The Wolf of Wall Street

I started reading The Wolf of Wall Street as soon as I saw the film advertised on the TV shortly after seeing The Great Gatsby in 3D in the cinema. I really enjoyed The Great Gatsby and it seemed that this was a more modern version of The Great Gatsby in some ways. As it happened my partner had a copy on the bookshelf so I grabbed it and found myself struggling to put it down -although I replaced the paper copy for an eBook version to have on my iPad for easier reading.

The Wolf of Wall Street
The Wolf of Wall Street

So far I’m only half the way through and am thoroughly hooked. I’ve enjoyed reading what the Securities Industry was like when it first started out and what Jordan Belfort did with his fortunes (what seems an unspendable amount of money), from the finest Egyptian silk bed sheets and feeding his drug addictions at $1500 per pill to funding his wife’s latest interests and hobbies.

The whole story is just mind-blowing and I can’t wait to see the film now!

Welcome to the world my baby girl!

This is going to be a real quick post but I wanted to introduce you to my baby daughter Florence who was born just a few days ago. Mum and baby are doing well and keeping daddy plenty busy.

Florence minutes old
Florence minutes old
Florence sleeping
Florence sleeping

I wish for her to have the healthiest, happiest, safest, most fun and most successful future possible. Welcome to the world Florence and good luck!

The bike ride of a lifetime

I’ve just come back from the most incredible bike ride ever!

While on holiday in Majorca, I was lucky enough to receive an invitation from my chairman (he lives out there) kindly invited me to join him for a bike ride. He has been cycling for 8 months or so now cycling every day if he can and is very fit and healthy.

My bike for the ride
My bike for the ride

There were many tough parts to this ride and it started with me using a mountain bike with rather wide wheels! Bryan was riding a beautiful Scott and we passed scores of pro cyclists and teams riding some very very expensive bikes!

Then there was the heat, which was around the 25ºC mark. A temperature that I rarely experience when cycling back home in the UK. Lastly, there were the mountains (or hills, it’s open for debate) that began as steady inclines and worsened to 10% gradients. We finished the ride with a soul-destroying 15% gradient, although by this point it seemed as if I was sprinting along rather than the snail’s pace at which I started out at.

I just want to point out at this point, that I consider myself to be a keen, fit cyclist and really love to sprint whenever I have an opportunity. I can tell you there was no spiriting on this ride! I had that feeling I wasn’t going to make it up some of these climbs – they were tough but I pushed on!

After the climb and mastered control of those wobbly legs as you inevitably now have, you are able to reap the reward of the most impressive, stunning views at the peak. But better than the views at the peak where the seemingly never-ending descents…I cannot recall ever cycling so fast, for so long! The lack of speed of the climb, combined with the very hot temperature and the increased heart rate you can imagine this doesn’t paint a pretty picture but the net result is what goes up must come down and I certainly cooled off with the air I passed through as I descended. On one descent my speed registered 37mph!

Lunch in the sun in Port d'Andratx
Lunch in the sun in Port d’Andratx

We stopped for a bite to eat in a gorgeous fishing village called Port d’Andratx, which Catherine and I had previously visited and is one of our favourite places from the holiday. After a sandwich and coffee in the sunshine and an opportunity to catch a breath, we continued on with the ride.

The bikes having a rest
The bikes having a rest

As we set out on the last leg of the ride, I had images of us cycling the reverse of our earlier climbs however we returned on a different route that was a little more forgiving for a cyclist like me, who is used to the flat!

After completing the ride I reviewed the stats from my iPhone App I had running (Cyclemeter) and smiled happily when I saw that I had climbed a total of 550 metres or 1,804 feet.

Will I do it again? Absolutely positively yes I will! Thank you so much Bryan.

With Bryan before our bike ride
With Bryan before our bike ride

Mums delicious brownie recipe aka SharePoint Brownies

I have baked these delicious chocolate brownies countless times using an old recipe my mum shared with me many years ago. I’ve even enjoyed them with many a friend, colleagues & customers alike. I often bake these delicious brownies for customers when I’m delivering SharePoint and Microsoft 365 workshops or deployments, hence they have since become known as SharePoint Brownies or Microsoft 365 Brownies or simply the mum’s delicious brownies! Many have asked for me to share the recipe, so here it is…

Delicious Brownie Recipe

Ultimately delicious chocolate brownies
Ultimately delicious chocolate brownies #SharePointBrownies

Ingredients

  • 140g unsalted butter softened and a small amount for lining the baking tin
  • 200g quality plain chocolate such as Lindt or Hotel Chocolat
  • 200g caster sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract / vanilla paste
  • 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk
  • 85g plain flour

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°c
  2. Line a brownie tin with a small amount of butter (7″ square tin is most suitable)
  3. Melt the butter and chocolate on a slow heat and then allow to cool slightly
  4. Mix in the sugar, a pinch of sea salt and the vanilla stopping once the mixture is a little grainy
  5. Whisk in the eggs and yolk one at a time, stirring each time until blended
  6. Add the flour and beat for a minute or so until thickened and smooth
  7. Pour the mixture into tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out with moist crumbs
  8. Allow to cool and cut into small rectangles slices

I hope you enjoy these delicious brownies (#SharePointBrownies #Microsoft365Brownies).

Review, rename and test

Review

It goes without saying…but whenever you download and use any code or script from this site, or any site for that matter, you should review and understand what the code or script is doing before you attempt to use it.

Rename

Using the PowerShell scripts that I share as an example. I distribute these scripts as text files as it provides an opportunity to review the script, after which you can knowingly rename the file. This also prevents any hastily or accidental execution of the script.

Test

And as with anything you download from the internet – you should test it in a dedicated environment prior to any production environment.