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Amazing Skirmish - Suffering From Elation
A Survivor's Tale
Amazing Skirmish
Joe tells me, via SMS, that "good Tani is good". It's because I woke up this morning grumpy from lack of sleep over the weekend (more on that later) and immediately started an argument. He handled it well - simply left for work without engaging me further, a very good choice when I'm PMSing. Once he was gone I realised I'd been a grumpy sleep-deprived jerk so I delayed my own departure for work in order to empty and refill the dishwasher (stinky dishes were stinky), tidy up and wipe down the kitchen, and run through a load of laundry. Guilt and/or PMS are excellent housework triggers.

Then I heard that an accident on Kenmore road had cut off the buses so I wound up walking a couple of kilometers to Moggil Road to catch one, and I still made it to work before the flexi-time cutoff of 9.30am. Bless you, flexi-time. Blexi-time. And when I got to work and settled in, I sent Joey an SMS apologising profusely. Hence Good Tani being Good.

All of the hermit crabs here at work have switched shells with one another. According to the internet sites I've read, crabs will always select unpainted shells over painted shells, if both are available. Our work-crabs buck this trend by insisting on sharing and keeping their Batman and Spider-Man shells. Like dogs, apparently crabs also take after their owners, so ours are total geeks. Though I approve of this, it means that keeping track of which crab is which has become confusing, as Spider-Crab is in the Batcrab shell, Batcrab is in Doktor Krabb's shell, and Doktor Krabb has relinquished his life of super-villainy to take up the mantle of Spider-Crab.

In other news, Hammond continues to be a friend of honesty, integrity and love. But this is non-news to anyone who knows Hammond. :)

So, when I titled this entry "Amazing Skirmish", I implied a promise to you, dear reader, and that was to tell you about AMAZING SKIRMISH. Here I go:

On Saturday, we went into the City at midday to begin celebrations for Rosa's birthday. We went to Icy-Ice-Snow-Ice (no kidding, that's what it's called) and ate delicious exotic ice confectionery. I've got to take Hammond and Damo there, they'd love it! Rosa received a homemade birthday cake that was in fact a cake-sized hamburger. It was pretty spectacular. She was delighted. We adjourned to Fat Louis bar, where the idea was just to drink and play pool 'til 3, but the karaoke room beckoned... everyone here is hopeless karaoke addicts, including (as of recently) myself. THIS time we managed not to rick-roll each other. We really, really got way too much into Footloose.

After an hour of this we had to head off to the main event of the day: Mango Hill Skirmish. One train and a pair of crowded maxi-taxis later, my coworkers and I, along with associated spouses and friends, all reached the rather distant suburb of Mango Hill (which inasfar as I could tell after the convoluted journey, is basically in the middle of the no-mans-land between Brisbane and Caboolture) and as dusk fell, we pulled on our overalls, donned our hefty metal guns, and prepared for NIGHT SKIRMISH. No night-vision goggles for us; this was skirmish by the light of the stars alone.

It was meant to go from 6pm to 9pm, but the two refs (or "generals", as they preferred to be called) got into it as much as we did. This was by far the BEST skirmish I've ever played. For a starters, the laser guns were made of metal, and were hefty, well-designed and needed 'reloading', which was a clever touch. This version of skirmish also had kills and respawns, ala video games (we had to return to a central point to respawn) which set the stakes higher and forced us to use some strategy. Teams were dressed identically but for the hats. I was on the 'caps' team with Rosa, JB, Wang and various other friends and acquaintances; Joe was on the 'floppies' team with Mark, Katie and a number of spouses and friends. Spouses were seperated by teams, though Mark gave Rosa leeway to pick everyone she really wanted on-team, as it was her birthday. Ultimately the caps won the night by a landslide, taking out victories in all but the first two games. The end of one of the first two was ignoble - the aim was to disarm the other team's bomb by entering in a four-digit code followed by the hash key. Midway through the match Rosa and I stormed the other team's fort and reached the bomb, me crouched next to her picking off enemies while she entered the code. Then the bomb made a rather worrying, erm, EXPLODING noise and I turned to see 'incorrect code - bomb detonated' on the screen.

