Friday, 20 June 2008

Cute smugness!

For those of you wondering [I know I would be], the title is for the express purposes of keeping the Wombat happy. The reason that I am feeling particularly smug today is because the problem of teleporting samples seems to be solved. The [very helpful] overseas people told me that they would do some tests, but that they thought it likely that the tape was cracking due to manipulation while still frozen. What could be manipulating the tape during the milling process? Unsecured end plugs. So, a slightly different taping method seems to have solved the problem. And I am properly smug, until it turns out that [once again] I am wrong. Now, I can't mill more as the LN appears to have run out, but there will be more next week [I hope]. In the meantime: defatting solution for my other samples, so that I actually have some reasonably fat-free samples to mill.

In other news, I have been attempting to write up the notes that I made while discuss LARPstuff with Beth. This is apparently a good plan, as I spent quite a lot of time going "how was [character] involved with [particular plotline]?" and I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to remember after Dragonfire. And, importantly, I found it just as amusing as when we were discussing it, so that's good.

I made it to yoga last night, but not this morning. I don't think I'm quite up to going to classes two days in a row though, they're much more strenuous than doing it at home by myself. Perhaps I shall make tomorrow morning's class...

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Catch the breeze and the Winter chills

So, roleplaying was very nearly cancelled yesterday, for which I blame the Wombat. But, it happened anyway, so he's forgiven.
We started off with our rather late return from hill cleansing. Ishie wandered off to the bathhouse, to check that the fish was alive and happy [it was, thank you Taniko]. While there, she was ambushed by Yogo Shigeri, who made some rather unpleasant insinuations that Ishie didn't totally understand, but comprehended that what she was saying was generally along the lines of "Your grandmother would approve. I might approve. But Kamenosuke? Such an honourable young man..." While that's probably not what she actually had in mind, it's what Ishie heard and it had the desired effect. She offered to help a little with Ishie's investigation into the elixir, in exchange for some information. Water kami are treacherous. However, it doesn't seem to have told her anything too damaging. Kamenosuke had been asked to try to smooth over a little bit of hostility between the Crane and Lion, in view of the fact that two of them are supposed to be getting married at some point. Ishie dutifully went and questioned Daichi, though without bothering to try and be tactful about it. Ishie knows where her strengths lie. Daichi knew who it was who really wanted the information and supplied it, in a resigned manner. Ishie and Kamenosuke then had tea with Sedami, who informed them that the scroll drying and unfolding was proceeding well. Kamenosuke then questioned her about what exactly the problem was, and how to best go about fixing it. He then spent the rest of the afternoon ensuring that there would be no problems. After Kamenosuke ensured that the rest of the magistrates [and Nagataka's students] were properly and appropriately dressed, the poetry evening commenced. Kamenosuke's attempts at fixing things seemed to work. Ishie particularly enjoyed Taniko's contribution, a poem about Koi. She suggested that the water kami might appreciate it, even if Taniko's father didn't. Apparently fish are very good conversationalists. After the poetry evening, Ishie met Shigeri in the bathhouse, where she related the acquired information and received some helpful hints in return... And the threat of Shigeri's continued acquaintance... This is why you should never help ronin.
Next week: an early morning duel!

Otherwise, not much has happened since yesterday. I woke up very early this morning, but didn't make it in to the seminar, due to some rather painful joints suggesting I needed more sleep. That didn't help, sadly. Ah well, yoga tonight.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Beware! Excessive use of Parentheses!

So, I'm sure I have something to say ... listen and I'll tell it twice.

I have [re]discovered extemporanea, which makes me happy for some reason. She's always fascinating and has a bit of Dorothy Parker up there. I'm rather fond of Dorothy Parker, though [one of] my [many] favourite[s] would have to be:
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

In other news, the long weekend passed with only minor fits of boredom and a rather alarming amount of raging girliness. I embarrass myself sometimes. Thankfully, I didn't quite reach the point where I was painting my toenails sparkly pink. Of course, that would require leaving the house to obtain sparkly pink nail polish and so was never very likely anyway.

My cousins called, desperately seeking dice [I'm so proud] to give to my uncle for father's day. He was quite taken with our paper lamps at the family housewarming [trying to explain to his children that it was an icosahedron where each side was made up of five parts], so I showed him my dice and he was overjoyed and declared that he wanted some and wanted to know where I got them and so on. So after some rather detailed explanations, I presume my cousins made it to Outer Limits and obtained them, though I haven't actually bothered to enquire.

