Introducing Beagles, Phoenixes, Drakes and other sports…

My uni ice-hockey team, the Edinburgh Beagles, beat the Hull Ice Hogs 3:1 in the season opener game last Wednesday night at Murrayfield Ice Rink.
My reccy ice-hockey team, the Edinburgh Phoenix, beat Edinburgh Lions 12:0 last Friday night.
I am only going to post about the games that either involve the Beagles (woof!), or ones I have actually played.

Also a major miscalculation on my part caused me to sign up for gym (I thought I was going to break even after four visits a months but actually it’s six), now if I don’t want to gym on weekends or hockey days that basically comes up to every second weekday. *sigh*

I neglected my blog yesterday. Shame on me! I got involved in yet another geeky role playing iPhone game. This one is called Earth and Legend and to be perfectly honest, it doesn’t compare with Aralon, my previous addiction. It has very few side quests that would help the character gain experience and is quite unbalanced in that the character must keep killing a weaker animal over and over again for no other reason than levelling up in order to possibly get another quest. Man, the number of wolves I have slaughtered last night… Went from level 11 to 20 on wolves only, there was no other way.
And I have to admit, I did like the funky hair colours available for the Aralon characters!
I yet have to decide which game’s graphics in prefer. Here they are:

   

I am over that now and ready to face another blogging week.
Although my flatmate Philipp seems to have just got a game I could get seriously addicted to… *sigh*

Kindling good…

I got a Kindle!!! Hooray!

Benji counterscooped my mum and got me a shiny new Kindle as a pre-birthday present! Curiously enough it arrived on my nameday! That worked out perfectly!

The Kindle is great! In the end I decided to go for the simple and cheap one, when I realised it did have a keyboard option after all. Not a touch one to be sure, it’s a 5-way controller, but the comments option is there and the keyboard isn’t and that is all I wanted. Also it is much less hassle and money than importing it from the States. Kindle Touch was also meant to be more sluggish.
The report and comparison of the three Kindles, that helped me in my decision, can be found here.

Kat’s Kindle looks like the pages are printed and getting books off the internet is really easy! It can be done from the Kindle itself, or I could just be browsing the net at work getting things and when I get home and turn my Kindle on they automatically get downloaded onto it, usually within a few seconds! I could probably do the same from my iPhone app but I have yet to figure that out.

And one of the most amazing things, to a dandelion mind like mine, is the way the screensaver is always on! You switch the kindle off and a picture materialises (yes, from ink material) on the screen. It’s usually an artsy-fartsy image of pens, pencils, printing press letters, typewriters… I heard a crazy theory that once you’ve got some books downloaded onto it, the front covers of those can also become screensavers but it hasn’t happened yet. Either way, the screensaver mode consumes no battery and it lovely and this fascinates me!

I have downloaded a few books and a fantasy magazine and the reading has begun. The first magazine referred me to some new fantasy books that I now want to download as well. I just need to make sure I don’t start spending crazy amounts of money now!

In other news, the Halftone and Photoshop pictures of things other than cats are now online and running. You can find them here.
Again, they are “crafts”. How sad!

There’s a few submission deadlines for Aevelynn Frost this Wednesday, and a new story on the way, but I doubt it will be done by then, or within the word limit.

Kindle contemplations

I’m getting a Kindle! Hooray!

The only problem is that I need to decide which one. And to buy it. It’s a present from my mum, after she successfully scooped my friend Benji and gave me precious Euros for one.

I have looked up comparison charts and here’s one of the simple ones:

Amazon offers the second and the third but the ones that are listed as US only can apparently be ordered from there anyway.

Personally I like the fourth one, Kindle Touch, the most, I like the idea of a keyboard because I want to be able to take notes (I probably won’t but I’d like to have the option) and a physical keyboard seems to be a thing of the past. (Yes, I now have an iPhone and I actively despise Blackberries, I think they are the shame of modern phoneworld and should really be downgraded not to the category ‘phones’ but to ‘stupidphones’. They have had the audacity to take one of my favourite berries as their patron and made me boycott them in my cheesecakes. They should be dipped in tar and rolled over in feathers. They make me angry!)

Anyway. Physical keyboard (the waste of space that could be used by the screen) however small its Kindle ratio to the screen is (as opposed to Blackberry ratio) is rubbing me the wrong way. The touch screen one is what I would prefer and the price is also more acceptable, however I think I can expect a steeper delivery fee.
The thing that concerns me, and this is only because I have never used one before, is that I don’t know how much the americanisation will show on a Kindle. Will it be in imperial? In Fahrenheit? A Kindle is not an iPhone and I don’t suppose there are actual apps that would operate with these units. But should there be anything like that, it would annoy me no end. American movies are set to a different region to the European ones. I guess this is also not something a Kindle owner should concern himself with but what if there’s another such technological atrocity that I am missing or that I don’t know about???

Am I just being stupidly OCD? Any feedback welcome…

Hello Wieners!

Where do I start?

