The Blog of Kiran Lightpaw

Website Updates

Tags:, skiing

Made some updates to the website today. This website.

Notably, it’s actually a pretty big growth from what I intended just a couple months ago to be just a simple blog. I’ve started adding and fleshing out some more real content:

  • Added some of the stuff I’ve written over the years (and more is on the way as I clean it up).
  • Added a terribly pretentious About page. :)
  • Added an incomplete list of Links.

I’ve also updated, for the first time since 2006, my “How To Do Your First Furry Con” guide. I figured eight years was probably enough time to have elapsed for some of the information to become stale. Things like smart phones didn’t exist, and things like “travelers’ checks” did.

Also, space background! I like space!

In other news, I’m heading out to go skiing this weekend in West Virginia. This will be my first time up on skis in an unbelievable 12 years. Let’s see how much of this I’ve forgotten.

On "Doctor" Phil

Tags: furry, media

So the recent news Dr. Phil wants to do a show about furries is the latest thing to sweep the fandom.

I’ve been around this fandom a LONG time - nearly twenty years at this point. And I have seen this same thing play out over and over and over again. It will go something like this:

  1. TV show wants to do a show about the fandom, so they put out a call for someone to talk about their experiences.

  2. Some well-meaning but clueless furry decides to take it upon themselves to “make the fandom look good in the media,” because they think they can finally “tell the truth” about the fandom and miraculously make everything sunshine and rainbows.

  3. When the well-meaning but clueless furry goes on the air, because they have no experience dealing with media, they end up making a fool of themselves and talking about all kinds of crazy things.

  4. Show is further edited to make it look even worse.

  5. Show airs, we all look like idiots.

So I’m going to this again, as clearly as I can:

If you have the thought go through your head that you can “make the fandom look good in the media,” you are not the right person to be talking to the media.

Being media savvy is just not something most people are capable of doing, especially in situations like this one. People go to school for years to learn how to work with the media, and you think you can just waltz in there and make everything okay? You think every other furry that’s appeared in front of the camera hasn’t had the exact same thought process you do? And how has it ended for them?

You’re dealing with a show that is defined by conflict, and the people that run shows like this one are experts at finding (or creating) conflict. This is not some local news interviewing a random furry on the street - this is a TV talk show whose producers are experts at exploiting vulnerable, unsuspecting people (which, let’s face it, is the majority of the furry fandom).

If you decide to go on this show, I guarantee you it will end badly. You will be made to look like a simpleton at best, and a completely depraved pervert at worst. And, it will be construed as to reflect all of us.

But it’s going to happen, unfortunately. They will find someone - there’s always someone out there who thinks they can magically pull this off. And will end badly, and we will all look like fools. Again.

2014 will be different

Tags: new years, resolutions, weight, health, lyrics
Music: Counting Crows - Long December

A long December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember the last thing that you said as you were leavin’
Now the days go by so fast

So 2013 sucked elephant balls. But I’m going to set some goals for 2014. That way maybe it won’t be as terrible as last year.

  1. I am fatter than I have ever been in my life. So the first goal will be to lose some weight.

I really have a hard time believing that, just 2 years ago, I weighed 176 or so. In the intervening 2 years, I have managed to pack on nearly 60 pounds. I really think that some of my health issues - notably, my insomnia - stem from my weight. As I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in October, surely losing some weight will help that.

I’ve pretty much accepted two facts about myself: 1) I will never be skinny (even at 176, I was pudgy in the mid section), and 2) I will never like exercise. So, that having been said, my goal will be to get in a simple three times a week workout at the gym, and get my weight back down under 200 pounds.

  1. I need to GTFO this house.

I know I’m a new parent and all, but I am really fucking tired of my entire existentence being relegated to this house. If I don’t go to work, I’m here. I never have any fucking fun anymore.

So this year, I’m going to institute Mandatory Fun Time. At least once a month (and preferrably more often), do something just for fun.

As a collary to this, go to a con this year. For fun.

Would you believe the last convention I went to just for fun - and didn’t work at all - was Mephit Furmeet 2007? It’s been nearly 8 years since I just went to a con and had a good time.

  1. Blog more.

Would you believe I’ve posted more in the last month than in the preceding 11 months? Now that I think about it, I regret not writing more. But this new setup I have on my own domain is a bit more conducive to writing.

  1. Complete the following outstanding projects:

  2. Finish the garage. Drywall goes up, paint the walls, paint and seal the floor. Build shelves and install a workbench and cabinets. Clean out storage room.

