Bellerophon symbol, variation 7 jonath.co.uk
Friday 1st August 2003

Why the hell's my USB mouse not working?

What the hell is wrong with Linux?

I try (and fail) to install a new video card, put the old one back in and now only one of my mice is working. What?!

And then someone in a car tried to kill me on the way back from work. There I was, cycling along, minding my own business. Then, as usual, two lanes became three, but as the dotted line to the left veered out into the middle of the road, I follow said line, as one would. Highway code, and all that. Meanwhile, the guy (in a car) behind, simply follows the left hand curb, thereby completely ignoring the new lane markings, effectively turning left without due care and attention (i.e. no signals, no observing of other road users, et cetera). But there's me, sticking to my lane, getting beeped at by this guy. The guy undertook me on the lane to my left and I only had about a quarter of a second to try to register surprise, annoyance, anger, bewilderment, confusion. I didn't say anything, but tried to do some kind of rude hand gesture combined with a kind of hand-raising-shrug thing. I think in the end I just kind of raised my index finger and looked a bit hurt. Raised index finger . . . what the hell's that about?! The guy kind of muttered expletives to himself, kept driving, and did something with his right hand out of the window, although his hand gesture seemed equally mixed up . . . more a wave than anything. How strange.

Something stirs . . .

Saturday 2nd August 2003

I think we went to Unity Day in Hyde Park, Leeds.
My knee hurts


Sunday 3rd August 2003

Ah yes, I remember what I spent most of Sunday doing now . . .

Owing to the injured knee, I spent most of today salvaging bits of computer hardware to make into a single, working PC. So now I have a Intel-based 486DX, with two hard-drives (totalling less that 1.5GB), lying on my bed, not quite working. I turn the power on, the boot-up sequence completes the L, I and L of LILO but when it gets to O, I just get a minus sign:

LIL-

I know what this means:

The descriptor table is corrupt. This can either be caused by a geometry mismatch or by moving /boot/map without running the map installer. Invalid map file data or /boot/boot.b has been moved without reinstalling LILO or a disk error has occurred.

. . . but not how to fix it.


Wednesday 6th August 2003

This huge gap really bugs me . . . the gap between 3 August and 9 August . . . I don't like it. 6 is somewhere in between. The mean, if you will.

Oh dear, that picture is what happens when I get bored and have university work to do. Bored eagle/human hybrid attempts weird, ancient, Bellerophon balancing act. Sorry. I'll go now.


Saturday 9th August 2003

Yes, well, the novelty soon wears out . . .

Hello, to all those Google and Inktomi web-bots out there who keep reading this crap.

Today is my dad's birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad! Also, it's Matthew's wedding today. Who's Matthew? Matthew I met at secondary school, when I was about 11, so that's . . . over fifteen years ago. Whilst we haven't been brilliant at keeping in touch over the years, we see each other occasionally and send the odd e-mail or two. Anyway, that's where I'm going today. I thought I'd be hiring a Vauxhall Corsa yesterday, but the freaks gave me a frigging great big Mondeo instead. 1.8 litre engine, but drives like some kind of Eastern European . . . no, analogies are bad for me. Must avoid analogies. It's not nice, anyway. Horrible big and clumpy car.

I forgot to mention a lot recently. On the way back from Unity Day (I think I was with M******, Gav M, Rich, Anna, Penrith Dave, Security Dave and Tania), we popped into the playground in Burley Park itself. That was fun. Playgrounds are definitely far too much fun to be left to the children. But, anyway, on the way out, I was running, thinking I was heading straight for a gap in the 1 metre high metal fence that surrounded the playground. But, of course, I was just heading for a part of the fence that was darker than the rest (thereby rendering it pretty much invisible in the near darkness that we were in). I ran straight into the fence, the fence didn't budge, and I almost went head first over the top. I think my right knee took most of the impact. So, the next day the knee was all swollen and stuff, as it would be, but I kind of ignored this, as I was still able to walk on it. I think it was only on Monday when things got really bad. I had just walked from my house to M******'s, after lounging around a bit at my house, following a day of work, when I realised that something very, very painful was going on at the base of my spine. I got to M******'s and all I could do was lie flat on the floor, in agony. Not good. Anyway, that seems all better now. I guess I was unconsciously walking in a weird way because of the swollen right knee.


