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Mark -

Last Build Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 21:32:51 GMT

Copyright: NOINDEX

Single Again

Tue, 25 Sep 2007 21:32:51 GMT

Where do I start....


Tue, 10 Jul 2007 11:15:06 GMT

When making AJAX calls from within Rails, and wondering why your render :partial is refreshing the screen rather than just updating your nominated
, it's a good idea to check that you have actually included the JavaScript Prototype routines.


Block paving and mini road-sweeper

Sat, 23 Jun 2007 10:58:19 GMT

I like my neighbourhood :o) It's almost worth the council tax alone. I don't think I've ever lived anywhere before where they sent a sweeper round...

google Street View

Sun, 03 Jun 2007 17:26:15 GMT

Just. Wow.

I have moved

Fri, 25 May 2007 17:38:59 GMT

Aaaand relax.

Until work next week anyway.

Still no build date on the car, mind. Come on Ford, if youre not careful I am going to cancel my order...

I actually love being in the office at this time of night...

Fri, 27 Apr 2007 20:09:09 GMT

I can play music loud enough to shake the walls, and there's no-one to complain!!


What. The. Fuck.

Fri, 27 Apr 2007 16:49:26 GMT

Words. Just. Fail. Me.


Tue, 10 Apr 2007 12:47:01 GMT

OK, it's been quite a while...!

Since the process is quite advanced I feel I can probably write about it without jinxing anything.

My other big purchase recently, aside from the car (it is actually this which is allowing the purchase of the car) is that of a new house.

BleanDweller is going back to Blean! In terms of size, it's similar to my current place - one bedroom, although this one actually has a landing so feels more like a 'proper' house. Still don't feel like I require anything bigger though, since I tend to spend most of my time sat at my desk!

I have been in two minds about moving. The one downside is leaving my lovely garden that has taken hours of toil to build and maintain, but the upsides far outweigh that. I'll have a carpark with no pot-holes, I'll be where I want to be, it's only a few minutes from Whitstable beach (must get a 3G card for the laptop....), I can free up a little of the cash that I've made on the current house, and whats more, it's only an hour from work - a good blat up the M2 which I'm actually looking forward to as excellent thinking time.

My current thoughts are to work from home 2 days a week, and go to the office 3 days a week. I think this is a good balance. I certainly seem to get more done at home anyway.

Looking tentatively like beginning of May for completion *crosses fingers*.

The best bit is my house sold in 2 and a half days. Got to love the current market!


Thu, 05 Apr 2007 15:43:22 GMT

Those that have known me a while will know that I normally change my car every 9-12 months or so.

Due to various reasons/circumstances, I have not been able to do that with the C-MAX. Thinking of it, one of those circumstances is actually that I did not want to - I love that car.

However the 3-year mark is fast approaching and I'm faced with either trading it in, buying it outright, or handing the keys back and walking away.

So I've done none of the above. I'm selling it to a friend and so I've been on the lookout for a replacement.

Today I spent far too much of Ford Credit's money at the Ford dealer on an S-MAX Titanium 2.0TDCi with Xenons and Bluetooth.

Some call the S-MAX a shoebox with a fat arse. I don't deny that the back of it is the least cohesive part of the design. However it drives like a car half its size, is comfortable, quiet, quick and more to the point, I can fit twelfty million PCs and printers, etc into it, or half of B&Q.

Hopefully being delivered in the second half of May... after my other big purchase recently, which I have not mentioned yet on LJ. Ah well I'll write about it when things have been signed...!


Sat, 10 Mar 2007 18:24:15 GMT

I'm a dolt and ran my passport through the wash again.

My new one has a Big Brother chip :o(


Sun, 11 Feb 2007 20:57:47 GMT

Just watching Top Gear, and they got pelted with rocks and had a load of rednecks with dawgs and shotguns chase them just cos they had slogans painted on their cars that might be controversial in that part of the world.

I would like to ask my American readers:

a) why do you allow Alabama to stay in the Union?
b) what is their problem?
c) how do these people actually manage to breed.

