The Hunger Games vs The Hunger Games

I've now finished reading The Hunger Games and I've already seen the movie. I have to say that the movie fares remarkably well and is a very good adaptation. They've had to sacrifice a few things here and there and alter the plot a bit, but over all if you liked the book, you'll probably like the movie.

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I had a bit of a mixed weekend. Poker on Friday was fun...the Chinese snacks brought back by urizen and lucifermourning were less so. Not that I was brave enough to try the lobster and cheese flavour. I think the sight of nuuki running from the room making very unwell noises persuaded me that doing so was a Really Bad Idea(tm).

Saturday was spent doing very little. Watched some TV. Played a lot of Wurm. Didn't do any programming. I had the urge to do some programming, but I couldn't remember/find the code I wanted to work on. It wasn't helped by having dreams that I wanted to write some form of stock control software. I've no need for such a thing and

Sunday I bimbled lazily into London for it's Lost and Requiem games. Not much in the way of plot happened in Lost due to ST illness, so lots of social happened instead. And my character was a bazillion times more chatty than usual. Requiem was a little more active, but mostly spent finding out that the plot I'd spent far too many months working on was snipped from under me. Meh. If I had another concept in the side lines I'd be sorely tempted to retire my vamp cos he just doesn't seem to fit into anything. Or just stop playing. Annoyingly I thought this after I renewed my membership for another year.

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As if I didn't already have enough of authors and getting stuffed signed, I went along to an Iain Banks (note the lack of M.) signing last night for his new book. Whose name has already escaped me, but then I'd only found out about it last night - it's one of the main stream ones, hence the lack of the M.

Having seen him 2 years ago at EasterCon I knew we were in for a really good entertaining evening and I wasn't disappointed. He started off by reading a bit from the new book and whilst not sci-fi, I think I'm going to enjoy it - it's a comedy. He had to pause 2 sentances in to apologise for the swearing and to make sure there weren't any children in the room. I'm not entirely sure what he'd have done if there had been - there was a lot of swearing in the bit he read.

And then he took questions from the floor and gave many elaborate and hilariously funny answers to them. I'm not sure if this is my idea or it's something I picked up from EasterCon, but I'd liken him a lot to Billy Connolly. Tall, scottish and awesomely funny. There were a good mixture of questions about his mainstream and sci-fi work. A couple of questions were so obscure I think even he was a bit baffled by them.

The signing portion of the evening went quite quickly and he jovially chatted to people as he scrawled down dedications on the various books people handed to him. I had a brief wait as the person in front of me pointed out a typo in the new book and he had to pull out his iphone and note it down. I joked that I just had books to sign and no typos for him and he joked back that we could always make one up.

As that was that for the evening and it was still moderately early, myself and beeblebear fled in to the night and made it back in time to go to the IFIS weekly social with special guest star Phil. And there were even some students too - I guess term must be starting again soon.


So I'm back from EasterCon (the main UK sci-fi/fantasy convention) and boy am I knackered.

I went to a variety of talks and panels ranging from the "Ethics of AI" to "You got Robot Elf Sex in my SF". I could possibly list them all, but I think that sounds like too much like hard work. I also did a chocolate tasting workshop and one which I feel was more aimed at kids (but not advertised at all as such) where we got to make a robot to take part in a sort of robot Olympics. Unfortunately my attempts were thwarted by someone dismantling my robot and re-using the bits. Which is mostly my fault because due to scheduling conflicts, I couldn't attend the workshop and the events on the same day (they had 3 days of workshops and events) and I'd left the robot with the hope of entering it in the following day. I should have just taken it with me or something.

I did my first Kaffeeklatch with Tricia Sullivan. A kaffeeklatch is coffee and biscuits with someone famous and you just sit around, chat and ask questions etc. To be honest I found it kinda overwhelming as the topic of conversation went quite intellectual, but I did manage to get one comment in towards the end. Not sure how much of it was a constructive one or flamebait though. We were discussing how it was bad for authors to go back and tinker with their works once they were published and I gave George Lucas as a prime example of that.

