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Note : all minimum/maximum temperatures on this web page are based on a possibly inaccurate thermometer. They are quoted for comparative purposes only.



Sunday 31st August 2003


Weather : clear skies and sunny. 10°

It's pretty cool at the moment. In fact it feels like an icy blast coming through the window !

I did mean to get up a lot later today. I feel that I have not been getting as much sleep as I would like and Sunday is one day when I should have been able to have a lie in. Perhaps I will go back to bed later, but for now I will stay up. In part to watch Dr Who on UK Gold, but also because I was having a really disturbing dream as I woke up. I think it started with me at college, but it could have been a work related training school ( similar to the old BT one at Paul St). During thee lunch break I had to go to a party of some sort. Many people at the party were total strangers. Many of these strangers were irrevelant, just sort of background details, but of those who weren't and the people I did know, I found that 50% I didn't like and the other 50% didn't like me. So I didn't really want to be there but for some reason I felt I ought to be there. I had the perfect excuse to leave because I had to get back to the college type thing, but I knew I would be late back and get into trouble. In fact I didn't want to go back at all. It was all very perplexing and I am sort of glad that I woke up. In some ways it is a reflection of my life. I am probably one of the few people who can be unhappy, lonely even, at a party - most parties. I remember back to the late 70's when I organised a party when my Mum was away for a week. Most, if not all, people said it was a good time, but I actually went down the pub with a mate or two while the party was on because I was bored !


Weather : lightly clouded over. 15° C

Sometimes I even amaze myself ! I have been in my workshop doing a bit of metal bashing for the last hour. Slowly, but slowly, the film prop transmitter I am supposed to have finished by next (very early) Saturday morning (at the very latest) is taking shape. Maybe I could finally rekindle my love of making things in my workshop ! I think I have been spoilt by using PC's. It is so easy to sit down and "make" things on the PC without getting my hands dirty, and yet it is not really making things. It is just fiddling around. However when I finish the transmitter I will be able to sit down and see something I have made with my very own hands and a little bit of sweat (possibly blood too !). If it actually is capable of really working then that will be a triumph too. It is based on such an old design that I will almost have re-invented it by myself.

Oh, and in case you're wondering. I did go back to bed, but after 30 minutes and no sleep I got up again.


Weather : earlier sunny spells now clouded over.

I have just watched a really crap film on Channel 5. It was a film version of "The Avengers" starring Ralph Fiennes, Urma Thurston and Sean Connery. Alas it was not a patch on the old TV series. Like many modern films there was a certain amount of substitution of special effects for good dialogue and plot. Not as bad as some films, but bad enough. It was tempting to side with the baddie as he, being Sean Connery, was the better actor. I am just glad that I bought a few episodes of the original "The Avengers" on DVD.

Saturday 30th August 2003


Weather : clear skies and sunny. 11° C

So much for global warming. It may be sunny outside but there is a freezing draught coming through the window at the moment. I would imagine that despite some really high peaks, the average temperature of August may be a little below average. I wonder how to calculate the average temperature ? If I had recorded every day's maximum I could have calculated it that way. Or I could have recorded the temperature at, say, midday and worked out an average for that. I think the best way would have been to average out all the lows and all the highs and said that the average temperature was halfway between the two. It is a shame that my records are incomplete and not totally accurate. I think I may consider investing in an electronic min-max thermometer - perhaps one that will interface to a PC.


Weather : cool and sunny. 18° C

Although it is a bit cool to be lethargic in, it is actually very nice outside. I went shopping to Tesco's early this afternoon and found it to be very nice walking weather. I was able to walk there and back at a brisk pace without breaking out into a sweat. In some ways it was annoying because everyone else was walking at the same sort of pace I adopted when the temperature was in the high 20's. Consequently everyone seemed to be in my way as they dawdled around the shops.  

Friday 29th August 2003


I think I feel a little knackered. I have been playing with web pages and trying to get a drop down menu to work. Buggered if I can work out how to do it !

However I have made a couple more pages in a more conventional manner. They are some more pictures of cats. There are only four pictures and you can view them here.


Weather : cold and raining. 13° C

It feels like autumn is here early ! I am up early today in case the postman brings me some new shiny PC toys. It is the first time in ages that I am actually writing this early morning entry fully washed and clothed. Usually I do it the lazy way. I would pull on a pair of pants and laze around until I went for a shower and then got dressed. This morning I decided I had better get myself up and dressed straight away. Partially because of the possibility of the postman coming early (unlikely in this rain), and partially because it is so damn cold this morning !

  The cold, and especially the cold blasts of wind through my bedroom window, probably gave rise to one bit of dream that I shall relate to you. I was at a friends house sitting on a sofa in a back room.  A couple of times a small black and white cat entered the room. It did this from under the sofa, and every time was accompanied by an icy blast round my legs. With no thought of any paranormal idea I investigated and found the sofa was backed on to a disused door that still had a working cat flap in it !

Thursday 28th August 2003


Weather : grey sky. 16° C

I think I am awake too early and may go back to bed soon now that the cats have been fed.


I never did get back to bed. I have found (or actually followed a link, to be truthful) a totally fascinating web site. If you like slightly twisted humour then you will want to look at http://www.villainsupply.com/index.html. It kept me amused for something like 90 minutes. (hint - read the small print as well)


Weather : rain (lots of it !)

I have no idea what the outside temperature is because I am not going out in the rain to read my thermometer ! When I glanced at the thermometer earlier this afternoon it looked as if  the temperature had not risen much since my reading at 07.00.

   There is now a glorious wet earth smell wafting through the window. There is also a wet cat smell as well. Or there would be if wet cats did smell. Schiba has just come in totally soaked to the skin. I called him several times when the rain started but he is a "hard cat" and not intimidated by a bit of rain. Of course a lot of rain is a different matter and he was up on the windowsill crying at me as soon as I came into the room and opened the upper window a little. I have wiped him down and fed him and he seems to have wandered into the other room to settle down. For most of the summer he has had itch paws and refused to stay inside for long. Since it has cooled down a bit this last week or so he has stayed in a bit more. With this rain I expect he'll be in even more now. All this will lead up to the situation last winter when it was difficult to persuade him to go out to do his natural duties before leaving him in overnight.

   I must get around to putting a few pictures in this journal. this month and last month I don't think I added any at all. I know I have a few pictures of the cats, including one taken just now of a wet Schiba, that I can use here. I shall make another cat gallery and put a pointer to it on these pages. The original one is still available here if you haven't seen it before.


I had buckets of rain here earlier. I think it has stopped now, but for how long ??

A friend of mine phoned me up earlier (Hi Lee) and asked if my power was still on - it was. Checking the teletext I see that much of London suffered power failures between 18.30 and 19.00 today. Fortunately I was not affected here in Catford.

