Sunday, December 26, 2004

Half Life dreams

I keep having dreams about Half-Life 2. They're not dreams about the fact that I want to own the game, although I would like to get hold of it. My computer's not really up to running it, but I'd probably buy it anyway.

My dreams have been more about being in Half-Life 2. I become Gordon Freeman and run around doing stuff. One dream involved climbing around on a lot of pipes, and that was pretty much it. It was great though, I was climbing all over these pipes and grabbing onto other ones and swinging over to them and I was amazed at this. Its was like the best pipe-climbing simulator thing ever.

Another dream involved me running around telling everyone that I was Gordon Freeman. This was also a lot of fun, although I can't remember exactly why. I've had a few more dreams about the game, but they're rather vague and fuzzy in my memory. In another dream, I was quite possibly the actual Half-Life 2 game and I have a vague recollection of how thrilling it was to be sold at a phenomenal rate.

My dreams are a lot of fun.

On second thoughts, I might not get the game now. It probably won't live up to my expectations.

Friday, December 24, 2004

What I want for Christmas

Well, I'm not normally one to get all unreasonably hyper about waking up on Christmas morning and ripping wrapping paper asunder to uncover the goodies hidden beneath, but this year I'm hoping for something very special. It's the Special Edition, Extended version of my Life.

Yes, that right. It includes a directors commentary - I can listen in on all the creative insights that go into my daily actions - a deleted scenes feature - most probably showcasing all the brilliantly hilarious things I do when drunk and then subsequently don't remember - and most importantly, an extra 1 year, 43 days and 7 minutes worth of extra footage. Most of this is stuff that didn't make the final cut, like my numerous exciting adventures to, in no specific order, the Moon, Egypt, Alpha Centauri and the Swindon branch of Woolworths, my numerous exotic girlfriends and most interestingly, the time I ended up posing as a Columbian drug baron intent on world domination for three weeks to win a bet.

I wouldn't reccomend the standard edition. It gets fairly tedious after a while.

Birthing a Web Design Company (and the problems inherent to this task)

I came to a decision recently. It was a rather good decision too. The basis of this decision was that I'm fed up of sitting perfectly still doing nothing while I wait for the world to arrive at my doorstep with interesting sweetmeats and job opportunities. Daily I see life go "Sch'w'pinggggg" past my window and down the street where it interacts with some hip young thing and gets jiggy with a goup of "down with it" kids.

I've decided to start up my own web design company. Or rather, I'm going to be a freelance website designer. Which sounds better - and which will go on my business card - I have no idea.

Mostly, it's going swell. I'm fairly awesome, which is a good thing to be when designing websites. I'm also fairly creative, at least in a rather uncontrolled and destructive fashion. In much the same way as a nuclear bomb is "creative", I too cause chaos, noise and light to form where previously there was only stillness and a rather offputting sense that "everything is allright. There is nothing to fear"

The one main problem I have come across is naming the bastard. I hadn't realised just how many websites there are out there with cool names. Initially, I was going to name it after myself, then I thought "No". I have to appear as if I'm some sort of supercharged infromation aware intra-communi-net-tek-e-commerce-viable company with its finger on the digital pulse of the world and a heartbeat which pounds at gigahertz frequencies. Then I realised that all the cool things in the world are called "Liquid" and "Electric" and "Design". So I combined those three words and a few other cool sounding ones into company names and, lo and behold, every single one of the fuckers I found already existed as a company. "ElectricBlue" - no spaces - that sounds good. What's the first thing that comes up during a search for the aforementioned word-phrase? Thats right, a web design company. "LiquidDesign"? Google it... Oooh, at least three of the gits. "ChaosDesign". That sounds hip and upbeat, like some deluded rapper child with aspirations of greatness, bastardising the english language for use in his inane and pointless lyrics, but nooo. It's some sort of fucking e-commerce website.

From henceforth, I shall endeavour to name my company in the most nonsensical way possible. Perhaps I shall be known at some future point as www.hanramnaramnaramnamanaram.com. Shit, it's been taken.

Any ideas?

Sunday, December 19, 2004

I like Christmas.

No, really. I do. It's just all the crass commercialism and product placement that would make me physically nauseous if it wasnt for the fact that I've spent the last 24 years of my life being bombarded daily with an increasing number of adverts and promotions.



Saturday, December 18, 2004

The act of creation

I've been building websites. This is something I've been doing for a long, long time. Since the dawn of time itself. That is, of course, if you assume that time began at some arbitrary point on a Friday afternoon sometime during late November, 2002.

Building websites is fun and rewarding and I hope at some point in the future to make money from my skills because, though I am not normally the egotistical type, I must say that I am rather good at it. Wisdom is not something, as was once muttered by a greek philosopher*, to be hoarded however and so I shall now take it upon myself to impart upon you, humble reader, the knowledge of the web building. Let me start by explaining Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

CSS is exactly what it sounds like. Style Sheets that Cascade. Much like a waterfall cascades over rocks and down into a valley, so too does CSS. Yes.

