Saturday, 20 October 2012

Another personal detox blog with NHS

The NHS is the free British National Health Service.

After my recent totally erratic behaviour I decided to do a detox (again, again, etc.) and that involved not being able to sleep for three days and becoming quite paranoid as a result.

I'm partially sighted and, suddenly sober, I became aware that my vision is rubbish and that my eye hurts quite often. The paranoia and this revelation convinced me my eyesight was in imminent danger so I found myself in A&E quite scared about my eyesight.

There was an articulate Octogenarian patient in A&E talking about the NHS - "Look one Doctor for NHS and one for private patients - look how long we've waited."

"This country is only for the rich now, always has been."

I managed to get myself rushed through the A&E line quite quickly because of my medical history and then seen at the eye clinic where I'm normally a patient - I've been removed from the list because my cataract is slow forming so I haven't had examination in many months, I think over the years I've become psychologically dependent on them.

I've been lobbying for an eye appointment since my last detox approximately 4 weeks ago. This also must have caused a revelation / paranoia about my eyesight.

At the eye clinic I was seen absolutely last but I didn't care - everything was fine. I talked to them about my detox and how I might be being paranoid and when the results came I apologised for wasting their time (they actually stayed late for me) and they were so nice about it. They showed me my scans explained the pictures - optic nerve connection etc. and said everything was perfect.

I had waited ages but I'd found mental peace just by standing in the rain.

The Doctor said that any time I had concerns I should contact my regular Doctor and ask for a referral if I felt I needed a test. I couldn't believe how nice they were.

They were really urging me to quit smoking, because it can kill your eyes and I promised them and myself I would once the alcohol quit had properly taken hold.

I was watching the film A Beautiful Mind where the mathematician is haunted by spectres of an imaginary friend, his niece and a top spook which causes him to take on all sorts of erratic behaviours thinking they're part of a mission.

It strikes me that alcoholism is in some cases is often of a similar order. It's an illusion - an imaginary spook urging you to complete your mission to consume alcohol, to organise your life around your mission to that extent that your life and your mission are woven into one dysfunctional whole.

This stage of a detox I could call the "Reality shock stage".

I can't cope with complex social situations and as a result I resort to alcohol. Or I create complex situation through alcohol I can't cope with so drink some more alcohol - or I drink because I'm bored and it goes mad - who frikkin knows why?

Anyhow somehow reality is getting realigned.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Science and the bogey eaters

Lately there's been some pretty large talk about the Higgs Bozon and the fundamental building blocks of matter and on the tip of every bogey eater's tongue is the question "How does this effect "the booger?"

Well. munchers everywhere, not very much!

As nibblers of snot, addicts of the big green monkey, we need not dwell on such triviality as the building blocks of the noseyverse - there is a nose and therefore there are pickers.

Does the Higgs Bozon particle represent the fingerprints of God? Personally, I don't believe in a God that needs fingers or else, brothers, why would we pick our noses so? It's an act of faith!

Lukacs said that matter was a limit idea of capitalism but who amongst us hasn't moonlighted at McDonalds and maybe wiggled our nostril finger at the food (just a little bit) - so it turns out that there's a little molusk, vaguely bogey shaped, at the back of bogey's and burgers alike.

Leibniz postulated the existence of monads in his book The Good, The Bad, The Bogeys and The monads" but these monads proved that life was a bunch of ideas and dirty white vans, train stations, girls and the bounty of the nose (including hairs) were merely a figment of our imagination and nothing better than Vera would stick behind the sofa on a slow day.

So, I say to you, brothers and pickers, let us continue unperturbed by the wider questions of metaphysics, bogeys are still bogeys - deal with it Johnny Handkerchief!

There will be a bogey eater singles night at the usual venue BYOB (Bring Your Own Bogeys)

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Santoka haiku

Today again
no letters.
Only butterflies.

At last!
The mail's arrived.
Soon ripe fruit will fall.

The leaves fall.
From now on
water will taste better and better.

A little woozy,
leaves fall one by one.

