Archive for the 'Life' Category

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Looking back at 2009

It has been a rather medicore year I have to admit…or has it?

2009 saw me pretty much ignore this blog in favour of Twitter. By now most of you have some idea as to what Twitter is, and I must say that I am addicted to the service being a heavy user. It has been another great year for Twitter growth. Everyone is talking about it, both positively and negatively – and whilst both topic’s are relevant, the negativity revolving the stereotypical usage of the service ignores one important trait – everyone uses the service in a different way.

Of course this is reinforced by the fact that the very premise of Twitter changed in 2009. The service used to ask you one simple question “What are you doing?”. In 2009 this changed to “What’s happening?”, as users began using the service for different end purposes. Twitter for me became a replacement from bloated (see MSN/WLM) Instant Messaging Clients. In addition I use it to find out what is happening around me – in my town of Harrow for instance, especially with the unreliable public transport.

Twitter banner

This blog was created as a way to air my thoughts, which worked fine for sometime. As life progressed onwards so did my ‘time’. It takes time to compose and lay out a blog post, whereas on Twitter you can just mindlessly type out your thoughts – just be prepared for feedback from others. Oh by the way, the iPhone was made for Twittering!

Harrow Mosque Protests

Today was the 11th September, 9/11 – not a good day for more than one reason as most people could attest. It was an unusual day at work, mainly because hardly anyone was there! Most of our production staff had gone to a big defence show in the Docklands, London aside from me and a few others. In general I was hoping for a Friday in which I could do a lot of work for once. Every Friday normally goes tits up for me. Well today NOTHING could go wrong because there were hardly any production staff in the first place…

Well the peace didn’t last long when two mates texted me saying that all hell had broken loose in Harrow, as there was a 9/11 protest outside Harrow Mosque, which I believe is in the final stages of construction.

Upon checking various websites I realised that this protest wouldn’t be a dozen or so people waving placards around screaming at the top of their voice, it was rather serious.

The English Defence League (EDL) have already been protesting in Luton and Birmingham recently, mainly because they are opposed to Islamic Extremism. They believe the religion to be extreme in it’s own right. Today they were due to arrive at this mosque in large numbers.

On the other hand, the UAF (Unite Against Fascism) were there in even greater numbers to rally support. Now it’s fair to say that the EDL wouldn’t have stood a chance in Harrow. I’ve lived here all my life, and the town at present couldn’t be more bloody ethnically diverse if it tried. We have all pretty much got along for many years now, although tensions are high just outside Harrow, in my home town of Wealdstone – the very place I was trying to reach today so I could go home and just eat after a hard day at work with no money for food! In short, the UAF didn’t need to go looking for support – it came to them.

I sat in the 140 bus counting the number of hot chicks I saw as it passed through a busier than normal Harrow Town centre and then right outside Debenhams got stuck in a typical traffic jam. The mosque was 6mins away down the road, so I ended up getting off the bus and walking down – I had to get through the protest just to reach my town.

It was madness and it was clear that there were young kids from outer boroughs pretty much looking for trouble. I had already made my mind up that if anyone would cause trouble it would be most of the hyper-charged young Muslim kids who were here for reasons not related to the protest.

My iPhone along with Twitter kept me abreast of the news here as people were tweeting all over the shop. ControlB was a star and kept regular updates on twitter. I popped into Skippers for a bite as I was starved. The place was getting colossal amounts of business today and the chap behind the counter was all over the place. Nomnomochipsnomonom! Christmas had come early for this shop.

Twitter killed the Blog?

<–hurhur

Ok, admit it. How many of you lot have begun ignoring your blogs in favour of Twitter? Since returning to the fast growing service in February 2009 I am pretty much guilty of this as I have indeed ignored this blog, something I never thought I would do.

I suppose it is a multitude of things though. Yes Twitter is to blame, but aside from that I have been focusing on my working life pretty much 100% since the year began. I had enough distractions towards the end of 2008 and wanted to start the year fresh – and have done. So, work goes incredibly well. Too well infact and I am almost struggling to cope with some of the things now bestowed onto me.

I think Mr.Wud stated what I’ve had on my mind for a while now. I have noticed that a lot of bloggers since moving to Twitter have just let their blogs slowly gather dust, as it were. Blogging takes some thought, time and planning in some cases before one publishes a post. Twittering is limited to 140 characters a ‘tweet’ (message) so you can jibber-jabber about anything without a care in the world.

