Thursday 30 October 2008

A Halloween Warning

From @duffbert via twitter....

It's all fun and games until this happens. on TwitPic

Saturday 25 October 2008

What annoyed me this weekend - Obama Vs McCain

Oh KNOB!

I can't avoid it any longer, I have, for the sake of international politeness and Irish/American detante, not made mention of the imminent exercise of electoral manumission in USia. However I have just watched the news and the pointless strutting and posturing that is being beamed onto every TV in the world has incensed me and I am monumentally fucked off with the whole thing.

Now I make no bones about my total disrespect for politicians and for the political process. If you follow my twitter stream you will have no doubt seen my description of the legacy of Pericles thus :-
If Politics is shite then politicians are the very thin toilet paper through which your fingers are prone to slip

@duffbert thought this was "Ewwwwww...." and @andreaw_m "YUCK!" and whilst @BillMalchisky thought the metaphor somewhat earthy, he then posited that ".. the purchase of a better quality paper would avoid the experience". Hmmm I am not sure about the purchasing of a new and better legislative assembly. Isnt that what we in the free world have already? For what are lobbyists if not the political machine's purchasing department?

USia is when it comes down to it, a two party system. Fair enuff. In the rest of the world where there are 2,3,or 4 party systems a stranger can ask "Which is which?" and you will probably be told that Party A is the "Right Wing" and favours big business, small government, the free market and trickle down economics. Party B is the Left and favours the working man (or woman), has it's big hairy nose into every facet of life and pushes a more regulated economy with a more structured distribution of wealth. Party C is in the centre and they really don't have policies they just want what YOU, the people want.

This is nice and simple and gives the stranger a grasp of what sort of political system the country operates under. However USia suffers from an advanced and debilitating phobia. It cannot,as a nation bring itself to say the word "socialist" without depositing a healthy gob in the nearest spittoon. As a result of this debilitating affliction American politics has had to evolve in a different direction. There are two parties which in the rest of the world would be a Left and Right but in USia there is the "Definitly-not-left-no-siree-we-are-very-right-but-not-right-enough-to-be-nasty" party and the "Not-as-right-as-them-but-hey-we-are-not-socailists-you-hear-defin-fecking-tootly-not-socialist" party.

AS far as I can see these two parties comprise of very very rich people who have meetings and take lots of $'s from other very very rich people and manage their affairs so that over the last 50 years the status quo has remained the same. There was a fairly recent rally at which McCain compared Obama to a European Socialist Leader.The BBC found a "talking head" (who must have been totally unaware that the BBC was a European company) who went somewhat further by saying "A vote for Obama was a vote for America taking the first steps towards a socialist tyranny like they have in Europe."

[sarcasm]Oh woe is me! Living in this despotic hell , this arbitrarily oppressive purgatory run by socialist deamons ready to strip me of my things and feed me piecemeal to the plebs OH America save me from this curse! [/sarcasm]

That took me a little by suprise as the only tyrannical sort of behaviour I have come across recently was the TSA in Newark Airport who indeed brought to me a new understanding of the phrase "abitaryly oppressive despot".

So lets alienate all my USian "Definitly-not-left-no-siree-we-are-very-right-but-not-right-enough-to-be-nasty" party readership. Ms Palin or as I prefer to call her "The Anti-Strumpet" would appear to have eclipsed any grey haired gravitas that Mr McCain has brought to the proceedings. Worries about her underwear budget and whether her knicker gussets have been federally funded have rocked not only America but the rest of the world and the fact that contrary to good non-socialist policy she appears NOT TO HAVE GONE TO SPECSAVERS preferring the Dolci and Gabbana Joe Ninety/Chairman Mao look! That being said for my office party I am going to get my hair Palin'ed Never let it be said that I am not at one with the Throb and Ebb of modern fashion!

Still on the "Definitly-not-left-no-siree-we-are-very-right-but-not-right-enough-to-be-nasty" side. Has no one thought to ask OK you have had 8 years - what have you done? The government is exactly the same size, (**Update** Bob tells me it is bigger) the tax burden on the population is pretty much the same as it always is (**Update** Bob tells me it is bigger) your have allowed the economy to get fucked on a global scale, china now near as damn it owns the country, we are fighting 2 wars that show no signs of ending now tell me why the fuck I should vote for your lot again? It would be a question I would ask regardless of my politics. But like over here in Ulster were we have the "We Hate Catholics" party and the "Kill all Protestants" party the WORSE thing you could do is vote for the other side for the simple reason they ARE the other side and they eat babies and have forked tails and are very possibly closet socialists.

Ok t'other side
Obama is all for "change" HA! my fat arse he is. He is a politician and they no more like change than a Notes geek likes Exchange!

We have an MLA over here Caitríona Ruane who is all for change too, but has managed in 5 years to make absolutely NO DIFFERENCE WHAT SO EVER and she has only 1 thing to do. This is because everyone thinks change is a wonderful thing until they have to do it, then they don't like it.

Change is Paisley shaking hands with Adams, Mandella shaking hands with de Klerk That is REAL change. That is a sea change that you can feel as the hair on your neck stands up with anticipation. Does Obama herald that change? Bollocks he does! My hair is sullen in it's refusal to stand. "He will be the first black president" so fecking what? Is the amount of melanin in the skin a measure of a man's worthiness? I have a sister with loads of freckles perhaps she could run for President over here. Similarly I have heard "But she will be the first woman president!" when Hilary was around. So not only colour but the possession of ovaries, uterus and breasts are the defining paradigm of this brave new "changed" world we are being ushered into?

