250th blog post: (aka this blog is now a Chinese simpleton)

Well considering the age of this blog and the amount of time that I go on about it to people it’s only just reaching the second milestone, 100 posts came and went pretty quickly but then the next 100 and then the next 49 took much longer. But here I am at the 250th post and as a man who has an almost autistic way of looking at the world through numbers and anniversaries I thought I’d write about it as I’ve got a few minutes to kill.

In blogging terms it’s no great number. Some people blog once a day, sometimes twice daily and after almost three years would have well over 1000 posts. I can’t imagine that I’d ever manage to get to that sort of number without completely tiring of blogging. I’ve had numerous blogs and have deleted them all but I have blogged pretty continuously since 2001. But when I think about them, even if I tried to add up all of the posts, on all of those blogs, over all of that time, I don’t think I’d be anywhere near 1000 posts. Maybe over 500, maybe.

This blog survives because of social networking. I’m now bilstonjay and I’m that guy on twitter and reddit and youtube and those things are so intertwined with this blog now with links and likes and all that, that it would be just a ballache to restart a new blog, its easier to just carry on. Plus when I look at the numbers of followers and subscribers and commenters and all that carry on it would be hard to walk away from hundreds of people who join in now and then, than try to start from zero again. It makes sense to stick with the people who’ve stuck with me and so here I am. I thank you for reading of course but have no understanding why my words are worthy.

comment 01

I was intrigued to read this blog recently where I left a comment (above) that at the time seemed a little harsh but I’m happy on re-reading it that it was sensible. I don’t kid myself that I’m a writer. But I do like writing and still foolishly now and then call myself a writer online. But I’m not. Liking doing something and actually being a professional are two different things. If the opposite were true we’d all be porn stars, man Vs food presenters and sleep professionals (or at least I would be, aaaahhhh yeah!!!)

And the annoying thing is the amount of writing and blogging that goes on where the content is just about “being a writer” or “how hard it is to write” but what writers need to know is that all of us who have a go at writing are the same, we all are scared of failure, we are all scared that what we write is shit, we are all fearful of what our peers, our friends and our family might say or think. That is universal so you might as well drop that shit at the front door in your mind before you go inside and try to be creative. It doesn’t help and it allows other people to have the power (directly or passively) to affect the very thing you like. They don’t matter. Fuck them! That is how you have to think, who cares anyway? Do you think that none of your family or friends or colleagues has ever wanted to write or have never tried? (or maybe they do?) They probably have tried or considered it, some of them anyway. But again it matters not one little shit. And again – the blogging question. People who blog spend a huge amount of time asking questions like, how often should I blog, should I write about day to day life, should I have a theme, should I try to be funny, does it matter if I don’t blog for days/weeks/months? None of these questions are relevant. A blog is a public log of your thoughts and ideas and how you felt about something at a given moment in time. It’s not a novel, or a biography, or relevant to your readers other than how interesting your content (horrible word) is to them at the time they find it and read it.

So if you want a break, just take one, if you want to post every day do it. Readerships are fluid and they change. People follow your blog and then unfollow as the mood takes them, some people will get sick of seeing your posts appearing more often and some will delight in it. The key thing is you are honest with yourself when you write.

Do you want to write? Do you want to blog? Answer those questions, then write or walk away.

Stop beating yourself up because you want to write or blog. How much time have you already wasted and how many ideas that you would have enjoyed writing about have come and gone?

If you want to do it and don’t – you have no one else to blame but yourself.

Write, write and write, talk is fucking cheap.

Peace.

PS I know people who could write and don’t and I know people who write and struggle with writing because they feel unworthy. I’m telling you and them right now to set the weight of fear down and have a go. You have my permission and the permission of your future readers who are out their waiting for something new. Writing is black and white, do it or don’t. Everything else is just bullshit.

PPS Why is this blog a Chinese simpleton? There isn’t a prize but you can leave your answers in the comment section.

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There’s nothing wrong with me. I have a healthy stomach pain! Yippee!

Apologies for spelling and grammer in this one, I aint feeling too much like Mr Editor today… cheers, Jay. 