Sunday 10th August 2003

Where are you going with this, Ikea-boy?

Back from Matthew's wedding reception, having 'popped' into Ikea on the way back. How exciting. I bought this freaky, 'C'-shaped television stand, this huge plant that seems to be growing from some kind of coconut-esque thing, some apparently hand-blown wine glasses, picture frames, some pictures . . . blah blah blah.

How does one choose what to write in this thing anyway? I cannot tell what's important and what's mundane. Maybe the mundane things are important. Maybe the important things are or can be mundane. Can I go now?


Monday 11th August 2003

I'm sure there was something very important to say . . . damnit. Was it the Ancient Egyptians? Oh, I remember now. I watched a very strange programme last night - Gods in the Skies. I think there were meant to be some historical facts in this programme, but the line between fact and fiction had been so well blurred, that the whole programme was one murky cloud of . . . well, I don't know . . . what do you call a murky cloud of fact and fiction? Uncertainty? And then this made me think: maybe all television is like this. In fact, what the hell, maybe, just maybe, all the information we're fed can never be 100% trusted. And then I recalled that Allan Chapman had mentioned Ma'at (some ancient Egyptian god), which reminded me of this weird web-site I stumbled upon once - The Spirit of Ma'at, whose mission, as expressed by Drunvalo, reads:

. . . and yet there is so much factual distortion and fear-based reporting that it is akin to mental imbalance: not knowing what is real and what is not.

The truth will bring clarity. And, most important, truth just might provide the answers to saving ourselves from ourselves. And finding peace.

So what was my point? No, I think that was it. You know, can't think what to say, so quote someone else, that old chestnut. Oh, I see.


Tuesday 12th August 2003

Forays into the mundane . . .

What is it with the Google bot, eh? It keeps popping in to to see my web-site - which is nice - almost on a daily basis, and yet I do a Google search for 'Drunvalo Mondeo' and it returns nothing. So, as a further test to the Google bot, here are two more words that you will only ever see in this web-page (well, at time of writing anyway):

Axos
Bunchily

So what happened today? Today I ordered loads and loads of stuff to do up my house with. I've owned my house for . . . sh*t, you know, it's a year ago yesterday. I didn't realise. Yes, anyway. So, I own this house, yeah? But I haven't exactly done much with it. You see, if you have, say, 200 spare, what are you gonna spend it on? Some new loudspeakers? An upgrade to the turntable? Perhaps a printer? Or maybe, maybe, maybe, it can go towards a digital camera. Hmmmmm. But who wants to buy boring stuff like polyfiller, power drills, paint (hmmmm, alliteration, keep going), erm . . . no, I can't think of any more P related DIY things. But you get my idea, yeah? When there are so many interesting things to waste our precious money on, who wants to spend it on sh*t we really don't need? My house works, after all. So, that's my problem, and why I don't do much DIY. But I've removed all my bannisters. Yes, bannisters. I think the previous previous owners were a bit old and infirm, bless 'em. This meant that accompanying every single step throughout my house, there would be a set of bannisters above, drilled to the wall. These I have removed, often leaving behind wall-plugs embedded in the wall or else ugly holes in the plaster. So, that means . . . polyfiller. Can I say polyfiller? Is that a trade name? So, yes, the polyfiller . . . and tools to apply it with. Then I need wire wool and 'abrasion paper' (I don't think we call it sand or glass paper any more, perhaps because it's made with aluminium (aluminum for you North Americans out there) oxide) to remove all the old varnish from my second-hand kitchen table (and maybe one day all the chairs), and then some varnish to replace all that. And what else did I get? House, house, house, what else do you need? Urgh, minging - I just scratched my sweaty back and a bit of . . . no, I shouldn't say that . . . think of the grandparents . . . or the parents, as I have none of the former now. Who?! Yes, anyway, where was I? Yeah, so . . . I ordered that stuff from Screwfix. It's a Tuesday. Nothing much happens on Tuesday.

