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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. ;-)

  • Raspberry Spy

    Morning.Star5 days ago 1 comment

    As British as Bond...

    From Wikipedia

    Blowing a raspberry, strawberry or making a Bronx cheer, is to make a noise that may signify derision, real or feigned. It may also be used in childhood phonemic play either solely by the child or by adults towards a child to encourage imitation to the delight of both parties. It is made by placing the tongue between the lips and blowing to produce a sound similar to flatulence. In the terminology of phonetics, this sound has been described as a voiceless linguolabial trill, and as a buccal interdental trill.

    A raspberry is never used in human language phonemically (that is, as a building block of words), but it is widely used across human cultures.

    Etymology

    The nomenclature varies by country. In most anglophone countries, it is known as a raspberry, which is attested from at least 1890, and which in the United States came to be abbreviated as razz by 1919. In the United States it has also been called a Bronx cheer since at least 1929.

    Blowing a "raspberry" derives from the Cockney rhyming slang "raspberry tart" for "fart". Rhyming slang was particularly used in British comedy to refer to things that would be unacceptable to a polite audience. "Raspberry" was also given the pronunciation spelling "razzberry" in the US, of which "razz" is an abbreviation.

    and...

    The V Sign, Forks or Two-Fingered Salute...

    The first contemporary evidence of the use of the insulting V sign in the United Kingdom dates to 1901, when a worker outside Parkgate ironworks in Rotherham used the gesture (captured on the film) to indicate that he did not like being filmed.Peter Opie interviewed children in the 1950s and observed in The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren that the much-older thumbing of the nose (cocking a snook) had been replaced by the V sign as the most common insulting gesture used in the playground.

    Between 1975 and 1977 a group of anthropologists including Desmond Morris studied the history and spread of European gestures and found the rude version of the V-sign to be basically unknown outside the British Isles. In his Gestures: Their Origins and Distribution, published in 1979, Morris discussed various possible origins of this sign but came to no definite conclusion:

    because of the strong taboo associated with the gesture (its public use has often been heavily penalised). As a result, there is a tendency to shy away from discussing it in detail. It is "known to be dirty" and is passed on from generation to generation by people who simply accept it as a recognised obscenity without bothering to analyse it... Several of the rival claims are equally appealing. The truth is that we will probably never know...

    So, I've written to the Law Society, who regulate the solicitors who are our advocates in our legal system.

    Seeing as the government wishes to make me pay for advocacy to obtain money stolen from me by local authority and absolutely will not negotiate on this, I have no choice but to litigate by any means necessary.

  • Re: Your Droids

    Morning.Star7 days ago 2 comments

    I know. Its getting hard to find anything funny.

    I made what's become a customary Friday where-the-fuck-are-my-carers-and-give-me-my-money call which invariably goes to duty, if they havent got it on answerphone.

    Yes guys, this is the last point of call for the vulnerable before responsibility fucks off down the pub early and gets shitfaced for the weekend.

    I have to admit, if I were responsible for that I would too.

  • Cheque M8

    Morning.Star05/14/2019 at 06:32 4 comments

    Now its going to be interesting how this one pans out.

    Well, of course I contacted her, she handed me this for my records.

    Dont worry folks, nobody's being dragged out by the baileys and the locks changed, that would be completely illegal as I patiently explained to the bright young adviser sitting opposite me. Smart girl, she agreed completely and told me that in the eventuality of things ever getting that bad they would just apply to the local authority to house Bea [and her slave, as is the convention with the ruling classes] in any case long before it could happen.

    Check.

    She thought for a moment and jumped on the arrears. Well, I'm still waiting on a mandate to setup a direct debit so I can start paying these off, and for a moment she almost had me paying them the money the council took (https://hackaday.io/project/29260-obsidian/log/163139-well-sprung) as well.

    Check.

    I agreed that, under regulation, from the 18th of March, I owed them about half the sum they were asking and would have to recover the remainder from the council through normal channels.

