Murphy’s Week – 14/07/2007

I’m due down to London today – another flight, another early start. Still, it’s a routine of sorts – and one that I’m making as much use of as possible – lots of air-side typing (such as this, got it started early this week) and lots of user group attendance in London. I Woke up a moment or so before the alarm went off – it was rather bright outside, had I overslept, a moment of panic ensued before my bed-side partner Mr Nokia heralded the new day with his dulcet increasing ring. Routine has taught me about preparation – whilst I’ve been in this mindset for many years, I have today’s clothing lined up: from the point of waking, showering, getting dressed to being in the car can be done in 15 minutes without rushing. Of course, that 15-minute time-line is only if there’s a flight involved – for some reason it stretches the closer it is to rush hour.

WordPress 2.6 was released today. I’ve been a happy WordPress user since May 2004 – it has been astoundingly stable. My only issue was spam – to solve that I use Spam Karma. It seemed to do the job, spam just stopped. Recently however, some spam has been getting through – I suppose it’s time to consider another layer of protection, such as Akismet.

Visited a vendor over near Liverpool Street. Successful visit, good demonstration, worked for me – possible future podcast victims! I took the tube from Marble Arch over to Liverpool Street – the Central Line. A rare site, a mother with her child in a buggy – we took our son in buggy on to the underground a couple of years ago – it’s not easy, lots of stairs and narrow angles. Being able to see the mother’s predicament, she was on her own, I stepped in to carry the buggy to the surface. Good deed for the day done, tick.

Doh! I’m staying in a different hotel tonight, which means that I’ll have to pick up the whole £289.00 (+VAT) room rate myself. Geez, that’s a lot of cash. For £289.00 (+VAT) per night, you can expect laundry to be left out in the corridor, black rubbish bags also left in the corridor and Dusty Bins with KFC wrappers as decoration. In the room, you can expect belly button fluff left in the bath. Don’t believe me? Check out the photographs below. However, £289.00 (+VAT) per night does buy me access to BT OpenZone – I still have to either pay the hotel for use or make use of an existing BT OpenZone account.

I was hoping to attend Oliver Sturm’s F# session in Livingston tonight, however since I’m 400 miles south, that won’t be happening. Not all is lost, I am able to attend the VistaSquad meet up at Microsoft’s Victoria office. It’s a shame as I had been trying hard to plan my travel around Oliver’s session. Obviously didn’t try hard enough, such is the peril of frequent travel: I’ve lost count of the number of meet ups, golf range trips, evening golf trips, etc. that I’ve either missed or had to re-schedule because of 3-4 days week in London. Let’s not count the number of podcasts, photos and video content that I have to process… And it’s best not to think about the three inches of snail mail that I have to open and and process – thankfully most of my bills are sent to me via e-mail – what did we do before electronic billing?

Sadly I didn’t make it to the Vista Squad meet up – I came down with a dose of ‘flu-like symptoms (shivers, sweats, aching joints). What do you do in a situation like this – away from home, with nowhere to go until a hotel room becomes available from 1600? Being ill whilst away from home sucks.

On the positive side, tonight’s hotel, the Hilton Metropole, was a mere £149 (including VAT and breakfast). A far cry from the £340 charge of the night before.

Conceded and changed my 1825 flight home to the 1715 – turns out these ‘flu-like symptoms have been doing the rounds in the office. Missed the 1525 Heathrow Express to LHR so had to make do with the 1540…

Tried hard to watch as much of The Open as I could. Wife invited the mother-in-law up to the house to “clean”. Even with Sky+, the noise and constant visible obstructions made watching the golf a trying process. Why today? Who knows? I’m sure that in some countries it may be considered grounds for divorce – again, who knows?

This week
Listened to
107 Digital Photography Explained (for Geeks) with Aaron Hockley
118 Lean Software Development with Tom and Mary Poppendieck
84 Parallel Programming with .NET

Interesting links
WordPress 2.6
Knowing what’s on your phone–and on those of your employees

Content unbecoming of a hotel of this price