Evil Overlord List commented by Evil Overlords (inspired by Seawasp's post) Part 01
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ath_winter_lord
Inspired by: http://grandcentralarena.com/just-for-fun-the-annotated-evil-overlord-part-1/

My Evil Overlords want to comment too! (Why did no one invite them to the panel, they wonder. Just because no one knows of them doesn't mean they don't have an opinion!)

Introduction and some backround on Arentus and Thalos:

Thalos gives his age as 92 (centuries), Arentus makes up a random number whenever he's asked, Thalos knows though, and gives Arentus' age as 89 (centuries).

Around 10k years ago, when the humans on the Earth with Magic got smart enough to use said magic (and a few found out where it was possible in the first place), their history branched off from ours. (Naturally. A world where humans can use magic would take a different path.)

Those with the right talent (or were taught how to do it) even found out how to prevent ageing. There are other talents, one of which enables one to watch our (real) world, same time, any place (called Farseers).

There were as many different kinds of people as there are now; nice ones, nasty ones, crazy ones, and everything in between. Arentus and Thalos were among the nasty ones from the start. They met early on and found they have the same mind set.
For the curious:
https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!original/alt.fiction.original/JLmVo8AbWno/AmpocQUULI0J (Part 1, starts elsewhere but Arentus is met near the end.)
https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!original/alt.fiction.original/enIBugovtEU/32GbbuNuMq8J (Part 2, Arentus as viewpoint.)
(I should really polish them one day, without word limit. [sigh])

The amount of magic is decided by raw brainpower at birth (like hardware) within a certain range, and then grows 0.25% per year, so over the millenia those that stuck around from back then got to be considerably more powerful than any newly born people.

Eventually they all worked together to scare the newer people into living in certain protected areas; everyone got their own little plot to rule as they saw fit. Over time, their original description; Magician (powerful user of magic) was shortened to Shan. So now every Shan rules what's called a city (but might not even qualify as village, depending).

Arentus and Thalos of course didn't like others being around, never mind that they minded their own business. So over the millinia they schemed to whittle away at the numbers. At the start of the story, there's only the insane, deluded, narcisstic, might-once-have-been-nice-but-was-driven-nuts, paranoid, uncaring, and similar left. 28 of them. With only the two main ones deliberately nasty and enjoying it. Ironically (or maybe not; it _is_ planned), their two plots are the best places to live in - as long as you don't draw their attention upon you.

(There's also the rest of the world; the Evil Overlords and Ladies only cover the landmass equivalent to the North American continent.)

Arentus looks like he's in his mid-thirties. He has a very pale complexion, black hair and eyes, black trousers and shirt. Handsome, with a beak-like nose marring the picture. He comes across as relaxed, or maybe bored, or distracted and amused by something no one else can see (which is quite possible; they can watch other places without needing to look into/at something solid).

Thalos looks like he's in his early to mid-twenties, has a bearing of a spoiled rich son. He's most likely playing with his food like a bored three-year old and not giving the impression that he's paying attention.

On to the commentary!

1. My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear plexiglass visors, not face-concealing ones.

Arentus: Legions? Oh, you mean guards. Yeah, I have guards. He even has female ones. They don't need helmets. They're not there to fight anyone.

2. My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.

Arentus: Ventilation ducts? Air's exchanged with magic, all set up automatically. Besides, I don't mind visitors wandering around in the bunker. Might spark something interesting.

3. My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.

Arentus: Brother? Throne? Make sense, man.

Thalos: He means whatever siblings your actual father might have sired.

Arentus: I know that. My answer amuses me more.

4. Shooting is not too good for my enemies.

Arentus: How inefectual. Shooting those nuts would just annoy them, far too much work to smooth the waters again. Now killing one, or two-

Thalos: Or three,...

Arentus: Yeah. I take every chance there is that will let me get away with it without the whole lot of them coming after me.

Thalos, to Dark Wanderer's comment: You know, even that wouldn't work on most of our enemies. To kill a Shan you have to be fast, and unexpected, with magic. Without that that stupid cow would have long since bombed all our places.

Arentus : And wouldn't that have been a waste of good toys.

5. The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.

Arentus: Yeah, I keep my brain well protected. And with me at all times. Need it to think, you know.

6. I will not gloat over my enemies’ predicament before killing them.

Arentus: That'd kind of prevent killing them, see 'fast and unexpected'.

