The most beautiful gift we can give each other is the truth.

Noah’s Ark Email (Continued)

| Filed under Emails

Oh come on, I was stuck in a hotel room for the last ten days. How can I not respond to this one.

Pale Blue Dot

We are here…


From: Sarah-flowers@XXXX.uk Sarah Kay-Flowers
To: Oliver.Cross
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2014 17:53:25 +0200
Subject: Regs Park Assembly 7th April

Hi Father Oliver,

I was just making sure that you are still available for the assembly on Monday 7th April.

We are really looking forward to it!
Will you be needing the Interactive Whiteboard for this? I will ask Calvin the ICT technician to prepare it if so.

Have a nice weekend

Best wishes,



From: oliver.cross@gmail.com Oliver Jon Cross
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2014 19:18:27 +0200
Subject: Re: RegsPark Assembly 7th April

Hello Sarah,

Thank you for the email. Unfortunately we are going to have to cancel. Jesus is off for the Spring break. Then he’s COMING BACK AS ZOMBIE JESUS. Zombies are very popular at the moment; World War Z, the Walking Dead series etc.

After sinking his teeth in to his victims they become one of his many disciples. However they only attack on Sunday mornings; much like Jehovah Witnesses.

Instead of the white board can I suggest you download the latest episode/s of “Cosmos” with Tyson Neil Degrasse. He introduces the viewer to the “Ship of the Imagination”, the show’s narrative device to explore the universe’s past, present, and future.

Its way more educational and interesting than the book of genesis and it’s in HD!



“If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to”.

by Oliver.Cross | tags : | 0

Noah’s Ark and The Reg’s Park School Christmas Visit

| Filed under Emails

Just when I thought it went quiet, I got another email.

Raptor and Jesus

Raptor and Jesus

On 15th November 2013 16:45, Sarah Kay xxxxxx <L.xxx@xxx.com> wrote:

Dear Father Oliver,

My name is Sarah Kay-xxxxxxx and I am a xxxxx teacher and the new R.E co-ordinator at Regs Park School. Last Christmas our Reception, year 1 and 2 children visited the Church and really gained a lot from the experience. I was wondering if we could visit again around the Christmas period? If this is possible, please could you get back to me with dates and times that are convenient for you.

Kind Regards,

Sarah Kay xxxxxx


Dear Sarah,

Thank you for your email. I see no reason why the children can’t revisit although I should inform you we are planning a re-enactment of “Noah’s Ark” this year and it would be good if some of the children could join in. We have already contacted the safari park in Woburn and plan to use real animals for the parade. As an added benefit we would ask the children to bring in any animals from home such as, pet cats, dogs, sloth’s, a pocket full of ants, it’s entirely up to them obviously, pending parental approval.

We feel unlike adults, children of a young age can struggle with the ability to separate fact and fiction but lucky enough that’s where we can give a helping hand. We hope by stuffing as many animals into a crudely shaped cardboard boat, will highlight the day to day struggles that Noah will have faced during his 40 day cruise around the Caribbean. It will be a poignant reminder of the hardships he and his family had to endure such as trying to sleep at night, cleaning out the orangutan enclosure, keeping an eye on the beavers so they don’t chew a hole in the hull etc. Not to mention feeding time. One can only imagine what it takes to feed a pair of Brontosaurus.

Anyway I ramble, shall we say mid to late December?

Speak soon,

Oliver Cross

by Oliver.Cross | tags : | 0

The Computer Doesn’t Get To Win

| Filed under eDrinker



*Update; when saving to flash drive remember to copy profile data. Added more detail below.


Been a long time but it’s one of those posts that someone wants to know.  I will try and keep it just informative. For those that get the GTA V error message “The game was restarted due to a problem with the storage device”:

I have Googled everywhere. My brother and I got the game on launch and completed single player a few days after launch. Yesterday we logged in to XBL (another nightmare of password resetting and extra security by MS) to play GTA Online. After about 2 hours of play we got a black screen and now the game doesn’t load. It loops on load “The game was restarted due to a problem with the storage device”. This happened for both Xbox’s within 30 minutes of each other.

  • One Xbox is an Elite 120GB HDD
  • One Xbox is one of the first models with 10gb HDD

We installed both DISK ONE to the hard drives and ran from DISK TWO. I deleted all GTA V data, cleared system cache and still the same problem.

