You listen to me, Juhzanthepuss. If you ever, ever in your life…and I realise as I’m doing this; it’s not OK that I’m doing this.

Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theatre

One of the things I find most stressful and awkward about parenting is other people’s kids. Other people’s piece of shit, obnoxious kids.

Even as I’m hating a kid, I know it’s not their fault and some of the hate spreads to their parents, who are probably tapping away at their fucking phones and ignoring each other and their kid. Come to soft play so they can get a break and finally nail a streak on Candy Crush or just inflict their string of bad choices and poor judgements on other people for a while. A problem shared, as it goes.

Yesterday was a step too far, though. We took a trip to a soft play place and Tabitha is playing quite happily, as she does. Zipping around in every direction; a ball of energy and impulse. It’s exhausting but joyful to be involved in (like Louis CK, we play with our kid at these things. It’s fun).

Then these little shits show up. If you’ve been to a park, you know the sort. Using their numbers to commandeer the equipment like they’re Napoleon. Little tyrants. They’re sitting on the bottom of the slide so you can’t go down it, like people who put their bags on the seat on the train; banking on people avoiding confrontation so they get to do what they want.

They’re hogging some other bit of equipment and Tabitha’s trying to climb to the top of it and one of them shouts “get off, you scummy girl!” at Tabitha a cold heat washes over me, and there’s static in my ears like a flashbang just went off. I don’t remember the last time I was this angry. I’m still furious as I write this. Luckily I regained focus and Charlotte was talking and I wasn’t screaming.

The absolute worst thing about it all is Tabitha doesn’t have a sense of tone of voice (which might be why she continues to draw on the TV, even in spite of my asking her not to about 1,000 times) so she didn’t even get any of it. That may not seem like the worst, but she seemed to take it that these girls were talking to her so she kept trying to play with them and they were freezing her out and still being rude.

It was so heartbreaking remembering all the bullshit I went through as a kid, and thinking how glad I was to have that all behind me but now here it is, right back in front of me again. And I have this huge urge to protect her from it all, but there’s absolutely no way I can, and even if I could I shouldn’t.

Can she just stay two forever please?


Long grass is to stills as slow motion is to video: they make everything look cooler.

I cannot fit taking photos into my routine at the moment and it’s very frustrating. It’s pretty much my only creative outlet (unless you count programming, which is creative if you’re doing it properly, but getting paid to do it cancels that out) and not doing it makes me feel weird.

I place too much on the hardware I use which puts me off doing it altogether if the hardware I want to use is inconvenient. Really, the hardware is irrelevant (even though shooting a Leica or a Mamiya is a joy and shooting an iPhone is horrible) as long as you get a noteworthy photo. But that’s what I think; it’s not what I feel. I want to always be using my Leica or Mamiya. Stupid brain.

🔗Long Grass

We’ve got a bit of a Mario Kart 8 league going at Buffalo. We almost exclusively play 200cc Mushrooms Only, and it’s getting pretty competitive. We decided to keep an Elo-powered leaderboard going to see who’s doing the best, but we capture a lot of data such as track, weapons, engine ratings so over time we should be able to see who’s best at 200cc, who’s best at Frantic (fuck Frantic) et cetera.

Apropos of almost nothing, these are the current position averages for each track in the game.

