A Shoggoth on the Roof!

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve made an entry. This has sort of been because I’m busy, but has more to do with the fact that I’ve been playing way too much Civilization III. I bought it months ago but didn’t actually have the time to get into it until my two weeks off over Christmas and new years. Now I’m a hopeless addict, and spend my evenings plotting how to get hold of that aluminium resource just inside French territory, or how to get the Aztecs to attack the English without implicating me. Great stuff!

I really have to complement Firaxis on the new resource and trade system. In Civ II you could cut yourself off from the rest of the world and power on to building the spaceship. In Civ III you have to expand to secure sources of horses, iron, saltpeter, coal, rubber, oil, aluminium, uranium and a few I’m probably forgetting. And while you’re at it you need to find luxuries like dyes, silk, furs and ivory to keep your people happy and distracted. And you can trade all of this, so if you’ve got more iron that you need you can exchange it with the Chinese for some of their excess silks. Cool!

Anyway enough rambling about geeky computer games. What else have I been doing?

Well one thing I did do during my break was try to grow a beard. One of those funky Generation-X style goatee beard things, just for the heck of it. I was under the strange impression that this might make me look cool, so I stopped shaving my chin for a week. I’ve always had particularly fast growing facial hair, so I figured a week would be long enough to see how it turned out. So, how did it turn out? Horribly, that’s how.

It appears that while my facial hair grows very quickly (particularly just below my lips) on my chin proper it’s virtually non-existent. So, after a week of careful cultivation I had a thick, caterpillar like growth immediately under my mouth, and below this a great bald patch with a total of six straggly hairs attempting to cover it. This looked utterly ridiculous, so before I went back to work on Monday, I shaved it all off. So much for looking cool πŸ™‚

I am looking a bit paint spattered though. I decided over my break to get on and do a proper job of painting some of the Call of Cthulhu figurines I bought some years back. I’ve got a shoggoth, three deep ones, and a yithian, and all were sorely in need of a decent paint job to replace the seriously desultory ones I perpetrated when I first got them. So to that end I headed off to Games Workshop at the Galleria on Saturday to purchase some paints.

This was actually a bit stressful as I haven’t been inside a Games Workshop store in years, and despite my supreme geekiness I’ve never been all that comfortable around hard-core wargamer geeks anyway. To make matters worse of course it was Saturday morning, which meant there were several games in progress in the rather minuscule store and you could hardly move for tape measures and Tyranids. But I’d done my research and had a full list of the paints I wanted, so just shoved it at the guy behind the counter who flicked them out of the racks with remarkable speed and efficiency. I handed over the cash, grabbed my receipt and then fled before I could be attacked by a genestealer πŸ™‚

Now the great thing about Citadel Miniatures paints is that they all have highly creative and funky names. You don’t just buy “red”, you buy “red gore” or “blood red”. You don’t purchase “purple” you purchase “liche purple”. So rather than thinking to yourself “I’ll try a mix of dark and light greens with a touch of grey and a yellow wash” you can think “I’ll try a mix of dark angels green and snot green with a touch of codex grey and a bad moon yellow wash”, which is infinitely more entertaining.

So, I’ve spent the better part of the weekend teaching myself to paint figurines. Which is harder than it sounds. I started on the shoggoth, on the basis that it would be difficult to mis-paint a festering protoplasmic ooze. As it turned out this was quite easy to achieve, so my shoggoth is now weighted down with about six coats of chaos black and dark angels green (which should at least make it easier to run away from Mountains of Madness style). But I finally got the hang of it, and the final layer of paint looks quite spiffy. I’m working on the deep ones at the moment, and they’re starting to look OK. I’ll probably post pictures when I’m done.

So yeah, that’s been my last few weeks. People waiting on emails should get them over the next couple of days (sorry about the delay), and I’ll try and update a little more regularly from now on (yeah sure).

PS: Rebecca is staying for a few days. Cool πŸ™‚

Dawn of a New Wyrmlog!

Well, as I’m sure some people will have noticed, I’ve done a redesign. Woo-hoo! Not only does the Wyrmlog now look ultra-cool (ha!) but it’s been streamlined. Yes! The new Wyrmlog with 35% less graphics to download! That’s over a third people!

Of course (being a real programmer who codes on the fly as opposed to sitting down and planning stuff out on paper) I will have inevitably screwed up somewhere. So, if you encounter any weird errors please email me and let me know so I can get on and fix them (eventually).

But anyway that’s not what I came to talk about. Came to talk about stir-fries.

Ever since Rebecca bought me a wok last year (awesome gift or what? πŸ™‚ I’ve been trying my hand at stir fries. With a few exceptions they were all… edible. That’s about the best you could say about them. Until last night that is…

Somehow last night I managed to make a totally kick-ass fish stir fry. It tasted good, it smelled good and it even looked good, an aspect of the culinary arts I’ve never been particularly talented at. I mean, if someone served this stir fry up to you at a restaurant, you wouldn’t send it back! So, I’m pretty chuffed with myself, even though I have no doubt that I’ll never be able to repeat the process again in my entire life πŸ™‚

But stir-fries aside, I’ve finally decided to jump on the bandwagon that every blogger seems to be jumping on these days. Yes! It’s time for some self-indulgent navel gazing as we take a look at my search engine referer logs!

