No Bball For A While … Again

‘Ouch!’ … my ankle’s pretty sore this morning. I rolled it pretty badly 2 or 3 months ago, but last night managed to tweak it again. I’ve been trying to play at 80%, but last night was 2 on 2, so no place to hide there (especially since the other 3 players are among the best in the group). All was going well until was running diagonally to the right of the backboard across the key for a rebound. I think the pressure of running and jumping at an angle was too much when I landed. My ankle just gave way and buckled under again.

*sigh* everything was going so well until then! We were 2 games to 1 up, moving the ball well, defending well, I was even hitting pull up Js plus an awesome left hand scoop drive over the D. I was loving being back to play the last few weeks.

Oh well, that bit of my foot (on the top, slightly to the inside, where the ankle joins) did feel a little weak, I think just too much stress for it to handle. Better rest up for a while again. And probably the indoor soccer didn’t help. At least it’s nowhere near as bad as last time – can limp around ok.

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Never Give Up

If you spend your life looking for pleasure, happiness, satisfaction, love, joy, peace and success, you will die either with a hard, blind heart, or you will die sad, lonely, hopeless and numb.

If you spend your life seeking to know God’s heart, and to make it your own, you will find all these things, and more unimaginable. And you will find them forever, and no one can take them from you.

Don’t chase anything. Be patient. Wait for God to bring what he has for you. He will bring you joy in the smallest, and most unlikely places. Be ready to see it. He loves you and knows you infinitely.

Embrace every feeling. Use hardship and sadness to see beyond. In it, the inadequacy of humanity and the world we dwell in is so clear. In it we can see that the only thing that truly matters is the hope of things unseen to come.

Never give up, be thankful always. Pray for faith, hope, love, wisdom, courage and for your Self to be transformed. Then you will really live.

I finally closed my Facebook account 🙂

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Waiting To Check In

I like being a morning person. Somehow, when my alarm went off at 2 am, I jumped straight out of bed and into the shower. After that it was enjoying a beautiful double-shot latte made from freshly roasted Australian beans, packing a few last things, waking up my sister then driving to the bus interchange. From what Meryl tells me, that will be my last good espresso coffee for a while 😀

I so wouldn’t want to live in Sydney, traffic was terrible from the highway to the airport! I was sitting just behind the driver, and really felt for him. Clunky manual gear-change buses are definitely not meant for peak hour traffic. Must be the same for truckies. If I was a bus driver, I think my Sirion would feel like a Veyron after stepping back into it!

Less than 12 hours until I’m seeing Meryl! I’ve been looking forward to today for sooooo long, have really missed her. A lot! But it’s been great chatting on the phone most days, have found it really rewarding getting to know her more and more over the months, and finding out all about her life in Singapore, and her friends and family. I think the distance has been a good test of our relationship, especially since I’m the type to fall in and out of love easily and quickly. Haha, but test passed so far, my feelings for her have only become stronger and deeper as time has passed. Hence why I’m so, so excited to see her again tonight!

Haha I can smell the scent of mango wafting from the towel-padded, whole-roll-of-packing tape taped box of mangoes sitting on my suitcase in front of me. I hope they make it there ok!

The last few weeks have been so hectic. Ever since arriving back from Christmas in Adelaide, work has been flat out. Lots of late nights, weekends, even public holidays. And I don’t get paid for them any more, so want to get demoted! But I think it’s my own fault really, I designed the system we’re building in the best way I know how, but it’s quite new to the other developers. Which means it’s up to me to do the bulk of the foundational code, make sure everyone’s comfortable with it, assist with writing user interfaces to sit on top etc. If it were more conventional (conventional in a Centrelink way anyway), I probably wouldn’t be working all the extra. But, it’s not, and I have been, and I reckon it’s so worth it. A good learning experience too, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some really bright techos!

Anyway, with a lot of work and not much sleep, it’s all done (and I think mostly working!) ready for testing. So I’m free as a bird to fly off to Singapore and find Meryl … Woohoo! Gifts are all bought too, Meryl’s family, Meryl for Valentine’s day, Meryl’s brother’s birthday, Gen just cos she’s my twin. Haha I’ve got a feeling my luggage will be a lot lighter coming back than going over!

– Sent from my Nokia E63

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Zombified

Haha so zombified today … I wouldn’t be surprised if I shuffled out of the lift arriving at work, arms outstretched, head down, chanting ‘Brains … brains …’ Such a nice talk with Meryl last night, although I think like 3 am when I finished, with the time difference. But soooooo worth the sleepiness!

I don’t have enough coffee beans left for espresso, so raided some of Lydia’s Balinese coffee … got a very strong, dark, syrupy concoction happening here now! Just have to shower / iron / get to work, and everything will kick into gear I think. Meant to play basketball tonight, might be a bit down on my dazzlingly, scintillatingly brilliant (haha!) form of the last couple of weeks.

Still trying to sort out my phone, yesterday I hooked it up to my laptop to sync, and got a message that there were Nokia software updates available. So of course I clicked ‘Install’ without reading any of the fine print. When it finished, I got a message, ‘Install successful, you are now free to restore your backup.’ ‘Huh? Backup?’ I thought, a sinking feeling coming over me … Looking at my phone, everything was gone, SMS, applications, preferences, the lot! So I spent a lot of yesterday evening getting things set up again, and loading apps. Now I’m even more sympathetic to Meryl, whose SMS all vanished a couple of weeks ago.

There’s a lot of cool apps for the Nokia E63, Bible study stuff, games, Skype / IM, YouTube, webcam. But now it’s playing up, doesn’t want to connect to PC Suite via USB. Maybe I’ll just have to get another Bluetooth dongle for home as well as for work. It’s soooooo incredibly slow to copy files over Bluetooth though!

