How to make an imperfect cup of tea

a) Be told by your AntiRSI program that you should take a ten minute break, right the hell now.

b) Find your mug. Given you work in a 10’ cube office with nobody but you inside it, it will surprise you how difficult this bit is. Clue: You put the iPad on its stand after you had tea this morning, it’s probably behind it.

c) Find keys and teabag.

d) Lock door.

e) Wander the hallways of the business park, searching for boiling water tap (which actually dispenses boiling water, and is awesome) and wonder if the advantages of getting a kettle for the office would be outweighed by the disadvantages of never leaving the 10’ cube.

e) Place teabag in mug, which isn’t the perfect way of doing this, but the teapot still has Lapsang in it and washing it up is beyond the scope of this project.

f) Place boiling water in mug.

g) Wait for five minutes. During this time check twitter, tumblr, facebook, etc. Start writing a tumblr post about how to make an imperfect cup of tea. Get as far as (j) before you realise that you’ve overbrewed the tea.

h) Remove the teabag.

i) Wonder which bright spark managed to use all the damned milk again, hope that this doesn’t reproduce the Time Of The Individual Milk Sachets, which prophecy says will being about the end days.

j) Bugger. Hang on a sec.

k) Add milk to tea to taste.

n) Wander the halls of the business park in the other direction, pondering kettles again, or possibly some kind of minifridge that would partially fix the milk problem.

o) Get back to your desk, discover you’ve got a minute or so left of your enforced keyboard break. Sit back, and enjoy your tea.

p) Wonder what happened to (l & m).

q) Realise that means you didn’t offer the option of sugar or sweetener, which renders the entire set of instructions needlessly specific.

r) Consider the bits about the wandering the halls and the 10’ cube probably render the instructions less general anyway, and decide to leave the missing characters out, happy in the knowledge that it will annoy completists.

u) annoy completists some more.

7) Completely screw up the concept, just to see if it makes a difference.

w) Relax and enjoy your tea.

x) Type a site entry thing.

y) Consider getting to the final letter just for completeness.

"But daddy, I don’t understand"

And I hope you never need to, darling. The lesson is not for you. It is for all the other massive fans who may think to come this way: “this is not your place”.

"But what if I want to grow up to be part of fandom"

Then we can go and see your grandmother, who still keeps her contacts in that world. But keep your pen sharp, and try not to get put in a cage.

"But daddy, I don’t understand"

And I hope you never need to, darling. The lesson is not for you. It is for all the other massive fans who may think to come this way: “this is not your place”.

"But what if I want to grow up to be part of fandom"

Then we can go and see your grandmother, who still keeps her contacts in that world. But keep your pen sharp, and try not to get put in a cage.

Rubber Duck Debugging

I mentioned the duck yesterday, so I should probably explain the duck.

Debugging is the act of removing errors or misfeatures from a computer program or system.

You know the thing where you’ve got a problem, and you’re going over it in your head, and it isn’t going anywhere, but when you explain the problem to someone else, suddenly the solution is obvious?

Turns out, the someone else doesn’t need to be animate, and it works nearly as well if you explain it to a small yellow plastic anatidae.

Thus, rubber duck debugging.

Blind leading the blinds

My office now has blinds and a whiteboard, so I feel less like I’m part of some kind of scientific experiment where the boffins behind the glass watch the unspecialised programmer attempt to explain facebook login flows to a strategically placed rubber duck.

It also has a whiteboard across almost the whole of one wall, in a way I’ve always wanted. My dreams are prosaic, occasionally, but also apparently achievable.

Edison Hate Future

In the future, where we are, I have a watch that has music controls. Pushing a button on my watch changes the track my phone (in a distant pocket) is playing though my bluetooth, wireless, headphones

So, this afternoon I got poked in the back of the head by a girl who *knew* I was ignoring her on the bus, because my “headphones weren’t even plugged in”.

Ow.

Blank Slate

All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain. Time… to die

Cool URIs don’t change, but I’ve never been cool.

Fifteen years of archives just went poof, and I no longer feel beholden to any of it. They exist in three places: A database server, the Internet Archive, and my head. 

I got out of the habit of considering my own website when I was writing things. Stuff appeared on Tumblr, or as long posts to other people’s Facebook statuses, or random text files scattered over my Evernote account. So I’ve moved this over to tumblr, because it’s already in my flow of my day, in the hope that I’ll remember to write more, and not try to be perfectionist about the whole thing.

It’s been a while since I did an actual personal update here. I’m still living with my girlfriend in London. I’m working for Istic.Networks, ie, me. I’ve recently acquired office space in North London where I’m working on various contract things and a new startup thing I’ll explain more about when it’s ready for that kind of thing.

I am, still, writing a novel. It’s working title is “The mockery of Demetri James Jonathan Stark” and is currently slogging though the middle until I can push the dominos down to the conclusion.