My begging-bowl
accepts the falling leaves.

Hailstones also
drop into my begging-bowl.

If I sell my rags
and buy some alcohol -
will there still be loneliness ?

Twilight - the sound
of a sad letter
dropping into a postbox.

I walk amongst tombstones.

Slowly, slowly
falling apart:
my final autumn.

I've become a real beggar now:
one towel.

The few flies that remain
find me familiar.

Pissing blood -
how long will I be able
to carry on ?

Coughing, coughing -
and nobody to slap my back.

No money, no possessions,
no teeth -
all alone.

I go in I go in still blue mountains
Fluttering drunk leaves scatter

My heart's exhausted -
the mountains, the sea
are too beautiful.

Mountains I'll never see again
fade in the distance.

When I die:
falling rain.

Some life remains:
I scratch my belly....

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Enhanced Twitter (Security)

Disclaimer: I'm not claiming expertise on twitter or security but these ideas may help. This is aimed primarily at windows users but also applies to twitter users in general and may help users of other social media.

If you use linux you probably already know a lot more than me.

If you have even the remotest inkling that your computer has been hacked the first thing you should do is download an anti-malware tool, for example the free malwarebytes, then run a full system scan. This may take some time - think a trip to the shops for ingredients and then a homemade cake and pizza time. There's no point in proceeding to further steps until this stage is done. You shouldn't be online or physically connected to the internet during this process.

Any credible virus will have disabled your windows firewall and automatic updates go to your control panel (security center) and fix this, everything should be on. It never hurts to reboot.

You should go back online now.

After your reboot go back to your control panel security center and verify that your automatic updates are still on. If they are not type "fix automatic updates for windows" into your favorite search engine and fix this.

After you reboot go back to your control panel security center and verify that everything is still on.

Assuming they are then it's time to consider your firewall - free windows firewalls review. Install the firewall you've chosen successfully. Again, you should probably reboot and check that everything is fine via security center at this point.

With any luck, your computer is now more secure than it formally was.

At this point you might well want to visit and instal their free filtering software - this, I have found has forewarned me of various twitter attacks before they've actually happened and alerted me that others I trust have had their accounts compromised.

You may find - with the better coded twitter hacks - your friends / followed send you direct messages that direct you to hack sites because their accounts have been compromised (more on this later).

Although firefox with its constant updates may seem like a string vest (pest) to the average user imagine how much trouble it presents for a black hat hacker or an apps coder and think yourself lucky.

An aside, you can also impress your friends by selecting from among the firefox themes and changing the appearance of your browser more often than the average "hacker" changes their underwear. There is even an extension which does this automatically for you based on your choices (personas rotator).

Having a sexy browser is not your immediate problem.

Many twitter abusers seem to gain your trust by following you - if you are sensible you will check their timelines before you follow back - maybe you think, "they appear entirely innocent, give a newbert a boost" and follow back then they (or a malware twitter app hijacking their account) sends you to a place which is not what it purports to be and attacks your computer.

With firefox installed you can now take some added precautions to ensure this type of skullduggery shouldn't happen again. I have tried and tested various methods but what seems to be most convenient is downloading the long url please extension for firefox - this will prompt you to reboot firefox and you should (not your whole computer).

Upon returning to twitter and loading a page, mousing over a tiny url, you should see something like this:

long url please twitter So, you no longer get fooled by fake links - (none of the example links, in the image, are fake but 100% genuine).

In most cases on twitter you will find none of the above steps were necessary (but they can't hurt) and you simply go to your profile name in the top right hand corner of your twitter page, click settings, then applications, remove untrusted applications from your list, change password, log out, delete cookies and everything should be fine.

Always search on an app before allowing it access to your twitter, or any other, account.

Retrieve the data from your machine, while it works, back it up and then proceed.

addthis This is my favorite firefox app to date - installing this will allow you to add shortened links to social media posts and allow you to share shortened links to maximum effect - hopefully these will be beneficial to users of your favorite media.

