Tuesday 7 August 2012

Overdue spending spree

Very rarely do I spend money on clothing. I'll pick up a new t-shirt when my favourite one becomes unwearable, and I'll generally wear my shoes into the ground before I even considering getting a new pair.

This weekend was different.

When Troll Chick and I first put our budget together some months ago, we put down a couple of milestones that we were to achieve, in order:
  • Move in together
  • Spend a grand on clothing each (as the weight we lost respectively was starting to make our old clothes look like base-jump gear)
  • Save until the wedding
Through vicious budgeting, and Subway lunches for months, we managed to reach our first goal. My only regret is that we didn't get to eat more Subway, although I reckon if Troll Chick so much as even sees another footlong sandwich she'll lose her breakfast. I don't know what it is, I love them delicious bastards.

Tuesday 31 July 2012

Return from exile

Oh lord, I missed you, internet. I missed you so much. No doubt you've missed me, too.

I'm sure that you were all in a huff, not knowing what to do with yourself.

"Cloaker Josh hasn't updated his blog in, like, an aeon! What am I going to do?!"

Well, I'm sorry.

It wasn't really my fault, however.

In these past couple of weeks, I've been on a series of trials and tribulations that tested every fibre of my being. Or at least, it made me do things I'm not generally accustomed to doing. Like, physical stuff... and manly stuff.


Soon, my child. I shall return.

Tuesday 3 July 2012


Hello internet...

Yes, I know... I know. It's been so long. I really am sorry, I didn't mean to leave you out in the cold... unless of course, you're a penguin, in which case that was exactly my intent. That's just the best way to love a penguin I know, you adorable little tux-sporting rascals.

I'm assuming I'm the first ever person to Photoshop a
penguin with a tuxedo. God I'm good!
Well, I didn't come here to talk about penguins all night. I've actually got some news. Good news. Well, it's kind of both good and bad for various reasons. How about I just let the news speak for itself, shall I?

Sunday 24 June 2012

Social Media Trolling

As I've previously said, I really love trolling. Especially grammar trolling. It's especially fun to express in the form of a Photoshop, I've always found, so I thought I might post a couple of my recent efforts.

Some of these I understand I'm kind of reaching for the humour, but truly I don't care. I honestly will use any excuse to fire up Photoshop, and these following trolls are simply a by-product of that desire.

In any case, I hope you like them.

Friday 22 June 2012

Bedroom Battleships

So, you know I hate cleaning, internet? Well, I'm looking to move house soon, so evidently I'm going to need to clean my bedroom in the process of packing.

Wait, what? Clean my bedroom...?! That's, like, a two day job! How on earth am I going to find time to do this?!

Most people are faced with shock and disbelief after seeing the state of my bedroom, and I really can't blame them. It's a little bit messy.

Thursday 21 June 2012

Food order panic

For some reason that I can't quite explain, I sometimes have trouble with basic decision making. I'm quite good with it usually, however on strange occasions I seem to freeze up and blurt out the wrong answer.

Know Your Meme.

The time it most frequently plagues me is ordering food at fast food establishments. I'll be waiting in line, looking at the menu and will be tossing up between two choices.

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Lazy is as lazy does

People often accuse me of being lazy, however I have an alternative theory; I'm simply economical with movement.

I'm pretty comfy right here, actually.
Another way to look at it is that I may be physically lazy, however I'm no slouch on the mental side of things. I will actively think about things that will may my day-to-day easier, both inside of work and out. "Driving efficiencies" is what they call it; "Not wasting time" is what I call it.

I am constantly on the automation offensive, asking myself every single day: "Is there a quicker way to do this exact task? Can I cut down any of this manual work?"

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Morning Sock Challenge

C'mon now, tell me. Are matching socks really that much of a big deal?

Every time I get caught out wearing socks that aren't the same colour, people make out as if it's somehow a big deal. Let me enlighten you, people of the realm; It really isn't.

They're a garment designed explicitly for the purpose of insulating and protecting your feet from the inside of your shoes. Why on earth do they need to look the same? Why the hell are you looking at my damn feet, anyway?!

Sunday 17 June 2012

How much did you say?!

Sadly, my holiday time has come to an end and I'm back in Sydney, ready to go back to work.

This last week's adventures consisted of meeting future in-laws, catching up with old mates and investigating wedding venues; I'm pretty tuckered out.

I always hear about these obscene financials being bantered about attached to weddings; I've always thought to myself that if I ever got married, I'd be a great deal more responsible with the expense. I've quickly come to the realisation that getting married is pretty much going to be expensive in 95% of cases.

