Last Monday, I arrived in Pearse station on the way into work, to be greeted by a barrage of AIB phone and internet banking ads. Later that day I took some pictures with my camera-phone, and made a panorama:
That's just one platform. The north-bound platform is just the same.
Although most of the ads had some pretty painful copy, the worst example of is the ad shown below. It’s the last word that really brings the pain.
I’ll upload the rest to Flickr when I have a chance.
...is damn tasty. Haggis, a national dish of Scotland, tastes great. The best thing about it is that people find the description quite revolting, so more for Dave.
The steamer began to move slowly away, but on the land-ward horizon appeared the silhouette of a fighting machine. Another came, and another; striding over hills and trees, plunging far out to sea and blocking the exit of the steamer. Between them lay the silent grey ironclad “Thunder Child”. Slowly it moved towards shore, then with a deafening roar and a woosh of spray, it swung about and drove at full speed towards the waiting martians.
A horrific and barbaric act of cruelty, courtesy of Conall Mahon. I cannot stress this enough: do not watch this if you have a weak stomach. An animal is skinned alive. How much effort would it take to just kill it?
Pep Bonet's work, amazing photography from Africa.
After much consultation with Des, and by consultation I mean listening to him complain about the missed opportunity that is my blog, I've decided to up the signal-to-noise ratio a bit here. But first, I'm going to hit a big three-bar solo of noise.
So, I quit caffeine. I did it cold turkey. I lasted quite a long time, though I did stumble a bit; I drank maybe eight cups of tea and two cups of coffee during that month and a half. I started to think I was safe.
Then this happened:
Starbucks have opened a store on College Green, one of the busiest places in Dublin and right around the corner from my bus-stop. I drank two large caramel macchiatos today, and they were good, but I think we can wave goodbye any notion that I'll be staying off the juice.
I am, unfortunately, quite self-concious about my physical appearance, but after seeing two photos today I am convinced that my glasses need to go. They make my eyes appear smaller than they actually are, which has a surprisingly large effect on the image I project.
Compare and contrast the images projected by the two photos below.
I'm looking for some good old cliched signs from movies and TV shows that tell you that a character is marked for death. Currently I'm stuck on:
Any ideas? I'd appreciate any I can get.
In other news, I drank three cups of coffee tonight because the girl who was pouring it was absolutely gorgeous. My horniness says "good idea", but my insides (quite loudly) tell a different story.
Also, the Minds website got defaced last night. The moral of the story? Don't diss the PHP fan-boys or they'll come get you.
Due to domain shenanigans (now thankfully resolved) this site dropped off the internet for a couple of days. The site is now back, and now better than ever.
That last part is a lie, nothing has changed.
I'll be moving things over to Textdrive soon. Textdrive offer bloody fantastic packages; if you're looking for hosting, check them out.
Now for some stories.
On G4TV, Cliff Bleszinski from Epic games said:
You know, Epic's known for Unreal, Unreal Tournament and you know we wanted to create a new IP, something that's a little bit darker, a little bit grittier.
I guess gamers really wanted some new intellectual property. This phrasing grates against my mind like a buzz-saw cutting through my cerebelum.
That, and the phrase “F-Bombs”. Here, I'm off to drop a few F-Bombs. Hey dude, did you hear Rage Against the Machines new hit “F-Bombs over Baghdad”?
The fact that someone used that phrase already makes me very upset. I think I'll dedicate my life to relaxing gun control in this country just so I can legally shoot myself.
I decided to take it easy on Monday, as I was pretty certain that I only had two hours of client work to do. I started work at 17:30... I mean hey, with only two hours work to do, that still means I can be finished at 19:30, right?
I had been meaning to try out a TextDrive account, so I ordered one. I spent the next six hours testing it out, and getting the first stage of transferring this site over to it sorted.
At midnight, I get ready to do my two hours work. At five to six, I finish.
On Sunday I was over in Des' house, and I managed to convince him to head into town for a kebab or two. At the end of the night, Des headed off to his bus stop and I headed off to mine.