Personally I think linux represents a cheaper and more secure alternative to windows but that is a blog beyond my expertise.

Further Reading: Tor - you might also consider running tor with a seperate browser, e.g. google chrome, for added security though this has limitations on certain media - i.e., youtube.

Corrections / suggestions should be addressed to @AlexandrCox on twitter or posted below.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Analogical building dream

Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings - always darker, emptier and simpler. Nietzsche

orchid, smashed window and travel sign I was ill with flu and cold sweats so didn't really leave my bed for about 24 hours. I had various bits of delirium in semi-awake states. I also experienced what I refer to as a "building dream" - haven't had one of these in a fairly long while.

I wanted to be alone and to study so I headed into what I thought was a derelict building.

I wondered around dark passages in a labyrinthine bunker for what seemed like some time before coming to a door marked "IV". I opened the door and decided this windowless room would be ideal for my purposes, it had electrics, running water and a huge table to work at.

I magically installed my bed and computer - they winked into existence.

I had loads of papers and folders around me and was sat down to work but was disturbed by the bleep of a type of police radio. Two women came in, one in uniform and the other not, she just looking like a professional. They saw my bed, me, my computer and the one in charge said, "I think we can turn a blind eye to that."

At this stage I began to wonder exactly where I was so went for an explore - it had turned daylight by now and the place had come to life. There were convicts and staff everywhere. I was stopped, queried and replied, "I'm a civilian". Some of the convicts had a fight but nobody really stopped them.

There were signs of industry everywhere and in the near distance I could see the vast prison being expanded still further. I wanted to leave and kept coming to station after rail station, all named for obscure little English towns I'd heard of but had never been.

I finally reached a station with unattended barriers that I thought I could escape from. I was carrying my paper work in files but I kept on dropping it in the mud. I realised I'd left my computer behind and it probably wouldn't be safe in a prison - I kept reaching more and more prison building sites but was completely separated from my computer and my new base.

This is what my sub-conscious mind seemed to construct as it interpreted my reality on this given day. This is my desire to be left to try to work in peace so I can make myself free and my increasing disengagement from the world around me, my perception of it.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Terrorism and bunnies

Traveling on the train the other day the driver seemed to announce - "in the interests of passenger safety passengers are adivsed to check the rabbits posted about the train."

Of course, he was talking about notices but transport speak is only one step away from a private language I think.

baby lab rabbits Since then I have been haunted by memories of travel and the possibility of a new form of terrorism - terror by bunny. Instead of using complicated explosives and firearms, such terrorism would consist of individuals - possibly dressed in bunny suits, possibly not - leaving bunnies, lots of bunnies, in strategically important locations.

As well as the intended psychological disruption of the dominant paradigm, releasing bunnies in urban areas would possibly cause what the military refers to as "collateral damage".

Even though there was no intent to harm either humans or bunnies, wishing only to draw attention to a just cause or simply to liven humans up, as a result of the unexpected manifestation of bunnies in mass numbers members of both species may be hurt by traffic accidents and bunnies traumatised.

Such operations would probably attract the wrath of animal rights groups and activists, even if, the issues you were trying to highlight were animal rights or the wanton massacre of fairly random humans on a global scale.

So, taking these considerations on board, I decided to explore the possibilty of deploying another, less fluffy and cute species that is also easy to mass produce - frogs, for example.

Humans might be less inclined to swerve their vehicles for frogs and less perturbed by the sight of dead frogs about the roads but what of the trauma and value of the frogs themselves - who am I to place the value of one species above another?

So, my thoughts turned inexorably to the The Turkey Curse - contrary to its name this curse does not directly involve turkeys or have any direct relation to Turkish politics.

The trouble is that the Turkey Curse could easily be misinterpreted on the part of the cursed as the fairly random manifestation of various forms of everyday madness which are commonplace in any urban environment.

Sat at a bus stop the other day I watched the 6am joggers on their way to work, at least semi-consciously cursing the obese and lazy, and I simply thought them mad. They didn't seem to pay any heed to the homeless man with his trolley of belongings as he trundled along the road. In effect he was cursing the settled and gainfully employed.

