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Timeless Thoughts – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Timeless Thoughts - Click to join the link up
Timeless Thoughts – Click to join the link up

I considered posting this earlier but decided it would be perfect for a Timeless Thoughts post and held off until now. Timeless Thoughts is a link-up run by Georgie and Tara each month, click on the image above to join!

Today (Mar 10) is the 20th anniversary of the beginning of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in tv form anyway. It started all the way back in March of 1997 and would continue to live on through the show, a spin-off and comics until today.

Living in Australia I didn’t get to see the show until the summer (that’s December over here) of 1997. This was the time of the year that networks put on shows they didn’t think would really go to well but need something while all their popular shows were on hiatus for the summer.

Unfortunately, back in the mid 90’s we didn’t have the luxuries of downloading or buying episodes at the time they were released that we do now (although for some TV shows we still don’t in Australia… not legally anyway. Thanks Foxtel) so we had to wait until the tv networks decided they wanted to air the shows.

I anticipated Buffy coming for a while – For much of my life I’ve always had an interest in all things vampires.. That sort of died with the coming of Twilight when they were ruined for me – Buffy had been advertised on TV for weeks in advance but I just had to wait it out while watching things like re-runs of MASH. Summer programming in Australia was always riveting.

Finally, it began. I remember watching it from my little 32cm TV in my bedroom (something I’d do for many seasons of the show) each week and wondering what the scooby gang were going to come up against this week.

This continued for many years, through the angst of Angel/Angelus and all the big bads through the years, the love/hate relationship with Spike (I was always firmly on the side of love when it came to Spike.. as well as a bit of a Spuffy shipper), as well as all the other love (and heartbreak, because Joss Whedon can’t let his characters be happy, apparently) including the first lesbian sex scene to be shown on network TV.

At my first job I’d find others who liked the show too and we went to a Buffy convention in Melbourne in 2003 (my first time there!) and I got to meet Emma Caulfield (Anya) who was ever so tiny in real life. I would later realise that most the cast were quite short.

It was the first show I remember watching and really enjoying. The first show I ever wanted to own and bought on dvd, even though the box sets at the time took up a huge amount of space. I would later sell them and re-buy them in the smaller cases which I still own today.

Even though there were many times I didn’t like Buffy, the character, I always enjoyed the show as a whole and am amazed to see that it still brings people together, even now, 20 years later.

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Timeless Thoughts – Geocities

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Timeless Thoughts – Click to join the linkup

Hello, yes I’m still here. Just in time for this months Timeless Thoughts from Georgie and Tara. Click the image above to join in if you have something you want to write about that gives you a little nostalgia.

Recently, I was discussing with a friend the internet of old. It started with a mention of Alta Vista on Google’s 18th Birthday. For those of you that don’t know what Alta Vista is, it was Google’s predecessor. It was Google before there was Google. The very best search engine of its time. In the end Yahoo ended up owning it and, not surprisingly, ruined it. Because that is what Yahoo does it seems.

Our discussion then moved from search engines to webhosts, reminiscing about Geocities, Angelfire and Tripod, to name a few. Geocities is definitely where I got my start. It was the place I found when I realised that “hey, I can make websites too?” and yes, they were very basic and very terrible until I learnt more and technology started improving.

The thing I really enjoyed about Geocities was that they had a bit of fun with choosing your url. You got to choose your address based on the neighbourhood you chose and the number you wanted in that neighbourhood. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any screenshots of this but Geocities had different cities/neighbourhoods with different themes so you could set up your website in Hollywood if your website was entertainment themed, for example.
Once you chose the neighbourhood you wanted you were then presented with little houses and you got to choose one. This also meant you could choose your neighbours! Once you made these decisions you got to move in and start on your website. Geocities did try and make a little community for their budding website builders.

Geocities was so iconic that there are now silly websites where you can ‘geocities-afy’ your website. Here is mine! – That’s a little scary!

In the end Yahoo bought Geocities and, well, ruined.

