Bellerophon symbol, variation 7
Thursday 2nd June 2005

University assignment now complete. I just need to go through it all, check for mistakes, that kind of thing. I finished it, thinking, "Oh . . . is that it? I thought there would be more to it . . . ah well . . . whatever." So now I can get on with yet more decorating/organising. Four weeks remaining.

Friday 3rd June 2005

So, tonight a few people from work did go to Reclaim. Steve pointed out the tables and some things hanging on the walls as items that may have been . . . reclaimed. Ah, I see now. So, that's why it's called reclaim. I never really got it. Meanwhile, M****** was out with her work people, this being her last day before going on maternity leave. They got her some presents. This is one of them. Is that Chris Martin from Coldplay in the background there? Erm . . . yes. I think he's performing some dreary song about the speed of sound (it's approximately 330 metres per second through air, I believe, although this varies depending upon the temperature/humidity/pressure of the air through which the sound passes . . . interestingly, it's not the speed of sound that's being measured, of course, but rather the rate of transmission of energy from one particle to another; sound is a human construct . . . erm, yes, I think I'll go now).

Sunday 5th June 2005

What day is it? Sunday . . . oh, okay. Decorating is all now finished in the living room (since Saturday evening, come to think of it), so we've just been moving stuff from the first floor back down to the ground floor. We went to B and Q today, bought some more shelving. It hasn't gone up yet, but shelving to the right of the fireplace has been reinstated, as has the Systemdek IIX/900 (it's a record player) on it's special little stand, bless it. So there's me, drilling holes, and there's this one hole, taking forever to drill. I get bored after a while, take the power drill out and the end of the bit's red-hot. Cool. God knows what it was I hit. Oh, and we gave the giraffe a name (see Friday) - Wilson. Seems about right. Erm . . . so, yeah . . . nothing too exciting.

Tuesday 7th June 2005

Had a gorgeous meal at Gav's tonight. I'm writing this retrospectively here. I did mean to write this up on the day, but something must have come up. Anyway . . . I popped over at about 19:30. Previous to that, I had been staring at the B and Q book about DIY, decorating and stuff. I realised I was just staring at the words about putting shelves up, but not actually putting any shelves up. So I left Wilson in charge and left. I left my house, turning left up the hill. I then had to turn left off the pavement, into Gav's garden, knocking on the front door with my . . . right hand. Oh dear, what's happened? Why do I keep using the word 'left'? Nothing left? Erm . . . we were lacking smoked bacon, there was none left, so I popped up to the shop, bought some of that, and then left a note at home, explaining where I was (Mel was at Harrogate, you see). Back up to Gav's. I didn't really help a great deal with the preparation and when I did I kind of got it wrong. I managed to cut up the white pudding into reasonable chunks, but then when I was given the task of cutting up the pears (blush pears?!) I was using the wrong side of the knife. I kind of butchered them a bit. The starter was slices of white pudding, lightly fried, and served with chunks of apple (granny smith) and pear with a bit of mango chutney and/or onion jam. Gorgeous. I don't think I've ever had white pudding before. It was like black pudding, as you can probably guess, but without so much of the blood. Maybe none of the blood. That would make sense. Then for the main course we had a salad containing breast of wood pigeon (Gav picked these up at a recent farmer's market), smoked bacon and some more white pudding (I can't remember the adjective, but it had been broken up for the main course). The dressing was some kind of Portuguese sherry vinegar thing (?!), which Gav reliably informs me is vino de jerez vinagre. All of this washed down with a 1997 Californian Pinot Noir. Mmmmmmm. All in all, a damn fine meal.

Thursday 9th June 2005

Yeah, yeah, yeah. No updates here tends to mean no news. But I'll write something anyway. M******'s now on maternity leave. The other day, M****** said she saw this magpie hopping along the window ledge outside the bathroom. Yeah, right. The following day (Wednesday), she reckoned the magpie had been in the bathroom as that seemed the most likely explanation for the small scale disruption that had occurred - shaving brush was in the sink (usually firmly attached to this silverly shaving brush holder thing, itself firmly attached to the wall) and various tubes of things were on the floor or in the sink. Odd. Somehow I find it hard to imagine a dirty great big magpie in my bathroom. You probably would too, but that's probably because you have to imagine my bathroom on top of having to imagine the magpie there. That's a lot of imagining. Cool - the spell checker works. That was easy. I like that sometimes about Linux. It complains that something is missing or something ain't working, so you do a quick Google search, work out what's missing, install it and a few minutes later - problem fixed. I've needed a spell checker for ages, as you're probably all aware. Right. So where was I? Magpies in bathrooms. Yeah, so there's this magpie in my bathroom, yeah. Oh, I think I had finished that story. It wasn't very interesting anyway.

