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Rotten Circuits Below are the 32 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Ian Hatch" journal:

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April 23rd, 2014
09:00 pm


Last Delivery
Olivia Raymond Buchanan is a fantastic name.

Try it out. It's got history. Dimension. Class and warmth, culture and mud. It's a name that embodies the breadth that I feel my family history contains, and that I try to live up to in my own life, empathizing with people of all walks and trying to walk the line that is best and fairest for as many as possible.

It belongs to my late Grandmother, who passed on Monday night; but it's not the name that I knew her by. She had a special name for family, the confusing and endearing acronym MOG: "Mummy, Olivia, Granny". The pseudonym held so hard that it wasn't until I was an older child - somewhere in the six- to ten-years-old range, that I became aware that "Granny MOG"'s name was actually Olivia.

It even works for my own kids - we just changed it so that she's "Granny MOGG" (Great-Granny).

It's difficult for me to imagine what to write about MOG. In my earliest memories of her, she was my nice Granny with lots of interesting books and toys, at whose house there would often be arguments and I'd usually get chocolate that would make me vomit in the car after we left. Later, I realized that the relationship between my Mum and MOG was tense, and on talking to Mum I found out that there were a lot of ways in which Granny MOG was an awkward person to be family with - especially to be a child of, but also to be a friend or partner to one of her children, or a close friend to her herself. Like me, she was headstrong and liked to argue, and like me at times, she had no sense of how she affected other people - whether by arguing with them on a sensitive topic, or by refusing to share the work of the Christmas dinner, despite a new spectacular catastrophe each year (which could never have ruined those amazing spreads, excepting that she blew each tiny failure into a disaster of its own).

She was a deeply caring person. Everything *mattered* to her, especially the feelings of others, even when she couldn't read them. She was always devastated to find out that somebody was upset with her, and that it was her own fault. As the years went by, her responses changed, from lashing back to breaking down, and it became a lot easier to be around her - it's easier to be around somebody who admits fault than someone who redirects.

MOG was always, always popular with newcomers. She was a charismatic, friendly and polite lady who looked perpetually twenty years younger than she really was, and she *always* had an interesting story, because she lived a fascinating life, globetrotting with my Grandfather Ivan, who died before I ever had a chance to know him. Her adventures as a Nurse, a Teacher, a Mother and a Wife were some charming, others exciting, others still heartbreaking or revolting. I wish I could remember a nice one to write here.

I think that I, personally, got the best that there was to get out of MOG. I enjoyed her company, and her work as a painter. I am frank, and that allowed her to be frank in return - we have had some incredible conversations over the years, about God, about death, about people and about values, and she shared a few stories with me, for better or worse, that she told me she'd never told anybody else, and which I agreed to keep to myself. I am a man, and she always found it easier to get on with men than with women, even among her family.

The Last DeliveryCollapse )


April 9th, 2014
02:50 pm


One line in Captain America: The Winter Soldier near the beginning of the otherwise enjoyable film leaped out at me, grabbed me by the frontal lobe and started kicking me directly in my sense of disbelief.

"We need a quantum increase in military technology"

I am not sure that word, quantum, means what the movie thinks that it means.

The dictionary defines the word quantum (non-relevant contexts removed) as:


Line breaks: quan|tum
Pronunciation: /ˈkwɒntəm /
NOUN (plural quanta /-tə/)
  • 1 Physics A discrete quantity of energy proportional in magnitude to the frequency of the radiation it represents.
  • 1.1 An analogous discrete amount of any other physical quantity, such as momentum or electric charge.
  • 2 A required or allowed amount, especially an amount of money legally payable in damages:
    the court must determine the quantum of compensation due
  • 2.1 A share or portion:
    each man has only a quantum of compassion

So we're talking about a discrete increase in military technology. A defined increase. To be honest, it starts to sound reasonable - not like the radical proposal that is being discussed. Why don't you just go and ask the world governments for that, [spoiler]? They could hardly say "no".

Comics have a history of taking "sciency" words and abusing them - if you read early Iron Man you'll gain a new appreciation for the power of transistors (they can make explosions bigger! Explosives smaller! Make you fly! etc. etc.) and the miracles of lasers are surely well known by now.

Anyway, it made me chuckle.

