Friday, 31 December 2010

So Long 2010

Well, its new years eve, I'm about to get started on a marathon cooking effort for tonights grand New Years Eve Curry party and Hogmanay night so this may the last chance I have to update in 2010.

Been quite a year all told...Its easy to focus on the negative side of things, the cancer being a major downer which dominated so much of it, but its also been an exciting year for change and new things happening.
We have a new home, our jobs are secure and still fun. Holland continues to surprise us with its warmth and friendliness, lots of new friends, new guitars, a new car, new toys and new experiences. We've had ups and downs like every other year.

But on balance its been a year of development for us all, something to build on for the future. I'm looking forward to 2011, I want to put aside the downers of 2010 and get on with things now.

Happy New Year

Lang may yer lum reek!


Monday, 27 December 2010

New Ipod 4

Since our Ipods got stolen we've been a bit lost.. I do like my Ipad for working on and doing cool things with but I missed my Ipod for music and other stuff.

So while in town to top up our video collection (now we have our projector working properly upstairs) we went to the apples store and got shiny new Ipds 32GB.

Some cool new features there, though the camera is pretty pants, it does have a nice hi res screen and the video chat feature looks promising.


Saturday, 25 December 2010

On Drums, with my collegues doing other bits ;)

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!


Friday, 24 December 2010

hmmm I'm not a brickie

The little wall I built to hold the satellite dishes.....fell down...though I must say I would do quite well as a satellite dish fixer to wall person, as the dishes are still very much attached.

Probably just not enough mortar, or summit, but I'll have to wait for better weather before I try to build a "better" wall.


Thursday, 23 December 2010

Last day at work

Today is the last day at work..students are all busy doing their final 2 hours of working class so I am updating now since I may not have time later.

Really looking forward to the holidays, though have not yet done my Xmas shopping, I will pop ino town today.
I do have some marking to catch up on, but a give me a few days of R&R and I'll get that out of the way.

Trip to the docs earlier today was...well I got a bit annoyed with Bina, who came along, seeming to take a pop at me in front of the doc, but managed to keep things together..being aware that my emotional responses are not normal gives me a degree of control over them, but still it narked me, as did being referred to in the 3rd person when I was sat right there. It turned out to be quite stressful but, I didn't lose it, and no one was injured. ;)

Repeat script and a reccomendation to use the tranqs if I feel agitated or under stress...hmm hate being medicated but we'll see. More guitar playing and walking also given as doctors orders..Harvey might enjoy the 2nd of those.

I think the upcoming rest will do me more good than the meds, I have an incredibly light work load when we come back so that will give me time to get into some PS3 coding which I have been really looking forward to but not had enough free time to get right into. As a result our PS3 console course at the moment is quite basic, being the 1st time we've done it. I want to explore more on what the machine can do and see how it goes.

Must also make another attempt to fix the satellite dish up we can get some decent Xmas TV.


Sunday, 19 December 2010

Satellite Dishes and Rod Hull

Been up on the roof most of today fitting the dishes we need to use our Freeview boxes...quite frustrating. I built a small and very rough wall, 3 courses on a base of flagstones onto which I fixed the 2 support arms. Drilled through the windows at a suitable place, fed cable in with no issues, and hooked them up.

1 LNB on the dish does not seem to work..hmmm need to investigate, one seemd to provide awesome power 75-80%, but 0%quality, regardless of where it was pointing. I can't find my good quality compass, and the supplied tin disk does not really cut it. sorted me out with direction but angle up/down is harder. For some time I was mistaken in thinking that the angle had to be 27deg on the dish..infact its about 2degs...oh.

Anway, by the time I figured it out and got things close to where they should be, we had a major snowfall and the quality is 0 its going to have to wait for another clear day.

Damn frustrating job this dish installing, but we did get a glimpse of what to look forward to when we hit 45% quality at one point and up popped a load of channels...soon to be lost...but tomorrow we may get lucky.

At least I managed to avoid doing a header of the slippy roof, like our old Emu loving friend.


Friday, 17 December 2010

its my birthday and I'll cry if I want to...

After all I have got a bad case of depression.

no alcohol allowed

time to start smoking hash I think?


