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Goodbye 2007, don’t come back soon…

December 31st, 2007 by Raj

New Years in Times Square

When I was a kid I always struggled with the concept of “New Years”. You see I saw the calendar of twelve months as a linear path, you travel in a straight line through time from January to December and once you hit the 31st that’s it, year over. The problem wasn’t in that logic but more so the fact that after December 31 it was once again January. Calendars weren’t round like the clock hanging on the wall of my bunk-bed adorning room. Clocks made sense, you went in a circle, years were straight. I always imagined that there was this strange Euclidean time period between the end of the year just gone and the start of the new, some sort of time spatial U-turn the universe made to allow it to travel all the way back to January 1st. What made my mind explode just that little bit more causing me to start dripping blood from my nose Butterfly Effect style was if the universe had to travel all the way back to January how on earth did it do it so freakin’ quickly when it took us 365 days to trudge through the year. Had I been alive in the days of Magellan or Columbus I dare say I would’ve been your typical ham sandwich pitchfork farmer burning witches and waiting for some poor bastard to sail of the edge of the earth because he was some crackpot that thought the world was round.

Needles to say I was quite young when I thought like that, you get a little older you learn about orbits, the year being another circle of the sun, blah, blah, yadda, yadda. Boring science, I like my idea better; you try and get a four year old to create their own time/space theories! I was a special child.

So how does all this relate to the year that is soon to be passed, 2007. Well… it probably doesn’t really, but I thought it best to share a nice story rather than swear through this entry entirely about how much of a shit year it’s been and that no matter who I’ve talked to they all say the same. I don’t know what it is (actually no that’s a lie, I do know, but I’m not sharing so there!) but boy did this year suck the cock meat sandwich (Harold & Kumar 2 reference… watch trailer here). I truly hated this year; even with my world trip I am gladly leaving this year in the past!

To mark this rather dubious celebration of crapness I wanted to do something a little different than highlighting what I believe are my favourite movies, TV shows, and similar junk that every man & his blog (I say man because 99% are done by nerds) will do and never be read. Whilst I’m most certainly not under the illusion that millions will read my blog either it will none the less be entertaining and cathartic for myself.

It is with belated breath and great pleasure that I present to you… Raj’s list of stuff for 2007 (very similar to the Raj-makes-up-categories TV Awards)

Most annoying thing of the yearPeople on Public Transport
I could devote a yearlong expose on how much the persons occupying space on any form of public transport truly shit me to tears but I’ll try and keep it brief today. I’ve got no beef with public transport itself, as in the actual physical thing that gets you from A to B, it would be a fantastic system if I was the only person using it at any time of the day and I didn’t have to put up with the seemingly endless sea of frigtards (see next award) that don’t cover their mouths to cough & sneeze, that stink, that are just purely nuts and that don’t make room for anyone to get on! I fucking hate public transport, and if any of you write a comment saying “buy a car then” I’ll personally send the crazy air gun guy from No Country for Old Men after you.

Word/Saying of the yearfrigtard
Whilst the rest of the world can go on believing that the geek word “w00t” is somehow cool now because all the frigtards out there are now online using Facebook or MySpace and can speak like a 12 year old kid playing Halo 3 for sixteen hours straight on his Xbox I will break from the collective sheep and personally elect another completely made up word that I have already used in this paragraph. Frigtard (pronounced frig – tard)
Frigtard is a word that I believe was made up by this guy who wrote a blog pretending to be Steve Jobs (well that’s where I found it anyway). The word (if you haven’t guessed this already) is a derivative of two, frigging (used as a euphemism for ‘fuck’ according to Apple’s Dictionary app) and retard (a politically incorrect way of saying moron). Ergo all people on public transport are frigtards. See what I did there, tying it back into the previous award, clever!

Best procrastination tool of the yearGuitar Hero
I’m extremely tempted to put the Internet as the winner of this award but I spent a month without that and one of the only things that kept me from doing anything productive during the solemn period was Guitar Hero 3. That and not only did I get Guitar Hero 3 this year but I also bought number 2 earlier on and haven’t stopped playing both of them since. When you haven’t got time to spare but you really don’t want to do what you’re supposed to be doing than this is the tool for you! Sit back and watch the hours literally disappear and your impending unemployment become ever closer.

Worst moment of the yearBeing overseas when I should’ve been at a funeral
Had a couple of things happened in January instead of December 2006 this little award would’ve been completely different but as it turned out they just happened a little too early and basically made this year shit. Anyway that didn’t happen in 2007 but this one did. So I was overseas, sitting around Paris enjoying myself as you do in Paris when I find out that an old friend of mine has passed away. Shit in itself but the next two weeks I spent trying to get home early to attend a funeral and unfortunately couldn’t do it. It sucked; I still feel shit about it.

