Thursday, October 30, 2008

Indecent Proposal

There was a film out a while ago called Indecent Proposal. The synopsis of the plot was that John Gage (played by Robert Redford) would offer Diana Murphy (played by Demi Moore) $1m to spend a night with him. In bed.

The film has a look at the relationship of Diana Murphy and her husband around the $1m offer. I have to admit I've never seen it but it's definitely springing to mind at the moment. In Robert Redford's shoes, you have a certain Texan billionaire (who for some reason is a Sir ...) and in Demi Moore's stilettos you have the English Cricket establishment ...

The scene is Antigua, where there's a tournament going on with a "Stanford Superstars" team, Middlesex, Trinidad and Tobago and finally England. It's Twenty20 cricket, which should be the most exciting and fun version of the game with the event being a showcase to show cricket off to the non-cricketing world.

There's just a couple of problems ... The pitch has a big influence on how a game of cricket goes, the bounce can be good, low or nasty and there are different speeds too. Good bounce and decent pace (the ball "coming on") means good scoring and tense games. High bounce can get nasty as it can lead to broken fingers or worse. Slow and low pitches make it difficult to hit the ball out of the ground as the batsman is always reaching for the ball without any confidence to hit through their shots.

Instead of being a spectacular showcase, we have a slow and low pitch. What's worse is that the floodlights at the ground are also low, making catching awkward. Dropped catches that would have been held at any other ground have changed the results in the games so far. The shameful thing is that the combination of slow, low pitch and bad floodlights is making good International players look utterly inept. And that is bad for the game in general, not just for the players on show.

It's terrible timing too, as it's clashed with the Baseball World Series. I try and watch as much baseball as I can get away with, partly because I like watching the execution of perfection that Major League Baseball puts on show. Things like a double play that the fielders make look like child's play, plus bonuses like Joe Blanton, Phillies pitcher, smacking a Homer that amazed everyone in the crowd. It's a well grooved sport but there's still room for class to show and luck to come to the party. It's a shame that TV timings and work mean I can't catch more baseball.

So where does the Indecent Proposal reference fit in ? The games in Antigua are leading up to a $20 million showdown between the England team and the Stanford Superstars, winner takes all. Personally, I think it's an attempt to move away from the Twenty20 series in the West Indies by looking to outside competitors. I've put up an opinion of the Stanford Twenty20 competition before and it wasn't a good one - I turned off their grand final because it was boring and tedious - for a cricket addict ! So the money has gone to bring in people from a successful Twenty20 tournament.

It's a little sad and the media backlash has been happening over the last couple of days. The players are stating publicly that they don't particularly want to be there - the harsh reality of the aftermath of the Indecent Proposal thing is really coming to light.

That's enough cricket for now, except to say that while there's actually cricket on the telly as I write this, I'm actually watching Ice Road Truckers instead. Yep, I'd rather watch the guys on the ice than the sport I'm addicted to.

Also in the news - it's birthday season ! I'll be buying the donuts in a fortnight but before then ... Crazie Party. Which I have a lot of work to do to prepare for it because we're having it at my place this time and the house is a tip. Too much accumulated garbage that I'll be moving into my spare room.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bombardment from the Sky

Friday's Fill-Ins mentioned I was having the car serviced on Saturday. Gosh that was weird ... Getting a car serviced and walking out without paying them anything ? That's one hell of a novelty :-) It's not quite as good as it sounds though, I have to get a couple of new tyres which will cost me roughly £230 plus the service wasn't actually free, I'm paying a monthly fee for the next couple of years in return for servicing.

It's getting colder here at the moment ... I used to joke that it was too freaky a coincidence that there would be snow just before the annual RAC Rally (now known by other sponsor name ...) that would last through the Rally, melting in the last day or so. The snow would be there for the Rally and then would disappear straight afterwards. And it's that time of year again ! It's also let me find out about a new gadgie on the car :

Yellow snowflake = it's 5 degrees C outside
Red snowflake = it's 1 degrees C outside

Translation - bloody cold.

Got spotted this morning by one of the work people in my "cold weather gear". Which is identical to my "warm weather gear" except for the addition of black leather gloves. Or "Assassin Gloves" as they're known around the project :-) I like that image :-) But what would really get me strange looks would be people knowing that I've handled and fired a wide range of firearms, including a sniper rifle :-). But that's from quite a while ago now and the actions of a few Crazy People means I'm not likely to get the chance to do that again. At least not in the UK.

