F is for…


© 2011 Peter Verrant, used under a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license

It all started, as all the best stories do, many years ago. Some of my Minnesotan chums were talking about this show they all loved called Firefly. We got to chatting, and I made vague comments about maybe checking it out, or adding it to my rental list or something.

This went on for a little while, until one day there was a weird reply to one of my blogposts where we were discussing it and whether I needed to see it before I went to see the movie Serenity for the umpteenth time. It went something like

Oh, just watch it, you’ve got the DVD

or words to that effect.
I was mystified – I’d just said that I might get it at some point, so clearly didn’t have a copy.

All became clear a day or two later when a parcel arrived from Amazon.com. My lovely Minnesota posse had finally tired of me putting off getting this thing and had clubbed together to buy me the box set.

Have I mentioned that I have *awesome* friends?

Fell in love immediately. The antics of Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his motley crew aboard the Firefly-class ship Serenity. Jayne Cobb and his love of guns. Kaylee. Oh lordy. They were all wonderful.

And Fox cancelled it.


Fourteen episodes was all we’d got.

Then the sales of the box sets soared, and that lovely Mister Whedon managed to persuade the studios that he really could make a film for not that much really, and so Serenity happened.

The thing I love most about the show is the love that surrounds it. The actors clearly loved making it. Joss loved making it. The fans loved everything about it, and the Browncoat community is still going strong, all these years later. They even made a film of their own, Done The Impossible.

The actors turn up in different roles, in different places. But there’ll always be a bit of Firefly to go with them. Case in point, Nathan Fillion’s wonderful Castle, a series about a famous author who helps the police department solve murders. In season two, episode six (sorry, Castle geek), we get this lovely little scene:

Which you just know was Nathan’s idea.

There are Firefly references scattered throughout Castle – my favourite of which is that in the above clip, you can see the catalyser from the Firefly episode ‘Out of Gas’.

Joss Whedon, Tim Minear, Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, Adam Baldwin and Sean Maher all reunited at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2012 for a 10th anniversary panel. Ten thousand people turned up to get into the panel.

There’s a lot of love out there in the ‘verse for our Big Damn Heroes. If you haven’t seen it yet, then you must. You can thank me later.

Oh, and the photo up there? They’re the littlest Big Damn Heroes of them all and the kids of some of my friends who bought me the DVDs, all those years ago.

Browncoats, forever.

C is for…


And you thought it was going to be Coffee, didn’t you? Go on, admit it. You’ll have to wait for that one. Watch this space.


Photo of Ms Alex, taken at Photocamp Bradford, September 2009. The tattoo says ‘Curiosity > Enthusiasm > ACTION‘, which is a splendid approach to life.

We’ll talk about tea in another post. Wait for it!

I’m a curious person. Curious about things. Curious about people. Curious about stuff. I like to see how things work, find out *why* they work like that. When I was younger I dismantled all kinds of stuff to see how it worked.

I’ve more-or-less stopped that now, on the basis that I usually ended up with a bit left over, but the curiosity remains.

I’m curious about why the word ‘curious’ turns into ‘curiosity’, and where the ‘u’ goes.

I’m curious about who reads this. Say hi in the comments, if you’d be so kind.

A is for…

I’ve been musing on a blog post series with an alphabetical theme – along the lines of A is for… B is for… then waffling about the particular subject. I’ve got a selection of the alphabet covered in terms of things to talk about, but was struggling with ‘A’. I remembered that I’d done this sort of thing before, on another blog. I went back and dug up the old post…

Yes, it’s cheating, re-using content. I know, I know. I’ve revised the content, so some of it is new.

I asked the twitter hiveMind and blog readers for suggestions and I got an… interesting set of responses (I would expect nothing less, mind you). I decided to play along and write something (anything!) about each…

Relatively easy one this – a while back I bought the domain flyingaardvark.com, though I’ve still not decided quite what do do with it. I go through phases of buying domains – I’ve owned, in no particular order:
dakegra.net and .com
and now, espressococo.com. One day I might even pluck up the $13 to change espressococo.wordpress.com over to espressococo.com. One day. Perhaps I should set up a donations bucket.

I’m open to suggestions for what I might be able to do with any/all of the above. 🙂

I suppose that I was asking for Advice on what to do this post on, which is what I got!

Armadillos are cute. Especially baby ones. I think it’s the ears.
baby armadillo.
photo courtesy of danvas on Flickr. I hope I’ve read the CC licensing correctly!

Attentive antelope assassins, and advanced aerobatics
I can just see a bunch of black-clad ninja antelopes, cartwheeling through a high-tech lair past the traditional mesh of laser trip-wires. Actually, Ed has several books which feature either a set of super-intelligent time-travelling cows, or dinosaurs which fly spaceships. Perhaps ninja antelopes could be the Next Big Thing?

Felt slightly awkward asking for help with this blog post, and for re-using the old blog post. Does that count?

Ad-hoc solution
… which is what this is. ’nuff said.

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. I’m fairly sure that I have a mild form of ADHD, without the H. P will be for Procrastination, I’m sure. Watch this spa… ooh, shiny things!

I like annotating things[1]. Footnotes are awesome.

Hmm. Had to look this one up. Asynchronous. Not really sure I’m any the wiser, to be honest. I quite like the word Plesiochronous though, which is derived from the Greek plesio, meaning near, and chronos, time, and refers to the fact that plesiochronous systems run in a state where different parts of the system are almost, but not quite perfectly, synchronised.

It’s the ‘almost, but not quite’ bit that tickles me.

Had to look this one up too, though wikipedia let me down. According to thefreedictionary.com:

1. Befuddled; confused.
2. Eccentric; peculiar
3. Senseless; mad

10 bonus points and a gold star if you can work it into a conversation today.

Fear of public places or open spaces. Not something I suffer from, thankfully. Though I do know a couple of people who do.

yeah, whatever whatever.

Assuming we’re talking about Argyll in Scotland, it’s a beautiful bit of the country. Various other uses exist though, the most familiar of which (to me, at least) is the argyle pattern of knitwear. I used to have several pairs of argyle socks, many years ago. See, don’t you feel better for knowing that?

Adams, Douglas
Famous for The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, naturally. Wikipedia seems to be a modern-day version of The Guide, which when coupled with a smartphone or tablet will be virtually indistinguisable. Except The Guide in the TV series had cooler graphics. Which were all hand-drawn animation, I seem to recall.

My work desks over the years have, without exception, sported a jaunty yellow post-it note with the words Don’t Panic in large, friendly letters. And yes, I do know where my towel is.

I was looking for a suitable quote to go in here, then realised that you might as well just go and read the books. Certainly read H2G2, you could probably give the later ones a miss.

One quote which I did rather like is

The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.

And, on that note, we leave the letter A. Next up, B.

B is for…?

[1] like this[2]
[2] or this[3]
[3] sometimes it gets silly. 🙂 However, I *love* footnotes. You’ll see a lot of them on here, best get used to them.

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