I’m at a loss now, I am planning on buying a flash drive just to try and get back online.

Now this is the part you have to read because if you skim it’s your own fault. GTA V pushes any model of the machine to it’s limits. Upon opening the two separate disk drives we noticed both had some good CD scratches. Now I could be wrong but I think the game is running most of the game from DISK TWO and it has caused it to spin a lot and caused a number of scratches which are quite visible on the CD. I haven’t touched either Xbox in at least a year and I always install the game to the hard drive. I didn’t think about installing both CD’s, to be honest I was too excited (DONT INSTALL BOTH TO XBOX HDD). My idea was to try another CD but I’m not going out to buy two CD’s so I got a good copy from a friend on flash first. So this is what you need:


  • New copy no scratches
  • 16gb (maximum but you you can do it with 10gb).  2.0 port and minimum of 512 mb/s write speed

1.) Go to dashboard and delete all GTA V history (I don’t know about save files, I expect you can save them but I didn’t need them).

2.) System settings –> Storage –> Xbox hard drive press Y and delete system cache

3.) Install DISK ONE to Xbox hard drive. No scratches because it’s used once anyway.

4.) Before entering DISK TWO, press the middle Xbox button on your pad and go to dashboard

5.) Insert flash drive go to storage and find new flash drive. Choose configure (I wiped mine pre Xbox insert). It took two tries but then Xbox accepted it as a new drive.

*Updated. One other area that no one seems to write about so I will add it here. So after you have installed to the flash drive go back to storage and click on the Xbox hard drive.  Press “Y” to ” Transfer Content”, choose the flash drive. Here you will see everything ticked as if you are going transfer the whole fucking lot for some bad UI reason. Deselect all the content until you just have your profile ticked. Don’t get confused at the GTA V content, this is DISK ONE BECAUSE YOU ARE LOOKING AT THE XBOX HARD DRIVE. It threw me off for a bit. Then hit start. This basically copies over your profile to the flash drive so when you restart your Xbox, it knows your profile is the flash drive plugged in to your Xbox. If you don’t, it wont recognise the flash drive belonging to the Xbox. Very stupid, but I did this tutorial twice myself. Anyway carry on to step 6.

6.) Place good disk in to Xbox (I sat the machine on its side just in case. Upright for PS2 and machines onwards has always fucked disks), click on game and install to flash drive. I have read that this is the optimum solution regardless of this problem. *Updated. Loading screens were literally cut in half as well.

7.) Take out good disk and give to friend and buy him a beer (optional).

8.) Place in your other scratched copy and now it will likely run because there is less pressure on the speed of the drive and DISK TWO. This is because  most of the data is coming off both the hard drive and flash drive.

9.) Hopefully play


Some other research I found out on the way, DRM which is digital rights management. You can’t go to your mates and get the copy from his Xbox. Something is installed on the flash drive that says this game and this drive belongs to his Xbox. Likely to stop copy write, so you need that game and flash drive on your Xbox. There is no DRM on the CD itself. Also something else I should know 1gig is actually 1024mb so if you buy a 16gb flash drive and put it in Windows expect to see 14.9gb.


Now where the idea came from was when me and my brother picked up two copies of “Operation Flash Point 2″ and within the first two minutes I turned the Xbox on its side with the game running completing fucking a circle around the CD. I thought I wasted my Sunday, but quickly thinking I took my brothers CD and installed the game, knowing it would take the pressure of the CD. Gave it him back and we were both able to play even with my totally scratched version. The same concept works here. I think R* knows this as well, I think they know the CD is going to run at such high speeds throughout the game and with dust or old machines it’s going to cause a lot of scratches but can’t admit it. This game needs to run at optimum.


So what have I learned, not a lot. Just wasting serious amount on time on trying to play games without actually playing them.  If you ever had to play TFC or CS back in the day and had to find the right patch on File Planet then you know where I am coming from. This is another good reason to get rid of CD’s, it’s old technology. Let us just download the game with a small discount since as we don’t get the box or manual.