The change that Obama champions is as ethereal as pixie dust and in 4 years time people will be asking "so what did change?" and as usual the answer will be ...nothing, nada, not a thing, zippo. This is the way the world works and particularly it seems in modern America. In January in the vaulted halls of power it will (probably) be the same old whore wearing a different dress.

I hope it won't. I really do! So this time next year lets all meet back here and see what has happened in the intervening 12 months any bets that anything will have changed?

**Udpate** Down in the comments Bob informs me that the US government is a LOT bigger than it was 8 years ago, as is the annual budget deficit, not to mention the national debt. LOTS bigger and the tax burden on the middle class is WAY higher than it was 8 years ago... in that case perhaps things CAN only get better.. we shall see. ...oO(but wait isnt Bush in the "Definitly-not-left-no-siree-we-are-very-right-but-not-right-enough-to-be-nasty" party which is the wee gov,low taxes party? Ah the sweet sickly taste of pure irony!)

Rolls Royce help test US high speed trains - with chickens

Scientists at Rolls Royce built a gun specifically to launch dead
chickens at the windshields of airliners and military jets all
travelling at maximum velocity. The idea is to simulate the frequent
incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the
windshields.

American engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the
windshields of their new high speed trains. Arrangements were made, and
a gun was sent to the American engineers.

When the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken
hurtled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed
it to smithereens, blasted through the control console, snapped the
engineer's back-rest in two and embedded itself in the back wall of the
cabin like an arrow shot from a bow.

The horrified Yanks sent Rolls Royce the disastrous results of the
experiment, along with the designs of the windshield and begged the
British scientists for suggestions.

You're going to love this.......

Rolls Royce responded with the following one-line memo:

Defrost the chicken !

(Thanks to my mate Derek for that!)

Friday 24 October 2008

A Credit Crunch Variation on a 419 Theme

I got this in the mail this morning. It is good to see the 419'ers are adapting
to the new world where people are out of work, or worried about work, or need
extra money. So what so you need right now? Thats right some fecking arsehole
of a con-main pretending to be from Virgin and offering you £1500 a month (at
least they got the currency right!)

[sarcasm]my faith in human nature is restored once again![/sarcasm]

Here are the headers

Return-path:
X-Modus-BlackList: 194.46.8.182=OK;Apollackiwan@kvhadvoc.nl=OK
X-Modus-Trusted: 194.46.8.182=YES
X-Modus-Audit: FALSE;0;0;0
X-IronPort-Anti-Spam-Filtered: true
X-IronPort-Anti-Spam-Result: AtPnAOvrAEk9xlHzWmdsb2JhbACDVh4hA4NSAYFYh2GCQi8
X-IPAS: positive-out
Received: from adsl-195-098-012-192.dynamic.nextra.sk ([195.98.12.192])
*************** 24 Oct 2008 04:30:23 +0000
Message-ID: <000601c935dc$05bd9398$b2847380@vgisgqv>
From: "edvard boaz"
To: <****************nternet.com>
Subject: Apply for open job positions
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2008 11:42:51 +0000
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain;
charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2720.3000
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2727.1300


and here is the message


Virgin.com

Looking for part-time job?

In 2008 Virgin became more global than ever before, because creating and capitalizing
on opportunities is about staying on the move.
We have a vacant position “Private Client Manager” in our team and will
be glad to have you work with us.

This is part-time job (2-3 hours a day, except holidays) and the position provides
support filling the transactions of our customers.
We deal exclusively with private clients with special requirements for high speed of
receiving funds for their business .
Consumers value the services we offer. What we do, helping people stay connected,
brings vitality to relationships.
And thinking responsibly for the company and the community is the anchor of how we do
business

Your work would be basic at first , yet thorough - you will make transfers for our
clients to suit their needs.
Our mangers will assist you during the trial period and explain everything you will
need to know.
We offer a competitive salary: for the first month you will get 1700 GBP for your
work,
the next month your salary will be increased if you do your work responsible and on
time.

Send us an e-mail to: <!-- Located Email Address --><a href="javascript:press_email('hrmanager.levinson@gmail.com')">hrmanager.levinson@gmail.com</a>

with phone numbers and time to reach you, and we will contact you and answer all your
questions.

Try us and you'll be glad you did!

Regards,
James Levinson
HR Manager,Virgin.com


What a TWONK!

Tuesday 21 October 2008

The infrequent Dominoyesmaybe Heath and Beauty Tips post

Gentle reader

Having just discovered that you can get a Bingowingoplasty it must be time for an update on the DYM waistline containment program.

As you may know several of the luminaries (and me) of this Yellow Bubble we call home are trying their best to emulate Northern Rock and shed more than a few pounds. We are each doing it in our own ways. Mine is "walking briskly" and scaring the occasional small dog that crosses my path when I am listening to Disturbed on the iPlod. There is nothing quite like "inside the fire" to put the fear of god into a Yorkshire terrier :-)

Anyway here is the news.. as of the Pre-Shower, Post-Poo totally naked (except for the tache) weigh in this morning I was 14st 6lbs AND ... wait for it... I could read the scales without having to push the belly out of the way!

That's equates in FatLardiespeak "two notches in the belt"

I deserve beer, curry and chocIlate in large amounts ... now!

However there is a problem, as you are well aware the economy has not only gone down the tubes but is out the other end and is wondering when the bars open so that it can make it's way as quickly as possible into the vomit encrusted gutter of parsimony. This leads me to a quandary, as there are now two notches in the belt I am becoming reminiscent of a rather sad white version of "MC Hammer" to the point where when my trousers catch in the breeze I get the urge to shout "U can't touch this!" , I fear a trip to the local male clothing emporium is on the cards.

