Sunday, December 17, 2017

Day 17 and Krennic's pilot is summoned for a rescue mission

Day 17 of Advent sees a hero arrive for an urgent mission :
Yesterday saw a shuttle arrive, today sees an officer of the Empire ready to be a keen pilot. What is his mission ? We shall see.

Feels odd at the moment. I think I'm partly in holiday mode, kicked off by a good afternoon in town on Friday. Only two more days at work to go until freedom for a little while. Looking forward to it ! (Although there is some stuff going on in the private side which has my thoughts but isn't going to be added here).

The current Elite storyline is progressing as well. We've seen the return of the Thargoids, an ancient alien menace. They were content for a while to just disable our ships and take a look before letting us go on our way again. More recently though, they've turned more aggressive and have started making a mess :
That's one of three stations that have been attacked and there are missions up to go and rescue as many people from them as can fit in your passenger cabins.

The damage is quite spectacular. If I'm feeling up to it (haven't yet and yesterday's session didn't last that long) then I'll make a video ...

It's even messier inside :
The station is in emergency mode, with lots of debris floating around inside (curiously rotating with the station but we'll not say too much about that). Also very hot in there so you have to be quick about getting in there and out again. It's a good little variation on what you can do in the game if you go looking for it.

Today has been mostly Motorsport Manager though. I've got my new team through a whole season now, possibly looking to get promoted this year but that'll need a bit of luck. It's kind of a rush to go up the division, as that lets me hire better drivers and designers. It also means my team won't fall too far behind the teams in that higher division.

I've been enjoying the two games over the weekend. Both Motorsport Manager as it takes a bit of thought and planning through the races to get your team winning (not just a good car) and in seeing new things in Elite.

Wonder if there is something interesting to discover in today's unveiling in the Humble bundle ...

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Advent Day 16 - Krennic is coming ...

Day 16 !
And it is the black Imperial shuttle of Director Krennic ...

If you haven't seen Rogue One yet, I'd thoroughly recommend it. That film definitely has its moments.

Gonna be a short one again because I'm still extremely tired and not really knowing what I'm doing yet (apart from chilling out and watching videos). Yesterday was fun though.

Not many more days left for work ! There is still stuff we have to do before the break but we've cleared off the Absolute Must Get Done stuff. Means we can make a head start on next year.

Yesterday was tiring though. Fun but tiring. Lots of walking on brand new shoes ! Definitely worth it though :-). We spent the afternoon wandering around a fair bit of Bristol city centre looking at shiny things. I think I'll be heading back there to hunt down Xmas cards.

Not today though. The rest of this evening is likely to be :

Lots of music to listen to.
Elite until I get tired. I'm going to do a rapid run over to an area attacked by aliens and do some rescuing.
More gaming videos. The ones queued up are for Stardew Valley, Stellaris and Factorio.

I have many Factorio videos lined up ...

Friday, December 15, 2017

Advent Day 15 and something mysterious in red

Day 15 !
What is it ? What could it be !

Hmm. Sometimes the answers come if you wait around a while. What do we see a little later ...
There we go. It's our Stormie again. He's finished fixing up the shooting range but his bosses aren't going to be happy until it's all shiny and clean again.

It's a cleaner/polisher thing !

If I get some energy up, I should follow Stormie's example and do some cleaning here. I am utterly exhausted though. I may sleep for the weekend ! Except there is cricket being recorded tonight and tomorrow night, so I'll wake up long enough to start the time delayed coverage and then that'll put me to sleep again.

Maybe some Elite Internet Spaceship piloting as well.

Later !

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Day 14 - a tooled up stormtrooper contemplates a challenging mission

Day 14 !

Another stormtrooper emerges. This one looks well geared up.
Where could they be sending him ? What threat has the Empire discerned ?

I think we know what it is. He is being sent into the domain of the :
Evil Cultist Snowmen.

Just look at them. Turn your back on them for a second and they'll steal the buttons off your shirt and the carrots off your plate.

Just look at the Happy one ! Far too happy. Definitely planning something.

Today was our work's Christmas do, which was good. Good food, good company, lovely wine (happily had help this time so I didn't have too much). I tend to disappear from these events fairly early these days though.

Watching Star Wars movies after seems to be becoming a tradition as well. It was unplanned last year with Rogue One, bit more planned this year with The Last Jedi.

What did I think of the film ? I'm not going to spoil, don't worry about that.

It keeps you wondering all the way through as to what direction it's going to go. Good film. Definitely enjoyed it. Whereas The Force Awakens was more about fan service and reawakening the franchise, this definitely marched the story on.

Spectacular action sequences, Leia being the heart as always and a tough character too. There's a new character brought in who is adorable, while other characters stir the emotions in different ways.

Great film. Will definitely see about finding an excuse to watch it again in the cinema.

Those snowmen though.

I think they have some form of mind control. It seems to be a very popular jumper. It was drawing all of the looks as I was walking through town today and a few comments too. The girls on the concession stand in the cinema loved it and wanted to know where I got it. I think the Evil Cultist Snowmen will be gathering an army of thralls to bear them.

