Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

March 27, 2006

Am I?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lexifab @ 2:03 pm

According to the mobile call I just took, my name is Troy and I am a prospective client of Jim’s Mowing in Strathmore.

The chap was most insistent. Or confused. Or probably very bloody annoyed that he wrote down the wrong number.

More birthdays

Filed under: fitter/happier — lexifab @ 1:33 pm

Went to Ian and Sonia’s plae yesterday for Son’s birthday. Jimbo and Fi were in conditions of wellness ranging from – and I quote – “crap” to “pants”, so I was sole rep for Our House.

And we had a very pleasant afternoon. This is a great time of year for sitting outside in Canberra (clear and sunny, not warm, but not too cool) and they’ve done heaps of work on their new back courtyard to make it a nice place to sit around and chat. Which makes me very jealous and slightly guilty about how our back courtyard has been taken over by a vast pumpkin empire, spreading its influence to the far flung corners of its tiny little world. Work needs to be done on this, but as is ever the case, it’ll have to get in line behind the other work that needs doing.

Anyway, I digress. It was a nice lazy afternoon sipping lemonade, playing with the nephew and chowing down on an unhealthy fraction of an enormous seahorse-shaped chocolate cake. Yay for cake!

Unexpected dinner party

Filed under: news of the day — lexifab @ 1:02 pm

We hosted our friend Jo’s birthday party on Saturday night. Her previous plan – to host it herself, showing off her shiny new kitchen that her partner Mark had built – fell through when the stovetop hotplates didn’t work (faulty something or other that’s under warranty and for which a certain huge electrical goods vendor can’t be arsed ordering the right parts).

We didn’t do the full-on dinner party malarky with the good china or place settings or anything (there were too many people and way too little motivation for that, since we had one of those last weekend and will be doing another one next weekend) so it was a pretty relaxed evening. Just as well, because most of the company were strangers, or at least people that I knew vaguely from work but not really well.

Strangely for us paranoid introverted homebody types, it was still a fun evening. And it didn’t even take a lot of alcohol to get the conversation going (although we did have one of the last bottles of the New Zealand rose and followed it up with a nice bottle of merlot that Fiona’s boss recommended). Of course, it helped that Fi insisted on having the (muted) Commwealth Games on so that she who won the diving, so we had Tatiana Grigorieva’s tattoo and the inherent drama of incompetence in relay races to natter about.

 Of course, we also got into accommodation in the South Pacific, bird flu and apocalyptic population corrections, so nobody was left out…

March 22, 2006

Larry drops by

Filed under: news of the day — lexifab @ 12:11 pm

Rather unexpectedly, Mum and Dad’s place near Ravenshoe, despite being about 100 kilometres inland and up a thumping great mountain range, was more or less directly in the line of Cyclone Larry, which crossed the coast netween Tully and Innisfail on Monday.

Gazza and Jimbo talked to them on the day, at which they reported that trees were being knocked down and there was a danger that the septic tank might overflow or explode or something, but other than that they were okay. So I’m not exactly worried, per se, but it is mildly alarming that we’ve not been able to contact since then.

In one sense there’s nothing to worry about – the phone lines into the entire areas have been flattened along with everything else, so phone access is restricted to emergency calls only. It makes sense that we can’t get through and hog up the bandwidth with idle chatter about those poor banana farmers while the banana farmers in question are waiting for clean water and trying not to contract cholera.

At the same time, it’s hard to get a sense of reassurance that everything’s okay. Not just with Mum and Dad either – there’s a goodly number of cousins with young families up in Cairns and the northern beaches, where there was rain and wind damage.

On top of that, there’s a certain sense of surreality about a cyclone that’s actually managed to live up to the hype. I mean, yes, thankfully it hasn’t managed to kill anyone (so far), but it’s certainly achieved impressive levels of chaos and destruction. That puts it squarely at odds with the almost-routine Townsville summer/autumn ritual of cyclone preparations (clearing loose debris, taping up windows, stocking up on batteries, candles and clean water) followed by three days of tense waiting, and then a complete sense of anticlimax as it would either blow itself out over the reef or cross the coast somewhere basically empty and do nothing more spectacular than knocking over a caravan park or a couple of heritage-listed trees. Pretty scary stuff if you’re in the middle of it, to be sure, but not exactly a visitation by the four horsemen.

