Friday 29 September 2006


So I'm trying to get myself feeling more upbeat and mostly succeeding. Listening to the Bipolar Advantage podcast today; a good suggestion for a simple thing that can be done that can help keep the bipolar working for you rather than against you: introspection. I can't see how this technique can be bad for me even if I'm not bipolar so I'm going to give it a try. Need to think of 5-10 questions to ask myself every day. The idea is that if there's something you want to do another way you ask yourself if you've done it right today. Be honest if you've done it wrong. Your subconscious will realise that if you do it wrong you're gonna have to 'fess up so will help you avoid doing the wrong thing to avoid embarassment. Want to relisten to the podcast first to make sure I've remembered things correctly. Am very hungry at the mo. Can't get hold of Charlotte at the mo. She may be going town to see Louise tonight. If she does then I could get something on the way home. If not then I'll need to cook when I get back anyway so I might as well wait to eat. Thoughts getting ahead of me again. Need to take a break. Gotta write about the dodgy PA system here in Richmond first though. Don't know why but frequently the PA system on platform 4, which is where I am now, seems to play random phrases from its voice bank. Just now we had: "sixteen, sixteeen, sixteen, southampton central, south… hobbleton… a trolley service". Its been doing this for months. Is it hard to fix or can they not be bothered? Or do they realise that its actually quite amusing and relieves some of the stress involved in using this service? I want a video iPod just so I could play hardcore porn and see how long it takes some nosey parker to get offended. Serve them right for looking over my shoulder. Want to fill up a whole page writing the word "fuck" for the same reason. Need a new pair of shoes, sole has gone on these ones and I have no grip in the wet. Makes footbreaking interesting. Want to go straight down Egham hill without breaking on my fastest board to see if I can make it around the roundabout at the bottom while going 40+mph. Want a pencil sharpener. All my pencils are blunt. Black clouds pass overhead. Pearly white next to my soul. I don't care. Sometimes I say that I hate myself, but I don't. I just hate feeling different but at the same time I rejoice in my individuality. I have about 20 pencils in my bag and nearly all of them are blunt. I really need to invest the 20p required for a pencil sharpener. Can you buy a pencil sharpener for 20p? Probably not. Do they still do those dodgy plastic ones that will break if you push the pencil in too hard while sharpening? The pages are out of order in this entry and I don't care. Yesterday writing in the wrong order inspired frustration and anger. Today nothing. Perhaps just a touch of amusement. Train is getting busier. Still a couple of seats left, but probably only for a couple of stations. Wonder how long you could live on a train? If you took along provisions would you be able to ride from one end of the line to the other all day? Do they swap them out, rotate them during the day or just overnight? Does this line run overnight? No. I remember looking at the timetable. When I was getting the 6:38 from St Albans I was on one of the first trains through West Hampstead. Want to go to the bookshop and spend. Need to resist. What would I buy? New Discworld, Last of the Wilds, couple of Neil Gaiman books I don't have, anything with a recommended tag next to it. Cool sci-fi classics reprints with curved corners (is that so you're allowed to bring them into a mental hospital?) What do I want for dinner? Something fiery. Get some meat, fresh chillies, tomatoes, cumin; already have chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala. Fry the whole cumin and maybe some black mustard seeds in a couple of tablespoons of vegetable ghee until they start to pop. Add the meat and fry until browned. Add chopped fresh chillies, two teaspoons of chilli powder, two tsp of turmeric, one of garam masala, one of salt. Stir and don't leave too long — chilli will burn and choking fumes will fill the kitchen. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes, juice and all. Stir again and simmer for 15-20 mins. Cook some rice, maybe do a couple of chapattis. Even more hungry now. Urge to buy strange polish meat products from the 24 hour convenience store across the road from West Hampstead Thameslink. The smoked pork belly strips were pretty good. Only seen it in there the once though. Need to get more rice and soy sauce for lunch at work before the money runs out. Only a couple more stations to go before temptation. I will resist… Keep telling myself… I must resist…

Without music again

Sigh. So I spent an hour or so fiddling with my mp3 player getting a new 2Gb playlist transferred. Unmounted everything properly so that there was no file corruption risk. Unplug the USB and turn the power on. No music files. I have no idea what has gone wrong but whatever it is it has left me without music this evening and potentially Monday morning too depending on what mp3 files I can find laying around on hard disks at home.

Splitting up

So I'm splitting the site. The tone of the average post here isn't exactly condusive to keeping visitors that have found their way here from one of my infrequent tech posts. I've created TechBlog for my networking / sysadmin / development / metablog posts. The run of the mill random obscenity will stay here. I want to use my vox more but not really sure what for. Need to do some sort of standardised layout for the MT blogs for easy switching between them.