And then more strange dreams . . . I was 'with' this girl whose face I didn't recognise and . . . it was one of those dreams were you wake up and think, "Who the hell was she?" It reminded me of the sub-plot within the film Brazil, whereby the lead character keeps having this dream about this woman and becomes, well, a bit obsessed with her upon discovering that she is real. Odd, very odd. It could just be someone I glimpsed once, or perhaps saw in a film or on television, or maybe someone from many, many years ago . . . either way, no conscious memory exists. As I wandered around on my lunch break, I was actually looking at people, thinking, "Was it her? Or her, maybe?" Then it occurred to me (wow - profound revelation coming up. Hang on), I wonder if other people who I've never met dream about me? And then I got to thinking . . .


Wednesday 13th August 2003

Then came women carrying the bridal Ikons and candles, and last the bride, weeping and red-faced, fearfully and bunchily dressed in seven or eight petticoats.

          -- Chapter XVI. A Country Wedding - The Vologda Oblast Government

Generally speaking, superficial lymph node has no obvious tumefaction, lymph node of neck may bunchily tumefy.

          -- China Myositis Online

Grace Maybe looked happily at the stocking stuffed bunchily from toe to top, hanging beside the open fireplace, then at Flora Greenway. "Yes," said she, "it is crammed full. Little Grace will be so tickled she won't know what to do."

          -- Her Christmas by Mary E. Wilkins (Freeman)

Pity Trisha Bauman, Walter Dundervill, and Tasha Taylor, who wear translucent rubber tunics tied bunchily behind them.

          -- Coming Through the Skin by Deborah Jowitt

And you probably thought Bunchily was a made up word. Well, think again. It could almost be a slogan for a company, "Seeking out made-up words and their use on the internet, so that you don't have to."


Thursday 14th August 2003

Watch, therefore, for ye know not what hour your lord doth come.

Mmmmmm, gloriously sunny day again. Is it just me, or has this been an unusually hot and sunny summer for the UK this year?

Nonetheless, we have a couple of days of rain and they'll all be whinging, "Urrrghhhh, why is the weather in this country so sh*t? Why's it always raining? What a crappy, cloudy, rainy summer this has been." It does wind me up somewhat.

Anyway, there was something I forgot to mention yesterday . . . I got back from work, sat down at my desk (at the top floor of my house, incidentally) and put my right hand on my computer mouse. Nothing unusual so far. I ought to mention at some point around here that my window had been open all day. But then I noticed that my mouse felt kind of . . . well, gritty, I think is the best way of describing it. I was hoping I could just wipe this grit/dust from my mouse and get on with using my computer, but soon it dawned on me that this grit/dust stuff was actually all over my desk, and probably scattered throughout the rest of my room (house?). So what the frig was all that about? I then, perhaps overly romantically, speculated about the Perseids (?!) and how the Earth had but recently passed through the remnants of some kind of comet (doesn't help that I don't much know what I'm talking about here) . . . net search needed . . . the yearly passage of the Earth through the orbiting debri left behind by periodic comet Swift-Tuttle . . . ah, that's better. Thanks for that, http://www.brera.mi.astro.it/apod/ap960809.html. Anyway, so then I had this crazy idea that some of this debris had settled on the Earth's surface and made its way into my room. Or, it could have been some guy doing some sanding down/up the road, but that's not as interesting an explanation. Ah well, as Steppenwolf's 'Don't Step on the Grass, Sam' fades out, I go downstairs for breakfast.


Friday 15th August 2003

Oh, it's Friday, is it? Hmmmm, I see what game you're playing.

And finally, we find that the playing cards, 'The Loaded Deck' (aka 'America's Least Wanted'), are now available to the general public, at tvnewslies.org/html/the_loaded_deck.html. One pack costs $15 to those outside the US ($10 otherwise). Fifteen dollars currently works out at 9.40, which seems very expensive for a pack of cards, but I guess these aren't any old pack of cards. I've ordered mine anyway.

And for those unfamiliar with the PNAC . . . read, learn and assimilate (yes, I know I've linked to this place somewhere before).

Say, Dick, what happened to your eyes anyway?

Isn't Mixing It great? Yes.


