Tuesday, March 31, 2009

For Better Days

Got my fingers crossed for some better days soon. Lots of people I know seem to be not doing so well at the moment and rarely for me, I seem to be joining them ...

There's our Snow Queen who's suffering at the moment, that usually sweet clear voice is now unusually husky. I still have most of the control of my voice but I'm sharing the energy issues cos of last night's events ...

The nuts bit back.

Don't think any of the messy details are needed so I'll not scribble them down :-) Suffice it to say I didn't get much sleep last night due to dehydration making my leg muscles cramp up on me. Not all at once but one at a time through the night. Grr. No lasting damage though :-) But I've been a little spaced today due to the lack of sleep and metabolising a bit too much of those bad nuts.

But a bit of food poisoning and bugs won't stop people like me and the Snow Queen from coming in to work :-) Even though our Snow Queen has had people saying she should go home and sleep off da bugs. Ms Cantina's been off colour as well lately but I've still had the pleasure of sharing a grin with her in the canteen area when I pick up my lunch :-)

However our problems pale in comparison to what's facing another of my colleagues. Let's call her The Rose because she resembles the quintessential English Rose. Our Rose has a tall athletic figure and there's a strength of personality that suggests you don't want to feel the thorns :-) She works in another section of my team but I sadly don't have the pleasure of having a chance to say "hello" too much. I usually spot The Rose as she's walking up and down the floorplate and it takes a lot of control to look away :-) Staring is rude. But if I'm spotted I occasionally get a small smile answering my traditional grin :-)

Trouble is though, that small smile has been somewhat shadowed lately, due to the health problems our Rose is suffering. They make food poisoning and bugs look insignificant.

Fingers crossed that she comes through ok. Looking forward to seeing that smile again, without the shadow that comes from serious health issues.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Buy 2 Get 10 Free

First night this week where I have an evening to completely dedicate to chilling out :-)

Monday - would have been gaming but some people were missing and others were feeling ill. And I was heavily drained after a weekend of fixing things (see Techie Zone) and driving long distance.

Tuesday - Mall trip :-) Where I acquired 4 new cds for the collection and also where the title for this post comes from. I'm an electric toothbrush person and the toothbrush batteries were getting tired ... Batteries come in packs of 4 and I needed just 2. I went out of the shop with 12 :-)

Wednesday - shopping. (and a couple of later work nights in there too)

Tonight should be a good chill-out ahead of the 3rd one day international (cricket) where England take on the West Indies. Yep, more cricket watching that will get me far too heavily involved in what's going on in the game :-)

New cd's :

Goldfrapp's Supernature
KT Tunstall's Drastic Fantastic
Gorillaz Gorillaz album
Paramore's All We Know Is Falling

Yep - my music collection is expanding yet again ... there's now close to 3000 songs in my iTunes library, so it's a good thing my new laptop has a much bigger hard disc than the last one. I've been very impressed with a few of the newer artists to get in there :

Goldfrapp - amazing vocals on show here and the music is sufficiently different to be highly interesting.
KT Tunstall - not as inspired as Alison Goldfrapp but more very high quality music.
Katie Melua - similar to KT Tunstall here, hunting her 3rd album now.

There's a bit of a common theme in that list isn't there ... Gotta admit that I do have a thing for quality female vocalists :-) I do listen to other things, Paul Simon's Hearts and Bones is a particularly good album that I'd forgotten about. And it's not just mainstream, there's a couple of Iron Maiden albums new to the iTunes library too.

In other news, I think I embarrassed one of the canteen girls today.

Hey ! It wasn't my fault I walked up behind her while she was singing "Love Is In The Air" ... This is the same canteen girl (aka Ms Cantina) who was desperate for me to nibble her waffles last week. I shall have to see if she's still blushing when I go bacon sarnie hunting tomorrow morning.

