Crazy Purple Rubber Squeaky Octopus

Spreading my tentacles everywhere, because everything's interesting, for a while.
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Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Son of a bitch!!!
Sorry about that. I'm annoyed.
I was just 3/4 of the way through a new piece, and it was going REALLY well.... then my machine glitched, and lost the whole bloody lot. DAMNIT!!!!
:: Steve Benway 8:14 AM [+] ::
Okay, so this whole music thing's doing my head in. I can't sleep, having assorted bits of that last tune running round in my head. Sod it! I'm dumping it out of system memory in a minute and starting something new.
I have words for two voiceovers stored away in my head... one quite a recent thing, and one that's been rattling around in there for years. The trick now is to find tunes to go with them. One of them is actually rather Fall like, at least in how I hear the words in my head. I hear Mark E Smith barking them out... just a pity I don't have his voice. Actually... it's just a pity I can't sing. A lot of people have told me I have a great voice, and I know I can do a half decent voiceover, when doing something a bit dark and moody, as in Darkness mp3, from my CD. Trouble is, when it comes to doing something with a bit more aggression or attitude, I fall down flat... and as for singing, total non-starter.
:: Steve Benway 5:41 AM [+] ::

Monday, April 29, 2002

I wish I had something interesting to tell you... but I don't.
After completing the tune I mentioned earlier, I was in the mood to start something new. The creative urge was up and running at full force, but inspitation was not forthcoming, so I sat there all night, hitting the keys, pressing the buttons and twiddling the knobs, but nothing worthwhile came out of the machine. The thing is, my method for creating music is totally unmusician-like. I have no musical knowlege... conventional music theory and composition is not a factor. What I rely on is fluke... mess with the machine, play with the settings, hit keys a random, record sequences and phrases willy-nilly, cut and paste from one place to another, and then swap one instrument for another, just to see what it sounds like. Sometimes this produces a sequence that just makes me go "Wow!", and I build on it, to create a whole tune. Last night that didn't happen, and what I was left with was nothing but a washed out mess. A few interesting phrases, but nothing to build upon. Listening to it now.... what came out sounds like some kind of oriental kids show jingle. Ack!
:: Steve Benway 6:44 PM [+] ::

Sunday, April 28, 2002

The link to the mp3 I posted earlier this week has now been removed. I did say it was for a limited period only.
However... recording on the new CD is going exceptionally well. Remember the other track I mentioned a few posts back? The one that was 'okay' but not great. Well... I ripped it apart, ditched everything but the bassline, and started over. That, coupled with some entirely flukey production and arrangement techniques have produced a track that's extemely good. Is it as good as the last? I don't know. I'll let you be the judges of that, 'cause I'm gonna make it available for a short while like the last one. If you're expecting something similar to the previous tune though, you're in for a shock... this one comes from an entirely different angle.
Watch this space, the link should be up in a day or so, if all goes well.
:: Steve Benway 4:58 AM [+] ::

Saturday, April 27, 2002

We all get some pretty strange hits from search engines from time to time, but this one has to get top marks on the freaky scale. What was this person thinking of?
"“Nothing ever gets settled in this town. It’s not like running a company or even a unive"
For the record, my blog ranked 6th on Yahoo/Google.

Oh hah!
Ooooookay. WWF clearly hasn't lost the ability to be totally silly. I didn't see the recent pay per view, but Hulk Hogan won the championship from HHH. Seems The Undertaker had a hand in it. I guess they had to find a way for it to happen without HHH losing face. Ahhh... gotta love those script writers.

:: Steve Benway 11:07 AM [+] ::

Friday, April 26, 2002

For years I've been listening to the debate, when talking movies... "Who's better, De Niro or Pacino?" and for a very long time, I came down firmly in the De Niro camp. Deerhunter always swung it for me. Well... I've switched sides. Thing is, I'd never seen that many Pacino films (probably not enough to even have a valid opinion), and Scarface always put me off him for some reason. That character just made me shudder and again, though Dog Day Afternoon is a great film, the character just didn't strike a chord in me. Anyways.... I've been watching a lot of his more recent films lately, and the combination of watching The Insider and Scent of a Woman in the same week totally did it for me. Pacino rocks. It seems that in the same way as Sean Connery, the older he gets, the better he gets.

On an unrelated subject, thursday night batchat is a lot of fun. You people are crazy... I like that :-)
Now, who wants waffles?
:: Steve Benway 4:51 PM [+] ::

Thursday, April 25, 2002

Ugh. Having to be places in the morning is killing me. Thing is, I'm a night owl by nature, normally not going to bed till around 6 or 7am, then getting up mid afternoon. This week though, I've had commitments almost every morning, and even though I've managed to get up on time, I haven't been able to get back to sleep again on getting home. Worse yet, I haven't been able to get back to sleep again till my 'normal' bedtime, meaning I've averaged around 3 hours a night so far this week. Yeah, I know there are people who can do that every day of their lives and feel no ill effects, but this particular person likes his sleep... like around 10 hours where possible.
Anyway... enough with the whining, tomorrow is a completely commitment free day, so I should be rejoining the human race from this zombie state fairly soon.

