2014 News

Wednesday 31st December: As the holiday and the year comes to a close, I end it as I spent the rest of it, gaming and preparing to go out on the piss. I must have racked up 80 hours of Guild Wars 2 during these few weeks off and only a few hours on Steam related games (Walking Dead and Black Ops) and I reckon I scored around just over 50 on my own as yet untitled 'TV/Film point game'

Happy New Year to you all!

Saturday 27th December: My holiday points list is now 42....

  • Brooklyn Nine Nine: 8 points (episodes S1E14-22)
  • Forever: 13 (episodes S1E01-13)
  • The Mentalist: 1 (Episode S6E01)
  • How to get away with Murder: 1 (episodes S1E01)
  • Once Upon a Time: 1 (S1E01)
  • Elementary: 3 (S01E05-07)
  • Films: Hobbit 1 & 2, Hobbit 3 (C), Hunger Games 1 & 2, Kung Fu Panda 2

Another two batches of Mystic Clover creating takes my total to 25 Clovers from 80 attempts. The last three batches all resulted in 4 out of 10 that has really boosted my total, and a quick chat with DeadEyeMike the other day indicated that I have had much better luck than either he or McGlory have had. They have not been as maticulous as I have been though, but he mentioned they had both tried about 50 times and neither of them had 10 or more Clovers, while my count at 50 attempts was 13.

Friday 26th December: Family party, loads of food, drink on tap and flowing, but for some reason I started doing shots of white rum with a Jamacian. I lost obviously.

Thursday 25th December: Happy Chrimblemass everyone. I cooked the dinner, a lovely Turkey Crown on a bed of Satsuma's (yes really) and lamb joint, plus all the normally trimmings. I forgot the stuffing and the pigs in blankets as well though.....then a few hours on and off of Guild Wars 2. I can't seem to get enough of this at the moment, and pimping my alts by leveling them to whore their skill points to plow into Philosphers Stones to add to my components required for creating Mystic Clovers required for the Legendary weapon.

Both the Necro and the Mesmer are getting a little stale now, while my alt Ranger; Robin Hood's Mum, who is now six levels higher than Trulee Scrumptious, is actually an enjoyable experience. The Shortbow build is quite fun, and the quickness in which a creature gets taken down is most enjoyable, from level 1 to level 60+

I also started a Warrior and really enjoyed that, using a Sword/Axe combo currently and breezed through 15 levels (Portal to Skill Point as usual)....which has just emphasised the hence the seemingly staleness of the other two characters. Time will tell obviously, and no need to delete anything just yet as my skill point whoring is all relative to the amount of laurels and gold I have, which is now pretty low on both counts.

Thursday 18th December: I am not entirely sure how to explain my 'trip' after work yesterday without making myself look like an idiot, or you thinking that I am over exaggerating things for comical benefit. To be fair, the latter is more plausable and more likely, but in this case, it sadly is the former.

It starts with my need to visit Stratford to go and get something fixed. That something's shop dissapeared from London Oxford Street, and popped up in the Westfields so off I go.......to find it closed down. No helpful note either, just the shell of the shop.

I also had to pick something up from Waitros, so on the way back, get off at Canada Water, to realise I actually wanted Canary Wharf. Pick the item up, then in the corridors of Canary Wharf, walk the wrong way (just briefly) before getting back on track. Get on the tube to head back to London Bridge, but get on the wrong side, heading back towards Startford. Now the empty shop is mere bad timing, but the wrong stop, twice within 30 mins or so? Roll on Christmas.......

Wednesday 17th December: I have bought all of about one present so far, and nothing for the two ladies in my life as they are being bloody difficult to say the least. Eight days to go you know!

The Guild Wars 2 Wintersday patch came in, with changes to the daily logins, more thoughts deeper in I think, as I am not sure how the rewards will work over the month in new versus old. More variation is always good though!

Tuesday 16th December: I forgot to mention the other gaming devices, my trusty Macbook Pro, and the iPad. On the Macbook, with the aid of the excellent ScummVM, I am playing Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. In the days before the internet, getting stuck on a game was an absolute mission that involved finding one of your mates at school that had passed the part where you were stuck, or just prior to the internets birth (internet BC as such) paying a huge amount of money on a premium telephone number. At the time of Indy's release I was playing this at a mates house, and managed to catch him up as he had gone on to another game while being stuck. I then had a light bulb moment while playing, got past him to then go on and complete the game. Huzzah!

On the iPad, another point and click adventure game, Broken Sword. Its an iOS game that is a pretty faithful remake of the Directors cut edition that is on steam (linked above). I have a few Monkey Island Games plus the second Broken Sword - I dont know why Indy (and Day of the Tenticle!) are not released in the same manor as I would have bought them as well.

Sunday 14th December: How are my points for December going? Total to date, 27.

  • Brooklyn Nine Nine: 6 points (episodes S1E14-20)
  • Forever: 7 (episodes S1E01-07)
  • The Mentalist: 1 (Episode S6E01)
  • How to get away with Murder: 1 (episodes S1E01)
  • Once Upon a Time: 1 (S1E01)
  • Films: Hobbit, Hobbit 2, Hobbit 3 (Cinema)

11 points just from my Hobbit session that started on Friday night, wacthing The Hobbit, then on Saturday morning watching the Desolution of Smaug (Part 2) round at SgtPaulus' before heading to the lovely Picturehouse and watching The Battle fo the Five Armies (Part 3), nearly doubling my score to a respectable 27.

Guild Wars continues to suck up my time, even just logging on for a daily, while I get that 'what game shall I play' while staring at a library that now totals more than 300...

....which does not include Guild Wars, my uPlay account, my Origin Account, the ScummVM on my Macbook, the old school adventures on my iPad.....how much time off at Christmas do I have again?

I may as well post the traditional 'this is what my Steam hours are like before the Christmas period' as well, well at least the top 10 games played. My 'Call of Duty' Christmas is unlikely to actually feature to be fair, so I will just add what times I played as they are never going to be more than 40hr games. In fact Deus Ex and Two Worlds are the only ones likely to appear and knock Torchlights off the 9 and 10 spots I imagine..

Wednesday 10th December: Ill with man-flu over the last few days has prevented me from doing anything much on the HTPC. I actually went to work on Monday, but got half way to work before feeling terribly sick - I was about to be one of 'those people' that delay the tube by fainting or barfing on the tube. Thankfully I managed to get out and get some water and a little sit down, before getting back home and passing out.

Anyway, the drive is basically dead, and to cut a long story short, I have a temp 500Gb drive in place until the magic 'money for HTPC upgrade fairy' turns up with cash to buy another.

Sunday 7th December: My HTPC decides to throw a wobbly, not days after talking about not bothering to back up my film rips to a mate at work, and just when I wanted to sit down in front of the TV and watch some crap while everyone was out. It also coincides with me about to post something along the lines of "...my aim for December is to watch a hundred points of TV/Film..." actually, lets properly set it out like this:

  • TV = 1 point
  • Film = 2 points.
  • Cinema = 5 points

Instead I have spent the best part of 4 hours on and off so far to try and get the PC running, Win7PE and Win8's auto repair not working properly at all. I disconected the other drives, got Windows up, then reconnected the drives but they did not show up in Windows.....a reboot, and.........its back doing an endless boot cycle again. The PC is currently open and spread across the front room, so going to wait and give it an hour or so (there is still constant hard drive activity) to see if it boots - otherwise its yet another dirty shutdown, which is not good. I have currently left it at "...scanning and repairing drive" which is stuck 70%, and as of just after 8pm, has been like this for a little over 2 hours.

So I am currently VLC streaming from my MacBook while the X-Factor is on, watching Once Upon a Time, Forever, and How To Get Away with Murder.

Friday 5th December: I havent watched Doctor Who in ages, but with Peter Capaldi taking the reins, I thought I would give it ago, expecting something childish. And guess what, I loved it. He is a brilliant Doctor, Clara is a lovely young lady with exceptionally large eyes (but not like the Playstation girl) and I hated it for sometimes making me think I have something in my eye.

Thursday 4th December: Slow day at work, and during a lull, I started on a batch file script to move and sort some comics. Theraputic it was, yes.

No, I dont know why I am typing like Yoda either.

Tuesday 2nd December: All the Halloween Steam sales and Black Friday stuff has been and gone, and I bought bugger all. I did but some steam credit cheaply, that I turned into TF2 keys that I then turned into games, some a win win for me. For some strange reason the Call of Duty games were all really cheap, and so I picked up two for keys and my daughter bought me another from a keyseller site as a Christmas pressie, meaning I got Call of Duty MW3, Black Ops II and Ghosts for around £20. Bargain!

Monday 17th November: Just catching up with the usual at the moment, Arrow, The Big Bang Theory etc. A friend at work has recommended some new shows to watch as well, just waiting on the titles.

Tuesday 4th November: Just fill in the last month or so of non entries as Leg, gaming, Leg, TV Shows, Leg, LAN session, reading, moan, oooo a butterfly! And you will be ok.

To be a little more descriptive, the LAN session was brilliant, playing Guild Wars 2 - I am in the middle of the writeups of the weekend, the first of which is here (or in more detail for the buildup etc on Madness) with more to follow in the next few days.

I am valiantly trying to catch up with Arrow - I really did not realise how far I was behind until I started watching Flash (that references Arrow), so nearly finished Season One now and I still have nearly 30 episodes to watch to become up to date.

My Mum has moved house - so a trip to the seaside at some point in the next month for me - I will bring a bucket and spade obviously, and some massive updates to my David Gemmell pages that I had neglected for the best part of a year - and you thought I was tardy here...

The leg is still not healed - I was back to 70% of walking speed when I nearly got a parking ticket and turned on the spot to get something (not a weapon for reference) and then felt my leg 'pop' again. The huge brusing has gone, replaced with a small bruise that is nicely going purple now - but it looks far less imposing than the whole of my leg turning green.

Wednesday 23rd September: I have been off for the last fews days, pulled something in my leg, and alternating between hobbling up the stairs to the toilet or laying on the settee with my leg up or wrapped in a teatowel containing icecubes. Its getting boring now, as I just feel like I am ticking things of a list as I sit and wallow in hours and hours of TV. I dont think I suit not working - its a bit boring.....I know what I mean even if I cant explain it. Working and a little well deserverd skive is expected - a birthright as such, but not working at all? Nah, thats not for me.

I think there is another issue - the how it happened. All I did was step up a step (well two steps) and then something popped...I honestly felt like something had thrown (or shot!) something into the back of my leg (the steps were outside) and I had to hobble home (via walking, bus, walking, second bus) then collapsing. The timing is a little weird as well - timing is the wrong word, but let me explain - I am always running up the stairs on my way to work, or running down the stairs on the return home, add my barely worth mentioning running trips at the gym, and the more worth mentioning and much cheaper cycling at home where recently I have been doing a couple of 8km 'trips'. I am not saying I am some superfit athlete, but neither am I a fat sloth.

So how the fuck did I pull something stepping up a step when I have been running, walking, running, cycling? Am I getting old? Fuck that....he says with a blanket over his legs as they are cold.....

Anyway, what TV have I been watching then?

Lovejoy - 7-8 episodes. The end of Season 5 and beginning of Season 6. All classic episodes.

Dota2 - About a dozen of the qualifier games. Despite finding 90 episodes, there are still more, as I did not realise that they split the commentary to different companies, which makes sense when you think about it - so I was missing any LD commentary game, so grabbed another 20 games or so from his company, Beyond The Summit. Currently I am on my 30th game.

