Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cutting aliens in half, I don't consider that daft - Blog intro/retrospective (Part 2 of 2).

Yes, it's finally here! After many weeks of promising, I have decided to get off my butt (or should that be sit on it?) and finally finish the blog intro/retrospective. For those not familiar with my original idea, the second part was to address any points of interest in the other's posts throughout the years. Basically, if the other had brought up a conversation point that I had not addressed, or if I had addressed it, my opinion had changed since then.

However, before I get to that point, I would like to continue with my original rantings first.

The other is back with a vengeance, and I gotta say it's good to have him back! He's had some fantastic posts.

So yes, I will be 25 soon. Just another year, another birthday I guess. It's dawned on me that on the balance of probabilities, I won't live to see another two of these (quarter centuries that is, not birthdays). I'm ok with that. Let's see what the future brings.

See me. Be me. Experience the things I have. Know how I think. See my world. Experience me.

You know what really irks me? When people have things called photographic essays! Essays require the use of words! Yes, I am well aware of the adage "a picture is worth a thousand words" but that is just the height of snobbery. A picture is a picture! It is not a photographic essay. How about a musical essay?? An essay of smells perhaps??

The other just has an amazing talent for sticking these weird riffs and chords together which just sound magical when put together. And then when we get together to jam, it all falls into place so well. I can layer my knowledge of theory and obscure chords (that I've probably just used once - when I was learning the mofo) and it is a well oiled machine.

My early 20's have been a good experience in terms of gaming. I have probably gotten into first person shooters more than I had in the past. But also in terms of non computer games, I learned how to play poker. I never had any idea in the past, and it was something I really wanted to do. I remember in High School I played some friends and just bluffed every hand, as I had no idea what cards I had. But now I am quite adept at it, and that did fill me with a sense of accomplishment.

However, another thing that stems even further back than high school was chess. I had no idea how to play, and I didn't even know how to set up the board. But all that changed last week. I had some free time at work, and I loaded up Chess Titans (which can show you how the pieces are meant to move). So of course, I became hooked, and despite losing at least 20 matches to the computer (on easy), I have been reading up on this and am now completely obsessed. I have to beat a human opponent at least once in my life. What an interesting game.

I have also been getting into some good console co-op. My friend has been inviting me over to play some Xbox360 coop. We played Halo 3 which was bloody fantastic. Many a good time was had with that and we ended up finishing it. We recently got into Gears Of War 2, which I found to be absolutely wonderful. People may think it's just a third person shooter, but I think it is quite tactical in terms of pinning and flanking. Ahhh many a chainsaw lancer death was had, I can't wait to play some more of that.

I was going to examine the phenomenon of women being treated as objects. But if I went into that, I would be here for a while. So I will save that for another time, as well as - in a shocking segue, update the Joaquin Rate List (JRL)!

So without further ado, may I get on to part 2 of the blog intro/retrospective!

September 14 2004
It has to start somewhere
The other mentioned a point about English being a flawed language. Where some words are spelled completely differently to how they sound and so on. You don't get these issues with Eastern languages, but it does seem a bit of a theme in Western/Germanic languages. I wholly agree with the other's point. Words should be spelled more phonetically, or we should extend the alphabet to incorporate more sounds.

The other also makes a note about girls in Bangers. He said the good ones were engaged and the others are just plain bitches. Hahah, 100% agreed! That's probably why the good ones are all gone early - to live their unfulfilled lives.

September 17 2004
Disconnected!!! Damn
The other first blogged about the "11" phenomena. It is still everywhere!! Though not in the same abundance that I used to get, especially when I was in Sydney. I've been reading up on it, and it has some interesting numerological properties. For those interested, it's well worth a look, as it has several meanings.

The other had also been reading up on "ladder theory" and I gotta say, now that I'm older I believe that it is 100% true.

19 October 2004
Time machine
The other started this theme of not having enough time to get things done. And I agree with him, a holiday somewhere nice with no technology would be nice on the cards.

