Pauly's Soapbox

Home

Searching for something on my site? Not found it? Try here:

Warmest Halloween on record

Oct3110/31
It has reached 23.5 degrees centigrade in Gravesend today, and it's jolly nice here today too. This smashed the previous temperature record for this time of year by a good three degrees. Yes, stop in the name of love, etc. Details here on the beeb.
:: Comment / reply

Oof, The Delme and The Seagull caught in underage sting!

Oct3110/31
Delme Arms
Portchester pubs The Delme Arms and The Seagull have both been caught in a local licensing authority operation where they send sixteen and seventeen year old youths in to pubs and shops to try and buy alcohol, and if they're successfull UH-OH! Story here in The News.

I served behind the bar in The Seagull when I was seventeen - what you going to do about that, eh???
:: Comment / reply

Happy Halloween

Oct3110/31
And a happy pay day too. It's profit share pay day for us here, been waiting for this one for ages (ok, for three months - we get profit share every three months join us join us join us). The car has GONE, to the garage, to have that dodgy seatbelt light or airbag light or whatever it is sorted. Hopefully it's a loose connection under the drivers seat, though our regular garage Zanchi thought we might need the whole ecu replacing.

The new garage we're trying came and collected the car, and will bring it back at the end of the day. I have always been impressed with Zanchi, they do the job and they are reasonably priced, but the parking near their workshop is very bad, Clare does not like taking the car there. So will see how much these guys charge, maybe we'll use them again. They are an official Ford dealer so it's probably not going to be cheap.

Working from home again today, second day in a row, in order to facilitate the collection of the car. Clare and Harry and Tommy are also at home, but I'm down in the study while they're cleaning upstairs.

Actually I didn't see any ID when the guy collected the car, so I hope we get it back at the end of the day.
:: Comment / reply

At last a galvansied tax exempt land rover I can afford!

Oct3110/31
I have ebay searches set up for these things, hoping something exciting will come up. Some days I'm in the mood for a land rover and some days I'm holding out for the dream vw split screen camper, but I keep the searches going anyway... I don't see any problems with this one do you? Have I missed a detail here?
:: Comment / reply

Very clever move labelling booze with calories

Oct3110/31
This is a much smarter idea than nagging people into stopping drinking, just adding the calorie count to wine and beer and spirits will make a difference to some people. Only the sort of people who think about what they're eating and drinking anyway, which is not many people. I guess I did really know a glass of wine is the same as a doughnut. I would not eat three doughnuts, but I like to think that the fact that I don't eat the doughnuts as well makes it ok for me to drink so much booze.

On a booze tip I tried my home brew last night. It seemed beery, and it tasted and smelled super hoppy, but it was very cloudy. I don't think the brew went according to plan at all, probably because the temperatures were way off because the thermometer was bust. Next one will be better.

I still have forty doughnuts worth of this cloudy beer to drink.
:: Comment / reply

Literally like feeding time at the zoo

Oct3010/30
Jim finally had his birthday present from last December, an experience, feeding tigers at Port Lympne. I have only seen video footage of it as I was working but it looked actually quite terrifying. Jim looks concerned anyway. Uploading the footage now, or trying to. Un the meantime here is a picture, they let Clare have a go too as it was quite quiet:

:: Comment / reply

Trying a new music player - Banshee

Oct3010/30
Since moving over to debian (linux) at home I've been trying out different music players. Rhythmbox was ok, came with the standard install and seems to work ok, but did not import my mp3 ratings (I think I mentioned this)... I've given Amarok a try and that looks really good, scrolling lyrics as the songs are playing and so on, but still no ratings. So giving Banshee a go. It imports my ratings, and will write the ratings back to the file when I change them. This means when I next reindex from xbmc or whatever it will pick up the new ratings. I understand this is not a popular feature, it's contentious, lots of "I don't want music player x to be writing to my mp3 files", and also people have concerns over performans. But, it's right for me, I want the meta data to be carried with the mp3 file. Banshee is working OK for me so far, I've indexed, and it's playing right now.

Glossary:

xbmc: my media centre, runs on a raspberry pi connected to the tv, plays all my music and that
:: Comment / reply

PUPPY FARM???

Oct2910/29
Puppy farm is way way way too cute a term for the sort of things that must go on in a place like that.
:: Comment / reply

RHD VW Split screen camper in Canterbury

Oct2910/29
Lawks, 35k though! Looks nice but not entirely sure about that interior. Looks OK but from those few pics does not seem close enough to "stock" to be cute, nor impressive enough to have been worth bothering deviating from a stock interior, no rock'n'roll bed for example, strange sort of lino everywhere. Being right hand drive boosts the price though.

I just checked, and surprisingly we did not win the euro millions, so I might not be bidding on this one today. Clare is on side though, she likes the look of this one.

