Thoughts on…Housewives (well mine anyway)

2011/10/06 § 3 Comments

Humans are social animals. We’re interested in the lives of others: our friends, family, colleagues, even total strangers. People love to know stuff about other people. It’s our nature to be curious of others. This is a thought that crossed my mind recently when I was quizzed on my wife’s current employment status.

Or rather, her lack of employment.

You see, Sarah is a housewife.

……I am waiting for the gasps of horror…..

All done? Good. Then I can continue.

My little quip above, although somewhat tongue in cheek, is actually rather closer to the truth than you might realise. When people ask Sarah what she does for a living and she replies with ‘Oh, I’m a housewife’, they respond in one of a variety of ways, and not all of them very kind. In fact, the responses have become so disapproving of late that she’s taken to lying about it.

And that bothers me. A great fucking deal.

So I’m going to tell you, dearest reader, what a housewife does in our house, why she deserves nothing but praise, and why having Sarah at home has improved not just her life but mine too, and consequently, the lives that touch ours.

But let’s start with a few factoids. Housewives aren’t dummies. Example? My wife has a maths degree, and she specialised in Chaos Theory. She can out-think and reason better than most people I know, and her IQ easily outweighs the majority. She’s no slouch. Not a numpty. No fool. Highly intelligent.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about why she stays at home…

Several years ago we realized that work, although mentally stimulating, needn’t be a marker of ones worth in society. Or, to put it more simply, we work to live, not live to work. As long as we have enough money and we are content then that’s good. Thus, we decided that, once one of us was earning enough to support both then the other could give up work.

It turned out that we earned pretty much the same. So it came down to this; I loved my job, Sarah hated hers. Easy decision really.

In 2006 we took the plunge. Sarah turned her back on the rat race and it really is one of the best things we’ve ever done.

When both partners work, the evenings and weekend are filled with chores: cutting grass, shopping, painting, tidying, hoovering, cooking etc etc. The list goes on ad infinitum.

But when one of those partners is at home, all those chores get done during the weekdays.

And that’s the secret. That is the crux of the whole point of this little blog post. HOUSEWIVES DO HAVE A JOB!!!! They work every day, just like the ones that commute. They get up, do work to improve the quality of life for the family unit, and finish at the end of the day, just like everyone else. In fact, it’s worse for them because their office is their home. At least the rest of us get to leave at 5pm.

Just think about the benefits. Because of the decision we made in 2006 I do almost no chores nowadays. Really. Almost nothing. And that’s not a bad thing, I can tell you. And Sarah doesn’t mind either. She views her daily routine as her job, it’s just not in the office. And I can tell you she takes it very seriously indeed.

‘But what about pay’? I hear you ask. ‘She doesn’t get paid so it can’t be a job’!

Yes. She does. My wages are our wages. The difference may seem trivial but it is a difference.

The important thing really is the teamwork. We work together as a team. One member of the team gathers money to buy stuff. The other member manages the family (including the spending of that money and the budget) to ensure that the family unit is cared for. And because we have this arrangement, and only because of this, we are both happier for it. It’s about quality of life, and the quality of our life has been significantly increased.

What she doesn’t do is swan around all day doing as she pleases. If she did that the whole thing would come crashing to the ground. It doesn’t because she’s as busy during the weekday as I am. And at the weekend and evening, you know, when you’re doing chores because you work so much…we’re doing as we please.

Housewives are at home. But don’t think for a second that means they’re doing nothing.

Oh, one more thing. And this is a pet peeve which I shall address right here. The Women’s Lib movement was not about forcing women to work whilst simultaneously being an angelic mother, wife, perfect ten lingerie model, and rocket scientist. It was about freedom of choice. The freedom to choose one’s own path, free of ridicule, free of discrimination, free of judgement. I’m saying this because it seems the message has become somewhat distorted over time.

Thoughts on…Chess

2010/10/19 § 1 Comment

Wait! Don’t go!

I know what you’re thinking. Chess is the ultimate snooze-fest. Right?


It’s awesome. Totally and utterly. And during the course of this post I hope to convey why it is that I find it so fascinating. And you knever know, maybe you’ll be tempted to try it yourself?

Here’s a little picture to get you in the mood (courtesy of XBoard – an excellent freeware application):

Chess is possibly the greatest game on the face of this planet. In fact, you can scrub the word ‘possibly’ from that sentence. It simply is the greatest game on the face of this planet. Okay, so this is just my opinion, but this is my blog and in the Nevilleverse*, Chess rules.

