Archive for June, 2012

I best start this the correct way and tell you how many months ago a horrible, vile woman that has no interest in helping any genuine job seekers passed me a piece of paper, on this paper was a date and time for almost 2 months in the future, a time and date for an 8 hours course on helping to find a job.  Fast-forward to the night of the 28th June 2012 and I am trying to get some sleep, sleep after a little gaming session with my landlord whose job is so mind numbingly easy but also boring he can afford the time to play the real time strategy game , Command and Conquer 3 Kanes Wrath with me over the internet.  So there I am, mind racing and it is apparent that my body is not going to let me sleep, one of those nights you just know the birds will be tweeting before your eyes shut for a sleep, well this point was reached at around 5am for around 30 mins until my body woke me up, startled and confused I wondered if the dream I had had of needed to be somewhere was real or not. Reaching over to my desk I pull a pile of un-organised papers onto my bed, put on my glasses and start to sift through them, now the letter is hidden from view from months of solicitors letters but I find it! That god forsaken letter, the one the daemon woman had given me little under 2 months previous, the letter that would start one of the most pointless and cruel days of my life, or so I thought!

In little over 2 hours I would have to be up, so head down and I finally drift off…..

Almost as quickly as I manage to sleep I hear my alarm, an alarm deliberately over the other side of the room as I have literally 40 mins to get up, showered, dressed and down into town to the Local Y.M.C.A. Already my body does not like the idea of this, my grumbling and moaning stomach writhes in pain as my Dyspepsia churns up acid into my throat and makes me feel a sense of doubt I will be able to make it to the bathroom to wretch, let alone make the trip to an 8 hour course on job hunting, alas I know I have to go, no matter of vomit or discomfort will stop me from attending what is a compulsory job centre course, and anyhow I don’t trust those people to not stop my dribble of money if I don’t attend, I feel that, short of a knife in my head I would be punished by them, so go I must.  Head up, deep breaths and a very slow piece of toast letter and I am ready to go.

Walking out of the house it starts to rain, “Perfect” I giggle to myself as I start the trek down to the Y.M.C.A, 20 mins later and soaked from belt line down I arrive at the dilapidated buildings of the YMCA, I walk inside, I am immediately greeted by an old man who is very friendly and informative and sends me on my way to the room I will be imprisoned in for the next 8 hours.  I walk in, there are 7 people, 1 girl the rest males from the ages of around 60 down to 19. As I walk closer into the room I utter a small “Hey” and a few zombie like eyes look up at me as if I am the newest meat, this along with the 60-year-old man who is the furthest away from me pressing one finger against one nostril and blowing out what can only be described as putrid green ooze, wiping it off his hand and as secretly as he can, rubbing it on the underside of the table in front of him. This makes my stomach churn once again , taking a deep breath and composing myself I take note to touch the tables and chairs as little as possible as I sit down.

Some 20 minutes of complete silence later in walks in a small dwarf like woman, mid forties with a smile across her face, name of Angela,  instantly I think of her speal in my head, “Well you don’t want to be here and neither do I, so let’s try and make this as quick as possible! I would rather be home in bed too” she says almost in unison to my thinking it, “Is that the only way these people think they can relate to us?” I wonder to myself.  Stood over her is another woman who is quickly introduced as Margret, Angela’s boss and evidently a strict woman who deserves the trust and respect of all in the room, “Fat chance” I think as I look around at the half zombiefied creatures around the table who don’t even show signs of acknowledging anyone has entered the room, let alone addressed them already!

So around an hour goes by of paperwork, write your name, date of birth, address etc etc on every page, as if the person who eventually has this will have the memory of a goldfish! After around another 10 or so minutes of signing paperwork and finalising everything we are told to had over the paperwork to Margret who then does an about turn, nods at Angela and marches out of the building, into a car and drives off. To my astonishment none of the others have seemed to notice this, however their smirks hide a bigger secret, the secret of just how much Angela could not give a damn, first things we are told is to get a coffee or tea, second a bean bag and third to just have a good old moan!  “WTF is going on” I am thinking to myself, is Angela just so sick and tired of this rubbish she has decided not to bother teaching us anything or does she deem her knowledge parting skills would be lost on us, the jobless, the dregs of society, no, none of these things, the truth would make me smile, would make my day and would confirm that somewhere, something or someone must be dishing out luck now and again!

