Just poking my head in

Wow. It's been nearly 2 and a half years since I last posted on here. I guess I've found that G+ is just easier to keep on top of stuff and most people seem to have abandoned here or are cross posting from other places. Which isn't too surprising, as ever since it got bought by a Russian company they seem to be focussing their efforts more for the local market, much like how Orkut became heavily specialised for Brazillian speakers.

Yikes. I just checked and Orkut was shutdown nearly 2 years ago :O
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More weekend please

So I've had what can only be described as a very busy weekend. Friday was the least tiring physically, but required lots of brains as we had a character gen session for the next exciting Saturday LARP game. Thankfully managed to pull a character idea out and aside from a new bits and bobs it's mostly defined.

Saturday I had to get up early cos I was heading in to London to do a tour with Hidden Wonders. They do guided tours of historical parts of London with a twist. Each location has a puzzle to solve and once you've got all the answers there's a mystery to solve - in our case a crime had happened and we had to work out who had done what to who etc... We had it pretty nailed down, but had to skip one of the points of interest/puzzles due to the torrential downpour. It didn't stop us solving the ultimate puzzle though. Afterwards back to ketchgirl's for cake (and tea for those debased enough to drink it ;) ) and then since I was in London and it was the right weekend, I figured I should head to LOTNA. There was pie and a quiz and despite some quite silly mistakes, my team came second. I got the feeling we had no real chance though as the team that came first seemed to be have acquired all the knowledgeable people.

Sunday was another early start and head back in to London for some LARPing goodness with IOD. First up was Lost where there was an Easter egg hunt which was fun and then we aimed the heavy hitters at the end goal to do the actual hard work. End result another mannequin to add to the team - there's so many of us it seems now. If only we were capable of emotion we might actually be quite a fun group. Then there was Requiem where I got hit by an explosion of new characters who were either Gangrel, Crone or both. And then to put the cherry on top, I got saddled with a freshly embraced character too. So lots and lots of talking, explaining and liaising. Next month is going to be extra super fun cos I'll be in charge...muahahahahahahaha :)

It's me, not you: Redemption Con report

So I went to another Sci-Fi con at the weekend called Redemption. These cons generally open booking 2 years in advanced, so booking it with only a couple of weeks to spare is really short notice. And having never been to this particular one before and not really having any idea about the Guests of Honour, I had no idea what to expect.

The trip up was pretty plain sailing. Randomly, I bumped into eggwhite at Euston who happened to also be planning on catching the same train I was, although getting off a few stops before me. Managed to do a bit of Ingress on the way and didn't get lost wandering the streets of Coventry either. The hotel wasn't amazing - a bit shabby, with lifts that seemed to ignore whatever we wanted them to do and come and go as they pleased. Might make a good IoD venue though in terms of convention space as they have a private bar next to the main room.

I went to a variety of panels and talks, most of which were good. A few seemed to suffer a bit from having their topic being a forgone conclusion so the panelists waffled on, but what they said was still interesting. Hard to say if they just picked a flawed topic or could have picked people with more differing opinions. There was only one that I wished I had my time back.

Only made it to see one of the Guest of Honour's - Virginia Wey. I caught two of her sessions and was an absolute hoot and I'm sure if given the chance would have kept on talking until well into next week. Mostly she talked about her career, like how the sprung the need for her to have her head shaved for her role in Farscape (she was the blue one) at the very last minute. But she also talked a lot about spanking and other kinky stuff - which she isn't in to, but recognised that a lot of people there were and was clearly playing up to that.

Had fun at the disco, got taught the "appropriate" moves for some song from the Blues Brothers that I should know the name of, but I'm drawing a blank on at the moment. Mostly though I sucked at socialising and never at any point felt like I fitted in. Which I'm annoyed at myself for - I must try harder! But I feel there is a skill/ability/whatever of going up to a circle of strangers and joining in that I seem to have lost. Or maybe I project some kind of scary-go-away aura that makes people shun me?

Either way I think I shall return in 2 years time to the next one, time, cash and guests of honour permitting. And I'm going to try and get to more other conventions too.

Picocon con report

So the weekend before last was spent at Picocon - Imperial College's very own sci-fi convention. Unlike previous years (that I've been to) they'd expanded from being just a 1 day event to 2 days, possibly because this was their 30th convention. Or at least they think it was their 30th - much like the problems IFIS has had finding out about it's own origins it seems common for sci-fi groups to have a dim and distant past.

The first day was very easy getting in to London and since most of us had already pre-reg'd, our sign in was much speedier than usual. I obtained the traditional "lousy t-shirt" and then we were launched into the first of many programme items. Nothing amazing stood out - they were all generally very good. I got roped in to help with the University Challenge quiz, for which they'd knocked together their own buzzer system. It was a bit flakey but unfortunately we can't really blame our loss on it. We got some of the questions, but mostly we were just too slow at pressing the button.

I failed utterly to witness the destruction of dodgy merchandise except for witnessing a bit of them dealing with some kind of video game soft drink. Which some foolish people had paid money to drink. The expressions of disgust and horror said it all really.I had to leave early though but by the sounds of it, those that remained had fun.

