Chris Worfolk's Blog


Super League Triathlon

February 27th, 2019 | Distractions, Sport

Last weekend, the Super League Triathlon final took place in Singapore. Katie Zerefes continued her domination of the women’s event while Vincent Luis managed to hang on to his lead, despite picking up a puncture. Jonny Brownlee was the highest placed Brit in third.

It’s a weird system. Vincent Luis won the overall championship because he came first in the final race, but also because the guy in 6th outran the guy in 7th or something like that. Even the commentators didn’t seem to know what was going on. They need to simplify that.

I don’t like it as much as World Series, as sometimes it feels a bit gimmicky, and the racing is over pretty quickly. But it is a fun addition to the triathlon schedule.

Super Bowl LIII

February 26th, 2019 | Sport

Super Bowl III saw the New England Patriots face off against the Los Angeles Rams.

Picking a side was difficult. I don’t like the way US sports teams sometimes just move and leave their fans behind. So, cheering on the Patriots to beat the St Louis Rams seemed the obvious choice. However, a few days before, Patriots owner Robert Kraft came out and said Trump was doing a wonderful job and Rupert Murdoch was the best human being alive. Not sure how to respond to that.

As it was, we were treated to quite possibly the dullest Super Bowl ever. The game finished 13-3 to the Patriots. There was only one touchdown for the entire game. I mean Super Bowl XLVIII was massively one-sided but this was the lowest scoring Super Bowl in history.

Still, every Super Bowl is a chance to party, and party we did. In many ways, it is nice that the sport did not get in the way of conversation.

Rauma 4.0 released

February 4th, 2019 | Programming

I’m pleased to announce the release of the next major version of Rauma, 4.0.

Rauma is a full-stack PHP framework that gives you database, templating, session, authentication and many other functions out of the box. It’s the framework behind many of Worfolk Online’s websites.

Not much as changed in the 4.0 release, but it gets a major version bump because it’s a breaking change. Here’s what you need to know:

Authentication has been overhauled. The auth service now includes an isLoggedIn function to be a bit more verbose than checking for data. More importantly, you can now extend the base Authorisation class and create your own. This allows you to cache more data, connect to other services and implement persistent logins.

We’ve also deprecated the user description field, in favour of the new attributes feature that was added in version 3.6.

Two other things to be aware of:

There are now a set of proxy objects for things like JsonResponse so that you don’t have to import them from a different namespace.

This bumps the PHP version requirement from 5.6 to 7.1. This allows us to bring in a load of cool new stuff, including a far more up-to-date version of PHPUnit.

It’s available now on GitHub and Packagist.

Photo credit: Brett Donovan.

Calf tear

January 31st, 2019 | Life

I’ve torn my calf muscle. This is probably the worst thing that has ever happened to anyone.

It’s frustrating because I haven’t been able to train for two weeks now. I got back in the pool to try and keep my fitness up but even that is uncomfortable. I’m literally on like week 6 of my #RoadToKona and I’m already having to take at least a couple of weeks off.

Luckily, I’m under the skilled care of Dr. Venla.

Leeds Bike Mill bike maintenance course

January 23rd, 2019 | Sport

Earlier this week, I did Leeds Bike Mill‘s introduction to bike maintenance course. It’a four-hour evening session to teach you the basics. Leeds Bike Mill is based in the same building as the Peddler’s Arms, a drop-in bike workshop that is community run.

It met my expectations: it wasn’t as clean and polished as the Evan’s Fix It course, but it was far more hands on. That is far more valuable than watching someone else do it. So, even though four hours seems a long time to change a tyre, do an M check and fiddle around with the brakes, it’s sort of understandable where that time went.

We also covered gears, which both Evan’s and Woodrup didn’t really do, so it was nice to take a look at that because gears are always my biggest problem on the bike. Unfortunately, I didn’t get time to do any adjustments in the workshop itself and on the way home my chain fell off. Still, a chance to ride my old bike has eliminated any buyers remorse about the one I am riding now.

