Everything, Everything - October 2008

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BBC Quiz
Friday 24th October, 2008 10:11
I quickly answered today's quiz by the BBC and got an impressive 7/7! Okay, so I have had a little crush on Tina Fey for years, I've read almost every recent news article relating to the economy, and it'd be embarrassing for the former Vice President of the University of Exeter's The Beer Society to get the tw other questions wrong.

One of the things I noticed during 8 Out of 10 Cats last night was that the "top stories" weren't necessarily what I considered the top stories of the week. There was even a story (I've forgotten what it was, it was clearly that interesting) that I'd not heard anything about. I preferred watching Never Mind The Buzzcocks on BBC2, their ratings have apparently been low, so there was a big cliffhanger at the end of last night's episode. Tune in next week to find out if Phill Jupitus is okay. It was also odd to see Johnny Vegas on the show, as he looked a lot slimmer than usual.
World Of Warcraft Redux
Thursday 16th October, 2008 16:11
I've renewed my subscription and started playing it again recently. After moving my old character to a new realm (to potentially join some other people I know), I tried logging in last night and was forced to install the new 3.0.2 patch (after having already downloaded several very large patches - why can't they provide a single v2.4.3 or v3.0.2 installer instead of starting with 2.3.0 and forcing us to download large updates?!?). I finally logged into the game and looked into crossing between the continents to join Cheryl's new character. Cheryl's guide told me that I could cross from Eastern Kingdoms to Kalimdor by taking a boat from Menethil Harbor. So I wandered across some potentially risky Wetlands (and died once) and arrived to see a boat. Unsure whether this would take me to Auberdine in Darkshore (where I wanted to be) or Theramore Isle in Dustwallow Marsh (the other side of Kalimdor), I stepped on the boat and ended up in... Theramore. So I took the boat back and waited for the other boat. It never turned up.

I used Google and discovered that the new 3.0.2 update has made some major changes that don't appear to have been noted anywhere. In preparation for the new continent - that's been added for Wrath of the Lich King expansion pack out next month - and to help people from Kalimdor get to the Eastern Kingdoms (without being killed walking through the Wetlands), there's a new harbour in Stormwind and the boat has been diverted there. Thankfully my hearthstone was still set for Goldshire, so I was able to reach Stormwind Harbor pretty quickly and discover the boat (it's on the left as you face the sea). On the plus side, by accidentally visiting Theramore, I've now got a flight path I can use to quickly move across the continent.

After several hours I've seen a lot more of both continents, discovered a new method of transport, and killed a few new creatures. I'm still the same level though. I'm starting to remember why I'd given up on the game, as all you do is run around a lot and occasionally kill things (and occasionally get killed), and very very occasionally level up. Hopefully it'll be more fun once I'm in a group and fighting nasty things that are around my level.
Modelling
Monday 13th October, 2008 14:23
I already knew that one of my friends from school is a model (not only is Callie stunning, she's also a really lovely person), but I was surprised to hear that my boss started modelling again in 2005 after a 15 year break!

Oh, he meant the other sort of modelling. Geek.
Online Comics
Monday 13th October, 2008 13:18
You know you've been reading too many Diesel Sweeties and xkcd web comics when you start hovering your mouse over the latest Dilbert cartoon and expect a witty title.
Computer Bits
Wednesday 1st October, 2008 11:35
My new graphics card arrived today. The ATI Radeon 3650 isn't fantastic performance, but it's not meant for my main machine (still sporting a 3870). It's a passively cooled card for the HTPC that I'm building out of spare bits (hence the AGP). I got it for the H.264/VC-1 decoding of Blu-ray and HD DVD movies, as the dual Xeons probably aren't going to be good enough. What I wasn't expecting was the size of the retail packaging. It was HUUUUGE! Roughly A3 in size.

I was also surprised that the extra RAM from Crucial arrived today (in reasonably sized packaging). It turns out that Vista runs pretty well on a dual 2.4GHz Xeon (with HT) with just 1GB of DDR, but I figure it wouldn't hurt to add an extra couple gigs. In fact, it runs surprisingly well with just a 2MB graphics cards (that I've temporarily installed), although it's stuck with 16-bit colour and Vista's Media Center refuses to show any TV as it demands at least a 64MB graphics card. Still, the new graphics card should solve that. It should also make the system roughly as good as Cheryl's system, but a lot quieter ;)
Bad Drivers
Wednesday 1st October, 2008 10:06
There's usually at least one person every morning that annoys me on my drive to work. I don't suffer from road rage, but people do try my patience. Sometimes it's the person that drives everywhere at 35mph, or the person that accelerates really slowly when the lights turn green, or the person that stops in the "KEEP CLEAR" section of the roundabout.

Today's culprit was an old woman that drove 30mph along a 40mph stretch of road. Most of my journey is along a 40mph road where people often drive at 30mph. This is often the difference between arriving at work around 5 minutes early (and getting a parking space) and 5 minutes late (and having to double park). As soon as the road became a dual carriageway, I safely overtook her and continued my journey to work at my usual pace, glad that I'd only been slightly delayed.

About a minute later, as I approached a junction, I could see some weird swerving going on behind my car. The green fiesta driven by the woman was dancing in front of a big black car and she was shaking her head. I didn't see exactly what had happened, but I would probably side with the male driver of the black car as I can't really think of a scenario where he'd be at fault. I suspect he may have driven up behind her too quickly for her liking, which is unsurprising when she's (presumably) still driving at 30mph in a national speed limit section (70mph).

In front of me, the stream of cars were driving over the yellow hashes and appeared to be slowing down. The lights changed to amber and I had a decision to make:
  • drive through the amber light and stop in the yellow hashed area of a motorway junction
  • brake and stop at the white line
I went with the latter option and stopped at the white line.

In my rearview mirror I could see the woman in the green fiesta was now shaking her head at me. The woman that was previously driving 30mph in a 40mph section (with several 40mph signs) was judging me. Clearly - in her presumably warped mind - I made the wrong decision, and caused her to brake sharply. As I sat at the line, I could see the traffic backed up to the yellow hashes. I think I made the right decision.
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