documenting the past

Wendy g said it best.

The problem is the next generation seem to think they are tackling new problems.

Next year is the 10th anniversary of the open rights group, something I’m proud to say I was at and supported from the conception. Its also 8 years and a couple months since BarCampLondon1. The Geeks of London did something special to say thank you to everybody who attended over the 8 years.
Its also coming up on 10 years since I ran London geek dinners and although gone the legacy lives on through Girl geekdinners, tuttleclub, social media cafe (come back to this in a moment) and geekup to name just a few I know.

Here’s all the geekdinners I remember running or being a part of…

  • 7th July 2005 – Robert Scoble – Texas Embassy, 1 Cockspur Street, London, SW1Y 5DL
  • 11th July 2005  Seth Godin
  • 22nd July 2005  Jeremy Zawodny
  • 13th October 2005  Tim Oreilly  – Hogs Head, 11 Dering Street, Westminster, London
  • 24th November 2005  Molly Holzschlag  – Hogs Head, 11 Dering Street, Westminster, London
  • 10th December 2005  Robert Scoble  – Texas Embassy, 1 Cockspur Street, London, SW1Y 5DL
  • 23rd January 2006  Dave Shea  – The Crown and Anchor, 22 Neal St, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9PS
  • 23rd Febuary 2006  Paul Boag  – The Polar Bear, 30 Lisle Street, Westminster, London WC2H 7BA
  • 5th April 2006  David Teten  – The Polar Bear, 30 Lisle Street, Westminster, London WC2H 7BA
  • 1st May 2006  Marc Canter  – The Polar Bear, 30 Lisle Street, Westminster, London WC2H 7BA
  • 17th June 2006  @media  conference social with Geekdinner – The Livery, 130 Wood Street, London, EC2V 6DL
  • 7th July 2006  Chris Anderson  Geekdinner – The Bottlescrue, 53 – 60 Holburn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2FD
  • 1st Sept 2006  Ben Metcalfe  – The Bottlescrue, 53 – 60 Holburn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2FD
  • 22nd Sept 2006  Howard Rheingold  – The Thai Terrace Restaurant, 14 Wrights Lane, W8 6TF
  • 20th October 2006  Molly Holzschlag  – The Bottlescrue, 53 – 60 Holburn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2FD
  • 9th December 2006, BBC Backstage Christmas Special – The Cuban bar, City Point, Ropemaker Street, London EC2Y 9AW
  • 26th January 2007  Molly Holzschlag  – City Spice 138 Brick Lane, E1 6RU
  • 21st Febuary 2007  Tara Hunt  and  Chris Messina  of Citizen Agency – The Bear, 2 St John’s Square, Clerkenwell, EC1M 4DE
  • 17th April 2007  Paul Boag  – The Thai Terrace Restaurant, 14 Wrights Lane, W8 6TF
  • 3rd May 2007  Mike Culver  – The Bear, 2 St John’s Square, Clerkenwell, EC1M 4DE
  • 30th May 2007  Becky Hogge  – Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA
  • 12th June 2007  Jyri Engeström  – Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA
  • 26th June 2007  Julie Howell  – Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA
  • 16th July 2007  Brady Forrest  – Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA
  • 14th August 2007  Eric Meyer  – The Thai Terrace Restaurant, 14 Wrights Lane, W8 6TF
  • 1st November 2007  Stowe Boyd  – Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA
  • 13th March 2008 Holmes Wilson – Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA
  •  7th of April 2008 David Terrar – Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA
  • 29th May 2008 Moo! -Thai Smile Restaurant, The Ivy House  8-10 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AE
  • Joint London Girl Geek/Geek dinner with Dr. Sophie Kain –  Horse Bar, 124 Westminster Bridge Road, Waterloo, London SE1 7XG

This is about the point of when I moved to Manchester and the Geeks of London took over. I tried to document a part of it on this blog post and many others throughout the blog, but it doesn’t feel like nearly enough. I tried to add it to wikipedia but it was rejected and deleted multiple times.

I won’t lie I’m also one of those people who thinks there striking new ground everytime but I would be foolish to not think about the legacy of these things. But where should such history live? So others can be inspired or learn from the mistakes I made?

Where would you put this information? Maybe something which can aggregate blog posts together in someway?

Why I still blog?

