Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Day 19, Sunday 31st January (< 1 Day to Go (until Serious Sam))

Well, here it is. The End of the Line. New consequence machine, burn through all your gasoline, asylum overtime, never mind… The connection will happen between the two midnights. Then, tomorrow, the new router will turn up, and when I come in I will connect and enter the up-to-date world again. I can scavenge the depths of the Internet for hidden Buckethead-related gems, research the new iPad, heck my emails, buy CDs… Most importantly, have a look and think about LoveFilm accounts. My weekend has made me want to see all these films that I have heard are good, but might not be ten years old yet. DVDs are so expensive and Digital Downloads are certainly not the way forward. Not until everywhere is capable of it. You got that, Gordon? Upgrade all the pipelines first and then enjoy your HD YouTube. Let me enjoy HQ YouTube and the iPlayer before you say that your Internet needs upgrading. Its things like this that makes me wonder why Communism is generally considered on the same level as Nazism. In theory it sounds like a great idea, so why didn’t it work? If everyone was equal, and nobody had something better than anyone else, why is that a bad thing? Unless the government owns stuff that you have actually bought on your equal-wages, such as TVs, CDs, computers etc., in which case I can see it being a bad thing.

I’m going to start my own country, with it’s own Laws. The Republic of Dave Alex. The law will be based on Communism, but with adjustments accordingly. The new national currency will be Doubloons. There will be no rubbish on our TV, Radio or newspapers. Everyone will use Macs, and only Microsoft-based items approved by me personally will be allowed in. The Daily Mail will be outlawed and held in the same basket as the KKK, Charvs will be banished until they reform or die. Criminals will be treated ‘an eye-for-an-eye’, where if somebody beats another person with a stick, the offender will be beaten with a stick in the same manner. Public humiliation will replace ASBOs, where the offenders will be spanked by The Chuckle Brothers and Keith Chegwin on national TV. National Laws will be decided and voted upon by real people, not socially-blind politicians, and there will be an uprising against various existing laws implemented by the aforementioned. There will be no more pollution, no more car exhausts or ocean spillage… From now on we will travel in tubes! Get the scientists working on the tube technology immediately. Also, there will be no more money wasted on silly films for silly people. Michael Bay will be exiled, and Peter Jackson, Wes Anderson and Guillermo Del Toro will be hailed as geniuses. More money will be spent on real causes: Uncovering the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle, UFOs, Teleportation and curing incurable diseases and such. 5% of all remaining Tax money will go to the TDRS Donation page, and in return, Buckethead must tour “The Republic” at least once per year. VAT and the BBC License Fee will be abolished. Ginger beer must be made available in every drinking establishment by law, and any breaking of this law without viable reason will be punishable by Public Humiliation on National TV, and said drinking establishment painted pink. Our national flag will be a flannel, and each time it is put up it must be soaked it hot water beforehand. Finally, the NHS will be global, funded by every single tax-paying person on the planet.

I might submit this proposal to Number 10. I’ll be able to email it directly to numer10.com tomorrow. Gordon will be so blown away by it that he will instantly resign and grant me the role of PM without a second’s thought.

So that’s it. This is possibly the last entry in this diary of my journey into the depths of technology. There will be a final update tomorrow detailing the new Internet setup, speed tests, reliability… all the usual dull, nerdy business. And then it’s back to normal. Hurled back into the 21st Century so fast it will cause mental whiplash, like Japanese Tourists visiting Paris.

Day 18, Saturday 30th January (1 Day to Go (until Serious Sam))

One. Day. Left. I never thought I would make it this far with my mind intact. Now that I have no revision to be doing, I can basically play on the Xbox all day – Which I did. I played a bit of Fallout 3 and started ‘Into the Pitt’, which will have to wait to be finished because I then started on Dead Rising again, aiming to get two achievements: Transmissionary, where I need to answer all calls from Otis, and also get 50 Survivors out of the Mall. I’m almost half way through it now on the second day. I thought about trying to get the Indoorsman/Outdoorsman achievements to but I couldn’t be bothered to just leave the Xbox on while I stand in the Security Room or on the roof.

I have had nothing else to do today, so after a few hours I was getting a bit bored of zombie slaughtering, so I turned it off and decided to watch a film.

After a bit of deliberation, I decided to watch Hallam Foe, which I had never seen but it had been sitting downstairs for ages. Turns out it is actually really good, if not a bit strange. Not to ruin the ending, but afterwards I was left with a sense of ‘What just happened?’ similar to after I watched Fight Club, Pulp Fiction and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest for the first time. After that finished it was about 8:30, so I watched Seven. I hadn’t seen that either, and it had also been sitting there since forever. I remember getting Seven, actually, and on the same day we also got Terminator 2, all of the Wild, The Mask and something else when we bought the first DVD player ever. It must have been a package or something. Anyway, I thought Seven was absolutely fantastic. I can’t believe that I had missed out on it for so long. This always seems to happen: I manage to avoid seeing great films until they are more than ten years old. Seven reminded me about Condemned (I love Condemned, just in case you didn’t know or I hadn’t mentioned it before), but that might have only been because it was about serial killers and CSI type stuff, but even so, I really enjoyed it. What a co-inky-dink that just the other day I thought about my Serial Killer nickname, and now I watch a whole film dedicated to serial killers…

I then started watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which I got 50 minutes into and was so bored I had to turn it off. The last time I did hat with a film was 10,000 BC, which was a pile as well.

Then I floated about on TV for a while, I can’t remember what I watched but it was something ridiculous like a bad copy of ReBrand or similar. Then I watched an episode of Peep Show and eventually went to bed after I got bored of that as well. While sleeping I leveled up and upgraded my Endurance and Willpower.