My bus arrived, and I climbed upstairs to get a seat that someone of my stature can actually fit in.
A few stops later, a guy got on who sat in the seat in front of me. He wasn't smelling the best, so I opened my window so that my kebabs stay safely inside.
Two stops later, an old man got on. He moved to the seat behind me, and as he sat down he slammed the two windows above my head shut. Instantly I became this guys biggest fan.
The rest of the journey was uneventful. The old guy muttered a bit, and occasionally I could hear him say "shitbags". I assumed that he wasn't talking about me, so I ignored it as best I could.
As we came close to Lucan village, he stands up. He said in my ear "You fucking cunts!", and walked towards the stairs. As he was going down the stairs, he noticed two guys sitting beside the stairwell. They nodded at him, so he gave them the two fingers and got off the bus.
I have a deep-seated hatred of pigeons. I can't really explain how it got so severe, because I'm not sure why. It might have something to do with how disease-ridden they are, or how many times they've shat on me. No matter the reason, I hate them.
Recently, there's been quite a lot of bats near Maynooth train station at night. They fly from the trees near the canal, flying over the water to feed. If you are trying to catch a train at night, you have to keep an eye out for them; their path to the water could very well be interrupted by your head.
But the bats, I view with respect. Sure, they may get a bit close for comfort, but at the end of the day my reaction is fairly mild. They're just trying to get on with their own business. They mean me no harm.
Compare that to my rather extremist view of pigeons. If a pigeon buzzes my head, I immediately think of setting it on fire. Those bastards are lucky I'm not pyrokinetic, though if they keep this shit up I might just waste many hours of my time in front of the fireplace trying to develop an imaginary ability. It happens so often I fear I'm getting paranoid, to the point where I imagine a vast pigeon conspiracy.
That's how much I fucking hate pigeons.
Rumours are flying about a G5 Powerbook coming in the second half of this year. This wouldn't surprise me, but check out the comments over at MacRumors for some bizarre theories about chip architecture and reality in general:
Considering that ‘G5’ (like ‘G4’ and ‘G3’) is nothing more than Apple marketing jargon, couldn't a high-end Freescale processor with speed somewhat comparative to IBM's 970 etc. be called a ‘G5’?- there's no way Apple will get away with releasing a non 64-bit laptop and claiming it uses the G5... only extreme double-thinking Mac zealots will fall for this one, like this guy.
Thankfully, they don't all seem to be sniffing fumes over there.
This has Paul Donnan written all over it.
Working on my computer earlier this evening, I saw a bright flash and heard a loud explosion. The power cut. My first thought:
When did you last run a backup, Dave?
We lit candles around the house. There was a second, softer explosion. I grabbed a lantern and small torch, and headed out to investigate.
Some kids told me
a green box (a relay box) had exploded. I asked them where, and they sent me in the right direction, warning me that
bad people were up there.
It turned out they were right. Some teenagers were hanging about on the way, who made a disparaging comment about my lantern. That comment was
lantern. Nice one lads. They were bad alright, a pack of bad comedians. I am disappointed with the youth of today; these people make clowns seem funny. The didn't even use a funny voice, or say
haha, he has a lantern. Just
Zero points for effort.
I continued on. I got near the scene. From what I can tell, a transformer blew on an electrical pole. I'm guessing the second explosion was the remains of the transformer popping. Wires had snapped and fallen to the ground.
Power was restored in roughly two hours, which isn't bad at all. Good work.
There was some weirdness over at GMail last night; thankfully a refresh got rid of the problem.
Has anyone any else seen any interesting program borks?
My brother nearly burnt the house down today. Good work, Richard. That's enough excitement for one day. The start has been postponed until tomorrow.
In the meantime, check out this picture.
I've made a Christmas wish list. Looking for last minute gift ideas for the most sex-obsessed evangelical Christian ever? Look no further.
