Tag Archives: car

When driving, do not get out of your car and watch it roll into oncoming traffic

6 Sep

Sometimes it doesn’t matter what the explanation is. The how and why become irrelevant when the potential outcome of your behaviour is so severe. Here’s one such situation:

Yep. She slammed on her brakes in the middle of traffic, then hopped out of the car and casually walked away as the car she had just been driving propelled itself directly into oncoming traffic.

It is obvious to anyone who watches the video that the woman who was driving the car and then abandoned it put lives at risk. The initial heavy breaking very nearly caused a nose to tail accident, which often results in a concertina effect where several vehicles collide as a result of the initial accident/accident avoidance. That’s bad enough, but then the uncontrolled vehicle heads straight into oncoming traffic and collides with an SUV. Considering how ridiculously dangerous that situation was, one bent car is an extraordinarily good outcome.

That car could have hit a pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, or tagged an oncoming car in the wrong spot and killed someone.

Maybe she thought it was autonomous google car and it’d be alright on its own. Maybe she was having a rough day. Maybe she’d just had a huge fight with a loved one, or her newborn had died that morning, or she was just told she has cancer, or… the worst possible thing you can come up with in your head to make this a remotely conceivable situation to be in.  It doesn’t fucking matter what she was going through. There is no excuse.

Anyway, I think it’s a safe bet to assume that anyone who saw this happen had a pretty loud version of “what a crazy bitch!” run through their heads.

Crazy bitch tip: consider the impact of your actions on other people.

Origins #13

8 Apr

Morning had arrived. My mouth was dry. My head was sore. My body was tired. The light pushing it’s way in through my window was unwelcome.

brightlightI hoped that the memories of spending the night with my boss’s daughter, Rene Everlong, were the fictitious remnants of a dream.

I rolled back from my right side onto my back and reluctantly looked to my left. There she was. Laid out in my bed, her eyes lightly closed, the hint of a smile gracing her face. Rene looked like a happy little angel, secretly full of mischief.

What have I done?

It wasn’t a dream. I had spent the night with my boss’s daughter.

Fuck.

It’s one of those cardinal rules of life! Everyone knows, you don’t hook up with your boss’s daughter!

oh-god-what-have-i-doneIt’s not like I didn’t like Rene. Of course I did. I’d been interested in her for a long time and had very much wanted to get together with her, but not like this. Not as part of some alcohol fueled night of drama after drama after drama. I wasn’t unhappy that we’d gotten together, but it was just a rough scenario to wake up to.

What’s in a kiss?

I clambered up and sat with my legs off my side of the bed, back to Rene, elbows of knees and head in my hands. incredulousI took a deep breath and let it slowly escape my lungs as I considered the situation I’d woken up to. My internal monologue was interrupted by a gentle, soft touch at the bottom of the back of my neck.

I hadn’t yet made sense of what just happened. I turned to see what was going on, only to catch a glimpse of Rene as she darted off to the bathroom. I realised that delicate sensation I’d felt had been Rene kissing me. A stolen, sneak attack of affection. Just her style.

That simple act undid a lot of the anguish I’d been dealing with. I remember quite clearly that I broke out into a broad, goofy smile because I knew that meant Rene was happy about what happened, and that in itself took a lot of weight off my shoulders. There was something really sweet in that kiss. It’s difficult for me to describe, but in the face of all the chaos of what came before and after it, I still remember that moment very fondly.

How much does a hangover weigh?

As much as I enjoyed that, my hangover was growing exponentially with each passing second. I stumbled my way to the kitchen and grabbed a glass of water to help wash down the handful of Panadols I’d grab from the bathroom after waiting patiently for Rene. I remember offering some Panadols to Rene, but being seven years my junior, she laughed at the idea of needing something to help her recover and accused me of being a senior citizen for needing them myself.

too oldShe also chuckled at me for telling her I felt like I needed another shower. Regardless, in attempted to wash the previous night away in an attempt to return to feeling something like a human being.

Y’know, It’s amazing the difference brushing your teeth can make in bringing you back from the dregs of a night of over consumption. I suspect I lingered in the bathroom longer than necessary as I struggled to get my head around the circumstances I found myself in.

“Promise you won’t tell anyone”

Rene was dressed and sitting on the bed. I sat down and asked her how she was holding up. She explained that she was alright and happy about what happened but asked me to promise I wouldn’t tell anyone about it. I thought having to promise not to tell anyone was a bit much, but I wasn’t in any rush for anyone to know about what had happened myself, so I agreed.

