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Hickinbottom’s Aussie Ramblings

Ears, meerkats and buying stuff

Posted by captainbeaky on September 14, 2008

This week has been a pretty mixed bag. As a follow up to my “ear” comment last week, I woke on Monday morning with shocking pain from my right ear, and mucus leaking from it. Cutting a long story short, I went to see a specialist and a doctor, diagnosed it as an ear infection (which effects me worse as I have holes in my ear drums) and signed me off work until Friday. So I didnt really get to do much during the week as I was constantly on nurofen and blotting the puss from my ears. Nice! However, on Friday, the pain eased off and I went back to work. As for the situation now, well Ive still got hearing loss in my right ear, but Im no longer in pain with it and the leaking has stopped so the antibiotics must be doing their thing. However, its been annoying staying off the beer, what with the weather being glorious over the past 3 days. 25 degrees and sunny. Wind has been high in places but its been proper t-shirt weather….in the UK equivalent of March!

Anyway, on to housey stuff. We’ve got a burglar alarm company sorted and hopefully coming to install it next week, we’ve bought a half price slimline dishwasher and had it delivered too. All the services should be sorted out next week, our bed is made and we just have to sort delivery out, and today we went to The Good Guys (like a cheaper, better Dixons) and bought a fridge, freezer, tv, stereo, surround sound system, washing machine, microwave and a super cute and super cheap mini-dyson. Its the really small upright, thats just been released here. Managed to negotiate a really good discount on the lot too, although the woman who sold us the Dyson got things totally messed up. SHe said it usually sold for $599, and would give us a discount price of $540. However, on the way out, we found it had an instore price of $650 so we got a proper bargain! The grand plan is to hire a car late next week, and move stuff over the period of 2 or 3 days. Theres no pressure on us to be out until the following Thusday so we can take our time. Plus Ive managed to move quite a lot of stuff over in my car already. 

In other news, cos the weather was forecast to be nice on Saturday, we planed, and went to Melbourne Zoo for the day and we were both impressed. Lots of stuff to see and do and most of the animals had a big enclosure with a lot of stuff to do. The aviary was a fantastic, Jurassic Park style walk through affair and was really presented well. Thankfully, no Pterodactyls to molest us on our way through! Meerkats were also great, as were the wombats. GOt back home and rounded the day off with some tasty ice-cream down on the beach. Summer is here…….and its only Spring!

Anyway, time to go now as stuff is coming on TV. More updates to come, maybe during the week. OH, Ive just forgotten we went to see Tropic Thunder on Friday, and it was hella good. Really funny, and a nice pastiche on war movies without stooping to Scary Movie levels of dumbass “comedy”. Robert Downey Junior stole the show with his black dude actor. Well worth a look. 8/10

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Pictures say a thousand words so……

Posted by captainbeaky on September 7, 2008

…….have a look at this link instead

NEW HOME CLICK ME!!!!

So there you have it. Lovely house and a lovely day. The weather here is really turning around now. Gone are the crisp Winter mornings, and hello to the sunny, convertible-tastic days! Some of the not so interesting details are that the mortgage went through fine (obviously), and er….thats pretty much it. Weve got a lot to sort this week with burglar alarms, change of address notices, FINALLY getting our belongings from the relocation company, and annoyingly, sorting my ears out as Ive lost some volume from my right ear. Odds on its wax covering the hole in my ear drum, but Id like it checked out non-the-less. 

We spent most of today strolling around electrical shops finding equipment for us to buy. We found the following out……slimline dishwashers are rare and expensive (but it doesnt matter – we’re getting one!), double door fridge/freezers are shockingly deep in dimension, so “pigeon pair” is the way to go, 32″ TV’s are too small (In my opinion anyway!), and 42″ are too big for the room so 37″ is the way to go, stainless steel cookers look better than poohy white ones, it pays to be cheeky as we managed to get an $88 toaster for $60 by deceiving the sales person! wooo hooooo! 