27 October 2004
Can't make up my bloody mind
The other made an excellent point about too many guitarists relying on tabs to play songs. Most tabs are incorrect, and it results in guitarists not using their ears, and failing as musicians in the long run. I agree with this point 100%, but I have to say that I'm hypocritical, as I am guilty of this. When I first want to learn a song, I will turn to tabs before anything else. I won't even play along with it. I'm sure my musicianship has suffered as a result, and I have not bothered to properly read music as a result. Once we break the bonds of the way we have developed this internal paradigm, we can begin to express ourselves properly.

19 November 2004
And only wrappers were left
The other made a statement regarding auras. This has been regarded as a pseudoscience by most in scientific circles, but I have to say that I believe there is some truth to it. Some people's energy you can just totally pick up. Sometimes you can just "feel" other people.

4 December 2004
Coz this shape was made to sink
The other made a point regarding people in arranged marriages not being in love. I disagree with him on this point. While of course people like this aren't in love at the start, I think that it can grow into love over time. But is that artificial? Forcing people into a situation where either hate or love can blossom? It may seem contrived (obviously), but whether this love is the same as those in "love" marriages may need to remain to be seen. But I think love is love, and that is that.

24 January 2005
More means good or more means bad??
The other made an excellent remark concerning exchange rates and the near arbitrary way that they are determined. Having worked in a field where we relied on exchange rates to determine favourable outcomes for clients, the idea of the value of a currency being based on the loose and vague notion of a "market" is just beyond belief. The other also offered a solution of a unified world currency. I agree with this, but I don't think the world will go for this, as obviously some markets would like to be better than others, which in turn benefits some corners of the market, and various countries. If we did go to a unified currency, I bet that there would still be some "market" ideal that would mean that the value of the SAME currency would be more in poor countries, so that they kept getting screwed over. Ahh Wall Street was such a good movie, I can't wait for the sequel, but I'm not keen on Shia LaBeouf being in it!

22 March 2005
Look at what I can do
The other made an incredibly valid point regarding custom things being made for famous people. While this obviously can be a far reaching statement which runs the gamut of objects, I think the most obvious (and pertinent) example relates to musicians and musical instruments. Being a guitarist, I am inundated with signature guitars, amplifiers, picks, guitar straps, strings and the list just goes on and on. Just like the other, let me say, you don't need ANY of that shit. Be unique, make your own mark on society! Nobody got famous from playing someone elses signature instrument! You know what's funny? The people who made these instruments also got good/famous by NOT playing that signature item. It is made for them - for their specifications. Just cause it's good for them doesn't mean it's good for you. If you buy signature stuff, I hope it's just for fun, not cause you want to sound or look like someone.

27 April 2005
The other made a great point concerning plagiarism being encouraged in universities. I 100% agree with this. As the syllabus refers to only a small number of books/sources, obviously a lot of the material produced for assessment pieces will be reproducing what's in the stuff listed in the syllabus. When you add in the factor of pressure being placed on students to do well (especially given how universities rank people along the standard bell curve), obviously a lot of people are going to plagiarise stuff. Universities should be like they were when they first began. A bunch of people discussing various ideas and LEARNING. Not just getting degrees to work jobs that they're going to hate. No empiricism needed. Giant steps to help humanity, not slow ones.

2 September 2006
The other made a good point about journalists being unethical. I agree with this statement - to a point however. I think the main issue is gatekeepers, editors, programmers, producers etc. These stakeholders tend to go on sensationalised news, blood, death and so on in order to earn ratings, and the big bucks etc. Obviously journalists are not clean in all this, as they are either turning a blind eye, or being obedient to some of these new ideals of "if it bleeds, it leads" (a tenet I learned in journalism). I mean what sort of bloody world are we living in where REAL journalists, who tell the news with integrity, research the facts and present them are regarded as being alternative or groundbreaking, and offering news to only a minority of people? That is truly a fucked situation. People need to care what's going on, they need to question the world around us.

