Bellerophon symbol, variation 7
Wednesday 2nd August 2006

Hello? I don't think a great deal's been happening recently, has it? Mark and Maria came over recently (that would have been Sunday) and began some decorating in our living room, which was very nice of them. There's still a load of that to do - decorating of the house in general, but we're currently trying to jig around our finances, and work out how much we can spare, how much we can't. Decorating ain't cheap, especially as both of us believe there's little or no point in buying cheap paints/lacquers, as they look awful, require hundreds of coats and don't last very long anyway. False economy. So yeah . . .
Oh, and I had to order a new cassette for me bicycle. That's the kind of stuff you need to know about. It's a Shimano 7 speed STX thingy, and I'm wondering if LX would have been better (I keep seeing Shimano LX on other parts of my bicycle . . . maybe it means something . . . help), but they didn't have an LX cassette in 7 speed. I fitted a new chain recently, a Shimano HG70 narrow 7 speed something or another, and it just doesn't like my worn-down cassette, so yeah . . . there you go. Crumbs.

Thursday 3rd August 2006

My advice when buying a kitchen - be very, very wary of buying one from Ikea. Maybe they're all as bad as each other. I don't know. I had the strangest phone call today from someone from Ikea. It was one of those phone calls that leaves a weird impression and when it ends, about five minutes later, you can't help but think, "What was the point of that? What has been gained?" and I still can't answer either of those two questions. The phone call merely served to remind me to 'put it all in writing', which is what I am now doing. It was this guy, though, being very careful with his language, calling me sir and all this (which just annoyed me), reminding me of the various documents I had signed (yes, the installation had been completed to my satisfaction) but seemingly oblivious to the fact (or refusing to take my word for it), that the kitchen had since displayed unacceptable faults as a result of ordinarily usage of said kitchen. So I says, "Look, erm, I don't think this conversation is actually going anywhere, so . . . well, it would have been good to get it all sorted out over the phone like this, but I'll just send on the letter of complaint that myself and my partner have been drafting and we'll take it from there." Yeah . . . I even asked him about the maintenance of our worktops, but he had no idea. Everyone I speak to about these worktops has different advice to offer. Craziness.

Saturday 5th August 2006

This is part of a birthday present (the other part includes this floating garden affair with a slide, windmill and chimney) for A****** from my sister, Jessica. They kind of bob around, whispering to each other, when no one's around. I'm not sure where the purple one is - I think in A******'s room somewhere.
The rest of these pictures are an attempt to entrust A****** with eating his own ice-cream. I think it was one of those mini Magnums . . . probably milk chocolate flavour. My favourite here is the fourth from left.

Friday 11th August 2006

No, I haven't written much of late, have I. Ah well, I guess I've been busy, or else I just couldn't be bothered. I don't think much has been going on recently anyway.

Saturday 12th August 2006

So today was a bit of a non-day. Nothing much happened. Our washing machine broken (or, at least, very leaky and not very good at washing clothes), we headed over to Halton to get our clothes washed at M******'s mum's place. M****** cleaned the car, and I kept an eye on A******, as he continued his favourite activity at the moment - supported walking.
That purple thing there is an artichoke, apparently. Weird, eh? Much later on that night (half past ten?), M****** and I were taking in the afore mentioned clothes from our washing line and I stopped to check out the sky - fairly clear, but the odd cloud or two. There were a few dozen stars visible, but it was probably half and half clear sky to clouds kind of ratio. So yeah . . . I was looking straight up (zenith?) and you could see the odd moving star or two . . . satellites, planes, whatever. And then, all of a sudden . . . whooooosh . . . a shooting star shot past, parallel in direction to my street, so heading pretty much south-west. But I'm not sure if I actually heard a whooooosh or not. I also had the impression the object was travelling very low, but as it was just a pin-prick of light, I don't know how I would know this. Then I remembered - The Perseids! But yeah . . . erm . . . I think that was it.

Sunday 13th August 2006

Today we did go over to Ambleside to visit A******'s great grandparents. After lunch, we went for a brief walk, covering probably very little distance, on account of the many stops made by A****** (who would walk a few metres and then get distracted by a dog, a wall, a man-hole cover . . . pretty much anything), but covering a decent amount of time. La la la. Blimey - is that the time?

Tuesday 15th August 2006

Oh . . . not much happened today. A cat on our street must have died a day ago or so, but decided to use under our car as its resting place. Not good. We're wondering when the hate campaign will start. CAT MURDERERS!!!

Wednesday 16th August 2006

How weird is this place? I think the answer is very. I have a weird obsession with Russia (yes, yes, yes, the link goes to somewhere in the Ukraine - whatever). I had a dream a couple of weeks back that I had somehow ended up in Murmansk with Rob. We were wandering around this supermarket, and I was a bit amazed to find an American there, but hey . . . erm . . . several months back, I was somewhere else, and I remember it vividly, and have somehow assumed it was a city somewhere in Russia, but it could have been anywhere. God, I don't know. The search continues . . .

