Friday, March 31, 2006

Murial's Wedding

I spent this evening trying to bodge my dads web-site into shape he had the leaflet guy design it and it looks alright but is its a real mess behind the scenes. My dad wants it to work now so I simply changed the things he wanted. If only I were good at the visual design as well as code I could make a killing.

Two things tonight really reminded me of being in Australia particularly the month spent in Mission Beach Firstly I watched Murial's Wedding my latest movie from Love Film. It is an an excellent film of Murial's voyage of self discover from lonely Abba obsessed singleton dreaming of her wedding day. Trapped in a drab small Australian town of Porpoise Spit. Along the way she find real friendship, discovers new depths in her life and has some interesting adventures. The film totally reminded me of a girl I met in the backpackers, like the Murial she was from Perth and was a huge Muriel's Wedding fan. She had split up with her boyfriend and headed off traveling round Australia. We got on really well I quiet fancied her if truth be told but unfortunately she had to move on and Phil and I were stuck waiting for Phil's van to be repaired.
The was one other thing one night I was making great progress we were really getting on well then Phil came over e had been speaking to his mum and found out his dog had died and was very upset, it kind of destroyed the mood and I ended up having to console him.

The next trip down memory lane was courtesy of Aerdna a random ICQ user from Vienna. She reminded me of a couple I met in Mission Beach, Christian and Isabelle. They were two of the nicest people I have ever met, I did try to keep in touch for a while but it is always difficult. They were constant companions at the lodge but also the cause of a rather dark night. We were all having drinks cocktails I think when two new people joined us, they were properly red neck Aussies and were pretty brash and arrogant. When they found out where Christian was from they took him to one side to show him their tattoos. They were neo Nazis with Swastikas on their arms proud to show him because Austria had recently elected a right wing leader...

Well enough of my reminiscing, I need to get back out there somehow, I ever had a quick look at property in Budapest today, it's the *new* growth area. To be honest I was impressed I can see there is room for growth but by the same token room for collapse I think it's a little risky considering my capital resources are low at the moment

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Living Room Update

The living room is progressing, all the old wood has been removed as has the debris and some of the new concrete has been laid.
The first picture is of Nick standing having a look its been the first time he has seen the job he was very interested if only for his own benifit :-)

Nick myself and Becs went for a drink in the Thieves neck tonight its was a pleasant if brief treat after an otherwise difficult day. Becs was very amused to find out that I had used internet dating in the past. I felt pretty embarrassed to be honest, oh well. Wonder how Phil is enjoying Japan, hope he is having a great time out there. I need a holiday to be honest wish I was out there in a way though I dont think I could stomach the ritual side. I have been thinking about going to see Lulu in China but I am worried about going to somewhere so far remove from my own culture on my own effectively. I know it stupid to be afraid of the unknown, I have been other far away places, but then I was always travelling with someone not on my own, hopefully I can gather the courage and organise things soon.

Today, I sort-out out my isa, used put in the last of this years allowance before the 4th of April, it was quiet hard putting £1000 away it could have bought me a 24-inch widescreen high definition widescreen monitor like Phil and Bruce have but then I also want to buy a house so I have to make choices buy electronics or save up a deposit.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I Hate Touts / Living Room Update

After missing out getting hold of Radiohead tickets yesterday I thought I would try and get some from ebay, well surprise surpise there were loads for sale, what a joke people totally exploiting the ticket system grr they make me so angry but unfortunatly there isnt a lot I can do, I really want to see them and it look like it means either going to another country or buying off the black market which is totally against my principles sigh.

I spent today doing well not a lot really catching up on life reading the paper, tiding my room going for a run and cleaning out the fish. I really need to catch up with some stuff my website is a shambols outdated and unfinished I really need to fix it up a bit. I did manage to add some new photo sets to the ejected brass galleries :-D

Ive got a bit of a living room update, the builder has ripped about half the room out including digging out the crap top clay next on top of which is going a visquine layer then two inches of site concrete that should stop the damp rising. He has left a drain hole in place to allow any water on the conrete to drain out into the ground.

When thats done he is going to repair the brickwork including the unsafe fireplace! It was never properly sealed and so hot ash has been escaping there was a pile of the stuff under the floor its a wonder the house didnt set on fire apparently :-S Ill keep you updated with the progress hopfully by next week I might have a bit o the house back.

