I woke up this morning feeling pretty good - sore, but better. Until I tried to move a certain way, at which point it was pain central again. After a couple of hours in which, despite having loaded up on over-the-counter Ibuprofen and Paracetamol it still felt like someone randomly taking a chainsaw to my back, I went to see both a doctor (for ‘pain management’) and a physiotherapist (for longer term help).
My brand new-and-improved back problem took a major turn for the worse last night, resulting in a sensation not unlike someone tearing a chunk out of the space between my shoulder blades whenever the muscles that run down the right hand side of my spine contracted. And you know, these suckers contract doing almost anything - sitting down, standing up, even laying down. I got up in the middle of the night and paced around downstairs to try to alleviate it, but to no avail.
I generally don’t have a lot of time for politicians. I’m of the opinion that a large number of those who actively pursue political power are also the ones least suitable to wield it, and that even the few that enter the halls of power with the best of ideals will have most of them eroded away within a few years, or be largely marginalised. I live in a jurisdiction which has leaned towards a conservative approach to government for decades (our island has it’s own government, separate from the UK).
I’ve been learning to play accoustic guitar for a little over a year now, and although I still dispair at overall quality of my playing sometimes, I can still acknowledge that I’ve made a lot of progress, considering I started from zero. My renditions of Stairway to Heaven, Ziggy Stardust and Wonderwall are at least recognisable, if not hugely flattering. During particularly busy periods it’s hard to find the time to practice, which has sometimes led to a frustrating cycle of starting to lose callouses, finger strength and muscle memory, and then having to spend time building them back up again, which makes you feel like you’re not making any progress.
There was an interesting article last week on the Guardian site where Richard Stallman took a pop at the rising use of ‘cloud computing’ - where computing resources and applications are delivered on demand to your devices via the magic of the interweb. Now, I don’t find myself particularly aligned with Mr Stallman a lot of the time, but he definitely has a very good point in this instance; although I do think the argument was too highly generalised (which probably came from the journalist rather than Stallman).
Looks like a bug has been discovered in Rock Band 2 that can randomly reset your band’s progress under a certain set of curcumstances. So far it appears that it only happens if you play the career mode with a certain combination of accounts - notably a player with a Live-enabled account, and a player with a non-Live-enabled account. Here’s hoping they fix it before the UK release, although I actually don’t think I’d suffer from it anyway, since Marie & I both have Live accounts, and when other people play they don’t use their own accounts, they just jump in as ‘Player 3’ or whatever; so far those combinations sound like they’re immune to this bug.
Since I’ve been taking a rare weekend off, I took the time to download the latest batch of XBLA demos to check out the latest slices of (hopefully) juicy bite-sized gameplay. The results were mixed. Braid I’d actually downloaded the demo for this a while ago, but at that stage I’d been pretty short of time, and on getting frustrated with a particular section I had tossed it aside and gone with the far more immediate Geometry Wars 2 instead.
I’m the kind of person who likes to keep busy; not in a ‘mad about DIY / the garden’ kind of way that tends to be the most socially acceptable form of being a ‘project oriented person’, but I always have a bunch of things on the go and never seem to have enough time to do them all. I’m always ‘working’ evenings & weekends, but a lot of the time I really don’t think of it as work, because a large portion of the time I’m doing exactly what I want to do.
One of the things I like about Rock Band is that the DLC is regular, reasonably priced and à la carte - you can pick just the tracks you want and it doesn’t break the bank. Guitar Hero conversely has so far not released very much DLC, generally charges more for it (500 points for a 3-song pack compared to 80-120 points per track in Rock Band), and doesn’t give you the option of just purchasing the tracks you want - it’s the whole pack or nothing, making it much less convenient.
Thanks John for the reminder to investigate S3 as a business media hosting service, it works like a charm! Now that I have far fewer bandwidth worries (max $0.17 per GB), the Torus Knot site includes a nifty dynamic selector so you can pick low, medium or high quality - the latter is at a higher resolution too, clocking in at about 100Mb. I may well use S3 for future public commercial downloads in the future too.