Been a while

Wow, it’s been a while. Since the twelth of October, no less, with apparently little for me to write much. This is true, more or less; I haven’t had too much to say about anything, but I haven’t had enough time to really make myself sit down and organise some writing, and to do what […]

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Wow, it’s been a while. Since the twelth of October, no less, with apparently little for me to write much. This is true, more or less; I haven’t had too much to say about anything, but I haven’t had enough time to really make myself sit down and organise some writing, and to do what I need to do to get photos up on the site with my posts. Here’s the problem; I need to find a better way to organise my images, which works better than the way I’m doing it at the moment.
A view into the city, from the quays. The tall building is the soon-to-be-demolished Trade Union building; it may be ugly, but's a landmark. Taken a couple of weeks ago.A view into the city, from the quays. The tall building is the soon-to-be-demolished Trade Union building; it may be ugly, but’s a landmark. Taken a couple of weeks ago. Click image to view larger version
In order to put up photos on this site, as part of my posts, I took an existing WordPress plug-in (WordPress being the piece of software that I use to run this site, which uses additional bits of code – plug-ins – to add extra functionality) and rewrote big chunks of it, as well as adding some image-enhancement routines pilfered from elsewhere. It’s crude but it works (just about). It’s also in use on www.ideasforcheapstuff.com, where Tee and the girls eventually got the hang of it’s arcane ways and started regularly putting up photos while writing about their adventures. Part of the problem (or problems, for there are many) with this plug-in is that the code is, quite simply, very, very bad. I fixed what I could, but… No, it’s not worth resuscitating. I actually set out (possibly on paper, I know I have it somewhere) the design for a newer, better image manager but that’ll take some doing. A lot of doing, in fact. And also, it solves one problem very well, which is the interface for how I select and manage images for putting into my posts, but doesn’t really deal with the bigger problem of how to deal with images generally. Should I manage the images myself, or should they be on a photo site somewhere?

So here are my options, and I’m curious to get some feedback (if anyone is actually still reading this site, fantastic!) on what people think I should do. It’s the number one issue holding me back on posting about my Romania story and other stuff besides, so let’s hear it!

  • Go ahead and keep using the same, inefficient crap software.
    Not a great option, to be honest. This is using a lot of disk space, takes too much time and is going to cause me a lot of pain in the future. It’s just too much work, in so many ways, for dealing with photos.
  • Write new software.
    Better. But, this will take time and again this is a problem. Also, it’s just a much better designed way of dealing with what is essentially the same problem as with the current problem; the photos are just getting dumped into my posts with no real life of their own. They’re not connected to anything. Just files.
  • Use an image-management service
    Something like Flickr, or Zooomr. These are the hot new services/toys on the web for this kind of thing, the photos get shared with everyone, and if you pay money then you can put huge amounts of stuff up there. There are as many pros as cons to using a service like these, and if you are someone who uses these, then please tell me your opinion on those.
  • Something else
    Is there another option? There must be, right? Or maybe you can think of one.

Anyway, share your opinions with me, I’m not sure what is the best way to deal with the avalanche of photos I see coming this way.

Boats at Howth Harbour. Real, actual fishing boats, which will no doubt be seeing a lot less action now that they can't go and decimate the salmon population with drift-nets. Taken on 29th October 2006.Boats at Howth Harbour. Real, actual fishing boats, which will no doubt be seeing a lot less action now that they can’t go and decimate the salmon population with drift-nets. Oh yes, I was there as part of getting out for a drive. With Tee. Taken on 29th October 2006. Click image to view larger version

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Serious

Just a quick post tonight; I’ve been busy again, partly taking some time out to relax, with getting back to work and getting stuck into some freelance jobs, and with setting up my new laptop (which I bought along with some other stuff as part of getting myself set up as a mercenary. Sorry, freelance […]

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Just a quick post tonight; I’ve been busy again, partly taking some time out to relax, with getting back to work and getting stuck into some freelance jobs, and with setting up my new laptop (which I bought along with some other stuff as part of getting myself set up as a mercenary. Sorry, freelance web developer. I did say I’d post about my next few moves, didn’t I? And I didn’t, did I? I even have my company/trading name, the URL has been bought and the hosting paid for… And it’s not Kraton, Defeater of Meat Slugs, it’s a lot less exciting but more useful.

