What the Hull?

Unfocused thoughts and random diary entries on the journey through life.

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Monday, February 28, 2005

Furniture, vans, Wireless-G and work placement
Been hellishly busy. Hired a van on Friday night to trasport Julie's furniture from her flat to mine, never driven a "proper" van before. Friday night was a quick trip to cottingham to meet people for some well earned drinks, then spent Saturday ferrying more of Julie's stuff in the car, pausing only to hook up with Zoe, Donna, Billy and Mel for lunch in Duke's. The house is a mess with a futon on one side in the hall and boxes everywhere but it's getting better slowly. Took apart and binned off two hge warrobes I had and went to Ikea and got new stuff. My trusty computer desk is going to go soon too having now been replaced.

I'm moving the computer(s) up to what was the training room which is going to be a study. Rather than put in a long network cable or phone extension I decided to make use of my Linksys WAG54G's Wireless-G capability, getting a load of wireless interfaces wasn't financially feasable though so I opted for a Linksys WRT54G to go upstairs. The WRT54G is a wireless access point not a wireless bridge but there's loads of third party versions of the firmware available for it. I opted for Sveasoft's Alchemy which is only $20 but i actually got it free here instead as it's actually GPL licensed. The only other time I've looked at wireless-g was at Col's but that failed as his NIC wasn't compatible but after about 3 hours I've got it al up and running. The WRT54G is working as a bridge to the WAG54G which is living downstairs attached to my ADSL line. The ADSL line is 256kbps so it makes no difference having a wireless 54mbps connection between it and the PCs. The PCs will talk to each other over via the WRT54G's 100mbps switch. Impressed myself by getting the link running to be honest.

Started my first placement today, nothing interesting though -just sat around reading policies all day. -Mind you if anything interesting does happen I can't mention it here anyway... At the moment Julie and Cat are busy building furniture upstairs and I'm off to assemble a new wardrobe then start cooking -late shift tomorow..

posted by martin 20:27

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Bowling for Columbine on C4
Just been watching Michael Moore's Bowling For Columbine on channel 4. If you missed it and have BitTorrent you can download the Bowling For Columbine torrent. It's a very emotive film asking some pretty important questions about the most powerful nation on the planet and it's apparently paranoid gun toting population. Everyone should watch it. One good torrent deserves another... so here's a Farenheit 9/11 torrent. Save the .torrent files to your drive then open them with your BitTorrent client to download the film. It'll take a while... I think I'm okay to have those links on here because Michael Moore himself says “I don’t agree with the copyright laws and I don’t have a problem with people downloading the movie and sharing it with people as long as they’re not trying to make a profit off my labour. I would oppose that.”

posted by martin 01:24

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Shitty Weekend
Clearing space for when Julie bings her stuff round. Chopped a bed into quarters and took it to the tip then mae a second trip to dump the mattress. Cut a metal futon into car sized pieces and dumped that too. Spent Saturday night stirring shit soup in the snow. We were gonna go out but I found a drain had blocked.. went to invetigate and found the inspection chamber completely full of sewage. Bollocks. Didn't go out. Spent 3 1/2 hours rodding the drain and pulling out whatever I could, mainly sheds load of white fabric, what looked like string and some beads -what the fuck was that doing down my drain?! To make it more fun it started snowing. I Gave up at 23:30 to carry on today. Cat went to angies and Julie went to her flat whilst I spent another 4 hours rodding with a clearing wheel and a corkscrew type thing. Didn't acomplish anything tho except to fill two buckets with the fabric and stuff I was pullng out. Having got 15 meters of the rod underground I figured I was probably clearing half the fucking streets drains realy and gave up. Called out Dyno-Rod who came by an hour later with a huge waterjet. The guy looked at my neighbours front garden found an entrance for the trap our houses both use and cleared it in about 15 minutes with the sofa sized water jet thing that lived in his van. I think it's honest to say it's been a shitty weekend.