Looking forward to chilling out over the weekend and Easter can't come too soon. Needing a break from work to recharge my own batteries. For some strange reason, our bodies don't run on AA cells like everything else does ... Although demolishing a pizza or a bowl of pasta seems guaranteed to get the motor running again :-)

PS I told Ms Cantina while paying for my muffin that I'd be humming "Love Is In The Air" for the rest of the day and yep - that song is still in my head :-)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Name Game

Spotted this one at Dianne's place, Forks Off The Moment, who grabbed it from Kenju's.

I like the Navajo name :-) And I'd get the same result (bruises) as Dianne with the gangsta name. Soap opera name ain't bad, will have to remember it.

1. Your rock star name (first pet, current car) : Scruff Focus (nah - doesn't work ...)

2. Your gangsta name (favourite ice-cream flavour, favourite type of shoe) : Mint-Choc Trainers

3. Your Native American name (favourite colour, favourite animal) : Red Dog

4. Your soap opera name (middle name, city where you were born) : Robert Birmingham

5. Your Star Wars name (first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 of your first) : Lilpe or Petsl

6. Your superhero name (2nd favourite colour, favourite drink) : Blue cola

7. NASCAR name (first names of your grandfathers) : Dave Arthur

8. Dancer name (name of favourite scent/perfume/cologne, favourite candy) : Lynx Crunchie

9. TV weather anchor name (your 5th grade teacher's last name, a major city that starts with the same letter) : Evans Edinburgh

10. Spy name (favourite season/holiday, flower) : Summer Rose
(bit girl-blogger oriented that one I think ...)

11. Cartoon name (favourite fruit, article of clothing you're wearing right now) : Orange Socks

12. Hippie name (what you ate for breakfast, favourite tree) : Nada Willow

13. Movie (or porn) star name (first pet, first street where you lived) : Scruff Drumaknocken

Yep, I really did live on a street called Drumaknocken Road at one point :-) It's in the back of beyond south of Hillsborough in Northern Ireland. I cheated a little there though cos I think there was a Woodland Park before Drumaknocken Road.

I like Red Dog and if I ever turn my embryonic thoughts of writing into something needing a pseudonym, I'll think about using Robert Birmingham :-) (Robert S Birmingham perhaps, although I'd get funny looks for using Sleepypete as a middle name)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Getting geared up

A few recent events have got me thinking about protection again, gotta admit it's mostly sparked off by watching the girls in the Women's Cricket World Cup. A lot of the girls surprise me by not using a helmet when they bat, to the point where while seeing a pretty lady's face is a sight I definitely appreciate, it makes me wince when the pretty lady's face is under a floppy hat instead of guarded behind a helmet grille.

At the same time, wearing too much protection can lead to the injuries it is supposed to prevent. While I was playing cricket, I'd go out to bat with the following around my person :

My helmet's down the bottom there, with grille adjusted so a ball can't go between visor and grille. And that can happen if the helmet isn't set up properly. Standing up you'll see a pair of solid cricketing pads, you'll get a reference in a picture or two for how big they are. Below the knee roll, the vertical lines define where a series of wooden strips provide the basic ball stopping power. There's also a Lot of fabric based padding behind the white front. The pads are held on by velcro straps and you can sprint quite happily in them.

Between the pads is the (second!) most piece of protection and that's the bat. Ball can't hit you if you've whacked it to the boundary :-) Saying that though, my two whacks on the head were down to ricochets from the edge, same story with the near-miss that hit my shoulder. Above the pads are the batting gloves, which is one area where protection is a fine balance against hinderance. You'll see the reinforcement on the right glove (right of pic) and the chunkier thumb guard. If the ball bounces slightly more than expected, then the padding on the gloves is the only thing preventing a broken finger, which is an injury that almost all cricketers will have had.

Hanging on top of the bat is the most important piece of protection :-) Believe me though, it still hurts if you get hit there. Especially for the opposition batter I saw in a game once who misjudged a ball from our fastest bowler. A couple of minutes after being hit, he fished out the remains of his box. And then he recovered the other half of it. OUCH !

