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Like Giving Jack The Ripper a Chainsaw

Morning all. Feeling a little crook today, so I'm staying home. It feels like a dose of the cold; you know, sniffles, sore throat, sore sinuses, etcetera.

Hope you all enjoyed your Mother's Day yesterday, especially you Mothers out there! Vickie and I took Mum and Dad out to lunch at the Blu Water Grill in Hornsby. It was packed with other families celebrating the same occasion, so we didn't get our meals for an hour, but we didn't mind; it was a very pleasant arvo. We're off to the RSL this evening with the family again; it's my Nan's birthday today.

Yesterday also gave me the chance to exercise my new CUA Mastercard, which, despite my request for no credit, has a $2,000 limit on it. As I'm broke at the moment, it covered lunch and a small shopping spree at Electronics Boutique. I bought Vickie a copy of Myst III: Exile, going cheap at $50, and myself a copy of Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance for the Xbox. Vickie and I (well, mainly Vickie) made a little headway into Exile with only some minor checking of the Prima Strategy Guide that came with the game. Substance is good, just bloody tough on Normal difficulty (which, I discovered when I actually read the fucking manual, is meant to be for veterans of the prior game; I've since restarted on Easy difficulty).

On the general computing front, Brook's PC is now complete and ready for transport. I've revised my plans for Dan's upgrade yet again; I've had people offering me parts left, right and centre. Cameron K not only donated a motherboard, he's now selling me his Pentium 4 2.3GHz processor (as well as two sticks of 256MB PC2700 SDRAM) and is also chucking a stick of 256MB PC2100 RAM in as well. So I have enough to give Dan, Vickie and myself 512MB of RAM. As I'd run out of parts to buy from the computer shop so that I could get Windows XP Home at OEM prices for Dan, I'm splashing out on a new Pentium motherboard, a Gigabyte 8SQ800 Ultra, which gives me an 8x AGP slot for when I get the Radeon (yes, I know the difference between 4x and 8x is extremely marginal; allow me to be a geek, okay?) and dual-channel RAM architecture for Cameron's two sticks of PC2700. So Dan will be getting my Athlon in its existing case after all; I'll swipe his server case and use it with the P4.

I've been reading some good comments about the Ragnarok Online beta lately, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I downloaded the client on Friday night from the Telstra servers and had a fiddle. I'm hoping to hook up with EvilHayama on the Loki server and do some critter-mashing; this'll probably be the first time I've ever actually been in a MMORPG with a friend.

For a while, I've been reading how the Lightcycle Grid within Tron 2.0 was to be strictly single-player, as the requisite speeds couldn't be guaranteed over the Internet. It looks like Monolith has compromised, though; the System Requirements details in the Gameplay section of the official website states "Network (1- 8 players) LAN TCP/IP compliant network for Multiplayer Light Cycle gameplay". So all I have to say is, there'd better be some other TRON 2.0 owners at the next LAN party I go to, or I'll be sitting at my own PC playing Lightcycles all night by myself whilst everyone else goes green with envy! Muahahahahahaha! (Considering the network-only restriction, I hope Monolith allow spawn installations for Lightcycle play only...)

Just before we went to see the movie, Vickie bought a copy of Stephen King's Dreamcatcher at a cheap price. It's not a bad read, for fans of King, and it was interesting to see how close it stayed to the movie. The changes that were made did make sense considering the overall plot flow. As with the movie, anyone with a squeamish disposition should probably stay away from it.

Only four more days until The Matrix Reloaded... Apparently, over the weekend, a few cinemas were screening the nine Animatrix short films. EvilHayama and his lady Pirotess were off to see them on Saturday arvo. Hayama invited us along over ICQ at about twelve PM, but we had already delayed yesterday's shopping trip until the arvo, and neither of us was feeling too crash-hot (the aforementioned cold in my case). So we stayed in and watched The Matrix (on DVD, not the Channel 9 TV broadcast) instead. Which reminds me - I have to make sure to take the DVD along to dinner this evening, so Mum and Dad can watch it before going to see Reloaded.

Oh, and speaking of The Matrix: The character that Vickie and I like the most in that movie is Tank, the Operator, played by Marcus Chong (we hope he's in the sequels). Did anyone else stay up last night to watch the Law & Order Triple Play on Channel 10? Marcus was in the episode of Special Victims Unit, playing the weekly psychotic. By God, he was good. I mean, really good. He had no trouble convincing us that his character could've done what he did.

Con*Descending is a little over a month away, now; time I did some compiling of my ideas for That Scottish Play into an organised module. That, and work on the next Black Talon session as well.

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