Saturday, December 31, 2005

Werid Day

Two very weird unrelated things happened today, one which I cannot talk about publically yet but I will do in due course. The other Nikkie contacting me. Basically she had somehow come across my blog and like Liz before her taken exception to the post I wrote about her. I do care that she was upset, but it dosnt change the fact that how I felt at the time, I wa ery upset at the way she treated me mostly because yes I did like her perhaps we got our wires crossed somewhat but she is not an easy person to talk to. Anyway it was all a bit weird being as the post was months old and the feeling have more or less dissapated since then, in fact I had pretty much put her out of my mind until she messaged me about her computer the other day. I guess Nikkie and Liz are two opposites with Liz I felt like I could talk about anything but I never felt like a equal with Nikkie I felt attraction but in both cases any relationship failed.

I origonally wrote a synopsys of our relationship here but you dont want to read it and in writing it I realised I didnt want to dredge through the past.

Played some counter strike this evening, and spoke to Phil and Bruce about the lan they both feel that it was a success so perhaps I was being over sensative to people comments. However I am still not sure about the future Bruce is still thinking of ong the wireless, I think now if we do it we should do a damn decent job of it rather than bodged together ariels its got to look and function 100% or it will detract from the event.

Its new years eve tomorrow and because the London thing with Paul has collapsed I am now at a loose end I have no idea what to do. I could go join Ali Brooks party but that might just be tempting fate. Ive declined an invite from to Nick to go to Nicky and Neils party I do not really feel I get on with them well enough to spend new years at their house especially the mood I have been in recently.

Friday, December 30, 2005


Today was terminal tournaments VI was held today, personally I felt like it went badly, dispite the extra effort getting the server working it still wasnt right. I feel I have failed and came in for a lot of flack, I don't really feel like it was worth the effort I put in, perhaps I am just tired and pissed off, I dont know. Martin thinks it went well.
Got some random and franly unwelcome texts from Liz which really served to blacken my mood, its seems that dispite her intention I feel like she brings out the worst deamons in me. I have been very up an down recently trying to work out where my life is going I feel kind of like I am wasting my time going nowhere but at the same time I haven't really got a clue about what else I should be doing. I just want to have something more creative in my life, I see people like Paul and I want to be able to touch the hearts and minds of other people to be part of something more.
Its not that I hate what I do enotirly its somewhat stimulating, but I am working for something I don't really believe in after my own expeiences in dealing with money or lact of it. Talking of which today I was amazed that everyone around me can afford so many gadgets and gizmos, is it that I am poorer that I dont have a £700 tft monitor or play station portable. Am I right to be saing my money away earning a few pound interest or hoping for stock market growth, should I be more like them making myself happy with the material, or should I be more like Nick finding my own wyas to profit. Should I even care so much about money.
So many things so much on my mind I also feel very alone, I take comfort in my friends both in the real world and the internet, they are leaving my though finding there own paths whilst I stay static. Typical me I end up feeling morose, I can never seem just to be happy.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Games games and more games

I didnt quiet make it the the gym today again as planned, last night I stayed up late watching taxi driver, subsequently slept in and missed the opportunity. I spent the rest of the day (and I do mean it been working on the servers since about midday up until about 10 minutes ago) getting the server ready for tomorrows lan party. Hopefully I will make it to the gym on Friday, definatly need a run feeling out of shape and fat today.
I now have a server with a fully configured Counter Strike including an addon of counter bet, new maps for the unreal 2004 server and half life two devicated multiplayer. As a final aside Quake four is running int tourney mode.
Hurrah finally we have al the games running int he correct way its taken five lans to get it right but today myself Phililp and Bruce iron out loads of little niggles and problems with the setup. There are still a few more cool tweaks to do but its more improvment rather than covering fuck ups.
Tommorrow is a bit of a make or break event if we cant run a decent day and get more people to turn up I think really it might be time to call time on the adventure it really does take an awful lot of organising and when people like Russell dont even bother to turn up anymore after being one of the main proponents of a lan its quiet disheartening.
I did manage to speak to Paul today he is back in Leamington with a cold London for New Years is off which is a bit of a pain but never mind. I offred to go to Leamington instead, I cannot seem much happening here Nick and Becs are going to Nicky and Neils. Bruce and Nina are having a get together, Ian, Faye and Wooler are working so I am at a bit of a loose end.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Boxing Day at Bruces

For everyone not in the UK boxing day might be a slightly strange concept (I think its celebrated in Commonwealth nations and a few other places). Anyway Boxing day the day after Christmas Day has some sort of significance thats slightly lost in the mysts of time, I have searched about but cannot find a definaive answer of what it all means something I think to do with the well healed giving presents to their workers.

Regardless a bit of our own Christmas tradition ha been for Phil and I to join Bruce and his family for a Boxing day meal, today was no exception having an evening meal which consisted well of lot of food, I have unfortunatly got eyes rather bigger than my stomach and I now feel like I might explode with rather unplesent consequences.

As another Christmas tradition we played monopoly, this year using Phils X-Men themed game, unfortunatly luck was not with me tonight and I lost heavily bankrupt. I hope thats not a sign for real life.

Paul did not turn up to collect his present if I am honet I didn"t expect him to when the choice was us or a gathering with Jo. When he mentione Ians name I knew there was little prospect, oh well.

There is a lan party in a few days I need to get prepared for that, I also need to do some exercise I have been very lazy the last few days. My arm is still a little sore though does finally if very slowly starting to get better. Hopefully in the new year I can get back to some weights.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Canada Link

While uploading the Christmas Photos I noticed a couple of new signups on the web

Name John Cooke
Bio Descendant of Irish and British grandparents, 2nd generation Canadian. Married with kids.
I just came across your site and thought to drop a line. I hope your summer is going to be as good as our's was...getting cold now...5 degrees.

How cool is that!

Yoda Doll

Lulu asked me what the heck a Yoda doll is so here we are ;-)
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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Sleigh bells ring are you listening?

Ouch my head hurts, I had far far too many drinks last night, its was a pretty up and down evening and no I don't mean my mood for once it was other people upset.

It's foggy and cold this morning I got up and opened my presents. I got a nice treat of Irish whiskey from Nina, a really cool John Peel book from Nick, an amazing tea selection from Bruce and a Yoda doll from Ian. Started reading it is like listening to home truths, he had a real way with words.

Started the evening by visiting Mike and Ali, they were in fine form having had a do for their other friends with kids, they had also somehow managed to nearly burn own their house by lighting a fire. Never mind was good to see them and Isabel briefly put in an appearance she wanted some food.

Wilmslow was very busy we had to queue up to get in the rectory, I was even asked to show my id! Once in though I had a few drinks to warm myself up. Jo and friends had arrived earlier so we joined them by the stairs, Holly seemed very unhappy I tried to chat to her but I am afraid I probably made the situation worse oops I really must learn when to keep my big mouth shut.

As usual I had my camera with me and you can see all the pictures here

Bruce and Phil arrived after us and had to queue up for some time, but they finally made it in Bruce was on top form snappy away with his camera.

Alison Brook was out, and in an exuberant mood she managed to chat up a guy how trains at the gym regularly. I've somehow promised to do a kind of gym date with her, should be interesting.

Nick was also in a down mood, he has been doing a lot of long hours at work but he really didn't to bring out all that stress with him. Jesus the boy is doing so well for himself I wish I had half of his achievements, and Becky is such a lovely girl he really should try and be nice on night like this.

Went back to the Brook house afterward, and managed to get even more drunk hardly knew what I was saying nor doing by the end of the evening. I walked home in the cold damp and fog alcohol charged. First christmas of not smoking so that all good. Noticed Mike was back on the fags bad boy! Guess it harder to give up when you have done it for longer.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas is coming

Went out last night, Martin and Squeeze Charlotte joined us, I found out she does in fact speak, and is very interesting. Most strange (for someone going out with Martin) was that she is a veggie! Nut cutlet for Christmas lunch anyone ;-)

Not really done much other than play civ and doss about, though its really nice to rest.

Going out tonight for the big night out, should be plenty of us going though not as many as origonally planned, Danny has decided to stay in Romely and go to the Piggy. Paul and Lisa will probably end up joining them as they have money / sleeping arrangement issues. Mike and Ali have Isobelle to look after so Nick, Becky and myself will be going round early to say hello should be nice hardly see them anymore. I guess its ture what they say kids turn perfectly normal people into parents ;-)

Thursday, December 22, 2005


You know how people never take their own advice, for example when I was a systems administrator for Business Link I had a real go at someone for not backing up his important data (he did end up costing the company £500+ for data recovery). However I have a dark secret, I haven't backed up my data since my I went to Australia, before I left I move my dvd writer to my dads pc and its stayed there ever since. I have kept meaning to move it back but in the end I just gave up and bought myself a new one. Also got myself a copy of the excellent Nero 7 and burned a huge six dvd backup set of my computer. I even spurred my dad into action, hurrah I at least it my hard disk crashes now I won't cry at the loss of all my photos.

I felt so tired today I should have gone to the gym but I wimped out I am really getting lazy, I think I need a project to get suck into. I started reading Bruce Eckels Thinking in C++ which so far seems a pretty excellent guide on how to mangage programming projects I havent got onto any coding yet though.