Day 17, Friday 29th January (2 Days to Go (until Serious Sam))

Some good news on the old Intertubes front! I turned on my computer just now and lo and behold, two new networks have been detected! I have picked up two more networks under the names of BTFON and BTHomeHub. This could be one of two things: Somebody else has got a BT router today, and now I can see it, and it isn’t encrypted, or BT have connected our wires so we have technically got the internet, but it can’t be used because we don’t have the HomeHub thing (the one with the phone with a router stuck on the back). This means, we might, might have some tubeage before Monday. If the router turns up tomorrow in the post/delivery, I can get it plugged in and hopefully connect to some kind of network. Good times. Unfortunately, the HomeHub probably won’t arrive until Monday, when it’s supposed to. I don’t know why I would have two new connections. One for the broadband (which I’m assuming it the BTHomeHub one) but why is the BTFON one there? Like I said, it’s probably somebody else getting a new BT router.

Ahead of me lies the last great stretch, the calm before the storm, The Grand Cathedral, The Green Mile, The Long Road to Ruin, The Final Countdown, The Hall of Scalding Vats… In 48 hours time I will be living in the 21st Century again. On Monday I’ll appear in a ball of electricity, scare a trucker and begin hunting for John Connor before the T2000 Model can get to him.

These final few hours is going to be the hardest part. The fact that I can almost taste my connectivity isn’t making anything better. I can see myself going insane this weekend. I’ll visit the funhouse and experience a Linear Sequence of Scares, start chanting lines from Address Unknown and consider myself to be on the same path of righteousness as Agent Thomas. We are doing the world a service! Serial killers must be killed in the same way as their victims! ‘This looks like the work of a guy we’ve been calling ‘The Matchmaker’… Strangles young women violently and then places them in grisly tableaux with male department store mannequins.’ << That was word perfect, yo.

I thunk a thought today about Serial Killers: If I was going to become a Serial Killer, what would I like to be known as? Jack the Ripper is taken, and my name isn’t even Jack, so that one’s a no. The Matchmaker is taken and was used in the above reference… So I thought about how I would do my killing and try to get a name from that. The best method I could think of, without getting caught, would be to stab people with an icicle. By the time anyone found the body, there wouldn’t be a murder weapon because it would have melted, and there would be no fingerprints because it’s just a puddle now. My nickname would be ‘The Ici-killer’™ – See what I did there?!

I can see no flaw in this plan whatsoever, unless I was busy doing bad murders in Alaska or Iceland or something, in which case I might get caught because it wouldn’t melt.

To provide my icicles in the summer I could make an icicle shaped mold from a block of polystyrene or clay and put it in the freezer. I would have to be quick, though, because otherwise it might melt before I get to my victim, unless I carry some Liquid Nitrogen with me… This murdering business is becoming a bit of a farce.

I also watched The Darjeeling Limited, which is a great film, so I recommend gooseying that. One thing to remember, though, when Adrian Brody’s character (I forget his name) is running for the train in the beginning, you can see that behind him is just desert, but once he is actually on the train you can see that it is in a station, surrounded by other trains and a fence.

Day 16, Thursday 28th January (3 Days to Go (until Serious Sam))

Today is much lighter than yesterday because I got my Theory of a Deadman CD in the post – a whole 5 weeks ahead of schedule. It is the Special Edition, which I didn’t know, so I got a bonus DVD and a load of extra tracks. I haven’t listened to them yet, but on the DVD are all of their videos up to now and a few have ‘Making of…’ type things on them. It has all their videos from the other albums too so it also includes Santa Monica (probably my favourite song after Witches on the Heath) and that absolutely disgusting, despicable Hate My Life. I can’t stand that song. It is as bad as Rockstar by Nickelback, which is the straw that broke the camels back in terms of them losing all credibility and firmly placing them in the ‘pop-rock/appealing-only-to-12-year-olds’ category.

I have also gathered a few CDs from down stairs from my Mam and Dad’s collections, so now I have a few more albums I need to listen to. I got The Four Tops: The Ultimate Collection (I’ve seen The Four Tops when I was in Spain. I can’t remember it because I was only about 4, but that isn’t the point), Eric Clapton: Unplugged, Jump Back by the Rolling Stones (It’s a best-of CD, so I’m expecting it to be better than any other of their albums), The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac (again, a best-of) and The Simon and Garfunkel Collection, which is a 5 CD and 1 DVD set in a nice little box. I already have Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits so I’ll have to avoid tracks from there when slapping them onto iTunes. I’ll start listening to those today, and I’ll do them in chronological order because I’m that sad, starting with Wednesday Morning, 3 AM from 19/10/1964. Another little discovery is that Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme was released on my birthday, 10th of October, in 1966. Co-inky-dink, no?

As from what I said yesterday, the DVD I decided to watch was none of the above. I watched Russell Brand: Scandalous live at the O2 that I got for Christmas but hadn’t watched because went to see him on that tour. It annoyed me that some of the things I thought were just stupid people turned out to be scripted, like the loudly-laughing woman, and some people standing up and saying they had left something on the stage but hadn’t. Damn you, Russell for tricking me! Damn you, Guillotine! Your Hand is useless now! It’s never going to work again!

Day 15, Wednesday 27th January (4 Days to Go (until Serious Sam))

Today is rubbish. It’s Wednesday. The worst day of the week, soured further by the fact that it is only half way through a depressing sequence of days, along with the grim realisation that January has 31 days. Why can’t it only have 30? January’s rubbish, so why would anyone want to make it longer? Again, all blame falls on that idiot Gregory who designed the calendar. Its clear the Chinese have the right year layout. They are miles ahead of us in terms of technology, so maybe that’s because Gregory wasn’t in charge of their design. People have more sensible times to do stuff. I wish death upon Gregory and his stupid months.