Off to watch Horizon now and learn about volcano prediction.

Wednesday 27th August 2003


Weather : cloudy. 18° C

It seemed very warm last night. The minimum temperature was 17° C and there was no wind at all. This made sleeping a bit difficult. It was too hot under the duvet, but to cool not under it. One result of this is that I had some interesting dreams. The one I remember most of occurred at 04.25, or at least that is when I woke up the first time. I was in a bar drinking Badger Ale. It was brewed in the pub and had an interesting flavour. It was like the first flavour to hit the taste buds was of lime, real lime juice and not any synthetic type. As the dream progressed it became apparent that the bar was in was actually on a ship that was dry docked alongside The Thames. Our drinking was disturbed by motions indicating that the ship was actually afloat and that The Thames was in flood. I left the bar and found that much of London was flooded, although the water was only ankle deep and surprisingly clear.

I cannot recall any more that that. I know I had a fascinating dream just before I woke up shortly before writing this. In a moment of almost lucid dreaming I knew that I had to remember it as it would be worth recounting here. In the time taken to open my eyes and check my clock, to see if it was time to get up, all memory of that dream evaporated apart from the idea that I ought to write it down.

   No plans for today apart from a little bit of electronics work ( There is a picture here of one of the components I will be using - do you know what it is ? Answers tomorrow maybe.)


Weather : still slightly warm and humid feeling.

What have I achieved today ? Not much really. I have completed 0.5% of tidying up my workshop. It's the first time I have really spent more than 15 minutes in there for ages. I emptied the rubbish bin for the first time in 12 months (maybe !) and half filled it again with more rubbish. I now have a minute amount of working space in there for my transmitter film prop that I am making. There are some parts that I know I have but cannot find them yet. They are probably still at the bottom of a huge teetering pile of junk. Some callous people would say throw it all away, but amongst that junk there are recoverable parts that are expensive and/or difficult to obtain. In many ways it is the parts that are so difficult to replace that are the most valuable and the biggest reason why I am reluctant to turf the whole lot out.

     Sooner or later I am going to have to have a day, or part of a day out. Apart from local shopping trips, and signing on, I haven't really left the house for a week or two now. I'll have to check, but I think that this coming Saturday will be my monthly drink with the ex-workmates. That will do as one day out, but I have another idea. I have been re-reading some of Harry Harrison's "Stainless Steel Rat" books. There is at least one that I know of that I do not own. That is "A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born". Maybe a trip to Forbidden Planet is called for soon. Another option that I have had in mind for ages now is to do some photography on the Uckfield line. I want to go, but have been putting it off for ages because it will be short periods of interest amongst a lot of boring time. Besides which I cannot seem to raise enthusiasm for trips which ultimately go nowhere. If there was a destination and something to achieve there it would be different. This would be a round trip with no ultimate destination apart from home. It is illogical really because I want to take those pictures, yet I do not want to do the traveling that is part of those pictures. I can't really explain it properly. Somehow it seems an awful lot bother faffing around getting to East Croydon to get a train Oxted (or Hurst Green) just to take a ride on "A Thumper" and take pictures of it. Maybe I want the train to come to me !! 

Tuesday 26th August 2003


Weather : cool 16.5° C

As soon as I opened the back door to check the temperature Nelly rushed outside and went straight to her water bowl. What is odd about that is that she has a perfectly good and clean bowl of water inside. Sometimes she does seem very thirsty which is a bad sign, but I won't worry about it too much until I see her drinking inside a lot as well.

Today , at 09.25 I have to go through the iniquity of signing on.

Bank Holiday                                                                                         Monday 25th August 2003


Weather : cool. 17° C

I had a revelation in one of my dreams last night. It was nothing too exciting and I cannot remember what was happening when the idea came to me. It concerned Spiderman and other superheroes. Remembering back to the days of my youth I dismissed Spiderman in favour of Batman and Superman. To this day I ignore Spiderman even though he is one of Hollywood's recent favourite sons. On the face of it they should all be classified together as good v evil and men in tights with their underpants on the outside. During the night it suddenly came to me, in some otherwise forgettable dream, that the difference was that Spiderman used biology and the others used technology in their fight against crime. Of course I could be wrong. Maybe Spider man does use high tec gadgets, but having dismissed him out of hand because of my perceptions, I wouldn't know that. To this day I think I'll ignore the likes of Spiderman and continue to wonder just how many types of Kryptonite there are and to continue to speculate just what Batman carries in his utility belt. We all knew the outcome of each battle between good and evil, but it was how it was fought, and, for me, what gadgets were used in its execution that made those old comics so exciting.

Sunday 24th August 2003


Weather : light mottled sky and warm.21° C

It was a very warm night, last night. The lowest temperature was 21° C and it made for a slightly rough night with loads of odd dreams.

 I can only remember a small fragment of two dreams. The first was that I was in Afghanistan. I think I was there as some sort of journalist as all I was doing was taking pictures. I have no idea how I got there, but I do remember a lot of confusion about getting home. It was the first time I had ever tried to buy airline tickets and would be the first time in a plane. The latter would have been true - I have never been in a plane before. 

The second dream was that I was visiting my old telephone exchange and found it being run by several ex-Mastercare people. The place was, technically, a shambles. I remember being appalled that even with all the new, modern, digital equipment their call failure rate was 9%. I pointed out that with the old electro-mechanical exchange we were able to get figures of 1.3% or better. Their argument was that it did not matter because their exchange automatically tried again within a wink of an eye and gave a success rate of 99.99% as far as the customer was concerned. It was not an argument that I was happy to accept.

We never did get the storm that my creaking bones, fatigue and headaches suggested would happen yesterday/last night. I find that a bit odd as the temperature, humidity and cloud cover also suggested the same as my body. Even the cats were acting as if something was in the air. Maybe something will brew up today.


Weather : sunny with some breeze. 21° C

I find it rather surprising that the temperature has dropped to only 21° C this early in the evening. The highest today was 24° C so at this rate we could have a cool night.

I have actually achieved a couple of things today. First off I have a new calendar for this journal with hotlinks direct to each individual day for this month and subsequent months. See the results HERE. when you get there just click on August 24th and you should go straight to the top of today's entry.