To say I dislike shopping for clothes is a dramatic understatement at the ultra violet end of the litotesesque spectrum. There should be a place you can go and say "trousers,black, that fit" or "Jeans please .. quickly" and thats would be that.

For Fecks sake!

Clothes shopping has become the couture version of getting a simple cup of coffee at Starbucks!

Starbucks prole - "Does sir want his Skinny Triple Expresso Caramel Frappochiachoccomocchachino with no cream, chocolate and cinnamon sprinkles in a bowl,a bucket or a trough?"

Me - "NO I JUST WANT A FECKING CUP OF SODDING COFFEE THAT IS POSSIBLE TO DRINK BEFORE THE ONSET OF THE NEXT ICE AGE.........PLEEEEEEEEASE?????"

~sigh~ There is more chance of getting that doyen of twonkdom and front man of Coldplay, Chris Martin to write a decent pop song about the joy of banjo bolts than there is of getting a simple cup of coffee from starbucks.

I digress, I enter a likely looking emporium and some infant with hair spiked in purple pig fat, (sorry the sprog tells me that should be "product-ted hair") looks up forlornly as you entrance has forced them to leave MySpit or Bleedboo on his iPhone.

"imjohnandimdelightedtobeheretohelpyou" he mumbles through 3 and half tonnes of mouth piercings.

No don't get me wrong USia has given us many great and wonderful things like Vanilla Creamer and the half-a-cow-on-a-plate steak but here in Europia we seem to have imported this insistence that I as a customer need to know the name of every unfortunate waif that has the misfortune to serve me in a retail interaction - I dont need nor want it thank you very much! Neither do I need to know that for them it will be a joy so unbounded that is surpasses that of Pope Julius II when he saw the completed Sistine Chapel ceiling.

They are my waiter/shop assistant/golfball cleasning operative/plumber or dental nurse not my new best friend. It is not a difficult concept. I know I am a customer and it comes as no surprise to me that they work here, so please, a simple "hello" is more than adequate I think I have a grasp of the dynamics of the rest of the transaction.

"Jeans " I say "I need jeans"

"K" sniffs the youth, nearly inhaling a 3 ounce nose clamp stud.

I hurriedly review my memory for the best way to do the Heimlich's maneuver on someone who has applied large quantities of grease in their hair.I wonder is there way to avoid sticking your nose into the middle of that spiky oily mess?

He leads me to the Jeans rail where there are a bewildering array of jeans. Now in my day there were Wranglers and Levi's and perhaps Lee Coopers if you proffered the "softer" look. They were proper jeans that stood up by themselves when they were new and you had to sit in the bath wearing them so they shrunk to fit. That came with the added bonus of getting a lovely indigo bottom which we wore with pride!

Now there are a bewildering plethora of makes, none of which I have heard of and all of which are not jeans. They are preshrunkprefadedstonewashed and SOFT! and horror of horrors most do not have a crotch rivet!

WTF?

What do young folk do now instead of that jolly jape we played on drunken chums in the past ... oh you know the one ... a chum passes out and you hold a soldering iron to the crotch rivet until they wake up .. oh how we laughed at that one, happy times ~sigh~ aye indeed happy times.

Time for bed ... and remember children never run with scissors!

The British Humanist Society take a stand .. probably.

Well this a start I suppose :-)

It is almost definitely maybe making a stand what what we probably are sure about sort of.

I love the quote frm Christian Voice's spokestwonk Steve Green
"Bendy-buses, like atheism, are a danger to the public at large

Hey if that is the level of my danger to the public I feel a lot better! I have always been told that I am a "servant of Satan" but it seems I may be a "Servant of Volvo"


Monday 20 October 2008

The Chums that share my workspace

I am sure we all have little friends that live on our desks were we work. So here in a "grumpy old man" annex to the "this-is-where-I-work-picture" meme here are my desk dwelling chums.This is "Pus Bucket" he is my coding geek teddy to whom I swear and cuss when I forget the "new" in Dim Session as NotesUIWorkspace. He can swear fluently in 5 languages (not including teddy bear) and doubles as a ICBM (Inter Cubicle Ballistic Missile) and a guard bear should the need arise and the proles in operations get to frisky and try to steal my highlighters!!

And this chap is iDjDog who chooses my listening for the day. If you wind him up he leaps in the air and lands with sufficient force to ping the iPlod. His personal music preference is "New-Wave -Death-Happy-Acid-Metal-Funk-TexMex-Fusion" so sometimes I do smack him on the arse and rub his nose in some Marilyn Manson.

Sunday 19 October 2008

Geeky home made gadgets

Gentle reader
If i were to feel the need to reinforce my claim to "geekdom" i would use this link! This chap is a muso-geek's geek. He makes his own gadgets .. i am so jealous I wish I had the time and expertise to do the same

Drag and Drop Part II

Further to my post of Friday on drag and drop here is some other thoughts I had when commenting the code than perhaps were not obvious from the previous post.

YUI comes complete with a PROXY object which allows you to drag a proxy version of the thing you click on rather than the thing itself. I deliberately didn't use this method because I wanted to maintain the list on the left AFTER the drop had taken place because users may want to drag a customer to more than one date on the calendar and dropping the actual customer object would remove it from the list.

So ... I use the following methodology.

1. I have a CSS hidden [div] object that I use as a proxy. It has an ID of "drag" and it is defined at the start of the calendar.html page.

2. I use the onmouseover/out events on the customer list objects to duplicate the innerHTML and position the proxy object exactly on top of the customer object and then display it for the user. This means that the user now sees the proxy object rather than the actual object.
Needless to say if the user moves to a new customer object the PROXY object moves with it, From a user perspective this appears to be a rollover effect.

