Tuesday, January 30, 2007
After class I had the pleasure of meeting Nick and Mike for a drink. I stuck to diet coke, its still January after all. It was good to see Mike it has been a while. Ever since he became a father I have seen him only infrequently so it is always quiet fun having a chat. Nick was tired as usual, he has been having trouble with his lettings one of them caught fire after a tenet feel asleep holding a lit cigarette.
Monday, January 29, 2007
I need to take some action stop being a stay at home boring nothing, I have hardly done anything this month. Though to be honest, I seem to have timed it so all my big bill hit in January not the best planning ever. I will have to raid some of my savings accounts in order to pay for everything. I guess on the positive side at least I have savings, rather than having to get into debt.
I have now been alcohol free for nearly a month to be honest I am looking forward to having a drink soon! I would have saved money except I spent it on Amazon buying books to try to learn about web services. Unfortunately, they mostly sit on my shelf unread. I only ever really use them for reference I am falling into my dads trap.
I managed to have a bit of a chat to Lulu today; she is still addicted to World of Warcraft and prison break! Oh someone asked my why she is called Lulu its not a very Chinese name and you would be right it isn't as I understand its an anglicised name as the Chinese doesn't go into English very well (hope that is correct ;)
I had basically a geeky day in fact apart from going for a swim (for the first time in months) I mostly spent the day upgrading SuSE on my works laptop 10.2 is great it even does the power management properly (provided I add a few extra modules to the autoload). I also tried to get the new server up and running but it still refuses to boot, I think its cursed to be honest.
Someone took it upon themselves to give me a major dressing down for living at home, and not being married yet. It was quiet depressing and they had a point but what am I meant to do, I can't really see a point in moving out to a really crap area where I would have a constant struggle affording to live. As for the lack of relationships I am working on it, just I haven't been able to meet the right person yet.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
I stayed in and watched a film with Bruce and Phil this evening. Called Severance the film was a cheap British slasher. Focusing on a group of weapons company employees on a team building retreat in Eastern Europe. It was quiet entertaining shot in a post-modern ironic style lampooning some of the horror conventions whilst keeping a certain level of tension. I especially liked the Russian chicks with guns scene after the British person could not work out how to fire a rifle.
Friday, January 26, 2007
Today I have had two meals out :) bad me, I gave blood good me and I sorted out some bits and bobs for Ian.
The first meal out was lunch with my dad and my great auntie, since my great uncle died my dad often goes round to see her she was in a fine mood today having a joke about Harold Shipman of all things.
After work I went to a blood drive at the parish hall, I missed my last session as it was timed to be the night of Sandbox's last gig. It was quiet; the quietest I have ever been too, the nurse told me the earlier session had been manic though. The donation went ok though the nurse bruised my arm a little. When I went for a cup of tea afterwards one women's arm started bleeding badly, the nurses rushed into action and it was soon sorted out but was scary for a moment.
For dinner I went out with my parents and my mums friend Kath to the La Quila for a curry, as usual the food was excellent though the services was a little sub par. The waiter forgot some of our order and seemed to have selective hearing when I was asking for some water.
Ian bobbed round this evening; I only just beat him back from my meal. He wanted his website loaded onto his laptop (and my Apple) so that people coming to a show he was doing could view the site whilst getting a drink. Contrast, on Ian's laptop had to download and install a web-server to load serve his website whereas on the Apple on the Mac had to click one button to turn on web sharing and copy the files on. I could not find a way to make safari go full screen though that was a bit of a blow.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Continuing the randomness this evening I got back from the gym to find a message from a very anxious co worker, something was up with the subversion repository a quick check reviled another colleague had accidentally deleted part of the repository. It was fine on a version from 6 minutes earlier, I can only imagine his tool foo barred badly.
Finally, more annoying than weird, the server once again made it difficult for us to install our software. This time it looks like the CD drive has failed the damn thing is cursed I am sure!
Went for a drink with Nick and Becky at the thieves neck, I still stayed off the beer (but ruined it later by eating chocolates oops). Got a look at her Blackberry, I must admit the new model looks a lot better then the ones from my previous work. Though still on the big size it is functional and easy to read email, I still would not buy one though. I thought it is a little strange that she has a phone and a Blackberry; I guess contracts get in the way.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Today I was forced to sit through a meeting with the big wigs and our competitor as usually I was a junior there. I just had to sit and shut up whilst the competition walked all over us, sigh. Fortunately they aren't half slick as they imagine or they would really be able to cause issues.
