firstfallenpanda: (minions)
I'm moving all my content to https://firstfallenpanda.dreamwidth.org

Once the import is done I'll be deleting all posts here. I might even start posting on the new blog, you never know :-P
firstfallenpanda: (redridingpand)
It's that time of year again when sane people bow down to commercialism in the name of some Middle Eastern legend about a baby and some livestock.

If, like me, you can't bear the thought of more toiletries/chocolates/other small not very useful items given in the "spirit of Xmas" or because "it's the thought that counts", take this opportunity to make Xmas matter by giving a Gift 4 Good. If it was the thought that really counted, people would put more thought into it instead of buying something arb that fitted into a price range. I don't plan to get gifts this year (other than for immediate family), instead I'll give a donation to a charity and you can all share in the karma points :).

Here are some awesome tips to green your Xmas from urbansprout. I especially like the one about buying an indigenous tree instead of a plastic tree and planting it in a pot. Also, make homemade decorations instead of buying more tinsel and other crappy plastic junk every year. Jesse has some lovely little chocolate things in her Etsy shop. Here's her tutorial for making your own decorations. You could use any cute fabric or doilies. How about getting kids to print things with potatoes and fabric paint? I remember doing that in art class in school :). You could also make them and give them as gifts. The lovely bamboo scarf I have is available from Gifts with a Conscience, as well as other locally-made gifts. Her policy is to only sell things that benefit someone directly. Check out the cute little African angels.

I'm totally thinking of getting one of these DIY vege gardens. I think that will be the next plan after the chickens. Here's some delicious fair trade coffee (Ethiopian Sidamo ftw).

*********

In other news, holiday planning progresses. I've booked my appointment for a Visa, I just hope my unabridged marriage certificate arrives before then. My marriage officer assures me he's on it but I think going into Home Affairs with a loaded shotgun might help to speed things along. I can't believe it's just over 2 weeks until we leave, it seemed so unreal and far away when we started planning it. Things I still need to get: Visa, gloves, parkajacketthing, International Drivers Permits. Things I still need to make: my scarf (nearly finished), scarf and hat for Phleep, hat for Mark. I have other Xmas knitting to do but that can be done in Germany (I hope to get some knitting done on the flight). So excited!

Meeeems.

Nov. 24th, 2009 09:17 am
firstfallenpanda: (rollpanda)
Questions care of [livejournal.com profile] zoezebra .

Leave me a comment saying "Resistance is Futile."

• I'll respond by asking you five questions so I can satisfy my curiosity
• Update your journal with the answers to the questions
• Include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions.

1) What do you love most about living in Cape Town?

The people, I think. It's not every city that has the whole world living in it. I like that it's so cosmopolitan and you get exposed to lots of different cultures. I like the scenery and the nature (when it's on the other side of the window). I like that I can do lots of different things within a day's drive, like go on safari :).


2) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why.

The bottom of the ocean. It is made of win. Also, Tierra del Fuego (cos it has the coolest name ever), Mongolia for the horse games, Svalbard for the polar bears, Antarctica for the absolute quiet and space and the desert (not really picky which one) for the lack of green.


3) Do you see yourself having children one day?

Haha, the bajillion dollar question :P. I don't know, it changes from one minute to the next. When I"m cuddling a freshly-bathed toddler and she's all cute and giggly then yes. When that toddler is throwing a tantrum and won't go to bed and I just want to go watch TV or read or friends say "we can't come to X, we have kids and no babysitter" then definitely no. Ask me again in 3 years' time.


4) How many cats is enough?

It depends on the house. Honestly, I think for our house 3 is probably enough but we have 4 so that's enough, I guess :P.


5) Is there anything in the SCA you'd like to do but haven't done yet?

I'd like to go to a big event sometime and fully immerse myself in SCA stuff and talk with people who share my interests and go to classes.
firstfallenpanda: (cheatknit)
Hmm, long time no post. I just don't seem to be in the mood for posting lately, I'll often start typing a post and then think "meh, no one wants to read this arb crap". But here's an updatey post anyway :).

My lovely husband bought me a spinning wheel for my birthday! It's a second-hand Ashford Traditional Double-drive (if that means anything to you :P). I'm very excited, I can't wait to start spinning my lovely alpaca and merino rovings that I have. Also, there's a large demand for second-hand wheels so if I don't take to it I can sell it on. P is always surprised by the market for knitting stuff :). My cats are enjoying the wheel, of course anything I bring into the house is a cat toy. Also, Scroob sent me some delicious Camelspin! It's the best yarn ever.

