Archive for November, 2006

Rockstar, locals, etc

Friday, November 17th, 2006 | Life

So we went to Rockstar tonight. We being myself, Michelle, Phil, Alex and John. It was a good night although instead of DJ Chris Martin DJing all night they had a guest DJ Charlotte from The Subways who wasn’t playing quite as good tunes as Rockstar normally offers.

Phil left at midnight as he had a majorly long day although that also meant Michelle had to go because otherwise she would have had to actually sleep in her own bed for once :p. Speaking of bed hot swapping, Alex disappeared and later sent me a text providing a brief outline of why we couldn’t find him. I’m sure you can fill in the blanks.

Myself and John left about 2ish and headed down to Subway. We ran into some assholesi into the queue though that began throwing poorly crafted insults at us. One guy then just pushed straight past us and his mates followed. John asked for his place back and the guys starts cursing and threatening to kill us. I was toying with the idea in engaging with him. We’d have lost, I presume his mates would have jumped in and there was 4 of them against 2 of us. Still we could have done some damage in return, as John is kick-ass at his martial arts which I recon would have been worth the ass kicking. But given the Subway employees weren’t paying attention we would have got screwed over by the police so we would have just basically lost twice.

This kind of stuff should not be happening on a Thursday night though. Of course, it shouldn’t really be happening any night. I would blog on for a bit questioning why people feel the need to be such assholes but we know the general causes and it’s just stating the obvious that either education or genocide would be the most effective solutions. Still, rant over, I just need some time to clear my head and I actually might be able to get a few hours sleep in.

This is indeed a godless place

Thursday, November 16th, 2006 | Life

As if monotheist religions weren’t godless enough, today we took some major steps forward with Atheist Soc. Over a business-y type lunch at the Quilted Llama we finalised the aims and objectives of the society for the petition form and for the constitution. I’ve now dumped it on Jess’s desk so hopefully she will have actually got it and push it forward to the Union Council for consideration and hopefully ratification.

If everyone goes to plan and it does get pushed through and ratified we will officially be affiliated with the Union by the end of the month. There isn’t much after that we can get done and indeed it probably wouldn’t be a good idea given everyone will go home for Christmas and forget about it but it should allow us to get sorted for re-freshers in January/February or whatever.

Plus in order to get Union funding you need to have existed for a semester. If the society is created by the end of this semester, we will have a full semester of existence next semester and should be able to apply for funding for the next academic year. If we can get that we will have some real leverage for activities beyond us sitting round in a meeting room in the ARC (or more probably a bar) saying “yeah, there’s no God.” As fun as that would be, the society has so much more potential.

Putting some direction back in my life

Thursday, November 16th, 2006 | Life

While the excessive drinking of uni has been great at blocking out the reality of real life over the past 18 months or so, now I’ve hit the big 2-0, it’s no longer working as well. I’m worried sometimes that I am even loosing my love of material posessions. It passes then I go back to planning what I am getting for my next computer (which Christmas work should fund nicely :p). I’m also starting to question why I’m doing a degree when I can’t stand lectures, they are all so very, very boring, clock watching affairs.

The thought of coursework is constantly playing on my mind, as is work. I’m still enjoying it when I’m doing closes and such but they might well get more stressful now our store manager is back (who stresses me out a bit anyway as I can’t figure him out) and I’m doing an open next Wednesday and I don’t like day shifts (anything after 3pm is good, but I don’t like mornings at work) and this weekend is going to be tiring and stressful as I’ve got a close Friday, day shift Saturday then I have to rush back for Wendy and then get back home Sunday for another close.

It seems all I do these days is send emails to people because something isn’t working or there is a problem or just general burocracy and incompetance. Nothing is ever simple, everything is some kind of giant battle for no good reason from running an online empire right down to the hours you have to spend planning when to charge your phone to stop it dieing on you in the middle of day. It’s now gone 2am but I don’t want to sleep because it means I will soon wake up and have to deal with everything in the morning.

With that in mind, I think I need to inject some direction back into my life. I’m not exactly sure how that counteracts most of the above mentioned problems. And it certainly doesn’t counteract the problems that didn’t get mentioned (notably that I’m still single and am losing faith in my very self as the “good guy,” the one characteristic I thought I could fall back on) but I don’t exactly have a plan B right now. I guess it could take my mind off other issues and eventually allow me to quit my job and my degree and do something I actually give a crap about.

So, putting direction back into my life. To me, that means lots and lots of website launches. Makes sense, they are making money quite solidly and the more sites I have the better it seems to be working providing I’m launching the right kind of sites and am focusing on the important issues of various sites (some sites need regularly updated content, some need nothing and you need to know which is which and indeed which of the sites that need the regular content are worth the time and effort).