I have also discovered today that Buckethead, again, has snidely taken stuff from one album to make a song on another under a different name. This time he has used the Slaughter Zone Entrance/Exit from Bucketheadland 2 in Track 14, The Ravines of Falsehood, from the Cuckoo Clocks of Hell. It feels like he’s getting lazy. Obviously it’s impossible to remember all of your individual tracks after 70-something albums, but this is just silly.

I’m starting to enjoy the Cuckoo Clocks of Hell. It’s much better than Funbus.

I need something good to happen. Nothing has happened this week. I might lighten up today by watching a DVD. Not even Serious Sam can beat a good DVD when one is needed. I might watch The Devil’s Backbone or Pan’s Labyrinth, or maybe something a bit ‘deeper’ like The Darjeeling Limited or Rain Man. The Darjeeling Limited seems like the best option, but then again, I might want to watch Donnie Darko by then. I think that’s one of my favorites along with the LOTR Trilogy. (Extended and special edition, of course.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Day 14, Tuesday 26th January (5 Days to Go (until Serious Sam))

I gots me lots of news today! Things are on the up! The BT guy came over to check our already installed pipeage to make sure we could handle the new router. Surprisingly, we could. Anyway, he came in and said “Let me have a Binge” I give that girl you know, a bingin’ til’ she twitches… Oh Yeah! Gotta get me on a binge and grab. That’s the one for me, I must say, she keeps lookin’ walkin’ talkin’ smilin’ my way, oh yeah, gotta give that girl a binge and grab.

Then he checked the connection and said: ‘OK... That’ll be fine’. And pretty much just left. At least I’m safe in the knowledge that my connection will be returned as soon as it can be, and there shouldn’t be any more stupid ‘mistakes’. Why doesn’t the Daily Mail pounce on that one? Mistakes made by silly companies. I can see it now: ‘PUBLIC OUTRAGE AS //Company X// HATES IT’S BRITISH CUSTOMERS, SUPPORTS CANNIBALISM AND DIABOLICAL MP EXPENSES’. I despise the Daily Mail. It’s such a ridiculous paper, and possibly the closest thing Britain has to a legal KKK. I don’t know how they are allowed to actually print such lies without any consequence. There’s so much hate in the Daily mail that it should be printed in the roof of a barn on Apple Seed Orchard and cause the vengeful shooting of Leland Vanhorn when he’s in the boot of Malcolm Vanhorn’s car. (ß That was a reference. I haven’t given clues for any others, but this one is exceptionally good. I’ll even put the keywords in bold. Look it up.)

I have had some silly problems with my iPod today. When I plugged it into the USB connector it would sync as usual, but then it wouldn’t actually charge at all. It would have that silly plug symbol to say it was fully charged but after I ejected it the battery would still be the way it was before, no matter how long it was plugged in for. First I tried a different connector cable. That made no difference. Then I thought about changing the USB port it was plugged into on my Hub thing, which also made no difference, so I plugged it directly into the back of the computer, which fixed it. I then investigated the USB hub, and plugged my mouse and keyboard into it. The mouse moved as normal but couldn’t click, and my keyboard couldn’t type numbers or symbols. So I put that back where it was and now everything is good again, except I now don’t have a printer connected unless I change some plugs on the back. At the moment I have the iPod cable, the USB Hard Drive and my mouse and keyboard, with the extra hub and printer just dangling there without a purpose.

Criticism 1 to Apple: The iMac is a fantastic gadget, but why did you go cheap on the USB sockets? Everyone uses at least three, don’t they? Two of those could be filled by the Mouse and keyboard that you provide, and I know that on the new iMacs there is the astronomical number of four USB ports, but I reckon five is a nice enough number, unless you bring FireWire back to kill USB. Make it so, Mighty One.

Day 13, Monday 25th January (6 Days to Go)

Nothing has happened today. It has been pretty dull and boring, and there has been nothing of particular noteworthiness. I haven’t even had a chance to check my emails today; I dread to think what a mess that inbox will look like by tomorrow. Probably just like it did a while ago: like war-torn Russia. Although, now that I have finished all of my exams for the moment, I can stop doing so much revision, and possibly even play a bit of Far Cry 2, maybe even do something crazy like finish it. Whod’ve thunk it?

I like Far Cry 2, despite it’s somewhat negative reception. At first I thought it was a bit boring and far too big, especially as there was no ‘fast travel’ option and no ‘save anywhere’ feature, but I just learned to deal with them. You don’t need a save anywhere feature unless you suck at it and keep getting killed, but even if you do, you can get your Buddy to help you when you get killed. You don’t really need a fast travel option either because if you plan ahead you can get pretty much everywhere quickly enough. You just need to look at the map and pick the most direct route, which will include boats, buses and boats. Don’t bother with following roads; just go ‘as the crow flies’ or as close to that as you can. You can walk, run, and crawl through the paths, trails, tunnels, tombs, bushes, woods, alleys, streets and ditches. You can travel the park in a spiral. Some would choose to wander, stumble, roll, ramble or rampage… It’s harder when you’re gagged, tied or blindfolded, but how often could that happen?

I also saw a good advert today. It was for Specsavers and it had some farmer/yokel/West-Country cider type of guy wearing Aviator sunglasses, and he was moaning bout some UFOs floating around and annoying him. It was set out like a documentary on Channel 4 probably named something ridiculous like UFOs: Should they have gone to Specsavers? Silly business. Anyway, he was talking about how they keep coming down and ruining his fields and how he felt like they were bullying him. In the end it zoomed out and showed you that they had been making crop circles saying ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’. It was better the first time.

