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WOSSNAME -- MARCH 2007-- PART 4 OF 6 (continued)

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  • JSCHAUM111@aol.com
    WOSSNAME -- MARCH 2007-- PART 4 OF 6 (continued) ... ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ====Part 4 - OFFWORLD REPORTS 14) THE CLACKS LOG OF WEIRD
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 29, 2007
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      WOSSNAME -- MARCH 2007-- PART 4 OF 6 (continued)
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      ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      ====Part 4 - OFFWORLD REPORTS

      14) THE CLACKS LOG OF WEIRD ALICE LANCREVIC

      Post 1: LEAVING LOST WAGES

      Well, here I am and here the road begins.

      I'm packing the last of my stuff and getting ready to head to the
      Clacks parlour down in the village to post my first clacks-log, or
      "clog". Then I'm off on my Grand Sneer. There and back again. The
      whole boiled egg. And as I promised, I'll be writing down all my
      adventures so I can share them with you all. Well, dictating them
      mostly... which is all down to my new Personalised
      Demonicommunication Activator, or PDA as it's popularly known. It's a
      Gooseberry, of course -- no point in getting anything but the best,
      since it's apparently waterproof, stormproof, fireproof, unexpected
      desert war-proof, solar-powered (the resident imp photosynthesises)
      and comes, it proudly says here, COMPLETE WITH EXCLUSIVE ONBOARD
      PORFFREADER -- which makes clogging even easier: where once (read: a
      couple of years ago) one 'd have to seek out a town large enough, or
      trade route important enough, to feature its own Clacks tower, now
      all that's needed is a hilltop or even slight rise...up you go, press
      the secret Locate Aerial Naturally (LAN) button, and a miniature
      tower about the length of your forearm comes out so the imp can climb
      it and wave black-and-white flags on a line of sight to the nearest
      public tower! And I can tell you, these PDA imps have bloody good
      eyesight. So much better than the old-fashioned way of writing
      letters and hoping they'll actually get delivered instead of, say,
      languishing at the bottom of some farmer's hay-rick or being munched
      to illegibility by a passing sheep...

      So. I'm leaving Lost Wages. I suppose I should start by explaining
      how I came to be in Lost Wages in the first place, since I was born
      in Borogravia and have an Uberwaldean surname, right? The answer is
      fairly simple...no, actually it's fairly complicated...but in short:
      the suffixes -- suffices -- oh, all right, endings --vic and --vig come
      from the old Uberwald High Speech and mean "child of" or "descendant
      of", which can apply to persons or places, and my father's family
      were thus originally from the kingdom of Lancre. Why they left Lancre
      is a bit of a mystery (of the We Don't Talk About That kind that
      every family has under some rotting log in its woodpile, if you look
      back far enough) -- all I was ever able to find out was that there was
      a Thing, you know, one of those Thing things, and the only reason I
      even know that is because my great-aunt Holagert, who's ninety-eight
      if she's a day, once muttered something to that effect at a family
      reunion. I was about to ask her for more details when the rest of the
      aunties grabbed her and confiscated her dentures; all I can tell you
      is that my great-great-great grandpapa once committed a mubble mubble
      gnab miggle murp sebble mungus mish....and then there was another
      Thing that caused the Lancrevics to flee from Uberwald to
      neighbouring Borogravia, and no, I've no idea what the nature of that
      Thing was either. Meanwhile, on my mother's side, I come from a long
      line of Duchess-worshipping Nugganite biddies with no sense of humour
      whatsoever, which I suspect goes a long way towards explaining my
      career in whimsical musical comedy. I was a rebellious child, and an
      only child, and the combination divided the family something fierce,
      and it came to pass that by the time I'd been expelled from Miss
      Marm's School for Unsettlingly Bright Children (and therein lies a
      tale, which I'll get to soon enough!), Grandmama – my father's mother
      packed my belongings into her cart and announced that she was taking
      me back to "the auld soil, where a gel can grow up free under the
      stars." I'd always noticed plenty of stars at night where we were,
      but grandmothers have their own sorts of logic...like the sort that
      had her make me wear our family heirloom woolly vest every winter,
      that old Ramtop wool vest knitted by some ancestress in the Days
      Before the Big Move and forced in all its barbed-wire horror on
      successive generations of Lancrevic offspring. It wasn't even
      moth-eaten -- no moth has yet been born that could digest those steely
      fibres. Year after year, Grandmama would extol the virtues of simple
      Lancre living and fine Lancre knitwear, all the while, and each time
      winter came around again she'd be wearing her own "tatty old" vest,
      which just happened to be made from a silky-soft uplands werewolf
      pelt captured in the days before the Great Truce of Bugs. See?
      Grandmother logic.

