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 !

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Day 7 - STORMIES !

Another mini figure today :
The stormtrooper stands. Arms, upraised.

What could have attracted his ire ? Are the arms raised in anger ? Or in a plea ? Could this be the stormtrooper who did not find the droids he was looking for ?
Did he have ex squadmates on the battlestation ? Family even ?
Could it be .... he is cursing his luck at his chosen career and just wants some sleep ?
No. I know what it is.
Stormie wants my pizza. Those arms are not raised in outrage, they are a sign of extreme hunger.

Yep. Pizza today. It was lush.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Advent Day 6 - Tiny Transport

At least I think it's a tiny transport ...
There was a time when I would have known a significant amount of the Star Wars lore. Before the Disney times when they ripped up the stories from the books and replaced it with new lore from series like Rebels and Clone Wars.

I enjoyed a fair few of the older Star Wars books, although some of the others earned their authors a case of eternal contempt (deserved) and the New Jedi Order Yuuzhan Vong books wrecked the series for me.


Let's see :
Timothy Zahn - Heir to the Empire trilogy - smart stories, good characters, an amazing villain. Just happened to be set in the Star Wars universe.
Michael Stackpole - the XWing Rogue Squadron series were fantastic books that slotted in during the years after Return of the Jedi. These were all about the characters, who were led by a minor character from the films, Wedge Antilles. I really enjoyed reading these books although ...
Aaron Allston - he wrote a follow up series of XWing books based around a different squadron, Wraith squadron. These were the dirty dozen of the Star Wars universe and the stories were even more compelling than those from Michael Stackpole.

Some of these authors deliver stellar work when allowed to play in other people's universes. Other authors, not so much. I felt like the Kevin J Anderson Star Wars books were pointless and went as far as insulting the reader.

I've just rewatched Empire Strikes Back tonight. It's a good film, many Star Wars fans think that it's the best of the series. Me ? Not so much. The action set piece of the Battle of Hoth is incredible. The soundtrack is phenomenal. But I didn't feel it really went anywhere ? Definitely a middle film introducing more flesh on the bones of the universe.

I think Rogue One is one of the great films. It's a war story that just happens to be set in the SW universe. And the core characters draw that emotional response too.

I'm looking forward to watching Force Awakens again (soon). I like the Rey character. She's a tough smart kid who can stand up for herself. I'm very curious to see where that goes. And then there's Leia providing the heart at the centre. We'll definitely miss Carrie Fisher.

I must look into having another go at the old games too. I'm ignoring the new Battlefront game. Something orientated to multiplayer while only having a very short single player is something that definitely doesn't interest me. Nah. Tie Fighter was the game that caught me many years ago and I enjoyed the old Pod Racer game too.

For another evening though, gotta wrest me rist. Or rest me wrist.

Cya tomorrow for more advent !

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Advent Day 5 - Sniper Rebel

Day 5 and another Minifigure :
I wonder what he's aiming at ? Are there Imperials in the ceiling ? Can he see Imperials in space ?

There is a Star Destroyer occupying space on one of my chairs, in a bubble wrap dry dock. Could be that.

I headed off to the Mall tonight. I've been wanting to escape the house in the evening for a while, although there isn't actually that much I'm interested in hunting for at the Mall now. I am hankering for more Lego though. (I think I've mined out the Lego sets I want to get, although I do have an eye on the Explorer ship).

I did acquire a couple of items tonight, it is December after all and Xmas is coming :-).

Oh and there was the Sausage-Inna-Bun from the market stall too.
The Mall does look pretty when the lights get turned on.
Very pretty !

I'm tired after the walking around though. Time to chill out to videos, streams and music.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Advent Day 4 - Stay on target !

And watch for the guns.
Quite a dinky little ground support type blaster gun.

Back to work today. Feeling better, hopefully it won't be long until the last of the bugs depart my system. I'm not getting rid of bugs as quickly as I used to (must be getting old) but hopefully these are on their way out now.

Not many more working days now until the Xmas break. I'll be looking to make sure there's nothing hanging over us over the break. It's good to make a fresh start in the new year.

And in a minute, I'll be making a fresh start on .... my dinner !

I think I'm just about to hear the beeping of the timer, although that timer is currently having to compete with the annual Yogscast live Civ game, Seal singing his heart out on his Best of (as of 1991 to 2004) album and an Aavak video of him playing Hand of Fate 2.

I did actually try out Hand of Fate 1, it's a mix between deck building card game and beat 'em up. I found it a better game to watch than actually play, although that might have been a legacy of my wrist being sore at the time. I've never really got on that well with controller games. Keyboard and mouse, yes ... until the RSI strikes. Joystick games ... I used to be really good at these until my confidence went due to slowed reactions.

I seem to be doing ok on Elite now, I must try a few more like the old Star Wars Pod Racer game. Loved that game but it needs some work to make it play on Windows 7/10.

I think the slow reactions were a legacy of another concussion, the incident where I almost ate the cricket ball.

That's my completely random plea for the day - if you know someone who has had a recent head injury, keep an eye on them. Make sure they're ok. Because often, they won't realise that they've been hurt far harder than they thought. I definitely didn't realise I had long term effects from my two concussions.

Cya ! And I hope you had excellent things in your advent calendars today.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Advent Day 3 - more spaceship !

It's day 3 of the advent ... and ....
Another tiny spaceship !