Its been over 10 years since I started blogging… I actually started in 2003 after I started working for Ravensbourne College. Here’s my first post (as such). I forgot to celebrate 10 years but I forgot, plus I originally started blogging offline then uploaded posts from the past about 2004ish. I’ll celebrate when I hit 25000 posts maybe?

I saw Suw’s piece on blogging in 2014., which is reply to David Weinberger’s (yes one of the writers of the Cluetrain) blog titled slightly sad elegy for blogging. Suw was one of the early bloggers in London. Chocolate & Vodka was famous in a small early community and hit the mainstream quite a few times. It also elevated her into circles only available to the elite, and happily Suw kept it real and called bollox when it really was (who could forget WeMedia!)

I owe my current career to blogging. Without it, I would never have developed an interest in how people connect through technology, and never would have met all the people who helped me turn that interest into a job. It is not an overstatement to say that without blogging — and without #joiito on Freenode — I would not have founded ORG, would not have met my husband, would not have started Ada Lovelace Day, and so on. I am incredibly grateful to blogging for all that.

I also owe a hell of a lot to blogging. My jobs, promotion into BBC Backstage, BarCamp, lifestyle, reputation, confidence, etc… I didn’t meet my ex-wife through blogging but as a side effect of reading a book (design for communities) recommended by bloggers. Things like the Cluetrain only came on my radar due to the act of reflecting back via my blog aka in a public permanent way. Heck I met Suw through her blogging, united with Kevin (Suw’s husband) through blogging values and spoke at their wedding years later!

You only have to look at the different New Years Resolutions which I’ve been doing since 2008 to get a glance of the act of being public has had on me personally.

But as both have noted, there has been a massive decline in long form blogging. I say long form because remember Twitter is meant to be microblogging but to me and many others it feels like its leaving the world of blogging long behind. You could also say the amount of bloggers (in the traditional sense of a person who writes a blog, or weblog) has exploded. But then also has the community of blogging?

The decision between tweeting and blogging are distinct in my mind. But the lack of time is also a issue. However the big issue is the lack of reading I’m doing now I’m on the scooter again. I actually look forward to the times when I’m on the tram, as I can read some RSS again.

I wonder too if my lack of blog writing is related to a lack of blog reading. My RSS reader became so clogged that I feared it, wouldn’t open it, and ultimately, abandoned it. And then Twitter and now Zite arrived to provide me with random rewards for clicking and swiping, showing me stuff that I had no idea I wanted to read. Instead of following the writings of a small cadre of smart, lovely people whom I am proud to call my friends, I read random crap off the internet that some algorithm thinks I might be interested in, or that is recommended by the people I follow on Twitter.

To be honest, I never really heard of Zite till recently. That and Quartz all seem interesting but I never use them. I do use Feedly but only as a place to sync my own RSS feeds since Google reader shutdown. I know there is the filter bubble effect but frankly I’m not too bothered at this moment. The people I want to read and follow are much more interesting that what some algorithm (which thinks it knows me) throws up.

I personally use feedly in chrome on the rare occasion that I’m reading from my laptop otherwise I’m using gRSSreader on my tablet for straight up RSS reading. Instapaper has come into its own for me over the last few years with me being able to just stack interesting things together in a queue for later consumption and further thought. So much so, that I feel like I lost a big part of the experience when my kindle broke. Now I’m scanning ebay looking to pick up a basic Wifi Kindle paperwhite, so I can read instapaper on the go. Amazon’s free email service is unbeatable and I can’t imagine having a ereader without it now.

I do wish I had more time to read and write back in my own blog. So in my new years resolution

Surround myself in higher thinking…

Is a direct plan to tackle that.

Ultimately I’m going to keep blogging for years to come, maybe heck I’ll celebrate 20 or 25 years of blogging. My views online for anyone to read is still something which kind of blows my mind. Jon covers most of the points in the early part of his blog.

Presence, Community, Disruption.

Blogging was just one of mechanisms for delivering the promise of the Net that had us so excited in the first place. The revolution is incomplete.

28 days of over blogging

For the last 28 days I’ve been blogging every day. I did accept the challenge Tim Dobson pushed me. But I did break it by blogging more than once a day. Heck I like blogging and I couldn’t help myself…

I don’t know if being able to write coherently, quite happened? Never really felt lonely while blogging and to be honest I’ve not really checked out many peoples blogs also doing it too. I did have quite a increase in the amount of traffic to my blog has received. Maybe a good time to move the blog to Bytemark?