It’s official, I have nothing wrong with me, I have IBS but as it’s not an illness as such and requires very little treatment I’m considered unworthy of help. For the first time in a while I actually called my doctors today and asked what time I could see him, not today he’s full says the woman on the counter who acts as a buffer between me and the expert I need to speak to. Great! All I want is a chat with him about my health. But he’s one of those doctors that tells you the same things, you eat crap, you’re overweight and its probably viral. Everything is viral to my doctor because he can then justifiably not hand out any penicillin and therefore keep the cash for himself.

I hate the way the modern NHS is going (and essentially it is going towards privatisation under these Tories) I hate not being able to just go to the surgery and see him, I hate the way they can easily put off things that they assume are not serious over the phone, yes I have pains in my guts and I have IBS but what if one day its not my IBS, what if its diverticulitis? Or Cancer? What then, “Keep a food diary and see what your triggers are and if the pain gets too bad take a few codeine tablets” – fuck you!

I can’t afford to go private and get it sorted quickly which pisses me off too. I’ve spent almost the entire of the last 20 years working and paying taxes and claiming nothing from the state and yet when I need it to be there and act as the safety net its supposed to be I’m left out to dry. I know there are other people with really serious problems and yes I could look after myself better, no doubt about that, but sometimes when your feeling low and down and the only thing that takes the edge off it is a few beers and a pizza I’m going to do it, end of!

You’re a long time dead, but at least in death your pain free. What is this life all about? I realise the older I get that I know less and less of what it’s meant to all be about and only my loved ones make it worth while. My hatred of all other people, including my doctor sometimes, is not irrational to me at all. I wonder how much of my taxes paid have been wasted on people who are essentially wasting everybodies time?

I feel a little better for this rant. Only a little.

Peace.

You could tell this joke to a black man.

Nasa decides to send a shuttle into space with two monkeys and an astronaut on board.

After months of training, they put all three in the shuttle and prepare for launch. Mission control announces: ‘This is mission control to Monkey One. Do your stuff.’

The first monkey begins frantically typing and the shuttle takes off.

Two hours later, mission control centre announces: ‘This is mission control to Monkey Two. Do your stuff.’

The second monkey starts typing like mad and the shuttle separates from its empty fuel tanks.

After another two hours mission control announces: ‘This is mission control to astronaut…’

The astronaut interrupts, shouting: ‘I know, I know – feed the monkeys and don’t touch anything!’

We don’t even know what colour the astronaut is. He should be offended though as he’s clearly the idiot in this joke and the monkeys are running the show and he’s noting better than a servant to them. Maybe the joke is about how dumb people are?

Monkeys as monkeys, not as metaphors for black people. You’d have to be racist recipients of the joke to see that connection. Dumb, racist recipients of the joke as the monkeys are clearly the superior beings in the joke and are just monkeys. The joke is on the astronaut who is doing the bidding of primates, not a single suggestion the monkeys are supposed to be metaphors for black people. Not at all!

An astronaut who is of a non-specifically defined race, but is a human being. He could be black, but then again, if he was could you call the joke racist or just a joke about mankind in general? I suppose its all about what your agenda is really.

As jokes go its basic and typical of juxtaposition in comedy and is a go at human beings being not so clever and primates being cleverer than one fictional astronaut, and its certainly not a go at black people and even morso its not comparing them to monkeys, and even if it was it would still make the astronaut look like a dumbass, you know the unspecified creed or colour astronaut who was the dumbass butt of the gag?

So we learned what? Roy Hodgson isn’t ever going to sell out Wembley like Michael McIntyre does. But humans might just about be trustworthy enough to feed some monkeys as they fly a space craft for them. Oh Roy! You kidda!

Controversy ends here.

Peace.

PS Englishmen, Irishmen and Scotsmen, stop buying the Daily Mail and decided to look at things for themseleves…. That would be a better gag.

Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun) – but where’s the fun?

I’ve noticed as I’m sure many of you have that as you get older time seems to pass you by much quicker than it used to. I remember as a kid getting the long summer holidays off school and they felt great, like they’d never ever end. These days spring and summer are over in a heartbeat. It feels like two or three months ago that it was Christmas and maybe 6 weeks ago that I was cleaning my propagator to start putting some tomatoes in, and here we are in October, its savage.

