'A Shocking Turn of Events'
There was 'a Shocking Turn of Events' (fans will know what that means) with my Bioshock campaign a couple of weeks ago. Paul, from work, came around after work one day to have a look at the PS3. We knew that we'd spend some time looking at the other games - Killzone 2, Assassins Creed & Burnout - but ultimately we knew that a most of the time would be spent with Bioshock. Paul loves watching people play games, and as such I was looking forward to playing it in his company. It has a great narrative after all, and is probably of the more watchable games out there.
To set the scene for him, I decided to play though 'Welcome to Rapture', so he'd understand the premiss of the game. The shocking moment came when I went through a hatch and the loading screen appeared.... followed by the auto-save screen.
For a brief moment I saw my 8,400kb save-file sitting there. The next moment it was automatically overwritten by a 1,250kb save-file. It was quite a surreal moment... I tried to pretend that everything was fine (I didn't want to spoil the atmosphere), but we both knew what had just happened... 15 or 20 hours of game play had just been erased. After about 15 minutes of trying desperately not to seem too distressed while showing him the introductory game-play, a kindly asked Paul to leave :-)
It's taken me two weeks of late night game-play to get back to this point. There were several days when I went to bed at 01:00... too many days... towards the end of each week, I certainly felt it :-) I actually enjoyed re-playing it a lot more than I thought I would. It turns out I missed a lot of stuff during the initial levels, so I'm actually a lot more powerful this time round.
I heard it though the grapevine
Viv and Richard's grapevine that is. They are lucky enough to own a nice vineyard down in Harvey. Team SMU were invited down there to help them pick fruit for a local winemaker. Unfortunately, due to the short notice, only Steve and I managed to get down there. Steve too his daughter Neve along, which bought a element of entertainment that I am not used to.
Tangent Warning: It's funny how I always hear how this-and-that person is pregnant, and how this-and-that person is a daddy or mother now... and yet, I never seem to be around children. None of my close friends have children, and I doubt they will have them anytime soon. We are all about to hit our thirties. I guess its not unusual to 'wait until later' these days. Not to generalise, but most of the people that I do know, that have had kid(s), are single parents, or with a person other than the child's father/mother. I'm not saying that they are bad parents by any means... most of them are fantastic parents, and treat their children like gold. Nonetheless, I find it interesting.
Where was I? Oh yes. So Steve, Neve and I camped on the vineyard. It was a lot nicer than I thought it would be, and look forward to doing it again sometime in the future. While its not as nice as waking up in a National Park, it had its own qualities which made it likeable.
The picking the following morning took a lot longer than expected... slowed mainly by the fact that the fruit really should have been picked a couple of weeks ago. A lot of the fruit was past its prime for wine, so a lot of time was spent looking for nice juicy grapes, among the dried ones. We needed 1,500kg, though Steve and I left a little before that goal with achieved. We put in about six hours worth of work. Hopefully we'll get a bottle of port out of it :-)
Plants and Soak-well
Trace and I spend pretty much all of Sunday looking at plants at nurseries. We bought two things. A small palmy type indoor plant for the living-room, and a small little plant for the bathroom... we also bought a pot. So all-in-all, not a lot to show for a days work. We pampered our lime-tree a little, and repotted the other palm-leaf thing that's out of back at the moment. (You can probably tell that I am not a green-thumb... though I want to be).
The last soak-well has been a nightmare, and is not yet finished either. I've spent three lots of time on it so far, and will need one extra push for it to be completed. The ground in the excavation area is an absolute bitch... solid as hell, with a lot of limestone blocks/rocks thrown in for good measure. Its the closest thing to mining I've ever done, forcing me to literally crawl into a hole in the ground with a hammer, belting the crap out of big chunks of rock to break them up. Its been an adventure. The well itself is done. I'm now in the process of digging the trenches from the down-pipes... a task that is normally quick and easy, but has been complicated by the issues named above.
I am very much looking forward to completing this damn unrewarding task. It will pave the way for paving and a pergola, which I desire greatly. Paving will come first... and hopefully soon. I plan to have both sides of the house paved, with the exemption of a 2.5m x 1.8m bit outside the master bedroom. It will become our vegi/herb garden, and it WILL be grand!
I have not bought any, but they are very high on my agenda. The plants have already made the house a little more homely. Some photos of our travels will no doubt give the place even more of a personal feel. While things are better than what they were, the house still feels a bit generic and empty. I'm looking to hang about nine main photos, and two or three minor ones. Selecting these photos will be a hell of a task. Having taken around 45,000 photos over the last 10 years, I'll have to spend several hours creating a short-list for Tracy to pick from. I'm not sure if I want things from my deviantart days, or if I should concentrate on more personal stuff, such as travel photos. Perhaps both.
To Adelaide and back
I'll be flying off to Adelaide in a week or to to meet up with Preacher and Matty. We shall drive across the Nullabor together, taking a slight detour to Esperance on the way back to Perth. It will be interesting being off the grid. I hope it will be refreshing. There is not much more to say on this topic at the moment. I will, no doubt, be writing about this little trip at length once I return.
There is still a lot to organise. In fact, everything (with the exception of the reception venue) needs to be organised. We've booked in a date - 28 February 2010 - and will start thinking about sending invites soon.