Challenge accepted…

Tim Dobson challenged me to this

Therefore, I want to post a blog post, everyday, for the month of February. What’s more, I want to challenge my friends, my colleagues … neighbours … pets etc to join me.

Rules:

  • Your blog must be public
  • Virals/Images/Videos posts are allowed, but only if you comment somehow on the content.
  • 1 post per day, for 28 days of February, by the same person

Questions:

Q: Why?

A: Why not? Being able to write coherently, repeatedly is a valuable skill. Doing it on your own can be boring/lonely. Knowing other people are also having to rush for the 23:59 deadline is somewhat warming.

Well I guess this is your challenge accepted…. Although I might double post once in a while…

It still amazes me that I’ve been blogging for almost 10 years… Although I do need to alter my archived posts as they all point to blojsom/blog still…

Where have all the bloggers gone?

Jon Udell asks, where have all the bloggers gone?

Good question… I do tweet more than I blog, thats very true.

I have Published 2,559 blogs (not including this one) and Tweeted29,087 (not including this one) but there not really comparable in my mind. Not simply because of the length but the detail and thought which goes into them plus its MINE. Of course you can crosspost which I do sometimes, and like Jon I’m choosy when I do.

It’s not just about short-form versus long-form, though. Facebook and Google+ are now hosting conversations that would formerly have happened on — or across — blogs. Keystrokes that would have been routed to our personal clouds are instead landing in those other clouds.

I’d rather route all my output through my personal cloud and then, if/when/as appropriate, syndicate pieces of it to other clouds including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. A few weeks back, WordPress’s Stephane Daury reminded me that I can:

@judell: since your blog is on (our very own) @wordpressdotcom, you can setup the publicize option to push your posts: http://wp.me/PEmnE-1ff.

I replied that I knew about that but preferred to crosspost manually.

More interestingly is Jon’s thoughts on how to make our own space/cloud better and more central.

  • Different messages to each foreign cloud. Because headlines often need to be audience-specific.
  • Private to my personal cloud, public to foreign clouds. Because the public persona I shape on my blog serves different purposes than the ones I project to foreign clouds. Much of what I say in those other places doesn’t rise to the level of a public blog entry, but I’d still like to route that stuff through my personal cloud so I can centrally control/monitor/archive it.
  • Federate the interaction siloes. Because now I can’t easily follow or respond to commentary directed to my blog echoes in foreign clouds. Or, again, centrally control/monitor/archive that stuff.

I’m currently using Disqus to mix twitter and facebook comments in with my blog but it feels very clunky. Ideally you want something more distributed like I’ve been banging on about for a while.

Self Confidence: How to be interesting…

Jyri Engeström quote

Simon Lumb and Aden Davies shared Russell Davis’s post about how to be interesting

He makes two assumptions…

The way to be interesting is to be interested. You’ve got to find what’s interesting in everything, you’ve got to be good at noticing things, you’ve got to be good at listening. If you find people (and things) interesting, they’ll find you interesting.

Interesting people are good at sharing. You can’t be interested in someone who won’t tell you anything. Being good at sharing is not the same as talking and talking and talking. It means you share your ideas, you let people play with them and you’re good at talking about them without having to talk about yourself.

And assuming the above… here’s his recommendations (obviously there quite computer related but they don’t have to be)…

