Blog login

Recently I have been having a few search engines etc. reference material from my blog, and this has made me a little uncomfortable.

I tend to fairly free express my political and social opinions on my blog, and while I tend to rant I do so in a manner that I feel my readers (by which I mean family and friends) will understand.

Unfortunately the same implied understanding and tolerance cannot be reasonably extended to general members of the public who may stumble upon my blog, and I am aware of the risk of causing offence, or worse, having my privately expressed political or social opinions used against me at some point in the future.

In addition to this I have some photos of things like my Nephew and Niece (and presumably at some point in the future my own chiddlers) on the site, and while their parents are happy with me sharing those photos with my friends and family I think they may have issues (as I certainly do) with leaving this content accessable to everyone.

As such I am currently looking into methods to change the setup of my blog so that you have to register/login to read certain entries, and access certain photos/video. I will post more information as the project progresses.

In the interim if you are a regular reader you can already register as a user, and I can start setting things up so that you will be able to login when I get this up and running shortly.

If you have any questions drop me an email.

Sometime soon I will also write a Privacy Policy to satisfy those of you who are paranoid like me as to what info is needed for registration (just your email address basically) and what I will do with that information once it is submitted (keep it private, not use it for anything).

Physical activity

I read yesterday about a couple of cool things in the world of physics.

Firstly it appears that they may finally have observational evidence of the presence of dark matter. There is a really good explaination of the results and some of the background of the science here. It also contains links to the academic paper and the NASA press release. Given that this has been such a bone of contention in modern physics it’s nice to see it starting to pan out one way or another.

Secondly, an Irish company (those crazy crazy Irish) believes it has stumbled upon a way of producing “clean” energy from some system involving the interactions of magnetic fields. It’s a superb advance if it can be validated independently, although if that happens it will also confuse the hell out of a lot of people, because superficially at least it appears to violate the first law of thermodynamics (which states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can only be converted from one form to another). They have publically advertised for independent physicists to validate their system, and it will be interesting to see what the eventual outcome is.

Several Tales of Jack

Jack was running around the house this morning and he sounded like he was buzzing. I couldn’t figure it out. Every time he came close by I could swear that the buzzing got louder and sounded like it was coming from Jack. I was starting to get a little confused until he opened his mouth and the fly that had been in there flew out.


For some time now I have been at the mercy of a cruel and mischevious sock fairy. I bought some new socks a few weeks back, wore them a couple of times, and then one of them just disappeared. After looking high and low I put it down to an act of sock fairy. Every couple of days I would define insanity by doing the same thing again and again (ie looking for said lost sock) and expecting a different outcome from the last time I looked in a given spot. I had pretty much given up when one day I walked into the spare room to find Jack playing with said previously missing sock in the middle of the floor. Now I suppose that it is conceivable that the sock fairy returned the sock (which goes against his previous modus operandi), but it seems to me that the more likely explaination is that Jack in fact IS the sock fairy. Especially given his previously commented on fascination with socks.

In a discussion I had with Simone later on we were theorising that perhaps the sock fairy that we know as an indistinct etherial entity is in fact just the collaborative efforts of a number of cats acting in the roll of sock fairy. They all have slightly overlaping teritories, so the sock fairy acts upon everyone, and can be in multiple places simultaneously.


I don’t know if you all can remember the Simpsons episode where Marge gets a Pretzel making franchise. In her office in the garage she has this “inspirational” poster that she sticks up in front of her desk which shows a cat hainging onto a clothes line by it’s front paws and it’s head just looking out over the top of the line, with the phrase “Hang in there baby” across the bottom.

Now Jack has always been quite a jumper, and the other day I was reminded of Marge’s poster when jack tried to jump onto the top of the wardrobe in our bedroom. Now this wardrobe is probably 7 1/2 foot tall, and Jack was jumping from the top of the 3 foot high laundry basket. He jumped, got his paws onto the top, but didn’t have enough momentum to get the rest of him up, and there wasn’t enough traction for him to try and claw his way up the rest of the way (although he gave it a damn good try), so he just hung there for about 30 seconds. Eventually he decided to let go and drop back to the basket, and then slunk off to sit on the couch and ignore the indignity of me laughing at him. Sometimes he’s soooo cute.

Happy VD

(This is something of an extremely retrospective blog entry, given that the initial idea was laid down 6 months ago)

Today is St Valentine’s day, with all the corporately driven romantic BS that goes with it. Sure, I did some stuff to remind Simone that I really like her (a lot…) and that the only times I find our relationship frustrating are those times I can’t be with her, but I still was generally sceptical about the whole “you should express your affections today because Hallmark say so” sentiment underlying it all (did you know that Japan has separate Valentine’s type days, one for men to give to women and vice versa?).

That aside, I think that the funniest part of the day was when Sarah, one of the ortho reg’s I’m currently working with, arrived and announced to everyone in earshot, “Good morning everyone, Happy VD”. Now of course we all got the double entendre and chortled accordingly. Just like VD, Valentines days was one of those things that you ended up having inflicted upon you when you fell in love, and were cursed with for the rest of your life, whether you were still in love or not. 🙂

Alchoholic tendencies

Since starting work I have developed some interesting (semi) alcoholic tendancies.

Simone has commented on them.

My Mother has counselled me on not letting them get out of hand.

It’s all rather interesting.

Now I should probably clarify at this point that my drinking is still disconcertingly mundane (largely becuase I only have time to have a drink 2 or 3 evenings a week) and definitely within the safe range as defined by the department of health guidelines, but I still can’t help notice that between Simone and myself (OK, so it’s largely me), we do seem to have been making a pretty concerted dent in our liquor cabinet.

As a kid I never understood the appeal of a small whiskey after a hard day at work, or a little something before bed (as was the semi-regular habit of the father and mother respectively), but now I find myself following in my father’s footsteps of walking in the door, kissing my wife, loosening my tie (I’m not quite prosaic enough to call out “Honey, I’m home”) and heading for the amber relaxant (although I also quite like my Brandy, which sets me apart from my father who was a solely Whiskey man (although whiskey is probably still my drug of choice).

Now IÂ appreciate how wonderful it is for taking the edge off the world, and providing a cognitive separation between the discipline of work and the independance of home life.

As an aside I read a really fascinating article in New Scientist the other week about the possibilities for removing the negative effects (memory loss, nausea, addiction in alcoholics, etc) from Alcohol, by specifically blocking certain receptors in the brain that ethanol appears to act unfaovably on, while leaving other with pleasant effects (eg euphoria, social disinhibition) alone. It’s quite an interesting read. Unfortunately they make one point that in my mind guarantees to stop these effort from ever becoming reality – alcohol is regulated as a foodstuff, while anything that limited or modulated it’s effects would be regulated as a pharmaceutical with all the restrictions that go with that.

I thing that warrants a drink (or 2)

Today has turned out to be a pretty damn good day.

First of all, it was the last day of my internal medicine term (which I have ranted against on previous entries). We discharged 1/3 of our patients, and managed to finish the ward round in time for lunch. I even made it out the door only 1 hour after my scheduled finishing time (thanks to a few “Oh, Dave’s meant to go home in 5 minutes, let’s ring him with jobs we could have told him about an hour ago, but didn’t” calls).

Then I got home to be greeted by Jack at the door and a letter in the mail telling me that I had been successful in my application for the basic surgical training program. YAY!!!!

As such I am having a few drinks (well perhaps that’s understating it a bit). I want to dance. I want to sing. I want to hug the world.

(I’m sure I’ll get over it by tomorrow :-)Â )