4 September 2006
Lies get tossed and the truth is spoken
The other made a brilliant quote that I shall put here for your viewing pleasure (excuse the formatting, Blogger's block quote feature sucks):

"The mall on Mondays is a hilarious sight, there are mostly
old people
just hanging out, or a bunch of teenagers who obviously can't
figure out
what to
do with their lives, and then there is the
interesting sort.
The sort that
dresses up nicely, and walks
really fast, and pretends they
have a shitload of
things to do, and they
are so busy. I ask you, why
would a person who is
busy be
at the mall for hours on a bloody
Monday?? I guess sometimes
you have to cut yourself some slack and
pretend you are someone else,
it's quite
sad I tells ya"

Ahh the funniest and most accurate quote ever I say!

15 July 2009
To geek or not to geek
The other made a fantastic point regarding generalising vs specialising in a particular field. This is a HATED discussion of mine. I heard it stacks at my previous work. They said in order to get ahead, you had to specialise in a certain field, and in doing so, you would be indispensible. This is not how I fucking operate. I LIKE knowing little bits about everything. If I need specialist knowledge, I'll ask someone else. The thing is, these specialists only know about their field, nothing else. You NEED people who know the stuff about other things, or else management of processes just becomes a massive failure. It's encouraged to a fault these days, and I am not down with it. I'm reminded of an episode of Lizzie McGuire (as I usually am), where she realises that she's not particularly awesome at anything, but she's good at heaps of different things. Of course this is ruined later on when she realises that she's an awesome rhythmic gymnast. However, ignoring that point, I will never specialise, I refuse to be pigeonholed. And therein, I become unique and indispensible and ME!

25 October 2009
Agencies are scum
The other made a note about advertising/net agencies being scum. I had no idea things like this were even occuring! I had a discussion with the other regarding this the other day, and he enlightened me to the goings on in this business, and I was utterly horrified that this was going on!

26 October 2009
Tech companies are mostly capitalist scumbags
Haha without even telling you what the other said, I can bet you'll know what he was on about. And I know you agree with me in supporting the other's view. I hate how these companies take your dollar, deliberately withhold updates until the next model and so on. It's one of my pet hates. This is why I do not have a lot of the new new technology. I really hate that feeling of having something that is rendered obsolete only a few months later by the same bloody manufacturer! Can we just have something converged which has everything, and the only updates are software, and the only occasional hardware update when required?!?!

Ahh so that brings us to a close, and I gotta say, it's been a fantastic ride so far. Wow, that was a long post! I hope you enjoyed it. Anyway, that's it for now folks. Joaquin out, have a nice day!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Technology companies are mostly capitalist scumbags...

There are a few things in this world that to me is just a little annoying. The over capitalization of the technological sphere is one of them. All these companies are out the to make as much money as they can, however they can. Its quite annoying if you ask me. Today, Apple and Adobe are the annoyance factor for me.

Every year, Apple releases new products. First there was the iPhone and now the 3gs and before long there will the next generation. This will happen without a doubt. I bought 2 ipods and an iPhone in the last year. I for one am going to be quite annoyed when the next iPhone come out, as I love the thing, but will have to miss out on that model. Sometimes I wish they would stop making new models daily and instead make one every other year, so that I could at least wait for my contract to run out. But then again Apple will always be Apple. Other than the iPhone, I am not sure why people bother with Apple laptops. For the level of power I expect from my machine, only a macbook pro will suffice. But I can't justify a 3k spend on a computer when I can spend 1/3 of that amount and still get a machine that works just as well. Sure macs look really good but I don't use my computers as an accessory. Maybe thats where the difference is, I look for performance over look. Sure I own an iPhone but there isn't another phone out there that plays music like an iPhone or run as many applications. With Windows 7 out now, which is truly an amazing operating system, I can no longer see any reason to bother to switch to a mac. For a while I considered it but could not see any justifications for one. I can do a lot more things on a PC, just because I've been using one for much longer. If you guys are thinking of switching, try Windows 7 first.