  1. Take at least one picture everyday. Post it to flickr
  2. Start a blog. Write at least one sentence every week
  3. Keep a scrapbook
  4. Every week, read a magazine you’ve never read before
  5. Once a month interview someone for 20 minutes, work out how to make them interesting. Podcast it
  6. Collect something
  7. Once a week sit in a coffee-shop or cafe for an hour and listen to other people’s conversations. Take notes. Blog about it. (Carefully)
  8. Every month write 50 words about one piece of visual art, one piece of writing, one piece of music and one piece of film or TV. Do other art forms if you can. Blog about it
  9. Make something
  10. Read
I like the list quite a lot and it really got me thinking, what would I put in this kind of a list?
So I wrote my own… (please note this is all in my own opinion, you may disagree but that’s what comments are for…)
  1. Tweet at least everyday and make sure its public
    Tweet, microblog, blog, what ever… Being open and public will improve your confidence, interface you with other peoples opinions and ultimately make you a better or more rounded person
  2. Start a blog and update it regularly!
    blogging or sharing your thoughts are still very important and really helps when referring to points in arguments. Its still what I recommend to many people who ask me where to start. Like above, the interchange of ideas with other peoples thoughts will make you a more interesting person. Also make sure its regular, otherwise you will loose the momentum or build it up too big in your mind.
  3. Keep a note of conversations, ideas and dreams in a scrapbook, notebook or just somewhere shareable
    I personally use Evernote to document everything I find interesting. I can later on share it with people and thats been very handy for communicating a idea or whats going on in my brain.
  4. Follow and read articles/retweets from people you follow on twitter
    I only tend to follow people who say interesting things, and every once in a while I just scroll through links and retweets from people I follow. Generally I’ve found them very useful and they usually end up in my readitlater or instapaper. Once again, although not directly
  5. Start or be on a podcast/videocast
    I hate the sound of my voice but forcing myself to do a podcast, has got me use to the sound and how I sound to others. How this helps with being more interesting, I’m not quite sure but its certainly something you can talk about and share with others
  6. Talk to someone new at least every week
    What have you got to loose? Someone new may unlock a whole new lifestyle choice, a new found friend or be your next partner… You just need to hold a conversation for at least 2mins. Generally if your exploiting number 9, this will be very easy…
  7. Once in a week sit in a great tea/coffee shop and just listen without your headphones
    Nothing better than to over hear human concerns. Yes most of them will be mindless stuff to you but it doesn’t matter, listen to the metadata. Passion, tone, etc… They all give a different aspect to the human voice… I already mentioned before about how I tend not to use my lift with headphones on for a similar reason.
  8. Every month, tweet an observation about human life
    I loved Seinfeld because of its observation of human life, and in actual fact someone pointed out to me. That most comedy is a observation of life. Theres two ways you can take this…
    1. Being funny is always great
    2. Having a detailed understanding of life means you can later hack it :)
    And don’t just sit on that knowledge, share it!
  9. Take advantage of your understanding of social objects
    Talking of hacking life… If you don’t understand the concept of social objects and how they enrich our lives, nows the time to learn… I would start Hugh Macleod’s 101 thoughts on Social objects then check out Jyri Enstrom’s post, then more links from Hugh Macleod including Jyri’s video at London Geekdinners a while back. Don’t quite understand this relates to being more interested? A shared experience is a powerful key to being interesting to other people. For example, on the train as I am now, I could turn around the lady across the table and say “nice drawing, how did you learn to draw like that?” The social object would be the drawing… Hugh has better examples
  10. Learn
    Life long learning, what more is there to say? Always be learning…
The general theme is about openness, human contact, sharing and self improvement… Being more interesting isn’t a thing you just throw on, actually its about being confident in your own abilities and the way to do that is to be comfitable in your own skin. The rest will come naturally… As Nic ferrier said “get our of your comfort zone once a week…” Which I think is right but actually its more involved than just once a week, its about a change in the way you look at life.

A new hope, a new blog

Me

During Christmas I thought I’d do some maintenance to blog because I’ve been meaning to clean up a few things for a while. I’m hosting with GoDaddy.com mainly because there cheap and there pretty hassle free.

I had my /wordpress blog which you might have seen stuff like this at. Then I also had storytlr at the root of the cubicgarden domain and a couple other blogs which I was testing things on like mydreamscape. So I deleted the couple of test wordpress blogs and started putting a axe through storytlr (which is a real shame but I could never get the cron to work). Then I noticed there was no blog in the management option for /wordpress. Which meant yes it was either lost somewhere in the management interface or it was gone….

I was generally pissed off with Godaddy for not making it clear which blog I was deleting. Worst of all, its all happening on bloody Christmas day, when I should be relaxing not wondering what happen to my bloody blog. I almost canceled my contract with Godaddy right there and then, I got a message from the Godaddy twitter account with some somewhat useful information.

So anyway although I wasn’t able to recover everything back to how it was before, I now have a new blog and lifestream.

