Tag: autobiography

Romancing the App

Commodore Basic on a C64

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve always been fond of programming.

When I was a kid, we learned to program on a Commodore 64 in BASIC… When I moved into junior high, we learned Microsoft’s BASIC language, and I remember being amazed at the possibilities of coding. Living on a steady diet of sci-fi novels, I imagined computers and programs as the ultimate answer to any sort of labour we would find too boring or time-consuming. Math and it’s subsidiaries are the first and best example of how we would let computers help us… but the burgeoning fields of video games made me dream of coding levels and monsters as a career.

This, of course, was before we’d heard of the Internet. (more…)

I have now read the entire Internet

Well, maybe not.

But I did get caught up with all the blogs I subscribe to today. I probably hadn’t looked at them since Christmas, so they’d piled up a bit. Five hundred-some posts later, I emerge, informed and energized.

It occurs to me that this is either an emerging, or already dominant, way of getting the sense of the world around you. At least three different blogs might post the same link, and through that sense of shared voice, you see which internet voices can command attention, and which ones still have that sense of the personal blog that no-one’s really reading.

In Defence of Bah Humbug

I don’t hate Christmas. It just seems that way sometimes.

I scowl when people talk about tree decorating, about hanging the lights, or about going shopping (actually, when it comes to shopping, I tend to gain a panicked look, since I’m still wandering the mall at the last minute). When someone asks about my holiday plans, I usually become nervous and forgetful. People often interpret these negative reactions as a Scrooge-like dislike for all things merry and bright.

Christmas as a holiday, as a social tradition and event, is something I truly have no problems with. The goodwill that gets spread around is infectious, and the sense of celebration really does make you think that somehow, everything is going to be okay. Getting to Christmas Day, with everything that needs doing, is what sources the scowl.

As a kid, you never had to make plans about where Christmas was going to be; you probably went with your parents or family. You didn’t need to make the decisions about who was going to make the dinner, or if some distant relatives needed to be included on the Christmas card list. The Christmas season meant time off from school, maybe some sledding or skiing, and the day itself, with presents, food, and family.

As an adult, all of those plans are now your responsibility. You’ve got to find the time to make them all happen. Having chosen a career in the arts doesn’t help; there’s no such thing as holidays when you’re trying to apply for a grant or fill out paperwork, let alone finishing a script or story for a deadline. The daily responsibilities that we choose to take on become so much more imposing when red caps and mistletoe are added into the mix. I can’t help but see December as a long stretch of things to do, capped off with a nice party on New Year’s Eve.

So if you see someone not infected with Christmas cheer, whose eggnog seems just slightly bitter, they don’t need visits from three supernatural plot devices to educate them as to the true meaning of Christmas. They already know. They just don’t have time for it in their schedule…

(Merry Christmas!)

Re-Launch in T-Minus…

I’ve been fascinated since a young age with space travel. All of the logistics and challenges involved are infinitely important when dealing with the vastness of space and its vacuum. One of those challenges involves the physics of space travel, which consists of everything Newton worked out (and some beyond) with a solid-state booster rocket strapped to it. Just to leave the atmosphere requires an enormous amount of energy, and that’s only to reach orbit. Earth’s gravity still has a grasp up there, though it’s at least more tenuous than its grip down here.

Maintaining any sort of presence on-line feels like it requires a similar amount of energy. Every time that a blog, webcomic, or podcast that I enjoy takes a hiatus, I always hope they’ll come back, instead of fading away with lost momentum. I’d built up an unsteady orbit with a few regular postings, but life events caused that orbit to deteriorate to the point where a re-launch would be required. I’ll try not to belabour the space metaphor any further, but it’s harder to build up momentum than it is to maintain it, and I certainly lost that momentum over the last months since the previous post (fittingly, it was also regarding space travel).

Without delving into self-pitying autobiography, the last summer could be described as a lot of stressful situations that always seemed to end better than they started. Inside of all of these events, though, I lost the habit of blogging, the habit having been replaced with things that needed doing right now, or with desiring a rest after a long period without a break.

I’ve been developing a few new pieces, and I’ve noticed a few things when I’ve been passively surfing on the web, so I should have enough material to bring back the tenuous orbit I’d maintained. The next step will be plotting where to go from there…