TradeShark Diary, 13th January 2021

It has been an action packed first week of the new season! Normally the first few weeks of the season mean night shifts. Not this time. We have had matches almost all day with WTA Abu Dhabi , ATP Antalya and Delray Beach in the evenings. With Abu Dhabi matches starting around 6am that has meant some long days. To get the research done for the following day I had to wait until the order of play was posted so I knew which matches to look at. Betfair were pretty slow at getting markets up which didn’t help. The season started with a few 17 hour days.

The trading has been pretty good to say a lot of the players are a little rusty. I dropped stakes a little as I always do in the first couple of weeks. I have still made a healthy return. I even made a bit on the T20’s and football!


Last night was pretty stressful. Everything was ticking along nicely until I got a message in the Telegram room that the website wasn’t loading. I checked. It wasn’t. Site not available. This happens from time to time and it’s a quick, easy fix. Changing the PHP setting in the Plesk dashboard usually gets things going. In fact sometimes just opening the PHP settings page is enough to sort it! I tried a couple more times but it didn’t work. Great! I raised a ticket with my hosting company.

As usual when you open a support ticket I get a message when one of the first level support guys is starting to work on it. I hate the sites being down. It’s not great for business. Anyone visiting your site for the first time probably won’t come back. After an hour the sites were still down and I had heard nothing more from Level I Keith. I think Keith is in India. Certainly when they connect to my sites Google Analytics show them as being in India. I sent him a message asking for an update. No reply. My next message an hour later was a little less polite and did prompt a reply. it didn’t tell me anything other than that they were still working on it.

I raised the ticket at about 3:15 pm. By 6 pm “Keith” came back to me saying that the Name Servers were pointing to another site. They had been that way for a couple of years. I had tried Cloudflare which is a CDN service which claimed to be able to speed up the site. Using them made no difference and I thought I had switched Cloudflare off. The site had worked fine ever since so I didn’t mess with it. So now all of a sudden this was the issue with the site. “Keith” asked me to change the Name Servers to their servers. I would have thought it would have been quicker for him to do that. I went into the Plesk dashboard and made the changes. I’m certainly no expert but I have picked a few things up over the years. I knew that changes to Name Servers could take 24 to 48 hours to take effect. I didn’t want the site to be down for a day or more! I messaged “Keith” to tell him I had made the changes and could he check that I had done them correctly. Was there anything else I needed to do? No reply for another 90 minutes.

By this time I was pretty pissed off. I hate the sites being down. I hate being ignored and was starting to hate “Keith”. During the radio silence I had sent various questions to help me understand what the issue was. All were ignored. I started to get messages from people who were able to access the sites. It seemed that the Name Server changes had done the trick. To wind me up just a little bit more I was not able to get on my own sites!

Rebooting my router allowed me to access the sites. Sometimes. It would be OK for a few minutes but then I’d get the “Site Unavailable” error. I was able to access it using my phone so it was now my wifi that was the issue. When I was able to get on to it I could see that things were not quite right. All my blog posts since the 5th of January were gone. The media files from those posts were also gone. I have had this before. If they get a problem with the site they use a back up copy from a few days before to restore the site. Then they deny doing so. Two or three years ago they did it. The biggest issue that it causes is that everything is rolled back including any changes to the user’s records. So people who signed up since the back up version will not exist. Anyone whose subscription ran out since the back up was saved will now have access to trading emails that they were no longer paying for.

It’s a pain in the arse but that’s what backup’s are for. Three years ago I asked them to let me know the next time they did it so that I could try to correct all the user records. If “Keith” had sent me a message saying that he was struggling to get the site working but that he could fix it by using a back up from the 5th of January I would have agreed to it. At least he would have been letting me know what I was dealing with. I explained to “Keith” what seemed to have happened and asked if he had restored the sites from a back up. No he hadn’t. “We have made changes to the Name Servers and that has fixed it”. Firstly, it was ME who made the NS changes and secondly you’re a lying little twat. I didn’t use those exact words.

