15 Mar 2017

"I can still feel the breeze that rustles through the trees
And misty memories of days gone by
We could never see tomorrow, noone said a word about the sorrow".

 Well it's been a while since I last blogged I know, but in my defence it's been a bit of a task to do anything other than work and work and work.  Then a couple of bad illnesses and the overall lethargy from my usual middle aged malaise.
Since the last time I blogged there have been several things happen that have made a sea change in my life.
The first was that two people whom I thought of as friends turned out not to be so. They spent the time we worked together being underhand towards me, it turned out.
The other was that my zombie landlord's elderly mother died after a long decent into increasingly dibilitating dementia. 
This was particularly harrowing for all concerned as dementia is no laughing matter let me tell you.  Anyone who says it is has obviously not gone through the ringer with it like we did.
Watching on helplessly as someone you care for deteriorate is gut wrenchingly soul destroying.  I likened it to being unable to swim as someone is drowning, they break the surface of the water for less and less time until eventually  they can no longer surface and you can't reach them.
By the end I think my zombie landlord and I were beginning to lose our marbles ourselves, for want of a better term. The almost constant  disturbances of calling for long dead relatives every couple of minutes and verbal and physical abuse from the sufferer.  The constantly asking for food even though she had a tray of it in front of her, forever asking to go home to her house around the corner, never believing this was her house and these were her belongings. The days when she'd constantly be crying or violently shouting abuse with angry frustration at all concerned.
It was almost a 24 hour a day task for all involved, lack of sleep and indigestion from rushed or disturbed meals can take it out of you.
You may say "Well just get the NHS or someone to help"  That's a laugh to be brutal.
 Some help was offered and given but the people that were suposed to sit with her to give Zombie landlord a break wouldn't stay for the whole hour often buggering off after 5 to 10 minutes or not even engaging with her in conversation.  How can you get a break not knowing if they would be providing care for the woman when he returned?  I would often sit in whilst he went to the shops or wandered around the town for a bit just so he could have a break, but he could never truly disengage and enjoy himself as he was always worrying about her treatment of others or whether she'd fallen or tried to burn the house down. I returned from work years ago before the diagnosis to find she was cleaning the kitchen with 4 unlit gas taps fully opened up and the kitchen filling with gas.
Even at the day care centre they would send her home unannounced if she was too disruptive rather than 'care' as the name would suggest.
For a long long time it was just me and ZL against the world, and when you're in the middle of it there's no inkling of a light at the end of the tunnel not even some fucker with a torch. I could have moved out at any point and thereby ending the pain but that would have meant leaving a friend to face that alone and I don't do that,you always help your friends.
The previous text can in no way convey the entirety of the suffering on all sides and I can't remember half the things that happened, mainly by choice. 
I told ZL that I'd remember her as the smiling old lady who would virtually meet me at the gate more often than not kettle in hand asking "Cup of tea?" I nicknamed her the tea monster and that's whom I chose to remember.
The mind is a terrible thing to lose because along with it goes your humanity and it basically puts up a barrier between you and your loved ones and should never be taken for granted.  Excercise your mind it's your only one.

17 Feb 2016

"So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure

How amazingly unlikely is your birth

And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space

'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth.

I've just watched a program on the BBC about multiverse theory.  Equally mind boggling and fascinating.  For every decision we make there is possibly an alternate us that makes the opposite decision, or no us in the first place to make that decision.  So for example in one universe there is a version of me who didn't buy a second hand Mac that makes my room smell of pot everytime I turn it on.  Not to mention where he isn't constantly dissapointed that programs that are free on Windows suddenly need to be paid for.  

But I digress, somewhere we have universes that have the Nazis beating the rest of the world in WW2, one where Russell Brand is Prime Minister alongside Donald Trump as President.  One where the asteroid missed the Earth and the dinosaurs lived and we failed to evolve and possibly one where Jam is sentient etc.

So what does this mean exactly if true?  Will we be able to travel to other universes? More than likely not and if we could would we want to?  I mean imagine for a moment that you, like me at this very moment, have had a sodding cold for the last week and the cold virus hadn't reached the universe you first went to.  You would more than likely be responsible for a global pandemic.  Or you might end up in the afformentioned Trump universe and be anything other than a red blooded 'Murican.  Eeep.

It's good for science fiction and may never be proven but for some reason I've always read about it in comics, books, TV and film for most of my life and a small part of me would love it to be true. After all it took them 100 years to discover gravitational waves, who knows what'll be discovered in another 100 years?  Maybe dark matter? Maybe we're in the wrong universe and this is the one we all get wiped out by a meteor in the near future?

