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30/06/2003
[10:30] Full weekend. Went to some friends on Friday night so we could get an early start for Bristol in the morning. Had a wonderful eat-in Chinese for the first time in a while (had one a few weeks ago, but that was a different kind of thing all together!). Set off in the morning in an Audi and made it there in about two hours forty-five minutes, including a leisurely stop off for breakfast.

Spent the day working on Discworld Convention-related fooery before driving home at an avarage speed of 100mph, which was cool. I was dropped at the train station and was home by about 00:50.

On Sunday I got up in a good mood, wrote some emails and then decided to spend the day cleaning the house. I got as far as the bathroom, the bedrooms and washing up before someone rang and invited me out for the day. In the end about fifteen of us went out and had an excellent time on the river, had a picnic, and just pissed about. Spent some time on one of the grass expanses in the early evening before going home to relax some well worked muscles.

There's no PFY here this week so I'm going to ocscillate between doing loads of work and no work at all. Hopefully more work than not.

[15:30] Speaking of oscillations, the building site outside is currently laying the next level of concrete flooring and the sound made by the engine of the pump is giving me a monster headache. The sound come in through the window to my right and bounces off the wall to my left and into my left ear. Only the wavelength is such that the wave matches perfectly with the sound going into my left ear without bouncing off the wall. So the noise in my left ear is twice the volume of my right, despite the right being closer to the source. This feels odd as the location of the noise is different to the location of the actual event. And it's driving me nuts.

[17:15] Still, another machine almost completely installed, marvellous. Tonight I watch the last part of the Dune miniseries on DVD and have a Chinese. This is good too. O.K. it's not a stunning piece of television, but it's a bit of fun to distract me in the evening. Also I get some company too, which is lovely.

27/06/2003
[10:00] No PFY now until a week on Monday. This leaves me kind of holding the baby as it were. Still, I think I can get a good amount of stuff done in the aftermath of the DoD and feel like I've achieved something by the time the end of next week begins to loom.

[11:30] Need to go to a tech open day at lunch time, if only to drop off a prize draw form and look at shiny Macintosh goodness. Prize draw is for a new iPod (slimmer, larger capacity). Even with this cold I need to get out and get some exercise before I become a lard-bucket.

[15:25] Tired, bunged up. Got stuff done but no real enthusiasm to get anything big in motion.

[16:05] Think I'll get out of here soon and do something this weekend. Don't imagine I'll be meeting up with anyone as I've left enough balls in the other court that I imagine it's hard for them to swing a racquet any more.

26/06/2003
[27/06/2003 - 09:55] Yesterday was LinuxUser Expo and Networks for Business. Cormac and I got the train very early in the morning and ended up there around about 11:00. We wandered, talked to a lot of people about wireless LAN and laser LAN stuff and finally met up with my compatriots from Fotopic. We did a bit of pimping for the site, I got some photos and Cormac and I ate kangaroo burgers in a Walkabout in Birmingham centre.

Unfortunately the trains back were an absolute nightmare and instead of getting one two hours early we ended up on the one on time, even though it should have been the one an hour earlier. Don't ask. Suffice it to say, that coupled with a woman with her walkman on at extremely antisocial levels and my headcold really beginning to take hold left me absolutely knackered. I got home, got my photos up and after making a call just flaked out.

25/06/2003
[10:35] Tired. Climbing last night was good. Did three of the harder routes back to back. The chinese afterwards left me feeling extremely bloated though. Ended up having indigestion for a while. Luckily that went away after a few hours. It's another gorgeous day here today and my dad's in town all week on a course so I'm having lunch with him today, and maybe on Friday. Thursday I'm out of here again, which is good. I've managed to convince someone else to come along so either he's going to be on the train with me or I'm getting a refund and we're driving there.

[12:10] I have a sore throat, and I'm sneezing now. This is annoying.

24/06/2003
[15:00] Full morning but still time for a proper breakfast, which I haven't done in a while. With no time for lunch and climbing this evening it was good to get some food inside. I missed last night's Tim O'Reilly talk (anyone who was looking for me, sorry) due to a change of plans, someone want to tell me how it was?