A quick reminder... if you're thinking of downloading that mp3 mentioned below, do it soon. I'll be removing it some time on saturday. The simple reason for this being, that I've already pushed my bandwidth allowance for that particular server way beyond what could be called a reasonable limit. It's on the webspace provided free by one of my isps, and to be honest, with all the other tunes I've stored there, I'm amazed they haven't closed me down. A quick calculation... I've shifted around 25,000 tunes over the past year, at a size of around 5meg each, that puts my bandwidth usage around 10 gigabytes a month. Errr.... oops.
:: Steve Benway 8:51 PM [+] ::

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Very Limited MP3 Download Oportunity

There was a link here to a freebie preview of one of my tunes, but now there isn't.
If you want that particular one, you'll have to wait till the CD's completed, or if you come into the chatroom using mirc, and ask nicely, I might dcc it to you. In the meantime, keep a lookout on this blog.... there's gonna be another tune coming up soon.
:: Steve Benway 4:58 AM [+] ::
What is with this weather? I went into town today, and it was hot. I don't mean just warm... I mean HOT. It's april for gods sake. We're supposed to be having rain, or even snow, but it's like the middle of july out there. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining... just perplexed.
So anyway, after doing my usual business at the bank, I went into the record store, and rather than buying videos, as I usually do, I took a look at the CDs. Finally, they had Radiohead's Kid A and Amnesiac at a sensible price :-)

I've always found that the very first listen to an album is critical, and should be done alone, with no interruptions... so I unplugged the phone, locked the door, settled down with some munchies, windows open, sun streaming in, and started to listen.
Guess what? *Knock knock*
I have a friend, and he's a really decent guy, but he has the most infurriating tendency to turn up uninvited when I least want company. Damnit! I should've just turned the CD's off and played them later, but I was really eager to hear them. Needless to say, I didn't really get to hear them properly, and the spell is now broken. *Sigh*

:: Steve Benway 12:30 AM [+] ::

Monday, April 22, 2002

Killing wasps with confusion.

A huge big bastard of a european wasp came into my flat the other day. These aren't like your typical english wasp... they're easily twice the size, and probably have twice the sting to boot, so when I saw it buzzing around the light in my hallway, I wasn't too eager to get to know the thing. Trouble is, I couldn't get near enough to it to swat the bugger with a newspaper... it just kept coming towards me, every time I approached it.
Okay... into the cupboards in the kitchen to see what I had stored there. Wasp killer... nope. Fly killer... nope. All purpose insect killer... nope. What's this? Flea spray? Oh what the heck, it'll have to do. So back into the hallway I marched, armed with a can of flea spary, (when you have a cat that goes outside, believe me, you need this stuff) and duly prayed the wasp with it. It's reaction was rather odd. It didn't die (no big surprise), it didn't even look dazed. If anything, I'd say it was confused.
"Oh my god, I`m going to die! Wait. WTF's this shit? I'm not a flea you idiot? Are you blind?" ***SPLAT!!***
I took full advantage of the wasp's momentary confusion, and swatted it.
:: Steve Benway 5:13 PM [+] ::
The need to sleep rather sucks. Either I end up having to bail when there're good people about in the chatroom, or people I'd like to meet wander in while I'm napping. Damnit!
:: Steve Benway 1:27 AM [+] ::

Sunday, April 21, 2002

Being a musician can be a frustrating thing. Sometimes, you can sit on a tune for years, and it never comes out quite right, no matter what you do to it. I have one of those at the moment. I think it's about as good as it's going to get... as in 'good' rather than great.
Being a musician can also be a truly joyful thing. When it all comes right, be it by chance or design, there's nothing on this earth more satisfying than sitting back and listening to a completed piece that truly kicks ass. It's better than sex. No, seriously... it is. Get it spot on perfect and you can keep coming back to it, over and over, and always get that rush.
So today, I 'finished' an okay piece that's been hanging around for a year or so, and then completed what's possibly the best tune I've ever done.
It starts out with a nice relaxed feel. Good rythmn, and a nice flow to it... dancable, in a very easy going kind of way. Then it eases into a quieter bit, lulling you into a false sense of security. Just as you think it's about to pick up and go back into the main piece, all hell breaks loose. There's this bass synth and power-tom thing that just blasts in from no-where. *BAM*. It makes me laugh out loud each time I hear it, `cause it's so over-powering. Then just as your pulse is starting to settle, these bells come chiming in, playing the most wonderful arpeggio sequence, and sending your head into a spin.
My poor neighbours. This thing's cranked up as loud as it will go, and the bass and drums are rattling the windows. Happy day :-)

btw, sorry, you'll have to wait a while for the mp3s, as I'm not making them available till the whole album's complete.
:: Steve Benway 7:06 PM [+] ::
I don't tend to talk much about bands I like in here, but just for a change, I'm going to.
I was having a dig through my CD collection tonight, and pulled out a few albums by The Fall. Chances are, not many, if any, of you have ever heard of them. They're a small independant band from the uk who've been going since the late 70s. What are they like? Well... rather than sit and describe their sound, just imagine Captain Beefheart with a Manchester accent, with non-existant production values. They sound so terrible that they're awesome. If you take a look at their website, it's worth looking at the lyrics section. The lead singer, and songwriter has a wonderfully obscure sense of humour, and hearing him bark that stuff in his manc accent... it's a very singular experience, and something I recommend to everyone.
:: Steve Benway 1:24 AM [+] ::

Saturday, April 20, 2002

What are you talking about?