And then they got to New Orleans. We're talking 3rd world, man.

A very strange place...

I think i'll stick to Boston and the Bay Area, personally.

Not a tale of two cities. More like a tale of two countries. No, a tale of two worlds.

So so bizarre.

And the purity test comes round again...!

Sun, 24 Dec 2006 13:09:35 GMT

Somewhat Debacherous

You are 41% pure!


My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
(image) (image)
You scored higher than 14% on purity

Link: The 100 Point Sexual Purity Test written by ocicat on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Dear Mr Tesco

Thu, 07 Dec 2006 12:57:48 GMT

Why oh why do your tubs of fruit salad or pineapple chunks *always* leak?

Oops I did it again

Thu, 07 Dec 2006 12:56:58 GMT

For the second time in 6 months my passport went through the washing machine.

I think this is my subconscious telling me I'm really not interested in travel!

I shan't bother getting another one until I absolutely have to.

Just one thing

Wed, 08 Nov 2006 11:59:01 GMT


*ahem* thank you.

Proof once again that it is actually cheaper to get a new car

Thu, 26 Oct 2006 14:28:30 GMT


37,500 service: £236
Brake fluid change: £35
New front brake pads required: about £100
4 new tyres required: about £400

Dunno how it's all gonna get paid for, frankly.

Would have been cheaper to lump down a deposit on a new car a year ago and keep the same monthly payments. Ah well, live and learn.

Hello brightening sky

Thu, 26 Oct 2006 06:04:52 GMT

I must say I do enjoy all-nighters. No phone calls, no distractions. Just hours and lovely hours to get stuff done.

Marvellous :o)

Self Indulgent Post

Thu, 12 Oct 2006 12:40:18 GMT

I can honestly say that right now, things are pretty damn good.I think I am the least stressed I have ever been. I put this down to my change in 'career'. Or rather, the fact that I don't have to worry about annoyances like careers anymore. I am master of my own destiny (customers willing...!).As per my previous post my working hours now suit me perfectly, enabling my body to fall into its natural rhythm. I am working more hours than I ever did at Ford, although less than when it was Ford + GF combined - thankfully, as any more of that would have killed me - and I am loving every minute of it.Outside of work (there is an outside?!) things are great too - I am very much looking forward to moving to Kent (although I seem to have almost done so already - oops!), things are going amazingly well with Lacey and I am for the first time in many years being myself, enjoying life and sticking two fingers up to a society which would pigeon-hole people into certain behavioural patterns/descriptions.I have also, without meaning to, gone on a bit of 'self-discovery'. Don't worry dear reader I will not get all 'new age' on you! I have discovered and reconciled and accepted the following:I am not a team player. Never have been, never will be. No point trying to pretend otherwise or attempt to be so. Probably due to being an only child. I have always relied on myself and my abilities. If I have an interest in something, *I* want to do it because I want all the fun. If I don't have much of an interest in something, then fine, someone else can do it.I am effectively unmanageable. Again probably the belligerant only-child thing. I get crotchety and grumpy when given tasks and checked up on and told what to do. I am not work-shy by any means, but it has to be on my terms and for reasons that I can see and subscribe to. The contradiction to this is if I am asked to do a task which I find very interesting, I will try to do it as well as possible in an almost sycophantic desire to please. Strange that - don't know why. Probably showing off.I have a deep desire to contribute to the economy. I have a strong urge to provide services to other businesses to help them do business and get us revenue into the bargain. I love seeking out new business opportunities as it gives me a real buzz to win a new contract.I have simple tastes. One of the reasons I am so calm and unstressed is that I do not really want for anything right now. Yes I am looking to move to a bigger house. Yes I would like a shiny new car. But everything else I want, I have - material or otherwise. Actually on the material front I am trying to offload as much as possible. I keep joking that when I move I will only be taking my DVDs, CDs, PCs, sofa, and bed - but this is actually not far from the truth and you know what, I like the idea. What else do I need? All the real richness in life is provided by the company of my loved ones.I do not operate effectively on a standard 0900-1700 day. I generally work about 10 hours a day during the week but it is spread between about 1100 and 0100.I'm sure I was originally planning to write more than this.One consequence of all the above is that if, for whatever reason, the worst was to happen with the business (thankfully I do not think this likely) and I were to find myself on the job market again and having to think about the whole 'career' rubbish once more, going up against people who actually give a damn about such stuff (please tell me - why?) I am, frankly, screwed.Ah well.[...]

