Five things you didn’t know about me

I’ve never been one for this idea of tagging friends to complete lists, it seemed all a bit too like a chain letter for me. Then Martin goes and tags me with the 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Me and I got interested.

His list is pretty cool, comprising as it does of bodily quirks he has – Martin I can do eyebrow contortions, I can do the same weird neck thing, and I can most definitely do the one eye moving independently trick. That’s a personal favourite.

First apologies it has taken so long Martin, and now the final push to do this is that Ian has tagged me with this one too. So here are five things you (probably) didn’t know about me.

Oh, and Lee, no I won’t be telling that one…or that one…


I have written over 160 poems in my life.

Now I’m not talking about the mathematically precise and rule following poetry that Abi and most real poets would write, I’m talking from the heart free form poetry.

Yes some is about love, but more of it is about lesser popular subjects such as murderers, animal hunting, midnight trains in Morocco, childhood fears in adults, many, many topics that don’t rank in that adolescent poetry category.

I’m still not sure about publishing any here. We’ll see how I feel at the end of this.

I have been held at knife point and robbed in Morocco.

While my friend Derek (where are you Mr Rothnie?) and I were Inter Railing around Europe, we decided to head south into Africa. It was wondrous and I hope to return there one day, but Tangiers was something else.

While we waited for the Marrakech overnight train we accepted the offer of a tour of the medina from a local guide.

I know you are probably already groaning at that thought, but let me just say as the man was touting for business the Police were standing just feet away, watching us arrive. So we thought it might just be okay.

It wasn’t. At the start of the tour we were asked to put our bags in with a local store. Cool we thought it all looked official, and carrying the full size backpacking kit around was a bit tiring in the heat.

I have to say at this point I was starting to get concerned that we were getting ourselves into a situation where we were too reliant on complete strangers. Still, we did it anyway. Foolish Scottish kids in the middle of Africa!

When we finished the tour and returned to the store to collect our bags we were backed against the wall and a bunch of locals crowded round. The tour guide whipped out a knife and demanded cash for our safe return, yes ours, not just the bags.

Anyway it all turned our okay, we gave them a fair more than the tour was worth and were on our way with all our gear, and body parts, intact, and the trip to Marrakech was the most amazing of my life and a truly life defining moment.

I’ve slept overnight in the Israeli desert.

Yeah, this is the second time I’ve been in a real desert, and this time instead of sleeping in a moving train overnight we slept out in the middle of nowhere in the Israeli desert.

That wasn’t the half of it. The guys we were with were all superb guys, but the surprising thing for us was that they were armed. Indeed one was the commander of a tank regiment. It all seemed like another life while I was there, but the guys were great fun and really nice blokes.

I had travelled to Israel for business for a few days, and while we were there the people we were working with took us for a couple of days driving jeeps in the desert, and that meant sleeping out there, underneath the stars.

It was amazing, just sleeping on mats and rugs underneath the stars filled with beer and fire barbequed burgers. Then awaking in the morning to the rising desert sun, oh lord it was amazing.

I once was a King.

I played Multi-User Dungeons (MUDs) a lot of the time when I was younger, I loved them. I started off with Shades on Prestel, where I became quite a well known character and even wrote some stories for the offline site, so I was pretty serious about it.

When I was older I happened across them again and joined a MUD called Realms of Discordia. I played there for years from the early days of testing right through. Again I really took to it and became a well known character and a strong role player, so I eventually was brought into a major storyline and became the King of the land.

It proved more work than you would believe. I had to set up a virtual Court with all sorts of positions, and then of course you had the problems of politics and corruption. Of course no one really wanted to be a good character (apart from me it seems) so everything became a hassle with me having to intervene in every decision.

Then real politics and power struggles were happening behind the scenes and so I decided to get out and spend more time in reality. There was enough of this rubbish to deal with at work, never mind online.

I was once responsible for helping protect the British people from nuclear attack.

I used to belong to an organisation called the Royal Observer Corps. Famous for monitoring and identifying aircraft during the World Wars (you can see them in many war films), the ROC had a slightly different role in modern day.

We worked with a group called the UKWMO, the United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation. This group would be fed details of incoming nuclear missiles and would plot their details to ascertain where they were set to fall. Using weather charts and details of the missile the direction of fallout would be plotted and the ROC would then warn all their posts in the area to sound their public sirens and prepare for an attack.

Thus we would warn the public of incoming missiles and where the fallout was headed. However we were not always safe as many thought we would be, in fact some of the bunkers and their locations meant that they wouldn’t survive.

You can see a couple of the tasks that I used to do over at ringbell.co.uk, writing backwards on a clear map, and manning radio stations and adding figures to large charts for the UKWMO people to make their calculations. Ringbell.co.uk actually carries a lot of interesting information on the UKWMO and ROC.

Neither of these organisations exist anymore, however that was our role, and every month we would practice our roles, learn what to do, and enjoy some tea and biscuits. Thankfully we never had to put into practice what we trained for before the UK Government disbanded the organisations.