Best moment of the yearWatching Ice Hockey in Toronto
Just to prove I’m not a complete pessimist I thought I’d better balance things out with the best moment of the year. Sitting in the Air Canada stadium watching the Toronto Maple Leafs and some other team (I forget) play live was just awesome! I’m not really good at talking about stuff I actually enjoy or like so I don’t really have much else to say other than it was like I was a kid again just having fun!

2008 ResolutionsNone
Making a New Year Resolution is just a stupid idea. Anyone that hasn’t figured that out by now is either five years old or has the brain of a five year old. If you want to do something or make a change in your life do it right then and now, don’t wait for some special date because it will never last my dear kiddies.

A special thanks to all the people that have contributed to this year sucking so much; you know who you are. I couldn’t have been so bitter and dry without your help and without your shit I’d have nothing to write about. True I might be to blame for a lot of it myself but in true Raj fashion I’ll blame others. hehe.

In all seriousness though, I hope everyone has a great year in 2008. Thank you for reading my ramblings throughout 2007, perhaps if I find a girlfriend any time soon you wont be subjected to them anymore! Hehe. Au Revoir.

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It’s Christmas!

December 19th, 2007 by Raj

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Well everyone it’s getting very, very close to that time of year again and with only a few more sleeps until some fat bastard in a bright red suit of commercialism funnels his way down your chimney (or through your living room window or however you’ve described to your children’s young and impressionable minds) and places a collective of junk beneath your tree. “Presents” that you’ll smile at wryly pretending to be surprised or impressed at, oh and perhaps the useful gift of a digital camera that will come in extremely handy in about 24 hours when you start putting the unwanted on eBay.

Now, now, that’s hardly the spirit is it? And believe it or not that’s not the entire truth as to how I look at Christmas. I’m actually not a complete prick when it comes to the festive season, in fact I’d consider myself quite the opposite. Yes, I’m sure this may shock you all a tad but I’m a sucker for this holiday and not at all because it has anything to do with getting presents. I enjoy Christmas; prepare yourself for this…. I enjoy Christmas for the time I get to spend with my family and the presents I get to give!

Whilst the whole cluttered shopping, putting up shitty tinsel and singing carols basically makes me dry reach ten times a day for the six weeks leading up to the holidays I do enjoy the elation of buying presents for my family. I take a great deal of care in ensuring I’m not rushing around at the last minute buying some piece of shit from an airport newsagent before I fly home for the actual day. I enjoy nutting out the ideal gift and as annoying as that can be sometimes to see their face as they tear open that parcel (mutilating what took you fifteen minutes to wrap ever so delicately in a little under five seconds) and it’s exactly right is more reward than any present you can receive.

I’d say I was a lucky kid, we always had great Christmas days with a whole bunch of relatives and regardless of anything that was going on behind doors Christmas was a time to put that aside and enjoy the fact we had each other. Whilst, unfortunately, the family has thinned and scattered over the years I still get to spend it with my immediate family by travelling to Adelaide and seeing them all at once is a present worth travelling countries let alone interstate for.

When it all comes down to it I guess what I’m trying to say is that Christmas, I believe, is a time to put aside any differences you might have. Reach out and embrace those that are special to you and be thankful for what you have; or rather, far more importantly who you have in your life!

To everyone out there in Internet land have a wonderful Christmas and happy holidays.

Be safe.

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Day 18: I have “teh internets”

December 11th, 2007 by Raj

Yes non-nerds I actually meant to spell “the” t-e-h as you see it appearing in the title of this the final entry in my “No Internet Diary”. I wont go into teh anymore, other than to say it’s a common typo because of the QWERTY keyboard layout and it’s quite commonly recognised amongst script kiddies and l33t alike as meaning “the”. There, didn’t that clear everything up?

On to more relevant writings.. in the covered words of Dannii Minogue “This is it, this is the real thing!” <insert small cameo by Nip/Tuck’s Julian McMahon here> I once again have a functioning ADSL2+ connection available to my home twenty four hours a day… seven days a week… three hundred and sixty five days a year… bitches. Well unless its a leap year and then it’s three hundred and sixty six, but lets not mince our Julian and Gregorian calendars here shall we; the point is I HAVE TEH INTERNETS! w00t!

