Firstly, a very happy birthday to the fertile ephraimEphraim. I guess you've already had a pretty awesome early present but I hope that today will be just that little bit cooler for it being the first birthday you can share with three of you.

Secondly, a huge "thank you" to the inestimable liz_lowlifeLiz_Lowlife for introducing me to Spoon Theory. This is it, this is it exctly. Anyone who's ever wondered what it's like to have M.E. need look no further than this.
If Foamy is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Just pimping this out in case some of you dear people haven't seen the straight-talking squirrel yet.

By the way, unless your workplace is quite liberal in terms of what words you have blasting across the office, use a headset or wait till you get home.
Courtesy of the amazing shrinking caddymanCaddyman:

From Gizmodo

Disclaimer: The makers of The iSnort accept no responsibility if you end up in the iClink, getting iBummed in the iShowers when you bend down for the iSoap.
The exquisite Liz_LowlifeLiz_Lowlife prompted me to a fit of nostalgia by asking what music my parents used to listen to when I was young. Well generally their taste in music was shocking but I do remember this gem ... thought I'd share.

In other news, the beloved Jeremy Clarkson has introduced me to the term "Saga-lout" ... the man's a genius.
With grateful thanks to greatbigshowoffGreatbigshowoff I have just tucked into my first Graze box. Dropped through my letterbox this morning it was a neat little luncheon of fresh (really fresh) pineapple sliced (with a nifty little wooden fork so my fingers diddn't get sticky), a selection of spicy nuts (wasabi coated peanuts fuhtuhwuh) and some dried cranberries (which were a lot yummier than I expected them to be). All in all, delicious! I suspect that I may have snarfed the lot a bit quicker than the designers intended but it was so yummy!

If you fancy a free box just go to and enter the following promotional code: RLQK9MPE

Full-price boxes are cheap enough that they will certainly become a regular feature of my culinary week.
Well for a moment there it looked like I might actually be able to attend this weekend's Maelstrom.

It is not to be.

We got closer than we have done since mum's stay in hospital though, so maybe next time.
I'm sure that many of you will know that I've been lucky enough to work on the new Odyssey LRP game for a while now.

Well, the teaser website is now up:
So thanks to the invaluable help of Niggle (who is, I believe, sans LJ) I have finally exchanged the Fisher Price interface on my netbook for the more adult (and much better looking) Ubuntu. It's so nice to have an OS that doesn't need to be hacked in order to install new software (no, really, Linpus has most of its administrative controls locked away completely out of sight unless one knows the key combinations to unlock them). I am now a very happy Bin with regard to my, as yet un-named, netbook.

Less satisfaction was derived from the Be Good To Yourself cauliflower cheese I have just endured. My advice to you is to be good to yourself and avoid this sour travesty of food like the plague. Next week I shall be going back to the full-fat version, even if I do have to scrape most of the nummy sauce off.

The thought of an Easter without an Easter Egg is rapidly becoming an insupportable concept. Easter is a very important festival to me for some reason and I refuse to let a diet come between me and my traditional celebrations. Well ok, the diet will interfere a bit (a lot) but I'm determined to get myself a smallish hollow chocolate egg. This is unlikely to kill me or cause my weight to suddenly balloon so the hell with it. I suspect that this year may be even better than normal in some ways, as I shall almost certainly savour the egg more than ever before.
Given it seems unlikely that mum will make a miraculous recovery in the next two days, I have made the decision that I won't be going to Maelstrom this Easter. I was very much looking forward to this event but the health of my family must come first and Ifeel certain that you will understand this.

If you're going to the event then please have a little extra bit of fun on my behalf.
I'm off to see a consultant in May (unless a cancellation opens up) as, apparently, I need to have my gallbladder removed entirely. Whilst I understand that these things involve only very small incisions these days, I'm still not entirely comfortable with the notion. Doubtless I'll come round to it. My main concerns are about how to manage the post-operative recovery period. The blurb says that one will be off work for about two weeks but gives no indication of what exactly that means. Obviously my concerns are revolving around how I'm going to manage looking after mum and, indeed, how I'm going to look after myself ... at least for the first few days after the op. Hopefully the consultant will be able to give me some reassurance on that count, otherwise I may have to see about getting mum booked into somewhere during the recovery period.


Apr. 1st, 2009 03:04 pm
My my, it does seem like a while since I've dipped my toes into the Livejournal surf, however it seemed only fair to give an update, more excuses, a bit of emo and, y'know, stuff.

First off, mum came out of hospital a while ago having been treated for a urinary (she accidentally called it a "urinal" ... there was some mirth when she realised what she'd done) infection and a lung infection, both of which I hope we've seen the back of. Unfortunately, on her last day in hospital, two women on her ward died and she's been badly traumatised by that experience. In fact, it would be fair to say that mum is currently suffering from a pretty severe bout of depression. She's very anxious when left on her own, I popped out to see Watchmen the other week, and came out to find four voicemail messages with mum in tears begging me to come home. Now we'd spoken about me going to see the film and she seemed alright with it before I left, clearly she had an 'episode' while I was away and that triggered the whole thing off again. Her memory is also pretty bad at the moment, which is a little worrying given my particualr deficiencies in that regard. Anyway, the consequence of this to you is that I shan't be able to spend any significant time out of the house until she feels secure enough for that to happen. So the forthcoming Maelstrom is in some doubt at the moment, as are any overnight visits to friends. This also means that the now-annual trip to the British Museum in honour of my birthday will have to be put on hold indefinately. Needless to say, I am chafing somewhat at this but you only get one mum and there will, I trust, be other years in which I can do stuff again.

