Today, the kids at the school had a new skipping song (I work with 4-7 year olds, skipping songs are cool). It was very familiar to me, and now it's stuck in my head. Specifically, it was this one:

I'm thinking I might need to Have Words with the teacher about teaching them to search YouTube so effectively.

i've been trying to clear it out with other songs all afternoon, but even the normally trusted favourites like Sound of the Suburbs or Anyone Can Play Guitar have failed me.

So it's your turn. I'd apologise, but, y'know...
My daily digest of texts, tweets and status updates.
  • 11:16 is still not back at work, damn developers. Ah well, more personal projects, the joys of self employment... #
  • 14:28 deciding that if we do buy a car, Jennie's not choosing the name. At all. Ever. UlriKA... #
  • 20:35 has just answered his phone to find it was his fiancée, ringing from the living room to ask me to bring something down... #
  • 02:09 is thinking Blackadder is a poor choice for insomnia viewing. Wide awake now. Still, very cool... #

Microblogging by SMS, using LoudTwitter and Twitter.
My daily digest of texts, tweets and status updates.
Sent by text from wherever I was at the time )

Microblogging by SMS, using LoudTwitter and Twitter.
Got back from Conference yesterday afternoon in a state of exhaustion. Played Dungeon Keeper lots in the evening as my brain wouldn't do anything else (and it was barely able to do that). Slept. Sort of.

Worked today, if you can call the half awake brain addled "guh" that I was managing instead of research working--not to self, don't start new projects the day after the end of a conference.

Am still not here. Had a great weekend despite the exhaution, met many many people and was bought many many drinks, which are good. Yesterday afternoon was not so good--I have no clue how my brain always says "St XXX" when it means "XXX St" and vice versa, but it does. Sorry darlin'

I have now also been reminded that I said I'd take the doggies out when I finished work. Which would explain why they're whinging at the door. Real proper updates with news, opinions and stuff might follow. Maybe. If I can wake up.
  • 13:38 travelling back to London and wishing he wasn't. #
  • 14:16 waiting for the train at Wakefield and wishing AMT still had the coffee licence, Costa's just not the same :-( #
  • 15:05 wandering what the point of free train wireless is if you've not got any power sockets. Bring back GNER! #
  • 16:43 changing at Vauxhall after a nice efficient journey. How did that happen? #
  • 17:39 sat in the office drinking Carlsberg, I'm the most sober here... #
  • 21:25 waiting for a table that was booked for 9pm. And a lot more calm than Cat. #
  • 21:52 starving. But at least the pizza is on the way. Hopefully. #
  • 22:27 listening to a musak cover of a Sisters song. Scary. #
  • 23:48 stood waiting at Waterloo for the train back to Wombledon. Knackered. #

Look, it's better than me texting LJ directly when I'm bored, right? Plus, y'know, microblogging, it's all the rage donchaknow. LoudTwitter
Life is good, money is tight, work's going OK, I'm probably moving to Yorkshire sooner rather than later and would like to make the best of London while I'm about )

What are your three favourite things to do in London?

What would you most recommend to people, what do you like to do most, etc. Including events, clubs, museums, attractions, cafes, etc.

When's the best time to go there, is it best to go with a group, and would you like to take/show me (and others?) around, etc?

Specifically, thie Friday I plan to go to Inferno again, haven't been for ages, anyone else want to come along? Other than that, I have no plans at all any evening or Saturday--suggestions very welcome. No guarantee I'll be able to do stuff, but odds are I'd like to rather than not like to.
OK, weird stuff going on. My work laptop has decided that wireless networks are fun things to have displaying as active in the systray, but not actually worth talking to the internet on. The spare work laptop can't be taken from the office.

My home PC is still doing that "cannot clear the ARPcache" thing that I never got around to fixing (work laptop was used, I was watching DVDs on it).

And, worse, I'm having issues getting to gmail and facebook from anywhere (except, weirdly, my mobile phone). So I'll be reformatting the hardrive of the desktop tonight, and I may or may not get back online, in the meantime, well, updates and comments will be random. Gah!
Exhausted after a long week trying to hit some end-of-quarter targets.  Didn't quite hit them, but boss is happy.

Am at Jennie's, and now likely to be here for awhile, boss doesn't need me in office and is happy with my work output.  Unfortunately, work laptop is borked, it's needed a reinstall for ages, so Jennie and I are hot-desking, hence we're both doing much less personal stuff online as it's an either/or deal.  I'm reading my friends page in starts, using filters to keep up with key stuff, but might easily miss stuff, LMK if anything major happens.


