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One of the volunteers came in today with a bouquet of pink roses, in an old jam jar, from his garden. They were beautiful and aromatic.

I suggested to one person at the archives today that she should take out a free Livejournal account. She does rants on current issues and has opinions on movies. She could do a good movie review.


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My weight appears to have stabilised. I will have to talk to the people at the gym about doing a fitness test.

I took the opportunity for a trip to Warrington. Well worth it. Even though I didn’t venture out into the breakers, like some of the others, it is still too cold for me. It was still a pleasure to wade out into the water. The sting of the wind, the tingling caress of ten thousand grains of sand moving in the wash. It brought back memories. Not even the inrush of the scotch mist was enough to entice me out of the water. I was already wet.

Hello Ocean, great mother.

Afterwards the families I went out with divided up into teams of boys and fathers for a game of touch rugby. It is odd to think that that company of men are my equals in age (maybe a little older). I find it strange to think there are people starting families who are younger than me.

What the fathers lacked in youthful vigour they made up in teamwork.

Rain, hail, thunder and lightning. All within five minutes. While I was walking up hill home from the archives.

Advent 1


The Earthdawn group met on Friday night. My orkish scout managed to fall out of a tree rescuing a windling stuck in a squirrel’s nest. I stuffed her in a pack and left her there. With the socks. Suspicion is growing that one reoccuring NPC is not entirely what he claims to be. We finished early after TK left to stack shelves. A decision was made to move our sessions to a Sunday evening. In hindsight I realise that it makes my Sunday busy, along with church in the morning and a Majellan session every odd afternoon. Wibble.

On top of that Max and Anna have invited me to join their GURPS game. That will meet on a Thursday. I will have to give up on my games night with Harry and company. It looks set to go ahead.

Keith thinks I should run a session of D&D while Dave is in Dunedin to introduce him to the game. I think I could cobble something together if I tried.

Saturday night I went with the Dwyers to the Saxman’s end-of-year gig on the theme of the Olympics. We sat separately from the Riddlers and their circle. It meant I didn’t get up and dance as often as I liked. I generally prefer to dance in a group than with a partner. Before supper I had crossed the floor to join them. Richelle la Chatte was there with her new dance partner and a troop from Ceroc. Beautiful people and beautiful dancing. Whenever I see a new dance form I’m tempted to learn it.

We left after supper before the final bash on the dance floor began.

I expect that swordsman and the ribbon gymnast will visit sometime to take Bagend away.

The Nominator preached at church today. In a meeting after the service the congregation voted to extend a call to the Rev. Susan Jones, formally minister of Knox Church in Dunedin to be the next minister of Opoho parish. The parish clerk and myself will convey the call to Presbytery in two weeks time. There were a handful of ballots cast against calling this minister to Opoho.

The Secret of the Unholy Galaxy of the Undead Co-eds

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First the network connection went down, then Xtra sent me unsolicited mail about broadband, then my proxy settings started playing up. I think that there is a conspiracy here.

This cold spell has reminded me of one thing. This house is cold and drafty! A good reason to move. There was snow down to Brockville this morning. Fortunately the visiting minister from Auckland left the South Island yesterday, so the weather should improve now. Please!

I visited Harry last night. We had great fun introducing a new player to Grave Robbers from Outer Space, and I won! The first game I’ve won in ages! Yay!

Probably time I did a comics update:

Adam Strange an enjoyable piece of whimsy, good writing and art.
Amazing Fantasy better than some recent issues. I found the mangaesque art portraying the ghost of the dead mother a bit cloying.
Amazing Spiderman the story moves on, which is good. I see the character of Sarah (Osborn?) Stacy is establishing herself in other comic titles relating to Spiderman.
Astonishing Xmen well written and twisty. Whedon has a feel for the characters he’s writing. The art is good.
Doctor Spectrum nice, dark, but doing nothing that the more compact Supreme Power title has already done.
Escapist overpriced, still a nice wonder through a pseudohistory of the comicbook hero artform.
Hero this series finishes in an epic style that doesn’t feel rushed. I liked the final splashpage.
New Invaders the fourth issue and the first that I’ve picked up, mostly characters from WWII comics in the Marvel Universe picking up on their storylines. No easy characterisation by numbers being done here. Honorable guffaw goes to the Blazing Skull toasting a marshmellow.
Rising Stars interesting, bit of a talkie.
Starjammers this one felt like a rushed wrap-up issue. Sorry, I found Kevin Anderson’s writing bland.
Strange slow, good storytelling.

New Zealand Independence Day

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The 25th of November is the anniversary of New Zealand passing legislation from colony to self-governing dominion. Happy Independence Day, New Zealand.

Weather has turned cold again to mark the end of Spring.

I have confirmed with my mother that I will be in Invercargill the weekend before Christmas. She wants me to take my Monk’s kit with me as there are a couple of new people in her congregation who are interested in mediaeval re-enactment.

A news report says that there are christians in New Zealand fasting to invoke god’s attention to ensure that the Civil Union Bill is not passed. Sorry, but god is not a New Zealand citizen, and doesn’t have voting rights.


The Otago Daily Times are having a flag competition for the region. I sent away the coupon to record my vote.