Thursday, 16 December 2010

Please Mr Gibson sir....can I have some switches?

Finding replacement parts for my damaged Dark Fire is proving tricky, the volume knob is no problem, but the pickup/piezo blend switch is a specialist item specific to the DF..and Gibson don't sell them to retail.


But...they are looking to see if it is possible to let me have them as a courtesy...I really hope so, otherwise I will have to get Leroy's(henceforth to be known as Leroy the destroyer) insurance to buy me a new DF, all becuase of 1 small replaceble part!!


happy pills

Doctor agrees, I am in the middle of a depression and he wants to crack out the medication. Prozac no less, straight onto the happy pills for me!! Councilling comes later, seems they want the meds to work 1st which is ok.

Gotta go back weekly till the pills kick in in a month or so, and see how things are.

Sigh all feels a bit meh...anticlimatic....but ok it needs doing, I said that way back at the start, as soon as you recognise it get it dealt with, part of the problem with depression is it stops you from dealing with it...and everything else.

step 1 taken.

Oh....and he recommends I do things that I enjoy as much as play my really..Doctors my guitar ;)..but keep off the computer for non work reasons...hmmm yea makes sense I suppose.

Deleting Supreme Commander 2 now (tbh its a bad game but I was using it to escape)

Better get on with some marking now.


Wednesday, 15 December 2010

where me buy this?


bahhh heeeeere's Johnny

Saturdays incident has started of a chain of events where everyone is sulking at each other and not talking or even being able to stay in the same room together. The spare room is seeing some action!

Its all crazy shit, I just don't know how to handle it..I try to make small efforts and get rebuffed, and then do the same myself.
Its all pretty childish with us defending our positions to the death, yet the consequenses are very serious, she's already talking of moving out to give us a break...I tried to say I didn't want that but she's not me, or I don't think she is, or.

I give up.

In amongst all this I am now 100% certain that the depression I suffered from waaaay back when I started this blog is well and truly back....well duh!

No doubt triggered by the cancer and building the last 6 months, but whatever the reason while I have some control of it, it needs dealing with. It won't be long before I can't deal with the other issues that are piling up on me if its not stopped.

I hover between anger and despair, with occasional fuckit, lets charge ahead, and staring into space wondering how to snap back, pondering the ever present face pain, pondering growing old age and death as a possibility of the cancer, pondering the point of it all and so gets a bit deep and frankly silly when written down (which is of course why I write it down to help me see that)'ll get worse if I don't deal with it now...I don't want to end up curled up on the floor again.
And yes it probably is part of the reason Bina and I are fighting, I just can't see the wood for the trees right now, actually the trees are a bit blurry at the moment too.
I'm functioning ok at work, more or less, but marking seems like such a chore its taking me forever to do...and it ndeeds doing or I'm going to have problems since it never goes away, it just accumulates.

Appointment made to see my doctor tomorrow, actually to meet my doctor, since despite all the recent medical stuff I never bothered to go see my GP, poor buggers probably been getting letters and updates from the hospital filling up a filing cabinit in his office and he's never even seen me. Now I'm going to go dump a load of "I think I'm going slightly mad" shit on his lap....going to be interesting.

Bina passed her 1st MBA exam with a highest possible grade, A with Distinction. I never doubted it! It would have been nice to celebrate it..but wasn't to be.

Edit, Interesting point...Quite a lot of people I know read this now...when I started it it was intended to be a cathartic process, and a way to keep family and friends uptodate...But it was largely unread and anonymous, as long as the readers were largely distant, unnamed and not sat accross from me at any time it was easy to document things, even painful personal things...

Now though its that wee bit harder, I know some of you, quite a lot of you in fact, I'm writing personal shit, detailing painful stuff and people I work, drink, play with are getting insights into my psyche I don't know that I want them to have.....
But.....somehow it needs to be done, it needs to be documented, to continue the catharsis and to give me a means of self reflection and perspective on what's going on. I hope it does not colour anyone's view of me in daily life though...