On my trip down memory lane last week I stumbled upon Neocities whose aim is to make the internet fun again – Geocities obviously also had an effect on them too. They want to make website building accessible and about skill and interest rather than about money making, “pin me” covered websites. This spoke to me as I really do miss the website building of old where the aim wasn’t to be the best (no one was making money anyway so what did it matter?) but to be the best you could be and there was a community around to help you out if your layout just wasn’t doing what you wanted it to do.

So that prompted me to sign up for Neocities and make my own little slice of the internet (away from this slice of the internet) where there is no php or divs or even layout images. It’s just a basic website that I had fun creating. This is very similar to something I would have made back in the day, I always liked using black/charcoal and a bright colour, usually blue or pink. I’ve always been more interested in using colour to create a layout rather than images, something which continues today.. in fact, I realised while writing this post that the colour scheme is the same as All The Me. I guess some things never change!

While I’m not sure I’ll do anything else with the Neocities site, it was fun playing around with everything again. I can’t believe how rusty I was and that a simple table was a stretch of my memory. I used to make sites like this all the time and now I barely remember how, it really shows how tools like WordPress make you a little bit lazy.

Did you ever use sites like Geocities to create websites or other free hosting providers? Did you make websites before the days of wordpress?

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Timeless Thoughts: Driving

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Timeless Thoughts – click to join the link up

It’s time for Tara and Georgie‘s link-up, Timeless Thoughts, where you post about something from the past that you’ve been thinking about. Click above to join!

I first got my Learners Licence when I was 16, the legal age here is 15 and 9 months, I knew some people that got it the very first day they could because they were that keen to drive. I was less keen and never really felt the same desire to drive as my classmates. It was more my parents pushing me to get it rather than me wanting to that finally made me do it. Learning to drive was less than fun, the first vehicle that I started in was my Dad’s ute and I found it far too stressful and didn’t try again for ages.

A little while later I started learning in our old red Holden Gemini, we had bought it one day when we were actually out looking for a new ute. One place we went to that was advertising a ute for sale also had their son’s Gemini for sale and my Dad loved it so much he bought it. It was a teenaged boys dream, my Dad wasn’t exactly the target demographic for the lowered car with dark tinted windows and a redback spider gear knob.

Eventually I started practising in my parents new car, they thought it would be more respectable to do the test in it than the old Gemini plus it had power steering and was somewhat easier to drive.

And that is how I came to get my “red P’s” in the summer of 2000/2001. I had a deadline from my parents, they needed a driver to the AC/DC concert in February of 2001 and expected me to get my licence so that I could do so, seriously, that happened.

After that I inherited the Gemini which went on a lot of adventures with me. I’m surprised it didn’t end up worse off given it had a tendency to overheat and I drove it in some conditions it probably shouldn’t have been driven in. One day it died for good. I could have repaired it but it was more money than it was worth and more money than I had so I let the wreckers take it away and investigated buying a new car!

I hated my new car, it was an automatic and a lot bigger than my little Gemini and I decided I wasn’t going to drive it and then if I wasn’t going to drive it why bother having a licence? So I let my licence expire and didn’t renew it for nearly 10 years.

I currently live in an area that only this week had a local set of shops open and it’s either a 30 min walk to the next shops or working around the less than awesome bus timetables to get anywhere so about a week ago I got my Learner’s again (I got it originally 2 years ago but let it expire without doing much driving) and am pretty determined to get it converted to at least my P’s, but hopefully a full licence. Hopefully this desire outweighs my laziness.

I went for my first drive yesterday and it went ok! Considering in the last 10+ years I’d only done a little drive once before it’s pretty amazing how quickly you remember how to do everything. There are obviously things I need to work on (like checking for cyclists when crossing cycle paths. No I didn’t do that yesterday, eek! Fortunately there were no cyclists) but I think it’s something I can do and maybe in the next year or so I will be saying I went for my first drive solo.

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Timeless Thoughts #5 – Weight

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Timeless Thoughts Linkup – Click to join!

It’s the first Saturday (uh.. Sunday) of the month again and that means the Timeless Thoughts linkup! I missed last months but am back again in March for thought #5, weight.

