Shame on me

I have had a blog at Alistair.com for around 12 years now.  At the beginning it was a simple ftp down > edit html > ftp up.  Now it’s WordPress and though I am nowhere near as prolific as my friend Derek, I use this site extensively for many other projects that are not public.

As a faculty member at BCIT (in Web Development, no less), you’d think I would have a nicer web site, or at least on that is current.  Alas, I have constantly struggled with my writing and end up abandoning many posts because I get frustrated with the process.

None of that should prevent me from working on template and the interactions on the site, though.  I thoroughly enjoy assisting my students achieve their potential when crafting their own creations, but somehow I slow down when working on my own.

So, I have reverted the site back to the default design that comes with WordPress until I can put the time and effort in to build something I am proud of.

Let’s see how long that takes.

Power up your Vote

On May 12, 2009, BC residents will vote in a provincial election that includes a referendum question about electoral reform. Specifically, the question is:

Which electoral system should British Columbia use to elect members to the provincial Legislative Assembly?

The options are:

  • The existing electoral system (First-Past-The-Post)
  • The single transferable vote electoral system (BC-STV) proposed by the Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform

After reviewing the options, I believe the Single Transferable Vote to be the best option for BC. Take a look at the BC STV site to learn more about what the Single Transferable Vote will mean to you.

While I believe the alternate side is overplaying the complexity of the system, take some time to review the No STV position and decide for yourself.

Ankle Damage

A little over 3 weeks ago, I injured my ankle while walking the dog. A third party observer would have laughed at my stumble on ice, attempt at recovery which failed and a fall to the ground over an awkwardly placed foot.

As I went down, I kept believing my foot would slide along the ice, out of harm’s way, but it never happened and my full weight twisted my ankle out of any normal range of motion.

Unable to put any weight on it at all, I had to crawl home through a greenbelt behind the block I live on, Finnegan leashed to my wrist.

The result is that I am still limping around and going to physio to repair the damage and hockey is off the list until at least March.

Every day that I think it feels better, something tweaks it and the pain returns, renewed.

I’m hoping my physio can get me back on track soon.

Blackberry Apps I Like

This started as a simple request from a colleague: “Do you know any sites with good applications for the Blackberry?”

I did find one meta-post about sites that have Blackberry Applications, but many contained apps I would never use. So, I’ve created a list of the Blackberry apps I use the most (aside from the built-in apps):

  • Twitterberry: I use this all the time. The new version supports alerts and scheduled updates as well.
  • GMail: Another frequent-use application, excellent integration and presentation
  • Google Mobile: Like GMail, this is an excellent port of Google tools such as Reader, News, Images, etc.
  • BBNotePad: I have started using this more and more as a note-taking application.
  • GridMagic: Great application for creating and viewing spreadsheets and sending them in XLS format via e-mail to your desk computer for further refinement.
  • Viigo: Originally I didn’t use this very much, but after a while I found myself using it more and more. Even though it is ad-supported, I quite like it.
  • Facebook: I wish this client was better for the Blackberry. Frankly, I don’t find it very useful as my Blackberry has no camera and the messaging is not as powerful as it could be.
  • ReQall: An all-in-one application that does a decent job. I’m seeing potential in this.
  • WPhone: This isn’t really an application for the Blackberry, it’s a plug-in for WordPress. It allows you to log into your admin panel and create posts, pages and manage your site from your Blackberry.

Hope that helps.

Mobile Blogging

While blogging from your mobile device is nothing new, it’s still nice to be able to do it. iPhone users can get the most excellent WordPress app, but the rest of us can still get close with the wPhone plugin.

The author says he will not continue with releases, but with the number of Blackberry users out there, I suspect we’ll see this trend continue.