Psych - The last 6 or so episodes of season Five. All good epsisodes, better than the first half of the season which was getting a little stale.

Gotham - The first episode, which was brilliant - and darker than I thought, death and blood making it a little more adult than Arrow or Smallville.

The Big Bang Theory - The first two episodes. It has become 'The Sheldon Show' more and more for a while now and the first episode was a weak continuation of the last season imho. The second episode was better and more spread out amongst the characters though.

Gaming? None really. Saturday night, the missus was away, and I had the chance to play all night - robbing banks in Payday 2. I started flagging really early on, and my leg was in its grief mode so I was off and in bed before 1am - simply unheard of.

Monday 8th September: Well this is a little embarrassing - I had added a load of posts over August, but then never proof read them - well, my version of proof reading anyway, which meant that according to the net, the last post I made prior to today was actually the 25th June, when there are another ~20 stacked up ready to read.

I would not worry too much dear reader (singular), as I only post shite anyway...

How about a long awaited Steam Games played? Battlefield 4 has had about +25hrs or so added after the LAN party back in May as well.

The last Steam games played post I put up in March showed that DOTA2 had 654hrs, Skyrim 176hrs and AC2 39hrs, and now six months later, its +100 on Dota and plus 7hrs for both Skyrim and AC2, but another 100hrs in Payday 2 and 20hrs or so for Two Worlds II.

To be fair, Payday 2 is more likely closer to 85hrs as more than once I was host and left DeadEyeMike trying to Overkill Framing Frame day three on his own, or when I found the papers for the train heist.

...so its a new entry at number three for Payday 2 and creeping towards the 10th spot at number 11 is Two Worlds II pop pickers!

Friday 29th August: Again my excellent plan of updating this everyday with something regardless of worth has fallen foul of my lack of motivation. Basically over the last week and a bit I have been to Herne Bay, where I installed a Google Chromecast which is not a bad bit of kit and was only £18 (instead of £30) and acts as a Airplay type device, broadcasting Youtube videos and webpages over a wireless network. It worked quite well actually with little faff to get going. Its one caveat is that it requires power so is not just a dongle from HDMI, and also requires you to use Chrome as a browser. I think it can also be a Netfliks based content player as wel, but unsure if you need to cast it, or whether the account can be set up on the device (meaning the laptop does not need to be on as well). Well worth £18 though!

I also found a little toyshop that caused me to regress back to childhood even more than I already am, as it had an old toy of mine - along with Spaceship as well - The image below is a Shado 2 from UFO, and in mint condition with box will set you back £175. He had a slightly less mint on sans box and with original missle for £50, but its still £50 for something I would shelve....and no, that does not mean I will give up buying books.

I then had a lengthy discussion about Action Man and other toys of that era - he had the diving suit as well (£80!) and also the dog you sent away for - I did that for my German Sentry Action Man as well as having the motercycle sidecar.......sorry kids, but although you have better computers, your toys are all shit.

What else? I watched Doctor Who for the first time properly in ages, and very good Capaldi is too - I will continue to watch them I think.

I watched loads of Dota, finishing the Ti3 games, as well as the starting Psych Season 5 amongst other programs - I think a spattering of Elementary as well. Oh and I still did not find my bloody pen.

Oh, and I read pretty much bugger all, as well as missing Peter Brett at Forbidden Planet as he was there at 2pm, and not the usual 6pm, and not bothering to see George RR Martin as I was sure I would need to camp out the night before.

Thursday 21st August: I went to DeadEyeMikes house for a long overdue battle of the decks as the Elementals and Treefolk battle one another again. It was, as expected a draw, ending 3-3. These decks are so attuned to each other that even if we were locked up in a Turkish prision for 10 years, with just our decks (and maybe some pants) we would emerge a draw, or at least very close. Later some more Payday2 and me and DeadEyeMike stormed through a double helping of ShadowRaid and a Framing Frame on Overkill to shoot from 45th to 49th, allowing me to move towards to my goal of greater mobility whilst armoured.

Wednesday 20th August: Its only day three, and I already feel like an unkempt tramp, scratchy beard with holes in my socks. That last bit is actually true, as I just spotted them while typing this.

Tuesday 19th August: Loads of mucking about with my HTPC. Temp tests, pictures taken, cable re-runs etc, and the whole motherboard needed to come out for the back plate. I will be writing it all up soon so will post a link when done. I finished off the end of Season 4 of Psych, as well as the end of Revolution as well.

I topped it all off with some light house work (still looking for my pen) some Payday 2 and Two Worlds II and day two of my holidays is over.

Monday 18th August: Day one of my holidays, and I have now watched about a dozen Psych from Season 4. I decided to stick to one game on the PC until I got it finished, which is Two Worlds II, and that was fine until I came on later to find people playing Payday 2, so we had a little bash on that, with me and DeadEyeMike destroying Shadow Raid Overkill multiple times -getting 16+ bags multiple times. The one chance we had to get the armour accidently failed when the keycard was used when DEM tried to restart the drill which was anoying, but there will be a next time.

The bits arrived for my HTPC - more details will follow, and I was really surprised when a Hardware test I did meant the temps of my chip went to over 90+ degrees after only 3 minutes of a prime blend. I quickly stopped it all obviously and have a few different temperature readings ready for before and after tests.

.......and my pen is still missing, and yes although I did not mention it, I did in the end go through the whole bin - emptying each (6!) black bag into another one and sifting through two weeks worth of rotting rubbish on the night before the binmen came.

Sunday 17th August: Gym day two, and just hit the running machine straight off. This time I did a KM, stopped for a few minutes, then went onto do another one, well, nearly. I managed an .75 Km before my legs were just about ready to fall off. Baby steps man, baby steps.

For some reason, I have spent no time gaming at all this week, nothing. I have watched a lot of the DOTA2 International 2013 Day Two and most of Day Three games as well as some other bits and pieces as I realised that I am about 4 years behind with Psych, and so started Season Four.

Tuesday 12th August: I continue my cutting and splicing with the Dota2 International 3, and the Youtube videos are now back in sync and working ok. Its a little ironic, as after game one on Day 3, the presenter Kaci goes backstage to talk to the HUGE production team and the amount of kit is staggering for the show, with all the audio and camera's etc. I say ironic as even with all that kit they buggered up Day one and Two for YouTube, despite having someone that was dedicated to uploading the footage. Do I really want to cut and splice files to be completist, having to watch the footage, find I am missing something then cut it back in again? Well yes, obviously.

Monday 11th August: I would just like to add that I have bought no games for a month or so at least, and still have 6 or 7 TF2 keys in my inventory. I have bought some DOTA clothes for my lads obviously, but that does not count. I am also picking up a few bits to treat my HTPC as it was 6 years old not too long ago.....well I say its six, but its much like Triggers broom, as the only thing remaning left from the original build are the case fans that I am replacing....

To top things off, I got absolutely soaked on the way to John Lewis last night, as I took back an iPad mini that had started showing errors with regards to the the headphone socket - thats why you buy from JL, as it has the free extra year warranty kids! A few Fossil watches also needed looking at - Battery for one, bracelet for the other and my thinly veiled sarcastic reply at the fact they could not even repair their own watches without sending it off for three weeks was not lost on the sales assisstant who suggested I go to Debenhams next door at they could do it within the hour. Which I did and which they did.

Sunday 10th August: Gym Day! Yes I actually went. I had not booked a tuition, just going for a look around and wanting to stay away from anything complicated - which at first glance seemed to be quite easy as most of the videos showed the machines simply having a 'go' button for a quickstart. However, I more or less killed myself in the first few minutes, starting on the Cross Trainer (no idea why, as this was probably the one to avoid for ages yet) and I lasted all of a minute (it absolutely blasts your knees) before having a break, then a two minute burst, break for a minute then a three minute burst before deciding that was enough.

The running machine was next, which is what I wanted to do to get my fitness levels back, and starting up, all was good. I quickened the pace a little, but then noticed the bloke next to me has his phone on the tray in front rather than his pocket, so I do the same (as I was a sweaty beast already!) A minute later as I am running, I forget that the phone is not attached to me as such, bring my head up, dragging my headphones and whipping the phone off the tray and clattering to the moving floor which then shoots off the running machine. I stop abruptly, forgetting that I am on a moving platform, and thankfully, only do a little gay step as I am propelled backwards. I pick up my phone, put it in my pocket and start up again, knowing full well the mirrors around the place probably meant EVERYONE saw me.

I have no music on but headphones in (no way I was going to stop again to sort that out) and just concentrate on the run, and do a KM before finishing (without stopping), which I am happy with on day one. I will add here that I texted a mate later about my gym (carefully avoiding the afore mentioned incident) to say Douglas Bader would be spinning in his grave about my lap time compared to his 4 minute mile, before I realise I actually meant Roger Banister, although to be fair to Douglas, he probably could have beaten me as well.

The missus was out all day at relatives, so for the rest of the day, I sat back and watched some films, something I have not done in ages, and watched Drive which is really good and GI Joe Retaliation, which was basically disengage brain and watch. I am also catching up with the TV show Revolution and just about to watch the end of Season One before realising the entire Season two has now finished (or at least quite near the end) meaning I have another 20+ episodes to watch to catch up.

Oh, and lost a pen that I am extremely miffed about....

Wednesday 6th August: I have sold a few more cards over the last week or so, meaning that these cards have all now found new homes:

  • A dozen+ Unglued/Unhinged Lands (inc 3 signed by John Avon)
  • DCI Foil Path to Exile x 2
  • DCI Foil Oblivion Ring x 2
  • DCI Foil Cryptic Command
  • 4 x Bloodghast
  • 4 x Noble Hierach
  • Sword of Light and Darkness

Still have quite a few lands to go, as well as a few other more expensive cards that have a few watchers, so lets see if they get picked up....

Monday 4th August: Played Battlefield for the first time in ages, even though the new DragonTooth DLC has been out for a few weeks now. With Pelet and SgtPaulus giving me a little prod I was straight back in and getting a spanking within minutes of playing. The trouble is there are STILL faults that should have been sorted out within the first few weeks of release and not happening at the release of the last of four DLC's.

* Still no audio for the first 20 seconds or so at the start of some maps, both new and old.

* One server had severe glitches - guns floating with no people briefly , and (seemingly) a wall over the entrance (Wavebreaker outside by C or E) meaning I thought I was against a wall, but was actually in the open (I had just spanwed) - seemed ok within 30 seconds or so, but I died due to the wall glitch.

* Framerate drops, ever so annoying, dropping from 70 fps to 12.

* Textures missing on joining a map - with grass just a green tile or the floor just grey before it quickly cycles back up through to Ultra (plain grey > Pavement > Pavement with bits > Pavements with rubble and detail for example)

* That shudder as someone is coming round the corner and you go dit dit dit and are dead. Its possible you are dead before you know it, but the perception from my end is that I am in flicker strobe u n d e r w a t e r a n d c a n n o t r e a c t i n t i m e . . . . . and then get killed.

* Still showing Assignments progress for Assignments that have already been completed.

* Having logged into Battlelog at work to check my stats, sometimes I return to find that it is trying to log me in in game, despite it not being installed and I wonder if this causes the stupid error 'you cannot play, oh, wait, yes you can'.

Now some could and probably are attributed to that 'its not you, its the server' thing, but when other people you are on comms with do not experience it, it makes it hard to justify to tell everyone to jump ship to another server.

The new maps look nice, but I cant get away from the fact that (on one or two maps) a lot of textures and component parts are re-used. I dont recall BF3 looky so samey across all 4 expansions.

