Monday, September 25, 2006


You rememebr my Pictionary post?

Well here is an artists impression of what the Beast may look like:

This is what happens to you if you're bitten by a rabid Estate Agent. Be warned!

Movie Adaptions of popular Computer Gamers

Please stop making them, they don't work. OK?

You want an explanation? Fine, I'll give you an explanation. Even if you manage to make a film that is watchable, which is unlikely, it still won't work properly. I'll start off listing the better ones then move to why even these don't work (after listing a couple of awful ones)

Look, resident Evil wasn't utterly awful. Silent Hill was actually pretty well done.

Doom clearly sucked ass, even if you take into account the nod to gamers with the first person bit at the end. Mario Brothers, I don't think this requires explanation. Final Fantasy - oh my good God. All others fit here.

So the good one - Silent Hill. Not a bad film. However.

Logic - it simply doesn't work. The film plays like a computer game, using computer game logic where finding certain things lead you cryptically to different bits of the game, or in this case - film. While you would logically follow these steps in a game because you know that's the way the game works and the designers are trying to give you little teasers and leads, it simply wouldn't work like that in any other scenario. The fact that it fails to explain how any of the clues got there and just leaves you to assume is classic computer game stuff.

It's difficult to actually articulate my objections, basically it was like watching someone playing the game, complete with 'meanwhile back at the ranch' cut scenes, rather than watching a horror flick. Which was a shame because if they did it slightly differently it may have worked. In its defence, as a reproduction of a game it did have that whole Resident Evil/Silent Hill feel about it, it just needed to be more of a film.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The growing Feline Menace

In addition to Rob spending an enormous amount of cash on a fluffy embodiment of Evil, it would appear my friend Astrid is the latest to succumb to the feline mind control phenomenon.

She picked up Beezlebub last night. She calls it 'Poppy' but its well known amongst the Cat Resistance movement that all cat names can be translated into 5 Names of Evil using a complex system of Numerology and hearsay. Those 5 names:

1) Beezlebub
2) Lucifer
3) Margaret Thatcher
4) Bernard Manning
5) Barry Mannilow

And obviously any groups of these creatures of darkness can be referred to by any of the following:

1) A Conspiracy of cats
2) A Murder of cats
3) An evil of cats
4) Guests on Trisha
5) 5 Star

So another otherwise good and sensible person is to become a mindless slave and plaything of the felines.

When will the madness end?

Thursday, September 21, 2006


So barring major disaster I am off to visit the lovely Maria in Pittsburgh in January, which I am looking forward to immensely. So long as I can keep my mouth shut and not get myself shot by the one American who decides to live out the stereotype I have in my brain..... Wow! That would be tough. I mean, yeah I'd be dead but also I'd have the satisfaction of being you know, every cloud.

Anyway, I tell people and they look at me funny purely because I didn't say the words 'Vegas', 'Grand Canyon', 'Niagra Falls' or 'New York'. Which kind of annoys me. While I'm sure the waterfall and big ditch are awesome and New York is very cool, I find it very hard to believe that Pittsburgh has nothing at all to recommend it. Just because the BBC says they are places 'you must see before you die' doesn't make it true.

So anyway, I will be flying in and out of New York so reckon will spend the last couple days of the trip there and Maja is keen to take a weekend trip somewhere with me and Stefan (Her Boy) and she's suggested the Falls. I am going to do some research about what's in the surrounding area while trying to shake off the British view of 4 hours being a long drive.

So just to clarify, I am not trying to denegrate the places I highlighted. Well. Maybe Vegas. I mean, it's just Blackpool with more lights isn't it? .....As I was saying, don't want to denegrate them, I am sure they are phenomenal, I would just like to see something other thant that which someone has decided everyone 'must' see. Like if I went to Oz, yeah I'd like to see Ayr's rock but I'd also like to see the Devil's Marbles and some of the stuff described in Bill Bryson's book! - I really like random things.

I have noticed there is a major Warhol museum in Pittsburgh so that's one to go see,and technically speaking they are my American Football team so I should go look at their stadium. Other than that I am looking to you people, I have little idea of American Geography or any spacial awareness to speak of. With this in mind can any of you recommend any naturally occurring coolness in the immediate 4 hour vicinity of the city? Or other stuff for me to consider while I am over there?

Of course, that all depends if I spend all my money on cheap electronic gadgetry in the first day or not :p

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Doctors! we need more Spin Doctors - Stat!

I really feel sorry for the guys who try their best to write George's speeches. I mean, they write them then they have to release him out on his own and hope he doesn't cock it all up.

