The Curse Of Technology

Before I even start this post, I can see the irony that I am typing it on a fruit brand tablet device.

Technology has made leaps and bounds in recent years. The world has moved from computers taking up an entire house, to basically your musical toilet roll holder having more computing power than it took NASA to get Neil and Buzz to land on the giant cheese ball.

Almost every day there is some new and exciting product on the market, that will make our lives better, faster, stronger, increased sex life, really cool, hip, now! Or any other term the marketing department can come up with. But there is a problem with all this.

People see technology as being more accessible, and by that I mean open for anyone to do with as they please, without regard for personal property or privacy.

This morning I was asked once again if that thing I was holding was a “small vowel – support structure”. Yeah, I’m trying to avoid product names here, don’t think it will work for the rest of the post.

So after being asked, I said it was, then next thing I know, this person has rushed across the room, trying to look at what I was doing, and reaching out to start pressing the screen. It’s not the first time this has happened either. When the device was first released, everyone wanted one, despite most of them not knowing what they are, or how to use one, or even what purpose it would serve them. It was shiny, new, and the latest technology to use as a status symbol.

These days though, it’s a few years down the path, so people generally should have an idea of what the technology touch screen thingy is, but the attitude is the same. They still have no idea what they are. Still have no idea how to use them. Still don’t know what purpose they would use it for. But they still want one.

Because of this desire, they see someone who has one, and instantly think that person is a sales rep, who is more than happy to let the idiot (them) poke and prod and mess about with as much as they like. Well here’s the thing people, you wouldn’t let me do that to your wife, so why would I let you do it to my electronic devices?

It’s a pretty simple thing. It’s all about respecting privacy and ownership. What is so hard about applying that concept to technology as you would any other property that someone has?

The thing I don’t understand in all of this, is people get really pissed off, when you don’t let them do what they like with your things. As I said to the guy this morning, I’m more than happy to let you have a look around on my device, as long as you give me the keys to your house, and let me go through your bedroom drawers. He got annoyed, I made my point, the girl’s happy, so all is good.

It’s a pretty simple thing. If you you are so desperate to buy some new technology, to the point where your life is worthless with out it, then go out and buy it. If you just want to be a nosy prick, who thinks you have the right to do what you want, simply because you’re excited, well go and chain yourself to the clothesline and lick some balls. You’ll be doing the whole world a favour.

It Gets Better (asterisk)

“It gets better”, is a well known phrase, particularly around youth depression and suicide prevention. For many people it does get better, for some of us, it doesn’t. That’s why the title of this blog post is what it is. The asterisk is simple. It means “Terms and Conditions Apply”. In other words, what looks good on the surface, has greater repercussions than you might think.

Now I’m not here to attack anyone, or any organisation that uses the phrase “It Gets Better”. Nor am I saying woe is me, because it doesn’t work on me. All I’m saying is that using the phrase doesn’t actually make things better.

I’ve thought about this post for a long time now, what to write, if I should write it, if I should write anything. Right now I’m severely depressed, and for me, that’s some of the clearest time for me to think. When people see me in my “happy/normal” cycle, I feel the most delusional.

Come with me on a journey, while I think outside of the box a little here, to try and explain why things don’t get better. To do so, think of yourself as a lemon.

As a lemon, you’re asked to give a bit of juice, because it will make someone’s fish and chips a bit tastier. You get told that by giving up a little bit, in the long run you win. But people keep squeezing you, for more and more juice, all the time saying it will get better. For them it does, they have nice tasty fish and chips. But for you, you’re just being squeezed more and more. Finally whey of have nothing left to give, you’re told “See how happy you have made people? See it does get better.” But the very people saying that are ignoring the fact you are nothing by a total mess, from which you will never recover.

At the moment, I feel like this. It’s not just a moment that has lasted for a day or two, it’s a moment that has lasted for thirty years. Sure there are times when it appears things are getting better, but that is really just the calm before the storm. It doesn’t get better. Other people may look at the surface, see the things they like, and tell me how great things are, but it’s not. Every day is a struggle, because from the moment I wake up each day, all I am thinking is “Oh great, I woke up. That means another day of having move squeezed out of me.”