posted by martin 20:05

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Going alright..
University's going ok at the moment. Strange to think I've been there six weeks already -guess I should start learning a few more peoples names ;) What have I done this week? Tried oysters with my other half. Don't know much about them other than you don't need to cook them as such, took a chance with some "reduced" (read "expire today") from tescos. Took a srewdriver and a crowbar to get them open -I'm sure there's a better way... Anyway they were pretty nice and didn't make us chronically ill so we'll be trying them again. Night in tonight grr. Julies booked our tckets and hired an apartment for Erotique in Manchester this April -Yay!

posted by martin 00:00

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day has been and gone, cynical marketing ploy that it is. It's up there with Christmas, Easter and any other religious event being used to seperate the secular masses from their cash. What the fuck can a pre printed card with a poem the buyer never reads actually tell us? If you want to get your other half flowers, chocolates, a card, a baby goat or whatever you should just do it whenever you like not wait till every shop is full of cheaply made heart shaped tat. It really bugs me that people think the purchase, or lack, of an anatomically incorrect toy bear made in some malay sweat shop, or one of those godawful "love" compilation CDs, can reflect one persons feeling towards another. I think it says more about peer pressure and susceptibility to suggestion. Bah humbug says me. That said I did make Julie a card and get her a bottle of perfume, but my point is it would be untrue to say that had Valentine's Day not existed I wouldn't have done so. Anyway we decided to go out for a meal -that was bad move. Most places were offering set menus at vastly inflated prices and they were nearly all full -which shows how Joe Public will vote with his feet and his wallet for anything that's marketed right. The chinese round the corner was £23 a head, we even tried a pizzaria and who were offering a set meal at £16. Yeah £16 for what's really a baked sandwich..

Eventually we did manage to find a place that had a table available, surprisingly theey hadn't seized the opportunity to hike up their prices for the evening. it was a new(ish) "contemporary indian/bangladeshi" place in the centre called Taal. we had a meal and a bottle of wine. The service was pretty good even though there were only three guys waitering -they had to run around, shame they didn't have a gratuities box on the receipt as I think they earned one. I had a olive and chicken dish that I've not seen before. I think we'll be going there again later in the year.

Tonight I have to skip training and do some reading for college so I've just been out for a 1 1/2 mile run to make up for it. My MP3 player batteries died half way.. that always seems to happen. hmm. Right better hit those books..

posted by martin 18:49

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Did Spiders last night with Cat and Billy. Drank more than I ought to ..goes with the territory :) Had a stagger on the dancefloor to Placebo and caught up with a few people and gossip. A female friend is pregnant to a very recent boyfriend. I thought they were taking things very fast but.. well there you go hope it works out for her. A male mate recently got enagaged to a girl he been seeing almost exactly as long as I've been seeing Julie -not gonna think about that though! Billy's house got sold and the new landlord wants him out so they've started legal proceeedngs -although he still hasn't actually received anything in writing asking him too move out. It's probably the house owner who botched that up I reckon -probably sold it as empty....

anyway after the club we went for a chinese takeaway . The guy tried to shortchange Billy which seems to be standard practice in there. Bill put his change on he counter and said it wasnt right without even counting it first to check. Must happen alot with them. The guy also forgot a portion of rice from the order when it'd.. shame there's no nearer food place to the club that's open. I told Cat but she wasn't surprised at all. Got home, Julie passed on her food, I washed the sauce of mine an ate it in my merry stupor.

posted by martin 22:38

Friday, February 11, 2005

Stalked by Midge Ure?
My class was cancelled today so I went into town his morning and found Ultravox following me from shop to shop. Maybe it's a friday thing. The course is going ok except for yesterday when we did a session on using electronic resources.. waiting for the 2 hour session to grind to an end I observed new lows in computer literacy. I don't think the presentation of information helped anyone -even I was lost twice by mistakes on the worksheet we were supposed to work through. The whole session could've been reduced to a one sided handout saying "These are the search engines and online cataogues available to you. Use them."

