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As a new year approaches...

I always get a little introspective.

This was the reason, I think, that I sat at my desk last night and poured out my state of mind to the old friend that got in touch with me not long ago. (There will be no revelations as to who this old friend/flame was so don't bother asking...) And now, the day after, I'm shitting bricks that she has read more into my words than were intended or implied. Why am I shitting bricks? I hear you ask. Well, mostly because I would like this person to be a part of my life again.

What the hell, here's the thing I wrote...
And now, as the witching hour approacheth, I'm sure you are snuggled up in bed warm and cosy so I think it's only fair that I tell you little bedtime story...

Once upon a time there was a young, not all-together hideous to look at, artistically leaning guy who met a girl who set off sparks in the young (and once again I stress, not all-together hideous to look at) guy's heart. Whenever he was in the company of the girl everything; Time, people and places, seemed to fade into the background like shadows on a pavement when a cloud rolls over.

The relationship they had together developed over time into something more than friends (but without all the squishy bits getting involved) and more and more they fell into the netherworld, where people of this state exist, which is known as "I wish they'd just get a room and get it over with."

But... The gods, who enjoy nothing more than seeing two people struggle to be apart when the magnets are facing the RIGHT way to ensure attraction, decided otherwise and watched as two people who cared deeply for each other tore one another apart.

The people never resorted to physical violence, keeping true to "star crossed" loves tendency to hurt with words and bit by bit a deep chasm was created between the people who needed one another like the air they each breathed.

Time passed and, like icebergs on the open sea, they drifted apart...

And now, may years later they find themselves back in contact and he finds himself wondering what could have been had the gods decided differently and allowed these people to be together, even for a short time.

But he doesn't dwell on that thought for long and instead accepts this woman back into his life for good or bad. He steps forward into the unknown with an open mind and an open heart. Preconceptions are not on his mind, there is no resentment felt and what happened many years ago is forgotten and forgiven.

Most of all he hopes that this is true for her also and that she recognises a chance from the gods to rekindle a very meaningful friendship.

I think you'll see why it is I'm shitting bricks, you lot are all intelligent enough to see the subtext that could be read into the above words.

There's also the fact that she hasn't sent a reply. And yes, I know that there are many reasons... She may not have been online, she may not have the time to put together a reply to something as emotionally charged as that, she may be busy getting things ready for New Year, her arms could have fell off and she's having to type with a pencil in her mouth so as to not having to resort to typing by smashing her face onto the keyboard, whatever... It's just playing on my mind.

To finish this post (because I need to jump into the bath and get ready for work) I'd like to categorically state, both to you my readers and her, that nothing more than what was written was intended and that what was stated was true, even if it was a bit deep.

Mahalo and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou to you all.


Good communication and people power = A better world...

Twitter flash mob helps homeless
A meetup planned online becomes a crowd handing out bags full of warm clothes

Gillian Shaw
Vancouver Sun

Monday, December 22, 2008

It started as a two-line message on the Internet and ended up mobilizing a small crowd that roamed Vancouver's Downtown Eastside in the snow Sunday handing out warm clothing to the homeless who live there.

In a snow-covered demonstration of the power of social media, users of the online micro-blogging site Twitter -- some who didn't know each other in real life -- searched in closets for clothes to hand out in the freezing streets.

Yam De La Pena, known on Twitter as @tyamdm, said the idea grew from a tweet -- a Twitter update that is limited to 140 characters -- Saturday night. He and Janice Laing, a Vancouver executive recruiter tweeting as @JaniceLaing started talking about having a tweetup, a real life meeting of people who Twitter. "It started snowing so we decided to stay in and then there was the suggestion we should do a tweetup with a cause," said De La Pena. "Janice came up with the name Vancouver TweetupHeatup and within five minutes all sorts of people started getting involved."

A few people promised to dig out a couple of warm sweaters and meet downtown at Cambie and East Pender but by mid-afternoon Sunday, people were hauling in garbage bags full of warm clothes. "Everyone was going to bring a sweater or two and then they came with a lot of clothes," said De La Pena. "It was awesome. We didn't expect this turnout at all. The power of Twitter and social media is so impressive -- you can reach out to people you don't even know and do amazing things." De La Pena said he expected maybe four or five people would brave the snow-covered streets to come out, bringing a handful of clothes.

Instead, three times that many arrived with bags full of everything from winter coats to brand new socks and hats. Kye Grace, also one of the early organizers (@KyeGrace on Twitter) brought granola bars and chocolate to hand out. The TweetupHeatup met at Cambie and Pender and headed east, stopped every few feet by people looking for warm clothes. Along the way Grace and another Twitter user David Watts (@davidnotary) ran into the Army & Navy store to buy more socks, gloves and hats to meet the demand.