Best of luck,



“The computer doesn’t get to win”



by Oliver.Cross | tags : | 0

Diocese of Birmingham – Inner Urban Clergy Network

| Filed under Emails

Another email from the priests again, but this time it was from the “Urban Clergy Network”. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.


From: Oliver Jon Cross <oliver.cross@gmail.com>
Date: 7 November 2012 17:05
Subject: Re: Diocese of Birmingham – Inner Urban Clergy Network
To: Larry Wright <xxx@live.co.uk>
Cc: Mark Pryce <mark@xxx.org>, Rev Rhiannon Jones <rhiannon@xxx.org>, Rev Joycelyn Lewis-Gregory <xxx@gmail.com>, Andrew Smith NNC <andrews@xxx.org>

Good Evening Gentlemen,

Please accept my apologies for not being able to attend the original consultation meeting. As you can probably understand front row seats to Kenny Rogers are hard to come by these days. Anyway I digress; I feel we aren’t reaching out to the lesser deprived areas of the community. We the men of the urban clergy should be using the recession to our advantage, we should use this time to communicate with the people while they are at their weakest mindset. The church has lost its roots with the younger generation or one may say, we’ve lost our swag. The touching cloth days are over and we should consider turning in our robes for more ghetto and newer designer clothes. Perhaps investing in some of the extreme youth sports such as Le Parkour or Roshambo which could gain us more publicity.

I’ve got a Skype conference with reverend Jackson next week and I hope to get some options on the Urban Clergy and see if can assist us with our recent venture.

Kind regards,

Oliver Cross

P.S. Has anyone seen my Mitre as I have seemed to have misplaced last Saturday when we were out on the lash either between the Golden Bengal or the Micky Flanagan’s on Oak Street, thanks.


On 6 November 2012 17:15, Larry Wright <xxxx@live.co.uk> wrote:
Dear colleagues,

Earlier this year Bishop Andrew assisted a consultation meeting for clergy working in the top 20 most deprived parishes in the Diocese. Some of you were present others gave apologies and indicated they wished to be kept informed of developments

After that initial meeting a steering group was formed to take forward the idea of an ‘inner urban clergy network’. The steering group has met three times and shared some of the joys and struggles of working in areas of multiple deprivation in our city.

The steering group has begun to identify some common issues and concerns, we have also responded to the BeBirmingham Social Inclusion Green Paper leading to the social inclusion summit later this month.

We are now working on a programme for 2013. We are planning a day conference for Thursday 2nd May 2012, where we will be joined by Bishop Andrew and a leading urban theologian. Please make a note of the date and we will circulate more information after Christmas.


Larry Wright

(On behalf of the inner urban clergy steering group)


Reverend Larry Wright
St George’s Church
100 Bridge xxxx xxxx
Birmingham B19 xxx
(0121) 359 xxxx


Food Project Email Continued…

| Filed under Emails


Well I actually got a reply this time round, seems they took it well. I couldn’t help myself by having one last dig. It’s a line from one of my favourite films.


Carlito's Way

Carlito’s Way



Date: 8 August 2012
Subject: Re: watering plants – thanks

Thanks Oliver Jon Cross – I apologize for sending you the former mail
by accident, and for disappointing any customers you’ve lined up.


The seed trays I mentioned are for a community vegetable growing
project, in the UK. No cannabis that I know about!

I will make another attempt to find the right Oliver Cross’s email address.


Best wishes




Alice, you not a lawyer no more, you a gangster now. On the other side. A whole new ball game. You can’t learn about it in school, and you can’t have a late start.



Food Project Email

| Filed under Emails

Got an email this morning, that blatantly wasn’t for me. Couldn’t help myself, so I replied back. As you might have noticed from my Email Section, I get quite a few emails not for me. I’ll update the blog if I get a reply.

True Story

True Story


On 1 August 2012 10:08, Alice Yaxley <a.xxx@xxx.com> wrote:

Hi Oliver, I hope I have your address right as I have lost my
notebook. I am cc’ing to Jane in case I have it wrong – Jane please
would you check I have Oliver’s email address right and forward to him
if not?

Thanks for being willing to water the food project seed trays.

They are at the front of my house in the cold frames, and there should
be a watering can next to the tap and rain barrel on the front wall of
the house. On a hot dry day they might need 10 l each watering time,
and the frames propped open during the day so they don’t overheat in
the middle of the day. They won’t burn through the water so fast on a
cooler day but should still be checked at least once a day.

