Monday, February 28, 2011

Again, the years have flown by.

Today and tomorrow are the closest the LA and I get to a wedding anniversary this year. Next year, we actually get abona fide, for-real anniversary, our first, but this year, we only get a sort of celebration, since it's only 3 years since we stood in the LAX courthouse and made solemn promises to each other.

I'm cooking Swedish Sailor's tonight, since the LA asked me very nicely. It's a lot of prep work, but oh so good when it's done, and right now I can smell it.

And in other news, I've had a couple of my RPG rulebooks spiral bound at an office services place. The tough part was overcoming my reluctance to mutilate bound books; however, both were already falling apart. Now, though, I'm serously contemplating having another one, in near-perfect condition, treated the same. It really is that big an improvement in usability for a rulebook which will be constantly referenced; it now lays flat, can be folded back with no damage... for roughly $7 per book, the value is astounding.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Might as well make it fully public.

I have become, by choice, a member of a visually identifiable minority, and one which suffers some degree of prejudice.

Yup, I got a tattoo.

Two Days Old
To be fair, this was not a rushed decision. The design and placement have been settled since before I even met the LA, which does date it somewhat; she and I are only just over a year from our first wedding anniversary, and the wedding was not a spur-of-the-moment thing; we'd been intending to marry over two years by that point.

I can highly recommend the place I went to: Diablo Ink, in Pleasant Hill (or, as the business cards have it, Pleasant Hell). My artist was the owner, Rickey-Lee, but all the artists there are good, and the prices are very reasonable for California. Multiple friends of mine have been very satisfied with work from Diablo Ink, and I'm expecting to remain happy with my ink; everyone who's commented on it so far has said very nice things about the choice of design and quality of work.

Right now, that arm is itching, and I'm fighting the urge to scratch. In about a month, it'll be fully healed, but right now it's still slightly fragile. As for the inevitable questions about whether I'm intending to add to it, I don't know at this point. I don't have anything in mind, though, so given my self-imposed rules for tattoos (minimum of a year wanting the same design and placement), I won't be getting inked again this year, and probably not next!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Two nations...

The UK and the USA share a great deal of heritage, but there are some interesting differences in outlook between us. For instance, I've been at protests in the UK where signs have been held aloft proclaiming: "Come Back Wat Tyler, All Is Forgiven", or "Where is Guy Fawkes when his country needs him?". Both of these figures were rebellious, and a rough equivalent in the US would be along the lines of substituting John Wilkes Booth or Lee Harvey Oswald (side note: it would appear to be a very good idea for Presidents to avoid men with three names), and I realised that that would be utterly unthinkable. On the other hand, both Tyler and Fawkes were ultimately unsuccessful, whereas Wilkes and (according to most sensible hypotheses; I don't intend to get into that quagmire) Oswald both succeeded in killing their targets; perhaps a better parallel would be John Flammang Schrank, who failed to kill Theodore Roosevelt in 1912; in fact Roosevelt gave a campaign speech shortly after being shot. However, Schrank is almost unknown; everyone over here knows Teddy was so tough he gave a speech after taking a bullet to the chest, but hardly anyone could tell you who the shooter was. I looked it up, on Wikipedia; I have no idea of the reliability of the information.

I thought about this for a while; the national outlooks are otherwise so similar, but the British seem more inclined to allow leaders of rebellions to become folk heroes. Then, I realised; the Americans have done exactly the same. Their Founding Fathers were all insurrectionists. All of them rebelled; they won, but that doesn't keep them from having been rebellious in the first place. Really, we're not so different after all; it's just that the American rebellious folk heroes became the establishment, while the British ones were honourable failures.