Thursday, August 30, 2007

7 deadly sins / 7 Virtues

I am damned?

I think I have been guilty of them all this week.


I a single guy I cant help looking ;)


Yeah eating on the company expense account at the start of the week, well not just the start of the week I have been hungry a lot this week.


I want to be rich trust me having no money isn't much fun.


I haven't published a blog in ages mainly because I have been busy but also because I have been very lazy. I have hardly even made it to the gym either.


I was SO angry with one of my colleagues I could easy have laid down my wraith,
in fact I contemplated many forms of revenge but in the end was too busy / lazy / cowardly or perhaps sensible to put them into action.


I was incredibly jealous of Lulu blog, she made her first post for months and immediately received more comments on it than mine had din its entire life. Mind you her next post was to thank me for fixing her shuffle so that made me smile.


I was ashamed to tell someone I still lied with my parents, always trying to keep up the good image.

or can I be redeemed?


Being single its easy to be chaste


Hmm haven't done too well on this score I have eaten way too much this week.


I do enjoy that beer goodness, so I guess I fall flat on my face with this one.


Thanks to careful planning and execution my installation went like a dream score one for goodness :)


I have had moment of patients but overall I am a pretty impatient person :(


I have given to charity and even helped out a few people


I think Im a pretty humble self deprecating guy most of the time.

So thats sins 7 Virtues 3 oh dear I am in trouble going to have to mend my ways I think!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Girls Who Play Guitars

Thought you lost me? No such luck ;-) I have been away, both from Blogging and home for a few days I have been in Farnham Surrey. I went to visit a customer down there and install a server I built for them last week. It was a 4 and a half hour drive down, taking me past Heathrow on the M25 which pretty busy at the best of times. The Tuesday morning after a bank holiday Monday should qualify as a busy time. Fortunately for me although it was busy an restricted to 50 MPH traffic was kept moving.
I arrived on-site about 10.30am which given the distance and traffic I thought was pretty good going. The server was quickly in and after a few problems with printers I was done in time for late lunch.

The hotel was set back in Frensham Ponds, it was quiet a nice drive into the complex past the various water bodies and countryside. I was greeted by rather lovely Eastern European women. The room was nice, and the hotel had a gym so I went and had a workout before dinner.

I ate dinner in the Bar rather than the restaurant on the basis I looked slightly less alone sat in a bar that at a restaurant table. It was quiet a strange experience for me sat alone in the pub. I felt pretty lonely to be honest I can understand why people who do this all the time can get depressed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Closing Time

My favorite book of all time has to be Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. Its funny and clever and poignant the characters are all wonderfully described. The situations are so realistic the description of the military machine as a lumbering beast riddled all sorts of characters, the horror and the futility of existence contrasted with friendship and enterprise. Its just a great read cover to cover, I highly recommend it especially if you like to play with language Heller is a master of paradox and satire.
I never realised until today (yes I know I can be terribly out of touch) but he actually wrote a sequel to Catch-22 called Closing Time which I am now in the process of reading.

Linux netboot

I spent today setting up a new server for one of our customers. The customer had ordered it and had it sent to us to install all their software onto. It had a couple of really annoying features, firstly it didn't come with a powercable and as the office is bereft of spare parts I had to get back in my car go home and get another cable. This was to go with the keyboard monitor and mouse I had already dragged down.
On returning I realised there was something even more worrying than the missing powercable, on the front of the unit there was a rectangle of plastic. Unfortunately rather than being the cover of the cd-rom drive I was expecting this was a blanking plate. Yes thats right I had a server with no Operating System and no cdrom.

Fortunately it is possible to install linux from a remote machine provided the target computer is a able to run a PXE (preboot execution environment) boot from your network card. So I spent the morning configuring my laptop to act as the host server and deliver the initial files via tftp.

I had planned to install Centos as its closer the the normal Red Hat advanced server we use. Unfortunately despite a lot of effort the PXE boot images didn't work. Next I tried Debian, which booted but then failed to see the network card, preventing me from continuing. Ubuntu was next like Debian this booted and the initial installed seem to be ok, then it just hung very annoying.
Finally in desperation I tried Fedora, which actually proved to be the easiest to get going only four files needed and it worked straight away. I was very shocked! Whilst I was playing about with different netboots my colleague went out and acquired a usb cd-rom. He arrived just as Fedora was installing I decided it would be quicker to installed from the cds I had already downloaded rather than pulling a distributions down from the net. So despite its superior netboot Fedora was forgotten and I put a fresh install of Centos on.