Another thing I did, and was a success, was to take apart my old Toshiba laptop and get it running again. Originally all the back up batteries went flat. there are three NiCad batteries for backup and two had failed completely. I replaced them, but I had lost the BIOS settings and had some trouble with the floppy disk drive. Superficially it all sounds easy until I tell you that this is a very old machine that only uses an 8086 processor. None of your flash Pentiums here !!! After a bit of fiddling with the seating of various cables and running the BIOS set up programme a few times I managed to get it all running perfectly. I even discovered the purpose of an extra memory board fitted in it. For the last 10 (?) years I had thought it was for extended RAM. In fact it is actually a solid state 384 KByte hard disk. I have now formatted that and been able to add to the existing storage of....wait for it.... a 20 MByte hard drive ! There is one remaining problem and that is the main battery. It is completely knackered. I might rebuild it if I can ever think of a situation where I need some portable, but incredibly low spec, computing power.

One other thing to report on. I tried a Tesco's Indian Feast Takeaway pack tonight. Like the Chinese one, the other day, I only ate half of it and will have the rest tomorrow. So far I can say that like the Chinese version they use different recipes to all the local Indians, but this time everything was quite pleasant, including the vegetable dish. I did try one of the nan breads this afternoon. It was obviously cooked, but should have been reheated for a few minutes. Unheated it did taste pretty nasty. I'll reserve my true judgement until I have reheated it in the approved manner. 

Saturday 23rd August 2003


Weather : warm with a light cloud/high mist cover. 21° C

It seems very warm this morning. Last night the temperature only went down to 19° C. Could this mean we are in for a hot day ?


Weather : many dark clouds and very humid. 25° C

It feels very gloomy and like a huge storm is brewing. I've just got back from the corner shop with 4 litres of Diet Coke and a 12 Kg bag of cat litter. Before I went I was feeling a little warm and sticky. Now I am boiling and dripping all over the place.


It certainly feels like a storm is brewing yet I can hear no static on the radio from an impending storm. It is still gloomy outside and I have had the sort of headache this afternoon that precedes a storm. I have also been feeling fatigued, but that may just be the result of inactivity.

Friday 22nd August 2003


Weather : cool and overcast. 19° C (last nights minimum = 18° C)

It feels like I had a good sleep last night. I was reading Linux Format magazine in bed until about 11 pm, but fell asleep almost instantly when I turned the light out. I am not sure that I understand more than 10% of Linux Format magazine, but it definitely influenced my dreams. During one dream I think someone was trying to teach me to program in C#, although in the clear light of day I recall it looking more like BASIC, or perhaps OPL - the programming language of my old Psion Organiser. I can't really recall any more of my dreams. Well not the I can describe in any meaningful way. The last thing I recall as I woke up was a very Tom Baker (Dr Who) like voice saying " ah, but who are the information vendors, and who are the information consumers ?". All very mysterious and I haven't got a clue what it was about or even who said it !


I'm just back from a shopping expedition to Tesco's. It feels rather humid out and I am not hot and sweaty after lugging three heavy bags back to home. The two cats will be well pleased as I now have more tuna than there are remaining cod stocks in the North Sea. Not only are Tesco still selling a two for the price of one offer on 4 packs of Tuna, but I had a club card voucher for 20 extra points for buying canned tuna. OK so it's a very shallow offer, but the cats do love tuna !

Along with the club card vouchers and other guff (which incidentally came in this mornings post) was the Tesco club card magazine called "The Magazine" - shades of Monty Python there I think. Inside it quotes - "Did you know ?" :

  • The average wedding costs £11,000

  • It costs £110,000 to bring up the average child to age 18

It seems, apart from personal reasons, there are strong financial reasons for staying single and childless. It may not be great, but at least you can be lonely and rich !


Weather : a few sunny intervals. 23° C

Why does today feel like a Saturday ?

Nelly, who has been out most of the morning, came in  a short while ago. I picked her up and sat her on my chest while leaning back in my computer chair. As a rule she hates being picked up, but this time she actually started to purr. It is not unknown for her to purr when picked up, but is still rather rare. She was still mildly keen to get down though. After a few minutes I promised that I would reward her and she is now tucking into a plate of real human grade tuna. It has taken many years of patience and bribery, but I think that she will, in the next year or two (!) come to like being picked up and cuddled.


Weather : still quite warm. 22° C

I've just been testing out a Tesco's "Chinese Banquet Takeaway". I have only tried some of the dishes, but they all have recognisable names as used by all the local Chinese takeaways. Oddly though there seems to be some confusion over the recipes. Either Tesco got it wrong or the half dozen or so local takeaways have got it wrong. Both the Chicken with black bean sauce and the chicken with cashew nuts in yellow bean sauce were quite pleasant to eat, but tasted absolutely nothing like I have ever tasted before. The mixed veg chow mien used several vegetables that you do not normally find in Chinese food and it was revolting and I threw most of it away. The egg fried rice used a short grain rice, but was otherwise blandly pleasant. I will try the sweet and sour chicken balls (lumps ?) and the spring rolls tomorrow and let you know how I got on.

So another virus is causing havoc on the internet according to BBC news. I have noticed that some web sites have slowed to a crawl. Being sort of conscientious I downloaded the latest update to my anti-virus programme (Grisoft-AVG) and this PC still checks out clean. I have received a couple of unwanted emails, but I think they were only spam (DVD copying programs). If I ever look at the contents of these I always use the message properties option and read them in a non-html environment (similar to notepad). I always turn message preview off whenever I install a new mail reader and I always have the option turned on to see ALL file extensions. These things ought to be the default settings in Windows and I curse Mr. Gates for them not being so. It is a strategy that has saved me on at least one occasion that I know of before my virus checker has even had a chance to do its work. 

Thursday 21st August 2003


Weather : cool and slightly overcast. 18° C

When I came in last night Schiba was waiting on the windowsill. So I let him in and gave him some food and I settled down to write last nights entry. I didn't notice that, once he had eaten, Schiba wandered into the front room and settled down on the settee. Once I had finished on the PC I went and joined him to watch "The Bill" that I had recorded earlier. I was surprised that after that Schiba was still quite settled and so I left him to it and went to bed. That is the first time in a month or two that he has actually stayed in overnight. Does this mean that summer is over, and that we are now heading into winter ?


I did get up at 6 am this morning to feed the cats and go to the toilet. I then tried checking my email, but my eyes were all so blurry that I decided to go back to bed for another hour or two of sleep. At first I would doze off for a few minutes and then wake up. After a bit I got fed up with that and was on the point of getting up again when I tried one more time. When I next woke up I found that 2 hours had passed and this time I thought I had better get up properly. 


Another one of those days that has passed fairly quickly without much happening, or achieving much. I did have a mini discussion about tuna for cats. Someone suggested that too much tuna maybe bad for cats, and that it was possibly addictive. Somehow I doubt that it is addictive, but it is certainly habit forming. After one tin they demand more and turn their noses up at ordinary catfood. Unfortunately they don't seem to understand that it is not nutritionally complete enough to have every day. If cats could handle tin openers they would make themselves ill ( and we mere humans would become redundant). Today Nelly and Schiba did have tuna, but it was only HiLife tuna flakes and not the better human grade that they would have preferred. So tomorrow I can expect to get told off for only giving them Felix Cod and Plaice in Jelly catfood. Or maybe, and perhaps worse, Tesco own brand Turkey and Goose meaty cuts in jelly. Poor old pussy cats !  

