For You Know Who,

I hope you have found what you are looking for.

Ok so just the other week I was hearing these seemingly random beeps and blinks on my main gateway and network server, tail -fing the /var/adm/messages and syslog did not really give me any complaints from the machine that would correspond to these beeps and blinks.

Suspecting that something might be physically wrong with the machine I then tried to feel for that warm flow of air that normally blows out of the chassis fan at the rear. To my shock, there was none! The dust caked up so bad and the heat probably wrecked the ball bearings of the cooling fan and left it fubar.

I hurriedly sud into root and brought the system down and went into the BIOS to see the figures on the hardware monitor. To my further shock and horror, the on chip CPU thermometer diode reported that the temperature was at 96 degrees...CENTIGRADE!

This was caused mostly by the fact that the chassis fan died and the entire casing had become a turbo broiler, and each and every one of those now no longer mysterious beeps and blinks was my Asus P3BF motherboard indicating that the chip was reaching 100 deg C!

I could not very well kill the system as that would mean a terrible inconvenience to my network users so I just opened the casing, made the chassis fan to work, though at a slow rate and at great noise and vibration, and proceeded to boot back into linux making sure to kill all cron entries for such processor intensive applications like SETI@Home.

A service interruption announcement was very soon then sent out to all subscribers via SMS and I just waited for the morning to come.

Next day, being unsuccesful at getting a replacement for the fubared chassis fan I then explored other possible solutions settling on using a bathroom exhaust fan attached to the side panel on which I would make a rather large vent for it to suck out the hot air.

Operation cool server was huge success and I can't be prouder of my work than I have been today.

Sure it is unsightly, seeing an otherwise fine looking ATX tower casing with that huge ass fan attached to its side, eternally sucking the hot air out but it damn works!

I don't have the lm_sensors programs working yet but just by feeling the chassis all around, I can tell that that my solution worked. The hard drives don't heat up anymore, the power supply is not even as hot as it was when it still had the fan working and I no longer hear any beeps or blinks (which is undocumented in the Asus manual btw) even while running at 100% cpu utilization (SETI@Home) and screening Trainspotting using the DivX player on Xfree86!

Thank you and goodnight!


I'm here. The detachment is receding. I seem to be no worse for wear after my little attempted rape episode on Sunday night. There is still anger and some pretty wild mood swings. I didn't have the starch to face any down-votes yesterday so I didn't post...Hows that for a measure of mental health? Can you take what E2 (sometimes) has to dish out?? Yes? Then you'll be fine...

I have to say that having gone through the process with the police (so far) has been an eye-opener. Every person I have come into contact with has been extremely respectful and caring and concerned. One of my worries was all the horror stories you see about victims of crime on T.V. but I have experienced none of that.

My heart goes out to anyone who has ever been the victim of violence; I have a new respect for all of you.


Another day when I eat my microwaved lunch alone at my desk, how many more? How much longer can I put up with this indecision. Will I quit? Will I stay complacent just to get another paycheck to stop the flow of backed-up bills?

I live alone now. No one to wake up to in the middle of the night when the dogs won't stop barking and the doors creak open and shut with the wind...or is it the wind? No one to hold me when the rain comes blissfully down, renewing everything. Nope, just me, and I get to work on time these days, you aren't there to pull me back into bed and waste away my "sick" days. Just me, and if I take a day off, it is because I am sick...sick of trying to fill the vacancy without you here. I'm sick of buying things to make the place look just a little bit more like me, me without you.

Really, I'm fine. Truly, I enjoy late nights when friends stay way past dawn, but none of them stay the whole night...not that I'd want them to, they can't be that for me. So, tonight, when things get lonely, I'll just find something else to occupy my mind...something that doesn't involve anything we used to do.

Thanks for leaving, see how independent you've made me?


As near as anyone can pin it down, the Sumerians invented the predecessor of all written language (by which I mean symbols that were not pictograms, though they were often derived from such) approximately four thousand years before the beginning of the "common era". So, by simply adding four to the first digit of the CE year, we can enter a calendar which, in a fashion at least as accurate as the commemoration of the birth of Christ, commemorates the birth of writing.

I like writing, so I do this.

Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, one only needs to use the final two digits of the year anyway, unless one means to make historical reference or issue a cheque -- but, as history and cheques have ceded to prozac and plastic, the practice generally suffices.

Whether to break up with a girl I have just started seeing who says she finds me incredibly sexy and attractive. List compiled from a conversation I had with myself in the mirror 30 minutes ago.

