Sunday, December 31, 2006

Darwin Awards 2006

Ah the annual Darwin awards always make me smile.

Stuck in the middle

I felt like crap all day, mostly hung around the house playing counter strike. I did spent some time helping my dad work on his project but we didn't really get far. Sometimes I think he wans to fail, he just never seems to want to try anything always finding reasons it wont work rather than making it go. We got a couple of bits working but it need a lot more effort to get the whole deal sorted. I have not idea whether it will get any futher.

This evening I went for a quiet drink with Bruce and Phil. We went to the Unicorn, it was quiet and relaxed we talked about a few things had a couple of pints and came home. I tried to have a game of Counter Strike but a there were a load of idiots stacked on one team trying to improve their rank. Their act of all assigning onto one side unbalanced the game making the game unplayable for others.

I will never understand the rational of playing a game were the odds are so stacked in your favor losing is all but impossible, it just seems boring you need an element of competition to make it worthwhile. I guess some people just prefer to see their name at the top of a board rather than actually experiencing the actual play needed to get there.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Climbing up the walls

Not a lot has been happening in the last few days, yesterday I managed to get to the gym for an hour I doubt its really going to offset all the damage done by Christmas excess but I guess every little helps.

Last night I went out to Wilmslow with Paul and Ian, we headed to the Bollin Fee. Its not really a place I like these days and it was no exception. I felt like about 60% of the people could die and it would make the world a better place. I guess its pretty bad to feel that way but they are just arrogant ignorant idiots. Of course the fact they are able to score with chicks while I am single also raises my ire.

To be honest I left my house feeling tired and a little bit unhappy and after a few drinks I felt a lot more unhappy. Christmas is not a good time for singletons like myself. Happy couples seem to be everywhere laughing at me, I realise that is paranoia but it is still the way I feel. To be honest I should not have gone out I just went under felt very self conscious and out of place.

Still it was not a total blow out Ian had a perve, Paul had a dance and I got very drunk on red bull and vodka.

Today I felt in a daze, hangover are definitely getting worse or I am getting more soft or a combination of the two. I spent the morning, well what was left of the morning after getting up at 10.30; watching Pulp Fiction, its a film I love but haven't played in ages. The characters are just so real and the dialog is incredible. Such a great film, I think its probably my favorite film of all.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Shirk

I spent most of today trying to learn some thing new, yes its true I have become something I always despised. When not at work I have begun to seek out work like tasks to do in order to keep myself busy. Amazing it has only taken 2 years and I am completely conditioned to work. I heard the other day that people how carry on working are happier and live longer than those who give up. I wonder if it is an emotional thing (needing a job to feel useful) or a monetary one, the extra cash from a job helps to afford the things which keep you going? I guess a bit of both is true people are not totally motivated by any one thing, with people things are anything but clear cut.

My mum' friend came over she is obsessed by a neighbours cat she took care of for a month, its all she seems to want to talk about. I kept thinking there must be hundreds of rescue cats who need a homes.

This evening I was meant to go for a drink with Nick but true to form he changed his mind about 10pm, I ended up going to Jono's house for a cup of tea. In fairness to Nick his girlfriend Becky has had a bereavement in her family so she need plenty of tlc at the moment.

Had A moment of weirdness, well almost deja vu as I walked out of Jono&¢39;s house I could hear loud dance music coming from somewhere, I walked to the end of the road and it was coming from the Fairhurst' barn, how random made me thing of the old days. I wonder if the youngest sister has now reached the partying age?

I still have no idea what to do on new years eve, the latest plan is to go to the Bollin Fee, its in first place as its local cheap and should have a reasonable number of women for Ian to weasel on. Ali is going to the Braz but at £25 just for entry and then having to battle with the pretentious more money than brain cells lot doesn't really excite me. I mean an old guy I used to do some work for goes in there trying to pick up girls younger than me.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Just a shot away

Some night I feel a little like I am not actually quite there, I am with my friends I am sat talking and listening, yet I have this weird sensation I am not entirely part of the group. This feeling might have been due to the fact I am tired or that I wasn't drinking with the others so they were drunk to my sober.

Regardless tonight was one of those evenings for me. I went out with Paul, Pippa, Woller and Phil to the Kings Head in Cheadle Hulme. Paul and Pippa seemed to inhabit a separate world, mostly self-absorbed in a subtle subtext I could only loosely follow, Ian was obsessed with the women, Woller seemed tired and withdrawn and Phil was on a mission to be drunk.

