Sunday, September 30, 2007

Open yesterday

The best bits of Doors Open Day yesterday.

The Glasite meeting house was very austere and Presbyterian, and I'd never even heard of it.

I'd often speculated on, but never seen, the view from the many-windowed room on the corner of Queen Street and St Andrew's Street. It turned out to be owned by the SNP, and to be like an old working man's club inside, with Formica tables and emulsioned walls. However, the light and the view were excellent.

I also enjoyed seeing inside Parliament Hall, and working out what a bit more of that complex of buildings does. Some of the staff in the court of session re-enacted the trial of Madelaine Smith; a curious mixture of amateur theatricals and realistic detail.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ask Mr Tufte

My current favourite time-wasting site is that of Edward Tufte, who has narrowly edged out the Exile recently. If you don't know, Mr Tufte is something of a guru in the matter of presenting information, so I suppose it's almost relevant to, but more interesting than, work.

His discussion boards are diverse and intoxicating, taking in radar maps of migrating birds, color charts for farmed salmon, and why PowerPoint is crap (this pleases me, because I think it is).

Friday, September 14, 2007

When worlds collide

What do you do when you have to fill a job vacancy that is a medieval relic, but you have a strict set of guidelines on the advertisement of public sector jobs?

Well, you just put it in the Herald, as The Lord Lyon King of Arms was today. I might apply.

I am two

I notice this is my blog's second anniversary, and my 200th post. Frankly, I'm surprised it got this far.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sheep may safely graze

I went up the Eildon hills on Saturday. It was a lovely walk, though hardly gets in the door as mountaineering. The sheep are a bit of a giveaway really: you don't expect to reach the top of a significant hill and find them munching contentedly. If this goes on much longer, I'll start doing Marilyns.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

What do you want?

There was a squirrel on the wheelie bin this morning. Just a grey one, of course. They're just fluffy-tailed rats really.

How it was done

As an occasional military history anorak, I was delighted to discover Brent Nosworthy's book on Napoleonic battle tactics. A lot of accounts of battles are useless because they leave you no wiser about how things were achieved. Mr Nosworthy fills this gap with a wealth of information about, say, the Prussian thinking on attacking infantry squares post-1806.

And I discovered that Henry Shrapnel invented the shrapnel shell. How could I not now this?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

First time

I heard somebody introduce themselves by using the term Scottish Government today.