Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Responsible Parenting

Having seen Tom Savini do this with his kid in a behind-the-scenes horror documentary, I'd always wondered how difficult it was. As it turns out, not too difficult, so long as your child develops the required strength while they're still at a weight you can hold up with one hand. Obviously that weight will vary from person to person - Dom is just about at my limit already! This will be a short-lived game for us :-)


Oh, and this was shot with our new camera. The second bit is with the fisheye lens attached, as you can see. It's neat how much more of the room is visible from the same distance away (as far away as it was possible to get in the confines of a small room).

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fine Dining

Debbie took this lovely photograph while I was at school being grumpy at my Y10 class (who are a pretty nice bunch of students, but needed some grumping to get them back into schooltime mode).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Terribly cheesy fiction

Written as an example for my Y10 class. I typed it with my back to the screen, so it may be riddled with errors :-)

The wind was howling through the trees as my brother and I entered the Old Settler’s Museum. It was a pretty boring holiday activity, but our parents had insisted on taking us to a remote part of the Coromandel. The museum was perched on the edge of a ravine. Early settlers had dug for Kauri gum down there, way back when.

The museum was empty as we stepped inside, the air still and stale. “Hello?” I asked nervously, feeling oddly guilty about breaking the silence of the dimly lit room. “Is anyone there?”

“Let’s just take a look around and get out of here,” muy brother said gruffly, pushing through the turnstile into the main area of the museum.

“Don’t we need tickets?” I asked, following him.

“Nah, it’s all goods,” he said, trying to be gangsta. He was just as white as me, the try-hard.

“But, I’m sure you’re supposed to…” I said. I didn’t finish the sentence, as the room began to shake violently. The first thing that popped into my head was that it was a terrorist attack of some kind. Stupid, I know, but I’d been watching 'Die Hard 4' the night before.

“Earthquake!” my brother yelled, grabbing hold of the verandah of a fake settler house. The building lurched again, and began to slide sideways.

“The gully!” I yelled, my voice straining with panic. “We’re falling into the gully!”...

Monday, July 21, 2008

The thrill of backing up files

I am slowly backing up things from my hard drive which I consider to be 'important'. This isn't a speedy process, but it's also not a complicated one :-) Mostly it involves grouping stuff into DVD sized bunches and burning and labelling discs. I am rather keen on the idea of new storage media like bluray discs, which I heard hold a lot of data (like, 20gb?). In a few years, when they're cheap, I shall be happy to use them :-)

School has started again, which is sad. I don't dislike my job but I do greatly prefer the holidays. Given half a chance I'd love to be a professional hobbyist and homebody. Ah, 'twould be lovely.

Right, I should label this disc that's just finished burning and then do some marking of some sort...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Video!

Of a baby.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lots of reading material!

Thanks to the gift certificates we won from DrivethruRPG, Debbie and I now have lots of electronic rpg stuff to read :-) I am looking forward to investigating how useful the itouch is as a pdf reader when it arrives.

Today we downloaded Hot War, 3:16 and Don't Rest Your Head. I am very keen to read all of them. It's possible I may end up printing hard copies, as I'm not so keen on reading off a screen. I shall give it a try though.

Also, our kitchen is nearly finished! The kick-plates under the cabinets were installed today, the floor is all done, and we've made a tentative start on some painting too. The final piece is the tiling behind the oven and sink. Apparently it's required behind the oven, and will be good as a splashback behind the sink. The tiles were very cheap (59 cents each, 20x20cm white tiles), so the main cost will be in labour. We have all the paint we need ready to go - so as soon as the tiles are up (the week after next is the first chance the builder's likely to get) we're all good to paint and enjoy!


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Drawingz

I've been doing a few drawings lately for Steve, for his game Bad Family (formerly Lucky Joneses). It has been fun scribbling away, and has been a good excuse to further familiarise myself with photoshop (which is awesome, and I am slowly getting to grips with). So here's a colour pic I finished recently, plus a sneak peek at a couple of pieces for Steve's game :-)



Wednesday, July 09, 2008

7 months!

Dominic is seven months old today:



This one is from yesterday, I think. The high chair is working out great!



This afternoon we are unable to use our lounge or kitchen. The new flooring's being laid tomorrow, and there's plaster stuff on the floor at the moment which won't be dry until about 5pm. We can't walk on it to get to the lounge. Fortunately Dom's having his mid-day sleep at the moment, and when he wakes up we'll pop out and do the grocery shopping and some mooching around stores for a bit, and I'm sure 5pm will arrive promptly.