Anyway, its getting late so its time to sit here and let the 3 course monster lunch we had slowly digest! Ive never eaten a steak so big! Let me know if the video thing is any good, and I might do a few more. Saying stuff and uploading it takes a lot less time than writing all this out.

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Weekend Hijinks….

Posted by captainbeaky on August 25, 2008

So while I still remember, we went to a mates wedding this Saturday (as mentioned yesterday, photos on Facebook). The ceremony itself was a nice, non-religious affair being light hearted and brief. It was held out on Williamstown Bandstand and the weather stayed nice for it. Drinks and cake afterwards in nearby bars function room, then on to the Titanic Restaurant, which if you look here, you can see its a superb theme restaurant. We went first class, and loved every second of it. An amazing experience, helped along of course by lots of champagne and beer. Unfortunately, I didnt think champagne and beer were all that hot on Sunday! Ouch! Anyway, we had a lovely lazy Sunday which sorted us out a treat. 

On the house front, we got our actual mortgage loan sorted out on Saturday, and received solicitor documents today so things are moving along fine. Not sure if we’ll complete in 13 days as planned, due to the solicitors paperwork hold up, but we remain hopeful. 

Weather is starting to pickup here now, with it due to be 19 degrees and sunny by Friday, Bring on the summer! Its so nice to be able to KNOW we will have sun, rather than hope. 

Plans for this week….going to pickup Becca from Knit Club in a bit, maybe catching Tropic Thunder on Wednesday (dont ask why we didnt see it last week), going upstairs to a neighbours place Thursday for celebratory we-have-a-house drinks, and…er.. Im not sure. Updates will follow if anything exciting happens!

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Tired

Posted by captainbeaky on August 24, 2008

Just a quick one to say I’ll make a post tomorrow. Ive had a great weekend, but Im absolutely battered now, so Im having an early night. Photos on Facebook if youre interested…..

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Star Wars : The CGI Wars

Posted by captainbeaky on August 18, 2008

Just got back from seeing Star Wars : The Clone Wars, so Id thought Id put my impressions down, while theyre still fresh in my mind…..

If you didnt know, this film is placed somewhere in between films 2 and 3 (that is Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith) and is entirely CGI. Only a few of the cast from the prequel films lend their voice talents here, with the rest being a somewhat mixed bag of sound-a-likes. The story itself is pretty forgettable and doesnt add a lot to Star Wars canon, but I dont think this film was really aimed at either those who are Star Wars nuts, or thsoe who like decent sci-fi. This is like Star Wars lite. For kids. For me its 3 biggest crimes are ;

 

  1. Committing the fatal sin of having a “punchy, in your face” juvinille character, who you quickly wish were dead
  2. Having a “baby” character which I guess youre supposed to think is both cute, and comically horrible, but again, you just end up wishing it would expire
  3. Having the most hideous Star Wars character since Dib-Dab Binks! (***SPOILER***) Whoever thought that having a Hutt (of Jabba the Hutt fame) that was black, and sounded like a gay, 70’s, American pimp must have been out of their tree! Seriously! Imagine the voice of the creepy, old paedo from Family Guy and youre not too far away from the voice of a supposed devious, criminal intergalactic smuggler. I felt like cringing everytime he came on the screen.

 

Oh and it also seemed to copy Scooby Doo, or very early Transformers films of having “stock” footage and replaying it several times. I swear to god in the opening battle I saw the same shot of the emplaced cannons firing followed by a trooper with binoculars 3 times! Thats just damn lazy. 

Its also strange that the visuals can be both stunning, and shoddy. The space scenes and scenery is well handled, but the characters themselves sometimes seem to jerk along, and is especially evident in the light sabre duels. Its almost like youre watching 2 robots fighting, the movement is that stilted. 