Staring at the wires

Staring at the overhead power lines again. Always been kinda fascinated. All that power flowing just overhead. If I jumped and grabbed there would be no shock, like a bird perched. On the rail cables there seems to be a bewildering number of junctions and wires going around insulated areas. Huge ceramic insulators. There's only one overhead wire for the train to take power from. I wonder how much current is flowing through the rails to the ground point? Is it AC or DC? AC probably; easier to transport long distances. 8:38 is late. No hope of making that connection at Richmond now. Arriving. Not packed. But no seats. MP3 player moves on from System of a Down to Rolf Harris. Standing in the aisle using my skate legs to keep upright. Bend at the knees and feel the motion. Was almost in a full drop knee stance riding the train home last night. Fast train running on the slow rails due to a delay. Always makes for a bumpy ride. Sometimes I just want to give up to the motion and tumble onto the person in the seat next to me. Not just music that lets me know other people 'get it'; American Psycho — Brett Easton-Ellis, Voice of the Fire — Alan Moore, The Wasp Factory — Iain Banks, The Invisibles — Grant Morrison. Is this why I don't like sitting and watching Discovery Channel with Charlotte? Stories of Psycho/sociopaths often too similar to my own . Spoke too soon about the crowding. Now its packed, sweating, uncomfortable. GET OUT OF MY FUCKING SPACE!!! No-one has space in the sardine cans; why should I get that luxury? I don't care: JUST FUCK OFF. Its not even as if I can get off and walk. Too far. Crisis over, a few people got off and its now more comfortable. Ambivalent thoughts about perfume. Someone is wearing a lot of it. Smells like Parma Violets which makes me want sweets, but strong chemical odours always make me feel a bit ill too. Can't stand that area at the entrance of Boots where you can hardly breathe for the stench of it. Drained. That's my demons let out of the box for this morning. Levels manageable. More later.

Another day, Another notepad

Have to be very careful to avoid the payday mania now that I know what it is. Not a good start so far. I'll just get some cash so I can get a coffee. My sudoku book is nearly finished, had better get a new one. Left my notepad at home. Hungry… mmm, peppered jerky. Tired. Had better get a Red Bull as well as the coffee. Suddenly £2 for a coffee spirals into £12. No wonder I have debt issues.

Thursday 28 September 2006

Third time lucky

Are the frequent in depth conversations I imagine having healthy escapism or harmful? I'll often find myself spending an hour or so having an imagined conversation in my head. Either reliving a conversation in the past and how I could have handled it better or imagining a whole new encounter.

Try again

Yet another example. Write a page of text. Turn over and find I've already used the next page. Starting a new entry so I don't end up going nuts when I'm typing this up. How many friends have I lost through the way I pull into myself and refuse all contact when I'm in a black phase? Probably more than I realise. Have found myself singing aloud to my mp3 player frequently recently. Use to talk to myself a lot more often than I do these days. Relevant? Wandering again. Can't focus. Out.

Keeping the train on the rails

Been rereading some blog entries from a few weeks ago. Can't recognise the thoughts as my own. So positive, so busy. Can't seem to concentrate on anything for any length of time at the moment. Made a number of attempts to clear the RIPE allocations backlog today but kept getting distracted. gpg-agent seemed to stop working so I decided to download the latest gpg. The remembered that agent is only in the 1.9 releases not the 1.4 releases so had to download that and its dependencies as well. Got bored waiting for it all to build and downloaded a newer pinentry version which fixed things (or rather the new version fell back to curses properly). Still something wrong with the GTK prompts. Suddenly it occurs to me that I can't remember if I have set up Jim to forward X over ssh by default. Could be as simple as that. Another example of my concentration being shot.

Wednesday 27 September 2006

Next Stop Oblivion

Thoughts racing.

Lets get some of them down on paper.

Too slow, thinking faster that I can write. How am I? Am I making a mistake? I've convinced myself that I'm bipolar but don't yet have a confirmed medical opinion on that. Doctor is referring me to see a psychiatrist attached to the community mental health team. Don't know how long that will take. GP didn't really say much, am I reading too much into what he didn't say?

He didn't prescribe me with more SSRI, is that because he agrees with my self diagnosis and doesn't want to risk mania, or is it just because I didn't seem down at the appointment?

Thursday 21 September 2006

Am I Bipolar?

I watched an interesting documentary on BBC Two about Bipolar Disorder presented by Stephen Fry (who has himself been diagnosed with cyclothymia, a form of bipolar disorder).