Tickets to Germany are booked and paid for. We're also staying a night in Amsterdam, I'm really keen to see the van Gogh museum. Thank you to all those who contributed to the Honeymoon Fund, I think P sent out thank you emails last night. If you didn't get one and should've then please let us know. It was so hectic that I wouldn't be surprised if some of the cards got misplaced.  There are some wedding pics up at my Flickr stream, we have more that we need to upload.

Now that I'm married I think my biological clock has started to tick. Obviously it was just waiting for the wedding since for the past few years I've been non-committal on the having babies issue. Yes, they're cute and sweet and cuddly but they take up time and money that could be spent on other things like travel and knitting. Also, you don't get any sleep or time to read and there's screaming and tantrums and vomit and then they hit teenagerdom and it's a whole new batch of horrors. Having spent time with P's mum recently I'm beginning to see the reason for having kids. She said that she'd always wanted kids so that she wouldn't be alone when she was old and I think that now that she's a widow it's even more true. I know that statistically I will outlive P and I don't want to be the lonely widow aunt with 39 cats (well, the cat part isn't so bad). At any rate, babies are beginning to not look so bad. The cuteness of Scroob's baby isn't helping at all :P. I think I need to babysit more to reawaken me to the horrors of babies/small children. I think a few good tantrums and vomits will help me see reason and tell my clock to stfu :).

I'm dying of hayfever at the moment too, which is making me a very grumpy panda. I'm not looking forward to the weekend away SCA event next month, the venue is full of flowers and grass and I usually spend the entire time sniffling in the hall. I need a bubble. I also need to finish sewing all my new garb (Saxon, v boring but easy and comfortable until I know what I want to do).

See, a very boring post :P.
firstfallenpanda: (rollpanda)
So we're in the home stretch now, as it were. It's a bit calm-before-the-stormy as P's family start arriving on Sunday and then it gets all crazy. My sister has moved out to live with her bf, so the house will be somewhat less crowded. As excited as I am to be marrying my bear, I'm kinda over this whole wedding thing. Not that it's been stressful, it's just been so much planning and organising and stuff (not to mention worrying about finances) but everything seems ok now and on track and it should All Be Fine on the days concerned. I'm looking forward to seeing people I haven't seen in a while (and their new babies!).

My Ishbel shawl is finished and blocked and looks awesome! I've been meaning to put pics on my knitblog but the weathers been a bit yuck for taking pics so as soon as we get some nice weather I'll post pics of all my FOs. Wedding dress is nearly done, looking good. I've hit a bit of a bump with P's waistcoat and will have to re-cut the front facing and lining but the mock-up fit  so I'm not too concerned. I've been sewing at least 3 hours a night for the past week so I'm hoping the results will pay off. Or I'll possibly go blind :).

Also, there is a monkey's wedding outside today and the sky is full of rainbows. As I was driving along Settler's Way to work this morning there was a perfect rainbow framing Devil's Peak. Wish I'd taken a picture. Another really bright one against Table Mountain above Gardens, looked like I could reach out and touch it. Even though I know how they work it still doesn't take the magic out of them. See, woo people, science and knowing how things work doesn't make the world less magical or enjoyable!

ETA: due to a gigantic admin fuck-up my housebuilding henparty for this Saturday is cancelled. Basically they moved the build I signed up for to the Friday and cancelled the third build. The build that remained on the Saturday was then filled up. Then, they only booked me two slots as they didn't see the "party of 15 ppl" in the notes when I filled out the volunteer form! Completely useless. I was so disappointed that I nearly cried. I was really really looking forward to it and I know others were too. Hopefully we'll still get the chance to do it some day. There's a project I'm interested in call the Good Night God Bless sleeping bag, made from black bags and newspaper, so I might organise a day to do that sometime.

ps: if anyone wants banking details for honeymoon fund please email me or P.

firstfallenpanda: (cheatknit)
An update since I haven't posted in a bajillion years. Still alive, people (esp [livejournal.com profile] egadfly  :P).

Wedding plans

Coming along nicely. Shawl is finished and blocking. Dress is kinda halfway made (pattern is graded and mockup fits), need to do some work on Phleep's waistcoat this weekend. Still need to get the table herb things but that can wait until a few days before the event.

