The Year 2004 of the Common Era

Sunday 11 January 2004
Bonjour peps, back again after a very long absence. Time seems to accelerate when I dont want it to, like on a monday morning but slows down when I dont want it to, like when your waiting for the microwave to do that last 30 seconds!

It doesnt seem more than a few weeks ago that I hurriedly put in the previous entry to this diary, which was circa the end of September 2003.

As they say, many things have happened but very little has changed, which doesnt apply in this case cos I now find myself renting digs down in Gosport the town I originate from (urrghh!), which does present some irony and spending my working days split between Bournemouth, Bracknell, London Wall and Blackfriars, so just about everything changed there!

Johnie has since been to New York in November, namely Manhatten, for a week which was superb, amazing with these big cities how most of the iteresting places are a spit away from each other, and then to Utah, Salt Lake CIty, which is about as far down the other end of the scale from Manhatten as you can possibly get, but very pleasant all the same.

Technically I did some work on the new interface circa October 2003 but lost my way and eventually had to put it on the backburner as the trips to America were both training orientated that required a considerable amount of study once I got back alongside 10-12 hours daily stints as onsite cover for one of the words largest Financial Organisations (ED: Tone it down johnie sounds like your writting a CV!).

Additionally, I started learning Java which is something I have wanted to do for a long time, course is being run internally by one of the internal Java developers which is pretty cool, straight from the horses mouth so to speak.

Production of the new interface is complete, finished over Christmas with the help of a few bottles red wine, and I am currently re-implementing the site into the new interface, which is a considerabe undertaking of work. The new interface I reckon will be ready by the first week of Feb, so come back about then for sure.

The previous interface (the one you are currently looking at) in an attempt to get colorfull got a bit messy so have gone with a cleaner, sharper look. Additionally the Real World and Whats Happening sections have been merged to make way for the sidebar menu which gives you quick access to the most recent Cinema, DVD, Books and places that johnie has encountered, and conforms more to a standard blogger interface.

Anyways, I am off now to continue working on the new interface, see you soon.

Monday 8 March 2004
Arrghh, so here we are again. Of course everything looks a little different. I got a little bored of waiting for me to finish the website before putting it up so have decided to go for broke and just put the pages that are done up and out there. Plus it will give me the impetus to do more work on it as I have been struggling on the motivation front.

I have to admit that at this early stage nothing other than this page works, but will first work on adding those pages that require the least work and then gradually the others. I just realised I havent got a 'whats new' menu option which is a pain so will have to fit one in elsewhere.

On the house front, well, its sold, provisionally anyways, just wating for the contracts to be sorted. Have now got myself somewhere to stay in Bracknell which should be a six month to a year deal while I look for a new house.

One of my new year resolutions was to go out into the big wide world and find myself a female that would spend a portion of her spare time in my company. Yes!, having sorted me Ltd company and personal tax issues out I now have a taste for being in trouble and feel the need to make it permanent!

So far results have been varied, am not sure whether its my criteria or because I am just attracted to all the wrong types of women I.e. ones that dont find me attractive.

I have made considered effort to dress smartly, allbeit with a couple misunderstandings on the dress code front, have shaved regulalrly, shower most weekends and even had my hair cut just after christmas (ED. dont get carried away J).

Johnie has been at his most charming at all times with said women, paying avid attention to conversation, even asking informed questions without proferring advise, of course interspersed by lots of nodding. Sadly to no avail. I just dont seem to be able to find anyone that wants to wrap their warm little female hands round johnies cosy frame in any way other than for balance when kissing ones cheek before heading home, alone.

Whats made it worse of course is that one of my bestest friends and confdent No. 1, who happens to a be a Kiwi chick with an unreasonably circumspect view on life (other than her own) and the world has now gone and found herself a boyfriend and is all loved up. Johnies faltering without the oracle of all things outwith his grasp (such as women in general) to guide him.

Mnnn, work, busy, getting better but only because I have forsaken furthering my technical skills for people and situation management skills, which is dissapointing to me, but there you go, such is life.

Technically, well let me see. I have taken my first few tentative steps into the brave old world of Linux and am faced with a situation where I have over eagerly installed the OS onto all my spare machines and cant do a damn thing with them because Linux is about as different from what I am used to as night is from day.

It has forced me to learn in a hurry of course as I couldnt access any of my old data on my new Linux machines. Getting there, its with some considerable satisfaction that I now find myself working out how to install Microsoft emulated file systems.

Thursday 10 June 2004
Well now. Guess who's back! and more importantly on a mission. Yep! Johnie's on holiday this week and having recheduled the trip to Tunisia that you wont know anything about till later in the year he now finds himself ready!