Here's me modelling the gear, see how that pad comes up to almost my hip. Good to see my bum doesn't protrude as much as that belly :-) Spot the right thumb on the lower hand, that extra padding is right in the firing line if a ball bounces slightly too much. There's not much can be done though with one that hits the end of the thumb, batting gloves are a compromise between stopping the ball and being able to play.

Some players will also sport arm guards, thigh pads and chest protectors. I tried an arm guard but got rid of it because it was annoying and didn't offer any protection. I have been significantly hit on the arm twice, once on the end of the elbow (bone chip occasionally locks the elbow) and once on my wrist. The blow on the wrist accounted for one of my watches ...

I never wore a thigh pad because it would have restricted my movement too much. To bat well, you need to move your feet to a position that lets you get a platform for steering the ball. I've never been that good with feet movement though - too much power in my legs and not enough subtlety, gives me two left feet when dancing too. I got pinned more than a few times on my thigh but would have been hit more if a thigh pad had made that movement problem worse.

Urg - that piccy is a horrible example of batting craft - with the shot on show, the forearm and bat handle should be describing a straight line. It's not because I've squished myself down a bit to get more in the shot. Here's a better one :

This is before I changed top to an old cricket one and put the pads on. There's a nice high elbow in there as I'm more in a "waiting for bowler to send ball down" stance :-) The position of the hands on the bat is also a lot better, although I appear to open the blade up a bit there. I'm always curious about my technique, mainly because to improve you need to know what your mistakes are so you can correct them. And without an impartial external observer, you can't totally evaluate what you're doing. It's the same with my bowling, I'd love to have seen footage of what my bowling action was like pre-shoulder injury.

Finally, please spare a thought for the family and friends of Natasha Richardson, who was taken from us last night as the result of a head injury sustained while skiing. On hearing the news of Natasha, it brought back to crystal clarity the second time I was hit on the head by a cricket ball, that time may well have seen me carted off to A&E (aka the ER) as it got me in a far less solid place than the first time. Instead, it tinged off the helmet and I was able to continue batting, albeit rather groggily and with a fair bit of nausea.

If someone you know has a head injury, PLEASE please PLEASE keep an eye on them. Head injuries can be a lot more serious than they appear at first. The brain is a very fragile organ and damage can take time to show.

To close, here's the blooper piccy taken as I was getting used to the timer function on my camera ...

Oops ... My defence is that I've never used the timer function on the camera before :-)

PS That white shirt is probably 20 years old and both shirt and owner have seen better days. Surprised it fit around my shoulders let alone my belly !

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I broked something ...

No post for a little while, which has been part out of lack of inspiration, part from me breaking things !

My current router annoys me because I have to power off/power on it every few days to make it go, so I thought I'd move my modem across the room to where The Next Router lives. I figured something might be a little screwy when I was plugging in the cable internet lead. When I touched plug to socket, there were quite loud (for interference crackles) clicks coming from my speakers ... Not a good sign, although mysterious due to there being no obvious connection.

Anyway - to cut the techiebabble, I plugged it back in on Friday evening and ... no internet. Tried putting it back where it was to start with and ... no internet. So I was on Internet Cold Turkey from Friday night to Monday :-( And this is someone who :

Keeps pressing F5 (refresh page key) on the hit counter to see if there's visitors.
Is permanently logged into MSN Messenger.
Has gotten used to being able to answer popup questions by Google.
Peeking on Imdb to see why I recognise that guest star.
Trolls various forums.

Internet-Bloke appeared Monday evening and proceeded to scratch his head, attempting to fix the problem by changing various leads and plugs. He got it going but it did the usual Annoying Problem thing of breaking again 20 minutes after he left. Cue a Sleepypete going a little nuts trying to get the internet going again until leaving for gaming !

No joy. But, as is usual for me and some time away from a problem, I figure out another way to attack it by the time I get home. Looks promising so far, just one connection glitch in the modem logs in the last 20 hours. Still have to see how my main PC adjusts to the change though, as it has migrated to connecting by wi-fi instead of a cable ... And that was a change that caused more stress than it needed to !

