Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tainted love

I chickened out of the gym, my back still hurts and I felt tired after work. In truth I feel tired all the time, I have trouble sleeping I am troubled by many things these days.

This evening I went round to the Brooks to watch a film. They had rented a film about the Africans contribution to the French effort during the second world war called Days Of Glory. It was an interesting take on the contribution of some of the forgotten people of the war. I guess I always think in terms of the Russian or US fronts, and maybe the French resistance but here was the Algerians and Africans fighting for Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. It was quiet a depressing film the French treating the brave mostly Arab solders like dirt. No wonder the Algerian separatists caused so many problems later on.

Walking back from so many thoughts were running through my mind I am having a bit of a crisis. I spoke to a friend earlier this evening and I realised what I mess of life I am making. I have wasted the last year aiming for impossible romances, crying over the improbable. I have let vised two countries in search of someone special let my hope build my mind build up too much only to be left alone and unhappy. I have allowed other important things in my life slide, and fallen into bad habits. Sometimes I don't know who I am or what I want anymore.

I think I need to step back, relax and try to forget. So tomorrow I need start, to try and change. Attempt to break out of this downwards spiral. There are good things in my life, I just need to identify the piece I like and the things I can improve. Maybe drink a little less and be a little less negative then perhaps I can be happier.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sappy

Today was pretty boring I went swimming and spent most of the day mesing about with my pc. Ther are a heap of programs I am struggling to get working under Vista.

Had a very uncomfortable evening tonight, I think it part of the "joy" of buying a house makes you miserable. I met up with Bruce and Nina at the Hesketh Tavern, they were both looking tired. Nina was upset with Bruce's mother who seems to be doing a lot of work on the house, maybe taking too much responsibility. This is always a delicate balancing act this is an expensive and emotional purchase, Nina wants to feel its hers not Bruce's mothers, whilst his mum is helping Bruce out in his new home. I often get pisses off with my parents doing too much for my never mind someone else's. On the other hand she is pretty handy with a paintbrush and things probably wouldn't have moved on as far without her. Bruce just looked tired from working on the house, I dont think he appreciated being set upon. Unfortunately it was my turn next, I was planning to have two pints of normal strength beer, which I have always regarded as being under the limit. Bruce and Nina started giving me this whole lecture about units of alcohol and such, they were both adamant the limit if one pint, so I couldn't drink my second pint after that. Fortunately it was kicking out time so I dropped them off.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

mmm Simpson's

Bruce and I headed to Parrs Wood last night to take in the new Simpsons movie. I love the Simpsons TV satirical full of in Jokes and references. The film continues this tradition, Lisa delivers an environmentalist lecture entitled "an irritating truth" and at one point Bart wears a black bra on his head and says in a rather mousey voice, "I am the mascot for an evil corporation".

The main plot centers around environmentalism and religion. After a dark warning from grandpa Simpson, Homer does everything wrong and inadvertently causes the doom of Springfield after polluting the lake. He goes on to nearly lose his family (Bart even starts to idolise Flanders!) after moving to Alaska Homer faces some stark choices, will he be able to save his family and Springfield?

The only real criticism was the underuse and sometimes irrelevant use of all the other Simpsons characters. Monty burns, and principle Skinner had rather unfunny parts almost just to get them in. I suppose with such a wealth of material they just wanted to put as much in as possible.

I really enjoyed the film, I think they did try and take on an awful lot transferring it to the big screen. Especially whilst still working on the tv series. Some if it worked the main, there were some hilarious moments, both visual gags and dialogue driven. I especially loved the pig parodies, Harry Plopper and Spider Pig. Overall it should make you chuckle and feel good well worth a watch.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Lady

I woke up this morning and wondered why, why? My head was splitting my mouth felt like Id been drinking the waste water out of my fish tank. I knew exactly what did it to me,

Last night I went out with the some of the customers people. It is quiet rare they invite me to join them so I thought why not. I didn't have any other plans. Starting drinking straight after work is always little dangerous, no dinner (I am not counting the burger I floated on top of the alcohol later that evening.

Some time in the night I can of lost track of things I have some embarrassing memories though it was quiet enjoyable. I should have been more careful I wasn't out with my friend but with people I have to work with.

I basically spent the morning feeling sorry for myself and relaxing. I also seem to have pulled a muscle in my neck, I am not sure how but its really painful. It was quiet amusing though I think my company is sadly lacking the camaraderie that the customers site has. I suppose the age difference and geographical spread make it hard.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

In the sun

I went to the pub this evening and we were chatting that sort of drunken chat that idles away the time in between slurps of beer. It was nice to relax after a hard few days / weeks at work.
I tried out the weird argument someone made to me at work. Basically if you wave power you are creating resistance on the oceans. The ocean currents are mainly created by the movement of the moon, so as every reaction has an opposite dost adding wave resistance affect the moon? I think logically it should but in a really insignicicant way, just like dense mountains slightly bend time slightly (as described in Einstiens theory of speical relativity) but not so as you can notice despite their immense size.
I left work late and chickened out of the gym only been twice this week and both for cardio no weights yet, I am finding it hard to get back into a routine.
I have been thinking really hard to find some new exciting things to try, its really hard to find much wiht the weather being so bad though. This has got to be the worst summer I can remember.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Why Go

I have been thinking a lot recently about moving, not just out of my parents house, but away. England is going to the dogs, taxed to hell to fund a bloated government intent on eroding the freedoms we spent centuries achieving. The only problem is I am not sure where I could go.
Australia was amazing one of the best times of my life. I am just afraid of being more alone there than I am here. Plus unfortunately IT skills arn't exactly in demand, and I am not sure what else I am good at. Probably lots of things if only I could find the time and inclination to try.
I often think despite my perceived problems my biggest issue is the fact I have it so easy that I don't try hard enough. I need to find some ways to push myself harder.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Downer