Thalos: Plus gloating might prevent them getting into a convenient situation where killing them is possible. Some of those nuts are so easily upset, and once they hold a grudge it lasts centuries.

Arentus: Also, gloating is boring.

Thalos, to the pro-gloating faction's comments: That's what toys are there for.

7. When I’ve captured my adversary and he says, “Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?” I’ll say, “No.” and shoot him. No, on second thought I’ll shoot him then say “No.”

Arentus: The Shans know what it's all about, that's why they're weary. Those that think the lines are finally drawn and relax learn otherwise sooner or later. But until that sooner or later, it'll be more convenient to leave them in that delusion at least. Makes the fast and unexpected more likely to present itself.

Thalos: You're just lazy.

Arentus: Yeah.

Thalos, to master Wieran's comment: You are starting to remind me of Aleveyn. You have nothing in common with the little rat, but those hyper-ventilating outbursts do resemble his paranoid screeching a lot.

Arentus : What about our good lady here and Cassalena?

Thalos: Later.

Arentus, to Endgame's comment: That kind of behaviour has ruined Ghaveen's little plot every time. And then she comes running to me to poke some life back into her toys. That's work! Came.

Thalos: It was an accident. She didn't realize that following me to complain about my sudden disappearence wasn't a very good idea. She should have known better, but like Arentus said; she was never very good at considering consequences.

8. After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married immediately in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle in three weeks’ time during which the final phase of my plan will be carried out.

Arentus: Marry? Never mind that such pointless activity isn't even known in Solid City. I have enough troubles keeping those fools off my back as it is, I won't be tied up with some hysterical bitch.

Thalos , then turns to Thornfalcon: Aleveyn thought setting a horde of large predator cats on my guests would upset me. I consider it a loss-less opportunity for him to think he got back at me for disrupting his boring fair. Bound and gagged on the other hand is always entertaining, as is giving people the choice of risking that fate and charming them into picking the wrong one. Puppets on the other hand would be utterly boring.

Thalos, to Master Wieran after his rant #11: Why get so worked up at what some mere toy thinks of you? They don't get it, that's part of the joke. People are so predictable, they think of you in terms they understand. That leaves them wide-open for you to present a nice picture, until they're ripe to be jumped on with what you're really like, to harvest their delightfully outraged reactions.

9. I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labelled “Danger: Do Not Push”. The big red button marked “Do Not Push” will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not clearly be labelled as such.

Arentus: Self-destruct mechanism on what?

Thalos: Maybe your city.

Arentus: Oh. Well, blowing that up wouldn't need some technology that does things at best half as well as magic. But why? Rebuilding is so much Work.

Thalos: You're just lazy.

Arentus: Yeah. Really. A generation of puppets, and steering the lot of them to produce and raise the new real people into the right culture and mind-set? Not if I can help it. That's at least two decades of work.

Thalos , then to Dark Wanderer: Why blow everything up after you're dead? You won't be around to enjoy the reaction of those who would be disheartened by all the casualties.

10. I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum — a small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.

Arentus: Inner sanctum?

Thalos: Maybe he means the bottom of the bunker; your bedroom.

Arentus: How's that special, apart from what I choose to do there? It's not as if the others can't pop in any time anyway. And interrogate whom?

Thalos : If we really want to know something a toy has in their head, we catch them. Takes some of the fun out, though. And it's not as if there's anything we need to know from them.

Arentus : The other Shans are as predictable as gravity, well, as predictable as gravity that has not been meddled with with magic, anyway.

Thalos: And for plain old torture, any place that the ignorant may not wander into and get prematurely spooked will do. Well, any comfortable place.

Arentus: Bedroom fits that just fine. Though he's the messy one, I prefer things not so bloody. Or noisy.

11. I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or leaving my weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.

Arentus: Of course I'm the power. But letting my toys know what I'm really like drip by drip is half the fun. And propping them back up when they get disheartened, in preparation for the next blow.

Thalos: That's the sole point of keeping a city with ignorant people, you know. We don't have weaker enemies, we have Shans, and ordinary people. After all those millenia, the other Shans know what we're like. Tweaking their noses must be handled carefully, to prevent the whole lot of them coming after us.

