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19 December, 2007

Lunching alone


I'd call myself a pretty social guy. I wouldn't choose to go to lunch alone over having company. Any company is usually fine. Someone you know well is comforting, safe, you can have a good laugh. Someone not so well is good, you can learn more about them and get past that "chit-chat" stage. Alone is kinda boring. At least I had my brain with me.


Today I had lunch on my own in McDonald's and I was glad for the experience. You tend to notice more going on around you. I noticed that now McDonald's has a 10 pc chicken nugget meal (probably old news but hey, it was new to me), that the said nuggets appear to taste and look fattier than either, that this can be confirmed or denied by looking at the nutritional information, that McDonald's are sneaky and clever to display the nutritional information in plain sight, on the back of the paper sheets that line the trays, that when three people are eating alone on three separate tables the mood becomes uncomfortable, that 12 o'clock is when construction site workers choose to flood the place, that people who look like they hadn't had a shower in 3 days REALLY stink (were you in there filmgeek??) and that picking a seat in a fast food restaurant is both a skill and an art form.

Christmas Decorations- My take....


So what's the deal with Christmas decorations? I love everything about Christmas decorations. Looking at other people's houses all lit up, driving past the lights in the park or down the street, decorating the tree and every spare space in the house. It adds a little happiness to the cold and dark and gloomy winters I think. I was decorating my tree last night, picking out the perfect spot for each decoration. And each decoration has a place on the tree. It's a complex mathematical formula deduced by the height and width of the tree, the thickness of it's branches, the weight of the ornament, how pretty it looks and whether or not the cat can reach it from there. I did pause halfway through the decoration thinking to myself "Isn't this a little crazy? Finding a tree that's already chopped down, then driving it home, putting it up in the living room, and then hanging things on it?" I mean how often do we normally decorate nature? We never get our pot plants all dressed up. (That's plants that are in pots....not the other kind).

I shrugged off the feeling though. Decorating a Christmas tree is so ingrained in me it didn't do me any good to think that way.


My favorite decoration has to be the outside snowflake lights. There is something satisfying about putting up outside decorations for all to see. It's kind of like shouting "Hey you! Look what I did to my dwelling! See how great I am! I managed to light up the OUTSIDE of my house, what have you done?? oh...what's that? You created a complete nativity scene, 6 inflatables, two miles of rope lighting, and hired a snow machine with real snow? And those are real reindeer? Do you have a permit for those? oh...you do. But do you have snowflake lights?? ha! Didn't think so! Nice try "buddy"!

A couple of vids

I'm not really one to surf through Youtube endlessly looking at videos. Especially not home-made rants about this or the other. I do appreciate effort though and these two videos show tremendous effort. Both are kinda mesmerizing so sit back and take ten minutes out of your Christmas shopping filled day.






12 December, 2007

Doing your best


I've been thinking about this subject for a couple of days now. Doing your best. I was taking a trip down memory lane, back to when I used to be in the Cub Scouts. I remember that when I was a scout we would have a ceremony each time we met in which we first unrolled the flag, and then at the end of the session would have lower the flag and then stow it away for the next week. Every week we would line up, be quiet and respect the moment, the flag, our leaders and the other scouts. The leader would bark "Scouts, do your best!" and we would reply in unison "We will do out best!". At the time it was just a learned response really. I was simply concerned with getting the reply right and not screwing up the whole thing. Especially if i was on flag duty.


I got to thinking though about the promise to do my "best". I mean, how often do we do our best? When are we given encouragement or push ourselves to give that little bit extra, work harder and can stand back afterwards and say "There you go, that was my best. This was the most that I could do." For me it's not very often. I mean I will put a lot of effort into things sure...90%, 95% but my best? I'm not so sure.


What sometimes makes us aim a little lower in life are the people who we either surround ourselves with or are put together with. I've found that in previous jobs it is the people around me who will distract me, pull me down, encourage me to not to do my best. It's those colleagues who will goof off, get bored and then try to gain some company by inviting you to join in the goof off session. I've had a couple of high school friends and colleagues like this. I've also had some who show up late, do the bare minimum, if any work, and leave early in their own little world. These kind of people are oblivious to the fact that their actions demoralize everyone else who are working hard for their money and picking up the slack.


Doing your best shouldn't be a daily thing. I mean I only had to promise to do my best once a week at scouts, but I think it should be something we all try to do, in at least one aspect of life every now and again.

11 December, 2007

Guesthouse - Room Escape Game


Another Point and Click game for the masses. Guesthouse. Not entirely sure why it has that name though. It's pretty awesome. Nice animation some interesting puzzles and less pixel hunting. Enjoy!

Twinkle - Room Escape game


Well it's Christmas and that means plenty of free time to play more games of course! Here is one I enjoyed for 10 mins...

Pizza time!

I hate calling in food orders...I recently ordered a pizza from Gino's. Stated my name and order and that we would be along to pick it up from the drive-thru.
So we pulled up to the window and said my name. The server disappeared for a few moments. Then returned looking confused. "What did you say the name was again?" Ms. Allclick repeated my name and off she went again. "oh no," I thought to myself "Did I call the other Gino's by mistake?". 5 seconds of semi-nervous waiting later she returned with the pizza and salad. We paid up and drove off.When we got home we realised why she had so much trouble.
Apparently although my name is spelt completely differently it actually sounds like "Mr. Wookit".

My reading list


After years of seeing the leaflets about I finally joined a book club. I think it's Mystery Guild, but I'm not entirely sure. The books don't seem to be out and out mysteries...they seem more like thrillers. So maybe it's Thriller (Michael Jackson-esque) "HEE HEE") Guild. Regardless, I think it's been pretty worthwhile. I have a steady stream of reading material at the moment and that keeps me happy and occupied. The first book I read (Ms. Allclick is reading them too, before me so we can review them after I finish) was Deep Storm by Lincoln Child. This was kinda sci-fi-y action-y rather than mystery. It's about a discovery deep under the Earth's crust and a facility this is built deep under the ocean. I won't say more than that but I enjoyed reading it. Child kept the pace going, the characters were very believable and the facility was easy to picture. They story had enough twists in it to keep you interested and it was researched very well.

My second book (which I'm currently reading) is The Vanishing. At the moment 70 pages in, I have no idea why it is called that, and what is going on. It is by Bentley Little (I think) and it's a very different reading style. A little too different for my liking. It jumps around a lot and a couple of incidences just seem a little far fetched...and I'm a sci-fi fan! anyhoo...


