Happy Birthday, my blog.

Four years. Christ, it has been a long time. In that time I've been at university, loved, lost, worked, failed, interviewed, travelled, embarrassed, and most importantly, never lost my ability to use commas.

Here's to another four years of fervent blogging and another four years of failing to understand grammatical rules.


1 Year - The Tale of Rock Steady 11: The Famous Two

365 Days, or there about, and whoosh, a year is passed. It is quite funny to think that a year ago I, on a whim, decided to start writing to this blog. I have no idea where the name came from, or even what I planned to write on it, but Rock Steady sorted all that out. I have no idea how many people read this, or anyone who reads it enjoys it, but all I really want it to enjoy writing it, and I do. So, a few days ago I asked the few that read this to let me know what posts they have enjoyed while reading the blog. I said I would do a sort of commentary about it, but when I tried to I got sucked into reading every post I did, and think it is almost like a diary. A few of the posts I remember writing and could almost tell you what I had written of by heart, but a few I surprised by. So, what will I write about? How about a Tale of Rock Steady?

The Tale of Rock Steady 11: The Famous Two

When trying to find something to talk to about people who are far more removed from anyone I have worked with, the tales that I wrote about last year whilst I worked for Rock Steady are always good ice breakers, and also I can get some nice raport with a football fan when I start talking about the players I have met, and the stadiums I have worked in. Also, mentioning that I worked at Murrayfield has helped me get some success with English and Welsh members of the team. It is a good thing to have in the locker.

Retreading old stories have helped me hone my story telling skills, but one story I have told to a few while ambling through my mind is one that I never wrote on this blog, for reasons that I cannot remember or rhyme.

It takes place during a football match between Rangers and someone, the other team's name I can't recall. In various versions of the story I replace the unknown team with Falkirk or Motherwell, a team that not only is normally neutral, but rarely is there anyone who can put holes into the story. Does this make me a bad person? I am working the hospitality area and within a few minutes of standing around doing nothing I am shoved into a lift.

The lift is the small one, and is in the centre of the stadium. Fans call it the David Murray lift. It has already featured in a post, with the one where I devilshly mess about with the code that has to be entered in to start it working. On this very day I am sitting on the top floor of the stand, at the Club Deck. This lift is for hospitality memebers to use, and not normally for fans. Hence the code entering.

But for some reason, these two men in their suits call the lift. Either they get lucky or they knew the code. The doors open and I am powerless to stop them from getting into the lift. I suppose once you are past the physcial barrier of a few inches of steel, using words and politeness to stave off the persons is a bit silly.

They ask to go to the bottom floor, which is the dressing room area. Who am I to question it? They knew the code and the also knew the floor the dressing room was on, so why not let them go? We trundle down the lift shaft, with the two suits continuing their conversation from before the go into the lift. I only remember on phrase from their conversation "I can't believe we managed it."

Suspicions are rising with every breath they take. Should I ask them?

So, the doors open as the lift reaches the bottom. I let them out and my supervisor is stadning there. She smiles at the suits, and then walks into the lift.

"Who were they?"
"Eh, I don't know" I reply.
"Did you not check who they were?"
"I didn't, they knew the code to get in."
"Hmmm" she wonders. I am getting more and more worried by the second. "Let me find out who they are."

Minutes later she returns.

"I know who they were." she says.
I breathe a sigh of relief, "Who were they?"
"Alan McGregor and Alex Rae" she explains.
"Ah" I say. "Who?" I think. I recognise the names but I can't for the life of me remember who they work for. I am racking my brains - were they on the list I was given? Should I know them from the brief?

"They play for Rangers" she confirms, smiling, walking away.

So they were nobodies then.

Insanity Crash - My Internet Miscapades

I have been involved in someway with the internet for a very long time and and I think it is almost coming up for my ten-year anniversary with the internet. I was the first out of my friends to have a Yahoo! Messenger log in, and myself and Steven forced everyone over a few months to be pushed from Yahoo! Onto MSN. The thing is today this is a non-event, as the two systems are interoperable. As I said in a previous post, as a family, we were quite early on and a rather early adopter when it comes to the internet and PCs in general, but we have already spoke of this.

But the following is a short and obscure post that I placed on my actual website http://www.justanothersheeldz.co.uk, which is more obscure because I don’t even mention that I have it anymore. It is titled “My Blog – A History”, and I thought it was slightly interesting – but, it was short. So, here, transcribed, edited and expanded, is My Blog – A History: The Directors Cut, so to speak.

