Category Archives: Diary

Entries here are diary experiences of my day-to-day life, like recounting events I was at, and tracking the passage of time on the blog with month-end wrapup posts.

Dread Month 2023

Behold as once more, October rolls around, the internet that is American gets all spooky, and the rest of us can either determine whether or not we want to go along with it or decide we want to be insulted for a month for not liking fun. Yay! Halloween!

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September 2023 Wrapup

Spring has sprung and with it the first thirty degree day since February. Oh, that’s not a hot hot day, but it is a hot day. I sit on that evening and sweat slightly and wrinkle my nose as I consider the wrapup for this month, almost two weeks out from it. Let’s get into it.

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August 2023 Wrapup

Kinda flew by there, or maybe it’s just that when a semester is firing, then I start breaking my weeks into more and more tightly managed little snippets. I think I’m going to have to change when I have snacks, any way, it’s time to get talking about all the great articles I wrote this week and youuuuu didn’t read yet!

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Tricks Month 2023!

Ahah, it’s August and that means there’s nothing up my sleeve – nothing up my other sleeve – but here, on the table, under this hat that is hiding an enormous melon is the theme of tricks month. Tricks! Tricks, fun, chicanery, fooling and duping and the ways of the witty and wagering who ambiguated and disorientate with gesture and guile.

I love magic nonsense. I love magic philosophically and I love magic structurally, I love the way that magic can inform your mind and change the way you treat the world and I love it as a story element, as in, the way that a story can trick you into thinking the things the story wants you to think.

It’s not the same thing as lying.

It might not even involve any lying.

Tricks can be fun like that.

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July 2023 Wrapup!

Do you know that the majority of people who read my blog are in fact, super great and cool? It’s true, I have the analytics. No, you can’t see them. Why would you want to? Don’t you trust me? I’m very trustworthy and can be relied upon to have normal thoughts in my normal brain. I had it certified.

Anyway, it’s the end of a month, and I think it’d be good if you checked through this list of links and suggestions and see if there’s cool content on this blog you’d care about that you missed!

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I Got My Library Card!

And it made me feel silly!

I got my first library card so long ago that it actually referred to me as ‘Master Governmentname Familyname.’ Like, master, what a ridiculous thing. That, you might not realise, is an archaic term used for a young unmarried man, which means that if you’re one of those holdouts going ‘Ah, Talen is secretly trans, but the type of trans he is is a trans dude‘ there’s some contraindicating evidence. Anyway point is, when I was very young, I loved my library card.

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June 2023 Wrapup

June has ended, the time of Queer Pride is over, which means we resume our normally regular scheduled broadcast of Queer Wrath. Please do not adjust your set, we will continue to bang on pots and pans (both the metal object, and the people who are into lots of genders). Pride Month is the month where we party, the rest of the year is when we arm ourselves, you see.

But with that in mind, let’s check out a bunch of stuff I wrote and made this month and why you, you, you, might want to go back and read it, and see the cool things you missed!

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Pride Month 2023!

In the major English-speaking parts of the worlds I’m familiar with (which weirdly, is not Nigeria, despite it having four times as many English speakers as my home country and Canada combined), June is Pride Month. This is because a number of inter-linked corporate interests have been able to maximise sharing economic value by treating England, Australia, Canada and America as if we all operate on roughly comparable time scales and interests. For this reason, June is the month where America celebrates Pride, in the ways America does, and the rest of us are already buying your t-shirts, so your rainbows show up on all our soda cans anyway. Happy Pride! Buy something.

The obligatory response is of course, ‘well, why?’ and not just why do we do Pride in June, but rather, why do we need Pride at all? After all, isn’t homophobia solved and fixed and now we’re just kind of tidying up around the edges? Of course not, and if you’re reading this you know that’s not true, because I am not some general access explainer, I’m the blog of a weirdo who likes board games and anime and has somehow captured an audience just barely larger than a really suspect church congregation. But why not talk about it anyway, in the specific vein of Hey I’ve been thinking about this a lot.

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May 2023 Wrapup

May’s over! We got there, everybody. That’s one more May in the books that won’t be hurting anybody any more. Just eleven more months before you see millenials busting out the Justin Timberlake memes again. It did bring an annual tradition of finding time to make at least one article making fun of Star Wars to run on May the 4th.

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A Hindrance To Writing

The PC that I use to write this blog has suffered an incident the likes of which can contrive to render the production of posts inconvenient and difficult. It is not a serious concern and perhaps by the day after today, it will be resolved (either through drying out, or through the purchase of a keyboard to replace the unit that is suffering the distress). It is not unlikely that this situation will be resolved within a day or two, even though the effect it has currently is particularly frustrating.

