Weak excuses for not blogging

  • First and foremost, this year isn’t really providing stories to tell.
  • While I love the book I’m reading (Tales by HP Lovecraft), I’m just not getting through it. Usually, I only read before going to sleep, and at the glacial pace the stories unfold, you get there very fast.
  • I have not been struck by enough motivation to go through my archived links for another episode of Listmania, which is a very easy way to come up with some content.
  • Fifa 2003.
  • General laziness combined withe burden of being this old.
  • I’m still confused about what to make of Microsoft’s latest attempt to not break the already broken interwebs.
  • Too busy obsessing about trivial stuff like this graphs. (full versions available for a limited time.)
  • The same reason I had to do two loads of laundry yesterday: sometimes I just couldn’t care less.

On my evil nickname

About eight years ago, I was in need of a new alias . The nickname I was using until then was easily misunderstood, quite lame and, for the lack of a better description, totally ‘not me’. After test driving some options — including the über-lame ‘Free Willy’ — I finally came across the one I still use today while watching The Simpsons.

It happened during the credits at the end of one of the “Treehouse of Horror” / Halloween specials. The whole staff was credited with some ‘scary name’, like “Diabolical Dan Castellaneta” and “Sort of Frightening Sam Simon.” And buried somewhere in the middle, I see (something like) “John ‘Evil Nickname’ Doe”.¹ It was one of those light bulb moments.

As a nickname, it has turned out to be perfect: it’s has proven to be unique, very evil and tr00 (for those places where not having a nickname like “GrimNecroDeathDealer” or “Punisher of Puppies” if frowned upon), yet non-offensive and witty. The only downside I have so far encountered is that people tend to drop the Nickname and just call me Evil, which kinda goes against the whole not-having-an-‘evil’-nickname-that-looks-evil scheme I was going for. You win some, you lose some.

Anyway, that is the story behind my nickname. What about yours?

  1. As I found out today, ‘evil nickname’ does not appear in any of the Simpsons’ Halloween credits. The closest thing is “Matt ‘Scary Nickname’ Groening”. I’m sticking to my story. [back]

For I’m a jolly good fellow

Age, they say, is nothing but a number. As of today, the number is 28.

And since presents seem to be an integral part of the whole birthday-shenanigans, here you go.

Exception to the rule

Every year, I have the same problem: people ask me what I would like for my birthday. Every year, I’d be damned if I knew.

Indeed, it’s a luxury problem and hardly worth breaking my pretty head over. I just take it as an indicator that I’m not doing too bad at all. And that’s good enough a present for me.

If we would know

Earlier tonight, I was watching the documentary Als we het zouden weten. It’s about the neonatology department of the UMC Groningen — the intensive care for children that are born too early — and the decisions and questions about life and death they have to face there. Can we decide for a very small child that the quality of life is so low it isn’t worth living? What is quality of life, for that matter, and should that be left to doctors to decide? At what point should you stop treating an incurable patient?

Having witnessed such a situation from the sideline (the son of two very good friends was born 13 weeks too soon) made it lot harder for me to watch this documentary. There is no sense of disconnection, it isn’t a ‘far from my bed show’ (as we would call it in Dutch), it just hits and hits and hits. You can’t help but imagine that it isn’t some anonymous kid lying there. Which makes me appreciate the tough job that those doctors and nurses have to do even more.

Update: you can now watch the documentary online (in Dutch).