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September 23, 2007

Bedding Down in the Back Yard

I've been talking about the garden beds we're putting in down the back for a little while. It's high time I showed you!

Here's the first bed we've put in, taken from the Northern end. You can see Vickie in the right of shot, which should give you an idea of just how big this bed is. The second one will go int ot the right of the near end of the first bed, and will be around a fifth of the length of the first bed but twice as wide.

Here's a close-up of the lettuce, Western and Oriental, that we're growing. Vickie, can you tell me which is which again, please? Me and my memory!

September 20, 2007

Dangerous Toys

Now you might be thinking, "Mattel lead-paint scare", but this isn't some consumer-advocacy site. See, every now and again I catch myself looking at my small collection of Optimus Primes, thinking how a repaint and a drybrush would really bring out all that detail on the bland grey plastic bits (especially movie Optimus). Considering the amount of disassembly and reassembly the effort would require is enough to put me off, though.

Then a couple of months ago, David Willis of Shortpacked! fame puts up a link to this Jin Saotome guy who does custom paint jobs of action figures. Just recently, he added a photo set for not only Leader-Class Movie Optimus, but also Megatron (thanks to a couple of very generous birthday presents, I have both). On top of them, he actually has a tutorial page dedicated to repainting Transformers!

Boy, am I tempted to break out the Citadel paints...

September 18, 2007

MT4 and A CSS Nightmare

As I start this post, it’s a quarter to two in the afternoon, and the temperature in our undercover backyard entertainment area is thirty-two degrees. Quite frankly, I see this as the perfect excuse to stay inside and catch up on some posting. Once again I have a list of topics that I want to catch up on in my notebook, with posts for here, the MySpace and even my GameSpot blog.

That’s actually a pretty good place to start. With the recent launch of version 4 of the Movable Type software that powers my blog, I’m starting to think about how I can get what I see as the hub of my online presence to do a bit more than it does right now. Recent changes have included the addition of profile summaries for my Xfire and Xbox Live user-IDs, as well as an iTunes widget that shows off my recently reviewed podcasts.

What’s tempting me is the idea of using RSS to syndicate MySpace and Gamespot on the main blog here; that way, I can have a single, main “at a glance” page that will show a reader pretty much everything I’ve recently posted without having to navigate back and forth between different blogs. I’ve also re-installed the Last FM client and I wouldn’t mind putting another widget for that somewhere.

Basically, I'm talking about another redesign of the format of the site. This is rather daunting; the last time I tried it I wound up cannibalising a layout from Movalog semi-successfully. I’d like to get a better idea of what I can do and how I can do it this time around, but Cascading Style Sheets are scary things, man, nowhere as easy as HTML.

So I’m asking for help. Can anyone out there either school me in practical CSS or point me toward some good places to learn? And does anyone out there have any funky ideas for things I can do with this here site?

September 06, 2007

What's My Line? Gaming Edition

I need some help from the IMAGinES readership. I’ve listened to Wil Wheaton’s keynote address to the guests of the Penny Arcade Expo ’07 a couple of times now. By even asking this, I’m probably torpedoing my gaming cred, but I’m absolutely curious – and I’d just prefer to throw it out to the community rather than going to Google. So if any of you know these references, can you whack them into a comment on this post, please?

Okay, here we go:

  • “It is very dark. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.” Here’s the first blow to my gaming chops – I know this is a classic Zork reference, but only through osmosis. I’ve never played it – only a little of Return to Zork, featuring all that lovely full motion video. A thrilling into to the series. Anyone know if there’ somewhere I can get/play the original Zork, ideally without involving piracy?
  • “Would you like your possessions identified?” I could be wrong, but I think this is that D&D derivative ASCII game that was eventually renamed Nethack, but I’m sure it had another name first, back when the D&D developers got steamed up about it. If I’m wrong, which game is it really?
  • “You have died of dysentery.” Lost here. Help!
  • “Wizard needs food, badly!” That’s not Gauntlet, is it?
  • “BEWARE – I LIVE!” Okay, that’s Sinistar. Couldn’t be anything else.
  • “Our princess is in another castle!” Don’t know, byut whatever it is, I reckon I’d love to play it – I’m thinking whacky, Shrek-esque spin on fantasy/fairytale stories.
  • “The bomb has been planted.” I keep thinking Halo 2, but I have the sneaking suspicion that I should really be thinking Unreal Tournament 2004, namely the Bombing Run mode – I played that a few times after I downloaded the demo.
  • “They don’t really want you to play ‘Freebird’. They’re just mocking you.” Now that’s just gotta be Guitar Hero II. Hey, I’ve played 'Freebird'. And one fo the coolest guys on my Xbox Live friends list told me today he broke 300,000 points on it last night. Bastard…

Can you help me fill the blanks in or correct me where I’m wrong?