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?


Summer time is here

It’s just too bad the weather is all over the place.

Tim is back today for a while. Laura is also back, for who knows how long? Probably until she finds another man to chase overseas. Even Shakey is returning. At least I’m leaving. My excitement is slowly building up inside.

I haven’t been out into town for a few weeks. I probably will soon. The boys opened the new summer hostel and I’d like to check it out.

Marika has to go to Tartu this week to do her final uni presentation. I’m sure it will all go well, judging from the stress levels she’s generating. Unfortunately this week there has been a big blow-up in the news about Estonian university standards being on the decline. Now all the officials have their back up and will probably crack down on all the poor students as a result.

I still think uni is a scam industry. At least I had HECS, delaying my debt and keeping it interest-free. I haven’t paid much attention to the newer system in Australia but it’ll probably continue to get worse and worse a la the American system and progress into a serious problem.

I hope a new style of tertiary education becomes prevalent in the future as the current system, to me, just seems to be a rip off that hands out too many qualifications, thus inflating education levels. For example: it’s not that hard to get a bachelors these days, all you really have to do is keep turning up. Pass criteria is generally so basic and weak that you would essentially have to not submit any work (or do it completely wrong) in order to fail. Because bachelors are now ubiquitous, lots of people feel the need to go on to get a masters “for an edge”. Of course, this works out great for universities as they get another tuition fee out of the student.

Now, I’ve got nothing against general education levels rising and people pursuing higher and higher degrees. I just think the criteria to accomplish this should be more string while boasting about what a high percentage of students pass their courses.

Anyway. I’ve been making good pancakes and eating a lot of peanuts.

New stuff

So, I’ve been back in the big smoke working at Viru for the past few weeks. Folding bedsheets is tranquil; going to Diletantide Avantgarde (or however it’s spelt) was bad this time, but we snuck in so it wasn’t extra disappointing; Christmas was fun and small but involved a lot of vodka and a visit from Santa; learning Estonian from my exercise book began well and is becoming more challenging; Avatar was pretty but boring; New Year’s was full of fish at a wedding and a late attempt to see fireworks; the last few days has seen my old faithful laptop of the last 3 years fall over on itself.

Now I have a new one.

I have a lot of shit to re-setup. Fun.

Plicka plicka

Ever wondered what Rammstein are up to lately? [NSFW] Probably not. Still, I felt like sharing it.

I just got back from Tartu, again. Another week down. It’s not too bad a place to chill out and it’s going to be cheaper to rent there for 6 months than it is to rent in Tallinn for 1 month. Yep.

I’m not really sure what to write about. I haven’t done much except avoid exercise. I drove Marika’s car a little bit. It was fun to be behind the wheel again. Unfortunately I barely fit behind it, but I think I’ll manage if I ever need to pop down to the shops for… vegetables?

My hair is growing back at a slightly disturbing rate. It’s time to have it cut again in order to tidy it up. The hair on the sides of my head tends to grow up and outward, like an eagle spreading its wings. You could even compare my nose to its beak.

Currently I’m redesigning the hostel website. It’s coming along quite nicely. Unfortunately I don’t have any other web work to do. I hope to soon otherwise I’ll be poor and sad. I really should be doing more work pimping out this poker software as this month has been very lax. Perhaps I’ll grind out a few hours each day for the rest of the week. I guess I do need the money after all. Woe is me.

I like this apartment but damn it’s ripped the arse out of my wallet. :( In fact, my wallet is so empty these days that I actually carry it around again!


I’m enjoying the Bugged Out! Classics album at the moment, although laptop speakers don’t really do it justice. Still, what’s a boy to do?

Yesterday was probably one of my more pathetic efforts in the gym. I didn’t last long and I didn’t get much done. It’s amusing that I’m definitely less efficient and active now that I’m not living on a couch. You would think that I’d be able to develop a regular sleeping pattern and establish some kind of routine now that I have some privacy.