Have I promised to be anywhere any time soon, especially the next week or so?  My brain isn't working too much, and I see no reason to come back down as I don't need to.  I'd like to go the the Pratchett signing mid-Oct, but beyond that it's just stuff.

Off out in a bit, meeting Jennie at her pub, then on to a friends housewarming, which'll hopefully be cool, just hope my manflu doesn't knock me out.
  • Am in Brighton
  • Am exhausted
  • Am sat in massive double room I've got to myself in The Grand
  • Have been registering delegates all day, and only one crash, no printer problems
  • Am attempting to summon energy for food
  • Will then need energy for drink
  • Am using free broadband connection in room
  • Got the iron out earlier to heat up and thus dry the shirts that didn't dry overnight
  • I think some of the shirts had never been ironed before
  • Am thinking bullet point entries are easy to write
  • Have no idea how much time I'll have online
  • Am likely to be swamped tomorrow
  • Have had people come to say hello because they recognised my picture from online.
  • Seriously, it was a bit freaky
  • Did I mention the double room in The Grand to myself?
  • Am going downstairs to figure out who I might know
  • Might not post much this week, or alternately may spam much party geekery
  • Either way, you've been warned
That places where I've lived meme. Better plan.

Not a bad little tool that, updated it now, hadn't touched it since [ profile] susumu linked to it, oh, 6 months ago?
See, last night I posted twice, both fairly long posts that have attracted a lot of comments. First thing this morning, I posted an entry to [ profile] no_lj_ads which was a follow up. Again, it got a lot of comments.

How the engagement seems to have happened )and I got swamped in comments ) So, yeah, we're engaged. I've told my parents (they're very pleased) and my sister (who runs a wedding planning business as a hobby), she's, naturally, ecstatic. I've spoken to Jennie by phone a few times.

I've tried to backread everyone. I really have. But, um, it's not every day you get engaged is it? I've got a good excuse, right?

Um, yeah, some things just got put on hold again for a bit; I'll be off to Manchester Friday evening, then staying the week in Yorkshire (my boss insisted I work from home next week when I told him). So if I was supposed to be doing stuff, or something, um, yeah, I've probably forgotten; remind me later? In the meantime, in her post describing todays events, Jennie has also Simpsonised us. Um, yeah. Close enough I guess.

Oh, I've had a fair few more people add me today. Um, yeah, I'll look into adding people back, um, when I've got my head around stuff. Promise. At least people have said hi this time around.
So, [ profile] steph_swainston's new book is out today. And I'm tying to save money. Given that there are three books out this month I really want, well, patience is a virtue, I'd decided to switch to paperbacks only way before I ran out of money. Then she posted a link to a really good interview and a follow uppost about modern fantasy / New Weird writing. Got me all excited it did (plus, [ profile] faeriecween had texted me to say she'd bought her copy and I was all jealous, I'm supposed to be the one that gets the books first). And Steph had also posted a link to the Amazon page. So I went to look. Y'see that bit that says "nearly half price", and the bit that says "free delivery for orders over X". Yeah, I thought I'd see if I could find something. So a little bit further down the page? A "Perfect Partner". At the top of the post, I mention there are three books I'm excited about them coming out? Swainston, Reynolds and, well, Miéville's Un Lun Dun. The Reynolds will wait, but those two came to £16.77.

They're, um, in the post now. Oops. So much for waiting for the paperbacks.

On the subject of Miéville's Un Lun Dun, podcast of him doing a reading from it, so very cool. Many thanks to Iain of [ profile] tsitsoss_rss (formerly [ profile] daweaver of this parish) for mailing me that link.

Um, yeah. Life = very busy. Job = fun, well, dull, but great atmosphere and company. Location = Westminster, I'm still loving it. Mat = busy little bee. Need to sort out my friends list and viewing filters soon, but in the meantime, time to turn in, another long day tomorrow.
I, am knackered. Utterly exhausted. Coherent thought may follow later, or tomorrow, or something. In the meantime, here's a silly meme nicked from [ profile] rowanberries :
If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, even if we don't speak often, please post a comment with a memory of you and me. It can be anything you want - good, bad, neutral, random, or whatever. When you've finished, post this paragraph on your blog and be surprised about what people remember.
Because, y'know, when you're exhausted, comments = cool.