Saturday 9 June 2012

Winter is coming

Tomorrow, I will commence an epic journey into the heart of winter and will not return for a week. Travelling with WinterfellAir, and will fly non-stop into Winterfell.

Apologies for the lack of updates over the next week; I will be bringing my iPad so I may be able to do some on-the-road, however I have a pretty full schedule so we'll see.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday 6 June 2012


I'm afraid for the next generation.

I know I'm not the first one to say this and I'm sure I won't be the last, but... kids these days. This will obviously sound quite funny coming from somebody as young as myself, as if I could have a concept of what our generational pitfalls are. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about, and am just spewing some completely uninformed bullcrap... I'll let you be the judge of that.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Cloaker's Dogma: Conclusion

I'm a very lucky guy, I really am.

I'm not going to lie to you, internet. My post last night about Dragon's Dogma was an entirely selfish one; One that you saw right through.

I was, of course, venting at the fact that I had no expendable income to make "frivolous" purchases like a video game. The subtext, however, was that I wanted Troll Chick to notice that I was pining over the game Dragon's Dogma specifically, and that I was slowly building a case to buy it.

Monday 4 June 2012

The struggle of Cloaker's Dogma

I've always been about video games, since I was a young boy. Always have, and probably always will. A new terror threatens to change my way of life, however.

Thy name is "budget".

Don't know him? Know Your Meme.

Thursday 31 May 2012

Warning labels

In recent years, we've adopted putting warning labels on pretty much everything to protect from litigation. It's reached a point of ridiculousness, almost wherein if a company doesn't write "Don't stab yourself with our knife sets" on their cutlery, they're liable for damages.

I'm sick of this cotton-wool society, and believe that we need to stop coddling the stupider genes and instead need to prevent them from continuing to procreate.

In any case, as a part of the social commentary I whipped up a couple of 'shoops to show that if they have to put warning labels on everything, surely they should focus their attentions to where it would a have the most impact?

In any case, enjoy and don't bother being offended at any of these... It's black comedy. Deal with it.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

A plea for your help

Saving money is really hard. It really is.

Until very recently, I lived from pay to pay and was always broke several days before pay day. Hell, I was actually usually broke several days after pay day. Shut up, you're not perfect. In any case, recently I've had to undergo a bit of a strict budget regime in order to be able to afford to move later this year.

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Corporate annoyances

Sorry to get you caught up in this, internet, but I just want to express a couple of things that people commonly do in the workplace that get to me.

Do these things, don't do these things... whatever, it's your prerogative. I just want it to be on the record that I did not endorse or permit this behaviour, for when the historians are trying to work out what happened to logical thought.

Oh, and I'm not really sorry at all, actually. My bad.

Sunday 27 May 2012

An open letter to anti-smokers

Get off your damn high horse.

This is you, on your high horse. Get off it.

Smoking is a terrible habit that I plan to kick for good at some point in the future, based on many reasons, not limited to financial and health benefits. Yes, I understand that I'm killing myself by smoking them. Yes, I know how expensive they are. Yes, I know how bad they smell and I know how inconvenient it is to have a friend who is a smoker.

Saturday 26 May 2012

Climbing Mount Rib

For the longest time, my friends have constantly berated me for not yet dining at a popular Sydney steakhouse, "Hurricane's". I was exposed to the same sort of statements that someone might be hit with upon sharing with their social circle that they hadn't seen Pulp Fiction yet.
"Oh my God, you haven't been to Hurricane's?!" They'd rhetorically demand, before adding, "You have to have their ribs, best ribs in the world!"

The skeptic in me questions the authenticity of this statement in for both the absence of my own empirical evidence as well as the obvious statistical objections that will usually come up with this sort of proclamation, so I decided that I could not have a valid view on this argument until I had tried them for myself. I would road test this dish at some point in the future to see if it as great as my friends insist it is.

Friday 25 May 2012

They see me trollin', they hatin'

The other day, I'm at the pedestrian crossing outside work, waiting for that awesome little green man to light up and allow me to cross the road without risk of death. I'm leaning against the traffic post, quite obviously waiting for the lights and humming to myself when a lady walks up and presses the button.
"Oh, thank God you came along!" I exclaimed with a perfect dead pan. "I've been standing here for five hours! All I had to do was press this button here?!" She gives me this confused look, and presses the button a couple more times.

"You should press it one more time," I explain to her, "I hear it goes faster if you do that."
She finally caught on to the fact that I was being a smart-arse and shot me a dirty look. Lucky for both of us, the light turned green just then, otherwise it could have been an uncomfortable two minutes.