Wednesday 20th August 2003


Weather : cool and sunny. 16°C

It looks like the start of another fine day. Yesterdays high was 23° C which is a sensible temperature.

One thing I must do this morning is to pop along to the Aldi supermarket and pick up a few odds and sods. I'm a bit low on cat food, and human food too !


I'm just back from having a few pints at The Ram. I must say I am feeling quite happy at the moment. I was drinking with Kevin and we discussed everything from the E.E.C. to the price of railwayana.

This morning I did go out shopping, but it was not to Aldi. I decided I wanted some "shiny things" so I first went to to "The Pound Shop". There I bought a crap magnifying glass, some jewelers screwdrivers and some incense sticks. The magnifying glass was crap. the screwdrivers were, well, just screwdrivers, and the incense sticks were (and are) rather good. Next I went into WH Smiths and bought a couple of magazines. One of the was the latest "Viz" comic. As usual it was crap, but funny at the same time. Lastly I did go into Tesco's and bought some cat food and a few  "2 for the price of 1" special offers. I also bought some Jeyes Fluid to disinfect my wheelie bin. The bin smells much nicer now, although the whole front of the house now has a smell reminiscent of old fashioned railway stations. It's quite nice in some ways ! It's a sort of coaly, tarry sort of smell.

Having written up the report on my day I will now retire to watch The Bill that I recoreded while in the pub.

No, I have one last comment. I've got some sort of urge to go to a couple of local gigs. I don't know why as I know that I will hate them. There is a venue called "The Gig" that is only 10-15 minutes away on the train that has bands on most nights. I don't know what they are like, but I fancy seeing one. I had this idea before I went out drinking, but after a few pints it seems like an even better idea. Will I go ? Who knows. In the cold light of day I will probably feel differently, but anything is possible.

Tuesday 19th August 2003


Weather : cool and sunny. 15° C

If I hadn't decided to finish reading Harry Harrison's "The Revenge Of The Stainless Steel Rat" I would have had a decent amount of sleep last night. Instead I finished the book at just gone 1 am and consequently I have only had some 6 hours sleep. Perhaps I ought to go back to bed now the cats have been fed. Maybe I will, or maybe I won't. We'll see.


And so another day draws to a close. In the end I did not go back to bed this morning. I stayed up and did the backups of my existing stuff before I  continued re-installing stuff on the Windows 2000 machine in the studio. 

Somehow the day has passed fairly quickly. Looking back I am not sure quite what I achieved considering the time it took.

I have no plans for tomorrow apart from the likelihood of a drink in the evening. I do fancy nipping out for a spot of train photography , but it is a bit boring by myself. On the other hand it is the best way to do it because I can spend as much time as I want on any particular subject without boring someone else. So like this morning - maybe I will, or maybe I won't !

Monday 18th August 2003


Weather : Thin cloud as the sun rises. 17° C

Once I am up, washed and dressed properly it will be back to Windows 2000. 


I did a complete disk format and re-installed Windows 2000 on the machine in the studio. It is now working fine. I have started to load on all the other software, but tomorrow I must stop and back-up all my data before I go any further. It would be a shame to lose 9 GBytes of CD mp3 backups.

It has been a strange old sort of day. I had to go out to Elmers End for a brief meeting at lunchtime and I felt totally knackered. By the time I got to the station (all of 7 minutes walk) I wanted to lie down and have a snooze. I think it was partially the humidity and partially lack of sleep. This morning I never went back to bed for an extra snooze after feeding the cats. So I probably only got less than 6 hours sleep. the day before was similar. By the time I got home I was feeling a bit better so some of my tiredness was probably down to lack of exercise after spending the whole weekend indoors doing nothing of any significance.

The rain has brought Schiba indoors a few times today. We had a nice session with me, Nelly and Schiba all sitting on the settee while I watched The Simpsons on Sky tonight. Schiba has just come in again and is having some food. I expect he'll demand to be let out again once he has finished. I don't really like the idea of him being out in the rain, but I know he has somewhere to shelter out there. When it was raining earlier this afternoon Nelly came in fairly wet and was followed by Schiba some 10 minutes later. He was still fairly dry even though he was out while it was raining for longer than Nelly !

Sunday 17th August 2003


Weather : very cool and light cloud cover.16° C

Will today be any more thrilling than yesterday ?


Weather : bright and sunny. Warming up : 22° C

After a few weeks of Schiba treating here as if it were a café he is actually in and sleeping on the settee. I did carry him in, and it took a few minutes to convince him to settle down, but he ended up sitting next to me and purring. After about 45 minutes he seemed to have gone asleep so I left him to it and came out to the kitchen to put some washing in the washing machine. Having done that I checked the temperature outside and started this entry. Since starting that last sentence he has woken up and gone out again.


Weather. warm and humid. Sun has gone behind clouds. 23° C

Oh woe is me ! My Windows 2000 machine has gone wrong. It is displaying all the symptoms of the blaster virus - which is pretty good for a machine that is not connected to the internet and has had no infected media put in it. In this case I think it is either the wonky graphics card that has finally bitten the dust or the memory card has failed. The symptoms are that it gets to the first Windows splash screen, displays a quick flash of  a type of "Blue Screen Of Death" and then reboots. The BSOD is not visible for long enough to see what it is saying (not that it usually makes much sense anyway !). The graphics card has done some weird things ever since I installed it. So that is my prime suspect, but a memory fault is another possibility. Watch this space for further details !


Weather : a sprinkle of rain

I finally got my Windows 2000 machine running again. In the end I had to re-install Windows again as the original installation seemed too corrupted to be repaired. I have now managed to copy the old My Documents over to the second hard disk, and tomorrow I will reformat the C drive and install Windows all over again. It is a bit risky with all my data on the other hard disk as I think that was the root cause of the problem. When it starts up it vibrates really badly sometimes which is a bit naughty for a drive that is less than 12 months old. I do wonder if it is a little unhappy living in a caddy rather than bolted down firmly in the PC chassis. I might transfer it to the PC chassis and see what happens. I'll also be backing up all my hard work to DVD-R's tomorrow as well ! There is still something odd about the AGP slot in that PC. It will not come out of standby with any other card than the one that is in there. I did buy a brand new card to put in there that is about the same vintage as the motherboard, but that like several others will not work. I expect some would blame it on the PSU and they could be right. The next time I get to a computer fair I will buy a nice big 450W PSU and see how much smoke I can make.