The reason I’m doing this is I had a glance at them yesterday, and found them quite amusing. For instance someone out there seems to be very concerned about the relationship between Marion and Carl in that execrable TV production Dinotopia. My logs indicate searches for in dinotopia do marion and carl fall in love, in dinotopia do carl and marion fall in love (because reversing the names will turn up so many more results of course!) in dinotopia do marion and carl get together, and Who does Marion love in dinotopia.

I find it highly gratifying that my vitriolic diatribe against the Dinotopia mini-series comes up in the first few links on Google for all of these searches. I find it even more gratifying that anyone searching on this subject from now on will end up at this entry, since it mentions so many Marion, Carl and Dinotopia keywords (he-he!). Self-reference can be a wonderful thing πŸ™‚

However, ironically, the query at the heart of all these searches is one that I am actually able to respond to. The correct answer to the question “In Dinotopia do Marion and Carl fall in love?” is… (highlight to read – standard anti-spoil technique)


I hope that clears that up πŸ˜‰

There were a number of other Dinotopia related queries such as dinotopia albino, dinotopia AND romana dennison and why did the sunstones fail. I don’t know much about Romana Dennison, but I can say with a fair amount of confidence why the sunstones failed. It’s fairly simple. If the sunstones didn’t fail, then the writers would have had to come up with some kind of original (or at least coherant) plot for the mini-series and that was way too much work for 4:30 on a Friday afternoon. Case closed.

Moving down the list we come to an entry for actress “Stacy Haiduk”. Apparently someone out there is so into the lovely Ms Haiduk that they were prepared to wade through 21 pages of Google search results to get to my one mention of her in relation to “Kindred: The Embraced”. Now that’s either true devotion or pathological obsession – I’m not sure which (the fact that I was prepared to wade through 21 pages of Google search results to secure this information is neither here nor there πŸ™‚

Some of the rest are just plain weird. Like “William Shatner’s New Year Party”. I’m sorry, was someone actually searching for this? Did they want to attend?! I tell ya there are some real sickos out there.

And “psychic morlocks”. What the…? I know I carried on a bit about Morlocks a while back, but psychic ones? Someone has way too much time on their hands.

Hmmm, someone like me obviously. OK, I’m going to shut up now πŸ˜‰

New Year Phone Miracle

Well, it seems that my answering machine wasn’t killed by my short circuiting scanner the other day, it was merely stunned. I decided to give it one more chance today and plugged it in, only to find that it worked perfectly. Which given the fact that nothing I could do would get it to function yesterday or the day before is pretty damn odd. Obviously some kind of new year miracle (either that or a Telstra engineer broke in here overnight and fixed it).

In other news I’d like to make some apendments to the lists of the most beautiful and cutest women in the world published on this weblog on December 12 (yes, I’m very bored again :). Recording Artist Sophie Ellis Bextor is added to the Most Beautiful list, taking position four. Actress and former fiance of Marilyn Manson (damn that must be annoying, I am yet to see any kind of media reference to her that doesn’t slip in her engagement to the freakish Mr Manson – what was she thinking? πŸ™‚ Rose McGowan is provisionally awarded position number five, on condition that she eat something and cease her continued and quite remarkable impersonation of a stick. Finally everyone’s favourite Elf princess Liv Tyler is awarded position four on the Cutest list.

There, that’s more than enough Geekery for today I think πŸ™‚

New Scanner = No Answer

Well it’s a new year. Hooray. *sigh*

You’ll have to excuse me for not being terribly enthused. No big reason for it, I’m just tired. I stayed up last night to see in 2003, and haven’t caught up on my recomended daily sleep intake yet. Once I get a decent night of rest I’ll probably be more excited.

So, did I spend the night partying away then make out with some gorgeous brunette on the stroke of midnight? No. I spent it scanning in and piecing together road maps in Adobe Photoshop while watching some weird French movie about philandering 18th century philosophers (and pigs, although they didn’t do much philandering) on SBS. Compared to some new years eves in my experience, not bad actually πŸ™‚

Now of course in order to scan, I would require a scanner, and since my old one won’t work in Windows XP (grrrr, grumble, moan, growl) this means I must have purchased a new one. Which I have done. Yesterday I walked into town (I just missed my train, so decided to check out the new cycle path on foot) and bought a Hewlett Packard Scanjet 3500c, which I’m very very happy with.

What I’m not happy about on the other hand though is what happened when I plugged it in. The power cord is one of those freaking stupid ones where the pins stick right out of the transformer, making it virtually impossible to plug it in to either a power board, or any socket less than a foot above floor level. So, I was trying to fit it into the one spare socket on the power board I use for my computer equipment when ZZZAAAPPP!!!! I was hurled across the room by a massive electric shock… OK, no I wasn’t, that’s a lie, but there was a loud zap and bright flash as a short circuit arced across the pins.

Naturally I was highly concerned for my computer, it’s peripherals, my stereo and my answering machine (all of which are plugged into the board). Happily on testing, the computer and stereo were fine (I dread to think what would have happened if I followed the instructions in the installation section which tell you to install the software then plug in the hardware while the computer is turned on – who writes these things?) but my answering machine is dead. Well and truly dead. Which is a pain because I’d just thought up an amusing new message. Grrrrr >:(

I’m not pleased. Hewlett Packard owe me a new answering machine damnit!!

But that aside, happy new year everyone! πŸ™‚

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