Log in

31 December 2037 @ 11:58 pm
Yes, this journal is friends only, apart from the occasional public announcement.

Comment here to say hello or request a friend-list add.

You're unlikely to find development-related posts within; this is largely for social purposes; although if you use Livejournal as a syndication aggregator you might be interested in some of my techie-related feeds. I now use Google Reader; sorry Livejournal!
21 February 2010 @ 11:51 am
In a previous post, I talked about migrating http://vodex.net from the hand-rolled custom scripts to Wordpress. Well, it's taken a while longer than expected due to other priorities, but it's done!
Current strategy is to use the site as a set of static pages rather than an actual blog as described here. Then used various plugins like PHP-exec, along with some refactoring, to get the applications, such as MailMaker, over to Wordpress-usable format. The front page is a lifestream of my various web activity, including public Facebook content when they next sort out their APIs.


1) There's a lot of old, old content on that site, that wasn't so obvious/exposed, and that was largely ignored in favour of Facebook/Google Reader, etc. Now it's in Wordpress & generally more discoverable, it's slightly embarrassing, like the RecordHash Data Object, or frankly bizarre, like Waxy Dogheads. I may well end up hiding a lot of these pages.

2) Wordpress is a great platform, it's really matured. After the content tweaks, it's much more suitable than the custom CMS I'd written myself.

3) Ruby on Rails applications aren't ported over, but they don't work right now, possibly because...

4) The main driver for this was my host breaking PHP, email, and the Rails apps during some sort of systems upgrade I wasn't notified about. I'm on a 'development sandbox' for just $25 a year. Time to change that I think.

5) Now that I've started this post, I have the urge to start recapping other areas of my life, such as the use of Kanban, going on a badly-marketed diet again, and other stuff. But Livejournal is on the slide more than ever. Shall I start blogging proper again, or am I joining in the trend of blogging dying off & using increasingly mature social media instead? Could this become my last ever LJ post? Time will tell..
16 June 2009 @ 09:49 pm
Recently, Wordpress 2.8 was released. This, & other events, prompted me to take a loot at vodex.net, as it's been largely abandoned for some time... imagine my delight to discover the Wordpress install wasn't even working anymore for some reason; the Livejournal post import was broken, I couldn't log in.. it was a mess. The old version, kept behind to enable custom modifications to integrate with Livejournal / the main site / various PHP applications, didn't help. (Security hole? I'd had the forethought to use a hidden path for Wordpress itself)

I use a lot more social media now, & have largely abandoned Livejournal, along with a lot of other people. (They could have been facebook, you know; shame they don't expose enough data to Google to let me find that very LJ post by someone on that topic). Anyway, I'm working on converting the entire site to Wordpress's considerably improved feature set, including various plugins for FriendFeed, Google Reader, etc. (I especially like the All-New Livejournal Importer for Wordpress, which is a much better job than WP's original LJ import script, or my own LJ import script ... except I don't want to duplicate posts on the site, I want to link to them. Might use it for a private LJ backup tool, though).

So, watch this space. Or rather, that space...
Music: Groove is in the Heart (Tocadisco Remix)
29 April 2009 @ 08:43 pm
Well, it's been a while snce I posted here. But this *is* my blog, so what better place than...

A couple of months back I switched to Ubuntu from Windows as my main operating system. (Aside: the main hard drive seemed about to fail, got a new HDD, made the formal Ubuntu switch, and found it was Windows support for the drive that was bad, the drive itself was fine.)

I was using a paid account at Mozy for backup (after a burglary in 2007 & losing six months of stuff, online can't be as easily stolen, or lost in fires etc.). But there is no Ubuntu support for it.

I do have a minimal Windows installation, but don't want to switch to it just to perform backups. So eventually, I got it running under a VirtualBox Windows installation, but it's not straightforward, so time for documentation.

The irony is, I'm not using it anymore, as it hangs for hours for no clear reason, with glitches (google around for more info; at $5/month I was willing to put up with them), but most importantly, it kept resetting the computer it was assigned to (you can only be assigned to one computer at a time), leaving me with no other option, even after tech support, but to start the backup process from sractch.

I'm now using Crashplan , which is much more reliable, has a native Ubuntu version, and have just cut my losses with the remainder of my paid plan time.

