Thursday, December 05, 2013

Just a few Sydney pics

 From the Yoko Ono exhibit.

 A friend I visited in Sydney.

 Another part of the Yoko Ono exhibit - an interactive piece where visitors glue together ceramic and string.

 Queen Victoria building decorated for Christmas. (1)

  Queen Victoria building decorated for Christmas. (2)

  Queen Victoria building decorated for Christmas. (3)

 Queen Victoria building decorated for Christmas. (4)

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

So for the third year running, I participated in NaNoWriMo. I actually enjoy novel writing. I don't know if any of them would sell worth a damn but that's not the point.

It gives me an opportunity to explore some very odd corners of my mind.

While I don't finish the novels in November, I certainly get a long way to producing a complete first draft. Which is also a good thing.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New iPad Air

So, for my birthday, I got a new iPad Air. It's an upgrade from my iPad 3, which means that at some point, my hubby gets to upgrade from the iPad 1.

And in celebration of the new itoy, I've been downloading stuff.

The most amazing discovery is that someone has extremely faithfully ported the original Bard's Tale series to the iPad. We are talking a game so old that an rpg game with colour graphics and music was rare. In fact, it might have been the first rpg that had such things - it is that old.

I think I will have to print the manuals and the maps. While the game has them embedded for reference, the spells are cast by four letter codes and you have to type them correctly. Still, it's amazing to see games like this (and at least one of the Monkey Island series) available again.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

NaNo 2013 Snippet 2

Sam counted the coins as she put them back into the bag. “Right, so payment accepted,” she said. “You are lucky that I didn’t add a significant surcharge to the fee.”

“Why would you do that?”

“You didn’t tell me that your wife was a were. And worse, she was meeting another in the woods.” She pointed at the huge rip in her shirt. “Weres do not like being interrupted, Jack. They get angry and aggressive.” She grabbed the basket and put it on the desk. “I picked up the hood she used to mask herself on the way out of town.” Sam pulled the red hood from the basket. “When she was wearing it, you really couldn’t see that her face was getting fuzzier by the minute.” Sam frowned at Jack. “So why didn’t you tell me that she was a were?”

“I didn’t know. I swear I didn’t know.” Jack shifted around.

“You didn’t noticed the monthly changes? The fur, the teeth? Damn it Jack, a were’s eyes change during the moon. You didn’t notice that your wife suddenly had yellow eyes?”

“She’s never home during the full moon. She’s been going to visit her mother every month, practically since we first me,” he said.

Samantha shook her head. “Jack, I take it you never went along. Did you ever meet her mother?”

“Yes, I did once. And she was the scariest woman I’d ever meet. She kept staring at me like…” Jack stopped and blinked a few times.

“Like what, Jack?” Samantha asked.

“I was about to say like a dog looking at a new bone. Oh god, do you think her mother is?”

“Given that werewolf genetics can be passed on, I’d say yes. Her mother is a werewolf too.” While werewolves could be created if someone was injured by a were, more were born with the condition.
We unpacked the rest of the basket. Typical for were getting ready for the full moon, there was: wolfsbane, a large ham and a raw leg of lamb. If the werewolves didn’t make a kill, at least they wouldn’t starve.

“Now you have the evidence. What were you planning on doing?”

Jack stared at the wolfsbane. “I thought I was getting a divorce because my wife was cheating on me.”

“From the state of the cabin, I’d say she was.”

“But I’m definitely divorcing her if she’s a werewolf. Can you imagine what the kids would be like?”

Samantha repacked the basket and handed it to Jack. “I hear a litter of werewolf pups are simply adorable, Jack. And you had better tread carefully if you are divorcing her. If she wants you, the pack will not let you go easily.”

Thursday, November 07, 2013

NaNo 2013 random snippet

“Yo, street rat! Come here.” 

The small teen looked over. While his real name was Rob, everyone who ever met him called him Ratty or Street Rat. Small dark eyes, a small frame and a tendency to dart from place to place gave the overall impression that he was a bit like a rodent. He started to back away from the much larger boy. 

“No, tttthanks anyway. The last ttttime, I nearly got cccaught in the ccccat door.”

