Sweet, pretty things are in bed now, of course.

Just re-read my drunken post from the early hours of yesterday. Figured I should write an apology of sorts for the complete lack of usefulness it had (sort of like this post and all others, come to think of it…).

Today’s been hella busy. The group are extremely hard work in a disorganized mob-style. Nice people, with lots of decent alcohol and chocolate (TOBLERONE – I shit you not!) but just hard to cater for. Added to that the fact that we (the crew) fucked up on checking some aspects and that I’ve been filling tanks since 7 yesterday morning and just finished now made things all the more entertaining.

I’m now absolutely shattered and can’t write any more. Needless to say were I not tired this would be the most inspirational piece of literature you would have ever read.
As it stands though its bollocks. So, if you’d like to be moving along now…

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
*From the Fish’s Mouth!*

It’s not against any religion to want to dispose of a pigeon.
— Tom Lehrer, “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park”

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Back to my Roo-oo-oo-oo-ooots

Well today, one day ahead of expected, we picked up 15 guests for next week’s safari. Should be fun as it’s to somewhere I’ve never been before!
The group seem a good bunch though. A few /Inspiration/ (or Desperation) divers but what the hell, money’s money I guess!
On the way down from Hurghada I was able to download and install GRAMPS (google it) and got to play with it, and I have to say it’s damn addictive!

As sombre as it may sound, I suddenly (within 20 minutes) fascinated with doucmenting dates of birth (and death) addresses and occupations of people I’m related to (of one form or another). I only got as far as my parents’ parents (without accurate birthdates), but seeing as my great gran (on my mum’s dad’s side) is still kicking, and my other grandparents thankfully retain most of their memories, I should be able to trace things back as far as the turn of 1900 and from there use cencus records to get further.

Having spoken to my mum tonight, apparently someone who contacted the radio my aunt works on has traced my nan’s family tree back to 1700-and-odd. If I can get that information from her it’ll be useful!

What most inrigued me after playing with this new application though is the opportunities it gave me to work on a comprehensive family tree, with medical conditions et al.

And why not? I found myself, after a very short time, realizing how lttle I knew / know about my parents and a form of addiction to tracing their roots and any similarities we may possess. Not to mention land ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hehe, but I jest.



– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
*From the Fish’s Mouth!*

The more I see of men the more I admire dogs.
— Mme De Sevigne, 1626-1696

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Why Does One Blog?

I mean, seriously, who gives a shit about whether I’ve been wearing or not wearing underwear? Or whether I’ve just taught a course? Or that I’ve had a cold, or a bad day, or, or, or, or, or, or, or, or, or… BULLSHIT.

Who gives a crap? Seriously. Because I don’t even know if I do.

Just like with this post. Is it that important?
Is it life-changing?
Not likely.
Is it interesting?
Fuck no.

So why do we do it? With so much going on in the world every day (most of which I’m unaware of as I’m pretty much out of the ‘information loop’ right now) that’s giving so many more people much worse problems and things to deal with than I can even imagine, why do I feel the need to type away aimlessly about what I’ve been listening to and the fact that I’ve been ‘going commando’?

[On a side note, I am now back to wearing underwear. It kind of itches…]

Is it because of some form of ingrained feeling of inadequacy that we like to believe people care about what we have to write? Do we genuinely believe it will affect some stranger’s life for the better? Maybe it will, but chances are we won’t know them, ever meet them, or even hear from them. Score. Maybe they’ll send a picture. In the meantime we’ll just have to keep writing shit and believing its affecting people.
Maybe we do it for our own enjoyment? Because, at the end of the day, I enjoy the thought processes that occassionally occur in trying to write something (I know, it almost seems as though there’s NO thought processes going on… fuck you). I wouldn’t exactly put this on a par with a diary in the conventional sense (let’s face it, I ain’t Anne Frank) but nor could you exactly call a blog (or certainly /this/ blog) a literary work of art or great journalism. It’s borderline as to whether it can be described as interesting, and I doubt very much it will turn out particularly informative about, well, anything.