When you go in the evening please will you shut up the hens too? Count
that there are six in the hutch (one sometimes hides behind the hutch
and put the bolts on top and bottom halves or the door.

2012/08/01 Wednesday evening Oliver
2012/08/02 Thursday morning Will/Gill
2012/08/02 Thursday evening Suzy
2012/08/03 Friday morning Suzy
2012/08/03 Friday evening Oliver
2012/08/04 Saturday morning Suzy
2012/08/04 Saturday evening Oliver
2012/08/05 Sunday morning Oliver
2012/08/05 Sunday evening Oliver
2012/08/06 Monday morning Oliver
2012/08/06 Monday evening Oliver
2012/08/07 Tuesday morning Will/Gill
2012/08/07 Tuesday evening Suzy
2012/08/08 Wednesday morning Will/Gill




Hi Alice,

Sure thing, but I want a 60/40 split this time as I’m doing all the heavy lifting. I’ve been out canvasing most the week and I think on 10 cannabis plants we can get about $10–15 per gram. Street prices in North America are known to range from about $150 to $400 per ounce, depending on quality.

I’ll get back to you later in the week when we can arrange a time for pickup.



Where Has All The Technology Gone

| Filed under eDrinker

It’s been a while since I’ve had a rant. Growing up I was one of first out of my friends to get a mobile phone. Just before the launch of pay as you go. Year on year I would make sure I had the best handset which back then was probably all Nokia’s. I always had a keen interest in staying with the latest technology but I stopped buying any new models until about two years ago when the first smart phones started to emerge. I wanted to setup a way for customer to pay for their drinks before they reached the bar. Originally I thought a touch screen monitor similar to that of the new cash registers was the way forward. Customers could pay on their card, Paypal or Money Bookers (Now Skrill). I believe it could have sped up the serving times of bars and eliminating manual mistakes as well. I threw eWallets in there because of the small fees on smaller transactions under £5.00 which might have proved popular with students. I picked up my first smart phone about half a year later and after doing some research I decided to go with Android and a Samsung. If there was anything I wanted to do on an iPhone I knew I could do that and more on Android. For example I’m using a custom ROM which has been benchmarked faster than the preloaded OS (www.darkyrom.com). Anyway, I thought it has to be possible to pay for items on my phone now. Surely I can use a preloaded eWallet or transfer straight from my bank without the use of a card or physical cash. Well it appears in the UK its moving that way and I was happy to see more TV advertising showing the ability to transfer funds between other users of the same bank via an app and surely the progression to send money to live shops must be around the corner.

So where’s my gripe? I had to setup a new bank account this week and I was amazed how much is still done on paper. My first attempt was to bring the correct documents; unfortunately I missed one of the items that were required so I blame myself for the 45 minute queue. The next day I returned with the basic items such as my proof of work via contract and tax form. My first hurdle was when I had to provide the original documents and not the clear colour photocopies that I arrived with. Frustrated I might have to come back on a third day I asked why they would need the originals; obviously you won’t be keeping them as proof. No of course not, they need to sign and verify that the paper work I was providing was legitimate. I’m not against old age but I had no belief that she was capable of seeing a forgery via Photoshop anyway. The codes and references on my tax form were redundant; there is no online database to prove they were real either. Ok she could see my frustration and she let me off and made a BLACK AND WHITE photocopy signing that it was the official. A black and white copy, not stored electronically anywhere that I could see. Possibly taken on the poorest quality photocopier judging by the fact as I was continually questioned each letter when entering the details. I was thinking what happens in the future if someone wants to verify this document; what if the clerk isn’t there anymore does her signature mean anything? For me it’s quite mind boggling to know there is so much technology out there but we are using the same procedures we had maybe 10 years ago. In fact during the registration process, I could see the majority of the questions had to be filled online and it occurred to me I might have been able to do this myself from home. Ok I actually had to come back a third time, but that’s because the woman who could authorise my account was out on lunch and I kindly explained I’ve already used my one hour lunch break and do you mind if I come back tomorrow for my account details.