True story.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Lounging in style: 5 awesome ways

A couple of weeks back, I wrote up a post about 5 things I'd buy if I was filthy rich. I've decided to follow that up with a post about 5 things I'd buy if I had a tiny little bit of disposable income. This post is specifically related to things I'd buy myself purely for comfort factor.

Note: This list didn't begin life as a "Lounging around" list. Those of you that know me know that I enjoy spending time at home above pretty much all else, as I'm a bit lazy and enjoy comfort. That said, as my list began to fill out... I realised that the items I chose were pretty much exclusively based on my own comfort and therefore decided to focus the content a little.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

An Indecent Proposal: She said "Yes"

In case you didn't hear the news by now already, Katie said yes.

I'm obviously pretty chuffed at the moment, as I effectively asked her to put up with me for the rest of her life, and by some miracle it was not an entirely unappealing proposition to her. It validates that I absolutely made the right choice in asking her in the first place.

Monday 21 May 2012

An Indecent Proposal

So, this blog post is probably going to be the most important thing I'll ever write. If you're a newcomer to my blog and generally skim articles, I implore you to please take the time to read this one. If you're a friend or family member of myself, I absolutely demand it.

Sunday 20 May 2012

AFL Fans: I don't get it

The following of a particular sport personality is something that I can identify with. I get it. Being a fan of somebody or something is definitely a concept that I'm familiar with. Although I don't follow sports myself, I can understand idolising a particular person for being at the top of their field.

Anyone who knows my girlfriend will know that she idolises Valentino Rossi and Michael Clarke. They've both proven themselves in their respected professions, and are handsome to boot; What's not to like about them? I personally do idolise people from other fields; Musicians, game designers, movie makers and actors. I do this because again they've proved to the world that they're good at what they do, and I not only respect them for it but look forward to their future creations.

Friday 18 May 2012

A job application that I'd like to see

Cloaker Josh
123 Totallyfake Lane
Sydney NSW 2000
M: 0414 123 456      
E: josh@cloakerjosh.com

18 May 2012

Dick Butt
HR Director
Awesome Company
1 Corporate Drive
Sydney NSW 2000

Dear Mr Butt

Re: IT Systems Supervisor REF: 1337GT

Stop! Stop right there, damn you. Drop everything else and focus on this letter. I'm the guy you're after. Just so we're on the right page, it's probably worth pointing out that once you offer me the position, I'm going to ask for a modest increase to the starting salary you're asking for. That said, I'm totally worth it.

On paper, I'm an uneducated oaf that dropped out of school in Year 11, and have no English and Math skills. I didn't participate in sport, and was generally accepted as anti-social. I called myself "alternative", but they called me a "goth wanker". I am also an individual who has only worked for one company his entire adult life.

Since leaving school however, I taught myself how to code for the web and how to use Photoshop at an expert level. Not convinced? Check out my mad skillz:

This is something I made when Bush was still President, obviously.
Imagine how good I must be now.
See that reflection of Wormtongue's hand on the table? Yeah I did. See the photo frame in the background, over there? It's a picture of Ajax from The Warriors, and it wasn't there before. I put it there for fun. You know what this also proves? Dedication, and high attention to detail. The latter a skill that many boast, however rarely possess.

Over time, I have accumulated a vast knowledge of most computer systems, because I have used them everyday since I was 7. It's not just the specialised stuff though; My pragmatic approach to IT has imbued me with a natural "knack" of picking up things quickly. I question everything, and take nothing for granted.

My People Management skills? A great deal of people underestimate how complex and involved online gaming can be. I have had a lot of experience with organising attacks on enemy positions requiring strategy, teamwork and coordination. Sure, they were all in a virtual world however all of the participants were real people with strong opinions. Dealing with them included, but was not limited to, liaising with very geeky individuals, setting and meeting targets, player mediation and having difficult conversations.

E.g. "Sorry NaziSlayer1337, we're going to have to let you go and recruit a player that doesn't kill their team mates. We will, however, keep your GamerTag on file and if a position in our clan opens up, we'll let you know."

Conflict resolution? Sure, I've been in a few fights. I got the violence out of my system in brash younger years, and I believe one of the last punches I threw was the one that resulted in shattering my knuckle. Learning from my mistake that violence doesn't solve everything (definitely some things, but not everything), I'm now a well-adjusted individual who has decided to take the high road and can now talk my way out of most situations.

Your company requires somebody with working knowledge of IT, high attention to detail and the ability to manage a team of IT Professionals. I read between the lines, I know what you're going for. You need somebody that can deal with nerds. I speak fluent nerd as it happens, and can translate into Management speak on the fly.

