Death, Madness and Love

Sep. 26th, 2017 11:06 pm
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[personal profile] tcpip
It was over two years ago that [personal profile] caseopaya's mother was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma. At the time she was given mere weeks to live. Well she made an additional two years, with [personal profile] caseopaya calling me in the early hours of this morning to say that she'd passed away, after being taken off her usual medications, then off food and water until she was just on pain killers. It was from all accounts, an easy death as much as such a thing could be said to occur. I have sung Maria's praises in the past and there is not much more that can be added. The immediate family in WA is making funeral arrangements and have had the synchronicity of a niece's birthday. Tomorrow I leave to join the clan; Andrew D., has kindly offered to look after our menagerie, which is somehwat more modest these days.

So that was the start of the day. The next activity was attending VCAT so I can have power of financial attorney for Rick B., whom has been initially diagnosed as having frontaltemporal dementia. The one-person tribunal was more than satisfied that I would be a sound person to manage his finances and the presence of another of Rick's close friends as well as two character letters (one from a psychiatric nurse and the other from a psychologist) certainly helped. Much of the meeting was going through the details and ensuring that I understood the powers and responsibilities that come with such a role, and the reporting requirements. A nice fat book has been provided to aid me in this new endeavour.

After that took a trip out to a couple of inner suburbs for a couple of hours to put up posters to encourage a 'yes' vote in Australia's ridiculous marriage equality postal survey. Had a few people ask for a couple to add to their home windows etc., including an older Dutch lesbian activist, who was a member of the Matrix Guild. It's tiring work for one person, juggling posters and tape, but the response was good.

After that returned to the city to the Victorian Secular Lobby meeting on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill which is being presented to the Victorian parliament. The meeting was addressed by Lesley Vick, president of Dying with Dignity Victoria who pointed out the national changes and an overall change towards greater patient-centered care. I would have liked to have had a few more people in attendance, but that's how it goes. Lesley was a great speaker and packed in a lot of information, even though she was more than a little under the weather.

And that was quite a day, even by my own standards.

The Spring Solstice

Sep. 23rd, 2017 11:39 pm
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[personal profile] tcpip
In my preferred measuring of time, today marks the the three-quarter mark of the year and it has recently been eventful, rather than the reflective opportunity I take on such quarter calendar markers. The day started with a visit from [livejournal.com profile] hathhalla and [livejournal.com profile] ser_pounce for our irregular cheesequest session, which was followed with me running the third session of our Charlemagne D&D game, involving adapting The Veiled Soceity with the the historical revolt against his rule in in Friuli. Alas, the day ended with a very sad note with a message that [personal profile] caseopaya's mother has taken a turn for the worse and is now in a critical condition in hospital; a plane has been immediately booked to Perth and it is almost certain I will be embarking on the journey shortly afterwards. However, before I depart I have to attend VCAT on Tuesday to have power of financial attorney transferred to me for Rick B. and, with the universe displaying no sense of irony, the meeting of the Victorian Secular Lobby with Lesley Vick on the Dying with Dignity legislation.

On the scale of things there there is little else to report. I have been busy catching up on my PRACE supercomputing course when the opportunity presents itself, and even more so working on Papers & Paychecks at every available opportunity, especially working my way through the "sapient monsters" - cars, computers, photocopiers, fatbergs - that come to "life". There was a good game of Megatraveller on Wednesday evening with our regular group, and I have taken it upon myself to update and extend on existing javascript files for character generation to ship and world design. Finally, workwise things have been at their usual level of mad activity, with staff illnesses pushing our already tight deadlines for the GPGPU project into stormy territory. A lunch sponsored by SanDisk's Gary M., on Friday was thoroughly appreciated with a particularly high quality conversation. After that smashed my way through the somewhat tricky dependency chain for the SUMO traffic simulator. But, as mentioned, all seems to fall into insignificance at this point, even in my rational brain tells me that it is not.
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[personal profile] badfalcon
Today did not start off well. I didn't sleep particularly well last night; tossed and turned, couldn't get comfy, too hot, too cold... I felt very sluggish and not-rested this morning. It made me late for work, only by like 2-3 minutes but just enough that I felt like I was playing catch-up all day.