The third day I return to collect my account details with relief to say the least. I am told the basics; your card will arrive in 5-7 days and a few days after that you will receive your PIN. Ok, anything else? Oh yeah you have to come in to the bank to activate your card, WHY? Ok I’ll bring in a cup of my urine while I’m at it. Do it this way, fuck my card I don’t one. Give me an app and my phone is secure with two levels and I’ll pay that way. Ok we aren’t ready for that, so send me my physical card and at the same time send me my PIN via email, I have two layer verification on my Gmail. It requires my password a random number via my phone to access the account known as Google Authentication app. I mean the thief has to break in to my letter box and steal my phone while getting past the phone PIN, grid pass and know my physical Gmail password. Trust me this isn’t hard to setup and I guarantee there are twelve year old kids already doing it. I am concerned muggings might deter from the regular ATM machines and happen in back alleys with a few keystrokes and a flick knife but at least the transaction is logged to the muggers would be account. Hopefully his account isn’t registered in Botswana where they have no jurisdiction.

We live in a day of technology but the innovation is taking far too long to reach the real world. I see “Game” the company is in some financial difficulties and I actually worked for them for two years during college. I’m sorry people are going to lose their jobs, but I hope they start allowing us to download games on launch date. It makes sense, cheaper to make, no packaging or distribution and people can download on midnight launch so they wake up to play what they’ve been waiting for. Just don’t charge us the same price because that’s not fair. In fact it’s never been fair to charge all games the same price. I mean GTA 4 has hours and hours of game play whereas Disney’s Magic Micky’s Time Travel Extravaganza on the PS3 costs the same price. Actually I don’t know if that last game exists I just wanted to try and spell extravaganza, but you get my point.

Doesn’t matter how frustrated I get, this video always makes me laugh out loud.



Updated: Six physical letters later (waste of paper) and a form I have to fill in and send off via mail to activate my card. Electronic email activation would have been just fine.

Phew That Was Hard Work

| Filed under eDrinker

1973 BricklinJust over a year has past but we managed to pass the 500 members benchmark on Classic Car Link. I know to some it’s far from an achievement but to me I’m still impressed. In those 500 members we’ve been in two mainstream newspapers and one magazine. It also includes Quentin Willson as an official representative and today an official representative from Beaulieu signed up. It’s one of the highest acknowledgements of what we have been trying to do for the last year.

When something comes together and actually works, it’s such a unique buzz. Next benchmark is 1k; I hope it doesn’t take another year :\

by Oliver.Cross | tags : | 0

Domain Seizing – Specifically Online Affiliates

| Filed under eDrinker

Since I’ve been back in the office environment I find myself frustrated over subjects I don’t shouldn’t give a fuck about. I’m not entirely sure why I get so worked up. I think the best thing to do is just write it down and get it out of my system. One of the subjects I was talking about today was regarding how affiliate sites can claim back domain names related to their brand, however before I start moaning I think I should add a few definitions:


What’s an Affiliate?

Affiliate marketing is a marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.


What’s Cyber Squatting?

Cybersquatting (also known as domain squatting), according to the United States federal law known as the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, is registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else.


Right so based on the above definition (Thanks Wiki but this SOPA blackout is killing me, thank fk for Google Cache) a company can claim a domain if it’s being used in “bad faith”. In basic if we look a few years back, Bob The Builder, Mel Gibson, TeleTubbies.com and various other sites were used to advertise online pornography. On a quick side note, if it wasn’t for porn the internet wouldn’t be where it is today. It’s what the internet is primary used for on a daily basis if you like it or not and is likely responsible for a majority of the leaps in streaming, speed and other improvements. That’s a conversation for another day. Anyway where was I, so yeah after a law was passed in1999 the domains names could be claimed back. One of the ways to determine if a site has the right to a domain name is the day it was registered Vs. the company trademark e.g. I registered eDrinker.com back in 2006 and should an energy drink company called eDrinker come out in the near future there is no way they can take my domain, as I’ve been using it to talk crap on for years.


Just to clarify before I go on, I don’t agree on cybersquatting, I hate it just as much as everyone else. I also hate companies that buy up typos such as pocker (poker) or keys that are close to each other like “pojer.com”. Believe me when I say this is an industry in its own right and I’m sure there is some serious money to be made, but nowadays it’s all robots buying up the names.