We are here to take part in a survey for the government to find help find out what it is WE believe the Job centre, and to a lesser degree the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) is failing us at, well suffice to say that after that there was a light in the room, the zombie like creatures around me sprang into life and I found out they had names and friends, ambitions, hopes and fears. There were rants, anger, sorrow, sadness and some utter bull but it was a good day, a day to finally get our point across and to finally tell those bureaucratic fat bastards that look at us as scum that just because one does not have a job, does not mean we don’t put every waking moment into trying to make our situation right, that we are not all lazy layabouts with no future and that we are proud citizens of this country and all we want to do is to put back into the state, not take.

Ow how such a miserable day in the rain and with my illness never abating could change into such a glorious 8 hours of letting off steam. Now will they take notice? Will things change? Only time will tell, but I for one was just happy I was actually asked.

SO this is a subject that has been plaguing the internet for some time now and I have no idea why we all put up with it, I am of course talking about the amount of abusive and down right disgusting behaviour on the internet.

I know some might say that I don’t have to read the comments, or I don’t have to view a site but that is not the point, I don’t expect that sort of behaviour from what is meant to be the superior species on this planet.  Maybe that’s why we have not encountered any alien life if all they can pick up from space is Youtube flame wars over whether a music video is good or not!

It’s not just the way people speak to each other, it is the down right stupidity of it all, take for example a person says they like a music video by Lady Gaga, a perfectly reasonable response for one who likes such music, now I personally do not like that type of music (More of a metal and rock man) so would I start shouting at the person in the street for saying such a thing? Would I be out-of-order if I started comparing them and their love for Gaga as “gay” or shall I simply reference their intellect to that of a piece of dung because I do not approve of their opinion? Would it not be wrong of me to then continue to pester the poor person until they physically leave the area I am in and then to cap it off I do it so many times they then purposefully never visit that area again? Does that sound like an ordinary situation to you? So why is it deemed acceptable online?

The internet creates a shield of anonymity that protects it user from harm, a shield wrongly used in attack rather than its intended purpose of defence. Now what these people or “Trolls” fail to see is that their constant arguing, their petty actions are quickly becoming a problem world-wide and that problem will come to the attention of the nations governments and in time a bill like SOPA or ACTA,will be put into effect. Now  I know these two policies are for the prevention of copyright and for the protection of intellectual property, however how long do you think it will be until “they”, the governments of the world will link cyber bullying and harassment to an act that will bring about a change like SOPA, but for people’s “protection” instead?  When this epidemic of mindless textual bullying becomes so strong and it starts to hurt the internets money-making ability,  you watch how fast massive companies clamp down and start slapping you lot around, but at the same time leave the door wide open for governments to swoop in and take more of all our privacy.

True the above is rather extreme but you’re not doing yourself any favours, you are not adding a single thing to a conversation and are definitely not adding anything to an opinion. So I beg of you mums and dads, please teach your children to not only behave in real life but also in virtual life as well. As for the adults of you that do such a thing, just realise that you’re actually hurting the very place you find liberating and if you continue this place you hold so dear will be slowly taken away from you until it is as controlled as a police state.

Everyone just realise that others have an opinion that may not be in line with your ideas so have a discussion NOT an argument.

Hey guys and girls I had a little break away from the blog as I had court to get ready for and my computer is now fully Linux so getting to grips with that but both of those things will be covered in other posts soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo…………………………..

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Marriage eh!?  Techy, geeky be-speckled man like me is talking about marriage? Yea I have been thinking about it and the more I am thinking about it the more I am coming to the conclusion that I don’t think I ever will get married. I came to this conclusion after looking at my life style, my future plans and how all my relationships with a woman to date have ended (Apart from the most recent) in the woman turning bat shit crazy and me legging it away from them like a Usain Bolt of bad relationships.

