Friday 27th June 2008

What a week! A last minute invitation to a sales meeting on Thursday met the end of my week turned into a mini adventure heading into the capital and this morning getting myself back into Wycombe and then getting myself in the office for a few hours. Quite a trek but it all worked out in the end and here I find myself at 9pm on a pleasant summer evening trying to reflect on my week and what the weekend has in store.

An extremely busy week in the office but the real fun only started midday on Thursday. I left the office headed to the gym to do my cardio work out and then went home to change, pack as little as I could into my rucksack and jump on the bus into town. Then it was the switch over to a train, the 15:44 to Marylebone. I then after buying a Snickers bar at the WHSmith at the station (I was hungry, a sandwich and drink are not exactly filling). Rushing down the escalator I realised that I was not in as much as a hurry as usual. I did not need to be at the hotel until 6pm. However I was conscious of getting their early and having a moment to chill out in my room before the evening festivities would begin. I got a call from my manager after a few minutes, they were in the lobby waiting for me. I rushed downstairs and away we went. The historic pub walk around London had been cancelled and instead we headed across to Dicken’s Inn behind the hotel in the area known as St. Katherine’s Dock. We enjoyed the last remaining flashes of sunshine in the beer garden before leaving and walking cross Tower Bridge to Butler’s Wharf. This was a redeveloped area which had originally been a working dockyard with tea houses and other warehouses. We went to the Bar All One before going back on yourselves to the Chop House restaurant. A very good night, which ended around 3am in the morning. This was after drinks in the hotel bar (which closed at 1am) so we had to switch to the lounge and call on room service. A lovely Nigerian man came and took our order. I eventually fell asleep around 3.30am, watching Laura Topin present the weather on BBC News on the 24″ HD wide screen in my Executive suite. A taste of, just for a day of how the other half live.

At some point over the weekend, my car will hit the 50k mileage mark. Quite a milestone, considering I have done some 19k over the past eighteen months. Apart from a few minor issues with exterior damage (let us just call it vandalism) the car is going very well. Hopefully the weather is good tomorrow and I will get a window to wash and wax it. Only three weekends until the Show ‘n’ Shine at Audi Meets.

On Tuesday my PC crashed, while I was watching a video of Shakira performing at Live Earth from last year in Hamburg. Nothing new there, my PC crashes on a regular basis, even with the dreaded BSOD. However when my PC rebooted there was a problem, it got stuck. It would hang at the system information screen (it has the blinking underscore on the screen) just before the Windows XP splash screen appears. So I have taken the executive decision to rebuild my PC this weekend. I have made a long list of files I need to back up and software I will need to reinstall. Thankfully most of the important things are already backed up twice. Once on DVD format, the second on my portable 320gb hard drive. Unlike November two years ago, when I was forced to reinstall Windows after trying to patch IE7 and in the process corrupting my installation of Windows (you can read more about that over here). Back then to get myself up and running I did a quick install of Windows with the basics to keep me going until the weekend and then created a Windows XP Pro SP2 installation CD using nlite. It was fully unattended and installed everything as I like it. I then spend a few hours getting all my software loaded and configured. The OS CD saved me hours of time, which I would have spent fiddling. However back to my current predicament. I know what the problem is. I have a stick of RAM in my machine which is slowing down the speed of the rest of the memory which I should remove. That is a long term issue (I think I upgraded the memory back in August, as Charlie did not need it for his machine). The boot issue now relates to the boot sector which I think is corrupt. However, if I hit F8 and loaded the Boot Menu, then select the primary SATA hard drive it loads fine. What could be the problem? My BIOS is up to date and I have made no changes to my knowledge. To be honest this clear out has been log over due and in away I am glad that this has prompted me to get things sorted out. My timetable is to back everything up tonight and create a new Windows XP CD with SP2 slipstreamed and take it from there. Everything important will be copied over to my I: (Media) drive which has 90gig free (at the moment). All I can say is wish me luck and I will hopefully be all sorted some point on Sunday afternoon (before the final of Euro 2008!). Thankfully I have my work laptop with me, so will have internet access for any last minute bits and pieces that may be required.

I should be headed back from Hyde Park right now, having been at the Nelson Mandela concert. However when I did not succeed in securing tickets a few months back. I missed out on registering by a few minutes, because I read about the concert on BBC News when I got home and then when I went over to the official web site, registration had closed. Tickets went on sale to registered users only a few days later. My chance had gone. It would have been wonderful to see this great man’s potential last public appearance. I am watching on ITV1 and most likely will download a copy of the footage to watch again later over the weekend. So far highlights have been Sugababes, Leona Lewis and Eddie Grant.

Right I better get going on, it is going to be a long night ahead as I start the climb up the long mountain which is rebuilding my PC. All I can say is wish me luck, I will be back at some point over the weekend with an update (good bad or indifferent!). Fingers crossed.

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