2010 News

31st December: As the old year ends and a new one begins, I am posting my 68th 'blog' of the year, which is more than once a week, which is not too bad at all. I dont see next year being any different to how things went this year really, especially as I spent today eating crap, drinking beer, watching Smallville and playing games.

Of all the games I bought on Steam, Torchlight os one that I have played the most of, some 6hrs in total as my bloke hits 16th level, but the one I am playing most is Batman AA, which is just fantastic. I posted this on AVForums:

Just another few words to proove that I dont just sit at my PC slagging of Medal of Honor and Vegas 2, and do actually enjoy games.In the style of William Shatner, This! ................is suPerB.

Loving it. Yes its a console game, but thats not a bad thing - I would play it with my 360 controller if the wireles dongle had not broken, but keyboard and mouse is fine.

The Matrix style pans and close ups as you take out a baddie are brilliant, and I just played a little of the extra modes, where you are constantly attacked by baddies, which helps you get the controlling just right for the main game. My manic laughter as I took on 5 Arkham baddies without taking a hit and properly using the counters as they appear was sublime, caused my daughter to come and see what I was taking such joy in, and then the usual roll of the eyes as she see's its just a game.

Graphics are excellent for the characters and anything that is not a air vent, the flying about grappling hook is done well, the aieral takedowns, the secrets dotted around, detective mode, zoom, the satisfaction of the combo moves, the little death endings........if I had known it was this good, I would have bought it ages ago. Its £7.50 again now, and if you add it to your wishlist to pick up before the sale ends, I guarentee that you will enjoy it.

Click to enlarge...

And here are a few other pics of some other Steam purchased games that I am playing about with at the moment. Fuel, Gothica 3 and Torchlight.

No new games purchased from Steam in the last few days, just waiting for Fallout 3 GOY to drop to a tenner, and then I will pull the trigger. I would like Divinity II to drop to a tenner as well, but I think Fallout 3 is more likely tbh. Oh, and if the Company of Heroes becomes a cheap package, I will bag that as well, despite owning the first one. Yes, I have Fallout 3 as well, but the GOY edition has all 5 DLC packs that cost a fiver each, so its a bargin even at £15, but seeing as how I have the game already, it pays to be frugal. So only 7 new games so far in the last few days, and that does not include Mass Effect 1 and 2 and Black Ops I picked up at Chrimble.

Ten new games for Christmas 2010 sounds appropriate dont you think?

27th December: Still continued my couple of hours a day of gaming, if you average it all out, but no where near a film a day. Watching the Expendables now though.

The Steam sales have been running for a week now, and I have bought a game a day more or less, all around the fiver mark. So far we have: Fuel £Free (Chrissie Pressie from Brad), Burnout Paradise @£3.75, Alpha Protocol @£5.00, Gothica 3 @£6.74, Torchlight @£3.75, Batman Arkham Asyalum @£3.75 and lastly, The Witcher @£3.75. Nothing bought today though - The Killing Floor is tempting, but I have the two Left For Deads for my zombie killing fix.

So, my gaming time has been made up from time spent on Fuel (although I am not joking when I saw probably two hours was spent logging in and out), now that I finally got my account sorted, topped up with a good 5+hrs on Torchlight, a Diablo meets WoW game with plenty of gibbage and dressing up. I like my pets, so have chosen the Alchemist Class, and have 4 Sprites, a Golem and a Lynx, as well as me, so loads of things happening at once, and although likely to burn itself out very quickly through its repetiveness, it has not got there yet and I dont regret spending a pint on it! I am 15th level at the moment, so as mentioned, have put a few hours in. I will add some pics later.

Only an hour or so of Gothica 3, no time on Batman yet and The Witcher is a 15gb download, so still going on now. I have not even installed Mass Effect, Mas Effect 2 or Black Ops yet either...

Lets get back to the Windows Live account though. Yes yes I went a bit over the top on my rantings - things typed here are nothing compared to the text messages I sent to Brad though, but here is how it finally ended.

After signing in and updating three times, you get logged out. No amount of logging back in allows you in to finish things off though. So what you are supposed to do is create another account. Yep, thats right, another account. Why did I not think of this? Its so intuative! Obvious even! Even more obvious is that when you go to create this account, you are supposed to ignore all the XBox 360 livery, and continue despite wanting a Live account, not an XBox live account. Once you have this XBox account, you log in with that and then you can continue.

Simples.

25th December: Merry Christmas to you all. This year I got a new 'item' other than the smellies and socks that you normally get in multiples. For 2010, it was the humble mug. My cup at work got broke, and so I ended up with three this year, One from Orc's Nest, a Beano one, and one with instructions on how to do the Running Man. Add plenty of Molton Brown, Mass Effect 2, some Graphic Novels and you get a happy little me.

24th December: Flush from the enjoyment of completing Dragon Age Awakenings, and fucked off with the joys of Windows live in Fuel, I fired up this puppy and once more went under the chopper and grenade barrage.

Shot 15 blokes all in the exact same spot, then a grenade killed me.

Shot 20 blokes all in the exact same spot, then the chopper fires rockets. I run, shoot a bloke, and another one throws a grenade while I am hiding from the chopper firing rockets, which lands in the very tiny space you have to hide from the chopper and kills me.

A very sad day for me, as I LOVED Rainbow Six with a passion - I was the person running a mission again if one of my boys died after watching the drama unfold for an hour or more from my plans, so I did not want this to be the way I remembered the franchise.

As as that speccy boy played by Morgana says when she's was taking off Lord Sugars, "..your shit, get out out of my shop."

Uninstalled.

Merry Christmas Dad!

23rd December: Yesterday I built Mikes new PC, in the 700D Corsair case - see here for more details and a ton of pictures, and along with blatting his other two PCs, this meant that I had no real time to play games. If it counts though, and it will as I am making up my own rules, I did read Vol 8 and 9 of the Walking Dead Graphic Novels.

Steam have a massive festive sale on now, and I have stacked up my Wishlist with lots of RPG's, and today I bought Alpha Protocol for the bargin price of £5, which adds to my list of Steam games along with Fuel that Brad bought me for Chrimble.

With all the Steam goodies, I am very tempted to grab Gothica 3, and also played a good hour today of the Divinity II demo, which was not bad at all. However, at £20, I am not grabbing it yet - I still have Mass Effect and COD: Black Ops not even installed yet.

I have easily completed my 2hrs minimum gaming time for today though as I just finished Dragon Age Awakenings, which was an excellent addition to the original campaign. The last fight was also satisfyingly bloody hard - I have been playing all of this on Nightmare (and most of Origins as well) just to make things last longer.

A Dragon fight earlier in that game saw me killed right at the begining of the fight (it picked me up and continually bit on me until I was dead), and as soon as I had killed the Dragon with my three remaining lads, I loaded it again to fight it again. I got the killing blow this time, and its good to see that the finishing moves are different - my Rogue Tumah flicked up in the air as he rode the Dragons head before flipping and stabbing the Dragon for a final time.

Fucking brilliant.

In fact I am on such a good mood at the moment, I may even try and finish off Raven Shield Vegas 2!

And my last ramblings for the day, Windows Live for Gaming or whatever its called, is Shit! And yes it warrants its Capital S and Exclamation mark. I know Steam was not all that good to start off with - I suffered all the hassle with the Orange Box not working properly during the early months etc, but Windows Live has been out a while now and its just not intuative in the slightest. Create an account, then change the name of the account, then get ready to play your game.

