When the ‘poor little rich kid’ is right

The guy who invented Minecraft (it’s some kind of game, apparently) sold his company and became a billionaire. Good for him. He’s not happy about it.

Here are some of his comments on Twitter

richboyThe comments on the article are all ‘My heart bleeds – not’ and ‘Why not give it all away and be a poor struggling worker drone again?’.

That second tweet is right though. Dead right. Money is not, or should not be, the ultimate goal of life. For the article commenters it seems that’s what their life is all about.

Money is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Too much of it is the same as too much of anything else. It will destroy you.

I’ve been running along the breadline for years and you know what? It’s great. Really. If I want something I can save for it or work for it but if I had billions, what would I do? I really would have no more reason to do anything. This guy bought a big house in Beverley Hills where he can live among people who care passionately about money even though he doesn’t. That was a bad move.

If I ever won the lottery, which is unlikely as I never buy a ticket, sure, I’d take the money. I’d still have a little job somewhere so I could be among real people and I certainly would not be partying with shallow, vacuous ‘celebs’. I’d be down the pub with those considered to be the dregs.

One thing I learned while homeless is that the real people are mostly down there among the ‘dregs’. Those who say what they think, not what they are taught to think. Those who fight to survive every day. They are not stupid (there are some) because the stupid don’t usually survive long in that part of society.

Unless they have strength or some other quality they can sell, they don’t last long.

Take the challenge out of life and it becomes boring and unbearable. There has to be something to deal with. Something to fix. Something to keep that brain working and the body active. Otherwise, what’s the point of having either?

It’s true there have been times when spontaneous donations to this blog have been all that have kept me from the gutter. It’s true that I’ve had to sell things I made that I will never be able to make again just to pay the latest bills. I’ll never see those things again but I made them and they still exist. They are out there somewhere. They are part of this world and I did that. That is a really good feeling.

So much more of a good feeling than looking at a bank statement. I don’t usually get any kind of good feeling looking at mine.

Where is the sense of achievement in looking at some printed numbers? Markus Persson has just found the truth in ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’. Yes, you have to have some in order to pay the taxes but when it goes into overload, what do you do then?

Well first of all you pay more taxes. Then you get calls from new ‘friends’ who just need a teeny loan of maybe a few thousand. You cannot tell friend from freeloader any more and you don’t have to do a damn thing to pay your next bill or find your next meal.

It does sound good to be able to sit beside your own swimming pool every day, sipping tequila sunrise and scratching your arse. I could do that for a few weeks – but forever? No.

If I was a millionaire now I would not trust any approach from any woman. As it is, I have nothing so I know it’s me she wants. There isn’t anything else ;)

And that’s a good feeling too. I can make the money later.

Not having to ever worry how you’re going to pay the next bill would be nice. That’s undeniable. And yet, take it too far and all the challenge is gone from life. With it goes the value.

If I want something I have to work and save to get it. When I do, I treasure it. I put some of my life into getting it. If I could just go out and buy it straight away then it won’t mean anything, really. It’s just a thing I bought. It might be very expensive but it has no value.

So what should Markus do? Anything he damn well pleases. If it were me I’d opt for a little cottage somewhere quiet and write crazy books whether anyone wanted to read them or not. I’d have a little job in a local shop to get me out of the house once in a while. I’d make things with no sense of urgency and sell or give them to other people because I don’t have room for them all.

But I would stay away from those who think life is all about making as much money as possible. That kind of thinking leads to no real life at all.

It’s not the money that’s making Markus miserable. It’s how he’s using it.

I never could get the hang of Thursdays

The internet will be active in my new home on Thursday, assuming something in my life happens as it should for once. I will have to be living there before Thursday because I cannot stand it here any longer. Also the harpy will be getting letters soon about council tax etc, and I know what will happen then.

I have a respite in that Monday is a bank holiday so I have the weekend to move the last of the breakable things that matter to me but Tuesday’s arrival of post is the last possible moment I could survive here without gathering further blemishes. That is when things will start getting broken.

It’s not too bad, I can manage with the mobile phone connection for a couple of days although I can’t run the blog with it too well. It does mean CynaraeStMary can turn this place into a pink penguin paradise with topless (and maybe bottomless) hunky guy pics but it won’t be long before I can turn it back into a proper curmudgeon’s ranting place.