Coffee?

As much as Rene had smirked at me about my slow recovery rate, she had suddenly become very keen to get a coffee into her system, ASAP. coffee-ivThe problem was, I had none. No coffee, no tea, basically none of the standard hot morning drinks were on offer at my place. Rene’s solution was for us to go out somewhere to get one.

Unfortunately, my car wasn’t allowed on the road and we’d walked/trollied our way back to my place from the pub and leaving Rene’s car there, so our only remaining option was two feet and a heartbeat. Sure, we were right not to drive the night before, but facing that lengthy, hangover ridden walk back, I began ruing our decision to obey that one law while continuing to go on to break so many other of society’s unwritten rules.

I suggested we walk down to one of the coffee shops near my place, but Rene had her heart set on a specific coffee from a specific place. Rene also pointed out that we’d have to get to her car eventually anyway, at which point I suggested I suggested we get a cab to her car. Rene scoffed, telling me the walk was so short, it wouldn’t be worth the effort of calling a taxi.

Walk on

And with that, we began our journey through the blaring sunlight of a humid, not-quite-ready-to-rain, Saturday morning in semi-urban/semi-suburban Perth. Rene voiced her concerns that we should walk via the back streets rather than the main road in case someone were to see us. It’s a relatively easy walk by the main road because it’s a nice level road with good footpaths. The back streets on the other hand, are more arduous. The back way involves suburban-style streets. If there are footpaths, they’re covered with leaves and honkey nuts and assorted other random shit that ends up between the cracks of the broken cement and the worn bitumen.

I don’t remember much about that walk other than just pushing through the hangover and tiredness and not really feeling very talkative. I don’t think much was said over the course of the trek. Perhaps trudge is more apt? It felt like it lasted two hours but it was probably only about 40 minutes.

Rene was wary that we’d be seen by someone from Everlong because many of us lived around the area, so as we neared the Chesterfield pub, we had to choose between walking an extra block past it and doubling back to minimise time spent on the main road, or walking three quarters of a block up the main street.

I was struggling and doubted the likelihood of anyone from work seeing us. I figured, even if they did, there was much to explain. We were just walking down the street, so who cares?

I didn’t give Rene much choice in the matter. She followed as I started walking down the main street.

As we walked down that main street, we passed all sorts of interesting ethnic places. Restaurants, cafes, whatever, they all seemed to be exotic places down that particular block. It just happened that the few people we passed were all speaking in languages other than English.

For whatever reason, this caused me to remark that sometimes I wonder if I’m even still in Australia when I walk through this patch of road. Rene stopped and with wide eyes said “You really just said that”, as if she was astonished that I could say something so offensive. Rene’s part Asian, so maybe she thought I was being racist, I don’t know. Then again, why would a racist guy hook up with an Asian girl? That’s just one more question I don’t have the answer to. All I meant was that it’s cool to have so many different businesses and people from so many places all available in such a short walk from my place.

Did he see us?

Sometimes life, or the universe, or whichever cosmic comedian is in charge of such things, spots an opportunity they just can’t resist. Rene and I covering that short bit of ground down the main road after avoiding it the rest of the way must have been one such opportunity, and thus, about 100 metres away from Rene’s car, I spot a very familiar and distinct vehicle heading our way.

Trundling towards us at barely a smidge over walking pace is the bright red Fiat of none other than Mike Monarch, a manager at Everlong. Mike had been my direct manager for my first few years at Everlong and had known the Everlong family for about 7 years at that point, so I knew there was no way in hell he wouldn’t recognise Rene and me.

Dammit.

My standard approach to an awkward situation, or any difficult situation really, is to face it head on. That’s why I thought to myself, “Mike’s going to see us? Fine. I’ll bloody wave at him and acknowledge it, so at least we don’t look like we’re hiding anything.”
I wasn’t quite ready for what happened next, though.

Having recognised it was Mike, I began to raise my hand to wave. I was looking directly at Mike and Mike was looking directly at me as he rolled towards us from maybe 50 metres away. I swear I saw his eyes widen when he saw me, at which point I assumed he recognised me… but then turned his whole head to the left in what I can best describe as an “NOPE! I’M NOT SEEING THIS” manoeuvre.

nopeaway

I now refer to this move as the “Nopeaway”

See that gif? It was exactly like that, except he didn’t look back.