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April 2023 Wrapup

It’s a weird relief when a theme month end. Sometimes a theme month is so jammed that I’m glad to have the freedom to post any old stuff I want. Sometimes a theme is so challenging to work with (like, say, romance), that I kind feel like the last few posts are scraping off a very hard surface. Now, I thought that it’d be really easy to make make 30 posts that are mostly just about me, or special, deeply intense interests.

This month did not go as planned.

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Talen Month 2023!

Ah, tis April, and an even month and since I organise things in a particular way because of my particular brain in a particular stage, this is the month I dedicate to Talen Month. This is to say, the month where the only thing a topic needs to be deemed worthy is for me to say oh yeah I love talking about that. It’s a time for very specific silly niche interests, it’s a time to bring up old beeves, it’s a time to abandon what’s contemporary or current and instead reflect on the accumulated construction of mess and trauma and false memories that is me.

It’s really dumb that I need a reason for this!

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March Wrapup, 2023!

It’s funny to me that I know more things that reference the phrase march comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb than I have ever heard the phrase in its own sake. It’s a floating signifier. I think, if you forced me to explain it, it’s a phrase about the sudden shift in the weather at the start of March and then the way it very slowly settles down, which sounds like either a reference to a specific period of time or a reference to a weather pattern that’s very different to me here. Here in Australia, March comes in like Extra February and leaves like Soggy February.

You didn’t come here to listen to me talking about the wet ones, though, you came here to see a monthly roundup of interesting articles on interesting topics that I think you, yes, you, should consider going and reading and now I’m going to present them to you in a sort of ‘list’ form that makes it easier for you to break them down into your areas of interest!

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A Cursed JPG

I am a millenial of a particular age. One of the habits I have is that I am prone to trying to save things. I used to save IRC logs when I was a kid, and it took me a long time to get around to putting that habit behind me when I realised I was saving redundant logs that other computer programs were saving. Discord is a resource I search regularly, checking back on when I brought up other topics with my friends, that kind of thing.

I am circling around the way this story makes me selfconscious.

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February Wrapup, 2023!

Smooch month draws to a close, and with it, I understand, the ending of Winter in America. That’s got to be rough, having a smoochy romantic-vibes event when you can’t go outside because the icicles are forming on the walruses, or whatever happens in places that are cold. My whole life, I’ve only ever seen Valentines day as a thing that happens when the sun is raging high and the beautiful botanical gardens are second only to Places with Air Conditioning to go do something special with someone you care about.

Where was I? oh yes, a roundup of articles I wrote this month and reasons you, you, you might want to check them out!

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Frost Fatales is Happening!

Or at least, it will in a few hours from when this gets posted.

Frame Fatales, if you’re not familiar, is a speedrunning marathon event run by the same crew who run Games Done Quick. It’s still a charity speedrunning event, it uses a lot of the same bumpers and plans, but it’s also designed to be a space to showcase and present runners who fit into the categories represented by the simple premise of ‘women.’ That is to say, anyone who’s a woman, whether trans or cis or gender nonconforming or nonbinary.

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The End of Tweets

Today, at some point after this post goes up, if I’ve timed this right, Twitter is going to close down the system that lets my blog freely create a tweet and post it, without me doing it personally. If you haven’t checked my twitter, which I haven’t been promoting since November 2022, the only thing posted there is links to my blog posts, and retrospring posts โ€” which is also generated by that same system. This is an API – an Application Program Interface. APIs are complicated if you want to understand them but if you just want to be generally aware of what they are, APIs are ways that two programs can directly communicate with one another – the software running my blog and the software running twitter are both bumping into one another directly.

What this meant is that any time I made a post, I didn’t have to think about how to advertise and promote it, it just gets posted to twitter and tumblr (and it gets posted to tumblr in full, which is pretty sweet).

Tomorrow, at least assuming everything is going the way it’s going, that stops.

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Smooch Month 2023 โ€” Blending The Blandness

Here we are, in 2023 and our first! theme month! It’s February, the month of Valentines Day and my dead grandmother’s birthday, and since people are going to be selling chocolates at a discount at some point and TV will be screening romantic media, it’s of course, the best of times to focus on that, in our theme of Smooch Month!

