Family Photo

By Shamus Posted Sunday Nov 6, 2011

Filed under: Personal 77 comments

I know I promised the autoblography thing was over and I hope this post doesn’t have the awkwardness of an overlong goodbye. I thought I’d post one last photo to finish things off. If I’d been thinking, I would have put this at the end of part #39. This is a picture of the family, taken just a few weeks ago at Angela and Daniel’s wedding:


Back row, from left:

My sister Ruthie, who was born back in part 12. See? She’s no longer a baby.

Shawnee and Patrick. That’s right, the Epic Mullet is long, long gone. She seems to love him anyway, bless her.

Myself and Heather. No, I don’t know why I have Jonny Bravo hair. I think that’s actually cleverly disguised hat hair.

My daughter Rachel. She turned 13 earlier this year.

Front row, from left:

Daughter Esther.

Mom, who you might recognize from the comments around here, under the name “Mom”.

Angela and Dan. Dan was born back in Part 18.

Stepdad Dave, who was also introduced in part 12.

My son Issac.

Okay. That’s enough about me for a long, long time. The autoblography is over and it’s time to get back to work on the ten thousand other things that popped up while I was writing this monster.


From The Archives:

77 thoughts on “Family Photo

  1. Kerin says:

    Overlong? Nah. It’s just that now we know the faces for each of the people responsible for giving you so much (non-DRM) material to talk about!

    Just kidding, though. I did enjoy the (roughly) two-thirds of the posts that I read, although I’m a little bitter at how well you sold homeschooling. My homeschooling experience was pretty negative, and to see that it might be great for other people sets my bitter, shriveled heart into convulsions.

  2. Mari says:

    Everyone’s so happy in this picture. Except Issac. He looks a little underwhelmed by all the festivities. Another Hermit Shamus in the making perhaps?

    1. Kerin says:

      I think there’s just something about being a young man and being told “Oh, you’re so handsome in your suit” which turns the mind inwards for reflection and thoughts of escape.

      I mean, I don’t KNOW that anyone said that to him. But they so did.

      1. Paul Spooner says:

        I know right? Every time someone compliments a little boy on his “handsome little suit” it forces him to remember that he’s not allowed to get it torn or dirty. Those trees won’t climb themselves!

    2. Shamus says:

      That little guy is a LOT like me. Shy. Introspective. Easily embarrassed. Introverted.

      1. Chuck Henebry says:

        Key difference: he has a dad a lot like him to look to for support and attention. What a blessing!

        1. Mathias says:

          I usually find that dad and son having different personalities is acutally a good thing. I’m very introspective and introverted while my father is usually outgoing and active. It makes me cherish every moment when we find out we have something in common, or when we can find some common pastime.

          1. Newbie says:

            I automatically feel sorry for you even when I probably shouldn’t. The greatest person I know is my Dad because he is exactly like me. I would be happy if I only could only ever hang out with him for the rest of my life.

            1. Tizzy says:

              I managed to turn out exactly like my dad and completely different at the same time. It’s a good deal. It works for us.

    3. Blake says:

      I see a lot of myself in that Isaac actually.
      I think back 12 years to when I was 12 I would’ve been intrigued and slightly excited by the festivities, but they would be dragging on for what feels like an eternity.
      I’d be worrying a lot about the photo (am I standing in the right spot? Maybe I should be a bit closer. Am I smiling the right amount? I don’t want it to look fake. The offered me a box but that might make me look taller than I am compared to everyone else, wouldn’t that be awkward explaining to someone I’m not actually a giant).
      I’d be happy though, happy for the couple, happy to be there, and I’d be happy once I was home to keep playing the game I just acquired.

  3. gebiv says:

    The whole series was fascinating. Who’s next? Mumbles, Josh or Rutzgarn?

    1. klasbo says:

      Still waiting for the Mumbles/Rutskarn fanfic.
      Or have I just missed it?

    2. Ramsus says:

      An autobiography of Ruts would be like….one post.

      1. Tizzy says:

        Just because he’s a 12-year old boy doesn’t mean he can’t stretch out his bio to two or three posts.

        1. Tizzy says:

          Or wait… was Mumbles the 12-YO boy? I can’t remember now… I get easily confused at my age.

  4. Mephane says:

    I am really looking forward to your dissecting of Origin now, heh.

    1. Shamus says:

      Hooo boy.

      I’m trying to remain detached and professional until I use it for myself.

      1. Adam says:

        You are far more professional than I. I’m swearing off any EA pc games from now until they stop using it. (Assuming they ever do.)

        1. MrWhales says:

          It is leaking into their console counter-parts too. Just so you know.