We are expecting a full compliment of Anastasiadisesesesseseses for the wedding. I think Phleep will be very chuffed to have all the siblings there, when we first started to plan we didn't think anyone would come. My sister is moving in with her boyfriend for the week that P's sister and bf are there so the house will be less crowded. I'm a bit nevous of the reception. I don't deal well with huge parties and lots of people and I can't go hide in the kitchen like I usually do. We'll see how it goes, I guess. There are plans to do Xmas in Germany if the honeymoon funds allows it, otherwise somewhere local.


Work

The new (since my last post) job is going well. I have more responsibility and a very varied portfolio. I'm learning a lot and it's not boring. Hopefully I will be over the backlog soon and able to get into a good routine. I can see this job expanding as we open more offices around Africa.

Social

Saw District 9 recently. Not quite sure how I feel about it (which seems to be the general mood, people watch it and then have to think about it for some time before forming an opinion). I might blog about it, I might not. I think I've said before that others' opinions of movies don't matter to me and don't affect my enjoyment/opinion of a movie, so I don't think anyone else will care what I think about it. Suffice it to say that it's really hard to watch if you're a white Saffer. I'm still a bit depressed about it.

This weekend is the hen/stag party extravaganza. I know [livejournal.com profile] zoezebra (get better soon!) is kidnapping me for an afternoon of outdoorsy fun on Saturday (must remember to dose with hayfever meds before leaving the house). Phleep is booked all weekend for various things that I think he will like. The exact details are a sekrit :P. My house-building thing is next Saturday, I'm really looking forward to it. It will be hard work and I might die, but I think it will be very rewarding.

Also, Storm in a G Cup is the best bra shop in the world! At last, no more tears when looking for bras that support and fit and don't look matronly :). There's a _whole drawer_ of lacy bras in my size. I'm so taking Phleep there after the wedding to buy me that teal silky lacey one. Mmmm, teal. They're a bit pricey but the service is excellent and they do all repairs and alterations for free.

That's about it, really. Must update the knit blog as soon as I've taken pics of all my recent FOs (shawl, Phleep's gloves, my rasta hat, my alpaca gloves). I haven't knitted much lately, I think I'm a bit burned out after the shawl. Also, my wrist is a bit sore but since I haven't been knitting I think that's probably the cold. Spring is here! The weather is chilly, the sun is shining and my nose is snurfly.

firstfallenpanda: (Default)
These recent long weekends have been great. I got to spend quality time with my bear, who returned from Old Blighty last week (on a public holiday :P) with a suitcase full of gorgeous yarn for me!* We voted, nommed and then vegged with ST. It was lovely.

Sarah and Hendrik's wedding was lovely, if a bit on the chilly side. I thought I wouldn't enjoy it for lack of Panda but I ended up having a good time (mostly due to an epic conversation on SF authors and mutual agreement that Ian M Banks is overrated and then some ass-shaking on the dance-floor which left me sore for days afterwards).

I also saw The Reader while P was away. It really made me think about cultural guilt. An ex-SS camp guard is portrayed as a (gasp!) normal woman who was just doing her job (there was a big outcry in the media about this aspect). It brought home that lots of people involved in atrocities are just doing their jobs, just going along with the government. One of the characters remarks that the trial of the ex camp guards is a farce, just an outlet for everyone else's guilt and so they can be seen to be "doing something". The only reason they were being prosecuted was because one of the survivors wrote a book. It made me think about whether Germans still feel guilty about the Holocaust. I know there's severe paranoia about anything that might rekindle Nazi sympathies but I wonder how many Germans (especially the children of those who were adults at the time) feel guilty about their parents' (in)actions. Then I started thinking about how many whites my age feel guilty for apartheid. I think I've said on this blog before that I don't particularly feel guilty about it. My family was poor, still are poor. I went to a government school and did pretty well there, but I'd like to think that was because I'm smart and not because I'm white. I don't recall having any particular advantages during primary and pre-school years. Perhaps I'm living in a rose-coloured fairy world of Northern Suburbia. I just don't feel guilty about it, it wasn't me and I don't think I gained by it.

