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JUNE 2007

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( A pastel shaded background indicates two entries for that day)
Once upon a time I was a DJ

Friday 29th June 2007
08:26 BST
 This morning it is definitely raining ! The rain sounded heavy in the night, but on my way to work I only had to endure light drizzle. The weather now is probably a good indicator of how the rest of today, and maybe the weekend will be. Of course after Sunday it will never rain again. This is obvious because bus shelters will then be obsolete once you can't smoke in them. Yesterday's weather was not too bad, and much of the evening was fairly bright with sunny spells.

 Despite having several pints of ale with Jane last night, my altered food intake scheme seems to be doing something. For the second morning running I weighed myself. There has been an obvious shift in my weight downwards - more than can be accounted for by the fact that I had wet hair when I weighed myself yesterday. This is obviously good, and it is even beginning to feel good. One slight, but temporary, downside is that I am going through a trouser displacement phase. It is hard to explain the exact phenomena, but it basically means my trousers have adopted a point of equilibrium about half an inch lower than usual. As my body mass continues to reduce and redistribute itself, the trouser problem should solve itself. It will also help when my waist has shrunk enough for my belt to do up one more notch inwards (instead of half a notch at present - and half notches don't exist).

 I must stop at this point and thank the person who emailed me in support of this nonsensical smoking ban. He is not the first person to tell me that all the incessant smoking ban adverts heard on the radio, and usually heard on car radios, are so annoying that people feel the need for a fag to calm themselves down. Of course it is the glaring lie that "England's going smoke free in July" that also pisses people off big time. I thought that adverts which blatantly lie are illegal, but apparently it is one law for us, the common people, and another law for the NHS and all their sycophantic supporters. England is not going smoke free in July at all.  Smoking will still be allowed in many places including in all these web pages. This diary is 100% not smoke free.

 Tonight I am seeing Aleemah after work. At the moment it is a bit of a toss up as to whether we will enjoy what is likely to be the last ever opportunity to have a fag and a pint indoors, or whether we are going back to my place to spend some time there.
Thursday 28th June 2007
08:21 BST
  The day looked bright and clear when I first woke up, but since then it has go progressively cloudier. While waiting for my train at Catford Bridge station I observed that the northern sky still looked very blue, but overhead it was what I think is called a mackerel sky (densely packed small clouds quite high up), and the southern sky had more dark clouds. At some point on my way into work I am sure I felt a rain drop, or two, but apart from some puddles suggesting recent rain, it has stayed dry. The forecast for later today suggests it will be very overcast, but maybe there will not be any rain.

 I managed to stay off the heavy food again last night despite calling in at Tesco's on the way home. My principal meal was tinned salt cod ( a Carribean speciality it seems) along with a small tin of reduced salt and sugar sweetcorn, and a very small tin of anchovies for added fishy flavour. I also "zapped" it up a bit with some hot pepper sauce and a moderate amount of seafood dressing (that probably doubled the calories, sugar, and fat of the entire meal). For pudding, if you can call it pudding (which you can't really) I had some lentils, pumpkin seeds, and other stuff, stuff. I can't remember what Tesco called it, but it was in one of those little pots of accessories in the same area as potato salad, coleslaw, and other cold snacks.

 That lot left plenty of room for three pints of beer in the pub with Kevin. Iain had warned me earlier in the day that he was unsure if he would make it to the pub, and in the end didn't make it. After the pub I thought I might try and go straight to bed, but I was seduced by the alcohol to have a quick snack before retiring. I had some tinned mackerel in spicy sauce followed by the other half of the galia melon that I had started the previous day. The melon had definitely benefitted from being left in a warm kitchen. It was still a little short of being perfectly ripe, but was considerably better than before. One of my purchases from Tesco last night was another melon. This one is of a different variety, although once again it is one of the smaller types about 3 or 4 inches across. Could it be a cantaloupe, or is that one of the big ones ?

 Tonight I am going for a drink straight after work. So by the time I get in I will probably be pretty hungry, and also slightly drunk (maybe). I'll have to see if I can stick to my pre-planned dinner of more fish, maybe plain tinned mackerel, and peas followed by melon. I realise that sounds pretty vague for something described as pre-planned, but the pre-planning was more in buying some assorted, but similar ingredients (fish, vegetables and pulses).

 This morning I dared to weigh myself for possibly the first time this year. I was surprised that I did not weigh more, but it was still very much on the high side. It will be interesting to see what my current food fad does to my weight. A few days of it have made a difference. this morning I am wearing one of my shirts that had been getting a bit tight. This morning it does seem to fit a lot easier, but it still suffers from one problem with a cheap shirt. It is too short. With the trousers I am wearing today, the shirt tails slip out so easily that I am often left with my belly button almost exposed. (Actualy they are not the shirt tails. What do you call the bottom bits of a shirt on the front side ???). Had I been wearing this shirt with my est trousers I would be OK. They ride about half an inch higher than the ones I am currently wearing, and also have some sort of slip resistant band inside.
Wednesday 27th June 2007
08:11 BST
 It feels quite chilly this morning. there is no sun, but then again it is not raining. I think the sun will be out later today, but there could also be some scattered showers. Watching the BBC news last night, it seems that London has (so far) escaped some of the worst weather that has been around lately. The Midlands have had torrential rain recently, and many parts are submerged under flood waters.

 Last night I went home via Tesco's and staggered back with six tins of catfood, four litres of Tesco diet cola, a 12 litre bag of cat litter, a twelve pack of Tesco "value" toilet paper, and a few smaller bits and pieces. So the cats won't go hungry for a few more days, and Nelly's litter tray is fresh and clean again (or at least it was last night !).

 Amongst those smaller bits and pieces was a pack of fresh salmon, and a pack of fresh green vegetables. In theory this led to a very healthy dinner. I say in theory because in amongst the broccoli, asparagus tips, and mange tout of the mixed green vegetable was a couple of chunks of butter. I was reluctant to fish those out of the pan once I had poured the lot in. So that added a few calories, and even more cholesterol to my meal, but apart from that it was the sort of thing that killjoy doctors and nutritionists might recommend. I topped off that lot with half a melon (one of the small 3 - 4 inches across sized ones - gaiea maybe ?). The melon was pleasant, but it would have been a lot nicer if it were a bit riper. Maybe the other half will have improved when I eat it tonight.

 Since having my unintentional massive gut clearout last Friday, and then being mostly careful with what I eat, I do seem to be feeling better for it. To me, but not to the casual observer, my shirt feels a fair bit looser round the gut. Most of my shirts had begun to feel a little tight prior to this. If I can keep this up it may not be too long until I can comfortably wear some of the new shirts I bought last Saturday.

 Of course this improvement in my shirt tightness, and maybe a small increase in my energy levels, has not stopped the "another day, another pain" trend in my life. During the night I woke up with terrible cramp in my left calf muscles. I haven't suffered from night cramps like this for ages, maybe as much as ten years. After jumping out of bed and putting some weight on my leg, the knotted muscles very quickly loosened up, but they were still noticeably sore when I walked to the station this morning. One other pain I have had started when I started as I was finishing writing the last paragraph, and has now gone away again. It was a quite intense pain coming from my brain just above the left ear, and feeling like it was a few inches inside my skull. I guess it was just a few more brain cells dying as another artery gets clogged. Pretty soon I will probably be reduced to being a cabbage, but provided they let me smoke in the wheelchair it will be OK.

 Tonight I am hoping for a couple of beers with Kevin and Iain. This will, of course, test my resolve to try and not eat excessively, but I'll do my best. I know that I will be eating very sparingly before going to the pub, but afterwards, with a few beers inside me..............................
Tuesday 26th June 2007
08:10 BST
 This morning it is not sunny like yesterday morning, but it is still bright outside. There was a lot of wind during the night, but I think it was mostly dry. Yesterday was a mixture of sunshine and occasional light showers. I suspect today will be very much like yesterday.

 Last night, after work, I went to meet a new friend. It was quite scary because she appears to be a female clone of me. After three pints of Fuller's London Pride it seemed that she was far more keen on me than I was of her. Now this is very odd, quite frightening, but also quite exhilarating. I have no idea how this story will end, but I do know part two is on Thursday.

 I came home from the pub feeling tired, but also unusually energetic. Perhaps the most surprising thing was that I was not busting for a pee all the way home. Maybe London Pride is less diuretic than Stella Artois, or maybe I was dehydrated to begin with (but I did need to pee twice while in the pub). Perhaps the strangest thing was that I did not feel starving hungry. This was surprising since all I had to eat all day was two nectarines and two satsumas. I did feel slightly hungry and initially only intended to eat a small bag of mixed nuts. I did eat the nuts, but soon followed them up with two dry bread rolls and some tinned fish.

