Archive for the 'Tech stuff' Category

Tuesday 5th March… Feeling good!

And 19 days since I started the Ibrutinib! The visible enlarged lymph node is no longer visible, and I’m not sure that I can still feel it under the skin, although surface anatomy is not my strong point :)! But good news anyway!

I had a blood test yesterday, but I have not had the results yet – however I’m sure that if there was anything worrying, I would have been told by now, so I’m just being curious! I am hoping that the last remaining abnormal liver marker will be back in the normal range, ad that the creatinine levels are similar (or better!) than it was last week.

My weight is still a bit low, despite my attempts to eat more – however as today is Shrove Tuesday, i shall be mostly eating pancakes this evening!

On a technical note, the gallery button doesn’t work – this used to link to photographs that I hadn’t posted on the blog. Unfortunately at some point when I was rebuilding the server, the database became corrupted and I’m looking to re-import it from the backups. This is not a trivial task because of the way te databases are stored (one big file) and I don’t want to risk compromising the blog database. However it remains a work in progress.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has added comments to the posts – they are very much appreciated!

Onwards and Upwards!

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Monday 14th January 2019… A Sunny Day!

It indeed sunny and I have found a way of uploading photos from my phone, so I will go and add some to previous posts!

This the view from the sunny side of the ward this morning!

I woke up early at 6, after a fairly restful night, for today’s steroids! Tumour definitely shrinking. A bit of deep sleep until 8:15 when a very noisy handover woke me up!

Yesterday was largely uneventful in the afternoon until Rachael arrived at around 5:15 bearing washing and a couple more items of clothing. She also collect a tech treat for me, a pair of Bluetooth ear buds! I am very impressed with the quality but best of all is that I’m not tethered to the phone so I can put that own and have two hands free while I’m shunting the pole around, taking meds and just doing hospital stuff!

So feeling good, thank you to an old friend Liz for her comments yesterday (always glad to receive comments – they may be held for moderation if it’s a new email address (it is not published) but I will release it and all will be well thereafter!

I’m expecting a ward round, so I may update later!

Onwards and upwards!

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Friday…chilly November Friday!

Time I wrote up a bit more blog – a fairly busy three or four months! So first bit of news is an attempt to get a bit physically fitter. The reason for this is linked to diving! I had ben hoping to go on a diving trip with the dive club to a site down in Cornwall, and one I have been to several times in the past. However, the rules for ex military personnel diving with service clubs on sponsored trips have changed, and I now need a Health and Safety medical! (This doesn’t apply to private dives, or other diving activities).

The HSE medical contains a physical fitness test, so in order to pass that, I have joined a gym, with a view to spending about an hour a day their, five days a week, concentrating on building up my cardio-vascular strength and a bit of muscle development. I have been going for just over there months now, and noticed a significant improvement on both CV performance and body strength, so I hope I’ll be able to pass the medical soon. Of course, getting fitter has other benefits too, I just needed the motivation! Best effort so far on a treadmill is running 1.5 miles in just under 12 minutes!

MotherboardI have also ventured into the world of Apple in that I have built myself a computer running Apple’s operating system. The generic term for this is a ‘Hackintosh’ and it works pretty well. It runs most of the Mac software, and includes ‘Bluetooth’ so I can connect my (non-Apple) phone to it to transfer photos etc. It also connects to the server here (in fact I re-housed the server, and used the older server case to house the ‘Hackintosh’.Case Maybe not the best photo of the case!

The weather is getting colder as we get towards the end on November and it is getting dark by about 4:30 pm. Still, nights start getting lighter in a month or so! :). With Christmas looming, I have bought my first mince pies of the year – I ought to pluck up courage and make my own!

It has been good to catch up with some old friends too, one from my time in the Falklands over 13 years ago! (When I was last really physically fit!)

But overall, I’m feeling OK, still looking for some work, but nothing much around in my field.

So very much onwards and upwards!

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I’m back!

Sorry for the delay in posting, but after my return from France (which now has an edited headline after my ‘Franglais’ was remarked upon by friend Julia!) I had a busy few days doing some work for a client locally, and then I went back to the Dive Dive BoatClub after a longish absence to discover an expedition to Cornwall was being mounted. So although I can’t dive (because I need a diving medical after all the treatment) I did volunteer to go down as expedition cook and general dogsbody. And I had a great time, although cooking two cooked meals a day and sandwiches at lunchtime for half a dozen hungry divers was quite hard work. However I have got the bug back, so I must see about getting a medical, and then getting out and servicing all my dive kit! The picture shows the diveboat – not me driving on this occasion – most of the time I was behind the camera!

