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31/07/2006
[12:35] 40-1 So yeah, the wedding! I have to say that's probably the most fun I've had at a wedding since ever. Thursday afternoon James and I drove to Cheltenham and found the pub people were meeting in without any issues whatsoever, which was nice. Had a pleasant evening with friends and the bride and groom to be. I met one of the ushers with whom I was staying and as the day ended went back, chatted with him, realised we had significantly similar music tastes, outlooks on life and in fact were fairly similar generally. He also did an excellent cooked breakfast on Friday morning. This offset some of the energy I used hand-pumping the air bed I slept on the previous night. After some lazing about, having Nigel drop off the music for the disco and such and driving out to the reception venue to set up the PA system for the evening we headed back, got ready and drove to the church. My fellow 'official' photographer was there so we chatted about things and took some setup shots of the groom and his ushers and "second best woman" (female best man) looking cool, calm and collected.

The arrival of the guests, the bride and father in the stunning Beauford and the wedding itself went flawlessly from my point of view. The photographs seemed fairly easy and there were plenty of opportunities to get some shots of the registry being signed, the 'formal' ones and s good few candids. We all headed to the reception where an awful lot of fun was had taking photographs, chatting to some very lovely people, introducing more people to the perils of Zen Wrestling and generally enjoying the food, speeches, alcohol and a surrounding of friends on a lovely day when two of my good friends got married. I can't really over-emphasis just how smashing the day was. The only down side was that it had to end. Luckily a few of us headed back to Al's house to chat, drink lots of water and listen to some rather stunning tunes until well into the small hours. That was a great way of keeping the day going. In the end I walked someone home to their hotel given the lateness of the hour, without getting lost, and returned to sleep on a mattress in the kitchen owing to the fact my previous night's locale was occupied by a couple and the spare single camp bed was filled by a young lady who'd had nowhere else to go. Truly Al was the very definition of an usher who ushed beyond the call of duty. And I was still comfortable too!

Saturday morning was all about coffee, toast on the patio and memories of the previous day. After being dropped off where James had left his car the previous night I fell asleep on the grass until he turned up with the others. Some driving around picking up luggage and so forth happened before we settled on a pub to have an excellent lunch in and then heading home. The drive was uneventful but required a pause for the tired and appreciated driver to take a break from road-concentration. I really need to get some refresher lessons in so I can spell those people who're tired or actually drink a significant amount for long car journeys.

Anyway, back home tired but settled I called Gareth to let him know I was available for heavy lifting and we spent most of the evening going to houses, flats, storage lockups and a closed tip with all manner of heavy things. All good exercise and happily paid for with a smashing meal at our new local (Gareth's moved three streets away and is even closer to my closest pub than I am). Needless to say I went to sleep fairly rapidly at the end of the day.

I let myself wake yesterday whenever my body felt like it. This turned to be on the dot of 10:00. Rather than go climbing outdoors which I'd have loved to be doing I spent the day dusting, cleaning and vacuuming the house. Its needed it for a while and that plus putting some washing on and a trip to Tesco courtesy of Gareth with his hire van meant that I was set for the week...

Which I hope will be climbing this evening and an early night for everything that happens tomorrow. Work for example is beginning to ramp up again a bit and early nights would be a bonus if I'm going to be getting in at a useful time. For now, it's time to get back on with documentation and stuff. That and spending the evenings talking to the new friends I met at the wedding and sorting out the masses and masses of photos I've taken.

27/07/2006
[13:15] Not here for long today on account of heading to Cheltenham for this wedding thingy. All packed, sitting at work, thinking about ISO speeds, exposure and shutter times and wondering whether or not any of my shots are going to be any good at all. I'm nervous as all hell that I'm going to fluff any good compositions I see and generate nothing but 'snaps' rather than pictures that the bride and groom are going to look back on with pleasure in the future. It's not like a party where you don't really care. This is an event. Thank goodness there's someone else doing the same thing and everyone and their dog is going to be tooled up with equvalent or better kit and skills. I think we've got it covered.