It just goes to show that running away from your problems to another city and ignoring them can once again save the day making everything happy and fun for your return. Males rejoice for I have proven said theory of ignorance for all to reference in future court proceedings. QED mo-fo’s… Q-E-D. Returning from Adelaide today I waltzed through my apartment door at around 9pm after the usual cab ride home where I fool heatedly mention I work in IT and then spend the next twenty minutes back peddling because my fellow Indian brother who’s driving the taxi just happens to be an IT graduate who can’t find work. Saturated market people, saturated! Anyway, once inside I dare not drop the 10kg of dead weight that is my luggage because according to this fancy little notification I got via SMS yesterday the DSL light on my modem should be winking at me faster than some dude with an unfortunate twitch that causes him/she to blink rapidly and not at all like an equally unfortunate person who doesn’t blink at all and uses fake tears to lubricate their eyeballs. Luckily for me the modem didn’t need any fake tears because she was flashing away like old “Twitchy”! Oh, yeah!

At this point I reluctantly resided to the fact that I would indeed need to drop my luggage if only to get my laptop out and confirm Twitchy’s (I’ve decided to call my modem “Twitchy” as of this moment) status of connection, not to mention catch up on the copious amount of useless information I need fill my mind with that the Internet has to offer and satisfy that heroin like addiction.

“Cook us up a hit will you Rent” I said to Twitchy, who was now resembling Ewan McGregor from Trainspotting.

The warm glow of my laptop’s LCD screen bloomed to life in only the way an Apple computer can do sending warm fuzzy feelings of love and joy through my body putting the sun’s ever so overrated Vitamin D bullshit to shame. Ahhhh, artificial light, how you keep my Indian skin so pale, if only Michael Jackson had thought of you before all that wasted skin bleaching. As the various elements of my startup process began to appear after taking a nap for the short flight home all eyes were on the top right hand corner of the screen, watching; waiting, breathless as the currently grey icon that represented my home’s wi-fi connection should turn to a solid black indicating a valid connection. Come on, come on… why do things always take so freakin’ long when you’re watching them?!?! And then it happened, ladies and gentleman we have lift-off! Quick, quick, go nuts, before your brain explodes with the possibilities of what you can do out there on the “World Wide Web (of crap)”.

Two minutes later….

In the same way you can imagine your male partner spent after a hard, rigourous, yet extremely unfulfilling sexual encounter sucking back a cigarette in bed and glancing over to say “Was it good for you?” I was once again spent and bored. Over two weeks of pent up frustration and Internet withdrawal and just like that it was all over in mere seconds and there’s nothing left but an empty feeling in my stomach and the question of my commitment issues. I mean I really like you Internet, when you were gone you were all I could think about, but now you’re back… well… I don’t know if this is going to work… Hang on what on Earth am I talking about I love you Internet, don’t ever leave me again OK? I said OK damn it!

Well that’s it, my Internet is back in all of it’s ADSL2+ 24kbps glory. My phone still wont accept incoming calls but frankly that’s a good thing because the only people that call it are telemarketers. I’m sure it’ll get sorted out if I do nothing proactive about it and if it doesn’t I can claim my phone line hasn’t worked for ages and get compensation. We live in a great land.

There are a few people I’d like to thank that have held my hand throughout this journey of hardship and self awakening but it’s now after 1 in the morning so instead I’m going to put a picture of Mary Louise Parker and the cast of Weeds here and thank her for being a great actress and having a fantastic TV show. Thank you Mary Louise.

Weeds

Until next time faithful readers, adieu.

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Day 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17: Some flights, a wedding & no Internet

December 9th, 2007 by Raj

Faced the with eternal boredom that is my life without an Internet connection and the possible life threatening eating habits that it has produced there was nothing left to do but the same thing any male does when faced with a tough problem in their life…. you ignore it, pretend it doesn’t exist and normally there’s a woman around to fix it for you and you can go back to life as it was before hand. For me whilst there may not be a woman in my life per-say there was one in Adelaide that was getting married this weekend and where there’s another city with a blood relative there’s an Internet connection.

Lets face it, the wedding is really just a convenient excuse for me to jump on a plane when we all know I’m really only going so I can log on to the scourge that is Facebook and piss & moan about all these retard applications people feel they must spam me with, but that’s another story. I’m not here to squabble over my true intentions behind travelling seven hundred kilometres to another state, besides I wouldn’t want to hurt the bride and groom’s feelings. I’m just a caring guy like that, always thinking of others and my email being downloaded in less than two hours as I’m currently experiencing in dial-up world. Fuck it’s shit house. Did I swear? Oops, sorry kids. Fuck I think I’ve already used that joke, I can’t be bothered checking my previous posts, sorry.

