Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ever Present Past

Today has not been a great day, but somehow I don't feel terrible. This morning I was locked out of an office, more or less told to fuck off by a colleague. Fortunately a quick rant later and most of the problems were sorted out; sometimes it pays to be proactive.
I spent the rest of the day answering phone calls emails and trying to understand a methodology Model-view-controller. I am not sure I totally get it yet but I am on my way.
After work I was a little pissed off so I went to the gym for a couple of hours to blow off some steam.
When I got home I ate some dinner and was meant to go see a film with a friend but that fell through so instead I went for a quiet drink with Nick. As I left the house I looked up and saw that the moon is out and the sky clear, it was very beautiful evening, it felt fresh and clean.
Nick was in the best of moods far too cheerful and I soon found out why. He has met someone new, apparently she makes him laugh and feel great. I am happy he has found someone that makes him feel such but FFS, does he really need to that happy! I am of course being jealous, its a long time since I had a relationship and infatuations like Olya aside, I have been alone for years, I want to be happy too :-(
Sour gapes is no excuse I am happy for Nick, he says he feel happy so good for him.
In other news I love the Paul McCartney album Paul gave me a quick play while I was in London so I bought it for my dads birthday (Monday), its so well produced and better than anything he has done for years. The new Foo Fighters album isn't half bad either.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

ispCP secondary dns

I wrote this little guide on how I got secondary dns working on my isPCP box.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Cross Purposes

I realised it is somewhat excessive to have two laptops, a desktop and a spare pc. So in order to cut down the clutter and because it the oldest I have been trying to sell my Powerbook. Initially Ian wanted it but for one reason or another we never did the deal. One of Nick's Polish builders told Nick he wanted a laptop, and Nick asked me if it was still for sale. So I backed up my data deleted my profile and boxed it up. Unfortunately on arrival it turns out the whole point that it is an Apple Powerbook was lost in translation. Pre Intel Apple computers like this one use OSX and cannot run Windows natively. The lack of Windows was bad nut not fatal, what actually killed the sale was that Tomak's English is not spectacular so he wanted to turn the menus to Polish, either Apple have neglected to build a Polish language support or I could not work out how to change it.
So I returned home complete with the laptop still in its box. Nick was very nice though he bought me some Chinese food to cheer me up, which was very kind. He thinks I should try out some different careers, which is fine in principle without having the same motivations he does.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Last Song

I have that Sunday feeling today, vague alcohol induced head ache, lethargy. I wanted to sit and play Zelda but unfortunately my dad decided it would be a good idea to light the fire so its about 100 degrees in the living room.
Upgrade
Yesterday was a long day, I had to do an upgrade at work which meant arriving early before the call centre open. So at 6.30am on Saturday morning I was sat in the office upgrading the computer systems.
The upgrade was actually other peoples work I was simply there to move it across. Unfortunately this meant when things went a little wrong (luckily not with the most important part) I didn't really know where to look. I managed to find a few work around for the short term, hopefully I will be able to get to the bottom of it Tomorrow.
House party

Andy and Emily invited Philip and my self over to there place for a house warming party. They have been living there for quiet a while now but haven't had a party yet. Phil had also been working so we arrived a little late. We also stopped off on route to pick up some beers and a house warming gift. Big Brain Training for the Wii. Shopping in Asda was bizarre none seemed to want to serve us and when I tried to use the self serve till all sorts of weird stuff happened. Phil played some Wii while chatted to Emily, K Andy, Will and others. K and Emily are about to start back at uni.
We had a long conversation about different sorts of fish we liked which was rather too adult for me.I worked my way through beer after beer, in fact judging by my head this morning I had way too many. To finish the night we had a game of poker, I only played one round I felt too drunk and tired to really try hard.
I really like their flat and its made me more sure I need to get out. I spent several hours on right move this afternoon, but It looks like I will really have to compromise or wait another year and save hard because I simply cannot afford more of what out there.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Aqueous Transmission

This evening Phil and I went to see Incubus at the MEN Arena. It was a really good gig they played a mixture of the old favorites, Drive, Mexico, and The Warmth. I enjoyed the old songs immensely.

They love to experiment many of the songs featured eclectic electronic openers and in the middle of the set they did a prog rock esq bit where all the band members played a solo section.

