Marching orders 
Spent three hours practicing marching with the band. We've got to do 500 metres of marching for the national contest, and there are several drills that need to be included. We've got a left turn and a right turn, involving each rank and file turning at one second intervals and somehow lining up again round the corner. It took me a while to get the timing right, but I think I'm just about there. We then had three hours playing indoors. We finished early - everyone was shattered!

4 chairs ready to do up. Need just one or two more, so I'm not bidding on every single auction now.

More trials at work. They look set to announce redundancies at the end of the week, and there could be up to two, which is a big impact on a team of seven. On top of this, we're trying to move over a thousand websites onto some of our own servers, following a long running dispute with the company that "looks after" the current server. And the Ministry of Education project is still not off the ground due to a number of disagreements with the spec, and the sheer amount of detail they want from us about our design. At least this time we will have thrashed out all the details before we start, if we ever do!



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Boing boing boing 
Assembled the trampoline today, but didn't manage to complete it before Rachael arrived. It's huge - 14 foot across, with a high safety net. Rachael loves it. Sarah's a little unsure, but she loves bouncing on the bed, so I think she'll grow to like it. We put it round the back, where there's a bit of a slope, so at some point Bronwyn's dad is going to bring round some soil and raise up the lower side. But for now, it's perfectly good for Rachael and Sarah.

The server is secure from hacking, it's still slow but we're planning to move more stuff off it. Things have calmed a little at work, but it has still been chaotic.

Two more chairs arrived today. $1 each. When I saw the state of them, I was glad I hadn't paid any more, but they'll be fine once they've been upholstered. We only need one or two more, so I've held back on buying too many. Still tempted to buy a "Lazy Boy" chair with reclining back and foot rest, and fit it out with a holder for the mouthpiece, a plate for your tea mug, a slot for spare music, and a boxing glove on a lever in case your neighbour plays out of tune.

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More chaos 
Let's see, where are we?

Only three more chairs needed. Two to pick up (for a dollar each) and I might wait a bit before I acquire more. Got over 3 metres of material left, so I should be OK.

The boys got our server up and running, and then concentrated on moving one of the most active sites onto a new server. They were in late for most of the weekend again. This week, we found that the old server had been hacked, and had been like that since April. So last night they were up past 1am cleaning it up and securing it. No real damage done, but we decided to change all the passwords just in case. Hundreds of them.

Meanwhile, we had a meeting with the Ministry of Education to present our ideas for the new project, and we all seem to have come away with conflicting ideas of what got decided. So there have been quite a few emails flying around.

And we're in a cash flow crisis, but that seems to be low priority at the moment...

Meanwhile, we had a church camp over the weekend, and all four of us went. It all went really well, with a big emphasis on team building, hence everything from three-legged races to balancing on see-saws. We were all shattered on Sunday evening.

Bronwyn's brother Neil had his birthday party on Sunday afternoon (we caught the end of it). Sarah's birthday was yesterday, but she doesn't know; we're saving the party until next week, when it will be Rachael's birthday as well. The trampoline arrived safely, but hasn't been constructed yet.

Missed the solo contest at the band on Sunday. I wanted to play Cavatina (very slow but really high) but we were off at the camp. Never mind. We've got a packed rehearsal schedule for the next two months, so I won't get much rest until mid July.


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Night of the living dead 
We've had some very tired looking faces at work this week. All our school websites went dead. It turned out that the main switchbox had died, and thus cut off all the other servers from the outside. It took until midnight to reconfigure a spare one. There was supposed to be a special system that would switch over to the spare automatically. It worked splendidly. Unfortunately, the spare one wasn't set up, so it wasn't a lot of use!

On the same day, the server hosting most of the rest of the business also went down. It was restarted (after phoning up the company in Wellington) but kept going down repeatedly. We devised a system that would automatically reboot it if it stopped working. I was given the task of automatically generating a phone call whenever it stopped responding. I spent all day searching through manuals and eventually managed it. I copied a sample script that played a file called 'tt-monkeys', which came as standard with the phone system. Now we have a system that will wake someone up at any hour of the day and play 10 seconds of chimpanzees.

I went in on Friday night, and they had finally fixed all the issues. On Sunday I dropped by, and they were still there, configuring a new pair of servers which we will keep nearby, and under our control.

Now we just need some sales. We've had several very dry months, and things are going to get bleak if things don't turn around very quickly.

Meanwhile, I've covered 4 more chairs, working on another 4, and eyeing up a couple that I could get for a dollar each. Someone was selling another 4, but they were in a terrible state. Another on I turned down comprised of 23 rusty metal frames. Starting price $50!

I've bought a trampoline too, since it's Rachael and Sarah's bitrhdays shortly. It's a big 14 foot circular one with a ladder and safety net. No idea where we're going to put it. It's going to need a ute (pickup truck) to get it. Unfortunately someone left part of the key inside the lock, and we can't get it out. So it's been hot-wired for the time being!

Bronwyn's been off for a weekend break again. Her mum came round on Saturday and helped me sort out a lot of clothes, and then took Rachael off for the day (and night). I've done 4 loads of washing, one dishwasher, planted 5 trees, and got woken up 4 times. Bit tired at the moment!

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Computers... 
Spent most of yesterday attempting to fix Bronwyn's parent's computer. Ended up phoning Telstra Clear (the phone and internet company). Janet (Bronwyn's mum) stood there on hold for an hour while I tried various things. It's wierd; certain websites load very quickly, but others take ages, yet when I plugged in the laptop, they all worked fine. Got one last plan to try out when we're over there after lunch.

Can't log into the network at work, so I'm enjoying a quiet weekend. Bronwyn bought me some more upholstery tacks, so I could end up fixing chairs as well as computers this afternoon.

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