Saturday 16th August 2003

Went to Lancaster in the afternoon, to celebrate my parent's wedding anniversary (although actually on the Sunday). We went to the Stork in Conder Green. Hmmmmmm. There were lots of flies there. The sticky toffe pudding was . . . weird. It was a very dry affair smelling largely of cinnamon and ginger. There was a kind of toffee flavoured sauce around it. I said to the waiter, "Erm . . . can I just check . . . it's probably just me, but . . . I asked for sticky toffee pudding and I've been given . . . this. Is that correct? Is this sticky toffee pudding?", to which he just smiled and said, "Yes, that's right," and walked off. But it wasn't right. Why else would I ask? But, yes . . . everything else was fine. Later on, me, James, Hilary, Jess and Phil went back to JamesHilary's and then stumbled through town to the Three Mariners . . . I think.


Sunday 17th August 2003

Parents wedding anniversary. Slept at the place of James and Hilary. Woke up with several hours to kill, so thought I would do a bit of shopping in Lancaster. Yeah, right. Wilkinson's was about the only place open. I'm after descaler, so I say to the female shop assistant, looking about 16 years old, "Do you sell kettle descaler?" blank look "Descaler? For kettles? Kettle? Descaler?" blank look "Kettle? Descaler? Hello?" and then, finally, "We sell kettles upstairs" but then her more experienced colleague jumped in, "Kettle descaler? Yeah, this way," and then the other one just kind of laughed and wandered off. Odd. So I got my descaler, then went to the Indian shop on Blades Street and got a tray of freaky Indian sweets and a can of Rubicon. The shopkeeper muttered something about, "Is good flavour, that one." I took the change and thanked the shopkeeper - "Thanks", I said.


Monday 18th August 2003

Damnit, why is it, whenever I've got loads of work to do, along come all these distractions?

First, I discover The Lego Mindstorms Robotics Invention System 2.0, which seems to be available from Amazon.com here (how much?!), and then I found all this stuff about Linux and these freaky Lego robots here. So frigging much to do, and so little time. Anyone out there experience with Linux and the Lego Mindstorm kits (especially the Robotics Invention System 2.0), then please let me know.

University assignment is due on Thursday and I've only done about half of it. Just beginning to get a bit panicky.

Hey, but check this out - http://www.redpepper.org.uk/online-news.html. Is that the James Lloyd?

And check out my web-server, a cute little P166, been running since March 13th now:

root 1 0 0 Mar13 ? 00:00:05 init [2]


Tuesday 19th August 2003

". . . and in the evening, he descaled his kettle."
"And that's all it says?"
"The rest is illegible."
"Hmmm, okay. Wait until the morning, but if anything else . . . what was that?"
"What?"
"That sound, did you hear it? Like . . . someone breathing, exhaling . . . "
"This ship's so old, I've had to condition myself to . . . "
"There it was again. You heard it that time?"
"Nope. Look, I gotta go. Maybe you should get some rest. I'll be on deck 23 if you need me, okay?"
"Yeah, sure. That's strange . . . you know, I could have sworn . . . but maybe you're right, maybe I'll . . . rest for a while."


Wednesday 20th August 2003

Hurray - my pack of cards, 'The Loaded Deck', arrived today. I only ordered these . . . er . . . last Friday. An unusually fast delivery.

Found Tony Blair - he's the eight of diamonds, with the suggestion, "Listen to the people of the UK who know the game better than he does." Does that make sense? Shouldn't it be "...know the game better than you do."? Ah, what the hell. I've got work to do. Oh, it does make sense. I see what they're saying now. It's an instruction to the card reader rather than Tony . . . unless Tony was reading that card, in which case it wouldn't really make much sense . . . can I go now?

Now here's a proper web-log - http://www.wibsite.com/wiblog/dull/. This is the entry for May 13, entitled 'Replacing the lid on a container':

I noticed that after eating my lunch a tub of low fat spread remained on the kitchen work surface. It did not have a lid on. I remedied the situation by replacing the lid and returning the container to the refrigerator.

And on January 4th:

Today I thought I might do some things. I did some of them. When I had finished doing them I sat down for a while. I might do some more later on.

Erm . . .

"Motorists said they could not be bothered to leave motorways to eat, while some said they actually enjoyed watching cars go by," (from Ananova.com).


Thursday 21st August 2003

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."

