The world of the fashionable is once again trying to kill me…

One of the more noticeable characteristics of autistics is that we like routine. We like doing the same thing the same way at the same time as we last did it. Change is strange and threatening and we don’t tend to adapt well to it. In my case this is probably most obvious when it comes to clothing. I wear jeans, Doc Martins, and black t-shirts. That’s it. Depending on weather conditions I may add a hat or coat, but that’s what you’ll see me in 99% of the time.

(The black t-shirts will often bear some kind of geeky design, but they’re still black t-shirts)

Now clothes wear out. And black clothes wear out fairly quickly as the colour fades with each wash. This (combined with the fact that my belt buckle tends to poke holes in them) means that I need a constant supply of new black t-shirts, maybe two or three new ones every 3 months. And this is where we come to the problem.

For the last 6 months it has been insanely hard to find any black t-shirts.

Or at least any black t-shirts I’d be willing to wear. Sure, there are plenty of trendy $35 black t-shirts with odd designs (a map of the world for instance with the word “ALTERNITY” and a skull splayed across it)  on them, but I refuse to pay an extra $25 for a bit of cheap screen printing and post-modern nonsense. Plain, simple black t-shirts seem to have gone out of fashion, and I’m suffering for it.

That said I actually did manage to locate some shirts over the weekend. Good quality, plain, black ones for only $6 a pop. Excellent! Except for one thing…

I like my shirts baggy. You may call it a pathetic attempt to deal with deep seated body issues, but I call it comfortable. For years XL sized shirts have done the job admirably, but this has suddenly changed. Why? Well it appears that baggy clothes have gone out of fashion and XL t-shirts are now tight and body hugging.

Yes, at this point you’re laughing and saying “you’ve just got fat you idiot”. No, my body mass is pretty much the same as it’s been for years. In fact my prolonged bout of flu a few weeks back actually knocked off a couple of kilos. The proof? My old, faded, holed XL shirts are still comfortably baggy, but these new ones are all tight and clingy.

So, it appears that thanks to the wild and inane vagaries of fashion (and despite the fact that I’ve lost weight) I’m now going to have to start buying XXL shirts just to feel comfortable. What I want to know is how is that even remotely fair?


World of Peasant Craft

An inane report on my daily life to keep this blog thing going…

Forgot to buy bread yesterday afternoon and was thus was forced to choose between having none for breakfast or making my own like some kind of peasant.

It didn’t turn out too bad really, especially considering I didn’t follow any kind of recipe or have any yeast.

Psychology Today

Roll out the barrel…

You know, it can be very interesting to take a step back now and then and cast an impartial eye over the workings of your own brain.

The phenomena of Stress Goggles for instance. Often, one of the first things that alerts me to the fact that I’m feeling particularly stressed is that the attractiveness of every woman I see jumps up by several notches. The train on the way to work for instance is suddenly full of girls who could pursue quite successful careers in modelling, and every woman on TV appears to have undergone a makeover.

(On this note Claire Hooper on Good News Week has actually changed her hair style recently. I’m unable to tell if this actually makes her look fantastic, or if it’s just the stress talking.)

(Oh did I mention that a mate of mine went to primary school with Claire Hooper? This is my latest pathetic attempt to claim some vague reflection of celebrity.)

Conversely I can usually tell that my stress levels have dropped down to a more reasonable level when random women start looking normal again.

The reason I mention this is because I’m under a lot of pressure at the office at the moment, and the phenomena is in full swing. I suppose it does offer some kind of compensation but given the choice between a world full of beautiful women and a job where I can sleep at night, I think I’d take the sleep.

Drives Spinning Up

Recovery is a slow process…

I have recovered enough from my devil-cold (which was almost certainly a case of the flu) to return to work, although I’m still not at 100%. My ears are still blocked and my sinuses are making an entertaining array of whistling, knocking and ticking sounds every time I blow my nose.

As well as going through six boxes of tissues in as many days my enforced break allowed me to devote some time to the FreakWiki. I’m slowly getting all the missing pages up and expanding the biography pages, which are the hardest of all to do (Miki has now been detailed). I also now have in my possession hard copies of all the published material, which helps.

I also finally braced myself to create the much needed page for Internet Jesus/Space Daddy himself. You can see how I chickened out here.

That is all.


I’ll be a good boy, just please make me well…

Have been laid up in bed since Wednesday with the devil-cold from hell. I’ve had tremendous trouble staying awake for more than two hours at a time, and my sinuses appear to have been stuffed with mustard when I wasn’t looking.

Needless to say this has put a crimp in all and any plans I had for my week.


Lifehacker FTW

Was a fail, now fixed!

