Monday, June 30, 2008

Bangers and Mash

Went to see Radiohead at Lancashire County Cricket Club this evening. It was really brilliant.

Martina, Phil and Paul joined me, Paul having already seen them in London a few days ago. We arrived just after 6 just before Bat For Lashes started up. Andy Fletcher was their sporting a VIP pass we went and said hello, he and Paul chatted then we went forward into the crowd.

Though it had been raining in the morning just like for Paul McCartney the clouds cleared and the weather stayed fine. Phil got wet though in the first moments of Radiohead a flying pint hit him squarely in the chest soaking him with what we hoped was cider.

When Radiohead came on they did a really good set mixing most of the best of In Rainbows with a host of their most popular tracks. The Gloaming and Idioteque were great as were Paranoid Android and Lucky was played as part of the encore. The sound set up was top notch, very clear and loud. I briefly saw Ian when we arrived back and apparently he could hear it all the way at one of Nicks places miles away.

I really enjoyed it and Paul reckoned the band were on a lot better form than London, though he thought and I agreed that the crowd were in part a little too malevolent a lot of very drunk and drugged up people jostling around.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Come as you are

It has been an interesting day, I spent the morning reading the Great Gastby, which proved to be a pretty excellent read. Set in the roaring 20s New York its a story of people out of place, love, and the problems lies caused. I kept thinking about Becky while I was reading it, she would fit into that would of high society.

I managed to get a quick swim in before heading round to Wollers house for a bbq. Danny, Ian and Paul were there already when I arrived. They went off to buy bbq stuff while Woller made up a salad. Unusually for salad it mostly contained veg. We set up an instant bbq in the back garden. Danny incinerated the burgers so Ian was left to do the rest of the cooking while I looked at Wollers virus filled laptop.

When we finished death by meat (The salad was virtually untouched) it was time for Mario Kart, with a quick interlude for the disgusting 2 girls one cup. For some reason it came up in a conversation so it had to be shown, Ian actually came close to throwing up. I cant say I blame him its completely disgusting. We watched a few bits from some TV show called Flight of the Conchords, it was funny but I didn't see enough to really get it.

We decided it was high time to head out to the pub. I chose not to drink so that I could drive home and sleep in my nice comfy bed not on my Wollers not so comfy floor. First stop was the Flower Pot, we were all laughing and joking around mostly at Paul's expense, Danny insisted his Corduroy jacket made him look like a teacher. At some point we were talking about phones, mainly because Paul kept impressing on Ian how superior his N95 was to his phone. I made the mistake of telling everyone how to use the voice dial feature by holding down the top right menu key for 5 seconds. It set off a 5 minute exercise in us all trying it out which Paul filmed.

We went to a few bars in Macclesfield talking and laughing it was a reall nice evenign sat outside. I was boring everyone about my house purchase and generally laughing and joking around. I left them at the point they were heading into a club
Upto that point it had been a really fun evening of talking and laughing, apparently I made the right decision as Chicargo Rock really wasn't that good.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Spyder Monkey

This morning I picked up the Telegraph money section, a couple of bits caught my eye. Obviously at the moment I have property in mind with the propective purchase of y first home, I was heartened to read this about the merits of buying in the current market. I am glad I didn't entertain the idea of buying a flats, at one point until Nicks sage advise persuaded me against it, I was seriously considering an apartment in Stockport, reading this confirms that New Build flats are a dangerous buy.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Youth Novels

Somewhere in the last few days I might have made a somewhat life changing decision. I suddenly have a lawyer, and I am in the process of arranging a mortgage. While its awesome news that after all this time looking I have finally found somewhere and had an offer accepted

Last night Martina and I watched the best of Radiohead dvd, it should really be called the full Radiohead because its actually all of their videos during their life at Emi. I picked her up from Northern Moor and we ate curry in Rusholme, I had Afghanistan cuisine lamb and rice. Before heading back to mine to appreciate the awesome band that is Radiohead.

I even declined an invitation to the pub, a move which had everyone believing I am having some sort of relationship with Martina beyond simple friendship. Its quiet interesting, I have done some pretty naughty things in my life but never with her.

