marsden_online: (elf)
If I am honest I have been procrastinating starting this post. But I have also been rolling bits of it around and around in my head.

To start go and read the comic No 'I' in Sex from Toby Morris's PencilSword, if you haven't seen it already. The rest of this post will wait :)
continued )
marsden_online: (loved)
Several years ago now when money was a lot tighter for me I stuck a money-box (teddy bear shaped) on the mantelpiece in the lounge to solicit coinage from the significant number of people who were at time gaming here on a regular basis. "Donations towards cleaning and utilities." In the intervening time I've occasionally
- fished out notes (which clog up the slot)
- extracted just a denomination of coinage which was being removed from circulation
- raided it for a few $$ for door-to-door collectors or minor groceries

It was getting pretty full so now seemed as good a time as any to empty it properly. Possibly better as I am hosting a charity board games day on the morrow and money is no longer such an issue for me that it can't find a better use elsewhere. After all this time the bear contained a bit less than $100 in assorted coinage.

The bear will go back on the mantel but I'm going to change the sign to reflect its new purpose as a charity collection point. There's no reason some wider benefit should not continue to accrue from my willingness to accept guests :)
marsden_online: (camera)
A couple of weekends ago I pulled out my camera to take photos at a party and it wouldn't quite cam. Focusing and everything but wouldn't make the final connection; also the zoom would only in regardless of which direction the toggle was pushed.

Since the previous outing had been in the rain (TPPA protest) the natural assumption was water damage. Bowl of rice plus hot-water-cupboard* over the next week did not help nor did disassembling it as far as I dared and putting it back together so this Monday I took it in to a professional.

Verdict back today: probably not the switch but something gone in the shutter assembly. Nigh impossible/uneconomic to get parts for now.

Looking back I see I purchased the Olympus in May of 2005. At that time even as an end-of-line it was still a very good camera, particularly the 10x optical zoom. I never had significant reason to be dissatisfied with it (my level of skill perhaps, but rarely the camera).

Fortunately I had anticipated something of the sort and also headed to the mall on Monday to scope out possible replacements. I knew the first two of my requirements, megapixels and zoom, would be easy to meet. The 3rd requirement however left me with only one option as I was determined to have a camera which could take AAs not be tied to bespoke batteries.

Said option conveniently happened to be on clearance. I now have a "plum"-coloured (quite nice shade of metallic dark purple) Nikon Coolpix L830. It is probably just a step up from a compact and has nowhere near the amount of settings that the Olympus had, but I didn't make use of those much anyway. I anticipate that improvements in auto-setting technology will simply provide better photos without the years of trial and fiddling it took me to get a reliable Marsden-purpose configuration. it is slightly larger and heavier but still fits (snugly) into my existing carry bag.

The change comes with some sadness. My camera related activities are a fairly large part of my life; and of who/what people perceive me to be. My camera feels like an extension of me in a way that other mechanical peripherals do not. In some ways now that I must move on I find it holds a place more like say a pet than a tool.

But fruitless sentiment aside: here's to another 10 years.

* "a bowl of rice in the hot water cupboard" is another piece of folk wisdom which technology is moving past. If you have an oldish water cylinder which leaks heat; sure. My newish hot water cylinder is sufficient well insulated that it does /not/, hence the hot water cupboard is not significantly warmer than the room beyond, and being at the less-used end of the house is reliably cooler at this time of year than eg the office unless the fire is going.
marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
“It is the right thing, so my [tribe] does it.”


“My [tribe] does it, so it is the right thing.”

It must be subtle because so many people seem to claim the one when they mean the other.
marsden_online: (loved)
A little while ago a friend wrote to me "I just want to be thin so I am worth something as a person". And it broke my heart, because I know them as an intelligent and caring person with a multitude of strengths, including the one to get out of bed in the morning.

I admit to finding myself at a rare loss for words then and I am still grasping for a meaningful response now. This is something I cannot fix, and those are always hard to process.

But, dear friend and anyone else who struggle with this issue, here are things that make you worth something in my world. INPO

- an arch sense of humour
- intelligent conversation
- mind-numbing conversation aka killing time online
- hugs
- facebook sticker wars
- the way you really give a damn for your friends
- but don;t suffer fools gladly
- company for movies and games
- persistence at crappy jobs as an indicator of how you would shine in a non-crappy job
- determination in pursuit of your goals
- kitty love
- picking yourself up over again and still taking on the world
- creativity and crafts
- little gifts

Barely a day goes by that my life, and the lives of our mutual friends, are not brightened by knowing you. Please, let this letter lighten yours as well.
marsden_online: (Default)
So Countdown (and probably other supermarkets) sell these Much Moore* Ice Cream Cakes. These come in two varieties - a blue pirate themed one (obviously intended for boys) and a pink ballerina themed one (for girls).

I'm sure there must be a market for a wider variety of themes, but of course you couldn't justify supermarket freezer space for many. My approach to this would be to keep a selection on rotation through the supermarkets (so each time they restock it is with a different 2/3 from the range) and offer the full range either through the supermarket shop-online stores or through your own (allow 24 hours for delivery because as a small business you'd potentially be making and packing on demand). Additionally you could offer custom-made/decorated cakes.

But I'm also sure it would be possible to make this a successful online business without going to all trouble and expense of getting supermarket buy-in.

(Much Moore website warning autoplay music; does not include information of the particular product.)
(Google searches for "custom cakes christchurch" and "ice cream cakes christchurch" suggest that there aren't many offerings in this particular niche at all.)