Adobe are the other culprits. Don't get me wrong, I live and breath their products. I probably think they have more merit when it comes to software than Apple, but their development calender is again an annoyance. Firstly their Creative Suites cost so much money. I don't understand why they feel that they must make a new creative suite every year! Why can't update their software for their users for a few years at a time? Why can't they have a membership, where you pay for the product once, and you get updates for the next 5 years. This forking out more money for a new CS is just a money making scheme. So thats what I think of CS5. I'm looking forward to it but it annoys me all at the same time.

In this world where everyones just trying to profit maximize, I am glad that we have a company like Google. I hope they take over the world and provide us with more freeware and opensource development that is actually good! I am happy for them to make money through advertisement. I am indeed waiting for an android phone that has a fantastic music player and then I'd throw away my iPhone as well. Sometimes I wish I lived in the stone age...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Agencies are Scum

As the web has developed, so too have design and web development agencies. These are knowledge industries, and they thrive on information asymitry. They are the specialists and so they mus know how to do the job in the best manner possible. How many times have you heard from a designer that that will not work beacause of some random reason that they make up on the spot? More often than not its 1) an ego issue, or 2) lazyness or unwillingness to do extra work. Over time though as the web has developed, people who grew with it learned how to design and build websites with it. Ok, this is not true for everyone but I for one am one am one. I have also been formally trained in design and have worked in web development. Sure, I have also lost touch with a lot of my programming, as that is not my field of speciality or my field of occupation. But the logic and the know how of how thing work is enough to lay out plans on how a website is to be build, as well as evaluate whether or not something has been build in the way that it should have been. Sorry developers, your lame excuses are not good enough for me.

In the past they could just tell their client that this was the best possible solution and they would have no choice but to but it. Now they can find someone with the skill set to make sure that things work. This will be the demise of the traditional egotistic agencies of the early 2000s. In this decade you will have to prove your worth.

The way agencies work is completely innappropriate for the industry they are in. So much of their work is subjective that they should not be allowed to operate in this manner. What is with the whole concept that they can layout 2 stages of changes for the client? So often designers and developers lack creativity or drive to produce something that works for the client, and eventually the client just has to settle for the best out of the their inferior choices! If the client wants more changes these firms charge top dollar to rectify their own careless mistakes. I almost switched to that industry and to be honest this sorta behavior makes me sick to the stomach. In an agency you are valuable if you can get the most amount of money for the least amount of work.

Bug fixes during a website build is another classic example. Agencies often give the client x number of days to evaluate and log bugs so that the company can fix it. This again is built on information asymitry, as the less mistakes the client can identify, the less work the agency needs to do. Whi care if it could have been done better, the quicker they can signoff, the more money they make. This sorta behavior should take you straight to hell if there is such a place. Quality is no longer what agencies give.

I think for most small to medium sized organizations, they might be better of not working with agencies. For design, they should hire in house designers and a simple cost benefit analysis will prove that in the long run its cost benefitial. Just have to remember to hire more than one with different schools of design, so that you get a variety of ideas. For web development, they should hire 2 developers on a year contract, to sit and build a website with them. This will ensure that what is being built actually work for the organization and immidiate feedback is generated. This would also mean that 100% of their time is devoted to this one project and they will take interest and innitiative to make the best website possible.

I for one am sick of hearing the run of the mill excuses that I get on a regular basis from designers or developers. I'm not buying it, you'll have to please this one unfortunately!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Whore in the house

I still don't feel like posting the second part of the blog intro/retrospective. However, I have taken today and Monday off work, so I have a 4 day weekend. On that basis, I will attempt to post that sometime over the next few days.

I thought I should also explain the point of my "got to put it up for the westside westside" statement before dem gangstas be shootin' me yo'. Hahha well in high school music, we had a drum kit in the room, unfortunately, only 3 people could play the drums so it was not used often. One guy used to warm up with some nice hip hop beat, just the snare, bass drum and high hat and he just started adlibbing the line "gotta put it up for the westside, westside" and it just sounded spectacular! Ahhh how I wish I could go back now that I'm a genius at guitar, and I'm capable of playing the drums too!

