Wednesday 30 April 2008

The Surf is Up now all i need is the sun.. and a waistline

Bundoran Beach Co.Donegal with pre-req irish Sky and hardy surfers

ILUG Countdown - The 5 Weeks to go checklist

Gentle Reader,
Tis now 5 weeks to the day until the great and the geeky will have upped sticks and will have installed themselves in dublin's fair city for the Dominofest that is ILUG 08.

Here is a convenient check packing list for you

Tynedol - 48 Pack extra extra strong
AlkaSeltzer - Anti-Irish Fry Up catering pack
Kilt (Gay Gordon Tartan) for Wild Bill's Sessions and being sexy in the evening
24 Bottles of Koppraberg Cider (Sean B. only)
Clean underwear .o0(just in case you meet the Lady President or Queen)
All your Session Materials even if you are not a presenter - Just in case you have to fill in
Collection of ultra-geeky or just plain amusing teeshirts
The "UberGeek Hecklers Handbook" for either of the Rob's sessions - prizes for best dopey question
An inflatable sheep
** Updated** at least one of the following Bodhran, Guitar, Grande Piano,Fiddle,Whistle for wee sing-songs
A Basketball for those boring gaps between sessions and NO-ONE remembers the ball!
Cancel RSS feed to BEFORE you present your session on widgets
Cultivate an accent that is not your own. It will confuse the organizing team.
If you are not a Guinness drinker say "it's OK for my poo to go black" 10 times every day
If presenting, invent at least one bit of jargon. Slip it into to your session and see if anyone nods in agreement when you mention it
If attending - practice rustling (no that is NOT what the sheep is for) paper is good, crisp bags or humbug wrappers are recommended (Psssssst- remember Ben Poole's session is the target RustleFest this year!)
Start considering at least one weird thing a day Irish pubs require you to be fully conversant in weird-
here's one for starters "Why do they put Braille dots on the keypad of the drive-up ATMs?"
here's another "What happens to a slinky on an escalator?"

Oh this is rich - Malware code comes with a EULA! :-)

LOL this is "The Weird of the day!" Zeus a rather unpleasant piece of malware now has a EULA

it "...cannot be used for purposes other than which it was bought for" and Zeus buyers also "... commit to give the seller a fee for any update to the product that is not connected with errors in the work, as well as for adding additional functionality".

Please form an orderly queue for EULA's for disk crashes where

".. this crash cannot be used for running up overtime, having a large expenses claim or other sundry device for increasing the users renumeration" ... not that any Dedicated System Professional like we geeks would do that!

GFA IV Stabbing not a GFA IV Stabbing

It now transpires that the stabbing in the queue waiting for Grand Theft Auto was in fact not related at all to the controversial game and happened 1/4 mile up the road.

But as the stabee lies in hospital he can be reassured that

The victim had categorically not pre-ordered the game – and GameStation is
confident that he was not a GameStation customer; neither was he a part of the
queue outside the Croydon store,” a source told the Games Radar blog.

The source also said that "...the stabbing did not occur outside the store, but a
quarter of a mile away outside East Croydon station"

which I am sure makes him very happy as he lies there all stitched up, he can also pride himself that "his" stabbing got the stabber 160 points rather than the normal 80 because it caused a media headline storm of "Internet BAAAAD" "Computer games very BAAAAAD" "The young should go to church more!" "Bring back conscription"

Does a widget know its a widget?

Here is a query for you widget guru's - Does a widget know it's a widget?
What i mean is you have a neat wee widget and you want to give the user and Email option
so they can email the widget content to themselves or others can the widget query the note environment? I have tried a variety of things and it would appear that the widget thinks it is all alone in the world rather than snuggled up in a notes side bar. Any ideas gratefully received...

Tuesday 29 April 2008

Phil Collins retires - Let the world Rejoice!

Yes yes yes.. today has just improved 100% Phil Collins has officially retired! Let the heavens be ript asunder with shafts of joyous lightening. Let the people of the world rejoice! No longer will we have to suffer the indignities of having to watch and listen to this odious little bald twat in live performance.

James Blunt has now rocketed to the #1 spot on the "Blandness above and beyond the call of duty" chart. Although it may take several years for Watching paint dry to overtake listening to "Something in the air tonight" as a really boring thing to do.

Quickr V8 Standard problem with Connectors and saving Excel files from an LS Script

Gentle reader this is a bit of an esoteric problem but a problem just the same.
The new Quickr standard connection utilities are a real boon and appear to work really well, however this came to light today and so far I have been able to duplicate the problem on PC's with both the Eclipse and standard Notes Clients installed but only with OFFICE 2003 so far.


In Notes Applications that use LS to access MS Office classes. If you programmaticaly open and populate an excel spreadsheet, when you come to save the excel file with
call xlSheet.SaveAs(strOutputFileName)
You get an MS Excel error "Cannot complete operation" and the save fails.

Uninstall Quickr connections the problem goes away, install it again and the
problem comes back. I have tried this on several PC's with the same results.

So next quandary ...where do you report Quickr-connector problems?

Monday 28 April 2008

Google Trends - Lotus Domno v Microsoft Exchange some thoughts

In case any of you have yet to discover "Google Trends" here is a little taster.
The red line is for "microsoft exchange" the blue line for "lotus domino"
You can go here for a closer look

The top graph shows "Search volume" the lower "News Reference Volume"

This site looks to be a wee bit more scientific than Google Fights which at best was a bit of laugh. Google say on their About Trends they say

Google Trends analyzes a portion of Google web searches to compute how many searches have been done for the terms you enter, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. We then show you a graph with the results -- our search-volume graph -- plotted on a linear scale.

Located just beneath our search-volume graph is our news-reference-volume graph. This graph shows you the number of times your topic appeared in Google News stories. When Google Trends detects a spike in the volume of news stories for a particular term, it labels the graph and displays the headline of an automatically selected Google News story written near the time of that spike. Currently, only English-language headlines are displayed, but we hope to support non-English headlines in the future.

Below the search and news volume graphs, Google Trends displays the top cities, regions, and languages in which people searched for the first term you entered.
Looking at the data, which may be skewed by the terms I used, there is twice the amount of search volume for MS exchange which would jell with my perception of the public brand conciousness of the MS product. But there is also over the last 4 years a decrease in activity for both MS and Lotus products, I wonder why. Perhaps are we becoming less interested in looking collaboration products up on the net.

It is also obvious that we don't look either up at Xmas time..obviously neither MS not Lotus is not a good Xmas pressie ;-)

Thats all very interesting but the bottom graph makes me stop and stare.. WTF? why has MS news items shot up in 2008 and Lotus is plodding along pretty much as before.. IBM MARKETING GET YOUR ARSE IN GEAR! I have tried to ignore the comments about the "IBM Stealth Marketing Department" but it does seem there is some truth in the description. The arrival of V8 was it seems preaching to the choir.

There are times I do sit and wonder with perhaps a hint of despair :(

Friday 25 April 2008

News you may have missed #3

Canada - Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh Canada!!

In Guelph, Ontario, a strange man had committed at least three incidents of approaching women and asking to be kicked in the groin. Apprehended after the seventh such incidents, Jarrett Loft, 28, pleaded guilty in March 2008 to one count (of being VERY weird) and was sentenced to 60 days in jail. Loft offered no explanation for his behavior, other than that he was "curious." One victim, saying that she feared what Loft might do if she refused, repeatedly kicked him between the legs, after which he thanked her and rode off on his bicycle. [Guelph Mercury, 29th March 2008]

Dentistry - its a gas

A patient reporting for an appointment with dentist Norman Rubin in Smithtown, N.Y., in March told the New York Post that Rubin was in the otherwise-empty office, passed out, drooling, with a gas mask on his face. (Rubin later told the Post, in defense, that it was, after all, his lunch hour.)
well being a dentist much be a hard old job at the best of times!
[New York Post, 20 March 2008]

Wild Parties (why do I not get an invite?)