So there are my five, actually when I started work on this I had loads more, but I limited myself. Hope they’ve been interesting and insightful, and here’s to the tagging of five friends who have to carry out the same thing and tell us all five things we never knew about them. Hop to it!

Simone, Ramchandra, Rhythaming, Matt and Vic. I suppose I’d better warn you all too!

22 comments on “Five things you didn’t know about me”

  1. Simone Reply

    Oh come on now Richard, the 5 Things You Dont Know About Me is not even half as kewl as yours!

    But this is interesting so I’ll crack on it after I’m done with you-know-what! 😉

  2. Simone Reply

    This is a daft question I know but how can I do the tag (like what you’ve done there linking it to our sites and all) after I’ve done my list?

  3. weblog.brunton.org.uk Reply

    Well you just pick the people and put links in to their sites, then you drop them an email – if they don’t keep a track of the site that is.

  4. Matt Adcock Reply

    Oh Rich you complete [barman – Richard]!!

    Have been thinking what I’m gonna write as my 5 things since I saw this post (but the arrival of the PS3 has kind of slowed me down I must admit!!)…

    Will let you know when I finally get mine up over at Darkmatters – shame I can’t tag you back!

    Cheers

    M

  5. pablo Reply

    tagging comes across as a newer and more complicated version of the chain-letter. You know, when you receive one you have to send one to five other people blah-d, blah blah?

  6. Savina Reply

    Realms of Discordia… it’s amazing what pops up when you do a random google search. Let me see if I can remember back that long ago… king of the land, do gooder, and a dragon rider… I want to say that the dragon’s name was Inky.. and you were Tanos… I think. And not everyone who played that MUD wanted to be evil. I didn’t, my character just had the unfortunate befalling of being the town drunk. Anywho, I miss alot of the old players. Even more so now that it’s fully gone. Glad to see things are going well for ya.

  7. weblog.brunton.org.uk Reply

    Pablo you are right, but at least there is something interesting coming out of it, and you can always say no – there’s no silly “you will die if you don’t” messages tagged to these.

    Savina – Hello there! I hadn’t realised that it had gone completely. Shame I did love playing that game when it had a great bunch of role players online.

    Who did you play? Did we ever meet?

  8. Savina Reply

    Savina was the only character i’ve ever really played. I tried to play a nymph/mystic and basically ended up passing out from drinking more than I leveled because it was way too hard to level on my own. I was friends with… who were they now… Starsong, Xitan, Mashtok, Fireflash and I met Kyssandra after she had left RoD. It was sad finding out RoD had finally died. We had just started to get a new player base that was fairly decent at RPing but bad imms and poor control led to same original problems that caused everyone to leave in the first place. Anywho, just thought I would pop in and say hi.

  9. Scordias Reply

    Fancy meeting you here… I was Googling Realms of Discordias for the purpose of getting snapshots of the website for my portfolio. Wouldn’t you know that bugger “Aidan” destroyed it?

    Inky was Fay’s black dragon, Savina. Tanos WAS a dragon. Silver, if I remember correctly.

    I got banned (after doing a lot of gruntwork to get the rooms and objs up to snuff) just because I found out “Aidan” was buffing up his femme of the week. I believe that is probably what motivated him to try to replace Realms of Discordia with something else. “Aidan” is worse than Audrina ever got to be by tenfold, so be glad he is no longer tarnishing the game you and I loved.

    I’m working on a MUD myself, but I’m afraid that real life has gotten in the way of progress. It will feature the rooms from ROD if you are ever interested – but it’s going to be run through a Java codebase, so everything is quite different. Right now, I’m working on the remort system, which is quite the pain and will probably take a year to perfect.

  10. Anonymous Reply

    Was I so bad? I didn’t think I was. I put a lot of yers of my life into that place only to be kicked out of my own MUD by Aidan. It’s hard to manage people and their very large ego. I feel sad it went down the tube. It was a great escape for many for a very long time.

  11. Eris Reply

    Hi.

    I should have left RoD closed when I closed it the first time. I was pretty certain that things would turn out the way they did.

    Sadly, the smaller the stakes, the more people seem to fight over them.

    To Scordias:

    Audrina worked hard for a long time to make RoD good after I left and sadly she was screwed over by an egomanical code who stole the code and changed the passwords without permission. (The code I wrote for RoD still belongs to me, the backdoors I put in place are still working.)

    Anyway, if you feel Audrina made things bad, you honestly don’t know the full story. It seems that when people leave, those behind blame them for all their woes.

  12. weblog.brunton.org.uk Reply

    I’m with you Eris, when you left Audrina really did try hard to make everything work, but there were some people who just didn’t get on with her and had more of a negative online personality that just caused friction and in fighting.

    I never really enjoyed it as much after that.

  13. Eris Reply

    Hi.

    I should have left RoD closed when I closed it the first time. I was pretty certain that things would turn out the way they did.

