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Obsidian

Hacking MorningStar

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My life has been a roller-coaster and no mistake. Its all been downhill for too long though, time to do something about that.

"Say hello to my little friend..."

As a child I was bullied by my peers and ignored by my parents, my father being the worst of the lot until my mother finally managed to get us all away from him. I spent my childhood in a tiny rural English village that is frequented by royalty being the home of international Polo in the UK. Among a group of privileged youngsters I got to goal-judge and score for the rich and powerful as they played, and hung around the stables and the functions. Seemed pretty normal to me, some kids had a paper round to make some pocket money, and Royalty has always done as it pleases... So, despite wanting none of that world for myself I was already outside the working-class background I come from, and as a result didnt have many friends either. So I hid in the library and the computer room, or roamed the local countryside the rest of the time, and nobody paid attention to my dreams, not even me.

I was told not to dream, punished for not learning quickly enough and told I was useless so by the time my exams came around I just didnt bother revising, and left school to be a groundskeeper at a local hospital before I'd even passed them all with flying colours. Computers absorbed most of my free time and I didnt mind grubbing in the dirt for my keep and chasing student nurses around the accommodation.

Recreational drugs, alcohol, motorbikes, heavy metal and a series of jobs ranging from horticulture to heavy industry followed that, until I decided to see the world and find myself, and trampled back and forth all over Europe for a few months until the Wall fell. I was in Cologne, and I really wanted a piece, but I couldnt even get near it so I went back home to Blighty and wound up homeless, where I met the kids mum... That story is an epic in itself, but skipping over it just leads me to creating BLAIR, AIME and the other robots that I dreamed about as a child, and our government kindly destroyed and are preventing me from developing even today.

For what reason I cannot discern, but there must be deeper reasoning than just using me as free care for Bea because they dont get a penny from what I do.

This is the purpose of Obsidian, to hack a decent life for me an Bea out of MorningStar without putting her in care or me dying homeless and penniless, too old to care for Bea or work, and without a pension or savings - which is what the f*ing Tories have in store for me when I'm done.

I'm not down with that, I think I've got a lot more to give the planet before I'm gone for starters, and there is a sense of injustice to it even if I didnt. There's a lot more to a human being than being human, and that's all I've ever tried to do. Our so-called leaders should learn this.

If you have a suggestion or a criticism, this is the place for it. Ironically, I am the one thing I can claim very little expertise in. ;-)

  • This Is Not A Drill

    Morning.Star03/15/2018 at 18:26 2 comments

    Dear Mr Ozymandias
    Your replacement legs are in the post.

    Customer Service Manager


    I should think so, too.

    <Roar, Froth, Etc>

    <Beat Chest, Roar, Destroy Vegetation, Etc>

    Well those are the issues that are going to be addressed. All of them... Denial will result in highly lucrative legal action and scandal, mitigation will result in security and opportunity.

    Never gamble with a man with nothing to lose.

    - MorningStar 2018



    I have also been given some funding, and permission to list Carer's Support UK as a sponsor for my upcoming entry into the Prize 2018.

    Spectacular, it is a few times the resources I had available to me last year, in advance as capital. This years entry will not be made from scrap, or open-ended, and I know the pitfalls and the criteria.

    Muahahahah! HackaDay, MorningStar is in the Prize to win this time, not just for the lulz. Put the kids to bed early and polish your armour til it shines. ;-)

  • Vermin Infested Garbage

    Morning.Star03/13/2018 at 09:40 0 comments

    I'm sure you guys think I'm making half this up just to be annoying. I can assure you I'm not, this is what Bea had to walk through this morning.

    WSCC: If you believe this is how we want to live, you dont deserve your jobs you pack of bastards. Put on a boiler suit instead of that finery and get your lazy cosseted arses round here and clear this up.

    Honestly, fuck this, animals live better. They certainly eat well enough around here.


    Now that just tips the scales for me. I had to spend 7 quid to ride the bus up the coast and take my daughter her lunch, being as the local shop wont have bread or milk 'until mid February' because of the shortages due to the freeze.

    As I crossed the railway bridge a loud and irritating voice cut through the ambience of my headphones.

    "Someone needs to do something before he goes too far"

    [No shit, Sherlock] Congratulations, sir, a critic I can agree with. I'll be sure to pass that sentiment on to the social worker then, being as that someone would be him.

  • Well Hung

    Morning.Star03/13/2018 at 08:06 4 comments

    I cannot begin to describe how incompetent this is.