Track Player Position/Mean
Animal Crossing Max 2.5
Animal Crossing Jasper 2.714285714
Animal Crossing Charlie 6.285714286
Animal Crossing Mélanie 7
Animal Crossing Hugo 8.75
Baby Park (GCN) Max 2
Baby Park (GCN) Jasper 3.428571429
Baby Park (GCN) Charlie 3.857142857
Baby Park (GCN) Mélanie 5
Baby Park (GCN) Hugo 6
Big Blue Jasper 1.714285714
Big Blue Charlie 3.428571429
Big Blue Max 3.5
Big Blue Hugo 6.666666667
Bone Dry Dunes Charlie 1.75
Bone Dry Dunes Jasper 1.75
Bone Dry Dunes Max 2.666666667
Bone Dry Dunes Hugo 5.25
Bowser’s Castle Jasper 1.3
Bowser’s Castle Charlie 2.5
Bowser’s Castle Max 3.285714286
Bowser’s Castle Hugo 8.571428571
Bowser’s Castle Mélanie 9.5
Cheep Cheep Beach (DS) Jasper 1.166666667
Cheep Cheep Beach (DS) Max 2.111111111
Cheep Cheep Beach (DS) Charlie 3.083333333
Cheep Cheep Beach (DS) Hugo 3.875
Cheep Cheep Beach (DS) Mélanie 5
Cheese Land (GBA) Jasper 1.25
Cheese Land (GBA) Charlie 4.5
Cheese Land (GBA) Max 6
Cheese Land (GBA) Hugo 11.33333333
Cheese Land (GBA) Mélanie 12
Cloudtop Cruise Max 2
Cloudtop Cruise Charlie 3
Cloudtop Cruise Jasper 3.333333333
Cloudtop Cruise Hugo 6
DK Jungle (3DS) Jasper 1.333333333
DK Jungle (3DS) Charlie 2.833333333
DK Jungle (3DS) Max 2.833333333
DK Jungle (3DS) Hugo 7.25
Dolphin Shoals Jasper 1.8
Dolphin Shoals Max 3.25
Dolphin Shoals Charlie 5.6
Dolphin Shoals Hugo 8.25
Donut Plains 3 (SNES) Max 2
Donut Plains 3 (SNES) Jasper 2.666666667
Donut Plains 3 (SNES) Charlie 8.333333333
Donut Plains 3 (SNES) Hugo 9
Donut Plains 3 (SNES) Mélanie 11
Dragon Driftway Charlie 2.428571429
Dragon Driftway Jasper 2.714285714
Dragon Driftway Max 3
Dragon Driftway Mélanie 3
Dragon Driftway Hugo 9.25
Dry Dry Desert (GCN) Jasper 1.6
Dry Dry Desert (GCN) Charlie 2.4
Dry Dry Desert (GCN) Max 2.4
Dry Dry Desert (GCN) Hugo 6.8
Electrodome Max 1.75
Electrodome Jasper 2.090909091
Electrodome Charlie 5.272727273
Electrodome Mélanie 7.666666667
Electrodome Hugo 7.833333333
Excitebike Arena Jasper 1.272727273
Excitebike Arena Max 2.857142857
Excitebike Arena Charlie 3.363636364
Excitebike Arena Hugo 5.875
Excitebike Arena Mélanie 6
Grumble Volcano (Wii) Jasper 1.857142857
Grumble Volcano (Wii) Max 2
Grumble Volcano (Wii) Charlie 2.571428571
Grumble Volcano (Wii) Hugo 6.6
Grumble Volcano (Wii) Mélanie 9.5
Hyrule Circuit Jasper 2
Hyrule Circuit Max 2.3
Hyrule Circuit Charlie 3.5
Hyrule Circuit Hugo 7
Hyrule Circuit Mélanie 12
Ice Ice Outpost Jasper 2
Ice Ice Outpost Max 2.666666667
Ice Ice Outpost Charlie 3.333333333
Ice Ice Outpost Hugo 5.75
Ice Ice Outpost Mélanie 10
Koopa City (3DS) Jasper 1.9
Koopa City (3DS) Max 3.8
Koopa City (3DS) Charlie 8.4
Koopa City (3DS) Mélanie 11
Koopa City (3DS) Hugo 11.42857143
Mario Circuit Jasper 1.5
Mario Circuit Max 2
Mario Circuit Charlie 3.444444444
Mario Circuit Hugo 6.833333333
Mario Circuit Mélanie 8.5
Mario Circuit (GBA) Jasper 2
Mario Circuit (GBA) Max 2
Mario Circuit (GBA) Charlie 3.333333333
Mario Circuit (GBA) Hugo 8.5
Mario Kart Stadium Jasper 2.4
Mario Kart Stadium Charlie 3.2
Mario Kart Stadium Max 3.375
Mario Kart Stadium Mélanie 4
Mario Kart Stadium Hugo 5.6
Melody Motorway (3DS) Jasper 1.25
Melody Motorway (3DS) Max 2.666666667
Melody Motorway (3DS) Charlie 6
Melody Motorway (3DS) Hugo 10.5
Melody Motorway (3DS) Mélanie 12
Moo Moo Meadows (Wii) Jasper 1.142857143
Moo Moo Meadows (Wii) Charlie 2.142857143
Moo Moo Meadows (Wii) Max 3.2