It proved to e a really slick process I was very impressed. I managed to pretty much get everything done in a few hours including installing our software. Next week I have the pleasure of delivering the server to the customer so I want to make sure its as finished as possible before I arrive onsite.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

True Love Waits

Phil sent me this rather quirky though heartfelt video, its a Japanese film but on a Russian server.

Stupid Car / Bourne Ultimatum

Phil and I planned to go to do some shopping at our favorite discount shopping centre Cheshire Oaks today. Unfortunately Phil had a big of a computer meltdown at work. The atov server went into melt down so he struggled to fix it. He even asked me to come and take a look, so I missioned into Manchester. Turning into the road leading to Atov h.q. I was confronted by a line of policemen. I first I thought there had been another shooting, then behind them I saw a procession of brightly dressed people, floats, dancing and music. The Caribbean carnival of Manchester was heading straight past Phils work, I had to turn around and head in a missive circle to come in on the other side of the science park. The PA system they were using must have been huge too you could feel the bass reverberations in the air!

Phil had managed to get the systems operational by the time I arrived so instead we did the initial setup for Holly's forthcoming website the universal woman. I also set up some email bits and bats for Phil. In gratitude he offered to should me diner. I always live by the Philosophy of "if its free, its for me".

I went out with my parents for a curry last night so I managed to talk Phil into going for Chinese. Bruce joined us and we headed into China Town. I wanted to go to the place I ate for Emily's birthday but I couldn't remember which one it was so we ended up in a random Chinese. Eating our banquet the food was delicious unfortunately we were sat next to what I can only describe as a table full of yobs. They spent most of the evening talking about fighting fucking (many loud tails of night spent with prostitutes) and thieving. I was feeling pretty uncomfortable by the end of the evening, and was glad to leave. I wonder what these idiots do, do they have jobs or just steal for a living?

After the meal we decided to catch a film and headed to Parrs Wood. The new Bourne film, Bourne Ultimatum was out so we decided to see what its like. The story continues where the last film left off. Still hunted by the CIA and haunted by memories from the past Jason Bourne attempts to get back to where it all began. Starting in Russian the action moves across Europe and ends at the beginning in America. The action scenes are splendid, though the car chase dosnt live upto the mini around France in the Bourne Identity.
A couple of things struck me, at one point the CIA agents raid a bus in London guns drawn, take over the cameras at Waterloo station and gun down a British citizen, I really really hope this would not happen in reality.
I really enjoyed the film, but lack all sequels it was a little samey and the FBI dialogue became more than a little tiresome, as Bruce pointed out how many times did the order to kill on site need to be delivered!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Extreme Ways

Not entirely unusually for a Saturday morning I am feeling pretty hung over, last night was a rather random but totally fun evening.
It all started with a quiet relaxed beer after work. It has been one of the least stressful weeks recently, it was nice downing a cold beer on a Friday. I only had time for one as I had arranged to meet up with my parents at the Lai Quila.

Lai Quila is one of my favorite curry houses, or at least it was until tonight. It seems like they have changed a few things since we last visited. There are new menus, higher prices and I didn't recognise the staff either.
The meals were still tasty, but not as a tasty as I remember. Also the usual generous portion sizes were smaller especially the rice usually there is tons, not tonight though. After the disappointing showing and the rather large bill I was feeling a little deflated, so I was glad when Phil called and suggested we go out for a few drinks. Half an hour later I was back at The Rectory, only a couple of hours after I left.

Waiting to get served at the bar I saw Nick and Becky stood over then way, so Phil got the drinks and I went to check out what they were upto. It turned out they were out celebrating the Birthday of one of Becky's friends. They didnt seem to mind us joining them so we followed the group to the Bollin fee.

It was very random on walking into the place I was confronted by a load of women ressed as playboy bunnies, at first I thought I was tripping, but then I realised it was a hen night. Unfortunately that was about the most exciting group of women in there, the place seemed full guys, at least far more than the number of women there.

I was ready a little tipsy so after a few more drinks I was feeling pretty smashed, not quiet as smashed as my glass though. Phil went and bought three drinks h attempted to hand me one only he let go of a different one to which I expected and SMASH! The bouncers didnt look very impressed.