She can rant and she can digress just like me, she just doesn’t know it yet  ;) This blog will continue as before but with a little balance from my new feminine side.

The setting up of internet was not without hitch, as you’d expect. The online setup didn’t distinguish between flat numbers and house numbers in the same street and it looked like I was setting up for another house in another street in another town. There were phone calls. There were growls and there were hisses through teeth. There were apologetic operators and I could almost feel them cringe.

Eventually, three rather cowed telephone operators accepted where I lived and they made sure their records were correct so I would never have reason to call back.

Next, credit card companies. Oh that one should be interesting.

The pressure cycle

Today’s news tells us that people prefer women to be slim rather than curvy and well-fed. Studies have Shown and Experts have Said so it must be true for everyone.

It’s not true for me but then I have not been assimilated. Resistance is never futile. It won’t be true for almost all those who come here for a bit of a read and to catch up on the latest episode of my insane soap opera life either. If it was, you wouldn’t be likely to be here.

I don’t much care about body shape. It’s not the first thing I look for although when I do look, I like to see curves. Okay, I’m not going to be too attracted by curves tending to the extent of planetoid but then I am certainly not attracted to a visible pelvic bone and arms that look like they might snap at any moment. I like women with a bit of meat on their bones.

There are young girls in that shop so thin that I wonder how they manage to lift their forearms. It can’t be good for them.

For me, a waist so thin that I’d worry about her breaking in two with a hug is no good. I don’t want a woman I might have to stick back together with duct tape.

Other people will disagree, naturally. We are all individuals and some will prefer the more rounded figure, some the spherical figure. Others will prefer the preying mantis look, or even those women who look like they weigh less than their photograph.

The drones, of course, will prefer what they have been told to prefer.

And there is the flaw in the study. The obsession with BMI and body shape and superficial appearance has been battered into drone heads for years now. This study merely completes the cycle. People have been told what they must prefer, it’s been well drummed into them, and now they run a study asking people what they prefer and good golly gosh – they prefer what they have been told to prefer! Who would have thought?

It’s no different to a rote-learning course with an exam at the end. Can you regurgitate the crap you were taught to remember? Then you pass the exam.

This ‘medical’ obsession with superficiality is getting pretty annoying now. For those new here who think I am an obese, stubble-faced and spotty internet goblin typing in his string vest and grey skidmarked Y-fronts while chomping down the eighth Pot Noodle of the hour and trying to justify it, look back through the posts. There are recent photos. I am not fat. Nor do I look like Death in a pink latex bodysuit. But it really doesn’t matter.

What you look like does not matter at all. It’s what you do and who you are that matters. You can look like a peg-toothed tramp and be an angel inside or you can look like an Aryan demigod and be an utterly intolerable bastard. The outside is irrelevant. It really is what’s inside that matters.

That train of thought is gone for the drones. The assimilated drones believe everyone is the same on the inside and must therefore look the same on the outside. The British Standard Human is the new Aryan race. It’s still going on. It will probably never stop.

If you’re focused completely on the outside, on appearance, then there can be only one conclusion.

You have nothing inside.

Certainly nothing I’m interested in seeing.

Life is… interesting

I have a lot of moving-related stuff to take care of and have to be out of here with everything breakable before the letters start arriving. Mortgage, TV licence, electricity/gas… all the things I’m not paying for here any more. And when she finds out she no longer has free AA membership…

Yesterday I tried to set up an account for electricity (the flat has no gas unless I make another baked bean Madras). Simple, you would think.

Okay. I checked around and phoned one. The call centre is in Cardiff so the accent was no problem for either side. A good start. I finally managed to convince them that I have no boiler, combi or otherwise, because I have no gas supply.

We went through all the usual stuff, again all okay. They reckoned on about £100 a month but it’ll be less than that. I can take quite a bit of cold. I like the cold, it means I’ll keep longer, and I have new knitted woolens on the way courtesy of the new family ;)

I’ll also get some halogen and fan heaters to use instead of those storage heaters. Anyway their estimate is a lot less than the £250 I had for one month last winter.  All good so far.

Address, no problem. Last readings, no problem. The flat has two meters… oh. This is where it started going downhill. It has an old meter and a new one and both are active.