Where did the title for today come from ? Sunny day today and I was at an offsite meeting at lunchtime. I like this particular meeting because the gorgeous Miss S goes to it. (I don't spend all my time gazing at pretty people - honest !). Sunny before, Apocalypse afterwards. I had enough time to leg it to the car before the heavens didn't just open, they got ripped asunder. By the time I'd driven around to the gate people to hand back my temporary ID, conditions were poor enough that the gate guard fella was highly reluctant to leave the safety of his guard house to cross the road to the car ...

This wasn't rain.
This wasn't snow.
This was Hail Bombardment.

I've put in a previous post something about the "Damp", "Murky", "Dangerous" and "Nasty", today added "Bruising" :-)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Fill-ins

I finally got around to doing another one of these ! For the original site, please see Janet's site here.

1. Right now, I'm feeling a little nervous of what will get reported at the car service tomorrow ...
2. Having dinner with a beautiful woman is where I want to be.
3. How does one stop the rebellious march of the dust bunny army ?
4. The barometer that is my friends keeps me on track.
5. Please don't judge before knowing all of the facts.
6. A smile from a pretty lady always fills me with joy.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to just plain chilling out (Lost In Space on now!), tomorrow my plans include getting the car serviced and Sunday, I want to relax, chill out, play some games !

Today's post is dedicated to the Blonde With No Name (although I now have a good idea what that name is !) Mrs B walks past my desk most days, with today being slightly different. As well as Mrs B, there was a balloon being pulled along. It said "Happy 50th birthday". Unbelievable ! Mrs B has the smooth grace of a dancer and is often seeing going Zoom up the floorplate in cycling gear on her way out the door. There's a lot of energy in a tiny frame there but that's not the thing that stands out.

It's the big smile :-)

A smile from a gorgeous lady will always brighten the day and Mrs B always has that cheeky little grin ready and waiting to erupt. My team moves across site in a week or two and it's the big smiles from a few of the ladies in the teams next door which is something I will really miss.

Happy 50th birthday tomorrow Mrs B !

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Domination Game

Not posted too much over the last week - been a little busy, away from home for a couple of days and missing ideas for things to post. And a little caught up in games too :-)

Warcraft has been my main game for the past few months, with occasional sojourns into Master of Orion 2 for a bit of Galactic Domination. However, there's a phenomenon I call "just-70-depression" that tends to hit people. Warcraft has an experience system called "levelling", where as you play your character gets experience. As they gain more levels, they can wear better equipment and they hit harder.

Just one problem ... There's a level cap. You can take the character up to level 70 but no further. Until Blizzard (maker of Warcraft) come out with an expansion pack that is ... There's one of those coming next month and I'm really not sure if I'll buy it this time. (Yeah right - I'll have a pre-order in when I get the interest in WoW back). Up to 70, you can explore the rich world that Blizzard created for WoW, getting variation from going through the different areas. At maximum level, it's repetition time ...

I've reactivated my sub in another game now - Eve this time. Eve is a space game, still massively multiplayer and allows a much slower, more relaxed pace. WoW is a lot more immediate in comparison. You can't totally fall asleep in Eve but at least it's not twitch gaming like most others. There's no level cap either in Eve, a character keeps on learning different skills so they can fly different ships, shoot different guns or make different items.

Anyway - all the above is deja vu from a couple of years ago - I tend to switch between games to suit what I'm interested in at the time. Bit of twitch gaming - Warcraft. Galactic Domination - Moo2. Wargame with ZZZZs - Settlers IV. Relaxed multiplayer space - back to Eve.

Oh - I mentioned I was out of town for a couple of days. I was up norf in Glasgow on business, which was nice - change of scenery is always good. Joked with the girls on the hotel front desk about stalkers, not had one of those for a while and I kinda miss it. Was a bit knocked out though for a couple of days after. Think one of the bugs I've been carrying got some revenge on me.

I don't tend to have sick days, even though my diet is something that would make a nutritionist recoil in horror. Or rather, I'll keep plodding along not allowing anyone to see just how much I might be suffering at any one time. But what keeps me going is things like having Miss A ask me how my weekend was as she's walking past my desk.

Right - time to grab some food, get ready for having the Grand Prix delayed coverage on in the background and maybe sneak a quick mission in before it starts ... And update the A to Z challenge on my disused other blog with another book read :-)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

How things change - film vs game

Watching the Alone In The Dark film adaptation of the game at the moment. Sometimes film/game tie ins actually attempt to remain close to the subject. I should probably give an impression of the original game (which I played to death!) to show what the contrast is ...

