Bellerophon symbol, variation 7
Saturday 3rd March 2007

IMG_0993.JPGSo yesterday evening I did indeed go to the beer festival at Lancaster town hall. After trying a couple of interesting beers I realised I needed to introduce some randomisation into the beer choosing process. I figured the sequence from Lost, (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42), would do the trick. This meant I sampled some of the Lancaster Bomber, which I would usually avoid, but this time it tasted nothing like the stuff you get from pubs or bottles. It was actually really nice. Odd. I met Tania there, who was with a few work friends. Dan (from work) also turned up. Tarn mentioned that her neighbours have politely requested that I remove pictures from my web-site of the insides of their house, purely because they're currently in the process of selling their house and . . . oh, I don't know . . . something to do with the potential for burglary or something . . . I'm not entirely sure. I said what I could do was remove reference to the name of their house, or replace it with something else. It did kind of make me wonder why they never left a comment or click the 'contact the author' link or something. But hey . . . I got back some time around about 00:15, 00:20 . . . not too sure.

Lunar eclipse, part 1
IMG_1002.JPGIMG_1001.JPG This be my rather poor attempts at capturing the lunar eclipse that night, as a bank of clouds rapidly approached. Something like a 15 second exposure, tripod obviously required.

Sunday 4th March 2007

Lunar eclipse, part 2
IMG_1014.JPGIMG_1015.JPG . . . and then these, once the clouds had cleared a bit. I took dozens of pictures, but my camera ain't really built for this kinda thing.

IMG_1018.JPGIMG_1024.JPGIMG_1026.JPGIMG_1027.JPGIMG_1029.JPGIMG_1031.JPG Today we did pop over to Ambleside, so that M****** could take back a top to the shop 'Fat Face' and . . . well, the plan was to do some shopping, go for a walk, that kinda thing. But we're in Ambleside here and nine times of ten when I'm in Ambleside, it be raining, and it was indeed chucking it down. So instead we stayed largely under the cover of shops. These pictures were taken whilst having lunch at Zaferelli's (?!). I was trying to encourage A****** to colour in the sugar cubes, you see.
IMG_1067.JPGIMG_1064.JPGIMG_1060.JPGIMG_1053.JPGIMG_1047.JPGIMG_1038.JPGIMG_1036.JPG . . . back in Lancaster, the rain had cleared, so we went for a walk around Williamson's Park. I like the strange, over-exposed picture (third from the right) - makes A****** look like he's glowing or something.

Wednesday 7th March 2007

Blah, blah, blah. I don't think much has been going on. I've been busy trying to do university work so haven't really had time for much else. Found a slight annoyance in the configuration of PHP here . . . there was a 2M limit in the size of files that could be uploaded. Obviously that needed fixing . . . Later on in the evening I got distracted by M****** going through a load of vinyl, wondering how much it's worth. This place kinda helped a bit. Very interesting. Who'd have thought anyone would pay that much for Julio Iglesias?

Friday 9th March 2007

IMG_1076.JPGToday I did pop into town to buy some front lights and a front mudguard for my bicycle. Later on, I had the idea to try to create some kinda ghostly image using the lights in flash mode, with a long exposure. It kind of partially worked. Ah well.

Saturday 10th March 2007

IMG_1093.JPGIMG_1095.JPGIMG_1099.JPGIMG_1100.JPGIMG_1101.JPGIMG_1102.JPGIMG_1106.JPGIMG_1107.JPGIMG_1114.JPGIMG_1118.JPG Various pictures of A****** in his monkey dressing gown (we really need a brown one of these, with little red LEDs where the eyes should be).

Sunday 11th March 2007

IMG_1154.JPGIMG_1146.JPGIMG_1143.JPGIMG_1136.JPGIMG_1126.JPGIMG_1122.JPGIMG_1121.JPG Tonight (erm, or maybe I mean yesterday night now, or several hours ago) we did go out for a meal at the Waterwitch. We being Anna, Justin, Lucy, M****** and I. Tania joined us at about nine-ish. The food was good, if a bit over-priced and slow to arrive. Oh, and then they put on two bottles of wine on the bill, where only one had been consumed. I pointed out the error and was thanked for checking. But yeah, it was good. We stayed there afterwards for a few drinks before getting home at around midnight.
IMG_1170.JPGIMG_1175.JPGIMG_1179.JPGIMG_1181.JPG I suspect the glass in focus (which?) in the left-most picture here was this strange beer that Lucy had recommended. I couldn't really decide whether I liked it or not, but it was certainly interesting. The beer was, erm, well, smoked, I guess. A strange smoked beer. Smelt not unlike some kind of smoked sausage, perhaps.

