Monday, August 5, 2013

The luck factor

I've just got back from playing El Grande, a medieval Spain-themed board game, with Tracy and Tom. A very good game it is too. It's just about simple enough for me to understand (some of these modern games are too damn complicated for my liking) but it has multiple layers of strategy. It's dice-free and (on the face of it) almost luck-free, but as I actually won, luck must play a significant part. It took us two hours to play- if we were more experienced it would have been more like 90 minutes, which I think is just about the perfect length for a game. There was some faux-Spanish spoken, such as Tom's "el sixo" for a score of six.

Last Wednesday I attended the games evening at the library. It was nice to be in my comfort zone, playing games I'd actually heard of. I played Scrabble with one of the staff who organised the evening, and a guy from the autism group who talked almost constantly throughout. (It's amazing how many people I know who are capable of incessant talking.) I won by a decent margin despite being hampered by an unusable Q. I then played crib with that librarian - I happened to win by just one point in a dramatic finish.

Julie is someone else who can talk non-stop. She builds an impenetrable wall of words; every now and then I'll interject with "hmmm" or "that's right" and that's as far as I'll get. She'll get upset if I try to end the "conversation" which is usually a very negative monologue. Frankly Julie is a "time sink" I'd be better off without, even if (in her better moods) she can be understanding of my own problems.

Tom came over yesterday. He's got this amazing self-built briefcase computer. I wanted to take a photo of it and post it on here, but I could see he didn't like it when I pointed a camera in the general direction of the machine. Its innards include hard drives with huge capacities; it's got a screen on the outside and various protruding sockets. He transferred a bunch of comedy TV shows onto my laptop which was nice, but it took three hours, meaning he was here longer than I'd have liked. He gave me some handy pointers for my app though. I've been having all kinds of problems with it - everything that I could possibly think of has gone wrong, as well as many things I never would have thought of. I was over the moon this weekend when I received a much improved new version from the developers; up until then the problems seemed almost insurmountable.

At the weekend I heard a Scots College student (name Sebastian Hallum Clarke, born 14/7/97) talk on the radio about his success with apps. Later Kim Hill interviewed Eleanor Catton, 28-year-old author of an epic novel which has been nominated for this year's Booker Prize. In both instances you could see what a difference your upbringing (i.e. luck) makes.

This puzzle app is a lifeline to me. My chances of going anywhere in my current role are zero. Going anywhere good at least. My boss has sadly just been made redundant, meaning I'll soon have my fifth boss, and first female boss, in my time at the company. I don't think she'll be anything like as personable as my current manager. It's hard not to feel slightly edgy about it all.

Yesterday Tom told me that he went cold turkey on Efexor from a fairly high dose, with little in the way of an adverse reaction. He said Efexor numbed everything, as it has done for me. He now takes no antidepressants at all.

So Rubert Mugabe won the latest election in Zimbabwe by a landslide. Amazingly turnout for the election was 135%.

My brother had some drama at Christchurch when they tried to hit him with excess baggage charges running into the thousands. He should be back in the UK now, although I haven't heard from him.

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