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Musings of a Lone Wolf

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7/5/11 08:41 am

Oh god I totally failed my 30 day challenge. Damn birthdays getting in the way.

7/3/11 12:09 am - Day 4 - Your guilty pleasure game.

Dead or Alive Xtreme 2

So. The prequel to this game was dead or alive xtreme beach volleyball. The volleyball wasn't really the main feature though. It was more of a glorified lesbian dating sim. The aim of the game seemed to be to gather each of the 147 swimsuits with each of the 8 or so girls. Sometimes they wouldn't be in the right mood to accept your gift, so you'd have to give them strawberries or toys they liked so you could give them the swimsuit.

totally awesome game btw

7/1/11 07:43 pm - xposted

I was just browsing a local gaming forum I frequent and someone had started a thread 'does anyone here suffer..' and it was just.. for people to write anything they wanted, wanted to let people know, about how they were, things they'd dealt with. I thought I'd post my response here, if anyone wants to read it =)

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To those of you who are some of those good, sensible, caring friends, thankyou so much <3

7/1/11 05:28 pm - Death from Above

Day 3 - A game that is underrated.

Tenchu Z. Nobody seems to know about this game. I saw it in the upcoming releases some years ago and I'm like FUCK YEAH NINJAS and then I'm like FUCK YEAH 4-PLAYER CO-OP, coz I love playing co-op games with my brother over system link or xbox live. So we got it and .. I dunno, it's just so simple, like really simple, but so satisfying to just hang upside down from a japanese tiled rooftop ledge and assassinate a guy, or assassinate people round corners and throw their body off a cliff so you don't get spotted. I dunno. The co-op wasn't amazing, the story didn't really flow with it, but it was still a lot of fun.

6/30/11 05:02 pm - Day 2. I didn't miss a day. Shut up.

Day 2 - Your favorite character.

My favourite video game character!? EVER!? Gees. I suppose it would have to be...

To be honest I don't really get that attached to video game characters. Nightwolf did always stand out to me from other Mortal Kombat characters because.. he was just a guy. A guy with some spirit tomohawks and a spirit bow, and some lightning, sure. but he wasn't a cybernetic ninja and he wasn't some netherrealm sorcerer and he wasn't a god of lightning, he was just a guy.

That being said. I fucking hate Johnny Cage.

6/28/11 11:16 pm - Challenge Accepted.

Alright livejournal. 30 posts in 30 days. all related to this game meme, but still, a mammoth effort considering my complete lack of posting on here.

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Day 1 - Very first video game.
The first video game I can remember playing was on a computer dad had. The front folded down off it and it had a little monitor, and you could put cassette tapes into the machine as disks. I imagine the whole machine had like 4 kilobytes of memory. The first game I can remember from it was Chess88, so I guess I was around 5 (if 88 denotes the year of it's release). Here is an epic screenshot.

2/28/11 11:57 pm

On Thursday night, it dawned on me that I was going to need more insulin before I was likely to get to my pharmacy, or indeed before my pharmacy would even reopen for business. People kept mentioning Healthline which was available 24 hours as day, on twitter (on the #eqnz hashtag), so I called them and asked what the best course of action was. They said in the first instance to see if my GP was open, get a new script and take that to the nearest pharmacy. Failing that, the nearest pharmacy could do an emergency supply.

In the morning I called my GP but it diverted to the medical center in town. I rang my nearest pharmacy and explained my situation, she said they had no power or water, and to go to another pharmacy not too far away. My uncle and I headed out on our mission.

There is so much dust in Christchurch at the moment. The liquefacted sand, when it dries, becomes very fine and powdery. While this makes it easier to shovel, it is picked up by the wind and just blown everywhere. The Council are worried it could be contaminated so I'm wary of trying to be out and about if I can help it. We made our way to the pharmacy without too many traffic worries, and I explained my situation to the receptionist, then the pharmacist. I gave him a box of my old meds so he could get an idea of what I needed. The chemist herself couldn't figure it out, so I ended up just explaining my doses, how much I needed for 10 days supply, and they dispensed the insulin for me. In the end it set me back $6, which I was entirely happy to pay for to stay alive for another week :)

Headed back to work today. Power, water and broadband have been restored there, so it's almost business as usual. It's an alarming building to be in with the aftershocks, though. Structural engineer will hopefully check the place out tomorrow. The aftershocks are a new breed compared with September, they are far more immediate, they sound more abrupt. I guess this has to do with their closer epicentres to town, and their basis along the north-south fault branch, than the east-west.

Funny how things like this bring out the geologist in all of us.

2/26/11 10:00 pm

On Wednesday, the day following the quake, I didn't really know what to do. We had no power, no water, supermarkets weren't open. I read a book for much of the day. A book I had been reading on my tablet, but had a paper copy for, so I went and figured out where I was up to. It's weird having to go to bed at 9pm when the sun goes down because there is no other light.