3. When the user clicks on the customer they are clicking on the PROXY rather than the actual customer object. This "picks up" the proxy and the drag starts. When the PROXY moves away from the list the original customer object is still there on the list and can be used again.

While I was at the commenting I made the entries that where on the calendar drag and drop-able as well. There is an issue with turning off the proxy element when you leave it.. i will have to have a think about that and a play with some event generators.

I have popped the commented file up onto OpenNTF for anyone that might be interested you can get it either from my ISP's server here or from the OpenNTF code bin here.

Saturday 18 October 2008

A bit of a rant - Faith Healing

It has been at least a couple of months since I have had a rant and today I will rectify that as I am monumentally pissed off and I have a feeling I may really "go off on one", so consider this a warning and if rants about religion are not your thing don't read the bit in the box below!.

Here we go..
If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that I sometimes get a bit cross about not so much "religion" but "religious people". My last rant was about a certain MLA (like an MP but a Northern Irish version) who believes that being Gay in the eyes of God and humanity is comparable to Child Molestation and Murder. This MP is the chairperson of the Health Committee and remains uncensored and unpunished for such dreadful utterances. This rant is not about her this time, another group of "happy smiley people" have raised my ire.

Every Saturday for the last year or so a local church group have set up chairs, speakers and a big banner in the centre of town. This is a large blue banner claiming "HEALING" in large white letters, soothing music plays in the background and lots and lots of leaflets like the one opposite are handed out by "Happy Smiley People"

There are usually only a few HSP leafleting but today there were dozens of them! Some of which would not take a polite "no thank you" as a reply. But it is not my discomfort at their antics that I am ranting about today.

You can click on the image above .. but for those not bothered the leaflet says ...
"Need Healing? God can heal you today!
Do you suffer from Back pain, Arthritis, MS, Addiction,Cancer, Ulcers, Depression,Allergies, Fribomyalgia,Asthma, Paralysis, Crippling Disease, Phobias, or other sickness? We'd love to pray for your healing right now!"
... It continues ...
"God loves you and can heal you from any sickness today"
... and concludes ...
"You have nothing to lose, except your sickness!"

Quite frankly this is appalling! Where I to set up in a similar way and give away "Purple Pixie Dust" making the claim that "Purple Pixie Dust can heal you form any sickness today". I would be taken away by the local constabulary and told in no uncertain manner to cease and desist. Yet Saturday after Saturday there they are under their HEALING banner extolling something that has the same efficacy as my imaginary Pixie dust.

J'accuse - Reeling in the sick with well chosen words.

Now lets be clear here, they specifically ask if you have "Back pain, Arthritis, MS, Addiction,Cancer," etc , and then claim "... can heal you from any sickness today". This is not a claim that God MIGHT heal you. This is a claim that God CAN heal you and not tomorrow or the next daty.. but today! As there is a time frame mentioned this adds to the implication that it will happen today. For example "I can fix your computer today" would be taken by 99% of people to mean "I will fix your computer today". There are very very few people, if any at all , that would believe I meant "I might fix your computer today"

To most people the verb "to heal" means to make healthy or restore to health and to be free from ailment. Their claim is "to heal" so the public is more than justified in expecting that they will be made free from illness and returned to health.

For misleading the sick - HANG YOUR HEADS IN SHAME

J'accuse - Peddling the fantasy of efficacy to the sick

Now before I am accused of being "anti-god" I am not! The published claim on the leaflet ".. can heal you from any sickness today" I am not disputing at this time the existence of God what I am disputing is the claim that by whatever method actual measurable things will happen today. There is zero supporting evidence on the leaflet and only anecdotal "Oh I saw [someone] cured of [something] " evidence.
Which is fine but when I inquired about the "Morbidity and Mortality" figures which any orthodox treatment or medical practice would have, I was met with blank looks. M&M statistics record the details of both the successes and the failures. These are very important for the continued development of treatments and ability of a Doctor to give an accurate prognosis but sadly missing from this group's mindset.
Would you feel safe if a doctor treated you on the basis of his cleaning lady telling him"Oh I saw another doctor in a different practice do this and it works".

Were there even the slightest shred of truth in this claim or any noticeable efficacy on the ill why is the NHS not rushing people to the prayer ward rather than ICU? Why do the legions of oncologists not prescribe prayer as the cure for cancer before starting chemotherapy or radiotherapy? The answer to both these questions is because "prayer therapy" to whatever supernatural entity has never had any demonstrable effect! It is simple market forces.

People want to be well
When they are ill they want to get better
They go to the place most likely to make them better

If prayer therapy had any demonstrable, reliable, repeatable effect people would go "Oh that works really well" and all of a sudden we wouldnt need the hospitals we have now.

People have voted with their feet with the option that works most of the time.

For peddling this fantasy of efficacy as truth - HANG YOUR HEADS IN SHAME!

J'accuse - Gross Medical Ignorance and Misconduct

Before I am accused of ignorance of my chosen subject I was a nurse for many years before becoming a geek and I come from a family of Doctors, Nurses and Therapists so I am very familiar with medicine. Should this group ever have taken an interest in the ethics of orthodox medicine they might have come across the medical bon mot, primum nil nocere (First do no harm) or the more recent addition "and to avoid attempting to do things that other specialists can do better"

They do not do a review of your medical history, they do no diagnostic tests, they sit you down, accept what you are telling them at face value and then ask an invisible supernatural being to make the illness go away. That is all there is, no more no less.
And this in my opinion is dangerous.

