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9/24/07 12:30 pm - Water, Water; what has thou donest?

It's that time again, the first day back to University and wouldn't you believe it, the heavens have opened up for the occasion! And that by no means implies any sort of approaching divine salvation (unless you consider rain salvation).

without a significant change to my timetable, I imagine that Monday's will soon become regular Live Journal update days on the account that I have a large three hour gap between lectures (followed by what, at the moment- seems like an unbearable three hours of lectures). As you can probably tell by my indignant tone I am not too happy with my current timetable, but at least I have Tuesdays off (for now).

But there is something positive to say: it seems one of my modules, Concurrent Programming, is a subject I've already explored in great detail on my own time over the last year. There's a real feeling of smug confidence whenever a lecture talks about familiar topics as though they're new and exciting! But as anyone who has ever done a technical class will tell you, there's a large difference between knowing the practicalities of a topic and knowing how to pass the exam! So as of this moment I'm choosing to remain quietly confident.

Work Ethic

I'm worried about keeping up morale this final year. I've already decided that once I have finished this year of Computer Science, I will then start a course in some art related subject.
Given how long I was determined to work in IT, this sudden change of heart has come to quite the surprise even to me. I suppose this is why the placement year exists; to give the student a better (or realistic) grasp of the kind of work they'll be doing for the next forty years. The idea of staring at a harsh monitor, writing the same code over and over for the rest of my life is more than a tad disturbing!

But then maybe I'm just (as the conservatives call it) workshy. Maybe working any kind of job will always leave me unfulfilled because I'm a lazy misanthrope. I get accused of this all the time; sometimes in jest, sometimes as a serious accusation. But after a while I've started to believe it. However this year I did prove something to myself: I may not have enjoyed working, but I did have over 98% attendance (and not one of those days did I turn up late for), and once I left I endeavoured to make a comic which is now into its fiftieth page. I like to think that in some small way, I have proven to myself that I can work hard if motivated correctly and persist at something if I feel that it's rewarding enough.

A part-time career

It's important to note that all my friends who accuse me of being lazy only work part-time jobs; which I imagine are considerably more tolerable than a fulltime job. With a part time job I imagine it feels like you have a life with a job on the side, instead of a job with a life on the side (semantic equivalantcy?). Given the little free time I had, and considering how tired I was once home from work I felt as though I had to give up my artistic ambition; something I wasn't able to cope with (If only there were more hours in a day). Perhaps having a part time job would be manageable, but only if I was able to concentrate on my art.

But I'll wrap this up here and try and do something more productive with my time, less I seem like a hypocrite!

9/11/07 01:30 pm - Happy 9/11 Day!

Today is the anniversary to that infamous event six years ago: the 11th September attacks(tm), and the occasion has brought about its own traditions, most notably the Osama bin Laden tribute video, as regular as the queen's speech. Incidentally, this year also heralds something special for the notorious terrorist; he turned fifty in March! That is of course if the man is still alive.

Claims of his death are nothing new, there has been rumours since December 2001 that Osama had died. The state of a man's death hasn't been so widely contemplated since Bruce Lee faked his death a moved to The Island. But the sceptics that believe Mister Bin Laden is alive and well need only refer to the before-said video, which actually features Osama as a living, breathing non-zombie.

However, I find the new video only raises further questions. I have collected two photos, one is a file photo from 1998 (nine-years ago) and the other from the new release. Below you can see the two photos next to one another, and if you're cynical as I am, you might notice that Osama hasn't aged at all in the past decade. In fact nine years ago we see a greying Bin Laden, but today we're expected to believe that Bin Laden has a full beard of black, youthful hair. Perhaps international terrorists and fundamentalists aren't beyond using JUST FOR MEN to give them selves that Ten-Years-Younger look!

But less talk, judge for yourself.
Osama Bin laden File image from 1998 Osama Bin laden from the new video release

I think Osama Bin Laden has become something between the Dread Pirate Robins and Videodrone's Brian O'Blivion; a face of terror and infamy that lives entirely using a library of old video tapes created before his death. If my theory is correct it's hard to know who's responsible. Either Osama's followers wishing to provoke fear in their Target-Audience or the Republican Party of America, who frequently use six-year-old attack as a way of inducing fear and hatred towards the middle east (but seeing as my citation is missing, then this is only a speculation).

8/31/07 12:22 pm - Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to JammanPeriod!

I am now twenty-three years and one day old. I was too busy yesterday having a great time to post on my Journal! I spent August 30th traveling to the far side of Northern Ireland to lovely Enniskillen to take a boat ride and see the Marble Arches. Each of which were fantastic! I have had fewer Birthdays just quite so enjoyable!