Mothers Day Curry!

Tommorrow is mothers day, and whilst its traditional to buy flowers and take mums out for a meal then we decided it would be more fun to go out for a meal tonight. Given the house is in bits its not really great for making meals at the moment. Indian food might not seem like the obviouse choice however mum suggested it so off we went to the La Quila II in Handforth our favorite Asian resturant. It was actually very busy we didnt think we could get a table but they managed to squeeze us in which was really nice. I had a chicken tika sizzler with jalfrezi sauce mmm so tasty.

After the meal I dropped my parents off at home and ran round to Bruces origonally we planned to go meet up with Paul and co in Wilmslow but they decied to mooch to Manchester we didnt really fancy that. I was pretty annoyed at Danny he was being a complete twat on the phone, anyhow instead we ended up at the Hesketh. It was a pleasent evening Nina seemed in a good mood I had recovered from my hangover after th pub we watched the latest lost and I went home for a sleep. The clocks changed in the night so an hour went missing somewhere.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Wasted Saturday morning

Went out with work last night, initcially we wet bowling at which well I was ok not great no the worst so that was ok. I think over two games my score was 206 pretty rubbish but better than some.

Then I went on with some of the IT crowd to didsbury I dont really know them that well I got pretty drunk not exactly sure what I said to the finance director... Notable for meeting up with a guy from school Chris Pagan also saw Big Col and Gilly in the Picture and Piano.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Living room hell!

For a while there has been a little bit of a problem in our lounge, the floorboards near the window have been a bit spongy, we thought that the joist migh have aged, unfortunatly it turned out to be a lot worse than that.
When I got home the first thing that hit me was the smell, once the floor was lifted the smell of rotton wood was very strong. The whole floor needed replacing there was wet and some patches of dry rot. There was also signs of plant growth under the floor!!!

Oh dear, it going to mean a weeks worth of disruption not just in the lounge but also the rest of the house as the contents of the lounge are now spread across the rest of the house.

Spam Spam Spam Spam

There are now several people who depend on my server for email including Ian Bruce and Nick they have all been complaining about the amount of spam mail reiceved so I finally decided to bit the bullet and have found a great guide which I followed and as of now all mail is parsed by spamassasin and clamav.

Hopefully it should start to make an impact on spam, I aisde from the guide I also turned on a few extra option to make spamassasin more effective, I installed razor an online spam database


To install razor
apt-get install razor

You need to register by running
razor-client [creates symbolic links]
razor-admin --create [creates the razor home]
razor-admin --register [registers an account]

Baysian Filtering

To add baysian filtering to spamassasin

Create a directory
mkdir /var/spool/spamassassin/bayes
it need to be world writable so
chmod 666 /var/spool/spamassassin/bayes
Finally add the following to /etc/spamassasin/
bayes_path /var/spool/spamassassin/bayes
bayes_file_mode 0666

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Guinness Hats Sandbox and Sisters I never had

It is Saturday night I am tired but happy so far its a its been a great weekend.

Friday night was the end of a very long and painful week of work all I wanted to do was go out and celebrate it being over. Fortunately this coincided with St Patrick's day so and Endo and his girlfriend Jo wanted to see some of Wilmslow. I thought it might be fun to go to the hat pub :) It had changed a bit since I was last in with Ali Nick and Mike but was still a fun pub.

Out were myself Martin, Jo Endo, Bruce, Nina and Phil we drank Guinness chatted about all sorts well mainly the usual rubbish. I had a good chat with Jo she was very interesting company, I can see why Endo is so smitten. I generally got very drunk chatted to everyone but it was all good humoured :-D Also wore a stupid Guinness hat all evening oh I love paddies day.

Today, first thing a hung over Phil and I went off to Cheshire Oaks designer outlet to shop, I got a few things some new running shoes and some t-shirts I was trying to find jeans but there wasn't anything I liked in my size.

From their straight to this months manlug Bruce Martin and myself were supposed to be going but thanks to road works Bruce and Martin didn't make it. The meeting was about Myth TV and we learned some cool stuff about how powerful it is, my favourite slide though was one that simply read ATI = bad Nvidia = good!

