Sympathy for the blog

Well, holy cow.

I sporadically check my [this] site (narcissist, a lot) and typically just shrug and feel bad about not updating as frequently or as passionately as I used to… The action is fruitless yet I can’t repel the initiative until it’s done. It’s my own site – I know I never do anything with it, yet I check it as if I expect something new to have occurred. It’s like opening an empty refrigerator every hour when you’re bored and expecting a new, delicious food to appear out of nowhere, patiently waiting to be consumed: no matter how many times you try you’re met with denial, self-pity and defeat.

Yes, back in the LiveJournal days things were rosier and friendlier and more conversational and, well, raw. I’ve (semi) often reflected upon how often and candidly I would catalogue my general life experiences (to an embarassing degree, usually). (I even self-critique my use of bracketed asides. I can’t help that. I’ve always found it difficult to only write about one thing at a time when my mind naturally wanders. This is probably of zero interest to you, dear reader, but it’s important for/to me to jot this down. For some as yet unexplained reason)

Regardless, those days have, sadly, long gone for this blog. I do miss them. Somehow they felt simpler. More like an actual journal of thoughts and feelings that I unabashedly shared with the world. Or the web, at least. I guess that it’s still mostly private though if this page only gets 10 hits per month. Even if those 10 hits are probably some form of spam bot. Hi.

Strangely enough, the older I get the more difficult I find it to commit to a routine. Even for breakfast. My “internet experience” has gotten a lot smaller and I find myself only browsing the same handful of sites regularly. I have a lot of pages bookmarked for legitimate reasons but I never really find myself caring/energetic/curious enough to bother both checking and reading them. That is, I might randomly click on one once a month but then decide I can’t be arsed reading their updates. I suppose that’s why this blog has no traffic either.

Anyway. I’m a bit drunk writing this (when else do I ever update?) but even then I sound like I’m on a pointless whinging ramble.

Let’s document some facts (sorry, I know I always end up doing this and become dismissive during it). Someone may be interested in it some day. Maybe I’ll have great-grandchildren who give a shit what their previously 32 year old, dead, great-grandfather felt and thought one Wednesday night.

Marriage is good (hi Marika).
Work is work but things are spinning around to what I kind of want… so that’s good overall.
House is good.
I’m still not a handyman.
Another school reunion is occurring this year. I hope it’s good.
My bowling is very inconsistent.
My patience for games is down.
My poker is dead.
During the week I can’t wait for the weekend.
During the weekend I have no idea what to do with my free time and generally end up sad or drunk in soft-depression for wasting it.
I’m (99% of the time) sticking to my latest P90X3 routine which is keeping me somewhat fit and strong. When I run/jog however my heart feels like it’s dying. I guess I’m fit for sprinting.
Our bar is afloat.
I’m polishing off all of our remaining whisky and red wine (almost single handedly) because I want to get rid of it. In an efficient way, kind of.

Meh. Long enough.

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Slayed the dragon, bought a beast

The St George accounts are all cancelled. I even BPAYed the $0.99 that snuck on as the last transaction thanks to the Android Market. I haven’t gotten to the stage where I dramatically cut up my remaining credit cards yet. I’m actually a little worried that now I’ll be removing so many cards from my wallet that the sleeves may be too loose to hold the remaining cards. They already tend to slip out frequently so I guess I’ll just have pad it with fat wads of cash.

So, yep. It’s been about ten years but St George is gone.

Now that our finances are more consolidated, I decided to finally purchase a new PC (ha!). I’ve been creating quotes and reading up on various parts for the past month or two and ultimately got to the point where I just wanted to bite the bullet. It’s a gaming rig and I had to buy basically every single component as new, besides my mouse. That means things like Windows 7, a keyboard, a 24″ screen and a tasteful black tower case. It’s too bad the front fans have bright white LEDs built into them but at least it’s under the desk so I don’t notice. It runs almost silently, even when I’m cranking everything in high detail. Mad PC gamer bonars.

What will happen to my old laptop? It has served me well over the past two years as a good composite machine. I had to rely on it as a desktop replacement and as such it’s a bit bigger, heavier, hotter and noisy than what most people tend to go for these days. I’m considering converting it into a media PC and connecting it to our TV. Since it’s on wifi there’ll be nothing but a power cable and HDMI cable to get it working. I’m a bit concerned that it will run hot, but I think if it’s mostly just downloading/streaming/replaying/decompressing it shouldn’t be too bad. Maybe a few spikes here and there, but whatever. I should probably clean it out first though and get it feeling crisp again. 2 years of dicking around with any home PC tends to lead to a lot of bloat.

