Saturday, March 31, 2007


I decided I would do something usful today, so I replaced the converter on one of the lights, mowed the lawns and helped my dad to replace some floorboards. It was rewarding it a little frustrating seems like there are just so many jobs that need doing it is impossible to get on top of them.

My parents got a take away curry as a reward for ou efforts, tested out the Bahrinda in Cheadle Hulme. It was pretty tasty maybe not quiet as nice as the La Qualia but a but cheaper.

Phil and I headed out for a beer, we made it as far as the unicorn though the atmosphere was not great there and I still felt full after eating. I also fel pretty tired and Phil has Akido in the morning so we ended up being boring came back to my house and watched cars. It was fun film, not as good as the previous pixar films but worth watchign for sure.

Stop it your killing me

This evening was a bust. I left work late, after a day of rather difficult testing. After only a week and a half away from the gym I found it incredibly hard to do 60 minute on the treadmill I had to slow down twice to get my breath. Not a great state of affairs, it's annoying how much effort and time is required to build up fitness. Yet it requires no effort and hardly any time to lose that level of fitness.

After all this I was running late to meet Jo Berger for a drink. He is in the process of setting up a Friday night drinking session. I elected to drive as I was running late and met up with Jo, Tom and Ben in the Rampant Lion. I just about had time for one drink, then it was off to Fallowfield. Phil rang and there were all sorts of telecommunications problems, no idea why bt I could hardly get a signal anywhere in Fallowfield. Rather than drink in Fallowfield the plans switched it was off to a house party.

At this point after being cut up I wasn't able to follow Joe. I decided really I needed relaxation whereas this palaver was making me annoyed very quickly. The party was in fact an Ann Summers after party. My now foul mood coupled with my inability to drink because I had to drive meant the prospect of dealing with a group of drunken women was horrifying rather than exciting.

Instead I met up with Phil at my place, we chatted about the week and watched Requiem for a Dream, as Phil revealed he had never seen. It&£39;s a very dark film about the perils of various forms of addiction. I love the cinematography and soundtrack, the modern classical music has been used on so many other films.

Friday, March 30, 2007


Phil sent me this from Google video, it gives a perspective on the mind boggling size of things in the universe.

With this, or upon this

Went to see 300 at the Printworks IMAX this evening, I have always particularly loved the story of the battle of Thermopylae, the idea of the heroic struggle the few against the many. It was interesting to see this take of it, it as the army of 300 Freemen Spartans versus the evil slave armies of the Persians. Of course it wasn't really as simple as this the Spartans had plenty of there own slaves the Helots, and the 300 were just the Spartan freeman there was probably more like 7000 solders. Even so it was incredibly brave to face the size of army that the Persians would have brought.

The scene where the 300 go off to battle made me laugh, no supplies only a shield sword spear loincloth and cloak on a march many miles from the capital :S I know they are hard but they do need to eat ;-) Overall I would give the film **** it was better than average a visually stunning and very modern take on the epic. I think I just found the politics and one sided nature a bit much, some people might dislike the amount of gore too.

I suppose the story is impressive because they were under no illusions that they had a chance of victory. They went out to the field out of honour, valour and in defence of their homes. We don't have to face such things the biggest challenges in my life are how to get a piece of code to compile or face a difficult co worker, so I am lucky. In a way though perhaps the lack of such grand gestures, the lack of battles to fight the sedentary nature of today's life is emasculating us?

Oh one final recommendation the IMAX is great the picture miles better and the sound was great, just don't sit near the front we were two rows back and at some points it was overwhelming the amount of visual input.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lost in surrealism

After one last discussion over fonts, I finally managed to agree Ian's website design its now replaced the old site. While certainly not a masterpieces I think it is a vast improvement over the old one.