  5. Irridium says:

    That was just as amazing as DM of the Rings.

    Thank you, Shamus.

      1. Jarenth says:

        Also, I have to ask: is Patrick standing on something in that picture, or is he just towering over everyone like a giant among mortals?

          1. Rodyle says:

            Wait. Rachel was about 1.80, right? So if my guesstimate is correct, he’s about 2 metres tall?

            Also: I love the difference between your ‘avatar’ on the site and you on the photo.

            1. Patrick the Dull and Irritable says:

              6’1″ (185CM) I am standing on the top of a row of 3 steps, same level as Shamus, so its not like Dan, Angels and Dave are midgets they’re just on the bottom step.

              Mom however is on the bottom step as well and is standing on 2 milk cartons. Thats actually a full legth dress she’s wearing.

              1. Rodyle says:

                Aaaah. Okay. That makes sense.

                But still: you short Americans always confuse me when talking about height. The difference is (in theory) rather small; a meager 1.5 inches. But, yeah. You’d probably consider my family and my friends giants. Most of them are quite a bit taller than I am (I think I’m 1.88 meters (‘6″2) or something). Two of my uncles stand almost/a little over two meters tall.

                But, yeah. Maybe the variance here is just a bit larger. I know enough people who barely reach 1.60 (‘5″2).

                Anyhoo: lovely photo. I have one of my family right here, and you’re really lucky all of you are so photogenic. Whenever we take one, my mother has her eyes half-closed, two others are looking away, a few of them stand at the side like they don’t belong and the rest have a horrifying forced grin on their face.

                1. MrWhales says:

                  Their is a great deal of variance in America, and in families. I am ~ 1.8 (6’1.5″) while my mom is 5’6″ (Unsure in metric) and my biological dad is 1.9 meters or so.

              2. Mom says:

                Just before he died, Patrick’s father confided in me that I am not his real mother.

                1. Ruthie says:


                2. Patrick the Statistical Artist says:

                  That would explain the genetic disparity between yourself…and…and well everyone you’ve ever been related too actually.

                  Don’t be bitter and angry at me either. I’ll hide all your milk cartons on the kitchen counter and you’ll never get to them.

              3. drlemaster says:

                I almost took you up on your challenge to non-Pennsylvanian, non-Shamus siblings way back in post number whatever. Seeing you now, I see that would have been a mistake, and not just because I find the drive across Ohio somewhat dull.

    1. Another_Scott says:

      If Shamus can make a lengthy autobiography THIS interesting, I cannot wait for his (second) novel!

  6. Destrustor says:

    What a nice family. And you all look so happy.
    Good for you, Shamus. These posts showed how much you deserve all these cool people in your life.
    Thank you once more.

  7. Ravens Cry says:

    Thank you. It takes a lot of guts to share and be open on this kind of level. Your story has touched my heart and I am sure the hearts of many others who tread this blog.
    You’ve gone through a lot, but you have come through strong.
    Thank you Shamus, thank you fro your witty, droll insights into several aspects of gaming, and for your talent for weaving drama and story from the skeins of a life well lived.
    Thank you.

  8. Stu says:

    Really enjoyed the autobiography. Thankyou.

  9. Nikos Saripoulos says:

    This is an amazing finish for the great work you did… it must’ve been cathartic recalling the past and sharing it with us… i enjoyed it a lot and this “photo finish” (damn that Rutskarn he has affected me) is the best way to end it!

    Thanks again for sharing!

  10. 13 CBS says:

    I gotta say, Heather’s hat looks rather excellent. Is it a beret?

    1. Sumanai says:

      I remember her mentioning in one of the previous posts (I think it was the one about the computer art book) that she wears one when someone asked if it was okay for artsy people to wear berets nowadays.

  11. What a nice looking family you have. Also, there should be no shame in Johnny Bravo hair. Johnny Bravo is the man.

    1. Jakale says:

      I dunno, could be just me, but the hair reminds me more of Conan O’Brien than Johnny.

      1. Mom says:

        I have always said that Shamus resembles Conan O.

        1. MintSkittle says:

          You’ll tell us when Shamus gets his own late night tv show, yes?

          1. Mom says:

            Yes, and I hear Conan is in trouble in the ratings.

          2. X2-Eliah says:

            I imagine it’d be really neat, but probably wouldn’t go down well with general audience of late night tv shows.

      2. Reet says:

        Is it wierd that when I see conan I immediately think shepard rather than O’brien?

        1. Paul Spooner says:

          Really? My brain went with “the barbarian”!

    2. Jeff says:

      The greatest thing about the Johnny Bravo hair is that he’s also wearing a black shirt…

      If he was wearing a suit and tie, it’d be more Conan O’Brien.

