Jan 25, 2021: Car-n’t Wait

We were supposed to find out about the car today. We have not, as yet, found out about the car. And given that the time is rapidly approaching 10pm, it’s unlikely we will find out.

That fills me with confidence.

We have, of course, made things more fun for ourselves in the Covid-filled world of car purchasing by choosing to not buy a car that was in stock at our local dealer. We have, instead, gone for one that was in Glasgow, and it needs to be transported down here first.

When we arranged this, last week, the guy from the dealership said it could take a week but they’ve generally been pretty quick about it.

Except in this case. When they have not been quick in the slightest. But, I suppose, you have to make it worthwhile and cost effective so maybe we’ve had to hang on to get some other cars from the Glasgow area that need to come this way too. Who knows.

Anyway, not us, that’s for sure.

We have, however, been making promises to ourselves to keep the new car in some sort of tidy state. We’ll keep it clean, we’ve said. We’ll not use it as a wardrobe on wheels, we’ve said. We’ve said that. Not just Carole. I promise to not keep all my shoes and coats in it as well. We’re not going to let things melt in door panels, or to spill minstrels into seat crevices where they remain until they go mouldy. We’re not going to do that. Even though up until that point we were unaware that chocolate could go mouldy.

But it can.

And it’s horrible.

And really slimy and sticky, since you ask.

We have made all these promises.

Carole’s parental units have sent us a car cleaning kit. Which I guess means we’ll probably have to wash this new car or something. I mean, we washed the old one once or twice I guess…

It’s all very exciting.

We just need to know when we can get it now…

Oh, and then name it.

I’m plumping for Steve Car-man. But I don’t think that’ll stick, somehow.

Carole’s making a case for Gandalf because it’s a grey car.

Fricking nerd.

Jan 24, 2021: Slip

I’m not saying it was cold and icy tonight but…

I took some stuff out to the recycling bin, which is round the front of the house ready for it to be whisked away on the morrow.

I took it out in a washing basket because there was quite a bit of it and I only have two human hands. And it was cold. So I didn’t want to do multiple trips.

I decided to make the most of the fact that, sometime next week, the car will be going and replaced with a new shiny one, and put the basket of stuff on the roof of the car while I fought with the bin lid, which had iced shut, and also the branches of the fir tree which were hindering any chances to open the bin.

Basket on the car.

Turn around to open the bin.

Boom. Hit by the basket of recycling, as if it has been flung by a ghost. Except it’s not a ghost – unless it was filmed and featured on the Slapped Ham YouTube channel in which case it definitely was a ghost because there COULD NOT BE ANY OTHER EXPLANATION.

Now, me putting the recycling out has turned into a game of skill.

I’m having to find the point at which the car roof doesn’t slope and/or the point at which the slope of the car roof is offset by the weight distribution of the basket.

I got none of that.

All I got was a basket sliding around all over the shop. It was like the car was trying to prove how much fun it still is even though it’s definitely on its last legs and, if push came to shove, those legs wouldn’t necessarily be able to stop it if, say, it was going down a hill. But this was the playful car that we had come to know and love. Earlier in the week it’d been the twat of a car as it refused, point blank to allow a bag of stuff I had collected from within the car to balance on the seat, choosing instead to tip it over and spill the contents onto the pavement.

But now it was the fun car. Look at me, it seemed to say, you can have endless hours of fun with me when I’m all icy. Except on hills. That would be lethal. I mean, we all fondly remember that time it was icy when I set off for work and slid into the car from the pathway to the house and all anyone ever asked me was whether the car was alright.

But then, if we were going to be having endless hours of fun with it, there’s no way I would have been allowed to put the basket on the roof in the first place for fear of scratching or whatever.

I’m more surprised, in all honestly, that I put the basket on the roof and it slid towards me. The way the universe normally goes for me, it would have slid the other way, unbeknownst to me, and the first I’d have known of it would have been the sound of tin cans skittering across the road surface closely followed by the word “fuck!” echoing round the neighbourhood.

Jan 23, 2021: Buns Crossed

You ordered Taste The Difference hot cross buns… we are sending you Be Good To Yourself hot cross buns.

That’s not a substitution. That’s punishment.

Somehow, in the Hot Cross Bun substitution world there is no middle ground between the best that is on offer, made with the finest ingredients and some of the juiciest dried fruit known to man and something which offers no calorific value and, by the looks of them, next to no fruit content.

Oh, and there’s more of the good ones as well. Which, to me, seems to imply that there’s so little to them you’d have to eat more to feel fulfilled.

But this is the situation we find ourselves in. Robbed, cruelly, of the nice stuff for the less than nice stuff.

How are there no other hot cross buns available. No middle ground. No Sainsbury’s bakery ones. No just ordinary any ol’ make hot cross buns.

I’ve not felt this robbed since the substitute for a big jar of Nutella was a small jar of Nutella. Not even the same weight of Nutella in a number of small jars. Just one small jar.

But here we are.

They’re also flat.

And I don’t know if that’s because they’re so good for you that they are like a biscuit or because something heavy was on top of them. And they’ve sent two packs of them – I asked for two of the Taste The Difference things, to be fair – but normally when we order multiple items which are substituted we only end up with one substitute.

