Been a while!

I totally forgot I had one of these!

So I think the Opal card might just work out.

 

Yesterday I did what they believe it will do. I woke up, having made my 8 paid trips and decided that I should make the most of my day off as well as the free travel.

So after a few minutes of comparing websites on “things to do in Bondi” and “things to do in Parramatta” I decided to head to Bondi and essentially become a tourist in my own country.

It’s great, because people on the peninsula never travel anywhere and it was a first for me. I didn’t even know where Edgecliff was until my train passed the station.

Highlights were exploring the Bondi Junction shopping centre and trying on a $25,000 IWC Portuguese watch (the rosegold perpetual calendar omnomnom), bothering the Omega boutique downstairs as well.

Lunch was amazing too, there were food stalls set up and I managed to get a lebanese chicken rap, some fetoyers (?) and of course a couple of kibbehs. 

Then I caught a bus down to the beach, walked along it (nice, but nothing on North Curly) and explored some shops. There was a quirky little Russian book and DVD shop called Russian leisure, that was pretty cool. I then stopped by the set of shops midway between the beach and the main Junction bit and picked up a pieroshki (?) And a huge can of kvass for afternoon tea.

Then I caught a train to Kings Cross and walked around there for a while before catching a bus back home.

All in all, I think the Opal Card is going to encourage these kinds of daytrips, and I’m certainly going to continue exploring with it too.

FFFFFFFFFFFFF

This morning, there was a spike in the number of boogers on the windows of the shop I work at. We don’t get gloves to clean up, just a chux cloth and a spray bottle containing watered down methylated spirit.

There was also a cone of mouth-breath all over the G-Shock display now that we have a tv sitting smack-bang in the middle of it. And the normal amount of fingerprints on the DKNY window, but it still pissed me off.

Recently I have been playing Sim City 3000. Mostly because I don’t have a computer capable of handling the new one. (That’s okay, EA doesn’t have the servers to handle it either, so I don’t feel bad at all about it.)

All of my cities seem to start the same way. A huge industrial area spread across one edge of the map, with modular residential districts girt by more and more parks. I deliberately overspend to get access to the big-paying Opportunity buildings, mostly the Mega Mall and the Toxic Waste Dump and use the proceeds to build some semblance of a public transit system.

Speaking of Public Transit, when I get involved in creating a Subway network, it turns completely to shit. I start off envisioning some wonderful modular system, whereby a number of “primary lines” connect off into a web of modules to reach a variety of destinations. This only seems to cause horrendous overcrowding on trains along the primary lines, even when they are 4 and 5 tiles wide. So the end result is always attempting to merge the modules, which makes the whole system look like an early childhood “dip this marble in paint and roll it all over the page” painting.

At least I can claim that it covers all of the city though. By comparison, look at the Sydney Cityrail system. It’s as though they decided all the trains heading Westward ought to run on the same few tracks to slipstream for faster transit or something.

In my cities, the original residential “modules” spend a while being lower-middle and working class areas on the fringe, and as the areas fill in, and more modules are drawn up, it usually becomes a middle-class, low-density area with plenty of parks, usually the focus point for low-density commercial areas as well. Then far further down the line, there are areas on the other side of the map (Out West if I started building from the East, or Out East if I began building in the Western side) which I deliberately have as an urban sprawl, connected by highways, and more ‘affordable’ and ‘easier to get to work’ because they’re uncomfortably close to the factories. I normally even build a couple of airports out there because the highway infrastructure is so much better.

Another thing, since the placement of educational buildings doesn’t seem to matter in the slightest, I normally bung them all together in an ‘Education Quarter’ (except for the University, which I of course put in a trendy inner-city location so that I can imagine there’s one small pocket of the city packed to the brim with hipsters.) and it normally looks nice.

At any rate, I must get back to my Sims. They hunger now for a Stadium. Since all the people who would probably want to visit it live Out East, I know exactly where to put it.

 

Last night I dreamed that she showed me her scars.

And I broke down at the agony I could see in every one of them. A longer one away from the others caught my eye, and I traced it with my index finger. She explained it to me. She showed me the razor blade. Always the same one. It was now looking old and rusted around the edges but still dotted red here and there. I didn’t ask why she still had it because I thought I understood. I don’t think I can tell her about the dream because I don’t know what she’d say. I guess it will just end up unsaid.

The Dramatic Conclusion to My Goblin Problem

So before I forget how excruciating it was, I shall recount my demolition of the Goblins hiding out atop my gigantic fortified public housing unit that I had built in Dwarf Fortress.

My original plan was to build a giant platform a safe distance away with seige equipment and blast them to bits, but I wanted to be able to use the structure after mopping up their giblets, so I had to do something more awesome.

And so, the plan to build a gigantic stone sarcophagus around the structure before collapsing the roof right on top of them was put into motion! The whole fortress population were given building tasks, as I set about building staircases atop staircases and even used wooden “scaffolding.” I was so goddamned pleased with myself at the start, with construction actually going quite well. Building superstructures in Dwarf Fortress is kind of awkward, especially if you plan on doing it all in one sitting, because you have to plan and designate jobs kind of… in reverse.

At any rate, in 5 in-game Seasons, I had a huge rectangle around the building, 5 Z-levels in height with platforms to move around each level on and staircases leading to the very top to begin blocking out the sun itself.