 This morning I do feel better for not eating much yesterday (and also on Sunday), but other bits of me do not feel so good. It feels like I slept on a sack of rocks. My neck feels very stiff again, and bits of my back, and maybe even my stomach muscles seem to ache. Quite why the stomach muscles should seem to ache is a mystery. Maybe it is actually the underlying organs gradually dying of terminal whateveritus.

 Tonight I have to go straight home via Tesco's. I am already one eighth of a way through my last toilet roll. So I am obviously desperate for replacements, and there are other bits and pieces I need fairly urgently - catfood (of course !) and a big bag of cat litter would be quite desirable.
Monday 25th June 2007
08:19 BST
 After copious amounts of overnight rain it was actually sunny when I got up this morning. Since then the clouds have started to gather, but the sun still shines now and then. Yesterday was just dull, gloomy, and wet all day long. I hope that the improvement in the weather this morning continues throughout the whole day, or at least until I am safely home again.

 My day, yesterday, was spent just doing one thing of any significance. I read a book from cover to cover. The exact title somehow eludes me at the moment, but it was something like "The Diary Of A London Call Girl", and it was by "Belle Du Jour" (French for Girl Of The Day - a Psuedonym used by the authoress because it is apparently all true). It was a fascinating read full of assorted triumphs, but I detected a strong undercurrent of sadness in the narrative.

 Alternate sitting and lying down all day as I read, and read, and read, left me feeling very stiff and achy. Perhaps it was a trade off between my aching back and my still aching stomach. I was careful to eat fairly lightly yesterday, and what I did eat was most fish. I think it helped, but this morning my guts still do not feel right. Another thing adding to my discomfort was that I woke up sometime around 2am and had a very troubled sleep after that. I had a sort of headache which started in my neck and right round the back of my head to the top. I took a couple of aspirin and managed to get back to a rather poor troubled sleep. I do feel pretty crappy this morning.
Sunday 24th June 2007
09:00 BST
 Sunday is not living up to it's name. There is no sun this morning. Instead the sky is grey, and it is raining. Perhaps it will brighten up later. Yesterday seemed to be a mixture of sun and showers. I think the morning was reasonably bright, and most of the showers were fairly light.

 My stomach seemed to calm down as Friday progressed. By late afternoon I thought it was safe to have a large birthday dinner of a couple of steaks I had bought from Tesco's. I really enjoyed them, but at 6.15pm exactly my "dysentery" flared up again necessitating two more emergency runs to the toilet. Since than everything has been almost back to normal.

 On Saturday I felt almost normal, and the prospect of a visit from Aleemah distracted me from any negative thoughts. It was handy that I had done most of the major housework on Friday, but there were still one or two things to do. One of things I had to do was an emergency change of the chair covers in the living room. Nelly had managed to throw up several large slimy hair balls on the settee. I noticed it very close to the time I was due to go out to meet Aleemah, and it was lucky I did. It would not have been a very nice sight to greet a visitor.

 I met Aleemah at London Bridge as we had planned, and then we came back to Catford. First stop was the pie and mash shop where Aleemah wanted to eat. Given the choice I think I would have wanted avoided eating, but I settled on a small, but calorie packed, and very delicious, Turkish sausage and cheddar cheese Panini. After eating we went to Peacocks. Aleemah wanted to look for a particular type of shoe that she had seen in another branch, and I took the opportunity to buy a couple of short sleeved shirts. After that we went straight home.

 I tried on the shirts I had bought and was dismayed to find that they seemed very tight fitting. I had sort of assumed that short sleeved summer shirts would be fairly loose fitting. I am hoping that the reason for the tightness was that my stomach was still bloated from my mystery illness. Maybe they will fit OK after a couple of days at work when I tend to eat far more sensibly, but then again maybe not. One of them seemed quite tight around the chest, and under the armpits. I suppose this is the penalty of buying cheap shirts where the amount of material used is cut right to the bone.

 Thinking back on it, it seems that Aleemah and I spent most of her visit watching TV.  We watched an episode of Futurama that I had specially selected for her. It was the first time she had seen any Futurama and seemed to be quite impressed by it. Then we watched a very weird DVD she had brought with her. It was an originally made for TV film by Channel 4 called The Pillow Book. The film was about one woman's erotic fascination with Chinese/Japanese calligraphy. The film had it's moments, but I found it to be rather boring overall. In retaliation I subjected Aleemah to an episode of Fireball XL5, but before that we watched the last part of an ancient Dr Who adventure called Terror Of The Autons. I think Fireball XL5 actually amused Aleemah. Then it was time to watch the current Dr Who. The new incarnation of "The Master" seemed to be pretty awful in last weeks episode, but in yesterday's episode he seemed to gain some credibility. Although he will never conjure up the visual menace of the two previous incarnations. Roger Delgado who played The Master against Jon Pertwee's Dr Who, actually radiated pure evil.

 Once Dr Who had finished it was time to take Aleemah back to London Bridge. Before leaving I was beginning to feel a little uncomfortable. By the time we got to Catford Bridge station I was feeling a little more uncomfortable, and fearing a replay of my problem the day before I had to ask Aleemah to take the train by herself while I rushed home again. Once home again, my worst fears did not come to pass, but it did involve a lot of wind (!!).

 Today I am going to have a lazy day. It is too gloomy to go out even though I had originally intended to go to Golders Green station on the Northern Line to take some pictures of the 1938 vintage tube train that is doing some special runs today.
Friday 22nd June 2007
07:19 BST
 What an interesting way to start my birthday - struck down with dysentery ! Well, maybe not dysentery, but while I should be on the train to work I am (or have been, and probably will be again soon) on the toilet to oblivion. I do feel rather precarious at the moment, but I hope I'll make it in to work eventually.

 The day has started in a very gloomy, drizzly, sort of way. I guess the very first rain in Catford started at about 8pm last night. At that time it was so light it was barely noticeable. Since then it has been heavier, but far from the downpours and thunderstorms that had been forecast. Today brings further chances of heavy rain, and the small chance of some thunder and lightning if it warms up during the afternoon. I think today it would be prudent to wear a coat to work if I ever make it there.

 Yesterday I got a text message from Aleemah wondering if I would like to join her for a drink after work. I said yes, and after work made my way to Victoria. At one point I didn't think I was going to get there. At Clapham Junction I boarded an unusually full, but not packed, train which sat in the station for a few minutes longer than usual. When we eventually pulled out of the station everything appeared normal, but after a few minutes we slowed to a halt and the driver announced that there was a lineside fire just outside Battersea Park station. This caused me some concern because, if like a few recent lineside fires there were gas cylinders involved, they would have shut the whole railway down. Fortunately this was not the case and we slowly proceeded towards Victoria. As we passed through Battersea Park station I saw that the lineside fire had actually been just a small flashover in some signalling equipment. This caused the signalling system to fail, and all the signal lights had turned to red.

 So the procedure was that we would crawl towards every signal, then stop so the driver could ask permission to proceed, and then with a blast on the horn we would crawl off to the next signal. Eventually I arrived at Victoria about half an hour late. I felt very thirsty when I found Aleemah waiting for me in the pub and was relieved when I got hold of my first pint of beer. Having arrived late I decided not to rush and get my favourite train, but to stay for two more pints and get a later train. I think the train I caught was the 19:16. Like any train, except the 18:19, it arrived at Peckham Rye a few minutes after the Sevenoaks (via Catford station) train had left. So I had to stay on the train to Lewisham. I thought I would have to get a bus from there, but saw that there was a Hayes (via Catford Bridge station) due in fifteen minutes. It may well have been quicker to get the bus, but I waited for the train and was home at about 8.15pm.

 Since I started writing this I have had to make a few more trips to the toilet, and although I am now pretty empty, I still feel sort of rough. I am now fairly certain that I ought to call work and say I am going sick for the day. I certainly feel more like laying down than riding on a train. Perhaps I will feel OK to do some housework later on. Aleemah is visiting tomorrow and at the very least I ought to get some strong bleach around the toilet bowl !! I didn't have any plans for today, and thought that tonight I would be rushing around with the hoover or something. Maybe I won't have to rush so much now.
Thursday 21st June 2007
Midsummers Day
08:10 BST
 It's a beautiful morning. It almost makes me feel good. The sky is mostly blue with very few clouds, and most of those clouds are high clouds. The air temperature is pleasantly refreshing with a cooling breeze. As seems almost normal now, the forecasts warns of the possibility of showers later on in the day, and the possibility that some of these could be heavy. Once again I have thrown caution to the wind and come to work in just shirtsleeves.

