Chris, or Oggie, as I knew him was someone I first met in September 1991, when he turned up as a new Queen's Scholar at Westminster. He was the year below me, but I always felt a bit young for my year, and so got to know him reasonably well. During the time at Westminster, we attempted to create a chlorate and sugar explosive in his back garden in Dulwich, he taught me how to "cheat" at Sim City. He was also responsible, I think (it's hard to remember things so many years ago) for teaching me some subtleties of the BBC Micro, and finally, in my last year at Westminster, for introducing me to C, and starting me on my current career with real programming languages.
When I started at Cambridge (after a year out), Oggie was in the same lectures as me. I met his friends, and they became my friends too.
In the years following my time at Cambridge, I'm ashamed to say I lost touch, but I'd heard about some of the things that he did, and kept reading his main blog, and his more frequently updated links blog (with its highly entertaining, and very Oggie-ish comments). I was amazed that at one party where I saw him, I didn't feel like a totally incompetent idiot anymore.
Oggie didn't go out of his way to make himself liked, but I admired and, despite all the jokes, did like him and to be honest he was one of the few people that have really inspired me. He was certainly one of the few to make me remotely competitive, though I could never honestly compete at even remotely the same level.
In the week or so following his death, James and his family have been stunning at looking after people. I was asked to help with the MySociety projects, and stepping into that was, in no uncertain terms, awe inspiring.
Words can't really express how I feel about this, but my thoughts go particularly to his family, to Helen, to Tom, to James and to Katherine.
Rest in peace, Oggie, you were a true visionary and you will be missed.
My First Show Well, ok, not the first that I've ever done, but the first that I've actually prepared somewhat in advance, and been asked to do in advance. It's a bit more droppy than I'd like, and the music got massively mixed reactions ;-), and also, I didn't know about switching off autofocus when pointing a camera at a stage - seems obvious, doesn't it, in retrospect.
TelXL (08700 675617) Scam calls I've just been auto-dialled on my mobile by something with a callerid of 08700 675617. Upon trying to call it back, it apparently rings and rings.
However, the very first thing that happens is that the call is answered, and a recorded message says "please wait while we try to connect you". I'm going to be reporting this to Ofcom, but this page just adds to the googleness.
Ofcom's own page suggests that this isn't the first time they've done such a thing.
12 juggling conventions (4 of which were one-dayers, and one was half-way between a convention and a festival) 2 festivals (not counting the one mentioned above) 3 weddings 2 funerals 3 birthday parties 8 other parties 2 foreign countries (flying, and got into one on an out-of-date London Underground Photocard) 3 days of intensive circus training 1 reunion of people at Cambridge 1 party at our house 3 clubs (as in juggling - qualified) 4 balls (similarly - qualified) 2 devilsticks 1 broken devilstick 10 passing patterns attempted (of which I could reasonably say I can do 6) 3 afternoons of street performing in Covent Garden 2 good friends returned to Canada 1 new boss 27 days as on-call sysadmin too many new friends to count
Weights So, a little while ago, I decided to do Moira's Hangar Summer Circus School thing. I've been doing some weights in order to do this. This morning, I did 3 rounds with 25, 25 and 20 reps of arm curls on each side, alternate bench press on each side, and a together bench press. It is the closest to not being achievable that I've had so far, so I'm hoping it's going to do me some good. We shall see.
EJC 2006 Well, I'm back from Ireland. Convention shows were absolutely fantastic. I've also now done (at least once) all 4 of the double-propellers. Still didn't manage to get a 2-stick tick-tock going, though - but was given some hints by Markus. A convention low was helpfully provided by Susannah, who felt that due to various interactions between her and I, and between her and others, it was better to spend the time that she was there completely blanking me. Highs were, well, Kris Kremo, Jay Gilligan, Manu Laude, Alan Blim, Sergei Ignatov, Toby Walker, Stefan Sing, Tempei Arakawa, Ryo Yabe and Tony Frebourg who did some absolutely stunning juggling, and related acts. Surprise was to enjoy a poi performance by Ronan (Ronopotamus). Poi people at conventions are still somewhat of a bane. And I have no photos :-(.
Airlines and why I hate flying... I've never had any fears of flying, I've just always hated dealing with airports and airlines. Perhaps this is because I like tagging the email addresses I give out to people so that I can identify the source of any bulk mail. Perhaps it is because I have a double-barrelled surname with a hyphen. I don't know.
Anyway, I had to book 2 sets of flights today. This means that I will be in Boston, MA between the 10th June and the 18th June, and if you are there, we will have to go for b33r at some point. ( --more--Collapse )
3 Clubs! OK, so I only qualified it, that means I managed 4 catches (which is enough to know that I've caught it from a throw that I caught (rather than a starting throw), I think my best so far is 5 catches, but this is something I've been wanting to be able to do for quite some time, so....
So it looks like my planning to swap colon with a new machine with lots of disk (146GB of RAID1, to be precise) may not go ahead on the 7th to 8th as I'd been assuming. I'm not sure yet what, but this morning something caused both disks to stop spinning, and I saw the kernel log messages on the screen saying how the array had gone from OK -> interim recovery -> failed all within about 4s. Having just taken the better part of a day and a half to sync the current /export/home (~8GB), however, even finding some way of rebuilding it, and getting the disks to spin up worries me for that deadline. I'm currently not as confident in the hardware as I'd like to be - though it did survive with a reasonable uptime beforehand as munkyii.nodnol.org. Hopefully when I get back home, reseating everything will fix it - then what?
Update: It seems that the problem is with the RAID card (unplugging it and using the onboard RAID span the disks up fine). As well as this, there have been other little niggles with the card. This is a good thing, because I only just bought the card, and it is under warranty as a result.
Soho Square - Adventures in Juggling Today's randomness was being asked if I minded being filmed doing devilstick at lunchtime. This is not a problem for me, I've done it before for some Georgian film crew. What surprised me was the subject matter of the documentary they were making: Speed dating and finding love in London. The best I managed (while trying to stifle a laugh) was to suggest that I was somewhat underqualified in both of these, and hopefully this wouldn't be a problem for the film.
Unfortunately I'm not in the film because I had to go back to work at the end of my lunch break :-(
Yet more on these blasted bombs... First off, I'm writing this at least partly to get my thoughts in order. If you don't want to read it because you're fed up of this news, I won't feel bad about it, and you should not feel guilty.