"You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror."—Interview with CBS News, Washington D.C., Sept. 6, 2006

Boris Johnson and George W Bush. You can't make people like that up, they are like living, breathing caricatures of a satirists dream!

What we are

I found this on another blog somewhere and it pretty much sums things up I think!

Lazy Bloggers

OK, I know I am conspicuous in my absence sometimes but this is ridiculous! All of the blogs I normally check have had pitiful update rates of late and, frankly, it is unacceptable. This is primarily for Famulus, Olivia and Luna. Luna is currently using the 'I'm getting married in a few weeks' excuse. Well that old chestnut isn't going to work on me young lady! What's more important? Keeping me entertained when I should be working or ensuring the biggest day of your life goes perfectly? You need to sort out your priorities.

Famulus - 'I've just started a new job in Luxembourg' - pffft! I've heard that one a thousand times! Again, it's all about prioritisation and to be perfectly honest your preoccupation with ensuring that you can provide for your family has affected your blogging frequency entirely too much!

Liv - What can I say? I am both shocked and appalled at the drop in your blog frequency, this whole 'career' thing while essential to your continued mental stimulation, sanity and general well-being - it's hardly providing me with lunchtime reading material is it?

In conclusion, you should all stop being so selfish and start to think of poor old me and my lack of reading material in work. How am I going to occupy myself otherwise? I mean, you don't actually expect me to do my job surely?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tuesday Pop Quiz!

How tall is a Smurf?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Morons and oxymorons

This woman has the audacity to say this in order to justify spending $20,000,000 on a jaunt into space:

"You'll see how small and how fragile the Earth is compared to the rest of the universe. It will give us a better sense of responsibility."

I would give these wankers more respect if they were honest instead of talking such shit all the time. Every one of these people who has bought their way onto a shuttle has come up with some bollox about how what they are doing is important for science or some shit like that. What they all mean is this:

I'm really rich and NASA are always after money - Monkeys don't put themselves into space!

If this woman is so concerned about the Earth's fragility I am sure she could find something more productive to do with $20,000,000. Now there is an argument which says 'people spend lots of money on holidays every year, you could say they should spend that money on charity'. Yes, I could say that but that would be unrealistic, I don't think asking someone not to spend 20 million dollars on a flight just so you can outdo your peers and look impressive at dinner parties is unreasonable. Because that's all it is, they just want their names written into history. They think that when space tourism is common place they'll be seen as pioneers. As opposed to rich wankers with no sense of social responsibility.

Now this comes out like I hate rich people, I don't. I hate obscenely rich people who know that people die every minute because they can't get clean drinking water and then blow 20 million dollars on a flight. It's all very well flaunting your wealth and buying posh and expensive things, but when it's such a vast amount on something so fleeting and whimsical - just to satisfy one's ego, it makes me sick.


I was playing this game on Saturday with April, Cara and Nick. April had to draw a warehouse for me. So she proceeds to draw a big building, with loading doors, shelves and boxes etc.

Now how the hell am I meant to get it from that? I suggested what she should have drawn was a full moon and some hideously crazed half man, half house monster. According to Nick mine is the only brain that works that way, I don't know whether to feel proud or slighted.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ilustrating a point

This is a demo of one of the games that comes in the Console box of the Wii. Now tell me that doesn't look like the most fun you can have with a games console!

Come on, admit it. That's worth 180 quid. It's even less in teh states, less again in Japan! - Incidentally those guys making arses of themselves are some of the most powerful people in Nintendo.

20 years late

I Love Nintendo. I mean it. I used to hate consoles and Nintendo were always the epitome of everything I hated.

*I wrote a big long evaluation of the competition here but I have already done one today so here it is in brief*

The Wii has been given a European lauch date and price. It looks amazing. Not nearly as powerful or graphically impressive as the 360 or the PS3. Can't play DVDs. Doesn't appear to have the same complex and complete social networking system that 360 has.

So it's not as good right? Depends. Nintendo market at people these days, not at gamers. Give a PSP to a non-gamer with a copy of Pro-Evo Soccer, he/she'll put it down in a minute. Hand them a DS Lite with Brain Training and they'll be hooked in the same amount of time. Nintendo are bringing something back to consoles and gaming in general that appears to have been missing. Fun.

It's going to be 180 quid and I am finding it had to think of a reason not to get one for Christmas. No 'core packs', 'uber packs', or 'super Uber Packs'. One model. one Colour, lots of fun. Seriously, just go take a look at the demos of the remotes - that's innovation for you. All the otehr guys do is exploit current technologies and make their consoles more powerful, the guys at Nintendo seem to be doing things totally differently.