    Dammit, Check.

    Out came the regulations.

    Now, it appears that under the regulations with Bea in the house and her on Disability Living Allowance [or PIP, that is replacing it] I should receive full housing benefit and not have to pay a shortfall in rent in any case. Well, that being the case I didnt owe them any money on technicality, and they would take this up with the council on my behalf as responsible social housing agents.

    Was that a wink...

    Well now, thats interesting, because for the entire duration of my caring for Bea in council properties, under the care of Social Services and advised by their advisers and for the last five years in collusion with the council and possibly others, I have paid just under 15 quid a week towards my rent under the false impression that it is regulation.

    I mean, I queried it, why would Bea show up on the rent statement as a 'non-dependent deduction' in housing benefit? Clearly, she is dependent... And no, I have been told, its regulation.

    Well, here I am sat in front of said bright young independent adviser with a vested interest in the case, and it dawns on me they've all been covering this up for five years because the council realised it made a mistake 19 years ago, and did so when Bea went into care. Then when she came home they silently reinstated the mistake so I would never know they actually owed me a lot of money.

    Checkmate.

    Yes, 19 years times 14 pounds 21 pence every week comes to a significant total.

    £14,039.48 to be precise.

    The cheeky bastards know full well if I ever find out that not only have I not been paid to care for Bea all these years, in fact I've been charged that for it, I will hit the fucking roof.

    Wait, what?

    I was remarkably calm, exiting the agency, after shaking the poor girl and her supervisors hands. Lord knows what she must have thought.

  • Something For The Weekend

    Morning.Star05/11/2019 at 03:37 0 comments

    I really cant even dignify this lunacy except in the mans own words.

    Yes, you are reading that right.

    In order to not break one regulation, Social Services are sending a taxi to pick Bea up at tea-time and take her to a care home where the skeleton staff in attendance there can give her a bath.

    [I dont like to add to the pressure on this already overwhelmed service; while the staff are attending to Bea they arent attending to the residents.]

    I also dont care for the thought of Bea then coming home in her pyjamas on public transport to have her evening meal.

    And doesnt it prompt one to wonder who is providing the rest of the support, unpaid, illegally, against his wishes, and at the disgust of his peers?

    I left a mesage for Igor.

  • Well Sprung

    Morning.Star05/09/2019 at 04:34 8 comments

    Yeah I thought so. The plot reveals itself.

    I wrote about what smelled like entrapment, and its coming home to roost. Back when I moved in, I was in a Council property that was inadequate for humans, never mind a disabled one. It was a hovel, and this was supposed to be mitigation.

    Lovely, on the face of it. But, its an isolated community within an isolated community - social housing on an estate built on the outskirts of a village, filled with people carefully chosen by local authority, and myself. I'll cast no aspersions on anyone, but I'm not one of them much as they seem to have welcomed me.

    I do feel welcomed, despite the hassle I've had with Bea, and the hassle with the tenancy.

    The Plot

    When you move house, you end one contract and begin a new one, but somehow this wasnt the case with me. For some bizarre reason Arun District Council, who administrate the housing, didnt terminate my old lease for 5 weeks after I moved out.

    Now, living on social benefits in a council property means the council pays rent to itself interdepartmentally, and they ask for a small contribution from the tenant. Normally this would be fair, but as Bea is on benefits herself as a disabled adult she is classed by them as 'non-dependent' ie she has an income and thus contributes to the rent. However, as a disabled person she is clearly dependent, and the council are unfairly taxing us. I cant get around it without changing our regulations though, so I pay it.

    When I moved, that money was supposed to then be paid to the agency along with the housing benefit to cover the rent. Except it wasnt, the council held the lease open and continued to take the payments but they didnt give them to the agency. Now the agency are asking for the money, and I have paid it so I'm refusing to pay it again within my legal rights.

    * edit. On review, the council had been recovering money from my account for 3 months, until the agency complained.

