Life as it is, encapsulated in a few short blurbs about what’s been doing.
• I no longer have a normal workday, which is quite odd for a routine-based bull. I’ve been staying up very late and waking up very late, which will need to change before the end of the month or I won’t see sunlight this winter. Projects are many and all over the place, and I currently manage them by making many-tiered lists and jumping from one to another willy-nilly. When I’ve had enough, I shut down the output but remain open to input from other sources that demand more output. So there’s always some reserve attention and action in the tank. It’s a very different way of doing things from what I’ve done, but it’s flowing along, though perhaps not as efficiently as I’d like. As I’m winding down from my day, the store is just spooling up, which means I usually work at grasping a second wind. It’s not too much to handle, but there are many different hats worn on a given day. My hair sometimes gets mussed.
• This also means that I don’t recognize a normal weekend. It’s sort of like being permanently on-call, which I don’t mind, as I get to make my own working hours on a day-to-day basis. My time management and discipline skills are underdeveloped, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever make the time to work on them. Case in point. But I don’t feel locked into work, neither mundane nor academic, and I’m making absolutely sure that I still have time for creative projects, which I am viewing as essential this time around.
• Currently making my first “professional” website, this one for the Scottish Society for Northern Studies. We’re launching near the end of November, just in time for their 2012 AGM. Almost finished with the first draft, and looking forward to getting this up and going. I’m really very thankful for the development tools provided by Rapidweaver and Stacks, which boast an amazingly generous and creative community of developers that help sub-designers like myself keep producing work without any formal coding training. Since I’ve been in Scotland, I’ve made robust sites for my business and personal use, two for my academic program (still in progress), and now the SSNS as a paid project. I’m learning quite a bit and really enjoying the process. Very thankful, especially to folks like Ryan Smith, Joe Workman, and Marten Claridge.
• Also on the design front, I’ve been making a number of Gamescape-related items, including drafts of new T-shirts and VIP-style laminates for our employees to wear. I’m very happy with the branding of the store and where it’s gone since we revamped in in 2006. A big chunk of this is due to Evan’s wonderful re-imagining of our logo, of course; he’s amazing. From this base since then, I’ve been creating a whole line of promotional documents, media, and online elements to carry the brand forward, and the whole thing has been a great experience and has given me a real education in the process. And it’s some pretty solid, memorable branding that I believe works well for the store.
• OMG Assassin’s Creed 2. Late nights on this spent in Renaissance Italy, climbing things and evading guards and learning about one of my favorite eras through a really gorgeous, well-put-together video game. At the end of the month, AC3 comes out, which is set against the backdrop of the American Revolution. Those of you who know me will also know that’s when I lose my shit. CANNOT WAIT.
• New iMacs should finally be out next week, and my 2006 desktop MacPro is just about to give up the ghost. I don’t currently have the funds for a new behemoth tower, and the new ones won’t be coming out until next year, so on to the next best thing. Really looking forward to having a functioning desktop again. Now if only Apple would get rid of that horrid, distracting chin on the things!
• One of the joys of my autumn has been a subscription to NFL’s Game Pass, which lets me stream every live or recorded game on-demand, on my own time, in HD straight to our big-screen. Heck, even fans Stateside can’t get a deal that good. It keeps me properly Americanized and brings back the thrill of Sundays in the fall. And the 49ers aren’t doing so poorly now, are they? Now we just need Boxing to get with the program, though it will never happen.
• Really, really excited about a few of the new miniatures games popping up recently. Of special note are Bolt Action, Black Powder, Pike & Shotte, SAGA, and Muskets & Tomahawks. I’ve got copies of each coming from the store, and part of my evening regimen involves working out the details of a miniature recreation of the Jacobite action at Inverurie 1745. I’ve recently gotten some gorgeous pieces from Front Rank, who are making the very best and most complete line of Jacobite figures to date, and have been getting them cleaned up for painting. Warlord is also doing a decent job of releasing a ton of material for the 17th century, including some great personalities from the Thirty Years’ War and Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The fact that the former is my supervisor’s field of expertise is a wonderful coincidence, and I’ve got an effigy of Alex Leslie that’s currently in-progress for him.
• I’ve been listening to all things Johnny Jewel nearly nonstop for weeks. Anything he touches turns to gold. Mastermind of Chromatics, Glass Candy, Desire, and countless other projects besides, there’s a ton of free music to be streamed and downloaded on his SoundCloud. Do yourself a favor this winter and slip into something nice and comfy.
• And the point of why I’m here – that little Jacobite database thingy – continues apace. I’ve probably got around two-thousand names currently entered, including all corresponding post-conflict information about them, but there are oodles still to come. The database architecture itself will be commenced this winter and then we’ll be able to begin compiling and collating all of the juicy prosopographic information within. Also by the end of the year, I’ll be submitting my formal proposal to attend next year’s JST conference in Paris, which will be the first time my project will be brought to the attention of the wider discipline.
4x Fakebook Pages
5x Twatter Streams
6x Active Websites
2x Populated Forums
Current crash-courses in:
jQuery, Digital Humanities, Black Powder, oil & enamel washes.