I've been flying the internet spaceship around again. I have two objectives in the game at the moment :

1st - to get money for the bigger ships by doing missions for the major factions. At the moment, it's the Empire to maybe get a ship for the second objective. I'm one rank off getting another Imperial Clipper :
 Chocolate Edition Clipper, I think last year.

It does mean I'm hanging out in some very shiny spaceports at the moment.
I'm pretty sure that's Dawes Station, in orbit around the Imperial Capitol world in Achenar. It's shiny. I'm one Imperial Rank away from being permitted to acquire a Clipper again, lots of ranks away from the Cutter. It was enjoyable and relaxing coming back into the game again today and yesterday.

I have a slight problem there, the RSI in my right wrist is starting to make its presence known again. I think Elite is ok for that, it doesn't particularly aggravate it. Most of the flying has the RSI wrist resting on my stick which is far easier on the arm than my last one. (It's a Thrustmaster Hotas X). I suspect a shooty game would probably draw out the pain a lot more.

Second objective ? There is talk of an expedition in Elite with the objective of painting a giant Empire Sigil over the galaxy. I know, ostentatious, tacky, a must for any Empire leaning pilot.
That's the course I ended up taking earlier this year. I wonder what course the next epic trip will take. It could see the return of the old faithful Jms :
Maybe to locations as pretty as that one on the way to the Core ?

But that's for another evening. Or quite a few sessions over the Xmas break.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Advent day 2 - a little lego figure in a little lego world

Day 2 !
And a rebel. I think. Definitely has hair that I suspect we'll be seeing more of in the upcoming movie.

Unless she was in the Rebels animated series that I haven't watched.

I tried out my marshmallow burner today. Impressions :

I like the burner thingy. But then it's a burner thingy and creates fire. Fire is good.
I like the marshmallows. They are tasty.
I'm not convinced I like the marshmallows after they've been toasted. Possibly a waste of good marshmallows.

The burner thingy has been extinguished now but it'll be back.

How's me ? Doing better today. I'm hopefully at that point where my body has gotten the better of the bugs and I can get back to normal again. My voice is returning, although I'm not quite singing along to Tori Amos I Can't See New York, which is one of my favourite songs.

More advent calendar tomorrow and ...

Fire is good.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Day 1 Star Wars Advent - can you tell me what it is ?

It's 1st December !

Which means I get to break into the advent calendar.
If anyone can tell me what it is, drop in a comment.

(I think it's something space shippy).

I'll pop up again through the weekend with more advent creations but it's going to be a quiet one for me. The bugs that were brewing at the start of the week have hit me harder than I expected. That seems to be a new pattern, usually my body would fend off the bugs and I'd barely notice them. But I've been getting affected more.

Probably just run down. I'm really looking forward to the Xmas break.

One thing I should be doing is recording more videos. The 4 I did before were done using a long expired 30 day trial of a video editing suite but I've actually bought one of those now courtesy of the last Steam sale. I need a working voice though before I do that.

It's also Yogscast Jingle Jam as of today. I'll pick a good opportunity to drop a donation in for that. The money goes to charity and you get a massive bundle of games (and soundtracks for the games!) in return. The opportunity will be when a favourite streamer is on. They feel pressure to do their part for the charities, which includes wanting to get a decent number of donations in. So I'll time my donation strategically to make one of the streamers I enjoy feel a bit better.

I rarely watch Yogscast stuff now (they transitioned towards a different style of content, involving an emphasis on trolling and other stupidity, which turned me away) but that charity+games combination is good to support.

Cricket starts again tonight. I'll be watching that, albeit time delayed with me avoiding social media until I've caught up. The cricket starts at about 3am, which is a daft time to be watching. The time delaying involves recording it and starting to watch when I wake up.

Far more sensible. Especially if you intend to hide under the covers until at least mid day.

Not long left until Xmas now. Definitely needing the time off ! I'll be back tomorrow with more Advent lego. Hopefully I'll be able to figure out what the next one is :-).

Monday, November 27, 2017

The word of the day is .... fish ?

I'll explain that title in a bit.

Checking in again with some randomness ... I keep getting ideas to write posts around but by the time I get home and near the keyboard, they have escaped. Fleeting ideas that taunt me with their promise.
Something else that's taunting me in the corner at the moment is an advent calendar. A Star Wars Lego advent calendar to be precise. I'm quite looking forward to going through the calendar and I'll share the pics as the doors get opened and the Lego gets put together.

I'd be quite tempted to acquire some more Lego .... although I don't know what I'd actually get. I think I've mined out the Star Wars kits. There are some very interesting Technic kits but .... I don't really want to build trucks ? I did enjoy putting this together :
The Lego Le Mans car was a good kit. And it's now discontinued alas (in other words, it'll be available at 3 times its value from Ebay sellers). I'd have been miffed if I had missed out on this one.

The motor racing has finished for the year now. I dunno what to think about the motor racing actually, it's good to have on in the background but ... not much actually happens during the racing in Formula 1 ? Ok, there's usually mayhem at the start or at some random point in the race but the aerodynamics of the cars works against them having close, exciting battles and the result is usually ... yawning procession. The World Endurance Championship races are better. At some point, I'll watch a whole Le Mans 24 hour, either at home on the telly or by actually heading over to France to watch the race.

That's getting closer as a possibility. Hurrah ! Need a passport though.

My outsides are finally deciding to get better ... There are still some hold out areas but I've had 3 good weeks so far. And good days are when the condition doesn't worsen, allowing steady healing to happen. My feet and legs are still messy but they're steadily getting back to normality and .... I didn't wear my ankle bandages today.

