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Macs, Movies, Games, Books, etc. The Rants of a Mad Man.

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Day 6: This no Internet thing is expensive!

November 14th, 2007 by Raj

Empty Pockets-Tbn

By and large my lack of internet connectivity these past few days has been made bearable through the rather large growth in my normally meagre social calendar. Unfortunately a bi-product of said ascent is the rapid descent in my bank balance. As I sit here, returning from my latest engagement my current total life savings comes to the massive total of….. drum roll please…. $18.18. Yes! Thank you for playing.

Granted, we are of course coming in to the silly season with everyone weekend between now and New Years rapidly being allotted to particular events but in one week for me to attend two birthday’s, a wedding, a catch up, a podcast recording and then tonight topping it off with a farewell is most definitely out of sorts even for this time of year. Quite clearly when performing this fortnight’s budget I had not allowed for such a bevy of social meetings, nor would have I got it right had I known that all of these events were to be occurring as I’m not normally associated with such a full diary. No, I am forever the hermit who’s diary would in the most cases contain blank pages bar the odd note here and there for a friend’s birthday.

While burning the candle from both ends, as well as sideways and any other angle I can try right now, has been interesting for the past week or so I hardly think I’m of any social stamina to go the distance on this one. I’m wrecked, completely tapped out of smiles and polite conversational small talk banter about the weather and how cute one’s baby son’s dribble might be. Nope give me the solace of a hyper egotistical petulant online forum where I can anonymously be a complete prick and the world be none the wiser; or more to the point no retaliate in a harmful physical manner.

I will give you an example of the draining politeness that sucked the life from my social positivity. Whilst at one of the many previously mentioned events there was a friend of a friend who rocked up late. Well late would be polite, he actually rocked up two hours after the hour we initially waited before ordering food! People can be late though, I mean it happens you have a good reason, his was helping someone move, life goes on. What you don’t expect is that when they do eventually arrive that they arrive half pissed and having quite obviously not moved any piece of furniture -well none that anyone would value- in the last hour at least! But no one out of the twenty odd people that had done the right-thing-to-do in waiting for this a-hole said anything about it but all smiled, conversed and bitched whenever he went to the toilet. Let’s not even mention he was also adorning the current wanker fashion of tucking in your fucking disgusting pink & brown stripped polo in behind your belt buckle but no where else around his muffin topped waist!. Ouch, that’s way harsh Ty!

Now that’s just not the internet way, at least people are honest straight up on the net, albeit perhaps a tad too upfront and downright rude in most cases. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some utopian balance where people weren’t completely fake and put on a face like we do in real life and could be a little more honest but not to the extremities of the internet. Is that what it’s like in a marriage or a long term relationship? Cruel but fair honesty? Nah, can’t be, that’d be like telling your significant other their arse looks fat in their latest purchase, only gay men can get away with that to their fag-hag handbags.

Oh hang on, I’m getting angry now… time to eat another can of Campbell’s soup. Stupid social life, taking all my money!

Damn you Internet!!!!

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Day 5: A slight reprieve from HundredPennies

November 13th, 2007 by Raj

Whilst the idea of dragging my bean bag to the top floor of my apartment building and setting it up at the far end of the corridor of which is the only position thus far I’ve found that entertains a constant and open wi-fi connection is sounding like a better idea each minute, I have today been blessed with a mild reprieve from internet darkness.

Initially things weren’t exactly looking the brightest, work’s network once again decided to take an unscheduled holiday leaving us all in pre-historic times, I always knew that after work I would be graced with the burning white light of a solid connection. You see today I was heading off to Stu’s place to guest on another episode of the HundredPennies podcast.

I think Gav, Stu & Fu all took much glee in torturing my lack of connectivity, an entire segment was dedicated to my misfortune. Bastards! I can’t complain though, after the recording was done and a few beers in the belly I finally had the opportunity to jump online again. Yippee!!

