Tag: Spaff

  • Of Software and Magic

    Lightning crackles through my hind-brain, adenosine receptors lighting up in sequence as caffeine molecules finish their long journey from the hillsides of South America to the grey mass of proteins from which spawn consciousness. My eyes open wider, and with them my mind. Fingers flicker and dance across the keys of mankind’s most arcane device. Thoughts, ideas, visions flash across my mind, patterns forming for just milliseconds. Then they explode through neural pathways, twisting and contorting muscles that touch keys across the tiny portion of the real world that is still required for man and machine to work in harmony. Then on again, electrical pulses once more, completing the journey from pattern in flesh to pattern in silicon.

  • A Knot is Tied

    Just over seven years ago, after one potential student house deal fell through, I asked around the Games Society to see if anyone was in a similar situation. I met one girl who was strange and hyperactive and who was looking for other people to share a house with. She introduced me to a house and another potential housemate, and that housemate proceeded to introduce me to a nightclub, an entire musical genre, and another girl whom I immediately developed a crush on. Little did I know then that the house would come to define my time at university, and the people whom I turned to in desperation to find a house would become some of my best friends.

  • A Time to Panic

    Life passes slowly, when epic things lie ahead.

  • And So Into Summer

    Every year, when the days start to heat up, it feels like a liberation that some strange part of me worries might never come. But it’s here now, as inevitable as any season. May turns into June with barely a second thought. The wind swings around to the south, blowing hot from foreign lands. It rises, too, tickling the tops of trees but bringing no relief to those on the ground under the scorching sun.

  • A Flotsam Person

    Whilst walking the night-time streets of Guildford, Eric remarked to me that it was a place that felt permanent; a place where one could put down roots. My home, and now hers, stands in complete contrast. Bournemouth is a new town, founded two hundred years ago as a seaside resort – which it still is.

  • Promises Fallen by the Wayside

    Nearly six months ago, I sketched out some ideas for a site then called “healthi.ly”, since renamed to Daily Promise. In time I coded it up, made it public, and made the same commitment I have to other sites in the past – 20 active users gets it its own domain and investment of time and effort. Less than that, and it goes how it goes.

  • An Ending in Darkness

    I lie unmoving on the floor of Joseph’s bedroom, stretching my back into shape as I listen to the splattering of raindrops against his window. A cold north wind blows them on, a rare wind in these parts. So rare is this wind, and so sheltered is our flat from all other directions, that the sound of rain against glass seems alien for a moment.

  • Summer Calling

    It is past midnight here, and a warm onshore breeze is just beginning to slacken. I stand barefoot between the blinking lights of the town and the endless beaches that sweep up the sea, whole again.

  • Easter’s Approach

    Not too many years ago, Easter fell early in the month of April. I spent it camping in a blizzard somewhere near Birmingham, packing in as many people as our tent would hold so that we wouldn’t freeze overnight. My choice to spend the daylight hours running around a frozen muddy field in a hakama was also, with hindsight, not the best of all possible choices.

  • Johannes Kepler and the Fabric Mice

    Cover of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"Joseph has a book called “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” which intersperses the lyrics of the famous nursery rhyme with pages in which fabric mice contemplate their place in the universe.  One of the pages which particularly strikes a chord with me has a mouse looking up at the night sky and wondering “are there stars for us all up there, or do some folks have to share?”.  I’m not sure Joseph is as enthused as I am about the answer to that question – that not only is there a star for every human being (and mouse) on Earth, but that in just the observable portion of the universe we have about 10 galaxies each – a total of around 100 trillion stars for every single one of us. [Wikipedia]

  • Pictures from my Home Town

    It’s the end of a remarkably peaceful weekend. Mornings have been relaxed, afternoons fun, bedtimes trouble-free. A can’t remember a weekend where Joseph had fewer tantrums and I had less stress weighing me down. It’s half past ten on Sunday night and, for the first time in memory, I don’t find myself secretly relishing the prospect of peace and quiet at work tomorrow. For possibly the first time since I became a father, I really would rather be staying at home.

  • The Rise and Fall of LiveJournal

    Once upon a time, accounts on blogging site LiveJournal were precious commodities indeed – the site gave out invites for its members to use, but there was no public sign-up page. I got my invite in the autumn of 2003 thanks to sasahara (Account active 2003-2009) from the IRC channel that I frequented at the time.

  • New Year, Parent Style

    If there is one important lesson that Eric and I have learned this year, it is that the ‘Terrible Twos’ do not stop when a child reaches the age of three. If anything, Joseph has gotten worse – his age-two stubbornness and refusal to listen to reason remain, compounded now with a refusal to apologise for anything, and a bedtime stubbornness that sometimes means it takes hours to get him to sleep. Naturally, if he wakes up at any point during the night, he storms into our bed kicking and screaming, and shouts “I want daddy out!” if I should dare to remain sleeping in my own bed rather than moving to his.

