A Daily Diatribe by a Pompous Git

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A journal of sorts to record Jonathan Sturm's (and others') thoughts and observations on things worth thinking about. Feedback welcome, but be aware that unless you prominently say you want your communication kept private, I may publish it.

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Monday 8 October 2001

Problems with my server continue, so there's nothing else for it -- a clean reinstall of Win2k. This annoys the hell out of me. I had intended to install e-Smith, but there is so much to do at The House of Steel, I don't have any time to waste. Don't bother emailing me to say that the time wouldn't really be wasted -- I know that. It's just that a clean install of Win2k will take a lot less time than something unfamiliar. A particular concern is my SCSI CD burner on the server and there's nowhere else to put it unless I purchase a full tower case for my workstation. Before I do that, I need to find the money for two APC Smart UPSs. When I sent the results of my input voltage monitoring to my friend who lent me the UPS, he said that "swings like that belong in a children's playground!"

Thought for the day:

The tighter you squeeze, the less you have.

Zen saying


Tuesday 9 October 2001

I noticed that my server only had Service Pack 1, so I applied Service Pack 2 and that appears to have fixed the problems I had with it. I suspect that a critical file (or two) may have been corrupted and this fixed them with later versions. I am awaiting a quote on UPSs (APC Smart UPS).

The House of Steel consumed all my energy today.

Thought for the day:

One universe made up all that is; and one God in it all, and one principle of being, and one law, the reason shared by all thinking creatures, and one truth.

Marcus Aurelius


Wednesday 10 October 2001


Thought for the day:



Thursday 11 October 2001

Busier, and not even at home for most of the day!

Thought for the day:



Friday 12 October 2001

A busy week on The House of Steel. We have had a day of hot weather and another day of torrential rain. A fellow from a nearby village measured 50 mm (2 in) of rainfall over a seven hour period for a total of 100 mm in twenty four hours. The linishing belt on my grinder disintegrated while I was sharpening my pocket knife, lashing my wrist rather badly. Not much blood, but a nasty bruise and grazing. I must remember to inspect the junction in the belt before using it in future.

Yesterday, I replaced the incredibly bad NEC Spirit cell-phone with a Nokia. The Nokia is smaller, lighter and has more inbuilt functions, some of which are actually useful. More important, it is still showing full charge after 24 hours where the battery in the NEC would have been completely discharged. The useful functions include a calculator, being able to set reminders and it vibrates when receiving a call. While its use as a sex aid appears to be limited, being able to turn off the ringing tone during meetings, but still know that a call is coming in seems useful. I didn't want any of the "free" accessories so I was given a $A50 gift certificate to spend on whatever I want in the store. The changeover of phones cost me $A24 before the gift certificate, so I have a better phone and I'm $A26 better off!

While Service Pack 2 seems to have improved my server's ability to remain visible to the workstations, it has not completely cured the problem. I think it's time to reinstall.

Thought for the day:

At no time is freedom of speech more precious than when a man hits his thumb with a hammer.

Marshall Lumsden


Saturday 13 October 2001

A day spent working things out on paper. Working out some things is easier that way than with a PC. Like the cabinets and materials required. Of course it all ends up in a spreadsheet afterwards and that adds up all the costs. And they are within 10% of what I guesstimated several months ago.

Yesterday, I tried to phone Richard who is due to sand the floors of The House of Steel later this week. His phones were disconnected, including his mobile. I phoned a rival who tells me that this sort of thing happens to Richard frequently. Richard has been doing work for an insurance company that has become even slower than usual in paying. The rival agrees to do the job starting Tuesday if I don't hear from Richard.

In the evening I went to a friend's birthday party. We did not stay long, boring old farts that we are. Not that there wasn't scope for interesting conversation -- just not enough to justify a hangover. For a gift, I purchased a second-hand CD of Kitaro's Silk Road. While at Aeroplane Records, I also found Eno and Byrne's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts on vinyl in excellent condition. This is one of my all-time favourite records that I previously had only on cassette.

Thought for the day:

I think it's only in a crisis that Americans see other people. It has to be an American crisis, of course. If two countries fight that do not supply the Americans with some precious commodity, then the education of the public does not take place. But when the dictator falls, when the oil is threatened, then you turn on the television and they tell you where the country is, what the language is, how to pronounce the names of the leaders, what the religion is all about, and maybe you can cut out recipes in the newspaper of Persian dishes.

Don Delillo


Sunday 14 October 2001

Richard, the floor sander phones to say he will be starting our floors in the second half of the coming week. I take the precaution of obtaining a phone number where he can be reached. Richard has the best reputation for doing the job and that's more important to me than his lack of business skills.

The Nokia phone is still on its first charge of the battery. The NEC needed its battery charged at least once a day most of the time. According to the battery level meter, it's only half way depleted. The three cycles of complete charge followed by complete discharge to allow the battery to reach its maximum capacity looks like taking a couple of weeks at least!

I was going to commence painting the laundry today, but Fran took the plaster sanding tools home on Friday. Instead, I finally got around to painting the second coat on the wardrobe wall and the hot water closet. Our friend Jane came by for her first visit to see The House of Steel and declared it a masterwork. She brought sticky buns from Banjo's Bakery and we drank strong black coffee with them. Jane is a very proper lady, so I brought out the tiger myrtle coffee table for its first use. The scraps of cardboard we used to prevent the coffee mugs marring the surface were probably infra dig, but what the hell, it's a building site!

I notice that FrontPage 2000 has lost the ability to publish my web pages. After an eternity of saying it's listing the pages in my web, it tells me it can't find port 80. So I'm FTPing the changed pages instead. Piffle! Opening my web in a new IE window, the text displays as Courier New, paging back to it through an existing IE window, the text displays according to the style sheet. Double piffle!

Thought for the day:

Manners are the happy way of doing things; each once a stroke of genius or of love --now repeated and hardened into usage. They form at last a rich varnish, with which the routine of life is washed, and its details adorned. If they are superficial, so are the dewdrops which give such depth to the morning meadows.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


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Jonathan Sturm 2001


Jonathan Sturm 2001