Laptop open, wireless network connected and…. nothing. No, not nothing in that the connection wasn’t working, nope nothing as in what the hell do I want to do on here? Nothing. I’d looked at my email throughout the day’s up and down network issues at work, I didn’t particularly have anything to look up or source information on and I’ve given up Facebook so I couldn’t even waste time on there. What was going on? I haven’t had an internet connection like this in five days and there was *nothing* I wanted to do on it now that I had one?! I mean, five days for fuck’s sake!

So what did I do? Well pretty much nothing, looked at the weather for upcoming day and deleted some spam. Yay, how incredibly boring! I may as well not even bother about connecting the damn thing at home! Well, actually no, let’s not get crazy stupid here, I was just tired and clearly not thinking straight to say that!

It did get me thinking though, what do I actually use the internet for when I’m at home? What is it that makes it such a necessity for me that I pretty much have withdrawals from it and start climbing the walls? YouTube isn’t that damn good! The conclusion I came to was that it’s more of a security blanket for me these days. Having your favourite IM client open and being able to chat to someone should they be available, or looking up street directions and the weather, perhaps downloading a podcast or some sort of entertainment. The reality is though it’s really just a giant time wasting device, replacing the TV as the king of couch potato amusement. Seriously, think about what you do online, is it anything productive? I doubt it, how else do you explain the billions of useless websites about people’s pets? I can’t believe I’m saying this! How dare I?!

When it all comes down to it, whilst my job revolves around the internet I’m coming to the conclusion that if need be I could, and I do stress *COULD* live without it at home. It’s never a situation that I want to experience for longer than I already have but worse things could happen.

Peace out people with internet access (I hate you all)

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Day 4: The withdrawals are kicking in

November 12th, 2007 by Raj

Today was the first day that I truly missed having the internet accessible to me at home. Things started well though, I was practically delirious when I got to work this morning, the prospect of having a connection available to me had sent my head spinning and I was an a rather obvious high to my co-workers. The same high must have spurred on my table tennis abilities because I pretty much played the best I ever had downing colleagues throughout the day.

But work is work, and internet at work is restricted, there’s no ports open beyond the common HTTP and HTTPS and even then they’re restricted to certain sites. I can’t complain though, at least I could get into my various email accounts and check them through their webmail counterparts, removing spam and the majority of useless information I have delivered on a daily basis.

It wasn’t until I came home that the reality of the situation kicked in. I had no plans for the night which usually means I can ponder my way through various websites whilst the TV provides background noise in my pursuit of avoiding boredom. At one point I was rather excited that I might have stumbled across an open wireless network, it popped up briefly when I was listening to music from my laptop but the signal quickly disappeared. I wandered around the apartment from bedroom to bedroom, kitchen to bathroom, desperately searching for another glimpse of that sweet, sweet “NETGEAR” flash of internet light but it was all to no evail. There was no use in trying and having finished just Guitar Hero 3 I didn’t really feel like bettering any of my scores and I wasn’t really in the mood for tackling Call of Duty 4 so I did the unthinkable, I exercised.


Now most nerds/geeks/freaks, pick your stereotype, would run from a treadmill… well actually “run” is probably not the most accurate description one could use, let’s say “avoid” a treadmill about as much as they would the outdoors or sunlight but on occasion I’ve been known to indulge in this fanciful world of jocks and gyms. I myself am the proud owner of a treadmill that I must admit has not seen a great deal of usage these past months and certainly none at all upon my return from my trip overseas. The treadmill, along with my exercise ball and dumbbells do have their own little home now that I’m in my new place of residence, the second bedroom whilst harbouring unpacked boxes and irregularly worn attire is also playing house to said exercise equipment.

Having not done a great deal of exercise lately I didn’t particularly want to dive in all guns a blazing so a few sit ups here a couple of weight exercises there and a small stroll for fifteen minutes was more than enough to suffice my unaccustomed limbs and muscles. Had I not decided to exercise I would’ve probably spent the entire evening roaming the halls of my apartment building in search of that wi-fi signal again. Either way I would’ve been exercising I suppose, depending on how long I wandered I suppose.