I was raised on the belief that if you work hard, you’ll get rewarded. It’s horse shit. The harder I work, the reward I get is to have to work harder, to reach the expectations of others. When I rebel because I simply have no more to give, I’m punished for not trying hard enough. Sound defeatist? Yeah, it may sound that way, but it’s not. It’s actually a little known thing called “reality”.

Most people are blinded to reality. They have their support structures around them. They have their like minded people around them, and so they are blinded to the fact that while something works for them, it doesn’t work for everyone. Why does it work for them? Well that’s simple. It’s because there are people like me who make things happen, yet get no reward for the effort. Instead our reward is the expectation (implied or not) that things just have to get done.

Now I’m not expecting to be given everything in life, and have my cake too. All I ask is that I not go backwards. For the amount of effort I put in, I get that much reward at the end of it. It would be a much nicer thing than existence being futile. To break even. To know that what I have achieved is mine. If that was to happen, then it would get better.

So next time you tell someone “It Gets Better”, remember one thing. It may get better for you, because you have told them that, but the reality is very different indeed for the person you say it to.

Cricket Training

I’m a cricket tragic. I seriously would spend everyday of my life playing it if I could. Sure I lack ability these days, if I had any, but I still love it.

In my junior days, my coach had these four rules. I remembered them after training tonight, so why not share them. It’s also an excuse to actually post something to this blog after such a long time. I’ve bed busy with work, but things will settle down soon.

1. We train for two hours, and games are twice as long as that. If we don’t concentrate at training we will never do it on the field. When waiting to bowl, don’t stand around talking about things, work on getting the batsman out. If you want to talk about what you did during the week, do it after training. When padding up to bat, do it quickly, as you may only have three minutes to do it in a game.

2. When batting, you will face about 30 balls. Your first priority is to always protect your wicket, and not go out. Work on getting behind the ball, and get to know what style of bowling the bowlers have. When you start to consistently put bat on ball, then look to play your shots, along the ground. If you don’t go out, then in the last half dozen, have a real swing.

3. When bowling, you will bowl about 6 balls to each batsman. Think of it as an over, and make the batsman play every ball. When you bowl badly, you are wasting everyone’s time. Work out how to get that batsman out during that over. Always make sure you know where you are in the bowling order, so the batsman isn’t waiting while the bowlers sort out who is bowling next. Always aim for the wickets and not the batsman. If you injure one of our players at training, they will not be there to play on the weekend.

4. When fielding, treat every ball like it is a match. Get the throws into the wicket keeper. Talk and encourage the other fielders. Back each other up, and back up the throws at each end. Train the way you play. There are only ten good balls in a game and they are the ones where you get wickets. The next ball could be one of those balls, so always be ready.

Thinking About Blogging?

So I’ve been meaning to blog for a bit now, but due to my workload since changing sides of the country, I simply haven’t had the time. Don’t worry, I have a lot to write about, so just check back when you can, and you might see something new.

Now that I’ve returned, I didn’t know where to start, so I asked twitter, and @leesieoh pipped up to say “Blog about me”.

Well @leesieoh has a blog at Fomenting Insurrections and that’s all there is to it. Thanks for reading.

Ok, so there is a little bit more to her than that. @leesieoh is also the love of my life, and not just because like me, her twitter handle doesn’t have her actual name in it.

I first found out about Elyse through a mutual friend. I groaned. Not because of her, but because I’m not really a fan of meeting new people. Despite this, it so happened that I was going to be in her area of town a few weeks later, so I may as well meet her. After all, I had an easy “get out” if I needed it, so it wouldn’t be that bad to meet her.

A few weeks later, we were an item. Not bad for someone who had no interest in meeting anyone, in dating, or even having a long term relationship.

