Eagles – Journey of the Sorcerer

Well, I never knew that – the theme tune from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was a shortened version of an Eagles track called Journey of the Sorcerer.

I quite like the Eagles. They’re one of a handful of bands I was introduced to during my time in Germany. As part of my degree, I spent six months living at the Otto von Guericke Universität, Magdeburg, in one of the less-visited-by-brits parts of already unvisited East Germany. I was supposed to spend my time productively in quiet reflection and prayer talking to German people and learning the language. Instead, I spent an inordinate amount of time playing Civ on my laptop, reading Usenet in the computer lab and drinking crates of cheap German beer and mixing my own margheritas.

It’s a wonder I ever passed my year abroad, let alone my French/German degree. And yet, bizarrely, all my anxiety dreams about being ill-prepared for exams, which I still get on a regular basis despite having graduated over a decade ago, are always about the French novels I never read ((years later, I was shocked to learn that – spoiler – Mme Bovary dies. Had somehow missed that whilst studying the book)) rather than my frankly appalling grasp on the German language.

Still, of the lasting things that came with me out of my time in Germany were those handful of tracks. I had my radio tuned to Hit Radio Brocken which changed its name shortly before I left and appears to have changed back subsequently. It was one of those commercial radio stations with a short play list, so a number of tracks came up repeatedly, and stuck in my head.

Towards the end of my time there, never quite having understood enough German to hear from the DJs what the songs were, I emailed them to ask. I then hotfooted down Breiter Weg ((literally Wide Way)) (formerly Karl Marx Allee) to Karstadt and bought copies on CD that I could take with me when I moved to Paris.

So, the link to the Eagles? One of the tracks was Hotel California. The CD I bought was Eagles Greatest Hits Vol.2 which had a whole bunch of things on it I really liked and have listened to loads since, particularly Sad Café, New Kid in Town, Seven Bridges Road, and Victim of Love.

Strangely, it wasn’t until years later, when my driving instructor turned out to be a lead guitarist in a Pink Floyd tribute band that dabbled in Eagles tracks, that I even bothered buying Vol.1
. And I’ve never really got into the tracks on that. I’ve never done what I’ve done with other bands over the years, in trying to buy up the back catalogue and find other songs I like, so I never knew it was the Eagles who came up with the distinctive sound that introduces Douglas Adam’s radio masterpiece.

Other tracks in my head that date back to my time in Germany were: Jonny Farnham with the Human League singing the (actually quite creepy when you think about the lyrics) Every Time you Cry:

Surely in any relationship the goal would be to prevent/minimise your partner crying rather than coming up with a bizarre reason why crying is a good thing? Cf Today’s Teardrops. (“yeah yeah yeah!”)

Another song that stuck was the Hollies The Air that I Breathe:

Now the Hollies *were* a band whose back catalogue I bought up. Everything else was shit.

Strange how none of the songs I ended up liking from my time in Germany actually ended up being in German.

The week in tweets:

  • Oz and Hugh visit Leintwardine in tonight's show, apparently. I found last week's weird and uncomfortable. #
  • @rfenwick where to? #
  • Is it just my eyes or are these maltesers moving? http://ldv.org.uk/22595 #
  • So many red herrings! Helen? Road accident? Falling off Lower Loxley roof? #sattc #
  • Who is Amy? #sattc #thearchers #
  • RT @ceekayell: @alexfoster She is the vicars daughter, conveniently recently trained as a midwife <<< hahaha #
  • "That's a good idea" NO! NO IT'S NOT! I actually mind about Nigel and David! #sattc #thearchers #
  • RT @LonelyWonderer: Not the banner! #thearchers #sattc #
  • RT @corfmeister: RT @SidPerksGhost: I know what’s wrong with Helen; the babies cloven hoof is stuck! #Archers #TheArchers #sattc #
  • Yes, Nigel, crack open the bubbly and THEN go and get the banner in! #thearchers #sattc #
  • Maybe Tony strangles Helen with his bare hands? #sattc #thearchers #
  • RT @LonelyWonderer: DON'T GO ON THE ROOF!!! #thearchers #sattc #
  • Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep #thearchers #sattc #
  • Nigel is starting to sound very much like Mrs Overall's death speech. #sattc #
  • Annoyed by cover of Private Eye. Jesus was dead by 30 and wouldn't have had to repay tuition fees. #

