Hot hot hot. It was hotter than it's ever been before, the temperature at Heathrow was 100, and at Valkyrie Manor, only a dozen miles from there, it was 95 or so. Wowser! Hot enough to fry eggs on the grass, never mind the pavement. Mind you, I've heard it gets even hotter in other countries.
Did you like the new picture on the main page of the web site?
Galleries added this month.
I've started the serialisation of "The Weapon - Oblivion".
Stories added this month.
Movies added this month.
I've got about 50 computers in there now, so I decided I'd put in an alarm system. I got a company who does such things to give me a quote, and I've told them to go ahead. But while I wait for them to arrive, there's 50 computers out there. I'm nervous.
So, I bought and installed a couple of 110 decibel screamers, and an infrared detector system. That was great fun, because I bought components and built the thing myself. And I used the same technology that I use in the Bionic Arm, so the whole thing is computer controlled. That means that, as well as sounding the alarm and switching on a floodlight, I can also email myself to say there's been an alarm trip.
I added an old kitchen table that I had doing nothing. It's a bit rough, but it'll make a fine workbench. And I put down a piece of carpet I had in the attic, to make the Shed more homely.
The big unexpected problem, though, was Current Leakage. All modern electrical wiring systems have an "Earth leakage trip". This compares the current going down the live wire with the current returning back through the neutral. Of course, these should be the same. If they're different, then it means that current is leaking out to earth somewhere, and that could be a symptom of a dangerous condition. The trip in the Data Shed is set for 30 milliamps, and as soon as I put a whole bunch of computers on power, I started to see the trip triggering. It would trigger if I put an extra few computers on, and it would trigger when night fell. This is bad news, it means that the safety feature has become my biggest problem.
I googled for "current leakage" and "computer". There wasn't much, but what I did find, was that this is a normal condition for computers, and the figures I found were 3 milliamps per computer. Since I had a few dozen there, it wasn't too surprising that the trip was triggering.
I wanted to locate the problem more precisely - maybe it's only a few of the computers that are leaking, or something like that. This meant that I needed a measuring instrument, to tell me how much leakage I was getting at various places. I googled again, and found several earth leakage clamp meters (there's a sort of a clamp that you put around the wires without disconnecting them, and by measuring the magnetic field that the current induces, they can calculate the total current in the wires. Interesting - it's the same physics that Wendy uses to make the telephone system do what she wants. I found several meters on sale for around $500, then I found one for $250. This was being sold by a company who sell equipment for golf course watering systems. I guess current leakage must be a common problem for them.
I called them and asked for price and availability. I always ask that - if the goods aren't available, the price is unimportant, and if the goods are available, sometimes I get quoted a lower price than I was expecting as per the web site price. And if I'm quoted a higher price, I remind them of the lower price on their web site. So, they asked me if I was an installer. I did a swift mental translation, they were asking me if I wanted trade price or end-user price. That's easy. I said "Yes, I'm an installer, but not of golf course watering systems" which is perfectly true, I install a ton of computers. So they gave me 30% off the price I was expecting.
The meter arrived, and I started measuring. I have three big UPSes, each one capable of 3 kilowatts and running at about 50% loading. I found that they were each leaking about 7 or 8 milliamps, a total leakage of 21-24. Since the trip goes out at 30, it isn't surprising that it triggers when a bit is added to that. Why does it trip more easily at night? I'd guess that it's because the air is a bit damper at night than during daylight, which means it is a fraction more conductive. Ditto the ground, and there's some buried cables involved in this system. That meter was *wonderful*, it tells me exactly what's going on.
Diagnosing a problem is 90% of solving it. So, now I have a separate circuit for the computers, which can supply 64 amps (that's about 16 kilowatts) and will tolerate a current leakage up to 100 milliamps. I'm now pulling about 15 amps, with a current leakage of around 25 milliamps, so I'm good up till four times today's levels.
When I started this web site, I never thought I'd need to find out about electricity supplies.
So, did I install the new 240 volts circuits? Well, let me put it this way - I'm brave, but not daft. You don't mess with 240 volts. If I fry a cpu, or trash a memory stick, it's no big deal; computers run at 12 volts. But if I make a mistake with 240 volts, it's Crispy Fried Valkyrie. I got a professional electrician in to do the job.
August 22, Fiona seemed to have lost a bunch of files. On closer checking, the file system was screwed up. Well, that's why I have backup systems in place, so I switched to Yaffa. But Fiona is my Old Faithful, she's been in service since August 2001. I tried reformatting the drives; I found that two of them have bad sectors, and that was probably the cause of the file system getting hosed. So, I left those two drives out of action, and reformatted with the remaining 4 drives. Then I found two moer that were acting a bit umpty, so now Fiona is running on 2 out of 6 drives. I'd replace the drives, but Fiona is in Watford, and I won't go out there just for one computer, even for Fiona. What I'll do, is next trip I make out there, I'll replace those drives.
