Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Credit where credit is due

It is harvest time here in Esperance. And harvest time means lots of grain trucks on the road.
When I work at the pharmacy, I ride my bike to work, and my route takes me down Brazier Street, past the grain depot there. There is an t-intersection about half way down, where there is a road coming from the industrial area. The corner is often taken with a minimum of care by the drivers of the three-trailer wheat trucks who assume (quite rightly) that most other road users will stop for them, right of way or not.
This happened to us while driving the other day, and a few choice words were spoken regarding truck drivers and their tendency to assume that might makes right.
So, in the interests of fairness, and as the subject line says "credit where credit is due" I would like to thank the driver of the OD Transport truck who actually stopped for me while I was riding up to that intersection yesterday morning.
This driver would have seen me coming from some distance. Instead of pulling out anyway, which he could have done without creating an emergency, he stopped and waited for me. In return, having seen that he had made an effort to do the right thing, I put on a bit of a burst of speed (such that I can manage) to get past him as quickly as I could.
Thanks again, Mr Truck Driver.

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

In a music mood

Apologies to Jeff Rients for the title. More apologies for all the links in the following text...
In a recent post Jeff commented on the relationship between (heavy metal) music and gaming.
In many ways heavy metal and D&D go together like peas and mashed potatoes. Some people keep them separate on their plate but the awesomest folks mix 'em together with wild abandon.
Not trying to cash in on the Gameblog's topic, but it made me think about what music I have always liked to game to. I made a comment after Jeff's post, carelessly posted AC, with my suggestion of Deep Purple along with the existing entries of Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep. But as much as I agree with Jeff's post above, I have plenty of other musics I would put into the same category.
So here, for posterity's sake is a short list of significant (for me only) gaming music:
  • The Revenge album by Eurythmics. There is nothing gamist about this album at all. I just loved it, and was listening to it a lot at the time we were holidaying in Broome and I was make up a pair of 50th level Paladin-Rangers (AD&D1). I never played them (strangely enough), but I made up wonderful backstories and even wrote them up in cool little notebooks. Also see this post regarding the fun of just making up characters for no good reason.
  • 5150 by Van Halen. Another not-very-gamy album, but my brother Jason and I listened to it a lot around the same time as the above and forever after. Played many rounds of B1-9 In Search of the Unknown to this music.
  • Faith No More. Any and all albums. Just favourites of my late-high school gaming group (in our post-HS years).
  • Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell II also made a great soundtrack.
  • Having already mentioned Black Sabbath, I would draw particular mention to the album Tyr, which is full of references to Nordic mythology, much like Tolkien. One of my favourite albums of all time, and games especially well with GAZ7 The Northern Reaches
There are plenty of gaming soundtracks available out there. A few game bloggers posted recently about the death of the composer of the Conan the Barbarian soundtrack. Not having listened to it, I can't comment, but I have put some tracks on my itunes wishlist. Also stratos, a co-member of the Christian Gamers Guild, creates official gaming music here.

Anyone else out there got some great game-memory triggering music (of any variety)?

Thursday, 9 November 2006

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

Day 1

Number 1 son Liam, my brother Jason and I have decided to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year.

Follow the link if you don't know about this program and want to find out what I am talking about. The summary is this: write a 50,000 word (approx 175 page) novel in the month of November.

Note: Liam, as part of the Young Writer's Program, can set his own target. He has chosen to aim for a 20,000 word effort. Good luck Liam!

You can follow my progress here, Liam's here and Jason's here. Or have a look the "Word War" image at the top right of this page if you want to see how Jason and I are going head-to-head.

And if you are interested, the NaNo organisation is of a charitable bent, putting much of their money where their mouths are: bulding libraries in southeast asia.
In 2006, NaNoWriMo will be using that same can-do spirit to help a group of would-be readers: Namely, a group of elementary-school kids halfway around the world in Vietnam. In partnership with the children's literacy nonprofit Room to Read, NaNoWriMo will donate 50% of its total net proceeds from individual donations and store sales to establish children's libraries in rural villages there.
Go donate something if this is your sort of work...

Oh, and I want one of these:
"This pleasingly large dishwasher-safe mug can hold enough novelist fuel to ensure that you won't have to get up for refills during intense writing sessions. You will, however, have to get up and go to the bathroom. This is a big mug."