I've also been keeping an eye on the women's cricket, I'm still fascinated by the differences here. The women aren't as physically powerful as the men but adjust by putting more energy in. The description "keener than kittens with wool" came to mind when watching how they pounce on the ball when fielding. However, these girls are closer to tiger cub than ginger kitten. Some excellent catching too, better than what was on show in the last England v W Indies men's Test Match.

They also compensate by being more accurate and precise although, as in all sport, there are some more precise than others. There's a few Perfect bowling actions on show and some of them put truth to the "has the ball on a string" saying. One coaching technique is to put a small coin on the pitch on the ideal length and line and tell the bowler to hit the coin. It's tough ... At my best I was close to being that consistent (story coming!) but only at my very best. One of the England girls would have been hitting the coin every single time. Impressive stuff and the stats equalled that.

So what happened when I did the (virtual!) coin thing ? It was a practice session at school (i.e. way back :-) and the fella batting didn't really know what was about to hit him. First ball of the sequence - shapes in nicely and pins back his leg stump. Cue embarassment for the batsman and a "you got lucky that time". Next ball, same thing. And the next and the one after that ... I thought I'd go easy on him for the fifth by bowling it a little slower, which just made things worse :-) A little more swing, a little more accuracy and another Ting of ball on metal practice stump.

I think I made the poor fella give up any thoughts of playing cricket after that little sequence :-) In my defence, I will say that I had broken into the men's team by this point and was attempting to repair my bowling action after injuring my back the season before. So my technique was probably as "pure" as it ever got and as it was practice, I wasn't straining for extra pace, just for more smoothness.

So that's part of what I'm getting from watching the girls play cricket, I'm kind of watching how I used to play. Since dislocating my shoulder 12 years ago, I've had the occasional glimpse back to how I could bowl when I was fully intact. Watching the girls gives an excellent reminder that you don't have to be 6 foot 8 and built like the proverbial outhouse in order to do well at your chosen sport :-)

Plus there's a lot to be said for watching highly athletic young ladies running around a field doing something they are getting a lot of enjoyment from :-)

PS This post will lead to another one ... but I'll need a bit of help before I can answer the question "Do women batters wear the same protection as the men". Bit of idle curiosity triggered there and I'll leave it for readers to wonder exactly which bit of protection I mean ;-)

Monday, March 09, 2009

A Fairer side to sport

Not long since I got back in from gaming, I put the telly on and there's Yet More Cricket on there ! This post will be a kind of live-blog ... and it's growing as I see more of the game :-)

However, instead of the men toiling in vain on an unresponsive pitch, I'm taking my first chance to see England's women playing in their World Cup. The two England opening bowlers (bowlers take it in turns in cricket) are Katherine Brunt and Isa Guha.

The differences between men's cricket and women's cricket shows up straight away in the form of the impish Isa Guha. She must be only about 5 foot 4 if that, so there's a complete contrast to the 6 foot plus guys who play in the men's team. However, there's more energy going into her bowling than you'd see from a Steve Harmison or a Ryan Sidebottom (both those two are in my bad books). The diminutive frame bustles up to the stumps and there's a whirl of arms and legs as she sends the ball down. It's effective too, she hasn't given too many runs away and has picked up a couple of wickets. Oh - she looks far prettier while in motion in the field than she does in that Cricinfo link !

It's good to see when the skillful player does much better than the power player :-)

Another thing that's kinda good to see are the batters wearing caps and hats instead of helmets :-) Good because it's nice to see a pretty face on the screen. "Kinda" because as someone who has been hit on the head, I'll always get nervous when I see people not wearing a lid. The bowling speeds aren't too threatening (70mph max, whereas most male fast bowlers send it down at 85-90mph) but a lid is always a good idea in case freak things happen like the two times I've been hit on the head while batting.