My 'break' showed, as my first few games since the LAN had me at between -10 and - 5 KDR per ematch and so the above complaints do not help; you want to blame the issues rather than your lack of skill, even if they had nothing to do with it as the fact that they are there means they could have caused your untimely death, even if they didn't.

Lets see how this progresses.....

Friday 25th July: I stuck another 7 or 8 lots up on eBay (various rares and 4x's) which means I now currently have approx. £200 of cards listed. I also sold another pair of Unhinged lands as well today. Some more cards go up for sale, and then the great hunt for a missing deck begins....which two hours later I then find along with about 8 other decks a few hours later. Hmmm, I knew of one and found 8? I had too many decks.....

Thursday 24th July: Well I had a few offers in the night for my Unhinged Full Art Lands, but somone decided to pay my asking price of £4.50ea and bought 6 of the 7 cards I had listed. Excellent news, and I will be digging out some more to sell tonight.

Wednesday 23rd July: More cards from the 'Most Expensive Deck evah! (TM)' go up for sale, and blimey, it looks like the Unhinged lands that I loved so much have increased in price...I paid £1ea for them (and some people thought that was a waste) and they go for ~£5. I have put a few lots of those up, plus some FNM folis of Oblivion Ring and Path to Exile as well. Lastly my additional David Gemmell Spectrum game is listed.

Monday 21st July: My WDS implementation and rollout at work went well and I am very chuffed with it all too. Imaging times are much quicker than Ghost, and while there are a few issues, the really quick rollout time means this can be largely ignored - while the process is at least 50% quicker for a single machine, for multiple machines something that took 6 hours is reduced to 2 - a massive saving.

PAT ON THE BCK VIDEO

Friday 18th July: The DOTA2 International Qualifiers, known as Ti4 start today, but I am still catching up with the previous years, and really enjoying watching them as well.

Tuesday 15th July: I joined the Gym today! Well I say joined, I signed up. Rolling contract etc, but I can drop at any time. The excuses start on day one of why I have not gone yet, as its just too damm hot.

I picked up some of the Terry Pratchett Collection that completely passed me by, hardback (cloth bound kind of) editions with no slipcovers that look really nice, and spying some on eBay that were signed and Hologramed, I had to have them - assuming a good price.

Thankfully I got a pair of Witches books - Lords and Ladies and Witches Abroad. While I have a few signatures from meeting him back at the end of the 90's, I have not managed to see him since, so these are my first hologram stamped books- along with the OBE pair of stamps. Without sounding too pessemistic or morbid, Pratchett is in early stages of Dementia, and getting any kind of signature nowadays must have the accompanying hologram to prove it.

My other delightful purchase this month was another copy of the David Gemmell Spectrum game. Another one? Well, this had the elusive piece of paper that you could probably make yourself that went over the keys of the spectrum. The interior was not smashed inside either - a few little breaks, but nothing serious, and handily, the outer case plastic that holds the cover was not rippled like mine was.

So the idea was to pick the best one, or in this case, basically take bits from one and put them together with the other upgrading mine and then have another to sell on. The book and pamplet inside were really nice as well, but mine were just that little bit better. I will probably stick it on eBay once I have put it all together again.

Sunday 6th July: I had one of those days on the internet where you flick from one site to another and end up on a completely different subject to the one you started on - in my case the page I ended up on was Magic The Gathering related, talking about the latest release. I then saw an advert for some cards and then saw a Noble Hierach, selling for ~£40. Fourty notes? Bloody hell.

A quick scour of eBay revealed it was more closer to £30 and so I checked my own cards. Mine did have some light play (all sleeved etc, and to be fair, very light play, but not fresh from booster NM) and checking the rest of my faithful mixed up deck (that is actually my most expensive deck due to its contents) confirmed that I did actually have the four I thought I had. One sold on eBay within a few days of being up, and I met up with the bloke to sell him the rest - and picked up a tidy £100 for the 4 for a quick sale.

Wednesday 25th June: How is the Steam Sale and the World Cup going now for me? A tidy stash of games in the last few days, totalling £50+, but that does include two brand new games which alone cost £40ea. Yes I am sure the Psycoanalyists amongst you will argue that a game is hardly a bargain if you never play it, but I am preparing for that day when I am captured by Terrorists and held captive (and that my cell contains my own PC and unrestricted internet access obviously) for a few months or a year preferably......I mean regretably.... before being released to my family safe and sound and with a perfect 10 Steam rating for every fornight of my terrible traumatic ordeal.

Buying recap:

Day One:

  • The Witcher 3 :: Steamtrades :: £16
  • X-Com Declassified :: Steam Sale :: £3
  • Watch Dogs :: AVF Forums :: £16

Day Two:

  • Marlow Briggs :: Steam Sale :: £0.80
  • Walking Dead Season 2 :: TF2Dispenser :: £4.70ish (3 x TF2 Keys & 4 Ref @£1.40ea)
  • Anno 2070 Complete :: TF2Dispenser :: £4.70ish (3 x TF2 Keys & 4 Ref @£1.40ea)
  • Shadowrun Returns Deluxe Upgrade :: Steam Sale :: £1.75
  • Payday 2 DLC x 4 :: Steam Sale :: £3.30

Day Three: Nothing

Day Four: Nothing

Day Five:

  • Thief :: TF2Dispenser :: £5.20 (4xTF2 Keys@ £1.30ea)

Day Six: Nothing

Over these six days I have also traded lots of cards and completed nearly a dozen badges to be able to fund the badge continiation in some self perpetuating cycle of badges = Summer cards = Cash = Cards = Badges = Summer Cards = Cash......

As for the World cup, my enthusiasm for it has waned with Englands Performance sadly, and subsequently I have missed some good games (Germany and the Netherlands games) because of it. England's last group game last night was especially bad and I had such a lack of interest for most of it that I started reading stuff on the internet and looking AGAIN at the Steam sales during the match. At one point the Commentators mentioned that Suarez had been sent off for biting someone and that it was being broadcast on ITV4, and then added "...well we have lost half our viewers now.." in reference to the games utter boringness. It finished 0-0.

I wonder if I can get a refund on my shirt?

Tuesday 24th June: Like the Six Million Dollar man, well the Six Million Dollar man's MacbookPro, I did some major surgery to a friends Macbook, replacing the Harddrive with an SSD, the Optical drive with a HD, upgrading RAM and replacing Leopard with Mavericks.

More details and pictures here.

Friday 20th June: The Steam Summer Sale started last night and England played like the champions of apathy they are, losing 2-1 to Suarez.

Bought since the sale started:

  • The Witcher 3 (not released until Jan 2015) :: Steamtrades :: £16
  • X-Com Declassified :: Steam Sale :: £3
  • Watch Dogs :: AVF Forums :: £16

Wednesday 18th June: The Steam Summer sale is due to start tomorrow or Friday, so these are my pre-sale stats (I am level 25 currently, this will change because of badges simply to get the Summer Sale 2014 badge), and I have just noted that Games + DLC add up to 500. Do I win a prize?

Sadly the much awaited by all PC World/Curry's Steam deal failed for some reason, with two £20 for £30 announced as due online and in shops today, but never came. Buggers, I am not the only one that would have been all over that.

I finished the trading card bundle for DOTA, all 19 teams and plenty of trades to get the last few. I have about 40 doubles left over, and had to trade my Lion Scepter for the last two chase cards - I will buy it back again later though.

With the missus off sick and me babysitting her, I did nothing but clear up mess and watch TV, and finished off Season 6 of Mentalist and Almost Human, which sadly did not get a second season. One reason this may have happened was that the epsiodes where shown out of order, which for some programs would be fine, but in one with a loose overall story arc but with the main characters slowly getting on with each other was a nightmare. They go from being 'pally pally' in one episode to 'just met hostility' in the next.

If you watch Almost Human, and you should, please check the proper running order, or at the very least, watch episode 10 fourth (as it is the 4th one) that is the one that stuck out like a sore thumb to me and I nearly turned it off - and I like the show!

Sunday 15th June: I am not a big football fan (barring a few years of Millwall support many years ago) but very patriotic when it comes to the England games at big tournaments even if I don't know who they actually play for during a normal week...

So, every competition like the Euro and World Cup, I always say to myself that I must get an England shirt, but by the time I think yep, now is the time, get down the shops, we are out. The missus, when I brought it up the other day said £50? thats a bit much! And I had agreed and was going to grab the Umbro official England T-Shirt for £15. Which no one had in stock. With a big drink up at my mates planned for the first game I simply could not be the only one without a shirt, so bought a proper one at £50, but told the missus when she saw me later on Saturday afternoon that I paid £25.

She said, its nice, I'll buy it for you.

.....and now there is a tiny (ungrateful) part of myself that is kicking myself I didn't tell her the full price. :p

Wednesday 11th June: With McGlory and DeadEyeMike hurtling in front of me in DOTA International 2014 Compendium levels, it was time for me to catch up....

My epic plan was to add £10 to my Steam Library, and move from level 13/75 to level 40+, (requiring 2600 points) and along the way get the DK Dragon (~£2) and the Veno set (£4+) and get a full set of cards (55 cards or 11 packs, 7-8p for a pack of 5)

So at first glance its nice and easy. Buy a large pointage for £6 and 7 x 25pointers for 60p, leaving a balance of £3.40.

This gets me to level 40, netting three Immortals (at levels 20, 30 and 40) to sell back for roughly £1.20 (netting a pound) each. This leaves a balance of the original tenner now at £6.40.

Buy 11 sets of cards at roughly 90p, which leaves £5.50 for the Veno and DK. This means I would have to watch the market a little to get Veno at £3.70 and DK at £1.80 (both doable) or sell a few random bits to get the few extra pennies required.

The full card set would also net me an additional 500 points, meaning I hit would level 45. All in all, job done and zero Steam credit left.

Well it obviously did not work out that way at all.

What mucked things up was that I saw a trade on Dota Lounge for the Veno set for the DK Dragon and DP set, meaning I could effectively pick up Veno for £2.50 instead of £4+. So I posted, told the bloke that I was at work so could not set up a trade and the bloke accepted, and I bought the DK Dragon in preparation. As I would be trading my DP set, I saw another than I liked with a better gem, so bought that as well. I then bought 7 x CPs, and a handful of card packs to get myself ready for when I got in.

Only for some shitbag fuckmonkey to gazump me and grab *my* Veno set.

Fucked off, I impotently fumed as I can't add shitty comments to anyone that has not a friend (slightly ironic), so pumped my compendium with the little 25 pointers and opened some player packs to add. I check DL again for the Veno set and with most sets going for 3-4 keys I then spot someone that only wants two (DOTA) keys.

I add the person and luckily get a reply back and quickly buy the two keys, huzzah!

Even cheaper (10p admittedly) than the original deal that went wrong, and Veno is now ticked off my list. The trouble now is that now with the keys and the DK Dragon and other bits, I don't have £6 in my account for the large pointage. Determined not to add more cash, I buy a small pointage (£1.50 for 500) and add them, taking me to level 20. I put the Immortal Chest up for sale, and then spend the next hour or so trading.

I bought 11 packs (55 cards total to collect, 5 teams of 11) of player cards altogether, and got 20 doubles. I then spent an hour or more on dota lounge swapping cards (1:1) until I got down to the last few remaining when my internet decided to reset itself. I had a break, wondered how I was going to find someone (if I continued swapping 1:1) that had exactly the last card I needed when I only had 1 to trade (a lot of people were doing 2 random cards for 1 named card, meaning I would have to buy more packs) but in the end found loads of people. Another thing ticked off the list :)

Got my last card in my virtual binder, looked at my compendium point total and wondered why I had not recieved the 500 points for completing it all. Double checked the Compendium and it says there are 19 teams to collect for the 500 points. Who the bloody hell are the other 8 teams?