I had a backup of my blog from Mid December and I’ve been using Disqus for comments so pretty much everything up till then was safe. All the blog entries I usually write in Blogilo, and I had a backup of all the recent entries. So it was just a matter of digging them out and publishing them again with the correct date stamp.

The first thing you will notice is that the /wordpress is now gone (yeh!) and the lifestream is now finally working (double yeh!).

But….

There is still a lot of work to do. I still need to design the bloody thing and this time I’m hoping to do a proper job. On top of that I’m going to sort out all the external links to my life all over the web, so there all linked here in some logical fashion.

I also need to link up ianforrester.org to my lifestream and add in lots of lovely embedded goodness into my pages.

It was certainly quite hairy at one point but it kind of worked out… Happy Christmas everyone…

Converting posts from Blojsom/WordPress to Moveabletype

I had to write this because for weeks now I’ve been trying to convert blog entries between different blogging services.

The first one was converting Blojsom to WordPress, but this wasn’t too bad because both work around the RSS 2.0 format. Getting the comments, tags, metadata out and into the rss 2.0 feed was a real pain and I’m convinced I dropped a load of trackbacks and pingbacks in the process. This is another reason why I started using Disqus for all my comments.

The harder task was moving blog entries from WordPress to MoveableType. Yes I expect most of you are wondering why I would move from a far superior system to something which most people left in the dirt ages ago. Well unfortunately we still use MT on the bbc.co.uk/blogs platform and that means as backstage moves to the official blog platform, some mug had to find a way to down convert to MT 4.1 which only imports/exports in this crazy text only format.

So after lots of looking around, I finally found a XSL which I modified to do the job from a stripped down WordPress WXR file (RSS2.0 with lots of WP namespaces stuff). Its important that you strip down the WXR file as it might not be valid XML, so no XSL transform is going to work. I also took a bit of time to write a XSL to remove most of the namespaces elements or convert them into a more valid RSS 2.0 element. You can do the same with lots of finds and replaces, so I won’t post the simple XSL.

Hopefully this will save others a lot of time in the future, if your faced with the same problem.

Hello 2010, welcome to the new blog

2010

So I finally decided to switch my blog to wordpress and on top of that I was able to install storytlr open source.

I’m still in the process of doing all the redirects and general cleaning up but its coming together quite nicely. Once its all stable I’m hoping to spend some time sorting out the styles and themes.

Getting the entries out of Blojsom was easy as pie but then converting them into a format which WordPress wouldn’t barf on was a big problem. In the end I wrote a throw away XSL to do it, because it WordPress didn’t like namespaced elements or generally anything over the standard RSS 2.0 elements. I did manage to push over the Categories and Tags but had to split them apart in WordPress later.

My whole thing is hosted with GoDaddy on their new European Servers and will be quite slow while it caches all requests.

I love Blojsom but I never upgraded to version 3.x which required a database to work. With the need for a database, it meant the ground between WordPress and blojsom was a less so. Then add cheap hosting, amazing plugins, themes and community. And its pretty much a no brainer. I also found that less and less blog editors are supporting Blojsom (some kind of metaweblog xmlrpc category issue). So now I’m able to use Bilbo which is a KDE editor with support for pretty much everything WordPress allows. I’m also able to use Google Gears which is useful when offline.

This was also a chance to get a little more serious about my blogging and footprint online. Hence I’m really hoping to stretch what storytlr can do for me and some of the projects I have for it.

In the meantime, let me know if you see anything very weird which I may have missed….

So what happened to my blog?

The blog went down back in June and only went back up a few days ago. So what happened? Well I'll spare you the long story.

Hub.org did a upgrade on the Operating System and other bits and pieces, and broke the frankly weird setup I have for my blog. Now normally I would say they should fix it but the truth is that I've been hosting my blog on there lovely servers for years for free. Well I say free but I did do some work on the hub.org website a while back. So we have a gentlemans agreement that I don't bug them and they let me have a nice virtual private server, which is needed to run the Blojsom blogging server. So I needed to fix why Resin would start then stop. It ended up being a problem with the change of configuration in later versions of Resin.

The reason it took so long was because I tried a few things along the way to fix it and move my blog elsewhere. My previous setup was Apache running on port 80 in front of Resin on port 8080 (always worth checking port 8080 to see if my blog is actually down or not). Previously I was running Pound in front of Tomcat, now I'm using Pound again in front of Resin. Apache isn't really needed because Resin is fast enough to serve up static files along side dynamic processes.