  • RT @kathyclugston: RT @miche: Nigel Pargeter, pictured earlier: http://twitpic.com/3mfq8f #
  • @agnt_orange fair amount of time thinking, anything from an hour a week to full time for writing and managing. Entirely up to you. #
  • @agnt_orange see also http://bit.ly/eoWUOm #
  • Oh, good grief, I thought Homeopaths without Borders was going to be a satire, but it turns out they're real. #
  • RT @dwbullock: RT @gusbbaker: My grandad gave me Bonnie Tyler's car for xmas. Awful present. Every now and then it falls apart. #
  • Loving the campsite method of roasting a chicken in a bucket as demonstrated on Hugh & Oz Raise the Bar. #
  • @owenblacker more evidence of the increasing urbanisation of the planet. #
  • Wants to watch Is It Just Me?: http://LOVEFiLM.com/r/QQSJuEg #

  • I rather like the new Virgin Atlantic ad. Not that I can afford to fly to the States any time soon! http://youtu.be/Hbib-A6NpW8 #
  • @TimHarford all the more astonishing when you consider someone created @henryarcher before the end of last night's broadcast #
  • Wants to watch Quantum Leap – Season 1: http://LOVEFiLM.com/r/QQSB5g4 #
  • Wants to watch Quantum Leap – Season 2: http://LOVEFiLM.com/r/QQSC3W0 #
  • Lolling @psythor's report request for @poddelusion. #
  • @Psythor "so, yeah, this 'rocket science' – it's hardly rocket science, is it?" #
  • Good grief, really? Seated eye height? Maybe this is why my shoulders hurt. http://bit.ly/e5KDDI #
  • @jimeasterbrook lots of issues around that confusion that occurs when your home is your workplace. #
  • Oh, gawd, please no, not another headache. #
  • @agnt_orange no, a reflection that the market was bizarrely skewed away from Lib Dem win, which is at least possible if not likely. #
  • @willhowells I have a box of food mouldering in the conservatory I just can't bring myself to eat. Must try harder. #
  • Trying to think: did yesterday's headache start shortly after shovelling a truckload of cheese into my cakehole, like todays? #
  • Yeah, alright Google, my hand slipped. No need to mock. "Showing results for savoury muffins. Search instead for saavoury muffins" #
  • RT @CharlotteGore: once pissed off editor of local paper, who printed my pic with the caption, "Special kind of crazy" <<< lol, no comment. #
  • Is it possible to get a reasonably priced mini-hifi with an iPod dock, a DAB radio and two aux inputs? #
  • I'm hungry. It's the middle of the night. My thoughts are turning to whether there might still be any supernoodles in the cupboard. #
  • Hitting all of the major foodgroups today: cheese AND supernoodles. #
  • @LloydieJL I hope you don't have some sort of moral / cultural objection to the humble supernoodle. #
  • Oh, erk. How can something so healthy-looking have 700 calories? #
  • Eek, it's down to -4 again this evening. I thought the cold snap was over. #
  • @hughmcguire cripes, how can this possibly be quicker than normal typing? http://bit.ly/i39zMi #
  • Goodness me, it's cold. Still, the heating comes on in 8 minutes. And once again I've been up all night doing nothing useful. #
  • Well, I say "nothing". I have now finally finished writing Christmas cards. Must get them in the post. #
  • So… how long can you carry on eating the turkey from Christmas day? Still quite a lot left on ours. #
  • @eyupsharpy any thoughts about budget and cuisine? Expensive: French Living or Hart's or Sat Bains #
  • RT @eyupsharpy: Looking for a restaurant recommendation in Nottingham UK. any suggestions? #
  • @eyupsharpy mid-range Sinatra's, Le mistral, Petit Paris. Curry at Tamatanga or 4550 Miles from Delhi. Veggie at Squeek or Sumac. #
  • @eyupsharpy Cheap: Moulin Rouge Fish Bar, Royal Clay Oven, AYCE buffets on Parliament Street… #
  • @RatedRudeBoy yes I saw that and thought it was brilliant but narrator was all "oh, you don't get out much." #