Tonight I went out with Ian, Paul and Nick. Paul is up for the weekend to check out Radiohead on Sunday and party the rest of the time away. We had a fun evening laughing an joking. Paul hilariously made a very loud and rude comment regarding faecal matter heard by half the patrons of the Bollin Fee somewhat dampening our collective pulling power. I got told off for writing too much about our nights out in this blog, whoops it was never my intention to cause trouble, thought I enjoy being contentious.

Paul started an interesting text conversation with Sarah, I knew he was annoyed that neither she or Simo turned up for his Manchester gig. I think he wanted to say something so he sent drunk text, not always the best plan (though I have sent plenty myself).

We left relatively early, Paul and Ian had been drinking since 8 and were quiet tipsy I was drunk enough to eat a kebab. I feel overfull a little drunk and very very strange. I realised this time last year I was in Turkey, a lot has happened since then but in a way I haven't quiet got over that rejection yet. Olya is married now, like Maia and for that matter Anya. And thought I realise its for the best as non of them actually loved me, they all had an effect on my life and the way I think today. I think the worst thing for me is not the rejection itself but the fact that I could be (if only in my mind) such a part of somebodies life, talking everyday, listening to painful moments as a confident then be so easily discarded. I suppose I am just to sensitive abut it. My friends seem to get women to have such strong feelings for them, I have never felt in that position, though probably if I were that would make me similarly uncomfortable.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


My friend Lisa sent me a link to this
I think its simply genius, Foamy he knows all...


I saw this blog might be useful for multi core users as by default Vista only uses one of the processors on boot.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Gimme Stitches

Where did the weekend go? I blinked and its already Monday evening. I am slightly stressed to start with having made a rather big decision last week I made an offer on a house in Handforth, which I am still waiting to hear about. I had to make an offer, I am hoping in the current climate they might go for it, if not there are plenty more places out there.

Unfortunately it wasn't fun exciting things that took up the majority of my time. Saturday was spent busily building a new server upgrading equipment and generally getting bits of Server Room ship shape. Its taken over six months to move off the original server to the new box. To give its due that little IBM has managed to work for over 3 years.

Saturday evening was spent at Jo Bergers, in celebration of his upcoming birthday. It was nice evening with some drinks friends, football then boxing on the TV, and a chess battle between two of the guests.

Sunday I continued setting up bits on the new server its soon going to be ready to take over the bulk of the hosting, which is great as its a much better server than the current box. In the afternoon went to the gym then met Martina and her friend Ceri for a curry at the spicy hut. We had a fun time chatting about life museums and music. Ceri had to get a train back just after 8 so Martina and I went back to my house to watch some nip tuck and listen to music.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Home Brew Server

Bruce and I went to IFL to install a new server, we couldnt help but notice in the next rack was this creation. I have never seen anything quite like it before, it made us feel pretty professional!
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Oh Well

Its been raining today a lot. I met Sarah for lunch and on the walk to the slug and lettuce I got soaked, was like a tropical rainstorm you might see in a film.

It was nice to see Sarah, it had been quiet a while since we last met up for one reason or another so we both had lots to talk about easily jabbering away through the lunch hour.

When I got back to the office I was waiting for feedback on a project I put live and I got dragged into review meeting. Not a project review though, this was a personal one. After my rant about things the feedback has finally worked its way through the chain. I had a long chat some of which was helpful some of which sounded like a conversation from Fight Club. Overall I think it was positive, but I still felt uncomfortable because my customer was doing this not my company. Still if it helps clear the air it will make me feel a lot better.

This evening I was supposed to go to Yogo with Martina but instead we sat and watched nip tuck. She had a job interview thing with Emirates today which tired her out, and I was just mentally tied after work. It was a weird evening watching a series all about beauty sex and power. She reviled that she is infatuated with someone online, it reminded me of all my bad experiences falling into infatuation with women off the net only to meet them and be a disappointment, I took her home and returned here deep in depressive thought as the rain batters my roof I sit and blog.

Monday, June 16, 2008


It took me pretty much all day to recover yesterday. I think I need to cut back on the drinking somewhat.
I had been promising to take Martina out of Mack and Pats for days and though I felt like death I thought that I better do it, especially after she phoned again.
We went to the shops then for a walk around style. The weather was great but we got a little lost and after going to the gym the day before my legs were really tired. My knees especially found even a short walk pretty difficult. After that we went back to the house and cooked spicy broccoli, it was OK, not very spicy, filling though. Had a sit in the garden but I couldn't get comfortable both because of my aches and pains and the thought I wasn't entirely welcome in the house.
Martina wanted some CD copying anyway so we came back to my house, watched a Japanese Einstürzende Neubauten rockumentry then a few Nip Tuck season while I burned copies of her German lessons.

