Monday, May 29, 2006


I hate databases, I really hate hate hate hate ahetgedjegfoqjhdgvfl qhdvpuh them.

hatey hat hate hate hatsyteywgefojqhegbpqhbq




bed 1:30am

Happy bank holiday Monday everyone, sheesh...

Torine, its the bulls B****cks

2 cans of red bull later I now understand basic UML! Yeay

I have built a data dictionary for Oracle! Yeay

I am ready to build an ERD! Yeay

I have at least 5 days worth of database devlopment leaft to cram into half a day! Boo

ever gone for a long walk and when you get home your leggs go put put put, thats how my brain feels right now.

I really dont ever intend to take a career lurch into database development, I wish I could just dump the database module out of my life. It will be useful for building content management systems etc though so I'll stop me whinin. Just wish I didnt have to sit an exam in it.

[Note to self]

braeburns are getting a bit wooly, must scoff them all tomorrow

[note to self over]

Saturday, May 27, 2006

trasitivity=anxiety attack

Ok I am currently having a mild anxiety attack brought on while trying to get my head around transitivity. Heart is pounding

attack over, it is very simple. chap has company car, if we know the chap then we know the car and hey, if we know the car then we know the company. So if we know the chap we know the company (via the car) so the functional dependency of the company on the chap is transitive.

Pull me out of this car crash

My head is buzzing. I have 2 huge exams next week and a large assignment to get in on Tuesday. I am still learning the stuff I need to know in order to write the assignment. I have bitten off more than I can chew here. But damn it I am not going to give up yet. Mostly because it is too late to pull out and I am too proud.

I updated my Linux distro (currently playing with ubuntu) to dapper 6.06. looks more shiny but haven't had time to play with it yet. Oh but I did manage to get cinelerra working on it ok. I just alien'd the rpm from the cinilerra site (I also had all the dependent libraries installed and working (I think)) . Cinelerra is a powerful video editing prog for Linux. I am going to spend a bit of time over summer mastering it, not just how to use it but how to set up render farms etc. I will make a fresh blog for that.

Must crack on with work

ERL24 - for yesterday

for yesterday


bed 12 ish

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Snowed under with work sql assignments, revision etc etc. no time to say much. My last exam is on thursday next week. I doubt I will write much before friday next week. Sorry.

The ERL will still have snippets.



bed 11:30

I have a cold and feel grotty. No way was I getting up before 7:30


(for yesterday)

Bed 12ish

Tuesday, May 23, 2006



bed 11:50

Would have been earlier but Isaac needed stretching!

feeling ever stranger today. Been up writing a set script for a new sql database, oh what fun. Lots to catch up on but I want the time to do it justice. But a quick mention now in the ERL wouldn't hurt.

Sundays gig - we roxored the soxorz off sunderland. Actually starting to think I am wasting my time on everything else apart from the music. I never get such instant results from handing a paper in. It would actually be great to have a crowd of people cheer as I hand an essay in (it would have to be slow motion running towards the desk as if fighting some invisible force).

Anyway there was about 150 people there and they actually cheered as we announced the songs! How odd, Its almost like we have fans. I must remember to put some of them on the Fisherycommission gold list (which includes free copies of CD's (when its ready) and a discount on all merchandise, such as the Fish commish sandwich toaster, sing along with the radio microphone and our top item the fish commish lunchbox and flask combo). Them being the two nice people who came over and said hello before we played, we can do you at least %10 discount.

WOAH a man has just passed my window pushing a child in a buggy and shouting really loud at it, poor kid. Its a bit early for that sort of stupidity. Hmm I need toast (marmite on toast, mmm zingy)

Monday, May 22, 2006



bed 1am

feeling a bit strange today

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Its that time again.

Just switched it on an Moldavia are on, are really cool man is rapping as he wheels around the stage on a kids scooter.

Oh here we go for Israel,old onto your hats. oh sitting on a piano and singing, nice start if only he could sing.

Latvia! A start to remember, oh shit they have a little robot AAAH ha ha he has microphones for hands. Ah and a little heart shaped balloon.

Oh Norway now. MMmmm floaty, nice wind effect

Spain - skinhead lady dancers with some bints singing, lazy ones that cant even be bothered to get out of their chairs. Oh no hold on one of them is getting abit saucy with one of the lady skinhead dancers.

Its hurting my eyes trying to write this ongoing commentary and watch the telly.

Malta - oh not the first act that has been consulting the Oxford book of cliches. But hey that is a swanky cummerbund. With chains? Sort of a grunge barry manilow thing going on there. Oh hitting the height eight.