Seeing the hats brings back memories of me batting in a wide brimmed floppy hat, with everyone on the field knowing that at least one bowler would try and knock it off :-) Cricket can be an uncompromising game, with it being accepted that bowlers will try to physically intimidate batsmen by bowling the ball short so it'll bounce up to throat or rib high. It's a fun challenge, you can get hurt but it's easier to whack the short balls a long way :-) I knew the hat was a bullseye target every time I wore it ! And the helmet is the same thing in the level of cricket I'd be playing. A bowler won't intentionally go out on the field to hurt opposing players but they'd absolutely love it if they knocked a helmet off :-)

The Indian batter bringing up the hat memories is one Mithali Raj, who is bringing a touch of elegance to proceedings, cleverly piercing the field when guiding the ball to an unguarded boundary.

I'm not going to be able to watch much more of this game due to having to work tomorrow but I've been enjoying what I've seen so far. It's a very different type of cricket to the men's game which relies far more on Brawn instead of Brain. What I'm seeing at the moment is bowlers containing the batswomen by being smart and out-thinking them.

Still wondering why the bowlers are only hitting about 65mph max, you'd think they'd be a bit quicker. Maybe it's the shorter distance they run up, male fast bowlers need to really sprint in to hit 85mph. Trying that longer run is something I tried, however all I got for it was a groin tear ! The key physical differences between men and women aren't really in how the shoulder is built, so I'm very curious as to why the speeds are so much lower. However, what they miss in speed is made up for in skill at making the ball do what they ask it to, I reckon I'd have a lot of trouble getting runs against these girls.

Did I mention anywhere that these girls are far better to look at than your Ian Bell's and your Owais Shah's ? They are definite proof that lady sportspeople can still look great, without needing to turn themselves into Amazons in order to do well in their game.

For lots more info and a few updates on how things are progressing, here's a link to the Cricinfo site for the tournament. Plus I've sprinkled a few player links through the post, so you can see some of what I see :-) However, judging by how my Sky picture is breaking up due to the Apocalyptic Rain outside, I think it's bed time (that and it's now 1am). But there's still time for one last link - here's Isa Guha again trying some not-so-feminine wiles on an umpire :-)

PS In case the Bell and Shah links make the ladeez think all cricketers are ugly, my Evil Ex only watched cricket if James Anderson was on as she thought he was highly cute and a Monty Panesar celebration will always make the hardest of heart crack a grin.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Back to Azeroth ...

Or more accurately, back to Kalimdor :-)

I've broken the games drought, heading back into World of Warcraft. Kind of like a fresh start though, as instead of getting my highest level character up to a point where he can join in with the group stuff, I've been playing my latest Bashara. The reason for going back in is a touch of boredom, I tend to get bored of doing one thing all the time and I guess I've needed to pry my attention away from disappointing televised sport.

The original Bash was a girlie troll and her job half the time was Bodyguard. The way most Massive Multiplayer Online games are arranged is that the groups in the game need : Tank, Healer, Damage Dealer. Over my time in the game, I've done the Tank & Damage Dealer jobs quite a bit, with a taste of doing the healing job. My Bashara's are always Warriors, which can either do the Tank job or Damage Dealer job. It's a different Damage job as I did on my Iceangel characters, as Bash likes to get "up close and personal".

Here's Bash mk1, caught in a rare moment of idleness while waiting for a Zeppelin.

That's Bash in gear from a little while ago, with the original Mercenaries of Darkness tabard on show. I've retired that character now, she's happily sunbathing on a beach somewhere. The new Bashara is a cow, literally :-) I haven't got any screenies though of Bash mk3.

One reason I keep coming back to WoW is the people, you just don't get the interaction in a single player game that you get in something like Warcraft. Most of the time, I'll be doing my own thing and barely acknowledging what's going on (think Tunnel Vision!) but you get some magic moments. Plus one thing that does make me grin is being able to answer questions that crop up :-) My knowledge of newer Warcraft is pretty limited but I know a lot about the original game. I tend to be a bit solitary but can get very lonely, the multiplayer aspect takes the edge off that loneliness.