What else... recently acquired a DVD writer and armed with a few bittorrents have decided to do my bit to bring the entertainment industry to it's knees. Cat got back from New York this morning. Valetine's day soon -need to get a card.

posted by martin 12:01

Monday, February 07, 2005

eBay, eDonkey, eVening in
Sold the iron weights from my old sash windows on eBay, the seller drove up to collect them yesterday. Gonna have to keep my eyes open for anymore.. also on eBay I bought a wierd loking carnivorous plant. The seller turned out to be very local so he delivered it personally. Coolness. What else.. lazy weekend really. Got a dual layer DVD writer and downloaded Anatomy for Beginners thanks to Bit Torrent and eDonkey. Also aquired some DVD authoring software and serial numbers from the eDonkey network. I can see how peer to peer networks are gonn be hitting softwrae publishers very hard and I reckon it won't be long before software publishers will be requiring you to be online to licence their software from themselves as you use it rather than trusting registration and license numbers and keyfiles.

Stayed in this weekend, Wound up watching Shallow Hal at some point. That's a film with a not so hidden message we can all learn from to make the world a better place. For anyone who didn't pick it up the message is "Use stairs".

posted by martin 13:04

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Junkmail from British Gas and piss poor service from British Gas call centre
I hate junkmail. I've been registered with the Mailing Preference Service for many years to cut down on junk mail. Today I received an unsolicited commercial mailing from British Gas..

It was for their overpriced heating repair cost cover. Apart from disliking junkmail I also hate these expensive warranty things. The British Gas warranty is at a special offer price of £16 a month (first year) that's £192 for the first (cheapest) year. Is it worth it? Let's see.. They say to replace "a new pump alone can cost £208.78" Well maybe if get a gold plated one fitted by a guy who carries a lasso and arrives on a horse but you can get a new pump for under £35 here and if you can't if you can't beg or borrow the tools you'll need (two huge stilsons from B&Q and some wire wool) you're looking at about £50 for them too, then fit the thing yourself. OK a pump is cheap and easy to replace yourself.. what if your boiler breaks though? Hmm that'll be pretty bad. You think? A company called Ideal makes a huge portion of the domestic boilers in the UK. If your Ideal boiler breaks down outside of warranty they'll charge you £170 (which includes parts) to fix it -that's less than British Gas' "special offer" too.

I called British Gas by telephone on 0845 070 2643 (the only number on their literature) at about 16:52, pressed option 4 and spoke to a chap who identified himself as “Steven” (he refused to supply a surname) he was really unhelpful and refused to put me through to any direct marketing staff. When I advised they were sending me junkmail and should not be he said I had to call “the right number” -which he didn’t have but was a national service not just for British Gas, this was obviously be the Mailing Preference Service. I advised him I was already on that list and as such British Gas should not be sending me junkmail, hence I needed to speak to someone about it. I found him really useless to the point of obstructive then the cockholster actually hung up on me. I called back on the same number and spoke to a different chap called who took my details to remove my from their mailing list. ..meanwhile I've lodged a complaint with the Mailing Preference Service.

posted by martin 17:21

New routine is now same old same old
Not posted for a while, been getting into my new routine. Studying quite a bit and getting used to my timetable. I've put up a WAP version to access from my phone which is a timesaver. Apart from that went out last Saturday night to a pub in Ferriby called the "Duke of Cumberland". Unfortunately to get served in there you need to be a webfingered local or they'll just leave you waiting like a twat for ages. That's not unusual for cuntry (spelt as intended) pubs tho.. Mike's got a new place to live so we popped round and had a looksy. Nice, quite large too. Wound up in Spiders which was strangely devoid of familiar faces and full of kiddies -seems to be de rigeur for Saturdays in there now. ..For shame... Visited York yesterday.

posted by martin 13:49

The Author

Unbalanced opinion and general wittering, sometimes in the small hours after a night out. Legal disclaimer: take all of this as fiction.. Any likenesses to persons, events or companies living, dead, past or present is purely coincidental..

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Suggested Reading:
The Portrait of Dorian Grey
by Oscar Wilde

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Good Mourning by Alkaline Trio
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