Shaun of the Dead (spoilers)
Last Wednesday, met Sue to go see Shaun of the Dead. Superb. So was the film. I wanted to see it just for the title alone but it proved to be thoroughly entertaining: a very funny and utterly British take on the zombie apocalypse scenario (forget Dawn of the Dead's shopping mall, these guys head for their local!). One of the best aspects was just how long the main characters take to realise anything's wrong! Also a sign I've been reared on too much Blake's 7, B5 or other grim TV: when the Army pulls up at the end and starts firing, I was sure they were going to be run over or shot...
Sent out a few more CVs. Spoke to an ex-colleague trying to sell me on where he is now. One weird thing is he did say, "You'd do very well here but the calibre of people may not be what you're accustomed to... it'll be relatively easy to shine." Not sure if that's a good thing...
Another ex-colleague at the same place commented my CV was perhaps a bit too strategy-slanted for them. Funny, a few years ago, he thought I might be too techie! Still, a few well-chosen edits and I went from a strategist to a technologist once more!
Selena arrived Friday evening, in London to meet up with friends. On request, I gave her a guided tour of the Xbox and Xbox Live, with Dead Or Alive 3's ninja schoolgirls the apparent favourite. She balked at Dancing Stage Unleashed and the dancemat though.
Saturday morning we started with a pilgrimage to Forbidden Planet where we rendezvoused with Sue. Selena then went off to meet a friend for a few hours during which time Sue and I managed to move about 100m to the nearest pub for lunch, punctuated by a running SMS commentary from Kate who was meeting friends at the memorabilia fair in Birmingham. I think she's been on the borderline of fandom for too long and was rather shocked to be faced with some of the weirder aspects of fandom! Anyway, we then regrouped at FP again and moved on to Computer Exchange and other geeky shops where I acquired Project Gotham Racing 2, as instructed by David. Was looking for Crimson Skies as well but it was out of stock.
After dinner at Soba, a Japanese noodle place run by Cantonese speakers, we all headed for home where Selena decided she had to try the Xbox Karaoke kit. Hell, she even got me to download some REM tracks from Xboxkaraoke. Big shocker: they didn't have Suspicious Minds!
Sunday was largely spent experimenting with PC LAN gaming and episodes of B5 over pizza (at Selena's request; the challenge: to pick 2-3 key episodes which were all we had time for). After Selena left for home, I got to grips with PGR2 and was quickly dealt a lesson in humility online...
I don't believe it: still waiting on the replacement for that tax rebate cheque I failed to bank and, while tidying up for sister and parents' imminent arrival on Saturday, I found another one, also well past its best by date! Argh! And my Inland Revenue office's phone number seems permanently busy right now...
I also got a call from Germany giving me a heads up that more work was likely. I did say I'd resumed job hunting but Cathy commented, "No offence, Ming, but I'm betting it's pretty unlikely you'll have found a new job before end of next week." Ulp...
Met with Kate and Neil in the evening for more post-fencing drinks without the actual fencing. Still, next week, new term will begin. Got more detailed account from Kate about Birmingham and what exactly had so disturbed her.
Put a load more stuff on eBay. I have now dumped all my Buffy and Angel VHS sets, and am not working on my B5 and X-Files tapes as well as making a start on the wargames. Guess it'll be the surplus to requirement RPGs and comics next.
At Julian's suggestion, I also went down to Firefight's indoor airsoft skirmish night at Electrowerkz down in Angel tonight. Sue was going to come along as she wanted to try airsofting but had to cancel as she was feeling poorly. Fortunately, I got the message just before I headed down, carrying a spare weapon and set of cammies on the Tube!
It was probably just as well she couldn't make it. The evening got very ill-tempered at times, with lots of very loud accusations from both sides that the other was cheating and not taking their hits. I suspect a more open, outdoor site like Sopley or Dragon Valley would be a better introduction.
Indoor CQB also means hits tend to be at closer ranges (ie hurt more - picked up a moderately impressive welt on my chin where a pellet slipped by the face mask) and a few guys got lenses cracked on their sights, one had a battery box broken by a hit. This caused the marshals to chrono all weapons and Julian got nicked for having a "hot" ie over-powered weapon. Sigh. I'd warned him that UK sites were pretty strict on power levels these days... Anyway, site operators took him aside for a long talking too and I think I'm lined up to take him to Airsoft Armoury to get his M-4 CQB downgraded...
Still, I figure I'll give it another try as I rather like the idea of a mid-week, Central London location for skirmishing. I did also get asked, "Are you Ming from the UKAN Forums?". Anyway, key lessons for next time:
- Need a bigger bag to carry kit it (tac vests are bulky)
- Take the P-90 next time rather than the AUG - I don't need the extra power and range indoors and several of the games were semi-auto only and the AUG doesn't have a fire select switch - you pull the trigger only halfway for semi-auto, not always easy to do in the heat of battle, especially as the trigger seems a twitchy at the moment
- Probably ought to wear black rather than CADPAT or other woodland camo! The CADPAT does tend to still impress others though ;-)