In an interesting turn of events, I tried to log in to blogger a little while ago and I kept getting error messages. A meltdown I say! Haha it's ok, they were probably having some site maintenance or something. I've never had a log in error here before, so I just thought it was weird.

On Mythbusters during season one, Adam and Jamie set about proving whether the Brown note was true or not. For those not in the know, the brown note is a frequency where, if aimed at someone, will cause them to empty their bowels. They found that it was a myth. However, I think the experiment they used was flawed. Adam was outside, with speakers aimed at him. There was plenty of space for the noise to escape. For those of you who have played guitar, you might have had an experience where you've hit a note and your insides just shake. I think it is due to the sound actually resonating against your body, with no room for the soundwaves to escape. It's like being in a club where the bass is making your chest cavity bounce.

I finally got around to finishing Call Of Duty World At War! It sucked royally. It was nowhere near as good as modern warfare. However the Nazi Zombie game at the end is quite novel and I think it's easily the best part of the game. My best so far is 79 kills with 14 headshots. I don't know what it is, but in these World War 2 games, I always prefer the rifles to machine guns. I just love the accuracy and control of the rifles, just makes it so much easier to blast mofos, cept in an ambush when you're being rushed, but that just means you can sprint around and bust the melee. Compared to Medal Of Honor: Pacific Assault, and even Call Of Duty 2, it's just not happening in terms of fun. MoH PA was just epic. It felt like I was actually there! When the other was here and we were first playing it, we were shouting, scared, and getting really involved in the story. Some fantastic shooting took place, with snipers in trees being taken out by our low powered rifles (a lot of the time on the run). Then COD2 had the intro right out of Enemy At The Gates, with you getting ammo, and someone else getting a gun, and it was just truly insane!

The other made a comment the other day that he thought the Rolling Stones were the best, and the Beatles were overrated. I 100% agree with that. Rolling Stones were just absolutely amazing, and so far ahead of their time. However that train of thought is probably blasphemy in the wider community, but I'll be damned if I can't voice my opinion!

At the other's last week, we played Assassin's Creed and Uncharted (both of which were bloody amazing)!! The other loved Uncharted so much, he even bought Uncharted 2 the day after it was out (even though he'd just bought Brutal Legend). I believe he's been getting all up in that. I'm probably seeing the other tomorrow, to write some more songs and have a jolly good time.

As I mentioned in my last post, the JRL will be updated with the blog intro/retrospective...whenever that will be.

I did mention previously that I would engage in a debate on blondes v. brunettes. I think now is the time to get into it!

So for as long as I can remember, I've always liked brunettes. In fact I've sort of detested blondes. I don't know why this is or what brought it on. This is in stark contrast to the (perceived) majority of males who prefer blonde girls. I don't know why that is either! In fact my distate was to such a point that I did not find any blonde girl even remotely attractive for a long time.

So what's the deal? I guess from some community stereotypes, you will find that blonde girls are characterised as airy, dumb, suggestable, and fun loving. Brunettes? I don't even know what they're characterised as. But it could be safe to assume it's the opposite. These days I am finding myself opening up to find some blonde girls attractive! I've heard arguments that boys start to develop the love of blondes from a young age due to the very nature of blonde hair - being bright and shiny, things that attract young children. I didn't know what to think of that, until I saw my nephew watching Joss Stone on tv like a slack jawed yokel. He hasn't done that with other girls before, so there may be some truth to it.

In my experience, I tend to engage with brunettes more, and found that SOME of the stereotypes I mentioned above were totally applicable to the blondes I knew. However, that was probably down to an individual basis, not just the colour of their hair! The point I guess is that while we're probably ruled by our proclivities and histories, some of which are unexplainable, you probably shouldn't leave your entire life to chance just because of some bad experiences. In this particular example, hair colour has nothing to do with individuality. I will prefer to decide my women on a woman by woman basis thank you very much! Haha!