ImageSo I am thirty one now, rapidly coming on thirty two and it dawned on me that for me to marry someone I would want to be living with them for about 10 years, well at least be going out, then move in, say “Will you marry me?” then get to the point of marriage by about year 10.  That ten year plan leaves me at coming on 42 and that’s if I meet this woman tomorrow!  Now I don’t know about you but I’m not sure at 42+ if I could be bothered to get married, will I have used up my time on this planet to get married? Will I have passed my prime and lost the chance or will I simply be so used to not being attached that the very thought of it will scare me?! I sincerely hope non of the above does happen, it is something playing on my mind, I know I am in no position to do anything at the moment and I know that I would defiantly want to spend many years with a person before I popped the question but at the same time I could not stand to be that person on an over 50’s dating site looking for women, women that are probably just looking for a marriage material type of guy, it is an interesting, although frightening position to be in.

The thing that frightens me the most about this whole thought process of mine is one of, “Will I be alone?” or at least classed as a loner, will I be cast aside from society because I never got married, never even came close? Sure I’ve had plenty of girlfriends but marriage seems to be the norm.Very rarely do you meet with a man or woman that has simply never married, it is far more likely that their partner has passed on or devoiced, even out of the never married group you have a percentage that will have been going to get married when the other passed on, which kinda just leaves that small, almost uncounted percentage like me.

Why do people get married in the first place? Is it through love? or a need or because its good for insurance? My brother got married to his girlfriend because he was a fire-fighter and it made sense, no more or less deserving a reason to do it than “Because you love her/him” I guess but then that comment will no doubt be strongly argued against by people that feel completely different about this ancient ritual that we have.  So what is it that brings two people together to spend the rest of their lives together? I am not sure I get it at all, not sure I truly understand what it is to make that commitment and I am not entirely sure I ever will.

However maybe this ritual of marriage is something that is slowly dying out or is at least something more and more couples do out of financial gain or stability, maybe I am becoming the norm, maybe, just maybe I am the hipster of non marriage?!

So here I am again and today I find myself having spent 3 months with Netflix and now a little over 2 months with Lovefilm in my house. Now both have been run off an Xbox360 connected to a 50 inch tv with 4.1 surround sound for roughly the same time frame.

So what do I think, an opinion from a person that has been devoted to films for some 20 years, has friends that are avid film fans like me and enjoy various film genres. This little blog is about what I found to be the best and why.

Cost of service

So for the money side of thing well it’s tit for tat, Netflix is a penny off six pound and Loveflim is a penny off five pounds so nothing in it there. Lovefilm does have other options of film and computer game renting at different rates but I am going to keep it plain and simple and just concentrate on the film via internet streaming part of the company only.

Choice

Catalogue of films is slightly different, now Loveflim does not hold as many films at the same time as Netflix, Lovefilms films rotate, so at any given time there is a section titled “Last chance” these films will soon disappear from the list to be replaced with others, in a time frame, unfortunately not listed on the site, the films will reappear. This however does nark me slightly as its a bit of chance if you find the film again.

Now Netflix has more movies on its site, or at least it has the capability to hold more,  once the movie is there its there to watch anytime you like, however the choice on Netflix is older, in some cases much older than those films on Lovefilms. A point made by our house mate Helen was that Netflix used your recently watched to suggest other films that might interest you which is sadly lacking in Lovefilms.

Sound

Now for the sound, well Netflix wins hands down, Lovefilm only has stereo where as Netflix has surround sound and it is superior, nice and easy choice there. I presume Lovefilm will have this feature added in the future but it is sadly missed now.

Accessibility

As for the ease of use, well both are fairly easy to use on the Xbox at least, it has to be said that Kinect functionality is fairly useless on it, plus it has this annoying habit of asking what you wanted when getting slightly animated with your hands, possibly best to unplug the damn thing for movie watching on the Xbox.

Picture quality

Now for picture quality it is a bit of a downer for Lovefilm as Netflix seems to have far more HD content, what can I say HD is a better picture than SD however again I believe this to be something LoveFlim will add in time.

So all in all

Price: Lovefilm (However a quid of difference is neither here or there and both are cheaper than renting from a store like Blockbuster)

Selection of films: for me this has to go to Netflix, not as new as Lovefilm but the way Netflix suggests new films based on recent views it is easier to find what you’re looking for.

Sound quality: Netflix wins hands down on this one for now.