And off trundled Mike Monarch in his little red Fiat, leaving me with standing still, frozen mid-stride with an unwaved arm extended as if I was waiting for a high five that was never going to come.

It went exactly like this.

It went exactly like this.

So that was some great timing and an awesome reaction which sure helped to make things a whole heap more bloody confusing.

Rene asked me why I’d stopped. I explain it was because I just saw Mike. She asked me, “Did he see us?”, and I told her I was certain that he’d recognised us. When I told her how he’d reacted, the colour drained out of her face.

We’ve gotta get our story straight!

“Oh my God. We have to figure out what we’re going to tell people. We’ve gotta get our story straight!”, Rene said in a rush of words so fast I could barely take them in.
“Let’s figure it out while you get your coffee”, I said as I let the magnificence of the situation soak into the dense cluster of mud that was thumping mercilessly between my ears.

We jumped into Rene’s fancy pants little black BMW and headed off towards the home of her favourite and walk-all-the-way-back-to-her-car-worthy coffee vendor. We discussed our story on the way.

“OK, so let’s tell everyone that I fell asleep on your couch while we were watching a movie. Laura will believe that. I do it all the time.” Rene told me.
“I’ll say whatever you want me to”, I confirmed.
“OK. OK. Yep. That’s it. No one will know anything. That’s fine. Yep. We’ll just tell everyone that.” Rene stammered with more than a hint of anxiety.

At some point along the trip, Rene did something a bit weird as far as driving goes. I don’t remember exactly what. Maybe she hit a curb, or ran a gear too long, or changed lanes without indicating. I know it wasn’t a huge deal sort of thing but I asked her something like, “Do you always drive like this, or is it just because you’re hungover?” I was genuinely curious but the look she gave me suggested she took that question as an insult. Rene just said something to the effect of knowing she’s not the best driver and that was the end of it.

At long last, the Coffee shop

When Rene told me she wanted to get her favourite coffee from her favourite place, I assumed she meant some fancy coffee shop where they use beans from a place I’ve never heard of and brew it for an hour in front of you while you wait.

coffeeI was wrong.

See, I thought we’d sit in a nice cozy little coffee shop and talk about what had happened and how to deal with the fallout in the future. Maybe we’d figure out this date I’d committed to asking her out on and maybe we’d have a chance to just chill out and enjoy each other’s company, minus the influence of alcohol.

It turns out, however, Rene’s favourite coffee was to be acquired from a drive through stall in the middle of an industrial area.

There goes that idea.

Homeward bound

Once Rene had been handed her takeaway coffee through the open window of her very spiffy, very recent BMW, we began the drive back to my place to drop me off.

I seem to recall that we were a little less anxious on the way back but I was a bit lost because it seemed like we weren’t going to talk about things much at all, and I’d have to face the music at work on Monday with very little more to say other than “She fell asleep on the couch while we were watching a movie.”

It was a strange situation.

We eventually arrived out the front of my apartment. Rene pulled to a stop, we said some mildly awkward goodbyes and, not knowing what else to do, I leaned over and kissed her.

And that was that. I was left to recover from my hangover alone, and try to figure out exactly what I’d gotten myself into and how best to deal with it.

Next time

So that concludes the night my boss’s daughter stayed over, but trust me, the drama is only just getting started. Make sure to come back and read more about how my life slowly exploded into a flaming ball of chaos, confusion and hurt feelings.

Crazy bitch tip: Sometimes covering your own arse isn’t the only important thing.

Pipe girl (Do not hit people with a pipe)

14 Feb

In Russia, there’s an issue with people not respecting the road laws. You’ve probably seen the videos of cars being thrown into all sorts of unbelievably crazy positions by Russian drivers. There are so many videos of that stuff out there because one way to keep your insurance premiums within a remotely bearable price is to have a dash-cam on your car, which allows the footage to show who was at fault in any accident.

You can understand why there’s a movement to stop this ridiculous driving, or at a minimum to make sure people don’t drive on the footpath. And that’s why there’s Stop a Douchebag.

Now, I’m not in anyway saying that women are the only douchebags on the Russian roads. Far from it! There appear to be douchebags of extraordinary proportions of all genders, races and religions, driving around Russia likes it’s their own personal Mario Kart. I’m only referring to one specific douchebag who appears in the latest episode of Stop a Douchebag. When I saw Pipe Girl, I had to share!

