The Empire of Wu Zetian, part 1

October 4, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Posted in games | Leave a comment
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The almighty Empress Wu Zetian founded Beijing one hundred and twenty six turns ag-  I mean somewhere around 3600 BC.  It was situated on the coast, next to land suitable for rice paddies and cattle, marble deposits ripe for mining and ivory on the side.  Still young and inexperienced, she heeded the words of her advisors and concentrated on small projects, setting workers to improve the city.  Warriors were sent to scout the land outside of the borders.  The aging advisors suggested recruiting explorers, but the young queen would have none of that and ignored their advice, instead training an extra pack of soldiers to survey the lands.

The warriors brought back reports of meetings with other civilisations and independent city-states, as well as reports of potential locations for expansion.  Wu Zetian kept those a secret, away from her advisors.  They never seemed to want to talk about expanding borders and establishing new cities.  “They are like old dumplings,” she thought.  “Dumpling shaped, fat and wrinkly.  And unwilling to move away from their warm casket.”  As time passed by, Beijing grew.   Citizens built farms on rich pastures just outside the city, incentivised by subsidies, expanding its borders.  Neighbouring civilisations took notice.  The Empress was invited to tea with George Washington and General Bismark.  The US of A had settled down in the south-east, while Berlin had been establish down south.  The Empress negotiated lightly, unwilling to expose her inexperience or commit to anything.  She kept a distance and did not go out of her way to engage with her closest neighbours, the independent city-states of Venice and Florence.  They did their own rebellious thing while she did hers.  She did manage to meet and chat with Darius of the Persians at a dinner party, but found him to be a shallow young lad.

More time passed.  Technology progressed.  As she had personally predicted, they became able to harness the power of the cattle and marble more effectively.  And when reports surfaced of Berlin and Washington creating new colonies of Hamburg and New York in Beijing’s direction, she took the opportunity to push past her advisors with preparations for establishing a new city, Shanghai a little to the South East.  to ensure that the baby city would flourish, she also sent along half her army and half of all her workers to protect and accelerate construction.

More colonies started appearing around the map.  Aggressive government spending was used to expand the borders of China and avoid being blocked in, but eventually she found the actions of her neighbours a bit too much and started amassing an army in secret.  It was rude when some nation from the other side of the world decided that it would be a good idea to build something in between two rapidly developing countries.  She enlisted one of her elite guard to oversee the training of a large army of archers, who would be protected by one of her armies of veteran warriors.  Ignoring all the agreements she had made earlier, which she thought were rather infantile anyway, she marched them down to Pasargadae, the silly little colony that Darius had created and rained hell upon the city, before her warriors marched in and took over the city.  America sent a letter of protest at her show of violence, but she chucked it in the trash.  All talk and no action.  Plus, they were too far away to do anything.  The resistance was lower than she had expected, and as a gesture of goodwill, she let army help the city rebuild itself and do whatever it wanted, before continuing her slow march downwards to the next city that was in the way of Beijing – Hamburg.

There were a few seconds before issuing the command to attack when Wu Zetian had doubts about attacking Germany, but then remembered Bismark’s bad taste in fashion and became even more motivated.  Initial battle reports indicated that the Hamburgers were showing resistance, but splitting the archers into two groups reduced cases of injuries and split the ability of the city to react effectively.  She gave control of the prosperous city back to it’s mayor, making sure he was aware of the changes in affiliation, and left them to rebuild themselves.  Seeing as her army was a bit wounded, she let them take a break while she ordered the training of a second batch of archers, as well as the construction of several wonders, including the Great Pyramids and the Hanging Gardens.  Bismark even asked for a peace treaty, which the Empress agreed to, since she had put him back in his place.  In the short time of a few hundred years, she had managed to double her borders and influence.

The weakening grip of her neighbours made Wu Zetian pay a visit to her two neighbouring city states of Venice and Florence.  While still wanting to be  left alone, the two cities realised that they were sitting in the doorstep of a very strong nation, and so readily agreed to an alliance for their own survival.  As a gesture of goodwill, the Empress amassed her rejuvenated army and led them to launch an offensive against Singapore, a state that Venice had been rivals with for over a thousand years.  Unsurprisingly, Singapore was a bigger, better and prettier country than Venice, the Empress noted as they raced through the countryside to the capital.  Of course the Venetians were envious. “I shall take this city for myself, and not crush it as the silly Italians would have wanted,” Wu Zetian thought herself.  The enemy was prepared.  They even had archers stationed, providing twice the offensive power of any foe she had faced so far.  Fortunately, the Empress had doubled her firepower too, completely denying Singapore the chance to recover in between attacks.  the archers and the city walls fell like dominoes.  By the time George Washington’s letter of disapproval had arrived, Singapore was already in the hands of China.

“Now what?” the Empress wondered.

Japan Photos

September 23, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Posted in me | Leave a comment
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My mum just came back from a Japan trip, partly financed by the koofle foundation(aka – fun tax).  Here are a selection of less-boring photographs as taken by one of my mum’s three sisters that she went with.

vending machines

seagulls

dogs

cats

more dogs

yet more dogs

Dogs with nappies

and road signs.

Cool.

Stereo Recording

September 9, 2010 at 9:42 am | Posted in Hong Kong, music | Leave a comment
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Using a regular MP3 player, one can only  record in mono because there is only one tiny mic on the side.  I, however, have found a way around this.   In fact, I believe I have found the obvious way around this.  And as an experiment, I present to you a brief 3 minute recording of me walking through a park.  I do not speak, the voices you hear are other people talking as they walk by.  All I did was walk with an mp3 player in each hand and record two mono soundtracks simultaneously, before syncing and distributing them up in audacity.  Of course, this is best heard through earphones, since this is the actual sound that would enter your ear.  Speakers kind of dilute the stereo-audio effect.

http://www.4shared.com/audio/3ymGiKT8/hmt_stereo_20100906.html

It was a warm sunny day.  so birds might be audible.  And maybe cicadas, but not always.

Late August blood Sacrifices to the Hong Kong Economy

August 24, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Posted in me | Leave a comment
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Leo has encountered a wild Bookshop!
Bookshop uses “30% off!” discount section on Leo!
IT’S SUPER EFFECTIVE!
Leo loses $128.80!

Leo runs away!


Plotless, Pointless, Pathetic
by Joshua Wright $53.20
Here be Monsters! by Alan Snow $75.60

And a basketball for $179, which I got yesterday, that will replace my superheavy, 10 year old ancient excuse for a basketball that I’ve had for…10 years.

Random pages from the “Here be Monsters!” book

Look at those illustrations.  Who could possibly resist?!

Misty

August 23, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Posted in music | Leave a comment
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No, not the Misty from Pokemon.  This is misty, a rather well known jazz song that might be slightly overused.  Overabused.  Overplayed.  Regardlyess, here’s my version.  The melody is okay, but the chords are boring and I have no idea how to spruce it up or improvise upon the chord notations.

http://www.4shared.com/audio/h8GU-BD6/misty.html

Enjoy =) it’s a good song ruined by me.  If you want me to ruin it more, I suppose I could add a vocal track.

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