A long overdue funeral

There was a death in the family over the weekend.

Actually there were two but it took a while to discover the other one.

Back in the Bad Old Days when I was taking redundancy I managed to screw the company for a reasonable settlement.  There were minor things like a lump sum, a pay cheque until I officially retired,  full pension that I wouldn't have otherwise been entitled to and a fully paid couple of diploma courses, but the big one was that I would be allowed take home my desk top computer!

Needless to say in the days before I left it went through some massive upgrades and if I remember correctly, it ended up with a full 512K memory and a massive, enormous, gigantic 100Gb hard disk.  It even had a CD drive and a DVD drive as well as its floppy disk yoke.

However, I intended on doing some pretty intensive stuff so after a year or so I bought a bespoke one where I specified the contents.  It was a big fucker – one of those tower yokes – and had an incredible 1Gb memory and two 250Gb disks [half a fucking terrabyte!!!].  It also had a great sound system.

Over the years, that tower box did some pretty powerful stuff but after a while it started to show its age.  First the sound card blew.  I replaced it but that blew too.  The speakers were recycled and are now part of the television [I like to feel the bass notes].  The remainder of it continued its soundless work though and while I had taken to using laptops, it remained on duty for doing long term stuff like downloads.

On Friday it died.

I got various messages like not finding the system, or not even finding the disk [it varied] but it was obvious that the heart wasn't working, the blood had stopped flowing, the brain was dead.  It was time to go to the great Computer Farm in the Sky.

While I was removing the carcass I realised I hadn't switched on my old ex-work one in quite a while.  It had become so much of the background that I had stopped noticing it.  I switched it on.  It started loading Windows 2000.  I was impressed! 

But that's as far as it got.  It just sat there loading Windows 2000 and nothing else.  It never finished.  I decided that was dead too, and had probably been dead for many years.  Luckily it didn't smell.

So that left me with a problem.  I need something that does background work.  I need something that will kick off a programme in the dead of night to do some large downloads of website backups.  I could do them during the day but that would tie up the broadband and then Herself would complain that she can't listen to her radio.

I dug up an old laptop.  Actually it's a relatively new one at only about four or five years old, but the keyboard doesn't work because of  fault on the motherboard.  But if I am using it remotely then a dud keyboard doesn't really matter that much, does it?

I tested it last night.

Not actually true.  I set it running and went to bed leaving it to test itself.  Got up the next morning and it had worked perfectly at some time in the early hours.

I never need go near it again, as everything can be controlled from my laptop, including switching it off.

It does need my personal attention to switch it on though.

A bit like Herself.

Melting the Snowflakes

I mentioned before that there is an "Irish Bloggers" thing on Farcebook.

At the time I said that I joined more out of curiosity than anything else.  My fears then have been confirmed ten-fold – Every new announcement is along the lines of "Hello Girls! I have just started a new blog on lifestyle and beauty/fashion/food/health" [delete where applicable].  Basically it appears to be a seething mass of female hormones all writing about the same thing.

A new one popped up the other day from a site I hadn't heard of.


At last! thinks I, someone who isn't writing about all that lifestyle, fashion, food, health, make-up shite.  Maybe there's hope yet.  Naturally I followed the link and found the site – Portagregor.

Make what you wish of it [and grammar/punctuation nazis can shut the fuck up] but here is a site which isn't Pink and Fluffy which in my book puts it head and shoulders above the rest of them. It is one of an elite few that has a drop of humour and isn't full of oestrogen and fripperies.

As an aside – they recently touted for entries for the Irish Blog Awards [or whatever they call themselves these days] and I deliberately didn't mention it because I didn't want some smartarse entering my efforts.  Those awards are just not the place for someone of my sensitivities and it's time to leave them to the Pink and Fluffy Brigade.

Anyhows, apparently the comments on Farcebook came in thick and fast under the above entry!

"Wait, what?!?"

Wait, what what?  Don't know what the fuck that means.

A bit confused with your post here Mark. Can you please explain a bit more? This group normally tends to stay away from misogyny and it would be sound to keep it this way.

Explain what?  It's a fucking blog post.  Read it or don't read it.  Your choice.  And who says the group should stay away from misogyny?  This sounds like a rule that's invented on the spur just to make an argument.

Your comments are offensive to all women. How would you like a guy to say this about your sister/daugher or other female relation?