The situation made me start thinking about an article a read recently, a psychologist suggested that our mind is like an actor on stage. To all the people watching the actor seems to live the role. The people behind the scenes are the ones really directing their actions. Perhaps I am not really in-control maybe my free will is really an illusion like the matrix, it only works when people believe they have a choice even if the choice is obscure.

Paul seems to think it would be a good idea for me to write a book. In truth I would love to, the idea of something with my name on sat in a bookstore would be incredible. I have enjoyed writing this blog even though the quality is pretty variable and [in its very nature] self obsessed it gives me pleasure to be able to release some of the ideas in my brain. The problem is I find it hard to keep onto on message. Anyone who has read a few of the blogs will posts I have written will have noticed a mix of feeling, comment, ideas, and dreams. The idea of focusing everything on one piece of text is somewhat scary, what if no one liked it? An even worse thought, what if I hated it?

Actually, I am being slight hard on my friends they were all in a good mood this evening, we had some good laughs mostly at each others expense. Ian did his best to chat up a rather beautiful young woman. We thought Ian was going great guns, if a little conservatively. After a little banter and a botched attempt to go over to further his mission the girl in question left. Silly girl!

I have a dilemma about new years eve I still have no plan, I have been invited to two house parties, one at Martins and one at Pippa's. I can say the idea of going to Martins house and watch him have fun with Charlotte and be boisterous has little appeal. Going to Pippas has merit, nights with Paul are always fun and Pippa is lovely. Unfortunately last time I went to her place I made a complete fool of myself. Getting far, far too drunk and generally not ingratiating myself with her friends, I am not entirely sure its the best way to go especially as I would have to make it back the next day from London and be in work on the 2nd.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Day Bordom

I found it very difficult to wake up this morning, I really did not need to last few drinks, I even remember at one point thinking about stopping even talking to Ian about it but I carried on regardless.

After a large coffee, some juice and toast I felt able enough to tackle my presents. Bruce and Phil bought me an I-Pod shuffle its really rather small and nice perfect for the gym. Becky had hand made a rather beautiful card. Paul got me a Rakes cd which is very good.

I spent today eating, Christmas lunch was amazing, sausage meat, stuffing roast potatoes cooked in goose fat mmm. I spent the afternoon feeling overfull and playing counter strike source.

By the evening I was very bored and ended up watching Rushmore on TV drinking whiskey and retiring to bed.

Christmas Eve 2006

Ah, Christmas the season to be jolly, eat too much and drink even more. Other the last few years we have had a tradition of visiting the Rectory in Wilmslow. This year was no exception, a group of us met in the queue outside the Rectory. Danny, Ian, Nick, Phil, Bruce, Becky, Paul, Pippa and Myself. We met up with Paul's ex step sister Emily her boyfriend and some of her friends who were already inside.

We had to queue up to get into the Rectory and when we finally managed it the place was heaving. Undaunted we headed upstairs found a spot round a table, ordered some drinks and got into the Christmas spirit.

I proceeded to drink a lot chat to everyone, ogle girls, and catch up with people whom I haven't seen in years. Harsh moments included sitting next to Becky and Nick when they had a domestic. I worry about Nick he always seems so tired, I wonder sometimes if his pursuit of housing empire has become an end in itself rather than the means to become rich. Another difficult moment occurred later. I was cornered by Dan, he started giving me a talk about my blog and proceeded to list off my faults including the fact he thinks I 'try too hard', while I appreciate his concern it was maybe not the best moment. It is nice to know people care though, and in a quieter moment (or one when I wasn't completely sizzled) would have been more appropriate.

It was nice to see Woller he popped down later on in his car to say hello I guess, it was nice to see him. He seemed to have quietened down a lot recently still a funny and welcome presence though.

After we finally left Ian and I came back to my house for a couple more drinks and some setting the world to rights discussion.

Xmas Spirit

Picture of a crashed car
I apologise for the poor quality of the image. What you are looking at is a car crashed though the pedestrian Island outside the Bollin Fee Pub in Wilmslow. I was waiting in a queue to get into the Rectory pub across the road when it happened. I did not want to lose my place in the queue in order to have a closer look.

The scariest thing for me was that only about five minutes earlier Phil and I crossed the road at that very point heading to the Rectory.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Old School

As usual with Christmas time I have been trying to balance commitments between family and friends. This morning my dad brought my great aunt round for tea. She was in the Christmas spirit seemed happy to see us all.
I went to the gym for an hour did some cardio work. In the afternoon I went down to Ian's lockup to be the official photographer for the gypsy's playground revival. It was weird but fun to hear Ian, Paul, Berger and Paul R play together again, there seemed to be a lot of creative energy. I took about 200 pictures wading around snapping people with the flash turned off. The are some really great pictures but a lot of chaff to be weeded out.

