I Wouldn’t Go Near it if I Was You

…Plagued by the souls of the dead…

Observe this video from the classic (aren’t they all?) Goodies episode Lighthouse Keeping Loonies

Why am I showing you this? Because I’ve been struck down by the Curse of The Jolly Rock! In Minecraft!

The other day in my main Minecraft map I decided to build a lighthouse. I located a convenient rock in the middle of the ocean, constructed a tall tower, and put a pile of glowstone on top. Voila! Then I decided to christen it The Jolly Rock Lighthouse, for no other reason than the thought amused me. I put a sign next to the door, and then lined the internal staircase with more signs, writing out the entire lyrics of the song.

My lighthouse was missing one thing however. A roof. Just because I thought it would look good I decided to make a nice pointy one out of obsidian. After all, I was wearing enchanted diamond armour and had an enchanted diamond pickaxe – obtaining enough of the rare black stone would be child’s play!

So into a recently discovered cavern I descended, loaded up with buckets to fill up with lava. Deeper and deeper I ventured, loading up on iron-ore, coal, gold-ore and lapis along the way.

Eventually I found myself in a cavern not just full of lava, but loaded down with heaps of naturally occurring obsidian. I filled my buckets and got to work, and before long had the 30 blocks I needed to put a decent cap on the lighthouse.

At this point a skeleton appeared out of the darkness and pushed me into a lava pool.

I respawned kilometres away from both my base, and the caves, having neglected to sleep recently. I ran all the way back to base, and re-equipped myself with some backup, non-enchanted armour and crafted a new diamond pickaxe. Back into the caverns I descended, swearing vengeance on the undead fiend who’d ended my previous venture!

But the cavern was empty. So I started mining more of the obsidian, which was tricky because I’d already dug out the most easily accessible deposits. But after some work I collected enough to make heading back up to the surface a sensible idea. I jumped up onto the ledge that lead back towards the surface, and a skeleton appeared out of the darkness and pushed me into a lava pool.

Happily, this time I was able to get out of the lava pool and fight back. As my health burnt away I frantically fought the skeleton, swinging wildly at him with my sword. I hit him multiple times, sending him stumbling back, and leapt into the air, ready to deliver the killing blow, at which point he shot me with an arrow at point blank range, taking away my single, remaining half heart.

I again respawned kilometres away, being so obsessed with vengeance that I’d forgotten to take a nap. I again, ran all the way back to base and hastily re-equipped, burning through more of my iron reserve to make more armour. I then raced back to the cavern and tore through the caves, reaching the scattered piles of my equipment (most of which hadn’t fallen into lava, thankfully). I raced around, picking it all up, and was just about to grab my precious diamond pickaxe when it despawned, right in front of my face.

I was then attacked by more skeletons, who almost pushed me into a lava pool while I was re-arranging my inventory. I survived, but managed to throw my sword into the lava in a panic, meaning I had to fight them off with a stone pickaxe.

Then the creepers came at me…

I eventually did made it back to the surface, but without any obsidian, and with very little of my equipment left intact. And all because of that bloody lighthouse!

Annual General Mouthoff

Strata company AGM last night – absolute clattering bag of madness.

Usually only about 12 of us turn up. Since this isn’t (despite what BSG has taught us) a quorum, the meeting is adjourned for a week, at which juncture six of us turn up, have a brief discussion about the issues, and get home within an hour. Last night – thanks to a series of rabble-rousing letters that have been circulating around the complex whining that our strata fees are too high and the strata company are a bunch of despots on par with Darth Vader and Pol Pot combined – about 100 people turned up, all of whom wanted their own chance to yell poorly thought out abuse and idiotic questions at anyone who got up to speak.

The meeting was scheduled for 5:30. It actually started at 6:00 because it took that long for everyone to sign in (people insisted on monopolising the sign in sheet while whinging at the Strata representative) and didn’t finish till 9:10.

Idiocy reigned. There was a lot of yelling about cockroaches, herb gardens, guttering and how a bunch of palm trees have been devastating one woman’s existence for the last five years. Every budgeting decision was held up for prodding, poking, ridicule and demands to get a series of quotes, and every decision made at last year’s AGM was attacked by people who couldn’t be buggered turning up at the time but were now outraged that they weren’t consulted.

The main insanity revolved around the budget. People seemed completely unable to grasp the concept that the budget isn’t a list of what will be spent over the coming year, it’s a list of what can be spent over the next year, should it be necessary to do so. The fact that the total budget exceeded the expected revenue from strata fees by about 5 percent had people in absolute conniptions about how the Strata Company “can’t do maths”. A revised budget was eventually passed that clipped $50,000 from the maintenance budget for absolutely no reason apart from it made some morons feel that they were striking a blow for freedom and financial prudence, leaving me feeling like the transit advisor in Sim City 2000 and hoping that a retaining wall falls on their front doors and can’t be fixed until the following financial year.