I wondered whether I should do a rewrite of wildflower take back the project and put it for sale on a shareware site, however I am not sure how the old man would feel about that given he tool over it when I went to Australia. Oh it seems so long ago I talk and think about it as if it were yesterday but its constantly fading into memory.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Happiness Is a Warm Gun

Why? Well this is probably my most played Beatles track, I know its not a Lennon McCartney, but then that’s part of the fun its different and it makes me happy, I always Imagine some redneck American when I hear the lyrics, when I hold you in my arms and I fell my finger on your trigger it speaks to me about the differences between the UK and the US, silly but reassuring.

I have tried to be more positive the past few days been really dark recently far too much pain for me to take its been hard trying o focus on things that make me happy, exercise I guess self improvement, going for a run always seem to help thought I find it hard to take the first step.

Today I helped Nina move out of her flat, wasn’t too hard really just helped Bruce move a couple of heavy things downstairs to the car then into Nina’s lockup. Personally I don't really understand the whole storage Ideal in my world you need something or your don't and if you don’t then you bin or sell it no pay 16 / week to store it. However I guess sentimental and practical takes over on some level so it’s stored for when it’s needed.

Fridays, was very naughty this evening and had a meal at Fridays, I didn’t do a Bruce he ordered the biggest burger on the menu but I did eat enough, looks like I will never lose weight unless I really learn some new displace.

Tonight I went to see Sandbox at the Academy 3 and they were excellent the best I have seen them for ages, confident and exuberant, their rendition of slades merry Xmas was an excellent finish to a year that has seen them grow and change. Unfortunately, due to a number of factors including the number of people their and the amount I drank I didn't really feel at home after show. I guess I will always be more of a flanboy than a mate o the musical set, I mean really what could I possibly bring to the show. Andy did manage to hit me in the face with his drumstick though that was slightly painful!

Dan, Phil and Bruce wanted to get off, I kind of would have like to stay around there seemed to be a few pretty chicks including one really nice blond girl I would have loved to have met but I guess it wasn’t to be, it never is.
Bruce was drunk I think one of the few times I have seen him drink and enjoy himself; he was really having a go at Danny which was quite funny. Danny was in a funny mood continuing his messy split from Lyn and beyond I find it very hard to connect with him anymore I have always put substance before style and he is very much the inverse, this seems to have been accelerating in recent times. I guess this is what happens friends growing apart lives changing tack.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

My name is modesty

The title of today's weblog is a film this one sponsored by Quentin Tarentino. I went to blockbuster and yet again all the copies of crash were rented out so rented this instead. Not a bad film quit clever but clearly low budget Not sure how Tarentino got his name on there I guess he is sponsoring it somehow. It was a pretty decent budget film if a little short of on action.

Not really done much today went to Andy&s to pick up tickets, always a treat seeing those guys they are a lot different to most of my other friends and Emily reminds me a lot of being at university surrounded by clever people always only minutes away from an interesting conversation with someone with a view of things.

I am avoiding talking about my depression, god I have felt down the last couple of days, been really moaning to a couple of people thanks for your support you know who you are. I don’t know what it is but I really feel low, like everything i crashing down on me. Maybe not crashing down, more that I hold an idea of a good man, and he is but a shadow someone I will never be. So far today I have moaned onto Liz, Salma, Mel, Phil and Lulu. In fact I am talking to Lulu as I write this.

Why am I so sad, there lot of good in my life? Yet through it all I feel I am doing too little, too much playing games too little trying to improve. I should spend my time more productively instead I play games and mess about. Yet thought I struggle to change little happens what happened to the man so full of promise, once I felt I could do anything now I cant even solve simple problems at work without help.

Today I talked to lulu about the Korean war, after she was telling me about the North Korean TV she likes. I explained how it how it changed the world leading the the Truman doctrine of opposition to Communism everywhere in the world. Also General MacArthur's Idea that nuclear weapons should be used against China I also found on Wikipedia that more napalm was dropped on North Korea despite the fact the war was shorter. Atrocities on both sides the Americans blindly killing anyone who moved and the Chinese torturing people. I am glad (Iraq war aside) I don't live in an age of war I am not sure how I could face such a situation.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

RIP Mel Horton

Living so close to work and with my dad working from home I often nip home at lunch, today as I arrived home there was an ambulance outside my house, I parked up and found my dad sat in Stuarts car he told me my neighbour Mel had died. To be honest driving up I half thought it was my dad that had been taken ill so I was in a selfiish way relieved it was her not him.

The Horton family has lived in woodford for a long long time, they have been my dads neighbours virtually his whole life, but over the last few years the Mels dad Fred his Wife and Sister have all died. Its been sad losing familiar people, good neighbours I think Stuart Mels brother was very upset. She wasnt old 52 I think but she had drunk and smoked away a lot of her life so I suppose it wasnt totally unexpected.

Its going to mean new neighbours next door, its the last remaining council owned house on the road so the end of an era in more ways than one.

This evening I wanted to forget all about it so I went to the unicorn with Phil and guess what my "favorite" serving girl was on, yes you guessed it Clair. I feel like I cant let her know so hurt me but at the same time I guess I still find her attractive but she makes me so angry. As I was talking to her at the bar I reliased it been over a 18 months since that night you would have thought I would be over it by now? Everytime I see her though that same confusing mix of emotions.

Rather than deal with ti I got drunk with Phil and walked back to my house, played Civ for a bit then went to be alone.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Weird evening

After yet another difficult day of digging through code with little success, I was feeling pretty tired, buit I still managed a run after work.

My mums christmas present (a fancy Siemens coffee maker) arrived and was opened and set by the time I made it home, she seemed pretty pleased I guess, and it does at leat make great coffee apart form just looking good.

I went for a drink with Nick at the thieves, he was driving having the task of pickup up Becky from a works do. We were having a pint chatting about property trends I think I was deliverying some profound piece information I read in one of the papers, when suddenly a guy was ejected from the pub by one of the regulars. I think its the most excitment I have ever seen in the thieves. Looked like he was drunk acting like an idiot, seemed like the last straw he spilled beer on a guy coat and swore at him that was it Rubin Fielding grabbed the guy by the scruff of the neck an lobbed him out the door. For good measure another of the regulars gave him a clout round the head, good fun the farmers.

Afterward went back to the brook house, Ian and Faye were there Ian was complaining he had food posioning but personally I think he just ate too much. Having had food poisoning twice, it was pretty much the worse pain I have ever experienced i dont really think thats what Ians problem was.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Comfort of Sadness

The title of today's blog is in honour of Paul, after watching his gig tonight at Jabez Clegg in Manchester I was thoroughly impressed. Sometimes whilst listening to music at a gig I feel the connection like the lyrics and passion of the artists become more than the sum of their parts. I guess maybe I am just a sentimentalist I sometimes feel the music is for me and me alone, though rationally I know it's not just for a few moments... This was one of those nights, I was only sad there weren't more people there to appreciate it, and that I don't really have the words to describe it in detail. I really need to start carrying round something to write on there have been a few times recently when I have been in the moment thinking of some great things to write the description in my head excellent but later when I sit down to type the words fade away, that feeling of being in the moment no longer there to draw inspiration from.

Watching the gig though I couldn't help getting a nagging feeling in the back of my head that I really need to find a creative vent, I mean I fool myself that programming is an art even sometimes call myself a digital poet but really I spend the majority of my time doing very thankless support tweaks nothing laudable, I just wish I could find something that would make me as passionate as Paul is about music, something in which I am a creator not a follower. Writing this blog has reminded me that I actually do like writing and reading though I don always find the time to do it.

It was a great night all round really Woller was out, and Danny been I while since I last saw him, Chirs too. Sandbox came but had to leave before watching Paul, whilst I realise they have to practise for their gig next week I thought it was slightly off of them I know Paul has been to see many of their gigs and they should know better than anyone how nice it is to have core support.

Today I felt so tired I had insomnia last night barley got any sleep, it seems to be happening more frequently recently, only a couple more days of work left I can't wait the last few days have seen me wading through other people spaghetti code trying to make small changes as part of the workflow project. Its quiet difficult and tedious work, and as M is away we really miss his knowledge of the system. Had a great launch with Bruce though he had the day off and met me in Wilmslow, it was really nice to get out of the office for a change.

It's been days since I last spoke to Lulu, we had an argument the other day on MSN, she was complaining as always that I don't use messenger (I use gaim and Adium because they rationalise all my chat clients and they are open source). I was tired and work was getting my down a bit and being told by her what I should do as if I know nothing about computers. I just lost it for a few minutes. Since then we haven't spoken to be honest I am not sure there is much to say, it seems like she has been growing up recently and starting to wise up perhaps its time for us both to move on.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I just can't get no sleep

I can't sleep have insomnia bad, I am also really reticent about bloggin today, Liz fell out with me after reading the last post. I didnt mean to upset her quiet the opposite I was trashing myself not her, however she read more into it then was there and got upset with me.

We did manage to sort things out eventually I calmed her down, its weird on one level she is very rational and stable but on another she is easily upset and emotional. I guess I am much the same myself calm and collected one minute losing my mind the next, though i suppose I am very open about what I realy think.