Oh - those warriors I like tend to wear Platemail armour, so seeing :

Tends to get the tank noticed :-) The fella in the dressing gown is Furil, who used to be our Chief Bodyguard. The character in the foreground there shouting "tank in a dress !" is me :-) It's my original Iceangel the mage going around in typically unconventional outfits, although this predates me having a Pointy Hat stapled to my head.

There's a lot of variation in Warcraft as well, although a lot of characters tend to just race through to the end game and not really notice what's going on. Blizzard also introduced a lot of pop culture and in-jokes, like a little robot called Servo who uses lines from the 6 million dollar man. Some of them take more finding than others, like :

Yep - that's a certain famous sea monster and that's the Mercs posing in front of it :-) We did this one in the hopes of getting some free passes into the beta testing phase for the first expansion. Beta testing is where you can try out new software before it's ready for release. The objective is to spot and fix all of the bugs before it gets unleashed on an unsuspecting public. Not too sure if I'd have taken advantage of that as any Beta progress would have been reset when we bought the game and I hate doing things twice. But I was very happy to tag along to get Bash mk1 (that's her on the left side of the pic) into the entry that we did above. It would have been Wrong to not have the ex Guild Master in the picture.

The Mercs were still functioning fairly well when that picture got taken, although their ex-GM was suffering. That's from quite some time ago and the situation's been reversed ... At the time of the picture, the ex-GM was getting torn up mentally by some out-of-game issues and the Mercs were doing fine. Since then, the Mercs tore themselves apart as a combination of lack of coherent leadership and a few idiots on the inside and I've come to terms more with who I am. I'd like to think I'm a more relaxed and mature person now, having answered the questions posed by a few whittling issues I had.

Wow - that's a lot of wittering on for a post that was supposed to be short & sweet with a few pictures in ! I guess that must show how enthalled I am with the cricket at the moment. Cricket can sometimes turn into a "wait for things to happen" trench warfare and that's what we have with the current West Indies v England Test Match. Could be another draw, hopefully not. Unfortunately it could be remembered more for the shortcomings of the umpires than the quality of the play. A game needs to be remembered for the players, however the quality of umpiring in cricket lately means the decision makers are being talked about when they should be invisible.

On cricket - the Sri Lanka tour to Pakistan was big news for all the wrong reasons this week. Good to hear that no players were killed and I hope they all can play again, however the 6 deaths to terrorism in that incident is 6 too many. Hopefully Pakistan will figure out who is misbehaving in their country so they can lock them away.

Last over of the day coming up, which means it's close to the time when I'll disappear back into the game again :-) Time to close up with one last screenshot :

The scene is Black Rock Depths, in a mountain in the middle of Azeroth. The 3 big guys and Polobuhj on the end are an example of why I was really proud of the Mercs. Of the 5 in that picture, only 2 were English. From starting as a work's guild, we built something that attracted and kept people from all over Europe. So it must have been a good place to be around :-) Bash mk1 is the one making an exhibition of herself, front and centre.

PS That is a platemail bra, although I only realised after quite a few weeks ! It was the best thing available at the time in terms of stats, that's my story and I'm-a sticking to it :-)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Byebye Blogrolling ... And a Happy Birthday !

I posted a little while ago about how I loathe advertising ...

There's a couple of changes in the template today, although I've still not taken the plunge and upgraded the template to something Blogger would prefer.

Negative subject :
Blogrolling's gone

Positive subject :
It's Unbirthday month !

I like to end on an upnote, so a little mention for Blogrolling. I've used them for a few years now, no complaints. They got severely hacked a while ago, which restricted the functionality of their site so much we couldn't edit the blogrolls. Heh - kinda glad I removed the Mercs site before that happened, as the Mercs site was also under assault, this time by pornspammers.

Blogrolling 2's just been unleashed on an unsuspecting world and I have to admit, I was very close to sending over the $20 to register for no-ads in order to help keep them going. That ain't happening though cos the advert pushers they've used are, as is usual for ads, slowing down the loading of pages. Ah well, it's pushed me towards doing my blogroll myself, which can only be a good thing.