I'm looking forward to Thursday when I get out of the office for a day to go to Birmingham for the day. I get to see some people I've never met in person before even though I've known one of them for nigh on nine years. It should be good. I've got specific trains there and back which means there's a time limit on any beering and food in the evening.


23/06/2003
[09:10] Had an absolutely stunning weekend climbing in the Peaks. See the Gallery for Burbage N. and Curbar for probably too many pictures. Suffice it to say the weather was stunning and we did some excellent climbs, especially on Sunday when some other people turned up.

I'm in such a good mood this morning, I've booked some time off as I want to take advantage of it before the PFY goes away for a week next week and I have to be here all the time. My dad's in town too this week so I may meet up with him.

[11:05] I love climbing on gritstone, you end up with no fingerprints. I could commit crimes without gloves on and they'd not lift a single print, it feels like. Getting stuff done this morning.

[11:20] Some LCD machines getting done. About ready to do a ghost image. There's a lunch on here soon, I might vanish off to that for a bit soon.

20/06/2003
[09:15] Well yesterday afternoon was fun for a while. I went out in the sun with a few friends until there was a minor altercation with a few natives of the city which left me feeling not so happy about stuff so we went home. No fighting was done as it was easiest for me to apologise rather than get into anything. The evening was a good Thursday except that I found that when I moved my Rel Q150E subwoofer away from my TV (it wasn't that close) a big green magnetic pattern appeared in the area nearest to where it'd been. I'd been assured it was fully shielded. I'm not best pleased.

[14:15] Not feeling too happy today. I think I thought too much this morning and some of it is still going on. Not sure what's happening this weekend. I may end up cleaning the house for the first time in a while and watching lots of Babylon 5 which oddly I've not actually gotten around to watching yet. I feel rather lethargic at the moment. Maybe it's all the activity I've been doing recently during the week. We'll see what happens.

[16:25] So, so bored. Must go home and do something.

19/06/2003
[09:10] Short entry yesterday due to being rather busy then having two meetings. The first was a funding allocation meeting across a large chunk of the institution where I put forward some interesting ideas which may have caught some people's attention. We'll see. Lunch was good. The afternoon was a bit of a BOF and fairly interesting in its own way. I had to leave, as I said, to get my hair cut. All shorn now and feeling a lot cooler.

[09:30] Big day in some ways, hope everything goes well. Looking forward to setting up a few machines with LCD panels and speedy components later on today. I should really get on with the last few machines needing to be moved to Windows 2000, but there's all kinds of work going on here at the moment which makes the timing difficult. On the up side I authorised £34K's worth of work to be undertaken on one of the computer rooms, which was nice. It'll take nine weeks and we'll have to have asbestos and the old heating system removed, but it has to be done sometimes.

Last night was good, had some chinese, watched MacGyver (19:00 Bravo, every weeknight) and then The Faculty which sucks terribly but was just what I needed. I got an early night too; in bed before 23:00 for once.

[11:40] Cool, tickets booked to Eddie Izzard's new tour. Now all I have to do is wait until December.

[12:55] Decided to take the afternoon off as I have far too much leave still to take. Have cleared it with the PFY (I'm careful about these things) so I can go and do things in the park and get some air during the day for once. Sun's not really out but it's windy so I might get blown all over the place. Which would be nice. Non-recycled or fan-assisted air.

18/06/2003
[10:50] Climbing good, very hot. Nice day today but meetings until 16:00 when I get my hair cut. Back tomorrow. Sorry. Gallery CNAME seems to be fecked at the moment, have it in hand, hope to have it fixed soon.

17/06/2003
[12:30] I found an old BBS posting this morning from May 29 2001. It was written when life was good and I'm fairly pleased to note that much of what's in it I've been doing without thinking about it. This is nice. Last night I had some friends over again for TV and chilling. I'm very much enjoying the quiet evenings with a few people round.