  • Eek, The EVOO has Frozen! http://flic.kr/p/97pdHQ #
  • It's snowing again – feebly, but snowing. I thought we'd all had enough of snow. #
  • @agnt_orange assuming I'm a dullard 🙂 #
  • RT @newsaboutwomen: Vodafone to make phones easier for women to use – http://ow.ly/1rZeQV << bet they're pink. #
  • "Cut into a pentagram" WIN! http://bit.ly/fWQOkW #
  • So. It seems I have to drive 200 miles on the day the MET Office says it's going to snow heavily everywhere along the route. #fml #
  • @A_C_McGregor best off going to the cllr that represents them – use writetothem.com to work out who. #
  • @agnt_orange http://bit.ly/gzE7D6 #
  • Ooh, from his phonecall, sounds like someone's put @markpack in a lead box. #
  • @LloydieJL you need to see this: http://eblong.com/zarf/thod/38.html #
  • If some Tories hate coalitions so much, they might try winning a majority next time http://econ.st/h1Ci1c (h/t @lordbonkers) #
  • *sigh* the only thing between me and Inbox Zero (on one account at least) is 22 things I can't face doing. #
  • @LloydieJL probably, so long as it is not a audiobookplug 🙂 🙂 #
  • RT @ErikPetersen: PR phoned, said she was calling "from Philadelphia". Had to stop her 30 seconds in and ask if she meant city or cheese #
  • @LloydieJL I mean even book plugs might be OK if it's on eg Amazon and we can get referral fees. #
  • @mpntod are you not bothered they're under the misapprehension (?) that the taxpayer paid for your posters? #
  • @LloydieJL yeah, see if you can get @markpack to review it. Or write about this http://ind.pn/dTZiXg and obliquely refer to it. #
  • @LloydieJL Or actually we wouldn't mind just putting putting link in the "LloydieJL is…" b/anno section #
  • Bleatedly realising I have all the ingredients for spag carbonara. #
  • All kinds of awesome – precision timed shot of ISS and eclipse. Happened for under 1 sec. http://bit.ly/ga6KnW #
  • Eiderdown #lessambitiousfilms (well less ambitious than Black Hawk Down.) #
  • @helenduffett how mysterious. #
  • Watched Law Abiding Citizen: http://LOVEFiLM.com/r/QQyHojk #
  • has been sent 2012: http://LOVEFiLM.com/r/QQiGxD8 #
  • RT @VizTopTips: COMMUTERS. Convince traffic you were on 'Come Dine With Me' by riding a black cab home and holding up numbers. #
  • UKIP are "patriotic with a small p" – is that like bollocks with a small b? http://bit.ly/fdkOjj #
  • @jamesmcgraw I'm sure the cat is just as sniffy about your feet. #
  • @fentonstevens is it truly a day off or are you supposed to be learning lines? 🙂 #
  • RT @journodave: I love pnemonics. They are beautiful. Beautiful. Big Elephants Are Useful To Indians For Uplifting Logs. #
  • … @journodave how about mnemonics? Many normal everyday men ought not idiotically crap spell? #
  • @doctorvee "follow me, follow me, pllllllsssss follow me, I never say anything interesting but I am X short of Y followers!!!!!!" #
  • @stephentall ooh, interesting job. Shame it's either four months or four years and four months at the wrong time. #
  • @stephentall and the person spec fits me! apart from "motivated" obvs. #
  • RT @stephentall: Fancy "an interesting compensation package"? http://bit.ly/grMaT0 > (ELDR) group wants a head of comms (@rfenwick?) #
  • @northernheckler see my subsequent tweet! #
  • @JChris_J it's not going to look that realistic unless there's also a camera crew and it's 4am! #
  • One man's plan to see 'Every film in 2011' http://bit.ly/gB245X #
