NaBloPoMo 2007 Final Status: Fail

I was doing pretty well up until the last week too…

Ah well, maybe next year. Actually, I kinda want to try WriMo again next year. We’ll see what’s going on with stuff, I guess.

What it came down to, basically, was the stuff I was spending most of my time thinking about is stuff I’m very reluctant to post out in public like this, and the stuff that I could post about was losing out on processing time to the other stuff. The goal, however, was to get myself to write even when I didn’t feel like writing, so that excuse doesn’t really wash.

Ah well.

I was enjoying it while I was doing it, though. I’ve still got a few posts I wanted to write but never did. There’s also that whole unresolved laptop thing that is just as unresolved for me, too. And I never told you what happened when I went to the gym. I’ll save telling those stories for when they have satisfying conclusions.

For now, though, I am tired and should go to bed.

Doctor Who’s 44th

I don’t want to fall any more behind, so I’d better post…

Today is (or was, I suppose) Doctor Who’s 44th anniversary.

In my plan for how this whole NaBloPoMo thing was going to work, I had it set out that I’d write a wonderfully reminiscent post about Doctor Who in my life and why it’s totally the best show ever. And I think i could pull it off. I just don’t feel like writing that post tonight.

At least in part, it’s because [Verity Lambert died yesterday]( Verity Lambert was Doctor Who’s first producer.

She, along with Canadian [Sydney Newman]( set out what Doctor Who would be. She was perhaps as much responsible for the Daleks as [Terry Nation]( was. Sydney Newman wanted Doctor Who to be a show that taught kids about science and history in an entertaining way, but with no bug-eyed monsters whatsoever. Verity Lambert, however, knew nothing about science, so instead commissioned a story about mutant monsters surviving a nuclear war.

There’s a line in the Season 3 episode “Human Nature” where the Doctor, as the human named John Smith, mentions his parents “Sydney and Verity”.

I want to write more, but I’m fighting to stay awake. I have people over and we’re going to have a Doctor Who party tomorrow. I am very happy about that, but right now, I need some rest.

A brain full of stuff

Rummaging through my thoughts to come up with something to write about tonight, I started to come to the conclusion that I spend way too much time thinking about products I would like to buy.

A lot of this seems to be stemming from the laptop thing. That’s something I’d been thinking about for well over a year. Realizing that what I’d decided I’d wanted wasn’t actually what I wanted shook the pedestal a bit, and right now my brain, as represented by a metaphorical glass vase, is wobbling, attempting to right itself. In the process of wobbling, I’m questioning why it is I care about this crap as much as I do.

The laptop isn’t the only thing, either. Home theatre setups, server hardware, Doctor Who merchandise, computer monitors, furniture, blinds, gardening tools, outdoor lighting, books, video game hardware and software, kitchen gadgets, Christmas decorations, art, music, toiletries, cat paraphernalia, clothes, MP3 players, gadgets and toys… They all swirl around my subconscious in a maddening whirlwind of debates and comparisons, priorities and time lines.

For example, I noticed in the Radio Shack The Source flyer that they had a sale on GPSes, and that they had [some nice Garmin handhelds]( for better prices than I’d seen elsewhere. I love maps and things, and GPSes are fun toys. I chickened out from buying one at the mall today because I wasn’t sure if it could keep track of where you’ve been so you can check out your route in Google Earth afterwards. Because, for some reason, I’d much rather just go out for a walk or a drive somewhere without knowing where I was going and see the map afterwards than use a GPS to figure out where to go in the first place. I checked the manual online, and apparently it can do that. Regardless, even though I could almost certainly live a happy and fulfilling life without one, I really want one of these toys. I’m holding myself back from hitting the “add to cart” button at this very instant.

I am a well-trained consumer, I suppose. The only way I’d be better trained is if I just went out and bought all of it without thinking, so I suppose this obsessiveness is a form of restraint.

I beat myself up a bit for spending so much mental energy on silly, single-minded consumerism, but I get stuck when I try to give myself things I *should* be thinking about.

There was, I think, a [Tapestry]( episode, where a guy was talking about how we spend so much time fixated on collecting stuff and not nearly enough on collecting experiences. And while I couldn’t agree more, it’s hard (for me, anyway) to plot and plan experiences. Fretting about stuff just comes so naturally.

