Lariam Dream The Third

[this post has been partially damaged during a server failure on Sunday 11th July 2004, and it has been possible to recover only a part of it]

[more of this post was recovered on Friday 24 November 2017]

Another weird dream last night. Surprisingly similar ‘cast’ to some previous ones.

Some friends and I, and my mum, are driving in a silver SUV-like thing to a hill in what looks like the lake district. The hill is tall and long, with steep sides – not unlike Wernside – and is covered with lush grass. We’re going to play hide-and-seek. I’m hunting first. But this hide-and-seek game is different from most – each player has to take a llama with them (on a lead), and the hunter can use his llama to track the other llamas (and by proxy, their owners). Llamas apparently have an amazing sense of smell, and can identify each other by it over vast distances.

My llama is called Molly, and we start to climb the bank on one side of the hill, to try to find the others. As Molly sniffs the air, she feeds back information to a device I’m carrying, which projects a heads-up-display onto my retina. This shows me the direction that the other llamas are in. It points out the direction of a llama called Mike. That’s Claire’s llama, I remember, and follow it. I find Claire and her llama in a cave, and we continue hunting together.

The next person I find is my mother. …


Dan’s Best Impression Yet

[this post has been partially damaged during a server failure on Sunday 11th July 2004, and it has been possible to recover only a part of it]

Want to see me do my impression of a coconut?

[picture removed]

World’s Highest Bridge Completed

With it’s road surface 270 metres above ground, and 2,460 metres long, this bridge could be visualised quite well if you imagine a bridge joining the tops of Pen Dinas and Constitution Hill, in Aberystwyth. Just another impressive feat of engineering I thought I’d share with you. I like bridges. Read the full story here.

Claire Doesn’t Seem To Know What To Do With Herself

Claire doesn’t seem to know what to do with herself. She had her last exam for the year this morning.

Previously, she’d play computer games in an effort to procrastinate on revising. But now she doesn’t have to revise, so she can’t find anything to procrastinate from doing.

Perhaps I should give her something to do.

And in other news, here’s a fab picture of Paul, horrendously drunk after an afternoon in the Victoria Inn, Borth:

Paul, drunk


Lariam Dream The Second

[this post has been partially damaged during a server failure on Sunday 11th July 2004, and it has been possible to recover only a part of it]

[further content was partially-recovered on 13 October 21018]

Another somewhat trippy-themed dream since I’ve been under the influence of lariam:

I am at my mum’s house, and I’m watching some live chat-show-like TV program, and my little sister Sarah is on it: however, she appears a lot younger (6 or 7ish, and she’s wearing her primary school uniform) than she actually is (which, oddly for a dream, I notice is odd). In true chat show style, according to the host, she’s going to meet somebody from school who she hasn’t seen in years (???). Some other kiddies appear behind her. Sarah turns around and looks at them, then starts writing something on a large yellow board using a chunky marker. She holds up her little placard to the screen. I don’t remember exactly what it says, but it implies that the show was being staged and that those people weren’t really there, but that they were being digitally added.

I leave my mum’s house and begin to walk to my dad’s house. I’ve rounded the corner between Holme Slack Lane and Primrose Road, and my mum pulls up alongside me…


Mood Swings

[this post has been partially damaged during a server failure on Sunday 11th July 2004, and it has been possible to recover only a part of it]

Fucking hell; this stuff is weird.

For those who might think to the contrary; no, it’s not usual for me to snap at something which wouldn’t usually have bothered me, and march myself out of Aber. Several miles (and two hills) later, came to a halt and wondered what had set me off.

Later, I completely broke down into tears and collapsed into a blubbering mess, for no reason at all.

Last night, I slept for the best part of two hours. Just couldn’t get settled. Which is insane, because after my little marching exercise earlier, I was completely exhausted and could have quite happily just lay on the grass on the banks of the Ystwyth and fallen asleep.

Still got a killer headache and occasional nausea. It’s hard to comprehend that, despite the fact that all I did was eat a tiny (well, actually – quite chunky, but you know what I mean) tablet, two days ago, and I’m still feeling the effects. Weird shit.

Can anybody else out there who’s taken Lariam tell me: does it get better than this? If not, I think I ought to speak to my doctor before I start really …

Blimps… In Space

Now here’s a funky idea – sub-orbital spaceflight in enormous helium balloons, up to a two-mile wide sub-space station (a permanant facility at the very boundries of our atmosphere). This could be used to carry spaceship components for assembly in orbit, and then launched using ion drives at a fraction of the price of rocket launches.

NASA space blimp

The designers estimate that they can have a functional prototype within seven years – given the funding they’d like – and that journeys into space could be done almost for free and much more safely (albeit at the time expense that it would take up to nine days to get there).



My Final Exam… Like… Ever

[this post has been partially damaged during a server failure on Sunday 11th July 2004, and it has been possible to recover only a part of it]

I feel kind of odd. And no, I’m not just referring to my (still kind-of burny) Lariam headache:

I’ve just had my final exam. And I mean ever.

