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The Mega-post!!!

Posted by captainbeaky on March 2, 2008

hats.jpgRight – if you get bored easily, dont bother with this post. Ive got 2 days of catching up to do so its going to be a long slog until the end of the post. Firstly, the boring stuff. Work has been good, with it getting a little busier every day so I hope it doesnt reach melting point soon. Either way, at the moment, Im actually enjoying going to work. The weather is fantastic here at the moment too, with it being 28 degrees today and its due to peak tomorrow at 32 degrees. Mad when you think it is now the equivalent of being September in the northern hemisphere. I dont ever remember it being 32 in September in the UK. 

Right, now thats out of the way I can write about other things that we’ve been doing/mulling over. Yesterday, we went into Prahran to have a look about and just to get a change of scenery from Melbourne, and really enjoyed it. Popped into a great antique/vintage shop and saw many millions of dollars of stuff that we wanted, and things that bought a tear to the eye, as fond childhood memories came flooding back. They had a pristine, mint condition boxed Starbird, in all its sound-effect and lightshow glory. You remember that Andy? Even had the little detachable ships on each wing – awesome! On our way around, I picked up some HD leads for my Wii and 360, as well as Super Mario Galaxy, but more on that later. We managed to abstain from blowing  a small fortune in the Playboy shop, as Becca found some great looking baby-doll style heeled slippers, and I saw a great looking suit. Both far too expensive though. Settled for tapas on our way home from the restaurant just up the road, which was damn nice. I usually measure the quality of a tapas joint by the tastyness of its patatas bravas, and this place didnt disappoint – an 8/10! 

Before we visited “Pu-ran” yesterday, we decided to go and have a look at an inspection, pre-auction on a property thats next door to us, and in our price range. Thought it would be good to experience just what we’ll have to go through in a few months time.  This is the property (dont forget to click the links Mom!) we went to see, which looks huge on the photos, but seemed smaller in real life but the view was more spectacular in the flesh. We had a look at the penthouse suite in the same building as it was avaiable for rent (but quite pricey) and it was lovely. Built in robes, an even better view, big bedrooms and a nice bathroom. Trying to make an appointment to see another unit tomorrow too, just to have a “stickybeak”! Good to have a nose and see what we should be expecting even if we arent in the market right now. I went back to that place up for sale this morning to sit in on the actual auction. It was a pretty slow affair and seemed like trying to get blood from a stone for the auctioneer, as nobody really wanted to pay a lot. The opening bid was for the asking price of $510k, and it finally crept for $530k, which isnt too bad for a property with that view. We’ve spent a lot of today mulling over our options, trying to predict market conditions, should be rent for a year, how much is it going to cost us to get furniture, beds, appliances etc….. and we havent really got anywhere. Renting and buying right now, have so many pluses and minuses for and against each option, and as such its like hitting your head against a wall. In the end, we decided the best thing for us to do was…..wait. We’re in this place until July, we need exchange rates to improve, we need interest rates to drop and more properties to appear on the market. We can continue to monitor whats going on without making a rash decision that will end up costing us in the long run. The property market here, and the economy, cant carry on at the levels they are right now, so its got to slow down, or burst pretty soon. We just have to wait until then and jump in!

Right, onto games. Despite it being a bumper period for games in general, with a crapload of A+++ games being released, and another quality period around the corner, Ive been getting slightly sick of it all. Bored of killing people in Assassins Creed. Killing more folks in Halo 3. Killing more folks in COD4. Killing more folks in Mass Effect. Killing more folks in Tomb Raider Anniversary. I know theyre all very different games, but I cant help feeling theyre all quite generic when considered as a whole. All are very realistic, all are very tense games and all are fiercly competitive. I feel like Ive been playing them because theyre there, rather than playing them for enjoyment, or escape. Its been fun for a while, but that fun has turned into monotony, and Ive not looked forward to switching my 360 on for a week or so.  So that has ended now and after reading countless rave reviews I bought Super Mario Galaxy, and the found the reviews were not wong. Its bloody fantastic! Really does get back to the roots of what makes a good game. Its not realistic, its not gritty, its not got lifelike textures and environments. In its place is escapism, fun, colourful, no-stress adorable gaming at its best. Even the way Mario runs put a smile on my face! If youre sick of the whole generic real-world, shoot/stab-em-up style of gaming that infests every weeks release schedule, I urge you to try this. Its bloody amazing! As a result of this I intend to change my whole perspective on buying games. Ever since 360 was released, I tended to buy a game I was fairly interested in on its release day, rather than if I actually WANTED to buy it. For instance, in the coming weeks theres Army of Two, Rainbow 6 Vegas 2 and a couple of others that I acant remember which were orignally must buy games for me. On reflection, “post Mario”, I really cant be arsed with any of them. Theyre just more of the same generic gubbins I mentioned before, so I’ll be leaving them well alone. Hopefully, I’ll be able to hunt out some original, fun games to get on with instead. 

