Friday, 30 July 2010

Look to the sky hoping it will bleed light

I feel stirrings within the blogosphere...

Thursday, 8 October 2009



(Have I begun a post with that before? Probably.)


Okay. So I now live in the United States of America.



I am living... in... the USA. It's true. At least, I keep telling myself it's true. About ninety-seven percent of my brain can't grasp it. The remaining three percentile are about to perform a strike action caused by the majority's refusal to accept.

It's problematic.

With the impending withdrawal of the comprehending three percent, I face complete regression into a state of infantile denial - a mentally induced 'pre-America' stasis of sorts. I fear I will insist on driving on the left (whilst sat in the passenger seat); continue to seek methods of TV tax avoidance, asserting that my actions are legit; scream at the spell-checker's inability to spell; assume health care is a basic human right that everyone receives (no matter how rubbish the health care service may be); expect the date to be presented in a logical string of numbers going from the smallest unit (i.e. the day) to the largest (i.e. the year); and put milk in my tea. Which I do anyway.

Luckily I'm currently surviving on an instinct that doesn't require the forward-thinking minority of my brain at all. I generally refer to this instinct as HOLIDAY MODE. HOLIDAY MODE is fun because it's a state of suspended functionality. Useful, everyday functions become obscenely difficult, enabling me to put huge, stockpiled resources into loafing and doing not much. Of course, HOLIDAY MODE wasn't designed to be an ongoing habitude.

This all leaves me somewhat concerned. Yet, despite the three percentile, despite HOLIDAY MODE, I'm beginning to suspect my westward transistion will, in fact, never truly have the impact that I am so fearfully awaiting. At least, conceivably, not in the ways I might expect.

To phrase it differently : I wonder, maybe, if I have perhaps landed on my feet?

Honestly, it's hard to tell. I'm having such a good time right now. With so many things on the horizon (er, wedding?), it's leaving me with little to gauge how I'm doing overall. (You know. As a person. With emotions and stuff.) I have objectives - but not too many. There are new friends and faces. There are computer games. There is sunshine, and the bluest and most strikingly beautiful skies I have ever bothered to notice. Sometimes there are thunderstorms, but that's cool too. I regularly communicate and interact with friends and family back home. It's all gravy.

The thing is, life doesn't feel like a grind. It's not a generic forward movement. And I'm loving it.

That's all that really matters, right?

Monday, 31 August 2009

Don't get caught alone, oh no...

Okay, so I'm working on a real post. Except I keep running off on tangents. Better that I review it, finish it properly, and then publish it. Or rather, I'll put this up with a title I'd planned for the end of August (which it isn't, despite the post's timestamp), postpone putting up anything half-decent indefinitely, and kick back. Sweetness.

To write about something meaningless, I shall make the obvious redundantly clear (unless you're blind). Firstly, I realised that the colour I'd been using for my background looked hideous on my new monitor. I can't decide on an alternative though, so my blog may be a little split-personality for a while.

Secondly, I've switched up my sidebar a little; no longer am I a tweeter. @dancingcrab still exists, yet all tweets, twoots, twits, twuts, and most definitely tw@ts have been deleted. I had an existweetial dilemma and, as a result, jumped ship. My links have also been revised, mostly bigging up babycrow, but also adding Dead Maids (a friend's band) and Sometimes a Cloud. The latter took some deliberating over: the author, a friend, is an Apple-adoring-junky-head, a personality defect I don't like to encourage. Not that I'm claiming my linking to someone's website here actually has any effect on the world. It doesn't.

To speak of anything more meaningful would invalidate, at least in part, my current work in progress, in turn providing little to witter on about in future. Being content in the knowledge that I've actually updated my blog, no matter how meaninglessly, I can now continue to write meaningfully constructed tangents in order to reinforce the lack of meaninglessness inherent in these particular ramblings, and thus prepare you for the overabundance of meaning forthcoming.

Stuff like that's just fun to write.


Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Living in sunshine (with the shades pulled down)

A funny thing is, writing this blog still makes me cringe. Yet, somehow, I start to feel immensely guilty if I don't post something every few months. Will this particular article appear forced? We shall see.

Despite the various geekpies in which I have recently partaken (thanks to a Chippenham-induced level of boredom - maybe not quite as bad as I make it sound), I will attempt to avoid 'geek-centricity'. Rather, I am going to pontificate on the pro et contra of my life... for no reason other than to indulge myself - a decidedly new focus of this here diary.

The 'Chippenham-era' presents an interesting, and intensely exciting, transitional stage. A temporary stop-off along the road to a New World (pun perhaps intended), I'm constantly filling in forms, making telephone calls, sending emails, attending appointments, and, invariably, forgetting things on my to-do list. Everything is building to an amazing finale. Excepting the vague apathy regarding my surroundings, I'm definitely enjoying myself. However, just like the calm before the storm, I fear a sudden blowout of emotion on the horizon.

In a little under seven weeks, things will change. I plan to move away from family, friends, colleagues and comfort-zone. No, scrap that, the comfort-zone was abandoned when I exited Bath (stage right; next act: Chippers). At some point during this coming epoch, I sense my current, extremely positive feelings will collide with other hidden, submerged, and largely ignored feelings head-on.

It might be messy.

I have no idea how I will deal with these divined emotions. It doesn't seem real that people who are so important will be so far removed. I hope I can appropriately share with them what I'm experiencing, because I will miss them - a lot. It's important that I impart such to them. Although these ninja-emotions may be unpleasant, said ninja-emotions are also stepping stones that I choose, and want, to follow. By stepping, I don't mean to cut the tethers tying me to those I care about; in fact, somewhere down the line, I expect to look back and realise that those same tethers were never at risk of breaking anyways. Things just have a habit of feeling bigger than they are.

One thing is certain, however: these next few weeks will be unique.

Okay, now I should really go to bed.



Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Picture me rolling

Massive geek post: video games! There are way too many coming out over the next year. Makes me really want my new PC now. My current rig is sitting in my room with its case permanently cracked open so I can easily get at it whenever the SATA cable comes loose (identifiable by a loud click and then the partial-freezing of the OS). It's done me well, but definitely at the end of its life. With the coming of Windows 7 (October this year), I'm excited at the idea of bypassing Vista entirely... even if it means I'm gonna have to ride W7 RC1 for a while.

The list of new and exciting titles includes mostly sequels (to mostly good games):

BioShock 2 - its predecessor was a bit of a mixed bag, although this looks to be shaping up good. It'll include a co-op prequel mode as well, which could be hot shizzle.

Assassin's Creed 2 - okay, so I've never played the original. Yet. It's on my wish list. My current rig wouldn't be able to handle it. However, once I have a new PC, play through AC1, I'm sure this'll be worth 10-12 hours.

Diablo III - yes!

Starcraft II - yes! Blizzard seem to have opted for the episodic thang with this one, so this particular installment (Wings Of Liberty) will be the Terran campaign only.

Mass Effect 2 - I'd really like to see the second DLC for ME1 before thinking too hard about ME2 - it'd give me more reason to play through it again and thus put me in good stead for the sequel. ME2 does look really sexy though - forget J.J. Abrams Star Trek, Mass Effect is the real deal when it comes to space operas.

Thief 4 - can't believe they're making another. The first one is up there with the greats (and also the only one in the series I've completed), but the little I played of T3, well, it just lacked something.

Deus Ex 3 - never finished the first, although it was a great game. The second never appealed as much, but I might pick it up cheap one day. A refreshed take on this brief franchise might just work.

Dragon Age: Origins - the only truly new title. However, BioWare have said that it's the spiritual heir to the Baldur's Gate series. A bit like BioShock is to System Shock I guess. As with any high profile release that includes consoles (and this one is shooting for both XBox and PS3), I'm a little nervous about the 'dumb-down' factor, but BioWare have a good rep for giving PC editions the love and attention they deserve, e.g. Mass Effect.

There are loads more, of course. I'll never have the time...