I’m so looking forward to a) going to the coast tomorrow for a swim in the beach, and b) going to Singapore in 11 days! Woohoo! Hmmm, I keep thinking to go through my 90-plus PS2 games and eBay the ones I’m realistically never going to play. But then when I go through them, they’re all so cool that I want to keep them!

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Art

How do you define art?

I think for me, in the end it’s an expression of yourself and how you see the world, or an act of creation. It’s about revealing possibilities to people. And that’s done in all sorts of ways.

For example, would you call drifting art? I would, it’s the creation of a spectacular display of car control, revealing to me what I never thought possible. If so, how about drifting in a video game rather than in real life? Does your opinion change if the game is arcade-like or simulation-like? If movies are art, how about the story you choose to create in a truly open-ended video game world? How about the story you create in a flawed, less-than-truly open-ended game world? Does the amount of skill involved affect things? Does the amount of purpose and thought behind affect things? I think they do.

For me, art is creativity and expression, and that covers pretty much everything that you purposefully choose to create in a certain way. The real art is in the why you created it that way, and in the how it communicates that ‘why’ that is behind to others that see it. Hence I see everything from cooking to programming to basketball to music to photography as art. If you do it because you love it, and see it as special, and manage to communicate how you feel that love to someone, or if you see something that you capture and manage to show to someone, then in my book you’ve just created art.

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Enthusia Professional Racing

All I can say is ‘Wow!’ My copy of Enthusia Professional Racing for PS2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enthusia_Professional_Racing) arrived yesterday from England, and as soon as I’d driven a couple of corners round Tsukuba in an MR2 I knew this game was awesome!

I have to say, it feels so much more like driving a real car than Gran Turismo 4. The physics feel much more realistic, there’s a real sense of weight transfer and gravity and traction. And best of all, once your car is in a slide, they’re so much more responsive to counter-steering or throttle inputs than GT4. To me that’s what makes drifting in GT4 difficult. Once you throw your car into a slide exceeding a certain angle, it doesn’t really respond to any input until you slow down to a point pre-determined by the game, where it suddenly recognises ‘Oh wait … you’ve been counter-steering and modulating the throttle for a while, but I haven’t responded, so time to give it to you all at once!’, and snaps your car into an unrecoverable spin in the opposite direction.

Well, GT4’s not quite that unrealistic, but it is the generalised behavioural tendance, and Enthusia gives much better control. And the cars aren’t so fatally plagued with understeer like in GT4! If you throw a mid-engined car into a corner in Enthusia at full throttle, you can feel the weight transitioning, and the back wheels start to spin, and the tail start to come round. This is unlike GT4, where all you’ll probably get is a big dose of understeer, and no real feel that the car is becoming unsettled. Enthusia just feels more like driving an actual car.

Anyway, Enthusia’s great! I haven’t done any ‘race’ races yet, so I don’t know how well done the AI is. But for me it ticks all the boxes so far. Great physics? Check. Great graphics and sounds? Check. Responsive controls? Check. FF wheel support? Check. Nurburgring track? Check. Alfas? Check. 😀

I’ve you’ve got a PS2 and a wheel, check this one out! Haha I’m so glad I didn’t buy an Xbox 360 + Forza 3 … Reading lots of comparisons online, the physics are much closer to GT4 than Enthusia. That was close!

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Last Day Off

Today I’m enjoying my last day off before heading back to work tomorrow. I slept in again, woke up at maybe 11? Then just enjoyed some nice coffee, cuddling the cat, bought some groceries and posted Meryl’s present off to Singapore (okok well at least it was only posted 1 day after our anniversary, that’s not *too* bad right? Haha … shocking). I’m picking my sister up from the airport tonight, so got her favourite gluten-free cupcakes in the oven baking now for a surprise. Hopefully she doesn’t read this before she arrives back!

My house is looking nice and tidy, all the cat fur cleaned up (but slowly reappearing), everything tidy, all the dishes done, fridge cleaned out. My car’s sparkling inside and out too! It’s good to have some time off to rest and catch up on everything, watch some movies, play some games. Just sitting here now listening to Norah Jones’ ‘Humble Me’ is really relaxing. I was listening to ‘Songs Without Words’ before, by Genevieve Lacey and Karin Schaupp. Such beautiful instrumental music, a flute / classical guitar duet. Check it out if you get the chance! And really looking forward to basketball later today, what a perfect end to my holiday! It’s also been good catching up with people, had a really nice MSN chat to my friend Claire last night. And a *really* nice webcam chat with Meryl yesterday. Time goes so fast talking to her, just can’t get enough of seeing her smile, hearing her voice. It’ll be so good to see her again!

Oh yeah, just thinking about her present I posted today … I’m too honest with customs, so she never gets a surprise before she opens the package. I wonder if you can just write ‘it’s a surprise’ on the customs declaration and they’ll play along? Hmmm, probably not … a bomb or anthrax would be a surprise of a different kind.

And, the sales are now over, and I didn’t buy an Xbox 360. Awesome! Thankfully the more I read about Forza 3, the more I’d rather stick to my PS2. I’ve got Enthusia Professional Racing coming in the mail, which should be so cool with my wheel. Watching some vids on youtube, looks like the physics model is awesome. Check out this vid comparing a real MX-5 being thrashed with the modelling in the game (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQPUGELYN8g). Now that’s cool, beats Gran Turismo easily! Which kind of sucks, because now every time I play GT4 I’ll be wishing it had better physics modelling.

Oh man, just thinking about work now, it’s going to be so busy again for the next few months! The light at the end of the tunnel is 5th February, where I’m off to Singapore to visit Meryl. Can’t wait!

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