Thankyou Materialism.

March 29, 2009

Gah, I hate being bored. There is nothing worse than looking at a house full of ‘stuff’ and thinking to yourself ‘ok, wtf can I do now’.

I am in this terrible position because my games have been taken away from me!!!!! I have recently started seeing a physiotherapist for my knees, wrists and lower back. My first session (last monday): Diagnosed RSI in my wrists… and she spent that long on my wrists she didnt have time to even get to my knees (and I was in there 40mins!). So I have been told to stay away from games (ALL games, not just counterstrike) for a month… now those that know me will do one of two things:

1. Wince in sympathetic pain with me at my situation (the nice ones) or

2. Laugh as long and as hard as they can (the not nice ones).

$50 says everyone laughs… So in response: I hate you all 😦

Of course, this is completely my responsibility… I accept that my games (especially the amount of time I spend playing them) are detrimental to my health. However this doesnt make it any easier now because I am essentially without a hobby.

How sad is it that in this entire house, full of so many things (thankyou materialism) I cannot find anything to do. Hmm, perhaps a more appropriate statement would be: ‘I cannot find anything I want to do’. Dvds: Meh. Books: Meh. Tv: Meh. To me, thats a statement of how materialistic and/or shallow this world has become… To constantly say: ‘Oh wow, I REALLY want this!!!’, and spend a good third of your income in the pursuit of these ‘things’, only to find that when it really comes to a time when you could actually find beneficial USE out of these things… the first thoughts that come to mind are: Meh.

Materialism pwns us.

Think about it: when you buy something these days how often do you actually watch/use it more than a handful of times? It then sits there for an indeterminite amount of time, gathering dust (or rust) over the years while you constantly try to accumulate more and more ‘things’ which you are convinced that you absolutely NEED (and, the constant advertisments dont help). Bah, what a load of shit! If each time you were to actually sit down before purchasing something stupid and say to yourself ‘ok, how often am I really going to use this’, and then decide not to purchase it quite a few people (myself included) would be in a much better financial situation.

This year has very much been a ‘growing up’ year for myself, in my opinion. The amount of revelations I have had in regards to so many things is just staggering. Finances being the most recent one: rather then spend upwards of $20 a day on food, spend $20 for supplies and bring YOUR DAMN LUNCH FROM HOME! It truly is astonishing how much this simple change has affected both my state of mind and my state of bank balance. Now add into the mix, the fact that I actually THINK before I buy something – I look at the long term, rather than instant gratification – and you have one (mostly) financially stable Adam Grande. Its a wonderful thing 🙂

I suppose the point of this post is to try and get people to think before mindlessly wasting their money… things can be so much better overall if you stop and take a second to think about what  you are buying. And Im not saying we should all live like monks, Im not saying that at all! But for people who constantly stress about their state of finances (myself included), when your bank account is low, the next time you see that gadget/gizmo/dvd think to yourself: ‘how often am I going to use this’, and THEN decide if its worth your hard earned dosh…

So in summary, I would just like to say: ‘Thankyou materialism for completely screwing us to the wall.’

One thing Ive noticed with this Financial Crisis looming over our heads like some sort of superstorm, is that people are now finally looking after their money a bit better… So heres hoping for a brighter financial future for all of us!!

Enjoy your weekend 🙂

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The Garden Saga

March 21, 2009

It begins.

After a week or so of on/off rain, I was finally able to spray my garden… Im killing all the grass/weeds that I can, as I will be planting new grass in a month or so.

I have a few ideas with what I want to do to my backyard, and Im renting at the moment so I dont want to spend too much on a garden I cant ‘keep’ (for lack of a better term).

On the other side of my house, there is a strip of dirt (roughly 2-3m wide, 7-8m long). THIS is the strip where today I applied my herbicide. It will pwn everything, no exceptions. In a month or so, I am going to go buy about $90 bucks worth of soil (you’d be surprised how much dirt you can get for a measly 90 bucks), and chuck it down, and rake it with… shockingly… a rake (which I am yet to buy). After this is done, I will scatter my seed (haha, how suss does that sound!! :P)… hmm probably a better way to say that would be scatter my grass seed and then put a layer of topsoil on it, and water the heck out of it with my hose (which also, I am yet to buy). Then I will let nature take its course… pwning any weeds that dare spring up in my glorious yard!