Climbing at Mile End was good, if far too hot, but we got Helen doing her first lead (woman's a natural), as well as Ian too. Sushi afterwards was suitably smashing and a quick trip to Telehouse left Helen considerably more informed as to the nature of the Internet after the cable leaves her computer. We got home around 01:30 and I barely remember more than unpacking and lying down on the bed. I think for the next few nights (where local conditions allow) I will restrict my candle burning to one end.

So yes, up this morning and feeling fairly fresh. Far better than yesterday anyway in terms of energy levels. This was good as it meant that I was able to get packed washed and out of the house before 08:10. As I result I've had a far more productive and enjoyable day than usual. As it is I should get a few more things done and then be ready for my pickup by the always generous James in an hour or so.

[13:20] Oh, yes. Won't be here tomorrow on account of that being the day of the wedding. See you on Monday. Or not, I don't even know who reads this thing any more.

[14:20] OK, I can't resist and I'm not here tomorrow for Sysadmin Day so go take a look at this Flash animation featuring the O'Really designs in a rather amusing setting. Celebrate your sysadmin tomorrow.

26/07/2006
[15:30] Oh, forgot to mention the climbing on Monday in Tuesday's entry. We brought along two new people who'd expressed an interest at the circus arts thing on Sunday. Both were pretty good at climbing and belaying and hardly had any bad habits that couldn't be jumped on quickly. We had them climbing and belay each other fairly confidently by the end of the night. There was an unfortunate incident too which luckily didn't result in any problems, but we've taken steps to see that it doesn't happen again.

I slept reasonably last night after a busier evening than I'd been expecting. Also ended up stroking two cats for some time. Furry lovin', awww-yeah. Still, this morning I was again extremely tired and have been close to dozing off a few times today. I snagged a shower and the remains of last night's pizza over lunch and feel a hell of a lot better now. Good enough to make it to London again for climbing and stuff. Another Gaucho Grill experience and an apparently short trip this time to Telehouse again is in the offing.

Today I've been working out why every RHEL3 machine I update and reboot has been making Hobbit go nuts with regard to temperature and RAID status. As opposed to other kernel upgrades which didn't see to affect Dell's OMSA setup, this most recent one requires an un-and-then-re-install of all the components to have them work properly. Now that I know, I can factor the necessary actions into the update/reboot/redo routine for all of the servers that're monitored. All I need now is to be told when I can reboot the boxes.

I'm so not with it today I was about to mention tonight's activities again. I should get on with something with a low-intelligence requirement until I can get out of here.


25/07/2006
[14:45] Amusing thing of the morning from a close friend with too much good luck. He met someone recently and, as things are wont to do in this day and age, things apparently 'progressed'. A few days later they get back in contact and he's been given the following compliment: For the pleasure of future generations of women you should father many sons. And a request for a repeat meeting.

My current thoughts tend to center around the word "git".

Otherwise it's just as hot, just as dull as I try to nurse RHEL3 machines through the installations required to move to Update 8 and just as likely that this evening will be another quiet one. Gym, then maybe some time on the Green, then a drink with friends and an early night.

24/07/2006
[16:45] OK. Still too hot. Getting things done though. Friday was excellent as I met up with a friend and we had a mini-picnic and stuff somewhere cool. Ended up kipping over rather than go home. Back on Saturday I toddled along to a barbecue which started off in fine hot weather, progressed to a mild hurricane and then became a monsoon. We took shelter under a nearby bowling pavillion until such time as it'd passed and then carried on with the event. Eventually it moved to being a house party at James' and then a DVD fest. I spent much of the evening tuning iTunes to some reasonable playlists before leaving around the time the first DVD finished.

Sunday I was supposed to go back over for a cooked breakfast but was too tired given I got to bed at 03:30 again. In the end I pottered about for the day doing chores and stuff and then went out early to the circus arts thing and lazed on a blanket inbetween poi and staff work until some time around 20:30. As my dinner guest had neglected to bring lights I ended up eating bacon, eggs and potato cakes all on my own. Yumyumyum.

One thing I did over the weekend was to cancel all the RedHat Updates I had set to go on Sunday evening. Turns out that if you have pvm installed it really buggers things up when you come to do an RPM update to move a machine to RHEL3u8. Today has been spent scripting rpm erasures, package profile updates and rpm upgrades for most of my machines. Of course some of the users noticed the activity and helpfully 'kill'ed the processes as "they were taking up my CPU". Consequently some of the boxes' RPM databases are rather futzed.