Failure is

Jan. 12th, 2014 09:47 am
marsden_online: (Default)
- an option
- the most common method of learning
- only imperfect success
- an opportunity to do better next time
- the best way to improve

[x-posted from Tumblr]
marsden_online: (skull)
I've already written about Saturday, wherein I stayed up all night previous, ran my game, played a boardgame or two then went home and crashed thus missing the rest of the afternoon session and the evening session / Grand Strategy.

I didn't get in until about lunchtime on Sunday, but played board games through the evening and was present to photograph the LARP. Well most of it. Most annoyingly dinner and my digestive tract had an argument just after the nearly-end-of-game climaxes started happening so I missed some of that :( still there were only 20-something players and I think I have plenty of photos of most of them from the night. I will hopefully find a spare hour to process and post the photos later in the week.

Delivered people various places afterwards, got home about 1am and bed sometime later. Again did not make it back in until about lunchtime on Monday thus missing the first few hours, and spent more of Monday than I would have like standing around waiting for players to cycle and games to start. Did have a good game of Castles of Burgundy and finished the weekend with Race for the Galaxy. Can't remember particularly what I played when over the weekend - at least more Race, Seven Wonders, Dominion, Biblios, maybe Ticket to Ride, it's all a bit hazy.

So I didn't get much out of BoD this year other than a frustrated wish that someone (else) would run an Arcana Unearthed game so that I could play one of the nifty characters I made up for the scenario I ran and some stray thoughts about how the availability of shapechanging magic and egg-laying sentients might affect the perception of gender roles in a fantasy world, which again will make their way into a post when I find time. (I wrote a note on the wall to remind me to do so.)
marsden_online: (Default)
Who wants one? Usual preferences apply.
marsden_online: (skull)
I must have invoked one of the "oh gods" of overdoing things slightly yesterday. Today I ache in all-the-muscles and move very slowly :(

I'd quite like to spend the day in bed, but that's boring and depressing and I have these things that need done. So far I've breakfast and putting the laundry on around being distracted by youtube.
marsden_online: (Default)
With one thing and another wound up at Spagalimi's with my parents for dinner. I haven't been there for years - and I haven't even a clue when they gave up being a pizza joint and started actually trying to be a pizza restaurant.

Anyway the pizza was OK for the prices and just enough room left that we decided to add dessert, expecting ... well about half of what we got (possibly in quality as well as quantity). Omm nom nom, would dessert again.

The range isn't huge, but on par with the number of options where we ended up last time we tried to go to Strawberry Faire.
marsden_online: (Default)
I seem to have a small surplus. Anyone want a container or two? Will trade for empty ice-cream containers in preparation for next months harvest.
Most of the usual suspects for disposing of produce are at CF right now :-/
(In case anyone is wondering the pumpkins are also going gangbusters again this year but they won't be ready for a while yet. May be some yams as well.)
marsden_online: (Default)
Some of this has been with the house longer than I have - might be time to throw it out.

[click for larger version]
marsden_online: (dragon)
Logging out of my internet banking, see
"Welcome to losing your voice"
splashed at the top of a promotion on the logged-out page.
... maybe I'll give them some sort of irony point. It's not like I feel I -have- much of a voice with the corps to begin with.
Doubly so since it was a RWC promotion and look at what's been happening in Auckland.
marsden_online: (Gemini01)
I just dragged up my first ever personal website (it's still there, or at least version 2 is). It contains a bunch of stuff from past roleplaying campaigns and a list of webcomics, which I've just updated for the heck of it.
marsden_online: (globe) Post Quake business directory ~ ~ Advertise your skills/availability for part time work (national, eclectic)

Both of these from poking around at

I'll probably create a profile at greensky myself next time work gets really quiet, as an exercise if nothing else. It seems pretty quiet, there's no way to tell how much work is going through it but unlike some other part-time/contract/freelance sites it's users don't seem to be completely Auckland/North Island focused.

Maybe I could advertise my GMing skills. That might be a way to get fired up again.

I took a nap late this afternoon. No way am I getting to sleep before midnight.
marsden_online: (Default)
This is what can happen when you throw pumpkin innards into your compost trench. Who wants one?

Some people do already have dibs, but I'm sure there will be spare. (If there aren't I reserve the right to pick recipients based on any criteria I wish :p )

marsden_online: (Default)
This is a little side project I have been working on over the past few weeks, as something different for my hands/brain to do.

pics )
marsden_online: (Default)
The Church Corner 2nd hand bookshop (and cafe) has been taken over by the St Christopher's bookshop post-quake, and they are clearing the old stock at half price. Older readers may remember when this bookshop was out by the bus-stop, but now it's tucked down through an alley - Peerswick Mall. Not to be confused with St Christopher's other site - the stand-alone over the far corner of the carparking behind Church Corner.
marsden_online: (Default)
Last week in passing I noticed a jacket which I thought might do to replace my current. Today I went back for a closer look, to discover that two of the four front "pockets" were in fact purely cosmetic :headdesk:

So I had a hunt around the mall for other options and while there are quite a few nice looking jackets, and mostly within budget, only one even started to approach my pockets requirements (which encompass both number and location). One other had a very interesting double-pocket configuration, but nothing backing it up.

So I'll have to extend my search. Swandri have a very nice (and outside budget, but it could wait an invoice) jacket in their new range, but their website lacks any useful information - like INSIDE POCKETS (I can see what appear to be 4 on the outside).

(Current jacket came from Farmers. Previous was from Hallensteins, exactly the same style but fewer pockets.)

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