The Year 2003 of the Common Era

Thursday 9 January 2003
Another New Year. Its freezing although back at work up in Harrogate we didn't get any of the snow that everyone down south got. After the excesses of the festive period I have decided not to drink for a month, alcohol that is. So far so good.

Friday 10 January 2003
Wish my life was interesting enough to talk about something here, but sadly tis not.

Been trying to live a healthier life the now after managing to get in a nasty habit of eating and drinking out everynight, while working away from home. I have decided I don't need a New Years resolution, I need a lifestyle change.

So its once again following Ellington Darden's rather embarrassingly titled '32 Days to a 32 inch waist', eating lots of lettuce, fruit and tuna, while its back in the gym flexing bits that have had the last 18 months off. We will see how it goes, it worked really well last time.

Tuesday 14 January 2003
Damn, its windy. Been to the gym twice this week, urggh! Still not a drop of alcohol has passed these quivering lips. Was tempted by a nice whiskey the weekend but had a coffee instead. If your wondering where saturday and sunday went all I did this weekend was open my post, wash the grundies and play Unreal2003, which in hindsight was a weekend wasted, but it was damn good fun and the first time I have played a first person perspective game, or any computer game for that matter for nigh on two years.

Thursday 23 January 2003
A funny thing happened lunch time. I jumped in my car to go to the gym and as I was driving down the road the automatic clutch seemed to be labouring between gears and acceleration felt really sluggish. Whenever I stopped and started again there was an awful creaking noise from the back of the car that sounded like the axle was about to pop its cloggs. All sorts of thoughts was going through my head like when would I get it checked out by my garage (210 miles away), would I be able to get home Friday night, should I get it checked here and I should look into car hire just in-case I found myself car-less the weekend. Anyway I put my foot down and it seemed to respond a little better. Got to the gym and as I parked up went to crank up the handbrake, ahh no need, its already up, Damn boy yo stuped like a girl!!

Thursday 30 January 2003
Ummn whats happening then, well last weekend was a bit chilly for gallivanting about to much so I got home Friday and chilled so to speak, went out Saturday playin pool while doing stuff Sunday. (jbg Not that descriptive there johnie boy!)

Monday I had to get my car MOT'ed and Taxed and all that mallarky and on ma travels again during the week.

Wednesday 5 February 2003
Hi DI Hi campers. So the new year chugs along, all sorts of bad things are happening in the world both politically, genetically and socially. The year of the ally one might say.

I read that there was no link between Iraq and the peoples of Al-Qaeda! so what exactly are we doing with thinking about invading Iraq when there are far more devious and dangerous men roaming freely about our very countries than an old bully of a dictator thats restricted to his own small country.

Michael Jackson revealed that he really is full on cracker but too much of a kid to be of any danger to kids and there was all round condemnation for the execution of some guy that had done nothing more than brutally raping and killing an 18 year old woman. Call me simple but didn't he get off lightly?

Oh well. I can remember when I was a fresh faced nipper out of school and being preached to by my course tutors and the like on the merits of different political parties and how given two terms any party, especially the tories could turn the country around. Sure enough, Thatcher was coming to the end of her first term and easily made it in for a second time and the countries expectations grew along with mine as I emerged into the world of men.

Of course some 15 years down the line I realise it was all a pile of cobblers and its just the same old political rubbish repeated in eight year cycles, with ever worsening world wide social news treadmilling in the background. Bugger!

Anyway, I managed to maintain my minimal one month faste' from alcohol (although I came off the rails last sunday and ploughed into the hordings at some pace) and have now revised things to try and exist in a state of .. now whats that word? where you can control yourself ... ummn modicum? compulsion? think .. think .. think moderation! thats the word moderation.

Having managed to exercise the body, breed a healthier mind and generate a fresh outlook during the month of January, come sunday the 2nd february, I managed to polish off a few cans of Kronenberg and a bottle of Wine that I mistakenly took to be 4% but was in fact 12% and suffered the consequences severally the next day. Of course this was compounded by not having drunk for a month.

It is a bit of a worry but when I get going I just can't seem to think !STOP!. Never mind humans weren't meant to be perfect, of which I am a shinning example.

What else has been happening in the Potter World? Oh nothing, Damn! I finished reading the Lord of the Rings, have spent some time trying to create a top down front end for this web-site that works, believe you me its no easy! Making one function is no worry, making it useable is another dimension potski is still grappling with, but it will get there.