Yes! that mission should he choose to accept it is to finish the new flippin web interface so he can bloomin move on and do some other interesting web type stuff.

So, having travelled back from Brum today after spending two days with two of my longest currently living buddies I feel re-envigorated. I am not alone! There are others like me!

Actually my two longest (living) buddies currently find them selves in a none employed status but are refreshingly un-phased by the whole thing. I feel this mostly has a lot to do with redundancy which has left them technically not needing to work for 18 months. Their girlfriends dont share that opinion of course but they are stretching the piece of string they have as far as it will possibly stretch!

So during these two days we ate Indian food, didnt drink as much as I would have liked, but there you go cant have everything, watched DVDs, talked nonsense, went shopping for DVD's, computer games, talked more nonsense and imparted stories of weeks on end of staying at home, doing nothing when there is much to be done, sleeping through the worst of daytime TV, eating breakfast during midday talk shows, starting to think about that first drink at the same time, early evening rounds of Sky Sci Fi watchin, night time computer jiggery pockery and early AM DVD sessions. Bliss! Repeat as required.

Ho Hum! So its not just me, I am not that different, other people do this! I feel refreshed and with two whole days of my holiday left I intend re-embracing the culture into the weekend before monday, work, obligations of real life bring me back to earth with a slap round the puss with a back hand from reality.

Since we last sat down together (you and me not me mates) I have managed to sell my house, spend three of the most exhausting days of my life moving out of it, two of the most frsutrating weeks getting the equity from it and managed to move lock stock and two smikong barrles into Bracknell, Berkshire.

I commute three times daily to Bournemouth and my only customer (which isnt bad my job title includes the word 'dedicated'), two days a week I spend in the office trying to sound and look technical and refreshingly the weekends I dont have to circumnavigate the M25 to plough my way back into suffolk to complete some moving out of house type deed. Its all done!

Equity is invested, I hold off from buying properties while staking out the surrounding areas and cultuires while also attempting to find myself a female mate that will willingly, without the (open) exchange of cash, partake in partnering this dude through life as a mate. The mate bit is not panning out quite as I had hoped but all comes to those that try longer. Anyway, I am changing dating agencies this month so my luck must change! Shirley!

Anyways, thats enough for an update to you, remember, I am re-embracing the geek culture so here's a doff of me mid-afternoon G&T before I plough head first into getting the site finished.

Its good to be back and I hope we meet often again in the coming weeks and months!

Monday 1 November 2004
I am not even going to begin this or any future entry with same inane mumblings about getting the new interface finished, however;

I find myself currently in a region of Rotterdam called Capelle on a Coredump Analysis course which you Will be relieved to know isnt the result of some medical based career change and is in fact a very interesting analysis of techniques used to hunt down rogue OS code via stack mapping and code path tracing.

All a bit vague I know, but is on on account of this being the first day, so I picked up the jargon without actually finessing any of the actual techniques. I feel sure that come 18:00rs on Friday I will feel as confident as I did after my first (assisted) scuba dive which I survived, while on holiday recently in Egypt.

Anyway, other than not blethering about how much work I have put into the interface recently (almost finished) or the really interesting course I am on., I can exclusively reveal that I have just returned frpom a fantastic two week holiday in Egypt where I did Cairo, Luxor, snorkelling, one scuba dive, quad biking and a camel.

I have also recently initiated the purchase of a luxury executive apartment (so the flyer says) in a market town just west of Reading, found myself dating a female that seems to enjoy the meeting of body and soul as much as me (I knew there had to be someone) and now find that I dont have to work out of Bournemouth three days a week (daily round trip of 160 miles) and will be working out of Blackfriars one or two days a week. Cool. Wish I had kow that before putting in me bid for the flat as its secondary most reason for being picked was that it was 20 miles closer to Bournemouth than Bracknell. Never mind its still in a top location.

Wednesday 23 December 2004
Well, its nearly at the 3AM hour on this penultimate day before Christmas. I am now moved into the new luxury pad in Newbury and coming to terms with moving in the detrious left over from my habittation of a three bedroomed detached country house into a purpose built drywalled, two bedroomed abode, in the outskirts of a small but busy market town.

Instead of being surrounded by tree's, ancient country folk and a vast amount of grass, tree's and ploughed fields I have the A4, Comet across the road, BP garage next door, B&Q opposite the BP garage and a large assortment of other commercial premises. Not that this isnt what I wanted, I could easily have kept on the house in Suffolk, I wanted life, I am just finding it difficult fitting the left overs from this life into the somewhat smaller abode. Getting there though.

The two taps that started leaking 25 minutes after I walked through the door annoyed me somewhat as well.