I made muffins last night. Shared some with my aunt and uncle because it looked like my grandparents had already gone to bed when I was down at the farm around 10 PM. So I visited my grandparents today, bringing tea and yesterday's baked goods. Stayed for a while, just talking. Trash pickup is tomorrow morning, so I helped my grandmother by taking out her plastic trash for recycling. Saw that my aunt had returned (she's so awesome - bicycling to Dingja! Man, I wish I had a bike..), and asked if she had seen the big tick on Tono (her dog). She had, and was just working up the guts to remove it. I offered to run back to my place and get my tick remover tool. So I got to show her how it works. Very useful tool, in my opinion, because it's sometimes really hard to get the entire thing, head and all, off using just ones hands, or even tweezers. I've never had the opportunity to use it on myself, but I've used it on Odessa lots of times. I make sure to pet and brush her frequently, of course, which often leads to discovering ticks before she gets bitten. But for the few occasions that she gets bitten, the tick remover is a godsend.
In knitting news, I finished these socks the other day:
And because I've been so obsessed with playing Frontier: Elite II, I haven't cast on a new pair yet! I can't remember how long it's been since I last didn't have a pair on the needles for more than a few hours, and now it's been two days! This is madness.
Today in Frontier, I've been mostly traveling the systems that were in the original game.. Lave, Diso, Leesti, Riedquat, etc. Lots of good fights to be had in Riedquat.
I was heading to Leesti when disaster struck - I fought a tough opponent who, in addition to being fairly good with the laser, also had naval missiles, the highest grade of missile, which are shielded from ECM. I managed to outrun one missile, but was hit by the other, and, having just been hit by some laser fire, my shields were weakened. My ship sustained some damage, and to my horror, the auto-pilot system was knocked out. I rely on the auto-pilot perhaps a bit too much. It is just so convenient. But I figured I'd give it a try anyway. I think it took me six or seven attempts before I finally managed to approach the space station. If the planet had a starport, I think I would have attempted to land instead - it was easy to get into the planet's gravitational field, but reaching the station was a challenge. Finally I just decided to stand still (in relation to the planet) and observe the station's orbit, then move to around where it would be, and let it come to me. It was quite difficult to maneuver around, with my top thruster damaged too, but I finally made it to where I was just a few kilometers away from the station, stable, waiting.. it was full, of course. Had to wait a day and a half for docking clearance. And then.. getting into the opening without crashing. I made it on my second attempt. :P
The auto-pilot makes everything so easy.
It's good to know that I can fly manually if I have to. Once I become more confident again, I'll do some manual landings and dockings just to practice. I used to be able to, back when I played the game on the Amiga - though I think it might have been a good two years after I started playing that I even started to attempt to learn how. When I first started playing, I was so nervous about flying that I spent a good week or two just studying the star map before, you know, actually play the game. I was that absorbed in it.
And I read the gazetteer and the book of short stories, further delving into this fascinating universe. That's how I got back into playing, really - wanting to read the stories again. Oddly enough, I haven't, yet, even though I went to the bother of buying the game again, off eBay (Amiga version, though I'm playing the PC version on DOSBox instead). If you want to read the short stories, they are available here - also including ones from the first and third game.