Category Archives: Metablogging

Updating the “About” page

When I started this blog over nine years ago, back in February 2010, I made an about page that said I was 41 years old and had been happily married to Fiona for 17 years. I said I was father to three boys: Daniel (12 years old), Matthew (10) and Jonno (7). And I included this photo of my with them, crouching in front of a whale jaw in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History:

Me with (left to right) Jonno, Daniel and Matthew, in front of a baleen-whale skull at the Oxford University Natural History Museum

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Well done, everyone: we’ve reached ten thousand comments!

I checked this blog’s console just now, and realised that we have passed a really significant landmark: more than ten thousand comments!


Counting back through the recent comments, it seems that number ten thousand was this one, a brief comment on the film Happy Accidents. In a display of flagrant nepotism, it’s by Marion Taylor, my mum. As far as I can tell from the console, it’s only the second time she’s ever commented on this blog, so she timed it well!

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A quick apology …

… for those of you who don’t care about Doctor Who.  I was a bit shocked to see that all four of the most recent posts here have been Who reviews.  And the next one or two probably will be, as well.  I try to keep an eclectic mix of topics, but things have got away from me, and it’s been very Who-centric.

This Saturday’s episode will be the last in the current series, so once that one is out of my system there will be no more until Christmas.  I’ll get back to writing about, well, everything else.  (Except sauropod vertebrae, of course.)

One million hits

Some time the last half-hour, this blog passed the milestone of one million hits.  I’d like thank all of you who’ve visited in the last eighteen months and made it possible.

A much more important milestone is coming up soon — 5000 comments.  (We have 4913 so far.)  Amazingly, I don’t recall having had to delete a single one, with the exception of a few transparently obvious spams.  No-one has been abusive or offensive or just horribly stupid.  The quality of discussion here is fantastic, and I’ll always be grateful for the community that’s accumulated despite my terrible lack of focus on any one subject.

Again — thanks to you all!

Sidebar rescue!

Well, I seem to have managed to rescue most of my sidebar from WordPress-induced oblivion.  It’s possible I missed something, so do let me know if there’s a feature that you used before and can’t find now.

Mostly for my own amusement, I added a “Most viewed today/yesterday” area near the bottom of the sidebar.  It’s likely not as useful as the authored and chronological “greatest hits” list above it, but it might be interesting.

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Another really, really stupid thing

I came here to post the third and last in my “stupidest things in the world” series only to find that WordPress has unilaterally, and without warning, changed the theme of my blog, the utter morons.


In the stupid new theme, all the stuff in the sidebar has gone.  Vanished.  All of it.  Want to see the links to most recent posts?  Well, you can’t.  Want to see the most recent comments?  Tough luck.  Want to see that useful list of links to the most popular articles?  WordPress says NO.  Interested in the category cloud?  Sorry to hear that, it’s not there any more.

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A brief, yet helpful, lesson on elementary resource-locking strategy

Last night, Fiona and I sat down to eat my favourite light meal, spaghetti puttanesca.  I’d grated some cheese to sprinkle on top, but when I’d finished mixing the pasta in with the sauce I found that the cheese had GONE!

Fiona had taken it down to the other end of the table, next to her plate.  I asked if she’d finished with it, and it turned out that she HADN’T EVEN STARTED.  She’d just acquired the lock, then left the resource unavailable while she responded to a completely unrelated event.

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I know this blog doesn’t exactly make sense …

Hi, Mike Taylor here.

I’ve been blogging very happily and successfully for a couple of years over at Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week, sharing duties with my palaeontology colleagues Matt Wedel and Darren Naish; and I’ve contributed a few posts to my employers’ blog at Index Data.  But increasingly I find myself wanting to blog about subjects that don’t fit into either of those venues, hence this new area.  The idea is just to have a place to write about whatever is exercising me at the time, sort of like Matt’s blog Ask Doctor Vector.

Right now, what’s on my mind is computer programming, and especially programming languages — hence the title, The Reinvigorated Programmer.  I’ve been programming computers for 31 of my 42 years, professionally for the last twenty of those years, and over that time what started out as a passion has inevitably become a bit stale.  But in the last few weeks I’ve had a positive renaissance, and I want to talk about some of the reasons for that and the lessons I’ve learned.  So that will be a recurring theme of this blog.

But there’s a lot of other stuff buzzing around in here, too.  At one point, I wanted to start a blog about TV shows, which was going to be called — because whenever I watch anything, I find myself comparing it unfavourably with Veronica Mars.  (That’s Veronica over on the right of my banner, by the way).  [Update: not any more, poor Veronica got bumped by The Eleventh Doctor and Amy, because I wasn’t writing about Veronica enough.]  But eventually I realised that that might be a bit limiting in the long term.

Also, I like sushi.

So the one thing you won’t find here is sauropod vertebrae.  For all your sauropod-vertebra needs, SV-POW! remains the blog of choice for the discerning reader.  That aside, all other bets are off.  So expect this to be a bit of an uneven ride.