Argh! Nearly forgot! My friend rang me last night to tell me that his partner's given birth. 09:58 yesterday! Everything is fine, mother and child are doing wonderfully and father is feeling rather tired and very, very proud. My warmest congratulations and happiness to both Shaun and Linda and little Tom. I hope I see them soon.

[17:10] Late for climbing due to distration. All good.

16/06/2003
[11:50] Suddenly realised I don't have the Guardian from the day I was in it. I have a screenshot of the online version but I think I'd like a paper copy of the page as well.

[12:20] Someone's pointed me at http://www.merzo.net/ which is really rather cool. I mean where else can you drag-and-drop compare the Sta-Puft marshmallow man to an F-117A Nighthawk? I think I'm going to go to lunch soon and get some sun. I will be keeping my T-shirt on today though, owing to getting a little pink of shoulders over the weekend.

[15:50] Tried to book an appointment to get my hair cut this afternoon but there are no appointments available. Have resolved to do it on Wednesday (probably climbing tomorrow in London). Hoping to get out of here as soon as sensibly possible to enable me to get some fun done outside.

13/06/2003
[11:10] Damn it's a wonderful day today. Absolutely gorgeous. Among the fun things I've done this morning have been such activities as 'Mr-T'ing someone's employee photograph, changing the backup tapes, listening to music and planning the refurbishment of the computer room (it's going to take in the region of two months).

Off to lunch, well, in a bit. And then there's just the afternoon to go before a weekend of relaxation and activities.

[14:20] The weather is absolutely stunning at the moment and the views are frighteningly good. I've just spent a very educational lunchtime with a good friend learning more about the anatomy of the female form than you'd have thought possible outside of a) a bedroom or, b) a medical text book. I love Summer. And now, two more tasks to do and I can get the hell out of here.

12/06/2003
[10:45] Thanks to Sam for pointing out http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/story/0,3605,975132,00.html which frankly kicks arse. A namecheck and URL in the Guardian. Sweet.

[11:15] So anyway, a little Guardian Effect in the morning to make up for the fact that I got to work this morning only to remember that I'd left my computer on at home and the bedroom window open. So home I go again, and get a damned huge puncture in my rear wheel. Once all's done at home I end up walking back to work again, which isn't too bad as the weather's lovely here at the moment. Frankly I wish it was Friday. I do have to go and get a puncture repair kit at lunch and buy some tickets. It's all go here. Anyone reading for the first time off the back of the link in the Guardian, don't worry, it doesn't get any more exciting unless you go back a year.

[14:40] If anyone's interested, I'll be trying to attend Tim O'Reilly's Talk on the 23rd of June, incognito. The first (and in fact every) person to ask me for an autograph will get a very badly written addition to their O'Really T-shirt; I type nowadays, and I'm left-handed, I don't write. Think very carefully before asking, because spoilt clothing often offends.

11/06/2003
[14:15] Heat slowing me down. Went to bed too late last night but woke up nice and early and got in a good set of exercises which made me feel rather good. Work has been rather uninteresting today but it's been punctuated by some rather good news here and there. Among other things I went climbing last night and got to do some good long drops off the new rope. There's something relaxing about free-fall for a second or so and then there's the happy feeling of braking before you deck out.

So we climbed and came home and had pizza and watched another DVD of the Dune mini-series which isn't so bad, really.

[15:50] Tired, hot, and tired. There's a pub visit planned for 17:00 which I so need to go to and have something cold and alcoholic. There's DVDs and home-made pudding planned for this evening. So that'll be good. And my mobile phone battery's gone dead.

[16:45] Right, sod this, off to the pub.

10/06/2003
[09:45] Still no rope arrived yet. I'm hoping it's here by the end of the day so I can use it this evening at the climbing wall.

[10:40] So much for HP's much-vaunted "no need to shake more than once" claim for toner cartridges. We've broken 10K pages on this single unit and gone through "Toner Out" three times now. All down to judicious shaking. I'm becoming a very big fan of the supplies page that 'intelligent' cartridges can let you have. I like statistics. The...

