How do you cope

OK so its been a while .. what going on .. Not really sure where this post is going, we shall see.

I had a conversation recently regarding dreams and aspirations, should you aspire to live your dream so that you can look back fondly upon your life? The specific question related to a conversation with a friend who was ‘concerned’ that he was not living his dream and would have trouble when his child grew up. Would he be able to advise his child to follow their dreams when the parent had not?

My take is that people who follow their dreams are living a lie, dreams are tomorrow they are a phantasm you will never reach. IMHO happiness (and lets be fair thats what its all about) comes from enjoying the now and be damned with dreams. The trick is to make now part of tomorrow, nothing in life is perfect nothing is the way it should be but the current state is the result of a set of choices made before. Those who ‘follow their dreams’ constantly question their choices to date. I think the trick is to have a plan to see the current state for what it is a destination along the path not a destination in its own right. Everyone has dreams too few people have a plan.

A conversation that came up amongst my friends in previous years related to people who were self aware, the conversations were a little condescending but the substance was sound far too few people know themselves, if you know yourself then you have to trust yourself .. trust that you made the right choices in the past. A hard thing to do when you look back at poor choices made. The trick is to recall that you made those choices with the information you had a the time more information may come later that suggests a better route but that information was not available at the time. Don’t lament the past choices trust them and live with them.

OK so now a segway, but its my blog so I can do that. Another fact I hold to be self evident 🙂 is that one must trust the foolish decisions of others NEVER rage against them. I work for a large corporate so see foolish decisions. I always try to believe everyone is reasonable (if selfish) and make rational decisions therefore when you see a decision thats irrational dont fight it, see it as a rational decision for which you dont have all the facts. Strive to see all the facts then understand why the decision was made. Once you do this, if you still the decision (state?) as being irrational chances are you have information not available to those who made the decision – present the additional information and usually you can unravel the mess (far better than ranting *coff*).

OK so I should tie this together .. no bloody idea, I am posting this from a pub at 22.00 at night while waiting for a friend to join me to play some pool. Its a brain dump, a purging of sanity. Maybe it will make sense maybe it wont. Chances are I will cringe when reading this later but who the hell knows. (Oh there comes my last observation, if you want to tell someone (even if that someone is yourself, as is the case in this post) something NEVER read it back, just vent – some truth will pop out – reading back will only make you feel foolish)

I am back

Well .. the hardest thing about LJ is not posting for a bit (well in this case over a year). So much has happened that the first post back is a bit scary, what should I cover what should I not. Well my solution is none of it :-). I am just going to gloss over the gap and pick up from now.

Web2.0 a new buzword?

Within IT and business in general we are losing a vital aspect of language, that is terms which have a meaning. It occurs to me that within natural language concepts arrive first and words arrive second. The internet has reversed that and words are arriving before concepts. Sit in on any management meeting and you will hear any number of buzwords flowing around and everyone has a different understanding as to their meaning. A particular example from my past was magic bullet (a cross between a silver bullet and a magic solution I guess), this meme rocketed around my company and was used without care (or understanding) by all and sundry.

Recent examples of words without meaning are SOA and Web2.0. I am still to find a meaning for SOA, I rather suspect it may be an example of a new concept of words actually creating concepts. The origins of the term SOA are so lost and distant the intended concepts are lost for all time. All who hear it have created their own meaning, as it has propagated the meanings have become real. Now, SOA does not mean any one thing its means lots of things each one having value, this creates a void one cannot have many meanings attributed to a single word so at some point we will have to invent new words to attribute to these new concepts .. I wonder if these new words will spark new concepts? Creativity in action? I am pleased to see that at least for Web2.0 there is an attempt to stem this flow Tim O’Reilly has posted a useful article that is derived from a brainstorming session where they attempted to give meaning to the word. Could it be this document will be a definition? I can only hope that it recieves sufficient readership to allow clarity.

Tim O’Reilly’s document:

As an aside from reading the article I wonder why we need the term Web2.0 at all? Is it just a marketing ploy, does the person who names something own it? I was very interested in the concept of AJAX, when I mentioned this too a number of collegues they dismissed it as something people have been doing for a while. Web2.0 is about using the web as a platform this concept is pretty obvious, what is the value of the name?