Aw for fuck's sake!  He's writing about one woman, not all women.  Jayzus but the Snowflakes are out in force.

Hey Mark, if there is a decent story to be told why the sexist angle? That's what I can't understand. If you've something worthwhile to write about why not let it speak for itself? Personally the sheer misogynistic tone of the post means that I wouldn't click on the article. I understand the allure of click bait but keeping it respectful to women would hardly take away from your post. Maybe something for you to consider? In general, in this group you will find a great majority of women so know your audience and all that

In general, in this group you will find a great majority of women so know your audience and all that?  Hah!  Great majority is an understatement.  And who says he is writing exclusively for them?  Like myself, he is just writing on a topic that has crossed his mind and I very much doubt he even considered the demographics of his audience.  If he did, then he's doing the wrong thing.  Instead of letting the writing flow, he would be self-censoring and writing an anti-septic version which would defeat the whole purpose.

So Mark – you have been told.  You entered a room full of touchy women and the professionally offended and have raised a few hackles.  Now I have nothing against women, just as I have nothing against men but when these pseudo-feminists gang up and start throwing daft accusations of misogyny about that gets my hackles up.  These women have chosen to be offended so I choose to have no sympathy with them.

If they can make up rules about misogyny then so can I.  If you don't like what you read then stop fucking reading it.  Just fuck off somewhere else and read something that conforms to your delicate sensibilities.

And in answer to the question above…..

Yes I would.


The Original Hipster

In my day there were the Mods and Rockers, the Teddy  Boys, the Beatles look and the Hippies.

I never went for any of them.  If you're trying to rebel against society by dressing differently then there is no point in dressing the same as all the rebels.  I always had my own look and style, variously described as Scruffy, Unkempt and Would-you-ever-go-and-get-your-fucking-hair-cut.  If anything, I was a Hippy before Hippies were invented [and as soon as they were, I stopped].

Now there is this weird phenomenon known as the "Hipster".

I have heard this term bandied about and assumed it was something to do with the strange rash of false looking beards that are becoming prolific.  There is something about those beards, that they all looked like they have been photoshopped on or bought in a theatrical costume shop.

I had a look around this morning and found a web site that gives instructions on how to be a Hipster.

Fucking hell!  Do people really have to have instructions on how to dress and behave?  Whatever happened to personal taste and individuality?  But then I suppose in a world where the lowing herd have to be told how to do everything I suppose it's only to be expected that there are instructions on how to look and behave?

Funnily enough, I can identify with quite a few of the supposed attributes of a Hipster.  I have a beard, but it looks real [which I suppose is a mark against me?] and my hair is usually unkempt.  I do have a contempt for smoking laws and rules.  I do tend to give the odd smart arsed answer if asked a silly question.  I do wear jeans and spectacles, though the latter are rimless to keep them light and to stop them sliding down my nose all the time.  I do grow my own produce but not of the fruit or vegetables varieties.  I do use WordPress though they can fuck off with their Blogspot, Tumblr and Instagram.

The line has to be drawn somewhere though and they can fuck off with their "keep a pulse on the Hipster community" and moving to a metropolitan area like London [though in fairness, they do say that isn’t strictly necessary]. And I'll be damned if I'll be told what films to watch or music to listen to.

So all in all it looks like I am more Hipster than not.  But seeing as I have lived like this for as long as I can remember, and certainly decades before Hipsters were invented, I can only assume they are copying me?

But then we have the little rule number 7.

Don't define yourself to others. One of the key elements of being hipster has been to avoid the label. Don't go around proclaiming your allegiance; to do so would be to start allying with those who like neatly tied-up boxes denoting who is what, when, and where.

  • The moment you define yourself too clearly is the moment you begin to stagnate and risk being captured by the status quo. Many a hipster will therefore deny their "hipster-ness" whenever possible.
  • To preemptively ward off the mockers, some hipsters have taken to extending their sense of irony to include even themselves by acknowledging and mocking their own hipsterdom (for example, wearing a tee that says "I hate hipsters"); that way, by mocking themselves first, no one else can effectively do it (reclaiming the negative).

So I can't say I'm a hipster because then I'm not.  And if I say I'm not a Hipster that that's a very Hipster thing to do.

Ah listen lads….

Would yiz ever all go and fuck off.

Hipster my bollix.