Saturday 16th August 2003


Weather : cool and slightly cloudy. 18° C (overnight low 15° C)

It seems a nice cool sort of day that could be just perfect for some photography. I could go out, but I might stay in. I can't think of anywhere I desperately want to go to at the moment.


Today is turning out to be somewhat monotonous. I never did go out apart to the local supermarket. I've spent some time ripping some CD's and a little bit more time watching a couple of old episodes of that masterful programme "Yes, Minister" on UK Gold.

Friday 15th August 2003


Weather : cool and sunny. 15° C

It's a very cool morning. It is the lowest it has been all night. Yesterdays high was 24° C.

Nothing to do today, but Jodie should be over this afternoon to use the studio.


Weather : thin covering of clouds blocking sun. 21° C

The temperature maxxed out at 23° C this afternoon, but it has already dropped to 21° C. I think the weather has been perfect today. Not too hot and not too cold.. It is just a shame that it  has been such a boring sort of day. Tonight there is an old radio pirates reunion meeting at the local pub, but as has been the case in recent years I will not be going while certain people are there. I have no wish to drink in the same pub where people who seriously disrupted my life are drinking. It is regrettable that they are even drinking in the same town as me. Some would say that I should grit my teeth and just ignore them and drink with some of the people that I would like to see, but I cannot be bothered. Instead I will watch some TV and go to bed early. Fuck it. who needs booze and people when you have a good book to read. 

Thursday 14th August 2003


Weather : cool, light cloud and some breeze. 17° C

Wow ! It's cool at last.

I went to the pub last night and had 3 or 4 pints of Stella Artois ( the coldest beer available). It felt nice on the way home. It was cool and there was a strong breeze. When I got in I decided to go straight to bed rather than stay up and watch the recording of The Bill I had made while I was in the pub. At the same time I decided not to have an après pub meal. I fell sleep easily, but woke up at 1.30 feeling cold. Last night the breeze was strong enough to blow cold night air over my naked body. I woke up from a nice erotic dream featuring lots of french kissing. Somehow it didn't feel as if it was going to go further than that, so I was not too sad to wake up. Having snuggled down under the duvet I went back to sleep only to wake up again at 4am and needing a pee. I intended to sleep through to about 8, or even 9 am, but I seem to be awake again at just gone 6. Now I have fed the cats and written this I am off to bed again.


Weather : Warm and sunny with a hint of paraffin in the air. 23° C

It is a nice pleasant temperature now. 23° C should be about the hottest it will get considering the time of day. Somewhere hereabouts someone is having a barbecue, or maybe has used some paraffin to light a bonfire.

I've just watched a semi-crap film on BBC2. It was called "The Assassination Bureau" and starred Oliver Reed and Dianna Rigg and was made in 1968. Reed was OK, but nothing spectacular. Dianna Rigg, though, I found to be very good looking. In some costumes she looked quite attractive. It must be some sort of kink of mine that I found myself thinking that I likes the black leather gloves she was wearing in some scenes. Not quite as good as the black leather cat suits she would wear in "The Avengers" from time to time. I wonder if the film was made before, or after (or even during) the time she appeared in "The Avengers" ?

Wednesday 13th August 2003


Weather : Sunny. 22° C

A bit of a late start this morning ! I did not go to bed until gone 3 am because I was up playing with Wine. In this case Wine is not booze but a program that runs under Linux and should allow some Windows applications to run on a Linux machine. In the end I did not have much success. I managed 75% of the installation of Microsoft Office, but after that it seemed to give up. I may have another go today if I am feeling masochistic.

When I came down this morning Schiba was waiting for me on the windowsill. He was very affectionate and started rubbing round my legs, in a way that Nelly doesn't, until I fed him. He has now bolted down half a plate of food and disappeared again. 

Yesterday was noticeably cooler than previous days. Hopefully today may be cooler still. 

Tuesday 12th August 2003


Weather : slightly overcast. 21° C

It is surprising how cool 21° can be. I was actually woken up, from what was an increasingly erotic dream, by the cold at 5 am. Like a fool I pulled the duvet over me and woke up later feeling like I had been cooked. I should have just pulled the curtains closed or even shut the bottom half of the window instead. My mistake was, of course, trying to get back to sleep as fast as possible to continue that dream. It never worked like that, although I think I may have had another dream featuring the same sort of setting, but I cannot recall her being in it, or, at least, in such  intimate proximity.  


Weather : sunny. 24.5° C

The heat over the last few days has been frying my brain. I didn't realise that these last two days I had put the date down as July. Many thanks to Kevin for showing me the error of my ways. Both dates have now been corrected.

At just under 25° C outside, in the shade, it does not feel too bad out there. It is a shame that much of the house still feels hot and stuffy. We need some reasonable wind to blow some fresh air around.

In a short while this PC will be off the air as I continue mucking about with my Linux installation on the spare hard disk (see yesterday). I may try and update this page from Linux, but it may go horribly wrong.


Weather : sunny. 29° C

I have felt almost (but not quite) comfortable in todays heat. It took a lot longer to warm up outside and that has given the house a chance to breathe I think.

I have spent quite a long time playing with Linux Mandrake 9.1 and things have been going quite well on it. I managed to get the java and real player plug-ins to install and work on Mozilla. I didn't realise it but it was not only a plug-in for real player, but a complete player. By the looks of it it should have installed something in the start menu and possibly a desk top icon as well. It didn't, but I have put an icon on the desk top anyway. There were a few other things I managed as well. Got the CD burning programme "Eroaster" to erase a CDRW disk and then burn a few files on it. Found I had Scribus installed and tried that out. Scribus is a publishing programme like Quark Express or Indesign. It incorporates more features than a word processor for publishing, but less for other purposes. It will take a lot of practice to use it properly, but I might persevere with it as it can make good quality pdf files. I had two total failures. First was playing a DVD. Everytime I tried the application crashed. I suspect that the fault lies with my video drivers. The other failure was trying to get a ftp program running properly. The one I tried had a similar interface to Cute ftp for windows, but the controls are rather different. I found I could log on to the ftp server but then couldn't see the local files. If I could see the local files then I couldn't see the remote files and the server would drop out. All in all a bit mysterious, but I'll get it in the end. My overall impression of Linux Mandrake 9.1 is that it is the best, and most usable distribution yet. By the time that Windows is so locked down that you can't do anything with it without a personal invitation from Bill Gates I reckon that Linux will be in a very good position to take over. It is so close to being there now. 