Now, I hadn’t posted this before, and I partly was waiting a little bit, but here it is. Tee, who you’ll either know personally, or know of because you read this site and you know I go on about her from time to time, has put up a moving and honest post dealing with a serious issue on her site, ideasforcheapstuff.com (the site of the three deliciously lickable girls) and it’s something that I think people should read; I should warn you now that it’s serious stuff, and you should approach it with an open mind. I think everyone could learn something from it. The events Tee writes of happened barely a week and half after I met her for the first time, so I got caught up in it all, and it’s touched me too in that sense. Just read it, and think about it, maybe follow the links she gives and hopefully if it helps even one person who reads it then that can only be a good thing.

http://www.ideasforcheapstuff.com/wordpress/2006/06/15/confronting-suicide/

So I’m glad I’ve put that up; please don’t comment on it here, just read it and think about it.

In other news, today was my first day as a contractor for a company I’ll be doing work for over the next while (it’s ‘web stuff’, that’s all you need to know, and it is very exciting stuff to be working on for someone like me.) which was great, although I had to take a lot of technical stuff in and now my brain is full, which when added to what I’ve had to deal with in setting up my laptop (I’d rather punch myself repeatedly in the nuts than install a PC or a Mac for my own use again.) is almost too much to deal with and I’m toying with the idea of turning into a fully-fledged psychopath tomorrow, perhaps murdering some innocent bystanders on my to attacking my colleagues in the office with a chainsaw. Well, I might have considered it, but this evening I saw a Czech movie in the Czech embassy (Thanks for organising tickets to that Michaela!) and it was so remarkably miserable (And believe you me, the Czechs know how to do misery better than anyone, even people from Longford.) that you’d be incapable of harming anyone after watching it. You’d just think about it, and then break down in tears, while nearby children laugh and frolic, unaware of the sheer meaningless misery of life. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but it just seems that the point of view there is that everyone is either a bastard, or a weak fool, and everyone gets what they deserve, or gets betrayed, or things just go pear-shaped for everyone generally. Also try to see a movie called ‘Czech Dream’ (‘Cesky Sen’), where some students get a grant and then set out to make everyone very miserable, even though they were all perfectly happy to start with, just to make a point that they weren’t really all that happy to begin with. I’m being fairly facetious about it, but it’s not far off the mark, and bloody typical too.

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Busy

Me at work, doing my thing; as viewed through my webcam.
Yes, I’ve been busy recently, and although I may have mistakenly given the impression that I quit my job in a particularly dramatic fashion, sticking it to The Man in all my bridge-burning glory (“To Hell with you and your Goddamned job, I’m leaving! And I’m taking Michaela with me!”) it really wasn’t like that, and I gave four entire week’s notice. I also didn’t get Michaela, which was even more disappointing. The next reaction I’ve been getting is generally “Whooo! Must be so awkward to be there after writing all that!” and that hasn’t been the case either. At least, not more awkward than usual, which is actually more than most people would tolerate is one of the reasons I called it a day anyway. So business as usual.

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Yes, I’ve been busy recently, and although I may have mistakenly given the impression that I quit my job in a particularly dramatic fashion, sticking it to The Man in all my bridge-burning glory (“To Hell with you and your Goddamned job, I’m leaving! And I’m taking Michaela with me!”) it really wasn’t like that, and I gave four entire week’s notice. I also didn’t get Michaela, which was even more disappointing. The next reaction I’ve been getting is generally “Whooo! Must be so awkward to be there after writing all that!” and that hasn’t been the case either. At least, not more awkward than usual, which is actually more than most people would tolerate is one of the reasons I called it a day anyway. So business as usual.

I have been taking notes for a big post about what comes next after the four weeks is up, which is next Friday (Parallel got a day for free there, I’m a generous soul at heart) and I think you’ll all enjoy that one no end, especially since it publicly commits me to a particular direction in my life and of course I’ll have to see it through. On the upside, it will hopefully involve a bit more writing and that can’t be a bad thing (assuming, of course, that I actually do the writing). It’s very, very exciting for me right now, and even if things don’t work out, I’ll painstakingly document it here in much the way I don’t get around to documenting anything else, and you’ll all get a kick out of reading about it.

So, in the words of Richard Ashcroft of ‘The Verve‘, “Baby, Oooooooooh ahh yeah, Oh no no no, In my head, My Lord! My Lord! I’m a lucky man, this ain’t no symphony, slip slide slip slide, no no no, yeahhhh.”. If things don’t work out in the coming months I could always find myself the next Verve and write songs for them, it seems like easy work. I’m close to finishing Keith’s site at long last which has proven to be hard work partly because I spent a week and a half which wasn’t otherwise very busy at all fighting spam on this site (automated systems which know how to post comments on sites like this, repeatedly posting comments which are links to insurance sales sites and Viagra) and on the LTD site (check it out to see the most deliciously edible girls in the world, having way more fun than you or I). I eventually got around it but it was hard work, and then of course I started being busy again, and I still don’t know where all this stuff comes from. So I’ll post a link here when it’s done, and hopefully I’ll talk Keith into actually writing on it too.