Also, during the run-up to elections I remarked to my sister that the vast majority of South Africans vote according to race and it does seem true. I don't think we'll get rid of that until the last people who suffered under apartheid are dead. Only now am I meeting mixed couples (not white-coloured, but white-black which seems somehow more radical?) and it seems to be young people, people who were too young to have any concept of apartheid. I didn't have any concept of apartheid growing up, the first I knew about it was when the schools were opened and we got a coloured girl in our class. I remember my mom saying "be nice to her but don't bring her home". I didn't really understand that, I was 11 or 12 at the time. I often find myself thinking about what it means to be white and South African. Do I feel guilty? Should I? Did I benefit from others' misery? Afrikanerdom is full of emo :P. Next think you know I'll be walking into the sea.

I am so looking forward to Wolverine: Origins this weekend. I might actually wet my pants, the trailer looks so damn awesome. I do love me some hot X-Men action. You can keep your wangsty Caped Crusader, DC, Marvel ftw. I like my super-heroes to actually have super powers. Iron Man is an exception, because RD Jr can do no wrong. I can't wait for the Ultimates movie.


* also a proposal, which I accepted. Plans are for next year March, UK ceremony and party this Xmas if financial situation stabilizes.

firstfallenpanda: (Default)
Got this lovely piece of poetry in some spam for Viagra just now, had to share :). I'm just wondering what a "costly elephant's rope" is, or if I actually want to know. Also, "his car of precious"? Obviously Gollum's fallen on hard times and is working as a spam copy-writer. The randomness of this poetry pretty much sets the theme for this blog entry.

Device of the costly elephant's rope, was adorned is kesava
who is inconceivable. Hence, it is absurd roars. As soon
as they heard that loud peal, dhrishtadyumna auditors assenting
to this truth, he then gave me thus, he rose into the sky
on his car of precious.


In other news, Phleep leaves soon for the UK. He will be away for three weeks but I am consoling myself with the thought of all the delicious yarns he's bringing back for me (currently sitting at 15 skeins). I plan to eat nothing but beans and eggs on toast while he's away, haha! I will also install methane energy converters in a bid to save money in the lean times to come. I'm not sure the cats will appreciate it, though.

I also plan to fill the time with learning to spin on my shiny new drop spindle. As soon as [livejournal.com profile] zoezebra gets her ass back from Wales she'll teach me to use the damn thing. Lookout world, phear my lumpy yarnz!

Here's a very funny article on Hayibo about the A-team resurrection: http://www.hayibo.com/articles/view/1005

We went to see Watchmen on Sunday night. I'm not sure if it wowed me or not, but then I wasn't particularly wowed by the graphic novel (I can hear some of you gasping incredulously from here). Maybe I came along on the comic scene too late and am jaded by all the other stuff I've read to appreciate the new ideas put forth in it. Don't get me wrong, it's a good story (even if I totally figured out the "villain" halfway through. I'm bad like that, it's a curse) but it didn't rock my world. Rorschach's pretty cool though.

Speaking of non world-rocking, I agree a bit with some online sentiments that NG is slightly over-rated. Yes, I enjoy his stuff, it's interesting and well-written, but I don't think he's the literary Messiah some people think he is. I don't particularly like American Gods, Anansi Boys was ok and The Graveyard Book was a fun read (I'm sure others with more literary credentials than I will go on about the Jungle Book comparisons and all and all), but none of these made me wet myself. China Miéville, otoh, can do no wrong (otooh, The Peoples Republic of China sucks ass and the SA govt sucks China's ass). His books, all of them, blow my mind. Maybe it's just preference, ymmv. I must read them again, if I can get through reading Watchmen for the second time (it's sooo long).

If Ysolda Teague ever shows up at my door, I'm leaving Phleep. Just FYI. And no, it's not just because she bears a resemblance to ScarJo (who supports D&G, who used fur in their latest show, woe! she's totally off my "will leave Phleep for" list, although I will probably still go watch all her movies), her knitting patterns are pretty awesome too.

And that's about it. I'm glad Autumn is finally here, I can snuggle under my blankie again! And make stew!  Mmmm, stew.

firstfallenpanda: (Default)
Fires: last night on the way to fetch Phleep from Gandalf's I happened to glance up to see Devil's Peak on fire. It was awesome to see, like a special effect from a movie, while at the same time sobering and saddening to realise how much plant and animal life must've been destroyed. There are lots of pics on News24. The view this morning was of an ashen mountain. Thankfully no one was killed. I feel for the wildlife reserve, though, I have often admired the wildebeest standing sentry on that hill over the M3, watching the cars go by.