In addition to all of this, it's important to tell you that I will sometimes question your decisions. It will only be because I don't understand the motives behind them, and not because I'm calling you into question. I have a lot to learn, and by learning the reason behind your decisions I will further enhance my own experience in business management. I can sometimes be a bit of an idealist, and I am a "big vision" kind of guy. I have these lofty ideas about massive restructures and business process improvements, and I'll tell you all about them. If you decide to act on it, awesome, but it's "take or leave" stuff. I won't be jilted if you decide not to go down "that road".

Call me, and let's discuss this. I'm serious, do it now. My mobile is on the top of the page, and it's on.

Kind regards

Cloaker Josh

Thursday 17 May 2012

Bachelor Chow: Budget Eats

Due to popular demand, I will enrich you, Internet, with my secrets of culinary frugality.

And, by popular demand, I mean of course that while nobody has specifically asked me about this I have pre-empted your needs and will deliver to you a list of ways to eat on a shoestring budget.

As the name suggests, this is not a healthy lifestyle; It is a bachelor lifestyle. Attempting to live on this list alone may in fact kill you if adhered to long enough.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Clock Rage

Why the hell do we use a 12-hour clock? 

The idea of a 12-hour clock is both antiquated and stupid, and I seriously don't understand why we use it.

Okay, so I don't live in Alaska but other people do. Probably.

Originally created by the.... blah blah blah. I'm not going to try and explain the origins of who created it and why it was implemented in the first place namely because Wikipedia does it so much better than I could right here.

Allow me to briefly summarise it for those of you who are lazy: We no longer use it for the reason that it was first implemented, so it is pretty much just legacy at this point. Not everyone's legacy, though: Only a handful of countries actually still use the 12-hour clock, as most of the countries in the world either phased it out as it no longer made sense or simply never adopted it to begin with.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Guest Post: The Ballad of Steven Seagal

Foreword: I'm experimenting with a format change. I've decided that a benefit to both you, internet, myself,  and others might be to introduce you to other bloggers that are doing good work. Internet, meet kungfucolin. Kungfucolin, meet Internet. Cloak and redirect in its finest form.

The Ballad of Steven Seagal

Now Steven Seagal was a Hollywood man
He learned all that martial arts stuff in Japan
He married a sweet little Japanese girl,
And promised her father he'd show her the world

A chunky white man is all it would take
He'd just stomp his feet and the dojo would shake
The brave little Japanese Aikido men
Gave him a belt, and said: "Farewell, our friend."

Monday 14 May 2012

Under-graduate: Bachelor of Life

Recently, I've pondering a great deal about some major life decisions.

The decisions I will have to make in the coming months will commence a chain reaction of events that will shape me into the person I will become in 5, 10, 20 years and beyond.

So, it obviously is something that I am treating with the appropriate care it needs; I will have to tommy-research all of my options and decide which course of action to take. As always in the case with a great deal of inward thinking, reflection on past crossroad decisions I've made and how they've affected me come to the forefront of my mind.

Some people say that they "wouldn't change any of it for the world", and I say those people are full of crap.
"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is another meaningless platitude that is bantered around often, and again I call "Bull." There are a few things I have done in my life that I would erase or rewrite if given the chance, but I don't waste too much time dwelling as it's not constructive; I simply try to accept them, and move on.

If you don't get the reference, you should Know Your Meme.

Sunday 13 May 2012

Metacritic: The destroyer of good games

Over the last couple of years, Metacritic has risen from an obscure measure of all things entertainment related into the industry benchmarking tool. Although it measures the metacritic score of pretty much all forms of media, I'm going to talk about something close to my own heart; Video games.

We just completely stripped out your article and took
your completely arbitrary score at the end. 

Once upon a time, the only measure that gamers had to know if games were any good were video gaming review magazines. We would buy the latest issue of Hyper, PC Powerplay or equivalent, and skip to the reviews section to try determine which games deserved our attention.

Saturday 12 May 2012

5 things I would buy if I was filthy rich

Much like many people, I like to fantasise on occasion about what I would do if I won the lottery and was obscenely rich overnight.

There's the obvious things that I map out; How much I would spend on a house, how much I would divvy up amongst my siblings and friends, and what percentage I would save for investments etc. After all of these things though, my mind wanders to the completely frivolous purchases. The things I could potentially buy if money was no object.

This is not a definitive list, but just a few of the things I'd buy if I had the money to waste.

