Richard's Blog

Random musings from the family geek...

This week's music:

Name: Richard

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Richard has a bad back...again

As most of my long-suffering family and work colleague know, I hurt my back a couple of weeks ago (not doing anything in particular, it just got more sore over a couple of days - culminating in a long visit to Ikea that was just too much for it - even though I was just walking around, no lifting at all).

The result is that I am avoiding sitting down and am instead either standing, lying down or walking around and bothering the rest of my family when they are at home. As we don't have much of a sitting room (see extension news elsewhere on this blog), I am not able to watch TV much, so mainly reading, listeing to the radio or watching DVDs on our trusty portable DVD player. I have watched all 15 episodes of Bleak House, and have finished the box set of season one of The West Wing that I got for my birthday last year, but no one but me ever wanted to watch.

Accessing the net is possible, but as I have to stand at my desk with keyboard and mouse propped up on cardboard boxes, it is quite uncomfortable after a while - and I am trying to do a bit of work as well, to help out with the project I was supposed to be full time on before I hurt my back, so after doing an hour of work-related standing, I don't feel much like doing more of it for fun.

Meanwhile, I have been to the doctor twice (painkillers and 2 week sick note) and the physio 4 times (exercises, manipulation and even acupuncture, which i haven't had before), plus now and then a builder or two pop in to do something noisy, so no time to get bored. Except that on Saturday mornings, no one but me wants to get up at 0630 to take tablest walk about to warm up my back and get mobile, so might as well write my blog before persuading Jane to help me get in the bath.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Extension News

The building work that started in early October is still in the "making things worse" stage. More walls are being knocked down (load bearing ones at that), and we are gradually losing even more space. The sitting room is only a 2.5m cube with no windows, a sofa and a telly, the girls are sharing the top room, and various steel girders appear from time to time.

There are even more pictures on our picasa album.

...updated 5th Jan: it has now got as bad as it is going to - see the latest pictures on the next album.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Holiday Reading

just got back from holiday, and still unpacking. As usual, I took loads of books, so that I always have a choice (and some left-over ones to read on my return). The ones I did read included:

A Pelican at Blandings - P G Wodehouse (classic farce that needs no effort)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J K Rowling (I re-read the HP Books 5,6 before the holiday, and this wrapped all the loose ends up nicely)

The Last Testament - Sam Bourne (Not so good as the Righteous Men, which I read last year, but a good page-turning plot to relax with)

The Music of the Primes - Marcus du Sautoy (Some maths to make me think, even though much of it was well beyond me)

DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore - Alan Moore (what is a holiday without some comics - even if they are bound as a graphic novel to appear more adult)

Albion - Alan Moore (...more of the comics)

Carter Beats The Devil - Glen David Gold (still reading this, but looking good so far - on Phil's recommendation)

The Cloudspotter's Guide - Gavin Pretor-Pinney (more for dipping into, useful to confirm that few of the clouds we saw would result in any rain).

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Poke me on Facebook


Just getting into Facebook is a bit scary - when you have as big an address book as I do, it finds all sorts of people that you got an email from once 1o years ago and asks you if you want to add them as friends. But after a bit of exploring the options and prvacy settings, it is quite easy to control. No just have to get some real world friends to sign up...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Network Storage with a SLUG?

The Thinkpad has run out of space (it only has a 60Gb disk, and 24 Gb of that is music), so I need to move my iTunes music onto an external hard drive. Luckily, I have a work supplied USB hard drive which is 40Gb, so moving the music to that would work, but that is really for backups, so I need to get a home based hard drive - then I could also backup Jane's school laptop. So a hunt around amazon turned up the very interesting Linksys NSLU2 (or "slug" as it is nicknamed), which is actually a little Linux box! You hook up a hard drive (or two) to it and it sits happily on your network, serving up files. And if you really want, you can install things like a media server on it to stream music over your LAN also - or even go mad, replace the Linksys firmware with a Linux build called unslung and make it an all purpose linux server that acts as a print server, web server, mail server or anything you want. And the little thing is smaller than an old videotape and costs about 50! How cool is that? The hard disk was a Western Digital 320Gb USB for 70, so all in all, lost of fun.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Second Life Conferencing

I have got into Second Life, and today went to a conference there. Very immersive and hard work.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

2006 in progress

My reads this year include:

Bleak House - Charles Dickens

Murder Must Advertise - Dorothy L Sayers

An Instance Of The Fingerpost - Iain Pears

Still Life - Louise Penny

A Short History Of Tractors In Ukrainian - Marina Lewycka

Blink - Malcolm Gladwell

Strong Poison - Dorothy L Sayers

Gentlemen and Players - Joanne Harris

The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

Uncommon Practice: People who deliver a great brand experience - Shaun Smith, Andy Milligan

Busman's Honeymoon: A Love Story with Detective Interruptions (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) - Dorothy L Sayers

Gaudy Night (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) - Dorothy L Sayers

Dusty Warriors: Modern Soldiers at War - Richard Holmes

The Passenger - Christopher Petit

Seventy-Seven Clocks - Christopher Fowler

The World Is Flat: The Globalized World in the Twenty-first Century - Thomas Frie