For example a man approaches the group one Saturday and presents himself to be cured of Asthma. Unknown to the people praying he is suffering from a psychotic disorder, one of the symptoms of which is very low self image. The prayers don't work. The patient is then left wondering why the treatment did not work or worked with less than a total cure. Since he has low self image he naturally blame themselves rather than God or the people praying for the failure, thus reinforcing his own pathology and making him worse! How does this fit in with primum nil nocere. Do these agents of a supernatural healing entity even care that this might be the case? Do they do even a rudimentary medical check of who they are treating? Are they treating someone with Münchhausen's syndrome? Are they aware that when treating a person with sore shin for pain they in fact may need to be treating for cancer as the pain is caused by a spinal tumour in the sacral area?

It certainly appears they do not!

Do they wash their hands between patients as anyone with half a notion of basic hygiene would do?

It certainly appears from my observation that they do not. I do hope none of the patients has MRSA or C.Difficile!

HANG YOUR HEADS IN SHAME!

J'accuse - willfully making a spectacle of the sick in their time of need.

Do they treat the person with the respect and dignity they deserve by treating them in private out of the public gaze. You would expect a doctor, nurse or even an agent of "WooWoo" magic like a homeopathic practitioner to do?

No they do not!

You are perhaps desperate for relief so you sit down on a chair in the center of town on a crowed Saturday morning and allow yourself to be surrounded by people who lay hands on you and pray. In doing so you become the focus of the attention of not only the people praying, but of the passing public who can if they so desire watch as the patients sit clutching their handout hoping that they will be the case that proves the claim for a cure today just like the handout implies.

Like some awful form of "Big Brother" or "X Factor" the town center has for 3 hours on a Saturday become "Coleraine's Got Diseases!" I half expect a preacher with a microphone to declaim "Debbie with the Arthritis in your knees COOOMEEEE ON DOWN!"

For treating the people in need of help with less decency and dignity than a carnival show man. HANG YOUR HEADS IN SHAME!
If you have not realised that the people who come to you for help are regarded as objects of public spectacle. HANG YOUR HEADS IN SHAME!
If you are doing it deliberately you are without doubt loathsome attention seeking whores who use the sick for your own proselytizing purposes - HANG YOUR HEADS IN SHAME!

Is it just me? Am I the only one that finds this horribly wrong and a ghastly abuse of those in need of real help and medical support?

I think that you (the group) should

a) WASH YOUR HANDS BETWEEN PATIENTS if not for their sake for your own!

b) At least pay lip service to the fact that you could potentially be causing harm and offer proper non-religious medical counseling for the cases that God chooses not to cure

c) Take the process of praying inside NOW and allow their "patients" the dignity of privacy afforded by every orthodox medical practice and the lion's share of the alternate ones too.

d) Be considerably more honest about the prognosis in your leaflet.

"We will pray for your healing, however while we believe that God can cure you, this claim has not be substantiated by the same rigorous methods and standards you demand from other medical practitioners. These methods and standards are enshrined in law for your protection - we do not offer these standards as part of our service.

Indeed it would be dishonest of us to say that God Will Cure You. Likelwise we do not mean to suggest in any way that a cure will happen today or in fact any time soon. God may or may not help you or he may help you in a way that you don't expect, (this may include death - we just can't say at this time). In short we just don't know if this will work for you.

If you do get better we reserve the right to claim that our prayers cause it but should you not be healed or get worse ... well we are sorry but God moves in mysterious ways. These ways may seem entirely arbitrary but we just don't know the mind of God. Please don't ask for the number of people who were NOT cured today as we don't appear to know that either. We don't keep medical records like other more orthodox medical practitioners so we don't know which prayers work best if at all.

***PLEASE NOTE*** God at this time chooses not cure amputees or people afflicted with genetic disorders"


This would at least be a more honest approach! Oh and while I am on "honest approaches" One would hope that the earthly agents of a supreme being would at least aspire to honesty. But I now know this is not the case, I was approached by a group from the same church whilst out for a walk by the river not long ago. They approached me initially saying they were on a "treasure hunt" and needed my assistance in finding some of the stuff on their list. However after some beating around the bush what they REALLY wanted was to find out if I had any illnesses.
Yes one of the items on their list was
"DO YOU HAVE ANY OF THESE ILLNESSES..."
I was gob-smacked at the temerity of it!
The group consisted of 5 or 6 some of whom where young children, such a good example of "ethical" religion at work, but hey! it is lying for their buddy Jesus and that makes it fam-dabby-fecking dozy!

If I complain, which I have, there is an inertia inherent in the powers-that-be to get involved in something to do with "religion" the police believe it to be a council matter and the council believe it to be a police matter. So I am left with having to cope with a status quo that stinks of all that is wrong with religion.

Create a web based Drag and Drop Calendar

As part of my "spreading the domnio love" I have for the past year or so been a "yoda" to a Notes Developer who wanted to start branching out into more web based apps. Now in typical DYM form fate does not thrust me an apprentice with whom I can share the odd beer at the weekend. Oh NO! My "Luke Skywalker" does not live in Ireland! C'est la vie :-)

Anyway she asked me the other day how she could make one of her CRM calendar facilities a bit flashier and more modern and I like a fool said "why don't you do it in AJAX and while you are at it incorporate Drag and Drop?"
"Oh that would be good" she said "How would I do that?". My bluff was well and truly called! I said I would have a look at it this evening and send her an example over the weekend. After a certain amount of head scratching and asking myself "How would Chris Blatnick do it?" I fired up the DYM PC and started to code.