Arentus: And toys are just that. They don't have the magic to ever become a threat. Wasting them when there could still be some use in them is, well, a waste. Better dump them somewhere else, or store them in case a use turns up.

12. One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.

Arentus: I have better uses for pretty five-year-olds with brains.

Thalos: And no plans.

Arentus: Yeah, that too. But I'll listen to what the kid has to say. They've got some vivid imagination that might prompt something interesting, something new!

Thalos: You enthusiasm has you forget that they're to scared to talk at all, unless they're a favorite.

Arentus: Well, there's that. Hey, free kids aren't scared either. I listen to them when they are evaluated for attending my school.

13. All slain enemies will be cremated, or at least have several rounds of ammunition emptied into them, not left for dead at the bottom of the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as well as any accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after the aforementioned disposal.

Arentus: So you've met Skai? But everyone knows that he-

Thalos: Or she, no one knows.

Arentus: Yeah. Everyone knows that he -or she- will turn up again no matter how often you explode his body and spread the molecules around the globe, altered to oxygen at that.

Thalos: Everyone else works out fine with the exploding and spreading method, though. Standard procedure with dead Shans. A bit overdone, mind. Brain alone will do.

To Thornfalcon: Cassalena thinks she's nice too. Will lecture everyone on how unkind they are objecting to people just wanting to have fun.

Arentus: And on how she knows it's fun because she tried it, and the spoilsports should try harder to enjoy it.

14. The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any other form of last request.

Arentus: What hero?

Thalos: You can be my hero.

Arentus: Don't expect me to wear tights.

Thalos: There go my dreams.

15. I will never employ any device with a digital countdown. If I find that such a device is absolutely unavoidable, I will set it to activate when the counter reaches 117 and the hero is just putting his plan into operation.

Arentus: More of this technology stuff? Who needs that when you have magic that does more things better and faster?

Thalos: Let's play along and pretend it's a timer worked with magic.

Arentus: A Shan would spot it, everyone else could not ever sense it.

Thalos: So a technology timer then, to set something magic off?

Arentus: Have you been playing with Farseers again?

Thalos: Not beyond your last one. That's the problem really. Techology would point at a Farseer involved, which would be seen as a weakness by the other Shans, and not start anything harmful to them at that.

Arentus: And with everyone else, it doesn't matter what you do, they don't have the magic to ever become a threat.

16. I will never utter the sentence “But before I kill you, there’s just one thing I want to know.”

Arentus: Why would anyone say that?

Thalos: Maybe they're bored and hope for something interesting?

Arentus: You should check with Scandrah if she ever did that with one of her toys.

17. When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice.

Arentus: I've got that silly sod there. Sometimes even spouts useful stuff.

Thalos: Why thank you.

18. I will not have a son. Although his laughably under-planned attempt to usurp power would easily fail, it would provide a fatal distraction at a crucial point in time.

Arentus: I've sired some. They became boring eventually, and went the way of all ordinary people.

Thalos: Same here. Can be amusing to pretend you're a kid's father too, for a while.

19. I will not have a daughter. She would be as beautiful as she was evil, but one look at the hero’s rugged countenance and she’d betray her own father.

Arentus: I've got a currently living daughter. Raised her properly even, didn't suspect a thing. Then she became boring and I threw her out. Fun to taunt now and then. Pretty, for a woman, no grace though. They never have any. Also no heart for 'evil', the wasted whore cares about people.

Thalos glances at him sideways, then turnes to the imagined group: He doesn't like curves. But anyway, the thing about siring children, or rather the people that think it'd give them anything against us, is not understanding magic. We grew to the amount we have. And unless we meddle with the result while it's being conceived, any child will end up with the genetic heritage of what we were born with, not what we got now.

20. Despite its proven stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge in maniacal laughter. When so occupied, it’s too easy to miss unexpected developments that a more attentive individual could adjust to accordingly.

Arentus bursts out laughing.

Thalos: Trust me, he's not going to miss anything. Laughing doesn't interrupt the links to markers and catches we have.

To Amanita: He laughs because he's amused. Doesn't matter if anyone's present.

"Who let the cows out?"
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ath_winter_lord
Just seen on the news, and found it on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p05G2KIsZXY

Writer's Block: It's too warm outside already.
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ath_winter_lord
I live in Minnesota, so it's funny to hear people in places like California complaining about the cold. What temperature is too cold for you?