But does that really matter? At the end of the day, for a lot of people writing blogs out there, the fact that x number of kids in countries thousands of miles away from them have starved or died of various illnesses they can’t begin to relate to, it doesn’t matter. Why should it? If you can’t relate to it why pretend to? Why get caught up in all the ‘faux-compassion’ that seems to persist at the minute if you can’t comprehend what the fuck is happening.
Sure, throw money at the problem, it might calm it down. But without the understanding then it just slows it down or stops it in one area to be reborn in another.
Why shouldn’t those people write about stuff that they want to? Who says you’ve got to read it? Is it not a strange attitude in a person if, just because something is publicly available they feel compulsed to read it, or even browse blog listings looking for stuff to slate? At the end of the day, if I’m looking for factual information I’ll go to a news site first. Then probably I’ll go see what people have to say on various forums, maybe then I’ll move on to a more specific blog search from the area if it exists.

Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not writing this in the pretence that I understand any small part of what I’ve just written about, and in some cases I’m probably as guilty of faux-compassion as the next person which is regrettable but not always avoidable. Maybe I should make an effort at that from now on.

So bollocks to it. This whole rambling meander through various incoherent thought bubbles floating above my head is coming to an end and means, absolutely, fuck all. Do I think I’ll look back on these posts when I’m old and grey, remembering vividly all the things that happened at the time? In many cases probably not, in some cases definitely. If I re-read it. For now though I just feel like writing stuff. I could always make this blog private, and restrict access altogether, but I don’t know if that solves anything (why not just not publish it to the web at all…?). For all the muppets out there who feel the need to browse blogs and then insult the self-indulgence of them there are as many muppets who just want to write shit without any particular concern for subject matter, abject sympathy, or even discussion. Sometimes people just want to write, goddammit. And on top of those two bunches of muppets, there’s yet another set who believe that they can influence others by their writings.
I’d just like to point out that if you obtain influence from this blog you should probably seek professional help… or a gunsmith.

I think this particular rant was inspired by a small feature in /Stuff/ magazine. A funny feature and I got a good few laughs from it, but somehow it resulted in this.

Tonight I’ve been listening to The White Stripes and The Smashing Pumpkins.
I started writing fairly mellow and now feel strangely angry and tired.
I’m still reading /Rainbow Six/.
My poo consistency is fairly rigid.
Who gives a toss.
Here’s the fish.

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*From the Fish’s Mouth%

Beware Chickens

Well, this is basically an extension of the earlier post, as I forgot to add it. Looks like the Bird Flu thing or whatever its called is finally here. Apparently there’s reports of problems in Cairo and Hurghada and a few other places, so looks like I won’t be eating chicken for a while… Maybe I’ll just go vegetarian again, its a damnsight easier than worrying about stuff being undercooked!

Since I wrote today’s first post I’ve had a great day. Had a great second dive at Sha’ab Sharm taking photos and got some ok shots of a nice reef shark, along with a couple of napoleon wrasse and a whole load of shots of anemone fish (Nemo…). Lots of fun.
Then we got down to Gezirat Wadi el Gimal nd got to try and snorkel with dolphins for a while. I say ‘try’ as they weren’t too keen to play around with us for long. Got a couple of pictures though. Tomorrow should be fairly laid back so no big deal there.

Besides that, I don’t think there’s much more to add. I’m sure there was something else I wanted to say but its gone.

Be in touch soon. Moi.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
*From the Fish’s Mouth!*

I used to have a drinking problem. Now I love the stuff.

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Time to Scoot

I’ve just about finished teaching a Scooter 1 class that’s been running over the last few days.
For those not in the know, this is a scuba diving class looking at the use of Diver Propulsion Vehicles (DPVs or scooters) and it’s the first time I’ve taught it.
It felt weird.
Not that I don’t enjoy scootering, it’s more fun than you can shake a big stick at, but I genuinely didn’t feel that I had the knowledge of them to really teach the class to its full potential and, given who wrote the program, even if I had more knowledge of them I know it wouldn’t be the same experience. And, regrettably, I reckon that showed over the first dive of the course. But then I was able to get to grips with things a little better and, hopefully, I put on an enjoyable and informative course of the week, but it was a horrible feeling that I was unable to do the course justice and feel I could do with some more familiarity with the things before teaching another one. The flip side is I guess the Law of Intensity comes into play and I’ve certainly learnt a lot of stuff that I need to improve on and correct for the future.
It was such a contrast to teaching Essentials last week though, I think mainly because my student then was much more of a fresh canvas and was very eager to learn, but either way I feel I was able to provide a thorough and hopefully enjoyable course. The student certianly seemed to enjoy it but I guess you never know until you get the feedback later on. We’ll see what happens. Don’t even know why I wrote about this stuff now. Guess it was just something that was on my mind.