Today I just about got a big project ready for testing which was positive.

Someone left a weird comment on my flickr photstream, I can't tell what language it is. Kasia say not Italian, Nekena told me its not Spanish, I have no idea, love to find out though.

The house purchasing has slightly stalled while I work out how much I need for renovations versus how much I can borrow. At the moment its looking like I can afford the place but wont have enough spare cash left over for the renovations. I wanted to talk to Nick about it but he has been off commiserating with the Poles.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Little bit

Another sunday, another day spent feeling horrible because of too much alcohol. I think I must epitomise the binge drinking culture of the UK.
It all started Friday night, we [Phil Bruce Myself and Nick] enjoyed a quiet drink in the John Millington in Cheadle Hulme. It was very reserved just a nice chat and a drink

Saturday I dragged Nick out to see a house in Handforth. Its a bit of a wreak a 3 bedroom mid terrace with a dodgy floor. However the building is sound, the location great and with a little TLC it could be a really great house. Its one of the few places where I could really see myself living in, so I will make an offer Monday, fingers crossed. The prospect both excites and completely terrifies me

In the evening Nick Ian Gilly and I went for a meal and a couple of drinks at TGI Fridays. It was a bit rubbish to be honest Nick and I had both finished before Ian's streak arrived. We decided to go for some drinks in Didbury after that, starting in the Slug and Lettuce and working our way through Varsity to the Pitcher and Piano for some Mojitos. As we were enjoying ourselves we headed to Deansgate locks to continue the evening. I used to drink in Revolution a lot but I had not visited for some time, its sure changed. They have renovated and knocked through making for a much more pleasant environment. We all enjoyed a few more drinks a bit of dancing and chatting. Bumped into some friend of Becky's they were gorgeous unfortunately it did nothing to improve Nick's mood to be reminded of her.

By the time we left Revolution I was rather sloshed and so did not really see it as a strange step to go for a Curry in Rusholme. It was a mistake I could taste curry when I woke up this morning, yuk. Gilly was on top form in there talking about his family work and such. We got a taxi home from Manchester the driver of which was some African guy who was chewing on some sort of root which given his general behavior I took to be some sort of stimulant. He told us that the world is all controlled by the queen (his argument lasted virtually the entire 30 minute journey), I was glad to get home.

As I was typing this piece I realised had little red lines under all the words ending in ise, it appears Safari / Apple prefer the American (or Oxford English) ize ending to words. There is a full discussion about it on wikipeadia.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Digital Love

I have just about made it through the week. I was so glad to finish work today, I got home and just relaxed chatted on the net for a while.
Martina was mad at me for not returning a message, and my phone was bleeping with texts from people but I needed to take a few hours out just let the stress levels drop.
I did end up going for a quick drink with Nick Bruce and Phil. Phil is in high spirits as he has some new plan to make money filming holiday resorts, it one of those idea that could be great or a damp squib, for his sake I hope its the former.
Nick was a bit more tired and stressed than usual, he is still waiting on some cash to come through after the bank have been stalling, I think like one of our clients they are running a go slow in the hope people go somewhere else.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Elmo, originally uploaded by j0hncooke.

Come Together

I realised last night that I was seriously depressed, the problems from work were spilling over into other areas of my life. I was sat with Martina in the pub and I felt like this weight was pressing down on my. At first I thought that it was because I was tired, but analysing it I realised actually I am really unhappy and I have been for some time.
I thought perhaps it might be a good time to do something about it so I contacted my boss and arranged to meet after work. I told him some of my problems and he said he would address them with the manager at my customer. As I walked away I realised that I hadn't handled the situation very well I should have spoken to the people in question myself. For too long now I have let things slide
This evening I went for a short jog and started to piece together some bits in my own mind. I came to the conclusion that I have been doing a lot of things wrong and though I went for a drink with Ian and Nick which was relaxing I still feel stressed. I think I need some self determination to solve some of the issues I am facing I just hope the I can find the strength I need to face everything.
On a more positive note last night I did manage to arrange a potencial date for the next lan party the 19th July, that is at least something to look forward to.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


After prompting from Martina to go for a walk I found one round Macclesfield Forest on the Discover Cheshire. I had been ages since I was in that part of the world so we decided to give it a try this morning. Martina and her fellow language assistant Michael drove up to Macclesfield Forest getting only slightly lost, parking near the Trentabank Reservoir. It was very pleasant (photos here) the trees and undergrowth looked great and thought the weather was not quiet as good as expected it was a most enjoyable morning wondering round the tracks.