And of course, when it’s Smooch Month, we get to see two particular types of article, which I’m going to try to get out of the way ahead of time: One, ‘here’s what I mean by Smooch Media,’ and two, ‘wow, it’s super hard to write Pile articles this month.’

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January Wrapup, 2023!

It’s not the end of the month just yet. I’m looking down the barrel of the end of the month, and seeing what’s coming in the last week or so, and phew. I better write this month’s wrapup now because at some point I’m going to be helping someone move house and that’s not fun at the best of times.

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Cancon 2023 Wrapup

As I write this, I have gotten home from Cancon 2023. The day started at around 7 AM, then started on the con floor at 8:30, and following that we had to pack down at 12:30 and finally got ourselves on the road at 1:30. It’s now many hours later than that and much of my time has been spent recovering from the drive and the weekend of standing on my two feet and shouting at people a lot. What follows is memories constructed, as best I can, from the notes I took of the time, and the information present to me now.

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2023, The 10th Year Of Press.Exe

Hey, it’s January! That’s an odd-numbered month, which means there’s not going to be a theme here. It’s also the start of the year and there’s going to be a bunch of stuff getting cleared out from 2022 so it’s not going to have a proper theme but it’ll definitely have something… themey.

What’s coming? Well:

  • February is a month of Smooches!
  • April is a month of Self Indulgence!
  • June is a month of Pride!
  • August is a month of Tricks!
  • October is a month of Dread!
  • December is a month of ‘Ween!

Then, each month, look forward to

  • A How To Be article talking about a character in 4th edition D&D
  • A worldbuilding article talking about building my setting of Cobrin’Seil, or building settings in general
  • At most one article on 3.5 D&D, one on 4e D&D
  • Each month I’ll show you at least one article on Magic: The Gathering, where I’ll show you this month’s daily custom cards, and well, we have a big special project for that, which we’ll talk more about soon.
  • An article talking about an OC, usually from City of Heroes, but hey, wide open world.
  • One piece of graphic design for a t-shirt, mask, or sticker
  • A story pile article each monday, with at least one anime a month (loose target)
  • A game pile article every friday, with at least one video a fortnight (harder target)

Each month I’m going to present at the end of the month, a summary of the game dev I’ve been doing that month, which is also going to be built out of articles posted on other social media spaces.



Other social media spaces.

You know, like Twitter, where I used to do this all the time.

I’m writing this back in December, of course. I don’t know what’s going on with Twitter. But I think it’s probably bad, and I think I’m enjoying not having to be on a space that predominantly is known for everyone on it screaming about how bad it is. So what I’m going to try and do going forward is do things like dev threads over on my Mastodon, which lets me do long-form threading with graphics, and search my own history. That’s what I really liked about what twitter gave me. I’ll also be presenting things on Cohost and Patreon to see what the audiences there want to say.

Basically, what you’ll find where:

  • Drafted article ideas where you can comment and give me direct suggestions where I’ll be able to meaningfully engage? Cohost.
  • Threads for showing ongoing progress on projects where I’m primarily taking notes on my own work? Mastodon.
  • Places for answering polls and questions about the game development I’m doing where you get to provide meaningful input into things I’m doing? Patreon.
  • Just the video articles? Youtube!

Each of these platforms is going to do a different job, and that’s important. I need to stop treating you as if you’re going to different sources for content firehoses. What I want you to do is come to my blog to look at the best of my material, and look at those other platforms as places you can go if you want more. This blog hosts articles. Those places are for social interaction, in different ways.

Particularly, this plays into the new way I’m approaching Brainstorm posts. Instead of having each month open with a post explaining that month’s game project, which can feel a bit like an open space, my intention is to present a link to the month’s brainstorming thread on Mastodon. Mastodon serves a purpose that the blog doesn’t necessarily, where it allows for lots of small additions, maintained in reverse chronological order, threaded on one another. At the start of each month, there’s going to be now, a post summarising that thread. This also stops cutting off a bit of extra time, where scheduling meant sometimes a month was more like three weeks of working on something rather than 31 days.

Below the fold, though, there’s some reflection on the history of this blog, why we have ten years of Press, and how I feel about realising this is now one of the longest ongoing projects I’ve ever had.

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The All of 2022 Wrapup

In January, I wrote out a plan for the year. In that plan, I described types of articles I was going to make, and kind of like ‘caps’ on the types of subjects I would write about. I also promised to watch more anime, which was like a threat, I guess. I also mentioned the eventual Avatar update, that would serve to bring presentation on a lot of platforms in line.

