Mark Norman Francis

Internet Boffin

About me

Published on June 18, 2006.

This is my personal website, in which I ramble aimlessly about myself and my life. All opinions expressed within are mine, borrowed from other people shamelessly or made up with the roll of a die; they are never those of my employers unless otherwise stated.

Thirty random facts

  1. In the words of flickr: I am male, 38 and taken.

  2. I have mostly blue eyes (I say mostly because they have a subtle colour, which reflects a lot of the colour around them, so sometimes they’re more green, or grey).

  3. I have had at least shoulder-length hair since I was eighteen. My uncle Paul refers to me as “the eternal hippy”.

  4. I am a geek (obsessed with computers, programming, the internet, gadgets and toys, et cetera).

  5. I collect t-shirts and moose (alces alces) paraphernalia.

  6. My favourite pastime is passive consumption (television, movies, music, comics, books, magazines, you name it).

  7. My second favourite pasttime is the active consumption of games; both console and computer games and more traditional board games.

  8. I forget words all the time. Normally just after I’ve started the sentence in which I intend to use it.

  9. Francis is my mother’s maiden name, and the third surname I’ve had in my life.

  10. I hate shaving, so I mostly sport stubble or a short beard. I hate having a beard too, so it’s a constant battle of wills. Apathy normally wins.

  11. I haven’t worn a suit, shirt and tie (with the exception of a few formal events) since I was 16.

  12. I had two teeth pulled out by a wrench at the age of 11 (it was in the hands of my dentist).

  13. I was in my Primary School’s chess club, ranked 14th of 14. I played about five competitive matches before giving up.

  14. I had my first girlfriend at age 6.

  15. At age eight, I had two girlfriends at the same time (it wasn’t my idea, but neither did I complain).

  16. I am addicted to Coca-Cola. At one point I was consuming over three litres a day of the stuff.

  17. I can get very claustrophobic at times, although it is more inability to get out of a space, rather than just tiny places.

  18. I have a variant of parosmia, in that I smell things incorrectly at times, and cannot smell certain smells. I don’t, however, suffer badly or get phantom unpleasant smells.

  19. I have difficulty in making out words at times, sort of like an auditory dyslexia. Also, I find it almost impossible to concentrate on multiple conversations — which means I detest people talking when the television is on.

  20. I used to perform improvised comedy on stage, including twice at the Brighton Comedy Festival to a late-night drunken audience (drunk audiences and “Please shout out…” do not mix well).

  21. I am most emphatically not a vegetarian. I like to remain at the top of the food chain.

  22. I love tequila, it makes me happy.

  23. I don’t love wine, it all tastes like vinegar to me. Many people have tried to find a wine they think I will like. They have all failed.

  24. The only musical instrument I can play with any degree of competency is the triangle.

  25. I never got my rescue swimming certificate. I could only hold my breath underwater for about twenty seconds. In 2003, I spent three months suffering from a chronic cough. Since then, I cannot breathe in as much as I used to, so now I can probably only hold it for five or ten seconds.

  26. I have seen Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan over 100 times. I still prefer the original series of Trek over any of the later sequels.

  27. My DVD collection is over 700 discs strong, and still doesn’t contain over 100 things I have on VHS that I want to replace.

  28. Lego was my primary childhood obsession, and I used to have every piece of the Space Lego from inception in the late seventies through to the late eighties. My mother gave them away to my cousins. I still regret this, and collecting those kits again is my secondary adult obsession.

  29. I had pet rabbits as a child, until age 9. It took more than twenty years for me to have a pet again. His name is Thomas.

  30. My favourite colour is indigo.

Working for a living

You’ll notice how I’m not talking about my job. I have never felt that what I do for a living defines who I am. That just pays my bills, even if it does take up a sizeable slice of my life.

However, for those of you desperate to know, I suggest you check out my current CV/resume, which should tell you what I’m up to now and have done in the past.