From the looks of the TV footage though, Larry seems to have put his back into it. Half of Innisfail has been damaged and one in five flattened, the highways are cut more or less everywhere (and about to be washed away in a postcyclonic deluge), infrastructure’s nobbled and the local economy (based on cane, bananas and other fruits) is completely knackered for at least one year and maybe four or five.

But at least the PM’s there, doing his bit to talk up a distraction (any distraction) from the latest round of damaging revelations about the Australian Wheat Board.

March 20, 2006

Spit never dies, not even at this hour of the morning

Filed under: musical challenge — lexifab @ 5:08 am

It’s not quite 5 a.m. and for some reason I’m still awake. My stupid brain’s been whirring like an off-kilter washing machine all night, so I’ve finally given in to it and just got out of bed. It’s still about an hour until I have to drop Ev off at the airport.

This weekend’s been given over to visitors. Andrew and Anna have finally made good on their promise to come down to Canberra to pick up the wine we mailed back to ourselves from New Zealand, and enjoy a dinner party while they were at it. Anna brought along her friend Hannah, and we contrived to lure Evan down here as well.

So it became, inevitably, a Spit weekend. I’m pretty sure that we now have an unspoken rule that any time at least three of us are in a room for more than two hours, we have to at least compose and preferably record some Spit material. That’s the way this one worked out, anyway.

Most of the time we spent working (no, that’s not quite the word for it, but it will do) on developing my half-arsed idea for a Spit radio show podcast into an actual half-arsed Spit podcast. We recorded bits and pieces all weekend, which Andrew’s taken home to splice into presentable shape. It was all cheerfully amateurish and I’ll be very surprised if anyone can listen to it more than once, but it was a lot of fun in any case. Hopefully in the future we’ll be able to nut out the technical details and be able to record future efforts using this ‘ere inturweb. That way we can get Chris ‘n’ Amanda involved as well, not to mention put a bit of polish on it when we’re not under pressure to get everything done quickly.
I expect Andrew will get that put together in the next couple of weeks, and I’ll put a link up to it then. No idea what we’ll do with the idea after that, but it’s probably too late to put the genie back in the bottle now, so we may as well embrace it and try to get a bit better at it. It’s certainly something I can see us doing more or less regularly, as long as we can get the technology onside. The catch will be whether being spread halfway around the country remains the limiting factor.

As usual when Ev’s around, I’ve been ridiculously productive, with three new songs in various stages of completion. Another variation on the “Sometimes Girl” joke that we ran into the ground in NZ (a surprisingly fecund joke, since we must have spun about 10 or so songs out of it, including one by Simon), plus one about fighting and another about coffee. And the long awaited “Highway Litter Patrol” has yet to get some proper attention.

I estimate that we currently have between four and five albums worth of prepped and in most cases finished and recorded Spit songs lying around on MP3 recorders and hard drives, and that’s not counting anything that C & A may have done in the past two years that I don’t know about. Most of the stuff dates back at least three years now.

We vaguely discussed the notion that perhaps we ought to move away from trying to pull together an album regularly, since quite clearly we’re too lazy to finish the job. Instead, I think what we’ll end up doing is throwing things at the various web sites we’ve got going at seeing what sticks. One of them, mperia , actually allows listeners to pay to download songs. In fact, at the moment we have four of the top five comedy pop/rock songs on the site. And over three dollars (US!) in revenue! There is a suspicion that all of those sales were, in fact, Marco, but we will continue to enjoy the delusion that somewhere out there are people of sufficiently odd stripe that they are willing to pay money to hear Spit songs.