Pipe Girl is not happy about being told not to drive on the footpath. Pipe Girl believes that owning a vehicle gives her the right to drive wherever the hell she wants and that if anyone happens to get in the way of her vehicle, that’s their own bloody fault! On top of this, if Pipe Girl hits you with her car, she wants to make sure you don’t do anything as horrible as leaving a mark on it! I mean, of course, it’s the pedestrian’s fault for being in the way of her car on the footpath, so if the pedestrian leaves their blood or whatever on her car after she hits them, it’s obvious that the pedestrian is to blame.

Pipe Girl is sure coming off as a crazy bitch already, but once she breaks the big metal pipe out and starts hitting the pedestrians who were so callously walking on the footpath like they had some sort of right to be there, she pretty much seals her fate as bearing the right to the label ‘crazy bitch’ for as long as people have access to this video. The astonishing part to me is where the people she was attacking take the pipe away from her and she pleads to have it back, promising that she’ll leave once she has it. Eventually, they give it back to her and… surprise, surprise! She attacks them with the pipe they’ve just handed back to her. That’s some double crazy bitch activity.

Crazy bitch tip: Do not hit people with a pipe.

 

Origins #6

17 Jan

So, last time, I was telling you about how everything seemed to be escalating. It really was. It was such a strange time for me. Things seemed to be going equal parts good and bad at the same time. The good parts were off the charts in the good way, and the bad parts were off the chart in the opposite direction. There was very little middle going on.

Goodbye to my car

I forgot to mention earlier on that I was now stuck without a car to get around in. That might not be a big thing where you’re from, but in Perth, that means you’re pretty well screwed. The public transport here will get you where you want to go but it’ll take an inordinately long time. As an example, some mates asked me to fill in for their sports team for the night. I’d normally get to the stadium in half an hour. On public transport it took me an hour and a half, and someone still had to pick me up from the train station! So the round trip was 3 hours to play a 40 minute match. See, I was without a car because, just before I went to Europe, I ran into one of those cops who’s just a cop because it allows him to get away with being a dickhead. There I was driving along in my 1970 Ford Capri doing the speed limit and behaving myself when Officer Cock-Knocker decides he’ll show off to the new recruit partner by pulling me over and having a bit of fun with the fact the has a uniform and a badge and I don’t.

Look at that terrifying death trap. Better pull him over.

Look at that terrifying death trap. Better pull him over.

I pull over when the blue lights flash behind me and Mr Plod is on the attack straight away “What are you doing with this Capri?”, “Is this vehicle stolen?”. “Of course not”, I tell him, “I’ve owned this car for 5 years”. I’m pretty confused why he’s asked such an attacking question to start proceeding. Then he fires out  “This is a British car, why does it have an Australian spoiler on the back?”

Ahhh…. It starts to make sense. Between the accent and these questions it occurs to me he’s English, and he likes his English cars. I explain that this is an Aussie built Capri and the spoiler was an option here. He ignores that bit of rationality and continues pointing out things he doesn’t like about my car. Not things that are illegal or make it unroadworthy, just things he doesn’t like. He asks me why I’ve got bigger brakes than standard and I make the mistake of informing him that I’m going to replace the original V6 motor with a V8.

His whole face went red! I thought steam was going to come out his ears!

It turns out this particular Englishman was a huge Cosworth fan and the idea of me modifying an original Ford Capri GT with anything but Cosworth parts was sacrilege to him. He ranted at me about how “You can’t just modify a piece of motoring history however you want!”, and “You’re disrespecting the British legacy of the Capri!”. All the while I’m just thinking, “Mate, this is my car, I’ll do what I bloody well want with it.”

I was slowly converting the Capri into a race car but the changes I’d made at that point were all to improve safety of the car for the road. Bigger brakes so I can stop in shorter distances, wider tyres for more grip, new seats that actually go further than half way up my back, a limited slip differential to reduce traction problems, etc, etc. All those changes will come in handy once the car is relegated to track use only, but in the meantime I had a car that was much safer to drive on the road than it was when I bought it.

Mr Uniform didn’t give two shits about how much those changes improved the car from a safety perspective. He was unnervingly irate at the fact that I had dared modified a classic Capri and was being weirdly aggressive in his posturing. His rookie colleague seemed a bit put-off by it all too but said nothing. Mr Blue Lights tells me he’s heard enough and tells me I’m getting a Yellow Sticker.