I am just about entering pre school for Japanese class, today were learned the equivalent for this, that and over there, found out that the Japanese don't use 'or', they say is this, is this. Its different, it actually allows us to put a lot more vocabulary to use now we can construct more sentences though. I am hopefully going to put some more time into learning Kana this week as I was pretty woefully bad looking up words.
I found out my Apple has a built in Japanese (and Chinese) virtual keyboard and character set making it much superior to windows. It the text on the header doesn't display is say HiI which is Japanese for yes.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
This evening I walked into the gym it was wet and cold did an hour and a half picking up heavy bits of metal then walked out to find myself in a picture postcard scene. Snow was falling and my car was already dusted with an inch of snow, I love snow it really pretty brightening up winter.
Bruce braved the inclement weather so we could look into an email problem, then go to the pub. I stuck to diet coke I still have managed to stay off beer so far this month, only 10 more days to go. I haven't lost any weight yet though, I really need to diet but its been very difficult with my parents always make so much food. To be honest it’s the worst thing about living with them, I have tried on several occasions to speak to them but its always the same old story they say one thing and do another, I find it incredibly frustrating.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
The first amusing thing about the evening was that whilst waiting for Ian in the foyer of the cinema I was able to survey the storm damage, the powers that be had forgotten to take down the Christmas decorations including one super-sized snowman. Said snowman is now laid across the front of the cinema the wind delivering a knock out punch.
Once Ian arrived we grabbed the tickets and made our way upstairs the cinema was rammed obviously Rocky appeals to the masses. Then the second funny thing, some guys were walking round dressed up as Rocky and Mr T, the Rocky guy even dank some raw eggs! Top class funny stuff I don't know if they were paid by the cinema or just some mad fans, they were entertaining though.
It was a very inspirational tale, continuing on after Adrian's death Rocky has little purpose in his life a son who cannot find his way out of his fathers shadow. After another anniversary of Adrian's death spent wondering old hunts and a chance meeting with Marie a character from the original he decides to get back into the ring. His application for a boxing licence coincides with a computerised match-up of Rocky (in his prime) against the current undefeated (but unloved) world champion.
OK the plot is thinner than Tesco value wafer thin ham. However its all inspirational stuff Rocky battles ageism prejudice and even has the media mocking in I guess a kind of self parody of the film concept itself. Also and not to ruin the film he doesn&39;t actually beat the champion and the fighting is pretty artfully done. I must admit I enjoyed myself and even managed to empathise with the characters. I do wonder what the point of the Marie character was she alone the impetus for Rocky to return to the one constant in his life? I am not sure Stallone (who wrote and directed) had a clear idea other than she was a mirror for Rocky, living a mixed up and unhappy life.
The atmosphere in the cinema during the film was high it reminded me of seeing the premier of Star Wars episode one, all the expectant fans clapping the opening shouting out. People whooping when the infamous training scene started, yes he really does run up the stairs again and yes it real is cool!
Bruce managed to get hold of an S-Video connector for my Mac, I just gave it a quick try. Oh dear why did I wait so long, it was unbelievably easy to set up ticking two boxes over-scan and optimise for video resulted in the best picture I have ever got out of my TV! Another example of the famous Apple it just works design, and on that fanboy note it must be time for bed before I embarrasses myself some more.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
The not drinking thing is leaving me with a lot of spare time in the evening I am really missing going out to the pub, and have managed to spend most of the money I have saved ordering stuff from Amazon to keep me occupied, only half a month left!
Japanese class is getting harder I think, Hiragana is quite a bit more difficult then Katakana thanks to the fact several of the characters are virtually identical except for a line or two. I had fun in class though Eme is a good teacher though she does tend to rush us through, perhaps one day I will make it out of Pre School!
I got a letter through asking me to donate blood, I was meant to just before Christmas but I really wasn't in the mood. I think I will go to this next one, it will my ninth donation. I think that means I have donated my own bodies worth of blood so far!
Whilst looking up my next working out men's health I that the average age to get married these days is 27. Looks like I am bucking the trend. Talking of marriage, I spoke to Maia today. She has had a falling out her new husband's mother, looks like they will have to find somewhere else to live. I would not want to start out married life on such a negative note, so I guess I should count myself lucky.
Monday, January 15, 2007
I went round to Nick's house last night, handed Becky her present she seemed to be pleased which is great. I had her and Nicks holiday pictures printed and put into an album, I was a little unsure if it was a good idea or not, but if she enjoy it that's all that matters. I think Nick was pleased to see them as well.