I sold the (level 20) Immortal Strongbox (I have not opened any yet, just traded for what I wanted and sold them all), and now had £3+ in credit to get a medium pointage (+1100) taking me to 41. I picked up another two Immortals (30 and 40) to sell - but the prices are going down, so only netted 90p each and my DP set that I was going to trade and a few other little items.

My Steam balance is now £2, but I have a level 41 Compendium, the Veno Set and DK Dragon and a full (11 teams) set of cards. Bang on!

Of the Immortal Chests, I now have Lion, DP, DK and Warlock and will pick up Axe and Sniper when they hit 30p or so - I am likely to grab any of the ones that I am missing that hit 30p to be fair.

For transparancy, despite paying a little over the odds for the Warlock one (I grabbed it quickly, paying £2.80 a few days after the boxes were released and its currently £1.80) I have actually broke even, selling all five boxes I have earned to date to fund exactly the four items I wanted. Can't grumble with that.....

Now as these items will only decrease in value, and if I with only a level 40 book have all that I need, if I was Valve, I would release another strongbox of items. More people buy pointage to get levels to get Strongbox ver 2, market prices are high to start, meaning Valve get a higher percentage through the Market as people buy up the items they want, and in a months time, do it again.....

Monday 9th June: Bloody hell Vivian! Rik Mayall is dead....

Ade Edmondson's reply to this news - ‘There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing.

‘They were some of the most carefree stupid days I ever had, and I feel privileged to have shared them with him.

‘And now he’s died for real. Without me. Selfish b*****d.’

Thursday 5th June: Last night was another friendly for England in preperation for the World Cup. One of those classic games in which one of the presenters - I think Hoddle? said that "...England were likely to convincingly win or lose horribly at any given moment..." and was bang on.

Man of the Match for me was Oxlain-Chamberlin (sp), who then promptly was taken out with a tackle that means he could miss some of the games. Doh!

A little light gaming over the last few days, but not much - a few games of DOTA and an hour or so of BF4 tops; as I rebuild (both the hardware and OS) of my HTPC. I have added all the software and finally (curse you Windows 8.1 Driver Signage!) got the remote to function, but recreating the work I put into the MyTVSeries entry for DOTA2 is fiddly, but at least I am thinking of ways to shorten the task for subsequent years.

As this years International grows closer, the prize pool is a staggering $8.6million, just incredible compared to last years $2.8m? Whomever designed the Compendium this year to level for points is a fucking genius. I managed to get the Immortal treasures I wanted, and am likely to level my book further as well for no real reason that I can think of, which I suppose was there plan all along.....I do like the look of the Dragon King Dragon model, I must say.....

My lunchtime viewing was the DotaFails team covering some plays of the lead up games to the International 2014.

And lastly, my 'Post work watching' for the last few nights is currently a recomendation from my daughter....I think I am due to watch episode 4 next, and very good it is to!

Wednesday 4th June: A month later after my 'proper' foray into Digital Comics and where am I? Well, no floppies have been bought since the start (I bought some missing Daredevil from the last series, plus some new Daredevil 1 variants, plus some Rachal Rising just before the post), and I did buy a Graphic Novel (Chew Vol 7) - but that will not change. I have however bought a lot more digital comics, catching cheap codes to fill gaps, and I have done something that I thought I would not - stop buying Daredevil, picking up the digital versions insetad.

The whole buying of codes has kind of evolved into a 'thing' not dissimlar to my gaming collection, a beast that see's me fed it all the time, yet resort to playing games that never end (such as DOTA, Battlefield and Skyrim) in this case, I am grabbing comics to fill holes in series that I have not even started reading yet, probably through fear of that when I do get round to it, would find myself having to pay 4 times as much for the issues I was missing.

Currently, the codes are all Marvel - I have not picked up any DC titles at all as it appears the selling of codes has not yet moved on to them - assuming they ever pick it up at all.

I have subs (ongoing payments for codes) for about 5 titles, and looking for 3 (or 4) more, and think I have filled enough gaps to mean that next month will be cheaper.

Do I miss the process of proper comics at all? Naturally. I am fortunate that I have a massive area to be able to store comics etc, but that is finite and I am hitting my upper limits. The cost is a contributing factor, not a deciding one, but I think the thing that factors most highly is time. I would want to bag and board and put away and look and touch and then I do that thing I do all the bloody time, the looking and preperation and reading about the subject rather than actually just reading the subject. The digital version removes all that. I can read three in the time it would take me to read one floppy. Comixology's guided view probably hones my concentration on the subject at hand more as it goes via panel or part of a panel at one time so I am not speed reading so much either.

......so currently, for me, it works. I can see that I will moan about it, and think about what I am missing, but if it means I can actually read the comics, then I will stick with it. Until next month at least....

Oh, the first of the old X-Men films watched. Wolverine 2 to watch next.

Tuesday 3rd June: Added the writeup of the LAN session - its on Madness and also here for those without an account to the Madness website.

I missed the Apple conference for the first time in years - thinking it was later in the week, and Yosamite and iOS8 were apparently discussed at length but I dont recall actually seeing anything groundbreaking in relation to any of them.

Wednesday 28th May: Well the LAN session has been and gone, and I am in the middle of typing something up at the moment. Half term at work, but there is so much building work that I cant even get to rooms I am supposed to be deploying machines to.

In eagerness for the latest X-Men film, I am on a X-Men 8 film back to back, currently watched the first three X-Men, and just started Wolverine. I have not seen the second one either, so will watch that, then the old new X-Men, then it just leaves the old newest new X-Men film.

Wednesday 21st May: BF Day minus two. Its my last day of work, and for some reason I was up EARLY. I decided to have some breakfast, rip a bluray and then go in early so that I can in turn leave early. Lots of work to be done, taking my PC apart to take to DeadEyeMikes.

Tuesday 20th May: BF Day minus three, and this evening I was off to fix a laptop after some more HTPC tinkering - installation of MediaPortal, adding the extra drives, updates, more software installed, configuration of MediaPortal etc.

The laptop fix was more explaining the process of online banking and buying to a (very capable) 70 year old, and in someways its like seeing the internet for the first time again. Like when a website shows you the login box for email and password - and my 70 year old wondered why his email address and password didnt work. The existing login was not prominant enough, nor the 'new customers here' part of it, while to me it was second nature. Also, the read this Terms and Conditions then tick the box before you continue. Where does it say tick the box? It doesnt.

I cannot say anything either regarding 'read it, it should tell you' - during my MediaPortal installation it failed as .net 3.5 was not installed. I tried to install .net 4, then 4.1 and both times it said you dont need it, Windows 8 includes 4.1. So I searched to no avail, and then tried an older version of MediaPortal. Then I did something unthinkable, I paid attention to what was being told to me, and installed 3.5, which for some completely stupid reason, is not actually included in 4.1. MediaPortal installed correctly then. See, you can teach old dogs that .net is useless.

Monday 19th May: I watched a classic One Foot in the Grave the other day, one that breaks the fourth wall as such, a play about the Meldrews within the show itself. The playwright explaining to a director all the things that have happened and it being acted out with the Director simply having none of it. "A finger in the chips? Getting into the bath when another lady is already there, the tattoo, a huge model fly being sent with no explanation whatsoever? I dont believe it!"

Classic, and I was laughing myself silly. 'I dont believe' that I had missed that epsiode as well, and looking it up, its entitled: The Futility of the Fly.

I have started on the next chapter (Chapter 29 - Never Interupt a Wizards Picnic) as well, by that I mean I have opened the word document, looked at it, read a section then closed it again. The stats I have added to the bottom of the document currently read:

Played 2nd October 2011
Word Count at start: 1505
Draft Started: 4th December 2013

........sometime next month then?

The countdown to the Battlefield 4 LAN session has started with earnest now. Friday is the official day, but some of us are getting there on Thursday for a sneaky play in the pretence that it takes the day to set up, when in reality it takes under an hour and thats being generous with cable runs and adjustments to leg and arm room. With Four days to go, I have left BF4 for now (@47th level and 106hrs or so played) and instead spend all evening taking my HTPC apart and putting it back together again, only better, the Steve Austin of the HTPC world if you like.

The heatsink will be replaced for a better one, natch, but there is far more room (as its mATX) than before allowing better cabling. Also, the onboard GPU is just as powerful as the one I had installed previously, meaning a large source of extra heat has been removed. Windows 8.1 is installed and the prep work begins to bring it back to how I had it previously......

Sunday 18th May: TV watching as follows, Seasons 5 and 4 respectively.

Saturday 17th May: Finished two laptops in the last few days then finished MonkeyMadness's PC last night (pics on the Madness site) and now have another laptop given to me to get the once over. Plus I have a part on order to see if I can build yet another PC. Busy busy busy...

Wednesday 14th May: Just over a week to go for the LAN session now, and nearly all of us have had issues with Blue Screen errors or poor performance - BF4 really has been a PC killer. Two of us have wiped their machines, the others have had driver updated or cleaned throughly, bios updates, chipset drivers etc...thankfully we have all been able to get a good few hours in, and myself and MonkeyMadness who at one point had 30 hours on the others have been caught up which is good for us all.

Tuesday 13th May: Couple of shitty headache days, so been monged and all sorry for myself on the settee [although I have put this as Tuesday, I actually wrote it a couple of days later, something I do a lot actually...]. Watching Lovejoy and the Dota2 International 2012 games in readyness for the 2014 International that starts shortly. The $2.8m prize fund of 2013 was destroyed in the first opening days - I think the Compedium was available for sale on the 9th? Four days later its $4m.

Valve are very clever with their sales - they have changed things this year to add levels to the book, and the points also generate money for the prize pool as well as for Valve. The micro transactions are staggering, but they are giving loads away (all virtual!) that help generate the 'need' to level the book. You only need level 4 for the courier, but then at 10th (and every 10 thereafter) there are Immortal treasures, and based on the picture, Lion gets to turn someone into a fish rather than a frog, and I obviously want this......

Friday 9th May: Something I posted on AVF, off the back of the reviewing of the Comixology app and the recent Amazon purchase, as well as the Marvel code implementation (good and bad - availability and price increase respectively).

I have been buying digital comics on and off over the last few years, probably much like you all, nothing that I had on regular pull lists, just some odd issues of a storyline, or a mini series you felt like exploring and ALWAYS ones that were on sale.

I would pay for it by sticking £15 every month or so through iTunes cards on my account but again these would be discounted through various holiday deals or through classified ads, meaning I normally paid £12 for £15 of credit.

This happily continued for ages - my digital collection of stuff I did not really care that much about, and my treasured back issues, bagged and boarded and stored away.

The article Neil posted about going digital was quite similar to my own way of thinking - after my hiatus of the best part of 6 years, I restarted with the new DC52 stuff, and while enjoying the ride after a year or so I started to get annoyed with the adverts, the added fluff to increase prices by adding thinly related story/charatcers plus the whole bag/board/store process was starting to make reading them a chore - something digital comics never are.

So I started to think about it. I looked at the pile consisting of the Death of a family storyline, and until I stopped all my subs, the three months worth of comics still unopened, and knowing that a lot of the issue was obviously me, it was also the process of it all. So I started a sub last year on the Batman/Superman title. A comic I would have bought as floppie or waited for GN, I bought Digital, with the store getting me to dip into the others in the story arc.