Spent the evening watching lost, the series has just gone insane I so many twists and turns I find it hard to follow what its all about. I also watched the breakup which actually was quiet good.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I was at Japanese class tonight and the German girl was being a bit combative, I have no idea why but she seems to delight in having a go at Phil and I. This evening she was suggesting it was very strange for us to know each other from the same area and to still be living here.
At first I thought yeah its pretty weird but then I thought well is it weird or even bad, I do actually like where I live it is pretty nice village close to a city with quiet a lot going on there are far worse places to be.
I guess life is all about choices we are fortunate to live in an age where is possible to go visit different places even locate to other countries, just because some people do and others choose to stay at home doesn't make either choice a good or bad on,e there are simply different paths you can choose.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Oh quick note, I like taking picture, I have hundreds, so I was interested to read this. More ridiculous feature creep for the ID cards then, to stop the general public using cameras without permission! Completely ridiculous!

Vacation vaccination

I had to go to see the nurse and be vaccinated agains't horrible things, the kind that only seem to be a problem abroad. I updated some other immunisations I really should have had like tetanus apparently the last time I had one was in the late 80's). Just like all nurses she was pure evil. Was there any need to stab me that hard? More to the point why did I have to have injections in both arms :'( I realise I am a total wuss but hey its not really that pleasant an experience, at least I was sparred the ignominy of having to pay to be jabbed they were on the NHS.

Thanks to this fun immunisation I had to arrive at work early, a task made extremely difficult as I had very little sleep last night, my cat woke me up just as I was getting to sleep thus making me totally awake again. Little b*stard at times I could strangle him. Being a cat he had no qualms about going straight to sleep on top of my newly wakened feet, I guess I am jealous sleeping 16 out of 24 hour seems like a nice prospect as times.

I spent this evening putting some more finishing touches on Ian's site, it isn't live yet but I think I have made a major improvement over the previous one. I am still torn about the font, I had been toying with the idea of using a san-serif rather than Georgia, I might see what Ian thinks it is after all his site.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

You don't care about us

On Friday I saw something I have been waiting for a long time, Scan had Dell 24 inch flat panel monitorDell 24 inch flat panel monitor on Scan today only. I have basically wanted one of these since Bruce bought one nearly two years ago. It has taken me a while to save up enough cash and I really could have done without spending it before China however as we were planning a lan on Saturday it was just meant to be :)

I placed the order but had to wait until Saturday morning for the confirmation, the lan was to start at 2pm and as Scan was in Bolton need the Rebok arena. Typically the order confirmation was late, not arriving 11:12. I had already spent 15 minutes on hold listening to a loops of a women telling me how advanced scans ordering systems were only to find when I reached an operator she couldn't tell me anything!
Bruce and Phil wanted to pick up some bits, so I picked them up and we headed down, I only had to wait a coupld of minutes and my screen was handed to me 12:15 plenty of time to get back to the lan and set up. Only Bruce and Phil were still in the queue to buy, Bruce got his bits, Phil paid then waited, and waited and waited. 1pm came and went, I was getting panicky. I made fevered phone calls to Endo to see if he could go down and intercept any early people. He did but not quickly enough as two people came and went. Finally Phil got the call something he ordered could not be located so they gave him a free upgrade to a better model, a result but we were still late.

We arrived and got the keys in time to open up and put the tables out, but it was very rushed. Setting up there were some weird glitches, not sure what the new guys thought about it. All a little amateur night, oh well once the games actually started things seem to go pretty well I think everyone enjoyed it.

Attendance was down from the previous lan and because of mess-ups in the morning we missed out on two players, and were in a total rush all day. I felt very frazzled by the end, though I did enjoy playing except for stairs of doom which was just way too much.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

For Paradize

Today I worked off site, which meant I had to work in the same room as my dad, it was quiet a strange experience. I basically tried to avoid him as much as possible, which is quiet difficult in such a small office. I picked my big boss up from the station he seemed in a good mood and was heading for a meeting at one of the customers in the afternoon. He never actually spoke to me which pretty annoying, guess Ill have to see what next month brings.

It was the budget today probably Browns last. According to the bbc I will end up being about £20's richer, wonderful!

You know some people just don't gel, they can be perfectly interesting and reasonable but put together they just react or fail to mix. I spent my evening in this sort of situation, I was sober and tried to calm down several conversations so now I feel frustrated and tired.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pull it to pieces

I have just been looking for houses, I find it pretty confusing. So many people are telling me I should buy something anything just to "get on the ladder". My colleagues think I am a like a child still living at home, P actually told me that I should move out and rent I have no idea about the world. I really find that impossible thought I would hate to fatten the pockets of someone like Nick just to prove some sort of point about independence.