Mayor Art Madrid of La Mesa, Calif., apologized in February for an incident the week before when police found him, along with a female city employee, passed out about 10:30 p.m. Madrid was lying on the sidewalk near an SUV; the woman was in the driver's seat with her legs sticking out the open door; and vomit littered the area. La mesa sounds like my kinda town, how to you get on the town council i wonder ?... [San Diego Union Tribune, 27 Feb 2008]

Meanwhile in Salzburg Austria people are looking at the colour of a bat's anus

Dirk Opalka (whose fox scored 96 of 100 possible points) won best in show at the World Taxidermy Championships in February in Salzburg, Austria, beating over 100 competitors in the art of stretching animal skin over fake bodies so the critters look better than they ever looked alive. The attention to detail was astonishing, according to a dispatch in Der Spiegel, on such features as a stag's nostrils, a hyena's lips, a hamster's whiskers, the neck length of a female peregrine falcon (precisely 5.5 cm), and the proper rosiness of a bat's anus. [Der Spiegel, 29th Feb 2008]

Be safe, be happy Behave!

A Dinner time joke for Friday

One day an Irishman, who had been stranded on a deserted island for
over 10 years, saw a speck on the horizon. He thought to himself,
"It's certainly not a ship." As the speck got closer and closer, he
began to rule outeven the possibilities of a small boat or a raft.

Suddenly there strode from the surf a figure clad in a black wet suit.
Putting aside the scuba tanks and mask and zipping down the top of the
wet suit stood a drop-dead gorgeous blonde!

She walked up to the stunned Irishman and said to him,"Tell me, how
long has it been since you've had a good cigar?"

"Ten years," replied the amazed Irishman.

With that, she reached over and unzipped a waterproof pocket on the
left sleeve of her wetsuit and pulled out a fresh package of cigars
and a lighter.

He took a cigar, slowly lit it, and took along drag. "Faith and
begorrah," said the castaway, "that is so good! I'd almost forgotten
how great a smoke can be!"

"And how long has it been since you've had a drop of good Powers Irish
Whiskey?" asked the blonde.

Trembling, the castaway replied, "Ten years."

Hearing that, the blonde reached over to her right sleeve, unzipped a
pocket there and removed a flask and handed it to him.

He opened the flask and took a long drink." 'Tis nectar of the gods!"
shouted the Irishman. " 'Tis truly fantastic!!!"

At this point the gorgeous blonde started to slowly unzip the long
front of her wet suit, right down the middle. She looked at the
trembling man and asked, "And how long has it been since you played

With tears in his eyes, the Irishman fell to his knees and sobbed,
"Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Don't tell me that you've got golf clubs in
there too!"

Some of My Talented Family

Gentle reader!

A post of family promotion from me. A tab on the late side, but i didn't realize he had these on his web site. My cousin Andy, from Belfast, is at the talented end of the family gene pool with talents for storytelling in song and prose which far exceed mine. Anyway if you fancy some music that is a little bit different well what not try one or both of these links..

The Fortune Teller was Right
Tell Me Why

or visit his web site and have a rummage around.

The other family member can be found hanging from the Canadian branches of the family tree. Another cousin Paul is a wiz with a camera and takes some VERY challenging photos and video's. You can check him out here He is a keen boxer as well as a geek (who likes Macs but I don't hold that against him) and as a project he connected his boxing gloves up to some wireless playstation controllers and let the boxing control the videos and sound that played behind them as they fought. You can see this happen here he also is deeply involved in "gravity research" (his phrase) in that he regularly BASE jumps, and that is just plain worrying!

His most recent project called "family workstations" has him travelling the world wide family tree taking photos of our workstations. Mine was that shocking it hasn't made the final cut ;)

Thursday 24 April 2008

The Sacrifice of The Duffbert

** The Sacrifice of The Duffbert **
(or How a PID can really smart if you don't use KY Jelly)
(or The Poem Wot I wrote Inspired by Tweeting)

For our mate Duffbert stuck in an all day Change Controls Meeting

Now long didst the change controls meeting plod
and in boredom did The brave Duffbert nod.
Through the forest of RFC docs, cold and dark,
Past Impact Accessor, grim faced and stark
The brave Duffert with must gusto did lament,
"Oh get me an Authority to Im -plee - ment?"

From behinst a rock didst appear a gruesome site
Twas in all their might the CAB team OH NO! OH SHITE!
Brave Druffbert not afraid was he; sure that was never likely
Forsooth he didst grasp his trusty coding pencil tightly
and naked into the dark maw of doom didst he stride
His shield raised high to deflect the comments, snide

The Change Adviser deamons didst appoint a checker
to ensure bold Duffbert had the correct length of .... beard
(you didn't think i would be that coarse now did you?)
Bold Duffbert didst send them a mail and backed up his code
That left the Change Adviser Board with brows most furrowed
"Why?" they didst enquire, "have you sent us a link to twitter?"
Duffert only grinned and his eyelashes he didst flitter.

Suddenly upon the screen so bright didst appear a tweet
From the laptop of Sir Ed of Brill came the words so sweet.
Magic words so rich in power they didst make them shrivel
For this CAB was full of toadies to Microsoft FUD and drivel.
Their hearts were at once filled with a joy that is version eight
Nice blue UI with Live Text and Widgets that are just great.

Twixt Microsoft anguish and Lotus joy did Duffbert then strike
With app changes all approved,placed in a folder, sheaflike.
Combining tools of his own design with those of Teamstudio,
Duffbert didst slam them on the desk his visage all a-glow.
Oh Saddness! In this slamming duffbert's pencil it didst break
And that, mere mortal, is the sacrifice that Duffert didst make!

Tuesday 22 April 2008

Just been to a "Focus on Gender" event

Gentle reader,
I have just been told that women and men are DIFFERENT. Now I know I am a geek but I like to think of myself as a "geek of the world" and that I am actually aware of gender differences and all the sexual equality stuff. Fascinating as it was the conversation over coffee was naturally about "being PC"
we came up with the following list that will perhaps be beneficial to those of you that wish to conform to the EU directive 2002/54/AC22-b#56 Non Provocative Language act

For the Lassies
1. She is not a "bit of a babe" or a "Chick" - She is a "Breasted Colleague"
2. She is not a "Screamer", "Moaner" or "Lassie" - She is "Vocally Appreciative"
3. She is not "Easy" - She is "Horizontally accessible"
4. She is not a "Dumb Blonde" - She is a "Pleasant detour from the path of normal cognition"
5. She has not "Been around" - She is a "Previously enjoyed companion"
6. She is not an "EEJIT- She is "Reality Impaired."
7. She does not get "Drunk" or "Pished" - She gets "Chemically Inconvenienced"
8. She does not have "big plastic titties" - She has "had a mechanochemically induced formation of a superior frontage"
9. She does not "Nag" you - She becomes "Verbally repetitive whilst maintaining a superior annoyance quotient"
10. She is not "pissed off" - She is "in a state of satisfaction deprivation"
11. She does not "need a bottle of vodka to sleep with him" - She does "love him absolutly"

And for the Lads:
1. He does not have a "Beer Gut" - He has developed a "Fermented Liquid Storage facility" or a "suede shoe protective awning"
2. He is not a "Bad dancer" - He is "Overtly English"
3. He does not "Get lost all the time" - He "Freely investigates alternate destinations using fuzzy logic"
4. He is not "Short,fat and Balding - He is in "Altitudinally disadvantaged, Circumferentially Gifted and has Cephalic Follicle Regression."
5. He does not get "Pished" - He becomes "Accidentally Horizontal"
6. He does not act like a "Total Ass" - He develops a case of "Rectal-Cranial Inversion"
7. He is not afraid of "Commitment" - He is "Relationship-ally challenged"
8. He is not "Always Horny" - He is "Reproductively focused"
9. He does not have "buns of steel" - He is "buttockly gifted"
10. He is not "ugly" - He is "under attractive"
11. He is not "messy" - He is "differently organized"

If you have any you wish to share, please do....