Who the hell gave them root access? It certainly wasn't me.

So, anyway, bit of a day to be honest. Had some good conversations, looked at some good pictures I took with someone else's camera and sorted out something for Tuesday. Not so bad now I think about it. Oh yes, and two new people are coming climbing this evening.

21/07/2006
[17:20] Another day of humidity and heat. Also another day of trying desperately to write documentation without going nuts and throwing something across the room every time someone wants something fixed or upgraded. At least today it was mainly about using gem to update Rails, and other components associated with Ruby. Still, it does break the monotony somewhat. Lunch was deskbound as usual, although I did get to go out and do some more poi practice for fifteen minutes or so (carefully watching for ground-based wasps this time). No-one I know of has done much work this afternoon though so I don't feel too bad in slacking off to have some fun.

Other than that what else... Not much really. Am off out this evening, well after other people have vanished to do their weekend things of note and fun. Don't pretend I don't know where you are and what you're doing. I have spies.

Gits, the lot of you.

Back on Monday.

20/07/2006
[15:50] 50 Phew, what tiring time I'm having of things at the moment. Went to London last night to climbing with James and Ian. First of all Mile End climbing wall was hot. Also full of very hot-looking climbing women wearing very very little and looking very good for it. Happily many of them were pleased to engage in conversation too. I did some really rather strenuous roof routes (which is why, I realise, my hands ache today) and got rather too hot and tired. Luckily the next thing we did was to drive to Canary Wharf to meet some friends and engage in an effort to eat more Argentinian beef that must be strictly legal in one sitting. It certainly filled a hole created by climbing like a loon for two hours.

Once we'd cleaned the plates everyone but a few of us toddled off while the remaining four went over to Telehouse and after security screening headed in to do some machine shifting in some of the co-location facilities. Long story short, James and I ended up racking an IBM blade server of great mass into a rack some time around midnight/one-thirty in the morning. Luckily the facilities are air-conditioned or the waiting for the lift from Goods In, or falling asleep in the corridor waiting for someone to let me in to a room would have been hell. To be honest I enjoyed it far more than I should have given the mundane nature of the tasks.

We left Telehouse some time in the early morning and headed home. I think I got to bed some time around 03:30 in the end. Oddly this morning I wasn't completely shattered into small pieces. Not even with the heat and stuff. Of course I'm not operating at full capacity today, but then what else is new these days?

Not doing anything much this evening. Going to go home, relax, be glad I made enough food to fridge the day before yesterday (eat that) and just chill down and get an earlier night. I need my sleep given things that're coming up.

19/07/2006
[16:40] Cor, that was an experience. I went out on the grass for an hour to read and catch some sun and on my way back in got a stong from what I think was a wasp to the arch of my right foot. You know how sensitive that part of your foot is. Yeah. So not great. I don't think I've been stung by a bee or wasp in over twenty years. Definitely not something I wish to repeat for a while let me tell you. Pain's fading now and there's not really a lump any more either. Good to know I don't have anaphylaxis.

In better news I have something to do on a Friday night for once. Hurrah. No stay-at-home am I this Friday night. No siree Bob. Also, potentially a change from the drudge of the week early next week too. How cool is that? Of course, both could not pan out but hey, life is all about things changing. Like the puncturedness of my foot and the tan lines caused by my sandals. The amount of money in my bank account and my hair line.

Things like that.

Otherwise I've been requisitioning 19" TFTs for no good reason (the new Dell design is very, very nice), upgrading machines on the sly from GX240 to GX280 marques and generally trying to write documentation while helping out developers and keeping three interesting conversations going at the same time. I tell you this, life is interesting and fun at the moment. Just need to keep those balls in the air at the same time.

Climbing, London, this evening. Then steak, then racking machines in Telehouse. Home late.

18/07/2006
[17:25] OK, so climbing last night probably wasn't a good idea given the heat and how tired I was. Still, some interesting free climbing routes were conquered and I got to go to Tesco and drink about 1.5kg of drinking yoghurt. Why they don't go with units of volume I don't know. Anyway, it was rather nice. Unfortunately the weather today is so hot that I have no ability to recall just how nice. In fact I'm so hot I really don't know what to do with myself. I've done a lot of interesting bits of fiddling today to do with perl and Oracle and stuff like that but for the life of me I really can't remember what.