What I think is happening, and call me a conspiracy theorist if you like, is that no-one wants the Be Good To Yourself ones. We’re on month whatever of a lockdown cycle, and everyone’s like “ah fuck it, I’m just going to eat myself to death on fat-filled nice stuff. Who cares what I look like – no-one’s ever going to see me again. I’ve got no vitamin D in my body anymore, so why shouldn’t I gorge myself on big, fluffy yeasty buns..” but shops are like, “No, we have to shift this massive stockpile of healthy food that we’ve got in because it’s January and everyone loves that new year, new you shit…”

And lo, we no have twelve of the blandest looking hot cross buns in existence.

Just as well we’re going to fill them with bacon, I guess…

Jan 22, 2020: Toxic

I don’t know if it’s the rigors of various lockdowns that have brought it out in people, or just seeing the world through, essentially, the internet more than real life has made it more apparent, but people are absolutely awful online.

I’ve given up on Facebook – 20 days or so and still staying strong. Can’t be arsed with all that at the moment, especially during the lockdown periods because it’s just a case of one person having to have a worse time of it than another, and so on and so on, interspersed with the people ranting about how it’s a conspiracy in the first place and then the others that are just doing whatever the fuck they like.

But then the rest of the internet isn’t much better.

Over the past few months, there have been a couple of game launches which haven’t been entirely stellar, shall we say. Cyberpunk 2077, which finally came out after however many delays, was an absolute cluster fuck of a disaster. Loads of people bought it, then everyone complained about it because for a game that had been so delayed a lot of it was broken.

I played it and within the first mission I had a person floating in mid-air in the middle of a road. Whatever they were in or on had not loaded in, at all. They were just there, in the air, sitting. I think they were also an optional plot point to my story mission as well, possibly intended to be a roadblock of some description, but as I could see nothing apart from a floating man I just drove past. They shot at me a lot. But it didn’t make much sense to me.

I haven’t played much of it since then. I will go back to it eventually, but for now it can just sit on the hard-drive and receive occassional updates.

And then Hitman 3. I love me a Hitman game. They make Peppa jump, as I found at a couple of weeks ago, as she doesn’t like the sound a character makes when they are initially choked to subdue them. They make her leap up and embed claws into your flesh. But still, we soldier on – strangling people cannot wait. I have targets to kill. Hitman 3, however, is the latest release and the finale of the World Of Assassination trilogy – and the end of Hitman for now (I don’t know how it ends, just yet, as I have put off playing the final two missions and will do for the next few days at least…). Hitman 3 had a complicated launch in part due to a method to carry over your progression from previous games into this one. For a variety of reasons which make sense to me and are to do with backward compatibility of save files and the like, this was an online process using the online profile you set up when you play a Hitman game. It didn’t work at launch because the game launched – globally – at 1pm our time on Wednesday and EVERYONE IN THE WORLD tried to do the transfer at the same time.

The internet was up in arms about this.

There are, in turns out, some very, very entitled people in the gaming community.

And some awful people.

And they’re all complaining about it not working. And then constantly asking, via Twitter, if it’s fixed yet like a kid in the back of a car going somewhere. Is it fixed yet? What about now? How about now? Now? Is it fixed yet? Constantly.

And, of course, there was one person who was complaining about the resolution or the frame rate because you’re not a gamer if you don’t complain about that shit. That and making sure everyone knows you play on the hardest difficulty are the two most important things in modern gaming.

I like gaming. I love gaming. I love gaming communities. I am on the periphery of many of them. But by Jove it’s a horrible thing to be a part of if anything even goes slightly wrong.

It didn’t work for me, incidentally, and I was so incensed that I just read that they were fixing it on Twitter, and played something else. And then, at something past something at night, I went back on and it worked fine and I was up and running by the morning and everything was good and people were still very much murdered and I enjoyed it.

But I can’t be seen being happy about that. I should be outraged that at two minutes after release I hadn’t completed the whole thing and secured first place on the leaderboards.

In reality, I completely forgot about it coming out until I saw a YouTube notification… and I dare to call myself a gamer!

Jan 21, 2021: Robbed

A Thursday night.

So it’s gaming night, as usual. Unless it’s a week when Carole has some University lectures to attend or essays to write, in which case it isn’t a gaming night.

But this one was. And we went back to Viscounts Of The West Kingdom for a second run out, and to see how we fared out from under Nik’s wing and fighting for ourselves.

Here’s how it turned out.

We finished in exactly the same positions we did last time we played, which means that Nik is officially burning the physical copy of his game as he’s lost to newcomers on two occasions now. And, most importantly, Daniel won again which is a definite reason for the burning of the game.

I, though, was robbed.

There. I’ve said it.

Absolutely robbed.

The game glitched, part way through, and hid my character card. A card which possessed powers of resource collection. But I couldn’t play that card, because it was – unbeknownst to me (and I genuinely didn’t realise until the game was over and then I searched the entire game space for it) entirely invisible on the virtual table next to my player board.

Completely invisible.

I found it by complete fluke as I was trying to see if I could move the game board (you can’t), and my mouse came away with a card attached.

I mean… I was severely disadvantaged. I should have had one of every resource every time that card went out. It would have changed my whole strategy which was, of course, planned from the get go and not just made up on the fly with occasional bouts of tactical genius thrown in for good measure to break up the monotony of just flailing about and hoping for the best.

I could have done all sorts with more resources. I could have claimed the castle. I could have built more. I could have written more manuscripts. I would have been a points scoring machine, instead of the disappointment that I was to everyone who knows me.

Still… Wingspan next time. I can comprehensively not win at Wingspan with little or no effort, so everything’s much better on that front…