Anyway, here we go with the steps I took:

  • Setup VirtualBox with an XP installation as normal.
  • Install Mozy with the latest version (1.12+) as the previous version didn't work under a VM (if you're reading this you're probably running a version later still, but just in case...)
  • You now need Mozy to cope with the virtualized network. Under the Guest machine's settings, under Network, set the Adapter Type to Intel Pro/100 T Server. Set 'Attached To' to 'Host Interface'. Using NAT blocks certain Mozy functions; I don't know why this particular network adaptor is required.
  • As for the data you're backing up, they'll be on your system's hard drives, not the virtual Windows partition, right? They are also probably linux's ext3, not Windows NTFS.
  • Set them up as native hard disks inside the Windows guest to back them up. Using VirtualBox's guest additions to network share your hardrives doesn't work; Mozy has to access them directly.
  • I followed http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=662018 & http://blarts.wordpress.com/2007/12/06/how-to-run-virtualbox-using-a-physical-partition-using-ubuntu-feisty-fawn/, to create .vmdk files that VirtualBox can present as hard drives to the Windows guest..
  • You'll have to install IFS For Windows for your Windows guest to read Linux's ext3 format. This is by far the easiest step.
  • You may notice that you aren't meant to mount the drives in Ubuntu & the guest at the same time, to prevent write issues. I ignored this, as you are only using the drives for reading under Windows. Unmount the ext3 drives, boot Windows, mount the drives again, use in both; no-one noticed a thing :)
  • Using Mozy, select content in your drives to backup as normal.

And that's pretty much it. As I said above, though, I got fed up waiting for Mozy to spend hours chugging through my 30Gb of backups, only to 'forget' and have to start again. YMMV!
Music: Simon Thorne - Neanderthal
04 July 2008 @ 02:52 pm
Waxy Dogheads. That's all I'm sayin'.
Recently At Work, we upgraded the platform running our next-generation music products.

One of the new features is having parts of a product be publically viewable to the world at large (not to mention search engines) - mostly the home page & browsing.

So here they are. Needless to say, not only am I very proud to be part of what we're doing, I'm also pleased that I can now easily show these to people :)

Click on the link/image to browse each product. If you encounter a login page when seeing certain content, then you/your organization needs to be a paying customer...

Classical Scores Library

400,000 pages of the most important classical scores and manuscripts.

World Music

50,000 tracks that delivers the sounds of all regions from every continent. (This is the product with albums like "English Drinking Songs", credits like "Unknown Camel Driver", etc.)

African American Music Reference

50,000 pages that offers the first comprehensive coverage of many forms of black American musical expression.
American Song

50,000 tracks that allows people to hear and feel the music from America's past.

Classical Music Reference Library ('Baker')

More than 30,000 pages of essential reference materials, spanning the entire history of Western classical music.

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online

The first comprehensive online resource devoted to music research of all the world's peoples.
Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
16 September 2007 @ 06:46 pm
I've added a few things in MailMaker, the spoof Daily Mail generator:

  • option to create a Daily Express. It's not a perfect match; when I have some more time, I'll refactor so you can use the Express font/layout. And do The Sun as well.

  • made meaningful 'alt text' to the images

  • created an RSS feed of latest covers

  • and - bit warily - added some extra images, including, of course, Madeleine McCann. Not sure it might turn out a good idea (for hopefully obvious reasons of taste, hence the delay), but like Diana, what Mail/Express cover is complete without some?
11 May 2007 @ 11:13 am
For our new flat, our employers have been asked to give a reference.

Here's mine. Paul likes to brighten up people's days, so instead of a boring form letter:


I've received a letter from you this morning regarding our employment of John Field.

John Field has held the position of Senior Developer with us for nearly a year, and has been an exemplary employee - I am sure his excellence in the workplace would surely be reflected in his suitability as a tenant, indeed, I doubt you will find a more reliable, respectable and trustworthy person!

When he is not healing the sick and turning water into wine, he creates software of such beauty it makes grown men weep. It is my intention to see that he is employed by Alexander Street Press for as long as possible.

Hope that answers your questions.

Kind regards,

Paul Dixon
Alexander Street Press
Tags: ,
09 May 2007 @ 09:39 pm
Back from LighterLife weigh-in. There are some new flavour packs (banana!!!!) that forgot all about so had no money to get.

Have lost three pounds since last week, despite multiple kebabs and a chinese takeaway.

Feel so much better - the yardstick is the weighin itself, as it was blatantly obvious, bright and alert and breaking down cardboard boxes as opposed to falling asleep on the sofa.

Breaking down boxes? Yes, she had a major delivery today, so took them for packing. Don't want to write about moving as it'll jinx it.
Not only broke down about a dozen, carried them the way back too without trouble despite being almost as big as me. I am feeling better.

I'm not fussed about eating food. Supposedly by this stage I can eat any fish, chicken, cottage cheese, any salad, milk, yoghurt, etc. etc. but it didn't even occur to me to do so.

Really am not bothered and would be happy with the shakes I've been on since January and the occasional chicken/fish for variety. Gave it a chance for my new clean palate, but salad really does nothing for me. ( Much prefer kebabs, cough cough)

She wasn't fussed about me taking vitamin tablets, which I think is what makes me good.

So am not bothered with food and still losing weight and feel good and can eat the odd meat-filled naughtyness without it causing problems. This is more like it!