Germany. Oh smokers lips is singing German country and western. Why not I say. My wife likes it but she likes dolly parton. ha ha its quite good (comparatively)

Denmark- she is irritating me in the same way as that stok aiken and wartyman 'sonia' bit. Mock enthusiasm, I hate mock enthusiasm. Oh rock and roll breakdancing. If they win I will eat my hat.

Russia - the man has too much wasted crotch room in his pants. AAAh there is a living statue climbing out of a piano. WHY GOD WHY. Its not right

former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia - bore me more.

Romania - nice eyeshadow mate and nice squeaky bit height eight

Bosnia & Herzegovina - he looks a little bit tired, maybe he has been trying to become an early riser. Mock passion in the singing, pah. gets a big cheer.

Lithuania - a little presumptuous - 'we are the winners of eurovision' - what the hell? its nuts. he he I like them.

UK - oh the shame

Greece - A bit negative I think, cool dress though, *ahem*

Finland- GWAR its got my vote! ha ha ha ha yeah its really funny. Hold on what if they really are satanic minions, oh now I'm a bit scared.

Ukraine - huh skipping?

France - sucky music, most French music is (Mc solar aside)

Croatia - canny pins

Ireland - my shaky head ' say hello to my shaky little head' Irish hair rules. Oh hes down on one knee , mmm added pathos, nice.

OH I cant be bothered anymore, they all suck in a watchable sort of way see you later for the results

Friday, May 19, 2006

Oh we have an official site BTW

I forgot to say

Our band has a new site!



bed 11

but couldnt sleep and kept waking up all night, lots going on in my head.

l-casei immunitas

What a full on day yesterday.

I went to work. That was my first mistake. That day started with a meeting about a project working with parents of children with ADHD to help make a series of short films with them (see earlier post about digital storytelling) I discovered that they actually want me to make 12 x 2 minute films. EEk. Anyway I think I managed to get my head around it but by this point my stress levels were at about 40%. Then I was asked to re author a DVD for the nth time as someone had missed a logo.. Only added 10% which on a normal day is nothing.

The afternoon consisted of. Making an inspiration pack for the ADHD parents ( 1 disposable camera, 1 dictaphone, 1 pencil (with rubber on end), 1 notepad and a sheet with loads of images that might help inspire them) because we only have 2 mins each to say a lot I have take loads of stuff from adverts etc to try and get them even a little bit aware of the language that advertising uses to sell you stuff in about 5 seconds. I also continued in my quest to recruit a Deaf photographer. I installed some photo mosaic software on a laptop and built up a database of images it could use. Finally just before I was about to leave to work the skate kids I tried to explain to someone I work with that you cant compress an MPEG format film in audacity (partly my fault that they tried to do that as during a phone converastion I thought they wanted to compress a wav file) tickled me anyway. By this point my stress levels are at %65.

Went to work with kids, that was fun anyway. They have hundreds of photos hence making some photo mosaics with them. And we designed their exhibition opening postcard (the font they chose is doomed never to get passed our dynamic *sic* marketing team). My stress levels may have even reduced if it had not been for a strange youth worker trying to tell me how to do my job (carping from the sidelines about how to do various technical things, getting it wrong each time). Mate you do not have a clue, not even a shred. But being the pro that I am I just smiled and said ' You might think that, I couldn't possibly comment' finished around 7:40 already very aware I was going to be late for a rehearsal that was booked for 8 in whitley bay. Stress levels 75%.

On the metro on the way home some chavers pulled the emergency stop lever and threw something at my head. (goodam their ways, the ways being you are not allowed to dress in head to toe shellsuits with the pants tucked into your socks, have a cap stapled to the top of your head and talk like a geordie Humphrey Bogart unless your parents are brother and sister). Stress levels rocket to 85%

I got home to pick up my kit and eat fast when I discovered Johanna in an equally stressed state having had an even worse day at work and freaking out about getting tax sorted for direct payments. This caused a stress clash, most unpleasant, raising my levels to 95%

I got the studio late with my eyes bulging and unable to speak.

The practice was excellent. And for some reason when I realised that a song Andy had written has content about l-casei immunitas my stress levels began to fall. We are ready to rock moderately hard on Sunday (at the voodoo rooms in sunderland).

I got home at about 10:30 with my ears ringing, my head feeling like a pillow stuffed into an egg cup. And went to bed

Thursday, May 18, 2006



bed 10:40

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

OH by the way I am an idiot

In a previous post I wrote that I could not find a site or any information about Percy Hedley school. It turns out I am such a genius. I did not spell percy hedley correctly. The web site is


Natural joins

Feeling slightly rough today,

not sure if it is a result of the chilly I made last night, something to do with the colour of the tap water this morning (light brown) or maybe I have caught Ruby's cold.