  • @rfenwick @stephentall what… erm… An *aubergine* ? #
  • @stephentall it's not very seasonal. (@rfenwick) #
  • @rfenwick that's so headed for #hignfy #
  • @rfenwick did he make it or find it? #
  • @leighbob looks like it works! #
  • YouTube – Josh Groban Sings Kanye West Tweets http://bit.ly/iac4Yy #
  • Die die die, you smug mustachioed piggie! (Stuck on the boss level quite early on) #
  • Why has Chrome started warning me that PDFs can harm my computer? #
  • Most annoyingly, how come with Chrome on one PC I can type wp or am then tab then search Wikipedia or Amazon, but not on another? #
  • Writing my first cheque of 2011. Concentrating on the date. #
  • . @kayray Maybe there are now eeeeeeeeeeeeevil PDFs out there! #
  • RT @flocktogether: #ldconf Fringe Meeting: @alexfoster added LDV Fringe on Mar. 12th at 8.00 pm – http://floc.to/7008 #
  • @helenduffett *biting tongue on reply* #
  • @helenduffett aha, was secret project to force Jeremy Ambache out of party and open up GLA vacancy? #
  • @duncanborrowman "Even Swype only offers cherie" sorry, what? eh? #
  • @thoroughlygood only with my "bursar" hat on – I've long since lost my personal chequebook somewhere in my house. #
  • Just popped out to sorting office with letter pile. Never knew you could get kebabbl so late.:-) (@ Uni Takeaway) http://4sq.com/eGYfNU #
  • Wondering why my electricity usage has more than trebled over this time last year (my heating is gas powered) #
  • Hmm. I think I maybe read the meter wrongly and entered the total figure instead of the night time only figure. #
  • @agnt_orange you need the irritating OMG I must wake up power of the Today Programme. Leap out of bed to silence Thought for Today! #
  • @agnt_orange Thrill at the annoying endless pointless questions from John Humphries #
  • @agnt_orange Ponder on whether it's homophobic to refer to Evan Davies as Tinsel Tits. (http://bit.ly/dGRSbZ) #
  • The caterwauling outside has been going on for several nights now. Bumper crop of kittens expected this spring! #
  • @agnt_orange 6am – 9am. #
  • RT @fentonstevens: RT @4EverSteve: BBC News: HMV to close sixty stores. Is this the Vinyl Countdown? #
  • Wondering if Floella is the only Baroness with a range of ready meals to her name. http://bit.ly/g95yOV #
  • Cat has been trying to catch one measly spider for twenty minutes. Just hurry up and eat it already! #
  • @LloydieJL but did they have the new square mugs? #
  • @LloydieJL Starbucks is rebranding but looks like I imagined the square mugs. http://bit.ly/h1rMGu #
  • Aah. When cat thinks I am not paying him enough attention, he stretches out and taps me on the arm. #
  • Hmmm nom nom, tapenade crusted chicken breasts. Teensy-weensy bit on the over-garlicky side. #
  • @markpack I note they don't think you're worthy of a bio. #
  • @newsaboutwomen No. HTH! #
  • @lordbonkers I've wondered for years if they actually get a record player, or just the discs. #
  • @doctorvee the trailers look ok #
  • RT @iaindale: RT @TomHarrisMP: I thought Reuters were novelists from Birmingham. #timvine #
  • Misreading a sentence. "The Lib Dems were always going to be outgurned on a national stage." #
  • @barton_of_notts is that the "18 Weeks" one? Would love to see a copy #
  • @jamesmcgraw it does seem to be a study in bad parenting and inability to communicate. #
  • @journodave it's STILL not an all time low! We were within the margin of error shortly after merger! #