Thursday 10 May 2012

Cloaker Josh's Glossary of Terms

Internet, I have some great news for you. You know how recently, you were lying awake in your bed, staring at the ceiling and praying that I, Cloaker Josh, would bestow upon you the secret to my awesome?

Well, your prayers have been answered little one, as today I will share with you a couple of words and phrases that I use on a regular basis to keep my levels of awesome topped up and in check.

Try not to think too hard about the shadowy figure outside of your bedroom window watching you that night, it's probably just a coincidence.

You're welcome, is what you are.
Here are a couple of phrases that I will allow you to employ, on my behalf, as they act similarly to a pyramid scheme; As you use them and gain more levels of awesome, I too will reap a little bit more of awesome.

Okay, so I'm really not being serious, but I hope you find these phrases interesting in some way.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

I seriously can't wait for Game of Thrones

I'm eagerly anticipating watching the screen adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire: Clash of Kings, much like the rest of the Western world.

I've forced myself to not watch any of them until the entire series is out, so I can literally dedicate a whole day to consuming the whole thing in one sitting.

It's more difficult than it first sounded to me, to be honest. I've been, er, "obtaining" the episodes as they air in America, and they've been sitting there, burning a hole in my hard drive. It would be so easy just to, watch... one... episode.

No! I must maintain my resolve! It'll be better in the end, it will be worth the wait. It's not like the story can be spoiled for me, as I've read the books, but I seriously hate having to wait a week in between episodes. I barely remember the contents of the TV episodes I watched last night, let alone last week.

A quick, and completely unrelated, note on media piracy. In a completely hypothetical sense, I'm sure you understand, suppose I had been downloading the episodes as they came out illegally. There is many reasons why this is obviously a deplorable thing to do, but consider this comic by the Oatmeal. You've gone and read it? Good.

Now, multiply the "available for purchase factor" by x10, as we're in Australia and have limited service to Showtime/HBO/AMC exclusives.

And yes, when it's out on Bluray I will actually buy a copy. Exactly as I did for Season 1.

At any rate, I had Game of Thrones on my mind all night, so I created a meme for fun. Enjoy:

Click to embiggen

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Paving the way to a cashless society

We're well on our way to a cashless society, and I for one can't wait.

Paying for stuff with my phone? Hell yeah, sign me up.

The antiquated idea of carrying around physical tokens of wealth now seems barbaric. A study by Eftpos Australia released in July 2011 reveals that at the time of the whitepaper, 31% of Australians do not carry more than $20 on their person.

Monday 7 May 2012

Sydney Buses: They flex my fury muscle

I do not use the term "hate" lightly. 

I bloody hate the public transport in my suburb.

This guy. I hate this guy. Click to embiggen.

There's an infinite list of things that I absolutely despise about taking the bus to work, but I know you've got short attention spans so I'll try to break it down into a couple of the key reasons I either turn up to work or home after a day's work enraged at the public transport system.

Sunday 6 May 2012

The fictional notion of "free time"

To me, there's no such thing as "free time", only "me time". My life is divided up into a couple of different segments, let me show you what I'm talking about.

* Percentages are approximate only

These pie charts are a very rough estimate of my time distribution, it varies (especially on weekends), but this is approximately how it works. I'm not complaining, I'm happy enough with this structure, but I'm using it to highlight how my time is currently spent.

Saturday 5 May 2012

The ancient secret of Carborama

My girlfriend celebrated her birthday today. The downside for me, of course, was that I had to promise not to troll her all day. I succeeded mostly in this task (there were a couple of slip-ups, but I think I did pretty well overall).

I promised her that it was her day, and that she could have anything she wanted (I make a point of doing this on this day of all days, so I can get away with murder for the other 364.25 days a year). She asked me if I could cook her my not-but-should-be famous dish, The Carborama.

Real food doesn't look perfect and plastic like McDonalds advertising.

Friday 4 May 2012

Idioms that make no sense to me

Ever come across a saying that you've kind of scratched your head over? Maybe I'm too much of a literal creature, but some of the phrases that I hear in day to day life simply confuse the hell out of me.

Thursday 3 May 2012

The Cloak Room Archives: Volume III

Hi internet, I'm sorry to say I'm too tired to continue my Cloaker Chronicles tonight. I've just bought the Walking Dead game from Steam (at most likely an unfair price), so I'm going to spend the evening killing zombies. 'Cause, you know. That's just how I roll. Not wanting to break the pattern of my daily updates (I did once last Friday, and ended up crying myself to sleep), I decided to give you another instalment of:

Stuff I made a long time ago but never published

I know you're all excited to look at my back catalogue, so I won't hold you up any longer!

