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Friday, 30 March 2012

JavaScript Nerd

Contrary to the title I'm not very good at JavaScript but I used it a bit for my final year project. 
I'm thinking of writing an extension for browsers so I can scramble some parts of my blog to make them more private (after I wrote my last post I figured maybe I should make some things more private). I don't want a second blog but there's some details I leave out sometimes that I'd be happy enough to say so long as I knew who was reading it. People would have to use my app to be able to decrypt the message. It wouldn't be a complicated encryption at all, it'd just be a fun little project for myself whenever I finish college before I go away.

I just had the most insanely posh and delicious lunch. It was a restaurant called Patrick Guilbaud. I'll blog about it later when I have time.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

You can't help people who won't help themselves.

I originally thought the title when I was quite young and had just heard a story about some difficulties in some developing country in Africa. At the time it seemed quite profound and I was pretty happy with having said it. Recently I've noticed I can relate it to myself moreso than anything else.

I had heard a story about some community that was given help but basically whoever they chose to be in charge fucked their own people over. It's sadly a bit of a recurring theme in developing countries it seems. In Kenya over the summer I got the impression that  it was taken for granted the politicians would basically skim shit-tonnes of money off public funding for anything for themselves, even health or education.

So anyway, I decided when I was younger it wasn't very useful giving lots of money to these countries. The country needs people who are willing to live and die to make their country a better place to live before help can really be useful. In my eyes they needed some De Veleras and Michael Collinses of their own. Which I guess is true, presumably why so many people believe education is the key yada yada.


So yeah, basically my point about all of this is, I'm so often one of these developing countries.

I was thinking about whether or not to go to this camp thing that I've applied for. I basically have been accepted and I need to pay and stuff really quickly, or so she said on Monday when she woke me up. I was meant to ring her on Tuesday after I had done this list of things. I still haven't paid yet though so I've not rang her :/ . It was funny actually, she was all like being energetic and stuff, and I was still in bed. She was saying things like "We were talking about it in the office and we reckon since you have awesome skills we could have you placed in a camp by Friday if you get it done this evening or tomorrow morning.", and I knew from the way she said it she was expecting me to be really excited about it, but she had literally just told me I'd need to pay 220 euro (which was more than I was expecting at this stage), and I was tired, and I was pretty sure they weren't actually talking about me in the office. 

So for the rest of that day and the next one I was thinking quite a bit about whether I would go or not. The alternative would be to stay in Ireland and hope anything fun comes up. Not much of an alternative, but I'm a bit of a commitment-phobe. 
Lets make a short list of times where I've failed to help myself and I really wish I had. 
  • When I was 10 I had a chance to have my first kiss with this really pretty girl. She was actually way too pretty for me but I guess she was too young to know it. Her friends asked out of nowhere would I kiss her, so being a little 10 year old I panicked, figured if I said yes I'd either let them know I didn't know how to kiss (lol) or they were going to laugh because it was a joke maybe? So I said no, and then I heard them say to her I was a dick or whatever and I regretted it quite a lot afterwards because I really would have liked to have had the confidence to say yes. I regretted it even more when I went to an all boys secondary school a big fridge (until like 3rd year, so cool) and got shit loads of abuse at times for stupidly admitting to being one. 
  • When I was hmm, 16 maybe? I was at a squash event and it turned out one of the guys on the Irish team was probably going to have to pull out of some junior competition in like Qatar or somewhere cool like that. The captain of the team had been asked to ask me to go to fill in for the guy who couldn't make it, at least I imagine he had been asked to ask. I told him I didn't want to go because I didn't think I was good enough and surely they could find someone better. He said something along the lines of  "You're next on the rankings, do you want to go or not?". So I said something daft like, "Eh I don't think so... The guy might not even have to pull out?", so he naturally quickly took that as a no and went to ask one of his good mates who was 1 below me on the rankings to go instead. 
  • The first time I should have done the bold deed was with this really cute girl who I had been scoring for a while. I'm pretty sure she would have been game but I never took the initiative. Instead it was in a drunken mess with some wretched wench who's name could have been Orla or Ornaigh, or Laura, or possibly Francesca for all I really know (I remember asking during but don't really remember her answer). I was very tempted not to put that up here online for the world to see but fuck it, plenty of time to be embarrassed when I'm dead. Actually, I'll have to remember to delete this blog at some stage lest my children (god permitting) some day ever manage to find it. 

