Friday, 30 March 2007

more LARPing

Last night I played in my second LARP this week. It was the second time I played RotY. It was my second time playing a hysterical druggie. It was the second time I managed actual real tears in a LARP. I think it might've been the second tiem I killed myself... It was almost the first time I would've DMed, but they needed someone to play.
It was lots of fun.

I was then [after my late night] up very early this morning, though I gather it took Button quite a while to get me to wake up. I headed over to the museum because I had to go sign a contract. I have moved up from being a volunteer to being an employee. How exciting!

And now I seem to have run out of things to say. This is rather sad as I was looking forward to having a nice long post today ranting about perceptions. But I'm not in the mood this morning. I'm going to do some marking [I really enjoy marking], but in order to do that, I need some coke. And quite possibly something a little stronger because these people don't know what they're taking about half the time!

In other news, the evil-red-thing has been replaced by happy whiteness!

Thursday, 29 March 2007


Today I am going to take my supervisor's advice and give up on my search for a short burette in the department. I shall go and purchase one from chemical stores, just like she told me to.

I am glad to see that [so far] my range of marks is pretty much the same as that for the other tutors... makes me feel a little better about those really low ones.

I don't have anything else to say, actually, the entire point of this post is to say that there are photos up from the most recent larp [Chrysalids I], which has a delightful sequence of me and michelle as she tries to remove talcum powder from my hair.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Museum today

So, I am working at the museum today. It's been a while since I've been here and it makes a nice change. Of course, now that I'm here, I have received the information that I've been waiting for about the mill. I hope it will be helpful, but I might just wrap the whole tube in duct tape and see what happens. It's not like I'm using my actual samples at the moment.

The ERT practicals are going reasonably well. Katharine, Grazia and I get along well, which is good. I can imagine nothing worse than tutoring with someone you can't stand. What happens when no-one asks questions and you're bored out of your mind? Who would you talk to? We're getting much better at explaining to people, particularly having looked through a couple of hand ins and figuring out where they really don't understand things. Of course, some things get explained by all three of us, multiple times and still aren't understood. But we're doing our best and I'm sure they are too.

Monday's game was lots of fun - everyone was present. When we arrived back at the estate, Akiro wasn't too thrilled that we'd brought a Lion with us. We'd had a theft - all the fruit in the orchards had been taken. We investigated and found traces of Nezumi - also known as Ratlings. While Kamenosuke and I were having tea, he was given a note. It was from Sakura, one of the geisha in the village. We went down to see here, with Nagataka. Apparently the shrine to the geisha fortune had been desecrated and the statue stolen. In the morning the whole lot of us went out there and found traces of Ratling. And so the hunt began...

Dancing tonight...

Monday, 26 March 2007

too little time...


MacBeth was lovely. I would have preferred it if I'd been able to have even the slightest inkling of what was actually going on, but it was very well done. I particularly liked the witches and the chorus. It didn't rain, luckily, but it was rather cold.

On Saturday Button and I walked up to the noon gun. We left the house at about eleven and got up there at about twenty to twelve... then we hung around. Button went to explore a machine gun battery. We listened to some guy talk about stuff and then we all went and sat nice and far away, with our ears well and truly blocked. Most people were with the guy in charge, behind the cannons, but we were off to the side so that we could see it clearly. And feel it.

Once we got back down to the house, we went for a 'swim'. Given the freezingness of the water, that might not be the most appropriate term, but that was the plan. And then we had lunch, Beth and Lucas arrived with my character sheet [yay! deciphering time!]... at about fourish, I went off to the LARP. It was the most fun I've had in a LARP in a very long time. I think I should always play old woman - nice sweet ones, cranky, cantankerous, meddling little old ladies. Even crazy ones. I like to play old ladies best of all characters. Although, I really enjoyed Goldilocks as well.

The LARP went off very well, though we didn't seem to play very long. Everyone else seemed to enjoy themselves and I managed to forget [during the LARP at least] the little bit of information I wasn't supposed to know. At least one of my sons was well-behaved, dutiful and well-mannered. As for the other one, he needs all the support and encouragement he can get. My poor grandson was injured and I keeped managing to take hold of his injured arm. oops. I can't wait to see the pictures that were taken...

Yesterday, Button went to church [poor thing, but apparently he and guy-whose-name-I-can't-pronounce-or-spell had to sit through the actual sermon before they could meet with the people in charge]. After that we went to play games with Simon, Adrianna, Neil and Kevin. Button had to leave for a meeting with B, but we kept playing without him.

Tonight, there is roleplaying...

Friday, 23 March 2007

I hate that evil machine!