Just don't someone tell me I could have been on vitamin pills all along...
02 May 2007 @ 09:32 pm
Have been in "management" for three days, where I start to eat food (a very limited subset at first). Have felt much, much, so much better, with more energy and much more motivation compared to how I was. Or maybe it's the vitamin supplements helping and the Beltane weather.

There is a Management Book, but they haven't finished the men's one yet, so I have to go with the women's one, which is rather patronising (lots of pictures of models on mountain tops and 'making a plane journey'  analogies). It turns out the women's stuff is much more thoroughly put together than the men's stuff, which is miles butter than the stuff back when started in general. Also have officially confirmed that I'm the only man in her groups to have lasted more than a few weeks, let alone going to Management.

Not doing the counselling/mental exercises - never got to do them in the male groups and they seem similar to general CBT stuff anyway.

Day One: (Monday 30 April 2007): Smoked haddock strips. Was amazing.

Day Two: amazing levels of energy, and real funny taste in mouth like metallic sticker glue. Was out after work looking at flats with Lisa and everything, which haven't done on months. Morale very high. Peppered Quorn Steaks, thought they were a bit bland and very spicy, but apparently they smelt delicious.

Day Three: same amazing energy levels, spring in step, the difference is impossible. Went into work an hour early, went viewing flats in evening.
Evening: have weigh-in, but by this point had run out of gas and was knackered again. Have lost 2.6 pounds since Sunday, despite putting maybe a pound of food in, that's still my intestines somewhere. Am 16 stone 6 pounds.

Went to get food to eat, and those months of not having to plan or worry about food hit hard. Couldn't find anything suitable, was very tired & grumpy, shops full of ch**s. Result: kebab and chips. Oh so much for lean protein, salad and balsamic vinegar. Ah well.

As you may have gathered, we're moving. Oh the things that happen if you don't do LJ in a few days!
14 April 2007 @ 03:12 pm
Have just been to the Sustainable London exhibition from New London Architecture. It was fascinating stuff, recommend it, but it closes on the 28th. One of those situations where "those in charge" are getting smart people to tackle an issue over and above the call of duty, without fanfare, and knowing full well the general public'll hear little about it (beyond occasional tabloid whinging).

Random facts:

  • The ecological footprint of London alone is twice the size of the UK.

  • Temperatures in city centre are up to 4 degrees higher than in the suburbs.

  • All new developments must generate 10% of energy needs on site - 20% soon.

  • The congestion charge has dropped particulate pollution by 15%.

  • 'The Mayor' and his office are effectively going to force large businesses to be climate-responsible by hook or by crook, and has the political capital to do it. That's going to be fun.

They also have a funky 3D map of inner London, which brings home how close everything is & how little I have taken part in London "as a place to live". It can take an hour to travel stuff that clearly would be walkable in a few minutes if everything wasn't in the way.

And lastly (& the reason I started this post!) the Building Centre where this is at has showrooms by Generic Building Companies - types of roof felt, Norwegian sliding doors, the sort of stuff that bored you silly as a child when you parents dragged you round them.

Still boring, but look! These guys are so proud of their toilet seats, they advertise them as if Leonardo da Vinci designed them himself!
07 April 2007 @ 09:42 am
Yesterday, took advantage of my morning energy, & trains running as a normal friday, to go to Welwyn North. Why? Because every weekday, the train passed over the Welwyn Viaduct, over a picturesque landscape of fields, horses, streams, trees, etc. Wanted to go and check it out, but without the hour travel time on weekends. It was very nice, peaceful and naturally well-balanced - the viaduct looms over everything but also melds in with the landscape really nicely (compare this victorian effort with, say, Twyford Down). Came back after a couple of hours exhausted but happy, and did little else for rest of the day.

By coincidence, Google launched My Google Maps (yet more mirroring of the physical world in some mist-shrouded hard drive in California) so instead of just adding the photos to flickr, wanted to create a "personalised, annotated, customised map using Google Maps" of it, to much "fifth level techie" ribaldry from Lisa.

I use Picasa for organising photos, which is also Google, so thought it would be a case of geotagging the pictures in Google Earth & slapping them online, right?

Well, all Picasa users know it doesn't touch the photos, it stores your actions on them (e.g. rotating etc.) on a seperate file. But when when you add geotags, it modifies the picture directly. But doesn't change the last modified date of the file. Hmm. Nor does Windows or Paint Shop Pro seem to display geo tags in file information. So cue 10 minutes of "how does it know it's geotagged?" headscratching.

Nor does flickr recognise geotags unless you tell it to at http://www.flickr.com/account/geo/exif . And there's no way to tell Google My Maps "take these photos & work with them". Even from Picasa. And lastly, Google's pictures of Hertfordshire are rather poor, so all my geotags are out & I ended up re-doing them in flickr anyway, which is now attached to non-primary data And Is Bad.

So in summary: this is the aborted "needs more features" Google Map, and this is the flickr set, with nice map & everything. It's uncommon to see google playing catch-up these days.
Time for a dev post!