The larger boy, Leo, caught up with Ratty and grabbed his collar. “You better come when I call. You don’t come, you’ll get hurt. Understand me?” Leo was 16 and the leader of the street kids. He claimed the best of the clothes any of them found, most of the money from anything anyone sold and most of the food at the end of the day. He was backed by Owen and Geoff, two of the biggest bullies that Ratty had ever met.

Ratty nodded. The bigger kids ruled the streets, he was too small to come out ahead in a fight. “I’m here. What did you want?”

“Geoff there, he spotted an open window that’s just your size. So you know what to do, don’t you?” smirked Leo. 

Ratty shook from head to toe. He hated being sent into strange homes to steal anything precious he found. “Are you ssure? Dddddid sssssomeone ccccheck if it’s empty?”

Leo shook Ratty. “Don’t back talk me. Do you want me to take you back to the orphanage and leave you tied up outside the door? Do you?”

“Nnno. Please, not that.” Ratty still remembered the horror of the local orphanage clearly. All the kids at the orphanage were put to work as soon as they could walk on their own. They spent their days sorting through laundry, washing clothes, making repairs. A lot of the older boys were adopted by mine bosses to work within the smaller tunnels and the girls would become cheap servants for city dwellers. Because of his small size, Ratty would be working in a mine within a few days of being left at the orphanage. 

“Geoff and Owen, help our little friend. Drop him in that window so he doesn’t have to climb through,” Leo said, chuckling unpleasantly. Leo kept holding Ratty’s collar until the other two boys had an arm each. They started to drag Ratty across the road.

Friday, October 18, 2013

exorcist part 2

“I cannot believe you. Those that are damned to roam the earth need more than an earthly power to send them back to where they belong. Are you sure you haven’t been blest by a priest?”
I shrugged. “Well, I might have been baptised. I don’t know.”
“How can you not know something as important as that?”
“My parents died when I was very young. I don’t remember anything before the orphanage.” I looked at Sister Anna. “I wish I had known my parents, but I never did.”
Sister Anna stared hard at me. “My parents died too. Someone took me to the church and I was raised by the nuns. Naturally, I became one.”
“Sister, there is nothing natural about being a nun. Not a fucking damned thing.” Very gentle dissuasion wasn’t working. Maybe cruder language would make Sister Anna leave me alone.
“Gerald Finster! What would you know about natural?” She took a step toward me, shaking one finger. “You go from place to place, claiming to exorcise demons. How can you claim my life is unnatural.”
Damn, I was hoping she’d take the hint. Apparently Sister Anna was immune to language. Unfortunately, she also had a point. I didn’t have a home, family or even friends. I didn’t stay anywhere more than a few days, ever. Maybe embarrassment would work where cussing failed me. “Have you a method for determining if it’s the same demon time after time? I have no way of knowing.”
She blinked at me a few times. “Not really, I need to talk to a priest about it.”

“Why don’t you do that? When we met again, you can tell me.” With any luck, that should keep her away from me.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

exorcist part 1

This is a comedy-of-errors. The story is about a logical nun who is constantly annoying an exorcist. It starts in a house in a village. The master villain of the story actually must be defeated in several different forms. Writing prompt generated by Seventh Sanctum
“I’m so grateful that you could come and see,” the woman told me.  The woman’s voice was an irritating high pitched squeaky one. She found out what I did when I drank a bit too much in the local tavern. I never did learn to watch my mouth after I’d had a few. 
“Can you save my Charlie? I know he’s possessed.” We were standing in a small house at the edge of a village. 
I leaned in for a closer look. The man on the bed was looking very limp and happened to belch as I got close. His breath told me all I needed to know. He might be possessed by spirits, but they were distilled, not demons. Still, if I pretended to exorcise his ‘demons’ maybe she’d pay up. Or at least invite me to a decent meal, it had been a long time since I’d last had one.
“Vade exiit daemonium foeda relinquunt corpus,” I proclaimed over the recumbent body. 
Charlie moaned loudly, which gave me an idea. I had my bag, I always carried the bag with me. In it, I found a bottle of the most foul smelling concoction that I carried. I pulled out the cork and waved it under his nose. One whiff had Charlie out of bed and headed outside, looking very green.
“I believe that the demons are vanquished, ma’am. I assume that you’d like to pay promptly for services rendered?”
“Pay?” she squeaked at me. “Pay? I thought it was your duty?”
“Exorcism is my profession. If I don’t get paid, I don’t eat. And I really do love to eat,” I replied.
“Out, out,” she shrieked at me. “I never thought you’d ask for money.”
I should have known, I really should have. If there is one thing that happens time and again, it’s people believing that some services don’t require money. I trudged out of the house, I could tell that this one was a hopeless case.
“Hello, Gerald. You are looking rather out of sorts tonight.”
Oh god, my night just got infinitely worse. “Sister Anna, what a surprise to see you here.”
Sister Anna may be a wonderful nun, a kindly person, someone that birds simply flock to. From my point of  view, she’s just a pest.
“Now Gerald, I had to find you. We didn’t finish our last discussion.”
I sighed. Now that Sister Anna had found me, I was doomed to listen to more of our last discussion. “I don’t need to belong to your religion to succeed in my job. Demons don’t care if I’m Christian.”
“It takes the power of God to send a soul back to heaven or hell. If you don’t have the power of God, those souls must still roam the earth. You might be exorcising the same demon over and over again.”
I wish I could exorcise Sister Anna from my life. “I send the demons back to hell where they belong. End of story. Your faith is not required.”