Which evil machine, I hear you ask. The freezer mill. That worthless piece of equipment that is ... completely and utterly worthless. I shall try again today. I don't know what to do. Perhaps 10 minutes at a time is too long to be milled. Perhaps I should only do 5 minutes at a time, retape the ends and continue on? Or perhaps I should put the tape on the outside rather than the inside... I'll try once more with the tape on the inside, but I don't think it's helpful. I think that the LN gets inside and dissolves it, causing there to be a space between the metal bits in which the powder can slip out? I need to find someone to ask about that... what a waste of bone and LN.

In other news, I got a package from Sally today, which was full of lovely postcards and a 'trinket' from her trip to the North Island.

I also phoned the doctor last night. He got back to me this morning, to tell me that the tests came back negative, which leaves me where? It does not appear to be something awful, but I'm still in a large amount of pain. He said to call him if it hasn't gone away by next week. Since I've been in this kind of pain [intermittently and to varying degrees, admittedly] for the last eight or so years, I can't imagine that another week is going to do make any real difference... Oh well, Button and I shall make a list...

Tonight it's off to see MacBeth at Spier. I hope it doesn't rain.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Rainy day on campus

And at least I can hope that the LN won't evaporate so quickly in this weather... Though I'd imagine that since it's only a few degrees cooler, it's not that much closer to -196.

On Monday we had our game, Yashamaru was indisposed due to Lucas having food poisoning. The rest of us, however, did battle with chickipedes. And the answer to that is don't ask, you don't want to know. Ishie is the only one who didn't get a little baby chickipede near her ... or mommy for that matter. And she managed to keep Kamenosuke from being injured, so she's happy. She learnt a new spell, so next time she'll be able to actually injure someone. She learnt how to defend herself from watching Kamenosuke do it [or something...], he won't always be around, regardless of what he may think on the subject. She also, finally, acquired 'medicine' as a skill, something I'd imagine would be useful if you're going to have someone continually getting injured on your behalf.
In other news, Hideo will be coming with us, since he's heading off to winter court anyway and wants to help out with strange stuff. He seems confused by Kamenosuke, but hasn't managed to make him angry enough to fight... Nagataka is being his usual self...

So, yesterday was a public holiday in which I did just about nothing except watch all 5 million hours of MP1. It's more like 5.5 hours, but it just doesn't sound the same. Button had to work, but we had a very nice evening together and watched some of Cowboy Bebop.

And now, it's time to locate some more LN. Lucky me.

Monday, 19 March 2007

monday again

Still no word from the doctor... unsurprisingly.

I am going to spend today looking for 'teflon tape', which should be put around the end plugs of the tubes, apparently.

In other news, I took most of last week off to ... uh ... take care of my poor hands. really. It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that my copy of The Ones had arrived back from Grahamstown [not PE apparently]....

Anyway, on Friday Button and I went up to Riebeek West. We got to stay in the chicken house, which is lovely! On Saturday morning we climbed up to the sign on the side of the mountain, which was nice. It was rather hot, from my point of view, but he didn't think so. In the evening we drove over to Spier, for Hendri and Erica's engagement party at Moyo.

Yesterday, I saw Mary-Anne, who I haven't seen for a long time...

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

oh my aching hands...

ck WEst with sTeven, So, the game on Monday was cool. We were all there and I was even late! It was very exciting! The game itself was fun, though I think that only Simon and Waynne got much roleplaying done - the rest of us were behaving like a bunch of naughty school-children half the time. It was fun - The Lion [Hideo - Waynne] did not manage to completely anger Kamenosuke [Simon], and, in fact, didn't even seem to annoy him. Though poor Hideo seemed very confused by the rest of us. Yashamaru [Lucas] and I had some pointed conversations... oh, and I got to listen to my father for three whole days without being able to say a word - thank god for kamenosuke! Nagataka [Sean] finally finished with the roof and joined us.

I got home safely [and no prargraph that starts that way is ever good!], only to find that some poor moron had missed the sign on the gate, parked illegally and had his wheel clamped. Sadly, he seemed a little intoxicated and very desirous of talking to me. Seemed shocked when I told him about the sign on the gate. Wanted me to agree that he should get a clamp of his own and chain the car to a nearby post and a nearby grate, to give them a taste of their own medicine. I have a strategy for dealing with drunk/stupid people. Agree with everything they say and run away as soon as you can. So that's what I did.

Yesterday morning I woke up. In pain. Very painful pain. I went back to sleep. It still hurt when Button came to say goodbye. It was utterly excruciating when I woke up properly about a half hour later. So, having gotten up, had some dispirin and rubbed on the 'make my hands stop hurting' gel, I attempted breakfast, followed by trying to brush my hair and teeth with my left hand. It didn't work very well. Given that neither thing was working, I decided that I was unable to drive lik
e this and certainly couldn't work. So off I went to the doctor. He decided that it was most likely tendonitis - not something I'm unfamiliar with, hence the gel. Given a number of other things [my hands are constantly in pain, often stiff, never mind my other joints, it tends to be symmetrical...] I headed off to the vampires [also known as Pathcare] for blood tests. These are to rule out Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Lupus. And let's hope they do. Having looked those three up on WebMD, I don't think it's Lupus. I really hope it's not. It seems that I had a grandparent on each side with RA, which is thought to have a genetic component, so that;s a definite possibility, particularly given the symmetry. We're hoping it's none however.

