Saturday, July 30, 2005

Big tank

Well after a rather long day working, then painting, filling gravel (30kg of it which had to be washed and scalded) my new fish tank is finally set up. I feel very tired but it's good to see it all set up. Its a lot quieter than my small one which is a bonus. At the moment it look a bit forlorn with no fish or plants, I need to leave it running for a week to get rid of the chlorine and allow the filtration to activate before I can move the fish over. There is a photo gallery on my photo site check it out here.

The tanks filtration system is really complex using lots of different filters which is great but it means I need to replace them regularly which is a pain and will significantly increase the running costs which is a bit unforeseen. I guess I will need to stay in one night a month to pay for it!

I was working out my student loan repayments today. Based on the governments revised threshold the monthly payment has reduced. Whilst I like having extra money a month its drastically increased the repayment time to about 17 years!!! Oh well I could make over-payments but it dosn't make sense given that a=they will be out of my net wage and that the interest charged is only 3.2% so it would make more sense for me to put any overpayment money into savings account on which I can earn 5% tax free if I add to my ISA.

Today I spent trying to understand one of my colleagues programs. It is quiet a challenge as he has taken a totally different approach to Business Basic XML integration. I think its a bit of a hash however hopefully I will be able to make the required changes next week.

Got a text from Liz she seems really nice I hope we can be friends regardless of how things go on our meeting on Sunday.

I think its pretty much fizzled out with Nikkie she will be moving soon which is a shame I enjoyed the time we spent together it just I don't think it was right for either of us.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


My fish tank arrived today hurrah, it really does look quiet big sat in its box on a pallet. Unfortunately my mother has pointed out that once the fish tank goes in I will be difficult to paint behind and oh wouldn't it be lovely to get rid o the awful blue paint. After what three years of living with it I must confess the blue is a little dark. So after a long trip looking around B&Q (my god how many shades of neutral colours are there) I choose a crown Monaco paint.

So rather than setting up my new fish tank I spent the evening painting my room. Its gong to take at least two coats to cover the blue as well so there is going to be a delay getting the tank running.

When it is set up I will have to run it for about a week before I move the fish into it this will allow the chlorine to evaporate out and for some bacterial to start to grow. Here's a handy hint for those of you who don't like the taste of tap water; Chlorine is almost certainly the bad thing you can taste to get rid of it simple pour some water into a jug and leave in the fridge for 2 or so hours, volia nice tasting tap water.

Congratulations to Nikkie on getting her new job!

Got an email from Alison today it was really good to hear she wasn't hurt in the Sharm bombings. She is went working as a dive instructor after leaving Australia.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Back at work

Going back to work after a absence is always a pain but its a lot worse when your still not feeling well. That said fortunately yesterday wasn't too bad and I managed to get through the day just about.

I spend last night working with Phil organising all our diving photos for uploading onto the website, even with the duplicates removed there 700mb, however it should look excellent once all the photos are on there.

I was also chatting to Cassy last night it seems like such a long time since we lived in Moseley road interesting how peoples lives diverge. She introduced me (on-line) to her doctor friend Liz a junior doctor no less, personally I think it would end up like Bex she proved far to nice for the likes of me however Ill meet up with them when I am feeling better.
I hope everyone likes the new photo album . In time I intend to move all the pictures onto there.

Oh well I best get back to work I am having a meeting to catch up with the PSD at 10.30 .

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Rainy Sunday

I haven't written a post for a few days so I am going to have to try and cram a lot into this I will try and keep it chronological but if things get screwy its because I'm still taking codeine for my stomach pain.

I was still really quite ill on Friday so in an attempt to cheer myself up I've ordered myself a new fish tank. The Oscars have totally outgrown my current tank, I feel cruel restricting their space. I have been meaning to get one for ages so today I finally bit the bullet and bought a Jewel 300 litre tank. It comes with a rather snazzy beach cabinet/stand and should look really nice. Its going to be a squeeze getting it into my room. I think it will require some major reorganization but it should be worth it in the long run. Only slight downside is Mum wants me to repaint my room and apparently this is a good opportunity :-/

It all makes m wish I could afford a place of my own but there's nowhere within my budget and I am still stuck into a debt cycle in which stupid purchases of fish tanks and holidays to Sweden rather drain my resources. Though I wonder if deep down I am just scared to committee to buying somewhere and being tied down it is easy living at home perhaps I am get myself into a position where I cant get away so it gives me an excuse not to?

The debt situation is getting much better I'm clearing my credit card each month and I haven't dipped into my overdraft for months. Also my savings accounts are starting to look a bit more healthy I think I well on my way to hitting my new years resolution of clearing my personal debts. I just need to learn a bit more self control and not go so mad buying things.

Saturday I spent most of the day trying to fix up the games server in time for the next Lan bash on the 6th. Steam still proved a complete pain I finally managed after much effort to get it running. I was also working on my Sweden holiday gallery I think I will have to give up on XML/XSL Picasa outputs tiny rubbish thumbnails and xsl doesn't always render correctly in Firefox I think I will look for an alternate product rather than try and reinvent the wheel myself.

Saturday night was Jo Berger's house-warming, his place is really nice especially now he and Holly have tidied it up and given it some more homely touches. I went down with Martin and Bruce and Phil met up with use, no Ian or Danny though. Haven't seen Ian for a long time.
Spent some of the evening watching the happy tree friends such a funny violent cartoons they crack me up completely. The juxtaposition between the cute cuddly animals and the ultra violence (the level of which would make Alex DeLarge smile) is excellently handled. Although I pretty much hate flash on the web some of the cartoons are excellent.