Anyway, that's it for now folks! Till I can post again, have a nice day! Joaquin out.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pray tell!

Yes I know I still have to complete the blog intro/retrospective, and I will get around to it soon. I have actually finished my review, but I just haven't bothered putting them up. Don't worry, they will be soon.

Just thought I'd blog about other stuff for now. I saw the other this weekend and last weekend, and had an absolute blast. Saw a good play, watched some movies and played some games. But most importantly we played guitar! We jammed long and we jammed well! Awesome ideas springing up all over the place, strange chords suddenly made sense with a well thought out riff between them. Both of us taking improvised solos, it was magic. I remember when we were playing guitar near the start and we both were struggling to get the whole point of the first position of the Minor Pentatonic scale. Hahaha, needless to say, those days are long behind us.

Got to give props to the other for having me over 2 weekends in a row, for many many hours. The other has also said that he aims to blog in the near future! So please await his return to these pages.

I didn't think it would happen, but here it is! The Joaquin Rate List is going to have more updates shortly, so be on the lookout for that one. I also aim to engage in a discussion regarding blondes vs brunettes! Maybe we can settle the age old debate! Hahaha, should be grand.

My grandmother has arrived on her annual visit. You know she married at like 18, had no formal education past 16, and she's a millionaire? Despite the lack of education, she's very sharp (I think sharper than my parents), and she can actually understand contexts, and knows when people are being sarcastic. She tells it like it is, and seems to be the only one in my family with any form of common sense. The other is right, you don't know how long you have with these people, so you should try to pick their brain as much as possible, cause they have probably had one hell of a life.

I was babysitting my niece and nephew for several days last week, and the point hit me about after school care. I used to go when I was in kindergarten, through to about year three or four. I hated it. Yes there were other kids there, but I always felt like I was abandoned. I don't know when or why I stopped, but the parents made the decision for me to become a latchkey kid. Sure, my parents weren't home when I got home, but all that meant was that I watched afternoon tv till they got home. I enjoyed this a lot more. It also helped my parents come to the conclusion that I could be left home alone, so they could go interstate with my other siblings and stuff, or that everyone could leave me home by myself since the age of 10, and I was cool with that. Independence is a wonderful thing.

Anyway, that's it for this post, have a nice day folks!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Got to put it up for the West side, West side!

So I've finally done it, the most comprehensive blog intro/retrospective ever! I've read all 500+ posts on here from me, the other, and the others. It was an excellent way to rediscover the love of this blog. I will post about the talking points from the others posts another time. I thought I could do with a breather before I get on to that stuff.

I finally got to catch up with the other for some gameage, guitarage and some installage (which seems to always be the case when I'm with the other)! But it's all good. A good time was had, and we managed to get some really great music ideas down! I am able to pursue this with a renewed vigour now! Although Brazil is 20 times worse in Fifa '10 than they were in Fifa 2004. That's alright, cause Manchester United still got me home (barely), even with 6 superstars on the bench (WTF)! The other also mowed down Wayne Rooney, so with my best striker off, I was thankfully saved by Patrick Viera and the nicest cross kick and curve I've seen in a while.

The other also put together a crazy concoction of soda water and red cordial, which tasted a lot like Creaming Soda but without the edge, and it was interestingly refreshing! I will be off interstate for work for a lil bit but I shall be back shortly.

Moving back home (well to THIS house) was a big mistake. Yes I'm saving money, but living with my parents and their insanity is not doing wonders for my mental health. If you see Joaquin on the news for finally losing it, you'll realise why! But that should be ok, cause with the money being saved, I edge closer and closer to having my own freakin' house! Ahhh that will be good. Yes, I do have a few blognotes saved, and an update to the Joaquin Rate List (JRL) to come. But I will post about that after my final addition to the blog retro/introspective. But that's it for now. I have to be up early, so Joaquin out! Have a nice day folks.