Monday, 27 September 2010

picking up where we left off

Harvey is in the dog house...we've barely spoken to him all day, and he knows he's cocked up somehow...but not quite sure how.

We've changed all the house locks, and Bina was able to get the car ignition system won't stop anyone getting into the car with the key but it will stop them driving off. The garage also very kindly put in a new stereo system to replace the nicked one (well they nicked the facia which was removed from the car and brought in) for almost nothing..

All told forked out about 320euro's to get things back to normal.

twats...and I lost my Ipod with all my lovley music and stuff, had to spend the morning changing all my passwords which were probably on the pod too, at least all the mail's were.

We're safe and secure now though, the whole thing happened becuase we were careless with locking up. That won't ever happen again.

As for Harvey...I'm giving serious thought to replacing him with an attack hamster, which will probably be more effective. Stupid dog barks at leaves flying past the windows, when friends come to the door, even if we come to the door...can't believe he didn't react this time. Annoyingly I heard the door open, but dismissed it as probably the neighbours since a certain mutt was not barking his head off.

oh well...lesson learned, move on.

I was going to blog about the great sunday dinner I cooked yesterday as a thank you to those who had helped us move in and settle, plus a few hangers on ;). The meal was awesome, I was really pleased everyone enjoyed it and as usual there were lots of suprised faces when such nice dishes were served up and tasted as good as they looked. I havn't felt like cooking in a long time so it was nice to do that, and not have any major cock ups...apart from the whipping cream splitting, when I was making they had clotted cream raspbery shortbreads instead.
I had to improvise a bit though on a trip to the supermarket but never the less I made

Goats cheese brie and caramalised red onion with basil in a crisp smoked ham case with a puff pastry cheese parcel top, on a bed of creamed leeks and a side of butter tossed Chantrelle mushrooms

Slow Roasted Leg(s) of overnight marinated lamb (lemon, thyme, rosemary,sage) , with roast herb potatoes, boiled potatoes, home made rich yorkshire puds and roasted pumpkin and carrots served with stock/dressing made gravy.

Shortbread biscuit base with crunchy whipped cream (add crushed biscuits before serving), topped with fresh raspberrys and clotted cream, drizzeled with reduced Raspberry syrup (seeds in).

For 8 people and it all went smoothly, only thing I didnt make myself was the puff pastry, I always buy ready made squares and the biscuits for the crunchy cream.

I wasn't totally happy with the starter, the ham which was used to line individual cake holes in a 6 hole tin as if it was pastry, crisped up nicely in the tin ok but it stuck fast during cooking. So I had to prise it out with a spoon which made it lose its shape a bit, but I managed to disguise that on the creamed leek base...
Next time..grease the tin. Oh and the puff didn't rise as much as I wanted (maybe I should make my own), but everyone loved it...and while they were eating it I was able to get my yorshire puds on, which were fantastic and puffed right up.

The clotted, rather than whipped cream was actually a fantastic accident, I'll have to see if I can do that every time (basically I let the cream get warm before I whipped it)

Was a really great meal and a really great day with friends.


But he always barks!!!

Our little dog Harvey goes nuts when anyone comes to the door or window.

Every time!

Except last night when we had burglers, it seems he slept right through that...

Dammit, our little idyl has been tarnished a little by some local scrots. Our fault....well mine really, I didn't check the door/gate was locked before bed and they just came in and helped themselves to a few disposable items..Ipods, phones, car radio facia,old video camera, DS, maybe a couple of other thing's we'll discover as we go.

They also took a small tub we keep our keys in, so now we have to go and change the car and house locks as soon as possible. That will be more costly than the items pocketed.

Annoyingly I heard the door opening last night, after 3....thought that was odd...but ignored it becuase Harvey didn't bark.



Thursday, 23 September 2010

Back to the UK....

Got an ok from the boss to have my 1st ever oversea's conference...shame its in the UK, I was hoping for Vegas, or Toyko, but instead I am going to be in Liverpool of all places :D in November :(

Its all part of a presentation and conference thats happening for 2 days with our Sony Education program, as we're one of the 1st members we get to go and show off anything we've done by then. After that, there's a bit of good old fashioned geek fest game confence, Develop Liverpool, where I am sure I'll bump into a lot of old friends and collegues, propping up the bar's I am sure.

I might also get a chance to pop to Lyon for a couple of days also in November for Game Connection...not quite so geeky but a good chance to shmooze and increase our visibility in the industry...oh if you think industry geeks can really should see how industry bosses handle a bar..its a sight to behold.

Quite like the idea of jetsetting around again even if its only Europe.


Friday, 17 September 2010

Pig in Shit

My little corner of the attic playroom


Personality tests...

I had to take a personality test today as part of a course I am doing....what a load of balls... here's part of it.

Note especially the anchor thing...I mean...seriously..I am a games coder, I do boring repetitive task as a matter of course and have so far worked on nearly 70 projects in my professional career to completion...Thats my job, something I take seriously and am well known for my ability to see things through.