Wait for it to load, then find you cant save your game unless you create a profile, so update Live, which logs you off. Log in again, Live then wants to update itself again and wont let you skip this, so to play and be able to save your profile, you have to update Live again. Then log in again as its logged you off. Then update Live again. After this third time, I had the bang fucking hump, my 7 stars and hour of game had been wiped off because I had used a local profile, and logged off. I still dont know how many more times its needs to update itself, as it doesnt tell you. Its quite simply, a fucking pile of steaming shite.

21st December: Off on holiday now, and going to try and see if I can be as ignorant as possible, and watch a film AND play at least 2hrs of games EVERY day. This wont work, but its worth a shot.

I have started well, with Monday watching Knight and Day (cheesey but good) and 2 hrs of DA:Awakenings. Today I managed to watch The Other Guys (funny - Farrell talking about Tuna Fish attacking Lions) and play two hours of Aralon on the iPad.

9th December: If you have ever wondered what parenting was all about, don’t follow my advice. I said to my daughter that we only had her in case I was in a hostage negotiation and they kidnappers said it's you or your daughter. I say the daughter, and that means my investment in her has been paid off surely? For some reason, she did not look on this favourably…..

Jaw aching like a bastage all weekend and I have had an ice pack on my jaw and popping pills like a teen at his first rave. So back to the dentist on Monday, where they stuffed my face with ‘tea leaves’ as she called it, but I smell cloves. Now do you have something that really makes you sick or gag? Cloves (and Whiskey after getting absolutely smashed on it many many years ago) are my kryptonite so although my tooth does not hurt, the smell and ‘feeling’ has given me a headache.

Two steps forward three steps back.....

3rd December: Its been a bad week for travel - tube strike on the Monday then 3 days of snow effecting travel times and people tempers (two woman arguing behind me – “....you pushed me! Don’t push me!”) with a dentist visit in between. Could it have been a worse week?

2nd Decemeber: Jaw aching like a mother fuckier. Thats right, fuckier. Thats more painfull than a mother fucker by at least half. And yes, obviously I made that up, well my mind made it up from a spelling mistake anyway. 23 days 'til christmas!

1st December: Tooth out today and I think I did alright, I certainly did not mess myself and I am pretty sure when I finally opened my eyes I had not been crying, although I could not be sure. I simply plugged my headphones in closed my eyes as soon as I laid down, and therefore have no idea what they were saying to me. The only time I opened my eyes was when the nurse grabbed my face with both hands for the dentist to get a better grip on my tooth. As you can imagine, my eyes did not open again.

I then waited outside the Co-op in the bitter cold to be picked up - I don't like cold anyway, but it was so cold a dog tied up outside the supermarket was shifting from paw to paw to minimise the cold it felt. I watched for a while, but the person inside was taking ages, so I dragged a box from the packing on a trolley behind me and stuck it under the dog.

I then turn to face a young lady who thought I must have been a kind soul for my doggie care and kindness, and thought me safe to ask for directions. A mistake to be sure, but before she could see my swollen face and the bloody spit and drool dribbling down my chin as though I had just eaten a baby feteus, I looked away, covering my face with a hand like the Elephant man and with a grunt, waved her off.

Finally home, I managed to stay awake for a while before the bloody drool made me think I had aged 30 years or more, (I will just add that the iPhone spellchecker I am writing this on turned 'or more' into the word Koreans' - so that last thing would read something like 'turned me into a 30 year old Korean') and I drifted off to my shock induced sleep.

31st November: "Every year thousands of people die....." this was the excellent cold call recorded message that I got a while back that I forgot to mention. You know, one of those calls you get, that is silent for a while, then the click, then the recorded message begins to play. I am almost sad that I put the phone down as a reflex action, as I am curious as to what the rest of it would have been....especially if the message was "Every year thousands of people die when they put the phone down on cold calling recorded messages. Expect a visit soon from the machinating slicing doom robot machines of death, and for terms and conditions, please visit double yoo double you double yoo dot....

25th November: I'm a Celebrity is doing my head in, not the fact that Gillian is brilliant as she faints her way through tasks, but because the tasks seem to have been dumbed down massively as they know she has been picked. Why else did the loony tunes cave contain NOTHING? Why was there not a bowl of snakes and rats instead of foam mousetraps? Why did the water lobster pot thing have no spider floaty things and swimming rats? Fuck me, if you are going to do something properly, do it right! Oh, and how come they seem to have an endless supply of beans and rice, and keep getting tasks to top up their food (the pub)?

The public are trying to starve them by picking her, at least stand by your own rules.

If you have not heard of, or watched The Middle, do so now, its brilliant.

*looks on the floor and whispers*

"..its brilliant..."

Lastly, one can never have too much Frankie Boyle in your life:

22nd November: Lots of watching stuff on my TV this weekend started with Speed Racer, Spirited Away and then Quantum of Solace. I also saw the new Harry Potter with my daughter at the cinema that tried to rip me off not once but twice (overcharged for tickets then again for food and I don’t mean their already high prices, I mean properly overcharged), and played a huge amount of Dragon Age Awakenings.

I must get a Fraps video of my newest feat that basically backstabs everyone in an area the size of a fireball blast - You zip from one foe to the other really quickly without intervention and then stand in a pose after your glorious efforts. Quality.

I did hit a bug in Awakenings though - you are all supposed to be knocked out and imprisoned at one point, and then fight creatures to get your stuff back. I had to do it a few times and it kept failing which meant my equipment (tunic and both my daggers!) was lost! This is a bad thing obviously and even with the latest patch it is not fixed completely, meaning I had to go back to before I am captured and strip off. The funniest thing was the Dwarf in my party who has a cut scene where he says “..take your hands off my junk!” during one of my bugged games. I had given him an axe that I had got recently, and the creature with his gear went for the dwarf. Who then cut him dead with a blow for over 300 damage through one of his abilities. Very funny indeed.

Sent off for my VAT back from Sony, so hope to see a check in time for Christmas and I already have a little stack of games ready for Christmas as I bought them for me from my mum. So Call of Duty Black Ops and Dead Space are waiting for me so far, with others hopefully to follow. By Christmas I should finish Awakenings, and be well into completing Medal of Honour.

11th November: More journal typing from me over the last few lunch breaks, typing 18 and 19, then realising that 17 was half done. I was sure I had finished it, and even had crossed out the pages so scoured all my devices - it looks like I had overwritten a copy I had and so lost a few pages worth of notes, which took me another 30 minutes or so to type back up again. Looks like I have a few pages of notes of 19 to finish off now, then I have 17 to 19, plus 20 to 22 that were on my iPad, so six chapters ready to draft up.

I also amended my image to that on the figure in the logo above rather than my old Wizards mni I was using, and I have amended the XP points to those that are current on the Character page.

10th November: Saw a Turkish version of myself last night on the tube, shaved head, smart trench coat, scarf, man bag, jeans and trainers, listening to something on some decent looking headphones. I can now cross Turkish off my list, and looking for Chinese and female versions to get a full set of Stuart Ethnic Doubles. I know Turkish and female are not technically classed as ethnicity, but I know what I mean.

