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Pat's Blog

Work at Bristol

Wednesday, January 19, 2005 at 6:03 PM

Went to Bristol today, to clean out a server room. It should've been easy, simply removing two servers from a rack and placing two new ones in there. Particuarly as there was myself and a site admin guy doing it together.

That is, if the following occur:
    a) I remember my toolkit
    b) Unscrewing the servers from their racking is possible
    c) The racking can be removed with normal screwdrivers
Sadly, none of the above happened, so what entailed was a mad dash for some screwdrivers around the Bristol offices, then a lot of holding the b*stard-heavy servers up, whilst trying to unscrew the servers from their racking. That didn't work. In fact, we nearly totally destroyed 5 screws in the process.

So we tried to remove the racks from the cabinet the servers were in. The screws holding the racks in were, again, too tight. Didn't destroy these screws as they appeared to be made from some dense material that not many people in the Universe are aware of yet. Bent a screwdriver in the process, though.

After a lot of swearing and sighing, we decided to take a trip to B&Q. One quick car journey and a purchase of a f**k-off big screwdriver + some WD40 (over 1000 uses, apparently... at this point I was happy for one of those to be to go over motherboards and cause SERVER DEATH, but kept that to myself), we set back to work.

Server one... one screw (Yay!), two screws (WOOH!), three-oh FFS, this is STILL stuck. ARGH.

Server two... one scre-what? THAT'S stuck aswell? NNNNGH.

So... almost about to go back to B&Q and buy a lump hammer, we tried the last resort again - the rack mounts.

IT WORKED!!! So, after some further server holding, plus rack punching and bending, we did it! The servers were out!

Only the new servers to put back in. That was easier, so I won't bore you further with that, but needless to say a 30 minute job ended up taking almost 2 hours.

Still. I'm in Bristol. And more to the point, I'm writing this from within the "Evil Layer at the top of Bristol Mountain" (as it was described to me by someone once *) - yes, GWR HQ!!! Woot. It's HUGE and the studio's are MEGA plush. Gits :-)

Reason I'm here is for some drinkage with Sinead, formerly a journo from Dream 107.7 - and now on GWR Bristol / GWR Bath / Classic FM etc!!

John Bennett is also in town (works for BBC Bristol as a journo apparently) so us three will be going for some drinkage this evening. Wooh!

Speaking of which, it's time to trundle...

(* Entertainly, there is a big tower that really should belong in an airport, right next to the GWR building... for some reason I imagined that it might be the place where decisions regarding what would be New To The Mix were made. By people wearing long cloaks. I need to get out more.)

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Thursday, January 13, 2005 at 1:15 PM

I'm terrible at starting healthy living initiatives. Once I've got into the swing of something I can keep it up easily, but making the effort to start often takes me days, weeks, if not months.

Dieting is one of those key things, and I've been trying to start one for almost 2 weeks. Finally, I've started. I'm doing the Special K / Crunchy Nut Cornflakes "Lose a Jean Size in 2 weeks" thing, whereupon you have a bowl of either for breakfast, a bowl of either for lunch and a full meal. You can apparently snack too, just not on sh*t.

It's a) a great little marketing campaign and b) a nice way for me to try and diet, as I like both cereals.

So far it's going well, although I'm only 4 hours in and am feeling hungry already. Hmm, perhaps if I'd remembered to bring in some fruit today I'd not be feeling like this. Tell you what, I think I'll go downstairs and have a full meal in the canteen - I can start properly tomorrow...

(Only kidding. Probably.)

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Horror By Numbers

Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at 11:32 PM

...but boy, trying to get to sleep in a dark, quiet room with some audio equipment tonight will be difficult.

I must say, after reading an Empire review of White Noise, I had expected it to suck ass. But I must say the review was harsh *... the film was good. Not spectacular, but good.

FUMPING scary in places, too. Proper "horror by numbers" action with plenty of moments when you're just waiting to jump out of your seat. One of the earliest moments involves a ticking clock, that stops ticking... and when Johnathan reaches up for it... well, I'm not going to spoil it :-)

What plot holes there are get covered up by the whole tense / nervous feeling you have all the time (Lev pointed out that apparently when you're stressed/nervous you touch your face alot. He also noticed himself, myself and every other person he could see in the cinema doing it!)... although the ending does feel a little tacked on.

I'd go and see it, but only if you don't mind getting scared - or on the other hand, if you like staring just below the screen so that you don't jump too much when the inevitable "BOO!" moment appears... er... not that I did that. No. Because I'm rock solid, me. Rock solid. On my own. In this quiet room. Late in the evening.