On Thursday, I went to my dads to start shoveling liquefaction from his drive. Liquefaction is a process that occurs when a gravel or swampy landscape is shaken severely. It sinks slightly, and any liquid is brought to the top layer. It emerges through cracks in what Christchurch has come to call 'sand volcanoes', because they pretty much look exactly like little volcanoes of sand. When this shit dries it's basically like someone dropped a beach on your drive, or your lawn, or your street. When it's wet, it's like someone dropped a wet beach. There is a danger that broken wastewater pipes beneath properties have contaminated the sand, too, so you have to be fairly careful. We spent some three hours digging out dads drive. My dad and I are not very fit, but my brother and his girlfriend, a builder and tradesman's assistant by trade respectively, had a bit more in them. After clearing two thirds of the driveway, we went to my brothers place to see what could be done there.

Liquefaction had flowed from his neighbours house through his front yard, though it was only a little patio with some stone chip down. It still took a huge number of wheelbarrows full to clean out the front, by which time my dad and I were completely knackered. Kelly and Isaac did as much as they could of the back yard, while dad and I sat and watched TV for the first time since the quake, as Isaac's place had power, where we didn't. The pictures were shocking. The two main collapsed buildings, where rescue efforts were being focused, were scary to see. The CTV building basically looked like a rubbish tip, on fire. The Pyne Gould Corporation building had pancaked down on itself, six stories or so. It didn't look real. It looked like a movie set. Amateur footage taken on cellphones after the quake.. it all just. There was no way my mind could accept that this was our city. but there it all was.

After that I went home and had a sleep, because I am unused to physical labour, lol.

On Friday it was raining, so I made the executive decision that we wouldn't do any outside cleaning up that day, and my dad and brother agreed. We had power on by then, so I spent most of the day catching up with people on msn, twitter, facebook, livejournal and AIM, assuring them I was okay, and then playing some Xbox 360 to take my mind off.. well.. everything else that I would be thinking about.

Today we spent about three hours at my place (my aunt and uncles place, really, but I live here) shovelling more silt and liquefaction from the back yard. We gave up around lunchtime, after dumping 3 or 4 trailerloads on the footpath outside so a city council digger can come along and put it all on a truck and take it away. We probably tidied up a third of the back yard. In the afternoon, a group of people from Ashburton came up the drive, and asked my uncle if he had any silt needed clearing. These are just.. random people.. I don't know if they were farmers or just people who'd come to help, with their shovels, but they finished the rest of the work we'd started.. just. the whole of new zealand just .. wants to be there for us. and it's amazing. it's an amazing feeling.

Not just New Zealand. I've had contact with two clients of our business in Japan, to let them know of the earthquake and that their orders will be delayed. They were both very concerned for all of our staff, and the building, the business, both wanted to know what they could to help. We have Urban Search and Rescue teams in the city from the UK, USA, Taiwan, Singapore, China, Japan, Australia, and all over New Zealand. We have 200 police officers on loan from New South Wales. These teams have experience in Haiti, Sichuan, New Orleans, and of course the various disasters Australia has experienced over recent times. We have the best people in the world, combing the ruins of our city, for any signs of life.

I said to bousteirs the other day, the sound of the army Iroquois helicopters passing overhead, the C130 Hercules flying over to land at the airport, have become everyday sounds, but are so.. comforting. to know that there are people immediately around you who are trying to remedy this insanity.

We still have no wastewater, but a block away at the mall, are a bank of 20 or so portaloos from Ashburton. I decided it was far more comfortable than pooping in a shopping bag, so I walked down to use the ablutions. I heard a guy open the cubicle next to me. 'There's no paper in this one!'. Hurriedly checking around my own dark portaloo I called out 'shit.. me neither..' he went down each of the toilets checking, found one that had paper, and knocked on the door to pass me a handful.

I mean it seems like a pretty simple thing. but everyone experienced the event. everyone's heard and seen the same fucked up shit from town. everyone's in this together and they know it. they know we have to stick together to pull through.

Current estimate is one third of the buildings in the central business district will have to be demolished.
Current death toll is 145 confirmed fatalities, with 200+ still missing (some of whom will be on the list of fatalities, once they identify them).
82% of homes in Christchurch have power this evening.
50% of homes have running water and waste facilities.

I have not had a shower since Monday evening.
I am now out of clean clothes.
I am tired.

but I know out there, there are a lot of people thinking of me. maybe not directly, maybe of Christchurch as a whole, but there are a lot of people out there, focusing their energy on healing this city.

and I can't thank them enough.

2/25/11 12:31 am

On Tuesday 22 February, 2011, at 12.51pm, Christchurch was hit by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, centered 10km southeast of the city, approximately beneath Lyttleton Tunnel.

