November 2009 in the Life of Ben (Blog)

  1. January
  2. February
  3. March
  4. April
  5. May
  6. June
  7. July
  8. August
  9. September
  10. October
  11. November
  12. December

Timed Blogging (30th November 2009)

Testing how long it takes to create a minimal blog entry and add it to my website. To blog this paragraph took 7½ minutes! To write a substantial but straightforward blog entry with few distractions takes me about 40 minutes, end to end.

Absolute Minimum

  1. Decided I wanted to write a blog entry whilst laying in bed.
  2. Timer started.
  3. Got out of bed, walked to PC room and switched PC on.
  4. Startup time is about 1 minute.
  5. Another half minute whilst my favourite applications loaded at startup.
  6. Started TextStudio, my text/HTML editor.
  7. Used File > Open to create a new file on my machine.
  8. Chose to name it timed-blogging.html, after 2 other names.
  9. Wrote the title and set the publication time.
  10. Added the first sentence, which I have kept at the start.
  11. Ran my build scripts to update all the Blog index pages, archive pages and feed.
  12. Checked the result using my local server.
  13. Corrected a typo in the title and amended the first sentence.
  14. Ran the build script again.
  15. Checked the result; everything seemed fine.
  16. Started Windows Explorer and went to my Favourite for Project Cerbera (FTP).
  17. Logged in.
  18. Uploaded the new and changed files into the relevant folders.

Time taken was now 19 minutes, after publishing this new section. After a couple more typo fixes I had taken 21 minutes.

Realistic Additions

Usually I am carrying out other tasks whilst I blog, such as making a meal or waiting for a TV show to start. At this point I went to make breakfast.

Without realising, I ate my breakfast at the PC having forgotten I was in the middle of a timed experiment! It’s only now, as I’ve started drinking my hot chocolate, that I’ve noticed 35 minutes have elapsed since the start.

You might think this has ruined the experiment but I look at it differently. This is a realistic turn of events because I do get distracted whilst writing a blog. Indeed, the above phases were undertaken with an artificially low amount of distraction. Almost no distraction at all, in fact.

Therefore, this unexpected diversion has added to the experiment. After publishing this section I had taken exactly 38 minutes. Closing open applications and shutting down the PC takes 1 or 2 minutes.

Wisdom Tooth Assessment (30th November 2009)

Had my remaining 3 wisdom teeth X-rayed at a hospital in Guildford today. Looks like all 3 will be removed under general anaesthetic in early 2010. Yay evolution!

Week-Long Holiday (27th November 2009)

After staying for quite a lot of drinks after work, I commuted/staggered home and fell asleep. This marks the start of my entire week of holiday off work. (Dad drove me to Fleet Railway Station carpark to retrieve my car the next day.)

The past couple of weeks have been extremely hectic. Indeed, so have the past couple of months! Going back to my old, comfortable routine is such a relief. Waking up naturally, in particular!

Eating a quiet breakfast whilst reading up on the latest happenings in web technology has a warm familiarity. As does helping random strangers on the Internet with their technological questions.

Haircut 7 (7th November 2009)

For the first time ever, I drove my car to a hairdresser’s. The correct turn comes up quite unexpectedly due to the countless curves and dangerous “traffic calming” obstacles.

Driving forward into spaces and reversing out is still my preferred technique for parking. I was fairly chatty whilst I was there, which is also close to being a first.

Got my hair cut fairly short because my fringe was getting in the way. Plus the Northern Line on the London Underground seems to be crazy hot all year round. Still had it “textured” like the last time.

Started wearing my wollen hat from 6th Form days whilst standing on the platform at 7:40am. Sometimes wear it whilst going to get lunch at 1pm or 2pm. Or even 3pm some days.

One thing I really like about having shorter hair is it stands upwards. Some mornings I look like a character from those VO5 adverts. “Break the mold!”