At the end of a major product launch for our first release of SHMU - the first product on the funky new Music Online product  platform.

Usually when dealing with Internet Explorer limitations, there's either a standard hack approach, or a solution can be readily found online (or it's just plain impossible). I couldn't readily find either for the below, so was seized by the desire to write it up.

When you have two adjacent divs, the first one of which may or may not be there (sidebar), and the second needs to be moved to suit (main content), CSS2 allows a pure CSS solution with sibling selectors:

/*if first element preceeds second, apply rule to second element*/
#layout_sidebar+#layout_main_content {

(Incidentally, I didn't know about these until my line manager (phrase seems so formal!) Paul pointed it out; turns out my 3 year old Visibone reference omits them...)

Predictably, IE's response to sibling selectors is "que?". Didn't want to go back to conditional code generating the markup. So use IE-only expressions:

/*IE hack - have margin if sidebar exists*/

#layout_main_content {
   margin-left:expression(document.getElementById('layout_sidebar')==null?"0em":"10em" );

/*override the above for child*/


Footnote: IE7 is meant to support sibling selectors, but they apparently left them out after all. What-ever.
03 April 2007 @ 07:42 pm
A short time back I set up a cron-triggered  PHP script to tweet new LJ posts on twitter, noting it wasn't the best solution. Well, it didn't take long for a dedicated solution to come along - http://twitterfeed.com/ - and it even supports OpenID.
21 March 2007 @ 12:27 pm
What's the name of that bloke on telly who says stuff like "Today, I am mostly..."? Think it's in comedy.

Anyway, Today, I Am Mostly Using these extensions on my home Firefox, now putting them on at work  as They Seem To Be Useful.

Aging Tabs

Makes unused tabs fade with age and highlights the selected tab.

Google Tag CloudMaker

Generates tagcloud from Google search results. Uses GreaseMonkey.

Google has put skins on Google Homepage. My workflow is more "50 tabs open for days at a time" so I don't find self using it, but it's still good. Do like how widgets are increasingly interoperable between the web, your desktop, etc. (Err... this isn't really Firefox. Oh well.)

I've also been using Firebug for development, but it makes me a bit killy as editing CSS is very fiddly, stuff often doesn't seem to take, and it's prone to wiping Firefox out on a whim. Finding self still using  Web Developer .
17 March 2007 @ 09:40 am
Yes! I have created a Twitter LJ community.

17 March 2007 @ 08:58 am
Yes, I seem to have fully caught the twitter bug.

I've made use of Paul Stamatiou's RSS to Twitter script to automatically pimp for technology's sake announce new Livejournal posts on twitter. It'll have to run as a cron job for now, unless I can find a way for Livejournal to ping whenever a post is made.
15 March 2007 @ 07:06 pm
Today I bought some new trousers. I'm a 36" waist, down from 44". I'm also wearing a Mankind t-shirt I haven't worn in eight years. Sweet.

I'm also using Twitter more and more. Very useful (and addictive). It's mushrooming fast - Flickr/Youtube fast - it's gonna be the Next Big Thing - a cross between blogging, IMs, and texting. Microblogs (or 'tumblelogs') have been tried before, but this is the first good implementation, where you can be alerted by text (us poor slobs in the UK get international text charges though).

What Twitter does, in a simple and brilliant way, is to merge a number of interesting trends in social software usage—personal blogging, lightweight presence indicators, and IM status messages—into a fascinating blend of ephemerality and permanence, public and private.

From the site:

Twitter is for staying in touch and keeping up with friends no matter where you are or what you’re doing. For some friends you might want instant mobile updates—for others, you can just check the web. Invite your friends to Twitter and decide how connected you want you to be.

It's great for informal communication of 'more than' a text to someone and 'less than' a blog post (which often have to feel 'proper' and formal, blogs have lost all spontaneity). Every nano-post is to answer "what are you doing?", also usable for updates, a sort of status broadcast, or even a humanized ping.

Yet another case of a new innovative way of using the net to communicate that seemingly comes from nowhere. It'll be very interesting to use it as it develops and matures.
14 March 2007 @ 09:31 am
Woohoo! I've just gone to Technorati, found out that old addresses for blogs and stuff were out of date, and claimed my canonical LJ address - using OpenID! It took longer to type this than to do it. And first real use of OpenID, too.

heh, it said it'd been last updated 573 days ago. That's very not right.

Sorry, spod post.
14 March 2007 @ 08:41 am
Thought I'd quickly write about http://www.information-revolution.org/, the viral-marketed site seen on the tube, trains, and now the Houses of Parliament.

It's branded as if it's some kind of grassroots techie/politics movement similar to Indymedia or  freeourdata, but after a while you notice there's no clear content, the comments reveal they're a marketing company funded by other search engines, and... how much do Tube adverts cost? It seems to be some sort of anti-Google astroturf smear campaign that doesn't even have the balls to come out and say so, preferring marketing speak like "Clearly we’ve hit on an issue that resonates with so many."