I have just got back from the Unicorn where Phil and I were setting the world to rights. We talked about life a bit and I guess it tapped into a lot of things I am thinking about. It was enjoyable an enjoyable conversation. At the same time it made me think. For a long time I have been trying hard to fight the fact that in fact I am a quiet boring person. I work, I visit the gym, I go to the pub. Always the same, the same drinks the same places with the same people. How did I become so staid, am I so incapable of finding things to amuse myself. Perhaps am not quiet as clever as I believe.
Or maybe I am just pissed off that I underachieve, that I am a coward who take the easy route hiding away on the net because the real world is so difficult. How can I be so wonderful to people on line then such a disappointment when they meet me in the flesh.
There are 6 billion people in the world I guess that means most of us are middle table mediocrity, is it so bad? Why do I feel guilty about it, has the media really convinced me I should be more successful, happy and well rounded?
Perhaps I am jealous that so many people I know are getting on with it whilst I sit and brood unable to deicide how to move on. I wish I had Nicks get up and go, or Ian's people skills or Paul's star quality, but I don't. I am just an ordinary guy, no real flaws but no real strengths, its just life rich tapestry I suppose.
Perhaps I should just go to bed and stop rambling.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter vs Transformers

Saturday was consumed with PC building so I only managed to read about a third of the new Potter book. My mum got a copy from John Lewis for £5.

I made a proper start didn't get to start my copy of Potter properly until Sunday.
I read a good deal Sunday Morning, but I had to take a break in the afternoon to go visit the data centre, then help Bruce move some bits around his house. Its really coming along, the kitchens pretty much done the floors don't have holes in the floor anymore and the decorating is in progress.

In the evening we headed out to see the new Transformers film. I can still remember playing with them when I was a kid. Watching this film was an attempted at reliving childhood memories. The effects were spectacular, the transformers fought, lived with the actors. There were some annoyances, the plot was about as understandable as the Chinglish manual that came with my PC bits. I have no idea what the point of the security analyst / geek programmer were other than to have a beautiful girl ons creen. I would personally have confined it to the cutting room floor. Its worth a watch for the action, but its too long, too short on plot, and not really for kids there is a lot of adult humour and references.

I got home and hit potter hard, the story twisting and turning throwing the odd curveball. It starts out dark, and pretty much stays along at that level. Everything which Potter has endured thus far is firmly eclipsed (short of his parents untimely end) as the rise of the dark lord casts a dark shadow over the Potter universe. The usual trio, are nearly torn apart by the stresses and strains. A good section of the book read like something out of Lord of the Rings, they are cut off from the world facing incredible odd the situation worsening all the time.

Overall I enjoyed reading it though I do feel she hasn't quiet reached the levels of imagination she hit when writing Goblet of Fire. Too many loose ends were ticket off in a sort of screenplay fashion, I wonder it was aimed for the screen. A shame if so. I guess my biggest gripe with Deathly Hallows is how it ended. After everything Harry is forced to go through suddenly its over, very neat, there is even an epilogue. I am glad that its a series where Rowling has taken risks characters can and do die, the narrative can be gritty and real, examining issue like racism exclusion jealousy and love within stories about a teenage boy. Its certainly worth a read, especially considering how readable a writer she is. Somehow even complex narrative is always not just understandable but enjoyable. Would that I had even a modicumo fher talent I would be a happy man.

NeverAlways Be Lonely

Its been a bit of a mad weekend, for expected and unexpected reasons. Friday was a long day, I was meant to be catching Sandbox after work, but by the time I left work I wouldn't have had time to change, I felt tired and didn't want to turn up to a gig in my suit.
So my Friday night consisted of drinking a couple of beers and watching a dvd. It was a very very good dvd though, Pans Labyrinth. Its a film that crosses the dreams of a girls fertile imagination against a brutal backdrop of the end of the Spanish civil war. Well written well acted a good story this is the sort of film I really enjoy.
On Saturday my dads pc failed, this meant stress for me, as de facto pc guy I had to sort it out. I decided rather cunningly to give him my 18 month old old and to buy myself the bits to get a new one. I found aria were selling 4GB of ram for just over £ 100 and scan had a reasonable price on processors. I decided to go the whole hog and shelled out for Windows Vista just to give it a try. I would say Vista is a worthwhile upgrade if you have a powerful computer and like eye candy. Its got slightly less patronising pop ups then XP other than the box which pops up every time you want to install anything. I know its for security but does it really have to be that irritating. The graphics tweaks make Vista look good but switch between Windows has nothing on Apples expose. I was a bit worried when on installing Visual Studio it warned me about the incompatibility problems. I only had to download a 490mb patch to fix it.
I basically spent the rest of the day backing up, screwing together, installing and configuring this new machine, which was good really as I was feeling dreadful. Sometimes I find the loneliness consumes. I spend hours looking at photos of whats been happy times trying to cling to something good. I also find doing installs is a good way to avoid thinking about it, her.
To be honest I am angry with myself, my friend said it best. I make too deep connections too quickly so I end up hurt then shut myself away to avoid getting hurt again. Overcompensating in both directions like an emotional sea-saw. I supose things are not made easier by the fact the I received an sms telling my how much she was enjoying herself with her niece by the sea. Whereas I am sat alone, in the rain. I suppose it could be much worse I shouldn't complain my house isn't sat in the middle of a new lake right new. Bah the only problem is I feel guilty for feeling sorry for myself, but at the same time whilst other people have worse problems it dosnt actually change the way I feel, stupid emotions.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Fast cars and summer nights

Today has been a long day I made it into work for just after 6.30. My part of the upgrade went well but another failed causing all sorts of recriminations. I just thougt oh well bad stuff happens sometimes despite everyones best efforts, though I was annoyed that our software was blaimed when the problem was with something else which stop our system from working.

