Open Water

I’ve just watched the movie Open Water on pay-per-view on cable. The only preparation I’d had for it was the few trailers I’d seen at the cinema sometime last year. All I knew was that a couple were stranded out in the ocean after a diving trip. I expected tension, I expected a long wait, I expected them to be rescued. Well, you would, wouldn’t you! It’s that kind of movie, isn’t it? Humankind vs. nature: we always come out on top, don’t we?

I was very impressed with this movie. Seemingly you either love it or hate it. I wonder what those who’ve said that they hate this movie were looking for in it, what were they hoping for? What would you do if you were stranded in the ocean? Swim for shore? (What direction?) Wait for the boat to return (They will come back … won’t they?) This movie doesn’t answer any questions for you. It makes you think. (If you are willing to do so.) It doesn’t take the easy option and satisfy you with a cheap and cheesy ending. A lot of films I finish watching and I feel bigger and better and able to do anything — after this one I feel suitably put into place: a six foot four man on a huge, water-covered planet.

Learning PostNuke

PostNuke by Kevin Hatch
I’ve begun reading PostNuke Content Management by Kevin Hatch

(Buy at Amazon.co.uk / Publisher’s website)

Having struggled to learn any Content Management System (CMS) from online tutorials and half-written documentation I was pleased to read that Kevin Hatch also regards much of the available documentation confusing. (He’s not the only one, Jeffrey Veen vents his spleen in this article on his blog.)

I’m hopeful. The book is very readable, and includes a number of real-life practical examples of how to set up PostNuke sites — something that is sorely missing from the online manuals. My hope is that this book will help me get my head around the theory behind how CMSs work, and that it will aid me to get to grips with not only PostNuke, but Drupal and even WordPress, from which this blog is powered. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Take Back Your Life!

Take Back Your Life, by Sally McGhee

This past week I’ve been reading a book about how better to organize my life, and it is fantastic. Take Back Your Life, by Sally McGhee explains how to use Microsoft Outlook, synchronized with a PDA, to keep track of objectives, projects and tasks. And I can honestly say that it works.

One of the first steps, McGhee says, is to work out how many collection points we use. That is, how many locations do you collect information and tasks from? I was amazed to discover that I had 28 different locations. I’ve now reduced this to eight, which is far more manageable.

Next up, download the to-dos that you carry around in your head. I had eighty-one. No wonder I felt stressed, with so much to remember. I now have them typed up in my newly reorganised Tasks list in Outlook.

Thing is, I now have a full In-tray, and a bulging Tasks list because I’ve not reached the chapter on how you actually schedule these into your Calendar to make time to actually do them!

Dimebag murdered shocker!

'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott

I still can hardly believe it: ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott, the former guitarist with Pantera, and then Damageplan was murdered on Wednesday evening, shot dead at a Damageplan gig in the USA.

A gunman opened fire on a rock band and crowd during a concert at a nightclub in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday, killing five people and injuring two.

Among the dead was Darrell Abbott, guitarist with metal band Damageplan, formed from Grammy-nominated group Pantera, who had just begun their set.

Police said the man got on stage, shot Abbott several times at point-blank range and fired at other band members.

He then turned on the crowd before being shot dead by police.

Source: BBC News website

FOR NO REASON!! Such a waste. Such a talent, and an amazing, amazing guitar player, who also endorsed Digitech guitar pedals (my favourite!). Why do they allow people to carry guns in the US?! Why?!!

My heart goes out to Vinnie Paul, his brother and drummer in the band, and to his friends and relatives.

The Damageplan site has a very simple tribute. The Anthrax site had a great tribute to him from Charlie and Scott, both still reeling from the news. As did the Metallica site, with a message from Lars. Dave Mustaine had a message on his Megadeth forum.