Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Xmas

Just wanted to say that for £199 this baby was worth it.

92 km to Kent and then back again in terrible weather one day and bad jam the next definitely saved the arguing about who is driving or holding the map in the right way. Off to oxford to visit Alex and Mirek and little Sophie. Stuart and Liz are comming up, and they are leaving their woofits at home for the day this time.

Navman/satnav works!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Rowan

Right day, wrong photo :-) Loves you lots Rhys Gregory and Conrad.
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Foolery, sir.

"Foolery. sir, Does walk about the orb like the sun; it shines everywhere" Shakespeare Twelfth Night.

Well, we had the Plumtrees' around for curry yesterday evening. Their charge Daniel, managed to stay awake till around 10pm, which was a the latest our critters have ever been up, and so you can imagine we were happy that Gregory was the first to rise at 7.30 this morning. Since Claire was visitingand it was Rowan's birthday, I made most of the brekkie, which did not depart in the slightest from the curry in the evening in terms of calorie-count. Too much supper, and too much birthday-cake by lunch-time is a recipe for a midday nap.
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Sunday, December 16, 2007

The shutdown week

Been burning my way to this week for some time now - wheeee last week of work for the year!

Henk and Christa poste a pic of their little Hunno, and once again I get google mail addbars for things back home. This one was really good (requires venacular) I mean sometimes all you want to do is escape, really escape from a life that seems like a prison with all the modcons, visiting rights, TV, time out for good behaviour. but still prison. They say being paranois can keep you alive; but the stress leeches things from your chemistry over time, and it becomes hard toappreciate the gems like this one photo, which is not of an alien, but is Gregory, really close - something we spend a lot of time doing in fact. It is upside down,
but he does not care. Am I wanting too much, am I missing some pieces of this map? I want the best I can for them, anything so long as I am sane at the end of it all. Perhaps to fall in love is the answer; and I must say there are many distractions that one can follow - but which one will immerse the seeker? I think 2008 will be a good year to find out, until then we will enjoy the winter and all the good things that a holiday season brings.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sex sells the box

Why do people put a sexy elf on the cover? To sell the box, but even if the game inside sux! ...will it still sell? Apparently it does. I tried out the demos for Spellforce and Spellforce2 (2006), it was easy enough to find and download, and immediately you discover that they come out with a swathe of expansions for extra play, the review ratings averaged around 6 and 7, which meant it was "worth a look, but do not expect anything". The graphics are good, and sound+voices are up to par, and if you had the patience to play through totally linear storylines and non-interactive combat, it would be fine. But I do not. I give it a 4. Basically because it suffers from something a lot of RPG types do, the magic-users are powerful, and die easily, but because it is impossible to pause the game, it is not feasible to swap spells an target properly. (See: Dungeon-Siege 2 from a recent post, which does this very well).
Whoohoo Photoshopping, well in this case picture-publisher.
I am ill this weekend. Having fun with the web cam taking photos of the room, and then giving them an electric effect. Not great, throat is sore - and I am lacking sleep as a result, (from playing spellforce demos more likely) my inbox is starting to flood over a little with Christmas cheer, and the Christmas cards are starting to come and go.
Rhys got very inventive, and has decorated the plain generic cards we sent out to friend in the village-school with some hand-drawn on-the-fly art. It looks more like noughts and crosses, but on closer inspection, the x's are kisses, and the noughts are hugs. I am astounded by the creativity displayed here. I am always wondering, what was I going at that age? The toys of today are so much advanced, the boys have slippers that flash at you when you walk or jump. I never had that, the world has so many more things that go roar, blink, giggle and squeak. I mean a laughing-toy for red-nose day is a disposable SIC with a simple motion-detector based on a loose spring inside a copper tube so it touches the tube when shook. When the battery dies, you turf it out (It costs £4 for batteries, and the toy is only £1). Oh back to the boys, Rhys made hand-prints the other day. All on his own - all prompted when he discovered a old foot-print made by Gregory at daycare back in Johannesburg. Rhys colored in his chalk-board, then wet the board with some paper-towel to make a blue wash. Next step, is two hands on board, then 2 hands on paper. Pretty good results actually. Clean-up was not a mission either, although mom had to mop the floor latter on because they carried on playing with the chalk.
Greg is very chatty when he wants to be, and can make up stories about how and why things are quite quickly. I have a few black T-shirts, with logos on them of course, so I ask Greg, what the TShirt says, and his answer? "Black shirt with letters" of course, how silly of me to not translate the Microsoft Logo like that. Rowan is working a day-shift at the local care-home, which works pretty well for us. It is not far, pays the minimum wage, but flexible. Rowan fits in night shifts normally Tuesday night, so I take the boys to school the next morning, and Greg spends a little longer the next day at the playgroup (called the rosary) Rhys only finishes school after 3:00, so it is a long enough day for mom to get some sleep in. I need sleep too.
I still feel a bit out of things in general. I think that's the winter depression, living with short daylight, the happy vitamins in your blood stop coming from the sun.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Transistor is 60

