Happy New Year

Before the day changes I have to wish you a happy new year! I’ve spent my new year’s day playing Sims 2 after having finished Half Life 2 yesterday. I’m thinking of writing a review sort of thing on HL2 but I have to see how it develops…
I think I’ll get back to Sims now

Half Life 2

Half Life 2 Being a big fan of the first Half Life and its expansions (except for Counter Strike as I don’t do online gaming — there should’ve been a single player version of CS, too) I of course had to get my hands on the sequel. Luckily Dad gave it to me as Xmas present (it was a 33% chance).

Compared to the old HL the graphics have come a loooong way (duh, it’s been a loooong time since the 1st game). I was a bit afraid how my Simon could handle the game the minimum specs being 1,2 Ghz (Simon’s 1,4) but I didn’t notice too much disturbance. Surely, the loading times were unusually long and there was the occasional stutter which seems to have been a problem for many. Also, sometimes in more hectic battles there were moments of lag and pause. I’m just over the moon to have got the game working so I’m not bothered by the small glitches.

The install was a pain in the butt for me. The first decoding and launching went ok and the game started but then I wanted to play it offline, so I exited the game and Steam and disconnected. When I re-started Steam and wanted to launch Half Life — after Steam assuring that 100% had been downloaded and the game was ready for offline play — it complained that offline game is out of the question. So, I deleted all local files (as instructed in the HL forums) and re-launched HL only to see a 6847 minute countdown. The next day I tried to launch it again but the countdown was around 4000 this time. Then I realized that maybe it’s trying to download the whole game. I uninstalled HL dreading that it wouldn’t allow me to re-install it or some stupid thing but luckily it re-installed nicely and when launched, started to decode the files again. This time I was smart enough to set it to “Do not update this game” and was finally able to play it offline. Ahhhhh…

Anyway, I finished it in 5 days — it was the easy level, though — often noticing the time had strangely flown to 3 am or later.

It is an intense game. I’m sure my pulse quickened when I was zooming on the hovercraft (or something) trying to escape a helicopter that was dropping bombs on me or when soldiers or other creatures just kept streaming out at me with no end in sight.

It’s nice that Half Life 2 isn’t all shooting and killing but there are often “puzzles” to solve to get forward. I can’t remember if there were similar things in the 1st game — maybe there weren’t because I don’t remember them.

Of the enemies, I absolutely despise the Barnacles (the long-tongued creatures that hang in the ceiling). I developed a “phobia” for them in the 1st game when they suddenly snatched me and started slurping me up like a ground meat on spaghetti. Their tongues are really difficult to see, too! Of the new enemies the striders and gunships are the most annoying because they must (?) be destroyed with the grenade launcher which can carry only 3 (!!!) grenades at a time. The only times when I felt sure I would never get past a fight was with those things. *shiver*

I’m sure I’ll go back to playing HL2 with a more difficult level and I should try to explore the area a bit more now that finishing the game is not my priority.


Secret’s burning in my back pocket

… even though I’m wearing a skirt and it doesn’t even have pockets.

I have something to tell you (I’ve told 2 people already, I’m bad at keeping my own secrets!!) but I’m not going to until it’s confirmed and finished and ready for the whole world to see. Or something like that.

I’m so excited about it!

Agh, *slaps hands over mouth* (to keep me from typing)

How funny would it be if it never was confirmed nor finished?

Hard to miss

An enemy in Painkiller

An enemy in Painkiller

Here are two nicely compact enemies from Painkiller. I’m stuck at the latter one at the moment because my computer started doing chipmunk music all of a sudden and then it wouldn’t load a quicksave.

That’s a crazy game right there I tell you.

Hit escape to delete

We were watching The Net today, my sister and I. In it, a virus is triggered by hitting Escape when a virus infected disk is in the drive. So far so good. But, posts from an FBI mail server are deleted by escape. Now where’s the logic in that?

To upgrade or not to upgrade

I’ve been making my own template of this site. Sorry, I happen to like this design for some reason, ain’t getting rid of it just yet. Besides, with the new theme system on WordPress I intend to mess with the core code as little as possible and making my site easy to change style to. I’m now pondering whether I should upgrade to some 1.5 version or not… I hate to miss the tons of tweaking I’ve done to the code but then again, without the tweaking it’ll be easier to upgrade in the future and some of the things I’ve done have legitimate ways of doing them.

Also — you should be proud of me — I’m determined to make my new layout completely CSS (maybe as a result of the secret I’ve been talking about — ah-ha! A hint!). And I’ve actually managed to do that! Yes, all those rounded corners and fluid width layout. All implemented.

I gave up on a table-free layout the last time because I was in a hurry to get the site looking like something. I have a history of table layouts and I’m comfortable with them. Besides, let’s admit it, sometimes tables just do what they’re supposed to do, nicely and across browers. They work for poor IE, too.

