Wednesday, 23 September 2009


Well, 3 months have slipped by without any updates to this blog (summer weather has been glorious), but two important milestones in our US integration were hit in the last week:

  1. I passed my WA driver's test and got a WA state Driver's license. Embarrassing really, that it took me so long...
  2. More importantly, we found a good curry house in the vicinity. Not that I had any doubt they were there, but having a sitter for an evening meant we could actually go out and follow a recommendation!

Next up - to mix metaphors - is to jump aboard the property bandwagon and start clambering!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Half Life 2 revisited!

HL2 - by far the best video game I ever played, is sadly windoze-only and so has languished on a shelf during my last few years of mac-dom... Until now!

Enter Codeweavers' Crossover Game, a specialized adaptation of Wine for the Mac, specialized for gaming, that is. In almost no time I had Steam installed, my Steam account recovered and my paid-for-years-ago copy of HL2 freshly downloaded and ready to run. I will admit it took a bit of tinkering to get things running - mostly because HL2 support is broken in the latest (7.2.1) build so I regressed to 7.1.1 - but now HL2 runs like clockwork and the game is just as brilliant this time around.

Of course this also opens a whole vista (pardon the irony) of old games which I can play again. My 8-core Mac Pro is more than capable of handling a little windows emulation and still running such games fluidly at a nice rez and gfx setting - so long as said games are supported by Crossover. But HL2 is The Daddy, and any other old games I get working are just icing on the cake.

Now, where did I put that crowbar...

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Come on Apple...

I'm still making do with my jailbroken, pay-as-you-go first generation iPhone. I'm missing having data access at certain times (turned Edge off 'cos it devours my credit), and I could do with some extra storage space for media and apps. Recently my credit silently expired, and the phone just stopped working without any errors or warnings - my texts would appear to get sent but just vanished into the void, and of course I never recieved anything. Stupid AT&T.

Of course, I probably could get a legit 3G model now without the silly penalties, but I'm quietly hopeful that Apple will be releasing an upgraded model quite soon so I'm holding off for the time being...

On the subject of iPhones, check out Galcon - it's the best casual game I've seen - galactic 'Risk' in 90 seconds!

Update: Of course the mighty Apple delivered at WWDC and then some. Upgraded processing core, 32GB, 3Mp camera, magnetometer (I'll find a use for it!) and of course iPhone OS 3.0. Mine is already on order...

2 months fly by!

A fair bit has happened, nothing spectacular, just stuff. Life is good. Weather here has been great so we've been out and about at weekends a fair bit. Lets see...

  • actually reached completion on our UK house sale, money is now banked for the time being...

  • bought a car - insurance here seems horrendously expensive but the freedom it provides is worth it

  • as predicted, I'm finding US TV terrible. I'm playing a lot for HD cable, which is awesome but there's never anything worth watching on...

  • finally suffering my first on-call rotation for my current team... been paged 9 times so far this week including today - thankfully all during the day

  • I've even taken to drinking the local beer on a more regular basis - currenty it's Henry Weinhard's. (Ed would be proud!)

We're recently back from a week vacationing in the Sequim area of the Olympic Peninsula, which was great - very relaxing, lots to see and do, beautiful scenery, not many people, and Nathan loved it. Pics in my Flickr pages (Sequim, Diamond Point and Hurricane Ridge).

Friday, 17 April 2009

Not getting tired of that view

out across Lake Washington on my daily commute. Here's a pic of a part of the bridge that crosses the Lake:


There are better views but I didn't take pics of them yet!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

It will be six weeks

on Friday, since we arrived in the US, and coincidentally that matches the longest single term I've ever spent outside of the UK in my whole life! Sad eh?

Overall the omens are good and point to a much, much longer term of residence. Who knows, we might never go back!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Watched the Watchmen!

Went to see this flick last night and came away thoroughly impressed. It's everything I expected, and while it might not make everyone's 'top 10 movies' lists, it is a superb and sympathetic celluloid rendering of the graphic novel, a medium-paced thriller with a flawless cast and no wasted screen space. It certainly didn't feel the length of its posted time (2.43), unlike The Dark Knight, but was it as good? Maybe not...

Talking of 'watching', our living room furnishings currently consist of two lawn chairs and a big TV set, and while that might seem like enough, I am glad to report that our two new sofas should be arriving Friday.