Game On

You can touch this

Yesterday I cracked and bought myself a PlayStation Vita. I’d been wanting one since the Vita Rooms event, but let launch day come and go earlier in the week without taking the plunge. By the weekend, with a £230 tax rebate sitting in the bank and a burning desire to play some proper games on the go again, I decided just to go for it.

The hardware is beautiful and the interface is really nice. Unfortunately I’m not enjoying WipEout 2048, the only off the shelf game I picked up from the high street, but there’s a lot of great launch titles out there and if I get the same enjoyment out of my Vita as I did from my (pair of) PSP’s over the years then it’ll be well worth the investment.

Some free augmented reality games that I got from the PlayStation Network after redeeming a code are actually quite good fun, and show the potential for that kind of thing. The Cliff Diver game in that pack is pretty neat – creating a variety of augmented reality pools and diving boards upon your environment in which you can make the titular character do what he does – dives off cliffs!

Considering I was never intending on getting a Vita until I went to the Vita Rooms event, it just shows you how effective that type of marketing is. Let people play with the hardware and sell it on its merits.

I’m actually looking forward to my commute this week – no time better than 45 minutes on the train to get some good gaming in. 🙂

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Back in the saddle for 2012

Today I did my first road bike ride of the year, putting in a 27k there-and-back ride just to blow the cobwebs off both myself and the bike. When I set off, I didn’t know how much I’d have in the tank energy-wise, so decided to play it safe with a nice rolling route that I could turn back on at any time should I run out of steam.

It turned out that I was feeling pretty good out there and I could probably have tackled my usual Glen Fruin training loop I did so many times last summer as I was building up the miles. The weather was perfect for riding, too – cool and dry with some sunny spells thrown in for good measure, and the light winds didn’t interfere too much at all. Shortly after I set off I did feel like I should maybe have been out on the mountain bike, but you don’t often see road biking conditions as ideal as this so early in the year.

When I got to the north gate of Clyde Submarine Base I decided to try the climb up the hill there rather than turning back. It took me a bunch of attempts before I conquered that one last year, so in the first 100 yards or so I was thinking it might be a bit premature to be doing it, but mindful that I really need to improve my climbing this year, I just got on with it. I wasn’t fast, but I got up it and I have to feel quite good about that considering it was my first ride of the year.

Given that there are only 11 weeks until the Bealach Beag, my first event of 2012, I really need to put some quality training in every weekend until the clocks go forward. After that I can double up a bit and do some week night training and rides home from work, too.

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Returning to Tenerife

I’m sitting in a rather nice hotel room in Playa de las Americas in Tenerife, as I write this, having returned to the island for a holiday for the first time since I was here in 1991.

The last time I was here it wasn’t a great experience. There was nothing much to do in Puerto de la Cruz and the weather wasn’t brilliant. All me and my mate did was go for walks in between the rain showers and drink – much the same as we’d have done back home, but without the walking and the breaks in the rain.

This time around it’s a lot warmer than I remember it being. Today, our first day proper, alternated between being warm with the occasional strong, chilly breeze, and very hot. I’m actually suprized how hot it is for February, and that’s only going to make arriving back in Glasgow that much worse.

For the rest of the week I’m going to make the most of the good weather, though. I’m not used to this much sunshine in the middle of winter, but I’d like to get used to it!

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