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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Today’s favourite phrase... “It went doooff”


Source: @golfyball December 11, 2018 at 06:27PM
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Quite a moment https://t.co/ygYW0aLrXB


Source: @golfyball December 11, 2018 at 08:03AM
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Sunday, December 09, 2018

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Still not dead.. Agile.

It’s about time we all had a serious word with ourselves about just how utterly stupid Agile is. It doesn’t get things done quicker, but it does get things done with an extra level of crap. Crap because some pencil pushers somewhere think that they can save a bunch of money by not testing their products before the go to market, thus both saving cash and getting there faster. The problem is you end up releasing crap to the market and pishing off your customers... In the last week these examples just re-inforce what seem to be blindingly obvious to me.

 Another software bug with another new Google product is bad news for everyone https://apple.news/AR1nENg29Qqin2USEQz4dxA

 Apple's head designer Jony Ive says he 'hears' your MacBook criticism https://apple.news/ACjprelvyTASm6Vcc707RTQ

 Apple's had a shockingly bad week of software problems https://apple.news/AU9y7k5RbRX29xiqtfIxTIw

 Microsoft Might Have Helped HP Install Spyware on Users’ Windows Computers https://apple.news/ANRvSUYpgN4ScVj2jO3YydQ

 Uber Says The Names, Email Addresses, And Mobile Phone Numbers Of 2.7 Million People In The UK Were Compromised In A Data Breach https://apple.news/AyDo3InMDRVGa0h3w4U8AyA

 You don’t have to look too far to find plenty more examples of corner cutting resulting in problems. Stop giving us rubbish stuff that leaves us open to hackers or just doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. We’d all do a bit better if we stopped being “Agile” and actually did some quality work instead.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

No, I'm not dead...

...I'm still very much alive and kicking, albeit trying to kill myself with lots of hard work.  I know, I know - always decking moaning that golfyball. Miserable sod.  Well actually, I'm not moaning. A good bit of hard work can be very rewarding and I'm quite sure that in the long run it will be. So what's been going on then ? As you can see, last years blog consisted of a single entry reminding everyone to register to vote. So there was that. But it's long gone and once again we have a conservative government who are just has hopeless as any other government we might have had, and so the cycle of rubbish leadership continues. The back end of 2014 saw me travelling up and down to Liverpool working on a job at Shop Direct. That all ended up being a successful piece of work and the long hours proved worthwhile. They were a challenging lot, but they were truly only asking all the right questions and doing right by their business.  I'd like to think that we did a good job for them and the services we provide are just what they needed.  That all wrapped up just before Christmas and the break was a welcome one that enabled me to recover somewhat before getting my nose back to the grindstone. So then it was 2015 (even now it's hard for me to believe that I'm talking about a time over a year ago).  Since then, I have worked on just one - yes one single job. Now that in itself is unusual.  The turnaround time of these things is usually anything from 1 month to about 9 months (for a particularly long one). Not this time though.  This time We're coming up on 16 months and it's not done yet. In truth this piece of work is the largest thing I've ever got involved in.  It's enormous. That sounds like it's quite big and I'm sure your imagination is putting a boundary on it and estimating a size - however, whatever it is that you're imagining isn't big enough. It's bigger than that. Honestly, it's insane. And I can't believe we'll ever see the like of it again. Unfortunately that means I can't really talk about it, which is a great disappointment, but such is the way of things. I can tell you that I've spent the time travelling up and down to London and Ireland both of which are fascinating and soul destroying in equal measure. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Register to Vote now!

If you're in the UK you have just two days to register ahead of the election on May 7 if you haven't already. It only takes 5 minutes: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

 

Monday, October 27, 2014

One last push...

Apparently, it's Monday again. These things seem to come round with astonishing regularity, unlike my blog entries, but I'll keep trying.