I feel good that I did some proper exercise tonight though. Even though it makes your tired and weary you know that you’ve done something nice for your body. We’ll see how sore I am tomorrow as to whether or I not I still agree with that statement but regardless it should ensure I get a good and more importantly early night’s rest.

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Day 3: It’s just not meant to be

November 11th, 2007 by Raj

Yesterday’s solution of alcohol has the unfortunate side effect of this morning’s banging head and general all over feeling of shite-ness. Ahhh yes, the sweet, sweet remnants of the evening passed have given birth today an almighty hang over that could only be complimented more so by a call from work’s support desk asking me to drag myself out of bed and come into the office to fix an issue that has in an almost devil like twin birth forced me to face the world running at half speed and retarded.

The upside, or rather proverbial silver lining of this cloud is that whilst I may be going in to the office at 10 on a Sunday morning with a hangover to rival the Chernobyl disaster work does have a wonderful thing called the internet connected to it that will somewhat alleviate the cravings that is my nerd-dom’s internet addiction.

Take away coffee in hand, obligatory sunglasses covering eyes and recently digested Nurofen dissolving I boarded the train with what can only be described as your early Sunday morning collective of commuters. An unruly mixture of teenagers heading to the city to shop and loiter in their desperate quest to grow older too quickly, older persons who really aren’t quite sure what they’re doing but figure with the weather being nice it’d be a grand old idea to ride the “iron horse” and spend a day in “town” and then my category of cruelly injured revealers, most of which find themselves returning home from a night whence they know not what they’ve done, where they’ve been or god forbid whom they’ve been with.

“That’s a lovely shade of massacre panda eyes.” Did I just say that out loud? Hehehe; oh, mental note, don’t make self laugh, hurts head.

Work’s problem turns out to be nothing I can fix, it’s actually nothing to do with my department at all but instead the fact that, in an ironic twist of fate, that our little old office has been disconnected from the world with a switch failing and the redundancy being so slow that it too is as redundant as having the first broken. English, our network connection is ferked and low and behold that means no internet for me. Great. Three hours later after informing our lovely and obliging network engineers our computers burst into life along with the phones and magically all the problems disappear. Not bad I suppose, three hours and all, I mean it only took me an hour to get it through their heads that there was a problem. Let’s just say that IT support or for that matter most people working in IT (and I can say this because I’m one of them) have about as much in the way of communication skills, no let’s narrow it further, listening skills as Britney Spears does parenting.

There was no way I was sticking around the office any longer than what I already had so whence the network did grace all with its triumphant return I quickly uploaded the last two days diary entries and made sure there was nothing worth reading in my email accounts. There wasn’t.

Being such a lovely day, and the fact that there was really no rush to get home other than to unpack or sit around bored I took a wander through the city. There were a lot of parasites; crap… “people” crawling through the city centre and various shopping outlets. I did my usual lap of Borders with no purchase, a rarity for me, and then checked cooled the hangover blues with some of the Colonel’s finest popcorn chicken before heading home.

t shirts

With no plans and nothing to really keep me away from relocation duties I started to clean up a little from the move. It was either that or sitting down with my thoughts and to be perfectly honest sitting around home doing nothing reminds me of being on holidays in a strange city where you know no one and there are not sights to go see leaving you alone with your thoughts. Frankly being alone with them scare me, I try and keep away from my thoughts as best possible. Depressing bastard. So I did the next best thing… I separated clothes I don’t wear any more and then arranged the most commonly worn attire in my new walk-in-robe by colour (Black-Grey-White then standard ROYGBIV of course) using a uniform coat hanger style and colour. Can you hear the psycho music playing?

