Countdown to #PAXEast

137 hours.

8229 minutes.

6 sleeps until I depart for PAX East.

PAX is a video game expo.  A series of them actually.  PAX East is the one in Boston. Around 60,000 gamers descend on the city for 3 days of demos, concerts, panels and general geekery.  If you’re not a gamer, you won’t get it.  If you are a Gamer, it can be a religious experience.  No. Really.  There’s at least one group handing out literature describing Jesus as the original gamer.

It’s intense and silly and massive, and I can’t wait to be back for my second year.  No word yet from my brother if we’re sharing a hashtag, but follow along on Twitter starting April 10th.

Just 137 more hours to go.

6 sleeps.

Datapoints crashing upon the beach

My job is to cut the noise.

My job is to dive the data.

At work, we trawl freakish amounts of datapoints.  Hundreds of thousands of people having millions of conversations across dozens of social networks.  Reams of quantifiable pieces of analytics to consume.

So I cut it.  With broadsword, with scalpel. Uncover meaning like a sculpture, removing the rock to reveal the structure that lies, waiting, beneath.

I create stories from all that noise.  Order from Chaos. Continue reading

A Roll of Thunder – part 1

This was the storm I was waiting for.  On a second floor patio, looking out over this sleepy town.  The city full of six years of memories and ghosts.

A distant flash.  A roll of thunder.

A preamble, a prologue.

Hell, a tease.

By 10 pm even the enduring  summer sun had given up for the evening.  But, darker than that.  Twilight deadened by thick clouds.  The sky.. closer somehow.Not a ceiling, but an oppressive quilt. Moisture and heat and quiet.  All heavy.

There’s anticipation in that calm-before-the-storm.  Never left me calm.  Night’s unsettled under those cumbrous cumulus.  All of nature, waiting… Continue reading

The green light

blink, blink, blink.
People logging off for the evening.
Disappearing from the chat window.
Connections, severed.
Letting slip the digital coil. Falling back into their real worlds and beds and sleep.
The green dots wink out.
Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight.

-just something random I was thinking.

A man sits at a bar.

A man sits at a bar.

It’s a bustling Friday night.

It’s a slow Monday afternoon.

The bar is in a swanky downtown Toronto hotel, the kind with stone coasters and where everyone calls you ‘sir’…

It’s a hole-in-the-wall pizza joint in Boston’s Italian district. The waitresses snap their gum, heads tilted, as they take your order…

It’s a brewpub along the sparkling shores of Vancouver where the staff launch into a well-rehearsed spiel on their in-house microbrewery at the slightest provocation…

A man sits at a bar.

Continue reading

Song Of The Day – Robots by Dan Mangan

I don’t really enjoy a lot of songs by Dan Mangan. Just not my shtick.

But clicking around on a recommendation from some of my friends I spotted one called ‘Robots’ I’m a sucker for robots. And I found with an good pace and lyrics that spoke to something I could understand.  Here’s Dan Mangan performing Robots live at a concert recorded by CBC Radio.

I enjoyed it, thought you might too. Have a good Monday everyone.

That seat in the corner.

“How’s your day going?”

“Eh.”

“Tuesdays.”

“Yeah. … Yeah.  Double?”

“Single, please.”

He drifts off to take fill my glass and take an order from the group fresh in the door as they extract themselves from carefully constructed cocoons of coats and scarves.

Three days till I leave for Montreal.  At my watering hole, at that seat in the corner, killing time watching the crowd.  All my roommates are otherwise occupied.  Four bedrooms across three floors get eerie all alone.  Can’t blame  bumps and creeks on anyone.  I sought solace from silence in the pub’s hubbub.
Continue reading

Facebooking Face Off: FINAL BOSS vs The UnEffer

For many reasons I’m not getting into, I had a long, exhausting week between work and my own personal projects.  But one I will mention is because this weekend I’m taking some vacation time, so for work I’ve been trying to get all my content in order and copy written for when I’m away.

So anyway, I log on late to do my final scan of our social channels and post the absolute last piece of content on our Facebook page before I’m officially on vacation.  Should be quick, and I’m looking forward to going to bed without an alarm set.  Run into a small snag. As I’m double checking the content we’re linking to I notice some events are now sold out, so I drop them.  For another one their entire website was crashed… hard (looked like an SQL error for what it’s worth).  But that kind of thing happens, so I clean them up and get ready to post.

We post to English and French separately because of the audience.  English one goes out relatively fine.  Art is good, copy is solid, links are all there and working, locations are tagged, audience targeting is set up.  Click POST…. nothing.  That’s ok, Facebook server gets hiccupy sometimes.
Refresh page.
Check all the reqs again,
POST.
It goes out cleanly.

Then trouble. French one … doesn’t. Just loads and loads and loads.  10 min, 12 min.  Refresh.  Try again.  Try 5 more times.  Error, error.  Consistent error. Continue reading