My legs ache this evening I was going to use the cross trainer but they were al in use in fact almost every runner all the cross trainers and most of the bikes were being used I had to wait a for minutes to get anything. I hate January for that so many people join up to the gym go mad come lots. I think people come to the gym too often don't see results quick enough or simply burn out in the first couple of months. By the end of February things are quiet again, and apart from a bit of extra activity before summer with people desperately trying to get fit for the beach, then again the month before Christmas party season.
In my experience losing weight and changing body shape isn't something that can be done overnight. Admittedly I have taken a long time over it, but that because I never dieted, I simply cut back a little on snacks and exercised more. Its taken years to drop the weight but at the same time I have more tone and am much fitter. Personally I would not trade these extra benefits for some quick weight loss which leave you body tired and emaciated. Prefer to have a bit of meat and tone it up, I guess your mileage may vary.
I might rework my previous post into something that's not quite so crazy I might not time will tell. I do not usually like censorship but in this case I went a little too far despite my openness on this forum there are still a lot of things I keep to myself I think this is one, for now at least.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
I slept in late this morning, felt a little wearisome, watched some TV then went to the gym for a jog. I managed 60 minutes on the treadmill just under 9KM (though I did have to slow down for the last 10 minutes). I seem to be fortunate in that my fitness hasn't dropped off given thanks to being ill this was my first session of the year.
This evening went out to Matt and Phreds for some food and jazz. I drove still being off the beer, somehow I ended up in a rather uncomfortable position next to Phil who seemed to be on a mission to get hammered and Jos friends who seemed to want to ignore my existence (until they wanted a lift back). I was seated opposite Holly and her lovely friend Liz which was a bonus. However due to a lack of Dutch courage and the volume of the jazz, it was hard to talk to anyone.
Bruce and Nina were annoyed at the fact they paid way too much for their share of the bill, someone clearly didn't put enough money in. We stayed until about 12.30ish then made a move. Jo asked if I would give one of his friends a lift home, I was hoping it was going to be Liz but it turned out to be the two guys who didn't want to speak to me. After waiting forever outside as one of them had to fix their tab we left. I was feeling short tempered and tired by now, amazing how beer helps me get through these sort of evenings.
Friday, January 12, 2007
The premise is that natural selection no longer works ads there are no predators and the ones breeding are at the bottom of society, so over several generations the IQ of the population has dramatically dropped. Commerce and tv all go for the lowest common denominator the corporations rule, water has been replaced by Gator-aid stupidity and base instincts rule. It was all very tongue in cheek but you can see the grain of truth in it. Worth a watching its a smart take on idiot culture and worth it for the parodies of Costco and Starbucks of the future.
In other news interest rates rose again today. Its the third time since August, in many ways as a saver this is great news for me savings rates have increased quiet nicely. It does make me twitchy though I could have taken a mortgage at a fixed rate already maybe I am missing out I hard to decided. I do know I want to get out the ladder though.
I haven't been to the gym once yet this year, I still feel ill, and I am putting it off because I know how crowded it will be. I do need to start training soon though I put on a few pounds over Christmas and I want to shed them and more before I jet to Shanghai, Lulu wants me to go with her to a hot spring so want to look half decent by then. I am still off beer though so hopefully that will help a little. Though we are all going out for a meal on Saturday to Matt and Phreds so I could definitely use some cardio work before that.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
I was back at Japanese class tonight, it was a real struggle after the three week Christmas break. We did our first lesson on Hirigana the Japanese alphabet used for Japanese things, I found it very hard going especially as now the text is read top to bottom and from right to left! Our first exercise was copying out the major 46 characters, in Japanese writing its important how the characters are formed we need to learn the strokes. Its a little like being back in primary school endlessly copying out the Latin alphabet. I feel like I know a little now but at the current rate of progress its going ot be a long time before I am even at primary school level never mind conversational, at least its interesting learning.
I have even been talking to Ian about going for a trip there, we spent a day travelling back from Australia and promised we would go back. No Faye is off the scene and Zanshin seems to be doing well perhaps later in the year we could go see Tokyo, Osaka. Here is hoping.
If you have made it this far in my blog perhaps stop now what follows is somewhat of a rant I almost did not post it all, and I might decide to delete it later. However for now I am vexed so here goes.
Several things today made me realise I am a crap capitalist. For example I give money to charity, I find it hard to collect money that's owed to me, and I actually pay for things when I could have them for free. Well the last one is more about morality than about capitalism, I suppose I should try and externalise as much of the cost as possible.
