The Whatever Thread

I think that apart from whatever/random thoughts section we just need a topic for our random thoughts.

so I’ll start: where’s everyone?! no one’s here :(

and tomorrow’s my first day at real work. it’s a smile and a frown one, so I’m wrting about it in here. gosh, i’m even scared, hope it will go good :)

Slimming World Week 13

Week 13 is nearly over, and it’s been another good one. Weigh-in on Monday saw another 3 and a half pounds off, which takes my total loss to 3 stone, 6 and a half pounds or 48 and a half pounds or 21.99kg.


I decided a few weeks ago after my last gain to try to avoid having Syns altogether. It just seemed better that way, as I’d end up choosing food that was better for me instead. This approach is working most of the time, but there have been occasions this week when my old pal Jack came a’calling, and an odd moment on Thursday night when I said “It’s okay, it’s only Nimble” enough times to part company with more Syns than I’d had that previous fortnight. Still, all things considered it’s not been a bad week, but I felt a need to indulge in some activity today so Michael and meself headed off for what I hope will become a regular Saturday BigWalk.

Saturday BigWalk… I could see this catching on.

Prior to starting Slimming World the thought of walking into town from our flat was laughable. No way. If I made it into town I certainly wouldn’t make it back again. A few weeks ago, however, we decided to give it a try, walking to the supermarket on the edge of the town centre. Despite being caught in a nasty downpour on the way back, we survived and the scales were particularly nice to me that week as a result. Today, we decided to give it another go, but this time all the way into the town centre, with as many tea stops as we needed along the way. Getting down Canal Hill and across into town seemed so easy it was a bit embarrassing to think it was ever a challenge. We wandered around for a while, with a couple of coffee stops at the same lovely vegetarian restaurant (didn’t eat there but the food looked delicious…), and stopped to eat at our favourite canalside tea shop (home of the infamous teapots). A total of 2.3 miles according to the Gmaps Pedometer, not bad going especially as it involved walking back up the foothills of Mount Tiverton!

Meanwhile, in cyberspace…

Last night while poking around in Facebook I found a Slimming World group! Cool, a whole new group of people to blether about Syns and Healthy Extras with! :)

Anyway, I’m hoping for another good loss this coming Monday. The journey continues…

Cult Pens PenFinder

The project I’ve been working on for quite a while now at work has just been completed, and it’s now live for you to play with…

PenFinder lets you find pens and other products by a whole lot of different methods. You could find, for example(s)…

…or pretty much any other combination you fancy.

The Code

I won’t go into much detail, because it would probably be tedious for you, but PenFinder is full of Web 2.0 stuff, using AJAX to keep the page updated without all that tedious time spent submitting the page and waiting for it to come back with your results. For users, it just means that everything feels a bit more responsive than such a page otherwise would.

Usually, though, that brings one big problem with it – the URL never changes, so you can’t bookmark the page, and people couldn’t email a link to the search results to a friend. Since that’s how a lot of our customers get to us, that would be a Bad Thing. So, I used a neat little trick I found. Each time you update the list of options you’ve picked, or change the sort order, the code doesn’t actually regenerate the list – it just modifies the bit after the hash symbol on the URL. Another bit of code is running every second, and it finds the changed URL, and uses that information to rebuild the list of products for you.

The upshot of that, though, is that if someone sends you a link to the page for the sort of pens they think you’d be interested in, you can click the link. The page will first load up just as if nothing had been selected, but within a second, it will notice the URL, update the selected options, and rebuild the product list. You’ll see it happen if you watch carefully as you go to any of the links above – the boxes all load blank, with no list of pens, but after a second it all changes.

There are still a few things we know we need to improve, but it’s pretty usable as it is – give it a go, and have fun.


Because we know he likes to stop by and have a read of GuitarPr0n on a morning, so post your birthday greetings to The Lovely Mr Hudson here!

Happy birthday, Slash. 42 today! According to the Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. You, however, are the answer to another ultimate question – “Who’s the greatest guitar player on planet earth?” 😉 Hope you have a good one.