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Flash! A-ahh!

So there's this site you see, and it's written entirely in Flash (which is a Bad Thing™) and the person with the files is ... well, not to put too fine a point on it, rubbish. Therefore I want to know if there's any means of cannibalising a Flash site (I have an old-ish version of the editor) such that the bulk of it can be rendered in the regular html it should be in. Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about the software, I could probably write a slideshow thingy but that's about it, and have not the faintest idea whether this is feasible or not. Anyone have any clues? Typically the person that owns the site (the client not the designer) doesn't have any of the original images even though they "belong" to him, hence the need to get to the source of the Flash so I can find various addresses and t'ing.

Help me Lazyweb, you're my only hope!

A question ... and other stuffs

So then, science brains; why is it that for pretty much the entirety of this week dawn has been beautifully clear and sunny but by lunchtime it's clouded over and threatening a downpour?

Quite liked last night's Doctor Who, certainly much much better than last week's iffy offering; but it left me feeling somehow unsatisfied ... dunno why.

Had a very odd dream about looking out of my bedroom window to see a military marching band chasing a group of women in navy cadet uniforms (there is a fairly large Nautical Training Corps buidling just behind my flat) not in a Benny Hill style but just as though they were playing tag or somesuch. At the time I remember thinking "oh, it must be Remembrance Sunday" then, a little while later "Wait, it's May ... I wonder if they're having another one?" It's taken me a couple of days to realise that this was, in fact, a dream.

For the past day or so I have been attempting to wrestle with a cushion for my meditation stool. I thought to myself, it'd be nice to have a cushion, it will be comfy and will afford more friction. How wrong I was! It's fine if I sit in the wrong sort of position, but if I sit the way I'm supposed to, the damn thing starts slipping round the stool. This is particularly annoying because I've had my little stool for nearly twenty years but, for some reason, I'm finding that it's just not possible to sit on it properly now ... maybe my posture has improved recently. Anyway, for the next few days I suspect that I'll be using the stool facing the "wrong" way (less comfortable but no slipping means that it's paradoxically more comfortable), but I've ordered a zafu (cushion) so when that arrives the stool will be relegated to a camping seat. Of course any teacher would tell me that all this is just ego trying to distract me. If this is the case it's doing a bloody good job!

In other news, I've had a "Bad Romance" earworm for the past week. All of my usual strategies have failed ... help me intarwebs!

This weekend

This weekend I visited an old friend in lovely Dorset, a visit that I've been promising myself for a while now. Tobyn and I used to share a house together, attended the same drama college and, later, shared another house and meditation teacher in the same town that i found myself in this weekend. Gillingham is a typical new town, an old core surrounded by rather soulless housing estates; and it was in the midst of this rather unpreposessing settlement that I arrived at Zendo where Tobyn now lives and teaches.
Our meeting was, as is sometimes the case with truly close friends, as though we'd been apart for only a week, as opposed to the fifteen years it has actually been. Being in each others' company was easy and playful, just as it had always been. Friday evening then, passed over a rather pleasant Indian meal with catching up on what we'd been up to during our time apart, and reminiscence about "the old days".

I had timed my visit to coincide with a beginner's meditation course, essentially to see if it was something that I wanted to make a part of my life again. For those of you unaware of this which is, I suspect, the majority of my friends; I used to practice meditation as a daily routine for several years. When I moved away from my teacher, having been offered a far better job than I had at the time, I gradually stopped my daily practice. This weekend's course at Zendo reconnected me with meditation practice and made me wonder why on earth I had stopped doing it! I should probably stress at this point that this isn't a religion, nor is it a substitute for such; also I have not turned into a hippy. It is a combination of yoga and Zen meditation practice, which sounds terribly fluffy but, in reality, is anything but.

Returned home today, feeling battered and bruised as though I'd done a really serious workout; this is a feeling that, thanks to ME, I haven't been able to experience for many years. So everything hurts, and yet I didn't burn myself out with physical effort. I'm certainly tired but not in an ME kind of way (this is quite difficult to describe) but in a quite normal way, which is a most refreshing change; those of you who are also living with ME will, I'm sure understand what I'm trying to get at here. In short, I am experiencing a happy sort of soreness and tiredness ... and my posture is better than it has been in years!

Will I continue to practice? Well, I certainly hope to. Daily practice isn't trivial though and it is very easy to find excuses for skipping a morning or evening sit; which, of course, is the start of a very slippery slope. Only time will tell I suppose but, for the moment, I am hopeful.

Thinking too much

So this week's offering from Dr Who "The Time of Angels" had me pondering something in the small wee hours:

Cut for spoilersCollapse )

In other news, hurrah to the adorable CatpookaCatpooka anf JimferJimfer, at least one of whom is going to have a baby in the next few months. Yippee!

Decisions, decisions

Courtesy of Nyarbaggytepnyarbaggytep.

  1. Comment to this and I will give you three people.

  2. Post this meme with your answers.

  3. Provide pictures and the names of the three people I gave you.

  4. Label which you would marry, shag, and throw off a cliff.

So who are our lucky contestants?Collapse )

Well, they clashed - some spoilers

Saw Clash of the Titans yesterday and was ... well ... underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong, the CGI was pretty enough but as seems to be the fashion these days, they apparently paid very little attention to telling the story.