It was a strange gig really Bandon Boyd hardly said a thing, they were late on went straight into it played until 10 had a break then a 20 minute encore. They finished the set by playing Aqueous Transmission, it sounded amazing but the insect sound they played and left playing soon chased everyone out of the venue. Overall not the best gig I have been to but enjoyable and different.

I have been finding it hard to write recently it used to be a release I enjoyed and there are a few things mulling around my mind. Somehow though I cant really find a way to get things down onto my blog. Hopefully my mind will open up and Ill be able to write again soon.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dexter

Phil hooked me onto a new TV series called Dexter, its a completely dark take on the police series genre. Dexter is a forensic scientist working for the Miami police department, so far so CSI. The twist is that he is also a serial killer, a serial killer who targets serial killers in no less.
Its incredibly dark from the gruesomeness of the murders and forensic detail to the morbid plot lines of the sociopathic tendencies of Dexter. If you like dark and clever series its really worth a watch.

I managed to finally get the last piece of the puzzle completed today at work, it put me in a really good mood. Afterwards I went to the gym exercised my legs and came home to watch some more Dexter.

I spent some time searching for houses on right move, over the last few days I noticed a terrace for sale on the way to work. I wondered how much it would cost to buy. I must say I was pretty surprised to see the price more than 100,000 more than I imagined. In truth there was nothing even close to my price range which I would want to live in. I guess I should aim low buy something to "get on the ladder".

The thing is I don't fancy living in some horrible poky "apartment" with a huge mortgage hanging over my head. It seems like the prices are only affordable for multiple income buyers, like couples. For a single guy like myself mortgage plus bills would leave me short.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

No Surface All Feeling

Work was very hard today, the project manager was back and pushing me to the edge of sanity with meetings, reports emails and questions. Sometimes I think I would get more done if I was just left alone to get on with tasks instead of being constantly drawn into other things. I also discovered a whole portion of the system which is so badly done it should be rewritten really, if only I had the time!

My dad managed to get himself a contract, its 3 months in Derby. He has been tossing it up, annoyingly asking just about everyone in the world what he should do. Including my friends, I do wish he wouldn't talk to so many people and make his own mind up. I am however really glad he has found something, it will keep him occupied an while it might not be long term its good to keep his hand in.

This evening I went round to see Bruce. He was taking a night off from working on the house, so instead we worked on getting the DNS for ispcp fixed. I wrote some scripts for our servers, which I will tidy up and be posting soon here and on their forum.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fake Plastic Trees

I took my mum to the garden centre this afternoon. Partly prompted by my conversation with Holly yesterday coupled with thE fact the the carnivorous plant Martin gave me a couple of years ago has come back to life. It is a bog plant, so unlike me it has greatly enjoyed the wet summer. I had thought it was at deaths door, its been stunted and never grown any fly catching cups until the last month were it has perked up immensely, spawning a cup and another on the way. Hopefully next year it will catch some of the fly's.

I also had to go to the pet section and get some more filters for the fish tank. Whilst I was there I they talked me into buying what is basically a chemistry set in order to perform all manner of tests on the water. I think I might leave it to my dad his eyes lit up when he saw all the bottles of testing fluid. I bought my mum some plant pots and an Aloe Vera plant, its not the prettiest but she seemed to like it, she is into natural cures at the moment.

This evening one of the people from Japanese class invited me round to practise and borrow a graphic novel, in return for a copy of some software. She is living on the road next to Bruce, it was really weird hearing her give me directions.

I was truly appalling at Japanese, I felt so embarrassed to be that bad. I really need to practise an awful lot more. I think it must have been greatly annoyed to her as she is a lot better practised. We chatted for a while afterwards, its interesting to hear the point of view of someone who has very different life experience, and she is certainly well travelled.

We have a conversation about some of the different nationalities behaviour, she is German. She made an interesting comment which might amuse Nekena, when I get a chance to relate it to her. Martina says she think Spanish women always look amazing, but that she dosn't ever think British people and Spanish people could work out. Her reasoning went something along the lines of "You British people drink warm tea with milk Spanish people drink warm wine, it just isn't going to work".

