Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Random holiday stuff

Been trying to chill out and generally get into better condition than I have been ...

I've not been out the house since leaving work last Friday. There's been a couple of reasons for that, the biggest being England winning in the Ashes again :-) 2-0 up with 3 games to play. Hopefully at Old Trafford in Manchester, they'll get the third win to secure the series victory.

To be honest, that was the plan, to chill out and repair - I think I'll need to head out tomorrow though because I ran out of cornettos tonight.

Yep. There's a new critical thingy that determines when I go shopping ... The recent heatwave has a lot to do with that though. It's made me rediscover a taste for minty cornettos. Popcorn is actually going away from that list of critical thingys because I can't find the best kind any more (Tesco have stopped selling it in favour of stuff that's just not as good).

Thinking about a centre of Bristol run soon though, one thing I watched last weekend was the early stage of the Eve Alliance Tournament (online spaceships game) and the incidental music being played in the breaks included two tracks that attracted the attention : Addicted by Waldeck and Booty Swing by Parov Stelar. They're both similar to Caro Emerald and I think I could quite happily listen to them. They're cost prohibitive on Amazon though (above £10 for a cd) so I've not bought them yet. There's more places to hunt them in Bristol.

When I do head out though, I want to be reasonably sure I won't leak too much. The heat hasn't helped there (spectacular thunderstorm out the window a couple of nights ago). It seems like when one leak closes down, another leak will start up again. But I think it's slowly repairing. I need to try and get to the doctor's though tomorrow or Friday because I think I've adjusted to what I have been using and it's now hindering.

But I don't want to talk about the skin condition. It helps to distract away from it so :

Gaming - I collected a few more games over the sale period :
Dishounored - a steampunk stealth game where if you go killcrazy, bad things happen. Should be good.
Blood Bowl Chaos League - American Football with bloodthirsty orcs, elves and demons
Football Manager 2013 - don't ask ;-)
Europa Universalis III - black hole depth war sim (I found a code and will probably not actually play it)

The latest Steam sale was actually a bit disappointing. I only ran for 11 days and the scope seemed a bit limited compared to what we've seen before.

I was hoping to have a look at World of Tanks too but the invite code I have for that expired long ago. Meh. I've enjoyed Blood Bowl, although it has a habit of doing things like have your guys fail to pick up the ball on every turn of an 8 turn half, only for the enemies to pick it up on the first attempt.

Kerbal Space Program is due another look too because it just got updated.

There's one field of rocketry which we've never attempted, the Single Stage To Orbit. This is where you have a true spaceplane which can achieve a true orbit without dropping anything off. The retired space shuttle doesn't count there because it has separate boosters and a separate fuel tank which need to come off before it can come back. We've looked at it, with lifting body prototypes like the X-33. But we've never been able to combine fuel, airframe and engine to make it viable. The Skylon concept is very promising there.

It's something I'd like to try in Kerbal Space Program, especially as I haven't built any planes in that yet. I'd also like to try flying without that cheaty autopilot mod and I'd like to take a rocket to one of the other planets.

I'm also getting closer to acquiring another laptop ... I'm not buying yet because there doesn't seem anything out there that meets the requirements at a suitable price. But one of the Dell Inspiron 15 R SE laptops looks very curious :

Good - it's about the right size, has enough memory and has a 1080p screen.
Bad - £530 is above what I want to pay.

And I don't know enough about Dell consumer laptops to say whether it would still work after 6 months or if I'd have another HP piece of awfulness on my hands. (And I do believe work is changing from reliable Dell machines to HP - uhoh). HP used to be very good, my first printer and first laptop were rock solid. But then a politician got in charge and ... my next printer broke early and my second laptop was dying inside 6 months. On the other hand, Acer have been very reliable. We've had two failures : a terminal software breakage on my dad's (which we could have repaired by taking it back to factory restore) and a power socket failure on my mum's netbook.

That's something else I'll look at in Bristol, laptop selling people. But I think the laptop is on hold for  another few months until the next generation comes through. I suspect the time to buy was a month or so ago.

I'll close out there.

I'm a bit better than I was last week. I've had some sleep (although not much over the last couple of days) and the leaks are closing up quicker. The week seems to be flashing by actually. Oh - I've been listening to lots of music too.

PS Also been avoiding wall to wall news coverage. Yep. It's good news and watching the Changing of the Guard yesterday had me fascinated but. Wall to wall fixation on a single story is unnecessary ... Understandable in some cases but not this one, I'd welcome it in the winter though when we're crying out for intel on whether the snow will stop us getting where we want to go and our news people consistently let us down there.

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