I was drunk and felt like dancing as Nick wasnt I borrowed Becky and went dancing with her. I was pretty much a drunken buffoon but it was all good fun.

Nick was heading to the V festival in the morning he kept asking me if I wanted to go. In truth I really did but the idea of going down borrowing money off him and seeing if I could get a ticket off a tout seemed a little crazy. I am pretty broke still after Turkey and having to fix up my computer so I really couldnt afford to drop a few hundred on a festival. A shame but thats life I made my choices.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Wii Mii

Just got back from a night of Wii at Andy and Emily's place. They have a rather trendy apartment in the abito building in the centre of Manchester. It is compact, yet feels deceptively spacious thanks to some clever design tricks. The ceiling is really high, there is plenty of cupboard space to hide clutter, full length windows open onto a large balcony overlooking (in their aspect) North East Manchester. There is a small balcony to sit out and enjoy the evening.

Phil and I had gone round to play some four player games on Andy's new Nintendo Wii console. I have to say it was great fun playing four player tennis, though we did have to dodge out of the way of Emily's wild swings ;) We also had a go of my favorite golf, though Emily hated it. Bowling was a great game, though Phil and I were soundly thrashed by Chief and Em.

I had a really fun evening and to be honest the Abito+ flat didnt seem cramped at all while we were flailing about. If it wasn't for the lack of parking and the fact the development would be difficult to commute to Wilmslow I would be sorely tempted. In fact the last couple of nights out in Manchester have made me seriously think about getting a apartment as a first step on the property ladder.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bop Gun

Just been to watch sandbox, they did a really good set including some old favorites like light blue. Righni the ex guitarist turned up to watch, he said it was weird to watch someone else playing his bits. He was pretty drunk I guess he needed dutch courage to come watch. He seemed in good spirits though, he has a new bands and they *might* be supporting someone reasonably big at the Academy, good luck hope he breaks a leg.

Walking back to my car through Manchester I looked around and everywhere has become apartments. Its kind of strange to witness the transformation of places like Ancoats from Victorian warehouses to fancy apartments and offices. It makes me think about living in the city, I think it would open up a lot of exciting things to do. The only downside would be the commute to work, maybe I could ride the train?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Light my fire

Nothing much been going on since the weekend, work has been going ok, I managed to get to the gym this evening.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

In the Backseat

I woke up to my alarm feeling more than a little rough; I guess that meant I drank too much! I had to vacate the B&B for 10.30 and breakfast was at 7-9am. As I paid so much for the room I made damn sure I was going to take full advantage of breakfast. Though I was feeling rough the full English that was brought out helped me to feel a little more human. After breakfast a long hot shower managed to prepare me for the long walk to the car.

Nekane had to work at the hotel, how she managed it I have no idea, but I had several hours to kill until we would meet. I carried my bag to the car it took me an hour to walk there. After dropping my bag off I spent the rest of the morning wondering around Cambridge. It is a very pretty city full of old building and houses.

I met up with Nekena at 2 and we went for lunch at one of the local pubs. She looked destroyed no wonder she had to get up for work at 7.

After lunch we took a walk down the river, then went to the Fitzwilliam Museum. I especially liked the medieval armour collection. We were also going to check out the botanical gardens but it wasn't open for long and there was an entrance fee so we decided to get a drink instead.

Walking back along the quietest road I have ever known was quiet early I was glad to reach the main road. We were joking it was like something out of a horror film. I think both of us were a little zombie like after last night drinking session.

We had a drink retrieved my car and headed to catch a film. I was heading back in the evening so didn't want too late a night and neither of us fancied drinking again. On reaching the cinema there were no films we wanted to see so instead we went bowling. Nekena had never tried it before, and I think she did pretty well for a beginner. I was my usual rubbish self barely managing a mediocre score. We both had fun though; Nekena said she was addicted by the last few frames.

We spent about another hour sat in the park chatting before I set off home. I was sad to say goodbye Nekane was a lot of fun, though Cambridge wasn't the most fun city I have ever visited, it was pretty.

I had a nightmare journey the A14 was closed for work so I had to follow a huge diversion. By the time I finally reached the M6 I spent over an hour longer than on the way there. I was feeling really tired so I had to stop off at a service station and grab a coffee. I made it home in one piece though.