Well, I have the serial numbers of the meters. Will that help? Apparently it’s really helpful, they can look it up on the National Grid and take it from there. So they did.

The meters are located in another flat in a different building. One that seems to not actually exist.

The phone man was apologetic. I was about to fall down laughing. It was never going to be that easy, was it?

I checked the meter serial numbers last night and they are indeed correct. I have someone else’s meters running my flat and to me, that means someone else can pay for them. Naturally this will never happen but in the meantime I have electricity so I care nothing for whether the flat actually exists or not. Maybe it’s a Tardis.That would be fun.

The poor harassed call centre man will call me back today. His life is just going to get stranger.

Today I’m going to try setting up phone and broadband and I have no idea of the flat’s phone number. And I haven’t put a plug-in phone in there either.

If you work for a phone/broadband call centre, be afraid. Be very afraid.

Here I come…

Smoke Free

My interpretation of the phrase is, naturally, somewhat different from the Smokophobes’ (I hesitate to use the word) thoughts.

I have said a lot of good things about Bull Brand products in the past and will surely say more good things in the future. At the prices (mostly £1) they are very hard to beat. I have a lot of Bull Brand stuff that I bought in Poundland and it’s all good. Except the pipe. I’m fussy about my pipes so a £1 one was a bit of a gamble, but not much. It was only £1 and it does work.

Nonetheless it was a surprise to receive an email from Bull Brand themselves asking for an address to send a box of goodies to. I gave the old one. I still have access because, dammit, I’ve been paying for it and it’s not hers yet. Sure you can cut the atmosphere in the house (the new flat is ‘home’ now) into slices and toast and butter it but it’ll make you sick to eat it. Even so, while in transition, the place is still mine.

The new place is ready to move into as soon as the harpy explodes. Ideally before. Next week the letters will start arriving – TV licence, council tax, electricity/gas, mortgage etc. I don’t want to be here when they do and I want everything important and breakable moved before then.

Anyway, I digress. Come on, you’d be shocked if I didn’t.

So a box arrived. Wife declared that I was supposed to be selling things on eBay, not buying things. Her idea is that my life should consist of working and selling my stuff and paying bills, nothing more. I didn’t bother to explain. It’s far too late to care.

The box contained much more than I expected. In fact it contained far more than just Bull Brand products. Here’s what was in it.

bullbrandYes, that’s tobacco too. I’ve been smoking at no cost since this arrived. Now that’s what Smoke Free really should mean. Perfect timing too – first month’s rent plus deposit has left me somewhat brassic to say the least.

There was only one thing that wasn’t to my taste. Lilac flavoured cigarettes. Menthol, fine, I do like a menthol smoke but lilac was a step too far into the girlie zone. I tried one and gave the rest to Boss, who liked them. But then she’s a girl. You can tell. Girls are the ones with bumps on the front.

There’s a new ciggie-filler machine in there. The one I’ve had for a year or so still works fine but it’s always good to have a spare. At £1 a shot you’d think I’d have the foresight to already have one spare but I genuinely don’t.

I definitely recommend the deep ashtray. Drop the fag end in and it expires due to lack of air in a moment. The wide ashtray lined with smoker encouragement is fun too.

I use filters in rollies because I don’t like picking tobacco strands out of my teeth and don’t want to waste expensive tobacco at the end of a smoke. I have not yet tried the menthol rolling baccy with a menthol filter but it must happen. It must happen in a liquorice paper too. I have some… Bull Brand ones.

It does sound like ‘a word from our sponsor’ I know, but I was a big fan of Bull Brand long before the first contact and the box of stuff arrived. The blog isn’t sponsored by anyone. And if they ever need a salesman I’m looking for a new job.

One that has regular days off….or at least some.

Transition

I have had a really generous mystery box from Bull Brand which I will blog about at the weekend. Tonight I am preparing for transition. It is time.

If you have my home address, delete it. It is no longer my address.

Tomorrow I get the keys to a new home and start closing down the appalling bills attached to this one. A particular harpy is in for a hell of a shock because a lot of what she’s had for free for the last 30 years isn’t going to be free next week.

It’s going to be a tight month because this month is rent plus deposit. There’ll be a little gap while I get internet installed in the new place. The new phone will keep me online in the interim but I can’t type long posts on it.