The birth of the digital code from Marvel has also changed my way of collecting. I rarely bought Marvel except for Daredevil, and everything would have been that afore mentioned comixology sale story arcs. With people selling their codes to subsadise their floppy purchases, this means I have a constant sale price collection of titles available to me.

My March haul was as follows:

Infinity Omnibus :: £11
Spiderman: Spider Island :: £2.50
Black Widow 1-4 :: £5
Uncanny X-Men 1-5, 6-11, 19 :: £3.60
Black Widow [2010] 2-8 :: £4.70
Winter Soldier 1-14 :: £9.80
Avengers 1-6, 24-26 :: £4
Iron Fist 1 :: £0.99

Those Comixology sales and the Marvel codes mean I have spent about £10 more than I normally would do in a month, and does not include some back issues I bought (floppies). My April haul is similar.

Will I stop floppies completely? I am getting to that stage. Will I stop going to the comic shop? No. Graphic Novels of Walking Dead and Fables and Chew will continue, and I may stop Batman & Daredevil in favour of floppies - I will see in six months time.

While £40 on digital comics seems a lot, it was more of a rare event as such. A few timely sales for the older Black Widow and Winter Soldier on Comixology, plus the digital version of the (£50+!) Omnibus that is Infinity over and above a normal months worth. It should all drop down below £10/month for more comics than I was getting before. This was written a little while back as well, so I have another month or so's experience ready to compose something more on this later.

Friday 2nd May: As we approach the long bank holiday weekend, I have of course managed to capture a stinking cold so I am all foggy and cant concentrate on......oooo a butterfly!

My steam profile is non existant as I have been watching a lot of TV and playing Battlefield 4 (about 90 hrs now to date I think) and I do have myself a shiney new Apple thing to play with which I cant stop looking at.

More tech related gadgets are in bound as I am reading up on a QNAP, a more complicated NAS. I did have a NAS before, but I rarely used it so sold it on - my HTPC and Gaming machine more than took care of my needs. The QNAP however has the ability to be a Time Machine for Macs as well as an iTunes server and can torrent/picture stream/etc - all things that I may never use, but as I was thinking of a Time machine anyway (for my lovely shiney new Apple 'ting), why not get something that can do that and more? Plus, and wash my mouth out for saying so, but the Time Capsules are fugly. What on earth they were thinking changing them to a box design is beyond me.

I have decided to try out a new thing, that will last all of a few weeks, but anyway, here foes. This week I have mostly been watching:

Tuesday 29th April: The Comixology app was snapped up by Amazon over the weekend, and forced an update to get the new app, closing the internal store completely. While I appreciate the idea behind it all (not paying Apple 30% royalties) to remove it all with nothing in place simply beggars belief.

I dont even see the need for the new app as it brought nothing new other than remove the surplus tabs that the store introduced. The app subsequently has hundreds of one star reviews as people moan about it, and quite rightly too as there was no warning, and people that had iTunes credit specifically for comics did not get a chance to spend it. Wankers. I myself have refused to install the new app, and continue to use the old one.

More info here.

Monday 28th April: CineXPlayer turned out to be the better player of the three - it looks like a HTPC front end software, and scrapes from imdb as well (I cant see a way to force this though) but can create folders and seems to be a very solid player. I wont know until the next time I am away from home as I use Air Video extensively otherwise - but if you need a (free) player of videos away from home, CineXPlayer is the one to get.

Sunday 27th April: A long awaited DnD session is on today, but with me as a crippled Snake (In DnD, not literally) and likely to be hung over from the Wedding the night before and more importantly, the missus having a frowny face at me if I decided to bugger off early from our location to play as she puts it 'silly games', I had let them all know that I was not about.

Handily, we did come home early and my drinking was steady throughout the day and not all piled into four hours at the end. However, despite her ignoring my best and extremely nonchalant mentions of DnD at every oppurtunity, she had actually forgotten that today was DnD. How could she? So, with a rather more direct approach, and with nothing to loose, I spoke about it, took the flack, then ensuring it was her idea all along, agreed with her that I should go.

Actually, this was more like 'piss off then' and off I went.

Oh, and the VLC app on the iPad that I used for my TV shows (all mp4's?) was utter shite and kept losing audio sync, a massive difference from the excellent VLC media player that is on Windows/Mac OSX. I have ODPlayer, BSPlayer and CineXPlayer to test later.

Saturday 26th April: Lovely day and all that for the Bride and Groom, thankfully the rain was in the morning and not throughout the day. My highlight of the day was one of those perfet moments you get before you are hanged - a bottle of Corona, a lovely steak, and Johny Bristol's 'Hang on in there baby' playing n the background. Bliss.

Friday 25th April: Getting ready to go away for the weekend, so gathering my gadgets! Wedding tomorrow and I will be left alone for a while as everyone else getting stuck in, while I intend to help everyone by staying out of the way really. More Lovejoy (Season Four if your interested) and some last minute Battlefield where I unlocked the last of the Recon kit. Picked up my suit and packing my bag - just backing up my iPad as I type this to stick some TV on it. Tonight is round at an Aunts house, with champers and canapes most likely, and I have already been nominated to give the PC a once over while I am there......well, as long as the booze flows.....

Thursday 24th April: Some painting, some gaming, some Lovejoy, some reading, some dossing about. A nothing day, so basically a draw all round really.

Wednesday 23rd April: I spent some time writting up the Comixology review update I am working on as it was one of the first reviews I did some three years ago, and a lot has changed. One thing has not though - the way your comics are presented to you, which is really poor and I will likely email Comixology once I have my thoughts coherent enough. I then met up with a mate for lunch and travelled up and down one of the tube lines for the rest of the day meeting and greeting before heading home to read some comics as well as look over the ones I got in the post this morning.

The comics were in shitty old bags and boards, and over charged packaging - I only swallowed it as I had bagged Daredevil 111 for 99p instead of around £20. Apparently the second Wolverine film made this jump up in price as its the first apparence of Silver Samurai. Marvel Tales 154 (sent even worse - in an envelope with no additional packing over a single comic board) is a 20 year old reprint of a 50 year old comic that is the best part of £150 and shows that crossovers are nothing new as Daredevil appears in a Spiderman comic (Amazing Spiderman 16) which had to have taken place very early in the Daredevil comics run (Yellow costume so prior to issue 7, and single D on his chest so before issue 5)

Tuesday 22nd April: A definitive win for gaming, as I start off with a few hours of Battlefield, getting killed over and over again as I try and unlock Jets and then a few good games of DOTA with DeadEyeMike. I also manage to piss off the missus mightily as she comes back during the day, during a period of time when I was off the 'puter for some lunch, I fell asleep not long after she came back from work, waking up after she left to go back on the PC. Ooops! Even I felt bad about that....

I also started reading Death of a Family as well, some 18 months after the comics were originally released....

Me: 1, Missus: 1, Dartford Bridge: 1, Traffc: 1, Gaming: 1

Monday 21st April: An early start from my early to bed, almost entirely due to a refridgerated lorry parked down the road and its low rumble caused me to not get back to sleep. So I had a lovely cup of cofee, read some comics on my iPad, typed up yesterdays and the start of todays entries, and its only just 7am.

Off to shopping at Asda later and then on the way back stuck in so much traffic on the way back - utterly rage enducing. With the missus like a gnat in my ear saying dont change lanes, dont go through the tunnel go over the bridge it musty be the tunnel etc etc. I ignored her about the lanes and made up some time, and as I was about to nick in at the tunnel entrance she continued to say the tunnel must be closed or stuck or something as the way to the bridge was kind of clear....so with that 'Fuck sake, rev the car and pull out' manoeuvre and head to the bridge....to get stuck in the traffic hidden round the corner instead.

I probably did a few bits afterwards, but the traffic really got to me and is annoying me a day later when I type this so its an easy win for Traffic today.

Me: 1, Missus: 1, Dartford Bridge: 1, Traffc: 1

Sunday 20th April: Easter Sunday and its pissing down on Jesus's resurection day thing. He would have a soggy nappy if he got out of his cave today I can tell you. Some light spring cleaning in the real world and the digital one as I clean out stuff from my data drive on my PC, and then off to jolly Essex for a bite to eat where I enjoy a severe mustard rush as I devour a Sirloin steak.

We manage to find a place that had eggs in to replace the ones that got broken - dont ask, and on the way home I take a wrong turn thanks to my stupid free Google maps satnav (the one I had on my iPhone zoomed in to show lanes when at junctions) and suddenly I am on the Dartford toll bridge. While the missus moans when I say I have no cash on me, I say they will take cards, surely.

They dont.

Luckily I had something with my address on it so they can bill me. Back home, pick up another laptop to fix and watch a film before going to bed early.

This could be classed as a Draw, as no DIY or Gaming was done at all, and Jesus nearly won due to the miraculous supplying of eggs that all the other shops had run out of, but its a win for Dartford Bridge, making me look like an idiot while I held up a lane of traffic.

Me: 1, Missus: 1, Dartford Bridge: 1

What? Dont look at me, I never said it was me versus the Missus, and I have not finished up making rules yet, let alone working at ways to twist them to my benefit later.

Saturday 19th April: The missus is out, and I potter around, some light spring cleaning of my desk which seems to have accumalated more items that a OCD hoarder and put up a picture. I havent built anything for ages, yet find that I have cable ties and screws under paperwork from months ago. I as usual leave this half done, and spend the rest of the day playing a few hours of Battlefield, and then about 5 hours of Assassins Creed II.

When you play 'puter for as long as you normally work in one day, its a convinicing victory to me.

Me: 1 Missus: 1

Friday 18th April: Good Friday today, and the start of a well deserved holiday for me. Lets see how much I get to waste, and how much is dictated for me to do shall we? Oh, and before I start to waffle on, let me tell you Coke and Twix, I have my fucking beady eyes on you. A 'new' size bottle of Coke that happens to be 1.75L instead of 2L? For the same price? Fuck you. Not that I drink Coke, but that means Fanta and Tango will follow if you get away with it. And Twix? you can fuck off as well. A good cm or more has mysteriously dropped off the end of your fingers you cheeky [insert the word I tried to play in Words with Friends further down this blog thing I have going on] and has also migrated to the single finger packs as well.

So, how was my day today? Some light encoding as I ripped some Bluray disks, I started watching a new TV series called Almost Human, which is a combination of Robocop, I Robot and a dash of Star Trek and quite good it is too. I then did my DIY chores by finishing off the garden that I started the best part of a year ago, before playing Assassins Creed II for an hour or so, before continuing my latest fetish with aquiring digital codes for comics.

Because we had to go Homebase and then subsequently bought other bits, despite me spending more time gaming over all, its a win for the missus.

Me: 0 Missus: 1

Tuesday 15th April: Got a bill to say my Hosting package had been paid, then thought to myself, I sense Deja Vu at work here on this very website. So I went back to last year and a year ago today I wrote:

My hosting package expired, and while I thought about getting it cheaper (£40/yr), my normal laxidasy approach to stuff meant that while I contemplated changing it (I had the renewal notice weeks ago) for a cheaper one, I forgot that I had set up the renewal automatically and so it simply charged and paid for itself out of my funds. Damm my own efficiency!

Fuck. Maybe next year?

Thursday 10th April: Cleaning out my Dropbox (slow day...) and found this - something that happened last year and I forgot to add it. This is what happens when you have a self imposed 'Do not answer' policy, forget, answer the phone to a cold caller and then tell them to fuck off.

30 times they rang in the space of about 20 minutes. I obviously touched a nerve somewhere.....