So anyway, another trip back to Adelaide, my Dad, bro & sis live there, another glorious plane ride on the Virgin Blue bus and a couple of days working out of the Adelaide office to avoid the further drain on my already suffering annual leave allowance (currently sitting at negative six days… boooo!). Adelaide’s a nice city, anyone that’s coming to Australia shouldn’t listen to the general population of the world because it’s not a complete shit-hole. Even that’s probably a bit harsh, it’s actually quite a beautiful city, lots of trees, parks, churches, etc. It’s just if you wanted to do anything besides look at trees and visit churches that you might start to find the attractions of fair Adelaide a tad dull. Hell don’t try and get a drink on a weeknight after 8pm, you’ll have to go to the Casino and… well…. let’s just say it’s not pretty. Enough of the Adelaide bashing, it’s an OK place, and this being my sixteenth trip back there this calendar year I should probably come clean and admit to enjoying it there, even if it’s only for my family and friends.

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(It’s OK, the place wasn’t on fire… I swear!)

Adelaide aside, I was here for a wedding, well I think I was… I did land and start up Azureus but I was at least making it look like I was going to a wedding by carrying a suit with me. It was on Saturday, thankfully the scorching heat that I’d just had the pleasure of being baked by for the last two days had somewhat subsided for the auspicious occasion by dropping to a light 29 degrees (Celsius). I wasn’t exactly sure about the wedding, I didn’t really know anyone, the bride I hadn’t seen face to face for about four years and I’d never met the groom before, I was honoured to get the invite don’t get me wrong but if it wasn’t for my old friend from school (lets call her Mary Louise, not because that’s her name or I’m wanting to conceal her identity, I just think Mary Louise Parker from Weeds is hot) coming along as my date I would’ve just sat there like an idiot looking more like an idiot than normal.

Driving to the reception Mary Louise and I decided that seeing how no one would have any idea who either of us were we’d take on new identities for the evening. She, Mary Louise, would be “in the entertainment industry” and I would play her most recent “director”. Yes, yes I’m sure you can figure out where this is going…. Should anyone probe further her so called “entertainment” employment may have been linked to certain “adult” forms of entertainment. Yes it’s childish and yes I’m quite clearly overusing “quoted words” but I’m trying to see how many times I can use them in one paragraph, don’t “freak out man”.

Arriving at the reception hall, navigating our way through the family introductions and looking stupid by not knowing who anyone is and who I was meant to kiss and hug (it was an Italian sorta wedding) we found our table and name tagged seats.

“Hey Raj.” came a voice and then an extended hand.

“Ahhh…. hey…” I replied, with pretty much no idea of who this guy was, why he knew my name (maybe he was mental and read everyone’s name tags and was showing off) and why he expected me to shake his hand. I did anyway, but only because I’m nice (see the 2nd paragraph where I state this quite clearly already for you). How are you?”

“You’ve got no idea who I am do you?” said hand-shakey-guy.

I thought about lying here, I mean he’s basically ruining my whole porn directing career before it had started, but truth be told I couldn’t be fucked bothered. “Ahhh, no mate, sorry, no idea.”

“I went to school with you.”

I looked at Mary Louise with you-went-to-school-with-me-have-you-seen-hand-shakey-guy-before eyes. She looked back at me with don’t-look-at-me-I’ve-got-no-idea-I-do-porn eyes. OK so maybe not the “I do porn” part but that would’ve been hot.

“Did you? Really??” There were only 100 odd people in my grade at school, I was pretty sure I knew most of them.

“Yeah; I was in your sister’s grade”. Oh for fuck’s sake, you expect me to know you because you were two years below me? Actually it’s probably fair, I knew most of them too, just not this guy. Way to feel like a douche in thirty seconds. “I’m Lionel.”

“Lionel, shit sorry man, no idea but I’ll take your word for it.”

Wave bye, byes to the adult entertainment industry.

For the rest of the night Mary Louise and I pretty much forgot about anyone else that was there, mainly because we didn’t know anyone (well except Lionel now), and made fools of ourselves dancing, drinking and having a pretty good time. Put it this way, aint no way else in hell you’d get me dancing to Nutbush City Limits had there been anyone I’d actually known there!

With the wedding done and dusted the rest of my time in Adelaide was split between friend catch ups, family and work. The only other thing of any real significance was the little SMS that arrived on my phone to alert me to the fact that apparently my ADSL connection had been activated and was awaiting my digital fingers to caress its curvaceous figure… I need help. Can I fly home now please?!

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Bye bye Balloon Tips in Windoze XP

November 26th, 2007 by Raj

True, everyone probably learnt this tip a hundred years ago when XP came out but if you’re a Mac user like me that’s running XP on the side you’re probably as annoyed as I was with those stupid little balloon tips popping up in your taskbar every five seconds!