      Anyway, back to the subject at hand. The town of Lost Wages occupies
      what was once the ancient scene of the Ramtop Mountains' first
      permanent floating crap game. By the time the game had moved on to
      richer pickings in the lowlands, a whole village had grown up to
      serve the needs of transient gamblers; as a result, Lost Wages today
      has two (!) inns, a pawnshop, half a dozen jewellers, a full-service
      brothel, several high-speed carriage services, its own bank, and more
      restaurants and trinket shops than you could shake a scumble-stirring
      stick at. See, although it's located in the wild, lonely borderlands
      that mark where Lancre becomes Uberwald (of course, since the
      entirety of Lancre is wild, lonely borderlands anyway, it's not so
      much of a hardship as you might imagine), it already had enough of a
      reputation that it was included as a "place of touristical interest"
      in the famous book BONK THYS: A VERY ROUGH GUIDE TO
      BACKPACKING IN UBERWALD (Goatberger & Sons, 15th reprinting)
      with the notation "Worth trekking across the wild, lonely borderlands
      for a pint of Mottley's Best Very Bitter at the charming village inns. Don't
      drink the scumble." In truth, it had devolved to a fairly unexciting,
      sleepy village by the time Grandmama and I arrived, but eighteen
      months ago that all changed when Lost Wages got its own Clacks towers
      during the Grand Trunk expansion. It certainly changed for me -- I'd
      been singing in the local pubs, a sort of residency at The Sore
      Loser, for some time, and Mr Kakhand -- the landlord -- had always been
      telling me I'd go far (not that one needs to go a great distance to
      improve on free greasy food and a few pints of Best Very Bitter as
      wages). I'd been planning to do just that, we Lancrevics having
      relocation in our blood, but when his daughter Semolina came round
      one day to deliver Grandmama's weekly barrel of sherry and told me
      about the new Clacks coming to town, I realised that I could send my
      music and other writing out to the larger world without having to do
      all those irritating things like finding all the matching socks to
      pack. Or actual travelling. The rest, of course, is history...

      By the way, since my PDA is a Gooseberry and it's run by an imp (and
      imps rarely have names) I've decided to call him Gimp. Maybe Gimpy,
      for less short. Just saying. We'll have to learn to get along,
      because if I get stranded out in the Klatchian Desert or shipwrecked
      in the BeTrobi Islands, it would be good to know he'd willingly
      record my last words for posterity. That means we'll have to stay on
      speaking terms. I keep having to remind myself of that because he's a
      disputatious little oi, don't interrupt me when I'm dictating to you!

