Friday, 20 February 2009

There was a Game

So, on Wednesday we had a game, with 5 people present. BT arrived and while she wasn't playing her character yet, she was getting into the swing of things by NPCing. So what happened:
Our intrepid heroes were bundled off to the 'Monkey House' by the bird people. There we met Isawa Something-with-an-S and his son, Nichiren. Ishie and Nichiren had a brief conversation about the trouble he'd caused by rushing off after his father instead of marrying her sister. Ishie restrained herself from mentioning that his return may cause more trouble [who's going to marry her other fiance? It won't be Ishie!] Ishie was less restrained when approached by their Matsu companion [played by BT]. Whatsit arrived in bird-land about 15 years ago, his son and Matsu Miu arrived 7 years ago, during the Phoenix-Dragon war. So seeing a Phoenix travelling with a Dragon and a Crane was a little surprising. Ishie has clearly spent too much time with Kamenosuke, as she suggested that the reason for the Lion's disgraceful withdrawal from their alliance with the Phoenix was due to their uncalled for massacring of the Dragonfly. We had tea and discussed the situation and the possibility of escaping. We met the Ratling, Flaky Claws and discussed his plan for putting an end to the problem. There was an awful lot more exposition than action, so there's not much to report. Stay tuned for next week.
In other news, I tried out the Geology Department's Swing Mill. I have to wait until March 2nd to check the powder out in the SEM, but it's quite finely ground. I stuck some in one of my sieves, just to see and while some of it went through [I could tell 'cause the acetone was cloudy, not clear], most of it didn't. So I suspect I will need to find a way to get it even finer. DLR, the guy from the Geology Department [who taught me in first year - and remembers me], suggested I speak to the chemical engineers who have an actual Professor of Making-Things-Smaller [that's not his actual title]. How long did it take for the Swing Mill to get the powder as fine as it could? Less than 1.5 minutes.
Also, Happy Birthday Mom!
[even if it was yesterday, she's at the cottage so she won't see this till Sunday/Monday anyway]
I tried to call her, but the signal was absolutely shocking and I think we exchanged all of 5 words in a couple of conversations [those were the times where her phone actually rang] before I gave up and smsed her.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Because you can't have too many words strung together with hyphens!

So, Button's parents have [presumably] returned to the US safely. They left here safely, but I've heard nothing since. I assume that any information would have gone to Button, who is back up at Elandsfontein being uncommunicative. It's hard to be anything else up there as signal is patchy at the best of times, unless you're on top of a very tall dune.
Delilah is delightful, though slightly less shiny than she was when she arrived. I think I may need to invest in some sort of cover/case thingie for her. I spent the better part of Tuesday downloading Open Office, and I'm oh so very glad I did. It's a bit of an adjustment at first, but it's kind of like having the shift button in a funny spot. You get used to it very quickly. And, for me at least, it's more intuitive than Office 2007, though I didn't have any particular problems with that. I do still want the bubble screensaver though.
My plants are much happier now that I'm home. The ones that have been repotted are a lot happier and the one that was moved outside, is slightly smaller, but still happy [the violent winds removed most of the leaves that stuck up past the olive tree's pot]. For Valentine's Day Button has promised me a return trip to the Kalk Bay Garden Shop, with the intent to buy plants. He has his eye on a Juniper bonsai, and I have my eye on just about everything else. We may also stop at the Indigenous Nursery near Cape Point on our way home, as we'll be staying overnight at the cottage.
Last night saw the resurrection of our game [yay!]. Our new players, BT & theOtherAmy are yet to join us. BT due to LARPing and theOtherAmy due to Operations. After a massive recap at speed, we launched forth into our journey to Inconsiderate River Village. We found it without difficulty and set about investigating stuff. Nagataka spent some personal time with a mostly deaf, totally blind monk while Kamenosuke and Ishie toured the Gardens. All while being spied on by yet more crows. Because the ones in Suspiciously-Perfect-and-Happy Village weren't enough [I forget the Village's real name, something about Sparkling Sunflower Fields]. Having discovered the two half trees of nausea, we decided to set out for the quarry that Nagataka's monk friend had suggested we visit. Nagataka did not sleep well, having divinated and seen that which was not meant to be seen. He did not elaborate, so Ishie and Kamenosuke still don't quite know what's in store for them. After a quick visit to the quarry [natural grey stone as opposed to weirdly out-of-place bright white granite], our intrepid explorers followed the drag trail up to another pair of half trees. Nagataka stepped through and disappeared. Ishie and Kamenosuke decided it was their duty to follow him. They are now in Willow House, a disturbing bright white city of bird people. Who is at war with the other bright white city of bird people, Maple House. Willow's two trees signify the city of arrivals. Maple's two trees make it the city of departure. We currently are being held prisoner by the bird people [though they're too polite to come out and say it], but need to find: [a] Flaky Claws, a ratling that attempts to communicate with Nagataka through meditation or divination or something [b] Isawa Guy-who's-going-to-fix-our-grandmothers-inhabiting-granddaughters'-bodies-problem and his son, [c] Isawa Better-hope-his-reappearance-doesn't-mean-Ishie-has-to-marry-her-sister's-second-fiance. Quite possibly we will also find: [a] Ishie's missing sister [b] our new players! Once we've found these people, we need to escape. Currently Ishie's in favour of the 'set the bird people alight until they leave us alone' plan. Or, Cherry Experimentation!