Monday 21 April 2008

ILUG 08 a guide to Irish Idiom for our non-irish guests Part 9

Oh My Gentle Reader .. so much to impart so little time ... ILUG starts in ... err... 6 weeks and one day! The ILUG team are all beavering away behind the scenes ensuring that it will run as smoothly and be as wonderful as the previous ILUGs. However gentle reader, and particularly the ones who are destined to impart their wisdom to the great un-washed Celtic Lotusian horde that time will move faster than a Chicken Naga through the instestine of a dyspepsic Quickplace administrator considering upgrading to Quickr. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! time is running out for those thrilling presentations and for you to practise witty repartee!

Anyhoos, I am going to take this post to have a bit of a moan about the slide into cultural uniformity that appears to be afflicting Ireland of late. Now many are the reasons for this particular problem however the sea change started when Ireland became a destination rather than a departure point for immigration. Now don't get me wrong I am all for multiculturalism and the like however there are great swathes of "irishness" being replaced by "euroness" and to be honest my main problem with that is that it is rather boring.

Take for example Aerobic classes. AEROBIC CLASSES? ... FOR MEN? Tis enuff for the average Irishman to know that anything useful (beer, whiskey and if pushed Vin...Rouge) is made AN-Aerobically. Therefore we know, deep down inside, that this AEROBIC stuff is probably not that useful. Coupled with the thought that this could all be a cunning marketing plan by the makers of Lyrca. Given that they designed a material that has no earthly use to any female over 90lbs and should be banned from male sports bags by international treaty, I am supposing they have invented Aerobics to get rid of all the non-valued stock they have.

Like cocaine ... simple jumping up and down was not enuff... then there was Jazzercize, Tae Bo, Step Classes,Bums'n'Tums (or Arses'n'Guts as it is known in Belfast) and the very worrying Cross-Trainer. Well I imagine that any trainer would be cross. I am sure lycra makes the old nether regions sweat and then chaff like crazy.

Having some gobshite in lime green and charisse lycra leap around like a mad thing yelling things like "Ok lets get Funcky with it" and "shake your booty till you feel the burn" is very possibly permissible if you are (a) from South Central LA or (b) you are in Spinal Tap (c) you are stark raving bonkers, but in Ireland on a wet Monday in April it is just plain silly! Large numbers of the population have been sucked into this conspiracy and now see nothing wrong squeezing their cellulite into pastel colured elastic and wobbling along to the latest ditty by Westlife or Boyzone.
MADNESS I SAY MADNESS AND THRICE MADNESS! Sitting on my arse watching the Rugby drinking tea and loudly demanding to be fed at regular intervals was good enough for generations of Patricks, Mickys and Oisins, it is damn well good enuff for me.

So gentle reader be aware that true "Irishness" may be harder to find in Dublin than you think, but be assured under the Nike Swoop and McDonald's arch, you can still find the odd trace of Molly Malone and hear the echo of her piscatorial advertising song.


Before U2 , Before Lizzy there was .....

Probably the best Irish band of all time ;) Horslips with "Dearg Doom" from 1973 ...oh god I had hair (and a 'tache) just like that....
nowt like a good dose of nostalgia!

and 30 years later ....

Sunday 20 April 2008

Aligning Checkboxes in a form for the web

There has to be an easier way of doing this!
When you create a checkbox, the CSS style parms do not work all that well and you get a ghastly thing like this:Fig1 No styling other that saying there are 3 columns.

What i want is a 5px gap between the box and the label and the label to be a set length.
I have fiddled and footered about with the object trying things like
"[p class='cb1']Customer[p]|Customer" for the available text values in the CB list.
But no matter what I select the list always comes out all higgleded piggly.

Eventually I gave in trying to be smart and I fudged it by doing this

1. Stash the list of available options in an NSF wide Profile Doc Field called SysConfig
2. Place a CB field on the form but Hide it From the Web
3. Place an empty [div] with an id = 'ooi' on the form where I want the Check boxes to appear
3. I ensure the form has "create HTML for all fields"
4. I stick this code on the page up near the top
[script language='javascript']var OOI = '[Computed Text]';[/scrip]
where Computed text =@getprofilefield("SysConfig";"OrgOfIdea");
5. I create a function createOOI() in the JS Header and then call it on the onLoad event of the page
6. The createOOI function looks like this
function createOOI()
var OOIa = OOI.split(";");
target = document.getElementById("ooi");
tHTML = "[table]";
for(t=0;t LT OOIa.length;t++)

tHTML = tHTML+"[td class='cb3'][input style='margin-right:5px;' type='checkbox' name='ooicb' value='"+OOIa[t]+"']"+OOIa[t]+"[/td]"

tHTML = tHTML+"[/table]";
target.innerHTML = tHTML;

07. Place a pseudo class of .cb3 into the CSS file for this form with the width, font, spacing etc set

This results in a nicely formatted table of Checkboxes like this.

Doing it this way means that you have a field with a name OOICB which does not actually appear on the form so you have to do two extra things in the JS.

01. Move the selected boxes from the OOICB field to your hidden parent CB field as a ";" delimited list
02. Test your hidden Parent CB field on page load event after the OOICB has been added to the dom to check those fields that have been selected already.

This is a PAIN and there has to be an easier way but i am buggered if I can see what it is.

Saturday 19 April 2008

Things that are difficult to say when drunk


1. Innovative

2. Preliminary

3. Proliferation

4. Cinnamon


1. Specificity

2. Anti-constitutionalistically

3. Passive-aggressive disorder

4. Transubstantiate


1. No thanks, I'm married.

2. Nope, no more booze for me!

3. Sorry, but you're not really my type.

4. Taco Bell? No thanks, I'm not hungry.

5. Good evening, officer. Isn't it lovely out tonight?

6. Oh, I couldn't! No one wants to hear me sing karaoke.

7. I'm not interested in fighting you.

8. Thank you, but I won't make any attempt to dance, I have no coordination. I'd hate to look like a fool!

9. Where is the nearest bathroom? I refuse to pee in this parking lot or on the side of the road.

10. I must be going home now, as I have to work in the morning.

Friday 18 April 2008

Items of new you may have missed #2

  • Freddy Mercury's song writing snubbed by Olympic Committee

China's societal self-improvement in preparation for the 2008 Olympics continues a pace.It was reported in the Daily Telegraph this week that the Beijing Tourism Bureau ordered hotels to re-translate English signs, hoping to avoid such notorious past gaffes as "Racist Park," which is now "Park of Ethnic Minorities," and a cafe's attempt to salute Western visitors with "Welcome, big nosed friends." The Beijing Olympics Committee has been training hostesses for months to stand in military-like precision, straight enough to hold a sheet of paper between their knees, and to smile continuously, showing "six to eight teeth" (even if placing a chopstick in the mouth sideways is necessary for practice). There are height and weight requirements for the hostesses, and each must have an upper- to lower-body ratio of no more than 11:13, to eliminate, according to local newspapers, "big bottoms." - FOR SHAME have they never heard that salute to curvaceous booty "big bottomed girls" by Queen ??

