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Where the Grass is Green and the Girls are Pretty…..

Posted by captainbeaky on March 23, 2008

burnpar.jpgHowdy. Firstly, apologies for the no post over the past few days. Thursday I was tired from badminton, Friday I was lazy and Saturday…well……we’ll come to that. Either way, I should have posted soemthing, but its beginning to dawn on me that I may not post everyday from now on. On a routine day, not a fat lot happens other than I go to work, and come home, which doesnt really make for good reading. As a consequence, If I dont post on a set day, I’ll post on the next one from now on. I dont want to let the blog slide, but I dont want to bore everyone (even more!) with talk of nothing. Anyway, I digress.

 So Thursday we played badminton, and I lost every game, mainly because of the lack of sleep the night before. My heart wasnt really in it so I hope for better results next week. Friday….I went to work despite it being a public holiday but got a shitload done so it was well worth it. The overtime loading will be nice in next weeks paycheck too!

On Saturday we went to Chadstone shopping centre and came back with quite a lot of new stuff. Becca got a couple of tops and some girls stuff, while I came away with a portable mouse for my notebook (more later), an ipod speaker dock, a new ninja fast, ninja quiet kettle (sounds stupid but you could hardly hear yourself talk over our last kettle!) and I traded in 3 games (Rainbow 6, Conan and Command & Conquer) to get……..

……Burnout Paradise…..and while I was sceptical at the time, seeing that I was trading in so many quality games for “just another Burnout Game”, after several hours of play I feel totally justified in my choice. Burnout Paradise is one of THE best arcade style racing games Ive ever played. The sense of speed is incredible and when you crash it really does make you wince. There is great feeling of the kinetics of the world in the sense that you really do feel like you have a tangible physical prescence within the city. The new open world format, while annoying to some is pleasing to me. The fact that you cant just retry a race if youve just failed doesnt bother me as it was the same in Test Drive Unlimited. It feels like there is a huge amount of things to do, as well as the “main missions” within the game, there are a multitude of other sidelines to keep you busy. Each stretch of road has its own time trial and crash mode target to beat. You can find all of the car parks, ramps, jumps, and billboards to smash through all over the map. There really is a lot to get on with and Im only just scratching the surface with what I tell you here. Its also pretty tasty using the wheel instead of a controller too – I feel a lot more in touch with the car than I ever did with the pad. In short, if you like racing games of any variety , you owe it to yourself to check out Burnout. 

The only reason I got the mouse was to help me with Adobe Illustrator. Ive taken to having a play around with it on the strenght of a DIY t-shirt website. Ive not seen any purchase-worthy T shirts around for a few months and its been annoying me that all tee’s seem to be either flouro related, or crappy vintage prints, none of which I go for. So the website in question allows you to make your own tee, with your own designs, as long as you send them a decent image to put on it. And since you need a decent dpi jpeg file for it to appear unpixellated, a vector image is prefered. Now I wont go into the pro’s and cons of vector and raster images but Ive never produced any before, and today Ive had quite a bit of fun with Illustrator and got some pretty decent results. It was just impossible to get a decent amount of control with a trackpad, so this mouse was essential. I wont show you anything Ive done yet as it still work in progress, but I’ll let you know how it pans out. For all I know, that site may just print your picture onto a rubbish iron on transfer!

Today we’ve done nowt (well, ive played my game and messed around with Illustrator) and we’ve gone for a walk around as its been a nice 27 degrees kinda day. We went to a new ice cream place thats opened up on Fitzroy St and got some very ….different…ice creams. Its gimmick is to let you pick your ice cream of which there are all sorts of fancy flavours (peanut butter, ferrero roche, strawberry trifle, etc…) then you pick some bits and pieces to smush into your ice cream (smarties, gummi bears, bounty bars, M & M’s, etc…). I had a cone and it was fupping huge! I plummed for white chocolate ice cream, and had a snickers bar, and some peanut M & M’s mashed into it – bloody lovely. You leave with all kinds of crazy combinations and flavours popping around your mind and I cant wait to go back. In the evening we went to see Stephen K Amos as being part of the comedy festival – a very funny guy. We have a lot more tickets booked, but I cant remember all of their names for now, but I’ll post about them just before we see them. We also bought tickets today to see Architecture in Helsinki and CSS at a local venue in St Kilda – should be good!

