Because I forget stuff. Part of

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June 2004

Posts made in June 2004

Ouch. Note to Self

The grill is located directly above the oven. If the oven has been on for quite a while then just grabbing the metal handle of the grill tray is not the best thing in the world to do. Poor fingers. Ouch.

The Importance of Notes

So Ed sends me an email asking about a script to analyse STS data that we once used. Now I’d written this script (well, actually based on someone else’s but I’d made major updates). Problem was I couldn’t really remember we’d done that, let alone anything about the script. Fortunately I found a lab book in which I had some notes from the time (about 16 month ago) telling me about the code and what it does. That let me find the script again and check it’s in working order. Problem solved.
Let that be a lesson to first year undergraduates who wonder why they have to write so much in a lab book when they’ll “remember what I did”. Yes, tomorrow you might. The problem arrives with that email..

The Monkey Lives?

It seems what we all thought was flatline may have just been a blip. Without much fanfare, Webmonkey seems to have a beating heart again. Could it be that the web designer’s favourite simian hasn’t yet fallen from the tree?

Buzz, Spark, Smoke

So the hedge on the front garden has gotten a bit out of control (actually that’s an understatement, it’s stupidly wild). That meant that earlier tonight found me severely attacking it with the hedge trimmers. Having chopped what seemed like half a forest away I was reaching upward to try and deal with its prodigious height when there was a sudden bang, and some sparks and a bit of magic smoke escaped. Turns out that in amongst the large amount of cut down hedge which was getting in my way, the power cord had become entangled around the cutters. I’d just went through the wire. Luckily everything was plugged into an RCD, so other than a fuse there’s no harm done. I’ve rewired the trimmers (removing the burnt/melted bit of cord obviously) and everything seems fine. Remember people, when you have that sudden urge to garden, safety first!

Past Influences

Hey, just because his email address which has been lying around forever is actually still his email address, I’d like to quickly acknowledge the past influence of (and past times under the influence with) the god Mr David Helliwell (he doesn’t have a URL I know of), and indeed of all those from back in the days. Only he and I will get that, but what are personal blogs for?

And Rambling

From the link refered to in my last post I somehow moved on to another blog post, this one discussing a competition for search engine optimizers. That got me to thinking. Why is it so important to be number one in Google’s page rank? Obvioulsy it needs to be that the pages can be found by a search engine. However, really I’m very rarely influenced by what’s top of the list. When I am it’s almost always because I’m looking for the answer to a pretty specialised technical question, and then I’ll just search down until I find my answer. Rather than top hit I tend to return to sites I trust and have a good reputation. And just how do I know which sites they are? Nothing to do with web really I don’t think, but it’s damn hard to put my finger on. I think in general they’re sites which real people I’ve met have recommended. And after that sites which have been mentioned on blogs I trust, which is just one step removed from the first reason in the online world (excluding sites such as Amazon which are in the list because they’ve been around so long, back to my introduction to the net.
If you’re not a site actually selling something (OK, if you’re a shoe shop you might want to be top of the search for shoe shops) then I don’t think it’s worth being top of the searches. People will go where they know, not where the search results take them. Is that wrong? Do the general public really just go where Google’s I’m Feeling Lucky takes them? I do, occasionally, but only if I’m looking for a pretty specific thing (eg Seti@Home. But to find something beyond that-only if I know nothing about it, and therefore don’t know who to trust by unidentifiable means, and so won’t trust anyone fully anyway.

Blogs and Blogs

Sometimes I read something that makes me remember the reason that blogs are actually popular. To tell the truth most of the blogs I regularly read contain mainly technical discussions about web design, but occasionally I happen across a more traditional, personal entry. So it was just now. This entry isn’t that clever and it’s not the greatest bit of writing the world will ever see. But it is a wonderful insight into somebody’s life, an attempt to express one of those things which words can’t really cover, and an admirable job of it is done. You feel the happiness and you feel, well, the feeling.
This blog of mine doesn’t do that. I don’t think I’m capable of that sort of personal declaration to the anonymous world. I’ve never been one for self inspection (partly through fear of just what I might find). Sometimes I think my soul doesn’t bare baring (oh I’m being so clever today). Yet this is supposed to be the place I blog, “because I forget things”. Do those things include myself?
So I just made a deal with myself. allows you to write an email to be sent to any email address on a specified date in the future. Quite cool in itself, but Blogger allows you to email posts to your blog, so put the two together…(admitedtly I could set a posts date a year or whatever in the future on blogger, but it doesn’t auto post-though they might fix that-and I’m much more likely to forget it this way). So there’s a future email now carrying my best attempt at a personal post, set to publish a year from now, assuming they and this blog exist then.

He’s a Very Naughty Boy

Pepé, my cat, decided this morning that tuna just wasn’t good enough so went out for takeaway. Recenty he’s brought three or four small mice, normally at night, which he normally meows to tell us about. This morning though he fancied a change and got himself a small bird. Happily he came trotting in only to be shouted at as he tried to race up the stairs. In shock, or possibly mischief, he decided to drop said bird. Having been ticked off and removed from the scene it was then left for still half asleep man to try and remove bird from his abode.
The bird was quite happy to sit perfectly still on the floor, wedged into a corner. It even let me gently stroke it. However as soon as I tried to pick it up in order to give it a helping hand through the nearby door, there was a blurry flap of wings as it made its escape, never gaining much altitude but actually flying under much of the furniture in the living room.
After chasing it from corner to corner for a while, it finally got a bit of height and realised that freedom awaited it a short distance away. In a barely registered blur it shot through my front door and was gone. Hopefully it will have the sense to avoid the big, black, furry monster now.


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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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