The Crystal Maze!

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We did the crystal maze in london yesterday, we actually booked it LAST april because it was sold out for absolutely ages.

The experience itself was great fun, a 90 minute reimagine of the 90’s gameshow.

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Whilst in the maze, the game actually runs concurrently with 3 other teams – so each team is in a zone at a time, and then every X minutes the music kicks in and everyone runs screaming through the halls to the next zone and the teams kind of rotate – it also means at the end you are pitted against all of the other teams.

Our maze master was quirky and entertaining, but obviously the stars of the show was our team itself, which were at times quite painful to watch, especially in the games where you couldn’t assist in any way. Our team of 8 managed a sad 7 crystals out of 17 games….

Me: XO
Luke: XXX
Chris: XX
Alice: XO

Ronak: XO
Ed: XO
Ian: OO
Matt: XO

The zones and games themselves were similar to those in the show, only with a little less impressive decoration and many of the rooms were relatively small.
The two games I got to play, the first involved throwing a ball around from below and above was a maze which only my teammates could see, the second was like a typical escape game style scenario involving searching around a room using a blacklight – unfortunately didn’t clear this one as  I just couldn’t find the UV writing in good time.

A selection of some of the other games we had to play include:
Guiding Luke through a laser maze while he was blindfolded
Watching Chris struggle to assemble an electrical circuit
Watching Alive solve a murder mystery to find the correct key and lockbox
Watching Ronak last 10 seconds before getting locked in with the physical game
Laughing at Ian as he rolled inside a giant tube to transport Cannonballs across a room

Right at the end of the evening, you all get herded into a room with loud music and an announcer and get to see the other teams and how many crystals they grabbed, everyone cheers for each other and it all feels very gameshow in the best kind of way. Then you everyone takes turns to go into the crystal dome and do the paper grabbing. We actually got the least amount of crystals in our timeslot, with the other teams getting 8, 10 and 12 respectively

It was fucking frantic in there, everyone crowded round the mailbox flailing their arms trying to grab at gold paper, literally peeling it off my face to put into the box. They announced the winners afterwards and we actually grabbed the 2nd highest amount of tickets, though allegedly some of us cheated rofl. There were no actual prizes, and honestly it was hilarious to come 2nd when the other groups beat us in crystals.

All in all a fantastic night, though I wish I got to play more of the games myself – unfortunately a lot of it is watching other people struggle, but it’s a team game at the end of the day, and really makes me think that I need to get down to one of those escape rooms again sometime. It was a little bit expensive for the length of time that it lasted, though I can kind of see why because it’s not easy work to coordinate and the maze masters really put a lot of effort in to make the experience fun (not to mention all the staff you see sneaking around in the background trying to reset the puzzles without you noticing).

http://the-crystal-maze.com/ 

Life – March 2017

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Getting my moneys worth

So my company recently introduced a kind of rewards thing called Perkbox, which gives me access to tons of money off things, percentage discount on groceries, near half off on cinema tickets and stuff like that. Which is really just as well because i’ve been getting completely shit on in terms of my finances lately. After booking plane tickets to Thailand/Taiwan early last month and then car insurance due this weekend, i’ve basically wiped out an entire months paycheck without much to show for it. I’ve actually recently applied for a cashback credit card, and am hoping to start using more of those cashback websites and things like that to try and save a bit more money where I can – in the hopes it all makes a difference in the long run (I imagine it will, 5% off all food shopping is sure to add up over a year).

 

Employee of the month

So as a nice little bonus from work, I got £100 amazon gift card the other week, which is a pretty nice gesture and pat on the back for myself. I consistently close the most tickets per week and so I guess this is his way of tiding me over before I start asking for a payrise. One of the sales guys actually came over while I was eating lunch and was like ‘I hear you hold the helpdesk record’ so i’m not entire sure what my manager has been saying about me, but I’ve had little comments from the directors and managers so it’s good to know im in a better spot than my previous job with the thankless Barton Technology (who appear to have downsized even more since I left).

 

28th Birthday

It was my birthday at the end of last month, and whilst work was fairly uneventful, the girlfriend spoiled me a little in the evening and we stuffed ourselves with five guys and then watched the relentless John Wick Chapter 2 – which was more or less just Keanu Reeves shooting people in the face for 90 minutes or so (with the remainder being a montage of him picking out guns and getting a tailored suit). I got a backpack, a boardgame called Pentago (looks like a mindfucky version of connect 4) and some video games.

 

RIP headset

My old Corsair HS1 headset started to die on me mid month, with sound only coming out through one ear unless I whip the cable around for 5 minutes. I checked my warranty only to find that I had actually been using the headset for around 5 years before it packed up. Playing R6 Siege and only being able to hear through 1 ear was a real headache so I ended up just biting the bullet and buying a new one (even though I really would have rather not this month).
I picked up the Corsair Void Wireless headset, which was a little on the expensive side, but i’ve kind of been wanting a wireless headset for a while now and so the extra £30 seemed like a reasonable investment for the freedom of movement and insurance that I won’t tread all over the cable or trip on the cable and fuck up my USB ports (again).

 

Bitcoin is still terrifying

So remember how I bought Bitcoin and it was going up £40 per day? This is what happened later that week (Note that I bought in at around £840 per)

Now, I don’t know if any of you guys have tried your hand at investment (particularly when investing thousands of pounds) but seeing your investment a few weeks later suddenly seeing your investment plummet is not fantastic for mental health. Thankfully, the prices have since recovered and hit an all time high (it actually hit £1000 per unit for the first time ever earlier today) but the thought that if I had waited 2 weeks before buying I could have functionally gained an extra £800 is kind of sad. Oh well, if r/bitcoin is anything to go by, it’ll all be small fry in a few years. (Dudes on there are saying it’ll be worth $3k to £10k in 3 years, but I highly doubt that)