Spent almost the whole thing thinking "Oh my god, that's me!". It left a lot of open questions. I've known that my depression is a problem for a long time. When I stopped cutting and shortly afterward met Charlotte and got married I had a couple of normal years; making me think it was all behind me.

Then came redundancy from Energis and everything crashed again. Or did it? Before crashing I had a period of uncontrolled spending and overconfidence. This included getting a job at safeway stacking shelves, which got rid of any insurance benefits I had without any hope of paying enough money to pay the bills. At the time I didn't really feel in control of my actions and maybe now I have a reason why…

Wednesday 6 September 2006

How do I hate thee Microsoft, let me count the ways

Who made the arbitrary decision that new motherboard=new pc? It's not even as if its consistent, I've changed mbs in the past and its just installed the new drivers and away. But not last night.

After the swap over the pc wouldn't boot, would reset before any screen output. Refresh install time thinks I. In goes the original media. Type in my original product key. All seems ok: great I think; job done. And then I log in to check for updates… Wtf? I'm not activated?

So now I find myself with another reinstall in the works. I do have another key I can use for this pc, but its for a different install cd and won't work with the oem cd I used to repair last night.

I guess thats my point. I did a repair last night, not a full install on a new pc. It kept all my other settings, why not my activation?

I'm glad I only run one windows box on the network at home. don't have any of these issues with the OSX, Debian or Ubuntu boxes.

Microsoft, I know you are not listening, but here's a suggestion. The main reason you have such a stranglehold on the os market is because your OS has the apps support, and your own apps are a large part of that. Make windows free. You'd kill Linux as a desktop contender just like making IE free killed Netscape as the dominant browser.

Of course, as a longterm Microsoft hater I don't want this to happen; I love that modern linux distros such as Ubuntu or SuSE make an open source desktop viable for non unix geeks; however in my mind it seems like a plausible option for them to take and a surefire way of killing the opposition. Sure they'd lose the revenue from new pc installs, they'd still have their apps though, they could still get revenue from the specialised variants (embedded, server, 3+ Cpu) and most of all they would get rid of the headaches of having to figure out new ways to stop OS piracy without generating extra support overhead when it breaks existing customer installs. It'd get rid of almost all of the bad press about MS too; very little of the bad press is about their office productivity apps. A lot of it is about oppressive os licensing. They'd still catch flack for their DRM stance and the crappy standards compliance in Internet Explorer (I gave up trying to make my sites display properly in IE ages ago; why should I work harder because MS don't read the standards properly before writing their code?). IE7 is supposedly more standards compliant. I don't want to get started on that though, I'll just say this: Why does fixing a bug require a major upgrade? Would it really be that hard to backport the fixed standards compliance as a critical update for 6 so webmasters don't have to wait years for everyone to update?

I was going to do some reading on the train this morning after a quick post. I seem to have got carried away...

Tuesday 5 September 2006

He took his ball and he went home

I hate insomnia. Went to bed just before midnight last night; woke up again at 1. After an hour of dozing but not managing to drop off I got up again. Did I do anything productive? Nope. I did some perplexcity cards. Could have started a batch of dough. Could have cleaned by bearings. Could have finshed off the bridle adjustments I started on the Tesco kite yeasterday. Could have typed up yesterdays blog entries. Coulda. Shoulda. Didna. I now have a perplexcity account and am gathering points off of my wife's cast offs. Finally went back to bed at 4:50. In time for the alarm to go off at 5:30. So here I am on the way to work on less than 3 hours sleep all up. Was seriously tempted to throw a sicky but duty won out (oh fiddle-de-fiddle-de-fiddle-de-diddly-dee)

Monday 4 September 2006

What God invented sailors for

Bloody hell. Summer is well and truly over. 8 o'clock and its dark. I'm sure it wasn't dark this early a week ago. Delays on Silverlink again. Wonder if the boards were out at Richmond so that they didn't need to annouce the cancellation. The fatal flaw of conspiracy theories. The organisations supposedly covering up the information are not organised enough to do it in a way that won't be immediately found out.

Nothing ever changes but the shoes

Phew. Busy day. Not much backed up over the break though, which was nice. Need to update my hiveminder todo. Add holiday picks to flickr, more playing with vox. Library thing, allconsuming, integration, integration, integration. If I put music on and books on library thing. Should I try and fund subscriptions to a number of sites through google ads? Do I get enough hits?

Up the Ziggurat, Lickety Split

Relaxation. Fleeting… rare… Drug of the Internet generation.

A week in Wales, far from the wired (although not that far; Grandad is as big a gadget freak as I am and has a larger disposable income so the temptation was there to "Just check my email…". I resisted though.)

Battery is crap in the palmtop so I'm back to pen and paper this morning