In fact the voices are telling me I must wear this jumper tomorrow as well.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Day 13 - a lone speeder awaits

Day 13. Unlucky ? Maybe.

WHAT'S IN THE BOX !
The latest door in the calendar held a speeder. A lone speeder.

What could it be waiting for ? Is there more to this scene ? Perhaps. Let's draw the camera back a bit.
It's the unlucky Stormtrooper again !

Has he been distracted by Ewoks while a Rebel jumps in and nicks his ride ? And what is the enigmatic wanderer doing back there.

Will we ever find out the purposes hidden behind that mask. How long will it stay a mystery ?

The luck has been a little odd today. And yesterday.

While I was walking home, I was feeling my shoes get ever worse ... Yep. The new ones that were acquired only a month ago. When I got home, had a look inside, discovered ... they are ex-shoes. The heels on both sides have been thoroughly destroyed. I don't think I give my shoes a particular pounding ... Yet they only lasted a month where I'd expect a few years.

I'm due to be in town on Friday so after enjoying meeting up with someone lovely there, I'll be hunting refunds and new shoes.

Today was the turn of electronic things ... And a little work but I keep work away from here. The score, if you could call it that was 4-1. 4 major tasks complete, 1 major task frustrated. I like to have it at the 5-0 end. Failing at anything is something I find annoying, especially when it isn't due to anything I've done. If I fail, I can own that failure and figure out how to not fail next time.

Electronics ? Beware the new Windows 10 update. Hey wait ! ALWAYS beware the new Windows update. This time it stopped BOINC from letting SETI and Milkyway run sums with my graphics card (it helps add heat to the room). And broke the sidebar gadgets ... again.

All hopefully fixed now, although I haven't opened any games since letting it update this evening.

Fingers crossed it's all ok ...

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Day 12 and you came in that thing ? You're braver than I thought

Day 12 and an old favourite !
I suspect it's the Falcon today due to a connection with a certain number of parsecs.

Parsecs are a measure of distance and the saying in Star Wars has already attracted a certain amount of ridicule because it's taken as a "The Falcon did this quickly !" thing. And a race is over a set distance isn't it ?

I'm on the non-ridicule side of the argument. They're talking about the Kessel Run, which is to a spice mining outpost that's near a cluster of black holes. To get through safely, you'd need to plot a circuitous course through all of the black holes. You couldn't go direct cos you'd get caught in the event horizons. But you could get close .... closer depending on how quick you were going and whether the engines gave the thrust to mass to let you escape.

So saying that a ship could do the run in less distance in this case is a valid boast.

Although saying that, I firmly believe that the writers of the boast know very little about why it might be a valid boast and were just thinking "Parsecs ! That sounds cool. We'll use it." A lot of Star Wars dialogue is insanely dumb like that.

But they do have cool ships and the Falcon is perhaps the coolest of the lot.

I now have 3x Falcons ... The tiny one above;
A slightly bigger one that indulges in extreme manoeuvres occasionally (not any more, the advent calendar door holding it there gave up the fight and let it fall). This one is my oldest Falcon.

And ....
A somewhat larger Falcon that I thoroughly enjoyed building.

There is another Falcon that isn't in my collection yet.

Did I say yet ? Hmm. I did say yet. Ominous ....

Anyone wanna get me this ? See something marvellous at the link. Yep. That would be particularly awesome.

I shall now go away and dream of the largest lego set.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Advent Day 11 - A Horse In a Land Not A Kingdom

What was that old saying ?
A horse ! A horse ! My kingdom for a horse !

I think he's in the wrong universe, unless he has an empire to give away.

I watched the Force Awakens again tonight. The two newest Star Wars films are amazing, in different ways. It's maybe the 5th time I've watched this one ? It's still an excellent film.

It starts out slowly, gently, steadily drawing the viewer back into the universe. You have the pilot, you have the stormtrooper, you have the scavenger. Gotta say I love the character of Rey. The basis of the character had its criticisms (mainly in the minds of backwards people who balk at a girl being able to do all that) but for me she makes sense.

The character is a scavenger, growing up amongst strange machines, unusual equipment and harsh conditions. So she's learned how to make starships work and how to look out for herself.

It's a great character.

Looking forwards to seeing more of the new Star Wars, possibly on Thursday if things work out in town.

One thing about the cinema, it is definitely far more plug n play than home entertainment can be. I may have to look more at upgrading the telly ... I have :

Samsung telly. Bit crude but still does the job with showing the pictures. Bit small though at I think 32", I'd like something bigger.
Panasonic bluray player. A very competent device.
Onkyo AV amplifier connecting them together and doing the sound.

I think the amplifier has had issues since I got it, or it could be the telly confusing the link between the three items. They all hook up via HDMI, which has trust issues ... All those copying pirates led to copy protection going into systems where it doesn't belong and I think the telly confuses that copy protection trust link. Anyway. It had trouble with those trust issues tonight but I fixed it with the simple thing of taking the lead out and putting it back in again.