Anyways! I used to hate Nintendo but my DS Lite is the only gadget I own that still gives me a buzz when I pick it up - it's complete in every way it can be, that's what's nice about it. I challenge anyone to try one and not want one immediately, I have the feeling the Wii will have the same effect. See I am a PC fanboy, as a result having 2 systems in the house that are capable of playing powerful new games wouldn't be much use to me. Unless the second one could do something my PC couldn't.

*I banged on about why DS Lite was better than PSP here, but all you need to know is this : I used to hate Nintendos, then simply didn't even acknowledge them. I bought a DS Lite over a month ago and I am still banging on about it, gadget boys like me usually lose the buzz after about 3 days. Pick one up and you'll want one.


Apple revealed all their new iPoddy stuff this week. They've tweaked their big players and slightly dropped the price. The Nano now goes up to 8GB and comes in different colours. They’ve changed the casing to anodized aluminium to combat the ease with which the Nano gets scratched.

The 2GB model comes in Silver only, 4GB different colours and the 8GB only comes in black. Only the Black one looks any good to be honest, all the other colours look like crap versions of the old iPod Mini. They have improved battery life and tweaked the software, it's pretty pricey though - but 8GB flash memory is pretty new so it's to be expected, I think only SanDisk have an 8GB flash player out at the moment.

Ok, so nothing new - nothing about the iPhone and nothing about the rumoured Virtual Interface.

The Microsoft Zune was announced yesterday, I have been waiting on this and had high hopes that this would be my next portable media player. I feel a bit let down, they are releasing one model and it looks a bit clunky next to an iPod.

Historically the problem with iPods is that you have to do everything Apple's way. You have to use their crappy iTunes software (except the Podcast bit - that's really good). If you are dumb enough to use their music store, you are forced to use their crappy DRM music format. The players themselves don't actually do that much, in terms of functionality they are very light. In terms of form and ease of use, they rock. Once you get used to their menu system. I went from Zen to Nano and getting used to the fact that Apple don't let you do anything cool was frustrating at first but, like the Newspeak of 1984, the mind shuts down and allows it to happen.

Pedr just got an iRiver H10 (I techno-sheeped him!), which is a lovely little device. iRivers historically have had oodles of functionality but with a User Interface that requires a PhD in particle physics to fathom. They've fixed that here apparently, Pedr is loving it.

So, the Zune. I am in no desperate need to get a new player. I need to see if Creative will replace my broken Zen Micro before anything else but the 2GB Nano i have is a little limited in capacity, it's getting to the point where I want something I can carry my whole audio collection around in. I don't want that thing to be an iPod but right now it's the only thing that fits my idea of a compact player. Everything else is a bit.....well......fat.

On the other hand, Zune has Wi-Fi, FM radio and a whole host of other goodies (no movie playback as yet). So I've decided to wait 6 months to give 'em a chance to do something cool with it as it does have an awful lot of promise and potential in areas that the iPod simply seems incapable of exploiting. Apple has decided on completely proprietary methods of Music storage and sharing, as a result they have closed themselves off from the growing community market. Microsoft have done amazing things with XBOX Live in terms of gaming communities and social networking, if they can do something similar with Zune then they have a chance of carving out a market.

I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise for complimenting Microsoft but anyone who has played XBOX Live recently will know where I am at. I have played Live a bit at Nick's, the service has built up associations around his gaming style, preferences, who has rated etc. and as a result when you join a random game it always puts him in a game with like-minded people, so you rarely end up with the wankers you often find in various online games that spoil the enjoyment for everyone. Anyway, I digress. I have no idea why I posted this, but my advice for anyone after a small player - get an iRiver H10, they are about 6GB and available for under £100. Media Player is better than iTunes (but then so is Herpes), you just need to break out of Apple's 'our way is best so you don't need to think for yourself' software. If you're after a new High capacity player i would wait a few months, I have a feeling Apple were waiting to see the Zune before the real development announcements and equally Microsoft are waiting for the Apple response before releasing the cooler stuff. Hopefully they will put podcast software on there because it was really dumb leaving it out.

Oh. I really like that the Zune comes in Brown!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Lost in Translation

I decided to translate a random phrase into a randomly selected language using babel fish today. I have no idea why I thought of this phrase but I have no doubt it says something disturbing about me. Anyway, today's randomly selected language was Japanese - lets see how accurate this flaky translation tool is shall we?