Last night Ruby did not go to sleep until gone 9pm. Then at around 1 ish Isaac decided it was his turn to be awake. Being the lazy git I am I let Johanna sort him out (She woke up first!). He then woke up at 5am, apparently he wanted to go in his standing frame and play on the computer. Thats what I love about kids, total disregard for the rules. The rule in this case being you don't wake up in the middle of the night and demand entertainment. Hmm actually even I don't like that rule.

Isaac had a hearing test yesterday. I had to work and it was Johannas day to do the kids so she took him. Apparently he did really well in what is called the distraction test hearing lots of frequencies at around 30 dB. That is with his digital hearing aids on. With them off it was another story.

Starting to really cack myself about going freelance in under six weeks. The promises of work are coming in but as I know from experience most promises of work don't come good.

Oh and why oh why have they put a toy motorbike arcade machine in public view near my office at work? It is calling my name and asking me to play on it. But I know it would be bad form, aaaah.

A friend is having a eurovision song contest party on Saturday. I love eurovison, it is the classic really bad = good thing. But I am snowed under with course work. What a dilemma.



bed 11 (well bed 10 read untill 11)

it seems that 1 hr pm = 10 mins am. I dont like the way that is panning out.

Late for work

Tuesday, May 16, 2006



bed 11:40

back into the 6 oclock range, just

Monday, May 15, 2006

Toddler trauma + Underclass revolt


Had some friends visit. That was nice. We went to the cafe at tynemouth beach for lunch. And Ruby my 20 month old daughter cried for the following reasons:

  • she has a cold so everything is traumatic
  • she wanted to go and play on the beach before we ate
  • she was told to wait so she cried even more
  • she was tired
But oh my god did she wail. We were one of those families with the screaming kids that ruins everyones middle England middle class frapuchinos. Can't wait to do it again now I come to look at it in that light. Who would have thought it, my kids are turning me into to a coffee shop class warrior.

anyway the trip to the beach was nice and seeing the sea is always a good thing + Isaac loved it. Unfortunately on returning home Ruby did not realise that her coffee shop pusch was over and had to sit on the naughty step a whole 5 times before bed.

After she went to bed I stayed up watching a Paul Newman (excellent actor but why the salad dressings?) film and reading about generalised joins and Cartesian Product in SQL. The following formula floated my boat R Gen [A >E And B<>D] S

Then I went to bed and dreamt the following:

' I was a spin doctor that had been given some important documents that were politicaly sensitive. I was due to hand them over to another member of the government at a kids Bach recital. But I accidentaly mixed them up with the score and words for the singers. You can imagine my embarrassment when they started to sing'



bed 12:30

grrr, how rubbish is that!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

yeay I am a real nerd now

Ok tonight I have installed a streaming server on my xbox and I am using it like a jukebox on my home network. I find this very exciting. No doubt anyone reading this will either go 'coool' or 'get a life'. Hmm still cant get it to stream at high quality yet, mmm must be something simple I have missed.

Oh and I am slightly worried that I am too old to be a genius. Most geniuses do their best and defining work in their early twenties. So I suppose the phrase ' bollock's I'm not a genius' would be be quite fitting right now. But I do know that the speed of light is constant that travels at 186000 miles per second so I cant be that far off... can I?

today I have also been listening to pyjamarama by roxy music and some remark drum and base. nice

Tonight I ate a hot curry and drank some beer. No doubt I will regret both of these activities tomorrow

Friday, May 12, 2006

ERL14 - conductive education


bed 11 - sleep 12:30 ish

Once I can get myself into solid early rising pattern (I am aiming for bed by 10 rise at 5) I am going to stop the Early Riser Log. No doubt it will be replaced by something equally inane.

My son has been having an evaluation week at Percy Headley school. In the absence of any online info about Percy Headley I will put a link here about conductive education for anyone who is interested. Isaac has loved going and has visibly benefited, we have been amazed by the skill and conviction of the staff. We live in North Tyneside and have been told that North Tyneside point blank refuse to fund childrens places at the school... So rather than get into a lot of detail here we are going to take time to think about what is best for Isaac. Then if we do decide he should go I will start a separate blog on the subject as I am sure there will be a lot to write. If we do decide it is in his best interests to go to a conductive education centre then we will no doubt have to take it to court.

It stinks.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sunglasses and my big ears

Other things I have noticed about wearing sunglasses.