Of course when dealing with clothes there are always dirty ones which meant numerous loads of washing, which to be honest I should’ve started about four days ago but even when procrastinating from work, there’s so many other wonderfully mind numbing activities to pursue than washing but my fingers were hurting from playing too much Guitar Hero as it was so I gave in. After drying the first load and putting another in the washing machine I began the arduous task of folding and sorting where I came across a rather unexpected find… There amongst my freshly dried washing was a pair of white woman’s underwear! Now either I’d had one hell of a night that I have no recollection of or I’ve started sleep-cross-dressing because there hasn’t been a woman near my place in a very long, long, long, long, long time. (Sorry I have over emphasised that fact?) How on Earth did a pair of woman’s underwear get into my washing?? I was positively befuddled! I put them aside and went on with my business and it wasn’t until later eating my dinner that consisted of Campbell’s Chunky Dog-Food, I mean “Beef Stew” in a convenient microwaveable tub that it hit me! I just moved apartments: Yes, yes you have. The dryer comes with the apartment: Uhuh, your point? It’s up high too: Again, correct. How many times did you leave stuff there by mistake because you couldn’t see it? A few I suppose, socks tend to become invisible in there. Eureka! It would seem the mystery underwear has been left by a previous tenant. So I just did a fresh load of washing and then dried it with someone’s underwear that has been festering away in the apartment’s tumble dryer for the past two weeks? Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…

I did some washing. Again.

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Day 2: Problem: No Internet, Solution: Alcohol

November 10th, 2007 by Raj

This morning I was awoken with the dulcet tones of The Chemical Brothers’ Salmon Dance, or in plain English, my mobile phone ringing. I’d obviously had the first good nights sleep in my new abode because whilst frantically swinging my arms in haste to grab the vibrating, noise emitting brick that is my phone my eye caught a glimpse of the bedside clock reading 10:00am. Pretty happy with that, 12 hours of solid rest a first since returning from my overseas holiday, but I digress; the call was from my mate Stu to inform me he was on his way to drop off my Guitar Hero 3 he’d bought on my behalf and then drag my sorry arse out to lunch with the other boys from Hundred Pennies and their respective better halves.

An hour later and still unshowered Stu, Fu, Gav, Jackie & Helen rocked up guitars in hand ready to smash out some tunes before heading off to lunch. Whilst I avoided the temptation to join them in an early day beer (I’d just brushed my teeth) the alcohol started flowing at around midday to coincide to the rocking tunes that were pumping from the latest addition to my xBox library. Have to love Guitar Hero, any moron can be a rock god in their own living room. I like to think of it as the heterosexual version of Sing Star.

All rocked up and ready to kick on we made our way to The Standard Hotel in Fitzroy for a few quiet ones and a spot of lunch. I can’t remember the last time I actually went out into a beer garden on a Saturday afternoon, sunlight on your back is a strange feeling. It felt like I had a giant warm hand caressing my back holding me upright as the cool flow of liquid heaven swirled and digested inside me. Serene. Is this what it’s like for normal people? Do they get such a thrill of outdoory-like-ness if they do this every weekend? I’m guessing it’s like anything and you’d get used to it and the novelty would wear off over time but I was rather enjoying myself to my amazement.

Six or seven beers later (well I had about three, Stu had a hundred) feeling well feed after some lovely beer battered fish & chups (that’s just for you New Zealand folk) and a little sleepy the group parted ways and I went home for a little snooze in preparation for tonight’s events which low and behold involved more drinking and socializing.

I may have in fact slept a tad longer than I had wanted, waking up at about 8:30 I went for a jaunt in the now cooling early evening glow of sunset to grab some chicken and chips (yes I ate crap all day) to lace the stomach a tad before embarking down the road of alcohol once again. Food down, another shower, change and a work call later I was in the city celebrating Laura’s 30th. Now this was about 10ish by the time I got there, I know there was a lot of alcohol, a lot of drunken talk and jager shots, and NO missing internet. 48 hours baby, yeah I rock!

In your face global network! IN-YOUR-FACE!

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Day 1: No Internet; what’s a nerd to do?

November 9th, 2007 by Raj

Right-o lets not beat around the bush here… I have no, I repeat “NO” internet connection. How could this be possible? Seriously taking away my internet is, I would say, almost equivalent to taking away my insulin. I need it to survive! Gee, who sounds like an addict here?