‘Kettle’s boiled, Ted. Should we put it on and let it boil again?’

‘No. I liked it best the first time.’

I might change the title of the next set of diaries, maybe to something that shows more urgency, like instead of looking at it like 6 Days until I get my internet back, but more like 6 Days until I get SSHD. This is the worst thing that’s happened to anyone, ever. I have irreparable emotional damage. BT, prepare for that lawsuit and some anthrax-ridden mail to come through your dirty little letterbox in the next few days.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Day 12, Sunday 24th January (7 Days to Go)

Here I am, standing on the brink of existence, with little but one week to go until I resume my day-to-day life, and everything returns to normal. There won’t be any more scuttling around trying to plan ahead, for there will be constant connectivity, and I will be able to check up on pretty much anything, anyone, anytime, and it will be brilliant, for I am the Internet Wizard.

But that particular premonition is still seven long days away, 0.019164956 years, 168 hours, 10,080 minutes, 604,800 seconds. If you are really sad it could also be 6.048E14 Nanoseconds (I don’t know what the ‘E’ means here, but either way it’s a stupidly big number). [Those stats are courtesy of Apple’s Unit Converter Dashboard Widget]

Today I am crushed. My hopes and dreams shattered like a broken mirror. As you piece it together, your image keeps shifting, and you change with it. It could destroy you, drive you mad. It could set you free. I can’t play SSHD until my connection returns, next week. I took my entire Xbox to ‘that pervert’s house’ and got everything connected, and I was allowed to play it as though nothing had happened. All I had to do is connect to XBL. I hate this. I was convinced that I could play all other XBL Arcade games offline. I’m pretty certain I have played Marble Blast Ultra offline before. Ridiculous. I hate Microsoft. I also hate DRM, slow Internet, clogged tubes and Pop Music.

I’m feeling some pasta today. I’m thinking of maybe Tomato and Chili. I have to take my days in little chunks in order so I can slowly begin to function without any Internet. It is a painful task, requiring lots of careful planning and thought – Both of which I have none of.

Day 11, Saturday 23rd January (8 Days to Go)

I slept a lot today. Trying to escape the light of day like some kind of Vampire tied to a chair on the beach while the sun comes up. I have also received a new shipment of Tropicana Orange Juice from Asda. It almost makes up for the lack of Internet, almost.

To fill today I have been playing on Serious Sam again, on the last level, The Grand Cathedral. I have got a lot worse on it since I last played it, and its like its much harder even on Normal. Before I could finish the game on SERIOUS difficulty without ever letting my health get below 50 but now I get killed quite a bit. I must have been such a nerd…

I also installed Painkiller again. I forgot how good it was to just kill endless monsters and never seem to run out of ammo. It’s basically just the same as Serious Sam but less serious. Nothing is seriouser than Sam, obviously.

I put my Xbox on because I felt like some nice offline Fable II, and the Xbox got confused because without any connection, the date just resets to 2005 – Three years before Fable II actually came out. It didn’t know what was happening. Oh, the pus! The pain! The Black Voodoo! The wet jigsaw puzzle! For days I was in a trance, but when I came to, there it was! A thumb! A thumb of gigantic proportions, like a fleshy maraca! I thought it might give me minus-rent money but it didn’t do anything. Strange business. I thought I could set the date on the Xbox to the year 2050 and then see how much money I would get then, but I didn’t because I couldn’t be bothered to navigate the dreadful menus and also I have so much money on Fable anyway it would kind of be pointless considering I’m never, ever going to run out.

Day 10, Friday 22nd January (9 Days to Go)

Finally, I have survived up until the single figures of my epic battle using my one-way ticket to Hell and Back. 9 Days. Wow. So it will be a Sunday when my tubes are unblocked and I can bask in the light of joy. Why not a Friday so I can bask for 48 non-stop hours straight? Damn you, Gregory! I knew we should have hired a different guy to take care of calendars!

Some good news for today, though, is that Cuckoo Clocks of Hell arrived, five days before it was supposed to. Apparently it has been sent from Amazon.de in Germany but I’m not sure why because I ordered it from UK Amazon. Maybe they ran out of packets with English writing on them so they used German ones that they found in a box in the warehouse. I’m listening to it now, and its on track 10 of 17, Beaten With Sledges. So far it is pretty loud and looks like Buckethead just made as much fast, loud noises he could in the time it took for his backing track to run out. It’s going to take a few listens, but I don’t think it will be as good as Inbred Mountain or Pepper’s Ghost. Note: In the time taken to write this, Beaten With Sledges has turned out to be great. So has track 11, Woods of Suicides.

This album also has Spokes for the Wheel of Torment, which has a fan made video on YouTube, which is surprisingly good, and is based on a painting called ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ by some geezer called Hieronymus Bosch. I recommend having a Ghandi of both the painting and the video.

I now face the second of three dark, 48 hour long completely disconnected weekend. This time I don’t have an excuse to fidget with a new amp, so it might be a big one.

I’m going to watch Shaun of the Dead now. I have found that its much better to watch DVDs on the Xbox while not connected to Live because you don’t get those stupid notifications bleep-blooping all over my film, usually during the suspenseful bits. I know how to disable them but I can’t be bothered. The menu is so clunky I’d rather not have to deal with the stress of flicking through the menus. Sounds like a distant memory from my Windows days… I’m so glad I escaped that black hole. They reckon that Black Holes have so much gravitational pull that not even light can get in or out, hence why they’re black. But the light of Apple, later to be known as the Light of Joy, penetrated this particular Black Hole. The Microsoft-made Black Hole was rubbish, just like Windows. I went there.