Comments are always appreciated; I wet myself like a giddy puppy everytime I get a comment notification... so, hop to it people!

Wednesday 2 May 2012

All hail Invertewich! Cloaker Chronicles I

Many people have asked me, "Cloaker Josh, who are you, and why are you spamming my Facebook wall?"

Today I will endeavour to answer that question, as many of you no doubt are itching to see the man behind the mask. Please, hold all further questions until then end, when you will know more than you wish to.

Born on the 1st of January, 1900; to a chimney sweep and who would later become the first woman to give birth to one of the Cloakers, I struggled to find feet immediately due to the lack of hamstring strength and ability to walk.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Steam: The inequitable pricing of digital distribution

Stephen Conroy. Affectionately known nationwide as "Douche-bag".

It's a 1984 reference, get it? You know, 'cause of the censorship thing? Aw, forget it.

Now, at any given time I'm usually in a pretty damn good mood. Mention this guy's name in front of me however, and I am so overwhelmed with fury that I am not responsible for the swiftly delivered punch to your trachea that will immediately ensue. There is no time for me to take context into consideration, either... It may be wise to employ code-words in lieu of his name if you plan to talk about him in my immediate vicinity, lest you enjoy being suddenly and violently assaulted.

Monday 30 April 2012

Level up: Age and Wisdom

This woman must be super powerful.
My brother, kungfucolin, left a message on my Facebook wall that would eventually spurn me to write up this piece. As today is my birthday, he passed on a birthday greeting as is the standard convention. Not satisfied with the generic platitudes, he left the message "LEVEL UP".

Sunday 29 April 2012

My run in with a high-velocity pigmentation delivery system

My heart is racing and I feel sweat begin to form on my forehead. I grip my weapon with white knuckles and prepare for the onslaught. Boom-boom, boom-boom, boom-boom. I feel my heart beat in my eyeballs and tentatively stalk forward, catching a movement in the left of my vision. I swing around and unleash fury with a war-cry, before experiencing blistering pain. Where was it coming from? The pain localises to my hand as I watch it change from yellow to orange.
"MEDIC!" I scream, clutching my bleeding hand and fall to the ground... wetting myself. Is this how I go? Is this how the story of Cloaker Josh ends? My cries go unanswered as the battle rages on around me. I catch another in the ribs, winding me. I turn and stagger to the safe zone and prepare for the darkness.

"GAME!" The umpire yells and it's over.

Indoor Paintball is brutal.

Nobody is safe from the paintball, not even Willem Dafoe.

Saturday 28 April 2012

Henry Rollins is one of my heroes

Apologies, only a quick update today; I've got a weekend of Birthday festivities to look forward to, and don't have much time. Including, but not limited to: Suiting up, catching a bus, riding a train, getting shot with a high-powered paintball delivery system, catching another train, getting my food on, getting my drink on, catching cab, sleeping... and whatever happens in between. Hungover update tomorrow.

I was privileged enough to be taken to see one of Henry Rollins' Spoken Word Tours last night by my awesome girlfriend.

The man is a visionary.

Henry Rollins: Musician, speaker, arse kicker.

Thursday 26 April 2012

My recent experience with Optus

Many of you may have read my piece about dealing with Telstra, and how it almost caused me to experience a brain aneurysm. I dealt with Optus today about my phone bill, which funnily enough the exact same situation that I had with Telstra. I'm going to do a comparison piece for you, in case you are in the market of choosing a telco for your mobile plan.

Actually just before I begin, I really want to point out my distaste for 24 month contracts. Who came up with this construct?! I don't know what I'm having for dinner tonight, let alone where I'll be in my life in two years?!

Seriously, ever notice how:

  1. Your phone contract is 24 months, 
  2. Your phone warranty is 12 months
  3. The microphone and/or speaker in your $1,000 smartphone inexplicably dies on you 13 months in.

It's like clockwork. I always get caught out with this, having to buy a dodgy stop-gap phone or instead opt to pay out my existing contract in favour of getting the newest shiny gadget. Two years is just too damn long, and I implore the ACCC to set some legal standards to circumvent this type of profiteering conduct.

Anyway, I digress. Let me tell you how I had to deal with Optus today.

Wednesday 25 April 2012

The Cloak Room Archives: Volume II

So, I'm struggling to come up with any new content tonight. Bloggin' ain't easy. To come up with regular original content can be demanding, and I'm too tired to think very hard at the moment.