I said in a recent post that I needed to do some software upgrading on the server. You may recall that I did an upgrade a few months ago but it stopped half way through so I ended up with a ‘hybrid’ system, partly Linux Fedora Core 10, and partly Core 11 – but as it worked and I was away from home, I left it. However I have now sorted that out and the basic webserver operating system is now Fedora Core 12. I have also updated the photogallery and changed some of the settings. There are one or two new and recent photos of Olivia, but I have removed some of the older ones (or at least removed form general view) but added a few new albums – including one from the last dive Expedition to Porthkerris in 2005. (The last time the club went there too) I’ll be adding more albums later now that the site is running again. In a few moments I’ll be updating the webserving software, and also the WordPress blogging software to the latest and greatest. Most of these are just maintenance upgrades, although the update to the gallery adds a couple of new features – but it all adds to site security.

Nothing much on the job front, but I shall start looking more urgently in September. Meanwhile I have been doing some of the little jobs around the house – sorting out a snaggette on the hot water system, and little things like that.

Good to see you back posting Richard – and it was really good to meet up with you at Simon’s funeral – while a sad occasion, it was great to meet up with people – and I think Simon would have enjoyed the day. And congratulations Gillian!

So on all fronts… onwards and upwards!


Monday… doesn’t time fly when you are busy!!

I was just looking at the blog and realised it is ten days since I last posted!

The cold seemed to stay stable for the rest of that week, and at the weekend, I went up with University friend Faith to Harrogate, where we stayed with Dina (Faith’s flatmate) and had dinner with the other girls from her flat (Barbara and Barbara, and their other halves, John and Rod. A really good evening, fantastic food (thank you Dina and Chris) and once again I was struck by how fortunate I am to have such enduring and deep friendships. I was reflecting on that in the sense that we went off to University to get a degree and to ‘grow up’ a bit – no-one really explained that it would be a time when such long-lasting friendships would be formed. We talked about it and we all hoped that our children will be as fortunate in their University experience.

On Sunday we went over to visit Jane (and dental student from those far off days, who is suffering from a bit of ill-health. Another group of remembered faces, reminiscences and relaxing company – and a superb tea prepared by Jane’s husband, Paul. Faith and I drove back late Sunday evening, feeling decidedly stuffed, and then I went back to Corsham!

I was at Shrivenham last Monday for a ‘project day’ when we were discussing the final year project for the MSc. I am still undecided about a project so I might defer for a year while I think about it. It also partially depends on my contract – it expires in March, and if it isn’t renewed I will have more spare time, if it is, then I think the dissertation might be difficult to fit in. Then it was back to Chippenham where I met a crowd from the office for a Chinese.

The rest of the week was busy. A silly o’clock start on Tuesday for a day trip up to the wilds of Lincolnshire – not much fun as we had sleet and then sun glare off the roads on the way back, with roadworks throwing up muddy spray.

Wednesday was in office, as was Thursday morning, but then it was another trip down to Feltham for more meetings. I arrived back in time to nip out for a curry with another group from work! I think I might have slightly overdone things though as the cold seemed to come back and I felt quite rough on Friday morning.

But the weekend was good. I cooked on Saturday evening (pre-valentines day!), and after a couple of days relaxing, I felt better for my return trip. So I hope that the cold is on its way out!

I have been having problems with e mail. My e mail provider for my main e mail name has had a few short sharp ‘phone calls from me. It still isn’t resolved, caused by their installation of a ‘new, improved’ server which I think is severely mis-configured.. I’m still reviewing my options – self hosting is one of them, but I need to investigate spam filtering first.

So on that note… Onwards and upwards! 🙂

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Monday… gloomy evenings are here again!

Having been (gently) taken to task about updating, it is time for an update on last week!

The ECP was uneventful, and becoming almost routine. However I was supposed to see the consultant dermatologist on Monday after the first session – only to find that the appointment had been moved. I was on a large kit – takes more blood over fewer cycles, but the risk that people with low blood pressure (like me) can feel faint. Fortunately I was OK! This was also the first session in the new day centre, on the second floor at St Thomas’s. Nicely fitted out – but the views aren’t as good. The old ward on the 12th floor is being refitted as a swine ‘flu isolation ward.

I had a meeting locally on Wednesday before heading back to Corsham for the rest of the week. I stayed up on Friday night before heading over towards Milton Keynes to visit Bletchley Park – home of the WW2 codebreakers. I have been before but this time I was in a group of like minded people and it was, as before, an excellent day out and highly recommended! Best of all, the ticket is valid for a year – and there is too much to see in one visit!

I hope you all remembered to put your clocks back on Sunday morning! We ‘celebrated’ with the first open fire of the season on Sunday afternoon – but it was good to wake up in twilight this morning!

Onwards and Upwards!



A busy weekend with some long awaited jobs completed! A leaking towel rail in the bathroom has been replaced (this started leaking about 6 months ago, and has been isolated, but yesterday I finally got round to removing it and replacing it with a new one. And also on the heating theme (in time for autumn, I replaced a motorised valve that may not have been seating properly. I’m not quite convinced – the symptom was hot water from the domestic hot water heat exchanger was flowing back into the heating system, and the only way I could see that could happen was if the valve was faulty – time will tell!

