I might join the Conservative Party and vote for Gove

Well, I already joined the Labour Party because of Corbyn, I might as well complete the set.

But also, as much as I despise Gove, Theresa May will be the absolutely worst option for Prime Minister. She has consistently attempted to undermine our fundamental human rights. She is capable, determined and commands the respect of her peers.

She may well succeed at pulling us out of the European Court of Human Rights and lumping us with both a “British Bill of Rights” and the “Snooper’s Charter”.

Gove on the other hand is in no position to be leading his party nor the country. Even he knows that! My word, the man actually said in his speech announcing his candidacy that he doesn’t want the job. Moron.

Clearly, if he became Prime Minister he’d fuck it up so spectacularly that the Tories would get ripped to pieces. If they didn’t rip themselves to pieces first…

That’s got to be a good thing to spend a few quid on.

So that is why I’m considering joining the Conservative Party to vote for Michael Gove. That, and I put a small bet on him for shits ‘n’ giggles.

Image credit: gove-pob by Little Pixel

31

30

Another interesting year.

Much of it, disappointingly (and to their detriment), was spent fighting yet again for my two children to be granted the relationship with me they deserve.

That costs money, so while I kept my job, my other plan – buying a house to give the three of us a more permanent home – didn’t get further than the mortgage offer I received.

Keeping my job was a much more achievable aim, and I did that with bells on. I’ve done so much in the last year, learnt an enormous amount, worked on projects that have made me super proud and built on my confidence.

My 32nd year? Spending more time with my magnificent little girl, building on our already blossoming relationship 🙂

Now I can spend some time on myself too. I’ll be focusing on my career for a bit – taking advantage of the huge opportunities I have.

Human Rights mean nothing to Tories – Brexit will give them free reign

We already know that this Tory government continues to actively work with Saudi Arabia despite their repeated violations of human rights.

This morning we learn that the Tories helped lobby the UN to “whitewash” Bahrain police abuses.

They’ve already made it clear they want to scrap the European Convention on Human Rights, too.

Clearly while supporting countries who abuse the basic rights of citizens the Tories are wishing they could get away with the same.

Leaving the EU will help then achieve that.

Leaving the EU will make it easier for the Tories to erode workers rights, increase detention without charge, exert more control over the judiciary without worrying about decisions being challenged in Europe and continue to push those unfit to work to suicide.

Don’t fall for the divisive neo-liberal rhetoric of the Tories and their friends in UKIP. Fight for human rights, vote to stay in the EU.

Fitbit Surge – one month in

In December I started wearing a Fitbit surge (a work perk) and wanted to share my thoughts/experience.

  • Steps seem largely accurate, although as you might expect it’s not so great at counting them when you’re pushing a pushchair! However, I have managed to achieve my steps target (7k per day) whilst;
    • walking up to bed
    • driving my car
    • cooking Christmas dinner
    • stirring my pasta
  • Heart rate is *not* very accurate. Given this is something the Fitbit Surge is supposed to be very good at, and Fitbit advertise it as being accurate, it’s disappointing. I noticed it was reporting well below my actual bpm whilst on an excercise bike at the gym. It turns out, I’m not the only one – Fitbit are facing a class action lawsuit over it.
  • Floors seems like a lot of nonsense to me. I don’t see how it’s accurate or useful.
  • Battery life is woeful, compared to what Fitbit claim. It lasts about two days for me.
  • I love that I can connect to my phone while playing music to see what’s playing, pause or skip tracks. However, I’ve had to stop using it because it massively drains the power.
  • Tracking cycling works, for the most part, and the GPS seems accurate. GPS does drain the battery quickly though.
  • Through the app you can choose from a number of different types of exercise to make available on the Fitbit Surge. However, it’s unclear what some of these are, or the difference between them and there is *no* documentation to explain it. I’ve read in forums, for example, that “spinning” and “workout” do the same thing.
  • The vibrating alarm is nice at first but I find it all to easy to just ignore. If you ignore it, it stops and doesn’t do anything else other than leave the alarm display on. I’d expect it to, like my phone does, automatically snooze and keep on going until I turn it off.
  • The app isn’t terrible intuitive. There’s a lot in it, and it’s kind of hard to know where to go. You get used to it, and once you do there’s a ton of info there. It’s the primary way to look at what you’ve been up to, and it gives you all the info you need.
  • Being a cyclist I like to link it up to Strava and that works really well.
  • I like that you can set a goal other than steps. Calories, for example.
  • When I’m in my car, my phone connects to it via Bluetooth. But if I have the Fitbit connected to my phone the car can’t connect. It’s probably the car’s fault because the Bluetooth on that is crap, but it’s frustrating none the less.
  • From the start I’ve had call and text notifications on so I can see from the Fitbit Surge who is calling or texting me. It’s never worked, but I just got it working a couple of days ago… :shrug:
  • I’ve tracked exercise bike workouts as “spinning” and while the calories seems right, the steps don’t. For example, a 40 minute workout that burned 334 calories only added 25 steps and was classed as 32 active minutes. My heart rate was pretty accurate during that too.

