What's been up with me

It's been something like six months; I figure it's time, and past, for me to write a small note here saying what's been up with me. Something a bit more like a traditional blog post than most of my blah posts have been.

Perhaps first, because it might be most interesting to computer geeks, is that I finally got around to writing my own IRC client. It's usable enough I'm using it for my IRCing now. For those interested, clone git://git.rodents-montreal.org/Mouse/chc and look at the irc/ directory. (I'm sure it has problems at present.)

It's not new, but it's still pretty damn awesome: I still feel that I have the best wife there ever could be. She and I each feel we're getting the better side of the deal in our relationship. Still. After more than five years together.

My wife and I have been taking an Irish Gaelic class for most of that post-free six months. It's proving to be a very engaging language for me, due in large part to our teacher, who is a real treasure. A few days ago I picked up a book written entirely in Irish Gaelic—and it's actually written in Gaelic, not translated into Gaelic—and I could understand a little of the back cover without even needing to look anything up, and could pick apart the sentence structure for much of the rest, missing only the substantives. And, with the help of a translating dictionary, I was able to understand those sentences. He, our teacher, should be proud of how much he's managed to impart to us in such a short time.

Related to that, we went to Kingston, weekend before last (the 6th and 7th of April). There is, near there, (what I am told is) the only Gaeltacht recognized by the Republic of Ireland outside its own borders. (A Gaeltacht is, loosely put, an area where Gaelic is still a living practical language, usable in everyday life.) It was something of an immersion weekend, a weekend where, for the most part, the default language between people was Gaelic rather than English. It was an awesome experience.

To the extent that there is difference enough for it to make sense to say so, I've been drifting from the neo-pagan world to the new-age world. I certainly feel that the new-age world has been provoking more growth in in me in the last year or so than the neo-pagan world has in all the time I've been involved with it (which means somewhere between five and ten years). It's been a bit expensive in money, perhaps, true; I once asked a friend what the difference between pagan and new-age was and he said, ten thousand dollars. For all that that's a cynical response, there is truth in it; the neo-pagan world, at least here, has this odd attitude that everything should be free, or at least barter. And, if we lived in a culture where that were practical, I'd have no problem with it, but we don't. And there's also a saying that you get what you pay for, which I tend to turn around and say that what you get, you pay for, one way or another. I'm finding the new (to me) stuff has done me enough good that I'm willing to invest a good deal of my time, in the fungible form our culture uses, into it.