Archive for September 2006


Posted on Monday 11th September 2006 at 00:00
Do you remember a few days ago I wrote about how even a small job can quickly escalate into a much larger one? I suspect when I wrote that I inadvertently cursed myself or managed to anger one of the gods who read what I wrote and was cross at me for revealing one of the many secrets that govern how the universe works. Either way, last week the same thing happened, only scaled up a little. Well, a lot in fact. So much so that a job that I'd estimated would take a couple of hours tops ended up taking two days to get half done before I had to abandon it and come home. The job in question was wiring up the LAN at my new uni house, where the landlord had tried to wire it all up but had made a bit of a pig's ear out of the whole thing. Every time I attempted to tackle each little task it somehow expanded and split into two or more jobs, a bit like multiplying bacteria. In the end I found myself with three major projects, each of which was easily a day's work in itself.

This seems to happen to me a lot now that I come to think of it. Just two days after my return I was asked to fix a computer at Mum's workplace and so trundled down there to spend what I thought was a couple of hours trying to get a stubborn old computer to interact with the network. In the end I was there such a long time that Mum had been home for a couple of hours by the time I left to drive back home for tea.

Changing tact completely now, I want to talk a little about the other thing that has dominated my thoughts for the last few days, namely, isn't it the best feeling in the world when a person or a group of people go out of their way to show or tell you how much they like you and how much they want you to be with them? Such is the state of my various friendships and their histories that it is quite rare for anyone to do so much as hint to wanting me around. Don't get me wrong, this isn't me whining and saying I have no friends, I do, but by some strange quirk of fate not one of them seems to be able to find it in themselves to really show any great liking for me. Think of Dr House and Dr Wilson and you pretty much get the idea. I guess that is what comes of being friends with the people you grew up with.

Last year at uni I met a girl who was working an Open Day with me, you know, showing visitors around and such like. We got on well despite only really seeing each other at these occasional open days. Then on perhaps our third or fourth meeting she asked me if I'd like to be the fourth house mate in the house she was looking to rent for this year. I gladly accepted and ever since I've been blessed with a glimmer of social belonging. Almost daily now I get texts from my new house mates asking how I am and when I'm going to move in and telling me how much they are looking forward to living with me. Oddly enough, as I discovered on my visit last week, they aren't just being polite, they actually like and care about me and genuinely want me to move in as quickly as I can, which is partly why I am moving in on the morrow. Nice people really do exist :-)

That reminds me: as the network has not yet been completed and as our ISP is still doing whatever they have to do to get the line active, I may not post here for a few days as I will sadly be without the internet. If anyone is reading this yet, do not fear, I am (probably) not dead!

See you on the other side ...

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Murphy’s Law

Posted on Monday 4th September 2006 at 00:00
Have you ever noticed how quickly a small job that you set out to do can escalate into something much bigger? This afternoon I set out to fix a broken catch in my car. The damage was sufficient to stop me fixing it permanently but I was at least able to get the catch working for the time being. Just as I was finishing up I noticed that the very lowest part of the front bumper, something I'm reliably informed by my brother is called the front spoiler was hanging off the bumper assembly at one end.

Whilst I was wrestling with the blasted staple that was supposed to hold it together I noticed that the piece of bumper used to stop stuff flying up into the radiator was lose. Within 10 seconds of examining it, this stupid bit of plastic had fallen in its entirety off the car and onto the grass. Further examination showed that it would not go back on until I had fixed the original bumper problem, which I duly returned to. Yet more mindless wrestling with this caused a clip in the wheel arch to come lose causing the entire front bumper to fall off the car. The job that should have taken me 10 seconds ended up being half an hour of lying on my back under the car.

In another prime example, I decided that I would spend today sorting through the stuff I wish to take back to uni with me in the near future, before which I'd just spend 10 minutes tidying up the mess of a room I described for you yesterday. Admittedly the room is now quite tidy, but I've not even begun to look at sorting out my uni stuff.