So going back to my camp decision (which has been altered since I started writing this), I really wanted to back out of it once I got offered it, just in case something better cropped up or it would turn out to be shit. My friend Andy has went to a camp the last 2 years and is going again this year. He highly recommends his camp, and if I went directly I'd earn a little bit more money. I'd also be guaranteed to go to a good camp. He said I probably wouldn't actually see him all that much since you can go days without seeing other counsellors but sure fuck it. I think not being able to help myself may have finally worked in my favour for once... Or I might end up not getting accepted to his camp and leave paying CampLeaders too late and losing my spot there! 

Who knows. 
Nobody does right now, but you will. 
In time, you will.

I was listening to this song in college today

It's really really nice, I don't think it's depressing at all but while I was listening to it I started noticing how cold the room I was in was, and I basically just suddenly really wanted to get the fuck out of there and head home but I couldn't because I had to finish some work. So I ended up not finishing my planned 1000 words for the day and headed home listening to the album "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea" by "Neutral Milk Hotel". 

Rob gave me the album a while back and I only put it on my phone last week. I hadn't really listened to the lyrics very well, but on my way home I did for a while and they're quite sad and pretty. Given that I was already feeling quite down I started feeling very very sad on the way home, but I had bought some chocolate in the shop and it literally made me feel better. Being bently honest I was feeling a little close to tears until I distracted myself with 50g of Daim Milka (remember when they were called Dime bars?). This sad mood was brought on by no reason that I can tell, maybe I was really sad I finally finished Wuthering Heights and had no book for the way home. 

When I got home I was planning on having a nap, then finishing my 1000 words for the day on the thesis, but when I got home I ended up talking shite with my little sister Moo for about 2 hours instead. At one point when she was telling me to stop being a mopey prick she said: 

"Your life is a story that you write yourself, make yours worth reading." 

I laughed when she said that and said something along the lines of, "Pfffft, bent.", feeling mildly happy with myself for being so humours to be childishly dismissive of it, but then she reminded me that I had actually written that in chalk on the wall of my room. I don't think it's actually still there, - just checked, nope it's not. For some reason I had thought that it was one of the quotes she has written on her whiteboard, I felt quite the fool for not remembering those were my words.

So now I need to finish those 1000 words (I definitely won't), apply for this new camp job, and go to sleepy town.


p.s: I trendied my page up a bit, notice the cool vote down the bottom of the page?

Sunday, 25 March 2012

It's a lovely day so it is.

It's a very nice day, and thankfully I have a thesis to be writing so I have a great excuse for why I'm not out making the most of this lovely day.
I was lying on the grass earlier just enjoying the sun and being all chill, when I noticed my dad, who had been doing some gardening, was walking towards me so I opened my eyes and squinted generally towards him (the sun was behind him). Before my eyes adjusted I noticed he dropped something moist onto my feet and then  I saw he was smiling. I presumed at first it was just some dirt or mud or something he dropped on me, but as I leaned forwards and moved my legs away from it I noticed with my still blurry eyes that it was a brown blob. The first thing that ran through my head was "No James.... He wouldn't have dropped a dog shit on your feet for fun........ Would he? No.... Surely not.... Right?", then I noticed it wasn't just brown, it was green and brown. For the slightest of split-seconds I thought it could possibly be the moistest, old, mouldy, disgusting dog shit in the world, then a split second later my eyes adjusted and it was just a wee frog.

He looked a little bit like this lad.

But I wish he had looked like this lad.

I bet he's wise as shit.