Tags: , , , ,

(7 comments | Leave a comment)

December 5th, 2013
02:49 pm


Planescape: Torment Complete
I first played Torment some time in my teens, probably around 1997, and I loved it, but never finished it for various reasons:

- Initially, I reached a part of the game I couldn't progress through, and quit.
- Later, fan-made patches fixed the problems that stopped me progressing, but I was so in love with the game so far that I was worried that the ending would ruin the game for me.

I finished the game about 20 minutes ago, having decided last month that I had to do so before Torment: Tides of Numenera comes out (still a year or two away).

I was underwhelmed by the ending - but that's what 15 years of buildup will do to a story. Having gone back and played through the end a few different ways, it's actually a great ending for the game, if a bit abrupt, and the content before and during the end is awesome.

So, 15 years to finish my favourite game. Not bad!

Tags: , ,

(Leave a comment)

November 18th, 2011
09:34 am


Movember Competition - Win a Montreal-exclusive Assassin's Creed poster!
Hello All!

This is already clearly the most successful moustache I've ever grown. Look at it! It's at least a high-school moustache, maybe even a fresher 'tache. I think the webcam photo actually works in its favour this time - it looks generally darker, although the lighter parts make it less patchy up close.

So, on to our second order of business!

I have here with me a rather neat poster of Ezio Auditori Da Firenzi, from the brand new "Born and Raised with Talent" ad campaign ( http://montreal.ubi.com/en ), designed to raise awareness of UbiMtl within the city. And I'm going to post it to whoever makes the biggest donation to my movember campaign ( http://ca.movember.com/mospace/2361586/ ). Multiple donations by the same person will be tallied, so that you don't ever have to "outbid" yourself, just boost your donation.


You currently have $20 to beat, as that's the only donation I've received so far, due to my lax update schedule.

But wait! There's more! I totally reserve the right to mess with the conditions of this competition - to widen the visibility of this post, for example, or to add extras to the prize if the "bidding" goes up. Also to not get sued for any mistakes I make! The only guarantee is that the prize will go to whoever donates the most, and that the prize will include this spiffing poster.

So get to donating, and start making me think of ways to make this more interesting!


(4 comments | Leave a comment)

April 7th, 2011
11:22 am


Worldwide Movie Night April: Hobo With A Shotgun (2011)

(1 comment | Leave a comment)

March 27th, 2011
11:49 pm


Hazel related one excellent dream to me that she had in the hospital:

"Lil and Michelle came to visit, and while they were looking at the baby Lil smeared milk chocolate on his forehead. When I asked why there was chocolate on his head, she told me that he had been baptized as a Goblin!

Later, somebody bought us a Boston Terrier puppy O_o"

Lil, next time we see you, this is going down.

(Leave a comment)

11:48 pm


What's in a name?
I wanted to write a little bit about our choice of name, because it's a decision we had to make at the last minute with no concrete basis. The two main names we considered were, along with two others that we didn't seriously consider at the end, "what if she's actually a boy" names. While both were strong contenders, the name we chose was the one that meant the most to us together.

Howell Davis, the baby's namesake, is one of elanya's favourite pirates, and she's somewhat of an authority on the matter. Hazel loves Wales, and I have several connections to the country.
It's also where we met, and we lived there together for two years. Davis is my 'bachelor name' (I took Hazel's name when we got married) and I jumped at the chance to put it into my child's name in a coherent way.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

11:48 pm


Belatedly Announcing Howell Davis Hatch,
Not Of Woman Born 24th March 2011 at 3.17am (the labour started at 2am on the 23rd.)

Mother and Baby are both healthy, although of course longpig is still recovering from the surgery.

At 3.435 kg and just under 21in, he is taller and maler than we expected. Reflux folklore wins this round - he has a full head of wavey brown hair. His eyes are dark blue, and he actually looks quite a bit like me in my baby photos! Photos and, if I'm unlucky, video to come soon via Hazel.

Apologies that I wasn't able to post this at the time, because the hospital free computers lock down facebook and livejournal among others.

Hazel's making fantastic progress, already pushing herself way too hard when she should be taking it easy. Most of the time her painkillers work well.

Howell is well on track for all his eating, pooping and peeing. We've had a few problems with the feeding, but it seems to be sorted now.