Heh, its fun to be me. 🙂

There is another strip, probably half a metre wide, 5m long, connecting my main courtyard to the big dead strip on the other side of my house… I was thinking of buying some of those fancy stones (aka. rocks) and lining that section with those, and purchasing several outdoor tiles to provide stepping stones to getting to the other side. I was quite chuffed when I thought of that idea. 🙂

Now to the courtyard. This is where most of the $$$ will go (aside from the proposed veggie garden, more on that later). I plan to buy myself a nice outdoor setting (for roughly $800), as well as a decent sized BBQ. Nothing beats a summer night by the BBQ, cooking whatever the hell is in the freezer, outside with my better half drinking some nice wine :). Im also probably going to add a few hanging plants, plus another outdoor light (I wouldnt piss on the current one) in order to complete the atmosphere Im going for with this personal project.

The veggie garden is also going to be a part of my project, as I am sick of paying through the ass for various veggies… why should I pay for it when I can grow it!?!?! Genius I tell you, brilliant I say! Of course, I know doing that sort of thing can be an absolute bitch of a job, which is why im going to keep this garden small. Im going to grow potatoes, tomatoes, capsicum, garlic and broccolli. Im currently growing Basil and Parsley (both of which have now sprouted! WOO!), and probably transplant them into the veggie garden once they get too big for the pots they are currently in. Good times. Other herbs will probably come a bit later, once I have this stuff all up and running (in case you havent figured it out, Im staying in my current place for a long time.

So thats it for now, Im probably going to upload some pictures later on, just before I lay the first layer of soil, to do the whole before/after thing.

Enjoy your weekend 🙂


I Love You Francika

March 19, 2009

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As I have finally figured out how to upload pictures into this blog I decided to post a photo. Fran stumbled along this gem of a pic, while at the Dome Cafe in Armadale (I shit you not: Best Dome Ever.), I think its quite nice, hence why I am dedicating an entire post to it 🙂

We are approaching our 1 year anniversary… and wow has this year gone quick. She makes me quite possibly the happiest man in the world, and I dont know what I would do without her. She’s my rock, my partner, quite simply my everything.

The first time we really talked was at a work celebration drink session, we had just managed to get a Build out the door into production and we were all in the mood to celebrate… I think I had 3 pints in me at that time and decided to sit down next to her and talk to her (as you tend to feel especially sociable when drinking), as I had never really taken the time to get to know her. I was blown away. To the point where I truly fought to keep my wits about me to have a genuine conversation with her, as her values and ideals were remarkably similar to mine, so we talked for ages…. and I mean ages. I think we kinda accidentally snubbed everyone else in the area, we were just talking and talking and talking. As I sobered up completely, my thoughts kept going ‘wow, this chick is just amazing’. So what started out as a night to get absolutely fked, turned out to me truly meeting for the first time the most wonderful woman I have ever known.

Ever since then, the relationship has deepened. From our first kiss at Armano (Pizza/Icecream place in Perth), to tonight; where we went to visit my Mum for a cuppa. From our mutual love of all things food and cooking to our similar taste in music, and the love of dancing in my house by a candlelight dinner with soft jazz playing in the background. I have never, ever met anyone like her in my entire life and she truly fills my life with joy and happiness.

Shes a woman I hope to keep in my life for a long, long, long time, sitting by Canning River with me in the cool autumn breeze, and laying down in the park in Applecross, just mucking around, relaxing, half asleep even…

I remember once, not so long ago, she threw a shoe at me! 😀 It was my fault though, I faked an asthma attack to get out of her trying to tickle me at the time (I hate it when people do that). It was funny as hell.