This evening I went with Phil, Nick, Becky and Martin to Jo and Holly's place for a pre Christmas party. It was very grown up with conversations about marriage, children and life. There was also beer to be drunk and fun to be had a nice warm up for Christmas Eve.

Becky seemed happy apart from the usual fighting with Nick, she was talking about what to wear tomorrow. There were no single ladies at Berger's shindig so I was asking Becky whether any of her single friends would be joining us tomorrow. More important though is whether she will be kind enough to introduce to them!



It was good to see Holly in a positive mood New Year new job really hope things work out well for her.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Amy hit the atmoshpere

The osteopath made my back and neck crack in interesting ways I felt slightly bruised afterwards. He believes he has freed some fused joints so it should improve. I will have to go back in a couple of months and I have some stretches to try. I hope that by changing my posture and workstation along with the exercises I will be able to avoid any long-term RSI effects, fingers crossed.

This afternoon I spent looking at the photos from last night. Unfortunately, the sound on the film recording I made turned out pretty poor the bass notes were so loud they rather overwhelmed my camera and resulted in clipping. Same as the video itself is good.

I watched Futurerama and read some of my economist double issue, the theme is about quality of life. It's a scary statistic that in all countries that have grown in wealth the proportion of people that say they are happy has stayed static. It seems we are our own worst enemies we only feel good when we do comparatively better maybe that is why we are driven to keep up with the Joneses. It's something I can definitely understand succeeding in a lot of ways, but I cant help comparing myself to my peers. In that comparison, I could make some improvements. This drives me to try to improve. The only problem is other people compare themselves to me and will also try harder it's a rather scary cycle really. As Bill Bryson says 1950's America used its increase wealth not to increase leisure but to work harder to buy more.

My mother's friend Michelle came round tonight so we had a huge beef bourguignon it was very tasty. No one I spoke to wanted to play out so I stayed in played counter strike source and listened to music. Tomorrow is Jo's party so I am sure I will make up for staying in tonight.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Sandbox Xmas

Yesterday was a good day, I mostly relaxed finished Bill Bryson's book the Thunderbolt kid. Its actually a really decent read for his take on 1950's America. In the afternoon I went for a job it was cold but I made a decent distance travelling into Bramhall and back.

My parents and I went to the Lai Quila for a Curry, I had my usual Chicken Tikka Sizzler with jalfrezi sauce it was extremely tasty and I didn't feel too guilty eating it because of my run, I am sure it helps ;)

The evening activity was really the high point, it being Sandbox Xmas party at Jabez Clegg. I went down with Ian Phil and Bruce, Phil being kind enough to drive us into Manchester. It was quiet a reunion with all the usual suspects present. I even remembered to take my camera out so there are photos here. It was wonderful that everyone turned out, I am sure Paul and Sandbox appreciate the support. It was really nice catching up with Emily its been six months since I last spoke to her, she was looking well and seemed really happy about the way things are going in London so I am very pleased for her.

Paul's set was first, he accompanied by Jo Berger on bass. It has been a while since I saw Paul play so it was a nice pre Christmas treat. His set included my personal favourite of his tunes, right side of the tracks. I think Woller's new girlfriend was amused that we were all singing along. The addition of the bass added a nice extra dimension to the songs and was good to hear, he seemed to be enjoying it too. The set culminated with an awesome rendition of peculiar way.
Jo Berger and Paul Aiden Playing
After a brief paused for a few drink's it was time for Sandbox to play their set. It was a more acoustic ensemble with Andy playing a drum kit cut down to a shaker and cymbal, Greg on an acoustic and Will playing a Piano (well a keyboard with a Piano sound anyhow). The Christmas songs were a nice touch and they sounded good in this cut down sound working pretty well with Lennie's singing. The crowd seemed to enjoy it too.
Sandbox playing
I had a great evening; it was relaxed and happy with so many friends about. Though I feel I might have got a little too drunk too quickly, I started drinking with my parents before heading down to the gig so I was feeling a little cooked by the time Sandbox were on. A vaguely remember chatting to Emily's friend and saying goodbye hopefully I was well behaved. Next thing I remember was getting a Berger from the Godfather then some haziness, then bed. Next thing was my dad waking me up to head to the osteopath for 9.30.
Group shot around table

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Steady, As She Goes

After doing well not very much today over than tweak Becky's website which is looking a little better but I still need to add something to make it more pleasing on the eye. I am not terribly sure about the colour scheme either.

