I've been playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf with Tabitha. Everyone in my town was mad that they haven't seen their mayor for two years. I'm guessing they weren't too thrilled when I showed up, gave a load of money to my daughter, picked all the fruit and sold it, fished all the fish and sold them, caught all the bugs and sold them, dug a load of fossils and sold them, then added a couple of wings to my house.

One resident was so miffed, he moved to Tabitha's town almost immediately. A foolish move, since nepotism is almost always hereditary and we can probably assume that she's going to run her town in the same self-serving and negligent way that I've run mine.

I appear to have reached the part of my life that involves becoming obsessed with something for a short while, researching it, looking at endless photos, watching videos, trying stuff, then moving onto the next thing. So far, I've covered:

  • Key organisation (I think I've completed this one)
  • Pens (ongoing)
  • Knives (this one sucks a bit in the UK)
  • Torches
  • Cameras (ongoing)
  • Keyboards

I love learning about new things. Especially when there's a point I can get to where I'm happy with the knowledge I've accrued and I can move onto something new.

I feel like the next thing is going to be ways to prop my phone up for whatever reason. Lots of quarter-inch screws, cheese plates, and tripod leg stuff.

Parenting is what you make it

Parenting is what you make it

The prevailing memories of my youth are related to video games.

I'm going to be streaming again for a bit. I'm having so much fun with Hades, and the gameplay is so mad that watching back things I'm stuck on is really helpful, that even if when no-one watches it's worth doing.

The only mic I have right now is my Zoom, but I do have a lavalier that works with it so I might be able to get some decent audio. It's kinda jarring when I'm in a menu making a decision about some options but all you see is a frozen UI. Other than that it's probably just a lot of swearing. I don't like watching overly-chatty streamers, and I am not one.

Every now and again I'm like "I'm going to get into streaming", then I forget why I'm doing it or who I'm doing it for, or I stop playing the game that made me want to do it.

If watching me play video games appeals to you for whatever reason, you can subscribe to my Twitch and get notified when I'm playing. I have no schedule; I just play when I feel like it. I'll also upload my broadcasts to my YouTube if you want to skip through them and watch me suck. There's honestly no other reason to watch.

Christmas Day Walk at High Tide

Christmas Day Walk at High Tide

It's become a tradition for us to walk to Saltdean on Christmas day to take some bags to the charity dropoff.

Jeffrey Lebowski listens to audio tapes of bowling matches and now you, the discerning keyboard enthusiast, can listen to typing sounds on some delightful mechanical keyboards. Not into vinyl? No matter, you can also listen on Spotify.

Keira Rathbone at Paxton Glew

Keira Rathbone at Paxton Glew

Keira Rathbone draws pictures with a typewriter. Yeah, I was pretty intrigued too.

Disco Elysium will make a killing if it ever comes to the iPad.

But they'll probably bring it to Apple Arcade and I'll never play it because I'm sick of companies wanting an amount of money a month from me.



It's been ages since I took portraits but Maddy needed some for an interview that she did with Vectornator.

Getting creative again

Getting creative again

Been in such a creative slump lately. But trying a couple of new things like soldering/building keyboards at least passes the time!

This country, honestly.

I've been playing Supergiant's new game, Hades, this evening. I like it very much, but then:

  • Dungeon crawler; ✅
  • Roguelite; ✅
  • Supergiant's art style; ✅

It's checking boxes all over town.

I saw some nerds whingeing on the Steam forums that it was an Epic store exclusive for a while so people should boycott it. Is there a more pointless way to expend energy than boycotting a video game because it didn't release on your storefront first?

As someone who fastidiously organises their music collection, I'm all-too-familiar with the notion of centralised libraries, but using anything more than absolutely zero energy on porting console fanboyism to PC is just ridiculous. I already have GOG and Origin so what difference does one more pointless launcher make? I swear the only reason for this particular axe-grinding is the fact that it's Epic, and Epic makes Fortnite, and whining, entitled, 'core PC gamers resent the filthy casuals flooding the platform with their filthy casual game that features socialising and dancing, and not realistic gun sounds and shooting people's faces off.

Sometimes I absolutely get why people don't take gaming seriously as a pastime, and it has nothing to do with the medium.

New Macbook Pro runs Windows 10 and games pretty well. The fans seem to come on at low temperatures, which makes the whole thing sound like you're gaming aboard a busy aircraft carrier, but games seem to run well: reasonable framerates, resolutions; minimal tearing. It's all making me itchy for one of those new Xbox Elite controllers. Dear Santa...