It was a good day though really, we grouped together and fixesd a whole bunch of problems it was a much less antagonistic and more productive than normal. I left early and headed to the gym, I have deinfatly been more lazy I found it hard to cope with what should have been a normal session. I think I will have to up my game a little.

Ian Bruce and myself went for a drink at the Kindfisher this evening. I was nice sat outside in the first dry evening for ages. Poynton seemed to have way more than its fair share of suped up cars, all coming and going hile we were sat outside.
We chatted about life, but mosty about houses. It seems to be the topic of the day these days thinking about when how and if we will move out. Bruce is ahead of the game in progress renovating his first home.

Ian seemed in fine form, its been a while since I last saw him. I think business has been good given the amount of thime he has been working, good news.

I spoke to of my skype friends today. We have been talking for a few months, meeitng whileshe was trying to improve her English. We talked about life and webdesign. She has taken a job in Cambridge to help learn English, a pretty radical step. She seemed to be enjoying herself, though. Skype was playing up making it hard to hear some of the conversation. She said Cambridge was like Harry Potter which I thought was an amuSing if not entirly inaccurate statement. Not that I have ever seen the place except for on TV. Se is very brave I am not sure I would have been able to go live in a non English speaking country on my first trip, I mean thats one of the reasons I chose Australia, one less thing worry about! She seems to be fitting in well hough the people are friendly and she has a Spanish friend from the same region, it wasnt planned so it just shows what a small world we live in.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Drive

I have spent the evening moving some more of my old Australian photos into my gallery. So many good memories, it was a great trip, I often think about going off and doing another. Phil was remarking to me we wouldn't even had seen mission beach if his car hadn't broken down there, yet I had some amazing times there.

Tomorrow I am in work for 6.30 the thought is keeping me awake. I should be tucked up in bed, but recently things have been so stressful. Seems like everything is a new critical project, its always a rush job, always fighting fires. It would be nice just onces to be able to enjoy a project and carry it though properly.

I am also thinking a lot about my life, and some changes I want to make. I think I have to start making some more of the opportunities I have rather than waste my life worrying about the past, I need to move on find some new things, new people.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Leaving Me Alone

Just had the weirdest interruption to blog writing, I sat down to write and felt something weird on my leg, I lifted up my trousers and found a snail on my leg! Very strange I must have picked it up on my shoe on the way back from the pub. It was a weird feeling, you know when you feel weird creeping sensations on your skin but usually is just your mind playing tricks, well this time it wasn't! The really weird thing was it was already dying, I think the salt from my glands did for it.

It was the second weird blog related thing this evening, I stumbled across an alternative cookies world! Personally (though this is Narcissism) I think my blog is the definitive, I have certainly been going for longer :-P

This evening I went for a quiet drink with Nick. I needed a drink to be honest today I had a company meeting. Whilst I think it was both constructive and overdue it was still hard going, I felt pretty worn out by the end.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

And here is another google recommendation

How to go to your floor quickly, I wish I had known this one in Shanghai.

http://view.break.com/327059 - Watch more free videos

Google aka Big Brother

Check out http://www.google.com/history/. If like myself you have Google account it could list every search you made, how many per day and even more if you enable the advanced options! Its either a useful wealth of information or a scary scary big brother system, I haven't decided yet, I sure hope Google still are committed to "do no evil".

Also amusing is the trends and things you might be interested in depending on your searched here was one of my top ten recommendations

PHP webservices

I spend the last couple of days experimenting using php as a webservice client so here are a few tips!

Installation on Debian 4.0


To get up and running you need, a webserver and working php5. It important to have php5 as the webservices pretty much don't work under 4.

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
apt-get install php5 php-soap php5-xmlrpc apache2 libapache2-mod-php5

edit /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini uncomment

[soap]
; Enables or disables WSDL caching feature.
soap.wsdl_cache_enabled=0
; Sets the directory name where SOAP extension will put cache files.
soap.wsdl_cache_dir="/tmp"
; (time to live) Sets the number of second while cached file will be used
; instead of original one.
soap.wsdl_cache_ttl=86400

Restart apache with "apache2ctl restart" and you should no be calling up php5. You might want to create a php.info apges to test by creating a test.php with the following.

// Show all information, defaults to INFO_ALL
phpinfo();
// Show just the module information.
// phpinfo(8) yields identical results.
phpinfo(INFO_MODULES);
?>

It should show your running php version 5.something and furhter down the page you should be able to see a soap section.

Simple Webservice Test


I use the .Net environment for creating web services and this foray into php was something of a test. It took me a while to get anything done as there are several php implementations of webservices none of which are very well documented. Eventually I saw the post by OrionI and it was enough to access my service. Because of the way the ms service works you need to use the SoapVar command.

In my webservice expects two doubles ratio and tolerance so I did the following

$pRatio = $_POST['xratio'];
$pTolerance = $_POST['xtolerance'];
include("SOAP/Client.php");
$namespace = "http://mars.glenfernassociates.co.uk/enmesh";
$wsdl = "http://10.0.0.254:8080/GearService.asmx?wsdl";
$sc = new SoapClient($wsdl);
$ratio = new SoapVar($pRatio, XSD_DOUBLE, "double", $namespace);
$tolerance = new SoapVar($pTolerance, XSD_DOUBLE, "double", $namespace);
$wrapper->ratio = $ratio;
$wrapper->tolerance = $tolerance;
$params = new SoapParam($wrapper, "GetPair");
$ret = $sc->GetPair($params);
?>

Magic mystery and junction boxes

My head hurt this morning, unfortunately thanks to my routine I find it virtually impossible to sleep in these days so I was awake before 9 feeling sorry for myself.

I spent most of the morning chatting to someone online, she told me I should have proposed to Olya. I was a little horrified at such an idea but she sees the whole a lot differently than me. We always have interesting conversations for it though.