  • I don't know how to use my eyes when I have them on, behind that mirrored glass they are going all over the place
  • My wife reckons they make me look like one of the guards in cool hand Luke.
  • Some of the rougher 'Chaver ' element get a bit freaked. Its like if they cant see your eyes then they see you as a threat. Today I was getting out of the car (wearing my shades) and this lad walking past turns to me and says 'what the F*** are you looking at. Being the meek person I am I thought he was talking to someone else and walked past him. Then I looked around and there was no one else there..
Yesterday I was walking through town and I accidenly over heard a snipped of a conversation behind me. It went something like.

'..I totally sick of him me like, you know what he's been doing? He's been selling his wifes diarrhea medicine as drugs..'


I need to get a moment at the end of this week to write about my sons assessment week at Percy Headley School.



bed 11:45

And I still feel wrecked

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My eyes, what have you done to my eyes

Ok I got the assignment in. Yeay.

But I am now soo tired, so very very tired. The thing had to be in at 3 and at 2:15 I deleted it. EEK I swear I stopped breathing for about a minute. Then I found a pdf I had made of it. Phew.

Anyway I have to go and listen to a man with a big big beard try to teach me how to program in assembly language. Yawn.

Then I am going to go home and have a beer and then start shitting myself about my database assignment.

Its a lovely day though and I bought some sunglasses. The problem with wearing sunglasses is that for some reason I feel like I am invisible. It could be dangerous.



bed 3am

Still not finished report. It has to be in today. I am too much of a a perfectionist. Feeling tired, up late working on it. My eyes are all bloodshot and stingy. Have to go to work today and really I could do without it, now remember why I am leaving. Cant stop.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006



bed 12:30

Up working on report. Still have about 700 words to write and then the whole thing needs cleaning up, collected articles need organising. Whole thing needs to be made into html do that links articles etc etc. Have work then uni untill 9pm tonight. Going to phone in and try and get day off.

That means I cant take Andy his space hoppers in (more on that when I have time)

Monday, May 08, 2006

quick stuff + ERL10


bed 1:30

Burning the candle at both ends trying to get a report written for Wednesday. Lots to write no time to write it.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

ERL9 - time for a re-think


bed 12 ish (cant remember)

I have been starting to tire of the ERC (Early Riser Campaign). I dont seem to be able to get my arse up the stairs to bedfordshire at a reasonable hour, This means I feel like am about an hour or 2 short of sleep each night, leaving me 1 whole night short of sleep by the end of the week. Sometimes I can go for months on about 4 hours a night then suddenly I hit the bonk. So I am going to do a re-think. I am not giving up on it but I am going to get a bit more cunning. As of this day I will allow myself 8:30 starts at weekends to catch up a bit (kids allowing, which they never do). The main thing I am going to do is figure out why I dont get to bed. The main things that keeps me from making the sensible choice of an early night are:

-Bad TV (usually films I secretly like but would never admit to any high brow friends)

-Isaac needs medication at around 12 so one of use always has to stay up untill then.

-I actually get too tired to be bothered to get out of my seat and go up stairs

-I am nerding away on a computer trying to compile some software or build a sequencer (I will put a sequencer I have built online soon BTW) etc

So I need to think about this and figure out a solution.

Last night I stayed up way too late stuffing penguins into an old XBOX So I can put my music collection onto it and use it as a streaming audio server in my house. I can already see that it will take up way too much of my time.

Friday, May 05, 2006

todays morning walk to the beach

ERL9 - step with I man


bed 12:30

Really tired this morning. Must get to bed early tonight. Ended up watching tv too tired to get up and got to bed last night.

Yesterday (all my troubles conspired to turn me grey)

really stressed about Databases and how I need to become an SQL expert in about 3 days. Ouch. I really think I am going to have to drop the SQL module at uni and pick it up later. Damn it. how fed up will I be knowing it is still hanging like an albatross around my neck. I will also be gutted to know I failed so soon into the year.

We did a bit of recording in Daves studio last night. It was a top session. I even did a bit of singing. Although we did end up fiddling with auto tuner for ages after to try and make it sound like I can sing. But as we left it even auto tuner hit the bonk on my voice.

So I will add singer and database expert to my list of careers I should potentialy avoid. I couldnt give a monkeys about the singing BUT damn it I do want to crack SQL, it is just so usefull to have it in my brain.

Got Isaac off to school in record time this morning and as I write this (yup its a charles in charge day again) Ruby is scoffing a banana (she really wants chocolate) and pretending to be a clock. SO I had better get on with the mornings activities. Tick tock tick tock tick ......

Thursday, May 04, 2006



bed 12

Yup a shameful 7:15, Got no reading done this morning, boo.