  • Arseing around in Colorado
(From the Denver Post) Leo Hill, 81, of Lakewood, Colo., that he was being shafted by the manufacturer's of toilet paper He has taken a sample of 5 brands of 12-pack toilet rolls and (can is say anally?) counted each sheet of the 60 rolls and concluding that the shortage amounted to enough paper to service one bottom cleanse per roll! FOR SHAME! He took his complaint to the Denver Post (and even to the Better Business Bureau), but it was found by both of these august bodies that the number of bottom wipes per roll was infact correct. This writer wonders if the times when you are perhaps too forceful and poke your finger thru the paper and swear loudly are counted as "wipes" or were they "aborted" or "semi" wipes?

  • Mrs Tiggywinkle is a WMD! (ok a WMP the P is for Punctures)
A man in New Zealand has been accused of a prickly attack on a teenager - using a hedgehog as a weapon.

William Singalargh, 27, is said to have launched the spiky creature at a 15-year-old boy in the North Island east coast town of Whakatane.

The animal was later discovered dead but it was unclear whether it was alive when it was thrown.

The youth suffered several puncture wounds and a large gash to his leg but did not need hospital treatment.

Police arrested Singalargh shortly afterwards and was charged with assault using a weapon "namely the hedgehog".

It is believed that Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter,the highly trained squad of Beatrix Potter Niinja's has been dispatched from St.Tiggywinkles to investigate.It is said that they carried the 5 leafed Lettuce of Doom! This writer awaits developments with baited breath.

Back from the wilderness

Gentle reader,

Hello again! Yes I am back from a short trip the south west of the UK via the wilderness that are modern airports. Having done the "travelling" bit I managed to upgrade a Notes server to V801 and do the 5 or 6 clients mainly to show off the lovely new V8 client and it has to be said this was done to much applause and ooo'ing an aah-ing. Widget-ery particularly impressed and several people have come back to me this morning with suggestions for Widgets and Dashboards they would find useful. I can see my DEV team being gainfully employed with widget wizardry for the next day or two!

More later ...

Tuesday 15 April 2008

Set iPlod to Shuffle .. Engage

Hey Ho Gentle Reader,

Waiting for a flight in glorious ignorance of what is happening, there is no body at the gate, boarding time has come and gone and there is no big orange "quite-difficult- jet" at the end of the pier. ~sigh~

I have in an effort to amuse myself I have invented a game called iPlod-Bingo. I have a made a list of the Genre's on said doobry.. fed the list into a wee program that randomly spits out 6 genres from my list, then put the iPlod onto shuffle and match the first 12 songs it plays to the genre list. Now it has to be said I have a 80Gb Classic with currently...errr... 6925 songs on it. Also I am a tab lax with my Genre classification. However.... my list to match is
  • Folk-Rock
  • Grunge
  • Icelandic Pixie
  • Classic Punk
  • Laurel Canyon Pretentious
  • 80's Metal
So far I have listened to 4 tracks and matched 2

Folk-Rock => The Saw Doctors - Freedom Fighters
Laurel Canyon Pretentious => Frank Zappa "Titties and Beer"

I am hoping for a shot of Sigur Ros, Bjork,Minus or Sálin for the Icelandic Pixies which might be hard... OOOOOO just got Mudhoney "where is the future" there goes "Grunge" come on gimme some Motely Crue.....

Zen and the art of modern travel

Gentle Reader,
I am off on my travels at the minute (upgrading a V7 server to V8) and doing the queue, sit, queue, sit , queue sit airport shuffle. So I am taking advantage of the free wifi to pass onto you a fable of deep philosophical importance. Like all fables it has a moral at the end of it. (The "modern travel" bit is cos i am travelling and the zen bit is me going "UMMMM" a lot as i write)

As I am travelling to the South west of England were you can find Tintagel and every "ye olde tea shoppe" is named after a knight of the round table. This tale shall be scribbled will a nod to all things chivalrous.

Young King Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the baron from nearly Wales. Sir Cumference, as he was known could have killed him but was moved by Arthur's youth,ideals and nice shiny sword. So, Arthur was offered his freedom, as long as he could answer a very difficult question. It was such a difficult question that Arthur would have a year to figure out the answer and, if after a year, he still had no answer, he would be put to death.

Sir Cumference, drew himself to his full width, which was excessive even by American standards,"Arthur" he quothed "The question must answer afore this year is out is....What do women really want?"

Now such a question would perplex even the most knowledgeable man, and to young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query. But, since it was better than death, he accepted the Baron's proposition to have an answer by year's end.

He returned to his kingdom and blogged his quandry, setting up a poll. (He got to host it cos it had more visitors) and asked anyone he came across, the princesses, the priests, the wise men and even the court jester. He spoke with everyone, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer.

Now there was at that time, as is often the case a wise old woman who many considered a witch whose fame had spread far and wide. The results of the vowe poll (even though you had to vote to see it) showed that 82.657% of the people polled felt that Arthur should go and have a bit of a chat with aforementioned witch.

Now Griselda, for such was her name was famed throughout the land for the exorbitant prices she charged and Arthur has heart scared to go and have a chat just in case she wanted a price he could not afford. The 30th of December duly arrived and Arthur had no choice but to talk to the witch.

"Mistress Griselda I am come begging a boon", said Arthur

"I know, I know, and I have the answer you seek " cackled Griselda " But you must agree the price first"

"If it is in my power and remit, so shalt it be" replied Arthur

"I want to marry Sir Lancelot because foresooth he has the nicest arse i have ever seen!" demanded Griselda

"WTF?" gasped Arthur, for Lancelot was his closest friend and beer drinking buddy and she was hunched back, warty, toothless, smelled of sewage and was prone to making the oddest noises from beneath he voluminous black dress. She ticked every "witch stereotype" box and a few that had yet to be thought of. Naturally being a man of honour Arthur refused to to force his friend to marry Griselda and endure such a terrible burden; but Lancelot, learning of the proposal, spoke with Arthur .

"Arthur, mate nothing is too big of a sacrifice compared to your life and the preservation of the Round Table." said Lancelot who was prone to grandiose speech and gestures.After much arguing to and fro it was agreed Lancelot would marry Griselda. Hence, a wedding was proclaimed and the witch answered Arthur's question thus:

"What a woman really wants", she answered, "is to be in charge of her own life."

Everyone in the kingdom instantly knew that the witch had uttered a great truth and that Arthur's life would be spared.

And so it was, Sir Cumference granted Arthur his freedom and Lancelot and the witch had a wonderful wedding.

The honeymoon hour approached and Lancelot, steeling himself for a what he feared would be a horrific experience,
entered the bedroom. But, what a sight awaited him. The most beautiful woman he had ever seen lay before him on
the bed. The astounded Lancelot asked what had happened.

The beauty replied that since he had been so kind to her when she appeared as a witch, she would henceforth, be her horrible deformed self only half the time and the beautiful maiden the other half.

Which would he prefer? Beautiful during the day....or night?

Lancelot pondered the predicament. During the day, a beautiful woman to show off to his friends, but at night, in the privacy of his castle, an old witch? Or, would he prefer having a hideous witch during the day, but by night, a beautiful woman for him to enjoy wondrous intimate moments?

What would YOU do?

What Lancelot choice is hidden below... But what is your choice?

Sunday 13 April 2008

Giving up Ciggies - The Start

Okey dokey gentle reader

I have been inspired by Wild Bill's brave post on his own trials and tribulations of a health kind to make a public record of a part of my own path to wellness. Perhaps it will be cathartic on the other hand it gives me just another excuse to bore the pants of yousens.

I was, as defined by the doctor, "a contented smoker" and yes, that was an accurate assessment of my habit. I can afford it and more importantly I enjoy it. Partaking of "the weed" has become a public statement of your "pariah" status and oddly there are time I rather like being a pariah. Smoking, first in Ireland and now in the UK, has become something you do that sets you apart from the rest of the world. Clusters of "those that smoulder" can be found (sometimes in very large numbers) standing out on the footpaths outside pubs and clubs all over the British Isles. It is actually (apart from when it is pissing from the heavens) become quite a convivial thing to do and the smoking ban has sort of backfired in this respect, rather than convince the smokers to stop it has reinforced the "specialness" of the habit.