Travelling and dying
We visited Grange-over-sands today. Odd place. There seems to be a lot of travel agents and funeral directors and not much else. Hmmmm. We went for a walk around one of the parks, feeding the ducks. A****** showed a fleeting interest, but still doesn't understand to throw the bread to the ducks rather than eating it himself. IMG_1188.JPGIMG_1187.JPGIMG_1184.JPG We walked some more, wondered where all the normal shops where, passed a few cafés and then, upon realising that, yes, that really is it, we headed back and had lunch somewhere.

Wednesday 14th March 2007

Inject, infect, object and reject.
Blimey. Just noticed a bunch of comments in the comments table that didn't make any sense. The comments were complete gibberish (with not even a cryptic mention of various forms of Viagra) and referenced a blog entry that didn't even exist. This got me thinking about SQL injection. Hmmmm. So, I've been going through every single form (yeah, okay, so there aren't many), every single query, completely removing any means by which SQL injection could occur. I mean, it was pretty secure before, in that even a successful attempt at SQL injection wouldn't really have revealed much, as the database user account this thing logs in as is extremely limited, barely able to create a new record in the comments table and that's about it, let alone create/delete/amend/view any other records in any other tables. So yeah . . . I keep thinking I should also have one of those distorted images of alphanumeric characters, that you have to type out in a text box somewhere before people can post comments, but the amount of web-bots hitting my web-site (i.e. not very many at all) posting adverts for said pharmaceuticals hasn't really necessitated that . . . yet.

Friday 16th March 2007

IMG_1223.JPGIMG_1222.JPGIMG_1218.JPGIMG_1215.JPGIMG_1210.JPG I think one of M******'s relatives asked for an up-to-date picture of the three of us, so this is our awful attempt at that. These pictures are all wrong - they make me look like I'm thinning. It must have been a trick of the light. IMG_1244.JPGIMG_1245.JPG But this kinda thing never works out. A****** is usually blurred, M******'s smile will look forced, I'll just look weird or something. So actually having us looking relatively normal is nigh on impossible.

Saturday 17th March 2007

Pipes you see, pipes you don't
IMG_1275.JPGIMG_1277.JPG I got an album by these people. In fact, I think I have the only album by these people. Seems appropriate, for today I have been looking underneath floorboards, trying to figure out where the pipes that I (ordinarily) don't see meet up with the pipes that I do see, and whether these are one of the same. I should say now, these pictures and indeed this entry is pretty much for my sake more than anyone else's - a record of what I've learnt. So this pipe (top-left picture) used to deliver gas to the back boiler but has been capped off in the chimney. I'm thinking it could be capped off anywhere along this length here. This view is from the entrance into the living room, looking towards the right of the chimney stack.
IMG_1285.JPG This view taken from the left of the chimney stack, looking back towards the doorway. The copper pipes visible against the wall, coming up through the floorboards, feed the radiator.
IMG_1286.JPG The picture on the left is taken again from the doorway, but this time looking towards the left of the chimney breast were those two strange pipes (wrapped in some kind insulation and therefore presumably once carrying hot water) would have once gone to/from the back boiler. Note the water line. We're still not entirely sure where this water is coming from; we just know it is not to be concerned about. The water could either be ground water or originate from leaky lead pipes (in which case the water would gradually disappear). The pipes feeding the combi-boiler get from ground floor to the first floor via the corner of the room to the right of the radiator (facing the radiator), so I've no idea IMG_1287.JPG what these insulation-clad pipes do, if anything. They obviously used to carry water, as the stop tap leaks water when turned on slightly and there is various signs of corrosion (green, oxidised copper) around some of the joins. The picture to the right, I'm by the doorway, looking left along the wall where the radiator goes. I'm convinced that all of these pipes going up the chimney breast then go into our bedroom directly above, around the skirting board (where they've been boxed in) and would have once gone into the bathroom (kinda makes sense - the back boiler heats the water, takes it to the bathroom) but have now been terminated (un-capped) in the cupboard where now resides our combi-boiler.
Well, this is all very odd. Those pipes clad in some kind of horse-hair insulation actually carry hot water down from the boiler (via a rather convoluted path), into the three radiators on the ground floor. So why the boxed-up pipes in the other corner? What do they do? They must be for gas and cold water. How odd. Now I am confused.

A******'s new cousin
Oh, and congratulations be due unto my brother and sister-in-law, James and Hilary, who now have a son, Henry. Born some time this morning.