Yet I digress, I hadn't seen a frog in ages, so seeing this kid at my feet reminded me of the last time I saw a frog. I was in the front garden doing something irrelevant with dad a few years ago, around this time of year too actually, and he saw a frog near us. Jokingly I mentioned "Will I squash it yeah?", but little did I know this frog was a serious emo-kid. I had raised my foot when I said will I squash it, and as I put my foot down the frog jumped right under where I was going to put my foot down. Luckily he was spared death at that instant by me going completely off-balance to put my foot down elsewhere. So now I'm off balance but the frog's actin' all coo, and I move my other foot to re-balance, and as I do this he sneakily jumps out of my view and  under where I was going to put my other foot down. Not so lucky this time froggy. He was squished and I felt real bent. I was worried my dad would think I was a psycho and killed it on purpose but he didn't so I was okay.

I had a similar time when I was golfing with my uncle and cousin down in Galway about 5 or so years ago. My cousin and I weren't much good. So we were on one of the last holes and my uncle noticed there were pheasants up to the right of the green. He's a really nice and gentle sort of man, and after remarking how nice the pheasants looked he jokingly said kill us some dinner there James, as it was my turn to smack the little white ball with the metal stick. So I stood up and all in a good laugh agreed to, but it was all very obvious that it was the last thing any of us wanted me to do. So I stood up and gave the ol' ball a lil thump-a-roo and being shit at golf had little control over where it would go. Naturally it went directly for the pheasants.

Thankfully it missed and the birds flew away, but I still felt really bent and I'm pretty sure my uncle thought I did it on purpose. 

I was going to end this here but I just thought of something I'll probably never mention otherwise.

When I was about 12 on the sailing courses, jelly-fish would wash up on the slip sometimes. They'd be there drying out or whatever, fucked or dead really. Sometimes they'd come in their hundreds, there'd be huge amounts of them, but just the purple/clear fuckers that can't hurt you. I believe people called them Moon Jellyfish, and I just googled it and yes that's them. Soooo, I remember on occasion there'd be jellyfish fights, we'd pick these things up and just fuck them at each other. They were just like awesome water-bombs. They were jelly-ish, didn't sting, and were moist and gross to get hit with. I also remember us all getting in trouble because some people were throwing them into the girls changing room at whichever girls were hiding in there. Looking back it was a pretty bent thing to do since there'd be bits of jellyfish all over the gaff for the regular people who wanted to use the changing rooms. I'm not sure how I feel for whichever few jellyfish were still alive. They're really just glorified plants aren't they? I find it hard to sympathise with them.
I also remember playing this game with one of the lads where we'd lob the jellyfish at one of the pontoons and try get it to stop on it. It was really difficult because the jellys would just break and slip off.

When you're sailing sometimes you go through these huge schools or forests really of jellyfish, since they don't really have much control over where they go they all just end up together thanks to the currents. One time when I was with the cousin mentioned earlier we were going from Wexford to Dublin and were going through one of these forests. Nearly all the jellyfish had these little parasites in them. It was gross.

I didn't know the states still made good hip-hop, this is a great name for a group.

This one is all raggae-like

This song is also really chill.


Monday, 19 March 2012

I want to do it - in my pants.

My neighbour had to go into town the other day so her kid was in our house. He's 5 but he's mentally 4 really, he was adopted so he was a little neglected I guess for his first year and a half of life. His parents both work and  2 grandparents live with them so the parents have to look after them too. They have a minder, but basically what I'm getting at is.. well you'll see actually.

So anyway, I was playing some Supersonic, Acrobatic, Rocket-Powered, Battle-Cars when my mum brought him in, naturally he wanted to play since a game that awesome appeals to everybody. So I set him there playing against nobody and he got the idea that pressing whatever button made the car move. While he drove around aimlessly, stopping for extended intervals at random.
I decided to play the piano. This kid usually hates any sort of loud noise; apparently I was the same about loud noises (but not what follows) when I was little. He must have been really absorbed in the game though because he didn't ask me to stop except when the round would end, then he'd say "James, STOP! Stop playing the piana James! The game is broken.". So I'd "fix" the game by selecting next round and go back to playing the piano.

