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

September 29, 2008

Bedsful of edibles

Filed under: green-ish thumb — lexifab @ 2:53 pm

Decent weather and a lack of more pressing engagements finally coincided on Saturday to permit the wholescale renovation of our sadly overgrown herb garden. The program has expanded this year. We now have three beds prepared and planted with a much wider range of goodies: two different types of tomatoes, half a dozen mixed capsicum varieties, shallots, chives, parsley, rocket, coriander and basil, to go with the mint, oregano, thyme and rosemary plants which survived the winter and the dill which, having failed last year, seeded itself and looks extraordinarily healthy. We wanted to add sage and tarragon but couldn’t find any (will continue the research!) and I will chuck two garlic bulbs which have thrown shoots in the kitchen into a spare corner just to see what happens.

Hopefully this will save a bit of money as well as give me an excuse to spend some time outdoors with the bub. Not that he cares about growing yummy herbs and veges yet.

September 24, 2008

The Big Hello

Filed under: friends,geekery — lexifab @ 10:32 am

I will hastily cobble this one together or it will suddenly have been a week since Andrew brought his fiance home to meet the folks. Er, friends. Well, us, at any rate. He and Von drove down on the weekend for a dinner party get together, so that we could get to know her ahead of the upcoming less informal occasion.

Von is, I am happy to report, quite the excellent match for our Mister Shellshear, entirely fabulous in every way – charming, funny and with a healthy nerdy streak. And is my commentary in any way biased by her generous compliments with respect to my preparation of herb-encrusted beef medallions? Why not at all, I assure you.

Also, we watched the first episode of ITV’s grotesque, cringeworthy superhero sitcom No Heroics, which is a work of mad genius, though not at all for the faint hearted or anyone that prefers their humour to keep masturbation references to a minimum. I thought it was rather brilliant myself, but I suspect I’m squarely in their demographic. Mind you, the conspicuous lack of sympathetic characters might shorten its shelf life a bit, but I’m definitely up for further episodes.

September 19, 2008

Science and squids, together again.

Filed under: geekery,the interweb she provides — lexifab @ 11:54 am

I’ve been meaning to mention for a while that writer of gaming and popular science subjects Clive Thomson has started regular blogging again over at Collision Detection. For what little my highest recommendation is worth, Clive has it. He trawls the interwebs for cool research, nifty experiments and just plain weird findings on the nature of things (special subject: giant squids), and also reposts his regular Wired column which is typically about psychology in computer gaming. He’s very hot on the subject of more people understanding the principles of science (especially kids) so that they are better able to appreciate the sheer weirdness of reality. Utterly fascinating stuff, coupled with very witty and occasionally passionate writing.

Dave-Bob says “Check it out”.

Back to domestic politics – Turnbull

Filed under: political sniping — lexifab @ 11:34 am

With the Liberal Party finally bowing to the inevitable conclusion – which the rest of the country reached months ago – that Brendan Nelson is an unelectable reptile with the political instincts of a Shetland pony, Malcolm Turnbull assumes front and centre as leader of the Opposition. I have some (but not a lot of) sympathy for Nelson, who may or may not have been savvy enough to realise that picking up the leadership after the last election would have more or less the same result as picking up a cuppa full of plutonium, with only the degree of protraction in question. If he didn’t see his eventual removal as all but foregone – and there’s some evidence to suggest that he didn’t given that he spilled the leadership himself – then it’s sort of sad for him to have learned that the hard way. But more likely he knew, and jumped rather than be pushed, all the time holding on to a faint outside spark of hope. That’s quite brave, if ultimately doomed.

Whatever. I still couldn’t stand the guy.

While I think he’s a better fit for the job than Nelson ever was, to be honest I expect Turnbull will also struggle. He only has economic credentials to stand on at the moment (well, there’s the Republic as well, but he is sensibly distancing himself from that position while Her Maj Lizzie remains alive and popular) and as long as nothing terribly bad happens, he’ll have some trouble getting traction over and above the standard opposition “Why oh why does the Government not do more, sooner?” harping white noise (vis the issue of the day, pensions, which could not more clearly be a Howard-era legacy). His best shot, which he’s certainly prepared to fire, is that the Rudd Government does more talking, consulting and summiting than actual doing, which is certainly a fair one. But merely accusing the Government of not doing enough is not likely to capture hearts and minds, so he’ll want to come up with something a bit more solid if he’s going to turn the godawful polling figures around.

That said, he’s a far more dynamic and obstreporous politician than Nelson, which will help him establish a presence as opposition leader. Don’t get me wrong though – he’s still a smarmy, self-important arse. But it’s not as if the Libs had a lot of choice in that regard.

(And now to the comments, where I shall proceed to bash Costello and, if I get an opening, Abbott).

