Thursday, 31 March 2011

Why deny us our right to be healthy?

So, after feeling like, because of the change of season I might start feeling a bit better and struggling less, I've got ill! Typical eh. I've been feeling a little rough for a little while, although, to be honest, I've not really felt 100% for a lot of years, always got the edgings of a cold or feeling a tad run down. Tuesday night though, them goddamn flu feelings started to riddle my limbs and muscles, and then Wednesday morning I woke up with a throat feeling like it was being stabbed with lobotomy ice picks, a head that felt bashed again the wall, the sides of my neck feeling swollen and sore, and my body felt like it had been dragged down the stairs backwards a few times.

Lovely time! I think not.

So, I am currently off work. I'll probably be pulled into the office and given a 'talk' about my sickness, despite being fully aware. I don't particularly WANT to be off, I don't want to be ill, but, I don't have any choice in the matter.

Some of you may say, 'if you've REALLY got flu...' or 'if you've got the flu REALLY bad, you wouldn't be out of bed, you wouldn't be able to move, you wouldn't be able to sit at a computer and do this', well, see my previous posts. I have a compulsion to do something, and whilst I am sat here, massively uncomfortable, actually in pain, especially in my back, I can't just wallow in bed.

Lots of reading about Influenza

It brings me onto a point though (that rarely happens)... Since the flu jab is available, why isn't it available FOR EVERYONE!!! We all pay National Insurance / taxes / contribute somehow (well, most of us do anyway), so why are there only certain types of people eligible for this? Surely it's in the interest of every single business with staff out there that their workforce have more opportunity to be healthy. Surely it's in the interest of the surgeries and hospitals to give us more chance to make less visits to their services, passing on the illness to other people in the waiting rooms whilst we're at it. Surely it just makes sense that since there is actually something of a preventative measure out there for something that affects a large percentage of the human race at some point, we should be allowed to have it?

After a little bit of a read up (following the links from THIS site), it seems that not ALL people would be able to have it. Vegans are ruled out, but surely, given how advanced our scientists actually are these days, now that they've managed to work out a way of creating a vaccine out of hen's eggs, they can then recreate it synthetically, without the use of anything to do with animals? Or, am I just missing the point of humans trying to prove that they are the superior race on this planet so let's keep using the animals for our whims...

That's an entirely different rant I guess.

Poultry workers get the vaccine, but I don't.
There are 7 criteria for the vaccine, and I don't fit into any of them, despite being someone who pays the usual 30% (THIRTY PERCENT!!! what an absolute injustice this really is!) of my EARNT, slogged for, survived for, kept healthy for, wage.

Just because I'm not old, pregnant, caring for someone or slaughtering chickens, it means I can't have a chance at being saved from getting ill, spreading the virus to others that don't fit the criteria.

I know it's possible to pay for it, but why the hell should I? Seriously. I already pay out pretty much everything I earn, if it's not for tax and NI, it's for being able to live somewhere, then tax because of where I live, then for food, then tax on each of the products I buy, then money for all the services I receive, to be able to live.

I know everyone knows all about this.
I had to get it out of my system though.
I just despair at times with how difficult and how much of a con living is.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Daylight Saving Time.. It's time for it to go.

Winter is now over.
The clocks have gone forward.
About time really.

After spending pretty much every day of the last 4 or 5 months struggling to get out of bed, things seem to be getting a touch easier, and I am positive I am affected dramatically by the seasons, more than a healthy average anyway.

To be totally honest though, it really is time they got rid of the ludicrous Daylight Saving Time nonsense.

Of course it benefits some people, mostly the people with lots of money and who own business it seems, but, to you and I, general folk, it causes nothing but trouble, imbalances in our circadian rhythms which take a while to get back in sync afterwards and is, to top any of that off, simply pointless, another stupid thing to remember that we have no control over.

Have yourself a read about Daylight Saving Time
Have yourself a read about Circadian Rhythms

Everyone I know that I have ever talked to about it, when it occurs, when people forget, when things are affected by this one item, says that it should just be done away with. We all know it has no relevance to our lives any more, so, why should it still exist?

I did a lot of reading up about online petitions, votes and such, and to whether they actually make a difference and are a valid way of changing things, and unfortunately, it seems that in the day where your email address is a valuable commodity for company mailing lists to spam you, it renders online petitions quite invalid and holding little sway. I find this a huge shame as well, that, with the technological advances made on the planet, that this is the case.

So, I'm afraid, whilst I would like to be setting up a real and potentially time-changing petition, it is not in my power. If anyone knows of any way around this, please get in touch, I am more than happy to be involved.

