…Scotsmen and Haggis. They like it. It is no good trying any appeals to reason. I tell you they like it.

The fact that I am not a haggis addict is probably due to my having read Shakespeare. It is the same with many Englishmen. There is no doubt that Shakespeare has rather put us off the stuff. We come across that bit in Macbeth in our formative years and it establishes a complex.

You remember the passage to which I refer? Macbeth happens upon the three witches while they are preparing the evening meal. They are dropping things into the cauldron and chanting “Eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog,” and so on, and he immediately recognises the recipe. “How now, you secret, black and midnight haggis,” he cries shuddering.

P.G. Wodehouse, I explode the Haggis

Russell Brand does not deserve your anger

I have been offline for a while, only catching up now on the latest Russell Brand bullshit controversy shared by everyone and their dog. Depressing stuff.

Brand wasn’t banned from anywhere, he just does his admin like I do my taxes. But the tweets got re-tweeted, and the links shared. Worrying.

Maybe it’s just the wine talking, but I think I do get it. You are angry. Takes one to know one. Being angry is not a bad thing by default, even though a lot of people have told you that it is. They were wrong. Your anger can be a very attractive feature of your personality.

Be glad you’re angry. Be glad that defaulting into anger is part of the way you’re shaped. It’s easier for us, the angry ones, than it is for those who become overwhelmed, I think. There is also a good chance that your anger is a sign that you have a strong creative impulse. That’s lucky, too.

The angry often change things. That’s a big part of the reason people are scared of anger. What doesn’t change cannot die, after all. Angry, not contented, people break rules that are in dire need of being broken. Angry people make the best lovers, leaving dark secret things seared into your soul.

Thinking things like “this shit stops now” is not a mark of the calmly comfortable mind. But it’s a type of thinking that’s often needed to make the world better.

Anger should be the thing that allows you to leapfrog over the particular bogeymen hiding under your bed, launching you into the world. Again, be glad that you have something in your psyche that can be greater than your fears.

But anger shouldn’t be used like this. It shouldn’t fuel slacktivist +1s on teh onlines. It shouldn’t become narrowly focused on a particular cause. That’s called addiction. Being in a permanent state of anger directed at the (South African, though it applies for all) government made people unthinkingly share his tweets.

There is no one cause for the ills of the world. Religions, your government, whatever, are never the sole causes of the ills you see around you. Look out for this laser-like focus of your anger, it’s a big blind spot, and people like Brand use such blind spots to manipulate us into doing his marketing for him. Empty controversy and free press. For what? Building Brand’s brand?

It doesn’t matter how justified anger toward government is – third-rate comedians shouldn’t be able to become our puppet masters this easily.

It’s a criminal waste of a powerful force.

Normalize until it’s correct, then denormalize it until it works

No wonder NoSQL took off ;)

6NF Golf

How to build a load-balanced, 3 node multi-master MySQL cluster

This howto will show you how to build a basic multi-master MySQL cluster (actually, a Percona XtraDB cluster) with a load balancer in front of it.


  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (precise pangolin).
  • Database: Percona XtraDB Cluster. Percona XtraDB is a higher-performance, backwards-compatible drop-in replacement version of the InnoDB storage engine for MySQL. The Percona XtraDB Cluster is the Percona Server setup with the Galera multi-master cluster libraries built in.
  • Load balancer: HAproxy. HAProxy is a very high performance TCP/HTTP load balancer.

We will be building three database nodes, connected to one load balancer. Something like this:

The steps:

  1. Setup the machines
  2. Install Percona XtraDB Cluster on the database machines
  3. Configure the bootstrap node
  4. Configure the rest of the cluster
  5. Test the cluster
  6. Daemonise the clustercheck script on the database machines with xinetd
  7. Set the HAProxy load balancer up
  8. Win

Continue reading

I closed my mouth

I whispered an offer softly in the ear of your playful heart.

I closed my mouth and spoke to you in a hundred silent ways.

You know what’s on my mind, you’ve heard my thoughts,

And now, what I described to you last night, I’ll do today.


My life is a house

Total surrender
Your touch is so tender
Your skin is like water
On a burning beach
And it brings me relief

Crowded House, Nails in my Feet (the video is shit, hence the dodgy soundcloud link).

Full lyrics here

If the doors of the generous ones are locked

“Wrestle with your darkness
Angels call your name
Can you hear what they are saying
Will you ever be the same

You will find the gate that’s open
Even though your spirit’s broken
Open up my heart
Cause my lips to speak”

– Madonna, Isaac, Confessions on Dance Floor