So lets get to the obvious question of “How on Earth could you get yourself in this predicament?”. Well, there’s nothing particularly exciting about how I’ve found myself to be internet-less unfortunately. The reality of the situation is that I’ve had to move house this past week. Whilst this shouldn’t be a big deal, simple relocation of services really, especially when you tell your phone & internet provider two weeks prior to actually moving. Things rarely go smoothly in the telecommunications world though do they now!? You see it turned out that in the three years that this apartment had been in existence with six different tenants not one of them had decided to connect the phone line! So you see I now find myself in the position of waiting a lovely 5 working days for Telstra to get off their fat arses and come around to plug in a couple of wires. Now add another few days for the services to churn from Telstra to my ISP and then have the DSL turned on and I’m looking at a good 2 weeks without DSL. Granted I could get considerably desperate and use dial-up once Telstra have done their business but to be honest I think that’d be even more torturous than no connection at all!

With all that in mind I thought to myself what better way to share my agony and boredom than by diarizing the entire journey that is my life without the internet. You know, tell you how I bought coffee at 9:00am then came home to check my email. Oh hang on, nope can’t do that, don’t have the internet so turned to a new addiction of cocaine and heroin. Yeah, it’ll be fun and I know the whole world is just dying to hear about it.

Now I know you’re slowly putting one and sixty-four together and asking yourself “If he has no in-ta-ma-nets then how is he going to ‘diarize’ these events online?”. Well it’s pretty simple really, I write the entries offline on my fancy little `puter thingy-ma-jigg and then when I come across an internet connection, like when I go to work on Monday or I’m at a friends or walking around the neighbourhood looking for open wireless connections, I upload them for all ye online peoples to read to your hearts content. Jebus, I’m already delirious!

With the explanation of what the hell this is all about out of the way lets get on with the show with the excitement that was “Raj’s first day without the internet”. I was sick, end of entry. No, I wouldn’t leave my loyal following with such a short description. I was exhausted after moving for the last three days after work days and couldn’t keep any food down until about four this afternoon. You see, the short description was probably all you really wanted to know after all now wasn’t it. I slept; I watched DVD’s, I highly suggest the movie “Hot Rod” for a cheap laugh by the by; and low behold Mr. Cricket entertained me with yet another stylish Mike Hussey century!

So at this point in time I’m doing OK without my old friend “Internet”, I haven’t really had the opportunity to miss him (or maybe it’s a her, hell maybe it’s a hermaphrodite?) but just to be sure I’ve made the following list of things to do should I need waste time.

  • Work (ahhh, yeah right)
  • Unpack. I mean there’s only 30 boxes full of crap sprawled across my floor.
  • Read a book, hell why not “Write a book” instead.
  • See what daylight looks like again. And ruin my milky white skin!? I think not!
  • Play xBox. The new Guitar Hero is awesome, not to mention Call of Duty 4.
  • Catch up with people in the real world, you know, just for something fancy to do.
  • Get a girlfriend. Not as easy as it sounds and the plastic ones just aren’t as durable these days.
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Get Birthday alerts in iCal automatically

October 29th, 2007 by Raj

If you’re anything like me the addition of birthdays being listed in iCal from your Address Book in OS X was one of the best little additions Apple could have done. Unfortunately again, if you’re like me, the fact that whilst seeing the birthdays being listed as all day events is great you don’t look in iCal every day and three days after your Dad’s birthday you open it up to see just how extensive your excuse is going to need to be for missing it! If only Apple would give you the ability to set an alert on the Birthday calendar, be it that morning or a few days before to give you time for gift shopping…

Birthday Alerts iCal image

Well fear not because I have the answer to all your problems in one simple little AppleScript that will help you do exactly that by scanning through your Address Book and picking out birthdays for that week and adding new “Birthday Alert” events into iCal all on its own. Isn’t life grand!