Anyway, before wandering off to a completely different topic — ah, look at those pretty lights — I’m going to continue pondering the upgrade and tinkering the theme.


Just to let you know, I’ve made a site for our doggie Amadeus. Pretty photos and a layout I’m quite proud of :) I added the link to the site on the menu (under Other sections) but it probably goes unnoticed. Thus the sitevertisement. Let me know what you think.

Sick of Kubrick

I’m sick of Kubrick. Not the director fellow (although his interpretation on King’s Shining is a bit so-so) but the WordPress theme or its derivatives. I see it everywhere (no offense Eric. But, your site is nice despite the Kubrick :) ) and people praise it to high heaven although I see nothing special about it. Don’t get me wrong, it is clean and organized — and ok that way. I guess it’s a good starting point. Surely, it’s more beautiful than the classic WP default theme, but I don’t buy Eastpacks or those nice elfish shoes even though I’d like them (well, actually, Eastpacks are pretty dull sacks and elves are not my thing) because everyone else already has them.

Maybe I just really don’t see what other people see in Kubrick. Maybe I’m design-blind. Maybe there’s some neato CSS or PHP trick that tickles everyone’s inner designer-slash-coder except mine. What’s wrong with my inner coder?

But now, oh yes, the default template on WordPress is based on Kubrick! Kubrick-ish things (images) are removed and replaced by a blue masthead. But still, it reeks of Kubrick. Nice if people take the time to personalize it, but if I made a fresh start on WP, I’d stick to the classic theme. It’s flexible width above all. I have 1024×768 resolution and I want to make most of it, not just some percentage.

Now, don’t tell me I’ve made several fixed with layouts. I know I have and I know I probably will, too. That’s not the point.

Friendly banana

My eyes are closing… I woke up around 8:30/9:00 to be in time to sign into a computer class (and I got in! Hurraah) , yesterday I was woken up at 7:45 by a plumber drilling (or something) right behind the wall where my bed+head is. Today (that’d be Thursday) I’m going to see Grudge with my sister, right after work above all. Guess who’ll be knackered.

Today — I mean yesterday, Wed — we took Amadeus to the vet to get his 2nd vaccinations and a microchip. I wrote all about it on Ami’s site.

Yesterday, I mean Tuesday, I got a new roommate at work. I’m glad the previous went (got his dissertation done, I guess) because I probably would’ve freaked out at the next “would you pleeeease close the door if you leave” (of course, I wouldn’t have, but I need to say I would). This new roommate of mine speaks English. Uh oh. Me and English is like a mouth and a hot potato. Anyway, I don’t know much about her yet. Today, I mean Wednesday, she got a new computer (a fancy black one, lucky her). The computer guy promised I’d be getting mine soon.

Oh yeah, I’m getting a new computer at work. The guys, or one of them, had quite a list of features they need (tons of Ghz, tons of Gb, CD/DVD burner (eh, what are you planning to do? Rip movies?), optical/wireless mouse, huge flat screen………), and I would just like some extra memory and a bit faster computer (now I have 900 Mhz, and probably 256 or 512 Mb memory, at work that is) — it’s not like we’re getting to keep the machines. Boys and toys, right? :)
I did request to get both Windows and Linux installed because the computer guy specifically asked (good thing he asked, I want Linux too). But that’s it.

Tod… ok ok, yesterday I got a banana. Not any regular banana but a friendly banana. Thanks S., I owe you a banana. :mrgreen:

When the blogger is away…

… the spammers dance on the table

I don’t know if this was just bad luck, or the spammer at read my site enough to see I was away. Oddly, Spam Karma claims the IP is already in the database but still the comment slipped through. And oddly, they hadn’t even increased the SK’s comments approved number. Oh well.

I was at my grandparents. Went there yesterday straight from work and stayed the night. I went to bed insanely early, I started reading at around 21:00 and stopped at 22:15 and started sleeping. What’s wrong with me? I did get up at 1:00 peppy as a poodle and then woke up every once in a while until I got enough of it and got up at 8:40.

My grandma and I went to some museums, for example the birth home of Jean Sibelius where there was a very eager and friendly guide. We were there before opening and also we were the only ones so he told some stories and things while we walked through the vast space of 4 rooms :) We got to request music at the beginning of our tour as “there is always music playing here”. After that we went to the art museum to see some Vietnamese art. I had a gift certificate to spend from Xmas and I found a pair of trousers. I also bought Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress even though I don’t know what it’s like. At least I’ll have some paperback to read that I haven’t read before. Besides, it’s computer stuff, it has to be good.

I spilled the beans about my secret to grandma but she promised she won’t tell anyone. As I’ve said, I’m very bad at keeping my own secrets.