As Christmas approaches I'm reminded of one Christmas about 10 years ago when I read my first Stephen King book: "The Stand". I must have spent every single day of Christmas break reading that thing. It was huge and that had completely put me off it. But the more I read the more I couldn't put it down. I would sit on my mum's bed, listening to a light drizzle outside. Feeling safe and warm inside with my book. When I visited my Grandparent's I would read the book on the way, then upon arrival dash upstairs to get a few more chapters in before dinner. I still love that story today. I hope a few other kids take the time to read a good book this Christmas and use all that free time wisely.

06 December, 2007

Facebook: When greed happens

Anyone read the news this morning about Facebook? Not being a "Facebooker" I allowed myself a little smile. It seems that there new advertising venture "beacon" has failed horribly. I wonder how they did not see it coming? Here is a little summary of how it worked:

"As originally conceived, Beacon was a particularly egregious scheme for invading your privacy. Dozens of sites had contracted with Facebook to send people's surfing data to the social network; your profile would send out little messages to your friends about what you were doing on those sites -- telling them that you were shopping on Overstock.com, say, or were cooking certain recipes at Epicurious -- as a kind of ad for those sites.
Not only did Facebook not allow people to turn off the system, it also assumed that if you did not explicitly prohibit it from sending messages out from each site in its ad network, you were granting permission. In other words, Beacon was devised as an opt-out plan -- or, more precisely, it was plead-out, because getting the system to stop sending messages on your behalf involved a torturous number of steps. " (from http://machinist.salon.com/blog/2007/12/06/facebook_beacon/index.html)

Although Facebook have now made this an opt-in feature I can't help but think other websites will begin following suit. Soon just opening up an Internet browser will be tracked, monitored and you will be emailed "relevant" adverts for "your convenience" and then promptly taken to each of those sites until you forget why you logged on in the first place.

05 December, 2007

Tis the season for snow


Well it looks like winter is finally upon us. I can tell this from two things. One, the parking lot this morning was covered in snow, and two I have my black "mugger" beanie on today. Both these things scream winter to me. There may have also been one or two adverts about Christmas or something as well I can't really remember. I seem to have an unnatural desire to buy Kay Jewellery and a Garmin though. Very strange. Just yesterday I emailed one of my brothers and said "Nope, no snow, maybe up in the mountains". I guess I should have paid more attention to the weather.

I like having snow at Christmas time. It just makes everything feel...well...more Christmassy. It was a rare occasion in England to have snow, so I have a childlike joy at seeing the white stuff and view it as a happy event. I'm sure there are many West Virginians who cursed and mumbled something about "driving on those icy bridges" this morning and they are right to do so, having seen a pickup trip do a 360 last year in the snow. So drive slow and safe out there today folks.

30 November, 2007

Ode to the deleted comment

O, deleted comment.
Why did you promise so much and deliver so little?
A misspelled graveyard of witty, pithy wordiness,
Your immortal epitaphs now left unread and undiscovered,
Capturing a thought that was right and true.

You seemed so good at first
But as my fingers dance upon the plastic
The clicks and clacks distract me
Gone in a dash as quick as the flash that created you.

My very own secret of intent
At one point seemed to express my soul
Then you revealed too much, mischievous comment
and so you must remain my secret

ELO Sweet Talking Woman

Heard this song on the radio...and so I share it with you. Love the 60's style verse with an great progressing pre-chorus and a chorus about 15 years ahead of it's time. Here's the "live" version...

The Mist - Movie Review

Well, it's been a while since I did a movie review..but everyone I speak to seems to either expect this film to be disappointing or has not heard anything about it. Let me start off by saying all those people should a) find out about it because b) they won't be disappointed. At least I wasn't. I went into the film expecting the commercials to have spoiled everything. It sure looked like they had. But the film is a constant stream of goings on that the commercial didn't even touch upon. The movie cuts right to the action, the mist sets in quickly and we soon learn of what might be out there.

I'm not really a fan of horror movies. I'll watch them, but would pick a decent action/thriller over them if push came to shove. What I really liked about this movie, and all of Stephen King's books/films is that the focus is not on the supernatural event, it's all about the human reaction to it. Whilst the creepyness is completely made-up the emotion from the characters is believable, realistic and illustrates to us how human nature can be. This film has a whole range of emotion from intense fear, to desperation, sadness, excitement, hopelessness, joy...and like in all good horror movies it shows that in the face of adversity, we can overcome our problems.

No matter how slimy they are.

28 November, 2007

War Bears 3: An Oceanic Problem

Well here is another sequel of a sequel. It's War Bears and it's the third mission this time. This game always drives me insane after about 20 minutes and losing at least 50 times. But still it's so addictive, and charming that it is hard to stay mad for long. As with the other war bears you must complete the mission by using your war bears, making them carry out specific actions in the right order...you'll see what I mean. Enjoy!

Jack French and the Seven Dwarfs



Loyal readers will have noticed that this is the second time i've mentioned Jack French. Loyal gamers will notice that this is the third installment of the series, so go check out the first and second episodes and then get cracking on this one. They always have fantastic voice-overs and some pretty interesting puzzles too! Well worth the effort for any point and click adventure gamer.

Sphere Core


It's a point and click room escape game! It is actually a pretty fun little time waster. Although there are a few glitches and the difficulty isn't too high, there is enough originality to keep the gamer interested. Even better than that there is a sequel and a sequel-sequel!

As requested... Point and Click Games

As a very recent Film Geek blog post reminds me sitemeter is fun to look at. The referrals page is often a fairly boring one for me...but it seems that recently everyone is looking for...point and click games...so without further ado I'll give the masses (haha) what they want...

It's quality...not quantity


I wonder how many times I've heard that phrase (see the title). It's often just an excuse for a small amount of work/art/text etc... but for me I appreciate succinct quality. This is especially true in my morning routine when I read through the news. I want the gist of the story, I want to know why it happened and what the outcomes where. I don't ask for much really. I can't stand it when the story waffles on and all manner of "friends" and "family" are consulted for their opinion (which is never surprising considering the event) and will finally address why it happened about a third of the way down the page. I appreciate the same quality in conversations. I don't need to hear about all the back story and minute detail just to understand the event.


What got me thinking about this was my preference towards others blogs. I know there is a wide variety of styles out there, and some just don't sit right with me. Especially long blog posts, in a small font, that seemingly meander through a thought process. I can handle reading small long posts and have gained a lot from doing so. But a whole blog full of them just puts me off. I'd feel unfaithful to my other bloggers by spending 10 mins on the long blog thus reducing my time to read the shorter blogs.


I think what I also like about shorter blog posts is that I feel the writer has more to say. I feel like if I approached the blogger in the street about a post he or she would say "Yes, I'm passionate/mad/happy/irritated about that and here's what I didn't say..." and so I would be rewarded for taking an interest. With the long blog post I feel like that it is all there in the blog. On that note I better end this here...before I'm accused of being a Long Blogger.