First full week in the job, enjoyed it, have pictures of the neighbourhood to follow (and we all know that means they'll never get uploaded), but am listening to Any Questions and trying to backread a very swamped friends list...

Oh yeah; happy birthday Mr [ profile] mapp!

Seriously. It's been over a month since I sat in an office and did a solid day's work, and, although it's weird, I sort of miss it. So, after a bit of (welcome) badgering from [ profile] pinkshifter, I went into Cowley St (LibDem HQ) and helped out with a big pile of data entry for next months spring conference. Lots (and lots) of forms.

It felt just like being back at the old place, except the data entry didn't feel completely pointless. Plus, picking up forms filled in by journalists I've seen on TV, or bloggers I've read, and updating their details was, weirdly, cool. Met [ profile] mooism and others for lunch, went to the Regency Cafe, a place so good it's the main picture on the Wiki entry for greasy spoon. Decent omelette, pile of chips and a whole pint of orange juice (in a traditional milk bottle) for under a fiver. Bargain, that's cheap by Devon standards, let alone central London; I'll go back there again. At the end of the long day we went for pizza in the Pizza Express under Millbank Tower. As that's no longer where Labour have their HQ, no apparatchiks to strangle, but, y'know...

Only downpoint was the tube home; took the District to Earl's Court, but then had to wait half an hour (along with most of the platform) for the Wimbledon train, loads of enpty trains went past to the other stations, but one for us? Not a chance. Right; off to go download the new extensions you've all been recommending me in the previous post, ColorZilla looks good straight out of the box...
Or, what not to do with your online blog. Enraged locals drive blogger from Barrow-in-Furness | The Register:
Steve Beall, 20, had been relocated from Whitley Bay by choc outfit Thorntons to run a new "Cafe Thorntons" in the sun-kissed Cumbrian paradise. The firm put him up in a local Travelodge, but he evidently wasn't impressed with his new home. Under the name "Stevo", Beall wrote: "Well then what is there to say about Barrow in Furness apart from its a s***-hole!! "How the hell people live there I'll never no [sic]"
Silly damn fool. If you're going to write about work online, then either completely anonymise it (cf NHS Blog Doc, Bystander, etc) or be very very careful about what you say and how you say it.

Or, alternately, use those privacy functions that even MySpace allows (and LJ does so much better) and make sure it's not publicly available. And next time it's my last day and my boss says I can go home when I've done clearing the desk, I'll make sure to set the file transfer of the zip of all my personal stuff up a little earlier... Filezilla is about 42% into a 120Mb upload. Which given we're on ADSL is taking it's time even though I'm the only one here except the Deputy MD...

Still, found some fun old files from years back, including the CV I used to apply for the job.
Yesterday, I said:
Off to see the lawyers tomorrow morning, hopefully be able to talk about it openly tomorrow evening.
And now I can. This morning, I went to see a local employment lawyer, and checked over the leaving documents. Terms of which are confidential, but I'm happy. I officially finish December 31st, but as the company shuts down for Xmas week, my last working day will be Friday 22nd. After that?

London. 95% certain on that one. I've been applying for a few jobs, but nothing concrete yet. I'll be ok financially for a month or so after getting up there, especially if I live really cheaply, so I'll be up to look for a place to stay &c a bit after Xmas/early new year, as well as obviously trying to get a job. I've unlocked my previous post from August, and I need to really put some effort in to actually making a go of this one.  The jobs market in Devon is pretty flat for mid+ management/analysis roles, even office admin roles are limited, so I'm pretty sure I'm making the right choice.

Probably the second biggest decision of my life, and almost certainly the riskiest, but hey, got to gamble a bit if you want to make it big, right?  There are a few jobs I'm after, and a few more that look interesting, beyond that?  Well, I have a new tag.  Let's see how things go, right?

Wish me luck. I think I might need it...

Oh yeah; if anyone knows of something that I'd be good at, gimme a shout?
Have I mentioned on here how much I like my deputy at work? She's really cool. Also, she's 8 months pregnant, and when I get back from my holiday, she'll have gone on maternity leave, so I won't be in the office with her again for ages...

Anyway. Booking my tickets )All I need to do is get there two hours before check in opens, and the flight leaves at 4.30ish. So, the coach leaving at 7.30am (ouch) getting there at 2.20pm is perfect, right?

I mentioned Zoe was cool, right? Y'know why? Oops, nearly did it again... )

5.30am! This is me, damnit!