A Yellow Sticker is a defect notice which requires you to take your car to the licensing department for an evaluation. It costs a few hundred dollars to and you only get 10 days to have it done. If you don’t get it done you can’t drive the car on the road anymore. The awesome part was that this happened about 2 days before I was going to Europe and I had absolutely no time to get the car to the pits for the check, so when I got back from Europe, I had a car I wasn’t allowed to drive.

Once I got back I did take the car to the pits but the guys there are really pedantic and you’re not going to get a car from 1970 past them without a shit-tonne of work being done on it. It’s difficult enough to get a modern car past the pits, and even though the mechanic that was looking over my car was quite complimentary about the condition of it, he pointed out things like the headlights not meeting modern brightness requirements and things like that, and it just worked out that it would cost more money to keep the old girl on the road than it would to get the new engine in and get all the other work I’d been planning done. Doing it that way I could kill two birds with one stone by getting it all done at the same time. I sent the Capri off to my mates to get the work done but it was going to take months.

So that left me without a car.

I love that car. I love that she’s a conversation starter. I love that people smile when they see her coming down the road, and that kids get wide eyes and ask their Dad what it is. I love that some bloke literally tried to negotiate buying it off me as we drove down the freeway as he yelled from his car through my passenger window telling me that he’s always wanted one. I love how well that 40 year old engine sounds as she out accelerates more modern cars with ease. But more than all that, I just loved being able to get around and it really, really sucked to have to go without my own mode of transport.

Goodbye favourite band

Ever heard of the band Powderfinger? If you’re not from Australia, the answer is probably a big, fat nope. That’s a damned shame because they were an absolutely fantastic band.

For a long time there, Powderfinger was my favourite band. They dominated the charts here in Australia for over a decade by putting out 5 #1 albums in a row, and by taking out Triple J’s Hottest 100 2 years in a row. They even got 4 albums in Triple J’s 100 Australian albums of all time, including getting 2 albums in the top 10 and taking out the top spot. That’s right, Australia voted Powderfinger’s album Odyssey Number Five as their favourite Aussie album of all time. Personally, I don’t even rate Odyssey Number Five as their best album and I don’t really care about all the awards they got, I just love their music and I was completely gobsmacked by their ability to reach in and touch that indefinable thing that is being Australian.

I can’t explain it. I just know they captured something intangible about Australia and that era and somehow translated it in a way that hit me in a way very few other bands have managed.

My favourite Powderfinger album is Internationalist. It came out in 1998, when I was a little 19 year old pizza delivery boy. It might sound strange, but I learned a lot from that album. One of the common threads on Internationalist is that of people falling prey to watching their lives slip away, day by day. Internationalist hit me right in my head and stuck there.

Because I was working 60 to 90 hour weeks delivering pizzas at the time, I had a lot of time to listen to music, and Internationalist was in extremely high rotation on my car’s cd player. I think that’s a big part of why I took so much from that album. It influenced the way I thought about the world and how to live and still does right through to today.

I’m a musician myself, and in addition to influencing the way I see the world, Powderfinger has also had a massive influence in the way I approach making music and the sort of music I want to make. It was pretty sad news then, when Powderfinger announced they were calling it quits midway through 2010. As is the way with the retirement of musical acts in Australia in recent history, though, they decided to do a farewell tour. It was particularly disheartening for me at the time because they weren’t over the hill, they’d put out a stellar new album called Golden Rule just a few months beforehand. Anyway, I was really disappointed they were calling it a day, but at least I had my ticket to see them one last time. I’m not sure if anyone else will relate to being so horribly bummed out by their favourite band breaking up, but it was big deal to me.

Hopefully it’ll make sense why I’m telling you about this as the story progresses.

Goodbye great manager

Before Gus the devil monster, demon manager came on board, my team had been lead by a really nice bloke. His name was Mike Monarch. Mike’s a bloody champ.

Under Mike’s leadership we’d developed a system that was bringing in about $2,000,000 a year for Everlong. That’s a pretty damned good outcome considering our team was only 5 people at the time. After that project, Everlong decided to chase a few ‘big leads’. One of these big leads was a tender for a massive contract with a mining company. Getting all the documentation in for a tender like that is a massive amount of work and Mike was shifted over to that project and my team was left twiddling our thumbs.

There were good points to being left to our own devices. One of which, was that I had the chance to write some software to make maintaining that million dollar system much simpler. Another was that there was very little stress at work. The downside, however, was that our team couldn’t work on the projects we wanted to (projects which we believed would help make the company money) because we nobody in the team had any authorisation to lead us.