After a short break and some dinner it was off out to see sandbox at the Rampant Lion in Manchester. They were really good, I liked the new songs and Greg is a better guitarist than Righini. Though some of the rockier elements have gone, the sound was good. It was very loud though, my ears are ringing! I also had a chance to wish Emily a happy birthday hope she had a good one.

From Sandbox straight to Wilmslow to meet up with Ali Brook (really wishing by this point I had brought my camera out so many missed pictures). She was in usually great mood with her mates all have a drink. I could keep up to be honest had to bail out while they went off to Manchester all in all a good weekend so far though.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


I discovered google site maps whilst listing my dads website on Google you can add your sites for google to index, or you can down load and run googles sitemap generator that creates an xml files of your site indexing all the pages just in case the web crawler missed any it also shows you some sites stats google hold about your site all in all very cool :-)

Give and Take

I got very annoyed today at work, since the support contract was cut I have been working harder than ever before doing extra hours including two Sundays one of which was 14 hours long. I have also stayed late and or come in early on countless days but when I put in a holiday request I am told no becasue other people are away. Well they are but fuck knows what differene that makes they work in completly different areas of the business to me so its not like I answer the phone or do crystal reports.

To be honest I am so tired and with no end in site I just feel totally demoralised, I hate the disconnected aspect of my job feeling like an outsider to both companies, sometimes I just feel like packing my bags and taking off somewhere. Its not like I have any career path I am escencailly in a dead end.

Added to work stress dealing with Jos pc has been a total nightmare I have phoned up, email and check the website every day for over a week. Their customer service is appalling and though I now have replacement bits on order they have lost Jos windows licence *sigh*.

I also have another dialemma, I have promised Ali I would go out for her birthday this Saturday (this was a few weeks back) I forgto stupid me then Its also Emilys birthday and a sandbox gig, the gig is in Manchester and Ali is going out in Wilmslow arghh what to do what to do, both good friends both good times :-S

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Rain Sand and Numbers

I am getting confused, felt over tired and slightly ill today, not helped by the stream of confusing conflicting things going on at work. Last night I had an interesting conversation with a Czech girl, kind of random really considering I had just been moving the Prague photos to the gallery the other day. We chatted about olives mainly but it was kind of interesting the first time in a while someone normal contacted me rather than the reams of weird Germans and Russians of late.

This Sunday is another go live I am not really looking forward to it after last time I just hope things go better. Mike will be around though I feel slightly upset I wasnt able to handel things without help I am still only at the beginning of learning. In time all things will happen. I hope.

Tonight I watched Sahara, it was erm ok passed the time a bit like the mummy, with pretentions to be indian jones. I didnt really feel like doing much I hopefully tomorrow ill feel well enough for a gym not been for a few days, I need to keep up with it I kind of feel like its starting to pa off a bit. If I can survive this month hopfully next I can buy ome new clothers show off my slightly trimmer more toned figure.

Monday, March 06, 2006


Had a strange day today lot of things going on at work I am not party to, today I was sent out of the office whilst they had a annocement, all very clandestine. I felt like phoning my boss but chickened out and went for a walk round Wilmslow.

This evening I moved my dads webspace to mars as due to the trouble contacting Lee I am still unable to create new user account on the main server. Had a failure on the raid device I am not sure why but one of the mirrored disks fell out of the array. Fortunalty now I have sorted out email I recieved the warning message

cat /proc/mdstat
Personalities : [raid1]
md1 : active raid1 sda5[0] sdb5[1]
4883648 blocks [2/2] [UU]

md2 : active raid1 sda6[0] sdb6[1]
2931712 blocks [2/2] [UU]

md3 : active raid1 sda8[0]
23438720 blocks [2/1] [U_]

md0 : active raid1 sdb8[2] sda1[0] sdb1[1]
272960 blocks [2/2] [UU]
Uh oh missiong the second disk on the most important volume home!!