As of Wednesday I have been using a cane.
Since taking that hour long walk, carrying my heavy art equipment (mentioned on Tuesday's update) I found my right ankle completely buggered! Placing weight on my heal sends a shot of intense pain up my leg so powerful that I must collapse my knee- causing a loss of balance, just to reduce the pressure on my sore ankle. So I now have a walking cane not too unlike those used by our elder generation; which is appropriate given my impending birthday. However my leg been getting better steadily over the last few days and I don't imagine it'll be long before I'm walking normally again.

I have never once believed in the power of petition. To elaborate, I think their only purpose is to provide someone (individual or organisation) with some demographic values about the popularity of their particular political opinion. Certainly it might be useful if you're planning a rally, but their actual direct influence towards change is negligible at best (but them I'm the cynical type). However, to undermine everything I just said above, I've started my first online Petition. To be honest, I never would have started it without the convenience of it being semi-automated and online.

My Petition, that calls for an end of VAT and subsequent increase in higher-bracket income tax, is designed to offer the lower and middle earners cheaper consumables. There are other logistical issues surrounding this change that would need to be addressed; for example: how much weight will the higher earners take before they simply leave for a cheaper country? Will lower prices cause a spike in consumerism that'll ultimately benefit the economy? But I do honestly believe that the Value Added Tax unfairly excludes those who do not make excess cash and income based tax will always be fairer.

Anyway, if you do agree with the petition then sign it and spread the word! Thanks! So remember, Sign My Petition!

8/28/07 10:18 am

I'm off for a very long walk today in an attempt to cure my blues. I'm considering walking to Dunmurry and painting some of the nice scenic landscapes. Sadly it's about an eight kilometre walk, but considering the mood I've been in lately the pleasant surroundings should only help. I'll be available by auto-mobile-communication if you need me!

See you soon! And hopefully I should have two new paintings!

*EDIT 17:03*

I'm home now after my long walk. I was packed and ready to leave at 11:00; arriving at my destination after walking for an hour. I found a nice spot next to some railroad tracks and settled into painting (the theme of travel seemed appropriate considering the hour journey). I was there for three hours (which wasn't enough time to finish) and made my way back home.

I think it was exactly what I needed, and I feel a lot better now than I did last night. I personally find travel to be a really good cure to depression and recommend it to anyone who's feeling a little blue. Once I finish my painting (whenever that'll be) I'll upload it here.

8/20/07 01:12 am - Bears are stealing my MEGAHERTZ

Someone in the music industry tried to capture everything that was BEAR and trap it in a single band, and for what I can tell they have done a superb job (I cannot be blamed if you choose to infer that as Bears being trite, cheesy and camp)! The internetz must be informed of this fagottry!

Who will protect the Children of America?

8/8/07 11:42 am - Making the Right Life choice

Hey everyone.
It seems with time outside of work I've posted a lot less in my Journal. I guess this is more evidence (if any was needed) that livejournal is an outlet for those negative emotions.

But anyway, It's now August and I am soon about to enter my final year of Computer Science. I'll be finished with my time at University and left with the horrible ultimatum of having to do something with my life. While I was at work, I used to draw little sketches during lunch time and on more than on occasion someone would lean over my shoulder and tell me my talent was wasted in this place (each time was like a dagger in heart, wondering if I was really making a poor delicious with my life). Since leaving work I've been making a comic (and doing several other drawing projects) and to be honest it has been great! It has been very rewarding not only to express my ideas in drawing form, but to slowly over time watch a very definite and steady improvement.

Perhaps this is just another pipedream idea, but drawing (or painting) is something I want to do with my life, and I think I'm talented enough to make it happen. I recognise that I have a long way to go at improving my ability, but that wouldn't be a problem with some time and some dedication. So if anyone out there happens to know any courses on Contemporary art, Traditional art, Animation or even Comic book illustration; please leave a comment. You're help will be very appreciated.

7/17/07 07:34 pm - 3D Come Home

More 3D stuff from me, to you; the interwebz.

6/19/07 09:00 am - 3D Go Home

Here is something different. On sunday, I was strangely compelled to once again crack out my copy of Lightwave and start making some basic 3D models. After rescuing a few models from the past, I set up and rendered this scene. Certainly it's nothing special. Most of the surfaces aren't textured, a lot stuff lacks detail and yet the whole thing took over forty hours to render. I'd hate to see how long an entire movie would take to Render.