Who can tell?  Certainly not some dumbass on the interwebs.  There are always two paths at every decision in life like forks a in a road, you go left and get hit by a car or you go right and meet the person of your dreams.  Each fork can lead to alternate descisions which in turn lead to other decisions ad infinitum.  Maybe there's an alternataive me who is actually sleeping with Katy Perry, Cameron Diaz or Jennifer Connelly?  Or someone else just as out of reach for me.  Maybe I'm a hobo or the man who discovered the cure to cancer or Darth Vader?

My thoughts though are these though. If there's a alternate me who's rich, handsome and successful, then good luck to him. The Git.



11 Feb 2016

Kylo Ren is a moany teenager

"Ah.. Star Wars! Nothing but Star Wars! 
Gimme those Star Wars.. don't let them end!"

Spoiler Alert BTW!!!!!

Well I'm a little bit confused right now, here I was all ready and everything to hate on JJ Abrams again. Well wouldn't you know it I only go and enjoy Episode 8 more than I thought I would.  Whoda thunkit?  After the passable Star Trek reboot and the not at all almost entirely ripped off Star Trek 2 from ..erm Star Trek 2 I was a little hesitant to even think about watching the Force Awakens.  But I went and from the opening crawl and John Williams' fanfare blast to the final credits I was thoroughly entertained.  I'd purposely left any trailers, reviews or spoiler filled podcasts out of my life for the duration and therefore I hadn't a clue about story, plot or fan theories... until afterwards that is.
I found myself enthralled in the Star Wars universe again which basically hasn't happend for years thanks to the prequels,  (spits on floor at the thought of Jar Jar Binks' memory).
I was surprised to not find myself in the street afterwards burning JJ Abrams' efigy outside the local ABC cinema but there you go.  I saw it in 3D too, which for me made the film even better, although I was dissapointed in my glasses were not the Stormtrooper ones so the fan boy inside me was a little sad at that. Even so the movie went through pretty much a blistering pace of action interspersed with comedy and sadness.  Only two story points made me think WTF? but they were only minor ones at that.  Although I did find that Captain Ginger Whiney bitch or whatever his name was didn't have the gravitas that Peter Cushing did as Grand Moff Tarkin but then the two actors are miles apart as far as I'm concerned.
I did have for the first time get a sense of scale with reference to the Star Destroyers and Super Star Destroyers when Rey both rappels inside the former and then flies the Millenium Falcon through the latter.  So when you see the battles in the first three films you finally see the enormity of the conflicts happening over Endor etc.  I was however annoyed that the entire canon of books released through the 80's and 90's are now swept aside as far as story is concerned... thanks JJ.  Wasted all that money on hundreds of books for nothing.

I did have the thought though the other day that if I ever get a child that he or she would never be able to watch the films in chronological order, i.e. one through seven, as they would be totally spoiled by the prequels ... in many ways, but one in particular.  If you think about it the biggest shock in the original trilogy was that Darth Vader was Luke's father.  A fact that if watched in the episode order would be totally ruined by the prequels.  So we'd have to sit and watch them in order of release 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, and 7.  Mind you I'm so old that I can remember Han shooting first, Wolf man (later replaced by a Rastafarian Lizard and then something resembling an elephant face in Lucas' constant retouches) and the original print I saw at the cinema was not called Episode 4:A new Hope either. .... In my day etc. etc.

I do enjoy the Disney XD toons of Star Wars Rebels which is an adequate replacement for the Clone Wars animations, if you haven't seen them watch them.  They start off a bit too kid friendly but get better and darker as the story progresses.
Little tidbit I found out after the film came out when I watched videos on the youtubes about it is that the Stormtrooper that Rey does the Jedi mind trick on is alledgedly none other than Daniel Craig.  The fat alien in the first reel who doles out the rations in exchange for salvage is Simon Pegg.
I find myself enjoying the Star Wars universe again and can now be seen to be throwing money at Disney insomuchas I buy graphic novels, books and an X Wing for my nerd shelf.

You will find me queing up for Episode 9 in about a weeks' time ;) .

To JJ Abrams I say "May my money be with you.. always"

10 Jan 2016

Lovely Lily

"I never will forget those nights.
I wonder if it was a dream.
Remember how you made me crazy,
Remember how I made you scream.
I don't understand what happened to our love.
But, baby, I'm gonna get you back,
I'm gonna show you what I'm made of.

Well, oh your god hasn't it been a long time between posts? I really thought that I had posted before now but hey, the evidence is clearly that I haven't.
Where have I been?  What have I been doing?  I clearly hear nobody ask. Life has been a bit shit and a bit wonderful in various places.  

Shortly after my last post I was hospitalised with abdomen pains on an immense level after being diagnosed wrongly by a G.P. The pain was such that two doses of Morphine substitute and a liquid paracetamol didn't even dent it.  Turns out my Gall Bladder was swollen to something like a tennis ball with two things resembling Ferroro Rochers about the same size too, in it and was possibly hours away from bursting according to the surgeon.  I haven't been able to look at Ferrero Rocher since.  

