2016 Challenge

2016 Challenge

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Artisan 2016

Artisan Challenge 2016

Artisan2016The last time I actually made some New Years Resolutions was way back in 2006, which in January when tradition says I should pick some  resolutions for 2016, it will have been a decade since my last ones.


“forgive me father, it has been ten years since my last resolution”

The reason I stopped making the traditional New Years Resolutions was a simple one, basically I am really crap at sticking to them. It seems pointless making a bunch of resolutions you know you will never stick too. And when I tried picking one’s like :-

  • I will drink beer
  • I will play lots of Video Games

I got told that they were not acceptable choices. Gorram Resolution Nazis. So instead I have spent the last decade setting myself challenges every year, Originally alone, and the last few years along with MaguirePete. The Challenge for 2016 we are calling “Artisan 2016”

noun: artisan; plural noun: artisans
    a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand.

The reason for this name? Well because all the challenges (and there are three parts) are artistic or creative in nature.


Quarterly Non LOLS Papers

Last year one of the challenges was to write an Academic Paper, This simple sounding challenge soon mutated into joining in with the Quarterly LOLS paper, where we received a topic and had to write a paper on it which would then get peer reviewed. So instead of the one paper I ended up writing four. This year’s challenge again has “Write a Paper” as one of the tasks. But from the start I am aiming for four papers over the year, and since I will probably do the Quarterly LOLS papers again this year, the new challenge is for none LOLS papers of topics I pick myself. [/box]


Art Project

When picking the challenges for 2016 MaguirePete mentioned that when he was in sixth form he always liked the long art projects, where as you passed the Art block you would see the work slowly take form over time. And so we decided to be artistic in 2016 and do some form or Art project that would slowly take the year to do. This seems like a good idea, so I will be working on a piece of art over the year and posting updates as it goes along. How hard can it be?


100 Days

And once again I will be taking part in the 100 Days creative Challenge. This will be starting April 1st and can be viewed over at my 100Days Blog.

New Organ Donation Laws in Wales

So as of today “1st December 2015” every Adult in Wales who has not actively gone HERE and stated that they want to keep all their bits when they die will be considered fair game for harvesting.

Or to put it in their words

After the 1st December 2015 if you have not recorded an organ donation decision (opt in or opt out) on the NHS Organ Donation Register, you will be treated as having no objection to donating any of your organs. This is called “deemed consent”.

You are probably thinking that is a good idea, and it will help reduce the size of the list of people waiting on transplants, and even save lives. After all there is a big shortage of organs for transplants in Wales and the UK. In 2012-13, 36 people died in Wales while waiting for a transplant

So this is a good thing right?

Let me leave you with this thought. If you were waiting for a transplant, and you could die without it, and you knew that every person in Wales was now an all you can transplant buffet, would you be willing to wait in the hope someone may die of natural causes in time to save you, or would you plan mass-murder in Wales to get the part you need?

I know what I would do, and NO I am not going to tell you what my decision is.

P.S. On A Side note, you know there are many ways to kill large numbers of people without damaging their internal organs…


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.


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


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!

Least We Forget

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.


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)

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!

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!!!

The Rise of the Hammer Gnome

The Rise of the Hammer Gnome

I was minding my own business this morning in work when someone brought in a delivery for me.  I was not expecting anything, nor I had not ordered anything, so you could imagine my confusion.


Me: “Why have I got a box? I never have a box!”
Everyone Else: “Why don’t we have a box?”
Me: “But. Why do I have a Box?”



“Live Gnome Inside”? WTF? Have I fallen into an episode of the twilight zone or something. Live Gnome Inside? what is gong on?


what was that? anyone else hear that?


What? is anyone one else hearing voices? Ok, why is there a live Gnome in a Box? Why do I have a Box? Why do I have a Live Gnome?



2015-10-29 12.18.59


Who are you? What is going on? Am I finally going Insane?


you say that like it means something?


No, Never. Who are you? What are you? What is going on? Where did you come from? And why do you talk in shouting? why do you talk?


Right, that explains everything. *starts dialing the men in the white coats*


Well that explains everything. The @EvilGothGnome is at home, I will take you to see him later. Remind me to thank @MaguirePete and to check into how much it costs to get psychological testing.

I sense interesting times ahead.

Happy System Administrator Appreciation Day 2015

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 16th 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) !!!



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!