People

During my pursuit of happyness I’ve been thinking a lot about what actually makes me happy. When I feel good, I’ve been taking note and it’s made it very clear what makes me happy.

People.

In 2015 I spent a huge amount of time with other people. Lots of existing friends, but I also met new people and made new friends.

I made 3 significant trips last year that brought me together with lots of people.

In March I spent a week in New Orleans with the team I work with at Automattic. Being people I work with everyday it was great to spend a few days in close proximity getting to know each other better. When I got back home I missed them but it made our online interaction so much richer, and that goes a long way.

Fast forward to October and another great work meetup. This time it was the grand meetup. A well deserved name. With over 400 people now working at Automattic, this year’s GM was full of new people to get to know. By the end of the meetup I’d met 25% of those 400 Automatticians – that’s a whole bunch of great conversations/karting/drinking/Resistance/dancing with exciting and fun people.

In early December I returned to the US, to Philadelphia, for WordCamp US. With over 50 Automatticians there, I got to meet even more of my co-workers which was of course awesome. I also had the opportunity to meet with developers at agencies and companies I work with every day, including some folks I’ve not seen in a while.

Back home I made a conscious effort to spend more time with my closest friends – even if it’s just the odd pint down the pub – and I’ve spent more time with family. Just this weekend, I spent the weekend with my Mom, sisters and their families (which was noisy, given my 6 nieces and nephews!).

What I’ve noticed while spending time with all these people, and meeting so many new people is how fantastic I feel during and after. I’ve never been a social butterfly, and used to often struggle to be sociable, but the feeling I get from being surrounded by others, finding out about them, sharing in experiences and making new memories lifts me up no end.

I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to spend time with so many great people and form new relationships. There are two more people that I love spending time with, and that’s my children. While I’m having to fight again to see my youngest, my times with my little man are the most wonderful and happiest times. We have such a close and wonderful relationship, and he never fails to make me feel on top of the world.

You’ve changed your avatar – so what?

So you made your own little statement.

You made your Facebook profile picture turn into a French flag.

Maybe you’ve shared some quote GIFs from fucking Ghandi or something.

Perhaps you even shared something that said “Je Suis Pairs” or similar.

Oh you put John Lennon on?

So what? Have a sticker.

Your little social media grief episode does nothing to address the reason why a bunch of deluded humans killed a bunch of other humans this week.

What did you do when our Government launched an illegal war that catalysed the growth of ISIS?

When one country thinks it has the God-given right to a piece of land and massacres any who get in it’s way, do you demand your Government acts?

Do you boycott or support the economies of countries who are well known for their human rights abuses, or merrily go to their holiday spots?

When your fellow citizens are denied the universal human right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and the right to a fair trail do you celebrate that, or despair at the erosion of human rights for all of us.

If your government engages in mass, unfettered, indiscriminate surveillance of you and your neighbours, do you blindly accept their arguments about having “nothing to hide” or do you stand up for the basic principles of liberty and justice?

What do you do when your children, and your neighbour’s children, have no choice but to attend schools that are proven to be divisive?

When a country curtails freedom of religion and expression in the name of (and therefore completely botching it’s attempt at) secularism, do you cry out?

The actions of ISIS in France this week were horrific and inexcusable. The same goes for the actions of ISIS everywhere.

But don’t fall into the trap of being as hypocritical as “western” governments. Whether it’s foreign or domestic policy, the Governments of the nations fighting this so-called “war on terror” are hypocrites.

They speak of defending our freedoms whilst simultaneously eroding them.

They speak of human rights while denying them to their own citizens.

If we want to rid the world of terrorists we should live by the rules we want the entire world to live by, and challenge those who don’t – whether they are terrorists, or our own governments.

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