After that I began to feel better unsurprisingly.  Then I gained employment locally and have been on the up and up ever since.  I have shed dead weight in my life i.e. friends and family that didn't help when I needed it.  Occasionally the black dog will rear it's ugly head but doesn't stay as long as he used to. 

Why the Picture of Lilly Allen?  Many people still refuse to ask.
Well the funny thing was from out of nowhere I've begun to remember my dreams again.  The one the other night was about cloning being a real thing and I 'somehow' ended up sleeping with two clones of the almighty Lilly.  Now, I know this will not happen but as soon as cloning is a thing who is coming with me to steal the technology?  Also we will pass the Durex and Red Bull factories.

25 Mar 2015

"I'm the dreaming man
I can make it real, oh, yes I can
I like to dream
I am the dreaming man
I can make it real, oh, yes I can"
Once again I find myself engrossed in a Rockstar game, I've played every one except for Bully. This time it's GTA 5, yes I know it came out two years ago.  The trouble is with me being a cheap ass/skint kind of guy I waited until it came down in price.  I finally bought it about 4 weeks ago and so far have apparently clocked up nearly 85 hours of gameplay and spent nearly $1 Million on one characters' car mods alone.
I now have the overwhelming desire to bugger of to California, although I would like to reassure the U.S authorities that I promise not to jack cars, kill 357 cops with one character and get away with it by hiding in the hills.  I must be realistic though,  California would be nice but it would be just as bad as here only sunnier. I doubt America wants another minimum wage pool boy or pizza delivery guy.  Just think of the ridiculous look of Kevin Spacey in American Beauty wearing his fast food uniform and that would be me, failed in life can't be arsed anymore. Although I never understood why no one mentions the $50,000 severance pay he got, surely this eased the unemployment a bit?  I'd like a little of that easing right now to be honest... anyway I digress. (which, as we all know, is a female Digre)
It really is one of the best games ever made to be frank, OK there are the odd niggles like the phone bug which Rockstar seems to ignore despite calls (no pun intended) to fix the problem and the fact that someone will call the cops if you stand too close to them in game, the moon gravity when in vehicles or the fact that the NPC drivers will drive straight into you at any given moment. But the game itself is well crafted and scripted.  The motion capture is some of the best I've ever seen in any game.  There have been several laugh out loud moments for me whether it was on the in game radio stations or the actors lines, which in a game is something I can't remember happening before.  
I must say though that the animals in the game are easier to kill, as anyone who read my post regarding my previous Rockstar game addiction Red Dead Redemption will remember, I suffered sudden death syndrome once or twice from a previously unseen bear/cougar/wolf hiding behind a tree. Although I have yet to accidentally shoot my car in the back of the head like I did with several horses.
The map of Los Santos itself is immense and I haven't even discovered everything yet, despite the usual strategy I employ with open world games which is explore as soon as possible then carry on with the story.  I broke my usual gaming rules and bought the Brady game guide for the simple fact that there was so much in game to be found, I don't use it for the actual missions though just the side missions and collectables, also I have the open credits theme as a ringtone, addicted? Me?
Los Santos and San Andreas Island themselves look fantastic even on my old PS3 the attention to every minute detail is second to none, I don't know how long the game is going to be sat in my console but I doubt it will be taken out soon.

4 Mar 2015

"Well that's not the way
No sense or reason in your fussing and fighting
And your violent obsession
Who's ever really left feeling fine
After the great depression?
No sense of purpose in the competition
Keeping up with the Joneses
You buy a house,
You buy a car
You buy a marriage and a bed of roses