 

This week, I'm on the train to London, which I have to say, makes a very pleasant change from Liverpool. Don't get me wrong, Liverpool is fine, with all its localness, and footballness, and "there's nothing for your round here"-ness, which is far rarer than I am making out (for comic effect, and to wind up my sister). Seriously doh, (coz dey do dat down der doh don't dey doh) its a really nice place nowadays. A vibrant city with lots to see and do, and plenty of character, history and dare I say it, even some culture. I've enjoyed it, even though it's been excruciating painful to do, it is finally starting to come to a close. Hence my trip to London. The final week of the heavy lifting part of the process, requires certain senior individuals to be within earshot, so the mountain is coming to Mohammad.

 

The aching bones and inability to walk, finally subsided by about Wednesday last week. That will teach me to rush that floor tiling job, but it is done and the results are pleasing. However, there is no rest for the wicked, and so first thing Monday I was straight back up to that Liverpool for more of the same. However, I'd very sensibly booked Friday off in advance of a visit from the Scottish contingent. I rushed home Thursday night, and even managed a couple of jars with the WTC to round off my working week, which was a blessing. The sanity/insanity that comes with time in their company is often an oasis in the desert of my working week, and one I'm very glad has water and palm trees.

 

I am starting to get more than a little hacked off with the travel-for-work thing. Having worked from home for so long, you get a routine, and right now I'd like that routine back. I should of course be careful what I wish for, because these things have a way of biting you, and I'm acutely aware of a forthcoming holiday anyway, which Mrs G and I have well and truly earned.

Friday, my favourite brother-in-law arrived, with Mrs Gs sister and their offspring. It's always a pleasure to see them, and it's becoming a regular trick to spend his birthday doing something semi-active in the day and then semi-alcoholic (with a curry) in the evening. This year was no different in that respect, and we spent the day wandering around Gloucester and taking in the delight that is the "Crucible 2" art exhibition currently showing at Gloucester Cathedral. This consists of around a hundred works of art - sculptures in fact - dotted around the cathedral and its grounds. Some pretty amazing things and in, what is, a very grand and beautiful setting. A pot of traditional tea and some coffee's in "Lily's tea shop" afterwards, to shelter from the rain and a thoroughly good time was had. I'd recommend it although you'll have to be quick as its gone at the end of October.

 

We did the curry thing and all the local gang were there. Daughter and Tall fella came along, and Dave, Tall fella and I picked up the curry whilst having the now traditional "cheeky pint" in the pub next to the curry house. All good stuff.

 

On Saturday, Mrs G and I took a cycle into town and did some very minor shopping, although she did get a bargain, and then I had to prep and pack for a night in Wiltshire. Many many years ago, I served an apprenticeship in an engineering firm in Chippenham. As a result I wound up working in IT, as the IT manager for what became a very successful little company manufacturing high powered semiconductors. I reported to the Finance director, an ex policeman and an all round truly smashing bloke. In the 7 years I was there, I learned everything I needed to set me up in a long career in what we now refer to as IT, but which was ostensibly - looking after the computers, back then. It was a great time, with ups and downs and he guided me into an interesting and most helpful role at head office, and onwards into greatness... Etc etc etc.... Anyway, as I say, this was many many years ago, and the time has come for his retirement - which frankly scares the bejesus out of me. He'd organised a get together of a few of the people he'd enjoyed working worth, and I feel most privileged to be included in that set. Fine wine, fine company, fine food, reminiscing and forward planning were the highlights of the evening, and while (as the song goes) everything changes, everything also stays the same. I hadn't really planned on staying overnight, but there you go. In the end I'm glad I did. It was great to catch up and remember what were some of my my formative years, and I thank him for it greatly.

 

You can imagine, that I had a slightly woozy start to Sunday morning, but nothing that some bacon and eggs couldn't put right. His wife did the hangers-on proud, and I finally got home around midday. I got a few little jobs done and the packing started ready for the forthcoming week, and then late afternoon, Mrs G started on the Sunday lunch, which was a special one on this occasion. Not least because it was to mark the Tall ones birthday. (I know, it's a non-stop party in our house). A gorgeous piece of roast lamb with all the trimmings and plenty of banter, although to be fair I was at this point totally shattered, made for an enjoyable time, but before I knew it, it was time to finish my packing and get some sleep before the early taxi/train combo to London.....