I want to get some other projects going too. I have one or two ideas for film projects, especially those that form a series of shorts so I can leverage the userbase of sites like YouTube and the social networks.

I’m also toying with the idea of more service orientated projects. I’ve been running my web hosting business down for a while now (I’ve kept it up but not been accepting new clients) as the profit margins for budget hosts are crap and for better hosts, as a massive webmaster myself I know are looking for things like 24x7x365 support which you have to be a big hosting company to provide so I don’t think it’s worth it. Still, once I get my server up and running (which my next computer will be) there are a few directions I could go with that.

Then again, let’s look at what is realistically going to happen. Probably very little. Nothing is going to change, nothing is going to get better and in a few days time, maybe a week I’m going to come back here and blog the situation. It’s inevitably going to play out as generically as a Hollywood screenplay except that quote unquote hero doesn’t get the victory, the girl or the happy ending.

I don’t know why you read this. It’s the same crap I always write. It’s the same crap I wrote 5 days ago. You’ve spent what, 5-10 minutes reading this post? That’s 5-10 minutes of your life you’re never going to get back. It’s an hour or so of my life writing it I’m never going to get back. Is the world somehow richer for it? Is at least my mind even a little clearer for having contemplated it? Take a wild guess, I recon you’ll be pretty accurate. Stop typing Chris. Just stop typing.

Another post about Google

Thursday, November 16th, 2006 | Life

I’ve been saying for many months, maybe even a year now that Google is no longer the innovative young company it once was but now a slow moving corporate mass. Well Techcrunch has been talking with a similar attitude pointing out their internal communication resembles that of classic big business. For instance reports of AdSence and AdWords only export to Excel, not Google Spreadsheets.

Speaking of Google Spreadsheets, the Web 2.0 spreadsheets start-up iRows has been bought out and is being merged in to the service. Absorbing technology rather than innovating it perhaps? It’s classic Google these days, let’s face facts, Google Video was awful, that’s why they bought YouTube.

And while I’m on the subject, how useful are Google’s new services anyway? They are putting major effort into their social network Orkut. MySpace and Facebook are still winning. Who uses Google Talk? Nobody, we’re all using Skype. Do you use Google Documents? I’m guessing not. Google Code Search? Google Reader? Google Page Creator? Hell, looking down the Labs list I haven’t even heard of most of it.

I don’t want to turn my blog into a Google bashing blog because their search still rocks. Google Local is still useful, Google Earth is still cool. I still use gMail. They got these services right. But I dislike the way people preach how Google is a nice caring “don’t be evil” company. Those days are gone. It’s not their fault, you just can’t do innovative big business.

They have the internet on computers now

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006 | Life

Today I achieved what we have dreamed about for generations – playing World of Warcraft in a lecture. Ok, well most people don’t dream about that but it’s quite a commonly held belief that lectures are boring and gaming is one great cure. I managed to get the game working (I say managed, it worked straight away, I just needed to fiddle with some display settings once it was running :p) on my new laptop and indeed it runs quite well. So I took it into lectures today and during AI22 connected to the wireless network and got some game time in. Mission accomplished :D.

Next week… surfing porn while in a lecture ;).

Kieran and Heather

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006 | Friends

Someone has to comment on this. Kieran and Heather! Heather lives next door to Kieran and she shares the same music interest as Keiran and all that jazz. Fair enough you may say, not much going on there but then on Saturday night, Kieran turned down watching Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in order to spend time with Heather! That’s crazy, everyone knows Lara is the queen of everything (as well she should be). It’s only a matter of time until they start dating when one changes their Facebook connection to “in a relationship with” and the other accepts it.

While I’m posting about other people I also want to comment on Matt’s post concerning the Llama. Let’s clarify a few things. I didn’t get sick of the Llama. Everyone else did but I’ve always loved the Llama even with their “other” customers and lack of food. It’s still like the nicest bar in Leeds.

Why aren’t you selling me anything?

Sunday, November 12th, 2006 | Life

Ok, so this morning or something (the request was there when I got home) someone added me to MSN. She messaged me at like 1am and started introducing herself. She asked for my pic, showed me hers, she’s hot. Really, hot. She explains how she used to do a bit of cam work and that she was always horny.

This is new on me. I’m used to bots trying to chat me up over IM but why a real person? She was a real person, she would have passed the Turing test with flying colours. Ok, two options. She’s still working cams and looking for a big sale, or, it’s Gaz.

Well, going with the path that she is actually a female and not one of my friends with a fake MSN account, she eventually points me to two forums she hangs out on. One of them is down though. Then she asks me for a link. What is going on there? Why isn’t she trying to sell me something?