  1. It's fucking things up between me and my best mate as he asked her out first.
  2. She has an obsessive compulsive disorder which means I have to sit on a certain part of her bed, I’m not allowed to sit on the floor, I'm not allowed to touch anything of hers etc etc. Previous girlfriend also had a mental disorder which I thought I could live with, but it turned out I couldn't.
  3. She insults my physical features. Apparently I have a big nose, am too skinny, too boney, unhealthy because I have so little body fat.
  4. She says I have a terrible personality.
  5. Apparently I have to deal with the fact that she is horrible if I want to keep seeing her.
  6. When she's drunk she's nastier then usual. Unfortunately she drinks a lot and gets drunk on 1 pint.
  7. Sexual contact of any kind is prohibited.
  8. She's tired all the time and goes to sleep on me whenever I see her.
  9. She moans at me for not having a car. I have a Triumph Spitfire which I'm restoring at the moment but she can't wait. She doesn't even have a license.
  10. She moans at me for not having a job. I'm depressed enough about this fact and don't need extra pressure heaped on me. The job she wants me to get has to pay enough for her not to work and to support a minimum of 2 children. I've only being seeing her a couple of weeks and I’m 22 for Christ sake!
  11. She wants to be taken out to restaurants 5 times a week. I'm trying to get by on £42 a week dole money at the moment.
  12. She asks me leading questions and puts words in my mouth. Then moans at me incessantly about what I am suppose to have implied by my supposed answers.
  13. She’s a vegetarian. Now I haven't got anything against vegetarians, but it just complicates matters and confuses me, as it seems she has no good reason to be one, I mean, if we weren't supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat? She then also doesn't bat an eyelid about buying leather shoes or clothes.
  14. She has a cat allergy, I have a cat. This means if she comes round my house and I stress 'if', then after 5 minutes she starts rubbing her eyes and sneezing and wheezing and Im accused of making her ill on purpose even though she knows I got a mutherfucking cat!
  15. Apparently I have to be 'alright' with her flirting with other boys if we go out together.
  16. Every time I meet her she's never pleased to see me and is always so negative and miserable about everything!
  17. She's fragile and delicate beyond reason. I know the majority of girls are fragile objects to be handled with care and attention, and that's part of the fun of being the man and being protective, but I give her a light slap/tap on her thigh as men tend to do to girls, and it results in real fucking crys of pain as apparently that is a tender area. It seems her whole goddam body is a tender area.
  18. She manages to turn a situation in which Im angry and deserve an apology into one in which I end up saying sorry and I'm trying to win her round. Don't ask me how, but she can do it just like that.

On the plus side, I enjoy her company when she's not being a fucking bitch which ain’t that often.

In the film American Psycho Patrick Bateman invites his secretary back to his apartment one night. They have a general conversation about this and that as his secretary sits on his sofa eating ice cream. Patrick wanders around his kitchen eventually picking up a huge fucking nail gun. He casually walks around behind her with this nail gun behind his back completely out of sight. He moves behind her. Then, all the while continuing with their conversation he brings it up and holds it a couple of inches away from the back of her head. There are a few seconds of intense anticipation as you wait for her brains to splatter over his coffee table. Unfortunatley, his phone rings, his concentration is broken and the homicidal moment passes.

I wish I had a huge fucking nail gun and no phone.

Lately I have been questioning the purpose in titles like boyfriend and dating and going out. It seems these titles do not really do anything for the relationship. Words can not change how you feel nor can they even begin to describe how you feel about each other.

Their main purpose is to give others an easy way to talk about your relationship and how serious you are. In reality, just because you are dating doesn't mean you aren't seeing some other person. Only the two people in the relationship know how serious they are and hopefully are honest with the other about any other relationships they may have.

I was with the guy I like last night and the thought crossed my mind of what we were, in terms of relationships. I then realized it didn't matter. What I cared about was how he felt about me. I could tell from not only his words, but his actions exactly how he felt. Suddenly I didn't really care if others had an easy way to describe us, for there are no easy explainations when it comes to people. The most important thing is what is in his heart not the words used by humans in a futile attempt to describe these feelings.

Well it seemed that the world was slightly out of sync all day. A series of unconnected but bizarre events occured which were reminiscent of Mulholland Drive in their total randomness. The only way I can think to deal with it all is chronologically.

There was a general studies exam. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Event number one. Colin Hargreaves, exiting the sports block, punched the glass porthole in the door and smashed it to smithereens with his bare fist. Then he ran off. The glass was amazing.

Event number two happened in The Orange Tree. I was returning from the bar. Sam drove off in his car with a total stranger. A scallyish man of about 30. Total randomer. Don't understand.