I was also trying to use PHP to access the webservice I wrote for my dad. To be honest I understand why people pay for products that just work, I am using complex types for my webservice and php just can't seem to deal with them :( Failing with that I foolishly turned my hand to some diy.

The light on our landing for well over a year so I decided it was high time it was fixed. Hours later I was covered in crap from the loft and desperately searching for fuse wire after blowing the fuses. Basically its got two switches one downstairs and one up which can turn the light on and off. Unfortunately the electrician just used chocolate boxes and the light was removed months ago so it was trial and error wiring. It was also all in the loft which has no light and it very dirty. My dad and I both get pretty stressed out, it took hours and hours but eventually I succeeded in getting it all hooked up.

This evening we went to see the new Harry Potter (Order of the Phoenix). It is the longest and in my opinion one of the best of the books, a lot darker than the preceding stories. Obviously there was far too much in the book to squeeze into the film, indeed I think this one is the biggest departure from the book. It mostly got things right balancing between being faithful to the main story whilst cutting out some of the sub-plots. Some of the editing was a little clumsy, a few words glossing over some huge part of the book but overall it was an enjoyable film well worth a watch.

This was a big film release and so we didn't have to sit with the mob (and children) we splurged out on gallery seats. The gallery seats are on a raised area above the main seating. There are large plush leather seats, there is also a separate sound sound system and the best bit is free soft drinks, sweats and popcorn. Its a bit expensive at £16 a ticket its a bit pricey but if your the sort who goes to the cinema, and buys drinks and popcorn its probably not bad value.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Black Swan

I went to give blood after work, after picking a number and waiting in line the nurse handed me an envelope. Inside was a badge and a certificate apparently it was my tenth donation and praiseworthy! It was a busy donation session, they were understaffed and given the weather a lot of people had nothing better to do than give blood.

I had arranged to meet a few people for drinks later on, so it was all a bit rushed. Bruce arrived back from Gloucester and popped around. I invited Nick out and he gave me the good news that he and Becky have finally spoken and they were both coming out for a drink. Happy friends happy days. Bruce chauffeured us as he had already arranged to pick Nina up from a work do she was attending.

Phil arrived home from work just in time to change his shirt and eat three pieces of pasta then we headed out to the Kings Head in Cheadle Hulme. Jo and his friend Wally joined us. I hadn't seen him since before I went to China, he is working for some recruitment company in Didsbury. I think he misses the snow, I know how he is feeling I am missing the beach.

We all chatted and drank having a great time. I had a long drunken chat with Becky about life the universe and relationships. She and Nick were looking pretty good together, I hope they have worked it out. I remembered to take my camera out so there are some pictures here. Nick managed to get Jono to give us a lift home, I was really drunk (I blame the lack of blood) I think they poured me out of the car.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Even Flow

"Funny how time flies right before you yes and they don't recognise". I had a conversation early with Danny, we were suppose to be going for a drink but as usual work / life / things got in the way. After making plans to In a strange the way people sometimes have the same thoughts. We got talking about how fast times flown since we were all just starting out, finishing school and starting to make our own paths.

The conversation it reminded me I was only just thinking the other day, while listening to Lucky, it has been nearly 10 years since I bought OK Computer. Where did the time goto it seems to have flown by almost without me noticing.

I guess its not the time that matters its more the contrast, I remember thinking I had it all in font of me. Yet somewhere along the way I ended up as a typical company man, I guess I hoped for something more. I suppose I shouldn't complain I not really in a bad job I guess I just thought by now I would be more successful.

Tonight after the gym I came home and realised I came home and spent the evening watching house. Its a very entertaining series I wish I had that sort of self conviction. To feel totally clear in though, to believe n my actions. Its something to work on I suppose.

Snakeblood

Had a pretty meaningless day at work sat in an office with my dad, it was his last day after being effectively made redundant whilst I was in Turkey. Basically the owner of my companies second largest customer decide to close down their UK operations effective immediately. n response my company let go of all the contract workers including the guy who had been working with me at Freedom, and my dad.

He wasn't too unhappy though as he might have found something else at least in the short term so who knows. In order to cheers ourselves up we bought take away from Cheadle Tandoori. It was extremely tasty especially with a couple of cobra beers. Its near Roscoe's roundabout if your in the area and feeling hungry I recommend you give it a try.

I I had an Facebook conversation with Becky which spurred me on to get Nick out for a beer. We went to the John Millington for a couple of drinks. He seemed to think the Becky was ignoring him and didn't want anything more to do with him. I attempted to explain she was angry with him and expected him to make more of an effort than a few text messages. Its so complicated both of them have grievances but they both say there still in love. From my dispassionate point of view
I just wish they would get together and talk it seems like half the problem are the unspoken things that have been going on. I dont really know what will happen but I wish them both the best of luck.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine

This film has got to take the cake for its portrayal of the most wildly dysfunctional family in America. The dinner table scene was surreal the whole family tucking into chicken on paper plates and talking about why Frank tried to commit suicide.

Olive the bespectacled little 7 year old, who's only dream is to take her crown in the little miss sunshine beauty pageant. Pity she has a brother who "hate everyone", a heroin addicted grandfather, failed motivational speaker of a father, and a suicidal gay uncle.

While the story is very dark it has some wonderful humour from the Acerbic grandfather.

Worth a watch if you like indie.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Word Up

Spent a hectic day of bug fixing, and proved once again that people just cannot be trusted to actually test anything properly. Nevermind got to do something fun this evening to make up for it. There was no Japanese class instead a few of us went to Umami . I even took the train into Manchester, it was a little strange reminding me of the day I used to commute to university. Its getting to b a long time since was there now.

The German girl Martine arranged it and 5 of us turned up. Thats 50% of the class so not a bad turnout really. I ate a rather wonderful Japanese meal, surprisingly good in fact. Starter were a kind of fried king prawn dumpling. My main course was a very tasty noodle and chicken concoction.