Tuesday 8th April: They may have found that plane thats been missing for a month, in a section of sea that is the best part of 3 miles deep. Not entirely sure what they will find down there other than terrible beasties that have armoured plating skin as the pressure must be huge......you can tell I know an awful lot about this as I am now thinking about exploding fish.

I finished a couple of books recently, Quest for Lost Heroes by David Gemmell and The Bunker Diarys - a potential Carneige Book, which is really good - it has a Irvine Walshness about it and is about a street kid that is kidnapped and put into a Bunker.....its quite bleak and very good. QfLH is one (imho) of Gemmells underrated books - and I really like it.

I finished another Comic reader review recently, Chunky Comic Reader, which was so good that it has taken the top spot over Comic Zeal:

Theydons Thoughts [April 2014]

Well its taken the best part of four years for me to change my views on who should be top of the Comic Readers - and now Comic Zeal has passed the crown to Chunky Comics. It has more of the required features that a Comic Viewer should have all wrapped up in a very easy to use frontend and brilliant engine that has pan assist and 2 page viewing. The importing via Dropbox or other cloud based storage is supurb and along with its other features and price, it's captured the top spot easily.

The runners up in no particular order are: Comic Zeal, Comic Glass and Comic Viewer

Comic Zeal has a brilliant front end and a supurb pan assisted engine, followed by Comic Viewer, with a brilliant front end and excellent reading engine with meta data options and Comic Glass with its huge amount of customisation and good reading engine and more detailed Managa options.

Basically, if you are yet to upgrade from a freebie viewer, then please grab an iTunes voucher and pick up any of the ones I mention above, you will not be dissapointed with any of them.

The LAN session is edging closer, and this cannot simply go to plan as currently Pelet has not only issues with his BF4 code not working, but his machine misbehaving too. Hopefully this should all resolve itself shortly, and as I said to him, its better now than then....

Tuesday 1st April: No real April Fools jokes this morning that I noticed, but then I skipped the Metro for my journey to work and my RSS feed only had one thing I thought was jokes - playing a tabletop game of DnD inside the NeverWinter MMO.

Instead today I will regail you with insights such as why do HP laser printers have the numbering wrong for the Magenta cartridge? The numbering goes 0, 1, 3 then 2 for some reason. I have replaced a thousand or more HP printer toners over the years and only just seen this. I wonder why?

Now for the next in the infrequent 'TFT ladies' picture series. MonkeyMadness is after a TFT, and never one to shy away from browsing the TFTs, I came across this on Overclockers. Golems facial expression just really tickled me.....

Thursday 20th March: I have just finished the last of the Krondor books by Raymond Feist, Tear of the Gods, which was so painful to read that I took ages to finish.

I love Magician. I could read that over and over and not just because it was my first real fantasy book that I read, but because its a cracking story, and that applies to the next 8 books after as well.

These three (Krondor) books were based off a computer game and the plot shows. More fight scenes in these books than the previous nine, and I am not joking when I say I was staring to count the times that the expression 'half grin' was written to the point it appeared nearly every page. And just as I draw to a close on the third book (that I dont think I have actually read, or if I had done, erased from my memory*) it becomes completely absurd.

The continunity of over the top magic that seems to have come from nowhere is annoying......I despair.

If you love Feist, skip these books. You wont, because you love the world and characters, but you will wish you did.

 

* I really dont think I had read it at all - I remember bits of Assassin, the second book, but not it all, so perhaps I did not read the end of the second book either. I removed the [R?] from the list to indicate I had not read it.

Now, check the archives, fast forward ten years to 2024 where I accidently read it again and rage about it :)

Wednesday 19th March: I finally hit 2000 in my single player ranking in Dota2 last night, which beggars belief at just how long its taken me - and I know that I should be higher (but not that much). I am trying to avoid playing the same games over and over while adding loads of new ones! and so to shame myself, I will post this:

Yep, my top ten in the last four months on Steam has not changed, with my top two games simply increased their lead. Path of Exile is closing in on ACII, and there are a lot of games in the 20 hour mark, but that DOTA hours played total is just going up and up......

And for my own inane records, my current Steam Rating @ (only!) 25hrs for the last two weeks is:

In other exciting news, I cleared off some of my Sky planner last night, by watching the last two episodes of Hatfields and McCoys which finished about 18 months ago on TV? Watch this space as I finally get round to watching the Moon Landing, Millenium Celebrations and the Harry Potter films.

Tuesday 18th March: A rambling conversation that starts with the revamping of an old game leads me down memory lane as Gauntlet is getting a reboot to make it into a diablo esque ARPG later this year. As a kid, I would go to my local arcade, in Lewisham, and drop 10p's like no tomorrow. Its that blue shop in the below picture, The Starship Enterprise. This then led onto the fact that it was not there anymore, and the cinema also removed - a large roundabout sits there now.

This then led to talking about the other cinema in Lewisham, which after some google-fu due to my dodgy memory, revealed it to be called Studio 6 and 7 - where I first saw Star Wars and all of the original trilogy.....oh the memories.

The Odeon closed down in 1981 and Studio 6 & 7 in 1986, with both of them demolished by the late 80's early 90's. For some then and now pictures of these and other cinema's in the area, check this website.

And yes, it makes me feel positively ancient.

Thursday 13th March: I have done 30km on the bike over the last few days - 10k a night. Lets see how long that lasts shall we?

Wednesday 12th March: Lets start on my Kindle. That little electronic book of goodness that can hold 1000 books, yet in all the updates and different versions of format, can not get a fundimental thing right:

Yep, the sort order. Now the pendantic amongst you will note that it is sorted by title and thus what is shown should be in that order, but what I mean is that there is no other way to sort your books - the recent option is limited to books recently added and the other option is Author, useless when you have created a collection based from authors to try and help make sense of that 100+ book collection you have on your Kindle.

Even if you create fake books (from text files and rename them .mobi) and use Calibre which has a 'Series Tag' field that helps you organise the books within and then upload them, it ignores them as there seems to be no field for the Kindle to recognise this setting.

So the Assassin books from Robin Hobb above, the Song of Fire and Ice books, Terry Pratchetts Discworld...all become a jumble that you will have to know there ordering, or open each book to discover (via synopsis which I believe requires an internet connection and thus useless for most people) the correct reading order.

You know how you can do it? You create a fake book, add a cover picture and obtain metadata then rename the book by adding a prefix of [01] [02] [03] to your trilogy, then upload the books, then view them by cover mode......and voila! Perfection:

However, you cant do this for books bought from Amazon - and those 99p deals really rack up your collection. Yes I have looked into jailbreaking - I spent a good 4 hours on forums the other night, and my Kindle Paperwhite already is Jailbroken to pick up covers on sleep. There is a collections mod, but my firmware makes it unusable currently. So I spoke with Amazon (and also asked in the PW2 has the option - it doesnt) and then after that online chat, emailed my feedback:

I have had a Kindle for a few years now, and love it - but for a device that can hold 1000 books, it seems to be missing a glaring option to sort books in an order that is not Alphabetical.

I create collections to house books by Author, but books within can only really be listed alphabetically - a Trilogy or large collection of books such as A Song of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones) or a larger collection such as Terry Pratchett's back catalog for instance would be a chronological mess.

An option to add a series tag (I created a book out of a blank notepad file and tried the software Calibre and added Series tags to see if that worked and it does not either), or even sort by published year would be excellent addition and would be very welcome I would imagine.

Any chance of this being looked at?

And got back and email that basically just contained:

From your email, I understand you want to the feature to sort Kindle contents in collections using the published year.

So if this gets added, your welcome. I still would have prefered the series tag being recongnised, but still, beggars cant be choosers.

Tuesday 11th March: Bob Crow, LUT leader, dead at 52 from a heart atack. Bloody hell!

Monday 10th March: Its Chuck Norris' birthday today, and as he monitors all websites to check to see if anyone has forget and then subsequently visit's them in the dead of night, I am adding my celebrations. Happy Birthday!

Friday 7th March: The latest in my ongoing series of 'semi literate writing, which involves describing random things while trying to come up with something informative that cannot really be classed as a review but sort of is', - I present, Vindictus.

Its a free to play MMORPG, weighing it at a 8Gb download. You pick one from six different characters all male/female variants on either Melee/Ranged/Magic.

Selecting one gives you a little video window of their skillset. Rather than name the characters by class they are named, which can be confusing later as some weapons are identified by character name - which you have obviously renamed during the start process, so you will need to remember what they were originally called. I choose Vanna, the twin sword lady.

You start in a small town with loads of other people, and simply head for the first of many of the shops that have a ! or ? above them. Entering the building presents you with a faintly static screen in which a very JRPG interface is displayed for you to read through the quests and conversations with other people are via tabs - it looks better than it sounds though.

Accepting the quests you head to a dock area, walk up to the map on the wall, and just one location is available for you to select, and one quest (which almost always involves getting to the end of the dungeon and beating the crap out of people along the way)

You then simply repeat this process of going to the buildings - the Mercenary Outpost mostly, going back to the docks and completing the tasks.

You will level quickly, and be awarded with a bewildering amount of titles and fanfare more or less every time you return to any building. XP and gold can be awarded from completing a conversation which then can spawn other quests, so make sure you visit everywhere there is a ! or ? sign.

Graphics are very pretty, and the highly stylized character models are begging to be dressed in (micro payment) garish schoolgirl dresses or cowboy hats.

The combat is a series of combo attacks and button mashes, and even if you are a useless street fighter luddite like me that mashed buttons with no pretense at remembering combos (situational or otherwise) then you will do fine to start with. It was not until about level 15 that I needed a potion let alone anything that resembled thinking, so you have loads of time to work out your favorite combo move. You get a lovely slow motion recap of the killing blow as well...


Skills are unlocked by either quests, conversations, or simply paying gold to train and unlock. You then need AP's (gathered through quests from the Dock) to apply to the skill - starting at F rank and working your way towards A. AP's are given each time you complete a quest, but reduce after every repeat so that you cannot simply farm the same quest over and over. APs are also given as Guild rewards - which is quite handy as I dont remember joining one, and then found loads of pills in my mailbox (sounds like a normal Saturday night!) which contain 100/150 APs to help you level up loads of skills.

Sooner or later you will hit a brick wall - no buildings with a ! or ?, and quests locked requiring you to increase your level. Simply replay a couple of the quests until you level, and look at the town buildings again - trigger points for the start of a quest seem to be based on levels quite often.

The quests are almost always related to beating up a boss. These dungeon locations are instances (so just you or your party) and there is a slight randomization if you repeat them - but not that this matters too much as the 'dungeon' is basically a path much like a long corridor with some rooms in it rather than an open area - it really couldn't be more linear if it tried.

The town area has a marketplace, much like DDO - you pay some gold to post it (like a virtual eBay) and then go to your mailbox to collect the unsold goods or gold. You can buy improved weapons and armour, and sell NPC quest items and buy crafting items - something that I have not yet looked at, but it looks to cater Weapons, Armour and jewelry.

There is also a cart that is supposed to take you to another place but the driver ends the conversation with no option to travel, and the outside area looked large but was empty and I have not explored that very much.

I must have played this for around 20hrs now (including my other character that I spelt the name wrongly!) and am approx 24th level, and just started on the third location on my dock map.

The combat has started to get a little bit repetitive, but as its still so funny to go into an area and beat the crap out of things in an over the top fashion, it still has a hold on me,wanting to find out what over the top move is coming next. As mentioned, I also found my Guild AP pills late - so suddenly have an influx of new skills to tryout (I actually managed to do a proper riposte for once - the name of it escapes me though), but the skills are getting more expensive now (you get 20-50 APs completing a quest, but to improve a skill requires 180-270).