I spent some time talking to Becky she seemed reasonably pleased though suggested a few things which I will add. I front 'splash' screen with a bigger logo and a picture of the horse box.

This evening went out with Bruce Phil and Nina to the Unicorn. Nina was showing off here diamond engagment ring its very pretty square cut one. She was in good for we had a chat about their plans for Christmas. Looks like I will continue the tradition of going to Bruce's house on boxing day for more eating and playing monopoly. It was a fun evening we were all in Christmas moods laughing and joking a nice evening.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Secrets and Lies

Something I was reading reminded me of an interesting conversation I had with my friend about how to lie successfully. Now I like to tell stories and one of the most important things about stories is manipulating the information to present it in a meaningful and hopefully interesting manor. To often people add too much detail or conversely too little. If information is too sparse sometimes things have to be added to spice the story up.

Anyway I digress, basically it is easy to lie. Most of us lie frequently either by embellishing reality of inventing it. For example most people would blaime traffic rather than admit they overslept. The trick of course is not the lie itself but whether the other party believes it.

My friend believed women are better at telling lies because they are more imaginative and therefore able to invent better supporting stories for the lies, and are better able to remember the details of the lie allowing it to endure, and as we all know lie to yourself long enough and you start to believe the lie.

For me there are several things important in not being detected. Most important people must trust you. It might seem obvious but we naturally distrust people unless they are 'experts' like doctors. However we implicitly trust a lot of the people in our lives and that means its easier to swallow their lies. Details are important, but more important is sticking to the story. Often especially with big lies people use a series of lies though all seemingly innocent present a conflicting argument sometimes ever contradicting the earlier lies. This will undoubtedly lead the recipient of the lies to question the evidence (unless they are particularly trusting (or dim :P).

I am not great at telling lies, though I will often lie or avoid telling the truth in order to avoid conflict or just out of laziness. Sometimes I lie to people for amusement either to see if they will swallow or question. I found a site which purports to help one lie better but I disagree with one of the major points. Part of their argument is avoiding people you have an emotional attachment with as they know your baseline behaviour and because you have an attachment you will not be able to lie as easily. I think the opposite is true you can only tell big lies to people who trust you like a partner how else do people live double lives and cover huge secrets in families over generations even? I am also sure I remember reading a study which proved its easier to lie to your partner but I cant find any reference on the internet if anyone know about it please tell where I can find a copy.

Baby Gorilla

I spent the last couple of days visiting a friend. Yesterday we spent wondering around Bristol trying to do Christmas shopping but not really doing very much.

This morning we went to Bristol Zoo where they work. I haven' been to a Zoo since Toronga in Australia. I didn' get to see the Lions they were hiding probably due to the weather but I did see some very cool animals my favourites were the penguins and the monkey island.

All of the monkeys apes and lemurs were fun, but the gorillas were something else, one of the females had just given birth on Friday and had a little baby gorilla he was so tiny and cute. His little body made a sharp contrast to the full sized male or even the 1 year old boy. The Zoo is well worth a look if you are ever down in the Bristol area.

This afternoon we sat in a cafe, and talked amongst other things what happened with Maia. It made me pretty sad going over it to be honest, not really because of Maia anymore more the situation she was another in a very long line of failed relationships well worse really a completely one sided relationship. I am having difficulty finding any answers I need to change and adapt but to what? Answers to that on a postcard if you have them!

Lately I have felt more and more detached from my life its so unfulfilling only glimpses are enjoyable the rest utterly forgettable.

I guess I am tired done a lot of driving the last couple of days I will sleep on things see how I feel tomorrow.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

No Surface No feeling

Today I was lazy, I stayed in last night watching a series of terrible films Bruce had acquired and steadily drinking lower grades of beer. We finished the bottle of Vodka I started after coming home from Belarus I think it was the final nail in my coffin.

I spent the morning watching grand designs by the fire then reading the paper letting my body recover. This afternoon I wasted playing Counter Strike thought I did manage to fit in a jog into Bramhall. It was cool not cold though bit of my body were sure freezing by the time I made it home.