The good points are, really, if you like Star Wars, you’ll get something out of it. The CGI models are impressive, and …er….its Star Wars, Its troopers and early AT-AT’s, its Destroyers etc….Its hard to put a finger on it. I like Star Wars. And CGI. And sci-fi so Im probably the wrong person to objectively rate it. As it stands, if you like Star Wars, 6.5/10. If you dont like Star Wars 3/10/

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Eventful but…

Posted by captainbeaky on August 17, 2008

That sums our week up really. A lot of boring, but essential “grown-up” stuff has happened. Starting last week…..

 

  • Monday – got solicitors sorted and payed the remainder of the deposit
  • Tuesday – Met with the mortgage advisor and applied for a slightly different mortgage
  • Wednesday – Met with an accountant to get our tax return sorted and found that we should be in line for a big wedge of a tax rebate – nice, considering the circumstances we’re in!
  • Thursday – Heard the news that we have been approved for the mortgage
  • Friday – nothing grown up, but I received my new RC Lancia in the post! 

 

I think that just about keeps you up with house events. Got to get in touch with the solicitors tomorrow to make sure things are moving along. Not heard from them since Monday and I know full well just how feckin, useless solicitors can be. Its exciting now that I can look at home cinema stuff and security alarms, while Becca sorts out beds and sofas. Had a nice look around Bunnings today (Aussie verison of B & Q but MUCH bigger) and got a preliminary look on what we can expect to buy and for how much. 

Yesterday was pretty fun too. We were finally able to do something other than house inspections! The choice we made was to go into town and visit the Museum, as they had special stuff going on for Science Week. We decided to sign up for a behind the scenes guided tour which was fantastic. They took us upstairs and into teh specimen rooms where they have all the birds, mammals and reptiles on massive shelves. The guide we had was a really quiet but informative guy who worked in the labs there and knew an awful lot about pretty much everything. Well worth it.

In between all of this, TV has been pretty barren, what with the friggin’ Olympics ruining everything! Not only that, but all the good shows have, or are finishing. Apprentice, Top Gear, Gadget Show etc….. but as a result we’re watching a few more films. Saw Rogue in the week, which was alright (made us want to go to teh Northern Territories strangely!), and watched Bettie Page last night (again, it was ok). Got my day off tomorrow so I’ll be going to check out Star Wars : The Clone Wars at the cinema. Will post what I think of it.

There we have it then. As the post title says…….

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House, Drinks and Birthdays!

Posted by captainbeaky on August 11, 2008

So you probably already know by now, from the Twitter updates, or Facebook, or our families that we own a house! Cutting a very long story short, we went to the property auction, we won it, negotiated and bartered, and walked away with a house! For anybody that hasnt already seen the house, let me know and I’ll send you a link to the sale page.  We spent the hour after that going over the contract of sale with the agent and the vendor, then went and ate and tried to grasp what had just happened! To be honest, Im making it sounds more muted that it actually is – the excitement has wore off a bit now and has been replaced by eager enthusiasm to get everything sorted and moving along quickly. Anyway, Im jumping ahead. 

After food we came back home then arranged to meet friends in town to celebrate. Started off at a fantastic greek place called Stalactites which did superb meats and gyros. Then went to many, many bars nearly all of which were awesome. There is such a huge variety of bars here, with none of them being remotely like anything in the UK, or at least where Ive seen. The pick of the bunch being the container bar, which was just an outdoor space in between 2 buildings, with a shipping container with a hatch on it being the bar, lots of outdoor heaters, and candles everywhere as the lighting. It looked amazing and had a really good dj and atmosphere. Another place of note was the croft institute, which you would NEVER find if you werent looking for it. It was 3 floors of bar/club that was themed like an old hospital/science lab. Had medical and scientific equipment all over the shop and was like nothing Id seen before. The photo on this post is of the main bar.

