hirez: More graf. Same place as the other one. (Butterfly)
(Stolen from the splendid types on the Twitter.)

This week, metallic purple. Result - a couple more people asking why and a couple more beetling over because 'you totally have to check out John's nail varnish..'

So anyway, while I was feeling mildly asleep and not really thinking too hard about the people around me on Monday morning, I was accosted by a Big Issue vendor. (Bath's got lots)

Blue panda-style eyeshadow, long sparkly scarf and a very purple jumper. It was one of those 'Shut up and listen. The universe is trying to tell you things.' moments.

The other thing that happened is that half a different Twitter thing about NHS mental health provision, which seems to be generally hopless given the state of the tweets, reminded me of two-and-a-bit years ago.

This is what I wrote. On LJ:

"That's everything. It's all hateful. Don't try to reason with it, because there is no logic.

In actual fact, I should try to remember not to reason with myself in that mood. The weird and uncomfortable thing is that these days I've enough self-awareness to watch as the petulance, mithering and second-guessing happens in real time. It's not much fun from the inside. Well, I say 'inside'. There's an unhelpful post-migraine state where one really does feel like one's watching a character in a book, and thinking 'Silly sod really ought to pull his finger out...' Sometimes reality makes a bo-oing noise like a telescope being collapsed and one realises that, well, actually... And at other times it doesn't. Thus I imagine it's a similar amount of no-fun-at-all for anyone else involved.

The next bit of really-very-broken-but-makes-perfect-sense-from-inside thought process goes 'Well, you're making things pretty horrible for those around you, have you considered shutting the hell up and buggering off so they don't have to put up with your nonsense? It really would be the considerate and polite thing to do.'

Although. The imp of the tiresome brain-chemistry doesn't want to go without throwing a strop.

You know, if I post this, someone or other will go 'Me? You hate me?' and... Because I was brought up to be polite, I'll make some excuse instead of going through the whole 'Dave. Everyone's dead.' routine. So, I've admitted to being in a poor state of head and perhaps a bit fragile. Now I also am made to understand that my poor mood is making someone else feel hurt and I should feel terrible about that, too. Excellent darts, there.

I know, how about a big helping of 'not actually ever talking about any of this to anyone'? Yes. That would be best.

On the up-side, I think I can get H2S delivered via the internet. How's that for service?"













That was pretty much exactly as bad as I got. It's uncomfortable reading for me because it reminds me of my mental state and I think I'm quite surprised that no-one read between the lines.

And that is why I couldn't wait the three months for the NHS to push me into a room with twenty other people for a month of weekly CBT sessions and instead paid for a nice man to sit and listen to me ramble for circa a year.
hirez: Humppa! (Humppa!)
[ Technical ramble. It should be on the technical weblog, but that's up on blocks at the moment. ]

It seems that one of the things that people new to Puppet (and sometimes by extension, automated CD/CI rigs) try to do is brickhammer their existing deployment chains into the thing. You can go look at the mailing list and about once a week, someone will go 'I need Puppet to manage this thumping great source directory which we will distribute to $list-of-servers and then build in situ. How do I make Puppet do a ./configure && make && make install?'

To which the answer is 'No.' and the answer to that is stropping because $reasons.

If you or your organisation still want to do that sort of thing, my suggestion is that you bin the terrible Unix systems you're using and try one of the many free (or indeed expensive) versions that come with 1990s features like a package-management system. Mind, if you're using Gentoo for production systems then I can't help you. Please stop reading there is nothing for you here.

Of course you can't package up everything you might wish to bung on a server from a distance. There are also going to be rules-lawyers hunting out corner cases in order to prove me wrong. Which, I don't know, seems to be the broken behaviour patterns of those who're somehow proud of keeping some ancient and spavined code-management technique alive into the C21st. Don't do that either, you're just making you own life hard. Or you're working for an organisation ditto and why are you doing that?

Our own rules are entirely arbitrary and look like this:

Rebuilt Debian packages and/or backports and/or wonky Ruby code that has a config file and an initscript are served as .debs from our own repo. Building your own Debian repository is desperately simple.

Website code is managed through the magic of git, or the nearly-magic of svn. Not via puppet. The site furniture is instantiated via some puppet, but deploys happen via MCollective. Sinatra-based webapps also fit here, even though they're wonky Ruby code with config files and initscripts. We may fix this. Or not. Who can say?

Tomcat apps are emitted from the end of a Jenkins-based chain and largely manage themselves. Getting Puppet involved just seems to confuse things.

The new special case that prompted this ramble is a Java app that's going to sit on some edge servers. The last thing that happens in that Jenkins chain is that the app is packaged up as a .deb. Ok, a Java-style .deb, so the file-layout would make a Debian packager shit themselves with hatred, but still. Since our package generation has been mostly 'by hand' up until now, I'd never bothered with hacking up the auto-upload bits of reprepro. For the Jenkins stuff to work properly, I had to fix that. Thus when there's a new build of the Java app, it appears moments later (depending on cronjob) in our Debian repository.