Well, I can only be certain about absolute zero. That sounds a little chilly even for me. Better ask me what's too warm. 15 degrees Celsius is just about acceptable (-5 to +15 is my prefered range). +20 and I complain, +25; I'm whining almost constantly. +30 and more; I've melted and am but a puddle on the floor.

With cold, I can put on clothes (with lots of handy pockets), with warmth, there's only so much to take off and it's still way too hot.

I like snow. Rain is ok.

Wind is a different matter. Anything but a light breeze (around 5km per hour) is a bad idea. -9C without wind is fine (-20C would be), 0C with wind is unpleasant, and even in heat it doesn't help, only messes up my flat when both south and north windows are open. If they stay open (another annoyance with wind; they tend not to).


This makes me giggle.
cool
ath_winter_lord
Probably on the news all over the world (it is here), but for those who haven't seen it yet, a true cat burglar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhRW4WmfrDA&NR=1

My stories.
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ath_winter_lord
I've got a community for my stories, and even something in it now! Anyone curious and/or willing to help, that's it:

http://community.livejournal.com/ath_stories/

New animal hype: cross-eyed opossum.
what now
ath_winter_lord
To sigh or not to sigh. I don't know. (Concerning the new hype.)

The animal itself... First time I've seen it on TV, I thought it was a stuffed toy or something, it looks so unreal.

Here's a link to some info (the translated version makes up with humourous mis-translation for what it gets wrong, but the basics are there).

http://www.welt.de/vermischtes/kurioses/article11623187/Das-schielende-Opossum-Heidi-ist-ein-Star.html

or (translated by google):

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.welt.de/vermischtes/kurioses/article11623187/Das-schielende-Opossum-Heidi-ist-ein-Star.html&ei=VJsjTemYIMSO4gaQtLGGAg&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CCAQ7gEwAQ&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dopossum%2Bheidi%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1272%26bih%3D660%26prmd%3Divns

(If you wonder what they mean by 'game' in the translated article, the orignal word is 'handicap'. And 'you should live in' should say 'she shall live in...')

Writer's Block: Conversation starters
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ath_winter_lord
Are there any subjects you either embrace or totally avoid talking about when you meet someone new?

Yeah, I evade stating my opinion on most things. 

Because my opinion on most things is: "Everyone doing foo is a moron." while 'foo' is considered normal and accepted by pretty much everyone (because, well, they're morons and don't think). There's neither point nor gain in saying anything about it in that situation (never mind it would be to people that I'm not going to spend my free time with anyway).

Perhaps you'd never guess that I'm actually friendly and considerate to strangers, and even known people (until they are rude or inconsiderate towards me, or spout so much bullshit that I tell them they are doing just that). It's interesting to see how nice people (like staff in shops) react to even someone in not too fine clothes and some teeth missing (back before I got new for both), for just a smile and friendly manners (as well as the 2% that doesn't, and might just be in a permanently irritated mood, or just have a bad day).

As there isn't anyone I'd want to spend my free time with, most of my interactions are with 'someone new', as in staff in shops, or random people at the tram station starting a chat for whatever reason (or responding to me asking something). I guess that's my favorite interaction, even better than Usenet or online (because I learn even less about whatever quirks they have that I disagree with). They're friendly, I'm friendly, an overall pleasant experience.

Bah.
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ath_winter_lord
LJ just removed some entries from the inbox that I'd deliberately kept there. And no way to get them back (normally, going back to a previous state (page) would even bring back entries that I'd accidentally deleted, but these, not deleted at all, are gone as if they had never existed).

So, awkward to communicate, near useless for keeping track of a conversation, and now impossible to keep entries from being lost.

What was the point of this thing again?

Over the last days were several things that I thought of posting, but couldn't be bothered. This is just the last drop.

Writer's Block: Welcome home
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ath_winter_lord
Do you prefer to live in a region with a temperate climate or four seasons, and why?

Regions with temperate climate do have four seasons, and there are people that would prefer to live in not temperate zones without four seasons.

Just who makes up inane questions like that?

(Me, if not for the grocery store being a bit far, I'd prefer Antarctica, for the better weather.)

Writing, or not...
cuddly
ath_winter_lord
Have you ever had a story (you write yourself) that reminds you of nothing so much as a puppy?

I have one that did that. It first came to me when I was writing another stoy.

