Author Archives: Kirrus

Attention span

Ran across this interesting video the other day, thanks to YouTube recommendations. Tl;dr version, internet-addicted humans have (possibly) screwed their attention spans, thanks to unrestricted access to the internet.

I’m not sure. I’m pretty reliant on the internet for my social support structure, and use it to (try to) help others, with what I can.

I’ve not really found that my attention span has seriously been diminished via the internet, though I certainly do find myself checking twitter more than I probably should. I read an interesting study/article which I can’t find right now that posited that humans are designed to always seek out new information, since it’s valuable to the clan. Found yourself whiling a few hours away on Wikipedia? Same article mentioned twitter as a source of potential endless new things, leading to it’s potential addictive nature.  Whilst looking for it, I did find this more modern article, which discusses why twitter’s addictive, and how missing empathy feedback loops might be being impacting twitter’s troll problem. An article to think on another day.

Personally, I try to read everything everyone I follow on twitter writes, which means I have to be particularly strict about who I follow. To be honest, there’s plenty of voices on twitter I’d love to read more from, but who just tweet too damn much for me to be able to keep up. I’ll end this ramble with just a few interesting people on twitter;

  • @swiftonsecurity — Computer security, microfiction
  • @jimrossingol — Game development, rt’s interesting left leaning politics
  • @dannilion — Sufferer of a particularly nasty disease leaving Danni bedbound

Price of cow manure in Nova Scotia

fishing cove, nova scotia

So, I didn’t know what to blog about today, so I asked a friend, and he said that. Huh, I thought. That’s actually kinda weirdly interesting. Let’s ask the googles.

Google tells me, you can buy 1.5 Kilograms of it in a nice plastic bag from home hardware for $3.49 (Canadian dollars). Or, I did find, you could get goat manure for free! But you’ve gotta collect it yourself.

A bag of cow shit. Yes, really.

TBH, I didn’t even know where Nova Scotia was, or in which country. I mean, I’d heard the name before, but couldn’t put the name to a place. Canada! Wikipedia tells me Nova Scotia is the second most-densely populated province in Canada with 17.4 inhabitants per square kilometre (45/sq mi).

So there you go. That’s today’s blogpost, a random fact about cow manure in Canada.

Though, it turns out that Nova Scotia is one of the places that suffered an “interesting” past due to British colonial activities, namely the forced relocation of french colonists, costing the lives of thousands, not counting the torn histories of tens of thousands.

Whilst trying to find a good image for this post, I came across the one above, of Peggys cove. Now I wanna actually go there, just because it looks pretty! Probably never going to go, but one can dream!

.. Please, save me from myself. Ask me interesting questions I can answer and blogpost about, help me keep keep blogging daily. I’ll try to answer (almost) anything within reason.

I mean, I could tell you about my day, but it was mostly just normal, relatively boring to relate sysadmin stuff. I did have to help a client with a slightly gnarly DNS thing, but that was just knowing how the timeouts work, not sure there’s anything interesting to post about there.

Is gnarly spelt gnarly or knarly? I kinda want it to be spelt knarly, but the spell checker reliably informs me it’s gnarly. Shame. I’m going to stop typing here. Bye!

Nail surgery; aka needle phobia

So, by the time this gets published, I’ll have had nail surgery. Partial nail avulsion, is the technical term. Part of my nail is getting cut off, then the nail bed killed with a chemical. This is actually the second time I’ve had this done on this particular toe, just the other side’s gone bad this time.

Part of the process involves having local anaesthetic injected into the toe. It is really quite painful, and I’m told makes the toe swell quite impressively as the anaesthetic goes in. I mention this, because I’m terrified of needles and injections. When I’m in the same room as one that I can see, I almost can’t take my eyes off it, it just seems like a thread. Nuts, but there we are.

I’ve told this story a few times, but not to my blog I think. It goes back to when I was in hospital, going to have an appendectomy because my appendix was threatening to go pop. Junior doctor decided it would be a great idea to draw blood, and leave a port type thing in my elbow so that they could push anaesthetic in later at need.

So, in went the needle.. and ow. Very ow. Very very ow. Apparently, I’ve inherited veins that seem to move, and don’t like to be pinned with needles very easily. Eventually, he gave up and pull it out. The needle that’d been very straight going in, was now bent 90 degrees. I don’t know how he did it, but ow ow ow ow.

Refused to let him try again, refused to let a senior doctor try again. In the end they agreed to use anaesthetic cream on my palm, then take the blood they needed from there. Anyway, ever since I’ve been scared of injections and needles. Yay! Surgery’ll be fun 😉

Gaming life

You know, I have tonns of games in my steam library, a bunch on Uplay, Origin I’ve never completed. Yet recently, all I’ve been playing has been a modded minecraft (oh man, did I ever get my money’s worth out of that £10 back in the day), Overwatch and Warframe. Ok well, one of out three being “recent” is better than nothing.

Minecraft, can’t play vanilla anymore. I yearn for a decent jetpack, computer item storage, nuclear reactor, mining lasers, builders wands. Just can’t go back. So much useful stuff. Been playing Agrarian skies II, which is good, just.. did the modpack creator not ever nerf so many useful tools.

Overwatch. Oh overwatch. I mainly play support, mercy healer. When you do well, no-one notices. When you do badly, you get shouted at. Much like life, really 😉  Mainly play competitive, just so I have a better chance to not die because my team runs away and leaves me to die. Just in the last day built a new tactic, telling me team when I’ve a resurrect ready! If they all go in and die on a spot, pushing past the enemy, I can just fly right in and pop, they’re all back up. It’s worked wonders to get us on some heavily contested points.