This evening I went out with Martin Charlotte Simon and Phil; we went to the Unicorn, the normal staffs were out partying in Wilmslow. Blond girl was in I noticed a ring on her Finger, she must be getting hitched. Marriage seems like it's in the air at the moment. I was quiet nice to see Martin and Charlotte I don't seem to mix with them very often we had a chat a few drinks. X-Factor was on tv and it totally captivated Charlotte and Simon I cant say it does anything for me. I feel a little drunk now just topping up from last night I guess. I had an interesting chat with Charlotte about race and sense of place. We started talking about how basically Europeans are a mix of eastern African and Celtic people. Then got talking about how Australia as basically a country apart is so differnet with its huge number of marsupial creatures in stark contrast to our own. I tried to make the point that the Dingo a symbol of Australia is actually an introduced species its only existence in Australia for about 4000 years, whereas people have been there for 30,000. The Tasmanian devil a marsupial is closer to a native dog than the dingo, though the dingo itself is probably the closest wild Dog left, wolves are wild but not really dogs and the thanks to the long domestication of dogs the rest are feral rather than wild.

I came home to find videodrome is on TV David Cronenberg is sure one sick puppy but a genius in film. His ideas are so lucid and inventive such a break from the generic Hollywood fare.

Friday, December 15, 2006

One day left

Only one more working day until I finish for christmas, I have 4 days holiday to carry over whihc I need to use in January I might try and have a long weekend break somewhere.

I did some more work on Cheshire Horse box hire it is still far from finished but there is now an enquiry box I found the php in one of my dads books. I alo also used CSS styles to apply virtually all of the design. In fact its taught me quiet a bit about css, not that I have become a guru overnight it you take a look its still very basic page.

Went to the Unicorn with Phil this evening, had drink and a chat. Julie was working the bar havent spoken to her in months. Phil was telling me the story of his wireless installation apparently Dan nearly got trapped in a roofspace, there was a few minutes when they were seriously thinking about calling the firebrigade, and Phil nearly demolished the mens toilets. I the end the job seemed to go pretty well.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Presents from afar

I got home from work today to find a package from China, Lulu card and present had finally arrived. She sent me a card and a really wonderful copy of a famous Chinese painting. It is massive I was going to photo it but its too big, I am reallly impressed such a lovely item, I hope it wasn' too expensive.

Anyway thanks very much for such a wonderful gift. It is a shame it took so long by the looks of it the package did not leave China until 1st December.

This evening I made it to the gym for a jog my arms are still too sore for weights. Tried to do some more work on Becky's website managed to get the enquiry form working. I am still not happy about the design but it its good as a starter for 10.

xargs

Found a really useful tool today call xargs used it to copy a list of files, I had a file "static.list" which had a list of files which I needed to copy one per line.

Running the following

cat static.list |xargs -t -i rsync -v CB_DATA/{} rsync://192.168.0.226/opt/advancesbak/CB_DATA/

Run the rsync command

rsync -v CB_DATA/filename rsync://192.168.0.226/opt/advancesbak/CB_DATA/

for each filename listed in "static.list"

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Amelie

I was tired this evening so after Japanese class I stayed in and watched TV and caught Amelie a film I haven't seen for years. I forgot just how well films acted and truly beautiful this movie is. Ameile is a confused young waitress living in modern France (warning it's a subtitled film), she has lived an dysfunctional and introverted life. Basically she comes to the realisation that she can improve the lives of those around her and that helps her to feel happy. This vicarious life helps many people in her life (and by dint makes the world at large a slightly better place). Along the way some of the people who's lives she influence learn to love her and herself find love.

It truly is a wonderful film full of hope, the sadness of isolation the discovery that interaction can be fulfilling. The cinematography is simply amazing there are so many visual tweaks hart-warming moments. They all contribute to the film as well not just special effects for the sake of it.

Perhaps I am being overly sentimental but it really cheered me up if you have never seen it RENT IT NOW. I wish one day I could work on something so beguiling, so wonderful.

I missed out on going to see a concert tonight I was meant to be doing a remote in overtime for work but things changed at the last minute and it was cancelled I left my phone at home and missed my opportunity. I still owe Jo for the ticket as well.

As I missed out on the concert I went to the last Japanese class of the year, it was pretty hard had the first proper listening exercise. I still barely know Katakana andAmelie / being sentimental next year we start learning Hiragana. I guess in time things will come to me.

I was thinking today three people I know who are about my age have decided to get married this month, Mo a girl used to work with, Maia and now Bruce. It is strange how things can change so suddenly. I messaged Maia to tell her the irony and had a bit of a chat. She will keep her name as that is the Italian style apparently. Initially they are going to live with his mum until they find a place to live. I guess that means there is hope for me if he is thirty.