Purchase of at least one gift from this list is required for continued friendship.Continue reading "Christmas Wish List"
Usually, I have to be told to shut up. Never did I expect that doing so voluntarily would result in angry messages being sent my way. So I'll make a deal with all those whiners: I'll write, and you won't complain about the quality.
And send me a medal. Thanks.
Most vocal about all of this has been Claire. Every time I talk to her, it's been
Why aren't you writing? this,
Why aren't you writing? that, and
When someone gives you a compliment, say “thank you”; not “I know”. I'm getting a bit tired of it.
I tried my best to find an angry picture of Claire, but I couldn't; you'll have to make do with Grimlock. Although both lead packs of dinosaur-like robots, that's where the similarity ends. I've tried to make the picture look more like Claire by adding in some curly black hair and lasers shooting from his eyes.
So, what's been really bothering me about Claire lately? Take a guess. It's her fucking laser beam eyes. For quite some time now, I've been trying to cut a deal with the Man upstairs for the ability of flight. So far, nothing. But I've told Him that, if it is not His will that I can fly unaided, then I will settle for being able to shoot lasers from my eyes.
Bastards. The lot of them. The contempt I feel for them right now, sitting on my clearly non-flight-capable ass, is beyond measure. Bastards.
Less vocal have been Des and Aidan. Alright, that may be a bit of a stretch... Des has been mainly saying things like
What the fuck is with those pictures, and Aidan has been complaining that my RSS feeds don't output full posts. But I need some sort of segue into the following events.
Aidan is living over in England with his fiance Lori, but was over here for two weeks recently. On the first Tuesday, at 11 O'Clock, Des decided we were going into town. After a quick drop home for a change of clothes and food (and to drop my laptop home), I caught up with them both at the Q-Bar. Aidan was drunkingly playing drums with the table, to a beat that had nothing to do with what we were hearing. We left soon after that, and headed down to the the Viperoom. It's hard to put things in order, but what I do remember is:
We dropped into Zaytoons for a kebab, then got a cab back to Des' house. I was woken up in the morning by Des, then after falling asleep again, by Des' great sister. She did not impress me at all when she called me Rory.
We headed out again the following Wednesday; again, a last minute decision. We met in Doyles, then popped into the Plu+bar (Renards, basically). The barmaid seemed intent on proving to everyone that yes, she had large breasts; and yes, she made it very obvious. Another thing that was very obvious was the sky-high price of a pint. Five euro for a pint of Carlsberg! (Photo of receipt on its way).
Aidan was pissed off that the place was full of “poshos”, and that his semi-formal attire would probably get him kicked out by snobs. He complained that if you dressed up nicely, or were a hot woman, you'd get in. Me, I thought this was a great deal: dress up nicely, and get into a place full of hot women.
And damn it, it was. I noticed two damn fine women checking me out. I didn't do anything about the first woman; I'd just arrived. But I noticed the second woman later on in the night, we caught each other's eyes across the crowded bar. I look at her and smiled, then tried to beckon her over with hand signals. I'm such a lazy bastard when drunk (and in general); there was no way I was going to walk through all those people who were in the way. Suffice to say, she didn't seem to appreciate that.
Claire, this is what I was talking about when I mentioned my “hilariously shit technique”. I'd be a bit disappointed in any woman that responded favourably to that.
I stayed with the group, then went again to Zaytoons... best kebab shop in the city.
What's the best thing about this entry? Although not all of the websites linked here are crap, a lot are. It's the highest number of crap websites that I'll ever link to in an entry. I hope.
I'm working on a project, that at the moment is very hush-hush. Those in the know, keep it under your hat. More on this as soon as is appropriate.
I thought it would be a good idea to post up some of the photographs I still had lying around. I wanted to clear the backlog, because coming soon is possibly the best photograph ever.Continue reading "The backlog"
I'm one to blow my own trumpet.
That's not the phrase, but there's no real point in trying to make myself sound humble. When I create something new, I want people to see what I've done. When I create something which I'm proud of, I want people to see it.