All in all, I would recommend if you want to cover the basics of bike maintenance.

Yoga Hero

January 22nd, 2019 | Life

After my PT described me as the “least flexible person she had ever met”, she talked me into giving yoga a go. As Yoga Hero is just across the water from the office of a client I am currently working with, I’ve been attending their beginner’s classes.

They know their audience. They have a special lunch flow class designed to avoid getting you sweaty, something I am sure colleagues will be pleased about.

They run two beginners classes a week. Monday’s class is taken by Sophie which is quite strength and stretchy. You come away feeling the burn. Friday’s class is taken by Anna. That’s a bit more focussed on the mental aspect of yoga and I find it a little more relaxing. Both are fun.

One thing I would like them to add is a double-slot class. Anna’s classes end with a relaxation session where you use a blanket, close your eyes and spend some time being mindful. I feel that would transition really nicely into an hour-long nap, and I would pay twice the money for it.

Cycling to the office

January 21st, 2019 | Life

Many of the clients I consult with are based around Leeds. And, where possible, I like to walk to their office. But sometimes it is just not practical because of time, or distance, or needing to get around multiple places.

The solution: cycling to their offices.

The timing is pretty poor. It’s cold and dark almost the whole time at the moment. But, if I can manage it now, it’s going to be far better in the summer.

Worfolk Anxiety adds three more languages

January 20th, 2019 | News

Worfolk Anxiety is predominantly an English language website. However, for years we’ve also had some of our best articles professionally translated into Spanish and Portuguese.

As of this month, we’re also making content available in French, Estonian and Polish. Depending on the results, we’re looking at adding more languages in the future, allowing an even wider audience to benefit from our help.

Evans Fix It course

January 14th, 2019 | Sport

Last month, I attended the Evans Fix It course on bike maintenance.

It was supposed to be an hour’s course and cost £15. As it was, we ended up getting an hour and a half of tuition for our money. It covers the basics: parts of the bike, the M-check, changing a tyre, cleaning and a little bit on adjusting gears.

There were only two of us on the course, so it extra friendly, and we were able to look at specific setups for our bikes. We call ran disc brakes, for example, so could skip over the rim brakes content pretty quickly.

Plus, we got to see the secret downstairs area, and you come away with a goodie bag containing cleaning products, a multitool, tyre levers and a patch kit. All in all, therefore it was great value: 90 minutes of learning, plus a load of useful stuff that I needed anyway.

The only drawback was that it was a demonstration, rather than a hands-on exercise. I was a guinea pig for a course at Woodrup the week before, and in that we got hands-on, changing the inner tube on a tyre. There is no replacement for actually doing it.

I would still recommend the Evans course, though, because it is still a bargain. Ideally, do both. I’m not naturally mechanical, so I’m looking for all of the learning opportunities I can get.

New BACS scam targeting charities

January 13th, 2019 | Life

As a charity trustee, I’m certainly no stranger to being targetted by dishonest people. Individuals regularly pay for their insurance or gym membership by setting up a Direct Debit using the charity’s bank details and companies never check; they just take the payment. It happens so much that we’ve had to disable Direct Debits on the account.

But I was, well, impressed is the wrong word, but certainly noted the attention to detail that a recent scam attempt had taken.

I received the following email:

Hi Chris and HNY,

How are you?

Can you arrange a payment today by bacs ? Let me know so i can send
you the Recipient details.

I look forward to getting a quick email respond.

Thanks!

Best regards.

Laurence Eccles and Dr Chris Hassall

I’m the current treasurer of West Yorkshire Humanists, and Laurence and Chris are the co-chairs of the group. So, this sounds like a legitimate email. But it’s from an anonymous gMail account, who had I responded, would have almost certainly asked me to pay a large amount of money to an account they control.

They have clearly targeted us individually, though, researching the name of the committee members and setting up the appropriate fake email.