Myth 1 – Chess is for nerds. Chess is for geeks. Chess is a sad little game played by sad little people with no life, no girlfriend (yes, I am aware that this suggests chess players are all men), and whose trousers end at the shin and swing in the breeze.

This is definately a myth. Lots of people play Chess. And in case you don’t believe me, guess what the most popular sport is in the world? Football? Hardly. It’s Chess. Yeah, okay, so you might argue that Chess isn’t a sport, in which case I direct you to the likes of Snooker…and Darts.

Oh, and for those that think women don’t play chess, here’s a pic of the 2004 President of the Estonian National Chess League:

So why is it so great? Well, to start with it makes you smarter. Or at least, it stops you from getting less smart. It’s the usual reason – regular exercise of the cerebellum (and other brain bits) arrests the deterioration of the neural pathways that would otherwise lead to a reduction in the overall mental capacity of an individual. Basically it’s the same reason all those people insist on doing Sudoku (not to be confused with Sodoku).

However, there’s a better reason for wanting to pursue the game.

Chess is pure strategy and tactics and if there’s one thing in this world that applies to almost every single situation in our lives it’s the principles of strategy and tactics.

I’ve already sort of touched on this in my first post but within Chess we find direct examples of the truth behind the idea.

For example, one of the most basic principles is be flexible. It’s a fundamental idea in Chess but it’s equally valid in everyday life – you need to be flexible when buying a house, buying a car, getting finance, meeting friends down the pub, organising an event, arranging a meeting at work, commuting to work in the morning, invading another state, running a country. I could go on but you get the idea. If you don’t keep your plans flexible then you quickly run into trouble when things don’t go quite as planned (and in real life they never do).

Here’s another example – in Chess it’s always worth considering moves that might, on the face of it, seem silly, such as exposing your Queen to the danger of being captured. Why do this, it’s silly? Surely the Queen should be protected at all costs? Well, yes, this can be true. But if you explore that move a little further you might find that it forces the opponent’s hand, exposing him to something else which weakens his position and ultimately leads to a win for you. Again, this is true for real life. It’s always worth considering the what-ifs, no matter how silly they may seem at first glance. After all, the worst that can happen is you consider all the options and when you make a decision to do something you know you’re doing the right thing.

Here’s a position from a game I was playing on the train home earlier today (this is a screenshot of the amazing Shredder application on my iPhone). My white Bishop is about to be captured by the black King. Suicide, surely? Yeah, well, it led to his demise 5 moves later.

Anyway, that’s enough examples. It is sufficient to say that the more you study the game the more you see these principles as they apply to the world around you. And the more you see the easier it is to appreciate why things are the way they are. Why does country X attack country Y? Why does the government do one thing over another? Why does your company pursue the business it does? How does one position oneself to minimise the risk when making important decisons/making commitments.

For me, the insight I’ve gained on the world in which I live is one of the greatest benefits. And seeing as I’m a control freak, that’s a good thing indeed.

Myth 2 – Chess is hard to understand. There are a bunch of weird rules that no-one tells you about. You have to think at least 800 moves ahead, and if you can’t then you may as well not bother because, quite frankly, if you dont have it then you’re some kind of giant idiot.

This is complete and utter rubbish. The myth that Chess requires you to think so far ahead is just that – a myth – perpetuated by Chess players in the same way that IT types perpetuate the use of techno-babble. It’s not needed. You can be perfectly competent at Chess and you only need to think one or two moves ahead…at most. Oh, and you know that whole thing about studying opening moves etc? Again, nonsense. If you practice good play then you can forget about that whole memorising of openings. In fact, it’s better because it means you’re more flexible (there’s that word again) whereas the other guy gets into trouble if you don’t play the way he’s expecting!

I could go on. I would love to go on. In fact, I actually thought about making this a Chess specific blog when I started. But I won’t. Some of you may even be asleep. Wake up! But hopefully you’ve discovered that chess isn’t bad. That it’s not just a pointless game. It’s not just for nerds. It’s worth trying out, even if only once. And if you don’t like it then hey, at least you can say you’ve considered the option.

Then again, maybe you’ll discover a secret passion…

* – It’s not you, even I cringed after rereading my use of the word ‘Nevilleverse’.