In other news, I’ve not been wearing underwear for the last couple of days and have to say its kind of liberating. A little bit weird, granted, and I don’t even know why I haven’t been doing really, I think I still have a couple of pairs of clean boxers that would do the job. Equally I don’t know why I’ve taken this opportunity to inform you. Guess it was just another thing that was on my mind. Anyone who hasn’t tried it yet I suggest you give it a go just to see how it feels but please do take one piece of advice – button up flies are not a great idea… particularly if they have a tendancy to undo themselves and, shall we say, expose things.
Not that that’s happened, of course…

Things on the boat this week otherwise have been pretty good. Was extremely windy at the start of the week which meant that the guys doing technical stuff probably didn’t manage to do quite as much stuff as they would have liked, or the spots they liked as often as would have been nice. But unfortunately we can’t control the weather.
Also, with it being basically just me on the boat from a ‘Diving Admin’ perspective made it pretty hectic trying to work out how I was going to get the tech guys sorted and in the water and still do the recreational stuff with the essentials student. But I think we worked it out in the end. Remains to be seen if these guys will dive much tomorrow, so maybe just a little bit of fun scootering around and see if we can get the single tanks guys trying out the scooters and other toys.

Then I think its back to Deep South for me for another couple of days, hopefully finish /Rainbow Six/ and then another trip on the 25th, I believe.
Still haven’t got any closer as to working out what my plan is with respect to both shorter term (next time I’m home) and longer term (whether I stay here after the end of this year or not) but I’m sure that’ll sort nitself out in time. Craig and Sarah are looking to get some tickets for the Chilis in Manchester early July so hopeuflly I’ll get back for that and combine it with my sister’s 18th (but she doesn’t know I’ll be back yet so shhh!). Time will tell.
Related to that, quick happy birthday call for both John (on the 15th) and Sarah (yesterday) – managed to get hold of both of them already to wish it but no harm in writing it here as well… so… Happy Birthday! Hope you both had good times.

And with that I think I’ll end this pointless wandering through various aspects of my mind. Particularly seeing as even I’m finding it boring.

Take it easy, here’s the fish:

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
*From the Fish’s Mouth!*

Klatu barada nikto.

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Friends? Or Just Aquaintances?

Stuff has happened today thats made me question a few things. Not in an extremely serious way, and not involving anyone from home – I have no doubt in my mind that they are certainly of the the ‘friends’ variety! This has involved people at work.
Now, for those passers-by who are unawares as to where I work / what I do, let me summarize:
I’m a scuba diving instructor working on a dive boat in Egypt with Egyptian crew. Besides the owner, I am the only non-Egyptian on the boat.
There’s your background.

So, what the fuck does that have to do with the Subject? Well, let’s see how well I manage to explain this. It is early in the morning right now though so maybe not all of this is coherent or even reasonable, but what the hell, I’m here now!
Anyway, what sparked this off, I think weirdly, was watching /The Last Samurai/ starring Tom Cruise. Have to say I was pretty impressed with it. But that’s besides the point. I was watching said film with a crew member on the boat (with there being no guests it so happens at the moment that him and I are the only two people on board. He’s a nice enough guy and I get on well with him. He also speaks the best English of the crew and is extremely keen to learn, which is always a good thing. But in this case it was frustrating.
Now, I hadn’t seen this film before and was looking forward to it, and still I enjoyed it, but it was at the same time frustrating because the fellow I was watching it with had seen it a few times before when he’d been working on a boat in Europe and was determined to tell me what was going to happen, in good but nonetheless broken English just before anything good happened. Maybe I’m just in an irritable mood today or a little bit tired but it just started to get to me about the 5th time. Which is odd, because if it was a mate at home, I would probably have been able to just turn around and tell him to fuck off, maybe even in a polite manner, and it wouldn’t have been an issue. Probably we’d laugh about it and it’d be no big deal in the morning but for whatever reason I couldn’t bring myself to say anything to this guy I considered a friend. And I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t want to risk causing any offence or misunderstanding with the language used or some other reason, but I don’t know, it just got me to thinking: is that one of the real signs of friendship? Knowing you can comfortably be – to all intents and purposes – obnoxious and downright offensive to them and due to your connection as friends you just /know/ that the other doesn’t mean it and can basically get away with saying it. Like you know instinctively if a friend has had a bad day by the way they talk to you.
I don’t know how to describe it but *you just know*. Sounds stupid, perhaps. Simple, definitely. But I reckon its true.
And so it made me realize that, you know what, I don’t know if I can really class this people as friends, but more as aquaintances, or work colleagues.
Please don’t misunderstand though. As I said above this guy is a really nice guy, extremely friendly, very hospitable and, yes, very talkative. I’ve got no problems with him at all and get on with him better than with most of the others on the ship, but, for whatever reason, and maybe its cultural differences as he tends to bring up religion relatively often, I just have these little stumbling blocks that kick me in the balls and make me double check on everything.
Perhaps this is the reason that I might call two years here my limit, who knows? Who really has a clue what the hell is going on in your sub-conscious? Nobody, right? Otherwise it would be conscious wouldn’t it?! ๐Ÿ™‚

