Drinking with the Dowses

Last night lauperr, djkoa, Laura VG and I were in the Angel again (we’re now regulars apparently) and we were drinking with Mr and Mrs Dowse (teachers) who have now been retired for 5 years. Scary stuff. Anyway, had some interesting conversations and Mr Dowse bought us all a drink. “It’s ok, I’ve paid off my mortgage” he said when Wez said he didn’t want one ๐Ÿ˜› It’s nice that they remembered my name from me being in school musicals.

Drank a little more than was planned and had a lovely headache this morning. Managed to retrieve most of the deleted pictures from my hard disk which is good.

Had a bit of a naff day today, not sure why. Just feeling apathetic.

Oh I forgot to mention, on Thursday in the Angel Wez was flipping beer mats and managed to flip a stack of 18 before he had to give in. Very impressive I must say.


Apologies for my ranting last night, lost touch with reality a tad.

djkoa, lauperr and I went down the pub period 6 which was funksome (damn you girls you’ve got me saying it now). Laura, Guinness and Baileys, what more could a man want? There was talk of interailing across Europe this summer which would be mighty cool!

Does anyone know if it’s possible to retrieve data from a hard disk if the data was not deleted but had the partition it was stored on deleted, replaced by a new partition which had an operating system installed over the top…? Serious question.

Must get some good sleep tonight.

Mental Exhaustion

Sometimes when I sit in front of a computer I fall into my own little world where time doesn’t work the same way that it usually does, and other people mostly don’t exist. The only people who do exist are those who can give quick, useful information and want little in return. This world is a dangerous place to be and it’s a world I’ve just been inhabiting for 7 hours straight.

Frell (one of my computers) suddenly point blank refused to boot Windows at a very bad time, just as I was starting to get down to my DT coursework which is getting more and more behind, I desperately need my computer to be running Windows to do my coursework. At one point I had both Windows and Linux working together, but Windows had mashed up my hard disk and messed up the partitions. It wasn’t quite right. At this point I believe lauperr said something along the lines of “ok, it works. now leave it and get on with some work.” I could be wrong about this as I wasn’t really listening, in fact I wasn’t really listening to anyone except a few people who were answering my questions about boot loaders, partitioning and things. Anyway, being the perfectionist that I am this wasn’t enough so I carried on hacking at it relentlessly.

So 7 hours since I started tapping away at those plastic keys, I’ve learnt a bit about operating systems but my PC still isn’t doing what I want it to do, lauperr went to bed bored of waiting for replies from me, I missed a phone call from ruthy, I’ve not done my maths homework, I’ve barely spoken to a member of my family since I’ve been home and I have a headache. But worse than that, I’ve managed to delete the pictures directory from my hard drive by accident. This might seem like a minor thing, but to me it’s not. Those pictures were memories of some of the best times of my life in digital form, and the vast majority of those pictures don’t exist anywhere else. I had a backup on another hard disk, but I (knowingly) overwrote that trying to get Windows to work.

This makes me very angry at myself, not because I didn’t have better backups, but because I put stupid things above my memories of the people I love, and managed to ignore a lot of them in the process. I’m sorry. Especially to lauperr and ruthy.

In #imen rc said to me “do you sometimes worry that you’re a little too obsessed with your computer?”. Well, yes. But I don’t think it’s just my computer, I think I have a generally obsessive nature, a characteristic that has both advantages and disadvantages.

Last Friday night went to Gemma’s 18th birthday party which to be honest with you I was expecting to be a bit boring. But it was actually probably the best party I’ve been to this year (except my own, of course!), lots of wonderful people there and I danced my feet sore and drank lots of free beer ๐Ÿ™‚ djkoa and lauperr came back to mine in a taxi and we watched Sneakers and randomly ordered a pizza in the early hours of the morning. djkoa left at about 2:30am for home which I couldn’t decide was because he really did get a message from his parents telling him to come home because they had to go out early the following day, or because he didn’t like the idea of spending the night in the house with me and lauperr ๐Ÿ˜›

I’ve been working really hard the past few school days but I still don’t feel on top of things.

I woke up to the most beautiful display of natural beauty out of the window this morning, fields covered with snow. They closed school, but not until lunchtime which was utterly pointless, like a lot of the things school does.

Tomorrow is another day.

In loving of memory of Sweetcorn

Yesterday, I lost a friend.