(10 comments | Leave a comment)

December 28th, 2010
09:34 am


WWMN December 29th 2200 GMT+0: Escape from L.A. (1996)
The votes are in! Definitely a slant towards the Russel in the final numbers.


(Leave a comment)

December 26th, 2010
08:52 pm


Last Minute Worldwide Movie Night December Poll
I was going to skip out this month, but demands were made!

Polls will be closed early on Tuesday.

Poll #1661003 WWMN December 29th
This poll is closed.

Vote for December's Movie

Escape From L.A. (1996)
The Last Dragon (1985)
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002)
Surviving Christmas (2004)


(2 comments | Leave a comment)

December 4th, 2010
04:30 pm


What games do I recommend?
A relative recently sent me a question about what games I thought were worth playing. My reply was... long, and not really tailored to his specific tastes, so here it is for everyone:

Lots of games!Collapse )

(1 comment | Leave a comment)

November 28th, 2010
04:03 pm


Wishlist update
On request, I've plonked all of my wishlists together on Amazon.com here. Anything on there is something I'd love to have! I also love getting surprises, so if you're thinking of something don't let the list deter you.

I'm also very open to non-gift-giving pacts, charity gift pacts etc., or simply not getting gifts!

(Leave a comment)

November 23rd, 2010
12:23 am


Worldwide Movie Night November: Captain America (1990)
The votes are in! This Saturday we'll be watching Captain America fight against his nemesis, the Red Skull.

This represents a pretty significant jump down in movie quality from our previous entertainment, so be ready to mock mercilessly!

We'll be starting at 22:00 UTC, which is 17:00 EST, and 07:00 the next day KST.

As with previous movie nights, you're encouraged to flock together with your laptops and movies, so anyone who knows where we live is welcome to join us at our place!

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

November 20th, 2010
02:38 pm


Since the previous poll was a tie, we'll have a revote today.
This poll will close tomorrow.

Poll #1646690 Sudden Death Movie Night November
This poll is closed.

Choose A Movie

Captain America (1990)
Shark In Venice (2008)
Die Hard Dracula (1998)

(1 comment | Leave a comment)

November 14th, 2010
10:08 am


If you only see the results, you can log in using a Facebook or Twitter account to vote - or any openID account.

Poll #1644392 Poll for Worldwide Movie Night November 27th
This poll is closed.

Choose a movie

Captain America (1990)
Universal Soldier (1992)
Shark In Venice (2008)
Die Hard Dracula (1998)

Tags: ,

(Leave a comment)

October 19th, 2010
07:47 am


Worldwide Movie Night October: Judge Dredd (1995)
For the people who don't have Facebook, we selected the 1995 movie Judge Dredd for October's movie night. It'll be this Saturday 23rd, at 1100GMT. Here are the times in some other time zones:

Korea Standard Time (GMT+9): 2000
British Summer Time (GMT+1): 1200
Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4): 0700
Central Daylight Time (GMT-5): 0600

As before, the channel is #wwmovies, on irc.esper.net. You can get in with any IRC client, or use this mibbit applet (ad-supported.)

Hope to see you all there!

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

September 29th, 2010
09:00 pm


Fantasia Blog: Late Edition
As I'm clearly never going to get around to writing up my full reviews of the rest of the films I saw at fantasia, here's some quick impressions and trailers:

PossessedCollapse )
Battle in Outer SpaceCollapse )
The Disappearance of Alice CreedCollapse )
[Rec] 2Collapse )
King of ThornCollapse )
SuckCollapse )
The Last ExorcismCollapse )
Scott Pilgrim vs. The WorldCollapse )

(Leave a comment)

September 26th, 2010
09:04 am


Worldwide Movie Night October: A Poll and a Group
I'm handling most of the organisation of WWMN on Facebook, so for those of you who've managed to stay away from there:

Here is a poll for the next movie: http://poll.fm/f/29ys7
There is a group that I'll use to bulk-message people here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=154092577944611

I'll still post updates here, of course!

(Leave a comment)

September 5th, 2010
03:47 pm


Worldwide movie night update - Masters of the Universe (11/09/2010 1800GMT+0)
A movie has been chosen (by the democratic method of 'Ooh, let's watch that!') - and it's Masters of the Universe - the 1987 live-action adaptation of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, starring Dolph Lundgren.