At that point, I thought it would be a good thing to have the repository-uploader send a message to the event-logger so we could see that there was a new version of code and something should probably be done about it. Not long after that, I realised that the 'something' might as well be automated, too. So actually, the repository-uploader will emit a message to a relevant topic on our message-bus, which will trigger an 'apt-get update' on the servers where that app is installed. If we're feeling brave and the Puppet code that manages the app has 'ensure => latest' in the package statement, then they'll go on and install that newly updated version.

Which is kind of exactly the behaviour one would expect from a continuous deployment rig.
hirez: (Information Hazard)
As mentioned here it is the 21st century and I am hacking a brain interface.

(Well, I say 'mentioned'. I think it's close to moderately excitable jabbering.)

Obviously, the docs are careful to point out that you're best off using a laptop to run the visualisation rig so as to avoid connecting your head to the mains. Which I duly did. Entirely forgetting that the blasted thing was still connected to the lumpy plug... Hey ho. Brain still seems to elephant doormat, so that's all dishwasher ne-ne na-na nu-nu.

I think I also need to find a more conductive moisturiser. I asked in Superdrug, but they gave me one of those blank yet mildly alarmed looks to which I have become accustomed.
hirez: (Lard)
When we were small there was a different and smaller set (or is it canteen? The Internet is filled with American assumptions and is therefore unhelpful) of cutlery for the children. Come to think of it, there was another complete set that featured forks with only three tines. Antique and alien cutlery for eating things from other planets. I don't know what happened to the various sets. Worn out, sold off and/or used as tyre-levers on various pushbikes, no doubt. I was somewhat disturbed to find myself having to buy cutlery for the first time aged thirtysummat.

Anyway. An Poll:

[Poll #1806356]
hirez: (peeved)
Well, that was a jolly way to spend a warm bank holiday Monday.

When I staggered downstairs at the crack of mid-morning, I noticed that the sockets in the kitchen had tripped out. Usually, it's the lighting circuit that has a fit when a bulb expires, but the sockets one has previous form (geezer. Isn't it.) when the kettle or toaster has exploded. So I reset the breaker and think no more about it.

Some minutes later, there's a bang and the breaker flips again.

Bugger. Was that coincidental with the fridge? It's aged, but not as aged as the freezer.

I unplug lots of things. Reset the breaker. Wait.

BANG.

This R nao SRS BSNS.

Faff some more. Resolutely don't think about the fun of finding a sparks on a bank holiday. Reset the breaker.

BANG. From the socket under the worktop that we never use because it was for the dishwasher and we are too skint green to keep one of those.

Oh, cock.

Grovel for insurance docs on the off-chance. Discover that they sold me emergency call-out cover. Things are now less worse, though I am filled with visions of some bugger going 'Werl guv, s'all facked innit. It'll all 'ave to come aht 'an the corlaht dun cuvver dat.' (Cock-er-knee sparks, obv.)

Nice man (you can tell it ends fairly well, can't you?) pitches up from his previous job in Weston (the poor sod), agrees that there is indeed a BANG from that socket when power is applied.

It turns out that when Bodgit & Scarper put that socket in, they nicked the insulation on the live side, and over time it's flexed enough to arc against the tinwork of the socket back.

So hurrah for circuit breakers and yarbles to everyone else involved. You knew where you were with gutta-percha, conduit and a lighting plant. Frequently in the dark.

I should point out that the house with the gutta-percha and conduit had moved on from a lighting plant by the time I lived there. Although a later domicile did feature a lighting plant that only I could make run. So if any of the other buggers wanted an early AM cuppa, they'd bang on my door until I went and cranked the Lister diesel over by hand.
hirez: (psyche-out (ii))
Via the Manchester Guardian, we find this marvellous work of Cold War propaganda. Not that I'm a particular fan of Strategic Air Command, Christmas icon notwithstanding, it's just that the film is an unintentional cavalcade of pre-90s cultural icons. Big analogue screens driven by shipping container-sized tech. Curvilinear stove-enamelled computer equipment that provided the styling cues for WOPR. Red AT&T handsets connected to arrays of buttons marked '273rd strategic bombardment wing'.

... And a mysterious woman at the end of each reel standing next to some colo(u)r bars against a curtained background. Cinematographer's partner? Lab tech? Someone who didn't end up on the cutting-room floor?

If there's a plot to her appearances, it's likely that of 'Hidden city', which was a splendid Film-Four enterprise of the mid 80s. It was similarly concerned with the side-effects of the Cold War.

I wish I had a copy of the Poliakoff film about the photo library.

Adam Curtis is still firing on all cylinders, mind. If we're all Tricky Dicky now, I'm writing a piece called 'The million-pound shithammer'.
hirez: (Laser goggles and raybans)
Fuuuuucking hell.