Here’s how it works exactly…

One by one the script goes through the people in your Address Book looking at only those that have a “birthday” value set.

If there’s a birthday for a particular individual we check if that birthday is due to happen within the next week. I’ve decided to set it to only look at a week at a time because I run the AppleScript automatically once a week overnight. This way if I happen to add someone’s birthday in for two weeks away it will add a reminder for me and not miss it.

Once we’ve identified all the people who have birthdays in the next week the script jumps into iCal and creates events at a particular time after midnight on that person’s birthday. By default I have it set to 9am, you can quite easily change this to 12 (midday) or 16 (4pm) it’s totally up to you. You can also set the date of the reminder to be a certain number of days prior to their birthday by modifying the default variables.

The events are added into the calendar you specify at the top of the script, I’ve created a new calendar called “Birthday Alerts” but by default it will add them to your “Home” calendar.

Lastly once the event is added in (named “X’s Birthday Alert”) an alert is added to the event so you’ll get a little pop up at the specified time of the event. Clever hey!

At the top of the script are the variables that you can set to your own specific liking (as mentioned above) they are:
numberDaysNotice — how many days before the birthday to alert you, 0 is that day (default 0)
timeOfNotification — the hour you want the notification (default 9)
selectedCalender — the calender in iCal you want to add the events to (default Home)

I have the script setup to run automatically each Sunday by running it as a cronjob using the command line AppleScript launcher “osascript”. Its simply:
“osascript /Users/raj/Documents/birthdayAlert.scpt”

Perhaps I’m a complete idiot and I’m missing a really simple way that you can already do this in iCal or Address Book, if so, let me know, otherwise I hope it makes your life a little easier. Oh and if it doesn’t work for you, sorry, I’ve only tested it under Leopard.

Download it HERE.

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The End of Holiday Interview

October 19th, 2007 by Raj

I’ve been back in the land of Oz with the Tinman & friends for about a week now and with every re-encounter comes the usual questions… How was your holiday, What was the highlight, Why do birds suddenly appear… every time… you are near? So rather than relay the same old stories to every man and their pet poodle Beatsie why not join me in what I like to call a little-bit-of-psychotic-behaviour where I interview myself about my holiday.

To keep things a little less confusing the part of the Interviewer will be denoted as “Interviewer” rather than “Me”. Get it?

Interviewer: Thanks for joining me Raj, it’s a pleasure to catch up with you so recently after you return.

No problems Raj, pleasure’s all mine. Hey you’re a pretty snappy dresser my man, I’m down with “da threads” dog.

Interviewer: Why thank you. You’re not sack of potatoes either.


Interviewer: So, six weeks…

Actually no, this was a big misconception most likely perpetuated by my own bragging but the trip itself was five weeks exactly.

Sorry, five weeks. That’s a long time, has it been difficult to go back to work?

Work not so much, I mean it’s not my ideal situation but hey gotta pay the bills hey! The worst thing is jet lag. I’m still fucked with it, waking up at 4am every day or not getting to sleep until 3 and then waking up at 7am. Got a “Still-Knox” on ya?

Interviewer: No sorry. Moving on, how was it? The trip that is.

Me: Wow, there’s an original question, so to the point and not open at all.

Interviewer: Ta.

Me: Sarcasm moron, but anyway… the trip was great.

Interviewer: Care to elaborate?

Me: Care to ask a question a tad more insightful?

Interviewer: OK *cough* arsehole *cough*, you had a friend die whilst you were away, how did that affect your time?

Me: It wasn’t the best news I got. Darren was a great guy and someone that I really admired growing up. News of his tragic passing was pretty detrimental on my will to actually get out and “have a good time” as you will. The last week and a bit in London I spent trying to get home early to make his funeral but it wasn’t to be. I wouldn’t say that I sat around pining the entire time after hearing the news but I certainly wasn’t focused on getting out and looking around London too much. It was OK though, I’d been there before and my gracious host, Michael, was happy to have me sit at his house and watch Sex in the City re-runs.