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Martin Tod and the QR Code of Doom

When Martin Tod got excited about QR codes a couple of years ago, I got excited too. It looks like an interesting technology that has got to have some fun application that I can do something with ((Newspaper Club is in this category too, but so far, nada))

Martin was initially sceptical that QR codes would ever take off but commenters on his blog attempted to argue him round.

Later, in the general election, Tod produced some posters with a Twitter reference and a QR code in the corner. If I recall rightly, this was more of an in-joke for cognoscenti rather than a large scale production process, and I doubt more than a dozen or so were actually made or displayed. I’m pretty sure far more people will have seen photographs of the posters on the internet than actually saw the posters.

Yet this sorry joke somehow made a Top 10 list of advertisers using QR Codes.

Reading through the list of ten, remembering these are the top ten, all of them seem portrayed as monumental disappointments and missed opportunities for the advertisers who used them. Appearing on ads below ground. Appearing too briefly on TV slots for anyone to scan them. Misunderstanding that any barcode app can read them, not just the Debenhams iPhone tie-in.

Doesn’t that disappointment just vindicate Martin’s original contention that QR codes are never actually going to take off?

It is still a shame, and I’d love to be able to do something funky with them… how about giant posters for Lib Dem Voice at Lib Dem conference…?

My new phone

So, a few months ago, I wittered endlessly on about needing to replace my phone, laptop and e-reader. I eventually did all those things and am now revelling in a nest of technology. Some of the things I wrote about, but I haven’t said anything about my phone.

After a bit of agonising over whether my first non-Nokia phone in over a decade would be an iPhone or an Android model, I plumped for an HTC Desire, and I am thoroughly enjoying the phone.

Indeed as someone who (eventually) woke up on New Year’s Day, I now totes consider myself vindicated.

Although, having said that, the alarm is one of the many things that have taken some getting used to. The HTC doesn’t appear to turn itself on to ring the alarm, so my old bed time routine of setting the alarm, turning the phone off and plugging it in, for it wake and sound the alarm in the morning has taken some changing.

Now I leave the phone on overnight, albeit plugged in, and I use Locale to realise that it’s night time and turn the sound off, only to turn it back on again just before the alarm is due to sound. This approach is not perfect, as it means I miss late night calls and texts (mostly from Helen Duffett). I could do with an app that lets me tell the phone to silent from now and for the next X hours. Or indeed, I could return to a phone that turns itself on to sound the alarm.

Starting to use the phone was initially a bit of a pain, but got better. In fact, having now used an iPod Touch and an Android phone, I’d characterise the key difference as follows: if you like it to just work, get an iPhone. If you don’t mind – or positively enjoy – tinkering with it a bit to get it just right, then get something Android based. I eventually got the phone’s 7 screens set up something vaguely useful with all the various apps I use. From far left to extreme right they are:

  • RTM to do list app (not ideal – could do with filling the screen)
  • Full calendar in month view
  • Agenda (the next few calendar entries in list form)
  • (main home) Clock, small agenda, and 4 key icons: camera, gmail, Opera Mini, Foursquare
  • SMS app
  • Battery bar, settings button and Mail button for my Council email app
  • Few more random icons for a few things I use more often

Getting stuff into the phone in the first place had been a bit of a worry. I always used to use Goosync to keep a cloud-based offsite backup of my Nokia as part of my disaster-recovery plan. This meant that behind the scenes, and almost unused by me, Google had my calendar and contacts backed up. As soon as I told the phone the details of my Google Account it started fetching my stuff out of Google and adding it to my phone without me having to do much about it. So thousands of contacts and hundreds of calendar entries are now sitting somewhere in the phone’s memory and bubble up to the surface as and when required.

As I’m with Orange (and have been since 1999 – which is now just about paying dividends in line rental percentage discounts) the phone was pre-loaded with awful Orange apps that are all about making Orange money. It tries to send you to Orange’s own app store and festering pot of expensive ringtones, but eventually I discovered the actual Android Market and installed some apps of my own choosing.

A shout for some of my favourites:

  • Angry Birds. Fun game that everyone is playing.
  • Fix My Street – report broken stuff to your local council
  • Locale – make the phone do stuff automatically based on where it is, like turn silent at work
  • Our Groceries – lovely, free shopping list app than can be shared by more than one smartphone user to have joint shopping lists.

New Year food

We were invited to an all-day houseparty for New Year with the same friends I’ve seen the new year in for at least 12 years. Which was like OMG totes lovely.