  3. (Re-)Wire the house. All the rooms need Cat-6. Front room and office need coax as well. All the terminations that are currently in the upstairs closet need to be moved to the new wiring closet. Also, install some 802.11ac access points and a pfsense box to replace DD-WRT.

  4. Try to stop dwelling so much on the past, and start looking more towards the future.

I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell my myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass
And it’s one more day up in the canyon
And it’s one more night in Hollywood
It’s been so long since I’ve seen the ocean…I guess I should

2013: A Year In Review

Tags: health, new years

So what was 2013 like? Well…

  • January: Norovirus.

  • February: Sinus infection from hell.

  • August: Shingles. Are you fucking kidding me?

  • September: Insomnia.

  • October: Severe anxiety issues.

  • November-December: Depression.

So yes. Fuck 2013. Fuck it so hard. Fuck this year. 2012 was good, but 2013 can go fuck itself with an acid spewing spiked dildo.

2014 better not suck.

Christmas 2013

Tags: christmas, bible, christianity

If you’ll indulge me, it’s time for my yearly Christmas post.

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see - I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours!

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Luke 2:1-20, New Revised Standard Version

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thoughts on the Furaffinity Outage

Tags: furry, websites

So the latest thing that seems to have swept the fandom is the outrage over the outage of Furaffinity. I posted this to Twitter, but here are a few more thoughts on that:

  1. Congratulations to them for not completely falling off the Internet as so many sites do when they encounter problems. That’s actually a sign of pretty good architecture. Sometimes bad things happen, and you just have to fix them and roll on.

  2. The fandom was here before Furaffinity, and will be here long after too. If you have to wait a few days for new furry art, you will survive.

  3. This one goes primarily to those complaining about how Furaffinity’s extended outage is affecting their business. Don’t build your business around a single point of failure. A domain and hosting is dirt cheap and only takes a few hours to set up. Then, when an outage happens, you’re not SOL.

I actually see this same mistake being made all the time in my professional career - people building startups around one company’s API, which goes swimmingly until that API goes away. It’s the same with FA. Use Furaffinity to direct traffic to infrastructure that you control.

Like A Rolling Stone

Tags: memories

Sometimes, as I look around, I feel a little bit like I’m living through my own little personal version of the heat death of the universe. Only instead of the universe, it’s my life. Everything is expanding, pulling away and cooling off.

I’ve been a part of many communities over the years, both within and without the furry fandom. Each one of these communities, in some small or large way, shaped who I am. But, sadly for me, the vast majority of these communities have dissolved over the years, to the point where they’re either gone entirely, or just a shell of their former selves.

The weirdest part comes when I look around and see how many people have moved on to other things. But because everything on the Internet is, in some ways, permenant, there are still echoes. Old pictures. Unupdated personal webpages. Blogs that haven’t been posted to in years. Like pawprints in the sand. The people have moved on, but their pawprints stretch out over the years.

They each had their own journeys and, while we traveled together for awhile, our paths have now diverged. And as big as this fandom is, and as big as the Internet is, it’s still small enough that I run across those pawprints from time to time. I look at them and remember the wonderful times spent together, I regret that it ended, and I miss their company deeply.

Or I run into someone again, either in real life or online, for the first time in years. Like two trains passing in the night, I catch the briefest glimpse of their life, only for it to recede away again. “It’s nice to see they’re doing well,” I tell myself.

It still seems so fresh to me. So real. It seems like any day now I could log into FurryMUCK and participate in some epic, 6-hour long roleplay, or log into Furreality and find the handful of close friends who helped get me through college still there. I could log onto the Plainsman message boards and bitch about all that was wrong with Auburn. I could still log back into LiveJournal and see a friend feed miles long.

But I can’t. It’s all dead and gone, or just withering away as heat death slowly nibbles away whatever radiant energy is still left. And yet here I am. Still here. Just rolling along, but spending an increasing amount of time looking behind at all the wonderful times that were had. And the ego within me can’t help but wonder if they don’t feel the same way.

My life these days pretty much consists of wake up, go to work, come home, play with Scarlett for a little bit before putting her to bed, then I go to bed. Very little deviation from day to day, and very little time for “fun.” I would even stay up later if I knew I could have a little fun - a little creative roleplay with friends, a little reading about someone else’s life in a length that exceeds 140 characters, or even just a chat.

I just keep rolling forward, with no real direction home. A complete unknown. Like a rolling stone.

Is this thing on?

Tags: test,

The cheese is good today.

Welcome to the relaunched Kiran Lightpaw blog, the new home for Wanderings and Wonderings.

This is still very much a work in progress, but coming soon, hopefully, more content.