I always think it is great to be recognised for your work, recently we have all be flat out trying to get a new system ready. Unusually the management recognised our efforts by taking everyone involved out for lunch. They took us to the new Gourmet Burger Kitchen. The restaurant is basically an up-market McDonalds, proper big thick tasty beef burgers with a variety of toppings and side orders. If you enjoy burgers this GBK definitely has appeal. I enjoyed lunch it was nice to do something social with the team.

I had booked the afternoon off because I planned to visit my net friend Nekena in Cambridge. Its a pretty long drive and I wanted to avoid the rush hour traffic. It took just over three hours to make the trip, a pretty straightforward journey until reaching Cambridge itself. I got a little lost as unfortunately my sat navigation decided it wasn't going to play ball today. Fortunately I managed eventually to find the station where I was met Nekena.

She is a Spanish girl from the Basque region, currently living and working in the UK at a hotel in Cambridge. We started chatting online about fours months ago. She is a wicked graphic designer funny and interesting so when she told me she was coming to visit the UK I definitely wanted to meet her.

Cambridge is not the most car friendly city and due to some rather bad upfront planning I couldn't stay at the place I was supposed to and so I had nowhere to park and nowhere to stay. After driving round for half an hour I finally found a street without restrictions about 15 minutes walk from the town center.

We wondered round the city for ages looking for a B&B that had vacancies, eventually nearly at the point of despair I found an completely overpriced B&B. Unfortunately we had walked right across the city which meant my car was miles away. It was getting late though so we decided to forget about it until tomorrow and go grab some dinner.

There was a nearby retail park so we went to the Nandos there. I had a Chicken pity and a salad. The Salad was great the chicken was a bit of a let down though.

Having found somewhere to stay and something to eat we were feeling much happier and set off into the town to check out a night in Cambridge. I forget the name of the first bar, it was nestled away on an ally way and bustling with people though we managed to get a seat. It was really nice sitting and chatting whilst supping Kroneburg.

We decided a change was as good as a rest and so headed out to another pub. The second one had a really good atmosphere and the music wasn't bad though the DJ was far from good at mixing. She ordered the drinks and accidentally managed to get herself Cider rather than lager. She also managed to start drinking mine, a trick she repeated later in the evening O_o

We would probably have stayed only there was no dancefoor, and Nekena really wanted to strut her stuff. The Spanish have a saying if someone dances badly, they "dance like a duck". It been a long running in joke that we both dance like ducks.

Apart from a club which had a rather steep entry and which was blearing out hip hop music the only other place with a dancefloor seemed to be Wetherspoons. Like several other wetherspoons I have visited this was cavernous and had a dancefloor and seating areas. In fact it reminded me of the huge one in Deansgate. We sat and enjoyed a few more drinks chatting away about life the universe and everything before dancing like crazy people. The bouncers got very cross because we were dancing holding our drinks so we had to take a short time out to finish them. Whist we were drinking two crazy Lithuanian guys started talking to us, one of them was a bit weird and scary, fortunately they grew bored and left pretty quickly.

By the time wetherspoons closed we both drunk and danced for quite a long time, walking back to our homes we were handed a flyer and hustled into another bar. Sat down both drunk on swivel chairs we made jokes and acted stupid. Nekena had a candle on her head. Unfortunately I forgot my camera so I didn't get any pictures which was a shame as there were some priceless moments.

It took about 30 minutes to walk back to Nekena's place which mercifully was near to my own. I didn't have a key to get in and had to ring the bell and wake up the concierge. I was feeling more than a bit drunk at this point and glad to get into bed.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Where you end and I begin

Work went pretty well today, managed to get some points about my work across to the bosses about some of my recent achievements. I found one piece of work had generated an extra million pounds of business, in no small art down to my integration program. I also got invited out to a free meal with the customer on Friday.

I did a good deed for the day and gave my dad's old pc to one of the guys who comes to the lan. Its a bit buggered but he is at college so he has plenty of time to spend diagnosing the problem. Hopefully it means he will be able to attend the next lan event.


I am obsessed. I have through my life struggled with a pretty obsessive nature, patterns organisation, the familiar are all things I like. I often try and do unfamiliar things in order to break of of habits. Like taking crazy overseas holidays and meeting new people. Unfortunately try as I might I usually revert to pattern behaviour.