In a decisive Sunday afternoon administrative move, I’m backing up my iPod to the new machine. There’s a lot of songs on there and whilst they’re well formatted and tagged (I’m a tight arse when it comes to naming conventions and file management) I don’t think I play that many of them. I’ve had this one for about 4.5 years, since my last one was lost/stolen from the bar under the hostel. Thanks, Dave,  by the way. It’s got a lot of tracks on there that I used to play to set the “mood” in the hostel. To great applause, mind you. I’ve lost track of the amount of compliments I used to receive from my DJing, even just during the day. Probably about 4 people.

Since I hate using iTunes and have purchased all of my songs through different online vendors and formats, I can’t just sync it and pretend it’ll magically work. Manual management it is, then! To be honest it’s a lot faster and I anyway can’t stand Apple software. Fuck off, indeed.

Anyway, I think that having a backup of all these bad boys can’t hurt and it might lead me on another music binge. I definitely need some fresh material even though I haven’t been listening to much music lately. I suppose the only times I have been putting anything on is for things I’ve already heard/know. That’s not adventurous enough, is it?

That damn dragon

My phone call just got cut off whilst I was trying to cancel my credit cards. Not all of my credit cards, just the ones with St George. I was about to be put through to the credit card department of wizardry when all of a sudden the muzak went silent. It’d taken so long to get to that point that I didn’t have the personal fortitude to start again.

It might be easier just to do it in person. On the weekend. God.

To make things more irritating, a new 99c payment went onto one of the cards. I’ll have to work out a way to pay that off as well, first. I think they can send a cheque for the remaining balance but odds are they’ll charge me $10 for the luxury. This all could have been averted if they let me close the credit card accounts last weekend. That was when I had my transaction accounts shut down but apparently the wankers in credit accounts only work during business hours, leaving half the job done.

Enough of that.

Happy new year.

Ok, now that’s done.

Oh, and merry Christmas.

We’ve got a new car. It’s a 2011 Hyundai but we’ve called it Das Auto. Club Korea is growing bigger at work. There’s almost a fleet of us. It’s a nice shiny, silver manual and it needs a service. A service and a clean.

I want to buy a new PC. My laptop isn’t cutting it any more when it comes to my exquisite gaming taste. Basically I’m sick of having to run everything on shitty graphical settings. Life is hard, I know, but it shouldn’t be this hard. I actually tried to raise a quote with one company just before Christmas but they never got back to me. I think I’ll try one more time. It’s the shortlisting of parts when you build your own computer that puts me off. I really don’t want to have to think about what I want, but I know I need to.

I’m still walking to work. At least once a week at the moment. The weather’s been pretty kind lately so I haven’t turned up soaked in either sweat or rain for a while. I’m sure my co-workers appreciate this more than I do.

Last night I had a night on the couch with Marika. We drank wine and listened to various kinds of music. It was good fun, but I woke up with a headache. I could really expand on the whole sequence of events but I just can’t be bothered right now.

Thanks for your attention.

Winter winds bring a little change

Too fucking cold of late. Not impressed. Even if it’s sunny the wind ruins everything. Blustering.

In a cynical attempt to chase better weather, Marika and I have obtained tickets to fly to Estonia in September, returning in October. 4 weeks of paid leave. Yee-haw.

That paid leave will taste even sweeter now, as I’ve become the helpdesk team leader. Apparently it’s not a position worthy of the title “manager”. I think it has something to do with pay grades. Anyway, the role operates like a manager: I mainly do admin and all the real work is done by the team. I guess I’ve got a real knack for getting myself into situations like this. Look at the hostel.

So, no more little 2-seater car for me. I’m using dad’s at the moment as he is still unable to drive. He is, however, hopping around and building up the amount of weight he takes on his bad ankle. Each week he applies a little more pressure. It seems to be coming along rather well. He’s even lost a considerable amount weight which, aside from the obvious health benefit, makes it easier for him to move on his feet.

I don’t know what car I’ll end up getting. Marika wants a Volvo. I don’t really care as long as it isn’t stupid. Not stupid and easy to park. That’s the criteria, really.

I think I’m coming down with a cold. I’ve been feeling mildly achy and drowsy since Sunday morning… after being up until 3am the night before playing video games with Matt. I’m splitting the display onto our new TV (which looks sexy) so it’s easy to be a spectator. We’ve picked up a new fridge, too. eBay was too annoying. Thank you, Bing Lee delivery service!