Me, at Strata Meeting
Me - 8:30pm Tuesday

Perhaps the most jaw dropping moment of the entire fiasco was when we were informed that problems with the complex need to be submitted to the Strata Manager in writing, rather than via a phone call. A woman – who had just been elected to the Resident’s Council no less – responded by complaining that she “[didn’t] have time to write a f***ing email”. If she doesn’t have time to write “a f***ing email”, where the hell is she going to find the time to serve on the Council? But then I’m probably just making the mistake of thinking logically…

Finally the dates for some levies were pointlessly shifted around and the meeting concluded with a bunch of imbeciles patting themselves on the back about how they’d stood up to the evil Strata Company and got to have their cake while simultaneously gorging on it.

The next year should be interesting to say the least…

Adelaide Hospital Abusing Petzold

On hold with the tech support desk at a hospital in Adelaide, trying to sort out a client’s email problems.

They’re playing eight bars of Petzold’s Minuet in G Major for Broken Doorbell at me on a loop.

In the name of all that’s holy Lord, kill me now!

Sightings

I saw a UFO this morning.

At this point people are probably going “Oh god! Don’t tell me he believes in UFOs! He’s insane! I’m never reading this blog again!”. To which I say “Of course I believe in UFOs! I’ve seen a number of them over the years, I’d be mad to not believe in them!”

The point of course is that when you say “UFO” you probably mean “alien spaceship”, and when I say “UFO” I mean exactly what it says on the box – an Unidentified Flying Object.

Now I suppose it’s possible that any given UFO could be an alien spaceship, but – as a person with a decent grasp of both interstellar distances and physics – I wouldn’t be holding my breath. While I’m of the opinion that some UFOs may turn out to be anomalous – which is to say they are examples of a phenomena currently uncategorised by science – common sense dictates that the vast, vast majority of sightings are perfectly ordinary objects (such as aircraft, birds, stars, clouds, planets, meteors, etc.) seen from funny angles or under unusual conditions. I’m sure for instance that what I saw this morning was a plane either taking off from or circling to land at Perth Airport, which is only five or so kilometres from the site of my observation, Bayswater Railway Station.

What I saw at 8:33 this morning was a shining, slightly ovoid disc traveling from right to left across the east-north-eastern sky for between 30 seconds and a minute. It kept level at about four fingers above the treeline, and covered a distance of about four fingers before passing behind a cloud and vanishing. A mass of thin, whispy dark cloud was blowing across the sky from left to right, and the object was passing behind it, occasionally vanishing behind pillars of cloud – I was careful to note that the object was moving relative to the ground, not just to the cloud. Its level of brightness varied up and down, but remained constant for the last ten seconds of observation.

There were a large number of people on the platform at the time, but no-one else seemed to notice the object – or if they did they just assumed it was a plane. Which it almost certainly was. I considered taking a photo, but really couldn’t be bothered πŸ™‚

So there we are. UFOs buzzing Bayswater. Tune in next week when I tell you about the thylacine I saw down by the river!

(Note: I have never actually seen a thylacine down by the river or indeed anywhere else :))

Create an Album Game

1: Go to Wikipedia and click ‘Random Article’ – That is your band name

2: Go to Wikiquote, click ‘Random Article’ and pick a quote – The last 3 to five words are your album title

3: Go to Flickr’s ‘Last 7 Days’ page – The fifth image is your album art

4: Compile the band name, album art and title in the image editor of your choice.

My design skills are obvious on vacation today…

(The base image is ‘Endless Sunshine’ by Brian 104 – if he objects to this completely unauthorised use of his image I shall of course take it down immediately)

Holy Calamity, Scream Insanity

Herp Derp Particle

The HerpDerpParticle Twitter feed is one of those things that first makes you laugh, and then makes you weep for the future of humanity. It does nothing but retweet insane twitter posts about the probable discovery of the Higgs Boson, which can mostly be categorised into three types…

1: Liberal atheist European scientists have found the God Particle, thus proving that God exists and hoisting the evil, science-worshiping, communist, agnostic, atheist, anti-American, Darwinist, liberal, gay, Muslim, perverts by their own petard.

2: Liberal atheist European scientists found the God Particle on July 4th, thus proving for all time that God loves America more than any other nation on Earth and condemning all evil, science-worshiping, communist, agnostic, atheist, Darwinist, liberal, gay, Muslim perverts to Hell for electing Barrack Obama.

3: All science is an evil, communist, agnostic, atheist, Darwinist, liberal, Anti-American, gay, Muslim, pervert plot and all the truth you ever need is in the Bible.

It’s this kind of thing that makes me reconsider living on this planet.

Later: But this cheers me right up πŸ™‚

Lovely Spam

Enhance your Ewactwy Wo-um!

I’ve been getting quite a few spam comments on the Wyrmlog lately – which isn’t any kind of problem because my filters catch them all. I’ve usually been ignoring the contents but one today included a link to a YouTube video, which I decided to check out just for laughs (after all, what harm can a YouTube link do to your system?)

It turned out to be a video of a strongly accented man staring into the camera and talking about how great a particular brand of – shall we say – “enhancement” pills are, and how they increase “ewactwy wo-um”. Apparently other enhancement pills have all kinds of side effects, but these ones are side effect free, and have a really impressive effect on one’s ability to “ewactwate” – if that’s actually the kind of thing that particularly concerns one.

It was quite amusing, but I’m not going to reward spammy behaviour with a link.

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