Zero Seven

My daughter's Oil on Canvas

Over the years, I have written a lot about my issues with weight. Only now am I beginning to grasp just how much I’ve been fixated over the wrong things. Diets are pointless, I have concluded. Fasting, paleo, all of this bollocks is taking away from two fundamental truths that relate to my life. If I eat too much, I put on weight, so I need to exercise. It does not matter what it is, and it does not matter when. The fact remains: if my calories in exceed the calories out? DOOM. Learning to understand where those calories come from and stopping myself from exceeding a set number has been the single most significant part of becoming the fittest I’ve been in my entire life.

The best thing I ever did on this front was be gifted the Fitbit Surge that is now pretty much permanently on my wrist. It’s prevented Asthma attacks, it tells me how much exercise I actually do and won’t lie, and it gives a motivational goal that simply did not exist before. The heart rate monitor is now proving to be the means by which I can finally eat what I want and ensure I’m doing the right kind of exercise to keep the weight from going back on. Exercise is only so good if it targets the right bits, if it actually pushes your body to burn fat. Having begun to learn about what the numbers mean on my various Apps and programmes? I feel more empowered, and I’m grateful that I can organise my life around gym sessions and exercise generally. Also, I’ll be honest, not playing computer games nearly as much as I used to is a distinct advantage on that front.

I know that my way of working is clearly having an effect because Mr Alt has bought a Surge for himself this week. I look forward to explaining to him just how awesome a bit of kit it is :D


Geosynchronous Wanking


Okay, had enough now. Time for a good old fashioned brain dump.

I get the whole ‘you’re in your space it’s your rules’ thing that happens on Social media, because I’m there right now preaching this like it’s truth, until the voice at the back of my head that wants to interrupt does just that. Most people assume that not only is everyone basically the same in terms of social behaviour, but that women and men will react to stimulus in the same fashion. It’s just not true, and anyone who believes that should watch the above GIF on repeat until the notion sinks in. That’s two ends of a scale that includes so much variance and subtlety that you will never, EVER understand everyone’s reaction, and it really is not worth trying? Probably not. Oh, and before you start on gender roles? I actually identify more with the Male Orgasm as demonstrated, and not all the flapping (I SAID FLAPPING). So there.

Many decide to react to someone defining terms by immediately pushing the boundaries in an attempt to garner a reaction. I’ve watched a number of people do this in the last week: I’m going to make my feelings known about this in a general sense and then we’ll actually see who’s listening. When people don’t get the reaction they’d hoped? Then the problems start, because if the intent was to start a fight and someone turns up and agrees with you? Where do you go? Very few people will ever have the confidence to directly name and shame a person if they feel their words are wrong, unless they are prepared to back that up with a pretty solid argument to boot. It’s odd that confidence only extends so far: you can get angry, but you won’t follow through. Is it because as human beings we can’t actually feel confident enough when we can’t see a reaction? It doesn’t stop a determined and viscous subset however who will taunt and abuse for all they’re worth, resulting in the only option being blocking and muting.

At what point does someone stop being irritating and start being destructive?

Over time, you will build a picture of a person via social media in the exact same way as would happen with a real person. Except with the virtual you don’t have to worry about BO, flatulence, bad breath or indeed any of the irritants that can often hamper or disable casual acquaintances becoming friends. All you get are words and reactions. It’s often not the big issues where it becomes apparent who you mesh with and who’s to be avoided: it’s the times in-between when people aren’t sharing the collective highs and lows where the cracks begin to show. Then you have a choice: just let the issues ride, or take the person out of the equation. It’s not like you have to work with these people, right?

Well, that’s not 100% true. Some of them may well be people for whom you’d benefit being seen to at least be around, even if you don’t 100% agree with them. And here’s where that whole being a dick thing needs to be reiterated, because even the most decent people on the Planet have the capacity to be wank sometimes. It is human nature that often decides to forget the bad/good in a person, and simply highlight the quality it wants to focus on more. Some people actively play on the ‘I’m a dick but you love me, right?’ mentality and although that might be a benefit at certain points in your life? Eventually even the most tolerant of people are gonna lose the plot.


I’m not a tolerant person right now. When my capacity for understanding is low, I know it’s just easier to walk away than try and deal with the issues, but then they never get solved. Watching other people set their stalls in social media this week and then have others challenge this is all well and good, but then both parties need to decide what actually happens next. Mostly, expecting somebody else to make these kind of decisions for you is, quite frankly, laughable in the extreme. Yes, you can be accommodating and understanding, but if other people choose to publicly ridicule you for this, what’s your position then? Are you prepared to stand and fall by your actions? Really, does any of this actually matter one iota to begin with on a larger stage?

