Matthew Ford’s Infernal Blog

Politics, games, computers, philosophy, human nature, Australia, and general rabbiting on

Archive for the 'Mattnews' Category

My many data streams

Take an occasional look at my home page at to catch up with any new data streams I am swimming in. I used to be a curmudgeon about doing updates on all these different services but as I have promoted my projects I have come to accept that it’s best to go where the eyeballs are, not try to direct everyone to one central location. So here is an update, and note the first source: I am now on Twitter and having fun, posting news which is too trivial even for this silly blog.

Anywhere I refer to “matthew@”, I leave off the main domain to foil spambots. Just put after the @ to create the email address.

Whew. That’s a lot of datastreams! Someday all this will be unified…

A Very Special Shutdown Notice

I have finished and released a fiction project which is minor and experimental (aren’t they all?) but hey, it’s a release. See it at A Very Special Shutdown Notice. As I explain in the About page, my main goals are to popularize and explore the Simulation Argument and transhuman issues; to build an audience for my eventual game Pod Tycoon; and to drive some traffic so I can exercise my site in preparation for release of my first game. Please check it out and let me know what you think by leaving comments on the post at my company blog or the Google group mentioned on the project’s About page.

Once the site starts to show up reliably in search engines, I will make a push for a viral spread-the-word campaign. For now, don’t make any special efforts to spread the link around. Stay tuned for my request for you to do that soon!

Save Our Kenmore site about Kenmore Bypass

It’s only of mild interest to those of you who don’t live in my immediate area, but it’s a little window into my life and I get to put another link to the site which helps its Google rank. I have started helping out a group called Save Our Kenmore which is devoted to stopping the building of the so-called Kenmore Bypass, which would go right behind our house and destroy a lot of green space in which me and Kira walk pretty much every day. Here is the site for Save Our Kenmore to stop the Kenmore Bypass. If any of you with sites could pop that link onto your site for a while, I’d surely appreciate the link love!

Listening to Icky Thump

I am listening constantly to Icky Thump by the White Stripes while driving, usually with a huge grin on my face. I sort of fell out of love with the Stripes (albeit my crush on Meg remained) with their last album, whatever it was called. The one with Wild Orchid. Not my thing. Then I saw the video for the title track on this new album, and even though it still was not the sound I loved from their first albums (White Blood Cells and Elephant), it intrigued me a tiny bit, and then later when Kat and I saw the video from You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You’re Told) it interested me a bit more. (Also of interest was the reminder that Kat has a crush on Jack, so that means we can cross-double-date, Jack and Meg, I know you read my blog.)

All the same, I was being curmudgeonly and still did not really intend to get the album. Then Kat surprised me with it after a shopping trip. I popped it into the car a few days later and I instantly loved it. It utterly crackles with an energy that a lot of bands are too cool to put into their work nowadays (the subtext often being, “I could hardly be bothered to get out of bed to record this but here I am”). This album thrills me the same way punk and 70′s power rock does. It’s unashamed, unafraid to be silly, unafraid of distortion and noise and bluesy mess. It’s playful and real. Not for everybody but I’m loving it and it reminds me that I am way overdue to get some Led Zeppelin into my collection.

Working on my new blogs

I’ve spent quite a bit of time getting my new blogs going. It has been fun to learn new things, and the blogs are also a means to an end which I like– in the first case of this blog, keeping in touch with friends and family, and in the case of the Digital Cream blog, building a tool to communicate with customers. However, it’s not as satisfying as writing ActionScript code. There are no really big challenging problems to solve when making a WordPress blog and fiddling with PHP and HTML; instead it is a million little easy things to do, and the bugs are finicky ones, not smack-yourself-on-your-head-and-shout-eureka ones. So I am looking forward to making my cutoff and moving back to programming.

Update to my fordfam website

Mostly as an excuse to play with Dreamweaver, I’ve updated my website at If you already know me well, it’s only mildly interesting: I have put there many of the life-philosophy rantings that you have heard me emit when I’ve gotten a few in me. If you’ve never had the pleasure of hearing me rave in person, this is your big chance! You can go to the above link to see all about the Fords in general, or to learn just about me, me, me, visit

Moved in!