I'm in two minds about those ankle bandages. On one hand, they protect the bad areas and in these colder months, they add a bit more insulation too. On the other, they are really irritating to put on and there is a big chance that they'll double up and wrap over, causing more pressure on the areas they're intended to protect.

I won't miss putting those bandages on. Partly because it means my feet are mending.

Back to that motor racing - I'm enjoying having another look at Motorsport Manager. I'd gone away from it after winning one of the achievements and completing that particular goal of building a weak team up to become the champions. I might go back to that game because it might feed in a few other achievements.

But I've actually gone over to a new set of DLC, an Endurance Championship (disclosure note - bought by me ! Not provided by devs). It allows for races up to 6 hours long ... The idea being that you spend maybe 2 hours in the race with most of the time spent at 12x fast forward. I'm enjoying it so far but I'm actually about to cheat the save by adding a couple of zeroes to the amount of money. There are two reasons for this :

1 - I don't think it's balanced at the moment. With some reasonable sponsors and 1 pay driver, the team is losing 500k per race. So it isn't looking likely to be profitable over the season and be able to build up.
2 - It lets me skip about 5 seasons of building and boring races coming last all of the time.

So it won't be cheating on the core mechanics of the game, the racing ... but it will let me skip a few boring years of building the team up.

I've also been playing Stellaris and got my first win in the game. It took just less than 50 years in the tiniest galaxy. My mob only needed to own 21 planets to win and had beaten up 2 of the 3 competitor races in the game. I'll throw the same race into a properly big game at some point. I've changed the mods around to have a different set of expanded ship classes and I've been playing with a fleet of :
Imperial designs. Spot the Victory class Star Destroyers making the core of the fleet. There should be a few Nebulon B frigates in there too.

And I should really acquire the Magic Vegas video editing package while it's on discount at Steam ! That would be £25 for the middle package. I'd like to make some more videos (and should really add my channel link on the right).

One last word about the cricket. It was good to be watching the games again over the weekend but I was very disappointed in the performance. The big difference between the teams was in the bowling. The Australian bowlers had real threat and menace, the English bowlers just didn't turn up. They can bowl at 90mph+ and our spinner can turn the ball square but in this game .... just didn't.

Hopefully they'll do better in the next game.

Come on the England cricket !

PS Word of the day is from the bus tickets. I've moved to electronic ticketing to save 50p per ticket and ... each day there is a random word. Today, fish. Last week, girl and toad. Tomorrow ? I dunno cos I'm thinking I should quarantine bugs at home. I did feel steadily stronger and stronger as today at work went on though. We shall see !

Friday, November 17, 2017

Checking in

Just checking in, it's been a while since I posted again.

I have ideas that pop into my head for posting but they tend to flee before I get back to my keyboard.

It was the birthday this week and this fella arrived :
Awesome isn't it ? Love him.
There he is, poking his head out of the bag so he can watch Thor Ragnarok. If you haven't seen that film yet, go see it. It goes out of its way to not take itself seriously and I think it's accessible too for those who haven't seen all of the Marvel movies. Like I have. It's huge fun. Thor, that is, some of the Marvel movies have been a bit poor and lose their fun.

Yep. Monday was a great evening.

Should be a good weekend too.

It'll take a certain toll on my outsides but I've had a couple of good weeks there. Not great weeks because I have a few delicate areas on my legs that are remarkably easy to redamage but good consistent healing is happening.

I need to read more actually. I have Leviathan Wakes (Book 1 of the Expanse) by James S A Corey on the iPad/Kindle and Revenger by Alastair Reynolds in paperback. And that's just the newest books.

Games and game watching are still how I occupy most of my time. Monday was busy but Tuesday and Wednesday were game watching instead of playing. Tireds are catching up to me at the moment. The main game at the moment is Stellaris ... still :-).

I may have broken myself on Stellaris though by reverting to Corvette swarms. Maybe not though. The latest game has come to a conclusion though. My race of spiritualist warrior psychics were quite happily taking over the parts of the galaxy they wanted to. They were having trouble taking on the ancient Fallen Empires but that was going to come in time. I made a mistake with one of my traps, so that big engagement didn't go as it should have.

However ... on came the Unbidden. And the Contingency.

The game has what Iain M Banks called Outside Context Problems. In the late game, it can spice things up by bringing out an End Game Crisis. The Unbidden are invaders from another dimension and the Contingency is where rogue AIs attempt to wipe out all life in the galaxy. There is also the Prethoryn Scourge.

It turns the end game away from effectively a mopping up operation into an actual challenge. It's the first time I've taken the game far enough to run into a crisis. I'm usually far more interested in the early building phase although in this game, I was getting a lot of enjoyment from having the AI fall into traps that I'd set for them. Using the noggin to turn engagements the way of my people, things like that.

As someone once said : If it's a case of dying for your country, make the other guy die for his country, the one you're fighting. Or something like that.

Anyway, the Unbidden came and started obliterating everything. I think part of the problem is a balance mod I was using, which also made the Fallen Empires too strong. I have a different mod in mind this time which alters the ship types.

But I should really play some other games before diving back into Stellaris. I haven't been back in Elite for a while, I'm currently listening to a Zombie Defence strategy game called They Are Billions which sounds amazing and there are a few more that are coming soon which sound great.

