slemslempike: (m&c: reading)
I am reading The Far Side of the World. Jack has sent to see if Stephen wants to come and watch chase. Stephen is below deck cataloguing some beetles, and the reply comes: "he says that if he is given a direct order to come and enjoy himself in the cold driving rain if not sleet too as well as a tempest of wind he will of course be delighted to obey." By which I mean of course that I hope everyone who chose to go out tonight has a lovely time. But more than that I hope everyone else is allowed to catalogue their beetles undisturbed.

I have finished off the level of Angry Birds that stalled me for two days! Now I have a bird that turns into a BOMB.

My mum told me there was extra milk in the garage, but I could only find wine. I ran the milk to ground in the freezer. I have had Alpen which always seems like it's going to be more filling than it is. I have eaten all the smoked salmon. Perhaps a turkey sandwich next.

This post, which I found on friendsfriends, is really annoying me! I know that I know the poem too, and yet I cannot think where it is from. It's not in either of the Milne children's poetry collections I have. Can any of you put me out of my misery?
slemslempike: (snooker: maguire's face)
39 people answered the quiz, of whom 6 were American. Other nationalities were British (most people), Irish, Australian and New Zealand. Not enough for proper statistics, but I've put in the numbers of people getting each question right.

Book Lovers Triv answers. )

So, the conclusion is that it is VERY HARD even if you are American, and we can all stop feeling bad about our lack of knowledge and BLAME THE GAME. Ordinarily I would never criticise Triv, but in this case it seems justified. The Farley Mowatt and Pearl Buck questions were the ones where there was the clearest connection between knowing the answer and being American.

Joint winners, with 7 points each, are [ profile] oursin and [ profile] ramblingfancy. Well done!

I won't put names for the rest of them, as people expressed embarrassment in the previous post (you shouldn't! it was really hard!) but here are the scores, so you can check out what you got and place yourselves.

6 (two people)
5 (four people)
4 (five people)
3 (eight people)
2 (nine people)
1 (eight people)
0 (one person)

(but really, this person should get a recognition for taking part, instead of all the people who shirked the challenge because they thought they wouldn't get anything right.)

So feel free to come and claim your rank in comments, though I do have the spreadsheet open so if anyone gets TOO creative with their claims I may raise a private eyebrow. I didn't fill in the poll, but I got three, though I might have been able to think of The Stone Diaries at a push.
slemslempike: (games: tp bring it)
One of the versions of Trivial Pursuit that I own is the "Book Lovers" game, which is American, and very very difficult. I am not sure whether it's difficult because I am not American, or whether it's really rather tough. I mentioned this to [ profile] zoje_george, and she said I should post some questions, so I have. There are the questions from two cards (grammar is all Triv's). The first card I pulled out was actually comparatively easy from my point of view, but I thought it would be cheating to change it, so I didn't. The second card is much more like the general level of questions.

CH: Children's
CL: Classics
NF: Non-fiction
BC: Book Club
AU: Authors
BB: Book Bag

[Poll #1517185]
slemslempike: (Default)
I really enjoyed this quiz about the most common words in the English Language. I found myself running through quotes I knew, the opening to Pride and Prejudice, some hymns, a bit of Shakespeare. I got 70 out of 100. It didn't have my top-used word according to lj archive, which is "actually". I really enjoy the whole site, especially the geography quizzes, though I am not very good at them. I always forget Wyoming, Timor-Leste, and I can't spell Kyrgystan.

A plumber came to the house today and fixed my radiator. It's warm in my room! We called a plumber because last night, on the suggestion of a friend, we took the thermostat control off the radiator, and got the pin moving again. This did not have the desired effect, so (on the suggestion of my dad) I loosened what I thought was the valve on the other end of the radiator. This came off. There was only a tiny amount of leak, because the thermostat control was still broken, but it was a bit alarming to wonder what if my books would be in Jen's room in the morning. More for her than me, I imagine. I got very grumpy about having to call plumbers, and this wasn't helped when the first one I tried insisted that it wouldn't be the thermostat, and he would have to power thingy the entire system for at least £400. Luckily the next one I tried seemed much more laidback, and arrived quite quickly with the spare parts, and then made perfectly reasonably small-talk (unlike the builder, who has so far jovially threatened violence and made sexually suggestive remarks), fixed things quickly and drained some of it.

It makes me quite cross that Scramble on Facebook organises your "top friends" by total number of points scored and not, say, word IQ, or average score, or percentage won, all of which would be much fairer and interesting and, coincidentally, put me at the top more often. I only have about five people to play with! I can't get the huge scores going!
slemslempike: (games: tp wrong order)
[Poll #1268597]

I eventually won a game of Uber-triv. In subsequent games we substituted "Silver Screen" (very difficult movie questions) for "Book Lover". The experience has inspired me to buy more sets on ebay - so far I've won Globetrotter, and have my beady little eyes on 1980s.

I feel old.

Sep. 2nd, 2008 03:30 pm
slemslempike: (games: scrabble)
My feelings about Wordscraper depend entirely on whether it is me or my opponent who scores 500+ points on the first go.