After the food we went for a couple of drinks in Kro 2. It was a little noisy but they had several Japanese drinks including Kirin lager on tap. I sat chatting to Martine for quiet a while, we got talking about the Dark Tower, she had quiet an interesting interpenetration on Roland, and the ending of the series. I found it somewhat and anticlimax, whereas she found it amusing that near the end his strong masculine character tempered with the imagery of the roses surrounding the tower, and she liked the circular nature of the story. It was an enjoyable and different evening food chatting and a couple of drinks a nice relaxing time after work if only I could do so more often.

Monday, July 09, 2007

House of the rising sun

Had a strange day at work today, after Saturdays upgrade there was a very minor problem. It took me about 20 minutes to find the solution, there was a small error in a bug fix (not made by me!) which caused unexpected almost random behaviour. After that and a dressing down of sorts, I felt pretty disinclined to focus on the next job in the queue. Though I made progress in the afternoon. I sometimes wonder what hey expect, it wasn't my job, it seemed to work and was passed though testing, I am not sure what else I could have done, especially seeing as every change is expected yesterday.

After work I went for a run, it felt good just plodding along the treadmill, music playing like I was free. At least for the first 10 minutes then I got tired. Perhaps I overdid things after swimming yesterday and weights the day before my legs were tired.

I tried to chill out watching TV, but there was nothing on I watched mega-structures about the huge hotel in Dubai and a show about the Yom Kippur war in Israel. I never realised it was a part of the cold war played out in the middle east. With the Soviets supplying Egypt and the US Israel.

Phil came over and we headed to an empty unicorn for a drink. Not only was it empty thanks to the road works but virtually all the lagers were off so I ended up drinking Stella. We had a chat Phil had seen my pictures from Turkey and was asking about Olya. I told him about meet her in reception and going on to spend the rest of my time in Turkey with her. It was a really great trip and though its left me broke it was well worth it.

I just wish I could meet someone more local who's company I enjoyed so much.

Tomorrow I am going to have a Japanese meal with some member of the class. It should be a different experience, though I am totally inept it has been an interesting experience trying to learn Japanese.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Who is Tyler Durden?

I felt fine after drinking last night, I guess that Harp extra must be actually quiet light. It was a funny night just a few relaxed drinks and some chatting at the John Millington. Nice and stress free.

Nick was on at me to come to the V festival, and I must confess I would really like to their are some amazing bands playing. Unfortunately im already in the red after Turkey, what with all the trips there and the fact I had barley paid off China. Then no sooner did I reach home but I had to buy some new glasses. They came to over £300 after the lenses and sight test, so at least for a few months I need to be careful.

I had a free day today with nothing much to do. I decided to relax in the morning then went for a swim. I stupidly cycled there thinking a few minutes of sunshine meant better weather. Haha, I should have remembered the sunshine is just a trap to make you forget your coat. On the way home I was as wet as I had been in the pool!

This afternoon after watching Hamilton come third in a slightly anticlimatic Silverstone, I tried to get something done on my Dad's website. I proved impossible, I think I will have to either rewrite it or use a Windows server to host it, because try as I might I cannot get mono to run this webpage :(

I got a text message from Olya, apparently its raining on the black sea and today is some sort of valentines day affair in Russia. I wasn't entirely sure how to respond. I cant quiet work out if she is tormenting me, wants to be friends, is just bored, or actually misses me. I should really stop tormenting myself and forget about her. One of my friends told me my problem is that I form too deep connections too quickly with people so I get hurt. I think she is correct, and maybe I find it hard to deal with so hide myself away. Mostly I think I analyse too much and act too little. I just need to try and be more assertive, challenge myself and try and be a little less introvert.

This evening I headed to Phil's house to play on his Wii, he has bought another nun chuck so we were able to have two player boxing. So much fun, and actually a little workout. Next was gold then tennis. I actually managed to win at tennis usually I get thrashed :) The Wii is really a fun toy, really engaging and a lot more enjoyable than I imagined. I kind of really want one, though I am not sure how much I would use it after the novelty wore off.

I hope this post isn't too boring / rambling. I have found blogging really difficult recently, I feel pretty sad and am *trying* desperately not to totally lose it, and stay as positive as I can.

Save Me

I have done a lot today, I was in work for 6am to put some programs live. It all seemed to go very well which is about the best we can do.

I also went to the gym for the first time since before my holiday, I did some leg exercise. I have lost some strength but I just about managed a session. I felt a lot better for it afterwards.

This evening I went out with Nick, Bruce and Phil. It was a lot less harsh than last night. Rather than just complain about our love lives, we had fun, chatted about nothing and everything setting the world to rights.

Met Mark Dunnington at the pub, its amazing to me that this guy is married witha job as a policeman and a house. I remember when he was a reprobate, it just shows how much things can and do change. He reminded us that Ian and Paul are going to Amsterdam with them for Emilie's fiancée stage do, should e fun for them!

I picked up my new glasses today (pictures below). My eyesight has changed a great deal since I last was tested so much one of my eyes basically wasnt wrorking, crazy huh! They have pretty much bankrupted me as they were a rather unexpected expense. I got a card through the pot and decided to follow it up. I last had a check in 2003! I shouldn't have left it so long my eyes have reall changed, and work should really pay for the test as I work behind a screen.

I got some texted off Olya today she met and argued with her ex and was feeling not the best. It was great to hear from her but I was a little stuck on what to say, I just want her here with me now but it impossible, so no point on dwelling on it.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Power out

I went for a drink with Nick tonight, he was in a strange mood really. I think his break from Becs is having more of an effect than he would care to admit. Whats frustrating is they dont talk to each other about it. I think if they just sat down together and had a frank chat some, maybe enough could be sorted out. Mind you what do I know about it I am not exactly doing great when it come to relationships. I hope they sort things out.