Like the Surviving Mars. I'm expecting this to be something better than the game Planetbase, which I enjoyed chilling out to as the colony grew. And Astrobase Command, which looked promising enough to join in with the kickstarter. And I expect I will acquire the space crime game, Heat Signature, in the sales. Frostpunk is a post apocalyptic survive the deep freeze game.

And I'd like to record some more gameplay videos too.

Yep. Tired. But still enjoying. And it was a :
:-)

Monday, November 06, 2017

Timewarping again

It definitely feels like there's something messing with time at the moment.

Oh and ...
It's almost that time again ...

Nooo ! I don't mean Xmas. Nope. Birthday season again. I'm not telling how old I'll be. Let's just say that if you count the age on fingers, I need lots of help. That's not so bad though. Or is it ? (Haha)

I do feel more and more these days that my body is my enemy. My outsides are steadily improving, very slowly but definitely improving. That's a combination of leaving it alone a little more and figuring out adequate ways of protecting it. The biggest issue is that one of the damaged bits will hit a threshold where it is just damaged enough .... and then it'll get worse very quickly. The protection helps to put a brake on it getting worse. Most of the time. Perversely though, the usual advice of "put pressure on the leaking bit" is bad ... as pressure can actually make my damaged bits worse.

But it is getting better. It would be good to be finally rid of this malaise that's slowed me down far too much over recent years.

It's not just my outsides though. My leg muscles were my biggest asset when playing cricket, now they feel like they're out to get me. Lots of cramp and that cramp leading to painful minitears in those muscles that get hugely sore.

My ouchies at the moment are those legs that are out to get me, a side that is suffering from strain and/or more cramp and a shoulder that periodically feels disconnected again.

And then an energy state that is ... somewhat lacking too.

I did ponder doing the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year but quickly abandoned those plans, partly due to what I was getting up to last week ... My week pattern is usually throw myself into work, tire myself out and chill out in the evenings. On Nov 1, it was a cinema run ... can't remember what I was doing on Friday.

(Thor Ragnarok - go see it, it's huge fun).

No. Ideas are there and I should really write up a few of them but when I get home in the evenings, I want to chill out. I suspect that's showing in the much lower frequency of posts lately. More ideas are coming actually from watching things like Ice Road Truckers, where they struggle to deliver loads via roads that are only passable when there is ice to even them out. And then there's Stellaris ...

The latest game sees me trying out the new rules coming about faster than light travel between stars. I have a warrior monk race that's been a bit slow starting up. The first war against the neighbours ended in disaster. But they're a challenger now after 3 wars that very definitely went our way. I'm curious as to where this game goes, it's good in a strategy game when you can reverse a bad start and come out ahead through better strategy.

Stellaris is responsible for a bit of timewarping too. I can start it up in the afternoon on a weekend and before I know it, it's dark and I'm late getting my tea.

But back to good times.

Yep. Birthday next week, Xmas markets open before then. I have plans ....

Friday pm should see me checking out the Xmas market here in Bristol. I miss the old Sausage-Inna-Bun. And I need shoes. My feet will hopefully be improved again to let me do the shoe shopping thing. I wasn't impressed with the shoe shopping potential up at the Mall last week. How can they justify £100 for a pair of shoes !! Crikey. I needs the sales and the bargains.

Next week will have a very fun evening watching Thor Ragnarok again.

It's worth it, honest and the company will be better than the film. And it's a great film too. Looking forward to it.

That's next week though, not many more to go until the Winter Break ! Gonna need it.

Me tired.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Trick or Treat or Space Aliens

Could be a busy week this week.

It's trick or treat night tomorrow which means I either close all the doors and go dark to suggest there's nobody home or .... I don't pretend there's nobody home and actually head on out.
The plan is to actually head on out, I need new work trousers as mine are developing holes in the pockets and need new shoes as I think mine will literally fall apart in a few months.

(I tend to use things until they break)

As excuses to head out go, it's a good one. And then there's Thor Ragnarok to watch on Wednesday, which I'm expecting to be fairly brainless action fun.

It's a genuinely fun event, Halloween. But .... there is that problem of unsupervised children who have got big enough to cause problems. Trick or treat translates into demanding sweets with menaces and not complying can lead to eggs thrown at your door, other vandalism and damage and worse. Like having flammable things used or criminal damage to cars. And fireworks are widely (too widely?) available at this time of year too.

Yep. There are elements out there in Britain that aren't what you'd really call savoury or neighbourly.

The other thing I'd be doing if hiding is quite possibly to bury my head in Stellaris. It's a grand space strategy game where the end goal is to take over the galaxy. And it's a cracking example of the genre too. For many years, I'd check out newer space strategy games and keep going back to the now ancient Master of Orion 2. I think there's a few people at work who were born after Master of Orion 2 was released.

They seem to have upped their game as well with the latest release. It's definitely been a more intense game this time around with the AI races declaring war at the drop of a hat, mostly targeting their wrath at my race.

So what am I playing this time around ? There's a lot of variation in Stellaris now, from warlike to peaceloving, spiritual to materialistic and more. I like playing the hive mind races but there are also Machine empires in the game now, which are curious but I think need a little balancing. You can be the Borg now.
(click for bigger and readable text)

We are the Domanna Horde. Or cute cuddly space snails. But beware, these space snails are the devouring swarm. The plague to devour everything. They like trick or treat but they have it turned around. Small children knocking on the doors of these snails saying "Treat" will soon find that they are the treat.

