Saturday, January 04, 2014

Almost time ...

For what I hear you think ?

Almost time to reenter the world. I've been having a quiet holiday period ... which was (almost!) totally the plan. I've not been getting up to much, partly because it's been horrible out there but mostly because I've been wanting to give my various conditions chance to recover and improve.

Condition(s) ?

I always seem to catch bugs that hit at the start of holiday periods. I guess that's due to me winding down in general. A kind of suppression of the immune system that lets the bugs in. I reckon it might be a heavier grade of manflu this time around, it's actually still with me 2 weeks later. It's not affecting me too much, although if I went out and did stuff, I'd run out of batteries very quickly.

So being inside not exerting myself too much has been helping out there.

The skin's been improving too. More a general improvement, it's not fixed yet but it's getting there. There are less patches for me to worry about and the skin's getting more resilient (and pastywhite!) in general. We'll see how it copes with going back to work.

In a way, that's another step closer to reentering the world from a different perspective.

So what have I been doing ? Except for being very quiet here ... It's unusual for me to take so much of a break between posts. That could be a sign of how mentally tired I allowed myself to get. Plus I really don't want to bore you all with posts of "Level 80 today ! Yey me !" cos you really don't want to know what I'm doing in an online game. Do you ? (Let me know !) I have been watching selected Yogscast livestreams. They're over now having raised over $1 million. Great effort, highlights for me were the Hannah & Kim streams and the Zoey Drunkasheck stream. The best livestreams are where they're relaxed, enjoying the games and including the viewer. It's about the banter more than the game.

This time of year is dominated by sales ...

I've been mostly behaving myself there. Sure, I've added a few games to the collection but I've avoided getting stuff I don't really need. I have my eye on a telly upgrade ... That's serious cash. The strange thing about my current system is 3d :

Bluray player - supports playing back in 3d
Amplifier - can send the 3d signals through to the telly
(I don't honestly know how it would handle that, given that I've pretty much isolated the dvd playback problem to the amp)
Telly - is the only thing that can't handle 3d.

It's a 32 inch LCD display that is acceptable to look at from across the room in the pooter station but could do with being bigger. That's the main motivation for looking at new ones, a 46 inch or a 50 inch would be ... spectacular and probably too big for the room.

I've waited this time around though. I don't actually need a new telly yet in the same way as 2 tellys ago when I had one that misread "letterbox" and went "pillarbox" instead. Besides the general rule with things like tellys is that if you wait around, something better will come. It's a natural progression of technology :

My telly - LCD. LED was available for £100s more and 3d was just entering the market
Tellys in the shops - LED is mainstream, 3d is the £100s more option and 4k tellys are entering the market.
Tellys in a couple of years - 3D tellys will be mainstream and 4k tellys will push the prices of 3D tellys down.

Why get 3d ? Personally, I think 3d TV and 3d cinema is a gimmick. Although, to be ruthlessly honest, I haven't watched a whole movie in 3d (just demos in shops) and 3d glasses on top of my normal glasses is probably not the best idea. However, to support 3d a better quality of display is needed. A higher refresh rate is needed to get the side by side images that create the 3d effect. And with higher refresh rates come a more stable image.

However - Smart tv ? I think this is even more of a gimmick than 3d tv. A tv should be a display device, nothing more. Why ? Because a tv remote is nowhere near capable of supporting iplayer, let alone anything like web browsing or email. That's what laptops, desktop PCs and tablets are for. The TVs job is to allow showing the image from the computer on the screen without hassle.

(Incidentally, this is why I'll be avoiding Panasonic tellys - the interface on my dad's Panasonic telly is Nasty and provoked the only application crash I've seen on the Macbook so far)

So - no big spend but a reasonable number of games have added themselves to the collection. Big ticket ones are XCOM Declassified (a third person shooter type) and Tomb Raider. I also picked up the space package from GoG. The best thing about is the soundtracks that often come with the game. Even if I don't play the game, it's worth it for that extra music and in the case of games like The Witcher, it's quite excellent music.

I've also been in Warcraft a fair bit - just five character levels, 70ish enchanting levels and 85ish tailoring levels until I hit the latest content. I'll make a dent in that in a bit although I'm wanting to start off another character soon to avoid one-character-boredom. I'll be avoiding raiding (the multiplayer content) still, as watching raid content on the Yogscast livestream reminded me why the end game content turned me off the game.

What am I doing at the moment ? It's still raining outside ... You'll have seen stuff in the news about the weather getting more extreme. In Blighty, we're suffering lots of rainstorms as a result of conditions over in the USA. They get extreme snow and the warm/cold stuff makes the air currents that run from West Atlantic to Europe more energetic.

I don't believe climate change is resulting in "global warming" but I think the climate is attempting to balance itself through higher energy. So we get more extreme storms. I'm ok here, there's flooding around the Bristol area but I'm on a reasonably high position and the area has good drainage.

I think I'll leave it with ...

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