First Christmas Dinner

Nottingham Council House with Christmas LightsToday’s record-breaking Council meeting lasted only 30 minutes. Tea had been pulled forward to 4pm, and we still had to wait an hour and a half before it was ready.

It being the last Full Council before Christmas, we got turkey with all the trimmings. The Christmas Lights have been lit outside the building for a week or so, the German Christmas Market is in full swing all around (relocated from the centre of Market Square by building work.)

New house update IV

Carpets are being laid later today (Tuesday) after which removal men move the bigger stuff, easing the space pressure in our current house which is presently furnished twice. (We rent furnished, and have a spare set of dining furniture, lounge furniture, and any number of beds.)

So much packing to do! And we will be moving in before fixing the drains or getting the building work done which could be interesting.

But still — nice new carpets. With thick thermal underlay.

Lara shot the Sherrif

I’ve been a little concerned by the tenor of the Tomb Raider game I’m playing now (TR3) . The emphasis has moved away from gunning down rare but dangerous animals (lions, gorillas, cougars, T-rexes…), various half-insane baddies (evil geniuses, reincarnated out-of-control Atlantean goddesses), and genetically modified freaks (centaurs, mummies, flying Atlantean mutants) to shooting unarmed American law-enforcement agents. I’ve just played a level where the main objective is to break into a high security compound, gun down about 8 unarmed guards, steal their quadbike and drive it out of the desert.

Unsurprisingly, when feckless Lara crashes the quadbike (she’s supposed to, not another of my unscheduled whoops, there goes the quadbike down the fifty-foot drop, boom, bits of Lara flying across the screen) she gets arrested and locked up in a higher-security compound.

Which she then proceeds to trash. They’ve taken her guns off her, so she’s left with only her feminine wiles. She flutters her eyelashes (a whole new key-combination) at various George-Michael-a-like inmates who off the guards for her. She doesn’t even need to get her kit off (Google Nude Raider if you must), and these lawless thugs are breaking lawmen’s necks. Then she runs amok in Area 51 mowing down a whole variety of increasingly well armed military policemen and soldiers before launching a missile to some undisclosed location and stealing alien technology right out of a flying saucer.

OK, pretty cool, but all this shooting soldiers, particularly the unarmed ones in the earlier level, is a bit unsavoury.

But since we’re going there, a few tips to running high-security military bases in Laraland:

  • Don’t put a tunnel right next to your high-voltage fence — Lara is quite flexible.
  • By and large, if you hear shots, and you’re a guard, you ought to do something about it rather than wait for the gun-toting Amazon woman to get to you next. She knows no mercy
  • Please, find somewhere else other than directly beneath it to put the button to launch the missile. Running away before getting frazzled by the blowback is a bitch.
  • Designing laser traps that with enough leeway to let people jump over them or crawl underneath them is a bit pointless. Scrimping on the lethal lasers was never going to be a good budgetary decision. No-one ever got fired for buying too much security!

After a few days shooting American soldiers, we now move on to butchering tribesmen armed with blow pipes in the South Pacific islands before finally going to London, and visiting the Natural History Museum. I don’t think she means to wander quietly around the dinosaur exhibit and join in the debate about whether pandas are raccoons or bears.

New house update III

The electrician has now finished, and phoned to tell us so. This is good, because it means we can get on with carpetting and decorating ready to start actual moving in in the not too distant future.

Electrician reported some of his findings, the most worrying of which is that the house had perhaps the most critical electrical fault possible, that the live and neutral were reversed at the fuse box, meaning the entire house was wired backwards. Now fixed.

Oh, and he said as he was leaving, the house was suddenly much colder. It sounded like the boiler was still working fine, but the radiators just weren’t working at all.

This sounded like bad news to us so we called round late last night, me on the way home from work and P on his way home from a rehearsal, to find the entire place freezing (well, 8 deg).

Flashing lights on the boiler. Eventually track down boiler manual, which is the installation guide, and a little too technical, but the fault is easily identified from the flashing lights.

It’s the sci-fi cop out of all time. Reversed polarity. Easily explained by the fact that the electrician corrected the previous polarity fault.

Must phone leccy back tomorrow. See if he can bring his sonic screwdriver.

My Inner Child

Internet quizzes, the first bastion for bloggers with nothing to say.


Your Inner Child Is Sad


You’re a very sensitive soul.
You haven’t grown that thick skin that most adults have.
Easily hurt, you tend to retreat to your comfort zone.
You don’t let many people in – unless you’ve trusted them for a long time.

Nothing surprising there…

Coming soon: Lara Shot the Sheriff. Bad girl.