Makes you wonder really, if it can get such a basic aspect of my personality so fundamentally and demonstrably wrong, how can you take any of the other assessments of my personality as accurate.. It also suggests I am not a risk taker because I have no entrepreneurial aspirations...It fails to take into account that I have had a successful business in the past and have already been there done than and frankly lost interest in it, also having cancer makes life a little more focused on the important things..

We all like to read nice things about ourselves, and its a fact most people will recognise faults in themselves if someone points it out, whether its true or not...but the idea that an on-line test could "accurately" provide some kind of insight into the kind of person you are is nonsense..

In this case, the test was part of an education course to provide some kind of self reflection, I don't know exactly how its going to be used to forward the course but I am going to point how just how demonstrably flawed it is when it is discussed.

But there are companies who make serious hiring decisions based on things like this....I honestly think you'd be better off examining the entrails of a goat than looking at rubbish like this.


Sunday, 12 September 2010

Normality is cool

Had an awsome and busy week at work with the students, no tiredness or speech issues got in the way, and it was great to be back at it after 4 months. I know my bosses were a teeny bit worried I had come back too soon but those fears were soon dispelled.

As the summer finally draws to a close we need to try now to arrange for our housewarming party before autumn really kicks in, ideally including a BBQ, though looking out the window at the rain, that may be less possible than I'd like, but booze and party nibbles followed by some poker should be quite possible.

Been out a few times with our new collegues, some eating and drinking has been getting done to help them find their way around and all seem to be enjoying Breda's delights.

Home wise, Bina and I had a bit of a snit at the start of the week, which resulted in a couple of days sulking,...ah well. Sorted in the end....(she was wrong of course ;) )

Got to do a bit more tidying up upstairs, I now have an almost complete recording studio up there, kinda bizzare given the fact I can barely play and certainly can't sing or rap, but its all good fun, so long as I don't expose my efforts to any poor unsuspecting listners..I tend to mess about when everyone is out. I'm going to put my guitars up on the wall after the work is done to make a bit more space up there.

We have still not heard back from our builder about the boxing off of the door area in the attic which will make it a bit more sound proof. Seems he's busy on a current job for a collegue and dealing with a new baby. I will need to chase him.


Sunday, 5 September 2010

Loving my Ipad, but hating Itunes

People go on and on about how much they hate Itunes...personally its never bothered me in the slightest. Fire it up, buy stuff or import a CD and there you go...runs on your ipod/iphone as expected.

Then I bought an Ipad...which I have to say is a fantastically geeky gadget that I am going to really enjoy doing some coding on when my PSP thing is finished.

Because I bought it in HollandI set it up with my address and credit card details for the app store and itunes...and was all ready to get started when it refused to let me install any apps complaining my card details and post code were invalid..??
Oh ok a bit of investigation later showed I still had the territory set to UK and was therefore expecting a UK postcode and card.

Ok so into the settings, chance the location to NL and voila...everything goes in fine...except of course now I only have access to the Dutch Itunes store in Dutch..

NOTE to in a location does not automatically mean you speak the language!!!!!


Saturday, 4 September 2010

slightly less rich, cos I'm stupid

I paid for my dark fire with a paypal transfer..pretty standard way to do business on ebay of course, but I didn't realise that when doing certain types of transfers which result in lower can't use the credit card.

So...I accidently dented my bank account rather than my planned credit card/pay over a few months. I believe the correct term for this is...doh!!

So in some ways it was just as well I got that bonus this month or I'd have been paying for lunch with the credit card due to lack of cash.

The Dark Fire has arrived at mums though and even she was impressed when the chap opened it up to show her...this is a women who when shown my Gibosn Lucille, said it was very nice...very nice...the sexiest thing ever made with wood and strings by mans hands...very nice!!! So she is hard to please, but thought the DF was top class. Am sure Bina will think the same?

Still need to shift the Explorer though, I have a few people interested, just have to work out some kind of payment plan.

Its been a good week at work, I'm not quite properly organised yet, but I am almost on top of things. The paperwork before classes is a pain but nearly there now..just got to polish up my slides and read a bit of reference material and I'm good to go.

2 weeks in and classes start on Monday, I can't wait I am really excited to meet all the new 1st years, and be reunited with my new 3rd years as we start doing console coding in our new secure console room..going to be a busy but fun week.


Wednesday, 1 September 2010

I'm still rich

It wasn't a mistake, it was a bonus for having an outstanding evaluation this last year, which I am totally overwhelmed by. I knew my evaluation was good and that my managers were happy with my work, but I did not know it came with a cash bonus.

I love this place....I love this job, and it seems people are loving the way I do awesomely cool is this? In all my years working in the Games Industry it was a never ending struggle for recognition and cash, and when I finally decide to backout of it, I get both...damn I wish I'd come here 10 years ago.

Better not tell Bina, she'll be wanting to spend it on a holiday or something....oops.