In The Court Of The Crimson King

Posted on 31st October 2008

This week is half term, so the plan was to visit a few places locally. On Monday DanDan and I had been left to our own devices, so we headed off to see more castles. This time we ventured into Wales, or at least just across the border. Unfortunately it seems I wasn't checking the settings correctly on the camera, and some of the photos came out a little too over exposed. I was quite impressed with Raglan Castle, aside from being a very reasonable entrance fee, the castle although not huge, is full of hidey holes and cellars to explore. The keep, like many we've visited recently, still has most of it's stairs up to the tower intact, and you are allowed up to look at the view.

Following the visit to Raglan Castle our plan was to visit Symonds Yat Rock then onto Goodrich Castle. Unfortunately we were too late getting to Goodrich Castle so we'll have to leave that for another time. Just a short way back over the border back into England, near Ross-on-Wye, is Symonds Yat. Now there are two Symonds Yat villages, which confused DanDan and I while we tried to find Symonds Yat Rock. We first visited Symonds Yat West, which resides in Herefordshire on the eastern bank of the River Wye. Then upon realising our mistake, we turned around and headed for Symonds Yat East in Gloucestershire, finally finding Symonds Yat Rock. The view across each side of the peak is impressive, though the eastern side is mostly of interest for ornithologists, due to the Peregrine Falcons that have returned to the area. It's a shame you can't quite see the original hill fort any more, although driving out of the car park you do follow between two of the mounds and trenches.

On Tuesday morning we had glorious sunshine, so the plan to go to Dudley Castle & Zoo seemed quite a good idea at the time. By the time we got there it was a little overcast and a bit drizzly, but we figured it would blow over. Having paid quite a substantial amount of money for want amounts to an out-of-season visit, the rain started to get a little heavier. As it was lunchtime we headed for food first, but afterwards it was still raining. We attempted to do some indoor activities, as much as we could, but the rain wasn't giving up. After a few hours of perseverance we admitted defeat and decided to walk back down to exit and the car. At this point the rain turned into snow! Had we known how the weather was going to turn, I doubt we'd have gone for a day out. The castle and the zoo themselves do look like they would be a good day out during better weather, but many of the animals were inside and trying to take photos in the rain is not the brightest of ideas when you have a decent camera. I was considering not include photos here, due to the drops of rain and snow on the lens, but then it was all part of a memorable day out :)

Enjoy the photos.

File Under: castles / photography / sightseeing
NO COMMENTS


Hungry Like The Wolf

Posted on 31st October 2008

For some time now, someone in Messagelabs has been driving to work in their business van. I'm guessing that the van normally only gets used during the evenings and at weekends for local deliveries around Cheltenham and Gloucester. As such during the day it saves buying a car just to commute to work :)

Now driving to work in a van is not that unusual, and the first time I saw the van it just amused me to see that it was a Indian Takeaway van.

However, it was only after I suddenly noticed all the modifications that have been made to the van, that moved me to take some photographs of it. It also gives Poppadoms a bit of advertising, which is essentially what they meant to do with the changes. I have never used the takeaway themselves, so can't endorse the food ... yet, but I'm willing to give them a try if they want to deliver to South Birmingham ;)

What I first spotted was the "No curries kept in this vehicle overnight" sticker on the back of the van, then the contradictory "Curry on board" sign. It was only later I noticed that the model of the van too had been doctored to "Suzuki Curry 1.3". Is that the average grading of the curries on board at any one time? ;)

I known, I know, but sometimes it's just the simple things that amuse me.

File Under: humour
NO COMMENTS


Hanging On The Telephone

Posted on 22nd October 2008

In light of the recent announcement about a device to help avoid silent callers and cold callers to households, it's interesting to note that there is another way to get your own back.

This video was sent to me via Facebook and I haven't laughed to the point of tears in a very long time. Thankfully I wasn't drinking or eating at the time. Watch "The Greatest Prank Call Ever" and you too will be crying with laughter. If I was as quick witted I might give this a try on UK cold callers ... even though we've been signed up for TPS for the last couple of years! Enjoy :)

File Under: humour / phones
NO COMMENTS


Dancin' in the Ruins

Posted on 21st October 2008

A few weeks back, I took DanDan to visit Ludlow Castle. Unusually for the weather we've been having, it was a fantastic sunny day. On the trip over there were a few view points that we really should have stopped at, as the view looking West as we came over the hills, was much better than those looking East. However, it was easier to stop and look East. At one point where we stopped, the area allows for sheep to run free, as cattle grids either side of the hilltop stop them straying too far. One decided to investigate DanDan further :)

When we finally arrived in Ludlow, we headed towards Castle Square, hoping to find a nearby car park. Our luck was in, as an on street parking spot was free right outside the castle entrance. It also turned out to be market day, but being a Sunday was more or the car-boot kind of market day, than a regular one. As we were here to see the castle, we didn't spend too much time in the town itself. Hopefully we'll get the chance to do that another time, as there looks to be some great buildings around the network of streets.