In better news, the people at Chichester University have asked me to write a short piece for them on a well-known novel, short story or poem (I've chosen Ted Hughes' Hawk Roosting) which is a very promising move. They've obviously decided that the portfolio I submitted has promise and so are checking to see how deep my academic approach to literature is. Given that I have no academic experience to support my application, this move seems only reasonable and suggests that I may have cleared the first hurdle.

<emo>I find that I'm missing the presence of the (surprisingly aptly named if you're a fan of The Little Prince) Fox through all this. Not for his physical presence, though I miss that too, but for having someone with whom to share these triumphs, woes and events. There is a quality of sharing that, I realise, one may have with a partner that one does not with a friend, however close that friend may be. Still, no use crying over spilt dairy products, I'll just have to play the cards I have, not the ones I wish I had.</emo>

WoW-wise, I've given up, for the moment, on my Undead Mage, Flosoris, who I'm failing to play competently. Despite many generous donations of gear and time boosting him through instances, I just can't seem to get him over the hurdle of 59. Well, doubtless I could but I'm just not having any fun doing it ... and fun is the point of the game neh? So I've gone back to Invidius the Blood Elf Paladin who is currently steaming through the fifties and is well on the way to Outland. It seems that mail and plate are my comfort zones, leather and cloth not so much. The recent(ish) changes to the Paladin class have completely changed the game play; for the most part this is an improvement but the seal/judgement mechanic has lost some of its flexibility for me, although it is now much easier to manage. I know the Bad Eggs don't need another tank but I'm happy to level as Protection and then work up either Retribution or Holy as secondary trees once the dual-spec mechanic is introduced. On the Alliance side, Melqart (my Night Elf Death Knight) has hit 80 and is now geared sufficiently to be able to tank pretty competently in heroic instances ... I'm not sure he's quite up to being a raid tank just yet, but he's on the way. Typical of me to pick the least obvious spec (Blood) to try to tank in, but it seems to work well enough for the moment ... I'm eager to see how it will scale. Tarranis is pretty much on hold at the moment, mostly as I wait for dual-spec to reach us so I can heal in instances without shooting myself in the foot solo-wise. The Shattered Ravens seem more in need of healers rather than DPS at the moment, so hopefully Tarranis can help meet that need. Try as I might I just can't seem to get his DPS higher than 1650, which is really too low for the level he's shooting at. Certainly gear upgrades could improve his situation but I think he's already pretty well geared for where he's at, and I have his general rotations down pretty well so I suspect it's just a case of gameplay (or my lack of competence therein) that's letting him down ... we shall doubtless see in the future.

Also refereeing a tabletop RPG at the moment, in which the players have discovered the medieval zombies and are, I suspect, about to stumble onto the apocalypse bit; they really shouldn't have let two of them get away ... not with a nice, tasty village so close by. I think they've pretty much cracked the plot, which is good; I just don't think they've considered some of the implications of it yet. Things could get messy.

In closing I shall return to WoW and share this short film with you. Even if you hate/don't know the game I urge you to watch, it's a very well-crafted piece in my opinion.

The Craft of War: BLIND from percula on Vimeo.


Mar. 10th, 2009 07:36 pm
Some of you may be aware that in recent months I've been experiencing occasional bouts of extreme pain, the first episode saw me carted off in an ambulance, subsequent attacks have had me driving myself to the local Urgent Treatment Unit. Well today I had an ultrasound and it seems that I have gallstones, several of 'em. This does not fill me with joy. In a weird bit of synchronicity, it seems that mum also has gallstones ... though hers haven't been causing any pain at all! There are various treatment options (very few of which sound like fun) but at least now I know what it is, which is a relief. I shall be seeing the GP about mine next week, mum's is being seen to a lot sooner .. one of the benefits of being in hospital when they discover the things.


Mar. 6th, 2009 07:02 pm
As some of you may know already, mum's been in hospital twice in the past month as a result of some quite scary bouts of illness. Well, they were scary for me, she was off with the fairies both times and doesn't remember a thing! Apparently she had both a lung and a urinary infection both of which seem to be cleared up now; at least, I hope they are. She's still in hospital but there is hope that she may return home tomorrow.

All this has, I'm afraid left me somewhat incommunicado and also impossibly unreliable in terms of keeping appointments and the like. So my apologies to those of my friends who have been put out by all this and hopefully normal service will be resumed shortly.


Feb. 27th, 2009 02:54 pm
This is a bit of light relief poached from simes2112simes2112, says very little about MeMe other than that I enjoy this sort of thing.

