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

August 27, 2007

Long weekend of food

Filed under: fitter/happier,friends — lexifab @ 11:45 am

Hosted two get-togethers over the weekend – Kath and Hector and Brenda and Soozie on Saturday, Ange and Michelle and Ange and Adam on Sunday. There would have been another one on Friday night for several of Fi’s work colleagues but illnesses and double-booking conspired to defer it. Just as well, because I really don’t think I could have coped with eating anything else over the weekend – with everyone contributing these affairs tend to involve a lot of food, and I have a hard time letting it go to waste.

So between the no doubt masses of weight I put on by spending the weekend sitting around and eating and chatting, and the fact that I am dog-tired today despite crashing early and getting a full night’s sleep, it’s pretty clear that I’m not getting enough exercise.

Apart from all the other clues, there’s the fact that season 2 of Farscape, which I borrowed from Linda at least four or five months ago to use as my dedicated exercise show (i.e. I work out on the elliptical trainer while watching a 45 minute episode), is less than halfway through disc 2 of 3.

Must. Watch. More. TV!

August 22, 2007

Some stuff that occurred to me over the course of a day

Filed under: Games,geekery,news of the day — lexifab @ 5:55 pm

Idle thoughts:

Last night’s game of Burning Wheel did not go as well as it should have. I was tired and did not enforce tighter scene pacing, so everything dragged on and took too long to get to a point. To some extent this is understandable as it often takes a minute or two of meandering discussion before someone figures out what they want, but most of the time it went too long. Have to think about techniques for encouraging dropping into roleplaying exchanges between PCs and NPCs as a support mechanism for establishing immediate short term goals and to keep a closer lookout for flagging scenes that go nowhere while someone works out what skill they want to test. I have a nagging concern about passivity in goal-setting too, as in waiting for something to happen to react to rather than pushing an agenda hard, but I think tiredness was the main offender on this occasion. Highly amusing moment when we realised that Simon’s burnout guardsman is attempting to develop skills possessed only by great magistrates and mighty generals, and Jimbo’s businessman honing his ruthless negotiating style. And there was nice finish that set up the next session, where everyone discovered important new stuff about the cult and the ancient ruins.

I have cancelled my World of Warcraft account. It will last until mid-September, so I will keep going on it pretty hard until then, but after that I think it can sit in the box for a while. After over two years of fairly solid timesinking and with Joey on the way, it’s probably time I gave it a rest and freed up some time for other stuff. I’m trying to avoid that “other stuff” turning out to be yet another timesink computer game, but I am not known for my strength of will in this area. My flirtation over the last week with the free trial of Lord of the Rings Online was awfully tempting, but fortunately the fact that I would have to buy a better graphics cards in order to play it properly will preserve me from that temptation.

With my spare time I plan to do: a lot more reading, a small amount of additional gaming, a fair amount of housework and toddler proofing, and possibly some research for writing. Marco and Clam should probably not get their hopes up, though, since I have no intention of doing anything with that plan until 2009 at the earliest.

Unless I change my mind, of course.

I went to a colleague’s farewell at an Indian restaurant at lunchtime. The almost lethally hot vindaloo is currently eating through my stomach muscles and attacking my liver, I think. Yum!

Also, I really need to find a way to take my job more seriously. Or get some no-questions-asked phat funds from some other source. One of the two.

August 17, 2007

Oh good, looks like it’s Friday

Filed under: friends,geekery — lexifab @ 9:52 am

If I sound uncertain about that, it’s because I was at the airport at about 6 to drop Fi off on a flight to Hobart. She’s visiting to help Frances, whose father passed away this week (and not to speak any more ill of the dead than necessary, but that’s not actually the sad part) and to get in one last visit to M&L before she can’t travel any more. She’s away all weekend, which would sound like an opportunity for me to go wild and game hard, but actually what I think I will do is try to catch up on some sleep.

My shoulder’s been giving me gyp. I went to a physio yesterday to get it checked out, because it really should have healed by now. She agreed that it seems to be giving me gyp and put a heat pack on it. Actually, it really is feeling better today, which is good, because it’s been a major contributor to the lack of sleep lately.

I’m not sure that anyone reading this will care that much, but at GenCon in Indianapolis at the moment, Wizards of the Coast are announcing the launch next year of Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition. Every gaming-related internet forum is choked with outraged nerds at the moment, so I won’t bother to supply any links (and admit it, you wouldn’t click on them anyway). Major features are rumoured to be more streamlined rules for play (which is always what they say when they launch a new edition, immediately before the supplement treadmill kicks in and raises the volume of available rules by whole orders of magnitude) and, perhaps more interestingly, social connectivity and online play through their (subscription) web services. Said services are the reason they yanked the Dungeon and Dragon magazine licenses, a few months back, as they would compete with Wizards’ online offerings.

And now you know more about the roleplaying industry than you ever cared to, right? I’ll shut up now.

August 10, 2007

Feel the burn

Filed under: Games,geekery,now playing: anything — lexifab @ 12:18 pm

Tonight I’m meeting up at Insmouth Steve’s place for some Burning Wheel action (I get to play! Yay!). He’s going to run a few of us through the BW demo module The Sword, which has a very simple setup – several adventurers, having battled their way through the usual dungeons and monsters and hardships, have finally made it to where an ancient sword lies – and now they have to decide who gets it. It’s a delicious setup designed to showcase BW’s various neat little rules subsystems, and is used by the designer as a vehicle for demonstrating what’s cool about the game to complete noobs. What will be different here is that most of us who will be playing have some familiarity with the rules already, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I intend to make sure there’s blood on the floor at the end of the session!