"Oh no!" Rosa shouted. "I hit 'star' instead of 'hash'!"

They heard my scream of "AAUGH you've KILLED US ALL!!" across the entire battlefield. :D

Rosa and I remained teamed up most of the time for the rest of the matches and she reedeemed herself by generally being awesome, except the one time when she was following me through a field, tripped and shot me in the back. *snerk* But the advantage our team had was this: because we're coworkers and we all get along so well, we worked as a team, developed strategies and followed those strategies. Over on Mark and Joey's team, the two of them would concoct and act out strategies but the rest of their team members would just scatter and run around like idiots. Joe and Mark managed to do well on their own though - both were incredibly into it, had excellent strategy and extreme levels of determination, but were undermined by the disorganisation of the rest of their team. I have to admit, playing against them made this skirmish far more fun than any session in which we've worked together against strangers.

Also, everything they say about colourblindness equalling good night vision and detection of camouflage is true. I had an unfair advantage compared to Katie and Wang in particular - both of them stumbled around moaning, "I can't seeeee... it's all gray!" The moon only rose toward the end of the session.

It was awesome and I can't wait to go again! Far cheaper than paintball, too. After the games ended (an hour and a bit after the official finishing time) we got stuck there for an hour and a quarter in the middle of the night when our taxi ran late. Most people went home by car, so by the time we reached the city only Joey and I, Mark and Rosa, and JB were left as the core of the celebration. Sitting down to eat in Pancake Manor at 2am, spattered with mud, covered in bruises and sweat, we congratulated one another across the table for the fact that we had now been partying for fourteen solid hours.

Joe and I made it home shortly after 3am and spent all of Sunday buggered. It was SO WORTH IT. I want to go again!

Actually, it was so enjoyable that Joe wants to start his own laser tag range up on the Sunshine Coast. The initial investment needed is $30k - $100k depending on the business model, though, and I'm used to Joe's sudden bursts of excitement about things like this wearing off over time. Last summer he was convinced he wanted to travel to Switzerland to study under world-famous chocolatiers. It's actually pretty adorable. But someone up on the coast had the idea first - they even set it up in the suburb I would have picked (Landsborough) so it's not a practical plan, honestly.

Oh yeah, and we had a spectacular storm yesterday that tore branches from trees, killed the power to our local corner store (it's still out this morning), and sent lightning bolts to ground so close to our house that the accompanying thunder nearly shattered both the windows and our eardrums. Holding Jangles in my arms before the first fat drops of hot rain began to fall, I watched him worriedly study the sky as thunder tumbled about behind the clouds.

Could the weekend have been any more perfect?
11 have fought ~ fight the power!
(Deleted comment)
tania From: tania Date: November 17th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC) (Link)
I know, right? I really hope he does it someday... Joe's prob re following dreams isn't that he has none, it's that he has too many. ;)

You SERIOUSLY NEED TO DO LASER TAG. OK? You would have a blast. Especially if you go in a big group with all your friends! And split them into two teams, trust me on this, it's so much more fun than versing strangers. RIGHT NOW you need to google search the nearest outdoor laser tag place to you and start planning a group trip, OK? OK. ;)
justascream From: justascream Date: November 17th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Wait, you're colorblind?
tania From: tania Date: November 17th, 2008 03:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Yarp. It makes my job a wee bit more of a challenge than it'd otherwise be. ;P
justascream From: justascream Date: November 17th, 2008 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)
...brothe--...er, sisters in arrrr...sisters in purported-disability!

I'm partially colorblind myself!
tania From: tania Date: November 17th, 2008 04:03 am (UTC) (Link)
No wai!! I've got deuteranopia - green-deficiency - do you know which type you've got? How'd you inheret yours? It's so weird for girls to get it, I've never met another one! We're like, one in 6000... lucky us, right? ;P

I got mine because Dad's colourblind and my mother's father is (very) colourblind too. Annoyingly, my BROTHER escaped with perfect colour vision.

