- PAUL QUINLAN wrote: why did we ever seperate our struggle from africans? rhetorical ... On More Irish were sold as slaves than Africans?
- NYCKIDD wrote: I love this plugin, glad to see an update is in the works, should ... On Where has TDO Mini Forms plugin gone?
- milenski wrote: You can check the following plugin: http://wordpress.org/exte ... On WordPress Tip: Get an RSS feed from a Tag and from a Search!
- metalbug wrote: hey man! help me please! i want get images on my TDOF but it dont ... On TDO Forum WordPress Theme (v3)
- Stuart Draper wrote: We have been using TDO-MiniForms for years and have loved it! It ... On Pet Projects, TDO-Mini-Forms and Forums
Monday, December 31st, 2012
While struggling with a bit of a cold, did a little sketch before the end of the year. Happy New Year!
Monday, November 12th, 2012
Took the kids to Malahide park yesterday. I think there must be have been something in the autumn/winter air because despite taking the kids regularly there, it was a little nostalgic this time for me.
As a kid, I use to play in Malahide park and grounds all the time. It was our second backyard. Me and the kids tracked through the forest and found the old glen where the younger me with others use to put a dangerously high rope swing.
Walked by the old church ruins that my brother and myself would sneak into and climb to the top. (Can’t do that now though, they took all the surrounding trees and opened up an Avoca cafe across the way, everyone would see what you were doing now).
And then after the playground we tried the new Avoca cafe which is super-fancy and like the other Avoca we’ve gone to and really jarring to my memory of the place. The Fry Model Railway used to be there, which was a bit quiet and grotty even. Also the hot chocolate is very expensive for what it is but we did some a number of peacocks in the gardens.
I wonder what happened to the little cafe in the castle itself now. I used to occasionally go there as a teenager. Big arches and a low ceiling and the walls were covered with old pieces of armour and weird old melee weapons.
We walked back a different route but it was getting dark at 4.30pm. Not that my sister and myself didn’t know the way, even in the dark, but the kids started getting freaked out by the shadowy trees and the crows constantly flying into the sky. I thought it was quite impressive, but that’s me. And then we had one of the park rangers freak us out in his car with flashing lights to tell us the park closes at 4.45pm and he closed all the gates.
Not that we were the last. Passed by joggers, bicycles and a woman walking her dog. I never knew the park closed so early but it was dark by then I guess so it makes sense. And all the fancy rails and stuff they had put up, didn’t really stop me getting the kids out pretty easily by climbing the wall and lifting them over.
Originally posted over at G+ on 12/11/2012
Thursday, November 8th, 2012
Kids started their Christmas Lists. I’m not sure what prompted it. But they got home from school and declared it was time to pull out the toy catalogues and start making lists.
When my 8yo daughter Alice finished, she proudly announced she only had 13 items on her list. Santa doesn’t have to get all of them, just some. The list included Friends Lego, Furbies (they have returned from the dead like some cheap horror movie!), a steampunk Monster High doll and other various items. Of course she added more stuff later so the number 13 is not definitive.
My 5yo son Tristan put down as the first item two sets of Skylander collectible cards. A reasonable start. And then he saw the Skylander section. He wanted to put down ALL THE SKYLANDER TOYS and followed up with ALL THE LEGO (including that €100 set because it has DINOSAURS). And that fancy tablet thingy (that’s nearly €200) with angry birds on it and he hasn’t finished going through the catalogue!
But at least he made an attempt to write out the first few items himself (he’s learning the alphabet in school) but then descended into drawing pictures of Skylanders fighting Dinosaurs.
It is just one week after Halloween. It has begun.
Previous draft was published on G+
Saturday, November 3rd, 2012
So I know Halloween was so last week, I did end up doing this thing on Halloween. Over on G+ a fellow gamer, called Uri Kurlianchik, asked for a more fantasy or gothic alternative for Rock-Paper-Scissors. Barely without thinking I suggested Love-Death-Necromancer. I guess it was the season for it.
- Death steals Love.
- Necromancer beats Death.
- Love overcomes the Necromancer.
In my thinking, Love is a fist, Death is a single finger and Necromancer is all fingers pointing forward. But I’m open to suggestions. You can also replace Necromancer with (Mad) Scientist or Vampire if you so wish.