I had been going full speed, 2* ~170k words in around 4 months. Then, around 30k words into the third book I suddenly had no answer to 'what now'. This other story had been nudging my window with its nose, and I had been putting it off, thinking 'finish this first' for a while. I crawled forwards for a few hundred words over the following weeks, then ground to a halt. (I later noticed something was off that needed to be fixed in the second book, after I managed to get past this stop and wrote up to a point - all wrong past what I had, and still have, in mind for one particular scene - where a character practically jumped at me, waving and saying, "Hello, you forgot me!" Well, my characters don't speak to me, but the effect is the same.)

My way of writing is just, well, writing. I feel like saying, "I don't make this up, I just write it down." It works out best that way. Things tie up and weave itself around each other, clues are put in. The less I speculate and think about it, the more sense it makes. Whenever I try to do something deliberately I just end up needing to go back to fix it, the more I try to force something, the bigger is the discrepancy with what it later really turns out as. So far that's left me with lots of story that goes smoothly, with only one character forgotten (see above), and there are a great big lot of characters. The words themselves are another matter, but that's not what this is about...

So I went and started the other story that had been pestering me. Six books with an average of 130k words in around 8 months. It quickly went down an entirely different path than what I had intended, but at the end I even knew what it is about, and that 'about' resolved to a happy end.

Ok, new idea. Started writing, all fine, until something crept in. "Shoo!" I thought. Nope, it stayed. Something that had been prominent in the story I had just finished. Like a puppy that comes at you while you're busy with something else. With a happy doggy grin, wagging its tail, encouraging you to play.

"Not now." I tried to tell it.

Puppy yipped and grinned at me.

And less than a month after I'd finished the story, I was back to reading it from the start. (Fixing what I noticed while I was at it, from typos to surplus and missing words, to smoothing sentences and paragraphs, to tweaking bits here and there with what I then knew better than when I had first written it - finding out things as I write. I am not good at tweaking, I worry that I might have overdone it, but that's not what this is about...)

So I read through it all, likely having even more fun reading it than I had first writing it. I knew what would come, bits I like particularly well... (I'd always liked re-reading better than first reading, with books that hit my taste. Books I don't like are a waste of time even the first time round.)

I started other stories, tried to continue the third book of the first (see above) after rereading it (the same way I reread the pupply one, enjoying that too, mind), started more stories. But puppy would always come back, wanting to play. And it always won. It just wouldn't go away. I'd have to check my progess files to count how often I've reread that (while fixing what I noticed), and that doesn't count the times I just read bits.

Then I had an idea. Write more. I wrote past the end. (You ever had a book where, at the end, you'd have liked to spend more time with it, the characters, the world? That's what I wrote for myself here. There are still things open, only what it is about is resolved.) And at (currently) 105104 words of the 7th of six books, I managed to write it out of my head.

It leaves me alone now. But that doesn't mean I don't think of it. It just is no more prominent than the other one (that still needs the third book finished).

Some time ago I moved into a new flat, with broadband (didn't have that before) and a new computer along with it. The stories had all been neglected, sitting on the old computer that wasn't switched on. I have backups, but the new computer is just the wrong environment, looks wrong, feels wrong, for writing. I missed my stories, and then began reading the second book of the unfinished story in the backup file, finding the spot to fix. I bought a switch (for using one monitor & keyboard for both computers) and turned the old one back on.

Then I got distracted. Livejournal, always trying to find a game that's interesting (no luck there), and besides wanting to fix that bit and finish the story, I also want to continue beta-reading someone else's story.

I'm easily distracted. On rasfc someone had a horse question. Reminded me of some bits I have with horses too. I asked a question (no answer, sadly), then read the relevant bit to refresh my memory. Then read another bit with horses in the same story. It's in the third book of the former puppy one. I read bits of the fourth and the fifth book, all of the sixth and the seventh (making notes of what to fix once I go back to editing), throughoughly enjoying it. And I've come to a conclusion.

For some time I've been wondering whether the fifth and sixth might not be affected by what's commonly refered to as 'braineater'. These two don't even have titles. There's something that turns up quite often, and it stands out at least to me.

But I like it. This is my fantasy, and I would like to spend even more time with it.