Something that never ceases to amuse me in the chatroom, or any other chatroom come to that, is the difference between 'english' english and 'american' english. The thing is, here in the uk, we are constantly bombarded with american english on the tv, so slang expressions are pretty widely recognised, even if they aren't actually used by us. It was only after coming online a few years ago that I found this doesn't necesaraly work the other way. Okay, there is an ammount of english tv shown in america, but not nearly as saturated as we get here, so a lot of slang terms simply haven't been heard.
Of course, it's not just slang. There are lots of words that both languages use, but that have totally different meanings. Yeah, yeah, I know you all know this already, but it's only when actually having a conversation that the differences really show themselves, and it can be very funny/confusing... and on occasion, can cause offense. How many americans know that if an english person says they're 'pissed', they mean they're drunk, not annoyed? 'Pissed off' would mean annoyed. Subtle difference.
I guess the stuff I have the most difficulty with is food. For ages, I had no idea what twinkies were, and there's lots more that are completely alien to me. Now... who wants some Toad In The Hole?
I know it's a cliche, but I wanna say it anyway, as it's still a truth. We may speak more or less the same language, and have similar values, but england and america really are foreign countries to each other. To quote a certain WWF wrestler though, "That's not a bad thing... it's a good thing."
In closing, if you've heard an english word, and don't know what it means, leave a comment. It could be amusing, if not informative.
:: Steve Benway 10:44 PM [+] ::
Ouch. I woke up today and the backs of my thighs are killing me. The time spent crouching down to pick up all the crap from my floor has rather taken its toll. Needless to say, I didn't start on the kitchen today, and besides, after staying up very late in chat last night, I didn't get up till around 7:30pm this evening. I'll do it tomorrow.
Speaking of chat, it seems I wasn't entirely correct in my assesment of the effects of restricting access to the webcams. Yes, we are certainly afflicted with far fewer lamers, which is great, but decent people are still joining us, wich is even better. The past two nights in particular have been both very lively and very enjoyable.
:: Steve Benway 8:21 PM [+] ::

Friday, April 19, 2002

I have begun a truly mammoth task today, something that has been LONG overdue. Spring cleaning.
Having become something of a hermit over the past year, and rarely having visitors, I had reached a frame of mind where I simply didn't care what kind of a state my flat was in. The level of mess is beyond my ability to describe with mere words. Empty cigarette packets? On the floor. Empty beer or coke cans? On the floor. Takeaway sandwich packaging? On the floor. I'm sure you get the picture. It's no exageration to say that you really couldn't see the carpet, if you were brave/stupid enough to enter the place.
Well, enough is enough. This room at least, though not exactly presentable, is now clear of all the rubbish. There are still piles of paperwork on various shelves or flat surfaces that need sorting, and everything needs dusting, but you can at least now walk across the room without the need for biological warfare suits and moutaineering equipment.Tomorrow, I'll start on the REALLY scary bit. The kitchen. *shudder*. My intention is to have the place presentable by the end of the weekend.
It's probably the onset of summer that's brought all this on, and though it's still unlikely that there'll be many people who'll come visiting, it does happen more in the summer, and I'd like to be able to invite them in without feeling ashamed.
:: Steve Benway 6:21 PM [+] ::
I'm having some trouble with the archive on this thing. Not sure if I've screwed it up while adding links to the template, or if the server is down, but I can't seem to get them back. Damnit!
I'll keep tinkering anyway. My home, and pretty much everything else in my life may be a constant mess, but anything I do on the web has to be just right. Talk about being a quirky virgo.
:: Steve Benway 3:50 PM [+] ::
Catastrophe averted. Arry's connection issues have been resolved. I can't easily explain what a tragedy it would be if things hadn't been sorted. You could read her blog, but I doubt you'd get it. Spend a few years in chatrooms with her though, and you'll understand. A great friend to many, and wonderfully vicious towards anyone dumb enough to cross her... the net needs people like arry.
:: Steve Benway 3:01 AM [+] ::

Thursday, April 18, 2002

Yeah, I know, I didn't post anything yesterday. What can I tell you? I didn't have anything worthwhile to say.
It's looking very likely that arry is going to lose her internet connection very shortly, and I have to say, I'm very sad about this. Apart from the fact that I love her company, the net will be a far poorer place without her.
:: Steve Benway 2:01 PM [+] ::

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

The change in chatroom policy certainly seems to have been effective. Over a period of around 8 hours in chat last night, we were afflicted with no lamers whatsoever, where normally we'd have had between 10 and 20 brainless twerps asking such gems as "asl?", "How can I see the webcams?" or "Any hot chicks in here?". On the downside, we also had very few casual visitors either, though I knew this would happen. It's a sad fact that because the chatroom features webcams, the vast majority of potential visitors to the room are only interested in the cams, and not in having a decent conversation, so when they see that they won't be able to watch the cams straight away, they don't bother to join us. Also, there being vastly more chatrooms online being promoted as fun or friendly than there are webcam rooms, we get precious few of the type of visitor that we'd actually like.
Swings and roundabouts I guess, and I do believe it's been worth it. It's more important, I think, to keep the regular visitors happy, than to have to wade through a mass of idiots in the hope that just a few of them will be decent people.