It remains that all we can do is have this 'bit of fun' vote instead, just 'out of interest' and 'let's see what happens'... Now I've said all this, you'll probably all think I'm mental for having such vehemence against it. I guess only time will tell, hey!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

So, just who the hell do you think you are?

I'm not going to use this as an opportunity to promote lots of projects necessarily (although I will briefly mention names of things, just so you get the full expanse of what I have been involved with over the years), but, I thought I should really give you something of an introduction to ME. A little self-indulgence never hurt anyone. Well, it probably hurt lots of people, but then so many things do, so am pretty sure by now, this will make no difference. It won't hurt ME then, let's say that instead.

Here is a (semi) brief life story. I say 'semi' because I can never really do things totally in brief, much as I try to, or would like to sometimes... which is proven in point right there. In fact, I can probably bet confidently now that it will turn out totally the opposite, so let's just forget this paragraph even happened... except for that last bit confirming that it WON'T be brief!

I was born in Leeds, New Year's Eve 1976, late on at night. I was born caesarean section because the doctors and nurses wanted to go to their NY parties. I think it's had a massive bearing on some parts of my life that I was pulled out early.

I don't believe I developed any sort of real consciousness and awareness to my existence for a long time. Maybe this was a good thing. I hated most of school. I was bright, intelligent, knowledgeable, more than most in my schools, but the education given to me and the atmosphere I was suppressed within broke my desire to learn more, teaching me nothing but anxiety, hatred, cynicism, the knowledge of wanting to escape rather than join in. I guess when they say school shapes who you are as a person, they were right! For most of the rest of my time since then, I've been trying to undo what school did to me, and in recent years, my thirst for intellect has come back, so now I immerse myself in words and sound to gain a higher sense of self to keep me alive and sane.

I played a lot of snooker at home on a small, half-sized table in a back bedroom, I listened to the radio lots and discovered the music I wanted to follow up on for life earlier than most, I kept myself mostly to myself, and it was usually better that way. Other people were (usually) just trauma or saddening. At the age of about 10 or 11 I started playing on full-size tables in clubs with my dad, and I got pretty good pretty quick. I don't play snooker any more, it's been a few years but that part of my life is now dead and buried. I did win, and am very proud to say it, a lot of regional competitions, trophies, club knock outs and such like. For anyone who is interested in snooker, I was, at one stage in the top 8 in Yorkshire, won the Leeds City Championships, I once played Paul Hunter when we were much younger and won a frame, and have a highest break of 136. I'm pretty damn certain I won't beat that before my death.

I've been involved in bands and musical projects since the age of about 16, so now more than half my life. Amongst the gigging bands have been Bathroom City, Canvas, Tangaroa, Narcosis, Reth, and now Diascorium. I've played around 300 gigs all over Europe. I've also done recordings under the guises of Eye Of Phetkanha, Incandescence, Cerebral Constriction, Fucking Hostel, Sloth Hammer, as well as a few other jams / gig stand-ins and contributions to things. I also ran the Raw Nerve Promotions website / forum / club night / gig promotions outlet, as well as Lovely Time Promotions gig organisers / music blog, and was part of the team that put on the Devastator and Arise club nights here in Leeds. Busy, awesome, frustrating, life-affirming nights have been had over the years, and, whilst now I am only involved in a couple of things, I hope it can continue for a little longer.

I met Sarah in 2003 and, amazingly it was one of those 'Yep, she's the one' type feelings. I pestered a friend who I knew knew her for her number, and got in touch. We'd both been intentionally single for a while before this night, and so we started chatting but without any sort of inclination for getting together, just because it was 'right' to be talking. I knew though, and happily we got together not long after, bought a house a couple of years after, and got married a couple of years after that. As everyone does, we have our ups and downs, and we sometimes drive each other mad, and sometimes make each other sad, but then most of the time we make each other feel a lot better about life, our existence, our battles uphill against all things that come at us, and we love each other hugely.

Yes, I am a soppy git, and I don't care who knows it.

I've had tons of jobs in my life, many a year at the snooker centre where I also played in a team, I've done loads of agency work, doing cleaning, warehouse picking and packing, being a driver's mate (although that didn't go too well as I managed to get us lost on a trip to the midlands, and ended up not completing the job until gone midnight! That was one long day I can tell you!), doing security patrols, working in pubs, clubs etc., working for magazines and now, I work for a newspaper, designing adverts, proof reading etc. I've been doing this since around 2003, and, whilst it's not too bad, if I wasn't able to listen to music whilst at work I would have killed myself, killed others, smashed things up, for the atmosphere and tensions in an office environment can be a fair bit soul destroying.

now you're a bit more up to date, probably bored, but hopefully not, just in case though, I will lighten things up with something ludicrous...