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret

Went for a BBQ at Jo Bergers today, I think its the first possibly the only one I will go to this year. Usually summer is bbq madness but this year the weather has been so poor this summer. Apparently Joe had a freezer full of food thanks to lack of BBQ action so he decided that as the weather should be good today it was time to use it.

Phil and I went down and dragged the Wii along, stopping on the way to pick up some beer and baps from the supermarket on route.

We arrived about an hour and a half after the first guests. Some music friend of Jo's, we had a chat with them and ate some bbq food, unfortunately they had to make tracks as they had a gig.

After they left I ate far too much meat, and had a chat with Jo and Holly. She seemed in an especially good mood, we talked about her new found love of gardening and work and life. I really enjoyed chatting to her, which was nice as Jo was busy cooking and entertaining.

I probably wont surprise you when I mention after the bbq we moved inside to play on, you've guessed it the Wii. Carlos a neighbor of Jo and Holly's brought round brain training and Tiger Woods golf. I found Tiger woods very difficult for a mess about game, more of a one player practice and improve than the Wii sports hit and hope games.

One of os friends came over and wow he must play a lot of games because he was so well practiced it was frightening. Apparently he is some sort of lawyer and they have games to chill out on in the office, wonderful I want them too!

Brain training was hilarious though, though I was feeling a little bit drunk at this point which I am sure adversely affected my play, unless I really am that stupid :S

Friday, September 14, 2007

My names John and I am a Wii addict

I am addicted, I just love the Wii. After playing in London I have had three nights of Wii this week.
Tuesday Phil and I played after Japanese class, then last night I went round to Andy and Emilie's mainly to chat and play some Wii. I arrived in the middle of the England game, Andy and Emily were in personalised England shirts. Never having been a footbal fan I found it quiet surreal.
We played a few games, I actually made up some points on golf and bowling. Phil arrived later after Akido and basically thrashed everyone at tennis. Andy got a bit stressed out by it all I think he was annoyed he didn't play very well and well he dosn't like losing either ;-)

I have even being playing Wii fitness when I venture home for lunch I find I have just enough time to get it donw before I jet back to work. I know I am probably a bit excessive at the moment bt I am sure I will calm down a little once the novelty wears off. I havent had a console this sociable since I bought my Nintendo 64 and Mario Kart our player!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Angels and Demons

Last week I received a rather cryptic email from my boss informing me that there was a management consultant coming in to assess the business. All sort of troubling thoughts were going through my head as this could easily be a byword for I am selling or downsizing. I spent part of the weekend getting rather stressed about it all.

It turns out I wasn't entirely correct in my assessment, the business might be sold but in a few years time, before which they want to grow the size to improve the return. The meeting I had was a bit strange but mostly positive so I hold out some hope for the future.

Weekend In London 3

If I felt hungover yesterday today I felt destroyed. Fortunately Paul saved us by cooking a nice big breakfast. Even though the sausages were a few days out of date they smelled OK and tasted great. With some food inside I felt much better.

I was too tired and my train was due at 15:50 so there wasn't much to do except chill out at the flat and play some more Wii. Paul was getting a bit frustrated at golf, they can be pretty competitive.

I tried to make Pippa's wireless connection more secure, by putting WPA encryption on. It seemed to work ok thought she had a little problem after I left. I felt very grateful she let me stay all weekend it was good of them both.

At 3 Paul gave me a lift to the station and within a few hours I was home again. In truth I was pretty sad to be home, it had been great to catch up with Paul and Pippa. Hopefully our paths will cross more often in the future, and maybe next time Ill get out and see something of London.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Weekend In London 2

After the late night drinking we all woke up a little late and somewhat groggy. Pippa had someone coming round to view her spare room and as we were in no mood to set off early we waited around and tried to drown our hangovers with tea and coffee.

The girl viewing the flat arrived so Pippa showed her around while Paul and I waited. She seemed a nice girl, Pippa was keen to get her back for a second "interview".

We set off to Angel in search of sustenance and excitement. Food was pretty easy to come by, we all bought these tasty Ciabatta filled with mozzarella and salami from a local delicatessens in Angel. After eating we were feeling a lot more refreshed so went for a wonder around the shops.