27 November, 2007

40 winks


Sleep always seems to be an exciting topic for everyone. Most do not get enough, some love it, some hate it, some like naps, others last till the evening. We all gotta have it though. My thought today is "what amount of sleep can make a difference?" That's about the best I can phrase it but I'll explain...



I love hitting the snooze button. I like to view the first time an alarm goes off to get up as a practise or a reminder that I have to get up soon as it's morning. It's painfully difficult to get up at the first beep. I used to purposely set my alarm early so that I could get in this period of snoozing but what good does this actually do? Instead of snoozing, I could have slept for those extra 10 mins but would that have made me feel more rested and relaxed? It certainly seems to feel better just to snooze it out.



We tend to sleep in 4 hour cycles of light and deep sleep (if my memory serves me correctly) and so does it really matter if I wake up 20 mins before those 4 hours are complete? or will 10 do me just as well? What about if I wake up after only 7 hours? Will my head explode? Experience tells me no but I guess the mystery of sleep continues.

26 November, 2007

Twilight Heroes


Despite being nothing like the TV show "Heroes" Twilight Heroes is equally as addictive. I mean that in the best sense. It's a MMORPG (aka Geek game) which involves choosing a super hero class, and then patrolling the streets of Twilight (at night) fighting crime, solving puzzles, collecting a whole heap of stuff and other such shenanigans. I have been playing for over two weeks now and still find it charming. It's very much in development but everyday it gets a little better. The game takes place with "turns" and so you can just check in for the day on your superhero, fight a little crime and then come back the next day with more "turns". It's difficult to explain but if you are familiar with KOL then you might have some understanding on what is expected of the gamer. Worth checking out if you need to quench that desire to be your very own superhero!

Business as usual

Wow, it seems like a long time since I have made a blog contribution! Time to get back on the horse (not literally as that single horse riding experiences was one of my most terrifying..but that's for another day). It has been an incredibly busy time for me in actions and thoughts. Things have started to ease off a little so it is with some relief that I take the time to update my little blog.
I suppose I should really talk about Thanksgiving a little. Interestingly, I was consulted at work the week before Thanksgiving to write an introduction to a newsletter and give some of my thoughts on Thanksgiving "you know, as a Brit". I guess the editor thought it would be quaint, or maybe they were just too busy to write it themselves, either way it got me thinking (and wikipediaing) about Thanksgiving a week in advance. My thoughts were mixed, but I wrote in the Newsletter about the fact that those pilgrims were Brits and so I was proud of the day and Thankful. Without them I would be here today. I tried my best not to sound like I was a stuck-up Brit proclaiming "Hey, Yanks, if it weren't for us you wouldn't be here!" because that was not my intention at all. (hey, if I wanted to brag about something, I'd pick something else :-p) But I did want to show that it was a significant day for me also, even though I am not American....and don't really get into football that much. Anyway, I am thankful for the chance to be here, and I had a great day!
I'm still a little confused about the Cranberry "salad" though. For starters it's a sweet dessert on the savoury plate (??) and it's not even green. Very strange. Maybe next year I'll make Yorkshire puds...

09 November, 2007

Flash game creation


Anyone who knows my gaming habits will probably know that I like to play flash games. Occasionally a few show up on my blog, especially ones I have tried and tested and they have gained my seal of approval. One of my aims is to actually MAKE a flash game. I have attempted on a few occasions to learn some basic flash. I do OK with the tutorial, usually spotting my mistakes and correcting file locations or invalid code. The problem I find is adapting it to my needs, and then as soon as I can't find out what to do next, I usually give up. But this morning I have been spurred by discovering a point and click game (well two of them) designed by a 16 year old boy. Man, if this kid can do it then surely I can figure it out. So, the quest begins today. Anyone who searches for flash game tutorial, or game creation and finds this, feel free to drop me some pointers!

And back to the blogging...


Well, things have eased off a little, so I'm going to take some time this dreary Friday morning to post some of my thoughts from the past week or so. Starting with the fact that Monday was Fireworks night! Understandably not a tradition over here, but still a day that I think would fit in perfectly. Why only have firework displays on July 4th? I mean the sun doesn't go down for agggeeess. At least by November 5th it's dark by 6pm so you can enjoy an early display with the family and be home for a hot toddy or a cup of cocoa. Firework night is always a time for family get togethers but without the pressure of the other major holidays. There is no cooking involved (although, my grandma did used to make a mean toffee...that had to be dropped from a two storey window before you could actually break off a piece to eat), there is no table to sit around resulting in semi-awkward silences with that uncle-you-only-see-twice-a-year-and-don't-really-like-that-much-anyway-as-he-is-married-into-the-family-and-your-aunt-was-doing-much-better-with-that-other-guy-she-was-dating-before-him, there is no disappoint from a lack of gifts, or bad gifts, or someone being a poor host. It really has a lot of benefits. It just involves the family, going out and spending time together, outside, away from technology and stresses and enjoying something almost magical. The kids can't even run away because it's so dark they don't know where they are going (I was always made to wear a glow stick so I could be spotted easily), and they often want to huddle up to mom or dad just to stay warm.


Any other benefits to this day? Why, yes! My half-birthday, which I fully recognize, accept and celebrate as much as I can. It just happens that everyone else celebrates with me and a dozen fireworks.

05 November, 2007

Distractions

It's been a while so I've been at the old blog machine, cranking out another fantastic post of witty and sharp observations (what do you mean you've never seen me do that? Must be on my other blog) and as a sort-of apology I offer this tiny blog post offering. I've got a heck of a lot of things going on at the moment and so my mental capacity is full with thinking about other things asides from my comments on society. So the blogging will have to wait until I can devote some more mental and physical time to it! I'd hardly want to carry on blogging with sub-standard posts. That would offend you, the reader. And I'd never want to cause offence. I will leave with this quote, however, related to all the other things going on at the moment:

Epicticus (100 AD): Men are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of them.

31 October, 2007

Conversations with a "real person"


Ah "Customer support" my arch-Nemesis. Sometimes you are good to me, sometimes you just plain suck. I've had both this week. An on-going issue with Blockbuster total-access was finally cleared up after getting to speak to a "real person" (my thanks to Redzeppelin). Apparently, the online customer support (which the website promotes intensely) does not have the authority to make any "account changes"! I didn't see that written anywhere on the website. Needless to say the bare minimum was done; a refund and an apology and not really much else to ensure I stay with total-crapcess.
My second run-in with "Customer Support" was with Fed-Ex today. They actually have their customer helpline on their website, bravo! And I was not held in a queue on the phone. After a few automated messages I was straight through to a person. Unfortunately, I think that we had some difficulties in communication what with my British accent, and her Spanish/Portuguese accent (sorry - I can't define it any more than that!). It almost made me flash back to the same difficulties I had with a Homeland security guard, but that's another story.