I have also experienced some bloody rage inducing annoyances - I was in a Labyrinth area and you are forced to use ranged weapons and I accidentally clicked on a hook thing even though my secondary weapon was Javelins. Due to the unexplained reasons of not being able to switch items, I cannot use the javelins in my inventory, and so could not complete the task and have it marked as a fail. How did I swap to the hook then? I also bought some new armour, Heavy in nature and leveled quite a few points in it, but cannot wear it all as its so heavy. Why? The skill is maxed, the armour level restricted to my level and higher but its too heavy and so slows my movement - oh, and I cant take it off, so I spent all the dungeon moving around like a sloth.

I still find myself logging on though....

Wednesday 5th March: I finished the Dota Fails, and just loved the voices almost as much as the fails themself - "Kaaaaaaa Rooooonnoooo Sphere!" and "I'm OmniKnight. Fuck You!" being my faves.

I need to have a little winge about the Fables book I bought when I realised that the Deluxe versions are a fucking rip off to be quite blunt - the first book was 10 issues and contained the same material plus extra's as the first two floppy Graphic Novels, but subsequently the Deluxe versions have contained less and less. I cant complain too much as I got the first six for cheap from eBay, and then 7 and 8 as presents, so I personally have not paid full price for any of them, but its taking the piss when Deluxe 8 contains LESS than floppy vol 10......I thought Deluxe was a standard thing and that it meant that each one was two trades...my only issue now is that I muck up the look of my shelves if I switch.

Bugger my selective OCDness...

Sunday 2nd March: I went to Brighton with the missus and my daughter and bloody cold and windy it was too. I got the latest Deluxe version of Fables (No 8) which was nice, and I went into Goldsmiths and tried on an Omega Seamaster that cost as much (and weighed as much) as a second hand car. I obviously looked minted enough as the assistant gave me the catalogue (hardbacked!) for me to drool over.

Lastly, I also managed to get a whole Hour and a half on Elder Scrolls Online over this weekend - here is my semi literate review type thing - the Italic comments are from others posting in the AVF ESO thread.

How long does this beta last? I would like to have a bash, but if its not on for very long, then I don't think I will get use from it.

As expected, I spent about an hour and a half, over two sessions playing this. [Insert Sadface Sadface Sadface]

Another issue i had with ESO was to do with the quests. They tried to do the solo style q uests from skyrim (speak to people, do stuff, enter dungeon, kill X) but the fact that another 30 people were all doing the same thing really broke the immersion. In other MMo's, the final boss tends to be instanced off, so it feels like YOU saved that sweetroll from being eaten etc. In ESO, you could see everyone else also saving the sweetroll*. Also at times i wanted people to leave my Tamriel so i could be alone with the world again :)

*No quests so far were to do with saving sweetrolls :p

This post sums up my feelings exactly. While some parts - leaving the cells etc you would expect to see loads of other players, I really felt like I was in a race and running my way through the place as others fought and killed creatures or looted any of the chests and boxes. The room with the first boss was ridiculous - I was on my own that I could tell, but the room is littered with hundreds of containers and a quick run round the room found them all empty. It also felt like cheating as along with the quest markers you could simply follow other people to the quest goal and added to the implied 'hurry up hurry up' ness of it all, I could not take my time to wander around and poke my nose in places.

This does calm down a little once you escape, but as soon as you go into a prison to rescue someone, loads of people are running around messing up your quest - how can they do the quests like this without instances? I am an old school MMORPG player, so have no problem without instances - cutting my teeth on Everquest, where quest NPCs would be static, or mobile ones would walk off meaning others would have to wait. It feels weird to mash the two together.

Had an hour on this earlier. Seems ok. Not something I'd pay £9 a month to play though.

While Elder Scrolls (ish) in style, it looked nothing like my games. Everything is nailed down, the textures bland, and I was crying over the hexagon shaped barrels wondering if I could SMIM it. At £50 plus £9/month? Not for me thanks. DDO and Neverwinter, while not having the Elder Scrolls lore have an even better pedigreed lore that you can play for ages as a ftp, and only once you are more commited do you need pay a monthly fee. Are there any MMO's that have cost plus fee to play?

When the costs change, I will look again. I used to go to my mates house to watch him play Daggerfall, and he would let me play my character for a few hours or so, so the Elder Scrolls games are in my blood from my first PC gaming experiences, and I hope this does well. Now, I will pass thanks.

Saturday 1st March: I embarrassed my daughter today by stripping off in Wickes and trying some trousers on as they have changed the Dress Code policy at work. I am also slowly slowly catchy monkey working towards my 2000 goal on DOTA2 single player as I hit 1975, and watched more DOTA2 fails - the commentary is just spot on...... "......I'm PANICKING!!!!!!!!"

Monday 24th February: I have just paid for this site for another two years, for the princely sum of £9 inc VAT. Thats the name only, the hosting (the place for the actual files and images) costs around £25? year which is up in the next month or so. I thought I read something about those that have a .co.uk address being given a free transfer to a .uk address, meaning this would be castle-grounds.uk but I will decide if I want to change when that happens.

My Steam play time shows this, around 23 hours - no, dont be alarmed, there is nothing wrong with me as I have another 14-20 hours to add to this from playing Battlefield 4 (Currently 12th) and Vindictus (16th level Vella).

No, I dont know why Grim Dawn is showing either.

What is Vindictus I (dont) hear you cry? Its a RPG beatup up MMO type thing heavily inspired by over the top beatup em moves. Free to play, and micro transactions are used for clothing and to help leveling and crafting, much like DDO. Talking of DDO, Trulee Scrumptious makes her comeback in this game. Rather than classes in which you rename (such like a Barbarian) you actually pick a named character to play and rename as your own - in this case, Vella a warrior who uses twin blades or chains.

Its great fun, you have a few special moves and contextual moves (like 4 left clicks, two right clicks performs a move called Menacing Gale) and then massive boss monsters and loot to collect, buy, trade. Its likely to get boring after a while as its a bit repetitive, but its fun while it lasts.

Sunday 16th February: Ooooo a LAN session is possibly on the cards, and so the game of choice appears to be Battlefield 4. Thankfully, it seems to be ok now, and with a deal on the Premium version for £25 instead of £40, I grabbed it. The second DLC is out soon, and that appears to have BF3 maps it it, everybodies favourite Metro, and my favourite, Caspian Border as well as two others. Personally, I think there were some smashing BFBC2 maps so I would have liked to see them as well.

Saturday 15th February: Just a reminder to myself really, a note, encoded so that it means nothing or could be interpreted in many different ways to anyone else that bothers to read my crap, to be confused as to what it is that I am actualy trying to say.

\\Start\\ The Missus tells her friends that I had asked her what does she do when she comes home from work, and why she does not spend that time washing up. Her friends are outraged and their opinions change against me as they wonder how I could say that? I did say it. Its true. But just not in the context it was told to everyone else. She initially said it to me, asking what do I do when I come in from work before she comes home, to which I retorted that its nothing to do with you - I could be on the Computer, watching TV, in the bath, reading or mastabating furiously in the garden. I then added, what do you do when you come home from work? Thats the context. Thats the bit ommited. Thats the big arguement about the fucking dishes. \\End\\

As you can see, its gibberish - a clever code. I would say attribute the first letter written for the last letter of the alphabet, but I fear I may give away too much. This cleverly written and disguised code goes along with the others - my favourite being "....well [Insert friends name] can do [required job, mostly DIY or Electrical, basically anything other than my own highly developed skillset]" to which the response is obviusly, "...go and marry them then."

Sometimes I wish I lived on Vulcan, where logic wins.

Friday 14th February: Happy Valantines day! Not so much happiness for some Japanese couples though as pranksters decided to book all the odd numbered seats for the latest chick flick, forcing couples to sit apart from each other, which is quite amusing.

I have been playing a little Battlefield 4 as they are giving away free Battlepacks during the month of Feb while they are still trying to fix things - with patches still coming thick and fast. Whiel I am rusty and expect to die horribly, there have been some frustrating games as you are seemingly one shotted over and over again - a very frustrating experience.

Thursday 13th February: I sold another book on eBay in the last few days, and compared to my previous disasters of books being sold, this one went in exactly the same manner, ie I got fuck all for it. I really dont believe my luck - its definitely not skill as 5 people were watching it for ages at 99p, and it gets sold.....for 99p. FFS! This was a 1st edition Painted Man by Peter Brett. Yes, that book that in signed mint condition can sell for the best part of £500, and non-signed can sell for ~£200 on Abebooks.

Mine was far from mint though - as you may recall this is the book some cunt from Yodel threw over my back fence into the garden and combined with the shitty way it was packed, meant that it had no chance of not being battered to the spine and corners. I paid £22? for it, so lost a score overall. My only saving grace regarding this book is that the replacement that I bought, which was mint, was only £30, meaning that I should be happy that I paid £50 (effectively) for it. Which to be fair, I would have done, so I will stop moaning now.

Saturday 8th February: I am not looking for a Baby Roshan anymore.....as I found one!

I say found, but you know what I mean. I picked it up at its cheapest price point (I have been recording prices for the best part of a month) and also sold all the stuff I got in the offering which also effectively meant I saved at least another fiver.....so I am very happy with it all. I got the normal colour as I think the Dungeon Doom (Purple/Blue) and the Red/Pink versions obscure Rosh too much within his Misasma cloud, and it also colours the different mushrooms in that one colour, rather than the mixture of green and grey ones you get with the original colouring.

Friday 7th February: Working on someones laptop last night, so just a little farming in Grim Dawn to hit 20th. Missed the New Bloom Beast arrival in Dota - seems he was only up for 24hrs and that ended last night at 8pm. People had already exploited the beast to be able to do millions of points of damage, meaning those that did not exploit will have little chance of getting a Jadehoof courier.

Today I am mostly wrapping my head around WinPe8 so that we have a bootable Ghost ability for the new Dell PCs we have as I cannot find a Hiren based XP driver for the NIC and also browsing various Dota Cosmetics to see what to add to my wants list. The New Bloom season has flooded the market with Auspicious items that are a lot cheaper than their normal counterparts, which I am sure will annoy some people.

Oh, and I am still watching Unusual Baby Roshan's.....

Thursday 6th February: A couple of hours of Grim Dawn and a light smattering of Path of Exile, merely to look at gems and items and character paths for me last night. Day two of the tube strike, and while its a pain in the arse quite frankly (well more in the feet due to all the walking) at least this is not the way I commute to work. Storms are still battering Cornwall, Somerset and parts of Wales as well - some staggering pictures in that link.

The 'brilliant songs on TV Shows' which are mostly won by This is Jinsey have a contender in an episode of Yonderland, as these little furry creatures sing the excellent 'Thank you Debbie'. If you dont know what I am talking about with regards to either This is Jinsey, or Yonderland, then shame on you. Shame.

Wednesday 5th February: Last night I crossed Might & Magic X Deluxe from my wanted list as I steamtraded five Dota2 Keys plus Dishonored for it. Today was the first day of the two and a bit day tube strike, and I ended up in earlier than I normally do - my tube line was empty! I walked a mile and a half in between stops though. Leaving work shortly, so another mile and a half back again, which according to the walking app that I downloaded to see how far I was actually walking, will have walked a total of 3 miles and burned off 300ish calories.

No gaming last night, a first in ages for me as I watched World War Z. Which was not as bad as it was led to believe actually. It sounds like faintly damning praise, but I liked the mechanics of the zombies and the way they moved.