Hmm, I'm sure there should've been a shriek of violins and a cat jumping in the room by now.

I think I'll put some music on.

* And besides Empire gave Alexander 4 stars (and that was rubbash) so what do they know? Eh? EH?

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White Noise

at 7:51 PM

I'm going to see White Noise at the cinema tonight with Lev.

I'm not sure whether it's going to be utter poo, worthy of many months of Final Destination piss-taking, or whether it's going to scare the sh*te out of me.

Either way, it's going to be worth the ticket price... of WHAT? Six pounds seventy bloody five?!?!?

I wonder if Lev wants to watch a DVD instead.

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at 7:46 PM

W00T, ordered me a nice new car following last year's "scenic interaction" with my old one... so it looks like I won't be driving around in my mum's old 1.1 Escort Bonus for much longer!

It's a new, black, Ford Focus Ghia, 1.6(VCT) with lots of spangly bits on it. And it's luuurrrvely. Seriously, if you're looking for a new car, try a new Focus out for size as they are damned well priced and damned good quality. </advert>

However... It's a shame. As in a way, as I did enjoy driving around in a 16 year old car with the word "Bonus" on the back of it.

Actually, that's a lie :-)

The new car should arrive in 3 weeks, just in time for the Big Vobble Weekend away (a few days oop north with lots of mates from Uni)... and a 5 hour drive!

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Word of the Week

Tuesday, January 04, 2005 at 8:55 PM


As told to me by Dave Smith (whilst we were talking about phone in radio competitions - specifically the excellent feature on XFM's Adam + Joe show, where callers phone to vote for one of two songs to play next by simply shouting the artist's name down the phone and hanging up - and discussing the merits of this on other mainstream commercial stations):

"but then, XFM listeners are possibly a bit less likely to shout "BUMGRAPES" on the phone".

Who says that being 25 means you should stop being a child? What? Society? Ah, bumgrapes.

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Monday, January 03, 2005 at 4:53 PM

A few years ago I decided my New Year's Resolution would be not to make any new year's resolutions. I felt great, safe in the knowledge that I'd been really clever in thwarting the system, standing up to the man and saying "Sod off, I'm not conforming!".

Then I realised a huge number of people refuse to make new year's resolutions and I suddenly realised that I wasn't being radical, simply following the new system of NOT following the system. My first taste of post-modernism. If that's what it is :-)

Anyways, since then I've had lots of beer. So I have always had a nice new year's resolution or two to make. This year's are no different:

1) Have no beer
2) Drink alcohol less
3) Eat healthier
4) Get fit

It all stems from the need to Feel Great, which as usual at this time of year, I'm not really.

I shan't bore you with the details, but if you're *really* interested then send a text to 8-2005, starting the text with "WOW I AM REALLY INTERESTED IN WHY HE'S NOT FEELING GREAT AT THE MOMENT PLEASE TELL ME MORE THANK YOU VERY MUCH INDEED I AM MOST GRATEFUL REALLY I AM WOOH". All texts cost 1,000 + your standard network charge. 1p per text is donated to charity.

To be honest, it doesn't really matter how I'm feeling atm, as I'm alive. Unlike the (approx at the mo) 200,000 people in Sri Lanka and neighbouring areas. The scale of that tragedy really is too much to comprehend. :-( I've got to say though that it's really restored my faith in the human species - UK residents alone had donated over 60mil to the relief effort the last time I checked, which is just superb.

If you know anyone at all who was affected by the tragedy you have my deepest sympathies.

Righty, on that note I'm gonna clear off... catchya later!

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Last Blog Entry

Saturday, January 01, 2005 at 7:28 AM

This is because a) I get off in 30 minutes (woot!) and b) I'm too tired to think of anything to say.

Well, happy new year once again... I am so looking forward to my bed right now...

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6:21 - Bored

at 6:22 AM

Bad Santa was aceness, now a bit bored. Got a fair amount sorted work-wise and now I just want to sleep. Still, only 1 hour 39 minutes to go!

Thought I'd post some links for the hell of it:
Messed up animations from the man behind Salad Fingers. Particularly amusing is some excellent complaints about the content of the anims.
Lots of chart news, plus full release dates for singles, albums and DVDs. Useful for radio stuff!
Every song released that got in the charts is in here, detailing when it was released and the highest position it got to. You can do searching on artists, songs, format, year, position... if you want to see where a song got to, go here! Also damned useful for radio links in forward promotion when you've got nothing else to forward promote with. Not that, I've, er, ever needed that. No. :-)


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Bad Santa R0><0rZ

at 4:58 AM

What a film!! You HAVE to see this if you're sick of the usual cotton candy crap that you get this time of year... quite refreshing, in a crude, sweary way. Which is never a bad thing in a film, imho, although I'm sure this is pushing the boundaries of F**ks per minute to the MAX *.

