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Social Butterflies and Enter the Movable Type

Good afternoon, everyone! I've been meaning to post for a few days, but haven't got round to it. First thing I want to let everyone know is not to be surprised if we're not too active over the next couple of months. Once again, our finances are getting stretched (the going-out budget has pretty much been eliminated between the outings for Boots and Rog), and it's going to be one of those triple-rent months between my August and September pay days. So no more movies or dinners for a little while.

Not much to report from the past few days; work's been pretty much occupying most of our time. We had a very nice evening out on Thursday night, out with Rog, Linda, Gav, Mandi and Mandi's mate Kieran (I hope I have that right) at the Soup. It was the first time Vickie and I had been back since it opened. They've given it a new lick of paint and have started framing all those wonderful photos of jazz muse-os (most were at the framer's when we were there), but it's still the same old Soup. Vickie and I stuck it out until about eleven, when we finally tore ourselves away; I decided to go into work an hour late yesterday morning, and worked back an hour.

Been reading a lot of Wil Wheaton's web logs lately. I like the way he writes very much, serious but light and tongue in cheek. I've never lost that sense of - well, novelty, I suppose, for want of a better word - that I had when I found out that this guy is a total and thorough geek. He really is. He thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with Steve Jackson - "got to spend quality time with" him, in Wil's own words - at a recent comic con. I mean, is that a geek or what? If I ever meet Steve, I'm going to ask him what it's like to hang out with an honest to goodness science fiction star.

And if I ever meet Wil, I'm going to ask him what it's like hanging out with Steve honest to goodness Jackson.

Yeah, anyway. There's a point to this whole Wil Wheaton thing. He uses a web log system called Movable Type to handle his blogging and stuff (EvilHayama also used it in his now-defunct GameLog, and I think the Moshi Moshi e-mag run by him and Pirotess does also), and I've occasionally contemplated using it for the IMAGinES website. It's just all this talk of icky "PERL script" stuff and the programming thingy; I'm just too lazy to learn a programming language. I mean, I picked up CSS in order to get the funky new layout of my site working, and even that argues with Internet Explorer; the black-and-blue borders of the text boxes won't change size, no matter what values I put into the cascading style sheet, and the right-hand black border always disappears if italics run onto another line. For some odd reason, it all works fine under Netscape. And if I've not spent any time on that, what're the odds I'll have enough willpower to learn PERL?

Still, if Wil honest to goodness Wheaton had the time and inclination to build and manage a blog site, learning HTML, CSS and PERL along the way, why can't I?

I had a look at the Movable Type website recently, and they're working on a hosting/blogging service called Type Pad. I was wondering whether it might not be the sort of thing we could use to host Vickie's web page; the only problem is it's pay-to-use, and we pay enough for broadband internet access, with a mere 10MB hosting space, as is.

On the topic of Vickie: She's working, at the moment, on a list of more films that she has to introduce me to, mainly involving the work of the actor Peter Finch, probably best known for his ranting television executive in Network. He's (or was) Australian, and was also in the film A Town Like Alice. We'll have to start combing the video stores for Network and others; unfortunately, we may have about as much luck as we've had tracking down a copy of The Name of the Rose.

I'm getting into this argument over on the Cylon Alliance boards at the moment, with a rather pie-eyed denizen called Languatron. I knew I was asking for it when I attempted to engage him in debate; he's well known on the board for various rantings about those involved in the production of the new Battlestar Galactica. If you're interested, you can read the saga here. (Editor's Note 10 Oct 03: A few days later, a server crash wiped out all the logins and posting history on the CA boards. As I wasn't particularly liking how the debate-cum-argument was going, nor of some of the stuff I'd written myself, I decided not to go back in.)

But enough of that; this evening, we're off to Dan's for his next session of Champions. Then again, it might not be; Gav wound up double-booking and cancelled in favour of a birthday party that Mandi organised with him a couple of months ago. Boots was also coming, but it seems that this evening also conflicts with his film club outing. And, as John has the most legitimate excuse of the bunch (he's actually feeling crook, as is Dan), Rog, Vickie and I will probably wind up playing board games with Dan and Leslie. Nothing wrong with that, except it was Rog's last possibility of a session of Champions before he heads down to Melbourne.

One last thing I'd like to relate: Vickie and I were going up the travelator on the way to the car park with a trolley-load of shopping today, when we heard some ebullient shouting and cheering of adult male voices coming from Games Workshop; it being a Saturday, they probably had lots of kids in there playing demo games, and the staff were encouraging them. It bothers me to think that grown men can get so excited about rolling dice. Seems rather childish, really.

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