The original Alone In The Dark was an all time classic. It was inspired by the HP Lovecraft stories, specifically the Cthulhu stories. It's centred around a paranormal investigator, Edward Carnby, who is looking into a mansion. He then gets trapped in the mansion and the objective of the game is to get him out again. Just going out the front door wasn't an option - you'd get sucked out into some swirly vortexy thing.

It was kind of a forerunner to the Lara Croft games, although the Croft games like to think they're totally original. It didn't have any acrobatics and the gunplay was minimal (I'll come back to that) but the basic structure was there. Inventory system, free running and walking were what made this game a huge step up from the Point & Click games that were extremely common when it came out.

The key to Alone In The Dark was figuring things out. You had to solve certain puzzles, unlock certain doors, find how to get through some rooms and there were one or two bad guys to sort out too. I'm currently remembering the Ball Room, where if you touched the dancers, you'd explode. They start static, thereby blocking the exit, so how do you get around them ? Start a record playing ! I also had a save point ready to roll at the start of the encounter with the Zombie Pirate Swashbuckler. That encounter was a fencing fight and I used to get paid biscuits by my housemates to help them get around it.

There were guns in the game but the game wasn't based around clearing hordes of monsters, it was based around thinking through the puzzles to allow you to not fight the monsters.

On to the film - the scene that inspired this post, for all the wrong reasons, comes up halfway through. You have Carnby and Aline Cedrac (token love interest, along with token sex scene) in a warehouse/museum with Big Monster chasing them. They get to where the guns are and then ... Cue heavy metal music, cue rifles to full auto and we get oh so close to a Babes With AK47 moment. (She still has her clothes on but the rest is there)

Ok - the game plotline of "One Bloke Alone In The Dark Trapped In Mansion" probably wouldn't have worked in a Hollywood type film but it could have been interesting to at least try to have a psychological type thriller instead of a Wake Up The Neighbours film where they fire off the contents of a small ammo dump. Will have to try and film Relic again, I seem to remember that was a decent Scary Monster Movie.

There's a new Alone In The Dark game just come out - the word (i.e. PC Zone intel) is to avoid it like the plague. Games should be fun, not tortuous and the new Alone in The Dark game looks like it errs on the side of masochism.

I watched another new film to me last night - this one was Rise starring Lucy Liu as Another Vampire Movie. Not a bad start this one and an interesting take on the vampire myth. I don't think I'll be buying the dvd though, sometimes once is enough for a film. However, Lucy Liu is always worth watching, just needs better scripts.

PS The plant in the wardrobe was deadly.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - unforgettable films

Just finished watching the Lord of the Rings saga again and on looking at the TV guide, I notice American Gangster is on Sky Movies ... They're both excellent outstanding films but when it comes to the question of "do I want to watch them again ?" it's a case of :

Lord of the Rings - yes please
American Gangster - hmm, mebbe not

So what makes a film something you will want to watch over and over again ? And what makes it a Great Once ? This is kinda like the question that Mike the computer asks in Robert Heinlein's book The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. What makes a joke funny once and what makes a joke funny all the time. It's something that will probably never be answered fully but in the meantime, here's 13 films I'll never tire of seeing :

Thirteen Things about Unforgettable Films

1.... Lord of the Rings. Just finished watching the saga again, will undoubtedly wear the dvds out before their time.
2.... The Fifth Element. There's a definite sense of style here, from the acting to the quirkiness, in the Gautier clothes and the epic locations.
3.... Big Trouble in Little China. This is a really silly film, typical of John Carpenter. He's a master of making Fun Films that are easily watchable.
4.... A Knight's Tale. Must watch this one again, it's a great film to remember the late Heath Ledger by.
5.... Saving Private Ryan & Black Hawk Down. Lumping these two in together because the subject they depict is one we should never forget. We must learn from the mistakes of the past in order to avoid them in the future.
6.... Superman - with Christopher Reeve. I grew up on these films and Christopher Reeve will always be Superman for me. And that impression was very definitely reinforced by the courage he showed in battling the aftermath of his horse accident.
7.... The Princess Bride. More lighthearted fun :-)
8.... Conan The Barbarian. Great action but what I like most is the sense of Freedom that the characters exude. There's a very worthy mention for Red Sonja here too.
9.... Shrek - for turning the heroic fantasy completely on its head while having a huge laugh.
10.. My Fair Lady. It must be fifteen years since I watched this classic, which is far too long. It's a tribute to the beauty of Audrey Hepburn that I can still recall her face from that film.
11.. Where Eagles Dare. Ok, we all know the story here because we've seen it so many times but it's still utterly compelling all the same. Just as we'll always come back for more of watching Steve McQueen bouncing his ball in the cooler.
12.. The Man With No Name trilogy with Clint Eastwood. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly is one of the greatest films of all time and its absence leaves a huge gap in my dvd collection.
13.. The Star Wars saga. The question of "which trilogy is better ?" will never get a final answer :-) Personally, I like the Epi I to III ones better.

