Star Wars Episode VII: Grand Canyon

Mrs. Dan and I went to the Grand Canyon last weekend, which is surely the world leader in seemingly impressive names which turn out to be bald understatement when you actually see them. A bit like if Mount Everest was called Giant Rock. You get the idea.

When we were there I was pretty focused on being awestruck and constantly overwhelmed by how massive it is. But while reviewing my photos earlier today, with the grandeur fairly well diluted, a thought struck me almost immediately.

“They should totally film Star Wars here.”

IMG_0326Can’t you just imagine a squadron of X-Wings screaming across the canyon in the dawn light?


Or Jaina and Jacen Solo sparring with lightsabers on a snowy clifftop?


Or something involving this extremely wide panorama shot that I really wanted to shoehorn into this post?

I certainly can. And one of the benefits of Disney now owning the franchise is that they could probably afford to rent the entire Canyon National Park for six months to film there!

Man, I really hope J.J. Abrams or Kathleen Kennedy reads this.

Treadmill Desk is Go Go Go

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and be jealous!

IMAG0492_BURST002After about eighteen months of using a standing desk to work from home, and loving it, last week I took the final step in banishing the sedentary aspect of working on a computer all day. I’ve been following the trends in treadmill desking over the last year or so, and particularly the amazingly in-depth Treadmill Desk Diary. It was based on the recommendations there that I bought my desk and my treadmill. And the colours even match, which is a nice bonus!

So far I’m not walking constantly while I work, sometimes I just stand, but I’ve definitely been getting some good exercise. I’ve been keeping track of how many minutes I’ve done, and at what speed, and therefore my distance. The treadmill also has a calorie burn estimate, which is handy. From all of this I can say that in Week One A.T.–After Treadmill–I walked 36.1 miles and burned 5340 calories! Which is pretty badass.

If you’re interested in learning more about the terrifying dangers of a sedentary lifestyle, or ‘How Your Chair Is Killing You’, have a read of this report from the President’s Council on Not Being So Overweight And Unhealthy That You Die at Forty Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. If tl;dr, the headline is ‘Stand Up, Sit Less, Move More, More Often’. Which is really just common sense, but it does take a bit of effort to put it into practice. You don’t need to go the whole way and get the same setup as me–and that wouldn’t even be possible for a lot of people who work in normal offices, rather than at home–but try standing up to work once in a while. You might like it!

Light is Dark, Up is Down… OK, Just The Light and Dark Thing

Keen observers will have noticed I’ve flipped the colour scheme of the site from light to dark. Let me know if you like it, hate it, or plain don’t care.

UPDATE: That experiment didn’t last long. I didn’t really like it myself, and the one comment I received was not in favour. So I’ve toned down the dazzling brightness by making the background and menu bar a pale grey.

No Post For A Week! Are You Alive, Dan?

I am! Don’t worry, dear readers. I just haven’t been posting. Lovely wife’s lovely sister came to visit us in Sao Paulo, so we’ve been busy. Took her to Rio de Janeiro for the weekend, too.

We went up here. It was great, but I could have lived without the three hours of queuing.


Fun times.

I’ve not been reading, and I’ve not been writing, which has limited the nuggets of bloggy inspiration somewhat. Fear not, though–at the end of this week I should be receiving a shiny, gleaming, edited copy of ASCENSION POINT back from my editor, bedecked in fancy new red lines where before there was just cliched dialogue and over-exposition. And once I get that, you can be damn sure I’ll have a blog about it.

So I’ve Changed the Name of the Blog

The sharp-eyed amongst you will have noticed that the words at the top of the page, and indeed in your browser tab, have changed. To prepare for the upcoming publication of my first novel and ensuing global domination, it’s time to LOOK MORE PROFESSIONAL. So I’ve registered the domain and am now using that for the blog.

If any of you lovely folks has bookmarked the old address, – thanks! And also, that link will continue to work. WordPress will cleverly redirect it to the new domain.

That’s all for now. Hope you’re having a great Friday.

Holidays and Edits

Limited bloggery over the past few days – sorry about that. We’ve been away on a little trip over the long weekend here in Brazil. I have no idea which saint’s day it was which gave me the day off last Thursday, but I’m grateful – taking the extra vacation day on Friday made it a four day weekend, and they’re always good.

Anyway. Read more…

Social Media Holy Trinity Unlocked!

Yup – not satisfied with just my blog and Twitter account, I’ve created a Facebook page. You can check it out at, or click the link next to the smiling face on the right.

As I write this, Facebook is telling me, quite bluntly, that no-one likes me. Would you like to be the first to like me? In the future you can say you knew me before I was cool! (To which people will reply “before who was cool?”)

I’m unsure if I’m about to unleash a death-spiral of cross posting – the blog posts go to the Facebook page, and also to the Twitter account. But the tweets also go to the Facebook page, so this will probably end up there twice! Now I just need to work out a way of sending Facebook updates automatically to this blog, and the infinite loop will bring down the infrastructure of the entire internet.

And yes. The cart is now so far in front of the horse that it’s circumnavigated the globe, and is about to catch up. I will actually publish a book soon, I promise.

A Proud Day for Sailing the Void

Yesterday was indeed a banner day for this blog-o-mine.


  • 110 views – new record!
  • 11 new followers – new record! (Hi everyone!)
  • 24 likes – new record!

Meanwhile, somewhere in Connecticut, Suzanne Collins’ deputy personal assistant is insulating her loft with this afternoon’s fan mail.

Aaaaaand . . . back down to earth.

The First of Many Awards? Versatile Blogger

I’ll be honest, at first I thought this was one of those annoying chain-letter-type things. You know, the sort you see on YouTube comment threads, where someone says ‘If you read this and don’t forward it to 50 people then your cat will die in a plane crash!’

But after a little bit of poking around, there seems to be no harm in it. No-one’s eventually being asked to forward their bank details to the Crown Prince of Nigeria, so setting cynicism firmly aside… Read more…