Anyway I digress, like Bill, I had a meeting with the Doctor 18 months ago because I had had a psoriasis flare up. I hadn't been to the Dr for many years and he decided to give me the full work up and it transpired that my blood pressure was "of immediate concern". Pills followed as did exercise and relaxation techniques. Gradually I have returned to something resembling normal and the only blot on my copy book was my 20 a day habit formed over the last 30 years.

The doctor suggested I try the new drug on the block "champix" or to give it its proper name varenicline which i am told by the bumf " primarily in two ways. Firstly, it reduces the smoker's craving for nicotine by binding to nicotine receptors in the brain and reduces the symptoms of withdrawal. Secondly, it reduces the satisfaction a smoker receives when smoking a cigarette."

Now unlike the BP pills this was one I had to volunteer for and I dithered and fustered about, putting off making any decision one way or the other. Now the extended McDonagh Clan, nonsmokers every one, have been nagging me for YEARS to give up and I have resisted every plea with an ok ok next week... but then next week comes and goes and the status quo remains. So this had to be MY choice and one when made I couldn't really go back on.

I was at my 6 monthly cholesterol check (it was OK) when I heard myself saying "Alright lets have a go at this champix stuff..." My internal smoker gasped and screamed in my ear "WHAT THE F**K?" but the deed was done and I left the health center with a prescription.

I started the course on Wednesday just past and basically it is one pill a day for the first 3 days then two pills from then on. You continue to smoke, but set a date between days 8-14 to stop smoking all together .. My day is next Saturday (the 19th April).

I sort of hope that this starts a meme amongst youse that still shudder when anyone mentions airports and longhaul flights .. not because of the queues and baggage hassles.. but because of the fact that it will be a LONG time till the next time you can light up! Lets all blog about how shit we feel and how we long for a smoke ;)

BTW this champix stuff does seem to be working already. The gap between fags is noticeably longer and the 20 a day has twindled to 15 a day since Wednesday.


Saturday 12 April 2008

Items of news you may have missed

  • Need a pee, why not pick up some culture while you are there.
Gentle Reader, particularly any of you that are near or close to New York, here is a chance to broaden your cultural horizons. I got an email from a chum of mine today just to let me know that he had a wonderful time watching thespians in a toilet in New York. No, this is not a euphemism! The play in question is "Ladies & Gents" written by Ireland's own Paul Walker and is currently playing to, well it has to be said smallish audiences in the Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, New York. The cast are said to be flushed with their success .o0(i should really apologise for that but i am not going to)

To quote the bumf "the play takes place in the repressed Dublin of 1957, a chilling tale of mystery and revenge set in the public toilets"

I am reliably informed that they have (a) given the toilets a damn good clean (b) Installed heating (c) Actively dissuade actors, audience and passing members of the public from , errrrr , performing during the performance.

In the interest of being odd and being able to say ".. yes i was there .." you should really go and see.
  • Shooting blanks in Madhya Pradesh.
The world is a crowded place, no doubt about it and getting more crowded by the minute. So full marks to the folks that run the Shivpuri district in Madyha Pradesh have "encouraged" chaps to get vasectomies by giving them a gun license. It would appear that having a gun is more important to the average Prasheshie chap than being fertile. It's an odd world and thats a fact.

  • Getting Jiggy with it in Singapore
On the other side of the birth rate is Singapore where birth rates have dropped off alarmingly. This may be because the Singaporean Authorities have law against it, they have a law that bans , prohibits or generally restricts and controls just about everything else. However there just aren't the little Singaporean Sprogs that there should be. So there is now a government course teaching them how to Flirt, analyse love songs, succeed at speed dating and how to impress ladies in chat rooms!

Boysadear! Now there is a good use of the tax SGP$ at work! I would gladly write the course material for that one. I can see it now.

Flirtation - It is very important to learn how to flirt properly. It is the art of tact and suggestion rather and an all out assault of direct propositioning "Yo big t*tS fancy a f**k?" is NOT a generally accepted good thing to say. Pay compliments, buy drink, make erudite and witty conversation and then say "Yo big t*ts fancy a f**k?"

Avoid Stereotyping - Women sometimes feel that all men want is to get them into bed. This is a just plain wrong. Given the right ammount of booze, most chaps will settle for the back of a car, behind the bike shed or in the loading bay of the local supermarket.

Foreplay - more commonly known as taking your shoes (and most importantly) your socks off!

Kissing - Many a feast of carnal excitement has been rendered yet another boring salad by fluffing up the Hors d'oeuvres. Just remember that it is considered impolite to kiss your partner as though you are trying to taste what they had for breakfast the day before yesterday.

I think I would be rather good and the presentations would be such fun to create.

Anyhoos .. Closer to home.. in Italy
  • Licence to lie for Italian women
The BBC reported that is was now perfectly acceptable for ladies to lie. Italy's highest appeal court has ruled that married Italian women who commit adultery are entitled to lie about it to protect their honour. It is reported that this landmark case was brought by a 48 year old lady from Porto Ercole on the Tuscany coast, and named only as Carla. She had lent her telephone to her secret lover, Giovanni, who then used it to call Carla's estranged husband, Vincenzo, and insult him and then lied about this to the police when questioned about the incident. Mind you the court that passed down this judgment is used to controversy as it once gave a ruling, later rescinded after protests from women's groups, that "... a woman could not be raped by definition if she was wearing tight jeans, since the jeans could only be removed with her consent." You do have to wonder ....

and now, although it has been around for a while can I ask to you stand in respectful silence for Anthem for the Geek (by the Deaf Pedestrians)

be safe, be happy, behave!

Friday 11 April 2008

This is NOT me!

In front of the assembled dominobloggers I want to categorically say this is not me
Bloody hell! I have doppelgangers that are a gay German porn star, a gay USian Celebrity Chef and now a frigging Sharepoint Guru. My life is replete with irony ENOUGH ALREADY!

A somber thought for this Friday evening

I was reminded this evening, when watching news of Zimbabwe edging closer
and closer to civil war, of a poem my father pointed me at years ago.
This was in the early 70's when Northern Ireland was in the middle of
a what would become a 30 year civil war (in every aspect but name) and
I was having problems with the concepts of of violence ever being "right",
death, war and patriotism.

I hope that common sense prevails in Zimbabwe and a resolution is found
that does not lead down the road to destruction.

A sad but poetic end to the week.

An Irish Airman Foresees his death, WB Yeats

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public man, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

Eargasm - Just a plain old honest Eargasm

Gentle reader, I am a firm believer in the old alchemists axiom that "what is above, is below". The Sahara has blue skies,is a nice golden colour and is sandy , The Pacific North-west is grey, full of mooses (moosii??) and closed on Sundays mornings. The Sahara therefore attracts more sun than say Tacoma. Basically we get what we deserve. This does little to explain why the pacific northwest continues to push out music that is just well... Eargasm (a new word I have just picked up for audio orgasm). My birthday has just passed and I got several CD's which I have only now got around to listening to. My sister's significant other gave me a copy of "Saturnalia" by the The Gutter Twins. ... I am stunned!

I haven't come across The Gutter Twins together before but the eponymous twins are Greg Dulli (The Twilight Singers,The Afghan Whigs) and Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age) both of whom I have enjoyed for many years.

To quote Liz Raftery writing about Saturnalia "an audial descent into the dark emotions that lurk beneath the surface .. the haunting "god's children" sounds like it was penned by U2's long lost cousin form seattle"

I can't really add to that other than ... fan-f**king-tastic ... this CD is a embryonic classic and deserves a listen (just don't expect "happy pop" music)!