Moo Moo Meadows (Wii) Hugo 3.857142857
Mount Wario Jasper 1.714285714
Mount Wario Max 2.666666667
Mount Wario Charlie 3.142857143
Mount Wario Hugo 8.571428571
Mute City Max 1.6
Mute City Jasper 2.333333333
Mute City Charlie 2.857142857
Mute City Hugo 8.166666667
Mute City Mélanie 11
Piranha Plant Slide (3DS) Charlie 2
Piranha Plant Slide (3DS) Jasper 2
Piranha Plant Slide (3DS) Max 2
Piranha Plant Slide (3DS) Hugo 8
Rainbow Road Max 1
Rainbow Road Jasper 2.25
Rainbow Road Charlie 3.5
Rainbow Road Hugo 10.75
Rainbow Road (N64) Jasper 1.888888889
Rainbow Road (N64) Charlie 2.777777778
Rainbow Road (N64) Max 2.857142857
Rainbow Road (N64) Hugo 5.5
Rainbow Road (SNES) Jasper 1.5
Rainbow Road (SNES) Max 1.571428571
Rainbow Road (SNES) Charlie 2.833333333
Rainbow Road (SNES) Hugo 5.666666667
Rainbow Road (SNES) Mélanie 9
Ribbon Road (GBA) Jasper 1.444444444
Ribbon Road (GBA) Max 2
Ribbon Road (GBA) Charlie 4.888888889
Ribbon Road (GBA) Mélanie 5.333333333
Ribbon Road (GBA) Hugo 8
Royal Raceway (N64) Jasper 1.25
Royal Raceway (N64) Max 2.666666667
Royal Raceway (N64) Charlie 4.5
Royal Raceway (N64) Hugo 8.3
Sherbet Land (GCN) Jasper 1
Sherbet Land (GCN) Max 2.333333333
Sherbet Land (GCN) Charlie 3.5
Sherbet Land (GCN) Mélanie 6.5
Sherbet Land (GCN) Hugo 6.666666667
Shy Guy Falls Jasper 1.666666667
Shy Guy Falls Max 2.25
Shy Guy Falls Charlie 3
Shy Guy Falls Hugo 10.4
Shy Guy Falls Mélanie 12
Sunshine Airport Jasper 1.1
Sunshine Airport Charlie 2.4
Sunshine Airport Max 2.6
Sunshine Airport Mélanie 4.333333333
Sunshine Airport Hugo 4.833333333
Super Bell Subway Jasper 2
Super Bell Subway Charlie 3.111111111
Super Bell Subway Max 3.285714286
Super Bell Subway Hugo 6.571428571
Super Bell Subway Mélanie 7.5
Sweet Sweet Canyon Jasper 2
Sweet Sweet Canyon Max 2.333333333
Sweet Sweet Canyon Charlie 4.222222222
Sweet Sweet Canyon Hugo 8.2
Sweet Sweet Canyon Mélanie 11.5
Thwomp Ruins Jasper 1.111111111
Thwomp Ruins Max 1.875
Thwomp Ruins Charlie 2.888888889
Thwomp Ruins Hugo 6.5
Tick Tock Clock (DS) Jasper 1.3
Tick Tock Clock (DS) Max 2.166666667
Tick Tock Clock (DS) Charlie 2.3
Tick Tock Clock (DS) Hugo 4
Tick Tock Clock (DS) Mélanie 5
Toad Harbour Jasper 1.6
Toad Harbour Charlie 2.3
Toad Harbour Max 2.857142857
Toad Harbour Hugo 3.571428571
Toad’s Turnpike (N64) Charlie 1.75
Toad’s Turnpike (N64) Max 3
Toad’s Turnpike (N64) Jasper 4
Toad’s Turnpike (N64) Hugo 6
Twisted Mansion Jasper 2.666666667
Twisted Mansion Max 3
Twisted Mansion Charlie 4
Twisted Mansion Mélanie 6.333333333
Twisted Mansion Hugo 6.571428571
Wario Stadium (DS) Jasper 1
Wario Stadium (DS) Max 3
Wario Stadium (DS) Charlie 3.25
Wario Stadium (DS) Mélanie 7
Wario Stadium (DS) Hugo 11.66666667
Wario’s Gold Mine (Wii) Jasper 1.2
Wario’s Gold Mine (Wii) Charlie 2.4
Wario’s Gold Mine (Wii) Max 2.666666667
Wario’s Gold Mine (Wii) Hugo 8
Water Park Jasper 1.222222222
Water Park Max 1.75
Water Park Charlie 3
Water Park Hugo 5.875
Wild Woods Max 1.75
Wild Woods Jasper 2.2
Wild Woods Charlie 4.4
Wild Woods Hugo 7.666666667
Wild Woods Mélanie 8
Yoshi Circuit (GCN) Jasper 1.625
Yoshi Circuit (GCN) Mélanie 3
Yoshi Circuit (GCN) Max 3.4
Yoshi Circuit (GCN) Charlie 3.875
Yoshi Circuit (GCN) Hugo 10.33333333
Yoshi Valley (N64) Jasper 1.375
Yoshi Valley (N64) Max 1.75
Yoshi Valley (N64) Charlie 3.25
Yoshi Valley (N64) Hugo 5.5
Yoshi Valley (N64) Mélanie 6