So, to participate:
- Obtain a copy of the 1987 film 'Masters Of The Universe'
- Get an IRC client, or use http://www.mibbit.com/
- Stay home or gather with friends on Saturday 11th September
- Connect to the server irc.esper.net
- Join the channel #WWMovies before 18:00 GMT+0
- At 18:00 we'll start a countdown, and everybody will start the film at the same time!
- Get snarky in the channel :V

There's a facebook event here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=144961205541936 (let me know if you're denied entry - all you should need is a facebook account.)

(Leave a comment)

August 21st, 2010
09:59 am


*** Worldwide Movie Night Invite - Saturday September 11th ***
So, I have just this minute had an awesome idea.

One of the things we used to do semi-regularly in the UK to have fun with far-off friends was to have an "internet movie night" - basically, everyone gets hold of the same film, talks in a chatroom and watches the film together, in sync, by the time-tested method of counting down to the start.

Ideally, it'd be great if people gathered with their laptops/netbooks/smartphones, so that we'd be a bunch of interconnected parties all watching the same film.

So, this invite is extended to anyone who wants to join in, but especially our friends from afar! Depending on how popular the idea is I'll set up an IRC room for communication, and people are welcome to send film suggestions - it usually works better for something that people can make fun of, so send your bad film ideas!

My tentative time suggestion is to gather at 6pm GMT+0 on Saturday September 11th - that's 1pm in Montreal, 2pm in the Maritimes, 12pm in Texas, and sadly, 2am in S. Korea? People are welcome to drop in and out - we can do timecalls for people to catch up to the right point.

So, from you, I need:
  • Film suggestions

  • Let me know if the time is good for you

  • If you're not sure how to get into an IRC room, let me know and I'll send instructions.

  • Enthusiastic responses!

(9 comments | Leave a comment)

July 20th, 2010
11:05 am


Another link about girls and videogames

Mindy Faber talks about the 3G Summit.

"The important thing here to note is that all too often in studies of girls playing games, past research has not systematically looked at the difference between novice and expert play. This has resulted in mistaking "facts about how girls play" with facts about how novices play. In our work [...] we have been able to show that once we 'level up' the girls and they become more expert their play looks very much like the boys: engaged, competitive, and mainly just having fun."

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

10:57 am


Well worth a read

From last year, but still worth reading - a design for a game which would teach people how it feels to live as a potential victim in a rape culture.

(19 comments | Leave a comment)

July 17th, 2010
08:12 am


Anyone available to see a film with me today?
I still have these two tickets that need using, free to whoever wants them:

SATURDAY 17TH JULY 2010, 12:00AM. Battle In Outer Space (1960) [IMDB]. The trailer made this look like an MST3K-worthy film, but reviews and synopses point to it being an extravaganza for its time, and a probable influence for Star Wars.

SATURDAY 24TH JULY 2010, 11:30AM. King Of Thorn (2010) [wikipedia]. This looks pretty much like an anime version of Fallout to me, but with triffids instead of deserts. I'm hoping for classic sci-fi sensibilities.

(Leave a comment)

July 14th, 2010
01:19 pm


No surprises here!
For two out of three of my Fantasia reviews so far:

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

The other one was Nabokov, possibly because I was reviewing a Russian film?!

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

July 11th, 2010
06:09 pm


Fantasia Blog: Belated intro, updates, a call for feedback and free tickets

[A young man in a lab coat stands behind a desk cluttered with lab equipment, facing the viewer. In his right hand, he holds a bubbling test tube, while his left rests besides a horrified-looking severed head. Image courtesy of Unity and taken from Flickr]

This weekend has been the start of Montreal's annual Fantasia Film Festival - three weeks of award-winning, cult and horror movies from around the globe. As a regular patron of Aberystwyth's Abertoir, I was delighted to discover that Montreal had a similar festival, and longpig and I have been waiting for our chance to pick up tickets ever since (it helped that Ubisoft sponsor the event, so I was able to buy my tickets in advance of the main booth opening.)

I also won four tickets through work. Originally the competition stated that I had to blog once a week about the festival on the Ubisoft Fantasia blog, so I prepared to do that. However, I've heard nothing of it since, so readers of my personal blog (hah!) and people with me on their friends' list will get these lovely articles instead! Or as well, in the case that they're still needed for the other blog.