Well what about a five point version? Five point version? Yes, apparently if you watch a show called the Big Bang Theory they have a five point version of rock-paper-scissors called rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock. It has five gestures instead of three and so less chance of tie.
So I thought about it and added two new elements: World and Misunderstood Monster. World of course could be Angry Mob, Society, Humans or Mundanes while Misunderstood Monster could be Outsider, Freak, Alien, Sired Vampire, Undead and so on. Having five points makes the whole thing slightly more complicated, with each element being beaten by two other elements.
The expanded list goes like this:
- Death steals Love
- Death satisfies World
- Love overcomes Necromancer
- Love overcomes World
- Necromancer beats Death
- Necromancer created Misunderstood Monster
- World burns Necromancer
- World burns Misunderstood Monster
- Misunderstood Monster overcame Death
- Misunderstood Monster destroys Love
For Misunderstood Monster you can use a sock-puppet like gesture, where your hand is in the shape of a C . And for World use a palm forward (much like the gesture to “talk to the hand”).
What do you think?
(An earlier draft of this post appeared on G+)
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
Halloween has come and gone. I have to admit, that Halloween is one of my favourite holidays of the year, despite October’s freezing cold and the constant threat of rain. This year it all felt particularly rushed. Even though we were prepared, there was a pile of little things that needed to be done last minute.
Pumpkins to carve, cobwebs to hang, window decorations to re-affix with tape, orange and white witch and skull lights to be turned on… and a costume to be created on the spot. My son decided that he wanted to be a pirate, despite planning on being Spiderman for the last two weeks.
Thankfully found a sailor-like top, a pirate hat I made him a few weeks back and his broken toy sword. Made a belt from paper and Sophie did the face paint. It came out alright I think.
Our daughter went as a cat. She claims it’s original (I counted three girls as cats in the trick-or-treaters this year), but she did design the costume herself. Picking the black clothes, gloves and mask and making the tail from a black scarf.
The one thing I love about Halloween around here is that all the neighbours are on the street. There is a bit of a community spirit you just don’t see the rest of the year. And our estate seems to be quite popular. We had an army of trick-or-treaters. Vampires, witches, zombies, the rubberbandits and a few I had no idea what they were meant to be. Amazingly, of the ones I saw, only one hadn’t made much of an effort: a teenager had a rubber mask on her head and backpack though her friend was dressed as a zombie. In the end we made about 50-60 bags and we were left with about 3.
Our next-door neighbour had a bunch of fireworks and setup on the green. Pretty impressive stuff. Even funnier when a cop car drove slowly into the estate, right past where he was setup, did a U-turn and drove slowly back out, as the fireworks went off above our heads. My son was impressed by the light display. My poor older daughter found it too much with the loud sound.
A good night overall me thinks and the kids got a good haul too.
I was disappointed I couldn’t find one classic horror or family-halloween movie on the TV. No Hocus Pocus, no Halloween, no Nightmare Before Christmas, No Ghostbusters… nothing, besides the regular Wednesday night programming. Netflix too failed. While the kids stayed up later than normal (it is the holidays for them), ultimately we all ended up going to bed early. Everyone was shattered.
Now to detune a bit. Got about a week until the Christmas assault begins I figure. But before the Halloween spirit falls asleep another year, check out this rather cool Halloween short! I hope your Halloween went well.
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
I’m starting a little experiment here today. It has been two months since the last time I posted here and even back then I have been extremely quiet. It seems that G+ (my G+ profile) has hit that magic spot for me and manages to sate the blogger within.
However I’m loathe to let this space die. My wife’s blog (which is also hosted under this domain name), Insomnica Ramblings – My Reality, is doing a roaring trade. So I decided to try and take some of my very informal ramblings on G+ and repackage them and post them here.
I’m not going to just regurgitate what I’ve posted on G+ however. I believe this cross-posting stuff is a crime against social media in general. Instead I have my public G+ posts imported as draft posts on WordPress here. From there I plan to rework them into more fully realised blog posts (or not) on a case by case basis.
So lets see how it goes.
Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
I read lots on my holidays, as you do. But the best book I read over my holidays was actually a non-fiction book: A Non Designer’s Design Book.
