How not to do the web:

I haven’t blogged for a while. I’ve been meaning to, had lots rattling around, but until now haven’t had sufficient motivation (read: annoyance) to find the time.

Seeking to make a simple purchase from the re-branded Kingsway website has just changed all of that. A masterclass in how not to do it.

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n Things You Need To Know About x

This is going to sound extra-grumpy, but really isn’t meant to be. But in for a penny …

Social media, click-driven advertising and viral marketing combined with a healthy dose of saccharine gloop have combined to create an unholy spawn of “n Things You Need To Know About x”.

They’re usually about professions with a vocational tinge to them (teachers, nurses, pastors etc.), and usually ones that are perceived as relatively modestly rewarded in fiscal and status terms. And by and large they tend to make good points. I don’t want to detract from any feel-good glow, encouragement, or virtual hug that anyone gains from them. It’s nice to be recognised, and it should happen more often.

But … here’s the thing. There’s 1 Thing You Need To Know About Most People. Particularly most people who are going to be in the social circles who will see all the other lists. We’re all working our nuts off, we’re all under-appreciated, those of us who volunteer in the organisations others work in do so on top of busy jobs and home circumstances. So whilst a lot of people (well, me at any rate) will read these lists and think “Yup, that’s true, I need to show X a little more appreciation because (s)he’s a bit special” there will be a tiny part of the brain thinking “Feck off, it’s not like they’re a breed apart”. Because what the lists do, rightly or wrongly, isn’t just big-up the targets; they implicitly denigrate the reader, placing them on a lower rung on the ladder of wondefulness.

Well, screw that.

So there’s One More Thing You Need To Know. You are special. And wonderful. And under-valued. And marvellous. But so is pretty much everyone else. So Go Team People, and bugger off to divisive self-aggrandising wank.


On time and perspective

There’s a photo on the wall in our hall, showing Mrs Snags and me on our honeymoon.

Every time I see it, a couple of things come to mind. Well, actually, many things, but two that are relevant to this particular post.

The first is the memory of thinking back then “OK, I’m a bit porky these days; could do with losing a few pounds.”

The second is the much more current thought “Just a few more stone to go, and I’ll be back down to what I weighed when we got married. Excellent!”.

I’m just hoping that it’s not only the perspective caused by looking into the distance that makes that younger me looks acceptably thin, because there’s no way I’ll be getting below that target …

Outshone by the dog

So, the dog has now arrived, the house is thrown into even more chaos than normal, and it turns out that he’s a more prolific blogger than I am. Mind, he has a lot more time, of course, given that all he does is have bursts of insanity followed by huge sleeps, whilst I’m out working my fingers to the bone (no pun) in order to pay for his upkeep.

If you want to keep up with his antics, pop over to Dog Daze.

Operation Dog

As there is much in life currently winding me up, I thought it would be good to focus on something that is bringing a promise of joy (as well as a modest dose of fear/sanity questioning).

Tomorrow should, all being well, see us collect a new member of the household: Gibson the Bernese Mountain Dog. It hasn’t been an entirely straight forward process, but it’s not been as bad as we feared either. I think I’m mostly more excited than I am nervous about breaking him/ruining his character. Although if we manage to do everything in all the books we’ve read, and implement all the advice we’ve been given, I suspect we’ll have either Super Dog, or the most confused and schizoid animal in the world.

Time will tell.