Ive also realised that I am far more into driving games than I thought. Forza 2,  PGR 4 and DIRT have all really got “my motor running” (pun intended) and I just want more of them, especially with the steering wheel setup. As a result of this, I may be about to commit a terrible, terrible sin. Well, at least in the eyes of UK Resistance (and possibly my Brother). Playstation 3. Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. Force Feedback Wheel. Three items which have me considering a purchase of Sony’s George Foreman grill. I knew I would end up getting one at some point, for God of War 3, maybe Singstar for Becca, and Little Big Planet also looks pretty special. However, I dont realy want to get one before the control pad has rumble reinstated so I wont be buying one immediately. I dare say I’ll be even  more keen to buy one in a few days as I intend to visit the Melbourne Motorshow on Tuesday evening, which is joint sponsored by GT5, and has demo units galore inside. If it actually plays half as good as the videos Im seeing, it will be very hard to try and persuade me not to buy one! 

And on the subject of buying things, my mind is thrown into even more confusion by news of this game. Battlefield Heroes. While it may just seem like a WW2 Team Fortress ripoff, it looks superb. I can tell you I played Battlefield 1942 more than any other videogame before it, or since, so the prospect of a highly styled, great looking, FREE update of it sounds ace. Only problem is, its PC only. No Mac, no 360. If I buy a MacBook Air, it wont be powerful enough to run it. A MacBook Pro will easily powerful enough, but I aesthetically, it looks like a crock of shit, and has the ugliest keyboard Ive seen in a long time. I know aesthetics arent everything, but they are if youre me and use your laptop every day of the year.  However, there are distant rumours of the next MacBook Pro update in June, which will hopefully make it look prettier too. If this happens, Im quids in, but if they dont, I dont know where I stand. I guess, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it I suppose, but up until then, its yet another waiting game. 

So there ends the largest post Ive made yet. Its taken me over 45 minutes to type, and is currently at 1493 words. Jesus! I wrote University essays shorter than this! Dont fret though, normal service shall resume tomorrow.  Now, its time for Match of the Day, and a beer…….

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Posted in Apple, Blog, Food, Games, House, Oz, weather, Work | Leave a Comment »

Alarm Clock from Hell!

Posted by captainbeaky on February 27, 2008

getimageaspx.jpegSo I managed to wake up 30 minutes before my 5:30am alarm this morning. Great you might think, he’s getting used to early starts. Wrong! While I am getting used to early starts, I have no plans on getting used sitting bolt upright at 5am with searing cramps all down my calf. God damn it hurt. Ive had cramps before but this was shocking. Its stayed with me pretty much all day, threatening another attack when I sit still for too long, and I can still feel it now. 

Anyway, its been a pretty routine day. Work was good, and Im already starting to get a bit of responsibility within the area, which after weeks of training is brilliant. For those still interested in the sausages of australia, we tried organic lamb, rosemary and mint today, which while tasting fairly nice, had a horrid consistency. I cant really describe it, as it just felt, kind of mushy. Proper nasty! 

In other news, a sentence or 2 for my Mom. Im sorry Mom, but you wont be getting a Mothers Day card next week. Not because Ive forgot, not because of the postal system, and not because I couldnt be bothered. The upshot of it is that, its not Mothers Day in Australia next week. For whatever reason, it is the same day as America’s Mothers Day which falls in the middle of May, so even though I wanted to send you a card, there arent any in the shops. Sorry! 