Knowing that, then, how’d I go? What were the good bits, the pieces of 2022 that I think, now, you should go back and check out (and I will go back and check out myself when I’m browsing the blog looking for ideas I want to further expand on).

Big, long-term projects included a daily Magic: The Gathering card, released at first on a twitter account every day, and now being posted on Mastodon and Cohost. Those got a set of summarising posts. I also did a podcast with Fox about watching all the Disney Animated Canon movies, which we called the Disney Animated Canonball.

It was also at the start of the year that I stopped using an add-on for the blog called Jetpack. Jetpack let me do things like find out how many hits each individual page was getting, and that formed the basis of what I then, at the end of the year, would list as the ‘most popular’ stuff. It was useful to see what you thought was good here, rather than just what I liked, in hindsight. It sped things up. But I’m not using Jetpack any more, and that means that instead… I had to go through all the articles I wrote, and ask myself ‘hey, is this good?’ and ‘why would someone wanna read this again?’

Which means we’re going to look at a lot of links here.

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Decemberween 2022: Fox!

“Eat shit, love of my life!”

What else could I write about today?

This has not been a nice year for Fox. There’s been some losses and some setbacks, and I try not to talk about other people’s stuff going on in their lives here. Especially since this is Decemberween, which is a celebration. I nonetheless want to bring up that this is a year that has featured some immense challenges for Fox, and I’ve been there watching her coping with them and overcoming them. And you know, it’s trite, it’s a familiar thing, hey, Fox had something hard and I was so impressed watching her overcome it, she’s so brave, she’s so whatever, I don’t mean to dwell on that as if overcoming adversity is something she’s doing to impress me.


This has also been a year of people embracing the term goblin mode and when they do that, they are carrying with them the spirit of Fox, who has been full time goblin for many a year. It’s nice to see people celebrating the urge of someone who wants to huddle in blankets and cause problems on purpose.

And… that was all I was going to say.

I was going to let that go, and let the rest of it be something of a mystery. You know, challenges and all.

Fox is a woman who lives her life on the internet. The fundamental nature of her art is to make, with her hand, on a digital interface. Fox makes code by typing and she draws with her hands. This year, Fox had to confront that multiple pandemic years coupled with reduced mobility had given her tennis elbow and now, her ability to write, code, and draw, are all curtailed and needs to have a set of interruptions. And when your hands become a thing you need to care for, you’re going to be surprised how often you forget that your hands are vulnerable. This year has been full of moments where Fox starts doing something, I notice, ask if she wants help and she realises what she’s doing endangers her hands (that she’s meant to be giving a chance to recover!) and there’s a little ‘ahahah, oh shit’ moment.

This year, Fox contacted the government to make sure they got her status correct. Do you know how big a deal that is? The Australian public support system is so much better than the American ones that you complain about, but also, it is absolutely designed to make you feel ashamed and humiliated and stop using it ASAP. Fox put her head down and made a call to people who she knew were going to make her life harder and…

I don’t know if you can understand how heroic that is.

And I talked to her about it, and she’s okay with me talking about it.

Because Fox is braver than I am and stronger than I am and I am shocked at the things she’s okay baring to the world at times. She’s been learning about guitars, rebuilding server systems, making virtual tabletops, even streamed for a while this year as she tried to get into a particular habit. And all of this while she was struggling with pain in her arms and hands!

Fox is great, and I love her, and every Christmas, I take the opportunity to remind her that she is, and has given me, a gift.

Decemberween 2022: NixiiiE

It’s another Nixie Posting!

Nixie is of course an influence on my work, partly because she’s my adorable disrepectful internet family, but also because this year has featured some super dope Nixie Content.

I’m not linking to twitter, because


Twitter, right now.

But that’s okay because what Nixie has done this year that excites me the most is seizing the pedagogic means of production. What she’s been doing has included amongst other things, learning languages and that includes things like moving, something which sucks at the best of times.

But twice this year, Nixie has come to me to ask my help making a game. And then when I told her methods and tools I’d use, she did that thing that I always love to see: She went ‘okay, I got it,’ then she went and made the game to her specifications.

These games were then cool enough that she showed them to her teachers and those teachers went and told the class about them.

Twice this year, I’ve watched live-streamed performances of Nixie at choir. One of them was because she wanted me to save a video for her, and one of them was because, well… it was her recital. It was a choir performance she did, and she invited me to come watch, so I woke up and sat back and changed my day’s plans to make sure I was there to talk to her about it.

Is it weird to say I was proud of her? I know I clapped at my computer. That seems weird. Oh well.

