the original


Day 11 Day 02 – Your first love, in great detail

Guess it would have been the Forest of Doom. I seem to remember her being a new release when I bought her, but that'd make it '83, when I was only 8 or 9, which sounds slightly too early.

She was my gateway into the world of gaming. I didn't understand her rules properly, added my dice rolls onto my Skill, so after the first fight, I had a Skill in the 30's, and romped through all the other fights. I bought 25 of her brothers and sisters over the years following, until I moved onto other games.

I've got fond memories and a lifelong obsession with fantasia and science-fiction gaming thanks to her. I'm pretty sure she's still in storage somewhere.

In terms of romantic love, that would be a girl called Carol when I was 18. I liked her first time I met her, and was quite enthusiastic at her (in a "hi, you're pretty and cool", not in a drooling perv way). She was a bit 'alternative', but fairly normal and a straight-A student, and was quite scared at the long hair, beard and leathers. She was with another bloke at the time I met her anyway, so nothing was going to happen from the off.

Nine month later, after spending a lot of time getting to know her, I left my first girlfriend, Linda, for her. Linda was ace, but I was never "in love" with her, and I went with what my heart was telling me.

Carol went to one of the other schools in town, where most of my friends also went, and I'd go hang around outside the gates at the end of school waiting for them when I got out earlier than them. This annoyed the headmaster of that school no end (again, long hair, beard, leathers), and he'd come glower at me from time to time. So, when they did the photos of the top A-level students for the local paper, I got to show up on the arm of one of his two top pupils. This still amuses me.

Two months after getting together, Carol went to Sheffield university, and 2 months later ended it. She was moving on and learning more about who she was, and didn't have the bandwidth to keep me in the picture, especially as neither of us drove, and getting to see each other was a pain in the arse.

Took me a while to get over her, and it didn't help that I went to Sheffield fairly soon after to visit, went to a party with her, and she pulled. I seem to remember that we kept in touch, and really just lost contact once I hit university the next October.

Post-doctorate, she went off to Germany to edit a chemistry journal, and, while I've not seen her in well over a decade, we've added each other on Facebook, and she's now living in Cambridge where she recently got married.

I know there's a really good pic taken by one Matt Pritchard of me and her the day we got together at the 1994 Rainow Festival. It ended up being displayed in the local library as part of an exhibition of local photographers...


Day 01 – Introduce yourself

From the day I was born, I took the bull by the horns, and gave you plenty to scorn, well right on!

Then you said in a song, that life was gettin real tough, but hey I think that you're bluffing, what of it?

Oh, not that one?

I'm Sam. Born in Bristol, lived in Bath, Macclesfield, Hull and Macc again, before moving to Nottingham, where I've been for 8 years now. IT Manager by job title for the last 3 years, but I used to be a programmer when I lived in Macc, and did call center tech support for 3 years before the current job. Rabid wargamer (currently mostly about the Flames of War and Warmachine/Hordes, but I've got a lot of Games Workshop toys and a variety of other things from other companies). I'm a less-rabid-than-I-used-to-be metalhead and folk music fan, and used to spend a lot of time and money travelling the country going to gigs. I'm a fat bastard who likes contact sports (rugby union, kickboxing, MMA, American football, pro wrestling), and while I did play a lot of rugby in my teens and spent several years training in taekwondo and kickboxing in my twenties, I've not done any for a few years now. I'm engaged to Val, and we're planning to do the thing next year. Own my own house, car and teeth. I live with Val, Phil and the cats, Molly and Darth.

Collapse )
the original

Advent meme thing - days 19-21

Day 19 → A talent of yours
I don't do talent. I do jack-of-all-trades. I'm pretty good at quite a few things, usually very good at picking things up, but never a shining star at anything in particular.

Day 20 → A hobby of yours
Wargaming. I bought the book Forest of Doom in 1983 or thereabouts, and I'm now sitting on a pile of toy soldiers big enough to squash an elephant. I enjoy painting up the models and pitting wits against people when playing em on the table, as well as having a bit of a fetish for buying new and shiny toys. I don't make my own, but I do like converting things. And tentacles.

I play once or twice a week regularly, and always have models on my table to work on in front of the telly. Even now, after 20 years, I'm finding new things to play with, and new things to do with little metal and plastic men.

I've been primarily a GW player for years, but have become dissatisfied with a lot of their stuff recently (not the literature or the actual models, more the rules, pricing and attitudes). Especially with the discovery of both Privateer Press and Battlefront in the last few years. I even started a second LJ account to rattle on about what I've been doing rather than clutter this blog up with it: There's pics of painted models on there, if you want a rummage. Some better painted than others.

Day 21 → A recipe
Cajun Jambalaya.

2 chicken breasts. Half a Matteson's smoked sausage. 3-4 rashers bacon. (All chopped into bite size pieces.)
Red pepper. Onion. 2-3 stems celery. 4-6 cloves garlic. Tin of tomatoes. (All chopped into smaller than bite size pieces.)
Cup of (easy cook) basmati rice. 2 cups of boiling water.
Dash of sweet chilli sauce. Dash of Worcester sauce. Knorr veg stock cube. 4 bay leaves.

Emeril's Bayou Blast
2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme

I use a nice sized cook pot for this. I think mine's a 22cm (3.3litre) Le Creuset Cocotte, and this recipie fills it to the brim. Needs to have a lid!

- Fry the garlic, onion, pepper, celery in either Fry-Light or a little olive oil. Until things are turning translucent.
- Add tomatoes, rice, water, crumbled stock cube, sauces, and bay. Stir it all up, and bring to a simmer.
- Put lid on pot. Stir occasionally. Cook for about 8-9 minutes until the rice is almost done.
- While that's going on, mix up the Bayou Blast, and coat the chicken with it. Just mix them up in a bowl together.
- The rice will cook almost exactly with the water that's available. A minute or two before the rice is done, you want to add, and stir in, all the meat. The meat will cook very quickly while the rice finishes, and be nice and moist.
- Once the meat and rice are cooked through, it's ready to serve. And it doesn't need any accompanying dishes, as everything goes in the one pot.

It's actually quite straightforward, and is absolutely awesome food.

In the interests of dieting, we've tried swapping out the chicken for Quorn chunks, and dropping the sausage. About half a bag will do for this recipie. Any more will overwhelm the other ingredients.

Original recipie I found used Andouille sausage, but I've never found it in the shops, so Mattesons it is. Original also uses shrimp, but I'm not a fan, so bacon.