Especially if the 2010 Playoffs are anywhere near as exciting as '09! The game last night (Cavs @ Orlando) was awesome. Of course, that may have had something to do with it being my first time watching b-ball at an all-American 'pub' (go figure) - I had fun. Don't think I'm gonna get an opportunity to watch the Lakers/Nuggets game tonight, but I'm pulling for Denver; Billups' game is tight right now, still got love for him despite the transfer.

Anyway, I'm off to watch the Champions League final shortly. Seems I've more interest in footie here in the States than at home. Not really sure I want to see Manchester win though...

Thursday, 7 May 2009

I'm living where the nights is jet black

Just banged this out over the last three hours. Not sure why or how.

In the beginning, there was nothing except for the glow. The edges of nothingness smouldered with the slow burning light of life. Gradually the light focused, magnified, and became more intense; it shone brightly into the darkest corners of emptiness. This light was Ubai’um. And in these dark corners of emptiness, enshrouded by shadow, dwelt the slumbering forms of the San’bai-Dhul.

’ (apostrophe)
Indicates inflection by way of affix (usually suffix, e.g. Ubai’um – Light that is god)

- (hyphen)
Used to indicate wholeness of a proper noun containing two or more components (e.g. Ubai-ul-Suluum - city of Light)

bai n.

bai suffix
Indicates subservience (e.g. San’bai – servant of Dhul) or position of commerce (e.g. halem’bai – merchant)

calem n.
Militia or army

calem’ur n.
Warrior/soldier belonging to an organised force (such as a militia or army)

Dhul proper n.
(No accurate translation) legendary being of shadow; the Void

dul v.
Copula; links subject to object through meaning (e.g. id’Ubai-ul-Suluum dul ud’halem-suluum – the City of Light is a city-state)

dum prefix
Indicates duality; quantity of two (e.g. dum’halem’bai – two merchants)

halem root n.
Root form possessing no independent meaning; implies self-employment or freedom in conjunction with appropriate affix (e.g. halem’ur – mercenary)

halem’bai n.
Merchant or broker not associated with a specific lord, king or fiefdom; free trader

halem’ur n.
Warrior or soldier not associated with a specific lord, king or fiefdom; mercenary

halem-suluum n.
Settlement not associated with a specific country or region; a city-state (as with Ubai-ul-Suluum)

id prefix
Specific determiner (e.g. id’calem – the army); does not reflect quantity (i.e. id'calem could also translate as ‘the armies’)

il prep.
Indicates possession or relevance where subject precedes and object follows (e.g. San’bai-il-Dhul – servant of Dhul). Can be contracted (e.g. San’bai-Dhul). Note: ‘ul’ requires the reverse positions for subject/object (i.e. object precedes and subject follows); ‘ul’ cannot be contracted (i.e. San’bai-Dhul is permitted, Dhul-San’bai is not)

san n.
Being/creature traditionally opposed to the nature of Ubai (although not necessarily aligned with Dhul); implies daemon genus; often used incorrectly in place of ‘San’bai-il-Dhul’ (see ‘San’bai-il-Dhul proper n.’)

San’bai-il-Dhul proper n.
Servant of Dhul commonly belonging to the san (daemon) genus (see ‘san n.’); can be contracted to San’bai-Dhul. Differs to noun ‘san’ as it is honorific and therefore does not imply genus (e.g. non-san aligned with Dhul may be accurately referred to as ‘San’bai-il-Dhul’)

seraphim n.
Being/creature traditionally aligned with Ubai’um; implies angel genus; inaccurately used in place of honorific title ‘Seraphim-il-Ubai’ (see ‘Seraphim-il-Ubai proper n.’)

Seraphim-il-Ubai proper n.
Being/creature expressly belonging to higher ranks of Ubai-ul-Calem; contraction of Seraphim-il-Ubai-ul-Calem (angel of the army of Light), can be further contracted to ‘Seraphim-Ubai’. Members traditionally, though not necessarily, belong to seraphim (angel) genus

suluum n.

ubai n.