Monday 3rd February: Kingdom Come: Deliverence has raised 600k now (playable female quests), and I got an email from another Kickstarter that I backed, Xenonauts (XCOM clone) that has a stable release that I am yet to play any of other than a very early beta that only had one map nine months ago. This kickstarter has taken a while but from my fleeting reading of the forums indicates that they have been updating and releasing loads of info. The Kickstarter was completed back in June 2012 ($150k raised of a $50k target) and this latest updates indicates they are hoping for a March release.

I however am playing DOTA again. Or should that be still. The fantastic looking Divinity is left by the roadside, the nearly finished first act of Grim Dawn not finished, and all the while I am looking on Steamtrades for key based potential purchases of Blackguards (approx 8-10 for normal and 12-14 for Deluxe) and Might and Magic X (approx 8 keys for the normal edition and 9 for the Deluxe which includes DLC and HoM&M6) - which means I need 17 keys (approx £25 assuming £1.50/key) rather than pay £55 (Normal Blackguards plus Deluxe M&MX)

.......and I am still of Baby Roshan Trail of the Amanita watch....

Ooo, and at work, I created a virtual server on Hyper-V to run our Sophos Management software and I called it Spidermonkey. Yes really.

Sunday 2nd February: I did the first in a monthly reminder to myself regarding the SteamGifts website, spending my 300 points on entering the chance to win 10 games. I have now enetered 50 over the course of time, and won nothing so far. But its free, and I forget, and I never get round to playing, so alls well that ends well. :)

Tuesday 28th January: I fixed a PC last night with Smartguard pretend AV software that really just wants your cash, and tonight have a couple of underperforming laptops that need some attention. I also intend to play some more of Divinity: Original Sin as it looks like it could be fantastic.

Monday 27th January: I felt like Martin Lewis last night, saving just under £160 on my Sky bill for the year but curiously have a better package that I did before. They tried the "..do you want more for just a little bit more expense?" to which I patiently explained was the opposite of what I wanted.

I had the HD and Entertainment+ packages but apparently (they explained) the HD Entertainment Extra is better (and has the Boxset on demand thingy) but doesnt require the HD bit of the package so thats £5 more for the package but £10 less as I dont need the HD part (are you still following?:)) then he lopped another £6/month off for the year contract duration and to top it off, he then he took an extra tenner or so off the next bill.

I agreed. I was actually going to leave - it wasnt a ploy as I had already rang Virgin to see what they could offer me, and it would have been about the same saving, but this way I dont have to try and watch EVERYTHING on my Sky box within a month.

Next up will be my BT Phone bill as I hate the way the bastards send me a bill that says I am £90 in arrears for services that I have not used yet (as they equate to the coming quarter.) I thus ring them every quarter and have the same conversation with them, which normally goes like:

"Do not change my standing order, as I am not in arrears"

"Well, your bill shows in debt by £xx.."

"Do you get paid in advance? I don't, and I am not not paying you in advance for services you have not yet supplied me. My monthly bill is less than £30/month even if I have calls outside of my plan, why on earth would I pay you £40/month?"

"...because it is in arrears.."

"Do you have a dictionary handy? Can you look up the definition of arrears please? Do not change my DD, do not increase it, return it back to the amount it was."

Wait three months, get the next bill, notice they are helpfully changing my DD, ring up....

Sunday 26th January: Apparently, today is the 40th birthday of DnD! Celebrations to all you gamers out there, and if you have to, make sure your charater die's nobly, rather than mucking about building sandcastles and then get drowned by a beastie. I also started watching Elementary, the American Sherlock Holmes take on with Lucy Lu as a female Watson. Not sure what I expected, but I liked it based on the first three episodes, so hopefully they continue at that level.

Thursday 23rd January: Someone on AVF mentioned a game called Star Citizen, a starship game that could be likened to Eve and Elite. It was crowd funded, and currently has broken the record for this kind of funding (Kickstarter last year, then continues on their website) to the tune of $37million+. I am thinking about grabbing it myself, you can get the Alpha package now (for packages of $40+), but thats merely wandering around the space port. The intriguing thing is the lack of monthly fee - if I understand it correctly; the insurance mentioned on the packages relates to the fact that you have to pay to look after your ship or otherwise its seized.

So. They were looking for a backstory and I suggested myself as I was terribly bored at work, and so wrote this for them...

Four of us left. Not a good way to start the day, but after looking down at his torn clothing, the ache of bruises across his lower back, but far more importantly, the blood drenched leggings, he was still better off than some. Boots ruined mind you, good ones, won in a card game on Stavi3, and worth more than the useless laspistol in his wrist that had misfired and now only worked on every third key press.

He looked across to his pilot, hunched behind the secure crates, marked foodstuff, but containing the hidden bloodsteel mined for its excellent weaponsmithing properties, and remarkably misnamed as it was chemical rather than a metal. He mimed shooting at the crate, then with his hands made a ball shape and blew out his cheeks. The pilot looked on blankly as his captain rolled his eyes and did the same thing again before it dawned on him that he was effectively using an incredibly powerful and volatile explosive device as a shield.

The pilot scampered away from the crates, dodged some laspistol fire to a hull bulkhead, and cowered down. He was now closer to the invaders, a merc group that laughably called themselves the 'good guys' and could see the scorch marks of the limpet ship that had effectively attached, and then burned a hole into their hull.

Most smugglers hated Mercs simply as they ruined their living more than the governing forces did - you tended to live through a raid by the forces, and not those by Mercs. When times were bad, smugglers would even hunt them in turn - a touch hypocritical, but there you go. This was supposed to be a simple delivery job, that is if you can call smuggling weapon grade chemicals to a large wealthy corporation that are indebted to a planetary coalition that in turn owes a small governing body a favour, a simple job...

"Six" he called, and then sounded off positions. He could see the security officer moving into an opposite position in the passages and noticed the cook in the ducting. He then lobbed a stunning grenade, and as the concussive wave rolled out, stood up and shot the closest good guy in the chest. The captain ran forward, and misfired with his laspistol.

Cursing, the Captain threw it directly at the merc trying to clear his head and rub his eyes. The laspistol bounced off his arm and the Captain ran him through with an old fashioned styled cutlass. The security officer moved past another two and ran into the limpet ship, and neatly dispatched two more mercs inside while the cook dropped from the ducting right in front of the last two. And was promptly shot to pieces. One of the laspistol stray beams from a Merc passed straight through the foodstuff crate, and the resulting blast knocked everyone to their feet and set the rest of the cargo on fire. The packing materials that were supposed to shield the bloodsteel safe under almost all circumstances was now aiding it to stick to the hull and corrode it.

Security, still in the limpet ship was the only one unaffected by the concussive blast and stepped out, quickly dispatching the last two prone mercs. A brief moment to confirm the cook was dead and grabbing his Captain and pilot, he took one look at the ruined cargo, the rest of the dead crew, the melting hull, and dragged the survivors off to the limpet ship.

The captain awoke some time later. He still ached, but the pressure on his leg told him that his wound had been dressed. He sat up and looked around at the unfamiliar area, before realising where he was. The Security officer looked up from a chair nearby and simply said "all gone" before walking off back to the cockpit.

The Captain looked over to see his unconscious pilot, similarly bandaged and treated and with a sigh said to no one, "Well then, seems I need a few things. A drink, some ships, some new cargo, and some more crew..."

Took an hour or so, and helped the day pass by :)

Wednesday 22nd January: I thought I may stay away from Kickstarters for the moment as I still have Xenonaughts and Carmageddon outstanding that I have paid for. However, this looked really special - Kingdom Come: Deliverance. It needed 'only' £300k to help persuade its current backer to coninue paying (I belive he has already funded them the best part of £1million already). It took the required 300k in 26hours. I have backed Knight (my self imposed £20 limit for Kickstarters) but may go Baron for the extra fiver for the Alpha access...

Saturday 11th January: The following is 24 hours in the life of me with no missus or daughter about. The idea is to spend 12+ hrs gaming, lets see if I manage that shall we?

~2PM: The missus leaves, then rings while still on the drive as she cannot work out where the eject button is on the dash of our new car. I am currently burning off crap from my Data drive as its nearly full as I dont have a 4Tb drive, and if I did, it would probably go in my HTPC, while reading various forums.

I still hit the caps lock button a lot on my new keyboard, rather than the A, so had to type the above again as I was shouting half way through.

2PM - 3PM: I have now burnt off and deleted loads of crap (~60Gb) while still reading stuff the forums and also looking for heaphones for an Andriod phone as my Klipsch S4i's are iPhone only. Check emails to find that my cheeky email on Friday to Klipsch asking if there was an upgrade option was denied.

I knock a screw into the wall to hang my headphones off of, which means my DIY jobs for the year are complete.

3PM - 6PM: I fire up the Walking Dead Game, ready to start Episode 3. Game fails with a walkingdead101.exe failure error. Doh! Start to Validate files, then force myself to drink one of the crappy Carlsberg Zest beers and find the fridge near empty, with no snacks and little milk left, meaning I have to go round the shop which will eat into my gaming time.

I find a solution to my game problem, and start to play episode three....

Around 4PM, I go to shop as game is so intense! I bought a sandwich and some milk, and some Christmas peanuts that are cheap.

I finish the episode just after 6PM. Some advice if you are in a poor mood - don't play this game. Some advice if you are in a good mood - don't play this game. Bloody hell it sucks you in more than the TV or comics somehow - its that good.

6PM - 9PM: I am now playing Magic 2014 the card game as my mate came on to suggest I play multiplayer. He invites me, says that we will play sealed deck, but uses the deck he has already unlocked three extra boosters with the cheating fecker. I lose both games, and so when he leaves around 7, I continue with the campaign to unlock my three boosters.

I find out that my daughter had gone to friends and not out with the missus, so she is on her way back soon, meaning I have had to cancel the hooker and drugs I had for delivery around 11PM. I lost my deposit - do people not know how hard it is to find prostitutes that will take Dermatological supositries willingly?

9PM-11PM: Playing Grim Dawn, the Alpha Greenlight from the creators of Titan Quest. Its pretty much a copy of TQ so its good, though not the same as Path of Exile - but it is only Alpha currently.

11PM-4AM: Got a buzz on steam and quickly badgered into playing Dota for the rest of the night and morning. In retaliation, we badger DeadEyeMike into staying online, even though we know that about 7, his kids will be leaping on his head to wake him up again. Don't you just love peer pressure? :)Another half hour of descussions about Twitch and the epic last game we had, and of to bed around 4:30AM.

Sleep, wake up before 11AM, breakfast, half hour of Grim Dawn again, and the missus comes home around 2PM.

So a good 13hrs (nearly a normal weeks worth?) of gaming is complete!

Wednesday 8th January: Still paying off for Christmas, as well as the car, so what do I look at during lunch? You guessed it, well, you may have if there was not a huge image of what I am about to 'reveal' a mere fingers breadth below these words - a lovely looking Omega Seamaster, a 2004 model. One has to dream doesnt one?

Wednesday 1st January: A clean slate for me to fill with mindless babble. Just in case you really want to read the last years inane drivel, its listed here, with the previous years as usual in the 'Older News' column on the right. Its hard to believe that this site is now on its 7th year (well six and a half really...) but still!

So, a Happy New Year everyone!

And just in case you were always wondering exactly what my divider was - that blue row of symbols below every post, I thought I would tell you now as a special new year treat. It spells out the words 'Spastic Monkey' in the WingDings font. Glad you (didnt) ask now, didn't you? :)