In other chat related news, I tried to install an alternate applet yesterday that will work for Apple Mac users, yet though I like to think I'm half decent with html, I simply couldn't make the thing work. Pity, as I know we're missing out on free thinking people because of it. (Newsflash: It appears that mac problems only occurr on IE, and that the applet 'should' work on Netscape, though I can't confirm this, not having a mac) Anyways, should anyone reading this wish to join the room, but find the applet doesn't like their computer, it's still quite easy to join us using standard pc irc software like mirc or pirch and ircle on the mac, while Amiga users can use Amirc (still the best irc client I've ever used). We're on the dalnet irc network, in #Benway.
So, what kind of people go to the room? See those links on the left? 'Friends Blogs'. Those are just a few of the regular visitors, while there are links to the homepages of quite a few more in the room itself. In all, we have around 15 or so regular visitors, and the room is accupied every night by myself and others for a large part of the night. Sounds like I'm trying to attract more people to the room here. You better believe it. Spending the ammount of time that I do reading blogs, I know that the people who read and write these things are exactly the kind of people we're looking for in the chatroom, so don't be shy, get your butts in there :-)
:: Steve Benway 1:18 PM [+] ::

Monday, April 15, 2002

I was surfing random blogs (as you do) and spotted this. I do believe this guy is right, men DO have periods. Okay, so there's none of the actual physical effects, but metally and emotionally... you better believe it. For a while I've been wondering if I suffer from bipolar disorder, but looking up the details of this condition, what happens to me just doesn't fit the description. Easier for me to describe what happens, rather than to try and rationalise it.
Every six or so weeks, I get into this mood, hyper sensetive, it's very easy for me to get depressed, and if anyone says anything that even slightly annoys me, I bite their heads off. The biggest problem with this is, it's usually the people I care most about who I end up having a raging barny at, leaving them upset and wondering what on earth's going on. If it weren't for the fact that this has happens on a predictable cycle, and has been pointed out to me by several people who're close to me, I'd think it was just me being a moody bastard, but as it is... *shrugs*. Call it what you will, but it's a relief to know I don't appear to be the only one.
:: Steve Benway 9:55 PM [+] ::
Speaking of Christopher Walken....
while I was in town today, they had the usual 'buy 5 videos for £30' deal in Virgin Records, and one of the videos I bought was Last Man Standing, starring Bruce Willis and featuring Christopher Walken. I recall reading about this film when it came out, the general consensus being that it's not very good.... but since I try to buy everything I find featuring Walken, I couldn't resist. The thing is, I think people may have missed the point. Approaching this film head on, and taking it for what it appears to be is a mistake. Imagine a cheap, pulp novel, the kind of thing you'd have bought maybe 50 years ago for just a few pence/cents. They were crappy throwaway things, poor character development, poor plotlines and with little to do with literary quality... just something to while away a few hours. This film is based on that style, and as such, is supposed to appear shallow. It's a concept movie, and as such, succeeds quite well in re-creating that style and feel. So is it any good then? Umm..... not really. I guess they were right after all.
And the other 4 films I picked up? The Insider... hey, what can I say, it's Al Pacino, and The Omen Trilogy, which The Exorcist aside, are probably the only 'horror' films I've ever found remotely unnerving.
:: Steve Benway 6:19 PM [+] ::
I'm just about to walk into town, but before I do, I really need to mention this. I spotted the link to it on the tiny blog (linked in the menu on the left). What is it? If you haven't already looked, it's a spoof weblog, supposedly by Christopher Walken. As a big Walken fan, I found it highly amusing, and whoever it is that's created it, they impersonate Walken's quirky speach mannerisms brilliantly. What really gives it away as a spoof, apart from the cryptic disclaimer on the info page, is the fact that it's all written 'in character', when if you've ever read interviews with Walken, you'd know he isn't really the psycho portrayed in his films. Nevertheless... it's great fun to read :-)
:: Steve Benway 1:21 PM [+] ::

Sunday, April 14, 2002

Heh. Regular readers of this blog may recall that a month or so ago I wrote about how the Star Trek script writers tend to re-use character types. Well, it seems they do rather more than that. I know they've done it before, Tuvok, Paris, and even Cisco's father have turned up in series other than the ones they're best recognised in, but these were in episodes before the shows that made them more widely known. So I've just been watching Enterprise, and guess who the Andorian commado leader is? It's none other than Weyun, the top Vorta from DS9. Okay, so the makeup is very good, and to look at him, you'd never notice, but do they really think we wouldn't notice a voice like that?