    Well, I didnt expect the council to blatantly break the law. They have a duty of care to Bea that they have reneged on by handing her off to a private agency, and then they defrauded the agency.

    The housing agency sneered and told me they could evict me on short notice even from a secure tenancy because it was probationary, and they didnt need to involve local authority to do it.

    Yep, cardboard box on the streets and Bea in care because I cant house her, it wasnt like I didnt see that shit coming.

    Well, as soon as I suspected there was a ruse I took steps against it. I employ other tenants for starters, so if I am evicted they lose their jobs and litigate. And, I'm no longer Bea's carer, I'm her care manager and thats a very different beast indeed. The Social didnt expect me to take responsibility and then be responsible... They thought I was going to screw around given the opportunity, however instead they got law enforcement chasing them for entrapment.

    Annoying, isnt it? Thats what you get for playing games with me.

    Now the jaws of the trap close on thin air, and the mercenary faces the beast at close quarters with completely inadequate weapons and no backup;

    I have a meeting with the supervisors of the agency to resolve this on Monday, I asked Igor to be there to represent Social Services but he declined. That was a mistake he will live to regret, because he just gave me permission to speak for him and it was him that organised this clusterfuck with the agency in the first place.

    I'm sorry Igor, if you are questioning your miserable existence again. Dont make me question mine.

  • The Golden Snitch

    Morning.Star04/30/2019 at 05:25 10 comments

    Well, this was unexpected.

    It seems they are getting desperate. So desperate in fact they are willing to break yet more of their regulations seemingly in an attempt to compromise me.

    I mean, who do they think I am?

    Well, I'm no snitch for starters, so that aint gonna happen.

    I'm unconvinced as to whether this is another desperate attempt to entrap me somehow, or whether they are genuinely so corrupt they will just waive their own protocols to wriggle away.

    Of course its not fine for a highly dangerous man to illegally do Bea's care, but I dont see as allowing just anyone else to do it as a solution.

    There is a solution, but they are obviously trying to destroy me as they wont consider it.

    One thing I have done is suggested that I run the care home that Bea is placed in. As it happens the one Keri will accept suddenly has no manager due to illness. I hope I had nothing to do with that because I get on well with the man, but he was responsible for sending home the two fancy dress costumes and may even have had a breakdown. That sucks, and I wish him well.

    So I told Igor how Bea wants both the care home and myself, how I wanted paying legally for my input, and how he didnt want his ass sued fired or bitten again, so me running the place ticked all the boxes. And the idiot typically completely ignored me.

    I've been thinking very seriously over the last few days about just giving up. I dont want to spend the rest of my days doing this, and I dont want to be the man that breaks our social care system without being able to fix it either.

    Bea doesnt want this, and the only alternative now is institution, which she has learned to handle by exposure to it.

    Ruined. Destroyed. All my hard work teaching the girl good habits and fostering a pleasant attitude so she can live in the community is down the drain, and I'll have to spend years rebuilding that if I can because her trust is now gone too.

    Bastards.

    That is the worst. Driving a wedge between us behind my back is unconscionable anyway, Doing it with the knowledge she cannot tell me what lies they have told her is outrageous, I cant fix this. I wont live like it either, so its time to walk away before someone is hurt.

    What happens afterwards really is up to me. I can just keep walking til I hit Manhattan, or I can stand and fight for justice, but either way I have lost everything I have worked for and just have a round of applause for it and I am not happy about that.

    I was born to change the world, that much is clear to me, but how - that is the question. I have to change it to free myself so I can use the gifts I was given, and that says to me fight for justice.

  • Fifty Shades Of Guano

    Morning.Star04/26/2019 at 08:44 1 comment

    I dont take kindly to being manipulated.

    When the original officer called, and discovered the only person/s in any danger were Social Services as an entity, and nobody was going to be hacked, blown up, or even fucked outside of a courtroom, I asked him to make a report on the circumstances of his visit to Social Services, knowing full well they would instantly jump on it as a chance to gain some leverage over me.