Allclick: "Yes, I wish to report that I scheduled a package for collection, and no-one came in to collect it"
Fed-Ex: "O.K. can i have the pick-up reference number?"
Allclick: "Well all I have is a tracking number....it wasn't picked up so I don't have that."
Fed-Ex: "I need the pick-up reference number to check on your pick-up, sir"
Allclick: "The package is right here next to me. It says "tracking number". I have an email it also just says "tracking number" (believe it or not, I'm not being sarcastic at this point! :-) )
Fed-Ex: "As your package has not been picked up the tracking number will not help me."
Allclick: "It's not helping me much either."

And so on... eventually it turned out that all she needed was my zip code..then my address...name, dimensions of the package...so in fact I had to RE-schedule a delivery. I received a slight apology and asked how I would be paying for this. If only Fed-Ex operated some sort of "tipping" system. Speaking of which, do I need to tip the guy if when he shows up?

30 October, 2007

How to tell if a deer has been in your yard

One of my local papers (the Kanawha Valley Clipper) offers these helpful hints to help you check to see if there have been deer in your yard:
1. There may be rub marks on tress, where bucks have rubbed their antlers to mark their territory. Yes, missing bark on the tree may mean there are deer there.
2. Torn vegetation is "another telltale sign". Deer do not have incisor teeth and therefore rip the vegetation. OK, some torn leaves, probably not that easy to spot though, plus didn't you tear that whole side of the bush with that lawnmower?
3." If the damage is above 6 feet then that rules out small animals", or small kids I guess.
4. "Deer tracks, shaped like broken hearts and about 2-3 inches long". Of course! Tracks, that are made by a deer are a sure sign that a deer made them.
5. There's a deer still in your yard. (ok ok I made this one up).

Happy deer spotting!

Mobile Blogging


Ever find that you are out and about, and have the urge to blog about something? Well sometimes I do...but not a strong enough urge to actually go ahead and do it, yet still mobile blogging is now offered, you can blog directly from your cell phone. Is there any need for such technology? As a recent excellent article in the Herald-dispatch says multi-tasking and high-technology products are actually making life more difficult and wasting our time. It's well worth a read. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I'm happy just to log on on a desktop computer (how 90's of me) and type up my blog on a QWERTY.

26 October, 2007

Movie Rant - The Comebacks

Something caught my eye about this movie. We have all seen the commercials. It is usually playing on a least one commercial break an evening (why do they still call them "messages"?) and as far as spoof movies go it doesn't look too bad...does it? Rottentomatoes.com says:


Ouch! However, I don't rely on RT too much because sometimes reviewers intentionally make bad reviews just to stand out and try and remain aloof and eclectic. So I trot on over to IMDB.com:
Ok, so that's fair enough. Two very popular movie review sites that are consistent, fans (only 689 of them mind you) and 24 reviewers agree that it sucks. So what the heck is THIS all about:

It made 5.5 million over the weekend. Man, it must be a slow week at the box office.

And I want it now


An obscure reference to a Queen song in my title today (bonus points if you can name the song without using google) but I found it apt when thinking about other blogs yesterday. As I was going through my usual online routine, looking at the news, other bloggers etc.. I found myself wishing that other bloggers I enjoy reading had posted something new for me to read. Something to entertain me. I am often disappointed when I load up a blog only to discover there are no new posts. Then I thought to myself "Hey, I rarely post a new blog post in the morning... I usually don't even post once a day, and usually never at the weekend, give them a break!". So that is what I am trying to bare in mind next time I'm disappointed with a lack of blog posts. Somedays I don't manage to squeeze out a blog post until late afternoon. Sometimes whilst eating lunch a revelation will occur to me worthy of a blog post. So, to all other bloggers just keep doing what you do. When you post, I appreciate it, even if I don't comment. If you don't post, I wont slash your tires. Well, not just yet ;-)

I read the news today...

The story: Marshall Community and Technical College offers new courses and degree for students.

The quote: "We are training for careers that do not even exist yet".

Like Iphone hacker? Computer chip eater? L33tology?

24 October, 2007

Did I mention I'm up to 100?


Blog posts that is (well a little over that actually now). Kinda scary that I've actually written that much! If only I could put more effort into other things...like if i saved a dollar every time I blogged, I'd have $100 bucks to spend right now, or if I wrote a page of a paper every time I blogged I'd be finished for the year. Somehow, it's just easier to blog. Anyway, I invite all my readers (both of you) to declare your blog-post amount (if you have one) or if you don't have one, your ideal amount perhaps. do you even bother to look at the amount these days? Are you just happy to get one post out?


On another note, I hear the words "ma'am" and "sir" a lot. I also hear "Professor" sometimes too. They always stand out to me because there are some words that I just cannot bring myself to say. It's just not a part of me. I'm not being disrespectful intentionally, it's just a cultural difference. If I DID try and use these formal terms when referring to an elder I fear I would sound faked or forced and that would be worse than not using the term. Instead I try to convey my respect in the way I speak, and what subjects I talk about. Hopefully, no-one notices.

23 October, 2007

Blockbuster or Block Bust-ya


Well no-one really wants to hear about all the problems I've had with Blockbuster do they? All about how I've using Total Access and every single month it seems as if my dollar is suddenly worth less. All about how whenever you email them a complaint, it's responded to by a robot that doesn't even address the question you asked. All about how it takes almost forever for a turn around on the DVD's. No-one really wants to hear that. But I will emphasize the second aspect about the email complaints. It is beginning to become a common problem for me. You sign up for a service online and then when you have an issue you spend 10 minutes looking for contact details only to find a form online that you need to fill in to state your problem. You instantly receive an email " Thank you for submitting your comment, will be get back to you shortly" hmm ok what does that mean then? Then a couple of days later you receive something along the lines of:


"Dear First_name (yes, many times it does actually say this!)

Thank you for your recent comment. I am sorry (sure!) that you have had any difficulties with our service. We aim to blah blah. Your issue is that you should be paying us more for a service that will get progressively crappier and more expensive over time. I hope that solves your current problem, first_name.


Yours Sincerely,


Joe Bloggs"


It is obvious that it's a computer generated response. Most of the time it doesn't even remotely answer the question or will only answer one part of it, and usually it has first_name or Customer_107321 because the program screwed up. But they still stick on a name at the end (as if you can call them and ask to speak to the person) and make it seem like it's a specific response to your problem. If anyone has a solution to these computer generated emails please flow forth thy comments.

