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20 Years

October 14th, 2016 (07:35 pm)
current location: KY16 8SX

Blocks signifying 20 years at InsightsOn the first of October, it was 20 years since I started work at Insights, and today I got my fourth block signifying a period of 5 years service.

When I started at Insights, I was the first developer through the door (I was joined by a colleague the next day) and the total number of direct employees of the business was smaller than the number of people in the department I’m in now. Now we’re a medium-sized international business, working with some very large businesses indeed, and all still heavily reliant on the software I’m involved in building.

Not counting founders (one of whom currently sits across the desk from me) there are a couple of people who’ve been with the business longer than me. In one case, 26 years! Still, 20 years seems like a long-ish time.

Yesterday I had lunch with other members of my team, and I have a couple of lunches with more senior people coming up in the next couple of months. I also have to decide what form I want to receive a gift in. (Thinks: I have a handy list of 28mm models I’d like…)

Whatever happens, what with having spent a relatively long time in further education, that’s more than half my working life spent at Insights – if I stay here until I retire, I’ll only earn another 3 blocks.

World Porridge Day

October 10th, 2016 (09:56 am)
current location: DD2 1EG

Today is World Porridge Day, which is being promoted by Mary’s Meals. Mary’s Meals provide a daily meal of maize porridge (likuni phala) to some of the world’s poorest children. It makes a bigger difference than you might think – for many children it’s the meal that allows them to attend school.

Insights, where I work,  supports Mary’s Meals, and today there are some themed activities and people were encouraged to wear tartan. You may remember Mary’s Meals was the charity supported by Martha Payne, who blogged about school dinners in Argyll a few years ago as NeverSeconds.

Wearing tartan with Fraser Paterson 
Wearing tartan with Fraser Paterson

Not sure I’ll actually be indulging in any porridge as I hate the stuff, but I’ll be seeing what else I can do.

Donate to Mary's Meals.

Inside the Mark I Tank

September 27th, 2016 (07:28 pm)
Tags: ,

current location: KY16 8SX

Here’s a really interesting video from the World of Tanks people. Yes, it’s a YouTube video, but you can drag your viewpoint around to see the video from different angles. This is particularly interesting when they’re inside the tank, as you can pause the video and have a good look around. Contains a mixture of exterior and interior footage of real and replica tanks, and game animation.

Weekend - Peter Pan, Bon Scott and Sydney Padua

September 19th, 2016 (11:23 pm)
current location: KY16 8SX

It’s been a while since I wrote, you know, actual words here – nearly six months, which is my longest gap ever – so I thought I’d make a cursory effort and record the weekend.

It started on Friday, with a day off work and a trip on a whim to Kirriemuir where my Dad grew up and where we visited my grandparents for many years. As with anywhere you haven’t visited in a while, there were changes. The Star Rock shop (established 1833) was still there, but across the road was a railway modelling shop that I hadn’t visited before, and I came out with my wallet figuratively lighter.

The square now features a statue of Peter Pan – apparently it’s a replacement for the one that used to stand in the Glengate, but which got damaged – and the Town House which I remember housing Kidd’s the chemist is now the Gateway to the Glens museum.

The Square in KirriemuirWP_20160916_14_53_03_Rich

Inside the museum, there’s a model of Kirriemuir in the 1600s, which I enjoyed seeing, and the silver casket and illuminated scroll given to J.M. Barrie when was granted the freedom of the town. I hadn’t realised he was buried in Kirriemuir as well as being born there – I’d always just assumed he’d been laid to rest elsewhere.

Kirrie’s other, more recent, famous son has also been honoured with a statue since last time I visited. I had seen the flagstone to his memory in Cumberland Close, but now he stands in effigy opposite the Gairie Mill.


Friday evening was spent pleasurably in the company of qidane, tobyaw and Beth.

Perhaps not as rock and roll as Bon Scott, but just as cool in her own way, on Saturday I was on my way home from spending the afternoon with friends in the Whey Pat when I spotted on Twitter that Sydney Padua was in town for a conference of mathematical biographers, and had gone to the Whey Pat shortly after we left. I hopped off the bus again and was able to shake her hand and tell her how much I liked her book (Buy it!). A very pleasant surprise.

Hey DJ!

July 18th, 2016 (09:20 pm)
current location: KY16 8SX

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