Sunday 18th March 2007

IMG_1309.JPGIMG_1312.JPGIMG_1322.JPGIMG_1323.JPG Today we did go to my parents' house for lunch. I did also help my dad move his new front door around (we were checking to see whether it would fit or not). Erm . . . I dunno. I think that's all. I believe my mum took all these pictures. I wonder if this is the only entry where none of the pictures featured have been taken by myself.

Monday 19th March 2007

IMG_1329.JPGIMG_1328.JPG These be a couple of pictures of Henry (James and Hilary's son, for those of you who have not been paying attention), born Saturday morning. We went to see Hilary around about 19:30 today, once my mother had arrived to do the baby-sitting thing. I don't know if I should write more or not. Hello?

Thursday 22nd March 2007

IMG_1331.JPGIMG_1335.JPGIMG_1336.JPGIMG_1347.JPG I got home, A****** had built tower of wooden blocks. Blocks unstable. M****** suggested foundation.

Friday 23rd March 2007

Your humour is misplaced
I got really excited on Wednesday night about the fact that this gas/boiler repair dude came round to our house and, 30/40 minutes later, had managed to disconnect all the pipes coming into the old living room fireplace from any kind of gas/water supply. We've been trying to have this done for months, but no-one could be bothered. The title for this entry comes from a snippet from an e-mail from someone senior at work following my attempt at humour in an otherwise rather dry Visio diagram. Ah well, one can but try. The odd thing was that the said e-mail didn't actually state how the humour was misplaced - I had to find this out myself.

Sunday 25th March 2007

IMG_1349.JPGIMG_1350.JPGIMG_1351.JPGIMG_1352.JPG Today we did go for a walk around Leven's park, seeing as how it was such a lovely day. We saw lots of trees, some deer and A****** had only the one tantrum (he had wanted to go chasing the deer only this involved going up a rather steep hill, but pointing him in the right IMG_1356.JPGIMG_1355.JPGIMG_1354.JPGIMG_1353.JPG direction was not what he wanted at all) After that, we wandered around a nearby garden centre (Beetham?) had some coffee/cake and then went homewards . . .
IMG_1358.JPGIMG_1360.JPGIMG_1363.JPGIMG_1366.JPGIMG_1369.JPGIMG_1371.JPG . . . although first M****** insisted on a drive around Standen Park, which turned out to be quite an odd place. The lower section was all fairly new houses . . . just houses. But then we went back towards the Ashton Memorial and went down this road labelled 'Private Road', which sounded interesting. We then found another road off this one labelled 'Strictly Private', so of course we had to investigate. And there we found this old, huge, impressive looking mansion affair that had since been converted to flats. We saw one of 'em was for sale so figured if IMG_1373.JPGIMG_1376.JPG quizzed we could say we were looking at the flat for sale, although these things are well out of our budget.

Wednesday 28th March 2007

IMG_1380.JPGIMG_1382.JPGIMG_1384.JPGIMG_1388.JPG Tonight we did go to the Borough for dinner. Food was good, if slow to arrive (as ever).

Friday 30th March 2007

IMG_1392.JPGIMG_1394.JPGIMG_1400.JPGIMG_1401.JPGIMG_1405.JPG M****** and A****** met me after work today. A****** then led us to the fish pond where the nursery staff often take him. We checked out the fish . . . fiiiiiiiish . . . and gradually walked back home, A****** getting a bit annoyed when we turned left down Cork Road. I'm not sure what he was expecting - perhaps to carry on heading south-west into the setting sun, I'm not sure.

Saturday 31st March 2007

Paint fumes, more paint fumes
Got off to a bad start with the decorating. I was using a craft knife to remove excess wallpaper from the join between wall and ceiling (they meet with some coving (?!) stuff) but got carried away . . . removed too much. Fortunately I realised after one wall . . . one wall too late. Damn it. Then I was all set up to use my paint roller for the ceiling. Poured a load of white looking paint into the tray and then filled up the roller with this paint. Then I'm thinking, "That's a funny smell. That don't smell like emulsion." Then suddenly it clicked - I was using gloss, rather than emulsion. AAARRRRRGHHHH! So I figure gotta throw the paint roller away, it being pretty much useless now. Paint roller had a brief meeting with one of the kitchen doors before entering the bin. But yeah . . . I did the ceiling with white emulsion in the dining (front) room whilst M****** did the walls in the same room. We had a break in the late afternoon when we took A****** for a walk in Williamson's Park. More painting in the evening. La di da.