Sunday, February 25, 2007

Bad Blogger

Yes I am bad, despite lots going on this week I haven't blogged!

Where to start? Had my first cookery class last week and managed to make a passable vichyssoise (or Vichee-su-wars as the woman on the phone called it, not my tutor thankfully just someone telling me what the first dish was gonna be) and looking forward to mussel casserole next week.

Spending most of my free time playing Dragon Quest. I love this game...very catchy music which I've now transferred to my new mobile as its ring tone. I've decided to actually start using a personal mobile phone again. It's not really fair for K to be the contactable one all the time and I need to bite the bullet and use it properly. The problem is when you have a work mobile you don't tend to want to lug 2 around. Having said that because I switch the work one off in the evenings & weekends no-one can get hold of me. This will change...I'm just going to have to get everyone else accustomed to using my personal one!

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Despite the fact that I'm skint, I'm still a sucker for a bargain. This leaves me with a dilemma, which of the 7 PS2 games should i be devoting my time to? Ico & Kingdom Hearts arrived today despite Amazon telling me that they would be here in a couple of weeks time (i.e. after I had gotten paid).

I had settled into a routine of mainly Dragon Quest with side helpings of Okami & Canem Canis Edit (FFX had been relegated as I can't cope with 2 turn based RPGs at once) but now I've got these new games in the mix!

Also some new mobile phones (which bizarrely are actually going to be less money that the ones we have now) should arrive today and I've already been scouring the internet to find Dragon Quest MP3s to have as my ring tone since Bananaphone is already taken.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Games Genius

Originally uploaded by Leighbob.

The visitation of the in-laws (Becks & Ralph) at the weekend allowed me to engage in a couple of my passions.

Firstly the cooking I had decided to do couldn’t be put off as it was going to form part of the meals that we would be eating. Usually I spot a couple of recipes to cook at the weekend and then can’t be bothered to cook them in the end!

We had a nice lunch of ‘bits’, a kind of help yourself selection of cold meats and salad and bread and things. We followed this with a Rhubarb & Star Anise Crumble. Very nice, although I didn’t tell Becks what was in it until she’d eaten it. We did have a shaky moment when she asked whether she liked rhubarb or not. Fortunately the rest of us all rolled our eyes and I wasn’t left to mock her on my own!

I also made a Lamb & Leek pie for tea (just me & K) and to be honest was not really impressed. The lamb was minced with herbs and layered with leeks in a hot water pastry and then cooked in the oven. To be honest the lamb didn’t really taste of anything and kinda just boiled inside the pie. I usually like lamb but cooked like this was not nice. The pastry was good though.

Since it was raining we just sat around in the afternoon, putting all the new furniture to good use and drinking tea, eating Crème Eggs and playing games, my other passion.

We aimed for short easy games so we could play a few. Each of us picked a different game.

Chronology was first. It’s a nice gentle game of guessing dates and putting them in the correct order. Ralph won. (Still chance for me to save some face)

Next up was Fluxx, an interesting card game where the rules change each round depending on what is played. Ralph won. (Grrr! No matter there must be something good coming up)

– a game of skill and strategy and a bit of luck. Ralph won. (Damn that pure fluke!)

I picked Carcassonne to play, a game of city building in medieval France. Ralph had never played before, Becks sat out. Ralph won. (Bum!)

Finally we played Mille Bourne, another French game, cards this time, where you play in pairs. Ralph (and Becks) won! (Sob!)

The Chronicles of Caple

Usually I don’t get too worked up playing video games but I’ve reached a new level of frustration with The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe for ‘cube.

I bought this for K for her birthday as I thought it would be an enjoyable romp through one of K’s favourite books and films. Like X-Men Legends we could play co-op and have a nice time. Not likely! This game is tough and my tolerance is fractured at the best of times!

To be honest I think this is half and half in terms of who’s to blame. K is scared to do anything unless I tell her too (I’ll probably shout if she does something wrong) but then blindly follows me when I say something foolish or wrong. I think she needs to pay more attention and I need to be more patient! That said I’m still quite enjoying it…hopefully she is too.

I’ve been slowly but surely brainwashing K into liking video games. It started with small things such as bongo games and watching me play and now is co-op games and a DS console that belongs to her. I still buy all the games she plays though. I think the point at which she selects, chooses and buys her own games the brainwashing will be complete! The downside at the moment is that I only end up buying her things I won’t mind playing as well!