Anyway, good food and drink was followed by a sever headache and horridness. Nevermind….its not everyday you buy a house! Today has been a regular day at work, except it wasnt really regular as I wasnt interested at all in doing anything but house stuff. At the end of the day we had payed the deposit, sorted out a tax return appointment, got a conveyoncer (a specialist solicitor in property) and a few other little niggles that we had to get done. Tomorrow is a meeting with the mortgage broker to get our loan finalised, and to sort out our $10,000 government grant. Later on in the week…I dont know – Im only taking it a day at a time as it all seems a bit overwhelming right now. 

Anyway, enough of me…HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDY!!! Enjoying the British summer on your “special” day? Let me know how you want your “present” sent and if you got your card. Have a good one!

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Simple maths

Posted by captainbeaky on August 10, 2008

auction win = own house

own house = celebrations

celebrations = bars + beer + bourbon

bars+ beers + bourbon X time = hangover

hangover = no blog

nuff said……until tomorrow anyway!

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32 going on 12…..

Posted by captainbeaky on August 3, 2008

This week has been relatively short, and enjoyable. After being absoutely shattered on Monday and Tuesday last week, I decided I needed time off, so booked Thursday and Friday off. I really needed it to be honest, as I just felt exhausted and weary. So Thursday I decided to go into town and treat myself…..

….well some time ago my brother sent me a Star Wars Lego kit, which I thoroughly enjoyed building. Bought a lot of old memories back to me and it really got the engineer/boy part of me going. While talking about this with one of my workmates, he told me of his recent quest to buy an old Tamiya radio controlled car kit that he missed out on when he was a kid. Now he’s bought it and was telling me how much fun it is to build. See, I had 2 RC cars when I was growing up, only 1 of which I built, and back then it was more about rushing to build it so I could play and race with it. Now, it got me thinking that if I enjoyed the Lego and I want to build stuff, I should think about getting another RC car too. So on Thursday I did! This is what Im currently building. Its not a ninja fast, ultra high spec buggy but it was cheap and I though Id buy an inexpensive model to start with so if I found it to be more of a pain than a joy, I could just sell it on and I wouldnt have lost much. However, as it stands, the opposite is happening. In fact, Im having to limit how much time I spend with it each day or it would be done straight away if I just go with it! REALLY enjoying it, and doing a ton of internet “research” on motors, shocks, servos, etc…. I really dont know where its going to go from here. Whether I try and race it, or just take it on the beach every now and again I dont know. Am I going to get another one? I dont know. Right now, Im just having a great time assembling it, so Im not thinking any further than that. 

Anyway, after buying that I had a mooch around town, got some nice food and drink and took it easy. Friday was more pampering with cake and building my buggy. Which pretty much happened on Saturday, and today! I didnt fancy doing anything else, so we didnt. Plus this is the calm before the stomach churning horror of next weeks house auction. Makes me feel sick just to think about it so I wont!

So that sums up my week. Relaxation. Building stuff. Thinking of paint jobs. Happy. Hopefully I will be fully recharged for next week and whatever it brings!

Posted in Nothing, RC Stuff, Work | 2 Comments »

Nice….!

Posted by captainbeaky on July 27, 2008

Ah….its been such a different weekend. No houses, no rushing, no disappointment. It all started last Friday……

I managed to win an auction for a Macbook Air on Thursday night, and arranged to collect the thing in person from the seller on Friday night. Wasnt in a very nice area, and I was suspicious about his plan to “meet outside a shop”, but my fears werent warranted and the deal went without a hitch. Im typing this post now, from it. Its damn nice, light, doesnt run hot, and the new OS, Leopard has some great features. The biggest thing that impressed me was the migration assistant. I connected my old Macbook to the new one, ran this program, and it transferred all my files, fiolders, music, photos, applications, personal setting, and even passwords for interent sites without me doing anything. Brilliant! I used to hate the inevitable re-installs with PC’s and now I dont have to do one ever again. Mightily impressed. 

Saturday was a lazy day, as I spent most of the morning, well, ALL of the morning in bed playing with my new lappy! Went into town a bit later on to try to get a case but they were all pooh (should have trusted my gut instinct and gone for eBay!). Went out for some tasty hearty food last night and had the nicest bread pudding Ive had in ages for dessert. 