Why push a job on to someone else when a little less laziness means you can do yourself :-) So I now have a blogroll template that I'll use when updating the Blogroll, which doesn't happen often enough to spend $20 a year on Blogrolling. I'll add that template to my Techie blog, in case people want to copy it.

I've also taken the chance to update the blogroll a little, cutting some and adding some as well as keeping a couple of links for old times sake :-)

Positive news time !

It's Unbirthday month ! As sponsored by the lovely lady Sunshine. My birthday's away in November but I'm hoping there's a few birthdays with the work people this month. We have a simple tradition in our project :

Whoever has a birthday buys the cakes.

Simple traditions are often the best. It's a happy birthday to CPA Mom today and tomorrow it will be a Happy 60th Birthday to Sandra's Mom.

Many Happy Returns :-) And remember to keep the cake fiends happy.

Monday, March 02, 2009

A touch of the anonymous ...

I've noticed for a little while that there's a contrast between the levels of anonymity of the various bloggers.

Some bloggers are Out There, with their details, vocation and location available for all to see. Others prize anonymity a bit more. I'm more in the anonymous camp, primarily because I personally know a few people on my blogroll who prize their anonymity. I've added a few other reasons too since this Blog started, mainly based on the general quality of wildlife I've come into contact with in the Warcraft world. There are some crazy people out there and that's not counting the dangerous ones.

So I'm in the anonymous camp for a few very good reasons and I haven't even mentioned that my employers wouldn't like it much if I said exactly who I work for. I have an interesting job that gets me in contact with cool toys and I'd like to keep it that way :-) We've just seen another lesson in this from the girl who got fired for posting "I'm bored" comments on her Facebook account. Doh ! I think she's learned a lesson there, if you're bored then let your boss know quietly instead of having him hear third hand through the office.

Anonymity helps another way too, it allows me to talk about the various people I come into contact with. I've attached a few names to people, usually based around shortening their name to a "Lady P", "Miss A", "Mrs C", "Miss L" or a fake name like Snow Queen, IT Girl, The Boss or WT. Even if readers know me and where I work, then it still takes some figuring out to match faces with names. So the anonymity of the fake name allows me to happily lavish some well earned praise upon the various people who keep me sane, while keeping the post simple and flowing.

There's another side though - my imagination can be a little limited, there's people who I may have given a mention to but will not because the name would not be appropriate. I will not put anything here that I consider would upset a colleague or a friend. I'm not a saint but I do keep my rants away from the internet :-)

Keeping the secrets is also why I've made the hit counter details private. There's a little too much information available behind that hit counter and seeing some of the patterns there would endanger that anonymity. Although one of the patterns is that about 10-12% of my hits come from searches for "indoor cricket tactics" and I'll be totally honest there and say I ain't a cricket coach :-)

I'm proud of who I work for and it's been a real struggle on occasion to not give more information on what I do. But I won't endanger my or other people's anonymity. I have a craving for knowledge but I don't have the urge to tell people everything I know. Kinda like a collector of curiosities who keeps them locked up in a cupboard.

Couple of Heinlein quotes :
"Only a sadistic scoundrel - or a fool - tells the bald truth on social occasions."
"A skunk is better company than a person who prides himself on being frank."

I'm not sadistic and I like to think I'm no fool :-) (although a pretty smile can turn me into a fool!) And my view of people I like is probably a little too rose-tinted to be considered frank :-)

This post partly sparked off by how I've been feeling today ... Picture an engine. It's not too well maintained, so it shakes & rattles when it goes. Now picture that engine going full throttle, shaking itself to bits. That's kinda how I've been feeling today, ever since around lunchtime. I know exactly why and the reason is something that I simply will not mention here* but it's kinda worn me out today. Hyperactivity and nerves are the engine and my muscles feel as if they've been shaken apart by it.

*(If I'm quiet for a while, someone's tried to get the secret via thumbscrews and cos I won't tell, it'll take a while for my thumbs to heal enough to type :-)

Right - teatime in the cricket, time for me to hit the motorway for gaming ! I have respect for both camps in this one but have my reasons for keeping the anonymity.