[11:10] Yes! My rope and rope bag have arrived! Lovely coloured thing and the rope bag is excellent quality. And there's climbing this evening so I get to use it (stretch and bounce!) almost straight away. It's all good. I've unbound it, and recoiled it in the rope bag so it's ready for transport.

[12:40] Off for lunch in a bit and to do some research shopping. Have an appointment this afternoon so I won't be back until some time after 15:00. With luck there'll be very little for me to do when I get back so I can get on with some sensible things.

[17:50] Right, off home and thence to climbing. It's been a good day on the whole. Tomorrow could be just as good.

09/06/2003
[09:50] Ended up having a relaxing weekend after all, went climbing, spent time just chilling out. All good. There are some surprises here this morning, a number of them: my rope and rope bag haven't arrived yet, the HP JetDirect card arrived for the printer and oddly the data input person for the Databases of Doom. This is not what I was expecting for a Monday morning, but the PFY seems to be dealing fairly well with things.

[10:55] Oh yes. Because my gallery was getting too unwieldy and stuff I've just decided to go with an external link for my pictures from now on. Yes, through the magic of the web you can now all my photos at Fotopic.net which you should be using yourself as it's pretty funky (and I help maintain it). Specifically, you can get to my stuff via the gallery link on the front page, or by going directly to http://gallery.bofhcam.org/. There are no movies on there at the moment, but that's something we're working on.

06/06/2003
[11:20] McAfee released another DAT again this week. That makes something like three in the last eight days, I think. Still, only a few machines which don't seem to be keeping quite up to date. It's the work of five minutes to go and deal with them all. Not like my friend not a million miles from here, who has upwards of two thousand machines not really liking ePO and Virus Scan at the moment. He's not best pleased.

Last night's impromptu barbecue went off without a hitch, happily. The Rain God seems to have taken his/her tithe this morning, but I don't care. People arrived as I was clearing the front area of weeds for the first time since I moved in so I packed them off to Asda and Homebase to get some lightable bag charcoal and meal/bread.

Everyone I was expecting (bar one, ill) arrived and the food began to cook. We stood and talked, chatted and gossiped. Some got slightly toasted and much was eaten. I had a chunk of really, really good rump steak that had just about seen the flames from across the patio. Ate it on its own, with my bare hands. Good stuff. In the end we ran out of ability to eat and live so fell in front of the DVD and watched Equilibrium, which was a laugh.

This morning I've had numerous tiny annoying tasks to do concerning users who don't know how to work computers since yesterday and am headed for a Thai lunch at 12:30. I don't think I'll come back this afternoon.

05/06/2003
[10:30] So I went climbing last night. Really rather good. Nothing terribly hard but a good workout. Also helped someone buy a harness, chalkbag and stuff. Not sure I was much help but I gave what advice I could.

[10:45] Against the odds I've decided to get out of town this weekend. It's going to be nice weather so I think I'm going to just get on a train and go and have some fun somewhere. It's another lovely day here at the moment. I should get busy so it gets over with sooner.

[14:35] Suddenly I'm hosting a barbecue this evening. It's a good feeling to know people want to come round and unwind at my place. Of course this means I have to get home this evening, get a whole load of stuff out of the freezer and go and buy some bread, cheese, some more meat and some lightable charcoal bags. Good to be busy.

[15:05] So hot in here now I'm down to shorts and a T-shirt only. The Tevas went under the desk on my return from a really relaxing lunch which involved a cycle and then some sitting watching the women go by down by the river.

[16:15] Just spent some dollars on the Bob The Angry Flower comic books which may arrive shortly, also set up two more machines even if the permissions thing is still messed up in terms of setting certain parts of the Registry when it comes to Eudora and stuff. Hoping that'll sort out by tomorrow otherwise I'm going to be peeved.