Le sigh. There's a lot of disappointment about.
Hurray, another spring day! Leaving work is mild & the perfect shade of deep blue this time of year, with scudding clouds and flocks of birds and everything.

It's said that a good test of an information source is how accurate it is on things you know about. So here's an article about the publicity stunt shock events in Captain America In this morning's METRO. If you're into comics, you'll already know about it, and vice versa, so won't spoil it, even though it was only announced yesterday.

Cap, iconic superhero second only to Superman, is assassinated. But that's not what concerns me.


Only a few paragraphs long (yet somehow taking up nearly an entire print page), the article has at least a dozen errors. And we're not just talking obscure, spoddy, errors, but stuff as blatant as a caption 'at the moment he was shot'... to a picture of him fighting in World War II, sixty years ago.

Or how about this? 'Yet he was killed by an unknown sniper as he left a courtroom.' In the comic, he's wounded as he approaches a courthouse. The sniper, a well-known supervillain, is caught a few pages later. And Cap would have been fine, if someone else hadn't shot him a lot more with a handgun a bit later.

I know it is 'just about a comic', but it's revealing: imagine this was an article about, say, terrorism arrests. Or climate change. Or...

Sometimes I feel I'm overly cynical towards my attitude to 'the media'. And then something like this comes along.
06 March 2007 @ 07:07 pm
Chris Lightfoot has died. You probably haven't heard of him, but the world is less now & there are eulogies all over the place.

Why? Because he was a genius. A interdisciplinary visionary. And he put it to a lot of use. He was only 28 yet was behind unique and groundbreaking combinations of technology, democracy, and politics. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/ and http://www.politicalsurvey2005.com/ are the best-known examples, but there are many, many others. EDIT: he was behind the Downing Street petitions site too.


So perhaps the sort of work for which Chris will be be most remembered is his wonderfully individualistic, virtuoso forays into scholastic areas in which he had no formal training. He wandered into differing disciplines, made a mark, and wandered on again like a giant that had no idea he’d just trodden on a village.

His intellectual honesty and keen appreciation of human dignity informed all that he did, and it is no overstatement to say that the whole UK political arena and IT community will suffer by his loss.

But this is the blog post that first made me aware of him:

Statistical analysis of public data re: how tabloid's immigration coverage affects public perception. Like a wandering giant. He was awesome.
04 March 2007 @ 11:43 am
They closed Finsbury Park. I'm not an expert but I've seen it open at 4am sometimes, what gives?
So, forced to stand in a side street instead. Could barely see it what with all the street glare so only managed about five minutes.

On the way back into the flat, got harassed by a 'beggar' yet again (quotes because they clearly aren't beggars, just wandering scammers), but this time after I'd opened the front door, walked through, as was about to close it. After about five seconds of "I have no money on me" (true; I'd left my wallet indoors in case I got mugged in the park), I realised he was in a very good position to charge in, take my keys from my hand, and burgle the flat (presumably knocking me out cold first). So shut the door in his face whilst he was still raving about needing 20p for something or other. It was scary. Half expected him to be pounding on the door this morning...
03 March 2007 @ 09:34 am
The Prologue: Twitter is some sort of hot new blogging variant that - I was about to say "is the new MySpace" but it's not like that at all. More like micro-blogging. It had better fucking not get like MySpace if it knows what's good for it.

Anyway, Tom Morris has done the decent thing and piped Underground updates from the depths of the TFL site into a Twitter account. Never get caught out again!

http://www.londonist.com/archives/2007/03/tube_20_or_tube.php is a Londonist article on it.

It also has RSS like a good little web site (e.g. Piccadilly: http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/788488.rss ) so you don't need a Twitter account to use them.

Personally, I've slapped them all into Google Reader, and when On The Move will point my phone at http://www.google.com/reader/view/user/01311175945761996337/label/tube

Huzzah for spoddery!

Ah yes, and my account is at http://twitter.com/Vodex ...
03 March 2007 @ 08:24 am
Don't forget, pagans/science types/Jungians everywhere;


Skywatchers eagerly awaiting Saturday's total lunar eclipse say that the spectacle could be the "best in years".

The eclipse begins at 2018 GMT, with the Moon totally immersed in the shadow of the Earth between 2244 and 2358 GMT.

I freely admit have no idea if it has any significance, but a) it almost certainly does, and b) I don't care :)
26 February 2007 @ 08:18 am
Weight creeps slowly downward.

LighterLife weight loss as of Feb 25 2007
LighterLife weight loss as of Feb 25 2007

Lost four pounds last week, despite having tins of tuna and trying not to walk about. Feel terrible. Slept most of weekend and didn't go out, again. Is it worth it? Think it is; people can see the effect week-on-week and for first time since starting this,not just loose clothes and stuff but actually feel slimmer. If I lose six pound this week, it'd be a total of four stone in two months.