Today has again been lazy, well……not so much. Its been tidy up day so now we have a clean kitchen, and a clean-ER front room! Oh, and I’ll try to make Sunday night blogging a regular thing from now on. I know its been sporadic over the past few months, and it needs to be more structured and thats teh best I can do. If anything spectacular happens during the week, I’ll make a post, and I intend to keep my Facebook/Twitter status current at all times.

So there you go, I have a shiny new toy to play with, and we both feel de-stressed. Job done!

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The (shit) News…..

Posted by captainbeaky on July 22, 2008

So the past few days Ive been a bit secretive as I hoped to surprise everyone with good news….no such luck. Here-in is the short version of events. 

1 – Saturday – saw nice house in Yarraville and found it was a good price. Estate agent said would consider ending before auction for right offer. 

2, – Sunday – mulled over the house and decided to put an offer in, pre-auction.

3, – Offer was rejected by vendor, so asked what price they were after to end early.

4, – Vendors changed their minds and said they wanted to go to auction. On the strength of a load of sticky-beaking on their first inspection day (Saturday)

Bloody idiots. We offered a veritable blank cheque, settling in 30 days and a hassle free purchase. No. Thats not good enough apparently. The greedy fuckers would rather see how much money they can get by going to auction in a market where interest rates are at an 18 year high, the housing market has slowed to a standstill, and auction clearance rates are at 60%. Stupid, stupid people. So bollocks to ’em. I might get in touch before the auction, but I would soon as spit on them as give them money right now. We’ll see. 

Anyway, Im not thinking about it now. I’ll only get wound up about it all over again. Off to see Batman tonight so hopefully it will live up to the hype. Im hobbling along everywhere thanks to an ingrowing toenail. Im persevering with it right now as Im not sure whether I have nail wedged in my toe or whether Ive just irritated the skin under my nail by cutting it hideously short. Dope! Time will tell! 

Will post more if anything changes……..

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Maybe tomorrow…..

Posted by captainbeaky on July 21, 2008

Sorry to get your hopes up, but “things” are still up in the air at the moment, so bear with me for 1 more day. I’ll know either way tomorrow so will definitely make a post.

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Supa Kwik Update

Posted by captainbeaky on July 20, 2008

Just a quick tone to say we did indeed do house inspections and it went well. I dont want to say anymore until Ive spoken to a few people tomorrow, so I’ll update properly then. Dont want to jinx it!

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In the “bleak” midwinter….

Posted by captainbeaky on July 14, 2008

HA!!! Its been a fantastic day here in Melbourne. Had the day off (as its a rostered day off at Boeing) and godamn have I been lucky with the weather. Woke up at 9 and it was lovely and sunny. After a brief bit of interneting, left the house with iPod in tow and got the tram into the CBD. As if by magic, my ipod was picking out songs on shuffle that I hadnt heard in months, and put an extra smile on my face. After arriving in town, had a brief wonder around then got my ticket to go see Hancock, and again, I was impressed.

Its been the only “blockbuster” Ive seen recently that I havent got bored with and started checking what time it was. Smith wasnt annoying, or big headed or too yehaw-yankee-doodle-dandy as he’s been in most of his other films. Not too sugary or predicable either. A solid 8/10 I reckon.

After the film, it was off home and a walk along the beach while the sun was still out. Got back around 4, and rolled straight into a nice session of Rock Band drums. Had a stroll outside again at 5, watched the cockatoo’s sqwuaking at me from their palm tree homes, observed the 14 dogs playing together in the park, and met Becca for coffee and a cake after her day at work. Now at home, looking over the menu for the posh pizza place and deciding what to have for tea, while watching last nights new Top Gear. The days dont come much better, so Im gonna scoot now before I ruin it! T’raaaaa!

