Sam’s 2008 Things of the Year

Achievement of the Year

Although my weight loss adventures have gone a little off-course just lately, I have to say that my proudest achievement of the year is sticking with it in spite of how easy (and tempting) it has been recently to jack it all in. I have managed to keep off the majority of the weight I lost during 2007, which I think is worth celebrating. The journey will continue as ever during 2009, and will be documented regularly over at my other blog, A Sizeable Rump.

Honourable mentions also for finally getting rid of our old house up north, working in a major store on the run-up to Christmas and experiencing the chaos from the eye of the retail storm, travelling alone to London to meet up with the gang from Luigi’s.

Experience of the Year

Which brings me quite nicely to my experience of the year. The 2008 National Television Awards, which I spent in the company of a group of girls who I didn’t know this time last year. It was one of many meets organised by the Luigi’s Ladies, and it was a pleasure to be there, to spend time with people who I had only known by user names at that point. The night of the awards ceremony was a delightfully surreal experience, and gave me a chance to play paparazzi for the night. Didn’t get many good shots, but I did manage to get a decent photo of the man we had all travelled to London to support.

Philip Glenister! Winner of Sam’s Squee Award for 2008 – Mr Philip Glenister. Better luck next year, Slash.

And as if that wasn’t enough to make my squee gland go into overdrive, actually meeting him and getting my magazine signed should have just about finished me off.

Product of the Year

Also probably the biggest surprise of the year. Both Michael and myself now have Macs. After years of contemplating making the switch, Michael took the plunge in October, and I followed a couple of weeks ago. Still loving it.

Album of the Year

No contest… Death Magnetic!

This is now my favourite Metallica song. Excuse me a second…

This I swear! This I swear! This… I… SWEAAAAAARRRAHHHH!

*cough*

Women of the Year

As previously mentioned… The Lovely, Lovely Ladies of Luigi’s

The Luigi's Ladies Featured here are the lovely Kimi, Sarah (aka GG*) and Blue-Jackal, without whom I’d still be petrified by the London Underground. Just a few of the wonderful wimmin propping up the bar at my favourite virtual trattoria.

Honourable mentions for Katrina Barker, Frankie Pankiewicz, Kate Kennerson and every other Slimming World bod I’ve met this year for their never-ending efforts to help me stay on the straight and narrow even when the road ahead has been nowt but wide and bendy.

2008 has been another cracking year down ‘ere in the luvverly county of Devon, but that’s enough looking back. Time to look forward to 2009, and all the fun and games that’s coming with it. Cheers (or ‘Chas’) to you all and a Happy New Year.

More Light

When I got my new camera gear, I’d included a Nikon SB-600 flash. It worked well off-camera, and I really enjoyed using it. As soon as I did, though, I ran into situations where a second flash would be useful.

If the SB-600 worked out well, I’d always intended to add a second, bigger, light. The day came today. The SB-800 seems to be disappearing, replaced by the SB-900. The 900 is bigger, more expensive, and more powerful. A bit more than I need, though, I think. When Jessops in Taunton had an SB-800 at a reasonable price today, I grabbed it.

Even with the extra battery clipped on for faster charges, it fits into my camera bag nicely. Along with the SB-600, it makes a great kit. Stick the 600 where less work is needed, and both can recover quite quickly between shots.

Overall, a nice addition to the kit, and should make a certain assignment in January a bit easier.

Feed Without Oinks

If you’re following our RSS feed, and are getting irritated by these little ‘Oink’ posts (bits of mindless chatter), I’ve just made a version of the feed that skips them.

If you want us to shut up a bit, but still want to know when we’ve actually written something of a little more value, you can switch to this feed.

If you actually like the chatter, just stick with the normal feed.

Working Tabs

I had a bit of time at home today, while Sam was out at work, so I continued poking our custom theme. I managed to get the tabs working on the right, so there are five ‘pages’ of content always available.

All but the ‘Oinks’ tab are WordPress ‘sidebars’, so they can contain widgets – makes it easy to change them from the WordPress Admin screen.

I’ve also got some ads back in there – fairly simply done, and reasonably subtle. We’ll see how they go, and add or modify if they don’t work reasonably well.

Some Fixes

I’ve got the comments displaying again here. That turned out to be the ‘Comment Mover’ plugin – I’ve disabled it for now.

I seem to have got jQuery working, and got some javaScript being called when the tabs in the sidebar are clicked – they don’t do anything yet, but I’m getting there. That’ll do it for today, though. Time for a beer, and another dinner…