    Entrapment? Thats an interesting weapon closely related to the Trojan Horse, I am familiar with it. ;-) This is how it is done properly.

    My regards really should go out to our beleagoured Police officers who I am sure actually have better things to do with their time than enforce the laws of our lands.

    Oh, so you wish to dance Igor. You know the Tango I hope...

    When they tire of me picking up their dull weapons and throwing them right back, I'll stop doing it.

    The worst that can happen is I get another psychiatric evaluation and Social Services get a report from the doctor telling them to stop winding me up. I'll just add it to the pile for for the tabloids this summer.

  • Bondage

    Morning.Star04/23/2019 at 20:01 4 comments

    Following what can only be described as entrapment I've decided to resume hostilities against Social Services. I cant prove it of course, but here are the facts I know.

    So, following on from my laughter at the latest 'victory'... And yes, @salec thank you sir, for a timely reminder not to trust Igor or his rodent-in-chief. I proper dodged a bullet on this by all appearances.

    The Femme Fatale

    My memory winds back to the first time I met her. Girls are obsessive about this even a decade later, what was she wearing, and most importantly guys, what did she say. You can get away with forgetting many things, but forget that and its over lol. Luckily, I remember these little details anyway.

    I arrived late to the tenancy signing in a rainstorm so bad it cancelled trains, so I was soaked. I had a woolly hat sagging over my glasses and a weeks growth of grey beard and sat in back of the meeting with the other tenants and steamed gently next to their projection equipment. Pretty much as soon as I did, one of the other tenants shuffled seats as we all rearranged ourselves to see the presentation and suddenly I had a new best friend. She seemed shy and nerdy in a tasteless raincoat and glasses and kept herself all covered up, but she was also just a little bit too forward for it, and she was out of place. I'm an old codger, and she was obviously half my age and it made my antennae twitch.

    Did we know where we all were, we hadnt had our keys yet and didnt know our house numbers.

    Later, when we were given them she seemed overjoyed we were to be neighbours and I could see her making plans as she questioned me. I didnt let on who I was; she already knew, why else would she be chatting me up, I figured. I began to stare out of the windows, the meeting was boring and she was just a bit too friendly, and she was persistent. I forgot all about it though, I'm not suspicious or paranoid by nature.

    After we moved in she approached me with overtures of friendship, and pretty quickly offered to help me out with Bea as she was a carer before becoming a single mum with a typical sob story about her ex. So I agreed, and she became one of my PA's when Bea came home. In the meantime, she continued the friendship, introduced me to her absolute darling of a daughter and established herself in the newly created community, befriended and introduced another carer who remains my PA. She also lost the nerdy and shy cover and revealed herself to be physically stunning and actually quite socially skilled, her and her bevy of equally beautiful and mostly single friends.

    I didnt complain of course, nor did I complain when she began working for me, until the flirting became so obvious it was almost aggressive, and eventually I got invited to her bed...

    Well, let me tell you that despite my friends calling me names for this, and having to take a *lot* of cold showers I didnt.

    I questioned my own sanity more than once, but, fact is she worked for me and that ruled that out. By now I couldnt discuss it with her without disciplining her and losing her as a PA, so all I could do was wait for her to do the inevitable; approach me formally, if she were really interested. But no.

    So she quit spectacularly, coming round with her mother who proceeded to have a go at me for not sleeping with her daughter. I could see the poor woman questioning herself as she listened to me tell her there was twenty years between me and her offspring as well as a contract we both signed so it wasnt going to happen. They got pissy and I asked them to leave and ended the contract, and thought that over bar some shouting until we all calmed down. And if there were anything genuine, we'd talk eventually.

    Thats what should have happened. This is what happened next instead.

    There was a knock on my door, I opened it and was greeted by a police officer. He enquired if I knew why he was calling, politely... No, I...