Yesterday, I read three books [Lullaby Town, Something to do with Monkeys and Raincoats and Something Else that possibly has to do with Stealing Angels]. They were light-hearted fluff and very enjoyable. Also, the sort of horribly twisted murder/crime/some-sort-of-investigation-required intricate 'plot' that is very silly and I seem to be extraordinarily fond of.

In other news, my supervisor is off [this weekend] for a month of excavation at Robberg, then she's back for about six weeks and then she's off to Germany [for a conference] and Cambridge [for a visiting fellowship thing]. She'll be back at the beginning of next year. On the other hand, having my supervisor be on sabbatical for the next year means that she might actually get around to reading that chapter I sent her a month or so ago... Also, having to communicate with her by email might result in actual communication, rather than just hoping she might wander by her office sometime today and have a few minutes to spend with me.
Related topic: Does anyone have one of those very large, very heavy hammer-things? Or one of those big pick things? Presumably they exist somewhere in the department because I've used them with some degree of success on a couple of digs [where success = not hitting other people/damaging the site]. Let's hope these international people are more prompt than the others... Also, liquid nitrogen balls are very pretty, even when they're covered in my sample.

Now that I've started updating again, my sister [who is apparently indefinitely offline] has removed me from her list of links. Ninja blogging! Game tonight, which is exciting. Even more exciting if I manage to get home in time to wake up in time to make the seminar that starts before 9am tomorrow. Oh the joys! But, since my supervisor seems to think it would be "worth coming to", I'd best be there. On the other hand [and why, can the spaces not keep up with the rest of my typing?], it's the poetry contest, so I expect there will be lots of politics going on and it will be likely to run late and be most entertaining.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Too much for one Post

Note to self: it's winter now, walking home in the dark is not fun. Seriously.

So, last night I made it to yoga, finally. It's been a while since I've managed to make a class, rather than just doing it by myself. It was nice. I liked the instructor, I liked the studio and I liked the class, even if some parts were just not possible for me. Lucas and I went to some place on Kloof Street, which was very nice. We gossiped horrendously about everyone we know and some people we don't. It was fun.

On with the enormous updating:
I have done the work update. I have done the [enormous] game update. What's left?
So, Button and I have moved, had a housewarming, bought plants, etc. It's a lovely place, someday there might be pictures. It could happen. Then Button buggered off to Kenya for two and a half months [he'll be back in August, theoretically]. I had a family housewarming, which was also fun. I have finished tutoring [thankfully] and invigilated two exams [it's a good thing I get paid for that 'cause OMG]. Socially, I'm quite sure more stuff has happened than I remember, but I don't remember it.
LD had a [very] early birthday party, which was fun. We went there after JL's farewell [she left for Kenya the week before Button did]. BT got a better job, so we went out to celebrate. A celebration that was far too coupley for my liking in light of the abscence of Button. As we were leaving, I bumped into Penguin and AV, two of my ex-boyfriends/friends from high school. [I don't actually remember why we called him penguin, though from what I remember of the rest of the nickname, it was not exactly complimentary]. I hung out with them for the rest of the night, just catching up and so on, which was fun. We were later joined by DS's little brother, which was greatly amusing to me.
In other news, BT and I are still writing that LARP. Theoretically we'll actually get around to writing some of it one day. Like, Sunday, for example.
I'm sure there's other stuff, but I don't remember it, so it can't be important.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Been a While

Goodness, it has been a long time. But, now I'm here again. Isn't that exciting.

So ... massive catch-up since March.

The sieves were made [Wendell still won't go through], foreigners were contacted and [eventually] told me that they'd never had a problem with the mill leaking, but why don't I try this stuff? The stuff [that would be the cryo-tape, for those of you poor souls who actually dare to ask about this] arrived and seems to survive LN temperatures. Unfortunately, Wendell has learnt to teleport. I really hope that he was badly treated because I can't go back and make him suffer... Though it's entirely possible that he's not the problem. I presume that the teleportation is caused by small holes in the cryo-tape and masking tape [which also seems to be able to mostly cope with LN temperatures, who would've thought?] allowing him to get through. Anyway, we're hoping that they'll cope better with shorter time spent in the LN... Results indicate that they don't. I think I shall spend the rest of the day sulking. Either that or throw myself out of a window.