But anyway, that was poorly explained but that started the situation off and then things kind of got more exagerrated as the evening progressed, maybe I got more tired, he got more talkative, I wanted to right stuff. Blah de blah de blah.

But enough of that.
In other news… fuck all. Going to Hurghada tomorrow, got to pick a guest up and try and download some server applications for this Ubuntu Linux install so that I can mess around locally with my own ideas for both the [real:ppl] website and my own.
Just finished talking to Rob via ye olde text message (SMS) and it sound like he’s still keen on the plan so hopefully we’ll be able to crash heads a little more over the coming months and lay down some realistic target dates (but just a quick side note, NEVER is not a target date that I want to work on ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

Been listening to a lot of Bob Dylan this evening, as well as the EvE Online Soundtrack (fucking awesome by the way). Gotta say a big thank you to Ste for lending us the Rolling Thunder Revue album – su-fucking-perb. Makes for great listening.
Also been catching up on the old podcasts a little bit recently. You know, getting down with the cool kids and all that. Really enjoying LUGRadio and also found a show called VideoGameOutsiders pretty entertaining, although they tend to be fairly big on the XBox360 which I haven’t had chance to play on yet. Doubt I’ll get one mind, still planning on getting a standard XBox that I can stick a MythTV front end on in the future… score.

Anyway, its now 03:30 and I’m starting to feel a tad more sleepy (the coffee’s wearing off) so I’ll go stick some more Bob on and get some sleep. Take it easy people. Going to be busy the next couple of weeks so maybe no major updates for a little while. Or if there are they will all come along at once when I get t’interweb access.

Keep it real. Use Firefox. Open Source what you can :-). Ta ta!

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*From the Fish’s Mouth!*

If you go out of your mind, do it quietly, so as not to disturb those
around you.

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Operation Open Source Dave

Here it is. Much spoken about (well once, maybe twice) and, of course, much anticipated… it’s Operation Open Source Dave!
This post won’t be particularly informative or important to the majority of you, but if you don’t like it, fuck off. Go on. I dare you… Woah, wait a minute! Where you going!? It was a JOKE…! Ah shit, there goes another one…

