A journal of questionable quality

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

shorter of breath and one step closer to death....

Feels like it anyway.. after a hard afternoon getting dragged around the park, bum in buggy, legs anywhere - strange wind that Northerly.

The reboot is stalled - waiting instruction on secure server stuff - no one seems to want to make a decision - zoetrope101 beginning to show the lack of attention - still hanging out to have an indepth look at Flash Communication Server, a trial of which is sitting about here somewhere gathering dust - meanwhile does anyone know how to sell kites online, in a SSL setup, in Australian dollars?

Me - I'm a Madmerch fan, templated though they may be the outcome still looks clean and there's fun to be had. Everything else looks so serious, and wants so much money - what is ecommerce anyway but an excuse to rip into people who don't know any better.

Of more import - Mum, brave lady that she is - now moved to another hospital for recuperation, a symbol for me now of how to just keep fighting.

Seems it may be time to brave the considerable temperature differential tween here and NZ, and go and have an adventure with her when she's back up and running.

On pain and suffering - the breaking of the codeine addiction is getting there - slower that I expected, but getting there, and we're back on the much loved anti arthritic Celebrex, the wonder drug.

The bloody thing is that good it not only takes the pain out of my knees, arms, fingers, anything that I have managed to break over the years, it also gives me the oddest feeling of well being - worth the money for that alone!

It's a positive bitch getting older - everything getting a bit more worn everyday, but it's happening to you all, and I'm mildly pleased about that.

50 early December - stunning, how did I get here? I was surprised at 30, I'm stunned at 50.

50 years is a long time for anyone to be on the planet, and yet I still act like a child - won't share my toys, and still lust after young wenches, something you learn to do when your partner is also feeling the effects of age, demanding children, and harping parents - so much for any romance - that seems to be the first thing to go with them, and I'm beginning to think that's a damn fine thing - strange thing for me to think.

I now understand why real live married blokes wander off and get themselves in a barrow load of shit.

Has anyone researched this? Should I?

I'm having too much of a good time - fuck research!



Tuesday, November 23, 2004

it's blowing, it's good

So much for the hurried reboot for BrisKites - my head got in the way on day 1 - exploded, as they do, migraine flattened out the creativity curve, day 2 the weather got in the way - blowing a near gale, what's a bloke to do - pack up the car, head for the beach, find high tide (not good for buggies, causes resistance), over to park, major screaming wind, just the thing for a man still fragile after a sleepless night fighting a headache.

Well, we did get as far as the drop down menu - seems it's done, not coloured, but done. All for only 36Kb of code, a mere drop in the ocean if you're broadbanded, a 10 minute wait if you dialup - dial up must be punished, bad dial up - rot in hell, wait until we add the pointless Flash header that takes so long to load another Kennedy will have been shot.

Scored Photoshop CS - payment for a job (well done one too I might add - a link will appear in the usual place) - wasn't prepared to like it at all - thought it was trying to be all things to all people - it is, and I love it anyway.

Where would we be without Photoshop, why, some of us (me) might have to learn to actually draw, paint, etc, perish the thought.

I'm sure I was able to do that sort of thing once, but, even if I do remain the owner of a remarkable set of pencils and charcoal, it appears there is little use for them in a production environment - no time to wait, we can whack it through Painter and produce the same look in 2 minutes, no paper, no board, no smudges, not one piece of it real at all.

What do you do?



Tuesday, November 16, 2004

BrisKites, the reboot

It's true, we have had the BrisKites site looking the way it does for far too long.

Long enough to know that it will never survive the rigors of the owner getting at it, long enough to have become bored with the look of the thing, long enough to know we need more space, more menus, more of everything.

Be warned, the new, improved model will be sporting a drop down menu - what can I say, this site needs as much menu space as it can get now, with the owner extending his range of - everything -, which makes it an exciting time.

Base colour has yet to be decided, but, at one stage was looking like #93A070, handy because the possible add one, the new PHP based shop, has somewhere a #999966, a similar colour. Neither being blue is going to cramp things for the logo, but, have Photoshop will colour!