I see Apple updated their MacBooks Pro’s this morning, and I was hopeful of a CPU update, multi-touch trackpad a case redesign and the alteration of that god awful keyboard. Unfortunately, I find myself disappointed to find theyve only done the CPU and trackpad. So while its an extremely powerful and versatile notebook, it still looks like it belongs in the mid 90’s. In my opinion anyway. Oh well, MacBook Air, here I come! 

Oh, and before I forget, Becca has started a blog! Im not sure how often she intends to update it, but check it out every now and then. I dont think she’s going to do it everyday, but keep an eye open and pester her to post more often.  Anyway, here’s the link, and I’ll put a permalink in my favourite sits on the right.  

Posted in Apple, Blog, Oz | 2 Comments »

Errrrrr…..wibble?

Posted by captainbeaky on February 12, 2008

writersblock.jpgWell now I find myself in a bit of a pickle. What on earth do I write about when all Ive done is go to work, which I cant talk about, then come home? The bus journey? What Ive had for tea? What TV Ive watched? I dunno! Maybe I need to think about other things I want to write about on this page, becuase as time goes by, unless something spectacular happens, and barring the weekends, I cant really see this situation changing. Especially seeing as the next 2 days are just solid training from 7:30-4:30pm. 

But to answer my own questions, work was ok, half day training, half day on shop floor. The bus journey was uneventful and wonderfully short, I had tuna pasta bake for tea and Ive watched a new episode of Grand Designs, a program about Tescos in America (both programs downloaded) and the terrestrial premiere of “The Sarah Conner Chronicles“, which while poor and predictable, wasnt as dreadful as I anticipated.  Thats about it – probably watch a Monkey Dust in a bit then go to bed. I wish I had more interesting things to say, or at least could tell you some of the stuff Ive learnt at work, but hey ho, I’ll try to think of further things I can do with the blog to keep this interesting instead of sinking to a laborious “went to work, did nothing” bore-fest. So if YOU have any ideas on what you want to see, post a comment and let me know.  

Posted in Blog, Nothing, Work | Leave a Comment »

The “Im too tired to post” Post

Posted by captainbeaky on February 1, 2008

yawn.jpgChrist Im tired! Ready for bed now and its only 8.30. I reckon I must have overdone it at the gym (or the beer I had to “finish off” after using a small amount in the chili I made for tomorrow) this afternoon. Weather was much better today, so decided to make use of my free 1 week pass and pump some iron! Spent much longer than anticipated in there, as the podcast I was listening too was damn good, and I was enjoying messing with the running machines and playing with the new weights machines. Had a nose in the changing rooms too – very swish. Nice and clean, electronic code lockers, individual opaque glass shower cubicles with shampoo, conditioner and body wash dispensers. Very impressive.

Didnt do much else as we didnt really feel like it. Gonna mooch around Boeing next week after work. For all I know, I could be getting a lift back each day, or could be starting on the day shift, so I’ll just take it as it comes.  Strange to consider that today was my last free weekday, since over a year ago. Oh, I booked my driving test for March 25th, so only 52 days to go – doesnt seem very long when you say it like that, even less so when you consider Ive only had 12 lessons so far! Oh well, got plenty of time to get some more practice in between now and then. 

Just finished watching the 2nd bit of that Ross Kemp in Afghanistan documentary, and I have to say its damn good. Really gives you a good idea of what its like being stuck in the middle of a firefight out there and its pretty scary. Even the generally annoying Kemp seems shaken and shit scared by it all, which isnt surprising when there are bullets and RPG’s flying over your head. Well worth a watch if you can still get the torrent of part 1.

For tomorrow, we’re going into Melbourne to see if we can see whats going on with the filming of The Pacific (I dont think we’ll get near it, but worth a try), have a bit of a mooch about and hunt out another rooftop bar, seeing as we so enjoyed the last one.  Get myself a lie in too, seeing as they’ll be coming to an abrupt end in a couple of days. 

Posted in Blog, Drink, driving, Job, TV | Leave a Comment »

Watch Monkey Dust Now!