4th November: Chapter 16 is up, Tenpast versus the volcano, played 17th January, 2010. While on the tube last night I dropboxed it to my phone and then edited it with Doc2Go Premium on my iPhone, before uploading it back again when I got indoors. I love gadge! Hmm, that sounds rude... I meant gadgets obviously, but coming from someone that is trying to work out a way to put 'schadenfreude' and 'moist' into a sentence and get away with it, its hardly worth mentioning.

3rd november: Kon spotted the deliberate mistake that I put into Chapter 15 about Chunks talking sword that he has not even found yet according to the chapters, and so wins the prize*, and this has now been changed, and I really am on the last draft of Chapter 16, that as long as I don't spend too much time on other random bits and bobs, I will post this week.

I finally sorted out my TV woes, as I pulled the trigger on the 40EX713 the other day, and should be receiving it within the next few days. I did complain when I saw that the price had increased to £999 again, even though the day before it had been £899, but a quick phone call and as long as I bought it then and there, I was good. So, with the current Sony VAT back deal, it means I get the TV I wanted for around £760. Happy days!

As an experiment, I have been 'logging' the amount of money I have been spending on, well, myself, and I may publish it, but here's a quick excerpt, but when I look back at it, if you include the TV, I have spent a pretty penny on random stuff, and this is only the bits I remember...

Which is my god given fucking right and wont change ever. :p

April & May - £230

Lord of Rings Trilogy Blu-ray £20; Avatar Blu-ray £14; Saving Private Ryan BR £15; Clothes - Penguin and UniQlo £110; Dragon Age Origins £10; Magic £40; iPhone Apps £10 (inc FF, iFooty); Walking Dead Vol 5

Bought in Mar- £321

£303 XFX 5870 Graphics Card; £18 Blu-ray's

* The first rule of prizes is that there is no prizes.

28th October: Spent ages updating my DnD Character sheet in Excel. Its not all geeky DnD stuff, as I actually learnt how to add cells together in combinations of words and numbers. In my case it was to add the plus symbol then my BAB plus the relevant strength modifier plus the word '1d6+' then add the weapon damage and relevant strength modifier.

With seven or so different characters to update every level, all with their own saves and attacks etc I decided things had to change. Now I update one sheet, and the characters all pull their data from that, saves, hits and attack rolls all update across the sheets simply from changing one instance of that stat.

For instance, the equation to show that specific form's attack roll and damage looks something like this:

="+" & !CellRefBAB+!CellRefWpn+!CellRefStr & " / 1d6+" & !CellRefDam+!CellRefStr.

To return something like this in the cell.

+9 / 1d6+12

Glad you asked now, are you not? Well technically, no you did not ask, but, er, hmm.... I'll get me coat.

Oh, and I may have a new figure soon, I asked regarding a specific paint job for the Harssaf from the bloke I got all the other figures from. Just waiting to hear back as he is away on holiday.

25th October: Played a massive session of Dragon Age Origins, getting back into it and really liking it alot. Decent Storyline, and plenty of fights. Just when I thought I was getting too good for my own good (after spending 147 Gold on a Dagger) I got dumped on my arse fighting some soldiers as part of a quest. What makes it worse was that I killed them all without thinking about it the first time, but then got beat by a really strong demon/revenant hiding in the dirty side streets. As I had no save game, I had to re-fight the soldiers as part of another quest again.

They absolutely destroyed me, and again, and again while I shouted obscenities at my monitor. I finally beat them on the 4th? 5th? attempt, remembered to save my game and went back for the demon, who caned me over and over again. I managed to get him to a sliver of life, but my only surviving warrior, the Dwarf, is so slow with his weapon that he just could not get the final blow in.

So I have left him hiding, and have continued with the main quest while I sold everything I had and looted everything and ran around so I can buy the 88gp Lifegiver Ring, which is sure to help me - and then I will be back for the Demon again. I am 18th level, but apparently only 34% of the way through the game, which cant be right, can it? I have Awakenings as well ready to install once this is done anyway.

This has not stopped me from grabbing a facial texture mod and an a little Adventure called Alley of Murders though, to continue my game that little longer....

Lastly, I still have not bought the PC case I have been banging on about, the Corsair 700D, nor the Sony TV I want as I refuse to pay the extra money for it (it was going for £800 at a short time of release as it superceeded the 40ex703 model, before it then shot up to £1100!) and to top off my day I find that BT Infinity wont be in my area until September 2011. Bugger.

Working on the Chapter 16 now honest!

19th October: Another LAN session has just been finished, playing Operation Flashpoint, which worked very well I thought. I did not last unfortunately, bad headache strikes again, and so missed around 5 hours of Worms based jollity. Oh well, maybe next time.

I forgot to mention that at the last DnD Session Brad who plays McFlurry said to me that he was most distressed that all of his references in the chapters to date have been of a comic element, and rightly or wrongly he would like a more sesnsible role. I am not sure why I am describing this in some kind of film based format, but you never know whats round the corner. It took Lord of the Rings 50 years to come to life, so I have high hopes for this to be a Movie anyday now. So, I will make sure that I write up the things he does that are useful in a better light.

Nothing so far though...

Only joking, I will make sure that I big up your part from now on, and apologise if you think I have not done enough. This applies to all of you - if you want something changed, just ask, although you do have to expect some poetic licence in some instances. Besides that, everything is actually based on what you have done in game, warts and all as such!

I have also begun mucking about with my book, and am very happy with it so far. It only contains the first two chapters and I am experimenting with the title page and inside cover at the moment, but its a proper (well, virtual) book and everything!

13th October: I had something that I wanted to add to 'my bloggy thing' - which admitidly is not quite as catchy as a normal everyday blog, but I then subsequently forgot exactly it was I wanted to add. This coincidently is a little like the Nemi comic in the Metro the other day - Cyan wakes up from a dream and says "Of course, why dont we do this..." quotes some babbling nonsense then as her brain wakes up, she realises dream stuff doesnt work in the real world and so goes back to bed.

Well that did not work either - I tried to do that thing where you say aloud (or in my case type) that you had something you wanted to say in case it jogged my memory to remember exactly what I did want to add. But failed miserably.

Oh well, I have nearly finished the first draft of Chapter 16, and also realised that I have published approx. 50k words of work. Not quite the quarter of a million I did for Into the Night Below, but still nice. Oh, and by 'published' I do mean posted on this website obviously, not proper published - although I do have a cunning plan to look at releasing my chapters as an eBook - and that 50k does not include emails and typing on the afore mentioned 'bloggy type thing' either.

Nope, still did not remember what I wanted to say.....

12th October: We played what will be Chapter 22 at the weekend, and as a taster, I have started putting chapter snippets back up. Look to the top right of the page for more details.

11th October: Well the last four weeks or so has been what I will refer to as 'Headphone month' for me. You may remember I bought some Zagg Smartbuds a while back, but just could not get on with them - the cable management of behind the ear with the loop was just wrong and uncomfortable, which was a shame as the headphones themselves build wise where fantastic. With a proper Zagg shielded cord (which I think would have been indestructable based on their other products), a nice remote and looking every bit there $80 price tag.

However, the sound was too low. At its highest volume, it felt like 60% of the volume of the CX300 II's I was upgrading from and the limited noise isolation that the CX300's supplied was also better than the Zaggs. With a heavy heart, I packed the little red gems up and sent them back for a refund (they offered a 45 day money back no quibble guarentee).