I wrote a review for Two Towers, thought I had posted it but found I didn't upload the pages and I read Andy McNabbs latest book 'Liberation Day', excellent stuff! If you were ever woundering how they just announce on the news that they caught some terrorist and have sat there woundering whether they just walked into the station or got caught nicking apples or something or even how did the police know they were there? this book shows what really goes on that simple folk like you and me will never really comprehend. Thought it was a little short though but after reading LOTHR's I suppose not a lot is going to seem long ever again.

I also had a really weird and surreal dream the other day. Usually my dreams consist of me being chased by various people in all sorts of places and ages which usually end in me hiding and them about to find me when I wake up and within two hours I have forgotten all about it, or most of it.

This dream I can still recall in all its vividness right now. I think its roots are a mix of the pretty dire state the world is in the now and the parallels Professor Tolkien draws to such times in LOTR's, especially the parts where ordinary men and women such as the like of us have to turn around, pick up some weapon and literally kill or be killed, and keep doing it.

This was what my dream was about, really worrying stuff cos it was so real that all the thoughts that went through my mind like 'how do I get out of this', 'I'm going to die!' etc etc along with momentary patches of almost backs to the wall 'what else to do' resilience was just a little to real for my liking.

When I eventually woke up I lay there for a while thinking, who am I, where am I and how did I get here. Scary stuff. I intend writting it as a short story because the dream in its entirety told a story and it will be a good exercise in writing which I havent done for a while.

Tuesday 25 February 2003
Its been a long time baby, which may or may not be the lyrics to a song I recently heard. Yes, I have been neglecting my web duties this month as mentioned across the page. Work has finally started to crank it up and time just hasn't lent itself to me and Dreamweaver.

What has happened in the real world, well ummnn, I now find that after not drinking for the whole of January I now can't hold my drink (some would dispute that has always been the case) with my limit now seeming to be about two pints of Guiness.

Probably for the best, March is going to be another alcohol free month, the two times I have drank more than two pints the results have been pretty awful. Only trouble is, who wants to sit at home all the while, pubs and social occassions arent exactly the best environments to maintain a faste on alcohol. J20 and diet coke are the staples the now.

I got myself a new 42" rear projected TV in the sales, Really cool. A lot had been said about the picture quality of RPTV's but this Toshiba is fantastic.

Thursday 28 March 2003
March has been an interesting month not least for the fact my divorce from the now definately Ex-Mrs Potter was confirmed.

It all seemed a little sad and understated at the end. After the buildup to the wedding; the decision to marry, the planning and then the fanfare of the day, the ongoing work and effort that is put into a marriage, even one that fails; the end of it all was listed in no more than five lines on a white sheet of A4 paper that I will have to keep till death makes it redundant.

Seemed ironinc to me anyway.

Work got busy and interesting all at the same time and I found myelf in Durham for the first time. Quite interesting. Durham is a very small place, that despite possessing an impressive cathedral and castle alongside a University, its main other note of point is that it resides an almost equal distance from both Newcastle and Sunderland. The inhabitants equally divided.

They do all agree on one thing; that the Uni is no good for the local area despite the rumour that the kids pump money into the local economy, especially as most of them (students) are southern softies.

Anyway, thats what the hairdresser told this Pompey boy while darting here and there around my nonse with a little pair of scissors. Didn't know whether to try and put on a geordie accent, keep my mouth closed or just go for it. In the end I caught the sly look out the corner of her eye and twigged not for the first time the geordie sense of humour.

Sunday 30 March 2003
The end of another month. April is almost upon us and if the blossoming spring is any indication of what the weather has in store for us this summer, things are looking good.

Work is re-gearing for the rollout of technologies around the UK so I am really looking forward to visiting lots of new places and meeting new peps. Got a good team of geezers (no geezerettes unfortunately :( and if all goes well it should be a real crack!

What else, umm England won last night against Turkey, coool. I must have done lots more wonderful interesting things this month, surely. Suspect they must have escaped me the now or I simply can't tell you about them.

Wednesday 28 May 2003
So, Potters back once more after another long absence. This time he got a few things to talk about.

A lot has happened. First up I got put forward for a fulltime job working for Novell who make the products I specialise in in the workplace and have made a healthy living from over the last few years. Contract market has quietened down and although the work is out there the jobs are not that interesting. Its either that or move into Microsoft and the pile of digital excrement that is currently being advertised as Active Directory, and to be honest I'd rather chop of me arm, buy masel a terrier dawg and walk around with Kuwait Veteran stapled to me back.