Thursday 17th August 2006

Every time I want to add another application to my computer, it must be compiled. I can't quite remember why, but a couple of weeks back I thought, "I wonder what would happen if I remove the C compiler, gcc, and try to re-install the latest version?" But, of course, how are you supposed to compile an application without the compiler? Who compiles the compiler? So that was fun. When I got gcc re-installed, the system was still being a bit . . . odd. It later transpired that part of my system was still believing in the previous installation of gcc (3.3.something), whilst another bit was more keen on the latest version I had just installed, 3.4.something. So yeah. . . . confusion all round. I read up some documentation on upgrading gcc and it turns out that, following the upgrade, most applications on your system want to get in on the action, get a bit of re-compiling going themselves. Turns out that there's about 589 such applications, one of which is a load of ATI graphics card drivers. Don't know what they're doing there. I don't even have an ATI graphics card. Oh. I think I'm meant to be ironing a shirt. Seems like I've been distracted again.

Friday 18th August 2006

Sorry about that - bit of trouble with network settings and what-not. I guess it's working now then.

Yes . . . all very strange. Seemed like my computer had 'forgotten' what it means to be told about ones default gateway ("It's there! You fool! Downstairs!") or, at least, wanted to be told in a different way. Why is that? What happened? I don't know. One minute I'm trying to re-install gcc, the next minute some weird ATI driver fails to install, then I'm removing anything to do with ATI drivers . . . then I reboot, and I can't connect to any site outside of my network. What's a graphics card driver got to do with, erm, well, network settings? I don't get it. So I tell it manually about the default gateway, point it in the right direction ("Oh, right . . . yes, that"), and then work out how to do this permanently. I don't understand why the format of these network configuration files has suddenly changed - it doesn't make sense. Meanwhile, joining in the fun, Apache and my secure shell daemon decided to 'have the day off', as the network seems to be down. It's only when I get home, do a port scan (port 80 'closed' but visible?!) that it finally clicks and I restart the lazy, good-for-nothing servers. Grrrrrrr. So yeah . . . . that's that, I suppose. Is it? Yes. Oh, and our washing machine has given up . . . gave up some time Monday (or the weekend?) and now just leaks everywhere. Stupid thing. Still, it was there when I moved into my house in Leeds in 2002 (and god knows how long it had been there for) and received heavy usage following the birth of A******, and managed a move over to Lancaster and a few months of further heavy usage (to define: three full loads a week, or thereabouts) before finally creating enough excuses not to be used to warrant a replacement. Sure - we could pour water in the drawer to help fill up the drum, but we bought a new boiler as a means of efficiently heating up water and . . . damn it . . . I've lost how this sentence ends . . . and can now stand up without support for several minutes at a time, though hasn't fully grasped the unsupported concept of walking, as yet. Yeah. I go now.

Saturday 19th August 2006

Wednesday 23rd August 2006

Oh deary me, isn't that always the way? Another maths assignment due very soon and I discover the joys of Amarok. Apart from being able to sort through my music collection, arrange music/albums/playlists meaningfully, download lyrics from the internet, download entries from Wikipedia, produce cute little icons for album covers, recommend similar sounding music (all of this done automatically) . . . loads and loads of stuff . . . but apart from that, it also has this option to play strange, random tracks from some kind of internet radio thing (something to do with and I'm rapidly losing track of all the amazing music its presented me with. Of particular note was something from 'Pigs of the Roman Empire' by M******vins/Lustmord (or The M******vins?!), a track called 'Ossan Ossan Ore Nanbo' (from the album Garyuu) by Miyavi, something by Autechre and then something just called Track 63 by The Gerogerigegege, but his stuff doesn't sound all that available. Damn it. There were loads of other tracks I listened to but I haven't had a chance to make meaningful notes. This entry, were it not obvious, is somewhere for me to dump these artists/albums/track-titles for later use. Ah . . . now that's clever. Amarok actually (having ticked that box) submits all the music I listen to back to and when I log in to their web-site, it has full information of all the artists, albums and everything. Wow. Suddenly my music collection seems somewhat shallow and limited. Oh, and A****** has started walking.

Thursday 24th August 2006

Regarding yesterday's post . . . looks like I spoke too soon - my random internet radio program is now throwing loads of horrendous 'ambient' rubbish at me. AAARRRGGHHH!
Meanwhile, M******, A****** and various parts of my family were over in Embsey. There's the pictures.

Monday 28th August 2006

Yeah, yeah. Been busy - mainly doing (or trying to do) university assignment, the penultimate one this year.