Nov 27

Happy Thanksgiving

Well it is the last Thursday in November and I find myself asking along with 85% of the world’s population (actual statistics) “Where did the year go?“. I also find myself thinking about things I am thankful for. I blame the amount of Americans I know for this thoughtful mood, since it is their Thanksgiving day.  This year I decided to join in with my cousins from across the pond, and to do so I would have a traditional American Thanksgiving.

<PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT>

It turns out that if you try to order a batch of smallpox off the internet, to try to genetically modify the strain to wipe out a large racial group you get a visit by a bunch of men in black suits and mirrored shades, and a pat-down that makes the TSA look like a nervous schoolboy with his first above the clothes fumble.

Also, most races are slightly more streetwise these days, and you can not claim their country as your own with the cunning use of flags & the Winchester repeating rifle. Also the men in black will confiscate said Rifle when they leave

</PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT>

So this year due to the restraining orders, and the black vans, & choppers that seem to be just loitering in my vicinity, I have decided to just be thankful for some stuff. I therefore raise my cup of coffee to you dear readers, neh friends and am thankful of you. I am thankful for the internet shrinking the size of the world, and for good friends spread over it’s every shrinking surface. I’m thankful for good food & drink, Good films & Books. And Dear Constant Readers I’m thankful to you, and you, to him and her, but not You, and you know who you are, I’m not thankful to you, not since you did that thing to that cat…

Happy Thanksgiving.

Your meaning of “Have me for Dinner” is different to mine!

Nov 11

100 Years – Least We Forget

Each year, on 11 November, the country falls silent to commemorate our war dead. This ritual, and the ceremonies and symbols that accompany it, have become part of national life.

Remembrance started long before the guns of the Western Front fell silent with people marking the loss or absence of loved ones away at war. 100 years later, the personal and political resonances of remembrance still stir strong emotions.

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.

remembranceadIn Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae (1872 – 1918)

Nov 05

Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot.

Remember-Remember-v-for-vendettaRemember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot… But what of the man? I know his name was Guy Fawkes and I know, in 1605, he attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. But who was he really? What was he like? We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail. He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten, but 400 years later, an idea can still change the world. I’ve witnessed first hand the power of ideas, I’ve seen people kill in the name of them, and die defending them… but you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it, or hold it… ideas do not bleed, they do not feel pain, they do not love…

 

And now I have to re-watch V for Vendetta!

Oct 31

Happy Samhain/Halloween

Halloween is one of the oldest surviving holidays, its origins going back thousands of years. Hundreds of years ago in what is now Great Britain and Northern France, lived the Celts (A friendly bunch of People). The Celts were Nature Worshippers, and had many different gods, The Sun God being one of the most common ones, since the sun dictated when they would work,rest and play. The Celtic New Year was on November 1st. It was celebrated every year with a festival and marked the end of the “season of the sun” and the beginning of “the season of darkness and cold.”

On October 31st after the crops were all harvested and stored for the long winter the cooking fires in the homes would be extinguished. The Druids, the Celtic priests, would meet and light new fires and offer sacrifices of crops and animals. As they danced around the the fires, the season of the sun passed and the season of darkness would begin.

When the morning arrived the Druids would give an ember from their fires to each family who would then take them home to start new cooking fires. These fires would keep the homes warm and free from evil spirits.

The November 1st festival was called Samhain (pronounced “sow-en”). The festival would last for 3 days. Many people would parade in costumes made from the skins and heads of their animals. This festival would become the first Halloween.

So Happy Halloween, Merry New Year, Happy Samhain, and any other greeting you wish!!!

Oct 29

All Hallows Read

AHR13_LargePromoTout#allhallowsread

So what is All Hallow’s Read?
All Hallow’s Read is a Hallowe’en tradition. It’s simply that in the week of Hallowe’en, or on the night itself, you give someone a scary book.Scholars have traced its origins as far back as this blog post.

