Some random thoughts: 

  1. Great busy music – The Mutara Nebula Battle from Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan.  It has a good tempo and timed right is about right to complete any short task.  The Genesis Countdown from the same film is also nicely paced but a little slower for those less frantic chores.


  1. Supreme irony at the tube this morning – bunch of people wearing Superdry clothing utterly soaked by today’s downpour.


  1. Why do people _wear_ Superdry?  The clothes AFAIK are exactly the same as A&F & Hollister and every other piece of overpriced crap on the market? 


  1. Do cats prefer to kill their prey or just toy with them?  And why do the damn things go limp when caught?  Playing possum just doesn’t work with felines.


  1. Lentils are such underrated foodstuffs.  Why did my mother never introduce me to them properly as a child?  Lentil soup, lentil curry, lentil Moussaka – all fantastic.


  1. Why do I have a packet of German mustard on my desk?  I know I brought it back from Zeitgeist but why on earth did I take it out of the pub with me?


Much of the weekend was spent at home; Saturday was the usual “clean the house up” with some good old fashioned home cooking thrown in to boot.  Most blessedly, the place was all mine the entire weekend with only the cats though I quickly kicked them out into the rain as they kept wanting to go out so why deny them that privilege.  I did want to go out on Sunday but the damned rain started early on in the day around lunchtime and I just couldn’t face traipsing around in the wet weather. So the day was spent behind closed doors with my own insane brain for company.  I even treated myself to a fry up (well, it was more a “grill-up”) with Cauldron sausages and the like. 

Looking ahead to this coming week, the big event is the Age of Mythology night on Thursday.  Pizza at the Griffin with Paul, Darren and whomever else wishes to tag along.  I still haven’t tracked down the expansion pack to the damn game so we might be limited to four (or teams of up to four).  Even Axis and Allies is similarly limited to five players.  I’ve also put together the next Lambda social event for mid October. 

Lengthy Civ V alert… you may want to switch off now. 


I finished off my Maria Theresa game on Civ V on Saturday (diplomatic victory) and started one as the Aztecs (the Steam achievement Gardens of Lake Texcoco remained tormenting me).  I played an Earth map and started off in the annoying position in South America – for those unfamiliar with the game, South America is cut off from the north at least initially by mountain ranges so you have to make a beeline for the Optics technology so that your troops can traverse water.  Also, both the city states of Warsaw and Budapest (both lousy Culture cities) were occupying the prime South American positions in the north so I had to wait quite some time to slap cities in Central America and what we know as California.  Furthermore, it took a while to get these cities up and running properly as to be self-sufficient whilst the English Empire (based out of what’d I probably say was Colorado) sabre-rattled constantly.  

As I was making money hand over fist (despite its lousy location, South America does often have a tonne of luxury resources to exploit like sugar, spices and dyes), I could spit out Settlers like there was no tomorrow by buying them and sent them to colonise the entire Pacific rim – cities in places like the US East Coast, Alaska, Kamchatka, Japan, the Phillippines, Borneo, Australia, New Zealand, the Solomon Islands, Hawaii.  When I looked at the map, it struck me that I’d re-created the Ring of Fire with cities.  Damn good thing that there are no natural disasters in Civ V; one Tsunami or meteor impact in the Pacific and I’d have been screwed.  Though every one of my cities was a coastal one so naturally I had to make for the Commerce Social Policy Track for all the goodies. 

Eventually the English penchant for stealing my technologies got on my nerves so I declared war and eliminated their empire from the game putting me in firm control of North America (excepting Colombo & Cahoika) so then I sent over a settler over to the British Isles to keep an eye on Austria and convert their Buddhist followers to Tengriism/Nauhatl). Meanwhile Denmark had carved an empire out of China, Indochina and Siberia which would make Genghis Khan jealous, the Turks were bottled up in India whilst the Germans and Huns shared Africa peaceably.   

Hunger forced me to finish the game early and rather than ship all my forces overseas to say Austria (they hated me the most) and crush them, I opted for a Cultural Victory as soon as the Utopia project became available to build.  Lessons learned though – you can to some extent involve yourself in Empire building based on the ICS strategy (where you plonk as many cities on the map as possible) though you have to be prepared to build up your forces as enemies will get jealous and start hassling you.  Though being isolated in the initial stages of the game did help as I missed out on the early game conflicts until my Triremes reached the Danish by sailing around the Pacific who were locked into a hard struggle with Ethiopia and subsequently removed them from the game. 

Need to take a break from Civ for a while though, I’ve decided to complete Donkey Kong 64 as to my shame, I never did beat King K.Rool in the final battle.  Having said that, I see on Civfanatics this morning that a new patch is due with a great number of balance fixes and tweaks in the offing, particularly the irritating “let’s zoom all over the map at the start of your turn” annoyance.