Plea to the Yellow Community - Suggestions for Project Control Application

I have been asked by a chum of mine for any recommendations for Domino based project control apps. She works for a charity in Scotland so £'s are very tight. Is there anything out there in Domino land that will allow so level of project management outa the box at minimal cost or open source that you can suggest/recommend?

It's not programming project control, this is the sort of logistical side of things, who does what,when and with whom. You know the MS-project "i'm project managing my house build"sort of thing. There is a need for collaborative working from the head office to the project teams on the ground, hence her thought that their existing Domino server would do the trick.

Any suggestions will be gratefully received.


Blasphemy - The ticket to hell has never been funnier

A word of warning .. the image below is rather blasphemous so if such things annoy you please don't click on it, for I would not like to offend. Well not often.

I was sent this today. and it kinda tickled my fancy.

My Album

It takes me a while to get to grips with some of these meme doobries that are doing the rounds. The "My Album" was one that escaped me for a while, but like the dogged DBP (Dedicated Blogging Professional) that I am here is my effort.

For those of you (like me) that hadn't come across this one before this is what you do.

1. Go to the Wikipedia random article page . The title of the article is your band name.

2. Go to the very last quote on random quotations . The last four words of the last quote are your album title.

3. Go to Flickr's "interesting photos from the last seven days" page / . The third picture on the page is your album cover.

However all the ones I have seen so far have been minus one important feature which I am about to redress now. Let me introduce, something flat to roll your joints on...
The Sleeve Notes
In this his first solo album Haimo explores the idea that "Society is part of the stasis of reality,” His exploration starts with the premise of postcultural desituationism holds that expression is created by communication, but only if consciousness is distinct from reality; if that is not the case, we can assume that government is capable of significance. The main theme of the track one "My Wheelbarrow is depressed" is not discourse, but prediscourse. The plaintive cry of the dialectically destitute can he heard in the line "I am not Ken to your Barbie, Doll Bitch"

On Track 2 "Suck my Tangerine" a predominant concept is the concept of dialectic culture. It could be said that the subject is interpolated into that which includes reality as a totality. The characteristic theme of Haimo's model of the constructivist paradigm of context is a mythopoetical whole. Everybody say "YEAH!"

On Track 3 "Baudrillard is a Dick" and Track 4 "Swamp nuggets" The soaring zithers counterpoised by the Malian Ne'Bobo flange-o-phones juxtapose the concept that narrativity is intrinsically dead. The lyrics suggest the use of textual discourse to attack sexual identity. Haimo uses ‘postdialectic narrative’ in the rousing chorus to denote the economy of material class.
"oh bugger my legs just falled off... help me please"

On Track 5 "Sartre loved it up the bum" the insightful lyrics lead the listener in the uses of textual discourse to deconstruct sexist perceptions of sexual identity. A number of theories concerning postcultural desituationism exist in the last line of Verse 3 "Vasaline can make it so much easier to get it in"

Tracks 6,7,8,9 and 10 explore the uses of ‘textual and tonal discourse’ to denote the role of the writer as observer and listener as lampost. If the constructivist paradigm of context holds, we have to choose between textual discourse,the subtextual paradigm of reality or a large Pink stuffed toy called "George"

In Haimo's own words "It's like good toons maaaaan!",

April 2008 Albert T Knobsworthy
Pretentious Prat at Large

Wednesday 9 April 2008

Controlling the use of BACK and FORWARD on AJAX pages

Here is a wee trick that will have me branded the demon of scripting cos it is (i am told) very naughty to play with the action of BACK and FORWARD and REFRESH buttons.

This method works on both IE and FF I believe (well the modern ones).

Basically this came out of a need to stop users, who being users, will click BACK and FORWARD REFRESH with gay abandon usually at the most inopportune times, even more so when it as an AJAXy form.

Here is the code.. Bung it in your [head] Section
[script language='javascript']
window.beforeunload = isthatwise;
window.onunload = smug;
function smug(){
alert("OK you know best.. Bye-Bye Now!");
function isthatwise(evt){
return "Now listen you!\nThis is your programmer speaking\nI worked long and hard on this code\nand i think you maybe about to do something silly\nare you sure you want to do that?"

I think it would probably be a good idea to change the text of the messages unless your users are as understanding of my foibles when it comes to error messages as mine are.

And then put this on your BODY tag

[body onBeforeUnload="return smugcomment();"]

When you get to a point on your form where unload is ok simply set the two events to null

window.beforeunload = null;
window.onunload = null;

It is also wise when AJAXing to ensure that there is no page cacheing so that they (the users) cant actually go back to a page in the middle of a transaction.

Tuesday 8 April 2008

ILUG 08 a guide to Irish Idiom for our non-irish guests Part 8

Y0u may faced with someone, probably an American as this expression is common there, who in a fit of pique says to you, 'You don't know Jack Schitt!' after a presentation that has perhaps bot gone as well as expected. This expression may be met with surprise by any locals within ear shot as we Ireland as we have a long and honorable Schitt family tradition and are intimately acquainted with the Schitts and all their doings.

Jack Schitt is the only son of Awe Schitt, an Austrian who emigrated to Ireland in the late 1800's

Awe Schitt then married to Ms. O. Merde, the daughter of the Franco-Indian fertilizer entrepreneur ,Needeep N. Merde

Mr Schitt and Ms Merde had one son, Jack.

In turn, Jack Schitt married his 2nd cousin twice removed from the "old country" Noe Schitt.

The deeply religious couple produced six children: Hollie Schitt, Giva Schitt, Fullah Schitt,
Bull Schitt, and the twins Deep Schitt and Dip Schitt.

Against her parents' objections, Deep Schitt married Dumb Schitt, of the County Cork Schitts distant relatives
through the county Cork O'Schitt famiy. The most famous of these being the international cricketer Crock O'Schitt

After being married 15 years, Jack and Noe Schitt divorced as their marriage had gone down the pan.

Noe Schitt later married Edward Sherlock, and because her kids were living with them, she wanted
to keep her previous name. She was then known as Mrs. Noe Schitt-Sherlock.

Meanwhile, Dip Schitt married the exotic Chinese belly dancer Loda Poo, and they produced
a son with a rather nervous disposition who was rather cruelly nick-named Chicken Schitt.

Two of the other six children, Fulla Schitt and Giva Schitt, were inseparable throughout
childhood and subsequently married the Happens twins in a dual ceremony.

The Cork Inquirer trumpeted their nuptials on a front page spread entitled Schitt-Happens

The Schitt-Happens children were Dawg, Byrd, Horse and Bull (named for his uncle) all of whom
except Bull are well respected politicians here in Ireland.

Bull Schitt, the black sheep of the family, left home to tour the world in 1984 after a close run
in with the police after a multi-million euro sheep rustling campaign in Co. Donegal. For several
years afterwards it was common when walking in a group of more that 5 to be stopped by the
Gardai and asked "Is This Bull Schitt?"

He was recently pardoned and has returned from exile in Italy with his Italian bride, Pisa Schitt.

So ILUG traveller you have been warned! Confusion might ensue were you to use the expression
noted at the start of this post as quite a few of the local's may well know or at least will have heard of Jack Schitt.

A joke, apropos of end the working day.

A man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy street.

Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crossing, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the junction.

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn and screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection causing her to drop her cell phone and makeup.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed,
photographed, and placed in a holding cell. After a couple of hours, a police
officer approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the
booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal

He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up
behind your car while you were blowing your horn, give the finger to the person in
front of you, and using foul and abusive language. I noticed the 'What Would Jesus
Do' bumper sticker, the 'Choose Life' License plate holder, the 'Follow Me to
Sunday-School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on
the back window. Naturally...I assumed you had nicked the car."