Sunday, 12 December 2010

Fed up

I'm fed up, no really, just totally pissed off, fed up, fucked off and not in the bloody mood for anything at all, everything is getting on top of me, I feel ill, tired and cranky, and I'm just not dealing with shit I should be dealing with.

Sounds familiar..

I'm also furious that when it comes to conflict, the 1 person I am supposed to be able to trust and have my back, does'nt. That sucks, and makes everything else seem 1000 times worse.

Jodie was asked to take the dog out while I was getting ready to go out with her to see her mums latest am-dram thing in Dordrecht..We had a train to catch, though we had plenty of time, but to save some while I was dressing the last job of the evening was to take the dog out for 2 mins so he would not be bursting all night. So I asked her to do it.

She didn't, she made a big fuss about it which eventually resulted in me shouting at her to just do what I'd asked. She didn't...she decided instead to take umbrage at my getting annoyed at her and walked out...without the dog of she managed to avoid the thing I asked her to do, something she does a lot, which pisses me of so much.

I then took the dog out, which had to be done, and seeing Jodie at the end of the block, heading to the station shouted that she was on her own and I would not be paying for her fare or the meal we had planned. There was no way I was going to let that behavour go lightly, and I was going to let her deal with the consquences of her actions on her own.

I walked the dog, and then walked to the station myself, caught the train to Dordrecht fully expecting to have Jodie there waiting to see what to do next, which as far as I was concerend was to head home and think about what she had done, cos I was not interested in spending time with her.

But no, I get a text from Bina, she's going to pick Jodie up, and take her there!! So knowing full well her mum was busy prepping for a performace, the selfish little madam calls mummy to come get her and there's no consequences to her actions at all.

Dis fucking gusting.

I am appalled, and furious about this, so I decided I wasn't going to spend the night fuming in a social setting and went home, straight to bed as it happens, as I had been feeling poorly all day anyway and this just added to it.

This morning of course, its all my fault....Bina, decides that there's 2 sides to this story and she's going to believe Jodie.

Incredible. There's so much wrong with this that I can't even put it into words, so of course we end up shouting which makes it my fault even more becuase I'm bad tempered and irrational and unwilling to see any view but my own.

I really fucking hate this, there is no other view, Jodie was disrespectful, lazy and selfish, and I tried to deal with that simply using exclusion as a consequece of her actions...yet mummy rides in to the rescue, without even checking with me, totally undermines me, and sees it as all my fault.

No...its not that I am unwilling to see any view but my own, its not that I'm always right, and its not that I get angry when things piss me off, its simple.

At least it is to me....but I can't make that point because the 1 person who is supposed to see my side of things, take a stand with me, and work with me to raise OUR child, isn't capable of seeing that there are indeed 2 sides to the story, but its not something parents are supposed to have any problem choosing.

Why am I posting this here...why not...she's gone off Shopping with Jodie....yeaaah Jodie gets to have a fun day out with mum, while Brian sits in the dog house.

Really fucking disgusting, and there will be some changes, becuase this is not bloody on.


Friday, 10 December 2010

The difference is...

After a couple of years teaching, I have now finally worked out the easiest way to tell if someone is destined to be a programmer or not.

Its not that they get frustrated if they don't understand..thats actually a good sign.
Its not that they ask really dumb obvious questions, thats also actually a good sign.
Its not that they over complicate code...also a good sign.
Its not that they don't know the correct syntax but try to write it in terms they all the above, a good sign of a working mind trying to understand something.

Its when they don't even try to work out whats gone wrong and expect you to tell them.

That sucks, they are not programmers.

I joke with my students about a universal law of programming...

Brian's 1st law of self fuckery. Which states ;-

"If your code is doing something other than you expected it to fucked up."

There are actually currently 3 Brian's Laws of Self Fuckery
the 2nd is

Brian's 2nd law of Self Fuckery.....

"Is the same as the 1st."

This is to emphasise the importance and factual truth of the 1st law.
The 3d law is ;-

"If you are using someone elses working code in your program and it does not do what it did on someone elses fucked up."

Yes they are funny, and I may be sailing close to the wind by stating the f word in a class setting, but there's truth in this, I am trying to make people realise that they control what they write, its in their hands, if it does not do what it should do, they made a mistake, its not the computer, its not the language its not even the teacher..its them....if they fuck up..they have to try to find it...programmers, or those destitned to be programers do try to find out!

