und Scheiße. 

That vaguely describes my Tuesday.  I suspect the Doctor of working, of foolishly deciding to take on extra shifts.  This could be wrong and the stupid sod could be in a coma for all I know but as the amount of information I possess is akin to my gen on the Iranian nuclear programme, I find it comforting to make up scenarios in my head.  Sufficed to say, as I assumed I wasn’t going to have to cook this year, I didn’t get anything in either.  My Xmas day lunch was Saturday’s leftovers (there was enough food in for four) and that evening I made Quorn Chicken Fajitas. 

So that was the first piece of bad news.  The second piece was that my boiler decided to die AGAIN.  It’s not the same old “hot water will only come on when the radiators are on” line – this is an entirely new problem.  And highly irritating as the damn thing was inspected about a month ago.  I initially suspected the rain being the culprit, somehow getting in to the external flue but it should have dried out at some point and allowed the wretched pilot light to ignite. 

You can heat a room with a bunch of tea-lights and several electrical appliances pumping out a great deal of waste heat (this is why you need a plasma screen TV rather than a lame LCD) but having no hot water for dishes or bathing really sucks ass.  Fingers crossed, the problem will be resolved today but if not, I’m going to have to brave the showers at work. 

So that’s the vent part of the blog out of the way – now the other random stuff. 

The only time I eat Galaxy Minstrels are when I go bowling as there’s usually a candy/gumball machine stuffed full of them.  However, large share bags were on sale in Tesco on Sunday so I decided to buy myself a bag (not least as I was sorely missing the large bag of Riesen sweets purchased in Berlin).  Wished I hadn’t – the damn things took five seconds to finish off.  Actually, I seem to have rather a large amount of chocolate for Xmas.  People have officially given up trying to find something I might want and settled.  Except for Stephen; he must have plumbed the depths of the interweb for Cybill Season 2. 

Had something of a moment of madness the other day on Age of Empires – screamed at the laptop quite…vocally.  I’m level 37 and the computer naturally has to pitch opponents at my level.  However, the waves of attackers were a constant stream and the dumb AI of my troops meant that they never held formation and several stragglers kept getting picked off by archers.  And if you order your troops to “hold ground”, they won’t rush off to attack but will cheerily stand there and die under a rain of arrows.  Irritating.  A second moment of madness was had when I went and expanded my empire vault by 4 blocks and then I decided to buy another 2500 Empire points so that I could just unlock the damn Persians and clear some space in my Celtic Warehouses.  Also treated myself to Monkey Island 1 & 2 on Steam as they were in the sale. 

The time off has been good for me to catch up with Paper Mario – just finished off World 4 and am a good way through World 5.  Stumbled across the second page of shop items quite by accident, it’s not as if these things are clearly marked.  Note to people playing Paper Mario: Sticker Star – if you haven’t resorted to Game Guides, there are second pages of tems in the shops, the rarer and more expensive items, stuff that’s shop exclusive (like Raccoon Tails) for the Sticker Museum.  I assume buying this crap gets you to the 10,000 coin spend award more quickly.  Ceajay said that reviews stated the game was fairly easy.  It’s certainly a lot simpler to pick the game up compared with other titles in the series but there are a few challenges worthy of time, attention (and price). 

Still, the good news has to of course be the fact that Xmas is now out of the way and as soon as the abomination that is New Year’s Eve has gone, I can really start putting together the old Birthday Bash.  There are a bunch of birthdays in January, a couple in February and of course a potential trip to Hamburg and another one to Brussels!  I think the first quarter will be pretty hectic but more relaxed than the last quarter.  I really hope Hamburg goes ahead as I want to stock up on more German themed stuff. 

Work has been even more sedate than it was on Monday (except Duncan bellowing down the corridor).  The only task on the “to-do” list is to march over to both Sainsbury’s and Tesco to buy reduced chocolate, biscuits, cake etc.  The Xmas decorations around here look pretty depressing but that’s because only one team have actually made any sort of effort and the decs are hung rather lazily.  The bombsite nature of the office doesn’t help – why people insist on keeping ten year old reports on their desk has always been a mystery, especially as they’re never referred to on any sort of basis. 

Right, that’s enough from me for now.  I have a bad mood to shake off before I get sinus zits or something equally unpleasant.  That said, the Centaur Spice I had last night really helped.