When things went wrong, I did decide to finally move my blog from Blojsom to WordPress. To get stuff out of blojsom I needed to get the server up and running again. I won't explain how but theres ways to get every single entry out of blojsom in a xml/atom/rdf feed. Hell you can even filter between 2 dates and get those entries out in any format you like. Once blojsom was up and running on port 8080 I was able to get all my entries. I also discovered that Blojsom creator had created a export plugin which is now standard and very useful. The problem is WordPress, wordpress fails to import anything I get from Blojsom. I double checked the blojsom files and there all well formed. I've even tried importing into Blogger.com but none of them work, I think its mainly the size of the import file (almost 10meg). Ultimately I do want to move to WordPress because although Blojsom is great, its not quite as actively being developed. Also moving to WordPress will mean I can switch to a cheaper hosting plan and get full support. Hub are great but I think its worth paying for my blog to be up as much as possible. Maybe I'd host my blog somewhere else and I'd use the hub account for my experiments with Cocoon. Although with Google App engine supporting Java servelets now, even that might be a little mute.

For now, the blog will stay where it is but I may be doing some stuff else where in the background. Expect lots of entries from now on.

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8 Random Facts About Me (tagging meme)

Somethinkodd Diabolo

James Cridland tagged me in the blogging meme by the same name. Yes its been a while but I've been pretty busy with lots of other stuff. Unlike James I know what a meme is and I like the idea of memetics, which I first heard via Susan Blackmore. Anyway I'm sure James actually does know what a meme is and its on with the rules.

Here are the rules:

  1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  2. People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
  3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
  4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
  1. My first computer was a Commodore 16

    Not a Commodore 64 or 128, 16 as in 16k of total memory. My father bought the C16 for me when I was about 7 and I loved it. I use to play games then started to get into basic programming. I still remember the weird rounded tape cassette recorder thing and the blocky as hell graphics.
  2. I have worked in some odd places including… Equinox Discotheque in Leicester Square

    I was between jobs and I only lasted 3 weeks before quiting. I learned how to pour drinks correctly and how to make a lot of cocktails. I was only paid 3.70 a hour because you were expected to make a ton of money in tips. This only worked well if you were a attractive woman. The best tips I got in one night was 20 pounds while my female equivilents were getting upwards of 100 pounds a night!
  3. I use to have hypersomnolence and now sleep Apnea

    This is a sleep disorder where I pause snoring and breathing during the night. This makes sleeping difficult and a couple of the side-effects are loud sleeping, morning headaches (like being hangover), trouble concentrating, decreased sex drive forgetfulness, nocturia, etc, etc. Now you can see why working later in the day works better for me. I have also had surgery to try and correct it but its had little to no effect. Most people think its down to weight but actually I've had this since I was really young and thin. I even know people who are very fit who have this same problem, you can imagine its a problem for the partner who thinks your dying while you sleep.
  4. I'm a Diabolist

    Whats a diabolo? Well it actually means the devil with two sticks but really its a Chinese Yo-Yo. It looks like a egg cup with a string and sticks. Anyway, I learned how to do the Yo-Yo during the coke-cola yo-yo days and got fed up because everyone had them and everyone knew how to do most of the limited tricks. So I picked up on this thing called a wow ball. It turns out the wow ball was a cheap version of a diabolo and before long I was doing most of the same tricks with a full size diabolo. When I was younger, I use to enter competitions at holiday camps and have won a couple of times including a few holidays. I'm going to start putting up videos of me doing the diabolo on to videojug or more likely sclipo, so look out for it. Although thediabolo.com might have beaten me to it (I love that light path idea).
  5. I can skateboard and rollerblade

    Yes believe it or not. I can skateboard and I use to skateboard to work and college everyday. Roughly 5+ miles a day. Could I do any tricks? Well basic jumps and thats about it. By the way I can also rollerblade ok.
  6. I think I can ski but have never tried it on snow

    Yes its odd eh? I can actually ski but I've only ski'ed on dry slopes and grass. Grass skiing is pretty cool but those boots are damm heavy.
  7. I don't know popular music

