He didn't get where he is today by stealing somebody else's catchphrase.

Where Did The Time Go?

So, first of all, apologies for not having provided an update sooner. Lot of things have gone on and I've not managed to find a spare few minutes to empty the contents of my brain into that white space below the cursor. But I have now! Huzzah! So:

1) Running? Yes - I'm still doing it.

Things have been going quite well. I've had a solid six months without any injuries, which is just great. I put this down to a change in the way I train, which I'll come back to in a moment.

I'm still running about three times a week and had the joy of getting another half-marathon under my belt back in April. Given that the last time I ran the Tavy13 was nearly five years ago, I'm quite chuffed that my time was only about two minutes slower than before. The weather held up fine and I ambled around the course in about two and a half hours. Admittedly that's nowhere near as quick as I've run events like Exeter Trails (about half an hour faster), but it was a really nice event. The course has changed since the last time I entered and it's changed for the better, giving really good views of Tavistock, Dartmoor and the surrounding area.

As you saw at the end of last year, I ran my fiftieth Parkrun and am still on course to complete my hundredth by the end of this year. My eighty-fifth was last weekend. I really like my local ParkRun. There's lots of familiar faces, encouragement and a complete lack of judgement if your time isn't "elite", which mine definitely isn't. It's a wonderfully positive environment - and my son has also done his tenth ParkRun too!

As I mentioned near the beginning of this section I've changed the way I train. Previously I'd pick a distance and pretty much keep running until I was finished, but having picked up some injuries along the way, I thought I'd change my approach. It was at this point that I stumbled upon The Galloway Method, and haven't looked back since. Whilst I shan't go into great detail here (read the link instead), it feels very much an extension of the "Couch to 5K" programme that most us used to start running. I generally run for four minutes, followed by walking for one and can testify that this definitely reduces the strain on your body when compared with running a similar distance in the traditional manner.

I'm looking at running Eden Half-Marathon in October and it'll be interesting to see if this change in approach makes any difference to my times.

2) The Atari ST Demo Thing? Yes - I'm still coding it.

These things always seem so simple at the beginning, don't they? I mean, you start writing some code and ideas start to pour out of your brain. Then, you realise that some of your ideas sucked, some you have no idea how to do (yet) and some things would look really cool if you had the right tools.

It's at this point that I ought to say that if this means absolutely nothing to you, take a quick look at this post.

I've written some more demo screens. Some look quite nice. Some look butt-ugly. Some have potential. Here's one screen I've nearly finished.


It's got rasters, chip-tunage, scrollers, a star-field and a bit-mapped rolling-bar thing. I'd go as far as to say that I'm almost happy with it. Earth-shattering it isn't, but I'm still pleased that I can get my head around STOS after what's been nearly thirty years. Other screens are also in the pipeline and are starting to take shape. I've got a menu system that looks nicer than the previous one I'd coded and I've also got a screen full of Lemmings (remember them?). It'll be nice to get it finished and draw a close to something that's been long in the making - and I guarantee it'll still run on a bog-standard 520 STFM!

When will I finish it? Eventually. You can't rush the creative process.

3) My site? Yes, I still update it (sometimes).

You know what? My posts have long gaps, are filled with rambling rubbish and some of my content is as exciting as a tax return. People ask whether blogs are still relevant in a world of social media and I'd say they still are. There's a backlash against some forms of social media and there may come a time where people look back on Twitter, Facebook and the others as an amusing flash in the pan like MySpace was. I know that in recent months, my usage of social media has gradually decreased - and with thirteen years of updates on this site I'm loathed to give it up. What I like about a blog is that I can ramble about a topic at length. True, Twitter is good for brainfarts, but a blog is better for the meaty stuff. Whilst time has progressed and life has occasionally resulted in me not updating things as much as I'd like, it still has a place for me. Everyone should have their own place on the web that isn't under the control of a data-mining corporation. Independence is a good thing.

For that reason, expect more random, sporadic updates when life allows. Perhaps I should say "Happy New Year" now?
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