I’ve been looking at my self-discipline too; I really could be so much more productive but I just somehow am not. I like sleeping. I like taking a walk somewhere. I like taking a moment to sit and drool while making a low humming noise. Stuff like that, I think, which makes life more enjoyable than trying to follow a path in the manner of a whizz-head with an F-15 strapped to his (or her) back. Even so, I should be using the extra time to get some work done instead of surfing the same crap news sites, or trying to by cheap Tadafil, or even chatting relentlessly to Romanian women (although, if you can manage it, it is very entertaining and educational, and winding them up is about as much fun as you can have, short of getting your nads paddled by Oompa Loopas). Speaking of which, I met an actual person on the Internet. I mean, someone I haven’t previously been introduced to by someone I already know, and as a result my English has deteriorated drastically over the last week and a half. My englis, he is not more so good as the time from one day, and you are no understan me soo good as now tehn. I am make her mistak wit the word. Yo are gett this from womans ho speak no englis soo good. You can see where this is going, so maybe if I spend less time chatting, and more time finishing Keith’s site, we’ll all be better off, if not as amused as before. I’ll write some more about this intriguing development very shortly, and the mechanics of meeting people online and in real-life quite shortly, because it ties in with a number of interesting discussions I’ve had recently, and some ideas which developed independently about that and my writing (and for a dramatic change of pace from my previous writings these ideas aren’t about the enslavement of women, or being offensive just for the Hell of it). Yo like wan yo see waht I rite yo abot these thing.

Lastly, I got a webcam: k_parallel (at) hotmail.com – yes, you have to be smart enough to decipher the bit in the middle, because I will spammed otherwise.
Me at work, doing my thing; as viewed through my webcam.Me at work, doing my thing; as viewed through my webcam.If you want to have a look at me, in my natural environment, add this address to your hotmail MSN contacts and watch away. I really don’t know why, but you’re welcome to. it only works on my office PC, but when I get my new laptop I’ll have it on most of the time, home or work. You’ll be able to see pretty quickly if the new career is working out or not.

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Jetzt Wien!

Here it is. My first ‘Kev is off somewhere, I suppose you could even call it travelling’ post, all the way from sunny Vienna (or Wien, as the locals call it). I’m enjoying it. The weather is good, the locals are… Well, they’re Austrian, so I don’t know how I should quantify that. Arnold Schwartzenegger […]

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Here it is. My first ‘Kev is off somewhere, I suppose you could even call it travelling’ post, all the way from sunny Vienna (or Wien, as the locals call it). I’m enjoying it. The weather is good, the locals are… Well, they’re Austrian, so I don’t know how I should quantify that. Arnold Schwartzenegger is Austrian, I was here before and had some decidedly mixed feelings about Vienna (beautiful architecture and a clear sense of history, set against what can only be described as generous helpings of arrogance.)┬┤and of course there is Mozart. So far the weather has been great, Alex (who I am visiting here, she used to live in Graz but has since moved here to get a job, and hopefully I will catch up with Filip too, of whom more later)
Alex Kogler. She is dressed like this in case the agents come after her and she is not able to escape the Matrix in time.Alex. She is dressed like this in case the agents come after her and she is not able to escape the Matrix in time. Click image to view larger version has managed to buy carpets and whatnot for her apartment, and we have seen all manner of stuff about town.

