SSAGO Website, Phase II

If you set your way back machine for June 2006 you’ll see a stub about how I changed the SSAGO Messageboard to use phpBB and particularly the Categories Hierarchy modification. Well the rest of the site did follow shortly after but it didn’t sit well with those viewing in Internet Explorer because of their issue with list indentation, not to mention the design compromises embossed by democratic vote.

So a new layout was needed and whilst I was at it I wanted to deliver on my promise to provide a Content Management System for SSAGO News. Well I knew I couldn’t change the forum software again so I had to find something that someone had already developed an integration method for or one I could quickly bodge together myself.

I tried a Joomla! but it was far too complicated, I had to assume that the next Publicity Officer, whether this would be me re-elected at the Loughborough SSAGO Rally AGM or in Feb 2008. I went through a slew of them; I rejected Drupal for it’s unfriendly support community, e107 worked fine but I couldn’t figure out how to get it to work along side phpBB and XOOPS was just too obscure. (Thank God for Open Source CMS.)

Then it dawned on me, WordPress. I’d been using WordPress as my blog software for 6 months or so and I loved it, I’d gotten quite close to the community and familiar with the code but I wasn’t sure how robust it would be with dozens of pages stored on it.

After a quick bit of research I found a code edit to accelerate the static page listings page which had exponentially gotten slower as I added more. (link) Next issue was user integration, there was a plugin with some minor code edits that I tried for a time but realised the author hadn’t updated it in almost a year, I tried working out what he had done and update it myself but decided that it would be quicker to start a fresh development cycle than catch up on an existing one.

So I had one WordPress blog working as the CMS and as the SSAGO News Article System. Hopefully the partnership will be a fruitful one.


I’ve not got a ‘think piece’ for you this weekend as I’m away and wanted to write something before I left so it is a personal piece instead. This past week I tried to convince someone that their ‘normal’ and or more precisely conforming to the idiom “you’re unique, just like everyone else” and not to be unhappy because they think they are wrong. In doing this I jumped the the rationale that it’s all in the stars so I thought perhaps I’ll look into this in a lesser extent to David Gorman but look none the same.

Having tried to look for the astrological sign of Pisces I found a website with the namesake and began to browse. Having looked over the material I thought that there might be other website namesake and tried some with no success, so I took this as a sign.
Agreeing with some of the jottings I thought that maybe my opinion was bias so I’d openly review it and let you guys tell me your thoughts on whether it fits me or I’m fitting myself to it.

Personality Traits

Deeply empathetic, they often exhibit a gentle, patient nature, but one that is in want of inspiration.

Disturbingly I do find it hard to be inspired, sometimes something will just set me off and I’ll keep at it until I run out of steam either from fatique or melancholy. This month for instance with the new direction my posts have headed in, my life is getting stretched from coursework so I’m starting to feel less enthusiastic about them despite their success.

Pisces can be deeply affected by and completely absorbed into their environment. Pisces adapt well to their circumstances, both good and bad.

I’ll admit to that too, when on camp I’m absorbed by the atmosphere, always upbeat and raring to go, in contrast to being at home when it’s a bog down of mundane tasks, such as coursework (has the point been received yet, coursework is bad for your emotions! Get a note from your Mum!) Even with the gloom of coursework I am still managing to get something out even if it’s not as good as it has been.

They are generous, amiable, positive natured people with a deep sense of kindness and compassion.

When my friends need me I’m there and sometimes even when their not! My friends mean a lot to me, monies no object ( until I have none ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) so given the choice between an item they haven’t the time to procure or a takeaway I’d rather get what they’d like than a temporary hunger fix.

Pisces are socially popular because of their easygoing and likeable manner. They have an uncanny sense of perceiving what a person wants or needs, and delivering it. Pisces are reflexive, preferring to allow circumstances and events to unfold and, only then responding.

Are these guys like reading my mind or something? I’ve been dishing out advice like mad this last week to boys and girls across the country yet I don’t know what to do myself, perhaps things will clear themselves up when I don’t have so much to do but more than likely the answer will present itself.

Pisces are not typical people. They are too idealistic and impractical for every day run of the mill living.

Is being a Scout typical? Long Hair? Blogger? I’m been self determined on my About Me Page as Altruistic, someone devoted to the welfare of others for ages, which I would consider to be an ideal. And I’ve already said that I prefer being away from my run of the mill activities.

Pisces are sensitive and instinctual rather than bookish or mechanical.

Which is probably why I dislike my University course so much, its Computer Science, a constrictive set of skills based on logic with limited expression.

The guys who make this blog software say “Code is Poetry”, I
wish I know where they got this idea from, perhaps if I knew then I’d enjoy it more.

When Pisces find the right situations, they are capable of some incredible deeds. Pisces completely and wholly engage in a chosen path, to the exclusion of everything else. This obsessive compulsive energy can be healthy and not.

The Go Jamboree! site is ample proof of this, the rapid succession of updates early this year should be an indication of my obsession for producing the best I can.

Pisces can be workaholics (and other kind of -aholics too).

I gave up cancer sticks ages ago so I suppose this has toughened me up to resist other temptations but how much would it take “to turn to the dark side“? so I think that I’ve been taught out of the addictive personality persuasion.