Sweetcorn the gerbil had developed some kind of disease in her abdomen and had to be put down ๐Ÿ™ On Wednesday night she was breathing heavily and not moving around much at all, she was 3 years and 5 months old so I knew she was on her last legs. I gave her last meal and gave her soft words of encouragement as she struggled to hold a pumpkin seed to eat it. We had a little chat about the good times she’s had over her life before I left her in peace to sleep, fully expecting her not to make it through the night. The morning came and she was still breathing heavily.

Mum took me to the vets with her as Penny (the dog) was due an appointment anyway. When we got there and opened the door Penny took one whiff of the smell of the vets, escaped from her harness and ran off in the direction of a busy road (she REALLY doesn’t like it there!) I managed to catch her and we went inside. Penny got some eardrops and then the vet called me in. When he saw Sweetcorn he immediately looked worried, she wasn’t looking good. When he managed to keep her still (she still managed to try and escape, the rascal) he listened to her chest and felt her abdomen. He gave me the bad news and said that he could do an x-ray and try and get a diagnosis but it would be pretty pointless. I could either take her home or ease her suffering there and then. I asked if she was suffering at all, and he said he thought she was.

The vet asked what her name was to see if she was on his computer. She wasn’t, but she was added. The word “euthanasia” flashed up on the screen and I had a sudden twinge of guilt about the morality of ending the life of a being before their time. But time was short, cold logic took over and it went ahead.

Sweetcorn was buried under the apple tree next to her sister Pumpkin in the pouring rain. It was also raining the day Pumpkin was buried.


August 2000 – January 2004


Went to lauperr‘s after school which was luuuuurvely, we even got some school work done… kind of. As laura pointed out, I’ve left my bike at school which means that I’ve got to get up very early so I have time to have a shower AND walk to school ๐Ÿ™ We watched a film called Punch-Drunk Love which is truly bizarre but not quite as obscure as reubs and mum made out.

I got a Guinness T-shirt in the post this morning, w00t! Another late birthday present from mum, although I’m assured this one is the last, thank goodness. Starting to feel really really guilty about the amount of money spent.

The library annexe got broken into last night at school. I have a feeling I saw the guys who did it earlier at about 5pm hanging around school, but if Mr Cookson doesn’t take me seriously then nobody will.

It’s about time reubs went on the dole.

hippygeek aledgedly (sp?) enters adulthood

Quite a few very interesting days to catch up on. You know my life has been interesting when I don’t have time to do something on the computer for 5 days!

Pfft, too long ago to remember.

After basically 5 periods of maths I was pretty exhausted and feeling dispondent but this was soon cured by a trip to the pub with lauperr, djkoa and ruthy. djkoa managed to break a computer chip in his car and had to call out the AA. lauperr bought me a Guinness glass from the pub. This would have been fine but she stood next to me at the bar, put her hand over my mouth and said “please don’t think I’m crazy, but…” at which point the bar maid thought it was a stick up :D. Anyway, got home in a tipsy state and mum and reubs had a good laugh at my ramblings.

My birthday. Got up at about 9:30am, had a shower and got dressed. Then I was presented with a few very cool pressies (including two more Guinness glasses), had a visit from Nick (who has a birthday the same day as me) and was whisked off to the cinema with lauperr. She wouldn’t let me pay for the bus, the taxi, Macdonalds or the cinema so it was an all expenses paid trip. The film was Lord of the Rings: Return of the King which was a very good film although I thought it was too long, seemed to end about 5 times. A pair of numb bums then got a lift back in the direction of Bourne, stopping off in Baston to pick people up and Dyke to collect something. At this point I was getting very suspicious, not about picking people and things up, but about what was going to happen when I got home.

I walked through the front door as was confronted with a kitchen full of Chinese food, balloons and booze and a lounge full to the brim with a collection of some of the most fantastic people I have had the pleasure of knowing during my lifetime. Unfortunately Adam, KT and Kimbles couldn’t make it but mchicago and bouncykaz had come all the way from Naarch. I was given a whole load more pressies including a USB memory stick (yey wez ‘n ruth!) and two more pint glasses… Attendees included Me, lauperr, mchicago, bouncykaz, djkoa, ruthy, keri, shell, lucy, reubs’ gf, family… if I’ve forgotten anyone they’re going to kill me, but I was drinking a lot at the time. The prize for the best card goes to Lucy, closely followed by Nick – but lucy made hers herself and it included nudity.