Anyway have now removed the link to liz blog and removed the ambiguity form my previous post so hopefully we can get back to being friends / yahoo chat buddies or whatever we are.

Another strnage one out of the blue Nikkie started messaging me, I said hello didn't want to be rude but at the same time I can't work out what she wants she had no respect for me and I made it clear that wasn't good enough, so I wonder what her motives were just to check up on me? I guess only time will tell.

I should go to bed but sleep won't come I am getting frustrated and it makes the situation much worse, so many thoughts in my head perhaps the argument with liz and lulu have had more of an affect than I admit. Perhaps work is stressing me or maybe igivng blood has fucked up my body certainly my arm still hurts.

I am going to grab another whiskey see if it helps

night night

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Civ IV

Civ IV has basically been a total addiction for me since Phil and Bruce got me a copy for my birthday. Having finally beaten the game after paying something like a 60 hours (check out the xfire mini profile in the last couple of weeks. Tonight I finally managed to achieve the ultimate cultural victory hurrah. Hopefully now I can get my life back rather than playing "just one more turn"!

I did manage to get a gym session in today my arm was too sore for weights so I bashed out 45 minutes on the cross trainer, its actually quiet good give me a chance to listen to music uninterupted.

Caught up with Phil on-line after judo he still hasn't asked that girl out I am getting quiet worried about it, starting to turn into the Nicky situation all over again. He say he loves training but since he has been doing he far from becoming more tolerant he seem more aggressive especially after a few drinks practising move in bars I have a feeling it going to end in tears either he will get hurt or he'll end up hurting someone. I just hope that my fears prove unfounded but I liken excessive martial arts training to be as narcissistic as excessive gym training its just too introspective for my liking. I think Tyler summed it up best in fight club "Self improvement is masturbation, self destruction that something else"

Monday, December 12, 2005

Positive Outlook?

Like most bloggers/diarests deep down I like the idea that people are paying attention to what I have written although it can at time prove unofortunate, witness the Liz / Nikkie Saga. I guess though I have always prefered the truth from fiction so on the most part its great. Over the last few days two people have told me they read my blog, small numbers I know but hey better than none.

My arm hurts today I asked Liz about it last night (she is a Doctor after all) but all she would say is my arms probably going to drop off, thanks! I guess I haven't real engraciated myself with her given I basically have ignored her requests for me to come over. Its just I know my weakness's and I think she desrvers better than being with me.

I opened Pauls myspace today it seems his love affair with it continues unabated, I am tempted to redo his site with the same CSS see if he notices. Hopefully later this week I will get to see his gig in Manchester. Talking of gigs sandbox's xmas gig is coming up Andy will no doubt be selling tickets soon. I am constantly impressed by there advnaced busiess sense and I am sure if the band dosnt work out they would have a bright future in promotion or marketing.

Work was interesting today managed to hack Tonys program enough to shoehorn another quesiton in, thouhg nobody from freedom can actually be bothered to test it so like a 100 other changes it will probably sit on the test server forever. In the absense of anything else I spent the afternoon trying to get my laptop to have the correct resolution (stupid Linux decided it dosnt like 1280X800).

Dark Water

This evening Phil rented a film, must have been doing this a lot recently as we couldn't seem to fnid a film we wanted to watch. Eventually we settled on Crash only to find it was all out. Instead we rented Dark Water, it looked good from the same writer as the ring.
Eccentually the film is about a mother who having split up from her adulterous husband moves to a dingy apartment complex with her daughter. It opens well with the obligitory sepia toned flashback to the womens own abusive mother.
Unfortunatly the pace isnt so much slow as glacial. I also guessed pretty much correctly what was going to happenwithin about three scenes. The tension was built up in a kind of is she mentle or is this really happening kind of way but I felt it was clumsily handled.
There was some great acting especially from John C. Reilly as the machievellian estate agent and Tim Roth as the cheap lawyer working out of his car.
After a few more turns on civ I finally hit the hey.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sunday Hangover

Another month another comedy night, another hangover possibly made worse by the terrible nature of the acts last night. However dodgy acts aside it was a good evenign Jono, Nick, Becs, Martin, Charlotte Endo and his missus were all out with myself Phil and Bruce.
Bruce Phil and I went for a curry at the La Quila which was very tasty before hand, it was also the first time I met Charlotte Martins new squeeze. I was suprised she wsa a lot quieter than I epected and they were very very touchy feely not quiet what I would have expected. He seemed happy though which is great.
This morning I am chilling out I should go for a jog in fact I might do shortly, either than or play civ...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Drained, Literally!

I gave blood again today was a very stressful experience, firstly they have a new form which I filled out wrong as I hurried through it :-S Then as I laid down to give blood the women announced she was a trainee which to be honest scared the crap out of me then after applying the pressure to get a view she walked off and I heard her talking to another nurse she was having trouble locating the view and the other one was warning her not to hit an artery!! Finally she stuck the needle in not the worst but fairly painful I was going a little bit under then she told me my flow rate was great, it wasn't what I wanted to hear. Oh well it was a good thing to do and I got through it in the end. I certainly recommend to anyone reading its a worthwhile thing to do and you get free tea and biscuits afterwards.

After the trauma I spoke to Ian, seems he managed to get injured moving his bar, hurt hi leg hope he feel better soon. Bruce popped over and we played a bit of counter strike I am afraid I'm still pretty bad at it. Then we went for a couple of beers I had Guinness to try and up my iron levels but after two pints I was wasted. Amazing how much we take blood for granted.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Back to the daily grind

Wow in a flash two days have past, I dont seem to have done very much butI sure feel tired already!
Tongith I spent the evening with Bruce tarting up the Ejected Brass website details of the ast and xt lans are up inluding the compition results.
I also caught lost season two ep9 its was mega.
Today was interesting I finally took the plunge and bought my first shares, prviously all my investments have been in funds bt I felt like owning a piece of a company for myself. Is a very small piece though after stamp duty and dealing fees £500 bought 91 shares, there are 7million share in issue for this company so I own 0.0013% Nice!. I also got caughtout by the bid to buy spread, due to the low trading volume here is a higher price on t shares than they are trading at. However assuming this company meets it forcast and it has done for few years the divideds alone willcover the initial losses and fees then the capital growth should move the sre price on (fingers crossed). Il tell you how its going in the future, though I am holding this as a long term investent so it might be a while ;-)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Hoildays End

Well its been a great two weeks got in a lot of relaxing a lot of Civ 4 and well a few other more important things like getting my car serviced and catching up with some people.

Last night was good went out with Paul first went to tgi to see ian and have a few beers then to Jo's for more beer and chat. I ended up spending a lot of time with Holly whilst Berger and Paul were chatting. It was quiet interesting I havent really spoken to her that mch before she very intelligent I can really see why they make a good couple.
Afterwards met ian and Faye for a curry I was pretty drunk by then unfortunatly, oh well.

Today I did really do much played civ and then went for a run, amusingly Paul and Woller came round to drop off the stuff I left in Pauls car last night to see me very sweaty about to get in the shower. This evening went to the unicorn with Nick and Becs. Julies was on the bar its been along while since I had seen her shes lost quiet a lot of weight, we had a chat about our holidays mine to Budapest hers to Tunisia. Weird really I get the feeling shes still interested perhaps he holds a cnadle for me as I do for Claire dispite the fact she fucked me about.

I am not looking forward to going back to work I should already be in bed but I am aprehensive oh well Im going to smash that fucking mug to a million pieces if anyone dares to give it me again, perhaps over someones head, no no its not worth 5 years in jail just to get back at knob head co workers.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Well my holiday has whizzed by its already Friday early morning and tomorrow I'm servicing my car and doing a few other tasks. I have hardly achieved anything I wanted too this week though it has ben really nice to have time just to chill out.
It would have ben nice to catch up with some people like Ali H and Ali B but I dont think that will happen now.
Its pouring down outside and I have just seen another sandbox gig which was actually pretty mega they played around with the make up of a few of the songs. Also good but ear splitting were 52 teenagers, and the headliners were ok.

Actually spoke to rigini and emily tonight usually miss the band as they are busy with other things, emily was interesting as alwaystalkng about achtechture, i find it fashinating to meet peopel with interests as I cant usually spend more than a few hours on something before becoming bored unless its a game like CIV of course ;-)

Today was notable for my 10 year bond finaly paying up what a waste of time I could have made more with the money sat in my ING account oh well I added the fund to my UK all share tracker and all I can say is GO UK equities!

Seriously I wonder if I will ever find a way to make enough cash to be self sufficent, tongith Phil and I called into tesco to see if we could pik up a pre release xbox 360 as they are so limited they are selling on ebay for upto 500 pounds. Unfortunatly tescos did some sort of raffle thign for the 9 units they had. Oh well better look next time I guess at least we were looking out for ways to generate cash.

I am aching like a bitch now my online trainer gave me a silly program today spent about 2 hours at the gym and at a few points had to take 5 minutes out as what i was dong was so hard I lied to be pushed but I am not sure this isnt too much oh well the results will out and this time next year I will ither be thinner of fatter or more well built we shall see.