Anyway, feeling slightly better, though still more sore than usual, I drove off to the museum to atten NC's talk. As I went down to the car, I noticed that the clamped car was still there, chained to the grate. Guess he didn't notice the 'R250/day' on the sign he didn't see either. The talk was actually quite good, better than the one I forced myself to sit through at UCT on Monday. I also got to chat to MP again, which was nice. After the talk, Button and I went out for supper, after a brief stop at home because someone was cold and not wearing shoes she could walk in. As we got there, we found that the clamped car was in the process of being towed away. I was greatly amused.

This morning finds me at the museum with still-sore hands. Trying to do my job [even trying to type this, for that matter] is proving difficult, given my unwillingness to use my very sore index fingers and thumbs...

Monday, 12 March 2007

been a while

So, I have lots to say. I believe I last wrote last Tuesday...

Not much, I went to Genevieve's talk, which was very interesting, wrt her isotopic data. I want to get my grubby little paws on it, but it's questionable whether or not I'll be able to find her with somewhere to put the files.

Belly dancing, yay! It was fun.

Monique, Dave[sharpe], Duncan and I had lunch at Kaplan Centre. It was very nice. Lara was supposed to join us, but she was sadly very sick and not around. Following that, Dave and Duncan came up to see my bone-crusher, and attempted to help me solve some problems. Like the worthless stainless steel tubes that keep falling apart and leaking all over the place. Or, at the very least, all over the mill. JL had suggested wedging the thing with paper, so Dave did that. Then Duncan came with me to obtain some liquid nitrogen and we did it again. I was, unfortunately, optimistic. The morning's milling had not gone well [it came apart! We squished the ends so that I could barely get the things in and out and it came apart!], but I had high hopes of the afternoon's. Hours later [when it had warmed up], I went to check it. The tube stayed together. Yay! There was no powder in the tube. All the powder was at the bottom of the mill. Cue crankiness.
If you wish to see me using the mill, etc, go to Duncan's flickr page, where there are pictures.

In the evening, Amy, Conrad, Dave[again], Tai and I went over to Lara and Dave[Maclay]'s for roleplaying. I'd never played UA before. It was much fun. And, I realised that I didn't have to go in anywhere on Friday. It was good.

What a lovely day. I woke up latish [well, it was after 8, on a week day!], lazed around briefly. Did some work on the catalogue for SW... Then, I wandered down to the post office. I wanted to know if my package had returned from PE yet. At first the guy said 'no', but was going to find out when it was going to arrive. Then it was apparently at the back. Yay! Except that they couldn't find it, because it wasn't there. It's still on the way. They will call me when they get it back. I watched a movie, I read my book, I made nasty wordsearches for Amy... It was a nice day, I wish I had more like it.

Button went off hiking in the morning. I was picked up by Amy and whisked off to Lara's [in a surprisingly safe fashion, considering what I'd heard about Amy's driving] for the conclusion of our game. It was cool. I think I might like UA.
After the game, Tai, Dave & Dave, Conrad and I went to Cavendish, because we had some time to kill before Duncan's braai and Tai [not attending the braai] had to go shopping. There we saw Nick Hanslo.
Then, we headed off to a braai, and listened [repeatedly, I might add] to Marcia talking about Dave [Sharpe] and Yancke's packages. It was fun, particularly since Button showed up eventually. He and Someone-whose-name-I-can't-spell went to Khayalitsha for their weekly meeting, which took Yancke by surprise, at least, 'cause he didn't realise Button was serious. It was only Yancke, however, 'cause he was the only one who asked Button why he'd been there. And, I got to have a nice chat with Sean before going home.

A lazy day. Just the way I like them. We barely left the house, due to the profusion of touristy types hanging around our neighbourhood, due to the cycle race thing.

Tuesday, 06 March 2007

Too much bone powder in the mill...

So, I cleaned out the rather dirty mill this morning. The main reason it's dirty is that SC was running plant samples and the first time the mill was used the tube broke. I, however, am using stainless steel tubes, as the plasticky ones seem to contaminate the bone samples. Anyway, there was a suspicion back when IN was doing some work on this, that some of the powder was being lost. So I milled some fresh bone this morning. It was necessary as my powder sample keeps getting smaller and smaller - at least some of which is due to me not being very well-practised in the art of transferring bone powder to different containers.

