Meeting an Enigma

28 02 2011

Today I met @I_Enigma from twitter in “Real Life” (Hate that term).

We met at a cafe in Seddon, called Le Chein (The Dog), which was appropriate because I had Katie with me.

It was just a little bit wet and although we had cover, I was copping a little bit of fine rain, but it wasn’t enough to put me off.

Now I won’t use her real name because I don’t have approval to do that, so Ms Enigma and I sat and chatted about country life, (She comes from Marysville) and
food and just general stuff, and of course Katie, Who approved of Ms Enigma quite a lot.

To be honest, I didn’t feel hungry, and decided to just have a coffee and not have food with it, I’m a night owl, and I’d only had breakfast a mere two hours earlier.

Ms Enigma decided to have a poached chicken salad, which did look great… So after seeing hers, I ordered one too.

Katie naturally had a few bits of chicken.

After we’d had lunch we walked to the corner and started a chat with the woman who runs Diamond Dog, a secondhand shop which the Hipsters seem to love, and we chatted about dogs and their habits, and Katie, of course.

She had an old powder blue typewiter inside, the “portable” type, so if anyone is looking for a typewriter, there is one there, just looking for someone to love it.

Then I bought a Marysville Cookbook, which were put together to raise money to restore Marysville after those terrible fires we had in Victoria, I had been considering getting one for a while, but this gave me more of a reason, it’s not everyday that you get to meet the author.

And though there was drizzle, we decided to walk to the local nursery, and while Ms Enigma liked the idea of plants and herbs, she told me that she couldn’t have them because of all the rabbits around her area, My sympathies, I have the same problem with snails, they won’t touch my feral lawn, but they love any special plant which tries and often fails to grow… baby sunflowers get gnawed to the soil at any sign of rain, I’ve given up.

Anyway, it was a nice change, I enjoyed my day, and so did Katie, Who is flat out asleep now.

Ms Enigma is another user of the internet who I’ve met and liked spending some of my time with, I can honestly say that I haven’t met anyone online who didn’t turn out to be nice in “Real Life”.

Maybe I’m just a good judge of character?


If you’d like more info on the Marysville Cookbook, you can read about it here.

ps- Why do I hate the term “Real Life”? Because the internet is “Real Life” too, it’s not a fantasy land, it’s just an overblown version of the phone system. and I can prove it’s real life too… E-mail your boss and tell him/her where they can jam it, then turn up for work and see how far you get.

On being caught short.

27 02 2011

I took Katie for a walk today, and we wended our way at an easy pace to the creek, which has a lovely big park around it, including small patches of forest, sort of, just thin stands of trees and bushes really, but it looks very nice anyway.

The park is a fair hike from where I live, this is important to keep in mind as the story progresses.

Anyway, we were almost ready to leave, when I got the first “twinge”, I thought I’d have to “Go”, and began to wonder if I could hold on till I got home.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…

Eyeballs beginning to float. I started our walk home.

Now I began to think about Coles, which wasn’t far away, certainly a lot closer than home was, It would be easy to go there, lug Katie in with me, relieve myself and be on my way, feeling a lot lighter and happier.

So off we went, down the road, past the Baptist Church (Pray for me, ok?), Holding it in, getting closer, through the car park, up to Coles and….

The Toilets were locked and bolted shut, How could they? These toilets have never been locked before, why now?

I was in serious trouble, the time I had spent coming here could have gone towards getting home, how dare they close the public toilets, couldn’t they at least offer a commode, or a goes-under?

I was desperate.

I stood outside of Coles just staring at the gate, with Katie panting beside me.
A Mum with three little girls came up behind me and wanted a cuddle of a certain big doggie, I was polite and let the girls have a pat, but now was not the time or place.

We walked back.

There was no way I was going to make it home, I was going to explode, I walked back past the Baptist Church, considering asking if I could use theirs, they could convert me, anything they liked, as long as I could meet their pretty potty.

My insticts kicked in, this was a dire emergency… I had to go in the trees at the park,
it was that or wet myself in public, the choices weren’t good.

As I waddled back to the park, I found a plastic drink cup, and grabbed it, then hiked back to the forest with a big dog who wanted to stop and sniff the grass along the way.

Malamutes are supposed to pull, but most of the time I pull her along.

Finally I found a nice set of bushes where I could have some privacy, and used the cup, sweet blessed relief.

I’m a very private person, I won’t use the urinal in the men’s dunny because I have what they term a “shy bladder”, which probably stems from the activities of bullies at high-school, so I always go in a cubicle where I can be private and lock myself in.

So this was not my area.

I watch Katie sit and pee wherever she likes, without social pressures, it’s even expected in her species.