04/06/2003
[09:15] I was so knackered when I went home last night. Ended up just sitting on the futon and watching television for the evening. Unfortunately I've done something to screw up my laptop's installation of Windows 2000 so I was without connectivity downstairs. I didn't mind, it gave me some time away from the keyboard.

I am definitely going climbing this evening. This is one of the reasons I came in early this morning. One of the others is that I got to sleep before 00:00 so I woke quite early. I feel in a pretty good mood of late, which is good. I think I may be about to suffer from a cold which is really not what I need at the moment, but never mind.

[12:30] I think the dessicated air in here is helping to keep it at bay. I'll feed and water myself in twenty minutes or so and vainly wait for my rope and rope bag to arrive this afternoon.

[16:10] No rope but it's so humid in here I've just been for a twenty minute walk outside. It's pleasant out there, kind of dull, but not raining any more. I'd really just like to bugger off for the day.

03/06/2003
[11:00] It's all good this morning. The sun is shining, the music is good and it's hot enough to be wearing sandals. I've also got my contacts in so my shades are able to be used. Ended up watching the Animatrix DVD last night at someone's house and then fiddling for too long getting it to play a Region 1 DVD. I was knackered to be honest so around 22:00 I got a lift home.

With luck I'm climbing this evening, so that'll be excellent. Only four days from Friday now. Have emailed man with the rope for this evening to ask him if we can borrow it as he's going to be elsewhere scrubbing a boat.

[12:05] On a spur of the moment decision I've gone ahead and bought a 50m rope and a rope bag. It's time I stopped relying on other people for climbing gear and get some more myself, I think.

[14:30] Stress. Dealt with.

[15:45] So today I've fixed a whole slew of antivirus installations which were refusing to update to a level that'd protect against sobig-C. I think I'll go climbing this evening. I know I'm going tomorrow with some friends with whom I haven't been in a while. It'll be nice to do that again. I feel the need to get some air beneath my feet and work off some mood clinging to some small lumps of plastic and metal and tiring myself out. Once I've done that I'll be calm and relaxed again. Climbing is just really great for me. Everyone who can should try it at least once. I think I'll head off at 16:30. Or some time around then.

[16:50] Feels like something's sapping my will to live this afternoon. I'm tired. Don't think I'll go climbing, I may just go home and relax for a bit.

02/06/2003
[09:30] So Misco have sent the LaserJet 4100 we asked for, but with an external print server, rather than a card that'll fit inside the back of the machine. I think we'll keep this one and get an internal one from somewhere a little more Clued.

Friday was most excellent, had a great time going shopping, of all things. Was treated to a home-cooked meal by a friend which was something of a first for my kitchen. Ended up wandering around town after sunset and seeing students desperately trying to avoid revision. Spent a good time chatting. Hope to do it again some time. Most relaxing after a hectic week.

Saturday I dropped flying visit friend off at the station and in the blazing heat took an extremely enjoyable cycle over to a good friends' house in the sticks. Spent some time working on putting up some shelves before 'chilling' (far too hot) in the garden. The heat took its toll and we ended up dozing off on the sofas in the lounge to the tennis. I woke up and found to my embarassment that guests for the evening's barbecue had arrived.

In the end I managed to wake up and take an active part in the proceedings and was intending to leave at artound 19:00 to get home before I collapsed. As it was I found that one of the arrivals was a Black Belt in Shotokan Karate (one belt above me) so we spent an hour or so practicing Kata and basic techniques in the garden. It really gave me a buzz to get back into things, if only for a while. To be told that from the looks of things I really shouldn't have given up was pretty cool.

Sunday was spent sleeping in and then going to London to climb (first time in a good while). Starting off was hard, but it all came back to me after a little while. I'll use exercise to fill up this week in preparation for next weekend when I can forget about work for a few days.

[14:40] Can't find someone I'd like to talk to. Hope they're O.K. Don't want to bother them as I have done already today. I'll just wait.

[16:00] So I stick up a news posting for an aging HP DeskJet 870cxi on a giveaway group and it's claimed within 45 seconds. A second claim comes in in less than 2 minutes.