Interviewer: I guess you’d have to say that was the low point of your trip, what if we talk about the high points?

Me: Good save dickhead. Ahh, yeah, high points. Well unlike most people I’m the anti-tourist. I didn’t go to Niagara Falls when I was in Toronto just like I never made it to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Fran or the Statue of Liberty in New York. For the most when I’m travelling I do it to experience the city I’m in and not join a queue for nine hours to get a birds eye view of some buildings. My behaviour, although keep in mind I do keep a camera in my hand at most times, may explain why so many people think I’d be a good source of directional information. I gave up counting how many times I was asked for directions after the 10th time in my first week away.

Interviewer: So were there any high points at all? Perhaps a favourite destination?

Me: Oh for sure. New York City (NYC) was an amazing city, I fell in love with that place when I wanted a bagel at 3am and only had to walk out my front door to find one within five minutes. It truly is the city that never sleeps.

Interviewer: I know you said you don’t do the tourist thing, but surely you saw something in NYC, Central Park? Empire Sate?

Me: Well I hadn’t actually finished my highlights but now that you mention it I did do Central Park. That place is amazing! I probably only saw a tenth of its expansive size and the weather I had in NYC just made my day wandering aimlessly through its acres even more pleasant. I think without Central Park NYC would just be another American city with dirty streets and non-airconditioned subway trains, I would say it’s the jewel in the city’s crown.

Interviewer: So beyond NYC what are the other highlights?

Me: Toronto, Canada. Amazing, loved it.

Interviewer: I’m scared to ask you to elaborate, but I have to.

Me: [laughs] I’m just fucking with you. Toronto the city isn’t anything special really, it’s another city in another English speaking country. I found it to be very, very similar to Melbourne where I live at the moment. Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed it so much because subconsciously it reminded me of home? What really made me love it though was the people. Everyone is so amazingly friendly and helpful there that it’s almost sickening to a point. I know Canadians have a reputation as being a nice version of Americans but I never thought it was literally true. I met a lot of people there that were just genuinely good hearted folk, helping me out with tickets to ice hockey, cafes & bars to check out, movies, and hidden gems in the city your general tourist wouldn’t know about. It was fantastic.

Interviewer: Any of these new “friends” you mention happen to be ladies? Hey? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge…

Me: Don’t impersonate Monty Python mate, you’re no Eric Idle.

Interviewer: Sorry.

Me: That said, go see Spamalot I saw it on Broadway, funniest shit ever; as far as musicals go. Anyway, ladies. No remarkably-handsome-looking-interviewer-that-I-strangely-detest, well there were some women there but there was none of your wink, wink, crap. Everything was very above board.

Interviewer: How come?

Me: What am I? Your personal porn channel?

Interviewer: Well you’re a single young guy, travelling solo around the world, these things happen you know?

Me: Not really, why don’t you tell me how these things “happen”.

Interviewer: [coughs] Right, well you loved Toronto, have you thought of relocating there at some stage?

Me: I always go away with the thought in my head that I plan to move to one of the cities I’m visiting at some point in my life. Getting closer and closer to 30 doing that is going to get a lot more difficult. I know I say that “I’m thinking of moving to X” at some point next year and if that ever was a reality the X would probably equal Toronto at this stage, yes. How likely this is to happen? Well if we’re being honest with myself it’s probably not going to happen. Moving overseas with diabetes for a time period under two years isn’t the easiest because you can’t get on to your new country’s health system, that the excuse I use when people ask anyway. Truth be told I’d probably miss my family too much.

Interviewer: Awww, that’s sweet.

Me: Fuck off.

Interviewer: What about San Fran or Paris, you’ve barely mentioned them.

Me: Probably because there wasn’t anything too interesting to say about them. Paris was OK, MacWorld sucked arse, it rained and I didn’t have a great time. San Fran, well that was my first stop and first stop’s are usually the most exciting but something just didn’t click there. I think it would’ve been a fantastic city had I known someone there to show me some more but the reality of the situation is that the best thing in San Fran was buying an iPhone to play with. Nerdy I know.