Yes your right I am stupid I should not torture myself speaking to her its never going to happen I know. I would not be the nice guy you all know and love/hate/feel ambivalent to if I did not remain friends with people long after I should leave well alone. It is the part of me that rushed into a breaking up someoen else fight that just cant stop sometimes.

I have been trying to work on a website for Becky, www.cheshirehorseboxhire.co.uk. Its still in the early stages, I hope I can achieve what she wants I am not really a very good web designer, I just tried and do something to give her a presence.

Congratulations Bruce

Bruce dropped a bit of a bombshell this evening he proposed to Nina on Sunday and suprisingly she said yes ;) So congratulations Bruce and Nina. After Maia this makes two of my friends soon to be married. I am very happy for them and wish them all of the best but at the same time I am worried that I havent even had a girlfriend for god knows how long. I worry that I won't ever meet anyone.

Ungrateful


The massive upgrade on Sunday I arriced at work at 7am and worked until 1pm. I rolled out a number of big upgrades onto the system but for all my effort rolling out a big upgrade with very few hitches did I get any thanks? No of course not! I had thought stupidly after such an intense few weeks getting things ready it would calm down a little but the intensity was still there. I am just glad I have holiday next week need a rest.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Wasteland

Today was a day of nothing much read the economist, it had an incredible article about organic food and "fair trade". Their points were in brief, organic food is terrible for the environment as it uses whole lot more land to produce the same amount food. Farmer's markets and local production might be worse for the environment after all which is worse full loaded trucks carting well packed food or lots of people making trips in their cars to pick up a salad?

Fair trade got the biggest hiding. In short the author felt Fair Trade is basically a tool supermarkets can use to add onto the price of good without passing much benefit onto farmers. According to the article usually only 10% or less of the extra cost is passed on so if you pay £ extra for a tin of coffee only 10p extra goes to the farmer and maybe 60p extra to the supermarket. Fair Trade is also in its simplest form a subsidy on production its effecting proper markets. For example coffee is overproduced so its too cheap however does giving handouts to farmers encourage them to diversify?
Obviously it is a much more complex issue and I have only briefly outlined some alternative arguments however its very interesting to look at the other side of the coin I think, I will definitely think twice next time I am in a supermarket.

This evening I headed out to the comedy night it was hilarious best one I have been to in ages even if I did get ripped into by the compare. Debra Jane Appelby was particularly funny she really got everyone laughing. There was also a dizzy blond women in the audience who was almost a comedy act in her own right!

Work in the morning 7am start for a software roll out so I better get to bed night night.

No more lonely nights

Everyone made an early dart from work today as the Christmas do was happening this evening at the Belfry. As everything is static for Sunday's upgrade I worked on a few little pieces of work it was actually quiet a productive day I managed to blast through several of the low priority bits of work.

I called up Paul this evening, its been a awhile since we last spoke. He seemed in an upbeat mood was talking about a new possible record deal. It also seems there might be a revival of Gypsies playground I remember going to see what I think turned out to be the last proper gig at Marple College so it would be great fun to see the rebirth. Especially as they have all been working on their own talents since those days.

I talked to Paul about Maia, I guess it's hard for him to understand me. Its not that I have something for foreign girls its just I seem to live a lot of my life vicariously and sometimes the people I meet online are more interesting in that I can actually talk to them then most of the women I meet in the UK. I spent many hours talking on the phone and online to Maia before I ever agreed to go and see her in Belarus, I won't deny I liked her and nothing really changed. We just were not right for each other she wanted to be in Italy and she has found someone she likes who can get her there anything else is between them and I wont speculate. I don't know whether I will go to her wedding though.

I could talk all night about how alone I am and how I feel but I think I have already been over it, I liked someone they felt differently or I missed my opportunity that is the story of my life I cannot change the past only work on improving the future. Perhaps one day I will meet someone who lives nearby and find me attractive maybe not such is life.

Tonight I stayed home and watched a film with Bruce it was a trash horror called "see no evil" about a killer who takes peoples eyes (geddit!). It was pretty awful formula stuff with toe curling violence thrown in. It didn't really shock me though I guess it wasn't real enough or I am becoming hardened to it who knows?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Heart Shaped Box

I went for lunch with my parents today, originally I offered to buy it for them as a treat following my bonus last month. By the time I made it there though they had ordered and wouldn't take my money. Oh well Ill have to find something else nice to do. I still need to buy them a Christmas present but I have absolutely no idea what yet I will have to look around for inspiration. Lunch was nice once we found a table the Couch and Four was incredibly busy, I had a Club Sandwich always tasty :)

I did managed to sort out Bruce Nina and Phil out with tickets to see Regina Spektor in February at the university. I saw her there last January and it was one of the best concerts I have ever been to.

