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A bit racist

I had a strange encounter yesterday. It peaked with the allegation that I am a racist and tailed off with a wide-ranging assertion that all those in Westminster are thieving bastards. I can’t say that I particularly disagree with the latter sentiment but I do take umbrage with the former.

It began as many things do, with a beer. Specifically, an empty can of beer thrown into the street and met with the comment “there’s a bin there, for fuck’s sake.” Which I’ll admit is a confrontational approach lacking in subtlety but sometimes life is frustrating and you make poor choices.

This led, after the usual “u w0t m8” back and forth, to an accusation of racism that hit like a bolt of lightning from a clear blue sky.

Now, I do dislike people for stupid reasons, I won’t argue that. I am not keen on men with ponytails for example, and I find anyone who doesn’t like cheese to be inherently suspicious. I do not care however, about your religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. I care if you’re a dick.

Getting the response “who are you telling to go back to their own country, I fucking live here” to the statement “I’m not interested in your excuses, just put it in the fucking bin” was therefore somewhat confusing and rather unpleasant. I obviously approve of the tactic of nuking an argument from orbit – it’s the only way to be sure of winning it – but what the hell, man?

We then had a chat whereby it became clear that he was drunk, I need to look at my impulse control, and neither of us like the government much.


Wise words indeed

The assertion that “I pay my council tax so that people will pick that up” is still bullshit and the unfounded accusation of racism continues to rankle. Mainly, it must be said, because I feel that if I take issue with someone then it’s because I think that they, personally, are a bellend rather than their entire culture.

I picked the can up myself.

This morning.

While wondering if I am a racist.

What a dick.

A strange conveyance

Despite my previous whining I am now, the vagaries of soliciting aside, very nearly the owner of an entire house including, though not limited to, some rooms, a roof, two floors, and at least four whole walls. I don’t have anything to put inside those walls – my main possessions being bicycles and books rather than cupboards and beds – but the option is there should I wish to make use of it.

These, then, are interesting times. At least they would be were the entire process not so utterly bereft of interest and urgency. I marvel, truly marvel, at the fact that the drudgery of house buying hasn’t been automated by now because I can’t think of a single reason why it wouldn’t be. It’s as though the entire industry is somehow deliberately anachronistic, convoluted and plodding so as to milk money from those embroiled in it. Imagine that.

Talking about houses, mortgages, kitchens, interest rates, and colour schemes is important you see, and I must share my insights with you always whether you want me to or not. There was a time when I didn’t understand why that was but now that I, too, have succumbed to the inexorable tick-list of what’s expected, I can confirm that it is indeed so. Oh my, yes. The good deals on the things in the places and the excellent cover for the material goods and the objects? All are paramount in my mind now.

Only … they’re not. They’re boring. They’ve always been boring and they’ll always be boring. They are dullness itself and, while I will accept that my enthusiasm for cartoons, weird music, and make-believe are childish and immature, at least they don’t involve talking to a solicitor about conveyancing or deciding which colour the bowl you shit in is going to be.

No mention of pants


I guess some people go commando.

That said, East Anglian Hardcore is either a band or incest porn and I’m not sure I want to know which.

Aren’t we all?


I mean let’s face it, it’s all about the money these days.

What a world


Realistically, that’s what we already have and it isn’t all that.



Do you want to go for a beer he says?
What a silly question.

It also would seem that some people visit pubs known for their excellent beer selections and order Carling. The savages.

Fun for all the family

Do you work in I.T? Do you hate talking to people? Do you need to uninstall something and want to avoid all that time-consuming social interaction? Well, you should have SCCM installed but if you don’t, there’s this.

Elevate your command prompt.

Use these words of power.

Wmic /node:"hostname" product where "name like '%theName%'" call uninstall /nointeractive

Replace hostname with, well, the hostname (or the IP) of the system you wish to target and replace theName with whichever application you want to remove. Leave the “” and %% in place as % is a wildcard to help matching and “” just encloses your hostname if you fqdn it.

If you want to be less vague with your words of power, swap “name like ‘%theName%'” for name=”theExactName” and Robert’s your father’s brother.

You can also call use call reinstall /nointeractive to reinstall the application if it pleases you to do so.

Obviously you’ll need the requisite permissions to the target machine in order to run these commands but I’m guessing you knew that already. Enjoy.

We property developers now

In this time of electoral focus I represent the nadir of political engagement. Not because I’m not interested in the governance of the country, the various party policies or the horrible inevitability of the next shower of bastards being just as bad and self-serving as the last. That’s not it at all. No, see, the problem is that I’m single, white, male and employed.

First World problems


At this point some will no doubt have reached for their privilege checkers because, as we all know, complicated social issues are always best addressed with some trite millennial phrase that the witless can spout to seem intellectual and engaged – like those people who shout YOLO and think they’re expressing a somehow new concept that Carpe Diem doesn’t cover.

I know, OK? I’m aware of the manifold advantages that the accident of my birth has conveyed upon me. I’m also pretty certain that I’ll never be able to apologise enough for the random chance that is my existence to make some people happy and so I won’t bother. What I will do is gripe about the fact that, due to our vacuous and graspingly aspirational culture, everyone’s a property developer now. No one knows why they are, but people are seemingly consumed by the desire to ‘add value’ to their property as though living in it is some transient step on the ladder to an identical building where they can repeat the cycle.