In truth I had rather hoped to see a bit of London but even after eating I felt a little tired. Also Paul had kind of helped talk me into buying a Nintendo Wii. I have been really enjoying playing on Andy's, and Phil's Wii and seeing one pre-owned in Game I though, "Why not?".

After a quick search around I managed to source a second controller from Woolworth's, the last one available at any shop in Angel. After a quick Frappuccino in was back to Pippa's for a few games.

We spent most of the afternoon playing Wii, joined later on by Pippa's friend Monica. She was great at the games putting us to shame but she didn't seem to enjoy it all that much. She did I think enjoy the Pizza we ordered though :)

After eating we headed out on the bus into Hoxton. A night of drinking and carousing ensued as you can see from the photos here.

Click to view full size image

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Weekend In London 1

I decided that it was high time I went to visit Paul. With that in mind I got myself return tickets on a Virgin Pendolino train to London, I left pretty much straight after work just enough time to nip and grab some things. Friday was dress down day so I didn't have to change just grab a bag and jump on the train.

The new high speed trains are great, it took only two and a half hours to London, the train was clean and nice and ran exactly on time. I couldn't have asked for more really.

I arrived in London and after a short tube ride met Paul in Angel Islington. From there we went to Pippa flat in Dalston. Stopping along the way for a few drinks and a catch up chat in Paul's local pub. It was a nice evening to sit out and catch up, its been quiet a while since I last saw him.

After much chat and a couple of drinks we headed to buy some takeaway goodness from the local Chinese. Pippa seem pleased to see us (especially loaded with food). I was impressed with her flat it is a pretty specious 2 bedroom affair in a low rise development. The area is multicultural, but pretty clan and safe from all accounts.

We all ate and chatted then played Gamecube for a while before retiring to bed. Fortunately for me Pippa's lodger had recently moved out so I was able to have the spare room.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Mis-Shapes

I often think its funny how unpredictable life is. No matter how well you know people they always have the capacity to surprise or dismay you.I suppose I spend a lot of time people watching.
While I difficult to say I am surprised that Nick and Becky split up after the troubles they have had the last few months its not exactly surprising. Going back in time though it wasn't so long ago I thought they were a great match.

We went to the Rectory, and sat upstairs having a long chat with a couple of drinks. She was in a pretty good mood talking about an impending trip to Wales with Nicky. We mostly talked about other people in fact pretty much skirting around the whole break up issue until the end of the evening.

She told me that she was beginning to find out who her real friends were, I was never really that pally with any of my ex's friends so it mattered very little to me when we broke up. Added to that I have never really had that good relationships with both member of a couple who have split so I imagine there will be challenging moments ahead.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Get It Together

Just got back from another night of Wii play at the Andy and Emily'. I found it difficult to play tonight I was feeling tired and run down after work and arguing with my parents earlier.

I got really annoyed with them mostly unjustifiably sometimes people kill you with kindness, sometimes I just need to have things my way, I just really need some space to breath and at the moment I haven't got it.

To be honest it isn't just my parents who are disturbing my mood, I got a text message from Olya today. She is happy with this Russian guy, but she wants me to come and visit them. Part of me really wants to, to see her again, and some of Russia. Many more parts of me think its a god damn crazy idea. I wish I could control my emotion better really, should learn not care so much. Olya isnt the only ex flame who I have spoken to recently Maia invitied me to come see her husband and new apartment in Milan and in a real blast form the past Jenny added me on Facebook, all So complicated.

I got round to the Abito apartments about 9. The Wii was soon out, Tennis was first. Then Andy thrashed me at Golf and Emily demolished me at baseball, in fact I only managed to win one game all evening. It was fun though, in between playing I managed to get the old pc Andy used to use working.

Emily was also showing off her extremely snazzy mac book pro, I want one!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Rehab

I really should have stayed home tonight, I have been to the pub for three nights in a row, both my liver and my wallet would have thanked me.
That would have been boring though so instead myself, Ian, Bruce, Phil and Ian's Brother Jono went to the local alehouse for a few pints :) Originally I had planned to set a few website its and bobs up with Bruce, only he had some thing to do on the house and Ian tempted me with the pub in return for looking at his laptop.