The syntax of CSS is, even at its most basic, extremely complicated and so I will endeavour to keep this as simple as possible. To start with, you must have a file. These can be purchased at most hardware shops for tuppence and thrupenny and will come in one of many sizes: big, small, large, long, flat, seven. The list is almost endless. Into this file you must place rules and statements which explain to the internet how the Style Sheet will Cascade. Yes.

A rule goes something like this...

.egg {
amount-of-egg : lots;
polyglot : maybe;
with-bacon : yes;
height : eggs have no height. They are two-dimensional;
}

This rule will be applied within an HTML document (Heavy Tractor Modulation Language) to specify exactly where, when, how and why an element will be placed.

Thusly..

HTML = draw eggs on the monitor. Then cook the eggs. Then goto 10.

This is called an HTML-ite. It is called an HTML-ite because it is. There is no other reason for it. Like the Universe, God and Harold Bishop it has existed for eternity and therefore doesn't need explaining.

Got all that? Good. Now go and make a webpage and have it on my desk by nine o'clock Moonday morn. I shall leave you now as I have pie in the oven and tea on the stove. Go and sit in the corner and think about what you have learned.


*it's fairly safe to assume that, because the Ancient Greeks and such were around for a long time and there were a lot of them, they said a lot of things, not all of them as wise as would be assumed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The New Things.

Today I got a new keyboard, shaped differently from my old one. Not in any major way, just enough to make it feel different. It's a little bit disconcerting, because all the keys seem to be in the wrong place. I find things like this to be terribly exciting and view them as a welcome change to my daily routine.

Another exciting thing happened today when I was watching daytime television. Now, normally, I am not one to be found lazing infront of the TV on a Tuesday afternoon, stuffing my face with cheese, cakes and/or mercury, but this day was different. I have no idea how it was different, it just was.

Anyway, during the advert break for some hilariously bad talk show/detective drama/news bulletin, I found myself staring with eager eyes at the garishly animated dancing corporate logo of some Loans Company PLC. Incorporated & Sons. This horrible dancing logo - I think it was a talking phone with wheels, or an exploding foetus or something - was extolling unto me the virtues of taking out up to £25,000 to buy myself something really, really nice that I probably didn't want, will never need and am no doubt allergic to (I am allergic to many things including things shaped like peanuts, mercury, the music of Jethro Tull and the sky).

Being the suggestible type that I am, certain parts of my brain immediately snapped into action. "You really want that loan, really really really really".
"Yes I do", I aggreed.

I called the number that the talking wheeled baby-monster told me to call and was greeted almost immediately by a cheerful young woman who introduced herself as Foona. I have never known anyone called Foona and I don't think it's even a real name. This didn't seem important at the time.
"Hello, Foona", I said, "I would like a loan, post haste, pronto pronto". I never take any nonsense from call center types and find that this is a good way of achieving an instant rapport with them.
"Ten of your thousand pounds should do nicely". She then took my details, including my name, address, credit card number, date of birth, underwear colour, marmoset breeding license number and fax number.
"Ha! I do not own a fax machine, never have and never will. Your attempts have been thwarted". Quite what I had thwarted I have no idea. I hung up the phone none the richer but wiser, thanks to my exciting adventure on the phone and proceeded back through to the living room where I placed myself, one again, infront of the TV and awaited further instruction from animated talking dustbin logos or whatever.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Time and Crunishment

Daily, it seems, I sense the sands of time are slipping through my fingers. This is not a bad thing and, I should explain, nothing to do with being pessimistic about the future or 'owt like that. No, quite simply, I am attempting to use the power of metaphor to construct a nice little sandy cove in my back garden, complete with panoramic views of the emerald sea and cool atlantic breeze. (I need a holiday but money is tight) No such luck yet though.

All my relationships seems to roil and boil like the turbulent waves of the ocean...


Big Chief Mine'sAPint

I wish I was some sort of tribal Chieftain. The sort that wears big feather hats and dances naked around fires singing to the god of rain or fire or plastics or chicken teryaki. It would make for interesting conversation down the pub of an evening.

"So, Chieftain", the others would begin as I and my chums gather around the bar to sup upon finest ales, "how's life treating you?". To this I would reply, "Very well, I thank you. I spend my days mostly naked whilst dancing round a fire singing songs of yore and telling tales so tall they would make the sky seem close. As the sun nears the horizon, I retire to my teepee, or wigwam if you will - in reality, my fourth floor flat, but lets skip the technicalities - to smoke upon the pipe of truth and to mull over the lessons that the days dancing (naked or otherwise) has laid upon me."