Just look at them.

Consequently, and quite aside from the national shortfall in affordable housing – with new builds typically being featureless shitboxes crammed cheek-by-jowl on postage stamp-sized plots – my options are few. There’s little in the way of bribes, I mean incentives … sorry, policies in any of the manifestos that are of any particular benefit – presumably because I already have all the advantages I need – and those houses that do hit the market are either overpriced courtesy of speculation or snapped up by some tit and split into a dozen shoeboxes for people who like having their bed in the kitchen.

There’s also the curious trend toward rents being in roughly the same ballpark as mortgages, with the same litany of mysterious fees – including council tax which, so far as I can tell, evaporates into the ether – and the question of why it’s ok for millions to pay someone else’s mortgage by-proxy when they can’t necessarily obtain one of their own.

Look, what I’m saying is that I hate my housemates and I’m stuck for the next twelve months. God damn it.

Levels of excitement

I work in I.T and am therefore both exciting and dynamic, this much is given. Often this exciting dynamism – henceforth known as excitamism – takes the form of such thrilling activities as massive OS rollouts, cluster building or VOIP tinkering. Sometimes it takes the form of adding a generic photo to every user account in AD.

Every user account. All of them. The mail-enabled ones anyway, there’s no point with the others because they don’t appear in the address book. Amirite?

It is at times like these that you think to yourself “but I don’t want to do that all by hand, I am lazy” and by summoning the full power of your brain you achieve the impossible. At the very least you achieve a mackled together PowerShell script that does the job for you. Then you run it on a schedule so that you never have to do it again. EXCITAMISM!

#If I could be bothered, I'd hack this a little more to add error some handling and a message when no results were returned.
#I can't though, because I am. There's some annotation though. Let's hear a big hurrah for jerry-rigging.

#import PowerShell AD Module
Import-Module ActiveDirectory
#set search root as required eg: OU=Users,DC=your,DC=Domain
$searchRoot = OU=Users,DC=your,DC=Domain"
#set default image source for your user profiles 96x96px jpg, gif, whatever
$defaultImageSrc = "C:\Tools\Powershell\Resources\default.jpg"

#wait function just for the sake of it
function wait{
Write-host -ForegroundColor Green "`nPress any key to continue ..."
$HOST.UI.RawUI.ReadKey("NoEcho,IncludeKeyDown") | OUT-NULL

# exit the script
function quit {

#queries ad for mail enabled users with no profile photo set
function setPhoto{
Write-host -ForegroundColor Green "Running"
$users = GET-ADUSER -filter * -SearchBase $searchRoot -properties ThumbnailPhoto,Mail | Where { $_.ThumbnailPhoto -eq $NULL -and $_.mail -ne $NULL}
#loops through the returned results and sets the thumbnail photo
ForEach($user in $users)
"Setting photo for $($"
#Old method removed to replace the requirement for Exchange Snap-In being loaded
#Import-RecipientDataProperty -Identity $user.distinguishedName -Picture -FileData ([Byte[]]$(Get-Content -Path $defaultImageSrc -Encoding Byte -ReadCount 0))
Set-ADUser $user.distinguishedName -Replace @{thumbnailPhoto=([byte[]](Get-Content $defaultImageSrc -Encoding byte -ReadCount 0))}
Write-Host -ForegroundColor Green "Done"

#queries ad for mail enabled users and returns them in a list
function noPhoto{
Write-host -ForegroundColor Green "Mail enabled users with no photo set"
GET-ADUSER -filter * -SearchBase $searchRoot -properties ThumbnailPhoto,Mail | Where { $_.ThumbnailPhoto -eq $NULL -and $_.mail -ne $NULL} | Select Name | Sort-Object Name
Write-Host -ForegroundColor Green "Done"

#menu loop
do {
[int]$xMenuChoiceA = 0
while ( $xMenuChoiceA -lt 1 -or $xMenuChoiceA -gt 3 ){
Write-host "AD Photo Tool`n"
Write-host -ForegroundColor Cyan "1. List users with no photo"
Write-host -ForegroundColor Cyan "2. Set default photo"
Write-host -ForegroundColor DarkCyan "3. Quit and exit"
[Int]$xMenuChoiceA = read-host "`nPlease enter an option 1 to 3" }
Switch( $xMenuChoiceA ){
1{cls | noPhoto}
2{cls | setPhoto}
default{cls | quit}
} while ( $userMenuChoice -ne 3 )

Run at your own risk, no support or anything else is implied. Blah, blah, blah. I’d credit the various people I bodged this together from if I could remember who they were. Don’t come crying to me. It’s all fun and games until someone loses and eye and so on.

The more things change

Life changes, time moves on and you come to realise that the person you are now – or at any given moment, I suppose – is subtly different from the one who came before and, for a start, doesn’t have the time or inclination to deal with the Gordian knot left in place by their predecessor. Their predecessor was an idiot.

The old content persists though, rather like a bad smell, and can be found over here. New and exciting things should begin appearing shortly.

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