D4D

Putting the cunt in constable

Office Space

With the way work is going this year, I’m going to be looking again at renting some office space for the time being.

Last year I rented a desk in a shared space for a while, and that worked fairly well, but wasn’t perfect for a number of reasons. So while that’s still an option, I’m looking at stepping things up a bit this time round, and actually doing a proper office.

As with all large towns, there’s a number of options available in both Milton Keynes and Bedford, and I’m looking at my first one tomorrow.  It sounds promising – designed for small and start-up businesses, monthly contract, central Milton Keynes and so on – but I need to see it and figure out the necessities.  I’ll write more about it in the coming days, I’m sure.

Why do I need some space like this?

Well, I’ve got a lot of work coming up, and while working from home is OK, I find that it’s occasionally difficult to keep up motivation when there’s no real push to be “at work”. Also, I find it’s suddenly very easy to not actually interact with anyone for several days a week, and that’s not ideal either.  I know I could easily become very hermit-like and insular, and I don’t actually want to do so.

So renting an office space will at least give me back a commute, a journey to/from work, and because the building is shared with a number of others, it’ll probably allow me to make some connections and interactions along the way. Never a bad thing.

Renting a desk is OK – but limits me to the times the main office is open, which I found more restrictive than it could’ve been, and limited the available hours I had.  I’m hoping that a rented office will give me more flexibility, enabling me to do longer hours when necessary and so on.

Anyway, we’ll see what happens and how it all shakes out. I’ll know more by the end of Tuesday…

Somewhat Calmer

Over the weekend, I’ve been working on reducing the impact of whatever/whoever was attacking D4D™ (and many others, I’m sure)

Looking at log files, it became apparent that a number of the issues were related to a particular site primary user-name that’d become known. Not massively surprising- it wasn’t the strongest in the first place, although the password was- and while it hadn’t been cracked/opened, it was getting hit so many times that it kept on getting locked out. And because it was the primary user-name (which I used all the time) it meant I was getting locked out as well.

As a result, that user has now been massively demoted, and I’ve created a couple of others with more-secure usernames and similarly secure passwords.

It’s not been the easiest of processes, and I’ll be keeping an eye on it over the next few weeks – but at least things now seem to be calmer and less slogged-down with hassles and shit.

Under Pressure

For whatever reason, D4D™ has been getting hit hard this week, by a combination of spam-bots, brute-force log-in attempts, and a whole heap of other shit all flying my way.

I’m pretty sure it’s just an attack on WordPress-driven sites – and I’ve got a pretty decent security set-up anyway – but it’s thrashing the network and server quite impressively, which becomes quite frustrating.

Anyway, I’m working on repelling attackers, but it does mean that things may be a bit slower and sparser here while I do so…

Re-tyring

As I said yesterday, I had to get two new tyres for the car again.

On Monday I drove back from the new contract in Leicestershire, through what could only be described as a deluge. Dire visibility (and of course plenty of dickwhistles with no lights) coupled with heavy rain and heavy traffic – and I could feel that all was Not Right with the back-end of the car. It wasn’t dangerous, wasn’t uncontrolled or anything – but it’s fair to say, there was less grip than I was happy with, and I could feel a bit of movement when it hit low-traction spots.

Safe enough to get home, but also enough to focus the attention somewhat.

I’ve known that the tyres were due for being replaced – they’ve been on a while, I’ve done a lot of mileage etc. – but I also know they were still legal.  But in my experience, once I’ve lost the trust/confidence in them, it’s time to change and get it sorted.

So once I got home, I went online and got it all ordered for being fitted the next day. It’s sorted now, and I’m much happier. As it turned out, the tyres would’ve passed the MOT, but only just – and I’m far happier with “absolutely fine” than “only just”.

January

Financially, January for me is always a bit of an odd one – mainly through being slightly disorganised, but slightly through the whole ‘working as a contractor’ thing.

For a number of reasons, January has a number of extra expenses in it that are a pain in the arse. High among those extras is the car MOT/service, and car-tax/road-tax renewal, which come in as well as the usual monthly bills.  Additionally, a couple of utility bills come in within that time as well – quarterly billing being the shit-head bastard it is – which also adds to it.

And of course December is always a short month (i.e. I don’t work the full month, because it’s got a bundle of Bank Holidays and so on around the Festering Season) so unless I work the bit between Christmas and New Year, it all becomes a bit tight anyway.

All combines, it just makes January a bit interesting. Doable, but interesting.

The car MOT is booked in for this time next week. I’ve already had to buy two new tyres – I know they’re borderline OK, but that means it’s time to replace them, I’m not risking an MOT fail and having to buy them from the garage! – and also a new headlight bulb, as that went while I was driving last week.

So yeah, it’s all a bit interesting, but still fine and dandy. Life could be worse, frankly.

An (In)Auspicious Start?

This first complete week of the year has been both good and bad.

Up until yesterday, it didn’t feel all that great, particularly with the dose of Ick I’ve had for most of the week. I hadn’t got done a lot of the work I wanted to complete, and there was a bundle of organisational stuff that still needed doing this month.  Which was all fairly bad, and not exactly contributing to the “start as I mean to go on” intentions I’d begun the week with.

Then yesterday I started sorting out the organisation stuff – chasing up a couple of things that’d been annoying me and hanging over the Christmas break – with positive results, as well as sorting out things like the car’s MOT, and a couple of other bits that needed doing.

There’s also been a dollop of good news today that means life is going to be chaotic – but profitable – over the next three months. I’ll write more about that over the weekend, I think, but it’s all good.

So while the first bit of the week was shit, it’s ended on a pretty good note. So all told, I’m currently pretty optimistic for 2015…

Ick – Temperature Control

One of the weirdest things about the batch of illness I’ve had this week was how much it messed with my body’s temperature. In some ways it almost went feverish, with extremes (or at least wider-than-normal ranges) of temperature from hot to cold.

It’s something I’ve had issues with before – although usually as a reaction to ridiculous stress-levels – where I overheat, and end up sleeping for about 18 hours. It’s been a long time since I had one of those episodes, thankfully. But each time I’ve had one, the verdict has been to take some paracetamol, which apparently helps to reduce core temperature. (That’s only on reported understanding, don’t quote me on it)

Anyway, this last couple of days I’ve been running hot enough that I wondered whether I might end up sleeping 18 hours again, but this time it hasn’t happened like that.

I don’t think there’s any real point of information on this, it’s just me dumping my brain onto a keyboard again.

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