Tuesday, 31 May 2005

Home from home

Okay so it's getting there now - the aim is to make the Nogbad site and this one look similar. Initially it would cover the whole Nogbad domain but when news leaked out there were howls of protest and sit-ins and letters to the editor and all sorts so I've agreed to revamp the Personal side (now done including rearranging the Bishopsbourne section) but the OU side will be untouched.
Nogbad the Bad

So visitors to the blog from the site or the site from the blog should see the theming (I hope) and if anyone has any thoughts - let me know!

Tuesday already.

Back to work with a bump after chilling out yesterday and redesigning bits of my web site (yes I know it's weird but I find it relaxing and fun!). Today has me cleaning the house while working as I'm collecting two of the children later, they will be here for a couple of nights so work will be during the times that they are asleep or otherwise engaged.

Click here for the Live8 website

The news is rightly full of the announcements about "Live8" and the "Make poverty history" campaign. If you haven't visited this site get in there and send an email to Tony Blair asking that he acts on the pre-election promise to work night and day before the G8 summit in July to stop the needless deaths in Africa. It'll cost you now't and it's just another way that individuals can make changes in big systems and you can help try to save 800 million lives - now that has to be worth a few moments of your time doesn't it?

And I still cannot find my glasses - it looks as though the worst case scenario has come to pass and I've finally lost them. In the short-term no big deal but as newspaper publishers and the people who print OU material seem to be using smaller and smaller typefaces I guess I'll have to get my eyes checked again and a new pair but when balanced against the paragraph above it really isn't a problem at all is it?

Monday, 30 May 2005

Brilliant news!

A friend has just mailed to say that she's carrying a brother or sister for her daughter! Wonderful news and something that will bring cheer to all her extended family (it runs to thousands!) Well done Sally :-)


Zen and the Art...........

"And what is good, Pheadrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?"

For me this is a big one, I'm certainly not going to try and review Pirsig's book or even look at the impact it has had and continues to have on me and my life. But I do feel the need to mention it and to try and share something of it with anyone who reads this posting.

As is the way of this world the motivation for doing this now rather than later or not at all is complex; it's based on conversations off, random thoughts, ideas spinning out unbidden, dislocated connections that spark across the synapses, "listening" to discussions in other fora that generate responses that would be inappropriate or misunderstood or simply wouldn't make sense in those places. Which made me reflect on what this blog might be used for (that and more conversations off).

I think it's an opportunity to try a different voice, it need not be responsive in the way that emails and conference postings usually are - it can be didactic, I can direct it without reference to a specific function for this area, I'm writing for an unknown audience - again a big difference when compared with conferences or email, I can ramble - no need for the tighter writing I encourage (or need) elsewhere. It's also a "Chautauqua .... intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the hearer" (Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance). Pompous no doubt, and not my words, but I think I'm looking at it in much the way that Pirsig saw the book; an opportunity for public introspection, a vocal meditation. So not only pompous but also self-indulgent and conceited! :-)

So that's where the two are linked right now - other connections exist but will be far more subtle and unconcious. Pirsig wrote for two years and then threw away the draft and started again, he went on to win critical acclaim for a book which is viewed as a classic across many genres and gave rise to the Metaphysics of Quality. My plans are far more modest. If one person picks up the book or reads it on screen - it's freely available on a number of sites - then that works for me. Read it as the story of a journey across America on a motorcycle or as the story of the journey of a man through his life or as an examination of Systems or as a primer in Buddhism or as an inquiry into values or simply as an opportunity to share a writing style that switches between observation and introspection, third person and first person, past and present with such ease but please, I implore you, read it!

I'll carry on looking for my glasses now.


Testing 123!

The blog allows publishing via email, i.e. I don't have to sign in to make an entry but can email something from wherever I am - now whether I need that functionality is moot but those who know me will know that having it means I'll have to try it :-)


Sunday, 29 May 2005

Swings and Magic Roundabouts

The good burghers of Swindon certainly have a great sense of humour and display it in an imaginative use of roundabouts to confuse anyone foolhardy enough to get lost while traveling through the town. The final masterpiece is, of course, the Magic Roundabout. It isn't as daunting as it first looks - it's far, far worse - and locals insist that it's easy and safe! I've driven round it before - years ago - and the same small twinge of confusion hits when seeing the sign again. What it doesn't show is that as we all pirouette around many are as confused as each other and there are pensive glances as we try to follow the road and determine what other dancers may do next. If you would like to see more images of this road system click here.

The fun was added to by listening to R5 Live discussing the French referendum on the European Constitution - from an 8 point lead it looks now as though the "Non" vote may have been pegged back but should still shave it. Who knows what that means for the EU? It seems certain that if the French reject it there will not be a vote here, in fact debate may well be silenced for some time and with it the hopes of the UK government that we can move towards monetary union and the adoption of the Euro. I wonder how everyone feels, europhile or eurosceptic, to have key decisions like this made by the French electorate?

Saturday, 28 May 2005


Saturday and the phone's been ringing already! Offering technical support at a distance is okay but there comes a time when you can go no further using someone else's eyes and hands so Stuart is taking his poorly PC into Sheffield to see if someone can breath life into it.

On the upside - I'm off to Swindon later for a beer, that will be fun!

Friday, 27 May 2005


Joined the blogging world after all this time living in Cyberspace. Warmest day of the year so far and I'm stuck here working on an assignment - ho hum.

Blame my mate Pyk for this - t'was all her fault! :-)