At this point I’m still going with the “it’s someone with a fake MSN account trying to screw with me” theory, after all, they did ask me to send them some dirty pictures of myself and who would seriously want me to do that? The obvious answer to me is someone who would want to plaster it over Facebook.

So I’m left with these two theories. That or she is actually legit. But then what are the odds of some ex-stripper randomly getting my MSN address and trying to chat me up? Let’s me realistic here, not high. She makes another comment about being horny every day. What am I supposed to say to that? Congrats? Good for you? Please explain why you are chatting to me?

The conversation moves on again. She thinks I’m a little disconnected and suggests we play 20 questions. I ask her where she is from and she replies Manchester. She’s interested in my music taste and shares my love of Feeder and Billy Talent. She went to an AFI gig, hmmm. She explains that she works at Sainsbury’s. Why would you lie about that? This seems a little too deep in for a sale. She seems geniune. We continue chatting. She likes reading and even names her favourite book. She knows her stuff.

After chatting for about 2 hours she explains she needs to go to bed as she has to be up for work at 12. She tells me she’ll speak to me next time we’re both online and ends the chat with “bye xxx.”

Seriously, what just happened to me? Was a very attractive girl just chatting to me for 2 hours? I mean think of the evidence against this. It’s me, things like this don’t happen to me. She is attractive enough to be a stripper. She wants pictures of me. Everything screams at me that something is not geniune. Except our actual chat. Could it be that I have become so jaded with the constant spamming that attacks my inbox, forums, blogs and instant messenger accounts that I now mistake everything and everyone for a fake?

I take a brief pause from narrating my life to scare the crap of myself thinking today is Sunday night as my clock says, and thinking I have missed a shift at work tonight before realising it’s past midnight and it’s now Sunday morning rather than Saturday night. Not quite the climax to this post I was hoping for.

It’s been a weird day. I’ve actually got a bit of work done today which was good. I’ve updated my VPS, I’ve done some coding and and in the category of less-productive things that got done I’ve installed WoW on my new laptop (it works fine too!) in preparation for in-lecture playing. The productiveness has lifted my spirits a little though I think it’s probably just one of the many eyes in the storm that is my life.

Life is going very, very wrong

Saturday, November 11th, 2006 | Life

The first thing I did before coming to post on my blog was go into WHM and restart Apache because it had crashed again. This is the second time in the past few days indeed it doesn’t seem a week can go by without something on my VPS going down.

I raised a support ticket with PowerVPS but it seems that all I do these days is spend my life emailing hosting companies and domain registrars in between spending my life on the phone to credit card companies. Celeblinkage.com is still down after probably months now and RegisterFly’s 2-3 hour rapid response team haven’t got back to me for days.

Which is really not what I need when I have lost almost all motivation for my online empire, one of the few things that I actually give a crap about in this world. Especially now I seem to be estranged from most of the others.

Online tech is not the only defective technology however. My brand new laptop with it’s “2.0Ghz” processor doesn’t seem to realise it has that kind of power. As if it’s long boot-up time wasn’t enough, when I inserted my World of Warcraft installation disk I was told that my computer did not meet the minimum requirements for the game which requires an 800Mhz processor. And don’t even get me started on the touch pad.

Following on from my two shifts at work this week of which one falls outside of my availability, I have three shifts next week of which one again falls outside my availability even after telling James I only wanted 1-2 shifts per week. Because that’s what I really need, another weekend with no time off to be constantly bouncing back and forth between home and uni.

As for uni I now once again have loads of coursework to do. I know a lot less about UML then I need to for the exam. Exams which are drawing ever closer. As is Christmas which I am severely not looking forward to. Plus this Tuesday is the last Christianity Explored which I’m really enjoying (the course is ok but the people are great).

You don’t need to prune!

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006 | Life

I’m angry at the moment. CuteFTP which I’m trialing at the moment is disappointing, VNC just refuses to work with any kind of Linksys network and Thunderbird is still providing to create a wonder of software could suck soooooo much.

And I just got an email from one of the forums I am registered on (I never use, the admins are teenagers who are fans not webmasters – there is a massive difference between a webmaster who is a fan of someone and a fan of someone who is a webmaster of a fan site) who have announced they are going to start pruning the forums.

You don’t need to prune! This little project named phpBB is quite good software and can handle more than a few thousand posts! Everything is paged, the script is designed to handle losts of posts, text takes up hardly any database space. On the reverse site you delete old topics people want to reference, end up having to hold the name debates over and over again and remove any usefulness of the search function.

And seriously, start playing WoW!

I want to play WoW again

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006 | Life

I want to play World of Warcraft again! You other losers need to start playing so we can all form some kind of big alliance guild and I don’t have to quest alone like some pathetic loser. I command you!