In game news... We hunted down Agasha Sosuke, including spending plenty of time underwater with a bunch of fishmen and lobsterwomen. We discovered him trying to locate a box he'd left there a very long time ago, before he turned into an evil tainted git. Yashamaru came along in the void and, after we'd killed everyone [though we hadn't yet got around to decapitating Sosuke], Sosuke came back to life, started some spell and was attacked by Yashamaru, we all ran away, while there was a huge explosion behind us. The explosion shook down some jasper, which Ishie stopped to collect. At least, she tried to, Kamenosuke felt she should keep running away from the exploding mass of fish remains. After the explosion, Ishie and Kamenosuke gathered some jasper to add to her gypsum previously obtained from an obliging cave. Nagataka had spotted Sosuke's box and picked it up and off we went, back to the world outside of the lake. Yashamaru and Sosuke had completely disappeared. Waynnnnnnne was eaten by work, and so Hideo had some family business to attend to and disappeared. Kitsu Sedami joined the magistrates, however we are still looking for a fourth player. We opened Sosuke's box, and discovered dried cherries with a distinctly metallic smell. Ishie has them, is completely convinced they've been treated with some sort of alchemical process and is just waiting for Sedami to dry out and open the accompanying piece of paper in the hopes that it will provide some clue. The fact that it's written in a script that Ishie technically shouldn't be able to read is completely irrelevant [that's what grandmothers are for, after all]. Work on the elixir progresses reasonably well. Ishie has made friends with the water kami in the ladies bathhouse, picked up a bunch of tiny earth kami from the underwater adventure and had a contained made to keep them in check and is using the two to reveal what's in the elixir. She knows there are 7 ingredients. She knows what 5 of them are. One of Yumiko's grandchildren went missing. We found him stuck in an old, abandoned cellar, that had been completely sealed in except for one small child-sized hole. With the help of an eta child, we rescued the kid, removed the other children's skeletons, including the one that was luring the children in there. We later found the woman he'd been with dead in the maze. She was one of the servants from Three Herons and they'd disappeared on the day that the Three Herons people went home. Though Kamenosuke insists on corresponding with Yeiji, it's probably not an entirely bad thing since she wants him to get her married to some guy the other magistrates met in Toshi Ranbo. Also, she's keeping us informed of any dubioud goings-on that we need to know about. Particularly important considering Hanchero's mother [see later] told us that they kept an oni there and that Doji Akitaka [Yeiji's father] was part of her group. So, the remaining magistrates joined Isawa Hanchero and his yojimbo [she's a Shiba, I can never remember her name - though technically they're both ronin] in attacking his mother's oni. We defeated it, resulting in an infected hill. After giving us a chance to talk to what seemed to essentially be his mother's spirit Hanchero was too far gone for anything and chose to kill himself. We burned both him and the oni [though separately] and went back to town. A couple of days later, a jade magistrate [Yogo Shigeri] arrived. She gave us the jade tea that the Kuni had sent for us, interrogated us about what's been going on around here and, yesterday, went with us to see about the cleansing of the now tainted hill. She's very good with horses and really likes pickles. We know about the last one, thanks to the water kami in the ladies bathhouse. You see, it decided that it was lonely and that it would like a fish. So I asked Taniko to see about finding a suitable fish. She stole one from the koi pond at her father's inn. It was a rather large fish and was too big to fit in one of the bathhouse's washbasins. So Ishie went to the kitchens in search of something to put the fish in. The servants there suggested a rather large barrel, that happened to be full of pickles. So, the next day, the fish was happily swimming in its barrel in the bathhouse and the castle was dining on pickles. Though Harumi did suggest that she'd see about finding the fish a more aesthetically pleasing home for the fish. Hopefully this means that the water kami will be both happy and helpful. Anwyay, we went off to the hill with Shigeri, where we found a half-eaten dead goat. We tracked the insectoid tracks, where we found a very large cockroach. After some deliberation we decided to draw out and kill the cockroach, though this was not without its hazards for Ishie. Kamenosuke was injured and, while trying to heal him, Ishie was once again tempted by kansen and very nearly tainted. She managed to resist, however and also managed to resist experimenting with the elixir on Kamenosuke. He wasn't particularly badly injured, so it wasn't terribly necessary. Besides, if she used it on him, he'd want details about it and while Ishie might try lying about it to other people, she wouldn't [couldn't] lie to Kamenosuke. And he would not be happy if she used it on him and he knew what was in it.
Next week: poetry contest and elixir back-engineering.

Hopefully, I won't remember anything else, since I'm going home now, in the attempt to actually be on time for yoga.