Thursday, 10 November 2011

Artemis Bridge Simulator

I keep having a busy time, which is good for me and bad for blogging! Yesterday I drove to and from Chester, taking some tests and answering questions for another graduate recruitment company. I've still got my fingers crossed for a long-term opportunity next year, but for the time being, I could do with some money to exchange for goods and services. I had spoken to another graduate recruiter beforehand, who had asked me to go on Friday to Sale for a load of tests and so on, but I'm not too impressed by them thus far. First, they were supposed to e-mail me details by Monday night, so I could e-mail them back, confirm my presence on Friday and ring them back today to sort out any questions. There's been no e-mail. Second, their system's patently automated, and so last night, when returning from Chester, I had another call. Checking my voicemail, I learned it was from another employee, not the one I'd spoken to, to ask me the same questions the guy had the other day. I would have rung him back, but having spent a day (ok, an hour - plus an hour driving there and an hour driving back!) answering stuff and completing tests, and it being almost five pm when he rang, I didn't. The tests went quite well, although the grammatical test was computer-generated. That's my explanation for why I got only 85%. There was at least one clause that could not have been beaten hard enough for it to make sense. I could have thrown in capital letters and commas until I was blue in the face, and I would not have got anywhere. The computer also told me that I had incorrectly marked a correct word as an incorrect one. The computer is, you are correct, now my sworn enemy. I will destroy it!

Wednesdays are a regular film night for me and my friends B and N. Tonight, having forgotten we were supposed to watch North by Northwest, we sat down to An American Werewolf in London. I had forgotten the gore in this film, and remembered Jenny Agutter's déshabillé appearance, which may give you some idea of my priorities in life. I brought along a dessert of my own devising: 50ml Scotch, 85g dark chocolate, 100g Sainsbury's ginger biscuits. Melt the chocolate, pulverise the biscuits, add the Scotch, and allow to set. It went down well, although there was a general feeling that there should have been less Scotch. I suspect that, if taken with ice cream, the proportion would have been acceptable, but on its own, halving it would be wise. Having eaten a delightful chilli with baked potato, and gorged ourselves on alcohol-rich chocolatey things, Nathan and I adjourned upstairs. Oo-er, you say. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, what we did would positively drive away women as a class. i.e. most, but not quite all. Nathan set up several PCs, and started up a funky little programme he found the other day, the Artemis Bridge Simulator. Behold this video.

We lacked the funky brightly-coloured garb and huge screen, but retained the amusing incapacity. I flew us directly into an asteroid at Warp 2 the first time we played. The ship did not survive my rough handling! We began again. I had taken on Helm and Weapons, which turned out to be a really dumb idea. I really had it hammered home why you need two different bods handling those jobs these days. I'd click the Helm tab, then try to fire my weapons. On realising my error, I clicked the Weapons tab, couldn't work out how to fire the guns (they were set to automatic), and then realise I had failed to raise the shields. That obstacle overcome, I discovered that one needs to load the torpedo tubes! Such effrontery! Having started again, I swiftly mastered an apt tactic. Aim vaguely in the direction of the enemy ships as Helmsman, then switch to Weapons, and slap some torpedoes into their faces. Then quickly bang back to Helm again, and warp the hell out of Dodge. Turn about, aim vaguely at the enemy, and click on Weapons, reload, and get ready to fire. Rinse and repeat. Needless to say, this tactic is effective only against the worst enemy units! Amusing as all heck, anyway! I'll follow this up with a report on the madness resulting from the next game.

On the normal wargamery front, I've detailed the superheavy fuel tanker a bit, and might even have her done tomorrow. I keep getting distracted by various things. I've my assistant-teacher-training doodah tomorrow night, but I might do an hour or so now. I am quite tempted to stick on The Addams Family or its sequel. I do enjoy those dark comedies. I mentioned that comic werewolf caper above, so I feel silly reiterating it. I shouldn't really have that film. I bought it for a friend's birthday (in 2001, I think, as I recall it being an anniversary edition - the original's from '81, and includes in the credits congratulations to Charles and Diana on their wedding), but his girlfriend had pre-empted my purchase, so I got him something else and retained this copy for myself. More next time, dear fans. Bye-bye for now!

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