If I ever find a betareader, the first story has lots of rambling that needs fixing, and I'd really like to know how well it would work out for someone else, whether the characters would work for someone else. Of the puppy, at best I'd be willing to share the first book (which does have a sort of end but no happy one, pretty much everyone ends up worse off than at the start). The rest is for my entertainment alone.

[happy grin]

I doubt anyone else would like it as much as I, or even understand it. It took me six books to figure out what was really going on, and I finally 'got it'. Anyone else could too easily doubt the characters and end up thinking, "WTF?" Never mind the braineater bit. *g*

So, the puppy has grown up, but it's still special.

Writer's Block: Eye for an eye?
what now
ath_winter_lord
If you bumped into someone who regularly picked on you as a child, what would you say to them?

Nothing.

I probably wouldn't recognize them anyway, not remembering names or even faces. Or even unnamed, faceless individuals in most cases. [*]

Why should I say anything to anyone I would know picked on me 30 (+/-5) years ago? What are they supposed to mean to me?

I wonder: If these questions are from and for teens, why phrase it 'on you as child' implying past, when it's adressing children?

[*] Funny how they always remember on TV. I could maybe name a handful of people from across _all_ years at school. Plus perhaps a handful more first names. If straining.

Looking at sites that list schools and people signing up looking for others, I recognized one person, the first name and knowing it was a funny double last name, with some info that matched what I recall. Even having spent some time with her at around age 8 or so, I don't try to reestablish contact.

And what's the subject got to do with the question? (Yes I can guess. The question remains.)

Lost wonder.
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ath_winter_lord
My back windows overlook a patch of land with trees and bushes and grass, framed by terraced houses (just 3/4 floors depending how you count, around 5 to 8 house numbers on each side, 8 flats per number). Very pleasant all year round. (In summer I don't even see any other house from some angle, due to the leaves.)

I thought it a shame that nearly all snow had melted, but now it's back. The trees, and bushes, the grass and paths all have a thick lair of white on it, very bright especially after dark.

Looking out the kitchen window with the light turned off, it looks like sprung from a fairy tale, or those fairy tale films made some time in the 70s or 80s somewhere in Eastern Europe. (Czechoslovakia? Not sure.) They even had a kind of series set in the land of fairy tales.

There's one tree especially, just a few meters from my windows, surrounded by grass and a path around both, a hedge bordering the other side of the path, that draws the eye. A tree that one could imagine to have a personality, or magic.

And it makes me think about the wonder and mystery. It's there and I have it right outside my window, but it's not really there, and I don't really have it. The wonder lost, and only the wish for it remaining.

I look outside, and want... a story set in that. With the wonder and mystery, and perhaps even adventure. But I doubt even writing one myself could quite get it back.

What's left is the view, all year round, and the tree whose branches I can see from my bed, and looking at it, not quite wish a good night before going to sleep.
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(no subject)
what now
ath_winter_lord

What to eat?

Pre-made stuff from the freezer
0(0.0%)
Chicken breast
1(100.0%)
Kale
0(0.0%)
Pizza
0(0.0%)
No stew
0(0.0%)
This really is an either/or, no multiple answers, and no alternatives.
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What to eat?
what now
ath_winter_lord
So, what's for dinner/supper/tea?

Some stuff for the frying pan (bought as is, has potatos, some vegs, and tiny flat fried ground meat things - I have meatballs to add more)?

Chicken breast with brussels sprouts?

Kale (with smoked ground meat sausages)?

Pizza? (Just needs some extra cheese - I doubt what's left from the last one is still good - but I'll have to go out and buy sugar anyway.)

The only other thing I've got is one more portion/pot of the Stew Where I Forgot The Cabbage (still nice though), and I had the next-to-last portion the last two or three days.

I guess this offers itself to be turned into a poll. (I like polls.) Only question remains, how do I insert that into this post?
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Mental excercises?
w-curious
ath_winter_lord
I once again noticed how I am less able to juggle numbers than I used to. As I can't got back 25 years to recover the ability, I am looking for alternative methods.

Three things I blame for this[*], one I can do something about. So, does anyone here have links to 'brain jogging', mental exercises?

(I've got Sudokus in paper format, but after a while they turn into mechanic following of steps, and get boring... Anything else I'm happy to look at.)

Thanks.

[*]
1. Natural decline. (I'm 38, huh.)
2. [Not so bright things done when younger.]
3. Lack of excercise (not the physical sort, though they lack even more).