"Here's a coat," said Steve Jagger, a Vancouver tech entrepreneur on Twitter as @sjagger, rooting around in the bottom of a bag to come up with something for a homeless man looking to warm up. "No, take this one instead, it's a better fit and it's cool."

De La Pena said he has already heard from people on Twitter who want to follow up with other Tweetups with a cause. "We hope to be able to give out food next," he said. De La Pena said he also hopes the name VancouverTweetupHeatup on Twitter will inspire people in other cities to follow Vancouver's lead in getting together to help the homeless.

Read Gillian Shaw's blog at

© The Vancouver Sun 2008

Behold the rainbow...

Here's a fun way to waste an hour.

Just pick a few colours and watch the results float into view.


So you have Vista...

And you quite like it, despite the fact that you've read all kinds of shit on the internet that it sucks the sweat off of a dead man's balls, but you wish it was a bit more, well, you.

So what do you do? Do you start trawling the net in a vain attempt to find an uberhacker who is willing to show you the zen art of white hatting so you can customize your computer to look like you want it. (After all, showing off your individuality is one of the joys of computers and t'internet.) Or do you use the following tools and tricks to improve your computing experience.

So you'd like your desktop to look all cool and skeezy but you're not the arty type and don't know one end of photoshop from the other. This is where Deviantart comes into play. Deviantart is so full of wallpapers you will be stuck for choice for what to put into your wallpaper file.

But what if you're the type that would like a really trick desktop? Well here's a handy little page that shows you how, with very little tech knowledge, you can have an even cooler desktop that shows a loop of any movie file. (If you are familiar with movie editing you can also create your own if you want.) Here's one I made from a small loop from the TV show Dr Who.

(If you want a copy of the file click here.)

Next up on the list of handy little tricks you can do with vista is thanks to the Winvistaclub website which has a very nice little program that allows more than 130 different tweaks you can easily apply with only a few mouse clicks. Included in the tweaks are several different personalization tweaks, security tweaks and several more.

The final site for customizing Vista is howtogeek which has a huge list of tweaks and tips for windows Vista, Firefox, Windows XP and also has tweaks for Ubuntu, Linux and Microsoft office.

(Remember to always backup your computer before attempting any tweaks, keep a copy of any files you remove just in case it all goes a bit Pete Tong and set system restore points before any major modding.)

Have fun.


I call upon the sane and rational...

In the Guardian today there is a story about the race for the Christmas number one. Turns out that Alexandra Burke (Winner of TV "talent" contest X-Factor) has released a cover of the Leonard Cohen track Hallelujah despite the fact that the only cover of Hallelujah is by the one and only Jeff Buckley.

In the name of fairness I actually hied myself over to Youtube and listened to Ms Burke's version and what did I find? That it sucks so much there's a chance I may hunt the bitch down and strangle her with piano wire.

And in case you think I'm overreacting I present to you the same choice I have just made.

Firstly (and in order not to make you biased by making you hear the better version first) I give you Alexandra Burke's version.


And here is Jeff Buckleys version.


Light dawns and the choice becomes clear. Alexandra Burke's version makes you want to kick a kitten across the room in an apoplectic rage and Jeff Buckley's version sets your emotions in gear and can easily reduce a grown man to tears.

So I call upon the sane and rational of the world to go out and buy a copy of Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley in order to send a message to the world of music moguls that states categorically "Talent is more important to the people than soulless, ball-less tripe put together in order to make Simon Cowell and the rest of Satan's little horde rich."

And finally to end this little screed I would like to point you in the direction of the guardian story where a spokesman for Sony BMG (who represent Ms Burke, Mr Buckley and the songs original composer Mr Leonard Cohen) said that the company hoped Burke would take the top spot but conceded:
"Obviously it would be brilliant if Jeff got to No 2."
Which goes to prove to me, and probably to you also, that Sony BMG doesn't have any idea about what qualifies as good music and is only interested in stealing money from the pockets of teenagers. What do teenagers know about good music? About as much as the Burkes at Sony BMG do.


In the last fifteen years...

I've went from, living like I could be dead tomorrow to hoping I am dead tomorrow.

A lifestyle like this is not explained properly in the beginning. Live like you could be dead tomorrow by all means my dear friend and good luck when, fifteen years later, you have to explain to the gas board that you cannot afford to pay their bill on time because you've lived like you could be dead tomorrow but Fate decided it would be otherwise.

Why does it always rain on me...

Huh, Mistah Travis? Why does it always rain on me. Was it because I lied when I was seventeen? Is it because I am a sinner? Chances are it always rains on me because I live in Scotland, where horizontal rain is the norm and the only purpose of weather itself is to make the populace miserable. Like now for instance.

