Listening: to the Best Star Wars Playlist Ever.
Doing: Making the ultimate nerdy bucket list. It is awesome and it has so much stuff on it, I had to make classifications and add a legend then filter in Excel.
Eating: I’ve been living on Shreddies the past few days. I’m too lazy to go grocery shopping.
Drinking: a cup of coffee (or 2). My boss brought in a percolator and made coffee this morning. It’s actually quite good! I prefer percolated coffee so this is a welcome addition to the caffeine cache.
Wearing: jeans and my “Eternal Exercise” t-shirt from Glennz Tees via Thinkgeek.
Feeling: only a bit tired. I slept for eight hours last night. Thing is, I’m not really tired, it’s my eyes. My eyes always feel sore and strained from working at a computer all day.
Weather: Partially sunny skies and hovering at just a measly 2C.
Wanting: Maybe some time to work on knitting my dad’s sweater. I was thinking I should finish crocheting my Cthulhu.
Needing: I don’t really need anything. I’m good for now.
Thinking: That it’s sad how rampant sexism and misogyny is on the Internet. Sometimes it feels like it’s one thing after another. Where have all the good men gone? It’s like they don’t exist anymore or else they’re buried under the muck of rampant infantilism and a new casual attitude towards ignorance and intolerance.
Enjoying: Making my nerdy bucket list. It’s something I do for myself that makes me happy and somewhat of a refuge from a world that just seems to be falling apart.
Listening: Went to town last night to run some errands so I listened to The Nerdist Way on audiobook. I also listened to an episode of The Nickercast because they had Wil Wheaton as a guest talking about creativity. I followed that up with Wil Wheaton’s podcast, Radio Free Burrito, episode Thirty-Four.
Eating: Advil, and a handful of root beer jelly beans. I’m not very hungry today.
Drinking: a cup of coffee. It’s Seattle’s Best, I think. I ran out of coffee so I grabbed some beans from the other office trailer. It’s alright. I tried to not drink coffee, and I failed. As much as I like tea, I don’t like it well enough to drink it more than once a day.
Wearing: jeans and my Flash t-shirt from Thinkgeek. I work in an industry (industrial construction) where one can get into trouble, even fired, for dressing up. On a construction site, we dress mostly in natural fibres and basic clothing such as jeans, hoodies, and t-shirts. The “boots on the ground” also wear coveralls. We don’t do fancy.
Feeling: head-achy. I’m not sure if it’s eyestrain or if the infection from my tooth is still lurking about. I’ll have to go see the dentist again. Otherwise, I’m doing alright. I have the next three days off to just relax and nurse my headache and work through my reading list.
Weather: Partially cloudy and 1C with flurries expected throughout the day.
Wanting: to play with my dog. I also want a week-long vacation to the Bahamas or Bermuda. Somewhere where I can get away from the cold and just relax.
Needing: my glasses. I left them in my camp room so reading and working has been a bit slower today.
Thinking: That it will be nice to have three days off to relax and get some errands crossed off my list.
Enjoying: my new D.I.Y day-planner that I made yesterday. I went to Staples and picked up some supplies and also stuff to make my own day -planner. I tried my best to use the calendar app on my iPad, but I just prefer doing some things the old fashioned way.
My biggest goal for 2012 is returning to my minimalist roots. I haven’t talked about it much but the plan has been put into motion. This is a year-long project because I have stuff scattered over three provinces. As of right now I still have the same amount of stuff I had January 1. That’s ok. What I have done is started organizing the stuff I have with me at camp between the usual suspects; keep, toss, give away. My goal for camp is to only take two small suitcases worth of stuff per turnaround (which is about 6 weeks, the amount of time I can stand being in camp without going crazy).
My goal for my stuff in Saskatchewan is to organize all my paper and shred at least 95% of it. Saskatchewan is also home to my Star Wars collection, not to mention a lot of books that I feel can be donated. I also stand by my earlier declaration that I’ll be getting rid of most of my Star Wars collection as well. I packed it up in 2005 after I came home from Star Wars Celebration III and it’s never been taken out of the box. That’s a sign that I don’t really want most of it because I’ve never bothered to do anything with it.
Finally, my goal for my stuff in British Columbia is to organize all my books and decide how many should be donated. Most of the books I keep in BC are my favourite books so I can’t see myself culling too many for the donation pile. Still, if I think about it, I estimate I will donate about 30%.