Anyway I am up early to take my car for a service so goodnight all.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Van Hunting

Somehow last night I was talked into going van hunting with Nick, not that I am some expert in vans or anything, however by dint of owning diesel I know more than him. Ironically Nicks modeo actually decided to Die this morning so I spent the whole day ferrying him around from one sales court to the next. Fortunatly the sat nav was working so we managed to find them all ok.
There were ome real dogs out there but eventually we found a dealer of HGV who took us to GE captials rental disposal yard faced with hundred of vans of all sizes we were a little spolit for choice. Eventually we found a fairly decent Astra Diesel 1.7tdi its a 53 reg with 40k on th clock runs really well and recetnly serviced.
Carrying on the subject wiith Nick finally sorted out the ebay moneys so I am no longer in debt to him hurrah.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Bottle of blues

Its not often I writie a blog on the same night as it happens most often I make bleve its the same night and tell things as they were well tonight its all real.
I am currently drunk having been out with Ian and Faye nad Clair, ill regret saying this but Cliar is lovely, how ironic that whle I write this supertramp breakfast in america is playing. Tonight Philipa said " i just think sometimes i think you hide from the world" perhaps she is right or maybe I am just not made for the world it certainly feels that way to me like I just dont fit in anywhere im not sure anyone will ever desire me. Tonight Faye Ian and I were alking about our Australia trip and thats what 18 months ago and yet I am no nearer a relationship that I was when I went out there perhpaps my natural state is to be alone I certainly dont seem to gel wit the women i meet. PROVE YOURSELF as radiohead would say.
As I walked home tonight I remembered Laura and Hannah Kay and Ed what if I had never chaged carried on moking pot and hanging out where would I be now would I be happier? Would I have ever got with laura? I still think of her as some unatainable object and yet I know there were times if I had understood then I could have made a move, would I be happy now who knows perhaps I am not meant to be?!?!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Back Home

Its been an eventful week, the holiday was excellent I enjoyed Budapest drinking good beer eating great food it was lovely. Since getting back I have felt really good if a little tired yesterday I basically sat in my room read all my email, snail mail and caught up with a few things. Then watched lost with Bruce and Phil, who bought me a copy of Civilisation IV. I used to be so adicted to the predisessor Alpha Centuri, already I must have spent 12 hours playing hopfully I wont waste my entire week playing.
I have now just about caught up with the blog and put a load of photos online. I am hoping the week to tranfer a lot of the content from webalbum to coppermine as I think its a lot better.
Spoke to Vicky online earlier and she dropped a bit of a bombshell shes pregnant! I know what you thinking and no its nothing to do with me, I wish her well with everything its going to be hard bringing up a kid on her own but I think she will make a good mum.
Paul phoned me up he seemed in a good mood hopefully might go and visit him this week, still not entirly sure whats going on between himself and Lisa though to be honest I dont think he knows himself. He put me onto Regina Spektor an artist he found on myspace, SHe seems pretty good. I am quiet stressed about his website I did spend time looking at it but well I am no graphic deisgner and he has already lined someone else up to take over but still wants changes. I guess I am finding it hard to get the enthusiasm to work on any of the websites or indeed anything. I think I need to choose a project and work on it try and hone my skills I am worried that perhaps I spread myself too thin and achieve little if I just concentrated on less perhaps I could do more.
Manged to spend some time on rightmove checking whats out there currently it looks like I could either go for a house somewhere like adswood or a flat in Handforth. Neither is very appealing so I guess I will stay with my parents and try and get my deposit to grow futher.

Friday, November 25, 2005

happy birthday~~~

morning my dear Cookie,

its 8:40 am Nov.25th by my time, i'm sure that lulu will be the first one to wish you a happy birthday n__n

how was Hungary? should be enjoying some beers or having fun at the fantastic city :-)

lulu'll be on my trip very soon, 6 days starting from this Sunday, haha, we might have a pic fighting after me back, exchanging as many as wonderful memories...

seeya friend,


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Statue Park

Another cold day here in Budapest, we awoke to a new snowfall outside. I still saw someone swimming in the pool outside though, I thought about giving it a go then decided against (its a long walk from the pool back to the room and I didn't have a robe.

Today we visited statue park. After the fall of communism in Hungary all of the the Marxist statues were removed and taken away to a park in the middle of nowhere. It was quiet impressive walking round the imposing snow covered images of Lenin, Stalin and other communist “workers paradise images”. I guess its an ultimate irony that fat capitalists like myself now pay to visit the imagery of communism, Karl Marx would be turning in his grave.

I tried to give Philip and Bruce a grounding in the history of communism but I don't think they found it very interesting or particularly understood the reasons. They were impressed by the statues though.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The other side of the river

After exploring Budas old town today we planned to check out Pest, so we caught the 21 then grabbed the Metro across the Danube.
Originally we planned to go on a coach tour of the city but once there we decided to take a walking tour insted so we walked from Ference Ter to Heros Square.
Stopping at a few of the nice stores on the way (Bruce just had to check out the Apple retailer). We then walked round the park behind heros square then down to the Danube and along the bank of the river watching the night decend. After a quick stop in a bar to warm up with some tasty local beers we walked past the Parliment building and across the chain bridge.
On the way back to the hotel we decieded to ride the Cog train up the hill, it was a strange experience lumbering up the hill I cant believe how good the public transport is I dont think I would ever drive if woodford was as well served as Normafda. The only unfortunate thing was as we were getting off the doors closed leaving me trapped I had to ride the train up the hill several miles to the next stop then wait for the next one down.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Arrival in Budapest

After an early morning start in Zurich we finally managed to get to Budapest, unfortunatly even though the flight was on time we were left standing around for an hour watchin the baggage carolsel the screens said only to find that the baggage thowers had put our luggage on the wrong one.
It took 40 minutes in a taxi to get to the hotel, but it gave us a first glimpse of some of the sights of Budapest. After checking in and getting changed we took the bus into Buda arriving at Moscow Square was a little disorentating, but we were soon walking towards the old town and looking at the castle (though we did make a quick stop so I could buy a skarf to keep out the bitter cold). 
 Posted by Picasa
The old town
was beautiful to walk around the building and statues were very picturesque though a lot of the meseums were closed because we were out of season.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Fog :-(

I am writing this post return of the end of my holiday but I am going to try and write from th point of view of the day itself for each of the holiday posts.
Finally the first day of my holiday, I have been listerally craving this for a month now biding my time for a break from work.
On the way to Manchester Airport it was pretty foggy, I wasnt too worried at the point oh but I should have been!
Our departure time came and went hours sped by, I spoke to the desk and was told to wait around another flight would go out and because our flights were not direct and our connection was missed we would be put on a different connection or put us up in a hotel room for the night and get a connection the next day.

After waiting for hours and hours in Manchester we finally got underway totally late for the connection unfortunatly when we spoke to the Swiss Air staff at the check in desk they were unable to get us on a flight that day and told us WE would have to pay for a hotel. Needless to say I was more than a little vexed about this and will be writing some letters of complaint once I get back home. So Swiss air set us up a discounted room in the Renaissance Marriot Hotel Zurich. Its a 5* hotel and well it was really nice, we had dinner in the Asian resutrant and it was supurb, the Sushi was about the best ive ever had so I was starting to feel better, after a drink in the bar it was time for bed in order to make the airport bus at 6.10am.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Ong Bak attack

After another day at work and another tiring gy session I decided a night i might be night so spent this evening watchg some movies.
Ring 2,oh dear oh dear of dear Hollywoods obsession with Japanese horror has really gone wrong now, whilst Iprefered the origonal Ring to the remake I thought the remake was passible his however was utter tripe I didnt care about the chracters one bit yuk.
Next movie I was joined by Bruce though he spent most of his time searching for content on google video, mostly of potateo guns and a where to buy ex soviet tanks why you ask perhaps one of his collegues wiping out todays work finally tipped im over the edge?
Ong Bak is a Thia martial arts film it was quiet enjoyable with its forgettble plot errible dialogue but excellent speial effects, given it wasdone without wirework or cgi it was very impressive.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Comedy Night

Another Comedy night at the Woodford, British Legion tis time the comedians were pretty good especially the Kiwi he reminded me and Phil of Phils NewZealand housemate Sam.
IT was a trange compedy night, Phil and I were sat with Eric, Phils neighbour. Eric proved to be quiet an interesting guy I basically never knew either of my grandads my mum dad was alive but pretty out of it during my lifetime, so it was quiet interesting to talk to someone alive form the same generation. We were also sat with the young people from last comedy night they didnt make quiet so many heckles this time. Talking of heckles Martin could come as he spent the weeked in Birminham working on a job.
I got pretty drunk its taken me a while to sober up enough to write this blog, Jono was up on the walk home so popped in for a cup of tea.
So drunk in fact I thin I might have sent some rather inappropriate tet to girls in my phonebook oops well so far no responses ill just ignore that and move on.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day