The other season, Winter, has begun here in Edinburgh and all around Scotland people are living like they could be dead tomorrow. Not through any kind of lifestyle choice you understand, but because they put their faith in a government that promised it would take care of them in their dotage and found that politicians are indeed the lying, treacherous, deceitful, Machiavellian scum that the opposition party says they are.

The roads and pathways of Edinburgh lie un-gritted, despite the absolute certainty that the entire country will freeze overnight if someone leaves a refrigerator open for more than a few minutes, and the weak and frail face smashed hips and broken wrists from the inevitable falls caused by icy walkways... And the only reason they have left the house is to buy enough discounted tins of catfood to see them through the holidays... Gone are the heady days of turkey and all the trimmings...

Christmas approaches the elderly like a Tsunami and the crushing impact will finally smash home at three o'clock on Christmas day when the Queens face beams from the TV and informs us that "The nation prevails" or some other such bullshit. Sure, the nation prevails but the majority are dying in their beds at the end of their life without a pot to piss in.

Meanwhile in the houses and homes of bankers and politicians warmth radiates from the open grates of wood burning fires as they sip their Napoleon brandy, smoke Cuban cigars and ponder when the maid will have Christmas dinner cooked. The rich remain in charge and the poor serve only to remind the middle class that whatever they have can be taken from them at a moments notice.

Merry Fucking Christmas indeed.


I hereby formally declare...

That I [and any property in which I reside] is now [and in perpetuity] an independent, autonomous region governed by me [and no-one else].
With that I'm now totally independent from the crown of the United Kingdom. The power will not go to my head, I promise. And if you think at any point I'm being overly dictatorial, well, fuck you, I'm in charge. You don't like it? Tough. I'm the daddy.

Now that I'm the head of an autonomous region I can pass laws. Firstly, all drugs are legal within my borders. (This is generally accepted by the international community as my house [and its airspace] from the front door to the outer limit of my windows.)

And before you think that the power of a country [and/or independent region] should be split amongst the populace I'd like to state categorically that I am not an outright dictator. I [and my advisory committee] are working together to gather a cabinet of ministers to ensure things don't get out of hand.

The first Minister to be officially appointed is Minister for the Arts, Mr Frank Zappa.

Second on the list of Ministers is the Minister for Education, Mr Albert Einstein.

Thirdly I would like to offer the post of Minister for Sport to George Best.

Minister for Transport is (providing he agrees by not writing to refuse the position) Mr James Dean.

Minister for health is being offered to Dr Harold Shipman. (It's a scare them straight program.)

The post of Minister for Social Development is to be offered to the Reverend Jim Jones. (Once again it's part of my scared straight program.)

For those of you who have noticed the underlying trend in the appointments, in that every one on it is dead, I would like to point out that these people are in their positions because I will not be outvoted or ousted from my position of head honcho. (This is an experiment in Democratic Dictatorship.)

The law for the appointment of ministers goes like this...

We the people [and or person] of the Independent Republic of Rossidonia hereby state that any [with the exception of the head honcho] appointed officials are to be no longer of this realm. [I.E Deader than flared jeans with patches on the knees.]

And the reason for this? Well, I've had quite enough of the UK Government making grandiose speeches proclaiming "Liberty and justice for all" but never actually doing anything to ensure these things. So I'm breaking away from the UK and declaring myself an independent sovereignty.

Lets face it, if it's good enough for places like Georgia, Macedonia and Bosnia Herzegovina (All of which are nothing more then half a dozen farmers in fields with pitchforks) it's good enough for me. Besides, I have the Church of The Grand Whazoo on my side.


It's been a while since I wrote anything on here...

And quite frankly it'll be a minor miracle if I manage to sit here and type for anything more than a few minutes as it's so cold I'm giving serious consideration to setting the building on fire.

So what's been happening to me of late I hear you ask. Well, pretty much fuck all. I'm either pouring booze down the throats of the unemployable or at home sleeping in preparation for the next bout of pouring booze down the throats of the unemployable.

There has however been a small blip on the radar of my social life as I have been invited to the birthday party of my dear friend Lindsay "With an I" Broon, who it turns out has been dating my second cousin twice removed on my dads side... (Don't ask me what relation he is specifically as I'm about as good at keeping track of my relatives as Ronald Regan was at remembering his name.)


An old friend... Should I say love? God knows... Sprung back into my life after a few years in the wilderness and I, possibly without thinking, suggested we meet up for a coffee. It wasn't until I remembered how much I loved her that I realised that perhaps meeting up again may not be a good idea. She's got kids, a husband and a mortgage I have issues with letting go of people I love.

And by god I loved her... So much so that she could short circuit my brain with just a simple smile... And she reads this blog so on that note I'll leave it.