Friday, October 04, 2013

Oh yeah???

Recent reports of this blog gaining new followers.

If you exist - hi.

Personally, I think it's just ghosts passing by on their way to exciting Halloween destinations.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Diet update 2

So far - still not losing weight fast but

I weigh less than I have done for years and
It's definitely affecting my body shape. The waistline is getting slimmer.

If it wasn't for the fact that one of the dogs just had an op and needs a bit of extra attention - I'd start going back to gym at this point.

Because it's been a slow loss, I'd expect to keep the weight off even if I stopped the diet.  I get a bit hungry between meals on the fasting days but not that bad.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dieting - yep

So for some time, it's been obvious that shedding some weight would be a good thing. I just have too much tummy to be really healthy for me.

Hubby was on one diet plan but it involved a lot of special diet shakes/soups and generally was a bit of a pain.

Now we are trying the 5:2 diet. Amount of special things to do, very little. Basically, two days a week, you fast. Woman are allowed a max of 500 calories on fast days and men 600.

The rest of the week? Whatever. You can eat whatever you like. So perfectly normal meals, don't stress about calories or low fat or anything else.

I haven't been losing weight fast but I have lost 4 kg (about 9 pounds) so far.

Can't say I'm fond of the fasting days but it does seem to be working. And something that is easy to keep up as long as is needed.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Writing drivel

I write like
Ursula K. Le Guin
I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

I ran across this service in a random post. Tis an interesting result. I should reread some Le Guin.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Short Silly Fantasy Story

Once upon a time, there was a dragon. The dragon’s name was George. One day, George was roaming the forest when he met a knight.

“Vile serpent, you have met your doom,” declared the knight.

“You sir, are most uncivilised,” replied George. “Is it not common courtesy to name yourself before one of these conflicts? I am George the Mighty, Destroyer of the Weak, Slayer of the Noble.”

The knight blinked twice. “I am Sir George the Noble. Knight of the Realm and Defender of the Fair Sex. Is that sufficient for courtesy?”

The dragon bowed his head and the battle began. George fought George with great strength and ferocity. Such a battle has rarely been seen.

Eventually George won the battle and left his opponent, George, where he lie.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


On the 13 February, I broke my ankle. Got caught in a hole in bitumen on campus, fell over and must have twisted too hard on the way down.

So I got to wear a cast for the past 6 weeks. Not a lot of fun, having only one leg and needing both arms to move yourself around isn't the best.

Yesterday, the cast came off. My leg doesn't work as well as I could hope but it's a lot better. My knee is stiff (why??? that wasn't injured) and the foot hurts a bit and swells a bit. Using either a moonboot or a cane to get around. In another week or so, I'll have a chat to my doctor about physio.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It really shouldn't happen

Weather in southern Queensland took out critical fiber optic cables to north Queensland.
We lost our Telstra services - both phone and internet for nearly a day.

Losing phone services was odd - we usually always have a phone, even when a storm has knocked out the power.

Losing the internet services was painful. It is amazing how much we depend on it for simple everyday stuff now.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Zombies, Run!

This sounds like a cute app if you are trying to exercise.
Zombies, Run!

Basically, you have to evade the zombies on your exercise routine. This sounds interesting.