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House/Game/Film

Posted by captainbeaky on July 13, 2008

Yesterday, we spent the day around Yarraville, looking at houses that were open for inspection. We had 5 to look at, all of which looked promising on paper…..which quickly changed once we saw them! 

House 1 was nice, but opposite a train line. House 2 was very nice, but is at the extreme end of our price range. House 3 had all the DIY done by Frank Spenser. Wonky floors, cracked plaster, pink bathroom suite, mismatched skirting boards – it was a joke! House 4 was ok but very dark inside, and house 5 was ok, but needed a lot of structural stuff doing to it. I left the day feeling somewhat disappointed, but it is only the 1st time we’ve looked around the place, and Ive already got some more properties earmarked for next weekend. One good thing to come from it, was that we had a wonder around inbetween inspections and found a load more nice shops. Just helped to seal the deal as to this definitely being an area we would like to live in. 

On the games front, Rock Band drums have been ruling most of my time. However, as they are quite noisy to play (even with sound softening pad) I dont play them when Becca is around….which is a pain! However, tomorrow is a flex day at work so I’ll get some quality time on them then. BF:BC is also taking up a lot of my time, as Im begining to think the gunplay is second only to Black, in terms of satisfaction. Battlefield has always been about on foot and vehicular combat, but I find myself avoiding the vehicles now as the first person stuff is so damn good. The guns feel and sound right, and like Black, have a tangible “weight” to them. Between these 2, Ive also managed to cram in some Katamari as a spot of light relief, and Ive tried the Topspin 2 demo, which at some point I will buy. Not now though, as Ive already got too much to be getting on with. 

Films wise, ive not really seen anything new, just been catching up on some stuff that we’ve had downloaded, so for the record….Spiderwick Chronicles – enjoyable family style entertainment. A good Sunday afternoon film 7/10. Porco Rosso – had it to watch for ages and really enjoyed it. Like a lot of Ghible films, it doesnt really go anywhere, but its captivating all the way through. 8/10. Futurama:The Beast with a Billion Backs – has some really funny moments, and has some really hard sci-fi moments where the story goes a bit poncy. Still, miles better than the Simpsons movie. And has some awesome Steven Hawking moments. 7/10. 

Thats really about it. The weeks are flying by and I cant believe we’re fast approaching a year out here. Its quite cold here now (well, about 10 degrees, but it feels relatively cold), but its the height of Winter so I guess its to be expected. 

Oh, and for the record, its well known Im an Apple fan, owning a couple of Macs and an iPod Touch, but its got to be said that Im sick to the back teeth with bloody iPhone iPhone iPhone everywhere! The hype is WAY too much and has saturated everywhere. I hope the world gets over the fact that  its just a phone quick smart!

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Fat & Happy

Posted by captainbeaky on July 7, 2008

I sit here quite content, with a belly full of home made onion soup with cheesy crouton, after watching download highlights of what was probably the best tennis match Ive seen (last nights Wimbledon final). Really pleased that Nadal one and really deserved it. However, I digress. Im also content because of our renewed interest and enthusiasm in houses. 

Saturday, after spending a criminally long time in bed, we drove over to Yarraville to meet up with one of my mates from work who lives over there. She promised to show us around and give us a tour of the area, and she delivered on every front. Yarraville seemed like just what we’re after, being charming, small and having none of the increasingly annoying hordes of visitors that come to St Kilda every weekend and inhibit your daily goings on. Lots of nice little coffee shops, a big pub on the corner, butchers and bakers, 2 supermarkets and an old art deco cinema. The surrounding areas were a mixed bag. Kingsville and Seddon are close enough to Yarraville to be a walk away, and are both nice too. Footscray seemed a bit run down, but no more so than the arse end of Wolverhampton or Birmingham. My mate took us to a couple of big parks in the area too, which were amazing. One park had a lovely little pond and stream running through the middle of it, and if it werent for the cockatoo’s screeching, you could almost imagine it being a summers day out in the country in the UK. The other park was massive! It was an old quarry which has now been partially filled and is a lake, while the rest is kinda forest-ey full of mad giant water fowl, that are probably venomous or something! Anway, overall, were totally sold on moving over there, and are looking at houses to book house inspections for on the weekend, nearly all of which are old weatherboard style houses with ornate ironmongery on the frontage, and picket fences around the front garden. Like our own little fairytale house! Cant wait!