It's sad when people you don't know personally but respect and fill a large space of your life for years pass on, John Peel, Ian Dury and lately Leonard Nimoy for example.  I've never tired of his Mr.Spock character even though I've seen the films and series many times over for what seems like 100 years of my life. With each one we gain a little something that we carry on into our lives and hopefully pass on to others.
With Ian Dury it was the realisation that poetry wasn't all poncey about flowers and hills or the 'funny' double entendre strewn monologues that Benny Hill used to close the show with.  It could be all about the everyday ordinary things. A man walking the dog in the park and his hidden perversions, a shoplifting incident as a child, his relationship with his father etc. 
As for John Peel I took the love of new music and a very diverse collection if my ,now full, iPod is to be believed.  
From Leonard Nimoy I took something else entirely.  I've seen in recent years every kind of scientist doing interviews or YouTube videos on how much they'd taken from his character's love of science and his ability to analyse, although I do realise that 'love' is a human emotion.  Maybe if I had had better science teachers or a better home life then maybe I would have been up there doing experiments and selfies in the International space station in the name of science.
But because I had the kind of teacher that made something up to get me out of his class even though every single other kid in said class queued up to tell the Headmaster I hadn't done it. And because I had the kind of parents that when I expressed an interest in working for NASA or E.S.A they laughed and told me I was too stupid and would kill everybody, my path diverged.  Incidentally this was their argument when I asked if I could get a job with the local mechanic as a trainee grease monkey, and yet they didn't bat an eyelid when I joined the Army.
So with this in mind as a basis for my early life you can see why I would take the cold emotional, logical state of mind from Mr. Spock.  The idea formed in my 13 year old brain that if I hid my emotions and thought about things logically I would not be able to be hurt.  Although I think that my emotionless fa├žade and logic have led to not really living.  I can think of several  times in my life where I've talked myself out of asking someone out on a date because I could see that there was someone else better for them.  Or not get off with them at the Christmas party because it would complicate things and possibly I would lose them as a friend as well, which would be even worse.  
On the plus side I have always had the ability to see both sides of an argument and am always a pretty good problem solver.  Only recently have I rekindled my interest in science via astronomy but by now I can't muster up the enthusiasm for the minutiae of it all, preferring just to be an observer/photographer.  This I put down to middle age apathy rather than lack of ability.
Sometimes I wish that I could dispose of this semi Vulcan wall I put around myself but then I find I've been betrayed or hurt in some way and up it goes again.
Maybe I just need a bit of the old 'Pon Farr'? ;)

R.I.P Mr Leonard Nimoy
"You always were and ever shall be, our friend."

"I've always got a magic line
That I tap into any time
I watch the world by day and night
It's very close, but out of sight."

You know, being unemployed is a pain in the arse to be blunt. But I'm still hopeful of employment.  Otherwise I'd be under the Bournemouth pier bottle in hand like all the shoplifting scumbag losers.  Although, this will never happen for several reasons.  Chief of which is that I'm prepared to go without all the luxuries.  For a start it's been a year or so since I had a pizza delivered or stuffed a Chinese take away in my eager face.  I may have mentioned previously that I had to sell all my goodies to pay my way thanks to some faceless moron in the DWP (Nazi Div.) making a vagarious decision.  Still, water under the bridge ... I suppose!?! 
I apply to positions of all types and contracts. Part time, full time, permanent, temporary you name it.  I still get the impression that they don't wholeheartedly believe me when I sign on each week that I've actively been searching.  They themselves are no help anymore, when I was unemployed previously there were always courses to go on to bolster up the old skill set.  I asked recently if there were any I could be eligible for and was told there were no courses at all.
The thing is that I find it hard to be judged by people who have been in the job since I first came to town to live permanently in 1990. They haven't got the experience to enable empathy.  Back then it was easy to find a job I could just walk into unqualified and do it.  But now, as I'm sure I've ranted about before, you need two certificates to be a dishwasher.  I remember when I was in the Army walking around London spending money like it was out of style, as ever, and getting a job for two days as a labourer basically given to me as I walked past a building site.  All I needed was myself a pair of trainers and a willingness to earn over two days.  I got £120 and bought new shoes before returning to barracks, so as to not have to explain the concrete all over my feet at the guard house and that was that.  Now I have to buy all my own safety boots, hard hat, get two certificates and a hi viz jacket just to be a temporary 'Stop/Go' board operator. If that were to be my chosen career then I may well do so.  But it's not so I'm not.  Not that I have the money anyway, whatever comes in goes straight out.  Now, on top of everything else, I have to try and save up to clear my over draft by August, which probably won't happen no matter how much I will it to. 
But like I say I'm hopeful of the future.  My former manager used to tell me I wasn't positive, well I always disagreed.  I wonder how positive she feels when they no longer do pay raises or bonuses and are 65% down in profits? Now how do you spell Schadenfreude again?

18 Dec 2014

"Did you ever see the faces of children
They get so excited.
Waking up on christmas morning
Hours before the winter sun's ignited.
They believe in dreams and all they mean
Including heavens generosity.
Peeping round the door
to see what parcels are for free
In curiosity."
Well here we are another year nearly over and another year closer to the  bright and shiny future we all dream of. The trouble is the future never seems very futuristic when we get there.  I've been reading recently that all those Star Treks I've been watching lately to while away the long hours of unemployed boredom will never happen.  It would be more likely that in the near future at least we will make it only as far as Mars as far as travelling or living is concerned.  Personally I'm a bit disappointed, I'd always dreamt of being in an Enterprise type spacecraft and buggering off to Orion to pick up a green skinned exotic dancer... or two.  But no, so I hereby volunteer my services to NASA to travel to Mars for them.  I'm cheap, hard working, usually, and above all I'm expendable.