    Her superior sent her a case he'd been handed by the LGO to sort out because of the mess. Her response was to completely ignore the investigation and respond to a letter sent to one of her underlings.

    That letter does not even refer to the bulk of the complaint, and is the only one that does not, she's carefully chosen it to respond to instead so she can just bullshit.

    This is the Ops Manager for the county-wide Learning Disabilities Team. I used to think this meant they are IN CHARGE of Learning Disabilities, it appears to mean they cant learn to tie a shoe-lace.

    What are these people doing, are they all completely daft?

    And then she insults me by apologising for adding her own uselessness to the pile. You can bet that I AM going to send this straight back to the Ombudsman, which completes the complaint procedures and releases me to litigate. Until these utter morons either refused to help like she just has, or kept me in their interminable tangle of Red Tape, I couldnt access Legal Aid.

    Now I can. She's just closed the investigation without doing a thing, ignored the LGO's recommendations before they even took the case formally and didnt even meet her own deadline for doing so.

    If I was her boss, I'd discipline her before my ass caught fire too.

    Straight to Coventry. But not before I straighten her out on a few things. I really am getting tired of repeating myself...

  • "Byte Me"

    Morning.Star03/11/2018 at 00:51 4 comments

    You'd expect the county-wide Operations Manager to behave with a bit more regard. Even if I were just some carer, thats just disgraceful.

    I doubt she'd understand the pun. ;-)

    Well the Ombudsman was at pains to remind both me and the county CEO if I wasnt satisfied to get back in contact. Their favourite trick of stalling wont help her either, I've already personally annoyed her superiors for starters and I've never just threatened litigation like a bully. So I annoyed them again, and copied that to them.

    I dont like credit or gambling, so borrowing the funds I'll need to obtain justice - in the form of money, the only kind of justice authority understands - is distasteful and risky. But, seeing as I cant raise or earn it legally, I can still resort to their tactics, and finance it with credit.

    Until now that hasnt been an option, I cant afford to pay it back so I dont borrow it. Besides, its taken me three years to clear my debts so I owe no-one a thing. Anything less is irresponsible, thats how I was brought up. These days, everything's on credit and I get told I'm a fool for missing out...

    Well the distaste I have for credit is now about equal to the distaste I have for living like this, pride or no. All it will take is motivation to change my opinion.

    I frequently get accused of being mad.

    Hmmm, now hand-delivering that letter to the woman, with a presentation. A signed hand-painted portrait of her being tentacled and drooled on by a pissed-off Obsidian, accompanied by some vitriolic poetry set to music, posting it on social media and sending it to Channel 4's The Last Leg for the lulz springs to mind.

    Now, just because I have the resources for something crazy, doesnt mean I'll do it. I'm not mad enough...

    Yet.

  • Tourniquet

    Morning.Star02/28/2018 at 12:55 1 comment

    Utterly brilliant. I honestly can not make up the catalogue of complete and utter stupidity that runs through my life. Not much of it mine either, I have to say. Some of my decisions were questionable lol.

    It seems that at every major turning point, there's been a balls-up. Feels like I'm on Candid Camera, so long now I've lost any paranoia I might have had. One of the psychological team from before explained it so;

    paranoia
    ˌparəˈnɔɪə/
    noun
    noun: paranoia
    a mental condition characterized by delusions of persecution, unwarranted jealousy, or exaggerated self-importance, typically worked into an organized system. It may be an aspect of chronic personality disorder, of drug abuse, or of a serious condition such as schizophrenia in which the person loses touch with reality.

    synonyms:persecution complex, delusions, obsession, megalomania, monomania;
    psychosis

    unjustified suspicion and mistrust of other people.

    I dont know about a persecution complex, I have been bullied rather a lot and six inches of sharp Sheffield steel would make anyone nervous in the wrong hands. Thats no delusion, nor was losing everything I had. And as for my inconveniently bulging portfolio... To fake that lot would require even more skill than producing it, and an extensive team of secret collaborators willing to work without credit or payment.

    Would the real Slim Shady please stand up?

    Now, if I were schizophrenic then I'd have the most profound personality split in history. An artist, a musician, a mathematician, a designer-engineer and a computer programmer all arguing with each other in one skull? Each gifted enough in their own right to be egoists. That would be an interesting conversation I'm sure. Enough to drive a bloke totally bat-shit crazy. He'd talk to himself in conversation with others, refer to himself in third person and be unable to function properly. He would not be able to care for himself, let alone be responsible for another human being.