The fact is that urban environments are mostly fairly alienated to the point that people will ignore most behaviours that don't warrant their immediate intervention, and sometimes ignore also those that do, or video them on their phones more likely to upload to facebook or youtube.

Cockroaches I do not care about at all - if there is any form of karma cockroaches are simply evil beings reincarnated and if there isn't why worry about killing them in mass numbers at all?

How about deploying cockroaches in mass numbers for the sheer mirth of causing disruption? To protest at crass consumerism? To pass comment on a building you don't like? This practice presents few ethical dilemmas for me as a person.

St Pancras International is a huge disappointment to me. Six determined individuals with containers full of cockroaches strapped to them could do some serious damage here.

After suffering years of travel disruption during its construction St Pancras has emerged from its cocoon as little more than a horrid piece of corporate art. What is good about it was there before - it was a bit grimy but it looked like a station that had seen years of coal and diesel, it was honest. You didn't feel like a criminal if you wanted to slouch exhausted among the dust of ages.

The people who use the upper level are probably mostly too preoccupied and rushed to really admire it in any real detail. Doubtless it's in an arena where many people have departed bitterly disappointed, hugely expectant and gratefully cheered by various entrepreneurial and emotional interactions but the kiosks and false French bistros convey none of this.

pret a manger st pancras The lower level is even worse, an artificially illuminated dungeon of uncomfortable looking benches. Corporations now vie for supremacy with their brands prefixed and suffixed with words like "Metro, Express and Simply", which basically all translate to the same word "overpriced".

In the old days, before the gentrification of Kings Cross you could find a traditional English cafe - I had completely given up on that idea.

This station is like a state of Limbo for the living - the fact of being here represents a mid-point between existential states. a mass unconscious Turkey Curse of individual enterprise or humanity.

There is an old Chinese proverb (probably) that says, "A man who uses cockroaches as munitions wrecks his own home." Not being that fanatical I have abandoned this idea but it has been thought and uttered.

v for vendetta mass protest The train of my thoughts now returns to The Turkey Curse. A lonesome Turkey Curse is easily ignored but the mass Curse is not so easy. This has been played out in popular culture in the V for Vendetta film.

This, however, is a bit of a cliche - what is in plentiful supply is junk, shopping trolleys and shabby clothes - one day I would like to see the mass movement of "trolley tramps". You know what they say, "One man's garbage is another man's treasure." One imagined aspect of this mass curse might be that opportunistic enterprising bona fide tramps might attach themselves to such a movement for a root around.

What better way to protest austerity, poverty, lack of housing, wanton consumerism, greed and general mediocrity than a mass Tramp Turkey Curse?

It doesn't particularly matter if it never happens because it has done so in my mind and hopefully the mind of anyone who has found this piece of intellectual garbage lying about and investigated it this far.

tramp cartI am aware that there are already mass sleep outs in London to highlight and protest about the issue of homelessness but this imaginary idea would go beyond that single issue politics.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Eating Liver in Gaddaffi's brain

This dream was so vivid and surreal that I had to share.

Gaddaffi managed to transplant his brain into a Dalek and had a magic talking television that could talk to TV channels, so he contacted the Daleks and tried to join up with the Dalek Empire, promising them all his assets and expertise.

The Daleks agreed but once Gaddaffi had logged off they began deriding him as non-Dalek and generally second rate in typical Dalek fashion. R2D2 was in league with Daleks and communicating with them in untranslatable beeps. There then began a Dalek conference call across several TV channels - characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas logged om it emerged they wanted to eat liver in Gaddaffi's brain. Bekr and Boni from The Trap Door were up next, alongside a bunch of the claymation squiggly worms, Boni agreed, "Let's Eat liver in Gaddaffi's brain."

With Berk adding, "I'd love to own a dragon."

That was a real "WTF!?!" moment and I awoke.

I've been watching the news, cartoons and Doctor Who "Let's Kill Hitler!" lately.