[note to self]

must take notes to self more seriously

[end of note to self]

Today I went to have a look at the new polytechnic office. But we couldn't get in. Either the security guard who was there to let us in was completely confused (he was new) or both the front and back doors were bolted from the inside (sounds impossible but stranger things have happened).

Then I dropped a recycled Linux box of with an artist. He has asked to borrow it to try and develop some Ideas he is working on using puredata. He has the box on condition he keeps a blog of his progress as an artist new to Linux.

I am currently eating noodles (I added a jalapeno pepper to them and they are too hot, making my nose run) and putting off burying my head in a book about SQL.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Digital story telling

I was talking to someone about Digital story telling today. It looks like an interesting thing. I am starting to really enjoy hearing people's stories and in a collecting sort of context. But the thing that concerns me is the technologies that are used. Looking into it and visiting sites made by a few people who call themselves experts I observed the same old thing. They all recommend getting access to lovely new laptops (usually Mac) DV cams and high end proprietary software (the sort that is 'must have' i.e. with every must have update you must have newer and more costly hardware. This seems to be counter productive to the actual goals of digital story telling, most groups I am likely to work with will have no money and limited access to the right technologies.

Not only is the constant drive for new hardware harmful to the environment but consider this.

-You will be crash landing into a community centre or similar with a bank of shiny new technology.

-Tell people that they matter and you really want their stories

-Dont invest the time to teach them the skills to be in control of the development and production own stories

-Then leave when you have what you need.

What's that you say to the group as you are loading up the gear to leave. You say you want to make more? Oh ok then if we get time we can come back, but you could get your own equipment and do it yourself. All you need to shell out is £500 perPCc or at least double that for ausablee laptop, £500 per DV cam, a couple of hundred for photoshop, an couple of hundred for dv editing software etc etc etc... I will leave the shopping list at that but you are looking at about £11000 for 10 computers and all the needed software and kit (only costed at 1 DV cam) .

So I propose a solution. A Free Open Source Storytelling Kit.

This could start life as a simple knoppix live Linux disc that has all the tools to get people started on it. You could put a range of audio recording and editing tools (Audacity, rosegarden (for soundracks) ) Gimp for image manipulation & animation. Ktoon and basic stopmotion tools for animation. Inkscape of graphics , Cinelerra and Kino for video editing. Yes there are alreadistributionsons out there that have exactly these tools on. But I think also focus could be placed on how these softwares are chained together to guide people through the process of story telling.

The list stretches on and on.

The Disc could be installable and tweaked to run on older machines using uClibc and lightweight desktop such as fluxbox. Have a look at the RULE project. Have a look at A/uDemudi, someone is working on a version of demudi that will work quite well on recycled machines. These days you can pick up a recycled PIII with monitor for well under £100. So say a network of 10 computers with all the software needed and 1 weeks training you are looking at a cost of £1500. This resource and the skills to use it then belongs to the group.

Anyway that is my rant over for tonight. Today I also take back what I said about inkscape, I quite like it now.



bed 11:20

Would have been earlier but I got sucked into watching the car chase at the start of martix 2.

It might be my age or a lack of ass kicking excitement in other areas of my life, but I seem to be developing a liking for action films! a couple of weeks ago I watched Blade 2 when it was on telly. Kung Fu ass kicking vampires rule.

Yesterday I made a pamphlet for a project using scribus (open source desktop publishing software). While the end results were OK I really did not like the look and feel of the software. However I hate all DTP software so I am not the best judge. Actually I even hate the term DTP...

Then I had lectures until 9pm and came home with my head feeling much heavier then it had in the morning. I think it was because someone spent 20 mins explaining Bertrand Russells 'principa mathematica'.

Today looks like it is going to be a glorious sunny day, So sunny in fact that I may actually eat my sandwiches outside at lunchtime. Hows that for raw power? Iggy would be proud.

[Note to self]

Get an earlier night tonight

[Note to self]

Tuesday, May 02, 2006



Bed 11:40

Campaign faltered a bit over the weekend with disappointing start times of between 8:30 and 9:30.

Mostly did work for Uni (still writing a report on Distributed information systems), entertained visiting parents and stayed up way too late one night playing GTA San Andreas, stupid game. It has a good soundtrack though.

We have a gig on 21 May @ voodoo rooms in Sunderland. SO I really need to pull my socks up and get at least 2 more tunes in the bag. Problem is most of my kit is scattered to the 4 corners of my messy messy house. It will be Wed before I get the chance to get it together on that front now. Stupid not having enough time and wasting what I have.

I seem to be having a stupid stupid morning