Instead I’ve been sleeping in until 1-2pm, not eating enough during the day and spending a fuck-tonne of money on alcohol as everyone seems to be in party mode again. It must be due to the weather lightening up and the influx of energy that comes with gaining two new, nice volunteers.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m having fun. It’s just weird. It’s nice feeling free again and having Levist lock-ins with the staff and receiving alcohol from them at no charge. I must be a little bit influential. Sometimes I wish I could be coercive as well but I’ve only got the ability to come off as “pushy”.

I really need to buy some new (or second-hand) trousers. I only own one set that does not have the arse ripped out of it. That doesn’t worry me so much because A) I don’t care and B) I have a nice arse. It’s just reassuring to know that my pants don’t run the risk of obliteration whenever I sit down or stand up too quickly.

Twitter is playing with my head at the moment. I’ve never been one to religiously follow conversations and spend 5 hours straight chatting back and forth to everyone (as it really does act like an IRC client in SMS-form) but I do enjoy updating my status with what I’m doing from time to time. Why is this playing with my head? Because it stops me from writing my blog properly as essentially this is paragraph after paragraph of what I’ve been doing. If you read my Twitter page it would be an even more brief summary of this site, potentially.

So, what do I do about this? I don’t know. I think I’ll try to balance it out and use this for thoughts and ideas and keep Twitter as a mood or status broadcaster. Of course, if I wasn’t so lazy with writing I would actually come up with a proper article or two for this site that wasn’t wholly to do with my own small world.

Then again, no one reads this anyway.

Tartu break

Yeah. I made it down to Tartu again for the first time since November. Marika’s very pleased. She managed to convince me to run away for a few days.

She’s moved into the bigger room of the flat. Looks good. The balcony is especially useful for providing fresh air. Unfortunately the floor-bed still kills my back while I sleep so I feel like an old cripple when I wake up in the morning.

Today we’re meant to go visit the toy museum. I’ve been trying to get to it for about a year and a half now and never been able to manage. Mum and dad will be jealous of me this afternoon.

Unfortunately I’ll probably miss two sessions at the gym this week. Never mind. I don’t want to look too good too fast, after all. I just wish my skin didn’t feel so dry. It feels like I’m shedding, or something. Disgusting.

Empire:Total War is pretty cool. It does indeed have long loading times but the game itself runs smoothly, although I do have everything set to minimum. I could probably up the details a bit but I don’t really see the point. It’s definitely a more complex and challenging game than the previous releases. I find even the starting campaign scenarios are difficult to manage if you don’t have a steady plan from turn one.

Last Friday a few of us went to a concert in Juuksur. We missed the main band but caught the second act, which was Rumour is News. I’ve seen them before and, well, they’re alright. A little boring perhaps. Marika was enraged that they didn’t play Flex Your Muscles during the set and they refused to even after she ran up to the stage to request it. She wanted this American girl that was drinking with us to hear it. Such is life.

On Saturday we made bread. Well, Marika did in Kea’s bread machine that Hugo bought her that she never used. He then gave it to me to put in the hostel. It’s like following a coin around, really. Raisin bread! It was fucking tasty. I’m too lazy to make more myself at the moment, but I will probably attempt to soon enough.

My hair is fluffy.

Huge guns

I was so fed up with myself for being a pathetic weakling after 6 months in the gym. To remedy this, I decided to actually get a bit serious. I now write down all the exercises that I do each session and have altered my diet appropriately.

In the last 2-3 weeks I’ve begun to feel a lot better, have lost some weight and can see that I’m actually beginning to make genuine progress in the gym. I’m glad I’ve finally started doing things this way, I’m just frustrated it took me this long to begin.

My Baltic Tour is starting to come together. We’re really not as prepared as we should be after this long, for various reasons. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if we didn’t already have some potential business! There’s nothing like instant pressure to get things done. Hopefully we won’t fuck anything up with these first few clients and then we’ll be underway.

There are not many staff left in the hostel. Hugo’s started working almost every day, fortunately. He even did his first night shift last night. I don’t think the door bell rang once, so it doesn’t count. Ha. We haven’t had a big group of Spanish students stay here for a few weeks, so I’m not feeling ultra-negative at the moment. What luck!

Eagle 8 came back from Keri island with short blonde hair. I didn’t recognise her at first. It looks good. Nice one. I’m half tempted these days to cut all my hair off, too. I still like having it a bit longer, though. I feel like i look like a viking.

