Typical Saturday Morning

06:27[1] – wake up to alarm. Takes me a minute to realise that it’s not a running day. Switch off the alarm, start to head back to bed[2], turn around, go back and switch off the second alarm (7:36) as it’s not a work day either.

08:00 – wake up after disturbing dream. Not a nightmare exactly just weird and offputting. Decide to try to re-enter sleep and “fix” situation with a “better dream”. (This logic demonstrates how awake I really was)

08:30 – second, more disturbing dream. Try again with the “fix”.

09:00 – a couple more attempts at the above.

09:50 – wake from most disturbing dream yet[3] Starting to try to fall asleep again when I realise I’ve crossed that threshold where I’m now awake. Pick up the tablet.

10:00 – read my email. Got one from Quora with an article about whether to choose Python as a programming language. Follow the link, read a couple of interesting responses, one links to a Youtube video from 2008 of Steve Yegge discussing Dynamic Programming languages. I can’t quite see from the embedded player how long it is but obviously I’m not going to watch it all.

11:20 – Watched the whole thing – was 1:10ish. (extra time is for starting, stopping a couple of times whilst looking up stuff he said)

11:30 – Look up Steve Yegge for more recent videos or other info. Find an infamous G+ blog post he wrote in Oct 2011 about What Amazon gets right that Google doesn’t. Quickly realise I’ve seen this before, continue anway. Partly watch this on youtube – until I realise watch a video of digital voices read scrolling text is stupid[4] and find the “original” online and read it.

12:00 – Put the tablet down and get out of bed. Shower etc and get coffee.

12:15 – Sit down at my desk and turn on my main PC. Do a “round” of the usual sites – check email, Facebook, G+, Shipoffools, Serial sub-reddit.

12:45 – Remember that I’d wanted to look up a reference Yegge had made to Stallman creating a controversey over Tcl. Look it up and read.

12:50 – Look up Wikipedia entry on Stallman.

13:10 – Look up Wikipedia entry on Linus Torvalds.

13:30 – Wikipedia rabbit-hole, following links from the above articles to various old controversies, terms I don’t quite recognise, other things of interest.

14:00 – Close several tabs about systemd and wonder how I always end up doing this. Decide it would make a good topic for a tweet.

14:05 – check Twitter

14:23 – Remembering that I’m not concise enough for Twitter, start writing this post.

14:46 – talk to friend briefly on FB. Hi Andy!!

14:54 – Finished draft of this post

15:23 – Finished formatting this post.[5]

Point of this – nothing really. Just observing how easily time goes by.

[1] All times that end in 5 or 0 are estimates, others are precise because I looked at the clock or whatever.
[2] Because my alarm is the other side of the room otherwise I’d slap it with a flailing arm, turn over and go back to sleep.
[3]discovered a secret room in my house that’s always been there and is full of dirty washing up from previous occupant. Surprisingly discarded food has not rotted but has given rise to a plague of bright green lizards. Person from property management company (cos in this dream apparently I rent) looks on disapprovingly.
[4] Seriously what’s that about? Using text-to-speech is one thing, using a rotating series of voices… and how about matching the scroll speed to the voice speed rather than inserting long spaces every so often??
[5] Including finding the links, which were of course tabs I had had open and have closed so now have to go search for! 
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RIP Robin Williams

Sitting here, thinking about my reaction to the sad Robin Williams news. I “heard” first thing this morning when I checked my phone for new podcasts and saw the latest episode of Marc Maron’s WTF was called “Remembering Robin Williams”. Another first for me as I’ve never found something out that way before. 

I was going to compile a list of my favourite Williams’ movies. And there are a few – I think Moscow on the Hudson is underrated, I see why Toys was a disaster but I kinda like it anyway, Jumanji is a whole lot of fun and he gives the central role warmth and pathos, Insomnia and One Hour Photo (among others) show his ability to just be really creepy. Then there’s Dead Poets’ Society. It seems fashionable these days to look down on that movie and I guess I can see why – it’s idealistic and sentimentally manipulative – but actually I still love it. I think maybe I just saw it at the right age – around about the same as the characters. To be inspired, to think you could be different and make a difference, to see that language itself could be an adventure, that was something that really made sense.

Anyway, as I said I could talk about several movies. But really, for me, there is only one:

The Fisher King.