Snot: my fluishness has turned to green mucus, hooray. I am at home sick today, hoping this won't turn into an URTI*. I have had two in the last month. Apparently the 16 days total of burning fires has pushed up the pollution levels somewhat, I'm wondering if this is the cause of my unseasonal respiratory issues, I usually get URTIs in winter. Hello URTI my old friend...

Imminent baby: Scroob has gone into labour, I'm watching the Ravelry forum like a hawk. I will sms people as soon as there's news other than "dammit, contractions hurt". Leave a comment if you want to be on the sms list. I guess I'm the SA news portal :P.

Awesome doggies: a video showing why Border Collies are the best dogs evar. Also, craaaaazy Welshmen doing amazing things with LEDs and sheeps.



* Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, I get them so damn often :(

firstfallenpanda: (redridingpand)
The latest in the Pandora is an Evil Genius series: I was giving my canary*, Ringo, clean water the other day. This necessitated me taking his cage down and putting it on a table. I went to the kitchen to fill up the container and I heard his "danger, danger Will Robinson" cheep**, so I rushed back into the room to discover that Pandora had opened the flap-down door and had got her finger stuck in the bars of the door!!! She was hanging by her hand, meowing pathetically. I freed her and said "bad girl! I hope your toe falls off!"*** It's the fairly standard bird-cage door that stays shut with a bent piece of the top bar. She obviously saw me open it and thought "ah-ha!". Luckily she got her hand stuck otherwise Ringo would be no more. He might have escaped (and been eaten) if she hadn't been by the door, though. I will have to be more careful in the future, she's pretty evil and cunning, that one. Recently all his tail feather disappeared (either fell out or were pulled out) and I wonder if Pandora didn't catch his tail through the bars as he was eating. She has long, thin legs. The tail feathers have grown back now, he seems no worse for wear. Good thing they're not prone to heart-attacks!

Phleep and I have been together 9 years now. It seems like a really long time but sometimes I still have to remind myself that I have a boyfriend. People have commented that we're still really lovey-dovey like a new couple, and that we hug and kiss alot. I dunno, it's hard to be objective, we still seem to be happy and love each other dearly. He loves the cats and puts up with my luxury yarn habits :).

Today is Friday, and I am very glad about that. Tonight I will bake green tea biscuits for the Japanese-themed SCA event tomorrow. I will also work on Baby Scroob's jersey (only the sleeves to go!) and watch terrible TV. I might practice recorder a little as I'm feeling somewhat insecure about my lack of practice. I mentioned to a friend's bf (who's in a band) that I play recorder and he said he might ask me to come play with them. Eeep!

Next week will be my first Pilates class. As a complete Pilates-noob I have to take 4 private classes before I can be allowed to mingle with those more experienced people in a group class. I hope it's fun, I don't mind things being difficult as long as they're fun. Once I've learned the moves, I'll join the class with Jesse and she's promised to peer-pressure me into actually going and not being a lazy-ass. It helps that it's a few blocks from our street :P.

Also, I want to learn to spin on the drop-spindle. This is a direct result of me falling in love with Posh Yarns but being unable to buy anything from the directly and having to resort to buying second hand from people on Ravelry. The site goes live every two weeks with what they've dyed that fortnight and it's usually a mad scrum to get anything. Things are sold out in like 5 minutes :(. So, I will be buying roving on Etsy and making my own, dammit. I've already ordered some camel and cashmere, and Zoe has a giant bag of alpaca that I'm going to mooch :). I will start spinning classes in March, as soon as my lovely Ashford drop spindle arrives from New Zealand. Severe yarn-geek. I also intend to comb Puff and spin Puff-yarn :P.

It's the Community Chest Carnival soon. Can anyone say "poffertjies"? Dutch stall, here I come! And saris, one can never have too many.


* he's a Gloster Fancy and has a really cute Beatles haircut. I need to find a new female for him as the old one died of a foot infection :(. You can only paid a Corona (one with the hairdo) with a Consort (plain head) otherwise the babies could come out bald!

** birds have a language, with different cheeps for different things. This one is quite distinctive and means "omg, I thought I saw a putty-tat and it's trying to eat me!!"

*** I didn't mean it, even if she is more evil than Puff (who is merely naughty and bitey, not calculatingly evil like Miss Pandora Moriarty)

firstfallenpanda: (Default)
The day when my cats develop manual dexterity and take over the world. Sigh, it was fun while it lasted: the illusion of being in control, the love and cuddles, the adoring purring and rubbing against my feet*.

