Jim’s Conservatory

Let's assume that Jim has just had a sudden unexpected expenditure: a neighbour released a bull into his back garden and it destroyed his conservatory. Let's assume that the conservatory is essential to Jim's wellbeing, so it has to be fixed immediately. As a result Jim's debts, which were previously small and well-managed, have now increased somewhat.

Obviously Jim can't keep that debt hanging over him forever. What does he do?

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Like A Rhino Voting For Poaching

There's a reason I cannot and will not vote Conservative, and like most people's apparent motive for voting tory it is also a selfish one. As someone employed in the public sector, working to ensure the greater good, I'm a member of an increasingly endangered species.

Ah Matthew, I hear you say, you're trotting out the old "the turkeys have voted for Christmas" line. Well no, like I said, this is purely selfish. When you mark that X in the box, you tend to think about yourself only. Never mind the turkeys (for now).

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Ducklings on the Canal

Awww… Reminds me of York. I lived on the campus there; the colleges surround a big lake populated by many ducks and geese. And come the spring, their ducklings and goslings appeared too.

This photo was taken on a walk down the canal with colleagues on Thursday afternoon. I’d not been down there since January and it’s a lot nicer now.

WordPress 4.2

I don’t usually make any comment on WordPress updates but WordPress 4.2 installed smoothly and has a new plugin installation process that might solve my problems with the Jetpack plugin. For me, the main addition in 4.2 is the inline plugin updates. The revamped “Press this” bookmarklet looks good too, but I don’t tend to use it as I rarely repost links to other sites and I like my empty bookmark bar too much!

The Jetpack plugin causes me grief all the time. For some reason auto-updating fails and I have to FTP in to my web hosting, delete the Jetpack folder, and upload the new version of the plugin. After this week’s shenanigans I even mentally drafted a post titled “Is Jetpack Even Worth It?” Today version 3.5 of Jetpack installed quickly and without a hitch. Long may it continue.

I have a real love-hate relationship with Jetpack, though about 99% of the hate is down to times when the update process goes wrong. I’d like it to be smaller: on those occasions when the update goes wrong and Jetpack gets deactivated, the whole back-end feels a lot faster. That said the tiled galleries, the infinite scrolling, and all the behind the scenes features are really useful: there’s a lot of reasons for loving Jetpack too.

Returning to WordPress 4.2, it feels very much like an update worth noting – and even it weren’t the updates behind the scenes to improve performance and security would be well worth it. It might even persuade me to try using the bookmarklet.

Oh and I can use emoji in posts now 😎. (The link goes to a post with instructions for loading the emoji window in Mac OS X in case I forget how to do it.)

Check out the video from Automattic:

Understated Classic #30: Our Aim Is To Satisfy by Red Snapper

Cover of Our Aim Is To Satisfy by Red SnapperThe thirtieth understated classic is by a band named after a fish. There isn't a great deal for me to say about "Our Aim Is To Satisfy"1 apart from the usual insistence that it is quite good. There's no overarching theme to write about, and no deep personal story attached. It was bound to happen eventually.

"Our Aim Is To Satisfy" is one of those albums spawned in the late nineties and early naughties at the height of the Electronica boom: dance music that you didn't necessarily have to dance to. It's not quite chill out music but nor is it song-based (for the most part) – it's mainly instrumental electronic music.

What set Red Snapper apart was an insistence on live percussion. This must have made them quite a compelling proposition live, which must be why the ended up supporting The Prodigy during their tours of "The Fat of The Land". On record I'm not sure that it translates the same way – many of the drum tracks and bass lines are chopped up, messed up, and mucked around with, so I'm not sure how to interpret their "liveness". Perhaps it explains why "Our Aim Is To Satisfy" is so darn funky.

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