And he was right. Though about 225 years or so before today; something like that.

Can’t say that I’m really ready to spill my guts as yet as to the reason behind my last post. What I am willing to share is that I feel that my holiday hasn’t been relaxing, not with all this stress though it hasn’t affected my sleep as the bags under my eyes have gone and I look…well, more like thirty than forty. Unlike previous holidays, I am not particularly anxious about going back to work as I’ve come up with something of an ambition (I did write plan but a plan has steps and a timeline whereas all I have is the mission statement).

Wednesday/Thursday is the pivotal date; pretty much everything hinges on those days. If all goes well then I can begin to move forward. Oh the rest of the month will be pretty busy bordering on intense but I’m confident things will proceed with a gathering momentum. And when the calendar turns to September, something akin to normalisation should resume. And the weather shall turn, the nights begin to noticeably draw in (and the bloody Sycamore trees shed their loads) but with fewer opportunities for sun seeking, friends will be available once again for…stuff.

I have to thank the makers of Civ V, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Mario & Luigi Dream Team from keeping me from going totally over the edge this past month. If not for video game distractions and occupations, I dunno where I’d be. I have to say that I’ve managed to log about 100 hours of Civ V time (though some of that is leaving the PC idle in the background) in the past couple of weeks and played approximately a game a day. And Return to Castle Wolfenstein has finally been completed after I started the campaign again and spent a great deal of time cursing the whole final boss battle (and those frickin’ ghosts). For Steam players, I recommend downloading a copy – it’s cheap, it’s involving and it’s not too bad.

Forbidden Planet has copies of Risk Legacy in stock. For reasons I can’t go into, I haven’t purchased a copy but after 31st August – it’s MINE.

Here’s some food for thought: volunteering versus being asked. I’m the sort of person who prefers to be asked for assistance rather than volunteering. Not that I particularly mind very much lending a hand most of the time but I’d rather someone say “Joe, can you please help me with…” rather than expect assistance. It’s difficult to realise or explain why this is so, it’s just fact. I guess it’s easier to deal with simple fact – someone needs help, I offer it. There are no ambiguities, no vagaries or other variables in play. Yeah, I know that some people have difficulty asking for help as they don’t like to impose or don’t want to show any sort of weakness by requesting assistance with something but it’s not that hard, really.

I had a brief chat about this at work with a manager who said I wasn’t the sort of person to volunteer but I countered with the riposte that I never turn away a request for help unless I really, really can’t offer assistance. Though I did add that our office environment is increasingly hostile and it’s difficult to undertake activities outside our core functions without compromise which was acknowledged. Is this a selfish attitude, managing expectations in this way? Dunno – haven’t considered and meditated on the arguments particularly hard though it’s a question that is definitely mutable.

There are two weeks until I have to go back to the office. I haven’t done anything with my time off of any note though we did come third overall in the Griffin Quiz season which I’m quite pleased over. Considering the prizes that first and second place won, I’m happy with our go-karting experience. That’s exactly the sort of prize I like. The team is mulling over an October date, probably a Sunday to participate. I have things happening in the coming two weeks but again that’s not for discussion at the moment. What I do want to do though is finish Mario and Luigi (32 hours and only 2/3 through the game – can’t say you don’t get vfm) and make a start on New Super Mario Bros 2.

I’ve also been catching up on my reading or should I say re-reading (hey, if I own the book, I should read it more than once, right?). I buy a book from iBooks, read it and pull the paperback or hardback from my shelves. There’s another shelf emptied and I’m almost finished re-reading Revan. With the Star Wars books – it’s too bad that Lucas Publishing, Bantam Books and Apple can’t some to some sort of deal with the English language novels as there are a number of those in my bookcase and won’t be able to replace them with electronic versions for some time. Still, I’ll be able to get into the Harry Turtledove books (Great War saga, World War saga, Days of Infamy and a few standalones). The only criteria at the moment for reading is that I own the hardback so I can free up more space on the bookcases. I might in the next few days, undertake another mini-purge on the books I definitely don’t want to be getting an electronic version of. There are a number of dated joke books and other comedy pieces (things like “The Timewasters Letters”) which are given as gifts when you don’t know what to get the person but after they’re flicked through briefly, they sit on the shelves gathering dust.

My one problem is that I really want my unwanted items to go to someone else rather than the dustbin which is why it’s so hard not to just get rid of them. Yeah, I could put them on freecycle and watch people turn up to collect them but I’d get really pissed if I saw an item I know I got rid of suddenly appear on eBay. Still – there are four large boxes behind me full of Star Wars junk that I just cannot keep any more. It has to go but I don’t know where or to whom. And it’s not as if I have any nephews or nieces (well, of age as I do have a nephew-in-law) to spoil.