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Operation Open Source Dave. So, what is it? Well, it pretty much does exactly what it says on the tin. Even if the Operation part sounds a little bit too militaristic. It’s my personal decision to try and commit as fully as I possibly can to turning my computer life over to Open Source Software. I say ‘as much as I possibly can’ because there are at the minute certain large objects that stand in my way of a total conversion.
Sure, I am currently using OpenOffice.org 2, Firefox, Thunderbird, Gaim (or Fire on OS X) and the Gimp across all my systems, and various open source FTP clients depending upon Operating System of the time, but there are still some things that mean I can’t fully ditch proprietary / closed source Operating Systems. To name an example, my PADI Instructor Manuals and Course Materials come designed for Windows or Mac. And when they say that they mean it. The CD is clever enough to work out which OS I’m using (if it’s Mac or Windows) and provides me an installer program for the appropriate one, which it then proceeds to place *.pdf or PowerPoint files (in most cases) in an appropriate folder for me to access. Now, that wouldn’t be a problem if it meant I could then take those files and copy them to my Linux or similarly Open Source OS, but I can’t. Because to update the manual (not surprisingly a requirement to be a current and up-to-date instructor) I need to download the damned appropriate package for, you guessed it, Mac or Windows. With no option to download the specific *.pdf files that I could then use in my OS of choice. I understand it would mean a larger file download to download the whole *.pdfs as opposed to the released binary updates, but I’m prepared to do that if it means I have a choice in what I use.
But I digress again massively. It’s sort of a sensitive subject at the moment, as its the last remaining factor that means I have to keep OS X on my PowerBook. Now, don’t get me wrong, I prefer OS X to Windows, but it’s just not Linux, you know? And when I use Linux for 95% of my laptop tasks (music, video, word processing, website work, server practise, eBooks etc) it’s even more frustrating. Now, I know what any of you Open Source-savvy folks will be thinking: Mac-on-Linux. And yes, in many ways you’re right. And despite the fact that it’s a bitch to set up right now (I’m using Ubuntu 5.10, eagerly awaiting for a properly working .deb) that’s kind of irrelevant. I used mol via YellowDogLinux 4.0 previously and its just too slow to use for a professional application. For me it might not matter, but for a paying customer, I simply can’t justify putting them through the hassle of having to watch me running OpenOffice.org 2 in X11 on OS X running inside Linux. Just look at how long it took me to describe it…
At home there’s a more obvious reason I can’t convert. Games. I am a huge EvE Online fan (even if I have little time to actually play it right now) and it simply won’t run effectively enough within Cedega or any equivalent to warrant dropping my (paid for) XP install. When more Game Designers start designing stuff to run natively within Linux then things will be different, but for now, EvE is my stumbling block. This pisses me off further as it means inevitably that when I get home I spend more time on Windows than Linux on my home PC as I want and some would claim need to play the game. It’s an addiction I’m not ashamed of.

-Time for a Break-

I need to apologize for the lack of focus on this. I have a well-meaning colleague wanting to talk to me non-stop. This sounds horrible, but there’s only so much nodding and smiling that I can do subconsciously. But more about this later. I will probably have to rewrite this whole damn thing before I post it online in a cohesive manner!

-Break Over-

Anyway with that little explanation out of the way, and hopefully a slight reasoning as to what this is all about, then why do I want to do it? What benefit do I get from it? Well, one main reason is that, compared to what I can do in Linux, I find it a waste of money to be paying for the Microsoft software equivalent (EvE and PADI Materials excluded). I also don’t like the idea that I’m in any form contributing to a company notorious for attempts to monopolize the trade they’re in in order to advance personal profit. Most people who know me will hopefully agree that I’m pretty much one to be in favour of freedom of choice and expression, and what better place to be able to be that than in the digital realm? I mean, if the Internet is truly to be a social tool, what better way to utilize that tool than in the joining together of people from all over the world into one cohesive unit. Take the Debian project for example (http://www.debian.org). Started in 1993 I believe and facing mass criticism that anything without a ‘corporate’ structure couldn’t possibly achieve anything high enough is now renowned as am extremely stable platform for mission critical applications (please, correct me if that is too elaborate a description) and has an extremely thorough community with published guidelines for how to act etc etc. Is it anarchist utopia? I don’t know.
Given our current political situation in the world, perhaps the Internet and digital realm is one of our last possible places of freedom. Of course there are certain legal protections (and it looks set to increase) but still a high level of freedom, and most importantly /international/ freedom (certain firewalled countries not withstanding) exists.
It may seem a weird reason, but let’s face it, if one person doesn’t believe they can help make the change then that person gets stuck in a Vichy-France-esque position, in other words they aren’t helping solve the problem, whatever the rhetoric. And more to the point. Nothing ever changes.

Fucking A. This has gone off on a much bigger tangent than I expected it to, maybe due to distractions mentioned above allowing my subconscious to trample all over the page. My apologies. I will try and re-read and re-post an edited version of this when I can.
And remember:
Open Your Mind and Your OS Will Follow…

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
*From the Fish’s Mouth!*

Software, n.:
Formal evening attire for female computer analysts.

