Sunday, July 27, 2008

On making one's own entertainment

So I've finally managed to actually get into RPGs. Moved away from my parents, and the LA approves, or at least can hardly complain given what she spends on yarn.

Years of fun for $20.

Mmmm. Dice and a rulebook, for the cost of two movie tickets. That's cost-effective entertainment right there.

You'll notice a lack of six-siders. That's because we have huge numbers anyway, although I am considering buying some of the big honkin' red casino dice for use as wild dice. We need some way to make sure players know which is the wild die when they have D6 in a skill, and besides, it adds to the flavour to have people rolling special dice like that. I should get some poker chips to count bennies, too...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

On REM Sleep

I don't normally remember my dreams. I generally time my sleep so that I don't get woken while I'm dreaming, which is a good idea in general. This morning, however, the LA turned off the radio during a dream of mine, so I woke up during it. This led to a certain amount of disorientation. I think I recall the ream involving singing and Engrish, but I really have no idea what was going on.

It's a bad sign when you're woken up in the middle of a dream and your first lucid thought is "Man, I hope the other guy got that on YouTube!", isn't it?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

On another planet

I suffer migraines. Generally, I can predict them, I know what triggers them, and I can hold the symptoms at bay by sheer effort of will; self-trained biofeedback can work, although it's tiring. However, it's simpler to just let them burn themselves out; that way, they're pretty much over in a day, as opposed to leaving me suboptimal for several. Every medication for migraines I've tried has had side effects worse than just dosing up on powerful painkillers to reduce it to merely excruciating, lying back and watching the pretty lights and listening to the strange sounds (yes, I get full aura - even more so since I'm somewhat synaesthetic), so that's what I tend to do.

A while ago, I noticed that colas tended to be a trigger. Then I had a bottle of Gatorade... which triggered me. Turned out it had phosphoric acid in it... so now, that substance is banned from my diet. It's rust remover anyway.

Now, today, I tried a flavour of Gatorade I hadn't had before, and that has triggered me. It didn't have phosphoric acid in it.

I need to get health insurance so I can consult a doctor over this. It's getting silly.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

On enthusiasm

It's fairly common knowledge that I'm pretty much a neophobe. New things generally fail to thrill me, and I'm not the type to rave about them. What this means is that I usually fail to notice good new things until some years later. This includes things like TV shows; the movie Serenity came out before I even met the LA, and yet I'm only just getting around to watching Firefly. Quite enjoying it, but several years later than everyone else. This tends to mean that I have a Crap Filter for TV.

This doesn't work quite so well on the internet. At the moment, it seems, the Big Thing is this Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, the title of which is discouraging me for a start. Then there's the fact that it's by Joss Whedon; I know this guy's work from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alien Resurrection, and Firefly. In my opinion, that makes him 1 for three; Buffy was popular, but I never understood why, I prefer not to acknowledge the existence of any Alien movies after Aliens, but Firefly's good (and the music is excellent). I admit to not having watched Dr H, but really, it's by someone who for me misses more than he hits, and it's getting a huge amount of buzz.

This brings me to my point: my neophobia, when combined with my ingrained misanthropy, leads to large amounts of enthusiasm for something generally resulting in my moving from "unbothered" to "actively hostile". That's what prompted this post, in fact; the sheer amounts of (let's be brutally honest here) fanboyish pant-wetting over Dr H have caused me to move from "Hmmm, might be worth a look, especially as it's free" to "No.", and I doubt I'm the only person who reacts this way. The fact that Dr H is being taken down tonight (as if that's going to work) so people can buy it (?) is not exactly making me want to see it, either. In a way, I'm kind of hoping it turns out to be successful, but I've been turned off by the fans, and even if it turns out it's perfectly suited to my tastes, I'm not going to see it until it's too late for my viewership to determine success.

Anyway. Long, pointless rant. Enjoy Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog if you like it, but I'm not going to bother. Ask me about it in five years' time, if it's still remembered. After all, culturally, I'm about that far behind. I like it back here, it's comfortable and unthreatening.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

On the stones

Thanks to the LA's mother, who despite the stereotypes about a man and his mother-in-law I love, I have some baking stones. They're basically unglazed quarry tiles, and they're currently in the oven, baking a small loaf of home-made bread. After the fun of various job-hunt stuff while mildly ill yesterday, bread was a very desireable substance, and it wanted to be fresh. Can't get much fresher than that.

Half a pound of flour (US standard general purpose turned out to be strong enough, although it took longer than I expected for the gluten to develop), a pinch of salt, a little sugar, some active dry yeast (quick yeast; lovely suff) and a sufficient amount of warm water later (the water is one of those things I just don't measure; it's quicker to do it by feel), I had a ball of dough, which I placed in an oiled bowl to rise. It did so, and then I kneaded it again, placed it on the stones and let it rise again. Slashed the top with a wet knife, and now it's baking.

I'll put some photos up when it's done.

And now, the photos are up.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

On your feet!

So, I realised that I actually lacked any suitable shoes to wear with a suit. I headed out today in search of such.

Do you have any IDEA how expensive shoes are? The first pair I tried were decent, but... $450? For that price, I want them custom... second pair had a weird bump in the footbed, and were "only" $205. Note to self: avoid that shoe store. It's scary expensive.

So I wound up cruising the reduced racks at Nordstrom and found a pair of Eccos for a sensible price.

Although Mum, if you feel like putting my leather-soled black boots in your case, my dance teacher (!) recommends leather soles over rubber. The Eccos will do brilliantly for work shoes too.

And on another subject, I dislike cooking electric. The problem is thermal inertia; it takes too much time for the heat applied to alter. I'm so used to gas that I always turn things down late. I know the scent of boiling over far too well...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

On the Telly, again.

Last night, the LA and I headed North, to Concord. We met up, in Todos Santos Plaza, with 2050 other guitarists.

And around 6.38pm, all of us played This Land Is Your Land. We broke the world record for largest guitar ensemble...