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Ten Fantastic Days

It’s been a great ten days off work. Vickie, thankfully, cracked the whip and got me cleaning and tidying up before the arrival of the Cazman and his lovely lady Linda, and we got the spare room looking great for them. Although we weren’t able to spend much time with them as we’d hoped, we just appreciated their company the more. I didn’t know, for example, that Linda was part Chinese, nor that she has a hilarious, trash-talking competitive streak, which came out during a few games of Uno! Speaking of which, I’m starting to think Uno is more fun than Chez Geek.

I fully intend to do a better job of keeping up with these two (ideally using Skype a lot to cut down on those pesky phone bills) and I’m sure Vickie does also. We also (yeah, yeah, I know, but it reads better than “in addition”) must get back in regular touch with Caz’s Mum and Dad. We got a great Christmas letter from them!

With the spare room out of the way, all that’s left to be renovated is our room, our walk-in wardrobe and the shelves and desk for the computer room. We’re not sure exactly when we’re going to get around to these, but according to my payslips I still have around four weeks of leave stashed away, so I’ll probably use up one of those on getting it all finished. Plus, the shelves are going to have to wait until we get some wood back from Karlos, who swiped some of the planks we bought so that he could put some storage shelves up for his wife’s home day care business.

I’m making a little headway on that 4,000 Gamerscore goal. I managed to nab the Shotgun Expert Achievement in Mass Effect and, quite by accident, the Triple Trouble Achievement in Burnout Revenge for a total of 30 Gamerscore, bringing my overall total up to 1,985. Caz wanted to see me earn an Achievement while he was here, but somehow I managed to earn those two while he wasn’t looking. I want to get up to 2,000 before the end of the month so that I only need to earn a nice, round 400 Gamerscore per month until July. So, I need to earn either the Sniper Rifle Expert Achievement in Mass Effect or the Stack the Pack Achievement in Burnout Revenge before Friday. My money’s on the former.

Hang on – 400 Gamerscore per month is 100 per week. That’s actually pretty scary…

There’ve been a couple of recent distractions, though, aside from Caz and Linda (and let’s face it, people beat Xbox hands down). On the Dreaded Console front, there’s the advent of a new Halo 3 custom game type dreamed up by those crazy lads and lasses at Rooster Teeth (you know, the ones responsible for the hilarious Red Vs. Blue, which, along with Bubba Ho-Tep, we introduced Caz and Linda to while they were here). It’s called Grifball, the sport where you get to kill Grif a lot. It’s a high-speed combination of Halo 3, gridiron and a Viking brawl, and I’d love to get some solid games of it sometime. The problem is, it requires two teams of four, and as it’s not one of the standard matchmaking game types, you can only get players by inviting friends – who have to be online at the same time as you. Easier said than done. I managed to get a lopsided game in a few days ago, which only whetted my appetite for more.

Then there’s the tennis. To my surprise, I’ve actually sat down and watched some of the men’s finals matches of the Australian Open with Vickie, including the grand final between Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last night. We saw Djokovic demolish Federer, and in another surprising twist, Vickie sat through most of last night’s final. She has a superstition that if she watches a match, the player or team she supports will lose – and as she was firmly behind Djokovic, I’m hoping that’s broken! I did enjoy the match itself, though. It was a highly entertaining display of what, to my amateur watcher’s eye, looked like some very good tennis. Certainly commentators Roger Rasheed and Jim courier were impressed throughout.

While Caz and Linda were here, we had young Brook’s birthday party and a surprise drop-in by one of Vickie’s kids (whom Vickie’d not seen in years). She might stop by again this afternoon!

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