Yeash. WTF are they doing with the Simpsons? "Maybe a little morphine will refresh my memory" *Doctor shoots Homer up with morphine, and he drifts off into a hazey stupor* They have SO lost the plot on that show.
:: Steve Benway 6:08 PM [+] ::

Saturday, April 13, 2002

Chatroom Policy Change

In an attempt to discourage lamers and trolls from coming into the chatroom, and to stop people from hogging the bandwidth of those running webcams without even entering the room, I've added a password system to the webcams menu in the room. As of now, only regular chatters, or those who've been invited, will be able to view the cams. All of the people who run cams will be given this password, so don't panic, as will anyone else who visits on a regular basis. At the end of the day, myself, and various other chatters are simply sick of people who just want to watch the cams, while we're there to have a decent conversation.

In the past, we've had people come into the room, sit and drool at the women, making them feel uncomfortable. Even if we kicked them out of the room, they were still able to watch the cams. They can't do this now, as anyone who hasn't made the effort to join the group and let us get to know them, simply won't be able to view the cams. That may sound like a radical move, making it less appealing to newcomers... but we have a very special thing going in the room, and it's a shame to see it spoiled by a few brainless idiots.
This will in no way affect the ability of people to display their cams outside of the room, ie. you can still view my cam from the link on the left of this blog. It only affects access to the cams menu in the chatroom.
:: Steve Benway 11:53 PM [+] ::

Friday, April 12, 2002

After two bowls of catfood, half a dozen kitty treats, and an hour spent sleeping on my chest, here is the little furry nightmare in all his lazy glory.

:: Steve Benway 3:14 PM [+] ::
My cat is back. I have no idea where the inconsiderate little furball's been, but he's in good health, not a scratch on him. I guess he must've been getting food left out by neighbours for their own cats, as that's pretty much the done thing around here, 'cause even though he was hungry, he doesn't appear to have starved.
I was coming back from town, having paid some bills, and reached the point in the fence near my flat, where he usually hides in the bushes. I did my usual thing and called him, not expecting him to be there, and he just came rushing out screaming at me.
You have no idea how relieved I am.
:: Steve Benway 1:04 PM [+] ::
I'm bored. I'd like to write something interesting here, but my life's in something of a slump right now, and there's absolutely nothing of interest to tell you. Just spent half an hour looking through random blogs, trying to find something that'd interest me, and failed dismally. Someone please slap me, kick my arse and wake me up from this tedious frame of mind.
:: Steve Benway 11:29 AM [+] ::

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Freudian Typo #3
"* Wildmouse1 dicks"
:: Steve Benway 9:33 PM [+] ::
A year or so ago, I was fortunate enough to have my website mentioned in a book that was given away free on the cover of a national magazine. Nothing too spectacular about that, and I can't even say it affected traffic to my site in any significant way... but just now, I was surfing various sites and found this. I thought the wording sounded familiar, and then realised, they've ripped of the whole of the book, word for word. What's funny about this is, they're claiming copyright. Haha... yeah right.
:: Steve Benway 5:16 PM [+] ::

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Cat worries aside, my weekly trip into town for coffee with my mum was pleasant, and this time, I remembered to take my camera.
This is the tree I spoke of last week, while this is a view from inside the cafe we drink at. Here is a picture of the fountain in Queens Court, where we stopped while I smoked a cigarette.
All in all, it's a nice place to spend an afternoon.
:: Steve Benway 6:26 PM [+] ::
My mood has lightened some, after a couple of hours sleep, but now I find myself worrying. My cat hasn't been home since friday, and though I'm used to him going walkabout for several days at a time, he's never been gone this long. I hope he's okay. I've been out looking for him on several occasions, and at least I haven't found him dead by the side of the road, which is always a worry, but still... I wish he'd come home. Among the many possibilities as to his whereabouts, the only likely one is that his wanderings, looking for girlie cats, took him a little too far, or maybe he got chased by a dog, or another cat, found himself in unfamiliar surrounding and couldn't find his way home. It's unlikely that someone picked him up and took him home,as he's very antisocial, not letting anyone near him but me.

Stupid by name, and stupid by nature, I wish he's come home.
:: Steve Benway 12:44 PM [+] ::
Sitting here brooding, I decided to do a website update. I've removed a whole load of stuff from the main menu in the webcam chatroom, most of which served little purpose, as the features either didn't work any more, or no-one took any notice of them. The only item that was maybe a little useful was the section containing chatters profiles. I removed this for a couple of reasons, one being that it took more effort than was worthwhile to keep it updated, the other being that I kept getting requests to add profiles from people who I'd never even heard of, and certainly weren't regulars to the room. I've also removed the link to the room from the webcam communities page. That page being VERY high profile, it was attracting far to many trolls and lamers.
So what have I added? In the chatroom menu, there are now links to regular chatters weblogs, which saves people going to my blog to find them, and a couple more links to the homepages of regular chatters.