You know by now why I’m not making more money than I immediately need. This will change and it will change big time once I shed the parasite who will take at least half of it from me. ‘Take me for everything I have’… good luck. I have nothing :)

I am also applying for a new job. Its ambitious because it’s outside my experience range but then so was the janitor job. It’s a lecturing job so it’s far further inside my range than a shop janitor job. It’s possible…

I know Boss will be upset at my leaving, she told me so in a fit of attempted emotional blackmail. I really don’t want to let her down but I now need to increase my earnings – I have to pay law fees and they can get very nasty indeed. As could the coming months.

New home, new job, new partner, new life. I said a long time ago that I’d smash my life and start again but I didn’t really think it would be quite so complete. Yet here it is. Tomorrow I have the keys to it.

The new flat is not a permanent home. It’s a bolt hole for the next six months or so. Big enough for two but not nearly what I want for the future. There will be more and bigger changes to come – except one. There is going to be one permanence in my life and she knows who she is, and so do you. Everything else is fluid and chaotic at the moment but I have one fixed point to rely on.

That’s all I need. One focus.

Around that one focus I can put everything else in chaos and not just survive it. I will absolutely revel in it. The Gates of Hell are now nearly fully opened.

Bring it on.

Ashtray Domination

Today I drove into Aberdeen with two Samurai swords and a cattle trailer. On the way back I got stuck behind a windmill. An ordinary day, really.

Later I went in to work and got Boss to witness my signature on a lease. I’m finally doing what I should have done twenty or more years ago and it feels pretty damn good. It feels so much more than pretty damn good because I’m not doing it all on my own.

It’s pretty much a legally binding doodah now. I think the landlord has one last chance to say ‘No, fuck off you horrible little man’ but I doubt that will happen. My email saying I was interested in the flat was held up by spam for a day and I had one back saying ‘We can drop the rent by £10-20 a month if it will help’. I graciously accepted.

I’m pretty damn sure I have this flat and it’s a really nice one. The only bugbear is all the stairs but then it’s just a starting point. It’s not going to be forever. I want a little house with a garden and we’re agreed on that.

Maybe I won’t have a car for a while. The flat has a bus stop right outside the door, work would be 10 minutes away by bus and at a real pinch I could walk there in about 90 minutes. Not running a car for a few months would allow for some serious cash accumulation. Well worth considering. And my current car is pretty crap anyway.

One thing about the flat is that it’s non smoking. Well, I don’t own it. It’s the landlord’s flat so I’ll abide by his rules. It’s not a problem and it’s only for a matter of months. It’s probably too small to smoke in anyway. I’d have all my clothes smoked up. In this big house I can smoke in a couple of rooms without affecting the others but in a little flat, it could get pervasive.

There will, of course, be an ashtray. It will be the Bull Brand glass ashtray with the ‘no smoking’ sign in it. A delightful bit of cognitive dissonance. There has to be an ashtray. It’s the law.

It is on aeroplanes, apparently.

Aeroplanes are required to have ashtrays on board in case of something or other and they cannot take off without one. They should all fit the Bull Brand no-smoking ashtray. They only cost a pound. I hope they still make it. I have one anyway.

I was most amused by the picture of the enraged harpy raising the wrong finger at the guy with the unlit cigarette. Once, a wrinkled harridan passed me at a bus stop while I was rolling a cigarette and gave an exaggerated fake cough. I hadn’t even finished rolling. So the picture is at least accurate. The pathetically indoctrinated really do exist.

Then there is the ‘probably’ that is presented as fact.

An onboard fire probably caused by a cigarette led to the deaths of 123 people on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in the 1970s.

It could have been. Or it could have been caused by a million other things. Not one of those other things is even considered even though there is no firm evidence that a smoker caused the disaster. Even though, if there is an ashtray provided by legal diktat, why would a smoker chuck a cigarette in waste disposal? We all know how to use an ashtray. It’s a genetic thing.

I predict it won’t be long before a vaper is blamed for a plane crash. Lithium batteries have already been demonised so it’s just a matter of time before the Age of Steam takes its vengeance on modern technology.

How long before a plane crash gets blamed on the fat boy in seat 7B?

You think it’s different. It’s not. It’s the same template with the same agenda. Control.

And fat boys, for you it’s already started.