I was accused (not for the first time, definitely not the last) of being too negative at work yesterday. My response – when people stop doing stupid things with weak, vacillating decision making processes in play, then perhaps I might just let up rather than pour scorn. But as people follow the path of least resistance, as well as generally being apathetic, I have to make enough noise for ten just to ensure that objections to ill-considered decisions are properly logged. My beef this time: micro-management and the general high-levels of control freaks employed by the organisation. Gets people stressed, work is quickly bottle-necked and outputs go awry. But the solution proffered is to…nope, I’m going to put the lid back on the jar. Get back in the bottle, genie. 

I mean Hullo readers.

It’s October therefore autumn is here – at least in this hemisphere. There are clear skies and the promise of the next 60 hours without work. All in all, these are good times for Cardassia, and the Dominion. Or was that a bit too Gul Dukat?

On Friday as part of Inclusion Week, there was a de-stress session one afternoon where colleagues were invited to play board games. Friday is deadsville around here – people taking days off, working from home etc so the office is nowhere near full capacity but still, a respectable number of people turned out to play a few games. I brought in Avalon and taught it to a bunch of people and they all really enjoyed it. We played three games and there’s talk of doing that and other games on a regular basis. Am somewhat sceptical whether this will come off but I choose to remain a little optimistic. Albeit with the usual caution, caveats etc.

Post-pay day weekend: yeah, was really not in the mood to cook so ordered Mexican food from hungryhouse. I was handed off the wrong order and it took a while to resolve but that was all sorted out nicely and I’m pleased to say it was so filling, I could only manage half of it (the Quesadillas) leaving the child-sized burrito for lunch the next day. Totally worth it – Big Mama’s Burrito’s in Battersea.

I went out to Finchley to Games Quest on Saturday (after the aforementioned burrito) to see what was new, hip and happening – or at least as these things go. Bought one new card game (Twilight Squabble which is a 15 minute version of the bigger game), a mini-expansion for Boss Monster (the one with the aliens), a copy of Resistance (inspired by the Avalon example above) and some card protectors which ran out pretty damn quickly as I protected cards for Bang!, Archer Love Letter and Batman Love Letter. Just a word on Card Protectors – make sure you take an example of the cards you wish to protect otherwise you might end up a bit screwed. My goal was to try and protect my 7 Wonders Cards but the sleeves were too small. Fortunately, Bang! was the right size (and I was only able to protect the characters, role and help cards, not the ones you actually play with.

Post board game shop, I had a coffee in Costa where I spent thirty minutes waiting for my iPad to make a move on Twilight Struggle, didn’t have the wherewithal to stay out (i.e. visit Orc’s Nest & FP) so went home. Just as I exited Oval station, the massive, nasty downpour that blighted London for two hours began. Was thoroughly soaked by the time I made it through the front door. So spent the rest of the evening feeling slightly damp.

Clearly, I must have been desperate for something to do on Sunday as I washed the sofa covers. The flat was covered in feathers as one of the cushions has/had split (cheap Ikea furniture) and days later, the damn things still keep popping up, just when you think you’ve nabbed the last one. I managed to con (beg) Dr Do(o)m into a game of Twilight Struggle – I won, principally as he forgot that scorecards can be played in the headline round. Which wasn’t really fair but they should really make a more comprehensive cheat sheet.

The latest GTA Online addition has been released as of Tuesday which allows players to form their own motorcycle gangs. In summary, motorcycle gangs work kinda like Corporations but with bikes, up to 8 players in a chapter and the ability to run your own enterprises across Los Santos and Blaine County. And I’m pleased to say that this is in line with a suggestion that I made to Rockstar about a month ago (see earlier blog entry). I’m sure they’ve had similar suggestions and were probably working on it already but I said roughly that I would like to see Corporation missions extend the entirety of the map and perhaps one way around having to do missions where the player was forced to drive/fly/said 10km was to have smaller businesses like drug labs in Blaine County/Paleto Bay where these things could be assembled before being brought to the city. And behold, that’s pretty much what’s in the Bikers Expansion. Whether or not my suggestion was read/heeded, I’m happy to have (possibly) been a tiny part of what looks to be an interesting twist on the online experience. Only issue is that I’ve spent almost the entirety of my online bank balance on setting up my Biker Chapter (I ripped off Robocop and called my gang the “Splatterpunks”, buying in some bikes and suitable attire so more grinding is needed to generate cash.

To Scott and Joey’s on Monday for some last minute gaming action. I was on the way to Zeitgeist as I had one of those rare days where I could not go on with my evening without a beer and a pretzel, though it was only the former that was required. Received the invite, downed a Köstritzer quickly and headed off to Clapham Junction. We played the space alien game which involves hunting humans, a couple games of Secret Hitler and a round of Room 25 which I was a guard and messed up madly. Met some new gamers which is always nice and when I got home, I was so tired I passed out as soon as I hit the bed.

The latest season of the Griffin Quiz finished on Tuesday. We will not know how we did until the next week as points need to be tallied up properly. Would have won the damn quiz too if it wasn’t for our 3 point deduction. Not that I need another half box of San Miguel or Bulmer’s. Pub was utterly rammed with folk and I finally told Andy to buy a book on successful pronunciations. Because he stumbles over English, let alone when questions have words in French, German or Latin.

And looking ahead to the rest of the week/weekend: should be quiet times. Wednesday’s session has been moved to Thursday (today) and Griffin Games on Sunday. I knew few Librans/Scorpios so only one birthday and that’s Dr Do(o)m this month. No other activities planned save for the Quiz prize lunch at the London Steakhouse in Chelsea in a couple of weeks’ time. Probably for the best, I suspect everyone is quietly building up funds for the last week of December.

And finally, there’s been a fair amount of mirth all round at the latest Think! campaign on safer cycling in London. Y’see, cyclists are being encouraged not to cycle on the left-hand side of lorries as quite often that’s in the middle of the blind-spot, leading to accidents, fatalities etc. But being the militant sort, several cyclists have taken to social meeja in order to protest this high-handed approach by the government. How dare cyclists be told what to do. How dare people try and gently persuade others that their lives are not worth throwing away in traffic accidents which are preventable. You may be interested to learn that there’s even a petition online to sack the current Minister responsible for this heinous campaign. I think the number of signatures is still in single figures…