Stories by Jim Swanson

Keeping the puck out

Wahoo! It’s Stanley Cup finals time! I’m not a big fan of either the Ducks or the Devils but finals hockey is always exciting stuff. Even more excitingly, my own season finally got underway last Saturday night.

Ouch (again)

Yes folks, it’s yet another instalment from the Stupid-Accidents-I’ve-Had department. This time, I was out walking the pooch late last Friday night and managed to trip over a curb. Falling stupidly flat on my face – for the record, I was not bevvied – I managed to break the fourth metacarpal (the bone between the knuckle and the wrist) in my right hand and thus defer the start of my hockey season by four to six weeks. Sigh.

Hockey makes the rest easy, almost

Wasn’t it Jenny Shipley who started life in politics on a committee at a playcentre or kindergarten or something? After my experience of the last week or so, a life in parliament doesn’t seem as scary as it used to. I’ve walked on hot coals and broken glass, I’ve ridden mountain bikes off stupid heights, I’ve even worked with alligators and crocodiles (real ones -- not the ones you come across in everyday business). But this week has been one of the most character-building of my life. I now feel prepared for almost anything.

The A, B, B+ and G of wireless LANs

The pup seems to be settling in well. I’ve suddenly become one of those people that always has doggy treats in one pocket and a plastic bag in the other. When someone at work does or says something particularly clever I have to restrain myself from presenting them with a schmacko and saying "Good boooooy" in my softest, most positively-reinforcing dog trainer’s voice.

Bluetooth bites back

We’ve been adopted -- the family and I -- by a border collie. She’s a fabulous dog and taking some time out in the morning, at lunchtime and at night to go for a walk and throw a ball, stick or Frisbee has been doing wonderful things for my mental health.

IT management on ice

What an exciting couple of weeks I’ve had. With the kids getting more and more into their hockey it was only a matter of time before I got dragged into it too.

You'll be having spam with that, Sir?

… there's egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam; spam spam spam egg and spam; spam spam spam spam spam spam baked beans spam spam spam; or Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam.

Farewell those sunny gore-filled days

The Xmas Xbox was a huge success – there’s nothing quite like a bit of gore and violence on Xmas morning. Then once we’d actually got the thing set up and decided who was going to play what game first we had even more fun. It’s met all expectations and I haven’t even had time to consider putting Linux on it yet.

A month of Fridays draws in

Oh boy, it’s THAT time of year again. It seems to me that December is like an entire month of Friday afternoons. You know that feeling of panic that bubbles up in you every Friday? The one you get because it’s Friday afternoon and you still have loads to do before the weekend? I feel that every day during December.

One-big-database fine, one-big-suite sucks

Well, I’ve beaten off the lurg but now a large and very painful cold sore has taken up residence on my bottom lip and is preventing me from enjoying simple pleasures like hot coffee.

Sick again but the jersey's arrived

I seem to have acquired my late spring/early summer lurg. Maybe it’s some kind of karmic reaction to me becoming all Machiavellian. It’s a real bugger. It’s virtually impossible to be menacing when your eyes are pink and your nose is running and you can’t raise your voice without starting a coughing fit that leaves you seeing stars. The best I can do at the moment is sit in my office looking gloomy and menacing and like I’ll sneeze on anyone who gets too close.

Supping with the devil

If you haven’t read them already, add Scott Adams’ The Dilbert Principle and Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince to your summer reading list. The Dilbert Principle is ostensibly a book, based on Adams’ popular comic strip, in which he makes excellent use of his and others’ experience in the corporate wilderness to make us laugh. A lot. In reality The Dilbert Principle is the best management text written in about 500 years.

ERP, phones, Citrix, hockey

Where on earth has this year gone? It’s October and the hockey season has started. Thankfully,’s internet radio service is better than their online store (no, Brandon still hasn’t got a Canadiens jersey).