          -- Chinese Proverb


Friday 22nd August 2003

Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. One of the many Jonathan M******'s has replied to my e-mail (this rarely happens)!!!! Freaky! You see, you go here and you discover someone else with my name. Nothing so unusual, you may think, but I thought the surname M****** was . . . you know . . . sufficiently rare to prevent the unpleasant coincidence of someone . . . being a Jonathan as well. I mean, think about it . . . what the hell is that smell? For frig sake. Wait a sec . . . I need to shut my window. But, anyway, this is the reply, from none other than Jonathan M******:

Yep, that's definitely my name - i too thought it would be unique.

jonathan

> Hello there,
>
>Am I right in thinking someone exists with the same name as myself? I never
>thought it possible . . .
>

Otherwise . . . very strange incidence of utilities selling their products door-to-door on Thursday night (not like I was busy or anything). Perhaps it's best not to name the individuals concerned or the company for whom these people work for, but . . . well, we know who you are. So yesterday evening, I heard a knock on the door, ran down to the front door and answered it. The smell of salesman was overwhelming, but I love this kind of stuff (the sales game), so decided to humour him. So, the guy's chatting for a while, telling me why company X can supply me with gas and electricity way cheaper than company Y or company Z . . . blah blah blah . . . and I'm saying to him, "Well, maybe you do, but I've never seen your prices advertised, so I've never been able to compare you with other companies, so . . ." which yielded, "We don't advertise. We save money by not advertising," et cetera, et cetera . . . so after a while, this guy says to me, "Can I come in? Is that okay?" so I'm like, "Yeah, what the hell, have a seat." So I let this salesman into my house, knowing full well that a salesman would think the sale is pretty much closed at this point. And the guy, spotting a Coral CD, says, "Oh, and put the Coral on, would yer?" as I scrabble around, trying to find some recent gas/electricity bills. Oh, I'm bored of this. I've got things to do. But, hey, you don't expect someone selling gas and electricity to say things like , "Do you do drugs?" and "Is it okay if I smoke in here?" but, hell, it worked for me. It just never ceases to amaze me what these crazy sales people will do. And I really don't care who supplies my gas and electricity, as the price difference (and, yes, I sat down and worked it out) from one company to the next is so neglible that it makes little difference which company supplies the stuff. But, next time, if someone dares say to me, "So you don't mind paying more for your gas and electricity?" then I'll say, "Man, you pay for what you get. This is good electricity, not no cheap sh*t."



Saturday 23rd August 2003

Did anyone see Phoenix Nights last night? Someone must have done. Hell, seeing as how the Google bot's always poking around these pages, perhaps this page will soon be the only one on the web (well, okay, besides whatever the hell this is) to return a result when you do a search for . . .

Phoenix Nights chitty bang Kamikaze


Monday 25th August 2003

Aching calf muscles . . . we had to run to the train from York yesterday night and nearly didn't make it.


Thursday 28th August 2003

This would have been the day where we (as in the office 'we') went out for a drink and a curry (and then some more drinks). We started off at Mook, but went on to Akbar's fairly soon after arriving. The purpose of this evening was as a kind of 'farewell Graeme' thing (the manager of the team, my manager's manager). Perhaps one day I'll get around to reviewing Akbar's, as it was quite an experience. I've never seen such large nan (naan?!) breads, measuring, as they did, approximately 2 foot by 1 foot, like some freaky elephant's ear. Hmmmm, yes. But, for the time being, let me summarise. After Akbar's, we made our way to The Lounge, where Rav's sister Jasmine would have joined the 'throng'. Next stop was Revolution, but I couldn't really stand this place. The music was just loud enough to allow communication, but only if you shouted. I recall Jasmine, spotting the glass of lemonade and ice, asking me, "You drinking water then?" but it was impossible to continue or start a conversation under these circumstances. I even stood outside for a while (ahhhhh, peace), but went back in when I realised I was on my own and my glass was now empty. This was my last pub (or 'bar', if you will). I left shortly after Rav and Jasmine, and was offered a lift back to the office, where my bike was awaiting me.


Saturday 30th August 2003

Well, I suppose I ought to write something . . .