Ease of use/features: Draw, Netflix gives you more subsections like, “Liked on Facebook” for example but then can sometimes be too many categories when looking for a certain type of film, having saying that it’s a draw because the very same downfall is the reason it wins at selection of films.

So my vote with all things considered would have to go to Netflix. Close as it might be Netflix just edges a win for me. The nice way it suggests films for you to watch based on what you have watched before hand is a nice touch although with multiple users it can get a bit crowded in the options section.

So hey guys and girls, a little break from typing this blog due to a catastrophic lack of common sense on my part while cocking around with the PC.  So after a few days of no PC working at all, many hours with a good friend Neil and some slightly frustrating time with Ubuntu and a wireless connection I am back up and running.

So PC is now running a partitioned, 50/50 dual boot with Win7 and Ubuntu.  To be perfectly honest the only, and I mean only reason I don’t use Ubuntu for my desktop and leave Windows out to dry is because I play PC games, mostly through Steam and that sadly does not work yet, however there are words from Gabe himself that Steam will be hitting Linux, and hitting it soon.  This in my book is an awesome step forward with Linux and gaming and also strengthens other ties Linux has with gaming, such as the very very popular Humble Indie Bundle which as of today, (please note it has just over 4 days left at the time of writing) has made over 4.2 Million USD. That’s Windows, Linux and Mac compatible, pay what you think for some games set-up, that is proving to the world it is possibly time to think a little more about Mac and Linux users.

Now I have to say I am not one of those anti Windows people, personally I don’t care what you use and what you use it for, however the ease and smoothness of use that Linux gives you after the initial faff around of getting a few bits and bobs working is sublime, if you think something should be accessed via a right click there or a slide over here or whatever then it is usually the case, as intuitive as the first Iphone was and as up-to-date as any modern PC OS it really does amaze me that Linux and in my Case Ubuntu has not got to this stage quicker.  Change is coming however and baby steps as it might be, it is steps in the right direction.

Many people forget or are not aware that Linux servers are a massive player in the world market and you possibly already use a web service running from a Linux run server. Also in September 2008 Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted that 60% of web-servers run Linux versus 40% that run Windows Server.[86]. So this Linux “thing” as some put it is not going anywhere, only going to get bigger and better 🙂 

Also headlining my thoughts recently has been the release of Windows 8. A very pretty, colourful display I can see working very nicely on a tablet or large screened phone but useless as a desktop operating system.  It has made the perfectly easy aspects in Windows into a chore, for example the having of two applications or windows open side by side at the moment on Windows 7 is as easy as pulling each window to the side of the screen, one left, one right,  it automatically snaps them into a 50/50 split on the screen, alternatively you can press the Windows key and the direction you want the windows via the arrow keys, simple.  Not so simple with Windows 8 as demoed in this video. It even has restrictions on size of resolutions and limiting it to only 2!  ,

Apart from this, the whole experience of using it for me was pathetic, it failed to deliver a proper desktop experience and was confusing to use, finding an item usually easily found by start then searching via the bar at the bottom is now clumsy and all over the place.  Pictures, for example now have this annoying way of just showing you one at a time which you then scroll through, adding of items if not dragging them and dropping is more complicated and even finding an app to use from the Metro interface can be a little annoying. With all the bright colours and different shaped boxes it is easy to be stuck staring at the screen not able to see the button you want to press..  There is an easy way to change the shape etc of the boxes but this for me would just mean a wall of brightly coloured boxes all one size which still would not help me at all, however it would be lovely on a tablet with a screen as big or bigger than an Ipad as it lends itself very well to a touch screen device.  I fail to see what the hell MS were thinking with this utter tosh.  So this radical change by Microsoft in my opinion will see them push away existing customers towards Mac and Linux, especially since MS are going to put this Windows 8 OS (if you can call it that) into all new computers, so you won’t even have a choice!  I sense that companies such as Dell will do what they did with the god awful Vista and offer customers the option to have the previous Windows installed rather than the new, which in this case would be Windows 7.