Tired though. Will arrange doctor's appointment.
23 February 2007 @ 09:20 pm

I've discovered last.fm. My [profile is at http://www.last.fm/user/Vodex/ . The ability to not only recognise, but even index, the obscure crap I listen to, and then come out with recommendations base on other people's listening patterns, is amazing.

I mean, I know all about collaborative filtering and all, but to see something like this , and then this, is amazing. The power of the network is amazing. It sounds a bit sad, but I can't wait until it has learnt enough about me to find people with the same music tastes & work out a personalised playlist, and all that.

EDIT: blimey, The most obscure thing I could find, and it's not only had 2,422 plays, it suggests half-a-dozen similar tracks. Impressive.
23 February 2007 @ 07:41 pm

One of my favourite cartoons is Ruben Bolling's Tom the Dancing Bug.
Now and then, he runs a 'Super-Fun-Pak Comix',
an entire page of parodies of cartoon strips (and a masterclass in succint humour).

I've made a page on vodex.net that shows individual Fun-Pak-Comix at random, as well as including a title banner.

It's at
19 February 2007 @ 07:43 pm
I've written a script to remove duplicate iCal events after my Google Calendar got messed up - http://vodex.net/ical_prune/ .
18 February 2007 @ 05:36 pm
I'm seriously considering packing this diet in.

I feel more and more tired and lethargic each week. Last weeekend fell asleep whilst with my father and some friends.
Have knocked the wlaking and weights on the head, but still spend most evenings this week fighting to keep eyes open, and if I go to bed before bedtime, I wake up early and just get tired earlier. Fell alseep at work Friday. Am not doing anything except for work; can't summon energy to do much more than sit on a bus to get parts for a Freeview box.

I am the only person Lisa knows who can manage to be asleep standing up. It's a great altered state of conciousness, like... hmm was going to use hypnogogic but that doesn't fit. It's like dreaming whilst awake.

Anyway, I'm getting sick of all this. It's not the hunger, or even the food packs, it's the lethargy.

I even had a chicken from the shop downstairs in a bid to get some energy. It didn't work. It may well be me "getting a food fix" and justifying it, but I wasn't hungry, I wanted some energy from the "cleanest" source possible (i.e. Atkins-style protein, not chips, chocolate, etc.). It made sense at the time. I remember thinking "I'm not being stupid in this am I? No, this is the least worst option to take a calculated risk to help with you stopping from being able to live life."  It didn't work and I know better now.

However I know that everyone would be disappointed in me if I packed this in. And I have to view it as a tradeoff. Two months from now, which would be better; that I've lost another two stone, or that I gave up and hadn't (& probably put some back on)?

What about stopping would two months from now be more worth it than losing the weight? I don't have an answer.

I should be getting all my nutrients from the food packs. So why am I so tired? I used to have a lot of energy at first on this. My weekly group leader/"food counsellor"doesn't know. I suspect that as I'm losing weight quite fast, I might have a high metabolic rate for some reason, and that means that I am 'running empty' faster than my body can supply energy from my fat reserves. It doesn't make much sense I know, but it's the best explanation I have.

I'll see how it goes tonight at the weigh-in.
18 February 2007 @ 04:51 pm
Via whotheheckami :

Vodex's Past Lives
1296 BC: Roman politician
590 AD: A Pauper
1637 AD: A Writer
'What were you in your past lives?' at QuizGalaxy.com

This must be the easiest meme/quiz ever. It only asks one question...
The bestest board game evar is getting closer to its long-awaited 4th edition.

I speak, of course, of Talisman.
A wonderful magical quest style game, easy to learn but with infinite combinations of depth/replayability. And so easily modded. Great as a drinky-socially game. The 2nd edition was best, as the 3rd dropped the evocative medieval artwork for spoddy Warhammer skulls & emo. And then Games Workshop decided they were bored with it, and despite a huge fan following, left it to rot. No more!

Black Industries was showing off the 4th edition of Talisman, which BI rep Vince Rospond says is based on the 2nd edition of the game, to "get back to the roots of Talisman."

Yeah yeah yeah! OCtober, $50, USA only (damn import taxes!) Here's the board (click for big). It looks awesome!
13 February 2007 @ 06:52 pm
Blood-red moon, here we come!
13 February 2007 @ 08:20 am
3135 steps yesterday. 4274 the last time I wore the pedometer (Thursday?)

This morning I managed 20 front reps, 15 up reps, and ten side reps, with the light green weight. I'l look up the names and weight & edit later. First time I've been able to do this without me muscles acheing and giving up - might be getting all the nutrients I need in the packs but something is missing for the "you can work out" department.