There is a moral to this story folks and I think it is something about not letting yourself get side tracked by things that really don't matter, otherwise you'll lose site of the bigger picture. Some might say that I'm failing to heed my own advice by getting tied up in this little rant rather than focusing writing an entertaining and thought provoking blog entry ..... and they'd be right. In my defense it is gone three in the morning and I have a job interview tomorrow. When I'm done with that I'll post again with something more worth while and less whiney.

Peace Out! (or whatever it is the trendy people are saying these days)

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Thoughts on Laziness …

Posted on Monday 4th September 2006 at 00:00
Have you ever noticed how the amount of willingness one feels to carry out a task is directly proportional to the length of time remaining until he must undertake it or the number of obstacles he can put in his way? The must obvious example would be someone committing over Christmas to a new exercise regime come the New Year. Whilst sat at the dinner table or in the arm chair in front of the fire or TV, one can convince themselves of the joys of getting fit and how this time it'll be different, this time he'll stick at it. However, come January 1st something changes in him and he suddenly realizes in one horrible moment what a complete pile of sweating testicles his mind has been feeding him over the holidays. Of course he doesn't want to exercise and never will do. The thought of it is monstrous and goes whole heartedly against the grain in every fiber of his being. For the rest of the day one is confused and revolted at how he was able to spin himself such lies and believe them to. Such a scenario is not just applicable to exercise, although as a failed gym going type it is an example that is somewhat close to home. Another one that has struck me in recent times is coursework preparation and exam revision, something I must confess I have never been able to commit to when the time came. At the beginning of the year I'll happily tell anyone who will listen that this time things will be different; this time I'll make the effort, dot he work and get the grades. Then as the year wears on and the work becomes closer I start to feel tired and to lose interest and when the work finally arrives, I decide the only thing to do is to do everything very properly and so as not to afford myself any distractions I'll do everything else I have to do first. As one can well imagine, a busy person with a computer can kill many hours or days trying to do all the things he has to do and so, inevitably, the work in question has been reduced to one night's bitter half assed efforts that rarely amount to jack above the minimum. However the example that is most obvious to me just now is that of packing. Every year I finish uni and have to rush to pack up all the stuff I failed to sort out before hand. Invariably everything gets thrown into bags, boxes and bin liners and carted off home where it spends months in the loft. Every year I swear to myself that over the summer I'm going to tidy it up and organize what I need to take back for the next year and every time I put it off and put it off until I've left it so late that everything has to be taken back out of the loft and shoved straight back in the car to return to uni. Two years ago I went to Kenya and while I was there I kept a diary. Upon returning I wrote up the diary and placed it on the internet and as it happens I was still doing this when I moved to uni for the first time. The diary went with me in order that I could keep it at uni for the first week or so and finish writing it up. Just a week or so, and yet as I glance over the pile of bags, boxes, cases, ruck sacks and odds and ends lying around waiting to be taken back to uni on the morrow, I can still see the little red diary poking out from one of the boxes.

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Posted on Saturday 2nd September 2006 at 20:00
Well, if you are reading this now it means either that you've just stumbled across this site for the first time, in which case welcome, or you have come back since reading my first entry, in which case you are either very brave or have a high boredom threshold. Either way I'm not complaining as it makes me go all warm and fuzzy to think of people actually reading and enjoying what I write enough to return.

I thought tonight I'd help set the scene for the rest of the blog by doing what all good writers do and throw in a little description. Apparently it helps kick start the imagination, so hear goes. I'm seated in an executive leather desk chair. The chair has seen better days and is looking less and less like it once sported an executive price tag. The desk is made of frosted glass and steel and is of the sort of design that has come into fashion in recent years for homes and offices alike. On the desk, which id beginning to show signs of needing a good polish are strewn a cluster of random objects, placed there haphazardly in an absent minded fashion over a period of several weeks. Nearest to hand are a roll of cello tape, a mobile, a wireless mouse and a TV remote. Nearby is a digital camera, a few computer CDs collected from a magazine and a greetings card with "Congratulations!" written on the front.

Further away can be seen a note pad with a circle around something that has been jotted down on it and a stack of dusty audio CD cases with an adapter, its wire wrapped round it, placed carefully on top. The stack of CD cases has clearly been knocked by a careless hand at some point and is even now poised over the edge of the desk, waiting for any excuse to over balance and fall, crashing to the floor.

