Monday, December 21, 2015

Sleepy Holidays

Hurrah ! Time off work.

I'm away for a couple of weeks and I've really needed it. I went to 2 work Xmas munchies this year and only stayed for the meal before disappearing home to collapse in a heap. Ok, it wasn't that bad for the second one because the first was on a Friday and my Sleepy nickname partly comes from me yawning my head off in games night. I must be conditioned to go zzzz for the weekend, probably because I throw everything into work during the week and recover at the weekend.
I haven't done much so far, this holiday is about relaxing, recovering, seeing friends and family (and maybe another movie showing or two). And perhaps doing a few long outstanding jobs around the house.

Let's see ...

Friday was Star Wars ! I'd thoroughly recommend seeing this one, for the reasons I put in the last post. More ? Ok. It treads over some of the ground in the previous films but does it in a style and with flair that we haven't seen from Star Wars before. That'll be the JJ Abrams touch, he's all about the little touches and when it works, it works really well. He does get lost in his own perceived cleverness though. I enjoyed it and I'd happily see it again in the cinema*.

*(I said this for The Martian too, this film is better, partly because some of the good bits of the Martian as a book were oversimplified/cut from the movie).

Friday was also wandering around Bristol centre too. I need a couple of things :

Christmas cards ! Yep. Left it last minute. Bad me.
New shoes - because my work shoes are almost destroyed. I depend on cushioning in the soles to keep my legs happy and one of the cushioning cells has been breached by wear. I didn't get the chance to get these before breaking up from work (because the exile from the car park combined with traffic means no sneaking off to the Mall shoe shop after work).

Oh and last minute German Xmas Market shopping before it goes. They have :

Happy Cookie Place !
And I've run out of oversize cookies.
Bratwurst - although I suspect I got bit back by one of these from Friday.
Cake and donut place.
And much more. Worth a visit if you're in Bristol in time.

Yeah, I don't get affected by non-sneezy ills much but got affected over the weekend. Nothing serious, just needing to be near a loo. You can fill the gaps ;-). No long term effects and I think it supported me having a pizza without too much cheese induced after effects. Yep, not too ill that I couldn't wander over to the pizza shop on Saturday.

The pizza visit was in the break of one of those Yogscast livestreams again. I dunno what's happening with them, they've been changing some of the middle staff. Those who are are seen as a big part but aren't the headline people. It's odd. I don't watch much of their stuff now. Hannah is still very high quality, as is Rythian. Kim's output has dropped off sadly, although the collaborations with Hannah are still gold. Zoey is adorable with companion Fiona. The rest of them ... bit meh. They're not what they used to be. Perhaps changing that middle staff has lost them the creativity and inspiration that made them really good.

That's just my opinion though, they have a massive audience that loves them to bits and it shows in how many donations they get for the charity streams. They should beat the million dollar mark again this year (although I haven't donated like I did last year). Oh, they save me money too. The Saturday game was Civilisation V (an empire building game) but it's so broken that seeing the struggles with it discourages me from getting the new game.

My gaming ? Even though Elite has been updated to include moon landings, I've not been doing any gaming on PC. I have found a new free-ish (I bought a £4 starter package a day after the game got my full attention) iOS game called Astronest which I've been enjoying while watching various gaming videos.

That's a curiosity - I've enjoyed watching/listening to gaming videos far more than I have with the playing of them for quite a while now. I think that's reflective of how much mental energy I have left after working, although that's going the other way now with me thinking about starting up another of those colony building games. I did enjoy Banished* but that's a pretty brutal game, one mis step leads to a death spiral where your community goes backwards very quickly with Much Death. Can be depressing.

*Banished is medieval era agricultural colony building game. Highly recommended if you're into those, look out for it in the incoming Steam Sales. I do enjoy games like that where they develop as you play, I suspect they speak to my builder heart.

Oh - another thing from the weekend ... Smokers !

Both the traditional wrapping of nicotine death (I'm an anti-smoker, can't you tell ?) and the new era of the e-cigarette seem to be on the rise again. On Friday, I had to move from my Bratwurst Eating Spot because a pair of muppet kids sat down next to me, puffing on the ciggies. Not near people eating thank you. And on the Saturday livestream, we had one of them puffing away making his own fog of war with his e-cigarette.

It's a really nasty habit, I'm sad that the other people doing the livestream in the room with him tolerated it and allowed it to continue. But then again, I suspect the fella with the e-cig is so addicted that he can't function without it. That's a really sad situation to be in. Nipping out every hour or so for a ciggie outside, I can understand that. It's good to be away from the desk every so often. But I can't understand being that heavily addicted to it.

Enough about me preaching about smokers - I'm really happy actually that two close friends have been able to kick the habit - chemical addictions are really hard to break, especially if they're a crutch to help them through the bad stuff they've been experiencing in their lives.

Yep. Addictions are tough. I have my caffeine addiction, where I get headaches if I'm away from coffee for too long.

Closing ? I've been listening to a silly amount of music again. I had the daft idea of zeroing the play counts in the music library again. That was on Saturday and I've listened to 489 unique tracks since then. Only 13,884 tracks to go ... If I listened to all of that, it would take 32.9 days. Straight.

As it is, I think it'll take maybe 11 months, close to a year to listen to it all again. I'm already seeing repeats coming up on the random tracks that iTunes chooses for me. It seems to like Prince.

Anyway - I think I'd better stop the ramble there before I upset more people than smokers :-).

There will be another Alphabet Of The Human Heart post soon, I like that meme. But I've not really recovered enough of ... my mental energy? to do one of those justice. Last week started great but was a struggle to see it through. And then there was the unwelcome extra effect of the Bratwurst (could have been cinema popcorn).

Feeling better now though :-) Time for some local colour - yep. The Wurzels Greatest Hits album just started. Beware ...
Cya !

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