March 16, 2006

Mayhem in the Monastery

Filed under: now playing: anything — lexifab @ 9:59 am

So another event that’s rapidly become an institution is Wednesday night World of Warcraft with Chris and Amanda. We’re taking our mid-level characters through some of the instanced areas that required coordination and teamwork and only 4-5 people (as opposed to the areas that require 40 people). This is the way that WoW is meant to work – small (to medium to large) sized groups working their way through underground complexes towards some horrid end of level bad guy with some cool moves and good loot to steal from their cooling corpse. Along the way there’s lots of chatting and generally being amusing for the benefit of others. Runs like this, with friends and without any particular pressure to get it done and no likelihood of arguments or resentment about who gets which piece of fab treasure – they’re great fun. Probably the best fun you can have playing online, actually. It’s like a tabletop roleplaying session where everything goes right.

It’s been lots of fun ploughing through the four wings of the Scarlet Monastery over the past few weeks, beating up zealots dressed like the Queen of Hearts’ personal guard and mocking their cheesy dialogue. The end of level boss in this case is joined by another one, who resurrects the first guy as soon as you kill him, so you have to do him twice. And if you fail to take out the chamber full of worshippers who are standing around watching, you’ll be fighting them at the end as well.

I will admit that I am insanely jealous that Chris managed to outroll me for the monstrously ugly-cool hat that we looted off the final boss last night. It looks kind of like those hideous paper hats they make people wear in fast food joints, but it has a massive bonus to Intelligence. Damn, but my green-skinned evil warlock would have looked badass in that thing (or stupid, actually – but cool stupid)!

Next week, Razorfen Down: home of zombie pig monsters and undead mosh parties. No, seriously.

March 9, 2006

World’s longest dungeon crawl

Filed under: now playing: anything — lexifab @ 8:31 pm

So somewhere along the line someone bought ChrisT the World’s Largest Dungeon, a dungeon crawl for D&D that’s about 800 pages long. Seriously. You could cosh a moose with this monstrosity.

We’ve been playing for about six weeks now and have finally gotten through the intial area, which was a tedious tangle of empty and/or rubble-strewn rooms, skirmishes with a variety of bloodsucking and/or strangulatory monsters, and – well, usually more empty rooms.

It’s amusing enough, and we keep the sessions sufficiently short that it doesn’t (usually) outstay its welcome, but it has to be said, the whole idea is a bit silly. It’s not intense character based play – it’s just barely above the narrative level of pushing pieces around a chess board. However, we’re starting to see glimmers of what promises to be a good reason to keep going – fights that are set up to present an interesting tactical challenge. We had a good one last week with some giant bugs, spiders and scorpions (we’re still pretty low level, so some insect-arachnoidal battlin’ still presents a worthwhile challenge).

The other good thing is that the delightful MzEmma can drop into the game any time she’s in town without risking a disruption to the delicate roleplaying balance. Because there isn’t one of those.

Also, it’s pretty good value if we can stick it out – there’s enough material in the book to keep us busy for at least two years of weekly sessions, apparently.

No more medical complaints

Filed under: fitter/happier — lexifab @ 7:42 pm

I made my last trip to the physiotherapist today, so with any luck this is the last time I’ll bore myself and anyone else reading this completely rigid with complaints about my neck. It’s much better now, so my only real moan is the lifetime’s worth of neck strengthening exercises that I need to feel guilty about not having done.

March 4, 2006

When Physios Attack

Filed under: fitter/happier — lexifab @ 9:46 am

I am slowly and wincingly recovering today after being thoroughly brutalised by the physiotherapist yesterday. I will admit I’ve always been a bit sceptical when people talk about how much physio can hurt – I guess because I did some time getting regular chiropractor treatments, and rashly assumed they were similar in some way.

I stand corrected (and a bit awkwardly, like I have a very stiff neck or something). That stuff really hurts. Man, it felt like he was trying to rip my head off – in the course of his attending my lower neck, I could feel muscles stretching excrutiatingly close to the point of tearing. And it just goes on and on and on. Stretch this, bend that, jab two thumbs as hard as humanly possible into pressure points there and there. Gah!

Everything hurt afterwards. All day. And it still does. A lot. Ow.

The doctor assures me that I’m getting better, but unlike the previous visit, there seems to be no coorroborating evidence in my neck or shoulders…

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