XP Balloons

Here’s how you get rid of them….

Warning: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then press ENTER.
  2. Navigate to the following subkey:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  3. Right-click the right pane, create a new DWORD value, and then name it EnableBalloonTips.
  4. Double-click this new entry, and then give it a hexadecimal value of 0.
  5. Quit Registry Editor. Log off Windows, and then log back on.



(Source: Microsoft’s Support Article)

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Day 12: The Condiment War

November 20th, 2007 by Raj

It’s truly surprising what one can come up with to keep yourself occupied when you are truly bored. Tonight I was beyond boredom, in fact boredom was so far in my mind’s rear view mirror I’d crossed states, perhaps islands and was waving to it from Auckland. “Hello boredom!” So bored shitless with no desire to fire up the xBox, nothing on the idiot box and all my washing neatly folded and stored I did the only thing left to do to pass the time. I cooked, or rather I conducted a food experiment of monumental proportion!

In actual fact, to be truthful and all that, the experiment came about because of my uncanny craving for lamb chops. All day I’d been thinking about how I wanted to get chicken and chips for dinner but when it came crunch time my stomach told me otherwise.


“Listen fool”
-my stomach talks like Mr. T- “You ain’t eatin’ no chicken & chips. No jibba-jabba you be eatin’ lamp chops! FOOL!”

Alright, stomach, calm down… Chops it is, doesn’t bother me I’ve got some in the freezer at home, it’s pretty much the only thing in my fridge/freezer besides one stubby of Cooper’s Pale Ale and a bunch of insulin for that pesky disease Diabetes I so thoughtlessly have. So I trotted up to the supermarket to get some fresh bread so I could the chops Aussie BBQ style with a bit of tomato sauce, maybe some potatoes and beans in there too, who knows? We’ll see how Mr. T feels about vegies later.

Back from the supermarket, or as I prefer to call it, the-slightly-less-than-super-coz-it’s-about-as-big-as-my-apartment-market, fresh bread and diabetic sauce in hand I open sesame the freezer draw and wham-o! No lamb chops. Fuckin’ crap, Mother F’er, no way in hell I’m walking fifty metres up the road again to go buy some, buzz kill a plenty. Unbelievable, I was 110% sure I had lamb chops in here, turns out it was mince and a couple of porterhouse steaks that I can’t even remember buying. Maybe one of my guests bought them when I was overseas and they felt sorry the baron waste land that is my fridge.

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OK, OK, plan B… there’s steak, they’re in a chop like form, I could whack a shellacking of “Masterfoods Smokey BBQ Seasoning” all over them and pretend they’re lamb, it’d take a lot of seasoning though and I’m low on supply because of it’s constant use in The Cooking Show (Don’t worry folks, it’ll be back soon). Nix that, save the Smokey. Steak, steak…. oh you idiot… steak sandwiches! Oh hang on tomato, no cheese, no lettuce, pretty much no everything except bread and steak. Next move, cupboards and fridge door, what have we got to work with?

The entire contents of my fridge that was edible at this point in time:

  • 1 egg (um, may be edible, it would be questionable)
  • full cream milk (none of this skinny, soy, calcium enriched junk)
  • butter (again, see milk)
  • tomato sauce
  • Dijon mustard (when did that get in here?)
  • Dijonnaise (it’s like the mustard only mixed with a mayonnaise I presume)

So this is when my brain went a little crazy, crazy-time. What we have here is a lot of extras, accessories to a meal if you will. The multitude of condiments available to me was rather astonishing seeing that I almost never use them bar tomato sauce. I have to cook the steak, there’s no option there without that I’ll be eating bread and butter if anything, so fry pan on, steak in, lightly dusted with a bit of cracked pepper and salt for flavour enhancers. We’ll get the bread ready, butter her up, hmmm, four slices, that’ll at least make two sandwiches of steak and sauce. The rest of the steak I’ve decided is to be sacrificed to the gods of condiments that occupy the heavens of Fisher & Pykell, to be joined by the god’s messenger himself Gravox! Yeah!

With the wafting aroma of lightly charcoaled steak permeating through my kitchen I began lining up small dipping bowls of the delegated condiments for my impending culinary enjoyment. There lined up on my dining room table were four bowls with hand written labels scrawled beneath them just to make sure I didn’t get the Dijon twins mixed up even if they were different colours and consistencies, Dijon mustard, Dijonnaise, Tomato Sauce and last but not least Traditional Roast Gravy.