 I had a pleasant drink with Kevin and Iain last night. It was made more pleasant by managing to only eat very lightly when I came home from work. When I got home from the pub at a little after 9pm I had some Tesco "southern fried chicken fillets" waiting for me in the oven. I had put them in the oven on a very low gas before I went to the pub. To stop them drying out too much, and with the spirit of self delusion, I poured some olive oil on them to "wash away" some of the nastier fats that would ooze from them. I also added some extra pepper, both black and white, to "zap" them up a bit. I can now report they they were delicious, and the olive oil certainly kept them moist despite cooking for nearly three times the recommended cooking time.

 I stayed up for a bit watching a bit of TV while eating my chicken. All I could find was a programme about nazi cops from the Hampshire Constabulary harassing drink drivers. Fortunately such abominations of natural justice did not feature in my dreams. I had a multitude of dreams that I can remember snatches of, although the memories are fading fast. One dream concerned being stranded somewhere in London late at night after being out drinking with Phil and Anna. Phil was my workmate from my days working in Rushey Green telephone exchange. I haven't seen him in 15, or more years. So it was strange that he should pop up in one of my dreams. Anna is the production manager here where I work.

 Part of the solution to getting home at whatever time it was in the dream, was to find a friendly train driver. His train terminated at Croydon, and was taking the train back to the depot for the night. He told me to sit on the floor so I could not be seen by any officials, and he would try and persuade the signallers to set a route that would pass as close to Catford as possible. I think we were heading for Sydenham before that dream faded out.

 Another dream featured a face from the past. I was walking down a road when I spotted a couple of people who I thought I recognised. they were Roger, one of my old school friends, and a chap named Nick Catford, famous for his role in the now legal, but once pirate radio station, Radio Jackie. I cannot recall exactly how Roger looked, but Nick looked exactly as he did 20 or 30 years ago. I am not sure what happened to Roger, but Nick ended up in my living room where he wanted to look through my photo albums (being a keen photographer himself). Now I say my living room, and it did indeed feel like it was mine, but it was no room that I have seen before. It was more richly furnished than my real life living room, and I appeared to be either married, or at least living with someone. I think I may have spoken to my "wife" in the dream, but I cannot recall actually seeing her.

 Nick wanted to copy a picture in one of my albums. It was a picture of Imogen who I doubt Nick had ever met. She was a good friend of mine until her years at university caused he to gradually fade from the scene. She was very, very beautiful, and it is not surprising that Nick wanted a copy of the photo.  To make a copy he pulled out a hand held device which was like a cross between a flat bed scanner and a digital camera. At this point the dream faded out and I returned to conciousness to consider this copying device.

 I have seen several portable document copiers from the past, but they all failed to catch on because the technology to make them work was not mature enough. Now I think it should be possible. By utilising the big storage capacity of the memory cards used in digital cameras, and the power storage capabilities of modern lithium-ion cells, it should be possible to make a device that can capture high resolution images of documents and pictures, albeit in small, say, A6 size, chunks, and be small and light enough to carry around in a biggish pocket. Perhaps it would be about the size of a small paperback book, or maybe if it was just for things like business cards etc, it could be even smaller. Some software could be used to stitch together sections from larger documents.

 Someone, somewhere, sometime, will read of this idea and make a fortune from it, but remember I thought of it first !
 I have no idea what the weather will do today. There was the forecast overnight rain, but it was not as violent as the forecast suggested. this morning it was bright and sunny. When I left home it seemed glorious with blue skies and bright sunshine. By the time I reached Waterloo the skies had clouded over and it seemed as if it could start to rain. Here in Wandsworth I made way into work bathed in bright sunshine, but the southern half of the sky had some very worrying black clouds building up. This morning I have left my coat at home again, and I am wearing a short sleeved shirt. So once again I am gambling on staying dry on the way home again. I am not so sure the odds are not against me today despite the forecast suggesting plenty of sunny spells this afternoon. (I am sure that last sentence used a very distorted use of English grammar, but I hope you know what I mean).

 My commute home last night was uneventful, although I somehow managed to get to Clapham Junction a few minutes earlier than usual. That was just enough to get a very slightly earlier train, and that in turn meant there was no need to rush between Waterloo and Waterloo East station. All the journey was done in the dry, and mostly in sunshine too.

 As well as my commute home, last night was very uneventful. I cooked myself a generous portion of an almost healthy meal, before doing not much at all (apart from eating it !). I tried some Icelandic Char fish (I think it was Icelandic, but it may have said Atlantic on the packet). It was pretty nice, and like it said on the packet, it was similar to salmon, but with a slightly firmer texture. I had it with some peas and tomatoes with a rather over generous serving of olive oil based mayonnaise. Later on I had a couple of snacks. These were half a baguette with cheese and green pesto, and the other half of the baguette with cheese and lime pickle.

 Maybe it is just possible that the food I have just described, along with the fruit, which was all I had eaten during the day, adds up to something approaching "not too bad". I certainly feel a little better than I did yesterday morning, but I did get a little carried away on Monday night.

 To write so much about my food last night almost proves how little else happened. TV was very, very boring, and there was only a few things I could, or wanted, to do on my computers. Shortly before 9pm I felt I might as well go to bed (in fact it may have been as early as 8.30), but at that moment I remembered to check .  I saw that there was yet another new release of . Well, I had to try it, and so downloaded it and burnt it to an 8cm CDR (which I had fortunately recently bought a packet of). It will fit on a business card sized CD, but I do not have of those spare at the moment (besides which they are stupidly expensive for what they are). I also downloaded the files for , and burnt the live CD version to another 8cm CDR.

 So before going to bed I gave both operating systems a tryout. Damn Small Linux is a wonderful distribution. It seems to work on almost any PC, and autoconfigures itself perfectly. The one thing that didn't work was my wireless ethernet card. Maybe with a little more poking around I may have got it to work, but I didn't want to stay up too late playing. The Reactos live CD was a disappointment. I had tried it here on my work PC (using a CD I had burnt here during the day rather than the CD I burnt last night at home), and it got as far as a splash screen, but would go no further. On my bedroom PC, where I was trying these two CDs, it just gave a blue screen of death. Maybe tonight I will try it a couple more PC's. I finally got into bed at about 9.30, and was fast asleep by 10pm.
Tuesday 19th June 2007
08:13 BST
 This morning started fairly bright, but now, looking out of the windows here at work, it is beginning to look very dull. Hopefully this is just a transient thing, and it will brighten up again soon. After a very warm journey home from work yesterday, I did not bother bringing a coat into work. Once again the weather forecast predicts the possibility of thundery showers later today, and maybe today it will really happen and I will get soaked on my way home from work, but I seem to have survived the forecasters threats for the last few days. Maybe I'll be lucky today as well.

 After rushing back to Catford after work yesterday (if sitting on a train could be called rushing) I went home via Tesco. Today is Patricia's birthday, and I bought her some flowers. I had already bought her a couple of presents (a book and a packet of her favourite Tesco's Jaffa cakes) over the weekend. During the day I sent her a text message saying that I had to pop into Lewisham and that I could meet her as she left work to give her some mail that had been delivered to my house. She confirmed that she was working in Lewisham, and would be finishing work at 5.30pm.

 It was a bit of a mad dash to make it in time, but I arrived outside her workplace just before she came out and presented her with her flowers and presents. That was all I intended to do, but she suggested we go to the Lewisham Wetherspoons pub for a drink - an idea I thought was rather good ! After I was half way through my second pint her new man arrived. This was the first time I have ever met any of her previous boyfriends, and maybe it was an indication of just how strong their relationship is. He was not exactly good looking, but not ugly (maybe about as good looking as I sometimes kid myself I am). It was a joy to see Patricia looking so happy, but after I left I felt very jealous of both of them. It left me feeling quite depressed as I made my way home.

 With the imminent smoking ban, the feeling of isolation after seeing Patricia's happiness, a host of other things, and probably the variable weather, it is just a typically depressing month of June. Maybe, just maybe, Aleemah will manage to make me feel good on Saturday, but I do not feel very optimistic about it. In fact I am quite expecting that, once again, there will be some other reason why she won't be able to see me then.
Monday 18th June 2007
08:10 BST
 It seems to be a bit of a dreary start to the day. There was rain overnight, and even rain up to a short while before I left home to go to work. I managed to get to work without being rained on, but I think it was a very close run thing. It is very grey outside, and more rain could fall at any moment. A thunderstorm is possible later today, according to the weather forecast, but I hope it stays dry where I am as I make my way home, and then, very soon after, pop into Lewisham for a quick visit (probably).