August 28, I started getting trouble with my main lan backup server (it does an automated backup each day onto one of three sets of drives). A detailed investigation revealed that the problem was the memory, and that I didn't have any memory that would actually work in that server. So, I replaced the motherboard, and now it seems to be working ok.
Overall, it was a good month down on the server farm, even though the Current Leakage problem was a bit of a pain.
By Wessex Man
Pilsen, Czech Republic, Sept 1st -- Slav beauty Barbora Mrazkova, 26, known to friends as Bara, is emerging as one of the outstandingly photogenic female bodybuilders in the premier league. And she seems to be developing the most elegant legs in the sport.
Before this interview I was told that her bare legs were eye-catching from over 100 metres. I wasn't misled. Her pronounced calves and thigh muscle separations have ripened with classic princely detail. "True people are turning their heads. It's fun when I meet somebody who interests me and we can see our inquisitive looks," she commented.
"I've found that my legs are very interesting to the public. I love to wear short skirts."
"However if I choose to dress in a way that exposes my upper body, but covers my legs, then more often I get negative reactions. I want to please even ordinary people and I don't want to scare them (with muscle). So I choose clothes which suit me best."
Bara, who's single, was talking at the Pilsen gym where she works as a trainer along with two other international champions, Zdenka Razymova and Eva Sukupova. This bodybuilding Mecca in the Czech industrial heartland is called PROFI FINESS CENTRUM. "I'm not sure if there is another gym in the world with three world champions on the staff," she added.
CZECHS BEAT MUSCULAR VETERANS IN NEW YORK
The girls' most recent triumph -- a surprise internationally -- came when Zdenka took 2nd place and Bara 3rd as heavyweights in the 2003 Night of Champions held in New York in May. Betty Viana from Venezuela, in breathtaking condition, came first. The two Czechs, relative newcomers, managed to outpoint experienced muscle studs such as Beth Roberts, Lisa Aukland, Heather Foster, Christine Envall, Maria Calo and Donna Logue.
"Both were making their pro debuts, Barbora having won the World Amateur Championships in 2002, Zdenka having done the same this year. By their own admission neither was expecting to place, but as soon as they lined up they had the size, thickness and density to compete," commented Genex Online Magazine which covered the contest.
Genex added that veteran Lisa Aukland, aged 44, displayed the most awesome muscle maturity of any woman on stage.
Bara, height 163 cm, competed at a weight of 65 kg. "I used to compete as a middle weight, but in preparation for the Night of Champions in New York I was limited by weight because I was told there were only two categories. Finally at approximately 65 kg I competed as a heavyweight."
"The 2003 season was my fourth competing season for both the European and World championships. I know what it means to be the winner, to be on pro stage and to know that I belong there and that the audience and jury demand you. And after that to walk out with a medal is a great feeling."
BARA GETS INTO MUSCLE AT AGE 15
I asked about her early training. "In my beginnings when I was 15 I was influenced by the world stars of bodybuilding and also by local bodybuilders I met in the Czech Republic. I could choose from many. Names like Supukova, Korinkova, Harazimova and Tvrda were competing in many pro competitions. Also I liked to attend our national competitions to look at more accessible goals."
"After the first few months of training I could see changes in my legs and back. And mainly because of my great legs I could see people taking an interest in me. That's why I love bodybuilding so much. I also love other sports. In winter I like skiing and in summer I love exploring at high mountain altitudes."
Did her youthful decision to go for muscle growth prompt opposition from any quarters, I asked.
"Yes, I've often heard that bodybuilding is not a sport for women. I've heard these views since the first years of female bodybuilding becoming known to the public....People often fail to realise that it takes many years of hard work and maximum determination to gradually transform the body...."
"If critics were to get better aquainted with bodybuilders during their off-season periods they'd realise they'd got the wrong ideas."
"The appeal of bodybuilding for women is increasing in the Czech Republic. There are now more girls in the gyms."
Bara said she felt she was finally breaking through the barriers when she started appearing in the popular media such as TV and newspapers. But she noted that Czech bodybuilding fans still have to rely mostly on internet for graphic coverage. "Czech female bodybuilding doesn't get enough space in magazines, even in publications focused on the sport."
ZDENKA RIDES BARA'S BACK TO BLITZ HER CALVES
"Yes, my usual training partner is Zdenka Razymova. But when it comes to contest preparation we only train together in the first phase. We both have different methods of approach at this stage."