I'm actually contemplating going to the gym now because they have air conditioning. Plus I missed last Friday with the festival and Tuesday with being otherwise occupied. Not to worry. Sometimes it's good to give everything a rest. I don't think I'll go do poi afterwards tonight. May just go and chill at home. Do some chores for once.

17/07/2006
[11:10] Sorry, no entry on Friday on account of being at the festival upon which I will wax verbose in just a few seconds. But first, the weather. It's hot, damned hot. I've got some really very sexy Teva-marks on my insteps now from the blazing sun and look vaguely asian by extraction. Thank heavens for sun cream to keep from looking like some of the boiled lobsters I saw walking around over the weekend. So anyway, the festival...

I packed on Thursday night, had a shower on Friday morning and we were off and driving by 07:30. Roads were clear and we made good time, getting there for just after 10:00. We parked in the wrong car park initially and had to walk about a mile to find our camping area (the Guests section). Pitching was easy and within twenty minutes we were heading down through the woods to the arenas area. There can't have been more than a few thousand people in total around by the time we got there and it felt very much like a festival-in-potentia. Everything looked good, the arenas were mostly huge circus big-top style tents and had plenty of ventilation.

At the Kids Area we had a good group discussion about how the weekend was going to go and set up for the first two sessions. Food became something that we had to squeeze in when possible we realised . Both sessions that day were uniformly excellent with children and adults alike enjoying themselves utterly. I rediscovered my love of teaching and was very pleased to see that everyone who picked up a pair of poi went away at least knowing the two-beat weave, if not the three-beat. Between sessions I managed to catch Marcus Brigstocke in the Comedy Arena as well as some other rather good acts. Brigstocke really raised the roof though with some very off-colour routines about his wife, immigrants and illegal acts of a sexual nature (you don't want to know. Or you do, but I'm not saying). It was therefore extremely odd to see him later on in the festival out of his corduroy suit, child dangling from one arm, asking me where the puppet theatre might possibly be, please.

After the end of the second session a group of us managed to snag some food and make our way to one of the larger arena tents to see The Lemonheads, The Zutons and Snow Patrol back to back. All three were were really bloody excellent and responded to the very excited crowd very well. I think I lost some of my voice singing along. By the time they'd come on I'd spent most of the day either spinning poi, teaching poi, sitting on the grass in the middle of a field listening to and watching people having an extremely chilled and realxed time or laughing so much my jaw ached. It was the perfect antithesis to the place my head had been in the past few weeks and months.

Following the end of Snow Patrol's set much of the rest of the night until the not-so-small hours was spent walking about, talking to people and enjoying the lower temperatures. Having really rather excellent company was rather nice too. In the end I think we went to listen to some music in the Arena In The Woods before spinning glow poi outside of the Cabaret Arena in the darkness and drinking quite a lot under the stars as music drifted over the site from the Lakeside Arena (the only open-air stage).

Saturday consisted of the largest 'full English' breakfast I could convince the 'Crew Cafe' to lay on for a fiver. The fiver seemed to be the default festival food/meal token for the weekend. Not great, but it usually bought enough to be filling. Couple that with the fact that I don't feel ill at all and I think the festival organisers really pushed the boat out on selecting good-quality catering, the site setup and layout and generally keeping it very, very clean everywhere. Walking into the arenas area on Saturday morning at some stupid hour like 09:00 I was amazed to see not one bit of litter anywhere. It looked pristine and very very lovely in the morning light. Expecting more people (day trippers, if nothing else) we set up for the day's two sessions and had another excellent time. I got to meet someone I'd been talking to online (who has the enviable job of being a gig and
festival reviewer and we had lunch under a tree and talked about the literary and poetry arenas and the diverse crowds they were drawing too. Latitude really seems to be attempting to be a jack of all trades kind of event. I'm not sure if it's a master of none or really rather good at some. Nearly blowing its metaphorical wad on the first night with three major acts nearly seemed like a tremendous mistake but it rallied well. The evening's music of Gomez and Anthony and the Johnsons was initially phenomenally good, followed by extremely odd. I know the latter also won a Mercury Music Prize but I really don't think his voice or music was suited to the festival. I felt asleep twice during the set. That may just have been because I was tired though. The end of Saturday was a bit of a blur, but I'm pretty sure I ended up doing poi in the Guest Area bar and teaching someone the finer arts of behind the back Butterfly. Sleeping was something that came later. Maybe around 03:00. Probably.