The shop - what are we going to do there? It's a big question, and we will take suggestions, but it may yet be as simple as a PayPal button - I need to keep it as friendly as possible, and some of the ones we have tried out have required a diploma in computing science to work - and that's from the shoppers point of view.

Others have been helpful, so helpful as to weigh over 15 Mb - for that size we could have two extra sites as well.

Along with a shop, the ubiquitous bulletin board - plain jane phpBB is looking good, and that after trying the other 400 available all over the place.

Other add ons may well include some sort of blogging 'thing', a hard one to describe, but something, something, indefinable at present.

Meanwhile, all this has caused me to have to go back on my promise never to touch another database again - what can I say, I'm a slut for code.

I still think that I would be better off flying a kite, riding a buggy, getting my retinas burnt out, than buggering up database structures one after another, then again - who can tell?



another operation..

Another operation for the Mother, another cancer removed, back in postop groggy form morphine, but still able to talk, it's times like this that the mere 3 hour distance seems to stretch to incredible proportions.

She's now due for a full scan, again, to have a decent look at her, she's not going to get off on that - MRI's are noisy bloody things, and I was only getting my knee done.

Renewed passport safely to hand, after a nervous two weeks being without one - not a feeling I like at all. It's the one document that gets me out of here if I feel the need, and you never can tell when the need will be felt.

Right now, with Mother Hen all wound because her favorite son is down at the local McDonald's for a mere two hour orientation, terrified he might have to walk home in the dark, the need to get away is featuring.

Could be the three hour stint in the park under a blazing sun in fickle wind, fighting the baby 2m Buster that caused my mouth to open at the wrong time and suggest he could for once find his own way home, bad move, I forgot we're still breathing for him as well.

It looks, on the subject of winds, that the summer prevailing is going to be a Northerly more often than not - a conclusion arrived at today after checking the weather history.

Back to the drawing board for the buggying plans then - the Northerly is a bitch at the Clontarf park, coming in, as it does, from over the buildings rather than off the sea. This makes the Gold Coast park, only 10 minutes more driving distance, in exactly the opposite direction, a far better prospect, the Northerly there coming straight up the channel aiming for my kites.

Seems we may have a change of venue, and a good choice it is for the eye candy on the Gold Coast is somewhat more 'complete' than what I have been getting. All I seem to see is muffin topped blimps on roller blades, a worrying sight anywhere.

Prevailing winds being my only worry I should be a pleased man indeed, but, of course that's never the way is it.



Wednesday, November 10, 2004

another week....

Another week passes, another ONE day I manage to get on the bike and crank out another 20 klm, get attacked by a suicidal magpie and almost fall off while trying to drink and ride at the same time.

20 Klms a week - good grief, I was doing that a day last year, and I'll have to reach that again if I am to lose any weight.

The diet is fixed, back to the same old, this time without the addition of half a pound of chocolate after - let's see if that makes a difference.

My Mother, the old battler, is back in hospital again, looks to be another lump on her bowel. This will be number three. The third time she's been operated on for bowel cancer, another one to perform a mastectomy to get at a cancer there to.

It's not easy being in another country, even if they are only 3 or 4 hours apart. It's not easy waiting for news which never seems to come quick enough to satisfy me.

My sister, herself a cancer victim, copping a serve from me when I finally get her on the phone.

Not easy for her - alone bar the company of her grand daughter, a constant resident since her Mother disappeared off the radar, having a time... doing what we all did when we were young, the difference being we didn't have kids to weigh us down.


All in all a bland week - it happens. Yvonnes eldest home from school, recovering from a toe nail that needed to go, lugubrious, too cool to move from the favoured position - prone on the couch, attended to by a doting mum - too much for me to watch.

Out today, getting toe checked, buying him a new phone, this time one that takes photos, the new must have, something, anything to buy the poor buggers approval - it's odd to watch that sort of relationship, a person in fear of the wrath of her eldest son.