The phrase of the century is this: A closed mind remains empty. When you shut out everything that disagrees with your current worldview, you will learn nothing. An open mind is a key ingredient in learning, and all of us have things to learn.
I think this IRC log illustrates my shock at my creation.
It turns out that cash plus time plus effort equals qualification. The Open University looks pretty cool. I found the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Modern Language Studies of particular interest.
I'd love to study English and German. Friends of mine are asked to remind me of this from time to time, and remind me often once I start earning a reasonable amount.
These dreams are just freaking me out, particulary one and two, detailed in this earlier entry; and six, detailed below. I'll probably have another messed up one tonight.
The day is beautiful. Sunlight seems to pour in the windows of the grocery store like honey. My friends laugh amongst themselves as I grab a cereal bar from the shelves. I walk outside.
I am thrown to the ground. My hand turns in the dry clay, grabbing a dirty butter knife as my attacker draws his own blade. I punch him in the face, and he falls backwards unconscious.
I spin round to find his accomplice drawing a gun on me, as he sits in the drivers seat of an open-top convertible, which sits part-submerged in the earth. I somehow parry the gun with my knife, knocking it from his hand.
He was wearing a black fedora and a suit. He had it coming.
Suddenly, it is night. I am a small boy with a backpack running around a city somewhere in continental Europe. It's sometime in the 1930's, or early 40's. I run into a shop where some people are huddled. Some Nazis close the door, barricade it and throw petrol on the shop window. They set it on fire.
Somehow, I escape. I must not let them find me. I hear some coming, so I run into a nearby castle to evade them. I run down a long stone tunnel. I can hear their footsteps echoing behind me, and when I reach the end of the tunnel I can see their shadows move along the wall. I run up some stairs to find the main Nazi administrative complex for the area.
It's inside the castle. Dumb move. I'm cornered by two German women, and then I wake.
Two developers of rival open source content management systems try to convince me to use their tools on the new Minds site I'm working on. One of the tools is WordPress, the other is imaginary. The light is similar to the start of Four.
I walk away. While I am away, they plot to kill me. The WordPress developer, who looks a lot like Jim Caviezel in the Thin Red Line (meaning it definitely isn't Matt), doesn't like the idea, but I get the impression he's still going to go through with it.
I've just gotten married, and am looking forward to spending some time, for the most part horizontally, with my wife: a famous British pop singer. But her brother tells me that she's gone on tour, and won't be back for two weeks. I think to myself: who have I married? I'm horrified, and realise that this is just a marriage of convenience. I've married the wrong person. I've made a horrible mistake.
For a long time, I did not dream. Now they have returned, weirder than ever.
In the first of these dreams, I met a woman while out in a quiet bar. We seemed to really hit it off, but she had to leave for some important reason. We quickly made our goodbyes, and she was gone. Moments after, I turned to another woman who was sitting nearby. We started to talk, and things seemed to be going pretty well with her too.
Here's where the dream gets odd. So impressed was the first woman with my company, she decided to skip her important event (whatever it was) to spend some more time with me. I tried to entertain both women while keeping each in the dark about the other.
I should mention that they were both sitting either side of me.
A friend of the first woman warned me against hurting her feelings. I think a third woman arried into my logistical nightmare, but all I remember is my impression of her.
The next dream was stranger still. I bumped into a woman I used to know (and fancied the arse off), and we very quickly began to have sex - in true 15s movie style, everything faded out to the next scene before any genitalia or breasts could be seen, or anything could be done save removing each other's clothes and falling down together.
In the next scene I was outside somewhere, holding a sheet of plastic buttons; like the buttons on a Coke machine, but layed out in a wider grid. The button at the bottom-right corner had a blinking green light on it. Somehow, this device indicated that she was now pregnant.
I heard a voice:
I can't believe you knocked her up while you were wearing your Bible belt.
Turns out I was indeed wearing a belt, a utility belt at that, with a small Bible clipped onto it.