 

So here I sit. Once more into the breach dear friends, once more....

Monday, October 20, 2014

Holidays are coming...

After that last entry, I'm struggling to stay awake, but it goes like that. Total and utter boredom of monotony, followed by fast paced, high energy excitement, followed by back round to the slow pace of plodding ever onwards. So by that token, this entry should be a rip roarer. Sorry, but not a bit of it.

The earliest train there is up to Liverpool is at ten past seven from my nearest station, Gloucester. In my book that's early, but can be considered a lie-in by London standards. However, now that the summer is over, it's mostly dark, and so mostly feels like the middle of the night anyway.

Last week I was at home. On the work front, we're under great pressure to be seen to be out performing the rest of Europe (which of course we are) and that means proving we can do the jobs we've been doing for x number of years (I say X, because it's a bit like revealing one's age, and in my case, it's well into double figures.) This proof, comes in the form of a pile of paperwork that has to be approved by a bunch of managerial types just to say you're not making it up. To be honest, I've been doing this for so long, that half of said managerial types weren't even employed here, so how would they even know?... Regardless, I stayed away from the client site for the week to get the job done and it proved to be a fascinating gaze into my navel replete with successes and failures and all the odd bits and bobs that you'd rather you'd forgotten about, or could barely remember doing in the first place. That's the trouble with this job. No sooner have you finished one deal, than you're off to the next one and what you were just doing is instantly forgotten. It is, bizarre.

In other news.... Daughter bought a new car, and so son bought a new (to him) car while Mrs G and I remain resplendently carless. We seemed to have managed remarkably well so far, although I fear the day is coming when I'll crack and buy either a banger, or something brand new, or hop back into the company car scheme.. Who knows? In reality, if you don't need a car, then why have a car? ...and other people will say "surely you need to go places?" as if you can't travel without a car... Or "How will you ever cope?" but I can tell you, you just do. Living on the edge of a city makes it a lot easier. If we lived out in the countryshire proper, then it would be a different story. I'm pretty sure a car would be an essential, but we have reasonably good transport links, and most things are a short walk away or practically on our doorstep. On that basis, I think I'll keep the insurance and road tax in my pocket for the time being.

Stan and I bumped into our local MP in the pub, and he claimed to know us. This was something I found particularly odd as I'd never met him before in my life. MPs have a thankless job, and I often wonder if it's actually just a pointless job. They don't do themselves any favours more often than not. All too regularly are they caught with their hand in the till (well, the public purse to be more precise) or up to no good with the likes of the baby eating bishop of bath and wells. No wonder nobody ever trusts them. They consistently let themselves down - not forgetting that you can't please all the people all of the time - so they really are onto a looser... I considered getting into a debate with him on the subject of the railway triangle, or the general state of the post office, or some such similar subject, but I thought about it for 30 seconds, and then decided I'd rather have another pint in a different pub than dance around the hooray-henry's... I'm really referring to the company he was keeping than the man himself. Stan and I sought refuge in a proper boozer instead.

Mrs G and I took in a night at the cinema (Gone Girl - 8/10 - gripping, but didn't quite finish in the manner it needs to, although camera work, scene setting and acting, as is always the case with David Fincher works, was more than excellent). We also had a bite to eat in the Coal Bar and Grill, which while being a chain, is a very nice chain at least. I do love a relaxing night out with the boss, and while she generally hates the cinema, even she was gripped by the plot.. Good times.

Claude had a 50th birthday party which was an entertaining Friday night.. All the local gang were there. More good times and ridiculous dancing.

I finally managed to retile the floor of mother-in-laws utility room. That has been on the cards for about two months, but the time has just not been available. Yesterday I set at it with a pace, and had it pretty much finished by 5pm. Bearing in mind it's only about 2 square meters of floor (if that) but it did have the mother of all fiddly bits, down in a corner that you could barely reach. I know I did it because this morning I still can't feel my knees. Finished job looks much better though.

...and with that, the sun is coming up, I have a very challenging next two weeks approaching at some serious rate of knots and then... holidays are coming... and so is Birmingham New Street.

All change....

 

 

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