Creating a Cascading outline Lists in CSS

Ever wanted an easy way to do indented lists with varying numbering schemes
An easy way to do this is with CSS

[style type="text/css"&gt]
ol {
list-style-type: upper-roman;
ol ol {
list-style-type: upper-alpha;
ol ol ol {
list-style-type: decimal;
ol ol ol ol {
list-style-type: lower-alpha;
ol ol ol ol ol {
list-style-type: lower-roman;
If you use use style and then have an html list like this will result in it being formatted like this
[ol style="font-size:xx-small"]
[li] Major outline item.
[ol style="font-size:xx-small"][li] Next level down.
[ol style="font-size:xx-small"][li] And a first point about that.
[ol style="font-size:xx-small"][li] The first point has a note.
[ol style="font-size:xx-small"][li] And that note has two notes.[/li]
[li] Ending with this.
[li] The second point comes along.
[ol style="font-size:xx-small"][li] The second point needs elaboration.
[li] Elaboration is well broken up.[/li]
[li] And shouldn’t go on forever.
[li]Close big!
[ol style="font-size:xx-small"][li]Make the point.[/li][/ol]
[li] Big bugs have little bugs
[ol style="font-size:xx-small"][li] Upon their back to bite them.
[ol style="font-size:xx-small"][li] Little bugs have littler bugs.
[ol style="font-size:xx-small"][li] And so, ad infinitum.
[li] The fun can go on forever!

(needless to say change the [] to the right sort of brackets)
Will result in it being formatted like this

  • Major outline item.
    1. Next level down.
      1. And a first point about that.
        1. The first point has a note.
          1. And that note has two notes.
          2. Ending with this
      2. The second point comes along.
        1. The second point needs elaboration.
        2. Elaboration is well broken up.
        3. And shouldn’t go on forever.
    2. Close big!
      1. Make the point.
  • Big bugs have little bugs
    1. Upon their back to bite them.
      1. Little bugs have littler bugs.
        1. And so, ad infinitum.
  • The fun can go on forever!
  • According to InMage "Share Point has overtaken Lotus notes"

    Has it really? My goodness!
    Particls popped this up at me today before I have even had my first coffee.

    "Microsoft's SharePoint has over-taken Domino/Notes to become the leading
    collaboration application for Windows environments."

    There are some days FUD and Marketing just meld together into a big shitty bubble.

    Monday 7 April 2008

    Duffbert's secret revealed!

    Gentle reader, I feel a little twinge of guilt in this posting this because Duffbert said nice things about yours truly's blog. However this is news of great import and should increase his kudos exponentially! I have always wondered why in sessions lead by the aforementioned Tom the females in the audience were hanging on his every word, silver threads of drool dangling from every max-factored lip. I know AJAX is interesting but its not THAT interesting.

    Now it can be revealed it is his encyclopedic knowledge of books that does it!

    This article shows that unbeknownst to the rest of the Domino World mild mannered developer Tom was in fact dangling the irresistible carrots of literary know-how in front of the ladies whipping them in to a frenzy of attraction. This puts an entirely different spin on this post which would, perhaps, be better placed on "Techniques for the Modern Lothario" or "Lets get jiggy with Tolstoy"

    I for one am hitting the Library this afternoon!

    Good for you Tom, but SHAME for not letting the rest of us in on the secret!

    Monday is just around the corner - Have you your excuse ready?

    If you need some help with a Duvet Day Excuse try here

    ** Parental Advisory Warning **
    This link above contains text of an adult nature that may be illegal in your jurisdiction
    please check with your web administrator, mother, father or guardian before attempting
    to click this link. It really is not for those of a sensitive disposition!

    Sunday 6 April 2008

    You want me to WHAT? - My induction as a Master Traveller in the Worshipful Brethern of the yellow

    Way back here Theo Heselmans got all nostalgic about how he got into notes. I left a short comment there about my own introduction to Notes However that is not the whole story. So get your self a cup of tea (or a tequilla), pull up a chair and listen up for this is no word of a lie.

    Twas late in the year of the lord Ozzie nineteen and ninety five and I was regularly sacrificing virgins every Thursday so that my RPG code would compile without a profusion of indicator errors. Sadly the local population was up in arms and waving nasty smelly torches outside the gates of the data center. They were a bit pissed about the virgin situation so the Baron suggested that a short vacation might be in order and as I was at that stage a real Kiss-Ass I duly absconded myself to a beach on Corfu and waited for the fuss to die down.

    On my return I discovered to my horror that the chap that ran the cc:Mail server had been caught in a compromising position with a decollator, a deep fried banana (with toffee sauce) and a young female acolyte called Deirdre. Now eating bananas in the machine room is a very risky practice as bananas can carry a tremendous static charge and as we all know accidental discharges can lead to massive data loss. Given the severity of his crime he was taken to the ducking stool and soundly ducked until he confessed that he was an agent of the Dark Lord of Redmond sent to infiltrate our order with dissent and FUD.

    Our Baron, usually a wise and thoughtful chap, summoned me to his chamber and gave me charge of the cc:Mail services adding that he had a cunning plan to be one step ahead of the Dark Lord. And low he did reveal to me his plan. It came in a yellow box and have the mystic runes LOTUS NOTES engraved deeply upon it. Yea didst my heart tremble before this magical artifact with it's promises of email AND RAD application support for verily it was the newly hatched version 4.

    Long didst i labour and fret for getting one's head around it was difficult for one previously soaked in the lore of Sys34,36 and 38. It came as a surprise that there were no Virgins to sacrifice nor amulets to insert up ones nose before compilation. Yea was my heart and nostril filled with joy!

    Having laboured hard the Baron recognizing my worth and moral rectitude didst arrange for me to be inducted into the Order of the Worship Brethren of the Yellow (PCLP and bar). I underwent the questioning, faced the terrors of the dungeon of the formula of @ and recited from memory the first 2 chapters of the epistles of the sacred Mooney on the correct manner of recertification of organizational units. My elders were best pleased and gave me my own desk with a new IBM thinking machine.

    And that gentle reader is the way I did get the yellow!

    Irreverence to door step evangelists

    Over on Panagenda's Blog there is a post about a visit he had from the Jehovah's Witness it sounds as if Florian gave the man a polite but firm dismisal. Sadly gentle reader when they come to the front door of the McDonagh clan they seldom get quite what they expected. Over the past 25 years there have been many visits and for a while I thought they (the JW's) had created a special "Bring enlightenment to the Pagans Wing" but perhaps I was just getting a tad paranoid. To start with a simple firm "no thank you" was enough but it would seem that there was a clip board somewhere with a check box against my address that put me on the "re visit - a lot" list.

    Now to be fair, as a devout agnostic I allow for the existence of all deities even the Flying spaghetti Monster so I generally make it a rule to tolerate those of faith as long as they don't start appearing on my doorstep, uninvited and start spouting whatever brand of absolute truth their particular deity is fond of. It becomes, in my eyes anyway, a sort of in your face spiritual spam which sadly Messagelabs can do nothing about. After all I don't appear in the JWs services and start singing "The Internationale" and quoting Nietzsche. Although the thought has crossed my mind. The crunch came one day when a JW, his wife and assorted little JWs appeared at the door. A JW posse intent on once and for all convincing me that Jehovah, like Persil, would wash my soul a more dazzling blueish white than the combined forces of Methodism, Presbyterianism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism or Islam. Being told by a 10 year old that the world was about to end and that an eternity of teeth gnashing, torment and being made to administer Exchange 5.5 for "old nick" was the straw that broke the camel's back. The conversation went something like this... (names changed to protect the guilty)

    JW Minor (approx 10 years old) handing me a leaflet.. Good afternoon. Can we talk to you about the future?