Matthew (friend from secondary school) e-mailed recently and part of his message included a link to Ange's web-site. I really don't think I know Ange. Matthew said she was at his wedding (I was at the reception), but I just don't know. I just don't know. Is it okay if a put a link here, Matthew? I enjoyed the web-site, you see.

Saturday 11th June 2005

Erm . . . spent a while up at the Clarendon Wing last night. Just for a laugh. Nah. Not really. M******'s been on these ferrous sulphate pills for the last week to try to up her iron levels. They were only slightly below the recommended level in the first place anyway. Still . . . erm . . . so, sometime yesterday afternoon she didn't feel too well. Pains above the bump. Nausea. That kind of thing. Thought perhaps this was a side effect of the ferrous sulphate. These pains were still around when I got home and throughout the evening. We rang NHS Direct ("Oh, just have a dry biscuit . . . it will pass") who were "perfectly useless", as I think M****** put it. So then we tried the Clarendon Wing, our assigned chunk of Leeds General Infirmary. They said we could pop over, let them do a few tests, see what was up, that kind of thing. They didn't sound all that bothered, but recommended a visit, just to be on a safe side. So that's what we did. After battling through the group of obligatory smokers blocking the entrance, almost insisting that we share their foul second-hand smoke, we walked (lifts were broke) up to the C-floor (the delivery 'suite'), saw this nurse, explained the problem, and were assigned a bed. The nurse had to change her top as it was covered in some gunk, but a couple of minutes later we got a machine that went 'bing!' . . . only it didn't. It was a glorified sound amplifier. A blue, circular microphone was strapped around M****** so as to hear the baby's heartbeat and another pink (?!) one in order to . . . erm . . . I don't know what the pink one was for. M****** was also given a button to press every time there was an 'event' (the baby moving around). There were lots of events. The baby was moving around like crazy. The 25 minutes of monitoring flew by, the heartbeat averaging around 140 bpm. So that's about 2 heartbeats for every one of mine. But it was fairly relaxing sitting (or lying) there, listening to these strange subterranean gurgling sounds. Occasionally our baby would twist around, and the microphone and accompanying machinery would lose his heartbeat . . . but this would only last a few seconds. I said to M******, "Wouldn't it be freaky if he started shouting towards the microphone and we could make out words . . . 'Jason, it was Jason. Jason did it' something like this. That would be odd. Who's Jason?" Who is Jason? I don't know why I thought of Jason. Shall I stop saying Jason now? Yes. So, anyway . . . 25 minutes of baby monitoring later and everything was fine. A doctor then came to see us, Paul someone, and said it was probably some dodgy food working its way around M******'s squashed up digestive system. Oh, and to stop with the ferrous sulphate for now. And that was that. We can't have been there for much more than 40 minutes, if that. We felt kind of sorry for the couple in the bed next to ours (curtains drawn). They had to wait ages for someone to see them, give them a machine, and we got one straight away. The woman there was complaining of seeing strange bright lights in her vision (hmmmm, sounds familiar), was 39 weeks pregnant, felt sick and had really high blood pressure. Ah well. So that was our exciting evening. Nothing much else happened.

Sunday 12th June 2005

I'm not quite sure how this shade of blue occurred. Someone came to my web-site with the HTTP_REFERER variable showing a Google search for Kwantum Duo. Their IP address was This was at 18:06:03 on Thursday. A bit later, at 19:48:27, another IP address,, also entered my web-site site with a very similar HTTP_REFERER. Weird, eh? Someone out there does Google searches for Kwantum Duo. I don't think me writing Kwantum Duo over and over again is gonna affect the search results from Google, but hey . . . Incidentally, resolves to, but I've no idea what the newm bit is all about (New Malden, you freak). Or 'ubr', come to think of it. Hmmmmm.