I searched high and low for in-ear headphones, and then started coming across names I had never heard of before - I am by no means a headphone perfectionist but you think you would have heard of some other supplier names that get excellent writeups, such as Bowers and Wilkins or Bose. I came across the Dr Dre Beats headphones by Monster which I tried on in Currys and absolutely loved them, but they where proper cans and cost £300.....thankfully they did some in-ear ones with the remote control and a more respectable £120.

I found what I thought was a bargin on eBay, but they sadly never arrived, and flush with the cash from my Zagg refund, the eBay refund and some spare cash, I researched some more into the £100 price bracket. I was pointed towards V-Moda, Klipsch and Etymotic as good models, and settled on the Etymotic MC3's from the Apple store for £80.

With my new purchase in hand I sat in Covert Garden Starbucks and listened to some tracks, trying to ignore the discomfort of the MC3's that jam really far into your ear - I felt like one of the beasts on Avatar, being 'connected' by an Avatarian's stem inserted into one of my orefice's. This discomfort did go away after a while though, and so I concentrated on the tracks.

My 'test' playlist had a few tracks such as Florence and the Machine - Dog Days; Pink Floyd - Wish You were Here; Elbow - Grounds for Divorce; XX - VCR and Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition and with the MC3's, I just was not 'getting' it. Yes they sounded a little different and were at the loudness levels of the CX300's, but there was something missing I think. I then tried tracks from Plan B and Muse but still could not justify the £80 purchase in my mind.

I felt that I was litterally paying £60 more than the CX300's for a remote and a squiggy feeling in my ear, and to top it off, the Etymotics have zero branding on them. Nothing but L and R on the buds. Now I am not a brand whore, well not that much, but if I drop £80 on some buds I want them to at least have the name on them, even if I had not heard of them until about four weeks ago. If you stuck these next to some pairs that cost £5 from the market, you would struggle to tell the difference, they were that uninspiring.

I tried to ignore that, and concentrated on the different bud types and kept playing songs over and over - I probably listed to a good three hours plus of music swapping headphones and buds to get a feel for them, but nothing seemed to make much difference and my thoughts on them did not change.

My reasons for buying them from Apple directly over Amazon (and saving a tenner or so) was then justified (and was done for exactly this reason) as I took them back the next day (after a good washing and baby wiping off my prints natch) and went to look at the V-Moda Remotes and the Klipsch S4i's.

A lovely blue-shirt saw me with the two boxes in my hand, and said that the S4is were the better choice, and after chatting with him, he had also upgraded from the CX300's and when I mentioned about returning the Etymotics, he said that he didnt think they were as good as they had been written about, oh and also that they look cheap.

A quick refund was arranged (and parting with another £10) I walked out with the Klipsch S4i's and at the bus stop, ripped apart the packaging. Soon they were in my ears, and with test playlist playing, I was finally in bud heaven. Instantly I felt that they were a better sound, whether through placebo effect or not, and also loud enough (a good 10% more than the CX300's) for me. Add in the fact that they were comfortable and producing a crisp sound (Wish you were here by Pink Floyd starts with a muffled tune in the background and then someone coughs and clears their throat a few times before the guitar chords kick in and then the hairs on the back of your neck rise) and to top off the brand whore inside of me, they looked a whole lot better than the Etymotics.

Headphone month is officially over!

21st September: Chapter Fifteen –"Don QuiTrixie" is up, played back on the 29th November 2009.

20th September: Inbetweeners has started again, and I forgot all about Dexter - shame on me and so I watched the last four episodes in a few days and oh Lordy it was good. Any excuse to see John Lithgow say "shut up cunt" is good enough for me.

I finished off season six of Grey’s anatomy as well which was very well done and came as a surprise, watched another vampire film – Daybreakers, and yes I am nearly done with chapter 15. I will have this done by the end of the week honest.

1st September: Some recent TV programs that were really bloody good and not on for long enough - just three episodes for both Vexed and Sherlock Holmes? Three! Lastly, Mongrels, which went on for 8 or so, and was brilliant. Another longer season for all of them please!

Chapter 15 nearly done as well, and I am mostly playing Titan Quest.

25th August: Finished off my patch panel cabinet experiment at work. Yes I am doing Chapter 15 as well as pissing about with other things, and I will be devoting my afternoon to it I promise. Anyway, for those that like patch panel pr0n, allow me to present you with this dirty bitch:

Just a bit to filthy for me, so I had to strip the girl down and apply some common sense - for a start different coloured cables for different segments of the network. So I start to apply Blue for one segment, red for the other and yellow for connecting switches. The two grey thin cables are fibre connections.

Some advice if you do this yourself at any point. Take apart the cabinet and have ports then switches in equal amounts - ie two rows of 24 port panels and a 48 port switch. It also helps if your panels have the cable tidy rungs. Otherwise you have a bodge job of cable ties tied together to make loops to thread cables through like I have done here to get the cables away from each other. You can also see that I have used 2mtr cables, which is a mistake, and 0.5mtr ones should be suffient for most cabinets.

After some rejigging of cables (red and yellow now go one way and blue the other) and plenty of swearing and a suprising amount of back pain as I have spent around 10 hours with my hands over my head, this is the finished article.

Shes still a dirty girl, but scrubbed up nicely.

24th August: You can skip over this bit if you dont want me to wax lyrical about my iPhone, but it really did save me a huge amount of time and headaches while driving in Wales last week. I did nearly a thousand miles over all and without the NDrive app (like TomTom) I would have driven round in circles. Combined with the free google map app, I found my comic shop, the camp site, places to visit...very very impressed. A fiver for the app (rather than £40 for TomTom's app) and £5 off ebay for a charger and holder. Probably the best £10 I ever spent - and if you have seen me use that phrase before, its allowed, look it up. :p

Off to recable a patch cabinet!

23rd August: Ooooooh...an X-Com clone called Isochron is in the works - maybe christmas?

21st August: Happy Birthday Dad. :Raises a pint:

20th August: Just back from a trip to Noth Wales, which was very nice. Got a welsh parking ticket from being too excited at not having to pay to park in one welsh seaside town and completely forgot to check in another. Went on a massive cable car trek in Llandudno, which took us up a mountain and then a mile inland, found a comic shop in Chester and annoyed my daughter by frequently describing a trip to the toilet to lay some dogeggs as 'getting back to my driving weight'.

I also managed to embaress myself by getting up on stage as part of a quiz and then was subjected to ladies leaping on me as I partook in 'musical men'. As it got down to me and one other man, I was subjected to what can only be sexual assualt as an over euthisiastic lady (refered by me later as Spiderlady) as she leapt so far up me, and combined with me grabbing her to stop us both being thrown backwards that she had one leg over my shoulder. I felt dirty, but suprisingly quite moist.

17th August: Being on holiday does not stop my geeky nose twitching - the missus spotted my DnD books and I took my iPad loaded with comics, natch.

After suggesting shopping for the girls in Chester, some 30+ miles and a trip across the border from our caravan, mostly due to the fact that I had accidentally found out that there was a comic shop in the area. And so after they all trooped off to Primark etc, I found the shop and picked up some old Daredevils, all dated before I was born, and not in terrible condition either! I was obviously very happy, especially when he told me of another comic shop 10 minutes down the road from our caravan back in Wales :p

Anyway, off to Seaworld now to see if I can get away with touching a sealion's blowhole.