Eyes has been wonderful for me. Words do not do justice as to how great she is. I’m not just saying that because I’m bias, and she has a cute arse, I’m saying that because she has made me see more in life than just myself. She gives me a good check ow here I am heading in life, and what my priorities are.

Ok, so instead of being about @leesieoh, it has become more about me. She really means that much to me, that she has improved my life.

That’s enough gushing for now, I’ve got to go hang out the washing. If only it wasn’t bucketing down with rain, I could be having a nice day. Of course the day would be much better if I had Elyse here with me. Curse moving across the other side of the country, I never want to be this far apart from her ever again.

Where We’re Goin’ We Don’t Need Roads

So I’m I’m a town that I didn’t plan to be in, for a reason that I wish I had avoided, waiting for things to happen, so I can at least get to where I am going. Welcome to Whyalla.

It all was going along nicely when I drove off this morning, but five minutes down the road, and a kangaroo decided it wanted to be grilled, but instead of choosing a barbecue, it chose the front of my car. Thankfully not too much damage, but enough for a panel beater to make a lot of money, and my insurance company to shake their finger at me.

After checking for damage, I could see most of it was minor stuff, so I got out the roll of 100 miles an hour tape, patched things up and got going. My only concern was the couple of drops, and by that I mean two or three, of coolant I could see. I looked around for a hole, but couldn’t obviously see anything, and I even went as far as to check with a torch, even though it was bright and sunny. My guess was it had come out of the overflow, caused by the big bang, theory as it was.

With the kangaroo checked for deadness, and to see if it had a Joey in it’s pouch, or even better a golden ticket, off I drove…, for a short time.

Before you panic though, this is my standard practice whenever anything out of the ordinary happens. It’s my way of making sure I did check everything correctly, and there are no issues, that I may have missed while the adrenaline was going through my system. It was at this point I could see more coolant. Yep, I had a leak in the radiator, but from where? Well after more searching, I found a small error in the top of the radiator. Not an all hell is breaking loose situation, but enough to be a concern.

I kept checking and checking but couldn’t see any more issues arising the car was running fine, there was no heat in the radiator, so I decided to limp through the next 200km to Port Augusta to see about getting a fix.

While on the way to Port Augusta, I had Mrs. Green Cow check online for where to get things fixed, and it turned out that Port Augusta lacks the very places I was looking for. So onward to Whyalla I went.

Now Whyalla is one of those towns that has sort of always been on my “to do” list. I don’t know why, it is just one of those places, so in a way this was a good excuse to go there. It wasn’t until I found out that a new radiator was required, and that I was lucky to get as far as I did, because the seam on the top was splitting apart, that I realised I would be here for the night. That’s because parts need to come in overnight, for either the radiator place, or for the dealership of the type of car I drive, that also happens to be in town. Grrrr.

So what about Whyalla? Well for the parts I have seen, I would have to say, nice place. It’s a quite place, friendly locals, very clean, a good little town. I like the street art about the history of the place. All the buses seem to go to a place called “Route”, but in different ways, depending on the number they have listed, and apart from the two pigeons that are trying to do a live version of the film Eyes Wide Shut outside my window, I’m enjoying the relaxing day off.

But tomorrow it’s back on the road, and hopefully no more animals crossing, and on to the new life in Perth. Goodbye Whyalla, I’m glad to have been in you.

7shwim163,/-$d

So what does the title of this post mean? I’d like to know myself, because even though I wrote it, I has no idea what it says. Welcome to my world of dyslexia.

Why do I blog? Well my dyslexia plays a big part in that, because blogging helps me to practice to get words correct, to get sentence structure correct, and it helps me to find a bot of order in the minefield that is a problem for me.

It’s not a big problem, I function fairly well, and at times the mistakes I make are comical in hindsight, but it does take a lot out of me.

So what is dyslexia? Well you can google that one, but for me, the way the words appear to be, isn’t always the case, and at times the information my brain is putting out, doesn’t always match what ends up on the page.