As for stuff going on this week, theres not much really. Were off to see a doublebill at an old arthouse style little cinema on Thursday (Ironman & Spiderwick Chronicles) and Id like to see Hancock and Speed Racer at some point. Rock Band is still thrilling me with the download content, and it seems like Im finally starting to get the hang of that damn tricky 5th button! GTA is still keeping me going with stunt jumps and pigeons aplenty to be found, and BF: Bad Company is great, but its really intense, so I wont allow myself to play it too close to bed  time as Im wired afterwards! 

Macbook Air bargains on Ebay seem to have dried up, and Im toying with waiting a bit and holding out for a Macbook Pro. There are rumours of a case redesign floating around today, so Im hoping its not too far away. I dont really need the power of a Macbook Pro, but it would be good to compare the MBA against. We’ll see. Im spending more time having a lie in on the net rather than with a book, so a light mac would help. Speaking of net stuff, if youre an internet nerd like me, have a butchers at this and see how many your recognise. Good song too!

Anyway, thats it for now. Im gonna get off to watch the last Dr Who and Youve Been Framed. T’raaaaa a bit!

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The Undiscovered Country……..

Posted by captainbeaky on July 1, 2008

The housing market here is still shockingly slow, especially in the Southeast suburbs where we’re looking. So just out of interest, I searched for properties in the West, specifically in a nice villagey place we’ve already been to called Yarraville. And you wouldnt believe what you can get. 

In St Kilda, or Elwood, for $460k you get a smallish 2 bedroom unit with a small balcony. In Yarraville, you get this! Amazing eh? And thats just the tip of the iceberg. It will have implications about getting to work, as we will both be reliant on smooth flowing traffic on one of the 3 bridges over the docklands. And Becca will be further away, so driving will be essential. However, if it means we can get a fantastic house, in an upcoming area with a big garden for dogs, then I think its worth it. One of my mates at work lives in Yarraville so she’s gonna meet us there on Saturday and show us around. Im hopeful, excited and amazed that we may be able to get something that we previously thought was impossible to attain. 

Thats about it. Im packing in the overtime while its available this week, so Im pretty tired. I getting in a bit of time with games, but cos I dont really want to think, Im just finishing off the odds and ends in GTA. Not much to report really. I’ll keep you posted on our Yarraville exploits. 

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Rock Bandlefield: Bad Company

Posted by captainbeaky on June 28, 2008

So theres not been a post for a while, primarily because we havent done anything really to warrant a post. Work, TV, eating, sleeping. And Im pretty sure you have no interest in that so I’ve kept my mouth shut. However, I feel compelled to post now, although it wont interest most of you.

Quite simply…Rock Band…..best music game ever! It shows Guitar Hero whos boss in a huge way. The aesthetic, the playlist, the online store, the customisation, it beats it in nearly every conceivable way (graphics and general polish arent up to GH’s efforts). Im amazed by just how damn good the setlist is. Guitar Hero had forgotten that it was a t heart a party game, and instead pandered to the fanboys and put in stupid 80’s B-sides of songs youd never heard of in the first place, were no fun to play and  had ridiculous achievements to satiate the fanboy needs. Rock Band, has a fantastic range of recognisable songs, that are generally much easier to play than Guitar Hero’s too, which means that you can turn the difficulty slider up to hard and not expect to get bone-itis after 30 seconds. When I started playing Enter Sandman, and Wont Get Fooled Again,  Id not had such a huge smile on my face since playing the original GH on PS2. And on top of this, Ive looked at the online store and there are 37 songs that I instantly want, know and love. The icing on the cake is the multi-instrument focus, and the drums I have winging their way from the states as we speak. Just superb…..

