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Longest Reign

Today, Queenie becomes the longest-reigning monarch of the UK – 65 days, 7 months and 2 days (at the time of writing, naturally)

I’m not the greatest fan of the monarchy – although neither am I a disliker of it as such, I’m just completely ambivalent about the entire thing – but that’s one heck of a time, however you look at it.

Whatever though, it’s always good to be able to resurrect this image – and yes, I know, it’s Photoshopped, rah rah – which you can’t help imagine is what she’s doing to Charles on a regular basis…


Privacy Breach

Yet again, today there’s a story about another place revealing a confidential list of customers in emails – and as usual, in what’s known as a Corbett round here (courtesy of a certain Irish marketing person) it’s looking like the leaker sent the email using CC instead of BCC.

In this case, the information is even more sensitive than usual, as it’s people who’ve used a particular STI clinic in London, and may have also revealed their HIV status.  Oh, bloody whoops.

It amazes me how often this seems to happen – and how easy it should be to fix.

The first answer is, obviously, train people.

But after that, it’s about defending against laziness and stupidity.  But even that’s pretty easy.

All it really needs is a block on recipients in CC.  If you’re sending an email and it’s got more than (say) 10 addresses in the CC field, it simply asks if you’re sure you want to send it with those people in CC rather than BCC.  That’s an email-client thing – but is easy to do.

It can’t be that difficult – my own email clients all already ask if I want to send an email with no attachments if the message contains keywords like ‘attached’ or ‘CV’, after all.

A similar thing could be done on the mail-server as well – put in a rule that if there’s more than [defined limit] of addresses in the CC, it doesn’t send without an authorisation, an acknowledgement that this is OK.

There will still be the odd blithering fucktrumpet who manages to send out a whole mailing-list in CC (or even To) – but at least make it harder for them to do so.

Surely that’s not asking too much?


The Beginning of The End – 2015

ScroogeIt’s the start of September, and that means that we’re in the run-up to the Festering Season.

The signs are all there – X-Factor started last weekend, and Strictly Come Dancing starts this coming weekend.  I don’t watch either of them, but they’re both timed to finish up just before the Festering Season, and as such they qualify as the harbingers of doom.

I’m sure there are other pre-cursors to it (perfume ads on TV, for one) but these two are the main ones I notice now. It’s a sad state of affairs.

New(ish) Places – Some More

Following on from last week’s post about rediscovering places that are local (and that I hadn’t realised were local) I did a similar thing this weekend.

Having dropped off the Uborkans back at Stoke Bruerne, I had all day to play with, so mooched over to another blast from the past- Rushden and Higham Ferrers, in Northamptonshire.  While I didn’t work there myself, friends did, and I got pretty familiar with the area.

As before, it was odd to be going along routes I remember from bus and taxi rides from Northampton, the way those routes tripped my memory – as did arriving in Rushden, and recalling a bundle of landmarks.

I ended up walking round Rushden, as well as up to Higham Ferrers (roughly 3km each way) to revisit places I used to frequent. It was odd to see the changes, as well as the bits that haven’t changed – particularly the hotel that my friends worked in, which is now a set of apartments, with a new connected building, and a new supermarket over the road. It’s bloody weird, seeing old memories overlaid with new changes.

Once I was done, I drove home via a very perverse and winding route – I kind-of knew where I was, and where I was heading, but definitely took some of the odder routes and diversions, basically just learning sections of the local geography (and linking together bits I already knew, but hadn’t figured the road connections) and enjoyed doing so.

All told, a pretty decent way to spend a day.

Shoe Issues

Since doing the 10km walk for Marie Curie, my feet have been having some issues, which have been no fun.

In the preparation for the walk, my feet had gained some hard skin areas, which – like a twat – I’d picked apart. To stop them from hurting or getting worse on the walk, I put on a couple of blister plasters – whose glue melted off during the walk, and actually caused the blisters I ended up with. Oops.

The blisters cleared up and healed quickly, but left some weaker spots of skin, which have then been a bit of an issue.