 Right, thats more than enough typing/reading for 1 day. I’ll post next when something exciting happens. May not be tomorrow but I will DEFINITELY post on Tuesday, to let you know how my driving test went.  

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Haircuts, Trainers, Tests, Gig’s & Games

Posted by captainbeaky on March 13, 2008

maximo-wenn.jpgPhew – a been a lovely hot day, full of nice things. I’ll start last night.

Went out late (about 9-ish) to see Maximo Park at the Billboard, which turned out to be a club, but with a stage and stuff for bands. The venue was pretty good for bands, as it had several raised levels as you went further back from the stage so you had a good view of the band no matter where you were. The atmosphere was brilliant and the crowd loved the band and the music, which surprised me as I didnt imagine they would have a big following over here. They played out of their skin and got a great reception, with the only downside of the night being the price of the beers. $16 for 2 pure blondes! So thats about £3.50 each for a bog standard bottled beer! Oh, well I’ll know for next time. We got back around 12.30am so Im glad I had booked the following day off, as Otherwise it would have meant only 4.5 hours sleep.

As it turned out, I got close to 12 hours kip and didnt wake up until 11.30am!  So aquick shower then down the new hairdressers. Im always wary of going to a new place, as its always a worry that theyre going to butcher you, and Ive had some bad cuts from some terrible scissor merchant before. However, I was really impressed with this place. the girl who did it was talkative and seemed to love bringing me tea. I was really pleased with the “do” and will definitely be going back.

On a high from a good haircut, I went into the trainer shop near our road, and had a squizz at a new pair of Adidas they had in, which were REALLY nice……so I bought them! The guy in there was a bit of a trainer nerd like me, and also a fan of Adidas like me, so we had a good chat, and a moan about horrible flouro trainers!  I’ll make sure my new babies have pride of place on my next post – my camera battery is on charge right now. 

Went straight from there to Carlton for my hazard perception test for driving. hte journey there was more of an ordeal than the test itself as the Grand Prix has slowed things right down. The tram goes right past the course and you can guarantee a shitload of euro-trash will get on it at Middle Park and be load and annoying. The Grand Prix, as it turns out, is both exciting, and annoying! Anyway, I digress.  The test itself seemed more like pot luck more than skill. YOu got presented with a picture, taken from the drivers perspective saying htat your driving forward, or whatever. You then got a prompt saying, “you want to slow down” or “you want to turn right” then the video plays and you have to click the mouse when you think its right to do so. Except that you only have about a 0.5-1 second window to do so safely. This led to it being rather sporadic, and you didnt really know if you should clock the mouse when you actually thought it was the correct time, or try to second guess the random computer time which judged you had selected correctly. Regardless of any of this, I passed with 71% (pass mark was 54%) so the next step is the practical test in just under 2 weeks time. 

On a second high from passing the test, I went into town, and met Becca, who informed me that her interview went well. Seemed like a good job, with decent prospects and only 4 other applicants. The place said they would let her know by Monday at the latest so keep your fingers crossed.  Went a got a lovely fresh made smoothy then on to JB Hifi where I got Frontlines for my 360 (I know its another kill-a-thon game, but its more BF1942 than Call of Duty, and it was on offer this week for $79) and got Metroid 3 on Wii second hand for only $69. Even better than that, the woman who served me at the till gave me a brand spanking new copy of the game instead of a pre-owned version. Bargain! Not played either of them yet and not sure if I’ll get chance tonight, but you can be sure I’ll post my thoughts on both. I wanted to get Zak and Wiki, as again it was on special, but its sold out. Hope they get some more in before the offer runs out.

So there you go, its been a thoroughly enjoyable day off, with a lot of things purchased, and accomplished. On to tomorrow, where they reckon we could be on for another 40 degrees celsius day, so I hope they got the air con on in the factory. I think Ive remembered everything thats gone on, but if not….tough!

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