Warframe. The grind. So much grind. Undending grind. With some really stupid game modes as a garnish on the side. There’s an three-dimensional, in space mode, called Archwing. Most players seem to avoid these modes because are they ever janky. I really wish I’d been recording my last mission. It was to find, disable, and then protect a ship. After dying over, and over, because the ship has (almost) impervious shields, it managed to bug itself into an asteroid. On the downside, it made shooting it really hard. On the upside, the thing sat still enough we could just pump damage in till it finally died. Bigger upside, we had to defend the thing for 3 minutes. Honestly, could’ve just flown away and ignored it, nothing would’ve been able to kill it in that time.

It’s free to play, so the grind is kinda expected. I just wish it had a better tutorial. On first starting the game, you’re thrust into a story led set of quests that ‘unlock’ stuff in your ship. It’s.. honestly boring as all hell. Tutorials are normally bad, but to be locked into one that’s just plain dull.. I stopped playing for 6 months till friends managed to drag me back in.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun, just can be downright dumb from time to time. The developers are constantly patching more stuff in, but don’t seem to be really helping with the grind. They’re also leaving old weapons and tools to rot, effectively, leaving them behind with other, better weapons.

Childhood home

My mother is selling the house I grew up in 🙁

A few years ago, my father left the flat I spent a lot of my teens in.

It’s interesting, even though I moved out from home more than 10 years ago, I still feel a connection to both places. The flat’s probably knocked down by now, and doesn’t even exist, and I’ve spent so little back at mums recently I’m surprised by changes every time I visit.

I don’t know what’s making me so nostalgic for my youth, looking back into my past? Strange.

Greebo (cat) looking out into the garden.

Daily blog

Just because, I’m gunna try to blog daily again. Obviously, I’m cheating, loading multiple blogs in at once and having them post automagically, but still. Something for every day. Even if it’s something short like this!

Bodies are stupid. Soon, I’m going to have surgery on my foot, because apparently nails sometimes curl and cut into the nailbed. This is pleasant… \s

“Someone who dies leaves their work behind and that does not entirely die. It never entirely dies as long as humanity exists. The work of each individual contributes to a totality and forms a tapestry that will exist forever” –Isaac Asimov, Robots and Empire

First Night Effect, a ramble from a while ago

A very small study was recently released, and covered prominently, which says chiefly;

“Even when you look at young and healthy people without chronic sleep problems, 99 percent of the time they show this first-night effect [sleeping in a new place] —this weird half-awake, half-asleep state,” says Yuka Sasaki from Brown University.

http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/04/why-we-sleep-badly-on-our-first-night-in-a-new-place/479091/

Interestingly, I think I’ve experienced this personally. I’ve bounced around a bit, moved, but my primary example was actually a night on which it was not my first sleeping somewhere.

I’ve had a few house/flatmates over the years, as has any young adult in the UK. Sharing is basically required for all but the richest, thanks to our current housing crisis. In this case, it was a flat in West Ealing, London, quite a nice one really. We had a good landlord, who basically advertised two rooms separately, and arranging meetings to create a flatshare.

This flatshare was sold to me as a young lady,  let’s call her Shakespeare, visited periodically by her boyfriend, who’ll we’ll call Casper.. We got on OK, in the brief time we knew each other, and for the first 6 months of our lease, everything was fine. Well, mostly fine; Casper was around almost always, and he broke my xbox, but eh. So, I signed another lease with Shakespeare; 12 months this time.

This was a mistake.

Casper and I argued, about some weird odd thing. I was going to have someone sleep on the floor for a few days, just coming into the country, and needed somewhere to crash whilst they got on their feet. This apparently was beyond the pail. Suffice to say, words were had, shouting happened, and I no-longer felt safe there.

The first night was the worst. I basically setup noise traps next to my (lockless) bedroom door, and slept fitfully, waking at the tinyest noise. I was scared of being attacked by Casper, he was bigger and stronger than me. The following days were unpleasant in the extreme. I spent as much time as possible outside the flat, eating at a Wimpys, spending massive quantities of time in the Office, basically hiding from my flatmates. In the end, I decided to forfeit the lease, and left, moving back in with my parents. I ended up continuing to pay for my part of the lease for another 3 months, an action that combined with the commuting now involved to get to work cost me along the lines of £3,000.

But those few days, before I decided to forfeit, were some of the worst nights I’ve ever had. I can totally believe First Night Sleep is a thing. I just think it may well not be just about your First Night somewhere.

Epilogue,

It turned out, that Casper shouldn’t have been staying in the flat with Shakespeare. Landlord was unhappy about that. Also, they got a dog, whom I had been told was gained with Landlord’s tactic approval via a don’t ask, don’t tell basis.

During the explanation to the (nice) landlord, I might have let slip about the dog. The tactic approval turned out to be a lie, amongst other things, Landlord was Not Happy, especially due to Shakespeare and Casper’s actions after I left. I was actually offered the room again, with a new flatmate. I refused.

That is also why I eventually moved out of London at the first opportunity. I had a limited-length houseshare in London with a friend, but just couldn’t bring myself to share with someone random again. Work needed people in a new site, so I requested a transfer, somewhere where I could afford (just about) my own place. I’ve been happily away from London (apart from hotels and day visits) ever since.

I wonder if writing this is interesting to anyone? Also, I do wonder how narcissistic it is for me to publish it publicly. Maybe for another blogpost, another day.