"We find we are enriching our training and the body then reacts in the most productive way. Zdenka is my best training partner with regard to shoulders and chest. I also enjoy training my calves with Zdenka sitting astride my back."
We discussed experiments in powerlifting. "No, I compete only in bodybuilding. I was originally interested in powerlifting, but I soon realised that I'm delicately built. Extremely heavy weights are not good for my shoulders, particularly on the bench press."
Bara's fame and looks draw people to her gym from far and wide. Her work schedule is tight . "I'm a private trainer and sometimes it's a rush to spare time for my own bodybuilding. I have many clients. They come from all over our republic. They often ask me how I find time for my own exercises."
"Sometimes I can fit in some training between my clients' routines. For instance in my miniskirt or jeans I'll sometimes get through a few sets of biceps while my next client is warming up on the bike. In the evenings I'm busy replying to my fans who've contacted me via my website. My English is not so good so I'm always behind with my answers. I like to focus on this task myself. There is no other way."
"I'm the youngest of three sisters who are also sports oriented. We inherited the gift of communicating with other people from our parents. I love people and I love to be in the spotlight of attention. That's why I've chosen to be a personal trainer. Originally I was in an artistic business as a jeweller and goldsmith."
SPONSORSHIP COULD HELP HER CAREER
Sponsorship would make life easier for Bara, now that she's into international competition, but thus far she's progressed without it. Potential supporters could consider discussing her programme with her via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and her website can be visited at http://www.body-queen.com
About 10 gb/day is coming in, that's about 100,000 pictures. Each server is lasting about three months now (and each server has a backup server in case it crashes, and I'm making a second backup onto tape, it takes about two weeks to do a backup or restore).
At the start of August, I did the manouever that turns the current server into an older server, and sets up a new Current Server. These days, the amount of stuff coming in means that a current server lasts less than three months.
I don't make these up. These are actual spams sent to me, which just
strike me as funny. I don't include their contact details - go find your own spammers!
I went from $974 per month to an easy $295!!
I am filled with eagerness to reduce my income.
Your Shoes are waiting for you
I often think about my shoes, lying on the shoe rack in my wardrobe, waiting for me. Waiting
for that wonderful day when they'll be taken out and exercised. Still, at least while they wait, they can
talk to each other.
Win the all new Lean to Read program
"I'm leaning on a lamppost at the corner of the street ..."
Christian Debt Management
Debt Consolidation with a Christian Perspective!
I have this mental picture of Jesus visiting them and explaining the words "usury", "spam" and "blasphemy"
Get An Apron On Us With Membership!
How can I resist?
Sobig virus. I was getting at least a hundred copies per day, each 100kb. Some people must have been getting mailbox-full problems from it.
I wish they'd hurry up with an email protocol that stops spam and viruses. It'll have to be done within the next five years; now is a good time. And I think there's only one way to stop it - it has to cost money to send emails. After all, there really is a cost to delivering emails, and we're happy to pay a price for delivering a snail mail letter. It doesn't have to be a lot of money; one cent would do it.
We've sponsored lots of the women; Nicole Bass, Andrulla Blanchette, Sheila Burgess, Christine Envall, Marilyn Perret, Peggy Schoolcraft, Larisa Hakobyan, Steph Parks.
We're also sponsoring individual events, and funding athletes to go to events with grant dollars.
We're also doing free hosting and free bandwidth for many of our sponsored women. Bandwidth can mount up to a large bill when you're running a popular web site.
And we've sponsored Heather Foster, Kara Bohigian, Priscilla Ribic, KerryAnn Allen, Linda Cusmano and Jodi Miller. Anita Ramsey and Rhonda Dethlefs coming up.
|Diana the Valkyrie||1219|
Alphacentaurian is still numero uno, but he's not the superposter that he was last month.gman not far behind.
This month, we had 3061 posts to the boards.
Most posted Board of the month
Poster of the month
|It's nice to see the FBB board getting number one at last.||Tre is Mr Poster.|
Mavis is counting the number of times the message list is checked for each board. This gives a very different picture from the one above.
Most listed Board of the month
Most read Board of the month
|The usual boards are in top place||The Grinch got the stats.|
We avoided the Northern USA power cuts, and even the London black-out didn't get as far as Valkyrie Manor. No, what we had were our own self-inflicted Current Leakage Trip power cuts.
Go figure, as the Americans say, although I don't actually know what that means. But I don't know a word that means the converse of Schadenfreude.
I checked the site statistics that Sandra counts up each night.
At the end of August 2003, there were about 645,000 pictures (37 gigabytes), 113 gigabytes of video, 7400 text files (mostly stories) and a total of about 151 gigabytes. The Current Newsthumbs has 2.7 million pictures; there's about 60 million pictures altogether in Newsthumbs.