A typical street in Vienna. A lot more messy than you might expect.A typical street in Vienna. A lot more messy than you might expect. Click image to view larger versionReally fantastically huge and old building in Vienna, protected by marble beast women. Really.Really fantastically huge and old building in Vienna, protected by marble beast women. Really. Click image to view larger versionAt the Styrian Fair, promoting all things Styrian and rustic, by making fantastic amounts of noise. You can see how this leads to other things.At the Styrian Fair, promoting all things Styrian and rustic, by making fantastic amounts of noise. You can see how this leads to other things. Click image to view larger versionThe Styrian fair with the Town Hall as a back-drop. Quite impressive, I have to say.The Styrian fair with the Town Hall as a back-drop. Quite impressive, I have to say. Click image to view larger versionI think this is the parliament building, where those efficient Austrians get on with decision making. Where's Haider?I think this is the parliament building, where those efficient Austrians get on with decision making. Where’s Haider? Click image to view larger version
I was quite taken by the statues here. They are impressive, imposing, well hewn from the primordial rock and also show that somewhere around five hundred years ago there was some sculpturally gifted guy who was determined to provide the world with the largest collection possible of winged, heavily-beweaponed, two-metres-and-then-some-tall beast-women, all crafted from the finest marble and stone. Really. I could have some very lurid sexual fantasies as a result of all this – although I have sworn off such things for lent – because some of them are in very provocative situations. Others just look like men, which is in it’s own way a lot more disturbing, because I very much doubt that attractive women are a recent development in Austria.
I wasn't joking. Huge marble beast-women. Almost sexy, if you're into that sort of thing. Which I'm not. Ever.I wasn’t joking. Huge marble beast-women. Almost sexy, if you’re into that sort of thing. Which I’m not. Ever. Click image to view larger versionSee the pattern already? Huge, armed, dangerous and imposing stone chicks, ready for battle. Everywhere.See the pattern already? Huge, armed, dangerous and imposing stone chicks, ready for battle. Everywhere. Click image to view larger version
Tonight will see a night on the town which should be interesting, given my previous experiences in Austria, and perhaps more phone-terrorism from Tee, who made a drunken attempt to call me last night which unfortunately I missed but it was appreciated all the same. More drunken calls please, everybody! Apart from Ciaran, who has comfortably filled his quota for the concievable future.

More huge old buildings in Vienna. Very imposing.More huge old buildings in Vienna. Very imposing. Click image to view larger versionAnd more old stuff in Vienna!And more old stuff in Vienna! Click image to view larger versionThe most amazingly old and dirty church ever. They are cleaning it, however, the second time in 4,000 years. Very intricate and beautiful.The most amazingly old and dirty church ever. They are cleaning it, however, the second time in 4,000 years. Very intricate and beautiful. Click image to view larger versionOutside the incredibly big and old church, with all sorts of antics from street performers and other stuff.Outside the incredibly big and old church, with all sorts of antics from street performers and other stuff. Click image to view larger version

I booked this flight a couple of months ago after Alex asked me when was I next coming over, and I realised I hadn’t been abroad in a while other than to England for some brief but all too tortuous business trips which of course don’t count as holiday, even for masochists, which I would like to think I’m not. Often. In the same fell swoop I also booked a trip to Devon (via Bristol) which was last weekend
Jane Cole, former runway model and Miss Devon Hotpot 2005. Also, a fantastic host and amazing person.Jane Cole, former runway model and Miss Devon Hotpot 2005. Also, a fantastic host and amazing person. Click image to view larger version and that kind of book-ended a series of entertaining adventures over several weeks which have gone a long way to explaining the lack of posts on this site. Believe me when I say I have plenty of new material to write about but too little time; it’s all very exciting, ranging from getting locked into the toilet to blasts from the past and beyond!

I was really feeling down on Thursday, having thought far too much about some serious issues relating to the direction my life’s been going in, work, stuff like that (money, in a nutshell – effectively, I’m on the same money I was on five and half years ago, which is no joke. Time to change that!) and I wasn’t happy about it, but I had a good stern talking to from Annette after she caught me being a bit miserable in the house and I felt a lot more positive after that.
The Maddy and the Annette being positive, just after they took me on a birthday lunch in Castleknock, which was very nice of them and a lot of fun.The Maddy and the Annette being positive, just after they took me on a birthday lunch in Castleknock, which was very nice of them and a lot of fun. Click image to view larger version She really knows how to instill positive energy in people, I should suggest to her to do this for a living. Maybe she could set up a centre somewhere with positivity pods where miserable people like me could go to cop the fuck on to themselves while wired to PostivePods™. By the time I went to bed I was feeling ready to tackle the world again, though the tackling has been delayed until Tuesday what with me mucking about in Vienna for the weekend. You read it here first! Unless you’re Annette, in which case you heard it first over the course of a life-draining hour on Thursday night and are still wondering how you managed to escape… Just kidding! On the down side, I was about to write a fantastic and very dark post about it all, very good stuff and my first stab at structured writing, which would have entertained everyone a lot but of course I got a good talking-to from Annette and decided that this business of introspective self-absorbtion wasn’t going to do me any favours, and canned it. Bad Annette! But also Good Annette and shouts out to her for showing me the light!