4th August: Back to the comment from yesterday, I tried to work out some costings:

TFT £200, £50/year; Motherboard / CPU / RAM: £375 - £125/year; GPU: 8800GTS £300 - £100/year; Case £110 - £27.50/year

So the breakdown of component parts is approx. £300 per year. I have no idea what I am trying to say or prove actually, just random musings as I divert my attention once again from finishing off chapter 15 :p

More Comic App reviews by me for the iPad, and more game playing - I played the first level of Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising again last night as I could not remember where I got the Sniper Rifle I liked from, and when I played it back and I still could not find it. I also played a nice 2 hour session of Battlefield Bad Company 2, which compared to my last few attempts to even get into a game was a thousand times better. So I will be back on again tonight.

Came across a thread regarding the price of games today and it makes you wonder! I posted that I paid an absolute fortune (£80 or £90!) for a US import of FFII (Jap IV) on the SNES and that does not include the cost of the convertor (the UK SNES had rounded corners, while the US and Jap Famicoms had square edges) which was another £40 odd (possibly more?) quid. I cant remember if I had bought that first for another game or for FFII and then bought other games because I could now play them though....

3rd August: In the PC component world, trying to stay near the top always fails as something is always bigger or faster if you just wait a month or so. So every now and then its nice to see that a decission to buy something very expensive still holds its value and is still the best in its price point five months on from when you bought it. Five months may not seem that long, but in the component world, its at least a half-life if not an eternity in the fast moving cut throat pc gubbins universe.

My 5870 (er, which you could have bought a PS3 for and still had cash left over) is still the same price now as when I bought it. It was obviously helped by the fact that Nvidia released a very hot and even more expensive card to compete against it, but I will take a victory where I can thanks. It will nose dive by christmas I am sure, but by then I would have had a good 9 months worth of gaming on it, and I wont be sad.

Now I think of it though, I have been pretty good (even if I do say so myself) with my own buying purchases. My Q6600 is now 2+ years old and still going strong and will be three years old by the time I look to replace it in spring next year. My P180 case has seen me through 4 brilliant years of LAN session batterings and only now am I upgrading to the Corsair 700D. And lastly my Sammy TFT (which admittdley did get replaced on warranty) will last me until at least spring next year, meaning I would have eeked 4 years of service from that as well. Happy days!

2nd August: Nearly finished Rainbox Six vegas 2, and I will give it some props as I was walking through an area and thought 'Hold on....' yep, it was the Oil rig depot from Raven Shield, complete with trains and walkways overhead. Nice touch, even if it does look like a 4 year old drew the textures.

Had my watch pr0n fix on Saturday roaming around salivating in Selfridges in Oxford Street. Found a new watch to add to my advancent in watches, the U-Boat. The prices range from £1k to 3K, although the ones I liked where 1200 to 1500.

So now my watch advancement after my Fossil and Storm watches is likely to be > TW Steel > U-Boat > Corum / Bell & Ross. Add them to the things to buy me for christmas please!

Oh, and Chapter 14, played back in October 2009 is up now as well.

30th July: You will be pleased to know that I have nearly finished my first draft of Chapter 14. I am going through the motions again now, while pissing about with File Sorting and Renaming programs for a little project. The idea is to rename files to remove words, then sort according to name, all with little user intervention. This is after a huge amount of time setting up rules and looking for programs in the first place obviously, meaning it actually took far longer to do this time, but I should reap the minutes, nay hours! saved in the future.

Borrowed a hard drive caddy from work - may buy this model myself now that I have used it - the ability to stick a hard drive into a caddy and have it treated as a USB device is always handy, and this one can read laptop and normal sized drives in IDE and SATA format. Which is nice. Anyway, I only did this JUST to remove my Call of Duty 4 saved game from my old drive (why o why cant they all just save games to the same bloody location?) to find out that I had actually stopped playing it not that far from the end.

A few hours last night finished the game, and I am really disapointed - it was so bloody good I would rather play more of that and pretend I have finished the pile of textureless mess that is Rainbow Six Vegas 2. I added some pics of my session (no spoilers) on the Madness website if you fancy taking a look.

So, whats next? I suppose uninstall that, and then start Call of Duty 5, World at War :p I have already played most of the missions with Mike and Brad on a mini LAN we held at Brads some time last year, but the co-op was a disjointed affair where you selected missions rather than it flow from one mission to the next. Oh, and I suppose I will also have to go back and get rid of RSV2 as well.....:(

Then all I need to do is finish Crysis, BFBC2, STALKER, Bioshock, Far Cry 2, Fall Out 3......

28th July: Finished the note form of Chapter 16 now, and I will be doing the draft versions of Chapter 14 next. I see that you have already noticed that I have changed the images in the top right hand corner of the web site to reflect the mini's I have obtained from Orc's Nest, and if you had not, bloody take a look now!

The figures are superb and needed to be given the credit they are due - it looks much better to me, and that's what counts I'm afraid, especially when I have just spent the best part of an hour chopping images and uploading them as something was 1 pixel out. Trust me, until you have done this yourself, you cannot describe the feeling of utter desperation as you try and try again to stop fiddling with (stop it!) an image that was perfectly fine until you touched it last.

I also changed the link colour and the title header as well - "Castle White Rock ..and the trials and tribulations of its townsfolk" did not make sense as it doesn't have any. So I changed it to "....of its inhabitants" instead. Which is equally lame, so send your ideas to the usual address. No really.

Oh, and I also went through the spelling as well :looks embarrassed: and yes, I misspelled embarrassed as well. :p

And lastly, just to prove how topical I can be, I saw this joke (iPad RSS feed) and thought it could be applied to BP's latest fuckup. "They delved too greedily and too deep...."

26th July: Had a nightmare journey to work this morning as King's Cross had signal problems meaning we waited at Moorgate for ages before heading back to Bank then changing at Totty court road before getting on the Northern line to then change again at Camden to go to the High Barnet branch to work.

I suppose that after a blinding party weekend (party to 2am, back to Tower Thistle Hotel, party in the room, get a second wind, meet up with more friends in rooms below us, carry on till around 7am then try and fall asleep for a few hours before checking out) like I just had, there had to be some drama's after to balance things up. :p

Its going to be a quiet summer here, so I should be cracking on with chapters - I may blast through 16 in note form, then go back and finish off 14, 15 and 16 and upload them as I go. I have also added the latest XP for totals for everyone, they can be found on the Character page.

The Mitchell and Webb show has its ups and downs this series and I thought the other nights episode was a little poor, but then they did the Gift Shop Sketch, which was very funny if you watch programs such as Dragons Den, Secret Millionaire, Hotel Inspector etc. You know, the shows that assume you have the attention span of a goldfish, and cant possibly remember what happened some 5 minutes ago as they recap everything that happened before the break, or actually recap stuff that has not happened yet!

I don't fucking want to know what happens before its happened, and I don't fucking want to know what has happened because I just fucking watched it! Its bothered me for ages, and that sketch pretty much summed up how much you can drag out a program with such little material. Its not clever, its fucking lazy. For instance in Dragons Den we could see more of the 'also in Dragons den' that have one or two comments in them rather than reviewing or previewing what is actually on at the time......and breathe.