Another reason I’m not coming back as a human next time around.


Waiting at the bus stop

26 02 2011

I’m just going to write.

For the most part I do ok, I bury myself in the internet, which I’m good at, but I do it because I’m very sad inside, and I’m continually on the search for an escape route.

I use the bus stop as a metaphor, the bus comes, people get on, and they change or they vanish, they move into a new home, or get some new exciting job, or fall in love, or die.

I never get on the bus, it comes and goes with regularity, I want to go, so badly.

When I had the cancer, I got my ticket, it wsn’t the best ticket I could have had, but at least it was a ticket… and I gave it up.

And often I ask myself why.

Having survived, which I did for Mum and Myself, but mostly for her… It was one year later that I lost her anyway, Mum and I got on so well, and being without her breaks my heart.

I did give Katie a life, without me, all she would have got was the needle, she’s had six years more, and that is something I don’t regret.

I have lost a part of my hearing, I loved music, and since this accident I have been quite depressed… music no longer tickles my ears, I have memories of music that I loved, but I mostly enjoy it in my head, sound is not nice anymore.

And now, if you’ll permit, the strange bit.

You see, this “furry” thing is quite serious with me, I took a survey on this recently and one question was “Do you feel like an animal trapped in a human body” Well yes, yes I do.

And this my friends is not somehing I felt after seeing some “weirdo” talk about their odd furry companions… this is how some people feel anyway.

I was feeling like this as far back as the 80’s, and we didn’t have internet then.

I’d like to fall in love, I would *love* to fall in love, but you understand… there’s nobody, there’s just me.

It’s like the earth coughed out another species and that was me, and there’s nobody else.

I don’t do relationships because I feel so awkward because of this, I so so desperately want to be loved, but there’s this, here, and I don’t know what to do with it.

It’s not like I see someone about it in an effort to be cured, unless homosexuals can be cured, unless transexuals can be cured.

And understand that this is not about my sexuality, this bit, it’s about my inner-being, the part which is more ME than anything else.

My heart goes out to the Gay community and so forth, because I know how it aches,
but… I don’t know how to deal with it.

What am I? Where do I fit in? Why am I stuck here like this?

The pain I have inside is just dreadful, I often feel I’m not wanted, I really try so hard to be wanted.

I want Mum and Dad back, I can’t tell you how much I miss them.

When someone gets on the bus, sometimes I’m happy for them, other times, when things go wrong, it’s awful.

Sometimes I’m just a tiny bit envious.

I’m a little scared of writing this, this is about me, not you, I know some of you are hurting too… I was once in a chat room, many years ago, talking to someone who was depressed, in much the same way I am now… the next day I found they had taken their life.

So don’t take this on board if you’re sad, I’m just having a downer, tomorrow life will go on as usual and I’ll be here.



24 02 2011

As you know, I like to try out new social networks, and then report back and let people know how I felt… was it worth trying, was it not, and why.

Well I was just asked to try DList, which is a chat thing for gay fellas, a bit like Grindr on iPhone.

Now, I’m not into relationships, so there wasn’t much point, to join either, but the GPS component in Grindr is certainly an interesting concept.

For those unaware, when you log into Grindr, your iPhone screen fills with profile pictures/avatars of various gay men who you can chat with… but because of the GPS feature, all these guys are within walking distance… so the idea is that if you fancy someone, then you can perhaps go out for coffee or whatever that evening.

I decided to try DList, and it’s a worry.

The first thing they hit you with is a screen which begs you to try their premium account, which, get this, includes the ability to block idiots.

So basically signing up for the free account is you saying “Yes!, Spam my Arse off please”.

Then the popups started, allegedly someone trying to chat, the popup said “do you want to chat with this person” and I hit no, two seconds later it appeared again, I hit NO, then again, and again, and again and again…

I then searched for button to cancel my account, there wasn’t one, but there was a “suspend my account”, and a claim that if not re-activated, the account will be cancelled in 90 days, which I feel is a bit suss, but anyway.

I hit suspend and ran.

DList…. Avoid.


Twitter on the Quake

22 02 2011

I’ve written this guide for those of you who are very new to the internet, have heard that there’s news coming through on Twitter, and would like to use the service.

This guide is very easy to follow and will get you set up as quickly as possible.

Now there are links, but be careful not to navigate away from this page, hopefully a tab will open in your browser which will keep this page open for you.

Firstly, sign up on Twitter, You will need to create a user name, you may be prompted to try several as yours may already be taken, a good idea is to use your first and last name like this “Sam_Green”.

If it’s taken, just vary it a bit until it works.

Follow the prompts and fill out the rest, profile and picture are not required at this time, do that later.

Once you have an account, write down your user name and password.