I’ve had this book ages. I read the first half of it a long time back, realised it made a lot of sense and then stopped reading because I wanted to assimilate the lessons. Which seemed to really only half-worked, as I never put them into practice. Then on holidays I decided to read it all the way through, re-affirming what I had remembered. But it wasn’t until I read the final chapter on type that it really opened my eyes. My god have I been screwing up layouts for years and couldn’t understand why.
I’ve always struggle with layout to the point where I’ve kinda turned off writing games in public. Seriously, no matter how good your idea or game is, and even if it’s free, if you can’t present it in a nice package, no-one will read it. It was like a creative block. Even though I can draw and I consider myself somewhat artistic, layout just eluded me.
While this book isn’t going to convert me into a super-nifty master of DTP and web design, at least now I can understand why my layouts suck and that means I can actually do it better or at least not so shit. As soon as I finished the book I started mucking around and re-did the logo for my Lost Heroes RPG project (the attached image) just using the fonts I had on my laptop, within a few hours. I much prefer this logo to the one I spend a feck’in age doing. It’s making my layout choices deliberate rather than just guessing/instinct.
It’s inspired me to try and do stuff again. I’ve installed Scribus and it’s not so overwhelming to me any more. This book gets a +1 from me.
(Originally posted on G+ 31/7/12)
Friday, July 27th, 2012
When packing for travelling on ferry overnight, less is better. There is only so many bags you can pull around with you on the ferry.
The overnight ferry from Ireland to France is a honeypot for 3DS streetpasses.
Weddings in the rain are still great.
My 5yo son is a special kind of party animal.
Three or four days of good weather in France is better than a month of okay-ish Irish weather.
If you can loose your sense of time on holidays, it’s wonderful and refreshing.
Don’t have a tooth ache or loose a filling in France during July (everyone including all the Dentists are on holidays)
Having a car when on holidays is a godsend.
In France, breakfast cereals seem to be either for kids or for women on diets. (I miss my weetabix).
Foamed hot milk is not good for drinking Irish/strong tea, no manner how fancy the jug.
Double check tickets. Make particularly important notes of the ports. Likewise check routes.
Conte cheese does not do well driving for 6-7 hours per day over two days in 30 degrees heat. It smells very bad.
My wife really doesn’t like bad smells.
For that matter, kids don’t do well being in the car for hours in that heat.
Also adults don’t do well driving… with grumpy/restless kids… in that heat… for that long … with the smell of rotten cheese… after going to the wrong port for the ferry home.
Smelly French cheese can survive anything.
Repeat: double check tickets.
Unexpected extra time allows you to discover nice beaches in Brittany.
Always have towels. Sand gets everywhere.
While the instinct to get home is powerful, it’s better to wait three days for the next ferry to Ireland than take the next available ferry to UK, drive across Wales and take a second ferry home. It’s not worth it in money, energy and sanity.
Visit the UK. It appears to be a very nice place to visit.
Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
October-November of last year, I got a graphics tablet for my birthday; a lovely Wacom Bamboo tablet. And since then I’ve been learning to use it, going through several tutorials, then finding my own way. It’s actually got me loving doing drawing and and making me want to draw and create. (Warning image heavy post after the cut!)
Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
Apparently I’ve become a morning person. This is something has crept up on me. It certainly wasn’t intentional.
The New York Times has this quiz that determines if you are morning or night person. I got about 21 on the scale. I wake at 6am, every morning, even on weekends. When I get the chance to sleep in, I often still wake up automatically at 6am and then fall back a sleep. It sort sucks. I often get sleepy at 10pm.
The thing is I wasn’t or never really considered myself a morning person. At least in college I used to code well into the night on projects, but these days going past midnight is a big deal. Now my best time is morning time and pre-lunch. This time is nearly completely monopolised by work and on the weekend by the kids.
Which leaves me feeling frustrated when I try to do some of my own projects in the evening. I only get a small window, once the kids are sleep where I can totally focus on my own stuff. I wouldn’t mind being a morning person if I got an hour to myself every morning, but with kids you don’t.
Becoming a night owl isn’t the answer either. I think ultimately – I need more sleep. My, look at the time! ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