Closing in (95%)

Nearly there!

It’s getting annoyingly grindy now! I spend most of the time in the chopper, either:

  • deploying to an area to put down capture cages then immediately leaving
  • returning to the medical platform on mother base to hand over photographs

The latter is especially irritating as there’s no indication that you need to do it, and you can’t give all ten photographs at once! So chopper in, run to room, cutscene into room, hand over photo, run back to chopper, leave; repeat.

krusty_groan.wav

I have a sheet of paper that I’m crossing off the things as I do them. It’s slightly illegible due to my broken fingers, but usable.

Finally, A Real Pin

Blood Donor Bronze

The title of this post conveniently ignores all the other pins I’ve earned, which must be at least…. for certain… that I know of… to be sure… 1 other. If not more. Maybe. Anyway, having earned pins in games such as the Battlefield series, it was interesting to actually get one. What’s more fun is it’s in the same style: “Do X, Y times, get pin”. In this case instead of “revive 8 people in a round” it was “have your blood drained 10 times”. I thought it had been more, but obviously I’ll need to visit the vampires more.

In other semi-interesting news, I bought a laptop. It’s a Dell M1730 and it’s big, beefy, weighs about the same as a 2 year old and draws enough power to dim the lights when I turn it on. In the neighbourhood, that is. Also, while we’re on ridiculous things, the display has the same resolution as my 28-inch monitor and they keyboard has a numpad.

I’d give you a picture of the laptop too, but my camera has electric arthritis and just grinds and whinges in a manner reminiscent of a small child in an antique shop. Still, that at least gives me ANOTHER thing to buy for going away, which is happening this Sunday by the way. Yay! Or rather, I’m going broke like I have a terminal disease.

PS Twitpic doesn’t like it if you link to files from outside of it, which should be obvious except to me.

(If my writing seems out of sorts it’s because in my head it’s the rapid sardonic babble of Ben Croshaw, or Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation to give him his Sunday name)

A Cautionary Tale: I Broke My iPod Trying to Fix It

Well, it’s not really a tale, as a tale implies length. More of a cautionary anecdote… or cautionary aside. All right, a cautionary mentioned-in-passing.

I had intended to fix my iPod’s screen tonight. I’ve previously replaced a broken laptop screen, which has plenty of tricky, footery bits. However, in my attempt, I broke it completely. My humble, 4 or 5 year old player at least played music before… Now it just spins up the drive, has a quiet think to itself, then collapses into a sobbing heap on the floor.

I don’t want to put people off DIY repair, its possible to do. The screens are only like £10 ish. It’s not really that hard, even if the cables are footery, incompliant wee buggers at times. But it is very easy to mess up, especially if you don’t take care.

Also, really fucking important point here: no matter how confident you are of your repair skills, BACK DATA THE HELL UP BEFORE YOU START. Since the device was doubling as my portable hard drive, and since I’m occasionally a dribbling fool, I lost some important things. Mainly bookmarks from my portable Firefox installation and some documents I’d digitised. And some stuff I don’t actually remember putting on there, but believe me, it’s there. Or was. Or still is, just in inaccessible form.

Serves me right for not having a backup script for removable media in place. I will do that just as soon as I procure my replacement. I’ll mosey over to the Apple store tomorrow and see if I can’t haggle their price down from ridiculous to merely hideously profitable. If I can, then comes the act of restoring all my music and data. Joy of joys.

Bass

Ah bass, king of the gamefish. At home in both fresh and saltwater, one of the most sought after fish in the US, this fish has its sporting origins in the nineteenth century… No no no! What? Oh, not that kind of bass. Right.

Throwbacks to A Bit of Fry and Laurie aside, I feel a rant coming on. The flat below is having some kind of box social or mixer or shindig and where there is box socials, there is music. And where there is party music, there is an excess of bass. So sleeping is off for the moment… hence this rant.

I don’t know where my aversion to bass comes from though. I can tell you my subwoofer has its bass knob turned the full way down, and the software mixers on my various computers have bass set low (if applicable), and the music player equalisers have it similarly adjusted so as to de-emphasise the lower frequencies. I do like a good beat, but I find bass lines overwhelm and muffle the rest of the more important (in my opinion) instruments. It may completely fail to surprise you that I tweak up the treble response a bit too.

But anyway, before I get called Buzz Killington, buzzkiller, I should point out that these box socialites don’t even have the good grace to let us get used to a particular beat. The music is getting changed with about as much care as and ADD DJ. The reverberations are spasmodic, coming up through the floor for 30 seconds, then a change, then 2 minutes of something similar, then a minute of silence, then 4 minutes of something completely different, then 5 minutes of silence, then a few changes in quick succession. Concomitant with this joyous musical indecision is a grand variance in the volume of the music. As I write this sentence, I can feel the floor vibrating through the rug and carpet; earlier, I had to put my ear to the flow, then actually go downstairs to confirm the music was indeed coming from the flat below. Why there quite is so much variety I am not sure, perhaps they are playing some brazen, adult form of musical chairs that I wish to both remain ignorant of and take hearty part in.

I begin to ramble, partly because it is nearly half 1 and I am tired, while being subjected to weapons-grade bass and listening to songs with odd lyrics on Last.fm; and partly because there is a word counter right below this ever-growing wall of text, and I feel I have been short-changing in recent posts.

Anyway, the lovely people (can you feel the restraint that went into those two words?) downstairs have about half an hour before I strap on the kevlar and helmet and go SWAT on their music system.

Spanish Adventure

So, having just celebrated by 22nd birthday, I have come to a decision that will have profound implications for my life. Well, I say I have decided, but I am being especially indecisive about it. Just call me Harvey Twoface.

The decision? Whether or not to defer entry to medical school for a year. My choice amounts to:

  • Start my medical degree in September, coming straight from a pharmacology degree from the same university
  • Take a year out to travel, probably to Spain for 6 months, then possibly elsewhere, like Italy, Germany or Morocco (if I am feeling particularly adventurous)

Part of my reason for thinking about this is that I have lived in Glasgow all my life, and so my experience is somewhat limited. Don’t get me wrong, this is a wonderful city filled with great things; but it can be very insular, to the extent of some small villages even. And while I love it here, I do feel I should have some experience of life elsewhere. There’s a whole world outside the city walls! Or so they tell me.

Another big part of the reason is that I desperately want to learn another language, and my attempts while residing in this country are abortive at best. While you may point to this as a lack of commitment, I do feel that actually residing somewhere that the language is spoken will significantly bolster my flagging efforts to learn it. It’s either that or not speak for 6 months.

So where would I go to? In Spain, probably one of Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia. Madrid I have seen already to a tiny extent; and I have heard wonderful things about Barcelona. The agony of choice…

Anyway, you would be right in saying that I would appear to be leaning towards the defer option. It’s intimidating, as I’ll have to go off alone leaving family, friends and significant other behind, to a country where I don’t speak the language and I won’t have a steady job. And my brain has a decent chance of (further) atrophying and being unable to recommence academic pursuit some September 2010. And I might cock it all up or wind up dying in some Catalan separatist attack, but hey ho, I’ll give it a go!