£21,000.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-9-2014 20:28:11 GMT
Bid now | Add to watch list
:: Comment / reply

This is why I don't go to the gym

Oct2910/29
I do not call it cheating, my chores are plenty enough exercise. If only I had more spare time to walk to the pub I'd be way ahead of the exercise game.
:: Comment / reply

Back into Veronica Mars

Oct2910/29
Watched three episodes of Veronica Mars last night to finish season two. Loving it, it all went a bit crazy with character direction changes towards the end, not sure many of those were there from the beginning. Still, loving it, only season three and then the movie to go.

Shame I don't have days off this week in half term, Clare and Harry and Tommy have gone to a toy shop today at Westwood Cross to get ideas for christmas. Trying to come up with some myself. There have been things that I've been planning to buy for a while thinking "wait until October payday", and now I can't really remember them. October is profit share at work so it's quite a good one. I know I need to get the car fixed and I'd like to get the bureau repaired too. Either of those could potentially end up wiping out any idea of "fun money".
:: Comment / reply

Bespoke Design Interiors Kent

Oct2810/28
Looking for local cabinet maker to do me a repair to my bureau that I broke, and I found these guys. Actually I went looking for them as I had seem them up at the industrial estate. Tried to email them from that website, and it errors, tut tut. Will have to give them a call or go in. Wonder if I can trade some IT skills for a fix of my bureau..?
:: Comment / reply

Lightwaverf firmware update possibly broken my whole house

Oct2810/28
Recommended / related
Hmm I put a support ticket in to lightwaverf because their recent firmware update stopped my energy monitor from working. It's been responding with 0 energy used since they did the update. The tech support people literally said "turn it off and on again", I reset both devices (the wifi link and the energy monitor) and now nothing is responding at all. I can't even log on to my box that is sending the energy monitor requests. Previously everything else was working fine, just the energy monitor failing, and now everything is failing...

I suspect the communication between the wifi link and the energy monitor is now hanging, and so my process that requests this data once per minute and logs it is now backing up, and that's making the raspberry pi that it runs on back up.

I can't do anything about this until I get home and physically reset everything...

Glossary:

lightwaverf: the light switches etc that I use to give me remote control of everything in the house
raspberry pi: cheap low powered computer
:: Comment / reply

UPDATE: Everything was OK when I reset the server

I say "ok", everything is working except the energy monitor. It's responding, but it's responding with zero. So still an issue between the wifi link and the energy monitor.
:: 29 Oct :: Comment / reply

Doh!!

:: 28 Oct :: Comment / reply

hell yeah technology is a pain

The whole house is not actually "off" or anything but all my normal timers that turn the sockets on and off to save energy are not functioning... and the box that I would normally use to get "into" the house while I am at work is out of action too.
:: 28 Oct :: Comment / reply

Kinda lazy weekend, kinda not

Oct2710/27
Didn't do too much this weekend, which was nice. Had nowhere to go really, my main task was helping clear Jim and Pauline's garden. Clare was working, so we got picked up, Harry and Tommy played with their cousins while we worked in the garden, cutting an out of control rose bush down to size, and removing some ivy and things. Also several runs to the tip to get rid of the garden waste and various assorted boxes and things from their garage.

Saturday night Clare was out with work, so instead of watching TV I did some (really really really) dull reorganising of my music on the various new computers. Trying to come up with a system for keeping the various music players around the house in sync, and all the backups in order, and the id3 ratings of everything good; since moving from media monkey to "something else" (not decided what yet) it has become apparent that my years of rating all my mp3s (5 stars best, 1 star rubbish, etc) on itunes and then on media monkey there is no real standard for this, various bits of software keep their own database. So this valuable meta data is easy to lose! If you rate an mp3 on many systems it writes it into the POPM (popularimeter) tag but there is no standard for this so everyone does it differently. Also when you import your music into XBMC it will read from this tag, but then if you re-rate a track within XBMC it writes it to its own database but not back into the track. It is LITERALLY a MINEFIELD! OK, not literally but it's annoying. So I'm going to write my own code that keeps crawling my music collection keeping everything in sync...

Sunday I missed out on the extra hour lie-in from the clocks going back, and had to be up and out super early to get Harry signed up for a new gymnastics class. He got in at least, that was good, then we were set for the rest of the day of trying to do very little. Did quite a lot of housework and cooking and things, but still nice.

Last night watched strictly come dancing and Lewis - these new episoded have been dead good, pretty sure I've got this one sussed though.

Glossary:

xbmc: my media centre, runs on a raspberry pi connected to the tv, plays all my music and that
:: Comment / reply

Surprisingly tricky NFS mounting my NAS

Oct2410/24
Eventually found this my d-link nas is a tricky fellow, when you enable mounting (so I can rsync my music from other linux boxes on the network) there is a "hidden" menu that shows you what the real path is that you need to mount to... previously using cifs on my other NAS this was not an issue... I could do

mount -t cifs //LINKSTATION/share /mnt/share -o ip=192.168.1.65


at least that was the note I made for myself, possibly

mount -t cifs 192.168.1.65/share /mnt/share


would have worked just as well. On the new NAS everything is in /Volume_1 instead so I thought

root@debianlaptop:~# mount.nfs -w 192.168.1.71:/Volume_1 /mnt/share


BUT NO! There's a secret path!