Looks like bad news. I had been hoping that next doors insurance would be paying for the emergency scaffolding put up by the council when his half of the chimney stack collapsed. I spoke to next door yesterday and he promised to let me know yesterday or today if they were paying up. As of this time there is no word from him and he is out. I noticed that the for sale sign outside his house has SOLD across it. Presumably he can't be bothered to coerce his insurance company now in the way he previously promised. He'll be gone very soon, or so I expect, and not have to worry about my problems. It looks like I will be writing out a check for £2,359.94 very soon now. The deadline is on the 14th. I hope that they will be sending a final demand as I think I will withhold my payment just in case his insurance has actually paid up and he hasn't told me ( when we spoke yesterday he said he had no response from his insurers as to whether they had, or had not paid up). I have a horrible feeling that pretty soon I am going to be on a very tight budget !

Monday 11th August 2003


Weather : overcast. 21° C

Although it feels cool and fresh outdoors, it is still all hot and sweaty inside. Slept reasonably well, but I have woken up earlier than usual. My pillow felt damp from sweat when I got up even though I had the windows open and nothing on. The forecasts suggest today should be cooler than yesterday. Seeing as yesterday broke all records that should not be hard to achieve ! It will be a relief to me, the cats and probably many other people.


Weather : cooling down. 25° C

Today it reached close to 32° C, so it was a little cooler than yesterday. I have spent much of the afternoon dripping over this PC installing Mandrake Linux 9.1 on a spare hard disk. It seems to have gone well and everything has worked except for two little things. Xine, the movie player crashes every time I try and start to play a DVD. Secondly the gigantic download for a java plug-in for Mozilla appears to do nothing. I will have to re-read the download page and try and see what I am supposed to do with it. Allegedly it is a self extracting file, but if it has extracted itself I have no idea where.

There is just time for me to check my mail and have a quick surf before I head for bed. Signing on tomorrow.

Sunday 10th August 2003


Weather : Clear skies, sunny. 21° C

This is going to sound rather weather obsessed but..... Last night it was 30° C in my bedroom when I went to bed. Outside the temperature fell to a minimum of 21° C overnight, and yesterdays maximum was 32° C. If my brain ever recovers from being fried I might say some more interesting things. Even the cats brains have been fried. While writing this Schiba has come in without saying a word or acknowledging me. He has eaten his own plate of food and 2/3rds of Nelly's and just walked out again. I doubt I will see him for the rest of the day.

One thing that is coming back to me is what was happening as I was going to sleep last night. Somewhere out the back of the house there was a party going on. This one was different to the last one which kept me awake. It was very different. No reggae, hence no loud BOOM, BOOM, BOOM ! In fact it was lacking in bass in some ways. The music, which was loud enough to be clearly audible - enough to hear all the song lyrics, was actually a collection of dodgy 1980's hits. So I fell asleep to the sounds of Abba, Baccarat, and several well know, but ultimately despisable, "disco" tunes. So it appears that 80's disco is so bad it sends you to sleep !


Weather : hot and sunny. 32.5° C

The temperature now has beaten the record set last Wednesday. I've put some large ice cubes into the cats water bowl in case they get in trouble. Surprisingly Schiba has just reappeared. Like Nelly he is not interested in the iced water, although Nelly did sit briefly by a large (fag packet sized) block of ice I placed next to her on the garden path. I think the temperature could rise even higher before the day is out. The only respite is that there seems to be a hint of a breeze developing. 


Weather : sunny. 30° C

An hour or so ago it started to cloud over. This allowed the temperature to drop a degree. I had high hopes that we could see a cooling thunderstorm, but the clouds have dispersed again. However the temperature has dropped to a mere 30° C. Today has broken all records according to the TV. it has certainly been hot. I hope that the other part of the weather forecast is correct - tonights temperature may drop to 17° C.

Saturday 9th August 2003


Weather : clear skies. 21° C

Another hot and sticky night. The minimum overnight temperature was a tad under 21° C, but is still very hot indoors. The last thing I can remember of a dream, as I woke up, was being both relieved, and disappointed, that it was just starting to rain as I was about to go to the pub in just my underpants. Even in my dream it was hot !

I think these entries may have become boring lately. They have become a bit stylised with just talk about the weather and what I dreamt of last night. Of course it could be that in this hot weather nothing is happening as any happening would generate too much heat. So it is a little unfortunate that just as the temperature starts to go for another all time high something will happen. This morning I should be getting a visitor to this filthy hovel to pick up a bunch of old archive pirate radio multimedia, and probably do a bit of chatting. I had really intended to tidy the place up a bit, but in the current heat that would to strenuous. Besides what it really needs is a MAJOR clean up. Any "bit of tidying up" would not alter the overall impression that I live in a mess. I'll sort it out one day. One day !


Weather : 30° C

Yes it is f***ing hot !


Weather : sunny. 32°C

It is now more than f***ing hot. It is boiling. I just seen Pat Edison off after a seriously nostalgic chat. He seems very pleased with all the old archive stuff I have managed to dig out for him. All  I need to find now is my old rotary converter ! (primitive device for converting 12V from a  car battery to high voltage for valve equipment).

Friday 8th August 2003


Weather : Cool outside with clear skies. 21° C

Last night the temperature reached a minimum of just under 21° C, but it is still 27° C in my bedroom with the window wide open. Yesterdays maximum would appear to only have reached about 28° C, but it still felt very hot.

I can just about remember the tail end of a dream as I woke up. I don't know what lead up to it, but it concerned the comical idea of mixing up brand names and logos for spoof advertising. I can remember a picture of the Michelin man leaning back on a rock advertising Michelin cigarettes. Other ideas were Hovis brand condoms, Macdonalds tyre and exhaust fitting centres and Benson & Hedges bread. I'd like some clever graphics artist with a warped sense of humour (and no fear of being sued) to actually make these adverts for a laugh !

I am getting really pissed off having to teach Micro$oft FrontPage how to speak English ! It is supposed to be using an English (British) dictionary already, but it still thinks that "colour" should be spelt "color" and "tyre" should be spelt "tire". It is a most reluctant pupil, but it is getting there slowly.


Weather : hazy sunshine and rather sticky. 29° C

It looks like the temperature has topped out at 29° C. I have spent a lot of today 9and yesterday, come to think of it) reading the Hitch Hikers Guide To the Galaxy trilogy. I started with book one yesterday and I am now 20 or so pages into the third book. I am thinking that I ought to make a web page with all my favourite quotes on it. 


Weather : 27° C

It's slowly cooling off outside, but still feels warm and sticky indoors. The cats are more lively now as the sun goes down. Nelly has spent a lot of today outside. She never went far and spent most of the time just lying in the shade on the path near the house. For much of the day Schiba was nowhere to be seen, but he has been hanging around for the last hour lying down not too far from Nelly. He is still reluctant to come inside for more than a quick bite to eat. In fact he is having his supper outside tonight. I must remember to bring the plate in when he has finished as last time I forget there was about a billion bluebottles flying around it.