One of the problems with calendars and domino has been how absolutely SHITE they look on the web and building any sort of functionality into them was a labour of hercules which involved far to much futtering about with $ fields and the like. My non-domino alter ego PHPYouWillYouWill (tm) gave me a stout dig in the ribs and whispered in my ear, go on break the 11th commandment, use the domino server as a back end server and do nearly everything in JS. I know that this in some quarters sufficient for my domino woggle to be ceremonially crushed as LS. However in mitigation my design runs quite happily on servers V6 and above and the Domino Web Server way back then was a bit ... well it was a lot ... EUCK.

The premise of this example is simple, you have two forms Customer which stores customer data and Appt which stores an Appointment with a customer on a particular day. This data needs to be presented in a MONTH view to the user. The users need to be able to schedule a meeting with a customer on a particular day so they also need to be able to
a) Find a customer in the application
b) Drag the customer onto a date cell which will create an APPT form in the back end NSF

I am used to the YUI framework and one of these days I will get all DOJO but for the moment I know what I am doing with YUI and it has a nice easy D&D implementation.
You register the dragable object and target objects, define a couple of handler functions and Robert is your mothers brother.

Now please remember this is a simple app written as an example of "how I would start to" rather than an actual full functioning app and it was written in 3 hours this evening. Anyway it looks like this, (Click on image for a better look see)


A: Controls for moving the viewable month around.
B: Search Bar á la Google that allows typeahead look up of the customers.
C: Results from the search appear here.
D: An Item being dragged from the list to the calendar.
E: As the Customer passes over a calendar cell the cell is highlighted.
F: An existing Appointment in the calendar.

I used YUI 2.2.4. as the framework for the AJAX calls and DOM manipulation.

Like I said it looks kinda better than the ordinary one and isn't all that complicated at all (it took me 3 hours to code up from scratch!) and will run happily on a V6 onwards server you don't need any on the V8 fancy pants stuff and all the YUI stuff is contained in the NSF.

If anyone is interested an uncommented version of the file can be downloaded here.
Download it, Sign it, pop it on your server and goto crm.nsf/calendar.html

If you think it is useful let me know and I will definitely pop the commented version up on OpenNtf (once i have commented it that is!)

Thursday 16 October 2008

More Xtreme Parachutes .... LOVELY

Well yesterday's query as to the veracity of the parachutist video was answered my my Cuz Paul in the comments.. Your knees would become "ear extensions" after such a jump HOWEVER he did supply this .. a catapult launch.. which I am assured is Pukka!....
I lead such a boring life!

Wednesday 15 October 2008

My Goodness this looks like Fun!

video

I wonder if this is real?
I wonder what my BASE jumping cousin would make of it?

Joke of the day (American but rather good)

A college professor was doing a study testing the senses of first year schoolchildren, using a bowl of Fruit Loops, the cereal with the hole in it.

He gave all the children the same kind of loop, one at a time, and asked them to identify them by colour and flavour. The children began to say:

'Red............cherry,' '

Yellow.........lemon,'

'Green..........lime,

'Orange.........orange.'

Finally the professor gave them all 'honey' loops.

After eating them for a few moments none of the children could identify the taste.

'Well,' he said 'I'll give you all a clue. It's what your mother may sometimes call your father.'...

One little girl looked up in horror, spat hers out and yelled:

'Oh My God!!!! They're arse-holes !!'

Tuesday 14 October 2008

Interesting Credit Crunch Statistics

If you had purchased $1000.00 of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49.00. With WorldCom, you would have less than $5.00 left. If you had purchased $1000.00 of Delta Air Lines stock you would have $49.00 left. If you had purchased United Airlines, you would have nothing left. But, if you had purchased $1000.00 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, and then turned in the cans for recycling, you would have $214.00. Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle!

So DRINK BEER!

Saturday 11 October 2008

Some thoughts as we circle the rim and contemplate the flush.

Hey Ho! :(
Another Saturday Night® has come and gone leaving me with the uneasy feeling that I am missing something. I have left "The Sprog" off at a local nite club and by the time I was turning the corner to come home he was surrounded by a gaggle of young ladies. Was I ever in that same enviable position? I am sure I would remember if I have been ... wouldn't I?

Perhaps my somewhat glum mood is because I live up here around 55º north were the trees are now well on the way to baldness and there is a nip to the air even at midday that makes one think that perhaps wearing a teeshirt under the shirt is a good idea. When out for my wander in the wood this afternoon the stands of Silver Birch were as picturesque as always but in a cold, asleep sort of way and at their base they was a massive covering of little 'rooms
Yes I did get down on my knees to take this snap and yes I did manage to get back up again, although it was accompanied by a series of pops, creaks and groans commensurate with my age and waist measurement and no I didn't sample any and yes this IS me being normal.

I bumped into another "brisk walker" on my travels and we nodded at each other and I grunted the usual Irish-English greeting of "bout you?" which roughly translates to "Hale and well met fellow traveler on the deep pile of life's rich carpet" ... which is like life's rich tapestry but you walk on it... My fellow walker nodded back and responded in English-English by muttering "Good afternoon". This set me to thinking - there is a world of difference between the rich patois of the provinces and that spoken by those on t'other side of the Irish Sea.

One of the elder statesmen of the family told me before going to University in England that should I as a stranger to the area ever get lost that it was vital I NEVER ask for directions! For the English are too damn polite and would not increase your worry by telling you they didn't know. As a result their directions would unerringly be incorrect however by some strange twist of the knife of fate these self same directions would unerringly end up depositing you in Llanacelligcwangorallicallywagagogogogogoichllanelliconwallag in Wales!

