Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Patriots and realists

July 11, 2009

One of the things that is fascinating for me as an Englishman is the marvelous ability of the Scots to be highly enthusiastic in their support for their national teams and players – yet realistic enough not to expect them to beat every other team or player on the planet. This is in contrast to the situation in England where the prevailing mood is one of expectation – that is when it isn’t disappointment verging on indignation at an expectation that has not been met.

To be fair, this is possibly because the English media do like to talk up their sportsmen and women; in contrast, the Scottish media are more circumspect, but wonderfully positive nonetheless; for instance, on the night of Andy Murray’s exit from the Wimbledon semi-final, the comments on the BBC Radio Scotland sports programme – digressing from its intended topic of football (what close season?) -went along the following lines. Yes, it was disappointing to see Andy lose, but he’s an excellent role model for kids like may other Scots sportsmen and women; and let’s look on the bright side, brother Jamie is still playing in his semi-final. If only the note of optimism could have helped Jamie -a matter of minutes later, he too was leaving the SW19 tournament for another year. However, their countrymen were proud of them both, and with a view of “There’s always next time”, it makes a change from the English meda’s frequent attempts to explain away an English loss.

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Why a blog…?

July 4, 2009

Yes, the very same question I would’ve asked myself a couple of years ago. “Blogs are for people who think they have something to say to the world and probably haven’t”.  Before I get inundated with indignant responses from seasoned bloggers, I should say that there are some very good blogs out there – but also some not so good ones.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this blog ends up more like the latter group than the former.

Given this rather negative viewpoint, why am I bothering to blog?  What follows may be heresy in these parts, but it is probably more to do with laziness than anything else.  Let me explain.  Both Valerie and I suffer from the affliction that we work in IT – and in our time, both of us have been responsible for coding an organisation out of a problem or two.  Although I’m not the most extreme example you could find, I do tend to look at problems in terms of how I would write code to deal with it.  So, although I’m not coding in my IT job now (sorry, I’m not meant to be coding), when we first set up our website I did tend to go a little bit over the top. For example, developing a routine for the conditional dynamic application of variable weight digital watermarks to the images to stop them being half inched by person or persons unknown. Hmm, most of my photographs are of a quality that they are not in danger of being mis-used in this way; and so having a complex “home-grown” website has just meant that the updates have been rather infrequent. More or less annual, actually! In an attempt to get more photos, news etc. up on the web, I’ve decided to give WordPress a try with a view to being able to focus on content rather than the code.

We’ll see how it goes, eh? If nothing else, yawning gaps in the blog may prove to be embarrassing enough to make me keep on top of things!