Rover … over

Well, The Bassman™ is back in town! Steve rolled into town this afternoon aboard a GNER omnitrain. He’s up buying our Rover 414 off us (and I’m sure lots of other musically-related exploits!).

Rover 414 ... new

This photo was taken the day we picked up the Rover 414 v8 from Abercrombie at Seafield in Edinburgh (now Arnold Clark) and drove down to Selkirk to show off. It was brand new and everything™! Look how shiny it is. And how much it is adorned with gorgeous human beings!

I’m really fond of that car; I’ll miss it. But it’s going to a good home, and hopefully when Steve packs it full of amps and guitars and PA equipment he’ll also have room enough for his girlfriend’s legs!

Psion 7Book and WiFi, pt.3

At last, I now have WiFi working on my Psion 7Book! Ian Robertson from The Wireless Store sent me a couple of WiFi cards to try, in exchange for the one that didn’t work, a BreezeNET and another Lucent Orinoco Gold, and the latter did the trick.

I now have full WiFi internet access on my Psion. Opera 5.14 for EPOC is adequate for browsing the net. The built-in nFTP works like a dream connecting to my servers. The only problem I’m having is with email. So far I’ve only been able to send mail to my own email addresses! Any attempt to send mail to any other address results in an error:

Problem sending email
Send 0 emails of 1
Unknown error

In the email logs I get the following:

550 relaying prohibited by administrator

A quick jaunt through the ever-amazing Google Groups indicates that it’s got something to do with my mail server needing SMTP authentication … but the EPOC Email program v.2.00(518) is too old to offer that sort of new fangled goodness. How mad!

I’ve just discovered SmtpAuth which appears to act as a proxy server for outgoing mail and does the SMTP authentication for you. These lovely people of the internet have thought of everything!

UPDATE: Wed 07 September 2005 @ 01:03
I can now send email! I installed and configured SmtpAuth for EPOC. It took a while to get right, but it now works like a dream.

Day Surgery, pt.2

I went to see Jane in hospital this evening. She was on a trolley (don’t worry, it wasn’t a shopping trolley) in a real hospital, where real doctors had done a real operation on her. One of them, it seems had touched the sides while trying to remove a small plastic bucket, and it had turned her nose bright red, like a light and then … oh! I can’t remember the rules after that bit.

Anyway, they’re keeping her in overnight for observation. That and she was feeling too sick and dizzy to even sit up, let alone stand, get dressed, walk to the car and come home. I’ll pick her up in the morning.

The operation was a success, it seems, and the surgeon said that he couldn’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be able to have a baby. We see the fertility specialist next month to get further results and discuss the matter further, including questions about assisted fertility.

The adventure continues…

Day Surgery

This morning, at 11:30, I accompanied Jane to the Day Surgery unit at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (RIE). Today is the day she has a laparoscopy as part of the explorations regarding our fertility investigations.

It seems terribly unfair that all I have to do is provide a semen sample in a small pot, while Jane has to undergo minor — but nonetheless intrusive — surgery and take a week off work to recover.

I need to phone between 16:30 and 18:00 to see how she is, and see whether she will be kept in overnight or whether I can pick her up and bring her home to recover.

In about four weeks’ time we have a joint appointment with the fertility doctor to get the results of all our tests and discuss what happens next. But before that I also need to find that little pot again.

Is this the kind of human-interest story you were after?

Well, it’s been one of those days. If it could go wrong it did!

Things that went wrong

It really began last night, when I couldn’t sleep. I was worrying too much, I reckon, about the future, about money, about my job, about where we’ll live, about the amount of work I need to do and how to balance parish work with chaplaincy with finishing the SEC website. In fact, it began yesterday afternoon, when I was feeling so overwhelmed by my workload and feeling that I was really at the end of my tether … when the telephone rang: could I take a funeral on Tuesday afternoon? God must really believe in me, I thought. I just wish I did sometimes, too.

Anyway, I didn’t sleep very well. Lay awake for ages, and finally got up, watched some telly — the end of a Scottish film, set in Edinburgh, on FilmFour — and then upgraded the SEC website to WordPress 1.5.2. It took a wee while as I wanted to backup the database first, and it wouldn’t let me do it (using the excellent Database Manager plugin) until I’d CHMOD 777-ed the backup folder. And the only way I worked out to do it was by logging into the server shell and doing it manually — cos I’m so l33t! Yawn… yawn … geeky explanation available in the comments on request, suffice to say that for newbies it’s as easy as following an undubbed Japanese movie with your eyes closed, while reading the script in braille! Anyway, I managed it, and upgraded the site to WP 1.5.2, and went to bed listening to The Mighty Boosh on CD.

And today … today was one disaster after the other. First of all I couldn’t get the WiFi to work with a Lucent WaveLan/Orinoco Gold card — on either my Psion 7Book or Jane’s laptop. I then got a bit stressed out about the SEC website, so set about doing some of that — and that took ages, mostly just organising documents, as well as a couple of cosmetic changes. And just as I was beginning to enjoy that …

Arrgghh… my kilt socks! I needed to get them washed for the wedding in Ireland on Saturday. I headed down to Tesco for some wool-friendly washing liquid. Into the machine on my return and back to the website.

Click … click … click … click … click … click … !!

The washing machine wasn’t working properly. It had finished washing my socks, but they were now still wet and soapy, and the machine was going a bit mental. Which was a coincidence because by this point so was I.

And to cut a long story short the washing machine was well and truly … not working. I emptied the filter of a 5p, but that didn’t fix the problem. And then I discovered that our service agreement expired 3 months ago! And then I spent over an hour on the phone, and discovered that the four different numbers I had, and was given along the way, all terminated at the same automated voice options.

“… Press 3 if you have had your machine for more than 12 months.”
“NO KIDDING!”

By the time I’d rung the service agreement people, renewed my policy, and rung Indesit back for the fourth time I knew the answer to every single question that they had for me, like it was my own name! By this point I was a little manic.

“Hello, Indesit Support, can I help?”
“YES PLEASE! It’s my WASHING MACHINE. It’s BROKEN!”
“Do you know the model number of your machine?”
“Oh YES! It’s a W D one two S for Sierra.”

Oh, she must have hated me; or at least have wondered why I was so happy that my washing machine was broken. Anyway, they can come and fix it for me. On Monday 12 September. Anytime between 8:00 am and tea time. Just as well I’m not a busy man, and that my clothes don’t get smelly!

Did I mention that in the process of dealing with the washing machine I also managed to flood the kitchen floor, and trip over two washing baskets and crush both of them? No? Oh, well, I managed that too.

And then I discovered that in the heat of the midday sun, the 7 day sanctuary light candle on my window ledge had melted. Which wouldn’t have been too bad had the plastic also not melted, so that the cheap tallow oozed out all over my window ledge, my icons, my crosses, down the wall, and on the carpet! So I had that to clean up too.

Deep breath.

And then Jane phoned — who’d been away in Ayr all day — to say that her sister Pauline had offered her tea.
“No! Please come home to me,” I pleaded. And so she did. Bringing fish and chips, too. I love my wife.

Things that went right

The whole CHMOD thing by shell was quite satisfying. And Tony Hodges sent me a packet of Thornton’s chocolate cookies. And I booked a parking space for Car Park 3 at Prestwick Airport tomorrow. And I love my wife, and she brings me fish and chips.

Tomorrow is a new day, and we’re flying to Ireland for the wedding of my cousin, Stuart.