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Monday, January 16th, 2012
12:14 am - My 2011
Summary of 2011Collapse )

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Monday, January 2nd, 2012
10:18 am
Meme of 2011Collapse )

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Monday, September 27th, 2010
5:51 pm - Meme
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...

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Friday, September 17th, 2010
4:01 pm - Meme
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.

To come in this meme:Collapse )

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Monday, January 4th, 2010
2:47 pm - Advent meme thing, day 23-30
the end of the advent memeCollapse )

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2:06 pm
20th-28th December 2009Collapse )

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1:58 pm
2009 Meme of the YearCollapse )

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Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009
12:54 pm - Advent meme thing - day 22
Day 22 → A website


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Monday, December 21st, 2009
7:15 pm - 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: http://beatenzone.livejournal.com/ 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.

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Saturday, December 19th, 2009
10:10 pm - X-Factor
I love my brotherCollapse )

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Friday, December 18th, 2009
6:43 pm
Hey, look, an actual "journal" entry.

Monday 14th Dec Went to fat club. Been doing Slimming World on-and-off for the last 3-4 months. The basic theory works well for me (a lot of the time, when I'm cooking from scratch, all I need to do is replace the meat with Quorn or beans in order to make the food "Syn"-less, and I've lost 10 pounds doing so), but it's the junk food and cider that I've got to discipline myself away from. Anyway, lost a pound since last week, even though I've been on the junk food more than I should have been. I've had no cider though, just a bit of vodka, which seems to have made the difference.

Tuesday 15th Wargaming in the eve with Rich. Playing the latest game in the Warmachine campaign I'm running. He's at a decent handicap because he's not lost a game yet. And he still got the win. Dammit. I made a couple of mistakes with deployment, corrected them to a degree, had him on the back foot, but had a couple of things fail to happen, allowing him the opening he needed to jump my forces and flatten me. This took us to after midnight to finish. I gave him a lift home, then went to Asda at 1.30 in the morning to hunt for some of the elements of my fancy dress for the office Xmas party. Managed one more item, with 3 still to find. Very late finish. Doh.

Wednesday 16th Found the remaining bits for my costume for the office xmas party at lunchtime. Someone said, a couple of weeks back, "the Xmas party will be Mexican themed, with a prize for best outfit". So, where the immediate thought was "poncho, hat, tache", which is what my boss did. My second thought was "Luche Libre", and from there "Nacho Libre". Since that thought, aided by the lovely Val, and egged on by the boss, I've been putting together this outfit from anything I can get hold of. I even got some football socks and laced them in order to look like wrestling boots. Each Halloween it seems I've got a good idea for some form of outfit, but it just never comes together for one reason or another, so, as this one seemed doable, I stuck at it.

So I got to wander through an office featuring an occasional poncho and hat, in full-on mexican wrestler outfit, complete with cape and mask. I threatened to go topless in order to compete the outfit if there was any risk of losing the competion, but there really wasn't any question. There will be pics, but they've not surfaced yet.

So, for the party, which was all done in the office, we had a Samba Amigo competition, a very hard computer game industry themed "pub" quiz, a proper Piñata filled with sweets that was hit with sticks, a big heap of beers, and, for some reason, a pervy "Russian" santa... Wasn't sold on the buffet though. Shells, beans and rice, but no meat. Was fun, but not as good as last year's drunken Rock Band shenanigans.

Thursday 17th Suddenly, it's really really cold in the evening. Walking back into town to see Marilyn Manson is really really unpleasant as the wind goes straight through my hoody and trousers. Yay.

Anyway. Mazza at the Arena. The wench wanted to see him, so, in the interest of being able to say "I've seen Manson", and liking a fair number of their songs, I went too. Was a bit of an odd show. I've not been to that many arena shows, but I've never been to one that was only half full before. The crowd was small and very quiet. Even when they pulled out a fast one, or Beautiful People at the end, there was bugger all reaction. Next to no jumping around, and no pits at all.

First couple of songs, there's no middle end, as there's only one guitar playing the top end riffing, a huge bass sound, and the keyboard stays silent for no appreciable reason. The soundman adjusts the sound so it sounds crystal clear with a bass, 1 guitar, drums and vocals, and then doesn't make adjustments when Manson himself straps on a guitar and the keyboard dude wakes up.

There may have been a couple too many slower ones as well, but Little Horn, Rock is Dead, Beautiful People, Rock n Roll Nigger all sounded huge and exactly what was ordered, but the crowd never woke up, and it did look like we might get Mazza himself playing up through boredom. He did a certain amount of abusing miserable looking youths in the front row, and in being generally offensive, but he didn't play up as much as V said he tends to on a festival stage. Interesting show, good in places, but oddly deadened by the the crowd.

And I want to find out who was in charge of the spotlights, and stick their control unit up their arse.

Friday 18th So, inspired by the gig, I subjected my boss to a bit of a Manson marathon today. The lasses on reception started in with the Xmas songs, so I went for the Akercocke to drown it out. Then added in Melechesh and all the good Manson I could find, and realised that I'd just put together a playlist of satanists. Humbug indeed.

Huh. That turned into a bit of an essay...

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1:15 pm - Advent meme thing - day 18
Day 18 → Whatever tickles your fancy
This is a lovely little film made by one of my workmates. Full of little touches that make me giggle like a fool. The Impossible Cat is amazing.


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Thursday, December 17th, 2009
11:40 am - Advent meme thing - day 17
Day 17 → An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
I love these two. They were random finds on the intertron. Florian Canard (aka Squid) appears to be the artist. The way he paints water is gorgeous.

