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

June 21, 2006

The days blur by…

Filed under: news of the day,now playing: anything,workin for the man — lexifab @ 6:15 pm

…and there are no updates from Lexifab. Go figure. Some random thoughts:

  • Today’s some sort of solstice and Tiffany’s birthday. Not that she’s reading this, but happy birthday, Tiff!
  • Remember that interview I bitched about a month or two ago? The “worst” one I’d done in years? I got promoted this week. It’s just…strange.
  • Project Porkpie reaches its clattering, resounding crescendo tomorrow (except for the week or so of tidying up afterwards, but let’s not spoil the moment). I am and everyone here is pulling long long hours to make sure it all happens at the business acceptance meeting.  
  • Then, on Friday, the knives come out at the project implementation review, in which “lessons learned” are shared and blame is potentially apportioned. Few of the participants will have anything to lose from this exercise (except their dignity) as they are all contractors who will be leaving the following Friday. Aww,baby, looking forward to that.
  • Our household has still not yet witnessed the Majesty of Rock emanating radioactively from Guitar Hero on the Playstation. Inconceivable, I know! And since the latest massive upgrade for World of Warcraft was released today, by tomorrow our world may yet persist in its failure to Rock.
  • Whatever. I need some goddamn beauty sleep so I am not a grouchy bastard at tomorrow’s meeting (that would be a day too early for grouchy bastardry).

Peace y’all. Go the Socceroos (especially Grouchy Mouthy Harry Kewell).

June 17, 2006

To Emma

Filed under: geekery — lexifab @ 10:53 am

In case you missed it, Simon’s written a useful response to your DVD enquiry a couple of posts down, under ‘Routed’.

Also, he has bought Guitar Hero, which I suspect elevates him to Legendary Status for the day.

June 16, 2006

Where did that week go?

Filed under: fitter/happier,news of the day,now playing: anything — lexifab @ 11:14 am

I seem to have fallen back on old habits, specifically my traditional failure to blog daily. Oh well, one must endure these little setbacks.

It actually seems to have been a tremendously busy week, although I may now have a difficult time backing up that claim with anything like convincing evidence. It was a long weekend, because the Queen has a birthday sometime, and it actually felt like a long weekend for once. Can’t remember what I did on Saturday (which leads me to suspect I spent an awful lot of it either reading or playing WoW) but it was nothing of any significance because we executed an eleventh-hour change of plans when Fiona’s servers crashed and burned and she had to spend the entire day at work. We woke up at some appallingly cold and early hour on Sunday to pack a trailer with Alastair’s stuff so that David could deliver it to him down in Melbourne. We took the unusual step of venturing outside the house to visit people: Kath and Hector and their new baby Ellie, Ange and Michelle and their not-that-new baby Hannah, and my cousin Cameron, whom I’ve not laid eyes on for at least ten years, who now has a doctorate of some sort that I think qualifies him to create a slave-race of cybermen. Handy relative to have, I’m sure you’ll agree.

I’ve also watched an unusual amount of sport, since the World Cup is on at the moment. I was very happy to take the opportunity to stay up and agonise over Australia’s shrinking hopes against Japan for something like 84 minutes, before they hammered three goals in nine minutes to win comfortably. Even Jimbo, who with some justification derides that form as football as unspeakably dull, was drawn to an enthusiastic “Yes!” when Cahill drilled in the equaliser. Even more satisfying,though, was the utter reversal of form of the Maroons in the second State of Origin rugby league match. Participants in the usual Wednesday night WoW sessions with perhaps less interest in the manly arts of flinging a leather bladder and being subjected to repeated aggravated assault in the name of sport may be reassured that I did not pike in vain. Oh, and the decider will be on Wednesday 12 July, so I’ll be AFK that night as well.

