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Entries made in August 2004

This page contains all of my entries posted during the month of August 2004.

Any future kids of mine are screwed

Posted by Dave on August 27, 2004 at 07:53 PM | Comments (8)

On Tuesday, on my way home from Dublin, I bumped into my friend Jen. We got off the bus early and, taking a back route through our local park, walked the rest of the way.

Somehow we started talking about how Jen's descendants would see her. I told her that, though any future children of hers would probably be well adjusted and have a fine opinion of her, her grandchildren would think she was insane. In many of Jen's more endearing habits they would, incorrectly, see warning signs of senility.

I'm not too worried about my own grandchildren. I'm certain that they will see me as noble, wise and patient; a man to respect. But I can see them saying to their parents, as they drive home from one of their visits, Grand-dad is a great, isn't he?. And whichever one of their parents who is my child will turn to them and say No, grand-dad is a psycho.

Here's why:

My first son

Have pity on my first son. He does not exist yet, and may never exist, but even the idea of my first son is to be pitied.

Assuming his mother agrees, he will be called Nathan. There are three reasons for naming him Nathan; the first is that I do genuinely like the name. Second, is that Claire hates it. She would be made godmother, and so be forced to use that name again and again.

The third is that in the novel that I am slowly writing, there's a character called Nathan Bright. Sounds a lot like Nathan Barrett, doesn't it?

I will keep a close eye on Nathan's actions as he grows up. Every time he acts out of line with the character of Nathan Bright, he will be told with a calm and firm voice: That's not what Nathan Bright would do. I expect that over time this attempt to mould him into someone he is not will make him angry. He will probably shout back at me But I'm not Nathan Bright!. This leads us onto punishment.


Traditionally, parents punish their children using a variety of means. Some use corporal punishment, lightly striking their children. Others deprive their children of treats or ground their children. These parents suffer from a severe lack of imagination. As my sole means of punishment, I will make use of the velcro wall.

The concept is simple. Lift the child, and press them lightly against the wall. They will become stuck in place; they can be stored like this for as long as their misdeeds demand.

My grandchildren

I said previously that my grandchildren will think only good of me. This seems at odds with how I plan to treat my children, but it isn't. What better way of screwing up my childrens lives is there than making their own children believe they are a pack of liars? I shall play my character well.


As you can see, any future kids of mine are screwed. I haven't even mentioned sending them down the mine.

The Open University

Posted by Dave on August 18, 2004 at 06:47 AM | Comments (3)

It turns out that cash plus time plus effort equals qualification. The Open University looks pretty cool. I found the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Modern Language Studies of particular interest.

I'd love to study English and German. Friends of mine are asked to remind me of this from time to time, and remind me often once I start earning a reasonable amount.

Class choices

Posted by Dave on August 17, 2004 at 06:01 PM | Comments (0)

I'm looking at ways to implement a new backend system for the site. I originally planned to write it in Perl, but Ruby on Rails has definitely piqued my interest.

I'm trying to implement a system based on the Model-View-Controller design pattern. I'm trying to represent various things in the system as objects. I want Post objects to inherit from a base class of Record. Record would hold such details as the author and timestamp, attributes common to almost all records in the system. This would hopefully save me from a lot of duplicate code; access control is the same problem whether we're talking about Posts or Images.

Unfortunately, Class::DBI doesn't allow me to handle is a relationships very well. At the best case, I can probably mangle together something with a has a relationship. This isn't nice.

Rails may be able to help. I think I've seen inheritance used the way I need. I'm going to take a further look at Rails and hope to have some good news soon.

Update: I managed to get Rails installed and running on Minds, but something seems to be bust in mod_rewrite for Apache. Even the simplest rewrites don't work, but the module is being loaded and if I screw up a rewrite rule I get a Bad Request error. I spent about three hours trying to figure this one out. I think I'll just screw around with the network here and get a web connection up to my computer so I can use it in Fedora.

High Praise

Posted by Dave on August 15, 2004 at 02:59 AM | Comments (1)

Here's my English teacher's comments on my first essay in fifth year. It was a short story, a blatant rip-off of Terry Pratchett's work. It was uninspired and dull, a blatant waste of time with one sham of a storyline. I sure got some wonderful praise for it, though.