22 October, 2007

Ringo Remembers Goldfinger

My brother clued me into this little piece of gold. It's Peter Serafinowicz as Ringo Starr bringing us his theme for Goldfinger. It's probably pretty accurate.

19 October, 2007

Rocky Mountain High

Who said that normal Radio is dying out, being replaced by digital radio with no adverts and just the type of music you want to hear? Certainly not me. Well maybe it was me, but it certainly shouldn't be dying out. Where else would I get inspiration for blog posts! This time, it's John Denver. Famous for writing a certain song about a place he had never been ;-) and other hit songs. Here is one also about nature and it's splendors. The debate i have with myself about this one is was he actually talking about the high from nature:



But the Colorado rocky mountain high/

I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky/

The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullabye/

Rocky mountain high



Seeing an inspiring sight that kind of makes you forget yourself and the world, like the red sky of dusk. Or was he just "wired" as he would say. I like to think it's simply the first one.

18 October, 2007

Well if you feel that way...


Over the weekend I heard a familiar phrase. I'd say that in the past year I must have heard it about 15 times. Perhaps even more than that, and sometimes it's another phrase but with exactly the same sentiment. "Why the heck are you in West Virginia?". It's difficult to describe the tone, but swap the words "West Virginia" and change them to "swearing in church" and you'll probably get the correct intonation of how it is usually asked. What I say usually is "I go to school here" or "my girlfriend is here" or something that doesn't reveal too much information to a complete stranger. What I often feel like saying is "If West Virginia is so bad, what the heck are you doing here??". I really don't know why people are so tough on the state. I think it may have something to do with people always thinking that the grass is greener on the other side or the "greener grass" effect (as I'd probably label it). The truth is, you're too busy getting swept up in life to appreciate West Virginia, and looking outside of your self for blame for any of your issues. So please, stop ragging on the state and do something about it if you want change.

16 October, 2007

Hannah Montana


I guess the title is a little misleading for this post. I'm actually talking about the ticket situation for Hannah's latest tour. Apparently all the tickets where snatched up in about 3 minutes. Is this because her fans were online buying them up as soon as they could. Probably not. Over the weekend the news report said that it was online ticket touts that had bought them all. Using a sophisticated piece of software. Does this not sounds completely wrong? The original ticket price of between $20-$60 is now suddenly $200 upwards. The performer doesn't gain any of this extra money, just the ticket touting companies. It gets me pretty riled up thinking about it. I hope that Ebay and other ticket exchange websites are starting to crack down on this growing problem. I have no interest in seeing Hannah Montana, but I do have an interest in paying a fair price for a product. I think that a lot can be learnt from the Glastonbury festival in England. I believe that when you buy a ticket for the festival it is a personalized ticket, in that it has your name on it and you must show your ID when you enter the festival. I'm also fairly sure there is a maximum limit on the amount of tickets you buy. Although it is a pain if you suddenly can't attend, or forget your ID but overall it's a fairer experience all the way around and those greedy touts can't get anywhere near your hard earned dosh.

10 October, 2007

Where to find a blogger?


On a recent trip to mall (That's the Barboursville Huntington mall) I decided to visit the bookstore there. It's not really a big surprise that I would, as it's one of about 5 stores that actually hold any interest for me there. I walked in and as I glanced around the Sci-fi section (finding no Philip K Dick books, I might add) a thought crossed my mind "I wonder if there are any Bloggers in here?) A fairly irrational thought I suppose, but for some reason I assume that the bookstore is where I am most likely to run into a fellow blogger. Perhaps I should design a secret badge, or ring so that I known when I am in blogging company. My assumption probably stems from JediJawa or RedZeppelin's interest in books but it often seems like the fellow blogger is often reading a book of some kind. In a way it makes sense as to write a blog one must have an interest in words, to some degree, and presumably an interest in reading other blogs. The key word there being reading. If anyone is at the bookstore in the mall feel free to leave a note tucked into Michael Crichton's Jurassic park and let me know where you think you are most likely to find another Blogger.

of course! That was it...


Ah the art of blogging. This usually requires two skills. Observation and insight. These two are very helpful for the blogger. A sense of humour helps, being able to convey your meaning, some technology knowledge never hurts and being aware of current events are all useful too. Of course none of these means anything unless you can actually remember what you were going..to ...erm...say in your blog. I have taken to quickly writing down ideas in a text message, or on my handy notepad to try and prevent this. Sometimes it works..and other times i'm left staring a message scribble: "Shave a cat purple monkey moonshine" and stuck trying to figure out why that was suddenly so important. A little like that episode of Seinfeld where he writes down the funny joke in the middle of the night, only to find out in the morning that he has no idea what he wrote. Thankfully, sometimes my memory is jogged and the thought and feeling of a post comes rushing back to me. Such as just now, so if you'll excuse me I'm off to write something else...before I forget.

Can you change a Million?


I read this story with some interest this week. A man tried to use a $1 million dollar bill to buy his groceries at a supermarket. I particularly like the part when he goes into a rage about it as if that was actually going to help him any. What was he doing at supermarket anyway with that kinda money? I'd at least try and buy something WORTH a million...like a house or something. They are probably not used to seeing cash at the Realtors so maybe he could have got away with it. What made this even more interesting was that Ms. AllClick and I had debated two days previously about the existence of a $1 million dollar bill and where you could spend it! It kinda spooked me out..and it's not even Halloween yet.

09 October, 2007

Oh what a Night

I've heard this song many times before but having recently been reminded of itss greatness, in its original form I thought i'd share it with y'all. Hope it perks your morning up!

08 October, 2007

Welcome to Huntington!


It's Monday morning again and time for some blog posts. With the WV bloggers board out of action I have more time to concentrate on blogging! This may be a blessing or a curse. What is always demoralizing for me (in terms of blogging) is getting online after the weekend and realizing that the last blog post is 4 days old (ish). I should really store up some posts and then just move them from draft to posted over the weekend...or just not let it bother me so much! :-)


Today's observation is one that i've had several times really. Every single working day in fact. It's the ride into Huntington. It has to be one of the least visually appealing sights for any new visitor to the city. It kinda makes me cringe a little thinking about. Either way into the city (from the Interstate) has it's problems. Route 60 has a thousand stop lights on it, and strip bars and you have to stay on it for about 15 minutes from the Interstate. The other exit is a nicer drive in. Less stop lights, a shorter road, but there are some aesthetically-horrible, brown housing and that short road has a few serious holes in it. What usually makes me smile though is the shiny Cabell Hospital building ,(which seems to be constantly worked on) and the Robert C Byrd sign out front which seems to be a haven for the sick smokers (there's there condition that makes them sick, not my judgement of them). If I were Mr/Senator Byrd I'd be pretty ticked about it. "Get off my sign!" I'd say, "and take your drip with you!". I understand that giving up smoking is extremely difficult, but the logic of going out there to smoke escapes me. OK you're in hospital, your feeling pretty bad, so what will make you feel better? Some bed rest, or a trip out to a busy, noisy, smelly, road to breathe in some carbon monoxide and cigarette smoke. Still, at least those hospital germs won't get you out there.