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I can say this as, last night I had a revelation in the form of realizing that I’m… wait for it… just like my father.
It all suddenly seems to make sense.
Whilst I don’t yet have his ability to talk randomly and at length with total strangers, I think I’m beginning to get there.
Like him, I seem to change more when I’ve had a few drinks. Not in terms of complete personality switching you understand, just suddenly being the clown of the party, laughing a lot, you get the drift. I can also talk crap at more length at that point.
I also reckon I’m in the same position in him as far as publicly expressing feelings go, or should that be phrased in the company of other males I don’t know as well. Weird, particularly as I don’t class myself as homophobic (and I don’t think my dad is) but certain feelings of affection (not necessarily directed at other males but just in general) I have a certain shyness about, almost like it shouldn’t be done. Again, this changes after a few drinks.
And, in reciprocation to him, I too seem to struggle with showing feelings to him in a fatherly aspect, indeed I was much more distant from him than I was to my mum (who I’m very close to) until the last couple of years.
I would probably go as far as to say that this last time I was back in the UK was the closest I’ve felt to my dad probably all my life (although I don’t really remember the first few years of it in these terms). Being able to go out for pints with him and things seemed to change our relationship. Weird huh?
/*Beer*: Bringing families closer together/. Proper beer that is. You know, the stuff with actual flavour?

And so concludes my revelation. Not particularly scientific I agree, but nevertheless, there it is. And it brings me onto another passion – proper beer.
Damn, just writing the words makes me long for a proper pint.
I’ve decided this time that I’m going to try and hold out and not drink shit beer for as long as I possibly can (believe me after a couple of months even Egyptian Cat Piss (lager) looks tempting…), and damn, I miss GOOD BEER!! GODDAMMIT! That whole story about Jesus going 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness is nothing – he wouldn’t have known proper beer then anyway, unless he’d travelled to the UK before getting there.
What I wouldn’t do for a pint of Black Sheep… mmm. I’m half tempted to ship some over here the next time I’m back. But what would I bring… hmmm its an interesting question, and I think it is best answered by many things. My current selection would probably include:
1. Black Sheep
2. Skullsplitter (not too much of that though, bit strong)
3. Red McGregor (spelling might be off on that one, I always struggle with foreign names…)

Anyway, I’m going to start a new feature now, that I like to call, /From the Fish’s Mouth/.
Now, you can make any clever meanings you like from this name but let me help you avoid wasting your time by telling you where its from.
As many of you may know (or may not, depends if I wrote it up already… if you don’t know then expect a post on it shortly…) I am currently in the process of trying to Open Source things in my computing life as much as I feasibly can, whilst still being able to enjoy certain features. At work this basically means nearly all my work is Open Source. For everyday tasks I am running Ubuntu 5.10, Breezy Badger (and eagerly awaiting the release of 6.04, the Dapper Drake!) on my PowerBook and using QuodLibet for my music needs, Bluefish and Nvu for website editing stuff, OpenOffice for office-tasks, GIMP for image manipulation, etc etc. The PowerBook isn’t completely open yet though as I have it dual-booting OSX on a small partition for those niggly little tasks (for example I haven’t yet got Kino to use *.avi’s for making films. so I have to boot up and use iMovie. Also, my PADI Instructor Manuals, whilst PDF, will only update via Mac Packages and, despite emailing PADI, they won’t give me straight access to the PDFs, so I have to access them in Mac. But I’m doing pretty well, and I just digressed massively. What does that have to do with fish? Well, there’s a certain script (i believe thats the technical term anyway,named /fortune/, and this script basically controls a whole variety of quotations on as many different subjects and in as many languages as have been written, released and installed by moi. I’ve installed quite a few, but no foreign language ones yet. And as a little gimmick, within the Gnome desktop is a Panel Applet name “X the Fish” where X can be controlled by the user, it started out life as Wanda, I changed it to Dave because I’m self-obsessed. Clicking on this brings up a random ‘fortune’ and then you can sit hitting next and seeing what other surprises you got. The name of the game is that I will end each blog entry that I can with a quote from the fish. Now, I know you didn’t need that long explanation, and I didn’t need to type it, but typing relaxes me, so screw you. Told you, I’m self-obsessed. ๐Ÿ™‚ See the end of the blog for the latest /From the Fish’s Mouth/!

And there you were thinking I was going to jump right to it now… tsk, I’m far from finished yet! Well, not that far, but then it’s all relative I guess.

