Friendship and credit

We made the mistake of looking around a local show home that was for sale. It was a mistake because the house was absolutely perfect. As the result of being a new immigrant I have zero credit; at the moment I couldn’t get a loan for a packet of crisps, so a mortgage is out of the question. Pity because the house was not only lovely it was also a bargain.

So life goes on and I thought it prudent to make active efforts to go out and meet people, so as to avoid a friendless life of misery.

2600 was due last Friday but when the time came I couldn’t face it. Partly because it meant getting to 30th st station for 5pm and partly because the idea of socialising with a bunch of 14 year old boys with limited social skills didn’t really appeal. In the end I chickened out and decided to go to an alternative teccie event in Manayunk the following day: the Ph1ladelph1a Powerb00k Users Group.

It’s easy to look back in astonishment at decisions one has made in the past and think “what the fucking fuck were you fucking thinking you fucking stupid fucking twat” but you have to remember that this was just down the road, in a nice pub that brews their own beer, I love my macbook, and I thought that maybe Mac users weren’t as mental over here.
Let me tell you, the same gene that produces the classic blinkered British Mac fanatic is alive and well over here too. In fairness, there were a couple of good talks about the new OS – Leopard – and the guy who ran the seminar seemed utterly level headed and genuinely nice. But my god they were barking.

I arrived a tad early and was astonished to find that plenty of the mac people were there already and not one was a day under 65. I sat at a table that didn’t shoo me away and was then subjected to a, clearly well rehearsed, monologue about 3 spectacularly tedious and tiny bugs that one of the guys at the table was very proud to have discovered in Leopard. After a tortuously long period of time elapsed I caught the waitresses eye and ordered a drink. Thankfully Mike, my brother in law, arrived soon after and so I didn’t have to drink myself to death.

Much of the discussions revolved around people’s iPhones and for a normal person it was a real insight into the mind of mac fanatics. These people queued up with large wedges of cash which they eventually gave over to the guy in the shop in return for a small, crippled, piece of crap that doesn’t want you to use it. They then spend a long time working out how to “hack” it so that it will become marginally more useful (despite the lame specs) until Apple fix the bugs that caused the hack to be possible. Of course, Apple’s fix will always be pathetic and so the hacks can continue. All the time they are battling with this expensive and hateful little box they go around showing it off to people and telling everyone how cool Apple are. In fact, the harder that Steve Jobs shafts his fans up the Gary, the more they seem to love and evangelise him. Hmm. Anyway, Mike and I spent a pleasant time there sampling the local brews and toothsome food before heading back home.

Unperturbed by this experience, tonight I went along to the Philadelphia Linux Users Group (PLUG) which was a far more enjoyable experience, despite at times seeming like a load of out-takes from Dear John. There was even a mini keysigning session! We ended up in a local pizza place discussing the exigencies of setting up a Linux based business in Mali…ok…but look, it’s better than discussing the look of the new iMac. And I even got a lift to 30th street station, where I completely failed to find the bus stop home and ended up catching a cab.

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