04 October, 2007

TV season returns!


Well it seemed like the summer would never end. Re-run after re-run and about 100 episodes of Scrubs a week. Finally, new new programmes are here and here is what I am watching currently:


Heroes: It's the second season and so far so good! I was wondering where they would take this show. I mean it kinda wrapped up most of the story lines last season, but the developments are interesting. There is still a lot of mystery, characters haven't fully revealed themselves and there are new characters and new powers. Not sure about the whole "travelling back 500 years in time" bit but I'm willing to be a little more patient.


House: I'm not sure which season of House we are on now, especially as I missed the first seasons. We are a couple of episodes in but I'm still a little confused about the whole team of assistants thing. (POSSIBLE SPOILER) Did they all just quit? Was this explained and I missed it?? I haven't been able to stand watching any of the potential assistants so far but I liked the idea of it.


Journeyman: OK. Now I KNOW which season this is on. Number 1....right? A new show that so far has really caught my attention. I was pretty sceptical to begin with, I mean it's just Quantum Leap right? Well yes and no. Yes, it is about traveling back in time and 'fixing' someone a moment in someone else's life and yes, it is more about the drama, interaction and characters than it is about the sci-fi aspect. No, there is no real explanation for the time traveling, he seems to have a fellow time-traveller with him (who is slightly hotter than Al and Ziggy) and no, he actually returns to the present which adds another dimension to the show. He has to try and juggle his time travelling with keeping a "normal" life with his wife and kids. Emotionally engaging and a bit sci-fiy. Great stuff.

02 October, 2007

Time for a rant...


Well, you may have seen my previous post about the water situation in Hurricane. It's getting pretty bad. In fact, it is so bad now that there are "trucking in water". I'm not sure if this is a turn of phrase or actual trucks but either way it's an apparent justification to raise water prices. Again. I'm pretty annoyed about it. In fact thinking about it too long just makes me feel sick inside. I mean it sounds reasonable. There is no water in the reservoir and so more must be brought in which is going to cost more money. What really gets me is that they must have known for at least 3 months that this was going to happen. The reservoir has looked pretty empty for a while now but there has been no water bans. I think I first heard about one last weekend and I'm not even entirely sure what the ban was on! I've still seen people out washing there cars and plants with hoses. A water ban would have helped the reservoir and kept resident's water bills lower. The other thing that gets me is the lack of preparation for the water running out. It seems like they waited to the last minute to find a solution and the solution is: Raise prices. They should have made preparations months ago using the money they already have, not jack up the price at the last minute because they failed to act. I can feel a sense a strongly worded letter heading towards the Hurricane council members, and while I write it I'll be dancing for the rain to come.

28 September, 2007

Irrational Thoughts


A big thanks to Albert Ellis for this. Here is a list of 10 irrational thoughts that he said must be "recognized, evaluated, challenged and changed". It is sticking to these specific beliefs that cause problems in life rather than the events themselves. It is not the stimulus, like getting into a car wreck, it is the attitude and belief about the event "it's the end of the world", "this always happens to me", "this was just bad luck", "at least no-one was hurt" - that effect our emotions and behaviors and, in-turn, our thoughts. One person in the wreck may react angrily while another is simply upset. A third may take it with a smile. Have a read through the thoughts and see how many you do and really remind yourself that they are irrational thoughts.

Irrational Idea 1 - It is a dire necessity for an adult to be loved or approved by almost everyone for virtually everything he or she does.

Irrational Idea 2 - One should be thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving in all possible respects.

Irrational Idea 3 - Certain people are bad, wicked, or villainous and they should be severely blamed and punished for their sins.

Irrational Idea 4 - It is terrible, horrible, and catastrophic when things are not going the way one would like them to go.

Irrational Idea 5 - Human happiness is externally caused and people have little or no ability to control their sorrows or rid themselves of their negative feelings.

Irrational Idea 6 - If something is or may be dangerous or fearsome, one should be terribly occupied with it and upset about it.

Irrational Idea 7 - It is easier to avoid facing many life difficulties and self-responsibilities than to undertake more rewarding forms of self-discipline.

Irrational Idea 8 - The past is all-important and because something once strongly affected one’s life, it should indefinitely do so.

Irrational Idea 9 - People and things should be different from the way that they are, and it is catastrophic if perfect solutions to the grim realities of life are not immediately found.

Irrational Idea 10 - Maximum human happiness can be achieved by inertia and inaction or by passively "enjoying oneself."

I think I'm guilty of at least 3 of these which hopefully qualifies me as human in Ellis' eyes. (not that I need his approval (see number 1).

27 September, 2007

Zeg niet dat je me niet meer kent.

Thank you for the comment on my last post Ned ;-) I was thinking of the exact same thing. Here is a small tribute. I think "herinner" means "Heckfire".

P.S. You might wanna skip to around the 3 min part, Ned.


The name is Click....All Click


Being a spy has always looked so cool in the movies. You get a bunch of great gadgets, you get a cool car, and you have the chance to travel all over the world. If anyone saw the show "Spooks" (i think it showed on A&E and now BBC America as "MI5" you got to see the MI5 in a more..realistic light. It was pretty gritty, ethics were compromised and people's faces got severely fried. Literally. Whilst checking my email this week I was thus confronted with two conflicting emotions. On one day I had an email alerting me to a position at the MI5 and the next MI6. Thinking about James Bond and cool gadgets I opened the MI5...the super spy title of the position? "Administrative Assistant". Hmmm that doesn't sound too cool to me. That sounds like the kind of job where I'll get my face shoved in a deep fat fryer on the way home from work. I think I'll pass for now.

A note about my links

After adding a new blog to my link section this week (the first time I've done that in a long while!) I thought I'd offer an explanation to my choice of links. Basically it's pretty simple. The links are for me. Which I guess by default means that you can determine what sites I like to visit, read and topics I'm interested in. Such as movies and games. Imdb and Lazylaces have always been staples in my morning Internet ritual. I check lazylaces for games and imdb for movie news and review and scores. So obviously they had to make the list. I can check my blog and then link out easily. Since entering the blogging world some 5 months ago I have had to change my routine slightly. I still have time for the lazylaces and imdb (they aren't paying me to mention them, scouts honour) but have worked reading other blogs into my schedule.
So, the list of blogs on my page are a declaration of the blogs I read daily. To any blog that isn't on the list take no offence. I probably haven't read you enough yet!