Unfortunately, I soon won’t look like a viking. I’m going to have a sauna and cut off my beard. I wish I hadn’t lost the power pack for my beard trimmer. Now I have to borrow Tim’s hair clippers all the time (or just shave more frequently). Fucking hair. Bah.

Turns out Darkfall is pretty useless. Well, it impressed me a lot more when I first read about it compared to when I first saw it in action. I suppose that’s normal, really, but still. The fighting looks like a knife fight in any other FPS game and nothing at all like a game that has been designed from the ground up for 8 years specifically for melee PVP.

Oh yes, I should mention that the Granny Smith apples that are imported here from France are tops. I’ve been annoying everyone by constantly pointing out that they were originally cultivated in Eastwood. I just began eating one when Anna stole it. Now she’s standing around talking some moonspeak language into her phone and not giving it back. Fucking slavs.

Mr Manager?

I’m hacking the Gibson at the moment when it comes to optimising bed sales for the hostel.

Well, I can pretend I am. To be honest I’m not sure if any of it will work. Actually, I’m going to wipe a lot of the stuff I did today and start again tomorrow. I’ve got a new idea.

Yes, I watched Hackers today. It was woeful. Funny, but woeful. I was also disappointed that the scene of Angelina Jolie completely topless didn’t appear, as at least that would have made the 100 minutes I spent watching it feel more worthwhile to my loins. Maybe I’m thinking of the wrong film? An unfiltered Google search suggests otherwise, though.

I’m too lazy to play games at the moment. Just the effort of paying attention sounds too hard. How depressing can I possibly get? Honestly?

Well, it’s not so bad. I reinstalled Neverwinter Nights 2 along with its expansions and am now waiting for an opportunity to play it co-operatively with dozer and tofu. It’s a bit difficult when we are in timezones 9 hours apart, but I’m sure we’ll get a chance eventually. At least for a few minutes.

That’s what I’ll be doing in the meantime until January 22nd. That’s the day that Darkfall is meant to release it’s open beta… Of course, they’re only going to allow a certain amount of people into it, which kind of kills the point of it being “open”, but who knows? I might be lucky.

Otherwise, I think it’s scheduled for a release on February 25th. That’s too far ahead to imagine and I’m already feeling old. I can wait for my birthday to come later this month…

I wish my laptop didn’t get so hot on the underside. It nearly burns my leg. It’s a shame it isn’t a nice, warm and fuzzy temperature, as that would be dandy during the winter. I suppose I could just wear slippers instead, but fuck it.

Bored with the vidya

Well, I’m not completely bored with video games. I’m just bored with all the ones that seem to exist at the moment.

I admit, I play a lot of games and I usually don’t finish them. The reasoning for that is due to different factors: getting bored once I work out the game mechanics, the pacing is too slow or boring, the game isn’t very well made or balanced, I can’t play it online effectively or I can’t concentrate on it properly because of all the distractions in the hostel.

I can’t remember if I ever wrote about my “3 day test” in regards to games. Basically, I believe something must be decent if I’m still playing it 3 days later.

Now, with all the distractions that I mentioned tend to interrupt my gaming experience, it probably sounds ludicrous to want to attempt an intensive, permanent PvP MMORPG such as Darkfall, but it sounds hardcore enough and varied enough that I would actually enjoy it. I hope.

I’ve attempted WoW out of boredom, even though I knew it wasn’t for me when I played the closed beta before it was released.  A few years later, when I purchased the full game, I found it was only mildly entertaining due to some friends playing it with me so we could talk about stupid occurrences we had played a part in.

So, back to paying for games and paying to play… Well, I suppose I can always cancel, like I did for FFXI, WoW, and Everquest.

Actually, now that I mention it, Everquest was probably the one I enjoyed the most of all of them, due to it being an real unforgiving bastard. Hopefully Darkfall is the same but not as crack-like.

In other news, I slept on the floor under the dryer last night, due to a big group of drunk Finnish students taking all the beds and staying up all night.

In other other news, I am scared to go to the gym today due to my legs hurting. I’m a pussy, I know.