Mostly now I think it is funny, this notion that if you say the right things and use the right combination of factors or simply scream NOTICE ME SENPAI that you can even in some tiny, insignificant way, control the Internet. Mostly it’s looking at the people who decide  ‘I’m going to take this very private act of thinking and do it really publicly right in front of you because I fucking well can, and you can’t stop me’ and realising that, for some people this is roughly akin to actually pleasuring themselves in public. With an audience, with the means by which they can milk ever second of pleasure from the act, with no though of the consequences of their actions.

Put it away, people. Keep your brains fit and healthy, sure, but if you keep doing this you’ll be utterly desensitised to the experience of normal relationships and never be able to form a worthwhile one again. Mostly? Think before you open your mouths, and read carefully before you press Tweet.

Okay, better now.



Sometimes, you make a judgement call and wonder if you did it right.

A lot of my business right now is talking to other people, and in gaming terms that *should* mean streaming. Except, live TV has a lot of potential pitfalls, which is what in essence Twitch and YouTube are selling to a generation. You have to be there first, and now. Except actually? You so don’t. It isn’t about immediacy for a lot of people, they need the time and thought to consider the stuff that’s being thrown at them.

In that case, first is a positive disadvantage.

I realised at 1.30 am this morning being first is largely pointless when all I’m talking is crap, or all I’m covering is the same shit everyone else does. The world doesn’t need more people like that, it demands more reasoned approaches, especially with the speed news can change in the modern world. Part of me doesn’t want to be the popular choice any more, or the Name du Jour that people will remember now but forget tomorrow. Mostly, I don’t actually care about that side of things at all. I just want to do what I do best, which is write. Not Guides, or Databases, or websites full of pointless crap that becomes irrelevant after X months. I am aiming for a living, breathing journey that is honest and challenging with every step.

Mostly, I’m not going to be sucked into a life I do not want.

This weekend’s been one of the most emotionally challenging of my entire life, and absolutely the last thing I’m about to do is throw myself into a new way of working that forgets what I’m fundamentally here for. I live for the words, not the images: I am imagination, not demonstration. That should be left to those who do it better than me, and I have no desire to even go there. I remain a commentator, and in this case I will take the mantle of Correspondent, with the occasional aside to the live and current. Mostly, I will sit and reflect on the present as I see it and how that will affect everything I do.

Mostly, I’m too old for this shit.

The Revolving Door of Stupid


This week, there has been a lot of stupid in my social media.

What amazes me, and continues to do so every time I hear a story about someone being ‘stupid’ on a sharing platform, is the notion that people think nobody talks to each other. I hate to break it to anybody who believes they can be a dicksplash of either gender, but eventually if you’re continue to be a twat assuming there will be no consequences? People will find out. If you do enough stupid the Venn Diagrams of interconnection will overlap in such a way as for it to be impossible to escape your own dumb. What makes all this so much worse is the innocent people who get caught in the middle, those who will have experienced the stupid in isolation and simply put it down to ‘one of those things’ before moving on. So many people could just do without this kind of stuff in their lives.

Yes, I know people encourage these situations, I’ve seen the dirty whispers and asides in my timelines too. I see you, rubbernecking over there as each new social accident rises and falls. It’s not big or clever to be the person who’s got an answer for everything. That’s why I wonder if it’s worth talking about what I see on any given day, because there are those who’ll accuse me of the exact same thing I’m telling others not to do. Mostly, I do this in attempt to learn something about myself. How do I perceive all this? What can I learn from the series of events that will make me a better person?

Slowly but surely I’m chipping away at the sculpture that is my feed, removing lumps and bumps to make a better representation of what people really are. Trying not to be swayed by pictures and assertions and waiting to see how individuals react when they think nobody is looking. That’s when the genuine character of a person inevitably surfaces. Not the big issues or the major discussions, but in the quiet times between the chaos. That’s always the best time to make your judgement calls. The people who ask if you’re okay when you’re clearly a bit grumpy. Those who turn up with naked pictures of your favourite Bond actor ^^ The people who apologise when they think they may have offended you, when they’re simply being overcautious. I see the good souls, and try and remember to make the point to everyone who is being great just the way they are.

Mostly I just try and learn. Some days it’s good, others are not. I’m not trying to make myself out as anything I’m not, and I’m conscious of people watching what I say and do sometimes for the reactions I give. Most day I’ll participate but there are those when I just don’t want to. Not because I have nothing to say, but because I don’t want to share. The trick with social media is never to give everything away, despite sometimes wanting to do just that. Learning limits is probably harder than being honest, if truth be told.

