Dork Geek Nerd

"Rational romantic mystic cynical idealist"

Friday, May 25, 2012


"You've been playing stacks of 'Magic: The Gathering' lately," writes reader ZD of Hollywood. "What gives?"

Well, Z., end-of-semester assignments/study have kept me stuck at home for the better part of a fortnight, where solo "M:TG" has served as reward and respite.

Hell, I've already finished testing the Avacyn Restored precons...

1st - "Angelic Might" [W/g] - 4 matches, 10 games
2nd - "Bound By Strength" [U/G] - 2 matches, 8 games
3rd - "Fiery Dawn" [R/W] - 2 matches, 7 games
4th - "Slaughterhouse" [B/r] - 1 match, 3 games
5th - "Solitary Fiends" [B/U] - 1 match, 2 games

I actually scribbled notes after each duel, except now I can't be bothered transcribing them. All right, I'll furnish you with a selection...

"Fettergeist sucks."
"Crushed by the 'soulbond' mechanic again."
"Zealous Conscripts was a game-winner."
"A classic back-and-forth critter battle."
"B/U on the defensive the whole time."
"Vigilant fatties devoured the swarm."
"Another round and W/g would've had complete board control." (And this regarding one of only two defeats it suffered.)
"Life gain the difference."
"Cathar's Crusade + Thatcher Revolt = broken."

So there you go, ZD. I hope I've answered your question while perhaps tempting you to give Avacyn Restored a try - just remember to fight on the side of the angels. Say hello to ED for me.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Near side of crazy

M:TG Duel Decks Venser Vs. Koth tourney

Venser - "Evade and shimmer" [U/W] - 5 games
Koth - "Erupt and overwhelm" [mono-R] - 5 games

In other wordlings, I found them to be evenly matcherated. Both decks usually had 6-10 lands out by duel's end and similar life totals. I recall only one savaging (by Koth), courtesy of rampaging Plated Geopedes.

Neither pile is exactly killer. You realise that when you're furiously scrying with Cryptic Annelid and rejecting all that you espy. However, as RS said in his write-up, they do contain some nice cards for the collection.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Allergic to peanut galleries

Genki Sudo and World Order do it again -

"As seen on MiddleEasy." It sure was :-)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Author! Author!

Heard US writer Jesmyn Ward in conversation with UNSW's Stephanie Bishop at the IO Myers Studio. They primarily discussed JW's second and latest novel, "Salvage The Bones". It details the plight of a poverty-stricken black family on the Gulf Coast before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. It's about a "girl raised among men", hiding her teenage pregnancy, searching for female role models and finding an unlikely one in a pit-fighting dog that has recently whelped. And it's about what builds or breaks communities. Ward spoke candidly on the "sugar-coating" she now sees as the failing of her first novel, and movingly on her forthcoming memoir, which tries to make sense of the deaths of her brother and four male friends within a short period. Her answers were as affecting as her lyrical prose (I'm currently on page 92 of "Salvage") and I could have listened to her describing the authorial experience in her southern accent for a lot longer than 1.5 hours.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Malfunctioning car alarm in my street goes off 27 bloody times

M:TG Dark Ascension precon-deck round robin

1st - "Relentless Dead" [B/U] - 3 matches, 8 games
2nd - "Dark Sacrifice" [B/W] - 3 matches, 7 games
3rd - "Swift Justice" [R/W] - 2 matches, 6 games
4th - "Grave Power" [U/G] - 2 matches, 6 games (but lost against "Swift Justice" when they met)
5th - "Monstrous Surprise" [G/R] - 0 matches, 3 games (surprise - it's hopelessly slow)

Many Bothans died to bring you these results.

Denisovan embassy

It's hard to resist the charms of this tender ballad (ta, CM) -

Is "The Guardian" competing with "Fortean Times" now? (ta x2, CM) -

Videogame scenes artfully recreated in LEGO (ta, someone on FB) -

What became of the villainous Johnny after "The Karate Kid"? (ta, MR) -

Tweeted by world champion Aussie kickboxer John Wayne Parr -

The barman says, "We don't serve time travellers in here." A time traveller walks into a bar.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Guru meditation error

According to a NSW Housing report, "In June 2010, the average median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Sydney was $380 a week; in the inner areas it was $420, in the middle areas it was $360 and in the outer areas it was $250." Suddenly, this two-bedroom flat on the "inner" side of the eastern suburbs - be it ever so humble (and shit) - doesn't seem quite as expensive.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Mrs Wibbsey

Recapping last week...

Monday and Tuesday, I attended consecutive Sydney Comedy Festival gigs at the Factory Theatre. First was mad genius Daniel Kitson's "Where Once Was Wonder", which revolved around three key moments in the Brit comic's life: shaving off his hair and (what he'd hate me calling) his trademark beard; flying to another country to tell a female friend he was secretly in love with her; and decapitating a piglet one New Year's Eve. Second was "Beginning Middle End" by local hero Lawrence Leung. An intimate affair (LL ushered us to our seats beforehand), it examined the process and purpose of storytelling, taking as its central example an anonymous online fiction in which Lawrence miraculously changed sex then fell pregnant to Toadfish from "Neighbours".

On Wednesday, I tried a tofu cheesecake that was creamy but not bitter. Wouldn't say it was superior to the dairy variety.

Caught up with sister AK and her family on Thursday. Top tucker, beer, kinfolk and a boardgame - what more could you want?

Friday saw me at Darlinghurst Theatre for a preview of the drama "Reasons To Be Pretty". I was there on the strength of it being by Yank playwright Neil LaBute. The NIDA production of his "The Shape Of Things" blew me away, though I wasn't quite as impressed with his own film version. "R/T/B/P" also features a cast of four in a modern setting and shares with "T/S/O/T" the theme of people screwing each other over. It opens with an argument between long-term partners. The girl has just learnt of a disparaging remark the guy made about her to his workmate, the husband of her gal pal (and informant). Their relationship will never be the same again. My only complaint: I don't believe the snatch of "Forever Young" was the Alphaville original.

Went pubbing with CM, AM and AZ on Saturday. Ended up back at M. Mansion, drinking cocktails concocted from Sailor Jerry rum.

Sunday was the FA Cup (I lost money on Liverpool, despite the efforts of super sub Andy Carroll) and UFC On FOX: Diaz Vs. Miller.

"At the time, a popular kids' book would sell between 5-10,000 copies a year, but 'Deathtrap Dungeon' sold over 400,000 copies in its first year" - Ian Livingstone, interviewed in "Retro Gamer #102".

Composed to the soothing tones of Pink Floyd's groundbreaking album "Meddle" (2011 digital remaster).

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Forgiveness pass

A must-watch low point in Australian boxing, with even the referee punching on (ta, JC) -

"The Unfinished Swan" [PS3] looks original...magical...possibly wonderful (ta, "The Feed") -

Full-length documentary about the 1% of Americans with 40% of the wealth (ta, randomness) -


"The Girl With The Dungeons And Dragons Tattoo", the episode of "Supernatural" on which FD guest stars, airs tomorrow at 8.30pm on free-to-air station Eleven.