Last Monday: met up in Holborn with birdsflying, dolores, jamjar and burntcopper for the latter's Birthday. Enjoyable evening of drinks and pizza. Figure any evening which includes discussion of the Giffen/DeMatteis run on Justice League International/Europe/etc can't be bad. Also picked up a rec for a promising sounding book: Snake Agent by Liz Williams (appealled because of the Chinese mythical connections), since acquired. Now, just got to finish So Say We All, a collection of essays on new BSG, edited by none other than Richard Hatch!
Tuesday: back to fencing at ULU. Second night back, not a good start fencing people who are mostly students and an awful lot younger and fitter than me. Bad sign when most of them comment they could tell I was tiring towards the end of the bout... So, mostly got a kicking but, on the bright side, pulled back a bit towards the end of the evening. Oh well, 3 weeks or so to get in shape for the Slough Open (interestingly, noted that there's a fair few entrants from Malta for this - be nice to catch up with them!).
Thursday: missed fencing at Saxon due to work overrun. Whoops. So much for prepping for Slough. Ended up playing some Gears of War co-op on Xbox Live with David instead. Irritatingly, seems you can only have one campaign running at a time, shared between single player and co-op. Bah. Fortunately, we finished just before where I'd got up to on my previous single player campaign.
Friday: Beer and Blake's 7 pub meet. Another small world thing. Got talking to a chap who mentioned he'd registered on the Horizon forums. I mentioned I was Space Commander Looi on there. "Yes, I thought you might be," he replied. Turns out he's a keen role-player and had even emailed me many years ago with questions about the B7 RPG!
As an aside, I am struck by how similar some of the criticism of the new B7 audios sounds to the stuff that was flying around before new BSG aired ("unnecessary", "travesty" etc). Wow.
Saturday: LOTNA. Was a tad late for this and nearly didn't make it due to being er... distracted by Gears of War... Also had a momentary panic as I realised I hadn't read the reminder email properly and, with all the debate about shifting venues before Christmas, I wasn't entirely sure it was still at the Horseshoe Inn! Fortunately, a quick phone call to tlanti sorted that out. Was also feeling a tad naked - no PDA as I had to leave it at home charging (let battery run down too low) and phone was already making low battery beeps!
I knew it'd been a while since I'd been to one of these but one chap I was talking to mentioned that he'd been attending regularly for 7 months and not met me yet and begun to suspect, as others had previously, that I was some sort of online list bot/Turing Test experiment! Ah, what the Hell, it was great catching up with everyone again!
Sunday: Picked up Dave and headed up to Cookie's to do some Serenity role-playing which proved to be most enjoyable. Bloody Hell, I'd forgotten how much fun it could be. Surprise, surprise, my character concept was closest to Simon than anyone else :-) Cookie and Olivia also now have two greyhounds, one of which seemed to spend much of the afternoon sleeping at my feet. Sign it's been too long: I was initially heading to their old address until I thought to check in on the phone. Thank God for the GPS is all I can say!
The MCE PC seems to be fully up and running very nicely indeed: WinTV PVR 350 fitted and integrated with MCE and the Sky+ box - even got the IR emitters working for changing channels, scheduling recordings and so on. Next: to get remote recording set up. OK, I could do that already using the Sky+ and a mobile phone but that's not the point! One minor irritation: hitting the green button on the Windows remote to active Media Centre also turns on the Xbox 360! Time to sort out what to do with the Xbox and the previous living room PC...
Latest installment of dodgy hard disk saga: Scan has confirmed refund for returned defective drive. Hitachi delivered replacement drive on Thursday. Only, while I'd sent them a defective 250Gb SATA-II drive, they sent me a 250Gb PATA drive. Seems serial number of drive maps to that model! Guy I spoke to even asked if I might have returned one by mistake so I pointed out that would require me to have a HGT 250Gb PATA drive in the first place! He said he's start an investiagtion but, surprise, surprise, no word yet...