the US election, and the rest of us

It’s patently unfair that I’m keeping an eye on poll numbers coming in for a country that is not mine, yet whatever it decides will affect the rest of us in our distant corners of the globe anyway.

I hope you have chosen wisely, my friends.



things I like: an incomplete list

  • the sound of rain as it hits the awning
  • the smell of dust after rain
  • I am the Doctor by Murray Gold, from the soundtrack of Doctor Who
  • Doctor Who, especially Series 5
  • Amelia Pond, aged seven
  • the cat, and how he curls up on my stomach, like there’s nowhere better to be
  • mathematics
  • books, physical ones I can hold and flip through, even though they take up space and pile up unread and threaten to topple over me
  • The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett
  • and the rest of the Lymond Chronicles, also by Dorothy Dunnett
  • also Dorothy Dunnett generally, because I want to be her when I grow up
  • fanfiction
  • the sea and all its glory
  • Final Fantasy X
  • milk tea done right, not too sweet and just creamy enough
  • Bastille (the band)
  • the soundtrack of Person of Interest by Ramin Djawadi
  • Person of Interest, because it might just be the best show you’ve never watched
  • that moment when your code compiles without problems and your program actually runs
  • hexagons and English paper piecing
  • new fabric
  • Scotland
  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness
  • new notebooks with crisp, unlined pages
  • puffy white clouds in a blue, blue sky
  • Ikimono-gakari
  • the Large Hadron Collider
  • particle physics explained in small words
  • someone purchasing something I made on Etsy
  • the wind rustling through the trees
  • morning in the mountains before the mist disperses
  • Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  • also Howl’s Moving Castle, the anime adaptation by Hayao Miyazaki
  • the stars, especially from dark beaches
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day, especially when it features star clusters and galaxies
  • rain lilies blooming the day after the rain


A single-column theme with no slide-out menu is a bit much to ask for, I suppose.

I’ve been switching between themes, trying to find one I liked and suited my content. It’s mildly perplexing that there are over 300 free themes and I have yet to find one that I’m completely pleased with.

Of course, the whole thing being “free” is part of the problem. A premium account would at least give me the ability to modify the CSS, or a  self-hosted WordPress site would let just code up the theme the way I want it to look.

I just can’t justify the expense, though. Especially at the current foreign exchange rate.

I was looking, generally, for a layout in a single column, with a top navigational menu but  no slide-out menu (those just annoy me, for whatever reason), with widgets in the footer. The current theme is Twenty Sixteen, which fulfils most of those requirements, except the footer widgets only appear on post pages. I rather like it, really. It’s clean and easy to read, though without the sidebar I’m a bit worried that people will get lost.

I dabbled a bit in web development when I was younger. A lot of it was self-taught, mostly by taking apart what was already there and building it back up. Oh, I did have the basics of  programming — I knew bits of Fortran and C and Matlab, but those were for school, and never seemed to have much use other than plotting really complicated graphs for really complicated equations. (I actually liked plotting those graphs.)

CSS and HTML were easy enough. I’m mostly ok with PHP, as long as you don’t ask me to do anything too complex. At one point, I was considering picking up Ruby on Rails, but it ended up as one of those things I never managed to get to.

I’m thinking of giving it another go one of these days. Along with a thousand other projects I have clamouring in my head. Ambition is a good thing, yes?