Effective Working

Thu, 12 Oct 2006 12:20:59 GMT

I've been thinking lately. I wonder how much productivity is lost in the UK economy due to people working outside of their most alert hours.

Due to historical reasons, most businesses operate on an 0900 - 1700 basis. This is all well and good, but I wonder what percentage of the workforce are fully effective during these times.

Speaking personally, I am quite nocturnal. Recently my working days have gone thusly:

0900: wake up, wander to PC, check email,,,
0915 - 1030: potter around, answering emails/phone calls as they come in, browsing bbc news, theregister, techcrunch, scobleizer, etc. Chomp on some brekkie, tidy the house, feed the fish.
1030: jump in shower
1100: drive to office
1130 - 1800/1900: work in office
1930: arrive home, doss around, make dinner, relax
2200 - 0100: work, generally coding at this time of night.

I find that my brain does not really kick in until midday, and I get most of my creative work done in the afternoon but my optimum time for writing code is in the dead of night.

This is why I was so much less effective within a more fixed, structured timetable. I simply was not at work at the same time as my brain was fully functional.

The thing is, I can't be the only one.

I recognise that there are some positions where such flexible working is not possible. However I feel that there must be many positions where such working arrangements are eminently possible that are not taking advantage of the fact.

Now obviously I can only get away with such hours at the moment due to the fact that during the week I am on my own in the house. If I were living with Lacey I'm sure she would (quite rightly) get annoyed with my timings. However again, like me, there must be many others for whom this is not a problem, and whilst it remains possible, lets take the bull by the horns and make use of it.

So come on UK PLC, wake up and get productive.

That's much better

Tue, 10 Oct 2006 09:58:43 GMT

After about 12 hours sleep interrupted only by an awakening in the dead of night and another when my phone decided to cock-a-doodle-doo at me at 8:30 (swiftly followed by being flung across the room), I feel much better.

Onwards and upwards

Fresher's Flu

Sun, 08 Oct 2006 17:43:44 GMT


Mmm, Lemsip...


Tue, 26 Sep 2006 14:49:33 GMT

Due to keeping somewhat nocturnal working hours at the moment, I am able to feed my sharks (ok, ok, goldfish and koi) during the light of day.

In addition to the now rather large originals, there are around 15 babbies!!!


Sun, 24 Sep 2006 20:18:11 GMT

Well, what an amazing day yesterday. (image) sven_garner and his lovely lady Sarah tied the knot. A thousand congratulations to the happy couple! Poor muggins here was best man, a job which I actually thoroughly enjoyed on the day, even including giving my speech ;o)

As with any large event, there were a couple of hiccups but overall, a fantastic day was had by all and I look back on it with a huge number of fond memories. Rob really does brush up well and Sarah looked absolutely stunning!

I have to thank (image) bluemop for her tireless assistance to me throughout the day - keeping me sane, de-stressed and just being there to help out with things. I am such a lucky man to have her, and still sometimes have to pinch myself!

Here's wishing Rob and Sarah a lifetime of happiness and joy.

To the Bride and Groom!


Wed, 20 Sep 2006 21:35:02 GMT

...I was looking back on LJ entries, as you do.

I noted that on my first day working full time for GF, I commented that I had looked forward to coming into work in the morning.

You know what, I still do. I know it's only been 2.5 months (already?!!) but I still relish the challenge, love the work and love the difference we can make to our customers.

Long may it continue!