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YABBQ

Yet another BBQ:

We've got al_fruitbat and _alanna visiting, and it looks like it will be another glorious day.

Thus, we're going to have another BBQ/picnic today at our place for lunch, from midday onwards.
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Further update to the party

Don't panic, I'm not moving the date again. :)

But I am extending the time: as well as the main party from 8pm on Saturday 2nd April, I should be in during the afternoon (from 2pm) for socialising, games and a bbq if the weather is up to it.
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Moving the party

Given a scheduling clash (thanks for pointing that out Chris), I'm moving the date of my birthday party to:

Sat 2nd April 2011 8pm

Come along, be merry, etc. etc.

Sorry for any confusion.
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The horror of being cut off from the internet

Though actually I'm not, as I can post this from my phone...

Our Virgin Media broadband is down again, so if I or glittertigger don't respond to email that is probably why.

The VM internet service is great when it works; on Friday I was getting a real over 5 megabytes a second download from steam.

Sadly my experience is that it often doesn't. We've got a tech coming out on Monday for the second repair we've needed in 6 months, and the service has been flakey throughout. We had similar problems in the last place we lived as well.
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Game Balance

I've recently been playing indie puzzle game SpaceChem. This has been getting favourable reviews, and indeed is a genius piece of design.

However, I'm not sure I could rate it as highly, or indeed generally recommend it. This is because they've made the same mistake bateleur and I made years ago trying to publish a puzzle game on the Amiga: it's way way too hard.

This is great if you like a really challenging puzzle game, but will leave most people baffled and frustrated. I've enjoyed it, but it may well have limited appeal.
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Cyclist with a deathwish

Having been a cyclist in the past, I'm generally sympathetic to cyclists braving the streets of Oxford. However, I've now seen what ranks as the utmost stupidity from a cyclist:

This cyclist was riding at night on poorly lit streets. With a passenger perched precariously on the back. With both of them in black clothes. With no lights or reflectors. Carrying a full carrier bag in one hand. With frost on the ground. Down a steep hill.

Oh and (unsurprisingly) they were wobbling a bit.
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My poor credit card

I have a reputation for buying ridiculous amounts of tech. Normally I'd try to refute this, given that I try to buy tech that lasts for a while so I don't replace things that rapidly.

However, today I had a rather expensive trip to Currys looking for a replacement small TV (our small living one failed yesterday). I ended up buying two televisions in one day, after they made me an offer I couldn't refuse on a big TV as well.

Sadly, this big TV (52HX903 for those curious) is on back order, so I hope they will be able to supply it.
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Moving stuff

We've spent the weekend moving huge amounts of stuff to the new house. Many thanks to those who helped with this.

One of the things we did was replace the old washing machine that the previous owners left with our newer (and less broken) one.

We left the old one in the front garden while we worked out how to dispose of it (it was sufficiently heavy to be a little tricky to take to the tip even with the van).

Slightly to our surprise, during one of our trips back to the old house, someone took it from our front garden. This was amazingly convenient, but rather disconcerting.
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Moving house

As many of you know, we're in the process of moving house.

Sadly, I've been a bit snowed under with this, which is partly why I've not yet posted any photos. We've got much of the decorating of the new place done (though sadly we are still missing carpets in a couple of bedrooms), and are now gradually moving our copious quantities of stuff.

Our main move is going to be this weekend (18th and 19th) when we've hired a van. If anyone is around in Oxford this weekend, help for an hour or two would be greatly appreciated, as there are a few things I can't lift by myself, and Kathy is still not quite up to heavy lifting. In return we offer undying gratitude and/or food and wine.
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Shiiiny

Posted from my new shiny toy: a MacBook Pro 13in. My old PowerBook G4 died last year, and I've finally got around to getting a replacement.