Which is why, friends, I am delivering, straight from my hard-drive to your face, another Cloak Room Archives instalment. At least this post won't take you an hour to read, unlike some of my other posts.

Tuesday 24 April 2012

A layman's guide to Internet Privacy

Okay, so as part of my crusade to expose internet frauds, I wrote an article about a spellcaster I found online. As part of my research on the subject, I utilised Google as my main source of information (obviously, who doesn't?)

As part of it, I'm entering terms into Google like "spells" and "spell casting". For those of you who are not familiar with how Google plugs into and utilises payload data, I'm about to give you an important demonstration. A lot of people consider these tactics insidious in some way, however I personally disagree; It's the age we live in. In any case, form your own opinion about what I'm about to show you.

Monday 23 April 2012

Being Dexter Morgan

I feel like Dexter Morgan.

Are you familiar with "Dexter Morgan"? He's the main character in Jeff Lindsay's series of novels, and most notably now the famous main character in the Showtime runaway hit, Dexter

For the uninitiated, Dexter was scarred so deeply by the childhood event of witnessing his own mother's gruesome murder that is caused him to forever have this insatiable blood lust; He must strategically murder people (whom he deems to deserve it) at frequent intervals to stave off the increasing risk that he'll lose his sanity and go on a killing rampage.

Let me just step back and clarify my first statement. I want to point out that it's not his deadly nocturnal expeditions that I relate to in any way shape or form. Although, if I was ever close it'd be when dealing with Customer Service

Again, let me reiterate; I do not have homicidal tenancies.

Sunday 22 April 2012

Internet Charlatans Volume I: The Spellcaster

Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen.
Hi Internet!

As a blogger, it is my duty to impart to you, my adoring public, some of the knowledge I obtain whilst skirting the web for interesting facts. Today is no exception, people! I have a big one to share with you today, oh yes. Let us begin.

So here I am, minding my own business and gettin' my surf on, when I come across this incredible website. It's titled "Cast Free Love, Magic, Money & Job Spells, Super Spell Caster."

Saturday 21 April 2012

F7U12: Sometimes I really hate the internet

Okay, so I have a question for you, internet:

Since when was it okay to start streaming video and audio at me without my consent?! Who started this trend?

To provide you with a little bit of background, my internet connection is currently shaped. For those of you are not familiar with the term "shaped", let me paint you a picture. Imagine you are tasked with transporting a bowling ball through a hosepipe using only the suction power of your lungs. That's what browsing on shaped internet is like. Remember how fast 56k modems were? It's actually slower than that, and I'm willing to bet money, precious money that most of you only think you remember how slow it was... but it is, in fact, slower than that.

Friday 20 April 2012

The absence of happiness in Coca-Cola

u mad, Coke?

On the theme of digging up old complaint letters, I have a shorter one for you.

Here's a spoof letter I sent to Coca-Cola Amatil, and with similar results to the previous post I had no response.

What is it about my letters that cause the companies in question to never respond to me? Suggest it's because they're "too damn long" and I'll strike you in the throat.

This one is a lot more lighter-hearted than the Telstra letter. Even so, I hope you find it amusing.

Forever Unplugged

Please visit rakuli.com - This guy is an insanely talented dude, there's not much he can't do.

But mainly, do it because he is...

Not that he needs help, his views are doin' fine without my help ;)

Thursday 19 April 2012

The longest and funniest Telstra complaint letter you'll ever read

Okay, now when I say this is a long letter, I truly mean it's a long letter. I mean, like, really long. Seriously, don't even bother starting to read it if you haven't got a spare 30 minutes.

However, if you do have a spare 30 minutes, I encourage you to plough on; It's worth it. I promise, it is.

I have changed my name, phone number, address and email to protect the innocent (being me). I have also removed references to Telstra staff numbers and fault/complaint references 'cause that's just the kind of guy I am.

Sit back, relax with a tasty beverage and hear my saga.

P.s. If you don't have time to read it, scroll to the bottom for a summary in the form of an infographic.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

CloakerJosh dot com: The domain name I didn't realise I wanted until I bought it.

So, I just bought the domain name www.cloakerjosh.com. I wasn't even in the market for a domain name, honestly, it just happened. Google makes things too damn easy, the bastards!

I was fiddling around with some settings in my Blogger account, when I noticed that they ask for a Domain Name URL in one of their input fields... I looked at it and saw language to the effect of (I can't remember verbatim, despite being only 20 minutes ago) "Don't have a domain name? Click here to buy one for USD10."

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Bacon Adventure: Too much bacon

I can here your cries of protest through the intertubes, "There's no such thing as too much bacon!!". Well, fictional person making this statement, maybe not for you... but I found my limit.

