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June 2005 Entries
Getting the bus to work during the G8 week

These days I am leaving the Passat at home, using the bus in preference as it goes in on the green lanes into Edinburgh. Apart from the fact that half of them appear to be dug up at the moment, and they only start half way along Calder Road.

The big wonder I have at the moment is how next week is going to Pan out with the various G8 related "celebrations" going on in the middle of Edinburgh. The bus that I get normally terminates in Waterloo Place, which is the other end of Princes Street, the main place to go up and down if you are going to have a March.

It will all be interesting, I'll keep an eye on the television in the evening to watch the festivities.

posted @ Wednesday, June 29, 2005 10:18 PM | Feedback (0)
Book Meme Progress

After Martin Sutherland started me on it, I've been working through the book collection that lives under my bed in random order. So I'm only up to 100 ish books so far, but you wouldn't believe the old copies of Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine I had stashed away. Off to the bucket with issues from 2000.

But I am going to keep the copy of my pass certificate for 70-069, Microsoft Access for Windows 95 and the Microsoft Access Developer's Toolkit. I passed with 736 on the 23rd September 1997.

posted @ Monday, June 27, 2005 9:03 PM | Feedback (0)
Book Meme

Bloomin 'eck, a pincer movement by MartinS and SpencerH.

This is going to have to be a work in progress. Sections updated as the figures come in:

Total Number of book's I've owned

Erm, don't know at the moment. I do know that I can't move for the things in my house.

Last book I bought

Jupiter's Travels by Ted Simon. Bought this on an impulse from a book shop in Perth, my wife pointed at it because it was about a bloke riding around the world on a motorbike. Yes, another book about riding around the world on a motorbike. Makes a change from Sci-Fi though..

Last book I finished

A book for the seriously stressed, by Geoff Thompson.

A gift bearing a strong hint from my wife. Interesting style, a chap that came to writing by a circuitous route which makes it an interesting study apart from the obvious content. Especially when his part-biography features a picture of him in a suit with a knuckle duster.

Five books that mean a lot to me

What? Only five, drat... Well, it will definately include Iain Banks Sci-Fi, and most likely a Culture novel (ok, so a lot of them are). A bit of Asimov, although I haven't read any of them for years, and probably one of the Dune collection.

Meme passing

I'm going to resist creating a feedback loop with MartinS and SpencerH.

 

posted @ Monday, June 27, 2005 8:34 PM | Feedback (0)
Batman Begins on an Orange Wednesday

With all of the family over 15, but two still at school, visits to the cinema can be an expensive do for the Laings.

So we did the Orange Wednesday's thing tonight, effectively halving the price, and none of the usual cinema goodies of popcorn etc.

And Batman Begins was excellent, though Morgan Freeman reminded me a bit of Q, the rest was good, and I take the MartinS point about the credibility of the domesday machine.

Top evening for all.

posted @ Thursday, June 23, 2005 12:37 AM | Feedback (0)
The last few weeks at work

Names changed to protect the innocent and all that, but the work landscape has been quite different lately.

In April I had a few days writing load tests scripts to hit an Accounting system. An interesting mix of VBScript sendkeys, bits of analysis and had the other guys doing a good bit of Citrix tweaking to build up a load to hit the server farm.

Then mid April I was assigned to a Business Analysis job at one of the Banks headquartered in Edinburgh. Being a bit of a techie (really!) it is a bit of a change, but a good opportunity to practice this bit of the development lifecycle that tends to be neglected when the ability to deliver is also present. It can be all to easy to dive into code, so a long stretch doing requirements documentation and Functional Specification will sharpen up my skills there.

Long term onsite assignment is something I've done from time to time, though it takes a couple of minutes to explain that I'm still employed by the same lot, I still do kind of the same job, it just so happens I'm working from the client premises till the end of the year.

As it happens, MartinS and MattL are also around and about the same site, though I float between buildings - one when I am working in the building that is the base for the division I am attached to, the other when I am out seeing "The Business".

Being back in centre Edinburgh means public transport again, getting the bus in and out from West Lothian to Haymarket. I'm getting used to it, sitting on the bus just letting my thoughts wander, a lot less concentration than driving the car in similar traffic. I'm still blighted by my travel sickness though, worse when the bus is hot and windows steamed up. Something I hope I will grow out of (lol at my age). The other side effect is my driving needs a few miles to sharpen up each time - instead of my usual 40 mile round trip commute, I only drive the Passat from time to time.

posted @ Sunday, June 19, 2005 10:14 PM | Feedback (3)
Blog Comment Spam

Groan. The extent of my work on this blog over the last weeks seem to be deleting the increasing amount of comment spam coming this way. I guess it is a little flattering that they consider the search engine results high enough to add their own linking.

But it kinda saps the will to post real stuff up on the blog.

posted @ Sunday, June 19, 2005 9:56 PM | Feedback (3)
Working in Edinburgh today

Up in the centre of town to look at, you guessed it, a web app running on Microsoft kit.

In my confused state earlier in the week I confused one coffee emporium with another.

The actual coffee place in the same building as easyInternetCafe is Caffe Nero, not Costa. My brain must work even less at that time of the day than I originally thought.

posted @ Saturday, June 4, 2005 6:31 PM
I was at PDC 2003 in LA

Just in case you didn't pick it up in my last post. I was there, and saw amongst others, Bill Gates, Don Box and Erica Wiechers.

Check out the gallery for a selection of the pics I took.

posted @ Saturday, June 4, 2005 6:30 PM
Alistair's Blog is getting linked to

I will need to get my act together with this blog as my eminent ex-colleagues are beginning to link to it. As you may or may not know, this blog is running Scott Watermasysk's dottext (.Text) blogging software on the european webmatrix hosting site.

I have a few tweaks to finalise the installation as I would like it, and have to get the email sending working with the hosting arrangement and we will be "cooking on gas" as the term hereabouts goes.

In the meantime thanks to Martin Sutherland and Spencer Harbar for picking up on the new blog.

posted @ Saturday, June 4, 2005 6:28 PM
I have been using public transport this week, while the Passat was unavailable

It all started when my Volkswagen Passat diesel felt a bit bouncy in its handling last Saturday. I wasn't sure, but looking at it hard it looked like it was leaning on one corner. Right enough, something was suspect and it was lower on one corner. It hadn't hit the handling that much, and with the sports suspension it has it sits low already.

So phoned the garage and they could take it Wednesday, so I wasn't going to drive it unless it was to the Garage, scared that it would drop even further and hit the ground.

So out with the planner on Traveline Scotland, which uses public transport information to plan journeys in the UK, with more detail on Scotland. This is an excellent service, only tripping up occaisionally, like when the bus it had told me to catch outside my door failed to turn up.

The problem with the car turned out to be a broken spring, the Garage didn't have the part and I was onsite for a couple of days so I haven't the car all week. So I've been on the train from Edinburgh to Livingston, and Livingston to Glasgow. I've been to Livingston South, Livingston North, Edinburgh Park and Glasgow Central stations. And I'm off to Newcraighall station tomorrow to get my car back.

posted @ Saturday, June 4, 2005 6:27 PM