But not only does time pass more quickly the less actual time you have left (how ironic) but you have more things you want to try and do and fit in. At the moment I’m trying to finish reading two books, start reading another two, play GTA V (I dunno why I even bother with the Xbox), research the history of Bilston Town football club, I’m considering NaNoWriMo (I hasten to add considering, the missus has already said that I’m trying to do too much and she’s right. I can often start a project and then along comes the next and the first one fails) and make a start on Christmas shopping. But as time is flying by so fast it feels like some of these things are going to have to go. NaNoWriMo is clearly a pipe dream, any time I have to write will undoubtedly go on writing my Bilston Town book. The book is certainly something that I want to work hard on and I certainly have no intention of giving that up but my efforts will have to slow down between now and the New Year. GTA V may get completed in two or three years time, just after I finish Assassins Creed 2 (yes I’m that far behind, but I’m about 20% of the way through and haven’t touched it for about two years) and Christmas, well there is no avoiding it. November is my month for dealing with it, and what isn’t done by the end of November will remain undone. I’m not planning a very big celebration this year, times are tight, very tight and so I hope that many people don’t go crazy buying me presents this year as I won’t be able to return the favour. I’m considering telling people no to bother but that sounds very scrooge-like. But I may have no choice, I know people shouldn’t give to receive but let’s be fair that’s all people give for. Christmas is about – swapping something for something you probably don’t want, but you at least want the chance to open a present and sigh rather than give and not receive, that is the damned truth of Christmas. (See I’m getting into the scrooge-like mode already, bah humbug!)

Right, that's the book written... Christ!! Its March. Time to go back and do some Xmas shopping!
Right, that’s the book written… Christ!! Its March. Time to go back and do some Xmas shopping!

But all told, time is passing me by very fast these days and I never know what I want to do with it when I have it spare and wish for nothing but time for personal pursuits when I’m chained to the desk at the nine-to-five ‘grind n slog.’ Oh yeah, I also want to try and find time to blog more, but at the moment, blogging too is something that is having to take a back seat over other matters.

Oh well, speak to you all sooner or later no doubt,

Jay.

Peace.

Use The Internet Or Use The Phone – Can’t Do Both (aka what do/don’t you miss from the good old days?)

So you moved your mouse, the amazing screensaver on your CPC464 disappears, you know that one where the walls of a maze (that look like the graphics from Doom) rises up from the bottom of the screen and you start to randomly see yourself virtually walking around a blocky maze. Well, pop the ball out of the bottom of your mouse, peel away the fluff, pop it back in and enjoy reading my text. Nothing but text! It’s handy for your low processing ability and minimal RAM. But before reading any further, just click the video below and enjoy the ride. It’s time to go back in time.

I wonder how many people are reading this that has no idea what that opening ramble of mine was all about. I bet there is at least one person reading this wondering what I’m talking about. I hope so. If you’re that person please accept this as a history lesson from a man taking a walk down memory lane because there are some things from the old internet that I miss and some things that I don’t and that little video is something no one misses and that is the sound of dial up.

Before we were all mobile or connected to broadband wirelessly your computer had to be connected to the World Wide Web through a phone line. You had to plug your PC tower into the wall where the phone used to go. This was amazing back in the 90s (and early 2000s for me, I’ve always been behind the times) but it had its draw backs. Houses only have one phone line, why would you need more? And the constant war of attrition between the people who had friends who phoned them and me was tiresome. The constant shouts of get off the internet I’m expecting a call really did ruin many a good wank. I’d like to say sincerely ‘I’m jesting’ but I was a single young man who drank too much and suffered from what doctors and medical experts call ‘hang-over horn’ and so you can decide for yourself if I am. I care not one way or another, it was bloody annoying!

But of course we all lived on our nerves and were scared of everything way before 9-11, so entertaining ourselves with 20 second clips of the milf-hunter pointing out how the hole all the way around the back is reserved just for him was what we did to cope, because we lived in 1998 and 1999 under the darkest of dark clouds, the imminent end to life as we knew it – because of the internet monster that was Y2K!!! *oh the horror*