Now this isn’t that much of an issue for me, I can read back over what I have written, and as long as it wasn’t too long again, I can usually work out what I was trying to say, and correct it. But over the years I’ve been called dumb, and stupid, and slow and all those kind of things, simply because things didn’t match in a way others see them.

Let me guess, you want an example. Well that’s really difficult for me to do, because thanks to autocorrect, and misspelt words being underlined, I pick things up rather quickly in most cases. But there are things like mixing up February and November. Yes I know the two are very different months, but I still mix and match as it suits my brain. When I write something ending in “ing” I usually write “ign” and I do the same when writing by hand. So when I write sing, it becomes sign. I also mix up the order of the “u” and the “t” in a lot of words.

When reading, I can skip whole words, paragraphs, or even half words, and then reconstruct what did stick, into an entirely different meaning. This can cause issues when I later try to link things together. It doesn’t mean I can’t learn, it just means that at times, it takes a bit for the real links to appear to me, and then it all makes sense.

Probably the biggest issue for me is phone numbers. If someone tries to give me a number quickly, I blank out after the first few numbers. If I am writing it down, there is usually a mix of letters, numbers, and squiggly lines, which makes no sense at all.

All this adds up to people thinking I have zoned out at times, when really, I’m just trying to make sense of everything in my head, and I need to focus on that. Dyslexia doesn’t mean I am dumb, it just means I see things a bit differently, and that’s not always a bad thing.

I Got A Note

Sorry, sick, hence no postings. But we will be back soon.

In the mean time, get your funk on with some Socks and Sandals

Mr Rabbit Listens To His Imaginary Friends On A Boat Phone

We awoke in the barn today, sickened by a statement made by someone who thinks he has the god given right to be Prime Minister of Australia.

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Tony Abbott, who wont be given the full honourary title reserved for parliamentarians in this country, because he is not fit for office, has made the following statement, regarding refugees who arrive in Australia by boat.

”I don’t think it’s a very Christian thing to come in by the back door rather than the front door,”

You can read the full article as reported in other media here.

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Off the bat, we are appalled that such a comment could be made, by a representative of this country. After all, it is such a sweeping statement on many levels. When in context of what is saying, and we are not going to publish more of Abbott’s comments here, he is having a broad shot at not only the refugees, but Australians too. You must wonder why he thinks pissing people off, and questioning their values, is going to win him office.

He is claiming, in what he said, that Australia is a Christian country, with Christian values something we are not. The statement wasn’t just an out and out attack on refugees, but call to arms that if you have a Christian belief, you should agree with Abbott.

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The man is delusional.

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Please Australia, we ask of you, no matter how much you hate the current government, please seriously think about the damage Abbott would cause if he was Prime Minister. A Green Cow is apolitical, and we will never tell you which way to vote. If you don’t like Julia Gillard for whatever reason, don’t be blind-sided that it means you have to support Abbott. If you don’t like the Liberals, don’t think it means you have to support Labor. If you don’t like either, don’t think it means you have to go for the Greens.

Too often the politicians in this country think they can get away with murder by alienating so many people, as though they have some kind of right to be an arsehole. The prime example of arseholeism* is Tony Abbott, who thinks he can say or do anything he wants, because it gives him something to do in the meantime, before he is automatically made Prime Minister. We must put a stop to this.

Every time Abbott opens his mouth, whether you agree with him or not, he represents Australia on the world stage as having his views. After all, Australians voted for him. At the moment his idiocy is partly contained to this country, by his party being in opposition. If he was made Prime Minister, think of the damage he would do to our worldwide reputation, and the values of society we hold so dear. Tony Abbott is not fit for public office, he is a spoilt brat, who needs to be taught a lesson.

*Not a real word I know, but the most fitting description I could think of at the time

Do You Have A Discount Voucherings?

Why do birds, suddenly appear?

Actually, why do service station attendants think they have the right to rip you off?

 

Ok, I was bad, but try and get that song out of your head, I’m being serious here. In fact, I’m being more than serious, I’m completely fed up with the bullshit these people try and pull, when you purchase stuff in store.