Less enjoyable was coming home and finding an ICQ message from Olya, "John, hi!
Dont be angry.... but can u delete my pictures from your website? Let they be on you camera on just on your computer, but not in the Net. Please."
I haven't spoke to her in 5 months, the last time was after I sent her a message on her birthday and she told me she was married. It brought back a lot of memories from last year most of which I had tried to forget. I will remove the photos but not tonight, I am off to a BBQ at Bruce's to celebrate his birthday.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

B Movie

This week work has been very challenging. Apart from the ongoing stresses from poor management they have decided to lay off some more staff including 3 people from the team I work with. The atmosphere is pretty strange, I think more people will end up walking out after their hard work has been rewarded with nothing. The level of uncertainty is the killer, there are only going to be losing a few people but everyone feels under pressure. I watched B Movie with Martina, I can't say either of us enjoyed it very much. I guess my head wasn't quite into it anyway.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Nuda Veritas

Today I went with Kasia to Liverpool to see the Gustav Klimt exhibition at the Tate Liverpool. She is a big fan of his work so I thought it would be really excellent. As it turned out this review is pretty bang on the money. The exhibition covers all his different bodies of work rather than focussing on the later excellent pictures. The work with the displays of furniture were interesting but both Kasia and I would rather have seen more of his later paintings, Notablely absent was "The Kiss". Kaisa also missed another landscape painting of some beech trees.

The Kiss
I had never heard of Klimt before Kasia told me all about his work, on looking at the paintings I realised that I recognised some of the works. The most famous of his work are very pretty paintings mostly of women (later in his career he was accused of being a pornographer due to the provocative nature of his paintings). Like most art I have seen pictures do not really do justice to seeing the real article in front of your eyes, my favourite painting was the first one Kasia ever showed me, Nuda Veritas (naked truth). It was a work Klimt did as an answer to his critics the general gist is its better to please some than try and please everyone.

After seeing the Klimt bit we viewed the DLA piper exhibitions which has a range of works charting the last century, it was pretty good though I am still not convinced by the abstract works.
Once we finished in the Tate we took a wonder around Liverpool, first taking in the three graces then perusing the new shopping centre Liverpool One. I am really impressed by what they have done and are doing to the city, in another year or so when all the builders have finished its going to look really awesome. Already I think thanks to the fact there seems to have been an over-arching design I would have to admit, (though it pains me to do so) the city centre is looking a lot better Manchester's.
I drove Kasia back to York, we ate a pizza together share a few more moments then I came back to Manchester alone, its pretty hard seeing someone who lives so far away and who works opposing times to your own, but I really enjoyed our time together.

Let it be

Sunday night was the Liverpool Sound concert. Once Phil finally made an appearance we set off to Liverpool. I was feeling incredibly hungover but Paul McCartney was playing so I had a soak in the bath and some tea and pulled myself together.
Paul had this notion that there would be some sort of early birds area so wanted to arrive well ahead of time. It struck me a decent idea get there early, get a nice parking space, have something to eat together and queue up. Unfortunately I hit a problem. I bought Phil a ticket to the concert for his birthday present only he wasn't at home and his phone was switched off. I got stressed, but finally I booted my computer up to find that at 3.26 am he made friends with Andrea, I assumed this meant he was at her place. At about 12.30 he came online on messenger to tell me he would meet me at his house at 2. I arrived and waited getting more and more stressed chatting to several people on the phone. Finally at 3 Phil arrived and we left for Liverpool, as it turned out our timing was great. I managed to park right next to the stadium and get near the front of the queue. We even somehow beat Paul in though he had been in the queue an hour longer.
Our early arrival gifted us a forward position to watch the bands. The Zutons started around 6.30 they were really good. The sound was great. Kaiser Chiefs were next, I am not really a fan but they put on a really good performance, Ruby and I predict a riot were stand out. Unfortunately by this point I needed to visit the bathroom and Phil having been up all night needed to grab some caffeine.
Thanks to the toilet being right at the back we were unable to get back to Paul and Pippa, we found a place that had a reasonable view, which was good as Paul was superb, well not just superb, superlative.
He put on a great show mixing in his own, the Beatles and Wings numbers. I couldn't remember the full list but fortunately another blogger has it.