Thoughts on…My Job (Part 1 of 2)

2010/10/10 § 1 Comment

In approximately 12 hours I’ll be arriving at work ready to start another week. It’ll be a usual Monday morning filled with the usual kind of stuff. The journey there won’t be anything of note (hopefully) and lunch will be much the same as it always is. I’ll leave work at the usual time, catch the usual trains, and arrive home to enjoy a usual kind of week-day evening.

Only it won’t be exactly the same as usual. One will thing will have changed. Something not outwardly visible, but to me quite significant. You see, tomorrow marks my tenth year doing what I do for a living.

That’s right, ten years. For ten years I’ve had the same job description. For ten years I’ve worked in the same team with the same 3 people, in the same building, for the same company, in the same division and, up until January of this year, it had been in the same office with the same chair.

Tomorrow, I’ve been a Flight Dynamics Engineer for ten consecutive years.

But let’s go back to the beginning – how I got the job. When I left university I had a BSc. I thought I had it made. I’d completed a degree in Physics with Space Science and Systems, I knew tons of information and I was a genius, ready to walk into whichever space company was lucky enough to catch me. Star Trek* – I’m ready for you!!

Twelve months later I was starting an MSc, because as it turns out, everyone has a degree and to get a job in the space industry requires you to ‘go a little further’.

I should state at this point that I’d spent the intervening 12 months working as a Process Engineer for a company that made light filters. It wasn’t glamorous work but it introduced me to the world of engineering, best practice, and basic production line concepts. It was halfway through this I realized if I was ever going to work in the space industry I needed the MSc so I set about getting my application sorted. Luckily there was a couple of places that did the kind of thing I was looking for. Unluckily I didn’t have the qualifications. Luckily my father in-law wrote me such a glowing reference letter that it convinced the interviewer that I would be ‘a good fit’. This was an act of kindness that I shall never forget, and is one of many that my parents-in-law have shown me over the years (I would say more but I can’t be too nice, my father-in-law reads this blog and it’ll only make him blush).

Anyway, I went back to university for the second time around and got the job done – I came out with the required qualification. Phew. Oh, and in case anyone out there thinks university is easy, I spent an average 17 hour day working, 7 days a week, for 52 weeks. It was, after giving up smoking, the most difficult thing I have ever done. I didn’t get paid, and at one point I actually ran out of money and had to be bailed out by Sarah (also an act of kindness which she had no obligation to do but one for which I will always be grateful – it seems these random acts of kindness run in her family).

So I had finished university (again). But life still wasn’t the rose-bed I was hoping for. I had filled out a hundred separate job applications and had little to no response. Private companies, the government, the MoD, several defence contractors, even NASA**. And almost nothing. I was pretty despondent. However, I finally landed an interview, at a place that made software. Specifically, it had recently been awarded the contract to produce the entire control system for a Satellite Control Centre. It was a big project and they needed some extra hands. This was my chance.

Turns out I wasn’t for them. Doh!

But another act of kindness, this time from the guy who interviewed me, brought me to the attention (without my knowledge) of the head of the Flight Dynamics Group at a company based in London – the very company that had hired them to create the aforementioned software! This other company operated it’s own fleet of satellites (hence the need for the software), and they had their own communications network. They were expanding and they were looking for some new blood to fill the ranks

So imagine the scene – it’s 11am on a Saturday morning and I’m in bed at mum’s house (I was still virtually a student – it was allowed). It rings and rings and eventually she answers it. Well of course she does, I’m not going to, I’m in bed! She then disturbs my sleep (how dare she) and informs me that there’s a bloke on the phone who wants to know if I’m interested in coming to see him for an interview. So, I drag myself out of bed and take the call.

Turns out it was the right choice. The guy I spoke to is my boss, and has been for ten years.

So, that’s how I got the job. And it’s a good job too. But I’ll talk about that some other time, I don’t want to put you to sleep too quickly.

* Yep, Star Trek really was my inspiration. Thank you, Jean Luc, and the rest of your crew! If I could express my thanks to the cast and crew that made ST:TNG I would. Without them I wouldn’t have started this journey in the first place. A TV show it may have been, but it inspired a 13 year old boy to follow his dreams.

** I was so impressed that they bothered to respond I kept the rejection letter. It may be a rejection letter but it’s still a letter from NASA…on headed paper!

Thoughts on…Secret Identities

2010/10/05 § Leave a comment

It has occurred to me that, for those who have even a semi-regular social networking presence on the internet, it’s entirely impossible to hide who you truly are. Another way to say this is if you really want to know what someone’s character is like then watch their social networking habits/chatter.