These simple utterances from the mouth of one who is held in such high regard are like rays of golden sunlight upon the face of a sleeping monkey. The pleasure which is emparted unto those who listen is something fine indeed. Like vintage Merlot, or the smell of cut grass on a warm Summer's eve, the words fill the minds of those held captivated by the Chieftain's tales and cause joy to blossom where before there was only a vague sense of longing.

Alas, I am not a strongly worded Chieftain. I am but a mild-mannered creature who toils by day and at night can be found loitering inside the local drinking establishment, shouting coarse words at any who fall within earshot and angering the patrons whenever a feather falls from my crudely fashioned Indian head-dress into their fiercley guarded pints.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Ragh! I return with news of newts

Hello. I'm back again. Did you miss me? No? Good. I'd be worried if you did.

What's been happening since I last set foot upon this hallowed land? Nothing. Nothing at all. I live my life as a void, like an empty tin. "What did this tin once contain?", You may ask - and ask, you may. Well, I shall tell you.

Beans.

Yes, thats right, my life is like a tin that once contained beans but which now is empty. Empty like the wind. Empty like the roiling toiling waves of the sea. Empty like this blog, save for a few stupid euphemisms and analogies.

Where are we going? Where have we been? Why is there pizza on my TV screen?

I've also decided to cheekily edit my blog to fill up the last couple of months will all the hilarious* writings that have been stagnating on my website for the last year or so. I hope you like them. I do. Laughing at your own jokes is a good indicator of how insane you really are.

*not hilarious

Friday, December 03, 2004

Misplaced commitment

Walking down the street the other day, I happened upon something rather curious. I noticed that a particular shop which I walk past on a daily basis had vanished overnight. No sign remained of it. The street was far too narrow to easily admit demolition crews and allow them to leave within a space of 24 hours without any trace of them having been there and there certainly wasnt any sign of a demolition having taken place. The shop had simply disappeared into thin air.

Quite why this had happened, I took a while to ascertain as I eventually noticed that not only had it not been demolished, it had also been replaced by a worn out shack which seemed to have been there for many years. The shop in question which had vanished was actually a feminie hygiene products shop, I forget its name as I never paid much attention to it. Needless to say, I had never been inside the shop either. Suddenly I noticed, from within the shack, a curtain twitch. A pair of nervous eyes seemed to dart out from behind the fabric and eventually they noticed me standing there, staring at this small, wooden hut.

After a few minutes, a small man came out from inside the hut and, after hobbling over to where I stood, explained, in a voice that seemed youthful despite the speakers aged appearance "I'm terribly sorry, there appears to have been a malfunction".

It turns out the holographic projector which had created the illusion of the feminine hygiene product shop had broken a few hours before. Querying why such an elaborate system was in place, the man simply replied that it gave him a certain amount of privacy. "But what about the people who try and go into the shop?" I asked. "There's no need to worry about that" he said.

I wandered off and after a few minutes, looked back. The man had dissapeared and, to my astonishment, the shop had returned. On walking back past the shop later that day I stood outside it and looked through the window. It appeared to all intents and purposes to be a perfectly ordinary shop from my viewpoint outside. The door appeared to be open and although there was no-one inside, it seemed to be full of products pertaining to hygiene. I wandered off again after a few moments, vaguely puzzled by the whole experience.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

A day. A day a day.

10:00am Awaken to find that the day has begun and that I have missed a large portion of it.

10:02am Go back to sleep, content that the day can continue its progress without my assistance, although it has been told that if it gets confused it can wake me and request counsel on any matter.

3:16pm Awaken a second time to discover that the day has indeed progressed smoothly and without incident. Leave bed and venture downstairs to prepare breakfast.

5:32pm After a lengthy breakfast preparation and consumption period involving no less than three rather unsuccessful tiger attacks, a visit to the bank to withdraw some more money and a small, balding man named Howard constantly questioning me on the nature of reality, I retire upstairs for my afternoon nap.

8:01pm Having awoken feeling refreshed and greatly enthused by the knowledge that my dreams have granted me (Badgers are nocturnal and the colour green is an aphrodisiac) I proceed downstairs and out of the front door to greet whatever it is that life has in store for me. Today I discover that life has decided to deliver me a signed Gold Disc of the Cheeky Girls first single. Life is good to me.

10:55pm I prepare supper in the usual fashion: Egg, bean, Egg, Sausage, Pie, Egg, Bean, Bean, Bean etc. This process can often last several hours, although the final result is well worth the wait.

3:11am After a tiring day, I retire to bed, safe in the knowledge that tomorrow is, indeed, another day, reality is what reality always has been - my own private adventure playground - and that there is always a good chance of pulling a pair of matching socks out of the drawer, but only after a certain number of failed attempts, I forget exactly how many.

Thank you, that is all.