Fridays with the Kids

Every Friday, the kids and I get to spend the day together. We have some very good times, and I’ve taken some fun shots. Now I have the time to post some!

16 June 2006

Waiting for the bus


They made a sand castle, sort of. (The little one with the sticks. The other one was someone else’s work)


All fall down.


2 June 2006

Portrait of Fiona and me, by Alex


Portrait of Alex, by Fiona


“We’re best friends”


Watch out, Fiona! There’s a cow!


Fiona meets a cow she likes in the Cow Parade


Alex and Fiona meet Robocow


Recent Edinburgh Shots

In between trips to London, I’ve been so busy studying that I’ve taken very few shots around Edinburgh. Of those, only a few are really worth your consideration, gentle reader.

The roses are past their best in George V Park, but I still love them.


Taken 15 June 2006


Taken 15 June 2006

Splendidly bizzare monkey puzzle in the Botanics.


Taken 1 June 2006

Tender shoots of holly, Arboretum Avenue


Taken 1 June 2006

Photos from London

I’ve been down in London a good deal over the last few weeks, studying for an exam. I brought my phone, of course, which means I brought my camera.

I rarely find the classic London landmarks inspirational for photography. They’re too…well…big.

But the pavement by Tower Bridge really got my interest.


Taken 17 May 2006


Taken 17 May 2006


Taken 17 May 2006

The leaves of an ornamental plant near the Tower also caught my eye.


Taken 13 June 2006

On one of my visits, I walked by the crew setting up for a concert on the Tower grounds. The ironmongery was interesting.


Taken 23 May 2006


Taken 23 May 2006

I was also fascinated by the bright yellow locks on the gates to Trinity Square, a tiny park dedicated to naval war dead near the course hotel.


Taken 24 May 2006

Rainbow over the Thames


Taken 23 May 2006

Overall, though, London does not appeal to me photographically. I guess my heart is in Edinburgh.

How To Break Things Real Good

Martin has been absent because he’s been redesigning his side of the site. (Go check it out. It’s cool.) I’ve been absent for much less interesting* reasons.

Basically, I’ve been studying for a test. About testing. The Information Systems Examination Board (ISEB) Practitioner Certificate in Software Testing, or, as I think of it, How To Break Things Real Good.

After eight days of classroom instruction spread over two weeks, I had less than a month to cram the syllabus in between my ears (Only click on the link if you have persistent insomnia. Not suitable for reading whilst operating heavy machinery*). I did it – I can now go on at great length about the relative strengths of boundary value analysis and state transition testing in the design of functional tests, name 18 types of automated test tool, and describe three software development lifecycle models and how they relate to testing.

I wasn’t a very good classmate, I’m afraid. I got massively insecure early on in the instruction section, when I came in on the second week to find that someone extra had turned up and taken my seat and my course materials. The instructor was mortified, but I felt deeply unwelcome, and turned to the same obnoxious behaviour I used to get through high school. When I feel out of place, I become the most annoyingly, articulately intelligent pain in the posterior ever…trying to prove that separate does not equal inferior, I guess.

I did this throughout the second week of classes, and only got worse in the revision session. I even straightened the instructor out on his understanding of one area of the syllabus. Yes, I was right and he was wrong. But that doesn’t make it less obnoxious**. I hope I made up for it a little with some of the tutoring I did on the side.

The exam was a pig, but I knew it would be. I think I did OK, on balance, though I won’t know for a couple of months. The pass mark is 60%, and if I get over 80% I get a distinction. (Which is, in a small community, considered rather cool.) I’ll be content to pass.***

I promise, now that I’m done with that, I’ll post to the blog again. I’ll even go back and pick out the best photos I took over that time, tell you about the time Fionaberry did a face plant at full speed running downhill, and even update my cinnamon roll recipe. Promise.

* I don’t think it’s boring. But I know everyone else does.

** Peter, if you’re reading this, I am sorry.

*** This is a lie. I would be marginally content to hear that I got 100%. I’ll gnash my teeth over every missed point. I know I missed at least 7 marks, and it’s driving me nuts.

The Bill of Rights, in Quatrains

We start with God (or Gods, or none)
Then speech and press, assembling:
The ways and means that anyone
Can ask for change to anything.

But might makes right, or helps it thrive
Against the worst ill wishers.
So guns can keep the State alive
In well-regulated Militias.

The homely castle where you live
Affords no soldier boarder.
The third amendment lets you give
New meaning to “No quarter!”

Your property and self are your own
And none may search or take them
Unless probable cause can be shown
And warrants evidence make them.

Due process of law is next in our reach
As part of the health of the nation.
Trials are needed, and only one each
Without any self incrimination.

In criminal trials, a jury must sit
And witnesses be openly heard.
Counsel assists, and the state will commit
To compel defence witnesses’ word.

Where common law suits are tried
And sums are more than a score
A jury request cannot be denied
Nor appeals their findings ignore.

Excessive bail shall not be imposed
Lest poverty tyranny fuel.
And punishments, however composed,
Should not be unusual or cruel.

Naming rights here does not deny
That for the people others exist.
And inclusion herein does not imply
Disparagement to the ones missed.

Our Federal nation is made of States
To whom other powers are reserved.
The People as well, in any debates,
Must have their control preserved.

Originally posted on Making Light