Next week, I hope that John M’s Burning Empires game gets started. I’ll be playing an ambitious and fanatical astronomer-priest on one side of a hidden war with parasitical alien infiltrators. My personal enemy will be an idealistic young advocate for democratic reform. Hilariously, the good guys are all on my side, so at least some of the campaign goals will involve putting down this dangerous, destabilising uprising of rabble-rousing campaigners for equity and human rights. Bloody troublemakers.

And of course the adventures of New Porphyria, our inexplicably-named weekly BW game set in a frontier lumber town near an ancient ruined city (full of riches and monsters), continue on Tuesday nights.

And yesterday my copy of the BW Monster Burner arrived, and in the next day or so my copy of the Heian-era Japan BW supplement The Blossoms are Falling should arrive as well. I seem to have really attacked the Burning Wheel kool-aid with gusto, huh?

August 7, 2007

At home

Filed under: fitter/happier,now playing: anything — lexifab @ 9:54 am

I have been struck down with bubonic pneumonia or some suchlike lurgy. I am huddling in the Nerd Farm with approximately thirty layers of polar fleece shivering so hard I am likely to vibrate right off the edge of the third dimension and fall into netherspace where I will school the primitive locals in the fabrication and use of the kazoo and become their king.

Or I might make some lemon tea and go back to bed. Unless I am dead, though, the Burning Wheel game is still on tonight. I have been obsessing about it too much this week to let even one session slip.

August 3, 2007

Uh oh! Buzz levels rising! Alert! Alert!

Filed under: fitter/happier — lexifab @ 4:36 pm

After several brews of excessively strong and only mildly satisfying coffee, I think I must grudgingly consider the possibility that yesterday’s purchase of a so-called “three cup” plunger may not be entirely without its health risks.

On the other hand, I did not have to brave the ridiculous unpleasantness of the windy Civic outdoors in order to get my daily caffeine fix today, so that’s one for the Benefits column. Since moving to the untamed wildlands of “slightly further out from the city”, getting an espresso lately has involved a sealskin parka and a team of huskies.

All in all things will probably balance themselves out, though perhaps I will not reach that blessed equilibrium without cutting at least one of those cups of java death out of the equation.

That shouldn’t be hard, because, really, plunger coffee sucks. Once you’ve had steam-extracted, you can never go back(-ted).

August 2, 2007

My podcast library, part 2

Filed under: podcasts,Uncategorized — lexifab @ 4:50 pm

So when I discussed the Sons of Kryos the other day, I didn’t happen to mention that they have been nominated for Best Podcast in the ENnie Awards, a quite prestigious (given the small pond context of the roleplaying scene) award administered by a popular roleplaying fan site which culminates at a ceremony at GenCon every August. So I figured that for the next batch of podcasts I talk about, I’ll include the other ENnie-nominated shows that I already happen to listen to.

(more…)

August 1, 2007

Scattered gaming and incidental life stuff

Filed under: Games,joey,now playing: anything,workin for the man — lexifab @ 4:04 pm

I seem to be heading into a busy phase again, at least in terms of working and gaming.

The purpose of what I’m doing at work for Mission Impossible is starting to take some sort of shape, though I am still a little unsure about whether I will at some point start to contribute something tangible to the job. At the moment my task appears to be “know everything that’s going on”. That appeals to my essentially nosey nature, but I’m at a loss as to where I’m going with the whole thing. Still, day by day it does make more and more sense, so I remain faithful that a lightbulb will go off sooner or later.

Perhaps spurred on by the likelihood that it will all go away after Joey appears in December, I have been getting a bit mroe gaming in lately. Apart from the new weekly Burning Wheel game (which has now commenced, thus demolishing my plan to do a precis review before I ever played it), which now has two sessions in the can, I’ve signed up for a BW one-shot (and have made a vague commitment to participate in or help manage a regular series of one-shot and short-form games of various independent small press RPGs of the sort that I have been obsessively collecting without playing for some time now), a Burning Empires campaign and now a long-delayed HeroQuest campaign looks like it might be alive again.

(Ouch. Careful with the run-on sentences, dumbarse! I’m watching you!)

To be honest I’m probably going to have to clear something of the above out of the schedule – I don’t really want to be spending too many evenings out, especially during the week – but I’ll suck it and see how I go while the energy is still there.

Dad’s stem cell collection has started, which means he now has to go into isolation for several weeks while he gets chemo and has basically no immune system. This was the hard part last time, beyond the basic risks associated with the chemotherapy, because he is prone to going wholly mental when he can’t beaver about and be excessively active. Last time he got out and about too early and exposed himself to all manner of ills, not the least of which was pneumonia. They’ll be keeping a closer eye on his discharge date this time around, which he will not appreciate, but it will help improve his rate of recovery.

It was Gazza’s birthday yesterday. We got him Hot Fuzz and Sean of the Dead because he hasn’t seen them, and because they might break his brain, which would be jolly amusing, wouldn’t it? Happy being one year older, little brother 🙂

We had Joey’s 20-week (21, actually) checkup yesterday. All readings appear normal at this stage, which is a relief. The slight concern we’ve had that my Mediterranean-descendent genes risk passing on thalassaemia now seem unfounded based on current haemoglobin counts, so fingers crossed that that remains the case.

Finally, an Occupational Health and Safety tip: no matter what you may happen to imagine, tzatziki (cucumber and yoghurt) is not a sane flavour to embed upon a potato chip. Nor is it a palatable one.

That is all. Next, more podcastery.

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