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I remember so many incidences of this happening at school. I loved the teacher, she was strong, forthright, intelligent, and fantastic at teaching. She had this real knack of opening eyes to new possibilities. I never got over the material though. Two particular pieces spring to mind for different reasons. 1) Lord of the Flies. We started this one day and were set as homework to read the next 2 chapters. My curiosity had been sparked by what we'd read in class so when I got home from school I started reading, and didn't stop until I got to the end. It was such a great book. Interesting concepts, a fascinating look at tribal nature. I got in trouble the next day for having read on too far when I unthinkingly offered an opinion on the passage based on something later in the story. By the time we'd spent a month or so dissecting the novel I hated it with a passion. I haven't picked it up since, probably 16-17 years later. 2) Macbeth, the Scottish Play. We ripped this apart for ages, it was one of the texts on the exam syllabus, which meant during our finals we'd have to write an essay about it. We had to be sure that we knew it front to back, left to right. I never once gained any glimmer of interest in the material. About 5 years ago I was working in London and saw that Patrick Stewart was performing as Macbeth in a critically acclaimed version that was running in the West End. I'd heard from a few friends that he was one of the best Shakespearean actors of his generation, so I bought a ticket. Wow. Kate Fleetwood as Lady Macbeth was chilling, shivers ran down my spine as she performed her monologue when she decided she would encourage her husband to do anything, even murder, to make the predictions come true. Patrick Stewart was beyond belief, exquisite, a complete master at work. Words fail me and still do :) The dull, lifeless and boring work became transformed in their hands into a great tragedy that enthralled and enrapt the audience.
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That's fair. Either way it's great to see you being able to work in all the fields you enjoy :)
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I don't bother much with games reviews these days.. they all feel much of a muchness, sadly. There are some reviewers who stand apart but it's become such a blur of trite phrases and saccharin laden dialog it's increasingly hard to find the wheat from the chaff. In the last month I've started reading Rock Paper Shotgun regularly, and I have Ars Technica on my RSS feed for it's technical articles so I stumble across their reviews every now and then too. Mostly I rely on word of mouth, twitter etc to give me a feel for what my friends are actually playing and enjoying.
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Having read for the first time "Just a Geek" last week, and having read your blog regularly for about 3 years, it seems to me almost that when you stopped trying so hard at being an actor and started to focus on your prodigious (I love that word, sorry, any excuse to drop it into a sentence!) writing skills that the normal acting related jobs started to pick up, with increasing numbers of voice acting related jobs coming your way (and other TV roles). If you agree with that view, I'm curious if you've got any theories why? Do you think the death of "Prove to Everyone" frees up your art in subtle ways? Old fashioned time and distance from Trek? Or just one of probably thousands of random things (like producers wanting to capitalise on your geek cred, awesome friends in the trade etc.) I do sincerely love your writing and hope for more fiction from you, but part of me would love to see you be another example of infomercials not killing an actor. You already seem to be making good progress on that too.
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Okay, so doing dialog first makes sense, but my brain can't even begin to comprehend how technically difficult it must be to sync speech with animation when you're dubbing.
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Thanks for the list. Bought "Just a Geek" yesterday and finished reading it by end of lunch today. Helped by your prose that flows (sorry.. had to go for the rhyme there) and the evil traffic of doom yesterday that resulted in a 30 minute bus journey turning into a 2 hour one! For what it's worth I'm still looking for the text editor in emacs.
Toggle Commented Apr 15, 2011 on shameless self promotion at WWdN: In Exile
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I see what you did there.. and I approve. Wonder how many others would spot that reference?
Toggle Commented Jan 12, 2011 on I wear a fez now. Fezzes are cool. at WWdN: In Exile
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Hey Wil, If you're lurking around and got a spare 10 minutes to spare, have you seen JourneyQuest yet? It's a relatively new (4 webisodes young and starting to get its feet) webseries set around an adventuring group, from the creators of "The Gamers" and "The Gamers: Dorkness Rising" http://www.journey-quest.com/
Toggle Commented Oct 14, 2010 on precious and fragile things at WWdN: In Exile
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Wil, a world friendly, free podcast recommendation for you from the BBC in the UK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/trintro It's an interesting show led by one of my favourite DJ's ever, an hour long show showcasing upcoming artists, with the odd interview chucked in. If you like Camera Obscura and such like you'll probably get on with his preferences. Well worth a regular listen to.
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2010 on random thoughts from vancouver at WWdN: In Exile
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Are you coming to Hawaii-super-mega-fun-with-added-sun-and-sand-con? Okay.. I made that one up on the off chance you might visit these fair isles, but doesn't it sound like an awesome convention? Though sun and sand don't usually fit in with the stereotypical geek, I'm sure we could pull it off somehow.
Toggle Commented Aug 11, 2010 on epic wil ... ll ... ll at WWdN: In Exile
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As a *nix Sysadmin by trade, I'm looking with great curiosity at the cloud that's coming. All my experience is in the web industry end of things and that's something the cloud can do very well. Stuff like Google's AppEngine could pretty much replace 90% of my servers (and possibly do me out of a job too), but it is awesome and potentially worthwhile. The downside is that security aspect though. How much do you trust the third party you're storing your data with (and who they're storing it with themselves?) LA started using Google for apps and storage, and whilst Google had to demonstrate the level of security and responsibility for data that they have, LA took out insurance. Which is kinda crap really. "Oh hey, we trust you with very important data... more or less".