Just got a link from Phil, Chad Vader day manager very funny

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Student Moan

I am vexed! I went home for lunch to find I have received another statement from the student loans people today depressingly payment of £1000 has only cleared £600 off the debt and my previous interest charge has been revised upwards. Thanks very much SLC!

Opening the rest of my mail provided further annoyances, the inland revenue has rejected my corporate tax form they want to see more documents quiet why I have no idea the idea of chasing my for documents when I owe nothing seems quiet absurd however that's what they want so will have to compile something for them more work. I make so little of my hosting "enterprise" I cant afford to hire an accountant to put all the figures together. The government really must hate small businesses because they pile on a lot of needless paper work.

At least work is going well I put my changes on to the training system and it all seems to go pretty well.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I saved the world today

I am wiped out tonight I have been really busy this week getting everything ready for the big software upgrade on Sunday. It has been pretty manic trying to knock off remaining issues. Unfortunately working fast and on several things at once has introduced nearly as many bugs as it cleared. I made a real effort today spending the day trying to debug everything. I think it was worth it as it finally looks as if we are ready to go live, as a bonus it also helped me to ignore the news from Maia. I started to put together an implementation plan and realised I have modified a rather large number of programs tables and data its going to be a big upgrade indeed.

I felt so tired after work I just could not find the strength to get to the gym, instead came home watched 4400 pilot warmed by the fire. Raining and wind are pounding my room, its dark and horrible outside it only makes my mood more dark.

I am getting a bit worried having major wrist and elbow pains I think it might be some sort of repetitive strain injury. I think its because I use a laptop for work its going to be a real problem if I wasn't able to work. I guess maybe it could also be I overdid it at the gym and using a keyboard makes it worse. I am really afraid to go and see a doctor but I am not really sure what else to do. What if they said I had to stop using a keyboard I would lose my job my career. I also am rather afraid of doctors irrational I know but I am a plenty irrational most of the time.

I am off for two weeks for Xmas I might hold on until then take it easy on the PC front give my arms some rest. I know its stupid to blog when my arms hurt but hey what difference will a few minutes writing something I enjoy make when the damage is already done.

Paperback writer

Just had a text out of the blue from Maia, she wanted to tell me shes getting married. I replied and told wish her congratultatons. When my ex and longest term girlfiend Jenny told me she was engaged I felt almost entirly without emotion. I had not even thought about her for a very long time so I hardly was a surprise she was moving on with the life. In this case though this one text message caused me almost physical pain. I thought I was over her, well not over we never existed as a couple only a strong link. Clearly my heart is ruling my head on this one, my head know sit would never work and there plently more fish in the sea but still I feel why not me?.

Oh well back to work, back to trying to forget.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Feature creep

Its taken a couple of days to get over Barcelona, arriving back from that sort of trip at 10pm and getting up in time for work at 8am the next day are totally contradictory. I have been a little in a daze and there has been so very much for me to do. The last few months we have been slowly improving a number of aspects of our software culminating hopefully in an upgrade on Sunday, however people seem to keep finding last minute tweaks its not good I would have put a moratorium on if I could however the choice is not mine so new changes keep going in. It's really hard to stay on top of things

I have tried my best to keep everything maintainable and well documented but the pace is so quick so shortcuts have had to be taken. We did a load test today it the changed held up a heck of a lot better than last time however a few new bugs were discovered I hope I can fix them quickly.

Japanese was fun tonight we tried doing some speaking / listening exercises pretending to be someone else so I was a female Belarusian quite funny really. I have enrolled for next years term so looks like this is going to be a long term thing. I am enjoying it but I its hard. Tonight the college had a kind of gathering afterwards I tried to make a Crain but it was a bit of a mess really it was nice to have a chat with some of the other people from the course though.

Viva Espania

All good things have to come to and end and this was our last day in Barcelona. It was only a short trip after all. We had been saving the best for last after though. After packing and checking out we headed off to waterfront for a final and very tasty tapas lunch sat out in the sun. It was lovely just sat there eating watching the waterfront and the people we took it leisurely and drank a local beer with the food.

