Thursday, March 20, 2008


As a change from the usual I tagged along with a group bound for a place called 'spookers' somewhere outside Auckland. This place is a mansion in the country-side that only opens up after dark.

To give you an idea of what to expect a 3 meter tall skeleton grimacing and glaring eriely out at the night sky from the second story balcony with a dark cackling emenated from it greeted us as we approached.

This place is essentially set up as a haunted house experience. There are mutliple sets... the main one being the house. Each room is set up to remind you of a different kind of horror movie or nightmare experience. Mutilated babies, strange medical experiments, homicidal soliders. Everyone running around looking disfigured and dead often with some kind of dangerous implement and acting creepy and "spooky". The costumes were amazing. The set designs were very cool. The popping out, hiding, random loud sounds that ring out in the night, not to mention the people that you cant see screaming in terror really make the experience thorough.

A maze inside another part of the hosue was painted with almost comic book designs of villans and ghosts and demons in 3D fluro paint, when combined with 3D glasses really popped out at you!

Possibly the most scary setting is a cornfield out in the dark, where mutilated people with chain saws await you.

A definate must for people who like to be scared, or for people who like wierd creepy stuff.

teh awesome.

P.S: Freddy Kruger made an appearance

P.P.S: undead scrubbers asking you to impregnate them is possibly the scariest thing imaginable, ever

P.P.P.S: very cool

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Within the Standard Deviation

In the last six months there have been quite a lot of changes in my life such as a new job, new country, new colleagues and new friends.

Everything has been going well. Not always as well as I would have hoped, and in some cases better than I hoped.

However it does feel a lot like everything is happening around a life determining mean. It’s all sitting around some unseen average marker. Although things are sometimes up or down from the average, they don’t seem to be deviations so high or low to truly stand out.

Either way, I noticed I hadn’t been updating much in the last few months…

Some of the smaller changes in my life:

Work: On Monday I have a new boss, they finally hired a replacement to the last one. In general things are going well. I’m going to have to learn C++ to write many a complex mathematical program, plus lots of semi interesting in context projects.

Home: I have a new one, I moved over Christmas, Kana and I have a house to ourselves in a somewhat fancy part of town, a walk from a nice beach with a nice view.

Visa: Kana got herself a better visa and lots of stress and pressure evaporated. Another one soon to be applied for.

Car: Still Awesome, soon to be starting driving lessons for Kana. Possibly will be getting a second one at some point in the future.

Computer Gaming: On the decline again

Food: Lots and find new and interesting places to get it from

Muscles: Lots, of the Seafood kind generally around $2.00 a kilogram here for live ones in shells. Good on a BBQ.

BBQs: Lots and often, spreading the mythos of Australia where ever I go. Must get one of my own.

Friends: More and new, some came and visited. Much fun and booze was had.

Birthdays: Oh so many both near and far!

Holidays: Busy periods of moving house, friends visiting, birthdays and traveling to hot springs and geysers.

Booze: Lots, most New Zealand beers, some of which are pretty damned nice, NZ Pinot Noirs and for Kana the same, except for the beers, and aromatic white wines and sav blancs.

Flatmates: Possibly looking at getting one, haven’t decided much about it all yet.

Travel: A little around Auckland, a couple hours north and a couple hours south. Soon to hit the sun and sand in queensland again. Planning of visiting the land of the rising sun soon, as well as the south island (of New Zealand) and to go home (Melbourne) for a bit too.

Creators of Dungeons and Dragons and driver for the current wealth and popularity of the fantasy genre: -1

Small things that may amuse: For about a month or 2 I was getting up every morning at .5:30 am and driving Kana to work, she started at 7:00am (damn hospitality), I no longer have to do that due to the improved proximity to the city, the nicer area and improved and more accessible public transport around our new house. Except on weekends where the buses and trains don’t start early enough, which is how I could possibly be awake enough to have done all my web surfing and write this BEFORE BREAKFAST!!!!!!

P.S.: For those of you who may not be aware, during my university years the morning and myself came to an agreement. We did not like each other you see. The very presence of one would upset the other, and so did we agree to part ways and never inflict our presence on the other. Through this agreement both parties were happy. This agreement remained unbroken for many a year, with the occasional reprieve being given for still being up and about after nights of drinking and revelry, where it is not truly the morning, but really the end of the night before. It does seem that I and mornings have either mellowed or have grown used to each other and no longer do we abhor each other. Instead we have come to an occasional co-existence. Although through testing the boundaries recently anything more frequent than occasional is most unpleasant for all.


Gary Gygax has recently died. He has failed his final save against death. He fought the Tarasque and lost. Many other epitaphs might be appropriate.

It is a sad day when you consider all that he did with his life and how all of us have been affected in some way by what he did.

I along side many people played Dungeons and Dragons and various other roleplaying games. I wasn’t around and playing for Basic Dungeons and Dragons, First and Second edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons are just recounts of stories from gamers who have been playing longer than me. I enjoyed it all anyway.

If you aren’t sure what Gary Gygax has done or how he might have affected your life, have a gander over at websnark, Eric Burns said it better than I can, or check order of the stick by Rich Burlew .

It is amazing how widespread role-playing is today. When I was a wee little thing role playing games were something I had heard of, they were strange, played by strange people in strange places, and quite possibly caused people to do strange things, often with implications that these things were done in gloom and darkness possibly with occult implications.

As i grew and found role-playing games late in my adolescent years, I found the truth of this (except for the occult implications). The people that played these games were delightfully strange, as were the games themselves. Now days when I play these games there is less darkness and gloom, my tired old eyes cant see the numbers on the dice anymore and as for gloom, I prefer to game in open well ventilated rooms.

In honor of Gary, I will now commute to an open, bright and well ventilated room and roll lots of different kinds of dice and imagine that a hero walks the land and that chance is in his favor.