Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Number Twenty One: Favourite Movie Quote

I'm not really sure that I have a favourite movie quote.  My friends and I are quoting movies all the time.  In fact most of our conversations are in movie quotes really.  So I'm just going to put up a damn good one.
I bet you'll be able to pick the movie.

"Do I look like a cat to you, boy?
...Am I jumpin' around all nimbly bimbly from tree to tree?
Am I drinking milk from a saucer? Do you see me eating mice?
You stop laughing right meow!
Meow, I'm gonna have to give you a ticket on this one. No buts meow. It's the law.


Not so funny meow, is it?"

Sunday, August 29, 2010

XX - A 10+ Year Old Picture

Recruit Course Steyr Phase.  

Let's see if I can remember everyone's nicknames:
Wheels, Reedy, Aides, Cletus, Cray, Wally, Wolfy, Fenton, Youngie, Yace, Pricey, Skatie, Randy, Sez, Peanut, Andy McNabb.  The other's didn't really have nicknames and I don't want to put their real names up.  So there you go. 
I'm crouching down, second from the right.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Raquel Welch: Space Girl

Wow. What fantastic luck to come across this gem over at Topless Robots. Checking it out on YouTube led me to a very well-done remix, which includes the same visual element with a different song. I'm impressed with the timing. Can be found here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thingie Number Nineteen: - Something Which Made Me Smile Today

My bike has been sitting in the garage all winter, so when I tried to crank it up the other day for a possible ride the battery was flat.  I've been meaning to connect it to the car for a week or so now, and today I finally got a round tuit.  So I smiled when, after 20 minutes, I finally got the beast rumbling.


Another thing which made me smile was watching an episode of Doraleous and Associates from the Escapist Magazine web page.  This particular episode was called Hero Punctuation and included a parody of another video series which features on the same site.  It's all in-house jokes really, but it cracked me up.  It's a great site.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thing Number XVIII - Favourite Board Game

Who killed Dr Black?

For some interesting facts about the game, visit this link.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

17: A Childhood Picture of Me

This is the only one I actually have.  Everything else is safely stored with my Mum.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Grounds for Divorce

My friend recently introduced me to a group called Elbow. I'm sure you may have heard of them already, and a couple of days after our discussion I discovered I already had a copy of their song Fallen Angel.
Anyway, although the song featured in the video above is not typical of the rest of their work, I do love the album it comes from - Seldom Seen Kid

All this introduction to Elbow and discussion on blues music and whatnot spurred me to tune my guitar and make a little more practice.  The chords for Grounds for Divorce are (apparently) Dm, C and G - all of which I can play (w00t).  Unfortunately the song isn't really one for an acoustic guitar so it only works when accompanied by the song itself, and even then comes out feeling a little too upbeat for the general tone.  Nevertheless I took the guitar in to work (since we'd been having a quiet week) and mucked around a bit with the song, the chords and with Dave, who can actually play.  The upshot of all this is that Dave has taught me the starting notes to the 12 Bar Blues.  I'm really thrilled to have learned the first part of this awesome and versatile piece and once I've mastered it I'll be keen to move on to the next part.
Unfortunately, while my guitar has a great natural sound to it the neck suffers from high action. This is where the strings sit quite high off the frets due to an exaggerated bend in the neck.  Because the strings are steel and my little finger is quite little and not very strong, I struggle to get the strings pushed onto the frets firmly enough for a clear sound.
Apparently I can alter the action of my guitar by adjusting the bend in the neck.  On the surface this is something a techie like me can easily accomplish.  Remove the covering plate at the top of the neck (3 phillips-head screws) and use an allen key to adjust the bend in the rod which runs down the centre of the wooden neck.  The downside of this is that after every *small* adjustment the guitar needs to be re-tuned and tested before the next adjustment so as well as the hand skills with a screw driver, I need a good ear and at least half a day.
I might get into it this week sometime.

The Physics of Magic

I am currently developing the mechanics for magic in my story-world so that it (and the magicians who use it) acts as a believable system which is governed by reasonable rules.

The easiest way for me to do this is to apply the laws of physics.  So... I take the basic premise that the world/universe is made up of two forms:- Substance and Force, and further break substance into Matter and Energy.

I initially decided to have magic as being simply a form of energy which complies with the energy conservation law (energy cannot be added or subtracted, only transformed).  Physics tells us that during energy transfer, Work is done. The products of Work are Heat, Light, Sound and Motion.  So I can see that Magic-as-Energy is a believable system, I'm just adding a new form of energy to the pool.

