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      

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.