I still don’t have the New Salisbury Over the Edge game up and running yet. Herr Fellows remains the only player, but it’s more after-work lethargy than a lack of willing participants that has seen me dragging my heels. Plus at the moment I think we have incompatible communications technologies, which is something that one or both of us needs to deal with. And I’m well aware that if I don’t get off my arse and do something about this soon, I’m going to disappear overseas fo a month and kill what little momentum I have stone dead. On the plus side, I have come up with a number of good setting and character ideas that would make good short stories if I don’t use them in the game. That would be a poor consolation for not having a game though.

June 8, 2006

Routed

Filed under: now playing: anything — lexifab @ 11:38 am

Mz Emma joined us on Monday night for the weekly foray into the World’s Largest Dungeon, with our host ChrisT. Which was just as well, because had she not been there, we wouldhave had to break the news that our brave explorers got their arses entirely handed to them by what turned out to be a minotaur convention. Rolling blithely on after slaughtering hordes of their kin in previous weeks, we stumbled into the king’s throne room just as he was taking court with a delegation from a rival tribe. They were there to complain about the merciless invaders who had been storming their maze and stealing their spitted pigs and the treasures of their ancestors. At least, we assume that’s what they were talking about, since none of our characters speak Mooese.

Anyway, after everyone did a comic double take, they launched wave after wave of cow-monsters at us, in an apocalyptic battle (for both sides) that basically took all night to run. In the end it came down to us not quite managing to wipe out the low-threat minions quickly enough to position ourselves well for the onslaught of the King and his loyal champions. We lost Simon’s fighter (who at that point had died more times than the rest of the party put together) a bit too early, and then it was just impossible to hold them off as they picked us off one by one. A tactical heal by Jimbo’s cleric nearly saved Emma’s barbarian long enough to take the King out (we were hoping that his demise would break their spirits and force a surrender, but it was pretty much wishful thinking at that point; we also hoped that one of his loyal lieutenants wouldspot the opportunity for a power grab and stab His Majesty in the back – and if we had been able to speak Mooese, trying to persuade one of them to that viewpoint would have been a half-decent tactic) but in the end it came down to the cleric sacrificing himself so that my sorceror could make a bolt for the door. He went off and called in some reinforcements, and eventually there were rescues and resurrections all round, but it was a close thing. A lucky parting shot on their part would have taken Kerwin out, and that would have been that for Our Guys. As it was, we were forced to call in all the favours with the local good guys which we had been painstakingly building up for weeks and weeks, and have effectively agreed to exile ourselves into the demon-infested zones in return for using up their resources.

It was fun though. We haven’t really been seriously challenged in a while, and it became obvious (too late) that tactically we were a bit complacent. We underestimated the threat, we didn’t really set ourselves up well for their specialised attacks and we should have taken a more defensive tact in general (retreat? what’s that?). But that said, we nearly won, and the serious threat of being completely exterminated made for a nice challenging thrill.

June 7, 2006

Can I go yet?

Filed under: news of the day — lexifab @ 4:36 pm

Thanks in part to a headache that won’t go away and a lack of sleep, I’ve reverted to spending entire working days wishing I was still curled up in bed. Yesterday I went home early and curled up in bed, but it turns out not to have been the hoped-for panacea. Luckily work isn’t demanding too much of me beyond “turn up” and “shuffle papers in a fashion easily accomplished in your sleep” this week. I doubt the lull will continue for long, but at the moment my marginal energy levels are up to the demands of the day.

Dad’s been visiting this week, so we’ve actually been movedto get out and about – well, moreso than usual, at any rate. On the weekend I – gasp! – got out and did some gardening, tidying things up, harvesting pumpkins and potatoes and planting a vast number of spring bulbs that Mum sent down. This should have been a rewarding expedition into the outside world, but as the temperature was about fifteen degree Celsius before the wind-chill factor knocked that back by 75%, colour me unfulfilled. Maybe when the garden explodes in colour in September or October I’ll feel a bit better about it, but at the moment I’m just thinking that maybe I stupidly gave myself a cold.