Ubai’um proper n.
Force of good; Light that is god

Ubai-ul-Calem proper n.
Army of Light; consists of soldiers in service of Ubai’um (see ‘Ubai-ul-Calem’ur proper n.’)

Ubai-ul-Calem’ur proper n.
Soldier of Light, in service of Ubai’um (see ‘Ubai-ul-Calem proper n.’). Differs to Seraphim-il-Ubai as Ubai-ul-Calem’ur makes no indication of rank

Ubai-ul-Suluum proper n.
City of Light

ud prefix
Non-specific determiner indicating singularity (e.g. ud’calem’ur – a solider or one soldier)

ul prep.
See ‘il prep.

um suffix
Indicates position of power; godhood (sometimes kinghood); omnipotence (e.g. Ubai’um – Light that is god)

ur suffix
Indicates martial role or position (e.g. halem’ur – mercenary)

Note: There is no distinction between singular and plural words. Quantity is identified through determiner (e.g. both merchant and merchants would read as halem’bai. ‘A’ or ‘one’ merchant and ‘two’ merchants would read as ud’halem’bai and dum’halem’bai respectively.)

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Now that I understand this right

A busy two months have passed. Moving is allegedly only second to divorce when it comes to stress. I can only imagine, especially as my move hardly constitutes as truly 'moving' - most of my worldly possessions fit in eight boxes, lacking in real furniture, delicates and/or heirlooms. I don't plan to divorce any time soon.

Between packing, relocating, unpacking (sorta), cleaning, tidying, and settling, I've found virtually no time to think about writing anything remotely creative... an ideal that is surely proving this blog to be a complete fallacy. Instead, I've read a magnificent total of one fantasy book, become obsessed with a major US television series, played several games on my PC (for many many hours), laughed/cried at the Detroit Pistons, and listened to lots of Nas. (Of course, I'm choosing to ignore the immense amounts of work I've partaken in.)

The book was 'Iron Angel' by Alan Campbell. It's the sequel to his well-received debut, 'Scar Night', and the middle title in the Deepgate Codex trilogy. Scar Night was one of those novels I thought was genius until it began to lose its way somewhere during the climax; an unfortunate situation that happens all too much throughout myriad modern creative endeavours (the video game BioShock jumps to mind), and which always greatly depresses me. However, I'm happy to report that Iron Angel, whilst flawed, is an impressive comeback. Although it is overly burdened with 'middle book' syndrome - lacking any true resolution - and feels strangely disconnected from Scar Night, Campbell pulls no punches when expanding upon the excellent mythology hinted at in the previous title. I look forward to the concluding chapter, 'God Of Clocks'.

Much more of my time was spent watching the re-imagined series of Battlestar Galactica, as I'd bought the 'complete' boxset a while back - the inverted commas being indicative of the falsehood inherent in this claim. The set is in fact the first three seasons (along with the preceding miniseries) plus the first half of the fourth season. Of course, I was well aware of this deficiency before I invested, but cannot help feeling Universal is being unreasonably cheeky with its claim of 'Seasons 1-4'. C'est la vie.

The 'show' itself has had me hooked for the past month. The first two seasons are gritty, exciting, and, to my surprise, emotionally exhausting. I loved almost ever minute; especially William Adama and Saul Tigh - defo my two favourite characters. However, the third season is very wobbly. It has its high points, such as a run of episodes shortly after the season's opening, but is generally messy and ridiculous. In particular, the finale blows. (Oh dear, this appears to be another candidate for total-climax-failure...) Thankfully, the final season feels a little stronger, yet this will have to await true judgement as the second half will only be available come June. Fingers crossed.

Okay, I did plan to share my thoughts on Arx Fatalis, Fallout 3 and Nas, but I'm starting to lose the will. And I didn't really want to talk about the Pistons anyways. I'm feeling far too upset about the season in general. Plus it appears the Hawks are about lose to Miami. Boo. So I'll save my remaining commentary for another day. Probably in about three months or so. In the meantime, Firefly awaits.