Monday, November 28, 2005


Saturday was large expent helping Julie prepare for the opening of Naga that evening, withmuch skewering perpetrated by both Al and myself (Al was the primary culprit, I just aided and abetted on a few fruitsticks). The opening itself was great, and Jo and Steve have some very appealing merchandise in their store, albeit a little on the pricey side according to rumours. It turns out that they would like Candice to work there part time, since they seem to be complete retail n00bs =) Best of luck to them, though, I think their shop is a perfect fit in the heart of town. Oh, and the food was divine. I was particularly fond of the satays, and the chocolate cigars were a total hit.

Lucas' birthday happened to be on the self same day, so a short walk from Candice's (after a lift from Helen and Richard) found me outside The One Ring. Which was closed. At 10:30pm. I went next door to Gotham to see what it was like, and was pleasantly surprised by my short exposure. It's definitely a place that I'd like to check out some more, so I guess that's where I'll be this Friday =) I do so enjoy wearing boardshorts to Goth clubs ^_^ It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Sunday was a retail therapy day, for Julie at least. Ever since my idle talk last weekend about wanting to acquire an mp3 player, she has been dead keen on buying one of her own. Al and I went with her to Cavendish (since she is slightly less than tech-savvy, by her own admission), and we picked up a dinky little Yepp player, including an FM tuner! Perfect. She seems very happy, and quite excited about it. Tonight, I will be showing Al how to rip CDs to mp3 so that he can help her on Tuesday.

After the shopping trip, we picked up Candice and went back home for a small spot of Soul Calibur 2, followed by a braai. As usual, it was an almost exclulsively chicken affair, with a small dollop of lamb thrown in for spice. All the food was excellent, but by about 9:30 everyone was looking very bombed. A mass exodus followed very shortly thereafter, including Al and Julie running off to their respective beds. This left me to my own devices, mwahahahhaa!!! So I played some Guilty Gear XX, read some Batman and then went to sleep. Yeah, exciting =)

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Check this article out. It's all about this dude's mad obsession with coloured bubbles, and inevitable success. Very cool, both on a chemical and a toy level =) I wonder when we can expect to see these in SA.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Wanted: Porn actress

My coworker, who is helping her friend find a new PA job, showed me this advert this morning:
SECRETARY/PA Confident, well spoken and presentable person required to assist successful entrepreneur. Female required in terms of EE targets of company. Candidate must be open-minded and completely comfortable with exposure to nudity. Comfortable working hours. Salary R5000 pm.
How dodgy is that? Everyone I've shown it to has been of the opinion that he is a porn director, and I tend to agree. What people don't agree on is whether this is a legit advert for a secretary, or a covert talent search. Discuss.

Batman Begins, now that I have finally seen it, has dislodged the first two Batman movies (the Tim Burton ones) from their spot on the top of the franchise, where they were trampling the other filth that comprises the full set. The complement of excellent actors are all great picks for their respective role, with Cillian Murphy being especially creepy as Scarecrow. Katie Holmes makes a good Lois Lane-style Rachel Dawes in a girl next door kind of way. I guess that's why she was so suited to her role in Dawson's Creek. So many great scenes, especially the hallucinogen-induced nightmares. Nightmare Batman is especially scary, but Scarecrow on a Nightmare (haha) is pretty good as well.

House of Flying Daggers is very similar to Hero, so if you liked the one make sure you catch the other. It's not as consistently beautiful as Hero, but it does have some very pretty scenes. The bamboo forest fight scenes are particularly great, and employ the same technique of colour saturation that Hero made liberal use of.

I had all but forgotten that the Arderne Gardens even existed. Candice suggested taking a walk down to them rather than hanging around in Cavendish waiting for our movie to start on Sunday. She does spend far too much time in Cav anyway, so a reluctance to waste any more time is perfectly understandable. I'm glad we did, because it was really tranquil sitting in a heavily wooded area, unable to see any buildings, right in the middle of Claremont. Even traffic noises were extremely muffled (and Sunday at 11am is never all that hectic anyway). Pleasant =)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Does a troll shit in the woods?