Evap vs. Condensed

Evap is milk with 60% of the water removed, vitamins added, heat treated and put in cans. If you add the same amount of water to it, it doubles as fresh milk without all the hassle of fridges and things. Its brown and has a funny taste due to the heat treatment. IT IS VILE!

Condensed milk is water reduced and then sugar added and then canned. It isn't heat treated (the sugar keeps it from going off) and was used in the war for troops as it has high calories, protein, fat and carbs. IT IS VILE!

That is all.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

It's in!

Originally uploaded by Leighbob.
And very high and taking a little getting used to!

Fanboy no more

Wikipedia has pages on virtually anything although I gather you have to take some of the pages with a pinch of salt. Anyway the point of the post is that I finally (after a week of dithering) bought myself a PlayStation 2. Despite the fact I'm skint and some rather belaboured theories about getting money out of the bank and seeing if I could last a month without spending it and then buying one, I think the moment I made that mental decision to buy it, the fact I don't have ready cash didn't then matter. I am an adult and I have ways of buying things for which I do not have the ready cash (credit cards).

Anyway spent an enjoyable few days sampling the delights of We Love Katamari, Okami & Final Fantasy 10. Katamari is plain odd (but in a good way), Okami desperately wants to be Zelda (gameplay, structure, the works) but is great nonetheless and the story in FFX is involving but I wish there were more uninterrupted bits I could play rather than press through another conversation with someone else. Hopefully that will ease off as the story becomes more established. That being said I'm having a great time with it.

The console itself is small and silver but I'm not sure about the controller. It's got a fierce rumble but I prefer the layout and buttons on the Gamecube pad. I also prefer different shaped buttons as they are easier for me as I haven't a clue where circle, square, triangle and X are in relation to each other on the pad. I'll probably get the hang of it soon enough.

Canis Canem Edit
should arrive tomorrow and I have high hopes it'll have the gameplay of GTA but not the awful gangsta violence undertone. I think Dragon Quest 8 is due to arrive also. The best thing about coming to a console late is that there is a massive library from which one can pick the classics and most games are dirt cheap!

Others on my wish list to get are Ico, Shadow of the Colossus and Kingdom Hearts. I think I'll wait until I finish a few others first!

Spring Clean

All in all not a bad weekend. Didn't get nearly as much spring cleaning done as we'd hoped but given that we had the in-laws over for Saturday and then still managed to clear the kitchen today I'm quite pleased with the end result. Tidy cupboards and sorted food-stuffs.

I don't know whether it is the post-Christmas guilt at the over indulgence or a noticeable lengthening of the days but I always want to have a good clear out at this time of year. We've got the computer room to look forward to next weekend!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

20th Anniversary Mario cake

20th Anniversary Mario cake
Originally uploaded by art.reyu.
My 30th is coming up! Hint hint!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Seven things I've learned in the last seven days

1. The only product that will make my hair look as good as it did when I had it cut last Friday is the product they keep trying to get me to buy at the salon. It must be magic or something...nothing else has made my hair look as good as it did on Friday!

2. Starfox Command eats hours like nobody's business! Train journey...flew by! Nap time...gone! Soup cooking time...where are you?

3. K enjoyed her birthday weekend (photos in the usual place) I enjoyed it as well...especially the aforementioned haircut, the new swanky clothes I bought, the trip to London, seeing Wicked and the Game On exhibition (although we did visit it 5 years ago when it was at the Barbican.)

4. History Repeats itself. Game On at the Barbican convinced me (and K) that it would be a good idea to buy a Gamecube. Game On at the Science Museum convinced me it would be a good idea to buy a PS2 (not 3).

5. Day 7 is my itchy face day. I haven't shaved since last Saturday and only this morning remarked to K that I had passed itchy day, I was wrong. Itching like a bastard and can't wait to shave it in the morning!

6. CSI remains good and exciting even though we're at Season 7. Watched the 2 part season opener this week...what is it with that freaky eye?!?!

7. It is possible for me to exercise and not hate it. I have traveled the last part of my work journey on foot for 4 days this week and enjoyed the opportunity to listen to my iPod.

8. Bum....I wanted to mention this so we'll ignore the fact it is Number 8....New carpets are lovely!