I was going to try remember how to play "Hello" by Evanescence, but I have lost the sheets for it and I'm no good at learning things by ear, so I quickly just started making something up instead. I had planned on putting in LOADS of key changes and recording it with the title "As moody as I am" on my laptop. By planned I of course mean: planned in the event of both my legs becoming broken and the piano is my only form of enjoyment.

So anyways, back to the past, the kid started shaking while playing the game and I wasn't really sure what was wrong. He looked a bit strained in the face so I asked him if he wanted to go to the toilet. He sorta gasped and said no, and shook a little more then stopped. So I let him be for a while. He started shaking again so I asked him was he alright, he was quite glued to the game, standing about a foot from the screen at this stage, and he said yes. So I asked him again did he need to go to the toilet and he replies "I want to do it in my pants.".
I went in and told my mum, she found it pretty amusing I think, but she made him venture to the toilet where it transpired he had already let loose.

So back to the piano, I promised at some stage I'd stick the songs on this when I'd learned them. So that lead to me trying to play them to my laptop earlier and fucking up so often it was ludicrous. I was a bit nervous for some reason. I've played to people in my piano teachers lil concert things before and I don't fuck up nearly this badly then. I think it's because I fear Sarah giving out to me about it being emotionless or something.
I gave up trying to play the piece I had intended, so I just recorded the gist of that aforementioned (WOW I JUST USED THAT WORD! THAT JUST HAPPENED! FUCKIN' HELL I'M GETTING BETTER AT ENGLISH) piece since nobody can say it's wrong because I made it up on the spot and it's mine.

It's actually really annoyingly repetitive but I wasn't bothered enough
to make a better version.

I went for a walk on the beach tonight. I really like walking on the beach when there's nobody else there, and it's even better when it's dark. The water looks so much more beautiful, the city lights are pretty, and the stars make you really put things in perspective. Airplane lights look cool as they fly through clouds at night too, also since everything lacks a lot of colour because of the whole rods/cones things the sand looks awesome, especially when it spreads out wide.
I was thinking a lot about how my way of thinking has changed hugely from when I was a kid. When I was young I'd think about things for myself and that was it really. Now whenever I think about things it's about arranging my thoughts so I can explain them to other people. I'm ALWAYS having imaginary conversations in my head and I don't enjoy it at all. I've come to the conclusion that those sorta conversations don't help at all if the hypothetical situation becomes a reality. If the conversation deviates at all, or your argument about something is from a different angle, you end up bringing up points that make no sense or saying stupid shit and not knowing what's relevant.
In short, I'd rather spend my time thinking about who the villain was in that last scooby doo than how I'd argue my way out of getting stung dealing meth to a politician who was funding corrupt police.

Actually, on that note, Scooby Doo was class. Kids today are really missing out with their Dora the fucking explorer. I've only watched little clips of that, but it's a show designed for ADD kids as far as I can tell. It's ridiculous and it's annoying. I'm showing my kids re-runs of shows I watched growing up to protect them from turning into the glorified carrot that Dora-kids will inevitably turn into.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Wuthering Heights.

I had this playing on repeat (because I have a lovely chrome extension to do that) while I read this really interesting blog post.
It was pretty sad to read.

I've been reading Wuthering Heights lately. It has taken me a while to get into it but I'm quite enjoying it at this stage. Some bits from it are really really sweet. Catherine is a bit of a bitch but when she comes out with stuff like this you have to love her a little.

I've no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and
if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn't have thought of it.
It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff, now; so he shall never know how I love him; and
that, not because he's handsome, Nelly, but because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightening, or frost from fire.

Moments later

Who is to separate us, pray? They'll meet the fate of Milo! Not as long as I live, Ellen - for no mortal creature. Every Linton on the face of the earth might melt into nothing, before I could consent to forsake Heathcliff. Oh, that's not what I intend - that's not what I mean! I shouldn't be Mrs Linton were such a price demanded! He'll be as much to me as he has been all his lifetime. Edgar must shake off his antipathy, and tolerate him, at least. He will when he learns my true feelings towards him. Nelly I see now, you think me a selfish wretch, but, did it never trike you that, if Heathcliff and I married, we should be beggars? whereas, if I marry Linton, I can aid Heathcliff to rise, and place him out of my brother's power.