Day 9, Thursday 21st January (10 Days to Go)

Today has been pretty dull. I haven’t done much at all today concerning my battle with sanity. I finished Serious Sam: The Second Encounter on the computer today. I have played through on Normal so I can get it done quickly because all I wanted was the last level, The Grand Cathedral. I played that level on SERIOUS. Fun times.

I have also been trying to get good settings on my amp to make it sound similar to what Buckethead uses on Big Sur Moon. After a while of fidgeting, I found something similar, but now I need to learn to play it.

I also tried to work out the music from the final boss battle on SS: TSE. That factoid is very sad, and it may not reach it to the Blog when this gets posted. I wish I had Serious Sam HD… It would make my life complete for the moment, unless SSHD: TSE comes out, which hopefully it will, very soon. Come on, Croteam. Make it so!

Please?

Monday, 8 February 2010

Day 8, Wednesday 20th January, (11 Days to Go)

A lot of stuff happened today. I’ll start with the most important: Serious Sam. I phone up the Xbox guys and had to talk to one of those silly automated things that can’t understand me, so I had to speak with an American accent for it to understand what I want. Stupid. Then, after about 10 minutes of ‘I didn’t catch that. Can you repeat that please?’ I finally got through to some guy with an accent I couldn’t even understand. Touché, Microsoft. So I finally managed to get the ‘agent’ on the phone to understand that I don’t actually have the Internet, but still managed to download an Arcade game and have a Live Profile. I kept telling him that I took it to my friend’s house and used his Internet and his Xbox. This charade took about 7 minutes. He then said: “You need to transfer the license to your Xbox”. I need to go to Xbox.com then search for Transfer Licence article, and it will let me put both Xbox’s serial numbers in and then it should work, and update my console when connected to XBL next. But I can’t connect to Xbox Live. I kept telling him, but he couldn’t understand that some people really don’t have the Internet at their house, and he kept saying stuff like “Yes, but you downloaded it so you must be connected”. The Xbox Helpline is very good service, but there’s some pretty dim people working there. Also, the hold music is dreadful. “Why do Nuns always have such terrible hold music? If I hear ‘Avé Maria’ one more time I’m going to kill something”

So, by the look of it, I need to Transfer the Licence then connect to Xbox Live. This is getting silly. I might have to take my actual Xbox console to the Pervert’s house, unless I wait until February, which I don’t want to do because I don’t know if the Licence business expires or whatever... Best not to risk it. On the Plus Side of today, the Trial Game of SSHD is fantastic. It’s going to take some serious persuasion to make me want to buy CoD: MW2 now.

In other news, both of my CDs have been posted from their respective warehouse things. Amazon has sent out the Cuckoo Clocks of Hell, so that will be here within the next 5 days. Also, The Omega Order has despatched my Theory of a Deadman Scars & Souvenirs CD with Signed Artbook. I’ll see that in 3-8 weeks. I’ve already discussed my shame in buying that CD, and the reasons why I did so a few days ago. I’m not going to do it again.

Now I’m going to kill some hideous Trial Monsters on Serious Sam. I have also installed Serious Sam: The Second Encounter on my Dad’s computer. I have all the cheats in because I want to get through it quickly so I can play the Grand Cathedral level. That’s the best bit, and the music is the soundtrack to my childhood. Its best to play on SERIOUS (Are you serious?) difficulty, MENTAL is too hard, but Serious is nice. I can’t deal with flashing monsters.

Life would be so much easier if I had some tubes… Internet should be free for all, so none of this silly business could happen. Gordon, if you read this, sort it out. In Finland it’s a human right to have broadband. You don’t want to be known as a Dictator, do you? Nobody likes a selfish Dictator. I can easily expose you as a member of the Oro. I’m sure the Daily Mail will love that scandal. Some very influential people are in the Oro. I remember when the President got handed a piece of paper during a speech saying ‘The Remedy is among us!’ and had a heart attack. You don’t want that, do you Gordon?

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Day 7, Tuesday, 19th January (12 Days to Go)

That ‘Mysterious Parcel’ that arrived yesterday was in fact the TakTalk router. I’ve already had a goosey at it even though I cant use it, and it is actually made by D-Link, which makes TalkTalk a bunch of liars because they said it would be made by a company called ‘Huawai’, which from their website, looked like a small Chinese eBay company who make iPod cases and sell them for £0.01.

I checked my emails today at school. It is a sorry place, like war-torn Russia, with women in capes escaping to Gondor. I had quite a few emails, a lot of which I couldn’t actually see because they are made from pictures which are apparently offensive so they have got a stupid ‘YOU HAVE BEEN PROTECTED’ banner along with a badly cut-out Angel of the North. I don’t want to be protected from my own emails. Stop protecting me, Learning Network. I ran the risk of my entire life being hijacked by the shady organisation known as the ‘Technicians’. Like Fontaine, they’re ‘as crooked as a dog’s hind leg’. All day, every day they just sit there, touching wires and disabling cameras so they can get into Casino Vaults. The problem is that they always forget to include the logo on the floor, but by then its too late and they have their money. Danny is a happy guy those days.

It’s a shame they can’t fix a Dell. Oh, wait, they’re broken as soon as they come out the factory. A Har! A Hardilly Har! I went there.

I also am sick of the head of Sixth Form, constantly handing out excuses for why he is ‘too busy to talk’, ‘battling with the cold’ or he’s ‘in a meeting’. The last excuse was said while he was sitting in his box, on his own.