Posted by captainbeaky on January 24, 2008

I dunno if anybody has heard of it (or maybe you have and I had my head in a paper bag for years), but ABC in Australia, have just started showing episodes of it here. Monkey Dust is an animated comedy show, that can be quite subversive, and focuses on the darker sides of British culture. Its fupping great though! It was superb, sitting here in St Kilda, thousands of miles away from the Black Country, watching this on TV (NSFW, contains “language” and is very funny!)

 

 

I hope you like it. It kind of reminds me of an animated version of Viz. It has reoccurring characters (with Omar, Shafiq and Abdul being my favourites, along with Roy of the Roasters) and well worth a look. If it aint on TV, Im sure you know about Bit Torrent….

 So today was pretty busy. Started off with a driving lesson, which went well, again. More highway driving, low speed manouvres and general practice. What is good is that theres no such test as reversing around a corner. The instructor thought I was a mental for suggesting such a thing “Why would anyone reverse around a corner, its dangerous”?! I cant argue with that, only breathe a sigh of relief that its not tested. I was rubbish at it back when I had lessons in the UK.

After driving we caught the bus over to Chadstone, with the hope of buying all our gym equipment and trainers. Cutting a long story short, I came away with only 1 top, as it was litterally the only sports item in my size in any of the sales. Everything else was top dollar, including all the trainers. I dont know what we are going to do. There doesnt appear to be anywhere that sells cheapy trainers, I cant wait until we recieve all our belongings in a few months time and Im not buying trainers online as I want to try them on beforehand. Will have to see if there are any out of town sports centres, if not top dollar it (begrudgingly) is. However, I did manage to get some cheap sale Diesel trainers for everyday wear. Nice and lightweight, which is exactly what I was after. All the trainers I have with me here now are fine, and look great with jeans, but they look like boats on the end of my legs when I have shorts on. So these Diesel ones are perfect.  $220 reduced to $140 – bargain.

Another highlight of today was watching 2 guys in a lolly/rock shop make a bunch of special order “wedding” rock. You can order yours and someone else’s name in rock for special occasions! How great is that! I found it fascinating watching them mix, cut and roll it, and the consistency of “rock” when its being made is amazing – its like a huge viscous glassy blob – has to be seen to be believed. This had the knock on effect of making Becca buy a bag of rock and me buying a massive 1KG bag of offcuts from when they make it.  Yum yum. 

Whilst being at Chadstone, I decided to go and see Aliens vs Predator 2, as it was on its last day at the cinema. And….its….exactly the same as the last film really, adding only a small amount to the Aliens/Predator lore. Im sure to the impartial, its a terrible, predictable monster movie but seeing as its me, and I tend to love most things Aliens or Predator, its an OK film. Nothing really spectacular, no great acting performances (REALLY!?!?), special effects are run of the mill and nothing really to recommend about it. And for once, why cant the Aliens attack in the sunlight. Honestley, watching one black monster fight another black monster…..at night….in the rain is nigh on impossible, more-so with the camera cutting to different angles every 2 seconds.  I also found it shocking that its only a 15 certificate here. I mean, you get to see skinned people, Aliens bursting out of children and arms falling off due to acid exposure. How is this possible?!? However, if you like Aliens or Predator, Id say go see it, if not Id give it a wide berth. If youre a fan of the previous movies, Id give it a 7, if not, Id give it a 4. 

Phew – I didnt think this would be such a big update as it doesnt “feel” like we’ve done much today, so sorry if Ive wasted too much of your day.  So in summary…..watch Monkey Dust, eat rock and look at how its made, watch/avoid AvP 2 and er……take care of yourselves…..and each other!

Posted in Blog, driving, Film, Food, Oz | 1 Comment »

…Now Cough Please….!

Posted by captainbeaky on January 18, 2008

medical_report.jpgTodays been a good day on the whole.  Started off with a double driving lesson, which went brilliantly! The instructor was nice, patient, informative, friendly and helpful. Got behind the wheel after he took me to a quieter area and did damn well, even if I do say so myself. The automatic gearshift makes SUCH a huge difference. You dont have to worry about the clutch, biting point, stalling, braking with/without clutch. In fact, your left leg just sits there, doing nothing – its great! I went from sitting in the car learning about the a/c controls to driving on quiet roads, to driving on busy roads to parking and reversing! Was really impressed, and so was the instructor. I cant imagine it will be very long before Im putting in for my test, providing I dont stink at reversing around corners or parallel parking. 

