The Account of a Lifetime

May 2, 2013

Happy Go Lucky

I am a happy-go-lucky scamp who’s actually much more bitter and unhappy than he ever really lets on, who gets easily annoyed by other people dragging their heels, especially friends (at length), when opportunity for something more really interesting awaits within easy reach. Wondering what to do with myself has never really gone away. Hence…?

It’s a somewhat melodramatic statement, but in conversation sometimes outbursts like that do get ejected into the midst of the discussion.

Some might say I have a problem. Just one?


It’s not exactly terrifically poignant, but the sentiment is still there. This last few weeks, perhaps this last two months, have been a markedly bright spot for me. And I’m on the cusp of going onto something else – better, worse – who knows?

It began with the trip to London, then the stag-do in Newcastle, then the escapades on Shetland, then some hi-jinx in Edinburgh. And now, back to Stirling… for what? To where? I think it’ll be nice to go through each in detail.

In the meantime, my objective is to more fruitfully use the time I’m otherwise inclined to squander. The days are long, but meaningful activity is sparse on the ground. To whit, I think I shall just fill out this form and seek out gainful time-wasting. I volunteer for this mission, you might say.


January 9, 2013

Demon the Fourth: The Extinction Tower

This evening, I was most intrigued to read this thread over on the Bolthole. Directly, it links to Steve Vernon’s Advice for dealing with a bad review in the context of an author.

The Bolthole, being a place for would-be and fledgling write-y types to congregate and share their enthusiasm, to draw on one another for input, feedback, advice, criticism etc… well, we naturally would be inclined to sympathise. For the bulk of the Bolthole, that basically amounts to ‘imagining the completed, released story’, not really much of a leap of imagination: compared to myself, the vast bulk of folks are actually likely to be published. Some of them have a tremendous output even as amateurs. Wacky, hare-brained or embarrassing fan-fiction isn’t really something that’s to be found in the community.

Nevertheless, always one to see a different (and perhaps non-existent) angle to a conversation, I was reminded rather strongly and in quick-succession of a few thoughts and ‘bad reviews’ I’d had myself. Obviously, they’re not bad reviews: I’ve barely created anything, except any vaguely original thought that’s escaped my mouth – which I doubt there are many of.


August 27, 2012

Sceptic, Cynic, Stoic: Atheism+

I’ve been away this last week. I had some little opportunities to do some travelling and hobnobbing, so I seized them.

In the middle of the last week, I took the opportunity to spend a day out with many ol’ friends in Edinburgh. We dallied at the festival, perused some shows, drank coffee & tea, visited bookshops and all that jazz. Oh, we laughed. How we laughed!

This weekend, I was treated to an excursion to Glasgow to visit the big ‘Collectormania‘ event. There were hi-jinx and escapades and so forth, but largely it was an extremely enjoyable time to just geek out. That is: indulge in geekery, chat writing, chat TV, chat sci-fi and fantasy, to speculate and remember, to indulge and be inspired. It was an extremely enjoyable weekend!

However, perhaps the most endearing outlook of the entire weekend (excepting the acquisition of some lovely new [err, old] Star Trek books, including a long-desired copy of Robinson’s A Stitch In Time) was a brief conversation with an old friend which eventually hit towards the topic of Atheism+ which is broadly dealt with in Jen McCreight’s BlagHag blog posts ( Conception, Definition, Clarification 1, Declaration, Clarification 2, Greta’s Nuances). Suffice to say, it’s enlightening. Perhaps a tad more than that. It bears something of a story. Gather round, sit down, get comfortable. Everyone has tea? I shall begin…


January 7, 2012

Our Destiny Is In The Stars

“Our lives are important — at least to us — and as we see, so we learn… Our destiny is in the stars, so let’s go and search for it.”
– The (First) Doctor

It’s a new year and a new dawn. And all that jazz. I’m a slow reader, I wonder if it’s the eye-muscles being silly buggers. I’d been warned they’re weak, it’d be bloody annoying if my hands fall off.


October 27, 2011

To Be Free

Filed under: A day in the life of...,Reflections,Tea. Earl Grey. Hot — xisor @ 8:30 pm

Ultimately, in life, I don’t particularly want riches. I don’t want complete, utter freedom from poverty. I don’t want never-ending sex, I don’t even want a cup of tea.

None of that is singularly important, it seems. Today I’ve spent the day sad that it’s not yet payday. What I want, more’n anything, is a wee bit of freedom and confidence to simply not be stuck here when I’d rather be…over there.

It’d be lovely to jaunt to St Andrews, to head west or east, to take a day or three out to dash off to London or, hell, to briefly escape to Dundee or to Aberdeen.

I don’t need to travel widely to be happy, I’d rather just not be here. Not even ‘here’ in Stirling, but here, metaphorically as well as literally in the house on this couch. That might be due to my feet being cold and it being warmer upstairs.

To put it simply, I want to have a little freedom to mix things up. Though I have that freedom at the moment, I’m not exercising it. I’m…in the doldrums, as it were. Oh for it to be payday, then I could just go to the pub for a quiet pint, or go to grab a coffee. Or even just go out for a nonchalant wander unworried and without the hassle of ‘not having money’ hanging around.

I’ve piles of books to read, I’ve nowhere to read them in comfort that feels my own. My room’s a prison cell, long since filled with irritation and the reminder of restraint and constraint. My companions are loud when they eat and irritating when they speak or grumble, lacking particular insight or vigour in conversation.

I visited a bundle of friends and the weekend and, crucially, it reminded me of how far from it all it seems here. Going out to make friends here shouldn’t be an issue at all, yet here I am: Sat, bored and irritated, and doing bugger all.