Apple has added more security stuff, which is good. The implementation of it is… not so good. In software design there's a temptation to dump difficult decisions onto the user in the guise of a 'settings page'. With Catalina they've gone for the 'flood of dialog boxes' approach, all telling you something about System Settings with buttons that imply they're going to show you the thing they're on about, but actually don't

Aegir feeling the pain I felt a few weekends ago, installing MacOS Catalina. The implementation of the new security stuff is an atrocious nightmare. I think it's the first time I've ever shouted at a computer in a non-gaming context. The stupid app wants to do a thing - open your settings, then spelunk through a billion menus to make sure you enabled each thing the app wants to do dialogues make me so angry, and the solution is so simple. All they need is an accept all button on the dialogue, and a view all to make it so that you can find everything the app just asked to do. Hopefully it'll be improved in future versions because right now it's an expletive-inducing hellscape and I want no part in it.

Whilst we're at it; just let me install apps. Tell me that it's new, and check that it's something I definitely installed, but don't make me go and find the security options to enable an app I just went to the effort of installing. I don't care if it's an unsigned developer or whatever. I installed it; let me run it.

Number of times the unsigned app alert has been for actual malware that I don't want to run: zero.

A cat's life

A cat's life

This lazy brat didn't move from this position nearly the entire day.

I switched to using Gboard as my phone's keyboard. Apple's swipe keyboard is OK but the fact that they censor swearing is so Apple annoying.

It has all sorts of things a teenage boy such as myself wants in a keyboard: GIF search, emoji search, it predicts what I'm going to say but it's hilariously wrong 100% of the time.

Previously I didn't want Google to have access to everything I type in my phone but they're going to get it one way or another so I might as well have a half decent keyboard.

This website is, and always will be, a backup to my advice to clients to just get something live. For some people, Getting It Live is such a huge blocker, psychologically, that projects can drag on for months before going live. Everyone ends up frustrated at trying to tweak something until it's perfect but guess what! I have put well over 100 websites live and they are never perfect. But. Guess what number two:

It doesn't matter.

  1. Websites aren't carved in stone. That's one of the best things about them
  2. Software is never perfect
  3. You will never trust something that is perfect first time

Number one is obvious. If something is broken; push a fix. Easy. Number two is a little more nuanced. But look at your app store updates; Facebook pushes an update every other day. They have some of the smartest minds in the world (I know; what a waste) working on that software, but it still needs updates?! Because software is made by people, and people aren't perfect. If Facebook is willing to accept that, it's probably fine for you to, as well.

And finally, and most importantly. So important that it gets its own paragraph. It is impossible to trust something that is right first time. I have been making software for nearly two decades, and if something works first time, I break it just to make sure it actually ran. Read that again. When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all. If a tree falls and no-one's around to hear it, did it make a sound? I'm serious here; it's impossible to trust something you haven't seen fail first. It's the fundamental principle of test driven development. If you didn't watch your tests fail before you started work, why did you write them in the first place?! Invent scenarios to break your ideas. You are your harshest critic, and that is a huge asset. Scrutinise your ideas, and try to defeat yourself.

Get your thing live. Above all else. Get it live. I cannot stress this enough. Get it live. Just do it. Get it live. It might feel wrong, and you might be worried, but it will help you realise that "done" is better than "perfect". "Perfect" is unattainable. Strive for it, but don't be imprisoned by it. You will know if it could go live. If it can do the one thing you need it to do; get it live.

The best piece of advice my dad ever gave me was that you start learning to drive after you pass your test. To contrive that to serve my point: your software can only reach its potential when it's live. You are not your users, so don't pretend you know what they want/need. Give them the best thing you can make, then let them tell you how to do it better.

Today is our eleventh wedding anniversary. Charlotte's currently asleep because she's had a brutal headache all day. It's payday so my being sat here alone has lead to buying games and planning mechanical keyboard builds. Nintendo has a pretty decent sale on Switch games at the moment, so I got:

  • SUPERHOT this has been in my backlog for so long. I was right to be intrigued by it - it's very satisfying to play. Thought it'd be good on Switch but the gyro controls aren't that great. Breath of the Wild's are better. Even Ocarina of Time on the 3DS is better. Still fun though. I think it'd be better with a keyboard and mouse but it's 2019 and KBM is no longer cool.
  • Shantae - Half Genie Hero I've wanted to play these games for ages. They remind me of Aladdin on the Mega Drive, but they always seem to be quite expensive.
  • OlliOlli these are the best skateboarding games (outside Skate 2 which is just ridiculous. Skate 4 is when?). Platforming, skateboarding, twitch controls, big combos. Yes please.
  • Jamestown this is one of my favourite games of all time. I love SHMUPs and Mars as a British colony being contested by the Spanish is a ridiculous setting for a SHMUP.

I also ordered one of these RG350s. I am an absolute sucker for the games of my youth, and I'm constantly in search for a console that I can throw in my bag to pick up and play them whenever I want. Basically, Streets of Rage is the best game ever and I want to always be able to play it.

This week's been rough and I'm glad that it's over. It's not thanksgiving here, but I don't need a colonialist holiday's permission to be grateful, and I am very grateful for friends this week.

I always eat worse when I can't exercise

I always eat worse when I can't exercise

I am dreadful at taking a break from exercise, the older I get. If I even do it at all, I start to eat terribly.