While listening to my daily slice/fix of Buckethead, I have discovered that Botnus from Enter the Chicken is very similar to Magua’s Scalp from Pepper’s Ghost. Not exactly the same, but similar enough to be a copyright violation if they were two separate artists. Buckethead, you sly kitten. He has been known to remake songs under different names in order to ‘fill’ an album, like on Colma in 1998 when he reused Danyel and the backing track to General Butterfly from1997’s Pieces collaboration with Brain, and he reused Hook and Pole Gang from Bucketheadland and named it Gorey Head Stump 2006: The Pageant of the Slunks on Crime Slunk Scene. The odd thing was, though, he had a track called Gory Head Stump on Bucketheadland as well. I don’t know what was going on there.

I’m listening to the extended Forgotten Trail from Albino Slug, another one of my favourites. I’m going to make a list of the top however-many Buckethead tracks. Although, I might not because it’s like all those other projects I try to do. And somebody’s law states that ‘Work expands to fill the time its allowed’, meaning that if you give someone 5 days to do something it will take them 5 days, but if you give them the same task but only allow them 2 days they will still get it done in time. Strange, innit?

I went to ‘the local pervert’s house’ to download SSHD. Yay. It’s a shame that now I don’t have Live at home, it won’t let me play it and says that it’s only a trial version, despite it having charged me the 1200 Points. I’ll ring the Xbox people tomorrow and moan.

Day 6, Monday, 18th January (13 Days to Go)

A mysterious package got delivered today. Unfortunately, nobody was in the house to get it, so we got one of those little red cards through he door. Thos cards annoy me so much. Or rather, the Post Office’s rules do. The time on the back of the card was 2:14 this afternoon – The problem with that is that the post office closes at 12:30. How am I possibly supposed to collect what I missed if it was not delivered until the Post Office is closed? Stupid. And also I have to wait 24 hours to get it before I can pick it up. That’s another stupid rule. How can something potentially get from America to my house in a week take 24 house to go 10 miles to the Post Office?

This parcel was send by Royal Mail Recorded, so it is probably a router from TalkTalk, but the current options are as follows:

1. The TalkTalk Router that they forgot to order but then ordered when we were phoning them last week.

2. The BT Router that is supposed to come on the 1st of February. This is the most unlikely option.

3. My Theory of a Deadman Scars & Souvenirs CD. I ordered this last week but it is from America and is supposed to take 3-8 weeks. I paid $8 for that postage, and it still takes up to 8 weeks. I pay $6 from Travis and it takes 2 weeks at the most. I wouldn’t have bought that CD normally because it is seriously god-awful, but since it was $16 and I got a free signed artbook, I thought it was worth them shame of owning it. After all, the previous albums were really good… then they turned to post-Rockstar Nickelback/Busted Pop-Rock rubbish. I hate ‘Pop-anything’, especially awful pop-rock.

So that’s that parcel analysed. Next!

I have been giving Enter the Chicken a lot of ear-hole time lately. I have tried to enjoy Funbus, but it is seriously ridiculous. There is no way that that kind of music is supposed to be taken seriously. It sounds like a guy with a throat infection angrily whispering words. The worst part of it is that at 0:07 he literally just makes a ‘Naaaaaaa’ sound like he needed to fill a gap but ran out of words. Apart from Funbus, Enter the Chicken looks good to be one of the better Buckethead albums recently. Obviously it won’t match up to the classics like the Bucketheadland(s) and Giant Robot, but it’s good in comparison to his more recent adventures like Forensic Follies and Needle in a Slunk Stack. I’m not feeling the chop-up stuff.

Serj Tankian is a good guy. Everything he does is good (except Serart, but that was in that dark period just after System of a Down went on their permanent ‘hiatus’), and Elect the Dead is fantabulous. So much so that I bought it twice: Once was the regular version and the second was the special edition red version with the bonus booklet and disc. (It was £4.99. That is a dealio.) I can’t wait for the next album. Or a follow-up to Enter the Chicken.

Another thing that annoys me is the rumoured Slash and Friends album. Was this a rumour name or something done to annoy Buckethead people? If it was called Slash and Friends it would look like a childish attempt at him saying something like ‘I’m more Guns N Roses than you! I wasn’t blamed for bad album sales because I’m too weird!’

Surely he can think of something more original? Buckethead kind of suits it because he’s odd. Slash doesn’t usually go for the ‘oddball’ look. I doubt it will actually happen. It was probably started by the Buckethead-haters to annoy people like me. It worked.

This Internet business is starting to take its toll on me. Its sapping my strength and energy, and I can’t do anything. What did people do before the Internet and Xboxes and computers? Play board games? It sounds like a mess of society. That’s why things like teleportation never got done. All the brains of the world were so concentrated on inventing ‘something that is like a series of tubes carrying stuff to everyone’s TV…’ If they had invented the Internet instead of floating stuff up to the moon in 1969 we would have been teleporting all over the shop by now. I wouldn’t have to wait 3-8 weeks for a CD. It could just get it zipped to my house in 5 minutes, or I could zip myself down to the actual Studio and buy it from Travis personally and demand a signature from Buckethead. “I know he’s in there, Travis. He practically lives here.’’

You nerds are all working on the wrong things. Get my internet sorted, then teleportation, then you can float stuff up to Mars when you can ask yourself: ‘What else have we got?

While making silly noses on my new amp, I have snapped the small E String on my Telecaster, known as Klaus to his friends. I can’t even look for new strings online. Sucks.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Day 5, Sunday 17th January (14 Days to Go)

I can’t believe the news today. I can’t close my eyes and make it go away. How long, how long must we sing this song?