Ah another evening another hour spent at the pub, after yet another day spent at work is this my life is this it? Has a life that once promised so much evapourated into work/gym/pub/oblivion?
In 15 days I will be 26 years old another year of being alone living with my parents achieveing little, or have I achieved more last ear that any time before? I managed to get a pay rise, paid off thousands of pounds of debt, consolidate my savings and get fitter and lighter than I have been in years. So what metric should I measure myself by, one where I am doing well compared to most or one where I am not doing enough as I want?
Tonight at the pub nick was talking about his achievements his houses his relaionship with Becky and compared to that I feel a complete failure or is he an excptional success? He posed the age old question do people make there own luck or are we all victims of circumstance, personall I believe some people are better at handling change and that maes them lucky but as compared with chance or statistics one person has no better or worse luck a 1/1000 chance is a once in a lifetime occurance but given the millions, billions of people 1/1,000,000 chances happen to someone all the time.
I guess the real question is can I John Cooke pruce anything truly exceptional, can I ever achieve the life I want or a
am I forever doomed to believe there is something more something worthwhile lurkng just around the corner.
Is this all bullshit has my upcoming birthday coupled with constant crap at work made me insightful or am I typing drunken gibberish Ill let the reader decide.
Well I should go to bed sleep off the beer rest my legs from the run I had earlier, tomorrow I can try and answer the questions and put them to one side and get on with the day to day grind, night all.
Oh weird just as I type this I recieve a text message telling me I look good but I am a little shit the number is unknown was this a mistake or is someone trying to make me feel worse? Strange how the brain tried to make patterns in the chaos.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Today Was a good day

I guess so far a lot of my blogs have been about the negative sides of my life, some readers might think I am a terminally depressed person, when infact really I am quiet positive about life in many ways so as today I had a really good day I thought I would post a happy positive message.
Work went well for a change I managed to single handedly solve serval sdrs which thought they were small made made feel good that I was able to beat them without begging for help or looking like I am incapable. Even JB seemed happy, at least for a few minutes. I even managed to solve two bugs within an hour one for GS and another for Natasha.
I also got an email from the big boss, he was acutally passing on company information to me like I am a part of the team was very pleasing. Suddenly after a small email I was again part of the team someone important again, whether in the long term it is meaningful is unemporant for the moment I feel valued hurrah.
To celebrate I went to the gym an di a full cardio and weights routine I felt like a conquering hero, RT caught up with me and I showe him my routine, I think he was impressed with me I know its petty but It really made me feel like I am starting to get somewhere.
After the gym got a call from NB he wanted me to list some things on ebay but also invited me over for a few drinks, well sounded like a plan after ebaying I went straight round saw Nick Bec' and the other Paul, then Ian and Faye turned up spent the evening drinking chatting and relaxing the perfect end to an excellent day.
Doh, Ive just had to explain this entire post to lulu I think perhaps I am too drunk at the time to write coherently, cathc you ll soon
Cookie ;-)

Friday, November 04, 2005

Fitness and Websites

Well its been about three months since I started the mens health trainer, and I think I am finally starting to see results. The weights have started to creep up but I am able to handel it. Although I still need to buy some new trainers on the cardio machines I seem t be able to handle 30-45 minute sessions better than ever. Im probably fitter now than I have been since I was at school playing two games of rugby a week (no really I was actually quiet good before I tarted drinking and smoking use to do two training sessions as well!).
Regaless I am fitter leaner and more healhy and yet somehow this has not lead my life in the way I would have expected. I hoped that looking better would make it easier to meet women, and well I guess it hs just so far I havent met any that I like who liked me. Along the same line I earn more than I have ever done and yet I never seem to have an spare cash to enoyu myself. Though a lot of that relates to reckless spending in the past.
I suppose I find it hard to be happy, I can't eaisly settle for things, I lose some weight or pay off a debt and rather than celebrate the fact I look towards the next challenge. know I will never be perfect but should I stop striving for perfection? I think a lot of people just find something like martial arts religion or business and the themselves wholeheartedly into that, using that one hing as a yadstick for their lives. I fear any path that leads to addiction given I have such an addcative personality. I feel ore for the victorin sense of learning bits about everythingsunderstanding the world not justone piece of the puzzel. Latey though even in that I a proved ignorant the day to day grind taking away my ability to learn.
One success yesterday evening I found out about the iframe tage and how it can be used to lunch a file and play it inde the current web page. I shall be putting this trick to use in Pauls website soon.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Too Much Work Too Little Time

After work and the gym the next biggest drain on my time is building pcs and websites. INitailly the idea as that this extra work woul cover the cost of running my webserver (from which this sie and others are running). Somehow through my inability to oranise properly I never seem to have managed to gather in the money. Last night it was Ian turn to badger meinto working on his website. I have added a lot more text and changed the colour scheme sightly. Unfortunatly doing it reminded me of my main faiing when it comes to web design, in that I am just artistic enough I find it hard to decern how to make things look good those little exra touches people use to improve the layout and style just seem beyond me.
Tongith I will revisit Pauls website I plan to add in his mp3s and lyrics and hopefully find a way to use the colour scheme he wants.
Last night I went to the pub with Phil and Bruce we are hopefully going to book our trip soon, current possibilites are either Prague again which I would like but prefer to go somewhere new, Budapest Warsaw or Bratislava.

Monday, October 31, 2005

My name is John and Im a computer repairman

Once upon a time it was seriously uncool to know abount computers, I remember being at primary and high school, people though computers were these crazy weird things only true nerds with beards used.
Somewhere about 2002 the internet suddenly changed all of that computers were a big thing, now even my anti the biggest luddite I know uses a computer. Unfortunatly due to viruses and the complexity of the damn things all of a sudden instead of hiding computer literacy for fear of being called a geek now I hide my knowledge for fear of being asked to look at someones pc....
On which note some people I know needed there computers fixing this was the hax0red laptop and the dell comp I upgraded the memory in. Tonight I got reminded why its a bad idea fixing things for people I gave back the dell working to the best of my knowledge two days later its back here apparently it crashes all the time now :-S Im pretty sure it was fine all I did was remove some programs defrag and update windows, av install anti spyware, oh and upgrade the memory it should be fine ho well I investigate tomorrow. ThoughI have a million and one things to do like Ian and Pauls websites oh well the money for these pcs at least paid for my graphics card upgrade.
Tonight I watched Kung Fu Hustle which was a great fun full of chease and some grat kung fu and Batman Begins which I expected to hate and actually really enjoyed.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Terminal Tournaments V

Ah the sound of fans wirring, glow of leds and smell of pizza it must be a lan party!
This is the fifth lan we have run under the terminal tournaments banner, and the first one to feature a competition with prizes. The competition worked well even though I got knocked out in the second round by eventual winner Leon. I was upset that we didnt get any new people but 13 is a good turnout by any standards. I think perhaps we were not as organised as we could have been, I hope next time we can sort out a more professional gaming session.
Disorganisation aside it was a good lan with plenty of fragging especially by David B and Leon aka Bezza.
My new graphics card proved to be nice and slick for playing quake four and counter strike source, though Bruces 24 inch lcd monitor proved to be the biggest crowd pleaser.
Martin O seemed to be down I think he is having girlfriend troubles poor him, whilst Martin G was in a fine mood recieving many text from this new girl Charlotte. Whilst I am really pleased for him I do feel down that increasingly I am the only single person of my friends. I might join yahoo personals see if I can meet anyone new hopefully it will be better than the disaster that was loopylove.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Replay / Endo

Just got back from a night out in Manchester Martin, myself Phil and Martins friend Endo went to watch Sandbox the Academy Four. It in the club underneath the Manchester University Student Union. It wasnt a very good gig for sandbox although the club is all nice and new with a nice PA the levels were wrong there was feedback and it was too loud, upsetting really considering seeing Sandbox at Academy three was excellent. Oh well, after the gig we neededd to give our ears a est so went for a curry in Rusholme. Endo is a fun guy even more laddish than Martin bit much at times but seems a nice guy, he has just finished a year travelling round the world. Phil was convinced he bought our Oz van though I think the chance is fairly remote is would be a amusing.

Recently I have been thinking a lot about going travelling, but I cant decide whether I want to run away from my problems or that I am too afraid to get out on my own. I showed Liz's final email to Lulu she thinks I should act more confident and stop being so negative about myself, I am trying its just I always seem to fall short perhaps I just dont understand how to be happy?

Bought a new graphics card today a nice new geforce 6800xt. After seeing how well Bergers worked I felt it would breath some life into my aging PC. When I saw it was on today only at scan for 96 pounds I decided I ahd to have one. Just in time for the lan too :-D I gave the old one to my dad I think he was happy its (radeon 9600) got a nicer refresh rate than than his old radeon 7000. Scan computers is next to Bolton arena and that reminded me of the Coldplay concern and Ironically Bruce sent me some phots from his phone taken at the concert

As a side note I went through Pauls Blogs and removed the mass of comment spam he had accumulated and turned on the picture verification so hopefully it will put a stop to it.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Another fun day full of computer related crap. After not being able to sleep last night I felt like exhausted. I had to get up an hour early to as I wanted to do a couple of things before the masses arrived. I made it in early enough to take a copy of the live system onto training. It seemed to go smoothly, I even managed to find the bug which had been causing the PSD to fail in transformation.