What actually prompted me to do the update was an email from someone who'd requested a link last week. They were asking if I was actually going to link to them, because if I wasn't, they were going to remove the link to my site. That sounds fair enough in itself, but it did make me laugh. The page they wanted the link from is VERY high profile, and they'll get FAR more traffic from me than I ever would from them, so it left me chuckling and thinking "should I care?" Anyway, I added the link and hope they're happy now. Bloody impatient.
:: Steve Benway 5:31 AM [+] ::

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Thank god for tv.
On occasions that I find myself annoyed or agitated, when I'd as soon swear at people than say hello. I resort to tv. If there's nothing interesting on, I just toss a video in and watch that. So I'm watching a lot of tv today. Not answering the door, not answering the phone. God help anyone who intrudes into my world just now.
:: Steve Benway 6:34 PM [+] ::

Monday, April 08, 2002

I should have stayed at home today, after things had started out so well. A new piece of music is working out extremely well, which made me very happy. Still, I needed to go into town to pay some bills, so go out I did.
I knew something was amiss when I was run into from behind by a 70ish year old man, leading a convoy of 4 grannies on their little electric buggy things. To add insult to injury, he looked at me after I'd picked myself up and told me I should look where I'm going. After all the talk about the youth of today having no manners, the irony was not lost on me.

So, I got into the main shopping centre, and could tell something was really wrong. I'm used to the place having 'themed' days, as I like to call them. You have your granny day, your young mother with kids day, your fat, bald man day, your attractive young woman day, your ugly people day... but I've never known a day like this. Have you ever watched Dark Angel? Life in whatever american city, after 'the pulse' had destroyed the economy, and society has broken down to its lowest form. This felt like that. Fat people, skinny people, ugly people, dirty shoes, dirty clothes, spots, warts and blotches, mismatching everything, everyone was miserable, kids screamed with runny noses, the bank was like a building site and there was a line of miserable, impatient, complaining people 100 yards long waiting to get into Pizza Hut. It looked like not only had the world forgotten to put on its makeup, it hadn't even had time to drink coffee. To say the atmosphere made me feel depressed is an understatement of epic proportions.

Having paid the bills, I did my usual thing and wandered round the place, looking for that one shining, bright face, in this sea of miserable zombies, and I found one. A breathtakingly beautiful young woman, very alternatively dressed, who stood out from this mass of grey dullness like a star. We made brief eye contact, and she smiled, a brief unspoken acknowledgment between two strangers that yeah, this place really was fucked up, and thank god there's another non-zombie in the place.
Too good to be true. Fate had set me a trap, or played some awful trick on me. Just as I continued walking, almost breaking into a quiet smile, I saw her. An old girlfriend. Not just any old girlfiend though... the old girlfriend. My first love, and the only woman to ever truly break my heart. She was sat in the spot we used to sit in, with her husband(?) laughing and playing with their two kids. She had bright red hair and a smile a mile wide... the first time I've seen her smiling in years. We didn't make eye contact, and I can't even be sure if she saw me, but I didn't want to find out. On the rare occasions we speak, in passing, she gets this expression on her face 'Oh, it's you', that leaves me part angry, and part gutted. I kept walking, and found myself thinking of this. A piece I wrote during the five years we were together. I knew what it was I was feeling now... displaced. Deffinitely time to go home.
So I'm sitting here now, writing this piece, feeling rather down. I'm gonna watch City Of Angels starring Nicolas Cage, and then go to bed. Things always look better after sleep.

:: Steve Benway 2:30 PM [+] ::

Sunday, April 07, 2002

Bugs, More Bugs, and Ewww!!!!

Ok, this one's just gonna run and run. Remember the big bug story on TwistyPants? Well DreaBeth found even more, and the following item about the 'horsehair worm'...ugh! Be very glad you aren't a bug. You aren't a bug are you?
Just for the sake of outgrossing that story, watch out for this fish next time you take a leak while wandering up the amazon. "The fish, called Candiru, will swim into the urethras of both men and women if they should so decide to answer the call of nature while immersed. It's about 40-60mm long, and only 4-6mm wide, so it can fit. Women are more prone to attack due to the larger opening, and also due to the fact that the fish are attracted by blood as well as urine. Since the fish has spines that it can extend out, removal is next to impossible without surgery."

All this talk of bugs and other nasty things has remided me of something that happened a few years ago.
You know how sometimes you can be laying in bed on a hot night, and you get 'the itches'? There's no good reason for it, you just get an itch, you scratch it, and 2 seconds later, you get another itch somewhere else, you scratch that... and... well, you know how it goes. So on this particular night, must`ve been around 1991, I was laying in bed, and got an attack of the itches. I scratched one, got another, scratched that, got another and.... "Hold on... wtf is THAT!?!!!" There was something on my leg. Obviously, I couldn't see it, as it was under the covers, and the lights were out anyway. Instinctively, I grabbed it, tore the covers off, and threw it out of the bed. I then jumped up, turned on the lights, and found THIS The picture displayed is actual size.
It's known as a Devils Coach-Horse or Cock Tail. They're native to the uk, and totally ugly little bastards. They stick their tails up like scorpions when they feel threatened, which is kinda freaky, and though they don't have a sting, they have a vicious bite. And this little bastard was crawling up my leg!!!

:: Steve Benway 9:54 AM [+] ::

Saturday, April 06, 2002

WWF.... WTF?