I also have more or less lost the terrible ketone taste in my mouth! Been gone for a couple of weeks, but now I'm sure it's a natural change and not the ketosis conking out, given last week's loss.
12 February 2007 @ 09:24 am
Yayy!!! I lost TEN POUNDS last week. This is the equivalent of over a pound a day after a sluggish four pounds last week, and - not that I'm trying to 'beat' anything - is a new personal best.

I'm now down to (just over) 18 and-a-half stone, having lost three stone in five weeks. Phwoarr, eh?

I am starting to feel exhausted after my brisk hour's walk each day, and am getting a bit sick of the shakes, but fucking hell it's worth it.

Link to my profile at fridgegraph.com

Weight loss as of 11 Feb 2007
Weight loss as of 11 Feb 2007
09 February 2007 @ 07:52 pm
Off to my dad's for the weekend before he & sue go to Australia/New Zealand for a month to see two of my sisters.

Am coming to dread the friday evening commute to Paddington, very crowded (one of the times I realise the Stevenage commute is a relatively good deal)and then waiting for an hour before they can be arsed to put some proper trains on. (read in cynical voice.)

This morning, pidgeons were keeping off the snow by walking along the rail tracks.

The snow was at its best phase-you can walk on streets without sliding but the snow is still over grass, etc. It is lovely and mottled.

One of those crappy free papers reminded me of how much in awe of London I was as a child. I've gotten so cynical of media.

My phone seems to automatically pick up dictionary words from texts, web posts, etc. So now it frequently suggests spellings which are themselves misslept. Awesome!

My sense of smell seems to be at a +3 modifier due to diet: can smell 'dry' food like sushi 20m away through a crowd on t'other side of a glass partition.

On the tube up, some suit guy had an artistically faded note in marker pen on his hand. It read "VOTE RENAL". We'll never know.
Hey! we're looking for a few good men.. well one good man.

My company is hiring, looking for a Senior Software Developer, between 30k-40k, described at http://snipurl.com/php_dev_wanted . We're advertising on Monster, development groups, etc., but if you know anyone suitable, well, just pass this post on...
08 February 2007 @ 06:45 pm
Worked at home today. Best way to avoid temptation is by using the laptop and not the main PC and avoid 'getting up to do something' - recreate the office atmosphere at home!. Strange how 'easily' the day moves past.

Went out for walk in snow, it was lovely!

You scored as Scientific Atheist. These guys rule. I'm not one of them myself, although I play one online. They know the rules of debate, the Laws of Thermodynamics, and can explain evolution in fifty words or less. More concerned with how things ARE than how they should be, these are the people who will bring us into the future.

Scientific Atheist


Spiritual Atheist


Apathetic Atheist


Angry Atheist




Militant Atheist




What kind of atheist are you?
created with QuizFarm.com
Tags: , ,
01 February 2007 @ 08:16 am
Yesterday between leaving for work and coming back form work: 4298 steps, with a distance of 1.63 miles.

Tuesday, was 1745 steps and 0.88 miles. Monday, 1440 steps, 1.9 miles.

Each day I know I walked further at lunch alone.

They work out at an average of 0.00037,  0.00050, and  0.0013 miles per step each. That doesn't sound right at all.

I don't think it's working very well.
01 February 2007 @ 07:52 am
Here's the pictures & videos from Poi in the Park last Sunday:

Flickr: http://flickr.com/photos/vodex/sets/72157594511827213/

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=Vodex

Videos behind the cutCollapse )
31 January 2007 @ 08:39 pm
My endless quest to organise the information flowing into my life continues; in this case, switching to Google Reader.

My pattern in getting info from websites has been basically:

* Visit them all manually, and usually forget.

* Repeat until RSS was invented & enough sites carried it (or equivalent) to make it worth switching.

* Use Thunderbird as an RSS reader, as it was the best of many.

* Not have time to read the feeds and fall behind.

* Use Livejournal as an RSS aggregator, to force me to read them.

* Realise that I've added so many feeds, I never keep on top of LJ and often don't even bother, Thus Missing Out, which is even worse.

* Create LJ friends filters to screen out the heavy ones.

* Realise that doesn't work, and I'm still missing out.

* Move to Google Reader, which not only combines items into one stream as well as show them per feed, but also shows them as details like LJ (no click-read-close), but also marks them as read as you look at them, no intervention needed. A-ha, how will this fare...

Like so many others, I now seem to be using Google for pretty much everything. Except Reader doesn't allow authentication of feeds, so my spanky friends feed doesn't work. Still use Thunderbird for that one...
31 January 2007 @ 06:17 pm
well, that's the first time i've been unable to get on a train AT ALL at Stevenage. Often packed but never overfull. Fucking football.
30 January 2007 @ 06:53 pm
Had the forewarned rabbit poo this morning. Left me rather lightheaded and realised it was the first thing I said to Lisa as she appeared, before 'good morning'. Heh.

