tenpastmidnight blog

Making hay while the sun shines

Last week was a very busy week...

Monday evening: pub quiz at the Sussex Potter (Lancing) with some friends. Unfortunately one person down, which certainly didn't help.

Tuesday evening: Ecademy meet up in Lewes. Not a large turn out, but friendly conversation abound and David was kind enough to give me a lift home, which meant I had time to sort out the Bluetooth widget so I can now use my mobile for dial-up with my laptop. Handy, but I've been spoilt by high speed connections over the last few months and it does feel a bit slow.

Wednesday brings around a Farm meeting of local freelancers and small business people, i.e. a chance to drink and chat about techie things.

Thursday involved a trip to install Internet Explorer 6 on the computer I'm lending my mother while I fix her laptop. Thanks to the great folks at Evolt and their browser archive I easily got hold of the whole 70MB install and put it on CD. I wouldn't have wanted to download that one over dial-up. Even though she's using Windows 98 as is relatively unaffected by Blaster, I also took Kerio Personal Firewall to give a bit more protection from the varied viruses, worms and associated nasties out there. I've had good experiences with alternative software firewalls like ZoneAlarm before, but I found Kerio didn't make my PC crash like the last version of ZoneAlarm, and it's pretty easy to set up so it seemed the decent choice.

After much installing and messing around with internet settings to get the desktop working like her laptop usually does, it was a quick escape to a pub in Shoreham with a friend. While The Royal Coach isn't the best pub in the world, it's better than most of the ones in Shoreham, and I pumped many at 50p piece in to their pool table when I first came out of university.

Somewhere in there I also finished The Praxis by Walter Jon Williams, I'll be doing a full review of it soon, but the short version is: decent space opera with good characters, pacing could have been a bit better, looking forward to the next one but also hope he has time to finish the Metropolitan series.

Saturday involved going to a party celebrating the 10th anniversary of my cousin Kerry and her boyfriend Mike getting together. It was nice to see them, and lots of Mike's family and friends from Ireland, but having driven to North London I wasn't up for much, and I wasn't drinking as I was driving back the same night.

Now, being tired from a busy week and driving to London and back isn't the smartest idea, and nor is stopping off in Hove to take a photo of something at 1.30am, getting back in my car on the very well-lit seafront and forgetting to turn on my headlights. The Police were very polite about it, especially as I must have looked a right idiot trying to get out of their way on the Old Steine when they turned their lights on to stop me. They checked all my details while some local drunks on a park bench called out helpful advice. After a scary few minutes reflecting on the facts that I was: 1. Stupid. 2. Bang to rights, the Police were kind enough to let me off with a warning. Needless to say I made sure my lights were on about three times before driving off.

On Sunday I watched Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones on video. I was in the mood, but I think it's the weakest of the Star Wars films. This time I enjoyed it more than any other time. I think this was due to stopping a little while after the jarring romantic part and departing to the pub to meet a friend, then watching the last half hour when I got back. I think my main problems with the film are the slightly iffy dialogue and not-exactly-marvellous acting, but creating some distance between the end and some of the rougher parts of the film made it much more enjoyable.

And talking of roughness, Monday was Tomb Raider II time. Three of us went, I was the only one who enjoyed it. Perhaps my standards are being worn down by the number of frankly rather rubbish blockbusters out this year, but I thought it was better paced than the first film, and though not as funny it had plenty of enjoyable silly action.

Monday was also domesticity day: I finally got the right washer to stop my bathroom tap dripping, bought some more pot plants to replace the ones I killed over the winter by not giving them proper drainage and leaving them in the rain, and generally failed to clear up. I still didn't get a chance to update this blog, but it seems this lengthy post means I am keeping up with the habit, if not exactly in real-time.
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