That said I do feel a desire to prove myself, to be independent and not so lazy, at the same time I worry I am being to conditioned by society to do certain things to conform whereas some of the most successful go there own way. As soon as I move out I might have an asset in the form of a home but I lose my ability to save, my ability to travel and to be free. I would gain a lump of bricks which might or not appreciate in value, but will definitely cost money.

I went to the pub with Phil tonight his brother is in the process of buying a place but he is a success having built up his own business, not just a company man like myself. I am in a terrible mood today, I argued with people at work, my mum laughed at the idea that I could move out and ebay is really annoying me. In fact e-bay have now closed my account thanks to a long running sore, they messed up applied a wrong charge to my aaccount. They promised me a refund on several occasions but didn't deliver, now they have then suspended my account. I wish I knew what to do on principle I refuse to pay for there mistake, but they have a monopoly on auction services in the UK there customer services is terrible and unforgiving, it makes me angry to think about it.

I am seeing my real boss tomorrow for the first time in a while I am hoping I can address some of my problems with him, I really feel like I need a change and if I cannot get one its time to move on. What I can move on to is debatable though, perhaps a total change to something new is needed.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Eyes - Rouge Wave

I started the day feeling happy and optimistic, I had a really great weekend spent with my friends kicking back and enjoying myself. Unfortunately somewhere in the soul destroying futility of work most of my good mood was dispelled. I am not sure whether the people I work with think its fun to bring each other down or just have no idea how destructive it is to constantly pressure, undermine and belittle people.

I escaped to the gym. During my cardio session I had plenty of time to think, even thought a friend told me I think about things far to much. Ruminating on life without really living it sometimes. Perhaps she is correct, or maybe I am just normal trying in the best way I can find to live. The trouble is I haven't got the answers, and nobody else has either. I have been given so many pieces of advice by different people with different agendas, it makes my head spin sometimes just thinking about the possibilities. There is so much I want to do yet I am no closer to anything tangible, I just need to make some choices for good or ill.

Whilst messing about I found a nice add in for Firefox users who like a bit of colour in their lives, colorful tabs spices things up.

Lies damn lies and statistics

Have you ever wondered about the figures quoted? I just read this article. I found it intriguing that MS supremo Steve Ballmer used such incredibly self serving figures clearly to distort the real data.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Red Light Green Light

It was St PatriK's last night so a great excuse to go out with friends and drink copious amounts of Guinness. As we had so much fun there last year, we decided to head to the Kings Arms in Wilmslow.

Martin was proudly showing off pictures of his stupidity, he managed so shower yogurt all over his car, moral make sure the cap is fastened before vigorously shaking ;)

Martin, Phil Endo and Myself were first to the pub quickly joined by Bruce and Nina, then Adam and girlfriend Steph. We managed to captive the snug and sat talking eating and drinking. Martin Endo and Phil still had Guinness hats from last year and with it being the drink of choice it wasn't long before we all looked like merchandising gurus for the company. I really wish I had remembered my camera it would have made for some funny shots.

The Kings arms is a friendly old traditional style pub with an attached Thai restaurant next door. This was particularly great as you can order snacks from the restaurant, so rather than crisps you can have chicken wings prawn crackers or Chicken skewers.

I have a very enjoyable evening, people were in a happy mood, the bar staff were welcoming and the Thai food made for very enjoyable tapas style eating.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Ghouls and Ghosts

Work was pretty good today, it was dress down in aid of comic relief and the ICT department all went out for a Chinese banquet as a hello to the new project manager Roshine. It was the most relaxed day in ages so a welcome break form the norm.

In the evening I sacked off the gym headed out to the Rampant Lion with Berger and Ian for a few pints. Then it was on into China town for a meal to celebrate Emily's birthday. It has been a long time since I last ate in China town so it was quiet exciting. We went into Pan Asia a restaurant which served up cuisine from China, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia. I had a Chinese starter of Praw Toast seaweed a meat samosa and spring roll. My main course was Japanese style fried cod with rice and salad, it was very good and I even managed to use the chopsticks to a little.