I also have a pedometer from them. I don't think it's set up right as despite taking 1440 steps yesterday & 1745 today I covered 1.9 miles and 0.88 miles respectively.

Morale good. Found an amazing copse of wood about half a mile from Stevenage today & walked around it for an hour, insulated from the traffic and concrete by squirrels and crunchy winter twigs. I'll be going there again. Yarr!
24 January 2007 @ 08:50 am
grnm... not sleeping too good in the morning anymore... cripes they've really gritted the road, big patches everywhere... and the pavements... and the shop roofs? Grit on the roofs? Hang on... IT'S SNOWING!!!
Tags: ,
17 January 2007 @ 06:56 pm
The food cravings of last weekend have mostly passed, and feel on a much more even keel. (wonder if the second rough patch was caused by the switch from second to third food store (fat)?)

Can now have food bars which look & taste remarkably like shop-bought ones - they are ace, can only have one each day though.

Also seem to be sleeping better than in a long time, though that might be helped by new thick curtains to cut out the street light, new bedding and trying hard to make it My Room & not just a storage area where I sleep. This is the sort of 'subliminal influence of surroundings' I generally don't bother with, new approaches etc.

Would not be surprised if at some level this is influenced by sorting out all my junk still piled up from when I moved in. Certainly found self having 'nostalgic' (if that is the word, not the sort of thing to get nostalgic about) memories of first moving to London, odd how random things become set in stone in your life path. Cycles, freeze-grow-freeze-grow etc.
15 January 2007 @ 08:17 am
That new duvet/cover/sheet set was a bit of a spend (even from Ikea) but worth it, that was the best night's sleep since I don't know when.

LighterLife weighin: 5 pounds since Wednesday. I've lost exactly 13 pounds in a week. Noticed disturbing real, tangible difference walking back to the bus stop yesterday compared to last week - lighter, faster, looser clothes. Scary.

Graph is here. From here loss is slower, as my medium term energy store (glycogen) is gone and I'm now running on fat. Expect losing 4-5 pounds per week from now on, until I either reach a weight I'm happy with or ram-raid a kebab shop.
...is pretty much how the world was last night. This 'diet' is getting nastier and nastier.

Yesterday was shit. Very weak, hungry, and lethargic. After feeling better around Wednesday, it was getting worse. Could not stop wanting food, it was painful.

Went to the Cartoon Museum, which was great and deep, and spent hours in there (Original artwork by Kirby,  Bell, Bolland, Banx, Leo Baxendale & many other names, all glued-in-paper with blue pencil! Be still my beating heart!). Also got Action Philosophers Collected Volume 1 - finally!

But in the evening! All the above and more. On the bus back, outside the flat, inside the flat, it was such a battle of willpower not to go and get some chips, roasted chicken, a kebab, ANYTHING. After a while found myself was having a conversation with what sounded like a pleading child - "oh pllllease,  just one, please, it won't matter, think of it as a treat, no a reward, you'll see how yuck battered sausage and kebab tastes then, think of it as a stopping point on the way" - it trying all the tricks in the book and me trying all the tricks in my book to stop it. All sorts of two-people-manoeuvring-round-a-table stuff I can't even remember now.

Christ on a trenchpole that may have been one of the hardest exercises of willpower I've ever done and I can be a stubborn, inflexible bastard. I didn't go out as I knew what would happen; think I missed the PN moot for first time in ages. But, I didn't do it, didn't eat, although I had to go to bed about 9pm to do it. Really did not want to do ANYTHING, not even sit and watch videos I really want to watch normally. Grargh feel like some kind of ascetic monk, forsaking all worldy pleasures for some sort of inner result. Except there's no fucking inner thing as I'm empty!

Hah, Lisa has just texted me with "Do you think writing down your experience might be helpful?" as I am doing this!

The dawn is better. I am glad I am by myself as I feel like shouting at walls, like some sort of Long Dark Teatime of the Soul, but not quite as dramatic as that. This is crazy. It's the real biting part of abstinence now, the (apparent) part of this that is the hardest. Or does it get worse than this? I thought it got better after the first few days when sickness passed, it's just been replaced by feeling weak as a kitten and doubling-up hunger.When is the hunger going to go away? Those packs of powder mixed in water don't cut it. What a fucking way to pass a weekend.
12 January 2007 @ 06:16 pm
In LighterLife news, I still feel hungry - how long does this last?!? - and felt rather crap today after last couple of days. This week seems to have taken ages and 'the weekend' does not feel real. Did not join others in pub lunch as usual, hopefully next week it'll be easier. Also smell food everywhere.

The train station smells of sausages.
10 January 2007 @ 08:32 pm
Have let work early for a LighterLife checkup. still feel sick, stomach pain, stomach wind (where from!? f*** knows). Interesting to see how it's gone so far...

And I've lost eight pounds and 1.5 waist inches since Sunday night!