Sunday morning was far too hot. I had to get up at 07:30 to keep from cooking in the tent. It seems pretty much everyone else had the same idea as the queue for the showers (yes, showers) was longer than the previous morning. Still, a good breakfast soon sorted me out and I was able to spend a solid three hours on the grass in the arenas area listening to some of the bands doing sound checks and talented roadies doing unofficial jam sessions to a chilled and recumbent group of festival-goers. Both circus arts sessions went swimmingly again, with, again, more Comedy Arena relaxation and amusement between them. By the end of the second session the mixture of massive doses of sun, rowdy children and the death metal bands going at it hammer and tongs in the tent next to us meant that we were ready for our active part in the running of the festival to be over. After a few beers and some chilling we decided that staying for Mercury Rev and Mogwai wasn't going to be survival-promoting in terms of our driver getting us home before he fell asleep or we got caught in traffic leaving the event. I'm a little sad we missed the last two big bands but getting back and having a decent night's sleep turned out to be the best thing for everyone.

I didn't bother unpacking until this morning, at which point I found most of the field we'd camped in inside my rucksack. Everything was squared away eventually and I actually got into work on time. It's amazing what one good night's sleep will do. Now I need to actually remember what my job entails and stop thinking about the freaky/sexy/weird cabaret acts I saw.

[17:10] Hmmm, what have I done today? Some Oracle client installations, a lot of frobbing of LD_LIBRARY_PATHs and some small but very significant chmod work. Oh, and moved a little further away from the past and been a little happy and a little more sad at the same time. Surprising what you can do in a day, sometimes.

13/07/2006
[13:00] Today is all about documentation and wiki consolidation. If I can get it done before I go away tomorrow to Latitude I'll come back and actually be able to remember what I was doing. Right now I have to admit I barely know what I'm doing minute by minute. Had another late night and ended up exhausting myself at the climbing wall and so on. Even in the heat I think I managed to do some quite good routes. I'm particularly proud of a rather 'fingery' lime green route which at first glance appeared to be beyond my reach. Doing it twice put that impression to rest. Otherwise things were pretty good. Had a lost lamb return to the flock that is the climbing group and was impressed to see that their skills hadn't atrophied much at all in the time they'd been away.

Other than that things continue to continue. I'm packing tonight, so not really having anyone over. Early start tomorrow and probably no journal entry again until Monday. Yeah, that's about it really. Not really a day of much note.

12/07/2006
[13:55] So I was out last night and thinking about happiness and generally having a rather good, if hot, time of things. The friend I was with was on the same wavelength as I and we were having the kind of time of things that you want on a pleasant evening. My mind drifted to what's missing from my life at the moment. The things that other people seem to be gaining slowly, or are experiencing for the first time in a while. I became quite wistful and, although it didn't detract from the evening by any means, I've been in something of a mild state of quiet reflection which has persisted since I got up and made my extended way in to work late this morning (via, among other things, a few pay-to-perform psychological experiments).

I'm told by those who care that it's all to do with my age, my situation and the things I'm doing in my life at the moment. Fair enough, I say. Fair enough, but it would be rather nice to know that there was someone out there whose thoughts were occupied by me sometimes. Someone to be home for/to come home to. I'm enjoying (nay, exulting in) the effort required in meeting new people, getting out, having new experiences and generally working 'muscles' I've not used in a while (in some cases barely ever before) but just sometimes I like the idea of being able to do all of that which I am now experiencing (well almost all) while knowing there was someone there, doing their own thing too, but wanting to find me at the end of the day.

I'm a fairly nice guy. I'm sure it'll happen. Just not today.

