Loud Helpline

I guess installing a sign was cheaper than retraining the helpline operators not to shout at everybody.

A sign advertising a number for a "Customer Helpline" directly above a sign that advises "Ear protection must be worn".



I’m pretty sure that Wally/Waldo, Woof, and Wizard Whitebeard must be out on this mountain somewhere, too.

Composite image showing (1) a woman at an alpine terrace bar wearing a red-and-white striped jumper, and (2) a skiier wearing a yellow-and-black striped snowsuit. They look somewhat like Wilma and Odlaw from the Where's Wally?/Where's Waldo? series of books.


Installation of Windows has Stalled

I was told Windows installation should take less than 20 minutes, but these ones have been sitting outside my house all day while the builders sit on the roof and listen to the radio. Do I need a faster processor? #TechSupport

A pile of window frames, factory-fresh and covered with tape. propped against the side of a white house, on a gravel driveway.


Open Turds

I’ve open-sourced a lot of pretty shit code.

So whenever somebody says “I’m not open-sourcing this because the code is shit”, I think: wow, it must be spectacularly bad.

And that only makes me want to see it more.


Just when I thought I’d already seen the best imaginable television series to star Ali Wong and Steven Yeun in the form of Tuca & Bertie… suddenly BEEF comes out of nowhere and it’s flipping amazing.


Brainfart moment this morning when my password safe prompted me to unlock it with a password, and for a moment I thought to myself “Why am I having to manually type in a password? Don’t I have a password safe to do this for me?” 🤦

KeePassXC authentication screen on Windows; no password has been entered.


It Is Only Q

The programmers at British Gas are among the many who don’t believe that a surname can be only a single character, and their customer service agents have clearly worked around their validations (or just left a note for themselves in the problematic field!)… leading to hilarious postal mail1:

Letter from British Gas addressed to "Mr Dan Q (it Is Only Q)" and opening with "Hello Mr Q (it Is Only Q)".


This is getting a lot of attention, so I just wanted to add:


1 I’m ignoring for the moment that they’re using the wrong title for me.


Magician Roles

Because I work somewhere hip enough to let people tweak their job titles, mine is “Code Magician”.

Employee directory photocard showing "Dan Q, Code Magician on Fire (Woo), started Oct 18th, 2019".

LinkedIn isn’t as hip as Automattic, though. That’s why they keep emailing me sector updates… for the “Magician” sector… 😅

Email from LinkedIn with the subject "Hiring trends for Magician roles".

× ×

Mental Elf Day

Christmas Jumper Day at the kids’ school. Because I’m the “embarrassing parent”, I joined in for the school run too.

(Also for my meetings today, obviously.)

Selfie of Dan wearing an "elf costume" Christmas jumper and matching hat with bell.


Freezing Fog

Gorgeous freezing fog over the fields on the school run this morning.

Frosty meadow with frozen fog, with low sunrise barely cutting through, with beginnings of a blue sky barely peeking through.


Emoji Reactions

I added a stupid feature to my blog.

On some posts, including this one, you can now send an “emoji reaction”. Y’know, for if you’re too lazy to write a comment.

The available reactions vary by post.

That is all.

The Frosted Pane

Pagan Wanderer Lu‘s new album Planets In The Wires dropped today, and I just cried my eyes out at track 5 (The Frosted Pane).

It opens almost apologetically, like an explanation for the gap in new releases for most of the twenty-teens. But it quickly becomes a poetic exploration of a detached depression of a man trapped under the weight of the world. It’s sad, and beautiful, and relatable.

ET App

Travelling around Edinburgh by tram this weekend, I kept being advertised the “ET app”.

Print advertisement for the "ET App", stating: Download the et app to purchase your mobile tickets including bundle deals.

I didn’t install the app, in case it was bundled with spyware.

After all, everybody my age knows: ET phones home.