Later in the dream I found myself in a swimming pool, chasing after some women. Some sort of whistle or alarm sounded, and everyone rushed to a raised platform. I wanted to dive back into the pool, but when I looked down all the water had gone, and the tiles were covered in a sickly green residue.
The last part of the dream was the worst. I was having dinner with a woman who I believe represented the woman I'm meant to marry. She seemed remote, and very upset; I assume getting another woman pregnant had something to do with it. I decided to go into city, and bring her along to cheer her up. As I walked alone to the bus-stop, I realised that I forgot to ask her if she wanted to come with me. The dream ended in confusion and horror as I realised the extent of my actions and how much I hurt her; and that any hope for our relationship was gone.
And if I remember correctly, a frigging monkey in a fez was hopping along beside me at the time.
On a lighter note, the highlight of the third dream was potato and bacon cereal.
There's a couple of things that have been confusing me lately. I think I need to ask these questions, as I believe the answer will give me a sense of peace. So, here they are:
If anyone can answer these questions, I'd appreciate it. It'll be three less things to worry about.
GMail just keeps giving me invites. I have three to give away to the first three people to ask for them. Just pop your name and email address in the comments, and I'll send you one along.
Update: In the end, I gave away five invites. All are gone now. If I give any more to give away, I'll be sure to offer them here.
Second update: Google has given me six more invites, I'll be handing these out too. Justin, James and Hala should expect their invites soon. From now I'm only giving out invites to those that meet the following criteria:
I seem to get six a day, so I'll be handing these out for as long as I get them.
Third update: I haven't received any more invites to hand out. If I get any more, I'll try and clear the queue here. I'm not accepting any more requests for invites, as I'm getting requests faster than I can answer.
If anyone who has already gotten an invite from me is still reading this - if you get invites yourself, please consider donating them back to the people in the comments. Email me at email@example.com, telling me how many invites you have to give out, and I'll co-ordinate the distribution. Thanks.
Yesterday, I installed Fedora Core 2 on my work machine. I must say, I was impressed. Within an hour, the system was installed (from scratch), using Firefox and Thunderbird as my web and mail clients (respectively); decent Flash and MP3 support were added, sound worked from the get-go and our networked 4050N was working in less than 2 minutes.
Anyone who's tried tracking down the JetDirect software for their printer from the HP website knows the pain involved with setting this up under Windows. I was shocked at how quickly I got everything working. It would take me around two - three hours to get Windows to this stage.
It's still not set for prime-time (a lot of my fixes were made from the command line, using yum). But it's by far the nicest Linux distribution I've come across for the desktop.
Yes, today is a nerd day.
I get a horrendous amount of spam to one of my accounts. Below is what happens when I leave it for three days:
Just down the road from Paul's house is an over-priced grocery store called Mortons. It's the kind of place you imagine people are muttering behind your back "that fellow surely mustn't belong here, he can't be earning any more than twenty thousand a year!".
You do find some gems there though, like some a sweet-ass premium cereal selection and what I found today: a variety of microwaveable meals made in-store, that look surprisingly palatable.
It's loaded with garlic, so I'm sure any attractive women not put off by my three-day old beard will be repelled by my garlic-breath*; but I'm not going to let that get me down. This is the first store-bought microwaveable lasagna that tastes good.
* First person to to say "or your personality" gets a brick in the nose.
It's really early in the morning, so with no real introduction here are some links.
My blog habit has cropped up some great links recently:
I got a link to Wreckingmebuzz.com via email today. A fantastic name, but not as good as my new domain name. I'm think of making "ihavetheanthrax -at- theviruslab.com" my new personal email address.
We only had our old (and free) office for a short time, and that time came to an end yesterday. Somehow we managed to cram all the office equipment into Paul's Peugeot 306. This included the following:
Update: Apparently Ms Colan might be the new host of Rocketboom.
The best part of that article is that she will apparently bring “the added credibility of an English accent”. Because you know, you just can’t trust those Yanks!
What would you do if you had three wishes? Dunstan has decided that Anna Riley, female lead in Keeping the Faith, is so perfect a partner that he "shan't want or need for anything else". If that wish was granted, he would gladly give away the other two.