This one is inspiration for the next tattoo I want. Going to combine Baizley's style (see day 6) with a kraken rising from the sea bed, similar to this.

And this one's just ace. I would love to get this for one of my walls at home.

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Wednesday, December 16th, 2009
3:33 pm - Advent meme thing - days 12-16
Day 12 → Whatever tickles your fancy

Wow. Just wow.

Day 13 → A fictional book

Does this count as a real book? There's arguments both for and against (even though I've got an actual paper copy somewhere). And the Discordians would argue both sides. And, probably, that it's actually a stone tablet, not a website.

Day 14 → A non-fictional book
Mick Foley - Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks.


Wrestling autobiography from the man also known as Cactus Jack, Mankind and occasionally, Dude Love. This is really good reading. Don't know quite how much material will be impenetrable to folk who know nothing about wrestling, but "the book debuted at #3 on the New York Times Best Seller List on November 7, 1999 and reached #1 on December 5" does suggest it is accessible. And Foley is very good at telling stories regardless.

Day 15 → A fanfic
The only fanfic I've ever touched was a project attempting to write the scripts of the "missing" Firefly episodes from between the end of season 1 and the start of the film Serenity. Was very good. I can't find it at the moment though.

Day 16 → A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
2 of these come to mind.

Flogging Molly - Within a Mile of Home. It's when the fiddle kicks in at about 3 minutes in that gets me every time.

Alice in Chains - Rooster. This one had me the other week when they finished the set with it, with the whole room singing along.

Woo. And I'm up to date. One at a time from now on. Until I hit a weekend, and can't post because I've not fixed my PC...

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Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
2:53 pm - Advent meme thing - days 10-11
Day 10 → A photo of you taken over ten years ago
This is the only time I ever successfully dyed my hair black, back when I was 18:

Day 11 → A photo of you taken recently
These are both ace, so I'm putting both up:

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12:17 pm - Advent meme thing - days 7-9
Day 07 → A photo that makes you happy
I'm a sucker for cute:

Day 08 → A photo that makes you angry/sad
Don't think this needs any explanation:

Day 09 → A photo you took
I rarely take my camera out with me these days, and all my old photos aren't online at the moment. So, I painted this dude in the summer:

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Friday, December 11th, 2009
5:14 pm - Advent meme thing - days 4-6
Damn. I forgot two important things in the last entry. In the list of favorite TV shows, I forgot Trap Door. And if I had to pick one single song, I could go a lot worse than Beethoven's Ode To Joy...

Day 04 → Your favourite book

I think I'm going to say V For Vendetta for this.

There's other books I'd need to go back and re-read to say for certain whether I'd still hold em up as highly, as it's been years since I've read them, e.g. William Gibson and Neal Stephenson's output, Fight Club and Gaiman's Sandman books. I think I enjoy Vendetta more than Watchmen, and I'm trying not to say Graham McNeil's Storm of Iron, or Abnett's Legion or Ghosts Gaunt's books, as those are GW books, and I'm trying to not be so bleedin obvious...

Day 05 → Your favourite quote

This is something I ran into recently, that isn't an amusing one, for once, but it does ring true for me:

“The essence of the liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment. This is the way opinions are held in science, as opposed to the way in which they are held in theology.” — Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays (1950)

And another, from the Hagakure, that I've liked for years:

"It is said that what is called "the spirit of an age" is something to which one cannot return. That this spirit gradually dissipates is due to the world's coming to an end. In the same way, a single year does not have just spring or summer. A single day, too, is the same.

For this reason, although one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. This is the mistake of people who are attached to past generations. They have no understanding of this point.

On the other hand, people who only know the disposition of the present day and dislike the ways of the past are too lax."

Day 06 → Whatever tickles your fancy

This is a painting by a bloke called John Dyer Baizley. He plays bass for a band called Baroness, and this is the cover of their last album. I'm in love with his artwork (for the linework, the detail, the swooping lines, and the use of colour, not for the nekkid ladies), and I'm going to try and have my next tattoos done in a similar artistic style.

And an old classic amusing picture:

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Thursday, December 10th, 2009
3:11 pm - Advent meme thing
Nicked from beatiedee. I've not posted on here since the start of the year. Lets see if this will get me back into the posting habit.

Advent meme thing - what to doCollapse )

Going to do 3 a day in order to catch up.

Day 01 → Your favourite song

I can't pick one single song. This changes depending on mood, what day of the week it is, and the phase of the moon. And there's too many different reasons for each individual song. Contenders, among many others, would be Isis's In Fiction, earthtone9's Tat Twam Asi, Blut Aus Nord's A Few Shreds of Flesh, Crowbar's Thru The Ashes (I've Watched You Burn), Godflesh's Paralyzed, Amon Amarth's Twighlight of the Thunder God, or Neurosis's Locust Star.

According to my mp3 player, of the 11,000 songs on it, the most listened to is Paradise Lost's Shadowkings. So that'll do.

Day 02 → Your favourite film

Again, too many to pick one from. So, Apocalypse Now, Blade Runner and Watchmen. I think Watchmen would have edged it, if it wasn't for the adolescent boy cheesiness of the sex scene.

Day 03 → Your favourite television programme

Guess what. So, Mock the Week, Firefly, Bottom, Father Ted, Band of Brothers and Battlestar Galactica (mk 2). No, I can't pick one over the others, as I get a huge amount of milage out of all of them...

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Sunday, January 11th, 2009
11:26 pm
August-January...Collapse )

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Saturday, January 3rd, 2009
10:10 pm
2008 memeCollapse )

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