Does that mean my blog is pretty much stagnant i.e dead? Well no. I’ve put a lot of work into it, but time is precious, and after coming home from a long day at work I pretty much crash out on the bed/sofa. Twittering on the move is simple and quick, blogging isn’t so and that is my problem right there. I will continue to add reviews, and thoughts that cannot be twittered though but I predict things will be rather quiet for the most part.

Anyway, I’m pretty much looking forward to this summer. I had plans to visit Australia, NSW this April-May as I understand the weather isn’t hot at this time of the year. Heat=baad, Cold/Rain = Good. However as usual, those plans have gone tits up thanks to my parents who don’t want to go.

This summer see’s the arrival of the third iteration of Apple’s iPhone (the plodphone). I am excited as hell, even more-so with the new OS 3.0 that will be launched alongside it. My current Jailbroken iPhone is such a strong part of my everyday life that it’s hard as hell to live without it. I just can’t wait for the next version.

Windows 7 Release Candidate (Build 7100) was leaked onto the interwebs just a week ago and my, it is good enough to ship retail in it’s current state. I’ve presently got it sitting on my Samsung NC10 netbook and it quite literally flies in comparison to XP SP3, that was on there. I await soundcard drivers for my Auzentech Meridian er soundcard so I can install the RC release on my main desktop rig though. Oh, and we can now uninstall that heap of gobshite known as Internets Explorer!! How cool is that?

I had written a ‘short’ story over the past few months based on the Fallout universe and my adventures since discovering the game late during December 2008. However it has ballooned to such a size that I’ve no idea how to get it onto the blog! It was about my adventures in the game basically with a nice bit of fiction about my lone quest to get to Rivet City, and then to find ‘Dad’. Most people who know me know that I can pretty much sprout A4 paragraphs in minutes, so trust me – it is large!

Hmm, I gotta get out more!

Twitter

Back in July 2008 I decided to try out a little known application for the iPhone by the name of Twinkle, developed by Tapulous. I was instantly hooked as it used the geo-location functionality of the phone to let you know when people are nearby. You could search for users within a specific kilometer radius around you and chat to them, in addition you could enlarge or shrink that search radius to suit. Seeing other twitter users who were within range of you and chatting away was horribly addictive.

Twinkle was basically a superb (and still is) location aware chat client that allows you to upload photos to your Twitter account as well as update your status. Addictiveness knows no boundaries and I was pretty much ‘Twinkling’ on the way to work whilst on the bus, as well as doing the same whilst in the office at work and then on the way home. I’d be constantly ‘chatting’ to complete strangers via 140 character long messages, similar to SMS texts if you will.

Behind all of this was Twitter. In its simplest form, it is a website where you can broadcast short messages up to 140 characters max – to anyone who has signed up to receive them (known as a follower). In turn you can also become a ‘follower’ to other twitters. Your followers for instance could be say ten of your best friends or if you’re a well known celebrity like Stephen Fry, 190,539 crazed fans. Twitter started off fast and is gaining momentum and a frightening pace. Balls to Myspace and the Facebook’s of today, they’re nothing by comparison.

Twitter went mainstream fairly recently on February 5th 2009 when a US Airbus Flight 1549 hit some birds and lost power in both engines. The plane slammed into New York’s Hudson River, with everyone on board surviving. The most incredible thing was that there was a person on-board the flight using Twitter as his prime means of reaching the outside world. How he managed to remain calm and type away amongst the turbulence is another thing altogether.

Winter Snow Crushes the UK

A somewhat heavy bout of snow throughout the UK overnight during Sunday night resulted in areas of the country grinding to a complete halt.

Overnight temperatures in London hit -3° to -7° celsius leaving every public transport service cancelled for the duration of the day as upto 8" (20cm) of snow hit the capital. Yours truly ended up having the day off from work due to the buses not running. So I spent most of the day observing the news, reading ebooks and generally chilling out.

Airports faced widespread disruption after a Cyprus Airways plane skidding whilst on the runway. Eventually Heathrow closed both it’s runways and half of outbound flights were cancelled leaving foreign commuters somewhat confused as to how little snow could cause so much chaos. Continue reading ‘Winter Snow Crushes the UK’