Another reality-check I’ve been struggling with over the last week or so that I’ve had not a lot to do is what I want to do in, well, my life is the term I guess I’m after. And still, somewhat depressingly, the answer is I don’t know.
Or, more to the point, I do know, but it just isn’t particularly achievable.
Basically, I just want to enjoy myself. But then half of me realizes that to do that in this world unfortunately requires some sort of capital. But don’t worry, I’ve thought of that as well (perceptive, huh?). Yep, I’ve thought all about that and decided I need to win the lottery.
Ok, so not a completely achievable task necessarily, nor really a plan I can work on
– – “Erm, yes, Mr Bank Manager, I’d like you to loan me ยฃ500,000 right now, but don’t worry, I’ll be able to pay you back when I win the lottery…” – –
Just isn’t going to happen. Even I can accept that fact. But, equally, slaving away on a dive boat isn’t going to make me a stack of money either. Never pretended it would. Whilst it has been fun I don’t really see me doing this exact same job this time next year. Or if I am it will probably only be for a very short while afterwards.
Nothing wrong with it you understand, and I’m still loving diving and indeed working in diving. But for the length of days and ‘cram-factor’ of the work, I think two years is enough for me at this present time.
I still think I’d like to travel elsewhere, but I might first do some college courses or /something/ (maybe even University…) before I do any more of that. I guess the reality is that I just want to go back home for a while. I know I’ve written about it already, but it really shocked me just how much I appreciated the little things about home the last time I was back. And pissed myself off because I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to see.
I can almost see whats going to happen… I’m probably going to end up doing exactly what I didn’t want to do when i left school – comfy little job that requires fuck all effort and doesn’t inspire me at all, but allows me to enjoy the little things that come with being home and with great people. And now, I seriously have to ask myself, is it worth it? Not for next year or when I leave here, but for afterwards. Is it really what I want to do? Is it really what I can do? I know I’d get by, but is it what I want. If I go to University now (probably abroad) can I afford it? Or more to the point can I have the cash available afterwards to really sustain myself (I’ll be at least nearly 22 if I start Uni now)? Does it make sense? Or are college courses / night classes, around a gap-filler job more appropriate? Where will I live? Fine, a year or two at home is no big deal, I get on with my parents fine, even if sometimes it can be a touch limiting. It also feels like I’m scrounging off them too much. So, where and what are my options?
Fuck if I know right now, but I’m sure I’ll find out.
So there’s my soul-searching for today. Guess I need to decide what the plan is fairly soon really, at least as regards this year.
Fucking hell. Responsibility sucks as well. Why do I have to have control over what happens in my life? Can’t you decide for me? Maybe I should host an internet poll… ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, I know you’ve been lookign forward to this, so here it is: The End.

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*From the Fish’s Mouth!*

Save energy: Drive a smaller shell.

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Blog? What Blog?

Well, just been scouting through my previous lists of entries to the blog (or possible entries, need to verify whether I actually posted them or not…) that I have on my laptop and realized that, well, I’ve not done an extremely good job of posting on this.
Now, it might help if I was online more often as then I could quite easily type something up and ‘whack it off’, so to speak, but then it might not.
Probably I just don’t make that good a blogger. Not the end of the world, blogging probably wasn’t going to go on my CV anyway…

But that asides, I also realized that I never really finished what I’d hoped to write about the New Year celebrations in a Deep South Egypt Stylee.
And I’m not going to now either. Here’s a quick summary:
I was stoned and drunk. I was ‘DJ’ of a fashion. I fell asleep on my digital camera, fucking the screen (technical definition). I had fun. The end. Good, huh?

