I have a cunning plan

Research into climate change seems to be a shoo-in for funding these days. However that all studying and analysis sounds to be a bit too much like hard work for my liking. I propose to just circumvent this by liberal use of the word “quantum” which nobody really understands but nobody likes to admit to as they are afraid of appearing stupid. I could also introduce the occasional reference to string theory to cement my funding for next year.

Now that it’s finally getting cold in Edinburgh I propose to study the effects of sudden relocation to warmers climes on the human body (specifically mine).

The Osborne effect

In the early 80s pre-announcing details and price points of your new product could prove to be disastrous. Especially so when there was a delay in releasing said new product. Everybody knows that this is what happened to Adam Osborne (and as usual, everybody appears to be wrong) but at least the saying has stuck around.

In the world of software — in particular operating systems — the effect seems to be harder to gauge. Apple’s announcement and iPhone induced delay of Leopard (OS X 10.5) didn’t appear to dent their financial results. On the flip side, developers of third-party software are likely to have suffered. I know that I have personally held off purchasing several applications while waiting to see how Leopard addresses the situations in which they have proven to be valuable while using Tiger (OS X 10.4). In particular, the brilliantly useful utility Hazel and Power Manager.

Happy anniversary!

I noticed earlier on that this October is one year since I started sporadically blogging. I thought I’d try and mess around with the monthly archive code to try and tidy the navigation up a little. I’d also have a peek under the hood to try and see if I could work it into my first WordPress plugin.

While browsing around investigating the finer details of plugin and theme development, I came across the pimping K2 theme which is now in place. Pretty much an upgrade to the classic Kubrick theme with styling abilities, nicer code and the Fam Fam Silk icon set.

My personal tweaks to the scheme will be coming along in the not so distant future along with a WordPress 2.3 upgrade and probably with a new style to boot.

The Gambler

“You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.”
Kenny Rogers, The Gambler

This is the song that is being played by the England Rugby team before their World Cup games for inspiration. Appropriate really seeing as though they were quoted at 150-1 to retain their title before the tournament kicked off and after a 36-0 mauling at the hands of South Africa those odds looked to be about right.

I don’t bet often, usually limiting myself to a “flutter on the Grand National” once a year and it has to be said that I don’t do too bad. The only time that I’ve not walked away with at least £150 from the bookies was the year that I actually went to the race.

Now I’d like to think that a bit of patriotism would have won over my head if I saw the odds against England becoming the first team to defend the Rugby World Cup trophy. I may have stuck a couple of pounds at most on them each way. I certainly wouldn’t stick more than that on a horse at those odds. Still, hindsight is always 20-20 and I guess that’s why it’s called gambling.

Besides, I’ve had this feeling throughout the tournament that South Africa were going to be World champions. I hope I’m wrong. If not and I have predicted the score correctly then at least I’ll get free hair cuts for a year from my South African hair dresser!

Whisky tasting

Last night I went along to a tutored whisky tasting with Alex and Jane from the Spencerfield Spirit Company. The products we sampled were the Pig’s Nose and Sheep Dip whiskies with chocolate, Christmas cake and some hot and cold smoked salmon and mussels provided by Loch Fyne. Alex gave a talk about the history of the brands and the processes involved in the production. We also received an insight about wood finishing aspects which was something new for me.

Things have changed somewhat from the in the early 80’s when Sheep Dip was the biggest selling whisky in Harrods, through a succession of takeovers to become an orphaned brand until it was bought by the Spencerfield Spirit Company a few years ago. Unable to compete with the advertising spend of multi-national drinks companies like Diageo they are experimenting with the power of Web 2.0 and social networks.

And I still made it to the Edinburgh Coffee Morning in Centotre for the first time in months this morning.