There are some murmurings about the idea that next year, “we” might like to “go out” for New Year and enjoy dancing and revelry in black tie at a hostelry.

Which is a completely bad idea. It will mean eating expensive mediocre food surrounded by cretins I can’t bear, drinking wine at massively over the normal price. It will also involve dancing. And if that weren’t bad enough we will have to do it rented clothes while the girls get to wear exciting stuff.

No, thanks.

So, anyway, this year. Our hosts borrowed our friend’s Raclette which got switched on and let us cook our own food at various times of the day from midday to midnight. In addition, we all contributed stuff to a buffet. Having been asked to bring savoury stuff, I marinated some chicken breasts slivers overnight in soy, EVOO, lemongrass, ginger, chilli and garlic and then brought it along with a jar of satay sauce. I also took along the leftover turkey and bacon pie I made on the night I forgot I’d agreed to go for a curry, and made some savoury muffins according to this recipe. They were interesting, but not all of them got eaten.

It all looked a little like this:

Turkey And Bacon Pie And Salami Cheese Savoury Muffins

The week in tweets:

  • @Meryl_F stwater.co.uk/upload/pdf/Protecting_your_water_suppley_when_its_very_cold.pdf #
  • Blimey, looong tailback from Newbury interchange A34/M40. Good job we're not going to Soton today. #
  • Longest game of Cluedo evar. #
  • @qikipedia shortly after watching QI I pulled a cracker with the exact same Mrs Sippi joke in it! #
  • @willhowells one man band? #
  • RT @charltonbrooker: ACHTUNG. My 2010 Wipe review of the year starts on BBC2 tonight at 10pm; continues for 59 mins & 15 secs, then stops. #
  • RT @qwghlm: Travel insurance I've just bought includes indemnifying against the bar tab if you score a hole in one at golf #unnecessary #
  • Our cat, our Xmas tree, & time-lapse on Vimeo http://bit.ly/gO9V2I #
  • Always plunge your lemons in hot water before you squeeze them. http://bit.ly/hHDs6r #
  • Lembit on CDWM at 5pm. One to watch through cracked fingers (and thumbs), I expect. #
  • @jamesgraham It's much easier to save inexpensive things. #
  • Twatt, Orkney. Not to be confused with Twatt, Shetland. http://bit.ly/hKLto3 #
  • Yay, #onlyconnect final! #
  • Eek… it's RAINING outside. #
  • Wow, it is hammering it down out there. If it had been a few degrees colder we'd have been knee deep by now. #
  • Backflip FAIL – painful fail takes place in Old Market Square, Nottingham http://bit.ly/heW7EN #
  • Huge bear attacks after being shot by a hunter! http://tinyurl.com/2vm3p5u #NSFW #
  • @Smuttley I'm guessing he has fewer teeth these days. #
  • RT @AmazonKindle: RT @paulourriza: The guide is clearly a Kindle. An iPad is far too big. http://amzn.com/k/3L8XBAAR3N1Z1 #Kindle #
  • RT @MitchBenn: @gilescoren @sueperkins Brilliant. #
  • Has just cooked and eaten a delicious turkey and mushroom risotto. I have somewhat lost track of the time of day. #
  • VIDEO: Kitteh Puts on a Silly Hat – Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats – I Can Has Cheezburger? http://chzb.gr/hdw9vP #
  • I completed 204 tasks with Remember The Milk in 2010 #rtmstats http://rmilk.com/ #
  • RT @dr_nick: why would anyone NOT be on the donor register these days? there but by the grace of god go we… tinyurl.com/torswish #
  • Continuing with evening plan of watching brutal CSI and writing Christmas cards. Is still 12 Days of Christmas after all. #
  • I've licked too many envelopes in the last hour. Ptui. Urgh. Blech. #
  • @helenduffett minibus, was it? #
  • RT @journodave: RT @rorylawless: http://bit.ly/eFeyBJ <- not quite as useful as http://isitgoingtoraintoday.com/ #
  • Christmas cards are now so late I'm wondering about delaying them a month and making them hilariously late. #
  • @facesake this arrived in the post today: http://bit.ly/dFAVT5 #
  • Pictures of the Year 2010 – Photo Essays – TIME http://su.pr/2y7VmT << not as many kittens or rainbows as you'd think. #
  • @Smuttley wouldn't you laugh if you received a Christmas card in February? #
  • Coo. Shop-bought puff pastry always looks fabulous with an egg glaze and some light scoring. #
  • Eek. "The creative minds behind “South Park” take on Broadway with “The Book of Mormon,” a musical of the founding of the Mormon Church," #