It is rumoured that at the last diplomatic council involving the Domanna, the Horde ate all of the other delegates. But they didn't stop there. They then ate the chairs. They ate the tables. They ate the curtains. Even the paint on the walls was not safe.

Or the carpets.

The last communication from the Horde was "Next time use Axminster and you must introduce us to the dog in the paint advert.". They ate the loo roll as well.

The space snails are voracious and insatiable. Also cute and not so fluffy.

(And I'm having a lot of fun around the intenseness of the current campaign. It's being a challenge, which is what I want from a game like this).

What's the situation at the moment ? I may not play again until the weekend due to being busy ... and avoiding having the intensity of the campaign tire me out in the week but :
We're the green patch in the North, with some empires around that are getting uncomfortably bigger. The last wars were won against the Zelvans to the south east and the Sintomoroi to the south but we had to give ground to the Spuxulac to the south west. Their fleet was twice the power of mine, which is a little deceptive because the way I have my fleet set up, it can murder fleets about 50% bigger.

Part of the attraction is that the game allows for you to counter an enemy's fleet design, so in this case I'm using an antimissile set up in response to the enemy using mostly missile ships. And it works. The small bubble of an empire to the North is what's known as a Fallen Empire, a race with massively superior technology that is almost suicidal to attack. Unless you plan well and have a fleet to counter their strengths. The Forerunners shall also be devoured by the Horde.

Not tonight though, I throw everything I have into work during the day and like to just chill out in the evenings. And Stellaris with its grabbiness doesn't really allow time for chill out.

Hmm ... NaNoWriMo starts on Wednesday ! I want to do this at some point but I don't think this year is going to be the year. I must write down a few of the various ideas that pop into the head though before they evaporate.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Films, fun, pain, phone .... stars !

Hello again. I'm not posting as much as I'd usually do am I !

Stellaris has something to do with that. It's a very addictive space strategy game that draws you in with the openness of its strategic situation and the randomness of what's likely to come next. Recommended if it's the type of game you're likely to enjoy. Very addictive though, if I start a session it'll be hours before I prise myself away.
And that does mean that I get distracted away from tapping the keyboard to let my thoughts escape my head.

Films !

I used up my last Avonmeads voucher to watch Geostorm on Friday. Avonmeads is a bit dated now compared to the other cinemas around but the cinemas it has are spacious and it's a fairly quiet cinema .... Which means less distraction around while you're trying to watch the film. I'm likely to get one or two more vouchers for there and use it as a Friday pm chill out.

Geostorm ? Enjoyable rubbish. It's a science fiction movie about a global weather control system that's going wrong. Cue disasters of epic scale and our heroes going off to fix it. The science of its fiction is awful. A space station that's spinning for artificial gravity .... but the floors are the wrong orientation.

(The idea with centripetal AG is that you spin up a cylinder ... and because objects keep moving until a force acts on them, they move such that you'd be standing on the inside surface of the cylinder. This had actual floors)

But this is the scifi nerd part of me talking there. The have fun watching a movie part of me loved it. As I similarly love The Expanse with its magnetic boots and artificial gravity both by spin and by thrust acceleration.

Last word on Geostorm - if you are flash sensitive, AVOID this movie. There is an extended sequence with very frequent lightning flashes and other sequences with alarm flashers going. It's highly likely to trigger people who are photo/flash sensitive.

Fun ?

Been back in Stellaris and it's a hell of a game. My Thargoid Hive were doing extremely well, getting further than I've gone in the game so far. They're a hive race which .... like my usual race, attempts to eat everyone else. Not quite full Devouring Swarm (mebbe next time) but yep. It's simpler when you eat your enemies in this game. The current game is with a Fanatic Pacifist race which might not go too much further because it's just so difficult to get in a fight with them. I can't declare war, just respond if people declare on me. And I can't trick my way into wars because the race is very limited in options to ally with neighbours and like .... protect them against the other bullying races around them.

Yep. Enjoying Stellaris again.

Pain .....

Yep. Body's not liking me too much at the moment. I'm repairing at last ! It could easily go backwards but my outsides are definitely improving. Slowly but yeah. Definitely better every day. Hopefully all fixed soon ? I hope so because I need new trousers, new shoes and don't particularly want to try shoes until I'm not wearing the bandages on my ankles.

Because the bandages are essentially a second layer and if I size shoes for them, the shoes will be too loose on my already thin feet.

Nah. Pain is because my body is not liking my mineral balance at the moment. The cramp is happening again (partly because Stellaris puts me in a tunnel of focus where I don't realise I need to drink enough!) and it attacks my legs and my side. If the leg cramps .... that's ok. Unless it happens while I'm sleeping and tears the muscle. Yep. No tear today but a fairly severe strain. Oops. I can manage that. But what tends to be total agony is when my side decides to join in .... not much way of breaking that cramp.

I know how to deal with that though. And ... my ideas for mitigating the acid trouble I have seem to be working. Idea 1 - try to avoid snacking too much in the evening, if I fill up my tummy the tummy goes to work making the acid to deal with what's in it. Idea 2 - minty things.

Phone :-)

It's good to have the reliable text messages again. My Samsung Galaxy S7 has issues with receiving text messages. I thought this was fixed by clearing the cache memory but this is only a temporary fix. I'm suspecting that one of the built in Samsung bloatware apps is responsible for intercepting messages. When the warranty expires, I'll root the phone and remove the bloatware. Besides, I don't particularly want Samsung tracking my movements with the phone.