Yes, I know it's not real, and yes, I know it's really not teaching kids the best way to deal with real life problems, but I can't help loving it.
Why do I enjoy it so much? Simple... it's silly. It's so utterly over the top and ridiculous that it appeals to my sense of humour... and it doesn't get much sillier than this: Hulk Hogan, the guy who put the WWF on the map, and was making the headlines when I was still in school 18 odd years ago, is about to face Triple H for the title.
Now The Undertaker has been around a while, and to be honest, isn't really on top form any more. If you watch him move, he's lost a lot of flexibility, and he was never really fast. So when you stop to think, Undertaker is the guy who knocked Hogan off the top slot back in the 80's... what does that say about the kinda shape Hogan's in today? He's old, and it's clear, when you get used to the way the script writers work, he's not going to win. So what's going on? Is the WWF scraping the bottom of the barrel? No. That's not it.
When they bought out the ailing WCW, the WWF found themselves in possesion of a wresting icon... the legend who put them where they are today. Now granted, he may be over the hill, and this is probably his swan song, but what an oportunity for the latest top players to face someone who really, no-one thought they'd ever face. It's about paying their respects, and putting on a damned good show. The look on Triple H's face, when Hogan came into the ring in Smackdown this week said it all. HHH may have been talking the talk, with the usual "I'll hurt you" speach, but you could see it... he had a grin a mile wide, and so he should.
It's big, it's brash, and by god it's silly... but hell... it sure is fun.
:: Steve Benway 1:22 PM [+] ::

Friday, April 05, 2002

This cracked me up...
Read the full story at TwistyPants
:: Steve Benway 11:03 PM [+] ::
Ahhhh.... money, at last. The cheque cleared, so after a couple of days eating nothing but pasta and minced beef, I went shopping and made a complete pig of myself.
Strange how a few bits of data squirted down a phone line can have such a strong influence on your life. If they get through, everything's peachy, yet if they don't, everything goes to hell. I sometimes wonder if a simpler, less complicated life is better. Would it be easier if when we're hungry, we could just crawl out of our cave, go club a wild pig over the head, and hey-presto.. free take-away? It sounds nice, but wait... where to plug in the modem? Ummm.....

I think I may be coming down with something... certainly don't feel quite right. Bit of a headache, stomach's churning somewhat, and yup... there it is... sore throat. Okay... who gave me their cold/flu? At least I was able to stock up on paracetamol/atomic lemon while I was shopping.

It seems that the applet in my chatroom doesn't like apple macs. There's no good reason why it shouldn't, but the error message I was shown kinda suggests that the person who coded the applet simply didn't want mac users using it. How arrogant is that? As a long time Amiga user, who's very fimliar with zero software compatibility/support, except for on Amiga specific sites, I totally sympathise, but more... it seems outragous that users of a machine that's already marginalised should actually be prevented from using a piece of software that it's perfectly capable of running. Of course, I could just be wrong about the error code, but having seen this kind of thing before, I find I'm rather cynical. Anyway... I know of an alternative applet that may work, so at some point in the near future, I'll set up a link offering it as an option for people having trouble with the usual one.

While I think of it, I know one or two people have gone to take a look at the chatroom, and been put off by the rather assertive anti-lamer tone of it. The thing is, we really are very friendly towards civilised people, and won't bite your head off. The reason for the tone of that page is, as a webcam chatroom, we get a lot of trolls and weirdos who just want to oggle at any women who may be on the cams, and mindless idiots whos only concept of conversation is to say "asl?" or "Where are the webcams" when it's pretty obvious where they are. As someone who can clearly think, and is prepared to actually read what's on a page, rather than just mindlessly click links, let me assure you, you would be made very welcome in the room... so feel free to come and say hi :-)

:: Steve Benway 9:42 PM [+] ::

Thursday, April 04, 2002

Ah, that's better. The server's back up.
Oh my, how did it reach 11:00pm so fast? I should be in chat. In my defense, it's been a long day, so when I finally managed to grab some sleep, I didn't wake up till around 9:30. Anyways, here I come, ready or not.
:: Steve Benway 11:11 PM [+] ::
Argh. The template server's down, and I was going to add a link to the sidebar. I guess it'll have to wait. Here's what I was about to add though... cat lovers really should read this . Justice for all? Hah! Wake up people, if your face doesn't fit in a small town, you're screwed. I can relate, to some extent, having grown up in a small english village, but yeash.
:: Steve Benway 10:53 PM [+] ::
Grrr. The cheque still hasn`t cleared. Not surprising after the easter holidays and all, but a total pain in the arse. It's a good job I have quite a bit of small change laying around, or I'd be in trouble. I'm rather odd like that... rarely spending coins smaller than 50 pence, so when my pockets become uncomfortably full, I just empty all the change out onto the nearest convenient surface in my room. There's probably around £20 laying around in here in 1, 2, 5 and 10 pence coins, so I'll bag them all up later and change them at the bank for more usable money.
Naturally, when I got home from checking my bank balance, the credit card company phoned, telling me the payment plan I've been on has expired, and that the minimum payment on my cards is now double what I've been paying. Could've done without that. Still... I can't really complain, as they've been very patient with me, allowing me double the usual time permitted on a payment plan, when they could've just sent in the debt collectors. I'm not panicing... I know I can handle it. I'll say this though, if you're ever offered credit cards, don't do it. They may be great to begin with, but if you ever run inito hard times, I guarantee you'll regret it.
:: Steve Benway 10:56 AM [+] ::
More stuff in blurb. I'll be recording the silly searches people find this site by, down there.
:: Steve Benway 7:29 AM [+] ::
I had a dream that I was tormenting a deformed crab with a poker. WTF is that all about? And why do I keep typing frog instead of crab? Twice now I've done that. I must be losing it.
Arry concluded....
@arryana> im so going to crab hell. Working at crustacean is tantamount to being a general in the crab nazi extermination regime
:: Steve Benway 4:13 AM [+] ::