David - I fear for my own sanity if you're going to keep this up for the next two years


Thanks for the confusion, Monster.ie

Posted by Dave on August 09, 2004 at 01:21 PM | Comments (4)

I'm looking for work at the moment, and the easiest way to look for work is through my web browser. One of these sites is Monster.ie. Monster's site seems designed specifically to frustrate the user.

Here's an example. I'm looking for a web design or web development job. This means that a suitable job could be in any of these twelve categories:

  • Web Application Developer
  • Web Applications Developer
  • Graphic/Web Designer
  • Web Designer
  • Web Designer/Developer
  • Web Developer/Programmer
  • Web Programmer
  • Web Developer
  • Sr. Web Developer
  • Senior Web Developer
  • Web Master
  • Webmaster

What's worse is that they recommend you name your CV after one of the categories, without giving you a list of what categories actually exist, so that an employer can find it easily. What category should I choose? I chose Web Designer/Developer; does this mean that an employer looking for a Web Designer or Web Developer won't find my CV?

I've been using computers since I was five. If I find a site targetted at the general population difficult and frustrating to use, something is seriously wrong with their design process.

Look what I did to Google

Posted by Dave on August 09, 2004 at 01:40 AM | Comments (0)

If I was a woman, and my picture came up for a search for the hottest woman on the planet, I know I'd be pretty chuffed. Someone should tell Ms Colan.

I found this post on Penny Arcade by looking at my referrer logs. It's amazing what you find there.

More Dreams

Posted by Dave on August 08, 2004 at 06:00 AM | Comments (0)

These dreams are just freaking me out, particulary one and two, detailed in this earlier entry; and six, detailed below. I'll probably have another messed up one tonight.


The day is beautiful. Sunlight seems to pour in the windows of the grocery store like honey. My friends laugh amongst themselves as I grab a cereal bar from the shelves. I walk outside.

I am thrown to the ground. My hand turns in the dry clay, grabbing a dirty butter knife as my attacker draws his own blade. I punch him in the face, and he falls backwards unconscious.

I spin round to find his accomplice drawing a gun on me, as he sits in the drivers seat of an open-top convertible, which sits part-submerged in the earth. I somehow parry the gun with my knife, knocking it from his hand.

He was wearing a black fedora and a suit. He had it coming.

Suddenly, it is night. I am a small boy with a backpack running around a city somewhere in continental Europe. It's sometime in the 1930's, or early 40's. I run into a shop where some people are huddled. Some Nazis close the door, barricade it and throw petrol on the shop window. They set it on fire.

Somehow, I escape. I must not let them find me. I hear some coming, so I run into a nearby castle to evade them. I run down a long stone tunnel. I can hear their footsteps echoing behind me, and when I reach the end of the tunnel I can see their shadows move along the wall. I run up some stairs to find the main Nazi administrative complex for the area.

It's inside the castle. Dumb move. I'm cornered by two German women, and then I wake.


Two developers of rival open source content management systems try to convince me to use their tools on the new Minds site I'm working on. One of the tools is WordPress, the other is imaginary. The light is similar to the start of Four.

I walk away. While I am away, they plot to kill me. The WordPress developer, who looks a lot like Jim Caviezel in the Thin Red Line (meaning it definitely isn't Matt), doesn't like the idea, but I get the impression he's still going to go through with it.


I've just gotten married, and am looking forward to spending some time, for the most part horizontally, with my wife: a famous British pop singer. But her brother tells me that she's gone on tour, and won't be back for two weeks. I think to myself: who have I married? I'm horrified, and realise that this is just a marriage of convenience. I've married the wrong person. I've made a horrible mistake.

To Do

Posted by Dave on August 07, 2004 at 08:01 PM | Comments (0)

I've made some tweaks to the visual side of this site, but there's a lot more to do before I can call it finished.

Graphical representation of to-do list

Figure out what I want the header to do, then make it do it

The header of this page lacks character and distinctiveness. The real reason for this is that I haven't figured out what I want it to do. It's very difficult to design a solution to a problem when you haven't figured out what that problem is.