Today I replaced a blown lamp on the car foglamps (again in preparation for autumn) after getting the wheel stud freed by the tyre fitters so I could remove the wheel to get access to the back of the front buper. This afternoon I was playing wit the server – trying to get the operating system back to a consistent state. (You may recall that when I did a major update, it updated some of the files, but not all, so I have a sort of ‘hybrid’ system!) I did succeed in getting the install disc to boot from a compact flash card (the server does not have a CD/DVD drive) but the only options presented were to do a full install, not an upgrade, which would have meant a lot of work restoring the coinfiguration and backups, so I will leave it for the moment until I can spend some time to back it all up and then start again with a clean installation.

Olivia stayed last night – so it was an early start when she woke at 6 o’clock and came padding in to climb into “the big bed” where she promptly fell asleep for another 2 hours! Quite the toddler now!

So on all fronts… Onwards and upwards!


Tuesday… What a cold weekend!

Not in its entirety, but for late August it was pretty chilly! However it was an opportunity to catch up on some of the little jobs that have been accumulating – the first off being a recent fault on a shower pump, that keeps cutting in and out. I suspect it is a control board, so I have ordered the replacement parts to fix for next week. Next off was the central heating, where there is a sticky control valve. I freed it up, but it still isn’t working correctly, so a new one is (or soon will be) on order.

My car also came in for some attention, a wash and I wanted to replace a foglamp – which means removing a wheel and the wheelarch liner – but I couldn’t get the wheel off, so that will have to wait until I replace the front tyres, and I shall tighten the wheel nuts by hand.

Finally I intended updating the software on the webserver (and in fact it was down for a large part of yesterday) but the new server doesn’t have an optical disk drive, so upgrades will be from a USB type device (actually a Compact Flash memory device that is treated as a hard drive) but that took ages to prepare – so that didn’t get done either!

However, there was a bit of socialising – out with friends Marion and Martin on Friday, to a new Indian restaurant in the village (very tasty too – thank you) and on Sunday I was out with fellow blogmaster Mark for a pint and some chilli nachos – and from that you may gather that my sore mouth is getting better!

Today is also the first day of a contract extension, so more good news, and on Thursday and Friday I shall be having my next session of ECP! And I jumped on the scales on Saturday – just over the 11 stone mark!

So in all ways… Onwards and Upwards!


Saturday… end of a sociable few days!

A very sociable week starting with a leaving ‘do’ for someone at work on Thursday when we descended on a Chinese restaurant in Chippenham. An excellent evening, but the highlight of the week was a reunion dinner on Friday (last night) for those of is in a year group at the Royal Naval Engineering College – more years ago than I care to remember! I have seen some of the people there in the intervening years, but it is the first time that I have been to a gathering of so many, since I left the college. It was a splendid evening with much reminiscing and catching up. The really amazing thing is that very few of us had significantly changed in appearance, and even those who I had lost touch with were pretty much instantly recognisable!

It was a late night/early morning, so I have been doing a little recuperating today, However I have managed to fix the little snag on te webserver. It seems to have been running OK, but I have now got the graphical software (Gnome) pretty much back as it was, and once that is sorted I will look again at upgrading it.

Monday and Tuesday will see me up at St Thomas’s again for the next course of ECP, followed by my (slghtly extended) two monthly check up.

Onwardfs and upwards!

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Sunday… updates

More updates – this time on the server – and not all sweetness and light!

To recap, the new server has been running Linux, to be precise, Fedora 10. The Fedora Project has just released a new version, Fedora 11, and it is possible to update that on the fly. However, with 1374 of the 1,420 files updated, the system froze, and when I restarted it, the same thing happened, so I now have a hybrid system – some old, some new. Interestingly it isn’t stopping it from running any of the server applications, but I can only log into it remotely, or via a command line interface, the graphical side just will not run.

It seems that there is a problem at the Fedora servers too, so I am a bit stumped – I suspect I may have to reload the software at some point. However as it is all working for the time being, it isn’t too urgent.

To cap it all, last night the main incoming switch tripped – luckily the freezers were still cold, but all the batteries in the uninterpretable power supplies had flattened themselves – I thought the house was quiet when I woke up!

However back on the home front, I had a 3C weekend: cleaning, cooking and coursework! Felicity came home this evening after two weeks away, so yesterday I was doing coursework, today some cleaning and tonight some cooking so she had a meal on her return. In the process I evicted a few alien life forms from the fridge – for those Torchwood addicts, I’m not sure if the 456 were hiding in there…

Tomorrow I have a meeting in Portsmouth, so I shall be returning to Corsham after that!

Onwards and Upwards!

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