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  • What A Performance

    Morning.Star02/15/2019 at 15:27 7 comments

    COMING SOON
    to a cinema near you


    Yes, it made a perfect landing.

    I'll be spending this glorious sunny weekend putting it together while Bea messes around on her trampoline and meets her new carers.

    Thank you, I Like Sheds Dot Com. Thats quality that is.


    I really dont know what to add to this to be honest, other than this ridiculous conversation. Note there is no denial, any more than confirmation...

    He simply palms it off on some poor charity, who I'd rather helped someone more deserving or I would have asked them in the first place.

  • Power Up!! Boss Round Complete.

    Morning.Star02/13/2019 at 17:57 4 comments

    Well, the campaign has been long and arduous, and somewhat irritating to say the least.

    Irritating mainly because I could have done what I just have right from the outset. 4 long years of complaining , pissing off officials and various other creative ways of showing my annoyance at the state of Social Care in this country.

    When I began, I was pretty much on my knees scraping poop (and worse) on social care benefits without a penny in my pocket and not a friend in the world. I'd grown suicidal, trapped caring for a disabled woman unassisted in impoverished conditions. The accommodation we were in was completely unacceptable, how the other tenants in the block put up with excrement on the stairs, vermin, and garbage bags gutted by the swarming seagulls strewn over the path I'll never know. I complained enough, as well as at the ripped up treadways and the general state of the block the local council never got around to repairing.

    * Point of note, I drove past the old property today on the way back from golf. Despite the council's haste to re-let it after redecorating inside, it is still empty two months later. No surprises there then, nobody mad enough wants to live there.

    Well after said campaign I now have a workshop to build my Secret Laboratory in, turning up in a couple of days.

    Muahahahahah!

    It will be outfitted with complete Faraday shielding donated by the now defunct #The House Of Fun which I will not be needing. A pity, it would have been epic. But never mind. It has a supercomputer, and live streaming from several cameras, RGB LED lighting and a slab. More on this later...

    Thanks must go to Hackaday itself for enabling all this, I should say. And of course to all my friends, followers, fans, and critics, who gave me a reason. Worth it, so worth it. Thank you all. :-D

    Is that not all then? Well no, of course not.

    I have a brand new house for Bea, complete with a decent sized garden to put my workshop in, and a jumbo trampoline for her that Social Services grumpily paid for to replace the one they lost her. That was one of the things they knew wouldnt fly so I rather impudently requested the biggest b*d I could fit in the garden.

    Bea loves it.

    So what have I done then?

    Well, now I've rifled about as much as I can out of Igor's pocketses with a free tentacle while I had a grasp on the slimy little toad, he's fired. Quite literally dispensed with. That brings the grand total to

    1 local council, 1 county council, 1 benefits agency, 2 social workers, 1 NHS GP service, 1 NHS mental health service, a rack of experts in care, another in autism spectrum disorders, several independent psychiatrists, a magistrate, two ombudsmen and a psycho ex.

    And a Social Services Manager.

    I'm not eating that, I have my standards. ;-)

    There exists a thing called Direct Payment. This is where Central Gov pay a disabled person directly to manage their own care. It isnt common, the idea is Social Services provide for us democratically, and those with needs that cant be supplied by the one-size-fits-all blanket of ignorance that actually resolves to can be paid via a trustee account to manage and provide their own carers.

    Well, moving out of that rathole and among decent folk all looking for a fresh start meant I quickly met someone prepared to help me and Bea out, coincidentally a registered carer looking for work. And of course she knows others too. So, on top of the existing agency care for weekends, I now have a couple of PA's that I employ myself, paid out of a trustee account by central without oversight by Social Services.

    I'm an employer. I have a couple of PA's and a temp to help me and Bea while I tinker in my Secret Laboratory, paid by the government while I hack. I have an independent broker manage the tax and national insurance contributions on commission, and I have complete autonomy.

    Yep, I wander about with goggle face, Bea's looked after properly and I got her trampoline and my workshop back.

    That never...
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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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