 After writing yesterday I never really did much at all. I didn't do any work on my "old bits and pieces" computer, nor did I do any reading. I did do just a little more work on my Linux computer in the downstairs back room. I rechecked the web site for the VLC media player and discovered how I should have installed it. Once I had followed those instruction the re-installation, and installation of all the supporting library files went perfectly. As an experiment I tried playing an mp3 file on both the native Linux version of VLC and the Windows version working via the Wine  emulator. Both played the same mp3 file with ease, and it was actually difficult to tell the two players apart.

 I should add here that strictly speaking Wine is not a Windows emulator, but an application that provides the correct answers to a Windows application when it asks for the assistance of the Windows operating system to do something. However it is far simpler to describe it as an emulator even if it is not. There is a far finer explanation .
Sunday 17th June 2007
12:07 BST
 Despite a lot of cloud in the sky there have been many long sunny spells. It is actually rather nice outside. There is a little bit of breeze to take the edge of the heat from direct exposure to the sun, and the air temperature feels pleasantly refreshing. It is ideal walking, and/or exploring weather, although there is a threat of short showers at any time. Meanwhile I am indoors going nowhere.

 I thought I was going to be extremely bored yesterday, but I did finally decide to do something practical. Maybe as much as a few months ago I did a fresh installation of Open Suse Linux 10.2 on a spare hard disk that I had always intended to use as an upgrade in my everyday PC (the one in the downstairs back room). With the old hard disk needing careful pruning to stop it running out of space, it seemed like a good time to install the new hard disk. Fortunately it all went rather smoothly, more smoothly than I had imagined.

 First of all I set the old hard disk to be a slave disk with the new disk as master. Upon booting up I logged in as root and renamed my home folder on the new disk to /home/~bill, and then, with the home partition on the old disk mounted as /tmp/hdb6, I copied my old home folder onto the new disk. I then unmounted the old hard disk, shut the PC down, removed the old hard disk and rebooted. Initially I couldn't log in as bill because my home folder was unwriteable. I had forgotten that when I copied the contents over as root it became owned by root. It took quite a long time to change the ownership of nearly 80,000 files from root to bill, but once I had done that I was able to log in with no problems.

 I was most pleased to find my desktop, and all my mail folders, pretty much as they had been on the old hard disk, but some work was needed to get everything exactly the same. I needed to install some applications that were not included in the initial instalation. The included Open Office, Nvu, and VLC (Video Lan Client - a very good media player). I also had to find, and install, some missing library files. Most notably amongst these was the mp3 decoder for XMMS, the Winamp-like media player.

 It was VLC that got me stumped. there were so many missing libraries for it that I had to force the installation, and then of course it didn't really work. As a slightly bizzare experiment I tried to install the Windows version using Wine (the Windows emulator). Much to my surprise it installed OK and even tried to work. I suspect that on a slightly more powerful machine, or maybe with some optimisation, it would have worked just fine.

 This morning I got up at 5.30 to feed the cats, and did a bit of net surfing for a couple of hours. I then went back to bed and slept badly for an hour or maybe two. I was up again in plenty of time to shower and shave before going to Tesco's. My principal reason for another visit to Tesco was to buy my fruit to take to work tomorrow, but while there I topped up on even more catfood and Tesco diet cola. I also bought some very unusual breakfast ingredients, and picked some reduced price cheap steaks (a £5 pack for £3.50).

 My breakfast/elevenses/lunch brunch consisted of some plums, some seeds and nuts, and strawberries with no-added-sugar ice cream. It will probably play havoc with my guts tomorrow morning, but it was nice.

 I seem to be yawning now. So once this is uploaded to the server I think I will have a snooze. Later on I may have a play with an old PC (the one made of bits and pieces I wrote about last week, or earlier). On the other hand I might just do something else. Maybe I fancy doing some reading if I can find a book that inspires me, or maybe I'll just do nothing at all.
Saturday 16th June 2007
12:23 BST
This must be June. I never did get the hang of June.

 The weather today is most variable.  When I first woke up it was bright and sunny, and there was a lot of blue in the sky. Since then the skies have clouded over, and there have been a few short lived heavy downpours of rain. Despite all the clouds and rain, the sun still pops out now and then.

 Last night I met up with Aleemah. We had some food and a few drinks, but it was not a happy occasion. I learnt that she was not intending to see me today because the Jubilee Line is closed at her end for engineering work. That news inspired me to have one extra beer (three in total) and I missed my favourite train. I had to get the next one that stops at both Peckham Rye and Lewisham. This particular train, the 18:46, has a scrolling message on the departure board suggesting that you might want to take it if you want to change at Peckham Rye for trains to Crofton Park, Catford, Beckenham Hill, and Ravensbourne. What it should add is "if you really want to waste almost half an hour of your life standing on a draughty station platform" !!!! It connects in the same way that summer connects with winter - with a long wait in between. I stayed on the train to Lewisham where I knew that there was no connection to a Hayes line train. I checked anyway, and sure enough it would be a 20 minute wait. So I turned round and caught the bus as usual.

 I was not happy when I got home (I was not happy when I left Victoria, but it had festered by the time I got home). I resolved that I would order a nice Indian takeaway, and have several large whiskies. This I did. It did not make me any happier, but for a little while it distracted me from my thoughts of doom and gloom.

 It's funny how June always seems to be a shit month. I can't wait until July starts and I can start the process of inflicting a terrible revenge on all those who conspired to bring about the smoking ban, and all those who support it. I am going to unleash the entire forces that flattened Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Coventry, Dresden and Pearl Harbour all concentrated on the Houses of Parliament, and wherever the National health service bunker is located. There will be dirty bombs, clean bombs, neutron bombs, semtex, anthrax, botulism, phasors, and photon torpedoes unleashed in a conflagration that may well split the earth in two. And do I care ? No, not one bit of it. If some bunch of self centred, hair shirt wearing, self flagellating, killjoys, who hear voices in their head telling them that a long miserable life is better than a very slightly shorter happy one, feel the need to inflict their misery on me then they deserve to die in the fires of hell (actually it would be better if they lived in the fires of hell - no it wouldn't , they would enjoy that). Heartless bastards !

 So apart from trying to split the atom using a PP3 battery, two fresh lemons, an ounce of irradiated bollonium, some ordinary household bleach, and a pinch of black pepper, to make the materials for my assorted arsenal of death, I have very little to do today. I have been out to Tesco's this morning, and one the items on my shopping list was New Scientist. I've had a bit of read already and there is one very interesting article in it. If I can just get hold of a 24 Gigawatt source of neutrons, and a bottle or two of rubidium atoms super cooled to absolute zero, there may be a way to teleport the Houses of Parliament to the centre of the sun. Now wouldn't that just be fun !!!  (It's also a giggle that all the above will have triggered apoplexy in the CIA's, FBI's and MI5's monitoring computers - well it will be a giggle until I am taken to Lithuania for torture, and then forgotten in Guantamano Bay).
Friday 15th June 2007
08:14 BST
 When I first woke up this morning it was drizzling with rain. Since that the skies have cleared, and although still cloudy, the sun has been out for quite long periods. There still seems to be a lot of confusion about the afternoon weather. Once again it is possible that thunderstorms will develop, and maybe I will be unlucky enough to get caught up in one. Any rain I saw yesterday afternoon was very light and fleeting, although there was evidence that some places did have some moderately heavy rain. Waterloo East station looked very wet when I got there, but I never saw any rain myself. It would be nice if today is similar. In fact it is sort of essential. Unlike yesterday I have taken a chance and left my coat at home. All my coat did for me yesterday was to make my commute home hot and uncomfortable.

 I never did get to The Ram for a drink last night. I stopped off for a beer on the way home. It didn't delay me much, and I could have made it to The Ram in plenty of time, but I had already sent a text message to Kevin saying I doubted that I would be available. The fact that he didn't appear to receive it until some time after we might have been drinking our first pint was a bit of a mystery.

 I watched the film "Slaughterhouse 5" (written by Kurt Vonnegut) last night. It's a very weird film about slipping through time, and an alien planet. I can't make up my mind if it was a good, or bad, film.  One definite good thing about the film was the actress Valerie Perrine who played the character Montana Wildhack. I have to admit she was rather good looking.

 Tonight I am meeting Aleemah for a drink on the way home. Hopefully we will be plotting meeting up tomorrow.
Thursday 14th June 2007
08:08 BST
 The forecast for today was for lots of heavy rain. At least that was how it was forecast yesterday. After light overnight rain it is now very overcast, but dry. the latest forecast, from this morning's newspaper, suggests that it will brighten up this afternoon. This seems likely, but if the day warms up too much the conditions would be right to trigger a thunderstorm.

