Mice and Men

I’m either a mouse or a man and things are ganging aft aglay

Things did not go at all to plan this week.

It was Justin’s 30th on Saturday (well, technically it was last week but he had the party on Saturday night) and I was really looking forwards to it because he’d decided on a Roman theme. This meant that I could go all out on obsessive historical detail and generally just enjoy being a history nerd. So I spent a good deal of time brushing up on my Latin and getting to work on costume ideas.

I also decided that rather than bring along a boring, paper birthday card I’d make a replica Roman writing board (a tabula) and inscribe a birthday message on it in Latin (a project that required a fair bit of carpentry and melting of wax on the stove). I also dressed up a perfectly good bottle of Devil’s Lair Fifth Leg as LATIBVLVM DIABOLI – CRVS QVINTVM and wrote out a little Latin speech to recite while handing them over (which I can’t find right now, otherwise I’d type it out).

For my costume I considered a number of options including putting on white face makeup and dressing up like Marilyn Manson (a Goth! – get it? Get it? No, no one else would have either). But in the end I decided to do the same as everyone else and go with the toga. But, no bedsheet for me! I purchased a good length of fabric (black – because I thought I’d both be an individual and carry through the goth joke a bit) to do it properly and with a bit of messing around in front of the bathroom mirror got it looking pretty damn spiffy. So, by Friday evening I was all set and looking forwards to a great night.

Then I woke up on Saturday morning with the head cold from hell >:|

I tried every trick I know to get rid of it, but by Saturday night I could hardly stand upright. Needless to say living it up as a Roman wasn’t an option so instead I had to sit at home and sulk. Very dissapointing!

(I did send my gifts on with Ryan though and they apparently went down quite well.)

So I spent most of yesterday doing my best to recover – which I managed to do pretty well really. If I’d got sick on Friday I would have been right for the party on Saturday!

So anyway today I got up, had breakfast, did some poking around on the net, and then was struck down by a massive migraine. Happily some ibuprofen and a few hours of sleep seem to have tamed it somewhat, but it’s still annoying. Once again the universe shows that it does not intent me to enjoy my Mondays off. *sigh*

So what else have I been up to? Last Sunday – which is to say not yesterday but the one before – I got together with the guys at Fabian’s for some gaming goodness, and to draw up a character for Matt in my long dormant Post-Nuclear-Western-Semi-Steam-Punk-South-West GURPS game (try saying that three times fast). It was a pretty good day, I got to do some more testing on some game systems I’ve come up with and there was pizza. Then on Thursday night I stopped over at Matt’s new place (which as it turns out is just up the road from work) to help him out with some website stuff. Unfortunately I managed to miss the last bus to Subiaco, leaving my only choice for getting home a bus to the Terrace and a dash through the dark and empty city in the freezing rain to the train station. Since the city can be a bit dodgy at night (that’s when the mole-men – and worse things – come out) I took the coward’s option and called the parents for a lift. This meant standing around outside in the freezing rain for a while, but at least there was little risk of being chased down and eaten by morlocks πŸ™‚

An interesting consequence of this adventure was that Matt leant me his copy of Delta Green. By strange coincidence while pottering around the net yesterday I stumbled over A Colder War by Charles Stross. Immediately I was gobsmacked by the idea for a 1980’s cold war version of Delta Green. Take out the Greys and all the X-Files style conspiracy stuff, and set it in a world where all the Governments know exactly what’s hidden in Antarctica, but have agreed to keep it hidden from their citizens (under the Dresden Agreement), while at the same time trying to turn the mythos into weapons. The Red Army deploying shoggoths in Afganistan, Saddam Hussein invoking Yog-Sothoth against Iran, the CIA smuggling heroin through Elder Things gate networks and the USAF building nuclear powered bombers to take care of that mysterious bunker in Ukraine – should it ever became necessary.

The players would be part of a covert-ops team (working for the Government, no need for the whole ‘secret war’ theme) covering up ‘incidents’ and trying to hijack/derail the other side’s research programs without causing ‘incidents’ of their own. Sort of Tom Clancy meets H.P.Lovecraft. I reckon there’s a lot of potential there for someone to run a majorly kick-ass campaign if someone where to put it together.