20th July: The creative juices are really flowing as I crack on with catching up with DnD - I really have managed to write up a lot in the last few weeks in comparison to normal, and so I had one of those dreams that you can recall almost perfectly the next day.

If you have a weak stomach turn away now, but seeing as I normally talk about disturbing things this is really no different. Basically I had a dream where I messed myself. It was one of those real caught short moments - that frantic run to a public toilet, the suffering you endure when you find it occupied, the churning of both stomach and mind as you try to contain the contents of your bowels by shear force of will alone.

So my dream continues, and I finally get inside, lock the door, fight my belt and buttons that are only ever a problem when you don't want them to be and pull down my trousers and sit down with relief.......

But it's in that brief few seconds between trousers down and contact with porcelain that my stomach betrayed me. In my dream, and I really don't know why it's a dream as I certainly would not pick it - hmm sleepy time, what do I want to accompany my rest? Keely Hawes and the lady from Chuck telling me that they find men with iPad's irresistible or sat in a public toilet starring in disbelief at my own night soil?

Anyway, that's when it happens, with force and great pressure and it's on the wall, my back, then you do that revulsion thing and as you turn to check your condition you have slipped and now you are on the floor.......it does get a little surreal as I had a book that I am reading (after all that detail I have no idea which book apart from the fact that it obviously has a white cover) and while splashed with filth I am more concerned that I have brown wee on the pages and cover of my book.

Then as I scrabble about to pull toilet paper off the roll and start to mop up, then there is a power cut and it all goes dark and....

......I wake in terror clutching my bottom with both hands, finding thankfully that my pants are soil free. As a double bonus, I also find that I have not found this strangely erotic either, and have no front bottom leakage either. Phew!

19th July: Went to the O2 Soul Sister's gig at IndigO2 on Friday night and it was very good indeed, Gwen McCrea, Jones Girls and Jean Carne with tunes such as this, this and this played by the DJ before and after. Would go again - and I am gutted I missed Loose Ends earlier in the year, and if you do go, make sure you bring a large amount of cash, I burned through £60+ in a few hours at the bar!

Oh and a special mention to the tall lady in the black top and jeans in front of me who was a damn fine dancer.

13th July 2pm: Oh, and the Zagg Invisible shield came off - it just felt 'wrong'. £18 wasted when I could have bought more books, like this conversation with Chris on Sunday:

"..sorry did you just say you bought some more comics?"
"Yes."
"I thought you got an iPad to read comics on?"
"Yes, but not all of them are out, and I have some in trades already, they must be finished off." - I bought another couple of Y The Last Man Trades.
"Your weird."

I had no answer to that.

13th July: My blokey legs are still aching. Spent all of last night working on my Silver Box, then my iPad.

Top Tip: Are you a child killer and tired of being discovered all the time by your nosy neighbours? Why not move to London near a park or Church where Foxes are likely to set up and raise their cubs. Their screams in the night sound like babies being mangled, so during the few weeks while the young are raised you will be able to practice your trade with no-one the wiser. I also recommend a combination of Vanish and the cold wash Bold to clean your blood soaked aprons.

12th July: Did more blokey things than any normal bloke could possibly do in any 48 hour period to prove what a blokes bloke I really am. It did however start not terribly blokey by playing magic in a hotel in Russell square but you do have to start low and work your way up, don't you?

On Sunday things all changed as I was fixing the car like blokes do, and laughed in the girls face when buying bulbs at Halfords when she asked if I wanted the bulb fitting service. Bulb fitting? Me? An ACSP? Oh wait that doesn't apply here does it? Anyhoo I didn't need any help thank you very much as I am a bloke and I can do it myself. And I did, removing my lights and sorting it out like a top bloke. Then I washed the car like blokes do, then went to the park and played blokey football.

Then I scored three goals like only some blokes can do before coming home and watching the bloke world cup final with a blokey beer or three before going to blokey bed.

9th July: Well that worked not too bad at all. I did end up getting my notepad out on the tube on the way home last night, but with iphone in hand, Ministry of Sound Chill out CD3 in my ears, I blasted through 4 games worth of notes typed up on my phone.

I also added my Zagg invisible shield to my iPad so hopefully that will be all ok tonight when I get in and turn it on.

8th July [16:30]: Going to try and type up some magic notes on the tube on the way home and see how that goes. Ideally I don't really want to get my big notepad out - I just access my dropbox, make sure that I have the files I need and then edit them on tube on the way home. Then Documents To Go will sync back with my dropbox account should I want to finish it off in Pages on my iPad.

Why all the pissing about? Well I want to write and I am far too easily distracted towards something else, so not having to copy files from one place to another or having the ability should I choose to be able to update my documents rather than fall asleep on the tube and miss my stop, then I will. It might mean I get through some of my backlog quicker as well!

8th July: Still doing my exercises from the app although I need to get back into the swing of doing them each night rather than one in three nights. Trouble is its so damn hot and sticky at the moment and I would rather read comics with a cold beer or play Broken Sword or Monkey Island 2 instead - yep they have indeed released perfect versions of these two little point and click beauties.

Nearly finished Angry Birds and not sure if I will try and go for the three gold stars per level and all the golden eggs but I may do, seeing as its pretty much the perfect tube game - try Doodle Jump on the tube and see how far you get!

I ordered a Zagg invisible shield (you must see some of the reviews for this - they use it as a chopping board to chop carrots and dremmel it to prove a point!) for my iPad that arrived today apparently, as my new Incipio Feather iPhone case with invisible cover is so good that I want to make sure that my iPad is covered against scratches. Otherwise like some emo, I may self harm myself for each blemish that I bring upon it's lovely features through my carelessness. Or maybe not.

Chapter 15 should be finished in note form today or tomorrow, and then I have a MTG from December to add, while I work on Chapters 14 and 15 on my iPad.

1st July: Well that was remarkably quick. I have tried a different method of writing things, and simply wrote all of my nonsense notes in one sitting while waiting for two little blue bars to finish - my opening line is "We are all on the beach, me and 4 others in their pants." for instance. I then uploaded it to Dropbox and then downloaded it to my iPad to finish off and edit in Pages. This next step will take a while as usual, but I hope that overall the whole process is quicker than usual.

The chapter name has changed already, as we don't actually go to the Volcano at all for another two chapters, so this one is called "Where is a Petrologist when you need one?" in honour of the splendid discussion myself and Kon had, helped along by Chris likening rocks to Ice cream.

30th June: Haven't started Chapter 14 yet, not even opened a blank document! I am however carrying around my notebook with the chapter in, which is a good start. I have tentively entitled it, Tenpast and the Volcano, as it details our brilliant escape from our crushing defeat and taking up a new quest which funnily enough, is in a Volcano. Good job I had chosen a form that was immune to fire then, wasn't it!

Went to Apple last night and after some confusion as to what section I was supposed to be in - apparently my name was down for the workshop, not repairs, but workshops on how to use Apple products. Me? Needing to know how to use a Apple product? I am a ACSP ffs! :P

Anyhoo, they had me on a wait list, but I was seen quickly and although some people may not like them, there customer 'experience' is fantastic and they bend over backwards to help.