Event number three, which took place somewhere on a field somewhere near Sneyd. Sam was taking Olivia home, so Babs and I were lying on the grass, kissing. We stopped and I looked up to find a group of three little boys in school uniform sat nearby, watching us. "Hey, don't mind us!" ..."It's good entertainment, this is!". We laughed and told them to shut up. Then we needed a lighter. So Babs shouted at them "You haven't got a light, have you?" as a joke. They looked blank. Then moments later, this old woman stepped out of her house somewhere beyond the boys and shouted "A light you want, is it?" Then she disappeared again and reappeared with a lighter, which Babs went to use. Whilst he was there she told him about the rats in the brook. Totally random.

Then we went to Babs's house. Had some food, met his mum and sister. Then decided to go for a walk. Opened the back gate. Got stabbed by a rusty nail. Got carried over nettle patch but stung by them nevertheless. After having walek about 10 metres towards the field at the back of his house, I went flying. Twisted my ankle and bowled down the hill. Hysterics and tears ensued.

The next one is a little rude. Helen: "What's that?", Babs: "It's my nob!". I thought my hand was elsewhere as I couldn't see it. I am not a lunatic. A am not. Never laughed so much. Ever.

We eventually went back in, after lying in the grass for hours. The back gate had been locked, and I had to give him a leg-up. Then we went into the lounge or whatever. "Are you alone Michael?" asked his mum. Twice. She told him he was in her bad books. They discussed and he apologised. He left the room and marched straight to the other end of the house where he curled up into a little ball with laughter. She was NAKED!!! Telling him off whilst he could see her breasts. For Fok's sake.

The final one is when Sam came to pick us up and to take me home. He was heading in the wrong direction. So he ambled over to the other (ie wrong, ie right-hand) side of the road to have a little think. He'd had twelve pints. Twelve. A car shot round the corner we were right next to. Sam accelerated and moved to the other side of the road, but only just in time.

I think that may be all. Not sure, but that's all I can think of. Anything else I remember will be added to my LiveJournal.

A good day. Warm and sunny in London, but not sweltering like Monday. Once I'd finished doing the usual waking-up type things, I had a look through the msgs I'd received overnight; I'm trying to get the ball rolling on a science-noding user group on E2 (e2science), so various new messages had come in expressing interest and discussing details (a writeup or two should be forthcoming to introduce the ideas behind the group when the idea is more fully formed).

After that I spent a while knocking an extract from my MSc dissertation into shape so that I could node it as a boring factual. Node uploaded, I paid a visit to the craft centre to pick up some new clay models: a guy with wings, or possibly a cape (it's his top half only, so it's hard to tell), and no visible mouth, who I'm fairly sure is some kind of superhero although what he might be fighting for I have no idea; a head with an out-size proboscis, whose expression suggests suppressed mirth; and another alien in the Little Green Men in Black and White series, based on interlocking aliens I invented and spent a lot of time doodling in my teens. I also made a fox, a bust of an anteater in a bowler hat, and a couple of simple but hard to describe bulbous owl/bull/fox-duck things, based on one of my previous creations which got broken.

After this I spent a couple of hours listening to my brother and his mate Davis discussing their Glastonbury plans in great detail; they are going as copper-skinned alien stiltwalkers, and they are still working on their costumes. I don't have a Glastonbury plan yet. This is no good. It sounds like their security this year may be sufficient to actually keep out people with tickets. I don't know what I'm going to do.

At around midnight we all set off for Hampstead Heath; a friend of ours is about to go cycling around the world with her dog, and last night she had a ceremonial fire to burn her old life, or anyway sixteen years' worth of unnecessary possessions. She wasn't the only one there who had bits of their lives they wanted to burn; the blaze went on well into the night.

Walking back past Pirates' Hill with my brother later, we passed a group of about half a dozen people. It was too dark for me to tell if I knew them at a glance, but apparently not dark enough for them not to recognise me - once we had got a little way past them they called out my name so I turned on my heel. It was a girl I met on camp a couple of years ago, with a group of her friends. I stopped to chat; we caught up with news on a mutual friend, and she asked me what I was doing with my life, so I told her: I'm unemployed, programming graphics, making stuff out of clay, taking pictures, writing bits and pieces. 'What have you been writing?' she asked. 'Songs? ...about tea?'

Now, even if you're me, there cannot be much chance of someone ever asking you if you've been writing songs about tea, on a day when you have in fact been doing exactly that...

'Yeah,' I replied, '...oddly enough, just today I wrote a second verse to the Lapsang Souchong song.' I told them I thought it really needed a guitar, but they weren't having it, so I gave them an a cappella version. I stumbled a little on the new second verse, which I hadn't really had time to learn, but they seemed suitably entertained...

I've been trying to write up this conference/etc. for days. As such, I'm sticking daylogs where they go in chronological order. Ok? Ok then.

