Time is relative. When I started my vacation, two weeks seemed like forever. Now that I’m on my last day of vacation, two weeks seems to have been hardly enough to get started.
I had a lot of grandiose plans when I started. Some of them came to pass: when Chris was here we did pretty much all the things I had hoped we would, except maybe making it to see a movie. The airshow was once again a great day, and our boat trip was, arguably, the best ever. Perhaps not as memorable as the time we boated from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo and back in a 15 foot boat…accidentally. But it was much more fun knowing where we were and not making any serious blunders. The scenery and sun were a blast.
As Chris mentions in his blog, we also spent a fair amount of time playing computer games. I *think* we actually spent less time than usual playing, at least in part because my computers didn’t have any suitable games installed. I haven’t had anyone around to play first person shooters or what have you on my LAN in a while, so I’ve sort of let things slide a bit. I could also almost convince myself that its better to not have the “old standards” pre-installed, and to go out and find something new each time Chris visits…an almost believable rationale for my procrastination. Battlefield 2 was great fun- I even went so far as to install the server on my Linux box, although currently it is still LAN only (firewalled).
We also tried playing a game on the XBox 360 using two controllers in split screen mode. The game itself was a flop: I can not recommend Armored Core 4 at all. My opinion: in their effort to appeal to first person “twitch” players, they totally ruined the battle mech genre. Mechs should be like tanks: huge, powerful machines that deliver incredible firepower. In Armored Core 4, mechs are like twinkle-toed ballet dancers, fluttering about the battlefield like a spastic on crack. Add to this the fact that the graphics are…well, pathetic. Boring, repetitive and mechanical textures with no sense of “place”: many of them have as much appeal as a deactivated holodeck. I was extremely disappointed. That said, I think the split screen mode on the XBox 360 shows some promise: a good game could work reasonably well.
The last four or five days of my vacation have been spent playing XBox 360 games and puttering on my computers. The computer stuff…well, if you read my previous blog entry at the link above, you can understand that I’m not very satisfied with how that turned out. The XBox games…a bit of Kameo, and a ton of Hitman: Blood Money. I’ve been playing Hitman on “easy” as is my usual preference, and having a great deal of fun. Maybe fun is the wrong word for silently and methodically killing dozens of computer-simulated people. However, it was very satisfying doing so while my computer reformatted/reinstalled for the umpteenth time.
So, the last day of my summer vacation is half-way over. I’m not looking forward to checking my work email tomorrow, and am even less inclined to log in and check it now. Ah well, it was good while it lasted …