What day is it now? Saturday? Yeah, I think Saturday. I was going to explain what happened last weekend, but never quite got around to it. Simon came over on the Friday night, but Simon was visiting M****** and I too had a visitor - Robert. We celebrated something . . . anything . . . no, I remember now . . . we celebrated the fact that my present university module is almost complete, and I look all set to get some kind of 90%+ grade, so that's good. So we celebrated that, and whatever else . . . what you got? So Robert came over, and me, Rob and Tania had sausages, mash and gravy (oh, and some onions, I guess) for dinner, all washed down with a glass or two of Moet & Chandon. I wouldn't usually drink stuff like that, you understand, but they gave me at work, as a . . . er . . . what do you call it . . . as a . . . you know, a kind of . . . 'well done' kind of thing . . . I did something that deserved a bottle of champagne (and also a load of Marks and Spencers vouchers, but that's another story). So . . . we had dinner and I think we stayed in that night . . . M******, Simon, Anna and Rich (I think) appeared later on, back from town, so I played host to them lot for a couple of hours. And then it was probably somewhere between 3 and 4am when I finally got to sleep, but it wasn't a very good sleep . . . sleeping in my front room . . . too much daylight in the morning . . . five hours sleep, max. So all Saturday I was feeling a bit . . . you know, just a bit too blleeeeeuuurrrggghhh. There exists a possible correlation between insufficient sleep and episodes of seizure (well, for me anyway), so I hate it when this kind of stuff happens. I think I had a can or two of Red Bull on Friday night, which didn't really agree with the whole lack of sleep thing throughout Saturday. So then to Saturday . . . I didn't actually leave the house throughout Saturday, but just kind of pottered around the house, wondering whether I should try to catch up on my sleep or not. In the end, I just stayed up and slept a full amount that night. But throughout Saturday, I was again trying to get this crappy old 486DX to work, in some form or another. Trouble is, this computer is so old that it doesn't really know about PCI cards, and everything is ISA, which means jiggling around with memory allocations and interupts for, er . . . well, just the network card, but that's the main thing . . . the network card is the means by which this computer would talk to the outside world. I can't remember how, but one of the many operating systems I tried in this machine (ah yes, I remember now, it was Freescov0.27) managed to work out the memory allocation AND which interupt this network card was working on . . . hell, it even got the thing working, which I was pretty impressed by. But, erm . . . I can't quite remember why, but for some reason I thought it would fun to try something different, so I may have tried SuSE 6.3, something called Pocket Linux and perhaps even Windows 95 at some point . . . I'm not sure. Anyway, eventually I ended up back with Freesco and . . . god, this is dull. Was this really what happened all Saturday? Erm . . . yep, and I was also trying to get First Encounters working on my main PC. God knows why. I think I have this warm, fuzzy glow (?!) about playing Elite and its sequels for many, many hours as a child and teenager. But, hey, the damn thing didn't work, so that was a complete waste of time. And then on Sunday . . . erm . . . new paragraph at this point.

Yes, Sunday . . . we (me, M******, Simon, Anna, Rich and (later on) Tania) all went to York, for a bit of a drink and wander. That was fun. My fondest memory of this day was sitting on the banks of the Ouse, outside the King's Arms, watching the boats go by, a glass of bitter (or lager, or cider, I tried them all) to my side, listening to Simon ranting on and on about boat owners, the sun playing upon the river, shining straight at us. Yeah, that was good. I wish I had my map to hand . . . I remember we started off at Varsity, and popped into McDonalds (some of us were still hungover) and, erm . . . I can't remember which other pubs we went to. Damnit. Well, I can remember, just not their names.


Sunday 31st August 2003

I think I've found the most expensive drink in Leeds - 6.60 for a double vodka and diet Coke. This was at the ElbowRoom. After delivering the drinks to our table, I had to go back and check with the barman. The guy seemed very uncomfortable having to explain that, yes, a single vodka is 2.50 so a double would be . . . 5? Yeah, you see, we don't do discounts for doubles. You just pay for two singles, you see? And, erm, the diet coke would be . . . about, erm, 1.60 I think. Yeah, 1.60. Craziness. Yeah, so that's were we went last night - me, M******, Anna, Rich, Gav H, Penrith Dave, and this guy called Nick, who told me we would have met before at one of the Stanmore Street parties, and this I could vaguely remember, though that would have been two years ago now. After the Elbow Room, we made our way and stayed the remainder of the night at the Hi-Fi Club.