Second on my list was going for the medical for the Boeing job. It was pretty intensive, not in a running on a treadmill kind of way, but in its testing the complete range of motion of my body, hearing tests in a noise proof booth and testing my reflexes all over my arms and legs. It was crazy, but it all went with out a hitch. The only 2 things of note are the fact that I have lost a bit of hearing sensitivity on the high frequencies, which is to be expected after the operation and all. And also, I appear to have “hyper reflexes”, which sounds as if I should be able to catch flys with chopsticks, but all it means is that if someone’s testing my reflexes for my ankle, it makes my whole leg kick out. Very sensitive. 

Only other things of note that Ive done today are eat tasty churros here on the high street at a new shop, and eaten a tasty curry at the thai restaurant around the corner.  And I mean REALLY tasty!

Also been playing a lot of Assassins Creed, which seems to be a Marmite game. Personally, I love it. Its so damn immersive, and looks fantastic. I think a lot of folks that dont like it, are just blasting through it and not taking it all in. Half the fun of it is completing every task in every city, just to see the little nuggets of information that flesh the level out. Its that amount of freedom which I think the haters are missing. Because it gives you free opportunity to roam anywhere and assassinate bloke “a” at any time rather than forcing you down a tunnel, some people do just that, and thats missing out on half the game. Anyway, I love it!

Oh, and for anyone that didnt realise or that isnt part of Facebook, I regularly add photos to my webspace which you can get at by clicking the “My Webspace/photos” link on the right hand side of this page, under the Blogroll heading.  

Posted in Blog, Food, Games, Health, Job | Leave a Comment »

Back

Posted by captainbeaky on December 1, 2007

Well, after a week thats seemed to last a month, I thought I would try to start this up again. Im back in the UK now (and will be for the next few weeks I think) and while I dont really have any news as such, I thought I would start up this blog again, if only to try to get back some kind of normality. 

Those of you who are close friends already know the details about the sudden death of my Dad, so I wont repeat them now. It was his funeral yesterday, which thankfully went without a hitch. In a week of crap, grey rainy weather it was a calm, sunny day which we were pleased about. The turnout at the crem was huge. All of the pews on both sides of the hall were full, and people were having to line up along the sides and the back. It was a testament to how many people loved and respected my dad, and how well liked he was.  Everyone from friends, family and neighbours right through to the librarian, the nurse at the local doctors and shop floor workers at my Dads company were there. It was something to really draw strength from, and since then Ive felt really calm. I hope it doesnt seem insensitive of me to be posting on here at the moment, but not only is it somewhat thereputic for me to get my thoughts down, I want to “get back to normal” as soon as I can. Dad was always someone who looked on the bright side of everything. The glass was always half full. He always thought, and saw the best in people. I owe it to him to continue his positive way of thinking, and hence, here I am.

Continuing the positive theme, our house has sold and completed today. All the money has gone through, Ive cancelled all our gas, water, electric etc…. and its all finished. Its such a weight off our minds to know thats one thing we can draw a line under. Its just that it seems a bit hollow that Dad isnt around to see the end of what he started. He came around viewing houses with us, he helped us buy the property, helped in nearly EVERY bit of DIY we attempted, and he sold it for us when we left.

Thanks Dad xxx 

Posted in Blog, UK | Leave a Comment »

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!

Posted by captainbeaky on October 19, 2007

In keeping with my renewed positive outlook and general optimistic feeling, I’ll be changing the name of this blog soon. “Spouting Bile” was angry, english, bitter, annoyed Neil. So, its time to kill that him, and usher in happy, content, new life, fair dinkum Neil!As a consequence of this, keep an eye on my Facebook profile for links to my new blog page, as when I change it, you will get a “page not found” message if you try to view the old name. Once Ive decided on a name, I’ll put it on here a day before I change it, so keep an eye out.  

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Hello world!

Posted by captainbeaky on October 19, 2007

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Posted in Blog | 1 Comment »

First post!!!

Posted by captainbeaky on July 25, 2007

Just a quick test to see if it works as it should

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