The partying went on for some time! I was a bit concerned that people would get bored with nothing to do but we all packed into my bedroom and loud music and video clips seemed to put the icing on the party. Talking of icing, mum made me a cake and decorated it to look like a Guinness glass, w00t! After laughing at the health warning on the Drinking Games box that Adam bought me at Christmas we seemed to make up our own games. For example, how many people can do the Saturday Night dance at the same time in Ben’s bedroom and a who has the nicest arse competition and the grand final, how many noodles and Guinness can we fit into Ben’s belly button. I was not amused.

People eventually started to disappear towards midnight and I walked ruthy home at about 2:30am which despite the circumstances was reasonably pleasant (she’d had a bit of a bad end to the evening, but I’ll let djkoa explain that one). lauperr stopped the night.

There was probably other stuff that happened on this day but I’m damned if I can remember. BIG thanks to lauperr for helping organise the suprise party!!!

Woke up, had a shower, watched two films back to back (Anger Management, The Man who Sued God), ate Chinese left overs and… went back to bed to get some proper sleep.

Erm, can’t remember. Oh yes I can, we studied pornographic stereograms in General Studies.

Today I woke up to a delivery. A luuurvely card from KT and a late birthday pressie from mum, 4 more DVDs! This takes the total number of birthday DVDs to 7 with… AI, Dead Poet’s Society, Hunted, Sneakers, Enemy of the State, Punch-Drunk Love. Swordfish.

I had planned to be very productive and spend my Quardruple free doing some DT. Unfortunately this included taking screenshots of a DVD and it took me most of the morning to get DVDs to play in Linux after I managed to break it. Went to school for DT and Computing (Assembler code, yum) and a slightly interesting conversation after school. Got home, ate sweets, did the geek test at http://www.innergeek.us/geek.html and apparently I’m “36.09467% – Major Geek3” which ranks just above “total geek” and just below “super geek”. Do I get extra points for noticing that the percentage rounds down to be my house number?

Now I’m writing this. Still writing this. Writing about writing this…. I think that just about gets up to date.

To The Moon, Mars and beyond…

So, President Bush wants to send man to Mars eh? Sounds like fun. Can he afford that after bombing the hell out of Iraq? Launching a Mars mission from the Moon? Surely from Earth’s orbit would be a better idea? But then I’m no rocket scientist.

Just found out Warwick have given me an offer for Computer Science, they want AAB including maths. No mention of AS grades though as their “average offer” states, so maybe someone’s being lenient with me. I’m still very annoyed that they cancelled Computer Systems Engineering at Warwick. If they were still running that course I’d probably put them above Nottingham.

A Mr Ivan Fuller (Bourne Town Centre Centre Co-ordinator) came to visit me, Jenny and Hannah at school today after seeing the article in the paper about us litter picking in the park. He wants our suggestions for the development of Bourne Town Centre. I hope something comes of it.

My DT project is finally looking up. I told Mr Richards I was a bit worried that I’d hit a dead end and we sat down and built a project for me, and I like it. Lots of work to do to keep to schedule though. I also had my first Stats lesson today, and considering I’m supposed to have covered all this stuff before it’s scarily new to me. Pace is fast too, already on Chapter 3 of the text book! Mechanics test tomorrow, ick.

lauperr is sounding a lot more positive today which has really cheered me up. I think she finally got up and marched down the tunnel to turn on the light herself ๐Ÿ˜€

Mr Tucker is giving up smoking, yey! Wish him all the best.

The BPI announced today that they have plans to start sueing their customers for file swapping like the RIAA have been doing. Argh, they just don’t understand what’s going on…

Time for mechanics cramming.

SQL blues

Not much happening at the moment. Done much more schoolwork recently than I had been doing. Computing in particular.

I’ve had to get round the fact that mySQL doesn’t support subqueries until version 4.1 which is still in alpha release and mchicago thinks its a bad idea to install that on tralk. I wanted to do something like:

SELECT * FROM RunStop a WHERE stopid=4 AND EXISTS (SELECT 1 FROM RunStop b WHERE b.runid=a.runid and b.stopid=23 AND a.id <> b.id);

but I can’t, so I now have a piece of PHP code which puts the results of the first part of the query into an array and loops through that array, creating a new query based on each result to do the sub part of the query on. (that made sense before it came out of my head). Well anyway, I think it’s messy.