My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees - my love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath - a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am  Heathcliff - he's always, always in my mind - not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself - but, as my own being - so,don't talk of our separation again - it is impracticable

It's definitely my favourite passage from the book so far, I'm only about 1/3 of the way through though so who knows what is to come. I imagine it's going to become quite sad. I really like how my little sister underlined parts and put hearts beside the bits she really liked. She studied it for Leaving Cert so it's full of bent English class stuff too.

Right, I had better do some work today, also better tell my dad that those lads yesterday decided not to offer me an internship. It's a mix of emotions, I'm happy I don't have to worry about being obliged to take it, but I'm not looking forward to my dad wanting to analyse why I didn't get it. The guy offered to give me tips for future interviews/my cv, which I'm sure my dad will insist I take, but I'm rather indifferent about it.

I'm thinking of applying for this summer camp thing in the states that my friend did a previous summer. I think it'd be pretty fun, although I'm not sure what the dates are and other stuff so maybe I'd regret it if it means I'd have to miss out on the end of days with the college crew. Although maybe nobody is going to be around anyways :/ .

Most people don't seem to have a plan.

I'd like a plan.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Inter-who? Lets see.

Blast from my teenage past

So I was dressed quite well in college today which couldn't help but going unnoticed.
I was hoping nobody would notice but what's a fella to do. I wouldn't mind if I could just say I was going for an interview, but it's not that black and white. I have been told quite a few times before that I see everything in black and white, there's no colour. I always think things have to be one way or another apparently. This is accurate enough I guess but not completely true, I think I see everything in greyscale. This is one of those middlish value grey values.

I gave my dad my CV so he could give it on to one of his friends who was to give it to one of his friends so he could give me feedback on it, which he did, he slated my CV big time. (that's another word for a resume for whoever it is from the US who reads this). So last week out of the blue I get a phone call, I presumed it was going to be for a squash match, but it turned out it was some guy from a financial exchange company. He had received my CV from my dads friend and wanted to know if I wanted to come in for a chat next week, so that led to me going in to meet him today. Not really sure what to expect, is it an interview or just a mock interview?

The meeting was graaand, I basically got the vibe quite early on it was moreso an informal interview than a mock interview, I didn't get asked very many testing questions. They asked me one sort of practical question which I answered quite badly. We established basically that I haven't done anything with the technologies they are using, which is what they expected since you don't learn stuff that specific in general in college. Anyways, waffle, waffle and toast, and it's the end of chat time and he's telling me they'll get on to me at some stage not too far away, but he says that they usually offer graduates an internship for 6 months or so which pays a nominal amount of money before deciding whether or not they take them on fully. He asked me if that would interest me, the whole internship deal. I wasn't really sure what nominal amount of money meant so I just nodded away and said ohyeahhhhh, class yeah nommy nom nominal. My mum told me to act interested even if I'm not because I might as well leave my options open. Now I'm thinking that would probably be shit, I wouldn't really want that. I sorta assumed nominal just meant not a great wage but still a wage, now that I think about it it's probably something absolutely vaj. It'd be sick working for 6 months for like 50 quid  a week or something while some lads who I graduate with are possibly on 37k a year.

Anyways, I doubt they'd want me, I kinda hope they don't so I don't have to worry about being obliged to try find a better job or take this one.
We'll see what is to be..

I've been being a good boy and getting back into my squash. I'm really enjoying it. I plan on getting better than I was before I stopped playing. It'd be great to actually be FIT for once in my life. Like I've been kinda fit I guess when I used to play, but never comfortably playing 5 setters. I'm ALWAYS bollixed after them. I hope I stick with it..
Lets wait and see, you and me...

I have quite a lot that I'd like to talk about. (This picture is taken from a picture blog I like to look at sometimes. It's quite good.).
I hope I get around to it.

We shall see.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

I want a catchphrase.

I'm sticking this up top (even though it's bang out of order to) because Gen said she only listens to my links sometimes and just for while she's reading my blog, I'm sure some people are the same. It's a great lil oldie.