    I cant argue over the obsessions. So I'm obsessive? I can live with that...

    Narcotics and alcohol. Yeah sure. If I knew about a drug that gave me my superpowers I'd share it with you lot for starters. Think about it, if I wanted to take over the world an army of super-nerds is exactly what I'd choose to do it with. Reality: If I didnt get off my face every now and then there would indeed be something wrong with me.

    Megalomania. Yeah, I'll just tiptoe past that one and not wake it up either. Any dreams of grandeur I may ever have entertained are long gone.

    By definition I dont have Monomania, unless you count Holism.

    And as for an unjustified suspicion, I have evidence, and disclosure is not the action of a man terrified of consequence.

    Why am I analysing all this?

    Well, I uncovered more tentacles, thats why. For the last three years, as a carer, I've been entitled to funding for things like holidays. Its called the Carer Wellbeing Fund, and any full-time carer can apply for a grant of up to £300 annually. Needless to say, I'd never heard of it. Despite it being the social worker's job to signpost things like this for me, it's taken him until now to put me in touch with Carer's Support who administrate it.

    Worse, their records indicated I am an ex-carer, a result of the above accusations, which is why they have not contacted me in all this time. More denial of service; social services provided them with that horse-shit in the first place, and Carers Support were more than happy to clean that up. In fact, I'm being given VIP treatment because there is little else they can do but give me a big hug. And a holiday. Thank you :-)

    One wonders how many other tails this snake has.


    Typically, I ran into more stonewalling over my dox. Un-fucking-believable. For starters they gleefully forwarded me a link to an application form. Yeah, they charge for information they hold on you without your knowledge or permission like the thieves they are, and they spread it over so many...

    Read more »

  • The X Files

    Morning.Star02/23/2018 at 07:18 0 comments

    Thank the stars for (near) perfect recall. I dont have the ability to snapshot pages of information just by looking at them. But, information does persist for a very long time nonetheless.

    It's handy sometimes. ;-)

    Destination: Hackington

    I was at college a few years before the Millennium, doing an NVQ3 in IT. That's a fairly comprehensive qualification, I'd already aced the first two modules and was about to secure the Prize... That was an actual job at the end of a placement, teaching mature students how to use computers.

    I'd been given a room with four students and access to a bunch of second-hand machines which turned out to be pretty worthless, I had to scrounge up a fair bit so they ran WordPerfect for DOS, and some spreadsheet and database software. The students were PACT Trainees, Placement, Assessment, Counselling, Training - former manual labourers retraining because of injury to do office work, and all I had to do was teach them the basics. Their certificates gave me mine when they completed the course.

    Flying colours, I had a basic teaching qualification under my belt and a position within the agency itself to take up, and then the agency was sold to Thompson, the cruise ship holiday people to use as in-house staff training. They didnt need a green IT teacher and I got booted unceremoniously back in the Dole queue. Real nice, but that happens...

    Anyway, this was before the Millennium Act and Digital Rights Management had been ratified, but I studied them as part of the IT in a teaching role...

    The Data Protection Act had a paragraph buried in it which read something like this.

    • An individual has a right to the information held on him/her by an organisation at request.
    • The organisation must comply with the request, and return a copy of that information on paper or CD.
    • The organisation may charge up to £10 for the media and recovery costs, unless that organisation is a government agency, in which case it is free.
    • The documents may be redacted to conceal sensitive information, but must be full and complete.
    • The request is to be made to the Data Protection Officer of the organisation in writing.

    That lot is now law, but it isnt well-known and organisations dont advertise who their DPO is. You have to ask, and then write to them.

    The meeting

    Well, the social worker looked a bit stressed, I dont think he was enjoying the meeting at all but I wasnt giving him a hard time myself. He made the mistake of admitting information exists; until now he's maintained that Social Services dont have any records. I'd warned him about the pile of ammunition I had that wouldnt shoot him, but fall on him if he didnt move a bit sharpish, and he still hasnt read this lot. Tch.

    Informatics Andrew, I specialise in information itself, and the Truth is indeed Out There.

    Apparently he has been denied access to the records, they are Archived and not for his eyes - or his supervisor's either from the looks of it.

    Just wow, but like I said that information is mine, so I'm putting in a request for it so that the social worker can see whats in the box for himself. He seemed genuinely pleased about it too. Lol...