So faced with un-exciting jobs and or Microsoft I have been on the lookout for something a little special for a while, while considering what other technical paths one might like to wonder down, with web programming the most likely.

So this Novell job comes up. Working for Novell represents a kinda return home for the potski and what better place than one of the last bastions of true technical endeavour, although admittedly not supported by a marketing department of the calibre possessed by Mr Gates and co.

It does offer alll the techical training a technophile could lay his beady hands on and placed as a point of contact in a v.large organisation that makes money and relies on its infrastructure, so needs reliability and therefore cant afford the middle management posturing and CV padding that so often ends in solutions such as Microsoft to medium to small companies and a threefold increace in support staff, budget and hardware ... puff pant ... ahhhgg!!!

Anyway, thats a load off. So all this means that johniebg gotta uproot from the comfertable leavy flats of Suffolk and plonk himself into the seaside locale of Bournemouth. The knock on of this of course is that the humble abode which I purchased back in the far off days of 96' now has to be sold to fund the mentioned relocation to south coast provincial town.

The knock-on to that of course is that the estate agent took one look round me not so inviting kitchen, managed somehow to climb me stairs with her knees almost together, before completing a similar raising of the nose and informing me that I needed to spend about six grand doing up the kitchen and bathroom and I should sell without any problems. If I dont I stand a chance of losing something like twenty grand on the sale ... ummmn so thats where we join this happy little tale. johniebg has spent the last weeked toiling the aisles of B&Q and labouring over floorplans and cost charts and now sits waiitng eagerly for the builders to arrive.

Tune in for an update.

Wednesday 4 June 2003
Funny thing happened to me on the way home tonight after watchin Matrix Reloaded for the second time.

It was about 11:34 and I was going past Portman Road when I saw my ex wife sitting in the passenger seat for the mearest of seconds estewing a dead pan summary of the movie (to much action and didn't understand the story) and then she was gone. All at once I felt sad, enormous loss and like i'd left something behind and couldnt remember what. About two seconds later these few words popped into my head;

Who do you see in your minds eye?
When did you last feel the emptiness beside you?
Where did you go while you slept?
What do you fear in the darkness of night?

(Ed Guess your not over the seperation yet then!)

Sunday 15 June 2003
After finishing in Harrogate (literally) Friday it was back to Suffolk, a quick turf out of me computer room along with the old video collection saturday and an early start and jaunt down to Woolpit and the Sunday Car Boot.

05:30 is not a time of the morning one would normally expect to see Potski roaming the streets any day of the week let alone a Sunday but the compensation was that it was a beautiful summers morning and once my car booting partner rolled up as I was putting the last of the videos in the back of my car we were off.

Sold all but 70 of the 240 videos in the collection that was 11 years in the making, taking 130 sterling along the way which, somewhat less than the original purchase price was a good return given DVD trends.

Had a nice bit of pub lunch at the Swan in Woolpit on the way home and a evening in with the directors commentary of Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky and a large bottle of aftersun.

Wednesday 18 JUne 2003
Phew! you spend nigh on twenty years of your thirty six being the goto guy in an assortment of full time and contract positions, leaving behind a trail of suitably impressed network techies and managers.

Then you roll up at an industry standard setter in true IT network products (and their logo hasn't got no blue init!) and find that your amongst geezers and a few geezerettes that make your average 20 year IT veteran justifiably feel like a spotty 18 year old on his first job.

When everyone about you is at least a guru and judge themselves on how many disciplines they fit that title, you do an immediate re-assess and bury your overly red nose in the nearest applicable book and dont say anything during the lunchtime discussion on resolving legacy RECMAN issues cos you know jack ... squit!

Friday 11 July 2003
In the personal world of JBG not much of any interest is happening, which any frequent reader of these pages will know is pretty much the standard. Am busy trying to get the house in order so I can sell it.

The fitters have been and gone for the bathroom, leaving behind a leak, a bath that runs yellow water (that I hope isnt the lining from my toilet pipe) and a sink that doesn't do hot water. But the taps look nice and once the tiling is done then I will be able to have a shower.

All the stuff for the Kitchen has arrived including the DishWasher and condenser washing machine which is a revelation for me. They (the fitters) should be turning up on the 24th to fit it so check in about then for an update on misery and devastation.

Have been looking for places to live when I move out of the house. Southampton, Winchester, Portsmouth (maybe) are looking likely contenders. Although I'm going to be working in Bournemouth mostly, that definately is not an option as its full of wrinkly people with money and attitude (the later two I find tend to come hand in hand) and I am currently leaving a place that's wall to wall wrinklies, so a change would be nice.