I guess it’s possible to hide something of yourself for a long time, or possibly a lot of yourself for a short time, but it’s difficult in the extreme to hide your true self in the long term.

Why? Easy – because it’s just too hard to keep up the pretence. I mean, you have to constantly pretend to be something you aren’t, all the while fighting your natural instinct to simply be.

I know, I know, who would go to such great lengths to hide themselves? Lots of people. Take a look at the people you know, and compare what they post on Facebook/Twitter/MySpace etc with the idea you have of their character. Now, how many of those match up? That’s right, not that many. I’m not saying they do it consciously, just that they do it.

It’s not really surprising though. The temptation to be something else under the forgiving cover of the internet is very strong. Short people can suddenly become towering figures, slow witted types can gain a rapier wit. In real life I, for example, am short, ugly, stupid, and I have seven arms. Seriously though, I have terrible trouble with anxiety and zero self confidence, yet here I am writing a blog like I’m some sort of super genius expert on the nuances of social networking and it’s uses in psychological profiling. Crazy huh?

And all you need to reveal people’s true face is a little patience, and the desire to actually see. That’s all. Simple. Try it, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to gauge someone’s real character. And what’s more amazing is that you wouldn’t get that if you just saw them down the pub. Down the pub it’s all smiles, jokes, drinking, laughing and maybe a tear or two. But at the end of the day most people have sufficient ability to function in a social gathering that makes it nigh on impossible to work out what that person is really like.

But they can’t hide it on the internet. *

Then of course there’s the people that aren’t really trying to hide anything, but for the reason stated above you’ll only see their true face online.

So which one’s the real them? It’s probably the one that’s peeking out between the lines of written text; the lines that remain unwritten yet are there for all to see…if you wish to see it that is. In fact, what’s not written is often just as revealing as what is.

Something that arises from all this is the difference between true character versus what a person wants to be, or thinks they are. The thing that comes across eventually is the former, every time.

I guess there’s no real point to saying all of this. I’m not trying to come up with some super-theory. It’s just an observation. But it’s worth bearing in mind the next time you post something, or the next time you read someone’s post/blog.

And of course it goes without saying…there is always the exception to the rule.

* Actually I think this would also apply if you spent a great deal of time with a person in real life too. It’s just that we’re exposed to so many people all at once via social networking sites that it’s easy to pick out the internet as the example.

Thoughts on…Astrophotography

2010/10/02 § 2 Comments

My most recent foray into astrophotography has prompted me to write a few words about my experience in this rather specialist field. And you never know, perhaps it might help others out too with this challenging, yet ultimately rewarding hobby.

Now for those who don’t know astrophotography is basically taking pictures of stars and planets and stuff in space. I’m not sure if taking photos of man-made satellites (such as the International Space Station) qualify as astrophotography (jeez, that’s getting difficult to type) or not. But basically AP means photos of space stuff.

I got my first DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera about a year and a half ago. I was getting increasingly frustrated by the constraints of using a standard point-and-shoot camera and a DSLR provided the necessary tools and freedom I was after. I’ve always been interested in astronomy, and have spent countless nights getting neck cramp in the freezing cold looking at points of light. Thus, AP seemed to be a natural progression once the new camera came along.

Here’s my first ever shot:

Wild huh? Awe inspiring? Jaw dropping? Not even slightly – believe it or not it’s actually a picture of Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. And this is where I learned that AP is really hard. It’s not just a case of point the camera at the thing, press the button and ‘Hey Presto! Here’s one for Sky and Telescope magazine’. Oh no. This AP thing is really really hard.

As with all things in the world of photography everything is a trade-off. You can set a wide aperture but you might have difficulty ensuring all those teeny tiny dots are in focus. So you set a small aperture but now the shutter speed is so slow that all you get is star trails. So you raise the ISO but now your carefully composed pic is swamped with noise.

Starting at the beginning, how do you ensure that everything is in focus? I know what you’re saying – set the focus to infinity. Yeah, well, easier said than done. Sure, you can set it to infinity but unless you have oodles of cash you’re probably using a lens that isn’t gauranteed to be perfect. So in order to achieve something approaching focus at infinity requires the focussing ring to be set a little over or a little under what is suggested. So you end up having to take a ton of photos and try to figure it out. It doesn’t sound like it would make much difference but in AP anything that isn’t tack sharp really does stick out.

Anyway, after fiddling around and with a little luck I managed to get something a bit better (taken early evening which is why you can see the red glow from the setting sun):

Better, but still not perfect (far from it actually). I was getting somewhere though. And that felt good.

