Tuesday, 17 May 2005

Full Weekend

Life with Alice is slowly but surely getting back to normal. She's still not quite right, and is still whining a lot, but at least she's now started sleeping through the night once more. Very naughty last night, she went to bed without pyjama pants on, consequently woke up a few hours later having wet the bed. You can't really be angry when they wet the bed, but she should have known better than to leave her pyjama pants off. So, she got to sleep on a towel, and Jacqueline will need to clean up the mess.

Weekend went rather well. I went to the timber yard and got eight pieces of chipboard for the loft. I laid four of them (quite straightforward, the only issue was actually getting them through the opening into the loft), and everything looks a lot better up there. There is still a bit to go, but I didn't want to get into cutting things into shape at that time, so I stopped at the four pieces. Next weekend, I need to cut another two pieces up, to get them to fit around the edges. Then I need to work out where to put the last two pieces!

Anyway, once I had the loft floor down, it was time to get down to "real" business, and I laid a network cable for the first time. In fact, I laid two cables and have subsequently found that only one of them works, so there's a task for an upcoming weekend... But although I've now bought all the cable/tools etc, I doubt I'll do it too regularly. I think the safe bet is to use ready-made cable where possible - I've found that working with Cat5 cable is very fiddly, and I doubt you can match the build quality of factory-made cables. The only reason I did my own wiring at the weekend was because I was going between two junction boxes, I didn't just need a cable.

Last week I picked up an Intel switch very cheaply on eBay, and this arrived yesterday, so yesterday evening I put the final touches to the "new" network. Basically, all that I have done is to double-up the single access point into two access points, and rather than sitting in the middle of the loft they now sit at either end. Everywhere has good coverage now. The two access points are joined to this new switch, which in turn is linked to the existing backbone via the new network connection. Easy as that! And now I know about MDI and MDI-X ports! More useless rubbish...

Elsewhere in the world, George Galloway is in the news at the moment. He's been accused of profiteering from Iraq by some US senate committee - the charge is that the old Iraqui regime basically gave him oil as a bribe for supporting them. Seems very fishy, very political, I have to wonder whether these allegations would have come to light had he not beaten Oona King in the election. It wouldn't surprise me if Tony and George got together and conjured up a bit of spin on this one. Galloway himself has gone over to Washington D.C. to refute the allegations - good for him. (Also, of course, one should remember that the Telegraph not long ago lost a libel action to Galloway with this self same claim, although the US Senate claims to have different evidence.)

For me, I have just completed reading Galloway's book, I'm not the only one, which rants a little but which comes straight from the heart. I haven't been so impressed by a piece of political writing since I read Tony Benn's work, and Benn and Galloway are quite similar politically. Plus, I find myself generally agreeing with him - he's really not the only one!

On books, I've got an excellent stock to read over the summer - a biog of Jim Callaghan , plus a book, Free Radical, with some of Tony Benn's writings in it. To add to that, I've just ordered from Amazon George Orwell's complete works. Not to mention I'm still plodding through The Hitchhiker's series.

Believe it or not, I heard this morning that the manager of Everton (my boyhood team), David Moyes, has won the Manager of the Year award, for having guided Everton to fourth place in the Premier League. How he managed it, I just don't know, since the few times I saw them play they were absolutely awful. They even lost 7-0 at Arsenal last week. I guess that, aside from the top three teams who were quite some way ahead, Everton were just on a par with the other teams. I always tend to look for their result first, and don't really take notice of other teams' results. Probably a Liverpool or Bolton fan (the teams that finished fifth and sixth) would look at their team's results and think that they were eratic too. Still, nice to see them doing well, although they won't get a penny from me! Believe it or not when I used to go and stand behind the goal on Gwladys Street, it cost me something like £1.50 to get in. I had a season ticket for three years and remember that costing in the region of £30 - £40. I bet I'd pay ten times that for the same view these days. And I got to feast on legends like Neville Southall, Peter Reid, Andy Gray, Trevor Steven, Kevin Sheedy etc. etc. Even Gary Lineker for a year. OK, I was heavily into it...

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