We’ve done it– moved into the new house in Kenmore. I’m more in love with the house than ever. Kira loves it too, she is looking out at the trees and birds, sniffing, stimulated.

It was a great feeling to wake up in the house, hear the birds, and watch the trees wave from bed. It was lovely to live in our new home. We had neighbors stop by and they were very nice.

Our friend Romi decided to accept our offer to stay with us for a while, using the guest room. She’s looking for fulltime work so in the meantime she’ll be a huge help, staying there to meet tradesmen, teaching Dylan how to get home from school via the bus, helping unpack and get things in order, and such. She’s also a very sweet and energizing person to have around and Kat and I are very pleased to have her along on the adventure.

Trip to Uluru

Here are some notes on my trip to Uluru with Dylan, Kat, and her mom Josie. Photos are still in the camera with Kat. They are still vacationing and I am playing the bachelor at home, then I’ll catch up to them again Saturday. (continued »)

The house is a lock

The building inspections and financing went through so it’s a lock… the house will be all ours on July 18. It was great to be back in the house again as we met the inspectors. I just love it more and more. I’ll put up pictures before long.

The termite inspector was a great Aussie bloke. He probably enjoyed horrifying us with tales of termite persistence. But he basically said “That’s Queensland, you got termites. It’s not our land, it’s theirs. We’re just building houses on it. If it weren’t for termites this place would be 100 foot deep in dead wood and we’d have no place to stand.” He’s been bitten by redbacks 42 times and “I’m still here” so I think he has a pretty relaxed attitude about annoying insects.

3rd time was the charm

The offer on the third house was accepted! We’re very pleased and will have money left over for “reno”. We move in 60 days, assuming the building inspections and financing does not fall through.

3rd offer on 3rd house

We’ve now made a third offer on a third house. The market is very favorable to buyers here. We went in with low bids on two houses and did not raise them much so the offer was not taken. Now this third house is the one I like the most but also the cheapest! It backs onto a nature preserve which is awesome.

But the exchange rate is now dropping just after we transferred a lot of money here. Grrr.

Looking at houses

We’re getting to the final stages of looking at houses now. There are a few we like, all of them in Dylan’s school’s neighborhood.

Dylan back from camp

Dylan got back from his school’s camp out at the reservoir and was delightfully telling us about it last night. He loved it and did lots of fun outdoorsy things. He got a lot of living in the wild advice from an Aboriginal man who showed them plants to chew and ways to learn about animals, and Dylan even broke open a termite nest and ate some live termites! He said they tasted like peanuts. It was wonderful to hear and it’s so good to have him back.


I’m just recovering from a really bad flu. Very high fever. I had not been that sick for many years. I’m still not all well.

Score One for Planning

This latest planning stage for the Hwarang project went more smoothly than before. We are honing our process now, which is good because we can have a streamlined system in place before the intensity increases. Nobody loves planning things out this carefully, but the alternatives are worse. Now that we are getting used to it, the overhead costs of the planning are going down, while the benefits are going up.

The Magical Art of Espresso

We got an espresso machine. We figured that given our propensity for drinking double-espressos every day without fail, it will pay for itself in less than a year. We almost got a fully-auto one, just put in the beans and push the button, but that seemed like a missed opportunity. I want to learn to make espresso manually! I want to fiddle with the dozens of minute factors that separate good from sublime brew! I want to be prepared if I find myself in an Italian villa full of supermodels! So far so good. I’ve been able to make something which is as good as what I’ve been buying, and I’ve now got a series of experiments before me to try to improve it further. It’s a trivial pursuit but at 7AM in the morning I’m not good for much else, so I may as well harness my desire for caffeine.

I made my blog!

I’ve made my blog here on LiveJournal. I set it up so anyone registered as my friend can reply to my posts… so I think that means they can register as a LiveJournal user and then email me to ask for me to register them as a friend. I am not posting many details about myself, including my email, to avoid spam and such. My friends know all that stuff already. ;) My web page has all my background information so this blog can just do current events.

If you likie, why not sign up for more via feed or email?

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