Another problem that reared its ugly head at this stage was wobblyness. You need a really solid mount for your camera and lens. Why? Well, if it wobbles and is flimsy then it’s more likely to move when you press the shutter button, and this causes blurry photos. You can get around this by using a remote shutter release or timer (not forgetting to allow for the time it takes the camera to settle into it’s final position) but it’ll still be susceptible to wind and other disturbances. I guess this isn’t really an issue at short focal lengths (wide field-of-view) but at longer focal lengths it’s a real pain because even small movements of the camera can translate into gigantic movements of the subject within the field-of-view.

So, keeping the ISO as low as I could, making sure I had a sturdy mount, and hanging the camera bag on the tripod for extra stability (try it, it really works), has allowed me to take pictures like this:

This was my favourite image for a long time. That was until a dog-walking friend informed me that Jupiter is in quite a good position to photograph at the moment.

Once again though we find out the limitations of the equipment. Taking pictures of the Moon results in some pretty nice shots that even an amateur like me can get away with. That’s partially because the Moon is big and it’s bright, meaning that you can use a fast shutter speed which in turn means little blurriness that might otherwise result from apparent motion of the Moon. But Jupiter is much smaller in comparison and it’s much less bright. These two factors mean you need a relatively slow shutter speed (causes trails) and a long focal length (resulting in wobblyness).

Basically you end up with a not-so-great photograph when using just a camera and your trusty ‘do everything’ zoom lens. Still I’m really pleased with this latest photo as it’s the first time I’ve photographed a planet (the moons, from left to right, are Ganymede, Callisto, Europa and Io):

Of course, there’s loads of other stuff I could say about AP. However, the basic rule is that every aspect of the photographic process is interdependent – you can’t change one thing without affecting another. In the end it’s all about trade-offs and deciding what is, and what isn’t, important. Which is the same as all other types of photography really.

Perhaps there will be a telescope in my future. This would mean far greater planetary and deep space object photo opportunities, but this brings it’s own complexities as the requirements for photographing planets is somewhat different than those for galaxies etc. It would also be an expensive route to take. Any telescope, mount, and associated gubbins (equatorial mount with motor, lens filters, night vision friendly lighting equipment etc) is a serious outlay of cash and would require careful thought before making a commitment, and you can’t exactly dip a toe into it without spending a fair amount.

I would encourage anyone who is interested in photography to have a go at AP. It exercises a slightly different photographic skill-set, which can never be a bad thing, and it often results in a little more knowledge about the heavens which we so often take for granted. After all, those little points of light are where we come from.

Anyway, there you have it. A little summary on my journey of shooting stars.

Thoughts on…How To Blog

2010/09/25 § 7 Comments

Well, here I am. My first proper blog post. Right then. Ummm….

This isn’t easy. In fact, it’s really hard. I don’t mean that it’s hard to write, that’s easy, but what isn’t easy is knowing what subject to write about. When I registered with WordPress a few days ago I followed their helpful ‘Getting Started’ tips. The first half of these was trying to help me come up with an idea for a blog – a theme or style which would define my little presence on the internet.

And this is where I get stuck. You see, I don’t like being chained to just one thing. I never have. I like lots of different types of music, I like lots of different types of art, lots of different types of, well, everything. To try and restrict myself to just one thing really is like being in chains. I feel stifled, constricted, uncomfortable.

So what’s the answer?

The answer is to blog about everything and anything. It doesn’t matter what it is, if I feel like talking about it I will. I know that it won’t attract as many people as if I had one specialist blog on ‘Tulip Colouring Along The Northern Banks Of The Thames’ or ‘Cute Otter Pictures’, but I’m not doing this to attract people. No, I’m doing this because I’ve been watching other people do it and it looks like fun. And as I learned from the time I spent as a podcaster, that’s when you get the most out of something – when you do it for yourself.

Having said all that, I’m going to introduce myself to you, the non-existent reader. Oh, the irony…

I’m married to Sarah. I can’t seem to find a link to her blog, but search under ‘Lyrical Dimgulbit Strikes Back’ here on WordPress and you’ll find it. She’s awesome, my best friend. We’ve known each other the majority of our lives, and without her I really would be nothing. We also have a dog, Shaun. He’s ace. In fact, he’s better than that. Here’s a picture of him:

I’m a geek. Okay, I already know what you’re thinking. But I’m not one of those geeks. You know, the cool ones who like roleplaying and computer games but look drop dead gorgeous*, and everyone adores them and wants to be with them ‘cos they’re so unafraid to be themselves, all the while looking drop dead gorgeous (not that it has anything to do with it…uh huh). No, I’m an actual geek/nerd, whatever you prefer. By the way, there was a point recently where being a geek actually was considered cool, and all those cool geeks looked down their noses and laughed at people they called nerds. Seriously!