I am missing Olya greatly. I sat at work today looking out of the window at the rain and the cloud wondering what the heck am I doing here? Post holiday blues perhaps, I should be happy I have a pretty ok job, a little money I am just mad at myself for taking the easy route, living with my parents, not taking risks its no wonder I cant find anyone who loves me.

I have to work tomorrow, early, its not helping my mood so I better get some sleep hopefully I'll feel better or at least be able to find more perspective.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Feeling frustrated

Going back to work was difficult, there is so much going on.

Ian's wireless link has been suffering recently so I had bought a new access point, well second hand from ebay access point. It has been sat in my room for weeks, only when I took it out to set it up it didn't work. Its broken! What a pain I was so annoyed I smashed it to pieces with Nick's sledgehammer.

I went round for some beers and a chat setting the world to rights. He seemed a little sad but trying to make the best of it.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

How to rotate videos

Whilst I was away a took a number of videos on my camera side on, resulting in side on footage. I didn't realise it but with quick time pro you can actually flip the video really easily.

On an Apple Mac open the film in quick time (this only works in quicktime pro), then choose window, then show film properties (shortcut apple + j). Select the video track then visual settings. There you will find the options for rotating, resizing or flipping the film.

Also I found this really useful page on how to make screenshots in Apple OSX.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Compromising

I haven't finished all my Turkey posts yet but I am getting there, I have spent most of today just going through my photos rearranging things and writing blog posts.

I did watch the film American Splendour which I thought was pretty cool. About the man behind he comic book of the same name it was shot in a challenging but pretty interesting way. One of the better biography's I have seen, they usually tend to be over-long and obsessive but this seemed to manage to encompass the majority of the import bit without detailing too much minutiae.

Went to Japanese class and totally fucked up in front of the German girl, I just got completely confused. It was the last lesson of this year, so a break until September I already can hardly remember 20% of the words I have learned I cant even imaging how bad I will be in September.

Becky came round to pick up her hard disk, I showed her the pictures from my holiday and we had a chat. It seem things are not exactly rosy between her and Nick. I wont detail it but neither of them are very happy at the moment. I can see it from both sides and I count them both as my friends so it was a very difficult conversation. I really hope they manage to patch things up, I think relationships have there ups and down so you have to be prepared to compromise at some point if you want to carry things on.

Final Day

I am sat in the airport in Dalaman, I arrived at 2.30 and my flight isn’t until 4.55. I had to wait until after 3 for the check in desk to open. It has been a heck of a trip, I have managed to do many activities and see many things. Emotionally its been a bit of a rollercoaster. Today things were much better and as Olya waved goodbye I felt very sad to leave.

I was a relaxed day with out anything to do. We both slept in late, feeling tired after the diving, karaoke and drinking yesterday. Missed breakfast we went out to lunch, at the Baran bar. They do pretty tasty food and have air conditioning that is just the job for lunchtime heat.

The Turkish seem to be a nation of traders, everyone wants to be your friend, at whilst there is a chance they can separate you from your money. Good never have an actual fixed price you just have to haggle your way down and often this can mean right down. They do work hard though most of the bar staff seem to work all the time; it was the same people in Baran at lunchtime as the night before.

After lunch we went swimming then I sorted out my taxi, tour guide Ben managed to get it for 40 Lira cheaper than I arrived so that was a bonus.
Olya and I had dinner together than I packed and we went for a final drink on the strip before the taxi would pick me up and 1am. It was a weird evening felt close again (I am a glutton for punishment arn't I) she even wanted to sit on the beach together, it was pretty nice, I was sad to have to leave.

I had a last minute panic as I couldn’t find my driver straight away but fortunately we hooked up and I was soon whizzing down the country roads to Dalaman airport. Arriving way before my flight was due giving me a chance to sit here and start documenting my thoughts.

I caught something on the tv behind me it was a bit of a parallel life experience. I haven't really seen the news all week so it was weird to see a piece about the UK terror alerts on TV especially hearing prime minister Gordon Brown.

Diving

Though no longer together Olya and I seem to have patched things up enough that she still wants to spend time with me, especially as Luba had already headed off home.
Regardless I wanted to try doing some diving and Olya was keen to give it a try so we booked onto a day trip with Marmaris dive centre. I opted to stick with the beginners group as she was pretty nervous about the whole experience.

They were pretty good with Olya, giving a Russian-speaking instructor despite the fact she was the only Russian on the trip. He ran her through the basics, 1 breath, 2 equalise your ears, 3 clearing your mask. The rest would be taken care of by the instructors. The dive would be to 5 meters only and the instructor would tow round Olya.

Thanks to my PADI cert I was allowed to join in but not be babysat. We got into the water and though she tried hard Olya couldn't breath through her mouth so I was impossible for her to dive.

I sat on the bottom waiting having my photo taken, then went on a short dive. When I surfaced she told me about it. I was sad she couldn't join in. It did mean on the next dive I was allowed to go out with the experienced divers so at least I go a proper dive in. It wasn't the most impressive diving though. After the Coral Sea and the barrier reef in Australia seeing a few ancient amphora just didn't impress me much.

This evening Olya and I went to Baran bar, a sort of karoke cocktail bar, I got quiet drunk on Efes larger. So drunk Olya managed to talk me into doing Karoke, I have never tried it before, always finding some reason not to. I tried to inject some humour into it and choose The Beatles — Back in the USSR. I even switched Moscow Girls to Ukhta as its Olya home town. She didn't even notice!

Jeep Safari

Today we went on the pre booked Jeep Safari tour, Olya was friendly but withdrawn, despite renewed attempts to be more decisive and manly the damage is done, the gate is open and the horse has bolted.