This is an incredible movie. It mixes myth and fairy tale with a story of the harsh realities of modern life, mental illness and love. It’s funny but dark, endearing and scary, bracing and thoughtful. A lot of that comes from the script, a boatload of course from Terry Gilliam but a lot comes from Robin Williams’ performance. In other films he gets to be funny or dramatic – here he gets to show his full range. There are a couple of moments where the “crazy” acting is just his stand-up schtick but you even forgive that because, well, it is Robin Williams and he is charming as well as funny. 

And the story is one of terrible loss and ultimate redemption. I have found it not only moving but genuinely comforting at various times in my life. Great movies can actually do that. 

Here’s the scene that gives the story of the title:

Story Of The Fisher King

the story of a fool who brought healing. 


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So…* I was going to publish my review of the book wot I read and then I noticed something. My last post was number 499. I decided I had to make post 500 count. I decided I had to think of something cool. Then I decided I had to do a sort of review of my blog since it began and look at what’s changed – maybe in my life as well as my blog. And I actually started to write it.

But it was depressing :(

So then I thought…* Well I didn’t think I just sort of left it. Which is very typical of me and this blog really. 

I started this as a LiveJournal blog back in February 2003. It was the result of a casual comment by someone in a Buffy newsgroup where I spent a lot of my online time (i.e. a lot of my time). “I find most of my Buffy conversations are on LiveJournal these days” they’d said. “Hmm” thought I, and opened an LJ account to join the conversation. 

And the funny thing is that this blog has been many things but it’s never really been part of a conversation. I envy those that can do it but I lack something – some writing style, some persistence, some self-marketing – needed to make this a blog with an active following. (It has a following just not one where people tend to comment)

So instead it’s become the place where I talk mostly about either books or my diet. My diet – when I’m still doing it – is on MFP these days, and I haven’t read much this year. Which is why I was excited by having completed that book. (I’ve read yet another since!)

So my blog has become quiet. But that’s OK. It’s been quiet before and got busy again. I have thoughts about what I might do with it in the future. Maybe more personal stuff – the return of flubbage! (but not under that name), more faith stuff, more random rambling on topics that just come to me. I’ll see.

These days I think a lot about whether something’s appropriate for my blog, Facebook, Google+ or other places. So that’ll enter in to it too. I may even move the blog again. Still pondering that.

The only thing I know for sure is I’m going to keep it and I’ll write it when I feel like putting something out into the world. Whether I get something back or not…*

Anyway – thanks for reading!

*I use ellipses far too much. 

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A book!

Was Read!!

By ME!!!

Yep. I finished The Martian by Andy Weir and I’m pleased that I did. I may even review it.

Or maybe I’ll read another one.

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A New Start

Er hello.

Been a while. Again.

I’ve been thinking about this blog and how I’ve not posted for a while and how that’s because I’ve not read much and am unsure what else, if anything, I want to post here.

I thought I’d catch you up a bit on the reading. Not completely because I’m still not up for that really.

Since January, according to my Calibre library, I’ve read 21 items but only one was a full length novel (The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, which I enjoyed). The rest were short stories, comic book issues and comic strip collections, a couple of non-fiction Kindle Singles and a play. However in that time I have bought/acquired 47 new items costing a total of £159.77, which I must admit I’m embarrassed by, only because I haven’t taken advantage of those books yet so it seems wasteful.

It’s starting to get to the point where I’m worrying that if I get out of the habit of reading longer works then I’ll lose my concentration span completely. So I’m going to start a new book tonight. I had planned to make a new-to-me book too – because that tends to engender more initial enthusiasm – but that was before I calculated that total spend for the year figure. What the heck, I may do it anyway.

I’ll see if I can finish the book in a week or two and then I’ll report back – maybe not with a full review but at least noting I’ve completed it.

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…and Again

Another day, another friend, another nice conversation. I am really blessed.

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While I’m still thinking about how much to share and how honest to be on my blog I thought I could write about something that’s more in the sort of area that I’m thinking of but which will hardly be controversial.

I think friendship is a good thing.

I’ve been thinking about this because over the weekend I got the chance to spend some time with an old friend. My life lately has been about trying to make new friends and wondering whether the fact it seems to take so long these days is because of my age, or just me. But it was amazing and so nice to be reminded of what a good friend can do for you just by being there. 

This is someone I’ve known for years. Someone who gets me. Someone who likes me and who I know and believe likes me. Someone who I can talk to and be honest with and know that I won’t be judged. It’s hard to express how much I’ve missed that. I didn’t even know how much I think.

So that’s what I wanted to say. Not necessarily profound but relevant to me right now and just, well, nice.


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