Honestly, I could go on about this for at least another 9 or 10 pages (without trying), but I will stop it here. Basically, when it comes down to it…

I love you Francika Elpez. 🙂

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ps. This photo was taken at Hilarys Boat Harbour, on a day that I probably will never forget. Beer, Wedges, Pool and just having a blast… and Francika of course 🙂 Best Combination Ever. 🙂


New Theme

March 19, 2009

Toying with the appearance of my blog right now, Im trying to find something nice and ‘refreshing’, so when you come to my blog, subconsciously you think ‘wow, this pwns’… yes Im just that considerate 😛

So let me know what you guys think 🙂

Oh, and Im a fan of this one because I can see my Blog Subtitle, thats a tribute to depo 🙂


Video Game Addiction

March 16, 2009

The name says it all doesn’t it?

People dont realise how easily it is to get hooked on these things. Whether its the behemoths known as World of Warcraft or StarCraft (played way too much by most people in the world, to the point where people are dying), Crysis: Warhead, as well as (sigh) Counter-Strike: Source, and last but not least the suprisingly addictive flash game.

The rate at which these games can take over your life is astonishing, and I speak from personal experience here. Its quite a scary feeling when your bones are hurting, and still unable to hit that ‘Disconnect’ button. Worse still, is the feeling when you are so angry you could throw the damn computer through the wall and still you are unable to hit that disconnect button.

I believe addictions to computer games can spring up for various reasons; they can be used as an escape from reality, they can be used as an outlet for aggression, and (which I think is the biggest reason for team based games) a simple streak of competitiveness. If I was to be brutally honest, my reasons for starting gaming would be a combination of all three. These days, however, it tends to be competitiveness.

The amount of time I have spent playing CSS, after each map that finishes, thinking ‘yeah just one more map, one more map, I know I can improve my KDR (kill death ratio)’ is ridiculous. It just goes on and on with no break. I think my record for CSS in one session is roughly 4-4.5 hours. Straight. And you don’t even notice the time go by, you simply look at your clock around 7pm, and what you perceive as ‘blink’ and its clocking 11.15pm, and you need to be up early in the morning.

Thankfully, though, I have the willpower to know when to quit. Last night I uninstalled CSS, much to the relief of my inner self. The second it was done I actually felt better, both emotionally and physically. Games, when they get to the point of addiction or super competitiveness, are terribly draining, and at  the end of a session you will be absolutely buggered, so when you eventually collapse onto your bed for some well-earned rest, it feels as if your bones are sinking into the bed. I have done this sort of CSS fasting once before, and believe me when I say the quality of life for myself skyrocketed. I was much happier in general, I got more things done and was just happier all round.

On the flip side, the reason I reinstalled (and will no doubt reinstall again) is because of the absolute champs that I game with (shouts to marty, cro, depo, smash, goo, serb and dig). These guys are the ones that tend to get me through the worst of it… they endure my rants (as I tend to endure Smash’s) and always lighten the tone of the server. These people are the ones that make gaming fun

And fun is what it should be… and I cant emphasise this enough. When games get to the point of you feeling like you want to bash the keyboard repeatedly, or as smash once said ‘I raged so hard I reset my PC’, something needs to change. Whether its a change of game of choice or simply a change of server (or better yet, turn off the computer and go outside, and go for a run) it is definitely something that needs to be kept in mind when participating in any sort of (but especially team based) games.

I think the trick to managing game addiction is a balance of willpower, self control and balance. Try to discover your limits and know when you have had enough, and most importantly have the willpower to stop. Video Games (of all shapes and sizes) are meant to be entertainment, and above all are meant to be enjoyed as a bit of light fun… letting it take over your life does nothing but harm to yourself and those around you (if you aren’t controlling it).

Think of computer games like coffee: a bit of coffee in the morning (and at night) is wonderful, makes you feel awake and the taste is just amazing. But drink too much of it and you’ll start getting heart palpitations and possibly have a heart attack and die.

Grim but true. 🙂

Night all!