I wish more people would think before they post.

Sad Inside


Some days, the World makes me sad. The biggest problem, on reflection, isn’t everybody else either. It’s just me. Everyone else is enjoying what’s going on and happily just living in the moment, and I’ve picked up something that isn’t right. The problem is, because the vast majority of people clearly believe that what’s happening is great and fun and totally correct, there is automatically no wrong to be found. They all fit into the scheme of things without thought.

I can’t do anything without considering consequence.

It’s not always been this way, but I know now what happens when I don’t think, and allow myself to wander into situations without appropriate reflection. Bad stuff happens, REALLY horrible things that upset people and ruin friendships and often destroy the most important thing of all you can hold with someone else: trust. So, you make a judgement call: do you do something, or do you not? This morning there are two completely separate issues that have irked me, and having spoken to the wisest person I know right now (my daughter) she hits the nail on the head: you don’t make other people unhappy because you’re not feeling included. Let them do their thing, and enjoy what’s going on, and you go do something else.

Let someone else be the villain, not you.

The thing is, I know if I said my piece there would be people who agreed with me, but there comes a point in every situation where it isn’t about that assertion at all, this does not matter one iota. Pointing out fault is only worthwhile if you think someone will understand, for starters. You’re far more likely to not get what you want and potentially alienate the person you’re dealing with. If it’s something important, sure, but when its abundantly apparent the situation’s hardly life threatening or world changing? Using the same skill set for everything eventually breaks down. There has to be a degree of subtlety in approach, something I really struggle with. The last few days has shown that my outlook doesn’t mesh with a lot of the people who read me on some quite fundamental points of contention. Learning how to deal with this is hard when you never learnt those skills as a child.

Here is the bigger problem for me, and why I’m sitting here close to tears, because I grasp I am basically lacking in humanity I suspect most people carry with them without a thought.

When you grasp your social ability is lacking, what do you do? Is it easier to put a label on yourself and blame that? I could very easily play the introvert card here and justify everything around that. I could do what my family has tried to do in the past and find a syndrome or a disorder to try and categorise my depression and bluntness. But I know the truth: I am just what I am because this is how I chose to deal with the world for so long. I didn’t care about others thoughts and feelings, and I simply decided not to think about consequence. There is no excuse for being selfish, no means by which you justify your arrogance. You don’t even try.

Here is where the words end up saving me, as they always have, because I’m what I have become by choice. If I’m going to atone for a lifetime’s worth of arrogant dismissal because I couldn’t actually find the balls to address my own feelings? Then you have to look at everything as it happens, and learn to reassess the situations when they arise. Mostly, you have to find the means to communicate more effectively, which is what I’m now doing. Because what would have happened before is simple: I would have walked away from these situations and the resentment I didn’t make my point would fester, and then eventually it would explode. I’m done being angry at the world, because it won’t do what I want it to. Now I’m going to be different, and make the anger into something constructive.

It will change me into a person who understands tolerance above righteousness.

Mostly, I look at what I’ve now become: a role model. I didn’t ask to be one, but as a Mother that is now what I am. I’m always Bad Cop in my household too: I know both kids love me, but their father’s always the one who gets approached first for things, is the easier one to sway when they need a cash sub or the latest thing provided. I understand that if you’re going to give children an accurate sense of balance, there always has to be the dark and the light. Except some days I wish that NO wasn’t the answer nobody wanted. Sometimes, to stop and walk away is actually a better choice than simply throwing yourself into everything, and I understand now this is the lesson that I never fully grasped until well into adulthood.

Just because you can have everything doesn’t mean that you should.

In the end, as a human being, being single-minded in your pursuit of an ideal is ultimately a path to self-destruction. The only way you temper such endeavours is with pause and reflection, and in this modern world is is often very easy to ignore the warning signs, when someone is heading down a dangerous path. Today, I realised for the first time that this isn’t something that diminishes with physical age. Just getting older doesn’t mean you get wiser, you actually have to work at that too.

Some days, walking away is the best thing you can do for everybody.

The Last Post


The old cliché will remind you that ‘you’re only as good as your last (insert thing here)’ For someone who writes every day, that can sometimes be a bit of a millstone, but what seems to happen for me is that people remember the last fuck up you made, or the last contentious moment you were a part of. Actual quality goes out of the window, and instead you’re peppered with the splash-back from your own efforts as they ping-pong their way around other people’s social media. It’s no big deal, when half the people I know are following me on Twitter never actually read my work, they’re just there for the occasional meltdowns.