I really like buying a new diary for the academic year. Partly I like transferring all the scrappy notes from the end of the previous diary into their rightful dates, but also I like seeing what useful numbers and data they've provided for me at the front. This diary has made me slightly cross because I didn't realise until afterwards that it doesn't have a tube map, which is one of the few things I actually use.

I do have:

  • Religious festivals.

  • Notable dates.

  • Numbers for LEAs etc.

  • Travel information (including HOVERCRAFT, which still sound brilliantly exciting no matter how mundane the actualiy).

  • National information, which has not only the public holidays and time difference for countries, but population and air miles from London. Yet not telephone prefix, which might be more useful.

  • Conversion tables, which always seem a good inclusion, but I have never ever used.

  • Sunrise and sunset times for London. I don't live in London, and I can't remember the last time I saw sunrise from either direction.

But the best thing of all is the list of Text Abbreviations. This is obviously an indispensable resource for the educators of our nation's youth trying desperately to get down wit da kidz.

It starts with the information that "1" is used in place of "One", and continues with things that aren't really specifically text abbreviations such as FAQ, AKA, ASAP, and one which I think is annoyin - WUCIWUG for WYSIWYG. And anyone who hasn't cottoned on that "x" is a kiss has probably got intimacy issues.

Then it has abbreviations that I have never seen used and frankly suspect them of having made up. Are these instantly understandable to you? Sorry, I mean RDSIU2U?

slemslempike: (Default)
I walked over to the Botanic Gardens, and meandered through some nicely manicured lawns and ignored signs telling me to find out about our potato ancestors. I went into a room which was rather grandly described as an aquarium, and got very worried about an albino frog. It was in a tank, all puffed up and entirely immobile. I thought it might be dead, and wondered if I ought to mention it to someone, but then I couldn't decide if maybe it was some sort of statue and I would look silly.

I mostly went to see some Louise Bourgeouise works. They're called "Nature Study", and done in thick strokes of shades of red. I really liked them, all about birth and motherhood. There was a series of two figures, one with a foetus in, and another with a penis, and the one with the foetus had a lot of vagueyl rounded lengths that could have been arms and breasts, only there were five of them. It was quite comforting-looking. The building was a bit odd. Rather than the galleries being open, you can to open doors to get into things, and this isn't a laziness qualm, it was just that everything was painted very white, and it seemed like at any moment you might stumble into someone's private office. In the lift someone had not only corrected a misspelling in biro, but written "shame on you!" above it.

On the way back out I went to the "aquarium" again, and the frog wasn't where it was. The surface of the tank hadn't been disturbed, so it couldn't have been taken out. Then I noticed what seemed to be an albino grenouille sticking out beind a rock at the back, so probaly it's okay, unless the tiny little fish ganged together to drag it to a more dignified resting place.

It started to rain, so I bussed up to the National Portrait Gallery, and went to see the Vanity Fair portraits. Having read Jezebel, it was quite sad to see that, yes, all the hollywood women covers on display had all the women of colour on the inside folds. And after a while I got very bored of all the women lying down and naked. I did like Raquel Welch's picture, which was her looking gleeful, with the naked bodies of the USA men's swim team naked behind her. (Just because it seemed like a change from sportswomen always having to get their kit off, and she was older by quite some years and just looked really cool.) I also went to look at the twentieth century gallery (I rarely look any further back in portrait galleries because I rarely know who anyone is, and the styles all look the same to my uneducated eyes, so it's not so interesting). There was a very nice portrait of Stephen Hendry, with the cue ball as a globe.

Last week I was in a charity shop and bought The Vampire Game, which I never had when I was little, and always yearned for. I can't quite remember the specifics, but the main point is that there's a vampire figure, and the top hat comes off and it's a red ink stamp in the shape of a bat. A disadvantage of living alone is that I have no-one to play it with.

I watched 8 out of 10 Cats, and Claudia Winkelman and Gaby Logan were both on it, being adorable at each other. Several shots of Gaby staring lovingly at Claudia, as well she might. Mostly though, I have been watching Dead Like Me, which I really like. The most minor of spoilers. )

I went to see Gone Baby Gone, which was excellent.
slemslempike: (x: hide!)
Just how am I doing with my work recently?

Beginner: 9 seconds
Intermediate: 37 seconds
Expert: 143 seconds

(Expert is about 50 seconds off my previous personal best of around two years ago, which is when I last went through a mine-sweeping phase, but I am currently somewhat hindered by only using my laptop touchpad, which has developed a rather dodgy left-click. I feel that getting out my usb mouse would be a step too far, so it will probably have to stay at this unsatisfactory level for a while.)

I really don't understand why supporting statements don't write themselves.
slemslempike: (games: tp wrong order)
[Poll #982795]

I have lost my bus pass again. This time I am positive that I put it in my pocket before I left the house, but when I got to the bus stop it was not there. Last night I dreamt that I found it, and was really pleased until I realised that I was still asleep. I would like to think that it was a prophetic dream, but it turned up in a place I've already looked, and I was wearing thigh high bright blue patent stilletto boots at the time, so I can't easily replicate the situation and hope for the best.