Anyway, I digress. Suffice to say that I like roleplaying. Dungeons & Dragons type stuff. You know, people with silly hats. Or something like that anyway. I used to roleplay quite a lot but as I’ve got older and the friends I used to roleplay with have drifted away I simply don’t get the opportunity to anymore. Well, that’s not strictly true. Sah and I have got involved in a game with some people in America. We play using Skype and it rocks.

I also like chess (told you I was a geek). In fact I really like chess. A lot. I study the theory of chess quite a bit. And I regularly play between 5 and 10 games a day. I’m thinking of doing a blog post on the subject and why I think it’s so important, so I’ll leave it here. It’s just that I like it sooo much.

I’m not really into music. I don’t sit down and listen to music like I would, say, watch a film or something. But I do often use it to inspire me when I need to be creative. In fact, I’m listening to music right now – Round The Bend, by Adrina Thorpe – a beautiful song that makes me want to weep with sorrow and happiness at the same time. Oh, and did you notice she’s good looking? That has nothing to do with why I like her…

I guess this is a good time to say that I don’t like being pegged with a label. Earlier I said I was a geek. That’s true, but it doesn’t define me as a person. I’m many things, all at the same time. I’m also, for example, an Engineer by trade but that doesn’t mean I’m not artistic. I appreciate all things arty, and I’m extremely imaginative, but when I need to I’m logical, analytical, and attentive to detail. So yeah, I’m a geek, but if somebody were to slap me with that label and say ‘Now I know who you are’ I would feel sad.

Gosh, there’s so much to say…it’s like the more I write the more I need to say. I’m starting to think the difficulty with blogging isn’t finding something to write about but making sure it’s coherent and well written. Then again, this isn’t an essay. It’s not a book that I’m sending out to be published. So what if I want to use txt spk? Who cares. Ha! Take THAT, Bambridge Scholars!

Where was I? Oh yes, I like strategy and tactics. In fact, I like it so much I actively pursue the study of it. Sounds odd perhaps but I find it helps me to understand why things happen (this links to chess by the way). Most people don’t realise (not because they can’t but simply because it’s not the kind of thing that springs to mind) but the natural laws that promote success of something, no matter what that is, usually align with the principles of successful strategy and tactics which have been identified by numerous people over the ages. I don’t think it’s ever been written down per se, at least not in it’s succinct form, but I’m pretty sure it’s true.

I’m creative. I’ve already said this above but in my time I’ve indulged myself in drawing and painting (traditional media and on the computer), music, writing (I wrote a novel…it was awful by the way), podcasting, roleplaying, photography (you can see one of my portfolio pictures below – Sah’s hands, not mine!), and probably a whole bunch of other things which I’ve forgotten. This sometimes conflicts with the fact that for my job I often cannot indulge the arty half of me. Having said that, it can help too. After all, creativity is essential for solving complex problems.

Buddhism – Sah and I are allowing more of it into our lives all the time (her more than me I think, although that’s due to apathy on my part). Life can be difficult, we all know that. But maybe there’s something out there which can bring a little peace into our lives. Enter the Buddhist practice of mindfulness. The idea of being calm, at peace, seeing things as they are, and being truly content has a very strong pull for me. I struggle with the more religious aspects of it, but I’m not giving up on it.

There’s so much more to say but it’s getting boring. No doubt I will talk about all these things and more over time. Suffice to say that, like every single person on this planet, I have likes and dislikes. I’m contrary. I can be difficult, irrational, loving, happy, sad, and a myriad of other things. And I usually flit between several of these from one minute to the next. Oh the joy of being human eh?

This was supposed to be a blog on, well, my blog. I guess I drifted off topic a bit.


*I’m looking at you, Wil Wheaton and Veronica Belmont.

Hello world!

2010/09/23 § Leave a comment

So, my first ever blog post. According to the people at WordPress I need to write something Earth shattering, something which will make me famous….


Well, maybe not. Still, it’s a start.

When I’ve got used to the idea of having a blog I’ll write an intro. Until then, welcome to what is sure to be the best blog with this URL.