Effectively started last Saturday with the Horizon Christmas bash/reunion/sendoff for Nic - Small, intimate gathering, much catching up, discussion of the new B7 audio dramas. The Supreme Commander even suggested we should watch an episode to make it just like the old style meets but Rob's and my nomination of Animals didn't seem to go down too well. Funny, that...
Christmas Eve - did some exploration of local pubs with Kate. Conclusion: deeply embarassing how little I know about places in the East Finchley/Muswell Hill area. Should rectify this...
Christmas Day we headed round to colonel_maxim, caddyman and ellefurtle for a very pleasant, relaxing day of great hospitality, company and food.
Boxing Day and Wednesday were largely spent about the house (pub meet cancelled, presumably due to too many people unavailable); PC tinkering, DVD watching and renewing acquaintances with the Xbox 360, especially with Dead Or Alive 4 and Gears of War.
Today: Met Catherine for lunch for another of our intermittent professional/personal development chats. Guess we mutually keep each other on our toes about direction, ambition, progress etc. Also did some browsing around the sales in HMV, Virgin etc. Was pretty restrained - just the theatrical release original trilogy Star Wars DVDs (£8 apiece at HMV if anyone's interested) and Jet Li's Fearless which I somehow managed to miss in the cinema.
Met Liz in the evening for some sushi and to see Flags Of Our Fathers which I liked a lot. Especially liked the pretty uncompromising way it looks at the exploitation of the iconic photo of the US Marines raising the US flag on Iwo Jima. Now rather looking forward to seeing the companion Japanese perspective Iwo Jima film.
Tomorrow: down to Horsham to see Sally, David and Karen for a couple of days (plan to be back Saturday evening for dinner party at Liz's) and to hopefully do some network gaming with newly rebuilt PC - RAID seems stable at last, all data and content copied back on, a few games reinstalled. Also have a new toy. About a year ago, someone asked me "Any resolutions for 2006?". I rather facetiously replied "Yeah, 1600x1200" Well, just barely made that one. Now have a shiny new Viewsonic VP2030b 20" LCD and by 'eck, it's gorgeous. Quake 4 and Doom 3 look stunning (and, with the X-Fi, also sound stunning).
Other techie things:
Have had first stab at doing custom voice set for the Tomtom. Well, it seems to work but the interword gaps need adjusting. Right now it's "After 300... metres... turn left" etc. Still, it works from technical perspective so one step further along path to geeky custom voice sets.
Had another response from Hitachi GST about my SATA drive (well, one of them anyway), asking for a daytime address and phone number to process my RMA request. Fair enough. Only, they've also asked me to "agree that Hitachi GST products will not be used for the design, development, manufacturing, testing, stockpiling, or use of biological, nuclear, missile or chemical weapons". Guess I'd better start looking at Maxtors or Seagates now then... ;-)