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There's a few films missing from the list above, I'm starting to wear out my copies of Sin City and 300 too. Aliens is a cracking film but the films that followed it in the series are a bit weak. Casino Royale was a fine return to form but at the end of the day, it's Yet Another Bond Film. The Indiana Jones films are Must See but they didn't really hold my attention when I watched them again before Crystal Skull (not seen) came out.

And then there's the Matrix ... Wound me up the first time because it got mired in its own symbolism but when you ignore that part and refuse to try and make sense of the insensible, they're a cracking set of films and a technical masterpiece. No soul there though.

Right - Star Wars got watched a couple of weeks ago, just finished watching Return Of The King, what's next ? ! :-)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

-Ology Meme

Another meme today, while I watch Red Sonja for probably the eighth time :-) This one's borrowed from Dawn the RetardedRugrat :


Q. What is your salad dressing of choice ?
Erm - what's salad dressing ? :-)

Q. What is your favourite fast food restaurant ?
KFC - because I can have reasonable confidence that the meat was actually chicken at some point.

Q. What is your favourite sit-down restaurant ?
The Carvery just down the road from where I live. Haven't had a good excuse to go there for ages though.

Q. On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant ?
On average, about 10% but it depends on how good the service was. Surly people will be very lucky to get tips, Smiling cheerful people get extra.

Q. What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of it ?
People might expect me to say pizza here but I'm actually going to say cheese sarnies for lunch :-) I like a bit of variation though on my dinners.

Q. What are your pizza toppings of choice ?
Ham & pineapple, Ham & mushroom, Ham & pepperoni, Ham & ...

Q. What do you like to put on your toast ?
I like toast with my butter. Not had cheese on toast for ages ...


Q. What is the wallpaper on your computer ?
Lara Croft on apps desktop - yes, I'm ashamed but the picture I would like on there is buried on a hard disc that's in an inactive machine at the moment ... And it was a misclick that got the Lara Croft piccy on there - honest !

Q. How many televisions are in your house ?
Only the one and I'm waiting for it to break so I can have an excuse to upgrade to HD.


Q. Are you right-handed or left-handed ?
Right handed. I thought about trying to learn how to bowl left handed to get around the shoulder problem but I just can't get my head around the whole body motion of bowling the wrong way.

Q. Have you ever had anything removed from your body ?
Not that I know of ... Apart from one of my teeth when it was falling apart.

Q. When was the last time you lost a cavity ?
Da tooth that was falling apart. Continuous pain made it a relief, I didn't get any sleep the night before.

Q. What is the last heavy item you lifted ?
Really heavy item ? Probably my 28" widescreen CRT telly from a few years ago when I got it. Lifted it out the box all on my own, which was a Really Stupid Thing to do :-)

Q. Have you ever been knocked unconscious ?
I don't think so. Not even when the cricket ball broke my nose, although I may have gone black for an instant there.


Q. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die ?
Not particularly, because I'd start second guessing myself about it. And I've figured that second guessing something tends to provoke it into happening anyway.

Q. If you could change your name, what would you change it to ?
I contemplated using my second name (Robert) when I went to uni but didn't carry it through because people would call "ROB!" and I wouldn't have a clue who they meant.

Q. What colour do you think looks best on you ?
Black, cos of the contrast with blond(ish) hair and pasty white skin :-)

Q. Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake ?
Sooo glad (???!???!!) it was a fly and not a wasp or a bee.

Q. Have you ever saved someone's life ?
Not that I know of - never been put into that position. Although hopefully by acting daft I've helped people out of deep depression at times.

Q. Has someone ever saved your's ?
No - never been in that position. The nose was bad but I didn't need resuscitation.


Q. Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100 ?
No harm in it - easy money.

Q. Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for £200,000 ?
I'm not that desperate for money ...