Peoples' exhibit A
:
Pandora likes biscuits. We have seen her steal a wholewheat digestive off the table by picking it up with her hands and putting it in her mouth. Crunching sounds then ensued from underneath the table. A few days ago she stole a Lemon Cream from next to the PC, opened it without breaking it and licked out all the creamy filling. Obviously she's learned how to use tools to open biscuits. She discarded the boring hard bit and went straight for the sweetness.

Peoples' exhibit B:
I found the bag where I keep the extra cat food unzipped and the cat food bag gnawed open. Now, I've seen Puff gnaw open a bag but only Pandora has demonstrated the manual dexterity needed to be able to unzip a zip.

Hear me, fellow humans! The Catpocalypse is coming! Bow down now to our furry overlords** and they may spare you the tortures of the Play Pen. Perhaps you can be a Favored Slave instead of having your toes gnawed off for eternity***.

Don't say I didn't warn you.



* Ok, this only really happens when they want food, but still.
** Even if they lick their bums and have arse-breath, and occasionally chase their tails. It's all to lull you into a false sense of security.
*** They grow back, you know.
firstfallenpanda: (Default)
So, that was Xmas, was it? It certainly didn't feel like Xmas. I don't know if it was the fact that everyone's po' at the moment, or the fact that I'm not taking any holiday time over Xmas, but I just didn't have that same feeling this year that I usually have. Ah, well, we all grow up sometime I suppose.

Panda and I went for Xmas-eve sushi (our local was closed, so we went to Sake House* in Claremont), then came home and opened his gift to me (us): the collector's edition Star Trek: The Next Generation (all 7 seasons on 49 dvds with loads of extras). It is made of win. We've watched the first 3 dvds so far. I have reached the height of geekdom: admiring knitted sweaters in a cheesy sf show** :P. I do love the Trek, though. Mmm, Picard. And Data (he's fully functional, you know).

The day itself was ok, had a big lunch at my aunt's place with a total of 16 family members. There were no fights (for a change!), I didn't overeat too badly (although I did make too much trifle, which was a bit heavy on the sherry or so I'm told), and I got to see everyone. It was pleasant, except for pretty much every single person asking me when P and I are getting married and having kids. Argh. The Xmas is the coolest (weather-wise) that I can remember, it's raining at the moment. Damn climate change, interfering with my laundry schedule.

My yarn from everymoment arrived (via red-headed glamazonian courier in lime-green and turquoise sequinned high heels). It's so lovely, but I'm struggling to find a pattern that will suit it.

Here are some adorable pictures of Puff (warning: the high levels of cute may cause eyeballs to bleed).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also, here is a recipe for rice salad. I am posting it here as I have received lots of compliments from people who might like to make it themselves. I haven't given quantities, use as much of each ingredient as you like. The end ratio of rice to veg should be 1:1.

Rice rice baby

- cooked brown rice
- mushrooms
- red peppers
- green peppers
- onion (red or brown)
- can of whole kernel corn
- garlic
- soya sauce

Chop your veges. Fry onion and garlic until tender, then add peppers and fry until tender. Add mushrooms and fry until tender. When all the veges are done to your liking, add the rice and fry it all together. Then add soya sauce and mix well. Ta da! You can also add cashews to this, or lentils to make it a complete meal.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------


* quite pricey compared to our local, not as tasty but a much greater variety. Almost too much variety. It was ok for a treat, but probably won't go there again unless for a special occasion.

** it's a good thing I'm not in Starfleet:

*alarms ringing, lights flashing*
Redshirt: Captain, the Borg are attacking, there's a Klingon Bird of Prey decloaking off the port bow and the holodeck has malfunctioned causing fictional characters to swarm the lower decks!
Me: Is that a C4F or a Cr4L I see on your sweater?
Enterprise: *asplode*

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edit: a good reason to get your pets microchipped.

New cat!

