Wednesday, 18 March 2009

BSS and postgres SQL Server

The visit from the BSS geezer went swimmingly. I've got a few small jobs to do at very little extra cost and then give him a call and he'll come down, check it out and write the certificate. At least I'm doing something right. I can then renew my licence before the end of the month when the £150 fine starts getting levied for late licence applications. And I am a little late.

After having installed Linux on my old laptop I am now reading up all I can on the subject. My current volume is about Linux in general and my current chapter is called, ' Processes and Environmental variables'. The last chapter was, 'Streams and sed – The stream Editor'. Riveting stuff I'm sure you'll agree if you use your imagination. Only forty three chapters to go including, 'DNS and Name Resolution', 'smbd – Samba NT Server' and 'postgres SQL Server'. I can hardly contain myself. It must be a man thing.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Stolen boats and BSS

This week has been very uneventful with only one blogger passing (at least only one that I saw). nbDebdale was on their mad dash around the east midlands and every time I read their blog, they are miles from where they were last. Pickles No 2 has only been around the Leicester rings since October. This is a ten day trip for some people.

I've got a BSS geezer coming around on Wednesday for a look at Pickles with the aim of getting it through the MOT. There's no gas on board but I fitted it out from the start and I'm not entirely sure it will come up to specs. We'll see on Wednesday. I must remember to get rid of the petrol generator before he arrives. And all the other illegal things.

I'm on the lookout for the stolen narrowboat Que Sera Sera at the moment as it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that it may be heading this way if the sightings are to be believed. I've been keeping an eye on the Canal World Forum for regular updates on this. There are some really nasty, vindictive, intolerant people on that forum and this may have something to with the reason why I refuse to contribute to it. I wonder if they would be so nasty if they were face to face with their victims. I very much doubt it. Well I wouldn't anyway.

Debbie of fame came for a quiet Sunday lunch and we all went up to the Rose and Castle again. It wasn't quite as good as the last time were were there a week ago but not bad nevertheless. They serve a good pint.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Mooring and Ansty

Well it very much looks like Brinklow Marina's off the radar for the summer. I had several slightly strange telephone conversation with someone who, after putting me through a thorough interrogation, which I had revealed that we were constant cruisers, said that he would get back to me. When he did, it was to say that he had been through the bookings and that there would be no spaces during the summer. Strangely when we were visiting the place, one third to a half of the moorings were empty. They must be expecting a rush in the next three months. Or maybe their moorers were all out cruising at the end of February. Or maybe they just wanted to keep scum like us out of their pristine marina. Who could blame them. Your guess is as good as mine. Although I think mine is better.

We like this mooring in Ansty. There is nothing in the village (except a pub that wants to be a restaurant) but it is very pleasant. There is an area along the canal on the 'No Mooring' area that is opposite a house and has signs every three metres that say 'Strictly No Mooring'. So what's the difference between 'No Mooring' and 'Strictly No Mooring'? Are the occupants of the adjacent house anything to do with this profusion of signage? Your guess is as good as mine. Although I think mine is better.

We had a very palatable meal at the Rose and Castle here at Ansty. A bit more than we are used to paying but well worth it in our opinion.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009


I've always wanted to be a geek. I believe that I would have been an ideal candidate for geekyness except that I am neither intelligent enough or dedicated to anything in any way (except Lisa of course) nor do I have any form of autism (a prerequisite for some forms of geekyness). I have dabbled in the past with Linux, a computer operating system, but the last time I tried it, about six years ago, I couldn't get USB to work or an Internet connection nor various other aspects of it so give it up as a bad job.

(Stop reading now if you are either a technophobe or think computers are Microsoft. Your head might explode)

I have tried again with the latest version of one of the distros (distributions) namely Ubuntu Linux (or rather the lightweight version called Xubuntu Linux). This is brilliant. Everything I have tried is plug 'n play including usb, mouse, camera, printer, dongle, kettle (ok, ok, not the kettle). Everything just works. On this old laptop (Compaq Presario 1200XL), I was using Windows ME and it kept locking up, crashing, was slow, was fragile beyond belief with many features that didn't even work anymore. The laptop is now fast, stable, efficient and capable of much more than it was ever capable of under MS Windows. Linux really is ready for the mainstream this time and best of all, it's absolutely free. Since the laptop is now not going to the great laptop graveyard in the sky, I've even ordered a new battery from ebay. When I installed the software, it told me my battery was old and would not hold a charge. I already knew this but was amazed when it mentioned it.

Maybe this is why Microsoft have now got all those ads ('I'm a PC') running on the telly. Scared that people may wise up and not actually buy their overpriced products. I'm now proud to say that I am a Linux user and I don't even need to be a geek.

Monday, 2 March 2009

More bloggers, water points and pubs

Ten Bob Note with Ernie and Archie aboard were just behind us at Newbold. More bloggers. We spoke on Saturday morning and again in the evening. I'd never seen a picture of Ernie as he does all the photography for his blog but Archie takes no part in this activity. There's always lots of pictures of Archie though.

Ernie mentions on this blog the new water point at Newbold but misses out the most important aspect of it's location. It is adjacent to one of those stile type things that are supposed to keep motorbikes off the towpath. The use of this tap ensures that there is a constant puddle around this stile because of the way the stile funnels pedestrians through. This area will perpetually be muddy as there is also no drainage. The usual muddy thinking at BW. It looks like the location has been changed before as there is another channel dug through the Barley Mow property (I'd be having words with BW if they did the filling in of the trench to that standard on my property) through the hedge that was in an even worse location just after the bridge 'ole. I vaguely remember reading on another blog about this work. The box is made of plastic and one good kick will have it smashed.

We were in The Boat pub on Thursday night. The Boat is the little known pub beside the popular Barley Mow at Newbold. We decided to give it a try as it's newly opened and the Barley Mow tends to be much busier than we normally enjoy. Anyway it's always good to try a new pub. Someone I was talking to had a bad experience with the Barley Mow on the Friday night as it was full of drunken local yobs. Maybe it's become a victim of it's own success. Anyway, The Boat was a very pleasant experience and they're currently being inspected in order to do food in the future. One to watch.

Talking of pubs, we visited the Raglan Arms in Rugby which is local CAMRA's Pub of the Year. Brilliant pint and good atmosphere only slightly spoiled by the large video screen and the rugby match (in Rugby). It's just a shame it's not by the canal.

Today I moved the boat down to Ansty when Lisa went to work. A pleasant day that started very cold. As I was approaching Bricklow Marina (more later) I eyed a boat that I recognised. It was Ralph who I know from our time on the Ashby Canal who plays the accordian. His winter mooring was up over the weekend and he was heading up to Market Harborough for a jolly. By the time we get on the Ashby he'll be back there again (maybe). Ralph's got a life and doesn't blog nor even use the interweb from his boat so he'll never read this.

We had visited Brinkl0w Marina over the weekend with a view to mooring there when we have to put Pickles into a marina over the summer. It's very different to Hinckley where we were last summer (and Lisa wasn't altogether happy) but Lisa says that she would be quite content at Brinklow and liked the feel of the place so we'll find out if we can get a mooring. We walked passed Andy Edwards' (from nbKhayamanzi) model train trailer which seemed like the centre of all activity at the marina. You know what these train spotters are like, so we didn't poke our nose in.

I also passed Brian and Diana (I'm writing this as if I know them. I've never met them before) on nbHansar who are also bloggers. Well I presume it was them. It could just as easily have been another couple who had stolen their boat since Hansar's last blog entry. I shouted that I think I read their blog and they said that they read mine. Who'd have thought it. Narrowboat bloggers reading each others blogs and feeding each others egos.