Hippy Hippy Shake
Drive My Car
Flaming Pie
Got to Get You Into My Life
Let Me Roll It with the Foxy Lady
My Love “This one’s for Linda”
C Moon
The Long and Winding Road
Dance Tonight
Calico Skies
In Liverpool
I'll Follow the Sun (with 4 endings)
Eleanor Rigby
Something (tribute to george) played first on ukelelee and electric for other half
Penny Lane (forgot the words off the bat and had a false start)
Band on the Run with David Grohl on guitar
Back in the U.S.S.R. with David Grohl joining Abe on drums
Live and Let Die with stage pyros and fireworks
Let It Be
Hey Jude

A Day In The Life then Give Peace A Chance ending
Lady Madonna
I Saw Her Standing There (with David Grohl joined Abe on the 2nd drum kit)
Dave Grohl came out and joined Paul to play Band on the Run, Back in the U.S.S.R. and I Saw Her Standing There. Then moved to the drums to a couple of songs, he also joined in the encore on Day in the life. I cant really adequately describe in words how good the atmosphere and the music was, hearing an entire stadium singing along to Hey Jude or being overwhelmed by the pyrotechnics on Live and Let die was all just awesome.
We caught up with Paul and Pippa as the crowd dispersed at the end, to the bangs of the fireworks over our heads. We were all buzzing, I boughta program and we said our goodbyes as Paul and Pippa headed for London and Phil and I to Manchester. We were both really awake so as to extend the evening I took a detour into Rusholme for a curry and a chat about the gig.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Hey Jude

Its been a pretty hectic weekend, and a long one for me as I had Today off as well.

Friday night I went round to Phil's house for a Chinese and a few beers. I dragged round the Philips DVD/Hard disk recorder I bought in error as Jim needed something exactly like this for a job he was doing. He was delighted to be able to play around and make sure it was capable of doing everything his job required (recording an event from a Camera and being able to burn DVDs of it at the event) so offered me the original price.

Saturday night was Nicks birthday so we headed out for a meal at Pizza express. Phil, Ian, Gilly and Nicks builder Neil all came out. Nick was running late (Quelle surprise) due to him having to finish a roof in time for a building inspector on Monday. The food was really tasty though the drinks were expensive and the service was a little overbearing.
After the meal we headed to the Slug and lettuce, stays for a couple of cocktails, which weren't very good so we headed to the Bollin Fee. Just as we were about to leave a group of drunk girls arrived the door man turned them away. They weren't turned away from the Bollin fee though, at least nit until later on when the manager realised how drunk they were. I basically got rather drunk, I stupidly had whine with the meal then beer then gin and tonic then back to beer it really wasn't a good combination.
Phil pulled a blinder, Neil was chatting up some girl and he went off for a drink, like a shot Phil was in there and ultimately ended up accompanying her home. Apparently she liked the way he resembled Gary Barlow. Neil spent the rest of the evening repeating "I cant believe it, I just turned my back and he was in there, Gary fucking Barlow!".
We randomly bumped into Ian and Nicks sister Ali in the queue, she was out with a couple of girlfriends. At some point around 1.30 Phil and Andrea vanished and the rest of us moved onto Suede. I don't remember much at this point, the bar had no tonic so I moved back to beer, and my head began to swim.
There was a big police presence in Wilmslow, they had a van parked outside Suede, so no real trouble. In fact it felt pretty safe, I did however feel old in there. In its previous incarnation Zest, it was one of the first places I used to go drinking in back when I was at college, a long long time ago now. Eventually we left I got a taxi home only to be invited back to Ali's, so sometime around 4.30 I cycled round to Alis for another few drinks before going home, not a great idea though it seemed like it at the time.