My work colleague Simon was looking for a way to add all of the
upcoming UK strike action to their calendar, presumably so they know when not to try to catch a bus or require an ambulance or maybe
just so they’d know to whom they should be giving support on any particular day. Thom was able to suggest a
few places to see lists of strikes, such as this BBC News page and the comprehensive strikecalendar.co.uk, but neither provided a
handy machine-readable feed.
If only they knew somebody who loves an excuse to throw a screen-scraper together. Oh wait, that’s me!
I threw together a 36-line Ruby program that extracts all the data from strikecalendar.co.uk and outputs an
.ics file. I guess if you wanted you could set it up to automatically update the file a couple of times a day and host it at a URL that people can subscribe to; that’s an exercise left for the reader.
If you just want a one-off import based on the state-of-play right now, though, you can save this .ics file to your computer
and import it to your calendar. Simple.
The week before last I had the opportunity to deliver a “flash talk” of up to 4 minutes duration at a work meetup
in Vienna, Austria. I opted to present a summary of what I’ve learned while adding support for Finger and Gopher protocols to the WordPress installation that powers DanQ.me (I also hinted at the fact that I already added Gemini and Spring ’83 support, and I’m looking at
other protocols). If you’d like to see how it went, you can watch my flash talk here or on
If you love the idea of working from wherever-you-are but ocassionally meeting your colleagues in person for fabulous in-person events with (now optional) flash talks like this, you
might like to look at Automattic’s recruitment pages…
The presentation is a shortened, Automattic-centric version of a talk I’ll be delivering tomorrow at Oxford Geek Nights #53; so if
you’d like to see it in-person and talk protocols with me over a beer, you should come along! There’ll probably be blog posts to follow with a more-detailed look at the how-and-why of
using WordPress as a CMS not only for the Web but for a variety of zany, clever, retro, and retro-inspired protocols down the
line, so perhaps consider the video above a “teaser”, I guess?
In Scotland last week (while I wasn’t climbing mountains and thinking of my father), Ruth and I came up with our second bit of Scottish-Mexican fusion food: tattie scone
quesadillas. Just sandwich some cheese and anything else you like between tattie scones and gently fry in butter.
We’re definitely onto something. But what to try next? How about…
Bean chilli stovies?
Arroz con pollo on oatcakes?
Carnitas and refried beans in a bridie?
Huevos rancheros with lorne sausage sandwiched between the tortilla and the eggs?
Kedgeree fajitas? (I’m not entirely convinced by this one)
Rumbledethumps con carne?
Caldo de leekie: cock-a-leekie soup but with mexican rice dumped in after cooking, caldo-de-pollo-style?
Something like a chimichanga but battered before it’s fried? (my god, that sounds like an instant heart attack)
Is there a name for that experience when you forget for a moment that somebody’s dead?
For a year or so after my dad’s death 11 years ago I’d routinely have that moment:
when I’d go “I should tell my dad about this!”, followed immediately by an “Oh… no, I can’t, can I?”. Then, of course, it got rarer. It happened in 2017, but I don’t know if it happened again after
that – maybe once? – until last week.
I wonder if subconsciously I was aware that the anniversary of his death – “Dead Dad Day”, as my sisters and I call
it – was coming up? In any case, when I found myself on Cairn Gorm on a family trip and snapped a photo from near the summit, I had a moment where I thought “I should send this
picture to my dad”, before once again remembering that nope, that wasn’t possible.
Strange that this can still happen, over a decade on. If there’s a name for the phenomenon, I’d love to know it.
Found with the elder geokid plus my mother and sister while on a layover in Preston to break up our journey from Aviemore to Oxford. We’re getting to visit quite a few some circles this
half term, both old and new plus some old-but-restored, many of which have earthcache or virtual caches!
Thanks for the geology lessons and the interesting location. Answers sent already, FP awarded, TFTC.
Travelling down from Aviemore to Preston on a multi-stage journey back home to Oxfordshire, we stopped off at the visitor centre and took the tour of the wind farm. My 6 year old loves
wind turbines and was really excited to see so many in one place and to get the opportunity to give one (turbine #42) a hug (pictured)!
The tour complete, I took a quick jog back to turbine #40 to find this geocache. As others have noted, it’s in bad nick – no container and damp log – but I was (barely) able to sign it.
Ruth, the kids and I love a good stone circle. This one’s in better condition than the one nearest our house (for which I’m CO to the Virtual, GC88ZY9!). We chanced it and counted the stones twice but
luckily got two different answers – phew! – before proceeding to Long Meg. Loved the original carvings and quickly found the requisite more-recent addition; message to follow with the
answer. Thanks for a lovely virtual.
The second spectacular cache I’ve found from this CO. Absolutely amazing. Coordinates got me close, but it was only when I started looking
around that I spotted something that didn’t look quite right and found the cache. Amazing work, FP awarded.
I’ve been in Vienna for a week to meet work colleagues, and today – our meetings at an end and still with a few hours before my plane leaves – I
decided to come out and find some local geocaches.
At the GZ there were lots of good hiding places so I reached over and around. In a few seconds my fingers touched the cache. Great!
But then – disaster! As others have observed, the magnets in this cache aren’t the
strongest and it bounced free. It fell a long, long way! I rushed across the road and down to the lower level to grab it. Luckily the cache container was unharmed, so I signed the log
as I carried it back to up its hiding place. What an adventure!
FP awarded for the cool container and hiding place, and for the fun story you helped me tell. Greetings from Oxfordshire, UK. TFTC!