Hello, World! (It's me again)

Man, I am so behind on Star Wars. Really wanna watch Ahsoka but I'm only a season into Clone Wars, haven't watched Rebels and I'm still not caught up with season 3 of The Mandalorian. This blog post isn't about that; I just never know how to start these things.

Hello, hi, and welcome to my blog. I am Thom... but you can probably tell that because you're on my website. You'd think I'd be better at this. Used to call myself a writer. I've written, I'm sure, at least one hundred blog posts since the mid-00s, which I know isn't a lot for that span of time but it's relevant: I've done this before. I've done first blog posts before, dozens of times, a half-dozen of those on ThomBruce.com, probably a half-dozen more on an older domain I no longer own before I dropped the '-as' from 'Thomas'. And at least once on MySpace. Remember MySpace? Remember MySpace Tom, everybody's friend? Simpler times. A time before billionaires and their pissing contests dominated the social internet. A time when the social internet was the warm glow of MSN Messenger and the hum of your crush's favourite song on their MySpace profile... My Chemical Romance or The Used, probably. Does anyone remember The Used?

Look, I'm getting off track. I really don't know how to start these things, and I've struggled over the years with what tone to strike. Should I go for the I don't give a fuck tone of my teenage writing, the tryhard attempted professionalism of my mid-twenties, or the no actually, I really don't give a fuck of the here and now? Let's see how the mood takes me, shall we?

I do intend to talk code and professional life here, and I promise to tone down the pisses and fucks if I'm writing like a tutorial or an educational piece. I promise to research and do some actual planning, and I promise to work on second drafts... just not right now.

I also want to talk about family life, though god... where is the line that divides the two? I've been work-from-home since before the pandemic. Flexible time isn't just a luxury to me, it is a necessity. I have a beautiful fiancee and an amazing kid, but family is hard work too, y'know? Ethan (the kid) is six years old, starting his third year of school next week, he's autistic and has what I would describe as a hypersensitivity to stimuli... actually, that's probably how healthcare professionals would describe it too. He requires a not insignificant amount of attention, and that requires a lot of flexibility. But I wouldn't give any of that up - he's amazing - so it is and has been so important to me these past six years that I have always been able to make time for him.

But we'll talk more about parenting another time. I also want to talk about hobbies! I'm a skater... in a manner of speaking. I'm a gamer, and I make Let's Plays on YouTube and Twitch when I can find the time. It's fun, and has helped me a lot with my confidence. I'm probably also autistic but we can talk about that another time too...

I'd love to talk about movies and TV shows. I'd really love to talk about science. I'd like to write a book.

Actually, I really want to write a book. I tried to make an app almost 15 years ago to help connect writers with readers and accidentally stumbled into a career in programming instead. Not that I wasn't already programming - I'd done WordPress websites, I'd worked in HTML and CSS for years and I'd dabbled in JavaScript - but that was the project that introduced me to the wider world of web development and it feels like I haven't stopped since. Is it weird if I consider programming a creative outlet in and of itself?

I really do. I think programming is a creative profession but that there's little room for creativity in most programming careers. Actually, the same is true of writing professions. I don't think a lot of people know that but if you ever go looking for a job as a writer, goddamn do you find out quick. There's little to no need for creativity in writing in the professional world. At least you wouldn't think so from the jobs on offer. I don't think I could do it... to write but to a set of standards and specifications. I didn't think I could do it fifteen years ago, and that's why I fumbled my way into a career in programming instead. But that was a very long time ago.

We'll talk about all of that, and we'll talk about whatever else happens to cross my mind that I feel needs writing down. This isn't that though. This is me, saying hello for like the dozenth reboot of my personal blog.

More to follow.