I had a fairly productive evening. I got another load of laundry done and did a sinkful of dishes. I went to the gym and did another 2 miles on the treadmill, although I upped my walking pace some and it really made a difference in how much of a workout I felt I got. I read somewhere that to get a really good cardio workout you should aim to walk a mile in 15 minutes, so I set the treadmill to 4mph. I was definitely struggling the last 1/3 of a mile - my legs were aching, I was sweating and panting but I did it. And I felt really fucking awesome.

I did my ESTA Visa Waiver application for my Christmas trip to the states and got instant approval. Yay, the US is planning on letting me in. Wonder if I'll once again get selected for all the extra screening - I've never not been one of the 'random' selections. I think it's the disabled female travelling alone thing. Ugh!

I have thinky thoughts for another day about my use of crutches/wheelchair on bad days vs my using the gym right now on good days. I know there's a difference between working on my fitness and my continued ability to function, between good day and bad days but there's weird fraud-y feelings bubbling around that I can't quite put words to just yet.

This evening I've watched Somewhere Between 1x03 and 1x04, tried and discarded the pilot of Doctor Doctor and watched 12x13 of Supernatural.
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[personal profile] badfalcon
I was told in work today that I seemed more like myself today. I did feel brighter this morning but oh boy did I crash this afternoon. Half-way through this afternoon I was just done with the day and wanted it all to go away, was fed up of whiney suppliers and stupid questions. Suppliers chasing an invoice that was cancelled by a full credit in 2012, chasing an invoice that was paid in May. Facilities boss giving me half the info I need to give him an answer.

I've had a semi-productive evening. I did a load of laundry, I did a sink of dishes. I made my packup for tomorrow and I had a culinary failure. My roast potatoes were still uncooked in the middle and my sausages were burned. So that worked out well. I just ended up with some spaghetti and some steamed vegetables. Not exactly exciting or tasty but it was edible.

I did however then binge and eat all the chocolate and cake that was in the house *sigh* Bad Cassie, not going to lose weight doing that. Admittedly it did make me feel a little better. Yay sugar high.

TV wise this evening I have watched the 1x02 of Outlander, the 1x02 of Liar and 1x05-1x06 of Midnight.
Outlander I've been meaning to watch for a while. Everyone talks about it and since it's available on Amazon prime... Clare is gorgeous and I love her voice. I can see why everyone loves Jamie. It's filmed beautifully. The first book is now on my to-read list.
Liar is an ITV drama about a woman who's accused a guy of rape and how it's affecting both their lives. Very powerful stuff but also filmed in a really nice way. Also, Ioan Gruffud
Midnight Texas is LOVE. Also, I was very gleeful that Christopher Heyerdahl was in it. I adore Lem and want to do nasty dirty things to Fiji! You also should have seen my reaction to Joe's Angel wings! <3

OH... HOLY MOTHER OF HE JUST GOT HIS WINGS OUT AGAIN. I MAY NEED A MOMENT TO WHIMPER AND WIBBLE AND RECOVER. FUCK ME SIDEWAYS.

Right.. now, where was I?

I've just started reading the first of the books that, I'm about 50 pages in. Some of the characters are very different - Lem and Manfred physical descriptions especially and I much prefer Lem in the show but I wish Manfred had all the tattoos and piercings he does in the book. But I'm enjoying it so far. I was nervous about it when I realised it was by Charlaine Harris because I wasn't a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse books. It also blew m mind that she wrote the Aurora Teagarden mysteries which I love the movies on Hallmark. I'll be getting the next Midnight two books on payday, they're still on offer on Amazon which is even better and I might see if the Aurora Teagarden ones aren't too expensive.
That 'no buying books' things is doing really well hahaha

Oh! Speaking of Christopher Heyerdahl, it was his birthday yesterday. I tweeted him and he liked my tweet. Happy fangirl was happy.
And seriously, is there anything that man hasn't been in?

My phone is telling me to 'TAKE YOUR FUCKING MEDS' which is my cue to head upstairs when this has finished, take my meds, and start winding down for the evening. Listen to some music and read a little more before turning in.

Let's hope for another good day tomorrow.

Depression is a bitch

Sep. 18th, 2017 06:44 pm
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[personal profile] badfalcon
My Dreamwidth and Livejournal paid accounts have both expired. Boo. And I'm too broke right now to renew them. First world problems, I know.
Well, I'm not planning on renewing my LJ, not giving them anymore money but I have to work on narrowing down the icons because holycrap I had a love.
Dreamwidth I will definitely be renewing but that's going to have to wait til Friday when I get paid again. Of course, I'm actually going to have to start using my journals again.