 On the assumption that today would be wet, I have abandoned my attempt to squeeze further life out of my worn out safety shoes, and have put my best ones on. They do feel rather more comfortable than the worn out shoes. I still live in hope that my new shoes may be delivered today after not arriving yesterday. Providing they seem to be of the fit, and quality, that I am assuming they are, I think I will keep them for best, and continue to use the shoes I am wearing today.

 Last night was a bit of a disappointment. I didn't hear from either Kevin, or Iain, but assumed that at least one or other would appear in the pub last night. I got to the pub at 7.30 and found no one there. I had anticipated that I could spend some time waiting so I took a newspaper with me to read. At 7.50 I got a call from Kevin saying he had not even got home, and that he expected it could be another 20 or 30 minutes before he would arrive. With Iain not being there early, I assumed he would not be coming. So I suggested to Kevin that I didn't feel like waiting that long, and that maybe we could try again tomorrow (i.e. today). Before going to the pub I had eaten some couscous. I am sure that pouring beer on it caused it to continue to swell up. The bloated feeling in my guts was the main reason I wanted to just finish my pint of beer, and not drink any more last night. So maybe I'll be drinking tonight, but I definitely won't be eating any couscous beforehand (but I may experiment with beer and couscous at home someday, and see if it really does swell up). 
Wednesday 13th June 2007
08:03 BST
 At last ! The sun is shining this morning. It is a beautiful start to the day, and I think there is a good chance that the sun will be out for most of today. That could see temperatures soaring, but tempered by a fairly pleasant breeze. It is still a bit fresh outside, but a rather pleasant fresh.

 My new shoes did not arrive yesterday, and I am really hoping that they arrive today. I continue to wear my old, worn out, shoes, and they continue to make walking slightly uncomfortable. It was a joy to get home last night, and to take them off. Although uncomfortable to walk in, mainly due to the very soft remaining sole which lets you feel every single bump, ridge, or bit of gravel, they are actually quite comfortable to just wear. I think I have squeezed enough extended life out of these old shoes, and once the new ones finally arrive I will immediately bin the old ones. ( I might save the laces though).

 Last night was unexceptional. I watched the final two episodes from my collection of Futurama cartoons, but did not even bother to try and find anything on TV. Some of my time was taken up by a fairly long phone call, and soon after that I had intended to go to bed. I never did get to bed as early as I intended because I had a small computer problem to sort out. My "every day" computer, the one I use for e-mail, surfing the net, and other online things, finally got too congested to work. It runs SuSE Linux 10.1, and unlike a Windows machine, this didn't cause anything dramatic like a crash, and difficulty restarting. Instead the only significant message I got was that there was not enough disk space to assemble an e-mail prior to sending it. I had to spend thirty minutes, or so, transferring one big iso file to my server, while deleting some assorted crud I have accumulated over the years. With that done, and the free space in my /home directory increased from 6.8MB to 6GB I was able to finally send that e-mail. Tonight I hope to be busy drinking in The Ram with Kevin and Iain, but maybe tomorrow night I will have to spend some time sorting out more of the accumulated crud cluttering up my hard drive. Of course if I were really brave I would attempt to transfer all my settings, and files over to a bigger hard disk that already has SuSE 10.2 installed on it, and is just sitting waiting to be used (but I think I would like to try Kubuntu as an alternative to SuSE).
Tuesday 12th June 2007
06:50 BST
The day has started rather overcast again. I expect it is just high mist that will burn off later in the day. On the other hand it may thicken before pouring with rain. The weather does seem to be a bit enigmatic at the moment. Yesterday started similar to today, but later in the day there was some very strong sunshine, but it did rain very briefly, and very lightly. For the few moments that it did rain, I think most of the rain evaporated before it actually hit the ground. Standing on the fire escape at work, which is about 15 feet from the ground, I could feel the rain on my face, but I never saw it actually wet the ground.

 It seems I will be late for work again this morning. I haven't mentioned it yet, but on Sunday night I shaved off my beard. This morning I didn't leave quite enough time to wet shave and wash my hair. Not only that, but I do seem to have a slightly upset stomach this morning. So I am not in the mood to rush around. I will get the train at 7:30 and get to work 30 minutes late. At some point I will make the time up, and maybe I'll make the time up plus some spare. With July 1st now rapidly approaching I want to get in a few more after-work drinks in with my workmates, and that means staying late at work, and finishing when most of the others do. (I work 8 to 4, as do most of the production staff, but others work 9 to 5, and some of the development staff [who are the most frequent drinkers] work 10 to 6).

 Last night was fairly boring. There was nothing that caught my imagination on TV, or at least was on before my bedtime. So I watched a couple of old episodes of Futurama, played on the computer for a bit, and then went to bed. It was still broad daylight when I got into bed, but I fell asleep fairly quickly. I was awakened by some sort of cacophony at about 4:30. I am not sure what it was excactly, but I think it was either some crows making some sort of racket, or some ducks flying overhead in a very noisy formation. By the time I had come fully awake the noise had ceased. After a quick check to make sure the noise wasn't the house falling down, and that Nelly was OK, I had a pee a went back to bed. I never really did get back to sleep again, and was up ten minutes before my alarm was due to wake me. So it is sort of lucky I managed to get to sleep so early last night.
08:32 BST
 I'm now at work. It was a reasonable journey, although the 07:30 train is always rather full, and I had to stand until the train reached Lewisham. It seems to be rather humid outside, but the breeze, when it blows, is nice and refreshing.

 In all my haste yesterday I forgot to mention a bit of drama during my journey into work. As I passed the bus shelter outside The Southside (formerly known as The Arndale) shopping centre, here in Wandsworth, there was a man being resuscitated by several policemen. Who he was, what had happened to him, and what the outcome was, is a total mystery, but the way the police were working on him almost restored my faith in the British Bobby. Of course they were only individual policemen and did not represent the ethos of the whole police service that is fast becoming just another one of Big Brothers tools of political oppression.

 I hope my new shoes arrive today. Like yesterday, I am battling on with the old shoes that are really past their best. Yesterday they still seemed fairly comfy after my modifications (ripping off the last of the tough outer sole), but this morning my feet felt sore when I got out of bed. Right now my feet are still sore, not exactly painful, but I could wish for them to be more comfortable. I am tempted to keep these old shoes. They could still be useful for quick local shopping trips, but I guess the best thing to do is to throw them away as soon as the new ones arrive.

 Once again, I don't think I have any special plans for tonight. Maybe I'll watch a DVD, or maybe I'll just do some reading. Perhaps, but this is wildly optimistic, there may even be something on TV that is worth watching.
Monday 11th June 2007
08:09 BST
 Maybe it is just me, but it seems to be very humid this morning. It is not all that hot outside, in fact with a bit of breeze it feels slightly cool, but I still feel very sticky. After a hot shower this morning, I was still perspiring freely when I got to the station. Outside it is actually rather grey. I was expecting a bright clear morning after the clear blue skies yesterday. Thinking back, maybe it did start to cloud over late in the evening, but with night approaching, the early loss of sunshine was not so obvious. The forecast for today suggests that this mornings cloud, and high mist, will disperse leaving the chance for sunny intervals.

 Yesterday was uneventful. I did some shopping in the morning, fruit for my meals at work, and the inevitable catfood, but after that did very little to justify my existence. I passed the rest of the day with a mixture of reading, snoozing, eating, watching about an hour of TV, and doing some stuff on the computers. Eating was interesting (but then again it always is). I tried to be a bit careful of what I ate, but as usual never quite succeeded. The fresh melon was good, but smothering it with ice cream, even ice cream with no added sugar, was not so good. I am not sure about the fresh pineapple with Greek yoghurt. The pineapple was very ripe, and very sweet, but it was the amount of added sugar in the Greek yoghurt that is a bit of a mystery for now. The roast chicken with new potatoes was probably reasonably OK, or would have been had I not put some butter on the new potatoes. I did have some junk food as well, but not a lot. I feel reasonably OK this morning, so I probably succeeded in curbing my appetite yesterday, although the sweatiness I feel this morning could be due to excess sugar consumption (maybe that Greek yoghurt).

 It was a warm night, and I did not sleep as well as I could. Ideally I should have shut my bedroom window. It was warm enough to sleep without the duvet except when a cool draught came through the open window. So I ended up sleeping half under, and half not under the duvet. This is never a good thing, and I woke up at 4am with my top half feeling half cooked, and my bottom half feeling cool. Quite how I came to that arrangement of duvet and body is a mystery. I can remember clutching the duvet to me to keep my chest warm, and then wrapping it right round me with one leg sticking out. In fact, before I finally fell asleep, I tried lot of combinations of covering bits of me, and leaving other bits uncovered. I guess I just fell asleep halfway through trying a new combination.  After waking at 4am I did manage to get back to sleep for about an hour, but never made it through to when my alarm was set to go off. Right now I feel non-sleepy, but I have a suspicion that I will be feeling very dozy later this afternoon - specially if the afternoon turns very hot.

