Next stop: Newry

Today I called Next to see whether a couple of items I was interested in buying online could instead be picked up from the Tottenham Court Road branch, or else another London branch.

The operator, in India I believe, apologised when informing me that the items in question were not currently in stock for for online order, nor were they in stock in any of the London stores. She helpfully informed me, however, that I could pick them up from the Newry store. I didn’t ask her for driving directions, but Google informs me that the nine hour one minute one-way journey can be achieved via the Holyhead–Dublin ferry.

Head-shaking for no

Head-shaking means no, while head-nodding means yes. Bulgaria, and possibly a few other places in the world, are the exceptions.

The reason, I expect, for head-shaking being associated with "no" is that it’s the easiest way as a child to avoid an approaching spoonful of food that you’re not interested in eating. It merely brings with it the risk of food on one’s cheeks, as opposed to food up one’s nose. As the adult-held spoon follows the mouth to the left, the head can quickly jerk to the right, cunningly bypassing the spoon and its nasty contents. The neck muscles are much better equipped to rapid lateral movement than they are to vertical movement.

The nod for yes I expect will come later, likely contextualised by the previously-learnt head-shaking.

Best Christmas choon ever

Enjoy the Top of the Pops version or a live concert rendition. Equally fabulous, and both equally toothless.

Google Reader–Google Apps. integration

I was going to write a post about my annoyance at Google Reader not being integrated into Google Apps. Meaning that I have a different Google login for Reader than I do for my Mail, Calendar, Docs etc.

But having done a bit of research, and played around a bit, it seems I’ve solved it. I now have a Google Reader account tied to my own-domain email address.

I’m not sure exactly what I did, nor whether I’m doing something that Google intended. But it’s great. I’ve exported and imported my subscriptions from the old account to the new one. I now need to figure out how to get my starred and shared items across. Not sure if I can. Anyone?

Eagerly-awaited lines (part 2)

In addition to the three eagerly-awaited lines in Simon and Garfunkel’s Mrs. Robinson, I feel bound to give similar stature to the following line from Eartha Kitt’s Santa Baby, which attracts significant iPod playtime at this time of year.

The enunciation is sublime. Just lovely.

Breakfast room

Anna (or more technically her beloved) recently speculated on how much cereal it would take to fill her living room. Click here to read about the bizarre thought process that led up to it.

Anyway our lounge, with rough dimensions of eight metres long, four metres wide and 3.5 metres tall, would need around 236,786.5 pints of milk to fill. Assuming nine helpings of Alpen (my cereal of choice) in a standard box, and half a pint of milk per serving, I’d need 52,619 650g boxes. (Ocado only allows me to order up to 99 boxes at a time, which is frustrating.)

The total cost of the experiment would be £254,545, assuming the use of six-pint semi-skimmed milk containers and no bulk order discounts. 65% of the cost is Alpen-related; 35% for milk.

I’d need to tape up the doors, and probably re-inforce the windows. I expect I’d have to complete the experiment by ripping up the upstairs carpet and floorboards, and pouring the ingredients through the gap. I would, obviously, trip the relevant electrical switches to avoid any associated disasters.

Stretch marks

Yesterday I read with interest the story of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s intent on giving a guilty plea in the pre-trial hearing at Guantanamo Bay. Albeit not quite as newsworthy, I have to question what on earth Khalid has been doing with his t-shirt. How on earth do you end up with a neck hole quite as large as that?

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed

(Assuming it wasn’t used as a form of leverage by the Guantanamo guards, of course.)

The BBC has since pulled the picture, probably after complaints from his mum ("I always taught him to take care of his things better than that"), but it’s above for your enjoyment.

Hippo < Human < Potato

Yesterday, I discovered that my daughter is lighter than a potato, yet heavier than a hippo. Go figure.

Change request: rejected

My mate in Sydney who hosts this little blog moved it to a shiny, new server and upgraded php in the process. I could swear I didn’t receive a change request to authorise. That’s what you get when you get a free hosting service, I guess ;)

The adverse impact of the move was, as far as I’m aware twofold:

I’ve sorted the former problem by disabling the captcha (that number that you used to have to type in to post a comment), but comments are still moderated. The impact to me is that I have to reject swathes of shitty spam comments, which kicked in the moment I disabled the captcha—comforting that it seems it was doing something all these years.

As for the latter, I have no idea why it stopped working, but I’ve just clicked it, and it seems to have rectified itself. Which is nice.

It seems that pLog didn’t work properly with the new version of php. Time to move to WordPress as soon as possible.

(As an aside, all of the spam comments are very complimentary about my site. Maybe a better captcha would look for any complimentary comments and remove them, on the assumption that all genuine comments will be derogatory.)

Knowledge management: is it possible?

Lots of organisations bang on about the importance of knowledge management. And they’re keen to differentiate it from information management.

But I question the achievability of the former. All you can do is communicate information to someone and ask them to use that information to operate in certain ways. You cannot manage the knowledge that ensues from that communication. Can you?

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