yakalskovich: The Nazgul and I in nun costumes at Kaltenberg posing with a bloke dressed as Jack Sparrow (Jack Sparrow makes nuns happy!)
Yay Hobbit the first: my friend the Nazgul animated the trailer for 'Battle of Five Armies' in virtual Lego, as a proof of concept/portfolio piece. You can see it here:



Yay Hobbit the second: we just found out that we get the movie a week earlier than the US!!

Er, what?

Feb. 24th, 2013 01:31 am
yakalskovich: (Mummy smurf)


The Nazgul says there was this random Loki weasel available today in Farmville (which she playd).

She thought it was a wolpertinger...
yakalskovich: The Nazgul and I in nun costumes at Kaltenberg posing with a bloke dressed as Jack Sparrow (Jack Sparrow makes nuns happy!)
What makes me uneasy about FarmVille is not that it's eaten the Nazgul's brain at the moment; worse brain-eatages have occurred, for example when I first discovered the old Discworld RPG back in 2004. The crack that is RPing (in contrast to the more sedate and ponderous nose-powder that is fanfic) so totally took me in for a while, I even did set alarms for it, and that seems to be an alarm sign.

It's not that Zynga, the company that makes it, is probably quite evil, and Facebook definitely is.

It's that there are no seasons!

You can plant whatever whenever you want to. There is no lambing season, no sowing in spring, no asparagus that stops on June 24th latest, no cabbage for winter, no St. Martin's geese, no blackberries belonging to the devil after October 31st...

Okay, making people wait for a result for a year would be counter-productive. But why not set random shorter season? Why not allow sheep tupping only on a Friday, and the sowing of certain crops only during the first week of the month, and so on? What makes real farming in real life what it is is seasons, and FarmVille totally eliminated that.

We first world people are used to having strawberries and tomatoes in the supermarket all the time, to mushrooms all year round, to green beans flown in from Egypt in winter, and to fresh flowers from Nigeria at Christmas. The globalised world is ignoring the seasons, so why should FarmVille reintroduce them? FarmVille farmers don't really want to keep up all night in the lambing shed at the dead of winter; they don't want to harvest a surfeit of cherries that they don't know what to do with, or do nothing between waking and sleeping but pluck apples and make cider in autumn. They don't want to race a thunderstorm for the wheat harvest, or pull a calf out by the feet. It's sanitised agriculture with purple cows.

There would be nothing wrong with it -- it is a game! -- except that it suggests to million of city dwellers that farming is a sanitary, fun business that brings forth bounty without season, without dirt, without suffering.

And that's demeaning to everything mankind did since the neolithic revolution.-
yakalskovich: The Nazgul and I in nun costumes at Kaltenberg posing with a bloke dressed as Jack Sparrow (Jack Sparrow makes nuns happy!)
My friend the Nazgul has a cookbook, published via Books On Demand. It is a cookbook vaguely related to a certain popular teenage wizard, without ever properly saying so. She's collected suggestions from around the net, tried them out and put them together, with some additional input from the things we usually cook on a Sunday. There are some sauces that require wine, and some drinks recipes that definitely contain alcohol. Now she is planning to put out an English version through Lulu, mostly aimed at an American audience. She is wondering whether Americans might take exception at recipes with alcohol in a book which might be seen partially aimed at teenagers, in places where the drinking age may be as high as 21.

[Poll #1749549]




Bonus recipe from the collection:

The Dark Lord's Darkest Desire:

Take a litre of clear, tasteless moonshine (alternatively: vodka) and a package of hot hard Danish liquorice candy, put into a bottle and keep behind the siphon of your kitchen sink for two weeks. (The place is important!!) Then shake, and put in the freezer for a bit to cool down to freezing point. Drink carefully from very small glasses.

[[Adapted from the underground recipe for Finnish salmari.]]
yakalskovich: (Quaffing)
I posted one picture at the time, but was too sick to get up the energy for an entire picture post. In fact, on the day, I felt too ill to get up the energy to take pictures much. Most of these, the Nazgul took with my camera. She has a way of looking at medieval merchandise that I quite like.-

Lots of medieval pictures under the cut! )
yakalskovich: (Quaffing)


The Nazgul and I went to the first medieval market of the year. I probably shouldn't have gone, as I am still quite sick and went through that place wheezing, coughing, spluttering, and largely useless. Most of the time, I sat on a beer bench drinking mead beer and looking at people's costumes with the Nazgul. I did get two more pint mugs from the same potter as last year's (in the icon), and we posed with the other hobbyist 'Scot' with his veeeeeeeerrrra laaaaaaaaaaaaaang sword...

There are more pictures, but I'm not quite up to making a full picture post right now.

Soon. Promise!
yakalskovich: (Lupus in fabula)
I think I successfully changed phase for my CMS user course now. This morning, I woke up a bit before the alarm, and tonight, I'm no longer tired out of my skull as I was Monday and yesterday.