The battery in my watch has died. I am no longer wearing it. It is a pocket watch that sits inside a fob pouch on my belt. I find I am constantly noticing its absence on my person. As well as having to refer to my Palm to keep track of the time.

I think I will replace the pouch as it is getting worn.

I told the archivist that I would be finishing earlier at the archives this year – by a couple of days – than I expected, to go to Invercargill for a family gathering before Christmas.

Now I am in trouble with my flatmates because I recycled Saturday’s paper in Monday’s rubbish collection, and now they want to refer to it.


Joe has brought home some catnip to plant in an outside pot. The cats haven’t noticed it yet so there is a chance it will take and grow before it all gets eaten. I will have to watch that it doesn’t dry out.

Water pipes behaving oddly. Sometimes there is no waterflow at all. Joe thinks the water pressure on top of the hill is acting up.

We have a minister from Auckland doing some research for this week. I suspect that he brought today’s rainfall with him. One of the staff in the Hewitson wing asked if we noticed the lights swaying. I was working in the basement office of the archives at the time and didn’t notice the earthquake at all, shame.

Middle of the day there was a staff barbecue for the people who have worked at Knox College during the year. I was the only person who was prepared to go in the archives. The rest of the staff are reluctant to be seen as taking advantage of the good will of the college. It was a good feed.

The archivist is looking at ways to extend my work time at the archives. At the moment she thinks she will be able to add twelve months on and take me through to next November. That would be good if it pans out.

Joe tells me that there are plans for a pre-Christmas family gathering on the 19th of December. This could change my holiday plans around a bit. Hmmm, do I want to get Keith to look after my cats while Joe and I are away, or do I want to get somebody who is reliable with animals to come in and feed them…

Note to Dave: We have no concrete plans to move just yet. So you don’t need to visit unless you want to spend some time among sane(r) people. I may need yet need you to get me back to Dunedin so I can catch my plane to Wellington for Christmas on time.

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Take one weekend.

Waikouaiti parish visited Opoho on Sunday. I had to put in some preparation beforehand. I bought some chicken pieces and marinaded them overnight in tea and honey and soy sauce and onion. I got up early on Sunday morning to turn the oven on. They came out alright.

The music group decided to perform for the visit and met on Saturday afternoon for an hour. Afterwards I expected to go to an end of year function for Friend-Link. I expected to be picked up at half past two. Disorganisation meant it was closer to quarter to three. The event was tolerable. I was happy to walk home again.

The church service was well attended from both parishes, and there was plenty of food to go round. Opoho farewelled its interim moderator who is returning to Auckland, where he has a new position, after several years serving at the assistant minister at First Church in Dunedin.

Our landlord came and mowed the lawns in the afternoon. He will give us until the beginning of February to decide whether we are moving. After that we will have to sign a fixed lease. Joe and I looked at a possible place on the other side of the valley, in Pine Hill. It is a former state house on Pine Hill. The area appears to be made up of low income young families. The house is maintained and in better condition than its neighbours, the lawns need some up-keep. It means moving out of the area where I want to be (and a rent increase); on the other hand it could prove to be a bigger roomier house. Maybe it will have a living area big enough, and comfortable enough, to use for role-playing sessions. May have to see inside.

In the evening I visited Mark for a game of Risk. My own mission, using the black troops, seemed achievable: conquer North America and Australia. I had united South America, and I had nearly done the same in North America. My intention was to fight my way through Asia to add Australia to my possessions. Then African forces broke through my defenses in South America and my campaign collapsed. It turns out another player’s mission goal was to annihilate the black troops.

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Day warm, humid like a bathroom after a shower. At the end of the day I stepped outside into the back of the college which was in the shade and walked into a block of warm air. Ahhhh. Warm is good. Nice warm heat.

Assistant archivist was passing around belgium biscuits. We had all bought something in for morning tea. I had bought three packets of Aulsebrooks creams for the finger meal for the ARCC service last Sunday and brought the leftovers in to the Archives at the beginning of the week. The archivist had bought a blueberry loaf while she was buying more teabags at the supermarket.

Note on ethnic cuisine for the uninitiated, Belgium biscuits: a cinnamon biscuit sandwich held together with raspberry jam with a creamy topping flavoured with a raspberry sprinkle. Nearly always nice, can be dry. Australasian delicacy. The name probably dates back to the First Great War.

Earthdawn last night. Disorganised, and I phased out. Hagheforth, my Orkish Scout character, could have assisted in guiding the group, but other characters are equally good in Navigation and Hunting skills, so I am disinterested. Nearly permanently lost an arm trying to silence another character when she went all squeaky while a dragon was flying overhead. Nicola J. was most apologetic, which was amusing.

Came home for tea at midnight, along with visitors. Very weird. I went to bed.

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The mail came: an enrollment pack from the Open Polytechnic, and a letter from my aunt. The enrollment doesn’t need to be completed until next February which is good. Yesterday I went in and bought the Dungeons and Dragons boxed set, 3.5 edition. It contains the Player’s Handbook, the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the Monster Manual. So much to read! As if I didn’t have anything else to read.

2400m on the rowing machine over 12 minutes. I could have pushed myself harder and got up to 2500m if I tried. I notice that I’m not the only person who accumulates static eletricity. A young woman got a shock touching the metal control panel of the treadmill. I often pick up a static charge especially if I’m wearing soft shoes.

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