    Ironically this isnt even the first time I've done this to them, but they dont learn very fast. Last time I went on their computers and downloaded the entire National Disabilities Act, which goes back to 1947 with all its amendments, and scoured it for the single sentence;

    A disabled person has the right to a say in the manner and location of their care...

    Which I then waved under their noses, along with a doctors report and AIME, which eventually led me to today, being dumped with all the responsibility and with no assistance or recompense.

    Honestly, what a f*ing mess. Only a government organisation can let it get to this, any other profit-making organisation would have gone broke long ago no matter how entrenched they are.

    Have you noticed there's also only one Monopolies Commission?


  • The Revenant

    Morning.Star02/16/2018 at 06:54 0 comments

    This is from around four years ago, written just after Psalm for the Insane. it didnt mean anything at the time, a random thought I couldnt get rid of so I wrote it down. I'm glad I did.


    Today I speak to a psychologist. I'm beginning to wonder what the point is, it's doubtful they'll have the training for this, and why should I speak to psychologist about other people's behavioural problems? And no, I'm not talking about Bea, she has an excuse for acting like a child.

    This is in itself a bit pitiful. The social worker wants me to convince the psychologist that I'm disabled, when its patently obvious it isnt me who is, but him and his emotionally crippled colleagues. This is so his department can carry on ignoring me, use me as free care and neglect their duties to my daughter. That isnt going to happen, the same as last time, and now the world can see it too.

    The social worker still does not read my blog, has his fingers in his ears going La La La, and doesnt believe that the CEO of his parent organisation is signed on the case. He truly believes they have done no wrong and he's doing his best to help, and that the LGO will side with his department.

    Perhaps I should send him one of these, so he can discuss his delusion with a professional instead of me.

    I'm not even going to dignify that last section, I'll just have it out with the psychologist.

  • The Eagle Has Landed

    Morning.Star02/10/2018 at 08:11 2 comments

    When I said "From a great height..." Thats exactly what I meant.

    It feels like many years ago, and it might well be by now, that I told an enthusiastic-sounding social worker if he didnt want to listen I'd just go over his head, and over their successive heads, those who wouldnt do anything.

    The Ombudsman still cannot intervene, because the Council tried to tie me up in Red Tape, but they really have exhausted the roll by now, decades of it. So, he landed this on the desk of someone who will.

    Outstanding, thank you Mr Pettigrew of the LGO, you Sir are a gentleman and a scholar.

    The county CEO probably does not take kindly to seeing letters like this, he handles a massive budget and only talks to men in suits. One can only guess his expression upon handing it to an underling to make it go away.

    However it then landed on the desk of an underling of theirs, who obviously has other things on their mind at the moment. Typical... Well, the Piste is probably booked, you go enjoy your holiday love and dont worry about MorningStar and Bea. Doubtless you took one look at the top of the paper trail and didnt dig any further.

    That, or you dont trust your underlings to handle it in your absence. Hell, I wouldnt, look at the mess they already made...

    So, I wait patiently until the 9th March to see what they come up with. It'd better be good, or there'll be scratching of the Quill again.

    And you can keep your leaflet. If I wanted to punish the frontline carers, who are inundated, underfunded and understaffed, I'd have annoyed one of your underlings with this in the first place.

  • Lets do the TimeWarp Again

    Morning.Star01/31/2018 at 10:37 0 comments

    20 years of backups is a lot to go through if you dont know what you are looking for and didnt remember making a copy in the first place.

    But Oh, Joy...

    Meet Laura. You're not getting away with this one...

    Check and Mate, Andrew.

  • Is there anybody in there?

    Morning.Star01/30/2018 at 10:35 2 comments

    Still nothing. You guys are journalists, right? ;-p

    Hello?
    Is there anybody in there?
    Just nod if you can hear me
    Is there anyone home?
    Come on now
    I hear you're feeling down
    Well I can ease your pain
    Get you on your feet again

    Relax
    I'll need some information first
    Just the basic facts
    Can you show me where it hurts?


    There is no pain you are receding
    A distant ship's smoke on the horizon
    You are only coming through in waves
    Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying
    When I was a child I had a fever
    My hands felt just like two balloons
    Now I've got that feeling once again
    I can't explain you would not understand
    This is not how I am
    I have become comfortably numb

    Waters et al, Pink Floyd's The Wall


    Years ago I showed my work to a psychiatrist, he told me I was DaVinci and threw me out with the instructions,

    "Get your daughter out of care and take over the world with your robots."