Tuesday 14th June 2005

No updates, really. M******'s been 'nesting', I believe the term is. This involves cleaning things that I would never have thought of cleaning, like curtains, windows (no, that's a lie - I have thought about cleaning windows before, but could never get anyone round prepared to do the job), skirting boards, cushion covers . . . stuff like that. I've been helping when I'm around and moving objects around the house, clearing out the first floor bedroom and throwing away all this junk we've got lying around the house (four 15 inch CRTs, anyone? Nope, didn't think so). Everywhere I turn there seems to be an ancient piece of computer equipment. But anyway . . . the cot's been constructed now, so that's good.

Wednesday 15th June 2005

If you can read this, it must have worked . . . all files have been transferred over to my main PC, leaving just one machine to handle everything. That should involve less consumption of electricity. Decorating?

Thursday 16th June 2005

So, it's 17:38 and this is M****** with the new-look, shorter hair style. Looks about 12 inches of hair has gone. The evening was the beginning of my extended weekend, as I had chosen to take Friday as a holiday. That night, I think we stayed in.

Friday 17th June 2005

The following day, M****** had to go to the doctors to the see the mid-wife, so I thought I could use the time off to do a bit more tidying around, making a trip to the tip to dump a load of 15 inch CRT monitors and then to Headingley to drop off a box of unwanted books at the PDSA. Once home I thought, "Ah, I know - I just need to cut my hair with the clippers and have a quick shave." By the time everything was done, it was probably about 14:15, and it was only then that we set off for Kendal. Our main mission today was to get a rug from this Rugs Emporium place, you see. Fearing we might not get there in time, M****** rang them up at 16:20 to check what time they close (barely eight miles from Kendal). They said 17:00, so I thought we would make it in time. However, once parked, we had trouble finding the place, so I rang them on M******'s mobile. The conversation went a bit like this: "Hello, Rugs Emporium." "Yes, I'm having trouble finding your shop. I'm on the main road, just past the Brewery Arts Centre. Am I near?" "Well, yes, we're virtually opposite the Brewery Arts Centre, but we're nearly closed." "Erm . . . no, you close at 5pm," "Well, yes, but you see . . . it takes us about ten minutes just to lock up and everything." "Yes, but you shut at 5pm and I've been travelling for ages to get here and I now want to buy a rug from you people." Needless to say, when we found the place at 16:50 they had done a pretty good job of making it look like no-one was there. All lights were off. So me and M****** were just a tiny bit cross.
I seem to be getting ahead of all these pictures. No. I mean, the pictures are getting ahead of me. Anyway, after the disappointment of Kendal, we headed up to see Tania at ********* Hall. That first picture is M****** sat against Tania's window. In the evening, me, M******, M******'s brother (Simon) and M******'s dad (Mark) went out for dinner at Quite Simply French. Wow. They even have a web-site, not that there's a great deal to see there though.

Saturday 18th June 2005

So, yeah . . . naturally, we had to go back to Kendal this morning/afternoon, in order to get our rug. This we did, having lunch at some pub thing in the centre, just off the main road. The other plan today was to get this kitten from somewhere. The somewhere ended up being this farm, right at the top of the access road to the Caton wind-farm, just there on the left. I've probably driven past it a few times before. Anyway . . . the pictures. That's Stu holding as yet un-named kitten, as that's it dashing around in the front room of Helen and Stu's house.
That evening, I went out for a meal with family at the Boot and Shoe, just down the road from my parents' house. I don't seem to have many pictures from this time and the only one I do have is in black and white. Why is that? Hmmm, I just don't know. Anyway, that's my dad there and my brother. Not the best picture, but hey. After the meal, my parents went home and the rest of us wandered into town, vaguely heading for The Three Mariners.

Sunday 19th June 2005

and then, erm . . . I seem to have loads of pictures of our kitten on my camera. Ah well. Lots of them are blurry as the damn thing wouldn't keep still. We reckon he's (yes, he's definitely a he) about 5/6 weeks old. But being Father's Day, I popped back home in the early afternoon, and my dad was already enjoying some of my father's day beer and cheese. M****** and I went back to Leeds some time in the evening, once all the storms had died down, of course.

Monday 20th June 2005

So, anyway . . . we think he's called Archibald, or just Archie for short. I wanted to call him Mike or Brian or something . . . or even Dennis. Some of you music fans might be spotting a pattern here. These pictures illustrate two of Archie's main patterns of behaviour: sleeping and being skittish, for want of a better term.

