Paradise in turmoil,
A battlefield of emotion,
Control without controls.
A wilderness in Time,
Floods of tears.
Acres of happiness,
Eyes that sparkle.
Such joy and glee,
Contrast unremitting pain.
Thoughts chasing through trees,
Dodging, never crashing.
Turn around and see me,
Hear my voice, Touch me.
You are my everything,
My swift footsteps without movement.
With billowing hair you observe,
Lips that shame blood.
Like a river with gracious curves,
Beauty rivalled only by your reflection.
Needs to desires,
Desires untamed in the hunt,
Love flowing from the source,
Snow without the cold.
© 1999 Mr Richard M Taylor.
Happy Christmas to all readers of the RMTWeb Blog. This is my first year away from home, and I am currently working on Christmas day at The Cottage Hotel & Restaurant. I have to be there in one hours time to get things ready for Christmas day dinners, so just enough time to post this Christmas message.
Getting the hotel all set up ready for Christmas Day customers to arrive. All the tables look really great.
This year has been quite an adventure, with starting Brunel University in West London and having what feels like a full-time job as a waiter at the same time is exhausting. I’ve been doing a lot less programming in my Computer Science degree than I was expecting, in fact we did a lot more programming on my tec course. I’ve learned a lot of HTML which is really useful, but its not real programming. That said, its been very useful as I’ve been using it to migrate all my old diary entries from floppy disk over from text-only format in to HTML pages.
Most days in December I have been working from 2pm through until midnight. I usually get one day a week off, but not during holidays, all the staff have been helping out a lot as the housekeeper keeps being off, and sometimes the chef doesn’t turn up for breakfasts so I have even had a go at making those too!
Today for Christmas dinner all the waiting staff drank bits of champagne out of tea cups, after several of those I really did feel rather tipsy, but not so much that it impaired my ability to silver serve, so it wasn’t that bad!
After all the hotel guests and the manager went home we had the whole hotel to ourselves as staff and had a huge meal and lots to drink too!
“Mr Woo” attempts smoke rings. So much fun chilling out after Christmas day dinner finished and having a huge staff meal in the dining room.
Emma and I have ended up spending loads of time in the reception this past week. Its always quiet on a Sunday night, and we ended up messing around with my digital camera – she is so lovely! Her and her Mum took me out for a meal one evening to a Harvester – it had a huge salad bar, was lots of fun spending time with Emma outside of work too!
I’ve just been going through the course guide and realising just how many books I will have to buy. There has got to be a better way to buy books than having to go visit the on-campus bookshop. It’s crowded, cramped, and full of over-priced books. I think a much better way would be to make a website that you could buy books from. It would mean that you could keep overheads down to a minimum, and thus keep the book costs down. I’m going to investigate how you could do that. It would be huge, especially in universities and colleges where all the students buy the same books for their courses. As a first step I am thinking of calling it Campus Books, that way it will tell potential students exactly what it sells.
Today I started work at the Cottage Hotel and Restaurant as a waiter. It’s a lovely little hotel just up Hillingdon Hill. I went for an interview and met the manager when I visited in July with Dad but today is my first actual evening working here. Its fantastic pay compared to what I used to get at the Beach House Hotel in Portballintrae – £3.75 per hour!
It’s been quite a long shift, I started at 4pm, and have just arrived back in halls now, but thats ok because it means lots of money! I think other people may have started arriving in halls earlier because it looks like there is new stuff in the kitchen. The chef is a bit of a nightmare and seems to get cross at the simplest of things, but the Assistant Manager Carl is amazing. He seems like so much fun! I also met some of the other staff who are already there and they are all lovely – Sarah, Martin, Bridget (Martins Mum).
At occasions there is a definite Fawlty Towers feel to the hotel, but I rather like that! I realised that I take great enjoyment from being as efficient as possible as a waiter (this evening I already managed to pre-empt a couple asking for a jug of water and had it ready and waiting to take to their table so that when they did ask it took only seconds to deliver!). I think its really important to try to pre-empt and almost plan for what customers might want in the future, when I start my own web design company one day I must remember that!
It turns out that my programme spread rather a lot. Rather too much in fact, so much so that the lecturers realised which Richard it was and today I got a formal written warning at Tec. They were originally going to suspend me, but because my programme didn’t do any damage I only got a written warning. Apparently its not a good idea to write programmes that spread over the network – thats called a virus, and is bad. The head of year was impressed that I had made it work, but still said I should not have done it.
Time to retire writing programmes like Richardey then, even if they do no damage and are just a bit of fun. It did get me thinking as to what sort of programme I could actually write if I wanted to. With Windows now storing everything in the same place, it would be easy to write a programme to send a copy of someones documents to a different computer on the same network, but I can’t figure out how to get it to do that over the internet, which would be way better.
Today I deployed my programme that I have written after finding and reading through the manual that Mr Breakey showed us as part of our memory resident programming module that we have been doing since September. The manual is absolutely brilliant and shows how to make programmes re-load themselves even if the computer is turned off and on again.
I’ve written it in C and have compiled it into an executable that changes its name and pointers to it every time it runs so that it is more difficult to remove. It also copies a couple of backups so that if someone deletes one version if can re-install itself. In total when compiled its only 28Kb in size – way smaller than my old Basic programmes. It also looks for open network ports and copies itself to them, which was something I learned from when we had to make programmes that can send messages between computers. Its absolutely insane that the computers are all so wide open.
Every time the computer runs the programme just checks to see if it is the 23rd May, and if it does, it calculates what age I will be and displays a message saying “Make sure you wish Richard a happy 00th/rd/nd birthday”.
I’ve spent a couple of weeks re-writing the floppy disk copying programme that I originally designed in Basic in to C, and its much, much better now too.
I copied it on to one of the library computers and within 10 minutes I could see by going to other computers and looking at the autoexec.bat files on them that the programme had successfully copied itself to all of them. Will be interesting to see how far I can make it spread in time for my birthday in 5 months time.
by Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)
When George’s Grandmamma was told
That George had been as good as gold,
She promised in the afternoon
To buy him an Immense BALLOON.
And so she did; but when it came,
It got into the candle flame,
And being of a dangerous sort
Exploded with a loud report!
The lights went out! The windows broke!
The room was filled with reeking smoke.
And in the darkness, shrieks and yells
Were mingled with electric bells,
And falling masonry and groans,
And crunching, as of broken bones,
And dreadful shrieks, when, worst of all,
The house itself began to fall!
It tottered, shuddering to and fro,
Then crashed into the street below –
Which happened to be Savile Row.
When help arrived, among the dead
Were Cousin Mary, Little Fred,
The Footmen (both of them), the Groom,
The man that cleaned the Billiard-Room,
The Chaplain, and the Still-Room Maid.
And I am dreadfully afraid
That Monsieur Champignon, the Chef,
Will now be permanently deaf –
And both his aides are much the same;
While George, who was in part to blame,
Received, you will regret to hear,
A nasty lump behind the ear.