    Who's mad, me or him? I thought. Megalomania, and I'd be right back in here in two seconds flat with a genuine reason. But, no psychiatrist worth his salt would try such a lowbrow trick with an intelligent man. Besides, he did level with me and say I was smarter and saner than he, and I'd hate him for it. He was wrong about that tho. I hate no-one...

    I have grown comfortable with what I am, and responsibly decided the planet is a ball of monkey poo and not worth dominating anyway. I do despise the despicable though. Politicians like May and her cronies who really do seem to have it in for everyone except themselves. Boris is of course just an idiot, and envisioning myself among these greedy and poorly educated fops just makes me laugh.

    I dream of riches like any man, but behave like that to acquire it? No, I am not maladjusted either, and I have Bea to consider or I would work to acquire the power to change it myself.

    In the meantime, I should throw away the opportunity to be recognised, respected, rewarded for what I am? Because a round of applause or taking the piss isnt close, and being ignored is just insulting.

    Gratitude must be shown here to those who do support me. Mark, of course, who contributes directly, and Sophi I know did some fairly extensive personal promotion, Ars and the ZeroPhone crew, followers, friends, critics, and an unknown but equally important amount of people who folded an Origami star or did something creative because of me.

    Thats why I came, and why I stayed. Not to take over the world, not to entertain it, not to clean it up, and not teach it [a lesson...]. I am an example of what a human can be if they put their minds to it. I learned all this, so can anyone... All it takes is to find the truth in something and its yours.

    I am however at pains as to "What the actual fuck is wrong with you people?". You guys see it, right? A couple hundred thousand nerds and more... Among several billion who dont, led by a handful of total dicks. I pity this planet, I dont hate it, nor do I pity myself.


    I wrote to The Morning Star first, out of courtesy.

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Morning.Star wrote 01/31/2018 at 06:32 point

Oh you are shitting me. I just looked into crowdfunding a solicitor and they even have me over a barrel there. I looked into the regulations that govern income to see if raising money charitably counts as it.

Currently the regulations are that on Income Support, anything I solicit is income so anything donated over £20 per week goes to the government up to the value of the benefit, and over a certain limit the benefits cut off. Gifts dont count, so I cant ask for donations, only receive them, and begging is illegal anyway.

On disability benefits anything over a certain limit triggers a cut off, but I can raise money say for equipment or services without penalty.

Basically what this means is I cant crowdfund a solicitor unless I get off Income Support, which is impossible because I'm a Council tenant. The rent pays itself all the time I'm on benefits, so as soon as I leave I have to cover Council Tax as well, and guess who decides which benefit I'm on?

The benefits agency, under advice from a doctor... Social Services are supposed to have no influence over this, but here medical ethics prevent that from happening by refusing the case when the doctor is no longer impartial. So I remain untreated for depression and the effects of stress and abuse.

Day after day this goes on. Unpaid slavery and theft if I work, censorship if I dont. All three are illegal, never mind the shit they already pulled. I've already been suicidal, left to cure myself and carry on with the knowledge nothing will change because I'm responsible for another life besides my own.

I should warn you that I've bounced off a truck, been poisoned, electrocuted, beaten, had migraines half my life, been homeless, faced bigotry, insults, a knife wielding maniac, and faced an entire panel of your experts before and won - how else would Bea be in my care after what I've been accused of - so you Andrew, are just annoying. OK very annoying, but you dont have what it takes to break me.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Morning.Star wrote 01/30/2018 at 14:22 point

Sorry Sandra, your washing machine will have to wait until Thursday, because Bea is home tomorrow. As one of my old friends, you're quite comfortable about asking me to fix that. You know I will if I can, and ask nothing for doing it.

Have you thought about that, Andrew? It isnt just me I'm whining about when I say I cant use these hands of mine. Every piece a master piece, even a old piece of junk washing machine belonging to a friend.

It's bad enough you deny me that ability, and tell me everything else I do is worthless, and then you have the nerve to deny me support by compromising my doctor so she cant treat me? You're a worthless human being dude, you keep kidding yourself that being a social worker gives you Karma.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Morning.Star wrote 01/22/2018 at 14:00 point

I know you'll never read this, fat old man shuffling past me on the way into town, but if if I'm a C*nt, then that makes you a useless, stupid, mouthy, old C*nt.

Lets have some perspective here.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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