Tuesday 21st June 2005

So, in an attempt to save electricity and consolidate my computers a bit, I've finally managed to get everything onto a single machine. It took a while, but it all seems to be working now. So that was why the web-site was down for a while. I had one machine doing all the firewall and port-forwarding stuff, but couldn't work out why port 80 wasn't getting through. It was basically because I had a rule in my firewall to block everything from ports 0 through one thousand and something. I just had to delete the old rules and create new ones with a little gap for port 80. Otherwise, I really should be working on the next university assignment. Two and a half weeks remaining.

Wednesday 22nd June 2005

Here's some sloth-like creature moving from one shoe to another. Like, we needed more pictures of Archie. But yeah . . . he was actually asleep when this picture was taken. Mouse had popped around to see the kitten (and for dinner), so he did a bit of running around and stuff, got all excited and then promptly fell asleep.

Thursday 23rd June 2005

Check me out - a visitor to my web-site from Weird IP address, I hear you say. Yes, it is isn't. Where does it, erm, resolve to? Traceroute? Yeah, traceroute. Erm . . . let me see now . . . well, that would be now, wouldn't it? Carlisle? Army? Mil . . . military? Yes, that's right. It's some kind of army training college, I believe. Freaky. And the http_referer variable was empty. Curiouser and curiouser. Ah well. So . . . anyway . . . Tonight we did also take Archie to the veterinary surgeon. Fairly uneventful, all in all. We bought a pill for worms, which he possibly could have inherited from his mother (now dead/missing) and got him weighed. 400 and something grams, I think. We were told 1 kilo tends to equate to 9 weeks old, so go figure. Right. Back to work.

Sunday 26th June 2005

So this is the morning after a night of music making and stuff. Gen and Lucy must have taken those pictures with Archie on the freaky stringed instrument (dulcimer?!). They were off to the cricket at Headingley, whilst M****** and I stayed in bed until a vaguely reasonable hour for a Sunday.

Monday 27th June 2005

Took the day off work today. Slept in late this morning and then, after breakfast and stuff, I think M****** and I went to this Carrington's place in Horsforth . . . looking for curtains (hence the picture of the rug - I was hoping we could compare the picture on the camera with the curtains. Yeah, right). Something like that. We had lunch at this cafe thing and then went to Homebase for some plants . . . and a quick look at their curtain rails, but they were no good. So we came out of Homebase with a little bay tree, a lot of outdoor plants, weed-killer and some terracotta plant pots. Back at home, I weeded the garden whilst M****** sorted out the plants. I wonder if anyone's still reading this? Hello. Hello? Right, okay then. Where was I? Getting bored of this anyway. It was a fairly lazy day, you see. I mean, I weeded the garden, replaced some door-handles, put up some curtains (the old ones, just for the time being), pushed the piano back against the wall, but that was about it, really. We had this huge list of stuff to do, and it's still pretty huge. Anyway, must do some university work now.

Tuesday 28th June 2005

I e-mailed a company asking about a DVD they sell. I think people forget that the V stands for versatile. Those freaky silver discs can hold data that represents all manner of things. But anyway . . . so I e-mail them asking what operating system the disc runs under (presuming that it contains some kind of software; it may not, of course, but given the nature of the DVD, that would be very strange were it not to . . . it contains a database, put it that way). So, you would think that would be a simple enough question. However, the reply comes back:

Dear Sir/Madam,

The DVD Rom would be placed in the DVD drive of your own computer. It is a disc that you receive.

Yours Faithfully,

So what does that mean? Anyone? How can such a simple question provoke such a strange reply? Hence, I replied:

Yes - I understand that a DVD would be placed into a DVD drive of a computer
in order to use it; that's not a problem. But such a DVD would be nigh on
useless were it to require Windows XP (for example) in order to function.

Put another way, what are the system requirements for my computer in order
that I can use this DVD?

So yes . . . not much going on right now. M******'s due on 3rd July (or 5th . . . whatever, it's around then) so it could be any time around now. But, on the day, don't expect some kind of "Okay, M******, I'm on my way home now. I'll just need to update my web-site, though, so that everyone knows," kind of scenario.

Wednesday 29th June 2005

No - M****** hasn't given birth yet. It's due some time this weekend. Meanwhile, I have a university assignment to complete. Move along, move along.