Q. Would you never blog again for $50,000 ?
Muahaha - I'd Facebook instead :-)

Q. Would you pose naked in a magazine for £250,000 ?
Hell yeah - I'd even give the photographer back a couple of thousand to compensate him for the cameras that would shatter upon capturing me naked :-) Would that muscle pose be with gut sucked in or left out ? :-) :-) :-)

Q. Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1,000 ?
No. That's too close to sadomasochism and self-abuse for my tastes.

Q. Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000 ?
This is a death penalty question ... I have to say that I'm not against the death penalty. There are people out there who society should not be exposed to and there's no way to integrate these people back into society. But it's a very final judgement. What if the court is wrong ? Whichever way that goes, I would not want to be the person doing the deed.


Q. What is in your left pocket ?
The hanky I use to clean my glasses. The biohazard hanky gets kept in my right pocket.

Q. Is Napolean Dynamite actually a good movie ?
Not seen it, have no intention of seeing it ... Sounds like overhyped, which usually means Rubbish.

Q. Do you have hardwood or carpet in your house ?
Short carpet in living room, wood floor in bedroom. I prefer the wood floor, the dust collects up in bunnies that are easily dealt with. Carpets are harder to look after.

Q. Do you sit or stand in the shower ?
I stand.

Q. Could you live with roommates ?
I used to - but I got sick of it after 6 years. Living on my own is fine but I would like to share a house with someone special again. However shared accommodation outside of a relationship is something I'll be avoiding.

Q. How many pairs of flip flops do you own ?
I have work shoes, trainers, old shoes, shoes with spikes in but no flip flops.

Q. Last time you had a run in with the cops ?
I bounced my dad's car off a copcar on Xmas Eve a few years ago ... But we got it put down as their fault because he pulled out of a junction too close to me.

Q. What do you want to be when you grow up ?
An Astronaut ! It might be a little late for that now and my shoulder might keep me out of the programme.

Q. Who is number 1 on your top 8 ?
The family up norf.


Q. Last friend you talked to ?
The delightful IT Girl as part of figuring out some IT arrangements for a change that's coming ...

Q. Last person who called you ?
My boss, to tell me that he wouldn't be in work yesterday. The actual answer is different - but I think the boss one is funnier :-)

Q. Person you hugged ?
Craziequeen, far too long ago.


Q. Number ?
The number 3, representing a Beginning, a Middle and an End.

Q. Season ?
Cricket season :-)


Q. Missing someone ?
I miss having someone special around, to share everything with. Whether that be good times, bad times or just to be able to make laugh on the spur of the moment. I also miss the Eve group, because it was an excellent break in the routine to go hit the Wishing Well pub for an evening every once in a while to have an out of game natter.

Q. Mood ?
A little bored, there's only so many times you can watch Red Sonja before you can play it in your mind's eye while listening to it off the telly.

Q. Listening to ?
Red Sonja :-)

Q. Watching ?
Red Sonja :-) Rise is also on the SkyPlus box with Stargate-Atlantis and a half dozen Star Trek DS9 episodes. Next dvd to watch is Return of the King.

Q. Worrying about ?
Whether I'll get decent sleep tonight or if insomnia and a 2-3am sleeptime routine will continue when I don't want it to.


Q. First place you went this morning ?
Bathroom ...

Q. What can you not wait to do ?
There's something happening with work next week, which should be good fun. I can't say what it is though because people might get annoyed with me for all the wrong reasons.

Q. What's the last movie you saw ?
Cinema - Babylon AD with Vin Diesel.
Telly - Red Sonja's credits are rolling at the moment.
DVD - The Two Towers extended version. (Much better than the cinematic)

Q. Do you smile often ?
Oh yes :-) And I got a few smiles and a big grin out of The Blonde With No Name today.

Q. Are you a friendly person ?
Yes, although there is a demon in me that gets out when I'm angry or driving.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A green bribe

Danger - part of this post will include a rant :-)

I'm going through a change in electric & gas supplier at the moment, away from the so-called British Gas (they're actually owned by Germans I believe). A decent amount of time ago, BG were producing adverts that translate to "we're really green and eco-friendly, we give people energy saving lightbulbs. For free"

It's a fine sentiment, for a bribe ... Did it work to keep me with them as a customer ? Nah. Someone young and pretty came knocking at the door saying another company could provide the goods cheaper and I'm a sucker for a pretty face. It did help though that BG had been steadily raising the rate they'd been charging.

