Mar 10, 2015 - We've moved again!

So, let's see if this thing works at all...

I'm getting a bit fed up with the server going down a lot recently.. which seems to be Wordpress' bulkiness just being that bit much for the (in all honesty, aging) server. So lets start migrating away from it as best we can.

First up, bye bye Wordpress, and hello Jekyll. Jekyll is a static site generator... feed it some stuff and it'll spit out html based on templates and things. Nifty. I was just using Wordpress to basically log in, type some stuff, and leave it alone for a while... I stripped out Apache, stuffed in nginx, and various caching things to make it all run faster as the generation time for the pages was getting a bit much.. now, it's all static. There's no reason for it not to be static, and technically never was, so yay! Bye bye Mysql as well! Of course, I still need to edit the posts and create new ones.. so, let's move the site over to github, and host it from there, with images elsewhere.

No, seriously.

The blog is now on Github.

Not everything has been sorted out yet, and this likely won't be live on the main domain for a bit, but those who poke about will at least see this and understand what I've done and why.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed using Wordpress.. but it's a bit overkill for me to type stuff now and then, and have it constantly regenerate pages for little reason. Just eating processor time for the sake of it, really.

The Badgers site will be moving to Jekyll as well, and probably the same setup, but that'll take a wee bit longer to sort out.

Dec 30, 2014 - 2014 in review

The past year has not been kind.

The losing of pets and family, school incidents, car damage, and fights with the council for new housing have quite drastically taken their toll to the point that this Christmas just hasn’t had that Christmassy feeling to it at all.

Business-wise, it wasn’t too bad… the Badgers finished a two-part contract that helped pay for a devkit… and to reimburse myself with the credit put in to the business to help pay for my Mum…
We also released Grim!
Not that it did very well, but small starts and all that.
Incidentally, Grim is now free, so if you haven’t got it yet, go grab it from itch or desura.

I’m also somehow still employed at YoYo Games – even with the being in-and-out of the office most of the year to deal with the various disasters and incidents that have unfolded. I have nothing but thanks and respect for them in allowing me to deal with everything. I do, of course, make up the time lost by working from home any way I can… it’s only right, after all.

Thankfully there is but one more day before 2015 arrives.

What will 2015 bring?

New EU VAT laws for certain.. which has put a hold on my plans to sell directly from the Badgers’ site and build up a community. That wasn’t expected. It’s also the reason why Grim is now free, as I just can’t be bothered to deal with it all just now. I’ve more important things on my mind, than scouring for new VAT compliance measures. However, it looks like the standard of going through a well established portal is going to be the best option.

Hopefully another game or two from the Badgers.
Don’t know what the next one will be at the moment, as the choice is amongst four.. but I’m planning on doing some tests in January to see what comes out best.
One game I absolutely must do, is the remake/sequel of Germies. My Mum played that a lot, and still sits on the top of one of the leaderboards. I can’t not dedicate the next version to her memory. It would feel wrong. I also need to get it on the Wii U somehow, as she would have loved that.

Hopefully a new house as well.
Currently we feel very cramped in our pokey little flat. While the council are adamant that “Children under 10 can share the same room” .. we’d like them to think about the horrors we’ve gone through that we’ve had to give them their separate rooms, and squish our bed into the living room. It seems to fall on deaf ears though, so will just have to start siphoning off a deposit from the wages. Might take all year to build one up, but that’ll just have to do.

And finally, better health.
I’ve had enough with illnesses and things this year.
I’d like to wish better health for everyone.

Dec 9, 2014 - Mum

It’s been just over a month now since my mum passed away.

I still feel numb about it.

When our guinea pigs passed, I was fairly quick in writing up a little bit about them; about the joy they brought into our lives – even Ragnarok, having had him just a few days.
I was able to fairly quickly sort out what I wanted to say about them, how much they had meant to us, and a bit about their little characters that shone through.

But for my Mum?
It’s not something you expect to write. It’s something you know that’s going to inevitably happen, but when it’s as sudden as this; you’re lost.

My Mum passed away in her sleep at the tail end of October.
We had just been to visit her a few days previous, to attend a craft show in Glasgow.
Other than her usual array of illnesses, she was in fine form – darting about the SECC and disappearing if you turned your back on her for a second as she scoured for crafty bargains.
If there had been any indication of something wrong… we’d have stayed there and made sure she was alright. But there wasn’t. There was no way of preparing for it. And that’s probably what hurts the most.

My Mum was an amazing woman.
She had to fight hard for what she had – either through circumstances, or through illness. She seemed to collect illnesses, with COPD, Asthma, and Fibromyalgia to name a few, but none of that stopped her from getting on with things.
My sister and I never wanted for anything while we were growing up. If there was a means to get it, we generally got it. And as ill as she got at times, she always managed to be up first, and have our breakfasts ready before school.. and our packed lunches too, if we wanted them. Considering she’d walk down the hall, get half way, and forget why she was walking down the hall in the first place, this was quite a feat.
But this stubbornness of not being put down due to circumstance or illness gave her so much strength… and this was channelled into her amazing craft work.
She’d do everything from cross stitching and tapestry work, to candle making, decoupage, sewing, card making, whatever… chances were if there was some form of crafting, she’d have looked at it or done it.
She did the wedding invites for both my wedding and my sister’s wedding… all beautiful hand made cards.
However there were times when that stubbornness was perhaps a bit too prevalent, as she was caught carrying two plastic storage shelving units onto a bus from town, with her stick… and at 61, with all the illnesses she had, that was quite silly of her, and I did get her into trouble for it! And then ended up getting her another couple of shelving units next time I was down… perhaps it was a sneaky ploy on her part?
We also found out that she’s been sitting on the top of the leaderboards for Germies for quite a while as well.. she kept that hidden from us!

And then there’s the giraffe…
The last weekend we stayed with her, she was wearing a giraffe onesie, and went out to her veranda to have a cigarette. This caught a few “jovial” chaps off guard while coming back from the pub, to which they exclaimed, “There’s an effin’ giraffe havin’ a fag!” which my Mum likely just smiled and waved back at them for. Having that fun sense of humour she had.

From the funeral and after service, it was made clear that my Mum thought the world of us, and spoke highly of us to anyone that’d listen.
She was proud of me and my sister, and our respective families. Of how we’d grown, and how we’d got through our own challenges in life.
I want to do her proud, and make the memory of her proud.

And I will.

I miss her terribly, and it all still feels so raw. But she wouldn’t want me sitting about doing nothing. She’d want me to get on with life. She’d want me to do well. And as much as there’s a lump in my throat as I type this, I will.
And I will do her proud.