Tom gets all materialistic

OK so I blogged about toms tooth, raar. When I got home I found him having a debate with his mum:

Tom knows the tooth fairy will come and collect his tooth and pay him cash, he likes the idea of cash. He also knows that the tooth is his and he does not want to sell it. Anna and I both ‘want’ to preserve his tooth, its a precious thing to be put in a box and ignored for 20 years, as all children’s mementos should be. Anna suggested, to Tom, that we buy the tooth off him and look after it on his behalf. Tom thought for this and decided to let market forces decide. He wrote a letter explaining his quandry to the tooth fairy and placed this under his pillow. Paraphrased it said I have lost my tooth but want to keep it, will you pay me anyway? and if not how much are you prepared to pay?

Anna and I replied to his letter, on behalf of the fairy ( 🙂 ) in fairy writing, which is naturally too small for tom to read. Not sure what he will do now, the games continue.

I am unclear if I am proud, amused or saddened by his response, probs a little of each in measure.

Toms tooth

For a few days now Tom, my 5 year old, has had a wobbley tooth. Today his tooth fell out. This is a first, an odly special occasion. The remarkable thing is how small his tooth is, it really is tiny :-). He is delighted part because he is going to get a pound (damn inflation) and part because he knows thats what happens to ‘big boys’. Oh to be able to hold back time 🙂 My emotions are very mixed, partly pride that he has got this far and done so well and partly down and out fear at the very real manifestation of time moving along.

I hold to something my dad told me when Tom was younger and I was moaning about him growing up. Dont look back and worry about what you have missed, focus on whats happening today and take pleasure in each moment. With that in mind I suppose I should demix my emotions and just get on with enjoying watching him grow up. Maybe.

Twas annoying to have to leave him to goto work, this is a special time. I wonder if he realises just how special.

A Poem


There is a kind of love called maintenance,
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it;

Which checks the insurance, and doesn’t forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;

Which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes; which deals with the dentists

And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
And postcards to the lonely; which upholds

The permanently ricketty elaborate
Structures of living; which is Atlas.

And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
Which knows what time and weather are doing
To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
Laughs at my dry-rotten jokes; remembers
My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
My suspect edifice upright in the air,
As Atlas did the sky.

Punishing children

OK So I have not blogged for a while, there seems little point backfilling the gap so I wont 🙂

I have two children Beth and Tom. This morning while tidying the house I noticed that Beth, who is 3, was not helping Tom, who is 5, to tidy their bedroom. Discussions ensued. Ultimatly Beth ended up tidying up alone, because Tom had done his share. Beth, naturally, started to cry. I went to Beth to explain things and calm her down, she explained in a quiet sad little voice that she needed help to tidy up because she is ‘only little’ I figured that this was a ruse so ‘played along’. I called my wife and told her that as Beth was ‘only little’ we would have to collect her Dolls together and save them until she is ‘bigger’, I also told beth as she was ‘only little’ she should pop to her bed for a little nap. Beth accepted all this without a murmor, how do you punish someone if they dont realise that the punishment is a punishment! Currently Beth is in bed asleep, and her dolls are on my bed and I am out of ideas. Who would have thought being a Dad was so damn complicated.


Is it ok to be so excited about chrimbo when you are old?

Children just make christmas all over again, I never really understood (prior to having children) what it is to live life through children. Its obvious at christmas. Today I did panto, both children are old enough to enjoy it. Thomas at 5 was booing and shouting with the best of them, Beth at 2 was suitably scared and requiring hugs at all the right places 🙂 Panto kind of sucks for adults, but when you go with children it is the best thing in the world. I found it kind of hard to follow the performance because I was watching the reaction of the children, thats entertainment. Thomas was mesmerised, Beth switched between amused, scared, bored and ecstatic.

After panto we went to the crib service, a new family tradition (running since tom was first born so 5 years or so). Thomas took Bethany down to the front to deliver the present for baby jesus, watching them go melted my heart. Watching tom return ALONE was less endearing. Running forward I found Bethany stood along on the stage asking “where’s Tom?” her faith was amazing, surrounded by strangers she just waited for someone to explain what she should do. How long will she continue to trust her big brother. Later Beth sitting on my lap, one arm around my neck and one hand holding a candle joined in with the away in a manager carol… it was perfect, just perfect. As we left a nice old lady complemented Beth on her dress, Beth proudly said that it was her swishing dress, she stood stock still and swayed to show how her dress swished. She blocked off everyone, noone could leave the church, noone seemed to mind because she looked so damn cute.

Now the children sleep, the camera is on charge the presents are wrapped. Tomorrow is CHRISTMAS, and I am starting to understand that Christmas is not about what presents you recieve (well tbf I KNEW that a long time ago, I am starting to BELIVE it). I am excited, jigging cant stand still excited, but the excitement is not for me. Not any more.