Connor awoke with a start. Glancing at the night sky he saw that it was scant few hours since they had made camp a distance from the raided troll burrow. Noises, of men and horses, from the direction of the river and Caledonian border were what had roused him, and he sat up for a better listen. The Caledonians were obviously crossing the river into the Elven lands, intending to take much the same shortcut as Connor and his friends were currently on. A sudden shuffling and snuffling just outside the camp circle riveted Connor's attention on the dark woods in that direction. "Shhhh," he warned the others. "What is it?" asked Frankie. An indistinct but monstrous shape shambled past in the moonlight, and a growing fear gripped Connor's innards. "Trolls" hissed Connor, stilling Henry's drawn bow. "We'll all die if you attack them, and running isn't really an option. They know we're here anyway." A loud sniffing was followed by a pair of yellow headlamp eyes turned to survey the camp, and Connor indicated the wind. It was gently breezing over the camp towards the eyes. The gaze held for a moment longer, then turned away. The shuffling continued, dying away slowly as the trolls walked on. Connor took a deep breath, it felt like the first in ages, and glanced around the camp. Everyone seemed to be relaxing. "Close call. Let's not upset these ones."

The trolls went on to trounce the Caledonians we heard crossing the river, and we continued on. A run-in with the elves turned out less than pleasantly thanks to Henry and, to a lesser extent, Dante. We managed to cross the river to the Caledonian side with their help (and 'don't let the door hit your ass' attitude), where we ambushed a barge team and hijacked the barge. Sadly, none of us can actually pilot a barge, so it was very hit and miss, with the biggest hit being the impact with another Caledonian barge as we passed it. A short, brutal combat later we changed onto the new barge, which turned out to have Mark soldiers and civilians, tortured and in boxes, on board. Of particular interest was a King's Guard by the name of Reno, who was privy to some very interesting intel about activities in Ratchet. Since we are heading in that direction anyway, and acting on this information would fall within the activities dictated us at the start of the action, we are accompanying him. On the way, we were greeted by a message left tied to a planted lance, from some enemy agents who seemed to be taking a particular interest in us specifically. No need for stealth anymore, at least.

By this point, Chelle was falling asleep, so we called it. Looks like the action is hotting up!

Waynne and Alex whipped out their Nintendo DSs (with Nintendogs) almost as soon as the game ended, and set them to Bark mode, so they could wirelessly play with each other's virtual dogs. Al wanted to go and offered to lift Candice (since Waynne, her usual lift, was a lost cause at this point). He ended up dropping himself off at home and letting me return the Candice, who by this point was also fairly tired.

And then Al and I chatted until 2am. So I am a little less focussed today than I usually am. Tough ;) It's Friday! Excellent... *plots*

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Playin' a role

Waynne's Wednesday game was cancelled last night due to Waynne (and OpenBox in general) being heinously overworked and (specifically in Waynne's case) underprepared. Al offered to lend me his car again while he worked on his Thursday game and how to introduce Candice's new character. I ended up going to Candice's place for dinner, where her sister made a tomato and olive pasta dish, which was very nice despite my irrational fear of olives. Those I just kind of got through as quicky as possible =)

After that we went through to my place. Al chatted to Candice for a bit about roleplaying (or at least, I hope about roleplaying - I was kicked out of the room and told to go make tea, and the door was closed... hroom...), so I chatted to Julie a bit. She had been at the wine bottle, since she had just received extremely good news - she has today off!

Eventually we ended up playing Tekken, at Candice's insistence. She wants to learn Julia properly, apparently (Julia being the Native American fighter - 'Spirits, give me strength', all that). Al joined in a bit as well, and Julie brought us some Jago to try, which is this Vodka cream liquer drink that she won at some work cocktail tasting function at the Arabella. It is very nice, although it does taste a bit 'farmyardy' as Julie puts it. I like almost all cream liquers though.

