Why is your blog so ugly?

For those of you who visit my blog (semi-regularly, I guess), you may have noticed my blog has gotten suddly ugly. This is becuase I’m in the process of learning to write WordPress themes for another project, and this was a handy blog that I could play with.

Yes, I’m well aware you should never test on a production site.

Yes, I’m also likely to regret it.

~BX

A Chance Meeting

It had been a busy day. She swung herself on to the bus, and flashed her electronic ticket. She caught herself in the drivers mirror, and gave the work-weary woman that looked back a tired smile. He ran her fingers through her brown hair trying to pull it’s unruly strands into something resembling a smile. Her brown looked back at her, and she gave her reflection a resigned shrug.

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The Jara23 Midwinter Anthology 2016

If your wondering why this blog has been a little slow (I mean, is anyone still even reading this?), it’s because I’ve been busy working on a new project, a small e-publishing house.

For the last 3 years we have produced a Midwinter Anthology, and this year we have stepped up our game.

The Jara23 Midwinter Anthology 2016 is now available on Smashwords, and on Google Play.

We have Twitter: @Jara23_Press

And of course Facebook: Jara23Publishing

And your standard website: http://press.jara23.co.uk

Go and download it, it’s FREE!

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Why Trump (and Brexit) Won the Election

Many people are now trying to work out why Trump won, and for those in the UK, why on earth a country that gets more money in support from EU would vote to do with out it.
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Mediatomb and the PS4 – how to get it working

If, like me, you’ve spent a bit of time being annoyed that the ps4 doesn’t play all the file formats that you would like, there is now an easy way of making it all work as you would like.

These instructions are for Linux.
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Care Spoons

A long time ago, I read an article by Christine Miserandino about Spoon Theory. By now, pretty much everyone has heard of a paraphrase of her ideas. It explains how people with hidden illnesses run out of energy much quicker than people without them. You can read a cached version of her article here

Recently, it has occurred to me that people in the caring profession have a problem that is analogous, that I would like to call “Care Spoons“.
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Your Life Goals are not My Life Goals

Life is not Monopoly.

Monopoly is the kind of game where you get to pick a little model, a dog, or a top hat to represent you, and then everyone takes it in turns to move around the board. Success is measured in only one way: Money. Funny Money. The one with all of the money at the end wins.

Life is not Monopoly.

There is a tendency in modern society for everyone to assume that we are all playing the same game. That we all have the same win condition. That everyone’s win condition(s) are the same. Family, Money, Children. That these win conditions are what everyone should be compared too.

People are tricked into believing this, because like so many MMO’s, we are all playing on the same server. We can see everyone else’s character, and we are all stuck by the same set of game mechanics, rules, and laws. For many people, this means that we must be all working to the same set of win conditions.

It is this frame work that mean that people feel that it is necessary to point out how far ahead of the ‘game’ they are to all those around them. Look at me, I’m winning.

“Your Job earns 15K? well, yes, mine only gets me 21K…”

The problem is that we’re not all playing the same game. We’re just in the same world. My goals, are not your goals. We might have the same set of achievements available to us (Get Married: Achievement Unlocked, Get a House: Achievement Unlocked…), but that doesn’t mean that we all want them.

The best analogy here is that we’re all playing different character types. You’re playing, say, a Money Grabbing Bastard, and I’m playing, say a Filthy Hippy. This means that sure, I can Get Married, and get the bonuses that go with it, but they don’t have as many bonuses for my character. In fact, having money isn’t going to get me as much life XP as it would for your Money Grabbing Bastard. You can also get the achievement “Went To Glastonbury, and do not remember”, but you wouldn’t get anything out of it.

The problem with the Media, with Television, and with the appearance of popular culture is that everyone is playing Basic White Male as a race, and Money Grabbing Bastard as a class. Except that we’re not. In the last update, the worked out that gender is predominantly irrelevant to most achievements, and so is race. Our Character Model can (and should) look however we damn well please, because that shouldn’t stop us from getting the most important achievement “Happiness”.

Society would be so much better if people were just honest about it.

We’ve all had conversations where we say things like “I’ve just got achievement X, I’m so psyched” to have someone respond with “Oh, yeah, but I got X, then Y.” generally in a dismissive term. For them, they are far ahead of you in the game, and they are showing how much better they are at it. What they fail to understand is that achievement has a completely different meaning, and requirement for your Race/Class/Goal combination. If everyone just realised that, when someone shares their achievement, it’s because from their perspective, their character, their goal, it’s a big thing, not a challenge, not an attack, not a test to see who’s winning, but simply wanting to share with a friend their achievement, and everyone just damn well celebrated the world would be a better place.

Life is a game. It’s not competitive. It’s generally co-operative. Sure you can play it competitively, but mostly your playing against yourself, or your own imagined competitor. Even those who seem to be playing the same game as you, are playing a subtly different version, with different difficulties and side-quests.

That’s why someone gives up a career to live in Borneo. That’s why someone else works in a job they hate. They are playing a different game.

We can help each other, we can show other people cheat guides. We can give in-game money, support, and products to other people. We can show them the routes we took. We can give them all the advice about the things we’ve learned. For some it will help. The core mechanics are the core mechanics. We can’t however demand that they chase our goals, because that’s not their game.

If you are one of those people that believes that this game of life has only one set of goals, one set of win-conditions, and are instant that that’s the game everyone should play, stop it.

Seriously, Stop It.

Your ruining the game for everyone.

~BX

Being Me.

It’s interesting to me how many status I see posted by people I know declaring how they are now doing this new thing with their understanding of themselves. Be it coming out as Gay, Trans, or perhaps a new tattoo. All of these things are to be commended. In fact, I think that each and every one of them is stupendously brave.
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The funeral Of Big Bad Jon.

Many people have been asking for the text of the funeral for Big Bad Jon.

Here it is, at least, the plain words. I have added to the book in RED the parts of the book that I said, or the ad-libs that I remember. They may not be all correct, the day was a bit of a blurr. It doesn’t contain the feelings, or the laughter, or of course the tears.

The funeral was written by me entirely for the occasion*.

Funeral (Jon Scholes)

And here’s Jon, doing the sacred dance:

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Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino

This was originally posted on www.butyoudontlooksick.com, but that website is down as at the time of writing (22nd November, 2015). I found that the original article (quoted below) was difficult to find, and rather found many people praising, or paraphrasing the article. In order to ensure that this incredibly important piece of information is kept, I have copied it in it’s entirety from the cache. This is not my work, all rights belong to Christine Miserandino

The Spoon Theory

by Christine Miserandino (http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/wpress/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/)

My best friend and I were in the diner, talking. As usual, it was very late and we were eating French fries with gravy. Like normal girls our age, we spent a lot of time in the diner while in college, and most of the time we spent talking about boys, music or trivial things, that seemed very important at the time. We never got serious about anything in particular and spent most of our time laughing.
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