So. I tell them about my dodgy headphone socket, and apparently is a common problem as belly button fluff can get in the hole and make it not work. He cleans it out, but no joy and its still not working. He tries again, still no joy, and so swaps it out with a brand new/recon phone.

I get home and within Itunes soon have a restore done, which not only gives me all my text messages, but contacts, calendar entries, wallpaper and even remembered where I am in Angry Birds.

Now that's fucking service.

Advert update: Saw an advert in the Metro that made me chuckle, for Old Spice body Wash. It said something like "..who wants to smell like Unicorns and Rainbows when they can smell of Jet Fighters and punching!" - now that's what real men smell of.

29th June: I have an appointment with the Apple Genius's (Geniusii?) today to get my iPhone looked at. Sound started to come out of one ear randomly, them pretty much all the time, and I thought that the Apple headphones had just died. Bought a pair of Sennheiser 300's from Amazon for a bargain £17 (in the Eco packaging that apparently is not the normally fakers choice of Sennheiser headphones) and they do the same thing. Bollox.

Anyway, I was explaining the normal excellent customer practice from Apple is to swap it out with no fuss for a new or recon model to a mate (SgtPaulus) and he said so why are they Genius's then? Anyone can swap it over, they would be a genius if they could fix it on the spot. To which the Apple side of my brain cried inside as I had no answer.

28th June: Well that's that for us in the World cup, a crushing 4-1 loss against Germany saw to that. To be honest, and baring in mind I know bugger all about football, the whole team played rubbish from the first kick of the ball in the first game. If we were in a tougher group, we would not have even made it that far, plus the only thing we have to look forward to is the young German side getting better than they were against us.

The weekend was still a good one though, belting sunshine all weekend, and what do you do on a sunny day? That's right, lock yourself indoors to play Rock Band on the Wii. Five of us taking it in turns on the 4 piece band we had setup (vocals, Guitar, Bass and Drums) and a good 5 hour session was played. Finished off a cracking day with an hour of Mario Kart. Altogether now, "I'm the Demolition mANNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

And more on the missed my stop feature that I come back to every now and then - this time it was Yathzee Adventures on the iPhone, recently bought in the sale (from my Fathers day iTunes vouchers) for £0.59.

I have just realized that this section is supposed to be were I add chapter updates or DnD related articles and blog type entries, but mostly details the rubbish I download to my iPad/iPhone, the bad things that enter my thoughts unbidden about adverts (or people close by to me) and how I often miss my stop while traveling to and from work. Thankfully I have not had anymore 'insights' into tackling combatants in a lift, although my dreams of late are very boring and startling close to real life, just altered slightly. When one comes up that's any good, I will let you know, don't worry.

Starting to write chapter 14 now, although I have no working title yet.

Lastly, if you like Order of the Stick, then there is a homage to it, called AntiHeroes. Just started the first 20 or so, and its very good.

24th June: iPhone 4 day, and no I don't have one (yet!). The iPad has 2000+ comics [read here for more info on what I am doing] on it and counting, and I have been spoilt with many iTunes Vouchers to lavish app's upon it.

Sorry - I completely forgot that I had not added Chapter 13, so its up now - Unlucky for Some. Enjoy!

Oh, and bought yet another figure from Orc's Nest, another Troll, which looks much better than the plasticy one I have, and carries a club, which is what Tenpast will do when he becomes one. Looks like I will have to update the image at the top right of the screen as the Saughuin is the only one of them I use now.

England vs Germany in the last 16 this Sunday, come on the boys!!!

10th June: Chapter 13 done, and I will be posting it shortly. iPad has 250 Comics and counting on it, and I have spent around £30 (total) on iPad app's and have £160+ in my wish list of iPhone and iPad app's.

7th June: Got my iPad today! Up at the Apple Store, where they had no 32Gb Wifi models in stock, so I reluctantly had to buy a 64Gb instead :p Finally got somewhere to put all those HD app's I have been buying!

The big keynote today from Steve Jobs, where the new iPhone 4 was unveiled, and lovely it looks to. Plus iOS4 for the iPhone and later iPad.

4th June: The week before the bank holiday weekend was not the best for me, as some scrote keyed my car and broke the windscreen with a rock. This severely dented my iPad fund, leaving me annoyed and only consoled by buying iPad app's for a device I now could not afford.

My laptop finally died this week as well and so the sweet smell of my nuts roasting should assail my nostrils no more as I type. I have 'gone Mac' for my laptop needs now, transferring everything over to the Mac Book that I was only supposed to have for two weeks yet is still in my hands six months later. They will get it back, but I do believe the expression is 'over my cold dead corpse...'

Finished my first week of a new regime of health whassname. I found this web site during some healthy reading of the intermaweb (as opposed to the normal AV stuff I consume) hundredpushups.com which has a sister site 200 Sit-ups. I duly printed it all off, but then thought I would probably do the usual of doing my very bestest for a week or so before giving up. I then spotted that they had corresponding iPhone app's and so bought them as I thought it would make me more focused, and like a good boy, have finished my first week.

They do force you to get the reps in and build things up slowly, and the app calculates the rep sequence for you, while also having a little countdown clock in between reps - it makes it a nice little package overall. I killed myself on the first day of press-ups - did as many as I could (not a lot, admittedly) and then collapsed, but then it wanted me to do five times as many over the reps!

I waited a few hours before starting my very first set of press-ups, but during the third rep, fell straight on my face as my arms turned to spaghetti and collapsed under me. To make things more embarrassing, the next day I could barely lift a pen! I have also tried to drink more water, as well as trying not to eat after 9, which is harder than I thought as I nearly always up for at least 3 hours after 9pm every night.

Now I can make it through all the reps (barely) but with a six week program of pushups and sit-ups, should start to feel healthy once more.

Kiss my guns!

No iPad, but £20? of App's bought.

12th May: No updates for a while and I still have not finished Chapter 13 either. Will try and get on it as soon as I can. So what have I been doing then? Playing a HUGE amount of Dragon Age origins (I have posted tons of stuff on the Madness site here) and played some 40+ hours in a short space of time, cramming in 2 to 4 hrs a night in some cases.

Battlefield BC2 has suffered because of it, and I have not played that in a while - more so because the patch completely broke the friends list and server browsing for me, and I had no intention to reinstall the game. Another patch was released a week or so ago, so I will try that to see if I can actually get to play it again!

The iPad has been finally announced for the UK, and I am drooling already, with a 32Gb WiFi in my sights to fill up with comics and gaming books, I cant wait.

Went to the release of the new Magic set, which will be detailed on my Magic pages when I get round to that, natch, and bought a new Graphics card and tidied my case and built more stuff.....head to Madness to see all the blog type posts for more info.

2nd March: Back to the advert hate. Another one of those adverts that has a 'percentage of women that agree', and this must be the lowest I have ever seen, with only 56 people tested. 56? That's not even a bus full of people! What happened? Did the person responsible suddenly think, oh shit, I have to get this tested tomorrow and only remembered at the bus stop on the way home and simply asked people that where trapped on the bus with them what they thought of a product in the short time before the poor recipient remembered that the next stop was actually there's and so a fresh victim could get on? No wonder they had so few takers, the product (a cleanser with a sponge attached to the bottle) was probably rotten, having been forced upon one person to the next. I despair at the laziness of this marketing shite, I really do.....