Tomorrow will be doable, and I'm not really worried about presenting the project I was supposed to have worked on. The templates finally turned out beautifully, especially after the Nazgul and I worked out that one mustn't edit files with Typo3's built-in editor but instead reupload them after every change; the built-in editor kills the entire CMS installation while saving, sooner or later. At least in the standard instances of Typo3 installed on the computers at the course location we are at. Now, she got her layout to work and I mine, we have some nice medieval-related content for both and I did a table with upcoming medieval events that looks REALLY nice, and we are ready to roll.

The problem will be doing it again on Tuesday, which is the last day of the five-day course, because of all the holidays in-between. So I guess I will have to keep in phase all weekend, which is a pity, then do the 8 - 4 thing again on Tuesday, then let it peter out towards a more natural schedule through the rest of the week.


ETA: Well, not quite -- at least I hope I normally would turn on the cooker underneath the pot in which I mean to boil water to cook rice. I need a Japanese rice cooker. Showing the Nazgul my pictures from Japan recently, I was reminded of the existence of such enormously useful gadgets.
yakalskovich: (Domino Dress)
Finally, the Nazgul and I went to have our hair done again. We had found our hairdresser, Muriel, again. She's at a salon near the university now where lots of students go to have their hair cut. She did really good work on us.

Afterwards, we went to the Starbucks at the square where the demonstration had been two weeks ago, and took pictures of each other, for documentation purposes.



Here is me, with my freshly retouched Tracy-Turnblad style blonde stripes in my fringe.



And the Nazgul, with a green streak instead of a blue one this time. The lady Muriel had forgotten the pot of blue at home. Seems they're not keeping those extreme colours in the salon; they're her speciality.

In the Starbucks, people were a bit odd. To my left, there was a little high-heeled orcette trying to read a book by marking everything she had read with blue highlight marker. You could see the Nazgul's librarian heart flinching, wincing, and cringing at such a senseless sacrilege. On my right, a Japanese girl was reading and listening to music when suddenly, a very odd old man appeared and told her and me to take our stuff away, he had to sit there. "No," I said, while stowing my bag and denim vest behind me, "you don't have to, you want to." He sat, there, drinking tea and smelling slightly of used book shops, ramrod straight, with no hair, and a terribly, terribly green pair of trousers. In our usual drama coffee shop, we don't get quite that sort of terrifying dryness and oddity, or the sort of Essex girl (mutatis mutandis) that was mutilating the poor book on the other side.

We drank up, and fled.
yakalskovich: (Default)
At the end of a long day with lots of spontaneity at work and an excursion to feed the Nazgul's budgies, I was sitting in the train feeling slightly grumpy and only wanting home any more, idly listening to two women in their late fifties that had come from Oktoberfest and had obviously met there, because they were telling each other basics about their life stories.

I couldn't help it, they were right behind me, and not quite worth getting my MP3 player back out for.

One of them was telling the other about how she'd been born in Cincinnati and come to Germany as a professional singer, and how much she loves classical music, etc.

"Can you sing 'Ave Maria'?" the other asked.

And she just started to sing.

In a soft, perfect mezzo, very warm and gentle, not loud at all, with a bit too much tremolo (but that was to be expected, in a almost-sixty-year-old voice), she sang the Bach/Gounod Ave Maria in the middle of a suburban train.

Everybody turned their heads and fell silent.

The woman she sang it for had tears in her eyes. I don't know what the music reminded her of (my storyteller's instinct tells me it might have been her mother's funeral), but it was an utterly moving moment.

It had not been an especially nice, or just remarkable, day for me, before. But now, it definitely was.

One I won't forget.-
yakalskovich: (Domino Dress)


My copy of 'Paragenesis' arrived yesterday! Now I have the book with my short story in on paper, to touch and carry around! Here it's lying face-down on one of the little outside tables of my favourite Italian café, where I was enjoying one of the last few nice days of the year while reading up on what everybody else wrote for it.



Today, my order from Evans arrived as well! I had to get Falk the Metropolitan to take some pics of me wearing it at once, as I can't possibly wait with posting about it on my tumblr until the Nazgul is back from the Fake Plastic Trees. Today she was in Muscat, haggling over the price of daggers...



Autumn arrived as well, so here you see my cats, cuddled up in my wonderful dark purple fleece blanket, being comfy and cosy. I have been mean to them by buying a little bottle of catnip scent oil with which I made them go doolally earlier. Anything can be turned into instant catnippy kitty lovedoll now!

Also, a discful of recent Bollywood music as MP3 arrived as well. I was at the Indian shop this afternoon, getting more chai spices, and when I took out my earphones to ask the bloke behind the counter about some Bollywood movies, I realised that my life contained entirely too much Medieval Scottish Heavy Metal Bagpipe Folk Rock, and not enough Bollywood, so I hastened to remedy that!

What did not arrive was episode 4.10 of 'Mad Men' on surfthechannel.com. They didn't even make an entry for it. I am worried...
yakalskovich: (Glyph no. 6)
The two serious appointments/things to go to this month (apart from my vacation, of course!) all had to happen on the same day.

Today.

First, I went to a course about an email marketing tool for my slavery, with three of my co-slaves. That was tedious but kind of important, and took seven hours.

