29 March, 2008

Easter Weekend's Diablo game, and some geocaching

Well, we did play Diablo II over the weekend, but it was a lot slower going then I had expected. The plan for to quickly finish off the current Nightmare game and then by the end of the weekend finish the complete game again at Hell difficulty. One of the problems we had was that Glenda's character could not be found in any of the backups I had made. So Glenda took one of Trish's level 78 sorceress. Our Characters were only about level 62 when we started. The playing characters were thus 2 sorceresses, 1 Amazon (bows) and 1 Necromancer. It was a bit of a problem for us playing as we did not have someone with swards up front. We stated latish on Thursday afternoon about 6PM and played until just after 10 PM. Nightmare level was still not finished.

Saturday morning stated early at about 8AM and by night time we had finished Nightmare. We decided to try the cow level, but we were killed very quickly. We restored our characters as they were just before the cow level and started Hell. By around 10PM we had just killed "Blood Raven" in the graveyard, and decided to leave the evening there. We left the game running on Trish's machine so we could carry on the next day. Saturday we continued from around 8AM, again till about 10 PM.

Sunday morning we did not play as it was Easter-Egg-Hunt for the kids at Ouma's house. We met up with my sister and Tante Tanneke. Tante Tanneke made lovely mushrooms from eggs and tomatoes. The kids enjoyed the easter egg hunt as well. Just after 1 PM I got an SMS from the video store that we had to return the borrowed videos. Wow did not realize that it was that late already. So we left in a hurry and took back the videos. We got another one for the kids to watch that day as well, while we played Diablo.

We continued our game again at about 3 PM and the plan was to play to about 10 PM. I did not want to make it to late, as I was hopingto go geocaching around Cullinan the next morning.

10 PM arrived and we were very close to completing Act 1 on nightmare. So we all decided to just finish of Andariel and then stop. Just before 10H30 she was dead and Act 1 completed.

At this point Glenda's sorceress had not yet leveled as she was much higher then ours, but by now she had less then 10% experience to go to level. So we decided that we would play a little more until she at least leveled.
We started Act 2 in the sewers and had some amazingly good battles down there. Matt's Bones were of good use keeping back the enemy, and my Valkry also helped lots.

With just a little to go on Glenda's experience we ventured out into the dessert and down one of the tunnels and that is where the wheels came off. We all died going to level 2 in one of the tunnels. It took us to 2PM in the morning to get back our bodies and getting Glenda to level.

At this point we decided not to go geocaching in Cullinan as we had to be back by 2PM for when Neville arrived, and the house looked like a bomb had hit it. There was also a little bit more of cleaning to do in the bottom room.

Monday morning we got up at around 9AM and started cleaning the house, and taking the PCs back to their normal places. Cleaned the bottom room, as well as the rest of the house.

Neville arrived at about 3PM and luckily he wanted to go do some geocaching. We did quite a few I had already done, but there was one "Spot a Boeing" that I had not yet done. We did a few more in the west end of Edenvale as well.

Tuesday afternoon, after work, we did a few more caches in the Kempton Park area, where there was another one I had also not done.

All in all a good weekend.

Side Note: Hell level in Diablo II is a lot more difficult the the other levels. One thing that makes it more difficult is that a lot of the monsters are immune to one or other thing. But this adds a interesting twist to the game, as one can no longer just shoot bows or whatever at them, one needs to change quite often from fire to cold to poison quite often to kill them. Although it is much more difficult I like this level a lot more then the others.

17 March, 2008

Fixing the granny flat, Easter, Diablo, and geocaching

Today I stayed home from work, so we could get a tiler in to tile the kitchen and bathroom portion of the granny flat. I left home at 7AM to go find a tiler, and drove around quite a bit between CTM and Tile Africa to find one. Eventually I found someone at Tile Africa. He wanted R500.00 for the 12 m^2 but I said R400.00 which he accepted. He subcontracted the mixing of the cement out to another guy.

Very quickly he was 2 rows further down then we were on Saturday, and he also did a very good job around the washing basin, and toilet. In the morning he said he should be finished by 3 PM but in the end I took him to the taxi rank at about 6 PM. Somewhat later then he estimated, But none ever the less a job well done.

Once the kitchen is done I will use Alex again to tile the walls of the kitchen.

Next weekend is Easter, and every second year (or so) we play a game called Diablo II from start to finish. There are 5 of us playing. Trish and myself, with Jerome, and Matt and Glen. Sometimes we have vistors join us for a day or so (Rog and Nik), but they are not as hardcore as we are. We start setting up Thursday night, play 10+ hours on Friday, 10+ hours on Saturday, Sunday afternoon about 5 hours, and then 10+ hours on Monday.
The first year (2005) we completed the complete game including the cow level in the 4 days.
Last year (2007) we completed the 1st 4 chapters and only got halfway up the mountain before the end was the weekend drew our adventures to a close. Each year we play the one level up from the previous one. So this year we should be starting on Nightmare level.
Will add feedback by next weekend on how Diablo went for us.

The weekend after Easter we will start cleaning up all the building rubble. And there is quite a bit of that lying outside the new front door to the granny flat. With a bit of luck it will be rented out by the end of May, or early in June.

P.S. We reached out 140 geocache this weekend, by attending an event in western Johannesburg, and the hightlight was meeting Erik the geocache reviewer for South Africa, all the way out from the USA, who is/was here on holiday.

02 March, 2008

Modderfontein Duck Derby

Today was the annual Duck derby at the Modderfontein dam hosted by the Edenvale Rotary club. I have heard of it before, but this was the first time that went to the event. You buy a number, and it is then allocated to a cute little yellow duck. The ducks are then released, and a race between the 1000+ ducks ensues down the river.

We got there quite early and walked around looking at the various kiosks, and also bought something to eat.

At 13H30 it was time for the duck derby. Lots of people and kids were standing along the river back, help the ducks that get stuck along.

Great fun was had by all, and we even took Bobbie (our Jack Russel) with. He loved getting out of the garden, and lots of kids wanted to stoke him. However if there were other dogs close by he started to bark, and at one point it got a little to much. I think he also thoroughly enjoyed the the outing with us.

In the morning I also quickly went past "Lightning Strike" which is a geocache about 150 meters from the event. From the log book it seems it was our 37th cache we did. We are currently on 139, and thus almost 100 caches ago that we were here last. We swapped a Kudu or Rhino head for a small compass.