Toggle Commented Apr 28, 2010 on Computerwelt at WWdN: In Exile
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The only stand out moment from "Coming of Age" I can remember that deserves at least some comedy action is the mysterious transporter failure. People beaming back and forth from the surface all day, but mysteriously even though the shuttle has barely left the docking bay somehow they can't teleport Jake off it. Oh really? That transporter has to be the worst piece of Deus Ex Machina to have to write around. It's like having a great big "I WIN!" button on your ship, and having to figure out ways to stop people just pressing it.
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2010 on billy bad breaks at WWdN: In Exile
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Ewe-ca-lip-tus leaves? Looxury! When I were a boy Ewe-ca-lip-tus hadn't bin invented yet, nor paper, rivers or streams. Or boats for that matter. We used to gob in the streets to make a puddle of saliva, then try to make a chunk of coal from t'mines float on it.
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2010 on moves by just like a paper boat at WWdN: In Exile
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Saw that film as a 12 year old, many years ago. I swear I will never feel comfortable around clowns for the rest of my life. Nor will I ever forget the sight of his face peering out from the drain. I'm just so glad the UK styles of drains aren't the same as the US ones or I'd probably have had years of psychological trauma from it.
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2010 on moves by just like a paper boat at WWdN: In Exile
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Rivers (natural or artificial) are just made for Pooh Sticks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pooh_sticks. When my wife and I were dating, and I was still living at home in the UK rather than here in Hawaii, I took her to the bridge in Ashdown Forest so she could experience the fun: http://yfrog.com/0aashdownbridgej It's one of my most recurring memories of childhood. Whenever I saw a stream I almost immediately started looking for sticks. Even now thinking about it there is one particular bridge in a forest barely a mile from my parents house that I probably haven't played pooh sticks on for probably around 15-16 years that comes to mind so clearly, the mottled sunlight poking it's way through the gaps in the leaves, the scent of crops growing in the farmers field just a little over the way, the rich and vibrant colours of the bluebells in spring that would cover the bank nearby, and the sounds of the stream as it gurgled and bubbled to itself around tree roots and stones and rich earth.
Toggle Commented Jan 18, 2010 on moves by just like a paper boat at WWdN: In Exile
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I've taken to judging the quality of a live performance based on whether or not I even think of analysing it. If a musician can get me to be in the moment, purely enjoying and listening I consider them a good artist. I've been stunned into insensibility more by the work of local musicians than by big stars.
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I do that routinely, and I'm just a layman. I don't consider myself to be a grammar nazi, but nothing draws me out of a book faster than a badly written sentence or spelling mistake. Once I've been disengaged by something like that it takes me a fair while to get back into the book. Pet peeves * Incorrect usage of sound-alike words, e.g. your & you're. Sure it's an easy accidental mistake, but it should never get past a proof read. * Over use of, pointless, extraneous, and easily avoidable, if you know what you're doing, commas.
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As a fairly introverted person it's entirely in my nature to observe situations, often in fair detail. It's very hard for me to switch that off and just participate. I have minimal writing talent :) As a musician I'm forever running musical ideas over in my head, but I wouldn't say they necessarily reflect the situation I'm in! Also as a musician who's flown sound desks before, it is so damn hard to just listen to live performances and not either pick apart the musicians, singers or PA work. Albums don't tend to be too bad, they're so over-produced these days any criticism revolves around that. Live stuff? It seems that more and more we're seeing people who just have no clue about performing live, and record companies just not that interested in coaching them.
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That is incredible. Congrats to Reader Robin, you rock.
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I wish I had a few more board game playing friends, at the moment my wife and I are friends with just one other couple that enjoy playing games. Favourite (still) is Fluxx (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/258/fluxx) which my wife and I will play together. At it's core it's a simple game. Pick up 1 card, play 1 card, object of the game is to put into play the keepers that match the goal currently laid down on the table. Dead simple. Until the rule cards come into play, whereby you can pretty much guarantee the rules will change from the time you played your last hand to the time you play your next. It can be subtle things like suddenly being "draw 1, play 2", or the always frustrating "first play random" meaning the player to your left picks one of your cards at random for your first play. Whilst there is some strategy in the game, one minute you can be utterly convinced you're in complete control and just one move away from victory, the next some utterly bizarre new rule gets played and the whole thing is snatched away from you. It's even more fun when alcohol is consumed and people start making rule changes for a laugh or just to be utterly evil sods.
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It's not so much how cold it gets, as how cold it is in comparison to the general average. I'm a English guy living in Hawaii. When I moved out here I started off really baffled by locals saying "it's cold!" when the temperature dipped below 75 degrees. The more time I've spent here the more susceptible I've become to temperature changes. Now even I notice when it's dropped below 75, and I used to quite happily walk around in snow with only a light sweater on.
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