After gorging the two sandwiches in record time, who knew experimenting was such hard work, I divided the remaining three quarter chop into equal portions and began the taste test of champions. Here are my findings:

  • Dijon Mustard – It has quite a tang to it, almost over bearing on the palette if the morsel is completely coated. Whilst the citrus like taste doesn’t take from the meat altogether I wouldn’t coat an entire portion of steak in nothing but Dijon.
  • Dijoinnaise – I’m a big fan of this bad boy on pork cutlets. Unlike raw Dijon mustard it’s not quite as harsh or shocking on the senses and is more like a complimenting flavour than a competitor. Still I wouldn’t want to use this one too much, it can get a bit sickening after a while, most likely because of it’s mayo base.
  • Tomato Sauce – Ketchup for you American like folk. Always a winner, love it and if you prefer BBQ sauce you can take your sugar filled shite and shove it, sugar free Tomato Sauce actually tastes better than the real stuff in my opinion. And yes I’ve had both.
  • Gravy – You wouldn’t really think of this one as a condiment as such but if you make it as thick as I do you’d probably mistake it for wet cement. Beautiful, cover your meat in it, cover it I tell you! Do it!

Now whilst you might have thought, wow, four condiments, that’s zany enough, let’s go over that edge, beyond that mountain, and blow your mind with…. COMBO’S!

  • Dijon & Dijonnaise – Um… it’s not exactly worth it, tastes like a harsher version of the Dijonnaise.
  • Dijon & Tomato Sauce – Surprisingly refreshing. The sauce must take from the Dijon’s tang, strangely I might have that one again. Oh, nope, once was more than enough!
  • Tomato Sauce & Gravy – Had this one before, it’s a delicate one to balance because too much of either can ruin the experience. I try to stick with two parts gravy, one part sauce for an even combination.
  • Dijon & Gravy – One word. No.
  • All Four – My head exploded! Not really, I wish (sorta), how cool would that have been!

Finally I’ll answer the question you’re all asking and no I wasn’t sick, that night or the day after. It’s not a meal I’d recommend every Joe Bloe give a shot but still it was something to pass the time. Moral of the story… don’t let your internet ever go, hold on to her and treat her well so you never have to do what I just did to keep you occupied…. EVER!

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Day 11: Your phone is connected… ahhh no it’s not!

November 19th, 2007 by Raj

As if I was somehow psychic in yesterday’s entry in saying that there would surely be something to piss me off today I could have not been more of a clairvoyant if you had a purple towel wrapped around my noggin’ and my name was “Raj the ever seeing guy”.

It was at about midday when my mobile beeped away to let me know that I’d received an SMS. My telecommunications provider had sent me a little note to inform me that my phone line was now completely connected and functional, thus you would presume fixing my little issue of people not being able to call the newly installed landline and also having the order closed off in Telstra wholesaling system allowing me to proceed with the DSL connection. Well you’d think that would be the case now wouldn’t you.

I thought I’d give the old home phone a quick call on my mobile to make sure everything was fixed, I’m a tad skeptical when it comes to telcos, working for one kind of does that.

The number you have called is either invalid or disconnected, please check the number and try again.

Right; phone line not fixed. A quick call and forty minute wait in the support queue later I got through to the first person I’d spoken to at iiNet that had a brain. Not only did this guy understand that I knew what I was talking about, he also sympathized with my situation as he’d recently been through the same thing. Halle-fucking-lujah! Not only did this fine young gentleman, who’s name escapes me now, identify that I had a legitimate issue that was up until now further prolonging precious DSL provisioning time he did something completely above and beyond what any call centre worker has ever done for me. To verify the problem he rang my new landline number from his own mobile phone! Can you believe it?!

Well there is a bit more to it than that, you see first he rang it from his desk phone and it worked. This of course is because my phone is on their own DSLAM network, but when you call it from another, ie. Telstra’s, Optus’s or a mobile network, it doesn’t work for shit. A round of applause please for Tom, or was it Mike, or John, hell a round of applause for the dude that helped!!

So phone issue escalated to the provisioning department to get off their butts and do something he then saw I had a relocating DSL order, one that was half lost because they’d given me a new landline number and not linked it to my old account. Well Tom fixed that too (yeah, let’s stick with Tom as the name). I felt like I’d died and gone to call centre heaven!

Last but certainly not least came the miracle of the day, actually the miracle of this entire debacle that is a relocation request. Tom, the almighty wizard, started the order for my DSL regardless of the line state.

OH MY GOD!