The second phone is a Nokia 125 and .... cheap and cheerful. It does what I want it to do - text messages with the special lovely person. But it seems to have trouble with other things like a Bluetooth connection to the car. It doesn't want to know there. Just means I wait until I'm stopped before reading the message instead of having it pop up on screen. Oh and I took it off charge last Tuesday and one week later, it's just gone down a notch on its battery meter. I'm curious to see how long the battery will last.

Stars !

Gotta admit I haven't been back into Elite since doing a couple more legs on the rares trading route. I should abandon rares trading completely, something about it kills my enthusiasm for the game. Probably the 10 minute wait for the board to refresh and on a lot of stops, you only get a single figure amount of rare goods. Not worth it. I should explore for :
Pretty stars !

The latest expedition will be departing imminently. I think I've missed that but .... I wouldn't want to be part of an exploring group yesterday. I just want the route for seeing the stars.

Enough rabbiting on for now.

I'm looking forward to :
More Stellaris ! Being more aware of how to counter the enemies and going further in the game is .... awakening the interest. Great depth here.
Christmas market. Looks like the German market is back this year after a low rent pretender company last year. Happy Cookie Place returns !
Cookies are awesome.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Thoughts about the writing again ... and phone issues !

Phone first ...

I like my latest phone but it has a massive problem. There's a bug somewhere in the software that means I randomly don't receive text messages. Or rather, the message will be received and a delivery receipt will go back but it gets lost somewhere between receipt and inbox. The thought was that the cache memory (where the message goes between receipt and inbox) is having trouble but the fix for that hasn't proved particularly constant.

So if you've sent me a message and I haven't replied, this is why ! I only know about this problem because my close friend has been upset at messages being lost.

I'll be fixing the problem by getting a second phone for texts and emergency calls only (it just so happens that Vodafone apparently do a pay-as-you-go with unlimited texts ... bargain !) (essential disclosure note - I have nothing to do with Vodafone and they ain't paying me ! But I do have a very good and close friend who's messages have been going astray who is on that network.) That'll be tomorrow evening's job after work and before replenishing some very slim munchie stocks here ...

Back to work tomorrow, which I'm not particularly looking forwards to. I really should have gone to the doctor this week. In hindsight of course. Healing has been steady .... but I'll be back to wearing protective bandages tomorrow because my legs are still bad. Very frustrating.

On that writing though .... I have clearer ideas.

And a potential front runner character for the story. That's always a good thing to have, especially if you can use that front runner character as a means of drawing the reader into the world that you're setting up.

I'm still looking at the new colony story thing. And a potential borrowing of the TV series Arrow's tendency to have parallel timelines going in its narrative. So one timeline would be increasing tension as the colony group departs the world, the other timeline would be the first steps on the new planet. Terra Nova did this very well too, although in that case the parallel timelines were literal. Part of the story was set in our future, part of it was set in our distant past .... with dinosaurs.

And this story would be all set up around the idea : This world is turning into a terrible place while we watch and no one is doing anything about it. How about we leave ?

That's fairly familiar sounding isn't it ?

I guess I'm getting somewhat cynical about our leaders and their increasingly destructive tendencies. I've always tried to live my life with as little interference as possible from the idiots in charge but you can't avoid all that they do. And this story would be about those who have the opportunity to quietly slip away from the increasing hell they are a part of.

Wouldn't that be great if we could do that ?

Well, apart from Elon Musk and his plans to go to Mars, there sadly aren't all that many opportunities to do that with the technology we have. Well, outside of finding some place to go off the grid but that isn't really getting away from the core problem, it's hiding from it. You can isolate but not really get away that far. But I still would like to retire to that boat and live on that away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. I would miss my uncapped internet data though.

This story ... who's the main character ?

Well, the people I want to appear being collected up by this rogue group are the unwanted. The people who want to leave. The disadvantaged. The ones subject to prejudice. I suspect you're seeing a theme there, I see the reports in media and social media about the persecuted groups and can't see a way to help them.

So my main character is likely to be a homeless person, picked up from the streets of the main city of the world this will initially be set on. And like probably all of the homeless here, he's not there of his own choosing. He's educated, smart and has been picked out for potential. This means he's especially useful to me as the one writing, as I can explain the concepts as if to an intelligent person and through that, treat the reader with the respect of thinking they're intelligent people too.

And I'll pick up on the concepts from today's scenarios of Twit/Book and Discord chat servers too. Except definitely better run because Twit/Book has major issues with the sites (especially Twitter) allowing toxic users to run rampant. Also streaming .... because people need their news and entertainment.

But you also need an adversary. And this one will have that as another echo to our present - terror groups getting increasingly bold with the reaction from uninformed leaders being ever more trigger happy, leading to a situation that our rogue group eventually have to react to before it's too late. I'm unsure about the adversary for where they're going though. I sense it might be a reaction to the first major crime, where an exile suddenly .... disappears. Mysteriously.

Or maybe not so mysteriously, just messily. Nothing messes with the mind more than the impression of being totally safe being turned into sudden mortal danger !

I need to get more thoughts in my head though. Perhaps something for NaNoWriMo which is just coming up ...

There are a number of inspirations for this though. From The Expanse, which I hugely enjoyed watching. To Elysium, a scifi movie vehicle for Matt Damon which was showing off all sorts of tech that was handy for its narrative. Over to the two Heorot books by Larry Niven, Steven Barnes and the dearly departed Jerry Pournelle. And all that inspiration from real life and what I come into contact with.