At the moment I am still completely obsessed with Olya, I know I only spent a 10 days with her in another country. In my head I know I have built up a mental image beyond the reality of our meetings. The trouble is despite knowing all that I still cant stop thinking about her. I have chatted to her every couple of days, I keep revisiting the pictures from Turkey. I even rather stupidly asked her to come to Milan with me.

The trouble is while she is pretty much everything I could want, smart, sexy fun, I'm not.

One of my friends thinks I only want her because I cant have her, and in a perverse way perhaps that is true. Maybe in time I would find more about her out and realise we arn't suited I really don't know. For the time being though I just need to try and stop break out of this current habit and move on to something else. I just hope can find the strength to do it rather than just talking about it.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Its all in the mind

I havent really had much going on in the last few days so I thought I would try bloggin about an interesting article I read in the Economist. It is about the work of Dr Geoffrey Miller. He proposed an interesting hypothesis that the development of the human brain; his assertion humans brains developed rather like a peacocks tail in order for us to better appeal to partners. Increased mental abilities have more to do with sexual display than with hunting and gathering. The bones of the thesis are that men are driven to make a show of themselves.

Miller develops his argument by contrasting the differencing strategies men and women employ. Men have a higher tendency to show off they can provide more than their needs usually through conspicuous consumption.

I remember briefly reading a psychology book which belonged to one of my ex girlfriends. Fraud seemed to believe that the unconscious mind was ruled by repressed desires especially sexual ones. I suppose if the development of the brain revolved around mating it would follow the desire for sex should be pretty strong

It made me wonder though if perhaps something has gone a bit wrong though as a recent study showed Smarter Students have less sex. If you read the article many reasons are put forward as to why more intelligent people have less sex. Delaying reward to concentrate on study, and lack of desire are both citied.

Not being a psychologist I cant really say I fully understand the articles and nuances, and the arguments are fairly generalised. I can recognise some of the drivers being talked about especially the need for conspicuous consumption in order to impress.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Spent most of today cutting a tree down outside in the sunshine. The eucalyptus tree next to my house has grown incredibly quickly from a couple of meters high to more like 15-20 meters. It took an hour to cut it down and about another hour and a half to cut the fallen branches up.

After the tree cutting exploits I had a pretty quiet evening, the only realy thing of note was a conversation with Andy Gilmore. Apparently he and Emily are back in Manchester living somewhere in the city. I am hopefully going to catch them later this week and have a look round their new pad, should be good fun.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Shine on you crazy diamond

Martin came round this evening, he had to settle up his hosting bill. It was weird really I haven't seen him in months, he has been working a lot and of course spending time with Charlotte.

He gave me the lowdown on the gathering I missed thanks to my Turkey trip. Apparently the guy I most wanted to watch Reyn Ouwehand was actually staying in the same hotel as Bruce, Martin, Endo and Phil. Apparently his set was amazing he played an instrument sampled the loop played it back then went onto the next one building up the track.

Was good to see him have to go out for a drink soon.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Stupid HTML

Today I wanted to do a really simple thing. I had a terms and conditions list which was points subdivided into sub points. It seemed a pretty simple thing to do in html, unfortunatly nesting ordered lists meant the numbering restarted so instead of 1, 2, 2.1 2.2, 2.3, 3 I had 1, 2, 1,2,3, 3. I found this article however while it provided a solutions it wasn't one I could use as its not supported in internet explorer. I ended up having lots of unordered lists with no bullet style and typing in the numbers myself :s rubbish! How come word processors have been able to do bullet lists at different levels forever but nobody thought it might be useful in html?

I might be wrong

Having a really hard time at work so much going on so much pressure to get it all ready. I was an hour late leaving today after heading in early. I find each day I have to be more combative just to keep my head above water. Worringly I am more and more sidelined on the new projects religated to picking up the pieces that remain on the old systems.

I felt way too tired to go to the gym and yet I cant get to sleep. I really need to get back into a routine, but I am finding it really hard.

Nick has spend most of the evening here searching for holidays. He promised to take Becky away so they can relax and have some fun. Only problem is its summer holidays and the bad weather has driven people abroad. He was dismayed to see the prices of short breaks now are more than weeks away a couple of months later in the year.