Thursday, October 30, 2003

I picked up my new VW Polo this morning (with 5.8 miles on the clock, sheesh) handing in my horrible old Vectra in return (about 137500 miles on the clock). The feeling of sitting in a brand new car for the first time is almost up there with tearing the shrink wrap off a new game - almost but not quite. And the new game buzz is a lot cheaper, so can be repeated more frequently. So I think that's the way forward then.....

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Monday, October 27, 2003

I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!

I posted some suggestions for Greg Costikyan's upcoming book about seminal game designs - and he posted a reply. Witness my moment of glory here.
New Scientist: Popular computer games like Half-Life and Unreal Tournament could provide a cheap and effective treatment for people with debilitating phobias, say Canadian computer scientists.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Not only is iTunes the coolest looking software I can ever remember using on Windows, it sounds about 100% better than WinAmp too. Not sure what Apple's motives are for giving this sexy thing away for free, but it's certainly putting me in the mood for spending money on Apple products.....
Today I will visit the Affirmation Bullshit Generator (via Relapsed Catholic)

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Well I guess it's time to close the "Why don't you like Dave?" poll. On balance the results show that many of you actually think Dave is a nice guy. Oh well, there's no accounting for taste. All that remains is for me to think of a way to tell Dave about the poll without him killing me.....

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

The checklist in my nice "To Pastures New: Moving without the Hassle" booklet says I should be getting the following tasks done this week:-

Wait for your buyer's surveyor to find 20 expensive reasons why he should drop out

Wait for your own surveyor to find 20 expensive reasons why you should drop out

Carefully investigate the mortgage market until you get so confused that you give up and settle for a mortgage that is: too expensive/ties you in with massive penalty clauses/won't be paid off until your 90th birthday

Take a long break from cleaning the house to make up for all the cleaning you did while selling it

Show around the man from the removals company who almost manages to conceal his disgust at the amount of dust in your house

Get sacked from your job because you are lying awake every night visualizing the horror the day after you move into your new home and discover: the neighbour's drumkit/ the adjacent nuclear waste facility/ you got your sums wrong and you can't afford to eat
Complaints have been heard that I am not blogging often enough or long enough. Well I don't feel too bad about my performance compared with stats recently posted on LivingRoom:

* 4.12 million blogs in existence using the following blog clients: Blog-City, BlogSpot, Diaryland, LiveJournal, Pitas, TypePad, Weblogger and Xanga.
* 66.0% of blogs haven't been updated for at least 2 months. (thats 2.72 million abandoned blogs out of the above total)
* 1.09 million were one day blogs only with only posts on their first day
* Males are more likely to abandon blogs. Those writing long posts (on average) were less likely to abandon their blogs.
* The average active blog is updated once every 14 days.
* 92.4% of blogs were created by those under 30 years of age.
* 56% of blogs were created by females.
* Projected estimates see 5 million blogs by the end of 2003 and 10 million by the end of 2004.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Obscure opera Hamlet by Thomas at the Barcelona Liceu last night turned out to be magnificent, particularly the performance of Mary Dunleavy as Ophelie.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Barcelona is amazing, and there is no way I can even see all the highlights in a week. I was particularly knocked over by the Sagrada Familia, and the stunning work being done on the columns and vaulting in the apse at the moment.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Off to Barcelona tomorrow for a week of fino and tapas. Might get the chance to blog while I'm there, but don't bet on it.....

Thursday, October 09, 2003

A priority when moving is to find a new bunch of nimrods to play with The Alder Valley Gamers Society looks very promising - just up the road in Aldershot - three sessions a week - but the idea of paying an entry fee for a gaming session will seem a bit strange to start with.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Well last week's dream is rapidly taking a solid and rather expensive shape as a wonderful flat on the top floor of a big Victorian pile in South Farnham. This is all happening very quickly! It's exciting in a scary sleep-depriving way.....

Thursday, October 02, 2003

It looks like I have sold my house after all. By yesterday I had received two more offers, one of which was for the asking price. Meanwhile I am rushing over to Farnham whenever I can to look for a new home. On Tuesday I looked over a luxurious 3-bedroom house, just being built on the northern edge of the town, but with lots of traffic noise from a busy road. I turned it down - today the builder gets back to me with a £5K price drop and thousands of pounds worth of extras like carpets etc. I guess they are having problems shifting it. It's tempting, but what I'm really dreaming of is an old-fashioned place right in the centre of the town, a few steps away from the cobbled lanes and the interesting pubs and the arts centre and the railway to London. There's actually quite a discipline involved in listening to my own dreams rather than just going with the first "good deal" that is shoved in my face....

New Scientist: The Marsh Arabs of Iraq have given up waiting for outsiders to restore their wetlands. Local people are taking matters into their own hands by breaching dykes and shutting down pumping stations in a bid to restore the marshes drained by Saddam Hussein's regime. But some experts worry that their actions could hamper the region's recovery.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Semi-apologies for linking to David Warren so often but he's just so quotable these days:

It is not strictly necessary to prevent Iran, or North Korea for that matter, from acquiring and deploying nuclear weapons, or stop them from continuing their trade in equipment and know-how with the world's terrorists, and other thug regimes. We could just wait and see what the consequences will be. The worst that could happen is the sudden loss of a few Western cities, followed, I'd assume, by an unrestricted conflagration along the lines of Armageddon. But what's that against the danger of ruffling more feathers at the U.N.?