Now of course, you already knew I think Nixie is great and adorable and sweet and definitely cool. And I’m really laying it on thick here just so I can bully her with reminding her of how wonderful she is. But the point is the longer this article is, the more of it she’ll have to read as she gets more and more annoyed at me.

See, she’s also a good writer, but without the threads to link to, I’m not about to be able to prove it. So that’s why this year, around when Twitter Looked Volatile, I made a cheeky little move to contact her and ask her to give some input to an article I was writing about one of her favourite movies, Air America.

And then, to my amazement, she and I made one of the same jokes in our writing, without any input from one another, and it’s an obscure bloody joke.

Decemberween 2022: Going To Bed Early

I can’t believe what a treat this is.

I have a friend who has been, for a while, tootling away on her trumpet about how it’s a great idea to go to bed early and not stay up late. Personally, I value that time late at night heavily, because it’s time when the house and neighbourhood are quiet, and I can do audio recording safely. Not to mention that it’s a time when I can enjoy the focus of being pettily unmindful of other people.

But now, for some reason or another, sleeping late is hard. Sleeping late after a late night is rarer, and nights of going to bed at 1 and waking up at 7 is a fine way to create a steadily growing sleep debt.

This means that this year, this December in particular, I have been extolling the practice of going to bed early. I feel like there’s a pattern easily seen and even more easily fallen into. You go to bed at 10, with your phone, dick around on the phone and go to sleep at 1. So you the next night think that well, you’re going to be up until 1 anyway, why bother going to bed, and so you stay up out of bed until say, 1 again, and then you go to bed with your phone and dick around for an hour or two, and you push this cycle.


I mean me.

I mean me, I do this. I do this where I sit in my bed, on my laptop, and try to get writing done. Tonight, I’ve put down four drafts and I’m working on this one as well. In the morning, there is work to do, and I’m honestly looking forward to do it, and I want to do it while energised. I want to do it thinking about it and not slogging through it.

And that makes this moment, now, when I close my laptop at eleven o’clock and just turn off the light, head down in the dark, a treat.

A little few hours of sleep, just for me.

As a treat.

Black Friday Isn’t A Thing

I feel the need to let you understand, in a generic sense, that here, in Australia, Black Friday isn’t a thing.

For those of you unfamiliar, in my own country, Black Friday is an American shopping ‘tradition’ or ‘event’ that is fast approaching ‘recognised occasion,’ and it’s the first Friday after they have Thanksgiving, which is to say, American Thanksgiving, which is to say, a single holiday Americans and three other countries have, most of which are directly connected to or heavily dependent on America.

Americans celebrate Thanksgiving in the fourth weekend of November, which means it moves around but it’s late in the month. Then, the first Friday after that, since it’s the first shopping day for Christmas that falls after they’ve recovered from Thanksgiving, stores tend to present sales. A lot of the stores banded together and made an event of it. The name as I understand it comes from it being seen as a plagued or cursed day by retail staff, who would talk about it as ‘black Friday,’ and then oh wait now the stores are calling it that too, because, ha ha ha, huge presses of retail shoppers are the worst.


Anyway, when it comes to American media, typically speaking if they have it and they screen it, we get it, which means we’re treated to American Christmas TV shows, where everyone’s dealing with snow and the like in the middle of what is, to us, Summer. We get your Halloween advertising, and we even get the yearly tradition of someone who’s an adult saying in a public space where people can hear him ‘well yeah, I wonder why people don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the rest of the world.’ Because America is amazing at not realising the rest of the world is a different place.

Despite this, though, despite the fact we do not have a Thanksgiving to be the starter pistol on Christmas shopping and indeed, our stores tend to try and get you buying Christmas junk in like, early November, despite that, our stores have been trying, with very little, if not no success, to convince us here in Australia to attend ‘black friday sales.’

Last year, I was advertised a Black Friday sale at my local mall that did not happen on Friday.

This is a really stupid thing and if you’re wondering why you’re hearing about it, this is why. American media is damp and it moistens everything near it.

Big Pile Of Bookkeeping

I make a point of trying to write about what I’m experiencing and thinking about and feeling, not because it’s some grand pcinriple but because it’s a lot easier and I’m not particularly creative about why I write, just that I write. The result is that when I’m not partaking of much that I think makes interesting writing subject matter (‘not making content’) I tend to trail off about it. Sometimes that’s things that I think ethically, I should not share, like spending a lot of time taking care of my niblings, or students’ work and input.

Sometimes it’s like what happened today.

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