Keeping magic as simply energy - or only energy - opened up the question of how a person can purposefully manipulate that energy to generate the required form of Work.
Enter Magic-as-Force.
Force is applied to Substance to alter its shape or the way in which it is moving.  It can be represented as pressure, acceleration, turning and momentum.  So what if a person has the innate aptitude to apply a force to magical energy in order to produce the desired work?

This, for me, has opened up a fascinating and almost limitless world of possible ways in which magic can be represented, manipulated and harnessed.  It cannot become a Deus ex Machina used to simply override plot problems because the magician can only use it according to the laws of physics - the most important one being the Law of Conservation of Energy.  I have an amazing range of detail and potential for this concept, ideas which I don't want to put on the 'net because I don't want them stolen.  I'm actually a little worried about putting this much up.  But then not that many people visit my 'blog so I think I'm reasonably safe.

I'd like to know what you think of the concept, and how you would apply it.  But be careful - I am a hypocrite and I am likely to steal your ideas for my own use ;-)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

15 + 16 = 31. Does that mean I'm done?

15: Current Grades
Awesome.  I'm cleared for promotion and have finally enrolled in my introduction to massage courses.
Horrific.  I have failed my fitness test and been kicked off an exercise as a result.

16: Future Tattoos
Something involving a gecko, perhaps.  Or Ouroboros - but not a circle on a flat piece of skin.  I want the snake to circle a limb, but I'm not sure which just yet.  Also I'd like something with the three Gaelic words for Serenity (suaimhneas) , Courage (misneach) and Wisdom (gaois), probably within a Celtic motive of some sort.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fourteen: Favourite Purchase Ever Made

This one is easy.  My Bowers & Wilkins B&W604 Speakers.

Worth NZD$6,000 , and I paid NZD$2,600 - ex-floor demos from Stereo World (so they were already run-in).

They sound so beautiful.  I can't stand mini-systems and home theatre now.  They're just not the same.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Number Thirteen: Favourite Memory

I don't think I have the ability to sift through all my memories in my life and pick a favourite.  But here are a bunch along the theme of 'home' which includes the land of Mesopotamia (New Zealand) and The Tui Station, and my family.


The sound of the Nor'West wind roaring through the trees which surround the playground.  We are trying to play scrag rugby but we can't hear each other because the wind is so loud.  We hope we get to see one of the trees being blown over.  We abandon the scrag for a desperate competition to catch leaves.  The grass is green and the trees are brown.  They rise so tall above me, they are like the edges of the world.


Us four kids riding double and bareback on two of the horses.  We're going to the river to swim and lie in the sun.  This morning we watched Dances With Wolves, and now we are giving each other 'Indian names.'  The horses are labelled "Dappled Ears, Shits A Lot" and "Farts A Lot."  My sister's is the only name which sticks - "Deceitful Family Relations."


The feel of warm mud giving way to cool between my toes as I stand in the creek at the bottom of the hill.  The summer day is warm and the air is for once thankfully still.  It must still be the morning - a weekend - because the wind isn't up yet.  The hills are golden and the grass is green.  The sky a magnificent blue.  I feel sheltered by the mountains.


Me and my sisters and brother, Mum and Dad, ten o'clock at night in the middle of winter playing Mafia.  We're laughing, laughing so hard!  Play acting, deceiving, tricking, convincing, every one of us determined to win the game.  No television, no radio, just us. Just fun.


My sister and I dancing to ABBA's Mamma Mia after watching Priscilla Queen of the Desert.


The tailing gang.  Slow, boring, hard work.  But fun when everyone has to tell a story or make up a joke.  Laugh together when the lambs knock someone over, drink billy tea together at smoko time.  Six people vs. two lambs.  The lambs win.  We'll pick them up again when it's weaning time.


Kate Bell has to keep Fella the horse cool every night.  When it's not too cold for us she rides him bareback down to Deep Creek.  We go too.  Toby loves getting into the water with his ears forward and eager steps.  Fred isn't so fond of it, but he'll follow the others just to make sure they don't leave without him.


Mum, Dad, Mel, Ju, Adrian, Me, Andrew, Marian, James... it's the last weekend we will ever be at the farm. Vodka, baileys, beer and rum bottles litter the huge oak table.  We've played Mafia again, we've laughed at each other and with each other.  It could be a sad time, but it's the best time.  We talk about lists of things we should do before we die.  We take photos.  We find old B&W's of Mum and pretend to be her.  We drink more, we laugh more.  We love.  We are family.  We are home. 
This is my favourite memory.