Ethics In An Anonymous World

March 8, 2009

Anonymity is a wonderful thing.

It enables us to look into things considered outside the ‘social norm’, research alternative topics and a viable plethora of other things, all of them protected by a massive wall of anonymity. We are able to express opinions and thoughts we normally (in the real world) wouldn’t be able to express, for fear of being ostracized by the general public. This can be a good thing as it allows new ideas to develop, seeds of original thought to germinate in our minds and ‘expand our horizons’ (a favourite saying of the older generation).

However anonymity has its dark side. Its seen on news sites, tech sites, in fact any sites where there tends to be ‘Comment’ section. One person will say something abusive to someones comment, and then the discussion degenerates from there… the author of the comment will feel obliged to stick up for himself, while at the same time abusing them right back, and then on and on it goes. But nowhere is this dark side of anonymity more prevalent than in on-line gaming. Now add in to the mix real-time voice communication (an essential component of team oriented games) and you truly start to delve into the darker side of human nature.

We are (mostly) raised from childhood to be polite, well mannered human beings. Ethics and a sense of right and wrong are drilled into us as soon as we can form the words ‘da da’, and any deviation from this behaviour is heavily frowned upon by those people around us. Most of us do indeed have a good sense of right and wrong, not to mention decorum and civility, but for those people that cant deal with it resent the people around them, and bottle up their anger and rage. And so these almost completely separate on-line personalities are born, and are given the outlet of on-line gaming to express their rage and near psychotic tendencies, with absolutely no consequences for the aggressive and antagonistic behaviour that they display. They abuse and ridicule the people around them, ignoring their own (quite obvious) shortcomings, and bring down the feel of the environment we all love to share. I find this quite distressing, as I would like to introduce my children (when they come along) to this online world, where friends can be made, and a general good time can be had by all. The last thing I want my kids exposed to are the abusive rantings of people who cant deal with their real life problems, whose most intelligent responses are ‘omg your mum’ jokes, with the obscenity and detail of these jokes becoming more and more disgusting.

I have been recently frequenting a server that has a zero-tolerance policy for abuse and swearing. I find myself liking this server ALOT. To the point that I prefer to play there, than my normal server. When in an environment like that the game is much more fun and enjoyable, and is indeed a game where a bunch of mates can get together for a laugh and a good time.

I think its time for the on-line community (particularly the on-line gaming community) to take a stand against these antagonistic bullies, and tell them that their behaviour is not on. If you are in the position of an administrator, mute these people from the server side (so that they are muted across the whole server, not just your PC), and failing that, permanently ban them from playing on the respective server. I want my kids to grow up in an on-line world where the ethics of the on-line community mirror those in real life.

I truly hope that this sort of serves as a community announcement that truly does make a difference to the on-line world. Spread this message to everyone who will listen.

Enough is enough.


Is It Considered Unprofessional To Dance?

March 6, 2009

Today, the first project I have done from start to finish finally went live, after constant delays, changes in requirements and just general BS.

The above title was my first thought.

Now you might think it slightly ridiculous for me to be so over the freakin MOON about this, but this project has been hanging over my head like a storm cloud for what feels like an eternity. One of the client managers commented about how I seem to have aged over the past 6-8 months, and he is completely right. I truly do feel drained after this project. However I have also ‘grown up’ considerably (at least in my opinion, and state of mind). I think I have finally learnt the art of focusing. This is actually pretty hard for me, given that usually my mind is running at a 100km/h, and I find it terribly hard to focus, and tend to get bored really quickly. I had one of those moments where everything just ‘clicked’, and almost overnight my whole mentality changed. Now I actually feel more productive, and satisfied with the work that i do (heh, of course this doesn’t stop the amount of bugs I get coming back, but hey… baby steps :)).

Well, the true test of this project will come on Monday, at 8am, when the users start actually using the system. And even with all the testing in the world, I can almost guarantee that somehow, somewhere, the users will do something completely beyond my comprehension, and then off to the error logs I go!!!

Hmm… well I hope not! 😉

Night all!