  12. Dude says:

    I see a lot of happiness. :)

  13. Aanok says:

    Splendid :)

  14. SougoXIII says:

    Thank you for sharing your story with us Shamus.

  15. Cyranor says:

    Thanks for the story Shamus. And thank you for sharing the picture of your family, it is nice to be able to put faces to those we see in the comments section.

  16. KremlinLaptop says:


    (Honestly, though. The forty posts? Brilliant stuff. I’ve had an innate respect for your opinions since starting to read the blog and the autoblogography has only given further justification for that respect.)

  17. Matthew says:

    A nice way to wrap up an excellent series.

    Also, digging Stepdad Dave’s facial hair, it’s a good look :)

  18. Zeta Kai says:

    Project Frontier! Oh, how I’ve missed you!! Soon we shall be together again!!!

  19. The Right Trousers says:

    Rachel, Esther and Isaac. Cool!

    I’ve got a Name Your Kids From the Old Testament buddy online. What a great day!

    (My OT kids area Joseph, Sarah and Miriam. Free toaster to the first person to guess where Emma, my oldest’s name, comes from.)

  20. Tharwen says:

    More procedural generation? Please more procedural generation!

  21. SolkaTruesilver says:

    Stepdad Dan looks cool. No idea why, he looks… “zingy”.

    From his pose on the picture, I halfway expect him to grab a hat and do a jazz routine.

    1. Mom says:

      Well…yeah…He has those moments.

  22. RPharazon says:

    Shamus looks a lot like an older Hoban Washburne/Alan Tudyk. All you need is a Hawaiian shirt.
    I approve.

    Thanks for this amazing series. I knew I was waiting through the dry spell Mass Effect and AssCreed LPs for a reason.

    1. Nope, I still can’t see anyone there but Stephen Root…with a funny hairdo. :P

  23. X2-Eliah says:

    Pardon for asking, but it’s slightly bugging me.. Why Issac instead of Isaac?

    1. Mom says:

      From what you have read here, do Heather and Shamus strike you as good spellers?

    2. Shamus says:

      Issac is simply a variant spelling.

      See also:

      Shamus vs. Seamus

    3. toastymow says:

      I have to say that I’m actually annoyed that you named your son Isaac, because everyone I have met has mispelled my name Issac. What is particularly annoying is people who… go to Church a lot misspell my name (PS in the Bible its spelled Isaac).


  24. JAB says:

    Stepdad and grandson look like they want these festivities over, so they can go back to the lab and finish Issac’s Science Fair Project: How To Take Over The World With An Army Of Ninja Pirate Zombie Robots.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      Stepdad Issac Teamup! Trochee Science Masters!

    2. Ruthie says:

      Issac is a little like his papap, even though there’s no genetic reason why that would be so. Both are a little introverted, easily embarrassed, and have an interest in similar things.

  25. swenson says:

    Your kids are adorable, by the way. And sheesh, Patrick really IS pretty tall!

  26. ENC says:

    Why do you look so different to your escapist picture?

    1. Shamus says:

      I grew a beard, changed my haircut, and aged 3 years.

      1. krellen says:

        How dare you age, Shamus. Think of your fans.

        1. ENC says:

          The haircut throws me off most, and your hair looks a lot lighter, almost red.

          The same thing happens when I hear him talk, I’m not used to the accent so I forget who he is on Spoiler Warning.

  27. Retsam says:

    Oh come on, just wrap the series up already; what is this, Return of the King? [/sarcasm]

    (I’m actually glad for a post where I can voice my thanks for this series that isn’t the middle of a warzone. I mean, who knew homeschooling of all things was almost as controversial as religion)

    In all seriousness, thank you for such a wonderfully well written and thought out series, it was both simply enjoyable to follow along the narration as well as thinking about some of the issues that were raised along the way.
    (And as a related side note, I want to thank the commenters on these posts for some of the most interesting and most respectful discussion that I’ve seen on a lot of these issues; I know some of that is from good moderation on Shamus’ end, but the other half of that is simply that it’s a good community that tends to hang out here)

  28. Alex says:

    After 40 posts, I hardly think the goodbye is going to be the “overlong” part. :P

    But nah, I’m really glad you shared this abridged life-story with us, Shamus. Not everyone has the guts to paint a more complete picture of themselves to their audience. =)

  29. Adam says:

    Shamus’s expression suggests he has a fourth glass of Scotch in the hand we can’t see. It’s just this great, bemused expression.

  30. andy_k says:

    Neato! Thank you – that was a really good read. For the win!

    Looking forward to your book / project hex / your other projects :)

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