However, on inspecting the mill about two to two-and-a-half hours after finishing the milling, there was a white powder quite thickly coated on the bottom of the mill. We suspect this is bone powder, particularly given the smell. Some of it has been scraped up for testing, just to be sure. This means that before I can do any more milling, which is my next step, I need to somehow figure out a way to stop the tubes from leaking. "That's easy," I hear you cry, "just tape up the ends." Yes, well, a noble suggestion indeed, except that the liquid nitrogen will have an affect on the tape that will lead to it being totally and utterly useless. The current plan is to somehow squish the ends of the tubes so that the ends are less easy to get in and out and, hopefully, so that they don't leak in the mill.

[Dear Phil and Whatsit, I hope that was clear enough? Have I left out any important details without realising it?]

Anyway, last night we had our roleplaying game. It was fun. I won't go into too much detail, 'cause I don't remember most of it. What I remember mostly is Waynne creating his character in the background [a Lion!], Nagataka [Sean] still being hard at work on the roof [he's sick again, poor thing], Yashamaru [Lucas] getting a crash course in polite behaviour from Kamenosuke [Simon] ... I think I helped a little. And, of course, Kamenosuke getting some letters suggesting the most prudent thing to strive for during the local Winter Court.

Afterwards, Waynne wanted to hang around and discuss super-secret character stuff with Adrianna. Lucas and I, however, abandoned Simon in spite of his offer of tea, on the grounds that we wanted to get some sleep. Yes. Well. I arrived home without incident. And then I proceeded to do what I do every Monday night. I was tired. I did not feel like walking up the stairs. One of the lifts was at the ground floor. So I got in. BIG mistake! The doors of these rather antiquated chambers closed and ... nothing happened. Unfortunately these particular examples of elevatory technology do not have that handy "open doors" button. I pressed every single button at least twice, played around with the doors and when nothing still happened, I phoned Button. After getting the security guard, who got the supervisor's wife [who actually does more of the work than he does and yet is still just referred to as his wife for some reason...], who rescued me with a screwdriver. She also explained that the reason the lift was broken was because the people had been there to fix it.

Monday, 05 March 2007

Oops... I appear to have forgotten a title!

So, I need to do still more milling. And, sadly, I need to add in more bone chunks as bone powder tends to get a little lost. This will involve cleaning the spex mill and obtaining more liquid nitrogen... aren't I just thrilled? Or maybe I'll wait a bit and see if any powder actually went through the mill first... I think that's unlikely though.

Otherwise, the weekend happened. On Friday Simon and Adrianna joined us for samurai movies, or, really, movie, since we only watched Seven Samurai for 3.5 hours. It was fun though, and they left with Haruhi and left us with a bunch of stuff. The only thing memorable about Saturday, was dinner at Beluga with Mom, Dad, Phil and Whatsit [and Button, of course]. It was nice, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. Sunday was a long day. Button and I drove over to mom's house, to spend the day with the whole family. Mom, Dad, Phil, Whatsit, Marga, Gummy, Bandie, Richard, Terence, Margit, Megan, Selan and Kiri. It was fun - in addition to just being a general gathering, there was a mild celebration of Mom, Richard and Megan's birthdays. And, of course, having not seen the littles since I got back from the States, they got things from over there. Selan was too engrossed with his projection kit to join us in learning how to play Fluxx, which I bought for Megs. She [and all the rest of us] enjoyed that and there was Skip-Bo for Kiri, which she particularly asked for.

And that's been my life so far. Roleplaying tonight, which is exciting, though all I really want to do is go home and pretend that the world doesn't exist.

Friday, 02 March 2007

merry march

Having recently reread the Alcott books I possess, I find that title funny.

I am a little bit annoyed... I had to remill my sample, which was not my idea of a good time. hopefully this time some of it will go through the sieve... once I've found a thingie for the sieve to sit on, so that it doesn't all leak over the sides of the beaker... and that bloody woman in chemical stores keeps assuming that I'm there to buy a lab coat. I have one! Perhaps next time I should wear it...

In other, not so exciting news... Nick arrived. Luckily he seems to be wanting to have a vacation, so Button is not being run ragged, for a change. And tonight Simon and Adrianna are coming to visit for the express purpose of watching samurai movies... The other invitees were unable to attend, which is possibly a good thing, as I don't think there would have been quite enough space.

Of course, the evil post office seems to have sent my movies to PE... bastards. They better get it back post-haste!

However, Adrianna tells me that we shall have a Waynne join our game... and she's telling me precious little else... which just makes it more intriguing, I suppose. Not that it needs to be, I'm already excited. For a start, he's going to have to get there early, to generate a character, on monday. Which means that there might be someone else there when I arrive! That's kind of exciting too. I don't know why though.
Sadly, Thursday's game was cancelled due to illness and piles of work on the part of two of the players... so Conrad has shortened it and is making it a one-session module, for next week. We hope.

My weekends continue to be fully booked. No wonder I never get any sleep.

I had other things to say but, as usual, I've forgotten them.