Archive for December, 2017

Bull ant encounter

Sunday, 10 December, 2017

This evening my wife pointed out that there was a bug crawling up one of the vertical blinds in the living room. I walked over, saw it was an ant, and grabbed it to take it outside. Next thing I knew, my thumb was like on fire, I threw the ant across the room, and screamed loud enough that my wife thought I was dying.

Turns out it was a bull ant (Myrmecia sp.), which are more or less common where I live in Sydney. I thought I’d been stung by these guys before, having experienced several very painful ant stings in the past, but no, this was a whole new level of pain. All my previous ant sting experiences must have been different species with less potent venom. (And yes, they sting with their tails, they don’t bite with the jaws.) After recovering the ant and immobilising it in a ziplock bag, I took this photo:

Bull ant

Fortunately, I’m not allergic to these guys. For people allergic to the sting, Wikipedia says median time from sting to cardiac arrest is 15 minutes, and most people are dead within 20 minutes. In non-allergic people, all that happens is intense pain. I iced it, and an hour later it’s still quite intense.

I found an article which says that these ant stings are number 4 on the top 10 list of most painful animal bites/stings in Australia. Yeah, no – I’ll pass on all the others, thanks.

Toon RPG adventure

Thursday, 7 December, 2017

Here’s a complete roleplaying game adventure I just wrote. It’s for the game Toon.

“You’re a cartoon rabbit, you’re a cartoon duck, you’re a cartoon cat [add more as necessary to match number of players]. You’re in a pie shop. Go!”

After about 3 minutes of the inevitable: “The owner of the pie shop – a big, mean-looking bulldog – comes out and demands you pay for the damages. Oh no! How are you going to raise the money? You step outside the pie shop into [roll 1d6]: 1 The Big City; 2 a small rural town; 3 the Wild West; 4 Medieval Europe; 5 Ancient Rome; 6 a space station! Go!”

Game of Thrones, Season 3, Ep 5 “Kissed by Fire”

Tuesday, 5 December, 2017

Intro: I’m watching Game of Thrones for the first time. I don’t know anything about it more recent than this episode.

At the Brotherhood Without Banners: Lord Beric Dondarrion fights Sandor “The Hound” Clegane in trial by combat. This is prefixed by another guy saying prayers to the Lord of Light to ensure the trial goes fairly to determine justice. Then Dondarrion’s sword is lit on fire – it’s not clear if this is a trick of chemicals or some sort of holy magic. But it doesn’t help, as they fight and after trading some advantage Sandor drops a huge blow with his sword and cleaves both Beric’s shield and shoulder! Beric drops to the ground, apparently dead, and Sandor claims victory. Arya goes nuts and rushes at Sandor with a knife, yelling that he’s guilty, but Beric’s men stop her. Go Arya! Then the prayer guy comes over and lays healing hands on Beric, and up he pops, good as new! He releases Sandor, saying he abides by the judgement of the Lord of Light.

A bit later, the Brotherhood say they will take Arya to Riverrun, where her brother Robb is. But Gendry decides to stay with the Brotherhood, which displeases Arya. She wants Gendry to be part of her family, but Gendry is sick of serving Lords and Ladies, and Arya will always be a Lady to him, not family. Arya is upset, but leaves him, and then talks to the praying guy and Beric. He says he’s raised Beric from death six times now, and Beric shows off all the scars from the times he’s died. Interesting. The Lord of Light seems a bit like a proxy for the Christian God, and now we have resurrection stuff to go with it. Hmmm.

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Game of Thrones, Season 3, Ep 4 “And Now His Watch Is Ended”

Sunday, 3 December, 2017

Intro: I’m watching Game of Thrones for the first time. I don’t know anything about it more recent than this episode.

Oh, Sansa Sansa Sansa Sansa Sansa Sansa Sansa Sansa…..

Oh my god, Sansa, what are you doing???

Okay, well, we’ll get to that in a bit. This is a really good episode, with a lot of cool action happening.

The North: The Night Watch men hold a funeral for one of their fallen brothers. Samwell talks to Gilly, the girl who just had a baby. She refuses to give it a name, because she knows Craster will have him killed before long. Tensions rise as some other Watch men complain about having to muck out Craster’s pigsties, and not being given anything to eat, while Craster feasts. Insults start flying and Craster picks up an axe, then all hell breaks loose as a Watch man stabs him, then Commander Mormont returns and gets stabbed as well! An all-in brawl starts, and Samwell rushes to grab Gilly and her baby and flee into the night.

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Game of Thrones, Season 3, Ep 3 “Walk of Punishment”

Saturday, 2 December, 2017

Intro: I’m watching Game of Thrones for the first time. I don’t know anything about it more recent than this episode.

This may sound odd to people familiar with some other things that happen this episode, but this was the funniest episode I’ve seen so far. At least, it began that way…

Riverrun: Cat and Robb’s retinue have returned to Rivverrun, where her father recently died. His body is placed on a boat and pushed into the river, then an archer takes aim at it with a flaming arrow… and misses. He has another go… and misses again. I thought he’d get it on the third shot, but no… he misses again. At this point, an older guy steps up, pushes the younger archer out of the way, and takes the shot, hitting the boat first go, with a “that’s how you do it” glare at the other guy. Ha ha! My wife and I were rolling in laughter by this point.

The young archer’s misfortunes continue, as Robb lambastes him for withdrawing from an attack against Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane. The other guy counters that he captured two young Lannister cousins, and they could be valuable hostages. Robb chews him out even more, pointing out that if Tywin hasn’t offered Sansa and Arya in exchange for Jaime, then why would he offer them to free two lesser relatives? Robb’s wife Talisa goes to see the young Lannisters and look after their battle/abduction wounds.

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