I would often lead the team to do simple little projects. They were just little proof-of-concept projects to show that we were able to create things that we believed were able to bring in an income and we could knock them out in a few days, so I wasn’t concerned with getting in any trouble for taking over the team. But to really do anything worthwhile, like redeveloping the system to work properly on mobile devices for example, we’d need to spend months in development. I wasn’t getting paid to lead the team and I didn’t want to be blamed for taking over the team and doing whatever I felt like, so instead of being unified and progressing projects, we each worked on whatever we thought would be useful.

In hindsight, I really should have taken over the team but I’m just not the sort of guy to go trying to steal power. Everyone would always come to me for guidance anyway and I’d been in the industry long enough to know the right moves. The years that have passed since have well and truly proved that I was on the right track, but hindsight is 20/20 and there ain’t much I can do about it now.

Mike realised we needed someone to lead the team while he was away, so Everlong advertised for a project manager, and in came Gus. What a talented imposter he must have been to get that job! I didn’t like him from the get-go but everyone thought he was ok, so I tried to convince myself I was wrong about him and just get on with my job.

Man, was I an idiot to not trust my gut! It wasn’t long before Gus had started manipulating everyone in the office. He was triggering in-fighting by making underhanded comments and blaming them on other people. He was sucking up to Tim Everlong. He was sneaking his way into the Everlong family’s trust and quietly bad-mouthing Mike and complaining about how little we had to show for the recent months. He was blaming Mike specifically for the lack of productivity and he must have done a pretty good job because Mike was ousted from his job as Gus’s boss, and Gus was given the higher position, leaving Mike in some bullshit demotion job where he was in charge of very little and bombarded with enormous amounts of stress on a daily basis.

Mike went from being a happy, easy-to-talk-to guy who was in good shape and good spirits, to slowly becoming an out of shape, glum, quite, ghost of himself who would occasionally try to force the edges of his face upward into a smile, but was otherwise an automaton with red eyes and a defeated expression.

That was really tough to watch happen to such a nice guy. I would have liked to have done something about it, but we were now under Gus’s complete control, and that was such an unpleasant situation that I was relying on my reserves of patience and ‘just put up with it until Gus actually learns how to do his job’-ness that I didn’t have much time to do much to help Mike.

Goodbye great job

Losing Mike as our manager and having Gus in his place was the key thing that turned my great job into a chore, then into a punishment, and eventually into a torture, but more on that later.

Goodbye Flash

Steve Jobs screwed me over! Well, really Adobe screwed me over and Steve Jobs just chose not to let them screw Apple over too.

See, I was a Flash Developer for a very long time. I did (and still do) work with Javascript, PHP and various other technologies but I had found that Flash was the best technology for the majority of projects I needed to develop in the early years of my career, so I focused on become very, very good at Flash.

At the time I was focusing on Flash development, Flash was available on 99.5% of all internet enabled devices. That made it a pretty safe bet as far as I was concerned. In addition to that, Flash was the only way to achieve all the fancy shit I was trying to build. Back then, if you wanted audio, video, interactivity or animation in your project, your project was going to have to be built in Flash.

For a long time I reaped great rewards by specialising in the use of Flash. I cranked out a lot of work that nobody else in Perth seemed to be able to get anywhere near. At one point I built a complete web browser in Flash! I know this is all nerd-talk but it was really quite cool being one of the top specialists in such a useful technology.

And then the iPhone came out.

The iPhone was the first phone to give you the real internet on your phone. Before that you could maybe read a bit of text from a few specific websites, but the iPhone showed you the actual internet! It showed you the web the same way it looked on your desktop.

Well… almost.

One thing the iPhone didn’t include was Flash. For a while there, that meant that you couldn’t view any videos or animations on your iPhone. Everyone just assumed that Apple would put Flash on the iPhone sooner or later but the iPhone was such a huge deal that many developers were clamouring to make sure their websites could be viewed properly on the magical new devices.

I became quite interesting in the idea of building apps for the iPhone and was trying to chase that up, but Apple won’t let you develop software for their systems unless you use a Mac. I didn’t have a mac and they weren’t keen on buying one at work, so the best I could do was try and find a way to output a Flash app as an iPhone app.

It was right in the midst of this when Gus decided to make us work like maniacs on stupid, useless shit all day everyday. That left me with no time to learn different technologies at work, and so exhausted and dejected when I’d get home from work, that the last thing I wanted to do was more work at my computer at home.