“Tom, you’re a legend mate, I really appreciate it.” I said.
“No problems at all, I can imagine what you’ve been through.” He replied, obviously another member of the brotherhood nerd.
“Yeah I would imagine there’s a few notes on all this.”
“Umm…. 22 for this week so far.” For fuck’s sake, I’ve called these morons twenty two times to get this far and the phone still doesn’t work properly!

It didn’t really matter about the phone line though, there was a DSL order in and now I had to wait a mere four to six working days for an iiNet tech to go to the same exchange the Telstra tech went to last Thursday and plug in the DSL. It’s funny, the Telstra tech even said to me how easy it was to do them both at the same time but there’s all this legal crap and they can’t touch iiNet’s equipment in the exchange and blah de blah, what-a-load-of-bollocks, blah, blah. Stupid legalities I could’ve had my DSL turned on last Thursday with my currently retarded phone connection for fuck’s sake!

So anyway… the sum of Monday and the saga so far…

  • Phone is connected but only half working
  • DSL is finally on it’s way
  • Unfortunately it could be upwards of a week until I get that, and then I have to rely on it working first time.

Thank you Tom! (Enjoy that, I don’t sincerely say thank you that often!)

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Day 9 & Day 10: The Weekend

November 18th, 2007 by Raj

Big Breakfast

The weekend was pretty much a non event when it comes to bitching about my lacking internet. I ate, I slept, I found out my recently connected phone line wont accept incoming calls, nothing I can do until Monday.

Other than a bike ride and some very delicious breakfast in North Melbourne I don’t have anything particularly exciting to report so this entry’s a nice and short one for you all.

Don’t worry I’m sure there’ll be something to piss me off on Monday!

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Day 8: The eGames Expo

November 17th, 2007 by Raj

Along with the internal jubilation that my phone line had finally been connected and was now on the path to broadband enlightenment today I had plans to check out the eGames Expo at Melbourne’s Exhibition Centre this afternoon. True it wasn’t a real internet connection but it was something to take my mind off things and perhaps check out a few goodies that I can expect to be playing on my current must-have-to-stay-sane toy, the xBox 360. Heck, I even came in to work before 8am so I could leave early and get to this thing, that doesn’t happen too often let me tell you!

The work day came and went without any great moments worth documenting and at 3:30 myself, Stu and another workmate Matt walked our butts over to the Exhibition Centre where the expo was taking place. Little did any of us know but there was another expo at the same location taking place that day and throughout the weekend, one that was most likely going to entertain just a few more patrons that little old eGames. Right next door, with hundreds of people who didn’t look like “Comic Book Guy” from The Simpsons walking through its entrance, was Sexpo.

eGames Expo

Walking in to the hall of the Exhibition Centre it was painstakingly obvious who was going where. A constant stream of leggy models and beefed up guys all wearing “Sexpo Exhibitor” badges around their necks and then a hundred odd guys in shorts and t-shirts with food stains from lunch, backpacks, video cameras and podcast equipment loaded up to the teeth looking at the ground and following the person in front of them like moths to the flame of video game beeps and twangs.

“It’s a me; Mario.”

OK so enough about the pale comparison of exhibition size (no pun intended) let’s talk about what was actually there at eGames. Well to sum it all up in one word, “nothing”. Alright, alright, I don’t want to piss off more people than I already have, there wasn’t “nothing” exactly I just personally think there wasn’t anything exciting worth $16 to see. You see last year we all got to get a glimpse of Gears of War (well you did if you waited in line for three hours to see it on the ONE console) a few months before it came out. This year there was a few things there like Assassins Creed and Mario Galaxy but these are out in a few days! Plus as I mentioned before, just like they did last year you were lucky if there was more than one screen showing the damn thing! I mean come on, if this is your big draw card let the people play dang nab-it!

It’s funny I’ve read a few “impressions” by journalists about the place who’ve showcased the bigger floor size and more software being shown off but seriously guys if you can’t get your hands on the stuff without waiting five hours I couldn’t really give a shit! You might have had three hundred guitars to play GH3 or a bazillion PC’s loaded up with Crysis but those games are already in the wild!

Breath Raj, breath…

So what was the positive, what was actually worth checking out? Gran Turismo 5 was there in its full Japanese charactered menu glory. I must admit it puts some of the models in Project Gotham 4 to shame. Singstar was also on show for the PS3 brethren, a big favourite amongst many a Playstation owner. xBox wise you got shafted a bit, Mass Effect was being shown but when I was there no one really seemed to care. If you were or rather think you are pretty hot in the LAN arena then there was a Halo 3 tournament along with Crysis and I think Call of Duty 4 all running and a bunch of keynotes from games developers and big guns in the gaming arena like Nintendo who of course were peddling the only game to come out for the Wii in a million years Mario Galaxy. I guess it wasn’t too bad but I still felt a tad cheated considering what I paid to get in.