    Me .. No thank you

    JW Minor .. It is really very important you know your soul could depend on it.

    Me .. No honestly I would rather not.

    Daddy JW incredulously.. You are not worried about the fate of your eternal soul?

    Me .. No not in the slightest.

    Daddy JW .. Ah you must be saved then?

    Me .. No, but i was talking to god last Wednesday and she didn't mention anything about it.

    Mummy JW .. [GASPS]

    Me .. I am a Follower of Daanau. My family tree is ancient and we trace our roots back to the Tuatha De Dannan. Every Wedensday we meet in an oak grove beside the river and have a bit of a bonfire, drink mead and sing songs. If she feels like it Daanau comes down and has a bit of a chat and lets us know what she would like us to do, not do and what her plans are. You are more than welcome to come along, she likes to meet new people and she is intimately acquainted with your Jehovah. Although she says he can be a bit morose at times always wanting to smite things, appear in burning bushes or send out gangs angels with burning swords. She told us that the world is not going to end any time soon unless we do it ourselves. The future, it seems, is in our own hands.

    Daddy JW who has gone a bit pink .. Blasphemy!!

    Me .. It is always a good thing when you come to the self realization of your own ideological failings.

    Daddy JW .. Not me, YOU .. there is only one god and he is Jehovah!

    Me .. Nonsense there are LOADS of gods, the Hindu's have millions which can make prayers quite long. I have accepted the fact that Jehovah exists and paid him no disrespect so how can you consider that blasphemy? Are you saying that Jehovah in the past did not smite, appear in burning bushes or send out angels with firey swords? Is Daanau mistaken in her character assessment?

    Daddy JW ... errrrrrrr

    Me .. I am finding this conversation rather hard at the minute because when we talk about Daanau we should really be naked. It is a hard and fast part of our religion.So could i ask you to step inside and remove your clothes if we are to continue in this vein.

    Daddy JW .. I WILL NOT!

    Me .. Now come on that is a bit rich. You come to my door uninvited and expect me to listen to you tell me a god i have have met and talked to doesn't exist and you aren't willing to respect my sincerely held religious beliefs in the furtherance of your aim to save my soul. Sorry that is just a little bit hypocritical. However I will let that pass. I however will have to take my clothes off ....

    I start to unbutton my shirt. I get as far as the third button when ...

    Daddy JW .. Stop! There are children present I cannot allow this! I think we had better leave now.

    They turn en mass and scurry down the drive

    Me .. OK not a problem, but I have to say the Mormons were much more accommodating, they had a cup of tea, a ginger biccie and a nice chat.

    I have never had another visit. Do I feel guilty about the disrespect I paid this family and their beliefs? No i don't , they threw me the ball and I simply hit it in a different direction to what they were used to. You don't want that to happen ... don't throw me the ball.

    Saturday 5 April 2008

    Getting older and grumpier

    I was out leaving the sprog at his place of gainful employment (or as he likes to think of it "the place where I gets beer vouchers ") . Now I live (and the sprog works) near the sea and today is a tad on the blowy side of windy. There are lovely big breakers and I paused on the way home and took these piccies on the camera-phone-email-sms-microwave-toaster-thingie that I happened to have in my pocket.

    Now it used to be that were I to see a sea like this I would be off like a rocket to find my chums yelling "'mon lets get the bolloxs wet" which is the Norn Iron equivalent of "surf's up"
    and today was no exception. EXCEPT the initial thought was then suffixed by "it's really a bit cold" and "there is no way in god's green earth I will ever get into my wet suit"

    Truth be told the last time I was in my wet suit was PS (pre-sprog) infact it was PN (pre-nuptuials) which was rather more years ago that I care to admit.

    Having just last week had a birthday it was suddenly apparent that I have slid into a new era of life's journey. I am now an official grumpy middle aged man :) 'Cept I can't really put a finger on exactly when the transformation from rugby playing, surfing, canoing urbane, erudite man of the world into (slightly) chubby, wrinkled grumpy f****r occurred.

    I find myself agreeing with op-ed's that decry the fecklessness of youth and their predilection for the high-life thinking to myself "they don't know they are living, we had to get up at 4:30am lick gravel..." etc. I am sure this is just jealously probably engendered by the fact that whilst I was never what could be described as "a young girls dream" I am now so far removed from that particular paradigm that no amount of listening to DJ Tea-N-Toast-0 or My Chemical Toilet is going to help. ~sigh~ and the hope that I might be a toy-boy-plaything for some ultra rich widow who would keep me in the type of motorcycle to which I could become accustomed is as likely as Workplace being voted application of the decade.

    Och well, it's the weekend, no work and the prospect of a bit of a splurg out this evening at the local noodle bar with the rest of the Mc Donagh clan will make my disappointment at looking like the Michelin Man's fatter second cousin in my wet suit easier to bear.

    Singapore Noodles here I come!

    PS I actually quite like DJ Tiesto and I can listen to My Chemical Romance without having an emo-philatelic episode.

    Lowering the tone,as usual, in a condescending manner (and this post exists)

    .... and exactly why would we want complete idiots finding out how to propagate?
    Also it does posit the question having had a look at the Dummies Guide to AJAX (which can be quite difficult) way of laying things out in nice easy steps, how does the Complete idiots guide
    cover the thorny problem of finding a suitable mate? ....

    I think I will wait for the Duffbert review, before my purchase.

    *This observation first heard on the Now Show BBC Radio 4. Other humorous radio's shows are available

    Friday 4 April 2008

    Lunchtime induced Nostalgia

    T'was at lunch today, myself and the tech-support chappies were comparing silly ring tones on our phones. There were several "Knights that say NI!" at least one "He cant come out.He's been a naughty boy" and other Pythonesque novelities. The one that made us all smile was The Banana Splits Tra-La-La theme song.

    Now it has to be said that myself and the techies are "of a certain age" that is able to remember the Banana splits when they appeared first in the early 70's in Ireland. I remember them because they were one of the first shows I saw when we got our first colour TV in 1972. We all could remember the lyrics to the theme song and the fact that the main protagonists were Fleegle,Bingo Drooper and Snorky although there was some disagreement as to whether Snorky was an elephant or a mammoth. Then blows were very nearly exchanged over the actual words to the Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay song that the Mexican ladies sang at the door every week. Currently the Repeated-7-times-n-the-chorus-Phalange are considering a formal Jihad against the Repeated-8-Times-no-less-no-more-army. A UN peacekeeping force lead by Top Cat, Yogi Bear and Dangermouse are preparing to act as intermediaries.

    The conversation then wandered to the relative merits of The Arabian Knights, The Three Musketeers and Secret Squirrel. It was agreed that being able to shout "Arse of a Hippo", clapping your hands and being transformed into what ever it was you said was and remains pretty cool. Although changing into Jamie-Lee-Curtis was dismissed as a fun thing to do but not a lot of use when faced with a ferocious Djinn. It was agreed the best of the lot had to be HySpy from "secret squirrel". HySpy was the master of scientific criminology who invented a computer operating system called Glass Filled Apatures v1.1 and instead of a mouse you had to stroke a cat and say "no i expect you to die mr bond" to move the cursor (our memory might be a bit faulty there).

    Of such things are Friday lunch times made :)

    ** 3pm GMT (Guinness Mean Time) Update **
    The Repeated-8-Times-no-less-no-more-army has officially disbanded and now wishes to be known as the Socttish-Rockers-Love-Nazareth-Army and are currently repelling an assault from The Alex Harvey Militia. They are marching to battle as I write this accompanied by the haunting strains of "My White Bicycle".. it fair brings a tear to this writers eye.

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