Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It should end with... a BOOOM!

I started wondering today (always a worry) about what would happen if you drop a battery in a glass of water. Would it explode? Would it boil the water? Would it make the water electric like what happens when you put an electric heater in a bath?

But apparently nothing much happens which I think is a bit disappointing and clearly shows a fundamental flaw in the design of batteries.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I spent more time than I expected installing a new router (or router as I normally pronounce it). I'd expected a quick plug and play but forgot I'd have to add ISP and internet settings. And it's always the little one that you'd expect to make no difference that makes the difference. In this case it seemed to be the setting dictating time before disconnecting. Strange.

Anyway, it's working now.

Next thing is to work out whether the old one was actually broken or not. It was definitely a bit intermittent and would often just stop working for a few seconds. And so far (touchwood) the new one isn't doing that. I think it was probably on its last legs. And worse case is that I now have a spare emergency router. For emegencies.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Eurovision Post - Amended

I started writing about Eurovision just now. But then I deleted it all because it was rubbish. So here's a haiku about Eurovision instead:

Foreigners are daft:
Look at their silly outfits;
Hark at their odd sound.

That's much better than the original post. It was just moaning about block-voting.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rock Band - The Verdict

I've had quite a lot of play on Rock Band now. It's great. But first the downsides. I'm playing an import PS3 version so I'm not sure what the situation is with downloadable content. At the moment I can connect to the internet and see songs to buy but I can't actually download them. I don't know whether this is because I'm connecting to the American store or because I'm connecting to the UK store but it's not properly enabled yet, due to the game not being out until the Autumn. Either way, it's not the end of the world.

More annoyingly there is the known problem about the incompatibility of the PS3 GH3 controller with Rock Band. Maybe there'll be a patch at some point or maybe there won't. In the meantime I've ordered an adaptor which should make the old PS2 guitars work. Better than nothing if it works.

So onto the game. The guitar element is pretty much the same as Guitar Hero. So it's all about the drums and the singing. Singing is fun enough but nothing new for Singstar Veterans like myself. Something is gained by having it at the same time as someone playing an instrument but it feels more like an add-on than a vital component of the game.

Drums are a different kettle of fish. The drum-kit is well made and has actual real wooden drumsticks. Playing it feels like playing real drums, because you essentially are playing real drums. The difficulty level on it seems a lot higher than the other instruments but this is likely just because it's new. It might look on screen like it works the same way as the guitar but playing it is much more about rhythm patterns. At times it's like trying to pat your head whilst rubbing your tummy. But when it clicks it's good fun.

Where the game really seems like it will excel is multi-player. So far I've not been able to play with more than two people but I think with four it will be fantastic. As long as we can all fit in the room!

Final great thing to mention is the character building. We've made a couple of little people who look just like us... here's a pic:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Game Excitement!

I'm quite excited today. Rock Band should be delivered in the next hour or so and I have the morning off work.

Also, Wii Ware has launched. Haven't tried any of the games yet but there is a Final Fantasy, albeit an odd one. Also a quiz game which looks like it could be (limited) fun with others around...


Monday, May 19, 2008

Memory Upgrade

I got an extra gigabyte of memory installed in my PC at work which increased the capacity by 400% at a single stroke. The effect was noticeable and very pleasing. I can now switch between applications without having to wait several seconds for the change to happen. This will help me because previously I used to get impatient and try and switch to something else whilst waiting for the first switch. I'd normally end up then getting distracted and forgetting what it was I had wanted to do in the first place. Often whole hours could pass in this way. Switch. Switch. Switch....

But it should be better now. Oh frabjous day.

I wish I could have extra memory put in my actual head. That would be cool.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Summary Of Today

Put things on shelves.
Eat burger.
Drink cider.
Read newspaper.
Play Trivial Pursuit.
Eat Chinese.
And then from here to....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Rock Band (post 1 of x)

I clearly can't wait until Autumn for PS3 Rock Band so I've bought an import one. I'm excited. It will be great. When it arrives.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mad Metal

I don't normally buy CDs because of a song I've heard in a videogame but I made an exception the other day. The final song in Guitar Hero 3 is Through The Fire And The Flames by Dragonforce. It's almost impossible to play but that doesn't matter as you encounter it over the end credits and don't actually have to play along unless you want to.

And it's excellent. Fast, mad, stupid metal. Like Meatloaf on speed. And acid. So I bought the album.

I haven't listened to it yet. I expect it'll be great. Better than the Robbie one, anyway.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Something Smelly in York...

There's something very wrong with Lendal at the moment. It smells bad. Maybe it's the heat but it smells like a thousand people have all vomited at once into a big smelly pile in the middle of the road. No such pile exists but maybe it's there in a parallel world smelling bad enough to make its presence felt in this world.

Maybe the smell is actually so bad that it's punched a hole in the very fabric of our reality, creating a gateway that one could pass through. Into a smelly world.

Or maybe it's just The Varsity.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Awful Shopping Trauma

I was forced into doing something today that I really didn't want to do. It was quite an unpleasant experience. I was traumatized.

I was made to buy Rudebox by Robbie Williams.

Here's what happened:

I was on Amazon and my shopping basket contained three books costing about £14.40 in total. I needed to spend another 60p to qualify for SuperSaver delivery. I wanted to do that because I'm tight and didn't need the books urgently. I've already got loads of books.

I looked around for something else to buy and in the Deals Of The Week section I found the second Magic Numbers album for just 46p. I repeat, it was only 46p.

That is clearly a bargain of unmissable proportions (just like The Magic Numbers.... Ahem. Sorry, I think I was channeling Richard Bacon there). I added it straight away. But unfortunately it still left me about 14p short of free delivery. So I looked to see if there was anything else. The only other album at that price was the Robbie one and that gave me a dilemma. Either buy Robbie and get free delivery or don't buy Robbie and retain my dignity.