Still though, I'm quite happy with the results. I know it's not exactly to professional standards and nothing besides the camera actually moves in the movie, but I think it's a definite start! Any day now I'll have something up to this standard!

6/15/07 09:48 am - Frigin' Zombies again!

Wouldn't you believe it? Just my luck! Eight days away from finishing my placement, and what happens? The world ends!

I'm sure most of you out there, still alive and still using their Internet connection already know by now, but the world officially ended sometime two nights ago after, what experts called, the dead getting up and attacking the living. Apparently survivors in urban areas are rare, but here I am. If you happen to be in contact with any emergency agencies in the near future, be sure to let them know there is a soul trapped in the mobile Cohesion building behind the Europa hotel.

Only a week ago I was counting down the minutes until I finished my time here for good, whenever everyone is suddenly mauled to death by flesh eating monsters and now I have no alternative but to trap myself here; although, I do have enough food and water to last several months. But it's the principle of the thing! Sometimes I think the world ended just to teach me an Ironic lesson about leaving one's job! But I still haven't learnt my lesson; I'm haunted by yesterday's images of caved in pates bashes in by fire extinguishers, but I prefer even it to the malaise.

After tinkering with the inter-tubings and connecting up my data-glove, I finally jacked into the Interwebs! The first thing I noticed was a lot of popular domains were down. Many of the DNS forwarding routes met with dead ends, and direct IP attempts were met with cold 404 errors. Their providers have either been disconnected after no-one was around to maintain them or this apocalyptic disease has spread to the Internet and E-Zombies have risen from the graves of old Geocities websites and superseded search engines! I find the latter option to be much more likely.

One useful thing I did find online was an emergency IRC channel, set up by the BBC to provide those in tight, zombie-related situations advice. Naturally a channel like this was absolutely packed with people who never even heard the term 'Netiquette' all speaking at once about how they're badly-hurt this and starving-to-death that! Of course as the days progress on, more and more of the users have gone idle. Whenever I finally got a chance to speak to one of the Moderators he couldn't answer any of my questions; I asked him what caused this Armageddon and his explanation sounded more like a vague metaphor about how we as a civilisation have become too decadent. 'Stay were you are' and 'trust no-one' was the general theme of their advice.

If you have any zombie reports in my area, be sure to leave a comment. I'm going to spend the rest of the evening eating from a can and watching YouTube.com videos of people being mauled to death by the undead to the sound track of the old Benny Hill show. I could make a satirical point about how nothing has really changed, but I think the 5.9 billion people dead is a sufficient enough change to make that point a bit invalid. Good luck out there!

6/8/07 02:48 pm

Thirteen days remaining. You can count those numbers with your fingers and toes. Thirteen days, that's two working weeks and three days.

It's hard to believe that it has already been four months since I first began this placement, although sometimes when I consider it I can't believe it's ONLY been four months since I began this placement. But after today, I can honestly say, it couldn't have come any sooner! I would start to tell you about how my desktop computer broke down and I was forced to use this really unbelievably bad laptop, but that would send me into a furious venting rant, of which there is no return.

So summer is about to begin, and after that, my final year of Queen's university. It's getting ever closer to that time whenever I have to make that all important descision that effects and determines how my life ends up. My experience here, in Mobile Cohesion has taught me quite well about the horrors of being on the lowest rung of an office; testing software that is long over due for release. The very thought that this is what I might be doing with my life is destressing to say the least!

Every other day, when I'm in the lunch room doodling, someone makes an off hand comment about how my talent is wasted here, or askes me if drawing is something I want to do with my life, and every time I hear it I'm filled with this immense depression. Because it IS what I want to do with my life, it IS wasted here. But yet, I betrayed the hopes of making that reality by choosing a carreer that had more secure prospects.

Certainly it's not too late to go back and persue a dream like that. But I can't really do that without puting further strain on the support I need from everyone else around me. It's not fair and might discover later at some stage that it's not to my liking.

Once before, I was being melodramatic whenever I said this, but now I cannot help but think it's true. But in order for me to accept this life behind a desk, developping software a large part of me has to die. I can't deny that a very big part of me is only happy whenever I'm being creative, and making something. I know a lot of people probably feel that way and still work a 'data-entry' job, or call-centre job. But I just don't feel that I could ever tolerate something like that.

Perhaps if/when I get my Bachalors in Science, I'll go back to education and do an art course. Sure, the prospects are rubbish and I'm not enough of a socialite to make it work, but dammit, anything is better than doing this the rest of my life!

Oh, in the future-verse I'm going to try to get back into posting images of things I draw here. Probably just sketches and stuff. But I want my livejournal to be a multimedia experience again!
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