Is this instead of Trick or Treat? Because I don’t want to get egged, and the kids around here are mean.
Not at all. Trick or Treat is Trick or Treat. This is All Hallow’s Read, a great excuse to give someone a book.You can give out scary books or comics to trick or treaters on Hallowe’en if you want to, obviously. (We recommend looking the child in the eye and saying, “Take it. Read it. Trust me… around here… a book can be… safer than candy.” Then chuckling to yourself, as if remembering something unfortunate that happened to some of the local children only last year.)

What kind of scary book?
An appropriate one. If you’re giving a kid a scary book, make it a kid-appropriate scary book. You wouldn’t give the same kind of scary book to one person than you would another, any more than one book is right for everyone. People like different things.
Do I have to buy it new?
Nope.Obviously, we support bookshops and authors, but more than that, this is about making a holiday tradition of book-giving. So feel free to give second-hand books or books from your own shelves. And feel just as free to buy a beautiful new book from a small independent bookseller, or from online or… look, there’s no wrong way to buy a book. You can even gift it to their Kindle.

How do I choose an All Hallow’s Read book?
If you do not know what scary book to give someone, talk to a bookseller or a librarian. They like to help. Librarians will not mind even if you admit that you are not planning to take out a book, but instead you are going to buy one and give it to someone.
What about the apostrophe in “All Hallow’s Read”?
We are not sticklers for it. In the Twitter hashtag it has to be #AllHallowsRead. Apostrophise or not. We shall not judge you.
Can it really be that simple?
Not necessarily. It’s All Hallows Read, a tradition we just made up. You can fancy it up as much as you like. Just make sure you give someone a scary book this Hallowe’en…
Jul 25

Happy System Administrator Appreciation Day 2014

I thought I would take a minute out of my busy hectic day to give a shout out to all my fellow under-appreciated systems administrators out there in their dark offices on this the 15th Annual System Administrator Appreciation Day.

Consider all the work your sys.admin does behind the scene, keeping your network connection running, your email not being overly flooded with spam, your IM’s running at a decent speed, and being there to fix a server outage at 3am just so some people can go look at the funny picture you uploaded.  Consider how often this creature gets thanked on his day to day fight against spammers, hackers, lUsers, Software Updates, etc Consider this, then be happy that this IT Hero gets one day a year when (s)he gets appreciated.

So everyone, go take a coffee, cake, or gift to your sysadmin now. or at least drop by their hidy hole to say thanks.

For more information on this IMPORTANT festive day go read THIS SITE

For those about the Insane Asylum Myself & Demopengu are fond of Cake, Beer, & Chocolate (Oh and anything with glowing blue LED’s) !!!

CN

P.S.

Consider this as well. Your Friendly SysAdmin has access to your email, they know what you have been doing and to who. They see all the packets of data traveling back and forth from your machine, seeing when you are working and when your just browsing ebay/facebook/etc, They know what websites you’ve visited (and can change your history to show you been looking at p0rn in the office), Stuff you may not want made public.  They control your password, your login name, your email address, how much of the networks bandwidth you can use, what IM clients are banned, and a million other things that help you through the working day.  Consider this well, and remember, “Its only one day a year!

Jul 04

Happy We let you off the Reins to Join the Big Kids Day

toddler-reinsFour score and seven years ago, or in 1776 We decided that the young country of America had become old enough to trust not to run out in front of traffic, or try and play with dangerous animals and as such we took the reins off.

There comes a time in every parents life when you have to trust that your early guidance and teachings have given your offspring all the help they need to make their way in the world alone.

So the UK took off the training reins and watched as America took its first hesitant steps on it’s own. Yes there was a few stumbles and mishaps along the way. Several times America slipped and cut its hand or knee and UK wanted to pick it up and hold it safe.

“Maybe we should leave the reins on for a bit longer.”

UK.

But like all good parents we stayed back, Watching carefully and holding back our urges to guide and jump in at every hurdle. You have to trust your children will do the right thing.

I will say, America you grew up ok. Ok. you have made some really poor dating choices, and Looking at your teenage photographs “What were you wearing??” But all in all, you did well.

SO we here in the UK in general, and the Three Ninjas Temple in particular would like to wish you a Happy Anniversary of your First Steps without the Reins!!

Happy Independence Day.