Spoke to Paul this morning it was really good to hear from him again, hopefully I can go down and visit him and Lisa soon.

Its raining outside and my stomach is still unsettled I'm pretty worried about going back to work tomorrow sometimes after missing so much I have a lot to catch up with. I hope I can make it through the day aright.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Still Ill :-(

Well days have past and yet Im not getting much better, so today I decided to fight my fears and head to the doctors. One examination later and I find I have either got a dose of food poisoning or a gastric bug either way he gave me some pills to help with the pain and other effects.
Work were pretty understanding about me having time off which was really good of them.
Though I have been at home I have been in no fit state to work on anything even as a casual project its really not much fun at all :-(
I hope to improve in time for Bergers house-warming on Saturday else I really will be upset.
I have managed to spend a few minute getting some of my personal tools for the next lan , namely a headset so I wont have to borrow one from Phil (Cheers for last time matey) I've gone for a pretty top of the line one though I bought it from eBay rather than a shop. I also treated myself to a new gaming mouse. Its called razor dimondback from razor (see razors website). There's a rather nice review of them here. I have been really impressed so far its been much more precise than my logitec mouseman dual hopfully it will net me a few more frags ;-)
The only thing I need now is a new PC to go with them then Phil can give his old one to Berger and we will all be happy. It wont be in time for the next Lan though I still need to pay off my Swedish trip and save up for a new fish tank they are the top priorities at the moment.
I've pretty much given up with buying a house for the time being its going to take years to save up a worthwhile deposit I am certainly no Nick when it comes to money.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


I didn't make it into work today was up all night with terrible stomach pains. It wasn't as bad as food poisoning I got in France but still I don't feel groovy.
One good thing about having a day off was I got to finish Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, it was a good book though not on a par with Goblet of Fire or the Order of Phonenix.
I watched Jamies school dinners repeats this evening, strange to see such passion for his work and another example of corporations exchanging the externalities which is our kids existence health for profits. Scary really is it possible that we have all become such a part of the machine that no one really noticed the corporations taking over replacing knowledge for advertising, health and the environment for profit? I worry but what can I do drop out join a commune that's hardly me is it? I just wish I could find Jamies passion and use it to change the world myself. Is that just arrogance on my part or is my apathy part of the problem even as I sit here the TV is on spewing yet my advertisements trying to create a desire for things I don't even need.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Lazy Sunday

After working with Martin yesterday I dont have my usual Sunday refreshed feeling, so think its time to have a lazy day. It was strange to do moonlighting putting up projectors screens in a big ops centre. It was alsmot surreal all these people sat around behind screens like me on a weekday.
Its midday and I am still sat in my dressing gown chatting to Lulu on the internet whilst trying to work out a nice way to present my Swedish photos, after the amount of effort Makke Boz and the others put in I dont want to just shove them up with webalbum generator.
Oh just got a message from Martin he wants to go to the gym later, oh well I can rest until then. My parents are away this weekend I think my cat is missing them he keeps moping about and meowing for no reason.

Friday, July 15, 2005

End of the Week

This week has felt like a long one, not sure if I am still tired from Sweden or what but I certainly feel like a couple of days off.
However tomorrow I agreed to help Martin with a small job oh well the cash will come in handy towards the credit card bill.

Watched the film Constantine tonight, a epic based on the helplessly series it was quiet religious with the usual themes of redemption dogma and of course good versus evil. I have been thinking about religion a lot recently especially with the bombings in London I am so unsure about the existence of god, like most people I would love to believe there is something more than this world. Yet so many bad things seem to be perpetrated in the name of god.

Sometimes this sort of thinking nearly drive me insane laid alone late into the night, is religion just heroin for the masses or is there really some big plan. If there is a god are we simply a pet project gathering dust while working on the next thing?

The new Harry potter is released at one minute past midnight unfortunately the internet has already tainted it slightly for me, I was reading /. when I saw a link that like a car crash I didn't want to read but couldn't turn away. I wont ruin it for anyone that knows but I know which character is going to die :-S

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Well thought I would give this blogging lark a try, it's a lovely sunny summers days here and I have just had a bbq so I am pretty full. My Chinese friend Lulu has been pestering me to start writing so here it is. Ive actually self published some earlier work on my website and also some of the Slashdot journal. I may migrate some of the content depending on how well I like blogger.

Last night I went out to Wilmslow, Paul was out as was Lisa freshly arrived from Sydney. She was in great form as was Paul, in fact it was a great evening sat outside the rectory chatting and drinking in the awrm evening air. Wish I had taken out my camera and got some shots. Talking of cameras Woller has a really lovely new camera phone 2mp! Think its time I upgraded there is a 7mp Ixus now.

It has been a long week, this time last week I was in Sweden watching the Flugtag and at Coldplay on Tuesday they were amazing much better than when I saw them at the men arena.

Yesterday I saw a film that chilled me to the bone.  Called the corporation and is about the rise and domination of the corporation I hadn't fully realised how much control they have it was scary and now the question is what do I do as a shareholder and a member of a capitalist society I couldn't go through life and avoid all corporate but I really think the system has to change.