Right so one of the conversations was surrounding a well-known poker site that closed down an affiliate because he had a similar domain name. For obvious reasons I’ll use an example; the name of the site was www.HoldemMaster.com but the affiliate brought the domain www.Hold’emMasterPoker.com. Now I can understand claiming a domain if the affiliate was marketing a poker room that was a competitor but that wasn’t the case, this person was actually advertising the Hold’emMaster brand. They told me this guy had been making a lot of money from content and names similar to its brand. So when they closed it down, I asked why (I used to own www.IAskWhy.com)? As explained above the company HoldemMaster were getting their money from customers playing and the affiliate was getting their 30%, so where’s the problem. Their argument was this was already money that belonged to the brand, well I disagree. This person had the foresight to see an edge in the market he/she deserves that money and as well. I don’t claim to be an affiliate guru but I’ve had my fair share of affiliate programs in the past so I understand the basics. As an affiliate you’re provided with banners and logos for your site to market the brand and so what if they used your name in the URL, they just went that extra distance to promote the brand and the affiliate ends up getting penalized for all the hard work. If you don’t believe me here is the term which can be found in most affiliate programs be gambling or another online industry’s:


“An Affiliate shall not establish any Facebook, Twitter or other social network domains, blog domain, profile name or display name containing any names, words and phrases that are or can be deemed to form part of a Client Brand.


An Affiliate is restricted from purchasing any domains that include any names, words and phrases that are or can be deemed to form part of a Client Brand or bidding on any keywords or keyword phrases that include, any names, words and phrases that are or can be deemed to form part of a Client Brand in any format in any pay per click (PPC) search engine. This includes, but is not limited to, the following search engines: Overture, Google, Kanoodle, FindWhat, ePilot and Ah-ha.


An Affiliate is restricted from utilizing derivatives of any names, words and phrases that are or can be deemed to form part of a Client Brand in URLs and directory names for the intention of search engine optimization”.


Above are the terms and conditions for “Bodog” which I currently use for my website www.BetCage.com. So what are they afraid of? Well they feel they are entitled to anything that goes with their brand name and they are worried the general public might believe you are an official site for the company. If you ask me it’s just greedy, they did what your marketing department missed and if your both making money who gives a shit.

Now get this, do you know what they do when they get that domain back? I would say most companies auto redirect to their official site e.g. you type www.HoldemMasterpoker.com in to your browser and it takes you straight to www.HoldemMaster.com. They can’t keep the content that went with that site; this belongs to the person that originally set it up, so all that good SEO and content just disappears. That also means Google doesn’t give a fuck about that website anymore so don’t expect to find it again when searching those keywords. In fact the only people it will affect are the original customers that type the URL directly into their browser. They will be redirected to the official website. Well I guess that’s what they wanted, that small pocket of customers to find the real site and as a penalty they just lost an inbound link to the site and any future traffic from that domain. Just in case anyone was thinking it, Google doesn’t like duplicate content.  If were to own several domains e.g. Poker, PokerKing, PokerLightning.com and they all had the same text. In fact Google will penalize you for it, hence the reason why no big businesses do it. Again if I were to own Pepsi.de then I agree that belongs to Pepsi but if I were to own www.PepsiTatesGreat.com and I were advertising Pepsi then where’s the harm.


Just another little tip bit of information if you didn’t know and it’s something I only found out last year. I hope I don’t need to write about this whole SOPA issue going on in the United States because no doubt you’ve probably hit a page today protesting. When you setup a website you have a domain name (www.WTF.com etc) and you need hosting (a server in which your information is stored). So domain names can be brought all around the world. For example I once owned Oliver.me (Montenegro) and I brought hosting in the UK so you’d think to take down my site you have to take it up with one of those countries right. Well no there are various ways the U.S. (World Police) can tackle it. At present they trying to go through your internet service provider (see video below for 101) but did you know they also have the right to obtain a .com domain name even if the information isn’t even hosted in the U.S. This is because ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is based in the United States and they are more than happy to help seize domain names they feel the world can do without. Well after a few years of domain seizing they realise they need to step it up a level by fighting it at internet service provider level. ONLY IF WE LET IT HAPPEN.


Anyway I’m done ranting.