Yes. It is Sunday. The end is nigh on my darkened and cold weekend in the pit of disconnection. Today was a lazy day. I got up late, pottered around, fidgeted with my new amp and drank quite a lot of Tropicana. I’m probably going to end up as a block of Vitamin C by the end of this ‘experiment’. From today’s schedule it would appear that Tropicana consumption has replaced internet browsing, but I can see tat soon I will have had too much of it, and won’t like it any more, which would be a shame. I reckon there’s one or two more glasses left in the carton. I’m going to have to ration them out for a bit. It’s a good thing that they are currently on special offer at Asda for 2L for £2 or something like that. I’ll have to make a trip there and stock up in case there is a sudden unannounced Nuclear War.

I got the chance to use my next-door neighbour’s Internet today because I had to book some University applicant open days. Despite the fact that it was on a Dell, the sweet taste of World Wide Loveliness came at me like a hot flannel. Luckily, his laptop had Safari for Windows on, so I used that instead of Internet Explorer. This made me as happy as you can be whilst using a Dell.

I also, got a bit distracted while doing this, as I had to sign up my email address to log in and get all the features of Northumbria, I think it was, and while waiting for the confirmation email to come through I floated over to Amazon and might have accidentally bought a little bit of Buckethead… It was the Cuckoo Clocks of Hell. £9, new and with free ‘Super Saver’ postage. (I would have bought it before the 1st of February anyway because I’ve been eyeballing it for a while, so I might as well take advantage of any tubespace I can while I have the chance.)

Look forward to that. I’ll keep checking my emails at school for when it gets posted. I would have bought it from school using the Internet there, but I don’t trust the IT Technicians… They spend all their time in a tiny cupboard filled with keys, and have silly jeweller’s glasses on making endless keys, hoping to find the right one for every door in the world. But obviously, it is understandable that I risk my bank details and identity fraud when you see the original Bucketheadland brand new in cellophane for £14. That’s worth the risk. See the post(s) I wrote about it and how I now own one of the Buckethead equivalents of the Holy Grail.

I have also played/witnessed/experienced the Serious Sam HD Trail Game on the local pervert’s Xbox. He invited me into his house to play it on the condition that I gave him my old guitar amp. I will take my Hard Drive round there sometime and get the full thing so I can play it at my house while drinking lovely ginger beer.

The formula for ‘Smoo’

Ginger Beer + Serious Sam HD = (A Great Day) + (Teed 3)

I doubt that I will ever get round to fully ‘polishing’ this series of articles detailing my holiday in the abyss. By that I mean I probably won’t get the chance/am too lazy to link to the things I reference, masterfully disguised as regular speech. Of course I speak in rhymes and poetic verse and quotations, for “Now I am become Death; The Destroyer of Worlds”, which would be a pretty chilling thing to have creeping into your periph after seeing the first atomic bomb explosion.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Day 4, Saturday January 16th (15 Days to Go)

The counting down of days is becoming tedious. Tedious Medious. I feel like its October 1988 and my small town is about to witness the end of the world. Is it wrong to check Grandma Death’s mail?

I floated over to Newcastle today and got myself a shiny new amp. Mmm. Lots of buttons and dials and stuff. Looks like its going to take a while to find some settings I like because at the moment I don’t really know what I’m doing and a lot of the sounds it makes are pretty ‘thick’. I was only in Newcastle for less than an hour, so that meant I had to face the cold and baron techno-death that was waiting in my house. As it turns out, the amp does in fact work without having to be connected to the Internet, which is surprising because it exists.

Enter the Chicken is a nice slice of album. (That wasn’t a Max Payne reference. You would probably only get that if you were a serious nerd and knew the name of the fictional pizza delivery company, which I do, obviously.)

The Hand is a good track. A bit strange, but good. Anything with Maximum Bob is going to be good. I think I might end up writing a one of my patented full in-depth definitive reviews on it. Especially as I can’t get distracted, but it also means that I can’t research into any hilarious references to insert, despite them mainly getting wasted on most of my demographic, so I’ll have to use ye Olde Brain to dig up my thoughts from instead of letting Google think for me.

My Referencesè

-----------------

^Your Head^

Writing these daily summary things makes me feel like I’m in a rehab centre for addicts. Like I have to write a daily diary to avoid succumbing to more drugs. “I am a slithering knot of neurosis, a tumour of tumult. Incapable of the merest social encounter, my days are a series of embarrassing ordeals, strung together with miserable introspection. The grim weather, but for its potency, reflects my maudlin soul.” (Yeah, work that reference out, melon head.)

I think that this diary thing has helped me deal with the initial shock of dis-connectivity. It’s almost therapeutic, but despite this diary being 100% historically, scientifically and anatomically accurate, it is unlikely that many people will read it all.

I have seen people crumble when they run out of minutes or texts on their phone, or they are on the verge of suicide when Facebook is down for maintenance for 18 minutes at 4:30 in the morning. Facebook is just one website. I’ve been stopped from all of them like some sort of dirty old man who lurks around in Primark.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Day 3, Friday January 15th. (16 Days to Go)

Enter the Chicken has arrived! Wooo! More Buckethead to feast upon!

I can’t download any album art. AAAAAUUUGHHHHHH!! *Insert tangible anger here*

I feel like a Heroin addict. No Internet connection is a seriously difficult affliction to live with in the 21st century. Everything is online. So much so that I constantly forget that I am essentially living in 1980 but with an Xbox and an iMac. “Marty! 1.21 JIGAWATTS!” I am getting seriously bored. I am so glad that I downloaded almost 4GB of Russell Brand Radio shows ranging from the three shows he did in 2006 with Karl Pilkington, then the BBC6 Music set, and also every podcast from the ill-fated Radio 2 show. Hilarious business. Or at least it would be, if I wasn’t in a swirling pit of despair due to my lack of tubes.