I had just finished purchasing lunch with my father at the T-Bakery on Gloucester Street. At first there was the familiar rumble of the some 4000 aftershocks we have had since September, but it quickly became evident it was a stronger shake. The next sound I heard was the derelict building attached to the bakery, cascading its way through the bakery wall some three metres to my left. As soon as I heard that wrenching of metal and brick I ran as fast as I could out into the street. It was impossible to run in a straight line. It was like running across travellaters that were going in opposite directions. The shockwave and dust was just so.. frightening is the only word I can find.. but it somehow doesn't do it justice.

People in the service station across the road were crying and screaming, though it appeared to be more from shock than injury. My workmate joined me on the opposite side of the road, having lost his sausage rolls in the mad dash. My father went back to the store frontage because the proprietors of the bakery had not come out. We go there for lunch three times a week, so they weren't just some random shop people for us, but I wasn't going near the building for anything. I just sat on the pavement and kind of stared around the place. A few moments later the man and woman who work in T-Bakery came running around the back to let everyone know they were okay.

you can see where the once two-storey building has slipped through the bakery wall

Following the immediate shock and making sure the bakery dudes were okay, we headed straight back to work to check on Nigel and Lisa, and the premises in general. As we drove back there was serious surface flooding, liquefaction bubbling up, severe aftershocks, the road basically erupting in front of us. The building at work looks okay, but there is a lot of mess that is going to need to be cleaned up. We are aiming to go back in on Monday. Work is in an area of the city between Dallington and New Brighton, and there are severe doubts about getting power back on there in a hurry. Power is pretty vital to our line of work, so this could get tricky.

Following that, Dad and I attempted to head home. There are some 18 bridges along the Avon river, and the three that we tried were non serviceable. We drove around for probably 90 minutes, in mostly gridlock traffic, trying to find our way across. In the end we parked the car near the Dallington Bridge and elected to walk the few kilometres to my home, and then another couple of blocks to dads.

My home wasn't too bad. There are two cracks in the driveway, but it's a single driveway so not too much of a problem. There is significant liquefaction and sand volcanoes in the back yard, and some minor ones in the front yard. The house appears to have twisted somewhat, as we couldn't open the door between the kitchen and hallway, or the door from the hallway to my living room. I was quite terrified of what may have happened to my tv, computer and xbox 360. After having a peek through some service doors in the kitchen, I was surprised to find they were all in pretty much the same position I left them. There is some damage where the chimney appears to have shifted slightly in my 'man cave', disrupting the cornicing around the ceiling, and dropped debris into the fireplace below, but hopefully this isn't major.

After making sure my uncle didn't need me further, I accompanied dad to his place. When we rounded the corner of his street, perhaps a stretch of 60 or 70 metres was underwater, thigh deep. It was impassable. I suggested we try going through neighbours properties to stay out of the water, but it wasn't such a good plan in practice. We just kind of sat there staring at it, and then my boss drove up! I don't really know what he was doing there but we jumped in his car and he forded the flooded area for us, and we got out closer to dads. Dads drive was covered in liquefaction and silt and water. We managed to get in through the back door, and almost everything from his pantry was on the ground broken, everything through the living room and hallway, was just.. thrown about. It was crazy. We spent some time digging up the driveway and trying to channel the silt out to the road, but the driveway had buckled downwards in the earthquake and the silt was pooling quite badly.

I went home to my uncles, and had some dinner. I had cream cheese and salmon on parmesan bagels.. because.. that was the stuff I figured would go off fastest with no power. My uncle told me about his afternoon, bringing a man in a wheelchair down 6 flights of stairs at work and then wheeling him, with the help of another workmate, some 2 hours home, then accompanying an elderly lady to her home. His work is directly opposite the CTV building in Christchurch, which collapsed entirely. It was 6 floors tall. 8 CTV staff are accounted for. The rest are missing. There could be up to 125 students and teachers from a language school which occupied the third floor.

There have been 98 confirmed deaths. This is certain to rise as more bodies are pulled from the rubble. There is hope that survivors will still be found. but that hope is fading.

I see pictures of the city on the net, on the news. and I know in my heart that it is my city. but my head has trouble accepting that these pictures can be real.

I know I am lucky to have escaped the bakery alive. I'm glad I'm here to share this with you.

If you wish to donate to the families of victims, the survivors, the people all over Christchurch who need water, support, food, accommodation. You may do so here, at the Red Cross of NZ.

Thankyou to all those who have been concerned about me. I am safe. I think I'm okay. I will continue to look after myself as best I can.

Love you all.

2/13/11 02:18 pm - It's been forever, again.

but if you were looking for inciteful content...

5 Things Meme

5 Bands/Musicians You’ve Been Listening to A Lot Lately
1) Amanda Fucking Palmer
2) Bright Eyes
3) The Funkoars
4) Fauxliage
5) Metric

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