The idea for my blog, the Crashing Sound of Insanity Impacting Reality, came to me in a dream, where a large blog shaped square flew in through the window and told me to start writing about anything and everything that I can think of, and some people will listen. To be honest, the true story is much more stupid and embarrassing.

Blogging is something I think I have been doing for years in various immature and self-serving ways. In fact, I think that I might have been blogging before there was even a word for it, or need to read it. Or w want.

Interm@g (1999) My fist encounter with the internet would be a rather foolish and silly thing called "Intermag". It was basically a word document that pretended to be a magazine. The first issue featured some immature and interesting-only-to-me type articles, one of which was a “preview” article about Sonic Adventure, where I had staerted my vanvassing to get my self one. The timeline for this is slightly confusing, as I know Sonic was released on the 14th October 1999, but my Intermag featured some screenshots well before that, so I think it was probably early 1999, or late 1998. Funnily enough, it also had some silly things like a fake letters page and stuff, and basically was a total waste of time. I sent it to everyone in my email address inbox, which was about 15 people. And they must have all thought I was a total bellend. I made 3 issues, but never really got that committed to it, and the final “issue” I think was never sent. I also printed some of the issues out for no reason other than to make my Dad angry about the amount of Ink wasted. I don't have an issue of Intermag left, as it was one three PCs ago and is lost into the spaces of infinite time. Unless one of the numerous emailers still has it... and I suppose the internet probably has a copy of it somewhere.

In 2000 I started a website called Dreamcast House, which was supposed to be a fan site with reviews on Dreamcast games and such. What a stupid idea, and really did not get behind the idea again. It was pitiful html Microsoft FrontPage design, based on Homesteads and was a total shambles. I had no idea how to create a usable site, and also had no idea how to write properly, coming close to failing English every time I did a test. I know some critics (read: smart arses) will say that I still don't know how to write proper English, but at least I am aware of the fact, and have been seriously trying to broaden my vocabulary and style of writing, as well as trying to avoid using the spell checker every time I write a piece. I have searched for some reviews of some of the games, and found them, but they are on floppy disc, meaning, in this enlightened age, no chance of recovery. I don't have a floppy drive on my laptop, and neither does the parental PC, and the we probably written in a format that isn’t read any more. The reviews were written by both myself and Ross McDermott, simply because we had the consoles and the games. It became apparent that they number of reviews we would be wanting to write would be limited by the number of games we could afford, ie. Very few.

I also have tried to do some stuff with Dreamweaver and Fireworks. Alabalaclava (2001) and Mercator (2002) both were born out of this fetish, but rather humorously they failed too. I had a forum for Mercator, which was so underused I am embarrassed to even mention it. Alabalaclava (what a fucking awful name) was a concept where I would provide web based quizes and sites using my "skills" as a web programmer. God, it was horrific, and still makes me smile to this day. I remember using my sister as a canvassing tool to spread the word to her friends in the same way people use planted forum members these days. She would go along to Stramash and try to get some of her friends to visit my site. In my defence, the forum was used for a while before it started to lay to waste. I can’t even remember the address for it.

I stopped making ridiculous sites and ideas, and started to concentrate on actual intellectual items, and things that might be a good idea and worth my while. One of these was Median, my own built from scratch, MP3 player. It was released as version 1.0 (the most primitive) to the last working version, 4.0, and I am slightly proud of the fact that a total non-programmer was able to make firstly a working program and secondly one that you can really use as well. Might finest moment? Might be

Then, came Bebo. A prebuilt social gathering waste of time network and really I got lost in it all again. From my posts on this blog you already know that I hate the whole idea, and have tried to delete my Facebook and Myspace profiles, only to keep Bebo as people still use it to communicate with me, which is a strange and worrying thing. But, this humble blog started there, and I suppose I should give it credit where it is due.

With this blog, I have decided to list the things I have done on the internet and the mistakes I have made. Surely, someone, somewhere will read this and realise, wow, what a sack.

Special Bonus - 1st Anniversary Special
This is a good juncture to note that the first year anniversary of this blog is next week. I have decided to do a special type thing to commemorate this wonderous day. Basically, comment on this post with the title of your favourite (or least favourite) post, and I'll do something fun to it - like a directors commentary. If there are a few different nominations, I'll do all of them; conversely, if there are none, I'll choose three of my favourites and do them.