Happy New Year

Hi!…random blog-reader or person I know!

I’m a bit lax about posting stuff on my blog, since I’ll usually share stuff on Twitter and let those updates feed over to my Facebook status updates. I usually save the bigger topics and things for the blog, but because it takes more time to update I’m usually pretty lazy about it.

Anyway, I’m going to try to update at least once a week this year and see how that goes. Short or long updates, whatever, but I just want to put something here, so whether it’s links to some of my photos or other projects, or just commenting about stupid shit I’ve been noticing lately, it’ll go here at some point.

So. What’s been happening with me.

I suppose the main thing I’ve been wanting to tout on here is the podcast I do with a friend at work. It’s called Digital Porridge and we’ve just done our 11th episode and it’s gone up today.

If you’re not familiar with podcasts, basically they’re like radio shows that you can download and listen to on your phone, MP3 player, computer, etc. Our is just over half an hour long and we try to do one each week. Mostly it’s myself and my friend Mat telling stories, comparing cultures (he’s British) and goofing off, and hopefully entertaining whoever listens.

The link to the main web page/blog is here, and we’re even officially on iTunes, and if you have an RSS reader like Google Reader you can use this RSS link to subscribe.

We’ve been getting some nice feedback, even from people who I don’t know personally – I think the next step is to really push our listeners to get their friends to subscribe. We have nearly 30 subscribers via Feedburner RSS links, and who knows how many on iTunes because they don’t provide any info at all, but I’d say it’s less than 15-20. Because we’re pretty small fry in the podcast universe I’ve been trying to get all of the people I know with iTunes to subscribe, even if they don’t listen, and give us a rating (maybe listen to a show or two if you feel weird about rating us without giving us a try). This requires almost no effort on anyone’s part to subscribe, and a good rating gives us a nice bump and with enough good ratings we might get featured on a blog or even on iTunes. So please subscribe to us in iTunes!

Tiger Woods divorces his wife…so what?

I’m glad I don’t watch sports news, because I really don’t care about the private life of pretty much any sports person or politician or celebrity. I know people are interested in things like this, but I’ve never seen the point. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear about any blowback about this sort of thing until ‘nice guy Tiger’ was the subject of all this media scrutiny and when it was Kobe or other people there was no one saying ‘OK, enough’s enough’.

I guess when it’s idiots like the Jersey Shore or The Hills cast that want to have the media crawling all over them because that’s the only way they can get publicity, the media and the public get confused and think that all people in the public eye want that level of media coverage.

I understand that some people just seem to want to see popular people in trouble, but then you have daytime TV and afternoon ‘entertainment news’ shows and supermarket magazines that do nothing but repeat the same stories as each other, and bored housewives and tie-wearing sports fan share a common ground by getting engrossed in someone else’s misfortune.

Is it really as simple as that?

The ‘Lost’ finale

I’m not a Lost-o-phile, and I rarely think too much about what shows I see on TV, but it annoys me that even *I*, a person who needs weekly recaps for the simplest shows, can understand that everyone didn’t die in the very beginning of the show, and the ending of the series didn’t mean the whole show was a waste of time…while some people seem to think that the show was a waste of time because they’re all dead from the very beginning.

Granted, it’s a tough show to follow, lots of characters, lots of exposition, and not everything is answered, but come ON, it’s not that hard.

BTW there’s spoilers below, obviously, so if you haven’t seen it yet, don’t read this yet.

It seems some people think everyone was dead from the plane crash. This is wrong. Everything that happened on the island, happened. Everyone who died, died. This is explained by Jack’s father, to Jack, in the church.

The alternate timeline is simply where they meet up after the flight lands. In an alternate reality. The alternate ‘reality’ is purgatory, or a type of afterlife, whatever you’d like to believe it is.

So, no, the main characters didn’t die in the plane crash, the ones that died during the series DID die during the series.

Why were some characters from the original survivor group (Mr. Eko for example) not in the church? He didn’t want to do the show any more. A theory on Walt is that he’s one of the island’s whisperers now, but who knows. There are a lot of characters not fully explained away, but then there’s a lot that isn’t explained.