Interviewer: So highlight would have to be Toronto, best purchase the iPhone, trip all up was a good one. Is there anything else you’d like to add Raj?

Me: Yeah… kids, listen to me now. Don’t drink and drive.

Interviewer: Wow, that’s… umm…. insightful?

Me: Did I ask for your opinion?

Interview ended.

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Guestin’ on HundredPennies

October 19th, 2007 by Raj

The boys over at HundredPennies (Gav, Stu & Fu) had me on as a guest for episode 9 to chat about the iPhone, ASIMO and basically get drunk.

Check it out here or download the video version (iPod H.264 – 260MB) here.

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Cold London = TV Awards

October 5th, 2007 by Raj

Things have been a little slow going the past week. Between trying to organize a flight to get home to Australia early and the miserable drizzle that is London I haven’t been doing a great deal that’s worthy of writing about. As I’m sure you all gathered I haven’t gotten home early, my numerous wait-listed flights didn’t come through so I’ll be returning at my previously decided time, next Wednesday.

So with all the lack of activity what I have I been doing? Well other than a dinner party and generally stuffing my face with gorgeous bacon and eggs most mornings there hasn’t been much else besides the wonderful world that is television. This got me thinking a bit, instead of giving you a play by play of my remote usage and couch occupancy I invite you all to indulge in the inaugural “Raj-makes-up-categories TV Awards”.

Best Newcomer Dirty, Sexy, Money & Californication
I’ve got two down for this one because technically Californication has been around the last month or so but is still one of the major highlights on TV at the moment. It’s a gritty, in your face, no bars hold look at the puke that is Hollywood and the dying art of the word. Granted it also has one of the highest BPM (boob’s per minute) showings on free to air TV in Australia, which may deter some female viewers but that aside its dialogue and premise is brilliant.

Dirty, Sexy, Money is an unusual one. Take “The Royal Tenenbaums” and cross it with “LA Law” and you get the story of a lawyer who’s sole purpose is to keep this one family (The Darlings) out of trouble whilst at the same time trying to find out who hijacked his Dad’s plane and got him killed. I’m really enjoying this one, get on to it.

Flogging a Dead Horse – Desperate Housewives, Season 4
Sorry ladies of Wysteria Lane but having another dead body in the basement, or pregnant mum covering for her idiotic daughter is getting plain boring. You’ve done your dash, hang up the frocks and take your millions and move on. The majority of you are already type-casted don’t make it any worse.

Most Consistent – Weeds, Season 3
Whilst it may now be in it’s third season Weeds has never let me down. You may find the premise of the show a little beyond belief (A middle class widow supporting her family through drug dealing) but if you’ve been watching this one from the beginning you can certainly understand just how realistic this plot could be. Excellent written and full of black humour Weeds is worth going back and watching from season one, episode one if you’ve not heard of the show before.

Biggest Let Down – Heroes, Season 2
I expected big things here, was Sylar still alive, who’s the bogey man that Molly keeps having nightmares about? Instead I get a sci-fi version of “Three Men and a Baby” as Mohinder and Parkman shack up looking after Molly and being a bunch of tossers. Oh and don’t even get me started on Hiro. Fuck, that little moron is the biggest dweeb and the whole story line he’s stuck in is pathetic. I really, really hope things start getting better soon, you’ve got four episodes to get me back.

Piece of Crap – Bionic Woman, Season 1
I’m seriously trying to like this show but each episode looks more tacky and a bigger cliche than the one before it. Hopefully time will prove me wrong but from what I saw in the US NBC are banking on this one big time. So far I’m unimpressed.

Hurry Up Already!!!
This award goes to shows that have taken too long to get around to starting again. These are….
Nip/Tuck, Season 5
Battlestar Galactica, Season 4

Thank god you’ve started again
Again a list, I couldn’t be bothered making up any more fake categories.
House, Season 4
Friday Night Lights, Season 2

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