I did a lot of dancing too. There were two discos, one themed on Superheros and a second themed on Robots. I had initially thought about going ot the first as the mild mannered alterego of a superhero and the second wrapped in tin foil as "generic robot". But I was suddenly inspired by the occasional nickname I've been given - The Dancinator - and realised I could (not that anyone bothered asking) go as a T800 in full infiltration mode to the first. Terminators aren't superheroes, but they are superhumanly strong and practically indestructible and certainly in the 2nd and 3rd films, are very heroic even if it's cos that's how they've been programmed. For the second disco, I decided upon going as a battle damaged Terminator, initially by the liberal application of face/body paint but in the end I fashioned some tin foil so that it'd poke out of my sleeve whilst I had my arm hidden behind my back.

The food was a bit naff or hugely expensive so I ended up eating McDonalds far more than I should have. Which was a good thing cos it meant I had more money for buying shines. Something I did possibly go a little overboard with. I do have a lot more books now - some of which aren't even in print.

I think the best out of everything, was getting to talk to a lot of my favourite authors. I had a good long chat at the end of the first disco with Jaine Fenn without reverting to shy nervous fanboy mode for example. But I still have a long way to go to overcome that issue - possibly it's when there is signing stuff involved that it happens the worst? Although I did manage to keep my cool somewhat when Cory Doctorow came up to me to sign the auction item I'd won that he'd donated.

Didn't take much in the way of photos; there's just 2 really. One of me sitting in the throne from Game of Thrones and one of me with my severed arm

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So I'm back at work (since yesterday) and so far so not so bad.

Found a thank you letter from the grand high uber boss on my desk thanking me for all the hard work I'd done last year. Not a personal one though - he'd sent them to the entire team. And then I gave myself a painful papercut whilst opening it.

Spent most of yesterday making a massive dent in the email backlog; catching up on all that happened whilst I was away. Today I shall endevour to finish the job, although it's an uphill struggle as people keep emailing me yet more stuff to read!

Catch up...

So it's been a while since I last posted anything. I don't think that much has happened of note (to me) though. There was a rather chilled out IFIS xmas dinner the other night. I bought a new pair of shoes; it only took them a short while before they'd gouged a chunk out of one of my ankles.

I also bought some new jeans too. This possibly isn't that amazing, except that one of the pairs was a size smaller than I've been getting recently. What is amazing, is that the smaller pair actually fit. A little snuggly, but compared to the constant threat of having my jeans end up around my ankles as I walk down the street, I think this is somewhat preferable.

I went clubbing on Friday (in the new shoes and jeans). Aside from a couple of tracks I couldn't get my head around, the music was very good and I danced the night away. Amazingly, my feet were still usable afterwards (for walking purposes), although I did have the aforementioned ankle woe. Normally after clubbing my feet feel like I've hit the soles with a meat tenderiser, so I'm guessing my new shoes are a really good fit for me?

I've played a tonne of Wurm too. Mostly my recent efforts have been to build a road up the side of the hill/mountain that midnightschilde's little patch of land lives on, cos the normal route to her place has been blocked by someone building a house. Building this road is not a trivial matter. It involves building a dirt ramp to reduce the gradient of the hill/mountain to something that mere mortals can walk up. Which means digging up a large amount of dirt, transporting it to the ramp and dropping it. This takes more time than it should because when I dig up dirt, it goes into my inventory. I then have to move it into my cart cos I can't carry that much dirt. I can't then drop it from the cart, I have to put it back into my inventory first before I can drop it.

I have been supernerdy/OCD and made a spreadsheet that details how high up the hill/mountain is at every point on the way up, how high up I want each point to be and the difference. It's very fiddly to update though, so I'm going to up the nerd factor and make a webpage that makes it easier to keep track of things.