[14:40] But, speaking of happiness I noticed a news article on BBC Breakfast Television this morning which amused me not a little. So, best thing for happiness would be to go to the Vanuatu islands? Not really feasible for most of us, is it...?

11/07/2006
[14:35] So, yeah. I forgot to tell you about the weekend. Which was fairly good in the main. Saturday I was all set to have a chilled morning when someone popped up from a mobile device on MSN and invited me to lunch, so after getting myself together in about five minutes flat I was out into town. I had to be back for 14:00 on account of having a reshoot of the photos for the calendar I'm appearing in. I think I mentioned it back around the middle of January. Go read about it if you're interested, I'll wait.

...

So yeah, that calendar. Saturday night I have strangest idea I was in... but no, I was out on one of the greener parts of town with a whole mess of other people doing poi and generally listening to music and getting high from the masses of pot being smoked nearby. In the end people headed off to various houses and after a bit I went home too.

Sunday was less relaxing. Around midday I headed off with other like-minded individuals to go climbing. It turned out to be the perfect antidote to the quietness of the morning and I enjoyed myself thorougly. We arrived back in perfect time for me to head out to the circus arts training session for this weekend's Latitude Festival at which I will be giving workshops in some of the finer arts of juggling and spinning. Following that was some freeform enjoyment out on another of the grassy areas of this fair town and a straightforward conversation which made me realise the truth of things and how life continues for everyone, whether you're standing still or making your own way.

Today I've spent most of the time in a fascinating conversation in between getting the repackaged UPS client software onto all the boxes what needs it. This required doing the same for the linux machines as well, something I'd forgotten. Happily, now that I have the required knowledge retrieved from long-term storage and floating around in RAM it didn't take too long. I think I will reward myself with some fun this evening, and a pleasant bit of exercise before bed.

[This entry brought to you by the "started at 09:40 and hard to finish" Party]

10/07/2006
[17:45] 60 "Stop the rock / Stop the rock / Stop the rock / Stop the rock / Stop the rock you can't stop the rock." - Apollo 440

Allegedly.

Well, you can pause it, or move it wildly off course now and again but in the main it just keeps on going. I think this is a good thing all in all. My rock is currently rolling in strange directions having been forced to adapt to new situations. Some of the best and worst of these have happened in the last few days, weeks and months. Oddly I don't feel so much tossed around by them as energised, decisive and certain of what I'm doing. It's a very odd but empowering feeling. I've not had it before.

I'm making all kinds of decisions for me and my happiness and trying very hard to get a grip on everything else that's happening with a view to incorporating those into the world-view I have to deal with. I think it's working.

This entry was started at 09:30 this morning and I've not had time to finish it due to installing and reconfiguring the worst UPS client software in the known world. Not only that but repackaging the binary to include our configurations. Rolling it out to other machines is a bit hit and miss too. Climbing now. That might calm my head down a bit.

07/07/2006
[17:30] Sorry, just busy all day with things. Pretty much much of a muchness. Last night I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest with most everyone else. Aside from confusio with the tickets and times everything worked out pretty well. The film was... OK I guess. I won't spoil it for anyone.

I should really head off to the gym to be honest, and have an evening. Quiet weekend for once, I think. May get some reading done. Relax. Maybe see if anyone wants to come over to chill out and drink tea.

06/07/2006
[17:30] This is what happens when you listen to the entire (and I mean entire) available catalogue of Hybrid for two days straight. You begin to think in hard, banging beats and nodding in such a way that you're in danger of typing "tyrughfjbnvm " as your head detaches and rolls down the keyboard. Life takes on a hard yet flowing edge to it as you watch people come into the office and struggle vainly to extract you from the coocoon of the Beat and the Electronoise.

I don't resent them for it, the work needs doing and I'm the one to do it. I just wish they'd send me email so as not to interrupt. I've got a fair bit done today. Spent a long time on one particular thing which has reaped huge benefits. With luck and bit more effort I think I'll have something very good on my hands. Just a few niggles to work through.

Not managed to solve the web browser/Perl application/CUPS interface/network segment/Windows printer server/network segment/Jetdirect card/Dymo printer *breath* issue yet. But I will. As sure as my name's... well I haven't actually ever used my name here. Call me Captain Jack Sparrow.

