Saturday, May 26, 2007


... hmmm ... looks like we didn't win the Champions' League then.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

We've Won It 5 Times...Could it Be 6...?

Blimey, after what seems like weeks of none stop work I got a minute to think about tomorrow evening in Athens...

Tension is beginning to mount. It looks like the whole family is going to watch it here in the living-room plus a couple of boyfriends.

So, we'll get a load of crates in, get a big pot of chile going and then, from 20.45 Deepest Bavaria Time, we will scream and shout, bite nails and suffer heart attacks and not really enjoy a single minute until either we win it in Greece for the 6th time or ...

Elate, paidia!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


It is Ascension Day in deepest Bavaria. I seem to remember in the diaries I had as a kid it would say, "Ascension Day - quarter day in Scotland" or something. I never did work out what that was supposed to be.

Anyway, as the card companies would have it, Ascension Day is also Fathers' Day - and true to form it is a drizzly grey morning ... and anyway I have to get a translation done for tomorrow so I am working away .. yoohoo.

But I don't care ... the main thing is I have my connection back! I have been going nuts over the last few weeks cos my internet connection was constantly patchy and crashy and S L O W.

I have been tapping the WLAN box, fiddling about with the computers, kicking the cat (haven't got one actually... cats ... oooh ... shudder ... but I even felt like getting one just so I could kick it). Everything seemed to be going haywire; even my new(ish) laptop, Lappo was all grumpy and crashy and slow - with very intermittent and unreliable internet.

So I decided on Tuesday evening ... rashly as usual ... to do a Systemwiederherstellung which is what in English? Erm, a "put-your-system-back-to-how-it-was-in-the-good-old-days-when-everything-worked" thing.

This is NOT advisable! I don't know exactly what it put my system back to but it was some place in laptop hell. Suddenly nothing was working! Aaaarrrrgghhhh!!!

So, in between trying to work yesterday, I tried all sorts of virus finders/malware smashers/trojan killers etc etc ...

Finally I went back to something I'd noticed a few weeks ago. I saw that someone in the vicinity was using exactly the same WLAN box as me. I wondered at first if maybe that was causing the problem; same frequency somehow blocking each other or something - but I thought, "nah, can't be - they must have different configurations."

I had a look at the various WLANs operating in the vicinity - there are a good few now - and there they were, the two Fritz boxes, mine and some neighbour's. I, of course, was connecting to the one at the top of the list; it being in the same flat and all. On an impulse I checked the MAC number (don't ask me what a MAC number is but it is something the WLAN boxes and PCs all seem to have) .

Shock ... horror ... enlightenment ...

My box was second on the list. The neighbour's box was giving me a better, stronger signal than mine!!! AND I had somehow been tapping in to that box - hence patchy slow connections???

Anyway, I reset it and ... ka-pow ... connection back/everything works/FAST/and I can use Skype again!!

Just had to get all the bits and pieces on Lappo, which the Systemwiederherstellung killed, to work again.

I finally got that done late last night after scouring the PC forums and using a bit of intuition born of panic and now I have a leaner, safer Lappo ... and it is BLISS!

Best Fathers' Day pressie!

(Only Fathers' Day pressie ? ?)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

You Know You're Tired When You Start Shouting at Traffic Lights

Problems are like buses except that they increase exponentially. You spend ages sorting out one or two and then suddenly 150 more come along at the same time.

I have been battling on a number of fronts recently, notably with the tax authorities here in deepest Bavaria, who also have an exponential touch with the amount of tax they expect people to pay, and with the Sphinx-like local council in Liverpool regarding my mother's house.

Then on top of that there are the 18-hour working days in which you try to catch up with the time you have lost dealing with all these people and problems so that you can earn the money you need to pay them in the first place.

This has meant that my poor old blog has been relegated to the less creative sections of my overloaded bonce and has had to do a fair bit of languishing in the doldrums as I have been too tired or uninspired to blog anything.

When you play music you often find yourself driving home from a gig late in the night when no one else is around. No pedestrians, no cars, empty deserted streets ... except for the traffic lights which keep on blinking their colourful warnings through the night When I lived in my old flat, there was one set of lights on the way home which I particularly loathed. A set of lights on a main carriageway at an insignificant side road where probably only three cars would emerge all day. You could see the lights a long time before you got to them and they would always be on green. Green, green, green, green ... and then comes that psychologically critical moment when you think you are going to make it through this time and start to speed up ... and just at that moment the lights start their arrogant, languid change ... green .... ah, well ... might as well go to ... ho hum ... hmm ... let's see ... oh ... amber ... no, not to keen on that ... how about ... um ... yes ... red!

And you screech to a halt in the middle of the night on a wide deserted road - not a human or moving vehicle within miles - and you sit in your car in front of this bloody red light, tired, irritated, just wanting your bed...

On occasions I have been known to shout and rave at these particular lights - and I realised it was always when I was particularly knackered.

And that was happened last night as I was trying to get home late in the night and all the traffic lights had conspired to play that game with me ... and then I realised "hmm, Neutron, old chap, all this is getting to you more than you think!"