I don't want a shitty catchphrase, something meaningful would be nice.
Something insightful and generally applicable that I like the sound of. In these books there was this girl who would say "You know nothing.". It's good because it's generally applicable, but it's also very negative. It wasn't said in a particularly rude way, it was usually more just in a matter of fact manner but still it's not a very nice thing to say and I'm not going to copy a catchphrase.
Unfortunately for me, and fortunately for everybody else, I can't think of anything in any way good.

So here's a hypothetical question; I think a lot of people would lie about what they'd do in this situation:
You're put into a room with a young child and are given a gun with a bullet in it. You have 5 minutes for one person in the room to be dead. You don't know the child, they were taken randomly from some foreign place. Nobody will ever know about what happened in that room; should you kill the child you won't remember doing it. Should you kill yourself the child will never know the sacrifice you made.

What do you do?

Well the easy answer that I'm sure most people would say (at least I hope) is to kill yourself, but in reality you can't know what you would do in those circumstances. Our protected little first world lives are so far from that sort of danger that we really have no idea what it would feel like. I remember in English grinds for the leaving cert the teacher said at one stage,
"Experts say that if a person is tortured badly enough they would wish the torture on their most loved ones instead to spare themselves from the pain. There would be no thought in it other than to stop the torture for that split second".
At the end of the day our natural instinct is self preservation. I'm sure there's people with enough ignorance and confidence to say they would definitely shoot themselves with no "if", "ands" or "buts" about it. Then again I'm quite a eh, literal person, if that's the word I'm looking for. I'm never sure of anything. Over the summer one of the lads I was living with asked me if I was always going to be a vegetarian. He had noted how I am pretty strict about it so he was pretty taken aback when I said, "I really don't know.". In his mind I should be sure about something like that since I clearly feel quite strongly about it, but in my mind (probably from being wrong so many times in school and moreso life in general) I really take nothing for granted and am sure of basically nothing. I'm overly sceptical of what I know and too accepting of new information.

On the veg-head note I've been thinking about that lately a little. I'm starting playing squash again now and I'd like to make a proper go of it. If I notice that I'm not repairing properly after trainings despite eating healthy veggie food I may try fish. I don't think it would come to this since so far I'm feeling quite healthy but let me explain why I chose fish (poor pricks get eaten by many the "vegetarian").
I don't like fish. I don't like how they taste and I don't like how they live. I personally quite like being totally immersed in water, but that's now what I mean when I say I don't like how they live. I mean they eat each other, they eat smaller fish, they don't show any emotions whatsoever and they have minimal intelligence. I'm not trying to justify eating fish, I'm just saying why I would choose them over cows or pigs or even chickens. Chickens come closest of the commonly ate land animals probably because they are rather stupid but at least they don't eat other chickens or other chickens' babies.
Also, and rather importantly, I can kill the fish myself. I can go out and catch a fish, I know where it's coming from and I know how it died. It's important to me to kill the animal myself. If I was to start eating cows again I would need to kill a cow myself. I think it's ignorant not to. It's really really important to fully apprehend where the meat is coming from. That due to your desire for this food, this animal must be killed. Once you have ate a cows worth of meat I think you should kill another and repeat the process until the killing of the animal has no effect on you, then you really are a meat eater. Unfortunately I don't think it's very easy to get the opportunity to kill a cow (that sounds so weird). I also think the standard bolt to the brain method is a bit eh, connectionless? The animal drops dead and it's over. I imagine a lot of the dying process goes by so quickly you yourself may not realise what you have done, but rather that then slitting it's throat and having it die a painful death.
If every time you ate meat you thought, a cow died for this, I'd appreciate that you are aware of the process, but "a cow" is faceless and the death of a cow is meaningless unless you see it yourself.
In short, if you aren't willing to kill the animal yourself for a food you don't need, you're the height of naive by paying for someone else to do it.

That turned out to be a lot more of a veggie rant than I had intended. I don't mean any offence to anybody by the way despite how it may appear, I hold no grudges, especially to people who have thought about it and logically decided to continue to eat meat.