Engineer media

Snowflakes, snowdrops and YouTube streaming formats – signs of spring in deepest winter

Worked from home yesterday. Weather was pants. Didn’t really matter. I lit a nice coal fire and sat in the front room doing stuff.

Here’s a vid of the snow falling in my back garden. It didn’t stick. The noise is water falling off the tree above the conservatory roof.

This morning I went for a swim and then walked down to the office. I vary my route and today’s took me past the old graveyard in Park Street. It was bitterly cold though that didn’t matter moving along at a briskish pace.

The graveyard was covered in snowdrops. Most of the gravestones have lain flat for years and are covered in moss or lichen. The prominent exception is the one in the  photo which is more of a tomb-like structure.

snowdrops in graveyard

Very poignant I thought. A symbol of death in the depths of winter surrounded by new growth and optimism.

That is all.

PS Good word, briskish.

PPS YouTube was playing up a bit this morning – had to load the video twice. Also the video was taken using an Android phone (SGS4) but YouTube told me processing would be quicker if the file format used (mp4) was compatible with their recommended streaming codecs (mp4!).

I know someone is going to come along now and tell me it was a specific flavour of mp4 with green spots and chilli spice topping.

YouTube message re streaming format

broadband Business UC voip

Broadband Life: No Business Like Snow Business

You are looking at a disappointed man. Wha!  How can this be?  Surely not you Tref I hear you say? Yes yes disappointed 😉 What’s up?  We have had a very light smattering of snow.

I like snow. Snow, for the most part, makes the place look pretty and means I can wrap up cosily in front of a roaring open fire at home and enjoy the real winter. I don’t do the sledging any more – it’s all very well getting a thrill from speeding down that hill but you then have to traipse all the way back to the top dragging a sledge and almost certainly a kid. I still like throwing snowballs mind you. Nothing quite like the satisfaction of catching someone in the back of the neck.

I also quite like the superiority of owning a 4×4 when it snows. Other cars are sliding all over the place or struggling to get up the slightest incline but the Jeep takes it all with total ease.

This snow is not heavy enough for any of any of that. It might well close the golf course tomorrow but that is largely because you can’t see white balls on a white background. That’s the only thing this snow is likely to disrupt this weekend and in all probability I’ll be watching the 6 Nations rugby so not playing golf anyway.

None of the above is why I’m disappointed.

End User social networking

Facebook is the latest tool for announcing school closures

Friend Lindsey Annison commented today on Facebook that both her kids’ schools were shut today due to heavy snow. Their websites , however, had fallen over and were not accessible to view the announcements. 

It didn’t stop the kids finding out though as the news spread like wildfire on Facebook and via SMS. Seems to me that every school should have a Facebook Group controlled by the staff even if it is just an intranet/forum. It would grow content far more quickly than a traditional school website (if there is such a thing) that depends on the good offices of an enthusiastic member of staff to maintain and update.

Last year my wife, who is a supply teacher, struggled for an hour through the snow to a school only to receive a text message announcing its closure just as she got there! She doesn’t use Facebook though :-).

Readers living outside the UK will perhaps struggle to understand these problems – this country grinds to a halt the minute the first snowflake hits the pavement. Two snowflakes almost constitutes a snowstorm and kids all over get ready to build snowmen.   Most schools in Lincolnshire are open today, much to the extreme disappointment of the Davies clan.

Business voip

Workforce Adapts To Icy Weather

As snowstorms hit the UK the hardy workforce at Timico HQ in Newark shrugged off the hardships to keep services going. That isn’t to say we aren’t enjoying the weather.

Snowball fights abound in the carpark as they did, I’m told, with many of the people who stayed at home to work. This picture below shows one of the homeworkers who had overdone the snowballing with his (or her) kids who were also at home due to a school closure.

The hardy individual has asked to remain anonymous, which isn’t difficult as you can see. Clearly he came off worse than the kids in the fight.


A reliable homeworking solution clearly adds to a business’ productivity. Drop me a line if you want to know more.