Ian had come round to my house earlier so I could have a look at his laptop. In better his addiction to downloading on-line games and Ben surfing for porn there were a few less than desirable applications lurking on there. Fortunately I was able to clear it up pretty effectively.

Just as I was finishing up Bruce arrived and we headed out to the pub, picking Jono up on the way. Phil met us at the bar, just in time to get a drink in ;)

We sat outside chatting an laughing, both Ian and Jono were on top form. A few beers later and we were laughing and joking, talking about Nick and Becky, houses, business and life.

Finally the last orders bell went and it was time to get off home. Phil and Bruce cut one but Ian and I went back to Jono's for a Cup of tea. It was nice excpet for the huge spider running around his kitchen, I hate them!

I was sobering up a little by the time I got home but I have been drinking quite a lot recently I might have a break in between going to Belgum and my birthday.

Monday, September 03, 2007

A Certain Romance

An apt tine indeed to listen to whilst writing this post tonight, its a long story but I will begin in the morning.

Today has been a pretty average day mostly, I woke up ate breakfast, wrote some blogs and relaxed. Had lunch with my parents and Grandma, roast Chicken very tasty. I had arranged to go for lunch with Paul but he had to drive Emily and Matt back to London.

This afternoon I went to the gym to try in vain and work off all the Pizza and crap I ate yesterday. It wont make any difference of course, calories in are far more important than energy used, if only sigh.

This evening I went out for a drink with Phil and Nick. It was quiet pleasant sat in the pub having a few beers and a chat. Pleasant that was until Nick dropped a bombshell, he and Becky have split. Now I realise I have been through this before, but this time he seemed a lot more final about it. We talked a lot about the reasons, and while I understand them I do worry that he focusses too much on career and nothing about personal happiness. It his life and his choices though so I wont second guess other than make one choice.

What was really weird was on returning home getting a message telling me Becky had written on my Facebook wall. She finally had chance to look at the changes I made to her site. I feel slightly compromised but I would like to think I was friend with the both of them and have no quarrel with either, so its ok that I am worried about both.

Sigh life is strange I really though they were a compliment it each other, I even thought they had nice balance I would like. I suppose you cant always see what is under the surface.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Terminal Tournaments XV

Yesterday was the 15th an largest lan party held by myself Bruce and Phil under the ejected brass name. In case you missed out its a gathering of people who enjoy computer games, beer, pizza and a few laughs. We are a little community who every few months drag our PC's so we can murder each other, in game! Its usually a fun day and yesterday was no exception.

It was the highest ever turnout, though there was only one new person (somebody Berger roped in following their trip up Snowdon). The rest were returnees pretty much everyone who has ever been to an event before before. It was really good to have so many people though I was quiet tired helping to get everyone going, working the bar running the game servers and clearing up at the end.

We made a pizza order for 21 pizzas from the pizza place in Cheadle Hulme it looked pretty funny me and Phil carrying so many pizza boxes out of the place.

I think everyone had a good time, we made some money to buy new kit for next time, definitely including some new power strips. At one point due to a bit of bad planning all the power cables were plugged into each other and the wire was starting to get awfully hot! Fortunately we didn't burn the club down :)

I actually really enjoy running the events though I often find it difficult to get the time to do all the setup which is required. If we can grow the events further though it would be great to see how big we could go.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Kettles

Felt a little in a daze at work today, still tired from travelling to Surrey, it was hard to concentrate on the job in hand. A bit unfortunate really as I got handed a 60 page specification document to read through and make commentary on. I just about managed to make a start, there is going to be a lot to do.

I had planned to meet some people from Japanese class this evening. It turned out to just be myself Martina and the new Japanese classroom assistant. Martina made a Greek style salad, with sweet potatoes mash and an apple crumble desert. It was pretty tasty, though vegetarian based, I still enjoyed it.

I guess the plan was to meet and chat about Japanese, but I have been so busy / lazy recently I just haven had any time to look at my books so I felt completely self concourse with an actual Japanese native there. She seemed like a really nice girl I think she found it very hard to follow our English though, I am sure my Manchester drawl dosn't help matters.

We ended up chatting about music and the weather conversation was all a bit awkward at times. It was a nice to change to the norm though and especially nice to meet the new Japanese assistant, though I am totally afraid of starting back at class; I cant remember anything.