So what of the rest of my time away, well as stated in a previous post I am not playing on the Xbox 360 at all and find it harder and harder not to sell the darn thing. I have actually rounded up all my games and sold them on as they were just money sitting around doing nothing and money these days is not easy to come by.  So now I am plodding through the Humble bundle on Linux and Anno 2070 and Fallout 3 on Windows side of things.  Minecraft still playing heavily in my gaming time which ironically runs the 64 bit version of Java better on Ubuntu than it does on Win7, go figure!

Sadly I have not had any new news on the job front but I continue everyday, ever alert to the call to action (Think I might be turning into Banana man!). But hey any jobs going out there in the South Wales area, that’s the original wet Welsh South Wales not the Wales anywhere else 🙂 please gimmie a shout 🙂

Soon my son I will be seeing you, soon I will be hugging you, soon you will know true love again.

So this one is about me, about feelings and about a joyful occasion that hopefully will come true soon. If you are not interested in my life then please stop reading now, no offence meant but it will not interest you at all. Why waste your time 😀

SO it’s crunch time for me, in 19 days time I will have a court case to go to, starting the counter case against my former “other half” and hopefully securing me the chance to see my son. Born on the second of September 2009 at nine minutes past three in the morning at the weight of 7lb 11 and a half, in our rented house, little Seth was passed to me for the very first time, hands, arms and come to think of it even body shaking I held my son for the very first time, careful to the max I did not hurt him in anyway (Although sure now that touching a land mine as lightly would not set it off) I turnned to my then partner and said “So what do we do with him now?”

For a child I assured myself I was as prepared as a solider going to war, well fuck that! I have been to war and I can tell you now that seeing your son being born is the single most terrifying yet uplifting and amazing thing that will ever happen to a person. Able to shoot a bullet from a rifle to kill another human without hesitation in years gone past I was near paralysed when asked to cut the umbilical cord of a living, breathing, little, beautiful, radiant and innocent life which I helped to create, I simply could not do it, I was shaking far too much.

Now comes the tragic part, not tragic for me I might add as I am a adult human, with all my life of rights and wrongs taught to me or learnt by mistakes or lessons from others. No not my misfortune, but rather that of my son. A son now living without a father, not living with a father because of a woman, a woman now so evil in my eyes that I wonder how such a creature gave birth to a gorgeous, righteous and innocent human such as my son will baffle me for years to come. So after 15 months of fighting, £4,000 of debt added and lots of miserable, lonely and crying nights alone I am finally on the home straight, well at least I hope I am.

Now it is not easy for me I might add but what is the most important is that it is not easy on the child, no matter what parent is missing that child is missing out, that is something I have learnt I cannot tolerate and I actually despise. I hope that parents will one day understand that it’s fuck all to live in a hole, be in debt and live penny less as long as your child is ok, to me the only thing that matters!

Money can be paid back, houses can be rented or bought, misery can be turned into happiness but the love of a parent while growing up……… that can never be replaced!

This is to all the men and women trying to see their son or daughter, don’t give up, keep trying and always think of your child and not yourself x x

So I find myself thinking to myself, “What is that black box next to my TV doing there?” On closer inspection I look around and see that it is some strange magic gaming machine called an Xbox360!  A magic box of time gone past it would seem, a time now almost forgotten by my gaming time.

How did this happen? Well I think the time has passed, I think the black box that gave me such good times, so many hours of enjoyment is now collecting dust in the corner. Switched on every other month to cough and splutter into life, to be greeted by a smiling me, assured in my thoughts that today will be the day I put in that game, start to play and use it for what it was intended, then like a crewel child I take away that pleasure from my machine, change my mind, suddenly realising that what I have awoken is not what I desire, not what I thought it was and hence put the machine back to slumber.

I feel that this machine trying so hard to impress me is now overshadowed by the ease, power and cheapness of my PC, a machine that offers me far more than any console ever could. This monster can handle anything I throw at it. Play, work, casual chatter or full blown discussions of world events all wrapped up in an easily upgraded metal shell of awesomeness.

Now I am not here to hail the praises of PC gaming or to piss off any console gamers but the console market has stagnated, it is full of the same old games with slightly different stories, none of which are appealing to me any more and apart from a few exclusives here and there I miss nothing by leaving consoles behind.

So what to do with this perfectly capable but now seemingly obsolete electrical appliance of the past? Well I guess a little money wouldn’t go a miss.