Gravitational pull, plant bothering and the big build up

I am not sure if you noticed but strange things have been happening in the sky! Namely, you can now see it in the morning and there are birds in it who appear quite happy despite being so far north. Yes, spring is on it’s way but is it a little earlier than usual? I think it is and I believe I understand why spring has turned up early. My synopsis is there has been a sharp reduction in the amount of weight present in the Falkirk area, more specifically Bonnybridge, that has caused the earth to shift slightly on its axis and unseasonally alter the angle between us and the sun. I also know the culprit of this, that well known car park LARPer Chris Brind. Just look at the photos below of the before and after. The after it should be pointed out is a shot taken when Chris was awarded the prize for being Bonnybridge’s biggest loser (weight). The before is from a video of Chris attempting to outsmart a dog. It can be viewed by searching for ‘Fat guy playing football with a Scottie dog’. The loss between is 4 stone and 9 lbs since July 2014. Working in Digital can be good for your health. It should be noted I have not doctored either of the images. 



So why did Mr Brind attempt and succeed at this herculean feat of weight loss? It is a well known fact he is a keen LARPer and his hobby was being curtailed by a diminishing number of characters his increasing girth allowed him to play. The final straw was when he attempted to squeeze into a C3PO outfit only to be rebuffed by the horrified shop owner who feared irreparable damage to the costume. He was offered a pregnant Chewbacca outfit but declined due to a colouring clash and left in a huff when they dragged out the Jabba the Hutt outfit.  

The growing freakery of the Digital team continues unabated. You may have noticed some strange green things behind Lesley’s desk, which are not vegetables but are in fact plants of the Mark Plumer appreciating variety; Cacti. Nothing strange in this you may say as it is well known that Mark has a Cacti fetish but consider how this perversion is now spreading to other people. The other day I witnessed a mild mannered member of the team salaciously stroking one whilst muttering obscenities under his breath. I shall preserve their anonymity by not giving their name but they are TIBCO expert, their first name begins with a D and they like sailing. Everybody for the sake of your sanity stay away from the plants, they aren’t native to Scotland and as we all know all plant things not from Scotland should generally not be consumed or approached. 

The big build up. PCA Release 1 is going live next week so please spare a thought for those of us who are working with the rest of the PCA programme to make this a success and offer any support should they need it. I am confident we have the right people in place to make this a success and getting this in will enable us as a team, a directorate and a business to move forward and make Tesco Bank a truly Digital bank. Something I am really looking forward to. 


Some more great stuff from Ivan Zero Defects on Cucumber and Kanban, well worth a read. 

“A follow up to last weeks Abuse of Cucumber link for your blog/email, some clarity from the author of cucumber.
 I  threw in the subject of kanban earlier today, mainly due to the discussion over the payments stories and how we fit such an epic to become feature complete across all platforms. Kanban is one way of solving these problems. If anybody wants further information read on, if not please delete…
This link is a real work case study of a team using a mixture of kanban & scrum in a continuous deployment pipeline, plus loads of other real world information on general software delivery process, I agree with some of this stuff (features are a more useful measurement than stories as these provide value to our users and work in progress limits (WIP) for release, avoiding large WIP in the pipeline (which is the way we are currently working with a big risk of failure once integrated)) but not all…”
The definitive book for using development Kanban is:


In between general stroking and App building activities, Markos found time to dig this out and send it to me. Also, interesting.

I found this the other day and really recommend you read it. The synopsis is traditional hierarchical management breaks down in the face of the needs of the modern business environment. Something we all know in Digital but that a lot of people across banking and other industries need some help with.

A speed reading app. We all need to continually acquire more knowledge so this could be really useful. Give it a go it does work.

Couldn’t resist sharing this Top Tip with you all.

  Twips2WHEN a checkout lady asks you if you have a ‘Bag for Life’ don’t show them your scrotum. (via @BenedictFarse)01/03/2014 21:38

Feel for me please. I am sat on a train with a bunch of women who are drinking fluorescent alcoholic beverages. It is going to get loud! 

Have a great weekend everybody.   



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