Chapter 12, entitled Does this smell of fish? is now up, I had finished it, but forgot to publish it, and I am actually half way through Chapter 13's write up.

17th Feb: Boss back at work, 4 months and a day after leaving us. Did not turn up today though, I expect sometime around Easter 2011 myself. Despite being really busy at work during this half term, and slightly fuming that teachers have just turned up with laptops not even owned by the school and asked me to look at them, I have still managed to whizz through some chapters (left Magic alone for the moment.) Hopefully you will be seeing Chapter 12 very soon.

10th Feb: Sorry its taken so long, but Chapter 11 is now up.

6th Feb: Went via Orc's Nest last night to pick up a WorldWake Fatpack, and the shop window had a shelf full of painted minis once more. Not only are they very cheap, but are expertly painted meaning I have now bought a few of these, and intend to buy more. How can you go wrong when you get something like this for £8?

Yes it is a little wizardy, but robe, beard holding a large stick and touching an owl's blowhole means it is perfect as Tenpast - its just the hat that is not the same as my excellent sketch.....

I just realized that I have not actually posted images of the others I bought, so here they are. Yes I am using a Ring wraith as a Dark Reaper, but they do have an Assassin that looks very good so I may buy that to replace it. The Orc is a perfect fit, as my lad is normally tooled up with a spiked Club and that is a fine example of a spikey club if ever I saw one.

Excuse the poor blurry photos, I blame the camera.

Oh, Orc's Nest also had an excellent Wolf, which I would love to buy except that the base looks too big, and seeing as how I (Tenpast, not me) have traumatized all the animals in this campaign so I cant actually have any animals friends any more, think of it like an animal ASBO against me...

I got my invoice from iTunes the other day, bloody hell I have downloaded nearly 50 app's in about three days - deleting ones that are rubbish obviously. I then bought a couple more yesterday as well. So added to my iPhone are the following: ParaPanic (little doodle drawings of parachute jumpers that you have to save), Westbang (Fantastic Ban Panic clone/update), Dark Nebula (marble accelerator game) and Flight Control (pilot planes to land with your finger.)

All well worth the 59p I paid for each of them. The next on my list is a Daggerfall/Dungeon Master type game that I am playing the 'lite' version of at the moment......

4th Feb: Working on Chapter 11, just need to upload it after I have changed the descriptions of the metal thing we fought.

iPhone App's bought: ComicZeal (for my stash of cbr comics); Doodle Jump (just a brilliant little accelerator based game); Peggle (when Ode to Joy blasts out as you hit the last red peg will make you smile, while recording your best/multiple hits will cause you to laugh like a little girl); Jewel Magic (a nice little bejeweled clone) and Dicenomicon lite (multiple D&D dice which you shake the iPhone to roll.)

3rd Feb: Funeral, which goes as well as you can expect for one really.

30th Jan: I was at the WorldWake Pre-release. A write-up will be done shortly, the release date on the 5th Feb. Read more on my Magic pages.

29th Jan: Finally started mucking about with iPhone app's, just trial ones at the start, I will be buying a few things later.

28th Jan: Missed my stop again on the tube. No excuses can be made here, I cant even really think of a way I can redeem myself - it would have to be something like a) The tube was taken over ala Pelham 123, b) U2/Kings of Leon/Coldplay started busking, c) Famous actor/actress started an impromptu song/dance/acting routine involving breasts and or championship moustache grooming. Instead I miss two stops again by reading an exert from the Magic Item Compendium, looking for a new cloak for my Druid. *sigh*

23rd Jan: Tracey loses the fight against Cancer.

22nd Jan: Sort of finished chapter 11, but just waiting on confirmation as I think I have the description of the statue completely wrong so will need to change it.

21st Jan: Another of those 'missed my stop' days, although nothing like that fateful day a few years back* ...er, or the one last christmas** - you know how it is, deep inside a good book or engrossed in breaking a high score on your mobile you miss a stop and get off to get to your original station. Today I missed not one but two stops. What was my engrossing subject matter? Anti-Virus software reviews in the latest PCPRO. God I am a geek.

*I fell asleep on the tube, which I still do now, but I can normally train myself to wake up at a stop or two before I need to get off. This day I was in a particularly deep slumber when I joggled awake and in my bleary eyed fog saw that I was at my stop. So rather than make sure I had my bag and scramble off, I stand up and point, yes....I did say point, while loudly shouting "Fucking Hell! That's my stop!" just as the doors close. I am then left hanging 'mid point' as the train begins to move, and all I can do is sit down and close my eyes and pretend I was sleepwalking until the next stop where I sensibly grab my coat and scramble off the train.

** I crammed in copious amounts of free Champers before I left on the last day of term and promptly fell into an alcoholic slumber, awaking to an empty train that was stuck inside a tunnel. With no-one about and fearful for zombies (as you do), I walked through the carriages to the end and knocked on the drivers door (which thankfully opens to a driver) and shamefully explain my drunken predicament. Thankfully, I am alone to suffer in shame as suddenly an extremely worried voice comes over the emergency line calling out "...hello, can anyone help me, I am all alone!" Which is exactly what I needed to divert shame from me to some other drunken idiot.

14th Jan: Had an induction with some new teachers - nothing much, 15 minutes on how to use the network etc, and something my boss normally does. He is not here, and my mate didn't want to do it and as I did it last year, I reluctantly agreed. I had a small guide (obviously) ready and knew I just had to walk them through that and Bobs your uncle.

The day comes and I am fine, get all ready and they all come in. I start off with my normal banter, then my phone goes off.....and I choke. I mean I completely lose my train of thought, I pause for a good 15 seconds just staring before saying the first things that come into my head which are quite frankly nonsense. Seeing as how my talk was only 15 minutes long, it took me around 5 minutes to get back into the swing of things, just as the SMT comes in to sit at the back and watch. I end on a little pun (cringe worthy but a small titter was definitely heard) and job done.

I ring home later and find out my daughter rang me merely to find out if I could ring her phone for her to see where she had left it. Kids!

12th Jan: Nearly finished the latest chapter, the one where we meet the statue thing which should be up shortly. In other random rubbish, I am using Office 2010 at work, and like Outlook far better - its little things like showing the date and a header of upcoming events in your calendar (I tend to drag emails to calendar items a lot) and you can organize emails in a conversation way (like how the iphone treats sms) which is slightly confusing so I turned it off.

They have also taken away the windows 'ball' icon from the top - I wonder how many complaints they had along the lines of 'how do I save?' when it was introduced in 2007 and replaced it with a colour coded tab instead. Only used it for a day or so, and like it, but again, I am one of those users that only uses 5% of the features of any of the office suite.

Lastly, I see they have started replaying that advert about killing your speed - the one with the dead boy used as a goalpost. Now you know me, and how I would normally react to "..if you drive at this speed..." accompanied by broken bones popping back into place, but this one even shuts me up. Powerful stuff and the designer deserves a medal.

And just to finish, I have just watched one of the best Simpson's episodes I have seen in a long while, where he becomes a Bounty Hunter and tries to suffocate his bounties with plastic bags. Genius.

6th Jan: Three days back to work and the school is shut because of the snow. Means I will be typing out Chapter 11 this afternoon. I still have managed to keep hold of the Mac Book by sutably not reminding them I had one in the first place.