It is, I believe, a well known maxim among writers that one should "show not tell" this film, contrarywise, decided to tell rather than show; perhaps they thought we'd be so distracted by the pretties (and, my goodness, Liam Cunningham in a short tunic very nearly succeeded ... woof!) that we wouldn't notice. Sadly I did notice that, for all the speechifying about how mortals matter, we never once saw a mortal death that actually meant anything. Characters that I cared about or of whom I thought "oh they look interesting, I wonder what their story is?" were swept from the screen without anyone seeming to care or mark their passing. Indeed, my favourite character died and I had no idea it was him until quite a bit later on! Crucially, the audience wasn't given time to mourn the death of these interesting humans. "No" said the director-god, "don't bother with rubbish humanity, look at this shiny new bit of CGI" the characters were, it seems, not important to the plot. As if this weren't bad enough, Medusa was killed, not by deliberate human cunning but by ... yes, you guessed it ... more CGI.

That said, I prefer this version to the original ... yes, I hated that fucking owl that much. However, I feel that it must be pointed out that the ancient stories have stuck with us for three thousand years now, give or take, I rather doubt that Hollywood's attempts to improve on these will last for even a decade. Perhaps one day they'll have a stab at actually retelling the original tales, with actors as the main focus supported, not supplanted, by special effects.

A Particular Day

Wishing all the compliments of the day to that most excellent fellow s0bs0b.

May health and contentment be your constant companions all the days of your life.

Serenity

Having had a week to reflect on the event, I'm still pretty sure I had a good time, and I'm pretty certain that I'll be going again (I'm even obsessing over costume and phys-reps). However in the traditions of these things (when did it become a tradition anyway?) I present my hits and misses of the weekend:

Shiny
  • The other crews.

  • Failing to win a single game of poker all weekend.

  • Having my honour defended by Skippy after being slapped round the face by a rich zhugou.

  • Skippy's hat game.

  • Doughnut's beer game (as a spectator).

  • Chatting with the Moment of Clarity crew.

  • Some very fine NPC performances

  • A bunch of FOIP stuff ... but it was fun


Whiny
  • Somehow I seemed to have contrived to be wherever the plot wasn't ... as a consequence I really only heard about the dodgy going's on second hand. This is probably just dumb bad luck on my part.

  • If there's "something in the forest" then there should actually be something in the forest other than a ref telling you about it. Players tend to be a fairly forgiving bunch when it comes to phys-reps, so some guy in a fun-fur coat and a werewolf mask would be a prefectly legitimate stand-in for a giant blue coyote. On the other hand, if you can actually produce a giant blue coyote then you get massive kudos points.

  • Key forensic plot discoveries should really be made by the players rather than NPCs. Bringing in "CSI" every time there was an incident took away from the roleplaying experience rather than adding to it. Sometimes players need to be bullied into not passing the buck, but they have a better time for it.

  • The band was, for me at least, an inconvenience. Granted this may just be me getting old and grumpy but it didn't really gel with the flavour of the background, which seems musically rooted in the 19th century for the most part. Also there was little for those of us not interested in watching/listening to do aside from play Skippy's hat game (see Shiny above).

  • There seemed to be an awful lot of plot to deal with on Sunday morning/early afternoon. This isn't ideal when people are packing up to leave at various times. I have no idea what happened about the dodgy going's on because I was busy humping my kit down to the car.

  • Given the state of the weather, I think that the organisers should really have paid a bit more attention to accommodation. I was very well catered for thankyouverymuch but others weren't so fortunate. The "advertising" for the event had made a fairly big thing about the site having indoor accommodation but there was very little in the way of concrete information to follow this up (see pre-game communication below) and a lot of people ended up sleeping on the floor in the rather rowdy main meeting/dining area while the "plot" area was, it seems, silent and empty next door to it.

  • Pre-game communication from the ref team was diabolical the pre-event email contained very little in the way of useful information including details of the world it was set on and where it stood both physically and politically, nor did it contain any out of character information at all. Really if I had to identify the absolute weakest part of the event, this would be it.

Hero

Well I've had the phone a few days now and I'm gradually discovering more and more cool things. In fact, I've discovered that any moaning about it to date has been resolved by downloading an app (the default ones are ok, but not great) or by learning how to use the damn thing properly! On the whole, I'm liking it more and more every day, though the Android Market can be a little trying; at some point I hope to compare notes with an iPhone owner so we can compare and contrast the App Store with the Market. At the moment I'm having trouble getting it to connect to my badplace email but Googlemail is working just fine on it. Using the Google contacts facility also means that all your contacts are kept external to your phone, so should be easy to "transfer" to another Android handset when the time comes to change.

On the whole, just under a week in to the experience, I'd be very happy to recommend the HTC Hero as a viable alternative to the iPhone.

Shiny

Just returned from my first Serenity LRP weekender. Fortunately I went with jojo_jojoJojo_Jojo or I would have (a) gone to entirely the wrong scout camp and (b) gone next weekend. We shall not speak of this again.

Event was cold, really very cold (there was much snow), and the refs weren't able to get their wi-fi or radios to work, this had quite an impact on the game ... and not in a good way. I don't want to get overly negative, then, about the plot or the execution of it; instead I'll wait and see what the next event brings.

So far, so grumpy. But wait! This was a superb weekend of roleplaying for me. Unusually I stayed in character a good 90% of the time and thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the other people at the event. Really, regardless of the quality/quantity of plot, this is one of the better roleplay events I've been to. Partially this is because it's a relatively small event (around about 50 players we think) but also because the series and film give a very clear idea of the way the "world" works. The great thing was the gusto with which almost all the players bought into the 'verse and roleplayed their little socks off at ach other.

Anyway, Serenity LRP, it's great fun and I look forward to going again. Right now though, I'm going to stand under a nice warm shower for an hour or so ... mmmmm.