July 23rd, 2007


travel + girlfriends = failure

It has been a very pear-shaped weekend, with intermittent good bits. Both Alexa & Ludy ended up staying over at my place on various nights without having previously planned to.

Alexa came up on Friday to deal with the Random Artificial Emergency that occurred; and the traffic was so, so bloody awful because of the bad weather & flooding that the journey took her about 5 hours instead of an hour and a half, meaning that she spent a total of about 6 hours driving as well as several more trying to deal with the emergency. Great "fun". This used up all of her tuits (what Lexas have instead of spoons) as well as all my spoons, so we both collapsed in a heap on Friday night and didn't move much on Saturday. Tim & Peter came round to be social with us in our extremely low-energy state, and we played Killer Bunnies. Alexa was still too tired to drive home on Saturday night, so she stayed here that night too.

I had been supposed to go down to see Ludy on Friday, but the Random Artificial Emergency occurred & messed up my plans, so she came here to be social with us in our slightly less low-energy state yesterday. More Killer Bunnies occurred. Alexa felt up to driving home, and Richard got back from his paintball competition with Chinese food for us. Then we discovered too late that the last train from Clapham Junction to Worthing on a Sunday leaves at 22:23, meaning you have to leave Norbiton at the ridiculous hour of 21:36! This is a full 2 hours earlier than the last train on a weekday or Saturday, when you can leave at 23:36 & still get back. We were not very impressed, and Ludy was understandably stressed out due to being stranded in London without meds & with Sylvia (the cat) stuck in her flat - with food, but no way to get outside. Richard, very nobly, offered Ludy his bed because she was upset and he thought it would be nicer for her to sleep in the bedroom with me rather than in the spare room. (People who know wuzzie will know what a great sacrifice it is for him to give up his bed - it's almost the most important thing in his life!).

Today trains were continuing to conspire against us. We got to Norbiton station with a plan to get the 14:36 train to Clapham Junction then for Ludy to get the 15:23 home. In the event, there was some sort of "signalling failure in the New Malden area", and no trains were happening at all. We got the bus to Wimbledon (as buses were accepting train tickets), went to Costa, and then got on what was supposed to be the delayed 15:17 to Clapham Junction. However, it was so delayed that it decided to go fast to London Waterloo and not stop anywhere else - a decision which was relayed to the passengers only after it had left Wimbledon station. Gah. Also, we didn't have tickets that would allow us to travel via London, but this was not so much an issue in the end as we got straight back on a train on the opposite platform. Ludy eventually got the 16:23 train... which I hope will actually get her home.

So yes. Tiring, and pear-shaped, but with lots of quality time with friendly people.

Ratchet & Clank 3, only 3 years late :P

So, one of the other things that happened this weekend was that I started playing Ratchet & Clank 3 (Up Your Arsenal). Never mind that the game was released in 2004, it's new to me. I found a R&C 2 save game on my memory card, dated May 2005, which I'm guessing was the last time I played Ratchet & Clank Anything.. Weird.

The difficulty level of this game is all over the place. On the very first level, there was a bloody awful boss battle that I had to do 15 times because there were no health packs and 3 hits was enough to kill you outright. The game kept telling me how to strafe, but if I tried to strafe their way (using the L2 and R2 buttons) I ran straight into the line of fire. I did much better when I "strafed" Okami-style, by jumping out of the way of the attacks. Nonetheless, I couldn't actually complete the battle until a) I'd killed enough other monsters to upgrade my Nanotech to 16 health points, and b) upgraded my Nitro Launcher (bomb thing) to level 2. It took me so many attempts that I ran out of money for ammo, and had to go back round the level 3 more times to make it up.

On the next world, there was a puzzle level with a gadget called the Refractor, that involved bending the angles of laser beams. There were only tiny, trivial monsters, yet there were health packs EVERYWHERE. I got through the level without losing a single point of health, because it was a brain challenge not a reflex challenge. Meh.

I play a lot of video games, but I'm not actually any good at them.

Tonight I got to the point in the game where I get a 10% off discount on all the weapons because I have a Ratchet & Clank 1 save game on my memory card, and 2 free weapons for having a Ratchet & Clank 2 save game (there're another 3 free weapons to come). This meant I could afford the Agents of Doom, which are adorable skittery skittery robots that scuttle over to the opponent and explode.