Lifehacker is a pretty cool site – one of the ones I check on a daily basis during my lunch break. That said, it would be nice if when they decide to illustrate an article with one of my photos they actually attributed it to me. Particularly since the Creative Commons licence I use on my photos requires it.

I’ve added a comment to the article – we’ll see what happens.

Also on the subject of my Flickr stream, the operator of Save the Cliffe has been nice enough to upload my photos (with full permission and CC attribution) to his site. I can only hope it helps.

Later: Aha! Lifehacker have fixed the attribution. Thanks guys!

New Computers, Treasure Hunts and Toast! Oh My!

And Dan Abnett

Well, yesterday I paid a one third deposit on a new computer to replace the weather-beaten old box I’ve been working on for the last eight years or so. On the one hand this is great – I won’t have to wait five minutes for it to boot up in the morning or load a program, and I’ll be able to get back into gaming a bit – maybe check out some of those MMOs the young people are all talking about (*grin*). On the other hand I have a certain sentimental attachment to my old box, it almost feels like a betrayal to discard it for a shiny new model (this is of course completely nuts :).

I don’t have the full specs with me, but the processor is an Intel i7-860 and I’m getting 8 Gigs of 1600 Mhz memory, so it should probably do me for another eight years or so. I should be able to pick it up on Thursday, then I can spend a few weeks trying to get all my data across.

Computer excitement aside my life for the last few weeks has pretty much been limited to work and organising an Amazing Race style cryptic treasure hunt through the CBD. I’ve wanted to do something like this ever since my brother lent me a book – possibly by Poppy Z. Bright? – years and years ago that involved a similar race through London (In the book the game was being run by a bunch of evil, rich, land-owning bastards and the penalty for failure was death. I’m being a bit nicer about things :).

With luck I’ll be running the game in mid-April. Results will probably be blogged here at some point.

In the last few days I’ve also been reading one of Dan Abnett’s Gaunt’s Ghosts novels after discovering it on my way to work on Friday morning, buried in a pile of books dumped by the letter boxes. I always take time out to have a quick look through any piles of discarded books – I almost never find anything worth keeping, this was thus a pleasant surprise. I’m quite enjoying it – not a book I would have gone out of my way to buy, but certainly a bargain at the price (my 40k-reading-heart of course forever belongs to CIAPHUS CAIN – HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!! 🙂

Finally I’ve been promising my friends I’d blog about this for ages. On Skype a few weeks back we (somehow) got onto the subject of who we’d cast in a Team Fortress Two movie. We eventually settled on the following folk…

For the Demo-Man, Fabes insisted we cast Don Cheadle. I have no idea who Don Cheadle is, but Fabes says he looks the part and could do a kick-ass Scottish accent, which is good enough for me.

As the Heavy, our top choice is Paul Wight, better known as wrestling’s “The Big Show”. If he wasn’t available Vin Diesel could probably do a decent job, or failing him Yahoots Magoondi.

Given his brilliant performance as the Shoveler in Mystery Men (and just about anything else he’s ever been in) we agreed that William H. Macy would make a great Engineer. If he wasn’t available we’d see if Nathan Fillion could do a Texan accent.

Opinions on The Medic were split. Ryan and I favoured Neil Patrick Harris, based on his performance in the title role of Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. Fabes wasn’t so sure, and suggested this guy. Sure, he doesn’t look much like the Medic and we don’t actually have any idea who he is, but he seems to be an actor, and we think he’s probably German.

We were kind of stuck on the Sniper until Fabes made the brilliant intuitive leap to offer the part to Hugh Laurie. He bears an eerie physical resemblance to the character, and if he can do such a perfect American accent in House he should have no problem producing the strangulated cockney that seems to pass for Australian over at Valve.

The Spy was another problematic role. We eventually settled on Bruce Spence – the guy who portrayed the Mouth of Sauron in The Return of the King – on the basis that he has a big mouth.

The Scout had us baffled for a while, until someone suggested we grab a time machine and hire a young Jim Carey. Perfect!

Fabes was very keen on going right back to the source and casting R. Lee Emery from Full Metal Jacket as the Soldier. Personally I thought Vincent D’onofrio (who, surprisingly, was in the same movie) might be a good choice. If neither was available we agreed that a younger Jack Nicolson would be a great choice.

Finally the Pyro. I suggested Andy Sirkus on the basis that he’s used to communicating via just body language. Working by the same logic Fabes insisted on Johan Kraus from Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Not the guy who played Johan Kraus, the actual “real” Johan Kraus.

(We’re all a bit worried about Fabes… 😉

So there we go. We’re not sure what a TF2 movie would actually be about (apart from involving Toast) but when the script is done we’ve got the cast all ready!

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