A lot of things going on at once means I’ve been struggling to write much of anything over the last few weeks, blog posts or otherwise. However, I’m taking a break at the end of my day to throw out some things, mixing everything together into a happy little Brain Bite. And naturally, to start with…
Black Sabbath — Children of the Sea
Dating from the Ronnie James Dio era rather than the Insane Ozzy one, this is easily my favourite Sabbath song (and it also inspired Children of the Damned by Iron Maiden, which is one of my favourite Iron Maiden songs, so it’s a double winner). As much as I like Ozzy-era Sabbath, I love Dio’s voice, and this song really showcases that.
And, moving on from here…
Copious Amounts of Spam
The internet is full of robots. These robots are about as bright as a brick, and they post comments to blogs. People don’t find my blog, but robots do, and they say things like “Hey, I saw your Brain Bite #12 Blog, and it could be getting more views if you just pay us money”, or just as often, posts with surprisingly coherent but unfocused content, posted by someone called “The Three Day Diet” or something equally imaginative. So I now get to delete a lot of spam comments. What fun it is!
PC Builds and Future Preparation
I program for a living, but thanks to my work providing my hardware, I’ve never built my own PC (though my sister and brother-in-law have been doing so for years). Now that I’m out on my own, my next system will be home-built — but for now, I’m just upgrading my stock-built HP to help it last longer. Thanks to sale-prices and rebates, I got a new GPU, a new PSU (too big, but a heavily discounted bargain), and more memory — hopefully delaying the costs of building a whole new system for at least a few more years.
But even when I do get round to building one of my own, I have no designs on building a “high-performance” PC. I’m curious about things like water-cooling blocks and performance tuning, but only in the same way I’m curious about how they construct space-stations and the like. Neat stuff, but not actually anything I expect to be ever doing myself.
And no more mousy wheel-clicks!
I opened my wireless mouse up, cleared out the fluff from the scroll wheel, and then accidentally pulled out a spring along with it. Turns out, the spring’s sole purpose in life is to take a smoothly scrolling wheel and make it go clickety-click while scrolling less easily. I’ve left it out, and I now like my mouse even better (which is saying a lot — I’ve had this mouse for so long now that the rubber padding on the outside has worn completely through where I rest my thumb).
And lastly, accents…
In England, people think I sound American now. Over here, people think I sound British (or, sometimes, the more generic “From somewhere else”.) And it seems that familiarity with accents really affects how well you can understand each other — so for example, I find Indian and Scottish accents mostly a breeze (excluding the insanely-thick-accented far North West Scotsmen, who sound like they’re growling cheerfully to me) while my wife can understand Hispanic accents much more easily than I can.
But it’s my own accent that seems to cause the more bother. Sometimes, I run into someone who doesn’t understand my accent or what I’m saying (case in point, trying to order “macaroni & cheese” through a drive-through, and the order-taker asking I’ve I’d requested “chocolate cake”). Responding to this, I try to talk more clearly. But when I do this, my accent becomes more clearly English, and people have even MORE trouble understanding what I’m saying. Bah…