In early 2010, Steve Jobs goes and puts out a letter about why Flash is shit and will never go on any Apple mobile device. The shitty thing about it is, he was absolutely right about those things. And the reason Flash had all those problems was because the company that distributes Flash, Adobe, was more concerned about having Flash everywhere than they were about having Flash be any good. Adobe had bought Flash from another company called Macromedia a few years earlier, and everyone involved in Flash development had pretty major concerns at the time.

Turns out, we were right to be concerned because Adobe really drove Flash into the ground and left Steve Jobs with no choice but to choose not to include it on the iPhone, and in the process completely smashed my specialised skills.

So I owe Adobe a big ‘Fuck you’ and I owe Steve Jobs a punch in the face, because that left me without a specialised skill only a year and a half after the Global Financial Crisis kicked in and ruined the world economy. I therefore owe a lot of shitty bankers a punch in the face too.

The outcome of that situation was that I was pretty stressed about not being able to find another job if that situation was to arise. That’s not a good situation to be in when you’re working for a guy like Gus.

Gathering steam

All of these things had happened in the lead up to the end of September, 2010. All of these things, and everything else I’ve been yapping on about in my previous Origins posts were all coming to a head in September 2010.

September 2010

As I mentioned previously, Rene Everlong had been communicating with me a lot. So much so that her dad, my boss, had mentioned that she brought me up in conversation at family dinners. He pointed out that Rene had challenged me to a match of Wii Tennis and thought I had no hope of beating her. I had, of course, already told Rene that I would demolish her. I’d been playing that game a lot and I was damned good at it. It’s funny thinking back, Tim even seemed a bit perturbed by the fact that Rene and I had been communicating out of work but at the time, I was certain I’d done nothing wrong, so I was in no way concerned about that.

The invitation

Rene had been working at a job her father had gotten for her at a company not too far away from my office. That’s part of the reason she had become a regular visitor at my office, and more specifically, at my desk. Part of Rene working so close by meant that she was being included in any social invitations that were going out to my work crew.

I invited everyone out to see The Expendables, for example, and Rene said she’d come along. I was a bit excited at the prospect of hanging out with her in that scenario and she had been telling me how much she was looking forward to it. Then the night comes and she sends me an sms half an hour before movie time saying that she can’t make. Whatever. I was a bit disappointed I guess but I still got to see all those 80s heroes bumble their way through a terrible plot while stuffing my face with choc bombs, potato chips and soft drink, and laughing my arse off at the ridiculousness of it with the other 7 people from work who had made it along.

Now, I’m sure I mentioned earlier that we had a few social traditions amongst the crew at Everlong. One of them was Tuesday Steak Night at the local pub, and the other was Friday arvo drinks, also at the local pub. Often we’d go for dinner after a Friday afterwork drinks session and take up plenty of seats at any of the many awesome restaurants surrounding our local pub.

The pub we went to was called The Chesterfield. It was a brilliant pub. Cruisy atmosphere, cool staff, cool patrons, great food, great restaurants nearby, easy to get to from work and walking distance from home. What more could a guy ask for?! Rene was well aware of our Friday arvo drinks tradition having come along a few times with her sister for a quiet drink before heading off to whatever fancy evening affair they had planned and leaving us to continue in our merriment sans their company.

One particular week in September, Rene sends me an email from her new job explaining that, while she had only been there about a month, a new guy had come on board, and she thought he was a bit off. She said something about thinking he was suspicious or weird and that she was hoping that, if she brought the people from her work down to The Chesterfield for Friday drinks, I could suss him out.

I don’t know what she expected me to do as far as sussing out this bloke, but if your boss’s daughter implies that someone is making her uncomfortable at her job and asks for your help with that, you say yes, don’t you? I mean, shit, we were going to be at The Chesterfield anyway, what harm could it do to agree to give this bloke a once over and check for any psycho tendencies? So naturally I told Rene telling that her and her colleagues were welcome to join us at The Chersterfield for a few post-work bevvies and that I’d let her know what I think of the new guy she mentioned.

And that was the start of one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made.

Next time…

Alrighty, maybe I didn’t quite make it to the night the pin was pulled to the grenade this time, but all of this stuff is really important to the story. Things are really going to start cranking up In Origins #7.

Video

Episode #8 – Brakes

24 May
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