Under the desk is a day bag and a pair of shoes, kicked off and left where the owner was sitting, half hiding the tangle of power and data leads streaming out of the back of the computer. To the side, another desk in disarray, this one made of pine is just visible under the mess of papers, framed photographs and old birthday cards that can never be thrown away. rising out of the chaos, its face pointing straight as the occupier of the chair is a chrome desk fan, bought on a hot day in early summer and even now slowly spinning up to a slow blow as the owner leans over to switch it on. A monthly issue of a word search book, claiming to contain 100 word searches lies shut on the desk with a pen next to it ready. The issue number is 137 and if the date of closure for the offer on the back cover were to be examined it would reveal that the issue is dated December 2001.

Underneath the desk, neatly framed on both sides by two sets of desk draws, not matching, is a wastepaper basket, stuffed with crisp packets and beside it a paper shredder. Tucked just out of view, you can almost make out the edge of a collection of original jazz records, some of them very old at potentially valuable but never valued.

On the walls are a variety of posters and straight ahead, a notice board, covered in layer upon layer of pinned up papers. The posters are of varying age, size and condition and the mixture content the inevitable result of someone who knows they should be covering their walls but doesn't know with what.

The floor is covered in the sort of brown carpet that was the "must have" thing at the beginning of the 80s, although not much of it is visible beneath the mess of bags, packaging, books, newspapers, carrier bags and suitcases that are scattered over almost all parts of the floor. A large suitcase and a rucksack, its contents strewn across the surrounding area are the only remaining signs of a recent foreign holiday, besides the camera on the desk, discarded after its contents had been copied onto the PC. A laptop in its case is stood against a cabinet nearby.

Behind the chair is a pair of oars, propped upright against a wardrobe. They are clearly new and unused and the price tag can still be read. Across the room is a bed on which lies a solitary DVD jewel case, its contents in the DVD player, still on from a previous viewing. Opposite the bed is a stool covered in laundry with a sombrero lying casually on top.

This is the setting from which every word I write to you in the immediate future is composed.

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In The Beginning

Posted on Saturday 2nd September 2006 at 00:33
I don't claim to be an expert on the bible but the one thing to my mind that disproves it is the fact that Genesis doesn't sound anything like this first post is about to. Whoa, hold back oh fierce Christian types, this isn't the time to start condemning the new blog on the block because it mocks your religion. Take a step back, hold your breath and count to ten. Then you will see that I'm not here to offend anybody. What I mean to say is, in the beginning God supposedly made everything in existence and everything worked just like that. Sadly, whichever way you look at things, I am not God and this website does not work just like that. I've been working on this project for a couple of days now and I've nearly got everything going as I want it, but sadly my impatience got the better of me and I decided now was a good time to start posting. Obviously, as anyone whose tried to click the 'About Me' link will tell you, I was wrong. Oh so very wrong.

In essence the basic site is working. I can post entries onto my blog; you can read my entries and reply to them and then others can read your replies. What more could you need right? Well, probably quite a lot so I'm going to take a moment now to tell you exactly what I've got planned for the next day or so. It isn't a lot but I hope it'll make a difference. Firstly, as mentioned above I want to get the 'About Me' feature working. This, along with the 'Contact Me' and legal nonsense pages are going to be available via a menu of hyperlinks above the main body of the page from whence they will cascade down over the page in a dance like and graceful fashion for your viewing pleasure. The only snag is that they don't actually work just yet. I don't claim to be good or bad at web design on the whole, but Java Script is a bitch to get working (pardon my French).

Oh, that is another thing, if you don't like swearing, you probably won't like this blog. I don't swear all that often or because I think it makes me look cool or anything like that, but I'm not going to restrict the use of a whole section of the English language just because current fashions dictate that such words are considered vulgar. In 100 years, anyone reading this and seeing me apologising for using current 'bad' language will think me a nutcase. That said, someone reading this in 100 hours would probably come to the same conclusion.

I think this looks lengthy and impressive enough to constitute my first post here. Even if it doesn't I'll blame the poor subject choice and the unsociable hour of the day and so call it a night.

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