 I wonder if my new safety shoes will arrive today ? I am back to wearing the old ones this morning. Now that I have peeled away the last remnants of the outer sole and heel (the tough, acid and oil resistant layer) they are back to being fairly comfortable - except when walking on anything lumpy. Things like small stones are easily felt through the remaining soft inner sole, but I think there is stiff sufficient protection, and they are smooth enough, that I should not get any painful blisters like last week. I am not sure how waterproof they are now, "not very" would be my guess. So it will be not just nice, but also very handy if it doesn't rain today (unless the new shoes arrive, and I change into them).

 I have no plans for tonight. There is almost certainly nothing of note on TV, and I am not due to meet anyone, so in theory I should be able to get to bed early, and maybe improve on last nights sleep (maybe with the window closed tonight).
Saturday 9th June 2007
19:06 BST
 It is a warm and sticky day today. Mostly it has either been overcast, but sometimes the sun has shone through the haze. The cloud does seem to be getting thicker as I write this. It is still several hours until sunset, but it is already fairly grey outside. In some ways it looks as if a storm could be approaching, but it doesn't feel quite right for that. A quick listen to a medium wave radio for any static that might signal thunderstorms somewhere proved negative. So maybe it will just be a quiet sticky night.

 The rain yesterday morning quickly petered out leaving a dry day with some sunshine. It was dry, with sunny spells, as I made my way home from work yesterday. It was an uneventful journey, and I managed to get my early train from Waterloo East. One slight oddity was that there seemed to be more assorted "officialdom" on the platforms at Clapham Junction. When I say "officialdom" I mean anyone from transport police to platform assistants, and anyone in between. I did wonder if they were going to start reminding smokers, obviously me included, about the smoking ban from 1st July. I was hoping they would do so I could spoil their day by asking how many suicides they were expecting  in the first few weeks of July. I wouldn't mind betting that there are at least a few extra suicides from stressed smokers waiting for their trains (or just missing them).

 I can't really remember what I did last night. I know I came home via Tesco, and that I ate some dinner and fed the cats. I think I just watched a few old episodes of Futurama before going to bed early. I know that I did feel tired after a week at work, and it might have been a good thing that I did not attempt to meet Aleemah for an after work drink last night. I can't remember if there was a reason why we did not try and arrange something for last night when we met on Thursday night.

 Nothing much has happened today. I did more shopping, did some laundry, and read New Scientist. Perhaps the highlight of the day was watching the film Head starring The Monkees. I'll not attempt to explain the film, and I am not sure anyone could, but there is more about it here.

 I am not sure what to do next. Being a Saturday night, the prospect of anything watchable on TV is negligible, and I have already missed Dr Who. I think I'll do a little more reading, and go to bed around 9pm.
Friday 8th June 2007
06:50 BST
 It's pissing down !  Yes, the day has started quite grimly, and quite probably it will be awful all day.  I was about to leave for work when the rain went from strong drizzle to downpour. So I turned around, shut the front door, and now I hope that the rain will ease off when I try and get the next train. I think that for today I will definitely wearing a coat to work, and prudence dictates that I should not attempt to wear any of my worn out work shoes today. (Although why I let Prudence dictate to me is beyond me). So I have my best shoes on today.

 Yesterday I ordered a new pair of safety shoes over the internet. I am reasonably sure that they are of a similar fitting to my preferred type, and hence should be nice and comfortable. I remain convinced that safety shoes, made to meet set standards of safety, and so theoretically of excellent quality, are not only good value for money, but are actually cheaper than equivalent looking shoes bought from a high street shoe shop. The shoes I have ordered look like a very slightly sturdier version of a "normal" lace up black shoe, and I am paying for these myself. I have sent a memo to the boss (he was out yesterday) asking if the company can subsidise the cost of new safety shoes, or, at the very least, allow me to order some via one of our usual technical suppliers (RS Ltd), and then have the cost deducted from my wages. Ideally the company should bear the whole cost of the shoes because they are for safety purposes, but it would still be useful if the company just took care of the postage and packing, and maybe even the VAT (which is ought to be zero on safety equipment).

 After work I met Aleemah for a drink at Victoria. We didn't drink in the normal Wetherspoons pub, but went up to the shopping mall and drunk in another pub. It was more expensive that the Wetherspoons, but the difference was minimal. The big difference was that it was so much more quieter. Instead of scrambling to even share a table with another drinker, we had a choice of several totally empty tables. After my troubles getting home from Victoria last time, I semi panicked and went to get my ideal train a lot earlier than neccesary. This meant a bit of a wait on the platform at Victoria, but a smooth and easy journey home.
Thursday 7th June 2007
08:17 BST
 Today has started very much like yesterday. It is dull, overcast, and coolish. According to the weather forecast in my morning paper it is due to brighten up in much the same way as yesterday. Yesterday was not perfect, but there was a lot of sunshine, and it was fairly warm, although it did cool down in the evening a lot.

 Extending the life of my old shoes may not have been such a good idea. By the time I got home last night I had a rather big, and very painful, blister on the ball of my right foot. It has made walking a little uncomfortable this morning. When I checked my shoes last night, I found that 75% of the tough outer sole had fallen away (I even noticed a large chunk on the pavement as I walked to the station this morning). So I have removed all of the tough outer sole and just left the reasonably smooth inner sole exposed. This is more comfortable to walk on than the lumpy remnants of the outer sole. What is left will wear away very quickly, and I wonder if I will be going home with any protection to the underside of my feet at all. I have just checked the availability, and price, of new steel toe-cap safety shoes, and they are actually fairly reasonable. All I have to do now is to try and persuade the company to pay all, or part, of the cost.

 After my doubts about whether I would be going for a drink last night, I found that Iain was definitely going to the pub, and much to my surprise Kevin turned up as well. The main reason for my surprise was that it was also Kevin's wedding anniversary last night, and so he had a choice of three things to do. I left the pub at my normal time of around 9pm, and I think that Kevin and Iain were also intending to leave early as well. So maybe Kevin got home in time to celebrate his wedding anniversary as well.

 The other major thing about last night was that I received, and installed, my new cable modem from Virgin Media. Installation was simple, and connecting to the registration process was simple. What was not so simple was the registration process itself. Although I was simply transferring from the awful modem in the truly tragic cable TV set top box to a separate cable modem, it insisted on giving me a new user name. This would have rendered my old e-mail address invalid. It took several attempts to get through to someone at Virgin Media who understood what the problem was, and knew how to fix it. When I finally did get through to that person it was corrected in seconds.

 Using the new modem has increased the speed (real as opposed to theoretical) a good deal. In fact in the limited time I have had to play with it I feel that downloads are now twice as fast. The next thing I have to do is to change my bit torrent client. For some time now I have been using the KDE (Linux) component ktorrent. It works OK up to a point, but it seems it is unable to fully control the maximum upload rate. I have to be careful that I am not uploading too much to avoid making the loading times of these web pages too long. I have set the maximum upload speed in ktorrent to 3Kb/s, but I noticed that it was still uploading a Linux iso that I am downloading at over 10Kb/s, and sometimes even faster. Upon arriving at work I checked how quickly this page loaded, and it was very slow. Having now sent the shutdown command to the PC that was running ktorrent I now find that these pages load in quite a reasonable time. So ktorrent has to go, and another client that can keep control of things used instead.

 Tonight I am stopping off for a quick drink with Aleemah. Afterwards, I really must try and get my 18:19 train home. It is the only train that gets me home without making me all cross and irritable.
Wednesday 6th June 2007
08:09 BST
 This morning has started rather dull. It is quite overcast right now, and it is cooler than yesterday morning. The forecast is that it will brighten up later, and with luck, I should be going home in sunshine tonight.

 Last Friday ( I think) I wrote that my work shoes had just about reached the end of their days. On Monday I dug another old pair of shoes out of the cupboard. Like the last ones I was wearing, they are a legacy from my days working for Mastercare.  They were worn, but seemed to have some useful life left in them. The first time I put them on they seemed very slightly uncomfortable, but within a few hours I thought they were far more comfortable than the ones they were replacing. Unfortunately, after just two days of wear they started to disintegrate. The sole, and heel, are covered with a green oil resistant rubbery plastic. At least they used to be. It is that layer that is slowly disintegrating, and that leaves a softer rubber layer exposed. Despite over three quarters of the green layer having fallen off, I am wearing the shoes again this morning. They are not so comfortable now that the soles and heels are very uneven, and I know that the soft rubber, now exposed, will wear away very quickly. Somehow I am determined to try and use them until the end of the week - just to get value for money out of what were once free safety shoes ! When they are finally consigned to history I think I have one more servicable pair of these old safety, but very comfortable and durable,  shoes left (not counting the very good pair I keep for special occasions). If they start to crack up as quickly as these ten year old shoes then I guess I am going to have to do something I hate - buy new shoes !