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

Another funny s/e result, though I guess this one doesn't surprise me.
Number 13 at yahoo/google for "crazy gothic freaks"
All I can say to that is, I'm not a freak, I'm not a goth (no, really) and...okay, I may be a bit crazy... but isn't everyone?
:: Steve Benway 9:23 PM [+] ::
Hah! Just recieved an email that cracked me up. I'm quoting the entire message in full here.
"I have linked to your website. Please link to mine"
That's it. Nothing else... no description, no details, no nothing, and funniest of all... no url !!!
Guess what folks, the email address.... it was an AOL user. I rest my case.
:: Steve Benway 7:31 PM [+] ::
Today was rather a mixed affair. It started out badly, as the cheque I was expecting to have cleared hadn't. No money, meaning no cigarettes, and numerous other things. Not good.
That asside though, it's been very pleasant. It's warm out, so I enjoyed the walk into town to see my mum. We sat in the cafe, drinking coffee and chatting idly about nothing in particular. I sometimes find it difficult to know what to say to her, but today it was all very relaxed and enjoyable.
Summer is most deffinitely here, and it feels good to venture outside again, which is just as well, since I have to go into town again tomorrow. Note to self: Remember to take the camera. There's a tree in part of the shopping centre, an old oak, which the developers weren't allowed to cut down when they applied for permission to build the place. So, being clever people, they made the tree a feature of the building, and the result is quite excellent. If I remember to take the camera tomorrow, I'll post the pic here, or at least link to it.
:: Steve Benway 5:50 PM [+] ::

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Judging The Book By The Cover

It never ceases to amaze me how people treat others differently, according to how they look or dress. These pics are both of me. When I wear the suit (a very rare event), I'm treated with respect by adults, people working in shops etc, while teens, and kids on the street sneer. Then, when I dress as usual, leather jacket, and all in black, little old ladies cross the road to avoid me, children hide behind their mothers, and teens absolutely do not mess with me.
I guess it's to be expected, but I can't help finding it odd, as neither one of these reactions reflects who I am. I'm neither some respectable businessman, nor some dangerous ruffian type monster who'd bite your head off. Just goes to show how people are conditioned to expect certain things.
:: Steve Benway 6:21 PM [+] ::

Monday, April 01, 2002

There's more new stuff in the Blurb section on the left, just in case you never scroll down that far. My favourite movies and bands.
:: Steve Benway 8:39 PM [+] ::
Ugh! My cat just sneezed, right in my face.
:: Steve Benway 5:22 PM [+] ::
Okay.... now I've seen it all. Another strange and bizarre hit from google. This blog ranked number 7 for someone searching for "looking for love of my life camarades".
Hehehehe. That's too funny. While I do indeed have a webcam on camarades, they're sooooooo in the wrong place if they're hoping to find the love of their life. The strange thing is, do they honestly expect google to know who would be the love of their life? Maybe I've been going about it all wrong. Hold on... I haven't been going about it at all, but still. (Swiftly goes to google and searches for "Looking for long term but undemanding relationship with sane 30ish gothic woman who has a life of her own and can tollerate an egotistical lazy bastard")
Hahaha.... no match found. What a surprise.
:: Steve Benway 4:54 PM [+] ::
I was gonna post a piece about the holidays being crappy when you don't have a life... but deleted it, 'cause it was turning out far too negative and selfish. I dunno what to write about now though.
Nice weather we're having today.

I really like my local shop. It's pretty clear how they recognise the shopping habits of their regular customers, and I'm VERY regular. I could fall off my balcony and pretty much land in their doorway, so I tend not to go and do the days grocery shopping all in one go, so much as just nip down there whenever I need something. This generally calls for 3 to 4 visits a day. So anyway, I was making my first visit of the day today... just catfood, coke and cigarettes. I wandered up to the counter with the moggy nosh and coke, and the woman behind the counter went and picked up a pack of Marloboro lights without me even asking for them. "How did you know I wanted cigarettes?" I asked. "You always buy them on your first visit of the day" she replied. "It's 3 in the afternoon. How did you know it's my first visit?".... "You only picked up catfood and coke, which means you're only concerned with feeding your cat and waking up... everything else can wait till later."
This was from one of the women I rarely speak to. Some are very sociable, while others are strictly business... but it still made me smile.
:: Steve Benway 4:18 PM [+] ::

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