(What follows are short descriptions of each site, but in this is in no way a complete description!)

The Film Geek writes movie reviews, personal insights (usually these within the reviews) funny videos, stories and much more. The insightful readers choice! (See further done on my blog for a preview of The Film Geeks latest blog posts!)

A Sour Apple Tree offers stories on things in Huntington, experienced by a local, retro wrestling memories, food, TV and anything else funny he decides to create.

Destination Unknown (feel free to read my blog entry about the return of this!) is about..well anything that RedZeppelin chooses. Sometimes he comments on news stories, games, books and other times it's his observations, pictures and maybe even something about Geocaching. Please ask him about this. Especially if you own a GPS. Well written and writes about the subjects I wish I had of commented on, and the way I wish I would have written!

Blog! The Musical! Is Spike Nesmith's collection of weekly(ish) podcasts. Here his dulcet, Scottish tones describe his views on the weeks new events. Not for the week of humour ;-)

And the newest addition is "This is not my blog" by JediJawa. Here Jedi discusses his views on personal events, news stories and just opens up! Well worth taking the time to read through each post and learn from another's perspective. This blog has the guts to just print what the mind is saying.

Here comes the rain


Well it looks like Fall has fallen today almost as if a big switch was flicked in a weather room somewhere. I, for one, am welcoming the change in weather. It's a little cooler today (still t-shirt weather though) which means walking more than 20 feet is actually bearable, you no longer have to squint all day long, and it will hopefully help some of the dusty patches of grass I've seen around campus and in t'valley spring back to life. I'll be really glad when there is enough rain to fill up the Hurricane Reservoir. If anyone has driven by it in the last couple of months you might think it was a mud flat. It's not the most relaxing sight to see every morning and acts as a pretty strong reminder of the effects of global warming. Perhaps they should keep it that way and put up a big sign "Look what global warming did" or "Global warming is in your reservoir stealing your water". At first it was kinda interesting, the water level was slowly decreasing and I was looking forward to seeing what was at the bottom of the reservoir. Bicycles, money, car parts, dead bodies. Turns out there was just a whole lot of mud. Anyway, I'm looking forward to the rain and the leaves changing and opening my arms to Falls weather. At least until I step into a two foot deep puddle. The first step is always a duzey (sp).

21 September, 2007

Something from Erickson


At the moment I am currently (and slowly) reading a book called "Phoenix" about Milton Erickson. It transcribes some of Erickson's personal philosophies, techniques and methods and there are some great personal stories in there, as well as a sum up by the author of what Erickson was trying to illustrate. So far, so good. I decided to attempt one of the techniques, and Erickson actually applied this to a smoker. Although, I don't smoke I did find myself drinking way too much soda at home so at the moment I'm paying for each can. Yes, in terms of the amount of sugar and calories but also quite literally I pay 50c every time I have a soda. I have to say it's going pretty well so far. I've cut down a lot, I'm drinking more water, and I've got a nice little pot of change going. Fighting off those sweet tooth urges later in the evening has been the worse but I'm not breaking into soda machines just yet. It is a great book for anyone really serious about self change so go buy a copy.

17 September, 2007

My Spidey-Sense is Tingling


When I was a young boy the only "Superhero" I wanted to be was Batman. He was all the rage. I had watched the movies and had the action figures, the sticker albums and the movie posters. Superman was cool too but he was old-news and before my time. I only saw glimpses of him on the tv on old re-runs of the movies but I was seeing Batman on the big screen, a 9ft wide square jaw, a cool Batmobile and crazy villains you wanted to "boo" loudly at. Spiderman was just a cartoon character who despite kicking butt and being able to climb stuff was never any one's first choice on the playground. If only I could return to those childhood days now and tell my younger self how cool Spiderman really is. While I'm wishing for things I may as well wish that I could be like Spiderman...a waste if my time, you say? Well now that reality is here! That's right, a spidey suit could be made and we all could be climbing the walls in no time. I bet Walmart would be the ideal investor. No more pesky wasted spaces up there by the ceiling, just grab a spidey suit and head on up there. I'll start writing to them now.

James McFadden

Like a true England Supporter, of course I support all teams from the UK in their Euro qualifiers :-D (especially any playing France) and so without further ado here is a vid of James McFadden's goal against France (no relation to this man). What a beauty. Note the calmness of the impartial commentator and the music which I believe to be Scotland's new Anthem ;-)

Quoits


Apparently Quoits is an Roman/old English traditional lawn game. You throw a heavy metal ring onto a poll/pin. Seems pretty straight forward and is much like the game horseshoes. I was watching a couple of people play this old past time today and it made me think about "Entertainment" and whether or not people were and could be still interested in playing such old fashioned games. I believe that generally people DO want to move and play games like this. There is something about weighing up the physics, balance, strength, energy needed, momentum and skill that comes from playing physically involving games that you can't really describe. You seem to be able to gain more satisfaction of accomplishing something compared to what you can do with a controller, a game system and a couple of flexible thumbs. I also think that people can enjoy these old fashioned games because it's the basic premise that is appealing in its simplicity. As computer games become more complicated and involved the next generation could grow up demanding more complex games and become bored at the prospect of throwing a metal ring at a pin. Who wants to be outside throwing a heavy piece of metal when you could be comfy at home throwing a virtual hoop? I sure hope this won't be the case but if it is...more Quoits for me!

12 September, 2007

The Worst E-commerce in the world!

In response to Chris James' eloquent post about suddenlink witness another man's reaction to Suddenlink....

West Virginia fog


The weather in West Virginia has been an eye opener for me. I thought I had experienced it all. Rain, Sun, wind, snow..the usual. This morning driving along I-64 we suddenly saw a cloud that looked like thick smoke, it was kinda dark and just on one side of the road in a small patch. Ms. AllClick and I stared longer and harder at it...and then realised there was another patch of it on the right of the road. It was an incredibly localised patch of fog. It was kinda spooky, like that movie about the fog...can't remember the name right now. The further we drove the more patches we would see, in tight clumps, along the interstate. As we gazed back towards an opening area near Barboursville the fog had swamped over the trees in front of the sun creating a fantastic silhouette that has really brightened my day this morning. I wish I had of had a camera with me. You'll just have to get out there this morning and see it for yourselves.

