Buying port and toothpaste, bad bosses and a store for all you LARPers out there

Port and toothpaste. Sounds like the shopping list of a dipsomaniac keen to cover their habit! I can assure readers of this blog that I don’t drink Port and the shopping was in fact for somebody else. I happened to be with a certain Greek person and was feeling generous and offered to buy him a bottle of wine, he chose Port for reasons best known to himself. It could have been worse I suppose; Buckfast. Whilst I was paying for this I noticed Captain Haphazard next to me was struggling to pay for his toothpaste with one of his cards so I leant over and paid for it. Why am I regaling you with these odd shopping vignettes? Well because I paid for both items in the Haymarket store with the PayQwiQ wallet and it was a great experience. I would urge you, if you have an iPhone, to sign up for the trial and give it a go yourself but be careful because it makes it really easy to spend money. See Port receipt below.



Bad bosses #1. Derek has just turned 50, you may have noticed the cake and balloons. Well to celebrate he had a few of us out for a few drinks this week, which was very nice of him. However, the mode and style of drinking that Derek brings to a gathering is something you might want to avoid unless you happen to be a fan of Pete Best style drinking. Shots and more bloody shots. Some of the concoctions they wanted were so unusual thankfully the pub didn’t have the ingredients. Much as I enjoyed the evening I don’t think my GP will allow me attend a soiree of this type for quite some time. 

Bad bosses #2. I happened to be in a pub this week when I noticed a group of quite sullen people drinking. There were three of them, two of them were younger, and they  had all quite clearly come straight from work. Nothing unusual in that you might say but as the pints went down the older one started becoming quite vociferous in his proclamations of the sweary type. “F##king shut up and listen to me” was one I heard. Their evening got progressively worse and culminated with the older sweary man getting up and shouting ” How f##king dare you, you don’t understand me and my family” at one of the younger men. He then attempted to get his jacket and coat on in a huffy and dramatic fashion and exit the pub with his wheely suitcase. His dramatic and angry exit was foiled as he attempted to exit the door at least four times before he successfully made it out. These were quite simple swing doors. After he left we sympathised with the younger man who let it be known that the man who was screaming at him was his boss and the reason for his ire was the fact that his son wasn’t doing too well at Cambridge! An odd man indeed. 

LARPing. Admit it some of you are tempted to join the Tuesday car park LARPing club that Chris Brind in setting up? Well if you are, I have found just the right store for anybody who wants to pretend they live on Tatooine. I happened to glance out of the cab, when I was on my way to a meeting at Giraffe’s offices in North London, and I saw the “Jedi Robe” shop. It wasn’t an hallucination, look I can prove it really exists

Have a browse and see if you are tempted to buy a full Storm Trooper outfit complete with accessories, a snip at £899.99. If anybody actually turns up at the office dressed as a Storm Trooper I will buy them a bottle of Bollinger.

Unfortunately, we say goodbye to Orde this week, he is off to do some technical talks and run a conference or two. He has one coming up in Edinburgh over the Easter Weekend, you may want to ask him about it. Good luck Orde and thanks for all your hard work. 


Ivan Zero Defects is back with a bang! He’s vociferously exclaiming about the incorrect use of Cucumber. See below…

Loads of Cucumber abuse out there! One area where cucumber goes wrong and I have seen it up close and from numerous posts to the cukes forum is where it is seen by usually “test” people as a test tool, it is a collaboration tool which drives the conversation (using the cards -> conversation -> conformation life of a story). Approaching it as a test tool leads to a fragile environment with high maintenance costs, and usually leads to it being ditched somewhere down the line leaving people with a bad opinion of this way of working (can drive people back into silos!).
This article makes this very clear.
Ivan also provided this link to some great visuals which really do encapsulate what Continuous Delivery really is about


If you find time, you might want to read some of these books.

I can thoroughly recommend Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold. It is a great read and if you have children who are interested in computers I would give them this to read. 

Unless you are Andy Ryan, who already knows more about bar codes than is reasonable in a balanced individual, you may want to know how bar codes work

Have a great weekend everyone. If you are at home spare a thought for Mark, Stefan and Douglas who in overnight from Saturday to Sunday on PCA dry run 3.


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