Only problem is as I feared the data has not been completed by the advisor's correctly so now Julie and I will have to go through about 40 cases and correct the details :-S

Sometimes people really annoy me, they ask for advisor when things go wrong but never listen to it. Dispite my best efforts they install crap software don't update and get their PC's into a real mess. The Doyle's PC's both have virus on them the laptop was by far the worst, an un-patched XP system with no anti virus it was heavily compromised having all sorts of weird networking services IRC bots and backdoors on-board. Netstat showed huge numbers of connections going out mostly to other (probably infected computers). Oh dear :-(
The other machine was only slightly compromised as a much more secure XP SP2 computer with anti virus the only problem I could find was a rouge active x control. I hope they arn't too upset when I tell them, though I wish they had bought an Apple Mac like I suggested!


Arghhhhh I am going crazy I cant sleep, my mind is totally awake. Stupid rain its hammering on my roof my room is humid, I am too hot then too cold what's wrong with me? I have been working on Paul's website its not very good, yet, I find sometimes it takes so long to do what should be a simple task just because I am out of the habit of web design, not that I was ever really that great. I suddenly have load of work on Ian's additions craddy site and now two more PC's to fix for the Doyles. The reminds me I must contact Steve Wilson and pick up my cable in time for the lan.
Liz was playing on my mind she sent me an email quiet a damning one, and she was right in a way but it dosn't really change the fact I need to sort things out on my own and I cant do it with someone so possessive. I am not sure if I should reply to her.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Im still here

Its been so long but as usual not much to post about really dont want to bore you guys, my life has been like usual work, gym pub.
Last night I met Phil and Martin in the Legion in order to put up some posters for the lan next saturday. It was a pretty good night I needed a few drinks after another week of annoying bugs, challenging co workers. Martin and Martin O were discussing doing an AV install in the legion while Phil and Myself got progressivly more drunk. It was actually a really nice chiled out evening and a nice way to end the week.
I went to the gym earlier for a cardio session, they always seem to have stands set up for some sort of promotion of another as you walk in, today it was mobile phones. The women pestered me as I walked past asking if I liked bacon sandiwches, apparently I most guys said they didnt like them! Insane it my favorite snack, lovely chrispy bacon with some brown sauce just the job.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Rain and Comedy

Ah Stockport in the rain is there a better time to see your beauty? Martin needed a bulb for his sisters car and I needed some new trainers so along with Phil we decided to go out to to Stockport, oh depressing city I can hardly believe how much time I havve spent over my life walking round its crowded streets, even with the recent renovations its a mash of 1960s concrete with a bit of a facelift where the period features have been restored like hilgate its still th same crap sex shops and pubs freqented by the dregs of society. I couldnt find any trainers that fit me stupid wide feet Martin got his bulb or free, oh and I bought a chin up bar and a radio controlled switch for my fish tank lights. True to form the switch dosnt work with the tanks lights for some bizzare reason and the chin up bar has an end missing :-S Sometimes I think I was born under an unlucky star.
I finally made it to the gym for an hour of cardio it really made me feel better even if it did make me late for tea and cause another argument with my parents.
The evening was reserved for a Woodford legion comedy night which was very funny except for Martings constant audiance heckles.
Watched episode 3 of lost season two things getting more and more surreal by the minute in fact I am kind of losing interest a little oh well pleanty of time for things to improve.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Movies and Curry

Today I felt tired after travelling to London yesterday, I didn't manage to get much done really started writing a piece about yesterdays excursion which will be published on Then went into Manchester uni to backup the server this turned into a bit of a major pain as my apple laptop didn’t not want to share out a USB hard disk I had to download a little utility from the web in order to do it. However finally got hold of a decent backup which makes me feel a lot happier about the system also managed to clear about 500mb of space off the home partition, I was chatting to Bruce and it basically time to get another server in start building n some redundancy and better backup procedures.
Spoke to Liz she has started her own blog at (link removed due to liz's request) it was kind of weird not quiet sure who to behave wiht her yet I guess time will tell.
Another Friday night another night in watching movies and eating curry, this time not my house though. Last week I fixed the laptop which belongs to Jo Bergers girlfriend Holly, it had spyware and some sort of unknown virus. I didn’t have the time or these days really the skill to take it apart and fix the problem so I copied off the data and reinstalled everything from scratch not a difficult job but a slightly tedious one. In repayment Jo and Holly threw a video night round at there house, we watched The Hudsucker Proxy a quirky Coen brothers film and the 80s vampire film lost boys.
Oh and yes you might have picked up on the amount of junk food and lack of exercise this week well I don’t intend to make a habit of it and I will be making a trip to the gym tomorrow. I am now many workouts behind on my plan so many I am actually starting to feel like Ill never be able to catch up. Well I should get some sleep.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Linuxcon and Apple Store

Today Bruce and I took the day off and caught a train down to Lonon, then a tube then another tube and finally fonud ourselves at Olympia 2 for LinuxCon. I wasnt entirly sure what to expect from the show, I decided to go as the tickets were free and I thought I might learn something.
You can read our little review of it on Bruces server room site
Heres a neat pic of the Apple Stores Demo area its like a cinema bit where they do free demos how cool!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Finally got round to nicks today to sort out his alarmnit went really well. Managed to get a free curry out of him too :-D

Let it go

Today was hell after two weeks of pain trying to get loads of differng people happy about a range of documents, with work being overwritten people misunderstood and a lot of pressure this morning I sat in work at 7am putting all that live it took most of the day and is probably the biggest thing I hve done so far. I guess I should think of it as an achievement. It has taught me a lot about the calculations that go on aprs, ppp, interest and fees. Guys always ask for the TAR (total amount repayable) then deduct the origonal borrowing that tells you how much its acutally costing you to borrow the money its a fairly frightning figure!
Since sunday I have been putting something off dreading talking to Liz I dont believe its would work out but I find it hard to make the break but sometimes when you like something the best thing to is to let it go. Though its not always an easy thing to do. For a while now I have been seeing Liz, I say seeing but in fact I only saw her a few times I always seem to be too busy or tired, I know it ws getting to her and on Sunday she basically had a go at me about it. I guess bubbling away is the thought that I dont like me very much so how can anyone else, there must be something wrong with them to like me. It strange I know, but I guess she isnt the one for me or I would care more deeply, she sounded pretty hurt which was bad. She is a nice person adn dosnt deserve that, unfortunatly I'm not really a nice guy I appear to be I care about something and feel guilty but that dosnt always make me do the right things.
To make myself feel better I went out to see Collin he was looking well its probably a year since we last saw each other he left BLEL before me and I left well over a year ago now. There was something about that place, in between the skiving and the dubious work there were some great people (some awful people too) but it was all just a bit larger than life.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Jabez Clegg

Seems like this is a long weekend of music for me Sandbox on Friday night and Paul Tonight, they were both playing as part of the "In the city" fesitval of music in Manchester.
I went down with phil and met up with all the usual suspects Danny, Woller, Sandbox turned up. I arrived in time to catch "The Great Blind Degree" a kind of razorlight esc indie rockers they were talented but Im not sure there music said very much to me. The PA was a bit more powerful than the room the sound uttlerly deafning.
Next on was Vijay Kishore, a singer songwriter like paul, he had an incredibly powerful and captivating voice he put so much sorry and energy into his songs I think a lot of people/ women have screwed him over.
Finally Paul, I though he gave a good performance not the best I have ever seen but he seems to have developed some of hi songs adding a few little touches that were nice.

Unfortuantly as I was working early had to shoot after the gig, Paul seemed somewhat subdued and upset with his performance, which is a shame but I guess artists are a highly strung bunch. I managed to get a few decents photos before the battery on Phils camera died I think I would like to get an SLR and take more photos but I am not sure how I would feel about walking round with such an expensive toy, and I still want a new pc as well :-S All these desires and Im only bearly out of debt going to have to keep a handle on my desires.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Cafe Club

I am totally worn out after a long and highly stressful week. For the last two weeks I have been working on some new lender documents which need calculations for early settlement of the loans, its actully quiet a task to calculate the future settlement of a loan you have to calculate the effects of compounding over the period and if the loan rate is varible (which most are) the figures will be inaccurate.
Also all the documents need new merge field creating this ranging from the simple (inserting data direct from the database) to the more tricky processing data using called programs then inserting into the printing gateway. Ive done about a dozen of these fields for the new docs, at this point I guess you are wondering why I am blithering on about this well here we go, on Friday afternoon about 2pm I had finally finished about 90% of the work, by 4pm I was back to the start again why you ask well thanks to Mike overwriting my entire workload thats why cheers mate good work there :-(
I thought Friday was going to be a total washout I got home from work late having to stay late and try and redo as much work as possible, that meant I had to rush to get changed as I planned to catch the 8pm bus into Manchester where I would go see Sandbox's latest gig. In typical Manchester form it was pouring down I waited for the bus from 7.50 till 8.15 and it was no show I was about to cry when I got a text from Bruce he was driving down yay! The gig was excellent Andy Lenny and Righni totally on form, I guess touring has really helped them out they even gave away a live cd nice one chaps.
Saturday my head felt bad I shouldnt have drunk at the gig I knew I had to get up in the morning, oh well. Today Bruce Phil and Myself were to set up an internet cafe in the Birmingham International Conference Centre, I was helping Phil brother Jim out. Jims company ATOV were doing a conference setup with a 40metre projection and had been asked to set up an internet cafe as well Jim knows nothing about PC's so he asked us guys to do it, it was quiet a laugh really and the end product was pretty suburb 24 laptops and a smoothwall firewall and proxy 12 laptop on each sode of the confreence hall. The only thing count really believe was the price of everthing £900 for three days internet connection! That pales into insignifcance though when compard to the £1200 for power!!!! Phil did a good job getting the laptops made secure and setting up the smoothwall box, Bruce and I were mainly just manual labour really except for some faults (a switch failed as did some cables). I think Jim was happy with the setup it certainly looke the part one ot the sparkies tested it for us checking the football results.