JBG needs to find somewhere thats got a few more financially independant women with loose morals, less than 3 kids and 2-3 days only to spare a week. Applicants should Click Here and include a picture (clothed or unclothed I'm not fussed), a declaration of financial independance and some naughty words to prove your moral looseness, I'll take your word on the number of kids.

Well the trains managed to make it to Maryland which means I should be at work somewhere between 9:30 and 11. So I bid you farewell for the now and look forward to catching up with you again soon. ciao!

19 July 2003
I had a real interesting week which has involved flying to Dusseldorf for three days training, being pulled over and done for speeding on the M11 on the way to the airport, leaving my phone in the car as I was then in a rush and late.

Once in Germany I picked a local taxi driver that didn't know where me hotel was, nor did his Sat Nav system which I considered to be really unlucky on my part and then spent 2 hours in the taxi with the geezer while we roamed the German countryside looking for the hotel and asking strangers for directions.

To top it all when I did finally get there and sit down outside in the fading summer sunshine the dog at the next table and I am refering to a four legged golden labrador and not some tarted up German bird, took one look at me and decided to barf up what looked like three days worth of rice and shrimps. Not impressed.

However, despite all that I was fortunate enough to pick up Michael Connolly's latest Harry Bosch novell while wondering past WH Smiths in Stansted. Lost Light is probably MC's best outing with Harry to date. Its quite interesting in that its a good but formula detective, come thriller story as are all the Bosch novels. In a genre that is saturated with many standouts, Michael Connolly manages to weave excellent plotting with some superb characterisation. The series main protaganist, is awesome to the point that you almost read and follow the plot to spend time with the character and not for the story itself. Good stuff.

Read it in under twenty four hours, which is unlike me as I am quitw a slow reader, so I am told.

I have to mention the awful, apparent suicide of the civil servant that was allegedly the leak that rubbished the '45 minute' claim made by the British Government in justifying their attack on Saddam Hussain and Iraq. This is one of the weirdest stories to hit the headlines certainly in my concious lifetime and to be honest the Government is starting to scare me just a little.

The location that his body was found worries me. Isnt suicide a final statement, sometimes a cry for help, therefore wouldnt you do it in the middle of the field and not just stop by the tree line, or if you didnt want to be noticed in the tree's. Do you commit suicide if your angry?

Saturday 26 July 2003
Well the builders have been and gone and I now have a kitchen thats half built for some reason with the rest of the floor space taken up with wood cutters and stuff. Fortunately they are coming back next week to finish up. If you stand about three steps up the stairs and squint I can see that its coming along nicely.

Had a bit of a mis-hap this week. Got the garage ready for the fitters monday, stuff was unloaded, I went to bed, got up at 5:00AM to drive to Reading and was just hurtling past Junction 6 of the M25 clockwise at an average sped of 15mph, when it suddenly occured to me that I had locked the garage the night before, there was still stuff inside it that the fitters needed, the garage key was on my key chain and the spare was in my glove compartment.

I had a heart on bungy chord moment and resigned myself to having to drive back the following night to unlock the garage before the fitters next turned up. What the hell! its only three hours in infuriating traffic each way! All attempts to open the garage via breaking and entry failed via the old geezer down the road, and I did have to come back.

On the upside I met up with a mate in Portsmouth on Thursday night that I used to work with over 10 years ago during the good old SLAC days, and had a good crack so all was not lost.

Mind you, I was reversing out of the car park on Thursday night when a car pulled up behind me, I lost concentration for a split second, forgot there was a 15 foot high, four ton concrete pillar immediately to the right of my offside bumper and proceeded to scrape said bumper along concrete pillar. Bummer. Life's got to turn round and start smilling at me soon, pleease.

Tuesday 23 September 2003
I havent disapeared off the face of the earth, I have just been busy.

Firstly I have been working on this websites first anniversary celebrations which involve a top down redesign of the site including interfaces to try and give some indication how far it has come in the first year. This is also going to be the template for its future implementation as a PHP driven website.

Additionally, the front page will also come more inline with traditional blogger interfaces. I found out this month that the idea for this website, although original to me is actually a popular concept on the web and I am one of two million peps know as bloggers because the record logs of their lives of the web. My house is now on the market with all work now completed despite that the lino people managed to put down the wrong lino ... real shame,although it looks good its just not what I ordered but cant be bothered to get it all ripped up.

So, bare with me, pleease, normal service will resume when the nights are darker and its warmer inside than out.