photo saturday: minifig professions

captain of the fortin the navy

crackpot inventorjailbreaker
So this week can be summed up by two D&D games and a haircut.

Because I was due to see Tink on Thursday night, I needed to skip the Thursday night D&D game, but Monday night was interesting because there were a couple of new people, who were so new to the idea they didn't even have characters yet. It did mean that we lost the first half hour or so to that. It was more fun than it sounds, just from the perspective of inducting brand new people to the game.

Wednesday was a little nuts because we had three of the DMs playing, which was half the players. But it was a fun adventure all the same.

I also managed to use my beard trimmer on Wednesday morning without putting the attachment on it... and basically hacked a chunk out of the right side of my moustache. Given that the only two options were living with it as it was and shaving, I opted to go with living with it. Yes, it's going to look a bit naff for a couple of weeks, but I really didn't want to shave it all off.

Thursday was Haircut Day. The second to last Haircut Day before Tink and the family moves up into the hills. Which is not ideal. In theory it shouldn't be a much longer drive, but it's into the hills, and I hate driving in the hills. So we'll see what happens.

I really, really don't want to have to find a new hairdresser, especially given that it's so much cheaper to go to Tink. Hopefully once I'm used to it it'll be fine.

Today was pretty much a paint by numbers Saturday. Got up, went to the supermarket, came home, unpacked, drove up to Ma's place.

We did drive out to look at some reverse cycle airconditioners for Ma's place, which was a slightly pointless journey, but Ma just wanted to have a look at the units in the flesh as it were. But she's going to have somebody come out and go through all the details with her, so that'll probably be more informative.

Afterwards we did swing by the shopping centre and do a lap, which was about the same as every other time we do it.

I did take a detour on the way home (well, I went past home and kept going) to pick up the few minifigs I wanted from the Lego Ninjago Movie set.

So, yeah, not a terribly exciting week, but that's fine.

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movies: cars 3

cars 3 - from this moment, everything will change
It's not really any great secret that the Cars series is my least favourite Pixar subset of movies, but Cars 3 is possibly the best of the bunch.

My main problem with the first Cars movie was that it was incredibly predictable plot-wise. The second one I enjoyed a lot more, but it is incredibly goofy.

The third outing manages to combine an effective and moving story with less wacky humour but with stunning visuals.

Like the first one, this is Lightning McQueen's story, but this time it's about what happens when "the up and comer" becomes "the veteran"... and given that the first movie came out in 2006, it seems appropriate.

Once again, the story feels a little predictable in a way that other Pixar movies don't, but I'm not sure if that was because I'd read or seen something about the story, or if it was just that obvious after a certain point. This time though I didn't mind as much, possibly because it was a more interesting story.

I will also say that this is, without a doubt, the most beautiful Pixar movie since The Good Dinosaur. Water, plants, lighting, weather effects, everything. It's all gorgeous, especially once they head across the country.

Part of the problem with this series has always been that it's hard to pay off the large cast of characters from the original movie, which they've done in both of the sequels by mostly isolating a character with a couple of new cast members. In this case it's mostly Cristela Alonzo as Cruz Ramirez. But also, hats off to Nathan Fillion for his second Pixar role.

And I'll admit, I did get a little choked up towards the end, which is pretty much to be expected from a Pixar movie, if not necessarily from a Cars movie.

Oh, and the short that precedes this one is called Lou, and I think it's the most beautiful and emotive short they've made yet.

yani's rating: 4 treadmills out of 5

photo saturday: artimals

plaster catrusty giraffe

wire dingosmarble koala
This week got a little crazy at times...

I made potato and leek soup this week, and it was pretty good, thanks to a liberal helping of cheese.

My obsession with D&D continues... I went to all three sessions this week (Monday night, Wednesday morning and Thursday night), Monday was kind of nuts with five or six tables, each with at least six or seven people, so the noise was a little crazy.

It's also kind of interesting that the guy who I really dislike as a player actually makes an outstanding DM, possibly because he's a little too "into" the roleplay aspect as a player, but that is a good trait for a DM.

The other realisation I had this week, which is probably so outstandingly obvious, but I don't think I'd ever organised the thought into exact words before. D&D is collaborative storytelling. The DM has a version of a story, but each of the players bring the story of the characters to that, and then once the game begins, each person's actions change the story, for good or ill, depending.

I will also say that D&D is a great excuse to buy more stationery... because of course it is.

I started playing my second character this week as well, who's a cross between Moana's grandmother and Oprah basically (more that she looks like Oprah and acts like the grandmother to be honest), who's called Mama Lullaby. Which meant that for four hours on Thursday night I had a room full of six grown (presumably straight, but I'd hate to be presumptuous) men referring to me as "Mama".

And that wasn't even the weirdest thing that happened in that game.

Also on Thursday I went for my walk, came home and went to plug in my iPhone to charge it. I've been having trouble with the phone charging for a while now, and it'd gotten to the point where it would only charge in very specific positions. I assumed it was because of the way I used to hold it when it was on charge (applying a small amount of pressure to the charge connection), and over time the connectors had just ended up being bent.

I've been trying to avoid using it as much as possible, which has been relatively easy, given that I'm at home and can easily just use the laptop instead, and only charging it when I absolutely need to.

And when I plugged it in on Thursday... nothing. I tried all the usual tricks but the damn thing would not register that it was attached to the charger. And I had 9% battery left. And I haven't synced my phone with iTunes for... three years. I don't know exactly, but I know that I haven't done if for the entire time I've had this laptop, since I never got around to reinstalling it on here.

In the afternoon I headed into the city to go visit the Apple Store. I should really have called ahead and arranged an appointment, but I didn't... so when I got there it was an hour and a half wait. Given the time frame, I ended up catching the bus back home, grabbing my D&D gear and driving back into town, so I didn't need to rush afterwards, since I had no idea how long the appointment was going to take.

Turned out that it didn't take all that long as all. After waiting for a little while, the bearded hipster Apple Genius boy came and found out what was wrong, then took my phone in the back (because they always take stuff into the back and do something magical and mysterious with it) for maybe ten minutes tops, and brought it back out, 100% fixed.

Yaaaaay!

From what he said there was "stuff" (pocket fluff most likely) wedged into the charging port as well as the headphone jack, so he did whatever they do to clean that stuff out and I was good to go.

Well, as good to go as I could be with only 1% battery left. But he also plugged the phone in for me and told me I could hang around as long as I needed to to charge it up. Which was very sweet of him.

I stuck around for maybe half an hour, until the phone was up to about 40% charged, then went off on my merry way. It's so weird the difference between having a phone that you avoid using or that isn't working properly and one that is back to full strength. It's a little like having a fully functional limb again.

Which I fully acknowledge is all kinds of lame, but it's the world in which we find ourselves at present.

This morning I went off to do the usual supermarket thing. I honestly bought hardly anything, if I hadn't been buying things for Ma my trolley would have looked very sad. After unpacking and the like I headed off to Ma's place.

You can tell Ma is much on the mend, because she'd been making Ham Hearts. Which was sweet, because we never had any this Christmas, and it was definitely one of the things she's mentioned as being something she wants to do "when she's better". Plus, Ham Hearts straight out of the oven... there's nothing nicer.

We didn't really have any plans, so we just headed off to the movies, but to Hoyts instead of Reading, which was a nice change, if only because they have fancy reclining chairs at Hoyts.

Afterwards we stopped off for some food and got some really, really nice stuff from Noodle Box, which isn't somewhere we usually go.

And then I headed home. So not really an exciting day but it wasn't too bad.

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