Got back from Birmingham about 7 just enough time for Chinese and a few beers in the farmers :-)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Forever Delayed

OK Its been a long time since my last post, Ive been so busy yet nothing has really been interesting enough to talk about. In fact I am not even sure where the time has gone to seems like I have constantly been busy work has been especially touch the lender documes have all had to change, each one choosing slightly diferent ways to apply the same figures. Also I have been working on some new XML export programs for Trigold which has been a chore, thanks to poor documentation and little support from the user base.

Lulus email prompted me to write new post, it made me sad reading how easily her collegue was sacked as the world becomes more and more controlled by corporations who are out fo profit above all other concerns I feel increasingly isolated. Hoe you are well Lulu dont be too sad.

Last night I backed up and repared to reinstall windows on Jos laptop, Bruce came round to pick up his Amiga 1200 and to work on the proxy for the job in Birmingham on Saturday. The router did not go well I am not sure why either < - - - > < - - - > ---- Internet
Laptop router mars
gateway(router) gateway(mars) static route is A gateway for

The router can ping either side and ip forwrding is on but I can et traffic from the router tothe internet or indeed from to mars. From both sideI can ping the far side network interfaces but not the beyond. Hopefully I can sort it ou tongith.

I went to the gym for the first time ages on Monday I have been training but mostly jogging or cycling because myshoulder was painful. I have definatly lost som strength but hopefully I can quickly gai it back Ill be taking it easier until I am sure abo my shoulder though.

Got a phone cal from Collin a fellow ex BLinker sounds like he is doing really well for himself, heopfully eet him for a drink next week.

Other bits Martin has bought himself an pod nano its so small and nice how cares about the scratches or battery I want on!
Nick is looking to buy the place of on Jenny lane, I told Phil he played it cool but I am pretty surehe wants it for himself. I guess Ill wait and see what happens.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

where are u??

where are u cookie?? i don't want to lose our contact... time difference just makes me feel our distance :(((
i know you feel bad recently, which i might not be able to help. to leave some words here is the only i can do. i do believe you can handle with any difficulties.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Tight Shoes

Today has been an nothing day really after the excitedment of yesterday and the effort gone into the last week I felt totally shattered.
I did manage to go for a jog which proved a pain, quite literally I think my feet must swell when I am running as my trainers which feel comfortable when Im walkign around feel tight and blister my feet when I go running. Mind you after eating pizza yesterday I needed the exercise.
Spoke to Lulu today she reminded me of our first sms conversation a year ago, there is mid autum celebration in China I didn't really understand what it is about so I did a search on google and found this I guess Lulu will explain when she has time. I think the Chinease are a lot more diserning in the celbrations looking at family rather than the Eurpean harvest type celebrations basically saying hey guys we have managed to make it through another year.
I worked on the Access email system today basically I cheated a little and found this smtp linker which I am using the create a form. The only think I need is another form to build the email address lists based on any criteria chosen.
I actually got a phone call from Jo the fix I made to Hollys laptop didnt work, I think its great people ring me but it would be nice to be asked to the pub rather than rung up for technical support.

Terminal Tournaments IV

Another Lan bash, another day of Quake, Counter Strike and Unreal (with some flat out for good measure). After spending most of yesterday tweaking the server in order to be ready for today, all last minute as usual I was already pretty tired and my day did not start well Berger rang me before 9am wanting a lift (cheers mates! A little warning next time perhaps?). Berger's car was in the garage for repair and of course Berger uses the garage near Woodford so he thought I was the best bet for a lift,
I had been trying to sort out some of the niggles that we had suffered with at the previous lan namely the maps not rotating on Quake, and games starting before everyone is ready. Also trying to add mani statistics recording to Counter Strike. Apart from quake maps I unfortunately failed on all counts. I did however add a nice implementation of Samba and introduce a web site with some crafty batch files. Overall with the addition of some extra memory the games server was running pretty well I thought. Many thanks to David Bourne for his efforts with mani next time I hope things will be running somewhat sweeter for you.
The actual lan was a success in many ways but I felt a bit of a failure overall, whilst we have improved massively since the first shambling event we have not increased the popularity (in fact less people attended than TT3) and some of the original niggles still remain and will do until the server is perfect. Hopefully we have got something to build on we can actually get some things done rather than continually talking without taking action.
Apart from that the games were excellent I do well at Quake and Flatout only to be given a hiding on Counter Strike and Onslaught.
Tidying up went well we were out in about 45minutes including tidying everything up and hoovering up, pity Martin O missed it really. I was really upset with Bruce getting double booked given how far in advance the event had been booked for. , I also worry that we are reliant on his equipment. Eventually I would like to use some of the profit to procure some TT own equipment which is used only for the lan's I guess thats just dreaming at the moment but I think its the way forward, at least that and building up the numbers with some better marketing.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Well made it to the gym again for a cadrio only sesion my shoulder is still sore I must admit its really starting to annoy me now I just want to start training again.

My blinds are now up so my room is finally finshed yay! So last night I got to sleep in my own bed again its so much more comfortable. Its strange really compared to some of e hostels I stayed in when I was travelling round OZ the spare room is excellent yet somehow knowing I have a lovely warm comfy bed in thesame house made it less habitable. Well that and being surrunded my my dads horded crap wasnt any fun.

Phil came round lt night to draw on m linux knowledge, it made me realise that since working for Tbred I have done a lot less basic neworking it took me half an hour out work out the correct routing commands. Using a Suse Linux 9.3 computer as a router with two network cards and routed running on one side was a windows client on the other my apple mac. Each seperate side had its own gateway, so the metric had to work that traffic travelling between the neworks was least cost but for each side its own gateway had a lower cost than routing across the network.
It was a bit confsing but we managed in the end SuSE is even a pretty good Linux when you turn KDE off and Phil bough me some beers for m trouble :-D

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Where is my life

Some days I wonder where the time goes, I look back on my uni days where I had so much free time, it waseasy to have a lie in easy to reorgnise. Whereas these day by the time Ive been to work and the gym I feel almost too tired to think.
I often wake up with my body sreaming for me to stay in bed on a weekday but on the weekend I feel like I have to getup early so as not to waste that precious time.
I guess I am just feeling down at the minute given that thing with Nikkie turned so sour so quickly, and then Liz. Nikkie even had the gall to say I as a boring sad geek which is pretty funny/ironic from a girl so badly in debt she cant afford to go out and yet she continues buying games for her xbox. Critising me for going to bit lite, well I was out drinking beer and having fun listening to music and meeting new people whilst you were sat at home on our own, so who exactly is a loser? Oh well plenty more women out there I am sure one day Ill meet someone who is intellgent and will love me for who I am. I am not going to conform, I am not going to be one of the lads am going to be me.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Stock Dove

Its been another long day full of different but fun things, the second day of c64remix / retrovision was fun though it ended at 3 and left me a lot of the day left to play with. Saw this ace wizzball animation
In the evening I managed to catch up with Paul, I dont get to see him very much these days but I always find it interesting talking to him. I guess he is a connection to a more colourful creative world he is actually a musitian so it was good to be able to chat to him about the remix music I had listened to I know it wasnt really his think but Im pretty sure he could appriciate it on some levels. Unfortunatly he has been havng some problem between himself and Lisa I wont go into the details but we had a long chat I tried to listen and not advise but help him come to his own conlusions I always find its better for people to make up there own minds rather than try and lead them.
It is always a good experience for me talking for Paul I think he can be so positive and brings out the best in people generally a top bloke to have around its a same our lives have seperated over the years him followinf his dreams of becoming a musian and me going into the corporate world. One day I hope both our career paths will reward us though both in different field we are looking for direction, I think we both want to find something to focus on.


Oh where to start what a day, last night after a shit day at work I found myself in Failsworth talking to some fiendish people about computer games from the past.
I think the highlight was listening to Phil trying to give tips about cannon fodder to the fucking guy that programmied it!!! Phil hadnt got a clue there was a guy playing Cannon Fodder emulated on a PSP, he turned out to be Senible Softwares programmer.
Today was a whole day playing games on retro consoles including bomber man (which bruce kicked arse on, any fighting game which I pretty much rocked on). Then in the evening it was a show including Ron Hubbard whoo who rocked a bands who came up with the brillient "16K where does it get you today" and Sid Back to 80s who were excellent.
I cant really explain other than if you owned a Commador 64 or Spectrum but once upon a time you loaded games from tape waite half an hour and sometimes the loading sequence was better than the game. Today modile phones are more powerful!
I bought Makkes album and some Galways stuff to listen too which is Ace. Martin might take his pinbal table down tommorrw,
I think we should deinfatly try and get into expanding the lan by putting on some of these demos and music as sie events see if anyone else is interested. Quite apart from anything else I think the range of talents from Martin with his av to my organisational skills I think we could be a big help and together build something good.
Other funny things included Bruce spiloling kebab all over himself so he sat there for the rest of the evening with his t-shirt on inside out to hide the orange kebab sauce stains.