The correct solution is as follows: Under Account Management > Network Shares, when you set up the share for NFS access a little icon appears in the Network Shares Settings table in the NFS column in the row for that share. Although it does not appear to be a link, clicking the icon brings up a pop-up window with the settings for that share. The critical item here is the string labelled "Real Path"; this is the string that needs to follow the host name.

As an example, if your DNS-325 has a host name of "nas" and you are sharing "Volume_1/nfs". The correct string (at least on my box) to mount the share on Linux is "nas:/mnt/HD/HD_a2/nfs" and on the Mac is "nfs://nas/mnt/HD/HD_a2/nfs". I suspect the "/mnt/HD/HD_a2/" part is dependent on how the disks are configured so be sure to look up the correct string for the share on your own DNS-325.


So the answer (for me) was

mount.nfs -w 192.168.1.71:/mnt/HD/HD_a2 /mnt/share


This now makes it look as if the NAS (where all the music and pictures and TV and films are) is a local drive on the laptop, while I'm on the network. So I'll set up a job to synchronise with the laptop's real hard drive.
:: Comment / reply

We're still looking for four or five people like me

Oct2410/24
OK not exactly like me but we're employing four or five developers. And if you say you heard about the job through me and you get it, I earn a nice fat bonus. So do it!

Apply now.
:: Comment / reply

Lightwaverf have finally broken things for me to

Oct2410/24
Recommended / related
Lots of people on the forum have been complaining that a firmware update from lightwaverf broke their home automation things in the house. Insane that the company will send out firmware updates to the piece of hardware that I own without my permission, but they have done. This should be an option to update not automatic... it has stopped my energy monitor from logging for the past day and a half, not sure what else it has affected.

I'd not had the update until now, quite a while after most other people that were affected. Rumour was it was because they knew it was broken for the energy monitor and were not updating systems that used this. But now. Gah.

Hmm that should be "too" in the subject line there, but in my rush to super simplify posting things here I've removed the option to edit the subject for now.

At least my regular home automation control is still working. I've just turned the lights on and off with the robot butler so we're all good. I've updated version 0.7 of the robot butler to fix an issue that must have been putting people off for a while. It's about time to publish it I think. No harm, seeing as new users must have been having serious problems with the current version. Hitting the publish button now!

Glossary:

lightwaverf: the light switches etc that I use to give me remote control of everything in the house
:: Comment / reply

Just realised I posted four blog posts ending in an exclamation mark

Oct2410/24
I will desist from this in future, it makes me sound like an excitable fool.
:: Comment / reply

Further good day at work news

Oct2410/24
Not only the £2 scratchcard win, but also a free lunch from work too, mediterranean style, flatbreads to fill with hummus and falafel and veg and chilis and things, nice. There is also chicken and haloumi for other people.

Also I found the camera! I lost it a couple of weeks ago, I assumed it was at work somewhere. I was just looking for a phone charger in my back and found the camera in a little hidden pocket... Good timing because Tommy keeps being super cute at the moment he's just really started to talk and we want to capture some of it before he goes from "oops train... kiss daddy" etc to "I HATE YOU GET OUT OF MY ROOM!". Slightly bad timing in that today is the last day of Harry's gymnastics, and I've seen none of it and Clare is there without the camera. I hope she can capture some on her phone for me.

Surprising number of people have no idea what a falafel is. So much so that Neil the caterer had a tonne left over and has given me a big bag to take home. So it's falafel for tea too!
:: Comment / reply

Harry's gymnastics class is all booked up!

Oct2410/24
No not "he is now booked into a gymnastics class" but the class we wanted him to get back into is fully booked, he can't do gymnastics any more, he will not be pleased. It is seemingly a very popular class at Folkestone sports centre, you have to go down there on the morning the bookings open for the new class and book in. We could not do that today, because of having to get to work and school etc so Clare tried on the phone. "Don't worry" says I "it surely won't book up this fast". It did.

Maybe they are lying and they have heard about Harry, just pretending it is fully booked...

:: Comment / reply

Great scott!!!

Oct2410/24
An actual hoverboard!

An actual hoverboard like from back to the future? It's on BBC Click this week apparently.

Also I just won £2 on my free scratchcard from work. It's wellbeing week. This £2 has greatly increased my personal wellbeing, I might well put it towards a pint in the potting shed on my way home today.
:: Comment / reply

Paul Clarke's - I work and live in Seabrook near Folkestone, Kent. wed to Clare and father to Harry and Tommy, I am a web dev, and I do javascript, Node, php, and ruby. I like Folkestone Gerald, pubs, restaurants, home automation and other diy jiggery-pokery, history, genealogy, TV, popbitch, squirrels, pirates ☠, and time travel...