I told him that there was no other explanation that I could think of why the sites had been rolled back 7 days. Even the sales site was different. I had made a small change a couple of days before and the site was now back to how it was before the 5th. That was very easy to correct but strongly suggested that he had done the same with both sites.

I checked the database. Maybe the posts were still in there and could be recovered. There were NO records after the 5th of January. “Keith” was now ignoring my messages. He kept sending me screen shots of the sites loading OK and telling me that I should get in touch if I needed anything else.

I raised a new ticket specifically about wanting to know how the records had been deleted. I said in the ticket that I wanted to hear from someone more senior to explain it to me. Another Level I guy, “Thomas” replied to this ticket saying that they had answered my question on the previous ticket. I instantly took a dislike to “Thomas” and replied with a controlled rant about how both he and “Keith” could plainly read yet were ignoring multiple questions from me, a loyal customer for almost a decade. I said that if they were not able to give a satisfactory reply then they should escalate it to someone who could. It took a while to type that as I had to keep stopping and hitting DELETE to take out the occasional “twats, “Muppets” and “Lying bastards” comments.

Apparently it is now being escalated to Level II.

So by 2:30 am I had made the corrections to the users records. I may have missed a couple so if you are not getting emails when you should get emails please let me know.

Everything is really quiet on the street. Stark contrast to the first lockdown. There are no queues at Tescos. They had an outbreak of Covid cases among the staff. They reported that it was 12 but locally the rumour is that it was over 70! A lot of people are staying away from the store. IT’S GREAT! You can go in at any time and walk straight in. They have loads of checkouts on so no queue at the tills. I even went in there on Friday afternoon and breezed round.

The hospital is pretty busy. Not as many deaths as in the first lockdown. They still haven’t offered vaccinations to the staff. Matt Knobcock keeps banging on about how he values the NHS staff but really hasn’t looked after them in the last 10 months. I’d give him something to cry about if I met him. (Did your mum used to say that if you were crying as a kid?)

It looks like there are no decent tennis matches for the next 4 days. There are ITF tournaments on but liquidity is poor and even when there are no top matches being played I don’t think liquidity will be great. There are Challengers starting on Monday.

Stay safe.

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TradeShark Diary, 31st December 2020

Not many people will be sad to see the back of 2020. Obviously it will be a few months before things are anywhere near what we used to think of as normal.

Christmas day was an exciting one. I got up at 6 am to take Sue to her 12.5 hour shift at the hospital. Then it was back home for toasted bacon sandwiches for breakfast. I fed the dogs, did a dog poo collection in the back garden and took the dogs out for our normal Christmas morning walk. Then the REAL fun began. I am a bit of a cleaning freak. I find it quite relaxing. For the next 5 hours I gave the house an early spring clean.


Jill next door had kindly offered to plate me up a Christmas dinner. She had said she was aiming to serve it up at 2 pm. Her daughter knocked on the door at 2. When I opened the door she was empty handed. Jill called out from her doorstep and apologised that things weren’t quite ready. She didn’t want me to think she had forgotten me. I told her not to apologise and that I was really grateful for her making dinner for me. At 3 Jill was at the door with a large plate covered in foil. She was in her pyjamas which she also apologised for. She is always apologising.

I took the plate from her and was surprised at the weight of it. I thanked her and wished her a happy Christmas. When I took the foil off it was a real plate full! I have a big appetite but struggled to finish it all. A little later Jill was at the door again with profiteroles and ice-cream!

xmas dinner

I still had a bit of hoovering and floor mopping to do so I got that out of the way. By 5 I felt I had done enough and sat down to watch a couple of episodes of Discovery on Netflix.

I picked Sue up at 7:30. I made her something to eat. I wasn’t hungry after my very large lunch. We had left opening our presents until the evening. She was in bed by 10. I took the dogs out as usual. I was ready for my bed.

On Boxing Day we broke the rules. I have been critical of people not following the rules/guidelines during Covid but honestly I didn’t feel guilty about this one. We only saw family on one day. Our daughter, son-in-law and 2 grandkids turned up at 10. We started with them opening presents. That took a good hour. Sue always goes mad with the presents. It was a really nice family day. Sue cooked a superb dinner.