I shared a room in the university residences with a nice chap called Phil who was by birth, inclination and profession a "cheeky cockney" and for all of the first term I have no idea what he was saying. I just nodded, smiled and offered to buy drink which seemed to do the trick and we became firm friends although I still have no idea what "Stone Me Pink and twoddle me parsnips but this berk comes up with a boat like Abbyssina and I rogered him up the Old Kent road" means and I have a feeling the world is a better place for my ignorance.

Oh I feel a tangent coming on where did i put the ellipsis? Ah there it is ...

The world, it seems, is wandering off down the road to rack and ruin and the UK politicos at Westminster, the birth place of elective democracy and as such reffered to as the "MotherF****r of all Parliaments" (but only by the Irish) are plonking around waving their arms and making a lot of noise. Precious little else other than this verbal diarrhoea and certainly not anything that resembles sense, common or otherwise, is dribbling from the vaulted halls of democracy.

Gentle reader, lest you be misled, be assured the fact that the Politicians fall into the same logical set as chocolate fire guards does not surprise me. Democracy has since the time of Solon and Pericles in Athens been a semi official form of care in the community for those afflicted by the debilitating disorder of "wanting to be a politician" which has symptoms very similar to ASW except you will probably be asked to appear on Question Time more often than an average ASW afflictee would expect.

The epoch of Maggie T and Ronnie Raygun where Milton Friedman's economic brain farts defined the next 30 years has now ground ignominiously to a halt. I for one hope that the man who found it well nigh impossible to admit that markets could go wrong is at least blushing in his coffin. As an atheist I don't believe in an afterlife but on this occasion a nice warm corner of hell set aside for Friedman and his ilk would be useful to have. So I have contented myself by imagining a demon inserting ungreased sea lions up the self same nobel laureate's bum whilst being forced to listen to Coldplay in one ear and Celine Dion in the other.

On a side note the aforementioned sea lion stuffed economist visited Iceland in the autumn of 1984, met with prominent Icelanders and gave a lecture at the University of Iceland on the "Tyranny of the Status Quo" which made me dislike him from the start. I quite like Status Quo, they are far from Tyrants and only an ignorant oaf would make the mistake as you need to know 4 chords to be a tyrant and one of them needs to be a flattened 5th sustained!
Friedman participated in a lively television debate on August 31, 1984 with leading socialist intellectuals, including President Grimsson who got pissed off cos Friedman charged them for the appearance and then refused to buy his round at the bar. This aside he (Friedman) made a great impact on a group of young intellectuals in the Independence Party.
**Note** By intellectuals I actually mean "deluded twonks usually called Henry that were manifestly driven by greed, stupidity and porn" but this was the 1980's and I want to keep this sentence in character.
This group of self styled free market free thinkers including Davíð Oddsson who became Prime Minister in 1991 and promptly began a radical program of monetary and fiscal fiddling, privatization, tax rate reduction, definition of exclusive use rights in fisheries, abolition of various government funds for aiding unprofitable enterprises and liberalization of currency transfers and capital markets, and writing really really bad Eurovision song contest ditties. He remained Prime Minister for thirteen and a half years but never won a Eurovision)

The present Prime Minister, Geir H. Haarde was secretly cloned in a combined CIA and IMF plot from Oddsson's toe nail clippings and following in the footsteps of his forebear (footsteps, toenail clippings... geddit?... oh do keep up there are precious few jokes around today) He kept the economy trucking on in the same vein up to the point where it is today, and in case you missed the news Iceland is now totally F**ked! It is so FUBARed that the Sigur Ros song starálfur (staring elf) now makes sense and that takes SOME doing!

I bet these modern day vikings who steered the good ship Iceland are now wishing they had gone hunting Bjork pixies trolls instead of going to listen to Mr Friedman. BTW you are now able to buy Iceland (excluding Bjork) on eBay for the princely sum of £1.20 But be warned -this is a real rip off, I would given them no more than £0.75.

Given that Iceland is not that far geographically from Ireland and being a forward looking individual I have made a start practicing for the post-market-melt-down-world. I have :-

(a) started to learn Cantonese because the Chinese won my mortgage in a bet

and

(b) I have drawn up a list of "barter-able" stuff that I may have to use come the time when money ceases to be usable.

This list is of course useless unless someone wants to barter a chicken for 2 days of PHP programming (I would require at least 3 pork chops for any MySql!) I think thats fair but I have a feeling that the best I can hope for would be a couple of carrots and if I am lucky a small potatoe, I shudder to think what Java Dev folk will do!

Google last week brought in "Goggle specs" to stop you sending "unfortunate" emails when you are pished, drunk or otherwise incapacitated. Wonderful idea! Now can we do it for the USian election ? I am not a USian and to be honest I don't give a monkey's chuff who wins. It would appear that to be "leader of the free world" you need loads of $'s and have nice teeth. This oddly os the the way a friend of mine chose the eventual winner of The 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup, Denman an 8 year old out of Polly Puttens by Presenting and well worth a pound of anyones money at 7-6... i digress... The media is full of this election, you just can't escape it even in rural Ireland! Where was I? Oh yes "Goggle Specs" now if some smart chap could do the same for the election.. before you vote is cast you are asked a couple of questions and then it asks "You are you sure?", "Are you really really really sure?", "Well alright then but no coming complaining after the budget!" and so on, i think the world would perhaps be a better place.

Oh bugger! I didn't win the lottery sometimes I find that Saturdays just suck! Time for bed ...

Pictures of workspaces - an Art Project

Further to the pictures we have all been posting of our workspaces professional and not as the case may be. If may be interesting to note that my Canadian Cousin, Paul Litherland did a very similar think last year. He is an artist of some renown and specializes in photography.

