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.

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Today was meant to be a good day I was ging to Nikkies for her sisters wedding it would be a chance for us to spend some time together and to eat bbq etc. The first let down had been ork cancelling my holiday so I couldnt stay over (though as it panned out this might not have been such a bad thing).
The first bad sign was getting lost, maybe this was the universe trying to put me off, maybe just me being inept.
Anyway finally arrived and to start with things were cool satting chatting playing criket then all of a sudden im alone I try and mingle but everyone seems very cliquey after serveral hours of bascially hanging alone I made my excuses and left. I dont think I have every felt more like a spare part, its like the sort of parties i went to as a kid trying to fit in I promised myself I would never be exploited like that again and yet there I was bored as hell watchig Nikkie mingling with people I didnt know. I was glad to get away and to brighten my day I met up with Ian Bruce Faye and Ian for drinks at the Davenport Arms. It was great fun chatting and laughing about lost and life. Eventually ended up back at Ians smoking some weed and chatting about the old days it wa like being 17 again chasing after Laura Fairhurst. In fact there was a conisidence as Nikkies house is on Fairhurst lane, almost some sort of sick karma. I came back from Ians totally trashed I am surpirsed I have been able to type this, Night

Saturday, September 03, 2005

CD Storage

After spending Friday night watching the last 6 episodes of Lost whilst enjoying a bottle of vodka. It ends on a cliffhanger I just can't wait for the next series to start. They really know how to build the interest just relieving enough or taking you away on a tangent in every episode.

Thanks to the vodka and late night I was feeling pretty tired on this morning. In spite of this I decided to try and get some things done, my arms still sore from over-lifting at the gym so instead I cleaned my car even did a bit inside. Then I finally went out and sorted my CD storage problems. Since getting rid of the unit my old fish tank sat on I have had all the stuff that was held in it scattered in piles all over my room. It was mostly CD's and DVD's so I decided it might be a good idea to get a storage rack. I had tried whilst I was at Ikea a few week's ago but the only suitable one proved to be 3cm too tall. Living in a converted garage mean having a low ceiling. John Lewis had what I wanted but it was too expensive.

I finally found what I needed at Argos. They sell a media rack which can hold upto 780 CD's or a combination of CD's and DVDs. Its was a little pricey at £70 for a chipboard unit however its looks pretty nice stocked full of my music CD's (well not full yet have to buy some more CD's :-) Phil and I must have looked pretty funny lugging a 2 metre long box up Hillgate.

In the evening myself Ian and Phil went for a few drinks at the farmer's arms in Poynton. Ian is another Lost addict and was really interested to hear I had the whole series. I might even let him watch it if he asks nicely...

With my parents away my cat has being keeping my up all night. Meowing for food, or to come in or go out, I don't know how they put up with it.