Anyway on Sunday we went to my cousin Jen’s exhibition at the National Museum of Australia. It wasn’t really her exhibition, you understand, but she gets to look after it or curate it or something museumy. Against expectations, the exhibition was overwhelmingly paintings from the early 19th century, depicting people emigrating from the Uk to Australia. as Jimbo put it, we were expecting something “a bit more artefacty”. That said, it was quite a moving and occasionally disturbing exhibition. Several of the pieces were extremely effective at conveying the sadness, loneliness, bordeom and occasionally terror associated with leaving old England/Scotland/Ireland behind forever.

And for those that followed the link above, on Monday night I woke up about two in the morning thinking that the guy in the brown hat and greatcoat was staring at me. Pretty. Damned. Creepy.

Then again, I’ve been having some strange dreams lately. Last night, I dreamed I was at a performance interview with my new boss, Richard Branson, and I was giving him a hard time for not knowing the names of his employees. I certainly showed him up, let me tell you.

June 2, 2006

Easy rainy day

Filed under: news of the day,now playing: anything — lexifab @ 7:51 pm

It’s been alternating between drizzling and pouring all day, which I have enjoyed immensely because for the most part I haven’t had to be outside at all. I took the day off work, had a bit of a lazy morning with some housework and some net browsing, played some WoW with Jalnix and then went over to Ian and Son’s to visit Dad. Stayed for a while, chatted, came home and made a lasagna for tonight’s dinner party back over there.

Yup. Lazy day.

I’ve been listening to quite a few gaming-related podcasts in the past week or so, trying to get my head out of old skool tactical roleplaying and back into the narrative style I sort of think I prefer but rarely actually run or play in. The podcasts have been good for that, because by and large they’re presented by enthusiasts that tend towards the storytelling end of the game spectrum. I can make some recommendations, although it’s pretty unlikely that anyone reading this is enough of a gaming industry or theory wonk to be as interested as I am. Still, it’s inspiring to hear people who are genuinely enthusiastic about roleplaying and have a real love for their hobby. And for the most part they hardly ever recite embarrassing and painful anecdotes about their character…

My favourite is The Sons of Kryos, which has a fantastically cod name, but is presented by two very cool gamers. One of them is a regular at most of the gaming forums I read (using the intarwub handle ‘Paka’) and is usually saying something worth listening to about good gaming techniques and cool games to play. SoK is cheerfully amateurish at the start, but the slickness of the presentation and sound quality picks up after the first couple of episodes.

Another good one, if you’re interested in how the (US) gaming industry works (and like I said I have no idea why you would be), is Paul Tevis’ Have Games, Will Travel. This show alternates between reviews of new games and interviews with designers/publishers etc. It’s a very cool – Tevis is actually skilled at both reviewing and interviewing, and he usually gets good mileage out of his interview subjects.

Finally, I’ve been listening to this week is a new one called The Durham 3. As the name suggests, it’s three guys in some place called Durham who play a little of small-press independent games (obscure, in other words). Their schtick is to chat about the game immediately before and then again after their actual gaming session. They’re also taking an improv class as the podcasts progress, so they also talk a bit about how improv techniques compare and contrast to gaming. Which is sort of cool, though their discussions are a bit sketchy and might well assume prior knowledge I don’t have. However, they’re also short and don’t wear out their welcome, which is good.

So there you are. What I did on my day off.

June 1, 2006

The night the lights went out in Kargath

Filed under: now playing: anything — lexifab @ 2:39 pm

Last night’s World ofWarcraft foray to Blackrock Depths with Chris and Amanda went belly up when technical problems caused lag so bad even chat conversation was virtually impossible. Bah! And I was really looking forward to it too. With several members of our guild Victurus te Saluto (roughly translated as “We who are about to win salute you”) getting up to the lofty heights of WoW’s maximum level of 60, we need to start getting our dungeon raiding skills polished up. Plus the last time we got in there, which was a couple of weeks ago, one of the bosses totally pwned us (as the young internet illiterati are saying these days) and some completely imaginary vengeance is wholly warranted.

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