So much stuff has happened in the last few days, so I will just sum it up quickly, to stop me from writing tons of stuff: I found and repossessed a shopping trolley, we got the keys to our new amazing flat on Marchmont Road and moved most of our stuff, Adam left, I made an important decision, Helle broke her tail (bone) and now Hellipp can’t bang bang bangity bang for 6 weeks, I went to a hockey party on Friday, we threw an amazing party that lacked nothing but black light, and only just on Saturday, I caught up with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while, David projectile – threw – up on his Teddy ClaireBear, I changed batteries in a CO alarm in the flat that kept going off throughout the night, we cleaned the crap out of our old flat twice in 24 hours, I discovered I might be diseased with a tick bite, I started considering calling up the Revenue Office and registering for self-emloyment, I finally went and registered with a GP round the corner, I peed on my hand, my story didn’t win the competition so I have to resubmit and I finally got a reply from a possible distant relative in the US…

Also, it’s Hallowe’en today!!! Happy Hallowe’en everyone!

This and That

Apart from this (and that) being the name of the most awesomest pizza choice at Kasbah (any 4 ingredients, oh yeah!), it is also a fitting name for a random post on a bit of everything.

The buoyancy aids arrived on Monday (bloody typical!) and I have ordered gumboots for further trips. Yay! No more risking our lives just for the heck of it!!! Pictures possibly coming soon!

Big news!!! Aevelynn Frost has submitted her very first entry into a short story competition! Results in about a months time… Hooray!

Unfortunately, the writing has been slow in the last few days due to several trips, preparations for visitors,… a pain in the neck!!!
It will be slower still when the visitors are here but I’m expecting Aevelynn to be back hard at work next weekend to bring you more scary stories.

Also hooray for the visitors… Bringing cheese, booze and their precious selves so we have someone to take out on a road trip in a seven seater, yaaay?

Vampire empire…

I feel like there is a new post due. I have stuff to say but I’m afraid I haven’t been able to compile enough material to put together anything of great value that would not be too vague…

But I have found out this! For only about £18 pounds I can get to Pisa, Italy… and from there for as little at €12 to Constanța, Romania!!!
To be sure, Constanța might be a pretty portal town, but sadly it happens not to be located in Transylvania, which is where I want to get. However, I will for now assume that accommodation and transport in Romania is fairly cheap, until I’ve done some further research. Yeah, you know where this is going…

It appears that in the little villages in Romania, people still treat their dead to food and water for 40 days after their death lest they dislike the discomforts of their dark resting places and come back to life as strigois to haunt their living relatives. An incident occurred back in 2004, when a dead was dug up, his heart impaled on a stick, burned and the ashes, mixed with water were given to his niece to drink. She was the one who’s blood Petre Toma came to feed on every night in her dream.
A more detailed version of this story is available here.

Another story mentions practices that one would not expect to witness in the 21st century. During the time before burial, a corpse has to be guarded in order to make sure no cats, rats, dogs or birds hop over the body. Cats even get locked up because they are always up to no good, aye Whiski? The wife sleeps with a cloth between her legs so her dead husband cannot come back to claim her… Although apparently nothing works as well as a nail through the heart.
It would be good to hear all this from the locals, if its true…

I do not believe in vampires. And it saddens me greatly that they do not exist.
Nevertheless I am aspiring to be a fantasy writer and I’m hoping they would come to life in my stories at least. I have also noticed that I find it much easier to write when I write from experience. Hence my desire to go and see the country for myself. It helps with descriptions, duh!
Even though the story didn’t take place in Transylvania, I always thought just the name sounded cool enough to seek it out. And while I’m there, I may as well check out Vlad the Impaler’s castle, if I can find it. Sounds good? Yeah!

Fantazia…

This has been a most unproductive week at work, thanks to Ancestry and my search for across-the-pond relatives, which has lead to a few amazing discoveries. But they gradually became fewer while the frustration at not being able to access documents was almost continuous by the end… Eventually I spent most of the time researching living families which could really just complete all the info in a blink of an eye should they bestir themselves and reply to my messages. Gah, (prospective) family! Typical!
Today is the last day of free access and tomorrow, I think, I will get ancestry membership. I am still considering leaving it until I get more info from the Slovakian archive but who am I kidding, I’m way too curious!

Either way, after a week of spending my evenings (and days) in front of a computer screen, tonight I decided to read instead. And the autobiographical piece Dreamsongs by my favourite author George R R Martin,  inspired me to writing my own novel. I have to say that writing a book has always been something I wanted to do. As a child I even wrote a short adventure “book” which I submitted… somewhere… but obviously never heard back, because in the hindsight it was truly atrocious. Nevertheless, they could have at least returned the manuscript, bastards! (So I could burn it and pretend it never happened.)
Yet I like to think I have come a long way since that shameful time. The desire to write and publish something is still there, the inability to write is gone… or so I have to hope. Surely I am a bit more skilled now and a bit less pretentious.
For one, I don’t want to start with a book this time. A short story, with lots of action and a twist or a revelation at the end would be sufficient. And sex, there has to be sex. I sure hope there was no sex in the “book”.

And because I am now much less confident than I was as a kid, I will have a chance to come up with a cool pseudonym! Ideas?