Find a better colour for the H1

The colour for the H1 on the homepage needs to be tweaked; it doesn't fit in with the rest of the colour-scheme.

Make nice icons for the list items in the sidebar

I think some small, well designed icons could really help out here. At the moment the caret is a bit bland.

Write a CMS

Moveabletype is fine for a single blog site, but it's pretty useless for what I want it to do. I've looked for a free CMS that does what I want, but nothing exists.

So, inspired by all the nifty features on Dunstan's blog, I thought it would be nice to be able to add some nifty features of my own to my site. This is not easy with Movabletype, because you're fighting against someone else's idea of what the software should do.

Of course, it would have to be written in a decent programming language, as opposed to some piece of crap.

I also need to build some of the sections of the site. Lots of work left to do.

The dreams are back

Posted by Dave on August 05, 2004 at 02:05 AM | Comments (0)

For a long time, I did not dream. Now they have returned, weirder than ever.

In the first of these dreams, I met a woman while out in a quiet bar. We seemed to really hit it off, but she had to leave for some important reason. We quickly made our goodbyes, and she was gone. Moments after, I turned to another woman who was sitting nearby. We started to talk, and things seemed to be going pretty well with her too.

Here's where the dream gets odd. So impressed was the first woman with my company, she decided to skip her important event (whatever it was) to spend some more time with me. I tried to entertain both women while keeping each in the dark about the other.

I should mention that they were both sitting either side of me.

A friend of the first woman warned me against hurting her feelings. I think a third woman arried into my logistical nightmare, but all I remember is my impression of her. Wow.

The next dream was stranger still. I bumped into a woman I used to know (and fancied the arse off), and we very quickly began to have sex - in true 15s movie style, everything faded out to the next scene before any genitalia or breasts could be seen, or anything could be done save removing each other's clothes and falling down together.

In the next scene I was outside somewhere, holding a sheet of plastic buttons; like the buttons on a Coke machine, but layed out in a wider grid. The button at the bottom-right corner had a blinking green light on it. Somehow, this device indicated that she was now pregnant.

I heard a voice:

I can't believe you knocked her up while you were wearing your Bible belt.

Turns out I was indeed wearing a belt, a utility belt at that, with a small Bible clipped onto it.

Later in the dream I found myself in a swimming pool, chasing after some women. Some sort of whistle or alarm sounded, and everyone rushed to a raised platform. I wanted to dive back into the pool, but when I looked down all the water had gone, and the tiles were covered in a sickly green residue.

The last part of the dream was the worst. I was having dinner with a woman who I believe represented the woman I'm meant to marry. She seemed remote, and very upset; I assume getting another woman pregnant had something to do with it. I decided to go into city, and bring her along to cheer her up. As I walked alone to the bus-stop, I realised that I forgot to ask her if she wanted to come with me. The dream ended in confusion and horror as I realised the extent of my actions and how much I hurt her; and that any hope for our relationship was gone.

And if I remember correctly, a frigging monkey in a fez was hopping along beside me at the time.

On a lighter note, the highlight of the third dream was potato and bacon cereal.

I am no evil genius

Posted by Dave on August 03, 2004 at 04:39 PM | Comments (4)

I once had dreams of being an evil genius. My domain would span nations, and all would fall before me.

On Sunday night, I hit a stumbling block. I was trying to threaten Claire. Now, an evil genius should be able to come up with a threat very quickly, and it should be both evil and genius. It's part of the job description.

Unfortunately, the best I could come up with was I will staple your, erm, lip... to, to, something..

What I should have said, and eventually did, was I'll staple your lip to a plank, that will cover your eyes. The only way you will be able to see is if you pull at the plank until you rip you lip in half! Muhuhaha!. But an evil genius should be fast to respond, and I was not.

I guess I'll just have to fall back to the other career path I'm suited for: superhero.


Posted by Dave on August 03, 2004 at 04:32 PM | Comments (1)

It has come to my attention that I'm not eating enough fibre. Yesterday, I felt like I was crapping granite out my ass.

I'm betting most readers are trying to figure out some way of burning that image out their minds.

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