Answers on a postcard.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

They've gone too far!

Right! Stop it, RIGHT NOW!

We all know that American and UK Foreign policy pisses me off, lots of political and legal things do. I whine all the time. We know that Creme Egg fillings in chocolate bar form is just plain wrong. We know that only stupid people believe the world was created 6000 years ago and to suggest otherwise pushes one of my rant buttons.

All these things we know. There is one thing we all know that Stephen Fry phrases better than anyone else:

You can't live with them, you can't live with them. The first sign of these nasty purulent sores appeared round about 1894. With their jangling keys, nasty suits, revolting beards, moustaches and tinted spectacles, estate agents roam the land causing perturbation and despair. If you try and kill them, you're put in prison; if you try and talk to them, you vomit. There's only one thing worse than an estate agent but at least that can be safely lanced, drained and surgically dressed. Estate agents. Love them or loathe them, you'd be mad not to loathe them.

I know I've posted it before....but....well.......gah! Phucking Estate Agents!. Utter Bastards!

"Burn The Big 'Oose! Are Ya With Me Lads?!!" is what we should be shouting! Ofcourse on the way to the big house, a wriggly estate agent would lean out of the window and say something like "Yes, it is indeed a big house and we can include the open fire you suggest for only the price of one kidney and your first born child!".

Now I know it says 'property investors'. You know what a property investor is? It's a fucking estate agent with an exclusive post code.

While nothing will alleviate the fury at the name of the Mighty Honey Badger being taken in vain, looking for that Fry quote brought a smile to my face as I founnd this one too:

I stooped to pick a buttercup. Why people leave buttocks lying around, I've no idea


In other news.....

I feel that my last post was far too comedic and frivolous and some of you may be concerned that I am veering away from the major concerns of the nation, indeed, the world. Fear not loyal reader, I still scour the world's news providers for the most up to date information on war, injustice and corruption. I also bring news of heroism, inspiration and domineering spirit.

I think this tale is an inspiration to us all:

I am sure you will join me in wishing the proud father a swift and full recovery!

Cynical View Vs. Romantic View - American Spirit

One of my fellow bloggers recently posted something on her blog that was incredibly complimentary about the American Spirit vs British disparagement of same. I was resisiting a counter post but have rambled on over on her blog far too much, which is a little unfair. I did put some counter arguments up, someone else resorted to a fairly insulting track aimed at the author which was uncalled for. So rather than carry on there, I am doing my counter post! You may now switch off. Pedr, come back tomorrow I'll have something for you ;)

OK I think what got the person who resorted to personal slurs annoyed was the statement that British people have an inferiority complex due to repeated invasion and conquering. Which is only accurate if you go back about 1000 years or so. So logically we have to wait another 600 years before we can have an accurate comparison. And far from an inferiority complex I think we have an overwhelming superiority complex where Americans are concerned, convinced that we are intellectually, culturally and morally better than they are. Basically we appear to view America like a wayward teenager who is a little too interested in matches.

It's Just a Phase He's Going Through.

I am going off the point though. I am not quoting verbatim here, so apologies if this is out of context but I think I get the right feeling. Basically, the person who raised the post and I have differing views on the same facts. She sees the original settlers as hardy pioneers, with a strong spirit of adventure and a 'overcome all odds to achieve my dream' mentality. I see them as religious zealots from the 16th century, desperate not to die from myriad nasty diseases and - just like all animals - a desire to survive. That's all they did initially, and only with the help of the natives. Who they later killed.

My point I guess is that if we look back on it, it's easy to attribute these golden qualities to the original settlers of the States, but in reality (in my opinion) they were just like their contemporarys around the world. They saw an opportunity to have things, which they proceeded to take.

Another point was that they eventually broke free of British Imperial power, which is absolutely true. They did it with the use of French Colonial power. That's a conveniently forgotten fact when American politicians discuss the French though. But break free they did, there are arguments about the altruism of those who pushed for independence. Being a cynic, I can't help but notice that in the early 1770s there began a concerted effort to outlaw slavery in Britain and its colonies and in 1775 a war of independence broke out. Slavery has technically been illegal since the 12th century in Britain but in practice it wasn't until the 18th century that the law began to be clarified. Anyway, I digress. My own biased and cynical opinion is that you probably had a bunch of people who believed in freedom and independence and a bunch of people who had an eye on the profits. Again, this isn't unique to America and this particular war - there are ulterior motives for most wars, usually to do with profit or territory.