Positive Pisces Personality Traits

Pisces excel in situations where they can leverage their imaginative and intuitive nature. They are exceptionally gifted artistically. Pisces are often intensely interested and skilled at a wide variety of things and tend to learn by absorption as opposed to logic

I guess this has been encouraged through Scouting, all the skills and games we get to play over the years, no wonder I like it so much!

Pisces make profound artists of all types because they possess great, vivid imaginations. That powerful creativity is often expressed in music, literature, drama and art.

There you see it, not a singular mention of anything Science, genes and stars of an artist but raised by a scientist. Humph. I’m just like those kids with parents that like Star Trek (although, I do like it myself but I came to that conclusion myself. DS9 Rocks!) stuck with the unofficial badge of geek.

Negative Pisces Personality Traits

Pisces can be so emotional, needy and intense that they can end up being a real drag to people around them

So basically you better all keep me happy. ๐Ÿ˜› I do get annoyed when no-ones available to come out and play.

The not so nice side of Pisces manifests as being a gossip, indiscreet, and gullible.

My first major disagreements, I don’t think I’m gossipy, indiscreet or gullible, especially not gullible. If someone has a problem and I find out I’ll let them bring it to me if they want help, in the meanwhile I try to continue without alteration, that or adjust the situation so the problem can be addressed easier.

Pisces are easily lied to because they so want to believe

Mulder must’ve been a Piscean.

No matter how often they are led astray by empty promises, they keep the faith and push on toward their personal ideal

Hence why I’m finishing a degree I don’t like, could be stubborness I suppose.

Pisces Profession & Career

In the career department, Pisces are often better working for themselves than for someone else.

Okay, my special someone you told me so, I guess I’m headed for inconsistent payslips after University. Not the best thing for raising a family under. Although why would a Piscean who is deeply empathic not want to be around others which inevitably is how all businesses start.

Pisces have an intrinsic love of water, and are particularly well-suited towards jobs that keep them near the sea.

I did like walking along the boardwalks and promenade in Liverpool last year, it was relaxing. I’ve always been put off by how much it would cost but I began to realise it might be worth it. Titbit: If I hadn’t been I wouldn’t know that Liverpool is the Capital of Culture in 2008.

Pisces notable creativity includes a natural ability to imitate or mirror another person as well as enter into their feelings…..It also makes them fantastic salespeople, copywriters, marketing creators and advertising executives.

<sacasm>I know have a list of jobs to try</sacasm>

They can often follow several radically different career paths during their lifetime.

Actually, perhaps I shouldn’t be so sarcastic…

Full Article

I’d say they were fairly accurate but then again I might just be suiting my facts to their conclusions. Astrology is a highly debatable practice, some take it as Gospel others as a little fun not to be taken seriously. Personally listening to anyone you’ll find as many that swear by it as you do at an antipode to them.

The core of this argument boils down to Nature Vs Nurture, was it a person’s genes that make them who they are and they would’ve been like this regardless of location or was it who they were raised by? In this case Cosmic alignments with hundreds of years of trial and error versus genetic disposition or Perhaps a mixture of the 2, but, why isn’t the third option in the title, what is wrong with a compromise?

There you have it an autobiographical report a Mike the Pisces.


Gloucestershire police force could face a “flood” of compensation claims after it admitted illegally rejecting white male job applicants.

By trying to enforce ethnic minority representation to professions are we not infact shifting the focus from the majority which should have the focus to the minority? A reverse racism if you will, removing ‘white’ people because a larger diversity is required, surely this isn’t democratic? A small number of people have a large say because they are a slight minority?. Why can’t it just be the best or most suitable person for the right job?

Surely for race to not be an issue in any way, shape or form it shouldn’t matter, no more of this “to ensure equal opportunities we would like you to answer the following questions on religion, race etc” if it really doesn’t matter then we shouldn’t have to keep statistics on it. Okay it might help in 100 years or give Guinness an easier job of working out things like who was the First woman space tourist but I would be happier with not knowing who was the first/last/next person to do anything and a person’s race not being mentioned and thus the best person for the job getting it.

It is unfortunate that somehow the idea to increase ethnic minorities in Gloucester Police was raised and that the encouragement to be equally representative wasn’t dismissed because of the fear of being labelled racist towards minorities, instead now we are not allocating representative of the majority which in this country is caucasian despite the growing influx of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.

Perhaps if there weren’t as many scandals with negative results negative actions wouldn’t cascade through procedure and result in similar events?

Full Original Article: Force may face ‘flood’ of claims

Who wants to be a web designer?

No-one applauds our successes and few witness our defeats, yet our efforts are loved and everyone is a critic. As a web designer there are some injustices I’m willing to take on the head, I spend weeks of man hours working for charity, use logos that limit the scope of creativity and conform to the idiotic ideas of whom I’m working for.

What I will not tolerate are personal insults or disrespect about a format that can change, looking at Renรฉ Magritte’s “Son of Man” (right) for example, some see and appreciate the surrealism others are baffled how a picture of a man in a suit wearing a bowler hat with an apple in front of his face can be considered a masterpiece.

In either case that medium is fixed, love it or hate it now and you will probably still feel the same in 5 years. A website design can change everyday so why insult it today when it can look different in a weeks time?

Criticism is fine, if you don’t say what you dislike then it won’t change but taking out frustrations on a design as though they’ve been produced specifically to made your life difficult is preposterous. Ranting and raving at someone is just not professional.