Unfortunately though ‘someone’ is not going to be me. I have more than enough on my hands with my GURPS campaign, and was never that good at running Cthulhu anyway – I’m not ruthless enough to acurately protray Lovecraft’s bleak universe. My games tended to turn into “kill the monsters and be home in time for tea and crumpets what what old fellow?”.

So yeah that’s what’s been fizzing in my brain for the last 24 hours. Hmmm, maybe that’s got something to do with the migraine… πŸ˜€

Small, Vague Observations

Exactly what it says on the box

The headline on today’s West Australian is Battling Farmers Join Road Gangs. I had momentary visions of farmers pulling on chains and leather jackets and terrorising the highways on converted tractors, Mad Max style.

According to Slashdot Yahoo! music is thinking of selling MP3s without DRM. If true this is seriously big news for me – the reason I’ve steered clear of legal music downloads to date is the ridiculous amounts of crippleware the companies attach to the files. If Yahoo! Music is going to sell plain, vanilla MP3 files then I’ll happily pay for them. That’s the upside – the downside is that the only example so far is a Jessica Simpson song (blech!)

Selecting a muzak version of Achy Breaky Heart as your ringtone should be made a crime against humanity – particularly if you intend to take your phone out in public.

While The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba is one of the most perfect pieces of music ever composed, Holst’s Thaxted is probably the best tune ever written.


Kill me Now!

Being nice is not really all it’s cracked up to be

*Sigh* By dint of being much too nice, I’ve gone and got myself mixed up in an enterprise I really don’t want to have anything to do with.

Two doors down from me in the complex is a Chinese woman with minimal English skills. We met a few months ago when she managed to lock herself out of her unit and I rung around a few locksmiths to try and get someone to come out and let her in. This act of charity however seems to have nominated me as the go-to guy for any kind of problem she has. Like the current one for instance.

Apparently her roommate is moving out. She wants to advertise for someone new but (with her as mentioned minimal English skills) doesn’t really know how to go about it. So, she came knocking on my door. Now (through a combination of, as mentioned, being too nice and only understanding about every third sentence she speaks) I find myself having to phone up the newspaper and get a quote for an add, and basically having to co-ordinate the whole thing. Which is majorly stressful and seriously something I don’t need right at the moment.

I would dearly like to ditch the whole thing and tell her to sort it out herself, but how can you really do that?

This is all going to end badly, I can tell πŸ™

Mental Maladjustments

What’s wrong with my brain.

On the whole my brain is pretty good. It seems to store and processes information fairly effectively. But every now and then things go badly wrong, and sometimes they’re rather hard to fix.

One such problem is a major indexing error between musical artists Missy Higgins and Missy Elliot. Whenever anyone mentions Missy Elliot, my brain serves up information on Missy Higgins instead. So far I’ve been able to cover for this, but sooner or later someone is going to ask me what my favourite Missy Elliot track is, and I’m going to say something like “Well, how can you go past Scar?” and then I’ll have no choice but to die of humiliation.

A similar problem occurs with the word wingardium. This is a double indexing error – depending on time of day and general mood, my brain either identifies this as Latin or Anglo-Saxon. It’s neither. It’s from Harry Potter. Which (if I ever got into serious conversation with some linguists) could be almost as humiliating as the multiple Missy problem.

I don’t really know how to fix these. Possibly a low level format, like a serious blow to the head or drinking three bottles of Wild Turkey in a row πŸ™‚

Sick and Miserable

Oh, just kill me now.

No big update because I’ve spent the last two days huddled up under a blanket with the flu. Well, not the flu really, just a cold, but it’s very unpleasant none the less. Running nose, sore throat, shivery aches and pains, the usual. I didn’t get much sleep last night because every time I swallowed my throat hurt like hell. Closing my mouth and breathing through my nose helped a little – but at least one nostril was always clogged and I couldn’t get enough air. So tossing and turning and wishing I was dead was pretty much the only option.

I’m starting to wonder if this whole taking-one-day-a-fortnight off is such a good idea. My first day off was a public holiday (so everything was shut and I couldn’t do anything), my second was spent in agony after pulling a back muscle in my sleep, and today was all illness and sleep deprivation. It’s as if the universe is trying to tell me something.

(I was actually planning to get a lot done today too – like posting long delayed packages to various people – but I guess it’ll have to wait until next weekend now)

I would try and write something witty – but I’m too sick. So I’m going to bed instead. Bah.

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