It's probably normal - how would I know I have never had anything to do with kids and intend to stay that way. Funny how their Mothers, duly warned that I am not in the habit of enjoying interaction with children still seem to think that their ones will be different - they're not.

Stuck at home due to a spate of huge storms rolling in every afternoon, pouring down, unpredictable winds making it hard to attempt anything in the buggy.

Much more of this nepotism and I will have to bolt for the shooting range - 100 rounds of 9mm should take the bad taste out of my mouth... that and a box or two of .357 should manage to brighten the week.



Tuesday, November 09, 2004

kicking codeine

An alkaloid narcotic, C18H21NO3, derived from opium or morphine and used as a cough suppressant, analgesic, and hypnotic - the definition of codeine.

It's something that has to go. Go, or be tamed, back down to a normal amount.

Too many motorcycle accidents, hard landings in skydiving, too much of everything, makes a regular pain relief hit necessary. Trouble is the quantity goes up and the pain remains the same. Time to pull the tolerance down to an acceptable level again, something we go through about once a decade.

It's not pleasant, in fact it's downright uncomfortable having a reliance on something like that, and so easy to get into a routine - if it's four o'clock it must be codeine time.

The dry out will be gradual - about 4 - 6 weeks, with plenty of headaches to deal within that time.

Sometimes it's obvious that I take things as a habit, nothing more. Anything goes wrong, anything looks like going wrong, reach for the codeine, they fit easily into the scheme of pain relief, subject changing, memory suppression, you name it.

Trouble with doing it now is the onset of summer always brings with it a host of memories, suppressed, managed, controlled, usually with the help of a 'headache'.

Trouble with doing it anytime is there will always be a reason why it's not a good time - summer is just another excuse - memories or not.

Memories abound at the moment anyway - must be the shutting down of Carol's business - something that kept us in constant touch over the years, much to the chagrin of our partners, who will probably never understand that we have a bond, always will have, we did a lot together.

And, codeine or not, we two will probably be the only ones left standing.

It must be the memories. Where's the codeine?



Monday, November 01, 2004

a slow start to weight loss...

Well, it wasn't going to be as easy as 'wake up, get on the bike and lose weight' was it?

Dilemma - a good looking day on waking seems to point me to the car where the buggy is packed and waiting, alongside sits my beloved bike, awaiting it's rider, and I have a hangover coding drama from yesterday.

Naturally geekiness wins over - Movable Type, the last of the CMS to be installed locally, still needing to be installed locally.

Seems it takes considerable thought to be able to get the bloody thing to run on a local server, considerable thought and a head for the complexities of Perl. Found this out late yesterday, unable to clear it from the brain.

Geekiness leads to ActivePerl from ActiveState, a, thankfully, fully self installing version of Perl that seems to be popular - even more so after it worked it's magic for me too.

Perl installed, compiled and running well, we proceed to the delicate task of trying to get Movable Type to run. (Read, trying to get Movable Type to do anything at all)

Conclusion - Perl does the job and Movable Type is running locally.

The completion of the cms testing. Which one wins? Who knows? They're all so different, each with good features.

The exercise began as a investigation into free CMS stuff to gently guide people toward rather than a full blown site, a cheaper option for them, an easier option for me.

The exercise finished with a whole new line of work - installing and configuring CMS for customers. Seems there is a reason why the likes of SixApart and company charge for setting up their product.

It 'aint easy I have to admit, but between the three machines we have managed a good bit of experience in the stuff - not something I would have elected to do had choice been around at the time.

So, a new line - installs (Price on application) for:
  • Mambo
  • MDpro
  • ezPublish
  • PHPbbs - anyone can do that one
  • oscommerce
  • WordPress
  • Movable Type

    .. and a few others.
    Why do they all want to work on a backbone of PHP and mySQL? Because it's the best - it seems to be a simple as that.

    Now, I can get back to the buggy and the weight loss.



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