Tuesday, 03 February 2009

February Already!

2009 has snuck past me in a most sneaky manner. After a restful Christmas/New Year's, spent avoiding just about everyone I know [with the exception of my extremely privileged family]. Here are some of this year's highlights so far:
  • The Korean Thesis - JS photocopied this thing while she was on sabbatical overseas. So now we know what was done in that other project. It does not render my research irrelevant, thankfully, but it would have been nice to know about the mills she tried two years ago. So now we have located a similar mill to the one used in this thesis [it's across the road in the Geology Department, very convenient] and we're going to try it out and hopefully it will all work splendidly. One can always dream after all.
  • Elandsfontein Field School - Both Button and I were working at the third year field school. He will be going back for the Honours field school, but I am beyond done [and I have a lot of other work to do]. The students were fun and mostly nice. The completely crazy one was also fun and reasonably nice to spend time with when she wasn't being completely terrifying. She had to leave early, but everyone else seemed to cope with the hecticness okay. We had a number of guests coming to visit and they all gave very nice seminars/lectures on their current research. Funnily enough, every single one of them was an isotope person, so it was very well-placed of me to be there at that time.
  • Button's Parents - They've come to visit [which is why Button isn't at the field school right now]. It's very nice having them here, though rather exhausting. I don't know where they get their energy from, but I guess when everything is new and exciting you do have more energy than when it's the same thing you've seen every day of your life [or, at least, fairly regularly]. So far we've done: Just about every art gallery in Cape Town, the Iziko SA Museum, the Planetarium, the Slave Lodge, the Riebeek Valley, Evita se Perron, the Cape Philharmonic in City Hall, Signal Hill, the Winelands [specifically Franschoek and Stellenbosch] ... possibly there are other things, but I don't remember them at this moment.
  • Delilah - With them, Button's parents brought my beautiful tiny red computer, who is named Delilah. It's absolutely adorable. Of course, if I were bigger, I'd have trouble typing - Button can't type on this keyboard, but me, Button's Mom and Mom can all do it without trouble.
  • Gardening - No new plants as yet this year, though some have died. I blame Mom, who was watering them while we were at Elandfontein. To be fair, some of them were already mostly dead before then, it's just the one fern that obviuosly couldn't cope with watering on a less-than-daily basis. But I think ferns are just fussy that way.

And now, I'm off to bed, as we're waking at a horrendously early hour to show Button's parents Elandsfontein. It will be fun, but far too early.