Ludlow Castle itself is an old medieval castle, that has gone through a few transformations and was once a Royal Castle. Not quite as grand as Windsor Castle maybe, but I can imagine the place was a sight to behold in its day. Much of the stone work has seen better days, but there is enough standing for you to get a good idea of what the castle must have looked like. You explore up the towers and down into the cubby holes, and discover some fantastic views.

I haven't looked at DanDan's photos yet, but he did seem to have a lot of fun with the camera. After we'd been up the first tower, that stands outside of the main fortress, DanDan handed me the camera. He then proceeded to run round the entire outer wall and buildings. I shgould have filmed him, as there were a few other visitors completely bemused by his mad dash! Once inside the main fortress, I took lots of photo opportunities. With the light being so bright outside, those shots have unsurprisingly come out the best. The more darkened pictures I struggled with. It was a shame as some of the hidden rooms tell some interesting stories.

Seeing as it was just DanDan and I, we're hoping to go back again with Nicole and Ethne at some point, so hopefully by then I'll have got the hang of photographing in subdued light. Will also take more time to take photos of other parts of the town. If you're ever stuck for somewhere to go for the day, Ludlow comes highly recommended.

File Under: castles / photography / sightseeing
NO COMMENTS


A Means To An End

Posted on 15th October 2008

Recently I was pointed at a blog post, entitled "8 Unix Tricks You Didn't Know". Although 7 I did know, there were 2 entries that I felt I could extend. I sent the author of the blog a mail, so hopefully he may add them (I don't have a Moveable Type, Live Journal or Vox account ... I know, I'm so unhip! ... so cannot add a comment). In the meantime, I thought I'd add them here, and include a couple of extra tips that I use regularly.

Firstly, for entry 6, an addition to the '+' syntax, you can also write something like 'vi +' (without any number after the '+'). vi then will open the file and immediately start on the last line of the file. This is extremely handy when editing a large file that you wish to edit from the end.

Secondly, for entry 8, while the method described works when you only editing one file, and in fact will work with any control character (change Ctrl-M to Ctrl-I and it will remove tabs), but if you have several it can be a bit labourious. An alternative is to install the 'sysutils' package and use 'dos2unix' command line program. I use this all the time to ensure that any file that could potentially have been edited in a Windows environment is sanitised for Linux.

So those were the ones that were already listed, but there another couple of tips that I use, that I am occasionally surprised to discover that others don't. So I thought I share them here. These two are specifically aimed at monitoring:

'tail -f filename'

'tail' lists the last few lines of a file (you can specify how many or use the default of 10). By adding the '-f' option the tail will continue to display lines from the file, that are freshly written by other applications. This is especially useful when watching output files, such as log files.

'watch "command"'

I only came across 'watch' in the last year or so, and now use it all the time. It takes a command line argument and repeats the command every 2 seconds. Instead of repeatedly typing the command you want (or Up-Arrow/Return if you use your command line history), 'watch' will do that for you. A common one I use is 'watch "ls -altr | tail"', particularly in my apache web logs folder, so I can see which websites are being looked at most recently, and more importantly, quickly spot when something has been written to an error.log file.

Speaking of the history file, you might not be aware of the Ctrl-R history search feature in bash. On the command line enter Ctrl-R and then type a sequence of characters. bash will then attempt to auto-complete the command you have previously used. I particularly use this when trying to remember what the IP address is of the server I waht to SSH to.

So these are just a few of mine. I'm sure there are plenty of others that other people use too. It's reminded me that I really ought to add Linux Server Hacks and Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two to my Christmas wishlist :)

File Under: computers / linux
2 COMMENTS


<< November 2008 (2) September 2008 (8) >>

Some Rights Reserved Unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material of whatever nature created by Barbie and included in the Memories Of A Roadie website and any related pages, including the website's archives, is licensed under a Creative Commons by Attribution Non-Commercial License. If you wish to use material for commercial puposes, please contact me for further assistance regarding commercial licensing.