One highlight I was actually really impressed with was God of War: Chains of Olympus for the PSP. I don’t think anyone knew it was there because I just walked up and had a crack. Best thing I’ve ever seen on a PSP, felt exactly the same as the PS2 version and didn’t appear to be cut down much at all in any aspect when compared to its big brothers. The gameplay was amazingly smooth, sound quality as good as you can expect from the PSP’s shithouse speakers and very well polished. It almost made me want to buy a PSP again after selling it way back in the day when there was nothing worth playing on it (and still isn’t in my opinion, well not until God of War comes out, or is already? I didn’t ask, too lazy)

When it all comes down to it the expo was pretty good for Australia, hell I’m impressed by the fact we even have a games expo! I guess the fact the AutoSalon has it’s little Game1 expo technically means we have two, but from all reports it barely counts. I’ve not been so I can’t give my own twisted opinion on that one. Anyway, back to eGames, I bitch and moan but truth be known if it’s back next year I’ll go again and most likely bitch and moan again. It is growing though and that can only be a good thing, and in order for it to continue to grow and become the great gamer heaven I want it to be in my head means it needs our support, even when it does suck a bit, to get the ball rolling.

So here’s to eGames Expo… pwn on bitches!

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Day 7: Baby steps on the road to Internet salvation

November 15th, 2007 by Raj

Today was a landmark day in what seems to be the never ending road that is my internet connection, or rather lack there of. You see today I had the most wonderful pleasure of being visited by Australia’s front running money stealing telecommunication provider Telstra. I’ve been looking forward to this day for a week now, you see even though I wont be using Telstra as my provider for any service at all because none of the wonderful mould-in-shower-growing tenants before me had done the courtesy of having a phone line connected to my new apartment. So being the wonderful country we are here in Australia it means our first and formally government owned telco is required to come out to your premises and plug in a few wires here and there because they’re the ones that own the infrastructure pretty much everywhere. (Unless you’re in an Optus HFC networked area which covers stuff all of the country and inexcusably wont connect to apartment buildings because they’re lazy even if you can basically reach out and grab the cable from your window. But I’m not bitter about that at all)

85593511 F130712789

Of course having an appointment with Telstra means completely writing off the good part of a day with their rather large visiting windows where someone must sit at home twiddling their thumbs until the rock up an hour after the window they gave you. My window of wait was the lovely hours of between nine and one in the afternoon, and as I so crassly stated in the previous sentence I was by no means expecting anyone to arrive until 2pm at the earliest going on past experience.

At about 10:30am I got a phone call from a private number on my mobile, fully expecting it to be work and answering in the according fashion.

“Good morning, Raj speaking” I chirped.
“Hi there… “ I normally get this delayed response when people that don’t know call as they try to figure out whether or not I said ‘Roy’ or ‘Ray’ as my name and more importantly whether they should attempt using it, he didn’t. “… it’s James from Telstra, just calling to let you know I’ll be there in about half an hour.”

Were my precious delicate ears deceiving me?! Not only was it two and a half hours before Telstra’s window was due to finish but by some crazy miracle the tech called me before coming around to ensure I was there and ready for him! Either I had the best Telstra tech in the world or they’ve done some serious work on their customer service in the past three years! Granted their installation delay still sucks arse with a seven day wait (for a Diabetic that legally requires a phone connection for emergencies I might add) but I was… and yes hold your breath here folks… I was impressed!
Pretty much half an hour later on the dot there was a buzzin’ on my intercom and in waltzed James the Telstra tech. Nice guy as far as telco techs go. He went to work and during we had a small chat about how we both work for telcos, neither of actually using our respective employers for internet or phone providers because their plans are incredibly ludicrous. We laughed, we bonded, it was beautiful. If it was a movie there would be soft lensed shots of us trotting between my floor and the basement to the building’s patch panel in slow motion. Very homo-erotic. The money shot of course being the insertion of my phone’s cord into the now active wall socket to unleash an orgasmic scream that is the dial tone of life. Woah! Didn’t think you could make a phone line install into porn now did you!

Phonesocket

So now; I have a phone. A phone that lets me use a dial up internet account. An internet account that is so incredibly slow because of me needing to use a V.34 string (Don’t know what that is kiddies? You’re too young and I feel old so piss off) to have a stable connection that I’ve resided to the fact checking my email once a day and posting these diary/blog entries is about all it’s good for.

I WANT MY BROADBAND!!!!

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