New year, same old me.

Nosce Te Ipsum

While many take the opportunity to reinvent themselves at the turn of the year. striving to follow societal norms that are increasingly meaningless. I, on the other hand, look back on the past year, at my trials and triumphs, and try to figure out what I’ve learned about myself.

You see, we don’t need a new ‘me’, we simply need to learn to know the existing one better and be accepting of our talents and limitations, recognising where they can be improved, or stretched.

You don’t need a new you, the you you are is perfect as it is. Get to know it.

Meditation 1 – 15th December 2016

This is the first in a series of semi-regular streams of consciousness and are called meditiations as an homage to Marcus Aurelius and his ‘Meditations’, which I’ll admit I have yet to read.

So I started my fourth decade yesterday, and I can only hope that 2017, my fortieth year, is easier and less eventful than 2017.

This last year has been a bitch, seriously. From all the well loved and renowned artists and celebrities popping it throughout, to the unexpected results of the EU referendum and US presidential election, the world seems to be descending into an abyss. These are sideshows however, and while monumental on a macro scale, have little in the way of impact on my daily life. Events closer to home have tested me more this last year, but I have developed a mental and emotional resilience to allow me to withstand it, and a certain protective detachment that has prevented me from falling apart. It has not been easy or pleasant though, no matter how unflapped I appear on the outside.

I have discovered over the last year that I am more resilient than I thought. I can take whatever is thrown my way dispassionately and with equanimity. I have felt deeply for those around me however, and their trials and troubles have required that I keep it together, for their sake if not for mine.

The love of my life has been, and still is being, put through the wringer this last year. With the universe seeming to pile trouble upon trouble like some sort of vindictive torturer and all I seem to have been able to do is watch. I’ve been told that being there is enough. Simply remaining a fixed point, a constant and unperturbable presence is sufficient, but it doesn’t feel like it. I’m constantly thinking that there must be more I can be doing but I don’t know what it might be…

So I’ve plodded along, carrying normality on so that it’s there for her to come back to. Demonstrating that, no matter what reality throws your way, life goes on for better or for worse, and we can’t let circumstances defeat us, make victims of us, or force us to change, unless we choose to.

There have been a few times in the last year when my strength has been close to faltering and I’ve snuck off somewhere quiet for a sob. I have come to the realisation that giving in, running away and hiding, doesn’t solve anything and has the added disadvantage of not getting anything else done either. If I am to be defeated, then it will not be by the mindless and unfeeling vicissitudes of reality.

It’s an effort, keeping it together, but it is one I’m more than willing to make. Not for my sake, as I’ve already said, but for the sake of those I’ve chosen as my family, and whose wellbeing I value. I do sometimes wonder when I’ll get a break though…

I don’t expect one, naturally. I cannot plead with reality to go easy, it has no concept of mercy and no capacity for compassion to appeal to. I will seize any opportunity for respite when it comes my way though, and will share it with my beleaguered companions. I can only hope they do the same.

M out.

Theme Progress

Work on the custom theme for this blog progresses. As I mentioned last post I’m developing it on an AMPPS (v3.6)server running on Windows 10 and basing it on the Blankslate theme with Fakerpress dummy content.

Just HTML and CSS at the moment to get the layout and typography sorted out and after that I’ll be digging into the PHP of the theme and sorting out template tags. The plan will then be to add some jQuery goodness to get some nice (IMO) UX features.

Here’s a WIP screenshot.
blog-wipIt’s a fairly standard blog layout at the moment, but this will be changing. My plan is to have the navigation at the top display different versions of the loop where appropriate

  • Home will be the main feed of everything posted, the standard front page of any blog.
  • Posts will be for blog posts only and will only display the Posts category. Posts will be tagged with more granular information about the content.
  • Stream will be where my stream resides. Still figuring out how to integrate Twitch with WordPress and I’d like the nav link to have some sort of ‘On-air’ indicator. The stream content will include an archive of past streams and information about scheduling.
  • Articles will be longer form pieces. I’d like to make these WordPress Pages if at all possible, but also have them appear in chronological order as part of the main blog feed. I also need to figure out how to get them to display on their own as posts would on the front page, with all the same information.
  • Merch will be where I’ll be offering things like mugs, t-shirts, etc for sale. This may also act as a showcase for any design work I do, with a mind to making it available as merch. I may have some sort of rating system for my designs so I can see how much interest there would be in merch featuring it.
  • The search box in the sidebar will be removed and the main search will only search within the selected category (Home, Posts, Stream, Articles or Merch) I’ll also be removing the search box at the top of the category and tag display pages and everything will go through the main search in the header.
  • The sidebar will also change content dependent on the selected navigation option and will eventually be hideable with JS.

I have a masthead designed as well:

twitch-headerI’ll be adapting this design in a variety of ways for inclusion on some merch. The motto is latin and says “Amabit sapiens, cupient caeteri”. Attributed to Horace, a roman poet, ~65-8 BC, and translates as:

Wise men love, others are mere lechers

I’ll have more to say about this in a later post or article.

Let me know what you think of the design so far and if there are any glaring issues that jump out. I realise there may be issues for some with the choice of palette and will be looking into ways to provide the option of an inverted version which is black on white to reduce eye strain.

As ever, comments are open.

M out

*THUD* *THUD* Is This Thing On?

Hello there.

Welcome, if you’ve never been to keithneilson.co.uk before, and welcome back if you have.

As you can see there’s not much here at the moment, sorry about that. My archives did not survive multiple moves, and a new PC. You wait years for a HDD to go and then three go at once. Such is life in the chaos that we call reality.

This was a blog about EVE Online, and it still will be occasionally and possibly tangentially, but it will mainly be about whatever is floating about in my head at any given time. I’ll be transcribing my Moleskines, or selections from them, to this site, and my attempts at poetic expression will also find a home here. I’ll also be writing randomly on a variety of philosophical subjects, expounding my worldview, and putting forward some thoughts on how we all could be better at being better. Discussion is always welcome, but my word is law and when I put my foot down, I mean it.

This will also be the portal to any streaming I may be doing in future. I have an idea for a streaming project that I’m researching at the moment and this will probably kick off in the new year.

I will also be posting some of my design work, and merch will be available through a to-be-selected print on demand service and occasional mercht.com campaigns.

The design is looking a bit too minimal at the moment, sorry. I’m currently working on a more personalised design for the site. I’m doing this on a locally installed AMPPS server and starting with the Blankslate theme and Fakerpress to fill it with random content.

I’m at the stage of laying everything out and getting the look the way I want it before messing about with what goes where and whizbangy jquery doo-dads. It’s not quite screenshot ready as yet, but it’s getting there. I do enjoy pissing about with HTML and CSS 😉

I’m eventually aiming for something responsive, but I may just cheat and install a plugin that does it for me. This will mean that it’ll look different on a phone, but should look the same on a tablet in portrait at least.

Comments are open, say hi.

M out