Beware the ides of March

Ides? Wot the hell are ides then? All I know is, it’s a line from one of ol’ Bill Shakespeare’s plays… Julius Caesar to be precise:

Julius Caesar:
Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue shriller than all the music
Cry “Caesar!” Speak, Caesar is turn’d to hear.

Beware the ides of March.

Julius Caesar:
What man is that?

A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

Julius Caesar Act 1, scene 2, 15–19

The other thing I know is, I’ve been bewaring ’em, whatever the hell they are. Very bewaring them in fact. All month long. Cos they obviously bode no good for me in my continuing sorry state. Wonder if they’re anything to do with the fact that this bloody cold weather with utterly ridiculous temperatures is still dragging on, even at this time of year?

Why, around the middle of the month even the gritting lorries were out again. That’s just plain damn ridiculous. And I do so hate the cold. Particularly now. Cos it’s not doing me any good at all. Yet hopes of long hot days where I can simply bask in the Sun and soak up the rays seem to be receding by the minute. Surely this bloody cold can’t last all year, can it?

By which you may safely assume that this ’ere lurgy of mine (ahem… epitome of all ’orribleness) is still alive and kicking in the land of Mike. But fear not. Cos Mike’s kicking back. Bloody hard now! (Well, when I can be bothered, that is.) But March? Yeah, I’m definitely bewaring it.

So, what else isn’t new in the land of Mike? Pretty much everything really, but let’s focus on wot’s not new photography-wise… cos this is supposed to be a sort of photography-related blog. In a manner of speaking.

It may be remembered that, before this ’orribleness reared its ugly head, I had two or three rather tasty little photo projects in the pipeline, with one particularly tasty one definitely beginning to emerge as the frontrunner. Not a lot of point anyone pressing me for further details of course… cos that would just spoil the surprise, wouldn’t it? And I’d have to try to remember what it was all about.

Cos there’s the thing y’see. I ain’t been doing very much these past few months. Bugger all in fact. Obviously. So I’ve tended to lose track of things somewhat. Not even been very interested in keeping track of things. But now I do believe I’m detecting some sort of glimmer of something or other in the jolly old grey cells. It may all just be a fevered hallucination of course. But in that case it could at least try to be a bit less mundane.

And there’s the snag… that “losing track” of things bit. Cos I’m not entirely certain I can recollect all the juicy details of that incredibly exciting little project… the one that I had all those black and white prints… er… printed for. Oops.

And wot with me being a secretive little bugger regarding my forward “plans”… well… there’s not really anyone that can help me out, even just by giving my memory a small nudge. Oops again.

Sure, I can remember only too well the broad intention of the little scheme… the “finished product” as it were. But the concept, how it was all to knit together, the fine detail sorta thing… gone, all gone.

Guess I’m just gonna have to find a large lump of wall somewhere, stick all those prints on it, and then sit for ages staring at them to see if they… um… “talk to me” as it were. Should be easy you’d think, wot with me not having a lot else to do.



Y’see, earlier this month some rather curious things happened that culminated in a bit of a catastrophe. Not a catastrophe to the world at large of course. Said world at large couldn’t really give a toss one way or t’other. Nor a catastrophe of the life-changing sort. After all, mustn’t over-dramatise things, must I? [Heh heh] Rather, more of a catastrophe in the sense of the very last thing I need to be happening at the mo’.

Wouldn’t even have been a catastrophe had I been fully functional sorta thing, but as things currently stand its difficult enough just spending hours slobbing in front of an infernal machine mindlessly watching endless DVDs (I’ve been doing a lot of that these past four months or so… just don’t ask me what I’ve been watching cos none of it really registered). Certainly no fit state to be sorting out problems… especially those where I have to think and do things. Aarrrgggh!

Anyway, this catastrophe thingie, all to do with me other blogs it is… the self-hosted beasties. Where occasionally I venture into topics that some might consider a wee bit… um… “contentious”. Maybe. Ahem.

Actually, I suspect it started a bit before the beginning of this month, when one of the blogs started seeing a mass of “illegal logon attempts”. Not illegal in the sense of anyone getting banged up for it of course. That’d be just plain silly. It’s just one of those weird phrases used in computer-generated messages. Like that stupid Microsucks BSD message “You have committed (or was it “performed”?) an illegal operation”. What a load of old cobblers. All that meant was you’d found a way of doing something that Microsucks didn’t like/approve. Well, tough.