A few other things to mention. I am a total grammar nerd, have OCPD to the extreme, I enthusiastically love all manner of musical styles, from classical, ambient, prog etc., right through to the harshest, most horrible extreme metal (death, black, grind, gore, sludge, doom etc.), I used to be a total number geek as well, bordering on autistic, but, I've not had to practice it so much in the second half of my life, so I'm losing my touch with that.

I wrote a book. If you'd like something fairly in-depth, intense, weird, surreal, prophetic, with complex grammar and rambles, then click on 'Day One Promise' on the right hand side. I hope you enjoy. It's not overly long, but I am most proud it eventually was completed exactly how I wanted it.

I am an antitheist, the quote that sums this up for me best is by Christopher Hitchens, (yes it's on Wikipedia, but it still does echo my sentiments most concisely) and he says 'I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful.'

Finally, I promise to not close with a George Carlin video every time to back up whatever it is that I've just rambled about, BUT... how could I resist including this one. Utterly inspired. Click the logo please.

This is me.
I hope you take sufficient interest in my words to stick around and see what other inanities I may utter.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Stuff:- An introduction

So, I'm not entirely sure what it is I am about to purge, but, because of the nonsensical buzzing that goes on in my brain 24/7, I feel that there is something that needs to get out there.

Every minute of my day is spent wanting to be productive, with my own things, my own projects, my own world. Selfish I know, but it seems to be the main thing that keeps me sane. Making music. Writing words. Reading words. Listening to things. Looking at things. Updating web pages. Ordering computer files. Pretty sad really. Of course these aren't the only things that keep me sane, or take my attention. I am married to an awesome woman who I love immensely, own my own pretty cool little house, full of character I guess you'd say (falling down?!), have a full-time job that isn't great at times, but is bearable mostly, like cooking, watching films. You know, normal, good stuff. I dare say THESE are the things that actually keep me sane, but the other stuff feels like it does, so I'll stick with it.

The main enemy of myself is me, and my scatterbrained, self-inflicted mess of a life. Over the years, I've started off so many projects that never made it to their end. Books / writing collections, musical projects, galleries of art, photography and various other design related things, sparcing of 'stuff' in various abodes, tidying of files, music blogs and websites never quite being how they should be. This all eats at me. On a daily basis. Sad, but, well, true (I had to put in the extra word, much as I love early Metallica's outpourings, it's way too cliché to put in a song title this early on in proceedings!)

Of course, these aren't the only things that eat at me. More personal things like the relationship I now cannot alter with my dad. I always try to tell myself I wasn't a bad son. Not sure if this happens to everyone, but certain images or scenarios are burnt into my brain, and won't leave, which in turn makes it impossible to move on, forgive myself and realise I was a perfectly normal teenager and not the horrible bastard I now feel that I was, now that I've grown up.

I should have also set up a 'proper' business whilst I had the chance and the energy, it feels like the opportunity was hugely missed on that one, and there isn't much time that goes by that I don't regret it. I'd had the idea, talked to friends and had a team set up, had folders full of information and things to work with, full expansions of the ideas etc., a rough logo and general ident going, packs from various places helping and encouraging business ventures, but, I guess it just fizzled out due to nerves and a lack of funds to start with. The lesson really is, if you want to do something but aren't sure, just bloody go for it! Even if it's a risk, do it, there's always ways to put things that go wrong, right, and it's better than just spending the next 10-20-30 years of your life doing the whole 'What If...?' nonsense!

I know things in my life could be worse.
I just wish things in my brain could be better.

So, let's now try a (hopefully, as near as dammit) daily outpouring of things, good, bad, indifferent, weird, inspiring, educating, inciteful, insightful, related to me, related to the world, downright surreal and bizarre... Whatever. Anything. Better than trying nothing.

I'll more than likely pepper this with stupid or interesting images, videos, things to download or read, just so that the words won't just blur into lines, that blur into boxes, than blur into pages that then just blur into an excruciating black hole of whining and dribbling excessivity (which, if that's not a word then that can be my first in the list of ones to put forth for dictionary consideration).

Oh, and I shall also (because I can never resist it) add in a huge stack of links, to other interesting blogs / reads / places of interest / my musical and related projects, just... STUFF!

Here is the first interjection of something other than just me chattering. Someone who is FAR better at it than me.