Just gone 5am... tired... so tired...

Folders rearranged, task list sorted, now doing some random VB stuff to allow easy cleanup of user config files.

just... LOL@Bad Santa again.

(* To the MAX is now the phrase of the morning. I don't know why, but sleep deprevation appears to make me want to create a phrase of the morning. So, er, To the MAX is it. I knew you'd be thrilled!!)

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Squage Livens up Night Support Shifts ™ *

at 4:01 AM

Night Shift PictureNight Shift + Squage Picture
Without Squage EnhancementWith Squage Enhancement

* = n.b. this may not have actually been tried out. Some people have played Squage enough to find it on a par with night support shifts ;-)

Righty, back to cleaning up file+folders on my home / shared drives... man this is the crazy life. 4am - half way through!!

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Night Shift Picture

at 3:44 AM

Particularly apt for cover support when no issues occur, and fairly similar to how I'm feeling right now...

Night Shift Picture

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Kirsten Dunst must've p*ssed herself trying to say this...

at 3:32 AM

(As Mary Jane, coming back to Peter Parker's flat (spoiler in white: after leaving her wedding without taking the vows because she really loved Parker)): "So here I am, standing in your doorway. I've always been standing in your doorway. Isn't it about time someone saved *your* life?"

ARGH! I mean, *really*. She might aswell've added on a Thundercats-style moral message and be done with it.

<MJ> "Hi, I'm Mary Jane!"
<Spiderman> "And I'm Spiderman!"
<MJ> "Hey Spiderman, why is that bloke looking so sad?"
<Spiderman> "He's lost all his money gambling!"
<MJ> "That's awful, the poor man!"
<Spiderman> "Well, if he'd've saved rather than gambled, he wouldn't be as *poor* as he is now!"
<MJ> *belly laugh* "You're so right, Spiderman!"
<Spiderman> *belly laugh*
[Both continue belly laughing as camera slowly pulls back and picture fades to black]

Might watch Bad Santa next. That might remove the cheesy-line cobwebs (eh? EH?) of the last film...

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Almost 3am...

at 2:56 AM

...and I'm starting to get knackered now. Been up since 9am yesterday, had a (poor) 1 hour nap at about 8-9pm yesterday and the coffee doesn't seem to be working much.

Still, Spiderman 2 is great, even if it seems cheesier every time I watch it ("I believe there's a hero in all of us" / "To me, you're nothing but an empty seat" / "I'm standing in your doorway, I've always been standing in your doorway" etc). Doing some show prep for Sunday too so that's quite useful.

Was also thinking about doing a spot in the Sunday show where peeps can request a TV theme, but I think that'll only really appeal to quite a narrow audience. Who knows? I also like the idea of playing a tune that was number 1 X years ago "on this day", seeing as the show is just before the Hit 40 UK.

Anyways, time to get back to task list organising for 2005... mmm...

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at 1:56 AM

<[BentraBot]> TELEGRAM FROM <fadefast> SENT 2005-01-01 00:36:10
<[BentraBot]> She said yes :-)
<[BentraBot]> STOP
That's awesome news... and on the chimes of Big Ben, too :-) Congrats Mr and (not yet - but nearly!!) Mrs Hardman :-D

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Happy 2005!

at 1:28 AM

Happy New Year to you! Blimey, I don't think I've ever been in a fit state to blog at 00:29 on Jan 1st. To be honest, that's a good thing, as being at work (as I am right now) over new year isn't the best.

It was very surreal driving in at just gone Eleven... the roads were totally deserted (oddly enough), there were fireworks here and there and Essex FM was playing "Howard Richie's New Year Party", which was quite good. Sadly the excited "Only 38 minutes to go!!!" links weren't quite having the effect on me that I suppose was intended. Imagine if the DJ on your "local"-sorry, local station told you at the start of each song (in an excitable fashion) how many minutes there were before you started work...

It's not too bad, mind. So far on this support shift I've sat and had a chat, drank some champagne (albeit from some cheap plastic cups from the vending machine) and wished some Uni mates a happy new year. I've got me a book to read, some DVDs to watch and some CDs to listen to. It should therefore be quite easy... providing nothing goes wrong with the infrastructure in the office. Which it won't.

At least, it had better fumping not.

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