Thursday, 10 August 2006

R.W. Emerson Quote

People are always putting quotes in blog posts, web pages or (heaven forbid) email signature lines.  Normally, I ignore these but this one really stopped me in my tracks. 

Friday, 4 August 2006

Catching up

Another long gap between posts.  So what's happening?  Well, we went back to The Hague the other weekend to visit friends we made while living there.   It was great to have the chance to eat, drink and chat with them again: the children all went to school with each other for five years or so, and despite being apart for over a year they all got on as if they'd never been apart.  On the Saturday eveing we got together at the excellent, friendly Lof der Zotheid, in Breitnerlaan.  It's evening like this (and food/drink like this) that I do miss.  The next morning, our hosts (Simon and Maureen) laid on breakfast for four families, so the party extended well into Sunday!  Eventually, we had to make our way back to the Hoek, for the ferry.  The journey's so easy, we ought to do this more.

Daniel had his 13th birthday in July!  We managed to get him what he really wanted: a good, second-hand soprano Saxophone (a Yanagisawa!) from the ever-helpful folk at Wood, Wind and Reed.  Daniel loves it.  Good thing too, because it wasn't cheap!  But it's worth every penny, as he will do it justice - he's already working on Grade 7 (on the Alto Sax) - and he's playing with great assurance.  As a birthday party, we took half a dozen of his friends paint-balling at Go Ballistic in Thetford Forest.  I must this is a very professionally run place: superb support for the whole day, everyone had fun and no-one got hurt.

Becca has just returned from a week's camping with her Guides patrol.  They were somewhere near Coltishall, and it did rain for a couple of days but this doesn't seem to have dampened her enthusiasm; she's starting to plan a family camping holiday already!  This week, she's been abseiling, climbing, kayaking, hiking, and on some enormous zip-wire, so coming home is a little bit of an anti-climax for her.


Work-wise, it's been a busy time, working on a healthcare-related project (more about that another time), leaving little time to get to grips with the personal development projects.   It also means I have plenty to write about my adventures in the world of HL7, DICOM, CDA and the rest of the healthcare informatics alphabet soup.  So much to do, so little time...

I've been meaning to use a Wiki to keep notes on projects and as a cheap, fast way to publish stuff to the web, but I don't write often enough to make it worth investing too much time there.  At work we use the Confluence publishing system which is pretty good: it's commercial, but there's a free individual license.  I tried it,  but the (memory) overhead of running Tomcat on my virtual server is a little more than I can accept for just a wiki.

DokuWiki is superb, and with the Monobook theme it looks and feels very much like Mediawiki.  It's a PHP wiki engine, a much lower-overhead proposition and almost as functional.  My hobby project now is to add a simple XMLRPC interface, which I intend to use as the basis for a page publishing and editing facility, via OpenOffice Writer (and possibly Word, too).   I'm going to use Python on the server-side; it's a superb language and very good for web development.  I'll probably use Webware for Python to run the server-side code - it's a fast, simple and effective container.