Sep. 12th, 2006 10:54 pm
slemslempike: (games: escape oh no!)
If you were to say to me "Clare, do you want to do a phd?", I would be rather affronted at the question, and reply "of course! Have I not self-funded a year of study, do I not need this qualification for my chosen career path, do I not get slightly high in a Bookerish way from finding things out and putting things together in my mind, do I not love the accoutrements of doctoral study like inter-library loans and making wanky notes in the margins of articles, have I not been beavering away at my panel work?"

And then you might say "right, so why, in the last week, have you installed Commander Keen 1, Commander Keen 2, Duke Nukem 1, Duke Nukem 2, the shareware version of Doom, Doom II, and Final Doom onto your laptop when you should be writing busily, and by the way only losers cheat when they suck too much to complete the level on their own?"

And I would say "did that man just say Margaret Thatcher had died?" and while you were looking eagerly at said man, I would turn and run away as fast as I could, so that when the disappointment descended and you looked back at me to find out what kind of a monster would raise your hopes only to dash them so cruelly, all you would see would be a wheezing girl bent double about three metres away.
slemslempike: (escape: trapped)
Trivial Pursuit
This is the new "20 years" edition, which means that I was alive for all of the events that it talks about, and can actually answer questions. I can't remember who won this, because no-one really wanted to play and I was getting arsey with everyone, because the boys were bending the cards and leaning on the board and bending it a little and fiddling with the pieces and my mum was reading instead of paying attention and it sucked. But it's nice and shiny, and the questions are good, so it should be great the next time I play it. Although instead of two long boxes of questions, you get three small packs that are les than one box. So having to be careful with the questions, and reuse the cards, but it's all good.

I won this. Decisively. We didn't count up scoring because they were getting cross with me. I am hoping that someone will play it with me on New Year's Eve when various relatives arrive. Otherwise it's just an expensive maraca. It's the game where you have lettered tiles face down in the middle, and turn over one at a time. When you see a word from the letters, you say it, and you take the word. You can then add to it, or other people's words, to make new ones. Making them absolutely incensed. I was once playing with my uncle and he took my "elbowing" to make "bellowing". You can only applaud such a play. I still won though. I love this game. My mum dislikes it because it involves shouting out of turn. My sister dislikes it because she can't see words. It is delightful.

I came second. I would like to point out that had I been allowed to play "whiz", which I think you'll find is a completely valid spelling, the outcome could have been very different. I did have modally though. I was also very helpful, not because I'm particularly kind, but because I can't bear to see it played badly. Put the s at the end of the word that will get you another word over a double pointer. Not at the beginning of a very short word. Bah.

Extreme Uno
I can never decide if I like this or not. The new cards seem like cheating (swapping your hand with someone, putting all of one colour down) somehow, but the shooting out of cards from the thingy is rather good. Unless it happens to me when I have but one card left.

My sister claims to be the pairs (aka memory) champion of the known universe. I beat her several times. It's not really fair if we play with anyone else, because the set we have is from when we were toddlers, and there are various chwed corners, bent cards and faded backs that signal where various pieces are. We do tell people when we start game, but we've had a decade or two to remember them, and a minute doesn't seem to help much.

Lord of the Rings Risk
This was ace! I have only ever played actual Risk once before, where my friend and I were coerced into it by our then boyfriends, who were Sulkers (note the capital) of the most iniquitous kind. So my friend and I couldn't really do anything like attack their territories for fear of having to spend a week cossetting damaged egos. Then we were shouted at for not playing the game properly. Anyway, LOTR Risk is very cool anyway because you control armies of darkness. Or goodies, but Armies Of Darkness, yay. Plus, you can play it so that it's a game with a finite life (as opposed to FOREVER) because at the end of every go the Fellowship move the ring through another territory. I lost this game, quite substantially. However! This was because on my go it was possible that the Fellowship would leave the dead marshes (should I throw at least a three) and so I needed to spread myself thin so that I could have the most points. I controlled an entire region, more territories than anyone else and several strongholds. So I pushed into my dad's region to make sure that he didn't get points for that and pushed downwards through Mirkwood. Then I was poised to roll the dice and rule the world, and my sister's boyfriend played a card that meant I had to get at least a 4 to end the game. I didn't, and all my territories were left woefuly undefended and my empire was devastated by the bastard elven archers. There is probably a life lesson in there, but there would have been a shinier one had I rolled a six.

I have been promised more games on NYE. We shall see. Sadly no Escape, but one can't have everything.
slemslempike: (Default)
75 points on one go! 'Hilly' and 'vary' converging at the Y, placed on a triple word score. Mmm-hmmm.

Book sale very disappointing, and didn't buy anything. I nearly bought a book on Prostitution in the 1990s, but then I flipped through the section about feminism and, to paraphrase,

- there are some definitions of feminism that are reasonable, but these are far too broad, so I'm only going to concentrate on the BATSHIT CRAZY FEMINIAZIS WHO ARE OUT TO TAKE MY JOB, MY WOMEN AND MY BALLS. They can't even agree on a definition amongst themselves, so they're clearly worthless.

I also saw something called The Bitch Book but it turned out to be something to do with breeding. Huh.


slemslempike: (Default)

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