  • So This is Christmas

    Our Christmas TreeI am sitting at home on my own, briefly resting between bouts of frenzied tidying, waiting for Eric to finish work so that we can go to her parents’, pick up Joseph and come back here again on Christmas day. Our usual flustered, panicked holiday season awaits us, every glorious insane minute of it.

  • A Day Snowbound

    The weather, like the best of muses, is capricious and arbitrary.

  • "Dreaming Awake": Time to Stop Pretending

    A little over ten years ago, my friends and I began a collaborative fiction project that we named “The Fanfic”, though it bore little resemblance to fanfiction as it is commonly known. Rather, it was something like a ‘fanfic’ of our own invented characters, thrown together in a neutral setting.

  • Waning Technological Desire

    What seems like a long time ago, I blogged about the unrelenting pace of technology and Internet-borne social interaction, and how much I loved it. But that was a February day with the promise of Spring in the near future. Now it is Autumn, and I am not altogether sure I feel the same way.

  • A Farewell to Marmablues

    May 1998, half a lifetime ago. It was my 13th birthday, and my parents – no doubt annoyed by four years of me messing with the family computer – bought me my own. It had a 333MHz processor, 32 glorious megabytes of RAM, and most exciting of all, a 56k dial-up modem.

  • The Atheist’s Sense of Wonder

    I’ve no idea why this thought should crop up now, but I recall being asked several times by religious folk why I would choose not to believe in a god. Often their question is something like “Why believe that everything you see around you was created by random chance, when it would be so much more wonderful to think that someone created it all just for us?”

  • October’s End

    How quickly this October has come and gone! Barely a memory ago, it was summer, and we took the train home along the beach in the sunshine. But before long jumpers came out of the cupboard, then coats, then hats. Suddenly the ground is frosty of a morning, I wake up in darkness, and I return home in darkness. The house is empty and cold, and Hallowe’en looms.

  • Failure to Organise

    My parents were, if nothing else, organised at all times. I don’t recall at any point realising that they had no idea what was going on, or that they weren’t absolutely in charge of what we did. In contrast, Eric and I muddle through day-to-day, just about keeping it together – sometimes we forget to brush Joseph’s teeth, or can’t be bothered to wash up, or leave the laundry sitting in the washing machine for a bit too long.

  • Adrift in Time

    As Mark pointed out to me, it’s probably rather strange to pick for your Best Man someone who you’ve seen only three times in as many years. But although some small part of my brain insists that some time has passed since I left university, it’s easily overruled by the rest.

  • A Farewell to Summer

    The day began with mist rolling in over the sea, but before long it turned to morning drizzle and on into a rainy afternoon; big, lazy raindrops falling in patches from the sky. Then as evening came the mist rolled in once more, cloaking everything in dampness and white. Here by the shores of the English Channel, this is how autumn begins.

  • Cherry Blossom and Reminiscence

    Last night I ended up watching the last few episodes of an anime series called Cardcaptor Sakura, which by my reckoning is at least ten years since I watched it all the way through as a kid.

  • RABIES, Six Years On

    Somehow, against all odds, a party we threw in June of 2005 to celebrate the graduation of Racheet and Andy turned into a regular yearly event. This, for spaffy self-indulgent reasons, is its history.

  • Keeping in Touch

    I guess it’s funny who you do and who you don’t stay in touch with. After all this time I’m still partying with people whose time at Uni didn’t even intersect with mine, but yet I see my best friends maybe once a year at most. And of the three people I spent my time at Uni developing crushes on? I haven’t spoken to two of them since 2006.

  • Momentary Reminiscence

    Four years ago, what dominated my mind most was that I was running out of time. The end of my time at University loomed large in front of me. I didn’t have a job to go to, my final year project was dead in the water and my relationship was painfully long-distance, but those weren’t the most weighty issues. I was troubled far more by the fact that three months from then, I’d be leaving the city that defined my transition from childhood to adulthood, losing that constant contact with friends that defines University life.

  • Life Out of Rhythm

    With Joseph now spending a week and a half at his grandparents’ house, our lives are even more bereft of the enforced routine of being parents to a toddler. It’s not that I miss this routine – god knows, I hate routine more than most – but how strange it feels when it’s no longer present.

  • Fighting the Winter

    Bournemouth Tundra

  • Endings and Midwinter

    Winter has well and truly closed in, with black ice laying in sheets across the roads, scarf and gloves on, and “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” stuck on a permanent loop in my head. I had Cliff Richard’s “Mistletoe and Wine” in there this morning, though, so John and Yoko are definitely a step up.

  • Changeling 2: The Anti-Changeling?

    I have thought up yet another setting for a roleplaying game that I will probably never get to run. This may be of interest to my former “Changeling: In Love and War” players since it’s in the same world, though the feel of it is completely different. Pretty much the opposite, in fact.

  • Diesel and Autumn

    A cool breeze blows in through the crack where my door doesn’t quite shut properly, promising the Autumn ahead, but yet hanging on as long as it can to the sunshine. Now and again helicopter downdraft blows the door open and closed again, wafting in that thick, sweet, black smell of diesel.