Now download Tweetdeck

Scroll the page down and click where it says “Desktop”, download Tweetdeck for your computer, and set it up.

Once it starts, you will be prompted for your Twitter account name and password, fill that in and continue.

Tweetdeck should start. (If there is a problem, let me know in the comments section below)

At the top left of the Tweetdeck screen is the name “Tweetdeck” to the right of that is a yellow icon, you use this to open a chat box where you can type in messages.

The next icon is a grey circle with a “+” in it, hit that now.

A box will open.

In the white space, type #eqnz and hit Search.

The box will close, and you will see messages, very rapidly, coming down the screen,

Don’t be put off by this!

There will be hundreds, as you can imagine a lot of people will be talking about the quake, this is usual in an emergency.

I will also explain how to find and follow news people who will give accurate reports of what is happening, this will open a much slower feed, which is easier to follow.

If you notice a news service who you trust as you watch the #eqnz list progress, put your mouse over their icon (quickly), and you’ll notice it divides into four, press the lower right of that persons icon.

A small box with Tweet and User will appear, choose User, and you will see “Follow”.
that person has now been added to your follow list.

You can also follow the people in the list below, all of them are well worth your time.
Simply click on the links below to go to their twitter home page, and hit the follow
button, You’ll begin seeing them show up in Tweetdeck when you go back to that.

@3AW693 – Melbourne Radio Station
@nova937 – Radio Station
@1233Newcastle ABC
@612Brisbane ABC
@702Sydney ABC
@carolduncan of 1233Newcastle ABC
@Tzarimas (Helen Tzarimas, Reporter)
@I_Enigma (Friend who gets news out)
@seacorro ABC Reporter

@wolfcat Ex-ABC
@SafeInChch A twitter account set up for those with friends & family in Christchurch to check in.
@NZCivilDefence (US Readers note the genuine UK Spelling)

Also, @Kate_Doak has also supplied a list of people worth following.

Tweetdeck is also available for other devices such as iPhone or Android.

If you find any errors, please let me know, I hope this has been useful.

All my best wishes to you.

Wolfie! @Wolfie_Rankin on Twitter

Also, ABC News 24 has been unlocked for global viewing:

Fuji Finepix Real 3D

21 02 2011

Fuji Finepix Real 3D

I’ve been wanting a digital version of my much-loved film 3D camera for ages.

For those who don’t know, I’m not new to 3D. I’ve used an old, and rather weighty, 3D camera, which used 35mm slide film.

The Camera was a reconditioned Realist, from the 50’s, which I bought from a bloke whose hobby and business was to find old 3D cameras, repair and sell them to enthusiasts… The camera cost a little over $200, but was a great investment.

With that, I soon learnt that 3D was much more than a mere gimmick, I soon had absolutely beautiful photos of my family.

Yet, it was a bit of a pain, because I had to have film developed, and then cut it myself to add into special 3D slide mounts, two slides side by side, one for each eye.

This was tricky and took a while to do, it was also easy to ruin a particularly good photo while cutting up the slide reel.

Fuji offers this tantalising little camera, which I’ve been sorely tempted to run out and buy… but I have just read a review which mentioned that although the 3D is fairly good, the image quality of it’s photos is less than impressive… if I’m going to spend a lot of money on a new camera, then picture quality is a big concern.

There’s a bit of “I really really want this” mixed in with “but but but” which is rather depressing.

Now why I’m writing, I would like to dream a bit, and tell you what I think a perfect pocket camera should have.

Firstly, if you have a big screen on the back, why not have a camera which is both camera and PDA?

Because I think the time of having fixed, and limiting, built-in programs is over.

If the camera had wi-fi, and we could download new apps similar to Pano, Autostitch or the very popular Histamatic, well, wouldn’t that be cool?

The option of downloading camera apps would be very appealing to the buyer, many who are already used to downloading new apps to their phones.

I think all cameras should have wi-fi capability as standard, the ability to send your photos directly to anyone in the world, or upload them to Flickr or Facebook would be great.

What about a 3D photo site similar to Flickr, where photos can be browsed and enjoyed by everyone, directly on the back of the camera.

As soon as a proper 3D pocket camera comes out which presses all my buttons, trust me, I’ll be shelling out for it… and I hope it’s soon.


Review by Gadgetguy

That dream.

20 02 2011

Mum was in bed, it was daylight, and she had the sheets pulled up close around her head, like she was almost hiding, only her face was showing

she looked depressed, her eyes were closed

I asked her “What’s wrong Mum?”

She replied “You don’t love me anymore”

And apart from me trying to counter her suggestion, and her not budging from her case, that was it.

It left me feeling somewhat disturbed all day.