The fear of the Year 2000 was to do with computers having to move the date from 1999 to 2000. It was feared that computer systems wouldn’t be able to cope. Now ‘Calculator,’ a basic programme that has featured on every PC since time began was able to add 1,878 to 1,478 and give you an answer that was much higher than 2000, it was feared that operating systems would actually fail and then become self aware. Computers being just massive, powerful calculators, nothing actually happened but we were told that there was a likelihood of aeroplanes falling from the sky, nuclear missiles launching and Conservatives and Liberals joining forces to destroy the poor. As if any of those things would ever happen!? Probably the only thing that I remember from the time was a 1999 This Morning show where Richard Madeley scared the shit out of many daytime viewers by explaining that the world might end and showing all of his viewers a glimpse into his ‘Millennium Cupboard’ in which he had rows of tinned food, candles and matches and even medical supplies. He even warned people that they may have to face a New Year (the coldest period in the British weather calendar) without gas and water. What responsible broadcasting. But at least he caused a slight increase in economic spending after warning viewers they probably needed about ten weeks worth of food just to be safe. Judy Finnegan needs to be made a Dame just for putting up with him, anyone wanna start a petition for that?

Madeley: When the Zombie Apocalypse happens, he’ll have the last laugh.
Madeley: When the Zombie Apocalypse happens, he’ll have the last laugh.

Back in 2000, before Google was the hugely successful and useful entity online that it is now we had to do our searching elsewhere. AltaVista had been the daddy of sorts back then along with the company that eventually owned and ended it, Yahoo. Everyone I knew had one or the other as their home page, mostly Yahoo. Everyone had a Yahoo email address, almost to the extent that they’d say their email address was davesmith because we could assume it was @yahoo.com. Perhaps we were just fan boys, perhaps we were just twats. I’m told by a colleague that Yahoo stands for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle” and I have no reason not to believe him but if true it sounds like the people that named it were either speccy IT goobers or just thesaurus owning bell-ends. Either way I like them. A name is a name, and now it’s a massive global trademark, so fair play to them. I hope they are stinking rich (just so I can be envious and slightly annoyed I paid little attention in IT class at school.) As for Alta Vista, it is no longer a thing these days but it lives on through babel fish, the translation tool now owned by Yahoo that is ever so useful and awesome, if only for its name. If you don’t know why it’s called babel fish you’ve never heard of Douglas Adams, shame on you! Yahoo him! Or Google. What evs. Just don’t ask Jeeves, he was always shit.

I can’t talk about the early 2000s without talking about MSN, it slowly became the email provider of choice and its Messenger service was eventually used by everyone. People instant messaging each other all of the time, it was really good at the time. With an array of email address over the years, MSN, live, outlook, hotmail, it has certainly been evolving. But losing messenger in favour of Skype has seen my use of it reduce to practically zero, but I don’t own a webcam. In fact I don’t own much more than a PC tower, but I like it. It’s old and almost retro. Laptops are alien to me, as are pads and pods and the like. I prefer tried and tested and trusted. MSN back at the turn of the millennium was great fun simply for the chat option they used to have. An array of chat rooms for an array of people. Most of them benign, some of them heartwarming and fun, some of them seedy and some downright dodgy. But as an old internet codger I miss saying “Hi” or “Hello” to someone knowing full well the reply was going to be, “A/S/L?”

Back then security questions were A/S/L, non of this captcha are you a bot silliness. A/S/L stood for AGE/SEX/LOCATION. Now as everyone always tells the truth this was all that anyone needed to know before chatting in length to someone about geo-politics, the length of their cock or which creeds and colours they’d wipe off the face of the Earth. It was a simple time and looking back, a fucking scary, horrible time. But MSN chat was fun and its end was a shame, but with hindsight it was needed when you look at the evolution of the internet since and the rise of corporate powers and the not so surprising realisation that some people online are criminals, paedophiles and someone you know pretending to be someone you’ve never met!

Despite what we think these days the internet isn’t 50% porn and 50% corporate entities wanting your cash. Web based porn is probably about 1% of all websites and accounts for just three snapped hard ons every year. This is because everyone is online. You can’t buy a phone in 2013 without instantly being on Facebook, twitter, youtube, tumblr, photobooth etc etc. Which of course waters down everything else that used to make up the internet. In many ways the internet is a lot less interesting because everyone is on it. At one time only the nerds, geeks, perverts and IT consultants were knocking around this virtual world and it was much more interesting. The fact now that everyone is on it sharing photos of their lunch and telling us what they just did, “Just had a tall Starbucks Fuckacino, deee-lish” makes it less of an exciting, wild west frontier and more a corporate advertising soaked, self obsessed, look-at-my-life-aint-it-great, bullshit arena of nothing.

