Cold delivery day

I can’t remember the last time I went out delivering Focus when it was so cold. Can it really have been the Ipswich by-election when I definitely recall leafleting in the snow?

The thermometer on my car hasn’t read much over 0 all day. Taking leaflets around Meadow Brown Road the little pond (under the control boxes) had a skim of ice over it, and every bit of shallower puddle was frozen solid.

I was kitted out as much as I could be – coat, scarf, hat, and fingerless gloves that both keep me warm and but still let me have enough dexterity to separate out the leaflets. But it was still perishing, and I was glad to get home.

Wii fun

Off and on over the weekend and the last few evenings, I’ve been getting to grips with my new toy. It is good, but I am fast coming up against the limits of my skills.

I am very good at the bowling game in Wii Sports, with my top score being something ridiculous like 207. I knew that if you bowled three strikes in a row, it gets called a turkey. Apparently if you keep on bowling strikes they’re just called “fourth” and “fifth.” I’m not too bad at golf, and quite enjoy the various mini-golf games. The controls shout at me a lot and have a red wiggly line that is obviously somehow bad but I can’t find anywhere a help menu or a written thing to tell me what I’m doing wrong.

So much for the easy games that came with it.

On to the Rabbids and Zelda. I seem to be stuck on both of them. Rabbids is an unbelievably stupid, but entertaining game where you have to kill nasty rabbits in various daft ways. I’ve got 12% through the game, it tells me, but I just can’t make the various controls launch Superbunny, or slap toilet doors shut, fast enough.

And Zelda. Well, Zelda is pretty good. Detailed landscapes, lots to see and do. You’re not restricted to the game’s challenges, you can wander around the world doing various other things as well. I got through the two prologues without too much trouble, although I did die a lot. The game very helpfully details exactly how much of your life you have spent pretending to be a pointy-eared teenage horse-freak. So far, nine hours and seven minutes.

And now, I’m rescuing monkeys from a dungeon. Or I would be if I could actually make the thing on screen do what I want. I know what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m supposed to be throwing various spider-bomb things into lethal plants. But I’ve spent about the last hour throwing spider-bomb things near lethal plants with no sign in the last hour or so that I’m getting any closer.

And this is supposed to be the first, easiest dungeon. Grr. This is what I worried: my hands just aren’t sufficiently deft to control the more complicated games. With Tombraider, so long as you stand in the right place, you can usually manage most things, and if you really get stuck, Stella will let you download a savegame. I don’t think that’s going to be an option on the Wii.

I’d better get back to throwing spider-bombs at monkeys.

My pointless day

OK, so yesterday, the Wii did arrive, early on, at 9.30am. Before I would normally have set out for the office, so I plugged it in and had a brief play. Got it working with no probs at all, created a few Miis, various things like that. Bowled a 166.

Then, just after 1.45pm, set out for work.

Not having heard a weather forecast.

Continue reading

Parcelforce are pretty good

You get a lot of information out of a Parcelforce tracking code:

Date Time Location Tracking Event
17-01-2007 23:46 Nottingham Central Depot Out for delivery
17-01-2007 22:53 Nottingham Central Depot Arrived at delivery depot
17-01-2007 18:46 National Hub Sorted in hub


We came back from the cinema (Night at the Museum) to find I’ve just had an email out of the blue from Gameplay to say that my Wii is in the post!

They include Parcelforce tracking numbers, and when I put those into Parcelforce’s website, it says the package is already at the Nottingham Central Depot!

This does come as a surprise. I’ve been looking at the Gameplay website periodically to see if they have any information, and they’ve had no changes, and no useful information on the site since I ordered. Their help section says:

Nintendo Wii Stock
We do not have a current due in date for our next batch of stock so we cannot inform you of when your order will arrive, or if you place an order now how long it will take to arrive.
We are hoping to cover our pre orders for Xmas but at this moment in time we cannot guarantee this.
We will try and keep you informed of our stock situation via email.

So to be getting it tomorrow (?) is a bit of a surprise!

I feel this awful… ache… coming on.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if it was… highly contagious.

Invisible Man

I’ve been getting a sudden flurry of e-mails about my recording of The Invisible Man.

Which is nice.

One today reminded me I mentioned my website twice in every chapter.  Maybe that is a little excessive.

And the other one was sent by an American who lives 25 miles from Mount Rushmore.  (How cool is that?  And now I know that’s in South Dakota, which I didn’t know before, and that it’s carved out of the Black Hills of Dakota, which I only previously knew from Calamity Jane.)
Everyone who says they enjoyed my stuff gets a link to my current ‘work in progress’, Around the World in 80 Days.  I don’t know when I’ll manage to find the time to simply sit down and read the rest. And there are loads of other projects I said I’d help out with that are getting neglected, too.  Bah.

Car-crash blog

One of the most interesting things about reading a blog is when something totally out of the ordinary happens to them, and they write it up.

JP is someone I met in passing in NG1 back in the days when I still went there (so more than four years ago now) and have had in my MSN contact list since, even though I haven’t actually spoken to him. He cropped up blogging in links from Reluctant Nomad (now in Amsterdam) and Troubled Diva.

His company send him to China periodically to do recruitment. His description of Beijing and working in China are interesting enough by themselves to make his blog worth reading.

But then suddenly one day last year, he got hit by a bus in Beijing. Literally. Forgot a bus lane had traffic going the wrong way on a one way street, and he walked out in front of one. Suddenly the blog went quiet, and his friends in the UK posted messages about how things were going.

Last week he resurrected his own blog to give his point of view. Happily, all seemed to end well, although it was pretty scary at the time.

Another dangerous discovery

My phone will play MP3s as text alerts and ringing tones.  I no longer need to download anything specific.  For ages, I’ve had an MP3 of the CSI theme, and a dalek squawk as my text tone.

The dalek did not go down well in the office, mostly because if it goes off when it’s quiet it’s a nasty tone that makes everyone jump.  For a while it’s been an MP3 downloaded from the BBC language websites – an Italian woman saying Grazie.

But all change tonight.  Now I have “Ring ring ring ring ring Bananaphone” to ring, and a fabulous 2 sec snippet from Dolly Parton singing “Why’d you come in here looking like that?”

Specially for H

Try this.
(Everyone else might like it too, but it has the occasional swearword in it. WTF is the music??)

oOo later oOo

Oh dear. There’s a Youtube version.

More than you’d ever want to know about Bananaphone here. And another take here.