SonVer + Bath Ales + The Cube + 40s surrealist films = a really quite spectacularly good Friday evening.

Y'all really should make the effort to go and see them.
hirez: (Cooper-Clarke)
A while ago, the splendid [livejournal.com profile] avocadovpx opined that he'd bought 'the sort of sweatshirt that [livejournal.com profile] hirez could get away with.'

In turn, I think I've bought a sweatshirt that only someone more rock&roll than I could get away with.

We shall see.

(These German types seem to have shorter arms, mind.)
hirez: (Armalite rifle)
Does anyone really, truly believe this is news?

If you do, I suggest the following:

Pelting about the place with handfuls of sharp objects may prove unfortunate in the short term.

If it's raining, you may want to consider donning waterproof clothing before venturing outside.

If your chest hurts and you are tired, try relaxing the muscles in that area. Remember: breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out.


I mean, ever since hard drives have been going wrong, there have been technicians making them work again and then having a quick grovel across the surfaces for anything useful, entertaining or incriminating.
hirez: (pillock)
You know, right now it looks like a pint of Strongarm viewed through the wrong end of a telescope.

(And I think the LC-A needs a remote shutter release. I got bored after two minutes of standing very still.)
hirez: (pillock)
Someone else's pictures for a change. Featuring a small part of the Holland Library at Washington State Uni.

For me, the particularly choice shot is this one of the lobby. It's incredibly atmospheric.
hirez: (Riiight)
The last time we went to London, the 900 tried to reject its exhaust system.

This time, the exhaust is the only bit sans tinworm. Oh well, fun while it lasted and let's hope the 9000 is recoverable, otherwise there's going to be more cycling than usual in my future.

On the positive side, the Modernism ("I didn't know they were playing." "No, not the shit band. The thing at the V&A...") exhibition was really quite something. 'Still life with ball-bearings', constructivist theatre designed for collective farms, futurist clothing (a futurist suit), a combined X-Ray machine and acceleration-couch, Einstein's expressionist observatory, a Tatra, a zig-zag chair... (and the Skylon and some mad Japanese library that looks like it's going to turn into a rocket-firing turtle any second and Highpoint and and...)

All the good and interesting design and architecture of the last century in one place. (And some unfortunately utopian ideas about social housingm but there we are)

Marvellous. Perhaps this is the Grim Meathook Future we're warned about.

Anyway. Y'all have a week to go view it.

After that, there was B-Movie. A right old laugh and no mistake. Was half-deaf, tired and dealing with a mob of unruly personal daemons, so not match-fit by any stretch, but still managed to ramble and arm-wave in a hopefully entertaining style.
hirez: (Hand-staple-forehead)
Migraine yesterday afternoon. Everything is still slightly out of focus, which I think would make driving up the motorway a Jolly Interesting Time.

Oh dear me I'll just have to write something. What a bugger.

There was something else. Usually when this sort thing happens, I forget the name of John Cusack. However, that's in my head and something else isn't. Very odd.

Slugs?
Passport?
Robots?
Computer map of the stars?
Trilobite? (Why does that name feature so often?)
Generator?
Profit?
Web2.0 bollocks looking just like Web1.0?
Triumph Herald?
Austin Bend Sinister?
Web-caw. Web-caw.

Oh. Popcorn double feature: Uncle Marcus sent films the other week. I carefully watched the one through one eye with the lights out. It made no sense at all. Jolly good futurist autogyros, though. And Alvin Stardust in a corset.
hirez: (Bunny Eye)
Ow.

All my clothes smell of boozer, I haven't slept much and the car is emitting a sequence of unfortunate noises.

Very very fine indeed.

I fear I also have Flight Magazine's 'space special' from 1960, which features articles on the newly-formed NASA's management problems (so no change there then), Blue Streak/Black Knight and the expectation of putting A Chap in orbit by 1964, and a series of adverts which make it very clear that the expectation was that there'd be BOAC flights to the moon by the seventies.
hirez: (Laser goggles and raybans)
I'm not much of a one for weekend reports, textual malarkey in similar style to that generated by the inspirational [livejournal.com profile] figg is much more fun. Have a crack it it yourselves. Any textual manipulation that shakes ideas like 'Buzz Nausea, King of the aircraft-men' out of the subtext is fine by me.

You know he's going to pilot some stub-winged snarling radial monster on a heroic mission to save his French girlfriend from the terrible clutches of the existentialist Mr Smith and his post-structuralist henchmen.

Speaking of which, I have most of a (short, with any luck) story in my head concerning self-replicating automata at the turn of the last century. Not so much a blind watchmaker as a self-aware one bootstrapping a microcosmic mechanical singularity. Or rather not. I think.

You know that 'ablutions by the light of many candles' thing? Dark and inefficient.
hirez: Humppa! (Humppa!)
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