I am aware of the people who actually read. I can count the 45-60 people currently devouring my Bond fiction, pretty much daily, for instance. I never stuck it up on my site to garner a massive audience, I wanted to see if there was an interest in my words outside of gaming work. I know it’s a good story, and it’s become my test bed for the possibility I could publish something myself and people would buy it. It’s also become a way of refining editing processes and my own writing style, and to say it’s a learning experience would be the mother of all understatements. So much good has come from this 47,500 words, mostly the fact I can put to bed my disquiet about how the Bond Franchise has moved since Skyfall. Because for all the posturing that’s happened about making the Franchise better than it was, it’s still basically about a misogynist who kills people, which is not a metaphor I’ve ever really wanted to be a default in anything.

At least in my mind I know there’s a better way.

Right now I’m writing two posts a day on the Gaming site during the week with a single post a day on weekends and it’s working quite well. I still only pull in ~1000 hits a day, which is nothing in serious site terms, drop in the massive ocean that the game I write about inhabits. However, there is fairly major milestone approaching.


All things being equal, I will hit one million page views sometime this week. That’s a big deal, despite the fact that at least a proportion of that will have been spam. I have no idea how to judge what was legit or not, but after nearly seven years of blogging I’m going to take the victory regardless. Because a million hits on the Internet is still nothing, just a bit more volume than the drops I normally create. What it does prove that eventually, everything adds up.

I’ll mention it when it happens, and then I’ll move on, because however much I’d like to think I’m popular and successful, I am only ever some of that at odd points. You only stay where you are by hard work, and I need to keep plugging away to make progress.

Every day still remains a School Day.

Black and White World


When you decide to stick yourself anywhere where it is possible for someone to be critical of your outlook, there are personal consequences. Mostly, it is the very real understanding that people are likely to challenge you, and you’d better be ready to stand by your argument. Being confident is only half the battle: belief has to exist, that what you think is actually what matters. If you don’t someone will find you out, sooner or later, and however good you believe your memory is, it’s never as good as your fiercest critic. So, there’s a choice to make. Stand or fall, argue or walk away.

Mostly, you need to decide what kind of world you live in.

I know I can’t keep everyone happy, and I’d be a fool to try. Mostly I take counsel from a group of people who I know are going to tell me the way it is: if I’m out of turn, I know they’ll tell me. This isn’t about ego massaging or making it what I want to hear. If I’m a twat, they won’t sugar coat it. I’m very grateful for this, and it gives me the confidence I need to stand on my own. I realise just how lucky I am, too. Don’t think for a moment that I don’t. That means that if I’m happy with my outlook, I will defend it, and if I choose to stop arguing? It’s not because I’m not willing to continue. Mostly it’s because I’m confident the other person stopped listening.

I don’t do black and white any more, because life is far too complicated, and if you think that your answer is the only one that matters? It’s not, just the same as my view is only one of hundreds, thousands of others. Just because I expound does not make it right, or the only solution. It’s because I can say what I want as everyone else can, and stand and fall by it just as they will. It doesn’t make me right.  The only things I know with 100% certainty are my name and my biological designation. Everything else has the potential to change, based on circumstances both within and beyond my control. That means I need to be prepared to change, even when the possibility actively petrifies me.

That’s why I cycled across the Golden Gate Bridge on a tricycle. That’s why I did a water slide on my holiday when I was physically shaking both before and after. That’s why I will learn to swim, and I’ll start streaming my game time, and 1001 other things that actively push me out of my comfort zone. Because the other 100% certainty in my life is that I die, and before that happens, I need to feel I lived every moment well and with a sense of purpose, and to do that I have to be afraid, and I need to be scared, or else things just never get better.

This weekend will be remembered for many things. All those who lost their lives were doing what they enjoyed on a Friday night: a concert, a football match, eating out with those they loved. We do not allow terrorism to dictate our lives, and we must not allow fear to consume the possibilities our lives present. People will not agree with me, and I won’t agree with them, but we can live together, if both of us are prepared to compromise. Sometimes this is possible, but for many there is just no other way. It is either black, or white, and there is no other path.

I am not one of these people. I wish more shared the understanding that true enlightenment does not begin with an intractable outlook, but I cannot change them, just as they will not make me decide there is only one way. There are many ways, and all of theme are valid if you can justify them within the confines of your own existence.

Mostly, I am never always right, and never wish to be, however much I might lament this fact at a distance.

I like what I am, and I hope I can get better at doing that before I start being an advocate of anything else.