Now, where the hell was I?
Election watch: It's a shade over two weeks until the council and European elections but the local parties have hardly leapt into action. We've so far received one UKIP leaflet and one Labour leaflet. The UKIP leaflet is about the European elections and is entirely generic, so much so that it doesn't even name the candidates. It promises a life free from "EU control" and "of course, tough on immigration", both things outwith the control of MEPs. The Labour leaflet is for the council elections. Given that two out of three of the current councillors are and the council is controlled by Labour it's very steady-as-she-goes. It opens with a nice picture of the candidates and focusses resolutely on ward issues. Personally, I'd like the council to make more noise taking on Eric Pickles in his mission to reduce local councils to little more that refuse collectors, but if that's going on at all it's very much, and rather disappointingly, happening behind firmly closed doors.
One of the most depressing things about the upcoming European Election is the number of right-wing nutjobs standing. Locally we have a full slate of UKIP, BNP, and English Democrats, together with slates of anti-EU ex-UKIP types who seem to think that becoming an MEP is exactly the way to poke Brussels in the eye (or at least avoid having to get a proper job). [West Midlands Euro Candidates 2014]
While nutjobs are on the rise in the Euro elections they do, pleasingly, seem to have all but disappeared from the council elections. There's the odd UKIP is standing again, but the BNP in Birmingham do finally seem to have dried up. That's progress of a sort, I guess
(Those collections would be weekly, of course, with prayers said beforehand and flags flying from every bin lorry.)
Guardian digital development deployment stats for 2013: 43854 deploys, 10282 of them into production.
Occasionally I chuck this quote around at work to put the wind up people. The conversation often follows an established pattern along the lines of we have paying subscribers and they get very upset if our site goes down countered with if a major news site goes down, it's all over Twitter in no time. Yes we have paying customers, yes they pay a lot of money for the service, yes they're on the phone immediately anything goes wonky, but yes, I believe we could release into production more often and we could move more quickly as a result.
— Simon Hildrew (@sihil) December 20, 2013
» The future of London is already here, it's just not evenly distributed: A user's guide to William Gibson's London : One of our fondest memories of Tottenham Court Road was the time we recently spotted the fading box of a first generation iPad sitting quietly gathering dust in the corner of one shop window. The pristine white glow of its Apple branded box slowly wilting to a deadened yellow in the sunlight while the ghost of Steve Jobs hovered futilely nearby, hurling empty invective at the hapless shopkeepers - Went cold into reading Gibson's Zero History, which I thoroughly enjoyed, a month or so back, and was struck by just how real his London felt. The story takes place in almost exactly the area my knowledge covers, even down the Southwark cafes where you can find a fried breakfast and Thai noodles on the same menu.
» You Don't Have To Be Old To Be Wise - I seem to have become an enormous Judas Priest fan over the past couple of weeks. Rob Halford could be Sutton Coldfields's hardest rocking bus pass holder, but that's only because the members of Black Sabbath are from over the border in Aston and Handsworth