#3 is what I want to change.

Random thoughts.
cuddly
ath_winter_lord
No food yet (unless you count coffee, which sates quite well for a while), but it'll be the remnants of the kale I made earlier this week (see below), if it's still good. If not, it'll be chicken breast with brussel's sprouts. (Yum.) So, I'm back to something resembling almost real cooking now. :)

Snow! Finally! Must be around an inch by now, and it still snows. Whohoo!

Had another appointment today, and went by tram again. Which meant _I_ turned into a pack mule on the way back (rather than my bicycle, which I fondly call that) when, after getting some money from the cash machine (would you believe the door to it was locked yesterday afternoon!), I did some shopping for groceries.

Lucky me thought to buy coffee (I wasn't sure how much I had left, only that I was on the last pack), as brewing up just now emptied the last pack. :)

Also got some chicken breast (unfortunately I couldn't find the sort with skin and bone still attached), as well as frozen vegs for the freezer (fresh just is no good for 1 person household, unless it ends up in the shiny new 12l stew pot), and more kale.

I like kale. Sadly, the nearest grocery store doesn't have any (said they'll get some later in the year, which I can understand looking at how much they squeeze into the available space, every can counts!), so I only had one can that I dumped into the pot with onions and some smoked-ground-meat-sausages.

Next day I put the pot on the cooker, turned it on, then closed the kitchen door because for some reason the (non-peeled, still-in-net) onions spread an odour I can do without. (They never did that in the old flat! Here potatoes go off real soon, too. I'll welcome any tips - just don't suggest the cellar, that's warm, probably from heating and/or hot water coming from there.)

So, naturally(?) I forgot all about it until my nose picked up a very faint smell of kale that reminded me...

Rushing into the kitchen I found my first (in this flat) throughoughly burned meal quietly steaming away. Doused it with hot water, transfered what was still eatable to a different pot, then decided to better rinse it in a colander. Which rescued the raw food content from tasting burned, and also from tasting of anything at all. <g> Some various-seasoning-mix stuff helped with that, and it turned out fine to eat (with picking out the black bits of the sliced sausage).

Still got some left (one can is a lot for one person), so will see whether that's still good after overall 3 days. Looking forward to the chicken.
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-9°C is cold.
wardrobe
ath_winter_lord
Had an appointment late afternoon today, and wondered whether to skip it. -9°C doesn't sound appealing, especially with the news saying it feels like -20°C due to the wind.

Mind, I like cold. I'm happy between -5°C and +15°C, and with snow and no wind I'm happy with less than -5°C. But snow has been evading me. Elsewhere in Germany they get 15cm. Here, earlier today I thought it'd end up an average of 1µm. By now it might just go up to 1mm. Maybe that would surprise people in Egypt or somewhere, but for here the weather has to do a lot better.

Still, -9°C is cold.

I put on some fat cream (the stuff you put on sore baby bums), rubbed it in until I did not quite look like I'm going to act in a zombie movie, then went out. (With hat and scarf and gloves and longjohns and stuff, too, of course.) The cream helped with the worst (I'm sure it took some sting out of the wind, too - I don't want to know what's it like without).

Arriving, the nice lady I had an appointment with was genuinely startled when I mentioned the -9°C. The aquaintance accompanying me had half-expected me to cancel it due to the weather, too (and fully understanding), then wondered whether I'd come by bicycle.

No. Not with that wind. I went by tram and bus and then some walking. Hated internet was actually useful in finding the right bus and bus stop. In any other weather, bicycle would probably have been faster though.

Random link to something that would have any SimCity2000 game end in ruins (aka, reality is weirder than fiction): http://www.gvh.de/fileadmin/gvh/downloads/Plaene/2010/2010_Busnetz_hannover_web_01.pdf

Snow!
cuddly
ath_winter_lord
Looking out the back window earlier, I was pleased to find snow!

Not much, mind, still with the grass visible in between, but some coating stayed on the tree branches too. Very nice. :)

Looking forward to more.
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Just food.
cuddly
ath_winter_lord
The problem with food that tastes really nice is... that it tastes really nice.

I'd like to eat more, but that'd take me beyond comfortably satiated, to, ultimately, uncomforably sick.

Bleh.

I did turn the pork bought yesterday into something interesting; mini-schnitzel (with crunchy crust).