On his last wander around the murky world of McDonaghs, Whites, Pages, Litherlands and other assorted branches of the family tree. He took photo's of our workspaces and plans to present them as a complete work...

To quote Paul ...

Family workstations is a documentary photographic project of how computers occupy space in the home. By photographing my relations computers, my intention is to highlight the durability or ephemerality of different types of networks. The works are titled using the relationship of the person to me, Paul Litherland, as well as the configuration of the computer.As time passes, the work will assume different positions /interpretations as the machines become obsolete, but the familial relationships endure.


The picture of mine was too ghastly to publish :-) he probably has to wait for his "R" rating.

Friday 10 October 2008

** News ** Ferrari Fire Pit Crew

The Ferrari F1 team have fired their entire pit crew!.

This announcement followed Ferrari's decision to take advantage of the British government's 'Work for the Dole' scheme and employ some Belfast youngsters.

The decision to hire them was brought about by a recent documentary on how unemployed youths from West Belfast were able to remove a set of wheels in less than 6 seconds without proper equipment, whereas Ferrari's existing crew could only do it in 8 seconds with millions of pounds worth of high tech equipment.

It was thought to be an excellent, bold move by the Ferrari management team as most races are won and lost in the pits, giving Ferrari an advantage over every other team.

However, Ferrari got more than they bargained for! At the crew's first practice session, not only was the Belfast pit crew able to change all four wheels in under 6 seconds, but within 12 seconds they had re-sprayed, re-badged and sold the car to the Mclaren team for 8 cases of Guinness, a bag of weed and some photos of Lewis Hamilton's bird in the shower!


Strange Errors from 8.0.1 when creating a document from another document

Today was punctuated by news that the world was broke and the fact that I got the same really strange message twice in the same day from my Notes 8.0.1 client on my laptop. The error in question is "No document found in that direction" and it appeared when I tried to FORWARD a message.

Having just returned from my trip to Paris and being a little tired I took the message at it's most simpilist and tried turning the screen thru 90 degrees. However there was not document there either.

The first message came from my mail file I did a design replace as I like to fiddle with the design and it was very possible that I had broken it myself. I did a design replace and the error went away and I gave it very little more thinking cycles until it was reported at happening again in a very large app that workflows sample requests that we get from our customers and web site from the users I had recently upgraded in Paris. I went and had a look see on the dev server and yes the problem existed there too.

Basically there is a "parent doc" on which is a button that created as "child" response doc that inherits a few fields and presents the user with a new form. The code behind the form was simple.

@command([filesave]);@command([compose];"SampleDetail")

I did some digging about on the web and there it was in the V8 forum sadly there isn't a lot iof detail and it seem that this is only addressed in the V8.5 not 8.0.2. Like the user who reported the problem I got around it by converting the action to LS, thankfully there are only a few inherited fields and they were relatively simple.

What is a tad worring is that the REPLY + FORWARD options in the mail file (the forward one crapped out on me today) aren't ones we as Dev's can get at.. so how did I get the error this morning and what did the design replace do to make it go away? Hmmmmmmmmm

Sneak preview of "The Economist" for next week

Saturday 4 October 2008

My Home Office

As it seems there is a generally "showing off" of our our home geekspaces as evidenced by Theo's Blog where he has two lovely pictures of his Home office. I thought I would show the opposite side of the coin so to speak.









A. Yeah go PlanetLotus!!!
B. O'Reilly (yes really) Definitive Javscript Guide
C. Tigger Coffee Mug from yesterday or the day before
D. ILUG 2008 shiney thingie
E. "Wot do you mean it is bedtime?" verification device
F. Celion Dion CD case (i binned the CD in disgust)




















G. New hard drive screw V1.2.3a Search device
H. iPlod Charger thingie ... (Oh THAT's where it is!)
I. McDonagh Travelling painting kit (or placcie bag to the rest of the world)
J. PADs (Paint Application Devices)
K. Indication of rather too much boredom on a wet winter afternoon
L. Pile of books awaiting full text index creation
M. ILUG Green Hat ontop of ILUG Bag ontop of older Ilug bag

It is my mess and I love it!

Friday 3 October 2008

Calling any French Notes Geeks around Paris

Next week Mon-Thursday I will be in Les Ulis in Paris. Now geography is not my strong suit but I know it is near Massy on the south side of Paris and it is far enough away from CDG airport that it scares the SHIT out of me going all that way on the "peripherique".

So if any French Notes Geeks want to get together with an Irish Notes Geek some night next week drop me an email (see the "Getting my attention" section on the left) or Twitter me and lets arrange a time to have a spot of Domino Fraternité :-)

New Blog look 'n Feel

Well it is autumn (or fall if you prefer) and as the seasons change so doth my level of "comfyness" with my blog design. Having b**GG*red up the last one and succeeded in totally wrecking it I was pushed into getting out the CSS guide (thanks 2 Duffbert who pulled my name outa the hat during his session at ILUG 08) and I now have a CSS that is perhaps more ... professional.

For those of you that are wondering what the spirally shape is called a "triskele" there are plenty of reasons I could give for why i like it ... the proposed theory that it represents the tides of breath, the tides of life and death or the sea's restless toing and froing. Alternately very near where I learned to fish for Salmon, the "bann disc" was discovered and early iron age artifact that still has amazing grace and beauty even after 1000's of years. If you ever visit Belfast you can see it in the Ulster Museum which a pleasant diversion on a wet day!. Whatever the reason , for me it is a reassuring shape and as the world apparently slowly spirals down into chaos there is the home that like the Triskele we will all get would back up again for another go ;-)

Disqus for Domi-No-Yes-Maybe