They weren’t all dead.

edit: here’s a forum posting from someone claiming to work for the production company that made ‘Lost’, with insights into what the reasoning behind various themes and plots, etc. Even if the guy is lying it’s an interesting read, if you’re that emotionally invested in the show to care about having an opinion whether it was terrible or great.

Burn Night (haggis again!)

Yep, it’s Burn Night. Every 25th of January, fans of Robert Burns, Scotland’s most favorite son (and most famous poet) gather to recite Burns’ poetry, eat haggis and have whisky.

I’ll be celebrating in a bit with:

  • the haggis I got from Costco
  • neeps (mashed turnip with salt, pepper and butter)
  • tatties (mashed potato with salt, pepper and butter)
  • whisky (Glenfiddich 18-year old, yum)
  • a couple of Burns poems (why the hell not! Traditionally, ‘Address to a Haggis’ and ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at a minimum, but many others in between – get them all at Project Gutenberg)

A complete running order with videos of past televised Burns Night Suppers is here on the BBC web site.

I won’t be piping in the haggis, but maybe a small toast, just for tradition, is in order!

Jade Goody

Am I the only person in the UK that doesn’t really care very much at all about this whole story? I realize the irony of saying anything at all about it, but making the round of sites in the States? Really? I do my very best to avoid celebrity news but I couldn’t escape the ‘Perfect Day’ headline on my housemate’s copy of The Sun.

I do feel sorry for her and her kids, it’s never a good or happy thing for anyone to die, esp. a parent, and I’m not saying good riddance to Jade Goody, but this series of stories is only really lining the pockets of the papers. There doesn’t seem to be any highlighting of causes such as the MacMillan nurses, cancer charities or anything like that – it’s just a way for the papers to make money and people to say goodbye to a comic/tragedy/love/hate figure from a reality show. If any of the probably huge amounts of money she’s being paid for the photo rights are going to any sort of charity, then my bad.

Just had to get that out!

A new era starts today

Well, Obama’s in and Bush is out, starting today around noon, Eastern Central Time. That’s about 5 PM my time, and while I won’t feel a physical or spiritual anything that tells me when it’s happened, at least I know there’s a change and a new sheriff in town…err, the White House.

I’m even wearing my ‘Obama is my homeboy’ shirt! Underneath a longsleeve tee, though – it’s still cold!

Our super-massive black hole

So it’s been confirmed that there’s a gigantic black hole in the center of the Milky Way.

This has been speculated for years, so it’s not really a surprise, but scientists have confirmed it now.

Radio 4 (sort of an NPR equivalent in Britain) was broadcasting this bit of news as I was driving in to work, and I thought it pretty funny that the reporter felt the need to stress that we weren’t under any danger from the black hole, and our solar system is a bajillion miles away from the center of the galaxy…

I mean, this is Radio 4. Stupid people don’t listen to Radio 4. In general, smart, worldly people listen to Radio 4. Politicians and newsmakers do appearances on Radio 4, not vapid, worthless celebrities and morons. You don’t have to pretend that Radio 4 listeners think that people actually ride in drilling machines into the center of the Earth, or that aliens will be imminently invading from Mars, or that black holes roam the galaxy searching for intelligent life to suck up and deposit who knows where.

I just just thought it was an extraordinarily patronizing and stupid thing to say, that’s all.

RIP Gary Gygax

Gary Gygax, considered the father of role-playing games, died last week. Whether or not you care for or ever played Dungeons & Dragons, it’s very likely that if you’ve watched movies or TV in the past 2 or 3 decades your life has somehow been touched by someone who was inspired by this guy’s work.

I’ve been playing D&D and other role-playing games (RPG’s) in some form or another since I was 13 or so, and I still play pretty much every week. It’s no longer a massive obsession for me, but it’s still a big part of my life.

Wired has a great article about Gary, with more stuff about Gary to come.