  I am not sure what is happening tonight. Both Jodie and Kevin have reminded me that it is the first night of The Catford Beer Festival. Once I would have been keen to attend, but now it is a totally no smoking event I will not step inside there for longer than five minutes. That would be enough to buy some takeaways from the imported (mostly bottled) beer bar, but I am certainly never going to drink in there ever again. I think Kevin is going there tonight, and it is possible that Iain, if he is drinking tonight, may go as well. In which case I will stay home and get an early night. Meanwhile, I will be buying a large bottle of scotch in Tesco's on my way home. If I don't use any of it tonight, I am sure I'll be drinking from it another night (and then quite frequently after 1st July).

 The latest news about boozing was on the front page of this morning's Metro. Apparently there are 8 million problem drinkers in England. Did you know that some men drink as much as four pints in one session as frequently as once a week. Shock, horror, disgusting !! What planet are these people from ? Before the price of beer was taxed to absurdity, a four pint session might just have been a Friday lunchtime drink. Twenty years ago, a quiet night out at the pub with a couple of mates would usually call for about five pints - and we went home in a sober orderly fashion to sleep ready for a fresh and clear start to the day. I really, really, really hate this new puritan age. Let's get back to eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we might die. It was on such optimism that this once great country became a world power, and a force for good. Now we are just a joke backwater on the arse end of an increasingly totalitarian planet. I can't wait to get off it !
Tuesday 5th June 2007
06:48 BST
 It's quite gloomy outside, but still no sign of rain yet. There is a good chance that it will remain dry all day, and that there will be some sunny spells later. This would almost mirror yesterday. There was some rain yesterday - I did feel one or two very tiny rain drops in the early afternoon !  The sky did look quite threatening as I left work to go home, but it stayed dry, and was briefly sunny again as I approached home.

 As I write this I should be about to get on my train to work, but I appear to be running behind schedule, and will have to get the 07:30 train instead. I am not quite sure where all the time has gone since I first woke up. I did sleep until my alarm went off, and that will have lost me some time since I very often wake up as much as thirty minutes before my alarm sounds. I chose this morning to wash my hair, and I guess that accounts for the other lost minutes.

 The reason for not waking until my alarm sounded was because I did not get a very good nights sleep. I was in bed early enough, and fell asleep quickly, but at midnight I was awake with bad stomach pains. I thought I was going to be sick, and indeed could taste a nasty taste in my mouth. I think it was a bad mistake to eat two tins of herrings along with some salt and vinegar crisps about an hour before I went to bed. The tinned herrings should have been a good idea. Oily fish is both good for the heart, and good for keeping stiff joints moving. Unfortunately this tinned herring was in some flavoured oily sauce that was distinctly slimy.  I have no idea what sort of oil was in with that sauce, but it was not a good quality oil, and I am convinced it was that that upset my stomach. I stayed up for about an hour as I let some antacid tablets do their stuff. Eventually I felt stable again, and went back to sleep. Think I awoke a few more times in the night, but these would only have been very brief intervals, and hardly registered on my concious.

 One thing I did yesterday evening was to finally get around to calling Virgin Media and telling them how crap their cable TV box was. Since the last software update it has become almost unusable. After venting my spleen I was convinced to keep the box, but to downgrade to the cheapest TV package possible, and to get a proper cable modem for my broadband internet access. This will actually save me a little money, but not much. I have been lead to believe that the cable modem will be delivered tomorrow (I hope it will be taken in by my next door neighbour), and so on Wednesday night I could well be enjoying better internet access. I hope, although it is stupidly optimistic, that it may improve my upload bandwidth and make these web pages faster to load. Realistically that is too much to hope for, but it will be a real improvement if the modem does not crash all the time like the set top box is prone to do. Maybe it will take the load off the set top box and that may become vaguely functional again.

 Tonight I don't think I have any plans. I may even stay an extra half hour at work to make up for being half an hour late this morning, but maybe I'll do that another day !
19:26 BST
Four Fingers of Red Eye I've been watching the news on TV tonight. Apart from the ridiculous new Olympics logo, which is so awful it defies comment, one other article caught my eye.

 Our wonderful British government, the same lot who thought they could reduce cigarette smuggling by raising the tax on cigarettes, have now come up with another sanity challenging idea. They want to try and cut down on excess drinking. Well that's sort of OK. There are some youngsters who seem to be very slow in learning their drinking limits, but the insane part is that the government also wants to tackle what they believe is excessive drinking by older people at home. As far as I am aware, apart from a few unfortunate alcoholics, there is not a great deal of excessive drinking at home among the older generation - yet. It has obviously been getting worse in line with increasing paranoia over driving while happy, but maybe that is just the tip of the iceberg.

 Now that us older smokers are being driven out of pubs by the nazi smoking ban, we have no choice but to drink at home. Instead of just a couple of social beers in the pub we will, after 1st July, have to buy our booze from the supermarket and drink it at home. Lugging back cans of beer is not only inconvenient, but it is not the same as a fresh pint of draught ale. So we might as well buy spirits. To get into practice I am having "four fingers of red-eye" (pictured above). This is a bit unusual for me, but I can see it will become the norm as I increasingly come under house arrest (being the only place I will be able to smoke one day).

 All these "bad habits" are supposed to lead to an early death. Sometimes it seems it can't come too soon, and I leave this crazy world.
Monday 4th June 2007
08:13 BST
 The sky looks hazy, and there are plenty of clouds visible, but it is actually quite sunny right now. The latest forecast for the weather that I have seen was in my morning Metro newspaper. It claims that today will be mostly warm with sunny spells, and although cloudier in the afternoon, no rain is expected. This is good, because even before I managed to read that paper I had made the decision to not bother wearing a coat to work. The whole weekend was very hot, and even if it did rain today, I was sure that it would be hot and uncomfortable on my way home after work.

 For a Monday morning, and especially one after a very sedentary and well fed weekend, I feel surprisingly good. It came as a bit of a shock to realise that I was charging (for want of a better adjective) up the ramp from the platform at Waterloo East station to the link to Waterloo main station with apparent ease. I maintained quite a high speed, often overtaking other commuters, all the way across the link, and into the main line station without feeling worse than a little short of breath. Now this does seem to contradict many of my theories. I theorised that by spending a very significant part of the weekend on my back, and consuming far too many calories, I would be feeling rotten and bloated this morning. Maybe I ate less calories than I thought, or maybe it was the nature of what I ate. I'll have to think about this and see if I can draw any conclusions from it.

 It was hot in bed last night, and for most of the night I slept with the duvet thrown to one side. I think I did get a reasonable nights sleep, but I did wake up once or twice. One time in particular was as a result of a dream. The dream was long and bewildering, and it is only the last disturbing moments of it that I remember. I think I was in some sort of school, and was in the school hall, standing on a box (or two) looking out of a high window into another large room where a stray elephant was being rounded up. (At least I think it was an elephant). As the creature charged around, banging into things, there was a lot of vibrations going on. I was then distracted by even stronger vibrations and an increasingly loud roaring sound. The sound was very reminiscent of a large diesel engine starting up, and the vibrations, which by this time were really making stuff jump around, reminded me of the sort of shuddering effect you used to get when an old bus was starting it's engine. Oddly enough, although I was being jolted around, I had no fear that I would shaken off the box(es) that I was standing on. In the dream I was totally puzzled about what was causing this noise and vibration, and this puzzlement caused me to wake up. Once I was awake I realised that what I was trying to reason out in the dream was that there was an earthquake happening. That still left me wondering what the external stimulus was for dreaming about an earthquake. Maybe Nelly had jumped on my bed and was purring loudly in my ear while "paddling" with her front paws as cats so frequently do. Once I had recovered my senses I did check on Nelly, and she seemed to be laying down outside my bedroom, but was no asleep. Of course, if we do have an earthquake in London, remember, I dreamt it first !