So, if I go to sleep tonight, there is a snowball's chance in hell of me waking up on time, even if I book a taxi and ask them to ring. So, um, I'm pulling an all-nighter. First cup of coffee already drunk. Expect random spam posts from me all evening, sorry about that. Luton Airport=shed )

Firefox 2.0, theming it up good

Right, so many people I know love Firefox simply because it's not IE, right? Now, I'll admit, that's a good reason to like Fx, but despite this, there are some out there, people who seem to know what they're talking about, that still use IE, and actually like it. I have got used to the idea that sane, rational, intelligent people sometimes have strange ideas. This does of course mean that my friends list, who aren't really that sane or that rational, will have even stranger ideas. But I still don't understand a preference for IE. Ah well, YMMV, competition is good for us anyway (does anyone out there think IE7 would have been anything but a POS maintenence release if not for Fx and Opera? If you do, go get a stronger brand of coffee, please?)...

Musings on the history of Firefox, Netscape and this old farts opinions... )
So, to me, Firefox isn't new. It's not about being better than, or different, to IE. Firefox is based on the original Netscape code. The Gecko rendering engine that runs it (and the now Seamonkey suite, and also the new Netscape) is based on the old Netscape source. Browser wars? Meh, this old fart likes to stick with what he knows. Firefox isn't new, it's just what I learnt the net on, with shiny add ons and a better logo.

ETA: a lot of cuts, co's this one is huge, sorry bout that, mebbe shoud've been two posts.
Right, works outing on Sunday; I'm not going, but there was an internal quiz, the winner of which gets a £20 bet on the horses. They're all going to Newton Abbot racecourse for races this Sunday.

Half the questions were stats or company history, the rest were easy. Um, guess who wrote the company history marketing bumpf? Guess who does most of the annual stats analysis?

So, even though I'm not going, I get to place a bet on Sunday, my instructions are:
£20 to be placed on a nag of your choosing. If you don't have a race list, you could place your bet by proxy or choose a race number and name the favourite / second favourite (number 3) etc.
So, if anyone knows what form is, or how to choose a horse, or even what websites I could look at to figure out who is racing, etc?

I know someone out there must know this sort of thing...
OK, posting this one behind a lock for now but...

Spoke to my boss Thursday, he asked me to give him a final decision Monday (tomorrow). My decision? I'll be finishing my current job in December. I'm due a performance bonus, and he's also talking about arranging some sort of pay-off. I'll make sure I've got full details before I give him my decision, of course, but overall, fairly relaxed and happy. It gives me 5 months to finish off, handover, train a replacement and get a new job. Plus, a pay-off will give me enough cash (just) to move somewhere where I'll be happier.

So, 2 questions for you, my wonderful friends list.

Where should I move to?

Let's face it, I'm not actually stuck on any one location, nor am I really that bothered about specific location. Current ideas in my head, in order:
  1. London
  2. Exeter
  3. Leeds
  4. Edinburgh
  5. Germany
  6. Anywhere else
Reasons and rationale )

Question 2?

Gissa job?

More seriously, I've never actually had to look for and apply for a job properly before. I've been incredibly lucky, and every job I've taken I've been offered or been promoted into. So, might as well ask people out there that might possibly know someone offering a decent job. I'll also likely be putting copies of my CV up for feedback over the next few months, I'll need to start in January, but could start earlier if a transitional arrangement could be made.

What I'm looking for/good at )
So, I'm happy to move to anywhere in the country (or Europe), and I want a job that's an interesting challenge I have good transferable skills, but I want out of the industry I'm currently in. Something that interests me in some way would be good, I'm not sure (yet) that I want a direct move into politics of some sort but there is an appeal (it's what my BA is in after all).

Any ideas or suggestions gladly received; I'm not going to start actively looking for a bit, I've got 5 months and I want to relax a little and clear my head.


I need to figure out where I want to live, and figure out what I want to do. Your advice and opinion welcome.

For now, it's time to shower & shave, eat and get out the door, it's about time I saw my friends in Exeter.
[Poll #772612]

I have a goldfish bowl for an office. The fire exist we used to prop open was removed in the refurnishment. We ahve a flat roof. We have no ventilation.

I have a mild sunlight allergy, and, well, goth, not renowned for liking daylight anyway.

Still, the customers are happy (sort of), although some of the Spanish clients think it's too hot. Look, if the Spanish and Turks think it's too hot? It's too damned hot, gottit?

I'll, um, do the write up/instructions for the Google Bomb later in the week, the votes are in though...
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats.

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