The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

I only just read this. The poet behind one of my favourite 1970s Soul pieces, Gil Scott-Heron, has died. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” has elements of Hip-Hop and Rap with heavy drum-and-bass and simplistic production. I’m not black, but it still speaks to me and I think a lot of what it says is universal. It’s on one of my “Dad’s Mix” CDs which gets played on high rotation when I drive.

My first TV crush

Suzanne asked me last night, out of the blue, about my first TV crush. I had to be careful here. Was this on the level? Was some kind of entrapment? Fuel to be added to a fire of mistrust, hurt feelings and damaged egos? After I’d worked out that she’d just been chatting with a friend on Facebook (imagine that!) about Dieter Brummer, I decided to cautiously proceed towards an answer.

A flood of images came to me, as I’ve crushed on pretty much everything I’ve seen from a very young age. But after thinking about it long and hard I narrowed it down to Colonel Wilma Deering from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, played by Erin Gray. It was 1979-80, so it would have been around the right time. Behold:

Colonel Wilma DeeringShe is, predictably, a sexy sci-fi chick. But sexy nonetheless. I mean how is a young man supposed to stand a chance against that purple jumpsuit?

So, who was your first TV crush?

Mark Webber and Numerology: It all adds up to a win in Barcelona

Fifth in Australia, fourth in Malaysia, third in China, second in Turkey. Mark Webber hasn’t lead for a single lap this year (Vettel has lead for 184, Lewis Hamilton is next on 16 or so which shows how dominant Vettel has been this year), but he’s on Pole for the start of Gran Premio de Espana Santander 2011 at Catalunya. I know where I’ll be in about 2 hours: glued to One HD watching the race!

Disaster averted

It took all in my power, but I managed to stop Suzanne from being drawn to the Dumb Side. She’s had it in her mind to buy an iPhone for a few weeks, dropping hints that became less and less subtle as time wore gone on. I told her that if she can manage to fit it into our budget, then by all means she can get whatever phone she wants but please reconsider and choose Android. Hell, I’d even accept it if she went Windows Mobile, anything but Apple.

iPhone is stupid

I mean if running multiple apps at the same time, configurable home screens, a better app market, more useful notifications, a choice of hardware, custom ROMs, and smoother social integration aren’t reason enough then you are a hopeless fanboi waste of oxygen.

So after a fair amount of reasoning, begging and pleading as well as some threats and intimidation I managed to convince Suzanne to settle on an HTC Incredible S, a far better and cheaper option than the Apple iPhone. I think she will enjoy it much more than the iPhone.


What am I writing about again?

I took all the text from all my public posts on my blog posted in 2011 and fed them into a Word Cloud generator. I’m not sure what I was expecting to see, and I’m not sure whether or not to be disappointed but I can’t really find any particular theme in there. It’s mostly a mish mash of non-descriptive, non-emotive words devoid of any real meaning.

It kinda makes me think about why I continue to write at all, since I don’t seem to be writing about anything in particular. What do you guys think? Should I mention family more? The family blogs I see where people put a whole new group of photos of their smiling child every single day are fine and all, but they’re not my thing. They certainly don’t have any attraction outside immediate family. Or pedos. Should I pick a subject or theme and stick to it. People certainly seem to respond well to my previous critiques of certain local retailers and restaurants. Maybe that’s something I should investigate?

Maybe the word cloud is showing I’m well balanced, and don’t have a preference for speaking or writing about one thing over the other. I’ve got a few other sites running with strictly defined subject matter, so I guess this personal blog is the “everything else” basket with a bias to personal experience.

Which is how it should be. It’s just me thinking aloud, really.

Dear Kids

This is something I’ve been doing for a couple years. Every so often I’ll email my kids. They don’t actually have email quite yet, but they do have email addresses. I plan on letting them read them either in their mid teens when they start hating me, or perhaps on their 18th or 21st birthdays. I haven’t decided which yet. It’ll be a treasure trove of thoughts and feelings I have for them and will hopefully bring them some joy later on. Below is a pretty sappy video showing the spirit of what I’m trying to do.

Thank goodness for the cloud

Welcome to the Cloud

I had a hard drive failure on my year-and-a-half old laptop last week. Normally this would be a complete disaster which would cause weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. Yet, thanks to cheap storage, cloud computing,  and a bit of cheap software, I barely noticed.

I’ve got around 190 GB of photos, a TB and a half of music and some reasonably large quantity of video files. The music and video are backed up locally on a network drive, but the photos are backed up not once locally, but twice. And they’re also PGP encrypted and backed up remotely in case my house burns down and I lose everything.

My emails back themselves up automatically, bouncing and being replicated from one mail server to the other. I almost exclusively use Gmail for my email needs. All of this should mean that my email is never in danger of being lost and is always accessible. Likewise, I use Google Docs for my day to day “Office” style needs. I’ve decided I can’t trust Google not to lose my stuff so I have it backed up elsewhere after being encrypted with a 2048 bit PGP key, of course. Google even takes care of my bookmarks, just one of those little inconveniences that adds to the nightmare of losing a data.

Sadly we aren’t at the point yet where backing up several TB of data is cheap and fast enough to be taken for granted otherwise it’d all be out there. We’ll need to wait for the National Broadband Network for that. But I’m at least covered with the stuff I can’t live without including documents and photos.

Also, thank goodness I decided to buy Dell. A simple, painless phonecall to a 1-1800 number and I found that my HD failure was covered and that they were going to send a new one out to me by courier on the condition that I send the old one back. Fair enough, they can have it. I doubt they’ll be able to read anything from it because the whole disk is encrypted with Bitlocker, part of Windows 7 Ultimate. Once the disk starts up it will realise that it’s no longer connected to my Trusted Platform and will ask for a 20-character long key.

The only real disaster in this whole scenario is when I went to remove my broken drive. One of the screws was jammed, and I managed to strip it. I mean, they’re only soft-as-butter 3mm screws, so any amount of force will break them apart. I was ready to take at it with a Dremel and a can of WD-40 but, Suzanne, being the voice of reason, said I should call Dell first and tell them what happened. Dell, indeed, were very understanding and said they’d send a technician out the next day. And out he indeed did come. I’ve met him a couple times before as he’s been to our office to service equipment previously. “So you know why you’re out here?” I asked. He knew, alright, because he had a big cheesy grin from ear to ear. So after enduring his “You Id10t” look for five minutes I was able to boot into Windows.

My backups mean I haven’t really missed a beat. I’ve had to reinstall Photoshop so I can get back into tweaking photos for a couple of my sites but all in all it has been pretty painless.