These 3 laws are self evident and quite provable (though Flash, (ahaaaah..saviour o the universe), does bend the laws a little due to it being totally crap) So its amazing that no matter how many times I explain these laws, students still should work but it doesn't. Others however say, its "still" not doing what it should

I actually don't mind those kind of students..they are trying at least. But the ones who stop dead in their tracks at the 1st sign of an error, then wait till 10 mins before the end of a class to admit, they don't know what to do, worry me.

They won't make it. I should be sad about that, but I'm not..they're not trying, they have 2 hours to put their hand up and say, Brian, what does this mean...but they don't, they sit there for 2 hours with a syntax error, and rather than try to find it they stress out or check out facebook but never actually try to understand the problem.

Teaching is fun, 95% of the time, but that 5% when people are not paying any attention to what you tell them, then doing nothing, and asking you to do it for them when they clearly are not not fun.

I'm lucky that there are not too many students like this, almost all mine are trying and I never ever critisise those who make an attempt...but those who are just waiting till I put something on screen they can copy....sorry really are wasting your time...and mine!!

ahhh....feels good to rant sometimes.


Thursday, 9 December 2010

THE most sickening sound in the world

Is a much cherished Gibson Dark Fire, hitting the ground face down.

Went for a jam with some students last night, I took a turn on drums and let one of them, an experienced guitarist have a play with my DF....yup..he dropped it...quite accidently of course, the strap slipped, ironic as the DF has strap locks, though they don't actually work on mine. ( Bad QC at Gibson there)

His face when it fell was almost worth the cost of the repairs. A new pickup selector switch and a volume knob..


My own face must have also been quite a sight, as I sat there for several seconds trying hard to do a Sapphire and Steel style time reversal.

Ah major damage done, the broken parts should be easy enough to replace, if I can find a source.

Was a horrible moment though, for all concerned.


Sunday, 5 December 2010

Turned out nice again

The cold snap has relented with rain washing away the snow and temps rising to a quite respectable 2 or 3 degrees.

I gave my presentation on the trip to Liverpool on Friday, it went down really well, with funnies and information wrapped up into an hours de-brief. All hail the Dave Gorman school of presentations.

Some of us went for an end of week drink and dinner to cap it off. I was very pleased to hear that so many people enjoyed it and found it informative.

Its not common practice at our place to do a de-brief after a trip to a conference or event, which I found odd and not very helpful. Hopefully the success of this presentation will encourage others to let us know what they get up to when they go off on their jollies. The Glorious and Beloved Leader that is Frank, seemed to think it should be standard practice now.

Facebook is now full of pics of me in various drunken states dressed as a monk while at Ken's 50th Birthday party, which had a Priests and Prossies theme...unable to find a suitable prossie costume, I opted for a monk complete with tonsured wig and my Ipad in its leather binder, acting as a Bible playing Gregorian chants as I made a big entrance to..3 people. :D Bina was in her usual Friday night home with the Beukens outfit :) More people turned up later and a good night was had.

The Late night resulted in a serious case of oversleeping today though, did not wake up till after 4pm...even by my weekend sleep standards that's pretty over the top. Not sure I'll get to bed very early as a result. I must pick up the script for the sleeping tablets the doctor gave me at my last checkup.

We have 2 weeks now till the Christmas break, I am looking forward to it a lot I must admit, our 1st Christmas and New Year in our new home. It'll be fun.


Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Snow/Sleep/Lack of.

1st Snows hit Breda on Monday, not much thankfully but a nice light dusting that has frozen hard.

Early winters mean chances of a hard winter are high..might be a chance to try out my skating skills then!!

Can't sleep again...its 4.26 and I've been reading/marking and other stuff to avoid boredom but the insomnia is pretty bad..never mind, look on the plus side, only 3 more sleeps till Christmas (via several facebook friends)

Going to head off to bed now and see how long it takes to get to sleep, fortunately I have not got an early start tomorrow but I do have a full day of classes, must try not to yawn..or at least what passes for a yawn these days.