Currently the only thing I look forward to is getting to Soundslive tomorrow to get an Amp. I don’t need the Internet to use an amp, do I? But I do for the instruction manual, which, will likely not come with it. Maybe I could have a Weekend in the City… Or I could drive to Brighton…

At school today I visited all the sites I might need over the long, dark, disconnected 48 hours that lay ahead of me. I collected various phone numbers for Soundslive, Windows, GuitarGuitar and a few other places I can’t remember. In my 20 hours of ‘living on the edge of modern existence’, I have learned the hard way that living without the Internet requires a lot of planning ahead and scheduling.

On the bright side, however, at least I can get some revision done without risk of distraction, but on the other side of the ‘Coyne’ I need the Internet to do some extra revision that I might need explaining a bit. I never realised how much my life depended on the Internet. Do you realise, that you have the most beautiful face? Do you realise we’re floating in space? Do you realise that happiness makes you cry? Do you realise that everyone you know someday will die?

Now, ahead of me, I face the first Saturday of disconnection. I feel like if I take one more step, it will be the farthest I’ve ever been from home. I can’t even use the Dells at school… It’s going to be a rough 24 hours. I await the kicking legs with a roll of Duct Tape and a mouthful of toothpicks…

Played Far Cry 2 on my lonesome, offline yesterday. I don’t need the Internet to roam Africa and kill stuff, so that was the same as it was last week. I have also got a bit more Fallout 3 to do, so I could waste my days on that as well. And actually, I don’t think I finished Ninja Gaiden II… Fun and Games! Goblins and Ghouls!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Day 2, Thursday January 14th. (17 Days to Go.)

Started phoning up some Broadband people. This was after I did some research on the school computers for providers with Unlimited Download and also under/around the price that we had for the old Tiscali connection. Virgin said that my postcode could get ‘up to 20MB Fibre Optic Broadband’ but that was a lie. After ringing them they said no. BT has a package for unlimited download, 8MB broadband (which I can only use >1MB of) and free unlimited calls. We also get one of those silly phones with a box on the back like that guy on the adverts out of My Family. I would look up his name but I don’t have any Internet.

So eventually we got signed up to a BT thing, and we’ll get a new router and all that, but it will take until THE 1ST OF FEBUARY. What am I supposed to do for 17 days? I already had cold sweats last night when I couldn’t check my answers to my past exam questions.

I have been taking full advantage of the Internet at school today. I checked my emails and tried to contact ‘my contacts’ but those sites have been blocked because Gateshead School Network believes them to be dangerous.

I wish I had an iPhone. I could tether it to my computer as a 3G router… I’d have to pay extra but it would be worth it for now. Or a Pay As You Go 3G dongle…

I just tried to look it up on the Internet. Can’t.

I have a Biology Exam on the 25th. I need to get on the school’s learning portal to access files. I can’t do this on the School’s network because they are Flash Animations and Dells can’t download stuff using Window>Activity because they suck. Life would be a million times better if everyone used Macs.

17 days to go. It’s going to be a tough ride. I could revolt, cause a ruckus, knock over a bin in the street, slap a baby, kill a duck with a loaf of bread and kick a goose. If anyone tried to section me I would put up a fight and spray ink on them… But on the downside, I’d probably get lobotomised.

At least I have Buckethead to keep me company. As he once famously said: ‘A seemingly doomed and dismal future is approaching nearer and nearer, unless the force of Cruelty can be conquered by an influx of fun designated by a monstrous shipment of dolls, robots and toys made by Japanese Technicians dedicated to unbelievable, colourful novelty and delivered exclusively to Buckethead’s Toystore – A true wonderland of Joy… Even Rude Ralph agrees.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Day 1, Wednesday January 13th (11 Days to Go.)

The Internet got snipped today. This was expected because the awful Tiscali are being bought out by the not-so-awful TalkTalk. I am waiting for delivery of our new router to allow me to apparently get faster speeds. Can’t see that happening really because of the suckiness of our pipes.

The router hasn’t turned up. We rang up TalkTalk and it turns out that the router hasn’t even been ordered yet, and the cables are rewired so that we can’t use out current router. This is to prevent people getting better Internet than they are allowed. That router probably sucks anyway.

Been on the phone to TalkTalk for about 2 hours. Customer service is as bad if not worse than the already dreadful Tiscali. While explaining why we are phoning, asking where our router is, why it can’t connect to the current router… Also, we kept on getting transferred back to people at the Tiscali Call Centre in some nameless country – despite Tiscali technically no longer existing. Finally we got some guy who understood the problem and was pretty helpful. He said that it would take at east 11 days for the new router to be ordered and delivered, but after being on the phone getting nowhere for two hours, we just cancelled the whole thing.

I have been without Internet for all of today. Why is it that today of all days that the Internet is snipped? Serious Sam HD came out today. I can’t download it. I could sue BT/TalkTalk/Tiscali/Microsoft for irreparable emotional damage. This is exactly the reason why download-only media is NOT the way forward.

They took my Internet, and my chickens, away. And I’m sad. What will I do?

The Internet Diary

I have not had any internet for the last couple of weeks. Due to this, boredom and hatred forced me to write the following diary documenting my days in the Pit.

This is going to be a daily diary of my disgusting experiences dealing with the complete end to my Internet connection. After I die (likely to be from boredom), the forensics guys will look at this and see it as a brilliantly narrated descent into insanity from the perspective of the person in question. Hopefully it will help Medical Science in the future once the government finds out that lack of Internet is a direct cause of a slow, painful death.

As a silly sub-plot, I will be putting a load of nerdy/games/music/film/TV/Buckethead/General Knowledge references** in these entries. There might (not) won’t be a prize if you find them all.

**Note that you will have to be scarily like me if you find all of them.