Yes, that is a long time. Goblin seiges don’t stop Goblin ambushes from occuring. That was a painful lesson to learn. And during this time, a disgusting tragedy befell the Fortress- a Kobold paedophile attempted to steal one of the Dwarven infants. He was taken out by a crossbow-armed sentry, shot through the left leg, right arm and then through the eye before bleeding out. Then I panicked. The infant attempted to crawl back to the fortress, and its path lead it right underneath the Goblins holed up in the housing estate. I couldn’t watch as they let loose arrow after arrow at the little tacker, but somehow it managed to get past completely unscathed! In jubilation I watched it get nearer and nearer to the fortress. And then for some reason, the infant triggered a stonefall trap and it was crushed to death by a block of limonite. I couldn’t believe what I had just seen. The simplicity of the graphics used in this game don’t take away any of the barbarity of what happens in it at all. If anything, it exacerbates the impact, because you have to conjure the image in your own mind and draw your own conclusions from the results.

I did my best to make restitutions. I gave the infant a burial fit for the King (I used his platinum sarcophagus, set it in a mined-out Platinum mausoleum with elaborate carvings, filled it with statues of Rose Gold, of Aluminium and of Electrum. I constructed a walled statue memorial park outside the Fortress, where the Dwarves still chose to throw parties decades later. However, I was still haunted by the thought that in some sick way, perhaps she was better off dead than living in the bowels of this gigantic machine. What part would she have played? Which cog was she to be in this engine of iniquity? Was she destined to extract valuable metals and minerals in the dark her whole life? Or perhaps carve pieces of fashion jewellery from rocks to appease nearby Elven morons? Would she brew beer, the only comfort the Dwarves could regularly expect to punctuate their working lives? Was she to hammer out Iron and Steel weapons of war? To farm mushrooms or to butcher rampant kittens? Would she have formed part of the living wall of flesh punctuated by pointed pike and crossbow against all who would seek to throw spanners into the working mechanisms of the Fortress? Perhaps the Kobold was just trying to show her a better life? How can moving ASCII art represent systems so deeply repulsive that they can bring someone to ponder these kinds of questions?

Perhaps a discussion for another day. I designated the the level of the huge stone cover as a “floor,” my Dwarves happily set to work at shutting in the Goblin bastards. I became a little giddy as the shadow closed the Goblins in, , as they stood around picking their noses and licking their own eyeballs (I’m assuming.)

I was amazed that it only took 3 seasons to complete. And there were no further disasters, atrocities or even the slightest catastrophe. And so it was as simple as using a cookie cutter on raw dough to outline the building I was about to drop tons of rock onto. And all I could think about was the Iron I was about to scavange and melt down from their equipment. Naturally, some idiot happened to be sleeping right in the middle of the soon-to-collapse roof. I did not wait for him or his dreams.

The roof fell, squished the Goblins and I was left with a heavily fortified external structure. I utilised the tunnel I had used to flood the building earlier as a main entrance. I then rigged up and tested it as a trapped flooding chamber that I could use to block off and drown intruders. It worked perfectly. I set up the King’s bedroom, throne room and the other expensive garbage Kings usually demand. There was a stockpile for food and alcohol, and a Household Guard of five soldiers. I removed all the external staircases from the walls. New ones were build on the inside so I could position Marksdwarves at intervals atop them. I opened parts of the wall at ground level to allow ballistae to fire through, and dug layers of earthworks designed to lead beseiging forces around in a spiral, open to fire and whatever else I could throw at them whilst they ran around like morons. Not unlike the ‘mazing’ techniques in some Tower Defence games.

At any rate, that’s how I deal with life problems. I herd umemployable Dwarves into crowded, sterile, halls to get butchered by little greeen ‘g’s’ before dropping tons of rock onto the ‘g’s’ and squishing them horribly.

Foiled Again.

Last night I dreamed of finding a time machine at the shopping centre I work at. I made a single trip back in time, screwed something up and I became a drug addict. The strange thing is where it was. I got lost around that shopping centre when I was young, and sat crying in some corner of the top level car park.

The last time I had a dream like that, I found a working NES on the local council cleanup. And then found a working NES on the council cleanup the next day on my way to a mate’s place.

So you can understand that I was up there straight away on my lunch break. Coming around the corner, there was no small amount of trepidation. Would this be some kind of insane slip in reality? Could I be on the hill sharing popcorn with Xerxes on his throne, watching in rapture as his navy gets demolished at the battle of Salamis? Would I soon be walking the streets of ancient Rome at the height of the Republic, gawking at all the shopfronts with penises drawn on the walls and hanging up to encourage good fortune?

Short answer, no.

Long answer, there was an empty trolley and a floor-buffing/street sweeping machine. One of them is a time machine. I sat in both of them and didn’t go anywhere. I’m unsure whether they need to reach 88 miles an hour, or whether I need a key or what needs to happen.

The one thing that I can ascertain is that my quest to be like the 7th Doctor continues. I will continue to carry an umbrella everywhere I go, but the time/space travelling machine will have to come later.

I have a problem when I laugh. When I really get into laughing, the left half of my face goes numb and I start to get dizzy. I have laughed too much today. A friend of mine came back from 5 weeks travelling around Thailand and Vietnam and had tales of drunken conquests and failures. Gloriously funny. Then I spent half an hour serving customers in the best Manchester accent I could muster. Fell to the floor after the third customer asked if I was Cornish.

And I was about to finish up the Dwarf Fortress story just now, but saw that my ex has just converted to redheadism and I started up again and haven’t stopped.

I have tears in my eyes. It was literally just a normal day except for those things. Glorious.