Article : Wow, and I thought I was getting old. Technology does move a-pace. And to think that a semiconductor used to have at least 5 pins before. Today so much is easier though the cleverness of those who went before, although their "invent" is not really lost and covered over by everyone who appreciates the detail.
Go on, have you hugged a tranie today?
Hey, bring that sheep back!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

How to wrap your presents when you own a Cat.

This applies to having children of <>
1) Clear large space on table for wrapping present.
2) Go to wardrobe and collect bag in which present is contained, and close door.
3) Open door and remove cat from wardrobe.
4) Go to cupboard and retrieve rolls of wrapping paper.
5) Go back and remove cat from cupboard.
6) Go to drawer and collect transparent sticky tape, ribbon, scissors, labels, ect.
7) Lay out present and wrapping materials on the table to enable wrapping strategy to be formed.
8) Go back to drawer to get string, remove cat that has been in the drawer since the last visit and collect string.
9) Remove present from bag.
10) Remove cat from bag.
11) Open box and check present.
12) Remove cat from box, replace present.
13) Cut paper to size, trying to keep a straight cutting line.
14) Throw away first sheet as cat tried to chase scissors and tore the paper.
15) Place present on cut-to-size paper.
16) Lift up the edges of the paper to seal the present, wondering why edges now don't reach.
17) Find cat between present and paper. Remove cat and retry.
18) Place object on paper, to hold in place while cutting transparent sticky tape.
19) Spend next 20 mins carefully trying to remove transparent tape from cat with pair of nail scissors.
20) Look for ribbon. Chase cat down hall and retrieve ribbon.
21) Try to wrap present with ribbon in a two directional turn.
22) Re roll up ribbon and remove paper that is now torn, due to cat chasing ribbon.
23) Repeat steps 13 to 22 until down to last sheet of paper.
24) Retrieve old cardboard box you know is right size for last sheet of paper.
25) Put in present and tie down with string.
26) Remove string, open box, remove cat.
27) Retrieve discarded sheets of wrapping paper, feed cat and retire to lockable room for last attempt, making certain you are ALONE and the door is locked.
28) At the time of handing over the present, smile sweetly at the receiver's face, as they try and hide their contempt at being handed such a badly wrapped present.
29) Swear to yourself that next year you will get the store to wrap the darn thing for you.

Next time you get a badly wrapped present, remember it could be from a cat owner !!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Retro gaming again

Unfortunately nothing out at the moment seems to come up to the standard of BG and IWD forRPG gamers wanting a system closely alligned to 3rd edition classes and skills. And amongst others I am replaying my selection of games I managed to keep after the relocation; to numb the brain.

Picked up on a guide to playing System Shock, which I missed out on in my youth, if this works, I will be hunting for a box-set to put on my shelf.

On the serious side I am also having some continued requests for my modbus simulator, and it is about time I found a minute or 2 of time to turn this program into a money-spinner or even a job-spinner? Anyways it needs a serious re-coding/re-fractoring. And it just sounds like hours of work with no reward? Well how do you set a goal and reward for a project with no real reward? Make up a reward of course, and this reward to myself will be a domain-name. Still got to think what it will be, either to host this 'orrible blog or to host my programming+code? Well, the best planned ventures with achievable goals are most likely to succeed are they not!

Next I need some coffee!