Just as we were leaving to drop Candice back off at home, Anusha returned. She didn't even attempt to park in the driveway, and looked very grumpy when she walked past. She has seemed very grumpy for quite a while now. Grumpy face!

As Patrick says, I too am looking forward to roleplaying tonight ^_^ I have had a total drought for the last age, thanks to some of our number going overseas unexpectedly. No names mentioned.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


So, I've been called upon to make a correction on my last blog post. Apparently 'hate' was too strong a word for Julie's opinion of Madagascar. She claims that she actually did enjoy it. I am unconvinced ;) But anyway.

I went to dinner at my parents' on Monday night, and my little brother Matthew turned out to be the one doing the cooking. He made chicken breasts wrapped in bacon with pasta, and it was really delicious. My brother was there for a little while with his new girlfriend, who apparently works at Korbitech. I forget her name >_> We did only meet for 2 seconds while they were on their way out, so I don't feel so bad.

Last night Candice came over to sort out a new character for Al's Thursday D&D game. PCGen is a great great program, but it can be tricky to use. Candice had an overly-complex character concept, which we eventually simplified after much discussion and wangling. It look a long time, but we did eventually get it all sorted out. Now, for the integration. Let's hope it's non-fatal. Al kindly let me drive his car to fetch and carry Candice (read: got me to do the heavy lifting). Not complaining tho, although Candice would have been happy just meeting me on the train at Obs and walking down from Newlands station. This way, we got to get Nandos on the way =) And what a mission that was! Unbeknownst to us, the Nandos in Rondebosch is closed for renovations at the moment, so we had to trek to Cavendish.

In Magic news, it seems that the Izzet guild is specially created for Jim. It's the Blue/Red guild in Ravnica (and will be released with Guildpact, the next set in the block), and it's symbol is a dragon. Sounds like fun =)

Monday, November 14, 2005


This weekend was very movie-filled. I started off with HP2 on Friday night as a follow-up to the book again. This time, the movie was far further away from the book in terms of deleted scenes and word changes, and far fewer incidents when the lines synched completely between the two. The surround-sound system is really cool, especially when nobody else is home =)

On Saturday Candice and I met up in Cavendish for a milkshake and something to eat at M&B, followed by Corpse Bride. It was loads of fun, and I'd advise any Tim Burton fan to give it a watch, especially if you liked the Nightmare Before Christmas. Looking over the other movies that Tim Burton has done reveals a lot of movies that I really enjoyed, chief amongst them being Beetlejuice for that blast from the past goodness, and Sleepy Hollow for a more recent flavour. The two initial Batman movies (the good ones - I haven't seen Begins yet) are his too.

Sunday I spent a portion of the day playing Soul Calibur 2, continuing with Al's Weapon Master save, as the single-player, questy portion of the game is called. Julie got hold of it ages back, though, and has completed the primary quest and any of the easier side missions, so only the insane ones are left. Insanely difficult. I did manage to clear out a few stages, and was rewarded with the gold to purchase a new costume for Astaroth, and the thrill of opening up an entirely new section on the map. This I can only surmise would be even more difficult than the mission that was necessary to open said area, but I didn't get a chance to try it out, cos Candice arrived just then and we switched to Tekken, which she knows much better.

We took turns playing Tekken (all 4 of us, even Julie joined in for one match against Candice) until dinner was ready, a very nice Woolworths chicken breast roll roasted in the oven. Alastair suggested getting a pair of movies for the evening, which was greeted with general approval, and so we wombled on down to Mr Video to peruse their selection (a selection that lacks The Nightmare Before Christmas, I feel compelled to point out - a glaring oversight). We ended up settling on Madagascar and Kingdom of Heaven, through Al's patented 'How about these two? Great, let's go' method of party consensus. Madagascar was very funny and I laughed, a lot. Especially during a scene where the lion is chasing the zebra, and it shifts to slow-mo and the music changes to the National Geographic theme music. Hilarious! KoH we had all seen already, and I was a bit mystified as to why Al had been so exceedingly keen on it, until I remembered that the History channel (in front of which Alastair lives at the moment) is having a special feature on the Crusades. Oh. Right. Julie hated Madagascar, by the way, so if your movie tastes are closer to Julie's than to mine, don't waste your time =)