Emily looked happy she got some nice presents including some rather fetching wellingtons (for the festivals this year). I had difficult speaking to anyone really managed to be sandwiched between the table and a post so it was a little uncomfortable.

To make matters worse sat opposite were the crying girl we met at Emily's party a few weeks ago. She confirmed my view that she is an incredibly high maintenance girlfriend. She sat eating mushrooms declaring it would make her sick then after the meal started talking about how sick she felt. To mind mind it was a deliberate tactic to gain attention the sort of trait that really annoys me, I have no idea how her boyfriend puts up with it.

Ian was driving and took us (Emily and Andy grabbed a lift) back on what must have been the most bizarre route I have ever encountered. He followed a diversion and ended up driving right out into east Manchester towards Failsworth before hooking us round back past the city of Manchester stadium, through the slowest traffic lights ever then finally back into Fallowfield. Given the late hour of the meal and the amount of time touring Manchester we decided to call it a night.

Friday, March 16, 2007

For Reasons Unknown

I have been a bit lax on the old blog's recently, partly because I have been busy, but mostly because I am lazy ;) I finally finished the Idiot on Wednesday, it was a great book but ended in such a sad way.

I have started reading Sun Tzu the Art of War, which teaches the art of defeating an enemy possibly without actually fighting. I only just started but its only a short text so hopefully I will soon be able to win many battles. According to the preface its actually tied closely into Taoist thinking, in that an enlightened general is the ideal commander able to bend to the changing circumstances.

Wednesday evening I went to the gym with Martin, then relaxed at home. Last night I went for a cardio session at the gym tried to do 5km in 25minutes and failed miserably. You need to run at 12km/h to do 5km in 25 minutes I only managed about 5 minutes at that speed . In the end reached just over 4km running at 10.5 km/h.

I spent the rest of the evening working on Ian's new site layout I made a minor breakthrough so now I am much closer to having a new template.

Monday, March 12, 2007

What Can I Do

Today was a strange day, a new project manager coordinator started at work [for the customer]. This is the third one since I have been there, hopefully she will last better and be less annoying.

I managed a 60 minute 9.3KM run very good for me but rather put into the shade by a colleague who is entering the London marathon for the second time. Oh well I guess a few years ago I struggled to make 12 minutes walking never mind jogging. In life the only really competition is oneself, everyone else is running a different race. I have nearly got to the end of the Idiot. It has been a difficult thought rewarding book to read. The characters are so well drawn and the self examination makes me examine some of my own feelings and ideas.

This evening I spoke to a Czech girl who contacted me on icq after a brief conversation about shopping she seemed very keen too tell me escorts didn't get paid enough unless they rather literally sold their asses. It was rather a surreal conversation with someone I know no further that a few lines of text on the screen but never mind was a rather weird conversation.

Went for a drink at the thieves with Nick, Jono, Phil and Bruce, it was very busy some sort of quiz going on. Nick looked so tired he was virtually dropping asleep at the table we were say at. It was good to see him but I worry about how much work he takes on. Perhaps its because I am lazy and would never be able to tackle the same. It sounded like Bruce was bumping into some sort of trouble with his house purchase I think its only a small matter but annoying never the less. The owner is basically trying to squeeze more revenue out of the current tenants before Bruce takes over, at bBruce's expense. I would be wound up by it too.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Where do old computers go to die

I have been given two old computers play with, an Atari ST 520 and an Acorn A3020 I have yet to exactly work out what I am going to do with them as yet. I am used to own several Acorns and hope to have a play with this one see it I cant find a use for it, as for the ST I never had one and have never used one so I just wanted to have a play.

I had a major falling out with my parents this morning, I just wanted some quiet time but my dad had other plans, so I cleaned my room spent some time on right move then went to the gym to relive my frustrations. I really think after I get back from China I am going to put my efforts into finding something for myself, I don't think I can wait another few years, and I want to be out before I am thirty.

I watched Lost in the evening with Bruce and Phil, its really descended to a shadow of its former self but is still watch able, just about. I find I no longer care about the characters anymore, I have no care if Jack Kate Lock or Sawyer die this episode or the next or live forever. A sad state of affairs for a show which was so gripping in its first series.