Predictably, the first comments were less about wishes and much more to do with which woman was the hottest. I am not one to be left out. The hottest woman on the planet is Joanne Colan.
I confess that the Joanne Colan I imagine could very well be as fictional as Anna Riley, but based on the incomplete picture I gleaned from MTV's European Top 20 she was smart, funny and (in the best possible way) sarcy. She was also exceedingly attractive, in both her appearance and voice; it was probably this that made the biggest impression on me. Not only was what she saying usually amusing, the way she said it was wonderful.
I've been annoyed by the obvious and blunt sexuality all around these days (perhaps only a personal preference), but Joanne's seemed to these foolish eyes and ears as being at once subtle and powerful. Don't confuse what I mean. In Britney Spears' video "Toxic", Britney spills water on the lap of a male passenger and rubs it off with a napkin. He grips the arms of his seat, from the looks of things overwhelmed by sensation. This kind of sexuality is (at least for me) boring. I mean the opposite. I mean the sexuality characterised by wry smile and the hinting glance.
And now, I shall laugh at how much I am like most other heterosexual males on the planet, despite previous airs to the contrary. I'll explain that later, but in the meantime: haha, Dave; haha.
At the start of every new year, people seem filled with a hope that this year will be the year when good things happen. This year will be the year that I finally knuckle down with work. This year will be the year I finally sort my life out.
Perhaps springing from this, people feel a need to decide new resolutions for this year; aims that they will achieve for the good of themselves or others. Not to be left out, I've written a short list of what I want to achieve in this year; I've also decided to bore whatever tiny audience I have to tears by listing them here.
This is something I started to work on before January, so it's actually possible I'll get this done. I've been doing push-ups and sit-ups, and am pleased enough with my progress so far. It's embarrassing how much I'd let myself go. I'll take up swimming, and perhaps running, soon enough.
I can now do twelve push-ups in a row, which is a massive improvement on the zero I could do before. I've decided to set myself some "fitness targets", which I've listed below:
I also want to be nice and aerobatic. Paul has suggested I set a goal of being able to do a one-handed push-up while standing on that hand, but that's not going to happen.
I've been working on a novel on and off for over six years. In that time, characters have come and gone, names have changed and scenes have been dramatically altered... in my head. A scant quarter of the book has actually been written, almost all of which will be scrapped in the latest rewrite.
So, I've decided to just write the whole damn thing out, and then worry about the crucial editing process once I have some material to actually edit. I'm a perfectionist, but if I keep on honing the characters, structure and imagery of the book in my head, I'll never have a physical book finished.
I don't want Incursion to entertain only myself
Phil and myself have been working on an IT website for about two years, but it's ran into the same crap as Incursion.
We aim to get this up and running some time this year.
I'm a Christian. On and off (lately more off than on) I read the Bible. I think it would be a good idea to read the entire Bible over the course of a year, probably starting around Easter time. If a sufficient amount of study is done, this should form a base for more considered opinions about theology than those that I can currently come up with.
Besides, it's a good way of finding more about the character of God.
I'm a competent designer. I'm not the worst writer in the world. I'm annoyed at how bad the writing on this site has been (though it could be that I'm annoyed at the personality that the words betray). I want this site to look well, and read well.
Besides, I have some cool ideas for it. More on this later.
I'm involved in a business venture called Lightreel. Lightreel is a jack-of-all-trades IT company with a strong focus on web design and development. Unfortunately, my income from Lightreel comes nowhere close to what could be called survivable.
One of the key goals for this year is to change this. I want work with Lightreel to be my full-time job.
They're actually based out of Tegel prison, the world's largest male prison, and home to Dietrich Bonhoeffer during the second world war. They've been selling stuff from the prison for a long time, but this marketing campaign is creating some major buzz.
In other news: yes, I am a webdesigner. No, this is not the design I want. Yes, I will design something better. No, I am not a monkey. But I want to be.
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