It should be fun to write, it'll definitely be an outlet for many ideas I've wanted to write about as well as being an outlet for what I think of what I see around me in this world !

Back to work tomorrow though, definitely not looking forward to the wrestling with the beard. It's got fuzzy and needs to be annihilated ...

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Netflix and .... hunting the aliens

Gosh, XCom 2 was addictive before .... and they've expanded it making it even more addictive.
Quite.

One of the rather daft novelty features of the expansion is that they've added in a photobooth feature. Soldier gets promoted ? Snap. Finish a mission ? Snap. In this case, it was the team hunting down one of the alien boss creatures in its lair.

I've been enjoying being back in the game. I haven't been rushing it but this play through has already been almost the same length as my last two non-expanded playthroughs already. Enjoying it enough to not bother going into the other games in the queue - Elite, Deus Ex Mankind Divided and Mass Effect Andromeda. Oh and it's also kept me away from the Stellaris playthrough I was doing (although I think that one's off anyway due to the robot races needing a patch apparently)

It also kinda fits the playthrough style, with it being point, click, tell soldiers what to shoot at. And I'm good with that.

I'm off work at the moment, using up some of my annual leave to get a break before the Xmas mayhem properly kicks off. It was a good time too as a little bit of manic rushing around cleared off most of the urgent outstanding stuff. Just in time for the next batch of urgent outstanding stuff to pile up this week.

I'm hoping to avoid being a house hostage this time around. One reason for sticking around the house is for my tortured outsides to get a chance to heal up. I think they just need better protection and then they'll have a chance to heal up on their own. There is good signs of healing ... my ankles are back to the proper colour again (instead of being reddened and wounded). The usual trouble is though that if I attempt to clean it up at all, the removal of the bad bits is too much for the rest of the good bits.

There I go again with the mucky details that people would rather not know about.

I went to see the new Bladerunner movie on Friday ! I was underwhelmed. I sense this might have been mostly due to me being at about the end of my energy and otherwise in the depressive turn of my own personal cycle. A very well made film again, fantastic visuals, great characters, oppressive music and a story that kept you well guessing. My mirror tendency may have fired though and reflected the lack of emotion on the main character, which led to me coming out with a bit of a Meh feeling.

Good film though.

And I've seen a couple of poor ones since !

If I'm watching science fiction, the science has to be decent. Just passable will do if the story is good enough. One thing I'm looking for from Netflix is the chance to watch those films I am curious about but don't want to pay any money for. (The sub doesn't count because I'm paying that for things like Star Trek Discovery and The Expanse anyway). Tonight's was Mechanic Resurrection - don't watch it. It's a routine action movie with nothing really special about it. Your time would be better spent doing something like .... watching cricket as a non cricket fan.

Cricket's worth it - honest.

The other one was a TV movie about the first man to be going to Mars (fictional). This had so much wrong with it .... I wouldn't really know where to start or end. Let's just say that if there were two people on a space station (the only two) as depressed as those two were, there would be an emergency rescue trip before they blew each other out of the airlocks. And you don't simply turn around in space and come back, with our technology level you're going where you're going no matter what. We don't have the fuel to spare to stop and return like they were suggesting. We do the stop and return at the destination by using the gravity of the planet or moon we're going to in order to get what is called a Free Return Trajectory.

There's some complicated/not complicated mechanics around that which I may talk about if I start doing videos again with Kerbal Space Program ! I don't have a legitimate key to a video editing program now though (my trial has expired), so no new videos until I pay someone money.

The Expanse is well worth watching though. It has some magic science in terms of the propulsion that makes it possible but even that is limited to sensible levels. As in, accelerate the human body too much and it'll crush all the blood vessels in our brains .... which doesn't tend to end well. I may have to watch this series again soon.

But before then .... I want to read the books. I need to get reading again actually, it'll give me more ideas to add to those from the outside world for the book or two that are in my head wanting to get out.

And that may well be tomorrow's plan .... if I'm feeling up to it, then it'll be a run to the Book Barn, maybe Forbidden Planet too.

Mind you, last thought for today - there is that growing conflict between the amount of Stuff I have and the space I have to put the Stuff in. Digital is looking better in that way, as it shrinks the space that Stuff needs down to very manageable levels.

And that means more room for more Stuff !

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Expansive Discovery Netflix ...

Hello,

Still here. Although it feels like I'm still under the influence of some of those bugs from last week. I only had Monday as working from home (bug quarantine), although I did also take Friday off to burn some of my flexi leave credit and to get some overdue chill out.
It's not been a properly serious bug, actually quite mild outside of the broken voice, chesty cough and bunged up nose but I suspect it's hit harder because I'm lacking energy again. I plan to do something about that with a pre Xmas break not this week but the week after. Should be good.

I suspect there might be a lot of Netflix watching while I chill out .... (Yes, I know what Netflix and Chill is ! This will be just chilling out with me and my pooter and various things on the Netflix).

Yep. I've signed up to it, tempted in by the new Star Trek Discovery series. I'm going to be very careful what I say about Discovery because there is massive potential for spoilers but I'm intrigued. What they've done with the Klingons is a disgrace though and it almost sucked all of the life out of the pilot episodes. Klingons are supposed to be pure fire. These were on tranquilizers and perhaps filmed with the speed turned down. They were rather different to the Klingons we know and almost wrecked the pilot.