  • Turkey And Bacon Pie And Salami Cheese Savoury Muffins http://flic.kr/p/968QL4 #
  • Debtris http://bit.ly/gkyhob #
  • Didn't get enough sleep. Consequently feel like I've been whacked in the face by a red skillet. #
  • Long Eaton exploding in a mass of fireworks and Chinese lanterns. Happy wotsits. #
  • 2000 Vs. 2010: How the world has changed http://on.io9.com/hcxbVk #
  • RT @Psythor: Good news! 2011 is prime! #
  • Lovely atmostpheric photo: Beeston Canal Winter Sunset http://bit.ly/h0Wwct #
  • Wore this t-shirt today: http://bit.ly/emdYjv – and friendly two-year-old asked me why the man was sad. #
  • RT @po8crg: It is 65 years since an invading army crossed the Rhine – the longest period since the Roman Empire. #
  • @bykimbo six biscuits is not a binge. Six packets is a binge. #
  • Confession time. I haven't watched the Dr Who Christmas special yet and I'm not sure I can be bothered. #
  • Hmmm. After such a crazy 2010, I'm not sure if I have anything much to look forward to in 2011. #
  • Don't ask 27b/6 to make a lost cat poster. http://bit.ly/gs67aR #
  • IKEA's Large Hadron Collider – ian o'neill's posterous http://bit.ly/hGspIA #
  • @willhowells did it involve climbing on the roof? #
  • "Leisure facilities include; indoor pool, sauna, steam room, snail shower, aroma grotto, ice fountain and technogym." snail shower?! #
  • Wandering down to the living room for chocolate and humming "Buy more stock in Roses." #
  • @mithomas20 *late* May, I hope? 🙂 #
  • @kayray it's 3am. It's not on now. #
  • @kayray is it so good it's worth waiting to go when P can see it too? #
  • Hahaha, "trout pout". #cdwm #
  • Why is it no-one on #CDWM can ever make a blender work? #
  • On the internet talking about @adamrio #
  • Ho ho. Happy 2nd of Jan. An email arrives from Amazon extolling healthy eating ideas. #
  • Including a section entitled "American Cuisine" with a picture of a box of Nestlé Lucky Charms. #
  • "Jerusalem" at a wedding? Who wants dark satanic mills at a wedding? Apart from Paul McCartney. #

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Suspensions and Twitter Tools

My website has been unreliable for the last year or so.

I host using Dataflame on a shared server. Since this is a small website, as websites go, I share a server with a few other sites. If the software running this site gets out of control, my host steps in and shuts it down, so that the overactive services on my site don’t make the other websites slow down.

Dataflame’s rather unhelpful suggestions have been to update my software (I try and keep my plugins and wordpress installation uptodate anyway) and to optimise my database tables. Logging into the database tool shows there is a tiny potential for optimisation, but I’m sure that can’t have been the cause of the suspension.

So something else seems to be amiss with my website set up. I think the culprit is the Twitter Tools plugin which makes a daily post based on what I tweeted that day. However, sometimes it goes wild and repeatedly posts the same post. Just look back and the New Year’s Day post is there five times.

Twitter Tools do have an online support system, so I have asked them if they have any ideas why I get multiple posts and whether it’s Twitter Tools that’s being a system resource hog.

Meanwhile, if anyone has any suggestions – or if there’s an alternative plugin to do a daily twitter round-up – do let me know.

In the meantime, I think I will set the plugin to run weekly not daily and see if that makes a difference.