Computers and Me: Amiga

I probably spend way too much time thinking about computers and computer-related stuff. And with the whole [laptop thing](, I’m maybe getting overly introspective about it.

It’s NaBloPoMo, so I figure I’m allowed to indulge my nerdier tendencies.

Shamus, over at [Twenty Sided]( posted today about his [personal experience]( with various versions of Windows and how Vista is pretty much the culmination of a long history of suck. Well, he doesn’t quite say that, but that’s the gist I’m choosing to take away. That got me thinking of a (cringe-inducing but I’m linking to it anyway) page I posted up on my home page a good decade ago (back when it was fashionable to have home pages) about [my personal history with computers]( I never liked it much, because I thought it came off as a bit defensive.

You see, all through high school and university, I had a [Commodore Amiga]( My grandfather bought me an [Amiga 500]( when I was 13, and I upgraded myself to an [Amiga 1200]( (with 40MB hard drive!) in my last year of high school. By the time I’d written that page in second year at UW, it was pretty clear that the Amiga was pretty much a dead platform. There was still a community out there on the Internet, thank God, and I was still able to get ahold of a few hardware upgrades when I had the spare cash, but the writing was on the wall.

But I loved my Amigas. Both of them. I kept using my A1200 pretty much till the end of university. Even after I graduated, got a job and bought my first PC, I kept using it. I even bought my Amiga a network card so they could talk to one another.

That didn’t last, though. The Amiga’s external 1GB hard drive died shortly thereafter. I was crushed. I had my whole life on there. (And it’s not like I could do back-ups. It was an Amiga. I couldn’t afford a SCSI tape drive. And I never got file sharing working well enough to get the data onto the PC’s hard drive. I was able to resurrect her briefly with a SCSI hard drive I salvaged from UW surplus, but I never really went back after the drive died.

That was pretty much the end of an era. I was officially a PC user. I’d given in, finally.

I hadn’t really meant to end up running Windows, though. It just kind of happened. When I bought the PC–a dual-processor Celeron 300 on an [ABIT BP6]( motherboard–I bought it fully intending it to be a Linux machine. And I would run SuSE on it, because SuSE (at the time) shipped with the [UAE Amiga Emulator]( by default. But I could never get the hardware working properly, so I mostly ended up staying in a partition that had Windows 98 on it (thus entirely negating the point of having 1337, hacky dual-processor machine) which I’d only really installed to play games.

I just kinda gave in, and I’ve been running Windows ever since.

*to be continued…*

NaBloPoMo (and Halloween and Stuff)

I’m going to gracefully bow out of [NaNoWriMo]( this year. Much as I like the idea (I even bought the book last year!), I know I don’t have a hope of getting anywhere near the word count. I kinda want to do *something*, though.

[NaBloPoMo]( is a little bit more my speed this year–just post a blog post a day, every day, for the month. I *think* I can do that. I never have, mind you. My peak blogging rate tends to be about every other day (and the valley’s somewhere around one a month…). I’m thinking, though, that committing to something like this will maybe help me get back in the groove a bit. My blog needs more love.

Support and encouragement is important in these endeavors. Without getting all clingy and needy and stuff, if you see something and can take the time to comment on something I’ve written, that really does help motivate me. It’s silly, I know, but it’s true. That’s the same regardless of whether you’re reading this and commenting on the blog itself, on lj or on facebook. I’ll read it one way or another.

I’m figuring I’ll start picking topics and expounding on them, but for today, you’re going to get a content-light post to start things off.

I ended up getting something between thirty and forty trick-or-treaters at the door last night. I’m pretty sure that’s more than last year.

In the very first group that came to my door, the little girl bringing up the rear tripped and cut her lip on my stoop. She was wearing an excruciatingly adorable (and well-made) princess costume, and looked as if her little world was about to shatter. I ran in to get her a Kleenex and when I came back (and handed out candy to the rest, as we all must carry on in tough times), her mother was asking her if she wanted to go home.

She would have none of that. Oh, no. She toughened up right then and there, wiped a tear and held out her little pillow case for some [Cheezies]( and a peanut butter cup.