Tonight I’m going to take some empty printer boxes back to my room and pretty much finish organizing my camp room. I know this must all sound so horribly boring. It is boring, but necessary. I’m going to be 36 years-old in 1.5 months. I have better things to do than go into the future being a keeper of stuff.
Also, today is 11 months smoke free. Huzzah!
Some of you may know that 1) I have a slight addiction to creativity books, and 2) that I’m currently working through The Nerdist Way. One of the exercises in the books asks the reader to list their weapons then assign a number based on skill with those weapons.
I decided instead to use skills from Dungeons & Dragons and see if I can modify them to work in a practical, real-world way. A few of the skills are physical (climb, swim etc.) but I think can be used metaphorically and literally. Each skill is aligned with either strength, intelligence, dexterity,constitution, wisdom, and charisma.
It’s a work in progress but I want to share it so I can receive help and feedback. I’ve played Warhammer but have not played D&D so it’s a learning process. Let me know what you think.
- Appraise - INT - learn / evaluate
- Balance - DEX - steadfastness
- Bluff - CHA - charm
- Climb - STR - perseverance
- Concentration - CON - focus
- Craft (name craft) - INT -
- Diplomacy - CHA - people skills
- Disguise - CHA - make-up / dress / deportment
- Escape Artist - DEX - do-overs / reboots / starting over
- Forgery - INT -
- Gather Information - CHA - asking questions / using resources / engaging others
- Heal - WIS - well-being (physical / spiritual / emotional / mental)
- Hide - DEX - blend in / sociability / identify with community or subculture
- Intimidate - CHA - influence
- Jump - STR - managing and taking risks
- Listen - WIS - listening skills
- Move Silently - DEX - low-key / do one’s own thing
- Perform (name skill) - CHA - confidence / ability
- Ride - DEX -
- Search - INT - seek and find what is required such as information
- Sense Motive - WIS - watch / read between the lies and lines
- Spot - WIS - focus and find
- Swim - STR -
- Use Rope - DEX -
- Wilderness Lore - WIS - connection to self and Nature
- Alchemy - INT - creativity
- Animal Empathy - CHA - ability to relate with animals
- Autohypnosis - WIS - self-control / sticktoitiveness / willpower / discipline
- Decipher Script - INT - higher learning / education
- Disable Device - INT - aptitude for using and understanding tecnology
- Handle Animal - CHA -
- Innuendo - WIS -
- Intuit Direction - WIS -self-reflection / self-evaluation
- Knowledge (name subject) - INT -
- Open Locks - DEX -move beyond barriers / problem solving
- Pick Pocket - DEX - take advantage of opportunities
- Profession (name profession) - WIS -
- Psicraft - INT -
- Read Lips - INT -
- Remote View - INT -future planning and outcome prediction
- Scry - INT -
- Spellcraft - INT -
- Stabilize Self - WIS -
- Tumble - DEX - yoga (heh)
- Use Magic Device - CHA -
- Use Psionic Device - CHA -
(image © Brooks Brothers)
I was asked why I try to dress preppy and why I like preppy clothes.
My style is more nerdy casual rather than truly preppy. If I didn’t work in construction and felt more inclined to spend money on clothing, my wardrobe would probably be 70% classic preppy and 30% nerdy. Right now it’s about 50-50.
On my influence map, I list the Gap and J.Crew as two of my influences. I grew up on a military college campus on the outskirts of the city of Victoria, British Columbia. When I was a teenager I spent a couple years in Army Cadets. This influenced me because 1) I learned to be prepared and 2) I learned to be organized and tidy in my appearance.
What does that mean? It means not wearing inconvenient or fussy clothing, hairstyles, or make-up. It means preferring my zippers zipped and my buttons buttoned to the top. It also means a straight lines, basic shapes, and a neutral colour palette. And of course, comfort and warmth, layers and being able to travel well.
Being a classic nerd and old school geek, I have an affinity for academia and learning. I can’t stress enough that growing up on a military college campus influenced who I am today 100%, especially my love of books and of learning. It probably also explains why khaki, grey and navy blue are my absolute favourite colours to wear. To most people those colours represent the military and discipline. To me, they represent home and knowledge.