As is usual on a Friday night the TV is crap. Not a single thing I want to see on all the cable channels. At 9pm I will probably go up to bed and read for the rest of the day.

Thursday 7th August 2003


Weather : Bright and sunny 21° C

21° C (or possibly 21.5) seems to have been the lowest temperature overnight and is the current temperature now. It was so sticky last night. At first I didn't think I would be able to sleep, but after a while I drifted off. I feel a bit yucky this morning so I think it was a rather disturbed sleep. I know I was dreaming and that it had something to do with music, but I cannot really recall any details.

I expect today will be similar to yesterday temperature wise. So I am going to do some shopping at 9am (probably) before it gets too hot, and then spend most of the day in my underwear lying on my bed reading and taking the occasional cold shower. On the other hand I might not ! 


Still only 25° C and a bit of a breeze !


Now up to 28° C. So not as hot as yesterday. Hopefully the temperature has now peaked for the day. It is still very hot and sticky though and I do not fancy doing anything more energetic than breathing today. tonight I should be in the pub, but I think I'll take a cold shower before going.


Back from the pub early tonight. The air con in the pub had failed (yesterday !) and it was like an oven in there. Surprisingly it was not me who was suffering most. When I first went in there I thought I would pass out after 20 minutes, but in the end I sort of acclimatised (sorry Micro$oft - in England we spell that with an "s" not a "z" !!!!) my self to the heat. I could have made it through to 11pm, but in some  ways it was a relief to get out of there. The pub itself was actually almost empty. I saw quite a few people come in, have one drink and then go out again. Coming out it felt nice. I was really quite comfortable. I'm not sure what the outside temperature is, but it is not bad. Indoors now is another story. I am dripping all over the place. It is still 29° C in my bedroom at the moment and I am hoping that it will drop before I finally go up to bed. 

Wednesday 6th August 2003


Weather : bright and sunny 24° C

Only a quarter to nine and the temperature is up to 24° C ! This afternoon it will be hot enough to melt the wax in your ears ! According to my min/max thermometer it only went down to 20° C last night, and the max was 26°C after I remembered to reset it yesterday. I have now set it up for today's maximum.

I think maybe I am a fool going out in the afternoon heat today, but I'm going nevertheless. I think I'll be wearing a white t-shirt though in preference to the intended black one. It is a shame that my sawn off jeans are probably no longer suitable for public wearing, but I will check them just in case my memory is playing tricks. 


Weather : Hot and Sunny. 32° C

Well I've been out on the hottest day of the year and survived. My thermometer is saying that the maximum temperature so far today was 32° C, and it is still  there. It may have dropped just a fraction of a degree, but that is all. the poor old cats are just flaked out. I left Nelly inside with plenty of water and she seems to have stayed relatively cool. Schiba has been outside all day. I expect he found a nice shady place to sleep. He has just wandered down the path from somewhere, but has flaked out at the house end of the path.

 I got to the pub earlier than I expected at about 20 to 3. There had been some delays on the trains but they worked in my favour. I rang Nigel when I got to Stratford and he hot footed it to the pub and arrived only 5 minutes after I did. We only stayed to about 4.15 as he was getting too uncomfortable. I just hope that Barbarella didn't change her mind and go there in the end.  

Tuesday 5th August 2003


Weather : warm and sunny.

Slept well last night considering that it was a warm night. I dozed off soon after turning out the light. I did wake up once during the night to have a pee. At that time I could remember a dream that I thought was worth recounting. I know it had something to do with trains, but I cannot recall any details now. I think it may have been Schiba who woke me up this morning. The first thing I heard was him meowing outside. When I came down he was very pleased to see me, but I think I have pissed him off by putting out the wrong flavour food. He only ate a small amount then rushed out again. Last time this happened he brought me back a dead rat just to show me that he was capable of getting his own food and that it is a privilege for me to feed him.


Pheeeew ! It's hot out there ! I'm just back from shopping in Aldi's. Inside the store it was air conditioned and almost chilly. Coming out into the hot air with three heavy bags of shopping was a bit of a shock to the system. Now I have sat down I am sweating like a pig. Memo to self : buy less, but more often.


weather : skies quite misty. Temperature fallen slightly = 26° C

I have just remembered to reset my max-min thermometer for the first time in months. Hopefully I will be able to record the maximum temperature tomorrow. the weathermen promise a record high and muggins here is going out in the early afternoon sun tomorrow ! NOTE : my max-min thermometer is not necessarily accurate after it fell off a 1st floor windowsill last year ! However it is still useful for comparative readings.

I have spent a few hours today searching the internet for some freeware. I did find a few things that were interesting. A few more hours were spent backing up my CD collection. That is a project that could go on for months ! It is a bit faster with my new DVD drive though.


Weather : cooling down now - a bit.

And so ends another day. This evening I watched a little TV. In fact it was only a little, mainly two episodes of M*A*S*H. I guess it is one of the few soaps I actually like. Apparently it is supposed to be a comedy show, and indeed it does raise the odd laugh, but I think of it in a deeper sense. I don't think I have ever got caught up the same way that some Eastenders fans do in forgetting that that the characters are just actors, but at the same time their on screen emotions, or perhaps it would be better to say the general emotion on the set, does affect me. One of tonights episodes was in some ways sad, in other ways happy. It left me feeling a little sad though.

Tomorrow I am definitely being the masochist and travelling through the heat for a pint or 6 in Ilford. If Barbarella was reading this I would say that I will be there a little earlier than planned at 3pm, but as she is not, I won't. On the other hand if you are, and are in desperate need of a pint after the dentist you'll know where to find us. (Text me if you are going to be much later than about 6pm and we'll hang on a bit)

Monday 4th August 2003


Weather : cool and 100% cloud (or high mist) cover.

It's a nice cool start to the day. I expect that as the morning wears on the cloud/mist cover will burn off and it will end up as another scorcher. 

Despite the heat last night I had a good nights sleep marred only by biting my tongue at some point. I have a vague recollection of briefly waking up just as I crunched down on the side of my tongue. This morning it is rather painful !

I installed the new DVD writer in my audio workstation PC and tested it yesterday. It worked perfectly. I must order up a pile of blanks for it now.

I'm not sure how I will pass the day, but Jodie is coming over to use the studio this afternoon.


weather : hot and sticky 27° C. Sun diluted by slight haze.

Jodie is still here recording (actually I think she has taken a break and is watching a soap on the studio TV). This morning I gave my new DVD writer a bashing by burning 10 DVD's of old mp3 archived radio programmes. Yes a whole 39 gigabytes of mp3's !

