and things come in *threes* ?

perlmonger and I set out at the crack of 8.15 this morning to go to Gloucester, for a meeting with a potential new client.

I can’t abide being late, but even I think that arriving 24 hours (and 15 minutes) early is probably not a good idea. God knows how I managed to get the date wrong, but they had another meeting scheduled (for someone else who is pitching for this work), so we had to turn round and come home, and shall return tomorrow.

arrived back home to find a snitty e-mail from our accountant, saying that our internet banking transfer hadn’t arrived. There was also a bank statement, saying that it had gone out as it should have done, so I fired up a browser to see what had happened. And I’d sent the money to the wrong bloody account!

tortuous navigation of Yorkshire Bank’s appalling telephone banking system (getting cut off three times) brought me little joy, but while looking at the account online I saw that the money had been returned, so presumably the details I entered didn’t exist, thankfully. As YB didn’t sound terribly helpful about getting it back …

screenshots now sent to accountant, showing that I did try, honest, but was just inept, and I’ve done it right now.

what else can go wrong today? (this is a rhetorical question)

working weekend

we spent most of the weekend working, as previously detailed. I don’t think we’ve had a full day off for about four weeks, and it’s starting to show … making silly mistakes with server config files and flailing formed a large part of yesterday afternoon 🙁

which meant that the Complicated Cooking I’d planned fell into abeyance – it will have to be Duck with Lentils and Ceps tonight. Anyway, we scoffed a full english for brunch, and all we could manage at the end of a long afternoon was a bag of Kettle chips and some chocolate raisins. Very healthy. I was thwarted in my probably foolish desire for a last half glass of wine by finding that the bottle I’d put in the fridge was in fact *red*, due to perlmonger‘s inability to put the white wine in the left side of the wine rack. Probably just as well.

caught up with Dr Who (huge fun) and the second episode of Jekyll, which I am enjoying enormously. Best line, most definitely: “I’ve got my pride” – I’m still chortling.

in other news, Liessa is not mending as well as we’d hoped, and is now on 5mg of steroids a day. And not enjoying it, and neither are we. The first pill went down reasonably easily, as we had surprise on our side; yesterday, not so good. We got it down her, but we are scratched quite badly, and she is extremely suspicious. Not quite sure how to deal with this … kevlar, possibly.

from the memory banks … part II

and here’s the rest of this story:

wonderful, eh? And, to add further fun, the Mill Tracking server has buggered its NTS so comprehensively that it now won’t even ping /itself./ And we can’t rebuild it because a) it’s not man enough for the job anyway, and b) it’s running a bespoke app, and nobody knows how to reinstall it and set it up.

the OS/2 “server” [giggle] yesterday started displaying signs of a bad hard disk. It refuses to back itself up, and every chkdsk brings forth new bad clusters – I give it days, frankly. And nobody knows where the OS/2 install disks are, or how to set it up. (this OS dates from 1992, IIRC). And it’s running a Gupta SQL database for OS/2. It’s now become a matter of some urgency to redevelop the application. In Access 8. Oh dear.

today, it transpires that they’ve /lost/ the NT 3.51 CD(s), and so can’t install new printers for those who need them. They have no idea what licenses they have for stuff, or how many people are using said stuff. Their security shares are a mess.

I’m looking for a new contract – when the heads start rolling, I’d like to be well away from the tumbrils.


since perlmonger and I got back from Dorset on Sunday night (and yes, it was very very nice indeed, thank you – see his post; I am currently sloughing like a snake, as I was daft enough to go on a boat trip without a hat, and my face got sunburned). Also, I propose an addon for TomTom that takes me to the nearest cream tea.

anyway, I digress. Since we got back, I haven’t stopped. Apart from final LibDem leaflets to be PagePlus’d ($deity bless the shiny Macbook and Parallels), and endless liaising with deliverererers, there’s been a big and fascinating potential project to investigate and cost, involving about 300 hours of video footage which needs to be tied to written transcripts. This meant I had to learn, in a hurry, about Flash, Actionscript, Amazon’s S3 service, and lord knows what else so I could cost it. I hope it comes off, because it would be a fascinating and worthwhile thing to work on.

and then there’s the company accounts, which are overdue at Companies House. We are changing accountants, and the papers need to be transferred from old to new. And there is a delay, which turns out to be because the person who _was_ looking after our accounts has actually died. You couldn’t make it up, really.

then there’s stuff to do for the local LibDem web site (which I made a start on at 6.30 this morning), and ongoing work to do for the maps site, and and and. I haven’t even looked at my photos since I got back.

the weekend will be mostly delivering leaflets, I think, with a trip to see the excellent Phil Beer on Saturday night. Hopefully things will calm down a bit after next week.

sorry to those I owe an e-mail (yes, including you, purple_peril).

an opportunity beckons

like idiots, perlmonger and I a) got involved in the Parish Plan committee, and b) offered to do the data analysis. “How hard could it be?” we asked ourselves … it’s just some mySQL and some web forms.

we took it over to the Clerk to the Parish Council a few weeks ago, to show her how it worked, and she got in someone from Community Action to sit in (they fund Parish Plans in the County Formerly Known As Avon). They were both hugely impressed with it, and said that there was almost certainly a potentially very big market for it.

so we bought a domain and stuck some text on it, and was born.

we’re very slowly developing the software – here in Long Ashton, there are 1600 surveys with 110 questions each, plus the Young People’s one, so data entry will take a while, and we haven’t done anything about analysing it yet.

but now we must – we have been invited by Community Action to demonstrate it to a group of ten Parish Councils, all of whom are fretting about how to deal with their data. And this is on 24th May [scream].

there are 10,000 parish councils in England and Wales. And these surveys typically get done every five years. If we could get just 10% of that market, I’d be very happy indeed.

[returns to coding]