The other day, I decided to reward myself with an ice cream after work. They (not mentioning brand names, because they are all guilty of this practice), had an offer of two ice creams for one price. It wasn’t a straight out buy one get one free thing, but the second one only cost about 50 cents more than one, so I was willing to fork out the extra money, to add a few more centimetres to my already burgeoning waistline.

 

When I went to pay, they came up as the full price, and the attendant quiet happily told me that was the price. I stood my ground, he stood his ground, and only after I pointed out the sign stating the discount, did he them go an push a button in the register, and the discount price came up. He claimed that it takes a few seconds for the discount to appear on the screen. Bullshit I say, because he repeatedly told me the higher price, and it was only after he fingered the register that the discount showed up.

 

This is not the first time it has happened either, and I am beginning to think it is some way the operators are trying on, to rattle the till in their favour. Either it is a directive from management to not apply discounts automatically, in the hope of the customer not noticing, or the operator is deliberately not applying the discount, then when the customer leaves the store, the redo the sale, and pocket the difference.

 

Now it may only be a dollar here or there, and you may wonder what’s the issue with that. Well if they did that enough times over a shift, it’s a nice little earner for someone, and it’s a dishonest earning. After all, we pay more than enough for fuel in this country, and that is another matter that needs to be addressed at some point, but is far to complex to be dealt with here, when all I want is my ice creams at the advertised price.

 

So I’m wondering if this has happened to anyone else? If so, let me know, because it’s a rort that has to stop. I’m taking matters into my own hands now. I say once what the real price is, and if they refuse, I walk away. Regardless of what kind of store it is, I offer them one chance, and if they don’t like it, they can damn well get stuffed. But this does leave me with one issue…, I’m running out of places in my area to go shopping. Time to move to a new suburb I think.

Blinded Me With Science.

I want to tell you about someone I’m become a bit of a fan of, and it might not be the kind of person you would think of being a fan of.

Damn that sentence got long, and all I wanted to do was to not finish with the word of, but I tried three times and failed each time, so stuff it, it can stay like that.

 

Who is your favourite scientist? Yes, that’s right, who is your favourite scientist? I’m guessing it would be Julius Sumner Miller, or Bill Nye the Science Guy, Doctor Karl, or the blokes from the Curiosity Show, or maybe even Doctor Who. Well I want to throw up a new name into that mix of awesomeness, Dr Rachel Dunlop, better known as Dr Rachy.

 

I first learnt of Dr. Rachy though the Skeptics Zone podcast, and since then have discovered her on twitter, on various television and radio spots, and even seen her name mentioned in an article on The Drum. When I do see her name mentioned, it pricks up my ears as something worth reading.

 

What I like about Dr. Rachy is how well she can communicate on so many levels. She has the charisma that draws you in to learn more, and to be intrigued by what she is saying, from the mention of noms, to the most detailed science stuff, Dr. Rachy makes you want to listen. She doesn’t put herself up on a soapbox as being an almighty powerhouse of knowledge that everyone else must bow before, no, not at all. Instead she who engages you and makes you think, and shows you just how wonderful the world is, with out the bullshit that some people pedal as the truth.

 

I use to think of myself as a skeptic, but to be honest, I never really gave it much thought. After all, as much as I like science, I’m too dumb to understand it. Instead I just put things into two groups, one being “Utter bullshit, mixed with unicorn rainbow farts and woo” and the other being “Maybe possible“.

These days though, I’m much more informed, and ask a lot more questions, because I have become engaged in discovering why. Sure I’ll never win a Nobel prize for science, my only hope is to get to tighten up my fat belly and maybe be in the running for the Nobel Prize for Boobies. But thanks to Dr. Rachy, my mind has been opened up more, because I can understand what she talks about.

 

You know, I’ve never met Dr. Rachy, although I have had a couple of tweets regarding old radio shows and doughnut vans go back and forth, but I certainly am thankful for her being in my life. We need more people like Dr. Rachy in the world, because then the world will be a better place, filled with awesomeness, noms, and kickarse science.