Then over the last month I’ve been back to the UK, had an absolutely awesome time, and now I’m back out on the boat, where the guests due on have postponed until the end of the month, so now our first trip isn’t for, well, lets see, another 10 days. Got a workshop to conduct in a few days which should be fun, and gives me something other to do than playing /Battle of Wesnoth/ or /Pingus/ habitually.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading also though, its not all been playing games and doing bits of tidying up work wise. Oh yes. In fact, since I returned to Egypt I have completed no less than 4 books (/Shadow Divers/, /Omerta/, /Brief History of Time/, and /Dead Famous/). Not bad for a week.
I’ve just this morning started Tom Clancy’s /Rainbow Six/ which I’ve heard a lot about and from what I’ve seen of the start of it it looks like I’ll enjoy.
Also while I was home I read a classic, /The Godfather/ by Mario Puzo (also author of /Omerta/). I’m beginning to develop a weird addiction to Mafia-based stuff from reading Puzo’s work. /Godfather/ was fantastic, ddespite having seen the film already. /Omerta/ too was gripping and very clever, although not as good as /The Godfather/ or /The Last Don/, which I read last year.
Very good author though and I suggest you check out his catalogue, as I’ll be doing… ๐Ÿ™‚
/Shadow Divers/ I started reading shortly after I finished /The Godfather/ and is a book based on a true story of a couple of American divers who located and ultimately identified a previously unknown wreck of a German World War II U-Boat. I had some knowledge of the story already but the gaps this filled and the stories surrounding it were superb. Very well written and I think interesting and accessible to anyone, whether you’ve dived before or not.
/Brief History of Time/, for those sinners who haven’t heard of it before, is by Stephen Hawking, and for those of you who still don’t know, Google it (anyone unaware of Google should, probably, kill themselves, after they’ve questioned how they even got to this page). I have to be honest, I wanted to read this for a long time but still thought it was going to be too intellectual for me to understand but, bugger me with a pitchfork, it was explained in pretty common-sense terms (or as common sense as you can get in that area…) and overall made a lot of sense and was truly thought-provoking. Certainly made me think twice about whether science and religion are really at two extremes as I’d always suspected. An extremely gifted individual, I would again recommend as many people as possible to go out and get this book. You won’t regret it.
I’ll admit there were parts where I sort of sat there staring at the page unable to comprehend the fine details what was going on, but a quick skim back over what was covered allowed me the general jist. I think. I hope. I’ll definitely read it again in the fairly near future.
/Dead Famous/ is a book by Ben Elton who people seem to either love or hate. Personally I hadn’t rread any of his books since the end of 2003 when I read /High Society/ and another one I sadly forget the name of now but remember enjoying and thought they were fun for a light read. And this one is no different.
Now, given that I had nothing really to do, I was fairly hooked to this, and it is a good storyline (set in a reality TV show house where one of the housemates gets murdered and the ensuing investigation) with some lines that really made me laugh. In a lot of ways it is very analytical of ‘modern culture’ (or lack of it) so to speak and he does a pretty good job of it. He also does an excellent job of adding the main twist to the storyline at the end.
Like I said, people seem to love or hate Elton’s stuff, and personally I enjoy it. If you’re stuck for something to read on holiday or just sat around with not much to do, I’d recommend trying it out and seeing what you think.

But besides reading, most of which is old news, I’ve been rethinking and looking back over the [real:ppl] stuff I have lying around my hard drive and really reckon its too much potential and fun to just let it rot, so I’m trying, once more to rekindle things.
Don’t know how far I’ll get with it this time but as a stop measure I decided to bite the proverbial bullet and sign up for some free webspace to at least get the information out there whilst I try to work out how soon I can get the server functional and back online again. My guess is that it’ll take until the next time I’m back home to get that part sorted out, which is a complete bastard. My only hope or potential saving grace is that Rob somehow finds some spare time in his hectic schedule to be able to nip around and set it up. Have to see what he can do though. Probably if we can’t get the server up for a couple of months I might just buy some webspace and host things on there for a while. Doesn’t give me quite the freedom I or the rest of us had hoped and planned for, but if we have something up that can start to sustain itself and move itself along then thats a good thing. At least somewhere to successfully host the articles and get some thought going on. But then another part of me says it would be best to wait till we can launch a ‘full package’ at one time, save launching, taking downtime to move things to the new server and then relaunch.
But we’ll see what happens.

Those of you unfamiliar with any of the recently mentioned terms could do worse than to check out www.realppl.co.uk for more information, but basically, it’s a Project started by myself and some friends a few years ago with the intention of providing a free (in terms of beer and speech), centralized outlet for people, originally in just written format, but with the aim to spread to include as many media formats as our bandwidth will allow. The original launch of the site did allow us to get a good few members online, using the forums to discuss points raised in articles submitted (mainly from our age group and schools) and, I felt, gave us some decent discussions. I guess I’d kinda just like to get things back to that reasonable level again and get some decent conversations flowing. Keeps my mind ticking over!

Well, I must admit I’ve enjoyed blogging this pretty little ditty right now and I shall once more strive to keep my blogging more current as time goes by. The generator here is about to be put to sleep, and I fancy a couple of more tries at Pingus before I personally hit the sack, so farewell, sweet dreams, etc.