I know I’m not a graduate yet (assuming I even pass these buggers), but… there’s something kind-of final feeling about leaving that exam room. It took me a good few minutes walking down the hill before it really hit me that this is the end of it.

Five years.

I’ve been a student here at Aberystwyth for almost five years. That’s over a fifth of my life. That’s pretty much all of my adult life (going by the legal definition of ’18’).

I’ve been in apprehensive anticipation of this moment all year. Perhaps longer. I’m not trying to cling on to it – I know when it’s time to let go and get on with other things – but I still feel a certain… sadness… at something having passed by. It’s not unlike… the death of a pet. Or a loved-one moving away. It’s just a hole in me that waits – not fearful… but: presentiment at what is to fill it.

Five years.

When I was in my first year, I talked with folks like Rory

Lariam Dream The First

I’d been warned that this stuff could give you weird dreams. Last night I dreamt entirely in anime. Which is pretty impressive, I thought. I was a character in a Studio Ghibli-esque anime flick (it was dubbed, so I was moving my mouth in Japanese and somebody else’s voice came out in English – the same was true of everybody else). Somebody had built two tall golden skyscrapers and was offering free rides up and down them in the lifts. I joined a lift packed full of people (oh yeh; I was a little boy again – forgot to mention that). It was an old-fashioned operator-controlled lift, with a big blue lever of unusual shape at either end to control the ascent/descent and doors (yes, just one lever: no; that wasn’t explained). When everybody got off I played with the lever and took the lift up and down and up and down and up and down… pretty much all night.

Stuff… and other stuff…

This article is a repost promoting content originally published elsewhere. See more things Dan's reposted.

This repost was published in hindsight, on 11 March 2019.

Ruth wrote:

Yesterday morning I finally got around to going to visit Mark Ratcliffe. Apparently he never got the email I sent him the day I made the decision, which explains why he never got back to me.

Nearly broke down crying whilst talking to him, which made me realise something was horribly wrong. I came out of Llandinam and went running into the girl’s toilets in Phys Sci for a good cry, despite not being upset about anything. After a short while I realised this was a stupid way to behave, and decided to go home and sleep for a bit to see if that made me feel any better.

When I emerged from the toilets, Matt was waiting. I’d passed him as I entered the Phys Sci building, but gave him the brush off. He waited anyway, yay! We walked as far as Block 5 together, and he kept making me laugh, which certainly helped. However, by the time I got back to JTA’s room I was crying again. Lay on the bed bawling my eyes out (still for no obvious reason) until I fell asleep. When JTA got back, I tried to explain but I don’t think I was particularly lucid and anyway I didn’t really have an explanation. I had become extremely tired and shaky, but decided I had to go down to Llandinam and talk to Adrian Shaw (who Mark Ratcliffe referred me to). Only got that far by leaning on JTA, and when we reached Shaw’s office I didn’t feel up to talking to him. Consumed Cola, then came back, clinging to my composure by a thread. Mustered the courage to knock on his door…

…and the bastard wasn’t even in. Hmph. JTA practically dragged me up the hill, by this point I was in such a state that as we came out of block four a random passer by asked if I needed medical attention (and this started me crying again. Honestly, I don’t normally start crying just because somebody I don’t know talks to me). Then I slept lots.

Sometime after seven, Bryn rang to ask if I wanted to go to the beach. I agreed, I had been awake for about five minutes at that point and was feeling heaps better. It was a good evening, described in further detail by Dan. Today I feel better, and have had an email from Adrian Shaw arranging a meeting on Thursday. This leaves me with two spare days.

Today I am going to sort out some stuff for a meeting this evening, tomorrow I’m going to get out and have some fresh air and exercise by walking along the coast to Borth. If anyone wants to come with me, let me know.


This stuff is seriously trippy. Since mid-afternoon I’ve felt nauseous. Now I have a killer headache (paracetamol seems to be kicking in, now, though), and I can hear a whistling in my right ear. I’m still in the list of side-effects I don’t need to tell my doctor about, so all’s well.

Weird stuff, though. I did a search online for things that provided relief for the side-effects, and came across this rather depressing article.

Time for bed. Exam in the morning. Hope I feel bouncier then.

Hide & Seek

Claire, Paul, Bryn, Ruth, JTA, Andy and I went to the beach this evening to play frisbee and watch the sunset. We even got Bryn participating, which is somewhat a rarity for any of this fun outings that involve physical activity. Everybody seemed happy to be taking a break from exams. Aber is wonderful this time of year – why must it coincide with exam time?

Paul got some mint-choc-chip ice cream without chocolate chips. Don’t ask.

