Lots of friends

Mum and Dad have a lot of friends.

How do I know? This year they’re spending Christmas in Thailand with some friends. Fortunately they weren’t by the coast when the Earthquake and tidal waves struck so they’re fine.

For the last week the shop has had calls from many many people (some even managed to find my home phone number) all calling to find out if everything was OK with my parents. It’s nice to know so many people care for them.


Another thing I learn’t when growing up which now means a lot more to me:
You don’t always need to know the answer, just how to find out the answer.

I learnt that at ATC, during staff cadet training we didn’t need to know all the rules, but we were expected to know where to go and find the answer among the many books the ATC had.

Site Bugs to fix

Thanks to those who’ve pointed out the bugs on the site so far. The current list reads:

  • Comments Don’t work
  • Font size too small
  • Site is different in Internet Explorer to Mozilla Firefox

I’ll get to looking at the comments as soon as I get time.
Did you know you can change the font size for this site (and any other standards compliant site) in your browser? It’s simple, just select
“View” from the menu bar, then “Text Size” from the list, then choose to make it larger or smaller. The font size you see on your screen is affected by many things including the size of your screen and some Windows settings.
The differences between Firefox and Internet Explorer are down to the way they implement the web’s CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) standards (or more likely the way I’ve written my style sheet). Eventually I’ll figure out why they are different and fix them to be the same.

Last posting date was today?

So the last posting date for Christmas was today. Once again, I’ve missed it. Merry Christmas to all my friends and relatives reading this and wondering where your card is.

Of course, normally I don’t write any cards (and this year has been no exception) because Rhonda sorts that out every year. This year she’s been delayed by me not sorting out the list. Normally that involves me copying Mums address list, then adding our friends but this year Mums list on the computer appears to be missing almost everyone.

I really would like to be more organised when it comes to friends addresses and contact details. Written on bits of paper here and there, never to hand when I need it (or Rhonda needs it). The solution? I think I’m going to find an online address book. If any of you know of any please let me know.

I had a look at a couple of the ones I’ve known of. Most seem to suffer with not holding the data the way I want. For example, our friends Darren and Rebecca live at the same address but each have their own mobile number (not uncommon that), but I don’t really want to enter their address twice because that will make next years Christmas card list complicated. I think the best solution is for me to write a system myself.


  • It will take me some time
  • I’m probably doing what another website is already doing for free

  • The practice will be good
  • can use it from anywhere, got full control of the layout
  • already have a login system that I wrote for another site that I can re-use


The Pros seem to be winning. I guess it will all depend on how boring the TV is over Christmas, and how complicated I make the database scheema (scheema = plan of how the database works).

Of course, I’m also back to thinking of whether we should really be sending cards at all. I’m not bothered whether I recieve a card, I’m happy to get nothing or may be even a hello by email for the people I haven’t seen for most of the year. Maybe I should go and send some “Merry Christmas” emails instead, now, where did I put that list of email addresses….

Coldfusion is better

Coldfusion seems to be better lately. I haven’t set the cron job up to restart the server every night but I have changed some of the coldfusion settings. It appears that a software update may have changed some of the memory variables for the ‘JRun server’. Jrun was trying to take all 256mb of memory on the server and not let anything else use it. I reset it first to 128mb which helped, and now 64mb and the server’s been fine since. The website seem to be performing fine but I think I’ll keep watching it closely just in case.

As always, newsgroups were handy for research and I’ve got a few optimisation tips from them too.

They spoil their site by sending spam

Granddads Life story is currently hosted on the business website http://www.rootskitchens.co.uk/family/les_root_story.php. There’s also a guestbook for people to leave a message and say hello. Despite it’s relatively low traffic there’s always been a level of spam that gets sent to it. When it happens I remove them. I was surprised today to be spammed by another furniture company. Their website looks pretty good too, I guess they are just trying to hard to be noticed. What defines spam for me? Well, it’s not relevant for a furniture company to be listing:
Oak furniture,tables,chairs.Bespoke furniture,tables,chairs
along with the website URL in a guestbook for a life story.
I guess they thought the guestbook was related to the business site in some way.

Memories & Mums

I remembered today that one year I took all of my Easter Eggs to the local childrens ward and gave them away. The year before I’d fallen over when skiing and broken my arm. I spent the whole of Easter (well, it may have only been a day or two because memories aren’t always accurate) in the Childrens ward. What on earth must Mum have thought? Was that so unusual a thing to do? I remember the nurses being perplexed by my arrival. I wonder if Nicola and James will do unexpected things like that and can only assume they will.

New Category – Posts Waiting to happen

I’ve begun a new category today called “Posts waiting to happen”. If you see anything here its because it may be relevant for some to ready, but I’m not happy to list it as a complete entry. This will also be a category for me to place ‘draft’ and ‘future’ status posts. These types of post doesn’t show on the website but placing them here will let me see easily the things I’ve started and not finished. All told, this is like a scrap book of ideas section, some things you’ll be able to see and some you wont.