The thing is what the nerds, geeks, perverts and IT consultants had in common was their love of pornography. Back in the early days porn was king. Its true to say that any medium Human beings find to share information with each other they will find a way to share porn. Its part of the human condition. Now you know as you read this you never watch porn, of course you don’t, why would you let me, a stranger, remind you of the times you’ve sat and whiled away the hours as a black and white girl get rimmed and fisted and fucked by a guy high-fiving the cameraman. You wouldn’t? You’re a good clean person just reading a blog on wordpress and that’s all you ever do. So please remember my judgements on all of this porn stuff aint about you…

So with that out of the way let me remind you of just a couple of porn stars of twelve or thirteen years ago that you will know, maybe because someone told you about them sometime (yeah right) but I have to as I’m talking about the internet back in its glory years when advertising and corporations and SEO and marketing hadn’t taken over. Back when the net was Wild West and wild and wet (sorry, bad pun).

Wifey, she was, er a wife. Who did porn. What else is there to say?

Wifey: You just know she’ll cook you a full English in the morning.
Wifey: You just know she’ll cook you a full English in the morning.

And Heather, she was a porn star. We all know what she did.

Heathers site was called iDeepthroat and was an app dedicated to her favourite X Files character.
Heathers site was called iDeepthroat and was an app dedicated to her favourite X Files character.

If you’ve never heard of them, Yahoo them. Or Google them. They’re pre-degredation porn might be light relief. No one cries, no one gags, no regrets. You might feel less dirty post self abuse.

Although I joke about the olden days websites and the porn and the lack of much else, it was good for your reflexes. Because not only did you need to hold various items (penis) but you also needed to be, what I call, a pop-up Ninja. Surfing the old internet was a minefield of constant adverts that popped up. No one had learned yet how to host ads on site and they sold adverts based on page hits that automatically opened up another window, a pop up ad. Some sites still do this but modern browsers save us from them with pop up blockers. If you take them for granted and have never seen one, fair play to you, but back in the good old days you had to close ten of them before seeing a picture loading slower than a stoned sloth lying on mattress of silky duck down getting head in an induced coma.

And I have rambled on this far and have yet to mention the greatest invention of the internet and that is the Forum. Forums are amongst the best things that I’ve ever seen on the internet and they have stood the test of time. In the 1990s when I first surfed the web I loved them, in the early 2000s when I first got online at home I loved them and actively used many of them, and today I see many of them closing or miss the ones long gone but still find them knocking around like Molineux Mix or at Soccer Manager dot com. I read them when I don’t join in, they are amazing. They give people a place to chat, they are bulletin boards for thoughts and they are great for banter, they are great for debate and they will live on as long as the internet lives because they offer a quick and easy outlet for people wanting to join in. Forums; lively, active forums; that is probably the thing I miss the most from the old school internet. I miss a debate over a 48 hour weekend period that goes from one polarity to another. You know where people offer ideas and questions and sarcasm that drives the debate. Forums are just the fucking shit online. We need a forum renaissance. Forget videos, forget even blogs. Forums where all kinds of people with all kinds of ideas all congregating together for one reason, debate. We have lost a lot of debate online and that is a shame. A damn shame. But still the medium lives on.

We had gifs in the olden days. They were the videos of the time. 2 seconds of footage. Pause. The same 2 seconds. We still have gifs today. Why?

We had Kazaa, free music, free videos, free books, free everything. Completely illegal, made the music, film and publishing industry sit up and take ownership of the internet. It might have been good at the time, but it lead to corporate hostility towards intellectual property. But things are still, and always will be,  evolving).

Yeah, back in the day we had no Google, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, reddit, wikipedia, not even myspace, ebay or amazon. It was a simple time. It was a fun time. I’m glad I remember it, when I’m old it’ll be my ‘when I was a lad’ speech for the kids on hover boards getting information beamed into their skulls as they blink and buy clothes, click fingers and buy entertainment and fart and get sent to a virtual frontal lobe induced street view of downtown Mars Central.

But even then I’ll miss a time when Julia Stiles knew all of the lingo, still so cool and relevant today and always.

Peace. Past, present and future good wishes. Peace!