Saturday, June 25, 2016

We've lost!

Well, how the Remain in the EU vote was lost will be discussed in documentaries for years to come.

Here are some observations from Northumberland...

* Our nationwide media just reported EU activity as a figure of fun or evil dictatorship.

* There is a culture of "Us" vs "Them". A lot of people in the UK regard the EU as a joyless, bumbling elite bureaucracy or as a completely united group of countries "just over the channel". Don't know what the EU think of us but our media has a tendency to quote them as if the EU was a teacher telling a naughty pupil (the UK) how to behave properly.

* The EU wasn't open enough. Given the poor coverage of EU activities, couldn't they (the EU) have an easily understood website about what they were trying to achieve, how things worked out and admitting when they got things wrong?

* However, technology marches on. In particular, I've been using Google to find things out since about 1999 (I think). Google has become better and better at finding things for me. So I used it to find out how the EU was helpful for the North East - their fund (ERDF - European Regional Development Fund) has spent lots of money supporting poorer regions in the EU - and here is some information about their support of England. Warning - various politicians are entertaining but that page is just plain information.

* The EU was too distant. It operated at the level of governments and international bureaucrats. It ignored the concerns of the people. Consider immigration - many people in the UK faced or perceived unequal competition for jobs from immigrants. The people in power called them racists, incompetent etc. No wonder they voted exit.

* The younger part of the population voted to Remain. Part of me feels that eventually the young will have their way and we'll become part of Europe again.

* I voted Remain because I felt that we should be part of the EU and, in particular, we should play a role in reforming the EU.

* To quote Johnny Vegas, "Leaving Europe is like telling your parents you want independence, and then you move into the garage“.

* New word - brexopanic. Where you panic thinking about the consequences of the UK's EU referendum.

* And... people are saying this referendum as an advisory referendum.  Who knows what will happen in the coming months?

Friday, June 24, 2016


Last night I went to bed hoping for Bremain.

I felt uncertain about the future. I was wondering how the future would work out for me. Last time I felt like that was when I'd been readmitted into Hospital.

Now it seems that more than 50% of the UK population should be sectioned under the mental health act.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

An episode

Some time earlier this year, I started becoming unwell. In fact, I was paranoid about a certain thing so I hid the episode from people. Looking back it was probably a psychotic episode. After coming through the episode with no-one hurt I was ecstatic. Next time I might not be lucky.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Getting in touch

I don't know how to edit the top of this blog.

For the moment, if you need to contact me, don't e-mail, please email

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A bit more code

And here is the brains behind my stufftar backup (Bash) script...

# perform_backup
# $1 - stub of .tar.gz filename
# $2 - name of log file e.g. "scripts/stufftarlog.txt"
# $3 - directory to do the tarring in
# $4 onwards - files/directories to put in .tar.gz file relative to $3
function perform_backup()
  if [ $# -lt 4  ]
    echo "Error perform_backup() insufficient no of parameters";
    return 1;

 DESTINATION_FILENAME=$1`date "+_%d_%B_%Y.tar.gz"`
  if [ $STUFFTAR_VERBOSE -gt 0 ]
    echo $0 $1 $2 $3 $4 $5 $6 $7 $8 $9 ${10} ${11} ${12} ${13} ${14} ${15} ${16} ${17} ${18} ${19} ${20}
    echo DESTINATION_FILENAME=$DESTINATION_FILENAME e.g. Desktop_28_December_2014.tar.gz
    echo TAR_DIR=$TAR_DIR
  CURRENT_TIME=`date "+%H:%M:%S"`
  cd $TAR_DIR
  echo_and_log $LOGFILE $CURRENT_TIME Backing up key $TAR_DIR $4 $5 $6 $7 $8 $9 ${10} ${11} ${12} ${13} ${14} ${15} ${16} ${17} ${18} ${19} ${20}files to $DESTINATION_FILENAME

  /usr/bin/time -f "%E mins:secs " tar -czf $DESTINATION_FILENAME $4 $5 $6 $7 $8 $9 ${10} ${11} ${12} ${13} ${14} ${15} ${16} ${17} ${18} ${19} ${20}
  exit_if_failed $? "perform_backup to " $DESTINATION_FILENAME
  echo File count:-
  tar -tvf $DESTINATION_FILENAME | wc -l
  return 0;

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A friend asked me today: what is your star sign? After a moment of thought, I replied: "a radio telescope".

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Done my first function in bash.

Been doing a lot of Linux system's administration studies recently. Finished reading "Linux Pocket Guide (2e)" from cover to cover for the first time ever.

Am returning to "Learning PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, CSS & HTML5".

In the meantime, here is a function newly written for my stufftar backup shell script...

function echo_and_log()
  if [ $STUFFTAR_VERBOSE -gt 0 ]
    echo echo_and_log : parameter count $#, logfile $1, text $2 $3 $4 $5 $6 $7 $8 $9
  if [ $# -lt 2  ]
    echo "Error echo_and_log insufficient no of parameters";
    return 1;
  if [ ! -f $1 ]
    echo WARNING $1 does not exist. Creating it now.
    touch $1

  echo  `hostname` $2 $3 $4 $5 $6 $7 $8 $9
  echo  `hostname` $2 $3 $4 $5 $6 $7 $8 $9 >> $1

} # end function echo_and_log