Life’s too short, and we need to make the most of our time here, even if we make some mistakes as we go. After all, we make them to learn from them.

(Edited on 12.04.06 to add gazillions of images.)

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Linkage!

You know the way ‘They’ say, on food packaging, ‘serve while piping hot’? It’s too hot to eat then! They’re morons! It’s not relevent to anything, I know this, but I had to get it off my chest. It was bothering me. It’s time for linkage! That’s right, after not posting for weeks on end, […]

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You know the way ‘They’ say, on food packaging, ‘serve while piping hot’? It’s too hot to eat then! They’re morons! It’s not relevent to anything, I know this, but I had to get it off my chest. It was bothering me.

It’s time for linkage! That’s right, after not posting for weeks on end, I return from the darkness only to irritate everyone with links to stuff they’ve already seen elsewhere three weeks ago, and it was a lot funnier then too! Oddly enough, people actually started asking me what was up, which suggests I may have more than two and a half readers out there. I’ve been beavering away (You like that, huh? Beavering away? Beaver? Makes you think of something else, right? You dirty scumbag!) and up to all sorts of things, which I surely promise I will explain with tedious attention to detail in a follow-on post for my long suffering, moderately loyal readers (Really, if it’s bothering you then check out Dave’s blog. His RSS feed seems to be broken but he makes jokes and seems to do some cool stuff. Just ask Tony.) Yes, I’ve been pretty busy, and some big, interesting things are afoot in my life, but we shall speak of them no more at this time. There are dark forces at work, and we must be wary of them…

Incidentally, this is my second time writing this post. It’s bigger and improved. I lost that last one due to some silly modifications I made to my Firefox browser which I use at work. I still recommend Firefox as the way you view the internet (instead of, for example, Internet Explorer), and some of the extensions are great but be careful. You can really fuck things up with them too.

Many of this weeks links have been filched from Memepool, which is a great place to find weird shit.

Life and nightlife (working and going out) in Harbin, China.
Exactly what it says on the tin, all delivered in pithy prose learnt in Celbridge!
http://haharbin.wordpress.com/
Dylan used to work in Parallel IT, where I work now, but during the rough and tumble of the post-dotcom boom when it all went pear-shaped for a while he founf himself doing a bit of this, a bit of that and made the fateful decision to go and teach English in China. We’ve always kept in touch though, and traded stories (and I still can’t get over his story about him walking in to his local Chinese store on a visit back to Celbridge not so long ago). I discovered a while ago that he actually reads my blog; in fact, I might have inadvertently planted the seeds of an idea, to write about his experiences, when I asked him to write something on this site; instead he went off and set up his own site! So go check it out, it is well written, entertaining and informative.

The best blonde joke on the Internet
The funniest, bestest blonde joke on the Internet, ever!
http://weblog.burningbird.net/2006/01/12/the-joke-is/
Follow the link to get to the best blonde joke on the internet ever.

Random Garfield cartoon generator
Garfield as zen philosophy!
http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/natetrue/gar.html
Remember Garfield? Of course you do, Garfield is the poster-child of inane drivel, publisher as a syndicated cartoon the world over; it’s a bit slower these days but there was a time when is was practically a cult. The thing is, Garfield was actually funny once, when the cartoon started (I still have the first three books in the series, before Jim Davis got into a tedious formula) but there’s only so much you can do with a cat before it all gets repetitive. I checked out the website; they’re a real money-making machine with this drivel.

Anyway, the point of this link is that you can, with a random generator, create your own Garfield cartoons. Since it is repetitive, meaningless drivel, it actually works quite well.

Google video selection
The craziest, insanest video collection ever!
http://homepage.mac.com/pockyrevolution/Personal25.html
As some of you are aware, Google recently started putting up videos, and within a short space of time a vast amount of… stuff… was uploaded to their servers, converted to Flash video, and you can go and browse it, such as here. Some of it is, in some people’s eyes, pure gold and the link above is a ‘best of’ compilation by some guy of stuff that really did it for him. Saves you the trouble of having to browse it all yourself.

Incidentally, this whole video venture is Google getting into the ring with Apple and their iTunes Store to see if they can do a better job of selling videos. By all accounts, so far it’s not going very well. Time will tell.

Car Stuck Girls
Scantily dressed girls with cars that are stuck in stuff!
http://www.carstuckgirls.com/
Let’s not mince words here. It is porn. Sick, evil porn! Bad! Evil! But fun.

Right, I better start writing meaningful stuff soon, or people will get irritated.

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