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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Main | 2001 retrospective »

LAN party

michael and ronnie

Welcome to the last Blatherings of 2001!

I'm somewhat bleary-headed today, partly because I'm still recovering from Luisa's and Reid's LAN party, and partly because I caught some kind of bug. Don't think I'll be doing much partying tonight.

The LAN party was great; many thanks to Luisa and Reid for hosting it! For those of you not familiar with the term, a LAN party is traditionally a gathering of people who hook their computers up in a local area network, and play games until their eyes bleed. Sleep deprivation and junk food is also considered an essential element of the true LAN party.

The original quintessential LAN party game was Doom, though LAN gaming did exist before Doom. This year, the most popular game seemed to be "Return To Castle Wolfenstein", though there also was a lot of "Urban Terror" (which they kept referring to UT, which kept confusing me since I always associate that acronym to Urban Tapestry :-)).

I've never been able to play games like Quake or Doom...I'm too prone to motion sickness. I can't even -watch- anyone play these types of games for long without getting queasy.

The games are also a tad too realistic in their violence for me to be able to fully enjoy them, even if I didn't get sick. When I play computer games, I tend to go for the "nurturing" or strategy type games rather than "kill and conquer". As I've mentioned in previous Blatherings, I've been hooked on Myst, The Sims, and Civilization. Exception to the rule: Rogue (which I got hooked on back in university thanks to Michelle and now have on my Palm thanks to Bryan :)).

Anyway, while others played networked computer games on the weekend, I played The Sims (Portia Potter is doing quite well, and didn't even accidentally set anyone on fire!), updated Waiting for Frodo and My Life In A Nutshell, worked on a special project with Craig White, and hung out and chatted with other non-gamers.

People dropped by throughout the weekend. Some stayed through the night, others just visited for a few hours to chat. It was the kind of party with all kinds of interesting pockets of conversation and activity throughout the house.

I'd peek into the basement and find Luisa's sons, Ronnie and Michael, trouncing Jeff and Bryan at Castle Wolfenstein (photo at the top is of Ronnie and Michael; there's also a photo of Jeff/Bryan later in this Blathering as they were losing to R&M). Upstairs, I'd see Mike Diamond beside his young son Kyle, their eyes glued to the screen and headphones on, networked into the current game. I got to hold Megan Kesner again (Jeff and Gail's baby, smiles a LOT), and congratulate David Brake and Delphine Grynszpan on their engagement.

And whenever I got too tired, I'd find an empty bedroom and crash for a little while. Near the end of the weekend, my half hour power snoozes turned into real crashes...I recall telling Michelle and Andrew (see above photo) on Saturday night that I was just going upstairs to nap for an half an hour, for example. The next time I was conscious was when Jeff woke me up at about 4 a.m., saying that we were going home.

One of the cool things about the weekend was that I could wander through the house with my laptop and still be online; Jeff installed an Airport card into Samantha (my computer) on Friday night, and there was an Airport hub hooked up in the basement.

Luisa and I got a lot of time to hang out and just chat, especially during set-up and tear-down at the beginning and end of the LAN party. This was one of the highlights of the LAN party weekend for me. :-)

Sunday consisted of some gaming (Iain, Jeff, Bryan, Scott, Michael, Ronnie, Reid) and gabbing (Luisa and me), clean-up and moving furniture back into their original configurations, and then dinner out at the Red Lobster. Red Lobster commercials on television always look so enticing; unfortunately reality didn't live up to the mouthwatering marketing ads, or at least when we visited. Filling, though, and by the end of the meal I was starting to doze off, I was so sleepy. Very embarrassing. :-)


This is it! Your last chance to publicly post your New Year's Resolutions before the New Year actually begins!

Scott and Amanda Snyder have posted new Zo|AMP|euml; pics on Sonomancer.

Chris Conway was the only one to post his 2002 Wish List in Blatherchat, so here it is:

Christo's wishes for 2002

1. people stop killing each other

2. Professional politicials to be abolished - jury system of government - 500 names pulled out of a hat i each country to serve as each country's parliament, well paid for 4 years. World government overseeing all countrys parliaments handed over to Urban Tapestry.

3. and thirdly..

4. DVDs to be made cheaper - especially Lexx DVDs

5. Dogs will be classed as vermin and be elimitaed from the surface of the planet (sorry dog-lovers - I'm not a dog person and this is my list)

6. The cities are domed over as we were promised in old Scifi books/films.

7. George Bush replaced by Bette Midler or similar.

8. actions taken to reduce human population - especially in the UK - 58 million!!! Ireland has 3 million , Denmark has 3 million. If humans were rats in the UK we would've called Rentakill long ago.

9. New album from Urban Tapestry please

10. I wanna get to see Brian Wilson touring UK in January

11. Wanna see Jefferson Starship again too in 2002

12. Advertising to be abolished. People will be supplied with a directory of available companies to buy things from.

13. Everone will be paid a wage for existing. Anyone wishing to have more money may work for it if they choose.

14. The more unpleasant and hard the job, the higher the pay. Sewage workers, nurses etc - highest paid. Politicians, musicians - will get nothing, or maybe dinner at most. A scale will have to be worked out. This will be sorted by the parliaments and final decisions made by Urban Tapestry.

I also asked for life insights. Here are some from Heather Munn:

- Con artists come in many flavors, but no matter how sweet, underneath the sugar coating, they are still rotting lumps of coal.

- No matter how thick or festering the lump of coal, some still make fine diamonds deep inside (ask me about the Christmas card I recieved this year)

There's more about strangers and the kindness thereof, but I couldn't figure out how to put it. Just trust me when I say that the crazyquilt ladies and the #filkhaven folk are some of the finest people around. What about the rest of you?

And re: my drooling over Sean Bean, Julie has kindly pointed out that if I'd like more Sean Bean action I should check out the Sharpe series on TV..."- a British based thing, sometimes shown on PBS in the States, available on video. Set in the the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars. Features Bean being super-herioc in a 'street-rat-orphan-made good' 'promoted-from-the-ranks-for-saving-Wellington's-life' 'struggling-with-the-difficulties-thereof' kind of way. Lots of good fight scenes, accurate history, good portrayal of social stigmas, and he almost always gets a girl...".

Talk to you all next year!

-- Debbie


- Mostly from Luisa's and Reid's LAN party on the weekend. The last graphic was my first experiment with the scratchboard variant tool in Painter.

Today's Poll:

Are you generally happier now that you were a year ago?

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