Yesterday afternoon I had another little play with my abandoned computer-made-from-odds and sods-project.   I thought I would test out a couple of alternative old motherboards, but had some surprising results. One motherboard did not seem to work at all, and another would only work with a truly ancient ISA graphics card. Suddenly it dawned on me that all the problems I had previously had on the old motherboard, and the problems I was getting on these alternative motherboards were all centred on the PCI card slots. I am not yet fully sure what the exact connection is, but the common component is the power supply.  The power supply in the old case I am using is of a non standard type, and must be at least 15 years old. It is about the size of two standard computer power supplies joined together. So replacing it will not be possible, but I think I have a trick up my sleeve. In theory the original power supply should be repairable, but if not there is plenty of room inside it to fit a whole new complete power supply. It the way that the power supply enclosure fits inside the case that is important rather than any desire for authenticity, and putting one power supply in the other is the simplest way of achieving this. So, another project for the future.
Sunday 3rd June 2007
08:45 BST
 Against all predictions, today has started bright and sunny. There is a good chance that today will turn out as hot as yesterday, but being pessimistic, it will also be a lot more humid than yesterday. The forecast is, or was, for heavy clouds with the possibility of thunderstorms. The sounds quite feasible to me. Yesterday remained hot and sunny all day, and by late afternoon it was feeling very sticky indoors.

 I started off doing everything I intended to do yesterday morning. After washing and dressing I went to Tesco's where I bought the obligatory catfood, and some cat litter for Nelly's litter tray, and I bought some food for me too. I found the latest edition of New Scientist, bought that, and bought 10 pairs of new socks. There was one other item I bought that was to set the pace for almost the whole of yesterday. That item was a new (to me) book by Ben Elton called "Chart Throb".

 Once home from Tesco I did a few other chores, like emptying the rubbish bins and emptying Nelly's litter tray, and put the laundry in the washing machine. With that done I sat down to read New Scientist and simultaneously eat some breakfast. Some editions of New Scientist take a long time to read, but this one was one where I read through the whole thing in a fairly short time. Admittedly, I did skip through some of the more complex articles, but I did attempt to understand the synopsis of the article.

 It had been my intention to do a little more housework after reading New Scientist, and maybe play with one of my computers, but curiosity got the better of me and I opened the new Ben Elton book. Many, many hours later I had read the whole book with only a few breaks to check my e-mail, go to the toilet, or grab some food. I also stopped to feed the cats after Nelly decided it would be a good idea to sit at the bottom of the stairs and howl up to me that it was a good hour after her dinner time ! I am not exactly sure when I did finish reading, but I know it was dark outside, and that puts it as late, or later, than 10pm at this time of year. I  seem to recall it was around 11.30pm when I went to bed, and despite resting all day, and feeling warm and sticky, I fell asleep fairly quickly.

 I woke up very early this morning, sometime around 4.30am, and got up to feed the cats and potter around for an hour or two before going back to bed. I managed another hour or two of sleep before waking up again. Since then I have showered and shampooed, and had a grand sock clear out. Well, it wasn't that grand. I found half a dozen pairs of socks that were definitely only fit for the bin, and another half dozen that were nearing the end of their life. The latter I will wear one or two more times before they two get consigned to history, and the brand new socks take their place in my sock drawer.

 I have only one definite plan for today. At 10am I am going shopping in Aldi, as I thought I might do yesterday. There is nothing I specifically need, but I haven't had a "rummage" around in there for some months, and I'd like to see what's on offer.

 After shopping things get very vague. I didn't really get any fresh air yesterday. So one possibility is to go and wander around the local park with the perverts. While some eye up the young girls, and some eye up the young boys, I will see if I can conjure up some evil fantasies over the mums, or maybe I won't. I think it is more likely that I will play with one of my computers. There are still some things I want to explore on the experimental installation of Windows Vista I made on a spare hard disk, and there is also the abandoned "new" computer I started building last week out of assorted old scraps and leftovers. If I do play with that latter computer I had better make sure that I don't do what I did last time and not finish playing until four in the morning !!!
Saturday 2nd June 2007
06:48 BST
 The day has staarted bright and sunny. Later on the clouds will gather, but apparently it will not rain today. This is similar to yesterday. So I guess it must be correct. Today is supposed to be hotter than yesterday, and that too sounds feasible.

 After my additional rant, last night, I feel a lot calmer this morning. In all my blustering I forgot to mention the one good thing about yesterday. Aleemah has given my a birthday present. My birthday is still three weeks away (there is a clue to the exact date in the calendar above), and I will try and be patient and not open it until closer to my birthday. Incidently, I did order an Indian takeaway last night, it was not a huge one though, and I did not hit the scotch bottle.

 There is still a tiny chance that Aleemah may feel well enough to come over today, but I am quite pessimistic about it, and I know that if she is well enough tomorrow that she has other plans that do not include me. So I have to have a back-up strategy of how I will amuse myself today. I think the day will start (once I am up and dressed) with a shopping trip to Tesco. I never made it last night, and the catfood situation has now reached criticality. This morning I only had two tins left, and one of those is empty. As well as catfood I need some new socks, and some food for me would be a good idea. Plus I have not bought the latest edition of New Scientist. Reading New Scientist will help to pass some of the day.

 If I have the energy, or the inclination, I may go out shopping a couple of more times after Tesco. I am curious as to what there may be in WH Smith's, and the Aldi supermarket up the road from me. I have not visited either place for quite some time now. From WH Smith's I may get a copy of Linux Format magazine, and from Aldi's there could be all sorts of exciting stuff (and not just food). I suppose I ought to fit some housework into this "busy" schedule at some point, although with no one here to see the mess, my enthusiasm for that is rather low.
Friday 1st June 2007
08:29 BST
 Another month, another colour scheme, and each one more lurid than the last !

 This morning has started bright, but hazy. It is mild though, and the day will probably warm up to more seasonal temperatures. Rain is forecast for this afternoon, but I suspect it may be lighter, or at least more patchy, than some forecasts have suggested. Yesterday stayed fairly bright, but the sun was often very hazy and diffused. I can't recall any rain yesterday, but there could have been a light splash at some time. Like the sunshine, I think my mind is a bit hazy about yesterday too.

 Yesterday evening I started preparing some "child porn" for me to watch later. This particular child porn certainly turned me one when I was a child. It was Gerry Anderson's Fireball XL5, although the way it turned me on was perhaps slightly different to the way one normally associates with porn. Mind you, character Venus, was a bit of a looker, but maybe as a pre-teenager I didn't really appreciate her fully.

 Having used the key words "child porn" I can be sure that the reading figures for this otherwise dull blog will swell enormously. I wonder how many will be perverts, and how many will be policemen. I bet there are 10,000,000 million policemen to every pervert !

 Tonight I am going for a quick drink with Aleemah, but I must be careful to make it a quick one and get my ideal train home from Victoria at 18:19. I am getting dangerously low on catfood, and so I will have to call in at Tesco on the way home. I can't face the idea of confronting starving cats. Fortunately, if worst comes to worst, I do still have two big cans left (enough for their dinner tonight, and breakfast in the morning), but without those I would have to start feeding them human's tuna fish. Now that wouldn't be a problem for Nelly and Smudge, and in fact they would rather enjoy it, but a couple of small tins of tuna is not going to make much of a dent in their appetite !
19:37 BST
 It's not often I write such things here, but right now I have to say I am very pissed off !

 Mostly today has been quite good, but.........................................................

 I discovered why my left foot was uncomfortable while walking around today. There is a big hole in my sock, and that hole has been caused by my best work shoes finally wearing out. The sole has been getting quite thin recently, but now it has cracked and if it were wet it would leak like a sieve. The crack is presumably letting grit in, and that has been wearing away at the insole, and now my socks.

 Wherever I go lately I keep seeing more anti smoking posters. They are spring up like toadstools overnight. Those lying bastards, the NHS, keep trying to tell everyone that England is going no-smoking on July 1st. Well, bastards, this person ain't ! Maybe I'll avoid the places where I would get nicked for doing it, but the stress is going to have me smoking twice as much. Already the strain is beginning to tell. I just hope I soon get ill with something that is going to cost the NHS millions of pounds. At the moment I haven't even got a doctor, and even when I have been on one doctors books I only saw him a few times in the last 30 years. Now I want my fucking money back. I have smoked millions of tax into the NHS and now the bastards want to take my sanity as well.

 More bad news. Aleemah is sick, apparently, and I won't be seeing her tomorrow. So it's yet another soul destroying weekend.

 Lastly, to finish this rant off, I tried another train from Victoria hoping it would connect with a Catford bound train tonight. Those useless train timetablers seem to think that no one want to get home from Victoria to Catford in the evening. My train, the 18:46 this, arrived at Peckham Rye just a few minutes late to connect to the Sevenoaks train again. So I stayed on it to Lewisham only to find that the next Hayes bound train (calling at Catford Bridge) was 25 minutes away. So I had to endure a hot and sweaty bus from Lewisham to home.

 If I ever manage to cool down I am more than likely to order myself a big Indian takeaway, and stuff myself silly. Maybe I might even hit the scotch bottle. Shame it is three quarters empty. It has lasted two months, but maybe it is time to buy a new one.

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