The jeep safari was a fun trip, piling into 4x4 Jeeps, 6 people per jeep, each jeep was armed with a load of water pistols and bottles of water, which we threw over each other at any given opportunity. It helped to keep cool in the hot air.

First stop was a track overlooking Marmaris, the view was superb. After a short drive on the motorway we tool the jeeps off-road thundering round dirt tracks whilst trying to soak each other as much as possible was quite amusing indeed!

The only problem was we were a bunch of cheap people in our jeep, we couldn’t afford to buy extra water pistols like the people in the other jeeps had done. So we tended to be on the brunt of the soakings.

We stopped the madness for lunch, and then continued on to what I would consider the highlight of the trip. Stopping off at a river and waterfall. It was very pretty all trees and water. We jumped from the rocks into the waterfall pool. The water was cold but refreshing.

After 45 minutes wondering round the waterfall the next stop was a village in the mountains where they made honey. The guided showed us the Turkish Viagra honey, and a wishing tree, you had to walk around the tree three times touch it then make a wish.

We refilled out water bottles tried some honey and after the stop tore off down the back towards home. We had one last water fight before heading back to Marmaris.

Tonight I am sat only in my room, I have hardly spent any time here before now, I guess I will do so much more during the remainder of my trip. I suppose the difficult thing of it all is that she was right in many ways. I am not the most independent person, and I live my life in a kind of bubble, certain activities taking up most of my time. I am not very manly either; I have always been quiet and a little shy. I never really noticed how indecisive I could be.

Kervan Saray, and how it all went wrong

I had to work up to this post, the memory and the pain are still very fresh, and what is worse I could have just kept my mouth shut for two more days and it wouldn't have been so bad. I had to go buy a pack of cigarettes a drink before I could start.

The day had been a fun if tiring one, after the aqua park we were tired but Olya wanted to go to the Turkish nights show at Karvan Saray. Ben the tour operator we have used all week picked us up at 7.30 and took us to the show.
The shows consisted of a traditional folk group who did Turkish dances, a belly dancer, and a male belly dancer, and fire breather. To finish the night off
We were seated with a group of Russians none of whom spoke English. I was also he only man, which meant they expected me to fetch and pour drinks, apparently it is a Russian custom.

After we returned from the show Olya was on a high, from the Vodka and the dancing. We went for a night swim in the sea and said goodbye to Luba Olya's friend who was returning home that evening.

We went back to Olya's room, and I felt she was being really frosty with me, and because of the drinks I had consumed, and the fate of being ignored while everyone spoke in Russian I basically decided completely stupidly to rock the boat. I guess subconsciously I knew there was a problem; I just underestimated the effect the question would have.

Olya not only confirmed that she was unhappy but went on to tell me, "I like you as a person, but as a man I don't like you at all." She didn't stop there though, "you are like a child", in that I am not independent enough, I should be making all the decisions and not asking questions. Finally to add insult to injury my performance in bed was "more or less". She didn’t believe I had any passion, I did not help her and I didn't hold her. Ouch! I felt my stomach knot I couldn't continue I just lay in the dark listening to the air conditioning. She was next to me in body but she might as well be back in Russia.

Turkish Market / Aqua Park

The Turkish like to haggle, never take the first price offered there is always a better bargain to be had. Olya and I had been waiting for the Market to buy presents for the folks back home. The market was a largest building with many stalls selling everything from foodstuffs to t-shirts. They catered to the English market with many of the stalls offering cheaper than ASDA prices.
Olya bought presents for her family, I got some Turkish delight of Bruce and Phil and a few little bits which would fit in my bag.

The aqua park was a little disappointing. It was quiet expensive so we expected a multitude of slides and water based entertainment. There weren’t many slides, and to of the slides there were painful to use. It was also incredibly hot and we got tired out running up the stairs to the top slides. After a few hours we headed back and booked onto an evening of Turkish dancing at Kervan Saray.

Bar Street

Bar street pretty much does what it says on the tin it’s a street full of bars and clubs, with a few snack shops thrown in for good measure. The music ranges from dance to hardcore rock, but its always cranked loud.

Bar street is packed with Russians and English people out for a good time, to meet people of just to get hammered. As usual Turk sit out the front trying to entice us in. We walked the length but couldn't find anywhere playing music we liked very much so we stopped into Crazy Daisy. It has a huge projected sign, dominating the sky at above bar street. They promise exciting nights, we were not entirely impressed and moved onto another place. This had slightly better music, but also had the interesting feature of having free popcorn and nuts. Very novel. The much was loud the air-conditioning just about cooling the room enough to dance a little. It was actually a nightmare going outside to the back bar and toilets because the night air was about 30C.

We had a few drinks, Olya met up with some girls she spoke to in the airport. Niether Olya or Luba enjoyed the music so much but we had a good time dancing and jumping around. Watching the go dancers, including one shaven headed girl and a rather camp looking guy.

On the way back to the hotel Olya stumbled across a shop with bad Russian and was given a flag, which set her and Luba off singing in Russian.

Boat Trip

Took a trip on one of the many boat sailing out of Marmaris Cruising south it stopped in several places where we could to swim and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. First stop was Paradise Island, a small rocky outcrop surrounded by a superbly beautiful and calm sea. We amused ourselves swimming and diving off the top of the boat. It was such a hot day it was nice be out of the town and to feel the sea breeze. Swimming in the cool clear water, so much cleaner than the sea near Marmaris.
I stupidly tried to climb on the rocks, which I managed but instantly regretted thanks to the millions of splinters and cuts I sustained!
Next the boat moved onto another spot for more swimming, the trip continued like this for the rest of the day moving from one amazingly beautiful place to another. I tried to take some photos but my camera really did not do the scenes justice.
One of the most beautiful places was the lunchtime stop, we moored just outside a beautiful empty and unspoilt beach. We thought it looked like paradise, the beach was sandy the water blue and clean.
After lunch we headed to another beach stop this time docking at a bay with a restaurant and more sun loungers. We wanted to sit in the shade, typical Turks forced us to buy a tea before we could even though there was plenty of space.
Whilst we were sitting a speedboat bulled up in the quay, it was towing several rubber rings. Olya and I decided to go have a go, it was great fun trying to hold on whilst the speedboat thundered road the sea. I went off a couple of times :-)
We only had one more swimming stop after that in another empty clear bay, one of the Turkish deck hands climbed right up the rocks and did a spectacular dive.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Rafting