I just.. I don't know. Never feel like I have anything to talk about. I work, I read, I watch too much TV. I go to the odd Raintown gig or sci-fi convention but mostly, I'm just boring as fuck. Every time I've opened up this 'post an entry' page lately, I've been feeling very depressed and I don't want to just talk about that, but at the same time, I hate that it's taking this away from me. I'm determined not to let it.

This evening I thumbed my nose at the depression and forced myself to the gym. I did a gentle 2 mile walk on the treadmill - not too fast, not too steep; just a steady gentle walk. I don't really feel like I had a big cardio workout but I really need to build my knee up to it. Right now it's screaming at me :(
But I figure any walk is a good walk, even if I didn't break out a sweat or anything.

Tomorrow's plan is to go to Tesco and grab a couple of frozen ready meals to have on work out days because there's no way in hell my knee is letting me cook. I'd planned on making chicken stirfry but standing to cook was a no-go after working out. So I'm sitting with it up and an ice-pack on it, eating some past and watching Chesapeake Shores.

Gaming and Other Activities

Sep. 17th, 2017 10:01 pm
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[personal profile] tcpip
Have had a fairly busy week in my favourite pastime. Every day this week I've been working on finishing Papers & Paychecks as well as RPG Review 35-36, now a double issue of Antipodean gaming material. To have both out by the end of the month would be ideal, and I think that is certainly going to happen at current rates of work. Much of RPG Review has been helped by [personal profile] reverancepavane whose epic writing for RPGaDay has been nothing less than extraordinary. In actual play on Wednesday finished the classic introductory Stormbringer scenario The Tower of Yrkath Florn which includes nothing less than a Melnibonéan wheel (my calculations put the value at around $3m AUD). As I've wryly remarked this may very well be our Stormbringer; a theme which I don't think the game does well is the idea of tragedy from power. It was also a heavy Eclipse Phase weekend, with a game on Friday night which curiously was chasing down a antagonist whom the players in my Sunday game are close to encountering for the first time. Whilst a good scenario, once again I could not help but chuckle at the author's rather light idea of what a seedy "sex and drugs and gangs" red-light district would consist of - especially in a transhumanist environment.

On Friday finally managed to write up my review of The Residents concert from March last year. On Saturday attended Software Freedom Day and the LUV AGM, where I have found myself on the committee for yet another year. Afterwards went to [livejournal.com profile] usekh's memorial birthday at the Back Bar. Kudos are due to [personal profile] damien_wise for doing most of the organising of the event. Today visited St Michael's to hear Rev. Ric Holland's impressive service on forgiveness, also taking the opportunity to introduce Shupu, to the location. I hadn't been for several months and was never a regular attendee, so I was quite surprised to discover a few people remembered me. The Rev. offered to catch up for coffee some time and I certainly intend to take up that invitation. Afterwards made my way to university, and stumbled upon the a protest against racism and fascism which I attended; the media of course, concentrated on a very minor disruption, ignoring the important message that the Rohingyan refugee speaking was presenting at the same time.
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[personal profile] sallymn

(click to enlarge)

The Knuckleduster Cowtown Creator by Forrest Harris (1999)

I'll give you three guesses which fandom I had started dabbling in when I saw this in a post by an online acquaintance and had to track down (luckily second-hand) for myself :)

Obviously, it was written for RPG enthusiasts to help them create their Old West towns: less for reading, more for reference. All manner of good stuff like the typical businesses in town, floor plans for buildings, goods available in all kinds of stores and suggested prices, typical character types and the jobs they might do, medical skills (and what doctors couldn't do), livery prices, stagecoaches and robberies, morse code and restaurant meals, fancy house euphemisms and gambling games, and of course lists of names (people, horse, stores, towns and so on)... not what an expert on the period might want but for someone who wanted to get their game right, it's wonderful.

And for a humble little fanfic writer who has a complete fascination for domestic detail and wants to get her stories to at least sound right... it's been a treasure :) to the point where I scanned what I found the most valuable bits of the town/character stuff and keep the scans on my hard drive so I can take the information with me wherever I might be scribbling...


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Eireann

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