I completely neglected to warn you all that this was going to be happening, so this post is to rectify that. I've posted three reviews so far, now updated with less errors and exactly one more embedded movie trailer per review:

First Squad: The Moment Of Truth
Mutant Girls Squad

Now, what can you do for me? Well, I know for a fact that there are several talented writers, and plenty of film buffs, and so what I would love from you is feedback. I'd like to continue to blog reviews after the event, and I'm looking for ways to make my reviews better, from content covered (more plot? Less spoilers?) to format, to horrific abuses of language and more. I read every comment on this blog and reply, at the very least, to any that seek a response, but often to others as well. So please send me/post your thoughts!

I'm not looking for any kind of publicity at the moment - this is all for you guys, but mostly for my own practice. That said, if you really think something's good enough, you don't need to ask my permission pass on or link to anything I post publicly.

Finally, due to a scheduling conflict, I have spare tickets to two films that longpig will be absolutely unable to attend. So, if anyone would care to join me to see either of these films, let me know and I'll get back to you!

SATURDAY 17TH JULY 2010, 12:00AM. Battle In Outer Space (1960) [IMDB]. The trailer made this look like an MST3K-worthy film, but reviews and synopses point to it being an extravaganza for its time, and a probable influence for Star Wars.

SATURDAY 24TH JULY 2010, 11:30AM. King Of Thorn (2010) [wikipedia]. This looks pretty much like an anime version of Fallout to me, but with triffids instead of deserts. I'm hoping for classic sci-fi sensibilities.

[SCENE Presents Fantasia]

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

05:18 pm


Fantasia Blog: Mutant Girls Squad
Warning: violent, gory, bad-taste trailerCollapse )
Spoilers. And tentacles.Collapse )

(1 comment | Leave a comment)

July 10th, 2010
10:32 pm


Fantasia Blog: First Squad: The Moment of Truth

[The trailer shows several animated scenes of World War II trench warfare, and of teenagers fighting demons. Russian dialogue from the film lays out some of the plot.]
SpoilersCollapse )

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

02:29 am


Fantasia Blog: Rubber

SpoilersCollapse )

(3 comments | Leave a comment)

July 3rd, 2010
06:56 pm


Portal currently $2
If you (a) are capable of using a mouse and keyboard and (b) don't own Portal, you should head over to http://store.steampowered.com/app/400/ within the next 18 hours and pick up your copy.

Portal is a charming, atmospheric, light-humoured puzzle-fps with dark undertones and an engaging story. It has also been praised by feminists as a well-marketed game from a major games company which features a believable female (silent hero) protagonist, where the industry default would have been just to stick a man in that role. The game gives you plenty of time to approach each puzzle, but slowly increases the difficulty and teaches you new tricks to solve the later puzzles.

The basic concept of the game is: what if you had a device which could create a join between two surfaces through which you can travel? Now escape this research facility.

You monster.

(Leave a comment)

08:58 am


Throwaway concept
Maybe people see more ghosts in small towns because there are more conscientious "good" ghosts in big cities to cover up/repress the asshole ghosts?

Current Mood: chippercheeky

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

July 1st, 2010
11:20 am


Some Good News
My Mum saw my last post reposted on Facebook, and both she and my Sister responded to update me on my Stepdad's condition. I feel pretty bad that I wasn't able find time to call to keep up to date, but I'm really glad to know that the surgery went well in general, barring some minor complications which may be temporary.

(6 comments | Leave a comment)

01:50 am


Generally Awful Update
There's one piece of good news since last time - after all that, Sierra stayed quiet. Silly dog.

Other than that, I'm a ball of tired, angry and sad right now:
  • My Stepdad had/is having surgery for a metastasized tumor in his lung last Friday, and I haven't heard any news about how it went yet.

  • One of my best friends from the UK has just had a serious accident during brain surgery, leaving her (hopefully temporarily) without language or motor control.

  • There's strong indication that riots in Toronto during the G20 were, if not engineered, at least allowed and leveraged to justify exorbitant security budgets. Regardless of that, police response to the riots was bizarre, disproportionate, almost certainly illegal and utterly useless at preventing crime.

  • Overtime at work, I'm posting this at nearly 2am. Whee!

Current Mood: All of the bad ones

(7 comments | Leave a comment)

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