Afterwards, we all went to the Castle and played hide & seek as it got darker. Paul went first, and I was last to be found – I’d climbed over a wall to a fenced-off area, in which I was very visible, but not in a place anyone would look. I went second, and took ages to find Paul and Ruth. It shouldn’t have taken so long to find Ruth – she was just in the shadows of a tower – but Paul had a brilliant hiding place: inside the ruins of a chimney (how he squeezed in there I’ll never know). For our final game, with Ruth hunting, I hid on top of a tower – with a great view – where I could become completely concealed by lying down. I was found third-from-last, with JTA and Claire remaining hidden for ages (despite many [not particularly helpful] text-messaged clues sent by JTA to Ruth). JTA had wedged himself between two upstanding slabs of rock, and could only be seen from above. Claire, better yet, had lay down and slid herself into what appeared to be an old drainage channel from one of the buildings into the courtyard.

Finally, we all returned to the flat for a game of Chez Geek: Paul won, and deservedly so (despite us all ganging up on him quite brutally at the end.

Time for bed, methinks.


My Blog’s Been Kind-Of Quiet Of Late, So Here’s Some Crap

[this post has been partially damaged during a server failure on Sunday 11th July 2004, and it has been possible to recover only a part of it]

[more of this post was recovered on 13 October 2018]

You can blame Paul for this, but here we go:

1: Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4. Write down what it says: You enter these seven digits as your password. (See Figure 2.1.) If you have a password

2: Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first?: Two bottle caps.

3: What is the last thing you watched on TV?: I can’t even remember the last time I watched TV.

4: WITHOUT LOOKING, guess what the time is: 11:40?

5: Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?: 11:37

6: With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?: The other computer. A truck backing up. A generator. A woman’s footsteps. A bus. Quiet chattering. A woman coughing.

7: When did you last step outside? Outside? That’s like here, but with lower resolution, isn’t it? I guess it must have been yesterday sometime.

8: Before you came to this website, what did you look at?: An SSH shell.

9: What are you wearing?: Black …


Sex, Sexuality, Friends, Family, Defecation, Unfamiliar Places, Familiar Places, Failure, And Other Things To Make Freud Blush

[this post has been partially damaged during a server failure on Sunday 11th July 2004, and it has been possible to recover only a part of it]

Oh your god. What a dream! It’s been years since I’ve dreamt anything so ‘out there’. Perhaps a result of all the Hobgoblin I drank last night. Perhaps caused by exam stress. Perhaps we really are just a product of the things we take in from the world around us – my dream seems to twist and contort …

How To Use SSH Tunnelling To Allow Services To Pass Through A Firewall

[this post has been partially damaged during a server failure on 11 July 2004; with the exception of the images, it was recovered on 13 October 2018]

Paul has been stuck with a problem of late – he’s now living in university accomodation, and he’s found that he can’t connect through the university firewall to his external mail server. I advised him that it’s possible to set up an ‘SSH Tunnel’ (through to fix this problem, but he hasn’t met with much success (see his blog entry for more details). In any case, here’s my investigation (and solution) to the problem.

How To Use SSH Tunnelling To Allow Services To Pass Through A Firewall
In my example, I’m going to try the opposite to what Paul is trying to achieve. I’m going to try to allow my POP3 e-mail client to get access to the university e-mail server ( As things stand, this server is on the other side of the university firewall, and is inaccessible from outside. The server, however, is accessible from both sides of the firewall. So what I’ve got is this (yes, I know that this is a gross oversimplification):

As you can see, connecting from my home PC is futile:

C:\Documents and Settings\Dan>telnet 110
Connecting To not open connection to the host, on por
t 110: Connect failed

But if I SSH-in to…

central:~ $ telnet 110
Connected to
Escape character is '^]'.
+OK mailsplit Oct 2000 ready

So, what I need to do is to tell my SSH client to connect to, and forward specific traffic through the firewall to the mail server. Here’s what I needed to know:

(a) A free TCP port number on my own computer from which I can virtually ‘pipe’ the connection. Most numbers over 1024 are fine. I chose ‘9110’.
(b) The name of the mail server – ‘’.
(c) The TCP port to which I wanted to connect – the standard port for a POP3 mail server is ‘110’.
(d) My user name on a server which: (1) I can connect to; (2) can connect to the server specified in (b). It happens to be ‘dlh9’.
(e) The name of the server specified in (d) (i.e. ‘’).
(f) My password on the server. Like I’m going to tell you that.

The syntax is:

ssh -L (a):(b):(c) (d)@(e)

I’m using the non-commercial version of SSH Secure Shell Client, so here’s what happens:

C:\Documents and Settings\Dan>"\Program Files\SSH Secure Shell\ssh2.exe" -L 9110
dlh9's password:
Authentication successful.

At this point, I’m ready to go. Look what happens when I connect to port 9110 on my own computer, now…

C:\Documents and Settings\Dan>telnet localhost 9110
+OK mailsplit Oct 2000 ready

I could simply point my e-mail program at the ‘mail server’ at localhost:9110, and I’d be able to collect my university e-mail (so long as my SSH connection remained open).

Hopefully this guide will help some folks out there who are struggling with this kind of thing, and in particular, help Paul.