Sunday 29 January 2012

Big Garden Birdwatch 2012

Wood PigeonMagpieCrowIn flightLandedTwo for joy
Winter birdFlight of the blue-titBring the family

Birdwatch 12, a set on Flickr.

I spent an hour this afternoon observing our bird-life for the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch. Even the fresh food didn't encourage many visitors in the cold weather. 

Even Casper Kitten-cat declined to join the watch due to lack of activity.

I managed about a half dozen birds - maybe we'll do better next year.

The return of Ezio

So, yesterday I finally managed to finish the last sequence in the story of 'Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood' - I obviously just need a break to get my timing back.

I'd already fallen asleep earlier whilst playing Skyrim and the effects of a busy week were still catching up with me so I decided to hold of on 'Assasin's Creed: Revelations' until I'd fully appreciate it.

That was this afternoon. Desmond is back in the Animus and he's there with a ghostly Altair (although I don't doubt a more corporeal Altair will turn up later) and a rather older Ezio. Yes, the youthful, charismatic Ezio is gone. A much older and slightly dourer Ezio has taken his place. Now we've moved to Istanbul/Constantinople and Ezio has learned some cool new tricks. 

So far I've managed four memory sequences, two 100% synchs; two 50% synchs and only one de-synchronization. I haven't even had to swear at Ezio yet!

The graphics are even more beautifully rendered than ever... although if you've just come from 'Brotherhood' you'll find that some of the controls have moved about a bit.

Looking good though. Can't wait to get really stuck in again next weekend.

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Internet Blackout

In a protest against perceived internet censorship - legislation proposed in the US by the House of Representatives - Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate's Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA); a number of websites have changed their usual look. I haven't found it widely participated. Whilst #Wikipedia and 'Imagine a world without free knowledge' are currently trending topics on Twitter which otherwise seems to be operating as usual. Similarly I noticed nothing unusual at Facebook. 

Google's homepage has a very understated message.

Wikipedia has gone dark (English language version only).
Finally also has a prominent message.

There may be other sites participating that I haven't happened to visit today... but the major players don't seem to be joining in. The exercise has achieved what it set out to do, however, and raised public awareness, not just in the US but globally, of the proposed legislation. 

If you want to know more about the bills I'd suggest checking Wikipedia - once it's up and running again that is!

Friday 13 January 2012

Good intentions

Power by nat_mach
Power, a photo by nat_mach on Flickr.

I had great plans for this year. I was going to win the battle against atrophy and procrastination. I was going to find time to do things that I enjoyed (other than sitting on my backside playing the Xbox!).

I was going to get creative. I was going to take more photos (other than pictures of Casper who is an easy subject!). I was going to find time for blogging.

The road to Hell, as they say, is paved with good intentions. It's a boring, tired old excuse - work got in the way.

People will insist on setting deadlines for January and February. Don't bother about that little detail of Christmas in the middle. As soon as one deadline passes there is almost immediately another, and another... until the middle of February. At this point I might get my life back.

Skywatch Friday (59)

Londond Sunrise by nat_mach
Londond Sunrise, a photo by nat_mach on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
Sunrise from Westminster Bridge

Monday 2 January 2012

New Year, new weather, new outlook

New Year, New Weather by nat_mach
New Year, New Weather, a photo by nat_mach on Flickr.
After the first day of the new was grey and dismal and generally matched the flat balloon feeling that follows Christmas, today was brighter and more optimistic feeling.

The sun came out, Kitten-cat sunbathed on the blanket box, rainbows from the window crystals danced on the ceiling and the walls.

I did my best to forget that this was the last day of holidays and get my life ready for going back to work tomorrow... putting things in their places - tidying and sorting. Didn't manage to read any of the blogs piled up from before Christmas (sorry friends!); didn't manage to read any of the magazines stacked up either.

It is entirely possible that I fell asleep at some point in the afternoon as I can't account for all the hours the Better-Half was at football!

Tomorrow will definitely be another day...!

Sunday 1 January 2012

2012 - New Year

So we've said goodbye to 2011 (that's two-thousand and-eleven) and it is time to look forward 2012 (which is oddly twenty-twelve).

Although it rained all day today at least it is mild, so hopefully there won't be a repeat of the weather at the beginning of last year (snow, snow, snow).

There's not a lot globally to be positive about; the financial crisis continues to rumble on (and on, and on). There are still mutters about a double-dip recession, even though the "end" of the last one was a technicality. 

We can look forward to the sports though. NFL is hard to call as the games are still going on, but it is only a few months until the baseball season is back. Nearer the great and mighty Charlton Athletic are still top of the table (although the lead has been eaten away recently)... dare we finally hope for promotion from the ignominy of League 1?!

A lot of the world (mostly those not resident in our fair capital) are looking forward to the Olympics. After they dropped baseball from the menu I lost all interest and I'm 'looking forward' to the traffic chaos (both road, rail and tube) that will ensue for those three weeks in August. 

I'm not one for resolutions, really. I usually fail before the end of the first day of January. I do however have aspirations for the year. I'd like to eat healthier, drink less, and lose some weight. I'd like to keep up my exercises to try and keep what is left of mobility mobile. I'd like to try and keep a more positive outlook on life (most specifically work and MS). These are my serious life aspirations.

Less seriously I have my Good Reads reading challenge  (another 50 books); I'd like to be more regular with my blogging; I'd like to keep up to date with my blog reading and on top of my inbox; and many other trivial things.

Well, whatever it brings, I hope 2012 is good for you.