Up until about a month ago, I would never ever even think about ruining fine pork with egg and breadcrumb coating, and until some years ago, not even buy the pre-prepared ones for lazy days. Schnitzel (pork steak) was to be left pure, fried in a naked pan with a little salt and optionally pepper. For a meal with vegs and stuff, that's still the way to go for me. (For experimenting with something new, some got a batter coating the kind you get in a Chinese restaurant, though for that I prefer chicken breast.)

About a month ago I thought that mini-schnitzel would make a nice take-to-work food (prepared the previous day), as I was throughougly bored with and absolutely uninterested in further bread-with-stuff-on. Turned out they're really nice, and serve the purpose well.

(Basically, it's pork goulash meat or schnitzel, chopped up into smaller bits, each piece seasoned with salt&pepper, coated in flour so the salt&pepper wouldn't get lost in the folling dump in stirred eggs, and finally a coat of bread crumbs is added. They're then fried in hot oil to golden-brown, or "beige to dark brown", depending on skill. <g> Personally, I think the non-uniform colour ones look better.)

I bought the pork with that in mind (minus the work - I'm off sick), so I've got something lying around that I can just pick up and eat without any trouble of preparing or just heating something (apart from the little today). I still don't feel like any earnest cooking.

Very nice indeed. I'd like to eat more than the six or seven that made my supper, but that'd surely stuff me in an unpleasant manner. I'm looking forward to more later.
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Random thoughts.
what now
ath_winter_lord
No dinner/tea/lunch/supper yet.

There was something I wanted to say... I know there was... ... ... Oh, well. Please send any spare internal(head)RAM my way to help prevent further such lapses.

Here's the rest of the collected thoughts:

I got a call from Telekom yesterday. (Or was that earlier today? Pretty sure it was not.) Anyway, now and then they call me to ask if I don't want some better faster shinier connection, and now they've got fibre glass available in my house while I'm still on old copper cables. As usual, I told them "35 euro plus foreign calls flatrate is my limit". "Oh, you already got the special contract (5 euro off)." - "Yeah..."

Also, I've got cable TV in my rent, and don't want everything in one anyway (like, TV and phone depending on the same system). So part of their shiny new package is just useless to me (he agreed).

I did tell him that I wonder whether they might not throttle my copper cable connection to get me to move to the fibre glass (that costs more). Him: "That might come from too many people on the copper being on at the same time (plus some deeper explanation - makes some sense)." - Me: "So, they don't want your shiny new fibre glass either?" - "Er..." (I did make it sound more like a joke though, and didn't press it - no point in harrasing the nice and friendly Telekom guy.)

And I like Telekom, they've got a 0800 number for problems (not leaving you pay who knows what per minute, to wait hours until you get a real person to talk to), and fix problems fast. (Others may have different experiences, I have these.) So I'm faithful. I don't want some upstart company trying to get a foot in the market with ultra cheap prices and who knows what (missing) services. I'm a "stick to what I know" person.

I did ask him whether I can't get some special offer, being a faithful customer and all, and while it wasn't within his ability to do it, it's possible, and he told me where I can go (including finding the nearest Telekom shop) and who I can call (one of their free numbers) to ask about that. So, I'm going to do that one of these days.

Typing that now, I do wonder whether they've got a note on my file saying "might get cranky, be extra friendly", from way back when they tried to interest me in getting broadband, and I had absolutely no use whatsoever for it (personally), and loathed even the brief (necessary) connections via dialup.

(That also decided my price limit; I never got over 35 euro per month (except once), and most of the time stayed way below, for no-flatrate phone and dialup internet-by-call. It's the upper limit of what I could possibly need. The rest is extra that I can do well without. So when I moved flat last year, I thought I might as well ask about them having an offer meeting my requirements, and they had.)

More random thoughts:

Curious how many familiar names turn up here. (Familiar from Usenet, from the 10+ years I get that now. (Not using an internet access for that STILL! I tried and it just can't compete.))

Airbags for bicycles, huh. (Seen on the news.) How's that different to helmets, and how does the airbag know you just did a somersault and are going to hit the floor with your head NOW?

Everything's better with cats. (Switching through the channels for something to watch, there was a cat watching someone mix some stuff for building your own whatever. I stayed for the cat, then got bored without it and continued going through the channels.)

My, this turned out longer than intended.
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