IMG_0158.JPGSaving the best for last the next destination was Sagrda Familiar. This place just truly blew my mind.  Firstly the sheer size is mind boggling then I started to appreciate just how ornate and intricate it is. I think if I didn't have a plain to catch I could have stared for hours as it was I managed a walk around a few photos and we had to leave for home. A walk, metro to the train and we were back at the airport headed for home.

Saturday in Spain

The weather took a slight turn for the worse (you can see in the washed out photos) the temperature dropped to 16c and there we some small showers at lunch.

Undeterred Phil and I headed off to Montijuic riding the metro to Placa d'Espanya. We then went on a very long walk indeed from there up the many steps of the Font Magica. IMG_0120.JPG
stopping at the top for the most expensive can of Pepsi ever 2.50 Euro! Then round the rounds to the Olympic plaza and stadium stopping to look at the massive communication tower.

Finally we headed up to the Castell de Montjuic which we walked all the long way round opps. The view from the top (when we finally found it) was spectacular, you could see the port on one side and the whole of the city on the other. Certainly worth the walk.

The cable car we intended to catch down wasn't running so we had to walk some more down to the Metro station. Feeling tired we went for a few hour Siesta then out for a Japanese meal then on for drinks at you guessed where Margarita blue ;)

Monday, December 04, 2006

More Barcelona Tales

Friday the weather was nice (by English Standard) sunny and about 19c. After getting up late with hazy head Phil and I explored the remaining part of the Ramblas and Gothic quarters. We grabbed a sandwich from a little shop neat the hotel, it seems rather than butter/spread they Catalan spread tomatoes on their bread. It is actually very pleasant especially with Iberian ham (a little like Parma ham).

Consulting the guide I read that the Picasso museum is the single biggest attraction in Barcelona so we decided to go and take a look. The museum occupies several old buildings knocked together to form an impressive space, its laid out in chronological style so you can see Picasso go through many styles from more traditional through to cubism. You get the feeling he just never stopped painting three is just so much work there and you can really see the different styles combinations and influences. The only negative is that there are none of his really famous works and the layout can be a bit confusing several times I wasn't sure which room was next. It is certainly worth looking around you see a lot of excellent artwork.

In the evening we went for probably one of the best Thai meals I have ever eaten at a little Thai place neat Estacio de Franca. After which we walked down to Port Olympic to check out the night-life. I don't know if it was the time 11pm or because it was off season but it was dead most of the bars empty and lots of aggressive sellers trying to push is in. We had a drink in the Irish Sailing club watched some boxing then headed back to Maghria Blue. It was heaving the barmen were working together in a production line to make enough Mohitos!

Back from Barca

Had a great time in Spain, they just have so much more of a relaxed culture. Enjoying good food, excellent drinking and plenty of fun this city is simply a joy to get around. There is always something else fun around the corner. The pics are online here

Lost Passport

Phil and I arrived at Barcelona after two hours a cramped but quick Monarch flight, he was mumbling and fumbling around in his bag as we approached passport control, I went through he stood there for a few minutes fumbling then ran back to the plain, a few minutes later he sidled up to passport control looking sheepish the women sighed closed her booth and disappeared off with him. After 10 minutes he finally got through. He left his passport on his seat but by the time he got back tot he plain the door was closed!

Trains to Barcelona

We decided to grab the train into the City it was only 4.40euro for the both of us it was pretty quick two we were in the city in about 30 minutes. Things started to go wrong here I got confused about the stations we got off at the wrong place wasted a ticket on the turn style stupidly before finally working out the blindingly obvious underground map. Fortunately we kept our cool and made it to the hotel. Very well placed on Via Laietana, right on the edge of the Gothic Quarter.
After a checking in we went exploring the Ramblas, which are the old part of the city full of narrow streets populated with shops bars and restaurants. We had some excellent Tapas for lunch then wondered around some more winding our way round and round the streets not quiet lost but not entirely knowing where we were.

Evening

After a siesta shower and change of clothes we went out for a meal and quiet drink. We eat a rather nice Paella and drank the local beer, then we tried out a number of the tapas bars eventually finding our way to Margarita Blue. This was a cocktail bar Ian would have been proud of and was our last stop every night. Located a short stomp away from the hotel. It offered great Mohitos on tap and measures that cheered our hearts. On the first night we chatted to some English girls who were studying in Barcelona to be honest Phil did most of the chatting I was feeling pretty drunk at this point. We made it back to the hotel at 3am and slept in late Saturday. I got woken up by the cleaners hung the DND sign on the door and went back to bed ;)