A year in movies...

So it's been a whole year (more so cos I'm slack at writing this on time) since I started my Pound a Day movie project. To recap, there's an XKCD comic about a guy who loves getting packages and sets up a bot to search ebay for items costing $1 or less with free shipping and buy him one of them every day. Someone actually decided to implement this with a bid site in New Zealand (I hadn't noticed, but it looks like they'd only just set it up when I stumbled across it). But anyway, inspired I thought I'd see if I could do something similar looking on Amazon UK for cheap blu-ray movies. The main difference is that I didn't trust Amazon's data set not to have bad data in it and accidentally send me a non-Blu-ray or something that wasn't a movie, so I didn't include it's autonomy. Plus, I'm very squeamish so I didn't want Horror movies or Musicals. Instead I got it to email me whenever it had something it wanted to buy and I'd then ensure it was something applicable and go and buy it.

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LARPers and Shoggoths and Plot, oh my!

I really must update more often. It's not that I'm not doing anything, it's just that I'm terribly lazy. The past weekend (and a bit), for example, were spent at an Isles of Darkness national event. I took Friday off cos it makes it so much easier if I can travel up at my leisure and gave me a chance to run around the place like a mad thing packing during the morning.

The journey up was mostly uneventful aside from me making a brief detour to collect the sci-fi reading group's latest book we're meant to be reading. Cos I foolishly managed to forget when the last meeting was (in my defense, it'd moved from it's usual time). I even managed to luck out and get a lift from the station, cos someone happened to be driving past (due to being lost) at just the right moment. The hotel was not bad; my room was a lot larger than I'm used to; the food was very tasty. The only bad part was the bar was quite pricey (3.80 for a 3.30ml bottle of Magners) and shut far too early.

Game-wise, the Friday Requiem game didn't engage me overly much. I got the impression I must have been looking the wrong way at the wrong times and missed the main plot. But I got to chat to folk and almost made a total mess of the National plot I'd been asked to help with so it wasn't like I was bored or anything.

The Lost game highlighted how little I understand the venue and my character. Must try harder to get my head around it. And get my background to the STs so they can start helping me get more involved in the game. And finish sorting out my costuming/make up. But I had fun chatting to people and there was alarm and terror as stuff happened around me that had me moving rapidly away in the opposite direction as fast as my legs could carry me.

The game I enjoyed the most I think was the Saturday Requiem. I sort of ignored the bead game due to personal plot, but dived head long into Night Market and drooled over the wazzy items. Although mostly the items that engaged me the most weren't actually wazzy - they were scrolls that potentially had wazzyness written on them. Annoyingly, I was pipped to the post in buying the one I really wanted to get and ended up getting the other, more expensive scroll that I can't actually use. Although I don't know that IC yet - got to downtime researching it. But having had a nose around OOC, it looks like I at least should be able to sell it on as it's rarer than unicorn wee.

The trip back was pretty nightmarish, but thankfully not as bad as it could have been. For a start, the trains weren't running as far as London. So we had to get a rail replacement bus from some station in the middle of nowhere to some place on the outskirts of London with a tube station. There was a brief moment where I thought I might not get on cos I took the time to get my suitcase stowed, but it worked out OK in the end. And then the trains out of London also turned into a bus replacement service too. But we got back at a not too bad time considering.

Of course now I need another weekend to recover. I'm sorely tempted to cancel my plans to go clubbing this weekend so I can have some quiet time. Especially as I've got stuff to do the next day that'll need me to get up moderately early.

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Weekends are meant to be the points inbetween work where I get to rest and recuperate right? Instead I seem to spend them burning the candle in napalm and having far too much fun. Last night's Halloween party was good fun, although my effort at a costume was pretty poor. Especially compared to the effort some people put in. Hopefully there aren't any pictures - no-one (else) should have the trauma of seeing Mr. Mines in a pair of bondage tape shorts.