Wii Mii

Today was a bit of a write off had a few little jobs to like sorting out Nicks internet and fixing the bathroom lights. So I was looking forward to a night relaxing.

I had already agreed some time ago to at go round to Berger's and play some poker. As a rule I don't play ever since an unfortunate night in France. I had also been invited out by Endo. It was his girlfriend Jo's not-birthday, they [Endo Jo, Martin, Charlotte, Bruce, Nina, and Phil] were all heading to the spicy hut for a curry. I had a quick drink and chat early doors before heading off to Berger's. Everyone seemed in a good mood except for Martin who decided to be rather aggressive about the fact I wasn't staying. We arranged to do something for St Patrick's day next week, I guess it ill involve drinking Irish whiskey and
Guinness :-)

I made it to Berger's around 8.15, I was expecting the poker and drinks instead Berger's neighbour Carlos had brought round his Nintendo Wii. What a fun device the controllers really make for some new games. Nintendo have at least with the Wii sports pack put together a load of fun games like golf tennis and boxing which you can basically pick up the controllers and start playing you don't really need to put much thought in at all. Boxing actually had me sweating after three rounds sparing against Jo! I also like the idea of the Mii characters, Carlos and his girlfriend had both designed their own mini Miis, makes it a lot more funny to be able to play games as yourself. I think that after I get back from China and have some money against I will have to get myself one it was just so much fun. It was a fun evening of games certainly made a change from the norm.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


The customer went to the dogs tonight I had never been to a race before either dogs, horses, bikes, or anything. So it was a pretty new experience. The price was pretty good too, £5 got us entry, 2 drinks, 2 x £2 bets and a meal voucher.

I had been a little worried about gambling I have a pretty addictive character and have had problems in the past. Like betting on crazy shares, but that is another story. Fortunately the minimum bet is £2 and with only 14 races and two free bets its pretty easy to keep things interesting without it getting silly. Though some of the people there took it all a lot more seriously.

I must say having money riding on the races, and the whole process of choosing chatting about and betting makes the evening a lot more interesting. I managed to get a couple of wins in but overall lost money (only a small amount fortunately). I am not really sure how the betting all works I always put on my money on a dog to win, the only guy I knew who made a profit was playing spread bets, betting on two dogs coming in. This tactic greatly improved his odd so that on one race he won £31 the omst 5 won was £4. Given my predilection for things that are bad for me its probably not a good I dea to learn how it all works least I get swept up ;)

I drove, with the track being in Belle Vue it would have been expensive to get a taxi. This was also meant I could not get drunk and go mad betting, a win win situation. I offered to give a lift back to another guy I work with who lives a few minutes away. Annoyingly a few other people basically hijacked me for a lift, ok it was only 10 minutes away but in the wrong direction, so before I knew it 10 minutes because twenty and it took nearly an hour to get home.

It was definitely a fun night out, different and quiet exciting I am certainly glad to have gone.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sail away

I read on bbc news today that because of Manchester's low growth rate economists believe the city will drop down the city rankings based on GDP from 73 to 82 over the next 15 years. It seems amazing that the city at the heart of the Industrial Revolution has become stuck as a regional backwater overtaken by most of the rest of the world. Is it because all the talent is sucked down into London? Or maybe its poor decisions by the central government cripple the infrastructure and destroy investment in the city?

Nothing much happening

Somehow I am busy busy seem to have so many projects on the go but so far very little to show. Bruce and I have managed to finally get some action on Server room. We found some excellent software to manage the new server and hopefully it can go in this soon. I have been trying to update Ian's site There is nothing new just yet but keep watching I have been tweaking the CSS and hopefully if I can just find a good way of formatting it correctly there should be some updates soon. Work has been hectic too so much going on there some good some bad some insanity.

I went to the gym with Martin again today, I did my weights while he had a cardio workout. My arms ache now, his shoulder is a lot better he is able to lift his arm up and nearly has a full range of movement.

