Category Archives: Disorganised

To my mother, Valerie: Thankyou and Farewell

About nine weeks ago, my mum died. About six weeks ago, it was the funeral. Although now may seem like an odd time to feel like I want to make a bigger deal of remembering her, the timing seemed quite appropriate.

One of the last things my mum did together with my dad before the stroke that caused her death was to make Christmas Puddings. She (or she and dad, after the first stroke seven years previously) would always make an extra one to give to me, as I live alone. (And they keep for a while, so I have them bit by bit over January)
Last night I had the last piece of it.

It was nice. (I love Christmas Pudding!)
And I just felt I needed to say something regarding it. Because, to me, it’s a bit of a big deal.

Mum would always make the Christmas puddings and, because I enjoyed bit of cooking when I was a child, it’s one of the things mum would let me help out with. When I was a bit older, I would actually do the bulk of the mixing myself and mum would handle the pressure cooker side of things. But when I finally moved out, it was back to mum always making them.

It was a part of her pre-Christmas tradition. OK, she’d make them in November but it was an important part of the lead-up to Christmas. After her first stroke in 2011, she wasn’t quite as able in the kitchen as she had been previously but she didn’t let that stop her. Dad, pretty good at cooking, anyway would help her out and the Christmas Puddings were no exception.

As the years since the first stroke took their toll and her mobility and fine motor control deteriorated further, dad would take over more and more of the cooking. But Christmas Pudding was one of those things where she’ be in the kitchen with him, stirring the mixture and doing what bits she could. Because it was something that she’d always done, and it was still something that she could do.

So, last night, I had my final piece of “Mum’s Christmas Pudding”.

Thanks, mum. You started off my interest in cooking, and are a part of why I can survive living alone and am pretty capable in the kitchen. You started off my interest in typing, which grew into a part of why I lived using computers. You’re a major part of who I am today, and will continue to be so.

Quiet but Not Absent

Things have been rather quiet on the RantVoid front of late. It’s not to say that nothing’s been going on, though.

Between Jobseeking and helping my parents out wth a house move, I’ve not had quite as much free time as I would have liked. And the time that I did have, I’ve either been tired out and resting or off visiting family members.

From a content viewpoint, I’ve been trying to get a few things out as and when I could. Vlogs have been going up on YouTube, along with one current in the editing phase and a few others being planned out. Several blogs are currently in early draft, they just need polishing into something properly readable. Podcasting has gone on a bit of hiatus owing to both Roiben and myself dealing with Jobseeking and depression.

The Twitter feed has been seeing a fair bit of action, though. I regularly share out interesting articles and stories that I see, as well as linking to previous blogs and Vlogs if they become topical.

Hopefully, things should get back up to speed before too long. Until then, though, do keep an eye out on the feed as there are a lot of interesting tech and entertainment stories hitting the headlines at the moment. And you’ll be able to get an idea of which things catch my eye.

Sword Art Online: More on Collector Editions

Not so long after my previous post, we’ve hit Announcement Season again. Frustratingly, the first anime-releated announcement out of the gate is another example of the same collector bias I posted about last time.

Sword Art Online II has been picked up by Anime Limited who will be starting off by releasing a DVD Standard Edition and a Blu-ray (technically a BD+DVD combo) Collector Edition.

And no standard BD any time soon.

Once again, as a fair few releases appear to be doing of late, the deck is being stacked against those who prefer physical Blu-rays but neither need nor even want anything more than a standard barebones edition.

To be fair to Anime limited, it is an Aniplex series. They probably had a hand in making sure that the only BDs available anywhere had a minimum price and/or a maximum quality. Western non-collector fans seem to matter very little to them. Which, as a general rule, is why I tend to avoid getting too invested in Aniplex shows these days. But SAO is a series I’m already in, so I’m kinda stuck.

Predictably, though, there is already a lot of complaint about the high-seeming prices. Even though retail prices tend to knock a chunk from the SRP (Suggested Retail price), it still means that the full 24 episodes is lining up to be around £100 or more, retail. And that really is more than 24 episodes are worth.
As I’ve said before, nothing wrong with collector versions existing. But standard editions for people who get zero value out of the physical extras really ought to be catered for at the same time. Booklets and artboxes just aren’t worth the price overhead for some of us.