It is almost as if I have been on a diet today. 6 plums (mostly ripe) for breakfast and tuna salad (with no mayonnaise or salad cream on it) for dinner tonight. Shame I ate 2 small packets of peanuts, a bag of Quavers and a bag of chili flavour Doritos during the afternoon ! After that ridiculously green plate of rabbit food just now I am craving a nice curry ! It never ends.

No plans for tomorrow yet, but on Wednesday I am going over to Ilford to have a drink with Nigel. We were hoping to be joined by a third party but it seems we will be disappointed.  

Sunday 3rd August 2003


Weather : bright and sunny

I wonder if today will end up too hot like yesterday ?

Last night I gave a quick check to the shrunken version of the American Graffiti DVD. It looked rather good. Even with the very high compression ratio I had to use there is still hardly any signs of compression artifacts.

It is still early in the morning, but I think I will be going to a computer fair later on.


Weather : very hot and sunny 26° C

Came back from the computer fair about half an hour ago. At first the heat was not too bad, but I had transport troubles. My train was a couple of minutes late which meant I missed the connection with the tram and had to get a bus. I am not sure that I saved any time by getting the bus and it did involve extra walking in the blazing sun. Anyway at the fair I bought some more ink for the printers and a new x4 DVD-R writer. The writer was £125 which is not bad. There were some for £119, but I decided to go for a DVD-R writer this time as the blanks are still a little cheaper than the DVD+R disks (but only just now). Coming home I only had to wait 10 minutes for the tram, but they do not connect with the trains in the homewards direction.  To add insult to injury the train was 10 minutes late meaning I had to wait over 30 minutes for it. I am slowly cooling off now. I haven't installed the DVD writer yet, but I did try installing Pinnacle Studio 8SE (which was bundled with it) on my other PC. Previously I had Studio 7 on it and it would never work. It would always hang on the splash screen. Studio 8 is better. It only hangs once the main interface is up ! I don't understand why they both will not work. Studio 7 works on my 1.4G Athlon and on this 550 MHz AMD K6/2. All other programs work without a hitch on the XP2100 Athlon machine so I don't think there is any faults on it as such. It's just one of those little mysteries that us computer users know so well. 

Saturday 2nd August 2003


Weather : cool, but sunny

My last entry yesterday was a lie ! I said I was off to bed, but that was not what happened. I spent a little time calling Schiba in. After a bit he came in and I sat down with him to get him settled for the night. While I was sitting with him I had a flick around of the TV channels and found the TCM was showing Soylent Green. That is one of my favourite films so I ended up watching that to 1.25am.

I have two things to do today. The first is very important - go shopping and buy cat food. The second is to go to the William IV pub in Elmers End for the "1st Saturday of the month" drink with my old workmates. Disappointingly Mike Lockett is away on holiday, but I'm sure the others will make up for him. Although it may mean an earlier finish as he was the one who kept us all waffling so late. 


Weather : hot and sunny (23° C)

Just back from the pub after a drink with my old workmates. Heard some slightly disappointing news. Two people are thinking of becoming traitors and going back to their old jobs, albeit only as part timers.

Summer would appear to be back with a vengeance. It is hot today. My thermometer, which is permanently in the shade is saying 23° C. Coming back from the pub it felt like I was walking through treacle. I don't know whether it was the heat ( I had been sitting outside in the sun), or the booze or what, but it was definitely hard work going for the train home.

I still have not heard whether I am going to have to fork out a huge amount of money for last years emergency scaffolding. ( see last month). Next door still have not heard from their insurance company. Nevertheless I am thinking of going to a computer fair tomorrow to spent a bit of money and pick up a few new shiny toys.


Weather : still warm, but cooling off.

Tonight has been very, very boring. There were one or two highlights though. I have downloaded a copy of DVD Shrink. This is a program to shrink a full movie DVD down in size to burn onto one recordable DVD disk. Apart from a silly mistake of deleting the main stereo soundtrack (my fault), my first test with it worked very well. It is only on scenes with very high amounts of motion on them that it is possible to detect any flaws in the transfer. Even then they are very minor. It was a freeware program that seems very similar to a couple of others I have seen that cost £35 or more. Sometimes it seems it pays to wait and not rush in and buy the commercial offerings (especially as one similar offering forms 33% of all the spam I get - Bastards!). At the moment I am trying a rip of American Graffiti  This is a very long film with many extras on the DVD. I am having to use absolute maximum compression so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.

One final thought for today. I have been trying to cut down my food intake for the last 48 hours. Today has not been perfect, but better than yesterday. I have just opened some catfood (for the cats), and it is one of the better ones, and the smell is making me feel hungry :-)

Friday 1st August 2003


Weather : Overcast with some fine drizzle

I had some very strange dreams last night. They involved trains, royalty, Greeks and New Zealanders and an Australian called Bruce. It is already getting hazy, but there were lots more strange places and people involved. Bruce was a real person, and he was also Australian, and he was a barman at the old Forest Barn Pub in the early eighties. In one bit of a dream I was asking him to pass on my regards to Karen. She didn't actually appear in the dream, but she was a barmaid in The Forest Barn at the same time as Bruce. In real life she was from New Zealand and was probably on a working holiday here. I had never paid her that much attention, but it was a very close and friendly pub especially for us regulars. On her last day before going back to New Zealand we wished her well and she was bought a few extra drinks. After that session I was waiting at the bus stop to come home when she, and several others, passed me by on their way back to their digs. Much to my surprise she stopped grabbed hold of me, hugged me and kissed me (a lot) and said how much she would miss us guys. I look back on those days with great affection. A wonderful past that can never be relived.

Welcome to August.


Weather : Overcast

After this mornings first entry I went back to bed for an hour. When I woke up it looked so yucky outside that I thought I had overslept into Autumn.

I keep forgetting to mention something that happened a couple of days ago. I noticed Schiba walking down the garden path and it looked as if he had been injured. There was a dark stain on his back leg that looked liked dried blood. On closer examination I saw that it was actually where he had laid down on a fallen, and rather ripe, blackberry ! Silly moggy !


I've just spent an entertaining 30 minutes watching a web cam. It was interesting up to a point, but it would have been better if the pictures updated more rapidly than every 30 seconds. Still it was better than TV tonight.

I have now ripped enough CD's to mp3 to use a whole DVD+R disk. Virtually every one was a promo CD and in the main they were not worth listening to. I can now box up the originals and tuck them away fro a rainy day knowing that if I do need to access any of that music I have it available on the PC. Mind you I can't think why I would want to play any of those CD's.

Off to bed now.


copyright Bill 2003