      For those of you who haven't read your Twurp's Peerage -- or have been
      living down a cellar for the past 500-odd years (thinks: well, they'd
      definitely be odd. I mean, five centuries in a cellar? Even vampires
      and zombies and ghouls and bogeymen get out occasionally...) - or are
      from some common-as-muck place like Sto Lat or Llamedos of, for that
      matter, Lancre (except for the Royal Family and the Oggs, because
      various Oggs a) work for the Royal Family and b) are in the habit of
      poking their noses into other people's business and other people's
      libraries), I suppose I should explain a bit about the Grand Sneer.
      Back in less egalitarian times, when money talked just as loudly but
      was almost exclusively concentrated in the vaults of royalty,
      nobility and successful pirates (the latter being pretty much the
      same thing, only without so many known ancestors' portraits on their
      walls), young heirs would be sent off on a leisurely journey to Forn
      Parts; in the words of some writer or other, it was an exercise
      wherein young members of high-born and wealthy families journey to
      backwards countries to see how inferior they are. These posh young
      nobs would head off with a retinue of servants and a boatload of
      luggage (and Luggage), sample the lifestyles (with a safety net) of
      more exotic, less advantaged cultures, and in theory return home more
      mature, broader of understanding and exceptionally grateful that they
      weren't the sons of camel drivers. A typical Grand Sneer would take
      about two years to complete, always assuming the tourer didn't get
      incarcerated, enslaved, summarily executed, burnt at the stake, made
      God Emperor of a lost jungle nation, induced to marry a beautiful
      barbarian maiden and then far more strongly induced to selflessly
      serve as the human sacrifice in a harvest ritual, or "the old
      standby "eaten by a tiger. And of course those who did return were
      hardly ever changed for the better by it, since most people only see
      and hear and learn what they want to and rich young men are more
      intensely like "most people' than most other people are...these days,
      though, all it takes to do a Grand Sneer is money, and my faithful
      readers know I've plenty of that (smug? moi?). I haven't decided yet
      whether I'm aiming for the full two years or the shorter version; I
      definitely want to visit the Counterweight Continent, at least some
      of the less-dark parts of Howondaland and Klatch, definitely Brindisi
      and Genua, Llamedos just for the laughs (i.e. to see if, contrary to
      popular claims, there actually are any), the Sto Plains (hey, I like
      broccoli!) and all the other bits around the edges of the Circle Sea.
      I also would love to go out to the edge of the world to see the
      Rimbow, and of course I intend to revisit my other "auld soil" to see
      what I think of it now...mostly I'll be making it up as I go along,
      which is why I'm writing this clog in the first place. Best-selling
      travel book, anyone?

      Speaking of money, we didn't lack for it when I were a lass. The
      Lancrevics may not have been royal or noble, but we were very much a
      part of genteel society (right up until the Other Thing and my life
      in Lost Wages). Earlier I mentioned having attended -- and having been
      thrown out of -- a la-di-dah private school; what I hadn't mentioned
      is that that was where I first started making up Ye Amusing Verses,
      and that I had some classmates who were considerably posher than I
      was...among them the daughter of Baron von Uberwald, who's since gone
      on to make a name for herself in law enforcement. When I was sorting
      and packing my socks, I came across an old exercise book from my days
      at Miss Marm's, and what should I spot but one of my early pieces of
      poetry that got passed around the class behind her back (until she
      grabbed it off one of the mine princesses):

      Schoolmistress Marm
      Got bit on the arm
      By Delphine, whose daddy's a Baron
      Which act was observed
      With smiling lips curved
      By myself, Muffet, Becka, and Sharon
      The family complained
      They said, "She's housetrained!
      "One bite is no reason for banishment."
      So little Delphine
      For weeks was not seen:
      She'd been sent off for Angua management.

      As you can see, nothing much changes. Oh, and I got detention for
      that. My first with lines!

      There's so much more to say in this my first Clog, but Gimp needs a
      suntan break and I need a beer. I'll post again soon! For now, I'm
      off to seek adventure in parts unknown. Singing as I go...of course...

      Life seemed infernal
      In the Lancre borderlands
      Not that I'm bored at all
      I've spent the past years far too near the Hub
      In a manky pub
      A satirist on call
      Now I'm bashing on my techno-imp
      And I dictate Clogs
      And I call him Gimp
      I'll tour the Disc
      And I'll take the piss
      And I'll write about all this

      I'm leaving Lost Wages
      Hills forlorn
      Right past...Bad Ass
      On an Octeday morn
      Leaving Lost Wages
      Leaving for good, for good
      I'm leaving for -- well,
      Maybe just a year...

      -- Alice
      ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      15) MISSION TO MARS

      Jase of the BU Department of Technomancy brought the following to our
      attention:

      Famous people's thoughts on what the first words on Mars should be :
      Terry Pratchett
      Award-winning science fiction and fantasy author of the bestselling
      Discworld series

      "This time, let's do it right."

      More quotes here:
      http://www.newmars.com/firstwords/famous.shtml

      **********************************************************
      Jase also noticed that the Mycareer site is College of Wizardry-friendly :

      JOB TITLE: PHP/Javascript Groovemeister
      DESCRIPTION: We're looking for someone who's got both coding savvy and
      great ideas.You simply must be a PHP guru. Like, with a pointy hat and a
      staff.

      There's more, it's an amusing read.
      http://mycareer.com.au/consumer/find/job/view.aspx?
      jobid=4882715&from=jobalert&alertid=543981

      ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
      End of Part 4, says my computer -- continued on Part 5 of 6
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