Speaking of which, time to go to the cinema.

05/07/2006
[16:00] I'm informed by my contacts in Germany that somebody has placed concrete footballs on footways in Berlin (weighing in about about 20lb each) with signs next to them saying "Can you kick it?". Two people are already in hospital with injured feet.

In other news I had a lovely meal and a rather pleasant evening last night. Took a bit of effort but I think in the end the result was rather pleasing. Not sure I'll go to that much effort again for a while, but it was good to know I have the skills to pull it off.

Work continues apace. I.e. not much at the moment. I have plenty to be going on with, especially now the Merlin Gerin UPS has been transplanted, commissioned and is serving the power to the machine room it's been moved to. I dearly hate that chunk of metal, lead acid and the dodgy-as-hell network card that claims to work with up to forty hosts (and doesn't).

Thank goodness the heavens have just opened here. I can feel the temperature dropping even as I type this sentence. I may sleep tonight. Not that I didn't last night. But that's because I was very tired. Climbing tonight nonetheless.

04/07/2006
[13:00] I'm very hopeful that today is going to be a Good Day. Aside from getting to bed very late last night (this morning) I actually woke full of beans and raring to go. I even shaved this morning. Odd for a week day. Still, all to the good. It's hot again here. Luckily the day didn't start as such so I've been able to function thus far.

I've achieved some moderate success in getting some mini-bits of work done. Spent a lot of time in interesting discussion an even have a lunch date to go to. Thus far the day has actually been going swimmingly. I think I will go and enjoy the sun for a bit.

03/07/2006
[11:50] I have no idea how it got to be July all of a sudden. Most odd. The transition was probably helped by having a very packed weekend which I will attempt to detail herein without too much boredom-inducing detail. Stop me if I go on.

So Saturday I was up early and heading into London far sooner than I thought owing to the person I was meeting being available sooner than they thought. After a few minutes of confusion at the meeting point we found a grassy area and started up some poi spinning. In between breaks for drinking water and chatting we managed to get some new tricks passed both ways and have an excellent time in the sun. Of course they dragged me off to Camden Market to watch The Match in a pub. It's the first time in many years that I've done that and I have to admit the atmosphere was actually a lot of fun. Once the thing had run its course, the extra time had been played and (of course) we'd lost on penalties we headed for the Underground station at Chalk Farm (passing a bit of Banksy graffiti on the way) and went our separate ways. I was able to get back home in time to read my email and head back out again to take some people punting before being fed cocktails in a nearby bar until it got too late for me to keep my eyes open. We walked pretty much all the way back across town to my house before I passed out some time in the small hours.

This was useful as I had to be on an early train on Sunday back to London to see some other friends. Thus far all my journeys had been on non-stop cruisers, so they weren't taking that long. Plenty of time to read and listen to the overly eclectic contents of my iPod at the moment. So I got to London and back onto the Underground, this time to Hammersmith. With the Hammersmith & City line dead I had to to use the Piccadilly Line which as everyone knows is basically an underground mobile sauna. Standing very still and not thinking about anything seemed to do the trick. At Hammersmith I headed for the Bridge and met Andy and friend who took me for a rather lovely Sunday lunch in a pub called The Dove, overlooking the Thames. Following that we beat a retreat from the sun back to Andy's flat which is, damnit, bloody palatial. We chilled out in the cool for a while as Andy uploaded every Boards of Canada track known to man to my portable USB drive before I headed off back home again via the same route.

Straight from the station I cycled to one of the greener parts of town where the circus arts group I do workshops with was in full flow. We played around with poi and staff for a few hours before I tried my hand at Zen Wrestling (something I'll have to show you; it's hard to explain well). Following that I dashed further across town to the end of a Hen Party which was amusing as I got to teach poi and Zen Wrestling to everyone before watching Doctor Who and nattering to friends.

In the end the cumulative effects of the weekend took their toll and I had to head home and crash out. But not before managing to have an interesting conversation with someone which I'm looking forward to continuing later on as time allows.

Today I've already arranged a lunch meeting for tomorrow, climbing for this evening and probably something to do on Tuesday evening. Thus far things seem to be going well... I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, but not really waiting that hard; I've got too much else to do for the moment.