Day 2 was a bit more exciting getting in. I amazingly managed to make it to the bus stop in time to catch the first bus. The bus however couldn't be arsed and was almost so late I could have caught the next option. I had thought I was the only person who had bothered getting up in time, but our esteemed President had got on at an earlier stop. Despite the delay we managed to make it to the venue with more than enough time and gathered together all the various groups of us who'd come in from different places.

Again the talks and panels were awesome. I discovered a new author - Kate Griffin - to add to my ever growing list of authors I should probably read more by. There was some confusion in the "harmless fun" where at one point we were ahead 3-1 and yet we then lost on the 5th point. And after doing extremely well (ie we didn't come last) in the pub quiz we headed home - tired, but happy.

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So it's been an interest week. Went to a pub social for IoD last Wednesday which wasn't too bad apart from the manic mad rush to catch the train. Next time I'm going to leave with enough time to walk it at a sensible pace rather than the super human pace that lucifermourning prefers.

I also went to a LOTNA meeting too which are a sci-fi group in London. It was in a lot of ways just like a much more populous IFIS meeting, although turn up was higher cos of some efforts at advertising they'd done at the recent London comic-con. Part way through the evening, one of the members ran a "game" which involved us coming up with a script for a trailer for a budget movie. Amazingly our team won with our quote-worthy trailer for Superman: Quest for the Bank Loan. Typically I'm led to believe they have a quiz though, which sounds a little bit less embaressing.

I've also been getting in a lot of coding which has found me suddenly noticing that it's gone well past midnight twice so far. When it's finished it's going to be a crossword generator for IFIS. It's not doing a bad job at the moment, but it needs more variety for the clues. And possibly symmetry. And I'm sure I could introduce some optimising and speed increases if I put my mind to it.

But mostly more variety of clues. I'd especially like to see if I can work in a way of doing clues that are related to other clues. Like "What book did the people in 3 down and 10 across" write together. And I've written some code to generate anagrams, but the dictionary file it's using is so full of crap words no-one will ever have heard of that looks like someone smashed their face on the keyboard that a lot of the time the anagrams look stupid.

I don't have anything planned for the weekend, so I fully imagine that I'll be hacking away some more and ruining my sleeping patterns :)

long hair


We had a baffling moment tonight when 2 randoms joined us. They stayed for a good portion before leaving as mysteriously as they arrived. Afterwards we bumped into someone from another soc and we discovered the answers to the mystery. The other soc were watching The Immortals. We by a twist of fate (committee forgetting to ask someone to bring Brazil) showed Dungeons and Dragons 2. Took the randoms nearly an hour to realise they were watching the wrong movie ;)

Not sure whether they had a better time with us given what I'd heard of The Immortals :)
long hair

A weekend

So a mostly quiet weekend. Had Wizards of the Lost Kingdom inflicted upon me on Friday. Spent most of Saturday vegging out in front of the TV.

Sunday was spent LARPing. Didn't get any traction in the Lost game. Also haven't gotten the national plot stuff fully sorted in my head yet or at least my interpretation doesn't yield any roleplay opportunities. Requiem went a whole lot better in terms of fun. Started off screwing up what should have been a simple mission. And then got swallowed up by another PCs plot and spent most of the game trying to save them from certain death. Including at one point at my own hands. It got to the stage that when things calmed down, I totally couldn't remember what I had planned to do at the game. I think this is a good thing, for reference.
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Yesterday was mostly uneventful. I spent the day playing Wurm which involved an awful lot of "f***! it's another troll! run away!!!" as a troll den had randomly appeared a short distance away from my house. This wouldn't ordinarily have been a problem as my guard is more than capable of taking out an average/normal troll, but the troll spawning were of the stupendously git hard variety. And this meant that one would wander on to my "deed", my guard would valiantly try and fight it and possibly would wound it a bit, but ultimately get herself killed. By the time she'd respawn the troll would have mostly healed itself and the cycle would continue.

Luckily the problem was solved by a group of us including cream_horn going and destroying the troll den and then culling any remaining trolls left. We did have bowel loosening moment of a troll spawning slap bang in the middle of the den whilst we were all clustered around it, but luckily we managed to take it down. And after all the excitement I decided it was high time I make and learn how to use bows and arrows, cos cream_horn was using them to great effect.

I also got to try out the newly renamed Caffe Gondola. Pretty decent food, but unfortunately lousy service as they only had 1 waitress on covering the entire restaurant. And rather than ensuring everyone was sat fairly close together, she let everyone (the 10 or so of us) spread out across the whole restaurant. Which meant she wasn't as attentive to our needs as she could have been.

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So...that's the Buffy game over and done with. My character had a glorious death of a sorts. Turns out that he was the mcguffin all along (honest) that could prevent the big bad from doing their evil ritual. All he had to do, was willingly sacrifice himself for the greater good. Which he did with only a brief pause to confirm in his head that he'd understood the choices correctly. And thus when the big bad sacrificed him, instead of his soul fueling the dark ritual it rose up and became a glowing mighty smitey righteous ass kicking angel thingy of The Lord, thus helping to save the day and prevent the apocalypse of the week.

ION I also totally won at poker :D