For most of my adult life my weight has gone up and down within a range of about 20kg and unfortunately, right now, it is at the higher end of those 20 kilos. I have been working on getting it back down to the lower end of the scale and it is one of my goals for this year. It was going quite well in January and parts of February but then I developed a stomach issue that lasted a few weeks and left me feeling sluggish, bloated and mostly just gross. In the end it meant I didn’t meet my target for February and so far am behind for March too.

This morning as I jumped on the scale and didn’t get the result I had hoped for (I am hoping it’s related to my increase in strength training and building of muscle in Feb and March and not just too many snacks) I thought about how I never thought about weight as a kid. As a kid the priority wasn’t on the way my body looked or felt but on doing things that were fun. It might also be coincidence that as a kid you barely stop moving and life is about running around, skipping with a skipping rope (I used to be able to skip forever! Now I feel like I’m dying after 30 seconds), climbing trees and riding your bike wherever you can.

It seems the older you get the less you move, or at least if you’re working in IT, like I am. Many hours of the day I’m sitting (usually slouched) at a desk, staring at a screen and not moving much of anything, other than my fingers on the keyboard and hand on the mouse. As a result you have to consider how much food you’re taking in and whether you’re moving enough to burn it off. You also have to consider whether you should be going to the gym (I have considered it and the answer is no! They kind of scare me) and it just seems a whole lot more complex than life as a kid when you didn’t even know what a gym was.

I wish life could be as simple as getting up and doing what I want, having someone feed me the nutrients I need (not having to think about or make your own food is a massive perk of being a kid!) and not thinking about it any further. Either that or chocolate could become a superfood and give me all the nutrients I need! That’s the dream.

On the plus side, as an adult, I can make the very responsible choice of eating icecream for dinner.

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Timeless Thoughts #4 – Christmas

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Timeless Thoughts – Click image to join the linkup!

Timeless Thoughts is a monthly blog linkup hosted by Tara and Georgie where each month you discuss something you miss or are feeling nostalgic about.

This month my Timeless Thought is going to be about Christmas.

Growing up, Christmas was a big deal in our house. My Dad and I aren’t religious and were never baptised and my Mum is a lapsed Catholic but that didn’t matter.. it was never about religion for us anyway and more about having fun, giving and receiving presents and my Mum always really liked putting up the tree. Even if you would find little plastic leaves and strings of Tinsel around the house for the next 6 months.

I don’t remember too many early Christmases, not the actual day anyway, mostly I just remember Christmas by presents and not year. There was the year I got my BMX, the year when I was older and got a different bike, the year I got coloured pencils with my name on them for school (I was not so impressed that year) and all of the years where I had a massive stocking stuffed with gummy bears. Santa was the one who brought the gummy bears, I pretended to believe in him for a few years after I had worked it out because of them – who can resist gummy bears!

As I got older I remembered the lunches (it was always Christmas lunch for us), if it was at our house we would try and convince everyone a bbq was the best thing because then you didn’t have a Turkey in the oven in the middle of summer – I never understood why that is a tradition here.. why is Turkey a Christmas tradition at all? And the family (and a few strays) would come around and we would stuff ourselves with various kinds of meats and roast vegetables (I always loved the potatoes) and chocolates and chips and drink until we could drink no more.

As the years went by Christmas wasn’t as fun any more, there was none of that childlike excitement and many of the people that used to come around moved away. Add to that, my parents getting divorced (and later cutting my Dad out of my life) and there wasn’t much left of the Christmas of old and, eventually, I didn’t really mind.

These days there are no decorations or a tree but there is the Christmas lunch, dinner or brunch depending on which family can be fit in where and a few gifts given and received but mostly, for me, it’s about having a few days off and relaxing at home. For 2015 on Christmas day, we didn’t have to be anywhere until dinner time and it was nice to not have to rush about thinking about where we had to be and what we had to bring and simply just enjoy pancakes for breakfast and lounging on the couch in a Chocolate induced coma. Maybe this can be my new Christmas tradition.