A couple Saturdays back, I strolled on down to the supermarket to grab some supplies for the pending Easter Sunday. My girlfriend was staying over, and assuming that our favourite cafe would be closed for breakfast (as the usual leisurely time of 1:00PM in the afternoon, normally), I wanted to get breakfasty ingredients to cook for the 'morrow.

Monday 16 April 2012

Remakes of movies that shouldn't be remade

Okay, so I get put on to this page via a friend on Facebook today; Upcoming Movie Remakes.

You've gotta check out this list, it's extraordinary. It's okay, I'll wait. You've looked at it? Good.

Does Hollywood really have to go and molest my childhood! You'd think they'd learned their lesson with the Indiana Jones IV abortion, but apparently not.

Sunday 15 April 2012

The Cloak Room Archives: Volume I

Okay, so... I couldn't think of anything new to 'shop today... so, I bring you a new feature:

The Cloak Room Archives: Volume I

It's genius! I simply drap out an old piece I made back in the day, and repost it as new content! Hahahaha! ...In all fairness though, it's new to you, 'cause you haven't seen it, innit?

Here you go, a movie that I would love to see.

Who doesn't want to see this misunderstood gentleman square off with
pure evil dude who seems to hate naked teenagers?

Saturday 14 April 2012

I love trolling

I've long had a love affair with trolling, in fact it wasn't called trolling when I began.. I was simply being a "smart-arse". But, how I define what I do is what I refer to as "White Hat Trolling". For those of you who aren't familiar with the term "White Hat", is essentially refers to something that is within the bounds of both ethical and constitutional law. I only ever do it for a bit of fun, and never with malice.

There's a nasty, darker version of trolling out there. Let's call it "Black Hat Trolling". These are the horror stories you read about people posting indecent pictures of kids on missing children's Facebook pages. These are the people that cyber-bully others and convince them to self-harm... sometimes with lethal effect. I completely denounce this form of trolling, and it sickens me to think that there's so many out there that associate with it.

At any rate, my girlfriend constantly refers to me as a troll, and after seeing my 'shop of the Mass Effect cover asked if I could make a Trollface out of my own face for her amusement. As I am not one to waste anything, I figured I might as well post it here.

u mad, bro?

Friday 13 April 2012

Instagram bought by Facebook: Hipsters get emo, start cutting themselves

I used Instagram before it was mainstream, bro.

Facebook announced that it was acquiring the company Instagram for a cool $1bn, and immediately a public backlash begins. See, apparently Instagram is all alternative and cool and Facebook is all like, evil and popular and stuff.

Seriously, people are going mental over this acquisition. One chick even started up a Twitter hashtag protest (I think hipsters are still cool with Twitter, although I thought the platforms popularity would have had it fall out of favour with them a long time ago) by posting a black screen.

Is this really such a big deal? The hipsters can argue about corporate greed and privacy concerns to their hearts content, but I know the real reason they're abandoning the service in droves.

It's mainstream now.

Generation Y is a pretentious bunch, and I hate the fact that I'm in with them.

Thursday 12 April 2012

Way of the n00b: The decline of video game difficulty

Video games are now mainstream.

Even your mum knows this; A multi-billion dollar industry that deals in revenue that rivals Hollywood. 

Think the biggest release ever was James Cameron's Avatar? It took in $1bn in its first 19 days. This number is ridiculous, you realise. A billion. 1,000,000,000 dollars. You could be forgiven for assuming that, but guess again: Modern Warfare 3 took in $1bn in 16 days.

How has this happened? Is it the incredible advances in graphical computing power, delivering realism like never before? It is the expansion of video game marketing? Is it because they now hire A-list actors and Hollywood producers to create games with a cinematic quality? 

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Mass Effect 3 Ending was crap... apparently.

So, everyone's been getting all upset about the ending to Mass Effect 3. I obviously jumped on the bandwagon and created the graphic below, but is it really that bad?

U mad at the ending, bro?

I have a confession: I haven't actually played the game. "But, Cloaker Josh... how can you make fun of a game you haven't even played?! That's not only unfair, but completely unjust!" I hear you scream at this revelation... and I guess I don't really have an answer for that. I'm a bit of a dick sometimes.

Honestly though, I think this raises a question: What right to people have to take to the streets and break windows of small businesses just because they didn't like the way a story ended? I hear that Bioware have actually caved to fan pressure and will be releasing an expanded version of the ending.... what the hell? Do you always get your way, children?

Who thought 'core gamers were so fraking emo?