Not much of a choice really.

I'm thinking I might be able to sell it on eBay and make a profit, or alternatively it would make a wonderful present for a fried I didn't like much (or possibly for a friend who liked Robbie Williams but didn't actually bother to buy his albums). That's something of a silver lining.

Not enough to prevent my trauma though. I may never be able to use the internet again after an experience like that.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Wrong Jacket

I went to a wedding yesterday and nearly wore the wrong jacket. My Wee Jimmy Krankie blazer was on the back of a chair in the living room and it looked quite like my suit jacket. I put it on and it felt like my suit jacket. It was only when leaving the flat for the taxi that I had a moment of epiphany and twigged that I was partly in fancy dress. It was enough time to switch to the proper jacket.

But if I'm honest, I really don't think anyone would have noticed. The WJK blazer is actually quite good.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Shower Fixing(s): Part III

So since January the shower in the main bathroom has been non-existent. On Tuesday, I finally arranged for the replacement to be fitted, next Monday morning. This was A Good Thing.

Tuesday night, 4am. We're asleep in bed. I'm woken by the sound of a shower. A loud shower. Which is strange because there shouldn't be anyone using the shower. When I investigate the en-suite, I find that the on/off knob has dropped off the side of the shower meaning it's effectively "on" but that it also has a tonne of water streaming from where the knob used to be. This isn't good. I try to put it back but there's no way that's going to work whilst the water's on so I turn it off at the mains.

Eventually I'm able to get the knob back on but not to stay on. Something seems to have gone wrong that means it just won't stay together any more. This is bad as it means we have to leave the water off.

It's obviously at about this point that we start needing the lavatory...

At first I don't think I'll be able to sleep but eventually I do. And I have bad dreams about showers.

I call the plumber first thing in the morning and he comes straight out to look at it. He deems it irrevocably f**ked and removes the shower and seals the pipes. This is bad because it means we now have no showers. But at least we can turn the water back on and wash and wee and drink tea.

Not happy!

Only silver lining is that I should be able to bring forward the shower they were going to fit on Monday and hopefully have it put in this week. Fingers crossed...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Wee Lint Krankie

It's another Pub Treasure Hunt tomorrow. The theme is TV and against my better judgement (and vote) my team are all going as Wee Jimmy Krankie. Here's a sneak preview of my costume.

Wee Jimmy Krankie?

Looks more like Lee Evans if you ask me. Or possibly Norman Wisdom.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Old Rome

I was watching the first Episode of I, Claudius tonight, or as I like to call it, Rome Season 3. It was quite enjoyable but also quite dated. The actors all seem to think they're on stage rather than on telly so there's a lot of overacting going on.

But it's hard to be angry with Brian Blessed for long.

Gordon's Alive!

I'm looking forward to seeing the episodes with Jean Luc Picard in.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Painting and Decorating

The back bedroom has been a bit of an untidy mess since I moved in five years ago. It's got a bed and a few random shelves but mostly it's just boxes and piles of rubbish and things that could be given away/thrown out. It's been worse since K moved in as it now has two people's stuff. So we're re-doing it. New coat of paint followed by some big new shelves and a desk. At the same time we're going to try and sort through all the items and get rid of as much as possible.

Being something of a hoarder, this is a little painful. But do I really need to keep all those all VHS videos? I don't even have a VHS player any more. Ok, I do but it's in a cupboard. So the videos are all going to charity. Assuming they'll take them, I'm not sure whether there's even a second hand market for them in these days of Blu-Ray.

And once the videos are gone... I can get rid of the VHS player! No point in having one if I don't have any videos to play on it.

And so it goes.

Also on the way out will be old books, CD singles, some (but not all of my) cassette tapes. And I've already binned a tonne (literally) of magazines. Boy, do those things build up and take up space.

But it is a bit painful - a lot of these things have been with me for so long that they're part of me. Albeit a crap part, like an appendix.

The sorting and tidying is underway but we've had to move most of the bits into other rooms to make room for us to paint. This gives an incentive to finish the job as quickly as possible as I used to quite like it when I could walk through the living room in a straight line.

Yesterday we did some (four) testers on the wall. Today we chose the best... and both agreed! Which makes life much easier. Willow Green it's going to be. And so today we went to B&Q to buy the actual paint (and brushes, rollers etc). But before the main job, there's the prep - sanding, cleaning and all that boring jazz. And also the ceiling needed painting.

In fact, most of the ceiling didn't need painting but the edges did a bit. I hadn't been particularly careful when I painted it years ago and so there were several messy blue splodges on the ceiling where I'd missed the wall a little.

Division of labour - I did the ceiling as I'm much taller. K sanded and cleaned the door frame and skirting boards. I was happy with that as I can never be arsed to sand things off properly.

The paint was a bit odd. It was pure white but the actual paint is pink when wet. It dries to white but the pink is supposed to help you see where you've already painted - potentially useful when you're painting white onto a white surface. I'm not sure it actually works that well in practice - it dries pretty quickly and so it's still hard to see where you've been or if you missed a bit earlier. I expect I have missed several bits but it looks fine so I'm not going to look too closely.

Didn't actually take too long, I'd say we were working for no more than a couple of hours. But tomorrow will be harder work.

Oh well.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

That's What I Went To School For

It's a long time since I needed to do any trigonometry, but the other night we were ordering some bookshelves off the internet and I had to use my old skills. The idea was to get some along each wall by a corner and then another one in the corner at 45 degrees. I had to use a picture and some maths to determine whether the whole arrangement would fit in the room or not.

It would.

Or at least it would on paper. The proof will be in the putting (up).