Zeldman moves to WordPress

Screenshot of Zeldman dot com
Screenshot of Zeldman.com

Long-time readers of this blog, and anyone who has ever spoken with me about web design over the last couple of years will know that I love WordPress, the Content Management System (CMS) that powers this blog. I’ve used it to power this site, the Scottish Episcopal Church website, the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain website, the exNYCgb website, and the soon-to-be-launched Sing Now! 2006 website.

You’ll also know (or suspect) that I’m a fan of Web Standards, and that Jeffrey Zeldman‘s book Designing with Web Standards (which is about to be published in a second edition) is one of the best, evangelical books about the use of Web Standards that I’ve ever read. (It’s a good, fun read too.)

Well, Mr Zeldman has just moved his site over to WordPress. What a great endorsement for a first-class, highly useable, and standards-compliant CMS.

UPDATE: WordPress 2.0.2 is out now, providing an important security update.

Please pray for Andy

Andy Williamson leaning over a bannister at Darley Dale School, Derbyshire
Andy Williamson leaning over a bannister at Darley Dale School, Derbyshire, December 1988.

Yesterday I got an email from my good friend Steve alerting me to the blog post of another friend from National Youth Choir days, Andy Williamson, where he revealed that he had suddenly discovered that he has Polycystic Kidney Disease.

This is the same condition that I have, although Andy’s is in a much more serious state of advance than my incarnation of the disease. Andy’s blood test showed

a Creatinine level of 916 (normal is 80-122), and Urea of 36.1 ([normal is] 2.5-7.5)

Over the last few years my Creatinine levels have hovered between 100 and 122, and Urea between 5.9 and 6.6, which, while at the higher end of normal, shows that my kidneys are still in a fairly healthy state. And, as I’ve stated on this blog previously, if I manage to lose some weight that can only be a good thing for my overall health too. Andy’s readings, as you can see, were astronomically high.

I met Andy at my first NYC course at Darley Dale School in Derbyshire in December 1988. It was the same December as the Pan Am Flight 103 disaster over Lockerbie; there was a member of NYC on that flight, Helga Mosey. Although I didn’t know her, I too cried, alongside with my new friends.

Anyway, that event coloured much of that course, and in some strange way actually might have helped people grow closer together, and have helped new members to be accepted quicker than they might otherwise have been; I don’t know. But what I do remember is how kind so many long-established members of the choir were to this, new, 17 year old Bass 2. And one of those was Andy.

Andy lived in Darlington (I think) in those days, and so chummed me back on the GNER train north from our concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

We met up again last August during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as Andy was playing saxophone at about a million different gigs, including with the Big Buzzard big band in the famous Spiegeltent in George Square.

Anyway, please do pray for Andy. He began kidney dialysis today.

A CD existence

Close-up of a CD
Why are you so shiny?

Isn’t it annoying when you’ve been in the car listening to a number of CDs, and when you quickly change discs you remove the disc and place it into the case of the CD you are about to play, promising that when you get home you’ll sort them out. But you forget.

I’ve just spent ten minutes standing at my CD bookcase pulling out a CD case, opening it, tutting, placing it back and pulling out the next case.

I eventually found the Terrorizer magazine cover disc Fear Candy 25 in a Voivod case.

With Kerrang! TV failing to play anything heavier than Green Day I have to say that Terrorizer’s monthly platter of all things extreme and metal is a welcome addition to my CD collection. Not all of it is my cup of tea — or rather it is, as I don’t drink tea — but I do find a few gems now and then. Besides, it’s good to keep up with what is current in the world of wildly overdriven amplifiers and angry men shouting.