I confess that I cheated on stage 3 but because the image was a thoroughly rubbish painting that someone had done (a silhouette of a rather unrealistic tree against a rather unrealistic sunset ... done quite badly) I figured that the rules would allow the third photograph on the page rather than the third (rubbish) picture. It certainly makes for a more entertaining album cover.

The "rules" are as follows:

  1. Go to Wikipedia, hit "random" or just click

    The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

  2. Go to "random quotations" or just click

    The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

  3. Go to flickr and click on "explore the last seven days" or just click

    Third photograph, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

  4. Use Photoshop or similar to put it all together

binidj: (Yule Log)
No, really, I'm not.

I haven't been reading LJ at all for the past couple of months, for which you have my apologies. Please do let me know by email if there's anything important (please note that the latest Christmas meme does not count) I've missed.

Healthwise has been up and down, physically I'm not doing too badly but mentally I'm less well. Memory is just shockingly bad at present and I get the strangest blocks on things. These days it feels less like walking through fog than it does walking through a perfectly transparent maze.

I've been keeping fairly busy writing a portfolio of stuff for a course I'm hopping to take. Work is painfully slow though because the watchword here is "quality", I really need to show the best work I'm capable of which is causing a large amount of editing, rewriting and dithering about plot. Currently I have one nearly ready poem, one just started poem and half a short story to show for two months work. Clearly I'm going to have to step things up a gear and soon. Then there's been writing for Odyssey, which has become rather more sporadic of late but about which I am still very enthusiastic, and writing for a tabletop game I'm supposed to be running in the New Year and for which I have an idea but haven't set as much of it down on paper as I would like.

On the bright side, writer's block and my own lack of willpower has meant that Tarranis has now hit level 80 in World of Warcraft. I foreseee having to put the kind of play limits I had in place for last year's NaNoWriMo (1,500 words down each day before I could play WoW) come the New Year, if I'm to have any hope of finishing my portfolio.

I do hope that all is shiny in your world, and that you face 2009 well and happy ... however those terms apply to you.
Just distracted.

Mostly I've been distracted by writing for Odyssey, though the first rush of that seems to have ended and so it's just setting up discussions for the impending team meeting for now. Still no certainty of a launch date but it feels more concrete than it has done before. It will happen, I just don't know when.

I've also been writing a bit more as I've discovered that an old friend and new neighbour is doing a Masters in English at Chichester, thus I am experiencing the course vicariously through him. Actually I've had thoughts of dipping my toe into the waters of Academia for a while now and, frankly, this course looks like a doddle. Sadly I suspect I'd need to do a Batchelor's before I could jump into a Masters, frustrating but there you go. If they insist I do an Access course as well then that might put me off altogether. Still, we'll see eh?

Soon-to-be-replaced PC notwithstanding, the new expansion for World of Warcraft, Wrath of the Lich King, has been loaded and despite a couple of very irritating graphical "eccentricities" courtesy (I'm sure) of the dinosaur I am playing on, it is actually running very smoothly. The quest chain in the new zone (well, Howling Fjord) is one of the most entertaining I've done in WoW to date. Though the level of gear Tarranis had managed to acquire before heading into the expansion means that he's having a much easier time of things than if he had just followed the levelling chain and not spent a while at 70 raiding with the Ravens. Of course, trying to catch up with jul1etjul1et and s0bs0b's characters is distracting me slightly from levelling Tarranis. Though, that being said, I am quite enjoying playing a Warrior, though part of me wishes I'd decide to play a Draenei (aka "Space Goat") because Gift of the Naaru in addition to Herbalism and Alchemy would have made healing even less of an issue when soloing.

Healthwise hasn't been great but I shan't bore you with the details. Suffice to say that I must have upset some gods somewhere along the line because my punishment has been, as OxfordgirlOxfordgirl puts it, "boring, painful and explosive." On the bright side, nothing appears to be life-threatening so I'm counting my lucky stars and hoping that the pills do their job ... which they appear to be at the moment. Hurrah! On the brighter side, I had an assessment for DLA last Wednesday after an "episode" the night before so I was feeling pretty washed-out. Having a condition as variable as CFS can be quite frustrating because, inevitably, whenever you need to talk to somebody in "authority" it will happen on a good day, never on a day when you are so ill you can barely move or so confused you can barely talk. So perhaps the gods were smiling on me after all.
... Does anyone else subscribe to the Maelstrom News feed? Or am I commenting to myself?


Oct. 17th, 2008 12:36 pm
Yoinked from nyarbaggytepnyarbaggytep:

Below the cut you will find pictures of ten fine gentlemen, who, in a fantasy scenario, I totally would. The order is rather fluid, but in a very rough top ten style:

Read more... )
With many thanks to uncle_johnuncle_john I present to you Dire Consequences.

It Lives!

Oct. 16th, 2008 02:26 am
So I've stripped out an appalling amount of stuff from my WoW drive and have now managed to download the recent patch. I know this is only a temporary solution and I have no idea how playable the game is going to be in its current state ... but it's a minor victory I think. This is it though, there just isn't any space to fit anything else in so the writing is most definitely on the wall.

July 2010

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