September 13, 2008

Flowers and spreadsheets

Filed under: family,property magnatism — lexifab @ 5:37 pm

In preparation for the property investing gig, we are getting our financial affairs In Order. Apparently this means spending my leisure time doing more or less what I spend my working week doing – I have just spent way too many hours in a row trying to cram our household acounts into some money management software from the Destiny people. It’s gradually starting to make sense, but I’ve had to overcome some tremendously user-unfriendly design to get there. And the last half hour or so may or may not have undone all the good work to that point. I don’t know yet, and I don’t really know how to find out.

It’s probably better that I stop while I am at least nominally ahead.

In rather more pleasing news, Fi’s brother Niall has just won a couple of garden design awards at this year’s Floriade, which opened today. He’s pretty good with the flowers – he came sixth in the world championships in St Petersburg a few years ago. Who even knew that they had a world champs for floral arrangements? According to ND, apparently the Germans always win it.

Anyway, if you’re in Canberra and going to see the pretty flowers, his is (unsurprisingly) the Priscilla Queen of the Desert-themed arrangement.

September 10, 2008

A survey for gamer-types

Filed under: friends,geekery,podcasts,the interweb she provides — lexifab @ 4:13 pm

MizEmma and her podcasting cohort Liz have just put up a survey probing roleplaying game players for their thoughts about how they like their fellow gamers to behave. I presume that they will discuss the data collected on some future episode of their inimitable Natural 20 podcast.

They’re looking for as wide a spread of respondents as they can get. I’ve clicked a whole bunch of boxes, why don’t you do the same? It took around about the same amount of time to complete the survey as it has to type out this blog entry, so an enormous imposition on your time (which may well be more precious than mine, but is insignificant nevertheless!) is not demanded.

LHC of Doom!

Filed under: news of the day,the interweb she provides — lexifab @ 12:08 pm

They keep bringing up the subject of the switching-on of the Large Hadron Collider on the Channel 7 Sunrise breakfast program. Apparently they feel the need to keep airily speculating on the possibility that it will create a black hole over Switzerland that will rapidly consume everything in this corner of the universe (today’s banner was something along the lines of “could a science experiment really end the world?”) and then trot out Doctor Karl to explain that that really won’t happen, presumably because it would be irresponsible to provoke hysteria, right?

Twice this morning, the newsreader explained that the purpose of the LHC was to collide superaccelerated particles in order to “stimulate the Big Bang”. I charitably thought I misheard her the first time I listened to the news, but the second time there was no doubt that she said “stimulate”, not “simulate”.

I had planned to be relaxed and interested in an ambitious and expensive experiment to further human knowledge, but now I believe I shall climb out on the very precipice of hysteria with Channel 7’s deranged squad of knuckleheads and erect a sign informing passersby that the world will end this afternoon.

It’s been nice knowing you all. Ciao.

(I hope it takes a while for our atomic disconbobularisation to take place. I have a Burning Empires game tonight, and I want to find out if my guy survived his plummet off Reichenbach Szecksgard Falls).

September 9, 2008

It is late. Time for a conundrum.

Filed under: news of the day — lexifab @ 12:26 am

Waiting for the baby to wake up screeching for his so-called “eleven o’clock milks” is an exercise in frustration. Either I just head to bed resigned to having to get up again sometime shortly after I get to sleep, or I stay up waiting for him, only for this to turn out to be one of those night where he just skips the eleven o’clock and leaves the screaming until three or four in the morning.

Hey, maths fans, there must be an equation along the lines of the Prisoner’s Dilemma to explain this phenomenon. Amuse me by deriving it. Show your working. (Use simple words).

God I am tired.

September 8, 2008

Ruby and gladiolus

Filed under: family — lexifab @ 1:49 pm

Calling Dad to wish him a happy Father’s Day yesterday, I discovered that, far from being a virtuous child who remembers important occasions, I had completely forgotten that this weekend was Mum and Dad’s wedding anniversary. And not just any anniversary – which they traditionally don’t make much of a big deal about – but their 40th wedding anniversary!

D’oh! According to the terribly helpful interwebz, the 40th anniversary is traditionally the ruby anniversary, marked by gifts of rubies (obviously) and gladioli. It’s probably a little late now to arrange either gift, but since I can’t imagine they would actually need or want gemstones or flowers, they *might* let me off on that one.

Happy 40th anniversary, Mum and Dad. Love you both, even if I do appear to be a neglectful failure.

September 6, 2008

Preparing for The New Edition

Filed under: geekery,now playing: anything — lexifab @ 6:35 pm

In just over ninety minutes, I’ll be running my second-ever session of D&D 4th Edition, and instead of preparing for it I am writing this blog entry.

That’s because I’ve already done all the prep that I need to, and if I hadn’t planned a ridiculously-plotted, unnecessarily complex situation for the player characters but had, instead, just come up with a decent excuse to kick down the door of a generic dungeon, I wouldn’t have needed to do any prep at all. And it would still be full of awesome and kickarsedness,

Truly, this is the edition of D&D that (baby) I was born to run.

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