Dec. 16th, 2008 11:25 am
firstfallenpanda: (Default)
We has a new cat! She is lovely and sweet, her name is Pandora and she's about 4 years old. She is the black one that I tried to home in late November, Phleep said we could take her if no-one else wanted her. She is fitting in really well, already taking up bed-space. She plays nicely with Puff, seems to ignore Nanuk but doesn't get on with Possum. I think they're too similar and fill a similar niche in our cat ecology. Possum is jealous of her and she is scared of Possum, which is really weird as Possum is the sweetest cat evar. I'm hoping it will get better, we've only had her for a couple of weeks. There's always Feliway (which I've been spraying around like air freshener, even though it really stinks and gets in my throat). It turns out she wasn't preggies, just fat. I brought her in to be spayed and after fighting with her to get the jelco in (it's the drip thing they put in the arm to inject into), and shaving her arms and her tummy, the vet saw her spay scar. Oh well, we didn't know. She was very very cross for about 2 days, not eating and hiding under the bed. I think the anaesthetic took long to wear off and she was feeling a bit ill. Her tummy is still all naked and chubby :P.

We have been watching True Blood recently, it is made of win. It's a vampire series set in a small town in Louisiana, where vampires come out of the coffin and try to "mainstream". It's based on novels, which are obviously a bit Mary Sue, but still has an interesting plot and believable characters and an awesome soundtrack. It's really recent (September 2008) so we'll have to wait a while for the second season to be made.

It really doesn't feel like Xmas yet, even though I have my tree up (despite Puff's best efforts at scaling the tree-trunk and trying to steal the ornaments). I think it's the lack of mass-shopping for presents and total consumerism, and the fact that I'm not that keen to spend the day with my extended family. We are all poor this Xmas, so I'm not buying presents for anyone except the children in my life. I'm going to take all the arb bath-stuff/biscuit/chocolate money and donate it to a good cause, then tell my family that on Xmas day. I plan to do the same for friends, btw. Maybe buy everyone a membership to the Animal Rescue Organisation or something. I remember a couple of years back wolverine_nun collected money at the annual Boxing Day Braai and donated it to various charities. Confluence and I have been discussing an idea like this and that's what will probably happen. For the price of a box of biscuits in a tin you can pay for a stray animal to be sterilised. Alternative gifts are the way of the future, no one needs more stuff.

It's a lovely day outside, even if I am at work. 


ps: This post courtesy of egadfly's meme, for which I did not have a sentence for December :P. But really, I have been wanting to post for a week or so, just haven't found the time.

ppss: go look at cute baby animals www.zooborns.com/zooborns/ !

firstfallenpanda: (Default)
Does anyone know of someone (moderately decent, non cat-eating) who is looking for a feline companion? We currently have the sweetest black female in the stray ward, so loving (just like my Possum). She's adult and not spayed, possibly preg but that can be fixed at spaying. I will throw in a spay for free. She's so sweet that I don't want to send her to the SPCA, she will get really depressed in those small cages. When I walk up to the cage she chirps and rolls over to show me how fluffy her tummy is. If I didn't have 3 already I'd take her.

Also, we have a range of tiny kittens who are being bottle-fed at the moment and will be ready for homes in about 5 weeks. Three stripey tabbies (gender unknown) and a tiny ginger (probably male).

I am going to start a cat-blog for adoption purposes, but the doctors will only keep them here for a week so it would need pretty immediate action. There are too many kittens, but the more I can save from euthanasia the better.

Email me at firstfallen at gmail dot com.
firstfallenpanda: (Default)
I don't think I will ever witness anything as amazing as a large white stallion doing a capriole*. Even if he did remind me of the fat white horse in the opera Bugs Bunny cartoon**.

The Lipizzaners were absolutely beautiful. Their origins as medieval warhorses are clear, I can totally see an armoured knight up there. They are huge and strong and radiate power with every move. I think only about a quarter of the audience appreciated the difficulty of some of the sequences, but I think all were impressed. It takes many years to train them and it shows. Most beautiful horses evar.


* a leap into the air with all four feet and then a kick out with the back legs, apparently intended to decapitate foot-soldiers.

** kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit...

firstfallenpanda: (Default)
It's really important to remember when you've had beetroot (or, in this case, drunk beetroot juice). Kidneys don't just rupture spontaneously.

Also, your usually-reserved friends present a whole different side of themselves after drinking (perhaps a little too much) expensive whisky :P. I'm not naming names, what happens at the whisky festival stays at the whisky festival.

Tonight, dancing hosses! I hope I don't fall asleep.

Book slut

Oct. 31st, 2008 09:51 am
firstfallenpanda: (Default)
I was a voracious reader when I was younger. The downside to this is that while I had read nearly all the sf and fantasy books in the Milnerton Library until 1998, I don't really remember the authors, or the names of the books. When you're reading a book a week there's not much time to take notes, I guess. So I'm sure there are lots of times when someone has asked "have you read this?" and I've answered "no, I don't think so" when I really should have said "I don't remember, I might have". It's terrible when you can't remember the names of the books with which you've fallen asleep :P.