I was only at home for an hour this evening but it was enough to get frustrated, my parents just don't get it that I need my own space and independence. Just because staying here is the sensible thing to do doesn't make it desirable. I am ashamed of myself and tired of peoples comments, I can never feel successful living in my parents garage, apologising to people for my failures it a joke. So I headed out for a drink with Bruce, he got promoted today which is great news. I wasn't very good company though sometimes I feel like my friend success I just reflects my failures more strongly. I read another chapter in the idiot last night I think I am Ganya after all, a totally ordinary person who longs to have something original about them, smart enough to realise I am not original but not smart enough to do anything about it, all very depressing.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Hot Fuzz

After spending a rather frustrating day trying adn failing to sort Ians website out, stupid html / css makes it very hard to place images dynamically despite its best intentions.

I went to see the new Simon Peg film Hot Fuzz. The film is about a top London officer Nick Angel (Pegg) who after showing all his colleagues up is "promoted" to the sleepy town of Sandford. Full of cultural references and clever humour coupled with some rather Tarentino esque ultra violence its a funny, light hearted take on the buddy cop film genre. My personal favourite laugh out loud moment was Pegg vaulting a fence to fly kick a shotgun wielding octogenarian.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Total eclipse of the moon

Today Bruce and I finally kicked the second server into life. It has been a nightmare getting the server to run so many things have gone wrong which has made me almost scared to do anything with it. However a final big push has seen Debian and vhcs. VHCS is a control panel to allow Server Room customers to manage their own sites a lot better. I am so far very impressed with how well it works, I think it will simplify the running of the sites greatly and allow a much better user experience.

This evening there was to be a lunar eclipse, so myself Bruce, Phil, Phil's brother Jim and friend Pub decided to go out into the hills of Macclesfield to watch. After a couple of beers we headed out to the Cat and Fiddle pub the second highest in the UK, in the hope of a better less light polluted sky. Unfortunately we arrived to find the pub shut up, so in the knowledge that the real event wasn't taking place until after 23:00 Bruce drove us to a rather provincial pub in Buxton called the Duke of Earl. The pub was very strange, it felt a bit like a working mans club, I guess not much happens in Buxton. There was even a women with a hook where her hand should have been. I think we were all glad to get out of there.

We made our way back into the hill, the mood was by now in eclipse form. It was an impressive sight, looking very red, though quiet small. Jim had his SLR and was trying to take photos, though he found it hard to aim at a dark and faraway object in the night sky. It was also bitterly cold on top of the hills, even in a jacket scarf and hat I felt the chill.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Midnight show

I must be getting old, Friday night and I am already back home at 23:20. I went out for a few quiet beers with Bruce and Phil we all felt so tired though instead of going on anywhere we departed at the call of time.

To be honest it has been a busy week. Work has been manic and I have gone to the gym 4 of 5 evenings. I only missed Tuesday thanks to Japanese class. Tonight I went with Martin. He still cannot drive after his shoulder op. So in extra motivator I went and picked him up so he could do some cardio work whilst I did my leg weights. It was quite fun like the old days when we were both well into training. He seemed to enjoy his workout, though I was disgusted when he wrung out his arm support it wasn't very nice.

I think to an extent the gym has paid off for me I am certainly thinner now that I have been training for a ling time. Check out this picture from 2003, compared to last week I look a lot more trim (I think). I still a lot of work to do though. I would love to be able to, just once be able to look in the mirror and smile rather than cry, hopefully another year and I will have be pretty close to achieving that.

Quote of the day

Found a wonderful website for quotations

"A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation."
- H. H. Munro (Saki) (1870-1916)

"There are two ways of constructing a software design; one way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult."
- C. A. R. Hoare

Thursday, March 01, 2007

White Rabbits

Ah the first day of March, cold raining and dark. I forgot the to say "white rabbits" so that's another month of bad luck, sigh.
Work is mega busy its coming to the end of the financial year so people need so much work in preparation its very tiring.

I went shopping after the gym bought myself a new duvet and pillow as my cat managed to get my old one flea ridden. He might be 20 no but his capacity to cause problems is undimmed. I followed the advice from Phil and Bruce, buying myself an orthopaedic pillow to help my back problems. I'll tell you if it makes any difference!

This evening Ian popped round for a few beers and to take a look at some computer problems. He has given me a load of information to add to his website and we started investigating googles ad word system and whether it could add any value to Zanshin.