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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mid-week hump

Summer is almost upon us here, but you wouldn't think so looking at the weather outside. It's grey, with only little streaks of blue visible, which doesn't bode well for a planned photographic excursion to Long Jetty tomorrow. (It was either Thursday or Friday, but I figured the former suits me better seeing I can then duck off and get any pictures printed up on Friday.)

Currently, I feel a bit out-of-sorts. I'm at home today, listening to the soundtrack of “Game of Thrones”, which I have started watching recently. The music is doing it's work, and I have been captivated by the opening theme, which is quite powerful. Pity there isn't a five minute version of it rather than the 106 second long main title theme.

Still, good show. I was sucked into it by the end of the first episode. As always, one develops a liking for certain characters, and I must admit, I really like the dwarf, Tyrion Lannister, and the spirited tomboy Arya Stark. Of course, Sean Bean leads the way as Eddard Stark – he's very suited to the role. I'm four episodes into it, and looking forward to the other six in the first season.

Haven't been tempted to read the books though. I have seen a few people reading them during my recent train trips, but have heard negative things about them from fellow gamers who have read them. I honestly don't have the time to read them currently, seeing I trying to read four books at once already. One of them, a book listing all of Rome's emperors (and usurpers), I picked up whilst out delivering papers last week for a mere $5. It is helping me amend a list that I started compiling back in 2005, whilst doing Open Foundation at Ourimbah.

Currently, the list contains the names of 157 emperors and pretenders, from Augustus in 27 BC right down to Romulus Augustulus, who was 14 years old in 475 AD when he was crowned emperor. Within a year he was forced to abdicate, but was granted a pension and died in 511 AD.

The list was originally compiled as a side project just to see what was the average time on the throne of a Roman emperor, and the most common means of death. The original list revealed that they lasted around eight years, and very nearly one in three were assassinated. However, the original list contained very few usurpers, and as I go through this book, the list of those who felt that they could do a better job than the man (men) in charge just gets longer and longer. At times there were even usurpers rising up against other usurpers, and early in the fourth century there were five gents marching about with claims on either the eastern or western half of the empire at the same time. One emperor, Maximianus, who co-ruled with Diocletian, had three goes at it, and really should've stayed retired the first time round.

Who needs TV dramas when you have all this political and military manoeuvring to read about? The book, Triumph and tragedy: The rise and fall of Rome's immortal emperors, by Alexander Canduci, is at times written very tongue-in-cheek, which I quite like, seeing that some of these gentlemen went to extraordinary lengths to grab the top spot, and others just became a footnote (if that) in history after believing that they could do better, but couldn't.

Anyway, I digress. My mood currently is quite indifferent. I felt quite drained after work on Monday (it was quite warm), the day made even longer by listening to the Australians inability to dismiss South Africa on the last day of the second test. It was hardly inspiring stuff. If you have your opponents four wickets down going into the last day, surely you should be able to get the final six in a day's play. Australia should've won this match, but didn't, and one hopes that the changes made to the side will pay dividends at Perth over the next five days.

I actually have a chance to go to the cricket next year. A mate of mine is getting tickets for a day's play of the new year's test against Sri Lanka. It's been a while since I last visited the SCG, but seeing that I have other distractions during summer...

...like football for example. I rushed back on Sunday from Newcastle (after playing a couple of games of Blood Bowl) to see the Mariners take on Brisbane Roar. A fiery, entertaining first half was replaced by a tough, dour second half, but the home side got the points and comfortably sit second on the ladder. The same mate who is getting the tickets for the cricket in January, is coming up for the top of the table clash against Adelaide this Saturday, and I have already acquired a ticket for him and his son. It was nice to be able to utilise one of my membership privileges, in that I can claim four free tickets during the season for mates.

Sunday was indeed a very long day. I was awake around 7am, was on a train to Newcastle at 8.45, returning back to Gosford for the football at 3.30pm. I arrived at the ground about five minutes before kick-off. After the game, a fellow gamer that I hadn't seen for a while popped in, and we were chatting up until 2am. (Of course, I had to work Monday, didn't I?)

Gees, I've done it again. I can't exactly put my finger on the central course of my moodiness. Yesterday I ducked into town to grab the football tickets, and had lunch at the club. The buffet I must say wasn't that good, and I've made a mental note to avoid it from now on. (That and I've gained a couple of kilos which I'm determined to lose before the next dietician's appointment in March next year.) I got another batch of pictures printed up (I go to one particular spot because I like one of the sales assistants at a particular store – she even calls me by my first name when I'm picking up the photographs), knocked two more things off my “Must Get” list, and headed home, and have been here ever since.

I just feel like I'm in a apathetic mood. I don't really want to do anything, but, as my mind often reminds me, we have to do something, seeing there is so much we can catch up on, like this blog entry for instance, or sorting and cataloguing the huge amount of pictures that I have taken this year. Instead, all I feel like doing is watching a DVD or playing computer games.

Sigh. I'm sure it'll pass.

Funnily enough, on Monday, my sister started working for the same place that I'm working at. She has taken a sales position, where she goes out and drums up some business for the company, trying to get businesses to buy advertising space in the papers. She'll be doing this 2-3 days a week, earning a commission if she gets any sales. She resigned from her previous job, due to some internal drama, and is actually looking forward to getting on the road and making some money.

I don't have a problem with it. I hope she does well. Perhaps I might even get to see her more often.

Anyway, I think that's enough for now. Ciao!

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