Posted by : Unknown | Wednesday, March 15, 2006 | Published in

Plenty of stuff happened since I last got around to updating.
We booked a holiday - have got 2 weeks on Rhodes at the end of June which I'm really looking forward to. 2 weeks of sitting around reading and drinking, swimming in a sea that I've read is as warm as being in the bath at that time of year, and eating far too much nice food. We went to Kalamaki on Zante about 18 months ago and that was brilliant, but we went a bit late in the season. This time we're going right at the start of the season when everything should be open, and best of all, we've booked it so that we're back before the place is overrun with children :P

A couple of weeks ago I bought a set of 5.1 surround sound speakers - I got some by n4ce from a computer fair near me. They seem to be pretty good - playing games with them is brilliant, but I haven't gotten around to watching a film with them yet. My computers motherboard has onboard 5.1 sound, but I'm thinking I may buy a separate sound card anyway as I'm having driver problems with one of my games in windows - the sound for the whole system dies when I'm Playing Day Of Defeat:Source and the system has to be rebooted to get it back. There's a section in the Valve FAQ detailing this problem, but the only fix for it is to upgrade the drivers - Done that, same problem... - looks like it's a problem that's been happening with Source games for a while (the posting date on the fix suggestion is early last year) and still they haven't fixed it! grr... Every other game I have works fine with it. Bloody Valve and their Steamy badness. The other reason for wanting a separate card is that my Linux install is convinced that my on board sound is only 2 channel, and from the reading I've done it's going to be a MAJOR ballache convincing it otherwise, so I figure the best/least hassle solution is to get a Linux supported 5.1 card that will have the right amount of channels supported by the driver. We shall see... I may even suss it yet :P

Last weekend was my birthday and we did some interesting stuff for that I took a few days holiday from work, which is always nice, so I spent them sitting around doing very little (other than playing games through my new speakers). My birthday was on the Saturday and in the evening we went to Newcastle and went for a meal at Fujiyamas which was really good. It was the first time I'd been somewhere where they cook the food on a hotplate in front of you and I had a few different things - king prawns, squid, teriyaki chicken, beef and a bit of salmon, along with some egg fried rice and veg. The only downside to it was that it's definitely a restaurant to go to in groups, not as a couple - There are only 4 big tables in the place and we got put on a table where everyone else was part of the same group, so we felt a bit as if we were intruding. Other than that, it was excellent and I would definitely go back. Next time I think I'd like to try sushi - never had that before either, apart from some from Boots which I wasn't too impressed with, but I'm told it's totally different fresh.
The other thing we did was go to Manchester for a gig on Sunday night. The band we went to see was Avenged Sevenfold who do thrashy screamy metal, mixed with 80's style guitar solos and whiddling. Great stuff! Was a brilliant gig, if a bit short, and we had the added entertainment of Marie managing to pour my pint over an emo kid. Very funny :D Then we had fantastic Curry Mile kebabs, more beer, then headed back to our hotel - a nice 4 star place on Piccadilly that we got cheap as hell from the ever wonderful that has really nice big sweeping stair cases, silk wallpaper, nice old furniture randomly dotted around the place, the works, as well as the comfiest bed I've slept in in a while. Can't remember the name though... Never mind. Monday saw us wandering around Manchester for a few hours drinking really cheap beer (£1 a pint! Beer cheaper in Manchester than in Sunderland.. How the fuck does that work!?) before spending several hours on a National Express coach home with the most irritating inconsiderate dickheads I've ever had the misfortune to share a coach with. Joy.
Nevermind, apart from that it was an excellent weekend and, apart from the getting older bit, I wish I could have birthdays more often.

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