The amp is happily playing music now that the film is finished. It makes excellent music. Can't remember when I bought it .... years ago ! It has definitely given its money's worth.

May all our devices do that !

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Day 10 - a figure in a snow covered wilderness

Day 10 sees a wanderer arrive.
Or is he travelling. Where is he headed ? Is it even a male wanderer under that garb and mask ? Does their species even have male and female ?

So many assumptions, so many questions.

It's snowing here at the moment. Actually coming down reasonably snowy but the ground is far too wet for it to stick. Could be an icy walk to the bus stop tomorrow and I'll have to make a sleepy assessment as to whether I walk over there in my boots or normal shoes. It's turning to something closer to icy rain at the moment. Not too good to be out in, it's weather to guarantee misery and wet.

My work shoes are fairly decent for grip on the soles, now that I've mostly worn them flat. That was odd ... when I got them, the grips were uneven, it felt like half the sole was a few millimeters different from the rest, which was leading to odd balancing being needed. Apart from that, I like these shoes. My ankles normally get shredded by new shoes, these have been ok and my ankles have been allowed to continue healing. There's still damage to repair though.

Today will be another day of chilling out and occasionally looking out the window to see if things have gone white yet. Other parts of the country have had serious snowfall. I've seen a pic of a place near where my sister lives and it's a traffic pile up on one of the major roads. It never usually gets that bad here.

But there is a group of intrepid sailors who are sailing into even worse conditions :
This is from the inshore leg as the fleet was leaving Cape Town this morning. Fairly close racing but I suspect they didn't want to get too crazy considering that they'll be heading for the Southern Ocean where there is no land mass to act as a break on the seas down there. Reports are of 12m waves, which will dwarf these racing yachts. And ...
That's where they're headed and that angry red circle of a weather depression will lead to very challenging conditions.

I'll be following the racing again and two boats in particular. Turn The Tide On Plastic (TTOP) is skippered by Dee Caffari who I was listening to for the start of the last Vendee Globe and she had a gift there of explaining everything that was going on in a style that made it easy for this novice to understand. And the other boat I'm following is Scallywag (SHKS) skippered by another Brit.

May the Brits rule the waves again !

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Advent Day 9 - Urgent delivery

Day 9 sees a transport arrive. Or go zoom.
Where is it headed I wonder ? What could it have seen ? Is it being chased by the Stormtrooper ?

A mystery of ages.

Today's post is a bit of a cautionary note ... If you see something appear on your computer like "YOUR MAC IS INFECTED CLICK HERE TO SORT!" ... don't click on any of the links on the page. They will likely infect your computer with something horrific.

Instead, note down stuff on the page if you think it'll do any good later, check the web address as well. If it's something sensible like Something.Apple.Com, then think about checking it out. And then don't.

I saw a web address of lots of numbers and then something unpronouncable.com (I can remember the letters but I'm not posting them here) and hit the back button on the machine. And then installed Malwarebytes and asked it to do a scan.

(No threats found happily)

I'll look into using one of my Bitdefender licences on there as well but I really want to avoid using Bitdefender. I'll definitely not be renewing the licence when it expires in half a year. Why ? Because I bought it in the hope of getting antivirus without having constant pop ups and entreatings to send money their way and .... after only about a month I was being asked to upgrade and it has interrupted what I've been doing several times since with more unwanted ads.

I'll send the money elsewhere next time around.

By the way, the site I clicked on was Statcounter and I think it was an advert that redirected the browser to the page with the infection warning. I've turned Adblock back on now for Statcounter. It won't be turned off again.

So by allowing an infected ad through, Statcounter have lost their ad revenue from me.
For giving me advertising popups, Bitdefender lose their business from me next year.

Be careful on the internet folks ! And don't panic if something unexpected happens.

There may be stormtroopers out there with guns and you might get shot while they're aiming at something completely different.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Advent Day 8 - Stormie has to do chores

Day 8 has arrived .... and I think we know why Stormie was so angry ...
His gun has been locked away in the Basket of Things That Fix Stuff and he has to fix all the damage to the shooting range before he gets it back.

Stormtroopers and their guns. No self control. Like people in bathrooms. How do they arrange things in those suits of armour anyway ? And ...
Darth Vader has a volcano lair ... Beware !

I can't remember where I got that photo. I have a funny feeling it's a good friend on that selfie and it's from their facebook. Great sense of humour to it anyway.

I'm hoping for a quiet start of the weekend to regain some energy before some fun on Sunday cruising round the Bristol Harbourside market. Should be good. Not many more working days now until Xmas leave begins ! I'm actually contemplating starting that a bit sooner but we shall see. Almost all of the tasks that need to be done this year are sorted, which means we'll get cracking on next year's stuff a bit earlier.

There will be some Motorsport Manager, my team has won its first race ... We won't win the championship this year, I'm still building the team up. But they'll hopefully be near the front consistently next year. 2 more races to go.

I will be flying amongst the distant stars in Elite ... it's a good chill out game.

And I have a game started in Stellaris too ...

Chill out commences imminently with Return of the Jedi !