In unrelated news, I bought some stuff from DrivethruRPG using my prize vouchers (2 x $15 since they don't have $30 vouchers - I used the codes to buy 2 $15 gift certs, but the credit didn't show up on my account though. I emailed them and they sorted it out for me). I bought Weird Time at Charles Fort High as well as some mp3s. Deterioration Furthers is a neat collection of 5 or 6 horror-soundtrack creepy atmospheric tracks. Perfect for horror gaming. I also grabbed Mecha versus Kaiju, which is more electronica type music. Not as immediately grabbing, but I haven't given it much of a listen yet...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Assignment for Morgue's Course

In response to an email we received from Morgue with an attached Psych assignment:
---------------------------------
Breaking a Social Norm Assignment
by Dominic

1. Describe what you did, where you did it, and who was present.

The social norm I chose to break was flicking food onto others’ heads during meal times. In New Zealand we traditionally don’t allow others to experience our food through tactile interaction. I personally have found great enjoyment in touching food, particularly squeezing it through my fingers and smearing it over my face. Since I often do this, I decided I would not be able to use it as an experiment for this assignment as I am already aware of the reactions it can create such as cooing noises, fatuous remarks about it being ‘adorable’ and even on some occasions observers have rushed to get a camera and take photographs of me ‘playing with my food’. I wanted to go to the next level of actually getting others to come into contact with my food as I ate it.

I chose dinner time on July 6th at my home and my parents were present.


2. Identify the social norm that you violated and speculate on what function (if any) this norm serves. Comment on how specific or general you think this norm is.

The social norm of not getting other people to wear or touch your own food probably originated in the days where there wasn’t good indoor plumbing, and food was scarce. Having to clean yourself with a lump of dry pumice, or alternately wait outside until it rains, would have meant NZers of the 50’s and 60’s would not want to get covered in food. Also, food was scarce in the 1980s thanks to the First World War (also known as Operation Gulf Petrol Station) which was started by George W Churchill when he shot an ostrich. This led to food being scarce in NZ thanks to the famous Great Depression and Rainbow Warrior Incident. These days the social norm of not wearing/touching food is a redundant capitalist shackle which the proletariat must throw off. It is maintained only by the Womens’ Magazine Hegemony which runs Aotearoa.

3. Describe the reactions of other people who witnessed your violation of the social norm. What kinds of emotions did they show, for example? What kind of expressions did they exhibit? How did they react?

I managed to score a direct hit on my father with a well-aimed spoonful of pear-apple mash. The globule struck him on the apex of his head, about 4 inches back from his eyebrows. His initial reaction was one of surprise. He said, “Ah, right in the head!”. His pupils dilated by approximately 20%, and he recoiled slightly, placing one hand on his head in a dabbing motion.

My mother proceeded to laugh, and remark, “Did you see how well he flicked that?” I believe she was proud of my dexterity and aim.

My father then grudgingly admitted that it was indeed a “fantastic shot” and that I was a “clever boy.”

Since flicking him with fruit I have noticed my father rubbing other foods onto his head. I believe he has discovered the tactile joys of mushy foodstuffs. When my mother was asleep, I saw him rub apple juice onto her head. I have high hopes that she will join in the family fun soon.

4. Describe how you felt upon breaking the norm. What were your emotions? Did you notice anything happening physiologically (e.g., fast heartbeat, flushed face, etc)? Did you feel that you had irrevocably reduced your standing among your friends and family? etc.

I was elated at the bulls-eye shot that I achieved. Before I flicked the fruit I felt a sense of nervous excitement, my heart was racing and I was a little anxious that I might be frowned at or have my food taken away. It was pleasing to note that despite my trepidation, I heartily enjoyed the experience and may even repeat it in the future for more recreational and less scholarly reasons. I feel secure that the incident has not lowered my social standing with my family and I’m confident that this fruit flicking event was not even remarkable enough to make it into the reservoir of anecdotes to be brought out for future girlfriends and 21st birthday parties.

(Note: my mum and dad helped me with the typing of this assignment).

Monday, July 07, 2008

Wedding Card

This is a picture I drew in a wedding card for a friend at work :-)

Friday, July 04, 2008

High Chair & Hammer

We got Dominic a high chair recently. We put him in it in the store to give it a test drive, and he seemed to quite like it! He has enjoyed eating whilst in the chair, as well as trying to eat the chair, throw his spoon away from the chair, and today slouch-like-crazy in the chair. It has some anti-slouching properties, so he didn't quite make it to horizontal :-)




He also got a lovely present in the mail, and has been enjoying that on a daily basis too!

Thursday, July 03, 2008