The last week has been ka-razy with a capital ka-ray. That's phonics!

Short story: I went to Canada, to Prince Edward Island, for a conference on L. M. Montgomery's life writing (which topic is itself problematic for a number of reasons). I bit the bullet in terms of vacation days and drove there. I went to the conference, which was good; I met and hung out with Cletus the Foetus and friends, which was also good. Then I drove back. Then I collapsed for a day. Now I am here. Hello!

Long story:

19 June, Wednesday
In which I am exhausted and unhappy

I was trying to do this drive -- that's 1300 miles, ow -- in two days. This required me, then, not only to get absolutely everything ready to go the night before I left, but to go to bed early enough to actually get up and leave by 5:30a. Then I had to drive as much as humanly possible in one day, covering as much distance as I could physically stand, such that the second day could be much shorter after all that exhaustion. Thus I couldn't go see or meet anyone on the way due to time constraints. This may be flawed reasoning, but it's still my reasoning. I would have really liked to meet more people, though.

I managed to get out of the driveway by 5:40 or so, which allowed me to miss the Detroit rush hour by about ten minutes. I was on the Ambassador Bridge at 6:30, and in the customs booth by 6:45.

This is where the first real snag hit. I gave the girl my driver's license, the only thing I have ever been asked for when crossing this particular border. She said "Don't you have anything else?" What? They changed the law? No, apparently not; it was just that no one had been enforcing the law for a good while. Therefore I needed my birth certificate to cross.

I had a good several moments of panic there. I had my birth certificate at home, fortunately, as opposed to its previous home in my parents' safe deposit box in North Carolina, but it honestly hadn't occurred to me that I would need it. I could go home and get it, and come back. I would just be losing two hours. In Detroit rush hour, both ways. Three hours. So. Doable, but very bad for the overall hell-bent-for-leather strategy.

So I asked her what to do, if there were anything I could do, etc. At this point I fully expected to be sent back. So when she asked me some more routine questions and then went ahead and grudgingly let me through, I was pretty surprised, and certainly a nervous fucking wreck.

I had already felt terrible about going to this conference at all. It was really bizarre, and different from any road trip I had taken before. See, I love driving. I really like experiencing the whole of the land and country, as opposed to seeing it from a tiny window 30,000 feet in the air. I like to have the time to sit and think, to relax, to just drive, with no other obligation. And I like going places. I had never set out on a trip such as this, whether with people or alone (as is much more common for me, and which I tend to like more anyway), without being completely excited and happy about it.

This time, though, I was very conflicted. I knew that conference was a good thing to go to, that it would be great to actually have my head submerged in academics for a full weekend, that I would meet lots of good people and that it would be soothing to be out of the house and the heat. And still I was not happy at all to be driving in the morning. I had been dreading it for at least a couple days before I left. It was going to be exhausting and expensive and supremely difficult to drive so much with only two days of very busy break in between. Specifically, it would be a break in which I had to be constantly alert and awake and articulate on the spot. And I needed to schmooze as much as possible. I am Terrible at schmoozing. Gah. Besides, I was going to be lonely the whole time. I was looking at the weekend as a task to get through, even though I knew I would also like it. I was completely intimidated by the whole prospect of said conference, and depressed to be losing all my vacation days without even having John with me. I kept trying to pull myself up, and failing.

So this whole thing at customs floored me entirely. I was a complete wreck for the whole morning. Fortunately I can drive well while a wreck; it's generally only anger that affects my driving, and I wasn't angry. So I drove and drove and tried to cheer myself up and sang and drove.

Things were looking better by the time I got past Toronto, but still. "Better" does not equal "good". I was looking at all the trees, trying to think what things I needed to take pictures of (although at this point I had no camera). It was interesting, because certain trees looked like certain provinces as I went along, and the changing plants are always interesting. There are blue lupines in Ontario! I don't remember that! The sides of the road were all brilliant and heathery with them, and with tiny daisies and brilliant thumbnail splashes of buttercups, all against the different greens and light ochres of the grasses. It was especially pretty to catch them growing out of various escarpments.

After making a valiant attempt to get through early, I ended up caught in Montreal rush hour. O my. Fortunately, I mostly only needed to read road numbers, since I couldn't quite read the signs otherwise. But still. My advice is never, ever to do such a thing. I have always found Quebec itself (the province) very intimidating, due to not speaking French and being an American besides. But besides rush hour, which would have been bad in any city, it was all fine.

The roadsides in Quebec are darker, and bluer. I was going along the St. Lawrence, which certainly helped in that regard. All the fine shadings of blue hills across the water and on your either side in the distance.

I stopped atbout 9:30 and spent the night in a hotel outside Quebec City.

The next day there was more stuff.

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