Unfortunately, this also means that my prior purchase of Battlefield Bad Company has taken a back seat (with Beautiful Katamari now in the boot behind the back seat). However, this doesnt mean its a bad game, far from it. The combat isnt quite up to Call of Duty levels of intensity, but it has more comedic value, and the destructible environments add to the tension. For instance, a tank appears and normally, you’d run into the nearest building and hide, knowing its shells wouldnt be able to harm you in there. Not so in BF:BC. Hide in a building and the tank will just blow the building up around you. Theres also a layer of strategy about it too. If youre tasked with wiping out an enemy base, ordinarily you’d have no choice but to go in through the obvious entrances and exits to the place. With BF, you can punch a hole anywhere in the defences and attack from where you please. Like I say though, as good as it is, its on the back burner right now.

Anyway, as I said, weve not been up to much else. House hunting has slowed to a crawl, as is usual with this time of year. This time away from frantic house inspections IS helping cement our expectations of what we want though, so we’re able to instantly pinpoint what we want. No plans for the coming week, other than watch the Euro 2008 final on Monday morning. 

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Mostly Games

Posted by captainbeaky on June 19, 2008

So this post will be mostly about games, as We’ve not really been up to much since last weekend. Going to work, coming home, going for coffee, eating cakes…thats about as exciting as it got. Ive been taking a much lower intensity of interest in the housing market as a stab at minimising unecessary stresses.Ive not been sleeping right for a few weeks and anything thats been stressing me out ive been getting rid of, with looking at real estate websites being vastly reduced. And I have been sleeping better so it IS working. 

SO games wise, I finally finished GTA IV. Overall, its a great game world to mess about it, but it doesnt half get boring. I was also disappointed with the way the story unfolded as I was hoping (dont read the following bit if you havent finished it) for more of a back story, with more of Niko’s history playing a part. For it to lay back on tired old mob and mafia stereotypes, in exactly the same way GTA III did was really poor in my opinion. The difficulty later on also got stupid, with one mission being extremely hard, having several stages to the mission and needing multiple retries to complete and next mission revolving about me, getting out of my car and firing an RPG at another car…done!?!? wtf?! However, it was still an enjoyable game and theres still a lot of life left in it thanks to the achievements and side missions.

More susprisingly, Im mightily impressed with my recent cheap purchase of Need For Speed: Most Wanted. Its a pretty good racing game, in itself with decent handling, a good impression of speed and nice graphics, but it has 2 specific things that really stand out. Firstly is the police mechanic. The best way how to think of it in modern terms is that its quite similar to GTA. If you drive like a mentalist, or go through speed traps at a rapid speed, the police start chasing you. The tension of this is heightened by constant police chatter, alerting more and more units to your location, and some pretty intense “24” style music. However, unlike GTA the police drive faster cars than you, and are extremely efficient at boxing you in and busting you. Its damn hard to try and evade them and really is a thrill to play. The second best thing about the game is the hilarious chav/racer theme running through it. Its trying to be all street and “urban” and it actually comes across as some kind of ridiculous pastiche of racing culture. UKR would have a field day if they played even the 1st 10 minutes of it! Andy in particular, you’ll piss your pants – if you see it cheap…BUY IT!

Anyway, I’ll stop harping n about games, and let you go. Its getting late here and I want an early night so I can watch/listen to the portugal/germany match tomorrow. Have fun!

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No proper post today….

Posted by captainbeaky on June 15, 2008

…as I just dont think its right, or feel like making flippant remarks. Its (here anyway) nearly the end of my first Fathers day without Dad, and I know the fact that we’re out here means I wouldnt have seen him today anyway, it just feels more lonely somehow. Empty. There’s so much that I wish he could share in, hear about or just have a laugh about that makes it feel so unfair that he’s no longer with us. For what its worth happy Fathers day, Dad, and I promise to do a proper post in the next day or 2.  

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