I am rambling on here, I guess the point I am trying to make is that America didn't start off that different to everyone else. There were a handful of pioneers who did some amazing things, but mostly they were just like everyone else - eveything else is just about how good the story tellers after the fact have been.

Ok so what's the point of all this? Well I've put a lot of negative stuff here, implying that the War of Independence was linked with the Slave trade, that original settlers were just as greedy as everyone else, that freedom through genocide is a morally bankrupt trade-off and lots of other things. Some of it is tenuous and I was going to go further, to the extremes of cynicism. Bascially my real feeling is that somewhere between the romantic view and this view lies something approaching the truth. I am considering doing two posts, one extoling the America's virutes as a nation at its inception and various instances since and one lambasting the same things, it could be an interesting exercise on 2 fronts :

1) Illustration of how the same facts can be talked about in two entirely different ways.

2)See if I am able to say unequivocal good things about the US or the UK!

Anyway, let me know what you think.


I deliberately didn't link to the original article but if the author wants me to I will, I just thought you could do with a breather!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Chili or Chilli revisited

OK, so I've been really good about this whole spelling thing. I decided to try to force myself to use the yank way of spelling the word due to the fact it's a Texan dish right? Grammatically it offends me because of what I've decided (not necessarily correctly) the rules of English are.

I know, it's a kind and generous gesture on my part. A selfless act of sacrifice I was willing to make in order to extend the hand of friendship across the pond.

SO why the hell is Microsoft Office telling me to put anouther L in? I mean I can't win here! Maybe I should start writing it like Chil(l)i?

Or maybe Microsoft could start designing software with a spell checker that works.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Matt's Mathematical Formulas, Number 37

Today's class is all about determining the resultant capsication of a given Chili (x) in realtion to a work day (y). The basic formula is as follows:

if y = "aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!! DIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIE! The next pillock to phone me, send me an email or break something is going bare witness to a physics defying feat involving their left nostril, a canon ball and a stoat!'
then x = "AIIIIIEEEEEE! Godzilla!" OR x = ("My Face! My Face is melting!") * ("I can see through time").

if y != "aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!! DIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIE! The next pillock to phone me, send me an email or break something is going bare witness to a physics defying feat involving their left nostril, a canon ball and a stoat!"
then x = "I can still feel my legs! call off the Hazmat team!"

Clearly in this formula there is a need to determine the value of y, as this variable is essential to determining the value of x.

(Arseholes contacting Matt * Dumb Ass Questions)n
(Things Breaking that shouldn't break * Arse Not Letting Us Fix things That Break)2


Where TGIF = day number in the week (Monday=1, Tuesday=2.....)
and n = Frequency of occurence

I don't want any mathematicians coming along and messing this up either! I clearly have no clue about mathematical notation so there is no point even bothering!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Intrepid Photographer

Me and Nick went for a wander yesterday with my new toy and his camera - which is worth approximately twice the value of my soul. We were going to go to some place Nick knew of up near Cobham but the pillock forgot to get his car MOT'd so we ended doing the riverside walk in Leatherhead. This was OK, except after about an hour we didn't have a clue where we were or where we were going.

In the fullness of time we popped out on to a dual carriageway and went for a pint in Mickleham. Once again my prejudices were fully affirmed by the surly bar tender who looked at us like he'd just scraped us of his boot. In his defence we did ask searching questions like 'Do you take cards?'. He responded 'has to come to over 10 pounds'.
I made the mistake of attempting humour with a reply of 'Then you leave us little choice but to stay for more than one beer! Life is such a chore'. The returning Look made it very clear that this was neither the time nor the place for attempts at jokes, puns or especially laughter. Additionally, said the Look, if I wanted to behave like that I can jolly well go and do it somewhere else - this is a good, God fearing pub and we will brook no talk that isn't of Vera Lyn or The War. In conclusion, continued the Look, I'd better not catch you enjoying yourself or I shall be over there quick smart to hush your Viperous tongue!

Or something like that.

Anyway, I am going to start another blog where I'll be putting some pictures up at some point, inlcuding Matt's Photo Journalism. Basically I found some funny things to photograph and I'll be stringing some kind of story together from them involving Protectorate Bees, rampaging village halls, prowlers and something to do with goats.

In the mean time, here's a flower. One of my first atttempts at manually setting the aperture on the camera which makes the background all blurry, I've not played in a photo editor yet, I'll show you the results when I can. I can tell you can barely wait.

It was a dull day so hopefully once I work out the editing software my hamfisted piccy will become a vibrant work of art! hehe

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