Star Trek (2009) and Into Darkness: Not a trek at all to watch

17 Feb

I avoided watching Star Trek because I hate anything science fiction that is less sciency/technological and more focussed on the fiction part. I include aliens and space crap in this fiction part. Of course, I made an exception for Pacific Rim, but that’s because that movie is epic and I will punch in the face anyone who begs to differ. Also because the focus is clearly on the technology of the Jaegers and not the kaiju.

Anyway, I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The SO convinced me to put it on, then promptly fell asleep as a result of having watched it before. I enjoyed it, despite my dislike of Chris Pine, because there was no stupid alieny stuff but instead a focus on the technology and civilisation aspects. I immediately watched the second one as well, which I found to be just as good. Benedict Cumberbatch is an acquired taste though. Zachary Quinto is perfect as usual.

The solution to all Windows problems: Part 1

14 Oct

So on Friday night I was busy on my pc as usual, when I see my action centre flag. I click on it and see like 50 Windows Updates waiting, all published that same day. I was like fine, whatever, install 400mb of updates. Imagine my surprise the next day when TS2 will no longer start. I tried the usual tricks (deleting cache files, removing downloads folder etc), but it still kept crashing on startup. Of course,this now means that in addition to totally borking my USB ports, Microsoft has managed to break my Sims install as well.

I shouldn’t be moaning though; after all, TS2 did come out in 2004, when the world was on XP, very few people had dual core PCs and Vista was a fever dream on the horizon about to break. However, I only started playing it in 2009 on a dual core Compaq laptop with 1 GB RAM, Vista and onboard graphics, so when the game didn’t blue screen on me because the machine overheated, it was super slow and all hooky. Playing it on the same laptop with Windows 7 was slightly better, but not much.

Playing it on Windows 8 has been amazing though. It helps that I now have a machine with a graphics card (fairly basic, but still), with a 8 core processor, 8GB RAM and a SSD that the game is installed on. Playing the game on my 32″ TV in HD is really cool. So my irritation was extremely high. I’ve reinstalled, formatted and lost a lot of content over the years, so I was miff at the thought of having to do it all again. Until it hit me, a solution we often have to resort to at work: a VM!

How I keep my life brimming with Vitality

19 Sep

The biggest “couponing” thing I have going on right now is Discovery Vitality. I joined Discovery in October 2012 and after some thought, I decided to add Vitality as well. Now, for R155 a month, it seems like a lot of money to pay to save money. I thought that as well. The thing is though, they are counting on the fact that humans are lazy. Sure, we’ll subscribe to this loyalty scheme, but we can’t be bothered to get off our asses and actually use the benefits to their max potential.

I, on the other hand, am not lazy. I have had a Clicks clubcard for some years, so I linked that to Vitality. My quarterly rewards have increased from about R60 average to R200 cashback (that’s the minimum amount I’ve received so far. The highest amount was R300). This is just from doing my normal shopping that I’ve always done at Clicks; this is of course excluding the physical money I save on Clicks 3 for 2 promos, and the monthly cashback I get from buying Vitality marked Clicks products.

I’ve been wanting to get in shape for a while, so I joined the Virgin Active which is about 500m from my workplace. I never would have joined at their normal rate, so I used my 80% monthly discount. By completing the various fitness assessments and locking in goals, I’ve lost 9 kg and boosted my Vitality status to Gold by obtaining thousands of points.

When shopping at PNP, I carry the Vitality basket, my SO carries the normal basket. This way when we pay and I swipe my PNP Vitality card, I get the max amount of Vitality points for that transaction (as there are no “bad” products included) and I increase my monthly cashback. I get on average R120 cash into my bank account each month because of these purchases. Again, its our normal purchases we would have made anyway, just with the “inconvenience” of carrying 2 baskets.

In December last year, I used y 45% discount at Southern Sun hotels to book my family’s weekend getaway. I use my Ster Kinekor Vitality card to pay for movies at 1/3 of the normal rate. So that’s how I use my Vitality to the max.

Get out the baggy tshirts

18 Sep

There has been a resurgence in 90’s nostalgia lately. The most obvious place to notice it right now is with music. Miguel brought back the RnB vibe, a bunch of 90’s stars have/are going to have concerts here (Tevin Campbell, Maxwell…), and John Legend’s new album has a back to his RnB roots vibe.

And of course, Nsync’s surprise performance at the VMA’s. Hello 1999!

Office Space

17 Sep

I tried watching this “cult classic” a few years ago, but I was…different then, and so I lasted about 10 minutes before I put it off. At my SO’s behest, I watched it properly this weekend, and it was totally worth it. It’s not outrageously funny, but it has a consistency which is very rare to find in any movie these days, let alone a comedy.

It’s dated in the sense of the technology (wow, so glad it’s not 1999 anymore), yet the underlying tone still rings true.

Guess what…It’s gonna be all of them!

16 Sep

A while back I posted about the bout of ‘N Sync nostalgia I was having. Imagine my surprise last week when rumours started swirling that Nsync would be performing with Mr Timberlake at the VMA’s. It was like grown women turned into 12 year old girls overnight, yours truly included.

So the day after the ceremony, I sat through about 13 minutes of Justin’s stupid performance to await the return of my beloveds. When they appeared, I screamed. So did my sister. I did not know that those dormant feelings could bubble to the surface so quickly after all these years. I read somewhere the other day (should really learn to link to things) that at about the age of 13, our personal interests in music are basically locked in, so while it may fluctuate over the years, you don’t often stray far from the original soundtrack to your life.

I was a bit disappointed that the performance was so short, but the guys still have it after all these years. Bliss :)

Finally bursting that bubble a bit

13 Sep

7de Laan has been doing some crazy things lately. Showing people smoking onscreen, school kids no less (gasp!), outright references to race and playful mockery, lots of sexual innuendo…have they gotten a new set of writers? If so, I’m loving them. It’s been funnier lately, and bringing Jerome back was great as well. 7de is really going to help with unwinding at the end of a work day.

What was up with the Emma/Marko affair though? Eish.


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