    Sadly, the smaller the stakes, the more people seem to fight over them.

    To Scordias:

    Audrina worked hard for a long time to make RoD good after I left and sadly she was screwed over by an egomanical code who stole the code and changed the passwords without permission. (The code I wrote for RoD still belongs to me, the backdoors I put in place are still working.)

    Anyway, if you feel Audrina made things bad, you honestly don’t know the full story. It seems that when people leave, those behind blame them for all their woes.

  14. Scordias Reply

    No, Audrina wasn’t bad – just a bit moody, which is what I was referring to. I loved her very much. She doesn’t deserve what happened to her. Aidan, on the other hand, was just a greedy, hot-headed bastard.

    As for the code, Aidan lost it anyway, from what I know. Or broke it so badly he could not recover, and had no backup. He begged me for a backup after he banned me. Only Corco has one, and he only programs in Java, so he will never steal it. He just likes that he can boot it up once in a while and remember things the way they used to be.

    There’s no necessity to be on the defense, however. I actually do know what went on that most people were not privy to, and I will not be repeating it. I know how hard everyone tried to keep things together. Unfortunately, few people recognize the work that was put into the place and its atmosphere and Aidan thought it was child’s play.

  15. Savina Reply

    I never really got to know many people outside of the game (other than those I went to school with who introduced me to it). I had always heard inklings about the various conflicts and dramas surrounding RoD and various immortals. Just want the chance to say thank you to the imms that posted here. I spent 8 or so years on and off playing RoD, not all of them were happy all the time, but overall I had a blast. Thanks for the time, the effort, the energy, the work, and mostly the patience you all had with us players and our problems. Hey Scordias, I’d be interested in seeing the MUD your working on if that’s ok by you.

  16. Scordias Reply

    I don’t want to keep using Richard’s blog for correspondence, it’s just rude.

    E-mail me & I will invite you to my Google Group for the project, which is private. If you continue to express interest in the project there, then you will get access to the wiki, also. From the wiki, you can connect… and it goes from there.

    Note: This is available to anyone who wishes to be kept posted on this. Absolutely ANYONE. I do not care if you were previously banned, or chased away by a certain someone, etc. If you miss the old days, you should e-mail me ASAP so you can be kept in the know. ***Please be aware that this is not a promise to reinstatement of ‘power,’ just an invitation to participate and play a MUD.***

    cscordias AT gmail DOT com

  17. weblog.brunton.org.uk Reply

    Hey Scordias, I don’t mind, after all it’s relevant to the post I made. However if there’s a better place for the discussion then so be it.

  18. weblog.brunton.org.uk Reply

    Brysaar! Hey, how are you doing? Long time no speak. I’m doing fab, as you can probably tell by the site.

  19. Scordias Reply

    It is not so much that there is a better place, especially if you don’t mind the posts coming to your blog.

    I realized when I had not coded for over three months due to my personal life getting in the way, something had to change. So I talked to a friend of mine that is already working at a live MUD, and we are merging their MUD with RoD rooms. Most of the races of RoD will be available in the near future, save Haitorin. EOM already has Nekojin, which is essentially the same thing. Haitorin will become a race that is part of the remort progression of Nekojin.

    I have engaged the entire building team in an effort to port the areas into Edge of Midnight quickly, though there are over 5000 rooms to RoD, so it will take some time. We have already successfully imported one area and I will have a second area ready today. These will not be linked until all areas are completed, but you might want to sign in to get familiar with the commands of CoffeeMUD code base and get a feel for the atmosphere that EOM puts forth.

    Edge of Midnight still has a few stock areas, which will be removed or replaced in time. The staff has done quite a lot of work in attempting to convert to an original world. I do not agree with all the areas that are “original” at this time, but you can’t have perfection when you don’t own it yourself. I hope to move to a position of quality control at some point so that the unwanted elements can be reformatted to be acceptable.

    The owner is not very involved at this point, so ownership should pass to my friend in time, which will allow for some changes that may otherwise be received badly.

    Edge of Midnight is not a carbon copy of RoD, obviously, so you can expect quite a few differences right now, especially since the RoD areas are not imported yet. RoD’s areas will eventually be bridged with EOM’s, where the original portion of EOM will become a new “continent”. It is, of course, the dominant continent at this point, but who knows what the future will bring.

    Happy mudding!

    edgeofmidnight.org 8010

  20. Scordias Reply

    Well, EOM is not working out. RoD is far too structured, while EOM is not at all structured. It’s rather tragic that EOM does not at all live up to RoD’s standards and probably never will due to irritatingly stupid players.

    Thus, I have begun hosting RoD’s areas (exclusively) with new areas that fit the theme (though not necessarily linked up). It’s not glamorous yet, but that’ll come in time. If you’d like to help mend it into working condition, feel free to drop by. Randomosity.doesntexist.org 5555

    The availability of the server space may be a little spotty, just an FYI.

    I am going to eventually reinstate any former imms that come by to some position of power(leadership of their religion) if they want the position back.

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