Work Life Balance

So a lot of the time I have from conventions is that normally I can do all the work involved in my job in about 4 hours a day. However that is usually spread out over the day, with flurries of work every half hour to an hour. That normally allows me to sneak in about 90 minutes of convention work during the work day, and still have a relaxing evening.

However, just before christmas an urgent project landed on my manager. Which of course filtered down to the rest of the team. It was a project with an impossible deadline, by the time my boss took it on we had pretty much missed our first deadline! we have gotten a lot of work done over the last few months, and are on track to meet our start of March Deadline, however technical issues may mean that we can’t get it into the release pipeline until the start of April.

All of this has meant that i have no time for conventions during the day, and so more of it ends up been done after hours. This is normally fine as it is only about 90 minutes of work, except at the moment i am trying to learn how someone else did something on a website so that I can work out how to make changes to it without breaking everything. Turns out i may have to break everything!

It just brings home how much i hate web design. We are stuck in browsers because people won’t download standalone applications. Of course more and more enterprise applications are going that way, which is also a bit annoying!

I think i have rambled a little here, i think the main upshot is that i am very busy on all fronts, so may be slow to respond!

[History] First Contact – May 1993

So before Christmas I got a large collection of various documents that are related to the now defunct Irish Science Fiction Association. So I have selected one document to scan and am putting it up on dropbox.

I am hoping to put together a proper archive document and share more of these later.

Irish Science Fiction Association Headed Paper

As i mentioned i am in the process of trying to put together an archive of Irish Fan history. Part of that is getting older documents scanned and put on to the Internet.Of course all such things take time and of course documents.

I recently got some documents from Pádraig Ó Méalóid. There is a lot in the bag and so it will take a lot to get it in.

The first of the things i have scanned are two blank documents which have the header for the Irish Science Fiction Association which was set up in 1976 to promote awareness of Science Fiction in Ireland.



Hopefully i will manage to get more these scanned and into a proper archive.

So busy

Work has pretty much been a busy time of late.

I hadn’t even gotten one project out the door, when another one came back around and added to the pile.

A long time ago i did some Java in college, and as the people i work for are a .Net house it means that no one else really knows much about Java.

So whenever a Java job comes up it comes to my desk, and i drive myself nuts for a couple of days or weeks working out how to do what they want.

Whats worse is that when i get this one done, there is already another in the works.

So i guess i will be busy for the next few Months….

I should point out that i am also still looking for somewhere new to live.

Public Holidays

It happens to be a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland.

This has meant that i have spent a large part of my day hanging around and enjoying the shocking sunshine. It is almost a summers day outside!

A little later, i will be heading to play boardgames with a friend, for now i am currently doing some fannish work, for Shamrokon, mainly a couple of minor website updates, and a bit of gathering some info for accounts!


Work has gone from a place where i will get some time during the day to check in on stuff on the internet, too a state of AHHHHHH!

Of course there are still some quite moments, like now, when i am waiting for a phonecall from someone to confirm a backup has run, which once it has run its course will trigger a whole new round of AHHHH! (yes it is less than this mornings AHHHHHH).

This is all of course my excuse for a lack of update.


i should point out that before i was finsihed this, the phone call came….oh well


My First Convention



If i am going to talk about Irish Fandom, I should be honest about where i started. I first attended an Octocon in 1998. The previous year Octoocon had been the Eurocon for that year. However the issues that surrounded the convention had pretty much burnt the committee, and a lot of the traditional Irish Convention runners had a need of a break.

So in order to keep things going, there was a one day event rather than having nothing



The Guest of Honour was James White, and there was a lot of very interesting programming.

This is where the path of my life changed. I had no idea what to expect, but I watched some incredible panels.

The few i can remember, after looking at the timetable, were

  • “Star Wars – The greatest disaster ever to hit SF literature ” – What I recall I was on the opposite side of this position, as I was only really into Science Fiction because of it.
  • “No Such This as Irish Fandom” – This panel is where i got the idea for setting up a Science Fiction Society in college, for which i still blame the panelists for everything.

I sadly can’t remember much more about the panels, it is after all nearly 15 years ago. I do recall having a great time, which is not hard to believe as i was at Octocon many times over the years that followed.

An invite to Octocon 1994

One of the things i want to do is take some of the old documents that i have gotten as Octocon Chair and scan it in and publish it. It will all end up on the Octocon Archive, but it will be a while before i get all of it scanned.

In the mean time some of the smaller things can be posted here, as they are usually only a single page.

So the first thing i am putting up here is an invite that was sent out to members of the 1993 Octocon to let them know about the Octocon 1994 event.



I look forward to sharing more of this in the future.

An encounter at Greenspindle

I want to take this time to talk about one of my favourite pictures, and the artist behind it.

A couple of years ago I was sent a  link to a picture set in the Kingkiller Chronicles world,



A picture of the famed Dracus. This was my first introduction to the art work of Phil McDarby.

I wandered around his website, and loved all the work. However the first time I saw “An encounter at Greenspindle”  I was in love. I spent a long time just looking at the picture, spotting extra detail.


It is not just the picture, it is the story that i imagine exists in this image. An online version can not do this the slightest bit of justice. Here is a picture of the Dragons Eye. This picture is at 100%. there is no Zoom involved.


I strongly recommend you have a look at the web page for this image. I still find new elements in the image that i had not seen before.

I have purchased a print of this picture, and it is hanging on the wall in my bedroom. Though if i can get it properly framed, i will probably move it into my sitting room at some point soon.

Useful Links:


A manifesto

So i suppose i should put some of what i hope to be doing with this blog in writing.

  • It should be a aware that this is a Personal Blog. While i may hold postions on various events, either now or in the future, this is about me.
  • I will talk about events i am involved in the running of, as that is my nature.
  • I hope to talk about my various convention trips and talk about some of the panels i liked.
  • I Intend to post any of the older material i have floating around from various Irish Conventions. While most of the Octocon stuff will end up archived over at the Octocon Convention Archive, i was hoping to put things from other Irish events here.
  • I will hopefully talk about books and films and Tv shows that i have read. Don’t expect these to be in-depth reviews, more of a quick review.
  • Random Things that i like that don’t belong anywhere else. Things like the Results of the Irish National team latest match, though probably limited to Rugby, cricket, and on occasion Football.

How often will i post? Who can say i Do hope to right some crap here on a regular basis, but i don’t know how often it will be!