How strong is yours? I have trouble seeing red flowers in green trees. I also never notice healthy grass vs dying grass. And I get some blues and purples confused because I sometimes fail to see the red tone in the purples. Also, I'm horrid with skin tones, they're always either too green or too red to start with. Practice and paying lots of attention to the numbers in Photoshop's colour palette enables me to scrape by, but I remember being sixteen, prior to really focusing on developing strong colour sense, and accidentally giving a blonde character light-green hair. 9_9

You're an artist too, how do you get by?
justascream From: justascream Date: November 17th, 2008 04:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Agh. I can never remember the title and a quick glance at wikipedia made me go "nope, don't have time to re-read all that again." It's, I think, a red-weakness type with a narrow band. I often can't distinguish yellows from whites or greens.

I'm not sure, but I think I was born with it. I fell (um, sorta jumped) out of a fast-moving vehicle when I was in my early early teens and mucked up my head/eyes pretty bad for a while, which caused some color receptor damage (is it rods or cones, I can never recall). Apparently it's not that uncommon for people to experience temporary color vision loss of some degree when injuring their head or eyes, but a lot never notice before it heals up again. Mine lasted a little while and I learned during that time to judge a lot of things by brightness and texture and order. I also learned the RGB scale by number on computers pretty well during that time. Later, as my color vision repaired itself, I kept those skills.

By then, I'd developed a slight obsession about organizing my color art tools in a hue order that I can remember later on if I am uncertain what color something is, and I will label them if their labels rub off. Sometimes I have to have someone help me organize my colored pencils or pastels if they've gotten out of order for some reason.

I only realized I was still a bit color-deficient during a color theory class in late 2007. Our instructor was showing a painting as an example of something and she kept mentioning "that bit of yellow right there" and I started to freak a bit when I realized I had no idea what yellow she was talking about.

I visited my family's eye doctor without appointment a week later and we went through a few tests. I cannot distinguish a large number of yellows from greens...I think they're light green or pastel green. I mistake a very very few yellows for whites, and I also sometimes think yellow-oranges are different than they actually are (typically I think they're paler or closer to green than they actually are.

I mostly don't have much trouble with this; I've adapted pretty well. Sometimes, though, I catch myself using the wrong color for skin tones (usually too green) when coloring digitally and I just adjust the number. The other thing that causes me trouble a lot is helping my sister shop for "sunshine yellow" dresses. She gets pretty agitated with me. lol

OH. Last week, I thought I'd been using a white for something and it turned out I'd been using this really pale yellowish apricot. ...luckily people seemed to think it looked better that way. lol

I know a guy at my campus who was color-blinded when he was captured during a rebel war in South America. I can't remember which country or which crazy war thing it was. Anyway, he was tortured when he was captured and chemicals were poured in his eyes. He also sustained damage to his vocal cords, so his voice sounds a bit whispery odd. I helped him with learning how to tell colors apart on Corel Painter and on Photoshop, and with remembering the placement of colors on the wheels/sliders for a class we were both taking during one of my 2005 semesters... He gets a lot of recognition for his paintings at our school these days. Such a sweet guy.
(Deleted comment)
tania From: tania Date: November 17th, 2008 07:04 am (UTC) (Link)
That has just topped my current list of "hilarious things to tell Hammond when I see him". :D
c_eagle From: c_eagle Date: November 17th, 2008 10:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Youse are loaded with energy!! :D
Just about alla my friends here are letting themselves become *ollllllld* shut-ins... :/
ruggels From: ruggels Date: November 17th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Skirmish Sounds Awsome. the "bomb must have been a nice piece of coding. Soulds like alot of Fun. Oh and develop hand Signals, andbelieve it or not there is not wome$69.00 USD night vision goggles. It's a monocular, and looks like a rubber squid on yourhead, but they DO work (active IR type.)

tania From: tania Date: November 17th, 2008 10:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
No kidding?? This I must see - Do you have a link to the manufacturer? I've wanted night vision goggles ever since I say Jurassic Park (me and every other young'un who saw that movie in cinemas, I guess) :D
11 have fought ~ fight the power!