Most people do not want to pay for software, myself included. I mean who can afford to pay £400 for MS Office? The majority of home users do not, they pirate it, even in the face of excellent alternatives like open office or neo office for mac. Regardless now I am a software developer I feel sorry for the small software developers. Especially the lone gunmen who basically have usually on product and are at the whims of customers who don't want to pay. Today my friend asked me if I could get something for free which would cost him $20, elaborating it turned out this would save him hundreds of pounds. It kind of pissed me off to be honest, surly the saving justifies the cost rather than stealing?
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I tried to get on top of things at work today but unfortunately the harder I tried the further from the actual prize I seem to be. I am still feeling really tired and worn down by whatever bug I caught last week. Tomorrow is a long day as i have the first Japanese class of the new year, I have neglected practise over the Christmas break so its going to be a bit of a rude awakening I think.
I filled out my Chinese visa form tonight I just need to get Lulu real address or find a tourist company which will sponsor it. Should not be too much of a problem I hope. I went to one of those photo me places at lunch time it made a real criminal photograph of me, hope it will not count against my application.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
This is much the same with loans recently I heard an interesting tale about how a market leading company make there money on their headline loans. They ill call them company A advertise a market leading low interest rate. How can they afford to be so cheap you might ask? Well actually its easy they money is not being made from that loan, in fact only a small proportion of the people applying will qualify under the rather strict lending criteria. What bank A will do however is bury a clause in the terms and conditions which allows the customers details to be passed onto a third party. The declines leads will be sold to a broker who will attempt to place these customers. Bank A will get a fee for these leads and a kickback for any loans sold to these customers, the bonus is the risk of lending and the work is passed to a third party. I think it is fascinating how the world of finance and insurance really works, money seems to move about in all sorts of interesting ways in order to spread out the risk and costs.
Ian was on good form this evening we had a good chat about life the universe and everything. We have been talking about taking a trip to Japan after summer its somewhere he wants to go and I would love to try out my Japanese for real.
I spoke to Maia today she seemed happy she sent me some photos of her in Italy, she is looking beautiful. I am pleased for her but I guess upset I cannot play a role in her happiness. Oh well that ship has sailed a long time ago time I should just let it drop its always my problem I find it hard to let go.
The new years healthy living went totally to pot today, there was far too much chocolate about, then pizza for dinner its all bad. Add to the my mum seem intent on feeding me. I stil have this foul cold it just dosnt seem to want to go, its really putting a stopper on going to the gym Some people advocate goign when it to "sweat it out" but it makes me feel worse doing that. WOuld rather wait until I am better plus the gym at the time of year is usually packed with people who will go religiously for a month then drop out between February and March.
I am rambling a little so I think I shoudl get to bed, I have to meet Becky for a chat about her Horse box hire website tomorrow. Plus I need to try and get my head round webservices so I do not look like too much of a joker next week.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Today has been a hard day trying hard to understand someone else work. Then when I was just about think about leaving receiving an unexpected and unwanted extra request pushed me over the edge. After struggling all day, after basically being left in the crap by another colleague, his current favourite habit is promising the earth leaving a half finished job for me to try and salvage.
I have been toying with the idea of visiting lulu my Chinese friend for some time so my late Christmas present is a flight to Shanghai. Weirdly the Cheapest flight I could find from Manchester is also the quickest there was nothing direct so I am going Finnair via Helsinki. Its is going to take 13 hours in total not something I am looking towards especially as I could not get much time off work (neither can she its the Chinese national holiday when I am there so I have to work around that). I am really excited about going I have never been to Asia before so it should be a really different experience. I guess its a little out of character for me to blow so much cash in one day but I really feel like I need something to look forward to work is really getting me down, only four days back and already I feel like I never left.
After booking I have spent a rather uninspiring evening preparing the game servers for tomorrows lan a few things are not as I want but it all works well enough to play on. Hopefully tomorrow should be a popular lan with most people saying they will attend.
Special thanks to Sarah for commenting the results of her personality quizz. I am still interested if anyone else fills out the questionnaire....
Friday, January 05, 2007
Had lunch with my parents at the coach and four, it was very nice. I had my usual club sandwich which they now server with chips and vegetable crisps. I was so full after the sandwich I actually had to share the crisps and chips with my parents, yummy. Tomorrow I am going out for lunch with a friend, so though I have been drinking beer I haven't exactly lowered the calories much yet. Mind you doesn't the old say go feed a cold?