Customer service is everything - and BG really blew any chance they have of getting my business in the future with the phone call I got telling me that I was stupid for going to the company I'm now with. If there's one thing I hate, it's someone attempting to bully me.

Oh - back to the lightbulbs. Energy saving bulbs is something I'd like to move towards and I thought the bribe might be the perfect opportunity ...

Just one problem.

The bulbs BG tried to bribe me with won't fit - and I can't get a suitable light fitting (flush ceiling fittings use screw, not bayonet) at places like Argos ! Ah well - time for plan B, which is to keep getting old type lightbulbs to replace the ones wot go PoP. At least old type non-energy saving bulbs don't contaminate your living room with Mercury if the seal breaks on them.

Anyway - British Gas. Fine company, masquerading under one country's name when they're really owned by people in another. Amazing customer service, as in they will amaze you with their poor conduct when you dare to leave them. I've been with them twice, will never go near them again.

Other news - I might be closer to a laptop change - Firefox ended up having a fight with Windows last night, leading to a few Weird Problems. Hopefully it's fixed, although it needed a couple of System Restores to sort things out. I still have a functioning Start Menu at least, which was one of those Weird Problems. With the various hardware problems this laptop has, it's one straw away from being replaced - it's just not worth the hassle of a full system rebuild.

Oh - I ended up being in the position of being in the same place at the same time as last week's encounter with Cute Artist Girl - she wasn't there this week though. Time to go back to hoping for a glimpse of Miss L, a chat with Miss A and a shared Big Grin with The Blonde With No Name.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Out and about

Been doing that shopping without buying anything again today ...

There's a new revamp of the centre of Bristol that opened last week - the Cabot Circus development. What they've done is take an area of the centre of Bristol that was getting rather run down and neglected and turned it into a shopping centre. Complete with cinema and a couple of the decent name department stores slotting in alongside lots of clothes shops, munchie shops and curiosity shops.

Not a bad little collection. They've anticipated the weather too, with glass overhead providing cover from the elements. The engineer eye couldn't miss seeing that they've been smart with the design, by not totally enclosing the area with the glass ceiling, there's gaps to let the air in with drains overlapping the gaps to keep the rain out.

Car parking there works well, the entrance sucks the cars off the M32 before they clog up the rest of the city. Before Cabot Circus, all the cars would tornado round the city streets in the hunt for a space in one of the myriad car parks spread around the centre. Getting out is more of a problem though but that's due to Bristol drivers not knowing that they shouldn't sit on yellow boxes blocking people's exits.

Did I buy anything today ? Nah. It's too close to birthday and Xmas season to risk upsetting someone by buying what they've already acquired. Patience Mode to On.

I'd already had breakfast at work, with the lovely Angela joining us too which was a pleasant surprise, so not too much lunch needed. Which was probably a good thing seeing as the various "Insert-Coffee-Shop-Name-Here" places in Cabot were packed. So I nipped off to the other large shopping centre in Bristol where I ended up watching someone again ...

I like a bit of hot chocolate and the place I went hunting for it has had a bit of a Chinese invasion. Chinese girl on the till wearing a t-shirt with a bunny on it. Chinese lad with spiky hair doing the coffees and the hot chocolates. Chinese girl "in the back" (figuratively speaking) doing the washing up. What I noticed was the energy these three brought to the job, especially the one with the bunny.

If you can imagine 3 people doing the work of five, that's how bouncy these three were. If there's one characteristic the Chinese people seem to share, it's to throw themselves into whichever task is before them wholeheartedly. It shows by how they seem to ration the minutes in the day, getting as much value as they can out of each and every second. It's an admirable characteristic, although it does show me up for the lazy person that I am.

They didn't appear rushed though, Spiky Lad had a big smile when he came over with my Toastie and Bunny Girl was very patient with me when I was having trouble making out her accent. I think she was hyper to my hypo. The sad thing though is that the new shopping area looks to be drawing trade away from the older area as people look to the New Thing. BB's didn't have any queue, whereas I walked out of the "Insert-Coffee-Shop-Name" places in Cabot due to huge queues (at 2.30 ish). Hopefully that will balance out over time.

Time to get back to book/game plus iTunes - I have a challenge this weekend, to try and get the "Recently Played" to over a 1000 different tracks. It's now sitting at 892 different songs played over the last 14 days, for a total of 2 days 14 hours. There's 1700 tracks for iTunes to choose from on this laptop, so I think I have a decent chance to hit that 1000.

PS Now playing Antmusic by Adam and the Ants.