Nate Dickson Thinks...

Small Thoughts for a Quiet World.

These are the things that have been occupying my mind lately. Which is a change, because for most of my life I haven't really thought about them at all. They've just been part of life. But suddenly I'm facing them and thinking about them, and, in between moments of panic and stress, learning to appreciate them.


So, no more sugar, far fewer carbs for me, at least for a while, until I can get my relationship with food under control. Which isn't fun. But there's not a good reason to keep looking back, that's just a good way to be discontent.

So it's time to start looking for new better things. Things I can eat and like.


I have a routine now, more than ever, and out of necessity.

For years my motto has been:

Such power there is in clear-eyed self restraint —James Russell Lowell

But honestly, I've been less “powerful” than I could be because my self restraint has been just enough to keep going.


Music is the thin, vibrating line between me and insanity, many days. Being able to channel my emotions into something, anything, has been a requisite activity. Anyway, on with the post.

I learned that Plex has the ability to create “Smart Playlistsa la iTunes back in the day when we all used iTunes. I never used that feature to the fullest, but I did enjoy it.


For a choice to have meaning It must also have cost: There must be something selected And something else lost. —Nate Dickson

Listening to music on streaming services gives us the fatigue of having everything, but not being able to decide what we want out of the mess.


When writing the Jala Jones stories, I came up with two different ways to do faster-than-light travel in Jala's universe.

These both played a part in Chapter 4 until they were cut almost entirely. But they were fun to write and I didn't want to waste them. So here you go!


David Tennant's logo

David Tennant Does a Podcast With... has a charmingly simple premise: David Tennant interviews someone on his podcast. They chat for about an hour. There are so many podcasts like that, of course. The magic in this one is David Tennant.


Shaving your face (should that be a thing you need/choose to do) is one of those perfect activities to ritualize, because the criteria for success are so simple:

  1. Have less hair on your face than when you started
  2. Don't bleed too much or for too long.

That's it! Success is defined solely by those two metrics. No matter how well or poorly you do the job, you're going to do it again before too long. So you can safely obsess about all the various methods and accouterments, safe in the knowledge that they make very, very little difference.

So I'm going to!


Might And Magic Heroes VII Cover Art

I've played every Heroes of Might and Magic game, and loved all of them except for Might and Magic: Heroes VI, UbiSoft's terrible mauling of the entire game in the service of their horrible Uplay network. So when they released Might and Magic: Heroes VII I basically ignored it. I figured it was probably more of the same.


In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, 'I don't see the use of this; let us clear it away.' To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: 'If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it. Excerpted from Wikipedia Emphasis added.

Once, many years ago, I was on a software development team. One of the younger developers called the lead developer over and asked “what does this method do?” The lead developer looked at it and said was skeptical. “Wow...yeah, what does this do? This is terrible. What is even going on here? Who wrote this?” They used the git-blame feature and discovered, of course, that the lead developer had written it. Once he saw his own name on it he saw it in a different light. “Well, okay, I guess I see what I was going for. Yeah, okay, this makes sense. Yeah, this is really good...”


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