Ode to ‘Bristol tools’

Bristol tools was a shop on Gloucester Road that was established in 1973. I bought a centre punch there when I was 11. Over the years I did a fair amount of shopping there, they specialised in hand tools.

But on August 31st 2002 (my record keeping is somewhat anal) I went in carrying a piece of brake cable. I asked specially for ‘something that would cut this’. I was handed a pair of snips, I then proceeded to cut the cable with them. The man grabbed them off me and said, ‘Sold!’, ‘I can’t sell them as new now can I’. I didn’t point out at the time that if I’d specially asked for a product to serve a certain purpose and it failed to perform that duty then I could get a refund anyway. I paid and left and vowed never to return. I didn’t.

I noticed when walking past recently that the shop went from a double unit to a single one and that it started to sell a large range of ‘tat’ including old vinyl records. A couple of weeks ago in passing I saw that it had vanished completely and all that was remaining was a mural painted on the wall.

I should feel perhaps a little sad that this almost 50 year old shop has now ceased trading, but then I wonder how many customers failed to come back due to poor customer service. It only attracted four Google reviews. Shed a tear? No, sorry you pissed me off. I still have the snips. It won’t be long before the mural vanishes and you will just be a blot in history.

So mod_rewrite was the answer

I’ve moved the test PC to the office from the lounge, mainly as I want the lounge for watching telly and chilling not experimenting with Ubuntu servers. Also, there are usually several points in my work day where my work PC won’t even except text, so having something to twiddle with is useful.

So I now have latest version of Ubuntu LTS setup on it, and I’ve slowly been restoring my old server config. It’s now at a point where mySQL all works and WordPress fires up. What I did find though was clicking on any links caused 404 errors. Now I found out I had to edit several things in the sql database so it did the links differently, otherwise the DNS would be wrong and the server currently has no net connection, its just connected to a dummy router and an old laptop. I edited several things so instead of a name, its using an internal IP. This was now generating the correct lookups but was still failing with 404’s. So after much Googling I found that you have to explicitly enable mod_write on Apache2. After I did this everything magically started working. I’m now debating how much of the other stuff I had to edit in the first place.

The plan is to get the server up and running standalone with everything working. If I can do this in the next couple of months I then hope to upgrade the actual server over Easter. I’m making very careful notes every step of the way. Once this one is working (as in web server and mail), I’ll delete it down again and do it once more to make sure all my notes are correct.

It will be an interesting journey. After all this is why this blog exists in the first place, it always was setup as a challenge to setup and configure a Ubuntu server. Never did I envisage back in 2012 that I would be sat here in 2020 thinking, ‘I really must upgrade the kernel’. Hopefully if I make decent notes this time, I won’t be in the same position in eight years time….

Mixing and mastering has been launched

So back to work today, joy. But I’ve now got a name for my new business, I just have around eight years to get it gently off the ground.

Spent the evening in Ubuntu land again. Getting closer, managed to restore and upgrade the mysql database and word press actually managed to link to it. Php admin also seems to work. There are a number of issues though, SSL isn’t working, links don’t appear to be working, although the data is there. And more alarming, on the current server if you connect via https then none of the links work, so something has been buggered there for about ten years. So lots to fix, lots to work on and therefore lots to learn. At least now I’m making constant notes of every step that works, and crossing out all the ones that don’t. It will be an interesting journey, one which I’m sure will take me a few months of Monday evenings yet.

The joys of laminate flooring

So it’s probably been ten years since I’ve dug my skateboard out, but as one of this years challenges is to perfect the ollie, I better get on with it, and so I did. It only took about half an hour to regain my balance and I was zooming across the kitchen, frightening the shit out of the dogs.

Weather was finally dry enough to finish painting the fence, neighbour now happy.

Three-quarters the way through my current course, going well. It was nice to get back to normality and back to the gym. Christmas tree has been defrocked and reduced to just a ‘tree’. I’ll keep it indoors until it gets warmer.

Looking forward to this year, it’s going to be a year of challenges, a year of adventure.

System reset

I guess I’m now in a very unique position. I’m able to restart my life from a financially stable point of view and do anything I want. Did I really want this? Well, actually no. It’s been kind of forced upon me, but it is what it is.

The last two and a half years have been pretty much hell, from the depths or depression, to sudden moments of complete euphoria. From constantly wanting to die and the next moment wanting to live. But now, it’s all over. One person who was part of my life for near enough fourteen years I never have to speak to again, it’s all in the past tense. And now there is only the future.

So what have I learnt in the past twelve months? Well, I’m still sexually attractive to twinks, they like to call me daddy, I have no problem with that. I’m creative, no really I am, I started out the year wanting to make just one tune, by the end of the year I actually managed ten. I’ve now started collaborating with my nephew on some new material. I helped my friend achieve her goal of walking twenty-six miles.

So what do I want to achieve this year? Well, more music that’s for sure, wether it’s solo or collaborative I don’t really know, other than I want to write more tunes. I want to build an ‘exit strategy’, not for ending life, but for ending work. I want to retire and do something I want to do. I want to kick off my mixing and mastering services, as I can see this as a job I want to retire into.

I want to drink less. Actually, to be correct, I want to drink less often. Also I need to catch up on a ton of magazines I haven’t read, so hopefully I can combine these two goals.

Relationships? Nah, I think I’m done on that one for the time being. I’m going to remove myself from all the dating sites. If something happens elsewhere, then it happens, but I’m not going hunting in the near future.

I think I have to set myself a couple of physical goals as well. So learn how to do an ollie and pull off a manual. If I manage that without breaking anything, then that indeed will be a minor miracle.

Also I need to update this server to a more modern version of Ubuntu. After all, this was how this was al started.