🔗Playing with Mario Kart 8 Data


Went to that miniature railway again.

🔗Miniature Railway

When it comes to first gen Apple products, I’m like Nicholas Cage in Bangkok Dangerous: I have a very specific set of rules from which I do not deviate under any circumstances. Unless of course Apple releases a new product, then I will buy it. I diet between meals. I am a pointless pile of space where willpower once resided.

I can’t really say that a smart watch is something I’ve wanted for a long time. I used a Pebble for a while and, though there were cool things about it, I felt like an utter twat with it on my wrist. Smart watches represent an intimate over-reliance on technology that I find quite gross. Not only that, but they solve a problem that only exists because someone once said “god, isn’t it a pain to keep checking your notifications on your phone all the time?”. Why, yes it is. So, let’s not do that any more. Or, y’know, let’s get a mini iPhone and strap it to our wrists instead. OK.

I digress.

Apple releases a new product that I see straight through, don’t really want, don’t need even a little bit but fuck me if I’m not refreshing the damn store at 8am to be one of the first lemmings to preorder the stupid thing. It’s a good job I got up early; I’ve got to make up a list of plausible reasons for this ridiculous purchase.

Fast forward 4-6 weeks of refreshing my order status page and reading lukewarm reviews penned by people who wore the thing for a day and were disappointed that their friends didn’t suddenly think they were Don Fucking Draper. I wasn’t expecting a whole load. I wasn’t expecting much anyway – I mean my watches in the past have always just sorta sat on my wrist and kept time so that I didn’t have to. If the watch can do that, it’s met my requirements.

One thing I’ve learned from never not buying first gen Apple products is that you set your expectations low. If the thing turns on, you win.

So I’ve been wearing this thing for a week, and the most unsurprising thing is that no-one seems to care. I haven’t been approached like someone who appeared on Hollyoaks for a short arc by some weirdo who’s impressed that I bought a thing. It’s not absolutely crazy.

I don’t think I’m using Apple Watch like people either expect to or are. For instance; there are two scenarios when I will even engage with it: 1. when I want to know the time and I am not already looking at a screen that has that information on it, and 2. when I want to perform a small task on my phone by proxy without expending the enormous amounts of energy one expends when getting their phone out of their pocket. That’s it. I’m not browsing my Instagram or Twitter. I’m not raising or training a virtual dragon (and if you are, just fucking stop it now). I am not even making calls (because I thought it would feel badass but actually it feels immensely douchey).

This limited use case has a couple of side effects: 1. the battery easily lasts all day. Like using it in this way it would go the full 24, and 2. I don’t feel like I’ve wasted a load of money. I wanted it to do two things, and it does them.

And that’s my review, really. If you feel like you’re always flipping your iPhone out of your pocket to read notifications and then spinning your iPhone back into your pocket, this is pretty good at helping you dial back that modern-day gunslinger crap. If you’re interested in knowing the number of calories you burned in a day, and an approximate figure just won’t cut it, this might be for you (also, getting a hobby might be for you). If you’re just too fucking cool and you’re looking for a device to take the edge off that, this is definitely the device for you.

Let’s just settle this now. Smart watches are not now, and never will be cool. The same as smart glasses are not cool and Smart cars are not cool (they’re not), smart watches are just not cool. I wish I could tell you why this is, but I can’t. I don’t care if Beyoncé wears one, she’s the coolest person in the world. She’s got cool to spare. Whilst you are wearing a smart watch, you are objectively less cool than whilst you are not. There may be some residual uncool left on you after you take one off, or it may be bound to your DNA the first time you wear one. I don’t have sufficient data to comment, but there are definitely risks involved.

But I do like the thing. Not enough to take responsibility for recommending one. God no. But I like mine and I’m probably going to keep wearing it. The important thing is if I forget to charge it and I have to wear a dumb watch, I’m not going to have a panic attack. So that’s nice.

Just because I’ve wasted enough of your time rambling without a strong narrative and you’ve probably got stuff to do, here’s some stupid shit this watch does that will annoy you:

  • People can send you little drawings they did with their finger. They play out in real time, as if the person were sensually doodling on your wrist. It is weird.
  • People can send you a series of taps. Do we need to establish new etiquette surrounding taps? What’s that, Lassie? Timmy’s stuck in the well again?
  • People can send you a series of vibrations that represents their heartbeat. When Apple announced this, I was like “kay, that’s a bit weird”, and when someone sent me their heartbeat, I was like “kay, this is a bit weird”. It has become my goal to send someone my heartbeat should I ever have a heart attack. I hope Apple is working on this feature.
  • There are a load of apps that you will never use, but you cannot delete or hide them. This is an Apple product, after all.
  • This device is going to piss you off if you try to use it when you have poor or no internet connectivity. Nothing runs locally on this thing – it’s always nagging at your phone when you want to know something. The latency of Bluetooth and a slow internet connection is going to annoy a load of people. I’m fortunate to live in an area with decent 3G and occasional 4G so it’s been OK but others will hate this about the watch.

I think that’s about it for now. Dictated but not read.

🔗I got an Apple Watch