Anyway, the point of this post is: I read a book (I think it was meant as YA, the characters were all teenagers) where there are multiple dimensions, and some of them are fractal (there were definitely Julia sets involved). The lead character was suicidal (I remember a scene where she plans her suicide with a bucket to catch the blood so she doesn't leave a mess). There's some bad dude trying to take over all the dimensions and only she can stop him. I think it was a trilogy.

Now, searching for "young adult science fiction suicide julia sets" gets you lots of maths sites, emo suicide sites and some random science fiction authors' sites, but nothing useful.

I'm hoping you readers can help me because it's really bothering me that I can't remember the name or the author of these books that I'm pretty sure I thought were really awesome at the time.

I also just got Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Sean B. Carroll. I'm hoping it will be as cool as it looks and as good as the reviews I've read say. I'll comment on it when I've read it, still finishing that Pohl anthology. Hee, 50's sf, so quaint!! I need to post about it, actually.
firstfallenpanda: (Default)
We went to see Tropic Thunder last weekend. It might be the most awesome movie I've seen in a while. I'm not saying it's a good movie, or that I would buy it on DVD to rewatch, but it's damn enjoyable. I did get the feeling that it wasn't really "scripted", per se, but more of a general guideline, like "ok, guys, in this scene we need this and this to happen, go!" and then the actors all came up with lines of the top of their heads. If you don't like Ben Stiller and Jack Black, don't go see this. It's halfway between Zoolander and Nacho Libre, I guess.

RD Jr is just awesome as the black dude who's really an Australian in disguise ("I know who I am, I'm the dude playing a dude disguised as another dude"). Ben Stiller basically is Zoolander with a Rambo complex. Look out for Tom Cruise as Les Grossman, he totally steals the movie. He's absolutely hilarious (and I think he made up most of his own dialogue off the bat). Also, see if you can spot all the other film references (lots of war movies, Chaplin).

I seem to have developed RSI in my left wrist from too much knitting. I'm assuming it's from knitting as that's when I first noticed the pain. Time to cut down on my knitting :( and stock up on Ibuprofen. I'll go to the doc if it doesn't get better, apparently surgery is sometimes required. Add the sore wrist (typing makes it sore too) to my recent minor head-surgery and huge work stress and you can guess how happy I am with life at the moment. I feel like I need lots of chocolate mousse, but that's not really fitting in with my trying-not-to-be-so-damn-fat plan.
firstfallenpanda: (Default)
I have decided that I want a digital camera. I borrowed one for our UK holiday and the pictures are far superior to my cellphone (leet as it is).

The one I borrowed was a Canon Powershot A710IS. It's the only one I've ever used, but it seemed to have all the things I want. I would use it mostly for pictures of needlework and cats, so I need a good zoom as well as good low-light picture-taking (I don't have a good lighting setup at home, it's basically crappy room lighting). Other than those two, I'm not really fussy about the other features.

So, I need recommendations, please. What do you use, why and what would you recommend for my limited needs? The range of digital cameras is bewildering so I'm hoping someone with more experience than me can shed some light (haha) :). There are also loads of second hand cameras available on Gumtree, at Cash Crusaders/Converters etc, are these worth looking into?



Edit: I was looking on Incredible Connection's website and found this Fuji Finepix Z20. I really like the colour, and it seems to have everything I need (as well as a Macro mode for 15cm). Anyone had any experience with Fujis? The Canon one down from the one I used, the Canon Powershot A590IS 8MP, seems to have all I need as well (4x zoom as opposed to the A720's 6x), and it's R700 cheaper than the A720. I don't really need 6x zoom :P.

Last pics

Oct. 8th, 2008 10:08 pm
firstfallenpanda: (Default)
Finally done! All uploaded now, go look. I think this is the best picture I took all holiday. It just sums up the English so well. 

Really stressed at the moment. Big SCA event this weekend (bleh....), exams this month and lots of work pressure. I have finished one of my Xmas knitting projects, though :).Now just 4 more to go.

Last weekend was Cara's birthday party. I bought her a pinata and I filled it with sweets. I think the best bit of the party was when Jo (perhaps Duncan?) was swinging wildly with a wooden plank and Hendrik dived to drag his son out of harm's way. I hope there are pics somewhere.

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