Saturday, April 21, 2012

2012 - 21


Seriously, has the world completely forgotten the expression, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'?

Blogger, which I have generally struggled with for the last five years or so has had a radical makeover, designed according to the video I had to watch (not because it was required, but because I didn't fucking understand the new layout) for an easier blogging experience. The 'new' look template I'm typing on is vile, dull and ugly. The problem is Wordpress isn't much better...

For years, and not just from me, there has been heaps of disdain poured on Facebook because of the 'improvements' it wheels out, because Zuckerberg and his band of autistic machine code monkeys follow the 21st century ideal of 'If it ain't broke, fix it so that it pisses off anybody over the age of 21, because it's the kids who will inherit the earth and they follow us like lambs to the slaughter', which is an unwieldy edict, but in the brain of this 50 year old totally accurate.

It seems that if you are one of those people threatening a boycott of Facebook, if it's new Timeline is forced upon you, you'd better start worrying. I heard today that while the intended plan was to 'upgrade' everyone to the new thing by the end of April, there has been the highest number of objections ever delivered to Facebook and not through pointless pages like I Hate Timeline or Boycott Facebook Timeline, but because the people who pay Facebook's wages have expressed real concerns.

A couple of years ago, on a blog that was circulated all over Facebook, some realistic person spelled out the futility of trying to object to Zuckerberg's changes, with the bottom line essentially being: you get it for free, live with it. However, it seems that intelligent (and stupid) Facebook users have realised that complaining directly to Facebook is a bit like King Canute holding back the tide - there is no discussion, it stops for no man or king. But, if they complain to the people who provide the games and the applications, a shudder of fear grips developers, because they know how transient their products are. Three years ago Social City was one of the hottest games on Facebook, only Farmville was more popular. Last year Social City was closed down, partly due to the fact it was as boring as sleeping and because it was growing increasingly difficult to do anything with it without either trying to add more 'friends' or spending your own money. Farmville has also disappeared off the radar and the general feeling is a good app has a two year life.

Recently a number of Facebook's biggest game suppliers - Zinga, PopCap and a few others have attempted to do Facebook's bidding and get players of their games to agree to new terms and conditions, which will automatically upgrade you to Timeline. The tumultuous reaction from users was the bomb the Facebook sites for these companies and their games and complain bitterly and almost all of them said they would stop playing games rather than be forced to use Timeline. Suddenly notices from the big guns appeared saying that people would not have to upgrade to Timeline to continue using their products. I don't know how long this delay will last, but it didn't take long for US television to realise that its advertisers were their real bosses - not the execs or the viewers - and they have been pandering to them ever since. Facebook will probably look for ways of getting round it, but at the moment there is a remission.

But that small victory is nothing really; things get 'upgraded' all the time, whether we like them or not. Do you know what fills me with dread more than anything else when I'm in a supermarket? The label on something I regularly buy that states - New & Improved. I can't recall a single time when this has actually been anything like an improvement. It's like advertisers and companies think that if they tell you it's better then you won't be so keen to actually spit it out and say it's horrible.

Anyhow, moving on...


Yes, I turned 50 and it has been a thoroughly excellent week, where the high points have been so good any low points have been breezed over. It culminated last night with a splendid evening at the Queen Adelaide with an assortment of best friends and family. The problem was I was already feeling under the weather.

Thursday was a great day; I had some excellent kids with me all day, walked around feeling 20 again rather than 50, with a spring in my step and my head held high, but by the middle of the afternoon I had two sneezing and coughing fits, which crept up on me without any warning. The second one caused a switch to come on in the back of my positronic brain which started screaming COLD at me and not cold as in temperature.

What is it with the human condition? On Tuesday morning, getting ready for another term, I finally declared my cough gone (you know, the one I've intermittently whinged about since December) and that I could look forward to the next few months without needing an inhaler and a bucket of cough remedies. So, what did I go and do? I went and caught a cold.

Friday was okay; I was pretty sure I'd succumbed to a cold because I had a tickly cough, my snot had gone bright green and I could feel it scratching away at the wall of resistance. By the time I got home my voice was going, but I soldiered on despite knowing that the pints I'd promised myself wouldn't help matters.

This morning I woke up to a wall of luminescent phlegm, a thick head from a mixture of beer and cold and feeling like shit. While the snot stays green I'm happy; because it really is yellow phlegm you need to worry about, yellow runny phlegm tends to mean infection and that's the last thing I want after December/January; but I do work in a Petri dish of disease and eventually I will have the immune system of a lobster.

But, it's still a cold and I'm fucked off with it already...

Back to Reality

Despite feeling awful, I have at least three things I really need to do today - go shopping, sort out the planting of my beetroot and finish my new temp veg plot to sow some spinach and try to put a deterrent against cat shit and slugs down. With all the rain we've had the slugs have been partying like the skies are full of E and I'm too old to go hunting round the garden with a bedside lamp, extension lead and a carving knife, dispatching them with barbaric abandon. Maybe I'll go into some detail about that one at another time.

I've been listening to the Secret Machines a lot over the last week; suddenly got an urge to dip back into their big beats and lyrically strange rock music. It reminded me that it was one of those odd times when you discover something quite by accident. I was round the Hippie's house and he had one of the music channels on, it was playing this: and I was so impressed I ended up buying the entire back catalogue. I might never have found this band had I not just dropped in on an old friend because I was passing. Odd how shit like that happens.


  • As I said, I have been listening to the Secret Machines, Philip Glass and not much else since the last stuff.
  • Did I tell you I have a cold?
  • I have a netbook, but I haven't done anything but look at it.
  • I have to go shopping, so there might be more later on this weekend - bet you can't wait!


  1. Phill, you can go back to the old Blogger setup! I had the same problem yesterday but found that if you go to your Blogger Home there should be a cog thingie on the right hand side next to the language options(English (UK)),which opens onto a drop down menu which includes the option to go back to 'Old Blogger interface' That should take you back to the less crap version.

  2. It's true! With great joy, I've just gone back to the old, usable style!

    And beetroot, incidentally, is evil in solid form.

  3. Yes and I'm using the old interface; however, according to blogger it won't be available after the 30th :(