Then there’s the fact that I can’t use INTERVAL with a TIME type, only DATETIME types. so instead of doing:

SELECT * FROM `RunStop` WHERE time BETWEEN ('07:30:00' - INTERVAL 1 HOUR) AND ('07:30:30' + INTERVAL 1 HOUR)

I have to do:

SELECT * FROM `RunStop` WHERE (TIME_TO_SEC(time) - TIME_TO_SEC('07:30:00')) <= 3600 AND (TIME_TO_SEC(time) - TIME_TO_SEC('07:30:00')) >= -3600

which is horridible. I haven’t even started on figuring out whether or not the bus travels on the right day…

I complain about these things, but I’m actually really enjoying the programming. I hadn’t realised how long it is since I’ve done any proper programming I’ve been spending so much time learning how to use Linux.

DT on the other hand is causing me headaches. My project is lacking direction quite terminally at the moment and I’m a bit fed up with it. I’m definately making progress in maths but no where near enough progress to get a B at the end of the year ๐Ÿ™ – yet.

lauperr is up and down like a yoyo, I really hope she doesn’t quit school. I wish she had a bit more confidence in herself because she’s such a great person with lots of talents.

We had a disco in the IT room in our Computing Lesson/break time as Mr M was away. It involved much dancing to music thanks to djkoa and dognuts and cookies thanks to lauperr and was hilarious.

wonchop has made a new animation, eels on wheels which I love (here) which reminds me, I still haven’t got a flash plugin for Mozilla Firebird.

I think I have my first stats lesson with a lower sixth group tomorrow which will be fun :S

Night night.

Depressive Muse

Friday morning was pretty crappy. For some reason I started to get very down about my schoolwork. I decided I was fed up of jumping through hoops all the time and considering whether doing so would have any lasting damaging effects on my thinking ability. In my DT coursework I have a serious (and interesting) problem to solve, albeit a little hazy because of incomprehensible requests. But instead of actually solving the problem I have to dumb it down into discrete little chunks that will allow me to tick the boxes on the list of things the examiners want me to write so that I can get a good mark. Computing is pretty much the same, and there seems to be no end to the amount of work I need to do on my maths to attempt to get it straight in my head.

mchicago had a bit of a go at me today apparently without provocation (I’m sure he had his reasons). Instead of letting him piss me off (which probably wasn’t his intention anyway) I tried to look at it constructively. I’ve decided that I should make a couple of late new years resolutions. I think the abuse my body clock gets from my late nights is having a detremental effect on my learning ability, so I’m going to make a serious effort to go to bed earlier and get up earlier. The other thing is my time management. I have a talent for letting 7 hour chunks of time disappearing without me noticing. The amount of work I actually spend on schoolwork outside of school is a lot smaller than it should be, and as this term is crunch time for my A-levels, if I’m going to change that, now is the time to do it.

Anyway, where was I? Friday afternoon was slightly more interesting. I found out that Bourne United Charities actually sent a letter to the headmaster of my school requesting that I, and three girls stop picking up litter from the park. I’m not kidding. The letter basically says that the Charity, who allegedly look after the park area in question have not given us their permission to pick up litter and had they been asked, they would not have given permission. We are doing it without supervision and it’s not safe for us to do so. There are times in life when I wonder if I’m awake or dreaming. This is one of those times.

The letter was sent in November following an article in the local newspaper about us doing it and I’ve only just found out about the letter. The Bourne Forum are going to have a field day with this one, but that’s not all I have in store. Watch this space.

Last night I was invited to a meal with lauperr‘s family in the local pub which was really lovely. I had a great time, lost at pool, missed the dart board and drank Guinness. I’m not sure WHY I was invited but hey. I was a bit upset that I didn’t get to thank them properly though as I had to shoot off to catch my lift and they hadn’t got back to laura’s house from the pub before I left.

I got an information pack from Warwick University yesterday with a letter saying I will get a letter telling me whether they’ve actually given me an offer shortly. Riiiigght. So what’s the point in sending me an information pack if you’re going to turn me down?! I also got a cheque from b+h for the Albert Hall job and a matching credit card bill of dad’s that I have to pay. Oh well, you win some you lose some.

I finally found out today who made my Pocket mStation mp3 juekbox, it was SSI America, but they call it a Neo Jukebox or something. Anyway, it turns out they’ve made the firmware for some of their players open source! W00t! The bad news is that the hardware limitations mean that it is impossible to add ogg vorbis support to it ๐Ÿ™ – Now that there seems some life left in the old thing and I’m no longer getting a new mp3 player for my birthday, I may eventually buy a new battery and a bigger hard disk for it.

Now that I’ve made and eaten some porridge and wasted time writing this I’m getting late for bed again and already breaking one of my resolutions. Good start.