The girls are 3 and 6 and both love dolls. Each one seems to have its own unique selling point. One of their new ones apparently had “lifelike baby soft hair”. It was one of the weirdest dolls I have ever seen, and they have had some freaky ones! This one looked like Donald Trump which I pointed out. Six year old Ella was confused. Why does it look like a double trump? Like many six year olds she is obsessed with poo, wee, farts etc etc. I explained. Ohhhh ok. When they left around 4 pm both girls were walking to the car and suddenly decided to shout at the tops of their voices, “DONALD TRUMP! DONALD TRUMP! DONALD TRUMP!”. Their mum was frantically trying to keep them quiet. “SHHHH we’re not supposed to BE here!”

We had a bit of snow on Monday. Maybe 2 or 3 inches. We live on a bit of a slope and most cars were struggling to get up the hill. By Tuesday morning the snow was starting to melt. Unfortunately there was a little more snow during the day and when the temperature dropped that night the wet roads and paths froze. There was (and still is) a lot of patches of snow that has frozen into solid ice. They are a nightmare to walk on. I hadn’t left the house on Tuesday until I took the dogs out at 10:30. As we got outside there were a couple of cars having problems with the ice on the road. That really should have warned me. Our front path was fairly clear of snow and ice but as we reached the pavement it looked really icy. It would have been nearly impossible to walk on even without 2 large dogs. Charlie had smelt a fox so was pulling on the lead a little. We had gone about 20 feet when my feet went from under me. I hit the pavement with all my weight on my back and hit my head on the concrete. I heard a neighbour call out asking if I was OK. I said that I was. I was pretty winded. Still on the floor I checked my head for blood. Nothing.

I got to my feet. The sensible thing to do would have been to go home. I was only in front of next door. Maybe I was a little dazed but I decided it would be safer to walk on the road. The same road that cars has just been sliding around on. I got maybe 10 metres before I was down again. Flat on my back. All my weight taken by my back. This time as I fell I pulled Charlie’s collar off with the lead. I got up quicker this time. I was annoyed with myself for being so stupid and decided to go home. By the time I was outside our front door my back and ribs were starting to hurt and it was painful to breathe.

So what now? One of the main reasons for walking to dogs so late is that Molly needs the walk to get her bowels moving. When we got back inside I let her out into the back garden. She had a piss but didn’t see her have a shit. She would need to be let out during the night to stop her crapping in the kitchen. She hasn’t done that for years but it was hard to get her into the habit of only going outside and I didn’t want to break that habit. I was also a little concerned about my bang on the head. My head wasn’t hurting apart from a slight headache. We have all seen programmes on TV where someone has a crack on the head and they don’t let them go to sleep. I did google it and it seems that opinions on this have changed. Anyway I would have to sleep downstairs so that Molly could wake me when she needed to go out.

I managed to get comfortable on the sofa so that my back and ribs weren’t hurting and my breathing was fine. I watched a couple more episodes of Discovery. It was around 1 am and I felt OK. I thought I would get some sleep. Three hours later I was woken by Charlie barking. The security light had come on in the back garden. Probably just a cat but I was awake and never got back off to sleep. Molly didn’t need to go out!

I expected to be pretty stiff the next morning (Wednesday) but actually didn’t feel too bad at all. A few aches but nothing more. The aches are a little more painful this morning and my neck in particular is affected. I couldn’t lift my head from the pillow this morning unless I used my hands to lift it.

New Year’s Eve today. Sue is working today and tomorrow. She will get home tonight, have a drink and will go straight to bed. She uses ear plugs but New Year’s Eve is always loud. I’m just hoping there aren’t too many fireworks. People shouldn’t be in the streets at midnight this year but there will be some wandering the street shouting and singing. If there are fireworks then I won’t be taking the dogs out. Molly is terrified of fireworks and as soon as one goes off she bolts for home. There is no way I will stay on my feet on the icy paths while holding on to her.

I think that will do for this post. Enjoy tonight as safely as you can


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