11 September, 2007

3:10 to Yuma


I'm not much of a Western fan. Mainly due to the fact that I have seen very little and haven't really felt any need to see them. This may all change from now on after watching the excellent "3:10 to Yuma". I had a feeling it was going to be good when it had received 8.8 on imdb (always a good sign) but also because Christian Bale and Russell Crowe were in the movie. I don't mind Crowe's movies. He's had a couple of flops recently but "Yuma" showed some of his better acting abilities and was a much better fit. Bale is quickly becoming one of the best actors of this generation of movie stars. He is certainly versatile, (just look at The Machinist, American Psycho, Batman Begins, and The Prestige) and has an incredible talent to not only put on an American accent, but change that accent to suit the region/state he is supposed to be from. Both of these stars put in an excellent performance (dare I say, Oscar worthy?) which is helped due to a really effective and original storyline (although this IS a remake) played out in the Old West. This is a must for Western fans, Bale and Crowe fans and just anyone who wants to see one of the best films of the year so far. It made me jump, it made me laugh, I was on the edge of my seat literally for the last 30 minutes so be prepared for it all.

IndestructoTank!


Sometimes it just goes to show that a simple game with a simple premise can be fun and addictive. This is a side-scrolling game. You control a tank. It's indestructible. Their are choppers out to get you. The aim? Launch yourself from the explosions and bounce into those choppers wracking up bonuses and gaining experience. Brilliant. Well worth messing around with on a coffee break and relieving some stress. Enjoy!

Jellybattle


This is a very original and interesting concept for a battle game. You play as a Jelly Baby/man on a grid with 3 other Jellymen. You get to choose a square to jump to in order to try and collect either a weapon, shield or health. These bonuses are on the grid but the whole grid moves down a square each "round". So, you must plan your move early so that you jump to the square the bonus is about to be on...phew! Sounds complicated, but it's easy to pick up once you start playing. I believe you can play it online with real people, but you can also play against the computer. Very addictive, fun game if you have 15 mins to spare...and like Jelly Babies.

Heist


Heist is one of those games that looks pretty cool, has a nice story and premise..but ultimately struggles due to the gameplay. You have to control it using the WSAD keys (which always confuses me when I need to do something in a hurry) and so I walked into a few lasers simply because I pressed down instead of going right. You'll see what I mean when you play it. The puzzles are pretty challenging though and there are mini-games thrown in as well. If you can get over the controls then u'll probably enjoy this snazzy game.

Let the games begin


Time for some more Point and Click games to use up all your free time! First game on my list is Papa Pizza. It's basically a Sim-esque Pizza Parlour game. You take the orders and cook up the pie for the customer. Seems simple, except you have to place the topping they want onto the pizza in the place and amount they want it, then put it in the oven for the time they require and THEN cut it how they like it. How fussy is that?? You get more and more customers as you progress through each level (if you're good) and the orders get more complicated. I've played this game for a while now and have only revealed about half the customers and the end doesn't seem to be in sight so be prepared for a long commitment on this one!

10 September, 2007

Kevin!!


Early morning TV...who could live without it? Well...probably me. I turned my TV on this morning, however, and Home Alone 3 was on. Imdb gives this movie 3.4 stars. Out of ten that's not so good. So I flicked onto CNN..."Britney's big comeback a complete flop" the announcer says as more urgent news scrolls along the bottom "a McDonald's burger chef may have criminal charges bought against them as a police officer who ate there said that the overly salty burger made him sick"...hmm those seem like news worthy stories. I flick over to The Today Show instead. Ah, the lovable Al Roker, he'll have something smart to say "...the fastest Chihuahua..." *click* I wonder if that kid is still Home Alone?

07 September, 2007

Find Jimmy!


Ok, i'm long overdue posting a point and click game but I really haven't played that many online recently! Here it is, it's called Find Jimmy. A fun, waldo-esque game where you have to find Jimmy's head as it appears in the picture. Made me smirk nearly everytime I found it. Enjoy!

WVU vs Marshall



Well everybody is talking about it so I thought i'd better show my support for The Herd. Go Herd!!! I hope they win this weekend, but I just hope everyone has a good experience. I can almost taste that lemonade now....

Live from Abbey Road

I was flicking through the channels last night and came across the "Sundance" Channel. I stopped when I saw the words "Abbey Road" in the title of the show and clicked "info" to see what it was. It was the kind of show I could easily watch all day long. Live performance from bands playing alternate versions of their songs in a recording studio with all their mistakes and nuances left in, and none of that over produced sound...well not much of it. I was doubly joyed to find it was a live performance from The Killers, Gnarls Barkley and The Feeling. I'm not much of a Gnarls Barkley fan but thought I had a 2 in 3 chance of hearing one of the other bands...but guess what? It was Gnarls Barkley up first. I didn't much care for the songs he played..but I'm glad kept watching and got to listen to The Killers as they played a couple of awesome versions of their own songs and Romeo and Juliet by Dire Straits. Here is a clip of the show as they play "Sam's Town" from their latest album of the same name.

Resilience


Human beings are tough. I'm not talking about Bruce Willis in Die Hard here (well, maybe in part) but I'm talking real-life tough. Firstly, our bodies are pretty darn amazing. The Merchant of Venice reads "If you prick us, do we not bleed?" whilst being true I think it could also read "If you prick us, do we not heal?". I'm talking physiologically, but also psychologically here. If you cut your finger on a knife, the body will rush into defence mode sending white blood cells to the wound and start damage control as it builds a scab to prevent infection and fights any existing infection in the wound, and then the skin begins to heal. Click here for an explanation that I didn't make up. The mind does the same thing. Once it has been damaged, it begins to heal but it is also a slow process. For example, if you have suffered a loss you feel the intense pain, sadness, anger, and grief but with time you start to feel better and overcome the loss (whilst not forgetting it, or downplaying it's significance). If you are feeling depressed, give it time and you WILL feel better. By all means, go seek someone to talk to and discuss your problems with but have faith in yourself and have hope and know that you will improve.

06 September, 2007

Thank you NEW Cingular


I guess when a big company take over another fairly big company things can go two ways. Things will get a lot better, or things will get a lot worse, plus all of the existing problems remain. Since AT&T took over my Cingular service I really hadn't seen much difference. Same calling plan, same price, some expiry of my minutes. Today, however, they crapped on me by increasing the text rate to .15c per message sent and received. I was shocked when I was told I would be paying ANY amount of money to receive a text. "What do you mean?" I said "I pay when someone else texts me, which is completely out of my control, and THEY have already paid to send the message, and I don't even get a choice NOT to receive the text??". Crazyness. When I wasn't charged to receive texts I'd feel no guilt about sending them, and hence sent twice as much so I don't really see much logic in this. Just another way for them to squeeze 5c out of me when I need to let Ms. AllClick know I'm running late. Maybe I'll call AT&T and ask them to screen my texts. I'll tell them I got a text that I didn't want and so would like a refund. I think I better read their small print.