So, yes, money has been flowing out faster than it’s been dripping in lately. Marika also picked up a new laptop recently, seeing as her old one was getting run down. Time to pay everything off and start trying to save again.

Hopefully our tax returns give us something to smile about. We still need to fill ours in. I expect the return should be fairly generous for the two of us. Generous enough to pay for our plane tickets. We’ll see. I’ve considered getting a tax accountant to do it for us but we don’t have any deductions except for private health care, but I think claiming that is a simple procedure. It probably won’t be, knowing my luck.

Marika’s birthday is coming up. I still need to go shopping! It’s hard to work out what to buy for the girl who has everything. Ha. Socks and underwear? No. Perhaps rum? No. I’ll have to walk around and hope for some inspiration.

I feel like I’m about to fall asleep sitting down. At least that might numb the dull RSI that I’m sensing coming up my forearms.

Bye.

Happy 11

Greetings, fans. I hope your summer/winter has been temperate. Mine has been hot and sweaty, like a towel fight in a sauna. Playing outdoor table tennis doesn’t help.

Since we last conversed I am garnishing an extra $9/week after passing yet another certification. I’m also getting a car upgrade, to a small car with 2 seats and about 100km on its odometer. I hear it even has good air conditioning. I’m thankful.

Christmas and NYE were fairly tranquil. Small lunch with a roast (I don’t like roasts) on the 25th, bucketloads of sweat with a few mixed drinks and a midnight swim on the 31st. Marika’s first day body surfing at Manly beach on the 1st. She loved it so much she’s now determined to hit the waves every day. I’m sure she would if we didn’t live so far inland in suburbia. Sydney’s beaches have shithouse public transport options to boot, so driving is the only decent option if you don’t already live nearby. Bummer.

Big Day Out is coming soon. I’ve been very lazy with my already lax exercise regime. I’m using the festival as a motivator to start doing some training again. I have no natural chest. It’s bizarre. If I don’t target it I just end up with a belly and little nipples poking out above it. Methinks that last sentence is going to generate a few hits from Google.

Today we’re meant to be visiting the Terracotta Warriors, since they’re on tour. It’s not a band. You know, those statues from China. I’m actually looking forward to it. I need a bit of culturing up. Somehow, cornflakes over the Daily Telegraph each morning doesn’t quite enhance life with regards to inspiration/perspective/reflection/education. I’m not sure if a few sculptures will either, but it can’t hurt.

If anyone’s concerned, my pokering has been going very well these last few months. I’ve worked on my game a lot and grinded my bankroll to 3x the size that it was. I’ve taken a bit of a mental break from it this last week or so, mainly due to being distracted by the shitloads of video games I bought over the Steam Christmas sales. A few treats for myself, indeed.

Marika’s visa application is underway but not yet submitted. We’ve begun the paper trail. I’m not really worried about the application itself, I’m more worried about my procrastination preventing its quick completion. We’ve made up a checklist and thankfully it’s not a very long one, so I think we’ll manage.

I don’t know why I keep putting off updates in this thing. I blame the fact that I have to actually visit my site to login and post. I tried migrating to Posterous but the import function kept timing out and their support staff didn’t respond to any of my emails. Well, fuck them. For now.

May as well…

Kopli life is alright. Not having a supermarket (although I’d hardly call Säästumarket “super”) next door means I’m dieting quite well.

Since I’m eating less I’ve had more time to watch television shows. We’ve finished watching Rome. It’s a shame the series was cut short as it had this rushed feeling to it that left out a lot of what would have probably been fun scenes/arcs.

To head in a completely different direction, we went through Black Books in its entirety. This didn’t take long as there is only 18 short episodes. It’s strange that they were produced so far apart and that there are so few of them. I was a bit concerned that the quality of the show was heading downhill when I began watching season 2 but thankfully it picked back up again in the third season before abruptly ending. Never mind.

We tried watching The Mighty Boosh but after 2 episodes our interest has completely been lost. While it has its moments, I find it somewhat painful to sit through. Perhaps it picks up later on but I’m not about to find out.

I’ve finally managed to sit down and watch seasons 4 and 5 of Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! at tofu’s persistence. I never liked them at first after only seeing clips out of context on YouTube but after a while it grew on me and I decided to give it a go.

The hard part now is deciding what to watch next. I still have to try Deadwood but I fear Marika won’t be interested in it, which makes it difficult to get through the whole series alone. Not that it wouldn’t be worth it, if it’s as good as people say it is. I watched the entire series of The Wire on my own over a few weeks and didn’t regret it, so perhaps that’s what it will come down to again.