No. What it really means is someone has been trying to log in without having the right login details. Which in turns means either they had them and forgot them… or are up to no good. Naughty! Of course, such incidents have happened periodically in the past though I’ve never taken too much notice. Easily enough dealt with anyway.

But suddenly there was a huge increase. I mean, like huge. Clearly something was occurring, though I still wasn’t overly concerned… just monitoring the situation and taking appropriate action with my customary sloth-like efficiency when necessary.

And that was it basically. But then, a bit into March, completely out of the blue I get a nice (though rather unwelcome) little message from my hosting provider explaining they’ve reluctantly had to disable one of my other blogs cos somehow a script’s been running that has put a far too heavy load on the server for too long. Oops. And damn.

Time for me to have a quick recce behind the scenes and it doesn’t take me too long to realise that something is clearly adrift. Majorly adrift. Like as in entire directory structures messed up etc. Doesn’t bode well. Not well at all. Just my sodding luck!

Of one thing I’m reasonably certain. It’s not down to anything I’ve done. For starters I’ve barely touched the blogs since the beginning of this ’orribleness of mine… and when I have touched ’em its only been to post stuff etc. Certainly not significant admin stuff or initiating scripts or whatever. And, let’s face it, I’ve been running blogs and websites for far too long now for me to be doing anything real stupid with them. Well, not admin-wise at least. In terms of content… ah, that’s another matter entirely of course. [snigger]

Well, I’ve neither the inclination or the energy to be messing around repairing the damage, patching things up etc. Far easier to take the heavy-handed approach and kill the lot. Start over with brand new installs and try to recover as much of the original content as I can from the various backups and export files I seem to have knocking around.

That’s the easy bit of course. But then I have to laboriously plough through all the posts on all the blogs to make sure links are working ok and that all the necessary plugins have been reinstalled so that plugin-dependent content is displaying properly. And that’s work! Grrr!

Does it end there though? Does it hell! Cos somehow I seem to have developed this fixation on replicating the look and feel of the original blogs as closely as possible. And that’s even more work. Double grrr!

For it means having to track down the original themes, which are quite old now. And may not even be available anymore. And then trying to remember all the little customisations and tweaks I’ve done over the years. [Hmm… wonder if there’s backups of the various hacks floating around anywhere ponders he, idly trying to dream up ways of saving hisself a bit of effort, wot with being a bit of a lazy sod on top of everything else.]

Now, without wanting to descend into the realm of paranoia I’m finding it difficult to avoid the word “hacking”. And certainly without wishing to sound like some sort of conspiracy nut I can very easily think of a particular item that has appeared on two of the three blogs that could well have aroused someone’s ire. Someone (or rather, some several ones) who ain’t without a certain degree of ability in the nefarious hacking direction. Hmm.

But if I ever manage to track the problems back to the original source and it proves to be someone up to naughties I’ll… I’ll… I’ll… I’ll… well, I just will, that’s all.

So y’see, that bit about me not having anything else to do apart from gazing vacantly at a wall-full of photos is a load of old cobblers… I suddenly seem to have lots to do. Oh pooh!

P.S.: Now in case you hadn’t already guessed, this entire post is by way of being a bit of an update from Mikeland for the benefit of all the kindly folk that continue to pop by occasionally despite my prolonged absence.

About fotdmike

Occasional photographer; occasional writer/blogger; occasional activist; occasional computer-geek. Bit of a fool really.
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5 Responses to Beware the ides of March

  1. tam says:

    well, i am glad you’ve updated! I do miss you and am glad to see (and read) that you’ve not lost your wit. Sure am looking forward to seeing you post more. Now, let me see if I can convince Mother Nature to improve your weather! You do need some sunshine…it’s a perfect cure-all.

    • fotdmike says:

      Cheers Tam. Yep, that’s definitely one of the main things I need… loads of the Sun’s gorgeous rays.

      Thing is though, Sod’s Law being what it is, by the time I got around to posting that the temperature was already beginning to rise. Life up to its usual stunt of doing anything to make me out a liar.

      Y’see, the post was in draft mode for about a week… that’s about how long it takes me to do one at the mo’. Somewhere along the way I seem to have acquired the persona of a feeble-minded old codger. All I’ve gotta do now is think of a way to turn that to my advantage 😉

  2. Vic says:

    I know what MY ides of March are:
    Ide like a few weeks holiday.
    Ide like a pay rise.
    Ide like to sit out in th egarden instead of weeding it!
    😉 sorry

  3. Pingback: Another day another dollar… | Adventures of an Idiot – occasional ramblings of a photography freak

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