December 4, 2008 on 9:00 am | In Madness | Comments Off

Supernatural is a bit of a guilty pleasure. I didn’t see it when it was on ITV a while ago, they foolishly advertised it with the line “Scary just got Sexy” but what they should have said was “It’s like Lost Boys the series.” It’s very 80s, basically a show about two brothers, a cool black car and lots of evil stuff to kill – Demons, Vampires, Warewolves, Evil Spirits and all manner of hoodoo. Yay!

All it’s missing is Keifer Sutherland as a vampire and it’d be perfect!

Brighton Argus headlines

December 3, 2008 on 12:00 pm | In Madness | Comments Off

One of the joys of a walk to work is laughing at the Brighton argus headlines. Fortunately there is now a flickr group so you can all enjoy it!

Such as:



December 3, 2008 on 9:00 am | In Madness | 1 Comment

I just love porridge at the moment! No, not the Ronnie Barker prison sitcom. I mean the nummy combination of rolled oats and milk.

I started making porridge a couple of weeks ago and have had it for breakfast on week-days almost every day since then! I think its the cold mornings and walk to work, and porridge is very satisfying, both to eat and have a lovely warm and full tum, but also to make in the mornings. There’s something about stirring a hot pan on a hob first thing in the morning that is quite soothing… and it only takes a couple of minutes, so even I can fit it into my morning routine. (As an added bonus I always make enough for B as well, as she doesn’t ‘do’ breakfast otherwise.)

So, here’s to porridge! Hooray!

too many buttons

December 2, 2008 on 9:00 am | In Games | 2 Comments

I think the day I realised I’d definitely joined the realms of the ‘causal gamer’ was when I fired up a demo of … something, I can’t recall … and groaned when I saw screen that tells you all the million-ty buttons you now have to remember.

A Typical Controller Configuration Screen

A Typical Controller Configuration Screen

You see, it’s shit like this that stops me from playing new games (or indeed, any games sometimes). I just cannot be arsed to learn all these new buttons any more.

Being an old git, I remember ‘back in the day’ when we only have 1 or 2 buttons on the “joy-stick” as they were amusingly called back then (fnar fnar). So why do we apparently need so many buttons now, and why do all games have to use all of them in maddeningly different ways?

Mostly I think the problem is the “If you build it, they will come” scenario. Although in this case it’s more like “if the button is there, a use will be found for it”. I’m sure many of these buttons could be removed with more generic “do shit” or even “do useful/relevant shit” button.

Now, some games do this, to be fair. Nintendo aren’t button-crazy like some and some games even have nice generic “action” buttons which make life a little bit easier. I find the worst game are the FPS (“First Person Shooter”) games that have a legacy of starting on the PC with its 102 keys where it was very tempting to just assign a key to everything and call it done.

If I had any kind of design feedback I would say – can we have an ‘easy’ mode in the game where most of those buttons just aren’t there? The game could just do the ‘right thing’ automatically or have a ‘magic button’ to choose automatically for you?

That would certainly help old gits such as myself to get into games more quickly, and dare I say it, actually enjoy them a bit more as well.

I’m getting too old for this shit.

Top Gear – Kevin McCloud

December 1, 2008 on 3:03 pm | In Madness | 2 Comments

Ok, I have to admit, I’ve really gotten into the Top Gear over the last year. It started by catching some repeats on ‘Dave’ and has now snowballed into watching all that I can find and generally getting a bit excited as it gets closer to 8pm on a Sunday.

Really, that should not be a shock – I do like my cars. But I’m not a huge Jeremy Clarkson fan and wrote of most of the early series as blatant ego stoking by old Clark-o. After finally giving it a chance, though, it is actually not really about cars at all, and mercifully not that much about Clarkson’s ego. I really like James May, his ‘slow’ co-presenter who likes sheds, motorcycle maintenance, science and is generally a geek. Hooray! So yeah, I’ve gotten into it quite a lot.

Anyhoo – the shocker on last night’s show was that Kevin McCloud did rather well in the “Star in the Reasonably Priced Car” slot. I’m a big fan of the Kevin, he is passionate about design, efficiency and beauty, house building and interiors, all really good, interesting stuff. But it turns out he’s actually good at driving cars quite fast!

If you missed it, catch up at the wonderful BBC iPlayer (Only if you’re in the UK and probably only until 8th December 2008 I expect)

(Also, kudos to the beeb for having a flash-based video catch up that actually works reliably on the Mac. It’s the only one I’ve found – ITV try, but it doesn’t work, and Channel 4/Sky only work on Windows. Grr.)

Now with actual content

December 1, 2008 on 2:13 pm | In Madness | Comments Off

Yeah I’m a bit rubbish at this blogging lark really! I think the main problem is that I haven’t found a good time in the day to do it. So instead of just periodically posting some links, I will actually do some proper blogging and everything.

So for the next month at least – maybe longer – I will try to post a blog a day! That should improve my writing somewhat and also put something of interest (possibly) on this site.

Let’s see how it goes.

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