I saw a really interesting thing on the fool. It is basically an article about what sort of temperament you have for investing. In the piece are links to a personality type questionnaire using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. According to the I am and ISTJ - Introverted Sensing Thinking Judging. I guess its a fairly decent approximation of some of my character traits, indeed one of the recommended careers is computer programmer. If anyone else has a go I would Love to hear some comments / emails on how well other people profile.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Personally I signed a couple including a petition to Scrap the introduction of ID cards and No to software patents.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
LifeWork was very difficult today, I found it incredibly hard to concentrate I am not on top form at all. I suppose I should have taken a day off but I don't want to be seen as a new year shirker.
I had to reinstall my dads laptop this evening he has been complaining to my colleagues and they passed the message on. This is what it is like to work at the same company as him, sigh. I think I put everything he needs on for the time being I neglected to install Visual Studio as it takes so long, and I need to do so myself tomorrow.
I am going out for lunch with my parents tomorrow my mum is on holiday this weekend dad only work Mon - Wed so we thought it would be a nice treat. I cant wait for my club sandwich :)
BlogsThe weird thing about blogging is that whilst I love the fact that people read my thoughts, I am absolutely petrified someone from work is going to find it I am not sure I would ever hear the end of it. I am already something of an outcast not really being part of either organization not sure I could take more stick. An even worse thought it that my parents would stumble across it, if they did I would almost certainly not feel the freedom to write what I do. Recently I have seriously considered giving this up and either writing anonymously or working on something else. Though at the moment I don't have anything else to work on so I am going to continue.
RandomI have been speaking on and off to a Russian girl recently she it quiet interesting in that she is basically completely idle and relies on her family and boyfriends (yes plural) for everything. She makes me seem self totally reliant! Its weird I am able to chat for hours to people on the net but I am unable to chat for 5 minutes to a girl in a bar. On new years I tried to speak to the polka dot girl and felt totally lost for works when really I should have been able to string something together. I guess I have a mental issue in that think that I am boring and so no-one is interested in what I have to say. In reality I am beginning to believe that isn't the case, at least I hope not!
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
This evening I had no energy left just sat and stared at my computer, I attempted to help Bruce with some access. I am honestly amazed at how hard it can be to do something really simple in access. It seem to do decent you need to resort to hacking code as the tools struggle to offer even basic functions.
I did manage to find a neat solution to updating webalizer using xargs which was pretty useful. I created a file with all the domains in and ran the logresolve and webalizer programs for each using xargs. I think this is much better solution than the current file with an entry for each one.
There is still no sign of the switch we bought for the lan, I am doubtful we will receive it time for Saturday. Bruce thinks he might be able to borrow one if needs must.
I managed another day of not drinking alcohol there are 29 to go. Its been easy so far I don't much feel like drinking while I am ill. Just got to sort out the rest of my diet. I read an interesting piece on wired about improving cognitive ability through diet and sleep, on which note bed is calling.
Monday, January 01, 2007
Bet lots of blogs have the above title ;-)Starting 2007 as I mean to go on I managed to go jogging before lunch, unfortunately for me the weather took a turn for the worse completely soaking me to the skin and making for a very unpleasant final mile. After last night though I am going to have to do a lot of jogging and try very hard to keep to my New Years resolutions.
New Years EveFirst things first view the pictures hereI got invited round for a meal round at Nick's house, Becky being the chief for the evening. I must say I was slightly worried when Nick told me she was the one cooking, I need not have though. The beef and vegetables was delightful, we all enjoyed it greatly. Ian, Phil, Nikkie and her friend James were also invited to the feast. Someone had set the table out wonderfully. Quiet the little dinner party in fact!
After eating, and boy did we eat cheese, beef, roast potatoes and cake I was stuffed. However there was scant time to rest as a metro cab whisked us off to Wilmslow to continue the partying. As there were seven of us we needed two metro cabs I think we drew the short strew as the driver neither knew the way or n fact seemed to know how to drive properly. Fortunately for us it is only a short journey and we managed to arrive in one piece.
Inside the Finney things started getting hazy, my blood alcohol level was rising rapidly. There was lots of chatting, photos taken, jokes told and women ogled. Though I never did manage to pull the beautiful girl in the polka-dot dress though :-(
I think everyone had a good evening I know I enjoyed myself I even had a little bit of a dance (after drinking sambuka and vokda ;-) Hopefully 2007 will be a good year.
- No beer for January, made this one with Phil whilst in Barcelona should held with my second resolution.
- Reduce beer belly, I am 86 Kilos I think if I could get down to 80kg I would have a lot less of a pronounced beer belly so my aim is to be 80kg by next Xmas
- Stop social smoking recently the urge has over come me on several occasions it must stop.