Then, I met the Nazgul to go to her library where there was an event with the illustrator Shaun Tan, whose exhibition we'd seen when the Little Lady was there. Poor bloke came all the way from Australia and was sitting jet-lagged in the front row and then first got treated to an half-hour introductory lesson of which he didn't understand a single friggin' word. I found that really rude of the organisers.

And then, during his talk, when he had this picture from 'The Arrival' up in his presentation,



my cell phone went off with a horrible ringtone of alarms and howling panic, because my mum had a question. Normally, my cell phone never rings, but she was very insistent tonight. Everybody totally jumped out of their skins, as if those people-sucking giants were actually attacking.

I was very sorry, and said so at the little book-signing afterwards. He drew me the white shark-tadpole critter into my own copy of the book, which I bought especially to get it signed. Now, despite having been such a nuisance, I have my own shark-tadpole critter, which is very cute. Will scan or take picture later, but now I'm just too tired to do anything at all except poke everything once and then go to bed. This is the shark-tadpole critter; you will agree it is very cute in a surrealistic way?

yakalskovich: The Nazgul and I in nun costumes at Kaltenberg posing with a bloke dressed as Jack Sparrow (Jack Sparrow makes nuns happy!)
The Nazgul has started an LJ about her custom Lego minifigs. You know, like the Hogwarts Ghosts or the Na'vi I've occasionally pimped here?

Now with their own home.

Archenemies

Aug. 8th, 2010 06:03 pm
yakalskovich: (Sherlock)
"People don't have archenemies in real life."

The Nazgul and I, watching "A Study In Pink" (again), both founds that we occasionally do have archenemies, and decided that poor John Watson was only too boring (before he met Sherlock) to have any...
yakalskovich: (Medieval)
There weren't that many new things this year in Kaltenberg, so this post gets a bit eclectic. For more general pictorial explanations, refer to the post from former years, found through the 'Kaltenberg' tag on my journal.

We went on a Sunday, which meant it was full of kids. That wasn't as bad, actually, as we'd thought. What was bad was that there were hardly any visitors in costume, and nobody cheered for the Black Knight, except us, more or less. We decided not to go on a Sunday again. If we get trouble with rain again, we'll just not go.

But on to the pictures! )

Sunday

Jul. 5th, 2010 12:50 am
yakalskovich: The Nazgul and I in nun costumes at Kaltenberg posing with a bloke dressed as Jack Sparrow (Jack Sparrow makes nuns happy!)


The Nazgul had been to a kendo camp beyond Berlin all week, and only returned today, so we just met up in the evening to go to the little Chinese place around the corner, and catch up. We each had a beer, but you can only see mine.



There was quite the spectacular sunset going on in the background. The clouds tantalisingly hinted at the long-awaited rain; the weekend had been just awfully hot. Lucifer had spent it lying belly-up by the french windows.



Here is me with my beer, squinting into the sunset. Cheers!

Later, when the Nazgul had successfully got home, there was a thunderstorm and lots of rain, and it's still dripping, and significantly cooler.

Yay!
yakalskovich: The Nazgul and I in nun costumes at Kaltenberg posing with a bloke dressed as Jack Sparrow (Jack Sparrow makes nuns happy!)
Because the German football team was playing the Australian one tonight, the Nazgul and I went to the Australian pub around the corner, hoping to see blood. Or at least some creative crowd control measures.

We ordered a Fosters each and waited, metaphorical popcorn at the ready.



There were these two sad Australian hipsters right in front of us (cut out of this picture because, honestly, taking pictures of perfect strangers with the express purpose of mocking them online is not nice) that first had their drinks taken away again (because somebody else had ordered the same combination first, it seems) and then sat there, earnestly sharing a portion of potato wedges. The bloke had taken out a little plush koala with that sort of grabbing mechanism and put it on the lapel of his shirt as a sign he supported Australia. The rest of the Australian supporters were these people in yellow shirts.



However, everything went perfectly peacefully. There was no blood, nor any sort of enmity. Only glumness, as the poor Aussies didn't want to be seen being sore losers. After the German team had scored the first goal, a camera team with a big professional-looking TV camera came to film some Australian fans being unhappy, which they achieved when the second goal was scored. Luckily, only a single person in the whole pub had one of those infernal vuvuzelas. But the droning sound from the TV was unlike any other football noise before.

[livejournal.com profile] essayel had said in thread earlier that Aristophanes compared the sound of bagpipes to a wasp farting in a bottle. A stadium full of vuvuzelas sounds like a million of those wasp-farts.

And no, having only one and blowing it from time to time is pointless. The point is to have many and create the wasp-fart effect, or more correctly, drone.

Somebody ought to have told that to whoever it was who kept on forlornly tooting his vuvuzela through the sound of heavy rain that we heard after we came back at half-time and made dinner. Whether the TV team scored any footage of bawling Australians, we don't know. At least the rain precluded all noisy victory celebrations.

In unrelated news, my cats are snoring.-
yakalskovich: (Into the blue...)
My life has been very nice and pleasant lately, and I'd like to share some pictures from the last few weeks.



This is my neighbourhood seen over the rim of the often mentioned white wine spritzer at the Italian street café around the corner.

More pictorial proof of how good my life is at the moment! )

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