After KoH (midway through which Julie had retired, so we really should have switched movies), everyone was a bit tired, and Al went to bed while I took Candice home, in Julie's car. I felt exceedingly bad since I was forced to wake Anusha to move her car, which she proceeded to park and leave outside. So, not only did I wake her up at 11pm on a Sunday night, but I then proceeded to deprive her of secure parking. Bleak =/

Got back and Al and I chatted for a bit, about *stuff*. TM. Yar, and then I didn't sleep very well, and now I'm really tired =/

In gaming news: FFXII, check out the review of the demo.

Current Song: Incubus - Drive

Friday, November 11, 2005

What to watch

I finished the Philosopher's Stone the other day, and watched the movie on Wednesday night. It was cool seeing exactly how many of the lines were taken directly from the book, and I always enjoy seeing what they cut and why. I'm almost finished with the Chamber of Secrets now too, which means I must get hold of it in movie form as well. I'm not too sure if I'm going to wait for the 4th movie before rereading the Goblet of Fire or not, who knows how long it will take to get to us here.

Well, my email about Corpse Bride on Thursday was a total damp squib. Three people replied, saying that they had seen it already, and that it was quite enjoyable. Fine then. Since nobody else seems interested, Candice and I are going to go see it on Saturday. I should probably watch The Nightmare Before Christmas sometime before then...

Black and White has totally lost its appeal for me. It was fun for a while, but now seems like far too much effort. Oh well. I guess I'll be watching all those movies I've been meaning to for such a long time =) And there are a lot of them.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Black and White and Slow all over

I started playing B&W2 last night, off Al's copy. Quite a fun game although not my ideal genre. The city building aspect is always quite fun, and I'm making a real effort to be good. I finished the first proper (non-training) mission on 74% good, which I thought was pretty, well, great =D I can see it getting harder to be peaceful later on, but, never underestimate the power of a lot of archers on a wall! Siege engines is all I have to worry about there, really, and Al showed me how effective a single rock can be. Sadly, the game claims to require 512Mb of RAM, and I am sitting on a lowly 128Mb, so it's a very laggy experience at times. What suffers the most is the load times, as it shunts everything from the HDD to RAM, and then runs out of RAM and starts shunting stuff from RAM back to the HDD in the form of swap space. Well, it's still quite fun and I'm enjoying it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

You gotta fight

I got all my important KoL items back the other day, which is quite a relief =) Now I can go back to having them sit in my inventory, unused. I don't know how I would have survived otherwise... >_>

I've just finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which I enjoyed. Rather sad at the end, and I'm curious to see how she handles the (alleged) last book. Personally, I wouldn't be too sad if it transformed into a massive series of books, but then it would quite possibly lose its cohesiveness, which is part of the appeal.

The Guy Fawkes party, organised by Jean, was a total success =) The burning man was brilliant, especially when the (incendiary) shirt burnt away and the flawing straw-maggots were visible on the inside. He was very reminiscent (to me at least) of some pyre zombie. Jean was being a total party pooper, and wouldn't let us light the firework that had the 50m warning, or the 50 rocket-pack one. I totally wanted to make like a Jenner and stalk around the grounds with my LRM pack. Okay, not really, but it looked cool, if a little crushed. Crushed fireworks... safety first! Candice ended up having quite a few of my Smirnoff Storms (which were quite nice, actually), and I ended up driving her and Julie (who was also quite sozzled) home (Al went home early).

We started watching Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex on Saturday afternoon. It's got a very modern-day western crime/detective TV series feel to it, like CSI or Homicide, since each episode is usually pretty separate from the rest. It's quite cool, but nothing like GitS the movie. Kinda like the way GitS II: Man-Machine Interface (the second graphic novel) is nothing like the first one.

