Independent web developer. Graphic designer, web designer, Frontier developer, Manila hoster, latest project: intranet build for Government Office of West Midlands (UK), committed blogger since 1999.
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William's party: I took just Bradley, Esme was at her Auntie's. Then the following weekend, Naomi, to which I took Esme as well. She didn't think much of it since they were all 4 year olds and she's 6. Not only that but Brad wanted to play with his friends not his big sister.
And after waiting 20 minutes in increasing delight, Santa almost ran past us! Never mind, plenty of other things to entertain.
We arrive at the foot of the cliff railway, a 200 feet train ride up the cliff face, but we're too early so settle for cream teas in a nearby cafe. Nice cup of tea for Dad and diet coke for them, and we all tuck into scones, jam and cream. Mmmmm.
The kids cannot believe the cliff railway, staring at the very steep rail line infront of the cab, and looking out of the rear window as we ascend. An amazing trip.
Then, at the top is a long walk around the High Town, with amazing views. Not to forget the long bridge over to the station. We spend an hour here, looking at the trains, even Thomas The Tank is here, without his face (he's having a clean, we are told).
But better, much better, we spy a black train with the name of Bradley Manor. This trills Brad to the core, he dashes over the bridge to tell people on the other side, obviously telling everybody on the way across.
We kill half an hour wating for the train in the pub on the platform, nice beer, and a big selection of bitters too! I could have stayed much longer. Esme and Bradley would have stayed till the great dane left, as it was we had to walk past it to get out. Esme took some photos of the beast, and couldn't take her eyes off it all the time we were inside.
We catch our train and wander up and down the compartments. We even saw elephants on the journey, as we went past the safari park. We break the journey to Kiddermister in Bewdley, and take an hour's wander, with a portion of chips.
Once we get to Kiddy, we have another mini train ride, and a rush to catch the last train to Bridgnorth. Two knackered kids lie on my lap was we trundle slowly through the night on the 18 mile trip. Another walk across the high bridge when we get to Bridgnorth, a walk around the High town and use our return tickets for the ride down the cliff face to the car.
On the car drive home we count the train we've been on. One up the cliff, one from Bridgnorth to Bewdley, Bewdley to Kidderminster, one mini train in Kiddy, Kidderminster to Bridgenorth. One more down the cliff. 6 in all.
Soon we're home, to tell Mummy all about it. Pity they're too tired to tell the whole story.
Unfortunately, the show was extremely quiet, a flurry of snow, perhaps put some off. The afternoon session was dead.
Still I managed to sell some sites there and then, with PayPal doing the business for me and sending out emails to me at the show telling me another had bought a blog. Most excellent. Now to take the idea further.
We didn't see them much, as they disappeared in to the play area, diving into the ball pools, sliding down the slide...
And I had to dash off just before the end for a meeting.
Happy birthday Manila. Can't believe it's five years.
And now, referer callbacks and comment callbacks to combat spam. I've been using a rough method that's been quite effective at fighting the porn referers: I'd see if the word 'sex' or 'adult' or other common porn words were in the domain name of the referer, and ban the IP. Mostly the same IP would try several times with different domain names. Obviously, it's a machine. So far, in nearly two months, I've collected just over 1,000 IPs.
Recently, though some had been getting through. Those referrals with unknown (to me) porn words, or even clean (non-porn) sites. So, I installed Thomas Creedon's referrerRemover. Which cleans up after the event. (I'll dig into this and add something so that anything banned with it goes into my ban list too.)
Luckily, I, nor any of the machines I monitor, have been targeted (yet) by the more insidious comment spam.
I do love Manila. Much easier for meatheads to use than the more complex and powerful Radio. I've just added some RPC-XML calls to my Thumbnailer plugin which now allows me to shoot a script at a folder of images and have them placed in a page, as thumbnails. Wicked. Though I wish I could write this script as a stand alone app, for my meatheads.