A quick mdadm /dev/md3 -a /dev/sdb8
mdadm: hot added /dev/sdb8
mars:/etc/postfix# cat /proc/mdstat
Personalities : [raid1]
md1 : active raid1 sda5[0] sdb5[1]
4883648 blocks [2/2] [UU]

md2 : active raid1 sda6[0] sdb6[1]
2931712 blocks [2/2] [UU]

md3 : active raid1 sdb8[2] sda8[0]
23438720 blocks [2/1] [U_]
[>....................] recovery = 1.0% (236544/23438720) finish=16.3min speed=23654K/sec
md0 : active raid1 sda1[0] sdb1[1]
272960 blocks [2/2] [UU]

Hurrah at least it shows the array is fault tolerant, now all I need is to find a new dlt tape drive.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Tonight I put away Childish Things

Throughout my life such that it is I have alway tried to stnad up for what I believe in because if you dont well who will?
A long time ago I used to smoke and well now im a non believer it dosnt matter to me if people smoke or not but tonight I was out in the rectory with my friends who dont believe in such things, and someone sparked up nearby so I felt compelled to speak out. I hope I never give up never surrender and alway speak up no matter what thats what life is about to me carving out our own path but upholding our own moral code, it might not be the same as other peoples however thats not the point different views are allow encouraged even the point is if your believe in somthing you should be able to have your say no matter what.

Locked out

Today Bruce and I tried to get access to the colocated server held at the datacentre in Manchester in order to restart a failed service and do some maintaince I have been trying to contact Lee our provider for sometime but he is priving ellusive at best and evasive at worst.

A few days ago Ian remarked to me he was worried about the amount of spam he is recieving ever loyal to a customer I decided to have a go at improving things. Last night after sorting out the dead fan dead tape drive problems started working on Mars as a sandbox before takign it live onto alpha. Last night I added the free clamav which will virus check on e-mail relayed through mars.

I have been following the tutorial on the excellent debian administration site.

Had a couple of hiccops when setting up maildrop I kept getting the following error
status=deferred (temporary failure. Command output: /usr/bin/maildrop: Invalid home directory permissions - world writable. )

In /var/log/mail.log after much messing about I found that root can receive mail in this sort of scenario using another user as an alias for root and everything worked fine.

Next is to implment on alpha, then future work move the domain handling to a database that should make things a lot easier to handle than the text file structure it would also mean we could replicate the set up much faster.

Technology Hates me

Some days no matter how hard you try everything goes wrong, for example you come to the end of a long and tricky project at to be told the staekholders have changed their minds and want different outcomes.
Or worse the backup drive fails rather horrifically, you reboot, still failed the error is physical so take the option to remove the drive only when you boot up afterward the system just beeps at you. Well that was my day, I had to take the secondary server to bits eventually I found a littlle iny fan had failed and the system wouldnt boot properly without it :-S After much decontruction I filnally got to the bottom of it, I also took the opportunty to add clam av to the mail relay, just need to get some spam checking I have been recieveing a lot recently and Ina has been complaining too, so I guess I should do something.

I am a little drunk writing tis it didnt take much I havent been getting much slep recently, saw Claire for the 3 time this week I think I am handling it outwardsly but on the inside its hard I cant drop my feelings for her not matter how craply she treated me nor how long ago on an intellectual level I know its completely stupid and I have control of the feelings now but, it dosnt stop me feeling them. I guess I am just lonely its been so so long since I had a meaningful relationship, and with so many of my friend in them its like a double blow.

Finally recieved my copy of soviet kitsch today I ordered it weeks ago, so good to be able to listen to it without pops and crackles though. Damn its cold sat typing this there is snow and ice outside must be well below freezing.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Deep Freeze

Wow its gone so cold this week my snowing all day today it didnt really stick though. When I got out of the gym it was bitter -2c by my car's thermometer but it felt colder.
Watched Domino tonight it was well different than I expected certainly not as bad as I feared it passed the time on a cold winters evening. Basically Domino is a bounty hunter, the film starts with her in a prison cell, the recounts her life as a bounty hunter interspersed with the last few day events. A tangled web of personal lives, armour car robberies and the mob, its very long and winding but the ending played out way too fast. Personally my favorite character was Christopher Walking as the hollywood guy producing a reality tv show about the bounty hunters.
I can hardly believe its already march seems that time is flying by and yet I dont seem to be moving on, been doing a few things to get inspiration reading the Intellegent invesor at the moment I am only a third thrrough but I can already say its an excellent read and well worth it for any budding investor. Its taught me that at least a few of my deals are more speculation than investment, which isnt a bad thing in itself as long as its onl a part of my portfolio. Ill write some more of II when I have finished reading it, bu value investment all the way from here!