I normally don’t do memes, but I figured this one from my friend Mark Johnson at Microsoft may be interesting. So, I have been trying to think of things you lot may not know about me, and I have come up with the following:

  • I am related to Ronan Keating – My nephew Jack (the inspiration behind the LUGRadio theme music tune Jacks Playing Ball is the second cousin of Irish pop legend Ronan Keating. Albeit blurry, that technically makes me related to the foppy haired crooner. Thats right, metal meets Boyzone is a clash of pure glory.
  • When partying/drunk/social I take photos of myself with people – I like to work, and I like to play, and when I play I often drink beer and if there is a camera handy, I take photos of myself with the people I meet, many of which are complete strangers. I don’t think I have been out on a night at conference or at a gig and not met a bunch of people who I look at the following day on my camera and wonder who the hell they are. There is plenty of evidence in my photo gallery. EuroFoo was a particularly crazy example – I woke up the following morning in my hotel room with wet feet, not remembering a thing – it turns out that after the hotel bar shut, I ended up in a University freshers foam party. Each disastrous memory was refreshed a I flicked through the photos on my camera. If you are at a conference, you are not safe – be warned. 😛
  • XInit systems gave me my break – When I was 17 I set up a website called linuxuk.co.uk. Back then it was a statically updated site, but pretty unique for the UK Linux community. Rafiu Fakunle from XInit Systems got in touch and offered to help me by giving me a laptop, web server and funding. This was a big deal for a straggly haired youth with a Slayer t-shirt. That was my break into the Linux world and I will always be grateful to Rafiu.
  • My writing is filled with in-jokes and personal references – Of particular note is my latest book, Practical PHP and MySQL which is jam packed with references to many of my close friends in the examples. There are also many in-jokes – the calendar example is James Hillchin’s calendar which when shortened, the name would be Jimmy Hillchin (a reference to chin/beard humour in the UK), and I also mention Jinny in an example, referring to Jinny Reckon (similar to Chinny Reckon, yet another chin/beard British schoolboy reference).
  • Someone took a shit on my Fiat Uno Van – When I was about 19, my band (Seraphidian) had done our second gig to a packed out venue that went completely nuts, and I was awake all night listening to metal with sheer excitement. At about 8am I got dressed to go to work, got in my crappy student Fiat Uno van (rather ironically known as the ‘stinkmobile’ back then), and drove off. Bleary eyed from tiredness, I pulled up at some traffic lights and out of the corner of my eye noticed a big brown jobby on the car bonnet (the ‘hood’ for my American friends). Stunned, I tried to drive fast and brake in the hopes that said jobby would fall off, but it clung on for dear life. As such, I pulled over at the next bin (outside a school, which retrospectively was a bad choice as the kids were walking to school at the time), and wiped it off with a newspaper. I hope it would be a clean break, but the jobby left quite clear tanlines, so I needed to stop at a service station and get the car washed. I arrived at work 20 minutes late and my boss did not believe a word of my story – ’twas all true though. And yes, it was not from a cat or dog, it was a proper human log. Questions on a postcard to the usual address…

More pointless facts in the FAQ, as usual.

I want to see the same from the following carefully selected victims:

  • Luis Villa
  • Daniel Holbach
  • Laszlo Pandy
  • Jen Phillips
  • Ted Haeger

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