There’s also Treme, which has some of The Wire‘s cast and crew in it. I also need to see Oz, Breaking Bad, and possibly The West Wing and Entourage (I enjoyed the first 3 or 4 episodes). Looks like I’ll have to avoid employment for a while longer. I doubt that will be difficult.

As for vidya, I’ve just been going through 3 day rotations, as always. I picked up some random titles on GOG.com that killed some time, but meh. Nothing special.

I’m reading a lot more books lately. I finished the first novel in the Dune series and I wasn’t really impressed. I’m not going to go into a review of it but it seemed pretty… lame. Perhaps it was more entertaining when it came out about 50 years ago.

I’ve also completed the four Dexter books. They’re very disappointing. The TV show is a whole lot better (and I know it’s usually the opposite). The third book goes off the rails and makes no sense, all four books offer no characterisation or insight and they always end absurdly quickly, within a few pages. Not to mention that Dexter actually comes across as somewhat useless as a stalker in the stories. Meh, indeed.

I’ll briefly criticise any other books I get through in the future. I have a feeling that I completed another one or two but I can’t recall what they were. Nevermind.

Next up, people:

Pete and Liis had a baby boy, Jack. He’s about a month old now. We saw him a few weeks ago. Seems like a fine chap. Marika gave them a kettle. Hoorah!

We saw Hugo on his birthday. I don’t remember much of it as I got drunk alone before I turned up to the party. All class. I think we had an ok night, though. A week or so before we went to Von Krahl for a concert but didn’t last into the second act, unfortunately.

Marika got some funny job handing out flyers. In the cold. It’s good money, though. She also gets to wear a silly sailor’s outfit, so I find it entertaining.

I’m getting more exercise than ever as I tend to walk the dog, Fredi, a couple of times a day. I usually attempt to read at the same time. Now I just need a haircut.

My poker game is improving a lot, I think. I try to restrict myself to only playing 2 tables, although I occasionally sit at more if I’m trying to find a good seat. It’s helped me to concentrate more and rationalise my decisions. Playing a bit of heads-up seems to be helpful, too. I really enjoy it, actually. Anyway, I still tend to spazz out unnecessarily at times but my self control is getting better all the time so I’m feeling fairly confident. Unfortunately I ran 2.5 buy-ins below expectation today on top of about three bad decisions/plays that I not happy about (I’ve really got to trust my instincts more). Nevertheless, with all my bad luck and the odd counter-intuitive move, I’m still profiting for the month. Here’s to more of that.

So, there’s only about a month or so left until I’m meant to leave. As long as there isn’t another volcanic eruption we should be fine. The news suggests otherwise, I’m afraid. I really should find out what will happen to my plane tickets if our flight is unable to depart. I don’t really want to be stuck here longer than I need to be, both for the inconvenience and expense.

Fingers crossed.

Old and new

Ross leaves now for Los Angeles to become an acting star. He hopes. I hope so too, then I can dream about being in his entourage.

My copy of the new Wolfenstein game arrived today! Yay! The single player is quite well made albeit a little generic apart from the veil powers. I’m more interested in the multiplayer although I doubt I’ll be too competitive at it compared to how I used to be. Still, it’s nice having a copy to muck around with.

I came second in a free poker tournament tonight. By the time it was down to the final two of us we’d had enough and went all-in after about 10 rounds of checking and folding. I lost. No big deal, I got lots of play chips in prize money! Wahoo!

I haven’t been to the gym for a while. I know that hardly sounds shocking but the thought of it is nagging me in the back of my head. I might attempt to make the effort tomorrow. I’m probably going back down south with Marika in a week for a few days so I’m tentative about paying for a whole new month. That’s a poor excuse though, really, as I can quite easily skip exercise for up to a whole week. This lazy lifestyle will have to change some day.

Looks like Tim and I are moving out of our flat come the end of October. I don’t know what he’s doing yet and neither does he. I’ll probably be living with Marika and her student buddies in some tiny little room. Ah well. At least it will be cheap. I suppose I could just become a poker king… Meh. We’ll see.

I watched District 9 recently and really enjoyed it although the ending was a bit cliche. If you like science fiction you would probably enjoy this film. It’s hit #35 on IMDb’s top 250 somehow. I mean, it’s good, but I don’t know if it’s that good. I think it’s been somewhat over-rewarded for producing a solid movie alongside a clever viral marketing campaign, kind of like The Dark Knight did last year. I mean, #8 (for a while it was at #2 or #3) of all time? Batman? Really?

I wish I could talk about the latest book I’ve read but unfortunately I’ve been skimping in that department even more than my exercise. My eyes hurt.