Friday, September 09, 2005


I thought I would write a bit of a different blog today and bore you all with my finances. Its basically how I DWD (dealt/dealing with debt), for the last year or so I have been doing my best to try and get out of debt, I would like to now write a bit of a statement of affairs.
Looking back to this time last year, I owed close to £2700 on my Credit card, about £1000 in an overdraft and I had just purchased an Apple Powerbook using a line of credit from the Apple store. Add to this my about 12,000 of student loan (though that's handled differently so Ill discount that for the moment).

Ouch how did I get here?

Whilst at uni I was bad with money despite getting some money off my parents and having a part time job at the council and doing a years paid work for Wilmslow High School I graduated with an overdraft and a big student loan. Then I decided to go to Australia for three months it was the trip of lifetime (see some of the pictures here) I had savings of £4000 up to that point on the trip I basically spent all of this and then some whoops.
To make matters worse I found it difficult to get a job on returning spending nearly 4 months on jobseekers allowance and still using my credit card double oops.
What was worse once I started earning a wage rather than pay off my debts I borrowed more.

So what is the big deal?

"the borrower becomes the lender's slave."
-Solomon in Proverbs 22:7

Well in a way the wasn't one, I could have taken a loan consolidated my debts and worried about it tomorrow. The only thing is I started to think how much money the banks were making out of me, it might only be costing a few pounds a week but it all starts to add up and I started to think maybe I should keep some of this money for myself. I also read a number of books thanks to Nicks badgering "The Richest Man in Babylon" and "Rich Dad Poor Dad" and they really showed me that I didn't want to be a slave to debt.

So where am I today?

Credit Cards

Well thanks to using a series of 0% interest credit cards my current credit card balance is £257 and over the last few months I have switched to a cashback card use my credit card to earn cashback and pay the balance each month earning me money in two ways firstly I get to leave my money in the bank for longer earning interest and secondly for each purchase I earn 0.5% cashback.

Student Loan

A funny debt really its the usual government mess of means testing and brocracy. I currently pay about £50 a month (used to be 80-100 before the government change the threshled). I could start to make overpayments be what would be the point? Interest on student loans is pegged to inflation, so I would make more money be saving any overpayments in a deposit account. Also payments out of my wage are taken before tax any extra payment would be made after tax.


My overdraft level is down to £450 well inside my £500 graduate account' interest free allowance.


Well pretty much for the first time in my life I have a reasonable amount of savings building up. I set up a number of direct debits to make regular payments into my savings accounts the day after payday, I found after a couple of months I hardly missed the money. I have two savings account one is a long term emergency fund (eventually Ill save the equivalent of 6 months wages as a kind of self insurance against the unexpected.) the other newer account is meant to be way of saving up to pay the big bills like my car insurance and gym membership. Although I don't put much in about £50 I don't see the point of saving whilst in debt this time next year I expect it to be an important money pot. I save into an Abbey Postal ISA 5.5% tax free emergency fund and use ING Direct 4.8% taxable for my day to day pot.


I actually started putting money into investments some time ago. My first investment was a disaster putting £1200 into a technology ISA about a month before the DOT com bubble burst in 2000 was a pretty stupid way to spend my student loan. Anyway after doing some research I found that over long periods 80% of funds failed to beat the market averages, so rather than try to find a fund in the 20% decided hey why not invest in the market February 2004 I started investing £90 a month into Legal and Generals low cost UK all share index(costs are important as they seriously affect the performance of your money over the long term). So far thanks to a recovery in equities I am already well ahead of cash savings and I expect that this will be the case over an extended period 5 - 10 years. When I paid off my Apple loan I increased my monthly savings to £200 per month.


OK pensions are boring and if your like my dad pensions are heart breaking (his was with Equitable Life) however I guess its better to do something than nothing. Unfortunately my company doesn't have a pension scheme they have though arranged a salary sacrifice scheme whereby some of my wages is chopped off and paid, the bonus of this its done on gross wage (before tax or national insurance) so it works out a pretty tax efficient £250 a month (about 12% of my gross wage) will apparently buy me about £8000 (in today's money) when I retire its not great buy hopefully along with my other investments it will be enough to get by.


Well discounting my student loan I am now a net saver rather than debtor which is great news. My main goals now have shifted from paying off my debts to building up a sizeable asset column and saving a deposit for a house. I am hoping next year to fully use my ISA allowance investment £4000 in stocks and £3000 in cash. Plus saving and paying off my bills in a more sensible manner so that I don't feel squeezed form month to month.
If you want to stay out of debt and be finacially secure there are only two things you need to do,

1. Spend less then you earn, this miht seem like a no brainer because it is however on average people in the UK spend £11 for each £10 they earn. Youll always be in debt if you live this way.
2. Pay Yourself, for each paycheck keep a portion of the money for yourself this money is your to have an hold dont spend it keep it and let it earn more money. If you spend everything you earn and dont pay yourself will always be on the edge of financial meltdown hat happens if something goes wrong?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

One Story

Well after talking last night Liz clearly went to bed and got up pissed with me from the sound of the text messages I got today, I must say she caught me at pretty much the worst time possible so my reply was none too friendly. I cant believe how badly things have gone falling out with two girls in two days is a record even for me.
Work was foul lots of spaghetti to dig through too many questions as to why on earth things have been done the way they have, but hey none listens to me anyway im just the trainee. My main gripe today is the way the database is structured nothing is normalized the tables are huge and for some very bizarre reason we have three separate tables for each of the three types of loan rather than have a flag to say which type of loan it is. So it means you have to programatically decide which type of loan it is which is not always an easy feat for various reasons like it the loan has been transferred from one to the other it will have a record in multiple files witht he same key, just so poor.
This evening Martin and I went to see his ex workmate Aaron at the Night and Day Cafe in Manchester, the guy didn't endear himself to me asking if I was gay :-S his music was ok a bit like Damien Rice only without the passion. One Story were pretty good though they had a lot of intensity and a couple of stand out songs though the lead could do with getting a better mike couldn't hear some the vocals through the hiss.
Saturday is bit light which is something good to look forward too

Lies damn lies and blogs

I must admit at times I am a terrible liar, I lie at work so I can be lazy, I lie to people about where Ive been or am going to, usually its just a case of me protecting my private life (I guess pretty much an odd thing for someone who runs a blog but hey I never claimed t be a simple person). I guess the person I lie most often to is myself, I have pretty strong belifes that sometimes just to get through the day I need to justify things to myself. Once upon a time I was convinced I could do something with my life be positive but somewhere on the way after many compromises I sit here and well I havent and the sa fact is I probably nver will.
You might at this point dear reader be slightly confused about this post why should I be talking about lies, well the reason is one of my lies became undone because of this very blog!
Over the last few weeks I have been seeing in a casual sense two women Liz and Nikkie, neither was serious in fact Nikkie very much didnt want anything serious, I did however quiet like Nikkie enough to want to see what happened well if you read the last post you know what that was. I digress however in a nutshell I had lied to Liz about what I was doing this weekend in order to have a free schedual I justified this that hey we werent serious it wont matter (see what I mean about lieing to myself, ifs not a character trait I like). Anyway the long and short of it is she read my blog and cofronted me and well I had no excuses.
I should have been honest but I wasnt in fact today I wa completing a survey about morality it asked what I would do if I saw people committing an illegal act whether I would respond, I longed to say would but in my heart I knew that I am a coward and although I like to talk about doing great deeds I would probably walk on by.
The only positives things from day were actully being honest with Liz and going for a cycle, my shouldr hurt during the night though so maybe I even overdid that.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Another Monday

Well I felt completly terrible going into work today that will teach me to drink on a chool night. It was good though so that cheered me up.
Unfortunaly I was soon grounded back to earthby Nikkie she didnt seem to understand my annoyance with what happened and finished with me. Not that we were actually together in a meaningful way this was afterall the girl who kept telling me she had her own life and didnt want monogamy. Anyway the usually recriminations via text, I was less than pleasent with reason I feel, but thats it over. Realistically she could have simply been nice but as usual it was all accusations straight away, i guess it would never work with her in Blackburn anyway oh well, another on to experience.
Work was as painful as usual more bugs more bad planning sometimes I dispair at the lack of direction and planning.
At least mr happness was at another site so I didnt have the entire will to live stripped away. I got a crazy and random job offer to be a senior novell person, did the agent even look at my cv? Quiet funny especially as its based in Paris France I dont speak French. Oh well managed a meet Bruce for a pint at the unicorn and had a chat to Cassy which lifted my spirets a bit.