I've just come across a very innovative No-CD crack system, while looking for cracks/keygens for Black and White 2. All it is is a stripped-down CD image, that you mount with Daemon Tools or Alcohol 120%, and it contains just enough information to fool the game into thinking that the correct disk is in the drive. DTools or Alcohol has already taken care of all the SecuROM emulation, so why go to the extra trouble of fixing an exe =) This will also mean that the game is perfectly patchable. Go team! Arrr!

EDIT: A 'great' little late-breaking news item I came across, it seems that Anne Rice has found Jesus, and has now written a book about the boy Jesus as he travels across Egypt. She is quoted as saying something along the lines of 'Give Jesus a chance, he's also a supernatural force, an outcast', obviously likening him to her previous subject matter of vampires and the like. Funny/Scary stuff.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

What's with these homies dissing my girl

It seems that I am falling back into my accustomed update pattern; to whit, hardly ever updating. However, this more or less reflects the excitement level of my life at the moment. I'm playing a lot of Dungeon Siege 2 and not a lot else, what with Moonflake being in NY and all of my roleplaying games thus currently on hold.

Dungeon Siege 2 is fantastically suited to me. So many aspects of the gameplay appeal to me, where they might not to other less collection-orientated people. Getting sets is fairly easy (but not trivially so), and a lot of fun. I have found the game to be pretty easy, although that might be due to a lucky build choice for my various characters. I am therefore playing with further constraints, those constraints being 'what I feel like doing' (rather than me usual 'what is most optimal'). To this end, my fighter uses two-handed weapons exclusively (although the skill tree encourages you to choose either 1 or 2 handedness, not both, with 1 handed eventually upgrading to dual-wield). My ranger uses crossbows exclusively despite bows being a perfectly valid pick for her. And I will always wear set items, until a better set comes along and replaces my old one. Playing like this is a lot more fun (and less effort) than playing optimally, and I'm still not having much trouble. We'll see how it goes when I complete the game in normal, and try again on Veteran (the Nightmare-equivalent difficulty setting). I am hoping that they let you carry your party over, and that you just need to do all the quests again, otherwise I will uninstall the game and never look at it again. The ability to have a 5th party member is not worth levelling everyone up from scratch again.

Last weekend I housesat Helen and Richard's place in Little Mowbray. It was quite a blasts having the place to myself (it's very nice) and the use of Richard's car. I made good use of this and picked up Waynne and my Magic cards from Outers, and Waynne came over to play for a bit on Saturday. It turns out that one of my brother's friends lives directly opposite, so I had a bit of a chat with him.

This is a warning to anyone with a Sony copy protected CD that they are wanting to put into a PC at any point. Make damn sure that autoplay is off, or you run the risk of fucking the machine royally. Thanks to Bast for bringing it to my attention in the first place (due to a warning email from her company IT dept), and then of course to Thrall for posting details on the PCF forum. This is what makes me support piracy more and more. Not that I wasn't a pirate beforehand. Arrr!

I never mentioned it at the time, but KoL had a disastrous database crash a week or so ago. And by 'crash' I mean 'the sysadmin dropped all the tables'. Yeah. Special. And, his backup procedures were insufficient. And by 'insufficient' I mean 'about half the stuff was last backup up on the 6th of September'. And yes, this happened at the end of October, almost two months later. My in-game worth has dropped to probably about 20% of what it was before the crash, and if I wasn't playing a particular game mode that made most of my items irrellevant, I would be a lot more upset than I am. As it is, I am confident that I will get all my important stuff back (if for no other reason than I know a lot of the high-ups personally), it will just take a while. I can't imagine how people who are playing a different game mode which would have allowed them access to their missing stuff must feel. The sysadmin was very clever, however, and quickly added a lot of new content, which I think will go a long way to stemming the tide of people leaving.

Current Song: Weezer - Buddy Holly. Doesn't that just bring back memories of Windows 95?
(Why do they gotta front?)