    I don't know my led zepplin from my rolling stones. Seriously I don't know much about rock or pop music. When I was young I use to listen to dance music and hiphop. I was deep in to my dance music too, I stopped listening to radio when GWR changed there policy to no rap, less chat (thanks Miles for the correction). This meant the end of Sandy Martin's disco tracking and no more dance music on local radio. Radio 1 was interesting to me but I only listen to pete tong when I was older. I was never into the MTV actually I turned my back on it and The Box because it had no rave music. I did for a while check out that show after the Fresh Prince on BBC 2, the one with Normski (good on the BBC for taking a risk with such a show, maybe this lead the way towards 1xtra?) and I was a avid watcher of the Hitman and Her (check out the episode where pete and michaela go to Eclipse in Covertry!) and after it BPM (which I can't find anywhere). I went to clubs and raves alot, the magazines I read were eternity and knowledge, the music I listened to was rave. I just didn't have the time for other music because rave culture was so involving.
  8. I have never taken any drugs stronger that caffeine and I don't like Beer

    As you can see above, I was well into the rave and dance culture, but never ever took any class A, B or C drugs. Hell I didn't even drink beer. So although I was surrounded by drug taking I never got involved. It was strange because I educated myself about drugs at a early age and while the press was having a field day about evil ravers and dealers following the Leah Betts death I was seeing strange through the bull. Although I could see ecstasy wasn't this evil drug, I just wasn't interested in taking it because for me life was wild and weird enough, plus I just loved the music. About Beer. I bought them for friends when I was younger simply because I looked old enough to pass for 18 when I was 13 (yes I was bad). So I always got a taste of their beers. I never liked it and trust me I've tried loads of beers. I even last week tried white or wheat beer, which I thought was nasty. Once when I was at a holiday camp, I bought a tray full of drinks for a group of new friends and the security guard tapped me on the back and asked if I was buying drinks for underage teenagers? I being a little shocked that he had not guessed I was also underage answered no its all for me. So he stood there for about 10mins while I slowly drank most of the drink! That was the first time I had tasted Bitter and boy oh boy was I almost sick. Beer tastes like crap to me, I don't get why people like it? The only beer I like is Ginger Beer.

I'm nominating…. (without checking to see if they have done this already)

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Reading the Cluetrain by our PR lady

Our PR lady started reading the Cluetrain Manfesto after I gave her a copy to read. She seems to be reading through it slowly but at the same time its brought up more questions that I'd expected. So I suggested to her that she should blog internally or even externally about reading through the book. So I was kinda of shocked when she agreed… And now reading the cluetrain is born.

I think its really good to see our PR lady blogging, shes quite strange in a nice way. Kind of person who would forgive you at that moment but would never forget what you did. Anyway, shes been willing to learn about the changes online markets make to PR and thats a really good thing. Please check out her blog, as she really wants comments and constructive ideas around what she reads and blogs.

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Cubicgarden.com issues recently

So if you've not noticed already, cubicgarden.com has been up and down like a yoyo on a broken string. This was not the fault of Hub.org, actually Apache 2.x has been running flawlessly through-out the troubles. Thats why you could see the 503 error and not a 404.

Without boring everyone to death, I'm running on a virtual server FreeBSD (thats right Marc?) in which I'm running Resin 3.x and Apache 2.x together connected via jk or something like that. I then use Apache for static files and Resin the Java container for dynamic applications. Currently I have Blojsom, Cocoon and ZK installed in the Java container.

So what was actually happening? Well Resin was running out of memory every few hours. But why? It seems there was a problem with the crazy amount of spam I getting on my pipeline blog and so Blojsom was trying to load most of them into memory for analysis or something. So I have deleted all comments and trackbacks from Flow currently and made it a read only place for now. I was going to use Akismet on it too but decided actually it was better as read only for now. Those really interested will email me and spammers can just die.

Hopefully now cubicgarden.com and all the other blogs hosted on the same install of blojsom will be more reliable and I won't get the floods of emails saying your site is down again. Thanks to everyone who did write. Honestly I would have done this much earlier if I was in my regular timezone.

In the long run, I'm considering putting geekdinner.co.uk on the same blojsom install, but I'm worried this will screw up the other geekdinners around the country. And geez, everyone just can't get enough of WordPress. By the way Photomatt is a very cool, down to earth guy and well worth talking to if you get a chance.

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