Olya wanted to try river rafting, I had done it once before in Australia and found it enjoyable. We booked onto a trip to the Dalman river. The Dalman River is about one and a half hours drive from Marmaris. This meant we had to leave at 7.30, which meant missing breakfast so by the time we arrived at the rafting centre we were very hungry. Fortunately breakfast was included in the price of the trip.

After a quick breakfast we climbed into the rafting centre buses and started another hour and a half journey. This time the bus snaked around the mountains climbing higher and higher. The road were mostly little more than dirt tracks with rather sheer looking drops on down to the valley below. The mountains were very beautiful; we sure got a good look at them as we rode over the dirty dust tracks. The sky radiant blue, the sun hot, Olya and I were both excited it was going to be a good trip. One of the river guides told us that the government is building a dam so five years from now rather than a river the valley would be a large reservoir.

By the time we reached the high point of the river I was glad to get out of the bus. The sun was beating down strongly. The heat was such that we had to throw water over the rafts to cool them down enough to sit on.

Our boat contained myself, Olya and a Dutch family, the guide and a trainee guide. I think our guide was a little crazy to be honest but it all made for a more fun trip. We started to move downriver just about knowing when we hit the first major rapid. I do emphasise the word hit too. Our raft smashed into the rock face flipped over pouring us into the water. I ended up under the flipped boat and had to dive down to get out. I drifted away as the others struggled to right the raft. I got picked out by one of the following rafts I was ok apart from a few grazes. My sandals tore to pieces though, oh well.

After a rendezvous I rejoined my raft and we continued downriver, we actually had to get out and walk round a couple of times avoiding some the worst rapids. About halfway down the river we stopped off for a short rest. There was a deep place in the river you could jump from the high rock walls about. I tried it a few times it was very refreshing to hit the cool river.

It was kind of disappointing to see the Roman bridge which marked the end of the trip. There was one bit of fun left, we got out of the raft and floated through the final rapid. Olya and I both had a great time I bought the video of the trip, it's a bit big for the web but I am hoping to cut out the crash scene :)

Turkish Bath

Olya and her friend Luba had booked to go to a Turkish bath. They invited me to join them so I though I might as well.
There is a popular phrase "its as hot as a Turkish bath in here", now I know what they mean. The bath started with a sauna. After which we were ushered into an octagonal room. It was very humid inside the room. In the centre was a slab on which you lay during the bath. First some Turk cleans you with a kind of scouring pad, apparently this removes the dead skin. It was very relaxing; the only pain was waiting for my turn inside this hot and steamy environment. After the bath was a massage, a Turkish masseuse massaged oil into my skin. I was left feeling relaxed and smelling vaguely of fruit!

The afternoon was incredibly hot touching 50C. Just about the only things to cool down was to go for a swim in the sea then relaxed on the sun loungers.

In the evening Olya, Luba and myself went on the Moonlight cruise. The cruise takes place on board a large ship called the Orca (it has two bars and a disco). The Orca leaves the jetty and cruises up an down the marina to the sound of disco songs. There was even a belly dancing show. I enjoyed the cruise sitting up on the top deck, taking in the evening relaxing with a cocktail. I found the music a bit tiresome the typical dance rubbish they play here. Olya calls in "dunce dunce dunce" music and I tend to agree. There also weren't many people on board so the dance floor was pretty empty.

Still it was a an enjoyable evening, especially sitting outside with Olya.

Arrival in Turkey

I had a rather surreal start to my trip, I saw Peter Kay, nearly knocked him over in fact coming out of WH Smith at Manchester Airport.

My flight was late boarding they said because the incoming flight was late but I am not sure I believe that. I saw the there 1.5 hours ahead when I entered the terminal. Something else was going on, or maybe I am just paranoid.

Turkish airlines weren't exactly the slickest operation I have ever been on, I don't know why but they just seemed unprepared and stretched even though the flight was only about 2/3 full.

Istanbul airport was very confusing; I had to wait in a visa queue for ages. I had to jostle for position with a load of Russians who insisted on pushing in the queue. Then as I had to transfer I hadn't got a clue where to go I had to ask twice at the transfer desk they weren't the most helpful.

However I remain excited waiting here for my connecting flight to Dalaman. I found out the airport wireless is open to dns-html lookup attack; I will defiantly have to get one of those servers up and running.

The taxi ride to Marmaris took 1.5 hours, it is not only far but the final part of the journey involves tearing down some rather twisty mountain roads. The driver was really quiet scary, tearing around blind and sharp bends at a fair pace. Fortunately we made it into Mararis and after 15 minutes of searching and asking other taxi drivers he finally found my hotel, the Ocaktan.

Whilst I was checking in I met a Russian girl called Olya in reception. she was sat smoking and chatting to the hotel attendants. We got talking and went for a walk along the seafront. She was funny interesting and beautiful. We sat out on the deserted sun lounger watching the sea.

Marmaris reminds me of any resort from like the Costa Del Sol in Spain or even Blackpool. You can eat at the Italian/Indian/Mexican/Chinese restaurant. Loud music permeates from every bar as they via for the attention of passing trade.

The beach is a tiny strip of sand covered in sun lounges laid out by the various hotels and restaurants along the sea front. The sea is closed off from the ocean by the high mountains so there is hardly any tide, it is however very salty