Yep. Still intrigued by where they plan to go with it though. I'm a sucker for everything Trek or space scifi related, as long as it's done decently. (It was a real struggle to finish Independence Day 2 and I've turned off scifi B-movies before due to them being properly dire). The effects were definitely done well.

However .... I've been watching another series called The Expanse and that series definitely has my attention. I've watched up to season 2 episode 4 now and I'm very impressed with both the quality of the writing (I'll be checking out the James S A Corey books soon) and the effects on screen. When they do space battles, it's utterly gripping.

It's a near future book without many silly scifi tricks up its sleeve. There are no inertial compensators for G forces and they're throwing bits of metal at each other at speeds that easily puncture spaceship hulls ... and then go all the way through and out the other side. Yep. I'll be keeping watching this one. Might even watch it again from the start.

So that Netflix sign up has already been worth it for me, not for the Star Trek but for The Expanse.

It hasn't all been that though. I was thoroughly crashed out (and with poorly feet again) on Friday so thoughts of heading to the cinema to watch Kingsman and after, to stock up on munchies were shelved. (I had enough to last until ... erm ... tomorrow !) Instead, The Expanse and Stellaris.

Opening Stellaris yesterday might have been a mistake. And starting a war with a neighbour at midnight was definitely another mistake. (Cue a 4am session) But I did manage to not stay in there too much today. Just a couple of wars.
That's where we are at the moment and my machine race of exterminators (I'm playing with the new expansion) is steadily spreading its red mist across the galaxy. It's difficult playing as the single minded purpose destroyer races like that .... you can't be a friend to anybody. And everyone knows you're out to get them. It's a good start though.

I haven't been in Elite much lately. Just a couple of sessions trading the rare goods. Going for the rares might have been an error because I think it was killing my enthusiasm for the game with my previous character. I may go back to the old way of letting missions guide my path instead. Missions are a bit odd at the moment though, it keeps trying to give you missions to go to Colonia, 22,000 light years away. I'm not planning to do that again for a while.

Keeping myself busy though in my diminished state. Hopefully I won't be diminished for too much longer though, it seems like these latest bugs have really kicked me in the energy centre. I think it's connected to the state of my outsides (which have been better today as I've left them alone). The damage there can be really draining, in a fashion that it's a struggle to understand.

Low level pain can be very draining but that's not it in this case. It's more the constant sensation of Stuff coming from the bad areas. The feeling akin to a spider walking over the skin. The knowledge that a small flaw in your outsides is just itching (so to speak) to turn into much wider damage. The frustration when damage that should heal in a few days just .... lingers. It doesn't help there when I redamage it constantly by attempting to tidy it up.

I'm doing better than my TV remote though. It ded.

It ded past the ability of new batteries to cure it too. I'll have to take it apart at some point to see which part is ded but ... For now I'm using my amplifier's all in one remote to do the limited amount of TV control I need.

So :

Discovering Netflix, discovering Discovery on Netflix, looking into the Expanse and liking what I see and occasionally losing time into games like it was a time dilating black hole.

Back to work next week, hopefully with my voice back to how it should be !

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Interwebs and the Ills

I have Plague.
It's not bad manfluplague. It's a chesty cough and general ugh feeling. Light bugs not major bugs but whenever I go upstairs or attempt to do anything semi active, that's when I really feel it. I'm not just mixing up words like I usually do, I'm mixing up the letters too.

Hopefully it'll blow itself out over the weekend and I fully intend to not do very much in the active activities type of activity tomorrow. Nope. Tomorrow is cricket watching, chilling out and catching up on more gaming videos. I did start a new Stellaris playthrough last night, I've started an XCom 2 run as well plus there's more Elites too and getting achievements that I shouldn't have got on Motorsport Manager too !

Haven't been in Elite for a week. I've been staying away from stuff that uses too much internet while without a working cable modem. I have a 30GB contract (not as extravagant as it sounds as there was an offer going to give 30GB for the price of 8GB) and was using about 1GB a day apparently. Not quite sure what on, although I did note that the GoG client was doing very strange things moving a lot of data around the hard discs earlier. (I have monitors that keep an eye on activity on my main computer).

I've survived the lack of a modem by attaching both computers to my mobile phone with the hotspot feature. Actually surprisingly quick:
Ping of 35ms is actually pretty good and the download speeds are a bonus. I think it was consistent with that as well, although I think there were a few instances of lag. That might have been my pooter being loaded up. With the weather turning colder, I've turned the science sums back on so the pooter's busy again.

It does drain the battery though so the phone has gone straight on charge after getting home and turning the hotspot on.

The other limitation is that with the laptop connected to the phone for internet, it isn't connected to my main router. The one that my network audio streamer is connected to ... So for the first part of the week, I was listening to music via the laptop speakers (they're rubbish) and from a couple of days ago, via my portable Bluetooth speakers (decent, not as good as hifi).

So I'm back listening to the main hifi, which is great. I do like my music.

And I've been catching up on the youtubes today while feeling under the influence of bugs that will hopefully blow out before Monday.

PS The less said about VirginMedia the better ... When I called on Monday, I think the girl on the phone did everything but order the new modem. So I waited until Wednesday, no modem, called back again. This one was given the instruction "Don't deliver until Friday afternoon" and ... yep. Had to go to the collection place this morning because they delivered early, when I wasn't in.