Basically, the Cat boots I’ve had this year haven’t been anywhere near as good as usual, and the lining had dissolved in places – again, causing blisters in the bits that rubbed, and those weaker spots of skin.  Because I’d bought them from Schuh, I was able to take them back to the store, and they’ve exchanged them for a new pair without question – which is pretty stunning customer service, in my opinion.  However, because they’d died, I had worn an older pair for the day – and that exacerbated the problem tenfold.

Because I’m an idiot – so I’d walked a lot in those old, old boots, with their worse wear. I didn’t think anything of it ’til the end of the day, when I got home – at which point I had blood-filled blisters on blisters.  Pretty skanky, and very sore.  As a result, yesterday I spent the day doing amazingly little, and just giving my feet some recovery time. Which seems to have been a fairly good plan, all things considered. I didn’t even do half my normal walking for the day – which I feel bad about, but at least it was for a vaguely good reason.

All this has been within a couple of weeks – it’ll all heal, but it’s been a painful time because of my own stupidity (and some ropy build quality along the way).

So really this post is just a reminder to future me to not be such a fucking idiot, and to take more damn care of my own feet.

And that’s it.

New(ish) Places

As has been noted many many times here, I’m a bit of an idiot when it comes to travel, and think nothing of doing a two-hour-each-way drive for a day trip.  Somewhere in my head, I don’t really think “locally” for exploring and finding new places. As a result, I’m sometimes surprised by locations when I’m doing other stuff.

This weekend I was helping the Uborkans with a bit of taxi-work to make their lives easier. That involved nipping up to Stoke Bruerne to collect them, and dropping them off in Linslade – a dead easy journey, and not at all far for me.

I’d been to Stoke Bruerne a few times as a kid – school trips and the like – to the canal museum and so on, and I’d never realised how close it actually is to my current location.  We’re talking less than half an hour’s drive – it’s really close. Because it was a nice day, I got there early, and had a wander along a decent-sized length of the canal too, for fun – definitely somewhere I’ll return to.

Once I’d dropped them off at destination, I also finally discovered a pub I remembered from years ago, when I worked and lived in the area. So I’ll have to give that a go at some point – we never visited it the first time round, I just remember going past it on a regular basis, but didn’t remember the roads properly for how to get to it – I’d actually decided it was a different pub that I have tried and not been impressed by, which is in a similar location.  So yeah, that’s on the list.

And finally, in the evening the Uborkans had come back up to the edges of Milton Keynes, so we arranged to meet at a pub. It was in Simpson, an area I’ve been past on the main roads several times, but not actually been into at all – and it’s really nice, to the degree that you wouldn’t believe you were in Milton Keynes at all.  Indeed, it’s nice enough that it’s been added to the “yeah, I could live there” list, for if/when I decide to leave the current location.

It’s just interesting, how you (OK, how I) can still find new places in an area you’ve lived in for a number of years. I regularly bugger off far and wide, but I haven’t really explored a lot of the local area. Maybe that needs to change a bit…

London – Hamlet

Following on from yesterday’s post about London, Burgers and Hamlet, I thought I’d add some thoughts about the actual presentation of Hamlet.

The basic version is that I enjoyed it, and thought it was bloody good – although I’ve also got no solid reference points to compare it against. Technically it was still in the previews when I saw it – although paying full price for the tickets when it’s still in previews is a bit of a piss-take.  But it was worth seeing, and thoroughly enjoyed.

Happily, by the time we saw it, they’d put the ‘To be or not to be’ speech back in its proper place, rather than done as a speech at the start, and for that I’m thankful.

The staging is spectacular – as per previous reviews and thoughts, I’m a real geek for the technical side of shows, gigs and plays – and absorbing.

The play itself is, of course, equally absorbing, and interestingly done. I was surprised by how many lines and expressions from it are now in common usage – not something I’d realised at all. I thought Cumberbatch himself was good (but perhaps not excellent? I don’t know, with nothing to compare to, but he didn’t strike me as having that absolute star quality) and the rest of the cast were equally good, although at least one could’ve done with having a microphone arrangement, as his voice didn’t really carry at all.

That aside, I did enjoy the entire thing, and would happily go again, should the opportunity arise. (I doubt it will, but you know, it’s still something I’d be content to see again)  And now I need to see more Shakespeare stuff – as well as read more of it – and get a better grip on these things.

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