My resolution? I’m going to retreat to my earliest forays into proper literary insight and criticism. Or rather, my first proper non-Star Warsy passion, led by the future-spectre of one Leonard Mead.

To enter out into that silence that was the
city at eight o'clock of a misty evening in November,
to put your feet upon that buckling concrete walk, to
step over grassy seams and make your way, hands in
pockets, through the silences, that was what Mr.
Leonard Mead most dearly loved to do.

From Ray Bradbury’s “The Pedestrian”. I guess I’ll just have to suck up the worry and vexation of this no-money business. Humbug!

December 16, 2010

The Eleventh Semester

Filed under: A day in the life of...,Tea. Earl Grey. Hot — xisor @ 2:12 am

This is indeed a peculiar situation to be in. Here, six years and a few months after the commencement of my university career, I sit in a different uni’s library studying a subject I really should’ve gotten out of the way five years ago.

In studying IT at Stirling I’ve learned a few things. One of them is that even competency isn’t enough to deliver focus. Even confidence and a decided flair/vigour doesn’t sustain indefinitely. To put it lightly, I could do with a bit of a challenge.

I’ve done well so far. My only non-first class grades are from modules I don’t care for, or from items which were delivered late. I shouldn’t be content with this. I’m sortof smiling on the inside, but not far beneath that I’m deeply dissatisfied with the run of things. (more…)

September 3, 2010

The Only Thing He Ever Failed

It might be news to some of you, but it certainly hasn’t sunk in for me. In one week(ish) I’ll be embarking upon the latest of my adventures. I’ll first set forth from St Andrews and the venture happily ‘back’ to Stirling, albeit this time not as a drifter.

Well, not quite.

The Failure of CS

The thing is, way back in high school, roughly eight years ago, I suppose, I sat Higher Computing. I was the only pupil in a good, 20-strong class to get an A. But there was a black mark. I got 11/20 on the AI NAB, the passmark was 12. I felt the marking scheme wasa wrong as a question gave two answers which were (IMO at the time and still to this day) are both plausible (but one, which I picked, is surely more correct than another).

In any case, I failed and I had to resit. I was a good programmer though, so I hope to complete an MSc in IT with an extracurricular avidity for AI. Who knows, could this be a rematch?

I’m quite exhilerated, in all honesty.

In other news

Really need to reconnect with folks on Sanity Lost, feel like I’ve betrayed them by being preoccupied. Baron, I-D, if you catch this are you interested in 4pm GMT onwards semiregular MSN Dark Heresy runs? Got a nice group running (as per other blog entries!), rather fun.

Also got a fair bit of reading done. Not as much as I’d like, but at least some. Too many anthologies to qualify as novels, I’m sure!

I also found £60 I’d forgotten about last night. I’m rich (ish)!

Now, lunch I think…

July 8, 2010

Spectre of the Past: Part V – 2008 & 2009

One Day 12/01/08

It’ll be January and I won’t have exams. Ah, one day…

But, today’s the day of the first exam of 2008. Complex Analysis. Been revising for it and I feel…apprehensive. I almost know most of the stuff, but there’s every chance I’ll wake up tomorrow and know none of it.

Cauchy-Riemann Equations.
Trigonometry and hyperbolic trigonometry.
Buckets of trigonometric tricks
Cauchy’s Integral Formula
Residue Theorem
Singularities & Zeroes
Residues of Simple and higher order Poles
Contour Integration
Logarithmic Deriviatives and Logarithms of Complex Functions
The Argument Principle

Hmm, I can remember most names of parts of the course it seems, so perhaps with a night’s sleep tonight I’ll be ready for 9.30 tomorrow morning to actually sit the damned thing. Hopefully. Maybe, just maybe.

Aha! I knew I’d missed something. Laplace’s Equation, Harmonic Functions and the complex variable itself! Now I should be good to go. If only I’ll actually remember it all. Next two exams are Wednesday/Thursday being Atoms/Relativity respectively, which should be….insane on revising for. Then Pure a week on Tuesday. It begins again, I fear. Perhaps I’ve kept improving, perhaps this’ll reveal itself to be the cost of an extremely happy six months? An extremely bad set of exams? I imagine it weill. But then, my imagination can run wild sometimes. (more…)

April 9, 2010

Another year, another pile

Filed under: A day in the life of...,Books & Media,Reflections — xisor @ 9:20 am

Pile of books! I can barely believe it’s April already, but to help quantify and qualify things, here’s a reading list to keep things up-to-date! I should stress that it is certainly not in the order of reading, overall. Flatland and Lolita were indeed first, but it slips up a bit from there on in. So, read-on…!


February 19, 2010


Filed under: A day in the life of...,Tea. Earl Grey. Hot — xisor @ 2:58 pm

It’s been a funny few weeks. Not necessarily in the haha way, but it has indeed been a little odd.

For one, I’ve finally picked up the reading bug again. Just this past four days, I’ve raced through a fair chunk of Holmes and completely read (nay, devoured) Rynn’s World and 44 Scotland Street. I did something else too, but I still can’t remember what that is, which is a little annoying.

Anyway, on top of all that, I also went to Wellington. This meant two journeys on the Overlander which I thoroughly enjoyed, I do miss my train travelling.

Still, Wellington. What a city. I’m almost completely gutted that I didn’t visit before now. Why hadn’t anyone told me, I gasped, that it was…well, like it is. Christchurch and Dunedin are all very well, but Wellington was something quite different. Maybe I caught it on a good day? (more…)

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