I often say that I have gothic underpinnings and that’s true. If I were a classic prep, I would probably wear pastels like pink or green or yellow. I don’t wear those colours with the exception of t-shirts. I wear mostly khaki, grey, black, navy blue, and off-white. I also have a preferred colour palette for general purposes which is made up of my absolute favourite colours; sky blue, a faded union jack blue, maple leaf red, winter white, and sweatshirt grey:
I’ll leave the gothic underpinnings for another day because I don’t want to muddy this essay. I will say that I believe in balance and as much as I love a beautiful blue sky on a summer morning, I also love a heavy, dark thunder and lightning storm deep in the heart of October. I love contrast; shadows and dancing light.
So take the classic collegiate look, mix in some military discipline, layer on the colours of Canada and Britain, and dose heavily with nerdiness and you have my style absolutely. I usually default to t-shirts, hoodies, and jeans but I think in the future I will define my signature style and own it.
(Sheldon Cooper realizing he missed the San Diego Comic Con)
I’ve only been to one convention and that was Star Wars Celebration III back in 2005. I had a great experience so why don’t I go to more cons? Because I find I have no good reason to go to them.
I don’t care about celebrities. I would never pay for a celebrity’s time or autograph. If I’m there to shop it’s usually for something very specific; I don’t like memorabilia or tchotchke. I don’t own a TV therefore I only watch a few shows that I download from iTunes or buy on DVD so I don’t care about Hollywood hype. I maybe go to the movies a few times a year. In a nutshell; I like pop culture but narrowed down to very specific interests.
I do like science, astronomy, vintage video games, sci-fi and adventure movies, tech manuals, books, museums, board games, dice games, graphic novels, computers, and geek culture. I’m a lot like Sheldon Cooper but a bit more well adjusted and not quite so far down in Crazytown.
So why have I decided to go to conventions now? Depletion of geek health. I live/work in a construction camp and this place is barren of geeks and geek culture. I never get to do anything fun unless I go to Edmonton to get my fix and that’s a 5 hour drive. So unless I want to spend all day on the Internet (which I don’t), then I’m really low on options.
One of the benefits of my job is that my shift gives me a week off at a time. That’s why I can try and go to a handful of conventions and not miss work. Next year I want to be with my tribe even if it’s just to hang out and be dazzled by the spectacle. I just want to take in the experience and learn as much as I can. The journey, not the destination.
(Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes @ pure & yummy)
This August will mark 5 years since I came to Alberta to work in the Oil Sands. I realized that since August 29, 2006, I haven’t really indulged in my hobbies or really lived my lifestyle. I’ve moved a lot but I’ve also worked a lot. In between were bouts of unemployment.
I don’t have any incredible plans for 2012 but I do want to nerd it up as much as possible and use my days off to wander past my own borders. I’m going to indulge in a year of conventions and shameless geekery. This is my list of possible destinations:
- PAX East in Boston, Massachusetts
- Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, Washington
- Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia
- Gen Con in Indianapolis, Indiana (same place I was for Star Wars Celebration III)
- San Diego Comic Con in San Diego, California
- Defcon in Las Vegas, Nevada
- PAX Prime in Seattle, Washington
- Toronto Comic Con in Toronto, Ontario
- Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo in Calgary, Alberta
- South by Southwest in Austin, Texas
My wish list. It’s not written in stone and I might change my mind upon doing further research and as the events draw closer. I want a nice mix of tech, entertainment and gaming. Hopefully I’ll be able to attend most of these. I’ll be spending a lot of time in the US so that means I need to get busy and apply for a passport. I have a few more places of interest I want to visit but I’ll keep those under wraps for now.
In other news: The Biggest Winners and Losers of Comic Con 2011; Hacked to Death: A Brief History of Tech’s Most Two-Sided Term; Geeky conventions not to miss in 2011; and Frank Miller Hopes 9/11 Comic Holy Terror Will ‘Really Piss People Off’
I have 4 hours free per night to do what I want. As you can imagine that means deciding what to do is serious business. I’ve come up with a plan for tonight and it includes:
- 5:30-6:00 - Dinner while listening to Information by James Gleick.
- 6:00-7:00 - Read non-fiction.
- 7:00-7:30 - 5K run at the gym.
- 7:30-10:00 - Laundry and crochet while watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Random thing today included reading the Secret Science Club blog, browsing through iCalShare, considering reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, fixing up my Last.fm account, and planning 3 very nerdy vacations for 2012 (NYC, Washington D.C., and London, England).
Also, I have to amend my rule not to buy books until 2013. I’m buying my new Macbook in September so I will be buying a couple books including Mac OS X Lion: the Missing Manual by David Pogue (@pogue). Why? Because I always RTFM. I’m a computer geek; it’s what I do.